Sunday, July 15, 2012

To LA and Back Again...A Virtual to Actual and Personal Business Journey...

A close friend of mine once said to me that your friendships are the most important thing you can have while you take your turn on this planet. I really do agree with him and would also add that the adventures you have with your friends are also incredibly valuable. These two things seem to be the common theme that pulls together my experience in LA these past few days.

The adventure started with a conversation I had with my good friend Dava about her attending PopCon in Los Angeles to meet Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan. Some back story is required here so please indulge me. I met Dava and other ladies who became my "virtual friends" last summer when I was unexpectedly laid off from an IT consulting job. I had never experienced something like that before, so needless to say I was in shock. This lucrative assignment was going to fund my big push to get back into professional opera and theater - something I was doing quite a bit of before the crash in 2008. Sitting on the couch in my apartment that early evening in NYC I tried to focus on the positive and realized I had purchased Tron earlier in the week to show my husband that evening when he returned from a singing job. He was such a Matrix fan that it made sense to share with him the inspiration for that trilogy. We both quickly got pulled into the world of the grid and marveled at the timelessness of the movie's special effects and the incredible art that was made in that film. Revisiting the subject matter, acting, animation and music showed us how truly an under-appreciated gem that film was whose time has finally come. (Sometimes being cutting edge can be a painful process.)

Well one thing led to another and I found myself searching the internet and facebook regarding one of my favorite actors - Bruce Boxleitner who I also remembered fondly not only for Tron but for the wonderful spy (excuse me I meant to say intelligence operative..sorry), screwball comedy and romance television series, Scarecrow and Mrs. King. I never missed an episode when it was on. It was in Zuckerberg's realm where I happened upon the "Scarecrow and Mrs. King FB Page". After a few minutes I found my spirits had lifted. Those who were posting there were so loving, supportive and FUN! I quickly found an affinity with many of those ladies and made the leap to actually "friend" people I had never met. I trusted my instincts and they did not backfire. Every single one of those ladies have been wonderful additions to my friendship pool.

We have stayed in touch for the last 11 months via facebook and Twitter. I finally met my partner in crime, Dava, a couple of months ago when visiting my parents in Pennsylvania. There was an instant connection and familiarity between us. (We're still trying to figure that out!) So when the conversation came up to attend PopCon and meet more of these wonderful women I did the math and jumped at the opportunity. I also had wanted to get back to LA and do some auditions and networking, so this was the perfect synthesis of opportunity, work and pleasure.

The adventure began at 5 AM on Friday morning 7.6. The day was perfect for a flight out of La Guardia - sunny and mild with slight overtones of humidity reminding us New Yorkers that summer was finally here. The flight was easy and I soon found myself driving North on the San Diego freeway. Dormant memories from my extended stay there came flooding back. I was right out of Juilliard cast in my first professional role - an ingenue part in Long Beach Opera's highly acclaimed production of Offenbach's operetta Bluebeard. I had felt so alive in the California atmosphere and had such great experiences. I made friendships there that have stood the test of time. That same vibrant energy coursed through me at that moment. The sky, brightened by the nearness of the Pacific ocean, seemed to lighten my being and I once again felt as I had 20 years ago - full of life and a little trepidation toward the experiences that awaited me.

I pulled into the Biltmore Hotel (PopCon's official convention hotel) and felt transformed by her Art Deco era elegance. My room was comfortable and soon eased me into the full evening I had in store visiting with my old college buddy and fellow trouble maker, Brad Keating. Our plans were to have dinner in the UCLA neighborhood and attend a fantastic play at the Geffen Playhouse entitled The Pianist of Willesden Lane, a one woman show where the true story of a young Jewish girl's struggle to become a classical pianist during World War II was told not only by words by also with interjections of virtuosic piano playing featuring the works of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Grieg and Rachmaninoff by the artist herself. (If you're in town do go. She let us know that evening at her book signing after the show that they just got extended!) Needless to say Brad and I had a great time together and vowed to meet up one more time before I flew back to NYC.

