Category Archives: Events

Two nights at the Denver Pepsi Center

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Feb 25-26, 2009
 

这个礼拜还真够忙的。周二是久违了的 Celine Dion 演唱会(本来是去年11月的,可能因为跟麦当娜的演出太接近了,所以改到今年2月);紧接着周三是篮球比赛。真正忙的是 Pepsi Center 的员工吧。他们居然在一天内把华丽的舞台换了个样儿,变成球队标志性的粉蓝加淡黄球场!

周二下了班,回家随便打扮了一番,我的演唱会准搭档 Mercedes 到了。我们选择在附近的 Perkin’s 吃晚饭,聊天。好久没见到 Mercedes 了,谈到她公司里的事我们还是一样不亦乐乎(她和我曾经是同事)。
 
到现在我还没办法改变她吃素的习惯;每次她点菜的时候都会有点麻烦,服务生一听到客人是吃素的就建议沙拉,可是 Mercedes 坚持吃素的不一定就喜欢吃沙拉。这就难了,怎么办呢?经过了一番商量讨论,她叫了一个蛋包,里面的肉叫厨师去掉,包菠菜;颜色挺好看的,配马铃薯块儿:
 

 
我叫的是芝士蘑菇鸡胸肉,铺在调了味的饭上面,配薯条,玉米粒,还有面包:
 

不习惯有味道的米饭,整盘菜都太咸了。玉米也让我挺失望的,加了太多黑椒,没有了那种清淡的口味。(我是不是太挑了?!)

 

等不及的我们俩在停车场就让人给我们拍了张照留念:

 
因为每次我们都等到进场后才想起拍合照,只能挨着头,伸长一只手拿相机,按快门。我们两都不高,手也不长,每张照片都充满了两个人的脸,看一次就受不了要删除掉,实在太吓人了!呵呵!即使这次离了这么远,我的脸还是圆圆的呵,差点就看到双下巴了!看来是时候减肥了。呜呜…
 
去了这么多次演唱会,也有所觉悟了,不用太早到,大明星嘛,都会耍大牌,也肯定有Opening Act 。这次是一个叫 Gordie Brown 的 comedian, 比什么三流歌手的演出好看多了。这人十分幽默,每隔一分钟就惹得全场哈哈大笑,感觉就好像坐在了 Friends 的拍摄现场,气氛跟 sitcom 像极了!他并不只是说笑话,还有模仿其他艺人。先是一大堆乡村歌手,弹着吉它,把人家有名的歌曲都改了搞笑的词,再用每个歌手不同的歌唱方法演绎似严肃而让人捧腹的热门歌。我对乡村歌手不了解,听不出他的玄机;到后来他扮 Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Prince, Usher 时,我笑到差点从座位上滑下来!实在太像了!
 
最让人喷饭的是学猫王 Elvis Presley,他的道具也特别多,带上一个一套即成的假发,旁边还有连鬓,一看就知道是谁。要命的他还拿出一卷白色卫生纸,拉出长长的一条挂在脖子上,大概是学这个装吧:
 
 
超形像的! 到了学 Michael Jackson 的时候,所有人哄堂大笑。我也认为他模仿得不错,那软绵绵的讲话声音,富有节奏感的唱腔,而且他还舞得挺像!真不敢相信这个相貌平平的中年男子,还略微有个酒皮肚,竟然跳起了霹雳舞!当然,他嘲笑 Michael 的话我不敢恭维。为了鸡蛋里挑骨头,我侧头对 Mercedes 说,Michael 的眼神不会这样;还有他忘了最经典的 hiccup… 笑完了,闹完了,虽然离进场已经一个小时,人们却显得格外亢奋!终于,灯光暗下来了,音乐奏起,主角上场了!
 
 
 
发现了两个特点:这是第一次我坐到这么远,都看得清楚的演唱会 – 喜欢 Celine Dion 的不只是年轻人,他们是真的来享受演唱会的现场气氛的,没有随便站起来扭头扭腰。大家都安静地坐着,“听”歌。第二个特点就是舞台设计是我见过最美的。而且是360度环绕,整个会场没有浪费掉一个座位。相比之下,Madonna 的舞台就没有那么大气派了,而是现场效果一流。毕竟 Celine Dion 是一个较 classy 的人,看这颜色,多么华丽!
 
