Alan Cumming Sang Sappy Songs

And it was an endless cascade of unexpected delights.

Kelly and I went with a friend to see Alan Cumming’s cabaret show on Saturday night. It’s available as an album and I recommend looking at the set list, because his idea of a sappy song might match what you imagine. To give you an idea, there’s an original condom commercial, Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes,”–that one I knew he’d pick–a thing by Miley Cyrus, something called “Mother Glasgow” (which comes with an annotated version for those of us who aren’t Scottish) and “Complainte De La Butte.” The patter is included in its entirely too, and Cumming is hilarious.

It was the best concert I’ve had since the magical evening when I first saw Jonathan Coulton. He is a stunning performer: every cell of him is electrifying.

On a more teacherly note, my spring course at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, which bears the not very poetic name “Advanced Speculative Fiction Workshop” launches this April. If you might like to be part of the workshop, the link is here.

Chi Chi Chitastic

Kelly and I went to our first SF community event Wednesday night, a ChiSeries reading featuring Guy Gavriel Kay, E.L. Chen, Jim Munroe and Leon Rooke. The monthly readings are held at The Augusta House, a pub conveniently near our place, and we met a few people I’ve known for years in a cyberspace way (I tend to forget that some of these friends of mine are people I’ve never actually looked in the face.)

One of the night’s unexpected delights was hearing the music of Kari Maaren. She is an amazing filk lyricist (Badger and Fearless, I suspect you will heart her bigtime, if you don’t already). Her The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy song, “43,” made me howl with laughter. And there’s this:

We slipped out at about nine-thirty, so very late by our ridiculous up-at-dawn standards, and walked home. It felt as though it might have been the first time–in almost a month!–that we’ve been out after dark. The pubs were just getting lively, filling up with crowds of people keen to watch hockey and socialize.

It was a warm and humid night, full of sights and cheer, an altogether magical walk.

Things both golden and lovely

I began this blog entry in Cafe Calabria at about 7:30 this morning, having had an amazing brainstorming session. I’ve decided I will have a draft of the new novel, the third set in Stormwrack (where “Among the Silvering Herd” takes place), by June 28th. The idea is to have it Frankensteined by the time Kelly and I go to San Francisco for, among other things, Les Contes d’Hoffmann featuring deitylike tenor Matthew Polenzani.

There was an incredible sunrise pouring over the roofs of the buildings across Commercial Drive, but I wasn’t positioned to take advantage of it, photographically. So, since I can’t share today’s dawn with you, here’s Matthew: