Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pink Martinis, Dirty Martinis, Martinis Everywhere I Go

I apologize! It has been days since I have posted an entry. I have THOUGHT about it everyday but have been exhausted, plain lazy or expected elsewhere and haven't had enough time to devote to a lengthy post. The next few entries are not in chronological order. I have had a lot of moments to share and celebrate over the last few days. I am sort of throwing them on the blog wily-nily. So please know they have not taken place in order, one after the other! And if they did I would be so exhausted I wouldn't even be able to turn on my computer much less press the keys that make the words appear.

Admittedly this week has been a tough one. I haven't felt much like "celebrating" anything. I have had a mild, low-grade funk fever...or as my friend Ciara likes to call it, "I have been bit by the nasty bug!" I realize that is counter-intuitive to the nature of the blog. And perhaps there is a twisted symbiosis there.....I haven't blogged thus have been funky? Who knows! But I had a very dear friend lay it all on the line for me yesterday. He identified all the great things in my life and basically said, "Get over yourself! And yes, I am here to do the reflecting for you!" So, thank you! You know who you are and I don't think you are reading anymore which saddens me beyond belief...but your loss! Tee-hee.
My first daily celebration is my new phone. I FINALLY got a phone with a full keyboard thingee. It is pink, with flowers and all the numbers and letters on it...and they each have their very own button! Imagine that! My friends have been relentlessly pestering me to join the rest of the world and upgrade. Now, let's make no mistakes about it...this gadget does not hook up to the internet or throw photos around the globe. It just helps me text more quickly. However, now that I can use both hands to text, my texting dexterity has been knocked down about 85%. I suppose it will just take some getting use to.

My next daily celebration is PINK MARTINI! I LOVE PINK MARTINI! I have rearranged the play list so I believe the first 8-10 songs you are listening to are all by Pink Martini. They were in San Antonio last night and, again this evening playing with our symphony. This WAS my mother's day gift to mom. We both love them very much and have seen them perform before. However, she bailed on me (are we seeing a pattern with me and concerts?). Thank you to my dear friend Jace' who agreed to join me. It was a lovely evening that felt like it was straight from another era! Below is a photo of Jace' and I with the symphony warming up behind us. I know they look like candles, but that is actually the light reflecting off their instruments.

