Friday, November 30, 2007

This customer has an extensive collection of Disney figurines.
DMV finally sent me the stickers to replace the ones that got stolen.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We got a Barbie catalog today. This pirate Barbie is $174.
I love the jokes that Taco Bell has on its taco sauce packets.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This tree appears to be about fifteen feet tall. To decorate the top, they roll it over to the second-floor balcony.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm going to be playing (with John Skinner) for Joan Rivers on January 19. She's performing at an Indian casino near Woodland. All we have to do is play her on and off: two songs.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rachel holding the "greatest pickle ever." (Musical theatre buffs: it reminds me of the smallest Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

In a storefront in Old Sacramento that opens onto an alley, I found a record/antiques store that has old pinball machines, including this one, Toledo, that I used to play as a kid. Still two games for a quarter.
This girl seems quite happy to be denying me parking validation. A little passive-aggressive, I'd say.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I played with the John Skinner Band at the city Christmas tree lighting. Very disorganized and spontaneous but fun. The mayor was there, two local radio celebrities, and popular a capella group the Edlos. It got quite cold when the sun went down.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It sounds dirty but it isn't

Robin dropped in unannounced and helped with the cooking. Here she is buttering the turkey.
Rachel's new iPod cover. The other side is clear plastic so thin that you can control the wheel through it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I have seen a "basketweave" done on photos before, but never this well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This mural is on the sandwich place across the street from University Art Supply... I heard about someone who paid $7,000 for the 15k service on his Ferrari. My brother Jon says, "Ferrari rhymes with sorry"... I met a guy who roasts his own coffee beans in a popcorn popper... While tuning a piano at the airport terminal, a guy asked me how long I'd been tuning. I said, "twenty-three years" and he said, "Forty-three!"indicating himself. He worked in Los Angeles and studied at the Trade Academy, where until fairly recently you could get a degree in piano technology...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

An eggplant from Hal's garden.

I read this on someone else's blog...

Sharon Rinehart August 30th, 2007

My aunt went to Stivers High School[in Dayton, OH, which I visited in 2005] with Milton Caniff. Among her things, I found a collection of cartoon strips entitled, “Chic and Noodles at School” dated 1925. The cartoon strips had appeared in the Stivers student paper and were collected for Caniff’s graduating class, I believe. Is there any interest in this kind of Caniff memorability[sic]?

Friday, November 16, 2007

cartoon archive at

I got three checks from Funny Times today. One of them was for "Cartoon of the Week." I was looking on their archive and noticed that this one was featured in March.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My customer, a UC Davis professor of Tagalog, performed with her daughters in The Vagina Monologues in New York and San Francisco. Lea Salonga (Filipino actress, original star of Miss Saigon) was in the cast. Some of the performances were in Tagalog. My customer says that it was "very strong" in Tagalog because Filipinos never say the word for vagina, even in private.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This bike is used in Whistle Down the Wind. I heard that it is an actual vintage bike from World War 2 that was made heavy enough to shield soldiers from bullets. For the show, they replaced the original engine with an electric one.
I tuned for Tracy Walton today. She sings for the great local groups Mumbo Gumbo and Way Out West. The book below the accordion is Musicophilia by Dr. Oliver Sacks.
She knows everybody in Sacramento. I am going to get some great referrals from her.
The edge of the orchestra pit where some people sitting in the front row left their drinks.
On the last show Jim continued his habit of making small talk on his microphone that only we could hear. Just before the entr'acte: "Do you know how much the hotel charges for this bottle of Gatorade? Three-fifty! That's seven dollars for two bottles."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Jennifer and I went to Zelda's Pizza for our anniversary. They have the best — no, the only — Chicago-style pizza in town. We hadn't gone in years. The decor hasn't changed in years. It has tacky wood-look paneling, Christmas lights year-round, tiny booths, and Italian travel posters. There is no song on the jukebox from the CD era. They only take cash. There is nothing California about the place.

These two people had kids together

Donna Pool showed me this photo of her and Dan while they were in an opera together at Sac State, before they were even dating. Dan is dressed as Thor; Donna is dressed as whatever goddess wears a mortarboard.

Friday, November 09, 2007

If you ever find a dollar bill with my name on it, it's probably because of Dollar Friday.
Every Friday during the run of a show there is a drawing. You write your name on a dollar bill and put it in the pot, and the winner gets all the dollars. I have been playing for many years, and never won.
Last night Kathleen sat in the pit to listen to the show in advance of playing Keyboard 2 again on the Saturday matinee. Dan is holding his check. He couldn't understand why my check was more until we noticed that he had more withholding.
During one scene Jim noticed that the set wasn't moving, so we kept vamping. The house lights came up and an announcement came, "there is a medical emergency in the back of the house and we will resume the show after it's taken care of."
Someone died.
Bob Sereno said, "That was the only guy in the audience who understood the show."
Jim said, "In the show report we should say that we're killing them."
During the break a number of people took the opportunity to go home.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A arty picture of me and Eric Aichen, our fine horn player. In addition to all the Sacramento jobs, he subs with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera. He also plays on video game soundtracks at Skywalker Studios.
This was posted in the stagehands' area backstage.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Scarecrow from Mike McMullen's house. Note the grass stains on the knees.

This is a view of the pit from behind me. Jim Vukovich, the conductor, is an amazing pianist and also a great jokester. Just before the bows, he says something like, "good job." Tonight, the last performance of the week, he said, "Great job. Great week. Let's drink."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My chair in the pit for Whistle Down the Wind. John Doolittle is warming up in the background.
The conductor has a microphone where he can say things that only we can hear. A sampling:
"I really hate that song."
"I have to go to the bathroom. Brian, can you take over?... I think I can make it through this song."
"Alan, Jodi called yesterday. She said, 'I am so drunk, and I have to conduct tonight.' "

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A really nice pumpkin at the entrance to the Tower Cafe.
In the parking lot today, another Prius. The thief only got half of the sticker off.
The electronic drum set for Whistle Down the Wind. There is only one real instrument (a cymbal). The drummer is Alan Childs, a great musician who has played with David Bowie, Rod Stewart, and many others. For the past 13 years he's toured with Broadway shows including Tommy, Aida, Hairspray, and Rent.