Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Green olives are very very good.

But! They're just not the same without the martini around them.

20 weeks left, and I'm back to my typical raging drunkenness. Gotta give the kid something to blog about, after all.

And while I'm at it...

Does anyone else find the little pregnancy counter thingy creepy?

I don't think you should remove it, Mr. Stud who put it on here, and it was Sweet (capital S) to put it on, but as you know I'm easily creeped out.

It follows you with its eyes.

You know what would be funnier is if I were a computer person and could put little fangs growing out of its mouth, or maybe horns from its head... hmmmm.

(*) (*)
v v

Doing what I do Best.


I said earlier today that I would only complain about this to J. Then I whined to Mom and if I had more time before that student showed up, then Rachael probably would have had to listen, too.

I'm just going to say this:
If I grow up and get a real job and there is ever a situation where I have people running about, getting things for me and pampering me while I rehearse chamber music, here's my solemn prayer: That I may NOT be the type who requires "calmness no matter what she says" and that I would NEVER request food from one particular (Whole Foods a.k.a. Whole Paychecks) store and then have some one pick up said food and drive it to my home in the middle of NOWHERE because there is a concert that night. (Incidentally an in-town concert. Like yesterday. Yes, very near Whole Foods, now that you mention it.)

Musicians, we may be artistes, but we're not actors, for goodness sakes. We can indeed drive ourselves places, complete mundane tasks, and run errands the same week as a concert.

*ATTENTION* none of this may be used against me later.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Laughing AT you.

There was a nice little placard in the middle of west washington street pointing to the Holiday Inn. It said, "Psychic Convention". Would they really need directions?

I'm reading the Time Traveler's Wife. So far so good, except that one of the character's fathers is a violinist in the Chicago Symphony, as the narrator says, because he just never really *made it*. I laughed out loud at that one.

My friend was sympathizing with me the other day for having to work with a woman known to be a bit difficult to play with. The difficult chick also happens to have a female spouse. My friend recalled working with her this spring and concurred that she can be "a real dyke." I've never heard anyone use that word in conversation, and since it came from my reserved, liberal friend, master of the double meaning, I so got the inappropriate giggles in the middle of rehearsal.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Going, going...

We sold the couch!! My new love is Craigslist- check out the madison site or the one for your city. It's this supercool FREE classified.

I put the couch and a few other things (even the house) up on it yesterday and right away there have be callers/e-mailers. I responded to one lady and picked up a bunch of FREE moving boxes- the wardrobe and china ones they don't generally stock at Liquor Town.

I even sold Jonathan! To Brent for the weekend. All he had to do was provide some Packers tickets and off went my bread and butter, my sugar daddy, J to the M to know the rest.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Concert in the Parking Lot

Well, the official title is concert in the Park- as in Business Park, not green-grass park. Last night the chamber orchestra played a concert that is the 4th year of what is essentially an anniversary gift from a very romantic man to his wife of 31 years.

We had the Tchaikovsky competition winner and his billion dollar violin playing some pyrotechnic tunes. He gets to play it for a while as a prize from the competition. It really is the instrument in the guinness book for having the highest price paid at auction. There are probably some more expensive owned by the Smithsonian et al, but still. I knew the guy, sort of- I know for sure we've been at a party together, before he was the big cheese. I think it must have been in Aspen, and I remember him being friendly. Monday we have another concert and I'm looking forward to hearing him play some real music (sorry, Wienawski fans).

At the end of the concert there are fireworks (they start them up in The Stars and Stripes). The best thing about that- besides that they were quite pretty- was that there were about 15 little kids gathered up near the front and at every single explosion, they would yell and scream at the top of their lungs. One boy kept screeching, "Did you SEE that one? That was the best one."

Also, there was a guy with a kite that had a camera on its string and a remote control box so he could get stealthy pictures of the orchestra and crowd. The thing was such a phenomenon, I imagine most of his shots are of performers gawking with their mouths open and necks craning to see it.

