Saturday, October 31, 2009


Have sparklingly cleaned my apartment, as the in-laws are about to arrive.

The plan is to drive out somewhere beyond the city limits for fall fun in the form of maybe like an Amish market or something. I have had only one bad experience with Amish food, several years ago when eating it on one occaision made me so violently ill, I've never felt so horrible since. But besides that, and since the memory of it has faded somewhat, I can agree that it's mostly delicious, if under-seasoned, because it is soaked in butter. Western culture has proven this cooking technique.

The coffee is on and so is my make-up.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Feeling a little discouraged with the auditions I haven't gotten this year, so today I decided to turn my frown upside down and just hit it even harder: I applied (read: sent my hard-earned, few and far between US dollars) to three more programs today. I refuse to let it get me down.

Tonight the in-laws are in town because Joe is performing a solo recital Sunday afternoon. The program is one I heard him play a couple of weeks ago at another venue, and man is it spectacular. I should have known I would marry a pianist, since I spent hours and hours listening to concerti when I was a lonely, dorky kid growing up in Indiana. Lord knows I tried, but I was never much of a pianist myself, and was very fortunate to have it pointed out to me early on in my college career that maybe I had better focus on singing instead. Although I have never had any regrets about switching to voice, there is still a very big place in my heart for the piano repertoire, and the greatest respect for the amount of work that goes into preparing a program. When we singers complain about how hard it is to have a day job and do everything you have to do to pursue a singing career, I feel like we have it easier than pianists. Maybe our efforts outside the practice room (acting, languages, translating, finding a decent dress, etc.) even it out a little, but still.

Last night, I came home, practiced (ohhh it felt so good), made chowder for dinner and then tried to bake these low fat butterscotch bar things and forgot completely to put in the eggs and vanilla. So that is a very good way to describe both my baking skills and state of mind. Miraculously, and you know this is the sign of a good recipe, it still tasted great, despite looking kind of funny. I think I might try it again tonight after dinner with the 'rents. I must redeem myself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Today, I went to a much-needed therapy session (remember those? remember when I used to talk about them all the time?)...and while it makes you feel ultimately better, sometimes, I have to admit, talking about certain situations in your life make you feel pretty shitty in the moment. All my family-related drama has yet to resolve itself, and I think I need to just work on resolving within ME and then it will truly be resolved.

I don't like emotional energy being wasted on things like this, and I think my resistance probably adds to the I'm working on that too. I just want to put all my attention into the goals I have for myself musically, and not stress my spirit and voice out so completely with all of the angst that only family issues can bring. So, on my quest, as Michael Scott would say, onward and upward.

This is audition season and I must buck up, get those apps in, get the arias polished up, get to the gym. I've been doing all those things, and I still put my make up on every morning-- you needn't worry about me until I stop doing that!

What I need is a mantra. I need a mantra.

And a cocktail wouldn't hurt either.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The weather on the East Coast has been less than great lately, and I think it's getting me down...I haven't felt like posting on the old blog, and that's a sure sign I'm probably at work actually working and dreaming of my leggings and some stir fry with a lot of noodles. It soothes the soul.

And as for news, besides the obvious, like Kate Gosselin's hair cut is horrific and looks worse than ever, and Lindsay Lohan is looking like she's in her 50s...well, I had my first NYC audition of the year, and my first anniversary.

As for the audition, well, it required all of us to get up a little earlier than we would like, and that was painful. But we had a fun time together, and were remarkably relaxed all the way up until the time when we found out all the times they had sent us in the emails about our auditions were wrong, and that we were supposed to sing much earlier than we thought. I remember standing in the warm-up room, frantically trying to figure out how to get my breath under me, and to feel like my body was ready to sing. I wish I'd had another ten minutes to get ready, but I think I sang well, and the panel was more than kind. It was kind of fun to have a hamburger at Burger King on the way home, which is something I haven't done in a long time. :)

More importantly, I had rabbit for the first time, the evening we went out for our anniversary at that amazing restaurant I was telling you about! As someone who is allergic to any seafood, and is really sad about it, I am always looking for other avenues to widen my palate's experience. For a person who loves food and loves to cook, it really sucks to have a seafood problem, let me tell you. So, when I saw rabbit on the menu, I went for it. Delicious! Our evening was unbelievable-- wine with each course, and a VERY special surprise from friends who had a reservation the same night we were there! They sent us a beautiful card and bottle of wine for our anniversary, via the hostess, and we were so surprised and delighted. So we sent them a bottle of champagne in return, and it was fun to pretend we were fabulous, at least for the evening.

