Monday, March 31, 2008

August in Cambria

The time to plan a vacation is earlier rather than later.

That's why Bob and I have just reserved our own slice of Cambria, California for late August, right after the end of the Long Beach Municipal Band season.

We've spent the past 3 summers in Cambria enjoying ourselves while doing absolutely nothing but take naps, eat, take more naps, hiking a little, eating, then getting to bed so we can wake up and take more naps.

Naps. We like naps.

We're trying a new property this year:

We know we will enjoy this view:

Here is the living room:

I'm looking forward to curling up in this bedroom with a good book:

All this and more comes for the price of a medium okay hotel room.

Be sure to contact for your own slice of Cambria.

It is truly heavenly.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Quintet, Etc.

Friday found me at La Habra High School with the quintet.

We were very impressed with the attentive, enthusiastic crowd of high school musicians who attended our concert.

One of the day's highlights came when bassoonist Rufus and I mistakenly made our way into the Attendance Office instead of the Administration Office. We were curtly told to go stand in line, on the assumption that I was bringing a tardy Rufus to school.

That was worth a giant giggle.

Here's my chair:

Later in the day I was blessed to find myself lounging in the afternoon sun at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point.

This picture sums up bliss to me (if you ever get the chance, drink deeply of the delicious water shown):

Meanwhile, Bob has been texting me from beautiful Ridgecrest where he is giving away free CFL's and educating people on energy conservation:

He's been gone since Friday, but he'll be home later tonight.

Tomorrow will find us both at APU for the quintet concert at 7:30pm. Bob will be engineering and I will be praying that my flute speaks eloquently.

The concert is free.

Please join us!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


My brain's RAM is still full.

I did a lot of driving and playing yesterday.

Work = Good

Bob is up in Ridgecrest until tomorrow evening.

Work = Good

I've got a quintet recital on Monday that I need to practice for.

I think I'll head for bed and see what a full night's sleep will do.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with another picture of my great nephew Hunter:

There are a lot more where this picture came from, but the thought of getting something organized and up on the blog is more than my limited brain RAM can process right now.

Maybe later.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Burned Out


I am so burned out I haven't had a creative thought in my head since my brain exploded after opera.

Why the explosion? The music didn't arrive until 2 days before the first rehearsal, and it was hard. It is certainly possible to cram all that music into one's brain in that amount of time, but it comes at a price.

Burn out.

I hope to snap out of it soon.

Meanwhile, please bear with the blog silence.

My brain is weary.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Great Meeting

I had an uneventful drive up north to Atascadero yesterday.

I was on my way to meet my new great nephew Hunter for the first time.

Here he is at 20 days old:

He's pretty laid back:

Here he is posing with his mama Heather as Great Grandma snaps away:

His mama is in love with him... is his Great Aunt Fluteprayer:

Aunt Bethany is dreaming of the day she will have her own little one:

Proud papa Coach Matt poses with the rest of the family:

Tomorrow a big family bar-b-que is being held in Hunter's honor.!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I just booked a short cruise for my dear husband Bob and myself for our 3rd anniversary which is coming up in May.

We were not considering a cruise at all. I usually jump on the anniversary plans in January, but I was sick and practicing hard for my recital. By the time we started looking at places to go, it turned out that a 4 night cruise would cost less than returning to the place we stayed in Yosemite for our first anniversary.

I've been on a couple of cruises and really enjoyed them (even the Force 7 gale in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Vancouver). Bob has never been on one and is unsure of the pleasure to pain ratio involved. God bless him, he is going WAY outside his comfort zone to find out if cruising is something he could get used to.

Our cruise is booked and paid for (it took about 3 minutes start to finish). I plan to spend much time like this:

I'll let you know how we like it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Prince Caspian

I'm re-reading Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis as I again make my way through all of the Narnia books.

I'm looking forward to the movie, which is arriving on May 16.

Here's Prince Caspian himself:

If you haven't read the Narnia books, do yourself a favor and dive into one today. You won't be sorry!

Opera Reviews

Read reviews of last weekend's Long Beach Opera performances.

For John Farrell's review, "A poetic triumph for York and L.B. Opera", click here.

For Mark Swed's review, "Horsing around in Long Beach", click here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mom and Dad Meet Frankenstein!!

My mom and dad were able to attend this afternoon's Long Beach Opera performance of Strauss Meets Frankenstein. Also in attendance was my grad student Amy and her roommate Christy.

Once again I was able to sit in the audience and take in the sheer artistry of Michael York and Lisa Sylvester as they performed Enoch Arden for the last time. I still got all teary eyed and had to go blow my nose before the second half and "Frankenstein!!".

Here's a funny side note: When I went down to the "Orchestra Women"'s dressing room before the show, I heard a disembodied voice from the restroom area..."Teri, are you wearing earrings?"

Lisa had left hers at home and was trying to figure out who she could call who might be wearing earrings. I was happy to see my earrings gracing Lisa's ears as the haunting music of Ricard Strauss flowed from her talented fingers during the first half of the show.