Monday night is my last night with the orchestra, and I'm kinda sad. It isn't a bad group. And who knows when I'll be playing with people like that next. Speaking of which, audition excerpts are calling....

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pregnancy Jeans

...suck. They are hard to find and the ones I bought are fine when I first put them on, but by the end of the night they're all baggy and unflattering in the butt/front areas. Plus there's nothing quite like playing a rehearsal and every time you lean forward to turn the page or mark something on the music, you just know the maroon undies you're wearing are saying hello to the bass section and half the brass. Fetching.

The main problem, however, is that if you wear jeans, they are the base upon which you must build your outfit ambience. A cool pair of darks that hug the right spots and flare just the right amount can make me both taller and cooler (like the liquor boxes!! But not free...). A frumpy pair of loose- getting looser that hug no where except my thigh and still somehow threaten to fall down make me look shorter and cluelesser.

Maybe a belt? (Of whiskey. I think the kid likes it.)

Tuesday morning.

The weather has shifted and I feel about a billion times better. Too bad there had to be a tornado involved in the exchange. Our friend Phoebe and her family were there and saw kayaks flying across the windows. It's sad that the Stoughton Country Club, where I played the Willy Wonka song for a wedding earlier this summer, is no longer.

I'm getting into the audition preparation. I've decided that for these auditions, I'm going to not worry too much about the actual performance days. I'd like to enjoy the process more. And I feel like, hey- I'm having a kid. Anything I do this year in addition to that is... well, in addition to that.

I love our house all cleaned out and more sparse like this. The amount of stuff in my music room shrunk by half, and it's so much nicer now. It doesn't seem coincidental that the weather is good for open windows now, too- clear rooms, clean air. It's good stuff.

By the way, that arm 'n hammer powder stuff you put on the carpet before vacuuming is grody. It still smells like a pediatric ward in here, and I've had the windows open for two days. Maybe I'll try vacuuming again. Oh, the toil. The toil!

ps. I keep having these dreams where I can see the baby moving in my stomach. It's like I'm silly putty- the baby's facial features and everything are visible, and I can put my hands around just about the whole thing. I swear it's not as gross in the dreams as it sounds here.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sunday, bloody Sunday.

While no blood was drawn, except for when I scratched my toe on the edge of that box, today was a battle of sorts. I won.

Here's the fruit of our labor:

Soliciting advice...HELP!

Yesterday was a very long, intense day for me. I played a wedding ceremony and two receptions with my quartet, which was fun but also physically very tiring. We sat on glorified folding chairs with a little bit of padding, and since I'm the "manager", I carry the music bag, etc- they all help once I get there, tho.

Now that I'm just starting to "show" (18 weeks= 5.5 months!) I notice that sitting in one position for too long starts to make me uncomfortable. When I stood up for breaks, I could really feel the blood move back down toward my feet, all tingly. Changing posture in the chair didn't seem to make much difference.

By the time I got home, around 9pm, all I wanted was some dinner and to have hubby rub my feet. (I am soooo spoiled.) Right about then, however, my legs decided to start going NUTS.

It was like the thigh muscles were almost cramping-tense, but also wanted to be tensed up and stretched at the same time. Even when I laid down to sleep, they were bugging me and I had to keep fidgeting until I finally fell asleep. (pity the man who had to sleep next to me.)

I drank tons of water all day, we take breaks once an hour, and I've been taking my vitamins. I even ate a banana at lunch (potassium?)
Any advice?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Coolness quotient given out for free!

At your local liquor store, you can walk out anytime with an armfull of cool. Did you know? Not the kind you buy, of course, because we are of puritan stock, but the kind they gave me free in the form of BOXES. Perfect for books and imprinted with lots of groovy logos and slogans.

So when we arrive in Portland and begin unloading a truck full of boxes, people will think, look at the new neighbors, honey- now THESE are the kind of people we want to be friendly with. Bring on the booze (boxes), baby!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Unmitigated Self-Advertising!!

Our house, it is officially and in every way FOR SALE.

Here's its little listing on Madison's For Sale By Owner site.

