About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Now what was it...was war das doch..

that stirred my brain last night?
Ah,that's it: would anyone want to be invisible? Just think, be the proverbial Fly-on-the-wall, when.....
But fear not, Mother Nature will make you (if female) invisible soon enough!
Visibility wanes with age :-). Wisdom grows, sometimes,saving one from despair.
We are still human beings with feelings, needs and desires, age shall not wither those. May have to hide them some, after all one does not wish to be seen as ridiculous. Causing, you know what I mean, that insidious 'At his/her age....'.

Meine Freunde in Alt-Europa beklagen sich, dass ich NUR auf Englisch blogge. So heute gibt es also eine Kostprobe. Das Thema: wer wuerde nicht gerne einmal unsichtbar, sozusagen, eine "Fliege an der Wand" sein und zuhoeren, wenn.....
Keine Angst, Mutter Natur wird Dich (falls weiblich) ziemlich schnell unsichtbar machen. Sichtbarkeit verschwindet mit zunehmendem Alter. Weisheit soll wachsen, so sagt man, und das ist gut, denn es hilft einem nicht so schnell aufzugeben :-). Man fuehlt, man wuenscht sich, man lechzt doch noch, aber besser versteckt das; denn schliesslich, will man doch weder als komisch angesehen werden oder die typische Reaktion hervorrufen: "In seinem/ihrem Alter sollte er/sie doch...." na, lieber lesender Freund, Du weisst schon, was ich damit meine.

Nun zurueck zu meinen Buechern. Am Fernsehen gibt es ja derzeit nur Wiederholungen. Direkt TV oder Kabel haben wir nicht. Wozu denn auch, man sitzt ja eher selten vor dem Fernseher. Buch und Musik machen mir mehr Freude.
Servas! Auf Wiederschaun! Bis spaeter und a bisserl Blasmusik, wenn nicht gerade aus Oesterreich, aber doch aus dem noerdlichen Nachbarn!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Die Qual der Wahl....

Just back from a visit to T3I and having to vote for one or another of Fred Trask's superb photos.....it is so difficult. I am no photographer, so I probably vote on emotions.
1. the group hug had me vote it in over the 'fight'-and I was in the minority on that!
2. the smaller group hug in front of so many empty seats, just tugged me in THAT direction, although MB's aggressive skate stance is what I remember most about my fave 'boy on ice' ;-)
3. That one : I liked both, Schaefer catch, but the three in a row in front of the Aeros net-defense in force, there! So I did not vote.
4. Dimples eyes fixated on the incoming tiny puck was simply wayy out there, no doubt of that vs another fight.

And T3I keeps us on the edge.. waiting for more of those pix...so many such memories of a strange year. I remember, at times we were in tears about 'lost on ice boyz', then the next huge win. And, unexpectedly, against all odds the semi-finals...
Weathering draining roadtrips and back to back games with little rest, those BOYZ came back, again and again.

Ah! youthful stamina, giving their all, skating with heart and soul, though pains and sprains. So many times they did it DESPITE and BECAUSE they could...what a bunch of guys, what inspired coaching. 2008/09 will stay with me and Better Half forever. And Fred Trask's Pix just brought all those memories back.

So if you read this, go to"http://thethirdintermission.blogspot.com/
and VOTE for the best of two photos. It's hard!

Meanwhile on a lighter note: maybe they could offer this

no doubt pleasing lots of fans ;-)

or maybe this.. pleasing the other fans ;-)

as Aeros intermission features for the new season! LOLs and LOLs....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Am I in danger of repeating myself?

Probably, BUT

Oil by Erwin Rummel.. Icebreaker in harbour..

Seems to me that is an emblem for what bugs me today. We all need an icebreaker to start a meaningful dialogue about ... just everything, eh?
Have we lost the ability to carry on a meaningful conversation without resorting to Twitter, Facebook, My space, whatever?

