Monday, September 28, 2009

Musical Trivia

I love my ipod, as many of you know. And one of the things I really like about that is all the different ways there is to listen to your music. Amy, who sometimes travel with me for work, says that is one of the things she loves about traveling with me.
1. First, there is this Genius setting on itunes. You can turn on the genius setting, click on a track in your music and tell it to create a playlist. It makes up a play list out of the music in your collection. So I have several of these Genius created playlists. Amy and I will listen to them and try to figure out why they put those particular songs together. It's kind of funny. Sometimes, it seems obvious, like all vintage rock, that kind of thing. Other times we have no clue. I did it once when my friend Helle was traveling with me for work. Now Helle is a dancer, a major dancer. And so she was looking at it from a whole different viewpoint. She was thinking that maybe it had to do with the rhythmn or beat. I love it when somebody makes me think of something in a different way!
2. Here was a funny way of listening recently: alphabetically. I have a LOT of music on my Ipod. It's funny to see how many songs begin with the same word. Or trying to guess what the next one would be. Amy and I did this on our last trip to Prescott.
3. Then of course, you can listen my genre, artist, album, or just shuffle. I used to listen by shuffle mostly, but I am finding these other ways so interesting! And I end up listening to some of my collection that I might not listen to in another way.
Right now, my Ipod is on the p's. When I left for work this morning it was playing "Please Read the Letter that I wrote" by Roger Plant and Alison Krauss from the Raising Sand Album. A great album by the way.
So, does anyone else have any interesting methods of listening to your music?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Well Joyce! Thank you for this mighty fine award, although I also very sure it is undeserved. I am one of the most UNCREATIVE bloggers there are. But I will comply with the conditions anyway. So thank you! That is number one. I am retarded and don't know how to link the logo to you! I am sorry. (See? I told you I wasn't creative!)
Next: Name 7 things about myself that people might night know...Hmm
It seems like everyone knows everything about me, but I will try.

1. I know only one person who knows this, because I haven't had time to tell anyone yet! I am going to work the overnight shift for the first 3 weeks in October. Not just until midnight, like before, but 6pm to 6am. We'll see if I can still function when it's all overwith!
2. I just started seeing someone. The first someone in about 13 years. So that is definately new! Don't know if it will go anywhere or not, but it's fun and so far so good!!!
3. I have had a black eye 3 times in my life, the first one when I was 6 years old. A victim of a pinata party.
4. A lot of people know this, but I am an earring-a-holic. I have more than most people ever dream of having. I can't imagine how people get by with 2 or 3 pairs of earrings. I have a whole case just with earrings. It is my favorite souvenir to bring back from a trip. I can't beleive I didn't bring any back from the Spam museum, but I didn't see any.( I didn't think about it either).
Gosh this is hard. Everything I think of, I know people already know or I don't want to tell. Hmm
5. I used to like F Troop when I was a kid. I don't know why anyone would care about that, but I am getting desperate.
6. My first kiss was by Jimmy Langley, who lived down the block. He was swimming in our pool with me an he told me to go underwater and close my eyes. It wasn't too excited about the event and I think I was 6 or 7. (It would be interesting to hear about everyone's first kiss! I didn't have another REAL one until I was in my 30's for pete sake. I seem to have a lot of LONG dry spells in this area).
7. My first crush was on a boy named Jody in first grade. I don't remember ever speaking to him or even knowing much of anything about him! I guess I just thought he was cute!
There!! Seven! It was painful.
Ok now I am supposed to tag seven other bloggers to do the same thing.

Cynthia at Party of Six
Cathy at My Own Opinion
Lezlee at Bandanamom
Michelle at The Dahl Family
Janet at Janet in MN
Emily at Jenkins Family Antics
Lindsey at Nuclear Family Meltdown

I'm looking forward to seeing your Creative posts ladies!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scenic Minnesota photos

This is actually on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi river. Kelly drove across this bridge so that I could say I had been in Wisconsin!
We thought this guy fishing was a nice photo op.
And here is the bridge.

