Saturday, December 10, 2016

Jazz Up Close Featuring Godwin Louis at Russell Library

Godwin Louis plays at Russell Library Sunday at 2:00pm.
This Sunday, December 11, at 2:00pm, Resonant Motion, Inc. presents the third event of 'Spanning Generations” as part of the 2016 Jazz Up Close series at Russell Library.
For this event alto saxophonist and composer Godwin leads a quartet also featuring bassist Henry Lugo, drummer Allan Mednard, and pianist/series curator Noah Baerman.
Harlem-born Godwin Louis was raised in Bridgeport, CT and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, eventually graduating from Berklee College of Music and subsequently the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Performance. Coming to wider attention as a finalist in the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, Godwin has performed with a wide variety of artists including Terri Lyne Carrington, Ralph Peterson Jr., Cindy Blackman, Delfeayo Marsalis, Phillip Bailey, Gloria Estefan, and Billy Preston. Godwin has received the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, and the Jazz Gallery's 'New Works Commission' and has recently appeared on recordings by Dr. Michael White and Herlin Riley. As an educator, humanitarian and ambassador, Godwin has traveled from Ghana to China to help promote cross-cultural understanding and introduce thousands to America’s indigenous art form, through public concerts, master classes, and jam sessions.
This event is funded by the Middletown Commission on the Arts and The Friends of the Russell Library.

Woman Sees Screaming Face of Trump Inside Red Pepper-- The Colonel Carries On #61

By Hallie-Lou Jackson, Lebraya Tarpitz, Mary Z. Doats, and Patricia Potrzbie

Epigraph: “The Castro regime has been very popular, though not in Cuba.”

“Whaddya want when you gotta eat sump’n and it’s gotta be sweet and it’s gotta be a lot and ya gotta have it now?” If this rings even a distant bell, you are old.

Lapel pin spotted at train station: “It’s Okay to Say MERRY CHRISTMAS To Me.” How far will this “safety pin” thing go?

“Die Hard” starring Bruce Willis is arguably the best Christmas picture ever made.

“Malloy Declares Zika Mosquito State Insect ‘To Raise Awareness.’” (The Colonel tries his hand at fake news. Again.)

Defeat and humiliation can get you down, but if they came about from or despite your doing your duty, they’re no cause for shame. Be always of the best cheer you can manage under the circs.

Today’s headline beat out the less cheery runner-up: “Holiday Visit Ends With Parents Dissolving in Acid."

John Glenn, “America’s last national hero,” has a place in my mnemonic system as the standard picturable equivalent for the letter G. If it’s a capital G, the spaceman is wearing a jaunty “cap” atop his space helmet. R.I.P.

An “are” (pronounced like the alphabet letter “R”) is one-hundredth of a hectare (which can be pronounced “heck-tar”).

Some voicemail systems transcribe messages using voice-to-text software, like this:

"Janice it's Cathy. I spoke to one of the gals it wasn't gay but it was a coach here. It's. It's just simply trough Garden. You can put a hardy been there if you want but it's just Al Pines or whatever is not herbal strictly. Okay. Thanks a lot. Talk to you soon."

Oddly, transcriptions that bad are often good enough for those who know what the gibberish means: "coach here" is "co-chair" and so on. Those in the know, know.

The 80/20 rule causes “mission drift” in charities and other not-for-profits. When 80% of their donations come from 20% of their donors, guess who influences the direction of the agency? It’s sometimes called the “golden rule”: “Whoever has the gold makes the rules.”

Mr. Clippy (remember Mr. Clippy, the most hated figure in the history of animation?) says: “It seems as if you’re writing unsubstantiated nonsense. Would you like to turn on ALL CAPS?” (Finder’s credit: Bill Flood)

Cover blurb an author could probably do without: “A sick, sick man in the very best sense.”

Food Porn Alert. The following are from a flyer put out by what a friend calls the “Junk Food for Rich People” store:

Rainbow of Honey, Peppermint Chocolate Bar, Spiced Holiday Libation, Sedimentary Cookies, Jingle Jangle Ice Cream, Salty Honey Toffee Milk Chocolate Covered Crackers, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Cherry Danish, Crunchy Truffle Trio,

Chocolate Chip Waffles, Brie Stuffed with Garlic and Herbs, Canadian Cheddar Aged Five Years, Bavarian Grand Bleu Cheese, Phyllo Dough, Crispy Crunchy Cracker Assortment, Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam, Double Creme Brie With Truffles,

Pistachio and Pomegranate Crisps, Greek Stuffed Olive Triumvirate, Lemon Ricotta, Camembert Cheese & Cranberry Sauce Phyllo Bites, Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Goat Cheese, Mini Brie en Croute.

Scallops Wrapped in Bacon! Scallops Wrapped in Bacon! Scallops Wrapped in Bacon!

“I prefer someone who burns the flag and wraps himself in the Constitution to someone who burns the Constitution and wraps himself in the flag.” --Molly Ivins

Just to be clear, the Molly Ivins quote is not a food porn thing. Her preference was political, not gustatory.

