November 2009 Archives

cosmos

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In other news, we've been watching the Carl Sagan series Cosmos. One of the cable stations is running it (Discovery Science maybe?). I had forgotten how much I loved that show. His love of knowledge is infectious.

As a kid, I remember him talking about Flatland and then holding up a 3D model of a tesseract, and thinking that was the most amazing idea I had ever encountered. Just like drawing a cube on a piece of paper, he made a three-dimensional model of a four-dimensional object! The idea that we can imagine something we will never be able to experience was stunning. It blew my mind!

Though I didn't always remember the show correctly. We recently rewatched an episode where he stood on a giant calendar representing the history of the universe in a "year." He talked about how all of human history was squashed into the last minute of the last day in the cosmic calendar. As a kid I totally misunderstood what he was saying. I think I must have just learned of the Doomsday Clock, and I thought that by putting our time into the last minute of his calendar, he meant that the world was about to end and we were all going to die. It terrified me. So much that even though this time I realized that wasn't what he meant, I felt a little uneasy all over again.

had to add that while looking for the tesseract video above, I found this utterly hilarious Carl Sagan/Agent Smith mashup.

billy strayhorn

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Just finished a tribute show all about Billy Strayhorn. (As usual, I forgot to mention it earlier today. Doh. At least I posted on Facebook.) It was a bit of a challenge to pull together, both due to issues I've written about already and some computer problems I've been having in the past week (the Mac with all the music on it suddenly decided to stop accepting CDs). Still, I think the show came together pretty well, and I don't think my frazzled feeling was apparent on the air. At least I hope not.

Strayhorn was a really interesting person and I highly recommend the book Lush Life by David Hajdu. Very well written, I felt like he did a great job of describing a complex person with sympathy.

Now I am so very, very glad that my marathon radio month (2 tribute shows a week apart!) is over. I haven't figured out yet what I'm going to do about Christmas -- usually I do an extra-long Christmas music show, but this year Christmas comes late in the week so my last show before the holiday is five days before. Maybe I'll just do the regular 2 hour show and not make a big deal about it this year. I think I'm not going to schedule any theme shows in January either. I'm always glad to do them, but there's so much research and planning and pressure to choose the right songs and say the right things, especially when it's a tribute to a person, that it ends up a bit exhausting. I need a couple of months off, to just have fun and play music in my show.

I've been looking at the 2010 calendar and there are some fun shows coming up next year -- Valentine's Day is on a Sunday, as is Halloween, also the birthdays of Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman and George Gershwin. Thankfully none of those are in January.

Really tonight I should work on the Divaville Lounge show website. I had been keeping it on an old version of Movable Type -- the only site still running on that old version -- because I used a special plugin to manage the dates. It would display "today's show," "last week's show," "next week's show" and the 6 upcoming shows -- in other words, it would display shows starting with tomorrow (the day after one viewed the page, that is) and ending 6 weeks in the future. And the home page rebuilt itself every night, so the relative dates were always correct. It was set up exactly the way I wanted.

Well, a couple of weeks ago my host upgraded my server and now this old version of MT doesn't work anymore. I couldn't add shows or edit the ones that were already there. And that essential plugin doesn't work with the new Movable Type. So I have to write my own code to handle all those relative dates. Kind of frustrating, I can't possibly be the only person who was using that plugin. I've got "today's show" and "all shows in the future" (which I can live with instead of the 6 upcoming shows, if I have to). Have not yet been able to get "last week's show" and "next week's show" to display. So I ought to work on that tonight. Probably won't.

spice & curry

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paneer dosa & lamb pasanda - happy thanksgivingWe ended up at Spice & Curry for dinner tonight. The food was excellent as always. We had spinach pakora, paneer masala dosa and lamb pasanda. The latter was a wonderful, creamy nutty tomatoey sauce. The menu said it had ground almonds, and we saw cashews in it as well.

There weren't a lot of people there -- a handful of tables, a steady flow getting takeout -- I've heard that most of their business is at lunchtime. The service was great, attentive without being overbearing. The older man (who I think is the owner) even came over and offered us naan late in the meal, but we already had so much food we declined. If we couldn't have the traditional family Thanksgiving dinner, then I'm glad we could go to Spice & Curry.

amigurumi

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SlugetteI've recently discovered amigurumi. Which seems to be Japanese for "tiny, obscenely cute crocheted toys." It's the perfect craft for my short attention span. I've been trying to knit sweaters and I can never finish them. An amigurumi comes together in an evening or two.

