Memorial Day...concert

Whoa now. The last time I heard Richard Zeller sing with the choir, I was a little kid and was mostly amused by how dang loud his voice was. Thought it was pretty cool. On Sunday, I heard his voice again...it's not just loud. It's gorgeous. The concert was amazing, of course, a lot of Vaughn Williams, some stuff from Carmen and Tosca, The Five Mystical Songs, and some Rodgers and Hammerstein. Great stuff. He's such a great singer, but he's also a fantastic performer. If you just listen, you miss a lot. I found some fun stuff about him on George Fox, his alma mater. I thought this quote was hilarious... It’s not easy being baritone in the typecast world of opera. “The baritone loves the soprano," says Zeller. "The soprano loves the tenor, and the tenor gets the girl. I’m always the bad guy, and I never get the girl. Sometimes, I get to kill the tenor and that’s fun."


Round Two!

I just had to do another one, it was too much fun. These are movie quotes...do your best. 1. Made it, Ma! Top of the world! 2. Crazy bellringer was right, there's money to be made in a place like this. 3. ...I think I made it mad. 4. I'm only paranoid because they want me dead. 5. I want you to find this nancy-boy (name), I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND! 6. Sometimes we don't do things we want to do so that others won't know we want to do them. 7. Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo. You got me out here draggin' your heavy a** through the burnin' desert with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad... and what the h*** is that smell? I COULD'VE BEEN AT A BARBECUE! 8. You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung. 9.A young girl, transfigured by Italy! And why shouldn't she be transfigured? It happened to the Goths! 10. In order to converse with an equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God. Read number eight aloud with an outrageous southern drawl. It'll help.



Another reason I am totally fed up with teenagers. What's with the language? Not that I run into gobs of profanity or anything (at least among the more frequently met ones) but I have just about had it with the crudity. Why does this have to be a test for how cool or mature you are? Can't they see how little sense that makes? Real men control their emotions in a crisis (theoretically) and don't resort to profanity because they just can't take it anymore. That's a weakling's way out. As for the girls, it would be nice if they could see how manifestly unattractive it is, but unfortunately Magaret Sanger sowed her seeds very well indeed. It's a pity they can't see that it is more demeaning to themselves than anything else. Not only does it make them appear uncultured, vulgar, and vapid, it carries across the image of an insecure and and altogether unintelligent person. Is this really what you want to be projecting here, people? It's the same with idiot teenage boys (and one or two girls I know) who think it's hilarious to be racist. Of course they aren't really racist anymore than they actually mean to damn anything to hell. Racist humor (when overused, which is basically the only way it comes anymore) is horribly demeaning, but not necessarily to the racial groups targeted. The person who comes off worst in the process is the comedian himself. You shouldn't behave like a neanderthal because you ought to care what direction your life takes. Which is inevitably affected by popular perception of yourself. This isn't a hard one...


pan's labyrinth

Last night I had the misfortune of viewing Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, an experience I would gladly take back. It wasn't that the film was blatantly anti Franco's Spain and laughably pro Communist. That I could live with; that I was prepared for. I was ready to look around that to see what there was to offer. Turned out to be very little. It was possibly...no, definitely the most disgustingly violent movie I have ever seen. It's been a long time indeed since I've had to turn away because I could not make myself watch. Of course fairy tales are often violent; Grimms' fairy tales are filled bloodshed. Even Hans Christian Anderson has violence in his tales. But not like this. There was no point to the violence, unless it was to say that Franco's Spain was a hell of oppression and moral depravity. There is no beauty in del Toro's work, only a freakish parody of beauty, as if he were the little boy from Anderson's The Snow Queen (a real fairy tale) who saw everything through a twisted perspective of hideousness. Twisted, perhaps, is the best word for the movie. It was a vile depiction of what might have been an adult's nightmare, but could never be an adult's fairy tale. Christianity was abandoned with a vengeance and paganism was glorified as the remnant of a long ago and maybe more peaceful era. What was left of any moral at all was a flimsy attempt at heroism. Ironically, it gave out a dimly Christian message at the end, as though the writers suddenly realized that pagan ideals are not conducive to strong moral points. In all, I was not so much disappointed as saddened. It left me thinking..."I really wish I hadn't seen that."


Eliot Ness would be so disgusted

I'm sick of teenagers. Mostly I'm sick of teenagers who are stupid and rebellious because they honestly have nothing better to do. What do you say to someone who tells you that underage drinking is fine in moderation, just like all other drinking? (I think the rationale is something along the lines of...little kids are allowed to drink in Europe, so why can't we?) See, I'm not even going to go into how the brain is not fully formed until age 25; of course alcohol is going to mess with your brain if you imbibe pre-25. You want to drink at home with family, whatever. Knock yourself out. (Not literally, please.) My problem is that these kiddos think it's fine to break the law if it's a mundane, maybe not perfectly sensible law. No question about breaking a law if it's immoral; that goes without saying. But what about not drinking before you're 21? Natural law doesn't really say anything about it, but Federal law does. As Eliot Ness said about Prohibition: "It's the law of the land." Now, Prohibition was a seriously bad idea. It increased crime rate unbelievably and actually increased the rate at which Americans drank. But that shouldn't have mattered to the Average Joe. Average Joe should have obeyed the law because it was the law, not broken it because he knew better. Whatever happened to obedience being a virtue in and of itself?


