Saturday, December 23, 2006

Homeless Diabetic

Now I'm not one to mock the homeless, I do realize their grave situation, but sometimes they amuse me... when they're not scary.

When I was young we took a trip to New York city to visit relatives, and the homeless were rather
persistent. They would follow me and talk inside my personal space asking if I had any money. I was 8, like I had any money on me. Well, scratch that, I had saved up to buy a packet of color changing markers. But because I'm selfish I supported my coloring fantasy, and ignored the dreams of others for food, clothing, or booze. Plus, they scared me.

Then there's the famous
lady of the night that Claire and I always saw outside the Brueggers in Colorado Springs. She looked like she got in a battle with a cat and won, then wore it's pelt on her head as a trophy. But that paled compared to her fabulous makeup job. Well, her tattered hoochie clothes with the ripped stockings were also competing for attention. The fact that she was probably in her late 90s didn't help either. I couldn't help but shutter as I thought of which poor desperate man that would enlist her "services". Blech.

My most recent encounter was yesterday at a bus stop in St. Paul. I'm waiting at a stop that has a rather diverse collection of riders. None of them are sketchy. So, I'm standing for what seems like 50 minutes behind some Muslim women who are chattering with each other in a rapid cadence. Then along comes a chubby guy who looks like that high school-aged lost soul who once was a band geek, but decided his social stature would be greatly increased if he greased his hair and wore black clothes with an unnecessary amount of fasteners on them. He of course still has the geeky looking face, and the glasses (they always have glasses, wouldn't they do better with contacts?) and the timid shuffle of their walk. He comes and asks the Muslim women if they could spare any change for a homeless diabetic. They looked nervously at each other and started chattering even faster and clustered closer to each other. I think that they didn't have a clue what he said. Then since I'm standing behind the mob of draped women, he tries to wedge between them over to me, and asks me if I had any spare change for a homeless diabetic. I shake my head, because I only had enough for my bus fare. So, I wasn't actually lying, I was just being selfish because I didn't want to end up a homeless
hypoglycemic. Does he actually think that he's going to get money? Why is he out there. Not to be cynical, but he seriously looked like his mother would be standing outside with a mug of hot chocolate and a cloth to polish off his glasses. He was well dressed, articulated his needs in a coherent manner, and he didn't smell.

I'm baffled.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Snow Snow Snow!

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow
(ok so granted we already got some, but not enough to
wash with)

I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow

(I could actually do without the lifting of the snow)
Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow

Where it's snowing
All winter through
That's where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That's what I'll do
How I'm longing to ski
Through the snow-oh-oh-oh-oh


Those glist'ning houses that seem to be built of snow

(ah, perhaps they are made out of snow)
Oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

What is Christmas with no snow

(a very sad Christmas indeed)
No white Christmas with no snow

I'll soon be there with snow
I'll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I'll build a man that's made of snow
I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow

Yay! I hope more snow is on the way! I love it!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Mariah

I'm far too obsessed with the Mariah Carey Christmas CD. It's been going on for years, but I've finally come to terms that it's unhealthy. I need to stop... next year.

All I want for Christmaaaaaas is youuuuuuuu!

Listen and you'll love it too. It's my addiction, far stronger than any drug.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Time Is The Enemy

It's the last day of my first week at my new job. Wow... you know Joe, he's the second cousin of your mom's friend's daughter's husband's sisters friend. Nevermind. I thought they sounded the same. Which perfectly clarifies my week. What?

Anyway, so I got the bus thing down without a hitch, and actually found out that I can get picked up at a far less sketchy bus stop right outside of my building. Woo! The first day was a little intense waiting at the other bus stop for 4 score and 7 years. Many a lost soul ended up mumbling something at me. I pretended I was deaf.

On to the job. I like it so far... not really much for me to do seeing as I don't have my own computer yet. I have a temporary laptop that's older than
Joan Rivers. So, I can't be on the server, I can't join the rest of the company in the 21 century, and I can't open any of their applications/software. Oh well. Maybe next week.

Getting up early is a real bugger. I am not a morning person, I never have been, and I never will. I was always the last kid up on Christmas morning, and grumpy because my sister bounded into my room at the ungodly hour of 7am on the dot (our parents made the rule of no Christmas before 7am, otherwise I'm pretty sure I would've been accosted at 4am). Then I tried to take that 8am class at college thinking that I would force myself into being a morning person after all these years of torture, I just ended up just not showing up on non-exam days. And now, I'm out the door by 6:20am, and into work by 7:20 (my boss is one of those morning people). I'm ready to die.

I thought if I started so early that I would have the whole day ahead of me, and I could push my day closer and closer to the desired 21 hours of productivity. Alas, it hasn't happened. I'm up, I'm out, I'm home, I'm busy, and I'm off to bed. I leave earlier than I ever have in my life, and yet my bills are overdue, the house is a mess, and I've got more luggage under my eyes than Samsonite. How does that happen? And how does that happen on a week free of choir rehearsals, and teaching? I think the universe has been

But I am alive. And as a caring holiday gesture, grab me a
luggage trolley for my eye bags if you happen to see me. Thanks. I'll owe you one.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bumbling Busser

Well that was a disaster.

So, we wait out in the cold for a while at the park and ride, and I ask the first bus to make sure it was the right one. (See previous post for the mind boggling bus schedule.) It wasn't. So we wait some more, and then all these people come out of nowhere to get on the bus. Oh, the smart people that wait in their cars at 6:30am until the bus actually shows up. Yes, thoooose people.

