31 January 2006

Today was nuts *rant* alert

I hate bugs. Of all kinds. I really passionately dislike spiders. I don't mind killing bugs, but spiders creep me out.

All this to set-up the fact that one of today's joys at work included bugs. We have some sort of infestation of these annoying , tiny, little black bugs. I start thinking about them and it just...ick.

Another thing: stupid people at the freaking USPS. I was determined to reach them today, and after seven attempts in a row (letting the phone ring until it clicked off automatically - say 50 rings or so), someone *actually* answered the phone. We've been trying to reach them for four days! If they're understaffed.....for crying out loud HIRE MORE PEOPLE. Can't our federal government work this out...? Won't it ultimately keep more folks - on both sides of the counter - from going *postal*?!?!

arrggh. And PLEASE, for the LOVE OF ALL THINGS SANE, hire people with communication skills. Is that really so terribly difficult?!?! Please be able to handle a conversation over the phone which makes sense. Now...I'm a patient person...usually...but today my patience was just worn thin.

And then sitting in a meeting with two of my coworkers for another reason (renovation drama)...I love these people, I do. They are good women, easy to work with, fun, caring, hard workers etc etc etc...but they were just talking at each other for a good 10 minutes. They were totally miscommunicating, and it was very frustrating to be in the middle of that. I don't mind being a moderator, but let me get a word in edgewise, people, or else that defeats the purpose of moderating.

AND, if you ask me to help clean out your office, don't sit there and tell me the backstory about every. single. file. in. your. drawers. Just tell me whether or not I can throw it out, relabel it or send it away. Pile on hormones on top of this nonsense, and you get a picture of my day.

ARGH. I need some loud-ass music right now. And dancing. And sweat. And Will Farrell telling me to do 8 more reps.

30 January 2006


But, just barely over the line on the "E" part . . .

What are you?

(and, why am I still awake?!?)

party redux

So...reflections on the party last night. It was a great party. But I also realize that I have fallen, somewhat, out of the Conservatory/opera loop. Not that that is a bad thing, necessarily, but I'm also just out-of-touch with some people I used to be a little closer with - socially and professionally speaking. There was more than one occasion last night when I found myself "justifying" my life to people. "Justify" in the sense of, what I'm doing, since I'm not in any productions right now.

At one point, a singer friend of mine, P, called me out on it and said "You don't have to give me a progress report. I was just asking how are you doing?". And my reply to that was "Wow. You're right...but I just find myself in crowds of singers feeling this need to explain myself...defend my life." Which is ridiculous...why should I feel that way? Especially when I'm happy and enjoying my life - I shouldn't have to "justify" that. Not that life is perfect (it never is) but, I am joyful and God is good. And, it was weird to be amoung people I spent so much time with just a couple years ago, but to feel like a stranger amoung them at the same time.

Part of it, I know, stems from the fact that I am different. I would bet my right arm that I was one of only a couple - if not the only one - Christians there last night. And, as such, my priorities are (or, should be) different. I mean, for a singer, to not be singing anywhere - - - it's like...."what's the point in living?". Seriously. I have several friends/acquantainces for whom that is how they live their life, and it makes me sad.

Which is why I only stayed a couple hours. For, as much as I love these people - and, I do love them - after that amount of time I was ready to go home. I could only handle so much "singer-speak" last night, and while I did get to meet some cool new people, small-talk after midnight is not my strongest point.

I am, however, excited to reconnect with Kiki - we've not hung out in a while, and she is someone for whom I have always really....just had a heart. As she was hostess, I didn't get a big chance to talk with her, so we're (hopefully) going out tomorrow. And, I also hope we get to go jump the fire again this year.

Oh. And another random thing, I just remembered! Last week, I went out with The Queen for a late night catch-up session. We hadn't sat and talked in a while and it was really good to see her. So, we're talking, and out of the blue she's like..."I have to ask you....there is some gossip going around about you." I was like "what??!!". Come to find out that a mutual singer friend had asked her "Why is MezzoSF giving up singing?"

Me: "WTF..?"

