I cannot seem to get my act together this week. I have not quite three months of time in which I do not have to teach, but I am supposed to be finishing a manuscript, writing an article and preparing to teach a graduate seminar which includes some stuff that through a peculiar set of circumstances I never learned myself as a grad student – but this is the advantage of all those years of training. I may not know everything, but I know how to learn a great deal of it on short notice! (Actually, that’s the definition of a decent education, right?) We will put aside, for the moment, an occasional creeping sense of the futility of the entire enterprise.

I actually do enjoy academic writing, but I have less confidence in myself intellectually than I did ten or even five years ago, and this tends to make it more difficult than it ought to be.

The solution to the problem, obviously, is more opera. I am thinking perhaps Joyce DiDonato singing Alcina – she always cheers me up. Or, alternately – I know this is weird – perhaps Mitridate, re di Ponto. I have been thinking about that opera on and off for a few weeks now. I shit you not, I really have. It’s the fault of Jochen Kowalski, who was in that ROH Orfeo I watched recently, but who I first heard as whatever character it is who sings that “Gia dagli occhi il velo e Tokyo” FUCKING AUTOCORRECT “il velo e TOLTO” aria and who always sort of reminds me of it simply by existing. So I may have to fix myself up with a copy of that.

And I hear that super-badass lutenist Paul O’Dette has a new recording out!