31 December, 2009
27 December, 2009
24 December, 2009
B is for Boris Karloff, still and for all time the only Grinch I recognize.
23 December, 2009
20 December, 2009
Jubilance was just beyond my ability to play on my euphonium, when I was at the peak of my abilities. Which is to say, as solos go, it was mildly to moderately difficult.
My friend Craig, who is a professional trumpeter and phenomenal musician, sent me link on Facebook a month or so ago, to a piece by the Black Dyke Band called Immortal. I've ripped this to my iPod, searched (so far in vain) for a way to buy it, and played it incessantly, and now I'd like to share it with you.
Black Dyke, formerly the Black Dyke Mills Band, is the preeminent brass band in the world. Over their 154 year history, they've won countless awards. This piece, by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, taxes even them...you can see some thinly veiled looks of relief as some particularly impossible passages are surmounted and I swear I hear at least two flubbed notes (though in a piece like this I can't be 100% certain).
At 4:50, the principal cornet, Richard Marshall, embarks on a truly magnificient solo of such unmatched lyricism it nearly brings a tear to my eye (and how he just sings out those high Ds without the slightest strain!)
This is just a stunning work from beginning to end. Even if you've never played a brass instrument, you owe it to yourself to hear this. It is, truly, immortal.
18 December, 2009
13 December, 2009
03 December, 2009
What were Tiger Woods and his wife doing out at 2:30 in the morning? They went clubbing.
Tiger Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He couldn’t decide between a wood and an iron.
I've posted on this before. Admittedly, the "celebrity" in that case, one Tahir "Tie" Domi, was considerably further down the fame ladder than is Tiger Woods. Still, everything I said there applies here, only more so.
Once again, we are confronted with a "devoted husband and father", a man who has assumed godlike status to his fan base, caught behaving in an ungodly way. Once again, he seems surprised he was found out and upset that the media are making life difficult for him. Hello, Tiger? You're obscenely rich and famous, you're pretty damned photogenic, and what the hell were you thinking leaving your paramour's name in your cell phone? How was that supposed to end, hmm?
And sorry, no matter how many times you plead for privacy, you don't deserve it and you're not going to get it. You didn't exactly keep your marriage private, there, did you? How did you find yourself playing the wrong hole, Tiger? Couldn't keep the club in the bag, could you?
Don't get me wrong. I actually have some sympathy for Mr. Woods. Man, you think pug-ugly Tie Domi had women throwing themselves at him? I'm sure Tiger has to beat them off with, well, clubs. Sooner or later, little Tiger was going to bust out.)
And Elin knew it. Of course she did. Why else the prenup? You don't craft those things without knowing, on some level, you're going to get divorced. (My wife disagrees with me here: she believes Elin was--wisely, as it turns out--covering her ass-ets. That's as may be, but I still think those things are better named post-nuptial agreements. It takes a cynical mindset to be divvying up property before you've even tied the knot, is my view).
So Tiger's in daily marriage counselling. Interesting. I wonder if that ever crossed his mind before he strayed. Somehow I doubt it, and yes, I'm speaking from experience. Often you don't realize what you've got until you throw it away. I'd be exceeding surprised if Tiger's marriage lasts another five years.
29 November, 2009
27 November, 2009
Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many employees have the day off (with the exceptions of those employed in retail, health care and banking)...
26 November, 2009
"I wish this burden would fall on someone else's shoulders, not Brendan's. Pioneers are often misunderstood and mistrusted. But since he wishes to blaze this trail, I stand beside him with an axe! I simply could not be more proud of Brendan than I am, and I love him as much as I admire him." -- Brian Burke
"Things like gay slurs, I think once players realize there could be a gay person next to them or a gay person around them they stop using them. It's not that they're homophobic, it's just that they don't think about what the consequences for a gay person next to them might be."--Brendan Burke
25 November, 2009
23 November, 2009
19 November, 2009
18 November, 2009
12 November, 2009
One big one: I never seem to grasp anything the first time you explain it to me. My grasping mechanism is continually on the fritz: whole paragraphs can go by, literally, as they say, in one ear and out the other; and then WHAMMO! with great force, my mind will snatch one detail and fixate on it. From then on, it takes an unconscionable amount of effort to divest me of that single detail. Plans or situations change, and the changes are explained to me, and three hours or three days later all I remember is that single word in chapter 4, paragraph m, subsection why the hell can't you pay attention?
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