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!

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just a thought on Wild & Aeros team rosters...

 The Wild's line up tonight had  6, or if you wanna count Clutterbuckand Spurgeon,  8 AEROS/ex-Aeros on the bench to 11 WILD
(27 players on the current roster).
Plus the injured Wellman, Stoner, and Palmer!
And Scandella, a scratch! And Harding the BUG.. makes it 13.
Half the Wild team are Aeros or Ex Aeros..which is, of course, wonderful for the guys from Houston.

Not so wonderful for the guys left IN Houston, 20 in number,
unless there's another call up. And especially for the fans.
But at the least fans might be able to see new talent on ice up from the CHL, ECHL or where ever they can find them!
But however exciting that may be, it must be darn hard on the coaching staff to keep 'introducing newbees to 'THE SYSTEM' in short time!
As of now, no new faces have been added..but there still are a few hours to go till the next game tomorrow at home.

On the other hand, in a television sports reportage earlier tonight (headed by Slovak.. yes, THAT guy who was soooooo excited last season to finally be at a hockey game) not a single word about Aeros Hockey.
Baseball, Football, Basketball and Soccer! And that was it!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
GO AEROS!

(It might be too much to hope that AEROS reps will be on hand at the New Year's Celebration at the rink at Discovery Green? ;-D)

Slightly befogged - Aeros Win

Early Morning Fog Over Bayou - 31.12.2011
but in a nice way.
Because..
well, because the Aeros are leaving 2011 with a win!
And are still in 3rd place in the West right after Heat.. which won last night as well, which will please KK fans!

By the enormous effort of Hackett!
Who was listed as the Nr. 2 Star between McIntyre (1) and Penner (2)
Who stopped 38 of 40 sogs thrown at him by a hyper aggressive but almost fruitlessly scurrying Rampage.
Last night at the ATT Center, to which a slew of dedicated, and ultimately very happy, fans traveled.

Well, what more can I say.
I was not there.
Aeros 5 Rampage 2.
Aeros got five goals on two goalies...
yes, Markstrom pulled for Grumet Morris.
Markstrom had a really bad 'ice day'.
While Hackett, according to the Voice of the Aeros, acrobatically managed to make save after huge save! Maybe similar to above!

Now, astute chers readers -
you will have guessed, that I am back on a freshly scrubbed,
free from insidious Trojans and viruses (or ought that be viri?) computer.

After the first day with withdrawal symptoms, lol, I did not miss it abysmally.
Really enjoyed reading BOOKS.
You know that kind that one holds and flips its pages with moist thumb :-)!
The most interesting IMO was Alan Furst's "Night Soldiers" .
Of course, I have read one or two by him before. But I felt this one was the most fascinating, yet!
How to describe it? Best I can do is borrow the name from a reviewer "Historic Espionage novel" and so it was. And rather absorbing, too.
Following its Bulgarian protagonist through training at the NKVD (KGB or whatever initials used) through the Spanish Civil War, German occupation of France to his ending up finally in the USA after 'escaping' the long reach of the NKVD, at least that is the assumption on which the novel ends.
Next in line in fascination quotient wasBook cover: The Lost "The Lost" by Daniel Mendelsohn, a deeply felt and researched history into the lives of "lost" relatives, interspersed with Torah excerpts. A must read for anyone who is a student of the holocaust and its effect on the generations following.
 "Snow falling on Cedars" by David Guterson, sort of a court room drama which involves events following Pearl Harbour, the Japanese internment and its long term effects of that. Only to end on a positive note. Well written and gripping, he does let the characters grow in stature, at the end.

"Tell Me Another Morning", an autobiographical novel by Zdena Berger is one of the rare books that provide some insight into the lives of women and girls during the Nazi years, and in the camps. The way the author uses the 'present tense' makes reading it even more stirring.

After that came two 'easy reads' fictions.
The less said the better.. just a few hours spent on those.
But one has to step away from the sad and horrible, just to relax!
And nothing relaxes more that a steamy romance,
or some cleverly constructed crime, fiction...no? :-), :-D!!!

So now you know, chers readers, that having only limited access to the web was rather relaxing. 
At least for me.

