Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This got me thinking about past New Years Eve gigs. Doug has always worked on New Years Eve so I'm pretty used to not ringing in the new year with him. We always see each other later. There were two particularly lonely years when one or the other of us was working on a cruise ship over the holidays. For me it was harder when I was on the ship and he was home than the other way around.
In recent years we've actually played some gigs together. The first time we were playing in two different groups, but in the same hotel so we carpooled down to DC. We worked up in Baltimore with our friend Bob Fields a couple of times. In 2000 we played with the Artie Shaw band in a casino in Tunica, MS at a place called Bluesville. The next year we played at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels.
During the time we were on the road, the NYE gigs became more sporadic. Sometimes Doug would have one and sometimes I would. But we've never both been off at the same time, until this year. So it's time to crack open the champagne now. Happy New Year!!!
We finally figured out a way to get all of the excess 12x4 sheets of drywall down two flights of stairs without killing ourselves.
Step One was to cut half of them down to 10 feet and the rest to 8 feet lengths. It is amazing what a difference that makes. They are about 17 percent less heavy, and with the shorter and more manueverable length they are completely manageable.
Step Two was to pace ourselves, so there was a little free time between each panel to check out the rather dramatic and rapidly changing weather. I took these out of the window of my house.
And even snowier!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today started out nicely enough though. I got up and washed my hair and it stayed clean for five whole hours while I played my brunch gig. I love my brunch gig so much more than I love working on my house. It's such a wonderful escape from life's daily trials. I escape easily, or perhaps I should say I amuse myself easily. Today while playing I began to notice some rather interesting things in the floor tile at my brunch gig. Am I hallucinating again?
A couple of ladies - can you see them?
Kermit, is that you?
Look, a little fishy!
and Mr. Hippopotamus
SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!! PLEASE!!!!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Why is the beach so pink?
I'm playing a musical adaptation of Theodore Roethke's poem "The Waking" for December graduation at UMD tomorrow. Just me and a singer. She has a beautiful voice and it's a pretty cool piece. The bass part works great in the original "guy" key but the transposed bass part lies in a kind of awkward and less resonant area of the bass, so there's no way to make it sound as good as the recording. Even the bass player on the recording would not be able to sound as good in the key I'm doing it in. So that's a little frustrating, but I think the over all effect will still be nice. I haven't played in a hall as big as the Comcast Center for a few years so I'm looking forward to that as well. We had the soundcheck this morning and the sound guy is great. I'm digging the reverb - a lot! Anyway, here's the original version of the piece, in the original, more resonant key.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We are going to be working like crazy on our house for the next six weeks because Doug thinks we can have it finished by the final inspection deadline. I've fallen for that kind of talk before. We'll see....
This weekend I've got a gig in Atlantic City with an all girl band called the "Swingettes." I'm carpooling up with a friend from here and we will be playing with other people we know from NYC and Philadelphia. That should be fun. Except that I've got a Messiah rehearsal the next morning that I have to rush home for, and it's on Kent Island. And then there's the rest of the weekend. It's fun to be busy with non-construction type activities though. My hands like that a lot.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
For some reason this acorn issue has been gnawing away at me all week, ever since I saw this post, on Looking2Live's blog and this one, on the Washington Gardener blog. I can't say that I'd noticed any acorns, or lack of acorns for that matter, but what I had noticed was that the squirrels in my yard were becoming very fat and they've been extremely busy simultaneously eating and burying things that are distinctly bigger than acorns. Maybe they are black walnuts? Today I finally had a chance to investigate this acorn mystery and this is what I found under the oak tree out back:
About ten seconds after I filmed the chewing action my backyard suddenly turned into Silver Spring's answer to the Serengeti:
Notice the chewed up shrubbery at the end of this video. That is what the deer do out way out here in the suburbs. And my voice is hoarse from inhaling wallboard dust all morning.
It looks like some kind of hawk and and it really was that color up there glowing in the afternoon sun. It almost looks fake - sometimes my camera seems to brighten the colors by all by itself, depending on the lighting. So maybe this bird is a "Golden Hawk?" I have no idea.
It's kind of strange that so many different animals presented themselves to me for photo-ops today. Maybe I should have combined this post with the one I made earlier today. I could have called it "Wallboard and Wildlife!"