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, June 30, 2010


yep, the Wild signed the "Kassassinator";-)= Matt Kassian, the gentle Wild guy, to a 2 year, and
'Nate Prosser' to a one year contract.
With Staubitz, it does seem the Wild Defense is shaping up!

Prosser (2 yrs ago while at Colorado in college) gets hit, gets up and gets skating again. He is Minnesota born (1986), played 3 games last season with the Wild, had 1 assist and several PIMs.
On the other hand Boogaard went to the NY Rangers for 1.65 Mill for 4 years. Maybe there he will see more icetime?
In other news, it appears that SOCCERhas to contend with similarly 'blind' referees the Hockey world has battled against for a while
With, even in World Cup Soccer!, NO instant replay to confirm or deny a ref's call, made for some heartbreaking losses in South Africa! And some teams' losses caused political havoc at home ;-)! And I thoughts sports are NON political...guess not judging from the news.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Obstreperous keyboard

lately the keyboard has refused to print certain letters. In the process it is necessary to write a post without these letters... not easy. Or JUST buy a new keyboard.....:-) .. so then, later!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fresh and Wild for 2010/11

McKinlay, Larsson
Goalie Gustafsson, Zucker

these are the images of the Wild Draftees..stats to follow!
1/9 FORWARD - Mikael Granlund Feb. 26, 1992 HIFK Finland Oulu, Fin
2/39 RW - Brett Bulmer April 26, 1992 Kelowna, WHL Prince George, BC
2/56 LW - Johan Larsson July 25, 1992 Brynas Jr., SWE-JR. Lau, SWE
3/59 LW - Jason Zucker via trade Jan. 16, 1992 USA U-18, USHL Newport Beach, CA
5/129 Traded to SJ for RW Brad Staubitz Jul 28, 1984 San Jose Sharks Edmonton, AB, CAN
6/159 G - Johan Gustafsson Feb. 28, 1992 Farjestad jr., SWE JR-2 Koping, SWE
7/189 RW - Dylen Mckinlay April 20, 1992 Chilliwack, WHL Langley, BC

Saturday, June 26, 2010


the source of all life!
And of leisurely fun, too!
Bonita Springs Resort, FL.
Having lived for JUST a couple of hours without it, made me truly realize how much we depend on it and how much (maybe) we appreciate having it gush or trickle as the case may be, by simply turning a knob or lever. And it comes forth clear and clean. At least, we think so since we can't see the microscopic floating things:-)! Yes, we are spoiled.
We are taking it too much for granted.
Elsewhere people have to dig for it, winch it up in buckets, haul it on their heads.
Move to where water is found, for livestock, and farming. Water - so precious, so much revered.
(photo of Colorado River near Bastrop, TX) at flood in 2001
And there can be too much water and yet NOT drop to drink!
After floods as most of us humans have experienced...then (Allison) right here,
now in Europe and elsewhere.
And yet, I remember, fondly, dipping up water without fear from 'gurgling' brooks in the Vienna Woods or elsewhere in the Austrian Alps when hiking on weekends.
Wherever and whenever we meet up with water..
it has the power to soothe, refresh, nourish body and soul.
Chimayo Mission in NM built near a small rivulet.
The monks giving thanks to this gift in the high desert!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Paean to Vuvuzela..

With soccer all pervasive in the media, and the pre-occupation with the Vuvuzela.
What fun listening to this "Classic" Konzert
oh, DO enjoy it...;-)
You might, just might want to have earplugs handy ...
And then there is this Austrian Folkband...what a quick adaptation to the newest fad -maybe?
And in the spirit of the Vuvuzela.. I give you the newest Minnesota Wild Draftee
Mikael Granlund born 1992 Oulu, Finland, skates as Center.
Per reports he still has one year to go in Finland,
BUT -might we see him US side earlier than 2011?
As other draftees and/or prospects materialize I shall post photos if available.

Whose eyes have it?

