Beethoven's 250th birthday
Saturday, December 19 2020
We had our normal Saturday morning in front of the fire, though I had kratom tea instead of any sort of caffeine. Gretchen eventually saw the panagram on the New York Times Spelling Bee, which was "paranormal," with "n" as the central letter. This combination didn't produce many words, and, unusually, our combined effort never reached the level of "genius."
Two festive things happened later in the afternoon. One was that Powerful produced the grand finalé "party" of his online vegan cooking school, meaning there were lots of delicious things for us to eat, including batter-fried tofu balls, corn fritters, open-faced BLTs made with portobello "bacon," and numerous tarts. Owing to the pandemic, it was just the three of us there to eat it all, though Gretchen had Powerful make a care package for a friend he'd be hanging out with later this evening.
The other festivity happened remotely via Zoom. Every year, Gretchen's parents hold a party in honor of Beethoven's birthday (his 250th was on the 17th). In the past, they've all gotten together in one place and various people have performed music. Being still in pandemic times, we all could join remotely. This actually made the event better-attended than it otherwise would've been. There would've been no way Gretchen and I in Hudson Valley, let alone Dina and Gilaud in Tel Aviv, would've been able to make it without technological assistance. (This is also a bad thing, since it's now become essentially impossible to come up with an excuse to skip out on events you've been invited to.) My initial plans were to duck in and then out and spend my time some other way. But it was easy enough to just let the birthday party play out on a screen on my computer while I did other things. Most of the music was pretty good, though there was some bad singing and an eleven-year-old sawing dissonantly on violin. At the end, our nephew played a YouTube video of Gretchen reading one of her poems over animated art.
This evening Gretchen and I watched the final episode of Season Four of Fargo, which we both found deeply unsatisfying.
Some of the party food Powerful made today.
Beethoven's 250th birthday bash on a monitor in the laboratory. I'm in the top row, second from the left.
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