I found out about them on ravelry.com. They set that site up so it's really easy to browse patterns and other people's projects to get ideas. Plus if you post photos of your own projects, other people make encouraging comments and it's a nice little egoboo.

take your slug to work dayMy first amigurumi was knitted, not crocheted: it's a toy slug! I named it Sluggette. I intended to give Sluggette as a gift, but once I saw it I couldn't give it away. I've even been taking it to work with me and sitting it on my desk. I don't want it to get dingy being carried around in my purse. Maybe I'll try to make a little slug carrier for it.

Knitting big projects like sweaters can get expensive, and Amigurumi cost almost nothing to make. Sluggette used maybe 1/3 of one $3 skein of Sugar n Cream (cotton yarn from Michael's which I like because it has very little give, so the stuffing doesn't show through.) Though the expense adds up if you have to buy a lot of colors for a specific project, and then only use a tiny amount of each color. I guess ideally you would use scraps from other projects. Or if you really had to buy a bunch of yarn, then you could use the leftovers to make other amigurumi.

RE: BrainsAfter Sluggette I made a corporate zombie called "RE: Brains" for Georg to take to his office. I used a pattern for a person (the pattern designer makes toy sets of characters from the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Firefly etc) and, inspired by a zombie someone else on ravelry.com had made, added blood drips and eyeballs to make it look like a zombie. Since taking that photo I added tiny black beads to make pupils. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo with the pupils before Georg took it to work.

tiny teddy bearAfter slugs and zombies I made a cute one, just to prove I could do "cute" I guess. A teeny tiny teddy bear. It's a gift too. I didn't give it a name because I thought they'd want to.

My only real goof so far was using dried beans to weigh down Sluggette and RE: Brains, and then finding out after they were finished that beans inside amigurumi are bad. Eventually the humidity in the air softens the beans, and then they attract bugs. Ugh. Thanks to Lee I found a plastic alternative to beans, little stuffing pellets, at Michael's. And I was able to get both Sluggette and RE: Brains open, remove the beans, replace with pellets, and stitch them back up without ruining them. Whew!

change of plan

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Due to unforeseen circumstances we are not on our way to Delaware as expected. Instead of a big family holiday we're staying home and just having a couple of days off. There wasn't time to come up with a Thanksgiving-y meal for two, but we found a list of local restaurants that are open.

Kinda sucks to miss out on the holiday but on the bright side, I have more time to work on the tribute Billy Strayhorn this coming Sunday. It's a little far afield for me -- I don't normally play that much jazz -- so I'm both excited and nervous about it.

cooking fun

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ready to make moleYesterday I made mole sauce. For a first attempt I think it wasn't bad! I used the Rick Bayless recipe on his website.

There are a bunch of ingredients -- chiles, nuts, chocolate, bread, garlic, sesame seeds, raisins, tomatillos and spices -- and I went to 2 groceries: Super Compare for the chiles and chocolate, and Whole Foods for everything else. Instead of lard I used some duck fat we had saved from smoking a duck last week. I thought the smoke flavor might add a little depth to the sauce. Besides, mole is a special food, and what's more special than freshly rendered duck fat?

It's not super difficult to make, just time consuming and messy. At one point I think every dish in the house was dirty! I managed to get most of them washed during the "cook down the chile puree" phase. Which requires constant stirring, but I found that for the first 10-15 minutes I could get away with stirring once a minute or so. It was kind of funny: wash a dish, turn around and stir, wash another dish, turn around and stir... When it did need constant stirring, Bayless had a really good tip: use a spatter screen. I held it over the pan, tilted just a bit so I could get the spoon in. It really, really helped with cleanup.

Bayless says to cook the chile puree down to the consistency of tomato paste, but on the show he stopped short of that, cooking it more to the texture of apple butter. Like, when you stir you can see the bottom of the pan for a second or two before it fills in. I went with that, not tomato paste which is so thick you can literally cut it with a knife and it will hold its shape. Maybe he uses some kind of fancy pants chef tomato paste which isn't quite as thick.

chili puréeI think I did the chile puree right because I got the Bayless seal of approval! I follow his Twitter feed, so I posted a photo of my finished puree on Twitter. He retweeted my photo and added "Beautiful, it's going to be good!" He does that a lot, retweeting photos of people making his recipes. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, taking time almost every day to encourage people online.

