Monday, February 28, 2011

A night at the opera

 Most of the time, my favorite opera is Die Zauberflote, but often when Rebecca and I go to the opera, my second favorite suddenly is whatever we have just seen.  It’s no different today.  In my pervasive opera ignorance, I didn’t even know that there was an opera of Don Quixote until I bought the tickets.  So, needless to say, that while I was fond of much of Massenet’s music, my expectations were fairly mild to moderate.  But what a stunner this was!  From the very first scene – or before the first scene even – the first note of the overture. The opera itself was filled with lovely music – tender, exciting, sweet, passionate, silken, flamboyant, faux flamenco, and very, very French with lots of cello. But the production!  Wow!  I always enjoy the Seattle Opera productions, but this one was off the charts!  I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who have not gone yet, but the secenery was beautiful, inspired, genius – much of it done with “lights and mirrors”.  The windmills in themselves were worth the price of the ticket.

Rebecca always reads the synopsis while we wait for the start, or between the acts.  I prefer not to read them and to be surprised.  I would rather not know what is going to happen, if I don’t already.   So between acts, she was reading, and said, “Oh dear!  I don’t think this is going to end well.”  “Will I cry?”  I asked her.  “I think so,” she said.  Of course, she was right.  The story of the kindly, mad knight was touching in a  wonderful way.  Great music, great story, great staging and scenery.  What more can one ask?

We were both concerned about two of the actresses – those playing Rocinante and Dapple!  What if one of them had an accident on stage?  I was picturing operatic rodeo clowns stationed nearby with little brooms and dustpans, ready to rush out and sweep up any droppings, but everyone was continent until the curtain call. 

One of our former choir comrades was almost the star of the whole thing, playing one of Dulcinée’s suitors.  That made it all even more exciting!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A reminiscent day

When my brother was visiting several weeks ago, I wanted to show you a picture from the front page of the PI, but I couldn’t find it!  I consulted St. Anthony, and as ever, he came to my rescue, but he took his time about it.  I had searched for the clipping high and low, and in all the reasonable places, but it seemed to be gone!  Then, I opened a drawer, looking for something else (a camera case, I think!) and there it was, staring up at me.  It was published many years ago, as part of a story on tourists in Seattle.  We lived in California then, and were here for a visit to the Grandmothers.   As my father – delighted at having his picture on the front page - happily pointed out later, since that both my parents grew up here, and I was born here, we hardly counted as tourists.  And he had worked for the PI years before.   But he didn’t tell the newspaper man that at the time, lest we be disqualified.  And why wasn’t my mother enjoying the Market with us, you may ask?  Her idea of a good time in the big city was shopping, so I am sure she was up the street at Fredrick’s or I. Magnin’s.   My idea of a good time, was avoiding shopping with my mother, and this day, at least, I succeed.  

PS. Wasn't Frank adorable?  He still is, as you can see.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

A grey day

It was a grey day outside, but a fun day inside.  Ana and I made fried polenta/ricotta sandwiches, topped with a nice tomato sauce and a poached egg.  Dakki joined us for dinner and a movie – a rather silly Fred Astaire flick with Cyd Charisse.  Basically plotless, but fun  nonetheless.  Just watching them trip about, tap about, and glide about is a pleasure!  What is your favorite musical?  I think mine are The Music Man and Meet Me in St. Louis.  Do they have plots?  Well, sort of, if one is very liberal with the definition of “plot.”   On the other hand, we knitted all day and watched Doc Martin DVD’s.  We are totally caught up in the plots, subplots, side plots,  supraplots, etc. in Doc Martin’s complex love life and peculiar medical practice.  We can’t wait to find out what happens next.  
 PS. Favorite musicals?  I forgot about The Sound of Music!  Wonderful songs, beautiful scenery, and a good plot to boot!  What more could one ask?  And it even has Julie Andrews! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

