30 December 2008

back in the bay area...

...where the air is heavier and the crowd diverse. And homemade ramen
is found just down the street. I felt both culture shock and
comfortable relief overcome me whilst walking around town today. I
guess that's what happens when you come home after having been *home*.

29 December 2008

'Tis the season, still

We're trying to hold on that Christmas spirit as long as possible here. Drove back down from the mountains today and now have to pack to fly back to SF tomorrow. Ugh. I don't like when vacations end!!!

Tonight, though, we'll have dinner out and possibly see a move. I've not seen any movies this trip, which is weird, because I usually see a few over Christmas. We've just had too many fun parties to attend!

karma

so today my mom took a nap...but she fell asleep holding an open water
bottle...which eventually leaked all over her. I am a horrible
daughter to admit that this was funny. Actually...she had a good laugh
at it, too - once she changed clothes...

27 December 2008

lessons learned

1. -4 degrees is cold.
2. long underwear is truly a blessing
3. no matter the temperature, if I sass my mother she WILL douse me with a waterbottle

26 December 2008

whohooo

I am sleepy. Finally hit my wall, I think. But definitely had fun in the process. What is it about the combination of holidays and family and chaos that just gets everyone all riled up?

Nothing a shot of wild turkey whilst spiking the eggnog won't cure, say I! hahaha

25 December 2008

I'm keeping an eye out for Santa

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!

On the eve

On the eve of Christmas this year, I found myself singing Silent Night at a candlelight service, tears welling up in my eyes as my heart bursts forth with love. I am so so blessed with a wonderful family and amazing friends all over the globe. God is good, indeed.

23 December 2008

Dogs and babies and presents, oh my!

I spent most of my day surrounded by short people. Short, as in, under 5 years old. It was lovely. There were also four-legged friends involved (I'm totally allergy-face right now, but it was totally worth it). First, we had some family pass through on their way to the mountains. I got to bestow my "Vehicles of STAR WARS" book upon my little 4-year old second cousin. He was thrilled. As was I.
Then, this evening was spent at my "second mom's" house with her family and our close friends from forever...a circle which now includes my favorite little munchkins: Addie (2); Clark (1); and Carter (4mos). The only one missing was Lake (4 mos, I think), who is spending Christmas in Texas. (And yes - to the munchkin's mommies - it is one of my biggest joys to spoil your kiddos...it'll be a loooong while before we have any of our own in our immediate family...ha!)

All in all, a wonderful day...now time for a hit of benedryl an dreamland....zzzzz

22 December 2008

Life is good

Life is good. I'm here in Denver with friends and family and about to go have dinner.
Hopefully I might actually do my Christmas cards here (I dragged them here in my luggage, so they HAVE to be done.)
We'll see.
Hope everyone is having a good week!

21 December 2008

Friday...err...Sunday Five - Countdown to Christmas Edition

There are only five three full days before Christmas Day, and whether you use them for shopping, wrapping, preaching, worshiping, singing or traveling or even wishing the whole darn thing were over last Tuesday, there's a good chance they will be busy ones.
So let's make this easy, if we can: tell us five things you need to accomplish before Christmas Eve.

1. Wrap gifts
2. Send Christmas cards (realllllly late this year)
3. Cross fingers and hope Mom's gift arrives on time
4. Costco run for Sibling's party
5. Keep Mom sane

20 December 2008

finally home!

Sibling and I finallt made it in at 2:30am...whohooo...i went to bed
just as the clock said 5am. Sleepy time....

19 December 2008

Pray pray pray

One of my very close friends lives in Dallas. His wife just had a HUGE and unthinkable tragedy befall her family. I am not going to link up to the story. But it is horrific. Please pray for their family. Thanks.
 

I think

I will be able to sleep on the airplane tomorrow. Because I am going to be up very late tonight. Again. So. Keeping this real short!!!r

17 December 2008

Traditions

Describe what goes on for you and your house and your family for Christmas:

My typical Christmas morning begins with my dad waking up everyone else - bringing us all coffee in bed - and scratching our backs. This has been the M.O. in our house for as long as I can remember on *any* morning when I am at home - not just Christmas. Mom usually starts a pot of grits, and we open stockings together (we all play Santa these days for one another). After stockings we eat breakfast, and then head downstairs to the basement where the Christmas tree is and open the wrapped packages. Peppered throughout the morning are phone calls from friends and family scattered across the globe. And music - we definitely listen to Christmas music.

The best thing about Christmas is being with my family and close friends. Truly, I have been blessed with an amazing community back home - and I relish the time I get to spend among my 'tribe' of folks. And the snow - I love a white Christmas, I have to say.

The worst thing about Christmas is some of the stress leading up to the actual holiday. Have you noticed? People get crazy; work gets crazy; traffic gets bad; the end-of-the-year madness sets in.

My gift giving philosophy is that I unabashedly give gifst. Little ones, big ones, random ones. Even anonymously. It is one of my love languages - how I express my love for people. I might go over the top some times - but it's not because I expect a gift in return. Just a "thank you" would suffice. Some folks don't really know how to react to that - but I think it is just a function of how I was raised: my father is like that. He is a shy man, so his words are few, but his expression of love is manifested through giving and his generosity. Both my brother and I picked that up, I think.

Shopping destinations: internet, Borders, cost plus, random stores as I come across them, walgreens.

Budget: Um...I don't really have one. I have folks I get Christmas packages for every year, and I try to get an even number of things for the family...but usually, I get something I think a person will really like.

Receiving gifts is not something I expect. It's not why I give. But hey, it's always nice to get gifts, hahah!

Decorations at my house are not up this year. We don't have a tree, but then, I'm not here really during the holidays. My folks' house will be all decked out.

Theme - n/a

The tree was fake. And was taken over by a mouse in the outside storage bin. And is now in the trash.

My decorating wish is to not have a mouse-eaten tree. Next year!

The menu will be traditional and potluck. As usual!

The vibe is loving!

Your best timesaver tips...uh. Can't answer on that one.

The wow factor could be having a white Christmas!

Preparing for guests over New Year's, actually, will entail decrapping the living room.

On the day after Christmas I'll be helping to throw an engagement party for Sibling and his fiancee. Yay!

Getting in the Christmas spirit

It is cold and crisp here - our high was in the 40s today - which just doesn''t happen here. Like, ever. It's strange, but every time I step outside, I take a deep breath and enjoy the cold on my skin. I can see my breath in the air and briskly head to my next destination. And the whole while? I'm humming a carol under my breath. 'Tis the season, indeed.

The weather is just helping the fact that everything else about Christmas seems to have snuck up on me. I've been seriously caught off guard this year. Maybe because Thanksgiving was so late? I don't know, but MAN, I'm leaving for home this Friday and I am just running fast and furious until then. But I can't wait. Yay!

16 December 2008

so wrong and yet

I can't help but love robot chicken on adult swim. It makes me laugh out loud.

15 December 2008

Fun for the whole family!

In random order - my weekend:
1. Wonderfully bizarre French film;
2. Brunch with Sibling;
3. Dicken's Fair;
4. Absinthe;
5. Drag Queen Christmas spectacular-spectacular;
6. Fancy-schmancy dress up party at City Hall for a tech company;
7. Rehearsal (including, but not limited to, my hitting on a mannequin);
8. Finding out that yes, a female burlesque performer *will* do a striptease for her audience, even if said audience is completely made up of gay men and straight women;
9. Finding out that there *are* such things as Santa Hat pasties (see #8, above);
10. Four full champagne flutes spilling makes a big mess. Especially if you are the recipient of said mess and you are dressed up for a fancy-schmancy party at City Hall;
11. Downtown at Christmas time is one sure way to get an instant dose of Christmas-spirit. People, lites, music and decorations everywhere!

