May 2010

In the wake of today’s incident in Times Square, the second in barely as many days, Joe Lieberman, the Idiot from Connecticut, is expected to introduce idiotic revisions to the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 (EBIDPA). The revised legislation will define water bottles, books, and several other items as “suspicious” and impose severe penalties on persons leaving them unattended in public places. The Department of Homeland Security will be charged with maintaining the secrecy of the list of suspicious items, revising it as needed. In an attempt to prevent EBIDPA from becoming politicized, Lieberman is adding language to restrict what information can be provided about the Act and its enforcement to Democratic and Republican members of Congress.

Anyone suspected of violating the new provisions would be classified as an enemy belligerent and immediately lose his or her U.S. citizenship. In addition, arresting officers would be prohibited from mirandizing suspected violators. Local and state governments will have until June 1, 2010 to enter fingerprints, iris scans, and DNA samples from all U.S. residents into a national database.

Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York, and several world leaders, including Kim Jong-Il and Robert Mugabe, praised Lieberman for his patriotism.


Idiot with bottled water (2006 photo).

In a few hours, and despite the free dinner, I won’t be attending “Is a Roth Right for You?”

On account of my zip code, probably, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney invited me to call or email Jacqui to reserve my place at the free event with limited seating, which I didn’t. In addition to dinner, I’ll be missing the guest speaker, who as far as I can tell is the world’s sole “Vice President of Value Add and Retirement Marketing.”

“Value Add,” you ask? So did I, and I looked it up.

According to Steve Bloemer, value add is “your company’s unique blend of products and services, and how those are perceived by your prospects and clients.” He adds that “Among the value adds I envision as important for a web hosting provider, infrastructure, 24×7 support and hands-on expertise rank high.” Steve, an “Inside Sales Manager” at Hostirian elaborates. “Would two 20AMP circuits per rack be a value add, or simply norm? If you offer business class shared web hosting plans, would that be a value add? Certainly, value adds are competition driven.”

Steve Bosserman (no relation) hyphenates it and explains, “Value-add dominates our economic scorecard,” and “The concept of value-add also plays a role in information technology and data services.” He refreshingly admits that “Here, though, the meaning is vague.”

Susan M. Heathfield penned a short article on, writing that “your value add moves beyond activities or actions performed and illuminates, instead, the actual contributions you made to your organization’s success.”

The Urban Dictionary is more straightforward. Its #1 definition is “A business euphemism for “the reason I’d like you to think I’m useful.””

Unfortunately, or not, I can only coin, not uncoin.



Advanced Global Personality Test Results

Extraversion |||||| 23%
Stability |||||||||| 36%
Orderliness || 10%
Accommodation |||||||||||||||| 70%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Interdependence || 10%
Mystical || 10%
Materialism |||| 20%
Narcissism |||||||||||||||| 70%
Adventurousness |||||| 30%
Work ethic |||||||||| 40%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||| 50%
Need to dominate || 10%
Romantic |||||||||||| 50%
Avoidant ||||||||||||||||||||  90%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Wealth |||||| 30%
Dependency |||| 20%
Change averse |||||||||| 40%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||| 60%
Individuality |||||||||||| 50%
Sexuality |||||||||||| 50%
Peter Pan complex || 10%
Histrionic |||||||||| 40%
Vanity |||||||||||| 50%
Artistic |||||||||||| 50%
Hedonism ||||||||||||||||        70%
Physical Fitness || 10%
Religious || 10%
Paranoia |||||| 30%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||| 36%
Indie || 10%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality test by
Not that I’d choose to be elsewhere, but, honestly, I’m less than thrilled with the pummeling “trait snapshot” Similar Minds appended: messy, depressed, introverted, feels invisible, does not make friends easily, nihilistic, reveals little about self, fragile, dark, bizarre, feels undesirable, dislikes leadership, reclusive, weird, irritable, frequently second guesses self, unassertive, unsympathetic, low self control, observer, worrying, phobic, suspicious, unproductive, avoidant, negative, bad at saving money, emotionally sensitive, does not like to stand out, dislikes large parties, submissive, daydreamer.

For the record, I’m not particularly fond of small parties, either.


Buy a Ticket,
Help a Bird


In honor of our guest conductor Patrick Quigley, a New Orleans native, Dessoff will donate 10% of all ticket and CD sales from Tuesday, May 4 through Saturday evening’s concert to the Louisiana SPCA to help with the care of oiled wildlife in the area.

