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Chris Shabsin
Software Engineer at Google, Inc.
Software Engineer at Google, Inc.

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Next weekend and the one after, my family members and I are once again going to sing and perform in a North Cambridge Family Opera theatre production. This year we are performing “Springtime for Haman.”

Q: Oooh, is this the thing with science songs?
A: No, the Science Festival Chorus is different (but is coming soon). I don't dress up or move my feet for that one.

Q: Doesn't "opera" mean "a self-important piece of classical music"?
A: No. Here "opera" just means a fully-sung musical theatre work, and "family opera" means that is written to be interesting to, and performed by, both kids and adults. Just because my 6-year-old will be glued to the mats in front of the auditorium for the duration of the performances doesn't mean that grownups have to be bored.

Q: Isn't children singing a bad idea, and children singing opera doubly so?
A: No. A lot of the kids are actually amazing. Come see for yourself.

Q: Is the title of Springtime for Haman a reference to The Producers?
A: If it was, would that make you more likely to come see it, or less?

Q: Who is Haman?
A: The plot of this year's show follows the story of the Book of Esther. Haman, described as "an arrogant man of infinite conceit" in the show, uses his wealth to get to a position of power in the Persian Empire, and then decides to kill all of the Jews.

Q: Well doesn't that sound cheerful. Why should I come see it?
A: To escape from the dreariness of daily politics? The show is actually more funny than menacing, and in the end, the beautiful and secretly-Jewish Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai carry the day.

Q: Escape? Dude, have you read your own plot synopsis? Or paid any attention to politics recently?
A: Yeah well.

Q: bert, why do you always structure these announcements as a Frequently Asked Questions document, but then devolve into some kind of demented dialogue?
A: The influence of +David Leung and +Richard J. Barbalace back in my formative years. And because if I made it a wall of prose I would not expect you to read it.

Q: You expected me to read this?
A: …No comment.

Q: Who am I supposed to be, anyway?
A: I'll leave that question to whomever you bring as a date to the show.

Q: Shouldn't you be practicing for these performances or doing design reviews or something instead of putting words into my mouth?
A: er...

Q: When is this happening?
A: +Abbe Cohen Dvornik (my wife) and K. (our daughter) and I are performing in the following shows:

Saturday, March 25 at 3:00pm
Sunday, March 26 at 1:00pm
Saturday, April 1 at 7:00pm
Sunday, April 2 at 5:00pm

I'm also performing without my family at:

Saturday, April 1 at 3:00pm

The performances are at the Peabody School, 70 Rindge Avenue, Cambridge MA (North Cambridge, between Porter Square and Arlington).

If you can't make those times, you should go see the other cast (in fact, if you come see both casts, you can lie and tell me that theirs is better):

Saturday, March 25 at 7:00pm
Sunday, March 26 at 5:00pm
Sunday, April 2 at 1:00pm

Some more information is at , or you can ask me questions.

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"Unemployment [in MN] is down to 3.7%, private sector earnings are up 1.5% to $891/week, 47,000 new jobs were added to the economy in the past year, and the state just declared a $1.8B budget surplus, even as Forbes ranked it 9th in its table of best states for business.

But this is all the more remarkable when compared the fate of the Republican-run, austerity-fuelled neighboring states [...] They are running deficits, the people there are earning less than their Minnesotan cousins, they're adding fewer (and worse) jobs, and posting less growth."

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I love that he's been sitting on this for 8 years. Some serious dedication to the art of long-form trolling.

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