5.31.09 miscellany

  • Anne Midgette wrote a great series for washingtonpost.com (excerts from a lecture she gave for the Friday Morning Music Club) about classical music and our definition of "amateur." As a non-performer (as of late), my favorite quote is, "I think most of us who love music are sorry that the general experience of it has evolved (or devolved) from active to passive. Where once the audience bought piano arrangements and played chamber music at home, fans now are simply listeners, whether in the concert hall or at home on CD." While I don't have any desire to perform professionally anymore, I still do play quite a bit (Musicnotes.com is my newest drug of choice) but having the occasion to collaborate is something I miss terribly. And I still struggle with the passive aspects of being an audience member...I don't just want to listen to the pretty noise, I want to make the noise!

  • I took this test and got a 7. Pretty decent, all things considered! I now have concrete proof that all my childhood whining to get the big box of crayola crayons was justifiable.

  • While I love email and Facebook messages and Twitter, I want real mail. Written. Cancelled stamps. Penmanship. Postcards and letters... messages that are less ephemeral, that are keepsakes. Proof of my relationships. I have promised my friend JG in Poland that I'll send him a postcard...and I'm willing to make good on that promise to any of you that read, too. If you want a real note, shoot me an email with your address! I'm buying pretty stationery and a good pen, just in case...
Today is an easy day, with a few things on the agenda...gym, work for a few hours, laundry. But Monday will be my first 12 hour day of the summer...lots of new faces, a full schedule of meetings and entrance interviews, a picnic and a session of Death By Aria. Can't wait! :)

My five:
  1. Nerdy magazines. Sometimes I just don't care about fashion trends or truffles or exercises that make my butt look smaller.
  2. Showing up. Most of the time, that's all you have to do...
  3. Not having to do my hair or makeup before I leave the house.
  4. This album. Thanks to TexasAvocado for turning me onto it!
  5. Pocky. Yay!


5.30.09 missed anniversaries

Well, I not only missed my poor blog's three-year anniversary, but also missed several posting milestones. This is post #601. Eek! If you've made it this far with me, buy yourself a drink and pat yourself on the back! And thanks for following along - I know it's often amazingly light on content, but I so appreciate the comments and email. I love my extended interwebs family! I've been thinking a lot lately about the role of this little project in my life...I have friends who have decided to walk away from their writing, others who have resumed after a significant hiatus. Some write about work, some refuse to write about work for fear of being Dooced, I'm sure. I think most of you who read this probably know who I am and what my professional gig is - there aren't millions of us out there. And I know that some folks only read this in the fall, when I write more specifically about work and our audition tour. But this is - obviously, I hope - not a work blog. (or, if it were, it'd be the worst one EVER.) There are many people who write more eloquently about our business, about the arts in general than I ever will. And while it may be something that I aspire to on some level, it's not what this is about.

Because, if I only wrote a work-sanctioned blog, how could I post things like this? And this? And, for the love of the f-bomb, this?

You get it, right? You smell what I'm steppin' in.

Anyhoo, it's a beautiful day today in our nation's capital region - sunny and warm, without the soaking humidity that usually accompanies summer weather. I had big plans for today; a doggie 2k with Boo and Mischabelle and Wrigley, grocery shopping, a good workout, and some quality porch time with another volume of short stories borrowed from LaJefa. My body is not so much cooperating, though...it's achy and sore, and really is only interested in the last items on my to-do list. Rather than pushing through it, I think that I'll listen for once. The iPod is on my mellow playlist (Weepies, Pete Yorn, Elliot Smith, Band of Horses, Cassandra Wilson), and I'm contemplating a third cup of coffee, a hot shower, and the replacement of my pjs with something similar, if not exactly the same. The upcoming week will be a challenge, so soaking up a little extra leisure time today is probably a perfect prescription.

My five:
  1. Cushioned porch furniture.
  2. Bug repellent. Buying stock in Off! as soon as I finish this post.
  3. Songs I can sing along with. Even better if I can easily harmonize.
  4. These pants. They're perfection.
  5. A purring kitty headrest. He's so thoughtful, my cat!


5.28.09 the big cheese

This is my kind of race. All downhill, pursuing a worthy prize...I could totally get behind this.

