Friday, December 29, 2006

Why did I think I was actually going to get anything done this week?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Last night I saw three old friends from high school. Two of them are people I haven't seen in fifteen years and wasn't at all expecting to see. It was a lot of fun to reminisce about the old times, the pain, the silliness, etc. It was really good to be together at a time in all of our lives when we can really appreciate each other. All of them are such funny people. The stories they were telling about their respective teaching experiences were f**king hilarious! Holy #*^%&! Some of the things we were talking about from the old days were things I had completely forgotten about... like my family's vicious dog. I was laughing so hard I was crying at their descriptions of coming to my house. "Ok, I've got her, now RUN!!"

I wonder sometimes how my life would be different if I had been brought up going to St. Joseph's with the rest of the lot -- if that was the reason I sometimes felt out of the loop -- but maybe not. We had Mr. Goetcheus and Mr. Weidman, Drama Club, Chorus, Orchestra, various musicals, parties at Steve Johnson's... what more was there to high school? If we had it all to do again... Crystal says she would have told more people where to go and what to do when they got there. I'm just glad we don't have to do it again. :-)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Festivus, everybody! Also, happy Winter Solstice! I am SO excited that the days are FINALLY going to start getting longer. This dark at 4:30 crap is wearing very thin!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

You can't touch this, baby!



I'm the poker queen!

Monday, December 18, 2006

This is the gorgeous Christmas tree in my house. It's so big and festive!



If only the picture weren't blurry... Oh well!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What is mindfulness? (a re*mind*er for myself)

I knew Susan and I were destined to be good friends when we talked one day about how we both had tried "washing the dishes to wash the dishes". Both of us had read Thich Nhat Hanh's *The Miracle of Mindfulness* and were inspired to try this exercise. It is not hard to master the concept of practicing mindfulness, but it is unbelievably hard to do. Mindfulness requires living in the moment -- allowing oneself to experience the sensations of the physical body in each moment, in each movement, to observe what is around oneself, to experience what is happening "now". I feel pretty confident in speaking not just for myself when I say that most of our time is spent in our heads thinking about 1)the past or 2)the future. Because of this habitual practice of not being in the moment, we miss all sorts of opportunities for joy. [One might also say we miss the opportunity to hear God talking to us -- or whatever is there when our own thoughts are quieted.] What causes pain? If you ask me, it is mostly caused by negative, habitual thought patterns. Even physical pain is made much worse in the resisting [fear] of it. Taking care of physical comfort can be the most important tool in alleviating pain. Sometimes pain is caused by trying to make something happen faster than is possible, like in the case of thinking so much about a future event that we think is going to be difficult that we hold our bodies in a constant state of tension in anticipation of the event. We think only of how we want this pain to be over with, but in holding our muscles and holding our breath, we end up in enormous physical discomfort. In choosing to live in the moment, one can, if even for a couple of minutes, breathe deeply, relax one's muscles, and choose to abandon all worrisome thoughts. One can choose to observe one's immediate surroundings -- the blue sky and sunshine, the crispness of the air, a pleasant fragrance, the feel of soft fabric, a cute animal, a beautiful person walking by, or an exquisite building. This change in state of mind serves to change one's perspective from a state of feeling overwhelmed to a state of greater calm, which helps one to deal better with stress. Thich Nhat Hahn would say it is possible to live most (or maybe all) of one's life in a state of mindfulness. I personally find it difficult to break the habit of thinking too much about the past and future. To really live this way, it seems one would need to surround oneself with like-minded people. One great lesson I learned from *The Miracle of Mindfulness* was the idea that one doesn't need to separate oneself from others in order to have time to oneself. By thinking that all time is one's own time, one is free to experience fully every moment one spends alone or with others. Washing the dishes to wash the dishes is demanding because the point is to truly experience the sensations involved in the process of washing the dishes (how the water feels running against your hands, its temperature, the soap suds, the experience of making something clean, fresh, new...) and not concentrate solely on trying to complete the task as quickly as possible. This change in state of mind revolutionizes eating, walking, breathing, singing, being with another person, etc.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