The best way to interact with PEOPLE not websites (:-( ) is face to face.
We can SEE the laughter in the eyes, the smiling crinkles around the mouth, the pouts, hands gesticulating, ears waggling (tee hee), nostrils flaring in disgust or surprise... all those myriads of little movements and expressions that make it so exciting to actually TALK with someone. Almost forgot to mention.. the inflections when we TALK, how a lilt up or down can change the mood, the hidden meaning, perhaps. Sarcasm and Irony are surely lost on screen.

No man is an island.

And the fun, yes, fun, of a 'courteous' debate on matters which are subjective ... as long as no 'expletive deleted' and too much screaming and shouting takes place. Everyone should have his/her say.
No, I probably will not change my mind on most things, but I also will not proselytise to force MY opinions down anyone's throat. Trying to converse with someone who is constantly on the computer, texting, etc. is sooooo difficult and impersonal. Is that what attracts the gen xer's or yer's or whatever the newest 'idiom' is... not to get too close, not to get involved.


too much whining is NOT good for the soul, laughing at one's foibles is much better.. :-) :-) :-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hockey, Opera and their seasons are off..

to a good start.

Besides Opera in the Heights and Houston Grand Opera performances, plus 'Viaggio a Reims' at University of Houston Oct. 23-26, opera lovers can sate themselves with opera at the movies: The Met's productions at the Edwards Theater on I-10 (closest to me :-) and from around the world via emergingpictures at the RAVES in Yorktown Crossings at Hwy 6, way out west, and in Tomball.

And the Aeros Season gets off to a start by practice at SLICE Monday, September 21, which will be the first chance for fans to scoop out new team players and welcome back the few, the rare, the dear 'old' faces :-0

And just to throw in: something to marvel at, a 'bridge' for ships tp cross over water (canal, river?)! Somewhere in Europe..this is truly an engineering feat!

Later, more photos from New Mexico, where its Governor will not be charged, after all. VIP's usually don't, as one can see from the report on the Kanes.. 'poor' young baby skater has to WRITE an apology letter to the cabbie they assaulted over .20 cents! Yech!

And the question is:
Will Sidney Crosby at 22, be the youngest Canadian Olympic Team captain?
Hear what he says:

Really, I shouldn't..

take time to blog, since the opera season is really heating up and myriad meetings are in front of me.
Finally, decided on the Aeros games we want to attend at the TC. Still eying the possibilities of short trips to Austin and ? for an opera one night and hockey (and not necessarily Aeros hockey) the other..alas, San Antonio has no opera company.
Now, am gearing up to head to the Houston airports to pick up incoming singers for 'Opera in the Heights' and delivering them to their various hosts' homes where they will stay until the run is over.
Anyone out there reading this, want to volunteer for airport pick ups and drop offs? Let me know ASAP. Opera in the Heights will put on 4 operas this season starting this September , then in November, January and March.
Never been to an opera? Well, get brave and come see one at the OH! in the Heights. All information at operaintheheights.org .. including free events at various locations to lead off the season in September!
Chad Carl who sand Macbeth so ably and dramatically last season will return in the double bill of Il Tabbarro and I pagliacci
photo with his Lady Macbeth, German soprano Nicola Becht

And just a small taste of the music of Il Tabarro (Puccini).. not exactly what one would experience at The Oh!.. the stage there is minuscule in comparison, but the immediacy of the singers 'reach out and touch a singer' is so unique!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just a few thoughts on

a trip to New Mexico... Sunday morning 8/24, a drive to Acoma pueblo, the Sky City. Felt like we were the only humans on these plains.. miles and miles of brown..sandy, empty, brown, flat spaces.. eerie and scary, so empty.
Here a cone shaped hill (made as if by a giant antediluvian ant), there a scraggly green (yea, green ) bushy thing...a pinon tree, clinging for dear life to the sandy brown soil up a steep cliff or on the flats. But all around emptiness...
Finally, the greyish smudges on the horizon turn into mountain ranges, but before those, there are the mesas.
Seemingly totally flat on top, unaccessible, the steep sides are littered with huge boulders, ready to cascade down on puny 'ants', us humans in our little car (ecologically minded we rented a car with BIG mileage- 37 miles/gal).
Sky City is stunning...and yes, people still live up there. Annually, men are elected as chiefs and 'priests' and the 'priests' are required to actually live up there. No water, unless collected rainwater in 3 cisterns. No electricity.
But they did build a steep road, no more climbing up the sides on steps with chiseled hand holds as in the past! And so tourists are able to come. And so do the inhabitants... cars parked up there in every narrow lane, too. How incongruous, but that's the times!
Property is passed down through the youngest female descendant.. a maternal society? Not really, all the important posts are occupied by males. However, the original language is still spoken and now taught in Indian school.
Returning from Acoma, we were chased by big black threatening thunder clouds visible for miles and studded with lightening.. the rain did not catch us up until we were back in Albuquerque at which time the temperature dropped 20 degrees .. to lower 70's from 90's.