Of course when the chile puree was finished, the recipe wasn't even half finished. It's a complicated recipe: stem and seed dried chiles, fry them in hot oil, soak them in water, puree the chiles and soaking liquid in a blender, strain the puree and cook it down, stirring constantly, for 1/2 hour or so (this is when the photo on the right was taken). Then mix together all the other ingredients with some water, puree in the blender, strain, add to the puree and cook down again, stirring constantly. Then add stock and let it simmer, stirring frequently, for a couple of hours. Then you're ready to cook whatever else you need for your meal. Whew!

Honestly I wouldn't have done it if I had realized how much time it would take. I mean, I knew mole took all day but I didn't realize that meant standing in front of the stove the entire time. Actually not the entire time; the last couple of hours didn't need constant attention. I think I was in the kitchen for about 5 hours. And I was so tired I stupidly forgot to take photos of the finished meal. Tonight we're going to make tacos with the leftovers and I'll try to remember to get a photo.

The only thing I think I really did wrong was straining -- my strainer was too fine and I had a heck of a time getting the "everything but the chiles" mixture through it. I think we lost too much of those flavors in the strainer. Before making mole again I will definitely get another strainer.

The other thing I would change is to make it less spicy. I forgot how hot Bayless likes his Mexican cooking, and I didn't think to modify the proportion of chiles in his recipe. Whoa, was it ever hot. I had to have it with lots of rice or I couldn't eat it at all. We're going to cut the leftovers in a "mole cream sauce" to make it a little less spicy. Next time I will find out which of the chiles -- pasilla or mulato -- is so spicy, and use less of that one & more ancho instead.

adios lou

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I forgot to post about Lou Dobbs yesterday. Going Galt, pulling a Palin, whatever you want to call it. Here's the most fitting tribute I can imagine.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Lou Dobbs
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

research is fun

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Continuing work on the Hoagy Carmichael and Billy Strayhorn tribute shows. Usually I would only work on one show at a time, because usually I would only do one a month at most. Carmichael and Strayhorn, how dare you have birthdays exactly one week apart? They're happening on the Sunday before and after Thanksgiving, and I don't expect to have much time during Thanksgiving week, so they both have to be completely planned out before the 22nd.

I finished the Carmichael book (which was written in an insufferable style -- he used the word peripatetic twice in the first 20 pages! but chock full of good information), watched a terrible movie about him, and ordered a box set that sounds terrific. I can't wait for it to arrive. It has lots of early recordings, some of which are rare. I also put the movie To Have and Have Not in my queue because I want to play that clip of him chatting with and playing for Lauren Bacall.

I'm about halfway through the Billy Strayhorn bio, which is fantastic. I had no idea Strayhorn was such an interesting person. (It's called Lush Life and I highly recommend it.) I also ordered another book, Something to Live For, that was sort of a musical biography, and I'm embarrassed to admit that it's too technical for me. I don't even read music, and I just can't follow it. I got it used from Amazon Marketplace and based on a sticker on the jacket, I think it was used as a textbook in a music theory class at NYU.

Something to Live For was still worth it (especially at used prices) for the appendices: one lists every song Strayhorn ever wrote or cowrote, and how they were copyrighted. Another lists every song Strayhorn ever arranged that he didn't write, and when it was first recorded. It's invaluable information for preparing this show. It's been a challenge because first of all, Strayhorn's impact is harder to get at. It's easy to find a list of every song Hoagy Carmichael ever wrote. Much harder with Billy Strayhorn, who didn't get songwriting credit for many of the songs he wrote, and influenced many other songs with his arrangements. Secondly, Strayhorn is much more jazz than what I normally play. I normally don't play instrumentals at all, just under talksets, and most of Strayhorn's work was instrumental. So it will be a departure from my normal shows. I hope the listeners won't mind.

the curse of the cat people

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November 1 movie: The Curse of the Cat People. I watched this because I had just seen a documentary about the producer, Val Lewton. It's a good movie, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Incredibly bad title. I'm not surprised that it flopped: based on the title and marketing, people must have been expecting a sexy thriller with panther attacks. And they must have been deeply disappointed. In the documentary they said that the studio forced Lewton to do a remake of Cat People. He didn't want to, so he just took the actors from Cat People, shoehorned them into the movie he really wanted to make, and let the studio market it however they wanted. A recipe for success!

