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!


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


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


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


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):


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


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

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


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


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


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.