Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Did I mention that the "moon" and "star" that formed the exceptional "stage" are Arabian symbols? You knew that already. On several occasions, chanting and musical instruments of the Middle East were used dramatically to instill the Harem theme. The thundering drums made a huge de(oops) impression.
There was an unforgettable vision when Sarah cast shadows of multiple angels on a gauze-like veil across stage front. She wore feathers, two feet long, on her finger tips and dangling from the entire length of her arms. It created the appearance of a huge winged bird...without a doubt...angelic, angelic, angelic, angelic.
I haven't said too much about singing, only two words are necessary...Sarah Brightman...or one...spectaculicious. She raised lovely melodies, like "Dust in the Wind" and "A Whiter Shade of Pale", to the divine. Of course, "Phantom of the Opera" selections contributed to the musical bliss. While Sarah sang "Nessum Dorma", standing on the high end of the curved arm above the stage (moon), it turned left and glided out into the audience, bringing her really up close and personal and w-a-a-ay up above their heads. Previously, I referred to two groups of musicians adding to the harmonious atmosphere; one was a rock band and the other, a full philharmonic orchestra. (something for everyone)
Then, there was the simplest of things.....like walking. I notice walking. (Ladies, check out the John Wayne gait in a movie sometime; and the number one walker, Jeff Goldblum, in the last two minutes of "Independence Day") Gentlemen, you'll want to check out the Sarah Brightman strut and swoon.
I'll write again about music some time, but, this concert is fini. The doors of the MGM Grand are closed.
Friday, May 25, 2007
And speaking of stages, this one was unigue. A huge three-quarter moon connected to a large eight-sided star by a runway about forty feet long...all outlined in lights. The runway jutted out into the audience, situating the star in the middle of the people. On stage right, or rather moon right, an arm arched high above and terminated at the centre, still twenty feet above stage (moon)...again outlined in lights. Two orchestras were visible, where you would expect the back of the stage would be and they lowered and would rise when featured.
Sarah appeared, mystically, in the centre of the star, wearing yards and yards of sparkling, shimmering, sequined froth-like, white netting waving constantly in a gentle breeze. She sang "Harem". She soon dropped the glowing accessory from her shoulders to display a gorgeous, silver-white, bespeckled, very short, very sexy bustia and pant set. Hidden from our view, under the afore mentioned webby froth were thigh-high, silver, very high heeled boots. Her long, black, curling hair was crowned with a halo resembling sparklers that were held motionless in space. A jewel hung from a delicate chain, onto her forehead. The colour of her dazzling outfit was changed magically by the twelve white and rainbowed spot lights focused on her.
It is enthralling how she often began an aria and joined it to a modern song as if they were written that way. She combined the Madame Butterfly aria with It's a Beautiful Day and just knocked me out.
At various times she seemed to be floating on a magic carpet.....she swung on a swing lowered over the audience.....she was raised into the air on invisible wires, while trailing billowing, silken gauze around her.....rose petals were tossed onto the audience by harem girls (who themselves had about eight costume changes). The ceiling then began to rain rose petals, millions of rose petals floated everywhere.....another time confetti drifted from ceiling to floor for minutes on end.....a veil of water appeared spritzing straight up, twenty-five feet, from the floor and moving back and forth like the Dancing Waters in Las Vegas.....breezes, fog all added to the intensely beautiful spectical.
Sarah's costume changes were often done, unnoticed, on stage; adding a golden komina or dropping flowing capes to reveal a new sensual outfit in black or gold. She was unseen only at times when the eight harem dancers entertained with exquisite arm, hand and, of course, hip gyrations. The longest she was off stage for the entire concert (2 hours) was ninety seconds.
Arrogantly, I tell myself I would have added gigantic drums on stage in one song and a whirling dervish-like costume and skirt and spin, for the dancers, in another. (in my dreams) I've already watched my new DVD twice.
There's so much more to tell, but, honestly THIS is the short version. I hope you were able to stay the course and I especially wish you the joy of seeing this exeptional production.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
How wreid is tihs?
Aoccdmig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are. The olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist
and lsat ltteer is in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you
can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey
lteter by istlef but the wrod as a wlohe.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
I want to tell you about my home, not the walls and furniture of my house, but my extended home, my hometown. As with many towns, it began as a small settlement, in 1780, because of it's proximity to water. It was first called "The Twelve" because it was located on the Twelve Mile Creek. (As a very young child, I recall throwing stones into the wide creek, from an old iron bridge, and having a special ring that my Grandma gave me, slip off my finger and disappear into the gently flowing waters of the creek. My Grandparents lived one house away from these waters. My youngest Aunt would take me down the hill to watch the water every time I visited.)