"The biddies in the train car with me did my head in with all their chuntering on about lambs, holidays, solar panels, grass growing, farming, the health service, marinades, Niagara Falls, the Taliban, and -- honestly -- noisy neighbours.” --Louise James (a Brit)

Too lazy to do the research, but “chunter” sounds like a cross between “chatter” and “chunder” (=barf, "talk to Ralph on the big white phone").

And speaking of crosses, what do you get when you cross a dog and a frog? A dog that can lick itself from across the room.

“A writer can read the work of another writer with one of only two emotions: grinding envy or sneering contempt.” --Stephen King

It’s a weird side-effect of egotism, but if writer A sees a statement by writer B, even if it’s something writer A wishes he or she A had written, writer A will look the statement over with an eye like a dentist’s tool, probing for a cavity.

“Repeat after me: Inflation is a tax. A bad, inefficient tax.” --Megan McArdle, on Twitter

"Okay. Inflation is a tax. A bad, inefficient tax." --Jonah Goldberg, known literalist, on Twitter

So is inflation a tax? Depends on definitions, but probably yes. By printing money, the government appropriates purchasing power from everyone holding money or assets denominated in money.

So is inflation an inefficient tax? If “tax efficiency” means ease of collection, inflation may be the most efficient tax ever invented. No IRS, no W-2s, no 1099s, no 1040s, no deductions, no receipts, no audits, no penalties, no liens, no paperwork, no math, no H&R Block, and evasion of this tax requires the difficult trick of staying out of cash and cash-denominated assets.

But "tax efficiency" usually refers to the degree to which the tax affects personal economic choices. If a tax is perfectly efficient, everyone would make the same choices whether the tax existed or not. Such a tax is as impossible as putting a drop of red ink in a shotglass of clear water without affecting the color of the water.

Sometimes taxes are deliberately "inefficient" to achieve a goal, like taxes on cigarettes to discourage smoking or low taxes on interest income to encourage saving.

So understanding inflation to mean quantitative expansion of a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar, inflation is a wildly inefficient tax. The conduct it stimulates is diverse, unknown, and unknowable.

The case that inflation is not literally a tax is that by definition, inflation is not the monetary expansion itself, but rises in the “price level” that may or may not result from monetary expansion. The “price level” is an average of prices paid for certain goods and services in a period. So, in that sense, inflation is not a tax at all, efficient or inefficient.

At a service interring a K-9 police dog who was killed in the line of duty, the Wethersfield police chief said of the K-9s, “They give everything they have and ask for nothing in return.”

If you’ve ever wondered whether earless and eared seals are a single marine group, or represent two separate episodes of carnivorans turning to a marine environment, you're not the first. It’s debated. Lento, G.M.; Hickson, R.E.; Chambers, G.K.; Penny, D. (1 January 1995). "Use of spectral analysis to test hypotheses on the origin of pinnipeds". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 12 (1): 28–52. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a040189. PMID 7877495.

A cousin’s daughter is marrying a man who as a boy wanted to be Superman. His family indulged him and he always wore a red towel as his “cape.” On his first day of Kindergarten, the teacher asked him his name in the presence of the rest of the class. “Superman,” he replied. The teacher patiently explained that she needed his real name for important records. “Superman,” he repeated. She insisted she needed to know his real name, so he reluctantly came forward, gestured for her to lean down, and whispered in her ear, “Clark Kent.”

Pop multiple-choice quiz: which of the the following three images most accurately depicts the mysterious “Colonel”?

P.S.: “Put your rat race on paws/ For now is the time/ To deploy your claws.” --Spliff Splaceward, Cosmic Cadet

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Vintage Players Presents “Love Letters”

Vintage Players presents "Love Letters," the highly acclaimed play by A. R. Gurney, performed by John Basinger and Carolyn Kirsch, at Oddfellows Playhouse on December 11, 2016 at 3 pm. The play traces the lifelong correspondence of two people destined to maintain their contact with one another on a sometimes joyous, sometimes bittersweet journey.

John Basinger and Carolyn Kirsch are both highly experienced professional actors and well-known throughout the Northeast. Miss Kirsch had a long and varied career in New York theatre, performed in 15 Broadway shows over a 21 year period, working primarily for the director/choreographers Bob Fosse and Michael Bennett. She was a member of the original company of A Chorus Line. She has been an active director, performer, arts advocate, and arts educator in Connecticut for the past 30 years.

John Basinger traveled throughout the world in his work for the National Theater of the Deaf, has appeared on Broadway, and was King Lear in ArtFarm’s 2014 Middletown production of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy. Basinger is perhaps best known for memorizing all twelve books of John Milton’s epic 17th-century poem, “Paradise Lost” and performing them at venues regionally and across the country.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown, CT. There will only be one performance of this production. Admission is $25, and all proceeds will benefit the Children's Programs of Oddfellows Playhouse. A reception will be held immediately following the performance.

To obtain tickets, visit the Oddfellows Playhouse website at or call Oddfellows at (860) 347-6143

At Amato's Saturday: Sen.-elect Len Suzio Hosts Toy Drive

From the office of Len Suzio.
Sen.-elect Len Suzio will host a toy drive on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Amato’s Toy Store.  Area residents are invited to stop by Amato’s to donate an unwrapped toy for distribution by the Community Renewal Team to needy children.

