As of 2:45 PM yesterday, I am finished with my undergraduate education. I graduate tomorrow night with the Music School folks and then Saturday's the big graduation down at Michigan Stadium. Our speaker for the big one is Dave Davis. What, you've never heard of him? Other schools get no-names like Condalezza Rice or Madeline Albright, but fortunately here at Michigan, we get a...locally renowned automotive journalist....who is neither Click nor Clack....but we're not bitter.
The Resplendent Mango
Thoughts, politics, soapbox rampages, amusing quotes, and excellent names for rock bands.
Πέμπτη, Απριλίου 29, 2004
Last night we had what I hope is our final EQ fire drill of the year. It was spontaneous and at 3AM, and thus we were unable to procure appropriate headwear for the event. My personal preference would be to have a bunch of those red plastic fireman's hats to wear whenever we had to go outside -- like the kind that we always had to wear at the KOZK Teleauction when there was a "Firehouse Quickie" which was simply a very short live auction with lots of yelling, nothing naughty. Anyway, hopefully no more chances for that...
Τρίτη, Απριλίου 27, 2004
"Louder than Words" From Tick Tick Boom -- A great song, strangely addictive even though the voices of some of the singers are annoying and some of the words are asinine. Granted, some of the words are also fabulous, which helps. The one line I really have a problem with is "Why does it take a catastrophe to start a revolution if we're so free?" This is a dumb question -- the implication is that we're not really free, because if we were, we would revolt freely without some catastrophic catalyst, which of course isn't the case, because free people, pretty much as a rule, do not revolt. That's just the way it is. Other than that, good song.
Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 26, 2004
Σάββατο, Απριλίου 24, 2004
I danced in a tree for one final time last night. If I can get people to send me their digital pics, I will post them here. We managed to get video, and also Fox2 Detroit came for the first 12 minute, though they had to leave in the middle to get to their 10pm newscast. Nobody harassed me this time (although it's always disconcerting to think that people in the audience may be laughing -- I thought I heard that at a few points, but I can't say I blame them if they were) and Dave didn't have to smush anyone. I have to say, the coolest part is when I'm at the highest point in the tree and am first on the harnesses, and stand with one foot on each trunk and do a backbend towards the audience, and you can hear them all gasp. My headress fell apart, but no one seemed to notice, and that was okay. I also managed to make it through the whole piece without drawing blood. That's pretty unusual. I sustained some pretty impressive bruising, but that's par for the course. Lots of interesting people came, including Dean Washington and his wife (who no longer lives in Switzerland), Michael Daugherty, who came with a group of composition students, Henry, and most of my friends. Brad, with his truck, was extrordinarily helpful, and Ross as well. I hope to have DVDs done this week. It was a cool way to finish my time here at Michigan.
Dumb Overheard Blanket Generalization of the Day:
"Once people get rich enough, they don't care about killing people."
Πέμπτη, Απριλίου 22, 2004
Today I missed the bus on purpose
Started talking to a stranger
Talked of life and love and circumstance and weekends in this town
Drinking soda from a bottle as coffee fills my senses
And everything is fine
Oh life, it sure is sweet
If you can taste it, feel it
Thank God for the life you have cuz everything is fine.
-Bits and pieces of Ben's "Missing the Bus"
I'm having some technical problems with the laptop Greg loaned me. Hopefully those will get ironed out tomorrow. Friday, I will fly.
Today was my last day of classes at U of M. Gack. We also had our last EQ prayer night, which, at least for me, involved a good deal of crying. Ben and I also got to sing together for a final time -- Amen Amen, F# mi, Unfailing Love, and Missing the Bus, which is one of my favorite songs ever. Then Justin, Lauren and her friend Adam and I all went to see Steve play Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano in Candlelight, an annual illegal performance at the dance building. Wonderful times.
Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 19, 2004
Κυριακή, Απριλίου 18, 2004
I saw Jesus Christ Superstar last night. Some of the performers were good (Pilate, Caiaphus, Judas) but it's just a bad show in general. First off, there's no excuse for the part of Jesus to be written so friggin' high. I personally do not want a savior who sings like he's just been kicked in the crotch. Also, this particular Jesus could best be described as vacant. Lights on, nobody home. And they'd put him in this bulky white robe, and he had the long hair and beard and looked exactly like your Sunday School felt-board Jesus cut-out did, but without the enthusiasm. Also, the director made several interesting (and by interesting, I mean bad) creative choices. The first was that all of the bad guys in the story (Caiaphus, Judas, Herod) were black, and it was weirdly noticable. Also, she "expanded" the women's roles in the story, since women were an important part of Jesus' ministry and financed it and all that, so she honored that by having three girls in black lingerie on stage at almost all times. A slightly nicer choice in that direction was giving Pilate's Dream to his wife Claudia, as she's actually the one who had dream, although that was somewhat of a bummer, because the actor playing Pilate was the best in the show and having him lose one song was a pity.
Also.... my usual objections to Andrew Lloyd Webber (lack of an adequate amount of musical material, not especially interesting material, etc) don't really stand in this case but I have others to make up for them. One was of course the parts being written obscenely and distractingly high (hard not to laugh when Jesus starts screeching). The second was that in writing his "rock opera" he seemed to forget about the part of opera that makes things go -- the recitatives (pronounced reh-chee-tah-teev, acknowleding both French and Italian and being correct in neither) which are the sung parts that go between the arias and advance the scene. This show has essentially none of those -- it just bops from one song to another, which minimal connective tissue between them. In Joseph he at least avoided that problem by having narrators sing the narrative parts, which kinda kept the whole thing going.
I'd seen JCS at Landers about 7 years ago, and I don't remember disliking it this much. This production didn't really do much of a ressurection, but Landers did, which was super-cool -- to the big magnificent Superstar music, Jesus came back, and from behind him there was a huge bank of super-bright lights pointed out at the audience, and the audience, as one, threw their arms up to cover their eyes -- it was cool. Also, I suppose the Jesus bits bothered me less in that show because Jeff Carney was Jesus, and he's very good. Anyway, for the most part, the performers in this show did a good job, I wasn't thrilled with the concepts/direction, and I think Andrew Lloyd Webber should be taken out back and beaten, but I met some nice people during intermission, and I got to see my friends perform, and I got to go for free, so I suppose I don't have much right to complain.
Σάββατο, Απριλίου 17, 2004
I feel a mini-fisk coming on...
I know, fisking CNN -- what can there be? Well, here we go.
CNN writes about Hamas :
Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization whose military wing has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. The United States and Israel consider it a terrorist group.
Alright, what about you, CNN.com? Do YOU consider it to be a terrorist group? Cuz it carries out terrorist attacks. In my mind, that makes it a terrorist group. This is weasel reporting. It's a bit like saying "The University of Michigan Men's Glee club is an organization whose choral wing has admitted to performing concerts of vocal repertoire for audiences. Ohio State University and Michigan State University consider it to be a choir."
Παρασκευή, Απριλίου 16, 2004
My mother and brother are currently in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a golf tournament. Due to the lack of hairdryer and clock radio, my mother is convinced that she somehow made a wrong turn someplace and wound up in the Third World. (The lack of heat, air conditioning, and clean floor may also have contributed to that belief. Additionally, I think an argument could be made that Arkansas is, indeed, Third World.) Two other players of note in this tournament: 1) A Taiwanese kid that played with my brother a year or so ago and nearly started an international incident as he and another kid a) cheated and b) conspired among themselves and lied to try to get my brother disqualified. Kevin was vindicated, this kid was disqualified. But he's back this year. 2) Andrew Giuliani, son of Rudy. Mom's hoping that his dad will be there watching -- she finds the golf parents fascinating, and it would definately be an experience to ride around in a cart with Rudy Giuliani all day.
Πέμπτη, Απριλίου 15, 2004
Real Town in Arkansas:
Frog Suck Park
I'm not sure if the Frog-sucking is a cause or a symptom, but it would sure explain a lot.
Ya Heard it Here First:
The special encore performance of Dancing in Trees will be April 23rd. Be there. Be helpful.
Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 14, 2004
(Belated) Prayer for a Goldfish
To the tune of "Prayer for a Duck" from Pippin
His breath has ebbed, his pulse is low
His fins are webbed, but even so
You must know
That although our tears are poised to burst
We've kept our faith warm through the worst
We haven't cursed our luck or run amuck
To prayer we've stuck
Please grant our wish
And save this fish
Requiem for a Goldfish
He was, if nothing else, aptly named. Just over 27 hours ago we aquired him, the sole survivor of his group of five goldfish, and apparently only somewhat surviving. Over the past few weeks, he had grown sluggish, and the Warrens feared that a move to Virginia would kill him. He arrived last night, a flash of orange in a Ziploc bag. He came with pebbles, food, and his own lived-in water. We supplied the well-rinsed sawed-off Fanta bottle and the name -- Terminal. We tried to make sure the water had enough oxygen, but he still seemed to favor breathing at the surface. Holly and I both talked to him, and were careful to feed him properly.
Just a few minutes ago, I found him lying sideways on the bottom of the tank, barely breathing. He now lies there on the bottom until Holly can come up and pay her respects, and then I suppose we will have a burial at sea tomorrow. Perhaps we should have chosen a more optimistic name for him, perhaps not. I only hope his last three seconds of life were peaceful, for he was loved as much as a fish could be loved for a day.
UPDATE: We had a small (think one-stall) Christian service for Terminal. We considered singing a hymn or two, but decided that you only sing hymns at the funerals of mammals.
Τρίτη, Απριλίου 13, 2004
Question of the Evening
"Does it make me a bad person that when I accost random strangers, I very rarely do it with religious pretext?"
Tales of the Redneck
Yesterday my mother called me because one of the guys my dad does business with's church friends from Carthage was having some money trouble and was going to sell their "heirloom Stradivarius violin" which had apparently been in the family a Long Time. She wanted to know what I could find out about what it might be worth, etc. After a solid 5 minutes of Google-fueled investigation, I was able to definitively conclude that it was a one-of-millions worthless reproduction. Well. Apparently this was shocking to the family, which knew the violin to be Very Old, as it had been purchased from a music catalog by a family member in 1907. My dad's associate was certain they would be shocked. Now, Stradivarius lived until about 1730ish, and the only Strads worth talking about are the ones that he personally made. There are only about 550 of these instruments still in existance, and pretty much all of them are accounted for. The chances that you'd order one of these things from a catalog are about the same that you'd pick up an authentic, signed Rembrant at "Deck the Walls." Today, my mother again tried to set the family straight, but once again was informed that it was Authentic, once again, as it was purchased from the music catalog almost 97 years ago. She asked my dad's associate if she could email him our research. No email. Could she fax it? No fax. So she snail mailed a print-out of a webpage showing that there's no value to their Strad. Them being from Carthage, the chances of them being convinced are not good. Later -- the story of my grandparents and the cell phone.
Good name for a Rock Band:
From the ever-perceptive Guardian:
Cheney ended his Japan stay with a visit to Emperor Akihito and other members of the imperial family and with a speech on the 150th anniversary of a U.S.-Japanese peace agreement, a document honored except for the large exception of World War II.
Is that like making 150 free throws in a row, except for those 10 in the middle you missed?
(hat tip: Holly)
I think we're all proud that Miss Missouri has been crowned Miss USA and will represent the USA in the Miss Universe pagent. Several things worth noting:
1) According to FoxNews, "Finnessey, of Florissant, Mo., listed bungee jumping and wrestling a greased pig in a mud pit as the craziest things she has ever done."
2) Also according to Fox News, "She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology and counseling from Lindenwood University."
3) It is a well known fact that Lindenwood accepts tuition payments not only in cash, but also in pigs. Coincidence? I think not.
So you wanna be a lyricist...
A few thoughts:
1) Lyrics are not poetry. In fact, they probably have more in common with modern prose than they do with modern poetry. Think rhyming, metric prose.
2) Music likes four bar phrases. Three line stanzas are frustrating.
3) Rhymes are good. Western music has a built in set of rhymes called cadences. Rhyming is still legal in most states -- use it.
