28 December 2004

" . . . "

Unbelievable. I just read, that combined with the threat of communicable diseases, the death toll in SE Asia just might reach 100,000+ people.
Natural disasters are, well, I don't even have a word for them. i just can't believe all of the devastation.
And me here in my nice warm house, with my entire family. A perfect Norman Rockwell portrait.

How can we help?

24 December 2004

A Dreaming Soul

Thanks to
Annelies for this cool site....

You Are a Dreaming Soul

Your vivid emotions and imagination takes you awy from this world
So much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time
You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all...
But for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult

You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you.
Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses.
Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others.
Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul

14 December 2004


so, it seems that everyone has at least one of these types of entries on their blogs. so here's mine. i'm sick. icky icky icky.
i woke up sunday morning with a sore throat feeling gross, and decided to sleep in. i went about my day, and even went to the opera later sunday to see my friends perform. yesterday, still gross, but surviving. cut to last night. woke up as i was in so much pain. it seems that one of my tonsils is staging a coup d'etat on the rest of my throat. i'll leave out the gory details and just mention that something is so swollen in there that it is hampering my neck movement. that can't be good, right?
i'm going to the doctor at 4pm. that's only 4.5 hours from now. thank you, Jesus, for getting me an appointment today!

ps: az's party was a smashing success on friday. one of the best i've ever been to/involved with/whatever. it was actually a really good weekend all around, except for the tonsil-thing.

09 December 2004

Sweet tea and candied yams . . .

crawfish, catfish and shrimp. Yummmm! So, as promised from last week, I do have a few things to say about my trip to the great state of Louisiana. The south is a different place - it might as well just be a different country. But different does not mean bad.

Growing up, my parents made sure that my brother and I often visited our relatives in Louisiana. Holidays, birthdays and vacations found us in Mansfield, Zachary, Monroe, West Monroe, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Gueydon. Once we got older, and our grandparents all passed away, we visited less frequently. Now, we've been to New Orleans twice in the last five years for weddings, and when I lived in Dallas, I stayed with my aunt in S'port a couple of times.

Being there makes me realize how much I value this side to our family. We have deep cultural ties to Louisiana. I love the history (well, not all of it is great- hello, politicians/etc). I'm a big fracophile, and I think maybe this LA has something to do with it.

I noticed in my cousins traits that we all shared from the Daniel side of things. Similar noses, height, curly hair, gait. And how my dad and his older brother both cannot sit still for more than 30 minutes without having to get up and do something, anything. Or just take a drive to nowhere.

Other observations from the trip:
-there is a tendency for large, wooden Christmas cards to appear in yards, typically surrounded by large, inflatable snowmen.

-sweet tea is considered 'regular' in most places. My mom, being diabetic, doesn't drink sweet tea. Here is an excerpt from an order we placed at lunch:

Me: "I'll have a sweet tea"
Waitress: "And you, ma'am?"
Mom: "Regular tea, please."
Waitress: "Ok, so that's two sweet teas"
Mom: "No, regular tea for me"
Me: "She means 'unsweet' "
etc etc ad nauseum.......

-You can find the best blue plate specials at the little restaurant Monroe's airport. Their food is delicious! And you can't beat the price (under 6 bucks!).

-Monroe is the birthplace of Delta Airlines.

-Small town Christmas parades are amazing. Everyone comes out to see them, and there are cheerleaders, boyscouts and elk lodge members galore. All throwing lots of candy.

-I had forgotten what is was like to go to church in the south. Everyone goes. We went to First West to see their Christmas program on Sunday morning. There were probably 1000 people, just at one service (out of three). And the choir members were all wearing sequins.

-The town "Cheniere" is pronounced either 'shinny' or 'cheney'. what?! hahah

-my family rocks!!!!!

02 December 2004


I finally bought "How to Dismantle an atomic bomb" (U2's new album, in case you're from another planet and thought I was actually interested in learning how to, well, dismantle an atomic bomb). It is great! I am soooo pumped. You better believe that if they come ANYWHERE near the bay area, that I am there!!!!

in other random news.....

I'm off to the great state of Louisiana tomorrow. Headed to West Monroe with my parents a cousin's wedding. Well, not actually a wedding, but a wedding reception. Said cousin got married in the carribean last weekend. Aparantly, if you live on the island of Ste. Lucia for 3 days, you can then get married there. Kind of a planned eloping.
Anywho, I'm looking forward to seeing all of our various and sundry family members. Considering we are a southern family, we're quite small, so when we all get together, it's a lot of fun---we all know each other fairly well (despite my parents being the black sheep and becoming . . . ack . . . westerners in Colorado)!!
It's been 3 years since I've been to Louisiana, and almost 6 since I've been to the bustling metropolis of West Monroe. Stay tuned for post-family reunion/wedding weekend recap next week.

pps: check out this freaking hysterical site:

  • Badly Drawn Observations

  • Thanks to
  • End_user X
  • for the link.