 

很可惜的,我觉得她今晚的服装比起鲜艳的舞台设计不够突出。不过,her personality made up for it. 她人真的非常down to earth,甚至做很多鬼脸,又说笑话。她会一直滔滔不绝,然后跟我们解释她这么爱说是因为她是家里最小的孩子;她妈妈生了十几个,现在已经是80多岁高寿的老人家了。又说十年没来Denver有点想念;当初这个 Pepsi Center 还是她有份参与开幕的。
 
说着说着,有歌迷靠近舞台献花了。认真一看,不得了,那支鲜艳欲滴的玫瑰竟有 Celine 大半个人这么大。看起来就像假的,连她本人也吓了一跳,还问,“Do you grow this in Denver? Does it need to be put in water?”听起来又不像是假花。But I swear,光那朵花就有我的头这么大。Celine 还把它横放在腰间,做了个弹吉它的动作,念念有词说“dancing roses”!可惜没拍到相…
 
说起话来很斯文的 Celine,音乐一奏响,就又变回了超级歌星。虽然她不善舞蹈,却很有energy,唱起快歌来一点不输动感歌星。不过还是她的慢歌比较有情调。这首唱的是什么歌我忘了,一定很罗曼蒂克,看观众席上的一个个光圈就知道了。
 

 
这里是 Celine 跟 Andrea Bocelli 以视频效果完成的一首virtual duet "The Prayer":
 
 
相当不错的合成。可是那男的也太木了,几分种的歌就一直这么闭着眼来唱,没什么看头。 临了,Celine 让观众安可了两首歌。那些以为演唱会已经结束的人一定是白痴。她的名曲 My Heart Will Go On 还没唱,怎么可能完嘛!压轴的铁达尼号笛声一响起,可谓全场轰动啊!就为了这一首歌,她换了一席黑色长裙; 这时的舞台呈现也比较特别:
 
 
当 Celine 的站台和其他四个布满蜡烛光环的站台缓缓升起的时候,我的感觉就是一个 surreal。简直不敢相信,中学时的我们穿着内裤在女生宿舍里拿着扫把当麦克风来唱这首歌的时候,我完全没想像过有一天可以看到 Celine Dion 现场演绎…. 太激动了!
 
 
 
穿了一晚的高跟鞋真累!没想到第二晚我又回来这个 Pepsi Center 了,而且同样是穿了高跟鞋。What was I thinking? 看篮球比赛而已!我,大头,小弟和 Vivian 是冲着票价来的。才$20一张票,可以现场看到跟亚特兰大老鹰队的比赛,还有晚饭 (一个小批萨和一杯百事可乐)! 之前我就在这里看过好几场篮球赛,这是第一次感受到会场设计人员的神速。昨晚万紫千红的演唱会舞台摇身一变,成了专业篮球场:
 

 

咱们的啦啦队,状士气的:

 

 

咱们的吉祥物 Rocky,一天到晚搞怪!

 

 

球赛的进度如何我倒没怎么在意,我专注着坐在我们附近的观众都在做什么。我右边的是一球迷,动不动就“Oh, come on, Denver!”进球时鼓掌很大声。我们前面的就显然不是球迷。两男两女,是年轻的墨西哥人。男的被女的差遣去拿免费的批萨和饮料,去了好久。两个女的其中一个飞快地在电话键盘上打短讯;另一个使劲地往脸上涂胭脂,画眼线。假眼睫毛拆了又重新安上,然后瞧瞧,不满意,再度拆了安上。等她自以为脸蛋像花一样让她满意时,男的捧着吃的喝的回来了。他们匆忙把晚饭下肚,一直在发短信的女的接了通电话,大概是要去什么 party 吧,他们全部起来,说着 excuse me 地离开了。这时球赛还没到半场呢!

前面的位子空了,我就注意到了他们前排的一对夫妇。女的是典型的中年妇女,衣服干净,头发整齐,坐姿也很端正。男的看起来跟他一点都不配,一付痞子嘴脸的色老头样。斑白的头发没剩几根,却留的有点长,还用了超多的发蜡把那些个毛发往后贴着梳,硬是弄出了个不像样的西装头。满头油光闪闪的让我发毛!最让人受不了的就是他时不时骚扰坐在旁边正全神贯注看球赛的老婆,整天双手环抱着她,示意她转过脸来让他亲。

观察了没多久我就看不下去了,把目光转移到他们右边的一家五口,这才是像样的family night 嘛!妈妈边看球赛边左一个右一个的照顾小孩;还有一个较大的女孩喜欢挨着爸爸,把手里的玩具毛毛狗从爸爸的肩上放到头上,我抓紧机会,按下了快门:

