Saturday, September 26, 2009


September has been a fun month! It's hard to believe that I've lived here almost 2 months!

For my 25th Birthday, my brother treated me to a birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory! The Red Velvet Cheesecake is d e v i n e.
I walked home from the hair salon in Fells Point, passing through Little Italy.
It's the cutest little area! I bet Christmas in Little Italy will be so much fun.
Some cool wall art in Little Italy:
I tried Cream of Crab Soup for another birthday dinner at "Rusty Scuppers" on the harbor.
De-lish. The view is also very nice- right on the water.
There is a Farmer's Market every Sunday in Baltimore, and I went with a new friend this week! I got Onions, a Red Cabbage (why aren't they called "Purple". They're purple, people."), Garlic, Empire Apples, Red, Yellow, and Orange Peppers, Yellow Tomatoes, and last, but definitely not least, Green Leaf Lettuce. I was about to get some Red-Leaf, too, but once I asked for "one green," and the guy dumped 5 heads worth in a bag, I opted out of the Red-Leaf. Salad has been a menu staple this week. See below: Seriously.
I got my haircut. I had decided to grow out my bangs, but by the time they'd grown out, I decided I wanted bangs again. :)
I decided to donate my hair, since I cut off over 10 inches! Here's the process:
#1- Keep hair together with a band.
#2- Put hair neatly in zipper-lock baggie.
Put baggie in padded envelope (or , if you're poor like me and don't have padded envelope. Pad your own with paper towels)
and Finally, Mail it to a loverly wig-maker for a cancer patient!
New Hair! Never had it this short before!
Yesterday, my new friend Shelby and I spent some fun time at the Baltimore Book Festival. All of Washington Monument Square is blocked of with booths of books and food!
Gorgeous skies, and new "friends"!
And today I ran errands. I bought paint so that I can attack my little appy with Martha Stewart-like craftiness, yummy fall-scented candles, and a few dress blouses. Another nice plus of living here, is that I've lost over 25 pounds. It's really brilliant (as Ron Weasley would say), although also a pain, since I can't really afford tons of new clothes right now. But hey, I'll take the inconvenience.
The harbor today: They had an "environmentally friendly" ship docked today.
An adorable pirate ship that kids can play on! The cannons shoot water, and the ship workers wear pirate costumes and speak pirate english. It looks like so much fun. I can't wait till I know a little kid that I can take on there with me. :)
My Apple Cinnamon Candles. Now the appy smells fall fresh!

Happy fall, my friends!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ready, Aim,

Fire Alarm.

10 pm.

I've been in bed for over 20 minutes,
having decided to try and get extra sleep since
the carnival bands arrive nice and early for sound checks
in the festival gardens outside this weekend.

Feeling like I'm just about to doze off,
I hear a bird-like chirping outside my closed door.


It can't be.... not now.......

But it can be.

And it is now.

The smoke alarm is making me aware that the battery needs changing.

So I had to try and fix it myself,
not knowing if this predicament can be classified as a "maintenance emergency"
to call the maintenance man...

Having 10 foot ceilings, being only 5'8'' myself, and having only a 2' stool put me in quite a situation. I had to stack a ton of books up just to reach the thing, all the while remembering every story I've ever heard of people falling from precarious make-shift ladders and such:

I managed to get the battery out, and then waited....

But no.

Still chirping...
So I had to Skype my older brother,
and then stand on my dangerous stool-stack
and show him the alarm.
Meaning that I held my laptop up to the ceiling with one hand
and messed with the alarm with the other
while on my tiptoes...

I choose to live dangerously.

Finally I got the alarm unplugged from the wires in the ceiling
-and I was NOT electrocuted (be proud, Dad)-
and, while I did slip a little when the bookstackstool decided to shift a bit,
I am altogether none the worse for wear, and now know how to deal with a smoke alarm.
I felt this evening adventure warranted a blog.

Good night. For real this time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Music

One of the great benefits of being in music school again,
is that I'm taking amazing classes and learning about TONS of music.
I mean, I listened to a whole opera this afternoon with an open score in front of me, the libretto in my hand, and my jug of water on the table next to us... ahhhhhhh love it.

I'm in a 20th and 21st Century Vocal Literature class that I am LOVING.
So much has happened in the last century; wars, economic crises, the rise of chemical warfare; the world got smaller as countries began to take more interest in each other's wars and trade. It's ironic to me that so much amazingly beautiful music can come from such horrific circumstances, like the Holocaust and World Wars.

So I'm linking some really neat songs for you to listen to, if you'd like.

Here are a few songs by Osvaldo Golijov.
Dawn Upshaw is the fantastic soprano.
This collection of pieces, titled "Ayre," was written as if the composer was
traveling around the European Souther Coastline- everything from arabic spanish to yiddish.
A girl put these Youtube videos together, so you might want to ignore the picture- I find it kind of disturbing and distracting.

And here's another I just found, so heart-wrenchingly beautiful:
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 of Gorecki's
Third Symphony - Symphony of Sorrowful Songs -
inspired by the prison grafitti of people detained
by the Gestapo in Poland during the Second World War.

Pretty amazing, isn't it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Funny, Embarrasing, and oh so Me.

I invite you to a few of my thought bubbles from the past little while.


"Hm. I need a green pepper. Let's see.... yep, the bike tires are still full so I'll just bike over to SuperFresh before it gets dark....

... oh my. When's the last time I rode this thing? Around 13 and a foot shorter. Maybe 3 feet shorter, judging by how high my knees are coming up and how far over I'm bent... Oh well, I'll keep going- it's a short ride, and I don't look too dorky...., just riding with traffic... I really look like I belong here......Red light, better slow dow..WHAT is that noise?!? ...Ah sheesh. My brakes are squealin' like there's no tomorrow.. THAT'S not embarrasing... Well, maybe just the back one squeaks, so I'll try and only use the front brake... it's not much farther...*CLACK* WHAT NOW?! ... Why on earth is it changing gear?! Smile, just be cool.. Well, at least it's still goes even though it over-rotates every *CLACK* time it does that... I ca do this...

...doop-dee doo.... Ah shoot. I forgot about that hill! Why do they always put stoplights at the bottom of big hills....*squeeeeeaaaaaalllllll* Now how am I going to get up the other side?! Better just pedal like there's no tomorrow.. here goes....

... I think I can, I think I can, I *CLACK* I can, I *CLACK* I Can, I *CLACK* I can.... sheesh-a-loo....

............ ok I don't care about rules anymore. I've got my pepper, and I'm gonna' coast home on the sidewalk... No more of this street business, riding by fast cars on big hills... I'll brave the disapproval...

...Ah man! The last hill... Lots of people on that sidewalk, I'd better just gun it on the street..

*CLACKCLACK*... uh.... yeah... definitely straddling this bike trying to walk uphill on the busy street... please don't hit me, cars....

....goodbye pride....sigh....."


"(flips off shoe) Oh look... my entire big toe is sticking out of my stocking... Yes, world, I can afford new ones..."


"Oh Great. I just locked the door and left my keys inside......"


"Mmm hot tea.... perfect for early morning classes... it's been in the thermos for 7 minutes, it should be cooler now... YEOW it's not cooler now!!!!!!!!! Aw Man! Now I look like I'm crying... my poor lip... Oh, wave to Shelby and pretend they're tears of joy. Pretend.."

Oh la la. My life... :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I could die,

I could just DIE!!!!!

So I'm feeling terribly dramatic today, probably because my opera audition was tonight and so I spent the whole day making sure I liked my staging and character portrayal. Nonetheless, there are so many things that make me just want to lay down and die today.

1 UNO:

Renée Fleming is coming!!!!!


I heard that this afternoon and was so excited.

But wait.

"She might give Masterclass"....

I seriously almost just died right when I heard those words.

She's probably my biggest heroine

(outside of the lovely ladies in my family)

and I don't mean the drug.

Although, sometimes her voice acts like one to me....

I'm sad, it's true, but she's amazing.


"Nessun Dorma"

Now, for all of you bloggers out there who are not opera nerds, and

are so unfortunate as to have never heard this song, especially being sung by Luciano Pavarotti, I am posting a link so that we can remedy your sad situation. This is truly one of the most amazing Arias ever written. And I love a LOT of music. But you can't beat this.

I was lucky enough to hear Pavarotti himself sing this LIVE.

Amazing... Let me know what you think of it.

(Be sure to silence my music player on the right, first! :)

Watch it once and see how completely effortlessly he sings it.

Then listen to it again with your eyes closed.

Yes, I could just melt. Right into a puddle on the floor.

Doesn't matter when or where, EVERY time I hear it.



Seriously the cutest boy alive right now.

And he's a genius.


He's 15 months old.

I have 2 adorable photos of him on my fridge, which make me miss him all the time.

Check out my sister's (let's just drop the "in-law" thing now. We're close enough for that ;) blog to read more about Kohen and his adorable family. They're the "Laing Family Blog" in my blogroll.

And finally, classes begin tomorrow at, most sadly, 8 am.

Let the games BEGIN!

(P.S. Pics and "Balmer" news coming soon)

A bientôt, mes amies!