Pink Martini: I started off July by seeing Pink Martini at Wolf Trap. The sultry summer evening was well accompanied by the sultry music. There was lots of familiar material (some of which is still stuck in my head over a week later) but some new stuff, too. The only problem is the usual one with Wolf Trap. Namely, it takes me 10 minutes to drive home, but first I have to spend 30-40 minutes getting out of the parking lot.
When Art Danced With Music: The National Gallery of Art has an exhibit on Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes and I went with a couple of friends this past weekend. The exhibit was impressive, with paintings, backdrops, costumes and film excerpts. The latter were very helpful in seeing the rest in context. The key point is that Diaghilev had no particular artistic talent himself, but was able to bring together composer, choreographer, designers, dancers, etc. to influence the development of ballet. That prompted one of my friends to say, "so he was the systems engineer of the ballet!" I love that as a way of explaining what systems engineering is about. Anyway, it was an excellent exhibit, even if I think Picasso’s costumes for Parade are too absurd to dance in.
Not Quite Knitting: I went to knitting group on Sunday. I attempted to wind a hank of a complex yarn into a ball, but the swift fell apart just after I started. I managed not to have the right needles with me for any of the yarn I’d brought to work with. And I seem to have lost half a sweater in my living room. This was not my finest hour.
In Memorium: My colleague, Young Shin, passed away in his sleep on the Fourth of July. The memorial service was last night. It’s something of a tribute to a person when a few hundred people show up for their memorial. He was an interesting character and we’d had many discussions about history and language, among other topics. I know he was extremely proud of his children and I hope they can take some comfort in the deep feelings he had for them.