Sunday, February 22, 2009

Laying in provisions for a siege

The Chief & I are bracing ourselves for Tech Week. Yesterday was the Sitzprobe, load-in started at 10 this morning, cast is called for 6 tonight, but my sewing machine and I will report earlier to help with the "green-room sweatshop". Cast is called for 6 p.m. through Wednesday, with 6:30 calls for Thursday's preview and all evening performances. That obviously doesn't leave very much time at all for fixing and eating dinner before leaving for the theater. That's why the Chief put some turkey legs and a whole chicken on to roast yesterday while I was at the Sitz; once they were ready, we took the meat off the bone and now have it for sandwiches. I also made a batch of hummus, a big pot of my mom's veggie-beef soup recipe, and some pot roast (the Chief isn't big on soups). Oh, and I rinsed some red and white grapes and destemmed them and might even prep some carrot sticks so we'll have something a little healthier than pizza and fast food to eat this week.

We're hosting a fellow castmember this week to shorten her home-work-theater commute a bit; I think we have enough food for three. If not, it certainly isn't for lack of trying! :D

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is it July yet?

Yesterday a friend told me of a week-long evening cabaret workshop at a local music school. You spend 3 hours a night Mon-Thu working on a ballad and an up-tempo song, then on Friday everyone in the class gets to sing their pieces for an audience. I've seen announcements for other cabaret singing classes in town that I haven't been able to make, but the timing of this one is just right. I sent off my registration this morning, hoping the class hasn't filled up already, and am looking forward to going through my Cole Porter, Gershwin and Rodgers & Hart collections to decide on my 2 songs. Or I may see if they'll let me sing 1 or 2 Mary Morton pieces - I've got her Wooing the Lorelei CD and love her lyrics and musical style.

Now I'm really looking forward to July - 5 straight nights of singing!

Another good lesson

A lesson or two ago, I finally, finally "got" the sensation of a dropped larynx that my voice teacher and her predecessor have been trying to guide me toward. Sounds weird, or maybe like something you might have to call 911 for, but dropping the larynx opens things up in the back of the throat, giving you a bigger, better resonating chamber.

Then today I was able to incorporate that with some breath timing (tricky only because I've been timing it wrong for so very many years). Once I realized that when I got to the range where I tend to get scared and tighten up, I just needed a little more "oomph" to get me through, well, not only did it feel good, but my teacher lit up and said that was about the best she's heard me sing! Now to make all that a habit...

Ya know, I'm becoming a believer in this voice lesson stuff. :D

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arthur is a pain in the neck.

Learned last night that the chronic pain in my neck, which I always thought was from my sleeping position, is actually from arthritis! The doc had me get my neck x-rayed to be sure; yep, osteophytes (bone spurs) on at least 3 cervical vertebrae! The blasted things like to bear down on a nerve or few, causing tingling and pain to radiate into my hand & fingers.

So now I wanna know - when is medical science gonna come up with a permanent cure for both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis? This Arthur stuff is for the birds - it's already keeping me from dancing (my knees are not loving the tiny little bit of low-impact polka I do in Merry Widow).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Family recipe"

This has got to be one of the funniest photos I've seen in a long time. Finish what you're eating or drinking before you click on the link.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Someone's in dire need of Bus Driving 001

I was stopped at a light this afternoon when a bus driver, trying to squeeze past me into the left-turn lane, misjudged the distance and knocked my driver's-side mirror against the side of my car. Sigh. I found a Customer Comment form on the transit company's website and submitted a quick report, and I get to call my insurance company in the morning. Wonder how long I'll have to wait before I can get my mirror fixed. And my poor car isn't even a year old yet!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Boring workout update

"Boring" can refer to either (or both) "workout" and "update" - you've been warned!

After being pretty darn sedentary the past two weeks, between 2 classes and trying to get things done at work around said classes, I actually got back to the gym today. Spent a boring half hour on the treadmill (and who thought people on treadmills would want to look at themselves in a humongous mirror?!?) and logged 1.29 miles at enough grade and speed to break a light sweat without punishing my knees. The machine reported I'd only burned 153 calories, but I didn't enter weight or age or anything first, so maybe I actually burned more than that. Or am I dreaming?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Productive in spite of myself

Not only did I manage to essentially finish the first of 2 Merry Widow costume "kits" I have, but the Chief & I managed to revive my old Saturn (which had been hiding in the backyard while we searched for the title lien release) sufficiently to move it around where the tow truck can get at it tomorrow. And after dinner I not only made another batch of that Moroccan carrot salad, but sauteed some mushrooms to add to the jarred spaghetti sauce and packed up some salad and chicken for lunch tomorrow.

I'm dreading my e-mail queue tomorrow; here's hoping I can be as productive at work tomorrow as I was at home today.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Friends as guinea pigs

I've been known to see the occasion of friends coming to dinner as the perfect opportunity to try a new recipe. Last weekend was no exception; right alongside the roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, we served a Moroccan carrot salad. It turned out to be such a huge hit - we had almost no leftovers - that I ended up giving our friends copies of the recipe. It was easy, too; the hardest part about it was throwing it together before I had to leave for rehearsal that day. This one's definitely going into my collection of Favorites.

Other "experiments": goose, duck, flan, the occasional dessert recipe. See, this is how you know if you're one of my better friends - am I secure enough in our friendship to experiment on you? :D

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"5 cents, please"

[BTW, who took the cent sign off the keyboards when we weren't looking?!?]

I've been making a long commute (30+ miles one way) to another class for work, trying to learn a very intricate computer tool. The guy next to me had just had some hugely horrible news dumped on him by the girlfriend he just broke up with and has been venting to me. Part of the reason has been that, being female, he sorta hoped I might be able to help him make some sense of what he learned and the anger and grief he's now going through. While the mother hen in me wants to rock him and say "there, there", his situation makes me very paranoid about telling him much of anything in the way of advice - I definitely don't need to make things worse for the poor guy! Needless to say, I've been praying like crazy for guidance in addition to praying for him. "Storming heaven", as my grandmother used to say.

This is the second time I've run into this (the first was when I was coming home from Europe - LONG flight!). Maybe I should follow Lucy's example and set up a little stand...?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Enjoying his retirement

Friday I got home from work late, having tried to do as much as possible to clear my queue between classes. I knew it was going to be a busy night, as we still had some food prep to do before having friends to dinner Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised to find my wonderful husband in the kitchen, at the ironing board putting the finishing touches on the linen tablecloth. Not only that, but he cheerfully peeled & sliced 4 apples for the cake (enlightened self interest there - he loves that cake!), then decided to make the hummus while I assembled the cake. He also did all the pre-party housecleaning, since "I'm home all day now and you're still working."

And while he's only fixed dinner once since he retired, he's hardly goofing off - today he returned my library books for me, he's finished organizing papers and has started on the basement, does the grocery shopping now - this is great! :D

Getting smarter, I hope

As part of taking my new job, I had a 3-day class last week and started a 5-day one today. Both involve long (30+ miles) commutes, but last week's was well worth it. I'm hoping this week's will be similarly worthwhile.

Last week was weird; we'd had snow Tuesday morning, with sleet and freezing rain forecast for the evening and through the night. I ended up spending the night in a nearby hotel rather than risk the drive home on icy roads with an unknown number of drivers who either don't know how to drive in that kinda weather or just freak out. Wasn't how I'd have chosen to spend the evening, but it was the right choice.

And now they're talking about snow tomorrow. Much as I'd love to have a snow day, I don't want it this week because it would mess up the class schedule. If the weather wants to give us a snow day next week, however...