338,352 pandemic deaths here in the sweet land of liberty, and it’s nothing to sing about. Incompetence writ large, in flaming letters. Still, 27 December 12020 is No Interruptions Day. It’s also the Third Day of Christmas, Constitution Day (North Korea), and Emergency Rescuer’s Day (Russia). On various calendars of the world it is 12 Jumada I 1442, 12 Teveth 5781, 18 Koiak 1737, 6 Pausa 1942, 7 Dey 1399, JD 2459211, 27 December 2020 (N.S.) or 14 December 2020 (O.S.). On this day in history (11941) Dmitri Shostakovich completed his seventh symphony (“Leningrad”) in Samara; the piece would go on to be enormously popular during the World War. Its popularity declined precipitously in the post-war environment; derided as trite, bombastic, and pretentious, few could be bothered to spend the hour and a quarter needed to take it in. Possibly that’s why a copy of it fell into my hands somewhere in the early to mid ’60s, and it quickly became a favorite of mine. Judging from my memory of the cover, I suppose it must have been the version featuring the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein conducting—but I could easily be wrong. Personally I think the piece will continue to be performed and enjoyed—at least by audiences who appreciate it for what it is.
I somehow managed to fall yesterday and bashed my knee against the concrete sidewalk—and then later on at least gave moral support when my roommate’s dog came in from the front yard with part of his ear missing. We’re both all right—the dog and I anyway—but I’m having trouble moving around, and he has to take it easy for a bit while his ear heals. I just checked in on him upstairs, and he seems okay; it took me two or three times as long as usual to go up the stairs, and there was a fair amount of pain associated with it. Maybe things will be better tomorrow.