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!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

How SWEET a victory at home tastes...

YES indeed,
the Aeros achieved a win in OT  3-2 - AT HOME - against a formidable opponent, the Abbortsford Heat (thankfully sans Krys Kolanos and Barry Brust).
Not that Danny Taylor was a slouch in the net for the Heat!

Jason ZUCKER (he's just such a sugar :-)  on the ice, he is) with the help of blond locked Larsson,  scored the winning goal 5, yes, just Five, seconds into OT.
How sweet :-) THAT was for fans.

OK gang, this was a fun to watch game.

When I consider that the HEAT played their third game in a row, they played well, fast and aggressively,
especially Piskula who scored the evener goal in the Third, sailing the puck right over a prone Hackett, who was literally helpless before him!

Other wise Hackett had a good night, he stopped all but those 2 the Heat threw at him.
Fontaine Goal
Fontaine with Cuma and Phillips scored in the 1.

Piskula Goal
Followed soon by Heat's Olson goal.

McIntyre with Palmieri and Fontaine made it 2 Aeros in the second, and fans were getting ready to celebrate when the 

Pesky Piskula scored goal 2 for Heat...............................................

Of course,  tempers flared at times,  and later when it happened that someone interfered with Hackett, Bagnall took it upon himself to discipline, without a major fight, the Heat who interfered with Hackett...............
see photos.

Sadly, Palmer could not score when Taylor was out of crease with ..the net wide open like the photo at right shows :-)
- that will surely give him some nightmares to come.

Equally sadly Bulmer had to be escorted off the ice..

And at another time the two team captains conferred with the referees about an Aeros goal, which wasn't

 while Chilly sits waiting!

But all went well in the end with players celebrating en  masse,
and Hackett jumping on top (for a change) of the pile of happy players!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Good-Bad-Sad News

When I read "Kuemper assigned to Orlando" I was about to yell huzzah, we'll see him in the net when we get there for that game on the schedule, soon. Then I read "Briefly" and was deflated. Maybe they'll shuttle him back and forth? Especially since he was in net for the Bears last night and they lost!
That could be seen as bad or good news!

GOOD for sure: Aeros won again at an away game at ATT, which was attended by many die-hard fans.

SAD: Actor, 'bad boy JR Ewing', Larry Hagman dies at 81. After suffering from cancer.

BAD news number One - for hockey fans, that is ;-)
The All start NHL game cancelled, and more game NOT being played through December 12th, so now we will get reimbursed for the two Panther's game which were also on the schedule. One of which we'll replace by seeing a second Everblades game with lots less driving over to Ft. Lauderdale. Which also leaves us more time to visit winery, museum and the Ringling Brothers compound  for a day of Circus plus art in Sarasota.
See, NHL people on  both side of the discussions: we do not need you. There is much more out there then hockey to entertain us. BTW we do plan so see Lincoln, the movie (good reviews so far) too and the Met's Simulcasts on Saturday, which are shown USA - and Worldwide for less.

BAD news Number Two - for Opera lovers:
It is certain, that the OH! will no more perform unusual and rare operatic jewels, because the "fans" only want warhorses.
Bad and Sad!
But the majority has spoken with the pocket book by NOT buying tickets,
and the board is reining in Maestro's innovative plan to showcase rare but beautiful OTHER pieces. 
And no, he did NOT plan to show modern stuff, not even real updated (speak weird regie) stuff. JUST rare pieces by well known composers, like Rossini, Bellini... etc.

So here we go again, Bohemes, Butterflys, Toscas (maybe), Barbers, and such TO THE NTH DEGREE! Operas seen on stages everywhere already! Many such dull, static, dusty and stagnant productions let people tune out in happy anaesthesia.
And that really sucks in my honest opinion.

I do enjoy the warhorses,  just not quite as often, when there are other pieces to be discovered under  a baton of a talented conductor, inspired direction even IN classic style, and youthful eager singers (albeit not yet *Stars*) plus an orchestra of enthusiastically performing musicians (after all those warhorses are becoming routine and perhaps boring?).


