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Monday, December 29, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!
 
I realize this salutation is a bit late, perhaps,
 but in my mind Christmas goes through New Years day.

I just love this time of year!!
Christmas day was so nice- 
My married sister and her hubby,
 along with married brother with wifey and baby, 
   and we spent the whole day having fun and food and gifts and music and puzzling,
and watching the baby have so much fun with his new gifts.
(Actually, he liked the boxes they came in, mostly..)
Christmas is so much more fun with a baby around.

Here are some very random videos for you!
These guys have a lot of time on their hands:



And this one is so outrageous that I can't believe I'm posting it.
I usually hate these kinds of things,
    but something about it made me laugh so much... 
so, sorry if it ruffles your sensibilities... :)



Monday, December 15, 2008

Evening thoughts..



I sit here, recently home from the running at the gym, checking various email accounts, and have decided to share some evening thoughts:

I've begun to really enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee here and there(with cream and splenda), especially now that it's so cold out.  But I read that coffee is actually not that great for you, so now I'm torn.  I suppose that I'll begin weaning myself off of it, but that's a sad thought. At least I like hot teas, and at least I don't like coffee 'cause I'm addicted to caffeine.

Running on a treadmill is really terribly boring. Especially when you've forgotten your ipod and headphones to serenade you, and the tv monitor hanging from the gym ceiling (which you can only watch if you feel like trying to read lips, or watch sports, which is like self-inflicted torture)  inconveniently changes shows in the middle of your long run and you're stuck trying to avoid Slutty McSlutSlut and her lover Creepy VonOldMan try to justify their relationship on national television. Gag-a-maggot.

I love Christmas trees with pretty twinkly lights.

I secretly pray all the time for snow or bad weather to cancel school so I don't have to teach. Even if it's clear out.  

I drove home in sleet tonight! There was ice on my windshield!! (See above :)

I made my first catalog/internet order last week.  Got the merchandise today. Put it back in the box. Returning tomorrow.  'Guess everyone has to learn about online catalog shopping on their own... 

I have so far purchased one, yes one, Christmas Present.  How far away is Christmas?

I confess that I watch Charlie and Lola often, by myself, and also that I have set the TIVO to record it weekly.

J'aime parler français et j'ai une précepteure française qui est très gentile et utile.

I do love my family.

And my dog.

And you.

:)

Sunday, December 14, 2008



16-Week Marathon Training Schedule 

 

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total 

3 Rest 4 3 Rest 5 Rest 15 

3 Rest 4 3 Rest 6 Rest 16 

3 Rest 4 3 Rest 7 Rest 17 

3 Rest 5 3 Rest 8 Rest 19 

3 Rest 5 3 Rest 10 Rest 21 

4 Rest 5 4 Rest 11 Rest 24 

4 Rest 6 4 Rest 12 Rest 26 

4 Rest 6 4 Rest 14 Rest 28 

4 Rest 7 4 Rest 16 Rest 31 

10  5 Rest 8 5 Rest 16 Rest 34 

11  5 Rest 8 5 Rest 17 Rest 35 

12  5 Rest 8 5 Rest 18 Rest 36 

13  5 Rest 8 5 Rest 20 Rest 38 

14  5 Rest 8 5 Rest 9 Rest 27 

15  3 Rest 3 Rest 8 Rest 19 

16  3 Rest 3 Walk 2 Rest 26.2 Rest 34.2 


And so it begins.  3 miles tomorrow, Big D Marathon April 5th.  Yikes.


Life is flying by these days.  I'd like to think that it's just because it's the holiday season, but I really think that it's just adult life... slow it down, someone, please!


My nephew, Kohen, is 6 months old, which I can't believe! We had a "Half-y Birthday" party for him- Cassie made a half cake, and we sang half-y birthday and all... Kohen didn't really get into the chocolate cake, but he'll learn ;) He's hit that point where he makes noise just because he likes to hear it come out of his mouth, and he's got the cutest funniest little laugh!!



video

LOVE him :)

Some more fun news: I'm going to be part of Fort Worth Opera's "Dead Man Walking" this coming season! I'm really excited about it, too! Woohoo!
So buy your tickets and come see me!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ahhhhh Christmas!

 I so absolutely LOVE Christmas!! 


The wreath and stockings are hung,
 trees decorated, 
cards put on the mantle, 
hot chocolate with a dollop,
 yes, 
a dollop of whip cream.... 
does life get any better?????


