Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Concert Disaster

Last night we went to a concert of the orchestra.  Our neighbor gave us free tickets, as she was playing that night as a percussionist, her actual job.

The guests were Condoleeza Rice and Aretha Franklin.  I don't know who would make such a connection between the two, but someone did.

Miss Rice, Condie came the shouts from around us, was elegant and played the most simple part of the most simple piano concerto that exists.  She did not play as a professional, and might rather have played in someone's living room, but backed as she was by a major orchestra, performed competently, and made no big fuss.  She had a large contingent of strident fans in the audience.

Miss Franklin sailed onto the stage as an ocean liner, her giant silver satin dress and coat breaking the non- existant waves before her.  She looked as beautiful as she ever could. She was easy and made jokes for the crowd.  She moves with grace, and large sweeping arm gestures.

Behind us were some women who were students and singers classically trained.  They were excited to see the concert, and said so.  There was plenty of time before the concert, and surrounding us were  a lot of people, maybe 100 or so, all sitting on blankets on the lawn.  It was almost cool,and no insects annoyed us.  People  were  serving picnic dinners that ranged in complexity from full course meals, to wine, to water and a large bag of cherries.  Everyone was excited but relaxed.

It was an unfortunate choice, but Aretha, instead of simply hiring back up singers, brought with her, a piano player, a synthesizer guy, and two women dressed in black and dangerously wielding tambourines.  It seemed that there was also an electric bass and a guitar who were not part of the orchestra.  There were still a good lot of the orchestra on stage, but against their will, the orchestra had to put up with sometimes playing with a CD in the background that added all the funky bits and backup singers.

What was left of the orchestra were stuck on the stage not playing for the better part of an hour.

I ask you; you get a world class orchestra to play behind you, and you make them sit still while you play a CD of the Blues Brothers ?  Why not let them leave the stage?  Why pretend?  I will tell you, the orchestra members were really peeved.  They are not old fuddy duddies, they like Aretha, the crowd loved Aretha, but that music switch was a major mistake.

And then... she tried to sing opera.  Yes SHE DID!  Oh baby, it was not good at all.  Her voice is strong but failing in the slightest way, and several times she dropped her voice by an octave, just to get on with it.

By the end, we all felt badly for her.  She was making those ear splitting sounds mostly related to Patti LaBelle, but not in key, and we were in misery.  People in the audience were howling like dogs.  I only hope that she did not hear them.

One of the women behind us crawled to speak into my ear, "I am classically trained, and this is not good!"
No, I replied.  It is not good.  The lawn crowd was dashing for the exits.  The singer behind me left even though she needed to use a cane to do so, and she split so fast I did not even see it.

Then Aretha invited one of the Isley Brothers onstage.  He was in his mid to late sixties, wearing a white suit.  It was hard to tell if he came from backstage or the audience, and he was either not a fan of Streisand, or just did not know "They way we were", or could not get a note in.  It was an odd choice, but we felt like she had a connection to this man in the past.  People cheered wildly, ignoring the quality of the singing.
  It was out of respect mostly.

THEN she announced that she would sing the National Anthem and we all stood up.  And instead, she sang Our Country 'tis of Thee, and we all sat back down.

We waited by the stage entrance for our neighbor who was driving.  The Orchestra members rushed out, clutching their instruments to their chests, lips tight, ears ringing.

We did the breakdown in the car, describing what we heard, and what she heard at the back of the stage behind the percussion instruments.  By the end of the ride we were laughing a lot, enjoying the night, and the company.

We had a really good time. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

I write like.....

I went to and put in two different blog posts.
Evidently, I write like Margaret Atwood, and David Foster Wallace, high praise indeed!

It's some kind of computer so it doesn't know I actually write like Erma Bombeck.  You may not know her as she has shrugged off this mortal coil, but she was hilarious!  She wrote about her home and life as many of us do, but things go awry in her life, as they do in mine.

Anyway, I'll take that misplaced praise any day.  Please, pass it on, I need more readers, but I love my two faithfuls!

I must mention that it rained last night, and I finally had a great night's sleep with the windows open!! (party horns sound in the background)  How about you?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dog days

I don't know why they call it the dog days. As far as I know, dogs don't like it any better than we do but since their "sanitary facilitiy" is outdoors they gotta go and drag their humans with them.

I suppose that picking up your dog's  stuff is better than leaving it in the park for others to step in, and having at least once stepped in it, I gotta say the whole world is better off not having to wipe anything off their shoes.

It's a good thing dogs don't chew gum, but if they did, they'd probably swallow it.  Humans think it's okay to stick under furniture or spit out on the ground where... yes, it gets on your shoes.  Particularly when it's hot like this.

One time when I lived in the city I had to change a headlight.  I took the car ( white honda civic) to a parking lot where I could sit on the curb to perform this operation.  I was wearing my red Italian jumper and white faux ostrich cowboy boots.  (Shut up! it was adorable!)

When I went to pull my legs out from under the car, they did not come???  How does that work?  My legs were stuck, yes, stuck in gum.  For no known reason I did not at that point take off the boots.  That would have been sensible, but I thought I would just put a napkin from the glove compartment on the gas pedal and it would be okay.

It was not as okay as I would have liked. I drive a stick, so as I drove the thin crappy napkin form a fast food chain stuck to all three pedals, tearing to bits.
The more I drove, the messier it became, and when I opened the window the pieces of napkin swirled around my head like I was a post modern snow globe. I flailed my arms wildly, trying to see the city traffic around me.

Sometimes my life is a situation comedy.  I tell these stories to people and they think I it's hyperbole.  My nephew said about one story: Aunt Meg, that is not a story, that's a movie.

And so although my dreams of stardom went unfulfilled, at least my life is cinematic.

