Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Calculus: The Musical

December 8, 2011

On Tuesday a friend invite me to join him for a show at Huge Improv Theater called Calculus: The Musical. It was a small production. Two actors portrayed many different characters, there was no intermission, and there were several frenzied costume changes during the show. Both actors played guitar at points, and one had several pieces on an electric keyboard. It had all the elements that I love in a musical comedy: Witty characters, fast-paced dialogue and action, a dash of slapstick, various overdone accents, a multimedia presentation, a blending of musical styles (from classical to rap and a lot in between), and a man playing Sir Isaac Newton talking to a little action figure of himself (“Little Isaac”) and then having the action figure answer back in a higher-pitched version of his true voice. Okay, that last was specific to Calculus: The Musical and not at all something I look for in musical comedies.

As the name might imply to those among you who are particularly quick-witted, it was about calculus. As a mathphobe who never made it all the way through a calculus course I was worried that all of the jokes would go right over my head. I did miss some of them; several times my friend’s giggling indicated that something humorous had transpired on stage after some dialoguey gobbledygook about derivitives, functions, limits and infinite series. But the writer managed to incorporate calculus without making the storyline completely unintelligible to the uninitiated.

You can listen to songs from the musical at maththeater.com. Here are the lyrics from the only song that I can actually claim to have understood entirely. It’s called 5 Sizes of Numbers:

There are 5 sizes of numbers,
Big Infinity and small Zero,
And the Finite in the middle,
They’re the ones, I’m sure you know.

But now we look between Finite and Zero.
To numbers so small, they’re nothing at all,
But still a little larger than a Zero.
Their name is Infinitesimal.

On the other side of Finite,
There are numbers too large to say,
Infinites are what we call them,
They are big, in every way.

But they will never quite be Infinity,
They’re not quite as big, not even close.
We’ll use all of these numbers in Cal-cu-lus,
The numbers, I love the most.

It only gets nerdier from there. They have a song about Bernhard Reimann in the style of Eminem’s Without Me. Just sayin’.

Calculus: The Musical has been touring nationally for six years, and it stopped in Minneapolis only for a couple of days. But they have shows scheduled from now through May of 2012 in different parts of the country. I had a good time, maybe even learned a thing or two, and it reminded me that I really need to stop procrastinating and start reading that copy of Jennifer Ouellette’s Calculus Diaries that I got for Christmas and have left languishing on my bookshelf for the last year!

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Heat Wave

July 19, 2011

Wowza it’s hot!

I love me some warm days. I’m happiest when we have a sunny, low-humidity 85-90F day. But over the past couple of days it’s been more like 90-100F with humidity so thick that I could swim through it. I guess this is the price we pay for having so much lovely water up here.

Speaking of which, I wasn’t able to convince the Hubby to go tubing this weekend. Doesn’t this look like a great way to spend a hot, steamy summer day?

But I understand the Hubby’s hesitation. The place to go tubing around here is the Apple River in Somerset, WI. On weekends it’s usually crowded with drunken 20-somethings (and older people who act like they’re still in their 20-somethings), and subsequently by Sunday afternoon the shallow river probably has an even ratio of river water to urine. The nice, calm photo above is NOT from the Apple River. This is what a weekend jaunt down the Apple often looks like:

As a woman named Sarah describes in her blog (the photo above is from her blog), it’s pretty much Girls Gone Wild Apple River. I don’t mind some alcohol and rauchiness, but this is way over the top. Ah well.

We decided to go for a motorcycle ride instead. I found a couple of routes that wound down from Shakopee to Mankato on motorcycleroads.us. When we were riding through twisty, wooded backroads we experienced dips in temperature as we drove into and out of valleys. The roads were gorgeous, green, uncrowded, relaxing and a great way to explore MN in the summer and stay cool.

A short stop on the Scenic Byway between Henderson and Le Sueur.

Neat bridge structures near Mankato.

Lush, green farmland located five minutes south of Mankato.

