December 2006


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Archive for December 10th, 2006

Bizzy bizzy bizzy

Posted in Life on December 10th, 2006


Up early this morning to take Pookie to the dentist – the poor rugrat inherited my teeth, and they are rotting out of her head bad enough that we have to patch up her baby molars. On top of that, she smacked her face on the monkey bars last week and chipped one of her brand-new front teeth, so we had it capped. As soon as all of her permanent teeth come in, we’re getting those suckers sealed.

Back to the ranch for a quick lunch and to let her mouth regain feeling, and then off to the Fortress of Consumerism for a birthday party at the ice rink. 10 kids for three hours. Whew!

Then back to the ranch again so I could wash dishes and cook dinner, eat said dinner, and goof a bit with the rugrat. Which turned into us watching several episodes of “Mythbusters”, fine family entertainment indeed :)

I should probably get some sleep now..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

It’s Official-

Posted in Life on December 10th, 2006

I can now say “Merry Christmas!”

No, this is not in response to some local stupidity involving the PC-ness of the phrase, it’s because I have been to the yearly Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert.

They came to Portland last Thursday, and it was just as good as in years previous, despite some notable changes in the line-up. Jill Gioia wasn’t with them this year due to her own projects, and there were a couple other changes.

Most noticeable was Jill’s replacement Steve Broderick – a talented individual, but it was weird hearing Jill’s numbers from a male voice.

Tickling, mashing and all-around wringing of the ivories was accomplished by another new addition – Derek Wieland. (He replaced Jane Mangini’s former sparring partner.) A Juliard-Master’s of Music-holding virtuoso who has performed for heads of State and nobility, playing against a gal who, in Al Pitrelli’s own words, “has played for every drunk in North America.” And I can’t decide which of them is better. I lean toward Jane, because (from what I’ve heard so far) she has a better grip on Jazz and the Blues. Sometimes a higher education doesn’t teach you everything. It’s a close race.

The Best Parts:
-A story that makes me cry every year, and I don’t feel embarrassed because 9000 other people are crying too.
-A light show that gets bigger and better every year. The entire light rig moves and re-configures itself through different parts of the show, and Al takes a childlike glee in showing it off :) He gives a shout out to the 65-man crew that runs the thing, and then says “You want to see what happens when those 65 guys set off all this stuff at once? Watch this!” With a cackle, and then they launch into the finale.
The Carmina Burana live, with fire-laden stage show. Arguably one of the most powerful pieces of music ever written.

The Bummer Parts:
-No Jill :(
-They introduced Kristin Gorman as their “Queen of the Winter Night” but didn’t let her sing the song. The live version is ten times better than any recorded release, because then you get to see her stalking about the stage and throwing that pitch-perfect voice around like a guitar.
-They still haven’t released a recording of the Carmina!!

Small bummers aside, this is still one of the only concerts I am willing to spend money on. I don’t dig on huge crowds, it hurts my knees to sit in cramped arena seats for almost three hours, and I’m half-deaf for a day afterward. But DAMN these people rock!!

If you have never seen this production, you must get tickets next year.