Today's activities will alternate between desk work and furniture moving (tables, a digital piano, rehearsal cubes), with short breaks for a mini-recital and dinner with a buddy on the other side of the universe. (aka PG County, Maryland. It's a fur piece from the office, especially during rush hour!) Even though the big influx of artists don't arrive until Monday, we're firmly in whack-a-mole mode in the office...I think it's taken us all a bit by surprise.

My five:
  1. Misty morning walks.
  2. Sushi lunches.
  3. Running until I wheeze...(I know, but I'm grateful that my body does what I tell it to. Most times, anyway)
  4. Heavy jewelry.
  5. Notes from friends.



You can tell the DC-area weather by my posting habits. Sunny? Warm? Either or both, and I'm happy to write daily, even sometimes more frequently.

But again it's cloudy and cold, and I'm wishing that I hadn't packed quite all of my cold-weather gear away in the boxes where my skirts and sundresses spent the winter. But rather than bitch (but wait - whatever is stopping you, Rahree?), I'm going to walk the dog, maybe try to fit a pre-work jog in, and prepare myself to decimate my work to-do list. One of the guys I follow on Twitter always fits something positive or inspirational into his 140-character allotment, and today I'm taking his lead. It's all about positive attitude today! (I'll let you know how it works out.)

My five:
  1. Bath salts.
  2. Espresso. (Yes, I'm writing this in the morning. How did you know?)
  3. Blue nail polish.
  4. My fabulous hairdresser - in, out, and gorgeous in only an hour? Dahling!
  5. Fog.


5.25.09 memorial day

Happy Memorial Day!

There's lots going on in the DC area today...parades, a festival in my little town, church services, and services at Arlington and the monuments...many ways to celebrate the men and women who have kept us safe. I have a childhood friend serving overseas, so for the first time I'm feeling a little more of a connection to this holiday.

Usually I spend Memorial Day unabashedly wallowing in memories...I'm a nostalgic person to a fault, and love to replay and revisit people and events on my mental movie screen. I'm thinking today will be no exception: last night I dreamt that I was Hilary Clinton's Chief of Staff, and that we were mugging for a photographer in the breezeway of a high school as classes were letting out. At a computer station in said breezeway, there was a photo slideshow running, and up popped a picture of my mom and dad in an auditorium, obviously there to see me perform. I got a hitch in my breath when I saw my dad, and Hilary said "Go ahead, cry...let it out..." Now, even in dreamland I thought that was pretty manipulative of her, and certainly wasn't going to cry when there was a photographer around. But I woke up from the dream in tears.

Damn you, Hilary.

So while I'll be out running errands, visiting with friends and strolling into town to hear some music later today, my head will be decades and hundreds of miles away. Happily.

My five:
  1. Kung Fu Panda. Yet more proof that I'm a eight-year-old in old lady skin.
  2. Irises...I have yellow ones that just bloomed. What a lovely surprise!
  3. Jhumpa Lahiri. I love her writing.
  4. Sore muscles. I may be eating my weight in ice cream every chance I get, but I'm still going to the gym. Go, me!
  5. Memories



It's a beautiful Saturday morning! Sunny, nice breeze, the wind chimes singing on the porch...it finally feels like summer. Last night the amphitheater opened with these folks, and it was a perfect evening: beautiful weather, good friends, snacks and great conversation, and a thoroughly entertaining show. And while I'm dragging a little bit this morning, it's 100% worth it.

Today I'll go in to work for a few hours while the singers rehearse. And, since I'll be all by my lonesome, I'll open the window, crack the music, and plow through any number of projects that have been hanging around, waiting for my attention.

Git 'er done time.

But first? Porch-sittin' time. You're welcome to join me!

My five:
  1. Laughter.
  2. Puppy kisses.
  3. Coffee.
  4. Lazy mornings.
  5. Crossword puzzles.



What a beautiful day! Good productive work, beautiful weather, a long restorative walk with the dog, and ridiculous wardrobe compliments from colleagues. It's starting to feel like summer, in the best possible way.

My five:
  1. Familiar faces.
  2. Flip flops.
  3. The smell of cut grass, even if it makes me sneeze.
  4. Incisive storytelling.
  5. Clear blue sky.


5.19.09 unnoticed progress

I had a great time with a friend last night - we went out to dinner, to celebrate the way she stood up to "The (Wo)Man" and all of the great opportunities that have surfaced since she declared her independence. We drank wine and gossiped, I ate my weight in the tastiest, pillowiest gnocchi in memory, and we told each other story after story... it was a fabulous night!

