You amaze me. You inspire me. There is nothing like watching
you onstage and seeing you be such a true person. Talent like yours is rare and
so special. Even more than that, you are such a good, kind, warm, and caring human
in real life. Your friendship is one to be counted on. You lift up the people
around you with such ease and, in your quiet and unassuming way, you offer
encouragement and support simply with your presence. You can always make me
smile. I am so grateful to know you and get the gift of working with you. You
will go so far in life and I can’t wait to see it happen.
You are fire, light, and life. You bring me laughter, a sense of ease. You remind me to not take life so seriously all the time. You are a true artist; I see your heart in all you do. I know you're going to achieve great things -- whatever you choose to do in life will be great, because you have the strength and determination to make it that way. I admire you deeply and I am so lucky to call you a colleague and friend.
For me, nothing quite compares to the thrill of adding the orchestra to the stage (or, in our case the box of a classroom) for the first time. Something about the new timbres and colors brings out all of the power and subtleties of the score and they fill the drama with true life. Our sitzprobe tonight for Nine at SFCM was pretty successful and I know my colleagues and I are all anticipating putting everything together on our full stage this week!
The score for Nine is by Maury Yeston, whose music I had the privilege to sing at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle in their concert version of Titanic: The Musical a few years ago. Nine was Yeston's first show, written while he was still in school, but I hear some similarities between the two shows, particularly after the penultimate songs in each. In Nine, Guido Contini seems to have "lost it all" by the end of the show, but is comforted by his nine-year-old self, who sings a song about "Getting Tall." In Titanic, there is a haunting reprise/chorus of a song extolling the virtues of the great ship that happens as the ship finishes sinking beneath the frigid Arctic waters. After both of these moments, Yeston has an extended interlude with music that is altogether magical and perfectly sums up the emotional journey that each show has taken the audience on.
When I realized that Nine had a similar instrumental piece to Titanic at this moment in the show, I was beyond excited to hear it played by our orchestra. Tonight was the night and I was not disappointed! I tried to take video, but of course my phone pooped out on me. Luckily, I get to stand just off stage while this music goes on and I will enjoy every moment of it. :D
Tonight is all fragmented thoughts and
Ideal starts with
No time to consider before the next one
Beginnings that head to
Something new appears just once like a
Flashes of lightning lacking rolls of
Thundering sounds as only echoes, their sources nowhere to be
Foundations abandoned for better
Or for worse.
Your attitude is only making this take longer, sir.
I'm sorry that being in line is the same for you as it is for everybody else who arrived before you.
Yes we need that information. Because I said so. No we are not the government spying on you.
It's not my fault you didn't buy your ticket in advance and you arrived at 7:55 expecting no line.
Do I really need to repeat myself?
Let's make a better attitude choice.
Request denied. Try again later when you can choose to treat me like a person.
You are a blinking swan.
I am judging you and I find you atrocious on an admirable number of levels.
Go. Just leave.
SECURITY. SE-CURITY. We got ourselves a complicated order.
Hmm yeah no.
YOUR BEHAVIOR IS ABHORRENT.
Oh I'm sorry. I can't find my respect for you anywhere. You must have lost it.
Name submitted for the Hunger Games. Check.
Sunshine, daisies, butter, mellow. Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.
LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK!!!!!!!! *heavy breathing*
New hashtag: #YBIA -- YOUR BEHAVIOR IS ABHORRENT.
Seriously, why do people think that treating the service people poorly will get them faster, less complicated service? I will only understand your need to hurry if you are having a medical emergency and need to go inside the theater to fix it. Otherwise, it's your fault (one way or another) if you arrived later than you wanted. So take responsibility and let me do my job for you as quickly as I can ... which means not arguing with you about when I need your information to print your blinking ticket. Blinking blink blink.
If you have ever worked a service job, what did you have to keep yourself from saying? Leave a comment!
Side note -- I am grateful for all of the lovely people who recognize that I am trying to help them and are at least pleasant, if not friendly. God bless them.
It's the third day of school and I'm "managing" as my answer to "How are you doing?!"
My hands have broken out in their cyclical, mild case of stress hives.
I'm barely thinking about classes (though they are just fine, I promise.)
Just music, music, music. Mostly Nine, Knoxville, other recital rep, and Albert Herring.
But really, things are going okay. Managing is good compared to falling behind. I'm mostly just tired and looking forward to Saturday.
It's squirmy and writhing in the pit of my stomach. It slithers in the back of my head. It wraps around my heart and squeezes ever so slowly.
I'm afraid of the black hole I sense looming before me. I can't even see it yet, but I know that it's lurking, just around a few bends in the road. My steps are reluctant and weighted. I want each day to be as long as it can, to turn the hourglass back.
