big brother for real?

Ok, first I'll just say that i read Drudge just about every day.
Ok, so more than once a day - I'm a bit of a junkie.
And while I'll never, ever be able to keep up with all of the political shenanigans in this corner of the world, I like being able to check out what's happening RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

(and I love his fluffier stuff - where did the video of the swimming white tiger go?!?)

But last night and this morning, there are postings dealing with Google. Now, in the interest of full disclosure I have a gmail account. iGoogle is my homepage. And I use Google maps exclusively for directions around town.

There are Google maps satellite pictures WITH PEOPLE. Recognizable faces. License plates. A woman jogging. A man outside an adult bookstore.

Now, I know that the pictures are probably old - heck, when you Google map my office building, you see a big dirt pit where there's now a parking lot. And has been for several years. And there are people everywhere during daylight hours, walking through satellite pictures and such. It'd be hard to get pictures of everywhere in the US without catching a few people here and there. I get it. I do.

But the thought that Google could've taken a picture of me jogging, however, is simply terrifying. The fact that it may have been from several years ago is a little better, as I was younger and thinner then. But the fact that it could be around in the webosphere for years to come makes it even a little more terrifying, if possible. Ugh.

And don't even get me started speculating about what the current administration is doing with this technology. All those dirty old men...

No more running to the mailbox in my jammies.


what i did on my summer vacation?

Besides opera, opera, and more opera?

Hopefully, I will have taught my cat to do this.

Because I'm tired of him always asking to go to the pool, when he keeps shredding his water wings.

Tuesday morning link-o-rama

I don't have to be at work until late, and yet tragically I am up at the butt-crack of dawn. Oh, you lucky, lucky readers.

Lots going on in the Rahree-verse this week, although substantively it's pretty easy. Am off on Thursday (yay! i do love the mid-week day off...no lines at the store, fewer folks in the park...it's lurvely.), and will be getting together with a buddy that I haven't seen since she had her baby. We're hanging sans enfant, which is I think what she wants...something about the baby not sleeping. Ever. (If my mother is reading this, I KNOW, I NEVER SLEPT, MOTHER'S CURSE, YADA YADA YADA.)

Hubby is heading to da Burgh this weekend to visit family for his dad's birthday, and then to Colorado (!). I'm a little jealous - I've been to Denver once, technically, but only saw the inside of the airport and a view of the mountains through the windows. Finger crossed to make it back someday soon!

Interesting stuff:

  • read this article this morning. while it's not something i'd go out and buy, i think the concept is pretty neat. move over, washboards and tissue-papered combs!
  • back on this today. it works for me, but BOY do i fight it. time to suck it up and start again.
  • i'd love to have a drink with this lady. i bet she has GREAT stories to tell.
  • the only bummer of my job is that i can't jet to the beach with my buddies and make all this for them. well, and i don't have a beach house. and I guess I'd have to learn how to pronounce quahog sometime... ok, maybe the busy summer is a perk to save me from myself. (kway-hog? kwag? KWAY-ug? I just don't know.)
  • and if the weather is getting too warm for you, check this out.
And with that, it's about time for me to get off the couch and getamovin. Happy Tuesday!


Milwaukee is the place to be...

Wisconsin - on my list of top places to visit because they have CHEESE. LOTS OF CHEESE.

And cheese is one of my very favorite foods. Ever. Right up there with chocolate and booze and bread. (Hmmmm.... sounds like a diet book. A diet book that would ROCK. Getting right on it.)

And they also have that charming, broad AH accent. Love it.

But - who knew! - there are OTHER REASONS TO VISIT WISCONSIN. Like this.

Imagine: cheese AND pierogi, polka dancing, and meeting lots of other people with too few vowels in their last names. Sounds like Heaven!

