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!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can't see this anymore...

Tired, just so tired watching the furious but futile efforts this evening.
I counted at least 15 missed opportunities, besides the 32 shots on goal that were thwarted by Wolves' Goalie Peter, "the Man"nino.
Who gave Wolves a shut out win with 4 goals vs.Aeros 0.
Darcy Kuemper, the young (20yrs), lanky (6'4") goalie from the WHL Red Deer Rebels probably felt right at home :-) with this Aeros team..
He acquitted himself rather well against the ravenous Wolves when he was sent in to start the 3. period as replacement to "Dubie".
As I expected Marco Scandella brawled lustily, dominating his opponent and grappling him to the ice.
Scandella skated as Nr. 21 and Kuemper as Nr. 35.
It started with the Wolves goal just a few seconds into the First by Greg Stewart. with Anthony Stewart and Doell. And ended with goal # 4 by Kulda, Anderson and Machacek late in the 2nd.
5 PP on either sides yielded no goals.
Daoust, Rau, Kalus, Noreau, DiSalvatore, Milroy, Fraser, Hrkac, et al. slapped hard shots at Mannino. Only they went high, to the sides, or "The Man"-nino caught them in his glove, stopped them with pads, stick ....it was wonderful to see that IF you were a Wolves fan ;-)!

Not so, of course for AEROS fans...:-( :-(!
And now I shall turn in-am completely drained watching the guyz skate so furiously, shoot so hard... only to be downed by the hungry Wolves....and more of such slaughter, perhaps, on Friday! Photos manana! IF I find a couple cute ones - LOL.
Good News on the Irmen Front: Baby Boy Irmen bowed in this afternoon, Mother, Father (a healthy scratch-natch) and Baby doing well.
And Mr. Hockey, Gordy Howe, celebrated today his 82nd Birthday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flying North...

All photos Chris Jerina
Almond (Joy) is joining Falk (The Falker) and
Khudobin (Dimples) Minnesota now, due to several injured, getting surgeries, sidelined players. Here's to the guys, may they have success.
I wonder who will be called to fill in, for Almond, Falk, and Khudobin during tomorrow's game against the powerhouse Chicago Wolves?

Monday, March 29, 2010

New faces again at Aeros ?

with "Dimples" recalled to Minnesota Wild, we may see here on an ATO:
Goalie Darcy Kuemper
and Marco Scandella
this suspension must have been taken off,
if the kid (20 yrs) will be on an ATO here in Houston, per Russo.
He did skate a bit here last season.
But could another young "roughie"on defense perk up Aeros?

A Santa Fe Summer Morning feeling...

waking up to low 50's and bright sunshine...
feels like an August morning in Santa Fe NM...crisp, brisk, cool, immaculate blue sky!
NM High Dessert vista.
Pueblo ruins N of Albuquerque, NM
There the air shimmers. The day beckons to take a hike in the mountains nearby, before the heat arrives by 2 PM, although that is a very dry heat, as enjoyable as any heat can be.
Such low humidity, that one's sweat evaporates almost BEFORE it breaks out, LOL.

And "Dimples" Anton Khudobin goes back up to the NHL to sub for Harding (injured). Probably 'good bye, dosvidanya' Anton, for the rest of the Aeros seaon.
Hockey is winding down for the summer.Players are gearing up to head for the tropics to loll in sun and sea and frolic unabashedly.
Or make for the 'links' instead of the 'rinks'.
Opera in staid houses, too, is winding down, only to spring up renewed at various summer festivals around the world.'Mother Nature' as set designer-
thunderclouds over an opera house for, perhaps:
A gale at sea -"Peter Grimes" Britten;
the end as "Don Giovanni" Mozart, descends into hell;
On a Scottish brae: "Macbeth" Verdi/Shakespeare - witches predict 'Rise and Death' of Macbeth,
"Otello" Verdi - survival of the Moor's ships in storm at sea).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent...UPDATE

Let's get The Bad out of the way;-).Another game gone!
Aeros lost to Peoria 2-4. The only lonely goal in the 3. period by "Speedy" DiSalvatore with Hrkac and Earl. Anything more...not important.
The guyz better now just play for the h... of it to keep their skates sharpened and bodies toughened?
Aeros achieved, for better or worse, sole possession of the cellar in the West. A season best forgotten, eh?
Just in: Another loss to Peoria 4-5, in a shoot out. Dubie in goal, huge efforts by Milroy, Rau-WOW (2 goals) and Noreau. Daoust 2 assists. Others Zingoni 2 x, Kalus 2x and Hilbert 2x

Now The Good:
Orchestra under the baton of Maestro William Weibel
The friends(Emerald Cast) in their garret,
with the landlord=local tenor George Williams.

