Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I need a vodka soda. And a shopping spree, and a pedicure, and, well, a lot of things.

My mother has just announced she is moving onto a boat.

Time to drown my sorrows.

And did I mention I'm going to be thirty in less than two months?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My my. I am an awfully good little blogging girl these days! Not much to report, really, except that I am enjoying this week, and the complete lack of a real schedule, a nice change, really.

Last night, we grilled burgers and had possibly the best three ears of corn ever grown by mankind, along with some parmesan garlic oven fries. The slight restlessness I feel due to the fact that, well, I don't know what to do with myself when I have five minutes in which nothing has been scheduled, has given way to a lot of boredom-induced cooking experiments. Most have been successful, and tonight, we try a spicy cheese grits recipe. I am most certainly a grit girl. I could eat grits, mashed potatoes, risotto, or any combination of the three all day long, every single day. If only I were an ancient Roman with a serviceable vomitorium, this might be a feasible way to live life.

I do feel the mild tug of a little bit of wanting to go to Wolf Trap and see some opera. But it is so hot and we are so comfortable at home, and I need to get the arias polished for my recording. And Susan has brought me a bottle of wine (something white and delicious from France) that is calling me.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It's Monday, again, and I noticed just today how few of my blog posts are ever written on a Monday. Must be because I have not an ounce of wit or creativity left after dragging myself out of bed and into the gym for the first time after a weekend off. In any case, this weekend was fun-- church was painless, I had a coaching with Ms. G, there was a fun evening at Cinghiale for Ms. Z's birthday, and yesterday I bought a new sports bra and 2 for $5 flip flops at Old Navy. :) Talk about fabulous.

As for my singing, I find that my current dilemma is discerning the best choices of repertoire, based on who I am, what I look like, and what I know I is special about my voice. In my coaching on Saturday, I brought a few oratorio pieces that I like and have worked on casually for a while, just to get an opinion on what could potentially be a hit for me. I adore Bach. I mean I really do, and while most of it feels really painful for me to sing, I do have a nominal level of comfort with "Blute nur," from S. Matthew Passion. And I guess because I love it so much, I have been rationalizing it right into my repertoire. Truthfully, I am not sure I'm always thrilled to hear the chirpiest of little boy sounds doing the soprano solos, and in fact one of my very favorite B-Minor Masses ever had REAL soprani for soloists-- you know, the loud kind. Or kind of loud, at least. But honestly, if I could really knock the socks off of a Brahms' Requiem and an Elijah, there are Bach specialists for the Bach, and there is no sense putting myself in the hospital over it.

In other news-- I made a successful risotto from scratch with bacon and asparagus! It was divine, and I am getting excited about maybe taking a cooking course with Ms. Z, too, in all my spare time! Just what I need! Another un-profitable hobby!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I think it is time that I, shall we say, get my shit together. I've decided that I will do my recording early next week, which means I've got to take it easy on the wine, etc., this weekend. And that can be a real drag, if you know what I mean. But I have to say, I feel better than ever about this year's aria line-up, and for once feel that each one is a real winner for me, and something that shows my voice the way I want it to be shown, not to big, not to small.

IF I get it ready in time, my intention is to a apply for a grant to help pay for all the application fees this year, and some of the travel costs. Which may mean, friends, that I will also be able to pay my rent and buy groceries...

It's going to be a big year for me-- a milestone birthday, particularly lofty goals for my singing, and the return of Jessica to the GYM. I expressed my desire to a fellow gym rat yesterday: "I would like to be a supermodel by Christmas." And he laughed, saying that he thinks that chance may have come and gone...don't you have to be like 14 to be a model these days? About that milestone birthday...

So today, I've decided to make the obligatory yearly checklist for applications: who needs what, when, and where it needs to go. There is always the tiniest bit of fear that all will be in vain, when, as a soprano, I start to realize what the odds really are to even GET an audition. But it's what I have to do, and I will do it. And I will LOOK good doing it, and definitely do everything I can to SOUND good doing it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Because this is a blog about my life, I am happy to report that there's a good deal more going on in it than just singing (although the more the better...hint, hint). However, finding ways to talk about it in a very public format without feeling that I am compromising my own privacy (privacy! what a novel notion!) and that of the other people in my life is a bit more challenging. Which is why I usually just stick to singing and the many layers of drama surrounding it. But, besides my ever-growing preoccupation with Czech, and the fact that I NEED need need to get a recording made stat, there's really not a lot to report on that front.

This weekend, though, Joe and I drove to the Midwest to help celebrate the wedding of one of our very best friends. It was such a fun trip, and so great to spend time with friends who came from Baltimore to help with all the details. I have often said that weddings bring out the very best and worst in people, and when you are the person getting married, you really discover in the truest of lights, who your friends are and what they are made of. The whole weekend had such a feeling of working together, and I felt like everyone who was there really wanted to make it a wonderful wedding for this special couple. The process was nostalgic for me, since it reminded me of ours, and the emotions are so intense during those few days of a wedding weekend. I am sooo lucky to have even a few people in my life that I know I can count on, and I wanted to be that kind of friend to my friend. Now that the wedding part is over, I can rest assured, too, that the marriage is going to be great, and that she is well taken care of.