So we hop on the bus, and it's not a bad ride at all, until we get to St. Paul. On the schedule it says there's only one stop in St. Paul. So, I just sit and wait, but then there's cords being pulled and a red sign saying "stop requested" flashing up and random people getting off. What?!?! I have to pull the cord? I thought it only had one stop! Who can see where we are when it's still black out and all the lights are on in the bus!! So, when it stops at a pavilion and lots of people start getting off, I got caught up in the masses and exited the bus. Hmmm I think. This is not where I intended to be. I am severely directionally impaired and probably couldn't find my way out of a paper bag. So we stop and think. And ah ha! We see the bus depot at our pick up spot. We have 15 minutes, and we have plenty of time to spare. So we wait and wait in the bile smelling building. Then it's time for the bus arrival and we still don't see it. I look at my printed out directions again, and oops, we've been waiting at the wrong stop! Dah!

I really felt like I was back in the grade school. We huddle together trying to decide who's parent we can call to come and pick us up because we missed the bussy wussy. After we make the call, I thought I would make a run to my new office to see where it was in relation to the bus stops. Yeah. 20 minutes later I finally find it after walking to the ends of the earth and back, and then back around. We decide to hit up the McDonalds for some coffee. I tunnel vision my way straight past the homeless man, and to the register where I have to charge my nickle coffee. Mmmm caffeine. As we walk out, my haze clears, and I realize that there's a Caribou right in front of us. I kick myself for getting my 2 cent coffee, and then splurge and get a 83 dollar coffee at the 'boo.

Lesson to the story? Rachel can not function without coffee. Not even enough to see her Mecca calling to her right in front of her face. Lesson learned.

Trial run #2 set for Saturday.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's My Last Day!

I'm bursting with desire to dance down the halls and shout, "I'm free!! See ya' sucka's!!" But I can't. I just can't. I didn't wear the right shoes. Damn!

I've been trying to figure out this whole bus route thing for the past couple days, and man, all I can say is I'm glad I'm doing a practice run tomorrow. Sure I have to get up earlier than I ever have in my entire life, but I'm going to have to get up at that time every day from now on. (God help me. No, seriously, help.)

So, I've opted to take the bus everyday. Everyone seems to rave about it. And I think I like the idea of someone else battling rush hour for me. (Plus, I can't drive on the shoulder, always wanted to, but never did. Now is my chance!) So, I call the lovely people at the bus company, because they're website is as clear as mud. It has 2 pick-up times on the same route at the location I want to get on. Apparently it's for people who want to drive all the way to Stillwater, just to get on a bus and take it into a different part of Stillwater. I have no doubt that some people do it, there's crazies all over this world, but I am going to catch the same bus a half hour later (at the same spot) and coast my way into the crawling city.

So, I call and I call (in hopes of getting a second, third, fourth opinion that surely will surpass the previous in clarity) and none of them really make sense. Especially when my question is answered. So, I shall explain my confusion... and then the confusing answer. There are 2 buses arriving 2 minutes apart from each other (sounds like a math test) at 6:30. I need to catch the one that's already done its loop around the rest of Stillwater, and is headed for St. Paul. I don't want to get on the other one that's picking up for the first time and is heading towards the rest of Stillwater. So, I ask how I can tell if I'm getting on the right bus. I was thinking one would say "A" or "B" on their flashy pimp boards overhead. But, no. Apparently I have to ask every morning of my life if I'm getting on the right one. The buses are identical and so is their light board sign of no help. So I ask the customer service man if it's the same driver so that I don't have to hold up all the morning crankies by asking the driver to hold my hand and make my lunch every day. Apparently no. Not a good assumption to make because the drivers change. Suck-ola. So tomorrow I could be stranded, wandering aimlessly through the streets of St. Paul if I miss my return bus 15 minutes after my drop off.

I am one special gal. A gal with no clue about public transportation. I'm embarking on more than one new adventure next week. I could end up in a neighborhood near you!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

What's Behind Door Number 3?

A neeeeeeeeew joooooob!!

I'm very excited. I have just accepted (as of this past Tuesday) a new job!! I can't wait! I will have to commute to St. Paul with the masses, but it'll be worth it. Extremely worth it.

Yesterday I turned in my resignation at my current employer. The wheels of change are turning, and I like it! I realized that I had never actually quit a job before. All my previous jobs were with the understanding that I would be leaving at the end of the summer, or when I graduated from school. My first job, gave me a lot of my employment firsts. I asked for raises, I received my first Christmas bonuses, I had to settle an office dispute, I received a promotion, I moved departments within a company, and I quit. Well, I guess I had asked for a raise once before back in middle school for babysitting... but I never received a W2 for that.

Despite all my firsts, I had to use all self restraint from dancing down the halls and yelling "see ya' sucka's!". However no one can predict what might happen on my final day. ;-)

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Space or No Space

I'm talking to yet another friend who is obsessed with myspace. What is all the hype about this site? I've tried to "check it out", and I'm overwhelmed and feel completely computer illiterate. So tonight I figured if I just signed up with the darn online cult that I could figure it out that way.

So, after I'm done filling out my age, height, weight, favorite color, mother's maiden name, father's first pet, my worst grade, shoe size, and the color of my
pantaloons, I finally come to the exciting clickable "sign me up" box. Whew! It's about time! My fingers have been typed down to the nubs and my eyes are now blind from the glow of the screen.

I click the stupid box, and what do I see? The data you have entered indicates you are not eligible to register on myspace.
What the *$&%?!?! How can I not be eligible to register? Did my nail polish color offend them? Did they not like the name I chose for my unborn child? What could I have filled in on that form that would possibly deem me ineligible?

Stupid myspace.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Locks Of Love Or Terrible Tresses?

Today's the day. I'm spending a small fortune on my stick straight hair, to make it curly. I'm terrified. It could be disastrous. I could be left like Sexy Cleopatra from Goldmember, and without a penny to my name. Hopefully it will turn out like this: You know, only without the red...