Saturday Evening – Tim Minchin

Aaron and I rode our bicycles downtown from South Minneapolis and were dripping in sweat by the time we arrived at the theater (but we didn’t have to pay for parking – cheapskate win!), but the lobby was cool and we were comfortable by the time the show started.

Tim Minchin delivered a uproariously entertaining mix of standup comedy and music. He accompanied himself on piano for most of his songs, and had recorded musical backups for Statistically Accurate Love Song and the live version of his beat poem “Storm”. He did two encores: White Wine in the Sun and a cover of Hallelujah that was absolutely breathtaking. Not only can the man sing something fierce, he managed to get a room which had a high proportion of religious skeptics and atheists to croon the word “Hallelujah” with deep emotion. Nicely done, sir!

Sunday was. too. hot.

On Sunday I decided it would be a good idea for me, the Hubby and the dog to walk 3/4  mile to the grocery store to pick up bread and OJ. At about 1/2 mile in we realized that this may not have been the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had. Luckily we had brought water for the dog, and the Hubby and I took turns going into the grocery store air conditioning before walking back. We both took showers when we arrived home. The dog flopped on the living room floor and didn’t  move much for a good long while.

So we made Sunday a Chores In The Air Conditioning Day. We did laundry, dishes, bills and bit of organizing. And…oh, and these are very exciting:

  • We booked flights to Seattle to visit my sister and brother-in-law at the end of August! We’re going to go hiking and scuba diving and exploring in the upper East (correction: West) corner of Washington state. My sis assures me it’s gorgeous out there.
  • And, and – I’m going to Dragon*Con! I have a hotel room and I booked my flight to Atlanta!

Not only am I going to Dragon*Con, but I’m going to be sharing a hotel room with two good friends from the Twin Cities. This will be my first BIG scifi/fantasy convention and I am pumped. I’m looking at the different tracks (panels, presentations, demos, etc), the featured events, contests and celebrities that will be at Dragon*Con, and my mind is blown. I need to come up with a costume. I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing solid yet.

Oh, and here’s the really awesome part – I leave for Dragon*Con less than eight hours after I get back from Seattle, which means I get to take a LOT of time off from work at once (and I can tell you all of this this because my on-site caretaker is big and mean and doesn’t take kindly to trespassers)!

Yippie! I’m super excited.

Yeah, I said yippie.

Go Buy Tim Minchin Tickets!

June 21, 2011

Hey Twin Cities friends!

Did you know that TIM MINCHIN is going to be doing a rare live performance in Minneapolis on July 16th at the Pantages Theater???


Photo Source

Are you going? Do you already have tickets? I have tickets!

If you haven’t heard of Tim Minchin, hell’s bells, go YouTube him! He writes, plays piano and sings about rationality, sex, common sense, boobs, prejudice, sex, skepticism, boobs and religion…to name a few. Also boobs and sex. Oh, and he wrote the music and songs for a musical stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He’s a hell of a showman and comedian, and according to his website he has an enormous…sense of occasion. Yea, a man of many talents.

I’ve posted this before; it’s one of my favorite Tim Minchin songs:

I know, right? AWESOME! So get out of here – go buy tickets! They’re only $28 if you buy at the door, $40 to buy online (thanks for that kick in the ass, Ticketmaster).

If you’re in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Anaheim, San Fran, Atlanta, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. or Montreal, Tim Minchin is also coming your way in June or July. Check out his full calendar here.

Squee!

30DaysofBiking: Day 25

April 26, 2011

Where: South and Downtown Minneapolis (~6.6 miles)
Why: Transportation – Guthrie Theater to see Jonathan Coulton with Paul and Storm, then back home later that night.
When: Monday April 25th
Weather: Clear, cloudy and overcast – 65F (18.3C) on the way out, 60F (15.5C) on the way back
Who: Me and the Hubby

The Hubby in front of the Guthrie Theater

Jonathan Coulton (middle), with Paul and Storm at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis this evening.

More on the concert later. Bed now.

The Big Beginning (SoS)

January 21, 2011

Yay – new Symphony of Science!  I like the way this one turned out, but my favorite is still Poetry of Reality.

