Welcome Me

So, I'm not usually a huge fan of memes, which seem like a blogging cop-out (not that that's stopped me before), but I was inspired by one of my new faves, Hope dies last. I even followed the rules.... mostly.

MEME Rules:

1. Put your iTunes/ music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

1. If someone says ‘Is this OK?’ you say?
"Must be Dreaming" Frou Frou

Euphoria I can't take any more of
Yeah, I'm losing it

2. What would best describe your personality?
"The Kite" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Little less talk, little more skill,
Little less luck, little more will

3. What do you like in a guy?
"Vicious World" Rufus Wainwright

(I like Rufus Wainwright. He's a guy.)

4. How do you feel today?
"Smile" Lily Allen

I was so lost back then,
But with a little help from my friends,
I found the light in the tunnel at the end.

5. What is your life’s purpose?
"L'ennemi s'avance" from La Fille du Régiment

(Umm... opera? Yeah, I can't really make this one work for me.)

6. What is your motto?
"Easy" Lauren Kennedy

Life is easy, but seldom fair.

7. What do your friends think of you?
"Blue Eyes" Cary Brothers

Blue Eyes, you are all that I need,
Blue Eyes, you're the sweet to my mean

(Haha, all my friends are rolling their eyes.)

8. What do you think of your parents?
"Jingle Bells" Diana Krall

(Classic, Christmassy thoughts.)

9. What do you think about very often?
"Did You Get My Message?" Jason Mraz

Why not try this for a fact,
Should you ever come back
I'd relax and be relieved of all my panic attacks

10. What is 2+2=
"Hold On" Sarah McLachlan

(Hold on while I do that math.)

11. What do you think of your best friend?
"Green Eggs & Ham" from Suessical: the Musical


12. What do you think of the person you like?
"I'll Be There" Jackson 5

Just call my name and I'll be there.

13. What is your life story?
"Maison des Lunes" from Beauty & the Beast

(Ah, yes, a song about an insane asylum. Perfect. Thanks, iPod.)

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?
"Quant au douaniers c'est notre affaire" from Carmen

(A gypsy. Pretty please.)

15. What do you think when you see the person you like?
"Failsafe" The New Pornographers

We both had a hand in it.
You and me both cared.

16. What do your parents think of you?
"Give Judy My Notice" Ben Folds

(Apparently my parents "don't want to be my bitch anymore." Hmm.)

17. What will you dance to at your wedding?
"Many the Miles" Sara Bareilles

Send me the miles and I'll be happy
To follow my love

18. What will they play at your funeral?
"Secrets and Lies" Jonatha Brooke


19. What is your hobby/interest?
"Dancing Virginia" Jump, Little Children

The grey elephant folds of adventure,
The blue oasis of meditation

20. What is your biggest secret?
"Suicide Blonde" The Weepies

(Oh, yeah, my hair isn't naturally red, did you know?)

21. What do you think of your friends?
"The Minnow and the Trout" A Fine Frenzy

We are tied in history
Connected like a family

22. What should you post this as?
"Welcome Me" Indigo Girls

How still my heart, how high the moon

Tonight I chased the moon. I took my camera on a date, with my tripod along as a somewhat clumsy third wheel (although he did keep the conversation flowing quite well). It was a beautiful clear night, and the three of us wandered through the old city for two and a half hours taking pictures. I was walking through one of Vienna's many Christmas markets, this one in the Museumsquartier, when I looked up and saw a stunning moon and several stars in the distance. And so... I decided to follow the moon.

I felt like a child looking for the end of the rainbow, although in this case the pot of gold I was looking for was a perfect photo op with the moon and some fabulous Viennese architecture. It's almost impossible to get lost in the middle of Vienna, because you will undoubtedly run into a building you recognize or a subway station, and if not, there are always taxis at the ready, so I had no fear in following the moon instead of my map. But the moon was always just out of reach of my camera, just beyond the next building. It took me on a lovely journey, past the National Library, a fantastic view of the Rathaus, the Hofburg Palace, and several pretty churches. Of course, I had to stop to photograph each sight, and somehow, in all the chasing and photographing stopping, the moon escaped. Before I knew it, I was in front of the Stephansdom and the sly moon was nowhere to be seen.

