Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Life is good, yes?

Last weekend, I had the marvelous opportunity to see Rusalka for the first time.

I have loved this ancient story for many years and fell in love with it all over again when I heard Renee Fleming sing 'O Silver Moon' for the first time not long ago. I was a more than a bit curious to see if the MN Opera could pull off such a complex tale of longing and betrayal, but I was pleasantly surprised with the show.

The set design and costuming were fantastically creative using a gray, modern approach to the human world and explosion of color for the magical rusalki. A terrific way to separate the mysterious allure of the ocean depths with the blase world above. The SPCO played beautifully, although I found myself unable to delineate Dvorak's separation, musically, of the two worlds as I have while listening to the opera at home. Kelly Kaduce sang beautifully. Unfortunately, her emotion and lyrical ability fell far short of Fleming's masterful work. But, to come even close is an amazing talent. Brava to Kaduce for a lovely performance!

For now, I'm still turning over in my head what Jaroslav Kvapil might have been trying to say with the libretto. Was he telling us not to reach beyond our social strata in matters of love for fear of the devastating ripple effect that might tear the involved families apart? There are obvious similarities to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. But, honestly, I don't think this is the place to start getting too philosophical...what the heck do I know anyway? So I'll just shut up and let you listen to what I can easily call my own, personal, heaven on earth.

Renee Fleming, O Silver Moon

Monday, April 7, 2008

Roots as deep as skyscrapers

Just got back from a week long trip to my hometown...Chicago!

Arriving in the windy city makes me feel complete. Whole. Happy. I have so many good memories and so many bloody awful ones. And, somehow, the mix works out and I never want to leave. The hustle invigorates me. The bustle produces a giant shout, "I'm home! Look, everyone! I'm home!" Of course, no one notices, which is ever so comforting. And then, I feel weepy. I'm just a tourist. I'm not really home. Just visiting. Ever feel that way? Like there's a slice of beauty and everafter yumminess that you just can't quite grab hold of?

And yet, as Hemingway, a Chicago native himself, once said, "It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."

And he is right. And I hope, one day, to go home. Really go home. But it won't be today, or tomorrow, or next week. But I'll get there. And my path, however winding, will make it all the more worthwhile.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Goodness, me! It's been a long time! has moved into the insane, 'Oh, my gosh! What have I done!' stage.

I recently signed on as Girl Scout Leader for my daughter and a few of her school friends. It's been a blast, but preparations keep me pretty swamped.

So far, we've visited The Mill City Museum

saw a production of Raven and Zomo at the Guthrie

visited Japan via family day at MIA

Not to mention, violin and gymnastics...Yikes! What happened to my free time?

But, no worries. I don't need sleep, right?

I'm just preparing for this fall, at which time I'll be a part time law student and full time chemist. Good gracious.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Alrighty, then

I've about had it with this middle of the road fluffy stuff. I need to vent. I've been reminded of the radical, quick with the verbiage girl that I once was and it's about time that I payed her a visit.

My perspective is shifting back to thoughts of literature, politics, law, and music...and I'm getting tired of overhearing crap conversation about crap TV, crap music, crap food, and crapcrapcrap. There's a reason why our culture is consistently fed worthless, mind-numbing's because we tune in, people! Don't tell me about the latest sitcom on the CBS reality-tv lineup directly after you've derided your neighbors for not recycling. Please. You are just as guilty. So, until I hear you tell me that you've killed your TV, ended your subscription to USWeekly, and stopped buying 'organic' food packaged in some foreign country...back off.

The Birth of Venus

‘Despite my sins, you should know that I am not a bad man, Alessandra,’ he said after a while.
‘What about in the eyes of God? You don’t fear the burning sands and storms of fire?’
‘As we said, at least in hell there will be a memory of pleasure.’” (155, The Birth of Venus)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Questions of who

Elusive shadow of my substance, stay,
Bewitching image that I want too well.
Illusion fair for whom in joy I die,
Fiction sweet for whom in pain I dwell.

If to the magnet of your gracious charms
My breast obedient as steel is drawn,
Why do you entice my enamored arms
If you would but escape me then in scorn?

Yet you must not think in your tyranny
That you quite succeed in vanquishing me:
For although you mock the tenuous ties
That ever will your phantom form despise,
What matter if my arms and breast you flee
If I keep you prisoner in my fantasy?

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

(c. 1650-1695)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fun in our bodies!

Conversation during nightly story time:

Gillian: Did you know, Daddy, that we have a horn in our butt that makes the toot sound?

Nathan: Whah?

Gillian: Yeah! And, I know that our heart and lungs are really squishy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I miss the old times.