The days leading up to this stunning spot were not too shaby either.
Santa Fe gave us 3 operas.

First: "La Traviata" by Verdi, with Natalie Dessay in her first appearance as Violetta - I found her fragile, yet clear and eerie sounding, coloratura soprano not really up to the role. Her dying scene arias were better suited to her small, but pretty voice. ALAS! And I have heard her in other roles, which seem to be better for her - Lucia Di Lammermoor, Fille du Regiment, Le Rossignol. The baritone who sang Father Germont truly got more applause, and well deserved, in my opinion. Plus the staging left me cold...mostly black boulders from which she tripped and sashayed and sang lying on her back, etc. Yes, she was cute, yes, she was athletic and moved ballet like, but why the director/designer used boulders? Influenced by the real Mother Nature created landscape of New Mexico's high dessert? Maybe, but it just did not seem to fit this rather musically so beautiful Verdi Opera.

Second: A world premiere: "The Letter", based on a true life event during British colonial times in Malaysia. The female star, Patricia Racette, was quite good and not only vocally. She displayed considerable acting talents. Musically, it was well presented under the baton of HGO's Music Director, Patrick Summers...all 90 minutes of it (no intermission) but those minutes just flew by - the drama was so gripping.

Third: "Alceste" by Gluck, a Baroque opera with stunningly beautiful music, based on Greek mythology of pure love and sacrifice by wife for him and husband for her, which, finally, was rewarded by the gods, letting BOTH live happily ever after. Being a difficult subject for modern mankind and womankind, too, it was truly well staged and sung by, among others, Christine Brewer - a strong soprano with considerable heft but velvety sound, most times. She seemed a bit hesitant at first, but warmed up and presented, what was to me, the best and most beautifully sung opera of the 3. Yes, it was repetitous, and did not provide much tension or drama, but still the music was beautiful. Alas, many left early.. too used to common TV beauty models? And fast paced yet only requiring short attention spans, action films? Brewer cannot be said to be either, she is a soprano of 'hefty' proportions, but her voice was so creamy at times, she truly was an "Ohrenschmaus" whilst not exactly an "Augenweide".

The annual pilgrimage to the Chapel of Chimayo...

reinforces again the feeling of serenity and thankfulness. A green oasis in a desert, along a small gurgling stream. Those padres sure knew how to place churches in ideal spots... maybe not Eden, but thinking of the seemingly empty, dry desert... a garden spot nevertheless.

And last, but not least a trainride at dusk, and a morning spent among Allen Houser and Sons' sculptures near Galisteo. Haozous, is his Indian name, born in Oklahoma, he displayed early brilliance as artist without formal training and continued creating art well into his 70's. His influence can be easily seen in the works of his many students.
Photos of the whole trip will follow as soon as I have uploaded them to the computer from my small camera.
Meanwhile, a sample Houser bronze:
(Wheelwright Museum-Santa Fe Museum Hill location)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is it 3 PM yet? Update 8/14

At 3 PM the Aeros are supposed to publish the season schedule.
While wating with baited breath, I think I'll sound off on some things that bug me:

1. Obama Care - Americans are up in arms and let it all hang out at town hall meetings out shouting the pols present. While Mr. and Mrs. USA fret, our 'noble' reps in Washington have roaring good times traveling on "fact-finding missions" paid for... you guessed it, the USA tax payers. Would they give up their healthcare and pensions plans for Government care? You bet.. NOT!