For heavens sake why NOT showcase some lesser known ones with eager beaver singers who'd sing for lots less just to have done it!

IMO, The OH! had a real chance to occupy a rare niche in the opera world, where fans could come and experience young singers giving their all to perform in these unsung (pun intended) gems.
And sure, it takes more than a year or two to establish such a program.
Look how long it took to re-acquaint the world with Handel and other Baroque composers! And now they are performed everywhere.

But no, back to the old bores..just because "fans" did not want it.  
Admittedly THEY do pay the piper!

NHL listen up! 
That should be a wake up call for you, too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

There are always two sides...

in the news lately and I don't mean politics or whatever is grabbing the headlines these days.
Mostly NOTHING good.
But I digress.

What caught my eyes (and some eyeful (s) that was:-), really, was this and then also this. 
 So over there in Vienna,  an exhibition stressing the beauty of the male nude represented in all arts over centuries catches the attention.  And complaints.
So they cover certain parts, as once the Victorians did :-) when limbs were legs :-)!
History repeats itself once again.
While over here,.. ah well, you can read for yourselves.
I may just point out that over there all is more or less beauty in artifice on canvas, photos, stone, etc.
while over here all is 'natural' and sometimes no beauty at all :-).Ah, well chacun a son gout!
Hackett: I can't believe what I see! teehee- lol!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hockey Apologia, and Redemption

Just listening to the web cast last night I was struck, kinda,  after all the announcers are ours, by several excuses made for another non-win performance.

1) They had to fly and bus to the game which tired them - yes?
     Did they all fly coach? And used  school busses with narrow benchseats?
     Now I do have a solution for that:
     Let's say all team members 6'2 and over fly first class so's they can stretch out more;
     those 6'2 to 5'11 fly business class which also gives more leg room,
     and all the shorties below that will be the ones stuck in coach!

2) The other team was very aggressive even more so than the Marlies and Monsters- duh?
    So why did they not turn 6 (yes 6) power play opportunities into goals?
    Of course Palmieri who, IMO, does skate rather aggressively, most times,
    did get the one goal on a PP. But why not the others?

3) Could it be that they were so blinded by that dazzling zigzag of flaring colors of Los IceHogs Sombrero-hatted jerseys?  That must be it, mustn't it?

Because they did win over the Rampage just the other day - and that in a morning game !!
Of course they ONLY had a 3 hours bus ride to suffer for that!

True,  the team is diminished by early injuries to several skilled players,  akin to what their 'parent team' - lol - in Minnesota suffered last season. Hmm, could it be that a Minnesota jinx, now that the Wild are sidelined due to the NHL lockout, travelled South  ;-D?

Although to date they are tied with 6 W and 9L(1OTL and 2SOL).. so not too bad.
Even if the L seem all at home in front of, maybe not much longer, indulgent fans?
Although even there they are even: 3 wins at home, 3 wins away. 4 losses at home( 1 SO, 1 OT) and 4 losses away (1(SOL).
So we ought not complain too much, eh?

 A quick check on the minor league affiliate, the Orlando Solarbears'  record to date shows 6 Wins and 8 Losses (of those were 3 OTL and SOL). Jinx travelling not only south but east as well?

It is hoped - fervently   I am sure by - that they next game vs the Icehogs (back to their regular but still bright jerseys -lol- AT MINNESOTA will be a better game. Might the presence of the WILD big shots and avid NHL hockey deprived fans, help?
Time will tell. 
Follow up to follow :-)!
Maybe the fans will be all smiles next time!
With a little help gangnam style?

And so they did: Today!
REDEMPTION at Excell Arena in front of WILD Fans , and it is presumed Wild Owner and Coaches.Aeros 3 Rockford 2 in Minnesota! Gaols by Fontaine (Foucault,Genoway PP) Larrson (Zucker, Coyle) and Larsson (A shorthanded goal! I believe the first this season and
HIS, too.


OH! Bellissimo Bellini!