But I figure if Sandra Oh can do it, darn it! so can I!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Truffle Shuffle

I just had the best 2 hours of my life!! I went to go see Goonies on the UltraScreen. They're showing one "old" movie a month on one day at one time. Last month it was Indiana Jones, and this month it was Goonies!!!

This movie was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. Oh, who am I kidding? It's still one of my favorite movies. I hadn't seen Goonies in probably 10 years. What a dark time that was. Tonight the black cloud was lifted. I had 114 minutes of pure enjoyment.

It's funny how you remember certain things about the movie when you watched it as a kid, and then when you finally see it again, it's like a whole new movie. I was not the biggest Goonies fan in the audience, and I'm for sure not the biggest fan in the world, but some people are.... and those people post in Wikipedia. The write about the Truffle Shuffle. Oh yes, the Truffle Shuffle.
So to leave you as I blissfully slumber (it was an 8 o'clock start time! Far to late for this bag of bones!), I will leave with you with some quotes from Goonies.

the Fratellis are interrogating Chunk]
Francis Fratelli: Tell us everything! Everything!
Chunk: Everything. OK! I'll talk! In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max's toupee and I glued it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog... When my mom sent me to the summer camp for fat kids and then they served lunch I got nuts and I pigged out and they kicked me out... But the worst thing I ever done - I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.
Jake Fratelli: I'm beginning to like this kid, Ma!
Mama Fratelli: [tired of Chunk's stalling] Hit puree!


Brandon Walsh: I'm gonna hit you so hard that when you wake up your clothes will be out of style!


Chunk: [Data comes flying into the house knocking over everyone and Chunk grabs the statue of Michaelangelo's David] Hey! I bet you guys think I was going to drop it huh? But you wouldn't expect that from good ol Chunk [Places the statue on the table and it falls off]
Brandon Walsh: You Idiot!
Mikey: Oh my god! [runs over and picks up the statue]
Chunk: Look look! It's not broken. It's perfect! Ha ha!
Mikey: [sees that the statue's penis has broken off] Oh my GOD! That's my mom's most favorite piece! [tries to put it back on]
Chunk: Oh my god.
Mouth: You wouldn't be here if it wasn't.
Mikey: Shut up Mouth!
Brandon Walsh: Shut up Mouth.

Sloth : Hey, you guys!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Votes For All!

I'm at Vocal Essence rehearsal making the typical last minute phone call to my mom.

"You want to come to the Christmas concert?"

"Of course. What are the dates?"

"Um, December, but I gotta know right now ma, I have to go, and it's due today."

"But your dad's out of town, and I don't know if he'll be in.."

"Ma, I'll just get you 4 tickets, I gotta go. Oh, but did you vote?"

"No, but I still might, because all the good ones are left."

"It's kind of late, you only have like 20 minutes left."

"Well, I might later, because that Mario is so cute."

"Mom! Are you talking about voting for Dancing With The Stars? I meant the election!"

"Oh yeah, already went. Mario's on."


Hahaha, that's my mom. I love her.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Who Will Buy This Beautiful Morning

What a beautiful morning! (And I say this without even a glance outside.) But the various clips running through my head from Oliver, Oklahoma, and Annie Get Your Gun, tell me it's a great day. It's just a great morning, because I got to sleep in!! You don't know what a change that is for me. To actually be able to have time to sleep?!?! Impossible you say! You've never seen a chicken with their head cut off sleep in? Well folks, today is your lucky day! I have officially slept in, and it's grand. Ah,the simple pleasures in life.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I'm Back In Business

How could it be, that I've gone without posting for so long?

I've missed you all, my dear, dear friends... or random people who apparently get led here by way of an image search for Depends. In any case, I'm back, and ready to rock.

I finally have internet in my home, as of today. So many sites have been blocked at work, I felt like I was in a cold dark abyss without a hint of light. Or it could have just been because I've been swamped at work, and I work in a little cube inside a bomb shelter with only one window....

In any case, now that I have a connection to the outside world other than my trek to and from work, rehearsal, and performances, I can blog at will. And blog I will!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wall Flower

People thought I was out of the woodwork, but they were sadly mistaken! I'm back into the woodwork with a vengeance. Every day I've been in the woodwork, the wall, the counters, the carpets.

As of last Thursday, I am officially a home owner. So, all of my time has been consumed by getting the home stuff ready, preparing to move, and creating a plan in my head that can only be accomplished by a team of 732.

The house we now own is in a quiet neighborhood in Stillwater. The house is spacious, the neighborhood is quiet, and it has a sauna! What? Huh? No! Oh yes, our house has a sauna. It may have a sauna, but the rest of the house hasn't been touched (literally) in about 7 years. I take that back, the walls, counters, switch plates, doors, trim, ceilings, glass, sinks, showers, and rugs have been touched with many things... but NONE of those things involved a soap or cleaning solvent of any kind. The state of grime that this house had is definitely in my top three "worst case scenarios".

Our count down has begun (T minus 3 days!) for painting every possible surface of the house, and cleaning everything we can't paint... but I'm beginning to think it might never get done. I can just see it now.

*6 months from now*
Rachel is 89 pounds and bald wearing bits of rags attached to her body where the bleach, CLR, soft scrub, 409, and comet, (that she so cherishes) has eaten away her skin, still scrubbing the cabinets and floors with bloody nubs that once resembled fingers.... and yet, she's happy.

I must say, I'm glad we're painting every single wall in the entire house, otherwise that scene could happen much sooner than 6 months.

The end is not any where near. If you think it will get done with time... you don't know me very well, and you definitely haven't seen "the book".

So if I'm MIA for awhile, you know what I'm doing.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Anything But Clay!

I'm worried for my health and for the health of others. I can no longer take it!!!

