Tuesday, May 4, 2021



May? Roaring??
Roaring like a lion, or perhaps even worse. Torrential rain. Biblical rain. Ark-worthy rain.
Last night and early this morning severe thunderstorms.
I stayed in bed, listening to screaming winds and ark-worthy rain. Listening to house-shaking thunder. Watching lightning explode in blinding flashes outside the window. Lightning so fierce that it expelled a lifetime of sins and instilled a fear of the Almighty.
Then I said "To hell with it" and went to sleep.

Naturally there was a power outage. If I had a dollar for every power outage here in rural Tennessee, I could probably buy a castle in Transylvania.
That's where I want to go. Land of the Magyar vampires.

So how have I been doing?
I'm profoundly depressed, disgusted with absolutely everything. Physically, I feel like I died three weeks ago. Mentally I'm far over the edge.
What edge, you ask? The edge of extinction.

Isn't it amazing that I write so well even when I'm mentally and physically kaput.

Remember last week when the snake was in my house? (read my previous blog post to savor the excitement). I heard noises and crashes in the living room. Well, the nasty serpent knocked some things off of shelves. And he knocked down a row of colored glass bottles that I had on a windowsill (my cats never touch them). Fortunately nothing broke.

Snakes really aren't bad, Jon. They do a lot of good. Snakes are our friends.

Yea, right. Tell that to Adam and Eve.

I'm cute. Even when I'm miserable.

I made a new piano video.
(don't you DARE go away - - you're my captive audience).

My piano rendition of music from the operetta The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar (1870 - 1948). A Hungarian composer.

My original video contained six songs and was way too long, so I cut it down to three.

The month of May always reminds me of The Merry Widow. The very first performance I ever saw of it was in May - - long ago, when I was intensely romantic....and in love. Fond memories.

The Merry Widow is the story of a first love that went awry - and a second chance to rekindle that love many years later.
The music is emotionally appealing and intriguingly beautiful.

My piano arrangement on the video was an impromptu endeavor - performed without any rehearsal - and without much thought.

Almost everything I do is without much thought.
It's scary.

                Cheers, Jon

Video best watched full-screen


  1. This might be my new favorite arrangement of yours. Very nice, indeed.

    I would love to read the libretto in English as I am not as familiar with this operetta as I am with others. I have never seen The Merry Widow performed on stage, am not familiar with the music and I do not know if the 1952 film adaptation of The Merry Widow starring Lana Turner - which I did enjoy when I watched it years ago- is even somewhat true to the masterpiece on which it is based.

    With film scripts being what they are...or perhaps what they aren't....

    Okay, I just found The Merry Widow in English on YouTube. It is a 1996 performance by the New York City Opera and I will be watching it in 3..2..1...

    I am really excited and hope it is everything I expect it to be!


    1. That 1996 production by the New York City Opera has always been my favorite. It's perfect in every way (compared to other productions that I've seen). And it's performed in English. I saw that it is available on YouTube and plan to watch it again soon.

      Strangely enough, I've never seen any film versions of The Merry Widow.

  2. Dear Jon, it's past midnight here where sunlight runs out of land. I too have been feeling unwell and wonky but am pleased, energized by your music and a bit braver about going to sleep. You know how it is. Mark Twain remarked, "The best way to feel better is to help others feel better". You have decidedly done that. Thank you Jon, thank you.

    1. Geo - I'm truly delighted that my musical efforts helped energize you and perhaps calm you when going to sleep. I only wish I could do the same for myself. Life is too tough to endure at times....
      Take care - my best to you and Norma always.

  3. Aaaaah, I enjoyed this. Very much!
    You know, Jon, your influence may make me a fan of the classics after all.

    I desparately hope the morning's light doesn't reflect any damage from those storms. The news coverage said 10 or more tornadoes were reported in Tennessee. 😨 Confess, it took a few adult beverages last night before I could close my eyes. Southern living ain't for sissies!

    1. I thought about you when those wicked storms were raging through the south. Glad you're okay. There wasn't much damage here at all, which surprised me. Life is tough enough, without constantly having to worry about the weather.

      I hope I'm converting you to the classics. I love opera, but I never liked operettas - until I heard "The Merry Widow". Lehar's music is so delightful, sentimental, unabashedly romantic....irresistible.

  4. Jon, you know how very much I enjoy your videos and your elegant piano renditions -you DO play beautifully! It is perfect for the month of May!

    I am with you regarding SNAKES - NO THANKS! It is hard to beleive there are actually people out there that think that they can "bond" with them. Their brains are the size of a pea - not a lot of learning going on in there - lol. (Yes, I watch Animal Planet A LOT! lol)

    Hang in there, dude. My husband found a new good video that I beleive that you would appreciate very much. I shared it on my blog if you get a chance. Take care!!

    1. I've always associated music from The Merry Widow with the month of May. They go perfectly together.
      As for snakes - - I don't hate them, but I have no desire to bond with them. And I sure as hell don't want them in my house.

      I'll look forward to watching the video!

  5. Jon, I am with you on not liking opera, but I enjoyed your Merry Widow selection. It certainly was cheerful and uplifting considering what the weather conditions were doing outside your home. It's said that music has the power to soothe and calm and hopefully it works that way for you as well.

    1. I honestly thought the weather would calm down in May, but it's been fierce this month (so far) - and it's still fairly cool. Only in the 50s today.
      Music always calms my shredded nerves and puts me in a good mood. The lovely music from "The Merry Widow" reminds me of May flowers and sunshine, and beautiful starlit nights.

  6. Hey, Hey! That was a pretty good video. Your Piano sounds like our old family piano. (It was OLD!) and possibly out of tune a bit. 4 keys didn't work at all! However, Mom could play the entertainer with a saloon style/ rag time sound. I would play that thing for hours, even though I could not read music. ( Don't read any criticism here, on the contrary! I enjoyed the music completely.) I love the piece. It has minor keys in them? ( My music background is crap... even more reason not to take any comment I say seriously.) Cheryl says you should move to Iowa and play in the park or on one of her long runs. ( Big Sur Marathon has a live pianist in the half way point.) Live music always sounds better for some reason. Hope the weather cheers up there. Gonna get cold in Iowa for the next few days. ( heck! It's cold NOW) so... consider that before moving here.

    1. I presently have two pianos - both of which are ruined by the Tennessee dampness and the mice.
      The piano that I recorded this music on is an old Baldwin Acrosonic which my parents bought when I was ten years old. One problem about the recording (among many) is the fact that the recorder was too close to the piano - which distorts the sound. And old Baldwin pianos had a very loud and almost harsh tone (I had to soft-pedal a lot).

      I never knew that live pianists could be involved in races. I'd probably only serve to annoy the runners. Big Sur is a beautiful place for races or music.

      It's still rather chilly here in TN, especially at night. I might move to Iowa so I can warm up....

  7. Beautiful, and accompanied by such delightful and evocative images too!

    1. I did a haphazard job of putting the video together, and initially didn't know what type of images to use. But it turned out fairly well. I especially like the visuals for the last song.


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