30 December 2005

Day in the life of . . .

Real-life conversation held by my parents on our way home to Denver in the car from Grand Lake:

Dad: "I wonder what Will and Shanna are up to in New Jersey right now..."

---Dramatic Pause---

Mom (from the backseat): "Makin' out."

---Dramatic Pause, while Dad looks at the clock---

Dad: "Well, Sally, it's only 3 o'clock in the afternoon! Well...it's 5 o'clock in New Jersey."

Mom: "So?"

---Meanwhile, I am laughing my ass off in the front passenger seat.---

29 December 2005

I'm so glad I'm allergic to dogs . . .

Remember this Candy House from November?

I recently received an email from our family friends, to whom we had given the candy house, about the current state of said candy house. Our friends were planning to have their own candy house party with their little grandnephews over the holidays, and were using ours as a model.

But their dog, Redford, had a different idea.

Now, Redford is a happy dog; a Golden Retriever, in fact, and just loves everyone. But, this poor dog has many health problems. He is allergic to so many things that he gets allergy shots. Yup. Allergy shots. For the dog. And, the dog is on a special diet, to try and eliminate some of his allergies.

And, because of all the itching, Redford has scratched a patch of hair off of his butt, and as a result now has to wear "the lampshade" collar.

SO. Poor, sick dog, starved half to death, spies the Candy House up on the kitchen counter. He places the whole collar over the House and goes on to EAT THE WHOLE THING. Cardboard, candy, chocolate, crisco-based frosting, plasitc santa, tape and all.

Needless to say, our friends' house was turned into a minefield of little gifts from Redford over the next few days.

28 December 2005

You're know you're in a tiny mountain town when

. . . both of your parents are asleep and it's before 10pm and you suddenly find yourself wondering, "Where does Yanni live?" So, I now know that Yanni is indeed from Greece, and keeps a house there as well as a recording studio in Flordia, I also came across this fabulous Yanni-an quote:

Music," says Yanni, "is an incredibly direct language. It bypasses language and logic, and speaks directly to your soul."

Well stated, Yanni.

Happy Book

One of my college friends, Janie, used to keep what she called a "Happy Book." In it she listed things/people/events which made her happy. She had several volumes by the time we graduated, and it was always entertaining to go back and read some of the past quotes or occurances listed in her book. A la Janie, here are just a few things I would place in my Happy Book (Mountain Edition):

1. Flannel pajama pants - pink, of course!
2. Wool socks
3. Hot, homemade chicken soup
4. Book
5. Handmade quilts
6. Hot cocoa
7. The smell of falling snow
8. Big bed with an electric blanket
9. Fuzzy scarf
10. Hot bath
11. Pulling a prank on Dad...and making him laugh!
12. Antler lights (oh, yes)
13. Warm, fuzzy snow boots
14. Fleece
15. Squishy couch
16. Internet (!)
17. Fireplaces
18. Clean, crisp air
19. Snowshoes
20. Longjohns

winter wonderland

I'm sitting all snug and warm inside, while outside is dark and blustery on this winter evening. I would have a fire going, but dad seems to be having hot flashes (sympathetic?) and would freak out. So, I've my blankets, a hot cup of tea and Louis Armstrong music playing in the background.

Mom is making chicken soup, although we realized half-way into the preparations that we actually didn't have the chicken broth. Dad volunteered to run out to the store and get the broth, potatoes, carrots and celery. (Yeah . . . we weren't too prepared for the whole soup thing). I made biscuits, and they'll go in the oven shortly, as soon as the soup gets going.

Dad and I went out and about for an hour or so earlier. We tramped through knee-deep snow in our jeans and boots, and headed toward the Lake. It's frozen over enough for snowmobiles to drive from one side to the other, and we walked out a little ways on the ice. I tried to convince Dad to make a snowangel, but that suggestion was greeted with a guffaw and a "yeah, right".

We then tromped back over snowdrifts and up to town. We walked along the icy street (only one main road - now suitable for all those snowmobiles) and ducked in a few of the little shops that are still open for the winter, and which provided a welcome respite from the biting wind.

This is part of our Colorado. It's as close to having family roots in this state as we get. My parents worked up at the Grand Lake Lodge when they were in college, and in 1979 (when I was born!) bought a tiny little log cabin on the stream which feeds into Grand Lake, the headwaters of the Colorado River. Now, 26 years later, we still come up, although this is the second year we've really come up in the winter time. Mom just re-did our little one-room wonder cabin, and now it is winterized and resembles some sort of oversized mountain dollhouse, rather than our tiny cabin. I think it's beautiful and I'm so proud of my mom.

Tomorrow, Dad and I are planning to go snowshoeing up to Adam's Falls. It's a short hike, about half a mile, but pretty steep and difficult in the snow. It's going to be fun!

I hope that William and I will be able to come up here for many years to come with our various friends and families, and enjoy this special place that has, in part, helped shape who we are today. I guess you can take the kids out of Colorado, but you can't take the Colorado out of the kids . . .

27 December 2005

Stop the presses

Dad actually wants to watch TV. He kept asking me if we had any blank tapes anywhere, and if so would I please set the VCR to tape the Kennedy Center Honors. I couldn't figure out why the heck my father, who is NOT a big fan of the TV, wanted me to tape this show.

I finally figured it out. Tina Turner is one of the honorees.

Of course!

26 December 2005

I know I was too young

. . . to see Mel Brooks' classics "Blazing Saddles" and "History of the World: Part I" when I saw them. I saw them at my grade school best friends' house. We were probably about 10, and her brother and his friends were 8 years older than us. We saw all sorts of things that we shouldn't have, and I remember in 5th grade I decided to write a (required) journal entry listing all of the movies I could ever remember seeing. Needless to say, I got in a little bit of trouble with Mom, after she read it one day.

Fast forward to 2005. The four Daniel family members all went to see "The Producers" this evening. And, we were not disappointed. Completely irreverent, this Mel Brooks comedy had the audience howling with laughter. I'm not sure how he came up with the idea of the original film - but he managed to combine Broadway, swedish bombshells, Nazi's and little old ladies into a satire so wrongly funny that I'm surprised anyone actually goes to see it our pc-laden society.

It's worth seeing and staying until the very end of the credits. You will not be disappointed!

24 December 2005

We might have created a monster!

My dad is a good man. He has his quirks - - definite ocd tendencies, for one thing - - but, overall, is one of the most generous and patient men I have ever known. He alas has a weird hidden side that comes out every now and then.

For example, last week, Will, Mom and Dad were all up in the mountains, when an Enya song came on the radio. Apparently, Dad really liked it, and was asking about Enya, etc etc.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve. This is the first time EVER I can remember opening all our gifts on Christmas Eve, and that is because none of us wanted to get up super duper early and do it tomorrow before church. Anyways, we're opening gifts, and Will has gotten Dad an Enya CD, which promptly supercedes the Diana Krall Christmas CD we are listening to at that moment.

Well, William kind of starts twirling around, dancing, and poking fun at the music. A few minutes later, Dad starts dancing around - in earnest - kicking his leg, and totally almost falling over. It is one of the funniest "Bill D." moments I have witnessed in a while. We were all laughing our butts off, crying and practially peeing ourselves. Those of you that know my father, I'm sure, can just picture all of this in your heads . . . .


21 December 2005

"When the Lights Go Down in the City . . . "

So I'm at the mall this evening, which is packed to capacity, being that it's 4 days 'til Christmas, and it's about 8:30pm. I've just about finished my shopping, and I've ducked into a store to try on some tall length pants, when all of a sudden the power goes out. In the whole mall. And I'm standing in the pitch dark changing room without any pants on. Good times all around.

"Everybody knows a Turkey . . . "

We received not one, but two, turkeys in the mail today at work. One for our ED and one for our Administrator. They are smoked birds courtesy of one of our money managers. To date, we have also received:
-Maple Syrup
-2006 Calendar
-and "donations in our name" to various and sundry charitable organizations

It is my job to write the thank you notes, and to come up with some creative way of saying "thanks for the turkey, but in the future, we'd rather you make a donation in our name", without sounding ungrateful.

Turkeys. In the meantime, we're trying to send them over to Glide, where they can be put to good use.

