I really wanted to attend this off-season Music@Menlo concert on Wednesday, and it turned out their publicity agents really wanted me to attend too. They contacted me before I could contact them. Even over seven years since I heard the Pacifica Quartet at a Menlo summer festival, their Mendelssohn cycle there still haunts me, and it looms over my mind every time I hear one of his quartets. The Daily Journal agreed to publish my review, and I was on.
The catch was that I had to warn both Menlo and my editor that I might be too sick to go. I wasn't (the infectious period is long over, but the malady lingers on), but I found that such meager attention that I could pay to the music was with that small portion of my consciousness that could be spared from concentrating on the absorbing and all-consuming task of Not Coughing.
Nevertheless, what I heard was as good as I'd hoped. On seeing the review, my editor was kind enough to remark that its quality showed I'd made a full recovery, but I hadn't. I was on a tight deadline, and Thursday morning was spent alternating bouts of writing with snatches of trying to catch up enough of the sleep I hadn't had the previous night so that I wouldn't be too groggy to write anything. It didn't quite work. I'm happy enough with the content of the aesthetic evaluation, but there are awkwardnesses of expression and grammatical glitches that can only be classed as "good enough for daily newspaper work." What, for instance, does the "its" in the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph mean? Damned if I know, and I wrote it.