Saturday, October 31, 2009


Being really tired right now, I thought it would be appropriate to post Eric Whitacre conducting his own piece "Sleep." The chorus is made up of the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers, The St. Olaf Choir, and the 160-voice Minnesota High School Honors Choir.

Oh, wow!!! Aren't those chords beautiful? And the dynamics? How fun to sing for the man who wrote the music you're singing!! I think Eric Whitacre is becoming one of my favorite composers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just had to brag. I spelled "colloquialisms" right the first time without having to check while I was transcribing earlier. Call me easily impressed, but I was feeling pretty good about my spelling. Too bad I can never remember whether it's "recieve" or "receive." (Okay, when I look at them I can tell, but when I'm typing...) I have that on auto-correct for those times when I pick the wrong one...

Speaking of colloquialisms, did I ever tell about my study of them? I decided to pull a Grimm Brothers and I had a bunch of random people tell me the same bedtime story to see how differently it would be told. Too bad for TV, a lot of cool dialectal stuff has been lost, but there's still great colloquialisms out there. (Just trying to see how many times I can use "colloquialisms" in two paragraphs. Don't mind me.) I chose "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Two things. First, I was very surprised how many people claimed not to know the story or had very sketchy memories of it. Second, I have since recieved (dang it! RecEIved) ten teddy bears or so. What am I to do with them?!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Don't be scared...

I'm going to mention a scary word, but don't let it frighten you away. It's been awhile since I've mentioned... Okay I'm just going to say it. Opera. It's been awhile since I've mentioned any opera on my blog. Let me provide a little background. I know I've mentioned that I'm a fan of some opera. This was not always the case. As a youngster, I couldn't stand listening to opera. Their voices just seemed so fake and over-trained. I accompanied classical voice lessons for a number of years and then my husband took a class covering opera for which he had to listen to A LOT of pieces ranging from Handel to Wagner. From these experiences I learned to appreciate what my mom had always told me: the body can be used as an instrument just as an oboe or french horn or whatever can. When you can appreciate this, you can appreciate well-done opera or classical singing.

Before I introduce this piece, let me just tell you one other thing I've been thinking a lot about lately. Self-improvement. I've been reading several books and spending time doing things that I don't necessarily enjoy, but are good for exercising my brain and discipline since I'm not accountable for much structure these days. I do this in hopes of improving myself and my taste and talents, etc...

So in the interest of helping you with a little self-improvement (because I'm so helpful, I know), let me introduce you to one of my favorite sopranos. (Excuse her dress. Just listen and appreciate this beautiful voice!)

Now, you thought just because I said opera, the music was going to be scary. (I don't even know if this would strictly be called opera. Maybe just an art song sung in classical style? Whatever.) Wasn't it beautiful?!

(Now, you did listen to it, didn't you? If you didn't, shame on you. It's just a couple minutes. If you're in a place where you can't listen now, you'll just have to go back and listen to it later. Now report!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Back to Intros

Introducing... [drumroll please] LEANNE! Leanne, I hope you don't mind if I tell our story from the beginning.

You know how some people are best friends from the moment they meet? That wasn't how it worked for Leanne and me. I believe it would be closer to the song from Wicked. Loathing. :) I couldn't stand her. She couldn't stand me. We were in all of first grade. Then summer came and my mom told me about a new family who had recently moved into the neighborhood. Would I like to go meet the little girl my age? Absolutely! On our walk to their house, I got a small nagging feeling that that little girl might be... Sure enough! It was Leanne. I glared at her. She glared at me. Her mom said, "Why don't you show her your room?" Leanne grudgingly invited, "Come on." And thus began a long and fruitful friendship.

We actually became a foursome with my brother Seth and friend Debbie (now cousin-in-law). The four of us would go on adventures, slaying evil monsters and coming off victors. Being the tired one of the group, I would often sit on the couch and read and send the rest off on quests. Whenever they finished a quest, they would come back to me and I would think up a new quest. (Usually with their help.)

Sometimes we would play with marbles. But not the ordinary way. Our marbles represented people and villages. So instead of us going on adventures, our marbles would. Sometimes they got lost... [ha, ha]

I remember when Leanne started to write books. I thought she was the best writer in the world. She wrote a book about my tiger Arsath. We just knew it would get published. I think Leanne was 11 at the time. She was also an artist and she and Seth would sometimes draw our characters.

Leanne is smart as smart can be. She was always a motivation to keep up with in schoolwork. She's creative and fun. But I remember her being very restful too. Some days we would just read books together. (My favorite activity.) Almost all of my childhood memories involve Leanne in some form or other. I think I can blame most of my creativity on her. I still dream of adventures we had. I still believe she'll write a great book someday.