13 December 2008

update

my aunt is responding to antibiotics used in the treatment of ecoli
bacteria...so we think that is what wa causing the intestinal
bleeding...which, int the grand scheme of things, is much less serious
than some of the alternatives! She is still in the hospital for now.
Thank you all for the prayers!

pray

My Aunt went into the ER yesterday morning - docs don't know what's wrong just yet. Hopefully will find out soon. (All I know is she has had some major blood loss....possibly something like diverticulits? Not sure.)

She lives in Shreveport...divorced...her son lives in DC...so, she doesn't have family close by to her. However, she does have some amazing friends - and for that, I am immensely grateful.

12 December 2008

Friday Five - Windows of the Soul

1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family? Mine are blue - like both my mother and father. My sibling? He has hazel eyes...go figure.

2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them? Purple!

3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like 'em or hate 'em?Soft Contacts. I can't see anything without them. I also have glasses, but prefer the contacts.

4. Ever had, or contemplated, laser surgery? Happy with the results?Contemplated, yes, but my astigmatism is so bad that even with laser surgery, I'd still have to wear corrective lenses!

5. Do you like to look people in the eye, or are you more eye-shy?Depends on the situation. If I'm really nervous, I can be eye-shy.

Bonus question: Share a poem, song, or prayer that relates to eyes and seeing. In Your Eyes, by Peter Gabriel. Still my all-time favorite song.

borrowing a post

...from Buck today, since it is late and I cannot string more than one sentence together...ha!

100 Things I've done/not done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (lived there)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Only if Louisiana counts!)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I guess?...odd question)

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkeling)

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (assuming fish count)
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (George Burns)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cellphone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

10 December 2008

rollercoastering

I didn't end up going to the fancy-dancy event tonight, afterall. I was going too, but then got caught up doing other stuff.

And, by other stuff, I mean singing Christmas songs up at the SF VA Hospital. A bunch of us went and sang in the convalescent home part of the campus - and it was a great night. Lots of the guys staying up there couldn't get out of bed, but they joined right in the singing when we went to see them. Many had special requests, and Silent Night was probably our most-requested carol. It was fun to sing and talk with the folks (staff and patients alike) at the VA. It was not all fun and games, though - some of it made my insides melt. Watching people tear up because you've stopped to thank them and bring them a little holiday cheer . . . that is touching.

I was going to attempt to go to the VA, then head home to change into formalwear and head out to the fancy party...but...that didn't happen. I got home at 10pm - and the party is an hour away from my house. AND, I wouldn't have been able to drink some liquid courage once I got there since I'm still on antibiotics for an ear/sinus infection. The bonus part was that since I came home instead of going back out to BFE, I had the opportunity to talk with M on the phone prior to his final departure from SF tomorrow morning. Alas and alack, am once again reminded of just how transient a city this is - that and I still hate saying goodbye to people.

so

Tomorrow night, I'm supposed to go to a swankity swank party being held in the East Bay as a fundraiser for a local theater company I work with a lot here. I'm looking forward to it just by virtue of the fact that I get to get all gussied up.

However...networking? Networking and schmoozing do not come naturally to me. They are definitely nurture not nature for me. But I'm hoping that a glass of wine will help in the department....heh!

07 December 2008

Goes with the territory

And people think that opera singers are a bit inclined toward the dramatic...check out our most famous audience in the world.

Sometimes I marvel that I am not more crazy than I am. Seriously.

sometimes you're in, sometimes you're out

(Or so I'm told).


What do cupcakes, cardboard dioramas and Heidi Klum cut-outs have to do with each other? These magical items all add up to create "project cupcake birthday extravaganza."

AZ had a vision of a design-your-own cupcake competition, and I think we can say that said vision was fulfilled this evening. You'd think you'd entered an elementary school bake sale - not a room full of 30somethings - the way we were carrying on with those toppings! It was fantastic.

I took a few pics, and will upload them soon.
My favorites were:
Stonehenge
Darth Vader
The Spanish and French Armadas (oh yes)
The one with broccoli coming out of it

Good times had by all.

04 December 2008

The Christmas Letter

Two years ago, I started writing "The Christmas Letter" update. I never thought I would ever do that, but I did. And a lot of my family and far-away friends liked reading it.

I've been trying to write this years, but I got nothing so far. I think I was too witty the first time - set the bar too high hahaha.

Or, it could be that I'm not feeling so hot.

Oh well. I'm going to sleep on it. Gotta big weekend ahead!

03 December 2008

I still

I still can't believe that it is December already.

In that vein - some music for you:

02 December 2008

This photo would definitely be worth 1,000 words

My father is a big fan of velour jogging suits - they are his ideal after-work outfit during the winter months. In fact, I cannot remember a time when he did NOT sport these suits - they are as much a part of my dad as are his moustache or ponytail. (And to those Sopranos fans out there - my dad is quite the antithesis of a Mobster...merely a coincidence in clothing choice. But I digress.)

When I was home this last weekend, Dad donned one of his trademark velour ensembles. However, upon further inspection, I noticed that the top and bottom pieces did not match. Clearly, this was not a mistake - my father always wears matching sets - and never mixes and matches. I commented upon the brown/white top with the dark blue pants, and asked where his brown pants were...

"Oh, well, your mother cut them off just below the knees and I don't have them anymore."

"What? Why on earth did she do that?"

"Because I was Carmelo Anthony."

"I'm sorry . . . what did you just say?"

"We had a Sunday School costume party, and I dressed as Carmelo Anthony - and those were my basketball shorts."

"Wait...WHAT?"

(Mom chirping in): "He had long shorts, a Nuggets shirt and wore his doo-rag." [Yes, my father has an *actual* doo-rag, not just a bandana - I've seen it in action.]

"Was this for Halloween?"

"Ooh, no. This was back in the Spring - we just had a costume party. And I took [Sibling's] basketball with me and bounced it around. It was fun!"

"Well, what did mom go as?"

"Oh...I don't remember. She had on some crazy wig."

"And you were Carmelo Anthony..."

"Yep."



All I have to say is that I come by "teh silly" honestly. And perhaps my love of costumery is genetic, as well :)

in another world, far, far away

Our family has another very close family friend who just deployed out to the desert last month. I got the news today that 2 men in his (Marine) unit were KIA.

So, if you think about it, send up a prayer for J and his family back here in the states (wife L and three kiddos)...he's a Navy doc with said Marine unit and things are off to a heavy start.

30 November 2008

Since when . . .

. . . does December begin tomorrow?? With Thanksgiving so late in the game this year, I find myself having slid seamlessly from this holiday to the Christmas season. (It is even already the first Sunday of Advent). I opened my email today to a bombardment of holiday invitations and events - so many fun things to look forward to this month!

It is snowing here in Denver now, and makes for good snuggling up under blankets by the fire. With hot tea. And a book. (Though, in my case, it is not so much a book as it is my score which needs to be memorized this week!)

I just hope my flight back to the city later tonight runs on time . . . we'll see!

29 November 2008

19 degrees

It was 19 degrees and snowing gangbusterswhen we crossed back over the
mountains tonight...gorgeous! I just crawled into bed...yes, it is 7:30 pm my time...but I am still fighting off our office funk, I think. So, one shower, one melatonin and one extremely comfy bed (not to mention one getting "tucked-in" by mom) later...and off to dreamland go I!

28 November 2008

home

Headed up to the mountains today . . . bliss! And no connection to the real world!