    01 December 2004

    I JUST CAN'T DENY. . .

    that I am my parents' daughter. Do you ever have those "OMG, I'm turning into my parents" moments? Maybe because I've been around them this week I'm noticing more just how influential their attitudes/thoughts/behaviors/tendencies have been on me. Let me give you a couple of examples:

    1. Went to dinner at this deli last week with the 'rents. My dad and I both ordered hot tea. I opened my tea bag, smelled it, then dropped it in the hot water. I just happen to look at my dad who, at that exact moment, lifted his teabag up, smelled it, and dropped it into his cup of water. Needless to say, the three of us just about died laughing, much to the curiosity of our dining neighbors.

    2. I was backing out of a parking spot today, with my mom in the passenger seat. Just as I was getting close to the car behind me in the lot, I said, "I'm going to try and not hit that car." Cue the response (from both of us): "Well, that would be preferable." duh.

    21 November 2004

    Games, anyone?

    Hats off to Joey Miller! He is the LOTR king. I have never known anyone else who is just as fascinated with LOTR as he. I guess I should've started out by saying "Hats off to my friend Beth Miller, for she has managed to survive her husband's devotion to LOTR" hahahahah.

    Seriously. The Millers had their housewarming party last night at their beautiful new apartment in Emeryville. After watching "Who's Line is it Anyway?" we decided to play a game. To no one's surprise, we had amongst all of our game choices, LOTR Trivial Pursuit.

    So, we broke down into teams and played. It was great fun. Not to get into toooo many details, but there was a "one ring" as well as a ringwraith who chased down the team with the one ring.

    Why do I bring all of this up? Because I am proud to say that our team (Cousin Hillary and myself) kicked some serious arse. We worked well together, reasoned things out and, a lot of the time, came up with the correct answers. We tied for the win with Joey and Annelies. Yeah!

    18 November 2004

    Gruppo d'Italiano

    ah! I mercoledi, vado in classe d'italiano con il mio professore, Brioni (dal Conservatorio), e altre otto/nove persone. Tutte le altre persone hanno fra 40 e 60 anni, e parlano l'italiano solo per la gioia di parlare un'altra lingua. Mi piace molto questo corso. Ci incontriamo a North Beach, in una casa sulla colina Telegraph. E' bellissssssima!

    Parliamo del mondo, bevimao, mangiamo e leggiamo le novelle di Gofreddo Parise.

    Ieri sera, abbiamo parlato di Berlusconi (il premio ministro d'Italia), la politica, e il popolo italiano. Questi sono soggetti con cui io non ho troppo esperienza. (Sono stata in Italia solo una volta, a Venezia, e non parlavo ne capivo l'italiano). Ma, insomma, la classe era molto interessante. Il mio ragazzo e' venuto con me (ha abitato in Italia per tre anni). Lui e' molto intelligente e ha avuto le cose interresanti a dire in classe. Va be'.

    Dopo la classe, tutte e due sono andati al torre di coit per vedere la vista della citta di san francisco. Non ci sono stata io per un'anno! E' magnifica, questa vista. Tutti voi ci dovete andare!

    Era una bella sera. Alla prossima!!

    NB: Ho imparato qualche parole (parolacce) novelle! "Sei scemo/a??" "Porca miseria"

    17 November 2004

    Vive la France

    POUR quelque raison, j'ai besoin d'ecrire en francais ce soir. Je trouve qu'il me donne de plasir, d'ecrire comme ca. (Sauf qu'il n'existe pas encore des accents....helas!)

    Je voudrais rentrer en France. J'y voudrais vivre. Et, j'y serai un jour, je le sais. C'est un de mes reves, un desir (pas secret, hein, mais pas toutes ouvertes au public). On verra qu'est-ce qui se passe.....

    bon, c tout pour moi ce soir. je suis ttttrroooppppppppp fatiguee. Bonne nuit a tous!!

    Pass the salt, part two

    So, it's been two weeks since the original "Pass the Salt" entry. And what a whirlwind two weeks it has been.

    I had acting class tonight, and (yet again) I sang the aria I sang those two weeks ago. And what a difference. I was not curled into a ball, jacket hugged tightly around me, with my hands shoved as far down into my pockets as was humanly possible.

    No, instead, I was walking around free and tall and not wearing my big pea coat.

    I sang the aria, just sitting down on a chair. Just singing from 'where I am' at the moment, and letting 'whatever comes up' to just flow through me. It's harder than you would think, to not 'add' anything, but to just 'let' something be. I did it tonight, and it was great fun. It was EASY and powerful, too. Easy to sing, man. Easier to just open up and be. Now, I am still going to be working on all of this stuff, but I am making progress.

