Friday, February 26, 2010
"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan,and not quite enough time."
Few composers capture their time and become the iconic voice of their age. Leonard Bernstein found his "voice" in the early 1940s and projected the sound of urban and urbane America from the period of World War II to the anti-war movements of the 1970s and the restoration of freedom in Europe, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Soviet communism.
Writing for small ensembles, symphony orchestras, Broadway, film and opera houses, Leonard Bernstein projected a simple message of understanding and hope employing both complex and simple forms and styles - yet always sounding like "Bernstein," a voice best known in his score to West Side Story.
Exploring his output, one finds the famous and obscure — works that both are reflective of their times and somehow also preserve and encapsulate them. Everywhere one hears his internal struggle to sound inevitable as the tumultuous era of the second half of the 20th century unfolded itself. He is as once linked with the music of Benjamin Britten and Dimitri Shostakovich, as well as George Gershwin and Aaron Copland.
While his music finds its spiritual home in his world view, his music speaks with a New York accent, even though he was born in Massachusetts. His love affair with Europe and his sensitivity to his Russian and Jewish roots are never far from his lyrical expressivity, with its fragile sense of optimism, its loneliness, its humor and its demand for acceptance. All of this is wrapped in the rhythmic propulsion of a great American urban landscape. He has left us an aural image of his time and place and, at the same time, an eternal voice of humanity.
Learn more about this amazing man here!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If you are hosting a party or are a crafter or have kids or are a teacher, Oriental Trading Co is like a gold mine. They have really cute and really affordable supplies for just about everything. From candy to beach balls to napkins & plates, balloons, small toys and crafting sets. I can't tell you the amount of money I have saved on parties because of this place. The best part is the reviews. Customers will rate the products on a 5 star scale and they tell the truth about the quality. Make sure you read those before you purchase something, its worth it. Im sure most of this stuff comes from China and well sometimes the quality control just isn't there. Another thing to keep in mind is the shipping requirements. If your order isn't over a certain amount (maybe $25.00) they charge a small fee. I never have this problem because I shop till I drop but keep that in mind if you are just getting one or two things! Here is a coupon to start your shopping...have fun!!
SAVE $5.00 plus get free shipping on orders of $59.00 or more. Enter code WCX9047
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I was introduced to this great blog called The Bewitchin' Kitchen. She has a TON of great recipes I want to try. Especially this one...Thai Chicken Fettuccine!
Oh and this for dessert...Blueberry Butter Bars!
Let me know if you try it and what you think!
She also has some amazing giveaways...check her out here!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I had the opportunity to surprise my husband with a overnight trip to Asolo this past weekend for our 5th anniversary. I didn't know much about the town except that it had good reviews from friends. Now this little town has now stolen my heart and I cant wait to go back and explore some more.
Asolo is a town and commune in the Veneto Region of Northern Italy. It is known as "The Pearl of province of Treviso", and also as "The City of a Hundred Horizons" for its mountain settings. There is a late 12th century castle that we werent able to visit but it gives us a reason to go back again. From our hotel we had a view fit for a queen. On one side the snow covered Alps and the other rolling hills sprinkled with amazing examples of Italian Architecture. When in town frescos greet you at almost every corner. There are beautiful boutiques on every street to help you spend your money and bakeries and restaurants galore. This small town was always buzzing even on Sunday morning which is unheard of here in Vicenza. We had an amazing dinner and stuffed ourselves with traditional Italian cuisine such as risotto, gnocchetti, filets, cafes and small cookies. In the morning we even had a beautiful breakfast tray brought to our room free of charge. What a place! It is these small towns that overseas travelers are unable to visit as they understandingly push Florence, Rome and the Vatican into 5 day visits. However, since my time here I find that it is these small towns where you will find the true glory of Italy.