Road trip

Texas is trucks and tow hitches, strip malls and speed traps.

Louisiana is long bridges and trees growing in water, casinos and crawfish, Anglicized French names and Frenchified English names.

Mississippi is wildflowers and tall trees crowding the road, miles and miles with no towns.

Alabama is exactly the same as Mississippi. EXACTLY. They might as well call it Alassippi. Or Missibbamma.

Georgia is rolling green hills and curves, a pass-through on the way to somewhere else.

Tennessee is valleys and cliffs, slow semis passing slower semis on steep inclines, detours and cities ending with -ville, lower temperatures and lower speed limits.

Virginia is state troopers around every bend, fields and farmhouses, small towns with town slogans, sweeping vistas in every direction.

America is billboards and fast food and U-Haul and truck stops and Cracker Barrel.

Because Joyce told me to

Memes aren't usually my thing, but how could I turn down the lovely Yankeediva?


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:

10 years ago I was preparing for high school graduation, at which I sang "Take Me to the World." I had horrendous short hair that I was convinced looked like Meg Ryan's. My favorite outfit was denim shortalls, a purple tank top, and a matching purple bra with the straps showing. I was head over heels in love with my high school boyfriend, who was planning to get married the summer after our junior year in college, a feat he subsequently accomplished without me. My family was preparing for a summer vacation through Europe with my Aunt and Uncle Bossy, along with one of the Bossy cousins who was at the obnoxious age of 12 (although, to be fair, 16 wasn't much less obnoxious). I was über-excited about going to college, so much so that I was corresponding heavily with my roommate in order to coordinate bedding colors, etc.

Five Things on Today's "To Do" List
  • Finish making my Bohème score pretty. And my Flute score. Hey, I never claimed to be anything but a procrastinator.
  • Brush my kitten. She's shedding like crazy now that it's summer.
  • Listen to some friends sing/play a recital.
Umm…I'm on summer vacation. My "to do" list isn't long enough for 5 things. 3 will have to be enough.

Things I'd Do If I Were a Billionaire:
  • Travel, travel, and more travel.
  • Buy a home and make it perfect.
  • Donate to the Obama campaign and assorted charities.
  • So many gadgets I cannot even begin to list them.

Three Bad Habits:
  • Procrastinating. See above.
  • My iTunes addiction. It's getting out of hand.
  • Spending far too much time on the internet.

Five Places I've Lived:
  • Westerly, RI
  • Salem, OR
  • Appleton, WI
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Houston, TX

Five Jobs I've Had:
  • Writing tutor
  • Retail clerk at The Limited
  • Voice teacher
  • Assistant stage manager
  • Director!

Five People I'm Tagging:

The Carters

The sun whose rays are all ablaze

I have a love/hate relationship with the sun. Love lying by the pool, hate sunburn. Love the dusting of freckles on my nose and cheeks, hate getting sweaty on the short trip from the door to the car. And while every summer I have trouble relinquishing the dream of becoming a bronzed goddess, unless I get so many freckles that they merge into a tan, it's never gonna happen. I have too little pigment in my skin for the real kind and too little patience and skill for the fake kind. Instead, I have to comfort myself with SPF 50 and photos of Nicole Kidman. Yeah, yeah, pale is beautiful. Skin cancer is not. I get it.

This morning I woke up still aching from moving all my stuff out of my apartment on Sunday. I figured it was a good idea to push through the soreness by going for a quick jog outside. I ran for a bit and then switched to walking. When I was almost home I started feeling dizzy and faint. I laughed it off, but ended up having to sit down on the nearest curb to keep myself from blacking out. I finally stumbled up the stairs to the apartment where I'm staying and collapsed on the couch with a bottle of Gatorade. When the nausea eventually subsided, I fell into a deep sleep and didn't wake up again until about 11:30.

Sun, 1. Little Ms. Bossy, 0.

In the late morning I showered and got ready to go out. I parted my wet hair on the left side like I always do, only to discover that my sunburned part (courtesy of the Art Car Parade) had moved to its next stage: peeling. Ummm...gross.

Mess with my exercise regimen? No problem, I can take it. But mess with my hair? Them's fightin' words.

I haven't devised an adequate payback method yet, but I do know one thing.

This means war.

No more pencils, no more books

Today was the first day of my summer vacation. Nowhere I had to be, nobody expecting me, nothing pressing on the agenda. Most of my day was spent in long spells on the couch, punctuated by trips to run invented errands.

I've finally (just about) made my peace with my unemployed status. My summer plans are shaping up. For most of the summer I'll be at Wolf Trap, pretending I work there but spending all my time at the pool. I'm planning to fill the rest with trips to Oregon to visit the Bossy folks, Central City to see The New Oregonian and Little Ms. Hardcore, Santa Fe to take in the sights and check in with CaliBoy, and L.A. for The Wise Soprano's opening night in September. And, to stave off an outbreak of couch-itis, I have a long list of projects to accomplish. Studying next season's operas, learning how to use my new camera, making a website, and writing as much as I can...I don't think I'll be bored.