Saturday's events brought forth for me many uplifting and varied experiences - a successful and affirming audition, meeting up with my friend Dava where reality was finally realized by meeting my virtual girlfriends and an unexpected gathering with the vivacious Cindy Morgan early evening after PopCon had finished for the day. Ms. Morgan is best known for Caddy Shack, Tron and Bring 'Em Back Alive where she portrayed the classy, intelligent and brave U. S. Consul, Gloria Marlowe. "The Ladies of Twitter", as she fondly dubbed us were able to spend the entire day with her. (I was not present because of my obligations beforehand, but lived vicariously through the stories of my friends.) During that time there was much mayhem, fun and kindness exchanged by all who participated. We were all very fortunate to be able to share in something special on that day with Cindy. (I send well wishes for her tremendous success at San Diego Comic Con which is currently happening and at this posting it looks like things have been going fantastic for her!) After our gathering with Cindy we parted ways until the next day and "The Ladies of Twitter" continued on with more bonding and dinner in Studio City. The evening ended with night caps at the Biltmore Bar. I had already lived several days in one. I tumbled to bed and mistress sleep graced me fully renewing me for the next day's adventure.

Sunday. I have sat here for a few moments now wondering how I will be able to accurately chronicle my experience. I am sure I will leave some things out, but life is a series of unique impressions and hopefully you will be able to read others' blogs about this gathering and cobble together just how extraordinary this experience was for all of us. That morning I along with two of Susan's daughters, Laura and Emily, had the opportunity to drive Cindy Morgan to the convention center and help her set up her booth. Cindy unwittingly set the tone for the entire day for me. She was pleasant, warm and genuine and it was our pleasure to help her at PopCon. We quickly met up with the other SMK ladies and Jim - Susan's husband and the only buck amongst the does - poor dear! Eventually Bruce Boxleitner arrived and was soon joined by his supporting cast member Greg Morton who played Jamie King, Amanda King's (Kate Jackson) youngest son. (I will write more about Greg in a moment.)

What occurred between Bruce and his fan girls is something that I would categorize as unusual for any fandom. Gifts were exchanged and autographs signed, pictures were taken and light banter definitely ensued. What I was not prepared for was what I believe to be a genuine affection that he had and continues to have for us. He was open, relaxed…and funny! We spent the entire day with him chatting, laughing and enjoying the two panels he participated in: a Western panel with Richard Anderson of Big Valley and The Six Million Dollar Man and The Making of Tron Panel with Cindy Morgan, Harrison Ellenshaw the visual effects supervisor of Tron and William Kallay the author of The Making of Tron. For me, I did not think I would comfortably wear the persona of fan girl. It was just something I had never done and my mind was filled with all kinds of embarrassing stereotypes. These women and Mr. Boxleitner showed me the positive side to that persona and on that day I fully embraced being an "SMK Lady" - as he refers to us.

Meeting Greg Morton and his wife met and exceeded my expectations. Greg is now a successful writer and artist and has published three works with a fourth on the way. He and his wife exude kindness and intelligence. We had some great conversations and I really enjoyed meeting them both. Check out his blog about us here: Hanging Out With Tron and, seriously, check out the rest of his blog and books - period. His topics are always interesting and inspiring. I, for one, need positive in my life everyday and Mr. Morton is one of my cherished sources.

Toward the end of our visit with Bruce, Cindy and Greg, Bruce's co-producer showed up with literature on Lantern City - the new Steampunk show that Bruce is producing and developing. Check it out on Twitter, facebook and at his website here: Lantern City and register to become a citizen. He made an announcement about it at San Diego Comic Con to an enthused audience and I wish him nothing but great success with this interesting and necessary television project. We hugged our new friends goodbye, including Bruce. He reiterated that it wasn't goodbye, just until the next time. This was already a tremendous day and most of us pooled our energy and moved on to the next adventure - a fund raising evening at Claudia Christian's home.