So you won't be seeing any pictures of the moon above the Viennese buildings on my Flickr page. I'm not too disappointed, though. It was the perfect night in Vienna, an imperial city brimming with life and poetry both. What better way to enjoy it than by wandering the streets chasing after the moon?

Well, the weather outside is frightful

It's snowing here (yes, SNOWING!). I am indoors, sadly not in front of a delightful fire, but feeling quite happy nonetheless, largely due to the incredible cookie that I am eating (gingerbread filled with marzipan, covered in chocolate, and dusted with chopped pistachios). It's a good day.

I've been extremely neglectful of the blog, and while I'd love to say that it's because I'm soooo busy that I just haven't had a moment to sit down and write, it would be more accurate to say that I've been a bit out of sorts and haven't really been in the mood to blog. But, have no fear, all is right with the world now that there is snow! and heat! and the cookie!

Here's a bit of what I've been up to the past few days:

Today after class I went to the Hofburg Palace, former home of the Hapsburgs, those infamous imperial inbreeders. My visit served two purposes: to solidify my great desire for my own fainting couch, and to remind me that British tourists are just as annoying as American ones. I was stuck behind a large amorphous group of elderly Brits taking a guided tour, and there was absolutely no getting past them, so I was forced to listen to various snippets of their conversations:
"Oh my, quite interesting, that, isn't it?"
"Yes, isn't it? Seeing all those dishes makes me fancy a cup of tea."
"Oh, yes. I wouldn't say no to a biscuit or a finger sandwich, either."
"Jolly good. Let's sit down for a cuppa and a bit of a nibble when we're done here."
Etc., etc. All very charming in a Maggie Smith film, I'm sure, but irritating to those of us in the museum who were not interested in a) the guided tour, which contained such fascinating tidbits as the fact that Empress Elizabeth never slept with a pillow for fear of getting wrinkles; b) how tired certain older gentlemen were from all the walking; or c) whether or not to tip the housekeeping staff in the hotel.

Sunday morning I went to mass (try to wipe the shock off your face) at the Stephansdom, where there was a performance of Haydn's St. Cecilia Mass. The music was lovely, and felt almost otherworldly in a space like the cathedral, although I think it was colder inside than out. Much of the afternoon was spent in a café, reading an amazing book and eating cake. Is there a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? I think not.

Saturday I climbed the 343 steps up a narrow spiral staircase to the top of the Stephansdom (in preparation for all the cake-eating the next day, perhaps), took a look around, and then climbed 343 steps back down to the bottom. Despite some clouds, the view was totally worth 3 euros (and all the pain and heart palpitations, of course). After I recovered I went to see The Last 5 Years at the Wiener Kammeroper. It's one of my favorite musicals, although I had never actually seen it, and I loved (LOVED!) the production. The actor playing Jamie was especially good, and the production itself was perfection. I tried not to be distracted by the German supertitles, which translated the meaning of almost everything but not its poetry. Not the jokes, either; I was often the only one in my section laughing. Is that how Italians feel when they watch Figaro in America?

This morning it was back to class, but with new teachers and several new students. I am no longer the oldest person in the class (did I tell you that everyone else was in the 19-21 age range?) because a 57-year-old Czech man is now in my class. Also, my new conversation teacher is hilarious and I now know about 10 German words for "drunk." That's bound to come in handy on my travels.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

You can't always get what you want

So, I was walking along the street today when a dress in a store window caught my eye. It was gorgeous, all fitted bodice, full skirt, gorgeous unforgettable floral fabric. I pressed my nose up against the glass and imagined myself snapping it up, wearing it on opening nights, people telling me I looked just like Grace Kelley, and me laughing slightly and saying, "Oh, this? Yes, I bought it in Vienna."

Then I noticed what store I was peering into.

It was Prada.


Happy Turkey Schnitzel Day!

The day is just ending for me, and at home everyone I know is gathering with their families, stuffing their faces with turkey, and falling into tryptophan-induced comas. I haven't felt homesick yet, not quite, but tonight I'm feeling the distance acutely. It sounds ridiculous, I know, since I've been gone less than a week, but it seems much longer to me. I've already settled into a routine here: class in the morning, lunch at home with my flatmate BritBoy, study, afternoon nap, go into town to take pictures or go to the opera. Vienna certainly doesn't feel like home, but it does feel homey.

