Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The dark is flat out depressing when it is for a continued period of time.  I feel very lethargic and tired at the moment.  It could be slowing down on a crazy schedule combined with the dark.  Sandy you were a bitch and a half.  This lack of power thing is depressing, but also helps me keep in perspective that I could be less fortunate all the time, not just temporarily.   I am a very lucky person, as are a lot of us.  It is so easy to take the basic essentials such as electricity for granted.        Well, now it's night time and candles are lite.  It almost feels like a little meditation retreat.  Hopefully it will not be too long until things are restored.  That was one nasty storm.  One of the nastiest I have witnessed.  A lack of power is a mere inconvenience.  People lost their homes, have flooded neighborhoods, some people are dead, trapped, stuck in shelters etc..  The purpose of this posting is perspective, perspective,  perspective.  Perspective is really important in something like this.  I hope all my friends and the like are safe.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Good sayings for not taking life too seriously

This my sound kind of silly, but don't take the small stuff too seriously. It's pretty tiring to do so, believe me. I'm better at handling the big stuff, versus the crap that is virtually meaningless. Simply put, life is too short. Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. James Dean "Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think." Socrates And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln Enjoy life! This is not a rehearsal. Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive. Elbert Hubbard "Every minute should be enjoyed and savored." Earl Nightingale "The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it, therefore, while it lasts, and not spend it to no purpose." Plutarch "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." Marcus Aurelius My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right? Charles Schulz To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. Emily Dickinson Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed. Corita Kent There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – "WOW – What a Ride!" Unknown "I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." Diane Ackerman Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. Hans Christian Andersen "The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live." Joan Borysenko I mean, there's little enough in this life, really, and you only find it worth living for the odd moments, and if you think you're going to have those odd moments again, then it makes life wonderful and have a meaning. Anthony Burgess "Live to the point of tears." Albert Camus "The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it." W. M. Lewis

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why Write This Blog?

I've been asking myself lately why I continue to write entries to this blog. Someone laughed at me once when I told him I have a blog.  I was interested in sharing it with him, and that's the response I got.  Well, I'll explain why I write this blog.     First of all, writing helps me to create.  Writing is an awesome form of expression which can invoke new and interesting thoughts.  Second, I might write about something that not only helps me, but helps other people as well.  If I am down in the dumps, or down and out, I can discuss what I do to get back on track.  Someone who is going through the same thing may think they are the only one.  I can help reassure them that they're not.  Next, I can share about my love of music.  Music saves lives.  I like to share about my favorite singers, recordings, and review performances I've been to.  If I share my love of music it might inspire them and change their life.  Music is beneficial to humanity.  I like to share wisdom I've read or been taught.  Sometimes, I hear something or read something that serves as an ah hah moment, and I like to share it with other people.  When tragedies strike, and people need comfort, I like to write about it to comfort myself and others.  If something I say in these blog postings makes someone laugh, have a new hobby, or whatever, I'm serving a purpose.  So, if I get asked why I have a blog, those are some of my reasons.   I'm not writing this to moan about someone finding it amusing that I have a blog. Well, I do like bitching sometimes, I won't lie to all of you. If someone laughs at something you're doing, I highly suggest not falling victim to it. Keep doing it if it's something you love. Only I can discourage myself, no one else can unless I give them permission. We only live once, and people are going to laugh at us sometimes. Who cares? If I care, that's my problem. If they laugh, that's their problem.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

