Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mozert: an hamage to gerard Mortier

Gerard Mortier was the Belgian opera innovator. He passed away and the concert was to pay homage to his life and work.

The first violin and the director were great, very expressive. The choir had wonderful voices. I also admired  Anne Cambier: with a reach of two octaves. The technique she has in singing is exceptional. People totally enjoyed the performances of the young orchestra and of the more seasoned voices. It was a great evening with neighbors and friends and lovers of music.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Leaving friends - gratitude

In a few days I'll be leaving to go back to my life on the other side of the ocean. It is always hard to leave friends behind. The kindness and generosity, the humanity, their wildness as Giant fans, their artistic flair... all that will be missed. Also the friends they invited to watch the movie Bagdad Café together after eating cornbread and corn chowder, a great salad and enough beer for a café in Antwerp. The chairman of all the groups, the lady who walks and walks with her dogs, the friends who have known me since 1991, my roaming friend and activist... I learned from all of you. I will practice gratitude for all you have so generously given me.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


My friends C&I and R and myself watched the the game last night. I am just learning the language and symbols of basebal, am still confused about certain actions, but have already my darlings in the Giant team. I am proud to know the bottom and top of an inning, I know the importance of the 7th game and I love Sandoval and of course the intensity of Bumgarner... I am even willing to wear a SF cap, even in Belgium... Penske, Panik These Guys are amazing... I know, I kwo I know still nothing  about this sports but it has a hook in me.
Now I even understand Sheerman Alexie's poem:

The Game Between the Jews and the Indians is Tied Going Into the Bottom of the Ninth Inning

By Sherman Alexie

So, now, when you touch me
my skin, will you think
of Sand Creek, Wounded Knee?
And what will you remember

when your skin is next to mine
Auschwitz, Buchenwald?
No, we will only think of the past
as one second before

where we are now, the future
just one second ahead
but every once in a while
we can remind each other

that we are both survivors and children
and grandchildren of survivors.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Snake ...

Walking to the post office to have my mail forwarded when I leave, I saw a yellowish snake crossing the street sporting a tiny rattler. The snake was about 60 cm long or two feet. I ran to the bar calling Dave, Dave there is a rattler crossing the street!
Dave is a cook, so he grabbed a big pan and hit the snake on the head. That however, funny as it looked, did not  kill the snake who now got mad. I heard the tiny noise of the white rttle ending in black. Dave then grabbed a sizable rock, dropped in on the snake's head. Why? rattlesnakes are territorial, so you don't  want one install itself in your backyard, or next door. Of course they are a useful member of the desert population eating mice and such. Their bite small as the snake  may be, can be very dangerous. I don't know what kind of rattlesnake it was. It did not have a greenish hue, so maybe it only ad one type of poison rather than two like the Mojave greens who are really dangerous.. One poison will eat away the skin and the other swells the limb up that was bitten en can cause neurological damage I was told. Did I take a picture? No! Am I going back for a picture of a dead snake? No! And no! The head remains poisonous after the snake dies. The snake crawled into a yard of a house where nobody lives; So no one should get hurt by the young snake's premature demise. The heat of the asphalt must have drawn the cold blooded animal out of hiding Was it necessary that this happened? In what book? In whose rhyme and reason? The encounters with snake in the desert on a warm day will happen again and coincidences of meeting will occur at random, it is a possibility. Yes Emily Dickinson, we all live in possibility, always remembering to gather paradise. But paradise without a snake, what meaning would that have had for humanity? The shadows have stopped in the tree covering the shimmering air over the asphalt.
This happened just now -
Did it really happen? Is this part of a biography?
And then I saw a tarantula

. Then I took a picture of it scurrying away alive and well.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bluegrass: Kingman pickin in the vines

The bluegrass festival off the route 66 near Kingman in the Stetson winery was delightful. With several people from Chloride present we enjoyed the atmosphere and the music. We started out at 10 am with gospels performed by the The Central Valley Boys. Peter Hicks on the violin was remarkable. They performed several songs in  the traditional style as a sign of respect to Vern Williams. So we  were treated with Oh Suzannah! and Bald knob Arkansas.

After this really fitting Sunday  morning Gospel bonanza the Snap Jackson & the knock on wood players gave us a brilliant set. The banjos stirred up memories of Tony and Norris playing and the ballads made me think of Dave... Americana, Bluegrass, souls blends in to a fresh new sound. The musicians have fun on stage and so did the audience.

The last set we listened to was performed by The get down boys out of Los Angeles. The rhythms and their own songs are just excellent. I also appreciate that they support new movements in Bluegrass. The sound people are musicians in their own right and went up on stage at one point.... In this set the vocal harmonies were just stirring and moving. Also note the mountains in the background...

Chloride old miners day parade

Selling items for good causes is always part of the festivities of Old Miner Day.
The bake sale is impressive, the choice is incredible, rum cake, upside down pineapple cake, oatmeal cookies, peanut cookies, brownies, cinnamon cookies, law fat, splenda cake for diabetics, chocolate chip cookies for all of us. Of course women do a lot of work, hammering and decorating, you name it.Of course there is the parade with old cars, Shriners, the local volunteer fire department and even  the election was part of it. Local play actors dressed up for the occasion.

Friday, October 17, 2014


As an avid reader of Daily Writing Tips, I just discovered that when I named my small dog 'Doggy Dog' that I committed a hypocorisma, which is a diminutive and a pet name. It can also be a diminutive name or an altered name. I didn't call her 'bow-wow' though. Altering a name, or just addressing some one as 'dear' can be rather condescending if one doesn't really know the person. Small children and elders are often addressed with hypocorisma... which can be insulting or infantilising... depending on the situation. So normal speech is more respectful, it avoids the dumbing down of the person spoken to.