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March 12, 2009

Gains and Losses

What a treat to have one of my favorite choral groups, Cantus, performing here. I've heard them a number of times in the Twin Cities and own most of their CDs. They are a musical inspiration for me.

The concert was excellent and warmly received by the smallish but enthusiastic audience. I was thrilled to have their music wash over me, but it made me acutely aware of the music I am missing - both as a listener and a singer. I simply have not had time this year to keep singing. But I must. Summer is not all that far off, and perhaps I can connect with a voice teacher, who in turn might help me identify good singing venues for next season. There is nothing like singing. If you want to read more, click on the "choral music" category and look at my many entries.

In looking for blog material about the group, I found this link to a recent (3/5/09) performance of the group at Trinity Church Wall Street. Part of this program is what they sang here tonight. Enjoy!

I also found this YouTube of a rehearsal of the Biebl Ave Maria. The picture is poor (probably taken with a phone cam), but the music comes through fairly well. The Biebl is one of the most beautiful pieces in the choral repertoire for a male group - perhaps THE most beautiful. I had the pure joy of singing it once and would love to again.

Tonight's experience reminds me of the phenomenal opportunities I had singing in the Twin Cities, and the many friends I made in the process. Priceless.

Posted by hgroteva at 10:41 PM

March 15, 2009

Uncommon Knowledge

I discovered a column in the Sunday Boston Globe that gives me a good feeling as a social scientist. It's entitled "Uncommon Knowledge: Surprising Insights from the Social Sciences", by Kevin Lewis. [Click here]

One of today's clips, "The peaceful effect of boys," noted that "the gender of one's children affects one's view of foreign policy." Seems that "households with more boys were more likely to think that the United States should not intervene in other parts of the world and should use diplomacy over military force." The biggest effect seems to be on fathers of boys, who may be concerned that their sons would be drafted. It's a plausible explanation -- however, the U.S. has not had a draft in decades.

In any case, it was fun to encounter this column - it's always good to get some of those initially counterintuitive ideas out there for public exposure..

Posted by hgroteva at 1:04 PM

March 17, 2009

Once, Again

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In honor of St. Patrick's Day, it's time to listen once again to the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies of all time: "Once." Such a great story, and such great music. I'm listening in memory of the Irish side of my family, especially my beloved grandfather, Leo Francis Ryan. He died suddenly of a stroke when I was about 8 - I wish I had gotten to know him as an adult - my sense is that he was quite a guy. He's the second from the right.

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Here is a link to the soundtrack
- enjoy!

Posted by hgroteva at 8:58 AM

March 20, 2009

Friday Cat Blogging: Sadie the Shady Lady

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Doesn't she look innocent?
NOT!
This little fuzz ball has terrorized the two NM cats to the point that that they slink around the house fearing that she will pounce on them. We have entertained the idea of finding another home for her, where she can be the ONLY queen bee. But first, we are trying kittie prozac. It hasn't kicked in yet, but it's only been a few days. She is very affectionate with the MN cats (especially Pookie), so I think it's really a dominance thang. Stay tuned.

Posted by hgroteva at 5:14 AM

March 21, 2009

Magic Wings - Magical Day

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It was a perfect first day of spring to visit Magic Wings in Deerfield with one of my oldest and best friends. Magic Wings is a butterfly conservatory, featuring 4000 free-flying butterflies from all over the world. You enter their habitat and walk among them for as long as you like. Peaceful and awe-some.


Posted by hgroteva at 5:30 AM

March 31, 2009

Our New View - Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

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At our closing today, we learned about the meaning of "mortgage" from the French.
From Wikipedia: The term comes from the Old French "dead pledge," apparently meaning that the pledge ends (dies) either when the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure.
"Dead pledge" sounds a bit ominous, don't you think??

Posted by hgroteva at 12:15 PM