Confessions

Oh you, my few and faithful readers, must know something about me here and now. I can no longer conceal this from you, and my deception to date weighs heavily on my mind. That I may have corrupted you by association, or that you may shun me as an anomaly or just plain freak, are real possibilities that have not escaped my imagination. But I must tell you now, or forever remain in silence. I like Opera.

No, I'm not talking about Charlotte Church squeaking out O Mio Babbino, or Andrea Bocelli moaning most emotionally the strains of Nessun Dorma. They are, in my mind, sometimes pleasant background music but nothing to really be taken seriously, ever. I mean real, honest to goodness opera that most people don't listen to as a point of conscience. All I can say is, they have weird consciences if they listen to Josh Groban but snub their noses at Renee Fleming.

But enough of said rant. I also married a man who loves me oh-so-much that he scheduled our honeymoon around performances at the Metropolitan Opera Company and took me to a four hour opera. Actually, it was closer to four and a half. And he didn't complain once, and the commentary he provided definitely enhanced the situation. It turned a tragic opera into a comic one, at least for the two of us.

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The opera was incredible. The sets, the costuming, but most of all the music were absolutely more than an uninitiated opera goer could conceive, and it's easy to see why this particular opera house is so famous.  Even if it weren't for the world-class company, it is simply a beautiful place.

Which brings me to those who may not be music or opera people, if you're still with me.  If you're still here, that probably means you love me.  Thanks for that.  But anyway, I have a recommendation for you.  Even if you can't stand classical music, even if opera makes the hair on the back of your neck stick straight out, go visit the Metropolitan Opera House.  Shoot, the whole Lincoln center might be amazing, but we didn't see any of the rest of it.  I'm making this recommendation based on that one building alone.  Because it was that beautiful.

You can take a tour, and that would be really neat.  You get to go backstage, and see production areas, and try on wigs.  Just kidding about the wigs.  And you can read up on the opera house before you go and be that smarty-pants person on the tour who annoys the tour guide by knowing more than them.  In short?

I'm putting this one on my New York to-do list.  Now I just have to convince Micah that it will be more fun than sitting through an opera.  Wish me luck.

When in Ireland...

It was such a full, wonderful weekend, with scurrying all over Dublin on Saturday, and a long relaxing Sunday north of the city.  I'm still hardly able to believe that not only have we lived in France we managed to see Ireland, or at least part of it in the same journey.   Talk about dreams coming true! But anyway, back to Saturday.  We did the town, so to speak, or at least the parts we hadn't done.  But my absolute favorite part of the day was... the pubs.  I know, hard to believe.  But even though neither of us can stand the smell or taste of beer, and it was hot and loud, but there was Irish flavor a-plenty everywhere you looked.

For dinner we stopped at this joint.

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Later that night, we went back to a pub called O'Neill's for the live traditional music, and it was so insanely lots of fun. I actually knew a few of the songs the musicians sang, and all of them were incredibly enjoyable. It's always good to mix with some of the locals, and imbibe a little local color.

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So if you're ever in Dublin, stop by O'Neill's. You'll be doing yourself a favor.

Meeting the Composers

When traveling, you get to meet many interesting characters.  You know, the sweet little old lady who lives in the apartment next door, or the like-wise traveling character who sits across from you on the train.  Maybe it's the very kind girl who works at the bakery you visit nearly every day, and though she doesn't speak much of your language she's glad to use what she does know and help you with learning her's. But some of the people you may meet are dead.  At least, dead in body, though part of them may live on through something like, say, their music. Vienna is a great place to meet the musical kind.

Herr Brahms.  In statuary, as in life, his shirt needs to be ironed.

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And next we have the ever lovely Beethoven.  I blew him a kiss...

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  ...but he wasn't amused.  The old crank.

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How about some more Vienna pictures next time?  We loved it there-- such a beautiful city, with history in every cobblestone you step on.