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Ramblings From The Road

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls,

So I'm fresh back from the West Coast, in particular Northern California which I love very, very much. It is so beautiful. I don't know why I didn't go there sooner in my life. I did a very powerful opera by Jake Heggie concerning spousal abuse with Isabel Bayrakdarian and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra of San Francisco. That's what brought me out West. It was an incredible experience with wonderful, wonderful people. I look forward to singing the opera again.

While I was in San Francisco I stayed at the most disgusting hotel I have ever stayed at in my life and career. It is called The Palace Hotel and who are they kidding? It is dirty and smelly. It is a beautiful old building taken over by Starwood Hotels, whoever the hell they are. When I walked into my room I was almost knocked over by the smell, and for nine days I couldn't figure out what the smell was. A dead rodent in the wall, dried vomit, old carpeting? What I encountered when I complained about almost everything in this this lousy flea bitten shithole were profuse apologies. The attempted corrections were always incompetent and half-assed. Now I ask you, as I walk through life in this great country of ours, America the Beautiful, are you encountering the same apologies instead of efficiency? The action that's taken after the empty apologies is non-existent or incompetent, and always half-assed. There is no pride and no service in the service industry. How do people take home pay checks with a clear conscience? How do they live their lives... backing half-assed out of their driveway in an apologetic state of ineptitude? Remember that old TV commercial, "Thank you Mother, but I'd rather do it myself." I guess we have to. Man, I'm sick of the road. But it isn't just the road, it's the local Post Office, the Bank of America, anywhere in this country. It's a pervading attitude. Complacent blah.

Okay, let's get on to the elections. Continuing on this theme, Katrin just said something very astute. Things always seem to come from the top, and with the Bush administration possibly, as a people, we are reflecting the attitude that it is OK to lie, deceive, apologize, and dismiss. So now, with the mid-term elections, is it too late to change back to being a conscientious, engaged, and proud people? Don't you feel that we've all become arrogant, ignorant, sloppy? Do you think the Democrats are any different than the Republicans? I think we need Green in office. Why do we only have two powerful parties? Why can't we have five? Why can't we entertain every possible idea?

And speaking of entertaining every idea, the kids that are attending UC Berkeley... their hair follicles are on fire. I felt such hope for the future of this country just looking at the students. They were moving forward, their eyes were focused, their hair was standing on end, they looked like they had purpose. It was incredible to see. There was a UC Berkeley football game and these kids looked like they were not only preparing for the future of America, but having the time of their lives. Who wouldn't living in Northern California? Good luck to all of them.

Restaurant recommendations: Adagia, 2700 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA Ph: 510-647-2300; Cesar, 1515 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA Ph: 510-883-0222; North Beach Restaurant, 1512 Stockton, San Francisco, CA Ph: 415-392-1700; Jardiniere, 300 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA Ph: 415-861-5555.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Don't apologize if the turkey is burnt... DON'T BURN IT!!



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