So it was on this Sunday afternoon that Better Half and I went to hear and see Bellini's Version of Romeo and Juliette.
And I must admit I, for one, really prefer it over that other Romeo et Juliette en Francais. 

Actually it is called I Capuleti e I Montecchi and sung, of course in Italian which sounds so much more dramatic, less romantic, yes, but.. I also felt Bellini's  Romeo and Juliette were a bit older and thus more dramatic. After all he made Romeo the war leader of his clan... so Romeo must be older, no? Guilietta also seemed more mature, acknowledging the dilemma she is in, torn between her lover and her love and duty to her family. Although the end is the same. Both die!

And sung superbly by wide- range Mezzosoprano Brandy Lynn Hawkins,
very creditable in this trouser role. She overwhelmed with her powerful voice.
Julia Ebner (well selected not only by name LOL) sang Giulietta with beautiful phrasing as well. The audience showed its appreciation for  both singers with accolades of applause. These two voice blended admirably and stunningly.
Of the male roles, Tenor Zachary Averyt as Teobaldo used his strong tenor brightly,
and newcomer to OH! Justin Hopkins Bass-Baritone, made the role of Lorenzo his very own to great applause. Daymon Passmore, Bass, an OH! regular although youthful looking sang and was suitably grave as Capellio, Giulietta's Father.

Since this WAS (big sigh) the last performance I shall not go into too many details.
Let me just say this: in my humble opinion the orchestra and Maestro Carreon Robledo performed awesomely (and I usually dislike using this word). The overture was superbly played and set the tone for the rest...

The clarinets. especially, the other wind instruments, the brasses, and the strings all produced a  sound that pleased hugely. Had Bellini listened in, he surely would have agreed!
Yes, awesomely is so right!

Without a doubt the best production by OH! we have experienced.
And of a rarely performed opera as well.

So happy to have OH! perform unusual, stunningly cast, operas that please, above and beyond the 'run-of-the mill' sorts.
Keep it up OH!
Just - maybe you could put on 2 Sunday afternoon shows ;-)!
So much more enjoyable to drive over to the Heights when traffic, and time of day,  are lighter!
One can appreciate all much better after a relaxed drive  ;-)!

There are more operas out there to be savored than La Boheme, Mme Butterfly, Tosca, Rossini's.
Dare to be different OH! - put similar exciting and/or rare operas on your season progams in the future.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Honor and Remembrance

We and our neighbouring country did on the same day... November 11.
Which was yesterday.

Veterans Day - USA
Remembrance Day - Canada.

It is sad that this day is marred by continuous wars somewhere in the world (semantics- ahem - police actions?) or violent protests.

History must be taught at all times lest we forget the suffering which went on before. Could it have been prevented? If ....see below
Verdi's Requiem Mass Excerpt

Friday, November 9, 2012

Loosing is hard LEM 5 Aeros 4

Zucker after his goal heading to the bench
especially after a fast and furious game in which the Aeros showed some gumption against a strong and aggressive Lake Erie Monsters. Now it would be so easy to blame this or that Aeros player as many 'expert' fans are wont to do.
I disagree.
Yes, the game was lost in a SO against Hackett (some fans undoubtedly disappointed that Kuemper sat this one out again). And, yes, some Aeros action on the ice was not exactly wunderbar!
BUT what made me sit up at the edge of my seat was the 'Energizer Bunny" effect by the same team that played soso hockey last night. That game was boring.
This game was, to say the least, exciting and to watch, at least to me. 
Of course hockey experts will disagree, especially since "OUR" team lost.
Although loosing in either OT or SO, still gains a point!
Another safe by Aittokalloi
Some personal thoughts on tonight's game: The presence of a healthy Scandella was a boon. I liked Larsson. Palmieri (except for his sin bin presence which allowed the PP for LEM ;-). Zucker looks to become quite a scorer. Fontaine, too.
Rau was, again, visible although he only scored once in the 3. He is not a flashy player, but a reliable one.
Palmieri got an unassisted goal in the 1. After Pock and Sgarbossa put the Monsters ahead on the scoreboard.
In the second period Fontaine evened the score, but Agozzino placed Lake Erie ahead again.
The 3. period showed some more mettle with Rau's goal. Sgarbossa (again) scored on a PP, whilst a wild Palmieri sat for high sticking. Zucker then brought the score to 4:4 and the game went OT. No scores there for either team.
I got that one chest high!
Lots of action at the Aeros net, poor Hackett was buried, literally, under a slew of bodies. He did look (but then he doesn't show much on his face) a bit bemused.
I am padded but. all those bodies piled on me..ouch I say

