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It's a gorgeous summer day, solstice weekend, and I'm SICK. It's been a comatose day involving naps, zombie-esque football watching, and internet refreshing.

So, let me share some of the gems I have discovered:

Firstly, http://www.theseventeenmagazineproject.com/ is a great blog, by a young woman who graduated from high school this week. All the feminism you need when reading Seventeen magazine, with none of the theory and bitter snark that more experienced/older feminists throw around.

Secondly, what do you get when you cross music with fanfic? Snoop Dogg loves him some Sookie Stackhouse/Tru Blood. He has written a banal song called 'Oh Sookie' and you can watch the video here. I could only get through half the video, but the mere premise is highly amusing.
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Day 02




What's not to love? Brilliant dancing and music. Moving plot. A love story. Funny. Downright gay. I adore this movie. I have auditioned with the songs. I was a Jet girl in 11th grade for the school musical.



I love Bernstein. Just love. And this song seems quite current in light of the immigration issues both in the States and in the UK.
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Day 01 - Favorite song

I don't really have favorite songs. Perhaps loads of songs from choir days. However, this choral piece without fail gives me goosebumps and makes me sit on the edge of my seat. It really does sound like God is coming down from the heavens to kick some ass. Plus in this video Karajan conducts like a god himself.




Listen to this with the volume all the way up, and not while anyone is napping.

ETA: Damn, I love opera.

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I have decided that I love Lady Gaga. I know, I'm late to the game, but she's fab.

I have also decided that I just have to suck it up and stop trying to have it easy. I can't do yoga, get school work done, be well rested, see friends, be on the internet, have a clean house AND be a fun mama all in one day. Nope. Gotta pick.... two in any given day.
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These kids are my new creative heroes. Parody of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video.
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Ok. So I'm entering week #3 of being ill and I'm on virus #2. This week I begin going back to work, illness or no. I went to the doctor on Friday, just to make sure I didn't have something unusual or requiring medication, and she was only concerned that I was so pale. Everything just needs rest. Or a good cold snap to kill of the crud that's been making the rounds. What sucks is that while your immune system is low fighting off one bug, you're vulnerable for the next. Bah, I say.

I have been spending my time watching a lot of 'tv' - by that I mean tv on the internet. Adam and I have started watching Freaks and Geeks, which is pretty good. The new show that gets my vote, and frankly kicks Glee's confused, sorry ass (even though I so want it to work) is Community. Really funny, quite smart, and that main dude is hot. That always helps. I also discovered Sesame Street online, which has been very helpful with the downpours that Wales has been getting lately. Bennett and I watch clips, which we can arrange in themes - like, numbers, feelings, letters, etc. We make it interactive and it's fun.

I've also recently discovered Lady Gaga. She's a good singer, with brainless, forgettable, but ok music. But what a freaking FABULOUS performance artist. She's like a mainstream Bjork, without the amazing music. I am more than a little in love her Bad Romance video. The zombie dancing just slays me. I think I am going to have to watch every single video she's made.

ETA: I also wanted to add these bits but forgot. I also watched Away We Go which is sweet, but enh. However, the best bits are the Maggie Gyllenhall-Ultra AP satire. I've been recognizing a lot of my hypocrisy and other attractive traits lately, and I recognized more than I'd like to admit in this section. You can see bits here and here.

My soul

Oct. 23rd, 2009 11:08 am
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The San Francisco Bay Area. The place is amazing. In my experience thus far in the world I have to say that it is second only to Juneau for being magical and full of the best, most creative, most welcoming people. The Bay Area has world class opera, cutting edge arts, rich music, a thriving and creative DIY and entrepreneurial community, the best food in the USA, and is a spiritual mecca. The people are interesting and interested. Every one can be themselves. The weather is great. And, if I may wax hippy, there's *just something* there. Like, it must be on one of those earth spirit meridians that I have heard of.

And...... it was choking my soul. I overstayed myself by at least two years. I stopped listening to music. I constantly felt trapped. I felt overwhelmed, oppressed by stuff and motion and thrum. The non-rational part of my being was dying a slow death.

