Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 11:42 pm
Postmodern Jukebox is a rotating collaboration of various musicians and vocalists performing retro versions of assorted popular songs, as arranged by the group's founder, Scott Bradlee. They have several charming performance videos on YouTube, and I believe most of their music is available on iTunes.

I first discovered their music a couple of years ago after an American Idol contestant performed one of their arrangements. I later found out that several Idol alums have worked with the group, including one of our family favorites, Casey Abrams. I was thrilled that Casey was one of the vocalists who appeared at our concert! The other singers we saw were Aubrey Logan, Ariana Savalas, Maiya Sykes, Sara Niemietz, and Mykal Kilgore. The fabulous tap dancer Sarah Reich also performed.

Here are my notes on the set list for the October 22nd show, and associated vocalists as best as I can recall. I think that at least two other songs also had tap dancing, but now I can't remember which ones.

Set list (with YouTube links)... )
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 04:23 pm
Yesterday was nonstop. Up at eight to go see the Texas A&M marching band practice, home at eleven to start baking cupcakes for the church festival cakewalk, while Will worked on decorations for the Go Fish game booth. Everything was finished barely in time to get to the festival for setup at 3:45. Left at six to pick up H&P and get downtown for an eight o'clock concert. Postmodern Jukebox was fabulous. We didn't get home until midnight. Had to go to church this morning as usual, then meet my mom to pick up the kids. A good time was had by all, but I definitely wore myself out.

I'm taking a break this afternoon to watch the Patriots for the first time in a month, and to try to catch up on the Auburn game I had to miss yesterday. Later I'll need to help Connor with a homework project and catch up on my email and Twitter. Tomorrow I'll be busy all day again. I need to leave the house right after breakfast in order to deal with rush hour traffic, trying to get to my mom's house and then get her to the hospital for her tests. Presumably I will get home just in time to help the kids with their homework, eat dinner, and go to choir rehearsal. We don't get next week off choir for Halloween, either, although since the boys don't want to go trick-or-treating this year, I guess I won't miss much.

We do have tickets to the symphony's Halloween concert next Friday night, which should be a lot of fun. Looking ahead into November, there are movies coming out each weekend that I want to see: Doctor Strange, Arrival, Fantastic Beasts, and Moana. Still not sure if we're staying in town for Thanksgiving - that decision may ultimately depend on tomorrow's test results.
Friday, October 21st, 2016 12:08 am
Of course I had to get the new Ghostbusters on DVD as soon as it came out. Since the rest of the usual suspects missed out on seeing it in the theater with me and Heather, I brought it over to watch with them. The extended edition isn't better than the theatrical version, but it's interesting, and worth it for the additional dance sequence and the brief scene with the old Columbia dude after the barrier comes down. The deleted subplot featuring Erin's worthless Columbia boyfriend was painful to watch, more evidence we didn't need that Erin was trying too hard to be someone she wasn't. As for Holtz, between the alternate takes in the extended edition and in the bonus features, it seems pretty clear that the funniest parts of her dialogue were completely ad-libbed, and we'd already seen the best takes.

I also managed to catch a matinee of Queen of Katwe with Heather before it left theaters. Such a fantastic inspiring movie! We were both reaching for tissues at the end.

Will came home from math team yesterday with one of his premolars in a plastic bag. It's been about 4 years since he's needed any fillings, but at his last checkup, his dentist said it would be time to start thinking about braces soon, since his front teeth are just a bit crooked. As a four year veteran of orthodontia myself, I'm not looking forward to any aspect of that experience.

My replacement LEGO Dimensions parts came today, and Connor and I were finally able to play through the (original) Ghostbusters story level. I think we may get the Harry Potter/Voldemort team pack for Halloween. I will most likely wait until after I see Fantastic Beasts to decide whether to get that story pack as well, but right now I'm leaning toward not, since I already have so many other expansions, including the new Ghostbusters, that I've put up for Christmas gifts. I also saw today that they have announced a story pack for next year's LEGO Batman movie, containing the new adorable Robin and... Batgirl! Yay!

I'm mostly caught up on library books, although I still need to finish the Lunar Chronicles. The church's fall festival is Saturday afternoon and I'm signed up to run a Go Fish game and bring cupcakes for the cake walk. Saturday night is the Postmodern Jukebox concert that I bought tickets for like six months ago. Connor has another big homework project to work on this weekend, and my mom has some medical tests scheduled for Monday. Hopefully things will slow back down a bit after that.
Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 07:14 pm
[I commented this in a discussion about the "birds and the bees" talk. I think it's worth posting separately.] Please, talk about masturbation too, and don't wait until puberty. Here's a (very personal) story I've never told in full before. I discovered masturbation when I was about ten, before I started puberty. Nobody had talked about it, so I didn't know it was normal; I didn't even know there was a word for it. So I worried. About a year later I started puberty and of course I became able to ejaculate. And again, nobody had talked about that. They'd mentioned wet dreams, but never this. So I didn't know it was normal, and I worried. A few months later, I got what I now think was some kind of fungal skin infection. The skin where my pubic hair would soon be growing was alternately red and painful, or dry, cracked, and itchy. For all I knew, this was another weird side-effect of masturbation, like ejaculation. And since nobody had talked about the other stuff, I wasn't comfortable with asking anyone about it. So I put up with the discomfort for months. Even after my pubic hair grew, the rash was still visible and I remember deflecting questions in the changing-rooms after games lessons about whether it was a scar from an operation. All that worry and discomfort could have been avoided. Please, remember to talk about it.
Friday, October 14th, 2016 04:30 pm
I had to call the LEGO Dimensions (WB Games) customer service department just now because two of my characters stopped working with the game after the Series 2 content update. The person I spoke to was very nice and said it was definitely a problem they were aware of, and that they should be able to send me replacement character bases (which contain the RFID chips that tell the game which character to activate). No telling how long that will take, though. It's also possible that the characters I bought a few months ago to save up for Christmas will have the same problem once I try to activate them, and then I'll have to do this dance again.

I'm persevering with Stranger Things - I'm now five or six episodes in. This is actually a big deal for me, since I'm really bad at finishing things, especially TV series, even the ones I really like. Maybe even especially the ones I really like.

Swim lessons are happening again this weekend, but on Sunday after church because Saturday was unavailable. Instead I'm planning to spend Saturday helping out with church projects and then taking my shiny new Ghostbusters Blu-Ray over to H&P's house to watch together. As far as church business goes, the meeting earlier this week went well, and the position I ended up getting was finance committee chair, which is much less work than the assistant treasurer job I've had for the past 3 years.

Connor is signed up for a Minecraft activity camp at school tonight, so I need to sign off here and get him ready to go.
Friday, October 14th, 2016 04:30 pm
fan art: Dream of the Endless meets Professor Elemental
Friday, October 14th, 2016 04:28 pm

Question for [dD]eaf folk reading (forwarding is encouraged):

I’m working on a proposal to add the standard deaf/HoH symbol to Unicode. I’m looking particularly for examples of its use in running text as a character, as in this mocked-up text:

Can you help me find any? (All contributions used will be acknowledged in the submitted change request, of course.)