The Queen: "Well...she said she a Certain Peruvian Tenor (CPT) told her that you weren't singing anymore or something..."

Me: "hmmmmmmm...interesting...."

I would venture to say that CPT and I are actually friends now, and I had the chance to call him out on this over the phone. His response was, "Actually, what I said was that you hadn't seen your teacher in a while." At the time, this was true, I hadn't had a lesson in about a month and a half. But, I had had a decent amount of gigs over the last couple monts. Whatever. CPT followed this up with "You know...I'm going to tell [that girl] some made up story about myself and see how long it takes to get around."

This is how rumors get started, people. Not good. I am pretty laid back...but the whole thing pissed me off. I got over it, but still...*grrr*.

29 January 2006

Musical Meanderings and Drag Queens

It's been a great weekend - with a great soundtrack.

My man Steven Tyler kicked off the weekend for AZ and I as we cruised over the Bay Bridge to Oakland. And Aerosmith kept us going as we got lost and had to turn around. And got lost and had to turn back around. And as we finally pulled up to The Uptown to hear our friends M.O.V.E. tear it up. They were really good - and I'm not just saying that because they're my friends, too. Even though the crowd started off small, they gave us a good show. My particular favorite of the night was "Hero Factor"...Kenny O's got some mad crazy stage presence!

The next band up after M.O.V.E. was Metrovox. They looked like aging 70s rockers, but they sounded good...like they had been playing together since the 70s, and it was just second nature to play together.

Spent a relaxed Saturday morning and early afternoon with DGS, watching crazy home-made movies from back in the day, playing games, and listening to Weird Al parodies. I'll admit that it's been years since I listened to Weird Al - Will had some of his CD's - but the man is talented. I would love to see/hear a head-to-head parody competition between Weird Al and Eminem. I don't think the world is ready for that - it might just be the cause of WWIII.

Later Saturday we went to hear Erica's violin recital. She played Brahms, Bach, Ravel, and some traditional Brazilian folk tunes. She played beautifully, and it was nice to hear her and see some folks from the SFCM that I hadn't seen in a while.

Post-recital, Dennis and I walked up to The Mint Karaoke Lounge and met up with AZ, Alan and AW for some serious karaoke fun. We arrived just in time to get our songs in before it got NUTS (lots of private parties last night). AZ and I started with some Bon Jovi (we got flames!); Alan tried out some new Queen, and DGS rocked out to REM ("Leonard Bernstein")!

As the night continued, the lounge got more and more packed - great energy from the audience. Our follow up songs ran the gamut: J. Lo, Dusty Springfield, Whitesnake, and (of course) Journey. If I do say so myself, our little group kicked some serious karoke-butt.

After the karaoke spree, our little group disbanded. DGS and I went back to my house to see one last home short before he had to make the trek back to the 9-1-6. I was a little tired, but fueled by the diet coke's from the lounge, I decided to swing by kiki's house party in the marina for a little bit, as I had not seen her nor some of my other opera-folk in a while. As I walked down Lombard and turned onto Octavia, I could hear the singing coming from her house.

The inside was packed: equal parts opera singers and Persians. I arrived in the midst of the singing - which is what inevitably happens when opera singers all get together. Around midnight, our amazing friend and pianist K begged off the bench (she'd been there quite a while), and then the Persian contingent took over. Playing drums and singing in Farsi...and, of course, there was much dancing! It was very cool. Eventually, salsa was put on the stereo, and I got a couple of dances in with Momo, before finally leaving around 1am.


Sunday morning was spent at......Beside Baptist. Otherwise known as Our Lady of the Sheets. I needed some sleep, I think. I need to be better about my bedtime during the week...as right now, I am too dependent on my morning coffee.

I spoke to my parents today. They went to see Dame Edna last night. If you don't know, Dame Edna is really comedian Barry Humphries' drag alter ego. I've never seen a show, but I believe there is singing and dancing involved...and comedy, of course. Wellll........my parents happened to be sitting in the front row. Next to the stage stairs. Apparently, Dame Edna comes on stage, and down into the audience to get some "volunteers". Whom should she choose? None but our own Sally D.

