In the understandable schadenfreude over the slow-motion meltdown that appears to be Chris Christie's POTUS aspirations, you probably totally overlooked a bit of a potential recent scandal across the Hudson River, which is understandable, because the stakes are much less important, unless you're really into your mile-high pastrami sandwiches. It involves the recent closing of Carnegie Deli, on April 24, as reported by Patrick McGeehan (not to be confused with No. 6) in the NYT here, where allegedly:
"....Con Edison says the restaurant, famous for its massive piles of sliced meat on rye...[misappropriated] natural gas for six years until it was abruptly shut down on Friday."
This is in the wake of the March 26 gas explosion in the East Village of NYC that caused 2 deaths. In this particular instance, no deaths, fortunately, although it's easy to see Carnegie Deli as the big loser here. More, such as it is, below the flip....
Time for the latest mash-up of SNLC with the occasional opera series begun by Demi Moaned some time back, inspired by the Metropolitan Opera’s HD-cast series at the movies. So we start with the standard question, phrased for today:
Anyone see the double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci today?
A much easier way to refer to this most famous double bill in opera (not that there are many such candidates) is as “Cav” and “Pag”, for obvious reasons, and also just to show that you’re a “real opera insider” (of a sort). In fact, per this NYT preview article, it's quite possible that the Met was the very first opera company ever to stage the two as a double-bill. Fast forward 120+ years below the flip.....
In advance of Earth Day (but every day is Earth Day, of course), the subject of water has been on the minds of many (with brains, that is, which excludes right-wingnuts and climate change deniers), especially given the long-standing drought situation in CA. The Guardian has its articles that center on water accessible at this link In fact, after we got a few recent quick spells of rain here in STL, I felt somewhat meta-compelled to offer California an apology of sorts, because the climatogical work orders obviously got mixed up, and rain got sent to the wrong state (MO) that isn't in dire need of it now. Of course, it's doubly loserly to offer such an apology, especially since there's nothing that I can do about the rain. What I can do something about, though, which delves further into 3CM's cosmic loserdom when it comes to natural resources and recycling, comes from observing half-consumed water bottles. When I see such bottle, I feel the need to:
(a) recycle the plastic bottles
(b) make further use of the water, somehow
Don't panic, as my loserness does not extend to consuming that leftover water myself. However, there is one particular denizen in my domicile that doesn't mind such water, namely.....
You may (or may not) have heard about the blowup this week in Toronto about the cancellation by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra of a guest appearance by pianist Valentina Lisitsa this week, because of various offensive Tweets that she's posted over time. It's an extremely complicated story that's gotten a lot of press in Toronto, as you can imagine, complicated by the fact that Lisitsa has a huge following via her YT videos and her Twitter account. I don't claim to know all the nuances about how the TSO (mis-)handled the situation, but the TSO has gotten a major black-eye, in particular the orchestra's CEO, Jeff Melanson. This incident also reminded me of something recently in the The Guardian about the leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, and how he spun a recent weekend incident and anti-Ukip protest into something a lot more sinister than it actually was. In short, bigots in both stories played their 'opponents' for fools. More below the flip....
It's perhaps a sad measure of how loserly 3CM is that SNLC has been going as a series long enough that it's possible for him to do a 'sequel', of sorts, on the idea of April 4 (4/4) cultural trivia, like the first version from 6 years ago. Thanks to calendrial vagaries, it's actually possible to repeat this theme every 6 years. The challenge, of course, is to do so without repeating anything from the earlier version - except, perhaps, for 3CM to remember now, unlike last time, that we're in the midst of the NCAA Final Four (though that made headlines for a non-basketball-related reason this year, of course). With that in mind, here goes for the 2015 edition.....
A funny thing happened to 3CM on the way to the April 15 income tax filing deadline. Namely, he figured out that for the first time in several years, he actually owed on his income taxes, both federal and state returns. Not particularly huge amounts combined, <$300 or so, so it was far from a big hit for self. It then occurred to me to try to glean why I suddenly owed taxes this year, which had, of course, a simple (and nice, in its way), answer. More below the flip.....
