Saturday, May 30, 2009


Last night, while out with the girls, we saw the most fantastic rainbow I have ever seen. Way better, even, than the ones they have in Hawaii!

Today, I'm excited to try and marinade a flank steak for several hours and then grill it outside...then, there's those amazing-looking fingerling potatoes that Ina makes that I've been wanting to try forever. Although I am currently also obsessed with the opportunities the discovery of DuFour prepared puff pastry offers...and the fact that I have some leftover in the freezer... :)

Somehow, I need to find time to look at the pirated Hugo Wolf song-turned-church-anthem that I'm supposed to sing tomorrow.

Monday-- Turandot in Washington. I'm so excited to see this favorite of mine for the first time, in a production everyone is saying is great.

Friday, May 29, 2009


So tired. Not much sleep last night, and I feel a little off today.

I did, however, manage to catch up on the DVRed goodness of The Real Housewives of New York City Lost Footage in the wee hours of the morning. So it wasn't a totally wasted night of insomnia.

The recital went well, and I was pretty proud of myself being able to hold it together throughout a difficult program, though lord knows I was wiped out afterward. I learned a lot too, just as I hoped, about how things come off in performance, and which pieces I will be keeping and which are going to the back of the binder. I do have to report that there was quite an incident with a cell phone, however, that nearly drove both Joe and I to distraction. It seems it was an older lady who couldn't find her phone in her purse, and when she finally did manage to get it to stop ringing, it began to ring again! All during, of course, the most sensitive moments of one of my favorite pieces of the program. And then there is the righteous huffing and puffing over the cell phone that makes almost as much commotion as the actual ringing itself. But hey. I stayed with it, and it was just another night at the theater.

This weekend promises to be one of trying new recipes, learning an exceptionally hard anthem for the Christian Scientists, brushing up on some duets for next weekend's concert, hanging out on the patio, and some girl time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

water, water everywhere

I'm drinking it by the gallon, and will be right up until about two hours before I sing tonight. Trying my best to counteract the effects of the air-conditioners of the world. I decided to give up worrying about the length and breadth of my program tonight, because I really think it will be okay, and I'm feeling good about all the pieces, many of which I know well and have known for several months. It will be an awesome prep run through for the concert next weekend and the new CD I need to record before audition season rears it's ugly head YET again. After this, I will know what I needed to know about a couple of the pieces I am still questioning, in terms of their use in my regular repertoire. If I can't perform them the way I would like tonight, in front of the most supportive of audiences, I think I will take it as a sign.

Joe was great last night, and I realize that I am lucky to married to someone by whom I am so musically inspired. The poor dear is now currently back to the piano practicing like a fiend for my little performance tonight, even though he probably doesn't need to.

I'm looking forward to it, actually, and also, to the martini I plan to have afterward!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I'm giving a recital next week. And I accidentally programmed way too many hard things. At least that's how it feels now. Hormones and allergies probably have something to do with that...but in any case, I'm working to sing through things to build up my stamina. This is soooo the hard part. And I'm looking forward to the fun part, when I can forget about notes and memorization and perform the words of the pieces.

Summer is a time for singers to get a lot done. Whether by singing themselves into the ground to add roles to the old resume (this is the traditional method), or making a new recording, getting new pictures, revamping the website, learning the next role, or coaching the heck out of our audition arias. For me, the recital is in partial preparation for my new demo recording (I so so not sound like my old one any more, and I've thankfully realized I have no business singing "Vedrai carino."), and to try out some new repertoire ideas on an audience. Maybe I should hand out comment cards before the performance, to get everyone's opinion. Wait. No, I am not a masochist. And what a terrible idea.

