it's a link-tastic day!

I'm a collector.

Well, really, I'm a packrat. But collector sounds so much nicer, doesn't it? Like I only keep things that have value. Boy, I wish that was true...mostly I just hate to throw things away. Sure, once or twice a year the clutter gets to me and I'll purge ruthlessly; closets, fridge, cupboards, closets. But 90% of the time I just look for an empty spot in a drawer, or stuff the item in a closet, vowing to deal with it fully later.

(Almost. Never. Happens.)

But our house is small, and there's not a whole lot of room to expand. My hubby (from a military family, of course) has a rule, and it's a good one: one new thing in, one old thing out. Makes sense, right?

(Almost. Never. Happens.)

So I've been trying to move my packrat tendencies online. An example? Collecting songs in my iTunes collection. That's an actual collection that I can justify AND that gives me great pleasure to grow. It's fairly inexpensive to pick up a new song or two, and it's way more fun than trying on fifteen billion pairs of jeans that don't fit.

Another example? Google reader. It's like having a million magazine subscriptions! To things that I really like, without the viagra ads! Written by people who are quirky and knowledgeable and interesting and fun!

The downside? Sometimes there are so many great things in my feed reader, that I just have to share them. You need to know these different kinds of neat-o!

This is one of those days. Buckle yer seatbelt.

  • This. Vampire Weekend, RZA, Jake Gyllenhall and one of those Jonas kids? AWESOME.
  • This. My friends like the pig and the shoes. I like the hats and the penguin. What's your fav?
  • I'm a fan of Communicatrix, and may print this out and post it somewhere where I'll read it daily.
  • These pictures made my heart a little lighter, even though we're not done with winter weather. (PLEASE can we be done? puh-LEEEEEEZE???)
  • I love the way this guy writes...my favorite phrase in this entry is "earth-shattering, bodice-ripping science." No idea what it actually is, but sounds cool.
  • Doesn't everyone need one of these?
  • Don't know these guys, but like the two tracks featured here.
  • Definitely better than Cats. I'd read this again and again.
  • I could probably eat this whole thing by myself. Which is why I'm posting it and not ctually planning to bake it...
In work news, we're in pre-production for lots of things...one-act operas, an opera workshop, the summer season. And we're also going to be invading yer interwebs with a cool new streaming project...more info to come! It's fairly quiet, and we're getting what feels like a lot of good work done...it's pretty satisfying.

In personal news, my body is crying mutiny, especially after a super-confusing phone call from the doctor regarding some test results. Did he have the film backwards? Or do I have another issue? Do I push harder or ease off the exercise? Eat more or less? Frustrating. Good vibes sent my way would be appreciated!

Also in personal news, one of hub's grad school buddies moved to Chile last month. He's OK in the wake of the earthquake, but things are rough. Actually, maybe you should send good vibes his way, first.

My five:
  1. A work-less weekend.
  2. A good new book to read.
  3. Advil.
  4. Sharing tunes with friends.
  5. Dreaming.


Stop this train

Ok, so it's a John Mayer tune. But it also refers to the CRAZY WIND that's been rattling my windows and turning the dulcet tones of my windchimes into a xylophone player's arrhythmic nightmare. Yikes! I'm glad that the power's on, and am considering exactly how many layers I'll need to keep warm today.


There's something about not sleeping well (see: CRAZY WIND) and working long days (we have a great concert scheduled tonight, but it does mean a long day. Well, except that I'll be taking a short gym break somewhere in there - that should help with the energy management, right?) that makes the day seem endless before it even begins. I get cold and tired and cranky just thinking about it. I'm not much of a church girl anymore, but I am a sucker for inspiration, and so a few months ago I signed up for the daily email from The Universe. (The universe has email! Who knew!) Here's today's email:

As if the most accomplished among you didn't have their own piercing doubts, fears, and worries; didn't have spells when they believed they were inadequate, lost, and dependent; hadn't at times felt downhearted, discouraged, and all alone in the world.

Yet still, Rahree you know their names.
It's like time and space were made for you,
    The Universe

So there it is - my personal pep talk for the day. A thought that's not all about my next cup of coffee, or how much I'm dreading taking this dog out for his walk in the - wait for it - CRAZY WIND. And, when I see these emails, I get a little perspective, and start thinking about how good things are. Like the fact that I just got approval for booking my very first chamber music season! And that I'll be trekking to Brooklyn for some girl time next weekend!

