Sunday, May 22, 2016

Yasmin's Quinceañera - January 2016




It had been 18 months since we last saw our compadres in Guatemala. We have visited them at least once a year since 2007, so this span was way too long for our liking. But it was with good reason: at the end of June, Paulina gave birth to their seventh child (and second boy), Ian Ivan.

Our usual July 4th visit would not be possible with a newborn infant taking up the family's energy, so we thought that we might postpone the trip for a couple of months. However when baby Ian was only a month old, he became seriously ill and was hospitalized for 40 days in Guatemala City. He and Paulina stayed at the hospital, three hours' drive away from the rest of the family. Humberto and the older girls held down the fort at home, preparing meals and cleaning and preparing the guest rooms that they rent out.

Obviously this was not a good time to visit, so we postponed our trip until January to coincide with the 3rd eldest daughter Yasmin's quinceañera (15th birthday party - the Latina equivalent of a Sweet 16). Ian is back at home where he belongs, and his health is getting better day by day. We missed the kids terribly, and desperately wanted to meet the newest addition to the family.

Because I am now able to easily work remotely over the internet, we decided to stay longer than usual. We would stay 10 days!

It was a wonderful trip. We are so proud of Yasmin, who has grown into a lovely young lady. It was great to get to spend time with the seven kids, as well as their extended families. Baby Ian is a charmer, with a very happy disposition.

I worked during the weekdays when Aracely and Eddy were in school, and on evenings and weekends we found plenty of time to play with them and help the family prepare for, celebrate, and clean up after Yasmin's party.

Full details and photos are up on our main web site, craigandstephsvacations.com.

AndersonPonty Band at the Cabot in Beverly - 5/20/2016




We had a fantastic time last night seeing AndersonPonty Band from the second row at the Cabot! It was our first time at the venue and it is beautiful. Jon Anderson, Jean-Luc Ponty, and the band were tight, sounded great, and had tremendous energy.

We had seen them from the mezzanine at Berklee back in November. Sitting closer this time was a different experience. We could really see their facial expressions and interplay as they fused jazz and prog rock. When Jon stepped away from the mic during instrumental interludes, we could see his meditational gestures, the fact that his mouth was still moving, either singing, chanting, praying...unable to be heard by the audience but having his own spiritual connection to the music. We could see the loving acknowledgments to his wife Jane, who was present in the first row, cheering him on as always.

Jon mentioned that he and Jane had visited the Peabody Essex Museum and specifically called out the Chinese house. At that point the percussionist banged the gong for effect, causing Jon to burst into giggles.

There was a large screen behind the band, where complex music visualizations spun and pulsed  to the melody and rhythm of the music. Mandalas swirled and morphed into other geometric designs.

Jean-Luc Ponty's violin is a wonderful addition to Jon's music, and the lyrics that Jon has written to accompany Jean-Luc's instrumental pieces seem very natural.

The band seemed to be having a great time, and the audience certainly was as well.

And at the end of the night, Jamie Glaser threw out a couple handfuls of guitar picks. Most of them went to the front row, but I noticed Craig's foot sliding under the seat in front of him to claim one that someone had missed, and he gave it to me. smile emoticon

We took Craig's 80-year-old mother as a Mother's Day present, and she absolutely loved it. In fact, one of her favorite parts was the drum solo. Rock on!

It was a magical night that we won't forget!

Set I:
  1. Intro
  2. One in the Rhythm of Hope
  3. A for Aria
  4. Owner of a Lonely Heart
  5. Listening with Me
  6. Time and a Word / One Love
  7. Infinite Mirage
  8. Soul Eternal
  9. Jig
  10. New New World
Set II:
  1. Revealing Science of God (spoken excerpt)
  2. New Country
  3. Under Heaven's Door
  4. Wonderous Stories
  5. Long Distance Runaround
  6. Renaissance of the Sun
  7. State of Independence
  8. Enigmatic Ocean I and II
  9. And You And I
  10. Violin/Keys duet
  11. Roundabout
  12. Re-Remembering Molecules / Yours is No Disgrace
  13. Soon









video
State of Independence  (excerpt)