Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thankskitten!

So, Willa turned 4 a couple days ago, and she got a kitten for her birthday.


He was called Bruce (which I love; it's like naming a tiny kitten Gary or Keith) when he arrived in her hands yesterday, but I'm not sure what his name is now. Last night it was Snowflake, and later in the evening it was apparently Tiger. My mom was pulling for Opie, which I think is perfect. But Willa is in charge. The little cat seems well-suited to life with a lot of kids around. I just hope he can get enough naps in. Anyway, he's the cutest ever. I want to put him in my pocket. (Willa is pretty cute too.)

Today has been one hell of a lazy day. I made some pretty bad muffins this morning and some soup this evening, and that's about all I've done. I have loved this long weekend, haven't you, US readers? So nice. I am not looking forward to returning to work tomorrow, though I do get to get my ass out of the house early and meet Melinda for breakfast. You have no idea how happy that makes me and it will go by too quickly, and then I will still have to go to work afterward. (Grateful I have a job, etc etc.)

I had another audition yesterday, which was pretty great for me and enthusiastically received by the wee panel of listeners. It will mean some concert work in the new year. I was also jazzed about my outfit, after all that outfit talk in the last post: I wore some wide, drape-y black velvet pants that I must have thrifted years ago and sort of forgot about, a teal camisole, and a soft fitted black wrap sweater sprinkled with silvery sequins. I looked fly and basically felt like I was wearing yoga clothes, which is the best possible state of affairs.

Earlier in the week I did have a callback audition and that went well too. It was for a dippy show, but what are you gonna do? The roles available for my voice type in light opera/operetta are pretty ridiculous--I can be people's mums and grannies and aunties (and occasionally a young man) and that's basically it. No gorgeous leading ladies for me. Still, it would be fun to get cast in something silly and just go balls out with the character and hopefully work with a bunch of my friends again.

I capped off all this serious singing with some more serious singing at karaoke last night. You know you're getting old and boring when the idea of going out at 10 seems coconuts, but I took a disco nap after Willa's birthday celebration and I rallied. And I'm so glad I did--it was a fun singing crowd. You're basically guaranteed to have a good night if two people are singing "Islands in the Stream" when you walk in. It felt like a classics/crowd pleasers kind of night, so I sang "We Are Family" with my friends, then "Son of a Preacher Man." Next round was "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About," then Leah sprang "Alone" on me (which I frankly love to sing, especially when she is providing harmony). Finally, my one and only new song of the night was "Harden My Heart" by Quarterflash, which song I have referred to multiple times on this blog, if I am not mistaken. I think I even have a #quarterflash tag, so I'll go ahead and deploy that on this post. It was super fun to sing, so if you've been on the fence about this song, I say go for it. Bonus: air saxophone opportunities. It had really been too long.

For the past couple weeks, I've been barfing out a bunch of words every day (kinda on the Artist's Way model) using the website It's completely private and not intended for anyone else's consumption or even your own judgment, which is useful. I haven't looked back at anything I've written and I don't have plans to. If you're looking for this kind of daily practice, it's a great little site because it tracks your words and sends you a daily email (if you like) prompting you to write. I'm guessing it's the reason I've forgotten to blog for two weeks. Sorry about that. On the other hand, maybe you were spared the truly garbagey because of my newfound discipline. So, you're welcome.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday night's gonna be all right.

