Friday, September 02, 2005


I got an e-mail from Lycos, which hosts the Crossdressers International website, of which I am webmistress. It said my Discover card that they bill for the site (a whole $4.95/month) was expiring. Which it is. I just got the new card a few days ago, so I signed on to the Lycos site and put in the new expiration date.

Then I remembered that I have a bunch of other places that get paid automatically via Discover. So I signed on to the Discover site, brought up my last bill, and made a list. Some I could do online--if I remembered my user id and password. Some I had to call--but the toll-free numbers on the Discover bill were inaccurate. (the worst was SBC Yahoo!, which listed a number for their DSL division--but I only have a dial-up account with them. It was voice response hell.)

It took almost three hours, and I'm still not sure a couple of them are correct. What a PITA.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Tracy Austin just keeps getting better looking the older she gets.


The Mostly Mozart Festival ended strongly last Saturday. I'll get to that concert in a bit. First, a few comments about the previous performances that I saw:

  • 8/19, Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, by the Mark Morris Dance Group--Dance isn't really my thing, but this was fairly interesting. 24 dancers, of widely different heights, colors and looks. One part had some of the dancers portraying 3 dogs on leashes pulling a guy along--that was excellent. The lowlight of the evening came at the end, when Mark Morris himself came out to take his bows with the company. He was wearing cargo shorts and flip-flops. Yech.
  • 8/20, Osmo Vänskä conductor: Beethoven's Namensfeier Overture--I thought I had heard every orchestral work Beethoven ever wrote, but this was a new one to me. I could see why--even a genius like Beethoven can have off days. Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 (K. 488) played by Stephen Hough--probably Mozart's most popular concerto for this instrument. Hough did it quite well--in another Viet Cong uniform (see ZERO MOZART below). At least this one was more fitted than Bell's, and had some nice black-on-black embroidery around the button holes. But it was his shoes everyone noticed: green suede loafers. PUH-LEEZE! Schubert's Ninth Symphony--Vänskä asked for and got a rousing performance.
  • 8/25, The Russian Patriarchate Choir, making its U.S. debut. Alice Tully Hall was filled to the brim with people, and with sound. They probably could have done both in the larger Avery Fisher Hall. The 12-man choir, formed in 1983 to specialize in liturgical music, has a very unusual, non-operatic sound. Little vibrato, I think, and certainly no emotion. (One tenor soloist did have a more operatic voice, and didn't really blend at all.) The program consisted of liturgical pieces in the first half, followed by some non-liturgical ones (one by Rachmaninoff) after intermission, and ended with some Russian folksongs. They phoned in the liturgical ones--the conductor didn't even bother to put on his reading glasses. The second half was much better. But nothing in the program had anything to do with Mozart. Fashion note: in the audience was a young woman wearing a very striking outfit. All black, her halter-top revealed a 4-inch wide swath of bare skin all the way down her front to her shiny jeans. I think some double-sided tape was in play here. A 3-inch, modern Orthodox cross in burnished brass dangled between her breasts. It did not match her silver nose ring. Her polka-dotted cloche hat did match her polka-dotted high-heeled round-toed pumps, however.
  • 8/27, the final concert: All Mozart!--Piano Concerto No. 20 played by the 24-year old American pianist Jonathan Biss as soloist. The audience thought it was great. I don't know--I fell asleep for most of it. After intermission we heard the Mass in C Minor. Conductor Louis Langrée (still in his bus boy jacket), led a strong performance, with the the Concert Chorale of New York, supported by the Russian Patriarchate Choir. The male-voice-deficient Chorale certainly needed the help. The only thing marring the performance was soprano Sandrine Piau, who started coldly, and never warmed up very much (and her dress, a grayish, brownish, empire-waisted full-skirted mess, hasn't been in style since Mozart's time. If then). On the other hand, mezzo Tove Dahlberg positively flirted with the audience, almost bouncing along to the music. Tenor Gregory Turay sang nicely, though he did not have quite as much power as the others. Bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi was excellent in his tiny part.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Sort of back. I've finished the accounting (see WORK! PLAY! WORK! below), and am getting caught up with various computer stuff, like this blog. But I'm going to go get on my exercise machine in a moment--I've got to get working on losing the rest of the 9.5 lbs. I gained on vacation, not to mention the nearly 20 I was trying to lose before that.

One thing I have had time for is to figure out how people can comment on my posts without registering with Blogger. Anyone can comment now. You just have to do the word confirmation thing. To leave a comment just click on the "comments" below. You can use almost any name you want, or be anonymous.