Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Modern Musical Mayhem

Began a hot, sunny day at work. Which was a pain. It was fairly dead all morning. I did carts and returns during the first half of my shift. We were so quiet that the carts didn't really need to be rounded up later. I did gather baskets, but they wouldn't let me do returns again. Why, I asked. "No reason," they said. "The manager said." I cleaned up the back room, gathered trash, and wiped up a spill in the bakery instead.

I was so frustrated when I got home. My bike didn't help. I thought the brakes weren't working, but it turns out the back wheel is loose again. I'll just have to ride it like that until I can get to the bike shop in Haddonfield next week.

Relaxed and had lunch when I got home while listening to the Hamilton original cast album. This musical adaptation of a recent biography of the "ten dollar founding father" introduces us to a tenacious young man (Lin-Manuel Miranda) who comes to New York after surviving a rough childhood and early adolescence in the Caribbean. He went on to become George Washington's (Christopher Jackson) "Right Hand Man" during the Revolutionary War and marry one of the wealthy Schuyler Sisters, Eliza (Phillipa Soo). He'd keep going on after the war, becoming the first Secretary of the Treasury, writing most of the Federalist Papers, and helping to create the US' financial plan. Alas, his later years were marred by his son's death in a duel, affairs, and rumors of embezzlement. He, too, would die in a duel at the hands of rival Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom, Jr.). Meanwhile, King George III (Jonathan Groff) gloats that the US will return to him, then tear each other apart.

I'm not normally a fan of rap, but the music here is surprisingly thoughtful and well-written. I can understand why this has become wildly popular, especially with people who aren't normally musical fans. While not 100% historically accurate (starting with the diverse casting), the story is compelling and even thrilling, kind of the flip-side of the political wrangling in Broadway's other major Revolutionary War musical 1776.

(Warning - do heed the "explicit content" label on the CD. There's a bit of nasty language and minor sex in the second half.)

Teenagers and college students in particular seem to have fallen in love with this show (it's sold out at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York for the foreseeable future), but if you have a taste for rap and/or Americana and don't mind the rough language, you might be willing to enjoy this little-known slice of history, too.

Did the laundry around 3 PM. The laundromat wasn't busy when I left or when I came in, but it did get pretty crazy in between. Good thing I had a small load anyway, mostly clothes from vacation last week.

Tried to concentrate on writing, but I was too tired. Leia and Luke listen to Ben as he explains what's going on. I'm still stuck on this. I keep looking up stuff on the 80's at the Jersey Shore and getting distracted.

I finally gave up around 7:30 for a late dinner. I just had a quick tuna salad on red-leaf lettuce with tomatoes and radishes. Watched a couple of episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as I ate. Resident flyers Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are in the spotlight in these flight-themed tales. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash are having fun with pranking their friends until Rainbow Dash's buddy Griffon arrives in "Griffon the Brush Off." Pinkie doesn't like Griffon's grouchy attitude or her bullying, especially of Fluttershy. Rainbow Dash inadvertently turns the tables at a party for her new friend.

"Hurricane Fluttershy" is one I can definitely relate to. Rainbow Dash is training all of Ponyland's Pegasus to fly as fast as they can, in order to create a hurricane that'll bring Cloudville its annual water supply. Flutteryshy is terrified of flying. She isn't very good at it and was teased mercilessly about her slowness as a colt. Rainbow Dash just wants to beat last year's speed record. Rainbow discovers how important even the smallest contribution can be when Flutteryshy finds a way to help after all.

Returned to Lego Indiana Jones 2 to start the "treasure"  (aka Free Play) levels. These are the rounds you do to collect more "artifacts" after you've finished the regular story rounds. Did a very short level in the diner where the brawl occurred in the regular story mode. During the night, you have to have Mutt repair a jukebox, then break things and have a College Girl jump for beads and smack rats to get the artifacts. No sweat.

The treasure mode bike chase round was even simpler. It was an urban version of the jungle bonus round Lauren and I did in the second part. Thankfully, except for a few by the library and in the park, the balloons were much easier to see! I'll move on to more treasure levels the next time I play.

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