Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm better than: Brad Pitt

Welcome to a new feature here at The World of Wombat, "I'm better than," in which I attempt to show how celebrity and acclaim is not all it's cracked up to be. This I will do by offering evidence that I am superior to a particular well-known person.

The first subject, Brad Pitt, was an obvious pick, since so many people compare me to him. For one thing, we share the same first name. For another,... um,... we, uh, share the same first name.

Let the battle begin!

1. Brad Pitt has appeared in many movies and TV shows. I have seen many movies and TV shows.

Advantage: Me. Sure, appearing in movies and shows pays better. Much better, in fact. The guy is loaded with money. I mean, mucho dinero... I'm sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah. But seeing the movies and shows is much less work. And often involves popcorn.

2. Brad Pitt does have that money thing going for him. I'm sitting here writing to a blog that maybe a dozen people read. In a good month.

Advantage: Brad Pitt. Hey, I have to throw the guy a bone so he doesn't think his life is totally inferior. I'd hate to be responsible for making him suicidal.

3. If I were to sit on Brad Pitt, I'd crush him. If he were to sit on me, I doubt I'd even notice.

Advantage: Me. While the chances of either of us ever meeting, much less sitting on, each other is slim to none, at least I have nothing to fear from the encounter.

4. One of us is married to a very beautiful and talented woman. The other is married to Angelina Jolie.

Advantage: Me. What am I -- stupid???

So you see, by a margin of 3 to 1, I am better than Brad Pitt. That was easy.

If there is a celebrity or prominent person, from any field of endeavor, that you would like to see me compared to in future columns, please feel free to post a comment below.

I may or may not be better than

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

February odds and ends

A few unrelated observations, mainly to pad out a new post since it's been a while:

- I went to change the battery for the first time in my younger son's watch yesterday, a watch which features Disney's prickly but lovable alien Stitch, a/k/a Experiment 626. I opened it up to see what battery number to buy as a replacement, and nearly fell over laughing when I read the tiny engraving on the old battery.

The number is 626.

Coincidence? I think not!

I'm in the midst of convincing my wife that we need to get a new digital camera. The old one still works okay, if you don't count the fact that it shuts itself off anytime you want to take a picture. Maybe I shouldn't have dropped it on that concrete floor this past weekend?

- The trip report is still going on strong over at its own blog, I've been accused of dragging it out. I can't imagine why, though. I mean, here it is almost two months after we got back and I'm already on Day 4 of our trip!

Okay, yes, I put in a lot of detail. But I write the kind of trip reports I like to read, full of detail; reports that let the reader feel that he is along for the vacation. No "we did this, and then we did this, and then we did this, and then the next day..." for me! So, be patient.

If you like, you can always come back in a few months and read the whole thing at once!

And finally...

- Happy Inappropriate Card Day!

It's always Inappropriate Card Day at!

Friday, February 08, 2008

One Year in the Vocal Majority

Today marks my first anniversary of singing with the Vocal Majority chorus!

One year ago, on Thursday, February 8, 2007, I walked into a VM rehearsal for the very first time. I was greeted warmly, handed a ginormous binder of music, and led to a spot on the risers -- and I was hooked before we ever got to a song! When the group began ringing chords in the warmup, they had me.

But for the record, the first song rehearsed that night, the first I ever sang with the chorus, was “Believe” from The Polar Express -- the group was about record it, as the title track to their new Christmas album. And introduced to the group that same night was our beautiful Jim Clancy arrangement of “What Kind of Fool Am I?,” which in July was performed to over 9,000 people at the Barbershop Harmony Society's international convention in Denver, one of four songs in our "swan song" set as the reigning champion chorus.

What a year it has been! According to my notes, in this past year I have:
  • Received music for 93 songs! (One guy compared being a rookie in VM with “drinking from a fire hose.” It's true!)
  • Sung 75 of those songs in rehearsal with the chorus at least once.
  • Performed 54 songs with the chorus publicly.
  • Starting with the international stage in Denver, appeared with the chorus 17 times, including the three Denver appearances, three Fall shows, four Christmas shows, one high school show, four private gigs, one funeral and one wedding!
I’ve had some amazing musical experiences in my life before VM, but I can say without a doubt that in this one year I have sung more, been challenged more, learned more, and enjoyed music more than at any time in my life.

What a privilege to be a part of this amazing group of guys. I can't wait to see what this next year holds!