Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lost and Found

I've been pretty busy with rehearsals and a bunch of other things lately, so my input here has been on the sketchy side. And I won't be able to catch you all up on everything now either, but in the spirit of putting something out there...

Cory and I hosted a party for the finale of Lost last weekend. We don't qualify for the most serious category of Lost fan (those would be the ones who have whole blogs devoted to dissecting the inner workings and mythologies of the show), but we took it seriously enough to do some cooking and put together some design elements.

Our notion of design for a party was not nearly enough for my sister Lori, however. Although she has never seen a single episode of Lost, she insisted that we 'theme it up' a notch or two, and put in more of an effort than would have occurred to us.

Cory ordered some custom M&Ms. BIG UPS to Cory for the notion, and seeing it through! If you know the show, these are pretty cool; if you don't, they're probably just baffling.

The inscribed candies got little bags to be handed out to the partiers. The skull image goes with the show at least a little bit ("Adam and Eve" in the cave; the general sense of foreboding and rampant death in the last few episodes)

And the simple Black and White candies went into coconut shells.

We also got a pineapple to fit with the Pacific Island theme, used the top as a centerpiece and skewered chunks with toothpicks decorated with banners Lori made, inscribed with character names.

Stole this photo from my sister, as I somehow managed not to get any shots of the pineapple spread.

Check out her work! She picked out the tropical paper, and we gave her a list of names (with the name crossed out for characters who were dead in one timeline or another.) She used special paper and ink for the names of the "Candidates." Pretty good for someone who has never seen the show, and doesn't care about it at all.

We made a fish stew. Lori helped a lot with this on the sous chef end, but she doesn't really like fish (as in - she runs screaming from the kitchen when seafood is cooking), so she didn't stick around for the completion of that.

It was a good stew - I used cod and mahi mahi in a garlic lime marinade; peppers, onions, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro; coconut milk made it extra-special island-y; and the secret ingredient was oil simmered with annatto seed. Yum.

Also a special blend of spices, including a hands-across-the-water conjunction of hot sauces.

Here's the food table before people arrived. The dips haven't been put into the bowls yet, and a lot of food was yet to come.

This shot gives a sense of the party in action.

Off to the left is the corner of the now-fully-loaded food table. You can see the platter with Lia's corn, black bean and quinoa salad, and the sesame-peanut sauce that went on Daniel and Susan's buckwheat noodles. Sadly, I did not get a shot of Sherin's broccoli-mango salad or Shannon's bread bowls, but trust me: all was extremely tasty!

Also, Sherin put together a game of Lost Bingo. She gathered a bunch of possible events of varying likelihood, and arranged them into a bingo board to check things off as they happened. They were really great!

Cory had the first winning card. She won a mango! Here's the Great and Glorious Card of Victory:

I love this shot - lots of joy in the faces of Shannon, Leslie and Cory.

'Twas a fun party. Maybe see you at the next one - in another life, brother.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Pete

Pete Townshend's 65th birthday today.

This event more or less speaks for itself.

However, as a treat to those who care about such things, Pete released the last installment of his 6-part "fan interview" over the weekend. (I think they might make you set up a profile to get to read that copy.) Was the timing of that release intended to coincide with the birthday? How would I know?

Anyway, the interview is LONG, and I haven't had the time to make it all the way through yet. Here's one little tidbit, in response to a question about how his Lifehouse project foreshadowed the internet phenomenon.

Lifehouse was written in 1971. The smallest music computer at that time filled a huge shed. But anything we imagine will become reality sooner or later. I’m a sucker for the online world, but what I foresaw in Lifehouse has actually turned out to be far worse in real life. There is no way to truly lose yourself on the internet, you are not really safe there, you are not protected, you are merely overlooked and exploited as a resource for banks, businesses and of course moral or political dictatorships.

Monday, May 17, 2010

And that's the way it is...

Why is it that the people that make the most political sense these days are comedians?

Oh yeah, it's always been that way.

Happy birthday a little bit late, George. Hope you're watching over the primaries some.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

All Together Now

Someone was asking about Glenn Gould. Here's a viddy (with the added bonus of relating to our earlier discussion of keyboard temperament). There is no shortage of material out there on Mr. Gould: recordings, photos, videos. But for now, I like this one - it's fun to follow along with the score.