Mom had to get up on stage with three other "volunteers" and act out a skit, for about 30 minutes. They gave her script, slapped on a hat, a chenille bathrobe and placed her in a wheelchair, and *voila* she became Dame Edna's mother. I would've given anything to see my father's face throughout this ordeal. He was probably peeing in his pants. hahhahaahhahha.

27 January 2006

Today at work, I . . .

[x] left a ridiculously rambling phone message

[x] laughed so hard, I cried

[x] thought my boss was going to keel over from lack of O2

[x] got a new toothbrush (purple!)

[x] got a new eyeglasses screwdriver

[x] had the best chicken salad sandwhich ever

[x] thought someone had stolen some checks

[x] realized we are no where NEAR ready for our move/renovations

[x] was asked to return a bogus candybar for my boss (but the deli had closed already)

[x] got a phone call from Hawaii!

[x] worked

[x] got free samples of coffee to take home

[x] laughed at a co-worker, who was sleeping sitting up at his desk

[x] was stuck in a dark room with no lights

25 January 2006

In keeping with our

Chuck Norris theme from last week, behold this tribute to the Young Chuck Norris.

I love the internet! (Again, my thanks to the inimitable Davezilla.)

24 January 2006

Ach...those crazy, singing, baywatch german folk

David Hasselhoff.

I. Am. Completely. Speechless.

(link thanks to Davezilla)

23 January 2006

Where is Anne Geddes when you need her?

I would like to preface this by saying that the game Puerto Rico *rocks*. For all of you Settlers of Catan fans (and by 'fans', I mean you, AZ) out there, this is right up your alley!

I spent a lovely day in Fremont on Saturday. (Contrary to popular belief "lovely day" and "Fremont" are not necessarily mutually exclusive). DGS invited me to attend a birthday party with him; one of his college friends was turning 30! Yay!

So, BARTing down to the end of the line, listening to Johnny Cash and Extreme on my iPod, I nodded off a little bit. As is the norm on BART. But, there was this woman who boarded around Powell station, and she had her little daughter with her. She was about 2, I guess. And she was just as cute as a button...talking to everyone, dancing on the seat, smiling. The old man in front of me stuck up a funny little conversation with her, and was teaching her to make peace signs. Well, her mom didn't really fancy that too much, and eventually they moved. (When they finally disembarked, the old man said "Listen to your mother, and never, ever, talk to strangers!")

Anyways...I'll come back to the BART portion.

The party was very fun...lots of games were played (I was a winner!) and good food. Granted, I didn't know anyone really, but nonetheless, this was a nice group of people and it was cool to see them interact and catch up after being apart for a while.

Now, the title of this post has to do with the fact that:
A) Almost everyone at the party was in a 'couple' and
B) Three of them (married) had babies. One-year-olds or younger!

The babies were precious...all of them, absolutely adorable. But, it was a little overwhelming to be surrounded by babies and moms and talks of lactating etc etc...because most of my friends do not have kids (yet). I was at the young-er end of the age spectrum on Saturday, and it was like a completely different world. Someone said to me that "when one is married, you feel about 5 years older than your single friends." I'm inclined to say that "when one is single, you feel about 5 universes removed from your friends with kids."

So...back to the BART, with the mom and her little daughter. Kids are a big responsibility, man! Keeping track of a little one while commuting, carrying different things, going here and there - life is no longer all about "me:"...you've a little person completely dependent on you for their every need.

I like to take care of the people in my life...sometimes to the point that I neglect myself, it seems. In high school, people starting commenting that "some day, you're going to be a good mother"....but wow....I am not near that point right now - I'm just too selfish. And, quite frankly, I'm fine with that - I like being able to do whatever, whenever. Ask me in another five years or so, and we'll see what the ole biological clock has to say. But, for now, the alarm is on silent (much to Sally D's chagrin, I'm thinking - however, my brother and I BOTH have told her that she's just going to have to hang around for a while!)

Anyways. Right now, I'm content being "auntie" to baby Jonathan and baby Kaylia (who is supposed to be born in a couple weeks). I get to spoil them with love, without all of the day-to-day dirty diapers! I'm cool with that . . .