I can not stand here any longer knowing that Clay's creepy face is floating about my website. What if some small child decides to check out some blogs pertaining to opera? or my life? or my opera life? It's something nobody should have to see.

So does this mean I'll have multiple posts everyday for the next week to rid my site from his androidian face? Bah, no! It means I'll throw a long string of pictures up until the Ice Queen is all the way at the bottom. (Just in case someone wants to gaze at his face adoringly... it'll still be there. Chad - I know that you only read my blog because Mr. Sexy's Cyborg mug is up here.)

So, what could be better to wash off that icky feeling of seeing something so hideous you can't look away?

Puppies! Here are some pics from the home-front.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

Have droids come into our lives already? Or machine body doubles? I give you an example:

We used to know and love (or hate) him as the Southern nerdy boy from American Idol. He was the one that Simon said should be on Broadway because of his flaming.... err...because of his voice.

He did better at the start of his career than Ruben did, and he actually won American Idol.

He got a little make-over on the show, and proved to everyone that little Southern boys can clean up with a bit of hair dye and a team of 30.

Then for his Christmas CD he looked a little cryogenically frozen. Maybe they frosted his tips a little too much? In any case, he was still a pretty big hit with the youngens. And the oldies still wanted to hit him. I will say that he looks a little plumper in this icy pic. Perhaps a little padding for the winter?

Or maybe he's hit puberty!

Then as just as quick as his career rose and fell, he once AGAIN sheds his "look" and is now sporting a look even more plastic look than:

Joan Rivers?

Melanie Griffith?

Kathy Griffin?

Dolly Parton?

I think the closest match is between either
Data or Ken.

I'll leave the final cast of judgment up to you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What Happened?

I'm not talking about my lack of blogging. Although, it's almost becoming indecent. Blame that on the work load. 25 hours, and it's only Tuesday. Anyway, I just had to drop a quick post.

Whilst watching CSPAN (something I try not to make a habit of). I see Cynthia McKinney speaking. I wasn't really listening to what she was saying. I was too distracted by the thing above her. Not too long ago, she was sleek and professional looking with this do'.
However, tonight she looked like ...
It looks she accidentally dropped a metal brillo pad down the running kitchen sink disposal and fished it out with a salad tongs, and stuck it on her head.

Some one, please help this woman.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday Surprise

If you get the Pioneer Press, turn to page 4B and you will see a surprise on the bottom half of the page! Teehee

I'm off to spend a day singing at lessons, and the Vocal Essence Gala. More to come.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Unadulterated Loathing

I'm finally out of that god forsaken place! I'm so happy I could cry. Of course, I couldn't get out with one last evil check mark on my "I hate Parkside Apartments" list.

I spent all of Saturday moving out what was left. It was such a lovely day with a combination of drizzle, rain, and down pours. I'm positive Parkside planned it that way, just to make moving miserable. Well, with the help of my family, we got everything out. We scoured the place and called it a day.

We couldn't check out of the apartment on Saturday because Tami (possibly Satan's spawn?) was out of town. However, the person answering made it clear that even though we couldn't check out until Monday, we HAD to be moved out by Sunday noon. What, were they going to check? I think not. Regardless, I was happy to be out of there ASAP. So, our walk-through was at 8am Monday morning. Yay.

So, Kevy drives over from Minneapolis, and we're both there in plenty of time. We wait in the apartment (as instructed from another office employee), and 8:15 rolls around. So, I give dear old Tami a call and remind her that we have an appointment at 8. Then in her demure manner she says, "Oh, well, some people choose to come over to the office." So I ask her if she would prefer that, because we were told to stay in the apartment (seeing as that's where we would need to be anyway!), and she says she's on her way.

As the angel walks in with her 2 lackeys (all wearing their shoes) she proceeds to slam open all the cupboards and drawers. She informs us in the nicest way, "There are crumbs in this drawer!" Could that be? It's a drawer lady! So we clean out the expensive crumbs from the drawer and re-wipe down the fridge. Then she tells us that we need to clean the windows because they're dirty. So we look, and not the inside of the windows, no no no, the outside of the windows. OK, so this is my first apartment and all, but is it part of the security deposit requirement to clean the windows from the outside? Apparently here it is. So we said we didn't know that we had to clean the outside of the windows. So she pleasantly says "That's why they pop out! To clean them!" At this point I picture popping out the window, and then slamming it over her head. She just made everything so pleasant to deal with.

I'm done! And I never have to think about that place again!

Narcolepsy At Its Finest

I could topple off of my chair at any moment, but I've been kept away from my blog for too long. Must blog, must blog, need to blog. zzzzz

What a whirl-wind past week this has been! I'll try to piece together all that has happened, but with the narcolepsy and my old age, it could be a little spotty. So, I'll write in pieces to make it through everything. Here goes!

I think I have a problem.

My name is Rachel, and I'm addicted to caffeine.

I always thought, this couldn't happen to me. I come from a good family, I have a strong education, and darn it, people like me!

It's sad, but true. I suppose it doesn't help that I have a pint sized mug that says CAFFEINATED up the side. BUT! I only use that on severely desperate days. (I think I still might be in the 'excuse' phase of rehab.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Migration Continues

Does moving ever cease? I could never be an ant, because all they do is move! Or maybe we're more similar than I realize. Ants move constantly to put their dirt pieces in the perfect place... I'm moving constantly and I'm OCD, so everything has to be in the perfect place too.... Too bad I can't lift 20 times my body weight. That would make moving a whole lot quicker.

So, I'm still en route to my parents house with boxes. It's been 2 WEEKS of moving, and now I'm halfway into the third. However when you live on the third floor of an apartment, and are schlepping your junk to the top floor of another residence, and you're doing it all yourself, it's slower than a crock pot set on low! Wait, do you hear that? Ah yes, the strings are playing. But come on people!

