Thursday, February 4, 2010

Down to Business--I hope!

So, the scanner did indeed arrive yesterday. I waited all day not daring to leave the house or take a shower in case the Fed-Ex guy arrived bearing a clipboard requiring my signature.  HAs anyone ever noticed how random that is, by the way?  I have had Fed-Ex refuse to leave a parcel containing yellow split peas at my door for want of a signature, yet they once left a 50inch flat screen tv on the front porch without a backward glance!

Anyway...recent online purchases, especially for media-electronics types of purchases, have almost all required a signature or else a major hassle getting out to the Fed-Ex depot to pick up the I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And finally, at about 2:45, when it was too late to go anywhere except school pick-up (and the shower was out of the question -I washed my hair in the kitchen sink instead, with the hall door open in case the doorbell rang),  I passed the front door on my way back from the laundry room and there was the box on the front step!  Not only was it "Random No-Signatures-Needed Day" at Fed-Ex, apparently,  but he didn't even ring the doorbell as usual as he hot-footed it back up the driveway to his idling truck!  Ha!

Anyway, I got it inside, opened the box and prepared to load the software quickly in order to use my last few minutes before school pick-up productively.  Luckily, I am an instructions reader by nature, so I didn't miss the little insert which trumpeted, "STOP! If you have Windows 7 or Mac OSx Snow Leopard, do NOT download this software!

Holy Guacamole!  One part of me (the part that also leans slightly into the wind on clifftops- you all know you have it, too), was tempted to load the software to see why not.  But the more sensible part of me won, and I put it all aside and went to pick up the boys.

Really, a procrastination default in the personality does have its advantages!  I experienced almost no irritation at the delay! :D

When I got back home, I put the veggies in the soup and while the boys did their homework, I went to the Epson website and downloaded the new and improved (I hope!) software that I will need to run it on Snow Leopard.  Finally!  I was ready to connect the scanner to my computer and start the long-awaited photo project of a lifetime!

So, of course, I then put it all aside to make the dumplings.

After supper, we hurried out the door and drove to our local cineplex to catch the re-broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD performance of Carmen.

And may I say that the innocuous-looking "NR" designation for opera broadcasts is the best-kept secret
in show business?  Let's face it,  many educational and informative...and frankly, to the general population "dry, boring and staid" ...programs and DVD collections feature this "NR" rating.  "NR" stands for "not rated" and most of the time,  entertainment-seekers in the know (heh heh) regard it as the universal symbol for "NO! Really."

Carmen is one of the very best operas to introduce kids and teens to the genre.  The music is awesome (and nearly everyone has heard at least some of it already), the story is exciting and the characters are interesting.  People are fond of describing the opera as "sensual, passionate" and so forth, and it is.  But seriously, most productions I have seen have been the kind of sensual that requires a great deal of imagination to fill in the blanks.  Opera is, rightly, about the music and the singing, and usually, that is where the emphasis is laid, leaving Bizet's libretto and story to be understood through the music.  And, honestly, it really is understood!  It doesn't take a lot of work to imagine the passion and the sexual tension, especially with nice costumes, staging and excellent singing.

But, in all honesty, the acting often comes last in opera, and I've seen good and better Carmens,  but none that would stand up as "passionate" on the strength of the acting alone.  Opera singers usually pour the passion into the voice, which is usually enough.

Last night's screening was quite a surprise, therefore.  And by "surprise",  I mean almost shocking. :) But, in a good way.

This production was so steamy and so voluptuous and so sexually explicit that I had to reach over and shield the boys' eyes once or twice!  OK, no I didn't, but it says something that I actually had the thought!  Not seriously, but it crossed my mind that if I was a parent who has a problem with sexual content in movies, then the "NR" rating on Carmen might have got me het up in a whole lotta ways!

Luckily for us, and for countless other newly-minted Opera afficionados, the entertainment rating system has not yet caught up with the Met.  Frankly, I hope whomever mans those barricades to freedom of artistic expression continues to slot Opera in with The History Channel,  educational films and most of PBS--presumed to be staid, boring and tame because of its educational and artistic content. Heh heh.

Because this Carmen was phenomenal.  The music and the singing were fabulous, as one comes to expect from the Met, but the acting, the staging and the choreography were stupendous.  I don't use that word lightly, either.

If you are lucky enough to have access to any of the Met live in HD recordings, get yourself a copy of one or two, but if you can only get one, get Carmen.

So, this morning, it is back to the scanning.  I am bored with it already.  Wait!  I haven't started yet!

Ok, I guess I'd better make some attempt to get to it.  I'll report back tomorrow on my progress.

Have a good day, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the Carmen - I agree with you that it is a great opera for kids. Your remarks about PBS remind me of growing up with Masterpiece Theatre - I remember watching all 13 episodes of I Claudius when I was 14: the Messalina takes on every man in Rome episodes, homosexuality, incest -goodness - it was quite an education! (and I adored every minute of it...)