Ah, you say what about "News of the World"? Well  t'was sufficient to just get the biased (alas) condensed versions on the Nightly News (lol).
No real worries about 'catching up' with Tweets, FB.
I may have missed some birthdays.
Or other momentous event?
Maybe!
That a friend was "at this or that place" which by the time most of us get around to reading it, is already old news,  :-)! 
And new photos posted by friends around the world.
But never fear others will be posted - that is a given.
So a few days without the web was not devastating... after that First Day! Lol.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

AEROS WIN

 tonight at Home in OT in front of a larger crowd than usual. 
 Am a bit late in posting, had to borrow a computer.. mine crashed yesterday morning-nice x-mas present, :-)!
The Rampage's Caruso with Timmins, scored first in the Second period. And on a Hackett, once more wayyy out his position.
And that after he had  made a great save, on a regular SoG then immediately after he also caught a 'flying' rebound!
After two so-so, IMO, periods, the "Third Period Aeros" (with 10 sogs) came out, and Rau, Fontaine, DiSalvatore evened the score on a PP.
And kept the momentum going into OT with the winning goal by Taffe, Disalvatore, Fontaine.
Which came as Rallo sat for Slashing from the 3. into  OT.
So part of the thanks for that goal ought to go to Rallo.. not that his teammates will thank him, :-)!

a sprawl by Hackett=a save this time


Rau gettin ready... goal

after the Winning goal in OT


Celebration is finally due!

Some of the crowd.. looked bigger than quoted by AHL
In the goals:
Hackett, as expected and
Markstrom for the Rampage, also as expected.  Peters and Palmer are still WILD!
As much as I hate to say it, this game was not one of the most exciting ones.
But a win is a win and in front of the home crowd...FINALLY! 
Why??
 Better Half and I were NOT wearing Aeros jerseys.
Another fan went ahead and got popcorn even though the Aeros had yet to score which is when they usually get their popcorn ;-)!
Maybe Santa Claus brought some new ooompf to the skating! Lol.
Or maybe it was that Ortmeyer was back, even though he interfered with Markstrom and sat for it!
Just kidding, of course.  :-), :-)!!
Briefly, it appeared that Aeros PP has improved (2 goals/ 6 opportunities)
Also improved IMO penalty kill - 5 PP opportunities for the Rampage were safely killed by Aeros.
The three stars (in ascending order)
Caruso, Rau and Taffe.. all the scorers.
Markstrom, making 24 saves in regulation outsaved Hackett's 20 of 21, seemed to me the better goalie.
Markstrom saves a try to score by DiSalvatore, this time.
But then what do I know about goalies!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Demise of an Opera Company


Sadly, Opera Boston - which performed at the beautiful Cutler Majestic Theater will shutter its doors in the New Year.
It was where I heard friend Barbara Quintiliani, soprano, sing a stunning Donizetti's Maria Padilla last spring.
Opera Boston - in the acoustically glorious theater (see photo above) was not afraid to mount unusual; new ones, such as “Madame White Snake” from the composer Zhou Long with friend Ying Huang Soprano, in the title role;  or rarely seen works; and to offer young, emerging singers a chance to tread the boards while singing a rare repertory. Sometimes in company with noted singers who opted to appear there just because. 
The stunning and sad news came out of the blue. As I had already pencilled in my calendar the dates of its performances of I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Bellini with friend Mezzosoprano Marie Lenormand -

scheduled for April 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm, April 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm, May 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm.
My first reaction was. Oh S...!
My second was what the heck?  And Why?
Monetary reasons were given.

And that begs the question in my mind, is MET live at the movies the culprit?
It is just so much easier to drive up, buy a 25$ ticket without a lot of hassle and free parking.
Why go and buy a nice subscription even if you can afford it, or - God forbid - donate money to your local opera company, when opera comes to you in glorious HD colors and with such close ups, you can see hairs vibrate! Or Adam's apples jiggle, or other things, all right there in front of you. Plus the showing of the hows and whys behind the curtains. Everything is shown, almost nothing is left veiled ...
Where does that leave the mystery, the wonder of seeing 'stage magic'?
Which was so much part of the enjoyment of LIVE in the Theater performances.
And still is, to me!
Has opera become just another 'reality show'?
And you can go and get popcorn and cokes to pass the time.
Flop around in your grungies!
Running late, no problem it's at the movies and one can come and go at will!
Although,
they do suggest to viewers in the cinema "go and support your local opera company".
Which small opera company in what town will be next?
It's like the Grinch just stole MY Christmas.
It really, really sucks big time!
Damn!
And I hate to swear!