Currently playing at the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, on the campus of Webster University (in other words, in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis, not the city itself - but 3CM digresses, as usual) is the final main stage production of the season, Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Self saw it earlier this week, on one of the preview nights. The title tells you that Durang has done a riff on the plays of Anton Chekhov, with clearly an American twist, as evidenced by the one name among the 4 in the title that doesn't really go with the others.
I'm not that knowledgeable about Durang's plays, nor am I all that familiar with Chekhov's work, even though I read a volume of AC's plays some time back and have seen one of his plays live. In fact, 3CM has now seen just as many Durang plays as Chekhov plays. So what of this production? More, sort of, below the flip (once you've read the synopsis, of course....hmmm... )....
Off the bat, self is only able to recite the numbers in π out to 3.14159265, not that he ever tried for more than that. But since today marks the once in a century chance to commemorate the ratio of circumference of a circle to its diameter, one does what one can. There is, of course, a Pi Day website, which tells us at the start:
"Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point."
If you want to sample the first million digits, you can indulge in internet vertigo here
, as if you keep scrolling down the cursor on the right of the screen, the digits keep coming....and coming....and coming. More (well, not really) below the flip....
Buried, perhaps, in all the ado about the Oscars is the winner of best animated short film, namely Feast. In the movie house, this short was shown with Big Hero 6, which was itself an Oscar winner, for best animated film. If you haven't seen either, the focus here is on Feast, which tells the story of a cute (of course) Boston terrier and the dude who adopts him off the street. The film is seen from pretty much ground-level, as told via images of the food that the dog, who is named Winston, gets during the short.
Self normally doesn't cry at or after movies, perhaps because I consciously tend not to choose movies that are tear-jerkers (although Still Alice comes close, perhaps), or that 3CM is basically a cold fish. Surprisingly, not least for me, Feast was the recent exception that proved the rule. More below the flip...
Raise your hand, electronically speaking, if you recall this line from Citizen Kane:
"It's no trick to make a lot of money - if all you want, is to make a lot of money."
One case in point of this would seem to be Ronald Perelman, a past chairman of Revlon, where you can read a bit of how he made his money here
. Perelman is the newly named chairman of the distinctly non-corporate organization known as Carnegie Hall, as reported in the NYT here
. However, Perelman has already managed to step on some people's toes after this line got attention from Pogrebin's article:
"Mr. Perelman, 72, said that he was not much of a classical music enthusiast and would push for the hall to stage more of the pop performances it was known for decades ago."
More, such as it is, below the flip.....
In several senses, the world of orchestras resembles sports, such as in watching which musicians get hired for new instrumental positions in orchestras (kind of like draft picks), but in particular, which conductor will get hired to be the next music director of an orchestra once a music directorship opens up (more like hiring a head coach). The latter situation is really prominent these days among US orchestras, because no less than 5 (!!) major American symphony orchestras are looking for new music directors, with 3 of those posts opening up just this month. Something's clearly weird in teh cosmic ether for such a convergence, even if 3CM the loser hasn't the faintest clue what (would he be a loser if he knew?). More, maybe, below the flip....
Time for the latest mash-up of SNLC with the occasional opera series started by DK'er Demi Moaned, centered around the Metropolitan Operas HD-casts. Thus the standard start-question for this edition:
Anyone see the Met's HD-cast of Iolantha and Bluebeard's Castle today?
There's actually a very reasonable political reason to pass on this double bill today, if it was even on your radar, because of the presence in the production of two notable "Putin poodles", soprano Anna Netrebko & conductor Valery Gergiev. However, that's a separate topic on its own. Plus, since 3CM is a loser, he 'sold out' and did see this double bill @ the movies, in order to be able to write this diary in the 1st place, but also because I've never seen or heard Iolantha in any form, even a recording. To complicate things further, precisely because this HD-cast was a double-bill, the length of this diary threatens to spiral even more than usual out of control. So more (too much?) below the flip....