Work and cocktails

Today — and a bit of yesterday — was lost due to administrative stuff. If things go well, orders for the fall come in pretty heavily in August, so I wanted to make sure I had plenty of rental sets and scores ready to go. I always use the same printing place, and they’re definitely cheap, but they’ve screwed up the past few jobs pretty badly and had to redo them while I waited. Last time, they printed my 11×17 scores with the back sides of the pages upside-down. That’s fine if I were to bind the scores on the top like a calendar. Not really very practical, and I can think of better calendars.

This time, I had them print a bunch of copies of “Strange Humors” and “Turbine” scores, as well as sets of parts for “Turning.” Simple enough — parts go on 8.5×11, and scores go on 11×17, and everything is double-sided and on 28lb paper. They do all of this from PDF files that I send them, but the emails clearly explain what kind and size of paper to use.

So I get there yesterday afternoon to pick up the copies, and they’ve printed everything on 11×17 — including the parts, which were formatted at 8.5×11. They didn’t blow them up to 11×17, though. No, they centered the 8.5×11″ images on the 11×17 pages. As if that wasn’t retarded enough, they somehow cropped the images, so that they were more like 8×10. Yeah, so they edges of the images were chopped off (including my name on each part, which read “John Mac”), and the pages were about 60% blank white space, with a little bit of music centered on each 11×17 page.

The 11×17″ scores were wrong, too. Those were printed on 11×17, but they, too, were cropped — down to 8.5×11. So only the top-left 8.5×11″ of each 11×17 page was actually on the page. This was great if you wanted to read the first 4 of 7 bars of the piccolo part on each page, but you were SOL if you wanted to see, say, any instrument below the second trumpet. Needless to say, they had to recycle roughly 1000 pages of paper and start over. Sorry, Al.

Today I picked everything up, bound it, sealed each set of parts in a labeled envelope, and added the new parts to my database that I use to track whether or not materials have been returned. I also checked and corrected every rental set of Turbine that I had, since every set ended up a little different from every other set as I kept revising the piece throughout the school year while I already had sets out. (That sucky job took several hours, but at least now every set matches.) I think I’m now ready for orders to come in around mid August — and now I just hope they do.

In other developments… I’m not going to make a habit of sharing recipes, but AEJ and I found an awesome cocktail recipe. We discovered it because we had some friends over (AEJ’s cousin and his wife), and AEJ’s cousin’s wife is pregnant, so she’s not doing so much of the alcohol consumption right now. We thought it’d be nice to serve a “cocktail” that didn’t have alcohol, but felt like it did. So we made this — the Tuscan Fresco, originally from Boka Kitchen and Bar in Seattle.

Here’s what’s in it:
2 rosemary sprigs
1 ounce peach nectar
1 ounce white cranberry juice
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup *
1 ounce chilled club soda
( * Simple syrup is just 1/2 cup of sugar, dissolved in 1/2 cup of water, heated on the stove for about 5 minutes, then chilled in the refrigerator overnight.)

Fill a shaker with ice. Add 1 rosemary sprig and the peach nectar, white cranberry juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir in the club soda and garnish with the remaining rosemary sprig. Makes 1 cocktail.

We don’t do it exactly like this. We make it in a pitcher all at once, and we end up with roughly 1 ounce above equaling 1 cups. (So, 1 cups of peach nectar, 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice, etc.) We stir everything but the club soda and ice — but including a few rosemary sprigs — in the pitcher. We fill a cocktail glass with ice, pour the mixture until the glass is about 3/4 full, top it off with club soda, and add a rosemary sprig to each glass.

Oh, and you can add vodka to it if you like. When there are no pregnant ladies around, that’s what we do.

It was delicious.


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