2. What the h... piracy in the English Channel? Or hungry giant squids from the ocean deep?

3. Cash for clunkers? Really, looks to me suspiciously like those that could afford getting loans for new cars just cashed in while those that truly could not affort payments are still driving gas guzzlers/clunkers anyway! And who pays for all that? Yes... you are right!
He is not exactly Johnny Cash, but seems quite handy on the guitar-enjoy his
"Cash for Clunkers Blues"

4. More unemployment claims- and the government is optimistic?

5. When IS our esteemed PREZ actually in the White House and not traveling all over the globe or sermonizing in the States? Surely he must be good at delegating!

6. Athletes are meant to be kids' shining examples? Why do these guys and gals, after struggling to achieve fame and glory plus Millions, do these inane things? Is it the constant craving for exitement, having to demonstrate daring do, thumbing noses at the law and common deecency, having a 'Jack, The Ripper' mentality (Hey, catch me if you can!) and, most of all, counting on the 'indulgence' of the devoted (and blinkered) FANS and courts? I can't explain it.. it just seems obscene to me.. they have so much and waste it all! And upoate on Vick, he's back in the NFL and drawing millions.

Enough moralizing and complaining.

IS IT 3 PM YET ???

Whoopee, the AHL schedule is out and the comments are positiv. Just a few 3 on 3 games, the 'boyz' be here for Christmas, and off for Thanksgiving, plus starting off the season in Manitoba. Not such a backbreaking schedule as last season's.

And we are off for the next week or so. Blogging will resume after our return.

Le Roi est Morte, Vive Le Roi...

32 years ago, on Sunday August 16, 1977 the King of Rock, Elvis Presley, died.

Still, daily multitudes visit Graceland.
Still, Rock singers and wannabees sing his songs.
Hordes of Elvis imitators populate Las Vegas, jump out of airplanes, can be rented for Parties and annually compete for 'best of show' ;-)

" Tutti Frutti" ( use any name that fits and immortalise YOUR special ONE) as long as the name has 2 syllables ;-)

And "Money Honey": my choice of 'song' for certain hockey players ;-).
Not a fan of hockey players, can be applied to any of YOUR favs in whatever sport you adore!

Feel the vibes, the moves, the urge?
Get out of your chair and shake, rattle and roll!
In Memoriam Elvis Aron Presley, the King!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Follow the team or not ...

Soon they will publish the Aeros 09/10 schedule.
And the pre-season game locations.
Do I really want to go out of town to see THOSE? Maybe at the home venue.. just to find out if the new guys show talent (in all ways ;-)!
And maybe, just maybe, there will be some good scorers among them, not just defense, defense, defense guys.
Will there be ONE who inspires?
Will there be ONE who postures and strips?
Will there be ONE who skates like greased lightening?
Will there be ONE who can really pass the puck?
Ah, the suspense is mounting.
And let us hope there will none of these ;-)but more goals! :-)

So yes, I will go to THE local pre-season game, IF I am in town and/or not committed to - you guessed it - opera, my other passion.
Am so looking forward to Opera in The Height's first performance September/October of 'I Pagliacci' (Leoncavallo) plus 'Il Tabaro' (Puccini), an unusual combo of these two short verismo operas. And, too, so curious about the young singers debuting in them at THE OH! Maybe one of the tenors will sound like Franco Corelli, even if he may not quite make it in looks or vice versa - just listen to this:

For the time Los Toros are not in the cards.
1. Mexico seems a bit too "hot" for gringas right now.. who wants to be caught in crossfires, eh?
2. Spain is just too far away, plus the Corrida season there will be over, come fall.
So here are some magnificent bulls..in various colors, with diverse horn configurations and 'morillos' (the big hump which separates domestic cattle from toros bravos. Later more on the art of Los Toros and ist history.

We are so ready for Opera and more, for instance a visit to view Allen Houser's foundry and sculptures, in Santa Fe, NM.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Twitter Opera... huh, Twitter? huh, Opera???