This is me in Wisconsin.
And this bridge with the lovely blue lighting is the new bridge that replaced the one that collapsed. Remember THAT bridge? Well Kelly drove across it and hour before it collapsed. Scary, huh?

The new bridge is a lovely and romantic site at night.

And you can't see this very well, but this was a really interestingly designed building, the Guthrie theatre. I'll have to get another photo sometime during the day.

The Spam Museum

In Austin, Minnesota, across the street from the Hormel plant, is the Spam Museum! Who knew? Here is Kelly, in front of the Spam Museum.
And this is a wall of Spam cans with a globe in the middle.
It is mostly an ad for all things Spam, kind of cheesy, but fun. There is lots of singing about Spam by the Spamettes, the Hormel Girls and the Monty Python folks.

The most fun though was the Spam gift shop with the logo on just about anything you could possibly imagine! I got a couple of things to commemorate my visit!

The Arboretum at the University of Minnesota

When I was in Minnesota the last few days, Kelly took me to the Arboretum. There were some beautiful flowers, like these morning glories.

And there were dahlias. And very picturesque farm houses in the distance!

There was a hedge maze and sea monsters in the pond.

A maple tree that was turning beautiful colors a little earlier than the rest.
And some really nice flower beds with lots of play on color and scent.

Look at all the shades of blue and purple in these beds.

It was a huge place, with a lot of naturalistic plantings. I think it would be a really nice place to go for some hikes or walks in. Apparently a lot of people snow shoe and cross country ski there in the winter. I'm not sure I would be up to that, but it was fun and thoughtful of Kelly to take me there.

Meet Kelly

I want to introduce my new friend, Kelly. He is the reason I just went to Minneapolis. We have just started seeing each other. You can tell from his nice smile that he is a great guy! I just wanted y'all to know who I was talking about if I mention him hereafter, which I am sure I will be.
He is a CPA and works as the tax director at the University of Minnesota. He has 8 kids with one left at home, the very nice Meagan. Say Hi to Kelly!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On the Transmigration of Souls

I went to the symphony last night. I usually by a small flex package of 6 concerts over the season. I chose last night because they were doing Beethoven's 9Th symphony which includes the "Ode to Joy" poem set to music. It has long been a favorite piece.
What I did not know, was that the first half of the evening was devoted to a work by the contemporary composer, John Adams. It was called On the Transmigration of Souls and was meant to commemorate 9/11. It was an amazing and moving piece of performance art. I don't know that I would buy it to listen to, but to hear it in performance was very touching. There isn't a rhythmic center to the work, but there were voices both recorded and a large choral group, that would punctuate the music with words like "missing' said over and over. Or victims names, or I love you. Or you were the apple of father's eye. And the fact that the concert took place on Sept. 12, it was all very poignant.
After intermission the contrast of the seriousness to the joyfulness of Beethoven's symphony was very strong. It was a very familiar piece and yet I had never heard it done in person before. It was a great evening!
Below is a snippet of a review I got off of Amazon on the John Adams work:

Incredibly, intensely moving; yet ultimately cathartic., September 17, 2004
Bob ZeidlerIn reviewing "On the Transmigration of Souls," John Adam's Pulitzer Prize-winning memorial work to commemorate 9/11, I hope my (usually) reliable words don't fail me. For this is a difficult task, given the effect this work can have on one. It is an unusual work, psychically and spiritually moving almost beyond description, and I believe we all should be thankful that the commission for the work had been awarded to Adams, for I perceive no other composer - certainly no other American composer - as being even remotely up to the task set out. Adams succeeds on every possible level (despite his apparent initial concern that a suitable musical memorial was in fact possible). This is a work of universality, not polemical or political or jingoistic in the slightest. It is neither a requiem nor a kaddish but is in fact a true memorial to those who were lost, not only by Adams, but, through the texts used, by the people who suffered those losses. And, while it is a "public" piece, it is one of such "private" introspection that it seems to me that only through the recording medium - and then under the best of circumstances, such as the quietest possible background ambiance or, better yet, listening with headphones - can its fullest impact be properly made, if only to establish that every single sound one hears in this work is intended to be there. (I had the opportunity to hear the concert performance of the work when it was web cast. I took a bye at the time, and I'm glad that I did. I feel as if, had I listened then, I would always be wondering whether I was actually listening to the work qua work or to the work under "live audience" conditions, with the distractions such conditions can produce.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Up the Coast