When we arrived we found Claudia working hard in her own kitchen to serve us a delicious repast of healthy food. She was a lovely and warm hostess. Other celebrities present were Denise Crosby of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Jay Acovone from Stargate SG-1. Claudia had a lovely grand piano and those that could play were encouraged to use it. I ended up singing some musical theater and opera and Amy accompanied me beautifully. She also sang and accompanied herself beautifully! Perhaps my ultimate geek moment was when Denise Crosby requested that I sing the soprano obligato to the original theme song from Star Trek. I had the pleasure of being accompanied by a well known LA music director and I was able to oblige Ms. Crosby - that was seriously crazy and to my gratefulness and relief the room applauded healthily. Again graciousness, genuineness and kindness prevailed in the character traits of our hostess and guests. I know I have made new friends from that gathering and that is much more that I had ever dreamed of happening. There was very little sleep that evening - but when I woke the next morning I felt surprisingly refreshed and assuredly inspired.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were kind of a blur. Monday was the last day I could spend with my new SMK pals. We went to Paramount Studios, saw the homes that served as 4247 Maplewood Drive, Amanda King's home in Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and then my part of the trip was spent checking out the Chinese Theatre area. Some of us went back to the hotel for a rest, then felt the call of the ocean so Dava, Amy, Elaine and Anne piled into my compact rental and we zipped to Santa Monica where we enjoyed a nice casual dinner by the sea. It was hard to leave each other, but we found comfort in knowing we would communicate soon through our virtual media.

Tuesday was spent doing a little more business and then reuniting one last time with my dear college brother Brad at Mexicali Cantina in Studio City. (As usual there was side splitting laugher...and great margaritas!)

My final day was spent exploring the roots on my mother's side in Little Tokyo, or J-Town. I visited Buddhist temples, the East West Players (an all Asian theater venue cofounded by many prominent Asian actors including George Takei and James Hong), Fugetso-Do Confectioners - serious peanut butter mochi, a great sushi place called Toshi Sushi and the Japanese American National Museum. I was especially moved by their exhibit regarding the internment of the Japanese American citizens during World War II and learned quite a bit more about that era from a very knowledgeable and kind museum guide who was interned when he was a little boy. Amazingly he was at peace with the entire experience and was very gentle regarding his exchange with me. I left feeling illuminated and very glad to be living in the present day appreciative of the struggles and triumphs of my fellow Japanese Americans. Indeed as Bill and Ted would say: "The best place to be is here, the best time to be is now..."

The red eye flight I took on July 11th was really quite painless. My plane landed Thursday morning and I quickly found myself thrust back into the atmosphere and energy of Her Majesty, New York City. It was indeed quite an adventure - Bilbo Baggins worthy. I will never forget the experiences I have forged on this trip. To the cast members of this moment in time: Brad, Dava, Amy, Elaine, Anne, Megan, Janice, Cheryl, Mary, Karen, Susan, Emily, Laura, Jim, Claudia, Denise, Jay, Greg, Sandra, Cindy and Bruce - you all have reaffirmed my belief in the positive power of adventure and friendship. You have my special thanks and gratitude for the experiences I have shared with you. May each and every one of you be well, be happy and most of all be loved.

(Photo Credits: Yours Truly, Amy, Elaine, Emily and Laura)

(PS...oh and this happened...)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Revisting Wildfire on Off Broadway Now!

