Monthly Archives: May 2014


Birgit has arrived.

Birgit the Volvo debuted on Thursday at 2.30 p.m. when I drove her off the lot. She was delivered at Brentwood Volvo (part of the Dean empire).

Ingrid has gone to a nunnery, and I am now leasing a Volvo S-60, a beautiful ’ember black’ sedan with an ivory interior.  My six-speed is gone too, in favor of an automatic transmission with eight speeds.

To celebrate, several folks came by to view the new addition.  Samson tried to get into the act as well.  The festivities followed a lite summer dinner of curried chicken & apple salad, and cucumber drizzled with mango vinaigrette.

Birgit the Volvo will be with me for 39 months.  She’s a gem, and a lovely little 2015 model too.

D and I took a drive up Kingshighway, then east on I-70 over the new Stan Musial Bridge into Illinois, then back to Missouri, through Downtown, and on to Ted Drewes.

Herewith, proof:

Into the breach

I attended last evening the first of two plays produced in Forest Park by the Shakespeare Festival Saint Louis.

Henry IV was on the roster, in a stirring performance that just got better and better as the evening went on.

Of course one is especially pleased to see one’s own music theory students on stage in a professional production!

Tonight will be the second of the plays, the beloved Henry V of ‘We happy few’ fame.

My picnic dinner last evening was cold fried chicken, pasta salad, and some cucumbers in mango dressing.  Intermission included cheese and crackers.  I didn’t go all out, but this was a nice way to spend a late-Spring evening!

The yard

Slowly.  Surely.  Step by step.  That’s the yard this year.  I actually knelt on the ground today and was able to rise again without assistance, this after replanting some Asiatic lilies in a new place.  And that is progress given the limited time I can stay on my leg without discomfort!

Two coneflower plants are moved to new locations, as are the lilies.  I went after the invasive vines that grow on my neighbor’s side of the fence, but take over my raspberry bush.

And I mowed and trimmed, until the trimmer decided to break.

The rest of the day = nap, a trip to Home Depot for odds and ends on a list that kept growing, some car shopping.

And dinner with D, indoors rather than outdoors since the rain was spitting.  Broiled burgers, asparagus, and homemade pasta salad was just right.

We ended the holiday evening with a trip to Oberweiss for some ice cream.  My shake was to-die-for fabulousness.


New gig

I’m delighted to announce that I will be joining New Line Theatre in August as Resident Music Director for the 2014-15 season!

New Line, the self-confessed ‘bad boy’ of Saint Louis theatre companies, presents “daring, provocative, muscular theatre about politics, sexuality, race, religion, the media, and more, offering an up-close-and-personal alternative to the big, commercial musical theatre of New York and Broadway tours, since 1992.”

Auditions for two of the next-season shows take place in June.  Check it out!

I’m so happy to be thinking about doing musical theatre directing again!!




At my hotel this weekend, I retrieved from the in-room system various voicemail messages for several previous guests.

One of them went thusly: “Hello Mrs. X, this is X from the front desk.  I’m giving you a shout-out to discuss your account.  If you would please call us back to speak to the MOD, it would be greatly appreciated.”

‘Shout-out’?  STUPID! 

And ‘MOD’?  Jargon that not everyone understands!

Do high-end convention hotels not have standards, or scripts?

How about this?: “Hello Mrs. X, this is X from the front desk.  I’m calling today to discuss your account.  Please call back at XXXX and ask to speak to the Manager of the Day, who will immediately be able to help you.”

Clear.  Direct.  Appropriate.  That’s what a message should be.  And no matter the context, a voicemail message should always include a phone number.  My outgoing message asks respondents to state the phone number twice.  People seem to have no idea how garbled something sounds when they rush through it, or when technology burps at two of the digits!

Come on, Westin.  Make your employees do the script….!

And ‘shout-out’?  May that stupid, insipid, meaningless, but oh-so-trendy phrase be retired forthwith and forever from the vocabulary of every intelligent human being!



San Antonio Saturday evening

My part of this conference is over.  I return home tomorrow afternoon.

Master class today was fun.

Exhibiting was a bit slower today than yesterday, but still worthwhile.

And food?  Whataburger disappointed at lunchtime, but the pasta at dinner was superb.

Quick Friday morning blog

Random stuff from San Antonio….

I started a new book on Wednesday, one recommended by several folks last summer.  The Pillars of the Earth is already an engrossing read!  This book follows a trashy romance novel that started my post-school reading scheme.

While in Texas, I am sampling the food, of course.

This morning, I walked the two blocks to Shipley Donuts and had an old-fashioned and housemade bear claw.


Of course, this follows the incredible rib-eye and grilled asparagus last evening at Saltgrass Steak House on the Riverwalk.

I’m listening to Mozart this morning before the long day of exhibits and adjudications commences.

And I’m delighted that I’m going to dine tonight with my cousin Angela Blocher and her ‘friend boy,’ as she termed him.  Angela, steady readers may remember, is my first cousin who I had seen in decades prior to Aunt Esther’s funeral last month.  She and her sig-oth are in San Antonio for a weekend of vacation.  Facebook is truly a powerful thing for connecting with others — that’s how she knew I was in town!