\o? Fortunately, not an actual phobia trigger, so I think she found it funny instead. But what a picture!
Speaking of pictures, I ran across this JJ Levine Switch photo series the other day. What an interesting idea, and there are cases where I cannot be sure of which gender is the true one for the people in the photos. Makeup and hairstyles and accessories make more of a difference than you might think.
Yesterday, I spent some time trying to find good performances of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto #2. I have one that I love, but it's on vinyl, and I need birthday suggestions for family. I tooled around Amazon, then over to youtube (to see what else was available). At some point, I actually Googled the Time-Life series with the performance I like, and discovered it was not the pianist I thought. Who IS available on CD. Hah! But in the meantime, I had fun comparing other interpretations. This one is not bad—fantastic orchestra performance, and the soloist's interpretation is very good (who knew Samwise Gamgee played the piano? And with such commitment! Check out 4:00-5:00 for allll the feels). This other had a nicer piano interpretation, though I liked the orchestra less. I loved the recurring complaints in the comments for most about the first movement being played too fast—invariably followed up by, "Have you heard the composer's own rendition of this piece?" The soloists clearly felt Shostakovich himself crossed the line, so they are ALL slower to some degree. I prefer a slightly smoother, confident approach to the opening rather than a staccato one, so this slow, poinky rendition was pretty much unbearable. The one I'm adding to my wishlist is Christina Ortiz (not on youtube—her version there is too placid), along with some of the Khachaturian pieces I listened to a few weeks back. But otherwise, the list is pretty small. I'm old enough that I don't need or want much apart from free time and winning the lottery, neither of which is easily acquired! We're staggering under maintenance/repair for all three cars right now, too, so that's just as well, up until the point where people (husband and kids) feel bad because they can't figure out what to give me. /o\
Oh, my muse—it would be nice to have that back, too. But again... not something you can order via Amazon!
All right, meetings await. Always. Hrmmm...