Another particularly wonderful thing that seems to have happened is that I found TWO audition dresses this past weekend and I am beyond excited and thrilled to finallllllllyyyyy have things to wear that fit my many requirements and make me look like a model. okay, well... almost. I did go to the gym today...:) One is plum, and will look smashing with black tights and my hot pumps, and has the prettiest ruffly rosettes at the neck-line to add a little interest around my face. The other is a deep blue and is relatively simple, but a great cut, good fabric, and neither dress is BLACK with is just lovely.

Wow. I just blogged like a house afire. That is something. Well, onto the next thing: working a concert tonight!

Friday, October 16, 2009

ahhhhh Friday

It's Friday, and while I've had a short week, it certainly doesn't mean I feel any less FANTASTIC about it. This morning, I burned a record number of calories in my allotted 30 minutes to work out (sighhhh), and I am...well, both energized and tired. I know, you don't care, and this is a very boring thing to blog about.

I've got some NYC action coming up on Wednesday...excited for the official start of the season for me, and I've had a terrible time coming up with a pianist. What is the deal with these people not calling you back? I think, thanks to Ms. A, I have finally found one. Joe is off the hook for this one, as he's performing a solo recital the day before and will be way too tired to drive up there the next day at 4 am. Yes. I did say 4 in the morning. A delightful hour. I plan to drug myself the night before so as not to be awakened by my neighbors creaking around upstairs.

Last night, I came home from work, went to the grocery store (such a chore in this weather, and all alone), got dinner started, practiced, and, well, drank Côtes du Rhône grenache. I really felt like I didn't have a choice. I made the most amazing Irish beef stew last night with Guiness and red wine...some of these food bloggers really know their stuff. I highly recommend anything on this blog.

When did I become a wine drinker? When all I used to ever want was a vodka soda? I don't know. Probably when I got old.

In any case...a very special dinner is coming up tomorrow night. Our first anniversary, and we are going to Charleston, hands down the best place to eat in Baltimore. I've been planning my outfit now for weeks, and have a pair of those black bondage heels I plan to take out of the box for their first spin. Yay. I keep asking Joe if it's going to be cold enough to wear the fur tomorrow...and the truth is, it probably is. But it's a bit gauche to wear fur in October. So, I'll just wear whatever else I have laying around.

It will be nice to have a basically free weekend, with the exception of church, to work on music and prepare for the audition.

And is anybody else completely over hearing about this kid and the hot air balloon or whatever? Oh to live in blissful oblivion.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Back to the grind. And, actually, I don't mind it a bit.

I can't believe I forgot to mention in my previous post the fantastic movie we saw on Saturday night. Bright Star-- the one about John Keats. Visually, it was like a feast. From one beautiful shot to another. And since I've always been a poetry fan, it was so interesting to see how literature was so much more an everyday part of people's lives in the early 1800s...although I'm sure probably the general population didn't have the degree of education of the characters in the story. There was something so tender about the movie, and so sensitive, without being the least bit "sweet." Joe and I were both basket cases all throughout and about an hour or so afterward. It's a must see.

Maybe watching Bravo instead of reading isn't really such a great idea after all.

Today is a long day. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So, in my Renee Fleming-based plan of becoming just a slip of a thing, I've been taking advantage of my couple of days off to go to the gym and kill myself burning calories. As much as I hate it, it feels really good, and my clothes are starting to feel a tiny bit looser (I think), so maybe it is working. Stu asked me if I was noticing any results the other night, since of course I bitch to everyone about working out every chance I get. My reply was that it's kind of hard to tell because all I ever wear is leggings, and would rather die than weigh myself. But I feel thinner so that is the main thing. Haha.

