Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Replaced Face

I feel very lucky to live in a world where there are medical break-throughs happening every day. Many people benefit from experimental, or new technologies. There are some that I'm not so sure about.

I saw the headline "
Doctors Give Woman a New Face" on the Star Tribune website. I'll let you read, and come to your own conclusions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Life's Changes

There are so many times in life when changes, big, small, bad, good, expected, or unexpected happen. I think it's each of these changes, and the choices we make regarding them, that really says who we are. It's those alterations in life that makes us an individual.

Making choices regarding those life changes are always difficult. It's a balance between your heart and head. What truly would make you happy? What do you want out of your life? Some believe you live a destined life that was predetermined for you, and can do nothing to change it. I believe in fate, but I also believe that the choices you make really determines your destiny.

I like to let things simmer in my head before I really pull out thoughts to think about. I find my subconscience has a remarkable organizing system, and if I let it just sit there, I can pull out a more logic thought process. Maybe that's why I'm also the person who writes all at once, going from a paper with scribbles and notes covering it... (aka a very rough outline) to the final paper. I'm not one to go back and edit. I hope I'm not like that in life. Sure, we all have our regrets, but we all have something that we know was good in our lives.

Nobody can expect their lives to proceed without change. Everyone gets a little ruffled when they do come, but inevitably they always pop up. I also think they happen for a reason. You just have to take it in stride, and decide who you are, and who you want to become.

*cue moving/inspirations song*
Hit it Jo Dee!
"That's the Way"

Monday, November 28, 2005

Concert Season

Another performance gone by, yet plenty more to look forward to. It's that time of the year to attend/perform many holiday concerts. My most recent was the "We Gather Together" concert in celebration of Thanksgiving with Garrison Keillor (and his red socks). And of course, the Christmas concerts are just around the corner.

"WGT" went without a hitch. It was much smoother sailing than I thought it would be. I like to have things planned, and know things ahead of time. It calms my nerves. However, planning ahead is not in Garrison's vocabulary. That's what makes his shows great, the spontaneity, the whims, the tangents, and the freedom to make an artistic change. Obviously, some of us OCD folks find it hard to let loose and accept things as they come. We had rehearsal all day (the day of the performance) and were comfortable with our pieces. However, the order was left up in the air to be decided at a later time. (We had rehearsal from 12:30-3ish mind you.) The concert was at 4 o'clock. So, sure enough the order was set at 3:45.

Hoping that I didn't mess up the order, I organized my folder as best I could. Some of our pieces were printed on other pieces, so I wrote when to move which piece where after one of the pieces on that particular page was sung... (if that made any sense) I also had to turn pages for our wonderful accompanist Charles, resulting in more
scribbles and notes on pages to ensure my presence at the piano.

The concert was fun, amusing, and had a very relaxed feel. It was a perfect end to the Thanksgiving weekend.
Orchestra Hall was filled, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Now as I look onward at my Christmas concert schedule, I can't imagine what the holiday's would feel like without those joyous concerts. They have a way of filling you with holiday spirit, through music and the gathering of people, that's indescribable. Without them, I don't think it would quite feel like the holidays. Maybe Scrooge never went to a festive concert... he was probably too busy counting money. So, don't let that happen to you!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Family Familiarities

Ah, the holiday season has arrived. The season of getting together with relatives and celebrating. However, I find it a bit strange, that the only time we see certain family members is when the calendar says it's time to have that traditional Thanksgiving feast. The rest of the year it's busy lives, busy schedules, and not much attempt at catching up with those with common blood. I always enjoy getting together with family, don't get me wrong, it's just curious why we only get together on "special occasions". The usual weddings (if everyone makes it), funerals (if it's someone that you were close to), or Thanksgiving.

I guess that Thanksgiving is the easiest holiday to share with family. You don't have to worry about foiling the traditions you might have with your immediate family, like you would have on Christmas (which also means fewer gifts to give). Nor would you need to worry about religious views, on those controversial holidays like Easter or the non-materialistic Christmas. Some holiday's just don't merit a celebratory gathering, like Groundhog Day, Flag Day, or Arbor Day.... Thanksgiving is a traditional family gathering holiday, I'm assuming for the consumption of copious amount of food.

It's always a bit awkward to get together with people whom you haven't seen in ages, or haven't really communicated with in the past year. It's difficult to catch up with the life details from an entire year, so people tend to generalize. It's easier to tell what you're doing in the present, and if you're not doing anything of notable interest, it's always a pain-staking questioning process to hash out the fact that you're truly not doing anything out of the ordinary.