I've always liked Thanksgiving, if you ignore the whole Pilgrim-Indian thing (oh, and the presidential pardons for turkeys—what's that all about?). Spending time with loved ones and giving thanks is a lovely reason for a holiday. So, although I can't do the former, I'll certainly try my hand at the latter.

I'm thankful for my family, both the one I was born into and the family of friends with whom I surround myself. I know you always have to remind me that I can lean on you, but believe me, I'm listening, and your support means the world to me.

I'm thankful for a life in which I spend the vast majority of my time doing things I love to do, whether it be my amazing job, travel, spending time with the people I care about, or taking time for myself. I know how rare that is.

I'm thankful that I haven't finished growing up, that I still have time to become the person I want to be. Every day I make new discoveries of what I want and what I'm capable of.

I'm thankful for a future with no concrete plans. There are days where this seems like a negative, but it's incredibly freeing to be able to say that I have no idea where I will be in 5 years, in 10 years.

I'm thankful to be in this amazing city, with so much history, where I was able to visit the graves of Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, Brahms, and Johann Strauss today. I feel a connection to the music that is my life in a whole new way.

And tonight, I'm thankful to the Staatsoper for answering my prayer with its Eurotrash edgy production of Roméo et Juliette. It didn't have any nudity, but what it did have was leather pants, bizarre choreography, and a Juliette who was more....um....knowing than I've seen her played before. The lighting was incredible, with onstage towers holding dozens of moving lights used to great effect, pyrotechnics, and some gorgeous silhouette action for the last scene. Too bad the singing wasn't better.

I am not thankful that I left my hat in the streetcar today. But I am thankful to have a reason to go shopping.

Glühwein and donuts and wurst, oh my

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year (besides my birthday, of course, and that hasn't caught on as a national holiday yet). I love the decorations, the music, shopping for the perfect gifts, wrapping paper, the whole bit. (As you may have surmised, I don't really "put the Christ in Christmas," if you know what I mean.) Despite my love of the holiday, I am always among those who complain when the decorations go up before Halloween (especially those silly palm trees strung with Christmas lights in Houston) and the radio stations switch to playing nothing but Christmas carols.

But you don't hear me complaining this year. Vienna, she wears Christmas well. First of all, it's cold! And when I arrived here there was snow! falling from the sky! All making it feel very Christmassy. Also, the decorations, while not all tasteful, definitely tend toward the classier side. And then, there's the Weihnachtsmarkt (that's Christmas Market to you). At this time of year, the plaza in front of the Rathaus is filled with stalls selling ornaments, decorations, various beeswax products, and lots of stuffed animals. There is glühwein (so much a part of life here that the German Embassy in the USA has a recipe on their website) and other Christmas punch, chocolates and sweets galore, and savory snacks like baked potatoes and wurst. This is not your typical fair food (no chili dogs to be found).

I spent the evening yesterday wandering through the market. It was cold, but it wasn't that cold (or maybe that's just the glühwein talking). My camera is an excellent travel companion. She keeps me company so that I don't feel awkward walking around by myself, goes wherever I want to go, and often has an eye for things I don't notice right away. Here's some of what we did together last night. More, as always, can be found on my Flickr page.


Rathaus as advent calendar

Mmm... donuts

Konjunktion Junktion, was ist dein Funktion?

There was a time when I couldn't imagine not being a student. Two and a half years ago, master's degree in hand, I entered the workforce fully intending to go back to school for my MFA in Directing within the next two to three years. Clearly, plans change. I like being a working girl. It suits me. And being a director satisfies both my nerdy academic side (I heart research) and the side of me that really wants, you know, a paycheck.

And yet here I am in Vienna, back in class, and I'm finding the transition a bit rocky. I go to German class every morning from 9:00 to 12:15. The first 90 minutes focus on grammar, then we take a 15-minute break and do conversation for the last 90 minutes. The grammar comes easily to me, and most of it seems like review, but the conversation is something else entirely. I'm trying not to beat myself up over it, but honestly, I don't know if I could speak German well if my life depended on it. Every time it comes time for me to speak, I become a stuttering, stammering mess with the vocabulary of a 4-year-old. In town I do fine, and I've already spoken German successfully to the housekeeper at my apartment on several occasions (including today when I broke a large mirror in my room—oops). I'm not sure why I have such a problem in class.

