December 2007

Liebe Freundin und Feundinen

I have just been accused by Töchter Rachel of not updating my blog. Schäm mich! I nearly forgot that I was even running a blog. A friendly reminder once in a while helps.

Last week I completed my Re-certification exam in General Surgery. It was quite frustrating since I am specialized enough that I generally don’t remember much about obscure pediatric or vascular surgical problems. There were quite a few questions on ventilator management, which I haven’t done in years. I suspect that I passed, and will find out in mid-January.
Christmas time has been punctuated with an increased workload. I also have enjoyed working through Heimat II with Betsky. Heimat II is a continuation of Heimat I. Heimat I is the story of a family in the ficticious town of Schabbach, located in the Hünsruck area of Germany. It involves the time period from the end of the Great War until Maria’s death in about 1980. Maria’s youngest son is Hermann, who is an artist and musician that goes off to München to study. Heimat II is the story of Hermann’s life in München. The Heimat series would never make it onto American TV since 1) it is entirely in German, though the British version that we are watching has provided English subtitles, 2) it’s too sophisticated for average American tastes, like, lots of 20th century music, and 3) there are some risque scenes, that if edited out for American television, would ruin the entire sense of the film.  Pfui Teufel! Abscheulich! The greatness of the film is an ability to record in a very realistic fashion the various crises, joys, emotions, and angst that transpired among the various portrayed lives. He paints the life of an artist in a most realistic manner. It is almost as though you are sitting next to them as events transpire. It also reminds me of my years in college at Portland Stadt Universität. Anyway, once we finish Heimat II, we will still have Heimat III to go.
Every Christmas I try to listen to two pieces from two of my favorite composers. 1) J.S. Bach, the Weihnachtsoratorium. Absolute genius. I love the way he introduces his 3 hour Meisterstück with Kesselpauke (kettledrums). It took until the twentieth century to figure that one out and duplicate old man Bach. But then, everything new was first invented by J.S.B., so I’m not surprised by modern music if music it truly be. 2) Wagner, Der Ring des Niebelungen. We have a new DVD of Barenboim performing the Ring in Bayreuth. I’m not a real Barenboim fan, but apparently, this production is highly rated. It is also modernistic. Whatever gave stage designers the idea that principal characters should be dressed in overcoats? I think that it’s disgusting. Especially Wotan. Also, Die Walküre just don’t look right if they are not wearing horns and brass bras. Don’t tell Betsy, but I’m getting her horns and a brass bra for Christmas so that she could look like Brünhilde. She will need to also put her hair up in zwei Zöpfe, which I doubt that she would do.
It will be a delight to have Rachel and Diane home for Weihnachten. We’ll probably do nothing special, save for maybe a day of skiing.
Stay in touch, and Fröhe Weihnachten, und Gottes Segen in Neues Jahr.