In this age where we are constantly assaulted with characters in their 20's, younger and edgier versions of ourselves if you will, (hmmm...the new Spiderman reboot comes to mind) and are told that their immature trials and tribulations are supposed to be interesting to us my hope was restored when I attended an original play Friday evening on Off Broadway entitled "Revisiting Wildfire" by Kari Floren. It was a two character piece starring women that were - wait for it - in their 50's. Without giving away too much of the plot, Theresa, an executive in New York City, has lost her job and Pam has come all the way from Cleveland to celebrate her birthday. The dialogue and "dramedy" that ensue is truly remarkable. Ms. Floren has a complete understanding of the sacred relationship between two close friends, sisters really and this play not only illustrates that, but also pegs our society for the dysfunction it has regarding our mature women, a resource to be valued and treasured - not discarded. And you couldn't ask for two finer actresses than Nancy Johnston or Lynne Wintersteller. I know for a fact these ladies didn't know one another until they started rehearsing this play in May. I was completely convinced they were inseparable soul mates from the first 5 minutes into the evening. I can only say go! And go soon! It opens on Wednesday June 6th and promptly closes on June 24th and is in previews now. Information is below:

Revisiting Wildfire Tickets and Information

There's a nice article about the play on here too.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers & Das Rheingold-A Tale of Two Lokis

(*MILD SPOILER WARNING* for both venues)

Saturday May 5th was a power day packed full of superheros and villains. I saw Joss Whedon's The Avengers in the morning and caught the last performance of Robert Lepage's production of Das Rheingold that evening at the Metropolitan Opera. The result? Superhero flick and opera are two genres that compliment one another in very surprising ways - at least as far as these two venues are concerned.

First up is my assessment of The Avengers. Joss Whedon did what he does best - ensemble direction at its finest and a brilliant script that gave Marvel's superheros poignance as well as punch. For those of you who are not familiar with Mr. Whedon's work, he was put on the map by Buffy The Vampire Slayer the movie and then TV series which spawned the spinoff Angel and then went on to create one of the finest science fiction series in the history of television - the cult favorite Firefly which led to his movie directing debut in Serenity - the Firefly movie that came about by the fans and for the fans. Previously he was known in the business as a "script doctor" - the guy or gal who is called in to basically save a mediocre script's hide in order to make it acceptable (in his case brilliant) for the screen. Many Whedon fans in the 'Verse were rooting for him. He's an incredibly talented and intelligent director/writer whose time was due after the heartbreak he endured when his beloved Firefly was cancelled by Fox Television. (I could go on a rant about that situation, but it has no place in this particular blog…) From all appearances, The Avengers has ushered in his era of film making.

The special effects did not eclipse the acting one iota and there was not a weak link in the entire cast. My only complaint was that Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts character was marginalized in the movie, but there was a lot to pack in for a 2 hour and 23 minute run time so I actually was pleased her character made it into the movie at all. Other pivotal female characters did not make the cut including Jane Foster (Thor's main squeeze) who only got a brief mention as to her safe whereabouts. Whedon's footprint is left all over The Avenger's universe with his clever, quicksilver dialogue that never stoops to the lowest common denominator, his moody camera angles that display a perspective of a common scene transforming it into an artistic moment in time, his incredible comedic timing enhanced by the actors and his quirky scenes that show the human side of the characters that could have easily been lost in the big budget and grandiosity of The Avengers storyline. Examples of some of Whedon's trademarks include a scene where we see Captain America's reaction in a smashed motorcycle mirror on the ground (the common scene transforming it into an artistic moment in time thing I was writing about) and a very human moment for our team - not to add a spoiler, but Middle Eastern cuisine is in your future if you have the patience. Examples of Whedon signature ensemble dialogue moments include:

Natasha Romanoff: Loki has them under some kind of spell. Along with one of ours.
Steve Rogers: I wanna know why Loki let us take him. He's not leading an army from here.
Bruce Banner: I don't think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.
Thor: (With a Shakespearian delivery) Have care how you speak. Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard. And he is my brother.
Natasha Romanoff: He killed 80 people in 2 days.
Thor: (Waits a beat) He's adopted…

And this little gem of an exchange…

Security Guard: Are you an alien?
Bruce Banner: What?
Security Guard: From outer space, an alien.
Bruce Banner: No.
Security Guard: Well then son, you've got a condition.