     

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht...

Ich wuensche meinen Lesern ein frohes Fest und einen Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr 2012.
Happy Holidays.
Joyeux Noel.
Feliz Navidad.
Greetings for Hanukkah.
Gud Jul.
Buon Natale.
etc, etc.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

the longest and darkest night of the year came and went with a flurry of thunder, lightening and rain.
The outlook seems rosy...the days WILL get longer until the Summer Solstice six months hence.

Don't know why this seems so important just now?

Because on this, the darkest night, the Aeros recorded a loss at home, again.
Against the last placed team!
Which makes it the 12th loss at home, although only 4th in regulation, the others gained them 1 point as OTLs and SOLs.
Because they have now played 31 games (the most played of all teams in the West), of which 16 were wins and 15 losses - away and at home.
And put them in third place in the West.
1Oklahoma City Barons3021702440.73391682-0-0-17-2-0-13-2497
2Abbotsford Heat3020820420.70079707-0-1-07-2-1-05-0507
3Houston Aeros3116627410.66190780-2-0-14-3-0-30-7397
4San Antonio Rampage28141400280.50066804-0-0-07-3-0-02-0461
5Texas Stars28131401270.48283851-0-0-05-5-0-00-1396
Because they have been doing what an AHL team is supposed to do - raise and train fodder for the NHL mother team. This year alone saw more call ups (forgot how many) to be WILD than in years before. Yes, it plays havoc with "the system", with line mates' chemistry, with players' morale.
Wait - actually that should increase players' morale - this chance to be called to be Wild?  Or does the "why him and not me" factor play a bigger role? Instead of inspiring it discourages?
I don't know.
Maybe a sports psychiatrist can figure THAT out!
'Freud of the Hockey World' where are you?
Maybe each team ought to have a board certified Sports psychiatrist on call?
Just as they have a physician for body injuries, just saying!
Maybe they already have them and we, the fans, just don't know.
Just some more of those 'undisclosed' situations.

All I know is this: it may leave fans where? Hung out to dry, methinks.
And all the promotions in the world can't or won't make up for continuing disappointments - at home games. It's a hard slog for the promo guys to whip up enthusiasm in the general public to buy tickets! Especially where Football, Basketball (resurging again), Baseball and Soccer seem more important! Be they 'good' teams or not.

Listen to players interviews and the same phrases crop up over and over, till even I can repeat them in my sleep, LOL - and they do seem soooo scripted - in all sports:
"I do work hard". 
"We just have to work harder".
And particularly in Hockey: "Must strive to be called to be Wild" or whatever NHL team is the affiliate. 

And the coaches - again applicable to all sports ;-)!
"They have to play hard every night"." No one can just show up and expect to win" and "We will just call up players from the minors, some who want to play, and play hard, every night!"

After all, the minors are 'the kindergardens' and the AHL akin to a 'College Prep School' for the NHL. Sadly there are only few 'miracles' or 'born wizards' on ice'!

Does that make you, the fan, feel better?
I think it ought to. IF one sees AHL and minor hockey as good, fast paced entertainment.
Even a 'badly' played game can be entertaining and exiting.
Yes, really! IF one cares naught for a win.

And with that once more Happy Holidays:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And Once Again Aeros Loose At Home.