    The salt no longer stings.

    Eats, shoots and leaves

    Have you read the aforementioned book?? It's amazing. It's about laziness in spelling and grammar usage.

    All this to say, that as I was reading over past blog entries, I have noticed small little typos. Maybe one every couple of entries. IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!!!! ACK!! These type of little errors really bug the crap out of me, but I'm too tired to go back and fix them and have to republish them. Maybe one day, when it's not so late and I have the patience to fix everything.

    14 November 2004


    A few random items:

    1. I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again: I have excellent friends. I am soooo blessed to have people in my life that care about me, and whom I care about. While I was sick this week, not one, not two, but three friends of mine all helped me out, by providing me with soup. It was really kind, and I am just blown away by such a simple gesture of goodwill. Wow. Thanks, God, for these people!!!

    2. If you have never played the game "Taboo," stop reading my blog and go play. It is SUCH a fun game. And tonight was no exception. All I have to say is "stop peeking my duck." Good times (thanks to Pablo and his crazy Puns).

    3. Cary Elwes is greatly under-rated as an actor. After watching him in Saw yesterday (really disturbing, by the way), my interest was tweaked. It was fascinating to watch him descend into madness over the course of the film -- rather akin, but not equal to, (do I dare?) watching Jack Nicholson go crazy in The Shining. After this crazy movie, I had to watch The Princess Bride to just get over the disturbing-ness of the earlier film. And, once again, I was fascinated by Mr. Elwes. He could do it all: swordfighting, comedy, romance, swashbuckling, etc etc. I mean, what happened to this guy. The only other movie I can think of that he was in even remotely recently is Liar Liar ("are you afraid of the claw?).

    4. I want to take a train ride. Doesn't that sound like fun? I also want to go stomp on grapes and make wine. And go pick olives to make olive oil. And while we're at it, can we add throwing whipped cream pies at people? That would ROCK!!!!!!!!

    09 November 2004

    SMU redux

    THREE and a half years was far too long to stay off of Texas soil. I know that sounds crazy, but really it was. To spend four years in one place and then not visit it for almost four years is really difficult (I experienced the same thing with France in May). I guess it's not so much the place as the memories and the people with which Dallas and SMU are associated. I had three days full of laughter, nostalgic story telling, catching-up and hanging out. What a wonderful little vacation. While I won't give a play-by-play, I will list some of the highlights:

    -Being loosed on Dallas with cohorts Annelies and Sandra
    -Having real Tex-Mex (read: not CHEVY'S) at the Blue Goose with Michelle
    -reuniting with Cedric, by far the coolest jazz man I know
    -walking into Meadows and realizing that it still smells the same
    -seeing little kids go berzerk over the dum dum's and bazooka joe that was being thrown at them during the Parade
    -crunching those little chestnut acorn things that cover the SMU campus
    -watching SMU beat Tulsa in our football game
    -wondering why the male cheerleaders looked so bored
    -buying a fun new SMU t-shirt and hat
    -seeing Jennifer, Buz, Janie, Cathy, Bethie, Johnny and Ginny at Buca di Beppo
    -ordering food and wine for 13 people, and then having the bill come out just right
    -Eatzi's brownies (for dad)
    -napping/talking on Sunday afternoon with AZ and Sandra. Basically, just doing nothing, but having a lot of fun doing it
    -getting phone calls from my 'just-out-of-the-box' boyfriend
    -bluegrass band (Alabama Bottle Boys) at Club Dada
    -Karaoke at the Gay Country Bar (Best lookin' Cowboys in town)
    -Complimenting a drag queen on his/her earrings
    -Mary lou's amazing cooking and hospitality
    -Mary lou's tour of Dallas, and getting to eat popsicles and corn stuff (dang, I already forgot the name!!)
    -wild about harry's
    -dinner with matt, AZ and SV
    -Sam Moon
    -The Incredibles!!
    -SMU luggage tag

    29 October 2004

    Be in the moment

    Check out this quote my acting teacher sent me:

    "Basically, what you are doing out there is you. When it comes down to it, what the people see, what they want to see, is not a role or a character or a piece of work. What they want to see is you: your breath, your thoughts, your laughter, your violence, your pain, all of it. What you have to ask yourself is, Where am I in all of this and how am I going to communicate that? That's when you begin to notice that you flinch, that you duck and pull away from those parts of yourself that you are unwilling to have other people see. But that's where the gravy is, where your talent is, where the life resides. You have to keep going back there, to trust that the terrible has already happened, that you've survived and that you're okay, exactly the way you are. You have to walk toward the demons, not run from them. And you'll find that if you put out your hand, not as a fist, but palm up, you'll go right through them like tissue paper. That's when you can be in the moment, any moment." -- James Cromwell

    27 October 2004

    pass the salt. . .