这时全场的吆喝把我从思想开小差中拉了回来,一看球场中央,Rocky 正摆好阵势要为我们球队加油呢!他的拿手好戏就是站在整个篮球场的中线位置,往后抛球,看能否一球进网!这比任何的三分球都要难几倍啊!别忘了他穿着吉祥物的套装,看得不很清楚,只靠感觉的吧!总共投了三个球,前两个都没进,等我们想他今晚大概没指望了,谁知… 还是看video吧,我刚好录了下来!( 进球后相机晃得很厉害是因为我在猛拍手吧!):

瞧他进球后的得意样子!这招果然有用,我们最后以一分领先,获得球赛的胜利。虽然只赢一分没什么了不起的,但球赛就是要这样不分上下,你追我赶的才刺激啊!

Zoolights (Dec 11, 2008)

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今年有幸比所有人早一天看到丹佛市动物园的 Zoolights;这个特别的动物灯会从12月12日一直到1月4日开放给大众。大头的公司GHX租了动物园里的一个地方搞年度冬季派对,作为他的客人,我才能进入的。虽然还没开放给所有人,几个租了场地的公司的职员和本身动物园的会员就占了一大片停车的地方。今晚又异常地冷,让人不情愿走那段路。在门口随便照了几张相,我们就匆匆赶往会场。
 
因为几间公司一同搞派对,害我们走错了地方,后来大头才想起要在手上扣上绿色的环才能进去吃喝玩乐。一打开会场的门,一阵暖风飘进来,随后就是炸鸡块的香味。我赶忙排起队来,怎么跟我挤的都是一些小孩?才发现大堂摆的是儿童餐,大人餐是要入内的。幸好没被人发现。唉,分什么大人儿童餐呢?我就是很想吃鸡块嘛!

里面更加闹哄哄。许多人已经就位了。外国人没有什么谁等谁的,拿到东西你吃就对了。我也变得不拘谨,放下大衣就拉大头从甜品那边排起队来(自助餐式)。我当然是有目的的啰,队伍那么长,排的时候不妨拿块甜品先享受。晚餐没有甜品的款式多,味道也极其普通: 冷拌沙拉,没有肉汁的土豆泥,墨西哥味的春卷,干硬的餐包;比较好的是烤牛肉和一些从没吃过的烤得很香的大饼干,是用来送芝士吃的,很香脆。我们坐下和大头的同事边吃边聊,大家都挺快乐的。后来来了一对年纪较大的中国夫妇;女的是大头的同事,编程的,男的就像我一样搭顺道车跟来的。能够用家乡话聊天让我格外起劲。

不能不提一下甜品。排队的时候我先尝了Milk Cream Pie。吃完晚餐后拿了一块Key Lime Pie,应该是我吃过最好吃的Lime Pie,不会很酸,口感像Cheesecake一样,滑滑的,满满的!后来一桌人聊天的时候,有人喊了一句“他们拿新的巧克力蛋糕出来了!”所有人一窝蜂似的飞了过去。之前的那个太好吃了,所以才会这么快一抢而空。这个蛋糕非常多巧克力,又厚又高,但却不是很甜。吃多了会腻的原因是中间那一层稠稠的巧克力布丁!但我义无反顾,管它会不会胖,最多待会儿在动物园里兜多两圈把热量消耗掉!

临行前注意到每张桌上摆着几个赠品,是一个个挂在圣诞树上的彩灯!虽然每一只都是白色的,但有拳头这么大,一边印着一只狮子,另一边是动物园的logo. 很可爱,就拿了两个。

Zoolights真的很美, 除了各式各样五彩缤纷的动物之外,还有花草树木啦,烟火啦,等等,而且大部分都是动态的 。最记得一处有三只大象灯,这会儿才见一只举起鼻子向着另一只,下一秒钟就有水喷出来,原来是表达大象在水坑里戏耍!

 
走在诺大的动物园里,虽然我们的手脚都冰冷了,心里却十分愉快。在人群里大家都看不见彼此的脸,但可以听到欢快的笑声,特别是孩子们的。另外就是Zoolights的工作人员们专门为游客选录的各种动物的叫声,还配合节拍,变成了好听的音乐。
 
今晚我很开心,结论就是,Zoolights够特别,值得一看!