Today I had to speak quite a bit because we were talking about American politics. I'm the only American in a class with 1 Hungarian, 4 Czechs, 1 Belgian, and 1 Dutch. Yesterday we talked a lot about occupations, and we focused on typical jobs for men and typical jobs for women (a subject I find somewhat bizarre—what year is this?) We discussed how many women were in politics in Austria and in each of our home countries. Today the teacher brought in an article about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Most of the class had never heard either of those names, so it was on me to explain who they were, and what public sentiment about them was, and why, and what they stood for. REALLY? I think I would have a hard time answering those questions articulately in English, and I certainly have not learned to bulls*** auf Deutsch yet. I also had to explain that not everyone in the USA has health insurance, a fact that completely stunned my classmates.

So, basically, I'm just a typical American who can't speak any language besides English, doesn't know about what's happening in her own country, and spreads the news about our terrible health care system.

At least my camera doesn't have a neck strap.

Hallo. Ich heisse Louisa. Ich komme aus Amerika.

Everybody warned me that things would seem expensive here, what with the dollar being at an all-time low and the euro doing pretty damn awesome, and sure enough, things do seem expensive, with two exceptions. One is public transportation; for my week's pass I paid less than I did in New York, and even the taxi I took to my apartment yesterday seemed cheap. And the other thing that costs less here? Opera tickets! At the Met I paid $20 for standing room tickets, and for tonight's performance of Ballo? €3,50 (about $5)!! And those were the nicest standing room tickets; you can actually pay €2 if you don't care about actually seeing the opera. Now, €3,50 buys you standing room that's a little less luxe than it is at the Met (yes, that is possible), but you certainly can't beat the price.

I think I met end up at the opera more evenings than not, although if you're looking for an edgy, Eurotrash production of your favorite opera, the Staatsoper is not the place to go. Nobody in Ballo rode a motorcycle, broke the fourth wall, or mimed lewd sexual acts. Nobody was naked at all, actually. Disappointing. It was an old-fashioned production whose set consisted mainly of drops, and the staging was very standard "park and bark." The few times the singers attempted to do some actual staging, it was so clumsily done that it elicited snickers from the audience (at least the hoi polloi in standing room, that is). My favorite part: Hui He, the incredible Amelia. My least favorite part: there was a definite line where the lighting stopped about 3 feet upstage of the plaster line, and yet the singers insisted on constantly singing downstage of that line (possibly to be closer to the prompter box).

Here are some facts and figures about my first day in Vienna (hey, I was a math major for about 5 minutes in college, you know).

5 Number of successful conversations I held in German outside of class

0 Number of successful conversations I held in German in class

2 Number of inches my jaw dropped when the teacher said the class might be too easy for me

3 Number of hours I napped this afternoon

3 Number of male flatmates I have

0 Number of female flatmates I have

75 Approximate number of people the standing room area will comfortably (ish) hold

852 Approximate number of people crammed into standing room at the beginning of the opera

50 Percent of people still left in standing room after the first intermission

30 Percent of people still left in standing room after the second intermission

2 Number of people speaking German in standing room

6 Number of people who listened as I explained the plot in English during the first intermission

4 Number of times I took public transportation today

0 Number of times someone checked to see if I had a ticket to ride

4 Number of men who asked for my phone number

0 Number of Austrian men who asked for my phone number

12 Number of minutes I had to wait for my tram while a man from West Africa told me about his favorite nightclubs

Time to do my homework (wow, it's been a long time since I've had to say that) and then go to bed.

Gute nacht!

The girl in seat 38-J

I'm doing my best not to openly stare, but I can't look away. The Dutch girl next to me is sucking her thumb. With abandon. And I'm using the term "girl" loosely here, as she must be about my age, if not a little older. She's got the whole thumb in her mouth, past the second knuckle, index finger resting against her nose, other fingers clenched in a tight fist, jaw working. She's mainly sticking to the left thumb, which leaves her right arm conveniently free to elbow me every time she turns the page of her Cosmo.