Isn't it just perfect?? You want it. You want your friends to have it. Your relatives. Any one you see, you must tell about it.

Only one person will win- get your offer in now!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Is this nesting?

That whole instinct thing- it's kind of funny how some of it is true. They say pregnant folk have an urge to work on the house, "nesting".

Today I removed everything from the fridge, washed the shelves, dumped the year-old olives, and put it all back in supreme organization. Then I took the last of our garage sale to Goodwill (I won the How much can you stuff into your Honda? contest), returned $50 worth of random stuff we haven't used from Home Depot WITHOUT buying anything else, and took our bags of pennies & garage sale take to the bank. Felt danged good.

So, if people choose a new home by looking in the fridge and judging how responsible we are with our pocket change, then we're all set.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sunday in the sticks.

Did you know that there's a little shop on Rural Route 1 that sells only popcorn? I didn't, but J did and he has had it in mind to take me there for more than a year. Today we were out for a Sunday drive and he did it!

It sells only popcorn, and all different flavors. Popcorn! is one of my favorite things ever. We bought sour cream cheddar popcorn and something called RC Snakle- it's got raspberry flavored white light coating stuff and cranberries in it. It was goooood. Then we went next door to a little cheese factory and bought J some fresh blue cheese.

We checked out the Mustard Museum and J bought some good stuff with Habenero in it.

We then rounded out our little adventure by stopping in Mount Horeb. And (this is big) J went in several antique stores with me. He was actually into the little metal fans, the opthamometer, the $12,000 roll top desk. The best discovery of the whole day was that the hideous sticky grease pool Schubert's restaurant has closed and been replaced by our favorite little Blue Sky Cafe. It used to be stuffed into a little shop 2 doors down from Schuberts, and now they've got room for all their cool art and groovy pictures. Highly recommend!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Make me an offer...

I'm a motivated seller. I don't know what we even really sold, but so far people have paid us $175 to cart away our unwanted crap! Yay! I am so happy every time I see stuff go. Sometimes I'll just give them cheap stuff, and then they like me and feel they should buy something. The Free! boxes are overflowing and that brings them in like honey.

You can tell a lot about the way a kid has been raised by how they act at a garage sale. There are the grabby ones, who pick up everything, wave the japanese fans around like they're the flagger at the end of the Indy 500, swirl around in the chair that's for sale. Then there are the sweet quiet types, who find one thing and are enchanted by it. One boy played with a box of transformers in a corner for a good 10 minutes. His mom had armloads of stuff, so I asked her (quietly- I'm not completely evil) if he might want that box of old toys for free. He couldn't believe it- and he gave me the nicest thank you I had all day, looked me right in the eye with a shy smile.

There are interesting adults, too. Some ask what every single thing is and if it works, jauntily disregarding the fact that I write on the tag, "works". One woman seemed so lonely- she told me about her job, her chemo, how she was weighing each purchase decision. She practically apologized for not buying our house. (We put a sign on the door from the garage to the kitchen, just for laughs.)

I'm optimistic that we can clear out a good part of our junk by Saturday. My dream is to get the detritus down to one load in the Explorer to Goodwill.

A girl can dream, people.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Finishing and getting things together.

Karl! Karl played a recital today, and it was lovely. He was the cellist in the graduate quartet for four years, two of which overlapped with yours truly. He is pretty much done with his degree. Done. I love hearing about people who have made it through. It's like hearing about people who win the lottery or raise non-violent children.

This next month is piling up busier and busier. I think there may be two auditions in September in Oregon. And we are selling our goods on the street (A.K.A. a garage sale) next weekend, and there's much crap to be gone through.

I should have a paper on Takemitsu ready for my committee at the end of the month.

Then there's building a complete human being in my abdomen. That seems to be taking a certain amount of time and concentration. I know it seems like one of those body things- like the noggin' wouldn't be involved like this. But it must be, because something is slowing down my hard drive and the processes are...uh...well...see, I can't even think of anything to describe it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ain't he purty?

Don't be skeeerd. He's only the size of a sunflower seed. Without the hull.