Colorado Ballet – The Repertory Series

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Mercedes is a such true friend who always thinks of me. Today, she invited me to see the Colorado Ballet performance as she has an extra ticket. So she, I, and her step daughter Skii, drove to the Denver Performance Arts center in downtown, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Because Mercedes couldn’t find her keys, we were running late. By the time we got there, the show had already started, so we had to sit at the very back till the first intermission, to get to our real seats, which were quite good – they were on the second row.

The Repertory Series is consisted of three performances. The first one is called “Leaves are Fading.” It premiered July 17, 1975 in New York:

Since we were sitting too far back, I couldn’t enjoy it as much. At times I even got so sleepy.


What a relief it’s intermission time! (This is how far back we were sitting):

So we got up and walked around the theater. It is truly artistic, from the doors:


… to the arts:

… to the stairs/building structure:

Here’s Mercedes and Skii, in front of the oh-so-real wax statues.

Break time is up and we found our excellent seats on the second row. The second performance is called “… smile with my heart” and was premiered October 23, 2002 in New York:

It is my favorite performance out of the three. Because it was very fresh, modern, and I felt I could understand the message they were trying to convey better. And I liked the fact that the band was on stage, playing live, as well:

The third performance was visually the most stunning one. It’s called “Straight Line to Never” and it’s a new performance just premierd March 15, 2008 in Denver!!! The costume, make-up, and dance routines are all very oriental. But I just couldn’t make out what message they were trying to deliver. Maybe because the music wasn’t soft enough. It sounded like music from the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack. But isn’t the stage setting gorgeous?!

The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impress by Debra Fine

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It’s Valentine’s Day today! I wish all the happy couples will stay happy!

Since it started snowing in the morning, it did not feel romantic at all. I was not in the mood for taking pictures so I left my camera at home, without realizing I could be using it for really good reasons.

I got a ticket from work to attend this annual Department of Interior book forum today. It’s given by Debra Fine, and the theme was “The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impress”. She’s the author of the following book which I got for free by attending the forum!

… and later had it signed:

Her forum was so educational that I actually wanted to start reading the book soon! Four tips she gave I thought were very useful in starting a conversation.

  1. You gotta know people’s name, if you forget, ask again until you get it right – it’s silly to avoid a conversation just because you can’t rememer a name.
  2. Always assume the burden of other people’s comfort. (I need to read up on that because I didn’t quite get what she meant)
  3. If the other person wants to talk to you, no matter how lame the ice-breaker line is, he/she’s going to talk to you; similarly, if they are not in talking mode, they could ignore you just because of the color of your shirt. So don’t be afraid to be the first one to speak, it’s not riskier than driving on the highway!
  4. Nowadays, “How’s your day?” and “Did you have a good weekend?” equal to “Hi”! If you really want to have a conversation with someone, show that you’re really interested, by asking more, such as “so, what did you do over the weekend?” or “tell me a little about your family…”

After about an hour of talking, Debra had us do a little activity. She divided all the attendees into three large groups, and each two people were to form a pair and talk to each other for five minutes, the goal was to find at least three things the two people have in common. I never thought my partner and I would have anything in common, because we are in two different generations (he could be my dad!), gender is different, and we grew up in different cultures. Still, we tried very hard to come up with something and at the end, we listed that we both liked drinking tea, using chopsticks, we both live on Yale Avenue, and went to college at CU Denver! When I spoke, I kept mentioning that I’m from a different country so to be able to find something in common was a triumph! And it worked! We were one of the three pairs to win a prize! I picked the Starbucks gift card, and sure enough, that got turned into two delicious frappuccinos later when I shopped with my mom!:

Denver International Sportsmen’s Exposition

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Today is Saturday, but I had to work in the afternoon! Although it was a different kind of work. The Denver International Sportsmen’s Exposition is held at the Colorado Convention Center at Downtown from Jan. 24-27. My employer, the USGS, has a booth at the event selling some maps, toys, books, etc. and they needed people to man it. So I volunteered a couple hours of my Saturday to come and help, thinking it was all worth it because I got to come in for free while everyone else had to pay a $12 admission.

Wow! I’ve never seen so many people at a single place in Denver!


People in here must be very outdoorsy. Such fishing/hiking/hunting gears are not cheap at all! Too bad I didn’t have a whole lot of time taking pictures but here’s our booth:

That’s Colleen and Rob. Rob is such a funny guy!

And here’s Colleen, Rob, and Ken by the register:


I spent most of the time helping out with the cash register, but I gotta admit, I’m so much older now! 5555555~ I used to be so good with the cash register when I worked for a McDonald’s a few years back, now I kept on making mistakes… Sorry, Rob!