I submit that it cannot. :)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Le Damnation de Faust

Cassie and I went to see the "Met live in HD" performance of Faust at the movie theater today! I've never been to one before (there's one every month during the season), but have always wanted to. A little more expensive than a normal movie, but soooo worth it. It's really like being onstage with them, up close and personal. They even interview the leads backstage! And for all of you worried about sitting for 3 hours straight, there are intermissions. Just like being at the Met... without the gold cielings, red tapestries, and amazing chandeliers. I definitely recommend it!

This performance of Faust was different from the usual, in that they used electronic, sound-sensitive equipment that moved with the sound from the performers and orchestra. It was really neat.








Ah, technology these days... brings to mind an old song:



So romantic...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh, the constant goings-on.






So has this been the craziest month and a half of my life!  Every other weekend I've been out of town doing something related to singing.  As I sat at a table across from my sister in a Braum's in Ok. City, I realized that this is what I'm training myself to do.  I've just never actually been constantly doing it. Going places, learning music, being in competitions, constantly having to watch my hydration gauge. Tiring, but I really do like it!! I would like it a lot more if I didn't have to come home to four jobs and try and catch up.  I think it's picture time.  A month like this deserves pictures!

First off,  a completely solo trip to D.C. to visit a few grad schools and sight-see in my free time!

Breakfast on Penn. Ave.! (If you can call a frapp breakfast..) 


A picnic lunch on the Potomac:
Gorgeous skies

Dinner for one in Chinatown

Gorgeous National Cathedral

My future home


Next trip, I was off to Ohio for my cousin's wedding, which I sang in- my ENTIRE living Laing family was there, sooo neat.  This is my little grandma with her great-grandson!



And last of all, Halloween time!  Nothin' cuter than my nephew! He's a doll! And no Halloween is complete without pumpkin carving!




Happy days to you all!! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Home, Sweet Home



I love being home and completely unable to tell you when my next venture to the airport might be... I love fall and I love crackly leaves, I love my dog and my comfy-cloudy bed, I love the chilly weather and pulling out my winter clothes.

This month is going to be C R A Z Y!!  My students have their competitions, I have a competition in two weeks, I have to make my recording for grad school applications, I have to finish sending in all the applications and materials, and I have to drink hot cocoa and tea and buy pumpkin pie candles and make fruit-bit-cinnamon bread in my spare time!!! Yikes.  

In the meantime, I'm enjoying sitting on the couch, watching Ocean's 12, and thinking about going to bed in my own house and room!

I just love coming home.

:)



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Such a softie..


It is somewhat ridiculous to me how much  heart goes out to little living things.

     Watching those SPCA-/PETA- type commercials nearly rips my heart out,
 and I even am sad when I spray 
    a devilish wasp with Raid.

    And what about all the times I accidentally stepped on a roly poly?!?!  
            how that plagued me when I was little at the park....

The only one that doesn't strike my aorta is that extremely over-shown commercial of the polar bear climbing off the apparently last little block of ice on the planet.  The exhaustion of having "global warming" crammed down my throat at every turn, and the fact that I'd be willing to bet pretty good money that if that shot panned out a bit, there would be the whole of Antarctica, are probably why I feel this way about it, but still.


Knowing this about myself makes me sad that 
               I'm not always broken-hearted 
     and willing to help 
the random homeless person on the street......


Thursday, October 9, 2008

D.C.- Day One

I am now in D.C.!   I took a trip up here to visit a few schools. Day one, and already adventures.

   I flew in last night, found my way to the metro, and made my way onto the first train.  When it came time for my train transfer, a very heavy set woman was blocking the door and I couldn't get my bag around her and she wouldn't move. So I had to stay on that train and do this whole round-about-way of getting back to where I needed to be.  But I made it.
   
   Today I took my very first train ride! I rode up to Baltimore where I had to walk at least 10 blocks in as many minutes to make my appointment. But I finally made it, and had a good lesson with a very nice teacher at the Peabody Institute.  It's a very promising school! I'm excited.  After my very long train/metro/bus journey "home" in the dark, I'm getting my first chance to relax today while watching one of the 6 channels on the tv. Unfotunately, out of those 6, four are infomercials, and the others are spanish. So I'm watching Jackie Chan doing his chinese stunts in English, dubbed into spanish, on mute.  Yeah... you try lip reading Jackie Chan sometime...
 