So I took about a bazillion pictures while I was in Cleveland, but all with my camera phone, so not very many came out too well. The beautiful church where we performed was actually converted into an art gallery (a detail I failed to grasp before my arrival). The woman who owns it and runs the gallery lives in the rectory. Here is the view from the back loft:



And here is the view of the back loft from the floor:



These were taken during the afternoon before our rehearsal. They were still working to put together the opening for that night. Here are some more pictures:




I wish I could remember the artist's name. His stuff was pretty cool. Here are two of the pieces:





The top piece is set on strips of film with words typed on them. If I remember correctly, the bottom piece is oil on canvas with gold inlay. I wish I got better pictures!

The acoustics in the church were awesome. There was a 3 second delay, which sounded so pretty, especially during rehearsal when we rehearsed the round for 3 sopranos with 2 of us in the back loft and one in the front loft! Unfortunately, the acoustics amplified more than just the music, which was really disappointing during the performance, as the conversation pretty much killed the musical effects we were going for. Hopefully the recording came out well and hopefully we'll do it again. It's a great piece! I wish I could play it for you!

Dana's kids are SO cute and bright! I am so sad that I wasn't able to stay longer and hang out with them. I got one picture, of Seamus, who is 3, but regret that I didn't get pictures of John (8) or Peter (6). Seamus, Peter, and I played Santa and reindeer for a while. That was fun. We delivered a ton of fake toys.

Christmas survey

Susan didn't *make* me do this, but I got the idea from her blog.

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
I definitely drink more hot chocolate than eggnog, but the holidays wouldn't be the same without a little eggnog.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa who?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
If I had a treehouse, I would definitely put colored lights on it.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Ooh, good idea.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
My mom puts decorations up pretty soon after Thanksgiving. It has been so long since I had a home of my own where I could have a tree or any significant decorations that I don't think I can say what I usually do about any of this. If I had the space and it made any sense, I would get a tree now.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I love the veg filo casserole my mom and I make, but I also love mashed potatoes.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
My family did almost exactly the same thing every year for Christmas from the time I was born until my Grandpa died in 1991 or so. I'm not going to go into a huge amount of detail, but the gist is as follows: My family and my mom's sister's family all drove to Galesburg, IL to 1343 N. Kellogg St. (the grandparents' house). Christmas eve we all went to church (where we sang silent night with candles, of course and I probably sang "I Wonder as I Wander" or "O Holy Night" and my cousin Julia probably played something pretty on the violin) and then the kids were all instructed to go to bed while our moms and dads wrapped presents and drank eggnog with rum in it. When we went to bed our stockings were all lined up on the banister (all 11 of them), but when we woke up the next morning, they were all spread out around the living room with a heap of presents under the tree. We were allowed to open our stockings before breakfast, but had to wait patiently and eat coffee cake and drink orange juice until the adults decided it was time to open the presents. For the next 8 or so years while my Grandma was still alive, we tried to maintain the same traditions in upstate NY between my mom's house and my aunt and uncle's place, but after she died, our tradition fell apart for the most part. It's pretty sad for the little kid in me, but I think in time we'll have all new traditions to keep up with.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't know what you're talking about.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Usually one or two.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
We have a lot of worn out old ornaments that have been around forever that we put up for sentimental reasons and we usually use colored lights. We go back and forth between an angel and a star at the top.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Snow is great as long as I'm not driving. I'm pretty good at driving in snow (having grown up in the "snow belt") but I still would rather drive on a dry road.

12. Can you ice skate?
I used to take figure skating lessons when I was young, but I haven't skated for years.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I remember vividly one year when I really wanted the sheet music to "Annie", the musical. I was SO excited to get it.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with my family and being reminded of what is really important in life.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
My mom makes awesome ginger cut-out cookies. I love those. I also love her mincemeat cookies and her pumpkin cookies. I also love pumpkin pie.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Singing carols!