Too bad it's in Milwaukee...



i was watching an informal performance the other day. the space was flooded with sunlight.

as the singing began, i noticed that there was a filament [someone's long hair, probably] that had caught on two people's heads. like an arched connection between the two of them, as they both took in this beautiful song.

that thought of being actually physically connected in the presence of a live performance made me terribly happy. it confirmed something for me.

feeling a little more philosophical than usual for a Sunday morning.

finding some new friends in unexpected places.

getting back in touch with old friends, and finding cracks in the relationship that weren't there before. not sure whether to pursue the cracks and hope they mend, or to accept the cracks and mourn the loss. neither choice is easy, and to be honest i'm not sure which would be more welcome.

trying to come to terms with so many friends starting families, and figuring out where we fit... if we fit, if we will fit someday, or if we just won't.

work is busy and fulfilling. i love being surrounded by musicians! and i respect their willingness to totally uproot themselves and come play in the 'burbs for weeks at a time. am feeling more responsible this year for them, though. knowing how difficult it is to call somewhere new home, i'd love to be able to smooth over all their problems. it's not in my power, as much as i'd like it to be. there's one that has a visa issue that we're working on, and you can tell how it stresses her out. i wish my magic wand would work on that one...

ok. done. another cup of coffee, the crossword puzzle, and perhaps a walk/pedi/retail therapy. i think the German word of the day is innig.


4:40 a.m.

The cat is sitting on my nightstand.

Looking at me.

When I don't wake up, he starts tossing things off my nightstand. One earring. A bottle of water. Two books.


I pick him up off the nightstand, with the full intention of tossing him into the office and closing the door so that I can get another hour or two of sleep.

And he starts to purr and purr and purr. It's a lovefest.

And I'm wide awake.



batter up!

the summer concert season starts tomorrow.

which means that I'll be in bed unreasonably early tonight.


after tonight, all bets are off.

posting may be a little sparse until recovery. lots of great stuff going on, including one of my favorite shows of all time. you haven't heard of it? no worries - hardly anyone has. great music, incisive text, and the line [sung, by an opera singer, of course] "I have been kneed. My boys!" make for some good, silly, rowdy fun. won't you join us?


words of wisdom

in pilates class, wondering why the "voluntary" muscles I have are not "volunteering" to do what I want them to. The instructor, D, a very gentle man suggests another core-busting move. Groans ensue. And he says half-jokingly

"Sounds like a gentle mutiny."

and changes the assignment.

I love that term. Gentle mutiny.

Which means:
We know you'd like us to do this, and we really like you, but we're really NOT going to do that, no matter how nicely you ask.

I plan to use that term several times over the next few weeks. Bonus points for anyone who catches it. (keep me honest)

If you're in northern VA, check out his studio - great classes, nice guy. Worth the money - I promise that you will find it tres difficile getting out of bed the morning after a class. And I totally mean that in the best possible way.


a study in bullets

today? a good, lazy day.

actually, while it wasn't productive in that kick-ass, take-no-prisoners kind of vein, lots of things were accomplished today.
  • a Tar-jay run for cleaning supplies. (that i have no intention of using today)
  • actually cracked the piano and played and sang for about an hour. just for fun, mind you, but it was nice to dust off the keys & pipes and find that they work just fine, more or less
  • grilled dinner. like a real man. rrrrrrrrrrrr.
  • scrubbed the shower grout with a toothbrush. because i can be hard core.
  • took clothes to goodwill
  • staked my lillies - they look like they're going to bloom soon.

and now? now that all the work that going to be done is done? Rahree, what ever will you do with yourself???

  • the Heroes marathon is on Sci-Fi.
  • Just finished a medium-rare cheeseburger from the grill (don't judge).
  • have had a glass or two of wine. might have another...


the last weekend of freedom is rolling along quite nicely, my lovelies. rolling, rolling, rolling....


sweet freedom

it's my last weekend of freedom until august. whee!

to kick it off correctly? A kick-ass pilates class (i can only hope that, under the flab, my abs are looking AWESOME), followed up by too many pieces of kick-ass spinach-ricotta pizza and a lovely summer ale. Aaaahhhhh.

a quick trip to Rehoboth might be in the cards, or a walk in the park. something fun.

but really, i'm just excited to have 2 days off in a row.

our artists started arriving this week...i had totally forgotten how much fun it is when they arrive. i was getting used to the quiet of the winter and spring, but now it's like i'm finally awake! this first batch is rehearsing a recital program of German cabaret songs, and they seem to be just lovely, lovely folks. i can't wait to get to know everybody!

i know, i'm sounding a little like Pollyanna. but i really like this time of year.


score : 0-0. No love here.

Today was like a bad tennis match.

On one side of the net: a large, hulking player named Frustration. Not so fast, but with the annoying tendency to smack a shot at you, and then run toward you and sit on you, WWF style.

On the other side: Goodie. Much smaller and faster than Frustration. Someone you'd like to have hang around a little longer, maybe grab a bite to eat after the match. But nope, Goodie's gotta run, and before you know it Frustration is keeping you company at the bar. Asking for your number. Over and over again.

Lots of craptastic work-related news. Nothing worth relating, except a project I reallyreallyreally wanted to see happen is totally dead, for reasons that we had very little control over. Sigh.

I'll be wearing black tomorrow in mourning, doing my best Johnny Cash impression.

And I took a new Pilates class tonight. I really enjoyed it, but it was hard and I wasn't good at it. I wasn't bad enough to ask for my money back, but it's going to suck for a while.

(So I'll be a limping Johnny Cash tomorrow. You'll know me by my gimp. )

But, in the Goodie column, saw some good friends this afternoon who make me totally happy. I could've hung out with them for hours but for this pesky thing called "work."

AND, in the Goodie column, THIS. You should totally own it- the title track alone is guaranteed to make you smile. Unless your name is Eugene. Then you might feel a little dumb.


it was miss scarlet in the library...

In honor of the beginning of the season, and as a tribute-of-sorts to the primary way I deal with long hours, I invite you to check out this site.

A cautionary tale or a challenge? You decide.


life, brought to you by Mother Nature

It's beautiful here today - mid 60s, low humidity and a sky full of blue. Rather than my usual Sunday amble down the trail, I decided to hike the Billy Goat Trail that runs along the Potomac. It's a more challenging walk than I usually do, and to be honest I haven't done it since last fall. Because I'm a total slacker. But it's beautiful.

And it hit me this time that the way I approach the trail mirrors the way I approach life in general. I like it because it's challenging and I have to find creative ways to bet over HUGE pieces of rock. I like going uphill better than going downhill - I have more control, even though it's harder. (And I don't worry as much about slipping as I do when gravity is helping. I'm not graceful.)

I'm stiff in places that I wish I weren't. I get too set in my routine, and am surprised when I find something to be more difficult than I think it should be. And I tend to push too hard too fast, and end up a little sore.

And some days, I just opt out. Put on the headphones and take the easy path rather than the challenging one. Or worse, just sit on the couch.

So here's the resolution: to try the challenging way even when I feel like sitting. To be open to trying new things. To explore more. It's a tall order...wish me luck.


ow. my ass.

back to pilates last night after a two+ week hiatus.

did an equipment class, which the sadomasochist in me just lluuuurrrvves. It's kinda like gymnastic class without the risk of breaking your neck. Which for little-miss-uncoordinated is really the only gymnastic option. The instructor is knowledgable, patient, and he's totally on to me...he does not let me cheat. Part of me loves that about him. The other part wants to hobble out of class and put sugar in his gas tank.

B, my buddy from work, invited me along to a class this spring, and now I'm totally hooked. She is my dealah. I feel taller and skinnier after class. How much so? Enough to totally eat that WHOLE ENTIRE (cheeseburger & fries/sundae/box o' candy/all of the above) with no regrets. It's like crack without the spoon, kiddies.

This morning, trying to get out of bed, I'm reminded that not only does pilates work your abs, it works a whole mess of other muscles. All of which are screaming bloody murder at me for the unfortunate combo of 2 weeks of inactivity + a kick-ass class.

Going to a benefit tonight for this organization. Created in honor of a sister of one of Hubby's grad school classmates, it's a great cause with a truly terrible story behind it. It's a cause we are truly happy to support, in the hope that we can empower someone feeling powerless.

(I just hope I can get my ass off the couch before we leave. I don't know that the couch will fit into the coupe...)


kitty hell...

...is a piano tuner.

Mr. Piano Tuner is doing his loud pitchy magic, trying to turn my honky-tonk toad into a real live piano again. And kitty is under the bed, looking pissed as hell.And I'm hoping that it's over soon, too. Even when I'm on a different floor, my little house isn't big enough to get away from the dingdingdingDINGDINGDINGDING on one string. Multiply that DING by 81 keys, and 2 or 3 strings per key, and you get a long morning indeed.

I am soooooo ready to be at work this morning. Ugh.

In other news, saw the WNO's dress rehearsal for Verdi's Macbeth last night. The orchestra was AWESOME - it was truly like sitting in a Memorex commercial, having these gorgeous waves of sound crashing past, blowing my hair back. The conductor was great - easy, relaxed movements, really took care of the singers [more than he should've needed to, I think, but that's a whole other posting...] and allowed the orchestra to shine. Boy, I wish that I had been able to sing some Verdi...it's not so much made for little voices like mine, though.

I think the tuner is allergic to cats....he's starting to sniff.
Maybe he'll finish faster...one can hope!


Sunday in the park with Rahreeeeeee

I'm no Sondheim, but it'll have to do.

I promised that I'd post springtime (leafy) pictures from my walks in the park, and today's the day!

Here's a picture from April 18th... a view of the C&O Canal from the bridge at Old Angler's Inn.

And here's what it looks like today:
It's a little like the park just exploded into green. Pow!

There were lots of critters, too...hawks circling on the air currents, lots of dogs and their owners out walking, lots of turtles (Having spent some time at the University of Maryland, you'll have to forgive me a little mascot promoting!) and a pair of Canadian gees who actually stopped swimming so that I could take this picture:

I'm taking a lot of piss-poor shots, but I'm starting to get a few more that I like.

I love me a dead stump and sunshine.

I'll leave you with this shot of the canal, the water and sky both a brilliant blue. Makes me happy to be alive.

Wishing you good things for the coming week!




Ok, so I'm not even really sure if I spelled it right, but I hope so.

When we moved to the DC area several years ago, one of hubby's co-workers took us under his wing. In fact, one of the first events I remember was being invited to his daughter's graduation party at a great restaurant in Alexandria, VA. (She's graduating this month. Time flies!) M and his family belong to a Greek Orthodox church in our neighborhood. It's a beautiful building full of nice, good, loud folks.

Now, how do I know so much about this church, being a Polish Roman Catholic? Well, once a year they have a Greek Festival, and these folks know how to celebrate! As you approach the church it smells like heaven - fresh air [today with a great spring breeze] seasoned with charcoal, roasting meat and fried dough. Aaaaahhhhh. Live music, Greek dancing every hour, a buffet TO DIE FOR with gyros and souvlaki and vats of tzatziki and homemade pita and wine and, of course, baklava.

Never mind that I had just eaten lunch before we went. I ate my whole gyro [ok, gave a tiny bite to hubby, but it wasn't as much as he would've liked!] which was roughly the size of Greece itself. Good stuff! And, of course, it was great to see M and his family, wife and all 3 kids (very poised and friendly, btw) while we were there.

Thank you M and family and St. George's in Potomac for the lovely afternoon - we'll definitely be back next May!


my new favorite thing

being both a cat-owner [and, most of the time, a cat-lover. unless it's the 4am and the cat in question is knocking crap off of my nightstand in an attempt to wake me up.] and a pianist, i heart this little girl. a lot.


mother-daughter relationship

Got up early and got my butt (and the rest of me) on the trail for a nice walk this morning. Before I left for Miami last week, trees were just starting to bud and there were traces of bright green and that crazy purply-pink on the cherry trees.

And now Mother Nature has got her groove on. BIG TIME.

Pictures to come soon...honeysuckle by the canal, vines [ok, it's kudzu, but it's still pretty] overgrowing big rocky outcroppings, everything shades of brilliant green. So pretty.

The bonus? I got a double-workout this morning, as I sneezed myself down the trail. Because when Mother Nature gets herself all dolled up, she's not doing it to feel good about herself. She's doing it to get lucky. And not just hey-i-won-2-bucks-on-this-scratch-off-lottery-ticket lucky, but rather the hey-i-just-won-the-whole-pot-at-the-high-roller-poker-table-at-the-bellagio-and-who-wants-to-party-with-me-now??? lucky.

So, thanks to M.Na, I feel good for having exercised, am invigorated from the beauty of the park. But I totally look like I'm stoned. Hunting for the eyedrops and hitting the shower. Have a great day, all!