Nice is different than good

Merry Ramachanakwanzmas!  It has been quite a while, I am sorry about that.  The new job is great, and I am really enjoying the town and the folks who are there, but it has been quite busy.  I was there for a few days at the beginning of the month, and then back in Palm Springs for a week, then back for another four days, here for Christmas now, but heading back up north on Saturday and will be there for a while.  Not back in Palm Springs until mid January.

I will start with today, and pick up any interesting stories that have happened since last I wrote.  We got up this morning and David and I exchanged gifts.  David got me a beautiful scarf because he expects me to be cold in Livermore.  It will come in handy.  I picked up a few things in LA when we went to see a concert last week.  His favorite was the clarinet pin, which I thought was very nice too.  I added to that a violin pin and coasters to match some place mats that David bought last year from MOMA.  Then, we went to see Into the Woods at noon with Donovan.  I thought it was delightful.  Perfect casting and I particularly liked James Cordon as the baker and Emily Blunt as his wife.  Both very charming.  The princes were pretty funny too, but the cast, all around, was terrific I thought.  As with the original Broadway production, I loved Red Riding Hood.  I am a sucker for sassy little girls.

This evening we splurged and went to a new restaurant at the Ritz Carlton called The Edge.  Called this because it sits on the edge of a hill and overlooks the valley.  We had a delightful evening.  While we didn’t have a view of the valley, we were seated right in front of the kitchen.  That was a little dangerous because when David saw the lobster, he asked the waiter to change his order for lamb shank to lobster, which the waiter was pleased to do.  Great staff and a beautiful evening.

I was in Livermore for a couple of days earlier this week and made my first curtain speech before the Chanticleer concert on Tuesday night.  I had hesitated about doing it, but then thought, why not just do it and get it over with.  I walked out on stage and the audience started applauding, and quite enthusiastically I thought.  I started by saying that I hadn’t done anything yet and then introduced myself.  Even more enthusiastic applause and I said, “I reiterate, I haven’t done anything yet!”  I felt like I was home again.  The rest of the evening was great.

The odd thing was, last week I flew from San Francisco to Burbank (yes, beautiful downtown Burbank) and met Donovan and David at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to see Chanticleer.  What a spectacular building that was!  And the acoustics there are almost as good as the Bankhead in Livermore.  But the seats are better at the Bankhead!  On Saturday we participated in the Santa Paws 5K – I ran and David biked.  We were together on our way up the hill, but once we started back down, he left me in the dust.  David finished in 35 minutes, and I came in at 38 minutes.  I can’t lie, I didn’t run the whole way, I took a few walking breaks, but It was good.

I don’t want to make excuses for not writing, but I have been feeling pretty bad with a pinched nerve in my neck.  I finally went to a chiropractor in Livermore on Monday, and saw him twice that day and again on Tuesday.  I go back on Monday as well.  It gets a bit better with each visit, but is still very tender and sore.  Heat and cold and stretching and glad to have written this.

Merry Christmas and I will write before the New Year arrives!

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