17. What tops your tree?
Nothing at the moment.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
I have a lot of anxiety about giving gifts, so when I find something that I really think someone will like, I get really excited about it. Like that year I bought everyone the book, *Walter the Farting Dog*. What a great year : )

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
*On this Day Earth Shall Ring* (with a good chime ringer and a big, loud organ and choir)

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
I'm not really that crazy about them.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
Charlie Brown

22. What do you leave for Santa?
Who is this Santa person you keep talking about?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Flying to Cleveland

So, this afternoon I'm flying to Cleveland to sing a concert for my friend, Dana, a composer who was in my class at Eastman. I'm excited to finally actually be singing a concert instead of just listening to one (though I'm sad to miss Ian's choir concert -- they're singing the Magnificat and it sounds really good). I'm excited because the concept of her piece is really neat and the music is very pretty. The piece is going to be performed in a church with the performers spread out, making the ensemble very loosely connected. She is hoping the audience members will experience the music from many different locations, sort of like they would with art in a gallery. It should be a really interesting performance and hopefully very fun.

I'm trying not to focus on the fact that I often get very anxious about flying. Hopefully I won't have to resort to drinking lots of alcohol before boarding the plane, which has been the case in the past. (the concert isn't until tomorrow...) Fortunately, I am ridiculously tired, so I should probably be ok.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I'm taking the lead here from Suze, the "list floozy":

5 Things I Want But Don't Have:

1. A plan (and the equipment) for developing and marketing myself as a singer. I think this probably includes the following things: renewing my subscription to "Classical Singer" magazine (which just expired), weekly voice lessons &/or coachings, a really good headshot and lots and lots of copies of it, lots and lots of copies of my resume, a really good demo CD and lots and lots of copies of it, the organization and will to actually send in my materials for opportunities (auditions) that come up and to potential employers, a great system/package for sending materials out.

2. A laptop that works. Ideally it would have MS Word and some sort of musical recording software, like "Garage Band", so I can keep writing songs.

3. Health insurance.

4. A financial cushion to help me out during times like now.

5. Physical fitness (mostly cardiovascular fitness, arm muscles, and flexibility).


5 Things I Have But Don't Want:

1. A nasty varicose vein on my left thigh and calf (or are there 2?).

2. Lots of excess body hair.

3. 6 outdated GRE study guides.

4. 5 books by Jan Karon. (Has anyone read them? Are they actually any good?)

5. CDs by LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood, Shaggy, Limp Bizkit, Mazzy Star, Lush...


5 Things I Don't Want and Don't Have:

1. Fake boobs.

2. Cancer, AIDS, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, HPV, Parkinson's, Malaria, etc. etc. (you get the picture).

3. A pierced tongue.

4. An evil twin.

5. A 30 minute deadline to stop a team of mad scientists from spreading a virus that makes people sing or whistle Abba songs whenever they are within a 2 foot radius of concrete or asphalt.
So... I'm trying to figure out why there is a stack of hay in the driveway.



Any ideas?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

As I was walking through Harvard Yard after work today, I found myself thinking about how, at first glance, the main difference between the students at Harvard and those at UW-Madison is the color of their shirts. It's kind of funny to me how many students wear t-shirts and sweatshirts with their school name plastered on the front. No one really wore school-themed clothing at Eastman or NEC that I can remember -- at least not with any regularity. At UW-Madison we used to call the red clothing with "WISCONSIN" in white letters across the front (or the butt) "the uniform" (Didn't we?). Harvard's colors are maroon and white and I haven't yet seen anyone with "HARVARD" across their butt(s) (!!), but there are still plenty of "uniforms". Ok, so there are some other huge differences... like that in Wisconsin there are more fair, blond people than I have ever seen before in my life. And, students at Harvard seem to dress nicer than people at UW, but that is really just a general difference between people in Madison and people in Boston (and yes, probably has something to do with money). I mean, there are obviously lots of other differences between the schools, the students, the campuses, etc., but anyway...