How can I tell this was for sure? I am ecstatic here. The quiet is deafening. I feel like I can hear so much more. My brain is thinking! I have so much more space for others and for myself. I don't feel so panicked. And I'm listening to music again. And singing. I sing all around the house. What am I listening to these days? Still a lot of classical music. Although I'm craving some opera: I don't own any Ruth Ann Swenson or Susan Graham! We recently discovered Florence and the Machine. Sort of like Regina Spector meets 60s rock and soul? Absolutely fab. Adam's been listening to this neat ambient/world stuff that I really like called Angel Tears (which is THE WORST name for a band ever). Right now I am downloading The Corner Laugher's newest album, Ultraviolet Garden.* And, on Tuesday, it's a double winner of a music day: John Mayer AND Hem both release new albums.

My soul is just so damn happy these days. It's almost in a manic state. After being weighed down and deadly lethargic for so long it's like... well, it's like Bennett at bedtime: cracked out.


*Yay for fellow UWLampeter student and Bay Area homies!
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William Fitzsimmons was wonderful. The club was teeny tiny, maybe 50 people. It was HOT and we were all sweating. Things got fragrant. A woman named Jenny Owen Youngs opened and she was good. Fine. A little forgettable. Adam dug her for all the reasons I didn't. She was funny, I'll give her that. In fact, when not playing depressing music about divorce and heartbreak, both the acts had hilarious banter and interacted with the audience. Ok, basically it was Adam and Jenny and William. I am married to That Guy. But it worked. William is one hundred percent my kind of people. He is amazing: present, grounded, disarmingly sincere, funny, self-depricating, smart, articulate, and his beard is quite impressive. Oh yeah, and music is sweetly heartbreaking.

After the show we got to chat with him. He and Adam talked about being nerds. Turns out William loves original Star Trek and Star Wars.

Seeing live music was just I needed. I feel refreshed this morning, even though I only got about 5.5 hours of sleep (thanks Bennett!). I'm really trying not to overwhelm myself with the list of things that need to get done today, while Adam is home (bathe B, begin Day One of the Great Box Sort, laundry, respond to a million emails, prep for the interview tomorrow, fill out the last of my visa paperwork, and of course, parent, play and eat). How to stay present and open, but also get things done? Why do Doing and Being sometimes feel incompatible?
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Today I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a bus. But in the good way. Once I rolled out of bed (literally, so as not to wake B) I felt optimistic, like I had turned a corner. Bennett is thriving. His nasty tooth sized blood clot/blister thing fell off yesterday afternoon and he looks like he is healing up just fine. I'm letting go of the accident more. Getting a bit more settled in here in the hot but blissfully quiet suburbs.

Prepping for the interview on Sunday is energizing. I'm so excited. Even if I don't publish this (and I can't imagine I won't find an outlet for it!) the conversation is guaranteed to be interesting.

Tonight Adam and I are going to hear William Fitzsimmons. I will probably turn into a pumpkin at the late hour, but I thrill at the very idea of going to hear live music in a small venue.

The night will kick off with a bomb of a dinner: I am going to make [livejournal.com profile] snowcalla's Tater Tot Casserole.
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Bennett slept like a rock last night. He's happy as can be. Thank god. He was even able to nurse. PHEW. It feels funny, though, when he does it. It's not quite the same as regular gums. It's all uneven and a little pokey. He's got the GROSSEST blood clot on the left side. But all is well. He is even giving honest to goodness hugs. This kid amazes me.

I am still unwinding from the whole ordeal. I did yoga this morning and I had that feeling in my stomach that if I let go anymore I'd throw up. My whole person was scrunched up tight. Unwinding is going to take some effort. Healthy food, sleep and a happy baby will help for sure. I'm still grieving the accident. I'm sad that Bennett is going to be funny looking for several years. It's a really minor thing, I know, and I'll get over it, but it's still hard.

More happy things to look forward to: the cats are now indoor/outdoor cats. Elliott is a happy camper. Four years ago I promised him this would happen and I'm finally following through with it. Nigel isn't so sure about the whole outdoors thing. Today Adam, B and I go to get our biometrics done for the visa application. I believe this is the last piece and we can mail all of our paperwork in tomorrow. Tomorrow night I'm going to preview night for ComiCon. Friday night Adam and I are going to go see live music! My god, I'm so excited. A guy called William Fitzsimmons (sort of reminds me of what John Mayer and Iron and Wine's baby would sound like) at a coffee house called Lestat.

