Wednesday, December 24

Ho Ho Ho

...trumps hee hee hee

Monday, December 22

Friday, December 19

All Is Calm

...mayhaps too calm??

Tuesday, December 16

Inspiration Strikes!

With a little bit of work, and a lot of luck in the lottery, I could drive Catsinger absolutely bonkers. Wish me luck...

A tip of the hat to Stephanie, one of our spinal instrumentation reps, who has this mad genius as a neighbor. The homeowner works for Intel and not only shares the music via loudspeakers, but broadcasts the synchronized tunes so you can listen on your car radio as you drive by.

Check out the whole story.

Saturday, December 13

Hide It Under A Bushel? NO!

I'm gonna make it shine.

Catsinger swore she wouldn't have lights this year. Sometimes good things happen when you least expect it!

Saturday, December 6

Friday, November 21

A Choristers' Guide To Keeping Conductors In Line

As much as I wish I had seen this while Dragonbug was still in Stockton, I realize now that her "loyal" tenors (and a few altos...) practiced many of these rules as a matter of second (first?) nature. I sincerely believe that by conscientiously applying ourselves to the rest of the principles herein, the choir she left behind might just make Catsinger's life much more interesting...

A tip of the hat to my next door neighbor and fellow tenor for the following. Where he got it is anybody's guess.

The basic training of every singer should, of course, include myriad types of practical and theoretical emphases. One important area which is often neglected, however, is the art of one-upmanship. The following rules are intended as guides to the development of habits which will promote the proper type of relationship between singer and conductor.

1. Never be satisfied with the starting pitch. If the conductor uses a pitch-pipe, make known your preference for pitches from the piano and vice-versa.

2. Complain about the temperature of the rehearsal room, the lighting, crowded space, and of a draft. It's best to do this when the conductor is under pressure.

3. Bury your head in the music just before cues.

4. Ask for a re-audition or seating change. Ask often. Give the impression you're about to quit. Let the conductor know you're there as a personal favour.

5. Loudly clear your throat during pauses (tenors are trained to do this from birth). Quiet instrumental interludes are a good chance to blow your nose.

6. Long after a passage has gone by, ask the conductor if your C# was in tune. This is especially effective if you had no C# or were not singing at the time.

7. At dramatic moments in the music (which the conductor is emoting), be busy marking your music so that the climaxes will sound empty and disappointing.

8. Wait until well into a rehearsal before letting the conductor know that you don't have the music.

9. Look at your watch frequently. Shake it in disbelief occasionally.

10. When possible, sing your part either an octave above or below what is written. This is excellent ear-training for the conductor. If he hears the pitch, deny it vehemently and claim that it must have been the combination tone.

11. Tell the conductor, "I can't find the beat." Conductors are always sensitive about their "stick technique" so challenge it frequently.

12. If you are singing in a language with which the conductor is the least bit unfamiliar, ask her as many questions as possible about the meaning of individual words. If this fails, ask her about the pronunciation of the most difficult words. Occasionally, say the word twice and ask her preference, making to say it exactly the same both times. If she remarks on their similarity, give her a look of utter disdain and mumble under your breath about the "subtleties of inflection".

13. Ask the conductor if he has listened to the von Karajan recording of the piece. Imply that he could learn a thing or two from it. Also good: ask, "Is this the first time you've conducted this piece?"

14. If your articulation differs from that of others singing the same phrase, stick to your guns. Do not ask the conductor which is correct until backstage just before the concert.

15. Find an excuse to leave the rehearsal about 15 minutes early so that others will become restless and start to fidget.

Make every effort to take the attention away from the podium and put it on you, where it belongs!

Tuesday, November 18

It Would Appear I'm Headed For The Nerd Hall of Fame says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

Thanks to Miz M for steering me back to this site. I've made a little progress over the last year or so...

Thursday, August 28

I Want Your Vote!

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Friday, June 27

More Time Blown

I have no idea why, but I keep getting sucked into Miz M's memes. This latest involves two websites and the following list. For further details, check out her blog. I must admit, it was fun and the resulting "mosaic" is rather interesting.

1. What is your first name? - Phil
2. What is your favorite food? - Beef!
3. What high school did you go to? - Bexley
4. What is your favorite color? - burnt orange
5. Who is your celebrity crush? - If I have to pick someone: Janine Turner
6. Favorite drink? - tequila
7. Dream vacation? - Italy (again)
8. Favorite dessert? - Grand Marnier souffle
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? - vibrant
10. What do you love most in life? - each new day
11. One word to describe you. - eclectic
12. Your Flickr name. - N/A (don't have one)

Sunday, June 1

I'm opening a Pay It Forward Exchange, because
• I promised I would, and
• it looks like great fun!

That means three bloggers now have the chance to get a handmade gift from me, if you follow the rules listed below! I found out about it from the ever delightful Miz M. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on.

Here’s how it works: I will make and deliver a handmade gift to the first three people who leave a comment to this post requesting to join the exchange. Gifts will be tailored to the recipient - music, food, computer cleanup are but some of the possibilities. I promise: no critter-on-a-stick! It won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent by the end of the year and that’s a promise! What you have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Looking forward to discovering just who might be reading this and interested enough to take a chance...

Thursday, March 13


Dragonbug recently dared me to post my "brainscan" from; could I possibly refuse this humble request? But which name? I tried quite a few and have herein posted two - very different indeed - scans. I have chosen to ignore the dreamingly content/shit-for-brains scan that I have a hunch was the one to which my "friend" alluded.

Oh, and call me "Felipe", please. I'm not sure "Unkle Phil" fits...

Tuesday, March 4

When Grand Central Stood Still

A strange sight at Grand Central. A couple of hundred people, indistinguishable from the 500,000 commuters who pass through the midtown station each day, suddenly freeze. They were part of an improv group which has put on this public event before, but never in such a theatrical space. A cop was asked what was going on: "I have no idea! That is the craziest shit I’ve ever seen in my life, and I'm a cop!"