Updates and Other Uselessness: New Blog and Met Opera

I spent most of Friday bringing a new blog from idea to fruition. It was a lot of work!

I've been meaning to release out into the world one of my passions, a concept that's been stewing and coming back up again and again to the surface for a few months now.

I've been, am, and forever will be a closeted foodie. Call it foodie limbo. (LOL) Never quite taking this passion to the next level (professional cooking classes), but not quite giving up intense reading, studying, and experimenting sessions to keep it alive and kicking.

So, I finally decided to create a focused outlet for all my foodie-related crazes. A foodie blog.

I also blame an assignment I completed for one of my writing classes in November and December, which, when I presented it to the class, received the encouragement of the professor and classmates. The reception it received inspired me to really look into what I could come up with in regards to food-oriented material.

A majority of the posts on the new foodie blog will be republished (recycle, reuse--but never reduce!)  posts from this very blog. I've been posting numerous food-related items and blurbs on and off, ever since I began this blog back in 2005.

I searched out these blurbs and posts, and realized I apparently developed over 69 posts. Now that's a start right there.  However, I also have TONS of new info I continuously ponder and read about, food and nutrition, longevity and diet, recipes, etc. Yes, this is a topic I'm very passionate about.

I already have around 40 blog posts on the new blog, of which around 5-6 are brand new posts that I interspersed as I was uploading the old ones. Many new ideas pop up as I revisit old posts. So I create a couple of sentences and save them in unpublished posts until I can come back to them at a later time.

I am also mulling over how to best link my Yelp restaurant and grocery reviews to the foodie blog--perhaps via an app of some sort--to provide an added, hopefully-useful, dimension.

I'm pleased to be able to have this new outlet, and I truly hope someone can find it useful or even entertaining enough to drop by occasionally or more often if they're so inclined.

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In other news, Saturday was a wonderful outing with a good, old friend--who apparently hasn't gotten tired of my company...yet! ;o)

Not only did we enjoy a lovely breakfast at a new restaurant I hadn't tried (Eggstasy at Seven Bridges in Woodridge, IL -- the menu is to.die.for.), but we also spent the next three and a half hours huddled together in a dark theater, watching the Met Opera's Live in HD's presentation of Lucia de Lammermoor.

It was the opening session so it was a full house. I really wish Cinemark theater would consider hosting these in much larger auditoriums...there was practically standing room only.

I loved everything about Lucia: the fabrics used for the costumes, the star's talents, the setting, the backdrops and scenery, the storyline, the multiple meanings of all that happened before our eyes...definitely a complex and wonderful piece as my introduction (on the big screen) to the Met Opera.

The benefit of seeing an opera this way versus being onsite while it's being played out is that the videographer's camera work and closeups showcase the facial expression and line of sight of each of the actors. You really feel what they feel, and you detect much of the subtlety in their performance. By being out in the audience and removed somewhat by the pit, you're not privy to some of these subtleties.

I do wish they had done a better job with the sound recording equipment, however, as the initial solo was overwhelmed by the orchestra and one could not make out a thing he sang.

By the way, I now have a budding crush on Joseph Calleja. He's not only an amazing tenor at his age, but he's completely charming when being interviewed, maintaining a balance of grace and humbleness even though he's incredibly and undeniably talented.

Also, since this was an Italian opera, I was sure I could catch everything everyone sang. Alas, a lot of the coloratura, as well as air intake and exhalation, made it really difficult for me to catch their words. I was only able to capture one singer's (Joseph Callejo) Italian at 99% while the others, I had to read the subtitles up on the screen to grasp what they were enunciating through their amazing coloratura.

One of my favorite parts of the performance up on screen, was the intermission. The two intermissions, 19 minutes each, introduced us to the whirlwind world of activity that is the backstage. Amazingly patient and skilled union men and women allowed us behind the curtain to witness their precise shenanigans of backdrop changes, setting and scenery layouts, and packing up of act props. A small misstep anywhere here, could spell disaster (and get someone hurt!) as the act unfolds on the stage.

ReneƩ Flemming did a wonderful job as hostess, touring us through the organized chaos of the backstage area and interviewing the stars to get their perspectives on the characters and how they imbibe life into them.

I may very well have a new obsession :) Although I very much still have hopes of attending Chicago Lyric Opera and many more Symphony Orchestra events, the shorter commute, lower price, and less fuss make watching Met Opera on screen such a charming experience.

Although Saturday was a spectacularly sunny and warmer day, I'm glad I spent it indoors watching that amazing opera with my friend. A very unique experience and one that left me charmed.

Here's to a great start to this week, and a warm welcome to Spring...whenever it decides to show up in Chicagoland ;o)