And then, at 0-dark-thirty, I was on my way to the gym for a fitness re-evaluation with my trainer.

And the body fat calipers.

Having eaten my weight in pasta the night before.


The upside is that I've made some real progress! Weight, BMI, even the readings from those pesky calipers...all down, and significantly. But the best part is that I'm stronger - I maxed out the arm strength measurement! YEAH! And - really the most important part - is that I've really grown accustomed to the routine...it's helping me to manage stress, my health, and it's keeping my outlook slightly rosier.

The downside? Well, if you take all the numbers, and weigh them against the length of time that I've been working on this, they're not all that impressive. The process has been amazingly gradual. I've not felt like I've been sacrificing anything, and in fact over the last two months I've totally abandoned any discipline that even resembles a food journal.

And did I mention that the summer season is almost here? Life is growing crazier by the minute. Long days, six day weeks, and the sense of excited urgency that accompanies seasonal work make for roller coaster emotions, and while I know I'd be better served by eating healthy and working out, sometimes my soul screams out for a Wendy's bacon cheeseburger and biggie fries. My physical challenges during the summer (the Filene Center steps aside) are twofold: finding time to work out regularly, and not eating every piece of crap (relating to nutritional value: I don't actually eat real, uh, crap.)that I find when I'm stressed out.

Those are pretty big challenges, my friends.

I'm using this little re-evaluation to jump start the next phase: exercising 3-4 times weekly, eating more veggies, keeping a food journal, and improving my VO2 max so I don't gasp like a fish so often.

Wish me luck. Or better yet, join me at the gym!

My five:
  1. An able, strong body. With some totally loveable pudge.
  2. Chicken broccoli pizza.
  3. Sunlight through the leaves.
  4. That drowsy feeling right before falling asleep.
  5. Progress.


5.18.09 found objects

File this under "Lessons I've Learned from Boo."

This morning started out on the rough side...blankets in my face, one of hubby's buddies at the house before 7am, and a throbbing headache. I leashed the dog, put on my best "Don't even LOOK at me" face and headed out. Was squished off the sidewalk into the mud by a guy who was walking while sleeping, or at least in a morning fog. Hit the crosswalk at Maple, and a dude in a conversion van almost forgot to stop at the red light for a large dog and a seriously crabby pedestrian. (I'm sure my eloquent hand gesture helped him to remember.) Boo and I walked to a little park that's usually teeming with other dogs and people, on similar morning constitutionals...I figured we'd take the long way, since I had a little more room in my morning schedule.

The park was empty. The only companions we had were cardinals and robins and doves.

And a swan.

At the far side of the park, we happened along the little fellow in the picture above. Boo made a beeline for it, tail a-blazin'. He picked it up gently, and turned tail...he wanted to go home? But it was going to be a long-walk day...

Nope. Change of plan. Homeward, Jeeves!

Now he's prancing around the house, hiding under the dining room table, walking his "baby" past me to see if I'll try to take it away, alternately sitting with it, sitting on it, and trying to chew its face off. They are inseparable. It's the best surprise of the day so far. Maybe I should've left it there in the mud, for the parent or child who dropped it to reclaim. But the sheer doggie joy of finding THE BEST TOY EVER was impossible to deny.

I need to remember to keep my eyes open, to look for these small gifts, and to enjoy them as much as Boo is enjoying his swan.

My five:
  1. Peonies. I have pale pink and fuschia buds and blooms around the house, and they smell heavenly!
  2. Coffee. (it's pretty obvious when I write in the morning, isn't it?)
  3. Clean house, full fridge.
  4. Good conversations with friends.
  5. Prayer.


5.17.09 the calm before the storm

I love Sunday mornings. I slept in a little bit (until 8am! so decadent!), and am happily working my way through a vat of cafe au lait. I have the Sunday paper - and more importantly, the crossword puzzle - to work through. The house is clean (ish), and the only things on the schedule are a trip to the grocery store and a puppy play date.

Church is still not on the schedule. I had a great talk yesterday with SingleGirl and HoH about different churches - some that we liked, some that we were totally astounded with (negatively, sadly). SG raised the point that most folks our age start returning to church because they have children, and want to give them a spiritual, religious grounding. And that singles and married folks usually don't go to church because hey, lazy Sunday mornings with no agendas are nice and probably fleeting! I suppose I fall into that latter category, but I'm just about ready to get reinvested into a faith community...whether that means going back to the church that I was married in or to buckle down and start looking for places nearer to me, I'm not sure.