The following image and excerpt is from I loved the photo and felt only they could capture their spirit appropriately. So, I borrowed.....(I think it's okay if I identify the source!) Both times I have seen them they have mentioned San Antonio feels like their second home and they appreciate how well they have been treated by the city and the symphony. They were most appreciative of our mayor, city council and city manager. In fact, our mayor, Phil Hardberger (NOT Julian, yet) was asked to come up on stage and dance in their final song of the evening, Brazil. He was very cute in his seersucker suit, even though he has no rhythm. Sorry, Mayor!
Pink Martini is like a romantic Hollywood musical of the 1940s or 50s – but with a global perspective which is modern,” says founder and artistic director Thomas M. Lauderdale. “We bring melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something which is new and beautiful.”
The Portland, Oregon-based ‘little orchestra’ was founded in 1994 by Lauderdale, a Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist, to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment, affordable housing and public broadcasting. In the years following Pink Martini grew from four musicians to its current twelve, and has gone on to perform its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Canada and the United States.
Lauderdale met China Forbes, Pink Martini’s “diva next door” lead vocalist, when the pair was at Harvard. He was studying history and literature while she was studying painting, English literature and theatre. Late into the night in their college dormitory on the Harvard campus, Forbes would sing Verdi and Puccini arias while Lauderdale accompanied her on piano, and their creative collaboration blossomed. Three years later, Lauderdale called Forbes who was living in New York City, where she’d been writing songs and playing guitar in her own folk-rock project, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began to write music and lyrics together for the band, and their first song “Sympathique,” or “Je ne veux pas travailler” (I don’t want to work) became a huge hit in France.
The ensemble made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Pink Martini has since performed with symphony orchestras across the country including four night nights with the Boston Pops in 2005, multiple concerts with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in 2000, two nights with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a co-bill with Sergio Mendes in 2002 and two nights headlining with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2005. Other prestigious appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003 and 2004; the opening party of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Kennedy Center and the William Morris Agency’s 100th birthday celebration with soul legend, Al Green.
Pink Martini’s debut album, “Sympathique,” was released independently in 1997 on the band’s own label Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog) and quickly became an international phenomenon, garnering the group nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist” in France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards. Seven long years later the high-anticipated follow-up, “Hang on Little Tomato,” was released and climbed to #1 on’s best sellers list.
If you do not know Pink Martini, pick up one of their three albums, put on your favorite fancy, slightly vintage outfit and have your friends over for appetizers and drinks. Play them softly in the background and watch your party transform into a time when men wore suits to dinner, lit cigarettes at the end of a lady's gloved hand (not advocating smoking), when men drove long, black Cadillacs and dinner was accompanied by a live, big band!
After the concert Jace' and I walked to Soho Wine and Martini Bar. (Let me tell you about the wind storm we had to endure to get from point A to point B. For some reason we were caught up in what felt like hurricane force winds. I had on a long dress and the wind kept sweeping it to one side, taking me along with it and I must have resembled a human flag. Our hair was ALL OVER the place! was nice to take a leisurely walk through down town crossing over and and under the river and enjoying the sounds of the city.) My dear friend, Lutfy, works at Soho. We like to visit him for the obvious reason....he is, by far, the best bartender in town! (And we like him a lot, too!) He elevates it to an art form and is constantly working to come up with creative approaches to the fine art of mixology! In fact, last night he allowed us a taste of his most recent infusion. Now, keep an open mind.....brisket and date infused bourbon! It was a feast in a glass. The bourbon was oak-y, the brisket allowed for nutty buttery-ness and the dates rounded it out with the perfect amount of sweetness. Lutfy, you have done it again! Completely blown my mind. And the dirty martinis you make me are like no other. There's a little somethin' special in there...I just can't figure it out. And I don't want to! Gives me a perfect excuse to continue patronizing your lovely establishment! This is a photo of Lutfy and I. We have been friends for YEARS and do not have one photo! And yes...he is always this serious, brooding and mysterious. I suspect he was just born that way!
Another HUGE reason we visit Soho is to see, and hear, our friend Logan Keese! Jace' and I work with his mother and have become friends with him through his mother, but also through his association with Lutfy and Soho. Logan plays live every Friday night at Soho. Again, run, do not walk, to see Logan! Logan plays trumpet. San Antonio is lucky to have this jewel living among us. Logan primarily plays jazz....deepening my enormous crush on him! He is such a talented young man. He plays with the passion and experience of an old, old soul sent back here from another time and place. His music sounds "far away" in more ways than one. Beyond that, he is an incredible young man. He is kind and gentle and is completely humble despite his overwhelming gift. I feel like one day we will lose Logan to the big jazz city! Or at least the big music conservatories, so catch him now, order a martini and again....trasnport yourself to another time and place. (Seeing a theme here?) Below is a photo of Logan.
Below are photos taken of Jace' and I listening to Logan and Paul. Paul is playing with Logan. He is from New Orleans and is a piano guy. And, it must be said, he has the sweetest little drawl since Harry Connick, Jr. He and Logan are both lovely gentlemen and live the values evocative of the music they play!
Logan and I posing for a blog photo......
What I am lovin' right now is Elegy. (Image from Months ago I watched Charlie Rose interview the cast and director of this film. I was instantly fascinated. I knew this was the type of film I would enjoy. I knew it would leave me thinking for days. I also knew it would be a difficult film for me to watch and that I should likely wait for it to come out on DVD so I could watch it alone and cry as much as I needed to without the constraints of a public theater. (And I certainly was correct about all those points.) I highly recommend this film. However, there is nothing funny about this film. This is not a light, breezy date movie. This is a very serious movie about the human condition, choices we make and the consequences of our decisions.
Below is a brief synopsis from
Driven by Isabel Coixet's (My Life Without Me) visually assured and deeply observant direction, ELEGY charts the passionate relationship between a celebrated New York college professor, David Kepesh (Kingsley) and a young Cuban-born woman, Consuela Castillo (Cruz) whose beauty both ravishes and destabilises him. As their intimate connection transforms them more than either could imagine a charged sexual contest evolves into an indelible love story. With humanistic warmth, wry wit and erotic intensity ELEGY explores the power of beauty to blind, to reveal and transform.With extraordinary performances by Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz, the film is based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Roth's short novel The Dying Animal. On the one hand a shattering, heartfelt romantic drama, ELEGY is also a complex, intelligent and unflinchingly honest meditation on lust, mortality, family, male friendship, intimacy and commitment. Its a refreshing film in its ability to deal with adult issues while remaining an invigorating cinematic experience
Luke: Do you want to know the problem here?
Lorelai: Actually, no. I don't like problems. I avoid them when I can and I don't like people pointing them out to me.

Goodnight friends. I need to start getting ready for a very special wedding! I am going for the total Carrie Bradshaw look. I promise to take tons of photos so you might see if I achieved success.

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