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2005-02-28 - 1:12 p.m.

Overheard at a Homebrewing Club Party

-(punch line) "...and then I found out it was barley wine!" (raucous laughter)*

-"You'd better watch it or I'll start with the monkey humping."

-"This is the only party where the amount of alcohol people bring exceeds out ability to drink it."

-"'Das' is neuter." "Shouldn't beer be male?" "Stupid German."

-(about a 7 year old whiskey stout) "Wow, this ended up tasting like a fine sherry!"

*Barley wine is a beer with a much higher alcohol content than normal beer.

Starbucks Chantico Review

I wrote this before I started putting my journal online, so it's about a month and a half old. But in honor of the Chicago Tribune's little review of it on Sunday, I thought maybe I should provide a review as a service to others.

Preface: I'm not much of a coffee drinker (though I do have a bit of a tea obsession) so I spend very little time in coffee shops. I also get annoyed by Starbucks as it's a bit ubiquitous for me -- I'm not quite hard-core-snobby enough to boycott it, but it annoys me. A friend was telling us about how amazing their new hot chocolate is, though, so I figured it couldn't hurt to try it.

It's pretty darn tasty, but it's got 3 strikes against it.

1. I went in and said, "I'll get a ChanTEEco." The guy said (in a very snotty way), "Oh, do you mean you want the CHANtico?" Uncool. I realize it sucks to work in a place like that but don't take it out on me.

2. It's costs almost $3. I spent $2.92 on a 6 oz drink. Now, if I'm paying by calorie that might be good because...

3. It's 390 calories. I think I just drank a Whopper Jr. I'm not paranoid about my calorie intake, but that's just ridiculous.

I had to satisfy my curiosity, but I think I'll just keep making my homemade hot chocolate when I'm in the mood...

Obligatory day-after-the-Oscars Breakdown

I hate the Oscars. Not as much as I hate the Grammys (Grammies?) or the Emmys, but I still am not a fan. A few reasons -- I'm not a movie person (I hate suspense and anything scary. Or sad. Or as my husband says, "anything interesting."), it's so over-the-top ostentatious, stuff I like rarely wins, and it's boring.

That being said, I always somehow end up watching them. Either I'm at a party or I'm home and there's just nothing else on (this is what happened last night). So here are a few notes I have from the show.

-I freaking hate Josh Groban. He's on the list of people I would kick in the shins if I saw them on the street.** I like Beyonce -- she's hot and has a great voice in everything I've heard her do, but whoever was mixing the sound made it really hard to follow the melody line as her voice was so much stronger than his the entire song.

-HELL YEAH! The Oscars played Bach! (if you follow that link, be sure to check out where it says "Bachground" -- ha! The big dork in me thinks that is hilarious!) The most bad-ass of all bad-ass composers! And it was Yo-Yo Ma, who plays one of the coolest instruments in orchestral music! Josh Groban can suck it! (sorry. I'll settle down now)

-One of the music/pictures montages at the end (I don't remember what/who it was for) was set to an orchestrated version of the theme music to "The Land Before Time". The movie about the little kid dinosaurs? Little Foot? I couldn't concentrate on this (apparently) very serious montage because I was so focused on the incongruity of the background music.

-Yay! Jamie Foxx won Best Actor! One of the few times I'm actually happy with the winner...

**It's not all his fault -- he just manages to be the most popular member of the crappiest category in all of music: Pop-opera. Andrea Bocelli (I feel like he's permanently a quarter step flat?), Sarah Brightman, Charlotte Church -- I hate them all. classical is a form of music that encompasses many many many different sub-genres, and it doesn't deserve to get painted with the craptastic brush these people are using. Yes, they have good voices (sometimes), but that's not always the point. I appreciate that they bring a new group of listeners to classical music who may branch out into good (or at least less crappy) music, but singing arias isn't what classical music is about. The arias are there to expand on the storyline, not just to sound pretty and be in the background in a hair salon.

More Music Nerdiness

After I freaked out because Bach was being played at the Oscars, I realized that it had been a while since I had listened to the St. Matthew Passion and so I decided to listen to it today at work.

I noticed a few things. First, I felt a bit odd at times because this is one of the most deep, moving, spiritual pieces of music in existance. So listening to certain sections just felt a bit off.

Some examples:

-The chorus screams "Barrabam!" and the chord is intentionally wrong and dischordant because Bach was emphasizing the erroneous choice they were making. This while I was walking up the stairs out of the Blue Line subway. I felt very out of context.

-"Eli, Eli, lama asabthani?" -- the most heart-wrenching part of the entire text. While eating an avocado and tomato sandwich.

-"Wahrlich, dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen." Translated as, "Truly, this was the Son of God." This gave me goosebumps (as it does every time I hear it -- you'd have to listen to the music there to understand why) -- while I was throwing my lunch trash away and heading for the elevators.

I don't know where I should have been listening. I kept the CDs in my car for 2 months straight a few years ago and that didn't seem as odd. But it just set off my Appropriateness Alarm.

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