Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Planets

Last night we were invited by a couple we know from our church to go to the St. Louis Symphony to see a performance of  "The Planets".  I was not familiar with the music, but we were asked because they found out that Bob is a classical music lover.  Years ago we had season tickets for the chamber orchestra and we went for a few years and had seats in the orchestra seating area closest to the stage.  Last nights performance our seats were in the terrace circle, all the way at the top. The photo of the orchestra was similar to how it looked from our seats.  The performance was truly beautiful.  I felt that what made it so beautiful was that there are so many unusual instruments.


The first instrument that caught my eye was the Celesta.  The sound of the celesta is akin to that of the glockenspiel, but with a much softer and more subtle timbre. This quality gave rise to the instrument's name, celeste meaning "heavenly" in French.




The following information is copy and pasted from Wikipedia.

The elaborate orchestration of The Planets produces unusual, complex sounds by using some abnormal instruments[6] in the large orchestra (similar to Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6 of 1906), such as a bass oboe, two timpani players, celesta, xylophone, tubular bells, and organ. Holst had been influenced by Igor Stravinsky,[7] who used four oboes and four bassoons in his The Rite of Spring (1912–13), and by Schoenberg's 1909 composition Five Pieces for Orchestra.[7]

• Woodwind: 4 Flutes (3rd doubling 1st Piccolo; 4th doubling 2nd Piccolo and a "Bass Flute in G", actually an Alto flute), 3 Oboes (3rd doubling Bass Oboe), an English Horn, 3 Clarinets in B-flat, a Bass clarinet in B-flat, 3 Bassoons and a Contrabassoon

• Brass: 6 Horns in F, 4 Trumpets in C, 3 Trombones (2 Tenor and 1 Bass), a Euphonium in B-flat and a Tuba

• Keyboards: a Celesta, and an Organ

• Percussion: 6 Timpani (2 players, 3 drums each except in "Uranus" having 4 drums for 1st and 2 drums for 2nd), a Bass Drum, a Snare Drum, Cymbals, a Triangle, a Tam-Tam, a Tambourine, a Glockenspiel, a Xylophone, and Tubular Bells

• Strings: 2 Harps, Violins One and Two, Violas, Violoncellos, and Double basses

• Voices: ("Neptune" only), 2 three-part women's choruses (SSA) located in an adjoining room which is to be screened from the audience

I went to the concert not knowing anything about this performance,  but today I have spent some time learning more. I fell blessed to be exposed to learning and experiencing new things.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Early signs of Spring

Yesterday when I stepped outside to get the mail I saw the first signs of spring popping through the ground.  It was not the photo above, of course, I just chose that one because I was searching for a photo from last season and liked it.  What I saw was our ground cover at the front of the house, coming up with its early reddish buds, that later turns green.  This is always a very exciting day for me each year....to see the very "first" indication that we are indeed going to have a change of season.  Being able to spend more time outside will be great!  I am already planning out all the activities in my mind.  Taking Maddie to the park, the Zoo, Shaw's Garden,  planting flowers, and later on swimming.  Aww...........I can smell the fresh air coming through the windows already...........

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Proof Is In The Jello......

Cleaning up around the house today.... I ran across Parade magazine and read this in the Personality Parade section.

Tricks of Pageantry


Q Is it true that many Miss America contestants spray their bodies with hairspray to keep from jiggling and with WD-40 to keep their gowns from sticking to certain areas?--David Evans, Los Angeles, Calif.

A Too true. The TLC special Miss America: Behind the Curtain made these shocking revelations, and this year's winner, Caressa Cameron, 22--a former Miss Virginia and the eighth African-American to take the crown--didn't mind a bit. "I was really excited about the show," she tells us. "It was good for people to know that there are little tricks of the trade that make sure we look our best. WD-40 is absolutely awesome."

My point of writing this is.....why wouldn't a model want to jiggle?  Not wanting to have your gown stick to you, is understandable to me. With so much plastic surgery these days, is it all about not having any life left in our skin.  No movement.  The dead look.  Barbie doll comes to mind.  Is that the look that some people shoot for?

Then there was this email forward that a friend sent me about Walmart People.   I don't like to make fun of people....but.....this is scary.  I didn't know someone created a web page just for this...but apparently they have.    The email I received just had a few photos with some funny remarks attached to them.  I have to admit...or confess...I did crack up over some of them.

The moral to this story is.....  I think we should suggest to Walmart that they hire some models to give out free samples to some of the people who need some of these beauty secrets.  Maybe the models could learn something.  Like worrying about a little jiggle.... is it really  that big of a deal????

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bickering

Yesterday I came down with the worse flu that I can ever remember having.  I will not go into any details but I was unable to move for at least 24 hours, except for the many trips to the bathroom.  Today, I still feel like a truck ran over me, but I am forcing myself to sit up and watch some TV.  I wanted to read but the book was too heavy for my weak whittle arms.  And then I tried to knit and that wore me out pretty quickly.  So I have been forced to try and watch TV...something, that I don't usually do during the day.  Unless Maddie is over, that is, and then we watch children's shows.  First I turned on "The View".  Bicker bicker..yap..yap....lost interest pretty quickly. Then I tried to watch all of the news channels.  I have heard here and there that people have their favorite news channels based, I think,to what political party you prefer.  I don't watch them long enough to figure out which is which.  I just want some facts...skip the personalities, please.  I miss Walter Cronkite.  That's the way it is.  I miss that line.
  It even looks like the soap operas  have changed.  I would like to see some old reruns of the one my Grandma used to watch.  I think it was called As The World Turns.  She really got into that show.  She watched it for years and knew when they made a mistake, like when Lisa got pregnant after having a hysterectomy 5 years earlier.
I have a feeling I will need another long nap this afternoon, since there doesnt seem to be anything on the tube.  I need the rest anyway.................

Clifford 1994 to 2009

Clifford   1994 to 2009
The Best Dog Ever