I don't have that big of a car (pretty pie yes, big no) but my the time I load it all up, and drive the 5 minutes to my new temporary residence and unload it, it takes a good hour and a half. And folks, I'm booking it. Whoever said that slow and steady wins the race, lied! That hare just didn't have stamina. I'm about ready to give up and just wait until I have help. Bah, who am I kidding? I'll sacrifice my dinner, time, and life just to get it done with. I will prevail!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Another Win/Loss/Win

I ventured out to Keagan's the other night for another game of trivia. The questions were on the vague side, but we came out with the highest score! Only to be disqualified... AGAIN!

I have to stop going to trivia, my appearances have resulted in a disqualification, both times. Don't they know that I'm only a hindrance to the team? I shoot down right answers, I blurt out wrong ones. I'm such an asset, it's a mystery why they still let me tag along.

Well, in any case, we got our names entered into the drawing. I'm not sure for what drawing. Another trip to Boston? Who cares, a trip anywhere would make me a happy camper. And the charming Sam Adams man gave us a round of beer. I had the light. I'm not a beer drinker, at all, but this was more than tolerable. I would even go as far as to say, it wasn't bad at all. St. Paul and Atomizer had the black. Blech. Too much beer for me. I like the beer that you can hardly tell if it's beer or water. I better stick to the tasty hard stuff.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable night. Lots of friendly faces, and sympathetic looks. ;-)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Friends and Fried Okra

Last Friday a group gathered at Dixie's to celebrate Cathy's birthday. It was full of laughter, tons of food, and friends.

For some good Southern cooking, Dixie's is where you go. Abbie got the fried okra. Barf. I hate fried okra, but to be fair I tried it again. Yeah, still hated it. Everyone else said it had no taste. Are they crack? The texture alone is enough to send you running to the nearest
spittoon. I mean look at it! There is no possible way that people could find this appetizing. (Sorry Abbie, I have to include you and the entire south in this.)

It's just not a quality dish. I'll go as far to say that I actually enjoy some grits (with butter and brown sugar), but there are certain foods that I just won't eat. Fried okra, collard greens, and tainted fruit. I just can't do it. Sorry to those of you who like them... I'm not envious in the least. Blech.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Silly Me!

Doesn't everyone know the inner details of my life? Blast!

Well, as regards to my last post, I realize that I wrote short hand.... which I will do again, but just getting down to the point.

My fiance - you may know his as Saint Paul from
Fraters Libertas

The wedding date - August '07 (I'll say the third weekend, but I suppose I should firm that up with the other party involved)

Yup, I think that's all the necessary details!

I'm kidding, I'll post more later, but it's too beautiful a day to go sit inside a cubicle with one window that's blocked by cubicles, that I have to run.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Busy Bee

Well, so much to write about. This past week has been a whirl-wind. So much to tell, some of it good news and some of it bad news. I'll start with the bad... better to end on a high note.

I was meeting with Larry again for our few and far between lesson, and I found out that U of M did not accept me into their masters program. Bummer! So, that means no grad school for Rachel for another year.

After I stopped flogging myself, I thought, that's it, I need to make some big changes that will set me on the straight and narrow toward opera diva-hood. I don't want to have a life of "if I had done ___ then I could've done ___". So, I'm taking on a new approach.

Big changes are in the wind. I need to buckle down and practice like I really want it. No more once every other week practice sessions. I refuse to be busy every waking hour of the day. It's time to take some time to improve the future.


As for the good news.... I'M ENGAGED! Can you believe it?!?! I can't!
(For the ladies, the pictures of the ring are below.)

Friday, March 31, 2006

I'm Heated... But Not Literally!

My heat in my apartment is out... AGAIN! What, you say? It couldn't possibly be out again. Alas my friends, it is. Out like a gay man on Broadway. That's how out it is.

I think that my heat has been off longer than it's actually been on. We're rounding on count #9 for the heat to be out, and #3 for different maintenance men.

Supposedly it was going to be fixed during the day today... we shall see. It always makes me a little nervous when there's strangers in my apartment. Good thing I don't have anything valuable in there. I have my iPod in my pocket, and my computer at my side. And all my Coach purses are already packed away.

I can't wait to get out of my place, where hell freezes over.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rehearsal - Work - Nap

Well, rehearsals are going pretty well... OK so we hit a little hitch yesterday with the orchestra. You can't hear the choir at all. Other than that, it went swimmingly. Tonight we will get a new arrangement, and hopefully all will be dandy.

I'm struggling through my day trying to keep awake. I'm using every method possible. Eight cups of coffee along with 2 Mountain Dew's and a slap to the face, dousing my face in cold water, sticking myself with needles, and propping my eyes open with toothpicks. All the usual stuff.

Nothing is working! The coffee/Dew has only made me a narcoleptic with spontaneous seizures, and the cold water makes me look even more like death, and now I'm bloody from the needles and I have splinters in my eyelids from the toothpicks.

I feel like I'm permanently trapped in the
Salvador Dali picture with all the drooping clocks. My eyeballs are resting atop my desktop barely able to peek up at the brightly lit computer screen.

Will anything save my from my fatigue? I suppose that I could stop burning the midnight oil playing with my new gadgets, but they're too fun, so that's not an option...

However! Despite my lethargy, I will be animated and full-steam-ahead for the performances. Funny how that always works out that way.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pocket Conductor

There is the cutest little man ever! He's directing our Israel in Egypt concerts. His energy is only surpassed by his love of music. When he directs, you can't help but get caught up in the music. He's so expressive without being distracting. It's a realy great honor to sing for him.

He has many ways of expressing himself. Ali wrote down some things that he said, but they were just classic. As odd and off the wal as they were, they still made complete sense. One of those times where you laugh because his analogy is so random, yet you couldn't have thought of a better way to put it.