20 December 2005

la question est........

il y a des questions eternelles entre les hommes et Dieu: qui suis-je, et quelle est la raison pour laquelle je dois souffrir, pleurer, mourir, etc etc. Avec notre generation, je trouve il ya toujours cette question du 'prochain pas' dans la vie....pour exemple....prennons un ami de moi, il a deja finit des etudes, il a deja travailler pour qqannees, dans une carriere qu'il aime bien...mais, le prochain pas sera koi? rester, s'en aller, recommencer ici ou labas? Je connais ces questions moi meme, en ce concerne la musique, le boulot, les rapports...et celles sont des questions dont il ya une difficulte implicite dans le reponse.
Je ne voudrais pas vivre avec des regrets. Je voudrais vivre dans le present...mais, je pense trop, et ca je le sais si bien...j'ai de la tete lourde des pensees...des hypotheses...des fantasies...des reves...et meme des prieres. je voudrais etre la ou Il me dit....mais je trouve que je ne serait pas sur d'etre "la" avant que je me bouger d'ici. Tout devient clair en retrospection...et ca, ca c difficile d'accepter pour nous qui voudrions savoir tous des que hier...

bien. j'ai finit...et je m'en vais. je suis un peu mal au gorge (merde!) et j'ai besoin de dormir....a la prochaine

I should be working now, but

as I just had this conversation via email with my immediate supervisor, PM, (who is working from home today), I had to post it, cause it started out so normal...

Me: "Hello, everyone. Please help yourselves to some yule log cake in the kitchen. Pete sent it over for us."

PM: "Pete gave us a yule log last year as well and it was very good. If there’s a piece left, save one for me, but make sure others have had some first."

Me: "Of course I'll save you a piece."

PM: "I told [the CEO] to email me a piece (just kidding, of course)"

Me: "Haahahahhahaha that's funny :)"

PM: "We’re laughing now, but some day it will be possible"

--------WHAT? Did we just take a turn for the sci-fi? I think so...---------

18 December 2005

What won't they think of next?

When my brother and I were younger, one of our favorite things about travelling via airplane was looking at the Sky Mall magazine. Coming back from Rose's wedding today (more on that to follow in subsequent posts), I found myself reaching for the holiday edition of the Sky Mall, and I was not disappointed. There is some wacky crap in there.
Here are some of my favorites:

I love the title of this gadget: The Sensory Assault Alarm Clock. As if having to wake up in the morning isn't already enough of an assault.

And what houshold would not be complete without an Animatronic Chimpanzee Bust?
The classic thing that always cracked me and William up is still around, and it's not so much the item itself, as much as how it's billed. The superlative Best Nose Hair Trimmer better be good...but it USED to be called The World's Best Nose Hair Trimmer, so maybe it got bumped down a notch.

This particular item always makes me think of Lucy and Desi. I think it's hilarious that all of those shows, now on Nick at Nite, featured families with kids, and yet the parents slept in separate twin beds. Go figure.

And, maybe my family will instate this Victorian Tradition. Nothing says Good Luck and Health like a candy pig.

I know a lot of dental students right now. I think I'll give them this as a collective Christmas present. Or, maybe I should give it to all of our other friends, and help the dentists drum up some buisness.

My mom would probably really dig these slippers, cause she stays up late and walks through the dark house at night. But really, are they necessary?

No words necessary for this customizable item.

If I had a big front yard, and neighbors I particularly wanted to annoy, I would place old Basho, The Sumo Wrestler, out there.

Mess with your cat.

Now, these last two things I actually think are REALLY COOL, and if I had unlimited funds with which I could truly geek out, I would totally get them:
Star Wars Exhibit A, and Star Wars Exhibit B.

15 December 2005

"26 going on 12" or "The Urban Deer" ***

Stacy and Ferris meet at a concert. They have been exchanging emails, myspace messages and IM's for a few weeks, as is the norm among gen-xers these days. Ferris asks Stacy to dinner and drives up from the valley for the date.
They go to dinner, and pass 5 hours discussing everything from music to math and college days to historical personages, all the while laughing their butts off. After dinner, they play a close game of scrabble, which Ferris ends up winning in the end.

Act I, scene iii: The front door to Stacy's apartment complex, 1am, time for Ferris to drive home. It is the ultimate "first date" moment; replete with all the awkwardness - for both parties - implied within.

S: "I had a great time tonight."

F: "Me too." They hug.

S: Still in the hug. "Drive safely. Don't hit any deer on your way home."

F: Silence. Followed by snickering.

S: Giggles, "You know, all those urban, San Francisco deer." (In her head, she is screaming "Nonononononono! Shut-up, Stacy! Why are you babbling about deer??")

Both Stacy and Ferris have been reduced to giggles. The tension of the moment has been dissolved by (not unwelcome) laughter.

F: "One more hug".

They hug, still chuckling.

S: "Okay, good night...get outta here and drive safely."

End Scene....................................

Act II, scene ii: One week later; Ferris and Stacy meet up for a National Basketball Association game halfway between their respective homes. We join them mid-game, in section 117.

S: Leans toward Ferris, whispering "Ferris!"

F: "Yeah?" He leans his head back, eyes still on the game.

*bonk, like the sound of two coconuts hitting*

S & F: "arrghh" much wincing and rubbing of heads, quickly followed by a fit of laughter, which descends into tears. Yes, they are both laughing that hard.

End Scene.....................................................

Act II, scene iii: Crowded platform, waiting on their respective commuter trains.

S: Determined not to replay the 'deer' incident from the previous week, "Thanks, Ferris, I really had a lot of fun tonight."

F: "I did too". They hug.

S: Starts giggling, and buries her head into Ferris' shoulder.

F: "What's so funny?" he asks, smiling.

S: "I am trying very hard to bite my tongue and not say anything about those Urban Sheep. Pauses. Urban sheep. Urban sheep? I can't even get my own joke right?" she asks, laughing and dying of embarrassment.

F: Laughing, "Urban sheep. Yeah, and what about that Urban Cow blocking the train tracks..."

End Scene.......................

14 December 2005

secret santa

Last night, we had our CLG Christmas party. It was a potluck, and I think that just about everyone was able to make it. All in all, we are almost 40 people now! I can remember when we were just 10 at most!

Anyways, we truly had a feast of love last night. I looove these people. Maybe part of it is just the upcoming holidays, but I don't think so. In any group, there is always a "breaking in" period; typically the larger the group, the longer the period. Well, last night felt like a family getting together, being goofy and silly, and just being ourselves. We even had a random new guy come last night, with H and B, and he was like "man. I'm going to come back every Monday night! You guys are fun."

So, we had a potluck, and then revealed our secret santa-ness, which was promptly followed by a wrapping paper fight. It was great fun.

13 December 2005

This moment was brought to you by the letters D, O and H

which spells, D'Oh!

I thought I had lost my ticket for my trip to Rose's wedding in Texas this weekend.

My dad, who graciously lent me some AA miles for this trip, just informed me that my ticket was, in fact, ELECTRONIC.


12 December 2005


This is the name of my friend J's daughter. She is not born yet, but will be early in 2006. J is moving to Hawaii this month to have her baby, and to be close to her Father's family and her sister.

I am thrilled to death for J. But I am also concerned for her. She is only 21, unmarried, and still - in many ways - a child herself. I only pray that she would find in Hawaii the kind of love and support she is going to need during the first few months of motherhood. And, when she returns to SF in August to finish her last year of college, I pray that she would be welcomed with open arms.

Part of my concern for J stems from the fact that she is a Christian. I am concerned that church homes she might seek out will judge her for being an unwed, single mother. I thank God that (at least to my knowledge) our church here been supportive of her pregnancy - and I am truly grateful that she chose to keep her child. But, I can't get out of the back of my head those little concerns about what will happen once she has the baby.

We had a similar situation happen at my church in CO a while ago--unwed teenage girl getting pregnant. But, she was not as accepted. There was a lot of drama surrounding her circumstances-lots of judgement from church leaders, which made me sick. As Christians, we are called to LOVE. L-O-V-E. Why is that sometimes such a hard concept to grasp?

Pray for J and her new baby girl on the way - - - that they would be surrounded by love, and supported (physically, mentally, emotionally) in the months and years to come.

09 December 2005

Questions, part deux

This is an Interactive Internet Question Game. I posted it earlier in the year here, and had a lot of fun with it, so let's try it again, shall we?

This is how it's played:

1. If you want to play, leave a comment below saying so.
2. I'll post five unique questions to the comments section of this post.
3. You answer them in your blog.
4. In your post, you include this explanation and an offer to interview others.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

In other news: THIS MAN will be shooting my new headshots this weekend. Apparently, he offers special holiday offers in a couple cities each year. I'll post them up for review next week. Yay!

08 December 2005

frustration - vent alert

What an evening.

I just need to vent a little. Now, in general I am reallllly easy going. I am laid back, easy to get along with, patient...or, as AZ would say, I am a Golden Retriever. It takes certain things to get my dander up. One of those things is unorganized rehearsals. I don't like to sit around, freezing cold, wasting time in an inefficient rehearsal. Is it too much to ask to pick a schedule and at least pretend to stick to it? I don't think so.

