Monday, February 24, 2014

Culture Continues

The first big conference of the year happened this month, our big data conference in glamorous Santa Clara, and I was glad to get back in the swing of eventing. It was very successful, which of course is always a relief, but also draining.

After recovering, I've since been very happy and humbled too by how much arty stuff I've been able to enjoy in the last few weeks.

Two weekends ago, a friend from work offered us free tickets to a wonderful concert at the Green Music Center, "Sons of the Fjord," featuring works by Grieg and Sibelius, and an American premiere by Orjan Matre, "Resurgence." The premiere was very interesting--the composer had placed musicians throughout the hall, including putting the brass backstage (they left one of the doors open). We weren't too far from an oboist. We had come early to hear a lecture by the musical director and the clarinetist, so luckily we were prepared for it, and it did help me listen to the music. They talked about how placing the musicians in places other than the stage changed how you would hear the piece spatially, just as how where you sat would too. The pianist had been delayed because of bad weather and had just arrived the night before. I wonder what they would have done if he hadn't made it? M was able to bring a friend and there were quite a few people from work there--I sat next to someone in my book and knitting groups, so it ended up being a social occasion as well. Sadly, the seating was even more uncomfortable than our first visit to the Center months ago--hard chairs, I couldn't quite put my feet on the floor, and we were looking hard right. I wish we could have switched seats with the balcony across the way at intermission. Still, they were free tickets--I'm ungrateful to be complaining. Maybe the hard chairs are to help keep you awake.

The following Sunday, we saw a matinee of "Annie Get Your Gun" at a local community theater. An acquaintance I used to work with was in the title role, and it was very well done. Surprisingly good singing.

For Presidents Day, we took a drive out to Bodega Head, thinking we might see some whales. We did not. It was clear but windy, so we didn't stay long. We did visit the campsite we'll have next month. That's a nice activity to look forward to.

Last Wednesday I went down to the City for the day to a developer conference. I had worked with one of the organizers to help put together a women in tech panel. I suggested one of our editors moderate the panel and secured another panelist, and it was really gratifying to see them on stage and how well it went. They were mobbed after it ended, something that hadn't happened to the other speakers I'd seen. I made some good contacts too.

On Saturday, M and I had another epic double date with friends Caitlin and Sean. We had purchased discount coupons weeks ago for a place I'd been wanting to see for years, the di Rosa Art Preserve. I had been worried/hoping it would rain, but we had spectacular weather yet again. We stopped for lunch on the way at the Fremont Diner, which was hopping.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the di Rosa. I figured a tour would be a good place to start since the di Rosa collection is mostly Northern California artists from the last forty years, and I'm really glad we did it. The docents gave some history of the collection and setting, but mostly just let us wander through the galleries, leaving it up to us to ask about works that interested us. The di Rosas were kind of art hoarders and there was so much art, in all kinds of media. I definitely didn't see all of it. 

In addition to the two main galleries, there was a tunnel to the residence, which was also jam packed with art, and had a view of the meadow with yet more art. 

It was a lot to take in. So I can look forward to another visit or two. We added significantly to the Life Imitates Art Flickr set. 

After the di Rosa, we stopped at the new Carneros Brewery and tried some beer, then had dinner back in Santa Rosa. It was great spending so much time with them. We don't see them often enough, but when we do, we make the most of it!

On Sunday I was a little tuckered out from the art overload of the day before, but met Pointy Pal Rebecca for some conversation and a little work, had a walk on Taylor Mountain with Felicia, and made a Test Kitchen recipe that included kneaded kale, a first for me. Life is pretty darn good.


At 9:26 AM, March 01, 2014, Blogger Brenda said...

Yes, your life does look pretty darn good. Good job getting your people to the developer conference.
I'd like to check out the Napa art exhibit, too.


Post a Comment

<< Home