Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It, again

I've been tagged again, much to my delight (Thanks, Joyce!).

The meme is below:

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago:

Ten Years ago, I had just finished my freshman year at the University of Michigan. I was in Ann Arbor, living at my parent's house, riding a bike to my two summer classes everyday (Psych 101 and History of the Old Testament), taking voice lessons with my teacher (Rosemay Russell), and working as a waiter at the Cottage Inn. I met David Daniels for the first time around this time, because he came in to the restaurant pick up his take out order one afternoon. On Sundays I would commute into downtown Detroit to sing at my church job (the Mariner's Church). My waistline was about 4 inches bigger than it is now. I was single, blessed with great friends, and could barely bring myself to speak to my parents because I still hadn't come out to them yet.

Five things on today's "to do" list:
- Write this blog entry
- Rehearse with
Pedja for our concert this weekend
- Practice
Jake's new piece for it's American Premiere next week as well as the Bach arias that are on that same program.
- Unpack from the Portland trip (see the photo above)
- Do laundry

Things I'd do if I was a Billionaire:
- Buy a small-ish house or an apartment or both, depending

- Donate a lot, probably to children's charities, to gay youth organizations, and to AIDS and cancer research.

- Have a big savings/investment portfolio

- Pay off Jeremy's school loans
- Have a wedding/gay-marriage-party somewhere fun, fancy, and elegant

Three Bad Habits:
- My addiction to Google Reader - I lose countless amounts of time every day on this thing
- My addiction to fried foods - I never know when to stop
- Being impatient in voice lessons and coachings - I don't listen as well as I could as a result

Five places I've lived:
Hartford, CT
Ann Arbor, MI
Houston, TX
New York City, NY

Out of my suitcase

Five jobs I've had:
Restaurant Host
Tower Records (I forget my official title, but I worked there while I was in College)
Voice Teacher
Opera Singer

Five People I'm Tagging:

Lou, Peter, Slater, Jim, Jason

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Broadcast Bicoastalness

The recital that Jeremy and I performed at the beginning of the month with the Marilyn Horne Foundation will be broadcast tonight at 9pm Eastern Time here.

If you're in Portland, OR - I'll be singing three high D's at about that time on the west coast here.


I am having the time of my life here in Portland - the weather is perfect, the city is green and lush, my colleagues are lovely, the hall is beautiful, and this is one of my favorite cities in the world to visit. It's mostly a favorite because one of my dearest friends lives here, and getting the chance to spend practically unlimited amounts of time with her is priceless, just like the Mastercard commercials. When I haven't been in rehearsal, we've been exploring the city's various restaurants and haunts, catching up, laughing hysterically, and just feeling giddy at being able to see so much of each other after not seeing each other for so long. I've firmly decided that Portland needs to be a regular stop in the future - I love it here.

A slightly intense day tomorrow - an early morning dress rehearsal, and then the first performance in the evening. While my duties as the dying swan are intense and quite difficult, I am glad that they are minimal and that I can sit and let this fun and exciting music wash over me.

Oh, and just so I can fit an inside joke in here - Hi, Lisa!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The house is a wreck. Clothes are strewn all over the bedroom, Jeremy’s suitcases lie open empty on the unmade bed, papers cover the piano, music is randomly piled all over our living room, my suitcase from my jaunt to Italy is half unpacked and awaits a repacking for my trip tomorrow. I found myself saying to a singer who came to work with Jeremy today, "I'm sorry - I promise, we don't really live like this." Jeremy is trying to fit in his final coachings before he relocates to the Washington, DC area for a summer of work at Wolf Trap Opera. I leave for Oregon tomorrow for a weekend of Carmina Burana with the Oregon Symphony. What makes this trip unusual for me is that instead of coming home to an eager, excited, smiling Jeremy like I usually do, I will come home to an empty apartment next week. We both stare down what seems like a long tunnel of time apart, not looking forward to feeling lonely for each other.

I recently rented the DVD of HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me, a show about four couples in various stages of their relationships. Being a thought-provoking program, it prompted some domestic debating. Relaxing on the couch, watching the pilot episode with Jeremy, we got to talking about the biggest issue that repeatedly causes tension in our relationship – our working schedules. It is almost impossible for us to feel that we get enough time with each other. It’s something we struggle with constantly, and while we have our rules about seeing each other, it never feels adequate. Either I am on the road or he is at work most of the day and night if I am home. We blame each other at times, or we blame ourselves, or both. It leads to endless frustration.

We do make some progress, though. This is our passion, and we are blessed to be able to call it our vocation and make a living at it, let alone work at the wonderful places we have the opportunities to work. With that blessing comes a bit of a price, it seems, but in the end is it much more of a price than anyone else pays? Most of us have to go to work and have what seem like endless responsibilities that tear us away from our loved one at various times. The plus side is that we get to experience the sweetness of reuniting that much more frequently.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Recitalings and Weddings

Sunday afternoon is both a blurred swath of memory and vividly imprinted with detail on my mind all at once. I remember rolling up pieces of prosciutto for the little post-recital party we had at our place for my parents and some family friends at around 12:30, thinking that it was an odd way to prepare for a concert that was to take place in two and a half hours. I remember seeing the sun break through the promised grey sky, burning it to a clear blue, surprising us happily. I remember pacing furiously backstage, trying to channel my nerves into positive places. I remember moments that I felt fiercely connected to both the text and the music, time seeming to stand still. I remember some moments where time seemed to rush by as I desperately tried to catch them so that I could enjoy them. I remember wishing I could go back and have a second chance at some things. I remember feeling happy and proud of how it went overall.

Now it is off to the adventure of a wedding and a mini-vacation. I am to be a bridesmaid in Italy this week, standing for a great friend that I’ve known since we were little twelve year olds sawing away in our respective string sections in youth orchestra. I am kicking and screaming at the thought of some time off, my conscience nagging me to stay home and sit down at the piano to woodshed some of Jake’s new piece that I am performing at the end of the month along with some Bach that also needs some attention. Alas, other parts of me are screaming for some much needed rest and relaxation after such an intense April. Looking at my suitcase, fantasizing about my weekend in Italy, I wonder if I can squeeze in my electric keyboard.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Meme and Shameless Self-Promotion

Tag, I'm it. Thanks, ACB.

The rules of this game of tag:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The Life of Rome's First Emperor Augustus

"Like other fashionable people of the time, Livia owned little slave boys called
deliciae, or darlings (often Syrians or Africans), who ran around naked and amused people with their chatter. Like court jesters, they had license to say the unsayable. On occasion, one of these boys saw Livia and Octavian sharing a dining couch and Tiberius lying on another alongside a male guest. He went up to Livia and said: 'What are you doing here, mistress? For your husband [pointing to Tiberius] is over there.' "

Ancient Rome sounds like it was a fun place.

I tag
Joyce, Kim, James Roe, Hobo Camp, and my brother.

On a completely unrelated and shameless note - I do hope that all you New York readers can make it to the Marilyn Horne Foundation recital that Jeremy and I will be performing tomorrow at 3:00 PM at Christ and St. Stephen's Church at 69th and Broadway.