We went to P's parents house for Thanksgiving day celebrations (that is where we have celebrated for many years running, now) and especially nice was that both I and his folks got an email from P yesterday morning (I read mine while at the airport at 4:45 a.m.). Anyway, his dad gave me one of his "remember" bracelets. Basically, it's the Lance Armstrong Livestrong bracelet but in grey, and with P's name on it. We'll wear them until he is safely redeployed back to the states. (The idea was a birthday gift to his mother from one of our other family friends).

I am very grateful for my family, extended family and friends - every one a precious treasure.

27 November 2008

Blessings

Blessings to all you and yours for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

26 November 2008

And so it begins

I caved today.

I voluntarily started listening to Christmas music.

All month long I've heard it in the grocery store...but today, I consciously made the decision to flip to that radio station.

And I was so happy!

25 November 2008

more hilarity

h/t to Jen for this lovely gem...

adventures in cooking

We have a huge amount of fish in our freezer (all caught in Alaska this August).
Seeing as my last attempt at broiling some of it up was rather successful, I decided to try that again last night.

I defrost the fish - it's a thick piece - but get it defrosted (or so I think). And heat up the broiler. 550 degrees fahrenheit, baby!

So, I sprinkle said fish generously with lemon pepper (tasty) and pop it in. Last time I cooked this fish, 5 minutes was not enough. However - I was also cooking three times as much fish. Did that cross my mind? No.

So - I set the timer for 10 minutes.

About 6 minutes later, I hear the oven fan make a funny noise. I walk into the kitchen to see smoke pouring out of the vent in the back. BAD. NEWS.

I turn off the oven, run open the back door for air, and grab the little fan I have in my bedroom and set it up on the stovetop (safety first temporarily thrown to the wind). I'm praying that the smoke does not set off my sprinklers (and thus the sprinklers for the entire floor of my apartment building), and flapping my front door open and shut as my neighbors wander by to collect their mail.

I finally get all the smoke cleared out (mmm...smells like burnt lemon pepper) and look at the fish. Other than having a hard lemony-pepper crust on it now, the fish itself, due to its thickness, seems to be okay. Not that overdone. But then, when I get to the middle part - the thickest part - the fish is not done - it had still been a little frozen there. Of course.

I ate around that part, and will just...deal with the leftovers as I come to them.

Julia Child, eat your heart out!

Anyone have any good halibut recipes? (Ones which will not endanger my house?)

24 November 2008

Reverse H8tred still going strong

This out-of-scale attempt to isolate and intimidate decidedly small players in the Yes on 8 campaign is no way to win the issue in a court of law or the court of public opinion.


And so, the saga continues.

23 November 2008

Sunday evening laugh

h/t to AZ

22 November 2008

lovely

It has been a gorgeous day today . . . sunny, warm...who would have thunk it is practically Thanksgiving?

I went up to Marin today for lunch and to hike with some friends in this place called Tennessee Valley. Very lovely - I'd never been up there before.

Now, headed to a going away party for a good friend of mine...I guess that's just the thing about SF - it's such a transient place, and saying "goodbye" to folks never gets easier. But, I try and frame it in my mind that, well, I just have a lot of fun places to go visit!

21 November 2008

Friday Five - Mix & Stir

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it? Yes, I do have a food processor. I have a small cuisinart combo with a blender top as well as a hand-me-down regular size cuisinart from my mom. I use the regular one more often - mostly for making pesto.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? No, not usually.

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties? I do have a standing mixer - one of the retro ones - and I use it when I bake!

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much? I don't use it often.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most? Wooden spoons. I use them all the time.

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it? It's not an appliance or utensil - but I tend to use my loaf pans only around the holidays for making pumpkin bread. I don't make it year-round.

20 November 2008

iTunes survey

Just a fun thing I've not done in a while...since I put iTunes on my new computer...feel free to fill out your own!

Open iTunes, Winamp or Windows Media Player to answer the following. Go to your library. Answer, no matter how embarrassing it is.

Number of songs: 378
Sort by song -
First Song: Adios (Jennifer Lopez)
Last Song: Your Love Oh Lord (Third Day)

Sort by time-
Shortest song: 0:53 seconds (Janine 2 by Camille)
Longest Song: 18:19 excerpt from The Merry Wives of Windsor (Nicolai)

Sort by artist-
First Artist: Aaron Goldberg
Last Artist: 1 Voice

Sort by album-
First Album: African Salsa
Last Album: The 50 Greatest Love Songs

Search the key word and see how many songs appear:
"Sex": 0
"Death": 0
"Love": 12
"You": 48
"Me": 88
"Drugs": 0
"Hate": 2
Search for your own name, how many?: 1

Do The Shuffle!
Shuffle your library and list the first five songs. No padding your playlist you hipster, you. Be honest!
1) La llave - Eddie Palmieri
2) Pas D'Histoires - Eddie Palmieri
3) Once Again - Matt Redman
4) Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Marvin Gaye
5) Feedback - Ojos de Brujo

19 November 2008

hahahah okay

one more . . .

haha

Jesse posted a hilarious video called "MANtage" yesterday (check it out here).

I decided to follow the link at the end of MANtage to the website run by its makers - a pair of funnymen who call themselves Barats & Bereta. I have to say, I couldn't help but laugh out loud watching their videos. Just tickled my funny bone.

Here's a random taste for you:
Bible In A Minute - barats and bereta

and so it starts back up

Had my first full-length rehearsal tonight for my new show. It's going to be a lot of fun, I think - and I'm especially enjoying getting to see some of my friends again whom I've not seen in a while - but I have to admit that getting back into the practice of...practice...has been a little difficult this time around.
Parts of my brain lay dormant for me after spending some time fallow. The parts needed to learn music, sing, memorize things are all a little rusty. They'll get there, I'm sure, once we get more underway in our preparations.

17 November 2008

My Thoughts Exactly

16 November 2008

Next thing you know, I'll be hitting up the early bird specials at Denny's

It's 6:47pm as I type this and I could totally crawl into bed and call it a night right now. Strange. Hopefully it's not a sign of getting sick. (That would be awesome - haven't had any problems whatsoever for two months, and the week I start up rehearsals for my new show get sick? Ack! Here's hoping that's not the caes!!)

15 November 2008

good day

It's been a lovely Saturday - a strangely hot one at 80+ degrees here in SF - but that's beside the point, I guess.

I could just do a detailed retelling of the entire day, but, eh...I'm a little tired, so here are the highlights:
-Arabic Class;
-Farmers market with lots of delicious delights and great people watching;
-Getting caught in the aftermath of the prop 8 rally (got stuck on a bus for a while);
-Finding out from P's mom that P's BN might be redeployed way earlier than thought. (You never know - but it would be awesome if those rumors were true);
-Finally cooking some of our Alaskan Halibut with AZ...it was tasty!

14 November 2008

Friday Five - Remembrance Day

This week's Friday Five invites reflection on the theme of remembrance, which is also present in the feasts of All Saints, celebrated in many liturgical churches on November 1, and All Souls--known in Latin cultures as the Day of the Dead--celebrated in some the following day.

1. Did your church have any special celebrations for All Saints/All Soul's Day?
No.

2. How about Veterans' Day?
Nope - no one said a word.

3. Did you and your family have a holiday for Veterans' Day/Remembrance Day? If so, how did you take advantage of the break?
I did not have a holiday. I went to work on the 11th...but definitely spent a great deal of time reflecting on the day and its meaning.