So, I'm in my first week of work at the Lamont Library at Harvard, which is a library just for undergraduates. It's a *very* nice facility, just as everything at Harvard is. Right now, since I don't yet have an ID or computer access, I'm doing mostly trivial stuff, like shredding, but I've also learned how to process books for the "New Book Shelf", which is pretty fun. Also, it's only part-time, so I'm still looking for more work. I need a big kick in the butt to get going on the music part of things. I don't know why I'm dragging my feet so much. I'll actually be flying to Cleveland next week to sing on a concert for a friend there, so hopefully that will help!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well, today wasn't that great of a day, but it wasn't awful either. I took a different route to work this morning and got lost, but it didn't take me much time to right myself and I was still 10 minutes early. This afternoon I got pulled over for (just barely) running a red light. I was SO worried about getting a ticket, because I REALLY can't afford any additional expenses at the moment, but the cop let me off with a warning. Whew! And when I got home I discovered that my computer, which has been very uncooperative lately, has yet another problem. I can't use MS Word at all now! So, I was going to submit resumes in pursuit of a second part-time job, but now I'm unable to do that. And, I was going to download some pictures for this blog entry, but the computer is telling me there is no room to store anything (even though I trashed both Photoshop and Finale earlier -- they were old versions that only ran in the old OS anyway). So, luckily I am still able to use email here, but this laptop is on its last legs. Over Thanksgiving I had two wonderful guys offer to stand out in the cold for 3 hours at 4:00am to buy me a laptop at a greatly reduced price from a computer outlet center (which happens to have stores in Denver and Cambridge). I told them both I couldn't let them do it because to me having a computer isn't worth so much suffering. I am such an idiot.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My friend, Dave, from college just sent a link to a Wikimmunity story he's working on about his hometown. I enjoyed reading it, so thought I'd share it with you:

Dave's story about Granville

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Karaoke!

Last night I got together with my best friend, Lara, her mom, brother Andy, and husband Jeff at the Skyline Grill in Syracuse for a little karaoke.

(Here's Lara and her mom (Anita) singing a lovely duet)


Afterwards (at around 3am!!) we went out to Denny's because we were HUNGRY from all the singing!

(Anita and Jeff)

(Andy and Lara)


Jeff made a t-shirt for the waitress (who was definitely on speed).

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hello, friends!
Have you been wondering what to do with all that darn cat hair that accumulates in little dust balls in all the corners of your house? Well, I have a solution for you!! Click here to find out how to make felt from cat hair!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In case I haven't told you about it already, this is the delicious dish my mom and I have made for Thanksgiving every year for the last 5 years or so. I am SO looking forward to it!

Cheese, Rice and Vegetable Strudel
Based on a traditional Russian dish called "Koulibiac", this makes a perfect vegetarian main course.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
7/8 cup long grain rice
2 tbsp butter
1-2 leeks thinly sliced
8 oz Gruyère (or cheddar) cheese, grated
8 oz feta cheese, cubed
2 tbsp raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds or hazelnuts, toasted
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
10 oz package frozen filo pastry, thawed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the rice in boiling, salted water for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain, rinse under cold running water and set aside. Melt the butter and cook the leeks and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

2. Add the well-drained rice, the cheeses, raisins, toasted nuts, parsley and season to taste (be careful with the salt as the feta cheese is very salty).

3. Preheat the oven to 375F. Unwrap the filo pastry. Cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and a damp clot while you work. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a large piece of wax paper and brush it with oil. Lay a second sheet, overlapping the first by 1 in. Put another sheet with its long side running at right angles to the long sides ofthe first two. Lay a fourth sheet in the same way overlapping by 1 in. Continue in this way, alternating the layers of the two sheets so that the join between the two sheets runs in the opposite direction for each layer.

4. Place the filling along the center of the pastry and shape it neatly with your hands into a rectangle approximately 4 x 12 in

5. Fold the pastry over the filing and roll it over, with the help of the wax paper, so that the join is hidden underneath.

6. Lift the strudel on to a greased baking sheet and tuck the edges under, so that the filing does not escape during cooking. Brush with oil and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let the strudel stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I have a lot of work to do, but...



