O, frabjous weekend

blogging, cello, music, pictures, Portland No Comments »

Man, I swear this blog gets more hits when I don’t post for a week than when I post all the time.  I guess it’s a good thing I’m still feeling un-bloggish lately, then, in order to give everybody a chance to soak up a bit of beauty, humor, sadness (although there’s been precious little sadness lately!) and truth.

Times have been good, overall.  Had a great gig on Friday, at which I got the chance to see many friends.  I started mixing the EP for IrishBand (our goal is to finish mixing some time in December), and I had an excellent birthday.  Got some new clothes.  My friend LJ returned from three weeks in the U.K., so we went to brunch and then came back here to my place where she could upload the pictures and explain the stories behind all of them.

I had another excellent day yesterday, which involved a new friend and much random fun.  We met at Powell’s, then watched a bewildering theater performance at Pioneer Square (we left after about ten minutes, scratching our heads with confusion), watched some buskers outside Nordstrom, bounced around between a bunch of closed restaurants (which finally led us to get sushi at Sansai), then we walked clear up to Vivace for coffee and dessert.  Lovely day.

NewFriend is a piano teacher, so we’ve been looking for classical music we’ll be able to play together as a duo.  I found a book of ‘easy to intermediate’ cello solos at Powell’s, which consists of classical pieces arranged for cello, with piano accompaniment.  Perfect!  It’s part of a two-book series; Book One is the piano book, and Book Two is the cello book.  I bought the piano one because A) it was the only one they had, B) it had both the piano AND the cello parts on it, and C) I figured we could track down the complementary book at some point, or just photocopy whichever pieces we intend to learn.

When I pulled up at home, CellistSkip was standing next to his car, and he said hello.  I brought the book over to show him, and he said, “No way. . .I think I used to have that book when I was a kid.”  FlutistSusan came down the steps just then and I showed it to her too.  “That sounds familiar,” she said.  “I think I may actually have the cello book in my files somewhere.”  She ran into her office, rummaged around in a drawer, and after about ten seconds pulled out a tattered copy of the companion cello book.  The cover is gone and about half of the pages are missing, but it’s the same book.  What a crazy coincidence, no?

So here are a few pictures.  I wish I would’ve taken more, but I was too hungry to think of it when we got our sushi.  The sushi was excellent, by the way, but the sunomono salad (with octopus, red onions, bell peppers and daikon radishes) was the hit of the day.





Perhaps I could recruit your help in locating a piece for NewFriend and me?  We’re looking for Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance #2 in E minor, Opus 72, arranged for piano and cello.  You know, it’s this piece (and what a beautiful performance this is!):

I could watch that all day.  Thanks in advance for your help!

stolen cello in Portland

cello, pictures, Portland, sad No Comments »

When I arrived, I got out of my car and noticed that my friend Skip’s car had a piece of plastic where the rear passenger window should have been.  I tried to call him to find out what happened, but there was no answer, so I sent him a text asking if anything had been taken.  No response, so I signed onto VisageTome to find that practically everyone I knew had posted an update saying something to the effect of, “Skip’s cello STOLEN!  It looks like [description]. . .please help!”

It happened this afternoon on Northeast 13th Avenue, sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.


Here’s Skip’s description of the instrument:

“There’s a coffee stain on the bridge of the instrument.  It’s very dusty and has a large area of finger nail scratches on the right side.  It’s made by Virgilio Cappelini 1982 in Cremona, Italy and the label inside says so. It has a metal tailpiece (all scratched up) and a Shuback bridge.”

If you have this cello (and if you’re not Skip), IT IS NOT YOURS and you should do the right thing and turn it in to the police.  They are looking for it (AND FOR YOU!) and so are hundreds of Skip’s friends.  You’d better pray that the police find you before one of us does.

a good deal?

cello, dreams, funny No Comments »

This afternoon, I took a nap for all of twenty minutes, but that was just enough time for me to have a really strange dream.

I was the cellist in a rock band, and one of the band members was buying me a monitor speaker so that I could hear myself over the band better.

