January 31st, 2004



January 17, 2004 my hisband and I went to see Carmen. I hadn’t had the opportunity to read any of the preliminary material we were sent, so I went in to this one completely blind. I do’nt think I’ll do that again, I don’t like having to read the subtitles while trying to absorb everything else. It’d rather just focus on the stange and get the general gist of what they’re saying.

As with any opera, there were really two elements to this one - the stageplay and the music. However, this was the first time I’d seen the stage element be such a pronounced portion of the production. As such they’ll get treated as separate elements.

First the stageplay. The acting and set were fantastic. Carmen was hugely expressive and such a tragic figure. Don Jose and Micaela were absolutely convincing in their performance. In fact, I’ve seen many plays where the actors could not compare with the authenticity shown on this stage. Don Jose’s obsessive behavior reminded me of that of Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory.

The first act of the music was fun, fabulous at setting the mood for a jovial trip into town. No cares, no worries other than whether or not the children would come begging. I was surprised at how many songs I recognized, how such a complicated opera could make such inroads into popular culture. I really think that the opera community owes Warner Brothers and Bugs Bunny a lot of credit for making beautiful music accessible.

Unfortunately, the change of mood between acts could not be carried off the performers. The tragedy in the music was completely overwhelmed. I desperately wanted to feel the tragedy. They music told me that what was going on was worse than the words could convey. But I didn’t feel it in the voices. The inflection just wasn’t there.

Overall, a very uneven opera, but fun to attend.

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.


(no subject)

Every once in a while, I feel this pull to be on the city council. I'm not really sure why, I think it may have something to do with the time I spent working with the one in my hometown while in high school. I really enjoyed making a difference and having a say in important things that could make peoples lives better.

This morning while I was contemplating running the next time a seat opens up, it occurred to me that I intend to move again. Soon. So really, that wouldn't be a very feasible option. But then again we haven't defined "soon," so I just don't know.

Horror and Magic

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a fantastic adventure into sin. The premise is simple: what would happen if you could get away with anything? The answer, of course, is never that easy.

Dorian is interesting because of the transition he makes. He started out as a youth, as beautiful as he was pure. Of course, he has foils: an artistic moral friend and one that’s out to corrupt him as an experiment. Dorian is free to choose his own path, but the temptation of hedonism is too much.

The most interesting part of the story is his exploration into spirituality. Dorian is given incontrovertible proof that there is a soul, and yet he continues to try to deny that there is life after death, his spiritual tenets all revolve around the material world. Why? Would anyone else behave differently? Does the certainty of the existence of a soul make any difference?

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.



I think about moving a lot. I need a bigger house, now. Not later, when I can afford it, but now. I have too much stuff. Typing that out, it sounds very materialistic. But it's not as bad as all that. Sure, I'm spoiled. I spoil myself. In fact, I'm drinking designer coffee while sitting here. But really, what person in the US with an internet connection isn't? I can even afford the luxury of self analysis.

OK, digression aside, I want a bigger house. Most of the stuff I have serves a purpose. If it didn't, I've already gotten rid of it, passed it on to someone who can use it and will appreciate it. Sure, I have a guest room, with an extra bed and closet. The closet is full of stuff that gets used on a regular basis, the bed to ensure that when someone visits or is too tired to get home, they've got somewhere to sleep. We use every corner of this house. We don't store extra food, we don't waste space. In fact, I am so good at using it efficiently that no one else can put things away; there just isn't any room for error. I suppose we could limit ourselves to activities that use only the materials we have, but what sense does that make? Where's the fun and growth in that?

So, bigger house. But I want other things too, not just more rooms and more storage. I want a large plot of land. And with all my heart and soul I want to live next to the ocean. I want it to lull me to sleep at night, to comfort me when I'm sad, to rage against me when the storms whip it into a frenzy.

I don't know when we will be able to afford these things. I seem to have set my cap somewhere in the future when this dream is a reality and am stuck in the present trying to make do until I can get there. The plans are in motion, the wheels are turning, trying to get there, spinning against the dirt. I just need some gravel to stick in front of them to pop out of this rut.