First thing's first...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I decided to change the songs on my MySpace site, as the same ones have been on there for a couple of months now. So, I hope you don't mind, Susan, but I decided to upload four of the "Ariettes oubliées" (Debussy) from our french recital last December. You can click here to listen. I never get tired of listening to these pieces; the beauty of this exquisite marriage of poem and song never fails to touch me. It's very hard to believe this was less than a year ago!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

I'm at home and I'm connected to the internet!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I am SO hungry right now. You know what sounds good? Jerusalem Garden. I wonder if I can get a falafel pita around these parts. Hmmm...
When I moved in with my mom earlier this year, I noticed that she always insisted on buying organic fruits and vegetables, but didn't buy organic dairy products. I pointed out to her that if she was concerned about the effects of pesticides, etc. she ought to be more concerned with animal products than plant products, as animal products take much longer for the body to process and thus spend longer in the system. In my opinion, if a person is concerned about the purity of one's food, the first product to be concerned with is meat, then dairy products, then plant products. As I don't eat meat myself, I don't find myself concerned with eating organic in that department, but I am concerned with dairy. As far as milk is concerned, I have come to the conclusion that above all things, I want to buy milk that comes from cows that have not been treated with Recombinant bovine growth hormone. I am not so much concerned that it is organic, although perhaps I should be. I am certainly not going to buy Horizon products, which are seriously questionable in their organic-ness. Have you noticed that Horizon has totally changed their packaging so that the word "Horizon" doesn't appear on the front anymore, perhaps due to bad press. Now the packages are innocuously pastel. You'd never guess from the picture on the front that the milk comes from a factory farm! Sadly, organic cheese and ice cream are much harder to find. My basic rule of thumb is to buy imported cheese, as RBGH has been banned by the EU. But when will the consumers who wised up enough to get the dairy industry to cut back its use of RBGH in milk realize that it is in other dairy products as well -- duh! The main thing that keeps me from consuming dairy products with RBGH is an image I can't get out of my head of a cow with mastitis, which is a condition cows treated with RBGH are more susceptible to. Gross! Your thoughts? (ps... i'm at work, so if this makes no sense it's because i wasn't able to proofread it well enough in my haste.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I tried to take pictures of the dog, but he just won't stand still!!




Friday, November 10, 2006

Just for fun (and as a distraction from the work I'm supposed to be doing), I thought I would make a list of my favorite places in certain categories in all the places I have lived. Hmmm...

SYRACUSE, NY:
Grocery store: Wegmans
Indian restaurant: Sahota Palace (Liverpool)
Coffee shop: Recess
Pub: Coleman's
Used book shop: Books End
Hall to sing in: May Memorial Unitarian Church
Place to run: I never really found one...
Place to walk: Green Lakes State Park

ROCHESTER, NY:
Grocery store: Wegmans (although the co-op is awesome there)
Indian restaurant: India House, I guess...
Coffee shop: Java's
Pub: The Old Toad
Used book shop: Brownbag Books
Hall to sing in: Kilbourn Hall
Place to run: Erie Canal in Pittsford
Place to walk: East Avenue

BOSTON, MA:
Grocery store: Trader Joe's
Indian restaurant: Kebab Factory
Coffee shop: Torrefazione, although there's probably somewhere better in the north end
Pub: Sunset Grill & Tap
Used book shop: Raven Books in Harvard Square
Hall to sing in: Jordan Hall
Place to run: Reservoir in Brookline
Place to walk: everywhere

MADISON, WI:
Grocery store: Woodman's
Indian restaurant: I don't know the names of any of them... the one on Park St. was pretty good...
Coffee shop: Room of One's Own or Espresso Royale
Pub: that place on Regent St. with the pizza? or the Grumpy Troll!
Used book shop: Paul's
Hall to sing in: NOT La Maison Francaise! Morphy, I guess.
Place to run: Bike path by Willy St.
Place to walk: Path by the lake, you know, the lake... (um... the one by HC White)

Ok, I'd better get back to work...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Susan's blog just made me laugh for its picture of two composers in an *interesting* tableau.
Thank God he didn't poop ON any of my things.

