By:  LPJ

Starting worship with Mozart’s Etude

Music simply delights the heart and the soul.  Especially if it’s from someone so dear to me as my 13-year-old grandson Eliott.  Last Sunday, he performed Mozart’s Rondo/Etude (Turkish Dance) at the beginning of service at First Presbyterian Church, Cal Berkeley campus.  It was a performance with calmness and confidence so fitting in a place where hearts are readied for worship and praise of the One Most High.

One of my favorite pieces played to excellence (not because this Lola’s biased), Eliott was able to work through its dynamics with ease, taking his listeners along in joyfully exploring various nuances of the composition from light and cheerful allegro to solemn legato and urgent staccato.  I went on for the ride and found myself awed at not just how my grandson gained the skill and talent for music and the genius of Mozart the composer – but most of all, at how God created majestic beauty in all its forms for us to enjoy, music being one of them.

Eliott’s piano performance surged a worshipful spirit buoyed by the magnanimity of God’s love and power – through His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit – and on that Sunday, with Eliott’s gifted interpretation of Mozart’s Etude.


Broadway’s Lion King enthralls

Nearly three decades after Lion King was first introduced on film and stage, I finally watched the Broadway version at San Jose Center of Performing Arts over a week ago.  It was mesmerizing – in props, dramatic presentation, music and dialogue.

The theatrical spectacle started with a regal and rowdy parade of animals on the auditorium aisles, accompanied by loud and exciting pulse of drum beats that almost pulled me up on my feet to sway and stomp with the rousing rhythm and singing.  I liked best the huge elephant, and tall giraffes with their gracefully extended necks that towered over everything in the auditorium.  The music was  enjoyable—animals expressing emotions as fear, anger, anxiety, intrigue  or placid contentment in lyrical scores.  There were clever and comical exchanges that elicited giggles or laughter from the audience – my favorite being the dialogues with Fuli the Cheetah. The father-son story is poignant, with love and respect riding the theme of the power struggle between good and evil.  It was no surprise that the performance drew a drawn-out standing ovation from the audience.  The volume of enthusiastic applause reverberated all throughout the auditorium. I was one of the loud enthusiasts.

While I heard and read raving reviews of Lion King, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a musical drama revolved mostly around animals. Aware of the rich allegory behind the story, I still could not imagine how animals on stage could captivate my full attention or keep me theatrically enthralled. I was honestly surprised – I loved it!

My son John, daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Eliott took me to an exquisite dinner prior to the show.  Dinner entrees were fabulous: prime ribeye steak, seared scallops and lobster raviolis – eaten up at a fair pace quick enough for us to catch the show blocks away from the Grill.

I look forward to the next dinner-theater adventure.


Avocados – dessert or medicine?

I had the best avocado in years, straight from Piazza grocery store blocks away from my home.  Upon slicing the plump fruit open, I was delighted to see thick smooth meat with the vibrant color of yellow-green, ivory texture sans the fibrous strands.  The seed slid off its enclave, exposing more lush avocado.  I scooped the meat off its thin shell, broke it into pieces before pouring cold milk and drizzled sugar.  Voila! My favorite dessert.

My daughter said that for years, that’s how she thought avocados are eaten, with milk and sugar.  So, it surprised her when she saw it eaten by itself or in salads.

I laughed when she told me that because for years, I, too, thought that’s how avocados are eaten, with milk and sugar.  Obviously, she grew up seeing me eat the fruit that way.

I mention this here because I complained to my daughter Joy that I had been experiencing nocturnal leg cramps that kept me awake and disturbed my sleep the past weeks.  My daughter immediately sent me via Amazon bottles of magnesium lotion that I had started to apply days ago.  That, with a capsule of magnesium glycinate and avocado that clinched the treatment, my nocturnal cramps had stopped.  Oh yes, occasional tingling at night – but that’s about it, the tingling does not proceed to achy cramps as before.

I agree, to avoid crampy days or nights, eat more avocados. If you hadn’t tried it before – for culinary adventure, try it with cold milk and sugar, or maybe, just with cold milk. It’s not “trick or treat” with this — it’s “treat or medicine”.

Linda P. Jacob