Wednesday, December 31, 2008

MMIX!

Well, getting close at least. A wonderful start to 2009 to all! And because I've got year-end work to do early tomorrow AM (before the holiday skiers, snowboarders and sliders begin), to all a good night...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ego boost

Nothing like a second-hand remark from someone with whom you work quite closely that you are "worthless to the organization". Very nice, eh? Among the myriad reactions to this are:

1) curling up in the fetal position and waiting for death;
2) coming out swinging, especially after my first-ever visit to a gun shop;
3) shrugging it off and continuing with life as usual;
4) perfecting my "Mr. Worthless" persona, complete with robe a la Ric Flair;
5) asking said person "And your worth is ...?";
6) becoming the world's worst workaholic and forever muttering "I'll show you..." to nobody but myself.

or some strange and wonderful combination of the above and others. What matters most is the boss's opinion, and he just gave me the best performance review I've ever had. I must be doing something right...

To close this entry, some photos from this Christmas past. Enjoy!

Deer and lights

Manger in sunlight

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas oops!

I had full intentions of a pre-Christmas entry; well, see where that got me! I hope the readers had a fine Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Solstice, Kwanzaa and any other celebration I might have forgotten. More in the next week... Enjoy, all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Contrast: 2 music reviews

Josh Groban - Awake Live

King Crimson - Guildford

Of course one of the reasons I had to do this was to get Josh Groban and King Crimson mentioned in a single spot on the InterTubes. But another would be to say that someone really can enjoy such polar-opposite music. Even if a preference lay therein. Thus to begin with the more modern music.

Under most circumstances I would never have bought "Awake Live," one of Josh's (see, I'm already sounding like a groupie) latest efforts. But on recommendation of good friends I've given this a try. I will say this is perfect music. His voice is immaculate, the orchestration is astonishing, the songs are lush, romantic and every other nice adjective you could choose. I even have a favorite tune coming from this in "February Song".

It is obvious from the DVD portion of this release that the audients are in love. They know all the words, even the foreign languages. Every song hits every high and low note, the lights are bright and shimmery, the orchestra in perfect harmony.

And yet, for all its perfection, the whole effort strikes me as overdone. Yes, Virginia, something can be too perfect. One almost longs for something that sounds out of place (well OK, the "Kashmir" solo on the DVD somewhat fits the bill, which is why I like Ms. Micarelli's effort).

Which brings me to King Crimson's Guildford concert from November 1972 (as an aside, Crimso's Pete Sinfield pretty much invented modern music lighting in 1969). Nothing sounds right. For the audients at that concert, nothing (or very, very little) had been heard before. And in the midst of it all comes a 25+ minute improvisation; not just a bunch of solos strung together, but a band making a leap of faith. This is dangerous music, and far from perfect. But it is precisely this danger (as Sid Smith called it, "wiping the slate clean" and "the shock of the new") that makes this music (OK, most of Josh's fans wouldn't call it such) so much more interesting for me.

Don't get me wrong. Mr. Groban is excellent at what he does. But, in a massively weird combination of both music presentations, one longs for some "shock." Perhaps Josh can dress in fur wings (a la Jamie Muir), run down an aisle spitting blood and swinging chains like a madman, climb the amps, sing unknown songs a capella and never even mention "You are Loved" or others. Take a chance Mr. Groban, if your music and the music industry allow it. True Josh Groban fans will love it, really they will!

Cutest card so far...

A portion of a Christmas card from Birdchick and hubby. Enjoy!

Let your heart bee light...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Personal density...

A conversation today as I was handing out Clementines to co-workers:

Co: So where did these come from?
Me: Byerly's
Co: What COUNTRY... ?
Me: Oh... Spain...

Fellow workers were quite amused...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keeping out the riffraff

This is a very bad thing to say for a born Minnesotan, but I've never felt as cold as I have the last two days. I must now be one of those folks that has to "pack up and go somewhere warm for the winter". My boss was telling me of his recent Florida trip, where he saw a gentleman wearing full coat and an ear-flap hat... at 75 degrees F! I think that will be me very soon.

Driving is already horrid, with a 2-hour slog from work. Toss in a few spinouts (not me, thankfully) and a couple crazy mergers and I was just glad to get back in the driveway.

Now to pack away some pizza (need that winter fat layer!) and climb under every bed cover I can find. BBBBRRRRRRR...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What to my wondering eyes should appear...

...but a car headed the wrong way right in front of me.

I was on my way home from a "mission" to the Henderson's and found a gas station selling at 1.499. As I turned to the station's street, I was confronted by headlights. All I could do was stop. Thankfully the perpetrator was going slow enough to swerve, missing me by about two feet.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

HO-HO-HO part I

A much better weekend than the Friday lead-in. Highlight thus far was gift shopping at a Saint Paul home-based boutique. Vendors and hostess were very sweet and glad to part me with my hard-earned moola. Many thanks to co-worker Michelle for the invite, and Samantha and Anne (I think) for their hospitality. Wonderful time!

I will have a Henderson Christmas this afternoon which also should be delightful. If any highlights arise, I will update accordingly. Hopefully the "seasonal spirit" is at hand...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

No fun...

...when one's work world segues right into one's dream world (hence the early hour of this post). Why this one co-worker so stubbornly refuses to assist in problem-solving is frustratingly elusive. Over and over and over again for 6+ years, I do the investigation, the attempts at resolution, and it always gets back to needing info he should provide, and he can't/won't. And thus the cycle continues... PTOOEY... Off to read something dull and hopefully get some more sleep, as I'm thinking the consequences of yesterday will cause my cellphone to ring today. And tomorrow (I refuse to answer for awhile Sunday for Christmas celebration considerations).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Who knows...

Way too long since my last post. Too much work, seasonal preparations and some time away from heavy technology have all combined. Plus, not much to say. No news is good news? More later, but right now work beckons.