BUT tonight there was neither break nor toss of his stick! :-)

Connolly and Connelly joined at the hip :-)
Pock 22
As an Austrian born I saw with red-white-red pride (lol) Thomas Pock not only carry an A on his red Nr. 22 LEM jersey, but also score a goal (the first one) and an assist later. Maybe being from Klagenfurt with its monster (Lindwurm) made him an ideal LEM member :-).

A respectable crowd of over 7.000 cheered,
and groaned, as well.
Lookee the Puck stops there :-)

LEM Goalie, the Finn Aittokalio stopped 26 of 30, while Hackett did the honors  for the home team with 27 of 31.

Alas, the SO went against him,  as Sgarbossa (bossy aint he?) and Lerg scored, while all 4 Aeros shooters did not!

Coyle's Try...stopped by Aittokallio

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Marlies keep Aeros down 6-4

It sure seems the Marlies have a jinxed the Aeros -  as they tend not to win games! ;-) 

Despite efforts by  Fontaine, Rau (photo below) Zucker and Coyle.
A happy Rau lifts stick in celebrations of his goal in the 1.
Puck on Hackett's Back Photo 1

That's Bagnall glove sweeping  puck away - Photo 2
Now, IMO, Hackett had some great saves tonight, one. seemingly only with the help of Bagnal, as can be seen here in this set of  2 pics (by artandhockey),  :-D;  but he really could not rely too much on most Aeros defenders. Plus the Marlies skated faster, shot more accurately, and kept coming, especially in the third period.

Marlies get a goal first. After Fontaine evens the score, Rau puts a second one into the net.
All in the 1.
And then in period 2, Zucker (how sweet) and later Coyle put Aeros up to 4.

And that was - really - the end.

Marlies came back after the second intermission with grit and determination to win the game against the Aeros, again, as they have done in the past (I believe the last 4 games were indeed won by the  Marlies). And slammed the next one in ... Hackett had NO chance, really!
Plus the lowering effect of an empty netter!

Scrivens in goal for the visitors stopped 24 of 28SOGs. Hackett's numbers were 29 of 34, the last goal was an empty netter by Marlies. Out of 6 PP Marlies translated 1 into a goal in the 3. While Aeros had 4 opportunities, one even a 3-5, and did not convert any.

Not quite sure what happened tonight. The guys seemed disorganized, defense seemed lacking, passing pucks  more often than not to a Marlies' stick. Several start up fights were strongly kept in rein,  before erupting into a full blown affair, by the officials.

I know the team lost, and usually it does not bother too much, as long as they have played well and up to their potential.
Nr. 22 does figureskate well, doesn't he?  What graceful balletic line, eh?
But tonight this simply was not the case. There was no game!

There was some falling about by both teams, and some lovely figure skating like this photo right shows...by Aeros Nr. 22 :-D. 

Scrivens wrote the end methinks (pun intended) but not without the dedicated skating of his team, their determination to come out ahead.
After he had his laces (??) adjusted he stopped all other attempts to score by the by now haplessly scurrying about Aeros
(could that have been the reason... those new laces)  :-D ?

Last Marlies' Goal...puck just barely in right corner of net
And above the last Marlies goal before the empty netter.
Celebration in BLUE!
The 3 stars of the game: 1 and 2 went to the As of the Marlies: Ashton and Aucoin..
while Coyle Nr. 3 of the Aeros received the Nr. 3.

