Monday, April 27, 2009

Another plug for "Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio".

I couldn't resist throwing out one last plug for our upcoming concert, where we (The Salt Lake Choral Artists) will be presenting "Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio" this Saturday, May 2nd. You won't want to miss out!

Tickets can be purchased through or by calling the box office at 801-581-7100.

Once again:
"Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio"
Salt Lake Choral Artists and Orchestra, Dr. Brady Allred, conductor
Libby Gardner Concert Hall, University of Utah
7:30 p.m., May 2, 2009
Check out our website!

ALSO! There will be a pre-concert lecture by Mark Grey, Room 270, David Gardner Hall, 6:30 p.m., May 2, which is free.

Please take a moment to check out these links regarding about our upcoming performance and the oratorio.

An article from the SL Tribune:
Navajo ritual sparks unusual oratorio

An article from the Deseret News:
Oratorio draws inspiration from Navajo traditions

An interview with Dr. Brady Allred from KUED Contact with Mary Dickson:

This piece really has been rewarding to put together. I'm excited that the composer, Mark Grey, and librettist Laura Tohe, will be in attendance at this week's three rehearsals. What an opportunity!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April is a Great Time for a Birthday.

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."
~William Shakespeare
I am now 31 years young. My day started with a phone call from Dad and Nancy. Then breakfast at Einstein's with Brian. The middle of my day was taken up by a final project for school. Such is the life, ar ne? (That's Lithuanian.) But flowers arrived on my doorstep sometime that afternoon from Flynnur and Ewesa.

My mom came over for a few after work to celebrate. And then, M took me to The Cheesecake Factory for a birthday dinner. The food was delish. And they even sang to me.

For her: Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp

For him: Chicken Madeira

The night ended with my first game of Cribbage. I'm hooked! M got me this cribbage board/box. He knows I love games, AND the scoring has to do with the number 31, so it was rather fitting.

A wonderful birthday, it was.

Then this morning MORE flowers arrived. This time from Sheppo. I sure love flowers.

Thanks everyone for such a great day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Need to be Kneaded.

I had the need. I had a gift card. I had to use it.

Massages are necessary sometimes. :) Happy birthday to me. Thanks mom!

(Photo from

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I want some of these right now.

These cookies were one of the reasons I started craving peanut butter (a substance I'd previously, openly abhorred) while living in Lithuania, where peanut butter is hard to come by... as in, it didn't really exist (at that time, anyway). Something about ... absence makes the taste buds grow needy?

1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

You want them too, now. Don't you?!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

China ... it's where they're at.

(Yes, I know that I just ended a sentence with a preposition. No worries. I'm fully aware.)

I would venture to say it's a well known fact that there are more women in the world than men. Several months ago, Katie and I were talking about China and the fact that its male to female ratio is higher than any other country in the world. As single women, we were discussing the obvious lack of single men to match us. There are simply more eligible women than men in the world. This is especially apparent in the LDS realm. The "pickins" just seem slimmer. Always have. I mentioned to Katie that single women should start heading over to China to look for male marriage partners, since they have them in abundance! Maybe China is the answer for all single women looking for partners!

Over the past couple of years, I have read several articles about this worsening gender gap and the social repercussions that are and will stem from China's strict and harshly enforced one-child policy imposed in the 1980s. This policy is now almost 30 years old, so the first generation of children are now of marriageable age. Not only is it obvious that there won't be enough women for these men, but what is a group of young, testosterone-motivated men capable of? Although there are groups that travel around China encouraging families to have girls, the gender gap is continually widening and its effects will be felt for a very long time. I imagine increased rapes, kidnappings, and other crimes will result from this. Maybe it's already started. I'm not sure. My feeling is, let's get China open to LDS missionary work, and get these young men involved in good causes, so they refrain from terrorizing women in the own cities or turn into a great Chinese army.

I've copied an article here for you to read. You can google the subject and find several others over the last few years.

"Excess men" seen as new population crisis for China
A bias in favor of male offspring has left China with 32 million more males younger than 20 than females, creating "an imminent generation...
The New York Times

BEIJING — A bias in favor of male offspring has left China with 32 million more males younger than 20 than females, creating "an imminent generation of excess men," a study released Friday said.

For the next 20 years, China will have increasingly more men than women of reproductive age, according to the paper, published online by BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal. "Nothing can be done now to prevent this," the researchers said.

Chinese government planners have long known that couples' urge to have sons was skewing the gender balance of the population. But the study, by two Chinese university professors and a London researcher, provides some of the first hard data on the extent of the disparity and the factors contributing to it.

The gender imbalance could trigger a slew of social problems, including a possible spike in crime by young men unable to find female partners, said an author of the report.

"If you've got highly sexed young men, there is a concern that they will all get together and, with high levels of testosterone, there may be a real risk that they will go out and commit crimes," said Therese Hesketh, a lecturer at the Centre for International Health and Development at University College London. She did not specify what kinds of crimes.

In 2005, the researchers found, births of males in China exceeded births of females by more than 1.1 million. There were 120 boys born for every 100 girls.

This disparity seems to surpass that of any other country, they said, perhaps unsurprising in light of China's one-child policy.

They attributed the imbalance almost entirely to couples' decisions to abort female fetuses.
The trend toward more male than female children intensified steadily after 1986, they said, as ultrasound tests and abortion became more available. "Sex-selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males," the paper said.

The researchers, who analyzed data from a 2005 census, said the disparity was widest among children ages 1 to 4, a sign that the greatest imbalances among the adult population lie ahead. They also found more distortion in provinces that allow rural couples a second child if the first is a girl, or in cases of hardship.

Those couples were determined to ensure they had at least one son, the researchers noted. Among children born second, there were 143 boys for 100 girls, the data showed.

The researchers said enforcing the ban against sex-selective abortions could normalize the sex ratio in the future.

The study was conducted by Wei Xingzhu, a Zhejiang Normal University professor; Li Lu, a Zhejiang University professor; and Hesketh.

Nancy Riley, a professor of sociology at Bowdoin College in Maine who was not involved with the study, said its methodology looked fine, but she questioned whether selective abortion counted for almost all the excess males.

"From other research, it is clear that sex-selective abortion does indeed contribute to these high sex ratios, but so do other things (such as) nonreporting of girl births, abandonment, even infanticide," Riley said.

Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company