4) Complete thoughts, verbs, and other similar grammatical niceties are helpful.
5) Clever is good. Profound is generally not.
Κυριακή, Απριλίου 11, 2004
(which will most likely only be amusing to Alex and Emily)
To the tune of "Children of the Heavenly King" by Adam Guettel:
"Children of the Heavenly King"
Far to dissonant to sing
Sing this sweet chromatic praise
Watch your audience run diff'rent ways.
Adam Guettel think's he's God,
Thus his intervals are odd.
After an atonal spree
Soon a triad, soon a triad there will be."
This morning, I received an email from my mother that read:
Now here's a strange way to start Easter Sunday:
The security people who hear the warehouse alarms called here at 4:25am to tell us that the alarms were going off, and did we want them to call the police. (uuh, yeah...)
So Dad threw on some pants, grabbed his keys and flew down there. They have discovered that someone has CUT A HOLE in the side of the metal building to get in there. This would not set off any alarm, but they went through the back door to exit, which DID set off the alarm. He doesn't know yet if they took anything. But they could have been in there a long time without anyone knowing. He doesn't think they knew how to turn on the lights. How STRANGE. He's still there with 4 police cars and they won't let him in the building until they know it's secure. All that they know is that the burgular was skinny. (The hole was really small.)
Huh... the "Mad Muffler-less Metal-Mauler"...
I went to the Greek Orthodox church tonight for Pascha. It was a beautiful (and long) service. I went at 11 for the Canon, which is the cantors chanting in Greek, much of which I didn't understand, although they repeated "Praise you God" and a few other things I got pretty often. Then there was the Resurrection Service (the Anastasi) which is very cool. It starts right at midnight, with the entire church completely dark and silent. Up until this point, the curtains separating the congregation from the altar have been closed, and then the priest bursts through them with a lit candle, singing. Everyone in the congregation is holding a candle, and the flame gets passed like it would at a Protestant Christmas Eve service, except this is somehow cooler. Also, the candles are tapers about 20" long, which is good, because you keep them lit for the rest of the service, through the liturgy, through communion (which I didn't take -- I'm not orthodox), through going up to get your red egg from the priest, through putting your coat on, and some people seemed to be attempting driving home with them lit. I skipped the latter, but my candle was still lit for a solid two hours, and I think I burned off about 8 inches. A Protestant Christmas candle only need to hang on through 3 verses of Silent Night -- these were hard-core. There was a choir, which was very good, and an integral part of the service, which was nice, as opposed to the choir at my Lutheran church, which basically sang every now and again because it existed, and since it existed, it needed to sing every now and again. The major song we sang was "Christos Anesti" (Christ is Risen) and we literally sang it 20 times, at least, which was perfectly fine. Good song, and because of the repetition, I could actually sing it. At the beginning, you make the sign of the cross (Orthodox-style, not Catholic -- right shoulder first) in the air with your candle. By the time we were done, it was 2AM, and I still had Alex's car, so I elected to skip out on the Margaritsa dinner, though an Easter soup of lamb brain and innard at 2AM sounded mighty appetizing. All in all, a nice time, although it's late now and I'm tired. New Life in the morning. Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!
Σάββατο, Απριλίου 10, 2004
Last night, as the epic finale to the Warren's Friday Movie Nights, we watched Two Towers, Extended Edition, for what was I think my 7th viewing. This one, however, was I think the best, second only to my first in-theatre viewing, because of Andrew Strobe in the role of Legolas. As most of us had seen the movie numerous times, we were perhaps a little chattier than normal, and took to mocking the pattern of all Legolas lines -- he looks intensely just off camera, says something intensely obvious, and then dashes off in an intense manner, presumably to keep the girls who only came to the movie to see him in it abreast of the story. Thus, at disc-intermission, Strobe began behaving in such a manner -- saying something like "There is dip in the other room" and dashing off purposefully. It was great.
Πέμπτη, Απριλίου 08, 2004
The Subservient Chicken
I suggest telling it to "Make me a sandwich."
Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 07, 2004
Why is it that men want to take me out and buy me dinner, yet do not want to date me? And I'm not saying I want them to want to... I'm just curious. Is there something about me that screams, "Buy me food!"? I didn't think so.
Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 05, 2004
Abigail's Away Message Says:
"Katie and I formed the band "Ninja's Progress." She's transposing music, I'm animating ninjas. We'll work on the marketing later."
More on Norbert
Apparently, he's number seven of 11 children. The thing that's gotta kill him is apparently he was originally named Timothy, but then they changed him to Norbert after his dad, and made the next brother Timothy. My parents always threatened to call me Quimby, but then they went for Katie -- however, if they had actually named me Quimby, and told me later that they had intended to give me a nice normal name, I think that would have led to inter-family dissention.
Σάββατο, Απριλίου 03, 2004
Missouri Official State Lawn Ornament:
Plastic Gateway Arches
Can I just say what a cool thing Sitemeter is (Click on the button. Explore. Share and Enjoy)? I can go and look at which domains read this blog, and even see them broken down by timezone. I've had visitors from Norway, the Netherlands, Mexico, Japan, Australia, and a few minutes ago, the Phillipines. And, of course, the UK, but I know who that is. I'm never quite sure how they find me but it's really nifty.
Yesterday, I got in the elevator on the first floor and so did this guy, who pushed the button for the second floor, and remarked, "Yeah, I am that lazy..." It was then that I noticed his "Michigan Climbing" shirt.
Point to Ponder
The name of the guy who interviewed me at NYU is Mel Marvin. I wonder -- is Mel his real name, or is it Melvin? And if so, who on earth would name their child Melvin Marvin? That seems cruel. Incidentally, so does the name "Norbert Leo Butz."
It's bad enough going through life with the last name Butz, but Norbert? That's not even shortenable. Nor? Bert? I bet he went by Leo. I would. No wonder he became an actor...
Παρασκευή, Απριλίου 02, 2004
Centuries later, we still know the names of Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Verdi, Chopin, Debussy, Pergolesi, Palestrina, Hidegard, Monteverde, Massenet, Beethoven, Handel, Hayden, Rachmaninoff, Copland, Prokofiev, Rimsky-Korsekov. And of Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams. Even uneducated, uncultured people know many of these names. They don't know the names of the directors that produced the plays, the conductors that led the orchestras, the musicians that played the music, the actors that played the roles, the designers that made the sets. But the composers -- those names are known and remembered. Even if they were overlooked in their lifetimes, today we know their names.
Πέμπτη, Απριλίου 01, 2004
In honor of tonight's private performance for the man himself, I present the Arthur Miller Googlism.
arthur miller is a writer
arthur miller is the most produced playwright all over the world
arthur miller is 'just a guy
arthur miller is one of the leading american playwrights of the twentieth century and a celebrity of nearly
arthur miller is in minneapolis this week preparing for the world premiere of his latest play at the guthrie theater
arthur miller is in minneapolis
arthur miller is able to powerfully show the dissolution of a man whose values have been shown to be futile
arthur miller is a very rare bird; a truly independent man
arthur miller is the most celebrated american playwright
arthur miller is very considerate
arthur miller is a jack
arthur miller is the same playwright who created the lyricism of a view from the bridge and the
arthur miller is regarded as one of the most important playwrights of the twentieth century
arthur miller is shown accepting his lifetime achievement award at the tony awards ceremony in this 1999 file photo
arthur miller is a valuable
arthur miller is showing the
arthur miller is the bruce bromley professor of law at harvard law school
arthur miller is crumbling in the corner
arthur miller is all about
arthur miller is a hit before the show begins
arthur miller is registered as co
arthur miller is critically considered one of the most brilliant playwrights of our time
arthur miller is a compassionate
arthur miller is a man who needs little
arthur miller is a very talented person
arthur miller is regarded as a pioneer of form
arthur miller is caught in the middle
arthur miller is a fellow of the american physical society
arthur miller is one of our most important living playwrights
arthur miller is the subject of a new museum of art exhibition showcasing the work of his wife
arthur miller is one of the greatest living playwrights and one
arthur miller is one playwright that cannot be excluded because he is one of the most famous
arthur miller is an undisputed national treasure
arthur miller is still surprising us