So what fun or adventurous or exhausting things have YOU done today? 

:)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wishful thinking.



Dear Future Husband,


    I don't know where or who you are right now, but should you read this, there's something you should know:

    You need to buy some good dancing shoes 'cause together, we're gonna cut the rug and wear them out.

All love,
  Annie

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall!!

I am so excited that it's officially fall today!!

It was such an e x t r e m e l y long day, and was made so much better by the small moments I could steal outside enjoying the sun and breeze.  In fact, I used my 15 minute lunch to sit on a picnic blanket on the school lawn and read in a good, fat book, eating an apple as crispy as the fall is promising to be.  

  I'd really love to have a fall picnic, with a potluck lunch, and sweet teas, and games under a pavilion tent, and maybe even a three-legged race or something.  I think that many people today don't really get into that sort of old-fashioned fun anymore, which is so sad to me... I'd join a three legged race any day; or maybe those ones we used to play where you had to run around with an egg on a spoon and then, standing,  crack it into a cup on your supine friend's forehead, or be the first to whistle once you've just eaten four saltines.  Maybe a little gross and slimey, but never ceasing to be hilarious.  Or perhaps, as my mother newly coined, "Fularious" (funny + hilarious).  

I decided to really try today and not have any time that I didn't use to a real, meaningful purpose. Even if it was to just be outside for a minute, or teach a kid an extra few minutes, or grab a coffee to get out of the awful traffic and savor the comforting smell.  And I did!  And I'm totally exhausted. It's 10:30, and I know that once I close this compy and turn off the light, I'll be as good as dead until 6 tomorrow morning. But if does feel nice to have had a nice, busy day.  Not the stressful kind of busy, but the nice, active, happy kind.  And now to be busy in my dreams..

The Happiest Fall to All!!

Bon Automne, mes amis! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A birthday poem.



My birthday was on Tuesday.  I'm officially oldish- the big 2-4.

My brothers, being writers, always put lots of effort into getting the 'perfect birthday card'- it has to fit the moment and day, and have the perfect amount of funniness and cleverness.   If you've had to buy a birthday card recently, you probably have noted that there just aren't that many good cards out there right now.  They're all too sappy, or just plain cheesy. So Chason, my older brother, decided to just buy a blank card with a Yorkie on the front, and write his own version of a birthday card.  (So you know, Sherbotzky is my little sisters new Yorkie.)   Here it is:


The Tale of Mrs. Tantweenie


Oh, it was a very sad day; truly a debacle
When Mrs. Tantweenie, wearing her blue beanie, pressed down on the throttle.
While putting on her face, she failed to see
Standing in the street was Sherbotzky- the Yorkie.

Sherbotzky was small, a present in her paw
A little pink and blue bow under her jaw.
True, she did piddle, but only a little
As Mrs. Tantweenie's Buick drove down the middle

Of the road.  And despite the fright, Mrs. Tantweenit checked her sight
Saw Sherbotzky and pulled the wheel to the right.
The Buick skidded, shreaked, and drove off the street
With little Sherbotzky cowering underneath.
And Mrs. Tantweenit, wearing her blue beanie,
Smashed through the fence belonging to Mr. Goldenie.

"Sherbotzky, you could've been killed!" Mrs. Tantweenie shrilled.
"The street could've been covered in Yorkie blood that you spilled!
In the name of Pete, what were you doing in the street?
Stupid little dog, you could've been trampled under feet!"

Sherbotzky retorted- as it was reported:
"Mrs. Tantweenie, you meany! And what an ugly blue beanie!
I was going to Annie's party with this pickled zucchini!
It's her favorite, you know, how her face does glow
As all her good neighbors and friends do know."

"Oh you little snot, I hope your Zucchini rots!
And then you'll feel bad for the dumb thing you bought."
Mrs. Tantweenie sputtered with a grin
And opened the car door and started to get in.

And Sherbotzky seized the moment
Not caring that she'd done it
And hurled the Zucchinis at Mrs. Tantweenie
Which bounced off her nose and knocked off her blue beanie.

And off to the party with little Sherbotzky
At least, that's how the story is told.
To celebrate Annie's birthday-
But not to say Annie's old.



HA.   And I'm not really old, and I don't like pickled zucchini. Please don't ever give it as a gift. At least not to me.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Schedule Shmedule.



I am not a 9 to 5 kind of gal.