We got to enjoy bits and pieces of the coast as we drove up . But it was very foggy and most of the time it was sunny on the road all fogged in where the view should have been.

This is the little hotel we stayed in at Crescent City, California. It was right on the beach as you can see. We enjoyed sitting in the adirondack chairs and taking in the view. Then I went for a walk up the beach looking for shells and interesting rocks or pepples. I was very excited to find a whole sand dollar! I have always found pieces of one before.
This is what it looked like when I got back from my walk with the full moon up!

Here is the fog. It's kind of pretty even when it's blocking the view.

And this bunny was at a view point. It was awfully brave and didn't run away.

And then there were a few sunny spots, like this one where we stopped to check out the light house.

Fern Canyon

When Susan and I were in the visitors center at the park, I saw some photos of Fern Canyon. I immeadiately wanted to go. It was an 8 mile drive down a dirt road. It wasn't too far of a hike to get to from there. It was beautiful. I am really disappointed because many of what should of been my best photos are blurry. I am not quite sure what I was doing wrong. So while these are ok, they aren't as splendiferous as the ones I can't post without making you sick.
It looks like what I imagine Hawaii looks like from other peoples photos and descriptions. I loved it!

Elk In Redwoods

This was fun. In the Redwoods National Forest they have a lot of elk. There are a few places they especially like to congregate and you can watch them. So here you can some bull elk over seeing their harems.

There were even some elk down by the ocean. That is the ocean in the background.
Then there was this guy, regally surveying his family and keeping a close eye on them. He was wearing a hat of reeds and mud. It was a hoot.

Redwoods National Forest

Susan and I went to the Redwoods National Park. I love a beautiful tree and there an awful lot of them there. I felt like they were majestic and very peaceful. That's me inside the tree there. I believe these are the tallest trees in the world. The Sequoia are bigger in mass but the redwoods are taller. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Susan's Cottage look

I wish I came up with witty things to write like Cindy and Lezlee. And I think I could if I spent more time at this blog. But instead, I mostly have nice photos for you to look at!
This is my friend Susan's house in Oregon. She is wonderful at gardening and is really into the "cottage" look. She does a great job with "found"objects and things that she has picked up from the metal salvage place.
This Arizona girl love sitting out in her yard and reading or just enjoying the cooler temps and views.

Look, look, I got a bee in the middle of the Dahlia!

Here is the dahlia without the bee.

I LOVE this. Susan came up with this all her self. It's a little sun room off her family room. The sides are made up of Sliding glass doors. The room is fiberglass. So when it's cold, you can sit out there in the sun with the doors closed. When it's nice you can open all the sides up. Is that cool or what?

Here is her little gazebo that she had her brother put together from a kit.

Here are some of her "found" objects on her fence, including her old license plate.

I LOVE the pots she has turned into planters.

This is a view across her backyard. She got the window and I think the door of her shed from a house that was torn down behind her. The old claw foot bathtub she has made into a water garden. The Shower head works and becomes a little fountain.

This is the view the other way, towards the sun room, deck and gazebo.

This is looking towards the little paved area where her hot tub is.

Very decorative shed!

Susan's dad had a commercial fishing boat. She has some old fishing floats on her fence.

The bench and trellis hide some pipes or something in the backyard. She had an arcadia door put into her bedroom and the ramp built so she could go from her bedroom to the hot tub.

Decorations on the fence by the hot tub. The door knobs are to hang your towel on.

Isn't this old chair fun? Seat is missing and a plant put in instead.