Imagine behind him is a whole field of men concentrating on a little white ball and a thousand more folks halfway paying attention to the score. Didn't bother him a bit.

And they won!!

My husband, eet ees a genius.

The computer appears to be back to its cheerful self. Plus, this means I'm the next one to get a shiny new thing. I don't think we'll need one for a while.

We went to a Mallards game last night. As I'm sure everyone knows, they are Madison's minor league baseball team. I liked the game because they seemed to admit right off the bat that it can be a bit slow and provided little distractions every ten minutes or so. Kids did a cover yourself with ice cream contest (the girl won over the boy because she smeared it all in her long blonde hair), a mascot zipped around the field in a jeep throwing t-shirts at the crowd, and they rigged up a huge slingshot for water balloons to be aimed at another mascot carrying a tire as the target.

But the best thing was the spider who decided to spin his web right there on the railing. I was playing with J's macro lens, and at first he was zipping around the web so quick it was hard to keep up with him. He had already made a big open structure, and was going around and around, sort of leaping from spoke to spoke to link up the new layer.

This lens is really cool- but things go in and out of focus if you even breath too hard because you're in so close. After spinning a groovy web, the spider decided to take a little siesta- or that's what I assumed. But the next time I looked there he was right in the middle of the web with two green gnats. He was much easier to shoot then, holding still and eating his dinner. Incredible.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Computers can fly. Duck!

My computer, eet broke. A client sent me an e-mail attachment (schedule of a wedding gig) that turned out to be a virus. Why my computer didn't catch that while J's did, I don't know. Turning it on this morning was like going back in time to that computer we had in the basement in Alaska- it was all DOS commands, baby.

Between this and Cynthia's experience, I'm becoming convinced of the save-it-on-the-internet M.O.

Wouldn't you all just be thrilled to read each update on Toru Takemitsu, the Japanese composer? I'm not even thrilled. Hoops are for jumping, though.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I'm thinking I could just hang out at Powells Books or one of the schools out there and abduct people to feed them dinner and make them fill the friend-shaped holes. This is my plan.

Alternately, I could sit in the hippie-laden Pioneer Square downtown with a bullhorn and $5 for anyone who would let me buy them Starbucks and pretend we are kindred.


Lately in my dreams I'm like fourteen times my current size. In the best dreams only my watermelon is big. My arms are long and lean, my toenails are painted red. Hey, it could happen!


When the harmonica dude plugs in and goes all honky-tonk sounding, it is very very good. So for those four minutes, the concert will be fun. There will be some nice verdi and mendelssohn moments, too. I think I've gone on enough about it- but wait, no, I do have to add something. He looks exactly like a brown-haired version of the german villain guy in the first Die Hard movie, with stringy hair and a skinny face.


I need to whip up a recital in 4 weeks, and a concerto to record with Suzanne in 3. What am I doing on the couch with my laptop?

Monday, August 01, 2005


Well, the harmonica arrangements, they were pretty gross. Yeah, big shocker, right? So unless I'm unknowingly in love with the sound of harmonica, I don't think the arrival of the soloist (tonight) will redeem this one for me.

It's not that I am a classical snob- not this time, anyway. I was thinking about this carefully- it's that, you know, I actually really like Elvis- sung by Elvis- and I even like some of the folksy Stephen Foster stuff done the way he intended. Taking a classical orchestra and trying to write out all the swing rhythms... come on. It sounds like french toast with no butter- maybe even with no skillet. (I'm on a little french toast obsession just now.)

The conductor, I like him, but when we get into a "swing rock" section of an arrangement he's doing this funny little hitch with his right shoulder. I think he's trying to channel Sinatra or one of those types, but he looks like he's working up a neurological disorder instead.

Ah, well. It's not like I'm cleaning cages in a pet store for a living. (Though at age 15 that was my wildest dream.) I will play any sort of schlock for money. Now I have that Lyle Lovett song in my head. MMMM-ohh-en-ee-why, I said MMM-oh-n-e-y.