Conjunction Junction

If this was an anonymous blog, I would fill this space with hilarious work stories, tales of my love life, and overindulgements of my numerous neuroses.
But it's not, so I won't.

If I was traveling, I would have lots to write about, and pictures for every story.
But I'm not, so I don't.

If I wasn't such a snob, I might write long posts waxing poetic about my cat, who gets more adorable every day.
But I am, so I won't.

If I knew what I was doing this summer, I could fill you in on all the details, at great length and with frequent parenthetical qualifiers (as you've come to expect from me).
But I don't, so I can't.

If a certain contract had arrived in the mail, I would share some good news with you.
But it hasn't, so I shouldn't.

If I had been working incredibly long hours and overexerting myself all in the name of opera, I would have a good excuse for not writing more often.
But I haven't, so I don't.

If I was more creative, I would have thought of a more interesting post than this.
But I'm not, so I didn't.

Little Ms. Busy

Let's see, what's been happening since we last spoke…

There was the night out with BrandNewMiniCooperGirl to see a lineup of sensitive singer/songwriter types often listed in the sidebar here, including Cary Brothers, Joshua Radin, Sara Bareilles, and my fave Ingrid Michaelson (what started out as respect and admiration has developed into a full-blown girl crush). There were sore feet and a completely inept sound guy who had apparently gone deaf from working too many concerts and far too many girls around us singing along at the top of their lungs (please, ladies, save it for the shower). That was a good day.

Then there was the first day of rehearsal that the director was too sick to come to. More specifically, the first day of rehearsal which consisted of two 3-hour sessions with the chorus, children's chorus, and supers (61 people, but who's counting). There was cramming and hyperventilating and false bravado. And then, wouldn't you know it, there were two great rehearsals, followed by beer and huge sighs of relief. That was a good day.

Except that the sighs came too soon, because then there was the second day of rehearsal, and the director was still sick, and this time it was rehearsal with the principals. On Act I of Bohème. There were introductions and handshakes and laughter and ideas and solutions. That was a good day.

And then the director was back and he saw what I had done and didn't feel the need to change everything. I got to relax and just do my job, the one I know how to do without thinking too hard about it. There was admiration and connection and a canceled evening rehearsal and a night in. That was a good day.

Then there were a few days that all run together. There were late mornings and light work days and nights out with my Soulmate (Unicorn Girl) who was visiting from North Carolina and margaritas and bar food. There was a twilight tour at Bayou Bend and a bar I've never been to before and picture-taking and other loveliness. Those were good days.

At which point we arrive at today, Easter Sunday, my free day for the week. There was a run outside with a buddy and mimosas and omelets and Mama Bossy's famous braided loaf recipe and a walk to Hermann Park and the discovery of the children's section of the Zoo and lots of time on the couch and Weeds and frozen pizza and Casablanca for the first time. And even though it's not quite over yet, I think I can say with some certainty…

This was a good week.

The Art of Schmoozing

My Gay Boyfriend is in town (not to be confused with My Gay Husband, who has seniority), on Spring Break from the fancy conservatory where he's studying voice and stage directing and trying to decide which he likes better (come over to the dark side, I say). I wanted to show him a good time, so of course I took him to the opera last night, because nothing says Spring Break like sitting in a dark auditorium listening to opera singers divulge secrets about their dysfunctional families. Girls Gone Wild it was not, but there's always tonight.

After the show we had just ordered a drink at Bar #1 when CameraMan called to say that Famous Composer A and Famous Conductor B had just invited him to join them and a few of their friends at Bar #2 and did we want to come along?

Well, there was nothing to do but chug our cocktails like frat boys and head down the street to Bar #2, where we cozied into a booth and attempted to cover how starstruck we were with our best impression of cool. There were conversations about where classical music is headed, the role of critics in determining the success of a production, patrons so wealthy that they endow entire museums and hang Jackson Pollocks in their kids' bedrooms, and a plethora of other fascinating topics. I use the passive voice here intentionally, as I contributed almost nothing to these conversations, not because I don't have opinions about them, but because I don't hold my own in situations like that. I'm intimidated and fairly convinced that nothing I have to say will be very interesting, that I'm probably misinformed anyway, and it's just as well because I'll learn so much by listening.

My Gay Boyfriend, having told me earlier that he's terrible at schmoozing, proved himself wrong, chatting up Famous Composer A and CFO of Major Grant Giving Organization B with ease, all while imbibing an impressive amount of Glenlivet. I ended up sitting on the border between 2 major conversations, so I did the tennis match thing and drifted back and forth between them, saying very little.

Until a subject was broached on which I was confident of my expert status. I've always heard that the key to successful schmoozing is finding common ground. I couldn't find it in those earlier intellectual discussions, but I could find it in this one.

Oh yes, I can quote Waiting for Guffman with the best of 'em.

I knew my college education would pay off one day.