    Food for thought:

    Imagine you are a snail. One day you decide to leave your shell. It's cold and you feel naked. Then, just as you really get going, it starts to rain. Salt.


    This is how I'm feeling right now, in relation to singing. I am learning to be vulnerable. Learning to crack open my chest and have everyone see my heart beating. And I'm learning to like it.

    Right now, it still feels like salt, stinging. Eventually, it will just feel like cold raindrops. Then, it will feel warm, and the rain will still hit me, but will steam off. No more pain.

    This is what it's like to be a performer. (A good one, anyways). Someone who has put their experiences into an aria, a song, and is opening up themselves for everyone to see.
    The audience just sees the raw, open character, and is moved. The performer learns to access these emotions/places in their real lives, and uses them on stage. It just takes a little while to get used to doing--to realize that you are not 'reliving' your life, just using those experiences. But at the very beginning of this process, it still feels 'real'. So, that's where I am.

    It's funny, too, how life and art imitate each other and bleed into each other. I've been noticing, when I'm feeling vulnerable or really open just in conversation with friends, I find myself curled up tight, wanting to be in my shell. Example: talking to Raina on Monday night, I was sitting at my desk, legs and arms crossed, hunched over, curled in a ball. Talking to Raina, one of my closest friends. I'm becoming aware of myself, I guess, in a different way. It's exciting, scary, and leaves me feeling a little giddy at times.

    But it's all good.

    So if you see me, and I'm just acting a little different than normal, just know that I've been feeling the salt grains, but that I'm okay. :)

    25 October 2004


    I don't know if this entry is going to actually make it onto the blog or not.

    I keep getting ridiculous errors, and my postings just . . . vanish into cyberspace, never to be seen or heard from again.

    My solution so far? Throw my hands up in frustration, hurl invectives at my computer and storm off.

    Yeah, that hasn't really solved anything . . . .

    22 October 2004


    My friend Beth gave me a book for my birthday. It is called "The Journey of Desire, Searching for the Life we've only dreamed of" by John Eldredge. I read it once through a couple of months ago, but I am starting to re-read it. Through my church here in SF, we've started a study called "Dare to Dream" and it's about recapturing God's dream and will for our life.

    These two things are causing me to think. I mean really think. I am in a certain circumstance where daring to dream and searching out God's desire for me feels huge. I have been out of school since May, and yet, it is just starting to hit me that I am no longer a student.

    I cannot define myself by where I go to school or what I study. Not that I should have been defining myself just by these factors in the first place. But when asked "Oh, and what do you do?", it's very easy to reply, "I'm in XYZ school studying XYZ." Nice, pat, complete and easy to understand.

    These days, here is how my answer typically goes:

    "So, what do you do?"

    "WELLLLLL . . . I am looking for a job. Any kind really, mostly office work. But what I am trained in, and still training to do, is music. Opera, actually. I have a gig in Berkeley in January, and I've had other auditions I'm waiting to hear about. I can also speak French and some Italian, so maybe I can find a job with that. So right now I'm just doing random things . . . "

    "Wow. Opera. Sing somethin' for us, why don't cha?"

    What is God's desire for me? What are my dreams and desires? And how do these all coincide? I guess I don't really know yet. I know that I have been given certain talents (music, acting) that I need to be a good steward of, and that I enjoy doing. But I feel that I am constantly questioning whether or not I am 'right' for this kind of career.

    Am I or can I and do I want to sacrifice a somewhat 'normal' lifestyle for the life of being in the arts? It is not always easy. Granted, I LOVE performing a role--I love the chance to slip into someone else's skin and tell their story. And, I have come this far, spent lots of time, energy, blood, sweat and plenty of tears in the last few years of my training.

    I have another, perhaps equally strong desire. And I have had it as long as I can remember. I want to use my language skills. I want to move (back) to Europe - preferably France or Italy.
    In theory these two skills, music and language, fit very nicely together. In fact, I can't think of a better set of skills that I would rather have.

    But, there's still so much I need (want, should) do here in the states--as far as music is concerned. I can't just pick up and go. But there just resides that fear within me, that I will never make it (musically, to Europe). In church this week, I wrote these fears down and cast them away, in a conveniently placed trashcan during the service (it was part of the sermon). But yet, those doubts still creep in.

    I know the Sunday school answer of, "Well, maybe if you spent more time reading His Word vs. worrying, those doubts wouldn't creep in." Yes. True. But sometimes I fear reading, too, for what if when my doubts are cast away, my desires became confirmed -- were to actually come true!?!

    Could I imagine that? And why not? We only have one go at it all (here on earth, anyways). Why not make the best of it, and serve God in the process??! What am I afraid of? I'm afraid of failing at my dreams, but at the same time, afraid that I will succeed. What kind of ridiculousness is that, anyways?