4. Is there a veteran in your life, living or dead, whose dedication you remember and celebrate? Or perhaps a loved one presently serving in the armed forces?
Every Veterans' Day brings to mind my grandfather, "Red" (cause of the red hair!). He was an Army Major and served in the Signal Corps during WWII, Korea & Vietnam. I was three or four when he passed away - but I still have a couple distinct memories of him. There are so many things I would have loved to asked him about...life in general, really.
As far as people currenty serving in the armed forces...I know many. Some are family members, others close friends (who, for all intents and purposes, are part of my extended family): cousin M in VA; cousin J in MD and about to deploy; P in the Desert; H in FL; J in Italy. I also know a great deal of military folks via the magic of technology.


5. Do you have any personal rituals which help you remember and connect with loved ones who have passed on? Listening to Big Band Music. Asking my mom to tell stories about my grandfather. Praying.

life

I'm drained. It's been a long week and I'm ready for the weekend. Not sure that it will really help me recharge, though. I'm singing on a memorial service on Sunday. The father of one of my singing colleagues passed away very suddenly, and a group of us will be singing a few quartets for his service.
As mournful as these occasions are, however, I actually...enjoy is not the right word...but don't mind doing them, I guess. In some weird sense, I find it extremely satisfying - that perhaps I can help someone who needs to grieve by providing means or excuse through beauty in the form of music. For some, music can be worshipful, for others, a means of release. Whatever the effect - I know that, personally, music has always been of utmost importance to my own grieving process - and I like to be able to give back to other people in that way. Much more than performing on a stage, singing at weddings or other types of events - being asked to sing at memorial services and funerals is (for me) the most noble way I feel I can ever use this gift of song.

12 November 2008

I voted No

I voted No on Prop 8 because Britney Spears married and divorced within 48 hours.

I voted No on Prop 8 because I can get married in a drive-thru wedding chapel, if I so choose.

I voted No on Prop 8 because you love each other.

I voted No on Prop 8 because I work with you; for you; alongside you.

I voted No on Prop 8 because I have laughed with you, cried with you, sung with you, cheered with you and conspired with you.

I voted No on Prop 8 because I respect you as artists, as leaders, as friends and as human beings.

I voted No on Prop 8 and I didn’t lose a lick of sleep over it.

I voted No on Prop 8 and I am a Christian, but I don’t always see our legislature through that lens.

I voted No on Prop 8 and I have never, ever been ashamed of my beliefs.

I voted No on Prop 8 and I have never, ever been ashamed of my artistic community in the Bay Area.

I voted No on Prop 8 . . . but today I am appalled by the hatred and vitriol which I have seen unleashed over the last two days.

I voted No on Prop 8 . . . but today I am confused as to why tolerance is the self-proclaimed modus operandi of the Bay Area, when so clearly it is not.

I voted No on Prop 8 . . . but today I am saddened that someone who made his lifework supporting the arts has been forced to quit his job.

I voted No on Prop 8 . . . and the last time I checked, we still have the freedoms of speech and religion in this country.

I voted No on Prop 8 . . . but today I am ashamed that extremism rears its ugly head and spoils the barrel.

I voted No. But I didn't say yes to all of this.



I voted No on Prop 8 and I believe that we are commanded to love one another, and to treat each other as we wish to be treated.

11 November 2008

Let Us Not Forget

A big Thank You to all our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.







10 November 2008

Semper Fi

Happy 233rd Birthday to our United States Marine Corps!

November...!

It's November! (And has been for nine days now, yes, I know).

And November means pumpkin bread, which I made about a week ago. Some I took to work, some we kept at home, and some I attempted to send to P in with some other goodies for a care package. Now, I'm a smart girl, but I didn't *exactly* think that last thing through.

Here's the deal - I made the pumpkin bread, let it cool off, then wrapped it really tightly in foil and saran. For some reason, I also stuck it in the freezer overnight. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

This is what I didn't take into consideration: logistics.

Time for package to get from SF to The Desert: 8ish days.
Rate of frequency of mail delivery from the FOB to the COP: twiceish/month
Time lapse between the mailing and the opening of package: 8 - 22 days (optimisically speaking)
Probability that by the time package is opened, pumpkin bread will have turned fantastically moldy: ugh...don't even want to go there.

Let's just say that it's a good thing P and I are friends. I'm hoping he'll just laugh it off with a WTF? and realize that no, I'm not trying to kill him with baked goods. I told my mom and she cracked up big time. I'm sure she's told P's parents, too . . . and they are probably cracking up as well.

*headsmack*

In other news, we have one friend back home who had wrist bands made (a la the yellow "Livestrong" bands) with P's name on them - the idea being that friends and family will wear them until the end of P's deployment. (I think this was said friend's bday gift to P's mother). It's a cool idea, and my mom said that Sibling and I had a couple coming to us in the mail. Something more to look forward to this November, anyway!

07 November 2008

Friday Five - Funny Papers

After an exhausting election here in the states it's time for some spirit lifting! Join me with a nice cup of tea or coffee or cocoa and let's sit back and read the Funny Papers!

1. What was your favorite comic strip as a child? Garfield, The Far Side and Fox Trot. I had allll of their books. As far as non-newspaper comics, I also loved and collected Archie Comic Books.

2. Which comic strip today most consistently tickles your funny bone? Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine both make me laugh out loud. Love them!

3. Which Peanuts character is closest to being you? Hmmm, as a child, definitely Lucy. I was the bossy older Sister and resented having a younger brother to take attention away from me. I've grown out of the resentment part - but I do sometimes still have that bossy streak.

4. Some say that comic strips have replaced philosophy as a paying job, so to speak. Does this ring true with you? Ummmm...sure. Why not. I think social commentary/philosophizing via comedy can be great. However, at other times, I would say that it's not appropriate. Sometimes you just want or need to laugh, you know?

5. What do you think the appeal is for the really long running comic strips like Blondie, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace as some examples? They are still relevant, I think, because they are universally themed and fun for the whole family. There are not that many entertainment options out there about which you can say that these days.

Bonus question: Which discontinued comic strip would you like to see back in print? Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side and Fox Trot.

Found

Every year, my grandmother used to take a road trip from her hometown of Mansfield, LA into Texas to look at the Bluebonnets blooming. One year, she bought Texas-shaped sunglasses, and she wore those things for a long time. (And not ironically - she totally rocked them).

After she passed away (in 1994), I became the proud owner of said sunglasses. I found them the other night in my bathroom after cleaning out the cabinets. Ahh...the memories :)


06 November 2008

About last night

I saw SF Opera's production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) last night. It's a romantic comedy of an opera, and the showcase tenor aria is by far my all-time favorite aria of all time.

I give you Una furtiva lagrima, as sung by Ramon Vargas (Nemorino in last night's production):

FAIL and UNFAIL parts two and three

FAIL Monday night:
Rolling black-outs all night long. (Thankfully, remembered to unplug computers and major appliances).

UNFAIL:
Managed to find flashlight and candles and matches in a timely fashion.
Remembered to set cell phone alarm clock so as not to oversleep for work.

FAIL Tuesday night:
Came home to a flooded bathroom...unknown WTF happened.

UNFAIL:
No permanent leaks.
Studly Greek plumber fixed the problem. (We think..!)

04 November 2008

Just Do It





03 November 2008

power outage

We're having rolling blackouts here tonight chez MezzoSF.
Not sure why - but it took me an hour to get to Spanish class tonight - a feat which normally would take 20 minutes (at most).
However, due to the unsually high number of emergency vehicles...I was 30 minutes late to class.
 
I think it all must be related. And perhaps it's a sign that I need to go to bed earlier tonight....
 
 
 
 
 

02 November 2008

Translation

Tears fall on my heart
Like the rain falls on the town.
What is this languor
Penetrating my heart?

