Monday, December 11, 2006

Tuba Christmas and TARCon X

Sunday was a busier-than-usual day for me. I started out with EPL: Arsenal v Chelsea from Stamford Bridge on FOX Soccer Network. Just when I thought Arsenal was going to hang on for a win, Chelsea scored to tie and the game ended 1-1. As soon as the game was over, I went to SoHo for one errand, then walked up to Astor Place for another, then to Rockefeller Center for Tuba Christmas.

This was my third time at New York's Tuba Christmas, so at this point I think I'm a geeky fan. I wasn't the only one: there were a few people next to me who had just come for the music (as opposed to having a family member in the ensemble), and then there was this guy. You might have seen him on Conan O'Brien a few years ago as Blackwolf the Dragonmaster, when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog made fun of the Star Wars fans outside the Ziegfield theater. When I heard his voice yesterday as he loudly extolled the virtues of Tuba Christmas both here and abroad, I remembered that I'd seen him there last year, giving the same speech. His presence reminded me that no matter how geeky I might be on any given subject, there's someone out there geekier than me. The concert was fun as always, and there's nothing quite like hearing 300-plus tubas and euphoniums blasting out Christmas carols. One thing that I have to remember for next year is that Rockefeller Center is deceptively cold. It was about 50 degrees yesterday afternoon, but with the wind blowing across the ice rink, it felt more like 40 degrees and I was freezing without the lining in my jacket. I took some videos of the concert with my digital camera, but they're too big for YouTube so I need to find some software to shrink them before I can post them.

Later that evening, I met my regular Sunday night crew for the finale of The Amazing Race, which we watched at TARCon X at Stitch, a bar near Penn Station. The crowd at the bar cheered on the racers during the show, drowning out most of the dialogue. When the racers got to New York, the bar went crazy. The party calmed down after the show ended, then got out of control as the winners and the 2nd and 3rd place finishers arrived for photos. I'm surprised that I enjoyed the show this season as much as I did and I'm already excited about the next installment in the spring. I'm not ready to start posting on the Amazing Race message boards like some of the fans last night, but I'd agree that I'm hooked.

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