10.28.09 spoooooky! (not really)

Is there a better way to spend an October night than at the neighborhood Halloween parade?

I submit that it does not.

Lots of littles in costumes, several (okay, two) troupes of unicyclists, high school and middle school marching bands, dance troupes, floats from local businesses and, because of our proximity to Election Day, politicians by the boatload. There were motorcycles and corvettes and mustangs, and several drivers responded to our shouts of "Light 'em up!" And the crowning act? Six Shriners, wearing their bejeweled burgundy fezzes, driving stunts and weaving in the teeny-tiniest cars ever.

I want one of those cars. And the matching fez.

I walked the three blocks from my house, met up with my neighbors, and grabbed a VI chili dog and laughed and talked and whooooped. Met the music teacher at the local elementary school and several neighbors who I only knew by sight and the occasional wave. Even saw a neighbor walking in the parade in a Captain American costume!

And was home safe and sound by 8:45pm, feeling lucky to live in this community, to have these neighbors. Life is good!

My five:
  1. Cool fall evenings.
  2. Candy corn.
  3. Early bedtimes.
  4. Comfortable shoes.
  5. Gratitude.


10.27.09 hallelujah!

I don't know her at all, but Maggie Mason may have saved my life. If I can keep myself from A.) paying the overweight luggage fees and B.) throwing my back out, I'll be loving life come November.

On another note, do you know how good butter is? Seriously??? No other redeeming qualities, just sheer tastiness. Either Satan holds the rights, or they're serving it on everything in Heaven. I can't decide. Sharp cheddar cheese might be in the same category.

Haircut tomorrow, followed by the HUMONGOUS town Halloween parade. Which hubby will, again, be out-of-town for. He's two for two...let's hope he gets it together for 2010. Anyone wanna go with me? I may go in my cat burglar costume, or perhaps as a highlighter marker...

(..or a new-wave pop star, depending on whether my hair stylist goes super-short and asymmetrical again. *sigh.*)

My five:
  1. Sharp cheddar cheese & red wine. Heaven.
  2. Puzzles. (Damn good thing, actually.)
  3. Polaroid cameras.
  4. Seinfeld. Still finding reruns I've not seen.
  5. Rainy fall days.



Happy Monday! (or not...but really, sometimes just by thinking it's going to be a good day, you can actually trick yourself into having a good day. At least that's what I've been told. And I'm taking this little axiom for a test-drive today.)

And it actually has to be a happy Monday, because it's my little brother's birthday today! (That's him on the left - he's much more attractive in real life. And he can build a dam in 5.7 minutes! Who's Bucky Beaver now?!?!) He's an awesome dad, one of the funniest closet comedians in the world, and a damn fine brother. Lub you, Mo!
And for a little comic relief, the picture at left. My colleague SW generously gave me several beautiful plants for my house...including the asparagus fern that Lucky has taken a shine to. His newest thing is to sit directly in the fern in order to more effectively survey his kingdom. He can see what's going on outside, who's cooking in the kitchen, what's on the tube...if hubby figures this out, kitty may have to fight for his throne!

It's not even 7am yet...if I get a-movin', I may be able to walk the dog and get a little jog in before it's light enough for the commuters to make fun of my oom-pa-pa running style. Here's to having a good Monday, y'all!

My five:
  1. Family.
  2. Having one person in the world who can make me shoot beverages out my nose....er, keep me humble.
  3. Coffee. Being awake pre-dawn demands it.
  4. A sleeping house.
  5. Doing something nice for someone else. (Studies show it makes you feel better - even than retail therapy. I believe it!)


10.25.09 Lazy Sunday

Steeler football, beautiful sunlight streaming through the trees, just enough bite in the air to make sure I'm awake, and a puppy curled up beside me...it's a perfect October afternoon.

I ventured to the mall this afternoon, because I of course need things for the audition tour, but it's so much easier to shop for things rather than take a discerning look at one's own closet and see if there's already sufficient supplies. Turns out that either the day was too nice to be spent in the mall, or there were too many people milling about, or heck! I already had all of that stuff that I thought I needed!

Rahree 1, Mega-Mall zero. I win.