22 January 2006

I *heart* . . .

CSI: Las Vegas. I am watching the episodes I taped on Thursday right now.

I DO NOT HEART - AT ALL - the Pittsburg Steelers. They suck. :(

I *heart* Benise, whose PBS program cheered me up and made me laugh after the tragedy of defeat this afternoon.

I STILL do not heart - not in the least - the Pittsburg Steelers.

I *heart* Amoeba. I *heart* even more that in February, The Gypsy Caravan Tour is happening!

19 January 2006

5 A.M.

Phone rings. Three times. Waking our heroine from a deep, actually dream-filled, sleep.

K: [whispers] "hello?"

Mystery Caller X: "Mooshi Mooshi! aldkjaoeij ao;weijr aoweiru oaweirhoawierhoawieh..."

K: [thinks to self: self...you do not speak Japanese] "Wrong number..."

[click, roll over, snuggle back into covers]
6:30 A.M.
R turns the dryer on. [squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek goes the closet door]
[rolls over, returns to sleep-like state]
7:50 A.M.
***BEEP*** ***BEEP*** ***BEEP*** ***BEEP*** [fumbles for button...click]
8:15 A.M.
[thinks to self: Crap. I was just dreaming that I had already gotten up and ready for work. Now, I am running late...]

17 January 2006

The little pleasures of html

I got so excited about learning how to do a strikethrough that I peed my pants had to write about it!!

My many thanks to Math Jedi...!!!!

16 January 2006

see the stone set in your eyes

You know that just....primal.... yell Bono lets loose in "With or Without You"....?

I love that. It's so meaningful...it's not a yelp of anger, it's one of .... well, it's hard to describe, which is why I think Bono chose to insert that, instead of having more words.

For me, I've always felt that the man (or woman, as the case may be) saying those lyrics is just so torn in their situation that they can't go back and forth about it anymore, and all that is left to be expressed is


A release of inner emotional tension, perhaps.
The desire to communicate that which words fail to do so.

That's what I feel like sometimes - just tongue tied. Which is weird, because I'm one of those people that tends to NOT be able to hide what's going on in my head - my face gives a lot away. But then again, I've never been especially good with the spoken word. It's a little *hard* for me to be one-on-one and just come out and bare my soul.

I've come a long way as I've gotten older. I care less what other people think, and will just blurt out things without necessarily filtering them first.

It's not just me, though. I would venture to say that it's hard for most people to be open and vulnerable with one another. It takes trust and faith that the person listening will not just turn away and start laughing, or abandon you, or hurt you. There is a lot of jadedness in our society, too, which just inhibits open communication even more. I thank God every day that there are people in my life with whom I can just be myself and be open. But, I still find myself wanting to hide in my shell, sometimes.

All this...um...overthinking?...was prompted by my day off. I was floating along happily in my day off. I think I stayed in my pj's until....oh, 2pm. L-A-Z-Y. All I had to do was go to a 4pm appointment, and that ended up not happening.

And then I started thinking about how I wasted my day.

And what I really wanted to do today was drive down to the 8-3-1 and spend the day with a certain *deer* man.

And I was frustrated, because I didn't plan - or even talk about - a trip. I think I was scared to come out and say "Hey, you know what? I want to come see you." And, that is just...dumb...on my part. I ended up telling him, anyways, in a very rambling sort of way, and he was gracious enough to let me finish my ramblings without telling me that I was completely out of my gourd. :)

Anyways. You know how there are all those self-help books out there? I bet that that industry would just all go to pot if eveyone started being honest with each other and stopped caring so much about their image/egos/whathaveyou. With all the "social protocols" and "rules" these days, it's a wonder more people aren't nuts trying to follow them all.

Praise the LORD that He just takes us as-is, you know?


I can't sleep. I'm insomniac-ing.

Which is funny, because earlier today, I was so punchy and tired that I literally fell on the floor and was laughing my ass off. ROFLMAO. For real.

I was laughing so hard, I had to run and get my inhaler, because I was starting to have really bad asthma. It was great. Good times.

