progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (pride goeth before destruction)

Her True Knight

by Joseph Keppler (1887)

her true knight (1887)

Lazy Curator™ sez: Click through and enlarge all that damn text your own damn self!

Here we see Democratic Party Elsa being romanced by “Lohengrin” Cleveland, facing off against rival “Telramund” Hill and his advisor “Ortrud” Pulitzer. Behind them is a “Mugwump” swan and banners reading “Jacksonian Bourbons,” “Heelers and Spoilsmen” and “Reform Is a Humbug and a Fraud.”

I hate to keep obsessing on this single issue, but I had to post this to prove I wasn’t going nuts in my old age and that the elder Keppler had, in fact, depicted David Bennett Hill. He has. Here’s proof. Moving on...

Now that I’ve posted this, I can’t help but marvel at how much Elsa resembles Kate Bush.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Are They Friends of the Colonel?

by J. A. Wales (1879)

are they friends of the colonel (1879)

When you go to the operor,
Get your tickets a month before,
Or the Ticket Speculator won’t permit you to advance,
And will terrify your sisters and your cousins and your aunts.

Lazy Curator™ sez: Sorry to have been trapped in 1879 of late. I promise to shake it up a bit.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Getting Into Unison With His Host

by Syd B. Griffin (1890)

getting in touch with his host (1890)

This is a weird one. Not exactly sure what it is I’m even looking at here.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Grand Opera Opens

by L. M. Glackens (1908)

Grand Opera Opens (1908)

Again in Lazy Curator mode, I defer to the LOC:

Illustration shows Giulio Gatti-Casazza and Oscar Hammerstein throwing puppets labeled “Tenor, Second Tenor, Contralto, Baritone, Basso, Mezzo Soprano, [and] High Soprano” at each other.

Should I feel a bit guilty at actually listening to classic 60s/70s R&B/soul songs as I compose this post?
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

The Annual Invasion

Arrival of the All-Star Argonauts in Search of the Golden “Fleece”

by Samuel Ehrhart (1905)

annual invasion, the (1905)

Posted without comment.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
This week’s self-portrait from Beanery, Inc., “Look-alikes” series #3, in the style of George Westinghouse:

 photo george_westinghouse_zps76a71bd0.jpg
 photo CAM00081_zps26498106.jpg

Sorry, I forgot to inform you guys of Pizza Night, which did indeed happen last week. I’ll try to be a bit more on the ball next month.

On the plus side, I finally got the latest Movie Explorer review up. I am already working on the next and definitely hope to have it up much sooner. There will be less juggling with other folks’ schedules in this (my sister was supposed to be the hand model for Liza in this episode, but she’s working midnights right now, and we couldn’t get it together. Also, Cal got sick and the Doctor voice-over was delayed.).

Speaking of which: beware of what is said in jest, someone just might take it seriously. Ben Minotte, host of The Oddity Archive, has requested I actually do review You Light Up My Life. If I get enough requests, I might consider it, but I have a huge backlog of more interesting films I’d rather review.

Friday night, [ profile] albadger invited me to the opera. He was right about two things: a) as long as it is, there’s not a note of music out of place that can be taken out and yet b) there’s no reason a silly romantic comedy about two guys pranking their fiancées needs to be three hours long. The lady playing Despina was a comic delight. Everyone else was...adequate. They needed to have greater demarcation between the sisters; the only way you could tell them apart was their colour-coded dresses and the fact that one was slightly taller than the other. Both were brunettes with similar hairstyles and similar voices and I kept mixing up who was who; they should have made one a blonde or redhead.

Recently found in the yard: a gopher snake. Good. We have a bit of a gopher problem and the more anti-rodent predators, the better.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Photo from Emery Bay Public Market:

Un dans Emeryville

Kind of a wasted week. I had big plans and most of them were squelched on Tuesday when I threw my back out. (Hence the “hidden” reason for this post.) The rest of the day and Wednesday were basically spent on my back not moving at all, as that caused extreme pain. Thursday I was brave and ventured out to Bear Pizza, by which point the difficulty was mainly just in getting up from a sitting position, so I began taking a stick with me.

Friday, [ profile] albadger invited me to the opera: Bellini’s Capulets and Montagues. Lots of very sweet melodies and sympathetic arrangements (the harp solo was particularly divine). And everyone was in very good voice. A pity about the dumb staging. Seriously, if you’re promising “minimalist” staging, you should NOT need to take ten minute breaks for scene changes! Not to mention a terrifying moment when our Juliet is balanced precariously upon what appears to be a bathroom sink. Not the worst staging I’ve ever seen, but it was memorably awful nonetheless. Also a more minor complaint: the lady playing Romeo had a lighter and more feminine voice than Juliet. At least their voices were distinct; Al tells me there are some productions where you can’t even tell Romeo and Juliet’s voices apart.

