On today's docket?

Long walk with pup - check! [he's passed out in a puppy puddle - not a piddle puddle, but a puddle of sleepy puppy - against the front door.] He's very much the Romeo, as he wants to love up everyone we meet, human or animal. It's hard to tell a 40 pound energizer bunny that maybe the approaching jogger doesn't want to stop for some puppy love. Personally? I think those joggers are crazy to pass up puppy lovin', but that's just me. The park is beautiful this time of year, austere, quiet...

Retail therapy with CC in G'town. I used to sing at a church near the university, and spent quite a bit of time in the neighborhood. Since leaving the job I haven't found too many excuses to visit, but an afternoon window shopping [for merchandise and imaginary-real-estate] with a new friend sounds like heaven.

And then? Nada... aaaaahhhhh...


on my way in to work this morning

Stapled onto a pole holding a traffic sign, six blue hearts, arranged in three pairs




with no number or name.

Whoever Blue is, I hope he or she picks up the phone.

Edited 9:45 pm - A reliable source tells me that there are other blue hearts in the surrounding neighborhoods, with apologies and notes for Blue. I will be doing some recon this weekend! And hoping that Valentine's Day brings some love to some nearby strangers...


finer points

I am surrounded by the sounds of snoring... canine, feline and human. (wait - didn't Simon Garfunkel write a song about that? Hello darkness, my old friend...) And it's not even 11:00 pm. Ah, yes, the Rahree household is just one big party, all the time! One of the great things about a small house is knowing where everybody is... but it can get a little noisy at peculiar times.

Work is good - I'll be spending the next week or two writing contracts.
Some have already gone out, some are ready to be sent, and some I need to rewrite from scratch. This time of year really drives home the collaborative nature of this business. Now, when I say "collaboration" you may be thinking of the rehearsal room, of coachings with pianists and singers, of the sitzprobe. But the real collaborations begin in the many meetings where we set the language that defines our relationship with our artists and the public language surrounding our performances. Every word is important is both of these ventures: the broad brush strokes that we usually "paint" with are traded in for specific, fine-tuned vocab. [Not unlike this little venture...hahahaha!] Again, I am blessed to work with folks who are both detail-oriented and patient enough to spend time teaching me to use an eyeliner rather than a paint roller. Boy, do they have their work cut out for them! {I promise, I can be taught...}

And one of the things that is making time fly by in the office? These guys. Little Ms. Bossy had them up in her sidebar for months, and I finally listened. And fell in lurve. I may need to make a habit of musically stalking the lovely LMsB! Other new recs? Him and Her and Him and Her.

Tomorrow? Hoping for a bon mot or two, enough focus to plug away at the big projects on my desk, and a little bit of chutzpah. Just because.



There's something about this time of year...lots of time spent indoors, less-than-hospitable weather, quiet days at work... that bring out my inner daydreamer.

Now I'm very much aware of how lucky I am...I love my job, my hubby, my family and friends, and my life in general. I have fun and am positively challenged on a regular basis.

But I love to play "what if."

What if I won the lottery?
What if I had a successful second (wait, third.) career as a songwriter? Private investigator? Nascar driver?
What if I started training for a marathon? (HAhahahahahahahahaha! Good one.)
What if (without ever practicing, natch) someone famous overheard me singing and declared me the new big thing?

There's something energizing about removing boundaries, and seeing myself and my future as being full of possibilities. Granted, it was easier to daydream about the future when I was a little younger and had fewer expectations, and fewer still realizations about what was important to me and how to steward those integral beliefs and priorities... it was a method of figuring out where I fit in the world and how to choose which paths to take. But trying on different mental wardrobes and seeing how they feel, even when I'm feeling pretty fulfilled, is something I enjoy and ultimately helps me figure out long-term goals. I probably don't do it often enough.

But, funny thing, my afternoon is wiiiiiiiide open.

I think I'll start by imagining how I'm going to spend my millions from the winning lottery ticket that I haven't purchased...


it's a really really really cool opera. really. you should come see it.

Aaaaahhhh... Saturday!

I'm happily ensconced on the couch after taking the pup for a little walk in the snow.

It's lovely to have an extra day of weekend!

While work is not crazy in the sense of millions of projects/cast of thousands that we see in the summer, it still has its share of challenges.

While our season isn't public yet [spoiler alert: it's going to be AWESOME!] we have a gazillion mailers, fliers, ads, and email pieces to create copy for, find representative artwork for [even though we don't yet know what the design concepts will be...] and proof for early spring deadlines. Writing ad copy is definitely not something they teach in music school, although they probably should. I know the pieces we're "selling" are unique, super-cool and not-to-be-missed, but it's hard to sum an opera with its inherent plot twists, complex characters and foreign language up in one cliche-free sentence that is as compelling for both the opera buff as the novice. [Being short and sweet fits me well in person, but my writing style? Not so much.] And since I will probably spend a good portion of the weekend watching advertising float across my TV screen, I can hope that maybe some concise wittiness will work its way into my subconscious, and that I'll create some brilliant copy on Tuesday!

Deny yourself nothing in a dream, folks.

This weekend, other than staying inside so's to not freeze my tuckus off, is full of laundry, puppy time, and hubby's birthday. And, since it's Saturday, I think I'll have another cup of coffee in front of the tube and catch up on some commercials... stay warm, y'all.


apropos of nothing

thank you, Sheryl Crow, for the perfect title, reflecting both my love of frothy pop driving music and the lack of content in this post.

  • the puppy was ALL shades of wound up when I got home. Put the "light classical" cable channel on - Vivaldi, natch - and the dog is asleep in 5 seconds. Coincidence? You decide.
  • I'm not OCD in any of the helpful ways: detail oriented-ness, eye-like-a-hawk proofreader-ness, everything-has-its-proper-place-ness...all of the good ones. But I do still have a touch of it, in the I-have-to-listen-to-that-song-until-I-can-sing-every-word-without-messing-it-up-ness, or the let-me-do-it-until-I-have-it-right-ness. But it's really only relevant with pop music, significant doodle art and jack-knife dives, and other things that are all-too-amazingly important for amazingly brief periods of time.
  • again and again, I am astounded by the variety of friends that I've been blessed with. I'm not sure I'm cool enough to hang out with you folks, but I'm glad you let me tag along.
  • i bought one of these, and frankly am a little startled at the impulse... stay tuned for details.
  • i. love. augusten. burroughs. i don't think i'd probably be able to have a satisfying conversation with him at a party or anything, but i do dig his stories. I feel saner reading him.
More on work, summer 2008, and other stuff n' junk soon. I promise.


making plans

I know it's necessary to plan.

Schedules. Finances. Goals. All important.

But so often it seems like all the planning is for naught. Or that the planning overshadows the actual outcome. Or that the end result is so amazingly removed from the plan, that everything would've been easier had there not been a plan in place.

And some of the people I find most intriguing are those who have no plan. No agendas, and complete freedom to be 'in the moment.' They make me jealous.

Could I live without a plan? Could simply living be plan enough?

Wow. Deep.
Move over Jack Handey...


Getting organized

It's that time of year when I look at my surroundings and am totally disgusted by my packrat tendencies. Files? Full. Email? Overflowing, to the point that the IT guys make a special point of asking her to free up server space for the other 80+ employees. Brain? Fragmented by all the different to-do lists.

Time for an early spring cleaning!

It's a good time for it... get organized for the crazy summer, get rid of all the extra gak I've been hauling around (both physically and mentally), streamline so that I spend more time on the important things, and lesson trying to suss out what exactly IS important.

Step one? The Purge. Email purge, that is. Work AND home. You've heard of declaring email bankruptcy? Well, I didn't go quite that far, but I archived everything I received or sent before December 31st, and started with a blank inbox. Everything gets filed or answered or trashed. It's KPW's method, and I have to say that I am LOVING it!

If it were only so easy to get rid of the double chin I grew in 2007... sigh...

Lest you think I'm eating bon-bons and napping under my desk waiting for May, here's a list of some of the things I'm working on for the summer:
  • acquiring rental materials and licensing rights for the operas we'll be performing.
  • talking to conductors and contractors about instrumentation for each piece, keeping the size of our pit [tiny!] in mind.
  • arranging site visits for artistic staff.
  • looking over ticket scales [prices] for the different types of programming we do in each venue.
  • sweet-talking some hotel chains into giving me some summer inventory for very little money. (deny yourself nothing in a dream, Rahree)
  • double-checking residency dates and project assignments.
  • making some staffing decisions.
  • begging HR to institute direct deposit for my summer employees.
  • organizing my files. Volpone was SO last season! :)
  • payroll. It's never too early to start crunching numbers!

And that's in addition to working on our Chamber Music series and prepping for the National Symphony's summer residency at the Filene Center. Wow, that's a lot of stuff. Maybe I'll just grab some candy off KPW's desk and curl up under here for awhile...

...Rahree Costanza signing off.


without language

I've probably started a half-dozen posts, and run out of words. Or, rather, not been able to find the correct words. So let me sum up thusly:

Full of good stuff, with the occasional irritation or frustration. Made lots of good friends, reconnected with several buddies from the past, saw a number of new-to-me cities, including Houston, LA, Seattle, Chicago, Cincinnati and San Francisco. Heard a number of concerts, operas, and an audition or hundred. (2007 had a great soundtrack!) Got a puppy. Watched several good pals grapple with big issues and events, happy and tragic, and wished desperately that I could've done more or been closer or just waved my magic wand to make everything all better. (Dang, I wish I could remember where I put that blasted thing!)

It was, all in all, a good year.

2008, you have some big shoes to fill... but I'm hoping you're up for the challenge.