15 January 2006

Skeeball rocks

I had a great day. Truly a great Saturday!
Went to "Will Farrells" dance class this morning, and was not disappointed by our fearless leader, who always seems to be doing his best Will Farell impression, if Will Farell played the role of an aging, gay, white, hip hop dancer . . . (oh, and he's written some music too, the most memorable of which is called "Sex Train". That was our cool-down song).

After class, I went home and got ready for the rest of the day. Tonight was CY's birthday party at the Dave & Buster's in Milpitas, but I went down early to meet DGS at *$'s at the Great Mall. I actually got there around 4, so I could get a present for CY. I hadn't been to a Mills Mall in a while, and it was all very overwhelming. Until, of course, I noticed one of the electronics stores was broadcasting the football playoffs. Then I was okay with it all.

I met DGS around 5, and we played a couple of really fun games. The first one pretty much was all strategy, and I lost. Both times. But the second game was quite close (!). Then, we played a game based on his comic, Cow Chip and Lance, which is almost pure luck. I won! Go figure . . .

Post *$, we headed to D&B to put our name in for a table (which ended up being a 2.5 hour wait!), and play some games while we waited on the gang. I haven't played Skeeball in AGES...and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Ooooohhhh good times. We played skeeball, air hockey, a trivia game, ms. pac-man, donkey kong jr., raced horses and shot shotguns at the old west shooting gallery. At the end of the night, you turn in your tickets for prizes. I had enough for a hacky-sack. DGS had enough for a yo-yo (girls like guys with skills) and a soft football.

It was a great night. We ended up leaving shortly after midnight. Whew. The drive home was decent, although I did miss the 101-North cutoff and had to circle back around. No big deal. I was happily wide awake . . .

Some highlights from tonight:
1. Learning new games!!!!!
2. The Broncos beating the Patriots!!!!!
3. Skeeball!!!!!
4. Celebrating CY's bday, she rocks!!!!!
5. Singing along to U2 in the car with DGS!!!!!

[side note: I totally have the hiccoughs right now! Ack! Not good when trying to sleep!!]

14 January 2006

7's survey

I've been tagged by mathjedi

Seven Things To Do Before I Die
1. Travel anywhere south of the border (I can't believe I've not yet been to Mexico, even!)
2. Sing Wagner really well
3. Take a "family roots" tour of Louisiana with my parents, photographing their memories, and recording their stories
4. See the Grand Canyon
5. Get married
6. Really learn spanish. And portuguese. And German.
7. Spend time in France and Italy

Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. The Running Man
2. Drive a stick shift
3. Cheer for the Raiders
4. Watch/see/hear anything to do with E.T. (freaks me out!)
5. Stop singing
6. Stop learning
7. Do the limbo

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. "Dude"
2. "What's your damage?"
3. "Are you kidding me?" (usually spoken at inanimate, techno-type objects)
4. "That's funny"
5. "Sweet"
6. "Ciao"
7. "wow"

Seven Things That Attract Me To People (in general)
1. sense of humor (goofy, sarcastic, dry, silly, dorky, whatever...just being able to laugh at life - it's too short to be serious all of the time)
2. generous (with themselves, time, resources...whathaveyou)
3. honesty (with themselves, with others...ie: not a poser)
4. passionate about something in life - whatever that may be
5. smarts/intelligence
6. musical ability/good rhythm (always impressive!)
7. and, I have to add one in about men: tall(-er than me...does that make me shallow?)

Seven Books (Or Series) That I like a lot:
1. The Outlander Series, Diana Gabaldon
2. LOTR, J.R.R. Tolkein
3. Le Petit Prince, Antoine de St-Exupery
4. Travel books (Bill Bryson et al)
5. Linguistic books (language history, etc)
6. Dean Koontz novels
7. I used to LOVE reading the World Book Encyclopedia when I was growing up. If I had a set, I still would.

