2015 Roundup

Well, that was a year.

That existed.

That is now over.

Thank f*ck.


Do I get a prize for surviving??

I don’t have much time to write – I’m entertaining today, and I’m going to the Minnesota Orchestra New Year’s show tonight – but I had a few tidbits I wanted to share before the celebration starts.

The first is a link to the completed 2015 SOTL Advent calendar. If you want to browse through wintry Youtube videos and simultaneously review the blog’s 2015, feel free to do that here. There are some really lovely pieces in there, I promise.

And as I promised on Facebook last month, here’s a review of the Crab and Egret Osmo paper doll…in video form, no less! It was great fun to make, and it also ran hilariously long. Who knew that cutting out paper dolls was such a time-consuming activity? In any case, my cats are adorable to watch.

For those of you who actually have lives and don’t have time to watch, here is a picture of the “concert” outfit and some accessories from the “Cuba” outfit. You can buy the doll yourself on Crab and Egret’s website.


And last but not least, here is a reverse countdown to the most popular entries of 2015…

5) What Ever Happened to Michael Henson?, Oct 30th. He joined LinkedIn, of course. He is now available to “TRANSFORM PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS THROUGH VISIONARY LEADERSHIP!” So,y’know. Call him, maybe.

4) The Lark Ascending, April 6th. About my late mom and music and…yeah. I’m glad I wrote it and got it out, but right now I don’t even like thinking about this one. The grief goes on.

3) Great Female Violinists: A List, August 23rd (2011). Haha what? My third most popular entry this year was one I started four years ago about women’s history? Awesome. This is a compendium of pictures and biographies of great women violinists of the past. You should click.

2) Hartford Symphony Hornbook, August 25th. Here I spent hours trying to untangle the knot that is the Hartford Symphony mess. I also hung out in the comment section with a guy who vehemently disagreed with me, but sadly had no time to engage in conversation. (The most fruitful kind of disagreement, amirite?) I think about “Jimmy”/”jimmy” frequently, especially as I read about what’s going on with the Hartford board. In case you’ve missed it, they’ve been in the news a lot lately… Management has threatened to shut down operations unless the union accepts their demands. Think of them, send them good thoughts, and keep up with the story at the musicians’ Facebook page and on Google News.

And the #1 most popular entry of the year (which was also, maybe not coincidentally, the most fun to write)…

In Which I Learn Why There Are No Great Women Composers, September 16th. An achingly dumb, ever-so-obviously-click-baity article from The Spectator provided the inspiration for a sarcastic response about why there are no great women composers. Turns out, people care about this topic. I’m so heartened and delighted, and so excited to hopefully make some inroads in having various neglected composers performed. The first step is having the conversation, and we sure are having the conversation!

So. I’m pretty sure that statistically speaking, 2016 has to be better for me. Now that I’m done with taking care of dying people, expect more reviews, more interviews, more research projects on women’s history, more random videos at my dining table, etc. The blog is my  baby, and I’m so glad you enjoy her, too.

Wishing all my readers a peaceful and productive 2016.

Lots of love, Emily


Filed under My Writing

2 responses to “2015 Roundup

  1. Doug R.

    Well, being that my invitation to Martha Stewart’s intimate New Years’ Eve soiree unaccountably did NOT arrive, I had time on my hands to watch your entire video. (I’m sure you noticed me nodding ‘yes’ when you wondered if you should leave the orchestra between Osmo’s legs–and if THAT doesn’t entice people to watch your video, I can’t imagine what would). I loved your seasonal trappings, the beautifully decorated tree, the table centerpiece, your festive red blouse, all of which made me feel much more in the holiday spirit than when I look around THIS sorry dump. (I do think you might consider getting a couple of cats though–I think you’ll find they tend to add life and spontaneity to any situation.)

    I did want to write and say ‘thanks’ to you for your blog this past year. Your writing has taught me a lot of things, most notably that orchestra boards and management don’t always tell the truth (!!!? really??) and that committed partisans actually can move mountains (and indeed, can displace ‘visionary, transformative’ orchestra presidents to go peddle their papers elsewhere). Also, your work on the MOA and its 990s helped shorten the ‘WTF’ factor for many of us regarding the Atlanta, the Met, and (currently, sadly) the Hartford orchestras’ struggles with management–your many gleeful, articulate, expert deconstructions of management lies (er, strategic initiatives) have taught me, at least, always to look for signs of mismanagement when the old, tired ‘musicians’ wages are unsustainable’ trope is trotted out.

    Also, in writing about your personal losses, you touch those of us who’ve had losses of our own, no matter how long ago; in a sense, we grieve together over them; and your Christmas table was for me a place to feel the presence of departed who are no longer able to celebrate the season with me (in my closet I have a box of family Christmas ornaments dating back to the 1940s that I can’t bear to put out, which is why your decorations meant so much).

    I have a New Year’s wish: that you’d consider more video blogging. You’re articulate, honest, witty, engaging and very personable, even while cutting out paper dolls; and I love the intimacy and directness you’re able to achieve when you’re talking to the camera (or the computer lid, or whatever you’re looking at). (Of course, the homey intimacy of your Christmas video was aided immeasurably by the way the room light changed as the sun went in and out behind the clouds, by the sounds of the furnace going on and off and the cat dish getting slid across the tile floor, and the sight of an occasional cat tush thrust into the camera lens…) it really did feel as if your readers were sitting right across the table from you. (I almost felt like asking if you needed any help with the dishes when it was all over.)

    So I wish YOU all the best in the New Year, and godspeed with all the things you’ll accomplish (goals, projects, and even just living life itself) without being weighed down by so much sadness (not that it ever entirely goes away).
    Kudos and excelsior, Emily!
    doug R.

  2. Sam

    I get one day. One. Single. Glorious. Brief. Day. A year. Every year. Before I turn another year older (I was a new year’s baby :/ ) and I spent a small portion of it viewing your video.

    Yeah, you definitely need either a cat wrangler or give in and outfit your kitties with GoPros. That was too fun to watch and yes they are adorable (and hopefully not *too* hungry, haha).

    Thank you for all you’ve done this past year and hopefully things do get a lot better for you (and you don’t get too much snow) in the new!

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