I spent some of my Friday night doing an audition. If that doesn't scream PARTAY, I don't know what does. I honestly can't remember the last time I did an audition, either--or at least, one where my casting wasn't a foregone conclusion, or one that wasn't for a teaching job. So I don't have any headshots printed (no one asks for printed headshots anymore, do they?), and perhaps more important, I don't have a regular rotation of audition outfits! This is a big deal, y'all. You have to figure out what's going to make the best statement about your personality without overshadowing your performance (that is, you want them to focus on you instead of your outfit). Wearing black is a classic maneuver and is super-boring, but depending on the type of company/show you're auditioning for, you might want to go classic instead of interesting. And again, depending on the situation, appropriate gear can range from super dressed up to fairly casual. Running around the house looking for things to wear reminded me of the years I spent doing the fall audition season in NY--and let me tell you, while I miss having a reason to go to NY regularly, I do not miss those days at all. I also had long hair during those years and I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time wrangling my hair into something that looked good. I experienced a wave of gratitude last night when I smeared some styling wax into my hair and sculpted it for 15 seconds and called it good.

I wore a slightly shimmery black vintage floral ankle length dress with high heeled moto boots and a black wrap sweater. It wasn't my favorite outfit ever but it was my best option, considering I watched "Breaking Bad" until 45 minutes before I had to leave and didn't think about my clothes at all until then.

Weirdly, I have another audition in two weeks. Much like the one I did last night, the stakes are rather low, but unlike last night, I actually have to have several arias ready to go. Again, I haven't had to offer four arias in years, and I am a little out of shape vocally because I don't practice regularly. Still, what concerns me most right now is that I don't know what I'm going to wear. I guess clothes are just on my mind these days, probably at least in part because the weather is changing.

Anyway, it went well last night. We'll see if I get a callback.

Today is beautiful and sunny and warm for November, so I am going to hop on my bike and ride to Sally Beauty for some nail treatments. All this nail polish remover is killing my nails.

The cold (dark) bike rides have actually been kind of awesome so far. It hasn't been THAT cold yet--I've had maybe 2 rides that have been below freezing--but honestly right now my biggest problem isn't staying warm, it's having the exact right number/thickness of layers so that I don't overheat. No matter what, I'm totally sweaty when I get to work. I'm also back to pondering (as I ride) how to make my reflective/visibility gear more interesting. I swear there is an untapped market here. Po Campo makes some cute little reflective birdie pins, which is a start, and there's a company called Run Naked that has shirts emblazoned with the reflective words "Run Naked." Oh, okay, and here's another one that got kickstarted and doesn't have products for sale publicly yet: We Flashy (the jerks in the video are biking without lights, however). So other folks are clearly having the same thoughts. For now I'm just wearing a really sweet neon vest and slap bracelets, but if you want to go into business, let me know. At one point I investigated this fairly seriously and then dropped it when I realized I would have to buy a cutter and a heat press to print t-shirts myself.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here is the dress

that I personal-shopped for Tricia, with Tricia in it.


Marigoldie requested a pic of my silk/cashmere maxi skirt, which I am planning on wearing tomorrow--so maybe we can have another fashion photo shoot in front of a file cabinet, piles of paper and plastics, and a beige wall tomorrow.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Food makin'.

Well, it already feels like the middle of the night over here, since it's pitch black. But that's the price we pay for looking up at the clock after a super-productive morning and going WHOA it isn't even 11 yet! I've spent a lot of today cooking, so as to get a jump on the week, and I thought you probably would want to know what I made.
  1. Vegan pumpkin pudding. I am so excited about this that I want to roll around in it. I had started off intending to make these pumpkin cranberry ginger parfaits, minus the raw pumpkin (none on hand, also sounds not very appealing). But I quickly realized I would rather just mix it all together and mess around with the recipe a bit. You need to make the ginger cashew cream in the link immediately, but with less sweetener and a little less coconut oil. You will not be able to stop eating it. My pudding is just a mixture of the cashew cream and a whole wack of canned pumpkin and a bunch of spices. There's only a tablespoon of agave in my entire non-recipe. Tomorrow, I will sprinkle pecans and dried cranberries over the top and die of happiness when I eat it.
  2. Breakfast bulgur. Usually I do quinoa but I was all out, and this needs to get used up. It turned out rather delicious. I spiced it with cardamom and ginger, and I cooked it in mostly water with some apple juice--it won't need more sweetener. Top with apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and yogurt if that is your thing.
  3. Steamed romanesco with lemon. No big secret here, except that romanesco looks like alien babies and that is the sole reason I bought it.
  4. Roasted rosemary garlic potatoes and rutabaga.
  5. Cannellini beans to make today's soup and keep in the freezer.
  6. Cannellini soup with greens. I chopped/sauteed two leeks, a small onion, two carrots, two celery stalks, the leaves from the romanesco, lots of kale and collard stems, and a mutant huge clove of garlic in a bunch of olive oil with oregano. Then added veggie stock, bean broth, and about 2-3 cups of cannellini beans, along with chopped collard and kale leaves (about one bunch total). Simmered for 15 minutes, stirred in chopped spinach and a little sambal oelek and salt to taste, and ate it up with lots of black pepper. Boom.
I spent some of Saturday at the thrift stores and came away with an excellent haul from Goodwill. A black silk cap sleeve DKNY top encrusted with matte black paillettes that make an awesome sound as they move, a Desigual-esque knit skirt that is going directly into my summer clothes bin (alas) and will be a great surprise when the warm weather returns, a totally polyester bright teal knee-length vintage skirt that is going to nestle perfectly into my wardrobe, a pinstripe vest for my non-steampunk steampunk look, a gray and black striped turtleneck dress, and a Prairie Underground Mothette dress for Tricia's Superhero wardrobe. Please keep your fingers crossed that it fits her because it was a HUGE score and I am generally too lazy to sell things on ebay these days. Case in point: I found some beautiful, way too high Fluevog Audrey pumps at Goodwill months ago and they are still sitting in my car, waiting to be photographed and sold for a sweet profit. I used to have endless time for that stuff. Not anymore. 

I do have time to paint my nails, though, so I'm going to go do that now. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday Etsy faves.

Hi! It's Friday, when everyone leaves the internet! Good for everyone; I approve. Go outside. It's pretty nice here! It was my chilliest ride of the year, though: 29 degrees with frost on the ground. Also, my bike seat has this gimmicky channel thing in it for cooling your "area," and I found today that it works as well (or better) in cold weather as it does in warm weather. My area was cold when I got to work. I either need to layer up my area or make a fleecy cover for my bike seat.

Anyway, here is some stuff I like.

Tomato fiesta tea towel by shapescolors.

Ballet flats/house shoes by LaLaShoes.

Nuno felted baby dress by Baymut.

Paper ornament kit by PaperArtbyCNM.

Bright orange recycled t-shirt rug by greenatheart.

Red hooded coat with tall collar by Malam (whose shop I love).

Vintage Yves St Laurent sunglasses from ifoundgallery11.

Wool embroidered pillowcase by pabadoo.

Waves on Winter Rolling giclee print by morrisetsy.

Spider Man on a Bike print by linedraw.

Wonder Woman high rise undies by knickerocker.

Bet you didn't think I was going to end up there, did you?

Happy weekend y'all!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Picking up where Google Reader left off.

I don't know how many of you used to read the stuff I shared on Google Reader, or how many of you maybe used Google Reader in your own right (or use it still), but: Google redesigned Reader and removed all of its social functions last week, and now it's bullshit. It was a wonky, creaky, messy thing before, but it was my source for ongoing conversation with a small group of regular friends/sharers, far from the ridiculum of facebook and the perplexing tumbleweed- and cricket-infested landscape of Google+. It seems that the people at Google didn't know how people were using Reader or didn't actually give a shit, and were trying to force migration to Google+ by making it the most convenient (albeit multi-step and completely unintuitive) way to share content from Reader. The redesign is so wack that former Google techjockeys are offering their services to Google to make it better.

Anyway, until Reader magically meets all my feed-reading and sharing needs, I and some other folks will be sharing stuff on Come on over, check out the scene, leave comments, ask questions, and direct us to other interesting things on the internet.