Saturday, February 07, 2009

new blog

I'm not sure if anyone out there is still looking at this page, but just in case, here's to let you know I'm moving on. You can now find me at http://caplowsparks.tumblr.com/
thanks, see you there!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

De la Soul


Alright! I finally got to see De La Soul live! In Lisbon of all places. I've been listening to this group since about 1989 when they first started and my dad had a cassette of their album, 3 Feet High and Rising. I got back into them in college, we would listen to De la Soul is Dead while making pizza every Friday night at the Asia House Co-op. And now we got to experience their positive energy and groovy beats, live and for free at the Lisbon Casino. I was curious as to who would show up to this concert, since none of my friends here are into hip-hop music. But the place was packed, mostly young student types, and quite a few foreigners as well, Brits, Germans, etc.
It was one of the funnest nights out I've had in awhile.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving


This was the third Lisboa Thanksgiving that Mike and I have hosted here in our apartment. They've all been a little different and a lot of fun. This year we picked up our 7 kilo turkey on Saturday morning, went shopping and then spent all afternoon cooking up a storm. Alice made home-made cornbread stuffing from a recipe vaguely passed down from Flora and Mike made two pumpkin pies from a recipe vaguely based on one of his mom's. We stuffed the bird, surrounded it with hearty veggies and stuck it in the oven. Several hours, mashed potatoes and gravy later we were ready to surve, buffet style to our 12 guests. We pulled out all our desks and side tables, borrowed five chairs from our neighbors and moved our living room furniture to fit everyone in. The effect was a bit more formal than previous years when we've had people purched on sofas and sitting on the floor, but I'm not sure which is better in the end. Our Portuguese friends are always very excited by this holiday because the idea of traditional American food confuses them, since all they know about is hamburgers and hotdogs. Our guests all brought wine and deserts and we had a blast. Click here or on the photo above to see more pictures.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fall in Lisboa


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Friday, November 14, 2008

Election Experience + a video

Click here to see the video of my friend Andre on the morning after the election. (then click on "veja o video da entrevista")

Mike and I contemplated going out but the only parties we knew about were at the Sharaton and the Marriott hotel bars and we didn't know anyone who was going. In fact, other than my work colleagues we don't have any American friends here. And I had to get up early the next morning for rehearsals all day. Needless to say, we were having our own party at home, me with a bottle (or more) of red wine and Mike with his beer. Unfortunately I passed out around midnight before any of the results came in. I slept horribly and was so nervous when I woke up the next morning, but when we turned on the tv, I just started jumping up and down and screaming. It was a euphoric moment, a euphoric few days actually.

When I got to work my friend Andre, an African-American viola player from North Carolina who has been living in Europe for the last 30 years (he was the first black person to join the Scala Opera in Milan, if not any orchestra on this continent...or anywhere? I'm not sure....about 30 years ago) Anyways, Andre was there on stage with an enormous American flag, Obama shirts and hats and long red, white and blue ribbons streaming down from under his hat. He grabbed me and hugged me and we jumped up and down. We even had a solumn moment when he operatically sang the national hymn in his rich tenor voice. He hadn't slept a wink and had actually walked all the way to the orchestra waving the flag. He said that everyone on the street here in Lisbon were congratulating him and giving him support.
For me too, all of my friends here, (and some people I don't know!) have been congratulating me for the past two days. The conductor this week (and Australian woman who lives in Germany) said at the beginning of rehearsal yesterday "Goodmorning everyone, I think we all have something to celebrate today, especially Andre" and then she went and gave him a big hug.

I'd like to share a text message that we got from our good friends and neighbors, Claudia and Ricardo (in English, which is not our usual language with them) "Congratulations to our dear friends for the victory of your president Obama. We hope that this could bring a new light to America and the World. Kisses from the heart,..."

It's been a burden at times in the last five years living in Europe as an American with the administration that we've had. It's such a relief to see people finally supporting my country abroad. I know that nothing can literally change that fast, but I think that the atmosphere and spirit of America and the attitude towards America around the world changed dramatically on Tuesday night.

Weekend



Last Saturday afternoon we got out of the house and took a walk through Alfama. We passed the tail end of thieves market, packing and cleaning up, up to the monastery of St. Vincent and then to St. Lucia's lookout, where we hung out in a crowd of turists and marveled at the light. Fall is really here, the sun stays on the south side of the sky and the days are filled with change. Rain to sun to clouds all in a heartbeat. The other day Mike and I were in the living room when we noticed dry leaves out above our skylight. They were blowing and swirling into the sky like confetti. The trees behind our building our turning golden yellow. Click here to see more photos on Picasa.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance (Armistice and Veteran's) Day

http://www.legion-aux.org/uploads/images/Poppy.jpgLet's remember the pain of war to help us avoid them in the future. A day to reflect...

Little Leonor

Leonor was born October 27th to our dear neighbors Claudia and Ricardo. Here she is at the hospital two days later. They should be coming home soon! We are very excited to have a baby in the building. Welcome little Leo!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coming home