Perspective: adjusted.

Dog: still unwalked. Time to remedy that!

My five:
  1. The Antlers
  2. Gingerbread coffee.
  3. Polarfleece.
  4. Comfortable shoes
  5. Perspective.



I just erased the last post. You'd be better served by taking a nap than reading it. Yup. It really was just that boring.

Life is good, don't get me wrong! But work is all about contracts and budgeting, the weather is threatening to turn snowy (again. I'm pretty much done with snow this year, I have to admit.), and my Lenten disciplines are rendering my life into a plodding sack of snooze.

And I'm not complaining.

The season will be under way in the blink of an eye, and my life will not be my own for several months this summer. I love the summer - the bustle, the people, the crazy pace! But I tend to stockpile sleep and solitude as much as I can in the winter, (like the Polish bear that I am. Whoa, where did that come from? Weird.) and the cold has made my couch my own personal paradise.

Did I mention I'm done with the cold, too? I'm ready for a little bit of this in my life. Warm breeze, sunshine. (Ducks optional, but encouraged.)

My five:
  1. Good writing. (Something you may never actually see here. But it does exist, I promise.)
  2. Relationships. (I'm watching the cat bait the dog...the fear is gone, after 2+ years! Next step? Cuddling. But we're probably years away from that, too.)
  3. Wool socks.
  4. Pistachios. Have you ever eaten just one pistachio? Me neither. And they're green, so they count as a vegetable, right?
  5. New tunes. Am such a new fan of stereogum! In fact, here's one a friend passed along:

Yours Truly Presents: The Morning Benders "Excuses" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.


'tis the season

It's Lent.

And while I rarely set foot inside a church anymore, I still try to do without, to restructure, to dig a little deeper during these 40-odd days. While I know that some folks take Sundays off from their disciplines (I guess that Sundays are celebrations, and therefore exempt), I don't get it on a cellular level. I don't think my mom would've bought the "SO, I'm going to give up chocolate, but I still get some on Sundays, ok?" line. Ever.

But this year I'm trying to also find balance, so one of my disciplines has a weekly day-off built in. And I have to say, it's making life ever so much more civilized!

(For some background, I try to do two or three things for Lent: give something up (something that I love: my dad gave up watermelon seeds every year, but I still think that's cheating.), adding a daily discipline and a daily spiritual/community component. My daily discipline a little self-serving: it's to work out every day.

Every. Day. From Ash Wednesday (2.17.2010) until Easter (4.4.2010).

What have I done?!?

I've been good the last several days...a jog, some classes at the gym, and some quality time on the elliptical. But I am whupped. The house is dirty, the fridge is bare, and the mountain of laundry certainly won't wash itself.  And yet I can't imagine leaving my cozy little nest to do any of those things.

Time to re-caffeinate and restart the day, I'm afraid.

If you're in the same boat as I am, here's my new-ish gym playlist. It makes me happy. Well, happier than I would be with no tunes, certainly.
  1. Shut Up and Let Me Go - The Ting Tings (I sing along. Which is probably why no one takes the machines on either side of me. It's a win-win.)
  2. California English - Vampire Weekend (Such fun stuff!)
  3. Sunrise - Yeasayer (I love these guys.)
  4. Hit the Wall - Brendan Canning
  5. Bad Body Double - Imogen Heap (I'm so there, most days.)
  6. Cousins - Vampire Weekend (I needed 2 VW songs. Heavy rotation!)
  7. Helpless - Sugar (Bob Mould when he was screamier - I love it.)
  8. The Phunky Feel One - Cypress Hill (I might be the oldest, whitest person to still listen to this tune.)
  9. Only the Good Die Young - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (listen out for "mild abrasion" - cracks me up every time.)
  10. Sabotage - Beastie Boys (This is my JAM. You'll know if it's on because I'll be smiling like a total ass.)
  11. A Little Bit More - Jamie Lidell (get that heart rate down a little...whew...)
  12. Breakdown - Black Gold
  13. I Met A Girl - Wheat
  14. Do the 45 - Ryan Shaw (This is the last-ditch push. Before I keel over and die in a pool of my own sweat.)
  15.  Take Your Mama - Scissor Sisters (Cool down. Aaaahhh...)

