Tuesday, July 10, 2018

An American Soldier

K joined me for my final show of the year, which was the world premiere of the two-act version of An American Soldier.

The story was compelling and easy to follow, despite my initial concerns that it would be difficult to follow, in light of the multitude of time leaps.  It was also sad; a young soldier from New York joins the Army, and ends up committing suicide in Afghanistan after being hazed.

The music discordant, and I didn't care for it.  There were a few pieces that were okay, such as the Moon song.  I also enjoyed the addition of the Eastern "flutter" in a few spots.  On the whole, it was not my style, but it was ably performed.

For dinner before the show, K and I had spring rolls (rolled by K!; the Chinese component); borani kachalu (the Afghan component); and some local beer (the American component).  One of my more inspired menus, I thought, and all quite tasty.

Sunday, July 8, 2018


The third opera of the season was Regina, one I knew very little about prior to the start of the show.  When there is a story I am unfamiliar with, I often deliberately avoid reading the synopsis in advance of the show.  I find that I am more engaged during the performance.

What a delight Regina was -- although in a depressing way.  It is based on the play Little Foxes, which I had never read, so I was able to maintain the surprise.  It's the story of three Southern siblings, each more greedy than the last.  In order to maintain the surprise for you, if you're not familiar with the play, I won't spoil the ending.

I will say, though, that there were some seriously powerful voices in the show, especially the women.  There were a few (I think intentionally) sharp notes which were a bit surprising, but not out of place.  All in all, it was a great show.

For our meal, which E and I had to eat at home because we were running a bit behind schedule, we had a mix of the plan (which included dill-pickled green beans and deviled eggs) and some regular breakfast foods.  We took our blueberry hand pies with us to eat during one of the intermissions.  (By the way, another thing I love are three-act operas!)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Goals 2018 -- July Edition

We've made it through the first half of the year.  And guess what happens in three months?  I'm getting married!  So my goal for July is to nail down some of the remaining details and get some invitations out the door -- or at least ready to go.  Look for yours in the mail!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Goals 2018 -- June Recap

My goal, as you may recall, was to find an alternative to iTunes, since my old computer (which is only still around for the purpose of preventing me from putting iTunes on my new computer) is kicking the bucket.

My first attempt at an iTunes alternative was Floola.  I had read some pretty positive reviews, and I especially liked that it is a portable program -- meaning that it lives on the iPod, rather than on the hard drive of the computer.

However, after messing with it a bit, I got frustrated by the seeming inability to identify the podcasts that were already on my iPod and to download the new episodes. So I ditched Floola.

I looked at several other options, including MusicBee, Sharepod, and Songbird.

Eventually I settled on to MediaMonkey.  It appears to be a bit more user-friendly, but it is a desktop application.  (There is a portable version available, but that's more for moving your music between various computers than it is for running on an iPod.)  So now I have software on my computer which I'm not thrilled about.  It seems to be a little bit easier to use, though I'm still struggling to update my podcasts.

I'll keep working on it, but MediaMonkey is the winner so far.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Quote of the Day

"Always do right!  This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."
 -- Mark Twain

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Orfeo and Euridice

K and I went to see Orfeo and Euridice as my second show of the season, and it was another winner.  It is another classic story.  It's the tale of Orfeo, who must rescue his recently-deceased love Euridice from Hades.  There is one major caveat to his rescue mission: if he looks at her, she will die.  Again.  So that's not great -- and it gets worse when he breaks the rule and looks at her.  As predicted, she dies again.  Orfeo is so distraught that he is determined to kill himself rather than live without her.  It's a very Romeo and Juliet story -- until the god Amore resurrects them both, in an homage to the power of true love.  A twist happy ending!

The whole performance was well done, but the two things I liked best of all were the joyous ending and the dancing. Big Muddy Dance Company collaborated in the production of the show, rendering it a hybrid ballet-opera -- an unexpected combination which I quite enjoyed.

Oh, add a third thing that pleased me - all the leads were sung by women (including Orfeo). They killed it.

Before the show, we dined on a Greek-themes menu to accompany the show, including bleu-cheese-stuffed olives; watermelon, feta, and mint salad; pork kebabs (which had been de-kabob'd for packing purposes) with cucumber mint sauce; baklava; and Santorini Sunrise cocktails.  It was a lovely dinner in the much-needed air conditioning!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happy Summer Solstice!

Today is the summer solstice (at least in the northern hemisphere). What a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy a bit of sunshine!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Old TV is New Again

S has discovered a couple of old TV shows on Netflix that have been the source of much entertainment lately.  Most notably, we have been watching Cheers and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I have been delighted by the humor and good clean fun provided by these classics.

Monday, June 11, 2018