Now, if I were at home, I might be tempted to judge this girl grown woman, but I'm en route to Amsterdam, first stop on my European travel adventures. Far be it for me to impugn her due to my ignorance of her culture. I haven't spent any time in the Netherlands since I was a lot closer to the appropriate age for thumbsucking (by my prudish American standards, that is). Is it possible that I'm on way to the land of tulips, wooden shoes, windmills, marijuana for all, hookers in windows, and... adult thumbsucking? You would think Rick Steves might have mentioned that.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

The challenges of packing light for a wintry month in Europe put up a good fight, but I am happy to say that I beat them into submission (see above). Impressed?

Today's the big day. My flight leaves at 3:50 pm. The past day and a half have seemed like a never-ending checklist.
  • Passport with my name on it? Check.
  • Copies of all relevant info for flights and language school? Check.
  • Notified banks that I am leaving the country so that they don't freeze my accounts? Check.
  • Read far too many iPhone forums to see how to use my phone overseas only to decide that I will leave it off for the duration of my stay? Check.
  • Loaded up the iPod with podcasts, new music (Thanks, New Oregonian and CameraMan!), and language lessons? Check.
  • Packed my toiletries case so full that the zipper broke and I had to buy a new one? Check.
  • Stocked up on trashy magazines to read on the plane? Check.
  • Petted my kitten and told her not to forget me while I'm gone? Check.
  • Juiced up the iPhone, iPod, camera batteries, and laptop? Check.
  • Got pulled over and cited for having a headlight out, expired state inspection, and expired proof of insurance? Check. Check. Check.

While I'm gone, I will be blogging and posting pictures as often as I can. If you miss me, you can email me at my new account: littlemsbossyblog at gmail.

Every place I go, I'll think of you,
Every song I sing, I'll sing for you.

If I lived in New York...

  • ...I would have amazing legs. Despite my erratic gym and ballet class tendencies, the amount of walking I would do would undoubtedly give me strong, gorgeous gams. In fact, after only 4 days of NYC trekking, I think I can see some new muscle definition in my legs. Although I might not be totally reliable on the subject, since I usually think I have a tan after an hour in the sun, and anyone who knows me can tell you that's not true (even if they weren't there).

  • ...I would need to wear very small miniskirts at all times in hopes that my shapely legs would distract from how unkempt the rest of me was. The combination of wind, rain, and long stretches of walking in both are hell on the hair and makeup. Those Manhattan girls who look perfect all the time? They must be cabbing it all over town. Which doesn't explain why their legs are so good. Hmmm.

  •  ...I would lead an extremely glamorous life, what with all the operas, concerts, movies, openings, and restaurants to go to. More glamorous than my life in Houston? Hard to imagine, I know.

  • ...I would have friends outside of work. Just this week I met up with people from high school, college, grad school, and Wolf Trap, all of whom now live in New York. The variety of friends would contribute to aforementioned glamorous life, too.

  • ...I would have NO money! And I would notice it more, too. (Put this in the con list.)

  • ...I would take lots more pictures than I did this week, but here are some of my favorites (there are more on my Flickr page):

Foliage in Central Park

Takes one to know one

The view from La Québécoise's window

Taken from Top o' the Rock

Cars on the Brooklyn Bridge

Intermission at the Met

We were standing in the lobby people-watching when he approached us.

"Excuse me," he said. "Do I recognize you from your blog?"

Movie stars, they like to go to New York to get away from the prying L.A. paparazzi, but for us celebrity bloggers, I guess there's nowhere to hide. Except maybe Nebraska, one of 7 states that still haven't succumbed to Little Ms. Bossy's charms.

Oh, oh, those summer nights

I was only 18, but that didn't stop me. Nobody had carded me all summer. I'd ordered pitchers at dark dive bars, cocktails in swanky spots, and been given port on the house by the manager of a hip midtown restaurant. It didn't seem to matter what I wore or who I was with or what day of the week it was. Half the time my hair was in pigtail braids, making me look like a somewhat precocious 15-year-old. I didn't have a fake ID, but I didn't need one, because no one ever asked.

