Oh, I Love A Rainy Night

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm
By: Doug Lund
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Finally..a gloomy, rainy, chilly day. I love it!

Now, you might think a chronically depressed person such as I would assume the fetal position and cringe into the corner of a dark room when such a day occurs. But after months of excruciating heat, wind and drought, a wet cool respite (which once occurred at regular intervals) is enough to lift my soul. It’s as if God himself is giving assurance that we are not necessarily heading down an apocalyptic path of global warming all because I used too much Aqua Net hairspray in my youth destroying the protective ozone layer.

The rain is too little too late for the Linda Lund victory garden. No matter, she’s  really been vigilant about keeping her plants fed and watered throughout this hellishly dry summer and the fruits of her labor are clearly apparent as you can see in the following photos: 

Okay, so its just one tomato plant and some flowers but still...

Okay, so its just one tomato plant and some flowers but still...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quality over quantity. Actually there are two nice tomatoes in this photo but the one wearing the purple sweat shirt said she'd bop me on the head if I showed her face.

Quality over quantity. Actually there are two nice tomatoes in this photo but the one wearing the pink sweat shirt said she'd bop me on the head if I showed her face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of photos, just because most everybody with a phone has a camera at the ready these days doesn’t necessarily make them good photographers. Oh, yes..the sunsets you post are real pretty and the out of focus shots of the kids are still precious..but very seldom does an image  grab my attention and my heart like this one from my old friend and colleague, Jeanne Jones Manzer. It’s a shot of her 5 year old great niece, Jayda, of Colome taking part in the Youth Rodeo at Burke, South Dakota. See for yourself:

Ride 'em cowgirl. I love her little black hat flying in the air and the look on her face; more determined than frightened.

Ride 'em cowgirl. I love her little black hat flying in the air and the look on her face; more determined than frightened. I know professional photographers who wait a lifetime for a terrific shot like this. By the way, Jayda took first place in sheep riding.

                                   “AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT” 

I miss the times when network television series were all required to have at least 28 new episodes a season and that season always began in September and ran till summer. Now, series stretch no more than 13 shows and begin and end whenever they darn well feel like it. So, I’ve been slipping out of my television-viewing comfort zone lately and watching stuff I normally would not…like opera. No, not Oprah ..OPERA! Let me explain. I’m a big fan of public TV..but it’s usually the familiar stuff I watch; British comedies, American Experience, This Old House, Nova (sometimes) Dakota Life and some of the music shows. The other night, though, I got hooked on a documentary about how the Metropolitan Opera in New York was preparing for the ambitious production of Das Rheingold ..the first of 4 operas by German composer, Richard Wagner, being staged at the Met.  What really got and held my attention was the incredibly elaborate set that was designed and constructed especially for this opera series. It’s a 45 ton dizzyingly high contraption made of  planks that move about. Thanks to computer wizardly, images are projected on the planks and performers, hooked up to wires like Superman,  are forced to climb on and be suspended from the thing..all the while trying to sing Wagner’s complicated score. It’s a stunning illusion.. when it all works.. but production glitches have plagued the show from the beginning and left most critics cold.  Below is one of the multiple and complicated stage configurations for Das Rheingold at the Met

 

The goddess or the gold say the giants from atop the elaborate and precarious set of Das Reingold.

Give us the goddess or the gold.. say the giants from atop the elaborate and precarious set of Das Reingold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I said, I liked the documentary.. so when the full show finally aired on PBS’s Great Performances Tuesday night, I decided to watch. Thanks to the sub-titles, I was able to follow along with the silly story about mythical characters choosing between love or money and power. (I can’t imagine sitting through 3 hours of a Wagner opera being sung in German without a clue of what they’re all bellering about on stage.) I’ve gotta say, though,  it didn’t suck.

Amazing effect as the gods march straight up the wall to Valhalla.

Amazing effect as the gods march straight up the wall to Valhalla.

There are three more operas in “The Ring” series coming up on PBS and I will likely watch them as well if for no other reason than to see if Debra Voigt’s portrail of the mighty mythical female warrior, Brunhilde, is more convincing than the Warner Brother’s version I remember of Bugs Bunny in drag.

bugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that’s all from Lund’a Cultural Corner. Ta Ta for now.

3 Comments

  1. Cam Lind says:

    Doug, there are some great, non traditional and non reality shows to watch. You are right. The rodeo pictures defines, fear, hope desire and youthful enthusiasm all in one photo. And the best part of the mutton busting is the chislic if one of the sheep bends a rim and needs to go away. Always on the look out for a quick deep fried treat.

  2. congruent triangles says:

    Doug,
    I alwatys read your articles and this was a good article. nothing really polital but more light thanks after the last few days in the media rant…

  3. Crawford T. says:

    Ah, Wagner. I have a couple different print copies of the libretto in English, German and a couple other different languages, so it’s never a problem for me to keep up with the Ring operas.

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