Monday, November 07, 2005

List Day: Ten Things about The Mikado

  1. Driving down M Street in Georgetown is a pain in the ass and reminds me of why I don't like driving in big cities. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper at all hours, and there's a burgeoning crush of humanity surrounding you at every angle, from the high-class yuppies on their evening stroll to the meat market girls from Georgetown University. Everyone is walking in every direction, darting through cars when it suits them, and making it pretty much impossible to turn onto another road in a timely fashion.

  2. I don't understand how it can be possible for a city with such a simple grid-like philosophy (letters from south to north and numbers from east to west) can screw it up so badly. Driving in D.C. is designed solely for the people who already know where they're going, and if you miss a turn, you're generally going to have to travel another fifteen miles in one-way detours in order to get back where you need to be. I like the part where 28th Street magically turns left and becomes R Street, and how the residential areas of Georgetown toss in randomly named streets between the letter streets with no discernable pattern.

  3. Georgetown needs to outlaw SUVs because the roads are far too narrow to allow for parking on both sides AND traffic in both directions. Having grown up in a neighbourhood where every cul-de-sac could easily fit four lanes of through traffic, it's unnerving to have oncoming traffic close enough to touch as you go by. The streets are possibly big enough to have a Little Asian Man Pride parade, where we could march eight abreast, but that's about it.

  4. It took three "things" before I even reached the Ellington School for the Friday night show, but once there I realized why I chose to do it in the first place. I miss the pit atmosphere, and the collection of musicians who are all strong enough to do their own part without hand holding. I miss how rehearsals are ADD-friendly since they're really more run-throughs than practicing. I like how people take the music home and work on the hard parts instead of wasting rehearsal time on them, and I like how the music conductor becomes a focal point, tying the singers and players together even though each cannot see the other. Still, it would be nice if their performances were closer, say Reston.

  5. The Friday night performance got a good review in the Washington Post with the orchestra granted one adjective: able. I thought the woodwinds were exceptional, and the rest of the orchestra was quite able. This is also able:
  6. Woodwinds and strings definitely have the better deal when it comes to being in a pit. At least they can see the performance when they're not playing the music. They really need to hook the performance up to a closed-circuit TV for the brass players who are down in the depths. Then, we could have watched the Miami-VT game in picture-in-picture, and I would have been able to prevent VT's loss, 7-27. Instead, I reread Michael Crichton's State of Fear in its entirety. It wasn't as good the second time around -- too preachy.

  7. Between shows on Saturday, I crossed the river into Arlington to find a McDonald's for dinner. Cities lack this staple of life -- more importantly they lack the space for either a drive-through or a place to park, and at least one of these is required when you're already in your car.

  8. The road signs along the GW Parkway, I-66, and I-395 near D.C. are easily the most confusing signs I've ever seen. I don't travel in that area very often, so I'm not down with the whole "people just know where to go" mentality. Trying to get from I-395 at King Street over to the Key Bridge was a neverending parade of alternating left and right exits with signs that don't necessarily tell you what road you want to be on. You've just got to pick a lane and hope you don't get dumped out on the Beltway. On my way home after one of the shows, I passed three deer grazing on the side of the road. Luckily, we did not play Chicken.

  9. Often at performances, there will be one guy with an unfortunate laugh. This laugh is so bad that everyone else laughs at the laugh, especially if the guy thinks that everything in the show was funny. Apparently, we had not one, but three unfortunate laughers at the Saturday night show, and apparently that show was ten times funnier than any of the other shows. Two of the laughers were in their fifties and were obviously married to each other. I can imagine how laugh-y their dinner parties are when they entertain.

  10. I get annoyed when people interrupt performances for talk of fundraising, e-mail lists, and donations. People already bought a ticket and came to your stupid event, so shut up and let them watch the rest of the play. No one cares about your website.

  11. Bonus: I am still the central hub of all coincidences. The other trumpeter taught math at T.C. Williams for a year in 2003 (and went to FSU for undergrad), and the bassoonist, Mrs. From, has been a math teacher there since 1979 (though I don't remember her at all, and didn't know about this until Saturday night). She told me this after bumping into Mrs. Silverman from the guidance office, who is a Savoyards volunteer and saw my name in the program. Also, the first horn graduated from T.C. in 1988, and his band director was Jack Dahlinger, who was my trumpet teacher during high school.

  12. Seal bites off woman's nose
    DogCatRadio believes dogs and cats can be friends
    Everything they done here was unlegal.

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