It was Sarah's 22nd birthday, and we were celebrating at a bar in the Village. I had gone home to primp a bit after work, and I was just heading out to catch the subway when Dan called to tell me that the bouncer was carding everybody who walked through the door, including Dan, who was 30 but looked older due to a swiftly receding hairline. As I started to panic that I would have to miss the party, Dan told me his crazyy plan. There are times when I wish I knew some people who weren't neurotic extroverted creative types, but this was not one of those times.

My heart was racing as I walked into the bar, but I masked my trepidation with the bitchiest expression I could muster. "Can I see your ID?" the bouncer asked, but I didn't even glance at him. Dan had been sitting near the door, and as he got to his feet, we started yelling at each other.

"Where were you?"
"Where was I? Where were you? I've been waiting for 30 minutes!"
"I've been at home! You said you would meet me there after work."
"I specifically said we would meet here. Why would I have gone home? It's totally out of my way!"
"I don't know why! I just know what you told me!"

And so on and so forth. The bar was small enough that nobody there was missing our display. The bouncer was studiously not looking in our direction, but the other patrons didn't have that kind of self-control. Finally, Dan said,

"Look, if you're going to be like this all night, maybe we should just leave."
"No, I'll be fine. Just get me a beer, and I'll get over it."

I sat down and Dan did as he was told while the entire bar breathed a collective sigh of relief. When he came back with my Corona, the bouncer looked over at him, being sure not to make any direct eye contact with me.

"She's 21, right?"
"Dude, she's my girlfriend. She's 25." (Neither of these statements was in any way true.)

God, I love this city.

Just play it cool, real cool

You get there early, of course, because you've built in such a large buffer that even if you took the express train uptown by mistake, waited in vain for a downtown train, and wound up in the middle of Harlem looking for a cab, only to discover that all the taxis in Harlem are unmarked black towncars remarkably similar to the ones driven by kidnappers/pimps/drug dealers, so you had to walk all the way back downtown until you saw a yellow cab, you would still arrive on time (hypothetically speaking, you know). You walk into Barnes & Noble across the street and pretend to look around, but all you're really looking at is your watch. Every 23 seconds or so. Finally, when the time is right, and you're early enough to look responsible, but not so early that you look desperate, you make your way there.

There's a lot of construction, so you're not sure you're in the right place until you see a mixture of women glammed to the nines and burly men in IATSE jackets. They're all going in the same direction, and you know you're in the right place. You check in with the security guard and sit down to wait. While you're there, you see a lighting designer, a choreographer, and a coach that you know slightly, do a bit of celebrity gawking, and have a happy reunion with two singer friends, one of whom introduces you to this guy. Of course.

Ever since you found about it, you've been trying to convince yourself and everyone else that it doesn't matter. "The great thing about it," you brag, "is that I really don't care. I'm going in with a great attitude, and I can take it or leave it." Inside, though, you're hoping that being there will be just as exciting as you thought it would be when you were 12. And sitting there, waiting for somebody to come take you upstairs, watching all the people greet each other, swipe their coveted ID cards, and go to rehearsal, you realize that in fact you do care. You care quite a bit. And it's right then that you get nervous.

You get taken upstairs and you sit in another room to wait. This one doesn't have live entertainment, but it does have a TV with stage feed, so you squint your eyes to watch bits of a tech rehearsal of a new production. You've brought your résumé in a little green folder, but as soon as you get there you realize it's wrong, because of course he has your résumé, and you didn't plan ahead enough so it's not even on special paper, so you hide it under your coat and leave it on the chair next to you. You sit up very straight in your chair, just in case anyone happens to be looking at you, and you do your best to compose your face to look smart and interesting. Then you realize you're trying way too hard, especially considering that you're sitting all by yourself watching TV, so you try to relax and tell yourself to play it cool.

And then, before you know it, you're in the next room, and the Interview that Never Was... is.

It's a helluva town

This post comes to you from the lovely apartment of La Québécoise, a pianist friend of mine from Wolf Trap. From the couch where I am writing, I have an amazing view of the city out of her 19th floor window, and her adorable dog Lulu is keeping me company. LQ is quite the hostess with the mostest, so I have already eaten a balanced breakfast of grapefruit and oatmeal and showered with yummy Origins products. Hurray for New York!