In spite of my fear, I want to go on. I know what's ahead will be good, though not easy. I might need even more strength than it takes for me to keep my feet on the path right now. I feel hands holding me and lifting me. I will keep holding those hands and they will not let go.
Today I was beckoned by sunlight and heights. Come and see. I tried to resist, roll over, stay in bed, but the blue sky was insistent. Come and see. I took my time, did other things, but kept coming back to the window. The green trees swayed. Come and see.
So I relented. I prepared, taking only what I needed. I found a friend to come along. The journey was challenging and sometimes I had to stop to take a breath. But the glimpses of the view to come were exciting. Come and see. I kept going.
And when I arrived at the top, I could see where I started and how far I had come. I had risked and won and all along the heights knew that I could do it. The sunlight celebrated with me. The air rejuvenated me. I could stretch my arms and touch the sky. The world below was mine.
I wrote this at work tonight, when I didn't have internet access. I prefaced it with "I'm really really bored... :P haha" so don't have high expectations. Seriously.
Once upon a time in a far off kingdom there lived a little hedgehog named Phil. He was a happy hedgehog, who loved eating the wild raspberries that grew outside his little den.
One day, a big, white, floppy-eared rabbit, named George of course, came hop, hop, hopping along by Phil's house and was stopped in his tracks by the delightful sight of the scrumptious raspberry patch. Then he kept hop, hop, hopping because rabbits only eat carrots.
Next came a medium-sized blue jay known as Steve. Steve flap, flap, flapped along, keeping close to the forest ground, looking for treats (as blue jays are apt to do - they are very greedy creatures, after all.) Steve's small, black, beady eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the tantalizingly luscious berries. He quit his flap, flap, flapping and immediately proceeded to gorge himself on the treasures. Once he was full to bursting, he fell asleep under the thicket.
That afternoon, when Phil came home from work (his job was to meander the woodland paths and be adorable, which he excelled at), he was astonished to see that nearly all of the delectable morsels next to his house were gone! He began to weep adorable hedgehog tears, crying, "Oh dear me!" repeatedly in this distressed manner for the next two hours. [At this point I should bring back George the rabbit because one usually should not introduce characters and not bring them back. But George was really only passing through and was no help at all.]
Eventually, Steve the blue jay woke up, though not from Phil's tears (he's a very heavy post-gorging sleeper.) However, he found that he was now so fat that he couldn't flap, flap, flap away at all! He began to weep, cawing loudly, "Oh dear me!"
Phil came trundling (sure that's a word) out of his house to see what was making such disturbing racket. Upon seeing Steve's conspicuously enlarged abdominal area, Phil narrowed his adorable hedgehog eyes and unconsciously twitched his pink little nose. "It was YOU!" he squeaked! "YOU ate all of the raspberries!"
"Yes!" cawed Steve. "And I sure am sorry for it now!"
"Oh," said Phil, expecting the blue jay to be more of a jerk. "Well, yeah."
"Yeah," sighed Steve. His stomach was still groaning.
"Well I guess next time you won't do that." Phil had lost all of his angry feelings. He is a hedgehog after all - he can only have so many at once. "Hope you feel better!"
"Thanks," groaned Steve, regretting his greedy, inborn blue jay habits, "me too."
With that, Phil trundled back inside his little hedgehog burrow and proceeded being what he was meant to be - adorable.
The moral of the story, dear reader? Be like George and just avoid the whole fucking mess.
Congrats if you made it this far. Your prize is the moral of that Pulitzer Prize winning novel.
She breathed, she cried, she moaned, she roared,
And the metal clash of thunder echoed her calls.
She was fire, power, magic,
At once gentle and loud
Soft and sharp
I WILL TAKE MY SPACE
YOU WILL HEAR ME
I CANNOT BE MOVED
WILL NOT BE IGNORED
WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED
WILL NOT DOUBT OR BE DOUBTED
I WILL BE ALL OF ME
Late -- blah blah blah excuses (working late). But this was in my head from last night after an amazing performance at a New Music conference here at SFCM. So yeah.
This is the weirdest cold ... thing I have ever had. Sore throat from what seems to be dryness that is almost constant, though way worse in the morning and at night. Minimal mucus overall (never thought I'd use the word mucus on this blog. Twice.) I have a cough, which I think is a result of the dryness in the back of my throat, only serving to make it worse. I have been downing water and tea like my life depends on it, which are only ever temporarily helpful. Ibuprofen has been the best thing, only I'm trying not to have too many over a day. I invested in some NyQuil today -- here's hoping it helps with the cough and, by extension, sleeping. Also, Ricolas. So many Ricolas. All I know is it's not strep, thanks to Urgent Care. (I was almost positive it wasn't but I didn't want to kick myself if it was.)
