Friday, June 18, 2010
I'm in the middle of a great week, vacationing in sunny Utah! After spending a day with Katie, Claire, and Joseph, we left Sarah in Provo for the week at BYU to study with a potential music professor (if Sarah gets accepted into the program next year), and then Lisa and I headed off for Moab. We met sister Rebecca and her husband Todd there and explored Arches national park. Later we went on a 25 mile boat ride down the Colorado River and saw more of the park you can't see any other way--very cool. The photo above/left was taken from the boat.
Then we headed further south to St. George. We're staying at "Seven Wives" bed and breakfast, which is directly across the street from Brigham Young's former home. Last night we drove around the area looking at homes for sale, just to get an idea of prices should we decide we need to live in a warm dry climate some day. Prices are great but...there's a lot of red dirt here! And the landscaping is red, and the houses are red, and...you have to really like red.
BTW, after auditioning, Sarah was third chair in the "Masters" section (out of a group of a dozen or so flautists) and they will put on a concert this weekend.
We're driving back to Provo today (hope it's not so windy...on the drive down we encountered winds that were clocked in some places as high as 74 mph!).
The picture below shows a guy climbing "Wall Street". Crazy!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
I added a blue tang to the aquarium yesterday. She (aren't all blue tangs female and named Dory?) seems to be doing well and holding her own at feeding time with the yellow tang, the clown fish, and the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. She's crazy about kelp, but also liked the shrimp and peas I tossed in.
Sarah: Hey, something smells really bad in my closet.
Lisa: Let's go get a ladder and check it out.
Sarah: Dad, where's the ladder?
Rich: In the garage.
Sarah: (gives Rich the hairy eyeball--she doesn't want to have to go get it)
Lisa: Rich, come see if you smell anything.
Rich: What? (thinks to himself: what a lovely family activity)
Rich: Ooooh, that's bad. You have a dead animal in here.
Sarah: See, I told you. But that's not what's making that noise...?
Rich: Right. Dead animals don't make any noise. (Sarah starts to snicker)
Rich: You'll have to take everything out to find it.
Rich: You heard me.
Lisa: I don't smell anything. (Sarah is in a state of disbelief)
Rich: Then maybe you should be the one to take everything out.
At this point, Sarah is laughing. Rich starts to laugh also. The laughter gets out of control.
Rich: It's probably a dead raccoon.
Rich: That got in through the basement door that was left open all night.
Sarah: What? Is that why the alarm wouldn't set last night?
Rich: (more hysterical laughter) Maybe. (tears are flowing)
Sarah: How long has it been open?
Rich: (almost unable to communicate through the laughter and tears) I'm sure it hasn't been open more than two weeks.
Sarah: Why didn't you close it last night?
Rich: I knew I was safe now that you guys are back home from Utah.
Lisa: (gives Rich the hairy eyeball) You guys are bad.
Rich: Wow, what is that smell? Oh, is that your iron? (Sarah is about to fall off the bed from laughing so much) Just kidding, I don't smell a thing (runs away as Lisa is about to throw the hot iron at him)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
It just doesn't get any easier than this: Take some fresh shredded parmesan cheese (you can buy it already shredded) and drop it into a heated non-stick skillet (or a regular skillet sprayed with non-stick stuff). Just make a lacy pattern with the cheese, just two or three shreds thick. Let it cook until it gets golden-brown and crispy. You can cook on one side or both.
That's it! You're done! Now just eat it. This is really good with soup or salad. Try it in place of bread. I first had this in a Nordstrom's restaurant with a ceaser salad. It can also be broken into pieces and used in place of croutons. Why didn't someone tell me about this earlier?
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Ok, so I'm no music aficionado, but I do love good music. For Valentine's Day, Lisa and I went to the symphony. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was playing "romantic favorites" (collective aaahhhh, please).
Unbeknownst to us, there was a featured violinist on the program, one Viviane Hagner. Ms. Hagner, it turns out, is quite the virtuoso, in my humble opinion. With no music in front of her, she played non-stop for about 20 minutes. And the music she was playing, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, op. 64, was quite complex. I think the rest of the orchestra was quite challenged to keep up, even with the music in front of them. How could she do this? The practice, the hours, the mental focus--all just incredible to think about. And then--the quality of the sound--it was just exquisite. As I was sitting there, I was thinking to myself what incredible timbre that violin had. I'm not a huge fan of the violin, actually, only because most violinists don't reach the level of mastery that makes it a beautiful-sounding instrument to me. That's just me, I know I'm in the minority here. Anyway, there's no doubt this was the finest sounding violin music I have heard.
As we looked closer at the playbill, we realized this master musician wasn't playing just any old violin. She was playing a real Strativarius! Yes, the real deal, made in 1717! It was on loan to her from the foundation that owns it. Lisa and I tried to guess what something like that would be worth. We really had no idea, but guessed maybe a million dollars. I looked it up on the internet today, and it said that Strativarius' "golden period" was between 1700 and 1720; the few documented violins he crafted during that period can be worth several million dollars. Just incredible! I feel very lucky to have had an opportunity to experience this combination: a master, playing a masterpiece, on a masterpiece!