Little Ms. Bossy's been MIA for a while, but not without reason. Last week I closed Daughter; rehearsed, opened, and closed The Refuge; packed for my many trips; and logged 65 hours on my timesheet. So, no blogging for me. And as for my 30-day project? Don't make me laugh. There is lots to be said about The Refuge, which was a big success and a life-changing experience for all involved, but I'm still processing it.

You certainly couldn't expect me to blog last week when I didn't even have the time to plan my trip to New York. I arrived here Sunday with very few arrangements, so few that I didn't even know where I was going to be staying, but, of course, everything has worked out for the best. My first day here overlapped with the tail end of CameraMan's trip (he's traveling on the Wolf Trap audition tour). He had the whole day off, so we spent most of it being tourists. It was gorgeous weather, so we walked and walked all over town. We went to the top of the Rockefeller Center and took pictures of the amazing view, briefly looked at Ground Zero, walked over the Brooklyn Bridge (most of the way), ate dinner in Little Italy (where the food was just like something you might find in Big Italy, according to CameraMan), went out for drinks on the Upper West Side, and ate cannoli late at night. Touristy, maybe, but all in all a perfect New York day. Not only that, but I was able to crash on the couch in his palatial Upper West Side hotel suite (never thought I would write that phrase).

Yesterday was wonderful, too. One of the best things about coming to New York is catching up with old friends. After breakfast with CameraMan, he was off to the airport, and I walked to the MoMA to meet The Banker, my one friend from high school with whom I keep in touch. After the museum, it was off to an extremely early dinner with My Gay Husband, followed by dessert at Rockefeller Center. Then I met OperaDaddy and the talented Ms. Wilson for a movie in Times Square. We had fun, although the movie was so terrible and so disappointing and so not worth the Manhattan ticket prices. (Seriously, people, do NOT see this movie. Not even at Christmas time.) Then it was back to the UWS to settle in at LQ's place and have some girl talk.

And today? The rescheduled Interview that Never Was, more catch-up time with friends, and a piano recital at Carnegie Hall with My Gay Husband. Maybe some photography time thrown in there as well, although today the weather is a bit bleak.

Start spreading the news. Indeed.

You have stolen my heart

The internet is a strange and wondrous place. It's a place where you can find your match based on 29 dimensions of compatibility. A place where you can make your own Bollywood movie. A place where you can order little blue pills without a prescription at drastically reduced prices, or so my emails tell me (disappointed there's no link for this one?).

And it's apparently a place where you can come to my blog, copy my posts, run them through a German translator program, and post them on your own blog.

Yes, dear readers, Little Ms. Bossy is now being read in two languages. There are posts of mine on 3 separate sites (each of which consists of nothing but other people's blogs translated into almost-German). I'm listed variously as Kleine Frau Herrisch, Kleines Ms Bossy, and Kleine Frau Bossy. Not much care is being put into the translation unless the goal is to make Germans laugh uproariously, like Papa Bossy did when I sent him the links. Kleine Frau Herrisch is a quirky girl with strange, idiosyncratic German. The phrase "6000 terra cotta soldiers?" Translated as "der Terra von 6000 Baumwollensoldaten." Oops. Terra cotta and cotton, very difficult to keep straight. She also got confused by the phrase "I.D.s" and wrote "ich. D.s." She referred to The New Oregonian as my "datum," which is definitely the wrong kind of date. I could go on and on.

So, the question has to be, WHY?!? What is the point? I guess I should be upset about it, but I'm too busy laughing my a** off.

Oh, and I don't know if you noticed, but I went 2 full days without blogging, and I did not enjoy it ONE BIT! Did you miss me? *batting eyelashes*

A fine and fancy ramble to the zoo

I spent about an hour this afternoon at Bad Boy Baritone's place photographing his brood of exotic pets, which now includes Rambo the Hedgehog (pictured above) and Rocky and Adrian the Sugar Gliders, all living in cages in his walk-in closet. Taking photos of the animals was no simple feat. Hedgehogs and sugar gliders are not like dogs, who generally jump around going, "Take my picture! Take my picture! Look how pretty I am!" or cats, who will pose for the camera but only after reminding you that they're only letting you take their picture because they want to, not because you want them to. Nope, BBB's exotic pets are much more difficult to photograph, mostly because they're constantly moving, so lots of my pictures turned out somewhat blurry (again, see above). Rambo takes little tiny steps, turning around, all while making this adorable muted squeaking noise. His back feels like a bristly hairbrush if you pet it back and something a lot less pleasant if you pet it forward.