And finally:

Loki: It's an impressive cage. Not built, I think, for me.
Nick Fury: Built for something a lot stronger than you.
Loki: Oh, I've heard, the mindless beast. Let's pray he's still a man. How desperate are you? That you call on such lost creatures to defend you?
Nick Fury: How desperate am I? You threaten our world with war, you steal a force you can't hope to control, you talk of peace but you kill because it's fun. You have made me VERY desperate. You might not be glad that you did.
Loki: Ooh, it burns you to have come so close, to have the Tesseract, to have power, unlimited power. And for what? A warm light for all of mankind to share? And then to be reminded of what real power is.
Nick Fury: Well let me know if "real power" wants a magazine or something.

Then there are the Tony Stark one liners. The definitive script isn't out yet, but I have a feeling Mr. Downey, Jr. also enhanced their "hilaritude"…

Tony Stark: (to Bruce Banner) You really have got a lid on it, haven't you? What's your secret? Mellow jazz? Bongo drums? Huge bag of weed?

Tony Stark: (to Hawkeye) Clench up, Legolas.

And of course my favorite because of the NYC reference and pidgin Shakespeare...:

Tony Stark: (In response to Thor's inquiry) Shakespeare in the Park? (Pregnantish pause) Doth thy mother know thou weareth her drapes?

OK I guess it's kind of obvious that I loved this movie. Now onto the Rheingold tie in. I attended The Avengers with my husband, Adam, and a few good friends. Adam was going to perform the role of Loki, or Loge auf Deutsch, in Das Rheingold at the MET that evening and we wanted to have some fun the morning of his final performance. For those of you who read my blog below, this was a big deal for him to debut in that role at the MET on April 26th. What we didn't expect was that Adam was going to be so positively affected by Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki in the movie. Truly, he tapped some of his duplicity and other characterization elements for his portrayal of Wagner's version of that role that evening. The references were subtle but made all the difference.

Lepage's Rheingold truly has an otherworldly and superhero look and feel to it, especially with the costuming. Heck, they're right out of the Marvelverse. That is to be expected as the director is responsible for all of the Cirque du Soleil productions. I find this a plus as updating of opera productions, when done well, are most effective. Additionally, if there is a way to reach out to younger audiences without betraying the composer's intent, I am all for that, too. In this economy opera, as well as the rest of the performing arts, needs all the help it can get. To add a theatrical performance and honest character development to a role in Wagner's version of Norse mythology can also only enhance the piece. Truthfully, though, I think my husband more resembles Tony Stark/Iron Man rather than Loki. You be the judge.

Adam's performance on Saturday was critiqued favorably. The Associated Press said:

"Substituting on short notice for the wonderful character tenor Stefan Margita in the role of Loge, Adam Klein made a strong impression…"

This one from The Wall Street Journal gave me a chuckle:

"...Adam Klein, who stepped in as Loge and not only sang brightly but scampered fearlessly up and down the set."

And this love note came from an opera aficionado in Toronto who stated:

"Adam Klein sang a wonderful Loge, enlarging the physical aspect we’d already seen from Richard Croft in the earlier version of the opera last season. Not only did Klein walk backwards up the wall using wires, but turned it into a part of his characterization. At times he posed defiantly (sideways), at other times he struck a more ironic attitude. For me Loge is a bellwether of the production, which might explain why I loved this show so much. Klein made magic from his first appearance to his last: a revelation."

I certainly concur. If I were a top critic for one of these publications my review of his portrayal would go something like this:

"Adam Klein's Loge held his own and finally took his place amongst the Gods."

Perhaps a bit more trite, but nonetheless accurate.