Oh also I was in a a plane and a shared ride van today, with a coughing fit on each respectively. Sorry fellow humans -- I was that person today.
Sorry for the whining binge. I'm going to become a real human again tomorrow. *Power of positive thinking*
I'm bad at traveling light. Phenomenally horrible, really. Which is an unpleasant realization the night before you have to fly somewhere. Even when I think "Oh this suitcase definitely feels lighter than it did when I got here!" it comes in weighing 3 pounds heavier. How does this happen?
I blame all of the newly acquired dog hair.
It's always the dog's fault. That's why we love him.
There is a love
Whose size is beyond imagining -
Deeper than the fathomless oceans,
Stronger than the fiercest storms,
More precious than the finest gems.
And it is felt
for all of us.
It is beautiful and pure and true.
It is goodness, kindness, and warmth.
It is understanding, accepting, and forgiving.
It is everlasting and unyielding.
It is forever
And it is ours to find, to know, and to give.
Give me grey skies.
Soft shades of shadow,
layers of complexity:
The deep dark of rising storms
or gentle, wind blown strands of color.
Hazy and smooth
with jagged edges.
All the better when
a bit of precious blue
Things I Wish I Knew How To Do:
Become a ~*Youtube star*~
Adult (the verb) with confidence
Play my guitar
Not worry about that tricky biological clock timeline
Not worry about that whole finding love bit either
Things I Can Do With Best Friends:
CHEESE. But I'm filled with happy warm fuzzies from best friend time so that's what I'm writing about tonight. Bah humbug.
No one goes in. No one goes out. The only creatures that lurk in the front yard are crows that perch in the trees and a pure white cat, which prowls the perimeter of the fence or perches itself on the dingy front step, blue eyes narrowed and tail twitching.
The front yard is always dark from the long shadows cast by the tall, damp cedars that loom over the street corner. Thick moss has grown over most of the front lawn. The grass that is left is long and unkempt from years of neglect. A single old vine maple stands in the center of the yard, stunted and skinny from a lack of light. Somehow, it manages to produce a few leaves each year. Their autumnal bright red is the only bit of brightness around the place and it vanishes in early September when the leaves whither and die prematurely.
Neighborhood kids (and occasionally parents) who are brave enough to peek through the fence knotholes into the backyard can only see years of blackberry vines twisted around one another to form a thick forest of thorns. In spring time, the spots of lawn that get sun will grow so tall that the blades peek over the top of the fence and sometimes an occasional blackberry branch will find a hole to grow through. No one succumbs to the temptingly plump fruit, however. Once they over-ripen and fall off the vines, the crows gleefully descend, cackling over their harvest until the miserly old cat bounds in to frighten them back into the trees.
The small house itself is said to have once been a bright, Pepto-Bismol pink. Time has since covered it in several layers of a brown-green, mildewy sheen, giving it the color of old bubble gum that has been cemented to the pavement. The roof has begun to grow the same moss as the front lawn and kids have started betting how long it will take until the whole house disappears, reclaimed by nature.
Today I watched an elderly man accompany his frail, equally elderly wife to the dentist office. He sat her down on the over-stuffed couches tenderly and went to the receptionist's desk to check them in. He inquired several times about the nature of the appointment - she had a broken tooth that was bothering her and was this appointment just a cleaning? The receptionist assured him that both would be taken care of. When he sat down next to her, he explained what would happen. "But I'm confused," she said. "Me too, but it will be okay," he assured her.
They sat there, quietly observing the people going in and out of the office for some time. "Are they late?" she asked. "No, we're early," he said. "About five more minutes." "Oh, okay," she sighed. He gently held her hand.
When the hygienist called them up, he stood and turned to help his wife up. "She has a little trouble walking," he told the hygienist. "Oh, does she need a wheelchair?" "No, that won't be necessary, it's just a little trouble." He took great care in making sure that his wife had a good hold on his arm as she shuffled over to the desk. "She'll take you now," he told her, "It's going to be just fine." His concerned look said otherwise and the hygienist seemed to notice. "You could come back with us. We're just in the first room." "I think I will," he said, nodding. As they headed out of the waiting room, he began "It's just that she has a tooth that really needs looking at and we weren't sure if this was just a cleaning..."
This man's gentleness and deep care for his wife just struck me as so tender. It was a simple and arguably ordinary thing to witness but it filled my heart to see that little bit of their love story. And it helped me hope for my own.
The deep breath
Just be patient
is a Virtue
Checking every few
You missed the
Put it away
In another room
Take your time
Having been thrown back onto my undergraduate campus in the past couple of days and reliving warm, happy memories, the longing for that time of my life teased back into my heart in a way I hadn't felt for some time. It's amazing what places and people can do -- who needs time machines?
