Thursday, September 25, 2003

The deacon interviewed. I was interveiwed recently (actually right now, since this is live) by Valerie. Here are the answers to questions which have benn plaguing my reader(s) for time untold:

1) My piano has not been tuned in probably over 30 years. Should I be sentenced to a) a term in solitary confinement (specify length), b) a term of hard labor (specify length and nature of work), c) a term in the public stocks (specify length), or d) other (specify specifics)?

Since this gets to a subject close to my heart, I'll give you a serious answer. When I meet someone who really neglects their piano, not just skipped a tuning here or there, but doesn't service it at all and doesn't really play it either, my thought in my heart is usually, "why don't you sell this or give it to someone who wants it." I'm discouraged by the fact that pretty much 0% of the homes I see have piano or any other sort of home made music as the central form of family entertainment, while well aver 90% have a prominently located television. And it's not that I hate tv, but rather that I hate to see people being so passive coupled with not learning music.

2) Speaking of sentences, you've just been sentenced to 30 days of solitary confinement. They've given you a walkman and enough batteries to play a total of about 15 hours of music. What CDs do you take and why (home-burned mixes not allowed!)? How do you allot the 15 hours?

I'm not sure any particular pieces are so important to me that I would feel like I really HAD to take them with me, but, given the opportunity I'm sure I could pick some things out to help pass the time.
Hour One--Arma Lucis, by the Soli Deo Gloriam Cantorum (my favorite choral collection)
Hour Two--Mozart Requiem, pretty much the only Mozart piece I love
Hour Three--Phil Keaggy and the PKB, Emerging, classic rock by a great musician with thoughful lyrics
Hours Four and Five--Havergal Brian, Symphony 1 (The Gothic), though I have trouble imagining listening to this on a walkman, it's a piece to wake up the nieghbors with
Hour Six--Ralph Vaughn Williams, Symphony 3 (The Pastoral), just for a complete change of pace
Hour Seven--Golden Brass, Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, collection of brass music from the renaissance through the 20th century
Hour Eight--Emerson, Lake and Palmer (self titled first album) good, interesting and varied music
Hour Nine--Shostakovitch, Symphony number 5, to help me reflect on the injustice of my sentence and put it into perspective
Hour Ten--Glad, No Less Than All, something to encourage my heart a bit (plus I heaven't listened to it in a while)
Hour Eleven--The Kinleys first album, just to remind me of my wife
Hour Twelve--Buxtehude toccatas and chaconnes, I had this on tape years ago and completely wore it out. I never get tired of his organ music
Hour Thirteen--Le Mystere des Voix Bulgare, practically anything, maybe the Cathedral Concert album, just to hear the acoustics of them in a cell should be interesting
Hour Fourteen--Brahms Symphony number 1 and John Rutter's Gloria (I think I can squeeze those into an hour)
Hour Fifteen--King's X, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, something to get me pumped up for release back into the general population

3) Tuning pianos is your forte. What sort of job would you consider yourself least qualified for and/or least interested in doing?

I think I've had some of the jobs I'm least qualified for (speaking tempermentally, rather than strict technical qualifications), specifically commission sales. I'm horrible at convincing someone to buy stuff. As far as least interest, really anything that involves sitting at a desk in the same room all day. I like a change of scenery every hour or so :) I guess putting things together, telemarketing would be the worst.

4) How did you propose to your wife?

I asked her if she would marry me. We were dogsitting for one of my customers, and I just decided it was time to ask. I hadn't planned it out and didn't have a ring yet. I just figured I'd better ask before she got to know me TOO well.

5) What are the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of being a deacon?

One of the rewarding things was being able to rotate off recently :) I think I liked just being called upon to do some physical things which didn't require too much reflecting or handwringing. The chairs need to be moved, so let's move 'em. It was also nice to both be able to get to know some of the great guys at my church and to get to see how the church is run and see the leadership a little closer. My respect for my church has really only gone up in the process.

I think the most challenging part was seeing my own weaknesses come out, putting off assigned tasks, taking easy ways out of things, etc. Also trying to think about how to implement charitable works into th structure of our particular church was very hard. I was very excited about that when I started three years ago, but feel like very little has changed. Our church model is geared more toward encouraging members to involve themselves in outside institutions rather than doing things ourselves. This has good and bad sides, but makes some things pretty hard.

::If you would like to participate too, here are your instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.::

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