The Sound of Science

January 13, 2011

Greeeeat.  Now I’ll be humming this all day.

T-Mobile Flash Mob

November 17, 2010

I LOVE flash mobs!  I don’t even care that this is a marketing gimmick; this was so much fun to watch:

Seen via Stephen Fry‘s twitter.

Marian Call in Minneapolis(ish)

November 9, 2010

I’m going to see her tonight!

I only recently heard about Marian Call through Twitter, and again through her performances at W00tstock.  I joined her Facebook fan page not too long ago, listened to her music for free through her website and bought her CD Got to Fly via iTunes.  Have I mentioned how much I love the internet and social networking?

Anyway, Marian Call sings folksy, acoustic-type music with a heavy emphasis on geek culture and humor.  She’s known for her fan music about Firefly and Battlestar Galactica.

She’s a biiiiiig geek, and I ❤ that.

The cool/scary thing about the performance tonight is that it’s going to be at Dunn Bros. in Roseville.  I love small shows like this.  People are being encouraged to bring their own chairs, and with such a large geek/nerd contingent in the Twin Cities (W00tstock Minneapolis sold out like *that* – imagine me snapping my fingers there), I have no doubt that there will be a lot of people standing.  Which is good, and I’ll have a chance to get (really) up close and personal with my fellow geeks.

I should definitely do a deoderant re-apply before I get there.

Anyway, my bit o’ geek for the day is that I’m taking off early to go hang out at Dunn Bros. so I can try to get a decent seat.  Also, this is an excuse to leave work early and continue re-reading The Demon-Haunted World in remembrance of Carl Sagan’s birthday.  Carl Sagan died in 1996, but today he would have been 76.

~~~~~~~

Update with PHOTOS!

Marian Call was awesome.  I actually did arrive about four hours early for the show, but a couple of my other friends also showed up around then.  I didn’t get much reading done in Demon-Haunted World, but we all hung out, played on our computers and had a grand old time.  One of my friends actually crocheted me a Jayne Hat in a little less than two hours in honor of the show and Marian’s Firefly fan songs.

Marian was friendly and chatty, the crowd was waaaay smaller than I expected (I’m bad at estimating, but…maybe 50 people?) and very well-behaved, and the sound was good.  This was probably the smallest, most intimate concert I’ve attended.  At the mid-show break and after the show Marian hung out and spoke with the audience and took pics with people.  Everything was very laid back and enjoyable.

~~~

Marian in Saffron garb for It Was Good For You Too

~~~

 

One Nation, Under Jayne!

 

Photo by @belmikey and posted with permission.  His complete set of pictures from the evening can be found here.

How I discovered DeCadence

September 22, 2010

A glance through my Hotmail –>

leads me to an email from sister –>

of the video Bitches Ain’t Shit (NSFW, duh)–>

While watching this video, I saw a related video in the sidebar that caught my interest –>

which was this video (also NSFW) –>

which was okay, but what really caught my attention was this video in the new sidebar –>

because I LOVE the Mortal Kombat song, especially for the damned elliptical machine at the YMCA at 5:30 in the morning.  And anyway, that video was this (this one is fine for work) –>

and I loved this video because it was sort of flash mob.  I noticed that it was done by a group called DeCadence, so I followed the link to their youtube channel, on which I found that they had done an a cappella version of one of my favorite songs by Madonna, Like A Prayer –>

They’re goofy, and I love vocal harmony, and so now I’m completely smitten with this group, and excuse me I have to go purchase a CD from their website nao, kthxbai.

Oh, Ray Bradbury!

August 18, 2010

I don’t post a lot of NSFW (not safe for work) content on this blog, but this…this is completely, awesome and worth the NSFW rating.

Disclaimer/Warning: An intelligent woman sings very graphically about wanting to have sex with an intelligent man.  If the idea of an intelligent woman having sexual desires offends you, you may wish to skip this video. Hehehe.  Oh, and if you have a low tolerance for pop, just suck it up and concentrate on the lyrics.