This violinist plays with soul

June 4, 2019

On Sunday, David and I attended a Hawaii Symphony concert at the Blaisdell, featuring violinist Augustin Hadelich, who had won a Grammy award for one of his recordings. At this concert, he played the Beethoven Violin Concerto.  The second movement was so beautiful, it moved me to tears.  He certainly knows how to play with soul. As his encore, he played the Paginini Caprice No. 7, which displayed his virtuosity and bravura.

During intermission, I told Hadelich that his music had made me cry, because it was so beautiful. He thanked me, shook my hand and smiled:

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He didn’t sell any CDs during intermission, but I had previously bought a CD, “Histoire du Tango,” which he autographed a few years ago. It’s comprised of interesting music for the violin and guitar:

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This is a side view of the Blaisdell Concert Hall. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The palm trees looked graceful against the blue sky and puffy white clouds:

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Before the concert, a talented group of Suzuki School students played the Pachelbel Canon in the lobby:

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All in all, we had a great time. We have renewed our subscription to next season’s Hawaii Symphony concerts.

“Beehive” and the 1960s

June 2, 2019

On Saturday, David and I attended a one act musical, “Beehive,” at the Diamond Head Theatre. It was quite entertaining, full of hit songs from the 1960s. A beehive hair-do was popular among teenage girls during the early 1960s.

This is David, standing in front of the theatre:

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I remember the 1960s very well, and the musical at the theatre made me recall the shocking events of that decade.  I remember the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968. I remember the Free Speech movement, Civil Rights movement, Women’s Liberation movement, the Vietnam War and the Make Love, Not War movement. I also remember the arrival of The Beatles and the popularity of folk music. The Peace Corps. The first man on the moon.

It was in 1968 that I graduated from the University of Hawaii with a BA in Sociology. Shortly after graduation, I embarked on my trip around the world, working as a secretary and teacher to support myself along the way. It was in 1969 that I fell in love with classical music after hearing a performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto at the German Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Wow, that was a turning point in my life.

Yes, I lived through the 1960s. It was an exhilarating decade for me. Never a dull moment.

“Beehive” runs through June 9, 2019 at the Diamond Head Theatre.

An organized home

May 31, 2019

I tend to be an organized person, who likes symmetry and balance. I don’t like messy people and messy homes. David is lucky he is married to me, because he tends to just throw things in a pile. When I met him, I noticed his bank statements and credit card bills strewn in his car trunk and not even in their respective envelopes. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a mess.

So, the first thing I did when we got married was to buy a four drawer filing cabinet. It contains tax returns dating back to 2007, bank statements, Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Advance Directive, Deeds to the house and cemetery plots, Certificates of Title for our two cars, etc.  They are all stored in labeled manila folders or envelopes and filed in the cabinet:

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CD cabinet with all of our CDs alphabetized by composer or performer:

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Cabinet containing all of my stem ware for red and white wine, champagne, juice and water:

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My symmetrically arranged hanging ferns and potted crotons:

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Voila! An organized home.  Isn’t David lucky to have me around?

He’s a movie and TV junkie

May 29, 2019

David likes to go to the movie theater once a week, usually on Tuesday, when there is a discount on tickets and popcorn. He is constantly checking online for audience reaction and critical reviews in order to know which movie to attend or avoid. As for me, I just don’t attend, because movies make me dizzy with their special effects. I prefer the stage productions at the Blaisdell and Diamond Head Theatre. I never get dizzy at the symphony, opera, musical and play.

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David is so lucky that I don’t like to watch TV. We never argue over the TV remote, simply because I don’t watch TV. What a lucky guy! The big thing that is coming up on TV is the NBA Finals. Who will be the champion? David thinks that the Toronto Raptors will beat the Golden State Warriors.  As for me, I just want to know the score and who won. Never mind about actually watching the game.

He’s a movie and TV junkie.

Rylan’s Disney Mania

May 27, 2019

On Saturday, David and I watched our 9 year old grandson, Rylan, perform in a one act play, “Disney Mania,” at his elementary school. It was led by a man named Michael, who used to sing with the Society of Seven and The Crush in Waikiki. Michael did a great job organizing and coaching these students in grades 2-6. Rylan is in grade 3. They started in January and rehearsed every Wednesday. The play is a loosely knitted group of songs from Disney musicals, such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Lion King,” and “Frozen.”

These are photos of the event.