Ok...cup of tea, game plan for the afternoon. Wish me luck! (Do you think my couch will be lonely if I leave her? Maybe I should wait a while...)

My five:
  1. Fuzzy blankets.
  2. Challenges, self-made and otherwise.
  3. Health insurance.
  4. Tea.
  5. Unscheduled time.

 p.s. If you're in the greater DC area and are interested in running the Race for the Cure in June, shoot me an email. The more, the merrier!


it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

So, I'm living vicariously through a whole slew of friends. The slew is equally divided between folks who have had a virtual tire iron thrown at them (See: cancer, job loss) and those who have won the karmic lottery (See:healthy baby, cool new job). The roller coaster makes no sense, as they're all fabulous, smart, generous people...there's no rhyme or reason. And while none of it is happening to me, all of it's definitely having a profound effect on me: it's crazy-making that both extremes are happening simultaneously. Celebrating! Commiserating! Feeling hopeful! Feeling helpless! Gah!

(It's one instance where I'm happy to be firmly in the No-News-Is-Good-News camp.)

It's 9am on Saturday morning. The weekend is supposed to be sunny and a touch warmer than it's been...the snow is starting to melt nicely, which means it's only a matter of time before my yard turns into a mud pit. But it also means that it's warm enough to go for a little jog outside today or tomorrow, which is great news! (I simply cannot run on a treadmill without wanting to kill someone...it's a sad fact. And unfortunate, as I just signed up for this - won't you join me?) But I'm still ensconced on the couch with the pooch, having taken a quick constitutional around the neighborhood.

And because I'm feeling a little lazy and a little escapist, it's time for another edition of Link-O-Rama!
  • I love this man. Always makes me laugh!
  • I watch the dog show every year (the black lab was ROBBED!), and this is a cute "backstage" photo album.
  • This reminder. I am evidently an excellent web surfer.
  • More silly dog stuff.
  • This...my ceilings aren't high enough, but I think it's super cool.
  • Do you think my hubby will buy into getting me a music studio shaped like a coconut? Because I totally want one.
  • What does Dr. Octopus' bedroom look like? You'd be surprised.
  • On a serious note: health care for artists...one person's story. Tragic, wholly preventable, and yet pervasive among folks I know. We have to do better.
  • Boy do I wish hubby liked mushrooms. Yum.
  • I loved this movie. The remake is out this March. Color me psyched!
  • If you're in my business, this cartoon is less "funny-ha-ha" and more "omg I've been in that very meeting."
  • I love this guy's cartoons (check my left margin for a link to his site), but this one I'm thinking of printing out and hanging it where I can see it daily.
  • Poetry. About writing. Love.
And my five:
  1. Health.
  2. A little whiff of spring in the air.
  3. Living, working, interacting with awesome, generous, welcoming people. I'm a lucky, lucky girl.
  4. Lenten disciplines. (more on that at a later date)
  5. Hope.


unfortunate side effect of winter...brrr

As I write this the snow plows are crawling around my little house, widening the road from two wheel ruts to a manageable, less-hazardous space. Blinking lights, the 'beepbeepbeep' of the bulldozer backing up to take another pass.

I'm thankful.

I've enjoyed the snow (and the resulting time away from the office!) a great deal. But the locals are restless, and there are lots of folks driving too quickly on narrow roads - I'm taking my life in my hands every time Diablo and I circle the block. It's a fact, and it makes for a grumpy start to the day.

And it's cold, a fact of which I do not approve. My shoulders are stuck by my ears, my skin is crawling from the dry air and the too-warm, too-frequent showers I use to warm up, and I may never feel my toes again. The only time I have on fewer than three layers is when I'm the aforementioned shower. I'm amazed at how my physical self cannot get comfortable...and I'm in reasonably good health, with a decent workout regimen to keep myself strong and flexible. I can't imagine how grumpy I would be if I were dealing with pain or a chronic health issue. Well, actually I could...and it would look like a smaller version of the apocalypse.

(And, as a related observation, it's hard keeping to any kind of healthy diet when I'm dressing like the Michelin Man. Where's the motivation to stop eating that loaf of bread slathered in Plugra? Ain't none.)

Bitch, whine, bitch, whine... I know, I know. I've been very lucky - weathered both storms without losing power; had bosses who allowed for time away for the office: I have warm clothes and a warm house and food and water and hooch and candy bars (hey, I'm just cataloguing necessities!). I have no reason to bitch.

