Beethoven, Bach, and Horner
Tuesday, December 26 2006
Gretchen drove to Massachussetts today to spend the night in a country house with two of her college-era girlfriends. It fell to me to walk the dogs, so I took them on an expedition to extend my latest stick trail, which runs along the last several hundred feet of the new property. At its tip this property runs into Catskill State Park land and finds a trail running along the edge of a steep escarpment above an impressive grove of old-growth evergreens. The trail seems to have been maintained by humans at some point in the recent past (perhaps a couple years ago), but now it seemed it has become my responsibility. I marked parts of it in the usual way, with sticks along either side, and trimmed away White Pine seedlings encroaching on it.
At its south end, the trail joins up with a bike path headed for a steep descent to the bottom of Dug Hill Road. Further uphill this bike trail eventually joins the stick trail system, but before that it winds back and forth, taking advantage of natural terraces in the landscape to avoid steep grades. Along one such terrace, as the bike trail prepares to execute one of several hairpin turns, the dogs headed off further along the terrace and I realized that there was a previously-undiscovered trail here leading southward. So I followed it and eventually came to a fairly substantial hunter's camp, one with a large open pit fireplace made of stacked cobbletstones. In a nearby stick blind, I found the lid for a five gallon bucket, a Heineken can, and a faded Budweiser can from the era before born-on dates. (A few weeks ago I found an unopened can of Budweiser with a born-on date from early October of this year.) Also in the hunting camp was a glass bottle that had once held a product called Bacardi Silver. (Isn't that a drink designed for teenage girls?) I found two refrigerator grills in the hunting camp which I took with me; I might be able to use them when soldering copper pipe structures.
The trail continued southward until it inevitably encountered a steep slope cutting us off to the southwest. We turned northeasward and climbed a narrow abutting ridge to the Overlook Trail at its top.
I must have done a lot of hiking today because when I finally made it back home the muscles of my legs were ticking with micro-spasms, something I remember from the times when I'd be hitchhiking and end up walking for miles.
I drove to town and got some supplies, including [REDACTED] malt liquor, which is how I indulge my inner-alcoholic whenever Gretchen is away. I drank this while watching a parade of programs on HGTV, none of which I'd Tivo'd. This allowed me to catch up on the latest trends in television advertising.
Most disconcerting was a commercial for a new collection of classical music, evidently for the person who thinks it would be good to have a classical CD in his collection but who knows nothing about the genre. Featured prominently was Beethoven's Fifth and Vivaldi's Four Seasons and a number of other predictable selections. But at the end the currator had seen fit to throw in "My Heart Will Go On" by "Horner." I recognized it immediately as that schmaltzy tune sung by Celine Dion. Does that really belong in a collection with Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart? It must have been added as the hook-setting move to catch those dithering on the threshold of purchasing. "Oh, it's got 'My Heart Will Go On,' so there'll be something I can actually enjoy on there even if all I really want from it is to have some of that nice classical in my CD collection."
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