I KNOW it's hard to put shows together, and I KNOW it's hard to organize arts folks - I've been on that side of things. It takes a ridiculous amount of time and energy. So, if this kind of producing or organizing or what have you is not your forte, then, by all means, get someone else to do it.

Also, please listen to your musicians, your sound man, your volunteers. That's always a good idea.

*Sigh*. Just pray that by tomorrow I am over this. Because Christmas is not about being irritated.
Contrarily, last night was the exact opposite of tonight. Wednesday was fun, silly, and just great all around. I'll try and recapture that for the remainder of this evening. And, also fun, I get to bake a cake right now(*happy birthday, AZ*)! SO, in theory, I should lose my surface grumpiness.

Tomorrow's a new day. Praise the Lord!

06 December 2005

"Simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime"

That is the song playing on the radio right now. AZ and I just made a last-minute run to the Costco for birthday supplies, and now we're back at my house. I'm decorating my little tree (my efforts were thwarted on Friday...), and AZ is testing several recipes out for work. I donned my santa hat - yay! - and just HAD to stop and record this moment. It's a great moment, for we two are each in our own element, surrounded by music and lights and, oh...here comes the roomie. Soon, he too will be in his element: taste-testing the goodies :)

05 December 2005

In memoriam

One of our board members, Peter E. Haas, died over the weekend. He was 86, and physcially very ill, so it was not a huge surprise, but still sad. One of the things about working at a family foundation is just that - it's a family foundation. All of our board memebers are related to each other, and this is a very hard time for them.

For the past month, our office has been going nuts trying to put together the numbers and grants to be discussed at our last board meeting of the quarter, which is scheduled for 2 days from now. It might be cancelled, now, which is fine and is just serving as a reminder of the truly important things in life.

Please pray for: Betsy, Pete, Wally, Doug, John, and Jennifer. These are our trustees. To them, Peter Sr. was not just the "honorary president;" he was uncle, father and grandfather. Also pray for Pam, our CEO, who was close to Peter, and Larry, Peter's assistant.

04 December 2005


Admittedly, I can be bad with names. However, I met someone today whose name I shall NEVER forget.

Kermit Svinn.

Is that a great name, or what? He introduced himself to me during our rehearsal (he's a member of the Brentwood Arts Commission, which sponsored our Sing Along Messiah today) and I said:
"Oh my gosh. I love that. Nice to meet you, Kermit."
He cracked up and said, "Yeah, it's not easy being green", (and he was wearing - what else? - a green shirt).

A man named Kermit. Never in my life . . .

03 December 2005

Final updated update . . .

12:45 pm


Praise God for cell phones, google, Yahoo Instant Messenger and websites.

I can now peacefully make my way to Brentwood.

Bored this afternoon? Come to our Sing Along Messiah. You know you've always wanted to sing the Hallelujah Chorus . . .

Updated update . . .

Will wonders never cease?

PRAISE the LORD for His mercies big and small.

I still don't know WHEN I have to be there, but now I know where "there" is, thanks to DGS!!!!!! Thank you, thank you.


praise the LORD my dsl is working again.

Everything else is, as yet, unresolved. But this is a step in the right direction . . .

02 December 2005


I am frustrated to no end this evening.

I have to be in Brentwood tomorrow for a gig.

Time: around noon (exact time unknown)

Place: um, no clue (except for the fact that it's in Brentwood)

Auto Route: uh...no address to use as my "ending address"

Time for which my alarm clock needs to be set: No idea, because I don't know how far Brentwood is!

Why don't I have this information, you ask? Well, I thought I had it stored in my gmail somewhere, but apparently I don't. The needed details never made their way to me, and of course I just figured that all out this evening. I take full responsibility for that. But still . . .
ACK ACK ACK ACK. And I can't reach the one person whom I know has all of this info. Add to that an incapacitated DSL (thanks, SBC), sloooow dial-up, and the fact that I was supposed to be spending a relaxing evening putting up my Christmas decorations instead of all of this, and you get an on-edge opera singer.

I need a hug!!!

01 December 2005

A life less ordinary*

Every now and then, I find myself in a season of waiting. Waiting for the next move, the next step, the next chance. Right now, I feel like I'm living in the middle of a pregnant pause. The first clause has just left God's lips, and I (the listener) am waiting for its conclusion.

I guess I am living a life less ordinary. Shoot, by virture of the fact that I have spent a quarter of my life studying opera makes my life "less ordinary". And, in SF at least, being a Christian is more than enough to qualify as less ordinary. But what does it really mean to life a life less ordinary? Who or what defines "ordinary" to begin with?

Any thoughts, fair readers?

*title thanks to dgs and CL

30 November 2005

How to make Wednesday morning interesting . . .

10. Bring in chocolate alligators for the staff to munch on (thanks, AW).
9. Burn out the bathroom light. Call for maintenance.
8. Have toilet in said bathroom back up.
7. Bond with coworker over plunger.
6. Experience the *soothing* sounds of loud yoga music. Coming from the gym downstairs.
5. Type fedex labels on the typewriter. And pull out your hair.
4. Listen to your boss freak out in her office. Loudly.
3. Re-type aforementioned fedex labels, due to wrong contents of fedex envelopes.
2. Forget to take your allergy medicine. Try to type and sneeze at the same time.
1. Rinse. Repeat as necessary.

It's a small, small, world

Is it just me? Or do you guys notice that the world is shrinking, too? I realize the Bay Area is small, indeed, but still. It's cool and weird all at the same time.

Exhibit A:
Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I'm on an flight from SF to Denver, and I notice the girl kinda keep looking at me, like "Do we know each other?" It's not until we end up at DIA 'round midnight, that we finally connect, and she's like..."I think we go to the same church in SF, and we met once, like months ago". Crazy! Isn't that random?

Exhibit B:
Fast forward to tonight. One of my coworkers received some tickets to a recital at the Herbst this evening. She gave them to me, 'cause who else in the office is going to go hear an opera singer give a recital? Anywho . . . there actually IS one other singer in the office, N, and I asked her if she wanted to come along and hear Sari Gruber this evening. N immediately perked up: seems that she and Sari went to Yale together, and were friends! CRAZY!

Exhibit C:
At the aforementioned, I'm sitting in front of this people who are talking "shop" about singing blah blah blah. We get to chatting, and next thing I know, I might be able to make an easy $100 this weekend. For 1.5 hours of rehearsal/singing. Not to shabby. Turns out the guy saw Schicchi in January, etc. etc. Small world (especially when one starts getting into specialized areas...)

And now for something completely different

You must check out this site. Or I will particle-ize you. Seriously. I now know how, thanks to Cow Chip and Lance.

I can't believe I've never used different colors and fonts before.

29 November 2005

In the words of Fabio:

I cahn't beliehve I hafen't seen Harry Pottah yet. :/

28 November 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

I have had a wonderful weekend, full of friends and family (see left) and FUN. Here are some highlights, and some pictures!

I know some of you have been anticipating a report on Will's new girlfriend, Shanna (pronounced Shauna), who came out to Colorado for the holiday. Report: She passes. We all really like her. She's a smart one, funny and is totally in love with my brother (and vice versa). She's a yankee, so that proved for some funny times, as we were at a mainly Southern Thanksgiving feast. Nevertheless, she won us over with her wit, laughter, and kindness. Go, Will!!

We went up to Grand Lake for a quick trip. It was beautiful there in the ice and snow. We decided to go for a short hike, which was a little dangerous, due to the aforementioned ice and snow, but it was well worth it, as we got to see Adam's Falls. The top layer of the falls was frozen over, and you could see the water running underneath the blue-white ice. Amazing.

We also made Candy Houses. This is a tradition in my family which dates from...well, since I can remember. I think we only missed a couple years here and there. But we used to have huge candy house making parties with our friends - anywhere from 10-20 houses being built. In fact, Will learned to count by helping dole out the candy to each respective house-maker.
(Grand Lake, to the right).

My candy house

Will & Shanna's house (below)
All in all, we have much to be thankful for!!

23 November 2005

I'd like to thank

my boss for letting us out of work early today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!! Love to you all!!!

