Monday, 26 October 2015

Brentwood, Tennessee

Is a nice Nashville suburb. And hosts a community theatre called Town Centre Theatre. And this past weekend was the closing night of The Addams Family musical. Good fun.

Tennessee in the fall though, what a sight!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Warhol Vernissage

I am a week late in reporting a lovely opening night at the Hudgens Art Center in Duluth, for their Warhol exhibition showing pieces from the Cochran collection.

Great paintings and a fun party.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Categorising Wine

Another in-store meltdown during a recent visit to Total Wine store here in Atlanta.

I arrived with a defined list of Chilean wines.

Actually before I go too far, you tell me: how do you buy wines? Do you say "I need to replenish my light whites to have with apritivo, so I shall look for some Trentino and Veneto Pinot Grigios and perhaps also a NZ Sauvignon Blanc, plus I'll stock up on full bodied reds, maybe some Italian Primitivo or Nero D-Avola."
Or do you walk in say:
"I need a Pinto Noir, give me any Pinot Noir."

Do you know what I am getting at here?

Wine stores: do not stock your wines by grape. It makes no sense and does not actually help guide a buyer through flavours and aromatic varieties or subtleties.

So I got to spend 35 minutes running between all grape sections and reading every. single. label to find the wines I was after.

It wasn't fun.

On the other hand: the selection is impressive and agreements with numerous wine producers cut out two levels of middle men, providing good wines at good prices.

So giant rant aside, I will probably be back.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Anniversary & Opera

This year our wedding anniversary coincided with the opening of the Atlanta Opera Season, so we got to celebrate 6 years with La Bohème.

Because when I walk down the street all alone, people stop and stare at my beauty.

I love that waltz.

Another fabulous night - it always is - at the Atlanta Opera. I apologise to the organisers for being less than enthusiastic about the videos and photographs. Oddly enough I don't enjoy cameras, however I have a soft spot in my heart for your organisation and I will do what I can to help promote you to the city.

Rodolfo - Gianluca Terranova
Mimi - Maria Luigia Borsi
Marcello - Trevor Scheunemann
Musetta - Leah Partridge (always a pleaure)
Schaunard - Theo Hoffman
Colline - Nicholas Brownlee

Monday, 5 October 2015

Papal Woes

There is a reason we do not hero-worship. There is a reason we do not put people on pedestals. And it is the same reason I take issue with the structure of the Catholic church: people are people, with all the same flaws and virtues as everybody else.

We have the current pope who made a couple great comments about not judging people's lifestyles and potentially reforming IOR and women's pay inequality and then sent the world in to a tizzy of adoration with his quips on the evils of capitalism. So what we can confirm is that - like successful politicians - he has a gift for soundbites.

He says we should not judge people's life choices, while he presides over an institution that refuses to legitimise relationships between same-sex couples, or anybody who has been divorced, to name but two groups.

He says women should receive equal pay as men, while he presides over an institution that disqualifies women from any participation in its own structure.

He is currently hosting a family synod, while he presides over an institution that requires celibacy of its (all male) employees.

The Catholic church at grass roots level does mountains of good, both in financial and spiritual support. As a charitable institution it is extremely active and successful around the world. For this I respect it a great deal.

It is also a sovereign state. And a bank. Which is "being reformed" in as much that a report has been issued and accepted. That took 4 years. In other words: nothing has happened.

My Facebook feed has gone from hatred for the Vatican to blind love. Would that life were quite that simple: let's continue to praise the church for the good it does in the world and hold it to account for the antiquated and discriminatory ways it has to reform.