Friday, March 12, 2010

Playing Catch Up

1) This week just flew by, which can be good or bad, depending on how you feel about life in general. As for me, it seems to just be careening forward. I mean really, here it is almost 15th of March, St Patrick's day is almost here, Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, the snow is all melted (even the big bank of snow in the church parking lot next door, gone over night earlier this week) and green is starting to peek out of the cold, brown ground. Since the weather is a tad warmer and rain has replaced the snow, I have been out and about, as have many of my colleagues and thus I have been derelict in my blogging duties. Allow me to do a bit of catch up.

Monday found me at my usual haunt of Bistro 303 enjoying the wonderful $5 hamburgers and the usual crowd of regulars. Steve, Amy, John and I enjoyed gossiping, greeting our friends, harassing the owners and drinking a lot of vodka. Tuesday, Bruce and I ventured to the new Hamburger Mary's for $1 tacos and cheap margaritas. We downed several of the above while musing on life's foibles and mishaps.

I was staying in Wednesday, but a call brought me out and I met a friend for "a drink". 5 Martinis later, I made it home somehow.

Thursday found me back at Hamburger Mary's for AIDS Walk KC charity bingo. I actually won a game and got some fabulous prizes. Of course I won the first game so my prizes were less than those that followed, but I was certainly happy as I never seem to win at much. It was all for a good cause and Amy and I had a lot of fun, good food (you know... I have been to Hamburger Mary's 3 times and I have never had a hamburger there yet) and drinks. We know most, if not all the staff there, so it is like a 3rd home.

Tonight? I am done in. Sort of like my old travel days when I had go out to eat and drink every night and then stay home all weekend and do laundry and vegetate. That is the plan.

2) I neglected, distracted by all my revelry, to do a review of last weekend's Kansas City Symphony concert. Michael Stern was in town to conduct George Crumb's "A Haunted Landscape", in my opinion his most successful orchestral work, Beethoven Piano Concerto #1 with Robert Levin, Piano and ending with the Copland Symphony # 3. Crumb's soundscape was indeed haunting and quite well played by the symphony and the huge percussion array. As Crumb writes, "A Haunted Landscape is not programmatic in any sense. The title reflects my feeling that certain places on planet Earth are imbued with an aura of mystery... Places can inspire feelings of reverence or of brooding menace (like the deserted battlefields of ancient wars)." Ghostly sounds intermingled with haunting wisps of melody, battle calls, ancient rhythms and chants. Quite evocative and well received by the audience.

Robert Levin gave a robust and brisk performance of the sunny Beethoven 1st. Levin tore into the extended cadenzas with gusto. Not even a ringing cell phone could mar the brilliant first movement. Although Levin paused to comment "if you would please, at least, use a tune that fits the cadenza."

The Copland 3rd is not one of my favorites and I, along with my friend Megan, find it interesting that the gay, communist Copland is always the grand old man and father figure of the "Great American Symphony." That accolade belongs alternately to the Harris 3rd or the Mennin 3rd, depending on my mood. Quite a fine performance, but I was not persuaded that it is all that great.

We have a symphony break for a while, with the orchestra occupied with "Rigoletto" and some pops things.

3) The "Coffee Party" is taking off. A challenge to the screaming, anti tax and ultra right wing "Tea Party', the Coffee P Party has a commendable goal: The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them."

Join with me.

4) The Washington Post has a great article from a journalist, calling out FUX News for its shameful lack of journalistic standards and blatant lies propagated by this Fake News channel:

Howard Raines: Why don't honest journalists take on Fox News?

5) Finally, RIP to a great lady, Miss Belle, Bruce's 17 year old black Persian cat. Belle went to the great Rainbow Bridge on Thursday.

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