Seven Movies I Can Watch Over And Over
1. Star Wars (any)
2. The Godfather trilogy
3. A Knight's Tale
4. Anything with Johnny Depp
5. Monty Python's Holy Grail
6. The Princess Bride
7. Dance with Me

Seven Places I'd Rather Be
1. hanging out with any of you
2. in my bed with a good book & a mug of tea
3. South of France
4. Concert
5. North Carolina w/mon frere
6. Tonight's AFC Championship game (Go Broncos!)
7. Milpitas (ha ha ha I have my reasons lol)

Seven Favorite Bands (Artists, Groups, Whatever)
1. U2
2. Marc Anthony (en espanol)
3. Pink Martini
4. The Beatles
5. Aerosmith
6. Bon Jovi
7. Any salsa music, en general

Seven People I Want To Join In On This
1. AZ
2. Sandra
3. Jen
4. Raina
5. Blackbird
6. Sally
7. Whomever!


This site might just make you pee your pants.

Chuck Norris Facts.

Enjoy. But heed the warning . . .

12 January 2006

For the light-colored-khaki-pants-clad-bike-riding

business man I followed into work yesterday, I just have two words:

Butt. Sweat.

10 January 2006

Las Palmas Doradas

So, remember this concert I went to with my friend JG?

Well, this evening in salsa class, I reached a new milestone. Never in my 26.5 years (exactly), have I ever received a piece of jewelry from a man outside of my father or brother. Until tonight.

This is how it works. JG, is great. A great dancer, great personality, and just a fun guy. He and I and AZ and Jaime and others all just have a great time in class and going out to the occasional salsa club. We are all friends, but the thing is, JG has a crush on me. I know, and have known for a while.

But, I'm not going to start dating him - there is just no interest on my part to be with him *that* way. And, he is enough of a gentleman, that he never oversteps our boundaries of friendship. So, all that said...

After class, we are talking and he tells me he has a Christmas gift for me. I was shocked, and was like, but JG, I don't have anything for you! And he replied "No, no, no....I wanted to give you something to thank you for being my friend...you are such a good person and Feliz Navidad."

He hands me a small gold box.

Inside, a gold necklace, of my name spelled (the right way!) in cursive lettering, with little golden palm trees.

What! Wow...I was literally speechless. I mean, it is such a thoughtful gift, I didn't know what to say. I did manage to say thank you, and was very gracious and all. I just ... wow. Blew me away.

So. Later, in the car with AZ, I decided that this shall now be the Salsa Necklace. If there is salsa dancing involved, las palmas doradas shall now be the accessory of choice!

09 January 2006

I love movie previews

I do. I love seeing previews - a glimpse of what's to come! X-men 3, for example! Hooray!

Before the previews, as you know, there are little entertaining games, trivia, ads, and then commercials. After guessing which actor said "I'll be back" and about 3 times, one's attentions starts to drift, and by the time the commercials roll around, the anticipation is killer! So, I do what almost every other, normal, movie-going person does. I talk. I talk with my friends during the pre-entertainment entertainment and I talk during the commercials. As soon as the previews start, I'll shut-up. No big deal, right?


Except for yesterday. Post wine-country, Tyler and I decided to see "Walk the Line" (which was so amazing, I can't even tell you). Anyways. We get to the theater early enough, and have a good 15 minutes to sit and watch the trivia on the screen.
I call my mom back, quickly, and then Tyler and I are just sitting there, talking. Now, we can be loud, I'll admit, but we really were using our "indoor voices", and were both relaxed and low-key after our Sonoma adventures.

As anyone with long legs will attest, movie theaters can be tricky. I usually make the effort to not kick the person in front of me, but I accidentally hit the back of the chair of the woman directly in front of me and to my left. I apologized, and, in a jokey, but NICE manner, told her, "Don't worry, I won't kick your chair throughout the movie."

That was that.

About three minutes later (not EVEN to the previews, yet), she and her partner, glare back at me and Tyler and say "You're not going to talk throughout the whole movie, either, right?"


ME: "um, no..." (*quizzical look on face*)

Tyler and I looked at each other, like, "what did we do?" and started giggling, of course.

About 30 seconds later, the women stood up and moved one row down. It was just a funny incident.

