TGIF, my friends!

It's well before 7am, and I've been awake (well, "awake" gives me a little too much credit) since 4ish. Two large cups of hazelnut coffee later - I know you coffee purists are scoffing at me, but it's SO GOOD - and some news and blog perusal later, and I'm almost feeling like a human being. Another few sips and maybe I'll gather enough courage to walk the dog...it's cold out this morning.

On the work front it's already 2009 for all intents and purposes. I've been moving virtual furniture, scheduling meetings, working on contracts, and finally reconciling all of the financials from the audition tour. Even though we travel and eat on the cheap, it adds up...and there are a million tiny receipts, hotel bills, etc. to reconcile. Try this math: each application fee that we collect, (whether you agree or disagree with the convention), is about equal to half the cab fare from any given airport to the hotel. Seven or eight of them gets one of us one night in a hotel room. Fifty of them will allow us to rent an audition space. Twenty of them will pay for one pianist for one day. So, while it seems that we make oodles of coin on applications, we actually don't. We're incredibly fortunate to be part of a larger organization who realizes the importance of doing a national tour: they realize how expensive it is for singers around the holidays to travel to us on the east coast and, as the opera industry becomes less localized in NYC, how important it is to see what's happening in conservatories and opera companies across the country. Without their support, well, let's not even think about that. I understand how difficult it is to pay the fee and not get the auditions - it happened to me more than once, I promise. But no one's getting rich - I promise that, too.

Ok, rant over. :)

So it's almost Christmas, and I'm having serious gifters block. It'll be a scaled back, and fairly somber holiday for my family. And I'm thinking of trying to make something, except, well, serious lack of transferable skills. (The picture above is of my last project - sequined ornaments. 'Cuz that's how I roll...shiny and more than a little tacky!) I can certainly bake, but am toying with a mix of baked goods, maybe pre-made cocoa or quickbread mixes in pretty jars, or maybe homemade liqueurs...anyone have any advice or suggestions? Seriously, I'm alllllll ears!

On today's docket? (Besides work, natch.) Buying lights for the porch - I only have multicolored strands, and hubby will break out in hives if he comes home to my pretty (shiny, tacky) colored lights rather than white ones outside. Making soup - it's the kind of day that a nice soup or stew and a load of crusty bread sounds like heaven in a bowl. Doesn't it? Mmmm...recipe browsing commencing in 3....2...1.....

My five:
  1. Warm feet.
  2. Inaugural excitement - this town is pretty jazzed, I have to say.
  3. Cuddly pets...they love me WAY more when it's cold outside. I'm not sure why... :)
  4. Scaling back on stuff & things, and stocking up on good experiences and great friends.
  5. Traditions.


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