Cafe Momus with Musetta, left; Mimi and Rodolfo, Center; Marcello, right front;
Schaunard, Colline, etal, center stage rear.

Marcello, Rodolfo(Ramos-RubyCast)
I saw La Boheme at Opera in The Heights, the Ruby cast, last evening.
In this very strong, well matched cast, Mimi=Cretan soprano Crystallia Spilianakis sang oppositethe Rodolfo=Texan Tenor Gerardo Antonio Ramos..she, a frail Mimi with dark locks and soaring soprano; he, a blond romantic poet with a firm and clear tenor. Together they filled Lambert Hall to the 'rafters and let them ring'!
Helped by the Baritones, Schaunard=suave Keith Murray,Houston, Marcello=Brian Shircliffe of the smoldering look,Houston, and resonant Bass Colline=Nathan Resika, NY and the very sexy Musetta=Alyssa Bowlby,NY, a strident soprano with dramatic talent. Certain fine local singers filled various cameo roles, and the chorus (adults and children) did remarkably well.
The staging - a chameleon set - switching between the garret of the young men and the fun filled Cafe Momus - was simple but stunning. In act II, Cafe Momus, one of Houstonian artist John Ross Palmer's "Carnivale" paintings gave it a most authentic touch.
From all I've heard about the Emerald Cast, the two soloists Mimi=Brazilian Soprano Daniella Carvalho and Rodolfo=Colombian Tenor David Guzman (he of the Dubie clone look ;-) for Aeros fans reading this) were equally outstanding..that treat I am keeping for a later performance on 4/8.
Come and join me!!
All photo credits go to tedviens, GwenTurnerJuarez and Mauro Luna-taken at the open dress rehearsals.

And The Indifferent:see update above.
Aeros will face Peoria, again, this afternoon. Really will not be too exited about listening to 'Voice of The Aeros' trying hard to sound positive.Definitely not paying to stream-view it on AHL Live hockey. Heading out to Memorial Park for "art in the sun" fun ;-)! ALAS back in time to hear about the loss on SO! And the win over Wolves by Texas Satrs (no goal Wolves at all, former 'soft spot' MB, one assist!

On diverse blogs for Aeros and/or Wild, a red threat seems to be running through all, fans are disappointed, unhappy with results blaming management and upset about ticket prices for what, just mediocre hockey.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A WIN...

Giant team hug after Aeros win in OT.
Did THIS Monster scare the Lake Eerie Monsters? ;-)
Dimples in goal in 1. The sign seems to identify what made this game a good one: good wingmen close always help you ;-)!
Stopping all those shots on gaol is a thirsty job, alright! Weiman takes a gulp!
Aeros get on board early in the First by Sifers with feeds from DiSalvatore(Speedy) and Kalus ("The Avalanche"), who had some excellent passes in the 2nd).
LEM 1. goal by Marcias, Cohen and Hensick
Huge saves by Khudobin (Dimples)
and a mad 'calf scramble' for the loose puck behind him!
And the 2. goal on a power play in the 2.period by Willsie, Haydar and Hensick.

Going into 3. period which saw a Power play goal for Aeros by DiSalvatore(Speedy) with "Sunny"Fraser and "Son of a Gun"derson.
The Third also saw: a palpable hit (shoulder/stick) on Almond-Joy by Dupuis, which resulted in his being led off the ice to the locker room by Aeros trainer and some lengthy repairs to the glass next to Aeros bench, BUT no penalty on Dupuis (LEM) despite TWO replays which showed clearly that this was MEANT! Shortly thereafter "Irms" Irmen took on Dupuis in sort of a fight, which gave them both a 5' major for fighting. Aeros found their energy again after a less than stellar 2. period, and battled on to the end of regulation,
keeping it 2 : 2.
"The Scrapper: Daoust in front of the opposing goal-where he can be found most of time - alas NO goal - but as usual he chases after the puck as best as only he can and watch out, he never hesitates to slam into you if you get in his way ;-)..
Going into overtime:
Aeros Earl, "the Pearl"
gets his 8th goal of the season, helped by "Ironman" Noreau and Rau-"Wow" and Aeros WIN - Aeros 3 : Lake Eerie Monsters 2. Both teams were 1/3 PP with 4 penalties on LEM and 4 for Aeros.
All three Stars of the game were Aeros: Sifers, DiSalvatore and Earl!