Oh - sweet sound of rain
On the earth and the rooftops!
For an aching heart,
Oh - the aong of the rain!

Tears fall without reason
On this dishearted heart.
What? No betrayal?
This mourning is without reason.

It's truly the worst pain
To not know why,
Without love and without hatred,
My heart has so much pain.

01 November 2008

raindrops

It's a rainy day. This is good - we're in desperate need of rain around here.
I spent a good chunk of the day tromping around in the elements. When I got home this evening, I changed outta my wet clothes and snuggled under a warm blanket, read a little and listening to the rain falling outside. The sound of the raindrops reminded me of this poem I had to memorize in college for a class, and then later got to sing as the text of a Debussy song.

Il pleure dans mon coeur . . .

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville,
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon coeur?

O bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un coeur qui s'ennuie
O le chant de la pluie!

Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce coeur qui s'écoeure.
Quoi? nulle trahison?
Ce deuil est sans raison.

C'est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi,
Sans amour et sans haine,
Mon coeur a tant de peine.


-Paul Verlaine

À la recherche du temps . . . trouvé?

Out of the blue, it hits me: a song...(a memory). More often than not, a scent...(a memory). Or something caught on the edge of my vision...(a memory).

I re-live reality through rose-colored glasses.
Sufficient - for a while.
But now? Now it's more difficult. I think back. And I remember.

Remember the reactions. And the feelings.

Remember the smell and burn of the crisp night air.

Remember your battered old shirt - clearly Grunge-era.
Not that it mattered.
What mattered was the person wearing it.

These memories are difficult. Happy, but difficult.
They refuse to fade.
Blissfully tormenting my inner workings,
they grow stronger with each recollection.

Stronger with each song.

Stronger with each scent.

Stronger each time I catch a glimpse of someone who looks like you.
Dresses like you.
Walks like you.

In a moment of weakness, I escape to my memories and bring back the heavy-lidded gaze from your eyes, and I let that gaze capture mine.

Your eyes . . . reflecting joy and sorrow - or perhaps only weariness - simultaneously.

Your eyes . . . silently imploring me to listen back with mine own.
And I did - though still somewhat shyly.

So, you see? My problem is not forgetting my memories of you.
No, my problem is that I can't forget them. I don't want to forget them.
But, I fear, one day I might be circumstantially forced to forget them.

And that? That I could not bear.

31 October 2008

Friday Five - Positive Potpurri

1) Your work day is done and the brain is fried, what do you do? I go home and either go for a walk or - if I don't have time before rehearsal - make some tea to drink as I go through the mail or whatever score I'm working on at the moment.

2) Your work week is done and the brain is fried (for some Friday, others Sunday afternoon), what do you do? I like to chill on Friday evenings. Make a good dinner, have a glass of wine and read or possibly do something low-key with friends. Saturday nights? That could be a different story...hah!

3) Like most of us, I often keep myself busy even while programs are on the tv. I stop to watch The Office and 30 Rock on Thursday nights. Do you have 'stop everything' tv programming or books or events or projects that are totally 'for you' moments? I like to watch The Amazing Race and NCIS...but usually end up having to watch both online, as I'm usually never home to catch them live.

4) When was the last time you laughed, really laughed? What was so funny? I laughed a lot at work today, actually. We were cracking up about Halloween and the reasons one of my colleagues (who - as an actor - gets paid to dress up on a regular basis) hates dressing up for Halloween. It was funny.

5) What is a fairly common item that some people are willing to go cheap on, but you are not. I refuse to drink or buy "two-buck chuck" wine. I don't think it tastes good, but it's quite popular out here. Also? Shoes. I don't get shoes from payless - they never last very long, and I since have hard to fit feet (long and skinny), I want to get a good pair that will last me a long time.

30 October 2008

La Revancha del Tango

This song is by the French/Argentine nuevo tango group, The Gotan Project. (They were one of my discoveries in a F.N.A.C. store...where I spent a great deal of time - and francs.)

It's called Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre). Enjoy!


Doings

1. Make pumpkin bread done - though a tad *over* done, too...oops

2. Pack up pumpkin bread for care package done - with lots of saran and foil. Maybe it will still be edible when it gets to its destination...

3. Put care package together for P done - pumpkin bread included

4. Get plastic bins for bathroom cabinets done - Linens n' things is going out of business, which means cheap storage solutions!

5. Organizing the bathroom cabinets will have to happen tomorrow. Good times.

29 October 2008

Join Our DA, Vote No On Prop K

If you read past the first paragraph or two of Proposition K, you'll see that it lumps sexual slavery in with decriminalization of prostitution. This means that, if it passes, several currently entrapped (read: enslaved and trafficked) individuals (many in massage parlors in San Francisco) will be outside the protection of the city's law enforcement system. The resources that are currently available to police to investigate and prosecute these crimes and the money available for programs that help victims will CEASE if K passes.

Please visit the following sites for more info:
No On K website for more detailed info on this proposition
General info on human trafficking

UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center report on Trafficking

2006 SF Chronicle 4-part series on Human Trafficking (I just did a search for "Diary of a Sex Slave")

Folks against Prop K:
"It strips ALL funding to investigate human trafficking rings and prevents the district attorney's office from prosecuting prostitution-related crimes."-Kamala Harris, SF District Attorney


"Let's defeat this measure. Let's enforce the existing state laws against pimps, johns, and traffickers. Let's develop a progressive social policy and legal response to the human rights violations of trafficking and prostitution."
Allen Wilson, Member ACLU
Francise Braae, Interim Executive Director SAGE Project,
Ann Singer, Jewish Coalition to End Human Trafficking
Gretchen Richardson, Program Manager, Walden House
Roma Guy, Former Health Commissioner

Vote no on Prop K
-Kamala Harris


Vote no on Prop K!
-Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods

Vote no on Prop K.
-Citizens for a Better San Francisco

"Proposition K cuts funds for supporitng prostituted women in changing their lives. Don't abandon them to pimps and other predators. Vote No on K."
Elizabeth Boardman, Writer and Peace Activist
Mariza Penagos, HIV Services Activist
Aileen C. Hernandez, California Women's Agenda
Doreen Der-McLeod, Cameron House
Glenda Hope, Safehouse for Women
Rev. Norman Fong, Chinatown Community Development Corporation
Barry Hermanson, Green for Congress

"Sex traffickers flock to destinations where law enforcement ignores prostitution. Please don't vote for Measure K."

Pamela LoPinto San Francisco United for Women and Neighborhoods
Laurie Fields, Dept. of Psychiatry UCSF
Alicia Boccellari, Trauma Recovery Center

"Trafficked women are primarily women of color or immigrants. San Francisco is a hub for the sex trade in Asians (often captive in massage parlors), Latinos (used in Cantina bar prostitution), and African Americans (often sold on the street). Measure K will end funding for education services that help women and children escape their slavery. We oppose Measure K."

Ysmin Kaderali, Students and Artists Fighting to End Human Slavery
Andrea Bass, San Francisco United for Women and Neighborhoods
Kathleen Watkins, Prostitution Research and Education

27 October 2008

Artsy Quiz

Taken from Lou, who had this fun quiz posted up on her blog!

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Simple, Progressive, and Sensual

15 Ukiyo-e, 7 Islamic, 8 Impressionist, -11 Cubist, -16 Abstract and -2 Renaissance!


Ukiyo-e (浮世絵, Ukiyo-e), "pictures of the floating world", is a genre of Japaneseand paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries. it mostly featured landscapes, historic tales, theatre, and pleasure. Ukiyo is a rather impetuous urban culture that has bloomed in popularity. Although the Japanese were more strict and had many prohibitions it did not affect the rising merchant class and therefore became a floating art form that did not bind itself to the normal ideals of society.