19 November 2005

La plus ca change . . .

merde. c temps d'ecrire une tirade en francais, et pourkoi? une fois, une amie m'a dit qu'il faut pas vivre par des sentiments. on peut les controler et pas etre controler par eux. mais, avec qq personnes, ca c impossible. il ya une heure, j'etais heureuse, contente et entrain d'ecrire un email a un nouvel ami. c tout. et maintenant j'approache mon point d'ebullition. ca c la verite. pourkoi donne-je tant d'importance a cette personne et ses pensees et sa comportement? ca veut dire koi de moi??? est-ce que c pourkoi il me reste des sentiments? ou bien que je fais tres attention a lui? mais c fou, ca. bien sur je suis capable d'aimer, mais suis-je destiner a vivre par des sentiments? ca c dangeureux, n'est-ce pas? a la meme fois, j'ai peur de ne PAS vivre comme ca. Mais c comme ca: je ne pense pas a lui sans le voir - je ne lui contacter pas, je ne lui parle pas, je ne fais rien. c lui qui le fais, e je me trouve pris dans les anciens sentiments. chaque fois. merde.
j'ai besoin de prier, probablement. mais prier pour koi exacte, je ne suis pas sur. pour etre heureuse? pour qu'il etre heureux? pour l'amnesie de ma part? c'est impossible, mais quand meme, c pas mal comme idee, ouais?!!! bon. maintenant je voudrais jouer de piano, mais je ne peux pas, il y'en a trop de monde ici et c impossible.
et, au meme fois que je me sens la colere, je me sens un peu triste et compatissante et je m'inquite de plus. Pourkoi cette reaction de brusquerie de sa parte? j'ai RIEN DIT (voir le post precedent...). Je sais qui'l est stresse, qu'il a des inquietes en ce qui concerne l'argent et le chant. et je ne peu pas le reparer. c Dieu seulement qui peux le faire. a apart de ca? j'ai peur qu'il serait "reparer" et j'ai peur qu'il ne serait pas "reparer".
mon dieu. je me sens un peu meilleure. ca m'aide d'ecrire comme ca. sans penser, sans reflechir, sans corriger, sans lire les phrases precendentes, sans jugement, sans prendre d'avis des autres, sans s'inquieter des pensees des autres, sans rien que les sentiments qui a lieu dans mes mots. ca me donne bcp de liberte, d'audacite, je me sens vraiment "moi"...la version la plus reele de moi-meme. pour que dieu me donne de patience, de tranquilite, du sang-froid et de foi...



Why did I just get the following series of emails:

1. "Hey. I want to see you. Are you around town December X? Please?"

and upon MY reply of "Ummmm...call me and we'll talk about it [cause I have some afternoon plans, and I wanted to a time frame...]

2. Response to the above: "mmmm. forget about it. Just wanting to talk about it means it's a big deal. See you next year".

?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Someone is having a bad day and taking it out on me. I'm all for listening to someone; in fact I enjoy it and I am a good sounding board. I am empathetic and honored and humble to be thought of as someone to turn to in time of need.

But I am not the whipping post.

18 November 2005

7:45 A.M.

That is what time I arrived at the DMV this morning, book & iPod in tow. I was ready to wait in line.

After a mere five minutes, I made it to the front of the vehicle registration line and was expecting the worst. I explained the situation (see previous post) and the woman behind the counter said "Here is your number, wait over there, hon". What? She called me "hon"? And not in a weird way, but in the way that older waitresses at a 1950s themed diner call you "hon".

I was just turning on my iPod, ready to wait it out, when not 2 seconds after jeans met plastic chair did my number get called. WTF? I approached the window, received a pleasant greeting, explained the situation and -voila!- paid (with no extra late fees!), and took my receipt to the next window and got my sticker.

How much time did this take?

As I walked out the door and looked at my watch, it was !gasp! only 7:55 A.M.

10 minutes. Anyone know Guinness' phone number??

17 November 2005

Making my father proud

...yet another one for the books.

I have to renew the registration for my car. Of course they sent me the renewal about three months ago, right before my big vacation. And, of course, I put it "away" for safe-keeping until my return.

It's now 5 days overdue. I totally lost the letter. So, tomorrow, I get to go to the DMV for 7:30 tomorrow morning. *yay*

In other news -

It is t-minus 6 days until I head home to Colorado for Thanksgiving. I am terribly excited. N0t only do I get to see my family, good friends, snow, and the mountains, I also get to meet the sibling's girlfriend! Wow. And when I say "get to meet", what I'm really saying is that we get to share a room and talk about Will all night. Heheeheheh. Whew. It will be a memorable weekend, for sure!

16 November 2005

Breath of fresh air in this PC-cloistered city

So, I've been going to physical therapy for my foot (plantar fascitis) twice a week for the last three weeks. I LOVE the people at the clinic I go to; the doctor, J, is great. And her aide, M, is great. Their office is very welcoming and encouraging while at the same time they push us to do what they know we can. I look forward to going every time.

So, while I was being iced down at the end of my exercises today, M says something about Tom Cruise, scientology, weird stuff, blah blah blah. Then, out of the blue, he stars talking about Creationism vs. Evolutionism, and how he was in a fight with his brother about that the other day and what did we think?

I was impressed, just because for the most part, people here are so afraid to talk about ANYTHING having to do with religion - especially in "public" places (of work, etc).

So, M asks Dr. J, who replied (quite candidly) that she was agnostic. Her parents are buddhist, and she went to a methodist church for a while; now she believes something is up there, but not sure what. I asked M what he thought, and he said "I'm not a monkey" and from there went into saying how he believes in Adam and Eve, etc, and how he got in trouble during anthropology class at Berkeley for stating his creationism beliefs to the pro-evolution professor. He asked me what I thought, and I told him I believed the creationism side.

It was just an interesting night, and I'm glad the subject came up. Because in that type of "professional" situation, in rarely just "comes up". I think M might be muslim, but I'm not sure. Interesting, indeed.

15 November 2005

Sad but true

I was reading an article by Greg Sandow in this weeks' SFCV newsletter about the disconnect which occurs between audience members and musicians during classical music concerts. I loved his last quote, pulled from Christopher Small's book Musicking:

This is the great paradox of the symphony concert, that such passionate outpourings of sound are being created by staid-looking ladies and gentlemen dressed uniformly in black and white, making the minimal amount of bodily gesture that is needed to produce the sounds, their expressionless faces concentrated on a piece of paper on a stand before them, while their listeners sit motionless and equally expressionless listening to the sounds. Neither group shows any outward sign of the experience they are all presumably undergoing.
I loved how he worded this: it's the perfect image. I hate it, because unfortunately, it is true.

Check out Greg's "book-in-progress" and his blog at ArtsJournal.

14 November 2005

Bunny Suicides

Does the fact that I find this freaking hysterical make me sick and twisted?

sleepless in san francisco

That amazing Illy cappucino I had earlier? Should've made it a decaf . . . oh well

10 November 2005


A lot of people, upon finding out that I am a classically trained musician, ask me what my favorite song or piece of music is. The following 10 speak to me - for various reasons - and I just love them. So, for all you fellow music nerds:

Barber's Adagio for Strings - though I have a particular recording in which this is sung as an Agnus Dei, which is heart-breakingly beautiful

El Amor y la Muerte
by Granados. Solo piano piece. I will never forget the first time I heard this: Alessio Bax at an SMU recital. I had never been so moved by a piano performance before.

Una furtiva lagrima from L'Elisir d'amore by Donizetti. Especially as sung by Placido Domingo or Jussi Bjorling.

Je dis que rien ne m'epouvante from Bizet's Carmen. I don't have a favorite recording of this, although some of my friends sing the hell out of it!!

In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel is probably my favorite pop song; with Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel) and U2's Love Rescue Me tied for second.

Chantilly Lace by the Big Bopper I LOVE because it reminds me of time spent at my grandmother's house.

La vida es un Carnaval as sung by Celia Cruz is my favorite salsa.

Amazing Grace. As sung by Gloria, my grandmother's helper for years and years. She sung this at my grandmother's funeral when I was 15, and it left its' indelible mark on me.

05 November 2005

Chanson d'automne

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l'heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure

Et je m'en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m'emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

*Paul Verlaine, Poèmes saturniens (1866)

02 November 2005

"Keep out of reach of children"

Yesterday was Halloween. And, of course, I couldn't just let that slide by.
I got up, dug out my vampire teeth and threw them in a cup of Hydrogen Peroxide (they'd been sitting in my medicine cabinet for a year). I then drew an amazingly life-like (death-like?) vampire bite on my neck, using lip liner and three shades of eyeshadow.

Off to work!

I snuck around the office, creeping up on coworkers, and got some great reactions. I live for this stuff, man!

So, I get home, rush to Albertson's for eggs to make pumpkin bread, return home, get the bread in the oven and decide to go full out vampiress. Even though I'm just going to Bible study. I just really wanted to dress up!

Out comes the black shirt and cape-like wrap; the looong blond wig; bright red lips; pale, pale skin; dark, dramatic eyes. What is NOT to like about this costume, seriously?

I am running late. The pumpkin bread is taking to long. I'm supposed to be there at 7pm. It's 6:55.

I run in the bathroom, remember that I never took my medicine that morning, and grap my pills. I see a mug of water next to my sink and take a glup to wash down the meds......and it tasted NASTY!!!!