    Sometimes, it is just so conflicting to be human. I'm really glad that I don't God's job. I would never get anything accomplished.

    20 October 2004

    SUCCESS! (and a makeover)

    I feel like I am on top of the world! I can do ANYTHING!!!!

    What has inspired these feelings, you ask?

    Perhaps you noticed the new look to my blog?

    After staring at my screen for . . . well, let's just say a while . . . I figured out how to add links to my sidebar! "NO BIG DEAL," you might say.
    OH, but it is! I know how to use my computer. I can word process, create spreadsheets, type 70wpm, use outlook and publisher. BUT I haven't ever really used HTML before. This is a first! My original template didn't let me add cool stuff to my sidebar.

    But NOW!! OOOOhhh!! The possibilities are endless! Good times!

    Thick Tuesday

    The Acting for Singers class, led by the unimitable Bobby Weinapple, performed at Thick Tuesday last night. Thick Tuesday is a once/month workshop for cabaret-style performers to try out their new rep. Led and sponsored by the amazing Kitchenettes, Thick Tuesday happens in Potrero Hill, just down the huge hill from Goat Hill Pizza.

    Our performances ran the gamut from opera to musical theater and jazz standards to rock ballads. It was a great chance to perform in a neat space. I was glad to put on my jazz shoes (or socks, as it were: the stage was new, and we had to perform shoe-less) in public for the first time in a while and let it all hang out.

    Also check out The Purple Onion on Monday nights, where the aforementioned Kitchenettes host an Open Mic. This North Beach venue located under Caffe Macaroni has been home to entertainment legends Phyllis Diller, Woody Allen, and Robin Williams (to name a few).

    Check out these websites: www.caffemacaroni.com and www.thekitchenettes.com for upcoming events. The amazing Mr. Weinapples' website is also worth a click at www.robertweinapple.com. As for me, well, I should create a website, too. Maybe that will be my new project.

    17 October 2004

    Thank you, Billy Ray Cyrus

    I love San Francisco. It's got to be one of the greatest cities to live in as a twentysomething. Fun people, places and lots to do. I have one complaint, however.

    Where can you go to line dance in this city??!!?!??!

    Tonight, I went to a fabulous party. It was called "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and it had a theme. The Derby and Rednecks. You had to come dressed for one or the other. AZ, Tyler and I chose the Redneck theme. AZ and I both wore wigs, denim, and thick accents.

    Picture this: Pacific Heights on a somewhat clear and warmish night. You pull up to a beautiful, white house with Christmas lights. From the open door come the sounds of . . . Garth Brooks. Reba McIntyre. Brooks and Dunn. The list goes on and on.

    Parked out front of the house? A GINORMOUS pick-up truck filled with hay bales. Why? So you can go on a hayride. Around Pacific Heights. Which we did. It was amazing.

    Exit the hayride and enter the house. There are railroad tracks on the floor, with the house divided between the 'right' and 'wrong' sides of the track. On the right: the Kentucky Derby crowd. Elegant dresses, hats, and sport jackets. On the left: denim, cowboy hats, and yes, even a pair of trap-door type pajamas. Lots of 'hicks'and a keg.

    In the middle of the house: music! The makeshift dance floor, big enough for approximately 8 people dancing. Two-stepping, line dancing and swing were all done.

    The line dancing, however, was pretty much limited to the Electric Slide. No one could really remember any other line dances, even though we all could remember a time in the past where we actually danced true country line dances.

    Personally, I blame the city of San Francisco for not having a local country-western dance hall. It's not like there is not a demand for it. Just a couple weeks ago, TONS of people turned up in GG Park for the Bluegrass festival. The desire is there. The dancers are ready and willing.
    We just need a barn to storm.

    16 October 2004

    Outgoing (E) 51.22% Withdrawn (I) 48.78%
    Realistic (S) 52.5% Imaginative (N) 47.5%
    Emotional (F) 63.16% Intellectual (T) 36.84%
    Organized (J) 55.56% Improvised (P) 44.44%
    Your type is: ESFJ
    You are a Supporter, possible professions include - nurse, social worker, caterer, flight attendant, bookkeeper, medical/dental assistant, exercise physiologist, elementary school teacher, minister/priest/rabbi, retail owner, officer manager, telemarketer, counselor, special education teacher, merchandise planner, credit counselor, athletic coach, insurance agent, sales representative, massage therapist, medical secretary, child care provider, bilingual education teacher, professional volunteer.
    Take Free Career Inventory Personality Test
    personality tests by similarminds.com

    08 October 2004

    Raindrops on Roses . . . .

    I know I KNOW! Some of you might find this boring. But, you know what? I don't care. I am writing this for the sake of just letting it out. So...yeah....

    A few of my favorite things:

    1. ummm.....soy

    2. hmmm.....U2

    3. ace bandages

    4. ah, screw it. I'm going to bed.