As expected few penalties were called by Ref Jeff Smith, but that he missed calling goalie interference on a LEM at least once, and the LEM hit on Almond, is truly unbelievable.
Otherwise a good game, fast action (except perhaps in 2.) and ahappy ending for the embattled Aeros who are on their way to face off against Peoria Saturday AND Sunday on their home ground, ending the moth of March back to Houston with a Chicago Wolves (The leader in the pack of the West ;-) game on Wednesday.

Dropping in on...

Dropping in, after long neglecting, on an old 'friend' - "InstigatorAlley.com" - a members only forum about Aeros/Wild.

And found a lively discussion on the current team, and much more, by long time members, members going back to the Watson years. I strongly urge my readers to check it out from time to time -just t read. Several years ago, it was impossible to become a member, which one had to be in order to be able to comment.

So, many would-be readers gave up and switched to T3I for easier access.
T3I has added so many 'bells and whistles' it has become THE source for not only Aeros , but Minors, AHL and even NHL

Of course, one finds also quite a few of the InstigatorAlley faithfuls commenting on T3I.. but perhaps with less fervor.
Tonight "Aeros fight" the Lake Erie Monsters :-) - only the second time the two have met in Houston.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Names - Voices from the Past..

just the other day someone mentioned Umm Kulthum, Egyptian singer (Umm -variable spelling-means Mother, btw).
That sent me back in time to the 50's in Vienna.
Friends from the Middle East kept playing her songs for me .. mesmerizing, strange, unfathomable sounds.
And into my head pop other names:
Edith Piaf - what huge sound emerged from this tiny Chanteuse of Paris?
Zarah Leander, a voice a Basso Profundo could envy ;-)!
The "Nuschler" Arch-Viennese comic singer/actor Hans Moser.
I have already bloged about the Incan Yma Sumac, with a range that defies belief.
And Elena Nikolaidi.. Greek opera singer, nick-named "Sopralto" (Soprano-Contralto-alas the recording is mono)
And then "Missa Luba"...African choirboys singing Mass. Incredible beauty from afar.
Am sure I can come up with many more, but above are a few clips to enjoy and be awed!

Julia Cramer Master Recital

Making my way on a misty evening to Dudley Hall at U of H for Soprano Julia Cramer's Master recital was definitely worth it. Her somewhat eclectic selection of songs and arias showcased her command of 4 languages and different musical forms.
She started out in a 'duet with an Oboe' (played by Ashley Guillot), in 'Wedding Cantata BWV 202' by J.S. Bach "Vanish now ye gloomy shadows". Interesting to pair a sometimes too strong oboe with the soprano voice.
Then she presented a set of Songs in French by Satie ("Je te veux" somewhat sad song), Weill and Poulenc. The Weill: "Je ne t'aime pas" was expressively and delightfully sung. In Poulenc's "Les chemins de l'amour" her voice's romantic side came out.
But in the 4 Richard Strauss songs, the "An die Nacht" and "Befreit" her voice soared impressively and strong. "Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten" and "Caecilie" the other two.
After a brief intermission, Ms. Cramer showed her dramatic side in songs by Lee Hoiby "Miss Alma Calls" among others ,accompanied by Alejandro Lopez on clarinet.
Representing Italian Opera at its best, Cramer sang a duet with Baritone Gabriel Preisser, from Verdi's Rigoletto "Mio Padre! Tutte le feste.. Si, vendetta." Both voices equally suited to the roles.
She ended her Master's recital with a Greek tune by Manos Hadjidakis, sung in Greek as a paean to her paternal Greek Grandmother, a simple but utterly lovely song during which slides of her grandmother and others were shown. Her father, John Cramer, OH!s concertmaster and member of the 'Doctor's orchestra' accompanied on the violin. Ms. Cramer's Italian, German and French were excellent. About the Greek I can't say, since I do not speak that. On the piano throughout was Katherine Ciscon, giving unobtrusive accompaniment.
Below a sample of the Satie "Je te veux".. the singer is NOT Julia.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