Slowly, and yet almost immediately, to my horror I realize that I have just taken quite a large swig of hydrogen peroxide. Yup. My fangs were soaking in that mug this morning.

I FREAK out and run to the living room where my roomate and his girlfriend had just sat down. I told them what happened, and I was like, 'what do I do? do I need a doctor? what??" The bottle says "Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, contact a poison control center IMMEDIATELY". This did not help my state of mind, you see. Ryan was like, drink some water. And I did. And he tried to convince me that since the H2O2 had been sitting out, exposed to the air, all day, that I was going to be fine. I was kinda convinced, and left for Bible Study.

In the car, I called home. Mom answered, and I was like "I need to talk to Dad. Please. Now." He picks up, I tell him my story, and he calls the poison hotline and then calls me back. I am going to be fine. Did you know that sometimes vet's give dogs H2O2 to drink, because the bubbles induce vomiting? Well, I never got sick, so I guess I was okay.

I can just HEAR my father's comments to my mom after he hung up the phone with me. Something along the lines of "Well. Only [MezzoSF] would accidentally drink the hydrogen peroxide she was soaking her fangs in and call us for advice about the situation while dressed as a vampire on her way to Bible study with half-baked pumpkin bread. That must be your daughter."

31 October 2005

I watched the funniest thing tonight.

Have you ever heard of Robot Chicken? WHY didn't I discover this sooner??? OMG. This show is so funny, it hurts!!!!

Thank you, Adult Swim!!

26 October 2005

Scary movie

I love scary movies. I'm not sure why . . . I just like the suspense, the jumps, the twists and turns. I enjoy them, and usually am pretty good to sleep afterwards (except for E.T., which scares the shite out of me - but that's another story)

Many of my friends do not share my taste for the scary movie. Alan, however, does. We go to scary movies. Even the really bad ones, because in all of their hilarious awfulness, we can revel and laugh and even be startled, all in the name of fun.

One of the best ways to enjoy a scary movie, of course, is to go with a big, strong manly date who will let you hang on to his arm throughout the course of the film, and tell you when it's safe to look again. Alan, my flaming, dramatic, dear friend and I usually just end up clutching each others' arms in mutual fright. And crack each other up in the process.

Tonight we went to the late show of "The Fog." It was decent; MUCH better than "House of Wax" (although that's not really saying much). If you'd like some scary "fluff" movie, this is it. There are a few rough patches of "what just happened to the plot?"-ness, but it's pretty cohesive on the whole.

So. Good Haloween movie? Perhaps. But I would go see Saw II instead...

23 October 2005

Fall is in the air

I can taste fall in the air. The crispness. The slight chill.

By my workplace, there are crunchy leaves, and I always go out of my way to step on them, much to the amusement of the valet standing in front of the restaurant next door...

I made pumpkin bread this evening for my bookclub, and it was very tasty. Even AZ commented that it was (and I quote) "your best yet". Coming from her - highly knowledgeable SF foody that she is - high praise indeed :)!

I am craving hot apple cider. And roasted chestnuts like one finds all over Paris around the holidays.

22 October 2005

"Love means never having to say you're sorry . . ."

Did you know that the above is a line from the movie Love Story?

I just watched it. I netflixed it almost 2 months ago and just had not watched it yet. Of course you know the famous music theme, right?

It was a beautiful and tragic story. I cried and cried at the end. It was not unkin to my reaction during all of those *%?*!# Nicholas Sparks films. Alas. But I'm glad to have watched it.

19 October 2005

Just add (holy) water

Our church is doing a church-wide Bible study (as seems to be the case twice a year or so) called "Better Together", and it encompasses 8 weeks of sermons, small group study and reading of the same titled book by Rick Warren. It is, I think, the second in a trilogy by the aforementioned uber-pastor from SoCal.

I must admit I went into this kind of a skeptic. I mean, Rick is cheesy. But, he also has some valid points. Anywho. I'm not here to blog about theology or doctrine or anything like that.

I have been going to my church in SF for about 3 years. For a good chunk of that time, I have been part of a small group Bible study, meeting on Monday nights. It started off as a group geared specifically for Graduate Students (which I was when I joined), and has now morphed into a Grad/Young Professionals under 30-type of group. There are a handful of us left from the first few months, but others have come and gone as people in SF are wont to do.

In this particular study, there is a big emphasis on getting people really involved in a small group - which is good. You build community, get connected to people and get to know one another better than just glancing over at the pew next to you and smiling at that girl who looks *vaguely* familiar (Is she new? Did we meet last week?) every Sunday.

But I digress...When our group met for the first time for the "Better Together" study, we found that we had practically tripled in number, and had about 40 people show up. That is NOT so small. Consequently, we broke down (randomly) into 3 small-er groups.

Now, before this branching, our group was pretty tight--we had all finally broken the mold and actually started becoming friends, confidantes, etc. All of these relationships were not built in a matter of weeks, but over the course of months, and in some cases, years.

The idea, however, that an 8-week study can create an "insta-bond" of deep community and fellowship is kind of absurd to me. I know - well - about one third of my new small group. Another third I would consider acquantainces, and the last are practically complete strangers.

We had some communication problems in our group this week. Probably - maybe? - due to the fact that we are trying to create this instantly intimate bond, without really being comfortable yet. People are sensitive, unsure, and hesitant about letting their guard down. Which, is NORMAL, I would like to point out, for a group of mostly strangers.

There is so much emphasis right now on "group togetherness" and a "group community project" - which (on paper) is an awesome idea. But we just seem to be having growing pains. I am one of two in charge of planning a social activity for our group. Bowling and pizza? You bet! The problem is scheduling (of course) and it feels a little like I'm planning "mandatory fun". Like, the only reason to go is because your mommy dropped you off at daycare and you have no choice.

I don't know.

It's only been three weeks. I've committed to stick it out, so we'll see what develops. I'm trying to keep an open mind, because I think it's important...but it's also difficult.

18 October 2005

Did you ever notice

. . . that when you go to the movies, the shortest person in the group gets stuck sitting behind a really tall person? This almost happened to AZ last weekend. We were waiting for In Her Shoes to begin, wehn these a couple walked in at the last minute, and started down the row in front of us. AZ let out this little sound of "oh no....!" and the couple ended up just missing her by one seat.

Now, by this point, AZ has it made in the shade. Because unless a movie is sold out, people will avoid sitting next to a stranger at all costs. Hence, the lone single seat gets left. And the next couple will then sit in front of me.


16 October 2005


Is finally knowing the song well enough to sing along with the radio/cd/ipod with confidence.

And man that makes me feel cool, right?

Even though I'm really still a dork because I only know the chorus.

Remeber the Blues Traveler song "Hook"? Great song!

When I got that album in highschool, I played the song over and over and over until I learned the "fast part" in the middle. I remember spending hours laid out on the floor of my bedroom, listening to the song and reading the lyrics until I could sing the whole thing JUST like John Popper.

And to this day, I still can. Truly satisfying, indeed!

14 October 2005

I am getting one of


I am so excited.

09 October 2005

Party Express

I just walked in the door. My feet are aching, my hair is a little chaotic (what's new?), I'm sweaty and still have plenty of adrenaline running through me. These are the classic post-salsa dancing symptoms.

Long story short, I went to a friend of a friend's birthday party tonight. We celebrated Erika's birthday with the help of the Party Express Bus. Basically you rent a bus to take you to 3 different clubs of your choosing in SF.

There were 15 of us on the bus, and our theme for the night was salsa. Erika is from Brazil, and had a mini-entourage of fellow brazilian girls in tow. Erika's husband is completely a compeletely gringo Mormon from Utah. But, they just seem to go together.

The rest of the crew was mixed; most didn't know how to salsa, but they were willing to try.

First stop: Roccapulco. I'm glad I finally got there. It's a nice large space with lots of tables to sit at. The bus just pulls up in front, the guide speaks to the bouncer, and we go straight in. No lines, no nothing. Beautiful. We started at 9:30, and at that hour, Roccapulco was pretty quiet, with only the DJ playing. Danced a few salsa's with on of the Brasilenha's husband, and we had a group merengue (everyone kinda got that rhythm down).
Just as the band was coming on, we had to be off to the next club.

Second: Club Caliente in SOMA. This place was packed, and we were definately an odd bunch to be going in, because
A. We were dressed for Cocomo (ie: no jeans) and everyone in here was more casual and
B. We had lots of tall blond girls (even though some were latin) who tended to stick out.
The DJ was playing Raeggaeton music when we came in, and we kind of danced in smallish circles. I eventually starting dancing with a guy for a while, until he put his face in my cleavage. Then, I was like..."I'm just here to dance, sorry" and told him he could go find someone else, no hard feelings. So, I go back to the group, and, suddenly, see a familiar face in the crowd (or, at least, a familiar looking shaved head). It was Adonai, a friend from salsa class. I couldn't believe it! We talked, and then the DJ started playing better music (merengue & salsa) so we danced until the party express had to take off.

