Thursday, July 22, 2010
At 10AM this morning 6 of us were watching the Metropolitan opera Zeffirelli designed production of Puccini's Turandot at the Century City AMC movie theater. The production was the epitome of what this opera is about. Lavish sets and costumes, cast of thousands (hundred?) exhilarating singing and the most beautiful arias and orchestral arrangements. As in many operas the "beautiful and desirable" feminine lead was not at all either one. In fact in this production she looked exactly like my aunt Fanny. Nevertheless the voices are what it is really all about. Sitting in a very comfortable seat watching a big screen performance is not without its rewards. Good sound, the ability to see the details of the costumes and sets and the whole thing is over in about two hours without intermission. During the Salzburg Festival it is the usual to go to a performance in the morning. Here in Los Angeles the unusual is usual to begin one's day. Opera in a mall is very LA.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Variety! It keeps the blood flowing. There was plenty of it this past week. Why oh why didn't I do it before? I had an epidermal on Monday. Finally after years, the pain is gone. Not the thrill is gone - the pain is gone. On the 14th there was a small dinner at Le Petit Bistro given for DH celebrating his 50th birthday and coincidentally Bastille Day. Just 4 of us. Then what with me having physical therapy, piano and French lessons and M going to UCLA studying Architectural Landscaping, it was an interesting week. Even had a big quarterly meeting at the bank (where does all the money go?). The topper was DH's big birthday party (like the Queen celebrates all week) given by his partner BH at their art filled abode in Hancock Park. Lots of very good champagne and a tasty dinner served in the garden. Thirty five happy guests toasted and celebrated. There were warm, emotional speeches by D and B that brought a tear to my old "Irish" eye. And you thought Variety was only a Hollywood trade paper. It is the spice of life - as if you didn't already know that.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The big number from South Pacific, now playing at the Ahmanson Theater, typifies that particular evening, However, this past Sunday evening M and I hosted a dinner here at home that was another enchanted evening. We celebrated M's good friend DQ's belated birthday with five other friends. Total 8 of us. As the guests were arriving I realized that each and everyone of them had a unique personality. Unique in that they are vocal in their opinions, singular in a their sense of personal fashion and interesting in their daily experiences. Two of the guests, B & D, were married to each other during the Legal to be Married in California if you're Gay period. They have been together over 43 years, travel quite a bit, are obsessed with their new little dog, donate lots of money to charity, enjoy a martini or two and are all around sincere and fun persons to be with. Another, DG, is a the kind of a guy you could call if you were in a pinch. He pays attention to friends comings and goings, birthdays and wants and needs. He is also the "other man" at a party you know is going to keep things lively. A warm and sweet person. B and R have also been together quite a while. Each has a distinct personality difference. B is a raconteur, loves: good fashion (specially from Neiman's), good wines, art, and is a terrific cook and patissier. R is an artist. He is the Greek Chorus to B's stories. His background commentary is ongoing and adds to the drama of their relationship. He is lovable. The birthday boy, DQ, has a memory of trivia, names, wines, etc. that is remarkable. His cache of information is a welcome addition to every subject. He brought a Laurent Perrier pink champagne with which we toasted his B'day. Dinner was M's sister's salad, his grilled strip steak, my fantastic roasted potatoes, zucchini, Trader Joe's chocolate cake and a great Spanish red wine. Of course, there were lots of cocktails before dinner was served. Some Enchanted Evening.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
For me, the best thing about Palm Springs has always been that one can find parking. "God is love when you find parking" in Los Angeles. Over the Independence Day weekend I have had an epiphany. Palm Springs is indeed an oasis of goodwill and happiness! Desert living has given people a more relaxed and forgiving attitude toward one another. Drivers don't come to a screeching halt at red lights. Employees in stores smile and are helpful. There is always an holiday atmosphere in restaurants without the haughty attitude of a host/hostess, but rather a smile and we are happy to see you body language. Residents are always curious to know where you are from (just about everyone is "from" somewhere else), and are you permanent or a weekender? There seems to be a sort of camaraderie among them wanting to welcome newcomers to the easy life. A friend admonished me for not wanting to live full time in the desert by saying I just don't want to be happy. Now I understand his point. Not that I would live there full time 'cause as Leontyne Price once said about the United States at the beginning of her career while singing in Europe: "There ain't no culture there". However, culture can be defined as a refined understanding or appreciation of our surroundings (Webster). They understand it and now I must admit I do, as well. Noooo....I'm not going to be a full timer - at least for now.