Saturday, April 11, 2009

Moderato con gusto

I think Salt Lake is starting to feel like home. Slowly. A little.

I haven't been sleeping well lately, so after sleeping in unusually late this morning, I got up and ran an extraordinarily fun set of errands. First on the list was grocery shopping. Grocery shopping in and of itself isn't necessarily an amazing activity, but the store I went to had their garden center out and I drooled over it. I exercised admirable self-control, though, reminding myself that I already had purchased seeds for flowers and herbs on my balcony and limited myself to purchasing potting soil and two planters for flowers. I can't wait to have a balcony garden in a few weeks. During the course of my shopping, I made sure to buy some yogurt on sale so I can use the cups for starting seeds after the yogurt has been consumed.

After the grocery shopping was done, it was time to go over to the University of Utah to listen to my friend Kerstin perform on her violin for her Master of Music recital. She did an excellent job. She played a very nice Beethoven concerto, with that nice late-Classical, early-Romantic feel, then an early 20th century piece, and finished with a piece by Brahms, definitely Romantic era. The Brahms piece utilized the method of naming the movements using the tempo markings, so I listened to Allegro molto moderato, Adagio, and Vivace ma non troppo. During this piece my mind began meditating on the fact that his would be a good way to classify my days- it's like saying "today was a really long, slow day," only much more sophisticated because instead it would look like "Saturday: Andante and largo." Today, as you can see, is Moderato con gusto. Not a busy day, but not a slow day, and a good day.

The refreshments after the recital consisted of chocolate-covered strawberries and cream puffs. There were a couple other things too, but they pale in comparison. Chocolate covered strawberries and cream puffs just seem so elegant, light, and spring-y. Yum! They had lots of extra food, so I was urged to take home a plate. Now there are chocolate covered strawberries and cream puffs sitting in my kitchen. Yay!

While I was trying to find the location of Kerstin's concert, I stumbled across a building that took me aback- the John A. Widstoe building! I felt like I was in a parallel universe, because the name of the biology research building at BYU where I essentially lived when Iw as a grad student is none other than the John A. Widstoe building. After getting over my surprise, I read the plaque that explained how after Elder Widstoe was a professor at BYU, he served as the president of the U of U. Probably I should have known that. Did everyone else know that? Anyway, it was kind of weird.

My last task of the day was one that I've been meaning to do for quite some time. I drove to the Salt Lake County Library and got a library card! Then, because I was short on time, I explored the children's wing and decided to devote my first checkout to children's books. The ones I ended up with were:

-"Encyclopedia Brown," because all my brothers loved these books when we were kids but I can't remember if I ever actually read them or not. Now's my chance to find out.

-The 3rd and 4th books in "A Series of Unfortunate Events," because I started the series a couple of years ago but clearly didn't get very far (I'm kind of cheating. I haven't read the second book but they didn't have any copies of it there. But there were about ten copies of Book the First. What's wrong with this scenario?)

-"Frog and Toad are Friends," along with a couple other Frog and Toad books, on the recommendation of my friend David and also because I think I may have read them as a kid but once again, can't remember (in my defense, I read a lot of books as a kid. I call my siblings as my witnesses).

-The first two "Five Little Peppers" books, because I know I've never read them and they look fun.

-"Heidi," which I also read several years ago, and want to re-read. Also, when I was in high school, a man in Utah Valley turned "Heidi" into a musical, which premiered at Utah Valley University, and I played the flute and the piccolo for the soundtrack. I doubt it's commercially available, but I have a copy, and it's kind of fun.

-"Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo," because, honestly. Can you turn down a book with a title like that? This is a case of strictly judging a book not by its cover per se, but by its title. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

The Salt Lake County Main Library is a large and impressive building and I fully intend to return soon and do more exploring. It seems much more cosmopolitan to me than my beloved Orem library, more mainstream, more sophisticated, but it also feels a little less scholarly. But the children's section at least is dang cool, sporting a human-sized stuffed giraffe standing on its hind legs and dressed like a nurse. Probably it's referencing some story that I don't know, but I find it hilarious.

Driving around today, I was caught by surprise at just how many flowering trees there are around Salt Lake. Redbuds and Magnolias and weeping cherries make spring so exquisite. I think I shall have to go on a walk through my rather ritzy neighborhood tomorrow and celebrate Easter by drinking in the sight of the flowering magnolia trees.

Now I'm home and waiting for Melanie to get back so we can go to the BYU ballroom dance concert. Plants, books, good music, and dance- anyone who knows me well should understand exactly why I label this day "Moderato con gusto."


laura marie said...

OH! I love how nerdy our family can be! I was a great fan of the Encyclopedia Brown books as well as Frog and Toad. I'm pretty sure I have copies of each.
Also, I'm pretty sure we are definitely kindred spirits. Why? I got a library card yesterday as well!

Matt said...

Fun Roo! Nice choice--hard to go wrong with Encyclopedia "No case too small" Brown.

I'm glad you have a library card! That is a fun library.

Danielle said...

I love the thought of you exercising self restraint and only buying soil and pots... and then frugally buying yogurt for its containers! You are so funny. I need advice for a desert patio garden; I don't know what I'm doing here. Also, remember some other beautiful magnolia trees somewhere? I do. Have fun with good old Encyclopedia Brown.

cking said...

Ohhhh, I'm so excited to start reading for fun again:)