Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Busy Times!

I have finally decided on a voice teacher!! Woo! I had my first lesson with her on Saturday. We didn't sing a stitch, but rather peeled through my book collection for potential pieces. It's still overwhelming to pick from 50, but it's a little less daunting than thousands. The question now, is how many, which language, variety or submersion and still figuring out which fits my fach. Too much! Do I go all French and immerse myself to really delve into French literature? Or do I have a variety of languages to get back in the groove of things? I'm like a kid in a candy store.

Yes, you're probably right, I should just do a variety of languages that I'm more familiar with to get my chricothyroid and cricoarytenoids stretched and strengthened. OK, so a variety it is... hmmm now back to the piles of books to decide which.

Oooo! And I got a fun new gadget for my lessons. I used to drag out the old tape cassettes to record my lesson, but what a pain that is! So, I recently invested in a mini-microphone that plugs into my iPod. So, now to I can save them on my computer and they're all digital and ready to go. I'm so excited! I love technology.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This Is My Quest

... Only without the whole man of La Mancha part.

I am on a quest to find a new voice instructor. Now that life has settled down to a dull roar, I really am feeling the bug to get back to performing. I have thought about long and hard what I wanted to do. I have sung in choirs after college and have even applied for graduate school. At the end of last years' season, I really knew that I wanted to get back on the stage singing and dancing my little heart out. I guess I always knew it, but was more scared and lost about where to start.

I was fresh out of college and bright eyed and bushy tailed and had music in my heart. So I audition for the 2 heavy hitting choirs of MN. Woo! Got into both of them... of course that meant rehearsals over in Minneapolis at least 3 times a week, and when there were performances it was a non-stop commute-sing 'til your voice box drops right out on the floor-drive home at an ungodly hour-and get up and work. *repeat daily* I cut back here and there with one of the choirs and it seemed to be okay, and then the wedding planning was in full swing and my sanity was in limbo. So, last spring was my ending for a spell. Then this summer was filled with wedding planning and a new job. Now the honeymoon is over and life is peachy.

So the past couple of weeks I have contacted a few voice instructors. Now I'm in the midst of interviewing them. Then my goal will be to study and get into some auditions and get shot down 99% of the time, but hopefully get into an occasional something here and there. If I start studying now, I think I will bug the MN opera again. My past auditions have been horrible with them... well, I guess just one out of 2 was horrible. It was right after I graduated and I was bed ridden for about 5 days and felt like I had 83 heads and they were all congested. I pulled myself out of bed and showered for the first time in eons and trucked it over to my audition. Blech. I kept sniffling during the interludes and when I sang my head was so congested that it rang around in there and I wanted to grab my head and cry and nap on the floor. The second time I hadn't been studying, but I had been singing and I just wasn't ready. They also probably remembered my monstrous self from last year and thought I was Jekyll and Hyde. Or, probably more just like Hyde.

So off I go into the scary world of rejection, divas, divos, and long commutes. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Morning Coffee

There's nothing else than a hot pot of coffee to wake you up. It just wouldn't be a good day unless I guzzled down at least 4 cups. Since I go through it at a mind blowing rate, I thought I better look into some cheap, but passable, coffee. So I came out of the grocery the other day with a drum of dark roast called Black Silk hoping to up my caffeine intake a bit.

So I'm sitting here, eyes half closed, listening to the lovely brewing sounds of my coffee with my mug of sugar in hand waiting for the coffee to stop. I'm looking forward to getting a nice pick me up by switching to a darker roast. It's finally done. As I pouring my beloved coffee, things are in a sudden chaotic state, I must have poured too fast, there's coffee spewing out all sides, and about half the pot ends up on my leg. Nothing wakes you up faster than 3rd degree coffee burns on your thigh in the morning. I nearly cried. Not because of the burns, but because of all the wasted coffee.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pure Evil

I have been a pumpkin carving machine. I carved a pumpkin last night that was tedious, but was satisfying because I didn't lop off a necessary chunk like I usually do. Here's the pumpkin that made my fingers feel like I was 94. I gotta up my Aleve all day strong all day long dosage.

Tonight I carved 3 pumpkins. My fingers are gnarled, but at least I still have all of them intact. Giant knives can be dangerous when carving a thick mass of vegetable.
No you have to imagine this next one with guts coming out of his head. Right now they're in a baggie in the fridge keeping nice and fresh and gooey until Halloween night.
All of these fit into our little pumpkin hunter/killer display on the front stoop.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Testing Testing 1-2-3

Is this thing on? Hellooo? I'm baaaack. I know, it's been a long time. Shame on me for not pondering more jerkwater (word of the day) topics for your enjo... er... read. I like to think this blog is mostly like warm milk. If you're up and in a spell of insomnia, tune into my blog and you'll be out in no time. I write because I do. Is it changing the world? Probably. Is it a stream of gabble-de-gook? Most definitely.

Now, let's see... what's happened since I blogged last? I have celebrated my 189th birthday. Jokes! It was my 213th. I got married, had a honeymoon, 2 more friends got engaged, got a rather severe burn from carving the pumpkin. Well, not from the carving part, the burn I think I might have had more to do with the lighter and match that were exploding with flames under it. Oh yes, and my first hair dryer went kaput. Girls, you know the one I'm talking about. The one that isn't that great, but you love it because it's survived 13 years of hair styles. And now I am using one about 1/8 of its size and a lot more powerful. Who knew they were inventing all these new and updated gadgets the last decade?

Well, I don't want to spoil all the fun all at once. I'm sure I'll be back.

Friday, August 31, 2007

O Little Town

I live in a beautiful city. It has extremely cute shops, restaurants, sights, a gondola and pretty much everything is antiqued and lovely. When we first moved out here, I was so excited because this is the city you come to every weekend in the summer to walk around and I have many fond memories of doing just that. Living here is another story. I still love it, and believe me, when the tourists leave (I won't get started on them, that's a whole 'nother post) I love spending time out and about in my town. The people that live here are extremely different than the people that visit here.

The people that visit clog up main street and eat at all the cute restaurants and go antiquing. The people that live here eat at Applebee's and shop at Wal-Mart. Not to say there is anything wrong with that. Now that I live here, I understand why and I find that a super Wal-Mart has a lot to offer. A lot of people that live here are down home folks that like to have a good time. Our first indication was that there were 3 stumps with a bunch of nails in them in the driveway of our new house. If you don't know what they were used for, you won't understand. It was just very classic for our city. Lots of drinking and partying and hanging out with all the other people who's entire family tree grew up here.

So I was driving home from work one day and I turn down a residential street and am looking around at the beautiful day when I see something so classic of our city, I laughed so hard I almost hit a lumberjack. Out in the driveway (not sure why everything is out front here) there are about 9 mis-matched folding lawn chairs of varying decomposition, from a few remaining plastic fibers on a tin frame to shredded and holey, all situated around an entirely rusted-over metal standing fire pit. I'm assuming that's what it was. It was burnt orange and basin-like. Or maybe it was the top of an old grill that got converted. Then the kicker that made this so classic of my town is the full-size refrigerator/freezer in the middle of the driveway. Not in the garage, in the center of the driveway. It was placed like another guest around the fire circle. Classic.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wedding Bells

I got married this Saturday!! It was so much fun. The food was awesome and I couldn't have been more pleased with the reception venue. Huge props to the Saint Paul Hotel for being so flawless in taste, service, and dinner. I had a blast and it appeared that everyone else was in high spirits too. It was a good time had by all. The liquor flowed freely and so did the love.

It's funny to think that I now have this whole other side of family. I couldn't have asked for better people. But what do I call them? Uncle Buck? Hmmm. Well by joining families I now have the name of a famous British actress, so that's kind of fun. (Well, after all the paperwork is through.)

Now that it's all over, there is still much to do. I nearly cried when I faced the mountains of laundry that threatened to bury me alive. (On a side note, they should really correspond drying and washing time so that they're equal. It's a pain to have clean clothes that sit in the washer for an hour while the dryer is still drying.)

I feel like my brain is still recovering. About Thursday of last week I couldn't have told you my name because my head was so packed full of information. This week it still feels a little mushy, but at least I can tell you where I am and who I am at any given time.

I had so much fun seeing all of my friends and family who live so far away. But all of my new in-laws are in state, so I now have lots of family here. It reminds me that I need to see everyone more than just at weddings and funerals. They mean the world to me, and I should go out of my way to show it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

All's Well That Ends Well

The time has come to depart with my dearly beloved palm pilot. Not because it's failed any of its functions, but because of my leaky brain. With all the wedding planning and a new job and my increasing OCD and leaky brain, my little ZZ just hasn't been what I need. I've turned back to the old paper calendar. That way I can write little notes to myself, like my name and where I am and who my true friends are. Jokes! I have no friends. For scheduling and tasks and reminders, I would be all for Z, but I just can't hang on to him and my thoughts simultaneously. So, one of them has to go. It's like Harry Potters prophecy "neither can live while the other survives" and I figure I better give my memory a leg up, it needs all the help it can get!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Drawn Out Departure

Man, it seems like I put my 2 weeks in about 4 years ago. The time will just not pass. I really have no urgent things to do.

I would give anything to put my head down and take a little snoozer. I don't want to end up with keyboard face though... or drool all over my desk. I guess I'll sit here and think of all the things I could be doing if I weren't here...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Morning Madness

As I sit here rocking myself and crying because my coffee is waaaay to hot to drink and I NEED it, I wonder, why? Why did I ask my new employer to bump up my start time to 7:30am? I'm not a morning person and I make no attempt to be so. Well, I will tell you why.

I think that my compulsive need to have the ideal time schedule to maximize my productiveness has taken over my desire to sleep. I thought about it in my head, and I knew there wasn't a chance in Peru that I would pull myself out of bed at 6am to work-out before work. But that's the time you get up now. Yes, but I also don't even make it out of bed by 6:10 on most days, and I have to be out the door at 6:20. (And I save 2 hours of commuting, a day! Weee!) And the only reason I don't cut it even closer is because coffee takes a few minutes to brew. So, there's a 100% chance that I won't get up earlier on my own free will to do something physically active. I know this. So, if I started work at 8, true I could get up at 7:30 (my new job is 2 miles from home), but do I really need to sleep in until 7:30? No. Sleep is for the weak and I give into it far too often. However, if I started work at 7:30 I would be home just after 4, and could then go for a run, or do errands and make calls because places are still open. Then by 5pm I could have my whole evening ahead of me. See? Do you see? I NEED that extra half hour switch or my whole world will be off kilter.

Ahhh the life of an obsessive compulsive person. Soothing, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Job Jumper

I have FINALLY found a new job!! Yay hooray! My last day at my current place is the day before my birthday. Happy birthday to me! I'm very excited for this new position. I will be working as an office manager and training to be a paralegal. I think that it's a place I can really grow and affect the company directly in a lot of ways. It's exciting and I can't wait.

Being so anxious for this new job makes my last 2 weeks here really hard to focus. I just want to be as free as the wind blows.

I'm too ADD right now to sit here and write more, I must be off to do another victory dance!

Friday, July 06, 2007

???

The bus ride into work was pleasant. (Well, minus being hacked all over by someone who doesn't cover their mouth! But that's a different post.) I saw a family of beautiful deer. Their coats were so beautiful. Some day I would like to pet one. A live one, somehow a carcass just doesn't seem soft and warm. Man! It is hard to focus this early in the morning with only 2 cups of coffee in me. So, bear with me folks.

On my ride I saw a bumper sticker that perhaps my brain can't sort out this early, or I think the more plausible reason is that I just don't get it. So I write to you for an explanation. I've thought about it and it still doesn't make sense. And you think, hey it's a bumper sticker, who cares? Well, I don't care, but it's like trying to remember the name of a song and you just can't. It's going to eat away at me until I know. It was a green bumper sticker with white lettering that said: I HAVE A DOG AND I VOTE TOO.

Is it just a statement of truth? That they have a dog and also vote? Nah, I think there's something going on there, and I won't rest until I know. So help! What does it all mean?!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Size Does Matter

This Sunday was a shopping filled Sunday. Bri and I shopped till we dropped. (Although I'm sure I could have survived a few shoe departments more.) We finally got Brian's suit for the wedding. We start out wandering aimlessly around the suit department without a clue as to what or how to search for. It's a nice change from the usual sales people that pounce on you even before you have a chance to avoid their eye contact. However this time we actually needed the sharks. We were like lone fishes with an open wallet and need to purchase. I'm surprised they didn't smell us out sooner! So finally a very helpful competent sales woman comes to our rescue. Within a couple of minutes we decide on the suit to buy. Then after we get the jacket marked up for tailoring Bri and I set off to look for a dress shirt.

We're perusing the millions of tightly wrapped, folded and pinned shirts when I realize that all of the shirts have 3 size markings on them. Not only do they have a neck and sleeve size, they also have the general size. And the pants not only have the inseam, they have the waist. This is unbelievable. They size so meticulously for guys who most often than not would just walk in and grab a size and see if it fit. Whereas women's sizes they only come in one number. And that number varies between each cut, manufacturer, store, brand, style, and some times just because. the shoppers of the world are forced to agonize over their single number each time they try on an article of clothing. Hmmm I was an 8 at the other store and now I'm a 16? but the jeans I just bought were a 4. Hmmm. Something just seems amiss with this whole ordeal. Why can't women's pants come with the waist and the inseam? I never shop at certain stores unless I'm expecting a flood, because their inseams are always about 4 inches too short. I don't know a single female who can just walk in and find "her size" and bam! fits like a glove. (And if you're said woman, I hate you and I never want to talk to you.) I think that the pouring over the piles and piles of jeans and pants is what the retailers want. They want us to give up over trying every possible pant (women's and men's) until those one pair of pants finally fit. By then, who cares if they're $315? Surely not the blubbering woman. It's a scheme these denim devils should end. My 2 favorite pairs of jeans are starting to show their love, and it's time to get more, but I am NOT looking forward to that shopping trip. I will probably have to buy a few pairs of shoes to cheer me up.

Bah!

Friday, June 29, 2007

All's Well That Ends Well

Hummmm I am at peace with the wedding planning. I had a momentary weakness. Hummm All will be fine. Hummmm If I can't eat for a few months or year at least I will be able to fit into my "skinny clothes". Hummmm

Seriously, it's going to be fabulous and I'm so excited!! I will do damage control next week, but I have high hopes. It just needs a few snips and little cinching here and there, and we should be golden. However, that means no butler served canapes. Boo. :-( Well, I guess you can't have your 5 different kinds of cake and eat it too. Some thing's gotta give.

Whew! I feel a lot better now. Must be because it's Friday!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wedding Woes

Man alive! are weddings expensive!! Looks like I won't be eating for the next 3 decades. Well, except for at the reception, but by then my stomach will have shrank so much that I'll be paying millions for a little soda cracker. I just received the "estimate" from my wedding planner for just the reception. And with that one little pdf file, *poof* over the entire wedding budget with just the reception costs. Eep! I'll post tomorrow about it if I live through the night with a heart rate of 312.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Crystal Confetti

We received our first 2 wedding gifts this week. Let me tell you, it is exciting stuff. I know that I registered for the things we got, but MAN is it fun to rip open the box and see them again. Maybe it's because I was delirious at the end of a better part of 9 hours because of "technical difficulty" to finally scan all the items, but I didn't really remember exactly what everything looked like. So, to see the things again, and to have them in my home was too much. (And just for the record, I haven't checked my registries online daily to see what I've received... although maybe I should start. Jokes! Surprises are better.) I think when I registered it was more like this is nice "BEEP", I could use this "BEEP", but I don't think that I ever really thought I was going to get these things. I was more concerned about if people were going to have a good time, or if the out-of-towners could make it. Now, they're giving me gifts? Somehow it doesn't seem right here. I invited them, shouldn't I be the one giving gifts? But, who am I to mess with tradition? That's right, nobody.

So as I'm digging through the packing peanuts, I come across an unwrapped box. So I was like woo! then as I'm taking it out of box, I hear the twinkling of glass. Oh no. I go to the kitchen and look inside and find shards of what I can only imagine was at one point a beautiful champagne flute. Yes friends, it was broken past the point of recognition.

I get on the phone to the Macy's wedding channel help line, and the most competent gal helps me through this emotionally trying time. I could not believe it. I didn't have to yell, I didn't have to threaten to take registry elsewhere, I didn't have to repeat myself 80 million times. She was competent, she spoke English (unlike AT&T), and she had customer service skills(unlike Comcast). I was too shocked to even speak. She was very apologetic that it happened, she was even sounded guilty that she requested I keep the broken flute until the replacement arrived. I haven't encountered this kind of hospitality since the homeless man. So hats off to the Macy's Wedding Channel for bringing their a-game.

It's sad that I am so astounded by decent service, but you'll agree that that's hard to find nowadays.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

SUCK-er

Ah, these words never cease to entertain me!

succor \SUCK-er\ noun

*1 : relief; also : aid, help
2 : something that furnishes relief

Example sentence:
"The people lost all hope of succor, and fled to the mountains for refuge." (Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad)

Did you know?
If you're in need of an explanation of the origins of "succor," we can help. Middle English speakers adapted "socour," the predecessor of "succor," from the Anglo-French "sucors," which essentially had the same meaning as our modern word. "Sucors," in turn, derives from the Medieval Latin "succursus," itself a derivative of the Latin verb "succurrere," meaning "to run to the rescue" or "to bring aid." That Latin verb was a composite of the prefix "sub-" (meaning "from below") and the verb "currere" (meaning "to run"). "Succor" has been saving the day in English (as both a noun and a verb) since at least the 13th century.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Blech

It's the grossest thing ever when people constantly do the snot snort. You know what I'm talking about. Not the little sniffles or the I-need-a-kleenex-stat sniff, I'm talking about the full blown snot-down-the-throat snort. Ish. I have the pleasure of sitting by someone at work who decided to replace regular nose breathing with snorting. Awesome.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Obsession

No, not the scent by Calvin Klein, my not so secret obsession.

Shopping. Online shopping. Clothes shopping. Shoooooooooe shopping. Antique shopping. (Although does anyone really know how to "go antiquing"? Most things look like they had every right to be given away in the first place.) Handbag shopping. Diamond shopping. Browsing. Perusing. And simply just walking or clicking around until you find something that maybe you could possibly use some time in your life (and then of course you have to find $100 more worth of crap for the free shipping). I LOVE IT!

I have been far to click and card swiping happy for my own good. I ordered a few new summer shirts to ring in the new season, but it wasn't quite enough. So, I browse around to look for some much needed tank tops (to wear under other shirts of course! I'm too old to parade around in just a tank top), well of course you have to get multiple colors and in my search I find a few pairs of shoes that I just HAVE to have. In my entire collection of shoes, I don't have a single pair that are brown satin with white polka dots... not until June 11th anyway. hehehe Likewise no green heeled sandals! How did I live until now?! But at least now I have shoes to match that new handbag I got a few days before. So after I resolved my tank and shoe issue I felt happy. Who says that retail therapy doesn't work?

After all is said and done I start to feel the itch. All I got were shoes and tanks... and maybe a shirt? Who can remember such things. So I'm off on another adventure on the rampage for some summer work shirts. So I picked out 4? 5? and now I'm poor but elated. Nothing like the feeling of a whole new wardrobe to bring in summer with a bang! Those of you who stand in front of filled closet of nothing to wear understand the satisfaction of bringing in the new. *sigh*

Tomorrow is diamond shopping with my mom. Look out world! I'm out there and lovin' every minute of it!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Youthquake

I get a word e-mailed to me everyday from Merriam Webster. I don't know how I got signed up... it wasn't like I clicked on word of the day and then on subscribe... or anything like that... But if I had I would say that they only send me the word of the day and not any ads or spam. So, I let 'em keep comin'. Anyway, enough about my coolness.

Some days I get a word that I can't believe is actually a word. And its definition so complex that it boggles the mind. Like today's word of the day, youthquake. I thought maybe a quake caused by youth, or maybe a scared child's quiver. Alas, it was neither. Ready for it?

youthquake \YOOTH-kwayk\ noun

: a shift in cultural norms influenced by the values, tastes, and mores of young people

Example sentence:The dot-com industry was the epicenter of the youthquake of the 1990s.

Did you know? The 1960s were a time of seismic social upheaval brought about by young people bent on shaking up the establishment. From politics to fashion to music, the ways of youth produced far-reaching cultural changes. Linguistically, the sixties saw the addition to English of such words as "flower child," "peacenik," "hippie," "love beads," "trippy," "vibe," "freak-out," and "love-in." Not surprisingly, it also saw the emergence of "youthquake." The first known use of "youthquake" in print comes from a 1966 article in McCall's: "the youthquake, as some call it ... has swept both sides of the Atlantic."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Hmmm I was close. But are they serious?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Search Words

I'm so glad that when someone decided to google image search "camel toe" they came upon my blog. It's all about the readers, and I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em. And if that means more posts about camel toe, then so be it.

And apparently there's a high demand for pictures of naked cheerleaders since I get a lot of referrals from that... because I have so many pictures of naked cheerleaders on my blog... or maybe it's just the words naked cheerleader naked cheerleader naked cheerleader! (Now I've got them lured into my trap.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Elevator Madness

There's nothing scarier (okay there are, but I'm trying to make a point) than being in a possessed elevator.

After work the other day I walked in to the elevator and it gives a little bounce. Since I'm the only one in it, I chalked it up to that extra bag of Cheetos I had for lunch. Well, I only have to go down one floor so usually it's a pretty quick ride. (Why not take the stairs you ask? Because the stairs are on the other side of the building. Yes my friend, I'm lazy.) The doors closed but the elevator and I didn't start moving. Hmmm. Okay I'm not claustrophobic so no biggie, it's just stalled for a bit. Then all of a sudden it lurches down and bobs back up while I grab on to the rail trying not to lose those Cheetos. Not fun. Then it stalls again and while I'm regrouping it then drops at a much faster rate than I feel comfortable with. I feel like I'm back at MGM in the Tower of Terror ride, or plummeting to my death. The devils box that I'm in starts to shudder and bob downwards in that way that makes you feel weightless (usually a plus, not so much in this case) and that all the cables could snap at any second. Fortunately after about 32 hours in the elevator the doors opened like nothing happened. I turned around and glared at it as it took off for its next victim.

From this experience I might start walking to the other side of the building to go down the stairs... or just use one of the other 3 elevators that are right there...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Drugs On The Bus Go Round 'n Round

The other day I was in my usual rush from the time I wake up until 10 minutes later when I'm out the door, so did I remember to bring a new book to read for the afternoon bus ride? Nope. Did I remember my coffee? Check. I ALWAYS have my coffee in hand for the morning bus ride. I will sacrifice time spent putting on jewelry, make-up, or clothes, just to have time to make coffee.

So, I get on a pretty crowded bus that afternoon, and the only spot left was at the back of the bus. Not a good spot to look out the windows. Usually people think that you're staring at them. Vain people. Just kidding, I wouldn't want some half comatose chick leering at me either! So, I'm stuck in the back with a man who chatters more then the Red Hat Ladies. Fortunately he wasn't chatting to me, he was tittering away at the gal next to him. Well, he started pulling out all these gadgets, DVD player, headphones, a digital camera and other things. Then he's yakking about how he found all of these things and a $4,000 ring on buses. "Found" being the key word here. Now I don't like to eavesdrop, (who am I kidding? yes I do) but in my defense he was a very loud talker. And he wouldn't stop. It was like a drill boring right into my cochlea. So as he's digging around in all his bus-found treasures, he pulls out a little something white and shakes the guys hand sitting across from him and he quite obviously hands it over to him. The receiver then conspicuously tucks it away. Then Mr. Mouth roots around in his bag some more and takes out a little tiny bag of what I can only assume is oregano, basil, or perhaps some thyme and very obviously passes it to his confidant. This time the guy looks at it, and Mr. M says that that'll be 10. The gourmet chef nods because it must look like the finest of dried herbs. Then they make arrangements to meet again on Thursday. (Hey, that's today!) For what? Who knows. Where? I have no idea, but I hope that it's not on our bus again. I guess we'll see.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Whew!

Well my hell weekend is over. The billions of little mongerals I had to tend to this weekend are all still alive, as am I. The Bolcom Songs of Innocence and Experience performances are finished, and so is my commitment with Vocal Essence. I have decided to retire. I'm too old. My back or rear can't handle those little hard wood squares lined with metal they call chairs. But I am thankful we didn't have to stand for the entire 2 hour and 50 minute concert. The last time we had to stand through a long concert I ended up with a pinched nerve in my back and was out of commission for 2 days.

Oh, you don't want to hear about my physical ailments? You'd rather hear about the concerts? Oh all right! The concerts went pretty well. They were received surprisingly well by the audience. I will admit that I wasn't too excited about this work. I was excited about the concert, and the performance, but not about this particular Songs of Innocence and Experience. It just wasn't my cup of tea. I thought that there were far too many abrupt changes. So much in fact, that you got numb to the fact that it was abrupt, which took away the surprise element. I thought it was neat to have so many modern styles incorporated, I just wish that it were more cohesive.


As the 8,321 rehearsal ended and the performances began, the work kind of grew on me. Despite all the disjointedness and abruptness, it really did have some beautiful moments in it. The more I heard it, the more those sections stuck out. I wish that I could have heard all those glimmers about 39 years ago when we started rehearsing, but I'll take whatever I can get. There was some beautiful atmospheric setting in the orchestra and a couple solos were quite moving. Maybe if I listened to it a few hundred more times, I'd come to really like it, but by then I would be 97 and deaf. So, if MPR plays it, I'll give it a listen, but then I'll lay this work to rest. It was definitely an experience. I'll give it that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring Snow = Boo

I love snow as much as any polar bear or husky, but only in the winter months. What ever happened to the phrase April showers bring May flowers? What about April snows and freezes bring May dead brown grasses and flowers? Doesn't have quite the same ring...

I was all set to bust out the jersey knit shirts and dive into my warm wardrobe, and now I'm still stuck in the sweaters and the turtlenecks, and the turtleneck sweaters. Boo. Oh! And not to mentioned the long awaited wearing of the peep-toe shoes and strappy sandals! But no, I'm still in my loafers. Boo.

Well, I better stop complaining about the weather now. I don't want the weather gods to hold a grudge against me, say until August 18th. *crosses fingers*

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday At Last!

I thought this day would never come! All week it seemed like Friday was just the day after never. But finally, it's here. It's here and it's glorious... well, actually there's nothing really glorious about it except that it's adjacent to the weekend, but that's enough for me.

This week seemed so long. I know I probably say that about every week, but what'cha gonna do brother? (Hmm let's pretend that I didn't quote Hulk Hogan.) I still had the usual rehearsal, class, teaching, work schedule that I always had, but this week felt more rushed. Perhaps it's because the Rachel Train Express got its second injury.

On Wednesday, I get off the bus, and head to my car when I notice that it's lopsided. As I come around the drivers side I see that one of my tires gave up and died. Not just a little droopy, no, pttthhhht. Dead. So I put on the spare and head home to call tire shops. Fortunately I got right into one (even though I pass about 5 other tire shops on the way there). I wait like a worried mother in a hospital wondering if they'll have to amputate, or if it just needs a patch. They come back with a piece of metal the size of my finger that they had pulled out of the dying tire. What!?! How could I not hear that harpoon through my tire?!?

Anyway, that emergency cut into my dinner hour, with a mere 7 minutes left to find something and eat. Burger King was across the street. I got the chicken fries. They were out of honey. I don't recommend them if you don't have a vat of honey. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Blithesome Bolcom

People, get your calendars out! Vocal Essence is performing the Grammy Award winning Songs of Innocence and Experience with the MN Chorale, the MN Boys Choir, and 14 soloists at Orchestra Hall April 28-29 (Sat, Sun). Click here to buy your seat! This is going to be a concert like no other. Over 400 performers are going to mob on stage to participate in the Illuminating Bolcom festival. What a change and special privilege to honor a composer who's... alive!

Last night William Bolcom came to our rehearsal to speak about the piece, and share some of his history. I did not know that he was the first person to perform a concert at the Walker with his pal William Albright. Philip predicted that Bolcom will be in the history book of American music when this time passes. His work is innovative, and it encompasses all the aspects of American music. This work is a prime example. I know I'm going to be doing a bit of research about it. It's always more enjoyable having knowledge about the work you're hearing/performing. I'm very excited about this one. A great way to finish off the season... and maybe my tenure with Vocal Essence.