So, I'm still not used to living with a dog. I haven't lived with a dog since I was in high school, so I'm just not yet accustomed to the concept that any food lying anywhere is going to be eaten the moment I turn my back. Suzie, my family's dalmation, who was alive from when I was age 5 to 16, used to eat everything -- loaves of bread, plates of dinner sitting on the dining room table, books (which provoked much anger in my father), etc... But for the last 10 years, I have been accustomed to two kitty cats, whose annoying habits include: Jezebel - knocking over full glasses of water, eating plants, and generally being a dominatrix, and Vana - ripping the corners of magazines and newspapers and indecision about which room she wants to be in. Imagine my chagrin this morning when I found the contents of my purse, which I had left at the top of the stairway, strewn along the stairs and the empty wrapper from the Ritter Sport Hazelnut Chocolate bar I bought at Trader Joe's yesterday at the bottom of the stairs surrounded by dog poo -- 3 piles in all -- one large, two small. I had to clean it up, even though I was yet again running late, because the poo was right in front of the door. Ewwww! Dog poo indoors is the worst! The smell is unbearable! It's bad enough outside! Now I'm not saying cat poo isn't gross, but it's much smaller and less smelly, and generally it's dry by the time you scoop it up. (It's the pee that really stinks!) So, Suze, how about baby poo? You said it smells pretty bad, but is it as bad as dog poo??

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In case you haven't caught up with Le Meg lately, I highly recommend today's entry, which includes a very *interesting* photo.
So... what is a good pain reliever that doesn't hurt the stomach? I have relied on Ibuprofen for years and now am finding that it is making my stomach hurt. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006



This is a sign I walk past every day on my way to work. : )

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Since I miss my kitties terribly, I thought I would reprise these pictures of Vana and Jezebel. I won't see them until Thanksgiving.
: ( Isn't that sad? Hopefully it won't be too much longer until I can bring them here.


Friday, November 03, 2006

So I still don't have internet access at home. The wireless card I ordered came in the mail yesterday, but my computer is not recognizing it properly and it seems it may not be Mac compatible after all. I vowed a few years ago that I would never have another credit card again, but I'm starting to think about it again... Otherwise, I suppose I could get a second job. Maybe I could start waitressing a few nights a week. Hmmmm... Money... Need more... Need new computer...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ok, so I've finally pinpointed exactly what it is that drives me nuts about working at Dana-Farber. There is NEVER any music playing anywhere! It is TOTALLY silent here, but for people's voices and the sound of machines and forced air. Do I have the courage to put on some music and see what happens? Music has always been the redeeming aspect to any secretarial position I've held. Even the most mundane tasks can become so much fun when I am distracted by music. What ever shall I do?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Today I've decided to think about that age-old question, "What would I want to do for a living if I didn't have to worry about money?" I'll let you know what I come up with...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Check out Sweet Water Journal for an article on vegetarianism that I can totally relate to!
Well, here I am at Kinko's again. I started temping at Dana-Farber again on Monday, working as the executive assistant for the head of the Radiology department, who has a very thick french accent. The more time I spend assisting people who are experts in their field, the more aware I become of the fact that I am not applying any of my education to my current work life. I think about applying to go back to school pretty much every day, but does it make any sense to finish my DMA? I think the only place in Boston I could apply to do a DMA is Boston University (since I think I have ruled out NEC, which rejected me once already and only takes a maximum of ONE voice DMA student a year). Other than that, the only other programs that make any sense to my confused brain are a Master's in Social Work or certification to teach music in the public schools. I suppose the other option would be to teach voice lessons privately and freelance. Too bad the house I live in doesn't have a piano. So, other than that, there's probably lots I could tell you... but nothing I'd be willing to write on my blog... so you'll have to call me. : )