Today, the plan is to really get a good start on some of the music I must learn for my gig in February, and to continue the ever-elusive pursuit of perfection in audition aria land.

Tomorrow night is my lesson, and the really fun thing we have been doing lately is to break down the role of Mimi and very precisely work every note so that it is solid and at the tip of my tongue and natural. I love doing this. And surprisingly, I don't get impatient, because I feel I am doing the right thing when I work on music in this I am being way more of a responsible singing citizen of the Puccini repertoire when I treat the music in this way than when I cram. And we have all been in this position...whether by sheer procrastination or because you got a last minute call. And in the end, of course, it only helps me.

It has been nice, the past couple of days to feel what it would be like if I were not a person who needed to have a day job, and could spend hours a day with my music and at the gym, and just generally working only at turning myself into the leanest, meanest singer the world has ever known. Someday.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I love Thursdays, and I can't really explain why. It's just a delightful day. It helps when the weather is beautiful. The only thing that's bringing me down today is that I am SO broke with a capital B. I need this to stop happening, but hello, when all those application fees start dropping, I am just living on a prayer. But I'm not going to starve (so much good stuff in the freezer), and I have lots of great nail polish colors, and I'm getting pretty good at self-manicures. Oh, and I have plenty of wine, so really...what more does a girl need?

I find that while I do love to shop and go to nice dinners, like most girly-girls I know, being kind of financially close to the edge is a familiar feeling for me, since it was how I grew up, how I spent college and grad school, and well, even sometimes in the present! I wouldn't say it's a comfortable feeling, by any means, in fact, a lot of times it downright sucks, but I have to say that I really KNOW how to stretch a meal. I learned from the master: my mother.

In other news, the pollen situation is making my top notes feel a little ick, and things are scratchy and weird in there. Isn't it ironic that we of course have to have auditions during pollen-a-rama? But on the other hand...Fall is here! we get to eat pumpkin things, and watch large men running and jumping on each other in football games, and watch the leaves pile up in our yards, and I couldn't be more excited.

Monday, October 05, 2009


I've noticed a pattern: I very rarely post on Mondays. But today, I'm just full of piss and vinegar. Life is good, despite the Patriots and some ridiculous calls yesterday costing us the game. I followed my tough and amazing husband's lead (since usually I don't even TRY to go to the gym on Mondays...I need a little more time to ease myself into the whole "work" thing), and followed him over to the gym. Frankly, I'm surprised he could get out of bed, considering how utterly despondent he was after the Ravens loss. But duty calls, and he is taking one of those scary boot camp style ass-kicking classes, but I just do cardio and some weights. I have never gotten used to being brow beaten, even when it is ultimately for my own good, and God, if I could look like the other girl in that class, maybe it would be worth it. Although, when I think about it, singers tend to be pretty masochistic people...maybe I'd LOVE the class.

In support of his weekly weigh-ins, I've been trying to go easy on the butter...and made some very healthy things for us to eat this of them being an absolutely amazing recipe for Thai chicken noodle soup that makes me want to slap my ex-wife. I find that if dishes are so spicy that you can't breathe, you tend to eat less. So Asian food is good for weight-loss, since, unlike Mexican (which I dearly love), it's gross if you put cheese on it. One thing I down right refuse to adjust the butter content for, however, are corn muffins. I made those last night too, and have vowed to give them all away or else freeze them so I don't eat ten at a time.

I'm getting so darned excited about auditions this year I can't stand it. But ask me that again in two weeks, when I'm getting up at 4:30 am to get my ass up to NYC. I'm pretty thrilled about singing this year...It's nice to be able to say that since about six weeks ago, I was in a pretty dark place about this whole singing thing. I know I've said this about four million times, but I STILL don't feel like I've really nailed an audition outfit that is equal parts hot, mildly conservative, and memorable. But hey. Has anyone? If I could walk into NOLA in legging like those musical theater people, I would be so freaking happy. And despite what anyone may say, I still feel that I would be judged if I wore pants to an least if there are auditors over the age of fifty. The options are not great at the moment, but we will *fearlessly* make it work.