I tell you folks, this is going to be a great concert.

Despite these gruelling long rehearsals every day and evening this week, it'll be an amazing performance each nights.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Christmas Come Early

It's Christmas come early! Or my graduation present come 3 years late, but in any case...I'm so excited!

My new MacBookPro came the other day!! Now I can actually set use my new iPod that's just been sitting on my desk! Wahoo! We got a bunch of those rebate offers, so along with my purdy new laptop, I got a trendy little messenger bag, and a 3-in-1 printer-copier-scanner. We looked at the reviews for it, and apparently it really sucks at scanning... but who cares?!? It was all free! *with about 83 mail in rebates*

Just thought I'd share my exciting news, since that's all I could think or talk about for the past 3 months. Now I shall go into hiding to play with all of my fun new toys. Yippee!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Home Alone

My room-mate has moved completely out. I feel torn about the situation.

On one hand, I will miss having my Kevy around. It will be very empty without him. There will be no more:
~clothing critiques
~cleaning parties.... (well, obvs I'm OCD and there will still be cleaning parties, but now it's just going to be a cleaning party for 1)
~belting out show tunes at random times
~new furniture, kitchen items, glass-ware, decorations, or anything Michael Graves
~fun times with Kevy as my roomie

On the other hand, I'll love being able to go home and actually relax... if I still remember how to do so. For those of you that know my room-mate, he's a little intense.
I won't have to worry about:
~leaving my knitting or magazine out for the time I step away for a minute. I can just leave it there, and it will still be there when I get back!
~not using our kitchen table that's been permanently set for 10 months. Yes friends, I have a kitchen table that was set for 2, but was not to be used. Soooo many questions about that one.
~getting bolted and chained out of the apartment every Saturday morning
~feeling guilty about not continually buying new things for our-already-completely-furnished apartment
~double permit parking in the lot, or arguing that it's my turn (after 6 months)
~having certain friends over
~be able to go to bed without being pressured to go out for a drink, movie, or shopping

I'll miss him, but I think I'll hang in there. *wink wink*

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Another Opening, Another Show

Well folks, I haven't had a performance since February 19, and I didn't see ya'll there. So, here's your chance at redemption (in more ways than one).

I will be performing at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts again. This performance is something everyone should see.
Vocal Essence is performing Israel in Egypt with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. You can order tickets online or call 651-291-1144 to order from the box office.

Israel in Egypt is an amazing choral work. It's an oratorio, which makes its impact and drama heightened. An oratorio is basically an opera, but without all the staging. You can read the libretto in the above link. (It looks long, but it takes about 1 minute to read.) It's a powerful piece of work. Each time I sing it, it stirs something inside. Here's a few clips.

I think that it's very fitting to perform this in the season of Lent. It's a performance that everyone should attend.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rachel Rejected

Well folks, I heard from my first graduate school (NCSA). It was a short and sweet... NO. I figure this letter is something to keep forever... but I threw it out quicker than old chicken. It is my first rejection letter from a school. Luckily I didn't have any from undergraduate applications, so it's high time I started getting some now! I just hope that I'm not 0 for 2. Otherwise, I'm pretty much screwed.

So, bad news for me with a missed opportunity at Fletcher Opera Institute. And bad news for Abbie. (Sorry I won't be out east with you, but you might not be there either!)

Good news for the rest of my friends and fam. I'll be here to fulfill your every need... and by fulfill your every need I mean, move back home with my parents because I'm po'!

Still waiting on the University of Minnesota. Let's hope they don't have the dreaded "cap" again ! Or else I might have to run off on a cruise ship and join the other sea-bound performers.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I hope that you're all out drinking green beer today! (Well, except for JB.) Or that you're wearing green if you're Irish. Or getting kisses.... I'm not sure how the last one came about, but if someone knows, please tell!

As for me, tonight I will be at Keagan's Irish Pub. Me... hanging out with all the Irish. I think I'll blend in. I almost look Irish. South Korean ---- Irish, it's practically the same.

So sláinte to the Irish!

And geonbae wihayeo to the Koreans!

Friday, March 10, 2006

New Things!

I got a new hair cut.

16 inches gone.

I absolutely love it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My Ghetto Life

Like any good suburb kid, I would spend the day pretending I was from da hood. How fun it was to speak, act, and dwell in the ghetto.

Oh, who am I kidding? I do live in the ghetto, my heat has been out no less than 8 times this winter, and my little Geo Prizm got vandalized, and our neighbors aren't exactly upstanding citizens. It's always pleasant to walk down the hall and hear babies crying, people yelling, and smell something of an unknown origin.

Here's our pimpin' ride that we took to school everyday.

We liked to play basketball after school. The grocery cart we stole from the homeless man on the corner worked great for the hoop! Talk about innovative! After we got done shootin' some hoops, we liked to cool off on the boat.
This is the treads I almost got instead of the Mazda3. It was a tough call though.

Here's my favorite shirt, and a good rule to abide by.

I hope that gave you insight into my childhood. It was a fond one.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Loved Player

A sad loss occurred yesterday, Kirby Puckett passed on. He was a great baseball player and had a vitality to life about him, that I never imagined him changing in any way.

Like many, I had all 8876179 different baseball cards of him. He made up the majority of my baseball card collection. Hmm, I wonder what happened to that shoebox... In any case, he was a huge part of my childhood baseball memory. He will be missed.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Possible Narcolepsy

I went over to the parents to have dinner and watch an "exciting" award show. I think that this is the first award show (minus the Tony's) that I've actually planned to sit down and watch. It wasn't my choice, but my parents (and by parents, I mean my Ti-Vo addicted mother) really wanted to watch it, so I succumbed. I suggested that we play a game, or do something fun during it, because usually the awards aren't so fun.

