My weekend with Morgan Freeman & John Williams

by Christine on August 22nd, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Saturday I had the fantastic opportunity to go to Tanglewood to see the Boston Pops play, with the amazing John Williams conducting, in an event called “Film Night.” This is the second year we have gone to Tanglewood to see John Williams conduct. I have to admit: I rather idolize John Williams. His was the first autograph I got when I started my autograph-collecting hobby (I now have hundreds or thousands of autographs), and his autograph is proudly displayed in my living room.

For those that don’t know John Williams — he’s a music god, especially in the film industry. He wrote the music for nearly every memorable, modern block-buster movie: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Jaws, Close Encounters, Jurassic Park, Superman, Sabrina, E.T., and so many others.  He conducted the Boston Pops for many years, and he is invited to come back as a guest conductor in the summertime at Tanglewood. So exciting!

They had all kinds of film arrangements: a “Hooray for Hollywood” compilation, with snippets from many different movies. They did a montage of Western movies and music, and they also did an Audrey Hepburn celebration to the music of Sabrina. They performed a few pieces from Schindler’s List.  They also performed two of my favorite film scores: the John Dunbar theme from Dances with Wolves, and Por Una Cabeza from Scent of a Woman.

But there were two highlights of the evening for me.  The first was a special reading by Morgan Freeman. He came on stage to read snippets from Henry Faulkner’s “The Reivers.” While Morgan Freeman was reading, the Pops were playing a John Williams original score in the background. Freeman would pause at key spots, and the music would take over and carry the story along. Oh, it was fantastic!

And of course…the end of the evening culminated in the Throne Room Theme from Star Wars, with images from the Star Wars movies and images of Williams recording the music with the studio orchestras in from the 1970s-2000s.  Fantastic!!

It was a busy weekend, even aside from the concert in Massachusetts. On Saturday afternoon we went down to Kingston to the Hickory BBQ Smokehouse for a birthday lunch for one of Aaron’s friends.  (I had a salad with BBQ pulled pork on top. Delicious!)  On Sunday I went out with a friend to Northampton, Mass to hit a few wineries. We ended up at Godard’s Red Hen Farm Winery to sample some wines.  It’s a new winery, but the wines were surprisingly good, and the owner was fantastic! He told us all about his process, his equipment, his grapes. He even gave us a tour of the back room where the magic all happens. A nice little place to stop if you’re in that neck of the woods. We also stopped at the Northampton Brewery for lunch. The beer was very hoppy (if you like bitter beers, this is a great place to stop!)  I had a cup of clear brothy soup that was fantastic, plus a green salad that was a big disappointment.

My weight today is up another pound today, even though I didn’t consume a lot of calories on Saturday and Sunday. It’s starting to get me down, and I think I’m going to schedule another fill with my doctor for another week or two.  It’s very frustrating.



Maintaining, Spring Parties, and Other Stuff

by Christine on May 2nd, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Good morning Revolutionists, and it’s a good morning, too, with one less terrorist out there plaguing the world. Congrats to our servicemen for getting Bin Laden, and my thanks for keeping us all safe.

It’s been a busy weekend for me, but kind of relaxing as well. Friday I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to watch the Royal Wedding. I know…the whole Royal Wedding thing is silly and trite, especially since they are not my monarchs! When I was a little girl, I remember my mom letting me stay awake all night long so I could watch Princess Diana marry Prince Charles. It is a very strong memory for me. My mom is a big fan of the British Royalty, and watching that wedding was like watching a fairy tale come true.  I wanted to watch the wedding because of that memory with my mom and to let a little modern-day fairy tale enter into my life.

Plus, London is one of my most favorite places in the world. I love to broadcast showing London landmarks that I love so well–Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, etc. Those places bring back a lot of memories for me.

Friday I went home after work, read my book a little bit, and went to sleep early.

Saturday I went out with a friend to the Museum of Firefighting in Hudson, NY. There were a lot of fire trucks there, which were pretty cool. However, there was disappointing little on the design of fire stations, which is what we were looking to learn about.  It was a beautiful day for a drive, and on the way we stopped at the Chatham Brewery in beautiful Chatham, NY, Huds0n-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY (a really lovely place, with some great cheeses too!), and Harvest Spirits Distillery in Valatie, NY.  All three of these places we visited had great wines/vodkas and had a picturesque drive to get there. It was a great trip!  For lunch we stopped at Four Brothers Pizza. They have a few locations in the Upstate NY region. I used to absolutely LOVE their garlicy pizza, but unfortunately I can’t eat pizza anymore.  Instead I ordered a side salad (which was huge, and the salad dressing was delicious) and the veal parm sandwich (minus the bread). Unfortunately the veal was thin, dry, and deep fried. Not tasty or healthy. The salad was a much better value.

Sunday morning I took about 20 bags of top soil and tried to fill in a sand pit in our back yard, where our above-ground swimming pool used to stand. I put down grass seed. It was a lot of lifting and raking, and today my back in aching so I know I got a workout in. I also went for a short walk to enjoy the beautiful weather!

In the afternoon the hubby and I went to his boss’s beautiful 2nd home to celebrate his wife’s (and the company’s Office Manager)’s 40th birthday.  For her birthday he got her an awesome limited edition Porche convertible. It’s totally sweet! I hope she can take me for a ride in it sometime!

In the evening we had a few friends come over to watch Game of Thrones, the new HBO series with us.  Hubby and I have been fans of the Game of Thrones book series by George RR Martin for years. It’s our favorite book, and my cat Arya is named after one of the main characters! The HBO series is really well done and is in keeping with the book. We’re loving it…check it out if you like that kind of thing.

I ate a little more than my calorie alotment on Saturday (thanks to the alcohol + fried veal, boo!) but I ate under my calories yesterday. Therefore, it was no surprise that I was at the same weight this morning…127.0.  I’m still in maintenance range.

I’m only one month away from my port surgery.  I’m nervous about it and I’m unsure of how much the surgery to replace my port will hurt. Will it hurt as much as the original surgery? Will it be easier on me? Will they need to inflate my tummy with that awful gas? Will I need to be knocked out? I’m stressing out about these details!  I will be glad when it’s done though. The other day I was wearing a skirt with an elastic band, and it was riding on my protruding port site. Boy, it really hurt, and I was really sore for hours that day. I can’t wait to get that fixed.

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