arthur miller is a playwright who mastered theatrical language and found a voice of his own
arthur miller is no simple realist and hasn’t been for fifty years
arthur miller is known for writing about what happens when a man either faces or refuses to face himself
arthur miller is widely proclaimed as
arthur miller is an important event in american culture
arthur miller is a problem playwright in both senses of the word
arthur miller is considered one of the greatest play rights in american history
arthur miller is one of the most frequently produced playwrights in america
arthur miller is considered to be one of the twentieth century’s major playwrights
arthur miller is well known for `death of a salesman
arthur miller is considered
arthur miller is not shakespeare
arthur miller is the other great american playwright of the period
arthur miller is a story that contains many struggles
arthur miller is considered one of america's leading playwrights
arthur miller is one of the most renowned and important american playwrights to ever live his works include among others the crucible and a view from the
arthur miller is a play performed by the vienna english theatre
arthur miller is published
arthur miller is the exception because he writes with a strong visual sense particularly in the way he creates characters
arthur miller is published by methuen on 13 july 2000
arthur miller is by any account a major figure in american letters
arthur miller is here preparing us for that catastrophe
arthur miller is almost totally
arthur miller is arguably america’s greatest living playwright
arthur miller is certainly reason
arthur miller is still alive
arthur miller is a book which you can read at
arthur miller is one of the greatest playwrights alive
arthur miller is one of our most outstanding twentieth
arthur miller is one of the leading american playwrights of the twentieth century and a celebrity of nearly equal notoriety
arthur miller is a person with humour
arthur miller is one of the dramatic giants of the twentieth century
arthur miller is often known for
arthur miller is telling us about decisions
arthur miller is truly a stunning and powerful play which was penned by a stunning and powerful man
arthur miller is a world traveler familiar with socialist states
arthur miller is an important force in american drama
arthur miller is
arthur miller is far from impressive
arthur miller is a pulitzer prize winning author
arthur miller is able to powerfully show the dissolution of a man whose values were useless and whose
arthur miller is an allegory to the mccarthy trials of the 1950's and 1960's
arthur miller is a great leading american playwright
arthur miller is the noted playwright who penned death of a salesman
arthur miller is regarded as one of the most important playwrights of the twentieth century and this companion provides an introduction to this influential
arthur miller is the author of two sources used in the paper
arthur miller is dramatizing a bizarre but not uncommon social phenomenon
arthur miller is a useless endeavor
arthur miller is the screenwriter
arthur miller is the most popular twentieth century dramatist studied in secondary schools
arthur miller is an associate research oceanographer at the scripps institution's climate research division
arthur miller is a tragedy revolving around suspicion
arthur miller is being investigated by the huac
Last night, as things were deteriorating at rehearsal, Henry and I were upstairs trying frantically to make changes to the music and wound up having a conversation that sounded like a bad Abbott and Costello routine. It went something like this:
ProTools: Dee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-NEE, Dee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nuh, dee-nee-nee-nee BIZVVVFT nee-nee-nuh.
Me: The power just serged in that box over there and we got a BIZVVVFT on the tape.
Henry: That power thing happens all the time when they turn on the florescent lights downstairs. The tape didn't BIZVVVFT.
Me: Listen to the tape. There's a BIZVVVFT.
Henry: Fine... you'll see there's no BIZVVVFT.
Tape: ....nee-nee-nee-NEE, Dee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nuh, dee-nee-nee-nee BIZVVVFT nee-nee-nuh.
Henry: Oh, that BIZVVVFT. I don't think that's on the tape...
Tape: ....nee-nee-nee-NEE, Dee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nuh, dee-nee-nee-nee BIZVVVFT nee-nee-nuh.
Henry: So there is a BIZVVVFT.
Me: Which happened when the power serged.
Henry: It couldn't have.
Me: But it did.
Henry: I wonder how the BIZVVVFT got there...
Me: When the power serged...
Henry: But the power's serged for years...
Me: Do you have a history of unexplained BIZVVVFTs?
Henry: Well yes...
...Hey, I didn't say it was a GOOD Abbott and Costello routine...