Final stop: Cafe Cocomo. It's funny. This club was so intimidating to me in January of this year. Now, I walked in and it felt so familar---the music, the people, the decor, the vibe, was all welcoming me back. The band tonight was Pepe y su Orquesta Peru. Excellent! We got there around 11:45, managed to find an empty table in the corner, and went about the task of acquiring dance partners.

First up for me: Dago from Colombia. Really fun to dance with - but was trying to convince me that 'we had great energies together' and 'come dance with me 4 nights a week.' He gave me his number, and I promised not to throw it away.
Then we had Virgil, a stout, short mature man who was lots of fun. He had an interesting way of leading with his wrists...but he knew what he was doing and how to communicate, so it worked. We were being silly & danced for a while.
A had the opportunity to be one of two women (the other being "Carmen" aka Raquel) to dance with some guy at the same time. That was cool! How he did it (can't remember his name) I don't know, but it was neat.
The last dancer of the night was Marco. He was very much into the cuban style salsa, but led very well. He would do this crazy knee bends & hops --- seriously just like at the end of the movie Dance with Me. We took a photo together at the end of the night, and agreed to dance again next time we were both at Cocomo.
Finally, the clock sounded 2 am, the lights came up, and the strains of the Beach Boy's "Cocomo" begin to play. The night had come to an end. It was a great time.

07 October 2005

Bon appetit

I went to Chapeau! for dinner tonight. It is this tiny little French bistro in the Richmond. And it was sooooooo delicious. And packed with patrons all night.

Amuse-bouche: Melon and tea cold "soup" served in an espresso mug
Appetizer: Moules et frites
Entree: Cassoulet
Dessert: Tarte tatin
Red wine

The chef came around and spoke with everyone. He was very nice.
In fact, after we left, and were half way down the block to the car, I hear this shouting behind me. I thought it was some crazy person, but then turned around and realized it was the chef. He was running after us, telling us to have a good evening, and asking if we enjoyed the food.
"Mais oui, c'etait superb, delicieux"...it was great to speak French. He gave us both kisses on the cheeks. And scooted back to the restaurant.

The perfect ending to a most pleasant dining experience.

06 October 2005

The blue angels are in town!

They have two big shows in San Francisco this weekend.

They are practicing right now.

And they are flying back and forth right over our office.

I am like a two year old, barely able to sit still and get anything done, because I want to go see the airplanes fly by doing circles, spins and dives!

Seeing 20/20

I do not have good eyesight. But every now and then, God gives me 20/20 vision. He gives such clairty and understanding - albeit in hindsight painful at times - that I know He exists and listens and cares.

Today is a perfect example.

I've had an interesting week in regards to a certain man who shall remain nameless, but who has been a factor in my life for about a year. I will not bore you with all the minutiae, but I will say that he has been in and out of my life throughout 2005. When we ended things, they did not end with a bang . . . they just stopped. We lived on opposite coasts, and, well.....that ended that. And I knew that going into the relationship - I mean, I knew we would only be in the same city for a short while.
And yet, I decided to go for it.

"'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

A major reprecussion of the "ending": lack of closure.
Everytime we saw each other this year, it felt (rekindled?) as if we were together again. Each gesture, speech pattern, habit, so familiar, comforting, wanted.

We spoke this last week - in person and via computer - of hypotheticals vs. reality and "what-if's" vs. "not likely's". We spoke of what it is to be happy, what it is to be committed (or not), what it is to be an artist, what it is to follow your heart, what it is to be one human interacting with another. We were approaching a closure of sorts. Actually talking about things that had been left unsaid.

I wrote a letter. Hid it in my drawer for a week. And then decided to let him read it. It was a good letter - no "I'm so unhappy without you letter," nor "I hate your guts...". It was a simple, truthful statement of feelings past, and present thoughts. I think I wrote out about 5 drafts of the thing! ha!

For me, the letter offered a closure. I am better able to express my thoughts in writing than I am in person. I get too nervous and tongue tied in person (especially around this particular person). I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but I still have a ways to go in this respect.

Closure. And yet this morning, en route to work, I could not stop the tears from streaming down my cheeks. It sucks. But I can see that it is good.

How? God is looking out for me.

Example: I did not get cast in a part I really wanted. I am not a super diva, but I sang a damn good audition and I would have been perfect for it. But I didn't get cast, and was upset about this over the weekend. Last night, P told me that he got the part he wanted in this same show. If you have ever been in a theater production, you know how much time you spend with your castmates, and how that intensity fosters relationship(s). My heart could not have stood that.

Example: I went to Starbucks this morning, and my friend C was barista-ing. I had just gotten to work post tears-during-the-commute and she expressed some concern. I didn't have time to get into it right then. Fast forward to my lunch break. I'm walking to the deli, when I hear my name. I turn around, and there is C, smiling and telling me that she is buying me lunch. We sit and talk and pray and I am was so grateful for how much God blessed me today with C.

So. It is late and I am tired.

I don't regret my relationship with P. I will stick with Lord Tennyson on that one. I try to own my decisions, be they good or bad.

But, I am humbled that even when I am feeling frustrated, sad, worked-up, stubborn, emotionally tender, and weak, God sees all and grants vision to us. And He cares. And He loves.

04 October 2005

The people at safeway are always so nice

When checking out at Safeway, the checkers never fail to look at the receipt and hand it to you saying "Thank you, Ms. Daniel" or "Thank you, Mr. Jones" etc etc.

And today was no exception.

I went to Safeway with our business card to buy some supplies for a goodbye party we're having at the office tomorrow. I swipe my personal safeway card - with my name on it (saved us $1.50!) - and then swiped our business visa.

I sign the credit card receipt.

The woman at the cash register hands me my copy and says "Thank you, Ms. Foundations".

You just can't make this stuff up, people. This is real life.

28 September 2005

Unexpected Surprise

For the last few Wednesdays, the San Francisco Jazz Festival has been putting on outdoor, lunch time concerts at the park near my work.

Today was the Baguette Quartet. They were so fun, and very . . . Parisien. It was a pleasant surprise on this lovely day.

Tonight, I am geared up to go to Teatro Zinzanni's hurricain relief event. Zydeco music during happy hour followed by their "Love, Chaos & Dinner" show. All the expenses from this evening (artist's pay, ticket sales, drink sales, wait staff salary, even the $10 service charges) are going to the relief fund. AMAZNING. I feel guilty (but just a little) that I only am paying $10 for this $150+ event.
One of my former SFCM colleagues is still in the show, too, so that will be fun!

Reasons I love this time of year in San Francisco:
Strictly Bluegrass Festival
San Francisco Flamenco Festival
Italian Heritage Parade
Fall Film Festivals
Oktoberfest by the Bay
SF Jazz Fest
Ferry Building Harvest Festival

(And that's just October!!!)

27 September 2005

Happy Brithday to ...

...random laundry!

Having actually missed the one year birthday of this blog, I am celebrating one year and 12 days! The extended birthday season...gotta love it. I actually cannot believe that I have been doing this for so long. I didn't think I had it in me!


I went to Cafe Lo Cubano today on accident. I took a new way home from work, and when I realized I couldn't make the left turn I wanted (what? no left in SF? shocker!), I ended up in a parking spot right outside.
I had been by this place with AZ before, but never inside.

I ventured in to get a coffee. A cafe con leche, to be precise. One of the best cups of coffee I've ever had in my life. SO good.

19 September 2005

Get your own stapler!

I am totally living in "Office Space".

Realizing that my stapler can do this as totally made my day.

I also think our FedEx guy is hot.

I am such a dork, I know.

18 September 2005

The Black Sheep?

