Monthly Archives: May 2017

My fortune

I ordered Chinese take-away on Monday, and in the brown paper delivery bag were two fortune cookies.

“Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you.”

“You will soon bring joy to a close friend.”

So I am banking on August 29.


Now I must confess that the genesis for getting Chinese food was the documentary I watched Sunday evening.  The Search for General Tso.  Funny.  Mouthwatering.  And easily capable of creating a yen for General Tso Chicken.

From my recent trip to Hong Kong, a sample of the dumplings at a street market:

Dumplings for sale.

Memorial Day 2017

From Christ Church Cathedral, Saint Louis, on Sunday, May 28:

Flags on the graves of veterans who are interred in the chapel at Christ Church Cathedral, Saint Louis.

And from various cemeteries:

Mom’s grave in Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery.


Well, as of about noon today, I am a great-uncle.

Sarah Riffle was safely delivered of child at 11.48 a.m. Lily Margaret Riffle is ten weeks early, and won’t be coming home from hospital for a while, but eldest nephew Blayne reports that all are doing well, especially in the circumstances of premature birth.

Lily weights 2 lbs. 6 oz., and is 15 inches long.  Or is it 15 inches tall?

From a journal

I am continuing to re-read all of my travel journals.

From my musings whilst on my second trip to China in 2005:

I wonder if we all harbor a secret fear that life really will go on without us, that we’re really not needed, that our absence will show no hole at all?

Maybe we’re really only here, not to be necessary, but to be a plus, a help, an addition that makes things more pleasant.  A greater good.

The context to this was that I had been gone for ten days already, to Alaska and then to Shanghai, and life was going on back home without me. Rehearsals were happening.  Schooling continued.  And I was needing to be needed.

From that trip to Shanghai:

Teaching a conducting master class at Shanghai Normal University in 2005.
Teaching a freshman voice class at Shanghai Normal University, 2005.


As part of my summer tour of local eateries, I arrived this morning at Pint Size Bakery (Watson just south of Arsenal in South City) just after they opened . . . to find the line out the door.

A wait of ten minutes gave me time to peruse the display case loaded with sweet and savory goodies.

And to notice the number of young couples, young families, and occasional middle-aged professors standing in line for what is clearly a neighborhood locale of popularity.

My bacon, Cheddar, and Swiss quiche was light and delicate and just savory enough, with a most perfect flaky crust.  I don’t know when I’ve had a lighter, yet substantial, piece of quiche.

I brought home a blueberry/lemon scone, which I will save for later this morning, after some chores.  I’ll enjoy it with some homemade lemon curd.

Home Sweet Home Page

Summer travel

So the summer travel is set.

  • June 5-7, Lee’s Summit to see family
  • June 28-July 3, New York City and Philadelphia for research and to reconnect with friends and students
  • July 7-10, Lee’s Summit and Des Moines, the latter to see Billy Budd at Des Moines Opera
  • August 6-8, Chicago for R&R

I have no big summer trip this year.

But I’m doing two shows this summer at New Line Theatre:

Since I only have two and a half weeks off after one show closes and the other begins rehearsal, I’m packing in trips on my days off.

I go to the office only three days a week during summer months (at least until August, when the pace picks up), so I’m scheduling a lot of local things.  I don’t eat out much, but I’m setting my eyes on a half-dozen local restaurants I’ve never visited, and treating myself to some luncheons on days when other events also take me out of the house.  Among those:

And I’m seeing plenty of shows, with my voice students in

  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 9 to 5, and South Pacific at Stages
  • The Little Mermaid and Newsies at the Muny
  • Muny Kids and Muny Teens cast shows
  • a Tennessee Williams play

plus a colleague in Next to Normal at Insight, and Christine Brewer in Albert Herring at Union Avenue Opera.

I’ll catch three operas at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis too.

This will be a fun summer of some deliberate local tourism.