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Such a lovely day

Today was the kind of day angels enjoy in heaven, warm and bright with birds singing and everything in bloom. I saw a blue jay posing in the cherry blossoms, a cardinal on the fountain–and my grandson blew me kisses over the phone. I feel blessed.

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There was a comely youth in my Wednesday night ballet class–his aunt has been a fellow student of mine for many years. Her charming nephew is an apprentice with the New York City Ballet, at the Kennedy Center this week. So wonderful to see these shining stars leaping across our studio floor from time to time–miracles of grace and strength.
And today, I saw the NYC ballet, and there he was. His was a modest part, joining others to back up the brilliant premiere dancers of the company.
This show was all Jerome Robbins, his entertaining and engaging choreography to various composers–complicated and pleasing steps to interesting music. SO much more lovable than the Mark Morris of last week–so generous, so filled with joy!
The first piece was to music by Philip Glass, starting with Rubric-which ​had all the company striding across the stage, turning, striding, leaving, entering–and then beautiful couples, in matching pastel leotards, leaping up from the crowd, stretching, turning–and then the determined walkers striding across again, quick and fierce. And the couples appearing like visions above them. Facades, the next one, was against a dark blue background, a line of women dancers silhouetted across the back, doing quick rhythmic patterns, repeating and repeating, an uneasy feel to it, and then a beautiful couple sailed in front of them, perfect turns and lifts, exquisite. But the last one, to an excerpt of Akhnaten, was truly astonishing, such dancing! 6 men rush onto the stage, perfectly in tune with each other, running, twirling–and then 6 more men, and more, and then the women. Really riveting–a supremely moving spectacle of human achievement.

Then came Fancy Free–that absolutely adorable piece by Leonard Bernstein, the 3 sailors in New York, the pretty girls, the bar–and again, astonishing dancing.

The last piece was a more traditional one, Verdi’s 4 Seasons, with charming costumes and delightful dancing.

One of the men fell during his stunning solo as lord of Summer, and though he finished his act, he was not there for the grand bow at the end. I fear he may have severely damaged himself.

Ballet–so beautiful, so dangerous.

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Google fails again

It’s Saturday (=opera day)! I have been listening to Jenufa, the beautiful and poignant opera by Leoš Janáček. I found the libretto online, with Google kindly translating from the Czech.
Jenufa’s faithful swain is named Laco.
Unfortunately, Google has no soul:

Jenufa

(excited)

O Laco, duša wet!

Or pojd ‘or pojd’!

Tobe mne VCIL dovedla

Veti ta láska,

Pánbůh co spokojen s ní!

Oh, Hairspray, my love,

Come to me, come to me!

To me you join now

an even more immense love …

A love that pleases God!

End of opera

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Foiled Again!

Today was to be the day I would make some Important Budget Decisions. Can I , for instance, afford to buy a winsome new tablet now that the poor old iPad is falling into her dotage? AND paint the bedroom? And what about my pricey ballet habit? How about that expensive Chardonnay I’m so fond of–possibly time to move from the $12 to the $9 bottle? Or perhaps move to cheaper cat food? [NO NO–horrified chorus of yowls from the resident cats].
So, I opened up Quicken (financial software which I have been using for a hundred years or so) and it reminded me–as it has been doing weekly for months now–that it is time to update. And in a terrible moment of weakness–for which I paid handsomely for the rest of the day–I benignly bade it to do so. NEVER NEVER ALLOW A PROGRAM TO UPDATE (except in the direst necessity). HOW MANY TIMES will it take before I finally learn my lesson. Sigh.
Anyway, installed the update and of course, nothing happened, and I couldn’t get to my records. So onto the Quicken site–and, what do you know, “We’re currently experiencing high contact volume”. All those other poor sods who gave in like me, I expect. And there is NO WAY to contact them except for phone (50 minutes wait) or chat (40 minutes). Jerks. So anyway, I got into line for the chat.

In the fullness of time, my new friend DanielJeremy came online and we had a sprightly interchange, he instructed me to deinstall this, download that, reinstall, blah blah blah. And then I had to reboot of course, which meant that I lost him. And you will not be surprised to hear that when I started up the program again after this tedious process–IT WAS EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE.
Only, hours had passed.
Which means at least that it is now time to open the (last) bottle of that pricey Chardonnay.

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Another man gone

Another fabulous Briton gone–Alan Rickman, he of the thrilling voice, penetrating gaze, ironic wit. He made his fortune in the Harry Potter movies, but was a constant and luminous presence in so many of those brilliant and deeply pleasing British movies. Truly Madly Deeply, for one–the first time I saw him, I think–mesmerizing. And what a treat to see him hamming it up with Bill Nighy as a pair of has-been hair dressers in Blow Dry. But I think I liked him best as the slightly befuddled husband of Emma Thompson in Love Actually. And as Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. Not to mention his Sheriff of Nottingham, of course–with all that artfully tousled hair and black leather!

Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

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Rebel Rebel

David Bowie was such an extravagant wonderful splash of color in a gray world–a peacock among the sparrows. Beautiful, whimsical, ingenious, talented–and so much fun. My generation grew up with his songs, was entranced by his glamour as the Goblin King in Labyrinth, as the suave Vendice Partners in Absolute Beginners, adored his ridiculous strutting fabulousness.
2016 is not beginning well….

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2016!

I will own that I am relieved at the (successful) completion of the festive Holiday Season! Photos are all that remain of those happy times (well, those and the 2 fruitcakes drying out in the lower drawer of the fridge). I have put away the last light, the last winsome Father Christmas figurine–and am finally at leisure to attend to my duties:
I would like to wish a very happy New Year to my fellow Mermaidens–and best wishes for the many exciting events awaiting us in 2016! Perhaps this is the year that the second best bedroom will finally be repainted? New curtains in the sitting room? Replacing the front door mat? Who can tell what delights are in store for us!

That it may not be anything more dire than a few household improvements
is the ardent wish of your correspondent,
Hope

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