And yet, there I go.

So, to redeem myself? I offer you this.

Wake me when it's springtime.

My five:
  1. Layers.
  2. Lotion and lip balm.
  3. Vanilla rooibos tea.
  4. Cuddly pets.
  5. Daydreaming about warm weather.


sappily mush-tastic

It's Valentine's Day. And the start of the Chinese New Year - the year of the Tiger. President's Day is tomorrow. Mardi Gras is Tuesday. Lent starts Wednesday.


We're smack-dab in the midst of a whole slew of special days! It makes sense...it's a hard time of the year to get motivated. We're short on sunlight, warmth, fresh produce, and not coincidentally, goodwill. Holidays are almost necessary at this time of year - celebrating with people, rather than feeling grumpy towards people. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, I've been leaning on the latter more than I should.

Lent in particular tends to be a favorite (although not a favorite "rah rah!") time for me...while I'm not so much religious anymore, I appreciate the asceticism, the discipline, and the reflection it requires. Just a few more days of reveling in excess, before the belt is tightened, the butter is traded out and the chardonnay ceases to flow....at least for a while.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It's Valentine's Day, and I have to crow for a minute about finding the best card for hubby (at right). A card that says "Not only do I love you, BUT I've also decided to let you live."? Priceless!

I also switched the old man over from a pc laptop to a mac. Steep learning curve, sure, but he's going to thank me in a few days when he realizes how simple the interface is...

...I hope.

I took a yoga class yesterday for the first time in months. And the instructor talked about falling deeply in love with yourself, your individuality, your quirks and flaws and kick-ass-assets all...to take care of yourself, to listen to your body and mind, and give yourself what you need. While this holiday is usually all about romantic love, I'm all about celebrating the self in addition to the pair.

Because love begets love, right?

My five:
  1. The Olympics. I'm overwhelmed by all the inspiration.
  2. Perfect cards. Hubby picked me a good'un.
  3. The corner seat of the sectional. (=my nest)
  4. A day where there's no quota on chocolate consumption.
  5. License to be mushy.
And if you're interested, here's what I've been listening to today.



    I wrote this last year. this the year before. One of these years I'll let go of all this anger, and Valentine's Day won't be tainted with this mind-blowing funk.

    This, however, is not that year.

    My five:
    1. Hubby. My rock.
    2. Retail therapy during sale season.
    3. Sunshine.
    4. Distraction.
    5. Dad.



    Well, I'm well on my way to gaining the Blizzard 15, even with all the cleaning, laundry and snow I've shoveled. I know I should post pictures, etc., but all motivation to move has leached from my body, and is being securely stored in my couch.

    I'm sure of it.

    So, as a way of bringing you down with me, I've made you BLIZZILLA (rawr! raaaaawr!), a wintery mix tape. You can grab it here this afternoon. If it's down before you get it, it's solely because I took it down before I went to bed, and I went to bed ashamedly early.

    (C'mon, eating this much and sitting around is HARD WORK.)

    Anyhoo, if you miss it just email me and I'll send you the link.

    Disclaimer - there's a tune or two that don't quite fit the popsicle mold. The Guster tune kept me company one very long night, circumnagivating the Beltway from rehearsal in a horizontal snow. I put that sucker on repeat and sang until I got home - it's responsible for my safe arrival at La Maison Rahree. And the Freedy Johnson tune is fitting, if the title isn't quite. You'll not find a lot of new tunes, but there are some good'uns, I promise.

    AND, if I'm stuck in the house tomorrow, I'll post another mix, in honor of Blizzilla's most formidable adversary, MegaSUNrus!

    My five:
    1. Shelter. No, wait - heated shelter. No, wait! Heated shelter with running warm water and a bitchin' bathtub.
    2. Beauty through my window.
    3. Warm clothes. I may look like the Michelin Man's chubby black-clad cousin, but I'm totes OK with that.
    4. Naps. I may just be getting the hang of them.
    5. Generosity - three of the neighborhood kids just brought over orange cinnamon rolls - YUM! (Ok, Blizzard 16...)
    Hoping you and yours are safe and warm.


    Flash forward to summer: Whack-A-Mole

    Ah, February...the pace of life is slower, especially when the entire area has been blanketed in two feet of snow. I've spent the weekend loafing, reading, cooking, chatting with the neighbors and playing with my pets. My reward? An additional day away from the office - the Foundation is closed. WIN!

