On Saturday, Tanya and I attended the Philadelphia Orchestra's Annual Christmas Concert.
I wish I had some pictures, but they do not allow cameras inside the Kimmel Center.
She has gone every year for quite some time. I have been to events similar to this, but nothing as prestigious as the Philly Orchestra. They're generally 5th on the list of American Orchestras, but they also have a lot of their own claims to fame. Check out their history: http://www.philorch.org/about.html
The concert itself was very impressive. Tanya got us incredible seats, and we had a great view of the stage. The conductor was the typical, animated guy that really put his heart into the whole performance. At the end, he wished us a Merry Christmas, and the chorus actually sang, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." We found this to be very refreshing. Refreshing, as opposed to the ridiculous, politically correct "Happy Holidays" for fear of offending anyone. Side note: anyone who is offended by "Merry Christmas" can head straight to Pakistan and join up with the Taliban. Weirdos.
Anyway, the orchestra was absolutely incredible and we had a lot of fun. The two hours went by so fast, I was surprised when it was over!
This was the program:
Mendelssohn - Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Redner - O Little Town of Bethlehem
Murray - Away in a Manger
TRADITIONAL - Angels We Have Heard on High
TRADITIONAL - God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on "Greensleeves"
TRADITIONAL - Good King Wenceslas
Tchaikovsky - Excerpts from The Nutcracker
Mason - Joy to the World
Wade - O Come, All Ye Faithful
Gruber - Silent Night
TRADITIONAL - The First Nowell
Schubert - Ave Maria
Bach - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Handel - Pastoral Symphony, from Messiah
Handel - Hallelujah Chorus, from Messiah
There was also some interesting facts about a lot of these songs in the program. For instance, did you know that O Little Town of Bethlehem was written by a rector at the Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia? Here are some more tidbits: http://www.philorch.org/pdfs/prognotes/0809_web21.pdf
It was an AMAZING show and an amazing night. Afterwards, we enjoyed a couple drinks at the Four Seasons.
This will (somewhat) chronicle the next, and so far best, chapter in my life! I've moved to Hockessin, DE with an amazing woman that I am happy to call my fiance, and soon my wife. I also have a great house, dog, and couldn't be happier!
04 December 2008
I do not want this to be another diatribe into why I believe the "Big 3" should fail. Suffice to say that at some point, leaders need to be held accountable for their failures, just as much as they should be rewarded for their successes. In this case, I believe it was lack of strength to stand up to the UAW for years and years that put the auto industry where it is today.
Now, people like this:
...are trying to save the Big 3 by giving (yes, giving - call it what you want, but if this succeeds, they'll just be handed billions) them a huge sum of money. The biggest proponents of this are, no surprise, the senators and congressmen from Michigan. Do a quick Google search to see how much the UAW and auto industry have paid Senator Levin, for example, via lobbying. It will make you sick to your stomach.
So, politicians like him, and Pelosi, and Reid; are all in favor of bailing out the auto industry.
I hope that they fail, the Big 3, and with any luck - this will be the beginning of the end for a unionized labor force across America. Unions breed inefficiency, laziness, and an attitude of, "...you can't touch me, I'm Union..."
I know. I live and work with them everyday.
But, back to the politicians. I think this is an appropriate time for a little more Carlin.
His thoughts on politicians... Kind of scary when you really think about this...
[Warning: some harsh language follows...]
"Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope.'"