07 January 2006

First week of 2006

It's been a good week. There was a rough patch here or there, but all-in-all, 2006 is off to a great start.


- New Year's Party!

- Driving down to Monterey on Monday to go to the aquarium with Dennis. With sting-rays to pet, beautiful vistas and good conversation, what's not to like?

- Getting back to salsa class on Tuesday. I hadn't seen Jaime in a long time, and it was good to get back in the *groove* of things.

- Friday night workout/dinner/movie with AZ. We saw Match Point, which was very interesting.

-Saturday sleeping in a little, followed by dance aerobics with a Will Ferrell-esque instructor, getting to reconnect with my roomie (hadn't really seen each other in a while), dinner with Dennis at the best pizza place in town, followed by Ruben's concert at the Bazaar Cafe.

-Sunday will bring my first worship service of 2006, and then a trip up to Sonoma with Tyler, to pick up some wine. (Hopefully, it will not be raining!)

Thanks for the love, y'all

Just want to say thank you for
1. Wow. Actually reading my rant
2. Giving me some words of encouragement the last couple of days (in person or online)

They are much appreciated, and do not go unnoticed. Much love right back!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program . . .

05 January 2006

Must've been a slow news day in SF

But I love that C-3PO was on the cover of today's Datebook section.

Pardon my French*

*you've been warned*

I woke up this morning exhausted. And I went to bed early. And while it has been a good day, I've had this feeling of dread just niggling at me...

Were I not a spiritually-minded person, I would venture to say that it's only just the post-holiday slump, which most of us go into during the, um, post-holiday season.

But fuck that. I believe---I know---that it IS spiritual in part. I should have seen it coming. I resolve to get on the right track with God, and *splat* the "what if's" have been flung full force at me. Literally overnight. I went to bed in a cloud of prayer and full of the Word and Spirit. Fast foward to my drive home from work, during which I almost started crying. And it's SO not PMS. I have heavy things on my mind and heart - which is fine - but they shouldn't just overwhelm me so suddenly, right?

I need to get these out:

What if mom ends up with open heart surgery this month? She doesn't do well with surgeries, and in all honesty, she might not make it. I am worried about her, whether she makes it through or not! This snowballs into worry for my father - in both cases - and worry for their relationship...they are on SUCH different levels. He's almost more of a caretaker than a husband, it seems, from my perspective. But I'm not them. Satan get thee back!

What if I succeed as a singer? What if I don't? What's keeping me from really pursuing this...fear of success or fear of failure? Or truly just that I don't want to do it? Or what? And why the hell am I doubting myself so much. Satan get thee back!

Why the hell do I have an email from a particular person asking me about my love life?? It's none of his damn business - he's just jealous, I guess. Satan get thee back!

"WHY ARE YOU EVEN PRETENDING TO TRY?" are the words I felt hitting me on my drive home from work. "FUCK YOU...FUCK THE WHAT IFS" is what I mutter under my breath at that lie. Satan get thee back.

I can choose to give in. Or I can choose to fight. I choose the latter.

"...take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Eph. 6:16). And I imagine my shield to be like that of Peter Pevensie...with a large Lion on it. A tangible object for me to visualize for this spiritual battle.

04 January 2006

Rose Bowl

So, it's January 4th, Rose Bowl Wednesday, and I find myself - game on in the background - a bit contemplative as I read emails from various friends, and muse over what I have to do, want to do, need to do and should do in 2006.

I fear I might be getting back into a 'music rut'. Just two months ago, I was so gung-ho about putting a recital together for March, and now I'm just so-so about it. I don't know what my deal is. One area of life starts coming together, while another one starts slacking off. It's like I'm a "Sim" version of myself. My employement meter goes up, while my creative meter goes down. Or, relationship meter suffers, while professional endeavors soar. I suppose this happens to everyone, but I always feel like I am letting folks down when it happens in my life. And by folks, I guess I mean my parents, music mentors, and, to some extent even some friends.