Somewhat spoilerish comments behind a cut.

afrita hanem (the genie lady)

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November 2 movie: Afrita Hanem (The Genie Lady). Santa Salsera invited me to watch this with her. It was a 1950 Egyptian romantic comedy starring Farid Al-Atrash, a famous actor & singer of the time, and Samia Gamal, a famous belly dancer. It was great! Very silly comedy, great songs, amazing belly dancing. There was a scene early one where Al-Atrash and his friends are riding in a car singing about how happy they are, which reminded us both so much of Amitabh's amazing motorcycle number in Muqaddar ka Sikandar.

My favorite moment in The Genie Lady was a dance number where Al-Atrash sings while Gamal is standing there wearing a big fur coat that barely covers her, and apparently nothing else. She just stands there looking sex kittenish, then suddenly opens the coat, a full length belly dancing skirt falls out of it, and she starts dancing. Va va voom! It was so hot we had to rewind and watch it again.

I couldn't find a Youtube of the number with the coat, but here's a great dance from the movie:

(direct link)
Interesting note: the comedy sidekick, wearing a striped robe in the youtube clip, looked different from all the other actors, spoke with a different accent, and occasionally spoke French. We wondered if he was supposed to be an ethnic stereotype of some kind?

born to dance

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November 5 movie: Born to Dance. I love this movie! It's one of Buddy Ebsen's three MGM musicals. Also has a couple of great Eleanor Powell dance numbers, including a big finale with a battleship, and Jimmy Stewart singing "Easy to Love." He's awful! In a charming way.

johnny mercer: the dream's on me

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November 7 movie: Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me. Turner Classic Movies showed this 2 hour documentary, produced by Clint Eastwood. We had some fear early on that it was going to be an Eastwood family vanity project -- when he dragged his daughter out and had her sing a mediocre rendition of "This Time the Dream's On Me" especially -- but they got over that and got down to business pretty quickly. It was a great movie. Full of information, interviews with people who knew Mercer, and lots of good songs.

Best of all, TCM is showing Johnny Mercer movies every Wednesday night this month. This week they're showing one I love, Hollywood Hotel. It features the Benny Goodman orchestra with several musical numbers, including "Sing Sing Sing," and this crazy number in the beginning (maybe "Hooray for Hollywood") where the whole band are riding in convertibles, one guy per car, and playing while they drive in formation. It's insane.

golden voyage of sinbad

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November 8 movie: Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Sometimes there's nothing like a big dumb cheesefest with Ray Harryhausen special effects. And Tom Baker!

hoagy carmichael: his life and music

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November 9 movie: Hoagy Carmichael: His Life and Music. This was a really lame documentary about Hoagy Carmichael. Okay, that's not really fair. I probably wouldn't have found it quite so lame if I hadn't just finished reading a really good book about him, Stardust Melody. Because of just having read the book, I didn't learn anything from the movie. In fact I noticed several times the movie gave wrong information, often repeating stories from Carmichael's memoirs which the book researched and found to be embellished if not outright false.

For instance, the movie tells this story that Carmichael was working in Florida as a lawyer, when one day he heard a record and realized it was his own song "Washboard Blues," which Red Nichols had recorded without his knowledge. Thunderstruck by the discovery that a band he admired wanted to record his song, he quit his law job on the spot and headed to New York to pursue a career in music.

Well, that's a great story. According to the book, the true part is that Carmichael didn't find out Red Nichols had recorded "Washboard Blues" until he heard someone playing the record. Otherwise the story doesn't hold up. Carmichael had been waffling between pursuing music and law for several years, not fully committing to either one. He failed the bar exam in Florida and got fired from his job as a law clerk, moved back to Indiana, and then six months later Red Nichols recorded "Washboard Blues." He then decided to commit to a career in music, but it was still a couple of years before he got to New York.