    5. my bed!

    Thank you, VH-1

    Best week EVER.
    I have had an excellent week. Now that I am no longer a student chained to the Conservatory 24/7, I feel like I can really take advantage of what this city has to offer.
    A brief run-down:

    Monday: Totally sweet concert (Jaime Cullum) at the Fillmore.
    LOVE IT!

    Tuesday: Sign up at the Temp agency (great!), but what really made it worth it was stopping at two of my favorite places in the city right around the corner from the temp place: Cafe de la Presse and Avant Card. Tuesday night was acting class in the theater district.

    Wednesday: Italian group in North Beach, at this amazing home on telegraph hill. With rooftop access, there was a gorgeous view. Followed by a late-night romp in the Mission at Amnesia to check out some live jazz. This will be a monthly pilgrimage, because you can just jam out (and yes, they even let us singers participate!)

    Thursday: Chillin' in Oaktown and the Suset, but also feeling the sunshine downtown on Market. And, as always, bonding with AZ over the Apprentice (it's The Donald's hair that keeps me interested). Had the pleasure of getting to catch-up with my roommate for the first time since Sunday. Although it has been a good week, it's also been a "two-ships-passing-in-the-night" kinda week.

    Friday: The possibilities are endless. But there is the possibility of seeing some composer friends do their thing in Berkeley, followed by a birthday house party in the Sunset.

    Weekend: Hello! It's Columbus Day! Did someone say parade? In North Beach (the coolest place ever??!!) Not to mention totally sweet salsa dancing at the canvas cafe, for 10 bucks (includes lesson!). I'm in.

    Ooh, not to mention I bought (finally) my plane tickets for SMU Homecoming!!
    I can't wait!!

    06 October 2004

    Leaving my heart in San Francisco

    This is my favorite time of year in the city. The months of September and October are chock full of concerts, festivals and parades, most of them free (or at least under $10 bucks).

    Let me give you an idea of what I mean.

    This weekend in GG Park, there was the fourth annual "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass" Festival. It had four stages and Emmylou Harris was the headliner of this 3 day affair. I went Saturday. Well, I tried to go Saturday morning, and got myself sufficiently displaced in the park (easy to do -- it's a big place), but AZ and I finally managed to get our butts to the Speedway just in time to see some killer clogging. You know why I love Bluegrass? Not just because I lived in North Carolina for a few months. I love Bluegrass because it is happy hippy music. Case in point: at this free festival, where there were TONS of people, there was basically NO security. No one had to wait in line and get patted down, nor have their bags checked. Why? Because happy hippies would never hurt anyone. They just want to groove, man, and groove they did!

    On this same weekend in the park, I saw signs for an Arab culture fest, the orchid fest and the reggae festival. All in one day.

    Sunday, was the 28th annual Bridge-to-Bridge run/walk. I opted for the walk, as running is not really my forte. I tried to get some friends to come, but no one seemed to be interested. So I said to my self, "Self, this is for a good cause (special olympics), so why not just go anyways." So, I took my good friend Justin (Timbaland) with me, and made my way down the most beautiful race in the country.
    Me and my closest 1000s of friends. It was great. And at the end, lots of people giving away free water, energy drinks and bars, and cool gels/creams/ointments for sporting minded people. Beer and garlic fries were available for purchase.

    But the best yet was the free concert for all of the race participants.

    Mind you, it was like 10 in the morning. The band (who had to get up early for such a gig) was Ozomatli. They were amazing!!! A mix of salsa, rap, reggae, rock and funk like no other. I was standing 10 feet from the stage; I could feel the energy from the band bouncing off of me. And all around, people dancing. People who had just completed a 7- or 12K race were dancing like crazy.

    It was fabulous.

    29 September 2004

    Acting for Singers, or "How I learned to love group therapy"

    So I'm in this acting class. Basically, the teacher (who is awesome) helps me, as a singing actor, discover what my strengths and weaknesses are on stage. The strengths are pointed out, and then quickly 'put away.' That is, they are already strong, so they don't need to be practiced. The weak areas are then drawn out into the open, and I am forced to work on them week in and week out. It is the equivalent of having a really really blistered sunburn and having someone slap it really really hard. Over and over and over. But eventually, it heals, and you realize that the pain didn't kill you like you thought it would.

    The class is comprised of about a dozen performers. We meet for 4-4.5 hours every Tuesday in a nifty little playhouse in the theater district. We are of mixed gender, race and upbringing. Yet, we are all so human. One person learns to be vulnerable, while another works on being manipulative. We all have our walls and we all have emotions that are second nature to us.