The sugar gliders are cuddlier than the hedgehog; in fact, they're the softest things I've ever felt, so soft that if they were the size of rabbits and didn't have a habit of, you know, gliding from place to place, there would probably be sugar glider farms raising them for sugar glider coats. They have these long ridiculous soft tails that you can't see in the picture, teeny tiny whiskers, and enormous eyes. When BBB gets them out of the little bag where they sleep in their cage (nocturnal marsupials, you know), they make this hilarious noise that sounds exactly like an electric pencil sharpener. Once they emerge, it takes them a while to get used to being out, but then they're all over BBB, jumping and climbing and gliding around his room, and finding places to burrow. I can't imagine being anything other than a cat person, but these little ladies were incredibly cute, especially Adrian, the one who doesn't bite.

Tonight I'll be at a different kind of zoo, watching the last performance of Ballo.

Eye of the tiger

I meant to post a picture of me in my half-a**ed tiger costume yesterday, but I forgot. I chose this one because it shows my tail (go ahead, insert winks, nudges, and "That's what she saids" here if you must). Pictured here with Bad Boy Baritone, who's dressed as whatshisname from Miami Vice.

You keep me coming back for more

Here it is, November 1st, and you'd think I'd be all, "October is soo over, and so is my October project, so I don't have to blog every day anymore! I'm taking a long vacation from Little Ms. Bossy, gonna kick back, put my iBook to sleep, and turn on some bad TV. Take that, suckers!"

Only, I'm not, am I? 'Cause here I am. Again. Happy?

The beginning of the month also means finding a new 30-day project (I can call it that this month, because November actually does have just 30 days). I didn't decide on something until this morning, so technically I'm not actually starting until tomorrow, but I think that's okay. Enough friends whom I trust have recommended this book that I finally went out and bought it today, and am making it my 30-day project. If you really do it, it's a 12-week program, but I'm going to try it for 4 weeks and see how I like it. The cornerstones of the program are morning pages, where you write anything you want, enough to fill 3 longhand pages, every morning; and artist dates, where you take the time to do something by yourself to nurture your "inner artist," whether it be going to a museum, taking pictures in the park, or spending more time writing just for fun. Each week, you have a chapter to read, and then you're given tasks (on top of the morning pages and artist date) to complete. At the end of the week, there are several "check-in" questions to answer. The goal of the project is to be more in touch with your creative self, and I'm hoping it will help me to become generally more self-aware and grounded. I'll be sure to post updates throughout the month. CameraMan and I are also doing weekly photography assignments. More on that at the end of the first week!

And, in case you're wondering, here's what some of the other characters in Little Ms. Bossy Land (aka my friends) are up to these days:
  • The New Oregonian is busy staging and preparing The Refuge. I don't go on contract until next week, but I watched a work-through of the whole piece today, and I think it's going to be incredibly powerful. Even just in the rehearsal room, there were more than a few times I had to fight back tears. Come see it if you're in Houston!
  • BrandNewMiniCooperGirl finally got her designed-just-for-her Mini Cooper, only to discover on its arrival that she had ordered a stick shift by mistake. She has embraced it as a happy accident, and is already driving all around town in it (and even starting on hills).
  • CameraMan is off on the Wolf Trap audition tour, hearing far too many renditions of "Quando men vo," I'm sure, and taking lots of gorgeous pictures.
  • Fuzzball has started up her blog after a long absence. Check it out!
  • Little Miss Hardcore recently pulled up to a stop light next to a guy who opened his car door, set an empty soda cup on the ground, and closed his door again. She tried yelling at him to pick up his trash, but he ignored her, so she got out of her car and picked it up for him. To add insult to injury? The cup was from Sam's Club.
  • My Best Friend is happy to have developed a thick skin, and is rediscovering the joys of having gay male friends.

And my kitten? She's doing well, thanks for asking, just being her usual adorable self. In fact, I should go snuggle her right now.


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