Sunday, August 31, 2008

Who Is Sarah Palin?

Polar bears are in trouble if McCain gets elected president. His choice for a running mate, Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska for a year and a half (and, before that, mayor of a town of 9,000 people - not exactly the greatest experience for running a country) sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species because she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska. Read the article, “Who Is Sarah Palin?” by Move On.

Is this the person Americans want to be one heartbeat away from the presidency?

Friday, August 29, 2008

When I'm 64 . . .

. . . exactly one month from today. Hardly seems possible.

Life is nothing like what I expected when McCartney and Lennon first wrote the song. No knitting by the fireside, no digging in the garden, hardly any postcards any more (unless they're the “e” kind), and certainly no bottles of wine.

No grandchildren. Not even any great nephews or nieces. I do have cats (something that was, I'm sure inadvertently, left out of the song since “cat” rhymes with so many other words), and I'm hoping someone will send me a valentine!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peter Grimes Is Coming!

Peter Grimes will be in Sapporo in less than a month. More information to follow.
The 511th Sapporo Symphony Subscription Concert
Benjamin Britten/opera, “Peter Grimes” op. 33 (concert-style)
Tadaaki OTAKA, Conductor
Peter Grimes: Kei FUKUI (Tenor)
Ellen Orford: Yuko KAMAHORA (Soprano)
Captain Balstrode: Satoru AOTO (Baritone)
Hobson: Tsuyoshi MIHARA (Bass)
Swallow: Kazunori KUBO (Bass)
Auntie: Akiko OGAWA (Alto)
Two Nieces: Eri UNOKI (Soprano), Kaori HIRAI (Soprano)
Bob Boles: Keiro OHARA (Tenor)
Rev. Horace Adams: Akira Yukawa (Tenor)
Mrs. Sedley: Misato IWAMORI (Mezzo Soprano)
Ned Keene: Ken-ichi YOSHIKAWA (Baritone)
Sapporo Symphony Chorus, Sapporo Academy Chorus, Sapporo Broadcasting Chorus (Chorusmaster: Isao OSANAI)
Assistant Conductor: Hidehiro SHINDORI
Assistant Conductor: Masahito OSADA

Anyone who wants information about the opera in Japanese can read an article here.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Setsumaro_YokoyamaThis morning when I went to radio exercises, a student in one of my classes came running over to tell me stunning news. Setsumaro Yokoyama passed away Saturday evening from pancreatic cancer. He had been in the hospital recently diagnosed with gallstones, and we were concerned because we hadn't heard from him for a few weeks, but I never thought that it was life-threatening.

He was only 75 and still full of energy. In fact, I wish that my university students had his enthusiasm for learning! Although he was always humble about expressing his opinion, he often showed great insight, such as when we were reading the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” together.

Setsumaro also had great respect for others. At our class last week, I joked to the other students that, with his being absent, no one bowed when I came into the classroom.

He has attended nearly all my concerts in the past few years and had already bought tickets for the one in September. I will be thinking of him at that time.

I've made a memorial page with photos of him and the rest of the class. I'll be going to the wake for him this evening.