Last night reminded me of why I don't watch those ceremonies. The beginning 5 minutes was
quasi-enjoyable, but then it all went downhill from there.

All the speeches seemed so long and lame. Nobody seemed excited to win, except the schmoes that won best song for the hardships of a pimp. The audience looked like they were bored out of their minds, and I think they kept saying, who is that? There were so many B list stars and under, that they showed
Keira Knightley for like 80 hours! Not that I don't love her, and think she's amazing, but good gracious!

The interviewers were as talented as
slugs. They had no interesting questions to ask, they made everyone feel uncomfortable, (including the viewers) and I wanted to punch them in the face to stop the pain.

The dresses were interesting to watch for about 2 seconds, then... not so much. Some of them were just hideous, nobody looked outrageously beautiful, or hideous. Everyone just played it safe. Although Naomi Watt's dress was particularly hideous. What was she thinking? It looked like someone
gnawed on her dress. Not to mention with the rouching around the waist made her look like she had love handles the size of Antarctica.

Needless to say, with all the excitement going on in the award show, I was passed out on the couch circa 8:30pm. It was that amazing. I think that I'll just stick to my Tony Awards, and save myself the torture.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Trivia At Keagan's

Well folks, I finally went to Keagan's trivia with the Fraters. They're one of a kind, and prized at Keagan's. Prized so much in fact, that they were declared the losers in a tie, because they increased the bar's revenue by adding a couple of guests to sit at their table. Poor saps.

The added guests put in their two cents, but only to be
shot down. They would've won if they had just nodded and wrote it down. So, not only did they end up in a tie situation for not listening, they lost the tie because of their added companions.

In any case, it was fun to see familiar faces again, and catch up with Janelle. Fraters, next time take heed.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Mauer Married?!

I was in a jewelry store the other weekend, and I came across a rather juicy bit of information from a buddy. He told us that Joe Mauer was in there the other day to order a ring. He didn't tell us what kind of ring he ordered, nor did we ask, but he purchased a ring none-the-less.

If that ring turns out to be a diamond, it will be a very sad day for all the ladies of Minnesota that have gone to many a game to gaze adoringly at the handsome catcher. I swear that's not why I go... I'm a Twins *cough cough* (Mauer and Cuddyer) *cough cough* fan, through and through. Even if it doesn't turn out to be a diamond ring, I don't think that little Joe Joe is buying a ring for his mother or sister, so it's just a sad day all around.

I share with you the information that I know, disheartening as it may be.

Hi My Name Is

Slim Shady. Barf. No. I'm kidding.

My new car has a name. I have settled on The Rachel Express.

I'm keeping the "Train" theme, but altering it. So, the pickle is regected 80 million times over. Sorry Shyestviolet and Hammerswing, it was just never meant to be.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Clarification

My new Mazda will NOT be called the pickle. I'm thinking the Rachel Express... developing...

Monday, February 27, 2006


I finally got my new Mazda3i-touring and I love it. Now I just have the insurance, payments, warranty, and transfer of plates, title, and other little stuff like that to take care of. Ha! On the up-side, it's almost done!

The Rachel Train is with Wilbur today, and I'll get her back at the end of the day. Hopefully I will sell her to my sister? Not sure. Either to her or to a complete stranger where it will probably be treated a lot nicer... but shh, I didn't say that.

So now ya'll don't have to read about my trials and tribulations of finding a new car. Now it'll be about selling my old one!

However, at the end of all of this, I will make many vows to my brand spankin' new car that I
didn't make to the Rachel Train.

~ I will never drive you through flooded seas.
~ I will never give you a love bump harder than a squeeze.
~ I will change your oil on a regular basis.
~ I will fix your windshield wipers promptly and not wait 2 years.
~ I will try to keep the hoodlums away from you with your new alarm.
~ I will not leave invaluable CDs inside, so that some punk will come along and rip off your face and mar your beauty.
~ I will not drive you over the canyon that St. Paul calls a road.

So many more promises to make, but I think that covers the basis. I feel pure bliss driving my beauteous new car. :-D Hooray!

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

And by sun... I mean my checkbook. Tomorrow's the day I go talk to the Mazda guy and sign my money away for the next few years. A sad day for the Rachel Train, but a happy time for "unknown".

I'm so very grateful that the hard-balling, and the negotiating, and the option searching is over at last! I can stop making phone calls to different dealerships, loan venues, my insurance guy, and to my dad. I think he stressed out about it far more than I did. That's how you know they care, when they drive you to the precipice of insanity. That's my family. God love 'em.

I hope to have my new car next week. Hopefully I will not agree that "pickle" is a suitable name for it, but only time will tell.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Here Comes.... ?

I'm waiting to make the go-ahead call to John for my new Mazda3i-touring. (Isn't it purdy?) I can't wait! But I'm going to have to. We're checking out a few more financing options and sprucing up the little Rachel Train. Then it's go time!

I've been thinking about what to call my new companion. I don't even know how the Rachel Train came to be. It was always the Rachel Train. It's "all-aboard the Rachel Train" was legendary on the hill of Gustavus. Everyone (who was somebody) got to cruise in my pimped out ride.

People have suggested that I call it the Rachel Train as well, but let's face it, there's something about a pimped out Geo Prizm that can't quite be compared to a Mazda. And the Rachel Train is irreplaceable.

It's quite the pickle.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Million Dollar Baby

Well, I brought my beloved Geo into Wilbur (my mechanic) today to fix the damage that only idiotic hoodlums could have made. My banged in lock. I figured I should get the slightly malfunctioning door handle fixed, since it's already there. To fix the bruised lock is going to cost me another little bundle for the parts. Wilbur can fix the temperamental handle without any parts.