    As you can tell, I'm enjoying it, especially because these leisurely days are numbered. At work, the focus in the winter is squarely on big ideas...long-range planning, new projects, new words to describe what we do. All of this daydreaming and planning is in stark contrast to the game we play all summer: Whack-A-Mole.

    You remember Whack-a-Mole, right? A horizontal surface that's studded with holes like a huge piece of swiss cheese;  little plastic moles poking through those holes at random, taunting, aggravating intervals. Your job is to bop those little buggers in the noggin with a big, padded mallet so that they go back into their holes.

    (Admit it. You remember. I bet you were a fantastic Mole-Bopper.)

    That's our summer, in a nutshell. No time for long-range planning because overnight our little operation grows from 2.5 people to over 80. Projects and personalities all vie for attention, and our parent Foundation reels at the number of new bodies in the building. Here's a look at a fictional, yet plausible, summer day at Wolf Trap Opera.

    8:00am Awake. Caffeinate, walk the dog, shower, collect purse and computer and head to the office. If I'm lucky I've had time to hit the gym...but today's not that day.

    9:45am Walk into the office and poke my head into the rehearsal room. Stage management is setting up for a 10am rehearsal, and the PSM tells me that the wine bottles are missing from the prop table. Seems that the hyper-vigilant cleaning staff have recycled the props - way to go green! Head downstairs to my office to call the shop, in the hope that the propsmaster is agreeable to draining several wine bottles before noon. He agrees: I'm equal parts relieved and concerned...

    10:00am The Facilities director calls my attention to the espresso machine that is against regulation and hiding in the corner of the copy room. I beg for dispensation until September for 'medical' reasons. Bullet dodged, no blood lost.

    10:10am. Finally reach my office. Log into my email to see that the costume shop is missing some fabric that they need for an afternoon fitting. Head to the mail room to scout for the package - there it is! -  and pick up the mail...most of it's for the artists, but there's a bill or two for me.

    10:30am Head to the costume shop to say hi and deliver the fabric. Chit-chat with the designer and collect reimbursement receipts from her. Remind the shop of the lunchtime concert, if they can get away from their sewing. (it's a wild hope at this point in the season, but I want them to be in the loop!)

    11:00am Back at my desk. Return some emails. Proof some ads, and find some old copy...grumble, edit and send to the second floor. Talk to some studio singers who are struggling with rooming situations. Hand out some advil and some chocolate. Pay the bills and update the budget...it's tight this year, so I'm trying to stay on top of every penny...it's taking more brain power than in recent seasons.

    12:05pm Crap! The lunch recital's started and I got totally sucked into my expenses spreadsheet! Run upstairs to hear some of the singers and a coach tear up some of the summer repertoire in an informal concert in the atrium. The Foundation staff have lined both the perimeter of the atrium AND circled the upper level - it's hard to find a spot!

    12:45pm Time to start on tomorrow's schedule: send the intern into the rehearsal room with the mail to wait out the end of the session. Her instructions? To grab the artistic team and squeeze some information from them regarding the scenes and personnel needed for the next day's rehearsal blocks. In the meantime, I call the two children's choirs that we're working with for the summer to check in on numbers and to confirm the rehearsal schedules. Discover that we're in need of more kids...start emailing every choral teacher and church choir director in my rolodex, and consider placing an audition announcement.

    1:15pm The intern comes back down to her desk...she doesn't have a lot to work with from the rehearsal room. She hits up the Studio Administrator and the coaches for their wish lists. I spend some quality time with technical specs and pricing for some projection equipment, and realize it's over my head AND over my budget. Call the designer to talk me through it.

    1:45pm Media interview with a new young artist and RT...pretend to be an interviewer (I have a face for radio...) and lob questions, some designed to elicit information, some to disarm, some to trip-up. This particular singer's pretty self-possessed and articulate, so it's a fun 15 minutes: and now we have an interesting angle to shop to some media folk to get him a little more attention.

    2:00pm Why am I so grumpy? Oh, right...lunch. Grab a sandwich from the vending machine and head into KPW's office for a staff meeting. These are difficult to both schedule and keep on the calendar ('oh, let's skip it today- we're too busy.'), but they're SO important; it keeps us from repeating efforts, and males sure that everyone's in the loop. My to-do list grows exponentially after these sessions.