I must remark upon the 50-something woman I saw walking out of Macy's with a baby stroller...a baby stroller with a little, bug-eyed chihuahua strapped inside. Now, you all know I'm an animal lover, mere years away from being the crazy old cat lady in your neighborhood. But that? The dog in the stroller? RIDICULOUS. And more than a little bit sad. KH's comment was totally en pointe, though: "I've seen the little dog in the stroller thing before. It's completely disturbing. Then I think of a lab in a stroller & chuckle."

(Do NOT tell my dog about the stroller. He'll totally want one for Christmas.)

Here are some things I think you should know about:
  • These. On my docket for the afternoon. Mmmm...
  • These. Hoping I can convince my travel mates to help me collect the set.
  • This. Could be a perfect travel dress?
  • My favorite Avocado sent this link, and it's fab!
  • I forgot to enter this, so I didn't win. But I still think these are cute. As a matter of fact, I am of a certain age...thanks for the reminder.
  • I'm a little obsessed with squash. But it's not a problem, I promise. (Yet.)
And my five:
  1. Clear blue skies and the smell of woodsmoke on an autumn day.
  2. Almost completing the Eat. Sweat. Blog challenge! 6 more days!
  3. Color.
  4. Spice.
  5. Preparation.



Work, scheduling, walk the dog, blah blah blah...

Things are good, but it's a bit of the same-old-same-old. I'm planning to lock myself in my office tomorrow, turn the music up and the ringer on the phone off, and schedule some auditions so I can get out of this crazy head-space. Because once all the dream-killing is done? I can turn my thoughts to other matters...like napping and shoe shopping and maybe someday finishing this darn book. Seriously, it's never taken me this long to read anything. It's like eating cheesecake for every meal - undeniably tasty, but dense as all get-out. I'm ready for some broccoli.

In the mean time, I'm trying to squeeze in some quality time with the bffs and hubby this week and next. Will be catching this show tomorrow with SingleGirl; excited for some girl time!

In Eat.Sweat.Blog news, I'm doing pretty well! I met my trainer yesterday after a long hiatus to craft a hotel-room friendly workout (Not that kind of workout! Get your minds out of the gutter!), and she worked me out hard...but it was fun to have someone telling me what to do, to not have to think about it. And it must've worked, because today? I am SORE. Anyway, I'm 5 workouts away from meeting the 20-workout goal for the month, and haven't eaten fast food, had a soda, or eaten anything after 8:30pm since September.



There's enough content on the website and doable challenges to keep things interesting, and I'm feeling pretty good. And that's what it's all about anyway, right?

Early to bed tonight: a drill/machine in the neighborhood kept me awake long enough to watch The Mummy 2 and 3 back-to-back last night. And while I heart Brendan Fraser big time, it turns out that even I can be over-Mummied.

My five:
  1. Autumn...boy, I love it when nature acts like a hussy! Those reds and golds are awesome!
  2. Neighbors. Impromptu after-work chats are the best.
  3. This + this = perfect on-the-go lunch. For me, anyway.
  4. Fuzzy slippers.
  5. Cloves.


10.20.09 inappropriate air conditioning

I made it through the whole day - 8 hours of work, a trip to the gym, and several rounds of fetch with the dog - before realizing that there was a hole in my dress.

Over my bum.

So, for those of you hoping for audition fashion advice? You should probably bypass my comments this year. Because evidently hanging your heinie out of your dress at work is a good idea...

Dressing FAIL. *Sigh.*

In other news, life is all about gearing up for the tour...scheduling and notifying, accompanying moments of total "how am I going to pack everything???" panic. And interspersed with that are last-minute PR requests, and a very last-minute grant proposal. And oh, that chamber music series? That I'm supposed to book? Yeah...have spent NO TIME on it in the last 2 weeks.

(Good thing that no chamber musicians read this - I'd probably be innundated with calls if they did. Wait...maybe that's not such a good thing...)

But I'm starting to get excited...to see old friends, to hear some great singing, to do some serious airport people-watching, and to scope out the shoes in the audition room. Bring your A-Game, ladies...I'm a-watching. And this is the trip, my friends, on which Rahree loses her Wagner virginity.

Bring. It. On.

I think.


My five:
  1. Caffeine. I can't tell you how much better today was with one extra cup of coffee!
  2. Crisp autumn weather.
  3. Boots.
  4. Challenge.
  5. Counting down.


10.19.09 miscellany

Our friend and colleague JW sent an email around a few years ago in which he used several different synonyms for "miscellany." Methinks I need to snag a few of his nifty words...I'm running out of my own.