But the big news is that our first singers arrive this week! It's exciting - I cannot wait to have some music going on in the building. And this year's singers are by and large new to me, so I'm thrilled to hear some new voices, new stories. But it means that we're off to the races...lots to do, longer days, and the scattered attention that comes with running a busy summer program. I'm trying to fit in time with friends and hubby this week, knowing that the coming weeks will be jam-packed. The cell phone will be on 24-7, the email will be checked constantly...it's all about access!

I'm getting a little tired just thinking about it. (Jazzed too - to be sure. But a little tired.)

My five:
  1. Thoughtful discussion.
  2. Episodic work - much easier for me than constant, relentless pace of most business.
  3. Carbs. I wish I could be both svelte AND a breadatarian. It's not really working...
  4. Sleeping cat.
  5. Wind in the trees... some of my favorite music.



I pulled off here on my way back from Pennsylvania a few weekends ago. Signs like these dot the roads, with little bits of trivia and history. But I was most taken with the mountains...even with the drizzle and the generally craptastic weather, they're just beautiful.

With my job there are certain seasonal variables that lend themselves towards difficulties...often the easiest conclusion to draw is "oh, yes... working with artistic-types would be a real challenge." But as often as not my frustrations aren't with singers, but with corporations...folks who don't quite get what we do, or who hope to make a deal or substitution that is less expensive and more convenient for them. I can't blame them, really...but yesterday was about drawing the line in a forceful way. It's not my usual M.O., but I guess I can be gruff when I need to be. And in similar (and equally boring) news, today is shaping up to be long...workout, meetings, lunch (yay, lunch!), a meeting with a local student, and an evening meeting that's pretty important. Oh, for the days that I skipped meetings! It seems like a long time ago. But I'm hopeful that it'll be a fun, interesting, keep-me-on-my-toes kind of day.

Actually, I have no doubt that the day will be, at the very least, an interesting, keep-me-on-my-toes kind of day. But I'm hoping hoping hoping for the "fun" part!

My five:
  1. Thunderstorms.
  2. Buddies.
  3. Vanilla
  4. Pretty things.
  5. Views that make me remember.


5.14.09 morning inspiration

Since I'm usually on my laptop in front of the tv (I know, I know...overkill.) I don't usually watch videos or listen to music on my machine. But when I'm trying to get through cup of coffee #1 and hubby's in the shower, I'll check out TED, or listen to some new music.

My friend Ted had some interesting things to say today.

Wanna be in my tribe?

My five:
  1. Breezy mornings.
  2. Birdsong.
  3. My silly husband.
  4. Jo Malone perfumes.
  5. Inspiration.



I am surrounded by good stories. Lost on TV, volumes and volumes of award-winning short stories surrounding me on the couch and I'm totally in my happy place. Add to that a day of absolutely divine springtime weather, some fabulous new music (a surprise giftie that totally started my day off on the best foot!), and a last-minute tour of LaJefa's beautiful patio, and well, it's an embarrassment of riches.

I am happiest when the blessings are small and numerous, like they were today.

Tomorrow will be all about tying up some loose ends at work. Actually, let me rephrase: the next several months will be all about tying up some loose ends at work. But at this point I have a relatively small inbox and a to-do list that's manageable...the challenge will be to get through the easy tasks and onto financials and statistics while I have time, before the season begins.

Next week.

Wish me luck!

My five:
  1. Other people's stories.
  2. Sunshine.
  3. Playing the "what if?" game.
  4. My lovely little porch.
  5. Jammies.



I am always amazed at the difference in my mood after a little time on the elliptical with the iPod turned up as loud as it'll go. I'm probably totally obnoxious, sweating and tapping out rhythms on the handles. But there's nothing as good as having my own personal rock concert blaring in my ears as the resistance climbs.

Oh. Yeah.

I'd suggest that, if you encounter me in a crabby mood this summer, you remind me of this very post. You'll probably walk away headless (I'm not great at taking unsolicited criticism), but if it penetrates the Wall of Obstinancy, I'll thank you for it in a few hours time.

(If my husband is reading this, you know better.)

