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


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 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


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 . . .


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?

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.


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!


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.


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.


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).

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.

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


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


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.