the teacher's prayer

It's supposed to snow tomorrow.

And, like all teachers and former teachers, I am dreaming of snow days...

The phone rings at 6:30am. And you think,"who the hell would be calling at this hour?" And it's a colleague. The one who's name is right before yours on the phone tree. You take the call and giggle about not having to go in. Or maybe you grouse a little about how much ground your class will lose with the missed day, but really you don't mean it. You dig out the wrinkled piece of paper that has the phone tree list, call the person who's name is listed after yours, and as you hang up the phone you wonder, "Now...what to do with today?"

It's a totally free day!
You could go back to bed.
You could knock all kinds of things off your to-do list.
Or you could find a good book, grab another cup of coffee, and hightail it back to bed to read and doze...aaaahhhh....

Cross your fingers and hope that we get more than a few flakes at rush hour tomorrow..


sunday morning

ahhh...a lovely, sit-0n-my-butt kind of morning. On the agenda for today:

  • grocery store for cleaning supplies, cat food, coffee, and other sundries.
  • walk in the park before it gets tooooo cold
  • making the rounds of houses for sale in Bethesda and Vienna and DC
  • take off chipped nail polish
  • perhaps a book or a movie in the evening
i love days like these! and, looking forward to the summer and the total lack of any such days, i'm totally OK with sitting on my butt today. no guilt.

in other 'news':
  • the ceiling is still leaking. i'm at the end of my rope with this...
  • kitty wants desperately to go outside - there are crows nesting in the park next door, squirrels that are mocking him from the garden [ooh - add 'buy birdseed' to the list!]
  • hubby still looking around for something fun to do...
  • the schedule for the summer is almost ready to go, and it's quite exciting!
  • mom had to put James, our old-man kitty, to sleep yesterday. A sad day, but he was really struggling. We got him when I was in high school, so he was about 18 years old. Good run, tiny meow.
have a great week, all!



What to do? Friends came over for New Year's and brought... well, see above. We suggested hors d'oveures or a six pack of beer. Instead, we received a small minion of Satan. And you can't really say, "No thanks, we have one already." or "I'm sorry, but I'm terribly allergic to evil." (Especially when it's not quite true...)

So here's our little Hellraiser. In an Old Navy bag. Coincidence? I think not...

when i grow up

Hubby had a big birthday last weekend.

SO this week we're staring at each other, trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives.
  • new job? maybe for hubby. not fer me.
  • new house? maybe, but has to be in the area so i can keep my cool job.
  • have a kid? maybe...are we ready? [is anyone ever?][does it really hurt as badly as they say?]
  • go on a diet? yes, please. jiggly jiggly jiggly...
  • start running? hah, hah - see above. jogging? maybe. walking, most definitely, hopefully with camera in tow...
the biggest thing on the agenda is getting hubby job happiness while still staying in the area and not taking too much of a salary hit....the biggest obstacle, really. but he's smart & personable, has an mba from a great school, is a hard worker when he wants to be...and he's cute! c'mon, karma, let's find him something fun and lucrative to do. it's only right that he should enjoy what he does for a living, right?

so c'mon, karma...give the big guy a break and find him something fun to do that fits my stupidly narrow parameters. [no shooting or being shot at, no 6-month off-site training schedule, no relocation to albequerque] and maybe if you do, hubby will name our firstborn after you. Deal?

so much to learn...

I know nothing.

Professionally speaking in this instance...we'll deal with the related personal truth at a later date.

So I know nothing. And it's really not for lack of trying.

I mean, I work in opera. I have 2 degrees in opera. I spent years as a choral/vocal music teacher before taking this job. Performed in choruses large and small. Played piano for classical recitals and music theater performances.

And I'm still amazed at the sheer depth of all-that-stuff-that-I should-know-but-don't.

But I guess that's the beauty of loving one's job...I'm actually going to enjoy learning about all-that-stuff-that-I should-know-but-don't. Pretty cool.

On a related note, tomorrow is Muck-Out-The -Stables day at work. Not real stables, thank the lord, but archiving files, tossing away the stuff we don't need, getting organized for the summer. Which is great since I've never really mastered the art of filing. Now the art of the Pile? I am a black belt.

So tomorrow my piles meet their destiny. And I get to wear sneakers. Sounds like a good day!


you know you've had too much to drink when...

(dinner conversation in an Italian restaurant in the East Village)

A:"So, what's everyone ordering?"

B:"I think I'll get this one...look, you can get a plate with two body parts..."

A:"Kidneys and veal?"

B:"Yeah. Mmmmm..."


C:"Hey, B, where exactly is your veal located?"

A: (laughing) "Oh, stop it..I'm laughing so hard my veal hurts..."

air conditioning in January

The cold snap started last Thursday.

I know, because I stepped out of the shower and got a chill.

And I could hear the heater running. When a house is as small as ours, it's pretty easy to keep cozy.

Tossed on a bathrobe, padded downstairs to find that Hubby had left for work.


(Locked, of course. He's a stickler for safety.)

The cat was awol. I scrounged for any pair of footwear, tossed on hubby's overcoat over the bathrobe, and took my shivery bits and pieces outside to look for the cat. Called for the cat, trying to sound calm and enticing, rather than PANICKED AND COLD AND PRETTY P.O.'D. Waved to the neighbor - this one in particular always seems to catch me at my best...

Cat was hanging, like a true tough guy, under the grill right next to the house.

And now he yowls at the front door. And at us. Because we have cruelly caged this petite lion and have been feeding him meaty scraps that are pre-killed.

I can't wait for spring.


first day back to work...

...after a three day weekend. Bleah. It is suddenly cold and gray, dropping from the unseasonably lovely 70-degree weekend to a 45-degree normal ol' January day.

Had the world revolved the way I wanted it to, I would've stayed on the couch all day, moving slowly from coffee to tea to a glass of vino, with a book in my hand, a blanket on my lap, and a cat curled up on my feet.

Instead, I was up at the ass-crack of dawn, in my car shortly thereafter. Drove to another state to work out and, more importantly, shower, as our kitchen ceiling is now what designers call a "water feature." Picked up lunch - and dinner since I'm working the late shift - and found several emails from an overzealous colleague tha were all about the same darn thing.

But, in a lovely karmic twist, on this same craptastic gray day, I found out that I got both a promotion and a raise! Woo hoo! Pretty cool.

And the Fug Girls have ALL KINDS of new, Golden Globe-related posts. Deliciously vicious. Or viciously delicious? Both.

AND I found caramel pudding that's 60 calories and pretty damn good. I may actually be able to diet for another day!

Note to self - next time you feel like sitting on your ass on a crappy day, don't.


i go out walkin'...

One of the great things about living by a park is that, when the weather is totally absurd and 70 degrees in JANUARY, the park still really knows what time it is. And though humanity was crawling all over her in shorts and t-shirts, good ol' Mother Nature is not whipping out the flip flops and hot-pink pedicure just yet.

Here are some pictures from my walk:

Starting out

I don't usually take this trail - usually my goal is to get to the water as quickly as I can. But there's something soothing about all the browns and grays, the quiet... this tree fell over in 2004 - it took a huge piece of agate with it - it's not really visible from this side, but it's bigger than a cinder block. Boy, do I underestimate the power of nature sometimes...

Here's a hawk that was just catching the breeze...

And here's the chute. The water's running really fast, especially for January.

It's crazy that, after living here for 3 years, this is the first time I've actually taken pictures. I love this spot, but I don't often go much further.

There's an observatory deck on the Potomac, but on a day like today [i.e. national holiday] it'll be way too packed to enjoy. But here's an alternate vantage point...I like this one because it's a little more secluded, and offers a great view of Virginny.

And then back home again, jiggity jig. And in the park it is firmly winter, even though the thermometer might be suggesting otherwise.

But I have to admit that the weather is making me think of summertime. I'll see you by the lake in a few months...


Tourist Weekend

What a weekend! Good friends came down from Baltimore, and we spent 2 evenings eating WAY too much and then walking it off around the monuments. Hubby and I love to go to the WWII Memorial after dark...it's truly breathtaking. And it reminds me that I should be more grateful, that my daily life is not a happy coincidence but rather the result of sacrifice. And I am grateful. Here's a picture of the fountain - it's not great, but you get a little sense of it...

But one of the best parts revolved around our friend's young son, who is just charming! Using lots of words, running around and forgetting to bend his knees...drawing all over his nose with the hotel pen. And struggling valiantly to stay awake in his stroller as we walk and walk and walk....boy, I wish every weekend could be like this.


Penny dude

i love this video. awesome!

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln in Pennies

I used 1,702 pennies to make a portrait of Lincoln. Sorting the coins took about seven hours, and making the image took just under six. May 2005.


laundry list

1. Like the rest of the world, I have started a diet/exercise program. I started on December 28, knowing that I had to have a few days to ease into it. [or to TOTALLY CHEAT and still be able to start with a clean slate on January 1.] I have to say that for the most part, it's working. Lost a pound or two, but more importantly am feeling a little better. I tend to eat to deal with stress [no, really?] and to eat until i'm totally uncomfortable. It's good to be on a program that tells me when to quit. Hubby is doing it too, which will probably make it easier, but also means that my stash of healthy snacks only goes half as far. Cross your fingers that it sticks - it's be nice to look good in Vegas in February!

2. My friends are all knocked up, trying to get knocked up, or parents. Thinking about jumping in the pool, but a little freaked out about the water temperature. Got an email from KL this morning - she's 9 weeks. Very cool. But I'm still nervous...

3. Going in to work late today [covering an evening rehearsal], so I went for a long walk in the park. Lots of helicopters and rafts, as the Rangers are looking for a missing hiker. I hope they find him. On a happier note, I took my headphones off at one point because I heard this strange, barking noise. I crested a little hill, and 2 - count them, two - red foxes were running right toward me! We were all a little surprised. It was super cool.

Maybe a little snow tonight - I hope so! It's been freakishly warm...like winter in Florida. I could totally deal with a month of cold snowyness.



I love January first.

I don't necessarily love how my head feels [cottony], or how my kitchen looks [trashed], or even the weather [rainy & gloomy].

But I love the clean slate. The possibility that this year might be different. That anything could happen, and that said anything could enrich my life and the lives of my friends and family.

It's a good feeling.

Our original plans to spend New Years Eve revelling in Annapolis fizzled due to Hubby's lingering cough. But, as luck would have it, we ended up hosting an impromptu dinner for 4 close friends whose plans had also gone down the tube. Everyone brought food & drink, and it was a lovely, low-key evening. We were talking about 2007, and trying to ignore the groans and bitching surrounding 2006. [a colleague calls it "Two-thousand-sucks"] One couple is going to settle on their first house after 3 years of searching and discouragement. The other couple is having their first child. And while Hubby and I have nothing really on the radar, I have a good feeling about this year. We are open to lots of possibilities.

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful 2007. May you receive exactly what you need.

(And some stuff that you really, really want.)