I was at the new house until past 8 p.m. Monday taking down wallpaper and prepping for my week of painting. And I was at the new house until about 1 a.m. last night -- er, this morning -- painting Phoebe's new room.

Phoebe's room, by the way, will be a lime green -- aka western wild asparagus -- with a stripe that's pink -- aka fragrant rose. Initially, Kates and I talked about painting her new room an all-out girl's pink, or staying with the yellow she has in her room at the duplex, or even going nostalgic and painting it with the organge she had in her room in K-Town. ... But whenever we've asked Phoebe what color she wanted her room to be, she's been consistent: Green! And that's how we ended up with a room that is lime green -- aka western wild asparagus --with a stripe that's pink -- aka fragrant rose.

So tonight I took a break from painting at the new house to see, well, a painter.

David Garibaldi was scheduled to perform at the university tonight. After weeks of helping promote his appearance and getting fairly stoked about this 28-year-old guy who painted giant portraits of pop culture figures -- set to rock and hip hop music -- I decided I'd better check it out.

The performance was billed as this "amazing sensory experience" and titled "Rhythm and Hue."

Indeed. With the music pumping through the theater, Garibaldi was bouncing all over the place and flinging his paint brush at a 6-foot tall canvas propped in the center of the stage. At times, he'd forget the brush, drop his hand in a paint bucket and wipe his fingers across the canvas to enhance his painting. When he finished each painting, he stamped it with his hand print in a corner of the canvas.

Between paintings he offered an engaging motivational message, too. What are you doing with your gift? he asked. Go after the things living in your heart, as crazy and different as they may be to others, he said. We're all creating our own self portraits whether you know it or not.

With Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" rocking the theater and lights flashing, he jumped and tumbled around the stage while he recreated one of the iconic Hendrix images. Later, he painted President Obama to a soundtrack of hip hop beats and excerpts of his speeches backed by chants of "Yes, we can."

With all their nuances, it's hard to pick a favorite, but Garibaldi's last painting might have been the one I picked -- had I the chance to select a piece for the new house. This time, painting to a percussive track, Garibaldi began by painting a series of white flecks and strokes. As the image started to take shape -- the buzz that moved across the theater seemed to prove the audience realized it at once -- it became apparent Garibaldi was painting Albert Einstein -- upside down.

The fun didn't last -- for me anyway. Near the end of the performance I got a little restless and reached for my Blackberry to check e-mails. It was then that I saw the slew of breaking news alerts announcing Wisconsin's Republican senators found a way to bypass the missing Democrats and adopted the governor's union-busting budget bill.

My heart sunk and the fury of it all grew inside me again.

Check out this audio slideshow of Garibalid's performance.

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