Saturday, April 23, 2016

Kansas City Road Trip, Day One

Early Showdown

The three-game weekend series between my beloved Kansas City Royals and the visiting Baltimore Orioles pairs the two teams with the best records in the American League so far. The Royals grabbed the series opener last night at Kauffman Stadium, winning 4-2 in a well-played game by both sides.

"Now THIS is more like it."
Royals starter Chris Young, bouncing back from couple of rocky outings, picked up the win with six strong innings. He gave up just 4 hits and struck out 10 while only walking a single Oriole.

Relievers Luke Hochevar, Kelvin Herrera, and Wade Davis only allowed a single baserunner over
the final three innings.
"Nice day for a jog, ain't it?"

The Royals jumped out in front early, with 3B Mike Moustakas hitting a two-run home run in the first inning. Mike drove in another run in the second inning, putting the Royals ahead 4-0.

Because the Royals won the first game, the worst-case scenario for the game my friend Skip and I will be attending on Sunday is that it will be the rubber game. We might be hoping for a sweep, depending on today's outcome.

"Lucky for Skip that they won and you didn't have to get all grumpy."

Skip actually finds my grumbling when the Royals lose to be quite amusing, so he's good either way...


As I mentioned yesterday, a big part of the fun when Skip and I get to visit is the food. We decided on Chinese last night (easier to find a good Chinese restaurant in Kansas City than when Skip comes to visit me in Council Bluffs).

Skip had Singapore Noodles, one of his favorites which he rarely has back home. Last time we visited in Kansas City, I had the same thing, and while I enjoyed it I wanted to try something else this time, so...

...I had something called Mandarin Pork, which was wonderful!

Wake Up and Smell the Brimstone, Governor

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

The Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev spent his entire life believing that his birthday was April 23, 1891. It wasn't until some time after his death at age 61 on March 5, 1953 (the same day as Joseph Stalin died, and just a couple of weeks after I hit the atmosphere) that records were uncovered showing he was actually born a few days later. I choose to celebrate his birthday on the same date he did...

One of the things I admire about Prokofiev as a composer is his inventiveness. He enjoyed blazing new trails, and produced some of the most unique and stirring compositions in the classical repertoire.

Original 1980 "one sheet" poster
My own interest in piano concertos stems from the 1980 film The Competition, which starred Richard Dreyfuss and Amy Irving. The romantic comedy/drama centered on the relationship between their characters set against the backdrop of a prestigious piano competition in which they were both entered.

Dreyfuss's character chooses to play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in the finals. That piece was already among my favorites when I first saw the film, but the way it was used in the movie cemented my affection for it.

A key moment in the film involved Amy Irving's character having her performance in the finals interrupted by a defective piano. The piano is replaced, but she demands to switch pieces, too. The conductor reluctantly agrees, and she winds up playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3.

Today's send-off is a live performance of the concerto featuring Van Cliburn performing with and conducting the State Academic Symphony Orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. It was filmed in 1962. Enjoy...

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