You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your relatives. It's mystifying how families are connected and feel the need to get together under certain circumstances, and yet how awkward one can feel when they eventually get together. The strange inner-workings of family relationships are sometimes a mystery to me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Prada Pope

I woke up as usual thinking about what I was going to wear today. I have a closet full of "nothing to wear". I try to think about what kind of mood I feel like dressing in each day: classic/conservative? edgy rock? preppy? comfortable? business dress? modern chic?. I turned on the TV to see if the weather was going to play a factor in my ensemble. As I'm standing there, staring intently into my closet, waiting for the unreliable weather-man to come on, I heard a fashion bit of some interest. The Pope wears Prada and Gucci!!!

Everyone was saying what a shock this was. Is it really a shock? I say good for him, (and might I add that he has excellent taste in
footwear, and eye-wear). What's wrong with a person of his stature wanting to be a little fashionable? Everyone with a prominent name, no doubt spends much more on fashion than Pope Benedict XVI. Let him wear what he pleases on his feet and face, he doesn't parade around in designer jeans, or Armani suits. Instead he's required to wear a modest robe. (If you notice in the picture, you can see his red Prada's.)

What shoes would be better suited for a pope?
These? or these? I think he did very well in choosing his Prada loafers. And who's to say that he even chose them himself? Maybe he went out one afternoon looking for some nice loafers, and found himself outside the Prada store. Either way, I don't think it's the scandal that others make it out to be. I celebrate you Pope Benedict XVI. May you continue living as you do, a great man.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ode To Pasta And Cheese

I feel inspired to write an ode (watch out Dr. Seuss!) to one of my favorite foods, after just having finished a big plateful for second-dinner. It's true, my eating habits could be compared to that of a Hobbit.

My Ode to
Pasta and Cheese

Oh Pasta, oh cheese,
on my buds you do tease.
How I love you,
my, what you do,
on a plate, or in stew.

I eat it all the time,
whenever the clock chimes,
morning, noon, and night,
I'll always take a bite.

It's the best combo made,
any meal I would trade,
for this decadent dish,
that tastes so delish.

You must try it out,
it'll cause you to shout,
if you try it one time,
it'll make your meal prime,
you may start to rhyme!

So give it a try,
and you'll ask yourself why,
you've lived without this!
this heavenly bliss.

You'll be happy you did,
you'll eat it amid,
any meal that you please,
you are my main squeeze,
oh pasta oh cheese.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

T-Wolves Social Hour

Last night I went to my first Timberwolves game, curtosy of David Strom. We had great seats, and saw a lot of high rollers. However, the atmosphere was completely different than the Twin's games that I'm used to. Every girl there was decked out in trendy clothes and heels, the guys in button-ups, slacks, and loafers! It seemed more like a social gathering than a crowd of fans. The Timberwolves won without any trouble, or any real action. It was a rather uneventful game. No nail-biting moments, no extrodinary shots, no riots in the crowd... maybe the fans didn't consume enough beer.

There were many distractions from the game. You could literally sit there the entirety of the game and never actually focus on the court. There was hip hop music blaring, half-naked cheerleaders in dominatrix outfits wiggling about, and not to mention Crunch with his gun-shot like drum. There was lots of "people-watching" to be done as well. We were close enough to the court to watch the inter-workings of the rich socialites. At a Twins game, if you have great seats, you're close enough to shout words of encouragement that will actually be heard. If you have great seats at a basketball game, you get your hotdogs brought to you on a platter. You may think I'm kidding, but I assure you, I saw it with my own eyes. You have a little waiter that brings your decadent nachos, weiners and soda pop. Talk about a classy event...

It was a unique experience. If all the club music and Crunch's gun-shot drum had all stopped, it would've been a very quiet game. Whatever happened to cheerleaders that yelled words of encouragement. There were 2 "cheering" (aka slinking/wiggling) right behind me, and I couldn't hear them at all. Obviously the cheerleaders were chosen for something other than their vocal ability. However, nobody sitting around us talked to each other either. It was almost eerie. Is going to a basketball game more similar to going to a posh party to see other faces, and to be seen? What is it about basketball that brings these types of socialites to mix and mingle with us commoners, as opposed to other sporting events?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Movie Theatre Etiquette

I went to the movie Harry Potter last night, for the midnight showing. Foolish? Yes. A 12:01 start time for a 2-1/2 hour long movie on a week night? Have I lost my mind? Have I ventured into my youth once more? No, I just really like Harry Potter. This movie was spectacular! I was scared, I cried (lip quiver and all) and I laughed. It was just a great movie.