Anyway that's my long-winded way of saying that the movie stays in the shallow end -- good stories that may or may not be true. It also sanitizes a lot of the history, and wastes way too much time on Carmichael's sons playing his songs on the piano. Really irritating considering Carmichael himself recorded all those songs. This movie was kind of a waste of time.

key indicators

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Went to be early last night because I wasn't feeling well. Woke up this morning, went right to TPM, saw a headline that Cao (R-LA) was the sole Republican to vote for health care reform, and didn't have to look up who he is* or why he voted that way.** This may be a sign that I'm thinking too much about politics.

*He ran against William Jefferson, aka "Cold Cash," aka "$90,000 stuffed in a freezer," who was under indictment on election day but not yet convicted. His district is so deeply blue that my guess is a Democrat even slightly less corrupt than Jefferson would have been able to hold the seat.

**I imagine he would like to remain in office and realizes that he probably won't be running against someone with a freezer full of money next year, and this is a pretty dramatic statement that he will go against his party to support the views of his constituents.

i take photos

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brian-sand.JPG.jpegI've spent some time in the past couple of weeks taking photos at the frame shop and the furniture company. I don't have a lot of experience with photos of people, and I worry that if I'm getting paid for the photos, they need to be not crap. So I always take as many photos as I possibly can in hopes of getting some good ones. Maybe someday I'll be at a point where I can look through the lens and know, "that's my shot" and only have to take that one photo. Maybe! Or maybe I'll always take at least 20 photos for each one I end up using.

workshop9.jpgIt's fun to try something new especially when I'm getting paid to do it. One thing that makes it challenging is that while I'm taking photos, they're doing their jobs. I can't get in their way, which means that I can't stage the photos, I have to go with what I can get. For instance, I really wish those cars weren't in the background in the outdoor shot, but I couldn't ask him to move or wait while I found a prop to put behind him.

It doesn't always turn out well; last week I photographed two guys packing a table to ship, and tried to do it without flash so I wouldn't be setting off the flash in their faces over and over. Well, there's not a lot of light in that area of the shop, and the guys move fast. I ended up with a lot of photos of a crate with blurs running around it. It was like watching two hummingbirds crate a table. I showed them the blurry photos and one of them offered to help me get better ones next time -- just pause for a second at each step and let me get the shot. That will be a big help.



monkey and cat

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John Wesley HardingWe saw John Wesley Harding last night. It was great! He always puts on a terrific show. Kind of a weird venue: it was a benefit for Urban Ministries of Durham, in the meeting room of the episcopal church downtown. Not a lot of people, although enough to pretty well fill the room. JWH said that it was typical of the kind of show he does & seemed happy about the venue. He played a lot of religious-themed songs, many of which were somewhat irreligious or at least might be taken so by people with no sense of humor about their beliefs.

The show was opened by author Daniel Wallace reading a very funny short story about a wooden leg, which inspired JWH to sing a song about wooden legs. He invited people to write down requests and leave them on his table during the intermission. Lots of people did, including me: I requested my favorite song of his, "When the Beatles Hit America." He didn't play it and I didn't expect him to, honestly. It's long, has complicated lyrics that are probably hard to remember, and obscure. Also, once after a previous show I emailed him (he didn't have a set list and had asked for someone to write the songs down & email to him, so I did) and mentioned that I had wanted to request it, but didn't have the nerve. He wrote back and told me that he almost never plays that song, but I should request it at future gigs and maybe he would someday. Well, not yesterday. And I don't mind, because on the way home I searched the iTunes music store and discovered that "When the Beatles Hit America" was included in a CD rerelease so I can hear it again! It was originally on an obscure, LP-only comp, and I had it on a battered cassette mix tape, and I don't have a way to listen to cassettes anymore. I'm very happy that it's on iTunes now.

Someone brought JWH a monkeyOne funny moment was when he was introducing the song "Monkey and Cat," and a guy in the audience pulled out a sock monkey and held it up. We didn't see it because the guy was sitting right behind us, but I noticed JWH stumble over a word, pause for a moment, lean to the left and stare with confusion. Honestly I wondered if he was okay, like was he sick or about to faint or something. Then he started talking again, and after a few words said "Is that a monkey?!?" The guy with the monkey brought it up and sat it on the table for the duration of the song, and JWH arranged it so the monkey appeared to be drinking his whiskey. If only someone else had brought a cat!