L'elisir d'amore at the Metropolitan Opera

The first run or Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore" is now over. I got to see it live this past Wednesday night, and really enjoyed the show. This production stared Anna Netrebko as Adina, Matthew Polenzani as Nemerino, Mariusz KwiecieĊ„ as Belcore and Ambrogio Maestri as Dulcamara. The Met Orchestra was conducted by Maurizio Benini. The set was simple, not distracting, pleasant to look at and therefore effective. This production was not modernized like most Met productions have been lately. I honestly found that to be a relief. I cannot see this opera being modernized, but maybe I am wrong. The orchestra an chorus were solid musically, but a little behind the beat because Benini's tempos were on the fast side. Sometimes they were too much on the fast side for me, especially in Dulcamara's entrance aria. Anna Netrebko was a good Adina on stage, but her voice is too heavy for the role in my opinion. Therefore, the vowels were not as clear as I would have liked them to be. Her voice is impressive in terms of size. Diana Damrau sang Adina in the Met's last production. I think she is a better casting choice for Adina. Matthew Polenzani was a great Nemorino not only vocally, but with regard to his portrayal of the character. His soft pianissimo singing in "Una Furtiva Lagrima" reminded me of Tito Schipa. Polenzani is an exceptional lieder singer, and that showed with his great musicianship. Mariusz KwiecieĊ„ was a fantastic Belcore. He interpolated a great high G at the end of his entrance aria. In addition, he looked the part of an arrogant Sargent and played it very well. He's ideal for Donzetti's baritone roles. Ambrogio Maestri was a questionable choice for Dulcamara for me before I actually saw the show. He played Scarpia in a production of "Tosca" I was a part of in Switzerland. He proved me wrong, and was a great Dulcamara. His whistling between notes was really skillful and funny. All that being said, I would cast someone like Alessandro Corbelli, who sang Dulcamara in last year's Met production. Maestri ie a huge man, and a very intimidating opera villain. On the whole I really liked this production of L'elisir d'amore. Basically the story of the opera is that Nemorino is in love with Adina, and she won't give him the time of day. She at first buys into Sergant Belcore's arrogance, but then ends up liking Nemorino for who he is. In the meantime, Nemorino buys a "love potion" from the hack Doctor Dulcamra. This supposed elixir is really bordeaux. Nemorino still believes he has won Adina because of that potion at the end. Is he stupid for believing that? Yes. But, still I really like the fact that Adina ends up liking Nemorino for who he is. So, basically this is a spoof of Tristan and Isolde. This production will continue with the same cast in a few months, with the exception of Erwin Schrott taking over the role of Dulcamara.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Animal Violence Has Nothing to do with Politics

This is not intended to be a politically based blog posting.  I don't  address politics in my blog postings mainly because the hostility with the whole subject is way out of whack.  So, I search online for cats for Obama memorabilia for a little humor.  I found a picture of a hanged cat on top of an Obama/Biden sign.  By the way, yes that is a true story.  That's just plain sick.  I don't care what side the person's on, but I looked for the opposite on the Internet of a cat hanged on a Romney sign and didn't find it.  But, no matter, the point is animals don't understand politics the last time I checked.  So this is more amount humanity than politics. If anything, that innocent cat was creating peace between all this bullshit.  This is not the only story I've heard which is like this.   My point of all this is that it's someone's pet no matter what side they are on.  I guarantee everyone that if I discussed my views with my cat she would meow because of the sound of my voice, not because she understands what I'm saying.  Finally, killing someone's pet is not going to change their vote.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Doing The Right Thing

    It was still dark when I woke up this morning.  That's just not cool.  Even my cat was like what the fuck is this. So I rode the NJ transit to Trenton, and got on the SEPTA.  This guy behind me got on, and asked about the train in an insanely loud tenor voice.  I almost made a sarcastic remark like they can hear you  in Washington.  But no, I didn't do that.  He was obviously confused.  So, he said I think I'm on the wrong train.  It turns out he was completely on the wrong train.  So, I did what was right, and I got him onto the right train by carrying his bag and everything.  Doing the right thing felt really good. I don't care what people think about this, I just know it makes me feel good.     Doing the wrong thing just feels bad.  If I had told that guy to shut up, I would have felt bad all day long.  My behavior effects other people and animals.  We are all human.  Of course we make mistakes with regard to how we treat people.  I always have to try to forgive myself when I make mistakes.  I am my own worst critic.  But, I was glad I knew what the right thing was this morning.  It taught me a valuable lesson.  I've been taking the train to and from Philly, and New York for over a decade, so I tend to take it for granted because I know what to do.  This man was clearly confused, and nearly missed his train, so I was glad I could be of help.  Helping like that should be a natural instinct.  I think that for most people it is underneath.    It's a normal thing to do, but I still enjoy writing about these things regardless.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recitals Coming Up

I am performing two recital programs with pianist Stefanie Watson.  One will be at the Solley Theatre at the Arts Council of Princeton located at Robeson Performing Arts Center on 12/9/12 at 230, and the other will be at the Highland Park Public Library on 1/10/13 at 7 PM.      The programs for both days will the same.  We will be performing songs and arias signifying summons, prayers, pardoning, various animals, humility, lifes challenges and resolutions, and a fat guy singing a drinking song.  Genres will range from opera to art song to show tunes.      We are putting on these recitals because we both love performing.  I like to share my love of singing with people, and also practice my craft since I learn from every performance.    The program is "Arise Ye Subterranean Winds" by Henry Purcell, "Si la Rigueur" from "La Juive", O Isis und Osiris from "The Magic Flute", Grenzen der Menscheit, Wanderers Nachtlied 1 and Wanderers Nachtlied 2 by Schubert , "Le Bestiares"by Poulenc, Songs my mother taught me, Charlie Rutlage, Romanzo di Central Park by Ives, Als Bublein Klein from the Merry Wives of Windsor, and a few show tunes which I will announce.