You know how they say everyone has a "black sheep" in their family? Well, I wouldn't really say we have one of those, but we do have some characters, that's for sure.
My cousin, H, for example. He is brillant, no lie, and he tends to get himself into those types of situations reserved for ridiculously smart - yet stubborn - people. He is fearless, and lives life with gusto, and without reserve.
2005 has seen him in Eastern Europe (Romania and Poland) and Northern Africa. Just because he wanted to go. I have urged him - many in our family have - to write some sort of book, memoire, something about his adventures.
Here is an email he wrote, details from this last adventure, which I found so utterly amazing and amusing (and, it's all true), that I had to put it up. . .enjoy!
(NB: Keep in mind that H is not one to "blend in" to his surrounding - 6'4'', broad shoulders, and fire engine red hair...)
To: K
From: H
Subject: "War's Over: Wermer Dropped the Big One"

It always ends. And usually, it ain't pretty. Thus the Africa Expedition. I only made it as far as Morocco. After disembarking the boat at Tangier, I made my way to Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast, where I spent a few days windsurfing (and yes, I am one dead sexy bitch in a wetsuit), earning renown from the local surf bums as "Le Grand Chat" for my spry handling of the board. We stayed in a guest house overlooking the ocean and there was a girl who came everyday to cook dinner whose skills almost (note: almost) rivaled those of my mom, but I was impressed enough to ask her to marry me. She insisted I would have to give her family seven camels though. Alas, I am not a man of such means.
From the coast I proceeded to Marrakech, where I slept on a roof with a litter of kittens, put to sleep at night by the unremitting pipes of snake charmers and the beat of drums and awakened at 4:30 am by the chants of Muslim prayers. The markets of Marrakech are truly amazing, the sights and smells of piles of fruits, nuts, meats, spices and untold heaps of god knows what extending into an unsolvable maze of narrow alleyways. I am not much of a shopper though, but I did find some kids one day being hassled by a storekeep for kicking their soccer ball in front of the shops, and invariably into his piles of fruit and whatnot. So I assisted them in executing the water over the door trick, sending one to bait the enemy by grabbing a couple of oranges and attempting to juggle them while the other had positioned a bucket overhead. When the old man came running out, the string was pulled, and voila, douched! As we began to crack up though, his expression was decidedly not one of amusement. So he and his helper came chasing after us. We raced up an alley barely wider than my own wingspan, dodging scooters, donkeys, assorted stray animals and Muslims, but a couple of old geezers are no match for Le Grand Chat.
After leaving Marrakech I spent a couple of days crossing the High Atlas Mountains, camping in a river gorge one night, before heading for the desert. A day's drive brought me to the last town before the Sahara begins. I started off staying with some nomads about two hours camel ride into the desert. Forcibly risen at dawn by the sun, wind, and flies, we would get in a couple of ski runs down the dunes. They had skis and snowboards and we would hike up the dunes about 200 feet high and ski down. Then I had to go in to town to manage my fantasy baseball team, so Mubarek and I would cruise by the other tents to see if anyone wanted a ride to town, just like Johnny B at the bustop.
I hate commuting though, and while it might not be as miserable as 395 or 66, four hours a day getting your nuts crunched on a camel hump is somewhat less than comfortable. So I moved from the suburbs back into the city. Besides needing to oversee the team in the middle of the playoff hunt, I had heard rumors of camel races. Now wherever you are in the world, even in the last town before the desert, maybe especially in the last town before the desert, two things you will find anywhere are whores and gamblers. As someone who's skittish about touching the handrail in the metro, I'm not likely to seek out the former, but the latter, they always seem to find me. And sure enough I found myself on the windswept outskirts of town betting on slow ass camels.
The language barrier being even tougher out here, all negotiations (and everything in this country has to be haggled) for wagers, odds, and exchange rates had to be made by drawing figures in the sand with a stick. I weren't too good at picking the winners out though, and the losses were beginning to mount. One afternoon I had skipped one race and I was having a drink when I saw a camel jogging up who was moving faster even at a leisurely trot than any camel I had seen before. Armed with this inside info, when that camel appeared in a race shortly thereafter, I decided to take my shot at the title. I became the center of action for that race, I took every bet I could get my hands on, and ended up with every scrap of redeemable bank note I owned in the world pegged to this smelly hump of fur.
Of course, it turns out I only had half the inside info, because when the race started (the camels start from the down position) my camel didn't get up. He just sat there like he wanted to pick his nose with his hoof even as his jockey tried to yank him around. I started cussin him, cussin his momma, cussin his daddy, cussin his grandmamma and granddaddy, as were the others who had bet on him. So as we stood there, a dozen Arabs and a Redneck yelling our lungs out at this stupid camel, I was on the verge of either balling my eyes out or grabbing the nearest hard object I could find and whipping the snot out of the son of a bitch, when apparently one of my fellow punters managed to peg the fat fucker in the ass with a rock, which got him up and going. And whoosh, he was going, as far as camels going goes (we're not exactly talking Kentucky Derby here). He could hoof it about twice as fast as the other camels, and he was gaining fast. I started running alongside him, screaming, throwing my fists in the air, and he had almost caught up to the leader when I had The Vision.
My particular vision involved sitting at the Colonial Club in Mombasa this time tomorrow, served by an African man in a white linen suit, drinking gin rickeys on the shores of the cool blue waters of the Indian Ocean. But really The Vision is that image of ill-begotten luxury engineered by every gambler right before he finds himself in some distant desert outpost with the equivalent of about 75 cents in his pocket because his camel decides to turn off the track at the last second and just go galloping off into the desert. The inevitable additional insult was that while running my glasses pulled a slip and slide right off my face and under my shoe, and I returned to find the pieces buried in the sand.
And so there it ends: sitting at a café in the dusty streets of Merzouga, sand and sweat encrusted in every conceivable crevice, blind, broke, bewildered, beaten, shoveling out my last loose coins for a mint tea. Against all of which possibly I could have risen to fight again, but against the heat, against the mad, menacing sun, beating down on and baking me all day with no air conditioned refuge in which to repose and fan the bait and tackle, against that maddening fire I was a cowed, whimpering shell of a human. So I had to open up my bag to haggle for a ride to the next biggest town. The driver started at a pair of pants, two linen shirts, and a belt; I started with two pairs of dirty boxers. We settled on one shirt and a belt.
I got back to semi-civilization, got a bank wire, took a 12-hour bus ride packed with screaming Muslims and goats, and some more trains, boats, buses, and planes later made it back to the UK, where I could recuperate under the clouds and winds and drips of Scottish skies.
So I never actually ran any guns to freedom fighters. In fact, I never bought a gun, sold a gun, or even saw a gun. Nor did I import or export anything or become the internet porn tsar of Eastern Europe.
All I seemingly managed to do was get robbed by Hungarians, play cards with Cossacks, and dance the foxtrot in a Paris nightclub. But, you know, did the things in the days. I blew my wad and then some though, so I have to leave behind the world without calendars, without clocks, where morning actually did come twice a day or not at all. On this last pass through London, I've been hanging out with my cousin's friends who work in Parliament, eating at the staff cafeteria, drinking pints at the janitor's pub beneath the House of Commons. And soon enough that will be me again: a Citizen. Working for The Man.
Eating in the Dirksen cafeteria, knocking back cold guys at the Lounge, the struggle for Truth, Justice, and Freedom fading into anecdote. But somewere in the dim recesses of passing time an eye will remain open, a lighthouse scanning the dark waters for signs of hope, dreams of liberty. Because Freedom will live forever in the hearts and minds of The People, and should they ever need me, I reckon they'll know where to find me.
Liberté Toujours,

15 September 2005

ARRRGGGHH part deux

Thank you, God, for my ENT, Dr. Tipton. He is amazing! Love him.

AS it turns out, I am (apparently) allergic to SF. Who knew?
The doc poked and prodded my face and head, and even did a wicked-cool (albeit a little gross) sinus scope. hooray.

His diagnosis (for today): bad allergies combined with jet lag and slightly inflamed left ear (I'm having a hard time hearing out of it..).

BUT, as well, chronic tonsilitis. ugh. He says I should consider getting my tonsils removed. Elective surgery is fun, yes?

I don't know. What it boils down to is this:
-Every time I catch a bug or a sniffle or something, there is a 50% chance it will turn into bad tonsilitis (bad for singing)!
-My concerns: what does this surgery entail? What's the recovery like? How would it affect my singing and how soon after could I start singing without risk of injury??

Lots to think about. hmmmmm.


Of course I am getting sick right now.

Of course.

When I have nothing but a month chock full of auditions.


Please pray that I
1. Get in to see my doctor today or tomorrow.
2. Get adequate rest
3. Get better soon!!!!

13 September 2005

I found this on Cassi's site . . .

