"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Zandra Rhode's "Aida" at SF Opera

I'm sure many of you "Fashionistas" know who Zandra Rhodes is.....she of the Pink Hair and Uber-exotic designs. Well, she is the set and costume designer for our season opener - "Aida".

As you might expect, this is NOT your typical "Aida".... it is BIG, BOLD, full of color - mainly Turquoise and Gold......lots of GOLD. The "Egyptian Men" are barechested, with full, huge pleated gold hooped skirts....blue hair and heavily-lidded turquoise painted eyelids. The "Egyptian Women".... not so....much more conservative in dress.....

Sssh..... quiet! Rehearsal in progress..... let's go on and sneak a peek!

The sign says "Performance in Progress"... but our intrepid reporter (that's me), is going in anyway... (well, actually I can....but not with my camera... ah, but

"ve haff our vays"..a-ha-ha....)

These are a few shots from last night's Piano Dress Rehearsal. You can get an idea of the scope and size of the production...I KNOW, I KNOW...today is Animal Wednesday..... and if you thought last week's Wednesday post was a S-T-R-E-T-C-H....this one is even more so. You all know the famous "Triumphal March" from "Aida'..... trust me, you do.... Radames (the hero) often arrives via a chariot - and once in a while, there is an Elephant brought on stage..... well, here is Zandra's Elephant.... large blue and gold silk ears that flap back and forth....there are also moveable "Ivory" tusks and a moveable Elephant "trunk".... sadly, I couldn't shoot when they entered.....and everything was one cohesive piece....they come apart so Radames can step down and SING... hopefully, when this begins it's run, there will be better shots.... anyway, this "Elephant" is my Animal Wednesday contribution! (I promise to have a legit one next week..)

I will work another rehearsal this Saturday....perhaps I can show you more.... oh, one thing I can show you is our adorable and very Italian Music Director - Nicola Luisotti! Pretty cute, eh!

And quite a passionate, talented conductor.... more on "Nikki" another time.

Below is some other intrepid person's "sneak video" of an "Aida"....this is not ME humming along...and definitely NOT our production....no Blue, not enough Gold or Glitz.... and KJ.....OUR production has the Trumpeters play live - on the stage....pretty cool, actually...

Viva Nikki! Viva Zandra! Viva "Aida" Viva Verdi!

HAW! (Sort of...)

Con Amore,

♥ Robin ♥

OKAY....after much web-surfing I FOUND a photo of "the Zandra Rhodes" elephant - INTACT! (Covent Garden had this production first!) Not so much of a "HAW" stretch now.......

Friday, August 27, 2010

Love, Faith and Destiny

The past few days have brought the return of cold and foggy weather..... but, my heart is beginning to feel warmer, my soul opening up to the Future....whatever it brings. This is perhaps, due to the soon-to-be-imminent arrival of Autumn.... that poignant, yet hopeful of Seasons. Many of us in the "Blogging World" are facing dramatic, life-changing decisions....how we handle them will show our trust in Love, Faith and Destiny. I know we all have different Faiths and Opinions about Life and Death.... and the Future.... the important thing is to TRUST in what you, personally believe. Love is paramount...it wields a mighty sword...and can offer strength and support - in all of its' forms.

I leave you with two quotes from two people I admire so much - E. R. Eddison, the English Author and Leonard Bernstein, the American Composer and Conductor. Both of these quotes are near and dear to my heart.
The photos of the swans (I am a LOVER of Swans...have been since I was a child) were taken at the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles with my Ex - in happier times.

" We are still romantics at heart. The romantics give us back our Moon, for instance, which science has taken away from us and made into just another airport. Secretly we all want the Moon to be what it was before ~ a mysterious, hypnotic light in the sky. We want Love to be mysterious too, as it used to be, and not a set of pyschotheraputic rules for interpersonal relationships. We crave mystery even as we forge ahead toward the solution of one cosmic mystery after another." Leonard Bernstein

"But having now put behind her hope and fear, she was resolved to kick against the wind no more, but stand firm and see what Destiny would do." E.R. Eddison

♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Animal Wednesday - It's a Stretch but....

After many, many, MANY Months of cold and fog.....Summer did arrive in the City by the Bay two days ago.... yesterday, it was 98! I was loving it.... our brief glimpse of Summer came at the perfect time to see the beautiful August Full Moon....rising and setting...

I took this photo yesterday morning, as the Silver Moon was about to sink into the Pacific Ocean....just as I was shooting, I heard "Caw! Caw!... And, five Ravens flew right over me.....in a great hurry as if they wanted to watch the Moon disappear too. You will have to try and enlarge this...but the five little black "blips" (to the right of the Moon) are the Ravens winging their way West...

I have also included La Luna rising in the East two nights ago..

And....a sunset at the same time...from the opposite end of my roof....