  • Made it literally 'til 8pm tonight without making the connection between my headache and foggy brain and the lack of caffeine in my day. Evidently a half-cup is not sufficient! If I wasn't staring down the barrel of a month on the road, I'd try to wean myself off the bean...but I think I'll just adjust my dosage towards more productivity and cheerfulness.
  • For those of you (our Admin Interns included) who schedule classes and people for a living? GOD BLESS YOU. Why is it so hard? (I already know the answer - because everyone wants to sing at 2:00 pm.)
  • If you applied for an audition in Cincinnati? Sorry. In advance. There are a million people who want to sing for us - which is totes flattering, by the way. One of these years we'll manage more than one day in your fair city. But those that we could take? You're sadly going to have to sing at the @ss-crack of dawn, as the airlines keep bumping our evening flight earlier and earlier.
  • Packing for this trip is already taking up WAY more of my mental space than it should.
  • The sun came out today! I had almost forgotten what that big yellow ball in the sky was. SO glad to see it.
  • Also weather related? The trees are all tarted up in their celebratory reds and golds. Pretty amazing.
  • And one more weather related item? It's tights weather. Thank goodness!
  • Do you have any idea how many motions rely on the use of your hip flexors? Me either, until I totally abused mine in a class yesterday...I couldn't even roll my desk chair around. Ow!
  • The boss lady is taking some time out of the office this week, which means that my speakers will be cranked a little louder than usual. Speak loudly if you visit or call!
My five:
  1. Tim Roth. Lie to Me is fabulous, and I caught (a younger) him over the weekend in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Awesome. (I could go on.)
  2. Knee socks.
  3. Freshwater pearls.
  4. Hot tea.
  5. Preparation.



To the guy who offers me the last bite of his ice cream cone...

...the guy who eats second and third helpings of my cooking when I'm in a foul mood, just to cheer me up.

...the guy who thinks I look best when I've just woken up in the morning.

...the guy who, when I mentioned wanting a pink cap, picked me up a cap, a cozy fleece hat and a snuggly pink pullover. Because I mentioned it once.

...the guy who walks the dog on freezy rainy mornings so I can stay in bed 15 more minutes.

...the guy who can make me laugh regardless of the circumstances.

...the guy whose shirts have absorbed more than their fair share of tears from hurts both real and imagined.

...the guy who always notices my new haircuts/colors.

...the guy who I adore.

It's been six great years, babe. Here's to sixty-six more!

My five?
  1. hubby
  2. hubby
  3. hubby
  4. hubby
  5. hubby



I can't tell you how much I wish that I could say this picture was taken today. That yellow glow? I don't even remember what it's called, it's been so long since we've seen it. It's been cold and wet for the better part of a week, and is feeling more like January than mid-October. Add to that the bad mojo that comes with screening applications (yes folks, I've been killing dreams all week. *Sigh.*), totally ignoring the chamber music bookings I'm supposed to accrue, reinventing the 2010 budget for the umpteenth time, and dealing with a huge, horrible show-related misunderstanding, well, I'm happy to spend a day or two away from the office. Don't get me wrong - I love my job and am super-fortunate to do what I do - but it's not rainbows and unicorns all the time, for sure.

Last night we had a concert with the Canadian Brass (who, incidentally, are super nice guys in addition to being pretty freakin' masterful players. I know, you expect no less from Canadians, do you? Me either.), and between the late night and today's craptastic weather, I'm spending the day in my jammies. I've been to the grocery store to get the fixings for crock pot chili - it's simmering away and the house smells fantastic. Stopped at the hardware store to buy potting soil and new pots for some gorgeous plants that SW gave me, and repotted said plants - pictures to come! This afternoon I'm planning to swap out all of my summer dresses and tank tops for, well, wool. Because the high today will reach a balmy 43 degrees. With rain.

And all of the above?


Oh, yeah.

Some of the fun things I've found trolling teh interwebs on this dreary day?
  • this. Brilliant.
  • this cover. heck, the whole site is pretty awesome - it's my go-to radio.
  • this. opens up links and photos, DMs are easier...I'm hooked. (Lemme know if you want an invite!)
  • this. I totally didn't know about World Animal Day! Although, every day is animal day at my house...
  • every music teacher is cringing at the sight of these...
  • ahhhh...Paree

My five:
  1. Football and movies on the tube.
  2. Puttering around the house.
  3. Fleece.
  4. Spiced apple cider.
  5. Having an environmental excuse for staying in all day.


