THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Posted by admin at December 26th, 2007

Wow!  Go and see Sweeney Todd!

What a great flick.  A complete retelling and revamping of the whole story.  The music was still true to form but the libretto format,  which was a part of the original Broadway show had disappeared.  It was a great touch and a great choice by the creative staff to leave the libretto format out.    I got it!

Sweeney Todd was the first dark and gruesome musicals I’d seen on stage.   Having seen the LA version of the show some 20 plus years ago, I recall how uncomfortable everyone in the audience was when the first drops of blood appeared on the stage.

Today’s movie version is just so much more out there with blood thing.  It gets started immediately after the Pirelli gets axed and just gets more gruesome and bloody from there.  It was true Tim Burton and Johnny Depp added some much more to the character as well.

My favorite part was how Burton played up the scene between Mrs. Lovett and Tobias.   “Not While I’m Around” was so much more intense especially when Mrs. Lovett began singing.

LD’s thigh must be black and blue from me clenching it so hard whenever blood appeared.

Did I leave the theater a little queezy?  Yes.   Did the film scare me a bit?  Yes.   Was I riveted to the screen?  Yes.  Did I hum along with the tunes I knew?  Yes.  Did I quote lines from the play?  Yes.  Did I leave feeling entertained?   Yes.

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A SNOWY BLOWY CHRISTMAS, A MISTLETOEY CHRISTMAS…(x2)

Posted by admin at December 26th, 2007

I’m not quite sure if one can have a food hangover. There has been way too much eating the past couple of weeks. Ah well, back to the early morning walks and, possibly, the gym.

My holiday woudn’t be complete without the schwag from the kiddies. We had our Room 14 party last Thursday. Since my school district has a new policy on what types of food allowed for class parties, I limited the feast to sandwiches, fruit and juices. Here’s a partial list of the “stuff”: Great new ‘best teacher’ ornaments for the tree, new nutcrackers for my collection, lots of Starbinkle’s cards (I’ll be awake for the whole vacation), lots of candy and cookies, a pair of Charger’s tix (SWEEEET!), and a Charlie Brown lunch box (DOUBLE SWEET!). I am blessed with some great parents and a group of kids who, for the most part, are smart, funny and are truly interested in learning.

Onto Christmas Eve! LD, again, got a taste of the A/K Christmas Eve celebration. There was also a Charger’s game thrown into the mix this year as well.

So we arrived at V’s house at 2:30 pm. We dragged our dinner clothes and warm weather gear down to Eastlake and as soon as we arrived, helped set up the table for the evening.

The game plan? Jump on the trolley and head to the stadium at about 3:30 pm. We arrived at the Grossmont Trolley Station and found several decorated fans ready for the SD v. Denver game. A note to the powers that be…San Diego Transit really needs to rev up their service on game days. They were running way behind and should have anticipated increased ridership.

Anyway, the hometown boys ended up winning 23-3. Further note to self…I can endure high school football, I love college football (marching bands woo hoo) but remind me that I don’t ever want to go to a live pro game ever again. Yikes! I have never seen so many mullets and drunk hoochie girls in my life (as witnessed by the numerous securtiy and SDPD staff carting them away). It was drunkeness, mayhem and bad behavior x27.

And, of course, there was a little bit of drama going on next to us as well. Seems that visitation rights and Upset, Crying, Drunk Mom and Calm Dad were arguing over who was going to sit with daughter during the game. UCDM was offered nachos to calm her down by Daughter’s BF, but that still didn’t seem to have much of a calming effect. CD was up and down trying to direct UCDM to her seat and there was even a war of words because “it’s not fair” afterall. UCDM did dive into the nachos and, btw, it was upgraded to a nachos supreme by the DBF. An Emily Post reminder to UCDM — The napkin is your best friend. Use it around the mouth and on the digits when devouring nachos in a drunken state. I’ll leave this part of the post with a quote from my favorite gal, Karen Walker — “Ah…booze, tears…I love the holidays!” LD and I were gone by the middle of the third quarter.

LD didn’t believe me at dressing up for Christmas Eve so when we got back to V’s house, we had to do a little cleaning up. Soon after, Christmas Food Fest began. Great family, great conversation (and very, very, funny stuff goin’ ’round the table)– the hallmark of the celebration. There was an adult table, but somehow the kids table was the place to be.

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I do have to say I am rather proud how the nieces and nephew turned out. They are smart, they are respectful and have a deep sense of who they are and how they fit into this big world. Nice!