I don't know what became of the dog story.  It was an interesting premise, but not having a dog shortened it up a good deal.

Have a good day, won't you?  And please, pick up after yourself, and the dog.

Thank you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Caleb Hawley

I went to a free outdoor concert last night.  It was a young man singer, songwriter who came to our town at the behest of the local musical impresario and harmonica artist, Bob Beech. nice guy, that Bob.

Anyway, he was sort of James Taylor meets Paul Simon. 

He was adorable, infectious, energetic, had a wonderful singing voice and presence.

It was quite enjoyable even though I chose to sit on a tree root, which was dicey.

Look him up. listen to his songs:


I haven't washed my hair in several days, despite the heat.
It feels like it might crawl off my head.
And still it looks quite gorgeous,
though I've just jumped out of bed.

I don't photograph well, so, no pic.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unhealthful Eating

I am fighting the dreaded GERD, reflux, that is. Evidently my whole family has some version of it, and I have had to give up seltzer. What the heck next, I ask. No coffee, no tea, no fruit juices, all herbals are suspect, no mint in the no tea.... I gotta say, there's got to be a positive way to say this, and I'm really trying.

 How 'bout: I can drink all the water I want! Woooooooo!

Yeah, I thought as much.
In other words, if it keeps the phegm out of my throat and brings back my singing voice, then I've got to be all for it.

Here's a laugh.. remember all those fruits and leafy greens and whole grain whatsis we are supposed to be eating? They told me not to. I don't know what to replace them with as french fries, chips, guacamole, anything with a tomato or onion in it or vinegar or dairy food is also out of the question. It's a trial and error thing.

I went to Barnes and Noble but they only had one book which, after telling you what not to eat, told you to eat everything they told you not to.  Yes, I concur.

Let me know if you have a good idea.  I see Jello in my future.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What to wear?

Okay troops, Sorry about that last entry, it was on my mind, but sometimes, I should just keep it to myself.
This one is more all inclusive.

I have to go to a christening.
I have to find something to wear.  You can make the call
They are not necessarily in that order.  You will be able to identify and assess the outfits named.
1. Blue flowered April Cornell dress, white shoes.  It's one piece, but it gaps at the bust, makes my ass look gigantic, and maybe it's a little out of date or frumpy?

2. Black gaucho pants with a lively flower print,  (so cute) a sleeveless black knit top (gaps at the armpits) and black shoes.  2 pieces, the waist of the pants is 3" high and elastic.  I had to take some of the elastic out so I would not lose a kidney, they were bothering me there.  And the top is almost fine,which means not quite fine, and at least one sister will make a remark.

3. Linen pants, silk top, silk cardigan, all shades of beige.  This is my possible favorite?  But the pants have gotten quite thin, I don't know if you can see through them, the silk under top has really long armpits and my bra shows, so I have to keep the sweater on.
It's 95 degrees. None of that is going to look crisp for more than 6 minutes.  I am not a beige person but I thought it would be elegant?  I don't know who I'm trying to kid.

4. The black and white nylon knit dress.  Makes my rear look huge, and I have to suck in my gut the whole time.  The V neck is too low and I have to pin it shut.  The place where it is now pinned is good but shows maybe too much cleavage, so...

You be the judge.  Don't hold back, just tell me.  Okay, I gotta add pictures, but not with me in them, that just does not work.  P.S. Keep in mind, that the dummy is a size 4-6 and I am a very short waisted busty size 12, and that while I can see things may need more pressing, this it.

Thanking you in advance.  I know you'll do the right thing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Traffic of the Dead

I was driving to the thrift store today when I was thrown off by constuction.  I had to go out to a major artery and make a left turn on a busy street where there was no light, and constant traffic was not stopping to let you in.

Anyway, there were 2 cars in front of me and a school bus in front of them. What is the holdup? I wondered.
It was a humongous funeral.  I know this is a touchy subject, so bear with me.  It was a long line of cars with those little flags on the fronts and placards in the window.  My view was though the gas station pumps to the left of me.  If there were a building there, there would have been nothing to see at all.

Who died?  Could have been a policeman?  That happens a lot lately in Philadelphia.  But then people die every day.  I knew it was not George Steinbrenner. He does not live anywhere near here.

 I often think that when I die, no one will attend.  Possibly one of my sisters,  but that's it.  There was no funeral for Mom, nobody was up for that. But that's my family.

A lot of the time when someone you know dies, or even when it's a relative of someone you know, you feel obligated to go to the funeral.  Not always, but you know which ones you just have to attend.  If you are powerful, well loved, or knew a lot of people, your funeral will be well attended, and like the funeral I saw this morning, tie up traffic for blocks.

Traffic is funny.  People get all bent out of shape if you are not going fast enough, or forget a turn signal (which is dangerous, and rude at the same time), but everyone stops and gives the right of way for a funeral.

It's as if you rate higher on the respect scale dead, than you did alive.  What's that about?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where is the New Yorker when you need them?

I just went back and read the first year of this blog, and I have to say I was amused for several hours

Try it: just go to the end, or like February of 2005 and start there.  See if you don't have some fun.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Heat Wave

It's been so hot out, it was difficult to move.  For the first couple of days we acutally camped outside in relative luxury.  We put up my craft tent that the hub and I made to go to craft shows.  The bad thing: it is not waterproof.  The good thing: shade, beautiful shade.

Being unwilling to move, we sat there, getting up only to hose down once in a while and reading magazines and books.  This week's favorite has been Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith.  This is not the original sendup of Jane Austen's famous novel, but a prequel to it, and written by a different author.  I am told that the original is more violent and has more acutal Austen to it, but this was light reading (yes, I do heavy lifting but light reading) and pretty hilarious if you can get past the putrefying people.

Friday, July 02, 2010