Friday, July 30, 2010


I'm getting email now from one of the chorus kids that looks like this:

Which is pretty awesome. She's 10, so I sent her an email message back saying that I'd gotten glasses at 8 and it's been all downhill from there. Cheery, right? This is also the kid whose dad's a funeral director and he did her stage makeup for the show. She reported that she has to lie flat for him to accomplish this, however, which totally cracked me up. She looked great--really nice color, perfectly blended. We should have brought her dad in to do makeup on the entire chorus, but then we would have had to find a table for people to lie on.

We sold out in Minneapolis, which is maybe not that impressive in a 110-seat theater, but it was nice to know that there were lines out the door and that we'd be performing to a full house every night. Once we have pics, I'll post some so that you can see my cartoon wig and some of the really bad faces I seem to be making when the photographer catches me mid-sing. It was a good experience. It was tiring, and I was responsible for a lot in the show, but that is how it goes when you have the lead role and you're onstage all the time. It had been ages since I'd done such a major role--probably 6 years--and it was so nice to have such a long stretch of time to work with my character and with the other singers. I do miss doing opera, sigh, but it's just a fact that I don't want to pursue that life (and at this point I would have to totally bust my ass to try to compete).

And now the show's over, a reality I still have not entirely grasped. It'll be weeks before the music is out of my head, but I'm combatting this by downloading some new stuff and making sure I actually listen to it. I can totally recommend the Mynabirds, especially if you think you would like a blend of Neko Case, Jenny Lewis, and Cat Power kicking it old-school. Also, I think Big Boi's new album is about to be hot shit, and Bad Rabbits, which you can get for free over here, is a throwback-funky R & B lovefest.

Anyway, I'm tired. I haven't managed to catch up on sleep yet, and I'm looking forward to this weekend, to having a lie-in tomorrow, to hanging out with the Brit, to maybe posting some stuff on Etsy, and to sewing up the big hole that appeared in the bum of my dress last night at the Neil Young concert. You know how the thread in vintage dresses just, like, disintegrates sometimes? I don't know how I missed this seam when I gave the dress a once-over recently, but world, welcome to my cheeks.

Neil Young, by the way, was great. We noodled around to the back of the venue to get a look at his tour bus before the show, then went in to hear Bert Jansch being completely awesome and making the most beautiful guitar sounds, then settled in for a nice long Neil Young solo set, acoustic and electric. He sounds good, y'all. Still a ton of vocal control, esp for someone his age, and he played several really strong new songs. Also, I love the fact that he had an upright piano, a baby grand, and a Gothic-looking pump organ onstage so that he could play a single song on each instrument.

Yesterday I finally pulled the trigger and booked our flights to the UK. I am looking forward to vacation like whoa. Two whole weeks, in the midst of which is a trip up to the Lake District, which you may remember from such photos as this one:

Day 1: sheep.

And this one:

Day 2: Causey Pike.

So yeah, I want to go to there. I only have to wait for FIVE WEEKS and then we will be ON THE PLANE.

Lastly, it's time to get a new bike. What should I get?


  1. Those pictures are off the hook, man. Luckyyyyy.

    And I adore that kid's email.

  2. "She reported that she has to lie flat for him to accomplish this, however, which totally cracked me up."

    Hahahahahahaha. That's like something right out of an excellent book.

  3. If you're willing to invest:

    In my humble opinion. C-Mo (as you call him) would love to weigh in, I'm sure.

  4. Robert has a Cross Check and loves it. I am enjoying my Jamus Satellite Sport but have only used it for exercise, not commuting much. My Mom's Consumer Reports mag recommends the Fuji Absolute 3.0.

  5. Seriously, my Betty Foy is the best (and cutest) bike ever made, EVER.
    Ask Madness! ;D

  6. Oh Michael, the Betty Foy is SO beautiful but is more than I want to spend right now. The Cross Check is about where I'm at.

  7. Think of it as a REALLY cheap car! :)
    I hear good things about the Cross Check and Alan is certainly quite happy with his LHT! Make sure to post pics when you get it!

  8. What are you looking for in a new bike? Surly does make some pretty nifty steeds!

  9. Wait! When are you going to be in the UK? I'll be in N. Ireland on some fancy Lough outside of Belfast, or something. August 30-September 6.

  10. Still in mourning a little bit over not getting to see that opera.

    You look lovely in that photo, btw.

  11. The bike: I've been riding a sort of entry level hybrid for the past few years and it's just too heavy and slow. I have a 13 mile RT commute to work, and that would be the primary use. I do haul stuff on the bike--mostly my work crap and groceries. Mostly, I want to be able to do longer rides comfortably. I'm talking 20-40 miles at a stretch, which on my current bike kills me. I don't really anticipate touring.

    Poundpapi!! We'll be there Sept 3-17. Want to come down to Cambridge-ish?

  12. I meant to say, I'm not PLANNING on doing big bike touring but wouldn't mind having a rig that could handle some.

  13. Alan said you might prefer the LHT over the Cross Check because of the length of the chain stay. The LHT's is longer therefore accommodating panniers better with less chance of your heel bumping the panniers. It seems like a small thing but would definitely get annoying in 13 miles. :)
    Drop him a note if you have any questions, he loves to help folks get set up for bike commuting!

  14. I've got both the Cross Check and the Long Haul Trucker -
    both are great bikes for the money. Alan is right about
    the LHT's chain stay length - I can't use my panniers on the Cross Check. So the Cross Check is my fun gravel-road bike and the LHT is my commuter, grocery getter and general errand bike.

  15. Ah man, I done made a comment and now it's gone . . .basically it said I am the master at mindfucking myself when it comes to finding the The Next Great Bicycle. Nothing means nothing until you get your ass in a saddle and test everything. The fit and feel will pick the bike for you.

    Oh, and that first paragraph is perfection. I love the shit out of every word.

    Oh, and on the opera tip, you're amazing.

  16. I know this isn't exactly (at all) what you're looking for but I saw a Public bike in person the other day and I walked all around it multiple times admiring and admiring - so much nicer in person, for some reason. Now, I want.

  17. Come ON, that Public bike is adorable and the color is perfect. If I could have alllll the bikes I would totally have that one.