10.13.09 Things I learned from Boo, part of an occasional series

We started out on our morning walk, and neither one of us was really in the mood to power through...Boo wasn't sniffing every blade of grass, and I wasn't pulling him across the street to avoid the oncoming traffic. (Because it was quiet, sickos...) We walked down to the corner where the neighborhood kids catch the bus. There are a passel of junior-high girls who are always fairly raucous, even at the break of dawn. But today there was a bookish boy with them, a younger brother who was maybe 12. He was standing apart from the other kids, not sulking - or conversely, trying to join in the conversation. He was simply watching, waiting for the bus.

Boo made a beeline for this little man. Snurfled his hand, checked out his bag and sneakers. A parting lick and we were off, continuing on our neighborhood survey.

The encounter only lasted seconds. But there was something about it that made me sure that we needed to reassure that boy this morning, though... maybe a kiss from a goofy black dog was the very thing he needed to have a good day.

And along those lines, wouldn't the best superpower ever be the ability to waltz into people's lives and give them what they needed at that very moment? Big or small, to divine that need and meet it? Coolest thing ever.

My five:
  1. Beautiful October weather.
  2. A plethora of magazines in the mail.
  3. Inspiration.
  4. Quiet help.
  5. Daydreaming about saving the world in tiny ways.


10.12.09 Columbus Day

It's a holiday! For some of us lucky suckas, that is. If you have to work (Hi, hubby! Sorry!), well, I hope you can finagle a ridiculously long lunch hour or an early quitting time. I personally think that not working on Mondays is something that all companies should consider...the 4-day, 40-hour work week sounds pretty good to me.

I'll be spending the day watching bad tv (Stacy and Clinton, I heart you!), doing (endless) laundry, making an apple crisp, and wondering why there's a beemer parked in my yard. (No, it's not ours...some dude's been sitting in it for the last hour. If I don't post tomorrow, call the police! Freaky.) One other goal? A little bit of time at the piano...I enjoyed last weekend's concert so much that I'm making a point of playing more often.

On the Eat.Sweat.Blog front, I ran this morning and it blew chunks. I was actually looking forward to it - skipped the gym in favor of cool weather, checking out the leaves in the old 'hood, and some new tracks on the iPod. But it was a real struggle. In the old days P.J. (Pre-Jogging), when I saw someone running I would imagine monsters chasing them...some monsters were vicious and toothed and fanged, and the runner was really working to get away from them. Some of the monsters were a little out-of-shape themselves, but were galoomphing behind their chubby runners, occasionally swiping at them with a big clawed mitt. My monster this morning was little and nipped at my heels in an annoying fashion for a mile and change. After that mile-and-change? I kicked its little tush and walked home, heaving. I know it's probably a combination of fatigue from 5 decent workout days in a row and some not-so-great sleep, so I'll try to do some yoga and get to bed a little earlier this evening.

Wow. This might be the rambling-est, lamest blog entry ever. However, if you read this often, you've built up a tolerance by now. And if not? Run awaaaaaaay!!!

My five:
  1. Mulled cider.
  2. Nesting.
  3. Warm laundry.
  4. Getting organized.
  5. Naps.



It's a beautiful day, and it's only fitting that the weather would turn out to celebrate the birthday of one of the best women in the world... someone who continues to both challenge and support me, who taught me how to iron a shirt; mix a manhattan; read; to cherish good times and move on from the bad...and who has made me the woman I am today. Happy birthday Momma!

And as a little interweb giftie, here's Boo doing what he does best in the creek. There's a reason we call him el dorko profundo.


My five:
  1. Strong, fabulous female role models.
  2. Comedian pets. Henny Youngman ain't got nothin on my boy.
  3. October weather...it seriously doesn't get any better than this.
  4. Bread and butter.
  5. Reading... finally making a dent in the book.



Sometimes, my darlings? You get exactly what you ask for, and it's the best thing in the world.

It's cool.

Not "Naw, man...it's cool." cool. Rather, "Hey, I might need to put on a pair of socks!" cool.

And that, my friends, is pretty darn cool.