Beautiful and inspirational to me. When you haven't seen Moon nor Sun in a long time....these few days have been a help to my poor soul.
CAW! CAW! Oops, I meant - HAW! HAW!
♥ Robin ♥

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I am Grateful for....

Sunshine..... today, is blue and lovely.....

Moonshine......if the Fog decides to give us a break, I may see La Luna tonight!
I feel like it's a "first date"!

Blogging Friends.....you know I am alone and have no family...YOU are my family... and you give me strength to go on and even HOPE that I may have a future and find some measure of happiness.

Opera.....only 5 more days until the Autumn Season begins!!!!!! No Wagner...(sigh)...but still a lot of (hopefully) amazing productions....including the return of "Placi" Domingo to the SF Opera stage after 16 years!

Baseball.... "My" Team, the Atlanta Braves..in FIRST Place in the NL East!

Health.....my poor ear, after months of deafness, is "working" again....I can hear out of both ears!

My Blogging Friends.... did I already mention this? Well, it merits repeating.....because without all of YOU......I wouldn't have made it this far in 2010..... I love you all.....I really do.

♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Animal Wednesday....a Day Late

I am late.....but it has been an energetic week, full of positive occurrences.....first, my hearing in my left ear is slowly (but surely) improving.....second, we have had TWO DAYS of sunshine.....
third, the wonderful Marianne and her son Felix visited Lolo and KJ and.... I had a phone call - so Marianne, Lo and I all had a chat! And...it was like we knew each other for many years.

Anway, here is my post....on the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. Feathered Beauties who are near and dear to my heart.

There was a PBS Documentary on them...some of these clips may have come from that film. The man with the long ponytail gave them their names and their key to survival for many years. He ultimately was forced to move.....but I can personally attest the parrots are thriving and doing well on thier own. I live about 8 miles from Telegraph Hill....but the Parrots fly through the Presidio (daily excercise?) and I have often encountered them on my hikes. You can't miss them because they fly as a group - squawking non-stop as they swoop and soar. When there is sun, you can see the bright green and red feathers. And...they make it over to my street from time-to-time. They are a joy to behold....and a testament to the power of Nature and the will to survive. If you are interested, you should check out the Film on Netflix.



♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Heil Dir, Sonne

Yes.....it finally happened... I awoke to the "usual" cold, grey day....made coffee, checked e-mails, applied for a job....read blogs.....then, suddenly....the clouds lifted and VOILA - the Sun appeared! I threw on my running clothes, but once outside (into a "balmy 68"..), I decided just to walk and inhale the smell of the Sun, of warmth on my face.... (and, in my rush, I neglected to take my camera).... ah, it was "Gotterlich" - as we say in German....heavenly....and it was.
As I write this, it is STILL sunny, blue skies abound..... it is just what this girl needed. As for tomorrow.....who knows? Right now, I don't care....I am basking in the sun's golden rays! I leave you with a quote from Wagner's "Siegfried"....(You know I am feeling better if I am quoting Wagner, right?) Brunhilde awakens after Siegfried kisses her - but - (and I always loved this), her first words are to the Sun......."Heil Dir, Sonne, Heil Dir Licht"..... "Hail to you Sun, Hail to you Light"..... and not to Siegfried.
And perhaps tonight.......a MOON sighting! (I live in hope.)
♥ Robin ♥

Monday, August 16, 2010

Missing the Moon and Stars

As you know, all too well, those of us living in the Western-most part of San Francisco have been experiencing the worst, coldest, most foggy "Summer" in 40 years! Where I live, I have seen blue skies and sunshine for about 8 hours total - in four months. It has played havoc with our psyches.....and our bodies. Man is not meant to spend so much time without sunshine and blue skies and......the Moon.

For me, it has been more painful to have lost sight of my beloved Moon and the stars. As a child, I was drawn early on to the Silver Sphere shining in the sky....Eastward, Westward, to the South or North, - I always gasped with awe when she appeared. I have been fortunate enough to have a blessed life for more years than not...and have seen some amazing Lunar sights.... a huge, ORANGE full moon over Dubrovnik (in Croatia)....having a midnight picnic at Stonehedge....(and yes, I was thinking about Thomas Hardy's "Tess"), a total Lunar Eclipse at ATT Ball Park in San Francisco (I left the game - Mets/Giants...funny how one remembers that)...walking to the top part of the ballpark and watching the Moon "disappear" in a cloud of violet/red as it was reflected in the water... Standing on the edge of the Taos Gorge with Annie at 3:00 a.m. in a freezing November morning, gasping as comets darted across the Northern sky - while a HUGE full moon presided over the Southern sky....and too many nights in NY to write about. My Ex and I always referred to the Moon as our "emissary".....she looked after us both, even as we lived on separate coasts... anyway, you all get it....I love the Moon, I love the Stars.... and I miss seeing them....