21 years ago...

an outbreak of the Measles cancelled a much anticipated match between two New Jersey High School teams, St. Joseph's Regional
and Delbarton HS, respectively.
Now, to be precise, on April 3, the match will be replayed by 38 of the original 42 players in their late 30's and early 40's. They will come from all over the USA, hang up their business suits and ties to don jerseys and skates. And re-enact that 'lost' game.To raise funds for cancer charities, NHL teams' items will be auctioned off, 2ooo tickets are expected to be sold and those 'hockey boys' of yester year will take to the ice. Older, slower, but with the same fervent spirit that imbues every man or woman wanting to play hockey. Families will be put aside for the time being! They have exercised as best as they could to prepare themselves for this historic game in the same Morristown arena where the original game was slated to be played before 'Measles' made an end to THAT. Once they were very good, today they will be less so, BUT I say, GOOD for them.
May they achieve their goal for the charities.
Winning self respect and pride will have been achieved already.
As an hockey fan this article in todays WSJ hit me as worthwhile repeating-
thus this short post..photos also from WSJ)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So viel hat sich ereignet,

zu wenig habe ich geschrieben. Das heisst, auf Deutsch geschrieben. Da ich ja manchem Blog Bilder und Video clips beilege, kann man sich ein bisserl schon zurechtfinden. Es wird wieder mal Zeit mir ein wenig auf Deutsch Luft zu machen ;-)!

Habe bei W. Somerset Maugham 'Of Human Bondage' herumgeblaettert und bin auf dieses Zitat gestossen:

"It is not very comfortable to have the gift of being amused at one's own absurdity." "Es ist nicht gerade komfortabel, wenn man sich ueber seine eigene Schrulligkeit amuesieren kann." - oder so ungefaehr !

Das Bild behauptet so circa: "Es ist wichtig dass in unseren Falten auch ein blinzeln aufscheint" :-)! Also wie wichtig ist es wirklich ueber sich selber herzlich und laut lachen zu koennen? Ich finde man nimmt sich dann gar nicht so ernst. Und sieht das Leben als ein Positives. Trotzdem...
Heute wurde in den USA eine HISTORISCHE fuer manche/HYSTERISCHE fuer andere Sache wahrgenommen: die 'Staatliche Krankenversicherung' wurde ins Gesetz geschrieben:

kurzum, jeder Mann, jede Frau, jedes Kind muessen eine Versicherung haben.

Wenn nicht, dann gibt es finanzielle Strafen! Zu Hilfe, man jagt nach mir!
Diverse Provinzen (states) sind schon im Begriff gerichtlich vorzugehen. Die Amerikanische Staatsverfassung duerfte es anscheinend nicht zulassen, dass man den Staatsbuerger zu einer Versicherung zwingt, oder bei Verweigerung, zu Geldstrafen verurteilt. Oder so ist das meine Deutung. Bin aber kein Anwalt.

Natuerlich werden sich die Steuern erhoehen, denn ohne Einnahme gibt es keine Ausgabe. Ausser...es gaebe ein Wunder...aber da sitzt ja leider kein Jesus im Weissen Haus, der aus Wasser Wein mache, und Fisch und Brot fuer Millionen herbeischaffe;-)!
Und nun etwas zum Lachen, die beste Medizin....Tra La La.

Spring is just around the corner...

at least in Houston. Cool mornings to be followed by warm and sunny (for a day or two) days. And after that.. we will start to complain about the heat and the humidity - typical Houston dog days of summer.
Of course, with NO hockey it will be a slow broil until...the 'meat market' in Toronto where the fresh faced hockey crazed youngsters will be put through their paces, scrubbed clean and put on the 'auction' block for the highest bidder which their agents can snag. Some of them will be shipped down to the juniors for seasoning as were Scandella and others the Wild drafted last year.
And speculation will be rife among hockey fans of NHL and affiliate teams. AND that is a good thing...keeps 'em hooked on hockey and the hope for any CUP wins growing again.
And here is soemthing I just stumbled on a few moments ago:
Of course, there won't be any contracts such the recent one executed by the Minnesota Twins with their handsome "STAR" player Joe Mauer (8.1 wins), eight years at 184 Million Dollars (in other words...he earns about 2.9 Million per win - LOL), an amount so huge that it could've bought a whole team of 9 top players! And that does not even include any $$$$$ he will rake in with endorsements.
No wonder he is all smiles at the press conference, as will be his agent.