Rylan is the kid on the right. He acted as Jimmie, one of the three Mouseketeers. He also acted as a narrator, announcing each song in the play:

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This is one of the ensembles:

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At the end of the play, Rylan (front center) and another student read a proclamation that awarded Michael a plaque for his service to the school, where he has been music director since 2015.  Michael is the man in blue on the left:

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Our daughter, Maria, and her son, Rylan:

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Maria, Rylan, Julia and Grant:

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We all had a good time. Next fall, Rylan will be in fourth grade, and Julia will be in seventh grade.  My grandkids are growing up so fast!

Only in my dreams…

May 25, 2019

I guess my traveling days are over. The last time I boarded a plane was in 2013, when David and I traveled to Miami, Florida and Washington, DC. We invited friends in both cities to our hotel for lunch. Since then, I have had bouts of colitis, and David has had crippling arthritis to deal with. We cannot travel for health-related reasons, not to mention it is expensive.

But, I dream of  visiting Prague, Czech Republic, because Mozart premiered his Prague Symphony there in 1787.

This is Prague, Czech Republic (photo taken from the internet):

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And I dream of visiting Moscow, Russia to see the Kremlin, Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Bolshoi Ballet.

This is the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia (photo taken from the internet):

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As I said, only in my dreams.  I am so glad that I have actually seen a lot of the world already.  Unfortunately, I am unable to see more of it.

I can, however, visit cities on the internet, perusing photos and information online.  That’s the only way I can travel these days.

Good for bone density

May 23, 2019

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This is my patio at 8:30 AM on Wednesday. It is going to be another hot, humid day here in Hawaii, probably 90F. In a few hours, we shall turn on the air conditioners in our house, the thermostat set at 78F. Usually, the indoor temperature drops to 75F with the two air conditioners going strong. I think that our electric bill will probably exceed $200 this month.

I find myself sitting in the patio quite frequently, absorbing the sun directly. It is good for bone density, which, in my case, is normal. There is no need for me to take osteoporosis medication or supplements. Further, I walked much of the time prior to my buying my first car at age 33. So, by age 33, I already had a large bone bank from which to withdraw as I grew older.

I have such a wonderful life. Nothing to complain about.

La Traviata

May 21, 2019

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Last Sunday, we attended the final opera of the season, Verdi’s “La Traviata,” at the Blaisdell. It was superb! It is considered the most performed opera in the world, and rightly so.

“Traviata” is an Italian word that means “fallen woman,” in this case, a courtesan, who sleeps with wealthy noblemen. It is a tragedy; the courtesan contracts tuberculosis and dies in the arms of her true love.

In this production, the soprano (Danielle Talamantes), tenor (Pene Pati) and baritone (Quinn Kelsey) were excellent. The baritone is from Hawaii and has found success, singing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The tenor is from Samoa and is a rising star. But, the soprano outshone them all. What a beautiful coloratura, so supple, so agile, and hitting the high notes with ease. I would love to hear her perform here at the Blaisdell again.

Next season, we are in for a treat. The three scheduled operas are Puccini’s “Tosca,” Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” and Strauss’ “Salome.” We look forward to attending all three and have already paid for our subscription renewal.

My heart belongs in Europe

May 19, 2019

I thought I was Korean, since my two sets of grandparents immigrated from Korea. However, I recently learned that I have North Chinese and Japanese DNA in addition to Korean DNA.  This is information I got from my daughter’s DNA sample, submitted to Ancestry.com.

Actually, my heart belongs in Europe. I don’t like Asian or American culture that much. I love classical music and European architecture and dining. I prefer classical ballet over Hawaiian hula and Korean dance.

This is a ballerina, dancing Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” ballet at the Blaisdell in December 2018 (photo taken from TV):

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I love to set the table the European way, not the Asian way. For example, instead of chopsticks and a rice bowl, I prefer to use a knife, fork and fine china:

This is my table setting in November 2018:

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European architecture is awesome. In November 1969, I saw Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Very beautiful stained glass windows and interesting gargoyles above the eaves of the cathedral. I am so glad that I saw Notre Dame before it caught on fire in 2019.

This is Notre Dame Cathedral before the fire (photo taken from the internet):

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So there you have it. My heart belongs in Europe.

Putting a positive spin on my life

May 17, 2019

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This is David, sitting in our patio (December 2016).

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I find that when negative thoughts bother me, I try to put a positive spin on my life. In other words, I see the cup half full, not half empty. It’s all about positive thinking and counting my blessings. And my blessings are many.

For example, I am still married to David.

I own a big, comfortable house in the suburbs.

I own my car and don’t need to drive David’s car.

My two children are self supporting and are homeowners.

My two grandkids are healthy and doing well in school.

So, when I think positive and not negative, I pat myself on the back and say, “Not bad. My family and I are doing better than expected.”