I write this because so many productions of Rheingold cast a Loge that cannot act the role and/or whose voice is too light and character sounding. Common Wagner practice originating from Wagner's very own specifications calls for the Loge to have a heroic sound and for the same tenor cast in that role to go on to perform Siegfried. Many artistic directors and critics miss this point. These actions have resulted in some disastrous casting decisions and embarrassingly bad reviews - embarrassing for the critic since he or she is stripping themselves naked in front of those who know better. Unfortunately my intellect and good taste have been subjected to both travesties over the years. (Again, this is a rant for me to post on another blog.) And because of these frequent misconceptions the role of Loge is diminished resulting in the audience not feeling sympathy for Loge or understanding the reason why he ends up betraying the Gods at the end. So, in my not so humble opinion, the whole reason for going to see The Ring is seriously lost.

The MET Das Rheingold on Saturday May 5th, 2012 acquitted itself from any and all accusations. It was simply a great time with great singing and acting, not just from my guy who portrayed Loge, but from the rest of those famous and not famous folks onstage. They're bringing this production back to the MET next year, too. (Oh goody!) As of this posting, we don't know what this will mean for Adam, but I can take comfort in the fact that I saw a very fine production at the MET and that my husband had something to do with it. For now all we can do, as the tune from Soundgarden featured in The Avengers goes, is Live to Rise. I certainly live to see Adam's star rise…

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Adam Klein - Loge Superhero

(This blog was written a few hours after my husband's Wagner MET debut on Thursday April 26th as Loge in Robert LePage's new production of Das Rheingold.)

Captain's Log, Stardate: Not Applicable. It is 2 AM and we have just returned from an adventure at a little place in New York City known for world class opera productions. My husband, tenor Adam Klein, made his Wagner debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Loge in Robert LePage's production of Das Rheingold. I, the wife, could not obtain tickets that evening as the house was sold out. I, however, had a much better experience viewing my husband from the bowels of the Met and was able to observe The Machine working at peak precision. As one who produces and directs as well as performs, observing the backstage technical workings of this show was a total, rapturous geek-feast for me. Folks out front were there to watch Das Rheingold…I had the privilege of becoming Das Rheingold. And for folks who watch Firefly…I wasn't on the ship…I was in the ship…I was the ship.

This new Met production was mounted in 2010 and returned this season along with the now complete Ring cycle. It definitely had Cirque du Soleil elements throughout the fabric of its being - not surprising since its master was co-founder for that venue. Fantastical tableaus, warping of perspective and illusion thrive in this production and in spite of the potential dangers of high tech, cater very nicely to a story about Gods, a Demi-God and other mythological creatures. My husband performed the role of the Demi-God, Loge, or Loki if you are familiar with the Norse name. He is made of pure fire. The lighting effects very much enhanced that aspect of Adam's character, but it truly was the artist that breathed life into him. Adam sang like a German Heldentenor God, his theatrical acting was superior and his physical acting rocked that Loge suit like Iron Man with his Tony Stark action hero stance and athleticism. Eat your heart out Robert Downey, Jr.! (Spoliers: Loge does a lot of stuff on wires.) No, I am not biased…truly. Adam and I are very honest with one another and our performances. He really was that good and had the respect and support of his esteemed castmates, which included Stephanie Blythe, Bryn Terfel, Eric Owens and Gerhard Siegel. He also had the support of all his cover colleagues, artistic staff, administrative staff and Peter Gelb, General Director of the Met. The whole opera house was rooting for him! When it came time for curtain calls and bows, he got as large an applause as Bryn Terfel who played Wotan the leader of all the Gods. Adam had delivered the goods.

How did we celebrate, some of you may be asking? Rather quietly which was nice. After we parted company with Adam's parents, his fellow voice teacher Mike Warren and other friends, I suggested we go to a little 24 hour French bistro called French Roast - their uptown establishment on Broadway, as they also have a downtown annex - and enjoyed midnight happy hour. Yes, one of the many things I love about this city is that concept. The food was divine, the atmosphere cozy and it was just the gentle ending that we needed. Who knows what this will do for Adam's career in the long run, but life is full of wonderful moments and by living in the moment we take comfort and energize from such experiences.