Another side note: Lisa told me she was a little bitter on Thursday when she was assigned the "Orchestra Women"'s dressing room instead of one all her own. She laughed and said, "Then I did the math and realized there was only one other woman in the orchestra!" It was fun sharing dressing room space with a star!

After the show, as we were walking back to the car, my dad saw "The Sky Room" and shared an historical fact with us. He took "the twins" (whoever they were) to an after Senior Prom party there. The occasion just begged for a picture:

As we drove under the bridge commemorating the roller coaster that used to be at The Pike, Mom and Dad both reminisced about the scary times they had on that creaking behemoth.

A good time was had by all.

Oh, and I got paid


Friday, March 14, 2008

Frankenstein Is Dancing!

Long Beach Opera had a successful opening night tonight at the Center Theater in Long Beach.

An enthusiastic crowd was on hand for the show.

Happily, Bob was able to attend tonight's performance. I sat with him in the audience for a stunning first half. Michael York did a brilliant reading of "Enoch Arden" with Lisa Sylvester on piano. I was bawling by the end, and I wasn't the only one! Bravo Michael and Lisa!

The second half found me on stage, flute, piccolo, and hose in hand for "Frankenstein!!". The audience roared with laughter in all the right places, especially at the dazzling puppetry by the Rogue Artists Ensemble. Michael was hilarious. The orchestra survived performing with their "toys" (besides hoses there are toy trumpets, slide whistles, merry-go-rounds, and a ratchet).

After the show a fellow blogger even stopped by to say hello. Nice!

What are you doing this weekend? We have 2 shows left: Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 4pm. Come on down. Frankenstein is, after all, dancing!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just Another Day at the Office

I never really know what to expect when I walk through the stage door for the first rehearsal of a Long Beach Opera production. What surprises has Andreas dreamed up for us this time?

It was no surprise to see actor Michael York. He's the star of the show.

Of course, you might not see something like this at work every day:

If you squint you might be able to make out my little slice of stage (my flute case is just to the right of the red (decaf) coffee cup).

This is my view.

Our conductor Andreas is fabulously talented as well as a kind, patient man.
Oh, and here is my hose:

I'm getting paid an extra double on top of the piccolo (that means more $$$) to play this.

Life is good!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bass Flute Baby

Today after Flute Choir one of the other faculty members asked if he could bring his daughter in to see the flutes while we were packing up.

She was very reluctant to interact with us at first. Then her dad assured her, "These are not strangers. It's okay to talk to them."

The big bass flute was still out of its case. She was invited over to touch it:

How cute is this?!?!?

Update: Little Miss Bass Flute's father made this clarification: "I should clarify though, I was joking with the "strangers" comment. She was just being shy that day. You can see that didn't last long."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Slavery Today: Did You Know?

More children, women and men are held in slavery right now than over the course of the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade. (International Justice Mission)

The total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion (U.N.)

Each year, more than 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade (UNICEF)

27 million men, women and children are held as slaves. (Kevin Bales, Disposable People)

1 in 5 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. (U. N. Development Fund for Women)

More than 1 million children live in detention, the vast majority awaiting trial for minor offenses. (UNICEF)

What will you do about this?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Citizen Sam

I am fortunate to have the privilege of working with gifted accompanist Sam. A native of Taiwan, he left a solid career and sold his home to come to the United States. I met him while he was working on his Masters at APU some years ago.

Sam has a deep love for this country, and began pursuing citizenship as soon as it was legally possible. Thus began years of red tape, huge legal fees, and heartbreak. Many were the hours spent in vain at the Federal Building in Westwood. He would obediently show up at an assigned time, stand in line for hours, then be told to go home with nothing to show for it. This happened time and again. Every path he was sent down led to a seeming dead end. It was agonizing to watch.

Just a few weeks ago I asked him how his quest for citizenship was going. He hung his head and said he was in his fourth year of waiting, that a background check was being performed again, and that all he could do was wait.

Yesterday a beaming Sam sought me out to deliver this news: He had received an invitation letter to attend Naturalization Ceremonies on March 20!!!!!! He is so grateful! One of the things he is looking forward to is the privilege of applying for a United States passport. That is a dream come true for him.

I rejoice with Sam. You couldn't ask for a more sterling example of a United States Citizen.

God Bless America!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The End of an Era

Saturday found me in the studio for one final session for Queenwood/Kjos.

I don't remember the exactly when I first participated in this yearly recording of band music from talented composers Anne McGinty and John Edmondson. I'd guess I've been doing it for about 14 years.

It was wonderful to see Anne and John year after year. It got so Anne began to write little solos for "the regulars", including juicy bits for my piccolo playing delight.

It is hard to say good-bye.

It's the end of an era...

and the beginning of a new one!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Introducing Baby Hunter

My niece Heather and husband Matt...

...are admiring their new son Hunter Benjamin!

It's love at first sight for Bob and me as well. I can see his mama in him.

I can't wait to get my great auntly hands on the little guy!

Congratulations Heather, Matt, and Hunter!!!