So come one, come all to Orchestra Hall, it will be a treat like no other. The stage is going to take days to build, and the performers have already started rehearsing. There will be mobs of people, lights, music, history, and projected pictures. You don't want to miss it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Perfect Spring Day

You know those days when you turn on the radio and at that point they play the exact perfect thing? That happened today. On my drive home, I rolled down all the windows, turned on NPR, and am greeted by sun and a Beethoven piano sonata. To me nothing goes better together than spring air and a piano sonata (having it be Beethoven is just icing on the cake). Not peas and carrots, not a horse and carraige, or not like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.

And then what do I hear on my drive home from rehearsal at night? Oh yes, a Mozart violin concerto. Perfect spring night listening.

This season is off to the perfect start.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hopelessly Homeless in Saint Paul

Ah, the homeless again. Well, if I really thought they were homeless, I wouldn't be annoyed with them. But it's clear that the "homeless" that I've run into since starting my job in Saint Paul are well fed, groomed, and have nicer clothes than half of the employees pounding the pavement.

So, this morning I'm blindly walking to work (no coffee apparently impairs my vision, blast my memory for letting me forget my ONLY travel mug!) and a chubby man bundled in what I can only describe as lumber jack clothes says, "excuse me, but by chance do you have a dollar to spare for some coffee"? I semi-emerge from my comatose state, and look at this dark Levi wearing man who looks like he challenged himself to see how many flannels he could fit under his newer looking brown wood chopping jacket. And all in a split second my mind flashes about how coffee surely can't be bought for a dollar, at the 'bou it's at least $82, do I have my Caribou gift card with me?, how could I forget my mug?, do I even have any cash because I would like to get a wrap for lunch, why don't places in St. P take plastic? maybe I have a five? nope, bought a Dew and Mike & Ikes the other day, do I have any change? do I want to dig in my wallet only to find that I only have 17 cents and at that moment realize that I'm poorer than the lumber jack standing on the corner?

So, I shrugged and said, "nope, sorry".

I must have looked threatening, because he quickly said "oh, sorry to disturb you, you have a good day". Have a good day? Maybe he works in customer service...

Oh the homeless. They're something else.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

People

I'm honestly amazed at how stupid people can be. I'm not saying I don't have my brain fart moments, but wow, some people are born with a permanent fart in their brain. I'm sure you all have someone in mind with just fluff in their head, (or straw), but someone times I just stand there in shock knowing that this person exists. They drive on the same roads as I do, they are allowed to vote, and reproduce. It's boggling.

How do they survive? These people usually can't make decisions, and then disturb the whole world around them in their fluster and stupidity. How do they decide what to eat at night? How do they decide when to breathe? Why do they insist on making mountains out of mole hills? And how do they always wind up taking the clever persons credit? Survival skills I suppose.

Maybe these people should have "Nothin' but Stuffin' " tattooed on their foreheads so that others know right away before they sucked into their vortex and start losing brain cells at a rapid rate.

And what really gets my goat, is these people are in the workplace! Yes! They're expected to be reasonably competent, but of course, they have no professionalism what-so-ever. I can't think of a single job where some level of professionalism isn't a necessity. I think I would prefer working with a monkey. I see that commercial for some job search website, and I sigh, wishing that one of those monkeys could replace a co-worker. Their abilities and opposable thumbs would surpass the current employee.

Some people!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ta-Da!

After much to-do we saved... or rather killed re-birthed Bertachel. You can all go about your normal lives now and sleep through the night. The crisis has passed.

*whew*

I Killed Bertachel

Stupid new blogger! What a big mess this turned out to be. On our other blog, Bertachel, we were going to resurrect it to release our angst about the fashion world. (I know what you're thinking. Yes, let's have the gal who posts once every other blue moon on her own blog try and juggle 2 blogs. Well, you can just keep your hands of judgement in your pockets.) Anyway, with the switching to the "new" blogger, somehow our little blog didn't get switched, we couldn't "invite" ourselves, and I ended up accidentally deleting myself from the blog, and since I was the "administrator" we're pretty much screwed. So, we're going to try from scratch. We're going to delete our precious blog, and try to use the same address. Stay tuned on our progress... or lack there of.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bubble Girl

I wish I lived in a climate controlled bubble.

(I live in a hole? I wish I lived in a climate controlled bubble? Could this blog be any more riveting? I blame my bus seatmates flatulence. Her
effluvs must have rotted my brain.)

Regardless, this weather is going to be the death of me. I have finally gained feeling back into my feet, but still 45 minutes later, I have not yet obtained sensation of my fingers, which makes it very difficult to type.

I'm sick of days likes these:


Boo.

If it weren't for the space heater singeing off the skin on my legs, I would be pretty miserable.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Hole I Call Home

I live in a hole.

Am I the only person on the face of this earth that didn't realize that the
Golden Globes were on the other night? I missed another chance to laugh at a fashion faux-pas assemblage and feel horrible about my imperfect figure? Darn it all!

*hours later*

I have finished flipping though online photos of the
GG's, and I think I live in a bigger hole than I realized. (Isn't that always the case?) Who are all these people? Where did they come from? Is everyone and their mom famous now? Where are all the people that I once new as A-list celebrities?

I blinked and missed the boat.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wedding Weekend

This weekend my very good friend Abbie is getting married! After having to post-pone the original September wedding date for 4 months, the time has finally come. (As a side note, the reason they had to post-pone it is because her fiance is a navigator for the Navy, and he was not in the U.S. at the time. So yeah, a little hard to get married a continent or two apart.)

I'm really looking forward to this wedding, it's going to be beautiful. This is my first wedding where I'm actually a bridesmaid!! The saying goes, always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Mine was, always a musician never a bridesmaid. Now I'm both, and looking forward to it.

Usually it's hard for me to get geared up about singing in a wedding because: a) I don't know really know the couple, but hey, at least I get paid b) if I do know them (but not a good friend), it sucks when they invite you and only you, and no payday. BUT I'm excited this time because Abbie is a good friend, and it's going to be really special to be a part of her wedding. Oh geez, I hope I don't bawl... hmmm... didn't think about that... nope, I'll keep it together. I have to.

liquid liner + tears = raccoon face.

Anywho, very excited (did I tell you that yet?) and making small goals.

don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Smells On The Bus Go Round And Round

There are all kinds of people that ride the bus. It's like another world of etiquette and behavioral patterns (I'll post more on these at a later date). For the most part, my bus route consists mostly of the mom & pop type. Occasionally we get a rouge rider to mix things up, but that happens very rarely.

Being in close quarters with a lot of strangers for a significant period of time is always... interesting. Most recently my focus has been on the smells lurking about the bus.

My stop is one of the first, which means I always get stuck in the window seat, leaving the option open to anyone to sit by you. I pray every day that I get a normal person without a pungent aroma and that doesn't smush me, because being a window rider, the choice is theirs, not yours.

For awhile my seatmate ended up being a
lovely woman who was pleasant, and pleasant smelling (meaning no smells at all), and that didn't elbow me the whole ride. Then I got stuck with a lady who smelled strongly of strawberries and glue. She was still a good seatmate and provided me with a lot of hours of imagining why someone would smell like strawberries and glue. Then as fate would have it, my longest running seatmate ended up being a lady with 2 large bags that liked to shove them all on my lap and jostle them around throughout the whole ride. It's tolerable if your ride is like 10 minutes, but for 45 minutes, I was ready to shake her. Then the smell hit me. Well, the first smell did at least. She smelled very strongly of cough drops and not the candied Luden's type. It was more like the everlasting coughdrop with the full dose of cough syrup in the middle type smell. She must've popped the whole bag in her mouth before she got on the bus the way it smelled, but surprisingly she didn't have anything in her mouth... odd. As I sat there trying not to feel ill, the second smell hit me. Underneath all that eucalyptus alcohol smell, was nursing home smell. You know what I'm talking about. The smell that only happens when invalid people are resting in their beds so long that nothing can get that odor out. So I think, okay so maybe she's been sick and bed-ridden. That would explain both of the smells (though she never once coughed, and also never consumed a cough drop, yet the smell lingered on). But now as I'm approaching a full two weeks with my odorific seatmate, I'm starting to wonder...

I now welcome any other smell. I
stick my nose in my delicious hazelnut coffee the whole ride. And when it ended up leaking all over everything in my purse and my entire lap, I welcomed the smell. I welcomed it so much that I didn't realize that it had oozed all over me until about 30 minutes later. I now lean forward instead of cringing when the toddler in front of me brings out bananas. I look for strawberry glue lady, but I can't remember what she looks like.

I wonder if
this would be too obvious?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy Belated New Year!

I hope that you're all well rested after such a peaceful holiday. Ha! This holiday was a whirlwind of frantic party throwing, family get togethers, gluttonous meals, family outings, and I think that holiday cheer sometimes peeked through the cracks. Whew! Just thinking about it makes me start to twitch.

I love the Christmas season. Nothing gives me greater joy than listening to Mariah Carey's Christmas over and over and over again... except maybe gnoshing on the bon bon cookies we make every Christmas (and by gnoshing, I mean stuffing them in like
Kobayashi in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest). It's not pretty, but it happens.

Now the new year is here, and there's only 2 bon bon cookies left, and I'm without nog. So now I'm on to bigger and better things in the new year, and leaving behind the holiday lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride.... well, maybe I'll keep my pride. Nah, out with the
old! In with the new!

I won't post my New Years resolutions because then you'll ask about them and I'll have to tell you that I fell short in mid-January. But feel free to tell me yours so I can
hassle you about following through and not giving up. ;-)