Which are which?
Some eyes belong to women and some to men.
And what can you, want to, have to read into them?
The promise of more to come?
The lure of heavenly delights?
I am foolishly, perhaps, reminded that we seem to fall in love with an uniform.
Any kind of uniform.
How dashing do men and women in uniform appear to some!
How a rakishly set cap draws our attention.
And how much does it hide?
When it comes to goalies we are entranced (some of us more than others ;-)
because we do not see much and so image lots...
other than the 'physical prowess' in stopping the puck LOL.
As, IMO, is the case with veils, burquas and Carnivale Masks.
Hidden behind a mask, give us license to live dangerously ;-) ...
shed our normal (?) behaviour and frolic or more with abandon!
Caps and masks do force us to imagine.
And - I feel that very strongly - that's the most exciting -
making up of stories of what lies behind the mask!
Let wishes fly, let desires roam, let's peak....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

San Francisco snuggling up to Los Angeles?

Well, not for quite a while, although following the recent Easter earthquake in Baja California, scientists conclude from space photos that California cities are on the move as one can see on Nasa's site. This is for you, the scientist ;-)!
The rest of us make do with photos.
It's not the first time earth's movement has been detected.

Strange things DO happen when Mother Nature shrugs. Strange things do happen when she weeps,

or exhalesand things fly.
Mother Nature enraged is a terrifying experience, for sure.
As with the terrible 1906 San Francisco quake, which famed Italian Tenor
Enrico Caruso survived to tell about:

And Caruso as Pagliacco, the love sick, jealousy crazed clown.
"Ridi Pagliacco"-"Laugh Clown"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pianos on the loose..in NY City!

All those purple dots show all locations of pianos on and in the streets of New York , painted and tuned, they really are for YOUR playing pleasure, until July 5th. The idea "Play me, I am yours" by an English artist Luke Jerram. If YOU are a piano Wunderkind the sounds may even be a pleasure for passersby!

Not that this idea is so totally new, there was this (see clip) in Lancaster, PA. and so it goes.
Good ideas do come to many at different times ;-)!

On the Hockey front-
would ya believe some NHL schedules are already out..now we all can plan our trips to see hockey (and opera, in our case ;-).
In Dallas, the Stars play on Friday Nov 5. and Dallas Opera presents "Donizetti's Maria Stuarda"on Nov. 6!
NY Rangers' schedule is also set..unfortunately, those pianos will NOT be around then ...
The Tampa Bay Lightening has its schedule out as well.. and I am sure others will too.
Now we only need the Aeros/Rampage/Texas Stars schedules!
Hockey fans are ready, again, to love/hate, admire/dislike, etc. our teams ;-)!
And the Atlanta Thrashers are now the proud 'owners' of one
Byfuglien, Dustintraded off by The Blackhawks: "Thanks Buff, for your help in the play offs-t'was nice knowing you"!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hero today, goon tomorrow..

The devil made me do IT-just could NOT resist labelling this post thus. http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/blogs/96839954.html

The Wild acquired younger 'goon' Brad Staubitz from San Jose Sharks!
He had 3 goals, three assist and 110 PIMS in 47 games. The new BAD BOY?
So will Boogaard be "goon" tomorrow?

Here's a little something I found about Staubitz from his earlier times at the AHL level!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Young, The Old, The Coward; and Tan Dun.

When it comes to los toros, everything seems possible;-)! Yes, well, I know an aficion for Los Toros is not everyone's cup o' tea, BUT one has to give credit where it is due - for courage, endurance and even, admission of failure.
'Michelito' Lagravere, (most matadors are known by the diminutive -ito - tacked onto names - as in Joselito) at 12 one of the youngest matadors, is the son of a French Matador - a 'new matador line' has begun?

On the other hand there is 67 year old Frank Evans, born in Manchester UK, now a Spanish national re-entering the arena after major surgeries. And he is in remarkable good shape, slender and pliable.