...and it's pretty funny! Cassi is located here.
Things to do when seeing Lord Of The Rings:

1. Stand up halfway through the movie and yell loudly, "Wait! Where is Harry Potter?"

2. Block the entrance to the theater while screaming, "YOU.....SHALL....NOT..... PASS!"

3. Ask everyone around you if they think Gandalf went to Hogwarts.

4. Finish off every one of Elrond's lines with "Mis..ter Ander-sonnn."

5. When Aragorn is crowned king, stand up and at the top of your lungs sing, "And I did it.... MY way!"

6. Talk like Gollum all through the movie. At the end, bite off someone's finger and fall down the stairs.

7. Dress up as old ladies and reenact "The Battle of Helms Deep," Monty Python style.

8. When Denethor lights the fire, shout "Barbecue!"

9. In TTT when the Ents decide to march to war, stand up and shout, "RUN FOREST, RUN!"

10. Every time someone kills an Orc, yell: "That's what I'm Tolkien about!"

11. During a wide shot of a battle, inquire, "Where's Waldo?"

12. Start an Orc sing-a-long.

13. Come to the premiere dressed as Frankenfurter and wander around looking terribly confused.

14. When they go in the paths of the dead, wait for a tense moment and shout, "I see dead people!"

15. Imitate what you think a conversation between Gollum, Dobby and Yoda would be like.

16. Release a jar of daddy-long-legs into the theater during the Shelob scene.

17. Wonder out loud if Aragorn is going to run for governor of California.

18. When Shelob comes on, exclaim, "Man! Charlotte's really let herself go!"

12 September 2005

Siblings in Europe, September 2005

I just returned from my 10-day vacation in London, France and Italy. Not nearly enough time to cover all that we did, but we managed, thanks to Easy Cruise.

Here are a few pictures:

1. Mediterranean Sea

2. Spices at market in Nice, France

3. Portofino, Italia

4. Easy Cruise One

I am working on getting all of my pictures online for viewing . . .

31 August 2005

Laissez les bon temps rouler...

The Big Easy. RIP . . .

Out here in SF, we are somewhat isolated from the truth - from what is actually happening. We see the escalating gas prices and complain to our co-workers.

This is what is happening:

1. Looting. Not just grocery stores, clothing stores and other dry goods stores. Huge walmarts have been completely emptied. Gun stores cleaned out. There is already violence amongst those still in New Orleans, but now there are gangs armed with AK-47s. People mugging, raping and using violence to get what everyone else is after: food, water, dry clothes, shoes. This is true desperation.

2. Flooding. Not just homes, businesses. But football stadiums are filled with water. Dirty, disease-ridden, waste-contaminated water. Jails are flooded out, the inmates taken to one section of the flooded out I-10, and placed between the floodwaters on one side and guards on the other.

3. Southern Louisiana is bayou and swamp country. Poisonous snakes and crocodiles can now swim the streets. My cousin, working for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, has been sent to New Orleans with his boat to help round up these animals.

4. The weather: New Orleans at any time of year is humid 90-100%, and especially right now, HOT. There is no clean drinking water, no power, no shelter, to escape the heat and humidity.

5. Poverty rate. About 30% of New Orleans' population were leaving at or below poverty level. People who had verylittle or nothing to begin with, now have even less.

6. No mobility, no exit. People are trapped, many of them sick (diabetic, heart problems) and most dehydrated and without food. It's terribly hard to organize and physically difficult to navigate the flooded streets to actually reach the people that need to be rescued. There is a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, but people don't know HOW to get out! It's impossible. They are DESPERATE to get out, but there is NO where to go and no means.

I could go on and on. People stranded, the losing battle of the police against the crime, the death toll, as yet to even be considered - there is just too much else to do. I do not mean for this to be a doomsday message. But this is the reality at this moment on the Gulf Coast.

I had some family members evacuate New Orleans before the storm hit. They are safe, and - PRAISE GOD - there is family in East Texas and Northern Louisiana to take care of them. But, they don't know if they'll ever get a chance to go home, or if that home even exists anymore.

Pray, people. Click here to help.

28 August 2005


Wow. I just returned from an amazing concert at the Shoreline Ampetheatre.

First of all, it was the perfect day - clear skies, warm and just a hint of breeze. I met my friend, JG, at Serramonte mall. He lives in Daly City, so we met and then drove one car (his) down to San Jose. Outside of salsa class, and the occasional club outing, I've not gotten to spend a lot of time with JG. We had a lot of fun -- lots of laughter, learing new vocab, musica and yes, dancing (and that was just in the car ride down! lol).

Concert lineup:
1. Chayanne. Latin pop/rock. AMAZING. This guy can move and sing like no one's business. He had so much energy, and was so fun to watch. Of course, all the women went crazy when he came on stage (boy is goooood lookin'). His music was fun, lively, with a ballad or two thrown in, for good measure. All encapsulated in a lithe, leather pants-clad, stage-commanding presence. A captivating peformer.

2. Alejandro Fernandez. Traditional Mariachi and then some. JG had made a point of telling me on the way down that Alejandro was probably going to be the most popular at the concert, due to the majority Mexican crowd. I thought the girls went wild for Chayanne.

I was mistaken.

The stage is set - 15 or so mariachi. Then, enter the singer. Alejandro has one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. Strong, clear, and so easy sounding from the top to bottom. I bet he can sing anything! He was (I would venture to say) the crowd favorite. I was surrounded by voices - everyone knew all the words to his whole set. It was actually frustrating for me, because I wanted to join in, too. The music was moving and very passionate. The energy he put off on stage was unbelievable. Women threw their underwear at him (no joke!).

3. Marc Anthony. Salsa. Those people out there that say Marc is riding on J Lo's fame? They're crazy. He is a frigtenly good performer, crowd-worker and musician. He had so much fun on stage, and we the audience had a lot of fun. Hot hot salsa, amazing back up musicians, and limitless energy made for an exciting show.

Everyone was on their feet for the whole concert. It was THAT good...I had a wonderful time!

Notable story: We got back to JG's truck after the concert, and were about to leave, when he realized he was practically out of gas! After waiting for the stop-and-go situation to clear for about an hour, we took off, and found a gas station JUST in the nick of time.

25 August 2005

Road trip pictures

Here are a couple pictures from my trip to Santa Fe a couple weeks ago. I was going to blog about the whole weekend, but decided instead to try posting the first ever photos on my blog!

1. Leaving Santa Fe. The sky is amazing in New Mexico:

2. Just north of the CO/NM border lie the ruins of The Morley Church.

23 August 2005

Birthday:July 11, 1979
Birthplace:Denver, CO
Current Location:San Francisco, CA
Eye Color:Blue
Hair Color:"blond"
Right Handed or Left Handed:Right
Your Heritage:euro-mix
The Shoes You Wore Today:Black franco sarto flats - standard work shoe
Your Weakness:books, cd's & foreign men (ha! j/k-but not really..)
Your Fears:ET. tripping on stage.
Your Perfect Pizza:mushrooms, olives, pesto, feta & spinach
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year:sucessful audition season
Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger:ack
Thoughts First Waking Up:"Scheisse! I'm running late already!"
Your Best Physical Feature:Eyes
Your Bedtime:Should be 11; on average, midnight
Your Most Missed Memory:time spent with my grandparents
Pepsi or Coke:Diet Vanilla Coke or Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi
MacDonalds or Burger King:neither
Single or Group Dates:depends on the guy...
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea:Lipton
Chocolate or Vanilla:chocolate
Cappuccino or Coffee:cappucino
Do you Smoke:NO
Do you Swear:i prefer foreign swear words
Do you Sing:OH yes.
Do you Shower Daily:Yes. But not necessarily wash my hair.
Have you Been in Love:yes
Do you want to go to College:Spent 7 years in institutions of higher learning
Do you want to get Married:yes
Do you belive in yourself:usually
Do you get Motion Sickness:only in centrifuge-like amusement rides
Do you think you are Attractive:sure
Are you a Health Freak:sometimes
Do you get along with your Parents:yes. they are great & weird
Do you like Thunderstorms:yes!
Do you play an Instrument:voice & piano. used to play trombone & handbells
In the past month have you Drank Alcohol:yes
In the past month have you Smoked:NO
In the past month have you been on Drugs:NO. Well, allergy meds
In the past month have you gone on a Date:yes
In the past month have you gone to a Mall:no
In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos:no
In the past month have you eaten Sushi:yes. mmm. california rolls..
In the past month have you been on Stage:no...but gearing up for auditions this month
In the past month have you been Dumped:no
In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping:no
In the past month have you Stolen Anything:no
Ever been Drunk:once (bourbon street...)
Ever been called a Tease:yes
Ever been Beaten up:only stage combat
Ever Shoplifted:no
How do you want to Die:peacefully & quickly
What do you want to be when you Grow Up:opera singer. performer. linguist. wife. all.
What country would you most like to Visit:somewhere latin. and I am in love with France.
In a Boy/Girl..
Favourite Eye Color:Dark
Favourite Hair Color:Dark
Short or Long Hair:just no buzz cuts or flat tops, please
Height:5'10" and up. (I'm tall, you know!)
Best Clothing Style:whatever makes you feel confident
Number of Drugs I have taken:prescription only
Number of CDs I own:too many to count
Number of Piercings:just ears. but eyebrow piercings are sexy
Number of Tattoos:i don't have any, but have not ruled them out
Number of things in my Past I Regret:not a lot