Media Fail

You know about the disaster happening down South, right?

Nope, not talking about the oil spill in the Gulf (horrendous though that is.) I refer to the "Nashville" Flood, which actually extends over a much wider swath of Tennessee and Kentucky. You could hardly be blamed if you haven't noticed the extent of the damage, since most media sources have been all-but-ignoring this event, in the wake of the spill and the Times Square bombing. Thanks to Sherin for sharing a very good piece that Bob Sellers put together on the subject. Thanks also to Vince Gill and Taylor Swift and a bunch of other country musicians for getting out there and lending a serious hand and raising some awareness.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Counting and Recounting

So much has been going on, I haven't had time to process it, much less blog about it. Last week was a frenzy of performances and rehearsals, thanks in large part to gifts and/or knowing people involved with the shows But here's some kind of stab at catching up.

Monday I was treated to a benefit for Elevator Repair Service, an amazing theater company that does really creative work. Looking forward to seeing Gatz, their production of The Great Gatsby which involves reading the entire novel live and on stage. The benefit was great - actors reading from Great American Books. Frankie Faison was fab reading from Moby Dick, and Frances McDormand was brilliant reading from The Age of Innocence. Rad sound design too.

Wednesday I went to Sondheim on Sondheim at Studio 54. Very much fun - I actually didn't know much about the show before I went. If you have an interest in Stephen Sondheim (and I'm guessing you do) it's worth paying a visit.

Thursday... well, Thursday was omigod omiGOD territory. That was the night of the Chris Knox Benefit at Le Poisson Rouge. Now it's true that not too many people know about Chris Knox, who had a stroke about a year ago, and I actually only know a little of his stuff myself (though I now am on a mission to dive much deeper into his work) but I know a good lineup when I see one: Yo La Tengo, Jeff Mangum, Kyp Malone, Claudia Gonson, Portastatic, The Clean (and various solo projects attendant thereto) Dimmer, and a bunch of others joined up to put together a marathon set of awesomeness, with the proceeds going straight to Chris in New Zealand.

"Wait a minute," some of you are saying. "Who was that between YLT and Kyp Malone? Jeff Mangum was playing that show???"

But then again, most of the people who would know to do that double take would also have known that he was there last week.

And while I'm tempted to wax rhapsodic about Neutral Milk Hotel and other earth-shaking events from the history of music, suffice it for now to say that Mangum's set was unlike anything I've ever seen or heard. (More heard than seen, since he sat down to perform, which meant that unless you were right up front, or very tall, you didn't get to see very much.) 700 people bursting into an earsplitting ovation followed by pindrop silence followed by reverential humming and sprinkled with tears born from some mixture of joy, awe and reverence.

Remember what you learned in high school? How music and theater began as part of religious ceremonies in ancient civilizations? This was a religious experience.

And then about half the audience left when Jeff finished his set. Whatever. More room for the rest of us.

Ira pre-emptively made fun of bloggers from the stage that night, and I guess I'm worthy of his scorn today (though it may bear mentioning that his band's website is a little bloggy itself, and they have a myspace page too.) The show as a whole was outstanding. Yo La Tengo lent itself (as a whole or in parts) to various projects, and their own set was brilliant, of course; the Clean was FANTASTIC; and we left spent but better for it.

More to come, but for now I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos of the beautiful Lena Horne, who is singing with angels.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Down Time

Tired and sick. A little bit.

Not sick and tired with life or anything! Just the contrary: things have been mostly very very good, I've just succumbed to a cold bug that I'd rather not have to deal with. And it's making me miss some friends' housewarming party, which makes me feel sad and no little bit guilty (since god knows I've done plenty of things this week.) But it's time for a little nap time at home in the wake of Mother's Day brunch with my sister (and the calls to mom and grandma.)

I'll try to write some more about what's going on in the coming days. For now - sweet dreams.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Sea Turtle Metaphors

Ok, you can say what you want about posting other people's photos.

And yes, maybe this does belong in FU Penguin.

But seriously - in the middle of a hard week, who doesn't want to see this photo of a baby turtle breaking out of its shell?

Just don't go digging too deeply into Suddenly, Last Summer to extend the metaphor...