We had found the speaker on Craigslist, and it was offered at a great price.  We were very excited about the deal we were getting, but we weren’t nearly as excited once we found out that the seller was a member of the Aryan Nation (I have no idea where THAT little tidbit came from, by the way).   The speaker was painted blue and red, and I thought, ‘Crap, how am I going to repaint this thing?’

As my bandmate and I were loading the speaker into the car, the seller thanked us, and BandMate said, “Hey. . .anything to help the cause!”  Once he and I were in the car, I said to BandMate, “That was a weird thing to say.  He probably thinks we’re down with the Aryan Nation now.”  BandMate replied, “Well, it was a good deal.  I didn’t want to blow it. . .”

That’s when I woke up.  TOTALLY WEIRD DREAM.

For the record, I couldn’t be less of a fan of the Aryan Nation.  Just so you know.

cracked bow

cello, music, pictures, sad 1 Comment »

This afternoon, at rehearsal, I cracked my good cello bow.  It happened while I was gesturing to the drummer to play something that was different from what he was playing.  The guitarist didn’t see me doing that, and he turned around a little bit, which is when my bow smacked into the neck of his electric guitar.   Here’s the result:


You can see how close it came to being a fatal break.  I’m fairly sure that it can be glued, but if for some reason it can’t be, you’re going to be reading about a very unhappy Todd, very soon.  Luckily, I do still have my old backup bow, but it isn’t nearly as responsive or as high-quality as this one is.

This really blows.

I could use a glass of wine, a hug, and an influx of cash.

. . .and the princess in peril

cello, music, pictures, Portland, recording, Yakima No Comments »

Today I was supposed to record with IrishBand, but Singer was sick and losing his voice, so he had to cancel.  That left me with a couple of hours to kill before our band meeting tonight, so I took the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful fall day and went for a hike in Macleay Park.

I thought about taking my camera, because after a few months out of the habit, I’ve started taking it everywhere with me again.  The reason I didn’t today is because I didn’t want to carry it on the hike, and I’ve taken it to Macleay before, and while the park is supremely beautiful, the pictures have never been compelling.  So I left it at home, much to my later dismay.

When I arrived at the park, there was a guy who was practicing his sword and staff skills, which was surprisingly cool to watch.  I’ve never been into it myself, but I’m fascinated with all that SCA stuff.  There was a guy I knew in Yakima who used to make his own huge swords and armor and everything, and go out into Randall Park and practice fighting.  He was a little too into it, as a matter of fact, and he was a little bit scary.   The guy I saw today just looked cool, and was doing parries and lunges.  He was just finishing up as I was walking by, though.

I hiked a mile or so up the trail, to the dilapidated Stone House, and when I got there, a family was shooting a movie with their little digital video camera.  I sat on a log and watched them for about twenty minutes, while they filmed the last few scenes.  They were in full costume; the princess, the witch, the adventurer, the sorcerer, and the two ghouls.  I arrived just in time to see the ghouls and the witch get killed by two different spells, like this:  “Abracadabra is what I say, and I want you to go away!”  The little princess was about four years old, and when she yelled, “Save me!  Save me!  Save me!” I have to admit that it was pretty dang cute.  The best part, however, was watching the dad be a director for the kids.  It seemed like he had some sort of video experience, or at least he was acting as if he did.  It was really a fun thing to see.  I had my phone with me, so I was able to take a couple of pictures, but they both suck.



See what I mean?  Oh, how I wish I had brought my camera.  I learned my lesson, that’s for sure.  After they finished filming, I thanked the guy for letting us all hang out and watch them (because a handful of other people joined me on the log), and asked him if this film had a name.  “Indiana Johnson and the Princess in Peril,” he replied.  Sounds awesome, and hopefully it’ll be coming soon to a YouTube near you.   Let’s keep our eyes open.

Tonight is a meeting with IrishBand, followed by a happy hour at Kell’s, where they have an open Irish music jam session that Singer and I have been to see a time or two before, and it’s really great.  It would be fun to bring my cello down there sometime, but space is at such a premium in there, and the cello would make it pretty cramped.  There are lots of violinists, and mandolinists, and flutists, and even an accordionist who played for a little while.  Cello would totally rule with a group like that.  Who knows, I may bring it in at some point.

Anyway. . .signing off.