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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Working at Home, Part 1231

SUCH ARE THE EXIGENCIES of this last day of the year that I’m not performing tonight, my wife took the day off from work, and my daughter is on a school break. We are discovering that such close quarters can be endured only with a maximum of politeness, which I lack, and tolerance, which they have in annoying excess.

Hector Berlioz
I am cooking, of course. Some manner of cassoulet, although there’s no confit, and I suspect it will end up veering toward hoppin’ John (sans rice). But that’s left up to me.

What’s not left up to me is the choice of entertainment. Last year we improbably celebrated the turn of the year in Times Square (which I swore I’d never do, and thus cannot admit I enjoyed), subjected to the pop-culture strains of all that is loud and relentless. There’s no television available here at home (and I won’t steer any of the computers to that purpose), so the choice of music is important.

As we circle in upon the subject, I’m assured where we’re not heading this evening. I proposed that we follow the precedent of WKCR, the Columbia University radio station, which, many years ago, would mark this day by mourning the passing of the old year. They’d start the Berlioz Requiem during the 11 o’clock hour, and never note, during the 70-minute piece, when midnight came and went. I love that idea, but fear I’m stuck again with “Auld Lang Syne.”

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