Here's some Monday love XOXOX!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday, part deux

Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to actually do what you want to do.

Because the truth is, there are just a lot of people, places, and things out there that make you feel as though it really isn't the best idea. I guess I have finally gotten to the ripe old age, however, (and yes, I will stop making age-related comments at some point) that I just kind of realize that the people that love me are totally behind my choice, one hundred percent... choices like having or not having kids, buying or not buying a house, pursuing a rather money-sucking career like singing, eating meat, watching Bravo, etc. Okay, well some of those are a little silly.

Oh how lovely it must be-- and in all honesty, I have actually been envious of these people-- to walk around in a constant state of single-minded focus and arrogance, as if all that mattered were my own feelings. And while we know that this kind of person isn't pleasant to be around, would probably be horrible in bed, and further more is a big suck to our global consciousness, I sometimes think that it would just be so damn great to not care what other people think!

As a singer, I wonder what the panel is thinking, what the audience is thinking, how they view my sound in relationship to my rep, if they think I am too young to be singing this, if they can understand my words, and, worst of all, if they see me and put me in that dreaded category of singers who need to lose weight to be believable in their fach. Oh, we could go on and on with our self-analyzing neurosis.

My work for this week (and the rest of my life) will be to practice being fearless, in everything, in every aspect of my singing and personal life. They say be your self, but I say just be. I will own that I have worked on myself, trust that what I do is a product of that hard work, and I think you should too. *wink*

No fear.


CRAZY week. But fun, and what is even more fun is that it is almost over! This weekend is going to be great...lots of friend things, and then, of course, the Ravens are playing the Patriots, and so, Sunday will be shot.

In practicing this week, I've noticed a couple of new things about my voice. My lower middle is SO loud these days, much more resonant than I remember, and it's such a great feeling to be able to really SING down there, instead of just fighting through the fuzziness that I had for so long. It's the classic problem for young sound pretty good up high, so you never bother to sing low, and day, you realize: I have no middle and low voice, and my life sucks, and I will never sing Mimi and Suor Angelica and the Marschallin, not that I was going to any way, but now I've got to get my booty in gear, or my fondest dreams will be shot all to hell.

Now I really have trouble believing that even if I had been really working that part of my voice in undergrad, I would have been able to get the sound in that register that I am beginning to achieve. I think that it may just be one of those things that require age and maturity? I'm grasping for something to make me feel validated for being go with me on this. Remember how your teachers always told you that bigger voices just need a little longer to settle in? I think they may have been right all along. Not that I'm a huge voice or anything, but I'm not small, and I have always felt like something of a late bloomer.

The first round of New York auditions are coming up, and besides arranging the transportation (carpooling with two other is that really a good idea??? :)), I've begun to really hone in on the spots that I'm not completely feeling fantastic about in a couple of my arias... just taking the phrase out of context, then putting it back in, and trying not to resort to the inefficient method of just singing through the whole aria over and over again. Which, frankly, especially with Je dis, really wears me out, and makes me long for vodka. My teacher assured me (and he has never been wrong) that this is the tried and true method for fixing my little problem areas. So far, it's working.

When I was in school, I tended to dread studio classes and rep classes when the other singers were allowed to just kind of make comments randomly and pontificate about each other's singing. It felt like there was something usually a little weird or not quite in the best interest of the person singing about it, in a lot of cases. A lot of times people were very nice, but the other part of it was that the only feedback I really wanted in that situation was from my teacher. That may have been bratty, but miraculously, now I find myself thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to put together a little audition evening thing with a few other singers I TRUST (oh boy) and spend time helping each other with ideas for interpreting and better communicating our audition rep. Maybe the pain is worth the gain?

Happy Thursday! don't forget to watch my fabulous NeNe on Real Housewives tonight!