People that chose Ukiyo-e art tend to be more simplistic yet elegant. They don't care much about new style but are comfortable in creating their own. They like the idea of living for the moment and enjoy giving and receiving pleasure. They may be more agreeable than other people and do not like to argue. They do not mind following traditions but are not afraid to move forward to experience other ideas in life. They tend to enjoy nature and the outdoors. They do not mind being more adventurous in their sexual experiences. They enjoy being popular and like being noticed. They have their own unique style of dress and of presenting themselves. They may also tend to be more business oriented or at the very least interested in money making adventures. They might make good entrepreneurs. They are progressive and adaptable.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

26 October 2008

This post brought to you by the letter "C"

Coca-Cola Cup (in Sacramento): Chocolate Cafe sign:


*Cheesy* Cocoa:

Cute Coopers (extra-mini):
Crazy-ass Cutters:

25 October 2008

fun

Today, as I walked by a laundromat, I noticed that inside the laundromat was a Hammond organ. For real. So, you can play some Funk while you get the funk outta your clothes. Made me happy to see that.

24 October 2008

Friday Five - Location

Tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there?

Well, I’ve only really lived about five cities, so this works out great.

1. Denver, CO: Truth be told, I grew up in the ‘burbs, but it’s easier to just say “Denver.” It was a great place to grow up – close to the mountains, lots of outdoor fun, friendly folks and good schools. Not to mention our sports teams! GO BRONCOS!!!!

2. Dallas, TX: I loved being in Texas for college. I knew I wanted to go far from home and wanted to be in the Southern United States. The fact that Texas is a different creature than the South was unbeknownst to me at the time . . . but I learned. And I had a wonderful time in Texas. I don’t know that I would choose to move back there anytime soon (too hot!) but I can see the appeal. (Still not a Cowboys fan, though...)

3. Paris, FRANCE: This city – more than anything – was and is my dream city. It was hard living there, to be sure – culture shock and all – but I loved it. I loved riding the metro (didn’t get to do that in the ‘burbs) and drinking coffee and just deciding to spend an hour or two in the Musee D’Orsay because it was a short trip away from school. *le sigh*

4. Lake Junaluska, NC: I spent a couple of summers as a working singer up at the Methodist retreat center in Lake Junaluska, situated right outside of the bustling metropolis (ha) of Wayesville in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Talk about small-town. But it was a lot of fun…mostly because of the people, but the scenery did not hurt. Those mountains are a lot different from the Rockies, but they have their own appeal.

5. San Francisco, CA: I’ve lived in my current city for 7 years and 2 months (but who’s counting?) It's a fun place!

22 October 2008

awesome

So, I broke two wine glasses this morning just as I was headed to open the door to let in the freezer repair man. It was a good start to the day!

Vacation Destination?

20 October 2008

FAIL

Hmmm . . . I *don't* think one's freezer is supposed to look like this. Sigh...


19 October 2008

I think

. . . I will just have to be okay with the fact that my Spanish test tomorrow is going to be one of those "on a wing-and-a-prayer" type of experiences.

I haven't been able to study much at all with the folks in town...

(Funny how that perfectionistic-student trait didn't die over the last few years of no longer being a student. If anything, it might be stronger in its reincarnation. hmmmm....)

18 October 2008

on your mark...

get set....

GO team!

Parents are in and currently at the grocery store getting apples and other things they like to snack on. We're having a special birthday dinner for my mom tonight, and tomorrow?

Tomorrow is Tina Turner concert #1. Woot!

17 October 2008

Friday Five - Coin Toss

1) When was the last time you flipped a coin or even saw one flipped in person?
I don't remember the last time I flipped a coin for any particular purpose...sometimes I just flip them for fun.

2) Do you have any foreign coins in your house? If so, where are they from?
We have a plethora of foreign coins . . . most of them at the moment are British Pounds, since Sibling just came back from London. Also - I know we have some arcade tokens and I have a Central City Teller House gambling coin that I've had for a few years. Someone special to me (at the time) gave it to me as a "good luck" singing charm. I'd forgotten all about it, but came across it in the pocket of an old purse earlier this week.

3) A penny saved is a penny earned, they say. But let's get serious. Is there a special place in heaven for pennies, or do you think they'll find a special place in, well, the other place? HA. I don't know. I have one friend who just throws pennies away, though (which is weird to me, even if the penny is rather worthless now.)

4) How much did you get from the tooth fairy when you were a child? and if you have children of your own, do they get coins, or paper money? (I hear there may be some inflation.)
Ooh. Good question - I think the tooth fairy may have left a dollar/tooth. The tooth fairy EVEN left me money for the tooth I couldn't leave under the pillow - one came out during a "tickle fight" and I swallowed it!

5) Did anyone in your household collect the state quarters? And did anyone in your household manage to sustain the interest required to stick with it?
My brother collects the state quarters - and yes, he has stuck with it. However, they are not organized in any particular way. Rather, his fiancee gave him a coin sorter last Christmas, and he only places the "special" quarters in there.

16 October 2008

seen, part 3

Yes, this was seen on a real-life, San Franciscan street. I couldn't believe it when I saw it, hence the picture for proof. (And, this was on a sidewalk in the Castro, of all places....)


USS Pinckney

Below are the pics from my trip aboard the USS Pinckney (DDG91) yesterday:

A view of the mast (300 feet at the moment....but that can change):

Helipad:


That's right, I'm standing in the Danger Zone Area:

The upper-most boat is named "Henrietta," after William Pinckney's wife:

My chair (or ... not):

Another view of the mast, satellites and the MK-16 CIWS (like the ones which used to have a hand-crank, but now mechanized):

.50 Calibur Browning Machine Gun:
The B.A.G. (Big Ass Gun) aka what I think is an MK-45:


Sign inside the bridge. (Let me tell you - I really wanted to tap the barometer after reading it!):

USS Pinckney in the sunset, later that evening:

14 October 2008

You sank my battleship!

(Remember that game? I loved it.)

Today I had the opportunity to tour the USS Pinckney Navy Destroyer Ship, in town for Fleet Week. (One of the perks of my current job is its location – I was able to walk on over and take the tour over my lunch hour.)

Before going, I knew that there were certain rules to follow: no skirts, must wear closed-toe shoes, no weapons, etc. But other than that, I had no idea what to expect, as I'd never availed myself of this particular Fleet Week activity.

I must say - I was not disappointed. It was really cool!

Granted, I only spent about 40 minutes on board, and not months at sea...but it was a neat experience to be aboard a fully functioning Destroyer.

Our “tour guide” was a Petty Officer 1st Class (if I remember correctly), but I don't remember his rating at the moment. We went from aft to forecastle(pronounced "foe-xal") and inside the bridge. There are about 300 crew (enlisted + officers) and she hails from San Diego. The name Pinckney comes from Navy Cook First Class William Pinckney, who received the Navy Cross after saving the life of a fellow crew member. And, to this day, because Pinckney did not like to eat beets, there are not - nor will there ever be - beets served for mess on the Pinckney. Ever.

(I'm just going to go ahead and apologize to to any actual Sailors and/or other Navy personnel out there - I know I'm butchering the lingo. I thought I knew a lot of military jargon, but with the Navy? Well...it's just completely different from everyone else!)

Security was tight...Navy folk milling about with machine guns, keeping an eye on the tourists. On the forecastle top deck, we saw the BAG (Big. Ass. Gun. - my own acronym). We had seen the 50-calibers mounted on the aft deck...but the BAG is way bigger than that, and only shoots about 20 rounds/minute. It was HUGE.

I took some pictures on my phone and will put them up tomorrow - legal pictures. (Shoot, the Navy has more pics up on their own website than I took on my little phone...so no OPSEC compromises there...)

Also - I'm not gonna lie - all that powerful machine gunnery? *Totally* hot.

13 October 2008

Meandering

Perfectly faded.
Broken in.
With a few holes here and there.
Loved.

No, not a favorite pair of jeans.

Perfectly faded, the tarnish of time gone by disguises the rough edges of actual occurences, leaving a smoothed-over surface behind.

Broken in from so many visits, recollections, rememberings, re-livings.

With a few holes here and there. Is that how events played out? Or I am remembering the way I wanted things to be, and not how they actually happenend?

Loved. Loving. Beloved. Loved ones. Warm and joyful memories carry us through to the making of new ones.

12 October 2008

food for thought

Figs are a very sensual fruit.

Greek yoghurt with fresh figs is a delicious dish.

Figs, yoghurt and Greek honey?

Now that's just about the best tasting thing on earth! mmmmm

11 October 2008

seen, part 2

More sights around my 'hood.



Friday Five - Business Trip

1. Does your job ever call for travel? Is this a joy or a burden? My day job - not so much. For singing I drive all over the Bay Area. It can be both a burden and a joy.

2. How about that of your spouse or partner? N/A

3. What was the best business trip you ever took?I don't know that this one applies, either.

4. ...and the worst, of course? Well, driving back and forth to Fairfield every night (up to 2 hours each way) kind of sucked.

5. What would make your next business trip perfect? Most of my business trips are road trips, so I would think one of those iPod adapters for the car radio so I can listen to my iPod when the radio stations just aren't doin' it for me.

09 October 2008

reflection

I vote absentee and I got my ballot in the mail today. It's sitting on my kitchen table...mocking me.

Well, okay. Not mocking me. But sitting there staring me down. Waiting for me to complete the arrows and make my choices.

On some things, I am certain. (NO ON PROP K!)

On other issues, not so certain.

And a few I really couldn't care less about.

When it all comes down to it...on local issues I feel like my vote counts. On national issues - especially my vote for the next POTUS - I know my vote doesn't *really* count. This is San Francisco, afterall. It doesn't matter for whom I vote. Our state is going Obama.

I honestly don't know if I will fill out that arrow yet or not.

Gotta remember my earplugs

...because the Blue Angels fly into town tomorrow afternoon, and my office is directly underneath their flight path. For the next two days, we get to watch them practice their dives, rolls and death-defying manouvers from our comfy waterfront perch. Good times!

07 October 2008

Coming at you via podcast

Okay, ladies and gents, our podcast has gone public.

If you have iTunes, go search for the "O-Line Mysteries" podcasts. Similar to a 1940s radio murder-mystery, these bad boys are free for your listening pleasure.

Murder? Check.
Intrigue? Check.
A crime-solving San Franciscan lesbian power duo? check.
The voice-over talent of yours truly? check.

All that and MORE. So go check them out!

(I'm in the "Garden Variety Murder" podcast...and I get to scream at the end. Good times.)

06 October 2008

It's official

The meeting of the families will be happening in Philly the first weekend of November.

No, no. It's not a mobster thing. It's an in-law thing.

(No, no. Not *my* in-law's...Sibling's future in-laws.)

Our two sets of parents could not be more different. Really. It's going to be a pretty hilarious occasion. My mom keeps asking me for topics of conversation they might be able to discuss. Religion? Nope. Politics? Most definitely not. Fishing? Maybe. ummmm Wedding planning? That'll have to do, I guess.

To have a video of the whole thing - now THAT would be good reality television.
For real.

05 October 2008

kids today

What happened? Seriously?

What just happened to good ole paper and pen (she asks as she writes types her blog)?

In my Spanish class, there are 8 students, most of them my age (29...tail end of GenX) or older. We all use paper and pen to take notes in class. The Millenials in the class (Gen Y, if you will) have laptops and use that for notes.

The laptop has become the accessory de riguer of college students everywhere. I remember getting my first laptop prior to my junior year of college. The only reason I got one was because I wanted to have a computer with me during my studies abroad. It was a heavy old clunker . . . and I still have it sitting in the top of my closet.

It's just funny to me, I guess, to walk into a classroom and see every student with a laptop - and expected to have one - plugged in at their desks and ready to go (as was the case in Monterey last week). It feels very foreign to me, I guess. I mean...I learned how to type on an actual typewriter. I learned MS-DOS. I remember the first computer games! hahah.

All that to say . . . when I needed to log online to the McGraw Hill website just now for part of my Spanish homework, well, the website was "undergoing maintenance." I should know better than to have saved this part of my homework until the last minute, I guess, but still. Everything else is finished, it's just the online portion left. Ahhh...technology. So convienent (when you're working.)

Kids today will have no idea what it is to go to listening labs and libraries to complete part of their assignments; to have to share a single cassette tape or - GASP - even an LP with 20 other (procrastinating) classmates. But give me those late-night library jam sessions any day over the sit-at-home-by-yourself-ease of online resources. Some of my best nights in college were the ones spent listening and studying with my friends and cohorts in the wee hours of the night the differences between Schubert & Schumann's lider; the dances on which Chopin based his music; and why on earth would an Austrian composer write an Italian opera based in the Orient?

Convenience, instant gratification and self-reliance are replacing our concepts of patience, hardwork and teamwork (or so it would seem.)

04 October 2008

beauty

They say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." That what is beautiful to one person is insignificant to another, and I would agree that that is true in many cases.

But, I would also make the argument that there are some things which are universally beautiful. Why is that? What is it about a certain snapshot, person or event that can touch many people, and not just a few?

I had the opportunity to attend The Bonesetter's Daughter at San Francisco Opera last week. Based on the Amy Tan novel of the same name, this brand new opera was commissioned by the SFO and expertly incorporated elements of traditional Chinese opera and theater with western-style opera music. The result was phenominal. Going into the evening, I was a little skeptical (as I am wont to be where modern opera is concerned), but after the prologue, I was hooked.

I don't want to or feel the need to go into a play-by-play of the entire opera. What I will comment on is the very end. The last scene was between the main character - a grown woman - and her mother. In the mother's last earthly moments, mother and daughter finally had a perfect understanding of each other, and all that had passed between them and before them was made complete, redeemed and laid to rest. It was a beautiful moment, both in subject and musically. The singing was ethereal, the music heartbreaking, and the moment univerally poignant.

There was not a dry eye in the house. Tears streaming down the cheeks of people all around me, I had to forcably hold back the sobs I knew wanted to break forth from my own body. I couldn't let that happen - I didn't want my emotion to be an interrupting distraction from the moment. It was quite the experience, and it was the kind of night I always hope for when I go to the opera, to be quite honest. I want to be moved. And this time? This time I was.

03 October 2008

Friday Five - Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

1. Saint Francis experienced a life changing call, has anything in your journey so far challenged you to alter your lifestyle? Being an "opera singer" has real life consequences, and for many, alters their lifestyle. For many, the choice of opera career vs. family life is a mutually exclusive one. I'm in the middle zone grey-area right of all of this. (Not solely a working singer; not raising a family of my own, either).