The toy drive will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Amato’s Toy Store is located at 395 Main Street.  When sworn into office on Jan. 4, Suzio will represent the 13th Senate District which includes about half of our city, as well as Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, and Rockfall.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

ArtFarm Presents Tribute at The Buttonwood Tree


The Politics of Laughter:
A Tribute to Dario Fo and Franca Rame

Thursday, December 8,  6-7 pm  Donations welcome 
ARTFARM honors the life & legacy of these iconic Italian actor/playwright/activists.
Introduced by Wesleyan/Yale Professor Ron Jenkins & featuring ARTFARM actors Marcella Trowbridge & Dic Wheeler for a brief viewing of Dario on stage at the Joyce Theater in NY, as well as live readings of selections of the works of both Fo and Rame.  Read more here



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Local Turnout Was High In The Election

Middletown is the red circle
Registered voters in our city turned out in very high numbers in last month's election, according to numbers released by the Secretary of the State's office.

21,654 of 25,626 registered voters cast their ballot. This number of 84.5% surpassed the turnout in the 2012 presidential race.

The turnout was similarly high statewide, we had the 40th highest turnout. However, turnout is generally lower in cities with more registered voters, most of the towns with higher turnouts have fewer than 20,000 registered voters. This was also true in the 2015 election and the 2014 election.

First Church in Middletown Christmas Concert Sunday, December 11, 4 pm

Candlelight Christmas Concert

First Church in Middletown
190 Court Street

The Candlelight Christmas Concert at First Church is
a good time to unwind during this busy season—
it's a calm and wondrous, late-afternoon service and we think
you'll enjoy it. 

On SUNDAY, December 11, at 4:00 PM, First Church (UCC) in Middletown hosts its annual Candlelight Christmas Concert.  The concert is free and open to the public (donations appreciated).  The concert features classical, traditional, as well as Gospel and spiritual selections from our choirs, our bell choir, and the Court Street Singers men's choir. As well as Christmas readings and carol singing.  A reception and mini Holly Fair will follow the concert in the Parish Hall.

FIRST CHURCH in Middletown is at 190 Court Street, with plenty of free parking nearby. For additional information about First Church services or programs, please call our office manager at 860-346-6657. 
(On Facebook, First Church Middletown FB)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ SOPHIA!!

Meet Sophia...  
She is the Cat Tales "Cat of the Week"!

Gender: Female
Breed: Domestic Long Hair
Color: Black & White
Age:2 years old

Hello, my name is Sophia. I was left on top of a dumpster in a cat carrier abandoned. Thank goodness the right person found me and I was saved by Animal Control. I am such a sweet girl and all the volunteers keep telling me that I'm so pretty and such a good girl. I really need a quiet home with a patient person who will give me time to adjust. I love to be pet and love attention. I'd love to curl up with you on the couch or in bed. I have so much love to give. I need to be the only pet in the home. Please come to meet me - call or email Cat Tales today!

Watch our TV commercial:

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Holiday Tradition Inspired by a Cannibalistic Witch -- The Colonel Carries On #60

By Ron E. R. Beau & Day Z. Mame

Epigraph: "Will you disturb the world around you or let it go on as if you had never shown up?" --after Ann Patchett, writer b. 2 Dec 1963

Disambiguation: The vampire duck named “Quacula” introduced in "The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle" is not to be confused with Count Duckula from "Danger Mouse" and its spinoff, the animated comedy-drama dark fantasy television series "Count Duckula."

Neither should be confused with "Count Chocula" ("I want to eat your cereal"), who is not a duck at all.

Even farther out of the mix is "Count Choculitis," the eighth cut on "Creatures," the Motionless in White album (Chris Motionless on lead vocals).

What a relief to clear that up. As Albert Einstein may have said, “Keep everything as straight as possible, but not straighter.”

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Free Concert: Gershwin! With Thomas Pandolfi and Emil Altschuler at Russell Library

Violinist Emil Altschuler and Pianist Thomas Pandolfi 

Thursday, December 8 at 7:00pm, the Hubbard Room of the Russell Library will be filled with the music of George Gerschwin.  

In an evening resounding with the timeless classics of American master, George Gershwin, revel in the urbane elegance of 'An American in Paris.” Swoon over the aching simplicity of 'Embraceable You.” Marvel at the fascinating rhythms of 'Rhapsody in Blue.” The haze of Summertime and the unforgettable melodies of 'Porgy and Bess” will melt our wintery hearts. 

Acclaimed violinist Emil Altschuler is a master of his instrument who performs with incredible technique, magnificent expression and a profound artistry across a wide-ranging repertoire. American pianist Thomas Pandolfi is an exciting virtuoso who has been showered with superlatives by critics for his passionate artistry and amazing technique. Altschuler and Pandolfi have performed together at the Russell Library in previous years, to the satisfaction of audiences both young and old. 

This concert is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library, with proceeds from their book sales. Coincidentally, a Friends' Book Sale is scheduled for the weekend after this concert!