Well, why am I surprised..
The BBC News presented an excerpt of THE TWITTER OPERA this evening, and no, it did not sound like what I just now (see above) found on YouTube. Those excerpt composers seemed to have 'cribbed' from Bizet, and others.
Could this have been composed post-'humorously' ;-)by Benjamin Britten.. the sounds on the BBC tonight, I mean.
Ah me, we are cursed already with 'Jerry Springer', the Opera, also produced in the UK.... British Humor or just crazy?

And the news earlier mentioned that Twitter went 'atweeter', again .. too many 'twits' trying to 'outtweet' each other mayhap? Or have the "Enemy" found a way to upset the whole of the good old US of A?
Oh. boy these Twitter going AWOL or Roundabout..will, no doubt, cause multiple anxiety attacks and withdrwal symptoms. What would Siegmund Freud say - WWSFS ;-)?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Junior Skaters of Canada

Is the Scandella.. the one who skated for Aeros last Season?

The Bad Ice Boyz ...

Strange, in just a few days, blogs have mentioned a couple Bad Ice Boyz:
an attempted comeback by 'OLD' THEOREN FLEURY (Flames) - seemingly living a successful life after ice hockey, but per blogs 'skating on thin ice perilously close to skid row' ;-)

And most recently 'YOUNG' PATRICK KANE (20yrs) of the Blackhawks, letting alcohol and/or fame and testosterone cloud his judgment (if he ever had any)..

Does getting 'famous' and 'rich' at too young an age, while 'full of beans' translate into irresponsible, wasteful and inane?
On the way loosing all sense of reality.
You say BOYZ will be BOYZ.......bah humbug!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The sounds of rain....

And we had some rain...somewhere in and around the city
Someone did a rain dance that worked ;-) keep listening

Or maybe they 'danced BACH.... LOL

Tamara Wilson, soprano, formerly of Houston Grand Opera Studio sings AIDA in Australia, for more read this:
www.smh.com.au/articles/2009/07/06/1246732281096.html - 67k

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Surveying - to tweet or not

Over the past days I have surveyed a number of people, aged 18 to 25 how they felt when Twitter went AWOL for a few hours.
A whopping 85% (surprised me, really it did) said they have neither desire nor the time to Tweet. Too busy working summer jobs, getting ready for school/college and spending quality time with friends and family!
They did admit to texting...but only (so they claimed) with CLOSE bosom buddies.
Now, that makes me feel, all is not lost with the young generation. Looks to me suspiciously like the older generation is the Tweeter or Twit generation - ;-) ;-). I guess they must feel so important to have to tweet about every single moment of their (judging from most tweets contents) rather banal life events.

And a little hockey to dispel the summer blahs....ONLY 1 1/2 months to HOCKEY?


Aeros hired new office staff: Palmer Prestley, Dan Lummis. Danny Madden... to supplement the Houston office. All three seem to be local (TX) guys.. for more info go to Aeros.com
On a sadder note, MATT MILLER was fired, via a phone call, reminiscent of Jerry Meins.

Meanwhile, people are getting up in arms about Obama Care and are letting their representatives know it at town hall and other meetings...and, rather spontaneous at that. Doesn't look to orchestrated by right wingers (not hockey right wingers ... ;-)..) to me as I am listening/reading news on web, papers, TV and Radio. Although some commentators are spinning it that way! Hey People, we are not all stupid....

Opera festivals are enjoying fewer audience attendance - are the so-called stay-cations to blame? Despite lower airfares to everywhere. Almost everywhere....here is a different take on "Fly me to the Moon" for YOUR enjoyment....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

For now.. the final set of faces...

