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Showing posts from December, 2007

Michael Johnson Concert

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I went to see Michael Johnson in concert at the Pioneer Place on Fifth last night -- what a thrill! I remember seeing him for the first time in the Stewart Hall Auditorium back in the mid 80s and sitting a mile away, last night I was in the front row.

He hasn't lost a thing, although his voice was a little weak at times, but that's understandable seeing as he just had quadruple bypass surgery only 4 1/2 months ago. His guitar playing, on the other hand, is still up to snuff, in fact it's beyond snuff, he's one of the best guitarists I've ever seen.

He played an Irving Berlin song that I simply must learn, but I forgot the title (grrr!). Berlin wrote it for the woman he loved, but back in those days it was unthinkable for a Jewish man to marry a Catholic woman. It's something like "That'll Do" or "It'll Have To Do," I just can't remember -- I even asked him after the concert, but it was gone by the time I got home. Sometimes it…

Dakota Xmas Show

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It took us 2-1/2 hours to get to downtown Minneapolis last night for our gig at the Dakota Jazz Club. As usual, Jeff & I meet at the Clearwater Travel Plaza and travel the rest of the way together. When we were about a mile and a half from the Hasty, MN exit traffic slowed down to 5 mph. We crawled along, looking at all the four-wheel drive vehicles in the ditch (those people are idiots, they think because they have four-wheel drive that they can drive normally when there's 2 inches of snow on the ground) with a plan: we'd take the Hasty exit (I know, I know) and take as many back roads as we could. We must have passed 100 cars or more!

We rolled into downtown Minneapolis, late for a meeting we were going to have with a guy who wants to rep my coffee in the twin cities (keep your fingers crossed), but on time for our gig. We played from 7 until 11 pm... and made $100. That fits in perfectly with what we call the "Engholm Corollary" (yes, we know it's not

Cats of My Life

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The new addition of Frank to my life has given me a chance to think back on the cats I've had in my life. I never thought I'd be a cat owner... well, that's not true, I thought I would probably, eventually own a cat, but I didn't know when that might happen.



I wish I could remember the exact year… it had to have been around 1990 that Tristram came into my life. I was musical director for the dreaded boy orphan musical, Oliver, in Elk River, MN, I was living with Kim. One night, I needed a rehearsal pianist to fill in for a night, so I asked my friend Linda to help out (that woman could sight-read a Chinese newspaper), I offered to drive here there and back and stopped by as she was just finishing up doing the dishes. She asked me to make myself at home, I sat down and this little gray streak darted out of the living room onto my lap. There sat a stripey gray kitten, only a few weeks old, he rolled onto his back, looked into my eyes and started purring.

It's an o…

New Kitty!!

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Here's my new baby! I picked him up today at the Tri-County Humane Society. He's 4-1/2 months old and very friendly.

I know I said I wanted an older orange cat, but he kind of picked me. The minute I took him out of the cage for a "test drive" he started purring and butted his head into my beard. That did it. Tristram used to do that.

He's got blue eyes, so he has some Siamese in him, and a pink nose. He's cream colored with orange on his ears, tail and the backside of his rear legs. He'll need to be neutered in February.

I brought him into the house and introduced him to Rusty. There was a little low meowing and a couple of hisses at first, but they were running around the house playing about an hour later.

His name is Frank, but that will probably change. I usually let my cats pick their own names. Frank does seem to fit, though. We'll see.

I'm pretty happy! This is my Xmas present to myself.

Holly Ball 2007

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This was the first year the St. Cloud's Holly Ball was held somewhere other than the Holiday Inn. Aparently it got too big and they we're turning thousands away. I'm not sure what the Holly Ball is all about, a friend of mine called it the Old People Prom. All I know for sure is the St. Cloud's "Movers and Shakers" are there (I remember seeing Stearns County Prosecuting Attorney Janelle Kendal -- she's a babe!). the mayor was probably there, too. Anyway, there's a whole lot of money floating around in that room, tables go for over $2000 and there were a lot of tables!

We were hired to perform in various forms, the end of the evening featured the George Maurer Variety Group trading off sets with Bella Diva. We're a good match, GMG does 50s, 60s & 70s rock and Motown, Bella Diva, a group fronted by three women, features more 70s, 80s & 90s with a strong emphasis on disco and other high-energy dance stuff. The early part of the evening h…