That little college bubble was so small and safe. Everyone who wanted to could feel important and fulfilled within the community. And maybe that's part of the reason why it took me so long to warm up to San Francisco as a place. My actual school is smaller than my undergrad, but the city itself is enormous (comparatively speaking) and anonymity becomes the primary mode of existence.
I think I have gotten used to that more than I realized though. This break has been a perfect well, break, from the daily grind of school and I feel ready to go back. But more than that I'm finding I miss the public transportation (...almost), the constant shifting of sounds, faces, scents, sky, the placement of my small grad school community within a larger playground to explore and interact with. Home is close-knit and comfortable. Year by year I have expanded my world and, for one of the first times, being home has felt small to a point that I am not sure that it is where I want to end up when I graduate. The scary question - at least, scary to me for whatever reason - of complacency looms. Will coming back keep me back?
It's up to me to A) decide where I'm going and B) wherever I go, make sure that doesn't happen. I am strong enough in heart, head, and soul to know that I can barrel through all of the looming uncertainties but ... it's hard to put the blinders on and trust that my feet will end up on the right path when there are so many paths to choose from.
Embrace the unknown. Trust that it will all be right in time. Keep growing.
"I cannot believe you could think such a thing, Lolly!" Virginia Tooley exclaimed, her fan fluttering in indignation. "Mrs. Crane is not a lady to associate with, according to the word among the highest circles."
"I only meant that --"
"Really. It is a pity that her husband died so early on. She's young still and could marry again but for pity's sake, she has worn black for three years! And in all that time of mourning it appears she has never shunned other fellows' advances!"
My eyes followed the gracefully tall figure, swathed in black organza, as she surveyed the ballroom from the doorway. "It can't be said that she has encouraged them either, Virginia," I protested. "No one has ever seen --"
"Right, right. No one has ever seen her with a young man alone." Ginny's blue eyes widened earnestly as she whispered, "But that doesn't mean it doesn't happen! And don't you laugh at me!" A smile must have peeked through my attempt to frown conspiratorially. "One day we'll all find out and I'll be right!"
Now I chuckled openly. "And on that day, Ginny, I will give you my favorite hat."
"It's a deal," she grinned.
We turned out again from our place near the punch table, watching the guests of the Allen Family's annual December dance arrive. The whole town was invited, as always, and one of the highest forms of entertainment was seeing all of the neighbors step out in their finery. I always looked forward to the laughable Mr. Teasworth, the schoolteacher, in his ridiculous head-to-toe green velvet suit. And there were the young men to consider - Ginny and I had our eyes out for the Lovett brothers.
"Ooh, there's Mr. and Mrs. Beauchant!" squealed Ginny. "Look at her diamonds!"
"It's amazing how well his fur trade must be doing to afford such finery."
"Oh I hardly think that's the case - it's her family money that helps with their luxury" a smooth, velvety voice interrupted from behind us.
"Why Mrs. Crane!" Ginny's voice jumped several octaves. "How did you sneak up on us?!"
Mrs. Crane's apple red lips curled slyly at the corners. "Isobel, please, my dear. You must call me Isobel."
What if I could just wish myself into becoming a new person? she wondered. Leave this old self behind entirely and start over as someone else.
It was a bleakly cold end to New Years Day. The setting sun cast a dim rainbow of color into the dusky sky, silhouetting the western mountains. A faint glimmer caught her eye - the evening star.
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight...
She smirked. Wishes and stars. How many times had she pleaded on those cold distant pinpricks and they had come through? Just that once... No. She shook the thought from her head, running numbed hands through her tangled brown hair. The bite of the air pricked her skin and her breath was beginning to materialize in thin white wisps - it was time to head in. But she felt suspended in the growing twilight as the memories rushed back.
In their eighth summer, her next door neighbor Laney had insisted that three friends were better than two, so they created Jenna. With curly blonde hair and sky blue eyes, Jenna was the prettiest, most popular, and nicest girl anyone ever met, even if no one else knew it.
No, it was a coincidence, pure and simple. Imaginary friends don't appear out of thin air and real friends don't vanish without a trace.
Jenna was their favorite secret - the third fairy, the third witch, the third New World explorer, the third musketeer. That was, until one day when Laney announced that Jenna told her that she only wanted to speak to her. Suddenly Jenna always seemed to agree with Laney about everything, especially on the fact that two friends were better than three. Remembering running home in tears that August afternoon still smarted.
That night she had looked out of her bedroom window at the stars and wished with all her might on the brightest one she could see. I wish Jenna was my best friend and Laney was imaginary and then we could leave her out and she would be sad and alone for ever and ever.