A very wet day

I did a very foolish thing three months ago!  I scheduled my next dental appointment at the very crack of dawn!  Ten in the morning!  That may not sound frightfully early to you, but to us evening work folk, it is way too early to be out and about.  I must have been unwisely assuming that I would not be working the evening before, as in the past I seldom worked on Sunday evening.  Things seem to have changed and now I too frequently do.  So I got home from work, sadly set my alarm, and then this morning, as dawn was breaking, dragged myself out of bed.  Margaret was shocked and wondered what was going on.  “It’s not Sunday,” she said.  “You don’t have to get up for church!.”  Somehow, church and singing seem much more worth getting up for than going to the dentist.  I struggled to a state of semi-wakefulness, and dejectedly observed that rain was coming down in buckets.  To walk or to take the bus, that was the question!  I opted to walk, as I hate waiting at the bus stop.  I arrived, wet and bedraggled.   About half way through my teeth cleaning, I told Joan, my hygienist that I thought I was awake now.  She apologized, I daresay thinking that she had woken me up by a jab with one of her instruments.  “No,” I said, “I am just gradually coming to life.” 

Earlier in the week, I lost my tiny little scissors, which are a sine qua non of my work life.  I use them all the time, and hate it when I don’t have them.  Besides being immanently useful, they are cute and pink, an added asset.  When I discovered that they were no longer in my pocket,  I went around pathetically asking everyone if they had seen them, but no one had.  I finally found them in my tooth brush case (another story altogether,) but I realized that, as this would have been the third pair I had lost, I needed a backup pair of scissors – cute and pink preferred.  So after the dentist, I went to the cute-little-Japanese-things store.  I knew they would have an exactly perfect pair of scissors for my pocket at work.  And they did.  They had lots of other tempting things too.  I got an yellow polka dot umbrella for $1.50, some pencils,  some nice cooking chopsticks, and the cunning little knitting case for a pair of socks in progress.  So, despite being half asleep for much of my outing, I deemed it a success.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A difficult work day

A few weeks ago, I whined to Rebecca that I didn’t have many ideas for quick work lunches.  My in-a-hurry standby is spinach salad, and I enjoy that very much.  It is a very versatile meal, but can become tedious if eaten every day.  Her work lunches, on the other hand, are exotic fare that she throws together in no time at all.  Obligingly, she prepared a blog post with a super little portable meal-in-minutes.  And she added some suggestions from past blog entries.  I made the cauliflower rice, and it was wonderful.  In fact, I had it three work days running.  I made enough for two work days, and then yesterday I made it again.  I had made two days worth of brown rice, but I thought that four days in a row of the same thing would be a bit much -  rivaling spinach salad in repetition.  So this morning, I used the rest of the rice to make a similar but different version.  I fried until soft half an onion which I found lurking in my vegetable bin, half an apple, some celery, and the tofu.  When all this was nicely cooked, I stirred in the rice, and added the orange slices, a teaspoon of capers, and about ¼ cup cilantro.  I planned to add some raisins, but was chatting on the phone as I cooked, and forgot them altogether.  Of course, I added salt, pepper, and the rice vinegar per Rebecca’s instructions. 

Update:  I took my nice little lunch to work, and was too busy to eat it.  By midnight when I finally got to eat a bit of it as I was giving report, I had a headache and was too tired to think.  And too tired to enjoy it.  This morning, I had it for breakfast, and I decided that the orange slices were a bit much.  They were very sweet on their own, but too tart (the peels mainly) for this dish.  Apples, celery, capers, cilantro, and the forgotten raisins would have been perfect. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A fraternal day

My adorable brother Frank has been here for one of his most welcome, but all too infrequent and too short visits.  Every couple of years, he and his wife Angie  basically drive 600 miles to have lunch with us.  Boo Hoo!  I want him to stay longer.  He is a wonderful guy, and every time I see him, I am amazed anew by what a many-faceted fellow he is. He showed us pictures of some of his current projects, and they were very impressive.  And artistic! And, totally unlike me, how kind and also how unflappable he is.  I often fear that I am the wicked, “fly off the handle way too easily” type.   He got all the “nice” genes in our family.  Rebecca has them too, but they seem to have skipped me.  

We had very little time to have any exciting adventures, but when, as they are, you are from a town with a store, a bank, and about 200 people, it doesn’t take much to qualify as exciting.  We had a nice dinner with the Aunties last evening, and today went to the Market as we do for every visit.  The Market is very exciting for the out-of-towner  - and actually, is still very exciting for me, although I go frequently.  I was very sad to see them go, but was happy to have had a little time to catch up on the events in his life.