Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Onward

Yes! L'Attitude is going to compete at the International convention in Las Vegas on October 11th. When I tell people that I have been competing for 19 years and will finally be singing at the next level, I feel just a teeny bit silly. That is a long time to be hitting one's head against the wall. But, lo and behold, the wall has given way. We are ranked 20th of all the quartets that competed this spring (over 1500 of them, I believe).

Now, the summer begins. The calendar is full already of rehearsals and coaching. We are doing some fund raising (which is usually not called for unless a quartet is "representing" a chorus or region at International). We want to make a demo cd and sing on a few shows, as well.

We went to Arnold, California last weekend for a quick getaway. What pretty country up there! It was a jam-packed holiday weekend, with Putnam County Spelling Bee in SF on Friday night, then a quartet rehearsal on Saturday, the drive up to Arnold, socializing/hiking/flea marketing on Sunday, drive home, and then host a barbecue on Monday. We played a new game called Articulation that I had bought at a garage sale for a dollar. It was pretty fun, though the turns lasted too long. Maybe it was that we had eight people playing. Eight people and five dogs - we had a wonderful time.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pride, Pie, and Public Places

Our quartet did very well at contest this year, which accounts for the first word in the title of this post. We improved 50 points and attained the second-place ribbon. It's possible that we will go on to compete at the international competition in October, but more about that later - we won't tempt fate by writing about it before we have actually qualified! We'll know at the end of this month.

Ever since reading "Humble Pie", I've been trying to pesonally revive the art of pie making in San Rafael. All attempts have been tasty, but some looked better than others. I got a cuisinart for my birthday, and according to Martha Stewart, it's easiest to make pastry dough in a food processor. My latest pie, a green rhubarb/strawberry pie, came together quite easily using this new tool, although it will take some practice to know just how long to pulse the butter and flour to get the right texture. Other presents included a new rolling pin, a pie bird, and little cutters to make decorative crusts. Behold!



We took an outing to the new deYoung museum in Golden Gate Park, and really enjoyed it. I was underimpressed by the exterior of the building.. it looked so large and a bit bleek. The foggy day did not help, since the metallic sheathing was dark and unreflecting. But once inside, we found the exhibits to be extensive and interesting, and the spaces in the building were airy and inviting. Here is the stairway that passes the fern garden.



The tower was especially delightful, with unusual views of San Francisco in all directions. At the base of the tower was a collection of wire sculptures by Ruth Osawa. The shadows were just as beautiful as the wires: