Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Amusing recipe instruction

The Chief sent me a link to a lamb dish that I plan to try sometime soon.  The recipe happens to includes prunes among its ingredients.  In reading over the directions (I'm learning to do that before diving in, to avoid starting something that's going to take a lot more time than I have), I saw this instruction:  "assess your prunes"!  They want you to see if they look a bit dried out, but the wording makes me chuckle, as if they're undergoing some sort of medical or other inspection.

Don't remind me!

The Chief happened to mention today that I should be hearing in the next 2 or 3 weeks whether the university accepted me.  I really could have done without the reminder, as it just makes the waiting that much harder. :(

"Bad singing day", but productive voice lesson

We worked on both my audition pieces today.  "Mandoline" was challenging because, despite warming up, the voice was working hard to do what I wanted.  Even putting it down a whole step didn't help.  "Vouchsafe, O Lord", which sits a little lower, wasn't quite as bad but still an effort.

However, I still managed to make some technical progress:  I suddenly consciously realized the difference in "feel" between the way I've been breathing and taking a proper breath, using my sides & back; and I actually felt how activating the zygomatic arch frees up my sound.  My teacher was pleased with what we accomplished technically, even if I was having what she called a "bad singing day".  It's always a good sign when your teacher lights up; means you're actually achieving what she's trying to get you to do. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good for my ego

Got a Facebook message this afternoon from one of the women in the first production for which I did hair & make-up, nearly 2 years ago.  She's producing a play that'll run this fall and wanted to know if I'd design hair & make-up for it, or even audition for it (nine roles for women 40+!).  It's quite far - probably 25+ miles one way - but more importantly, it opens a week after Mattress does, so no way.  When I offered to send her names of other hair & make-up people, she said she was looking for an excuse to work with me again. Given that I didn't really work with the cast that much - came to a couple of rehearsals, then worked with them during Tech Week through Opening Night, then didn't show up again until strike - it is very good for my ego to realize that I managed to make such a good impression on at least one cast member. :)

A few notes on last Friday's concert

Last Friday I sang in a benefit concert that R organized.  Six women (5 singers and our VERY gifted accompanist), so R had all of us wear black dresses.  I had a great little vintage number, which I took to the run-through to get some opinions on which jewelry to wear with it.  Unfortunately, the zipper broke when I went to put it on.  I mean really broke - a few zipper teeth broke off.  Vintage, remember, and this was obviously the original zipper.  Yike!  I ran out and made an emergency purchase of a back-up LBD, in case the local dry cleaner's tailor couldn't replace the zipper in time.  Fortunately, the tailor came through for me (and replaced the silver zipper with a black one - even better!) so I could wear my smashing little vintage number.  Good thing, as my Plan B dress was the very same one R was wearing!

We had fun singing, the program had a good variety, and the audience seemed to enjoy it.  I was even sounded out afterward by someone prospecting for potential Ms. Senior (neighboring state) contestants!  I had a good chuckle over that - I NEVER considered entering a beauty contest!!!  The Chief thinks I should consider looking into our state's program once I hit 60 (the minimum eligible age).

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Still waiting to hear about my university application.  The closer it gets to when I can first hope to hear, the harder it gets to wait.  In the meantime, I've already drafted a class schedule for Fall 2015 at the community college, just in case.  Eager, much? ;)

I'm also waiting for a choral acquaintance to get back from vacation.  He's got a recording studio in his basement and is willing to help me make my audition video.  Once he gets home, recovers from jetlag, and gets a chance to check his calendar, he'll give me some dates for a recording session.  Then I can work on lining up an audition accompanist.

So many things to juggle to make this happen!  I need to find out how long he needs to refine the video after the recording session - don't want to rush him to meet the application deadline!  I may want to schedule my rehearsal(s) with my accompanist fairly close to the recording date, to maximize the time I have to learn and polish my audition pieces, or maybe I should have two rehearsals, spaced a week or more apart, so I can work on any suggestions in at least one lesson before the 2nd rehearsal.  The timing of all these will determine how much time I really have to work on these pieces.  Gonna be a busy summer!

Tomatoes! Zucchini?

The Chief made sure I noticed last night that our 2 little cherry tomato plants have tiny little green tomatoes on them!  Fingers crossed that they'll produce like crazy!

The surviving zucchini plant is doing well, too.  I just hope I don't find out, oh, this fall that zucchini are supposed to be planted in pairs so they pollinate.  (Sister3 learned that last month when she bought blueberry plants at the farmers' market.)

Benefit concert

A theater friend has organized a small concert with silent auction as a fundraiser for a local charity.  She's invited me and a few other women she's performed with to sing and has lined up a wonderful accompanist as well.  She has asked all of us to wear black dresses so she can call this an LBD benefit.

We've had individual rehearsals with the accompanist, and we had a run-through yesterday with all of us.  The program has a very interesting assortment - broadway, opera, G&S, cabaret - lots of variety, well presented.  I just hope people come!  (I'm nervous about that only because I live far enough away from the church hosting the concert that none of my church choir, for example, would want to go.)

I'm a little sad about the line-up, only because my pieces (1 solo, 1 duet (from G&S' Patience), 1 trio ("Three Little Maids from School") are all in the first half.  Then no more singing for me!  However, there's plenty of great music to listen to; that'll have to console me. :)

I took my dress with me yesterday because I wanted some input on which jewelry to wear with it.  As I was putting it on, though, the zipper broke.  I mean, really broke, as in broken teeth!  (It's a lovely vintage dress and this is the original zipper.)  I plan to take it to the cleaner's tomorrow to see if their alterations person can replace the zipper by Friday.  The dress' bodice has a lot of shirring and a waist seam, though, so this would be even more problematic than a "normal" zipper replacement.  Yesterday I went out and bought a back-up dress.  Managed to find a Jones New York dress for just $20!  Not fancy, but it'll look great with pearls, so if I can't wear my first choice, I have a good back-up.

My husband, friend to turtles

The Chief & I were out at the cabin last week.  One day, as we were heading out to run some errands, we spotted something in the road.  Turned out to be a box turtle with its head stretched out toward the side of the road.  The Chief stopped and we waited while our reptilian friend made its way to the vegetation on the side of the road (more quickly than we expected).  Traffic coming the other way slowed to see why we were stopped.  One driver gave the Chief a thumbs-up when she realized why he was stopped.

We still wonder how that turtle is faring, hoping it hasn't encountered a less patient driver.