Everyone should have a friend like Leanne. Too bad she's one of a kind. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Slipper and the Rose

So, who here has seen "The Slipper and the Rose?" It's a musical version of Cinderella and since the Sherman brothers wrote the music (also did things like Mary Poppins), it is DE-LIGHTFUL! My friend was quoting that movie a few days ago and I just had to post something about it. You can watch one of my favorite songs here:

Or if that one doesn't suit your fancy, try:

Favorite quotes anyone?

I love when Prince Edward says "Our policemen couldn't find a missing haystack let alone a needle."

Or the king says, "Kings never cheat! They adapt to circumstances, but they never cheat!"

Or the dowager Queen says, "There's someone in the room."

Or a very favorite - Prince Edward: "You mark my words, before you can count to ten, through that door, with the odious punctuality of our neighbors much vaunted recently invented hideously irritating cuckoo clock will come our dear and loyal subject, the ever unctuous Lord High Chamberlain."
John: "Five. Six. Seven!"
Prince Edward: "He's improving. One of these days, he's going to achieve the elusive ten minute mile."

I could go forever.

[sigh of contentment]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The moral of the story is...

So this story doesn't show me in the best light, but as you all know how imperfect I am, I suppose you won't be shocked.

Yesterday, my day didn't go as planned and when I couldn't find something I really needed for work, I got awfully irritated. (Or I irritated myself as I believe some other languages would put it.) I called Morgan because he had used said object last. He didn't know where it was and did not seem helpful to me on the phone. So I quickly ended our call and paced around the house, annoyed. But, then the Spirit started nudging. "Maybe you shouldn't be so rude to your nice husband who takes such good care of you and works so hard." Huh! [Notice I was still in a very bad mood here.] "Maybe you're in the wrong here and your attitude is not helping matters." Yeah, well... "Maybe you should call back and apologize for being so mean to your very patient husband who told you how sorry he was that he can't remember where it is." Fine. So I swallowed my pride and called. Amazingly, he graciously accepted my apology and right as we were getting off the phone, thought of one last place what I was missing might be. Guess what. There it was!

So the moral of the story is...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Swamp House Grill, huh?

Yessiree, Bob. Morgan and I went out with a friend for her birthday tonight. She introduced us to the Swamp House Grill on the St. John's River in Debary.

We sat at a table just above where the red strip says "House." The picture is facing east, so we looked out over the river to the west just as the sun was setting. We sat all through twilight until it was pitch black. When the sun was still up, the view looked a lot like this:

Except this picture above was taken a few miles north of the Swamp House Grill and was also taken during winter, so please picture everything to be a more beautiful green. And nothing in the water. (No, we didn't see any gators.)

We had such a great experience that I just wanted to throw this out for anybody looking for a new restaurant. Here's how it went for us.

As I said, we got there just as the sun was starting to set. We got to pick where we sat since things weren't very busy. Again, like I said, we sat right by the edge and since the sun was still up, there was nothing between us and our view. As the sun set, a screen went down so we weren't eaten alive by bugs.

While we looked at our menus, country music played in the background. We were impressed at the volume (something we notice) because while it was loud enough that we didn't hear others' conversations, we didn't have to even raise our voices to hear each other. Perfect.

The waitress, Jennifer, was very gracious while we looked at our menus. We kept changing our minds, so we must have driven her a little nuts, but if we did, she didn't show it. We ordered crab cakes for an appetizer. (Hey, it was a birthday party.) Jennifer warned us that they only came two at a time, but we said that was okay. We mentioned it was our friend's birthday. Jennifer came back out with three crab cakes! And let me tell you, those were the best crab cakes I've had. Now, I'm no connoisseur, but they were just perfect to me.

The rest of our meal went just as well despite other difficulties from us. Jennifer catered to our every need and we just had a wonderful time.

So you Florida people, if you're looking for a new place to try out, consider taking a drive on 17-92 in Debary, turning onto Highbanks Rd. and heading down to the river.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our Phones 2

Just something funny I thought as I was responding to Serene's comment. I was thinking that no wonder my (Morgan's, really) phone pictures are almost better than our camera's. Our camera is about four years old. Our phones, only just over a year old. That got me thinking. We bought our first phones (sans camera) not too long after we got married. Mine died about two years later, so we went shopping for an ultra cheap phone. When we went into the phone store, they looked at my phone as if it were a dinasaur! "When did you get this?" they exclaimed as they motioned for everyone else in the store to come see the relic. "Um... Two years ago," I replied. "It was brand-new then." Wow, technology changes fast. I just can't keep up.