Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Farewell Clubhouse

Posted by Hippobean at 11:59 PM 0 comments
It's only befitting that the last clubhouse party game was a survey about the Hippo's place. No one guessed correctly which was Hippo's best part of the house. It was the dinning room with mint walls, with Micheangelo's sistine chapel painting, canarfon and comley castles, the california missions and cefalu posters on the wall. Why does the Hippo like the dinning room the best? All her travel souvenirs were displayed in this room. The big window allowed in brilliant sunlight and the room was open and airy. Most correct idea to take down those badly made doors to make this room exactly as the Hippo wanted it. 60% of the respondents thought Hippo likes the living room the best. Yes she can relax and cuddle her stuffies there in comfort, and she does spend a good amount of time there couch potatoing, to watch TV, and snuggle the stuffies. But somehow the dinning room offered a tranquility no other room in the house could match. Guess her fans really didnt know her heart. What picture was mounted above the fireplace? 83% guessed correctly. It was the other poster the Hippo got from the vatican years back. MA's Creation of Man. Her pink bedroom had no curtains. She hated curtains. She put up plantation shutters which she loved and made her bedroom look bigger, cleaner and classier. 33% guessed it right. BigDog, GianLeo, Giant Snowie and Pengui inhabit the living room. Everyone guessed at least 1 correct stuffy. However, Tomaso pointed out that Archie was also a stuffy. And ecoli also. And so was the owl. But the owl is simply a cushion. Ecoli is not officially considered a stuffy. And neither was Archie. But Tomaso did have a point. They are, well, stuffed also. Just to find out if the Hippo fans knew her literary taste, she threw in a question to name one book in her bookcase. Curiously everyone named a book which they knew the Hippo had read. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Rebecca. Wuthering Heights. Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, I've read them all and at one point in time, they _were_ in my bookcase. But no more. Someone named the Holy Bible. Had to give him the point since the Hippo does have the Tanakh in her bookcase, although the Tanakh is only half of the Christian Holy Bible. The highest star rating was given to the living room, and the lowest to the balcony and dinning room, a tie. The average for the overall rating of the Hippo Place was 3.8 out of a 5 point scale. Now the funnest part of the survey - rating the clubhouse parties. 100% to the theater. 80% went for food. And lowest scores went to movies (sigh) and games (double sigh). Yes, the movies were a bit disappointing. And the games ... what can the Hippo say. She tried. She really did try. Clubhouse overall score was 4.6 out of 5. Not entirely bad. Finally please rate the survey. Half thought it was just 'eh OK' eh ok, with 2 saying 'Very fun' very fun. And someone was truthful and brave enough to say 'Hip needs professional help'hip needs help. Bone crushing blow to the Hippo's pride since she codes surveys for a living! Thank you very much but she will survive.

So the farewell clubhouse party went on with the usual over abundance of food and vino, black forest cake and black cherry vanilla ice cream. M made argentinian cookies and M made turkish coffee. We burned the last of the Omani frankincense, and of course the smoke filled the living room and Tomaso had to take the aromatic resin outside. Again he complained the place smelled like a church. To follow the Hippo clubhouse parties tradition of bad movies, we watched the Invisible Woman and she must declare, that was the worse movie ever selected. We fell asleep. Ralphie is a fine fine actor but he just cant direct. A few rounds of billiards later, the sun dipped below the horizon, a few trips up and down to carry the food things back, and so the last clubhouse party was over. she took one last look around the much enjoyed place, now filled with already nostalgic memories, crazy laughter and enormous fun, and she turned off the lights.

See photos of the farewell party

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Fantasia at SF Symphony

Posted by Hippobean at 11:49 PM 0 comments
What I've enjoyed most attending a symphony was to watch the orchestra play their different musical instruments. However, this time the big screen commanded all our attention. The first part of Fantasia was rather dull. Some of us even fell asleep. It wasnt until the Hyacinth hippo appeared that the Hippo became animated. When the sorceror's apprendice came, the Hippo got scared. Somehow the broomsticks carrying buckets of water and blindly filling the reservoir had always filled me with unease. I've always been scared of this scene.

The nearly two-and-one-half hour program, conducted by Sarah Hicks, featured excerpts from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 [2000] and Symphony No. 6, Pastorale (movements 3-5) [1940], Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite [1940], Debussy's Claire de lune [2000] (we snoozed), Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite (1919 Version) [2000], Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours [1940] (the hippos!), Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice [1940] (scary), Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 [2000], and Respighi's Pines of Rome [2000].

Pomp and Circumstance stole the show. This piece is not Hippo's most favored but the sight of Donald and Daisy finally reunited at the end put tears in our eyes. the story was perfect. From the moment when Donald lazying while the sun was still high in the sky, to the first rain drops and Donald counting each pair of animals going in to the ark but did not count Daisy, to the sight of Donald watching the amorous pairs while missing Daisy and each thought the other did not make it to the ark, to Donald separating the birds in order to throw one out to search for dry land, while the other dramatically cried buckets of tears, to the reunion at the end when the rain stopped and the ark landed on dry land, when each finally found the other onboard and safe. Wow, that was good!

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