Work is starting to ramp up...I'm comparing notes from last year to make sure that I don't drop any (more) balls this summer. But there's a note of tension, and another of excitement, creeping into the air. It's making me a little more aware of the free time that I have, and I'll be spending a little less time online and on the phone when I don't need to be over the next few days. Trying to grab a little breathing room while the gettin's good!

My five:
  1. The gym. Who knew?
  2. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. My fav is a remake of Billy Joel's Only the Good Die Young. Listen for some sassy lyric changes...
  3. Almonds.
  4. Blue toenail polish.
  5. Crazy, unsettled dreams.


5.11.09 bleargh.

Well, the weather has tanked again and so has my mood. I'm feeling like a meteorological sissy for feeling so grumpy every time the weather hits 48 degrees +monsoon. But there you have it. I got a lot done at work, sang along with iTunes for most of the day, wrote a little bit at the piano, made a tasty dinner...I mean, really, it was a good day.

Totally good.

Except for my stinky mood.

And my cold feet. Which probably contributed to said stinky mood.

So I'm watching a silly movie with Brendan Fraser, and contemplating a hot bath, a cup of tea and a few more short stories from my new anthology. The nice things about even the worst days are that they end at some point...and since this wasn't really a bad day, there's not too much that a good night's sleep won't fix. Hoping for more sunshine and laughter tomorrow, for all of us.

My five:
  1. Bad days...to help me appreciate the good ones.
  2. Stories, whether truth or fiction.
  3. Bagels.
  4. Minor keys.
  5. Ink pens on newsprint.


5.10.09 - sunday evening five

In addition to Mom, here's my five for today.

  1. Purple plants and flowers.
  2. Watching the light show of sunlight on rustling leaves from my perch on the front porch.
  3. Gyros. Why you taste so good???
  4. My thoughtful hubby.
  5. Short stories. I'm in awe at the immediacy, the vibrancy, the tragedy in these concise pieces.


My mom is a pretty cool lady. She's been a hell of a role model over the years, strong, sassy and always supportive. I'm glad to say that she's not only my mom but one of my best friends. So, in the spirit of my list of 5 things I'm grateful for, today I'll share with you some of the life lessons that my mom taught me.(...some of which I'm still learning.)

  • Be flexible. Life seldom goes the way we plan. Sometimes it's better than we could hope.
  • Be silly. (Mom's Halloween costumes were always AWESOME.)
  • Own pets.
  • Read.
  • Popcorn and diet pepsi make a perfectly acceptable meal.
  • Observe.
  • Speak your mind, but be kind.
  • Ain't is not a word. (Not in her house, at least!)
  • Eat your vegetables. (I'm still working on this one...)
  • A change of scenery (or change of house!) keeps you sharp.
  • Family comes first.
  • Reality is overrated.
  • Be creative.
  • Be bold.
When I was in fifth grade, I moved into a new bedroom in our house, and Mom asked what color I wanted it to be. I decided that I wanted purple...I had probably seen a classmate's lavender boudoir and thought it was the bee's knees. I went away to a traumatic first-sleepaway-camp, and after making it through the week (I only called home in tears the first 4 nights...out of six.) returned home to a purple room.




I loved it.

So thanks, mom...for letting me paint my lampshades in cosmetics; for never censoring my reading; for introducing me to swedish fish and salads; for loving me unconditionally despite all my flaws and mistakes made.

You're the best.


5.8.09 tgif

Oh, how happy am I that it's Friday?


I love having time off, but routine is really, really good for me. And after a week out of the office and four days back in, I'm starting to feel like myself again. A really busy, slightly harried version of myself, for sure, but you get the picture. After years of skipping meetings ("I have rehearsal." "I'm working with a student." "Meetings make me break out in hives.") I still can't really get the hang of a scheduled, adult meeting. Impromptu meetings? I'm so there...let's just get in a room and talk! But presentational meetings make me a little nuts. And I've spent more hours in meetings over the last few days than doing actual "work."

So I'll be heading back in to do a little work this weekend, and will probably do a little bit of recreational music-making as well...gotta grab the opportunities while I can, before the singers arrive, right? Right. And anyway, I have some ideas that need a little attention...

But tonight? Recovering from a good but tough workout and a long workday with a glass of rose and a little chocolate. Perfection!

My five:
  1. Interesting discussions.
  2. Sunshine. Never overrated.
  3. Challenge.
  4. Purple toes.
  5. Unstructured time.



Busy day today!