I know right now the best thing for me to do is to turn my sights up! To God! Frankly, that is one of my "I'm-not-going-to-call-it-a-resolution-because-resolutions-get-broken" for 2006: to prioritize my daily life around God. This time last year found me in a very different place! I was: without steady income - but singing in a show, grieving over a lost relationship (boy did that get tricky...), depending on just my own resources, and unwilling to really ask for help with most of this. I had a lot of growing pains in 2005; it was a trying year in many ways, and, honestly, I wouldn't have changed it one bit. There were also many, many wonderful things about 2005: lots of new friendships were made and experiences had that I now count among my fondest of memories.

I just got an email from a friend of mine, A, who has been working at an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico for the last two months. He writes every now and then, sharing his experiences and prayer requests with his friends and family. In this last letter, he shared an old journal entry, and I was glad to read it. I don't fell like this myself - right now - but, I was refreshed, nonetheless:

"I don't know if i can go on and I am certain that I can not in my own power. I feel defeated lost and confused. I have never felt this hopelessness that has swept over me in the past few weeks, and the darkness has grown around me. I have taken in the poisonous vile of the evil ones telling me, "You can't do it, you are a failure, God has left you here all alone.

Now I push them out and grasp for the healing touch of my savior. I call out to him, "Who do you say that I am?" I breath deep and as I inhale life enters in and I know that I am his son whom he loves. I am his brother whom he died for. I am already victorious, and I am not and have never been alone. The God of my fathers and my fathers fathers has claimed this soul and cherished me. "God I do not know if I can go on"

"You can" he replies, and his breath of life falls upon me, rests upon my chest, and I feel the life that that passes through me. I lay back and my chest rises and falls rises and falls rise and fall. When I close my eyes I envision the air in my chest pass from his lips and journey to my brothers all over the world. Sheltering them - giving them courage to keep going to - hold on. They draw his breath and find strength to fight back the words that attack their wills, His will. They are restored. They Fight. I Fight with them."

I hope this finds you in good times, that you are happy, that you are grateful and have the love and support of other around you. Take it in and appreciate it, because you will not always feel that way. We all feel alone. We all feel tired and next time you do remember that you are not alone and that there is breath to go on.

I look forward to 2006, and I am excited about all of the potential it holds. I will cherish the time I have and the people I get to be with. I will pray for you, my friends and family, and would that you pray for me, too. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17).

03 January 2006

"10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 . . . "

I rang in the new year with the loveliest group of people; we were in our own little bubble of laughter, good cheer, love, joy and hope for all that 2006 would be (all that and fondue, too).

I have to admit that I was a little concerned about how the evening would work out, for a few reasons. One of which being that I wasn't flying back to SF until the 31st. But, my plane was only slightly late, and I had the the blessing of a ride home from the airport (thanks to DGS)!

Upon arriving home, there were groceries to be bought, and an ever-growing guest list with which to contend. I was worried about the fact that there were several "unknowns" coming to the event: friends of friends, about whom little or nothing was known. I think I was worried because I was tired and - (believe it or not) - being a person more inclined to introvertedness, I was just coming from a week of no 'alone time' into a party situation with strangers! Ack!

But, not to fear, as the group really gelled well: there was a neat cross-section of social circles involved, and all were open and glad to make new friends.

One last pre-party worry was the curious disappearance of my fondue pot. Not good when one is hosting a fondue-themed party. I'm sure I must've let someone borrow it last year, but I've no recollection of whom. Oh well. We attempted to use the crock pot, but that fell on the floor, and is no more.

Once the party was under way, all was well. Food and drink flowed, spirits soared, and competitive natures reared up during our game of Taboo. We rang in the new year with Dick Clark (on time-delay, of course), toasted champagne and sparkling cider to all of our new friendships, and even stole a midnight kiss or two. A weak attempt was made at trying to sing "Auld Lang Syne"...but no one remembered all of the words!

The party continued to the wee bits of the morning: some folks leaving intermittently throughout the night, some staying on to watch "Reality Bites" in the first few hours of 2006. By 5am, the majority had left, with a couple folks crashing at my place, thoroughly exhausted but (I hope) happy.

All-in-all, that's what I call a successful New Year's Eve Party.

Best of the New Year to you and yours! Here's to 2006!