Glories on Glories CD

Glories Recorded live in performance in March 2009, Dessoff’s latest CD Glories on Glories features stirring American choral works by William Billings, Charles Ives, Horatio Parker, and Randall Thompson, featuring shape-note hymns, songs from the battlefield, and more. The recording is available for purchase via, iTunes, and as well as at Dessoff concerts and events.

This is the latest issue of D-NOTES, the e-newsletter of The Dessoff Choirs. To send us your comments, or to unsubscribe from the newsletter, follow this link. For Dessoff concert tickets, visit our website or call 212 831-8224.

Quigley Conducts   
The Roots of Bach   
and Beyond  
Saturday, May 8, 7:30 pm
(note start)

Led by guest conductor Patrick Quigley, one of the hottest young conductors on the choral scene, this program looks back to the rich musical tradition from which Johann Sebastian Bach emerged, offering rarely performed works by Schütz, Kuhnau, Frescobaldi and Buxtehude, as well as two well-known motets — Singet dem Herrn and Jesu, meine Freude — by the master himself. Looking forward, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, who was at the forefront of the Bach revival in the 19th century, is represented by his stirring Richte mich, Gott and the 20th century Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt contributes an aleatoric setting of Bach’s chorale Komm süsser Tod.

Many of the Dessoff singers will be featured in chamber choruses for the earlier works. Quigley’s verbal program notes will give an immediacy to his insight into Bach the master and explain his choice of the related works on the program. A reception follows the performance.

Saturday, May 8, 7:30 p.m. (note start)
Calvary St. George’s Church
East 16th Street/Rutherford Place
Tickets: $35 Preferred Seating, $25 General Admission $15 Senior/Student, 12 & under Free

Dessoff Singing
Scholar Headed for Princeton

Soprano Allegra Wiprud is a senior at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. AllegraShe joined Dessoff for the March 2010 concert as a participant in our Singing Scholars program, the choirs’ outreach initiative that gives talented New York City High School students the chance to sing with us. But last March’s concert was not the first time Allegra had performed with Dessoff. We didn’t know her at the time, but in June 2009 she shared the Avery Fisher Hall stage with us for the New York Philharmonic’s performances of Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler 8th — as a member of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.  When Allegra “aged out” of BYC last year (at the advanced age of 17!), she chose Dessoff as her adult choir.

Allegra says that as a young child she tried many instruments, but “voice was the one that really stuck.” She studies voice and piano privately, and values choral singing for the chance to sing big works and the benefits of group interpretation and the communion that comes from singing together.

Allegra will be attending Princeton University in the fall, where she intends to study vocal performance and international relations. She has her eye on a career in opera. So what’s it like these days for a teenager with a passion for classical music?  Allegra says: “It makes me sad that few of my peers know about or care for classical music. Its offerings are rich beyond the three-minute snippets of symphonies most people hear in freshman music appreciation. I often can’t relate to them on music or any popular culture. I get the same high from Wagner that they do from The Jonas Brothers, or whatever it is now. New York’s institutions have worked hard to make classical music accessible and alive, and I do sometimes come across someone who wants to learn more about it.

Read Allegra’s classical music reviews at Stuyvesant High School’s independent music blog:

“That was our playhouse – that was its name,” Gerry said, as if there could be any other reason for the RUTGER above the door. I never asked why it was named Rutger, or if I did, she never told me, or I forgot.

Mom (left) and Gerry playing on the seesaw  by Rutger

The carpenters at the San built Rutger. The carpenters built a lot of things for Mom and Gerry: Rutger, the seesaw, the elephant table, a bookcase. Probably more, though nothing else was passed down or photographed. The carpenters were fond of Mom and Gerry.

Four hundred or so people lived at the San in the early 1930s. Almost half lived in dormitories and worked there – carpenters, bakers, nurses, engineers, attendants, waiters, horse keepers, farmers, chauffeurs, teachers, butchers, clerks, pharmacists, physicians, and a dentist. One of the chauffeurs drove Mom to school in Middleborough. My grandfather Manny was the dentist. Manny, Nana, Mom, and Gerry were one of only a few families at the San, and they lived in one of the few houses on the grounds.

 Mom (right), Gerry (left), and Nana, at their house

Mom said she and Gerry could see the morgue from their bedroom window. Gerry said they couldn’t. Or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, the morgue was near the house, and no one shooed the girls out when they wandered in. Not there or anywhere else – the operating theater, the lab, the barn.

Manny treating a patient

They might have been shooed off the playground if they’d tried to play on the swings when other kids wanted to, but Mom and Gerry knew the rules, and they always had Rutger and the seesaw. The playground was for the inmates.