The morning started on the early side with a Board meeting. Slide shows, speeches, lots of guys (and a few women) in suits who were obviously not part of our artsy, casual office culture. I did rock a smashing new suit for the meeting, and had the chance to chat about the upcoming season with a few of our staunch supporters. Plus there was coffee and yogurt...my excitement about the free food only proves that I am still a college student at heart, scrounging for breakfast at every and any opportunity.

Meetings, lunch with a friend, more meetings, and the tying up of a few loose ends and it was 5:00. And then? My SlapChop segment aired on TV! (It'll be up on the net here.) It wasn't nearly as cringe-worthy as I had worried, but they totally did not leave in my best bon mots. (And, just so you know, tv cameras add more like 15 pounds...ugh.)It was such a fun, great opportunity! I've had a few opportunities to be on local news shows, and while I always feel a little like the slowest kid on the playground when the camera's rolling, I really do enjoy the experience.

And then I walked the dog. Or tried to...he sat down in the driveway and wouldn't budge, no matter how I pulled or cajoled. I struggled with him to the corner, and then realized that, in my rush to get home and bask in my technicolor glory, I totally forgot to feed Boo!

Bad, bad dog mommy...all that fame is already going to my head.

My five:
  1. Feeling good.
  2. Sunshine.
  3. New opportunities.
  4. Dog lips.
  5. Homecomings.



DC is feeling distinctly non-southern...in fact, it's feeling a little more like Seattle lately, with all the clouds and rain. I appreciate days like these every once in a while, but I'd really, really like to see a little bit of sun. Mama needs her vitamin D!

The plants in my yard are less demanding than I am...they could care less about sunshine, it seems! This azalea bush is massive and has exploded into a flowery heap on the side of the house. It's our first spring in this house, and I am totally in love with the plants and flowers that are springing up. (And I'm relieved that I haven't killed everything just by merit of moving in...maybe the reign of the Black Thumb is coming to an end!) The only odd interlopers that we have (besides weeds by the cubic foot) are mushrooms....it's been so wet, so dark, that my hard-fought mulch is covered in mushrooms.

Still trying to get back into the swing of things at work. There are lots of details that I've missed in being away for a week, and it's going to take a little bit just to dig out. But RT is in the office now, and he's chipping away at all of the big-picture things that we lose sight of in the busyness that is the season. His arrival means that the other folks, admins and coaches and singers and interns, will be arriving soon...it's very exciting, but I have MILES to go before that can happen!

So, before work I'll take a little meditative stroll with the pooch (I hope he gets the memo that it's not a racing morning but a relaxing morning!), roll into work, amass the largest to-do list in the history of man, and start crossing things off the list. It's a plan!

My five:
  1. An excuse to walk several miles every day. (make that "a lovey-dovey excuse"...Boo's being quite a sweetie-pie this morning!)
  2. Vibrant colors, even under grey skies.
  3. Contentment.
  4. Good music, of all genres.
  5. Laughter.


5.5.09 from 1988 to 2009 in 24 hours

I'm back home, after the nostalgia-filled trip to my childhood home. And I'm heading to work today, which means that a brain-dump is in order...need to make some room for spreadsheets and such among all these elementary school memories! Here goes.

Driving five+ hours in the pouring rain isn't so bad when the scenery is gorgeous, the music is good and you have endless, massive diet sodas. Also, five hours is a long time to sing...had I practiced this much in grad school, I might've kicked a little more butt!

My rose colored glasses? Not so easy to dislodge. I still found this little town magical, and took pictures of our old homes, old friend's houses, and the house that I'm going to come back and buy. (Who knows what I'll actually do to make a living in this town, but my house will be GORG.)

This is the library and museum that was up the block from my house. I spent hours in here...read everything I could reach in the stacks. This is one of my happy places.

Mom and I had lunch yesterday with folks who loved my dad...love us still. They're family friends that my brother and I grew up calling "Aunt" & "Uncle", that my dad taught and coached with, who took my folks in during the '72 flood. It was great to reconnect with his good friends from his teaching days (as an adult!), and I think my mom really felt at home.

And it was good to finally lay Dad to rest, in the town that he loved. Heartbreaking all over again, to be sure, but it feels right. Plus, Aunt Lucy and Uncle Bill live within sight of his grave, so if he acts up they'll let us know and set him straight.

And while Millard's Dairy has changed hands, they still have black raspberry ice cream. And it's still reeeeeeallly good.