Saved, but how I did it?
It is getting a bit old, this loosing at home in front of a surprisingly largish crowd of 5741! Must have been the Bikinis that brought them out, eh? ;-)
This time, t'was the Texas Stars who had the upper hand. After three periods of chasing the puck around the ice, the Texas Stars and their elite few fans (who made the trek) left as winners Stars 3 Aeros 2. Which just shows that the Aeros did not go quietly into the loss. Hackett in goal had several excellent saves (one I think he might not have known how he did it, but save he did).
And then there was this - goal scored on the rebound by Texas Stars after he, Hackett, stopped the first shot on goal.
Don't wanna get up-they scored afterall
Tonight's game started with great promise...an early goal in the 1. by Rau (wow) -Penner.
video
BTW he was very busy as face - offer!
Since Peters who usually did the honors, was up North.
As Was Taffe, called up within an hour or so to puck drop.
Almond came up with a big surprise-he got a shorthanded goal in the 2. and that was all the goals the Aeros managed to score.
video
Despite some hectic activities at Beskorowany's end of the ice (as in clip above)in the last seconds and after Hackett was pulled for another skaterthe numbers are:
Desperate attempts to even the score..it was not to be....sigh!

Stars: 11-12-1=25 SoG to get 0-3-0 goals.
Aeros: 9-11-9=29 and 1-1-0 goals there.


Now if you've read my previous post.. I did wish for a short-legged black haired Bikini Beauty to become 2011/12 Miss Aeros, and it was granted.
As a matter of fact all contestants were dark haired-not a blond in sight except for Miss Aeros 2010/11 who-clever gal-wore leggings and boots to keep out the cold. That privilege was not granted to the bevy of black haired bikini gals.. they just had to shiver and smile!
To my delight this saxophone player did the Anthem in grand style and played some sweet stuff during intermission. Someone must have said let him play (not sing) the anthem, and the Stars fans will not bellow at every *STARS* in it, as they are known to do, alas.  Ha, t'was a brilliant idea!
Apropos Stars:
Nr. 1 went to Ryan Garlett for 2 goals (Stars),
Nr.  2 CHAD RAU
Nr. 3 (Stars) Labrie for the game winner.
G'Night y'all!

Spreading Christmas cheer..

well sorta.
Have wrapped,bagged and handed over all gifts.
Have whistled and hummed the appropriate carols.
Hidden meanings or not!
Have sent cards and emails and facebook wishes.
And, and..
Now it is time to sit back and enjoy what I love.....CHRISTMAS.
Lights, music, cookies fresh from the oven.
Hot chestnuts (as long as I find 6 out 10 that are good I am content... not excatly happy, but..)

And a win by the Aeros at home would be welcomed as a gift to fans...for a change.
And as a novelty a short-legged, black-haired Miss Aeros being crowned.
Now if there would be a crown for a King of AEROS ... with contestants like these the choice would be hard, eh?...
We have already -
The Voice of the Aeros,
an annual Miss Aeros competition,
Fan of the game,
Best seats in the House, etc. -
so why not crown a King of the Aeros?

Reader Survey.
Please Respond. :-)
King of The Aeros: 
Vote YES  - NO

Just kidding, that dream will not be fulfilled, methinks.
It's men who run the show, right?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Senior Moment

or worse?
When, for the life of you,  you can't remember your pass code(s).
Which, as techie gurus advise, ought to be changed frequently for security reasons.
Nor ought you to use the same for several accounts.
Nor ought you to keep them written down, especially never anywhere on YOUR computer.
So help me. What do I do when my senior moment strikes?

I have had to change my pass code on an account or two already, because I simply could not remember the original one :-). Even more difficult because I also forgot how to answer the security questions which would allow me to change the pass code.
Sigh! :-(

So I had to start all over! Phew!
Now I have the task of guessing the secuirty answers if I want access to any of my accounts. Which IS the real one? Will the real (latest) stand up and bite me! LOL.
Wish it were that simple.

And as we age, we find contemporaries (in the widest sense) are falling like nine pins to the right and left. Of course, ONLY the famous or infamous are heard of in the news.

Now I do know that one dictator finally died  at 69! And how could one not..as
articles on and about the man and his legacy (?) are multiple.
And his supporters mourn.
And the world trembles.
Will the enigmatic son of the old dictator be better or be worse?
And the media writes, assumes, discusses endlessly the case.
Is it a disaster in the making? Or is it not?