Friday, October 27, 2006

So I feel like I should blog since I have the chance, but I don't really know what to say. I've been without reliable internet access for the last several weeks and have only blogged short entries that I could sneak into my work day. Today I'm not working, so I'm at Kinko's and it's costing me money to write this... So far I have temped for 8 days in the Head and Neck Oncology Dept at Dana Farber Cancer institute and then yesterday I had an interview for another temp position in the Radiology department which starts on Monday and lasts for 3-4 weeks. I found out yesterday afternoon that I did indeed get the job, so that's good, but I'm not too thrilled about the fact that I'll still be in limbo. Last night I went to see "Moses and Aron" (Schoenberg) at the BSO and it was pretty crazy -- an incredible performance. I went with my friends Lisa and Jason with whom I stayed until Tuesday and ran into several old NEC friends while we were there. It is actually really reassuring to run into other people who are working day jobs and having a hard time getting things going musically. That's part of the appeal of living here -- company.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The road leads...



to home sweet home...



My room is that top window.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This morning Anne, who owns the house in which I now live, brought me these roses from her garden.



Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Arrrrgh! I barely slept at all last night. Let's just say that things are not working out here in Boston quite as smoothly as I'd hoped they would. So now I have an apartment, but not a job. Interesting turn of events, eh? I guess the good thing about living here is that I keep randomly running into old school friends from NEC. Unfortunately, most of those folks are making their living mostly doing something that has nothing to do with music. So, it's nice to have a larger social circle than I did in Madison or Syracuse, but I'd like a little security. Hopefully my temp agency will call me with more work on Monday, but who knows! I move into my new place on Tuesday. It's pretty awesome. I'll tell more about that later on...

So I've decided to make a list of things that make me feel more calm, focused, and secure (and I'm tagging Susan on this). Here I go:

1. Breathing slowly in and out repeating to myself, "Calming (in), Smiling (out), Present Moment (in), Wonderful Moment (out)".

2. Taking a walk, especially where there are lots of trees and tree creatures.

3. Singing practice

4. Piano practice

5. Writing

6. Lying in corpse pose on the floor imagining someone I love holding my feet

7. Lying in the restorative pose where my legs are up the wall

8. Visiting an art museum

9. Running

10. Reading a good book

That was a good exercise. Speaking of exercise, I would really like to start running again. I have been saying that for months...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I remember the first time I saw this painting hanging in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts:



I couldn't take my eyes off it. I stood there staring at it for what seemed like an hour and returned weekend after weekend to see it again. Finally I broke down and bought a copy of it to hang on my wall, though it never quite seemed to do justice to the original. The color isn't right; the copy doesn't even include the whole image. But what is it that I like so much about it? At first I thought it was just another sappy reminder of an ex-boyfriend who I hopelessly wanted to pursue his painting, but in retrospect I don't think that's it. When I look at this painting now, I see it as a symbol of the union of feminine and masculine, of light and dark, right and left. I see a meeting of minds, a union of souls, a love that bears fruit. I did take an art history class once in college and I know some of the ways in which art is analysed, but I don't really have a knack for it. Like poetry and music, in art, I like what I like. I like what hits me just so. I'm surprised to find that this painting still has an impact on me.

By the way, for those of you who were surprised to hear that I am living in Boston, I'm not surprised that you're suprised!! I haven't been that easy to figure out lately, but finally I decided that this is what I want. I was waiting to send an official announcement until I find an apartment, so... hopefully that's not too far off. For the time being, I'm staying in Wild Turkeyville, otherwise known as Jamaica Plain (which is, yes, an outskirt of Boston : ))

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So this morning when I left my friends' apartment in Jamaica Plain to go to work at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, there was a giant bird on the sidewalk.




I couldn't figure out what s/he was doing there. It was so weird! The apartment is only a couple of blocks from the Arnold Arboretum, so maybe s/he lives there...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

When I got to Kalamazoo, Julia told me that if it weren't for her son, Andrew, she didn't know how she would make it. We are all thanking God so much for him. He loves the puppets. Aunt Annie was pretty exhausted, but she still played an awesome monkey.










Aunt Annie and Pamela smothering Julia with our love.



Uncle David with Grandma and Grandpa.