    The thing with acting is, especially in a scene that makes us feel uncomfortable, is that the brain doesn't know that it's fake. It still feels real and scary. But, with practice, your brain and body get to realize that they are not in mortal danger. For example: it is hard for me to play really vulnerable roles. I think that this is because I am 1. not used to it and 2. It is an area in my personal life that I don't let too many people see. Therefore, to have to open my heart and guts up on stage, literally makes me feel like I am going to die. It can be that painful...or at least, used to feel that painful. It is an acting color that I am getting better at accessing.

    What makes good actors? I think that good 'acting' happens when an actor acknowledges the part of them that is part of their character. I mean, as humans, we are capable of any and every emotion and action that is in any play, movie, song or tale. Why is Anthony Hopkins sooo convincing, scary and creepy as Hannibal Lector? It is because he has found, deep down, the part of himself that enjoys being a cannibal. We all have access to all of these emotions...and we all have the capacity to enjoy them all. That's what makes good acting, is being able to access these. Because of our lives, upbringings, experiences, some emotions are just easier to call up than others. But, in reality, they are all there.

    I love playing 'mad' or 'crazy' people. Drunken fortune tellers, old maids, and greedy aunts come easy to me. What is difficult is someone who, in reality, is closer to my own self. Why? Because my brain can't tell the difference between my life and the life on stage. Not yet, anyways. But the times, they are a changin'.

    22 September 2004

    Friendster, aka, making out with your friends

    So, because I am an insomniac at times (shouldn't have had that last cup of coffee), and because my roommate is already asleep (and I don't wish to rouse him), I am on the net. I have recently re-introduced myself to my friendster account, after a long hiatus. Friendster is fascinating. It's the whole 'Kevin Bacon 6 degrees of separation" thing, but with normal, non-celebrity people. I have found old friends, current friends, and maybe even some new friends. In this respect, "Friend"ster lives up to its name.

    It's kind of strange, though, when you find your current friends on this thing. It's like you get to see a secret side to them. It would be similar to, say, reading their personal ad on Match.com or something. Perhaps their name even came up as a match for you, and you're thinking "No way! But we're just friends! Could we really be . . . lovers?" (Much gnashing of teeth and kissing of pillow quickly follow). A little strange, perhaps, but let's be realistic. The whole 'harry meeting sally' thing. You're lying to yourself if you say that you've not thought about making out with your 'platonic' friends. We're just wired that way.


    I didn't end up eating a real dinner tonight. I ate lunch at around 3:30pm. I'm usually not around weekday nights, for various and sundry reasons, but tonight I was. My roomie came home and was all "wow. we're actually home at the same time." We ended up spending an enjoyable evening watching the Giants beat the tar out of the Astros. I normally don't enjoy watching baseball on tv, but since I am a newly gung-ho giants fan, and because I have an awesome espn-worthy announcer who just happens to live in the second bedroom, I have to admit I had fun watching tonight. Dinner consisted of beer (A guinness for me, 3 "censored" ales for him) and a few bites of trail mix. Perhaps not the healthiest of dinners, but definately aided our conversation. As far as I'm concerned, he's the the bomb.

    Tomorrow, I'm off to an Italian dinner. I can't wait to speak Italian. It's been far too long.

    21 September 2004

    pour que tu m'aimes encore

    de temps en temps, je trouve qu'il est necessaire pour moi d'ecrire en francais. pour les raisons non specifie, c'est plus facile pour moi de m'exprimer moi-meme en francais qu'en anglais. le francais a un certain 'je ne sais quoi' pour moi. si tu es entrain de lire ce 'blog' il faut que tu m'excuse, parce qu'il n'exist pas des accents sur ce site. alors, sa cree les fautes de la grammaire. tant pis.

    je cherche quelqu'un. je cherche quelqu'un avec lequel je peux rire, parler, danser, embrasser. c pas une demande trop difficile, n'est-ce pas? pourquoi donc c'est si difficile a trouver? peut-etre c'est la ville de SF? ou parce que je ne merite pas un homme? non, ce n'est pas ces choses la. pour moi, il existe une personne qui m'attends, mais nous ne nous etendons pas (pas encores).

    helas. que dois-je fasse? j'ai aucune idee, mais je suis fatigue en attendant ce monsieur. alors. on verra. un jour, je gagnerai, je le sais. mais avant ca, j'essaye d'etre content avec ma vie, mes amis et ma famille. Dieu me donne la patience duquel j'en ai besoin.