And then there is Vaclav Havel, or rather was.
He, too, died.
On Sunday, at 75.
He is mourned in Czech Republic,
and by all peace loving people of the world, as well.
But there is relatively little to read about him, as yet.
He, who beside Lech Walesa, was the most influential changer of Eastern European history, simply does not rate as much ado?
He was no dictator.
He was no creator of fear among the world.
What he was - was a poet, a playwright, an essayist, a dissident
and finally a politician as unusual that sounds.
I did find today a few articles on this humane man .

And we also lost another unusual man earlier, in this article the author makes a connection between Hitchens and Havel rather cleverly.

And of other odds and ends:
Revisiting some favored  series (on TV) and re-viewing some fave movies, I am struck by the thought of eternal youth!
On celluloid, at least!
Some of those favorite actor(esse)s have also passed into the Great Beyond (if you believe such), but - there they are on film/DVD, etc. in all their glorious youthful looks! Forever and ever.
Relics maybe, but for those of us, who lived to see them while in their prime, forever etched into our minds... as the good or sexy, the bad (Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No.. no relation to Brian Wiseman -I think)
and -
yes, even the ugly-of course, ugly is in the eyes of the beholder.
A cartoon image of a gang of bank robbers. The text above reads: It'll keep you on the edge of your saddle. A speech bubble from the robber reads: Just keep going like nothing was wrong.My fave was this one (left) From Noon Till Three,
IMO a satiric take akin to
Blazing Saddles

Pictured are a very sexy Marlon Brando - "On the Waterfront", "M.A.S.H." - part of the cast, Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No (Bond movie) and Charles Bronson in "Vigilantes"(I believe).
And once more: Merry Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2011

Only SIX more Days till Christmas

and just that few to go out and admire the light displays..
the good, the bad and the ugly!
And the most!
somewhere in Bellaire
Simple yet lovely

Houston Heights
Merry Christmas!
 
Bad Gastein, Austria
and imagine Streisand singing

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another Loss at home for Aeros


Be'Wild'ered Hackett after the  5th Goal by Amerks
they faced the undoubtedly tired Americans (on their last game of a five game/3 games in Texas road trip). In the net was a seemingly be"Wild"ered Wundergoalie. Hackett allowed 5 rather easy goals of 18 SoGs to go in.
And was pulled for the 3. period and replaced by Kuemper who only had to stop 5 SoGs.
Kuemper was pulled (a bit too early, IMO) for a 6th skater with over 2:30 minutes to go and Legault of the Americans promptly managed their 6th goal -  an empty netter. I was stunned it happened so fast..I believe Fredheim was unable to control the puck and so opened the 'net' for Legault's solo goal. Americans 6 Aeros 3.


Two of the quoted 4000plus?

PP Goal Nr. 2
It came early in the 1. that Almond, DiSalvatore and Fontaine scored first for the Aeros to the delight of the few fans in attendance (it looked a lot emptier than the 4000 plus quoted).  And after the 2. intermission (there must have been some talking to in the locker room) the Aeros came out seemingly newly energized and scored 2 more goals - early PP by DiSalvatore, Penner and Taffe, and about 4 minutes later Reed and Taffe got Number 3.
Last Aeros Goal by Reed etal
It was the 3. Period Aeros we saw, just appearing a bit too late to win!
Their SoGs were 8-8-12.

Americans must have been really hungry for a win to take home after 2 losses in Texas and they did it with 6-12-5 SoGs  and 6 goals - all  3 Stars of the Game were Americans (Whitmore, a real American from Rochester yet! Lagace, Legault born QC) even if 2 were Canadian, French ones at that! BTW Leggio their goalie who stopped 25 of 28 SoGs is also an American (born I mean).

A new face AARON LEE (born 1985 Feb. Canada) was Number 10 and seemed quick on his skates, chasing the puck - often successfully, and not afraid on bodily contact when called for...a somewhat auspicious debut at the AHL Level for him. "Lee has defined consistency for the Bees over the past three plus seasons in the Valley playing in 214 games for the Killer Bees which is good for second all-time in Bees history. During that stretch Lee has scored 72 goals (also second all-time) and registered 77 assists".