Last week's audition was a disappointment. I can always count on my voice-- and I usually spend the half an hour before an audition counter-acting a rising freak-out with those very words. I've worked tirelessly on my technique, and it's starting to pay off for me, consequently, I've been in some less than ideal *cough, cough* audition situations and I've been able to pull it off because I could forget about the drama and just sing. Well, I can tell you this, people: there isn't a terrible lot that your technique can do with vocal cords that are swollen beyond recognition because of the hormones coursing through your veins. There are certain things you can muscle through and it will sound reasonably okay, but especially with delicate pianissimi and ridiculous register jumps, etc. you can just forget about it. Sometimes it's worse than others, but last week was not one of my best vocal moments. So Joe took me out to lunch, we had a beer, and I tried to just forget about it.

That is behind me, however, we're moving on with life. Now, to work on my translations.

Friday, May 15, 2009

All a-twitter

Um, I tend to get a little embarrassed about immediately jumping on the bandwagon. I fancy myself a bit of an iconoclast, but I guess anyone who loves Kim Kardashian and the Real Housewives of New York City as much as I do could hardly be called an iconoclast. That said, I came late to all of these obsessions-- blogging, facebook, myspace (long since done with that, people), I still don't have an i-pod, and well, I have never thought that jogging was a good idea, and I'm still in complete disbelief that that whole swine flu thing was ever an issue, and that my mother thought I had it. It's just downright embarrassing.

So today, I come before you (all three of you) somewhat bashfully to say that I really am loving Twitter. There are hilarious and informative people in the world that I don't even have to know to be amused by. Which is refreshing, since, in the words of a very dear friend of mine "I don't like very many people." And I'm sure they would all return the sentiment.

It's such a comfort to know that wherever I go, if I have my phone, I don't have to be bored. I have real time updates from people like Tim Smith, Eddie Izzard, and the afore-mentioned Kim Kardashian, to live life for me, and to make me feel less lame, while I am waiting for a coaching, of say, an impossible-to-sing, slap-your-ex-wife Handel aria.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I am spending this week catching up.

The weekend was taxing, what with the fact I was up most nights coughing, and our visitors, etc. Sunday's singing went fairly well considering I was so tired, and not supposed to really be singing yet in the first place. So yesterday, I sacrificed a precious day of practice and re-conditioning to just try to rest my voice. Which, I might add, is REALLY hard to do. Because I WANT to sing. We also went out for Thai. So it wasn't a bad day after all.

Thank goodness for a rare last minute opening in my teacher's schedule Thursday night, so that I can get a bit of a tune-up, as I always try to do after I have been sick or taken any kind of extended break from singing. When I'm finally healthy and back to singing, it's easy to forget that my poor little vocal cords aren't back to normal yet, and then start pushing to compensate. And that is exactly the wrong thing to do.

However, it's feeling pretty decent in there today, and I think I'm almost ready for the throat olympics again (as Stu would say).

In other really riveting news, I need groceries. And because I am turning into such a scary cooking freak, I get really excited about planning out the meals for the week and what I'm going to make, etc. The sad thing is that this week we'll barely be home to eat. I also need clothes. Usually by this time in May, I've gone on several shopping trips. And right now we're at zero. Sigh.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

Back in the saddle

It's a gorgeous Friday. And the good news is that I only coughed for a few hours straight last night, so I'm in pretty good shape, actually. Codeine? Anyone want to write me a script? I feel like having a few days off to be sick is great sometimes, and especially because I got calls from a couple of my favorites, with whom I have not spoken in hundreds. So it was almost worth it.

I'm back here at the mines this morning, and oh wow. There is absolutely NOTHING going on. Can we say summer?

This weekend, I need to somehow find a way to make my vocal cords approximate in order to sing two services so that I can pay my rent. One for the Episcopalians, and the other for the Christian Scientists. The latter of whom have assigned me a rather beautiful solo anthem for this week, which does not always happen, I assure you. So I'd like to not sound like ass, if possible. The obvious need for money being weighed against the fact that the doctor (sigh) said I am not supposed to sing for five days, and I DO have a rather important audition coming up next Saturday.