And then there is 22 year old Mexican, Cristian Hernandez, who lacks 'the equipment' to fight bulls.. as seen in this video clip ;-).
Here, at least, he admits it before causing many toreristas or toristas to shell out mucho pesos to see a running - no not bull - matador !
Paid his fine, was released and shook off the sands of the arena for ever, we assume!
Wish some other athletes would be as honest in admitting their failings ;-)

With no major hockey news (the little that is happening - multi hockey bloggers are fighting over it to write up during this dry spell until the draft has begun, and the "auction of young and eager boys" is underway ;-) once more.

And a small dearth of opera news here in Houston, at least.. There are numerous summer opera festivals worldwide.. but while we do NOT lack the time, the pockets are not full enough to hie ourselves everywhere, we'd love to go to satiate us with opera.
Thankfully, THERE are recordings.. not at all the same as LIVE opera, but beggars can't be choosers, LOL.
We DID watch a DVD of Tan Dun's
"MARCO POLO", an opera within an opera - so called - the other evening and were totally fascinated by the composer's use of 'voices as instruments'. And the visually stunning effects and costumes.
All I can say: WOW, double WOW !
It simply floored us experience how and what a voice can do, and does, in totally unexpected ways. Fabulous.

His operas are Tea (seen in Santa Fe) and First Emperor (seen as a Met Simulcast) and Marco Polo (DVD from Netherlands). And a sample of his use of WATER below...

He composed film music (Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon) - BTW, that was a stunning film overall.

And made his mark by his bold, unconventional use of classical Eastern and Western instruments, as well as 'organic' instruments such as water, sheets of paper etc.

Whichever of his music we've heard, has caught our attention and drawn us into the unreal and yet fetching, sounds, baffling and delightful at the same time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Ben Shahn: Father and Son.
Some thoughts on THIS day.
Happy are those that still have a dad to grouse about ;-)!
Leafing through an old family album, little flash backs happen.
Some sad, some mad, some funny, some serious.
But all evoking feelings of content!
Only - but happy - child with loving parents.
Even IF they were rather old in comparison to classmates'.
Because they were older, they were more accepting, less harried, more relaxed?
Happy Father's Day to all Fathers,
Fathers-in-spe and Grandfathers, out there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Painters' patience...

As an "old master", one would have had to be extra patient to find out if one's masterpiece really was one!Peter Paul Rubens, "Head of young boy"
The preparations that went into the creation of those luminous, detailed, fine tuned, huge oil paintings were myriad. And they were invented if you may call it that, by Dutch/Flemish painters like Breughel..
Recipe :-)! for success follows:
First: prepare rabbit glue (did they kill and skin it, then dry the skin, then chop it, then boil it to get the glue - or was there already a shortcut?)
Second: prepare the pigments/colors.. grind the minerals with mortar and pestle and store in bottles
Third: prepare gesso with which to prepare the boards, canvas, etc.
Forth: draw the outlines in charcoal, then fix the outlines so as not to smudge them.
Fifth: apply first layer of color.
Sixth: let it dry - for weeks or longer.
Seventh: apply next layer of paint.. and so on and so forth.
And finally fix it to preserve the colors, preserve the whole piece!
AND of course, the MOST IMPORTANT ONES , Talent and THE ideas!
If I forgot a step or two... visit MFAH and just ask a docent to clarify the process...I did!
And all that ONLY by daylight, maybe the grinding could be done by candle light! And on dreary dark days, we may guess the master rested ;-D!
Now you know ;-) why there are so many oils under "School of..", "Attributed to.." .
One person alone :-)..methinks, could NOT paint all those when each piece required such length of time to prepare for, execute and patiently wait in between layers...but the achievement WAS worth it.
The luminosity, the patina, the colors, the skin tones, etc.
and of course the subject (for some viewers )
all make it a masterpiece even if it is ONLY "School of" or "Attributed to"
More modern painters still prepare the canvas or boards, but the paints are available already prepared.
And some paints, especially acrylics, dry much faster, allowing a increase in artful outputs :-)!.
And then there are Thai elephants who paint, but I doubt they spend much time prepping their canvas and paints ;-D!
Elephants also live long lives and have LOOONG memories, or so they say!
Which might not apply to some old and/or modern masters :-)!