As much as I'm looking forward to visiting friends all over the country, there are 4 friends in particular that I can't wait to see again. I'm referring, of course, to Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha, and Carrie.

I'm not sure I can express in words how excited I am about this movie. I am not ashamed to tell you that I tear up every single time I watch the trailer (and that's more than twice, in case you're wondering). And while I know the opening weekend promises to be an estrogen overload, I will be there with bells on, contributing my own estrogen to the mix.

I might need new shoes.

Pet of the Met

Judging by the condition of my fingernails and cuticles, I'd say this has been a pretty stressful week. We don't have any tantrum-throwing divas or tyrannical directors (I think it's just a little early in my career to break out my dictator side, don't you?), but The Refuge is unlike any other project I've worked on. Even though we did it only six months ago, the combination of moving it to a different venue, changing up some of the cast (including a brand new choir), and having just one week to put it all together again has made it uniquely challenging. I had two days with the soloists (one of whom is new to the show), one three-hour tech rehearsal onstage with the masses, and one three-hour rehearsal to add the orchestra to the mix. Of course it came together, as these things always do. Our performances are tonight and tomorrow night (8:30pm at the Miller Outdoor Theatre—come!!), and it's going to be a great show.

It's easy to get stressed out when there's a lot to accomplish in a short period of time. Thank goodness for comic relief. I haven't been on headset during the rehearsals, so I've depended on my assistant BrandNewMiniCooperGirl to report what's happening backstage, including an incident during last night's rehearsal that I unfortunately didn't get to witness first-hand. Apparently a cat got backstage. Pause for emphasis. A CAT! It came in during some of the loudest, most intense music, so it freaked out and ran under part of the set. It was pandemonium backstage as various stage managers and stagehands attempted to coax the cat to come out and go out the door. When it was finally apprehended, it managed to jump on a chorister, scratch one stagehand, and bite another (all the way through his fingernail). Little Ms. Hardcore ended up spending half the evening filling out accident reports, BrandNewMiniCooperGirl kept me entertained with frequent updates on the cat's whereabouts, and I tried not to laugh loudly enough to disturb the rehearsal.

Who knows what tonight has in store? The zoo is right around the corner, so I'm crossing my fingers for sifakas.

All I really need to know I learned…at the Art Car Parade

I've been slow to post about the Art Car Parade, not for the reason I usually don't post (laziness, pure and simple), but because this week is Refuge week. Again. We're doing the whole show again out at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. The New Oregonian is already busy at her summer job (where it just snowed!), so I get to play at directing for the week. Rehearsals and emails and paperwork for Refuge plus actor auditions for a project next season equal no time for blogging. And, FYI, if you try to post a comment pressuring me to blog more, your comment will be summarily rejected. Only I get to be bossy on this blog. Start your own. I'm pretty sure is available.

The parade was incredible. And awesome. And excruciatingly hot. But not as hot as last year, and better than last year because the opera had a car this year, and she was bee-yoo-tiful!

Here's what I learned from the day:
  • The SPF in facial moisturizer is not enough when you're sweating your face off. Unless you're entering some kind of Rudolph look-alike contest, that is, in which case it's the perfect amount. Apparently.

  • If you take a car and paint a couple things on it haphazardly and drive it in the Art Car Parade, Houstonians will still cheer for you as if you were driving an actual Art Car. I'm so happy I live in a town that applauds half-a**ed creativity.

  • Bad moods can be cured with frozen lemonade. I've tested this theory twice since Saturday, and it has held true so far.

  • Houston ants bite. I can prove it.

  • I'm not very good at it, but sometimes saying "no" is definitely the right choice (maybe I need to practice more). The Valkyries who rollerskated with the opera car looked incredible (incredibly hardcore, that is), but I didn't wish I was one of them, not even for a moment. I was happy to be on the sidelines with my camera and my CameraMan. Especially while we were drinking frozen lemonade.

  • I could do a lot worse than to have Houston as my adopted hometown. Quirky, creative, and utterly unique, Houston and Houstonians are starting to feel like home to me.

  • Sometimes hard work and ingenuity actually pay off. 600+ hours of labor, a brilliant design, a baritone singing his face off, and the gorgeous ladies of stage management as skating Valkyries—OF COURSE our car won 1st place!!!

Numbers don't lie

11Number of Bohème performances in the past month
8Number of days until I am officially done with the season (but who's counting)
3Number of career meetings I had last week
60Number of opera DVDs added to my Netflix queue as a result of said meetings
2Number of hours spent cursing Netflix for its inability to consistently list directors for opera DVDs
3Number of almost-accidents I got into while driving yesterday
2Number of those that were not caused by me seeing a Smart car and getting too excited
4Number of beers drunk by me last night (The New Oregonian would call this a "night of 4 beers")
23Approximate number of people persuaded by me to have their picture taken wearing a pair of large aviator glasses
1Number of strangers who posed in the glasses and told me "I'll do it. You don't have to explain anything."
19Approximate number of Facebook profile pictures that will change once the pics from last night are distributed
1.5Hours until the Art Car Parade starts
1 billionApproximate number of pictures I will take at the parade
At least 1Number of blog posts I will devote to talking about the parade

See you then.


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