All the news that's fit to print

  • After 26 1/2 years of not being allergic to anything, I seem to have developed allergies to something (air? perfect weather? who knows?) in the past 2 days. Itchy watery eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing, the whole shebang. I'm not messing with Texas, but she seems to be messing with me.

  • CameraMan took new headshots of me (and The Wise Soprano and The Talented Ms. Wilson) this morning. If you behave yourself, I just might let you pick your favorite. Stay tuned.

  • We start staging rehearsals for Bohème in exactly a week. I am très excited.

  • I think I'm getting better at photography. This is a shameless plug to check out my Flickr page.

  • Last night my kitten was very naughty in the middle of the night. She kept closing the door to my bedroom and then meowing to get out. This was a first, and contributed to some irrational grumpiness on my part re: Daylight Savings Time. I'm over it now.

  • No Country for Old Men rocked my world. It totally deserved every Oscar it won, and if there was an Oscar for Most Badass in a Supporting Role, or Freakiest Use of a Weapon I've Never Heard Of, or Best Shot of a Gross Bone Sticking Out of Skin, or Best Reason Not to Live in Rural Texas, it would have won all of those, too. Hands down.

  • Last week I went to the zoo twice. This week I didn't go at all. This will be rectified very soon.

  • This week I cooked. Twice. Trust me, this qualifies as news.

  • A couple of Bossy Relations were in town last night on a layover before traveling to Costa Rica to build houses. Their visit resulted in me eating some of the best barbeque ever. Check it out.

  • I've had some mood swings in the past few days, I'm not going to lie. But I'm happy to say that I'm back on top, relaxing with my cat after a delicious salmon dinner, and ready for the week ahead. Or I will be, as soon as I take my new anti-allergy medicine.

When in Texas…

If you've never been here, you probably have all kinds of ideas about Texas. Admit it, you're picturing everyone in cowboy hats and boots, hooking their thumbs into belts that feature enormous silver buckles and spitting tobacco juice on the ground. You're hoping to see women with big Texas hair and men wearing far too much denim, all speaking with a thick drawl and using phrases like "howdy, pard'ner" and "knee-high to a grasshopper" and "chicks and ducks and geese better scurry." It's certainly what I expected when I moved here, but in the 2 1/2 years I've lived here, I've never experienced that side of Texas.

Until yesterday, that is, when I spent 8 hours at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Folks, you have never seen anything like it (I know this is true, because I still don't have any readers in Montana). For most of the day (until the poseurs showed up just to hear Faith Hill sing), CameraMan and I were the only people wearing sneakers. I seriously would have walked right into one of the many booths selling cowboy boots and bought a pair just to fit in…you know, if they didn't cost $200.

It was such a full day that I'm having trouble processing it all. We did so much. We ate beignets doused in powdered sugar, brisket doused in barbecue sauce, and candied almonds from a stand inexplicably named The Nutty Bavarian. We paid far too much for beer. We walked around inside and looked at booths selling all manner of cowboy/girl essentials such as chaps, tractors, massage chairs (and after watching the actual rodeo I understand why those are necessary), and just about anything you could possibly want with fringe on it. We strolled down many aisles of cattle and horses and pretended to be interested in them. We entered the petting zoo although we were not with children (or children ourselves, obvs). I petted a deer (a dead ringer for Bambi), some very small goats, a sheep, a bunny, and a piglet that was less than a day old. After CameraMan had to drag me bodily from the petting zoo, where I would have happily stayed all day long, we went to the horse show (booooring but impressive), and then to one of the real highlights of the day, the pig races. The pig races are pretty much exactly what they sound like: pigs racing. Around a very small track. At breakneck speeds (for the most part). With ridiculous pig-themed names like "Barack-o-ribs Obama" and "Arnold Schwarzenhogger." Hilarious, I tell you. Hilarious.

And we hadn't even gotten to the actual rodeo yet. 2 hours of pure calf ropin', steer wrestlin', barrel racin', buckin' bronco ridin' good times. It felt like we were visiting a foreign country, which I imagine is what first-timers must feel like at opening night of the opera, what with all the special lingo, parties you're not invited to, and people you've never heard of being treated like big big stars. Except that the opera doesn't usually start out with the lights dimming down for a prayer in which God is thanked for "rodeo fellowship," among other things. And at the opera (on a good night) nobody gets their jaw broken by a steer horn and then keeps riding in what is evidently a show of "heart." And, unfortunately, at the opera there is no constant commentary to educate the rookies on what's going on. I'd kind of like to hear that, actually.

The day was capped off with a kick-a** concert by Faith Hill. Damn, that gurl can sang! And she's raht purty, too. Ahem. We enjoyed it immensely.

I'm so glad I went and saw that side of Texas, the one that fulfills all those stereotypes.

Although, to be fair, I walked around all day long wearing a t-shirt that read "Democrats have more fun," and nobody shot me.

So maybe not all the stereotypes.


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