My five:
  1. A return to routine.
  2. Homecoming.
  3. Huge ice cream cones.
  4. Familiarity.
  5. Release.

(Rest in peace, Papa. You're home. )


5.3.09, part 2

This is a poor picture of one of my old houses... It's totally cuter than the picture shows. The whole town is just as sweet as I remember, which is both a relief and an affirmation. Athens, PA? I heart you. Big time. More pictures to come, but suffice it to say that this little nostaglia trip is both easier and better than I had thought it would be.

My five:
1. Riding huge waves of nostalgia with a good-memory surfboard.
2. Millard's dairy...I will be saving room for a raspberry twist!
3. Reconnecting with buddies from *gasp* elementary school.
4. The Susquehanna River... My river.
5. Laughing with my mom. Good times!!


This is my mantra for today. By the time you read this I'll be in my car, more than likely singing at the top of my lungs, making a six hour journey that is going to take me back twenty years.

Heavy stuff.

But I'm going to embrace it...the drive, the memories, the changes, the tears and laughter. It should prove to be a rich, rich journey.

And maybe even one that I'm actually, finally, ready to make.

My five:
  1. iTunes and ranch doritos and vats of diet soda, my road-trip necessities. Oh, and gas also.
  2. Arriving at my destination hoarse from all the singing.
  3. Embracing a total nostalgia trip.
  4. Sharing a hotel room with my mother and a 140 pound dog. Hmmmm....
  5. Saying goodbye, and thank you.

btw the awesome graphic can be found here


5.2.09 Things that make me happy, part 2,00,037

  • A poster that says "today is gonna RULE"
  • The guy that I almost clocked (unintentionally) outside the nail salon, who said to me "Boy, that smile looks good on your face!" Unironically. I love him.
  • Possibly the best ice cream ever. well, next to salted butter pecan...
  • Having my own blog show up on my Google Reader "Top Recomendations."
  • The poem "Music" by Anne Porter.
  • Singing full blast in the car.
  • This "Self-Rescuing Princess" t-shirt.
  • Chairs with personality.
  • Greg Sandow's take on the narrowing gulf between classical and pop music.
It's Saturday, overcast and dreary but perfect for lazing around and savoring a second (read: third) cup of coffee. Today's agenda is fairly light: taking a spinning class (my first one!), cleaning a little, weeding if the rain holds off, and packing for tomorrow's nostalgia trip. And the most important part? Creating a new, singin'-in-the-car playlist...because even though it's been decades since I've been back, I remember driving through the Land of No Radio, where the only 2 stations were Mainstream Country and Christian Talk...I sadly can't sing along to either choice.

This time? I'm not taking any chances. And if you have a favorite go-to tune that I should be singing at the top of my lungs while driving through Pennsylvania, please post it in the comments - I'm always looking for new music!

My five:
  1. Unstructured time.
  2. A walk down memory lane.
  3. Toad Hollow Rose- yum!
  4. Snapdragons.
  5. Getting dirty - I love mucking about in the yard!


5.1.09 new gym playlist

Ok, so I'm rekindling my romance with the gym. Here's the list of tunes that made me smile like a madwoman on the elliptical yesterday. (Boy, I hope they let me back in today...I promise I'm not reeeeeally crazy...)

  • Dejalo - Rilo Kiley
  • Tropicalia - Beck
  • Single Ladies (Aude club version. Don't. Judge.) - Beyonce
  • My Love - The Bird and the Bee
  • Helpless - Sugar
  • The Ark - Dr. Dog
  • Juicebox - The Strokes
  • Helicopter - Bloc Party
  • The Silence Between Us - Bob Mould
  • Release - Afro Celt Sound System (Sinead O'Connor on vocals)
  • Savanah Beat - African Drum Masters
  • Deep Dish - Ani DiFranco
  • Devil's Haircut - Beck
  • Pain Killer - Turin Brakes
  • The Fly - U2
  • Sabotage - Beastie Boys
  • I Met a Girl - Wheat
Let's hope that part 2 of the iPod mix is as motivating!

My five:

  1. Comfortable shoes. hoochiness optional.
  2. New recipes. the mirin/hoisin salmon was a success!
  3. Bravo daytime tv. it's a sickness, I know, but boy do I love it.
  4. Margaritas with Mom on Sunday. Looking forward to a huge hangover Monday morning.
  5. Working through things via sweat, rather than other methods.