This whole break-in is getting to be quite expensive. (and by quite expensive, I mean look for me in about a week living in a box at the end of the block.) And for what? A half dismembered CD player, and some Broadway/opera CD's. Stupid stupid people!

My hatred for these imbeciles is growing with each passing second. I don't understand the human race. Who would do something like that? Why not break into a car and steal a good CD player, or at least take the part that plays the CD's!? Why would you take something so meaningless to you, and not worth much to pawn shops, when it could mean a lot to someone. Who does that?!

Maybe I'm naive... but I just don't understand some people.

Friday, February 17, 2006

To My Amazing Friends

This is a thank you for those who have taken the time to start replenishing a part of my life that was stolen from me. Rob, Cathy, Abbie, and Brian, how can I ever thank you?

You've burned me CD's that you've had, or given me gift certificates to buy more, or have bought new ones as well. I can't even tell you how much I appreciate it. Music is the heart and soul of my being, and now it's being filled again with love and friendship. You guys are the best.

I love Carmen, and kudos to Rob for getting me a fabulous version of it! (With a little help from a fellow music nerd.) I now have a version of Carmen with Marilyn Horne and the Metropolitan Opera in the
Deutsche Grammophon version. Yessss! And thank you for offering to burn me your collection as well.

Never worry that your friends are mooches, because it'll always be for the best. Karma friends, karma. Thanks to Cathy who burned about 1/3 of all my CD collection last summer (including an irreplaceable CD!) and taking the time to burn me all of them again, and sending them too me, along with some of hers. I can't tell you how grateful I will be to get that wonderful package in the mail.

Thanks to Abbie for offering to let me use her computer to burn CD's, and for coming up with the idea of visiting the local library for some of those rarer CD's. I wouldn't have thought to check them out, but I bet they'll have a lot of my older operas.

To get a gift certificate is great, to get one to one of my favorite stores is too much for words. Thanks Brian for the generous certificate to Applause to continue rebuilding my collection. Now I'll drag you there every night... they're open until midnight!

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone! These gestures really mean a lot to me. I can't tell you enough how grateful I am for your kindness and thoughtfulness. I love you guys.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Car Quest Has Begun

I test drove the 3 cars last night that could possible replace my beloved Rachel Train. I'm looking at the Toyota Corolla CE, the Honda Civic LX, and the Mazda3 i-touring. It's not going to be an easy decision.

I started at Toyota and the
Corolla drove very similarly to my little Geo. I liked the way it felt, and it was a nice ride. However, Toyota consists of packages and add-ons. The car comes with virtually nothing, and you must buy an entire package to add things. I haven't ever had power windows, and to get that, you had to buy the "UP" (upgrade) package, and to get ABS you had to add on the "safety package". It was all rather confusing, and you get a few more things in the packages than you really need or want.

Honda was our next stop. I thought this whole car shopping thing would be much easier. You find a car that you really feel comfortable in, and you'd just know which one to get. Wrong! The
Civic handled so similar to the Corolla that it was going to be a tough decision. The Civic was a little more dramatic in the handling, not quite as supple as the Corolla, but very similar. I did not like the inside of the Civic. Perhaps if I were an 18 year old guy I would prefer the electronic double dash with all the flashing lights and graphics. Alas, I am not. They were distracting, even when I dimmed the dash. This car was bumped behind the Corolla on my favorite list.

We journey on to Mazda. We grow weary (after all it is 8:30 on a week night!), and since both of the other dealers compared these 3 cars as well, I expected the same feel as the other 2. My mistake! The
Mazda3i has a bigger engine, it has much more space inside, and it handles much better than the other 2. The brakes were amazing too. My favorite to drive by far. The downside? There's huge rear blind spots that make it difficult for us little folks to see past. Otherwise, it was a very smooth ride. The dash was a little obnoxious with all red lights giving you the evil eye, but you can dim those pretty low, and at least it's not the flashing blue/white/red/green/yellow like the Civic.

Now it all comes down to my pocketbook. They're all in the same range, but it depends how much each will come down. The Mazda dealership that I went to, doesn't barter at all. They gave me a reasonable price, and said there's no haggling in this store at all. So, unless the Corolla can give me everything I want, (with the 8 million packages you have to buy to get power windows), it looks like the Mazda wins out. (The Civic is out of the running.) However, I think Toyota will come down significantly.

Only time, and some hard-balling will tell. I hate haggling. I'm not good at car haggling... because I've never done it, and it's a pain.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My Olympics Obsession

The Olympics have finally begun! I anxiously await sitting for hours in front of the TV watching curling and thousands of people skate around on the ice in speed skating, figure skating, pair skating, hokey, etc. It's Olympic time that makes me feel patriotic.

I always like a good game, but it's always more exciting to be rooting for someone. I went to a Angles/Yankees baseball game in LA, but didn't mind who won. It was a beautiful stadium and a perfect day to set the tone for a great game. Half way through I wondered why I wasn't more enthralled... I LOVE baseball! I came to the conclusion that it's not quite as fun if you don't have a team to cheer for. It makes you more invested. That's why the Olympics are so great.

When you see certain sports you know little about (for me it's curling), it makes an otherwise channel-flipping-worthy-sport fun to have someone to cheer for. It makes it that so much better to not just be cheering for your state or area, but to be cheering for you country! How great is that folks?! It makes me feel united with my country to know that every one around the USA is cheering for the same team.

I love watching every sport I possible can for the Olympics. The winter Olympics have less coverage than the summers unfortunately, because I miss the two cable channels that have solid Olympic coverage all day and night. It's so amazing to watch these athletes, that are the best in the world, compete against each other. It makes you want to take up speed skating, or the long jump, or curling! Well, ok maybe not curling...

What a great tradition. You can't help but love it.