Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Feliz Navidad 2013

Hail the Incarnate Deity! 
 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 
Immanu El. With us — God.
Christmases Past:
2012       2011

Friday, December 06, 2013

Boulder Messiah Sing-Along

One Christmas tradition that has brought us great joy is the annual Boulder Messiah Sing-Along. We discovered it in 2002, and with one exception, have participated every year since. This will be our 11th year of participation. This year's (2013) three events will be held on Saturday and Sunday, December 21st and 22nd. We will be there on Sunday evening, the 22nd. See the link for more information on this 31st annual event..

Mr. Robert Arentz has been conducting this wonderful event three times a year for the past 30 years (this wil be the 31st). Professional soloists and an orchestra are hired.
A festival choir that has been practicing since September leads the singing, and the congregation sings along on all of the choruses.
 Here's a shot of the joyful participants in the annual Messiah Sing-Along in the beautiful sanctuary of St. John's Episcopal Church in Boulder.

Another shot of the enthusiastic singers (you can see my wife, our niece, and part of me on the righthand side of the picture).

Everyone is invited. Tickets are only $15, if purchased in advance at The West End Wine Shop (8th and Pearl in downtown Boulder), Page Two (in Gunbarrel), John's Cleaners at 28th and Iris, the Trattoria on Pearl Street (east end of the Mall), St. John's Episcopal Church (14th and Pine Street), or at the door for $20.  If you would like to buy tickets beforehand, they can be purchased via credit card at their web site:  You may also call 303-666-9016 to hold tickets in your name as will-calls, which you can pay for and pick up in the lobby.

Most of the participants in the congregation have sung Messiah many times over and have their own scores, but scores are also available at the door, on loan (free) or for purchase ($10). Don't allow the lack of a score to keep you from one of the most uplifting events of the Christmas season.

For more on Handel, check out an excellent article here.

For much more information about the Sing-Along (Singalong/Sing-a-long) and about G. F. Handel and his music,
check out the Boulder Messiah Sing-Along site here.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why Thanksgiving?

הַלְלוּיָהּ ׀ הוֹדוּ לַיְיָ כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּו
Halleluyah! Hodu L’Adonai Ki Tov Ki L’Olam Chasdo!
Praise Yah. Give thanks to YHVH/Yah/Adonai/the LORD/HaShem, for he is good; his Chesed endures forever.
The Message gives the following translation of Psalm 106:1: “Thank God! And why? Because he’s good, because his love lasts.
Why give thanks?
In years past, we have itemized so many of the things for which we are thankful—everything from atoms to zebras; terra firma to technology; soup to nuts; prose to poetry; music of all kinds; friends, family, and fortune; words, languages, and communication; love; children and grandchildren; progeny and progenitor; minds to think and voices to speak; nature and nurture; so many things for which to be thankful. When one gets right down to it, in just a few words, succinctly, and in a nutshell, with zero redundancy—everything. Everything-that-is is an object of, and a reason for, thanksgiving.
Psalm 106 gives us the why in a concise manner, in the context of the Creator, the Self-Existent One (which is a hint of the sense of the possibility of the meaning of the Tetragrammaton, those mystical four letters—YHVH—that signify the “name” of the one called Lord, Adonai, Yah, HaShem—the one who brought existence into existence for us, as if we could fully understand the Name of that One.) 

Praise and give thanks because that One is Good and his Chesed endures forever. And what, pray tell, is Chesed? It is variously given as the following:
Faithful love
Covenant Love

Whichever English word or combination of words one may choose, it is all good and worthy of thanksgiving.
Put simply: It is an unending love.

And for that, both aside from, and because of, everything else in the universe for which we might and should be thankful, we give thanks this Thankgiving Day 2014, which coincidentally (unless one does not believe in coincidence) coincides with the first day of Hanukkah/Chanukah/Channuka (so many ways to spell it), the Festival of Lights, the Feast of Dedication, as well as the celebration of the weak overcoming the mighty by the power of the One who is good and whose Grace/Mercy/Lovingkindess/Kindness/
Goodness endures forever and ever.

Happy Thanksgiving/Thanksgivukkuh, everybody.


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Monday, November 04, 2013

Happy birthday, Jimmy!

 Happy birthday, Jimmy!
 We are very proud of you as you reach one summit and look on to the next.
  Remember this one? Like father; like son.
Do the dunk, y'all. Jimmy's and Mark's musical debut.
Jimmy at Lissa and Antonio's Wedding

Rome. Late 70's (This picture is for the birds!)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy birthday, Mom. We love you and thank God for you.
May you be blessed greatly, this year and always.

May you continue in good health for many years to come.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Shanah Tovah 5774

Great article by Rabbi Benjamin Blech here, explaining why the traditional Rosh HaShanah greeting should not be translated Happy New Year. It is rather a wish for a meaningful, Good Year. 
Of course, while goodness trumps happiness, goodness and meaning naturally lead to happiness.
Goodness, prosperity, health, happiness will make the year sweet.

Filled with as many blessings as the pomegranate. 
...sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

11th Annual Central City Opera Weekend

This year marked the 11th year we have made the trek to that magical mountain dreamland that appears every summer, Brigadoon-like, from late June to early August, known as the Central City Opera Association's Summer Festival. This year we enjoyed two separate weekends with two groups of friends. 

This Chase Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast, where we make our home for a wonderful weekend every July.

Our room. Breezy and full of light.

Lobster Buffet at the Riviera.
Walking into Central City.

Waiting for the curtain to rise on "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" for our first weekend's entertainment. 

View down Eureka Street at intermission.

Après Opera has become one of our favorite activities of the weekend. After the evening opera on Saturday, members of the Summer Festival troupe and sometimes cast members from the evening's opera come to the Teller House's "Little Kingdom Room" to perform arias and show tunes, many comedic in nature. It is loads of fun and lasts until nearly midnight.

A view of the historic opera house.

The playbill for this year's performances.

 Web announcement of the festival's performances.  (Showboat was performed at the Buell Theater in Denver this year, and it was excellent.)
 Second weekend. Our traditional first night's feast at the Ameristar's Centennial Buffet.
 Karen's breakfasts at Chase Creek Inn cannot be beat.
These rocking chairs provided great relaxation for all of us throughout the weekend. It's fun to sit and watch the numerous hummingbirds and chipmunks that make their presence known. 
This year, we discovered a delightful place for a sandwich lunch, just down the street from the B&B. Check out the Blackhawk Mountain Mocha Cafe.  
Delicious dinner before the opera at Kevin Taylor's at The Face Bar

Best seats in the house. Down front in the balcony. Awaiting the start of "Our Town."

We always brag about the amazing stagecraft of the Central City Opera, their ability to produce appropriate props. This year's performance of "Our Town" featured austere staging.

Daytime view from the balcony.

Saddest part of the weekend, saying goodbye (until next year).
Stopping by Dostal Alley before heading home. Their pizza and sandwiches are good, but the service is rather slow.
Annie Oakley's, the only convenience store/grocery/liquor store in the city of Central, at the corner of Main Street, as you enter or leave the city.
Saying goodbye to Central City. A view back up Main Street. See you next year.