Saturday, February 26, 2011

If Nietzsche was right when he wrote "that which does not kill us makes us stronger", then why I am I not positively bulging with lady body-builder bulges?
That's what I'd like to know.

One recent event that I thought might be the death of me (or at least the source of amazing new triceps and quads) was the concert at the music conservatory last night.
Rehearsals have been frequent and crazy...some demanding six hours straight on my feet in VERY high heels.
And my voice teacher changed my solo song just two weeks before the show. I have to agree that the Purcell piece suited me better...but it still gave me very little time to get the bumps smoothed out!

And I was SO stressed at the last dress rehearsal...

But last night's show turned out SO well!!!
The only sad thing is that Tya took tons of pictures and even filmed my solo...but it seems that none of it is on the camera.
A mystery!
But there are a few photos that turned out, so you can at least get an idea of what the show looked like. And you can see my crazy costume! I 'm the one in the red 1950's dress and grey baroque wig!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I didn't want the month to end without me doing some name-dropping/bragging/gloating. So, this is where I casually mention that I was in PARIS this month.

I was there for reals, taking in the culture and whatnot!

Of course, I wasn't just there on a whim, satisfying my need to feel stylish and cool. I was actually on a mission: the renewal of Sev's USA passport.
This was not a thing lightly undertaken, believe me.

This process used to be a piece of cake back when we lived in Ouagadougou (it sort of helped that the US Ambassador there sang soprano with me in a little choral group....) But, sadly, I do not know the US Ambassador to France. I don't even know if Mr. Charles Rivkin likes to sing. (He kind of looks like a tenor, though. JMHO)

So....we had to play by the rules here- and they are crazy!
First of all, the passport can only be renewed in Paris.
Secondly, as Sev is under age 16, he has to be physically present at the embassy in order to get his new passport.
And thirdly, BOTH parents must be present with the child.

You may think that sounds insane, but the best is yet to come: this passport can only be obtained from Monday through Friday from 10 am until 10:30am.

As Dave Barry would say: I am not making this up.

You carefully make your appointment online weeks ahead of time so that your name goes on the list that will get you inside the front gate. Then you wait outside the door of the security checkpoint. Once inside, they will mercilessly confiscate your cellphone, ipod and your brand new tube of Lancome Color Fever lip gloss.
While I may not personally know Mr. Rivken, I just can't think that Charlie could have any objection to me having lusciously glossy lips.
But just try explaining that to those crabby old guards...

But it all turned out well - Sev got his passport and we had a nice two-day stay in my favorite city!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why You Might Enjoy having Dinner at My House....Or Not: Two Scenes from a Dining Room

Alexa looks across the table to the buffet where there's an orange soft-drink bottle sitting out.
The label says "Orangina Geisha Peche". ('Peche' is peach in English for all you non-French speakers out there)

"Actually, what is a geisha, mom?"
"Umm...a Japanese hostess?"
She looks at me quizzically.
I try again. "A fancy Japaneses hostess? That serves tea?"
"Really?" asks young Alexa.
"Yeah...well...kinda...." I falter.

Valentine is about ready to die at this point from choked laughter and snorting. (Aren't teenagers fun?!) She decides this has gone on long enough.


"That's just embarassing!" Alexa declares. "I can't believe I even asked!"

"But they serve tea!" I repeat. "And play the harp. Or something" I cleverly elaborate.

"Like Inara on 'Firefly'?" chimes in Mallory, my little geek-girl.

I grab onto this idea like it's the last flotation device on the Titanic.
"Yes! Exactly like that! You've seen 'Firefly', Alexa. A geisha is a Japanese Inara. Or Inara is an outer space geisha. Or something."

"Ok." she says. "But why the heck did thay name a drink for kids that?"

I've got this one covered and answer without hesitation: "Because a soft drink called "Orangina Prostitute" would probably be extremely unpopular. What would that even taste like? Gah!"

I then imagined a marketing campaign for "Ho Cola", but wisely kept it to myself, figuring that the general tone of the conversation had degraded far enough for one evening, thank you very much.


Severin is happily coving his french fries with ketchup.
As he sets the bottle down, he reads the label out loud: "McCords ketchup- the taste of America!"
"So" asks Valentine "Does it taste like America?"

Sev takes a contemplative bite of ketchup-festooned fry.
He chews it slowly and then announces "Why, yes! It does taste like America! It tastes like capitalism...and guns! Yum!"

"You're not supposed to say that!" advises his older sister. "It's supposed to taste like freedom!! Doesn't it taste like freedom? You better say it tastes like freedom, or you're in big trouble, buster!"
We generally eat at about 7, if you're interested.....

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

January 2011 was not so bad, in retrospect.
There was this:
Nice, huh?
That was during a weekend in the Val d'Illiez, Switzerland.
It was all cute and stuff...

And there was this, too:
I has a fun weekend with a girlfriend who works as a translator each year at the big Solothurn Film Festival in Switzerland. It was fun to watch the movies from the booth and get the insider's view of everything...
And Solothurn turned out to be a very cute Swiss town:

Come to think of it, I spent a lot of time in Switzerland this last month....
I guess there's worse places to be.

At any rate, Valentine had no time for gallivanting pointlessly around foreign countries.
She stayed home, working hard:
What a good girl! And so talented! And lovely!

And finally....our cat, Daisy, who spent the entire month of January working assiduously to become even more gloriously porky.

Well done, kitty!