We are dogsitting London, my cousin Cate's dog this week, while they are in Dubai. They are, like, the 4th people I know that have recently gone to Dubai. This, despite Reykjavik coming in first as travel destination of the year for 2012. (We're so ahead of the crowd, heh!)
Martin: Look at London, she's so adorable!
Liz: *glances at the dog, lying stretched out in the hallway* She's a doormat.
Martin: Adorable and Doormat both have DOR in them.
Liz: So does DORK.
Liz: *giggles madly*
Yesterday I started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which Megsie recommended, and holy moly, I could NOT PUT IT DOWN. I finished it today, and now I want to read it again and go look up all the references and read every other article the author, Rebecca Skloot, has ever written. What a story!! I cannot believe it didn't make the cut for our bookworms books for next year. Have you read it? No? GO READ IT.
We've had a lot of heavy fog and drizzly rain this past week and the whole weekend has been wet. The leaves that are going to change, have mostly changed, and I keep being distracted by bursts of golden, orange and bright red beauty among the sodden greenery and wet world.
This past week, in fact the past two weeks have been so crazy busy that I am really hoping this week ahead will be less frantic. At least I don't have to get anyone else up in the morning: both kids are on fall break and Anders is taking the week off. Karin still has both soccer and innebandy practice, but the only other thing on the calendar is an AWC sushi night on Friday.
Oh! Did I tell you what we did on Friday? I was supposed to be hosting the Wonders but about 2 weeks ago, I got an email from Debbie that she'd been given free tickets to the opera in Malmö for the 28th and would I mind changing plans so the Wonders could go to the opera instead? Are you KIDDING ME? I responded. We so rarely go to see shows and concerts these days that it's my go-to answer for "What do you want" for Christmas and birthdays!
She actually had SIX tickets and because I had told her that I needed to make sure the kids were squared away and then confirmed Karin's plans to go to the disco at her old school here in the village and then spend the night with a friend, Debbie told me to see if Martin wanted to go with us. I asked and he said yes, and Debbie booked a table at an excellent sushi restaurant, so yay! Sushi, friends, evening out and opera! What more could you want for a great evening?
Well...maybe a better opera, for one. Ha! The production we saw was called Tirfing and it is a Swedish opera written and performed ONCE in Stockholm back in 1898. It is very loosely based on characters from Nordic mythology and has a lot of fairly old-fashioned operatic devices in it including a visit to a father's grave, a talk with his spirit, the gift of a magic sword, a girl-disguises-herself-as-boy storyline and a tragic ending in which the girl, who can't tell anyone she's not a man because she'll lose the sword which makes her invincible (and apparently immortal, but that part was a little fuzzy), ends up killing her best friend who she is really in love with, and who is actually in love with her, despite thinking she's a man and being mightily conflicted about it. He challenges her to a duel because she refuses his sister's hand in marriage and the sword kills him.
The cast did a really good job, I think, of performing the opera. They had great voices, well-done stage setting and fantastic costumes, but there were things that made it a bit hard to follow: really old Swedish, for one thing, which both Martin & I struggled with. If they hadn't had a rolling sub-title display of the lyrics, we wouldn't have understood half the story. I was REALLY tired from the week and the earlier half of the day, and to be honest, I had a hard time during the first act to keep my eyes open. There were several sections of the first half where people flung themselves to the ground in despair at the end of a long song and just STAYED THERE motionless for what felt like ages.
When the heroine gets the sword from her father, she sings a big long song and lifts up the sword in the air, and this gigantic 3-story sword prop came down from the upper rafters until the tip touched the stage. It stayed there all through the second half of the opera. When intermission came, we all met up in the lobby, had some pastries and sodas, and someone asked me what I thought so far. "Well, I can see why it hasn't been performed since 1898," I said.
The second half was much more exciting, though, with a banquet scene, lots of riddles, the marriage proposal/refusal and duel and then the sister saving the heroine's life. There were some modern elements that were thrown in, both at the very beginning of the opera and at the end, which were a little bewildering. At the end, the heroine sang another big long song about how she was ready to accept her fate and die now and she gives up the sword and curls up on the floor in front of the sword tip. And the big giant sword lifted slowly off the stage up into the air, and all I could think was how much better the ending would have been if it had comes speeding back down and skewered her.
Glowy Blowy Leafy Golden Belated Birthday Wishes to 1222!