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LD has become the official photographer of the A/K family thanks to his new camera and the fact that my sister caught onto that little tidbit really fast. Afterall, “I’m just not good with cameras” is always a great invitation to rescue a damsell in distress (GO LD!). I got a nice shirt and vest set from the nephew and LD got the MI-5 Season I boxed DVD set (TRIPLE SWEEEET!).

And FYI A/K clan…we open presents when the old people say it’s time to open presents!

Christmas Day morning was set aside for LD and me to be in our home opening gifts and playing with them! Woo Hoo! There were stockings to open, gifts to unwrap, puzzles games to ponder and the highlight of the day…the wind up airplane glider. I was decked out in my new SDSU sweatshirt (Quadruple SWEEEET!) and LD with new camera in hand headed next door to the church parking lot (empty at 7:30 am on Christmas Day btw…obviously not a Catholic Church) to fly the new toy around for a while. LD was better at catching a breeze than I was but ’twas fun none the less. I love kitchy stuff like this! And yes, all you stare bears on Center City Parkway, that was two grown men playing with a rubber band airplane glider in the church parking lot, thank you very much.

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A shower and shave later we were off to Sun City and LD’s family celebration. We brought them gingerbread people and presents. C, L and Aunt A, were charming and quite the conversationalists.

I was doubly stunned to watch C and LD interact with each other because, as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. MY GOD! It was like seeing double. Yes there was an age difference but the mannerisms, voice patterns and even the laugh patterns were so incredibly the same. Plus I got to see a photo of LD with his ***ta-da*** accordian! Aunt A was a hoot! I loved her stories about her sailing club and her animals.

Dinner was all the traditional turkey dinner trimmings and was delicious. C and L were the perfect hosts and I was humbled and honored to be welcomed so graciously and warmly into their home. And yes LD, we were the youngest ones in the room with LD winning the “Youngest In The Room” award.

LD and SD’s families have now reached new levels of familiarty. It’s nice that we’ve all met. Our next challenge — A/K, C and L, LD and SD all at the same table. I’m ready.

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A SNOWY BLOWY CHRISTMAS, A MISTLETOEY CHRISTMAS…(x1)

Posted by admin at December 25th, 2007

First off, if you can ID the Broadway muscial from where the title originates, you will be on the official Broadway Know-It-All List.

This post will attempt to summarize the season as we know it thus far. My whole thing is that holiday season is very encompassing and doesn’t rely on how happy you are on December the 25th. So let’s start from the beginning shall we?

The lights went up the day after Turkey Day and once again, the boys on the block (or cul-de-sac as it were) set the bar for the rest of the neighbors. I fear that there was one condo that we need examine and plan to outshine next year. Oh well, our icicles lights lining the edge of the roof, the color lights lining the deck rails and the multi white light stars on the rails served us just right, thank you. First and fabulous is a great place to be.

The SDMC had their annual holiday concert complete with activities that led up to the event. We did our thank you concert to All Saints’ Church for letting us use their facility. Those Epispcopals and their wine and cheese receptions…I love them!

We opened Christmas On The Prado, now known as December Nights (boo PC patrol), with SD Mayor Jerry Sanders and radio personality Sam Bass giving us great kudos. We finished our set with The SD Chorus of Sweet Adelines in a combined “Groundless Ground” number from our spring concert, “Sing For The Cure”.

Finally the SDMC Holiday Concert “Sassy! Classy! Brassy!” was a huge success. There were two parts to it. We did an student outreach program for SD County Performing Arts students and then our concert was Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

I was the chair for our student outreach in which we offered masterclass workshops to San Diego high school and middle school students for free. Qualcomm was kind enough to send some bucks our way in the form of a grant which highlighted the outreach program as part of the weekend’s activities. I would have liked to see more schools participate and REMEMBER to send their kids down, but hey, we got it started and that’s what counts.

The concert itself was great. The new venue, Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Concert Hall, was fabulous with great acoustics and a very amenable, helpful and cooperative staff. Thanks to Kimberly and Dean of Qualcomm for their help. Saturday night saw Ed and Dawn Sibby, TVEA Union President and his main squeeze, in attendance. That really surprised me! It was nice to see them. Sunday saw LD and Celeste from school in attendance. I felt really good about the event and how we pulled it off. Thanks to the SDMC singers, JF, AD, and the SDMC board for doing a great job.

And…there is no rest for the wicked as LD and I hosted our annual holiday open house complete with gingerbread men and women. There was food and gingerbread designers from all over the county in attendance. As usual, a great time was had by all.

OK…that’s the first part of this post. We’re off the LD’s parents house this afternoon for Christmas dinner. It’s a first for me today. I hope they like me.

SDMC Concert PosterThe Men of The San Diego Men’s Chorus

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