I threw all of windows open, and there's a lovely breeze twirling through the house. (Glad I vacuumed up most of the pet-hair-dust-bunnies. Otherwise, well, it'd be pretty darn gross.)I broke out the fleece jacket and clogs. I slow-roasted tomatoes all day for 'mater sauce that is pretty kick-ass, if I do say so myself. I got hopped up on cooking shows and spiced tea. I contemplated making thirteen different kinds of dessert, all of which contained either apples or pumpkin, and metric tons of cinnamon.

(Still no verdict on dessert...too many choices!)

Plans for this evening include putting my PJs on early, curling up with a cup of tea or a hot toddy on the porch for a little spell, strolling with the dog around the neighborhood for a spell, and reading 100 pages in the book that I somehow cannot finish. (Side note: a reference to Vienna, VA on page 411. Woo-HOO!) I'm no quitter...and this is the weekend that the book goes DOWN.

Sounds pretty lame, right? Lame just the way I like it, that is. That's how I roll.

(A month from today I'll be in Chicago, listening to opera for 6+ hours a day. Can you believe it? In a very cool move, my colleague has added a special field to my comment database... "shoe quality." Now I finally have an official place to document the cute kicks that folks wear into the audition room - thanks SW!!!)

My five:
  1. Cinnamon. Nothing brings back the autumns of my childhood like a healthy dose of cinnamon. I think I'd wear it as perfume if I could.
  2. My fleece jacket, aka The Woobie I Can Wear In Public.
  3. A warm kitchen on a cool day...is there a better place to be?
  4. Cooking off recipe. Nice to have a starting point, even nicer to try the path less traveled by.
  5. Nesting with my boys on a lazy Saturday. Heaven!



Things are moving more quickly than they were last year, because all of a sudden I've already found myself here and here. How did that happen?

I'm ready for cooler weather. (Why, hello, sunny 80 degree Friday afternoon! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WORK WHEN YOU'RE AROUND?) I'm ready for socks and stew and big piles of fallen leaves and apple cider and a metric ton of cinnamon on every bite of food that enters my mouth. I'm ready to snuggle on the couch with a beer/cup of tea/cup of cocoa to watch football for hours and hours each weekend day. I'm ready for any number of things, as long as those things can be accomplished from my home. Because the autumn nesting cycle has totally begun. I'm so channelling my inner Martha...just in daydreams and intentions, though - I'm not actually lining my silverware drawers with holiday-complementing contact paper.

I'll never be THAT Martha.

But I am wishing/praying for a cold front...mostly for a reason to make this or this (actually, those are my plans for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. I'm so lame. But I do have the confit, beeyotches! Thanks to these guys. They rock.)

I'm not ready to finish processing applications. This is the only time that being a singer hangs me up...I hate not being able to grant everyone an audition. Blargh.

Edited to add: If you're in an autumn frame of mind, check out this slide show. Pretty landscapes, cranberry harvesting, and pumpkins. And you're correct - that IS a 14-point buck, my friends.

On the Eat.Sweat.Blog front, I'm happy to say that I've worked out 6 times this month (including kettlebells with the boss lady last night AND a run this morning.), and have completed one lousy eating challenge. Granted, I still have Polish Schoolteacher Underarms (the kind that could thwap you - I mean you in the third row - for a sassy comment while standing at the blackboard.), but now they're really sore. So that's good, right? Fortunately for the 5 of you that read this (hi Mom!), the website has a blogging platform, so I don't have to bore you to tears. Here's to maybe not being my own oom-pa band by the end of the month.

There's a lovely breeze, and just enough light left to walk Boo around the 'hood. Happy Friday, y'all!

My five:
  1. The last sandal day of the fall...you can feel a boot-auguring edge in the breeze.
  2. The sound of outside...no music, no tv, no radio...just leaves and cars and neighbors.
  3. Crossing things off the to-do list.
  4. An agenda-less Saturday. (Well, officially agenda-less, anyway.)
  5. Feeling like there's a little bit of magic in the air...



Back on the wagon. In the office.

Screening continues, and I'm wading through hundreds of pieces of paper.
Some notes:
  1. I'm amazed at the sheer number of Studio applicants who didn't write their essays in a word-processing program and then paste the answers into their application. There are spelling errors, incorrect grammar, too/to or there/their/they're or it's/its errors. The details in your application speak to the way you approach the finer points in all your studies...I'm just sayin'.
  2. Resumes: reverse chronological order. Check the spelling of your roles/operas. Make sure it's easy to read - plain text, MSWord or PDF.
  3. Head shots can be too sexy/revealing. If we can't tell if you're really wearing clothes in the picture, it's too racy. (I tried to get Kim to title this blog post "If boobs could sing." No go.)
Tomorrow is another day of immersion in the database, with a flu shot in the mix for good measure. I hate having to say "no," but am going to focus on saying "yes." One more week of screening, then scheduling and notifications and before you know it we'll be flying to LA.

Crazy stuff!

By the way, the last deadline is midnight tonight. That's eastern time, y'all.

My five:
  1. Casual Friday!
  2. Fuzzy slippers.
  3. Hot tea.
  4. Good, challenging workouts.
  5. Cinnamon.



Sitting on the couch after a long day, watching a little tube to unwind; dog at my side, and a Belhaven within easy reach. Aaahhh. Nothing helps me relax more than watching a group of chefs scramble to create something tasty out of sea cucumbers or grasshoppers or stinky tofu in 2.5 minutes. Add snarky judges and lots of machismo from the competitors and you have quality entertainment. Oh, Next Iron Chef, how I adore you!

Today was spent in a very small room with 4 of the best guys you'll meet, listening to classical music (several of the most memorable numbers were from Lara St. John's concert last spring, and girl TORE IT UP. One of the most ambitious concerts I can remember...a true rock star.) and making punny jokes and wisecracks a la your average middle school boy.

I de-evolve well.

Boy, we laugh a lot! But Rich and Bill still managed to get quite a bit of work done...we're in great shape for tomorrow's session, that's for sure. We got into a discussion about the new shape of pop music and some of the folks that I find really interesting, and listened to a bit of this tune... I think she might have gained some new fans!

Thursday is back to screening-land, but I'll take one more day in Chambermusicville.

My five:
  1. Reconnecting.
  2. Nostalgia.
  3. Thai food. Sooooo tasty!
  4. Purple corduroys.
  5. Absence making the heart grow fonder.


10.5.09 screen door

Today it starts.

I have in my possession an accordion file of applications for the Studio program. Headshots, resumes, essays, teacher recommendations...all gathered to help fill our a picture that, at this stage of the game, can be a little bit out-of-focus. But space is tight (especially in Cincinnati...eek!) and I only have a certain number of audition slots I can fill. So I'll have to screen out a certain percentage of applicants.

*sigh* I wish there were more hours.

On a related, yet somehow surprising note, the audition tour is about a month away. Not. Quite. Ready.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I'll be holed up in a small recording studio, poring over loads of paper, listening to two men speaking eloquently (and often wittily!) about chamber music. It will afford me some nice, big blocks of time to really try to get to know these applicants...and I'll take as much of that time as I can get!

My five:
  1. Compassion.
  2. Ginger tea.
  3. Knee socks.
  4. A change of scenery.
  5. Blue herons. (we woke one up this morning - must've had a 6 or 7' wingspan. Beautiful.)


10.4.09 early morning

It's not quite 7am on a crisp Sunday morning. The dishwasher's been emptied, the animals fed, there's laundry tumbling in the washer, and I'm on cup of coffee #2. While tonight is the official full moon - the Harvest moon, I think - it was looking pretty full at 5:30 this morning.

And it was pure decadence to have it all to myself.

(El diablo is much more concerned with tennis balls than with the moon and poetic moments. He doesn't know what he's missing, I tell you.)

Lots of things on the docket today, including a whirlwind house cleaning, a class at the gym, and some time at the piano in private and in public. (By the way, is anything more fun than playing 8-hand piano pieces? I'm not sure...it's pretty awesome!) Knowing how full today is going to be made this morning's early quiet that much more precious.

Your assignment (?Wha?? Homework for Rahree's blog? Ridiculous!) - bear with me, it's good. Find 5 minutes of quiet time, close your eyes, and listen to this.

(Yes, those are peepers at the beginning. They're one of my favorite parts of the song, actually.)

My five:
  1. Musical collaboration.
  2. Checking items off the to-do list.
  3. Solitude.
  4. Coffee.
  5. Evidence of the divine. Some mornings it's impossible to be without faith.


10.02.09 all about work

It's Friday, beeyatches. (Or, as the latest office joke goes, Two Bridge Beeyatches...I'll tell you if you really want to know.) I love Fridays because jeans are permitted, everyone's usually in a better mood than usual, and hey! No work (usually) tomorrow! What's not to love?!?