    3:00pm Touch base with the P and P office at the Filene Center regarding tomorrow's National Symphony concert. Morning load-in means an 8:00am call. Resolve to set the alarm early enough to swing by Cenan's for muffins. Email the Symphony to get their backstage list and updated timings for the show.

    3:15pm Check with the Company Manager regarding SB's residency:  ensure he has a larger room, a fridge and that the pool is in service. Make sure she has petty cash to pick up dinner for him, and that the driver is scheduled to pick him up from the airport. Run upstairs in a panic to make sure that the scooter has been delivered to the rehearsal room. Whew! It's there.

    3:40pm Check email. 65 new messages. Ugh. Return 3 phone messages.

    4:00pm Grab laptop and resolve to return emails in the rehearsal room...some good music will make it easier.

    4:45pm The rehearsal breaks - IM the intern and ask her to hit up the artistic staff for schedule info again: if she doesn't get it now, she'll be here into the evening...and I know she has tickets to the Filene Center concert this evening! Check in with the conductor and director, and wander over to the Barns to see how construction is going. Looking good! We're in great shape for the start of tech week.

    6:00pm Rehearsal's over. I've responded to all 65 email messages and the 20 that arrived while I was in the rehearsal room. Have even made a pass at Kim's supertitles - they look good, as usual. I head back down to my office to clean up before the evening's donor event.

    6:02pm I'm allowed to steal cheese cubes before the event begins, right? I'll just take a few...

    6:30pm  Still at my desk, proofing the last program draft. I've seen so many proofs that I can't remember what we've changed without looking at the comments from the last several iterations.

    6:35pm Officially late for the Donor Meet-And-Greet, but I have to get these check requests up to Finance tonight - it takes at least two days to get them through, unless I have sufficient good-quality chocolate to bribe Accounts Payable. Check my candy stash just-in-case...

    6:50pm Finally make it through the door of the donor event, and say hello to several of our good friends and close supporters. Wend my way to the Lecture Hall for Kim's pre-show lecture, then head over to the Barns to take the temperature of backstage and front-of-house. The company manager has the CD station set up with copies of Volpone and the intern is taking care of the artist ticket requests at the box office. Wait, isn't that Mr. Big from the Big City Opera Company? We didn't know he was coming - we don't have a seat on hold for him! The company manager graciously volunteers to sit on the steps with me, and Mr. Big gets a seat where he can hear and see all of our artists well...hoping something pans out for one (or more) of them!

    7:35pmThe lobby powerpoint display is frozen: after some judicious plugging and unplugging (coupled with a few choice words) the display is up and running again. Head downstairs and stick my head into the chorus warm up and greet a few orchestra players en route to the pit. Grab receipts from the Makeup Designer and run them over to my office.

    8:02pm Sneak into the Barns back stairwell as the orchestra tunes. Listen to Act 1 through the curtain. Proof tomorrow's schedule one last time before the intern prints and distributes.

    9:35pm. Intermission. Hand out final payments to designers and the director. Make sure the Center for Ed is locked.

    9:55pm Sneak back into the Barns to listen to Act 2... wow, the soprano really nailed that floaty phrase...made it sound easy. Awesome. Tweet about it. Proof Symphony programs for next week's shows.

    10:40pm Curtain Call. Hang in the lobby after the show to chit-chat with patrons. Run a set of programs, the proofed Symphony papers, and the checks that need to be mailed back over to the office. Beg off the cast party because of the early morning Symphony call.

    11:15pm Pack up and leave the office. Turn around in the parking lot to let a key-less singer back into the rehearsal hall to collect their belongings. Sigh audibly.

    11:30pm Home.

    If you'd like to learn more about Wolf Trap Opera and our 2010 season, you'll find loads of links here at Kim's blog. We hope to see you this summer!

    My five:
    1. Idle time.
    2. Interesting work.
    3. Good things happening to good people.
    4. Creativity.
    5. Anticipation.


    oh, boy...

    Ladies and gentlemen, it's the Snowpocalypse!

    (We did this in December, but memories are short.)

    Granted, folks are talking 30+ inches in the greater DC area - in fact my office was closed before 11am this morning. I'm more concerned about the electricity situation...if the power's on, I'm GOLDEN. Better than golden...golden shellacked in rainbows and M&Ms. If not, well, chances are I'll be hiking to your house to camp. With my pets. Please get my room ready. (I like a firm pillow. Thanks.)