And in the Soccer world, Austrian Energy Drink maker RED BULL invests 220 Million (without taking out any loans!) building the RED BULL ARENA in Harrisburg, NJ, about 10 Miles and short train ride from Manhattan, now the home of the NEW YORK RED BULLS, a struggling team, also bought by the Red Bull Company. Red Bull, since its emergence onto the world market in the late 1980's has become known for its support/and affiliation of and with
extreme (Delicious morsel, that - for alligators ) sports :-D
of daring and speed (i.e. snowboarding, car racing).

NOW wouldn't THAT be a match: HOCKEY and RED BULL?
Hockey is a sport, with speed, with daring do, with wiry athletes, so obsessed by it, they play through pain, concussions, sprained or worse ankles, etc.
SOMEONE ought to talk to the RED BULL people in the USA to get them come out on the side of HOCKEY :-)!!
Before the Houston Dynamo snag any $ going!
Just some hopeful ramblings of a fan ;-)!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A day off...

that used to mean so much, when working on a research project 10 hours or longer days into the night.
Now I am free to do whatever...as long as house gets cleaned; Laundry done and mended; Meals cooked or, as frequently the case, mic'ed ;-). Now I find myself doing oodles volunteering, mostly the less physical kind....after all one has to keep those little grey cells working while 'resting' them old bones ;-) With all those new health 'rules and taxes' .... keeping mind and body sane and healthy is a must!
Time for March Madness, or rather indulgent looking on, while Better Half watches, I have time to catch up my reading, so sadly neglected for several weeks(Book with wings-Dallas Museum of Art)
Mizzou is out of the running, so following the others daily, nightly, really is only fun for Basketball fans.
And some long overdue correspondence to friends in the OLD country, who are NOT on the web in any shape or form, needs to be done. And planning trips. Sometimes I feel the anticipation for and of such trips out weighs the actual experience - sometimes.
There will be a NEW opera by Heggie: Moby Dick
Clip below is NOT from it - as a joke....others composed on the theme Moby Dick!
HGO still has two stunning production in the works, The Queen of Spades
(sung in Russian)
and Xerxes(sung in Italian with countertenor David Daniels-I prefer the sound of the one above LOL)
plus a couple of TOSCAs ( one of the most iconic Toscas.. Callas)in Miller Outdoor Theater.
And not to forget the current production of La Boheme at Opera in the Heights, THE OH!
Below a clip of PARIS with Chares Aznavour singing about the life of Bohemians in Paris...
NOT from the Puccini Opera, but..even non opera lovers will enjoy this, ;-)!!

My ears and eyes are looking forward to all that!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lady Luck truly is on vacation -

at least as far as the Aeros are concerned.
They kept the Admirals at bay ... both teams scoring 1 goal each in 1.
and none the 2 periods following.
Ads made their one goal in the 1. a power play goal. 1 of 8, while the Aeros with 6 PP managed to waste their opportunities, despite the fact that 2x they had a 3 on 5 advantage!
The sole and only Aeros goal was by Earl, 'the Pearl', back from the flooded North.
Surprise to see "Dubie" in goal - he acquitted himself very well, stopping 26 of 28,
Dekanich for the Ads stopped 26 of 27.
Daoust tries to slip one by...
Oh,uh where did the puck go???
And so it goes into OT..
Game's over when Dietrich with Santorelli slaps one past "Dubie" into the net, after Fraser lacked a bit on his defense. Was it that earlier hit, after which he skated so slowly off to the bench? Hard work, fast pace, the usual 'muddling along' on power plays, and several healthy scratches. The only one, still a medical scratch, Lannon, the "Cannon", retired ;-)!
And B. B'rusty' post surgery, in attendance, but slightly limping.
Admirals 2 Aeros 1.
Stars win, Wolves win, Admirals win....
Certo, seguramente, for sure, sicherlich:
Good Bye Calder Cup!
BIG SIGH by fans.
T'was almost if meant.
To end on a funny note: well, the skating was lots better than this ;-):