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Sep. 22nd, 2008

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

MMM food!

Omnivore's 100Collapse )

Aug. 12th, 2008

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

(no subject)

Olympics worthy commercial

Jul. 9th, 2008

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

Next Eurovision Entry from Finland?

Honestly - I found this by searching on Medieval Song...

Note the costumes...

Jun. 29th, 2008

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

Yes Mom, I would jump off the bridge...


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Mar. 11th, 2008

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

Oh those tasty beans...

I've been meaning to make this since I first read the post. I even went so far as to go out and buy the TJ's beans Brandon likes to use, but one thing or another came up and I never quite got around to it. Well, last night I just wanted something quick but comforting and warm, betwixt library musicology/analysis session and torturing Maddie with my vocal meanderings... So, beans just seemed the thing. However, I'm not a fan of spicy things and I wanted to use what I had in the house, so I did a bit of my own doctoring... and boy was that a tasty dinner! Rich, but not too heavy, a dash of chocolate (you're not really surprised are you?), a few sprigs of Cilantro, Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage (also TJ's) some Fage yogurt and some crusty Viennese Bread. Nearly a hobo's dinner, but a hobo with foodie leanings. The presentation was even pretty! I took a picture, but I ran out of batteries (and time) so I'll have to post that later.

Oh! you want the recipe? Silly me... Here you are Beans a la Orangette a la Boblette.

Olive Oil
1/2 a medium red onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, crush and coarsely chopped
1 Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic Sausage
1 Can Trader Joe's Organic Black Beans with juices
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Cumin
2-3 Tbs Roasted Garlic Salsa, medium
~1/4 cup dark chocolate. (I used 72% Ghiradelli Fondue chips -it's what I had...)
2 tsp Fresh Cilantro chopped
Fage 2% Plain Greek Yogurt

Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until a bit browned and tender. Add Garlic and sausage a few minutes before the onion is done. Next add the whole can of beans, juices and all. Toss in spices, salsa and chocolate. Let that get 'bubbly' , then reduce to simmer for a few, stirring occasionally,  while you chop up the Cilantro and slice up some bread and cheese to serve along side. Make sure the chocolate is all melted, remove the pot from heat , transfer to your dish of choice (I went with the classic Campbell's Soup mug) and top with a spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkle of Cilantro (to taste). Serve with the bread and cheese. This would, of course, be great with a beer too, or a nice deep red.

Eh "Voyla"! Enjoy.

Nov. 20th, 2007

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

Cats!

So... lately they've been complete terrors... well Madeleine anyway, Louis is near saintly in comparison... but these are some great kitty shots, so I thought I'd share..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20952063@N02/sets/72157603226976651
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Aug. 28th, 2007

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

Let's go back in time

Aug. 14th, 2007

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

(no subject)

Jun. 20th, 2007

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

OPERA -- HUB indeed

One might think that after all the opera madness last week between BEMF and the OperaHub inaugural production of Idomeneo, I'd be completely opera-ed out. But Nay! In-fact I am strangely energized and looking forward to and for future operatic adventures... or ventures as is the case with OperaHub.

The only bad thing in all of this is that the two happened in the same week so my BEMF 2007 experience was rather limited (Fantastic! -but limited)

Idomeneo went off marvelously. Not without flaws, mind you. However, for an inaugural production on relatively few rehearsals with a mesh of pros and amateurs... it was really quite something. We 'sold out' (tickets were free) both nights, and people actually came and filled all but maybe 5 seats each night, and we were turning people away initially. (crazy!)Sometimes having so many people so close to the action caused a bit of a traffic jam in getting in to places, but that was something we could only find out by doing. The musical aspect was really quite good and got better by Saturday - we had some Doppler-esque issues on Friday, but they seemed to have resolved themselves by Saturday. Thank goodness for good ears and self motivation! The leads were pretty amazing in their own right - my stand out favorite was Elettra (Natalie Polito)- the girl is going places.

In stark contrast to the chicken wire, 4x4, white sheets, 'bloody' t-shirts, and blue war paint of the OperaHub production (on a $2200 budget) was the BEMF production of Lully's Psyche; in which any chicken wire (if it was used) was well covered under layers of silks, chiffons, rhinestones and satins...etc etc - all the opulence one would expect from a fully staged Baroque opera on a $2 million dollar budget... not exactly shoe string eh?

The evening began with me running around picking up my dress from the dry-cleaner's ~ 10 minutes before I had to get in my car and go downtown - but that all worked out and I ended up having a bit of time to breathe as I waited for rogairedubh and K*r*n of VIINaCl fame to arrive from their own fringe concert (and a brief pint at the 7s). And I just have to say, people in Boston really are very nice, if you give them the chance. I stood there in the middle of the common, swathed in my black satin gown, all done up and very obviously waiting for someone. People kept stopping, even pausing cell phone conversations, to tell me how nice I looked. =D Not a bad way to start the evening. AND rogairedubh, knowing I had planned on the gown, even arrived in a tux! just to 'match' me. What a gentleman!