Oh, one other thing I've noticed.... some 'unintended' pairings  ;- D  
 such as Marlies 14 versus Aeros 14 in collision mode for instance.
And, the guys (Aeros) seemed a bit more aggressive than in the last games I attended.
Although the Marlies did not fall too far behind in the aggression department, they seemed to skate smarter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thank Goodness the innundation with vitriol is over.

Or is it? I guess one needs to hedge one's celebrations.
Judging from the comments abloom on various media and others sites,

Guessing 'who will be bashing whom' will be the newest game on line to be sure :-)

For me, chers readers it IS back to normal,
complaining about poor and tasteless productions on stage such as Bietos' at right? ;-).
Oh, YOU do like this? If YOU do - I apologize,
no wait, I will not apologize for YOUR bad taste.

Or maybe express dissatisfaction with "the stock market" that plunged after the recent election results. Hey, some of our income is from there! so now what?
Or I will grumble about the goals MY team did not get. Or about the 'blindness' of some referees...and I do not mean color blindness.

Maybe skeletal looks are "beautiful"? Or that luscious curvy sizes are being dissed,
 all in the name of health .  Surprise, some of the comments there actually approve of larger sized women. Evolution or just contrariness?
And the list could go on, but I shall spare you mine.
Am sure you must have your own list of 'stuff that bugs you'!
How about posting some for others to 'enjoy' or 'lament'?

Monday, November 5, 2012

The dawn of the Age of Half Time Employment

IF one believes what one reads in the media .
And why wouldn't one.
One IS assumed to believe all that vitriolic drivel being aired right now.
Or even more inanities.
So here it goes.
You may want to believe or not, that IS your privilege.

 Per the referenced article: Companies are planning to cut back on full time employees, offering instead to rely on workers working 30 hours or less per week. And why is that? Because under the Affordable Care Act they will get penalized for a) not offering all 30 hours plus employees health insurance, and b) if the coverage offered is deemed by the government to be insufficient.
These fees will range from just 2.000 $ in the case of a) to  3.000 $ in case b).
But who knows where they'll end up, when government realizes these fees (not taxes, mind you) are not enough to cover the ensuing government subsidies to people.
But will employers hire more part timers to fill the void? If so, the government then can proudly point to an increase in employment rates! Hmmm;-)??

But you, chers readers, ask, will the income be sufficient for these part timers to a) make payments for housing, food and other items, such as cars/gasoline to get to that part time work place and parking at their part time work place? And what about needing to buy their own health insurance? 
Because if they do not, they also will be charged a fee- no, it's not a tax, right ;-), for not doing so, if one reads the regulations correctly. And if they can't do so, the government will have to increase spending tax money in subsidies (and where will all that $ come from,you ask, and rightly so?) to make up for deficient incomes of the part time employed persons.
Ah, but to cover that, the government will have to hire (one assumes full time and so fully insured) workers to administer this huge load of new responsibilities! Thus even MORE jobs created, eh! For which one's tax dollars will pay union rates, naturally! And perhaps, even a new department of  'health and wealth dissimination' will have to be invented to oversee this sea of workers, no?

But then one can guess (a satirical guess at that so chuckle please) by that time the government will have put in place enough rules to regulate what, when, where,  and how much to eat, drink, and wear, and drive, and whatever has to be done,  to insure all a really healthy life style!
And bio-engineering the healthiest foods and drink with the most stringent rules to live by - oh, wait that is NOT green enough for many. So one may have to rely on naturally-organically grown foods, which, alas, may simply not be enough to feed all those part timer workers IF they could even afford to buy it!

Ah yes, from cradle to grave one will be oh, so, healthy. Even if one does not live for ever or will that be, too, regulated?  Forget about possible genetically inherited diseases. With enough time passed under these 'most stringent' rules there won't be any such diseases, because 'survival of the fittest' will ensue once again!   Darwin  wins again.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rau Wows

with the only goal against a very potent and seemingly aggressive Grand Rapids Griffins Team.
Rau is Happy

The first period started rather well, neither team scored against Hackett for Aeros and Petr Mrazek (what a nice Czech- name that is) for Griffins.
Second period, it seemed to me that the Aeros were a bit sluggish, and after the Goal by Ferraro  (not to be confused with Andrew Ferraro of Third Intermission), Landon his first name, they seemed more hesitant and discombobulated. And the passing appeared less decisive.

an epic Hackett stop - series of pics Nr.1

Nr. 2

Nr 3. Saved!
Coach must have done 'some' talking, because the guys came out in the third which is when Rau put the puck into the net with the help of McMillan and Genoway, to even the score.