    20 September 2004

    weekend mix part 2

    wow. i have had an awesome weekend, full of music, culture and laughter. so, friday i got to hang out with my friend sylvia, who is from germany. we had some dinner and rented the movie 'das experiment' which was freaky...and apparantly based on a true story? not sure...but it was an experiment in human behavior...and things went terribly wrong. i suggest you rent it, if you're in the mood to be weirded out.
    but, it was cool to hang w/sylvia and talk about differences in german and american culture. that is always fun to connect with people from far lands..hee.
    saturday, i explored uc berkeley w/my friend beth. it was beautiful! i can't believe i had never been. we stumbled upon the botanical gardens. they are amazing! if beth wasn't married, and if i were gay, then it would have been the perfect date! gorgeous flowers from all over the world, a cloudless warm day, and the berkeley hills all added up to the perfect atmosphere for a date (future suitors, take note that it only cost us $8, total, for entrance and parking).
    then, saturday night, i went to the Greek Festival down on Valencia street. wow. greek men are very nice to look at. i had so much fun at the festival...i really hadn't know what it was going to be like. there was food, wine, dancing. the dancing was fabulous...everyone in circles holding hands or shoulders doing these intricate grapevine like dances. my friend az and i just hopped on in, managing to nail the steps just as that particular song come to an end. it was the most fun i've had in a looooong time.
    then, finally, today was now and zen. a late summer institution here in the city, and always a good time. howie day, dashboard confessional, and tears for fears! hello...they are still amazing after all those years. morrisey had to cancel last minute, due to illness, but really, that was fine with me. although, we met this cool guy named jon, who had driven with 4 friends all the way from sacramento to see morrisey, and when M cancelled, jon's friends all demanded a refund, ane elected to spend the day touring the city. meanwhile, jon decided to stay, alone, at the concert. we invited him to share our blanket, and continued to rock-out the rest of the afternoon. it was great.

    17 September 2004


    i am diva.

    hear me roar.

    like a peacock, i primp.

    like a lion, i strut.

    and like a lamb, i quiver.

    but like an elephant, i remember.

    and like a hyena, i laugh.

    it's a jungle out there!

    the aria

    so i'm working on this aria for an audition, and i'm just hitting a wall with it all. it's about a young girl in russia, living with her psycho aunt and trapped in this big mansion during the winter months with nothing to do but soak and lie in her misery.

    i'm having trouble connecting with her character.

    or, at least, part of it. i live in CA...none of those frozen russian winters. and, my aunt isn't certifiable.

    what i can understand and connect to, though, frightens me. and because of the fear, i hold it even farther away from me, until i can't connect to it. and this is frustrating, because i want to break through that wall as an actor. but my mind and body do not yet understand the concept that it would be acting, not really happening, therefore it all feels to real and i 'could get hurt'


    so, what am i afraid of? i'm afraid that i am going to turn into that crazy old woman, who has been waiting for 40 years for her lover to return to her. only to have his son return, impregnate my niece and run off with me anyways. (well, that last sentence is a stretch....)

    seriously. i don't want to be an old maid. i don't want the winter to come so soon. i already feel it happening, to some extent. i just can't fight off the feeling that i am alone.

    you know babies that don't get enough affection? that aren't held enough or patted or loved on? that's what i feel like. i mean, i know that my family loves me, and i have awesome friends here. but, my family is far away. most of my friends here are not 'touchy feely' types. i just would like a hug every now and then, is that too much to ask?

    there is nothing more comforting than a good hug. it can ease stress faster than you can say 'bikram yoga.' but, can one really solicit hugs? maybe with certain people. i have some people i could do that with, but they live in 30 minutes to an hour away.
    and my roommate is awesome, but we are newly coed roommates, in a platonic way, and we don't really do that. maybe one day....but how pathetic....'uh..dude, could i have a hug?' and have him scream, run off out the door 'cause he thinks his roommate is freaking out on him. i don't think that's gonna happen, but you never know.

    so, here is my advice to all of you crazy people reading this. go hug your roommates, friends, parents, pets, or heck, even a stranger if that floats your boat. i guarantee it will make their day.

    the art of procrastination

    so, here it is...that blessed hour between 11 pm and midnight when i think to myself, "wow, it's only 11. I have a good hour left before i'll get really tired'. so, what am i doing with that time. i am sitting here writing a blog. not just any blog. but a procrastination blog.

    what i should be doing is cleaning up my room. it has reached a level of messy that can only be described as 'post-hurricaine ivan' messy. why? have i been extremely busy? no. not particularly. the problem is that i am ''looking for a job''. and since i have nothing i really have to do i just don't get anything done.

    so, i create stacks. and stacks within and upon stacks. until the stacks just fall over and become landfills, filling the space under my desk, between my bed and my nightstand, and spilling out onto the kitchen table.

    the best part is that i can pretty much just shut my door and forget about it. the worst part is, when i want to go to bed, i just move the stacks off the bed back onto my floor, only to replace them in the morning.

    what kind of existence IS this, anyways? i don't want to be a stack person for the rest of my life. i don't want to marry a stack person, either. i mean, can you imagine the chaos that would breed? helllllll no!!!

    anywho. i suppose i should go shift some stacks around. maybe i'll even try to put stuff away. now there's a novel thought.