Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Batten Down the Hatches, Opera A’Comin’.

Marylanders are scurrying around in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, which is predicted to hit land sometime on Sunday. Other than getting some water set aside and not being able to flush, I’m good with everything. To me it’s a nice time to play Scrabble or Monotony. Or sleep. Sleep is good.

Two things recently. Neither one monumental, but they both were funny to me…

1. I was standing at the top of the steps in front of the church at rehearsal last night with a few other adults. From below in the parking lot, we hear one girl call to another girl in a perfect imitation of Brando’s delivery as Stanley in, A Streetcar Named Desire. “Stel-la!…. Stel-la!” she called out. All the adults at the top of the stairs went still, each glancing at the other and then everyone started to snicker and laugh. It was a great example of everyone accessing a reference point at the same time. It was pretty cool.

2. Some of the kids are involved a production of La Boehme, which is being presented by the Lyric Opera Company. These are excellent opportunities for the kids to see what life is like as an opera singer and how different it is to sing singly instead of huddled together yet sounding like a single entity. Every day the stage manager puts out an update for changes and there were a few things I felt were amusing.

  • The chicken leg for Marcello in Act II should be a full leg and not fried.
  • Bernard asked for another corset and panties for the underwear vendor.
Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Pigs, Pumpkins and Popcorn

It has become a tradition in my family to celebrate in late October what I had originally called Harvest Dinner, but has since morphed into being called Fakesgiving. In some ways, I think it’s a funny name and I get that it’s supposed to be a play on words since it does essentially represent a Fake Thanksgiving in timing alone, but in other ways I’m not too happy with the name.

Our typical celebration includes going to a farm to pick apples and pumpkins and then coming home to carve our pumpkins and sitting down to a dinner with all the typical Thanksgiving fare. Not only did I LOVE the idea of going to the place where we can relate to the earth giving to us from her bounty, but also celebrate in the harvesting.

It also doesn’t hurt that by doing this in late October, my schedule is more flexible during a busy work time and none of my grown children have to worry about which house they will spend Thanksgiving in. It’s far less stressful and normally the weather is good. Top that off with more time to shop before Christmas and it’s a bonus all the way around.

This year, we had 13 people join us for Harvest Dinner and we even set things up so the two kids living the farthest away could be with us via a Google hangout. One pair even had their meal set up to eat at the same time we were. That was a sweet touch.

There just is no way to really describe what a wonderful time we had, so I’m going to post photos with a little commentary, and hopefully, you’ll get the gist.

I mentioned popcorn, but didn’t explain.

Generally, at Thanksgiving, the thought is to say Grace and maybe share one thing that you are thankful for. During Harvest Dinner, my emphasis is that you probably have more than one thing to be thankful for at any given moment, and being aware of that is a special thing. To punctuate this, we started a tradition that has been lots of fun.

I place an empty bowl in the center of the table and give everyone some unpopped corn kernels in mini muffin papers. Then, at the beginning of dinner, I explain that whenever you feel thankful for something, you should take a kernel of corn and put it into the bowl. I prefer that you let us know what you are thankful for and frequently find that others will agree and toss in their corn kernels. All throughout dinner, you hear the “plink” of corn into the bowl and the constant running thoughts of gratitude. It’s a great way to watch the blessings grow, and usually turns into some hilarious reasons to be thankful.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Soup Anyone?

When someone tells you that water is coming through the ceiling in the basement, you would of course go look to see what the problem might be, correct?  And you might actually lift a ceiling tile to inspect the bottom of the tub above to find out where the water was coming from, true?

And if you lived in MY house, you might also have to dodge a few cans of 4-year-old soup that would become dislodged when you lifted said ceiling tiles to investigate.


Maybe the previous owners were stashing soup in the ceiling tiles under their upper floor tub in preparation for a soup shortage, but it doesn’t seem do be the most obvious place to store your canned goods to me, and certainly isn’t safe for anyone peeping in the ceiling.


Posted in Musings and Mutterings

My Bizarre World… but I love it!

I’m sitting backstage at the Modell Performing Arts Center (formerly the Lyric Opera House) waiting for 16 children to show up for warm-ups, wardrobe and their dress rehearsal fo the Lyric Opera Company’s production of “La Boheme”.

I brought along some boring chorus ticketing work and am tucked in between the boys and girls dressing rooms. The main set area and instrument storage area is in front of me, so I see just about everyone who walks by and am privy to all the performers conversations, or at least the snippets.

– have you ever met “shuffles”? He’s a huge guy – like Bigfoot…

– they know their season schedules in advance, why can’t they tell us…

– that producer…. he’s such an asshole

I glance up as I see a pair walking by and hear a very deep voice saying, “Right, right, right.” Stalking by is a man close to 7 feet tall, wearing a fez with a tassel and heavy make-up. His eyes “pop” through the grease pain and I get the sensation that he’s an enormous organ-grinder monkey. I know I’m at the opera, and it is Halloween, but it’s macabre all the same.


Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Team Jerseys and Stinkbugs

It’s an eerie phenomenon. Beginning in late summer and increasing as the days get shorter and the air a touch cooler, you can be assured of two things in this neck of the woods.
Both the Team Jerseys and the stinkbugs will be out in full force.

I hadn’t noticed such an infestation of the magnitude I’ve seen this year. They are all over the place, and most prevalent on the weekends. They are in offices, restaurants, retail and driving in cars.TEAM JERSEYS are EVERYWHERE. Definitely a fashion faux pas, these shapeless, garish, and ill-fitting garments are a scourge. I certainly don’t want to be labeled with the name of the athlete du jour and a number that is a foot and a half tall on my back. And even if I did like the local “team colors” I’m not sure I’d want to be as homogenized as everyone else wearing purple and black with “Flacco” across their shoulder blades. It seems that every year, I’ve seen more and more acceptance of the team jersey as an item you wear off the field instead of on. Granted, I’ve moved to what was the training town of the Baltimore Ravens, but they flew the coop the year I came and went south a bit. I guess it’s no big secret that the football sport craze is something I’ve never bought into, and I don’t mind if others want to show team support. To each his own. But, I don’t want to do it, and that’s that!

The stinkbugs, on the other hand, weren’t as bad as the jerseys this year. I had a few outbreaks near the doors, but for the most part, I think my BUCKET OF DOOM will remain fairly empty this year!