Got barely any work done on the next Movie Explorer video so you might have to wait a little longer for satisfaction. Expect another stopgap commentary video this coming week. I promise to noise filter the audio this time.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
This week’s self-portrait taken outside the SF Opera House:

I have [ profile] albadger to thank for two tickets to The Magic Flute on Friday. I joined up with Butch, who I met on the East Bay Bears board. It was quite the experience; the staging used lots of very colourful projections rhar looked like they were made with magic markers. It reminded of the production of Rake’s Progress I saw some years ago. I get the feeling they were designed by the same guy. The Queen of the Night was fantastic, BTW.

I helped [ profile] bigjohnsf a bit with moving; he wanted to reduce the number of LPs he had and I think I helped out in my small way.

Didn’t make as much progress on the upcoming Movie Explorer review as I would have wanted, but I made some. And any progress is good progress.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
This week’s self-portrait from the shade of the old birch tree in front of the house. That’s actually the neighbours’ house visible in the background. Believe it or not, this was NOT a last second thing. I took this photo on Sunday.

[ profile] albadger invited me to Don Giovanni on Friday. What a fun opera! If you’re looking for maximum opera enjoyment, look no further. Seriously, I think the last time I enjoyed an opera that much was Rake’s Progress.

Made decent progress with the latest Movie Explorer review. I can finish writing it tonight after posting this and I hope to get it filmed this week.

Helped my parents pick out a new computer monitor at Frys tonight (their old one finally died). Speaking of computing matters, I still need to deal with my PC (still working from my laptop, listening to music from the external drive, etc.). I window-shopped for computer components; surprised that a 1 TB hard drive only costs $64 (my current internal PC drive is 200 GB and cost $100 when I bought it back in 2007).

Considering going up to Calaveras with a hiking group this weekend to see the fall colours. We’ll see.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Me in full Explorer gear on the Rockridge BART station platform, on my way to Folsom

Folsom was OK. Hot stuff behind the cut ) The Sacramento pool party on Saturday, on the other hand, delivered quite a bit more than it promised. Oh boy, did it. I’ll leave the naughty details to your filthy imaginations but suffice to say, I went home with a smile on my face. I’m guessing there was a certain, “it’s the last pool party of the season, better make the most of it” sensation in the air. The pool wasn’t heated but I found it refreshing, considering how hot it had been the past week. We’re supposed to get more of that weather this week.

[ profile] albadger invited me to the opera on Friday: Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia. It left me wondering why they don’t do more Donizetti; this was as good as many of the famous Verdi operas that have been through the wringer countless times but because it’s not as famous, it feels “fresh.”

Finally done with the writing phase on the new Movie Explorer review, I just need to film it which will hopefully happen this week. There has been too big of a gap between the last review and this one. Ideally, I’d like to have two or three reviews a month. Anyway, in the meantime I’ll start work on the next review which is, Saints preserve us all, a musical.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

Adelina Patti, The Everlasting Prima-Donna

by Joseph Keppler (1881)


The eighth in Keppler’s “Puckographs” series of caricatures of then-current celebrities.

Read more about Adelina Patti.

Source for image.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

So I went to Avocado Alvarado Park/Wildcat Canyon again on Wednesday. Saw everyone’s favourite perky lesbian park ranger Bethany (mentioned in this post) again. I was rather surprised, I thought she only worked at Briones. Ate lunch at the same place I did last time I was here, but had to cut it short as I was harassed by a hornet who had designs on—no, not my orange juice, but my bag of potato chips. I think I would have preferred a hawk-imitating Steller’s Jay. Walked to the old parking lot (at the foot of what used to be Wildcat Canyon Parkway, a hike of roughly 1½ miles) and finished my lunch there.

[ profile] albadger treated me to the opera last night. It was Lucia di Lammermoor, which was certainly spotlighted by a stellar performance by the leading lady, though it was the instrumental passages that impressed me most. The glass harmonica bit during the “mad” scene was memorable (often substituted for a flute, though I think, say, an ondes Martenot might make a more suitable substitute) but I was especially impressed by a ravishing harp solo that announced Lucia’s entrance. It kind of pissed me off the way people are oh so eager to applaud the arias they wind up stomping on the orchestra. If you concentrate on just the singing, you’re not getting the whole experience.

Prior to the show, we went to Mandarin Villa, a nearby Chinese restaurant. Considering the Yelp reviews, it was better than either of us expected. Still, not fantastically exciting food, but decent and for a good price. I was amused by our waitress, who wore a very amusing T-shirt featuring Snoopy, Woodstock and lots of Engrish. Which reminds me, I must go back to Japantown one of these days.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Heard something in Redwood Park yesterday one normally does not hear in redwood forests: opera singing! My guess is that there is an opera singer who lives off of Skyline in the Oakland hills, and was practicing her scales in the backyard.

I went from the Canyon Meadows trailhead at the southern end of the park to Redwood Bowl and back, a round trip of roughly six miles. I didn’t fancy the gut-wrenching climb via the Orchard Trail that I usually take to get to the West Ridge (ask [ profile] albadger about that some time, or just ask my dad. Both can vouch for its difficulty), so I went up the Chown Trail instead. Note to self: the Chown Trail contains nine hairpins. Good to know for future reference.

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