    It's true.

 I've decided to embrace this about myself.

So, when trying to set up this year's 

insane 

teaching schedule,

(which will probably consist of more than one 8 to 7 day)

   I've decided to allot time slots 

for the things I'd really like to do,

but never have time.

I do like teaching, don't get me wrong, 

but there is just nothing more oppressive to my soul

  than the thought of being stuck inside a 

6x10 windowless practice room that has

    only 1 flourescent light,

an old, somewhat out-of-tune piano,

and listen to kids (most of whom didn't practice much) 

for 11 hours day.


This confirms to me that I should not ever work in a 

[cubicle].

So I'm going to slot times in my day for 

drawing/journaling like this,

   studying my music, 
 
refreshing my memory on music theory 
 
and music/opera history,
 
dance lessons (which I've started- move over, Eleanor),

going to the opera,

meeting friends for coffee or tea,

training for a half-marathon,

and whatever else I'd like to do, 

but never give the time!!

I'm exited about it.  

Happy Saturday, dearies!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oh Facebook...

How has facebook come to rule our lives?  I don't know, but it's highly addictive if you're not watching out for it.  And there's facebook chat, now, which is fun sometimes, don't get me wrong. But yet another way to hook us in.  It's actually really funny to me!  I don't really care about it too much- it's really just a way to stay in touch with my friends- but it's hilarious to me to hear "facebook me" or " yeah, I saw on facebook that they broke up" or stuff like that.  Facebook is now the number one, best and true source for all things in our lives.
For instance: I decided to take off all the extra little things on my info section, the things I think are really unnecessary. If you know me, then you know all those details anyway.  But apparently it listed that I changed things for everyone to see. So I get a message congratulating my "no longer listed as single"ness.  If it says it on facebook, it's gotta be true ya know.  It doesn't say anything about my being in a relationship of any kind, BUT I'm no longer listed as single, so I must be!  Mustn't I....???

If you really wanna know, just facebook me.

;)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Catching Up.

   I've had a very interesting summer.  Lots of things happened; babies born, new pregnancies, new engagements, tons of weddings, people coming and going; I've had lots of time to think.  And I'm making changes.  Soul searching is one of those things that was thrust upon me in the midst of all the craziness.  So while I figure out my 'new' life and soul and heart and calling, I'll update you with little moments of my summer that are far overdue.  

Introducing:  THE Ugliest Landscape Job I've ever seen.  I apologize if this is your house and you've stumbled upon my blog...
You can't see the door very well, but it's a giant boar's head door knocker.... with some kind of sun rays behind it.... seriously.

And this is my dog eating her doggie treats

And this is the $money$ I gave Avery to eat the dog treats- 1 of each of the 3 flavors. MMmm. Chicken, Beef, and Veggie-what a delight to the taste buds!


Doesn't he look happy about it?! : )



And last but not least, I do see the most interesting things on the highway.  Apparently it was 'tote your tires' day and no one told me. 



Ciao for now, lovelies! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Force Was With Her....


Her name is Hope Solo.  Her parents, seemingly seriously obsessed with Star Wars.  But the girl's a great goalie.  Since my older brother is so into soccer these days, and with the great technological savior-DVR- I watched a lot of Olympic soccer the past few weeks.  It was a crazy game between Brazil and the USA, but our girls came out in the end, and Solo made some fantastic saves! We decided that the force was definitely with her.



Enough soccer talk!  School started Monday.  I'm already so thankful for Labor Day Holiday this coming Monday.  I've surely been spoiled by summer break, and it's an adjustment to get back in the swing of things! And I've only had to work 2 mornings this week!  Oh well, I'll get over it.  Kids are too funny.  I was told extensively of the phenomenon of the "hidden Mickey's"; the little Mickey Mouse shapes that are "hidden" all over Disney World, where a third of my students went over the summer.  Private school kids- they go everywhere I've ever wanted to go, and they're not 10 yet.  But they're really great. 

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day: I LOVE this movie.  Despite the unexpected, and rather unwelcome bare backside in the first few minutes of the movie, I think it's wonderful and made me cry a little at the end.  I love the 1920's-'50's.  It's such a pretty era to watch on film. Somehow, Ciaran Hinds is the perfect actor; he's not particularly attractive, but he has a something about him that makes you sort of want to cry, in a sweet way.  Anyway, go watch. It's a keeper. : )