Some old favorites and some new.. some in a different look :-)
Earl, Irmen, Smith (The Streak ;-),
Pouliot, Lannon, Rogers

Noreau, Stoner

In other news -
"A team of archaeologists have matched etchings made 14,000 years ago on a polished chunk of sandstone in northern Spain to the landscape in which it was found. They claim to have the earliest known map of a region in western Europe - a prehistoric hunting map." New Scientist 08/05/09

Music is in the air-literally. Another sign/sigh of the times :-( :-(
Houston Symphony Resorts To Furloughs To Save Money "The Houston Symphony announced Friday [Juny 31] that it will shutter administrative offices next week, furlough musicians and reduce conductor's salaries next season to save nearly $900,000. The cuts will not change the concert schedule for next year, said Matthew VanBesien, the symphony's executive director and CEO." Houston Chronicle 08/01/09
More sighs.....from the opera world.... I am blue :-(
Under Pressure, Skylight Opera Managing Director Resigns "Embattled Skylight Opera Theatre managing director Eric Dillner has resigned, ending a standoff that pitted company management and its board of directors against the artists who have regularly worked for the troupe. ... William Theisen, whose dismissal on June 16 began the strife at the Skylight, will not return as artistic director, but he will direct four of the five shows he originally planned to stage for the 2009-'10 season - the company's 50th." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 08/05/09
Don't forget, guys .. girls were made to love and kiss - to cheer up.....

More faces....

Which ones will be seen here..........

Gillies, Kalus, Madsen

Smiling Khudobin, Brust, Dubielewicz (in gear-a special for Ms. C

Lorenz, Hickey, Zingoni (married to Bernadette)
wishful thinking ?! :-( :-(

Haula, Medvec, Hamburg,

Ilvonen, Kaufman, Leddy

No Photos found for:
Elo, Sallinen, Scandella, Foucauld (wonder if he is related to Foucauld's Pendulum guy? :-)
Will keep looking and posting as soon as found.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Aeros faces of the future and more.

Which of these NEW handsome devils ;-) will we see in the TC this season

Mill - no doubt
Palmer, Millroy, Di Salvatore,
Testwuide, Cuma, Brodziak
and Goalies...
Dubielewicz, Kuemper (not yet?)

In other NON AEROS news:
Congress ordered 3 luxury planes for their use to ferry themselves about the country - oh yeah!
Remember when...
Congress asked Auto Executives "Couldn't you fly First Class to come to Washington?"
So guess who will pay for those planes? You're right- taxpayers! And here's a song made for this:
Who shall pay for this, who has the wherewithal for it...etc. link arms and schunkel... that is rock from side to side... have at it!
BUT WAIT- this WILL create jobs : -) : -)
Workers in the factory will NOT be laid off... oh, yeah!
Pilots, co-pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, flight engineers, cleaners, airport personnel....will be hired- oh, yeah!
There is more :-) :-)
growers, harvesters, middlemen, suppliers, cooks, kitchen personnel, caterers, deliverers, upholsterers, sewing machine operators will have work - oh, yeah!
Don't forget :-) :-)
miners, plant workers tooling parts, carts, trays, tires, linens, uniforms, and so on - oh, yeah!
You see by ordering these planes, Congress singlehandedly (LOL) will have 'several hands' (LOL) in re-starting the sagging economy in this land - oh, yeah!
Believe THAT, then you probably believe that our elected reps will join General Health Care, forgo future raises, reduce spending, forgo pork barrel inducements, and on and on.
Then you surely also believe in the Tooth fairy!
One simply HAS to laugh hysterically :-O
Or else has to weep no end :-(

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Can't help it- joking is such fun to do...

Photo by Fred Trask
So, we are informed that Ex AERO Goalie Nolan Schaefer (29 yrs) signed to play for one year in KHL...as have other hockey players. Schaefer is Canadian, so my first thought: 'The Americans are coming, the Americans are coming'... as a take off on "The Russians are coming,..." is rather inappropriate. BUT he did play for the Aeros..... so maybe as an honorary American ? LOL

there is even a BLONDE in it....

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Faces we may see on ice or above it...

Le Rose
Did you hear....no Chilly has no puppies.

v. left to right:Sifers, Fraser, McMillan
v. left to right: Hackett, Buck, Hala,
More pix later!

Oops, not an Aeros prospect.
Goalie Jenifer Harss moving from an all male hockey team in BAVARIA to USA on full scholarship to play goalie in all female team while studying international communications.