I have always said that any audition that is in your hometown or thereabouts is an important audition. Because, as my grandmother always said, "It is best not to shit where you live." If you are likely to see the people for whom you sang walking down the street, at the bar, and/or at various performances, you want to not make an idiot of yourself. Oh how I wish I had waited to do various and sundry auditions around here until I knew how the hell to sing.

Did I mention I watched Capote for the first time last night? It's amazing.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I love my doctor

I am sick. With some kind of bronchial thing and I just feel generally gross besides the obvious sore throat. No Handel throat olympics for me for the next FIVE DAYS, or so says my ENT.

Just today I've had to turn down two fantastic offers from two different fabulous friends for offers to do really fun things like go to Albert Herring or drink with JB, who left us for St. Paul's K Street. I can't I just can't, girls. AS much as I want to. Not only am I mortally ill, but my in-laws are coming in tonight (they're en route as we speak), and I need to save my mental and physical energy.

Going to the doctor wore me out, and now I have to go over to the ghetto rite aid and pick up my prescriptions. I do have some Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to look forward to when I return home, however, so it won't be a wasted day.

I used to not do so well with being pretty much laid low by sickness. But these days', it's all good. If my body says "Take it down a notch, you wacko," I listen.

Plus, you know what they say: "Feed a cold; Starve a fever." Mine is: "Buy On Demand movies for a bronchial infection."

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sorry, but I'm trying

to come up with an appropriately entertaining way to describe this weekend's fun. but I can't!

Congrats to Z and A on a gorgeous wedding, and to J and M and little J on another child welcomed to christendom, having fully renounced satan (always the most entertaining part of any christening). And then last night? new furniture. Joe sold all the things I could no longer stand on Craig's List and we used the money to get one or two new things. Just in time for spring. No more hideous gold-beige ugh.

My liver got quite the work out-- what with no church to sing for Sunday morning, I was in heaven! Having fun on a Saturday night? It so rarely happens. Today, I am back on the Handel horse. Wednesday night I have a lesson to work out the kinks (fewer and further between, thank the gods), and Saturday I'll polish it off with Ms. G.

Friday, May 01, 2009

not that you care, but today's playlist

- "O happy we," from Candide
(love you, Brent!)

- "That's How I Go," Baby Bash featuring Lil Jon & Mario

- "Blame it," Jamie Foxx featuring T-Pain
(because he was soooo beyond adorable and good on American Idol Wednesday night, and the is song could also be considered the theme song of about the five years preceding my marriage)

- "Piangero la sorte mia," Giulio Cesare In Egitto, HWV 17, sung by none other than the sublime Arleen Auger

- "No Word From Tom," from The Rake's Progress, Dawn Upshaw
(I THINK I've finally made peace with the fact that I will never sing this)

- "Paper Planes," M.I.A.
(Yes, I am the only person in the world who is NOT sick to death of this song, and the related hand motions, etc.)

- "The Promise," When in Rome (not Erasure, as some of us thought last night)

- "Psalm 67," Bertram Luard Selby, sung by the Choir of Men, Boys and Girls at Old St. Paul's Baltimore
(at my wedding!)

may day

Which is not just a day, but a maritime distress call, as I understand it. And if you have allergies like me, you know why.

At any rate, last night we were all out for a gathering at a certain neighborhood bar which shall remain nameless in honor of Ms. Z and Mr. A who are about to tie the knot on Saturday. This week, I've gone out so much that I feel like I'm back in grad school again, but without all of the embarrassing side-dramas, like the one where I literally practiced myself right into three weeks of complete vocal rest, including no talking. omg.

I really want to find time next weekend to go to Opera Vivente's Albert Herring, as a good friend is playing a big role in the production. But it seems I also have in-laws coming in for Mother's Day weekend. My own mother? Well, she will probably be out on the boat. Or deciding which trip she should take next or trying to get a trade on the time-share for Paris or something.

Me? I just want to go to Albert Herring, although a weekend of gambling in Las Vegas is sounding better and better...with drinks by the pool, of course.