Summer Jobs

The Ninja answers an important question.


for those of you with writer's block...

Here are some terrifically bad metaphors. I had to edit out a few of them...they were too much even for me. 1 His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free. 2 He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. 3 She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef. 4 Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. 5 He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree. 6 The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine. 7 The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't. 8 From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p. m. instead of 7:30. 9 Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36p. m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p. m. at a speed of 35 mph. 10 They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth. 11 John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. 12 He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River. 13 Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut. 14 Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do. 15 The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil this plan just might work. 16 The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while. 17 He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something. 18 It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools. 19 He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up


another game

So now we're going to do first lines of books. I like most of them a lot. Personally, I think this one'll be super easy, but we'll see. 1. On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S---- Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K---- Bridge. 2.It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. 3.Rising up into the air, they took to the sky and flew. 4.1801--I have just returned from a visit to my landlord--the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. 5.On the second floor of one of the oldest houses on the right bank of the river lived the Alvears. 6.On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below. 7.In your letter to me you emphasize the extraordinary courage with which the so-called "weaker sex" face death every day of these terrible times. 8.Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a work-house... 9.The fourteenth of August was the day fixed upon for the sailing of the brig Pilgrim on her voyage from Boston round Cape Horn to western coast of North America. 10.It is perverse! To start a play made up of Kings and Cardinals in speaking costumes and intellectuals with embroidered mouths, with me.


you people are so lazy

Since no one's commenting (or no one's reading...in which case there's not much I can do) I've devised a game. I'm going to list ten movies I love, give a quote from each, and then you have to guess which they are. Now you'll have to comment. And don't google them, then it's pointless!! 1.Never take your eyes off your opponent... even when you bow. 2.You went halfway around the world. You spent a fortune. You did terrible things. Really terrible things, R-----. And all for nothing. 3.I don't care about the thirty dead. I care about my knighthood. 4.Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I'm not a mistake. 5.When a man with .45 meets a man with a rifle, you said, the man with a pistol's a dead man. Let's see if that's true. Go ahead, load up and shoot. 6.You look quite fashionable. Apart from the mud. 7.The best horse will win in spite of pedigree, my boy. 8.A bit of musicality, please! 9.Sleeping in the streets and pulling out their hair for someone they never knew. And they think we're mad! 10.She says the jungle... it just came alive and took him.


Go ahead...make my day.

So far my weekend viewing experience has been a little weighted on the Clint Eastwood side. Dirty Harry and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to be exact. Harry has some amazing lines, I have to say, even though Eastwood apparently constantly asked the writers to pare his lines down since he stared at people better than he delivered lines. (His own words) But it's fun to go up to people and say "I know what you're thinking. You're asking yourself, 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' To tell you the truth, I've kind of lost track myself, in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and could blow your head clean off, the question you should be asking yourself is, 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya, punk?"
Actually, I have yet to say that to anyone, but I think it would be a rewarding experience. And yes, I typed that quote out from memory.
He's even funnier as The Good (man with no name). "There are two kinds of people in this world...those with loaded guns, and those who dig." Unfortunately, I was watching it with philistines, so I was unable to enjoy it to its full two hours plus glory.
Dirty Harry reminds me strongly of Jack Bauer.


spider-man 3

I went to see Spider-Man 3 last night, and was surprised to find that this one is my favorite one so far! It was a really good story, had some new and interesting characters, I was not bothered by Harry's existence for the first time, and it had some priceless comic moments. Bryce Dallas Howard made a perfect Gwen Stacy.

Despite the lateness of the hour, the theater was filled. And not with weridos in spidey suits, either. I think it made over fifty million the first day, which is good for the producers, since it cost something like 370-something million to make.

Anyway; I think I might be inclined to see it again.


quote of the day

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god. ~William Shakespeare you have to say it really dramatically, emphasizing every attribute of man. It's heaps of fun.


officially a geek

...or a nerd. But I think being a nerd involves being good at math or science, which I'm not. There's nothing intelligent about wathcing seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but done it I have. Relentlessly, doggedly, watched every last episode they had to offer. Granted, I have become more learned in areas in which most normal people have not the slightest interest. I can tell a Kardassian (ha! at least I can't spell it!) from a Ferengi (probably misspelled that one too!) with consumate ease, a feat I cannot claim even a year ago. Ah, well. It got a little tedious toward the end of the last season (although the series finale was entertaining enough) but I made it. I don't know if I qualify as a Trekker, though, even if I do know Riker's middle name. Something about the way I tended to shake with unbidden laughter at the tragic or dramatic moments tells me that I might be shunned in their ranks.