Zig Ziglar Says…

Zig Ziglar

“Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.”

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Happy Thanksgiving!


I am thankful today for friends and family, and especially my dear readers…you make life a joy! To those who will be celebrating, I hope you and yours have a wonderful day recalling your blessings and you don’t over-stuff yourselves. Even if your turkey doesn’t come out looking like Norman Rockwell’s, have a Happy Thanksgiving!


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Epictetus Says…

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”


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Benjamin Franklin Says…

“The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.”

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What I Am Reading: Nov 12, 2013

In honor of Veterans Day, yesterday, I started reading Richard Rubin‘s The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013). I purchased this book approximately 2 months ago after seeing Mr. Rubin speak about his work on C-SPAN‘s Book TV but also because I just don’t know that much about The Great War, World War I.

Rubin spent 10-years tracking down and interviewing our remaining few dozen World War I veterans, aged 101 to 113. All of them are gone now, but through their remembrances we gain an understanding of the sacrifices they made in the defense of our great Nation. I have only read the first few pages and I can already tell I am going to love this book!


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NaBloPoMo #7: Opera in the Corn Fields

The Redhead and I attended a live performance of the Metropolitan Opera in New York today. However, we enjoyed it from the wonderful Hettenhausen Center for the Arts (“The Hett”) on the campus of McKendree University in historic Lebanon, Illinois, about 5 miles east of us. The Metropolitan Opera has been simulcasting live performances for several years now as part of their award-winning Live in HD series. Here is a preview of their 2013-2014 season:

Today’s offering was Giacomo Puccini’s famous work, Tosca, starring soprano Patricia Racette as Tosca and tenor Roberto Alagna as Cavaradossi. Set in Rome in 1800, Tosca, an opera signer, and Cavaradossi, an artist, are lovers. Scarpia, sadistic chief of the secret police, has designs on Tosca and offers to spare Cavaradossi’s life in exchange for her love. Scarpia promises Tosca his men will only pretend to execute Cavaradossi and offers the two of them safe passage out of the country. Tosca reluctantly agrees but kills Scarpia when he makes a move on her. Upon learning Scarpia’s men have executed Cavaradossi anyway, Tosca kills herself by jumping out a window overlooking the Tiber River.

Here is a clip of Patricia Racette performing Tosca’s most famous piece, Vissi d’arte:

I have heard the music of Tosca many times, but this was my first opportunity to see it performed live. There are several humorous moments but Tosca is a tragedy, after all, and by the end everyone was dead. The music was phenomenal, and with excellent performances by the entire cast The Redhead and I thoroughly enjoyed Tosca! We counted about 55 people in attendance at The Hett, a strong crowd considering the turnout for other performances we have attended. People of all ages were enjoying the performance live in New York; however, in our theater only 5 of us appeared to be of working age. I am sure The Met Opera enjoys a diverse world-wide audience, but here in southern Illinois it is almost completely comprised of retirees. Not a good indicator of things to come.

If you enjoy opera, or if you just want to find out what it’s all about, attend a Met Opera Live in HD performance. Ticket prices are reasonable, and you just might become an opera lover!

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