January 9th, 2005

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Box o' gifties!

penelopecat and I got a package of gifts from Federica!

Among them is a Cartoon Network comic book from Italy. It features a story of I Superchicche (a.k.a. The Powerpuff Girls -- lit. "The Supersweets"). Their names are Lolly (Blossom), Dolly (Bubbles) and Polly (Buttercup). The back portion has the TV schedules of Cartoon Network and Boomerang in Italy. Some shows have Italian names while others maintain their English ones. There is a little miniposter cutout of Leone il Cane Fifone (a.k.a. Courage the Cowardly Dog -- lit. "Lion the Scaredy-Dog").

Also there's another issue of the comic Monster Allergy (issue 7) with two figurines: One of Elena; one of Bombo. Going through the issue, it seems that Zick not only can see monsters and ghosts, but imaginary friends as well. Elena's imaginary friend, a boy named Charlie Schuster, can thus be seen and interacted with by both her and Zick.

She sent issue 1 of a new Italian comic also published by Disney, called Kylion. Perhaps it should be called "Teenagers in Spandex, in Space!" Well, only up to a point. Then they get their own individual outfits. The basic premise has to do with colony ships from Earth that contain six engineered embryos in slow growth being fed memories by this master brain thing so that by the time they reach a potentially inhabitable planet they'd be fully grown adults. The ship in this story has to activate the crew early in an emergency, so they're only teenagers. And thus they have to carry on with finding an inhabitable planet (which they do by the end of this first issue).

Oh yeah, and she sent us each an Angelina shirt! And a copy of the animated film Allegro ma non Troppo, some music she likes, and a keychain from a big, popular amusement park in Italy called Gardaland, featuring the mascot, a cartoony dragon character called Prezzemolo (the name means "Parsley", believe it or not). Here's a picture of Prezzemolo -- a render from a PC game featuring him. Apparently, though, he was not originally designed cartoony, but was redesigned in the '80s to make him more kid-friendly.

Oh yes, and a little over a month ago, she posted a huge update of her Spiriti trailer, with some fully animated and colored scenes, and voiceovers with English subtitles. In the subtitles of the words that flash on screen at the end, of course "reborn" should be the noun "rebirth". And probably "randomness" should be "chance" for the word "casualità". Same concept. (I had been misreading it as "causalità" until now!) Otherwise the translation is OK; I helped her with the dialog. So check it out if you haven't already seen this updated version!
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One Skunk, Two Skunk

No, not a red skunk or a blue skunk, though I suppose youngvanwinkle might argue about that...

I've made MP3s of the time when my latest composition, Skunk in the Parlor, was played for the first time.

This first recording is the extraordinary Tom Brier sight-reading the music, having never seen nor heard the tune before. Although he does stop a few times to make sure he's got it right, it's amazing how well he plays it from first sight. http://www.california.com/~keeper/skunk1.mp3

A few minutes later, Patrick Aranda, another fabulous pianist, came by and saw the sheet music in my open folder. He asked if he could play it. Brier suggested they do it together, since he had the only other copy of the sheet music in existence at the time. While Brier got the music, Aranda tried out the first strain. That's where this recording starts. Then they "give it a try" and play the whole tune (on two pianos). They get a little carried away with tempo at the end, and of course there are plenty of wrong notes, but again, it's amazing how well they do -- adding fill-ins and octave shifts and everything. http://www.california.com/~keeper/skunk2.mp3

I can only imagine what it might sound like once these two, or some other pair, play this as a duet after getting the tune down pat!