No particular reason to post this - other than I want to share it with all of you.

Sending all of you, warm hugs and loving thoughts. When you look up to the Moon, think of me!

♥ Robin ♥

Friday, August 13, 2010


Dear Marianne and her son, Felix, are visiting my "second" American Home...NYC...and I think they may have walked the Brooklyn Bridge today. It brings back memories of the first time I crossed the bridge (with my Ex).... we were very much in love back then and it symbolised the strength of our love and how glorious the future seemed. I will never forget how energised I felt..like the world was full of bright promise and anything was possible. Last year, when we parted and I lost my job....I lost that feeling of Hope.
Of course, I live in a city where there is another (equally) famous bridge....the Golden Gate.

And, it made me think about B-R-I-D-G-E-S..... there are so many meanings to this word:
A crossing that enables one to cross from "Point A" to "Point B".
A means of communication, be it spiritual, physical or mental - which enables one to "reach" someone.
A musical bridge (you KNEW this was coming) - which is a transitional piece of music that takes you from one section to another...
A dental bridge....ooh....too awful, this coming from a girl who has to have nitrous oxide, headphones playing classical music....just to have her teeth cleaned...
And I am sure I have left out many meanings.... but, I digress....
I am feeling sad, yet dreamy....too many months without light or warmth or sun or a job or hearing in my left ear will do that to someone in my state of life.... but, the bridge to friendship.....no matter how many thousands of miles separate us......is, in fact, a strong and beautiful bridge - and one I will be forever thankful for all of you who have crossed the bridge with me. I could have not made it without you.
Love, amidst the fog......
♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Black Kitten...for Marianne und Sjimmie

The wonderful, talented, world-wide traveller, Marianne, will soon be on the Eastern Shores of the USA - visiting Lolo, KJ, JB, Mim, Emma, Bliss and Stella. I am so sorry not to be there...as I would love to meet her in person.

Marianne is also the Mum to her beautiful children and also her gorgeous "animal kids". I adore them all, but have to confess a particular favourite is her black cat - Sjimmie. He is, without a doubt, the "King of the Castle".... sleek and smart..and he knows it. This little video is NOT Sjimmie as a kitten.....although I have no doubts he was very like as a small black ball of fluff.

So, on this Animal Wednesday....a small tribute to "King Sjimmie"! My pre-visit gift to Marianne.

Love to all,

♥ Robin ♥

p.s. In case you are wondering....the little kitten DID NOT eat the parakeet!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Lo!

Today is a special day.....it's Lo's Birthday! I hope all of you who know her send her birthday wishes! She is our own "Queen of the Ravens" and has a heart as big as the Universe! A talented artist, a prolific writer, a published author....she's amazing! (And, she has a wicked sense of humour!)
Love you, Lo!
♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Emily in the Night Sky.....for Suki

I felt compelled to honour Suki's beloved Emily in some small way. You all know that music is my forte....not art....but, I thought I would create a little painting for our Suki. And, I have to tell you that I was able to do this thanks to the generosity of Soulbrush's heart and spirit. She sent me a huge parcel filled with paint, chalk, pens, pencils, brushes and ATC cards and told me to "get going and start creating". And so I have.

Suki, dear one, please accept this little painting (my first since I was six) in tribute to the beautiful Emily. I envision her in the Night Sky, smiling down at you and Bibs, as the Full Moon shines upon you all. Emily lives on in your heart (and Bib's heart) forever.
♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wild Geese

Keeping with Mim's HAW theme and KJ's poem....here are a few beautiful moments as these lovely creatures soar.....I particularly love the shot as they pass Mont-Saint-Michael . Magical!

HAW to everyone!


♥ Robin ♥

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Grey, Gray, and More Greyness...

Hmm...it's a good thing I took photos of those blue skies and yellow moon...because, I have not seen them at all since I last posted. All I see, morning or evening is grey, grey and more grey.....

Here are some photos I took this morning enroute to my Volunteer shift at the de Young.

The photo on the right shows one of my favourite sculptures in Golden Gate Park - Don Quixote and Sancho Panza kneeling at the foot of Cervantes..... yes, I AM a DREAMER too....so, I search and never (quite) give up hope for a dream to be realised.

The "Tower" of the de Young Museum.. shrouded in mist.. the top floor is open to the public for free and offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the park... (even with grey skies, it's still magical). The lower floors are the administrative offices.

Last, but certainly not least is the fountain/pond where months ago, baby ducklings were born.... no ducks now....and no turtles (although they do live here....but wisely, only surface when the sun shines....). However, the Lotus Plants are slowly beginning to blossom...we have yellow and rosey-pink ones..... I will show them to you as they continue to flourish.

My mood these days is as grey as the skies...it is hard to smile and "shine'" under so much persistent grey.... but, like Don Quixote, I am still trying.....


♥ Robin ♥