Today was "Make fun of opera DVD day," or, as we like to call it, Research Day. Sound way more official and adult, right? Anyway, as a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, this was a terribly fun day for lame ol' Rahree. My observations:
  1. Random men in large plastic heads do very little to move the action. (Why, God?WHY????????)
  2. Directors, if your soprano or mezzo (or tenor or baritone...not trying to be sexist, but it seems the ladies get more abuse in this arena) has coloratura for days, do the poor girl a favor and put the onus for moving on anyone else on stage. Really, girlfriend is busy enough trying to get all those tiny black notes that Donizetti/Bellini/Rossini wrote past the footlights. Help her out.
  3. Blood/ketchup from a squeeze bottle is almost never a good idea. Seriously.
  4. Skullcaps, bathtub scenes, and costumes lighted from within? Also not fabulous ideas. Compelling like a car-crash? Sometimes. But not fabulous.
  5. Piss-poor mic'ing? Tragic.
  6. Introductions and interludes are the dead zones where most singers falter...figure out how to use them effectively, and not just endure them.
  7. I am a sucker for a good sword fight. It's as simple as that.
  8. Almost every video we saw today had singers entering from the house and interacting with the audience in some way.
  9. Almost every video we saw today also had a passarelle around the orchestra pit. Why is there never a little safety lip on those bad boys? They make me a little nervous...especially when the ladies' heels are high.
  10. Old videos, while they might not have the videographing finesse of the latter offerings, were often made because the productions/singers were really, amazingly, stellar.

In Eat.Sweat.Blog news, I ran today. It was totally heinous. Ug. Ly. But it's done...2 workouts down, 18 more to go. (Shout outs for my buddies KPW, CZ, OperaQueenie, and Airstream Diva for joining me - weeee caaaaan DOOOO EEEEEEEEET!) And in interesting and totally unrelated news, I may dust off my fingers to play a little piano. In public. (Those poor folks don't know what they're in for...they don't call me "Mittens" for nothing!) Wish me luck!

And in other news, this week was Retail Amnesty week. I spent no money...no groceries, no pet food, no clothes...not even a cup of coffee or gas for the car. Granted, I need to pay bills before the collectors call, but it felt good to cook what I had on hand, to use what was available...it makes me wonder how creative I could get...and how short I'm selling myself on a regular basis...

My five:
  1. Open windows.
  2. Toasted pignoli. You could put them on pasta or something, but you can also just shove them by the handful into your mouth. Not that I'd know firsthand...
  3. Sore muscles. Evidence that I'm working. Painful evidence, but evidence.
  4. Having the clicker all to myself for an evening.
  5. Baths.



Busy day today!
  • Walked El Diablo...it was so chilly that I could see my breath. (First time this fall!) And in related news, it will evidently take an act of God or my demise on the hood of a Beemer SUV to get the yahoos from cutting through my neighborhood at top speed. Cut through all you want, but for the love of all things chocolate DON'T RUN ME OFF MY OWN FREAKIN' ROAD. (Wow. I think I just channeled my grandmother. Or this guy.)
  • Office work. Repertoire study, audition details, chamber music, yada, yada, yada. It seems wrong to complain about something that so, well, agreeable.
  • Dermatologist appointment. It was just a baseline appointment, but somehow I didn't put together the fact that the skin doctor would want to see all of my skin. Even the parts not normally seen in mixed company (That's right. I had to take my makeup off. All of it. Weird!) Everything seems like it's OK, but I do have a follow up appointment just to make sure. Oh, and they froze the bejeezus out of a nasty wart on my thumb. I think I actually heard it say "nanny nanny foo foo" when the doctor took out the nitrogen, but I could be exaggerating. A little.
  • More "work." Listened to opera, paid some bills, followed through on some inquiries. Helped KPW with a blog entry about clothes...here's hoping for no nipples on the tour this year. (And for an abundance of super-cute shoes!)
  • Kettlebell class! With KPW! (She's a rock star!) If our emails are short over the next few days, it's because we hurt too much to type with more than one finger. 'Twas intense!
  • Pizza. Just because.
My five:
  1. Starting something new.
  2. Learning.
  3. Cuddly kitty bellies. Should be a controlled substance.
  4. Clean bills of health.
  5. Casual Fridays...hellooooo, jeans!