I went to the showing on a whim with my roommate, who is also a hard core fan. We tried to predict what the general audience would be at a midnight showing. We imagined it would be spontaneous 20-somethings on up, that are die hard Harry Potter fans. We showed up to the movie theatre about an hour early to ensure a good seat. To our dismay, the "Ultra Screen" was sold out. So, we opted for the regular theatre. As we walked in, there was a vast wasteland of high schoolers cluttering the aisles and laying on the ground, something an OCD person such as myself, would never even dream of doing. We find our seats away from the large clusters, and take them. Then in walks a mom with her little boy, no more than 8 years old, and a BABY, yes folks, a BABY! I couldn't believe my eyes. Who bring someone under the age of 20 to a midnight showing on a week night?

The movie itself was great. That's all I'll say in case ya'll haven't seen it yet. However, the couple sitting right next to me did not practice the proper etiquette. I think this etiquette pertains to all, closed area, people populated, situations. When they initially sat down she (the woman sitting next to me) immediately wedged her arm onto the arm rest and oozed over into my side. Then she was jostling and making other large movements, so that she could cuddle up to her date. Eventually everyone settled down and became engrossed in the movie. Then after a few minutes, I smelled something rather foul. Yes friends, it was the couple next to me. For whatever reason, they neglected to use deodorant that day. It became so foul smelling that I sneezed uncontrollably because the stench was singeing my nose. There are rules folks! As we all follow in choir, no strong smelling scents (perfume, or otherwise), do not disrupt others, and ALWAYS wear deodorant to ensure the breathing of those around you. It became so distracting that I ended up putting my mittens over my nose. As I was leaning over to do the discrete mitten-over-the-nose, I smelled the man in front of me, who obviously had a few packs of cigarettes before the movie, and took it upon himself to bath in man-spray. I couldn't take it. My eyes were watering, my nose was burning, and I was starting to black out from the smell.

So, with my examples, please always follow the rules in public places.
1) Do not disrupt people when they are clearly involved in something else.
2) Do not heavily smoke, and then try to mask the smell by drenching yourself in a horrible smelling body spray.
3) Do not invade other people's personal spaces, especially when you're in tight quarters.
4) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wear deodorant.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Good Ol' Gary

Well, I met good ol' Garrison Keiller tonight. He sat in our rehearsal to listen to his arrangements for the afore mentioned concert. It was interesting... ok. I won't try and be tactful, because let's face it, it's not one of my strong suits. Garrison was all business and nothing but. He never smiled, AT ALL. One would think with the humorous lyrics, and the general demeanor of the ensemble that a person couldn't help but smile. Not the case tonight for Gar-Gar.

His lyrics have a light-hearted (clean) wit about them that just makes you chuckle. From "Black is the Color of My Loves Toast" to the "Thanksgiving Song" with the choir's words of thanks. It's a refreshing change from the usual KDWB/MTV pop songs that surround you (and frankly cause deafness) in every store. Maybe it's my old age showing through again...

There are posters for advertising (or the back seat of my car) for each show that we do. I had never seen a photo of Garrison Keiller (yes, I feel the need to call him by his full name), so I checked out the mysterious radio personality. I noticed in the poster that he was rather harsh looking, which is the opposite of his grandfather-like voice. I also couldn't help but notice his footwear, but before I made it down to the shoes that undoubtedly serve an orthopedic purpose, his RED socks hit my eyes like a glaucoma test. Red?! But he's wearing all neutral colors, and he doesn't work at Target! Well friends, tonight, Mr. Garrison Keiller also wore the same RED socks. I also want to say he had the same clothes on as he did in the poster, but I don't want to be too presumptuous. His RED socks were taking the stage. It was just too much... I stared. I couldn't help it. Does he only own RED socks? Does he have an affinity for having RED on his feet? What's with the Red I ask you. Did I not get the memo that RED socks are now in?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rubbing Elbows

I look forward to tonight, another rehearsal with the wonderful choir of Vocal Essence. Garrison Keiller is going to be there tongiht, with personalized arrangements of familiar tunes, to be performed at the "We Gather Together" concert. I've never met him before, but rumor has it, he's one unique individual. I look forward to meeting him. So, tonight should provide me with an interesting post, or not so interesting... it all depends upon good old Garrison. The pressure's on!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Something New

I thought I'd try something new to add sanity to my world. A blog. We'll see how this relationship works out. As with journal type things, I usually go hog wild in the beginning, and then as the newness depletes, it heads towards the back of the closet. I literally have journals that have 4 entries in them, each about a year and a half apart stating (4 times) that I promise to write more in the future. Although, now I think this blog has potential. Who has the time (or the legible script) anymore to write in a pink diary with a lock that you can snap open like a pop can? Surely not I. My life is too busy, and I'm too old (at a staggering 23) to keep one up. So, here begins my rants and aimless rambling as a blogger. I never thought I'd see the day.