Coming home Sunday night, it was funny to observe in myself how completely excited I was at the thought of cooking again! This from a girl who used to frequently exclaim "I just DON'T cook. Sorry." So last night, we had farm stand corn and green beans cooked with bacon the way my grandmother does it. I was a little nervous about those bean, I have to say, since I have spent pretty much my whole life eating them the way she makes them, and have always felt that even my mother, who is a fab cook, couldn't quite get them right. Well, I did it. And it was transcendent to say the least. :) Along with the vegetables, I decided I would go with my tried and true chicken crusted with panko and asiago, and went totally bonkers and made mashed potatoes too! The real kind, because I would never, ever feed myself the kind in a box. It's the closest thing to sin I can think of, and I don't even believe in sin.

Tonight, Joe's grilling some pork I've been marinading in lime, chilis, garlic and soy for about 24 hours, and I think there is no possible way I'll be able to wait til dinner.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday again!!! Time to blog

What a week since the last time I talked to you! The auditions were great, and they are over. I sang a very solid Donde lieta at one, and a semi-solid Je dis and very solid Fuggi il traditor at another. I have been working very hard lately at singing AS THE CHARACTER. Not as someone who is just pretending to be the character...which happens, I find, when I am singing with mostly technique in mind.

When we get back from this weekend's wedding, which, by the way, I am really looking forward to, I'll get to work on Rusalka, and start putting together a new recital program which will include just a ton of Brahms. Joe and I are addicted to Brahms.

I am really boring, actually. I pity any of you who try to read this!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I embarrass myself at every turn. This morning it was when I was on the elliptical at the gym. The Today Show (I hate the today show) was on the big TV and the obligatory replay of the Michael Jackson Memorial was on. It wasn't long after the gospel choir began singing "Soon and very soon," that I started to feel the tears welling up, as I frantically tried to keep pedaling. By the time we got to the clip of little Paris' tribute, well, I had kind of totally lost it. My iconoclastic self was fighting it all the way, and I looked around, hoping that my ridiculous tears were blending in with the sweat.

Who ever heard of crying at the gym?

I mean, I still can't believe I even go to the gym.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


There is so much internal drama for me these last couple days that I am waking up with headaches and it's been tough to get myself to work in the mornings...but today, I made the very brilliant decision to listen to some Freni/Pavarotti in the office, before anyone else showed up. And I feel better already.

The beach was beyond fun. Poor or not poor, you can always count on a nice sunny day, and a gorgeous tan to bring you out of your financially-driven mood slump. I am very lucky, also, because there is no one in the whole world I would rather hang out with than Joe, and the fact that I happen to be married to him makes life even better.

This week and next, I'm getting ready for several auditions, and my first lesson in over a month. I'm feeling a little jaw tension these days-- not necessarily when I'm singing (we singers are super careful to make sure that isn't allowed to sneak in), but just walking around in everyday life, and I'm a little concerned about that-- might be time to start sleeping with a bite plate. And I'm pretty sure the headachy stuff is related as well. We shall see. At this point, I don't think it's affecting my singing, except for the fact that I don't particularly feel like practicing! Don't tell my teacher, but I pop an advil and then head to the piano to warm up.

After the auditions and my friend's wedding are over, the next directive is my audition recording, and making some decisions about repertoire. It's difficult to know where to place myself on the sliding scale of vocal weight and what to sing when I can't hear myself in any real or trustworthy way, until, of course, the recording is made. It's so easy to hear someone else and know just what I think they should sing! But everyday, it's more clear exactly where I fit, and I do feel that the roles in which I've been cast of late are placing me into a category that I like being in: big Italian. This is good. The hardest part about being a singer is wishing you could be a kind of singer that is NOT what you actually are at all. Now, beyond the fact that it would be wicked cool to be able to whip out some Queen of the Night on someone's ass, I have always wanted to basically be a lyric soprano. And, folks, it looks like that's what I am. I think my look works for that type of role as well, aside from not being a supermodel yet. But we're working on that. Four damn days a week we're working on it, people.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Well, the riveting news today is that I went to the gym for day one of the opera singer/super model directive. I've got the height, I just need the skinny.

It was ACTUALLY fun to work out, I have to say, although I bet I will be sore tomorrow. One bad thing was that I forgot to get a bath towel from the desk and had taken off all my clothes and had a leg in the shower before I realized I didn't have a towel. That was a drag. But the gym is bright, new, clean and upbeat, and I am happy to be there, and very happy with how I feel after I'm done.

We're taking off for the beach tomorrow afternoon, and I have to say, at my level of brokeness, I just don't know how much fun can be had. But then, it doesn't cost a cent to lay on a beach. It's just the eating and the drinking, really, that's the problem. :) Ah, life! We'll be back in time, however, to mooch off my mother for the Fourth of July on her roof top deck... But with the sun shining, and a three day weekend, how can life NOT be fantastic?