2. Francis experienced mocking and persecution, quite often in the comfortable west this is far from our experience. If you have experienced something like this how do you deal with it, if not how does it challenge you to pray for those whose experience is daily persecution? I would say St. Francis' namesake - and my current - city is not-so-Christian friendly, in a lot ways. For being a place of tolerance, the last area where INtolerance is actually accepted (perhaps encouraged) is Christianity. So yeah, I get this. But then I remember I'm not being stoned, martyred or chased out of town and I think...well, I don't have it so bad, afterall.

3. St Francis had female counterpart in St Clare, she was influenced by St Francis sermon and went on to found the Poor Clare's, like the Franciscans they depended on alms this was unheard of for women in that time, but she persisted and gained permission to found the order. How important are role models like St Clare to you? Do you have a particular female role model whose courage and dedication inspires you? If so share their story.... No one comes to mind at the moment.

4. Francis loved nature and animals, how important is an expressed love of the created world to the Christian message today? I think it is important...especially in the context of 'going green.' We should be good stewards of what God has created and given us responsibility over.


5. On a lighter note; have you ever led a service of blessing for animals, or a pet service, was it a success, did you enjoy it, and would you do it again? No...however, every year at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi (I go by it everyday!), there is a huge animal-blessing ceremony, and I have been outside and have seen all the people and pets exiting the church afterwards.

02 October 2008

Monterey Photo Journal

Sunrise:














Amazing morning clouds:














Harbor at the Wharf:












In Monterey

I'm in Monterey for a couple of days (did I already blog that?)

I'm sooo sleepy, I can't even think straight. But...awesomely enough...the hotel has wifi. Everyone has wifi these days - go figure.

Hope ya'll are having a wonderful mid-week. I'm looking foward to some beach time r&r as well as watching the VeeP debates tomorrow night.

Talk amongst yourselves!

01 October 2008

wracking and packing

I am headed back down to Monterey early in the morning. I'm going to sit in on a few classes at an amazing school...see if that itch for being a translator is still there or if I will continue down my current course of (in)action, as it were.

Well, I must say, that one of the very best advantages to being single is the ability to just take a few days off of work and have a mini-road trip. I'm looking forward to a couple days of solitude, actually.

Side note: Rona is leaving for London tomorrow. *sniff* I am selfishly sad that she is moving and I hate saying goodbye to people. HOWEVER...this also gives me great impetus for a visit to the good ole U.K.!

Tomorrow...perhaps a review of "The Bonesetter's Daughter" opera from whence I just came.

30 September 2008

Blessings

1. Good Amazing friends and family;
2. Learning new skills;
3. Seeing my friends with their kids (or kids to be);
4. Promotions;
5. Callbacks;
6. Being content in my own skin;
7. Not being 21 anymore (that goes along with #6);
8. Sunny weather
9. Bocce
10. The sound of the ocean crashing against the shore.

28 September 2008

**UPDATE**

Praise God! Baby C does NOT have meningitis. However, the docs still aren't sure what is making him so sick. Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.

While everything else in the world seemingly goes down the tubes

. . . at least we've still got this one thing going for us:

27 September 2008

Please Pray

Please pray for some close friends of mine. Their youngest child, Baby C, is very sick and - as of this posting - the doctors aren't sure what exactly is wrong. Baby C is only 1.5 months old...and is sick enough that the docs gave him a spinal tap this morning to try and figure it out.

Please pray for him and his mom, dad & big sis as they all go through this together (love you guys!!)

26 September 2008

Friday Five - Johnny Appleseed

1. What is your favorite apple dish? Tarte tatin…preferably with calvados, bien sûr.

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about? I’ve planted several trees. The most recent were as part of a district-wide neighborhood “work day”. We planted cherry blossom trees in a low-income residential area.

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not? The roaming around the countryside part does. Getting out of the city allows me to think, feel and experience stirrings of the soul more easily. As for the preaching part…? Not so much.

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours? Ohh...hmmm....Jeanne d'arc.

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do? I am almost constantly singing or humming or whistling . . . everything and nothing in particular. When I’m *trying* to be cheerful…I can't think of a specific tune.

25 September 2008

It was really funny when it happened

(Caution: contains spoilers for the movie In Bruges…which, if you *still* haven’t seen it…stop reading my blog and go watch it, already!)

A recent textversation:

R: Does colin or ken get killed in in bruges??

Me: what??? have u seen it?

R: Watching it right now!

Me: oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh it is such a good movie!!!! i am not going 2 tell u anything!!!! heheheheh

R: TELL ME

Me: hahahah nope!1! (well….some of it stems from the fact that I cant remember….hahahahahhaha)

R: Does ken die?? does harry kill him for not killing ray??

Me: omg already….just watch the effen film!!! u don’t have to go to work tomorrow so just enjoy the movie!!!11 hahahahahahahahah

R: I can’t! i hate it! im too anxious!

Me: hahahahah…..dont be anxious…it is.a.REALLY good movie :)

R: NOT IF HARRY OR RAY DIES!

Me: hey my friend A is looking for a place to move to in da city…maybe into your place?? she is very cool.

R: HARRY DIED, YOU BITCH!

Me: which one is harry?? Colin farrels character or the other guy? bcause really-i cant remember!

R: The other guy! ken, i mean! colin is ray!

Me: that’s rite! sorry love! :)
Me: put on your big girl panties and deal with it!

R: One of the most loveable movie characters commits suicide by jumping off a building and you FORGOT???

Me: yes. yes i did.

R: im already on my third pair! hahahahahahah

Me: hahahahahahhahahahahahahhaha

24 September 2008

Opera

Headed to the opera tonight to see "Simon Boccanegra." It is a piece I am unfamiliar with . . . so I look forward to experiencing it for the first time. Woot.

technical difficulties

I wanted to post a photo tonight, but I can't get blogger to cooperate.

alas and alack.

perhaps I shall just go to bed!

night night :)

23 September 2008

Musical Monday

One of my all-time favorites.

22 September 2008

Vaya con dios

My jacket has blood spatter on it.

Fake. Theatrical. Corn-starch blood, that is.

Along with beer and champagne.

And why? All because of a little piece of organized chaos called Point Break, Live!.

It was a live-action, raunchier, punchier, campier version of the 1991 Swayze-Reeves flick. The best part was the audience participation: the role of "Johnny Utah" (infamously portrayed by Keanu himself) is cast from the audience. Said "volunteer" proceeds to get abused by his fellow cast mates for two ours...it was great.

Throughout the piece, the audience (given ponchos upon entering the building) was bombarded with water, beer, champagne and fake blood (during the shoot out at the end.)

Hilarity ensued. Many times over. And, the actual director of the movie (Kathryn Bigelow) herself directed the show and was there tonight.

21 September 2008

I have

...a lot on my plate, metaphorically speaking. Trying to figure a lot of stuff out. Or not. (Depends on my mood.) I guess what it all boils down to is well...we've got this one life to do our thing, make our mark...live. So. What is it I *really* want to do? What is it I'm supposed to be doing? Does it matter? And does that choice have to be so black and white, or can it be a "little of column A, a little of column B?"

I don't know. Yet.

20 September 2008

North Beach: A Saturday Morning Photo Essay

I went to North Beach early this morning, and it was a veritable treasure trove of wackiness and beauty.
Now...where did I park? 2B or not . . . . ?














There's a public art project in the North Beach garage: fortunes written at each space.















Even on the handicapped ones:














I loved that this woman was wearing silver go-go boots:



















Morning jump-start:



















An ewok/bear/chow hybrid:














Lots of building art in this neighborhood:















For all my friends who are teachers. My apologies, though, to you school administrators out there. Looks like you get the shaft here. So to speak. (I go past Big Al's Adult Book Store everyday when I leave work, and have been wanting to take a picture of this sign for two weeks. Finally did!)