And there it stayed through OT to the conclusion of a Shoot Out which Hackett, this evening alas, did not win.
Phillips, Coyle, Fontaine and Zucker  tied but Mrazek stopped them cold-or the crossbars did, when they didn't just miss the target at all... tired I guess! The guys were just tired!

While Griffins Smith and Pare scored, although Jurco, Nyquist and Tatar did not.
In the midst of a fray a helmet less  Baldwin prominent

The end result was Griffins 2 Aeros 1,  but at least the Aeros did get to take - or should that be stay - home with one point!
As can be seen by the number of SOGS by both teams (32 for Griffins and 31 for Aeros they were quite well matched.
Neither team could take advantage of the power plays (5 for Aeros one of which took place in last minutes of OT, and 3 for Griffins).
How NOT to score :-)!

McMillan just before Rau scores goal

Rau and Hackett Nrs. 3* and 2*
while Smith of Grand Rapids was Nr. 1 *.

Now it seemed to me that the absence of Granlund was noticeable.
He has been, IMO, the cement that knitted together the team's game plan.. being at the right spot at the right time to pass and/or 'steal' the puck, frequently seeing where the mate is to pass the puck to,  and so on.
Having been injured on Friday, he may be out some time. So IF the NHL resumes playing in December as might-just might, be the case, we can surely say 'Good By' to Granlund, and Minnesota can say"Welcome" to him.

Do not count out the Aeros

After the loss to OKC and of Brodin and Granlund, the team rallied and came back with 3 goal in the third in short succession, driving the game into OT and SO. Hackett in goal. The scorers were (seems a bit repetitious, doesn't it but we'll take it fans, right?):
Doffing helmet to you Aeros :-)!
McIntyre with Fontaine, Kampfer; Genoway with Phillips, Fontaine (on PP); Broda and Phillips. And Phillips (Nr. 1 *) won the team the 4-3 win over OKC .. feels good- like a bit of revenge over the team that sidelined the 2 up and coming Euro Talents the night before.  :-)!
Hackett stops the SO's by OKC's most talented scorers with 27 in regulation and OT and 4 in SO.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


As we listened to the voice of the Aeros last evening the news of the shocking injuries to two of the most talented youngsters left us speechless. 
Here the report and two videos-courtesy OKC Barons and Russo's rants of the two events: 
The Brodin hit caused the offending player to be thrown out of the game. 
And rightly so. 
Aeros lost by 1. After two periods of no goals, the third gave them 2 in rapid successions, but also the two injuries. 
The two teams will face off again tonight in OKC, 
with a Sunday afternoon game vs Grand Rapids (artandhockey will be there) in Houston to follow, after a 'wild' bus ride back.

And here video showing Granlunds' prowess as scorer:

On the Opera front: thanks to Monsterstorm Sandy we missed a stunning ( per reports  )  DER FREISCHUTZ by Carl Maria von Weber produced by Opera Atelier in Toronto. As usual the company went all out with lavish costumes and choreography plus sensational ( as reported) singing by flamboyant young singers and dancers.
Announcing Opera Atelier's 2011-12 Season

Of course, I exaggerate a bit here :-), because we did cancel our trip due to the NHL lock out and also so few AHL hockey games scheduled during the originally planned trip. 
BUT had we gone, we would have been on the way back from Toronto via Buffalo and the Lake Erie area which was lashed by rains and high winds. And probably cancelled flight out of Cleveland on Tuesday/Wednesday. 
 In this instance WE ARE rather grateful for the NHL lock out .... just kidding.  
Thus fate meant it not to be.