March, 2003

Winter: Still Here


Time to put away the flip flops I guess. There’s so much going on in the world right now, the dumb weather doesn’t even matter that much. Just a bit frustrating, you know? What’s the weather like where you are?

Here are pictures from this past weekend (March 27-29, 2003): Night of Love and Karaoke at Chi Chi’s. Fun times!

Small, pointed pleasures

dimsum.jpgHave you ever seen or tried any of the neat mini-dishes that some Chinese restaurants serve? Well, here’s some trivia for you; these little dishes, which are favored by the Cantonese, are collectively known as dim sum (loose translation: “dot the heart” or “tickle the heart”). Dim sum are little snacks usually associated with yam cha, the Chinese ritual of tea taking. Yam cha is a tradition in which business men or families gather for a long, leisurely morning of tea sipping, dim sum nibbling and warm conversation. This usually occurs very early in the morning (read: even as early as 5AM), and is most popular in Guangdong and Hong Kong.

Looking to enjoy some small, pointed pleasures yourself? There are hundreds of them! Dim sum are usually steamed, deep fried, or boiled and are mostly savory. They are wrapped in all sorts of different leaves–
lotus leaves
, banana leaves… If you’ve got a sweet tooth like I do, there are a few sugary dim sum available: water chesnut cake, coconut snowwballs and thousand-layer sweet cake with egg topping. (If you’re really ambitious, you can make your own sweet dim sum by following this recipe courtesy of a chef in Honolulu. President and Mrs. George Bush enjoyed these exact dim sum during one of their visits to Hawaii!). China is also home to a large variety of delicious teas: black tea, green tea, oolong tea, chrysanthamum tea, pu’er tea, etc. Green tea is especially good for digestion and may even help you live longer! When going out to try some of these tasty breakfast treats, keep in mind some of these important courtesies and tactful behaviors to follow when dining in a traditional Dim Sum restaurant.

Purple Teeth

Back from the West Coast (definitely deserves capitaliztion). Gosh, that was the best vacation I’ve EVER been on in my ENTIRE life. I think I’m finally old enough to Appreciate vacations now (—>therefore, I should take them more often, right?). SOOO much to share with you about that trip–I’m getting all of our pictures together and will feature Complete And Official Documentation Of Spring Break In The Napa Valley on a visually stimulating website like none you’ve ever seen!!

Until then, you should check out the recently updated Photo Gallery, please. Of special interest is the new mini-page: Thrift Store Extravaganza. Speaking of quality secondhand establishments, Dad just told me about the Salvation Army in Bath, NY. Recently renovated, this S&A Boutique is new and improved with more square footage to house the color-coordinated racks of radiant retro-wear! Apparently I’m going to need to hire an entire camera crew for that excursion: should be a good time!! 😀


Heading Home today for Spring Break!! Then to the Napa Valley for about a week to hang with Aunty B and Uncle G, check out the CIA and FBI, visit some vineyards, and enjoy warm weather!! Be back next Tuesday to thrill you with the details of my travels! Have a great week everyone!!

Buzz, boom, buzz, boom


On Tuesday evening, Hungary came to Binghamton. (I know, can you believe it? You’d think it’d be pretty hard to move an entire country…BU is really going to great diversifying lengths!! The parade of houses and national monuments on wheels was tremendous!!)

Okay, okay, so it was just the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra that came, but for a person who has never heard a single Hungarian word spoken before, it was a great deal like visiting with a foreign country!

The Orchestra performed Variations on a Hungarian Folksong (“The Peacock”) by Kodály Zoltán, Five Songs from the “Twenty Hungarian Folksongs” by Bartók, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in E Flat Major and Les Préludes— both by Liszt, and Dances from Galánta also by Zoltán Kodály. They were directed by Zsolt Hamar, a very distinguished Hungarian conductor. His conducting style was extremely graceful! And, in Dances from Galánta, his conducting style changed completely–he was practically doing the dance himself; jumping all around his podium using angular and erratic elbow movements. It was very entertaining!

The Five Songs from the “Twenty Hungarian Folksongs” featured sopranoist Júlia Hajnóczy. Several of these songs were incredibly meloncholy–one in particular, Song IV Panasz (or “Lament”) was very emotional:

My darling is very ill,
Perhaps she will die,
If she does not die, she will have pains,
This will also be my grief.

Of your grave illness
Give me some too,
Let us feel it both,
Let me feel it too.

My favorite of the folksongs, however, was Song V, Párosító (or “Wedding Song II”). It was swift, cheerful, and the lyrics made you laugh right out loud (seriously, the entire audience was laughing when Júlia emphatically exclaimed the last line!!):

The light is burning at the virag’s.
They are roating the fried frog.
Buzz, boom, buzz, boom,
Recefice boom boom boom.
Gabor Vaci made a grab,
He munched a frog leg.
Buzz, boom, buzz, boom,
Recefice boom boom boom.

The pianist, Mocsári Károly, who accompanied the orchestra in Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in E Flat Major, was also excellent! He played very passionately (and had to skooch his bench back up to the piano after every theme because he was moving so dramatically!). At the end of the piece, as he walked off stage, he seemed absolutely drained. I think he put every ounce of himself into that song, he could barely walk!

And The Winner Is…

Finally, the announcement you’ve all been waiting for!! Who IS the cutest pet?

To solve this problem I contracted a random, unbiased person from the extensive internet world to justly determine the answer to this question. His response:
“First Place: SOHO!!
Second Place: MAGGIE!! (sorry to Maggie, but Soho has those puppy dog eyes)
Third Place: SPARKY!!
With Honorable Mentions going to the following pets for their special qualities:

Congratulations to our Top Dogs and thank you all for entering!! Award notices have been sent out ant your prizes will be arriving in the mail within the next few days!

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