By 1798 it was called "Shipman's Corners" because Paul Shipman built an Inn on the main mud road, which is now called St. Paul Street. The Paul part stuck, but the Shipman part didn't. Ten years earlier Robert Hamilton built the first goods store here and later the town was named after his wife...ST. CATHARINES. Funny how in those days "Saint" was put in front of so many names of places and streets. I guess it was wishful thinking.
Business started to boom when the first Welland Canal was built in 1824. It was only about 15 feet wide because that was boat size then. The canal was dug behind St. Paul St. and eventually ran over 20 miles. Second and third Welland Ship Canals have been built since then, to accomodate the huge ships of today. St. Catharines became the hub of industry and commerce for the entire Niagara area.
In the 1840's and 50's this was the end of the Underground Railroad. Thousands of slaves from the U.S. south, found their way to freedom, thanks to generous folks in local churches.
The Welland Canal runs parallel to the Niagara River. Both now join Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. If you're contemplating a visit by boat, take the canal route. You won't servive the river. Passage from one lake to the other is impossible because of the gigantic Niagara Falls and class 5 and 6 (deadly) rapids.
My city is boxed on all sides by lovely countryside......Lake Ontario on the north, the Niagara Escarpment (it's the water of the Niagara R. falling over the Escarpment - a World Heritage Site - that formed Niagara Falls) on the south, the Welland canal on the east and gently rolling hills covered in vineyards and soft fruit (apples, peaches, pears and cherries) farms on the west. The lakes give us our temperate climate, which is perfect for the delicate crops grown here. Winter temperatures rarely go to -15C (close to zero F) and summer weather is hot, up to 38C. (in the 90'sF) The land then flattens a bit and if you drive around the tip of L. Ont. you'll find Toronto. It's a lot closer if you row across the lake, but you'll be really tired when you get there.
In St. Catharines and area you can skate (inside) all year round, enjoy all the water sports, go antiquing, go carting, stock car racing, go to a gorgeous gambling Casino, enjoy many, many wooded parks, and go hiking and biking on endless trails along the lake, the escarpment and the canal. The Falls and the most beautiful town in Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake, are only 15km away. Our big city-wide events are the Multicultural Folk Arts Festival in the spring, the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in June, The huge Grape and Wine Festival in the autumn and the Ice Wine Festival in the winter.
We are home to very highly rated educational facilities...the world reknowned Ridley College, Niagara College and Brock University, the only University to have a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture (wines and wine making). University tuition is subsidized by the government.
Population is 138,000 and the average salary is $35,000. The average home price is about $160,000 to $175,000.
I love this place and as I wrote all these wonderful things about my city, I began to love it even more. I can't think of one thing undesirable about St. Catharines. Oh, someone did say they saw some hookers on Queenston St. a while back. I try to close my eyes when I drive down there. As for the rest of my city.......It's all good!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I'm not the weirdest person you'll ever meet and certainly not likely to make anyone blush. I'll aim a little lower than weird...maybe just strange, or silly.
*** The first thing I remember wanting to be, when I was about four, is a pilot. It's a little strange that both my husband and my son are pilots, not me. But, I did take ground school with hubby.
*** I learned at a young age, that I better stick to the straight path. I played hookey three times and got caught all three times. Weird...or unlucky? ....... HEY! I heard that. Who said, "Just plain dumb." Well, I learned the value of planning.
*** While standing at the bus stop, at the age of five, I heard my Mother gasp and lean toward my aunt to quietly tell her something. They snickered and I had a bit of interesting information. As we stepped onto the bus, I announced to the driver, "My Mom forgot to put on underwear!"
*** Not weird, just embarrassing - I've tossed my cookies in a car, in a single engine plane and in the long grass behind the midway rides. So! Hasn't everybody?
*** When I dream of loved ones that have passed away, on waking, I never fail to feel that it was great to see them and that we had had a good visit.
*** I always see both sides of an argument.
*** There is an old saying, or myth - We all turn into our parents. Years ago, I jokingly suggested to my sister that if I ever turned into our Mother, she should get a gun and shoot me. Last week I told her to buy the gun.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Forgetting is good. It's almost the only exercise some people get.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The title refers to BLOGGING. It frustrates me so, that I want to stick my finger in the Blog Monster's eye. Then, a few minutes later, I want to put it/her/him on my lap and pet it/her/him. That happens when I realize that there are people out there, really nice people, that are helping me with points I don't yet understand about this blogging or are making me laugh about everyday life because of their talent for writing.
The best of blogging is that it brings minds together, no geographical boundries, no age limits. As Minka advised, two posts ago, we don't even know, sometimes, if we are sharing ideas or silly nonsence with females or males, not to mention the high or the mighty, the couch potato or the professor. Imagine SNARK being four or five people! (A day or two ago, one of the Snarks used the pronoun "we" and my ears perkled up........no they didn't "perkle".......they perked up. Perkled ears sounds like it hurts.....And Morgan had an idea of the conspiracy.)