Now to the opera --- WOW - first and foremost - I have to get that out of the way. Louis XIV would have been fully approved. The costumes were positively sumptuous, the orchestra was fabulous, of course, the singers were wonderful (Carolyn Sampson (Psyche) is quickly becoming one of my favorite sopranos) and to top it all off - I actually knew some of those people! To include the first voice we heard: a certain T*ss W*k*m. Brava! It was agreed that the whole situation really quite suited her.

So - highlights: The little magic they did with Mirrors in changing Amour from his immortal form to his mortal form. Carolyn Sampson - just amazing, as I think I mentioned before. The two sisters at the beginning - great voices and so much fun to watch - they really brought in the comic aspect. Seat belts on the flying thrown... too funny. The Dancing Devils. Cute Cupid Girls (the children in this production were really quite talented). The Marital quarrel between Venus and Vulcan. Oh and the Cyclops - funny little fellas!
And 'The things that made you go hm...' Well part of this can be attributed to being up a bit high in the balcony - but the dangling serpent... seems he could have been a bit more menacing and less like a recently caught garden variety. Bored Trumpeters... though really someone should have warned them. The 'Boogie Board of Destiny' REALLY... with a $2mil budget, THAT's what you come up with to shuttle Psyche off to the River Styx? The set up of the program could have made it a little easier to figure out who was who. In most cases I was able to sort it out based on my fascination with Greek/Roman myth at age 10, but an 'in order of appearance' would have been good, if they were going to bother to list them all by scene anyway.

All in all though - I was thoroughly impressed and even after 3+ hours pressed against the netting of my dress, I was sad it came to an end.

2009 is so far away... At least there won't be opera going on at the same time. I talked with the OperaHub folks and that won't be a conflict anymore... thank goodness.

Well - work beckons... Adieu..

Jun. 11th, 2007

L'instant Taittanger, Champagne, Grace Kelly

I'd rather be at the opera...

Someday I really need to learn how to do all the fancy formatting that you folks do.

Anyhoo... I was apparently too good of a QA engineer last week and now have nothing to work on, because I found bugs in all of my projects and delegated all the other work, which previously I didn't have time to do, to my guys in Minsk. SOOO... here I am posting..

The choral season is finally coming to a close - which is a welcome relief, though I know I will soon miss the regularity. I'm HORRIBLE about practicing on my own... yeah yeah I know... I'm working on it. I'm making a commitment to do fewer choral ensembles in the fall, so I really need to get off my duff and get a regular practice schedule going here.

Oh - which reminds me - I'm hoping/planning to do a French themed recital in the early fall. I'm open to anything there - so if you have some ideas, shoot em my way. I'm still learning how to find new rep... so suggestions are most welcome, if pointers towards other new stuff if nothing else.

Now - to my subject - This week is all opera all the time for me - and I'm absolutely loving it! Who knew? And what a combination - Lully and Mozart - I'm a happy Soprano/Opera audience member.

First - Mozart - There's a new kid in town, or on the opera scene to be more precise.OperaHub is a new chamber opera group here in Boston and I'm performing in the chorus for their inaugural production of W.A. Mozart's Idomeneo. Now when I first got in with this group, I wasn't sure precisely if this was going to be something I'd really want to be telling y'all about, or even continue to particpate in. As it turns out - I'm really enjoying myself. The musicianship is really quite good (aside from the occasional bass or tenor who loses all sense of tonal and/or rhythmic center... men! what can you do? ;~P ), the staging is certainly non-traditional, but really well designed for the space and the goals of the company. Our director is a bit of an up-and-coming in the staged theatre/music world and the leads are all really good. They really understand what they are singing and convey, not only the meaning, but the intensity (in all it's Tragic Greek glory) to the audience. I'm really quite impressed. And all this after having only put it together for the first time (and not even in its entirety) on Saturday. Anyhoo - if you're not busy on Friday June 15 or Saturday June 16 - it's definitely worth checking it out. And the best part (well for the audience) - it's FREE! Though - do be fore-warned, we just had a big write up in the Globe and ticket reservations (it's a small space so we're asking that people email to reserve their tickets, even though they are free) are really going quickly. So act now!

And for the Grande Fete this week... The BEMF 2007 opening night (!) production of Lully's Psyche. This was my birthday present to myself, and I just can't wait to take off the wrapping! I've decided to go all-out girlie and pulled out the black satin ball gown that's been hanging in my closet for 6 years - never worn. I got it tailored and cleaned (one simply can not show up to the opera in a dusty gown)and now just need to figure out the hair. No prom hair though... I promise. And no tiaras... I'm just not that kind of diva. I feel like a 16 year old the night before prom... it's sorta fun. rogairedubh will be my obliging escort for the evening, after performing in his own BEMF fringe Concert. This shall prove to be quite the music filled evening, me thinks. Now if only it wouldn't rain...
I will be sure to fill y'all in on all the splendidly Baroque details!

Well - I suppose I should do something work related... I'll edit a test plan or something.
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