Update: 3:30 PM Friday April 27th: I just found out that Adam will be going on again as Loge in the final Rheingold performance of the season on May 5th. Sometimes punching the glass ceiling yields a glorious breakthrough. My husband once again gets to be a superhero. He will always be one to me.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Micro Blog

A thought for the day: degradation depletes energy while affirmation augments it, therefore it is far easier to be kind than coarse.

Be well, everyone and make everyday a positive day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

SMK Day at Chez Tami

This merited a post on my blog because I just couldn't figure out how to put it all on one picture and send it...and it covers food, artistic expression and good vibes - which as my close friends know is the intent of my blogosphere, if you will. I was inspired to do a party for my two girlfriends who used to watch Scarecrow and Mrs. King in the 80's when it was originally on the air. I had become re-acquainted with the show last summer as I needed a little escape from a VERY bad work situation. (Don't worry - that's all been resolved.) It brought me back to a peaceful and uplifting time in my life and helped me re-center myself (well that and a lot of running and meditation). Through the show I also discovered a wonderful SMK community on Facebook and am pleased to say I have even made a few friends from the page.

I found out that a group of these ladies were going to see Bruce Boxleitner (Lee "Scarecrow" Stetson) at Megacon in Orlando, FL this past weekend and since I couldn't go, well, I threw a party to celebrate SMK instead. This completely got out of hand as I then became inspired to make it an Italian food themed event. The first reason for this was if you are going to culinarily celebrate the elegance of Lee Stetson and Amanda King it's going to have to be either with Italian or French cuisine. The show always depicted an upscale evening by attending either a French or Italian restaurant. Remember Emilio's or Chez Nouvelle? (My inner fan girl is screaming. I shall silence her now!) The second reason was my SMK Italian girlfriends on Facebook. They really inspired me with talk of Italian cooking and I wanted to give them a gift of my own Italian cooking from 4000 miles away. (Hope it holds up to your standards, bellissime!) Below are the results of my culinary exploits and our adventures with Lee and Amanda. We supplemented our beverage and fruit quotient with Cava mimosas. Apologies for the possibly pidgin Italian captions. I will endeavor to correct once I revisit them with someone close who speaks Italian better than me! All in all it was a fabulous day and I hear it was a fabulous weekend for my SMK family members, as well! Buon appetito.

Primi Piatti:
Rosemary Almonds and Arugula with Meyer Lemon/Mirin Vinaigrette
Mandorle con rosmarino e rucola con limone Meyer/Mirin Vinaigrette

Primi Piatti:
Focaccia with Red Grapes
Focaccia con uve rosse

Secondi Piatti:
Stuffed Smoked Mozarella
Ripieni mozzarelle affumicate

Piatto Principale:
Spinach Flans with Prosciutto
Flan di spinaci con prosciutto

Strawberries with Chocolate
Fragole con cioccolato
(No picture - sorry we ate them too quickly!)

Those that celebrated and thus were sated...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Twitter Spew Haiku, by Yours Truly

One hundred forty...
Brevity is required -
Can't express myself!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This, Too, Shall Pass by TS

(I have a few close friends who are going through a hard time right now. This poem is for you guys. XO)

I once was light, sweet and of simple thought
The virile call of living raptured me.
Nourishment from love's dove-soft breast was sought -
I gave my core to one most joyfully.

Then in the center of my journey's lot,
Love's cascade had become a dying sea.
My soul by my companion was not sought,
All pleasure from her being lost, callously.

Heartache devoured life force hoarding rest,
Solitude a protection - and my right,
I chose to crest its wave and heal alone.

Now in my dreams a voice at my behest,
Sings softly with an oath to soothe my plight,
Affirming through its tones that I've found home.

Flu Haiku (for all of you...)

(This was inspired by all of us who have the flu. Get better!)

Itchy lung's caress
Means coughing incessantly.
Give me some NyQuil!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blue Haiku - By Yours Truly

In the bleak winter
Inertia is the constant -
Time to eat cookies.