This is certainly an undistinguished blog, but, since it's about blogs, maybe it is bloggable...................J.D.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
The gentlest of chirps, notified me that the two hour and fifty minute movie that I'd been changing from VHS to DVD had been a waste of time and had to be redone. Within seconds another buzzzz told me that a DVD backup I was making had stopped midway, once, and then again, causing me to ignore and then forget the intervening buzzer that told me the dryer load was finished. You know what happens to clothes when they are left in the dryer too long. It gives a reason for the iron to chime in to let you know it's hot enough to use. After that I thought I needed a change of pace and thought of i-tunes.
For the next forty-five minutes the clicks and pings kept telling me, "You can't get there from here!" Hubby walked in and asks why I'm using Google and not the i-tunes icon. Sometimes you just don't have time to stop and think and common sence can be so annoying. Three "unaccepted" beep-beeps later I just changed the damn password. By this time I'm becoming a little hyper. Hubby walks in and calmly writes the ID and password in a little black book containing all such forgettable info in our brave new world. He's saved the day again. Has the tide turned? I actually find a song and singer I've been looking for. Further investigation tells me that the artist.....is dead. Will this day ever end?
Two more r-r-r-rings from everyone's most hated wage earners, the telemarketers and I feel like falling to my knees. But, I knew if I did, I'd have to press the screeching "panic button" that advises that I've fallen and I can't get up. A third r-r-r-r-r-ring phone.....this one telling me a friend has broken her ankle. OMG Is it bedtime yet? The clock chimes-chimes-chimes-chimes-chimes five o'clock. Too early for bed, but, just in time to make some comfort food. I grit my teeth while the stove, oven and microwave all growl at me, "I'm done". "Me too." I say under my breathe.
Then....................believe it or not.................the door bell rings. Guests, that we expected tomorrow, appear cheerfully at our door. What to do? We laugh. We all enjoy gumbo, rolls and salad. Friends and laughter...what great stress relievers.
The day became officially "worse" when I missed taping 24, one of the top five.
Ten o'clock. How about a little bit of blogging before sleep? Fifteen minutes later.....no bells or whistles and no comment published on Quilly's "Dessert" blog either. That's when impatience kicks in. Go check Quilly's blog and you'll see that the only way to end a day like this is with a laugh.
How's your week so far?..............................J.D.
Friday, May 4, 2007
My favourites are usually comedy/drama, heavy on the comedy. Yet I will not watch the half-hour comedies that tell me the appropriate places to laugh by adding laugh tracks. Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives are in the top five of most human and non-human viewers. (Don't your animals watch with you? I read that this was a sign of unintelligence in cats and dogs. Of course, that does not apply to persons.) These will both have you shouting at the screen....."No, don't marry her. Marry Izzy."......"Susan, don't run outside in a towel. The door might accidentally cl---. OOps!"
For all out suspence (maybe not...we all know that Jack Bauer will save the day, the President, the girlfriend and himself) and for excessive excitement, you can't beat 24. It's like the old movie theatre serials.....one life threatening event after another ( Jack just saved his daughter...and now the wife is missing?) .....one catastrophic hour after another (Jack just saved the city from a huge bomb...and now we find out six more are hidden in the city?) The adrenaline keeps your heart pumping. I told you it was good for my health. And all this happens in one day.....hence the 24.
Then there is the CSI series. They find a winner and they copy it (CSI - LV) over (CSI - Miami) and over (CSI - NY) and over (NCSI ...that's Navy). They each try to outdo the others in the gore category. Want to get up close and personal at an autopsy? These are the shows for you. The best of the lot is MIAMI. It has David Caruso and the most beautifully shot scenery.
Another interesting show is.............no hisses or boos, please...............The Apprentice.
You sure don't watch this to see "The Donald". The draw is that the applicants have two days to plan, organize, advertise and rent venues to pull off different events each week. Thus showing the boss, who has the intelligence, imagination and all round good looks----Oh, I mean talent to be his apprentice. e.g. create a business involving dogs.....or make a one minute TV commercial for a new Proctor and Gamble product.....or arrange a golf tournament for Toyota executives.....or plan, prepare and serve a ten course banquet.....or with no money - beg, borrow or steal everything you need for a BBQ tailgate party before a football game. Does this theme tickle your fancy? Sorry. It's over for the season.
That (plus or minus the Datelines, 20/20s, and Frontlines) is my top five. Number six you ask..................everything else.................J.D.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
It's the supper hour and I haven't even taken anything out of the freezer. No, we can't have left-overs.....that was yesterday. Maybe the Colonel wouldn't mind making supper tonight. I try to avoid him because of the oil and grease, but it's been a couple of months. So, I think that's just the ticket for tonight. I wonder if hubby would mind going to get it. I'm busy blogging.
Can't blog tonight.....Grey's Anatomy is on. It's one of my four "can't miss" TV shows..............J.D.