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Remember that.

1 Jul

By the time this post publishes, I will probably be running around a yet-known Philadelphia train station with two large suitcases in tow, attempting to figure out how to get onto the right train to take me to New Jersey. Regular SEPTA patrons, I ask that you treat me with compassion and kindness, as I am inevitably bound to look like a COMPLETE AND TOTAL IDIOT. Just smile and nod and pretend like you agree that navigating the transportation system is hard. I’m a Girl Scout, y’all, and I can tell you how to get back from the middle of nowhere with nothing but your fingers and a stick, but… put me in front of a train schedule and my eyes go sort of go wonky and I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Let me give you a little glimpse into what I’ll look like:

…I’ll figure it out. Anyway.

New Jersey. My first summer program.

I’m pretty much totally alone, horribly excited, and a little bit terrified, but, ready or not, I begin tomorrow and here I come. I could write in depth about the myriad feelings I’ve got, being away from my voice teacher, my mom, my friends, my cat, my school, my safe comfortable musical womb, etc. I’ll spare you that and let you know that I’ve got to remember:

“The youngest you can ever be is when you can sing and enjoy it.” – Leontyne Price

“I want to sing like birds sing: not wondering who is listening and what they think.” – Rumi

“He who sings scares away his woes.” – Miguel Cervantes

“Singing is a form of admitting I am alive.” – Alfredo Kraus

“Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are holding back? What are you saving for–for another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now.” – George Balanchine

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” – Miles Davis

And, perhaps most of all:

Time for an adventure. Here we go. Wish me luck.


Down at the Rock and Roll Club

10 Jun

I know what you’re thinking.. I’m an opera singer. YOU DON’T KNOW ME LIKE THAT, THOUGH.

I can’t stay away from rock and roll for too long before I start to get a hankerin’ for smoky bars, taverns, and getting my eardrums blown out by something other than high soprano Db6s or the nine tenor high Cs in “Ah! mes amis.” LUCKY FOR ME, I’ve got some pretty talented friends who let me have my fix.

I’ve known the boys of Ezra Lbs (clever, ain’t they?) since.. well, I don’t know if I really want to publicly admit how long. Let’s leave it at “a really long time.”

I remember some of their first shows, where it was just us, a few other people (usually there to see another band), and maybe a couple of stragglers. Compare that to the other night’s packed CD release show at Whitewater Tavern and you’ve got a study in contrasts, y’all. Their album release has been getting some exciting reviews from local press:

“…Ezra cuts an impressively wide, gloriously amateurish, sonic swath across the 20-plus songs here, and they always, always keep you guessing.” – Arkansas Democrat Gazette

“…this Arkansas crew is more restless, adventurous and willing to take those familiar touchstones in weirder directions.” – Rock Candy of the Arkansas Times

Not bad for some hometown boys.

If y’all are smart, you’ll head on over to Ezra Lbs’ website ( — who knew?) or their Facebook and see what I’m fussin’ about.

Thanks for the fix, boys.

On My Plate

9 Jun

I’m a big fan of the cafeteria at my school (despite my occasional complaints otherwise), but it’s always nice to come home to delicious, homemade food. My mom spent eighteen years making food for me, so I’ve been trying to pay her back as much as possible by making food for her while I’m home for the summer. It’s great to just let her sit back, relax, and wait for ME to put some food on the table.

I love cooking. I like being creative and coming up with things. I love playing with my mom’s huge spice cabinet… I never really measure much when I’m coming up with my own stuff, I just eyeball to my heart’s content! My guests and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

Anyway, for the past few weeks, I’ve been doing most of the cooking, alternating between our traditional favorite options for meals and then my own little creative experiments. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to recently:

Chicken breasts stuffed with cheddar cheese, breaded in seasoned bread crumbs; saffron rice and beets!

Smoked sausage sauteed in oregano, garlic, and hot sauce with sweet bell peppers and onions.

Not bad, huh? I’ve got some awesome stuff planned for next week, too.

What’s your favorite thing to make for dinner?