Friday, May 26, 2006

Photography

I just had some photos taken by Billy Baque. Last night he sent me 6 of the pictures..... I'm impressed. I was impressed before, but now.... When we met he had two books of his work. One was more or less ordinary people but in very interesting settings (nature settings, stairs, weddings, couples)... the other was purely art. They were all fabulous. I was really excited to see what he might be able to do for me. He did not disappoint. Billy has a no-nonsense approach. He takes in the surroundings and sees what he wants. He would place me in that scenery and take one single shot.... then move on to the next. I am not a model (he works with professionals as well, which made me wonder also how he would handle an ordinary, relatively shy girl like me). On the few shots that needed a little directing, he was able to direct me with quick and simple directions as to how to angle my head, how much smile to give, etc, without creating a forced looking product. We spent under an hour in the Arboretum and about 20 minutes wandering downtown. There was not a moment wasted.
Billy's website just had a facelift. He has three different slideshows up currently. It's worth a couple of minutes of your life, I promise!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

To St. Louis

Heather and I head out from Austin tomorrow to meet up with Al in St. Louis for the Greater St. Louis Ren Faire. The three of us had a great time last year. This year, I have been put in charge of navigation, because we all know I get a wee bit cranky when people pretend to know where they are going, but are actually only faking it and end up spending twice as long getting from the airport to the hotel than necessary. In Istanpitta terms, this is known as the "Crank Factor". Crank Factor is also influenced by lack of food. I have a bag full of peanut butter, crackers, single serve fruits, and protein bars to maintain a healthy level of pleasantness. It should be a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

News

Surely I have better news than my last post. Maybe I should have presented it more as a public service announcement.
Let's see. Nope. Not much here.
I did do a very fun telegram today. It was for a 40th birthday at a fairly loud & busy bar. A really nice group of people.
The concerts went well last week, and rehearsals are going well this week for the concert on Saturday. Really well, actually. I am very impressed by the quality that is expected and the specific direction Dr. Sheppard is able to give in order to get the best out of the choir. This wasn't meant to be an advertisement, but I think it will really be worth your evening. Gotta say that my favorite beat in the whole piece is on page 163 in the chorus "Hear us, our God". The whole chorus booms the word "death" at absolutely the same millisecond, tone, volume, etc. It gives me goosebumps. There's lots of great spots, but for some reason that one note stands out above all else. Isn't that weird?!?
OK, that was pretty much it. Have a great week!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wasabi:

Tasty garnish or nose hair epilator?

Not even sure if I should tell this story.... First let me say that I know what wasabi is. At least I wasn't told that it was mint ice cream like someone else I know.... or Japanese style guacamole. I've eaten my share of raw fishes with a bit of wasabi and soy sauce - YUM! Today, I decided I could handle my sushi just a little warmer than my normal wimpy white girl ways. I dabbed a bit on my sushi roll and popped it in my mouth, yummy!.... But I can go hotter. So I dabbed a bit more on the next bite. Wow! That's some bite. I chose not to eat my slice of ginger and went for bite number three with the same increased amount of wasabi. Holy &%$#@! I literally jumped out of my chair. My nose had to have spontaneously combusted. Surely, all my nose hairs are now gone. I immediately returned to my usual wimpy white girl ways and enjoyed the rest of my sushi. Although I took each bite with an air of suspicion. That stuff is nuclear (pronounced NOO-kyuh-ler.)

Now, really, how does it DO that?!?!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Masters Degree

Yes, I'm back on that subject. Here's a little talking to myself episode.

I'm beginning to think I will keep coming back to this until I truly explore the options. What's holding me back? Money, mainly. So you say, sure, but there's grants and scholarships out there..... So I say, for me? You think so? Where do I look? Who do I ask? ..... Well, I plan to solve this one. I'm going to do some visiting and asking and snooping. So what else is holding me back? I have lots of goals.... a lot of goals. If I go back to school, I know all of my time and energy will be spent researching and preparing for classes in the great neurotic fashion that I attack everything. So unless I have a class involving instruments, my instruments will likely sit in the corner collecting dust. I can't do that right now. I'm too close to actually being able to play. Once I've acheived a playing level, I think I will feel comfortable letting go of that practice time.... in maybe a year? Something else that will get placed on the shelf will be celtic music and my Gaelic classes. I don't really want to set that aside right now, but probably in a year that won't be a big problem. Next issue is the audition process and the whole "do I know enough about what I want to get into in school?". This one is solvable too. I actually would like to put a short program of material together and get a taste of research this summer. If I feel good about that, I think the rest of this will all fall into place.

Gee, I feel better. It's all possible.... It's all workable.... Fall 2007..... hmmmm..... only a few years from being Dr. Green. Ooo La La!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

And it's SOLD!






The little house is all grown up and going out on its own. There is a contract on it with about 4 people in line in case something happens to this first guy. I think Dan did good.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cantiga de Santa Maria 159


Or as we know it : "The Story of the Dancing Porkchop"

This picture is from our visit in Lafayette Louisiana the first weekend of April -- Thank you, Joe! (see blog link in right margin) And you can see the porchop has danced and we are all crying "Santa Maria!" It's a miracle! The greatest miracle of them all!

The story goes like this. A poor waitress girl steals a porkchop from a platter of chops she is supposed to serve to a large table of pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Saint Mary. When the platter is served the hungry pilgrims see that there are not enough chops to go around and can see the guilty look on their waitress's face, so they pray for a miracle to solve the problem since they really don't want this poor girl to get into trouble and be punished by her boss or the law. So the Porkchop flies from its hiding place and dances! Holy Porkchops! And they all escort the pokchop to the shrine for the whole world to see.

Of course, that's the shortened version. If you want to know the whole thing, you have to see it at a fair or concert..... yes we do this story at formal concerts. Who said Early Music had to be boring?!?!