    It's drifted up to mid-calf level (9 inches? I'm not good at ballparking length.) in our backyard. The dog is in heaven. As am I...clean house, stocked fridge, books to read, crosswords to tackle, stuff to write, and neighbors with dogs a stone's throw away. Wearing El Diablo out should be a cinch tomorrow!

    Updates to come, electricity willing!

    My five:
    1. Breaking rules.
    2. The warm embrace of a friendly neighborhood.
    3. Snow. It's freakin' beautiful outside.
    4. Cats. I hope mine stays on my lap all weekend.
    5. Bad tv. Oh, Smallville, I still love you.


    grammy day recap

    A lovely bit of snow has gifted us with a two hour delay this morning.  i am thankful, although the extra time on my couch may sap my motivation completely...fighting off a sinus infection (i'm sure you all wanted to know the status of my head. you're welcome.) makes me want to curl up and sleep constantly. i should work out, hit the grocery store, buy a pair of boots that don't leak. But instead? Couch & laptop & coffee & navel gazing.

    It's all I can muster.

    So, Grammys! We got all gussied up and piled into our rockin' white Dodge minivan. (Because that's how WT rolls!) and headed to the afternoon pre-telecast. We got a parking spot close to the venue and stood in line in the warm California sunshine, waiting for the gates to open. Once inside (it was in the West Hall of the Convention Center adjacent to the Staples Center) there were food stations and several open bars...lovely! It was general admission seating, so we nabbed fab seats front and center in the room, and settled in. There weren't a huge amount of folks there, but there was still some pretty amazing starpower...we saw Taylor Swift and Colbie Calliat win their first Grammys, saw Neil Young and Loudon Wainwright and Imogen Heap and Maxwell (he was sitting right behind me!), and a slew of people that I didn't recognize. There were great performances, too: my favs were Lalah Hathaway and Kurt Elling singing "God Bless the Child", Charlie Wilson and his gorgeous dancers, and Beast, a Canadian band who was up for best video: Check it out - it was pretty cool!

    As the afternoon wore on, we started getting a little squirmy...3 hours with no intermission is a long time to sit, and everyone was starting to get a little peckish. The ceremony ran a little long, and we stayed, like good do-bees, until the very end. Then KPW ditched her rockin' heels and we ran over to the Staples Center, hoping to grab a bite before the next ceremony.

    No such luck.

    We checked the camera (boo) and headed up to our seats. There were loads of people alllll gussied up (I saw a non-ironic Vegas Showgirl headdress. Amazing.) in all kinds of finery. The stage was organized into two discrete sections separated by a large hallway/runway. As Gaga was performing on stage right, they were setting up stage left for the next performer. And as the commercials ran for the TV audience they broadcasted highlights from past ceremonies on the video wall at the rear of the stage. I commandeered KPW's binoculars and spent a large part of the evening scanning the floor for famous people and good dresses...you could see Lady Gaga's spiky silver dress unaided - pity to whoever sat behind her! It was interesting to see where they seated people...nominated folks were often on the aisle, but in different sections from their competitors.

    Good stuff? Gaga. Beyonce. Pink - phenominal! I liked Dave Matthews and Jeff Beck, too. And while I know very little about rap, I am a fan of Eminem - he's pretty freakin' charismatic.

    Fails? Mos Def & Placido's intro - could anyone understand what they were saying? Taylor Swift's transposed duet with Stevie Nicks...it wasn't the original key, and she didn't quite make it up to the top. Jamie Foxx's relative (sister? cousin?) dancing onstage. That was weird. And while I loooooove MJ, the tribute was not my thing.

    Also, blood sugar fail and tiny chair fail. By the end of the night, with all of the people and stimulus and lights and music, I was totally overwhelmed and uncomfortable and HUN.GRY. A quiet dinner nearby restored my humanity, but it was seriously touch-and-go for a while.

    Was in bed late, awake for the flight home early...still reeling from the whole experience, honestly. But it was pretty amazing, and I'm so grateful to have had a chance to go.

    My five:
    1. Celebrations.
    2. Good traveling companions (KPW and I fell right back into tour mode - the guys were in awe!)
    3. Catching up with friends.
    4. People watching!
    5. Killer shoes.