Monday, July 04, 2016

Toreador En Garde!

So one of my sisters in law found a Groupon for 40% off tickets to the opera Carmen. The other sisters thought that was a great deal and we should all have a night at the opera, so that was the plan. We decided to meet at a Lebanese restaurant nearby. Some of us were going by car and some were taking BART. That was us. We took the train to Civic Center and started walking.  When we got to Van Ness we saw the SILs just ahead of us so we ran to catch up and we all got to the Lebanese place before 5:00, the time for our reservations.

So we waited for it to open, then we waited some, then we waited some no sound, no lights, no movement of any kind.  A phone call went to their voicemail and we decided they must be closed for the holiday so went to the Japanese restaurant next door. It was good and they were open!

After dinner we all walked a few blocks to the Opera House.  My sister-in-law got Orchestra 3rd row center tickets.  Awesome seats!  We were right in front of the orchestra pit and eye level with the stage. The Opera was really good.  The costumes, lighting and sets were superb.  We didn’t know the story of Carmen beforehand. It was in French and we don’t speak French but they did have supertitles with the translation though suspiciously they would have only one line in English for many lines of French but I’m sure we got the gist.  Anyway the songs, beautifully sung, were very familiar. Carmen’s habanera you’d recognize right away.  It’s all about the fickleness of L’Amour.  This production of Carmen alternates two performers for this role. The one we saw was very good, very sexy as Carmen should be, though she is a bad, bad girl and thinks nothing of breaking hearts.  But after all love is fickle.  The other main characters Don Jose, her initial love interest and Escamillo, the Toreador, that she dumps him for were also played by fine singers.
The staging was interesting. it seemed to be a modern or modernish Spain.  The Gyspy’s drive around in old Mercedes Benz’s.  The soldiers’ uniforms looked 1930’s.  One of the Gyspy girls dressed like a 1960’s go go girl and the other one dressed was wearing a 1950’s style.  We weren’t sure about the naked guy except that this is San Francisco. 
 We stayed in our seats during intermission while they had open curtain Q & A.  They explained they were simulcasting to a crowd at AT&T Park and answering questions tweeted to #opencurtain.  They also explained that the giant black bull sign, that was part of the set, was originally a road side advertisement for an English sherry company. 

It was a lot of fun!  A little darker than we expected.  Carmen does not survive.  This was the second Opera I have seen since I had gone with SIL’s to see the “Barber of Seville”. It was the first for my hubby and son.  It was a short walk back to the train and a short ride back to the car.  We will do it again.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Saying Goodbye To My Niece-In-Law

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. 

We had some bad news on New Year’s Eve 2015.  My hubby’s niece passed away.  She was in her 30’s.  She had a heart attack at home while watching a movie with my sister-in-law.  The days since have been a blur.  The family and friends rallied around my sister-in-law.  We are not supposed to bury our children.  How can a person so young die suddenly?  One feels so helpless because all we can do is be there for her.  We can’t take away or ease her pain.
My sister-in-law had her cremated. On February 21st was my niece’s sea scattering and life celebration.  The family and a few close friends met up at the Neptune Societies boat docked at Pier 39.  The boat took us just outside of the Golden Gate Bridge to scatter her ashes.  I have never been to a sea scattering before.  It was a nice day on the water, sunny and a little breezy.  They had put her ashes in a lovely box.  The Neptune personnel performed a quick service then we all said goodbye before my sister-in-law and mother-in-law put her ashes into the water.  We had some flowers that everyone threw in with her.  It was a lovely ceremony.  After we came back in we went to one of the restaurants near the pier to have a memorial with the people who didn’t get to go on the boat with us.  My other sister-in-law arranged the ash scattering ceremony and the life celebration.  The restaurant is right near the Neptune Society boat.  My sister-in-law set up a slide show of photos  her with my niece-in-law  favorite music playing  in the background.  Her step-father gave a moving eulogy. Her friends and family, including my hubby, stepped up to share memories of her.  We provided some note cards for people to write sentiments on them and hung them up in the netting on the tribute table. There were quite a few people at the restaurant.  She was definitely loved. 
My niece-in-law was such a sweet, generous, loving, loved kids, there for you in times of trouble and family oriented.  She loved all things mermaid, loved to read and loved take photos. May she rest in peace. May you swim with the mermaids and dolphins.

by Walter de la Mare
Leagues, leagues over the sea I sail
Couched on a wallowing dolphin's tail.
The sky is on fire, the waves a-sheen,
I dabble my foot in the billows green.
In a sea-weed hat on the rocks I sit,
where tern and sea-mew glide and beat,
and where dark shadows the cormorants meet.
In caverns cool when the tide's a wash,
I sound my conch to the watery splash.
From out their grottos at evenings beam,
the mermaids swim with locks agleam.
To where I watch on the yellow sands,
and they pluck sweet music with sea-cold hands.
They bring me coral and amber clear.
But when the stars in heaven appear,
their music ceases, they glide away.
They swim for their grottos across the bay.
Then listen only to my shrill tune,
the surfy tide, and the wondering moon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Top 5 Favorite Holiday Movies

Happy Holidays!  My husband and I started a family tradition of having Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve.  Dungeness crab and a nice loaf of crusty french bread yum! That is the perfect Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner we always watch a Holiday movie.

This year the Dungeness crab season is delayed due to large Algal blooms in the water.  It is probably due to the warmer ocean waters and the El Nino event. So now we need to think of something else for tomorrow night.  I think we will make homemade tempura shrimp and vegetables. At bed time we read "Twas The Night Before Christmas". My son is a teen now so he reads the story to us.

My top 5 favorite Holiday movies are:

1. Elf
2. Miracle on 34th Street -- 1947
3. The homecoming: A Christmas Story
4. A Christmas Carol -- 1951
5. The Santa Clause

What are your favorite Holiday Movies?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

Tonight was the “Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse”.  That is a mouthful to say! This is a rare astronomical phenomenon when a total lunar eclipse combined with a super moon.  I read that the last time this happened it was in 1982. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to see it because there were some clouds and since we are on the West Coast, the lunar eclipse would be in progress as the moon rose.  We kept going outside to check on the moon.  It finally came up over the hill and the clouds. At first it was barely visible then it became more visible as it rose above the clouds.  It was way cool to see.  Some of my friends on facebook didn’t get to see it because of the cloud cover.  I shot some awesome pictures of it. So the next one won’t be until 2033 so I’m glad I got a good view of this one.
Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse