4.30.2009

4.30.09


Ok, so maybe I'm enjoying this week off just a little too much. All of this time to go moping around in my head has left me a little off-center, as well as my kitchen bare (who runs out of olive oil?!) and my house, well, filthier than usual.

I know. It's hard to believe.

But it's barely light out and I'm already wide awake and almost through my first cup of coffee. So I am proclaiming today Get'erDoneDay. On the agenda?
  • meet LG at the gym at 9
  • laundry
  • walk the dog. At least twice.
  • clean the house
  • get groceries
  • run to Chevy Chase to buy espresso
  • new pillows - must. buy.
  • hit the bookstore for a new read...I'm spoiled after reading two great books at the lake. need new stories!
  • find a new recipe for dinner. While I have time to make dinner, it's time to add something new to the repertoire.
I have to say that there's a large part of me that really misses the routine of work, even when I'm only away for a few days. It's so tempting to check in, to get re-invested in what's happening and to want to take care of things as they arise, even when I'm not technically in. And this is of course the time when I think "OMG, did I forget something?" in regards to every aspect of the summer. It's difficult to leave it behind. But before I know it I'll be up to my eyebrows in singers and Whack-A-Mole, so I should enjoy it while I can, right?

So, gentle readers...any advice on a good new read or a tasty dinner recipe? (Take-out or getting ice cream for dinner doesn't count - we've already done both of those...some more than once...) I'm all ears!

My five:
  1. Time off mid-week.
  2. Green...nature went and got herself all tarted up, and I love it!
  3. Clean, warm laundry.
  4. Small indulgences.
  5. Choices.

4.29.2009

4.29.09 homecoming


This is the small town that I grew up in. I lived in several houses, in several neighborhoods in and around this town as a small girl.

I went on my first scavenger hunt. I found a beautiful blue bottle that the Flood of 1972 had buried in my backyard. I learned about the local Indian tribes and saw their fantastic plumed headdresses at the library, and read every Bobbsey Twins/ Alfred Hitchcock/ Stephen King book on their shelves. I learned about the Underground Railroad, and that some houses had secret rooms created to hide people. I found a shale arrowhead in my driveway. I learned the names of wildflowers...Crownvetch, Devil's Paintbrush, wild clover

I learned to play piano. I saw my first horror movie (Nightmare on Elm Street 1 and 2...a double feature), ate my weight in penny candy from Covey's, tried to be cool even though both of my folks were teachers and everybody knew them. Knew me. I had my first kiss. I learned to equate the smell of fresh manure with soft-serve ice-cream. (don't ask.) I walked through the cemetaries and talked to the gravestones, not able to bear how lonely all of those hundreds of people must have been, underground, silent. With no one to talk to.

The water was always present...rivers to both the east and west. Sliding too close to thin ice on sleds in the winter, sneaking down to dunk our feet in the summers...always the smell of fresh water. It brought us presents - shiny pieces of antique glass, an old key fob - but it also would cut tender, shoeless feet, flood-buried glass marking where there had once been water, where the water had beaten the land.

I'm going back on Sunday. For the first time in eighteen years, I'm going back.

I'm going back to see if the town I grew up in still exists.
I'm going back to bury my father.
I'm going back.

4.28.2009

4.28.09 soft landing


Hubby and pup and I skipped town for a few days and headed to Western Maryland for some needed R&R.

The weather? Gorgeous. Sunny, low humidity, warm, virtually bugless, with the most perfect breezes over the water.


An unforseen gift was the total lack of reliable phone and internet service. Sometimes the phone worked, sometimes not...so it was easier, and ultimately more refreshing, to just ignore it in favor of the scenery, the hound, the company.


My personal agenda? To make like a lizard and bask. I read two fabulous books, both of which I'm planning on diving right back into. (I have this overwhelming urge to drop everything, run away to Lisbon, and learn Portuguese.) I sunbathed, perhaps a little too much. I both ate salads (plural) AND napped (also plural), two feats that will inspire total disbelief in those that know me well. I got reacquainted with the joy of a cold beer on a dock in the mid-afternoon.

Now we're back, and I'm trying to decide whether to maintain the slightly slower pace that was so easy over the last few days, or to use this energy that I have to get all kinds of things done.

I think I'll choose door #1...

My five:

  1. The smell of sunned skin.
  2. Azaleas - I came back to find all of mine in bloom!
  3. Tired dog. :)
  4. Breezes.
  5. Homecomings

4.26.2009

4.26.09


Today all I have brain cells for is gratitude.

My double five:
1. Sunrise.
2. Challenging literature.
3. Sunburn.
4. Exuberant doggie joy.
5. Nature's breathtaking beauty.
6. Room to mull things over.
7. Color.
8. Hot, strong, black coffee.
9. Positive messages from the universe.
10. Welcome distractions.


Have a lovely Sunday, all!

4.24.2009

4.29.09 Really?!?

Again, it was shaping up to be a lovely day. Sunny and warm, my morning started with a rested feeling, a nice cup of coffee and some good conversation. I worked out with LG who taught me some new exercises...some of which I loved, and one in particular that I actually bellowed in frustration during. (If you're reading this LG, that little shuffle move can sleep with the fishes. Ugh!) Work was full of little details to complete before leaving the office for a little vacay (more on that later, certainly!), and complemented with lunch with a bud, a doggie play session and a jam session. A perfect day!

I ran home around noon to check on Mr. Yuk. He was such a mess yesterday that I just wanted to make sure that he was feeling better. It was a nice, momma-y thing to do! Right?

Hmmm... the detrius under the dining room table was a little different than normal. No shoes (hallelujah!), no magazines...

Napkins. Lots of napkins. And what looks like a can of... nuts?

(Insert Slap Chop "you're gonna love my nuts" joke here.)

Ok, so I know that nuts aren't great for dogs. And my particular pooch is on meds to keep things from...uh..leaving his system quickly. So I call my new best friends, the Vets.

And I'm told I need to induce vomiting. Hydrogen peroxide. 2 tablespoons, run him around, and wait for him to yak.

SERIOUSLY???

Seriously.

I am asking teh interwebs to help me. If I ever, ever post something on this blog that references getting a puppy? You are to reach out and slap me across the face.

Hard.

So today I have 2 lists of 5...one for things that I'm thankful for/that make me happy. And one for wishes. One of which will indubitably be "a day free of gross bodily fluids from humans or animals." Because if I wanted this much gross? I woulda been a doctor, rather than an opera lady.

My regular five:
  1. A pooch on the mend.
  2. Great local vets.
  3. Sandal weather.
  4. A much-needed vacation.
  5. Supportive colleagues. (You can fire the dog, but please don't fire me!)
And my wish-list five:
  1. Healthy, happy family, friends and pets. (or no gross fluids. I'll take either, really.)
  2. Beautiful weather.
  3. Transcendence.
  4. Laughter.
  5. Beautiful music, both of the audible and internal sorts.

4.23.2009

4.23.09 Attitude


Oh, today was to be a jam-packed day. Work, a lunch meeting, a quick run to the grocery store, a literal run with KPW, and dinner on the grill.

Things went a little awry in the wee morning hours. Usually Boo is a champion sleeper, but we were out walking, checking the constellations, from 2am until 4am. And while I'm a big fan of having the whole wide world to myself, I could've used a little less of it last night.

Hubby got up before I did and fed the dog. I got ready for work, walked Boo (who, for the record, seemed to be fine.) and headed to work. The dog walker (don't. judge.)was all set for the afternoon. Pretty boss lady brought me a soy latte - it was shaping up to be a beautiful day!

And it was! Mostly...

Fast forward to 5:30pm...post-work, post-grocery-store, pre-run. I walk into the house and was greeted by the unmistakable odor of...well...regurgitated poo.

Ew.

The dog is crated and in a total tizz, covered in seven kinds of nastiness. The house reeks, and the cat is looking at me with big "DO SOMETHING!!!!" eyes.

Double ew.

No run, except for an emergency run to the Vet for an exam and meds. He's perking up a little (and is totally pissed that he doesn't get dinner this evening.), so I think we're out of the woods. And even though it was an unwelcome wrench in the day, it was easily surfable.

My five:
  1. Flexibility.
  2. Sass.
  3. Sharing good music.
  4. Wine. Sometimes it really is medicinal.
  5. Garden hoses. Boy, am I glad we have one with a great nozzle!

4.22.2009

4.22.09 Gratitude

Usually when a package in the company mail room has my name on it, it's a set of orchestra parts, wigs, or some other production-related gak. Occasionally it's coffee for the espresso maker or a gift for hubby that I'm trying to keep on the DL.

But today?

A gift from one of the lovely folks in my class.
A goody basket.
Snacks and beverages and a terribly sweet note.

We say "thank you" to friends and colleagues all the time...it's the polite thing to do. But every once in a while we are gifted with a special "thank you." One that makes us feel, well....special.

And for that, for this lovely surprise, I am grateful.

My five:
  1. Unexpected emotion.
  2. Sunshine.
  3. Musical collaboration.
  4. Productivity.
  5. Thoughtfulness

4.21.2009

4.21.09

I've totally lost the ability to communicate in thoughts longer than 140 characters. Damn you, Twitter! But what I've lost in verbiage I've gained in culinary ability, as my poor little stove has been resurrected, and not a moment too soon. I will indeed be having a cup of tea before bedtime tonight... yup, getting a little crazy in the Rahree house!

I did in fact make it out for a little jog this morning, and had a productive, if disjointed, day at the office. As I was leaving the skies turned black and opened up...so nature provided me with another opportunity for exercise... running in heels is not so fun, for the record.

Zzzzzzzzz......

Wow. I'm even boring myself. I'll share these two things that made me smile and think.

And my five:
  1. This guy. Help him out - he's both deserving and totally fabulous.
  2. Candlelight.
  3. Good stories.
  4. Again...just read through it today at the piano, and think it's great!
  5. Time.

4.20.2009

4.20.09 out of sorts


The weather is cold and rainy again. I'm playing with less than a full deck, due to beverage-related overindulgences. And, to add insult to injury, my Gourmet magazine arrived in the mail today...to mock me and my stoveless existence.

But...

I got quite a bit done at work today. The trees behind my office have grown all leafy and green, all in the space of two days. I was gifted with tea and munchies - yum! Heroes is on the tube, and hubby scheduled a little R&R for us at the lake next week. So, really? A good day.

Tomorrow's challenge? Rail against the weather to get a run or workout in before hitting the office. Wish me luck.

My five:
  1. Clean, warm laundry.
  2. Take out. I'm becoming quite the connoisseur.
  3. Sesame sticks.
  4. Coconut-scented anything.
  5. This tune. Lovelovelove.

4.19.2009

4.19.09 impromptu dinner

Thank God for Facebook.

As of 11:30 this morning, my husband had invited several people over to the house for dinner. Two of the people invited were caterers. That's correct...two of our guests make their livings cooking for other folks.

For money.

And I have eaten their food and found it totally transcendent. They are Ecuadorian culinary rock stars, and their tres leches cake will melt your undergarments, it's that good.

(Can you say PRESSURE?)

And, let's add into the equation that I melted my stove on Wednesday. No warming drawer, no last-minute nuke...no safety net. Even the Slap Chop couldn't save me.

GAAAHHH.

I posted my status (without solace, totally clueless, stranded with nary a culinary ambition) on Facebook. And the overwhelming advice {started by the lovely JvE} ran along the lines of "If you have wine, everything will be fine."

At 5pm, we had a house full of hungry people. Hungry people with fairly savvy palates.

I had wine. Lots. (Not personally, but on hand. Well...maybe personally AND on hand.) Plus homemade bruschetta and guac, burgers and salad and veggies. And the lovely DaisyGirl and her hubby K brought dessert: strawberries and angel food cake. Yum!

And, between the wine and the food and the conversation? Everything fell into place in the most lovely, organic kind of way. It was a fabulous evening, exemplified by the fact that DaisyGirl and MiAmore totally clicked across the table...I am happiest when my friends love each other! And the boys had a great time, too... I'm hoping that I didn't miss any negative subtleties, and that the lovefest that I perceived was in fact the reality.

So, Miss JvE and my other, fabulous, culinarily gifted friends...you totally made this evening a success for me - the ideas, the confidence, the support! {The solar oven? Awesome idea...but I'm so wishing it wasn't overcast this evening!!!} I love that I can get support from friends that are thousands of miles away, in real time. It's an amazing thing, and something for which I feel amazingly grateful.

My five:
  1. Ridiculous, fabulous daydreams.
  2. The Edies.
  3. Bliss lotion. One of my favorite, stinkest elementary school memories is rubbing my dad's feet after a long day. He would've loved this stuff.
  4. Red lipstick.
  5. Snapdragons.

4.18.2009

4.18.09 Lazy Evening

I'm watching Yes Man, a movie with Jim Carey. I've missed a large part of the film due to a necessary obligation (Dog walk. Duh. ), but there's a big scene with a Ducati motorcycle, a hospital gown, and Journey's "Separate Ways" blasting.

I love Journey. And I can probably still sing any number of their big tunes. (Who are we kidding? The night is young - I probably will be singing a number of their big tunes!)

The best part of the movie? (Qualified answer, as I only saw the first few scenes and then the end.)
"Well, then, let's be scared together. Say yes."

I love it! The message is not to be brave, not to be correct. Be scared. Be uncertain. Make mistakes. Do great things. Or maybe just do. Make connections. Ease a burden. Give a little more. Push the envelope.

Say yes.


My five:
  1. An overdue, sunny weekend. I feel like a new woman!
  2. Massage. A totally overlooked ministry, but Godlike nonetheless.
  3. Bare legs and sandals. Aaahhhh...
  4. Open windows.
  5. Yes.
For you Journey fans, here's a parting shot.

4.16.2009

4.16.09

TV is fun. Super fun!

After a mad cleaning frenzy, Liz Crenshaw and her producer Murray and cameraman Chester came to the house to film a consumer segment on the SlapChop. I'm tickled that Ho'H suggested me, and so appreciative that SingleGirl took time off work to babysit Boo. You guys ROCK!

We started by closing all the blinds and watching the commercial dvd several times. (I swear. It was the infomercial. There was no porn involved.) The commercial is actually pretty ridiculous...he keeps equating boring food with a boring life, but somehow boring food in itty-bitty-tiny pieces is no longer boring! Go figure!

Then we rearranged the furniture in the kitchen to create a playing surface. (Hubby has wanted to get a rolling butcher block table for months, now, and after this I'm ready as well!) I had a list of items from the producer that I purchased at the grocery store, and we spent about an hour slapping and chopping. Eggs, celery, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, nuts. (One of the infomercial lines was "You should see my nuts." I kid you not. And I'd like to show you what happens to men who make bad puns on national tv.) The best part? You totally can put a whole clove of garlic in that bad boy, slap it once, and the papery skin falls off. Worth. Its. Weight. In. Gold.

It was a little crazy...once the camera rolled I couldn't pay attention to Chester or Murray, couldn't look into the camera (whoops...I'm sure I did a few times), and I lost all language skills. Wow, will I ever be able to speak in front of people without sounding like a dork? *shakes the magic 8 ball* "Signs point to NO."

When we finished, we tried to get the animals to eat, for another segment on pet foods. Kitty totally pulled a Garbo and freaked out at the camera and the lights. (I think I'm still bleeding from one well-placed gauge.) But Boo totally rose to the occasion and snarfed half a dish of food noisily in .5 seconds.

He's totally going to be famous.

My five:
  1. New opportunities.
  2. Uncharted territory.
  3. Mistakes. Even when they're huge - heck, especially when they're huge, they're the best teachers.
  4. Sunshine. I totally don't feel like a weather-related crying jag today, for the first time in days!
  5. Friends.


4.15.2009

4.15.09

Today was Monday. The calendar said Wednesday, but it was most definitely Monday. Another day of cold, soaking rain has sucked all of the fun out of me. (how do you Seattle-ites do it?) I'm breaking things, making dumb choices, snapping at the dog, reaching for things not within my grasp, and pouting.

A lot.

And to boot, I think I killed my stove...granted, I could've burnt my house down. (I think we've thankfully averted that particular crisis this evening, though.) Not having a stove is going to seriously cramp my culinary skillz...sigh....

I'm done. Going to bed.

Tomorrow will be a better day. It will be sunny. I will have a clean house. And a film crew will visit for a little local tv action...oh yeah. Cousin Lindsay, look out!

(Jealous? Have your people call my people. We'll do lunch.)

My five...difficult this evening.
  1. Bleach.
  2. Gerbera daisies.
  3. Candlelight.
  4. Fortune cookies.
  5. Clean laundry.

4.13.2009

4.13.09


Tonight marked the end of my 5-week group voice class.

After leaving a teaching career to work in this awesome artsy non-profit, I found myself missing the classroom, and the folks in the Education department were kind enough to give me an outlet for my teacherly tendencies. I taught an intro voice course last fall, and this year rather than repeating my last class, we decided to focus on specific repertoire. (Quite honestly, I think my students from the fall would've appreciated more time to sing and less yakity-yak from me about musculature and vowels.)

We've been looking at the music of Gershwin, Arlen, and Porter, and using it as a vehicle for vocal study. A small class, the members were all accomplished adults in their professional lives. I was pleasantly surprised each week with their willingness to follow, to be pushed, to step outside their comfort zone. We laughed, danced, and struggled through repertoire that's not easy even for accomplished singers. Happy songs, sexy songs, silly songs...this American Songbook rep has beautiful melodies and great lyrics! It seems a mix between guilty pleasure and privilege to teach these gems to folks who've never heard them. And it was definitely a privilege to listen to each singer individualize these great tunes.

I love seeing people stretch themselves. While there were mistakes on all sides (I'm a total hack at the piano anymore), there were moments of real beauty on all sides, as well. It was inspirational, perspirational, a lovely way to spend Monday evenings. And it's made me want to make more musical mistakes, myself.

But now? The focus turns to Mozart, Monteverdi, and Puccini. The next few weeks are all about getting the season on its feet, finding some children to sing in some choruses (can I please borrow yours?), and prepping for artist arrivals. Lots to do...time to rally the brain cells and stockpile enough work so that I can just play whack-a-mole from May-August.

My five:
  1. Hot tunes.
  2. Provocative conversation.
  3. The Tudors. Don't judge.
  4. Planning.
  5. Creating.

4.12.2009

4.12.09 Happy Easter!


It's a beautiful, cool, sunny, Easter Sunday morning. A perfect day for reflecting, for giving thanks, for saying a hopeful prayer.

One of my best buddies is celebrating a birthday today... I'm sending good vibes to Vegas, and hoping to connect with her in person soon!

And I had a great chat with a buddy from my tiny little Catholic elementary school this morning...waaaaay back in the day! (I think the last time I spoke to him was in the late 80's.) He's stationed in Korea, and is writing a book about how he found faith after a rough college experience. He's promised to send me the first few chapters... I can't wait to read it!

Within the last few weeks great things have been happening...new people, new projects, new ideas all coming into my view unexpectedly and happily. I'm feeling very blessed, very lucky...so, while I may not make it into a church today to say thanks or celebrate, I am certainly doing both, loudly and joyously, in my heart.

My five:
  1. Faith.
  2. Celebration.
  3. Reconnection.
  4. Artistry.
  5. Challenge.

4.11.2009

4.11.09 link-o-rama

It's a lazy morning in the Rahree house. The weather is gloomy and wet, and even though Boo and I were up and out the door at 7, we've found our way back to that place between napping and wakefulness. (Having a toasty warm, snuggly cat on my lap and a little Oren Lavie on the iPod helps, too.) It's been a good week with lots of laughter and music and friends, and I'm curled up in the afterglow, thinking about jam sessions and making plans for some pre-season vacation time.

On this gloomy morning, let me distract you from your list of chores with some links that I'm loving...
  • These. And the company name is brilliant. I like Critique and Series, myself...
  • I'm a huge fan of The Big Picture, pictoral essays from Boston.com. It being Holy Week, there's a photo essay on Catholicism. The photos are beautiful from an artistic standpoint, but also deeply disturbing... the traditional costuming means something so different in our modern world. I couldn't stop looking at #31, couldn't keep from framing my faith in that viewpoint, and finding it (my faith, that is) sorely lacking.
  • Easter egg ice cubes. I will never have the time (or inclination, probably) to do this, but it's cute.
  • If you're feeling a little evil, or just needing to stick to your diet, may I suggest this?
  • Seasonal creativity...as good as the Bloomies Christmas windows in NYC. 
Today I have an appointment with a treadmill, a few voice lessons to teach, some keyboard noodling to, well...noodle, and a hankering to make a total mess of my kitchen by trying something new and tasty for dinner. Or dessert. Or both. 

My five:
  1. Fuzzy blankets for cold feet.
  2. Time at the piano.
  3. Pawprints on wood floors.
  4. Daydreams.
  5. Birdsong.

4.09.2009

4.9.09 I heart my neighborhood...


...installment number eight million.

I stepped out onto the porch this morning, and Boo immediately started barking. This lovely thing was sitting on our steps! It's a beautiful Easter basket, with candy, a gerbera daisy (that I'm going to plant in the yard!) and even tennis balls for El Diablo. That our neighbors have welcomed us so fully makes my heart feel two sizes too big for my chest.

My five:
1. Happy dog.
2. Pharmaceuticals- can almost move my neck! Yeah!
3. Generosity.
4. Days that deviate from the routine.
5. Sunrise.

4.08.2009

4.8.09

I'm organized! Woo-hoo! My email, my files, my bookcase...pristine. The top of my desk is a complete mess, but hey! Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.

After Organizapalooza 2009, the nice lady in the office next door to me was working on supertitles for Cosi, one of this summer's operas. It revolves around fidelity and, well, the lack thereof. So every once in a while I'd get an IM from her asking for synonyms for words and phrases...I'm totally hoping that "total losers" and "stuck-up ho" make it into the final version. That being said, if it does I hope our more life-experienced patrons don't make it a point to ask, "What does a hoe have to do with this scene? What's it stuck in? We're not in the garden until the second act! And, by the way - it's a typo. You spelled it wrong."

Short post tonight...had a great workout until my back protested and cut the session short, so I'm spending the evening trying to baby myself a little. Bath, early bedtime, and some medicine will hopefully make tomorrow a much, much nicer day.

My five:
  1. Baths. Aaaahhhhh...
  2. Visits from friends.
  3. Samoas... why those cookies taste so good?
  4. Homemade artwork.
  5. Laughter.

4.07.2009

4.7.09 Organization: FAIL

I love organization. The Container Store, Real Simple Magazine, a clean desk... all things that call to me. I even have the word "Administrative" in my professional title. The sign of an organizational genius, right?

Wrong.

My files are barely up-to-date. I have office gak (a tape measure a little green mirror, and a broken Palm keyboard)from my predecessor...who left three years ago. Candy wrappers with pithy sayings, All Access Passes from the FC, photos and granola bars and vitamins, all share room with Collective Bargaining Agreements, marketing samples, ground plans and invoices.

But today my packrat tendencies were totally exposed.

I got locked out of my email.

After weeks of sending headshots, contracts, cut lists and measurement sheets, my mailbox was WAY over limit. Now, over limit is not really news in my case...every other week I get a nudge from LaJefa or KPW: "Hey, clean out your inbox." But my workplace has instituted a size limit...hit one number and you get an automated warning. Surpass that number and you're unable to send or receive email. But I go through my inbox and save all the pesky large attachments and delete the emails. Hey! I'm clean! I tell the IT director to put me on the program...I'm golden.

Within minutes I get an instant message from a colleague. "Hey, I sent u an email & it bounced back."

Do not pass go. Do not get a warning. Email cut off.

But this time I totally thought it WAS cleared out! I was good! Golden, even! And was shown that I had only but scratched the surface.

Damn.

So tomorrow is Organization Boot Camp. It's a good thing...KPW has always wanted to be other of those folks who swoop in and show some poor slob how to make their space neater and more efficient.

And me, well, I'm the slob.

I've always wanted someone to make sense of my stuff. I will happily be providing Starbucks, lunch and copious iTunes as an offering to the organization gods... er... Goddess.

My five:
  1. Knowing my limits.
  2. Singing the same tune at the top of my lungs over and over again.
  3. Coconut...can't seem to get enough of it. Mmmm...
  4. White wine.
  5. Conversation, irl or online...love it all.

4.06.2009

4.6.09


Boo and I walked past this sign yesterday, while strolling in a local park. Poetry and flowers...a perfect, unexpected gift.

My five:
1. Mild weather.
2. Birdsong.
3. Midnight dog walks.
4. Comfort.
5. Surprise. (the good kind, naturally.. I wonder if I'll ever again be able to write that word without having to qualify it.)

4.05.2009

4.5.09

Girls rule. It's true.

I spent most of the day today in the company of some fabulous ladies: The beautiful EHL, and LL, visiting from their temporary home in Berlin; E the helpful neighbor and expert stroller-pusher; KPW (she of the gorgeous new basement rec room!) and her sister-in-law BA; and SRT, a former student who has grown into a beautiful, self-assured young reporter. They are smart, fun, interesting, gentle, and generous to a fault.

It was a treat to spend the afternoon in their company.

My five:
  1. Good people.
  2. Sunshine.
  3. Gray areas.
  4. Singing at the top of my lungs...if you were in DC this afternoon, you probably heard me.
  5. Room to cry.

4.04.2009

4.4.09

The girl scout cookies arrived just as I was leaving for the gym...Coincidence?

I think not. Ohhh temptation...in samoa form.

Other than trying to avoid eating a whole box of cookies by myself in .7 seconds, it's been a busy day. This concert last night was super-fabulous...one of those nights when it's hard to fall asleep afterward. I'm sad that the area reviewers have missed a number of our chamber music concerts this year, as they've been pretty dang phenomenal. Last night's festivities were capped by a beautiful 3-year old princess who charmed our intern, ran around the reception, and twirled on stage until her mom and dad could separate from the crowd and return to their hotel. She can sing Ariel's tunes from The Little Mermaid pretty well already...maybe we can book her for 2026!

But a late night meant a late start this morning. I caffeinated, walked the dog, got ready for the gym, bounced out the door and just about ran over a smiley-faced girl scout with boxes of cookies. Cookies that I had totally forgotten about. Ugh. So I left the cookies on the stoop, drove to the gym and made it just in time for the kettlebell class. Sweet! But the instructor moves really, really fast! Not sweet! And then, to counteract the cookies that I knew I'd be inhaling later, I ran for a mile or so on the treadmill.

And then I had a cookie.

It was the best cookie in the history of cookiedom. The fact that I have a whole (well, almost) box of them to mete out over the next few days? That's called piece of mind, friends.

The most fun today though? Buying a little recording app for my iPhone, sitting at a piano, and noodling around in my quiet office. I've been promising myself that I'd start doing some writing, and all of a sudden it was easy! It flowed! I can't say that any of it is good, because I'm not ready to critique anything just yet...but at least I'm starting to collect some fragments, and to stretch that right side of my brain. Feels good!

Tonight is all about making dinner, doing some reading (singlegirl lent me the latest James Frey novel - I'll be on the couch all night! Thanks, lady!) and maybe even an early bedtime.

My five:
  1. Flip flops.
  2. Tired muscles.
  3. Red wine.
  4. Silly conversations.
  5. Clear, sunny days.

4.03.2009

4.3.09 eyes closed

Back to the gym, after a bit of a hiatus. Lost some weight, got some muscle, signed up for a 5k this month (ACK!) that's probably going to kick my @ss. But I'm ok with it.

The trainer that I work with is fabulous. LG is smart, patient and has good humor to spare. I usually walk into our training sessions feeling a little nervous (not knowing what we're going to do, thinking that it'll be too hard and I'll be frustrated or humiliated...all remnants from middle school gym class, I feel sure.), talking a little too much and not concentrating on what's being asked of me. The more we work together, though, the more she sees through my little tricks and just makes me pant. It's hard to finish a sentence when you're trying to run ladders without tripping! She looks over my food journals every week, and while she makes great suggestions (that I almost never end up taking), she doesn't judge me based on what I eat or don't eat, or on how easily I make/don't make it through a workout.

After years of judging myself on how I measure up - or more frequently, don't measure up - her attitude is amazingly refreshing.

One of LG's sets yesterday was a simple shoulder press...handweights, shoulder height to start, then lifted over my head. To improve my balance, she had me do the first set standing on one leg, and the second on the other. Piece. Of. Cake. The third set was similar...standing on one leg (half the set on the right, half on the left), but this time with my eyes closed.

Eyes. Closed.

It was almost impossible. I could barely balance on one foot, let alone raise the weights overhead without falling off of my supporting foot. It was frustrating to the extreme...in the middle of a crowded gym, with all of these people getting an endorphin buzz from their workout...I wanted to cry. Bad form, Rahree, bad form! LG watched me struggle, and offered some suggestions that started to help. I got a few on one side before falling, and then the other... I tried to complete the set, moving much more quickly through them than I probably should have, but just trying to finish the task without cheating.

Done. Sans weeping. Whew.

It's amazing to me how much that one little step outside my comfort zone totally rocked my worldview...how closing my eyes paralyzed me to such a degree. There's a lesson for me in there somewhere, I feel sure...

My five:
  1. Patient, positive people. (Thanks, LG!)
  2. Spring thunderstorms.
  3. Extra quiet time in the morning.
  4. Good music.
  5. The room to sing.

4.02.2009

4.2.09 bitchin' tunes


Today is a good day! And so was yesterday! Two in a row - shouldn't be legal! But I love it!

Actually, my soundtrack for the last 36 hours is totally killer... I have a new favorite song (live version embedded below) that I've been listening to non-stop since last night. I got to talk to a pal both last night and this morning, and her voice is sweet music to my ears. Another long conversation last night resulted in a musical pact of sorts...it's given me insight into a colleague that I really like, and has forced me to revisit some (questionable, to be sure) musical projects and decisions from my past. Add into the mix the arrival of a summer dress via the mail and a totally random solicitation to test a product on local tv, and it's been a pretty awesome two days!

But the sweetest sound? The voice of my trainer saying that my workout this afternoon was finished. I didn't work out last week at all, and I paid the piper today, my friends...whooooo, boy.

Can't.
Lift.
My.
Arms.

Tomorrow is all about chamber music, with the Pacifica Quartet (ahem, the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet!) playing a concert in the Barns. Sounds like another day with another fabulous soundtrack to me!

My five:
  1. Challenge. Especially once I've overcome it.
  2. Happiness...it's been elusive, so I'm glad it's hanging around for a day or two!
  3. Friends, new and old.
  4. Good music.
  5. Creativity
And here's the video...she'll be at the Barns on Wednesday - join me!