Let me start by informing everyone how much I love movies. A lot. And we never see them in the theater. Ever. Ever. There are so many reasons for this, but the biggest one is: $$$$$

Why spend all that dough when, with patience, you can see it in the comfort of your own home? Exactly. So, we nearly never go.

BUT! The other day I thought I'd treat Gilly to a movie. We were excited to get out of house and see something in a 'moodie-teater', as Gilly used to call it.

We arrived ten minutes early. [Isn't that how you do it? Huh? It used to be! The only way to get good seats was to arrive early and sit quietly in the semi-darkness until the previews started all the while whispering in hushed voices about what was about to unfold before you. Someone would inevitably 'shush' you and you'd roll your eyes and giggle. Right?]

No. Gilly and I did not walk into a quiet theater room. We did not get shushed after whispering. We had no opportunity to roll our eyes at our fellow neighbors. We did, however, walk into a barrage of loud commercials advertising inappropriate television shows and various soft drinks. How utterly annoying! I mean, come on! Don't we get enough of this crap already? Now, we're paying them to chuck this junk at us? Seriously! This is one of the main reasons we got rid of our TV shows in the first place! Cripes!

In about six months, when we go see another movie, I'll be sure we come in late. Grrr.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Don't step in it!

Ummmm. I've blown a gasket. For real this time. See that disgusting ooze on the floor? That's my lifeblood. I'm leaking cheap chocolate products, butter, and eggnog. HELP! Grab the Christmas stockings and make a tourniquet!

Monday, December 31, 2007


We're visiting my brother and his fabulous family.
Need a funny? My sister-in-law Fran has got one:

Fran- Have you heard the joke about the skunk?

Me- No.

Fran- Nevermind. It stinks.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


When I was a little girl, growing up in Chicago, we had a number of Christmas traditions. We would visit The Museum of Science and Industry to see Christmas Around the World and pick out a new holiday ornament, view the holiday window display at Marshall Field's on State Street, and watch the lighting of the great Christmas tree in Daley Plaza.

But, honestly, the tradition that holds a special place in my heart was going to see a production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. I remember sitting in the balcony, peering down at the orchestra pit, feeling the magic of the season and watching the story unfold. I was mesmerized.

So, this year, I realized that Gillian, my little baby, is growing up. She's old enough now to sit quietly in the theatre, use her manners when needed, and understand a story told entirely by music, dance, and emotion.

Last night was the night. Her first step into mini-adulthood. We saw The Nutcracker.

Earlier in the week, she considered her clothing options, picked out a 'grown-up' skirt, and, last night, asked for 'fancy' hair. My heart hurt to see this maturity, but I was so proud. We arrived at the theatre, she was on fire with excitement. We found our seats, in the balcony, and she peered down at the orchestra pit. Memories.

Then, she noticed a little boy sitting directly behind us. He, too, was 'fancied' up with a little tie and jacket. Gillian made goo-goo eyes at him until the production began. And at the Intermission. And after every curtain call. And,yes, she was completely captured by the story, held by the fight of the Mouse King with the Nutcracker, in awe of the Waltz of the Flowers and the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy. She swayed to the music, clapped, and shouted 'Bravo!' whenever she could...all the while looking sideways at that adorable little boy.

Now, I am a mess of emotion. My little girl is growing up. She's beginning to have complex feelings about life...and she's asking thoughtful questions about love. I am proud, and scared, and unsure of this new territory. It's a beautiful thing when you see the wheels turning in your child's head. But I am a bit lost.

I haven't asked for anything this year, but I realize now that there is something I need. My Christmas wish is for the strength and wisdom to guide her down a path that will help her become the confident, caring person that I know lives inside her soul.
I hope someone's listening.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seriously, people.

This can't go on.

Nathan just emailed to update me on the morning routine. See copy below:

Violin, yes. Spelling words, yes. Big breakfast with chocolate ice cream for dessert? Check.

Check a load of this: While Gilly ate breakfast, I asked if I could go pick out an outfit for her. She said yes, but specifically pointed out that she had no clothes behind Mama's in the closet, so I don't need to look there. HAHAHA. I am the finder of hidden things! I should be an investigator. That's it. I'm dropping out to pursue a new career.

Nuts about and to you,

P.S. I am going to put the whup on today's exam

Remember where the punching bag was hidden, folks?

Yeah, it's not anymore.


FYI: See previous two posts below for the lead up...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Never tell a secret to a seven year old. Ever.

Scene one-

Nathan and Gilly are crashed out on the couch. I'm taking a nap.

I know what your present is! Want me to tell you?

No! I like surprises!

Come on...I can't hold it in! How 'bout I just tell you what color it is? Huh?

(exasperated sigh)
Okay. Good. Tell me what color it is.

It's black!
I know some other things that are black!

(no response)

A punching bag is black! But you're not getting one. I'm just telling you about other things that are black.

Scene two-