We bought a couple of CDs in the intermission, but didn't stay to have him sign them. We were lamenting not having brought Georg' copy of his book Misfortune to get signed. Until Georg revealed that he had never finished the book because BPAL had been spilled on it, and even now, years later, it still smells. Perhaps it was a good thing we didn't bring it. I think we've seen every performance by JWH in the Triangle (excepting a thing he did at Fearrington with Wallace a couple of years ago). It's funny because I don't much care for folky "guy with a guitar" music (witness my not even having heard of Jonathan Coulton until the live Rifftrax thing a few months ago). But I really, really love John Wesley Harding. Go figure.

music catching up

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This afternoon was my show, which I think sounded fine on the air, but was much more stressful than usual. It's always fast paced because the songs are all so short. And I was kind of tired & was doing everything more slowly than usual. I knew I was feeling out of it when I couldn't find a CD on the shelf and then realized I was looking for When Love Goes Wrong under H! What's that about?

Then late in the show I got a comment about the distinction between hot jazz & sweet bands, and I decided it would be good to play a hot and sweet version of the same song. Which I probably should have done during the sweet band show two weeks ago, but better late than never! Unfortunately I was dawdling about picking out the songs, then suddenly realized I had 20 seconds before the current song ended, nothing cued up and no idea what I was going to play next. Holy crap! I managed to get something into the CD player with only a brief moment dead air, I would guess less than a second. (Then again, a full second of dead air is a really long time. I'll have to listen to the archive and see how it sounds.) I don't know if anyone even noticed but it really threw me off. It's hard to recover from that kind of blind screaming panic. It stressed me out so much that I took a nap when I got home.

After dinner I started working on planning the two tribute shows I have scheduled for November: Hoagy Carmichael and Billy Strayhorn. They both have birthdays on Sundays, only a week apart, and Thanksgiving in between! So I need to have both shows completely planned out in advance. Tonight I got the songs pretty much picked out for the Carmichael show and got started on sequencing. I ordered one CD for each show and put a couple of movies in my netflix queue. (I use Audio Hijack Pro and Audacity to extract songs from movies, turn them into audio files, then burn them to CD. It's been really helpful for these theme shows when I sometimes want to play songs from movies that are hard to find on CD.)

The best news is that the library has good bios of both Carmichael and Strayhorn. If it's not too rainy I'll go check them out tomorrow. I also ordered a book about Strayhorn's music. Probably overkill, but Amazon Marketplace had a used copy for $5.50 including shipping which I just couldn't pass up. So I think I'm in pretty good shape, at least I've made a good start.

catching up

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It's been a great weekend. Started out Friday night with the Gal Costa concert on Duke campus. Which was amazing. Her voice is like angels singing. Sultry tropicalia angels. Though she sang a lot more bossa nova than I was expecting. All the classics: "Desafinado," "Doralice," "Corcovado," "Dindi," "Girl from Ipanema," and more. The only songs I was hoping for that she didn't sing were "So Danço Samba" and "Agua de Beber." She also sang "As Time Goes By" and "Brazil." (Yes, the song Frank Sinatra did. It sounded really really different when Costa sang it.)

Even with a sold-out house it was an intimate performance, just her and guitarist Romero Lubambo. Who was also outstanding. The best part was the rapport between Costa and Lubambo. They were clearly having so much fun together & so much in tune with each other.

Saturday night we hung out with our friends Charles and Zac and some friends of theirs while they gave candy to trick-or-treaters. After raining all morning, the weather cleared up in the afternoon and it turned out to be a perfect Halloween night. They had a system for candy dispensing, with two buckets: the good candy was in the orange bucket, for small kids with costumes. Teenagers with no costumes got the less-good candy from the metal bucket. They had set up a big firepit in the front yard and we sat around the fire roasting hot dogs and playing games. And Zac had made this wonderful dessert: little individual pumpkin cakes shaped like pumpkins! He made them in pumpkin muffin tins, cut the tops off then stuck two halves together with a pumpkin/peanut butter filling. What a clever idea. It was such a nice evening.

This morning we went to dim sum at Hong Kong with D. and S. and D's sister and her husband. Excellent as always, and with six people there it was easier to get more variety of dishes. The weather made the crowds late so we had no trouble getting a table at 10:30. When we left at 11:30 the line to get in was so long, we had trouble getting out. I found out later that they're also open Saturday mornings and tend to be less crowded then. Good to know.

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