Now to shower.
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*Gallileo by the Indigo Girls always reminds me of the Future Gov. We sang it once with our one-show wonder band.... which was a million years ago.

*Once we get to San Diego we are still going to have to repack many boxes. It's all those damn personal effects, all those little art pieces and altar items and cards and jewelry that just can't be disposed of.

*Holy cow, do we have a ton of stuff to give away at our party tomorrow: jewelry, cds, shoes, clothes, filing things, candles, glasses, dishware, peacock feathers, a glow in the dark Virgin Mary, coat rack, a clock, and even a framed Barbara LaValle print. Oh yeah. Among other things.

*We still need to pack the kitchen, our clothes, the bathroom and the art.

*Only three more nights in the Bay Area. It is truly the end of an era.
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So tired.

Boot camp. All day with B. Spent 4 hours walking around in the rain with B strapped to me. Seriously, good fun. I made a great pasta dinner. We watched three episodes of Scrubs. I've had two glasses of red wine. I am ready to pass out. It's 10 past 9 on a Friday night. My apartment is warm and Ella Fitzgerald is playing. Why do I want to move to Wales again? Thankfully the wine is dulling the panic. I don't remember there being a bookstore in Lampeter.

Time to go crawl in next to my sleepy boy and snuggle up. Life is beyond good tonight.
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For those of you who are cloth diapering your bubs:

Goodmamas is doing a send-your-own-fabric thing. I want a music note diaper! If this fabric gets approved I will be putting together a coop for it. The amount of fabric required makes 20 diapers. Anyone want one... or two?
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I'm in the mood for new music. As I'm putting all my music back on to my laptop (hello tedious!) I realize I haven't listened to music for ages. 2008 was characterized by being pregnant - I didn't read much or listen to music.

So help me out! Please give me two recommendations: 1) A favorite new artist/song/album from the last 6 months and 2) a favorite in general. Any genre, serious or silly. My only off limits for this is screaming. I don't like screaming, no matter how good the rest of the music is.


Thanks!
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For the musically inclined: The distorted tunes test.

I got 26 out of 26! Phew.
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In two weeks Adam, Bennett and I are going to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at Golden Gate Park. Absolutely free, outdoors, awesome. Even the hundred thousand people don't bother me. However, this year it looks like the organizers stacked Sunday. I recognize nearly everyone on the list. I fear it will be freakishly crowded. But Saturday I recognize nearly no one!

So. Those of you who know a little something about roots music ([livejournal.com profile] donkeyfly, [livejournal.com profile] ginger_root, [livejournal.com profile] automata, I'm thinking of you three specifically), can you please take a look at the schedule and tell me what I should hear on Saturday?

I'd be so grateful!

In other music news, I think I'm going to opera tomorrow night, to see Die Tote Stadt. WHEE!
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Last year the Future Gov and I recorded some vocals for rap song that a friend of ours produced. You can hear the song here. Click on the track "We Rock." You'll hear our breathy hoo hoos in the back ground. It's um.... a rather boring song, I think. But still! I'm singing on a rap song, yo.

Bork bork!

Aug. 14th, 2008 08:58 am
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Do you like opera? How about the Muppets? Surely, you must love opera + Muppets?

To put a grin on your face today, please check out the Muppet Habenera (from Bizet's Carmen), either on YouTube or at The Opera Tattler. 1 and a half minutes of silliness!
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Yesterday I had a voice lesson in the afternoon. My voice teacher has started coming to my house. It's awesome. And because my teacher has no experience with pregnant ladies, she is charging me only $20 for an hour lesson. A steal! Singing while pregnant is a challenge, but so so great. My voice is becoming richer, more velvety, and my midrange is stronger, especially the transition from midrange to lower notes. Part of it is all the hormones making the vocal chords loose and juicy, part of it is I am more fully in my body and can't rely on things the way they were - my brain just has to get out of the way and let what's there out. It's a good thing for sure.

What's very exciting is that I have been given a new song to learn. Handel's Ombra mai fu! I never, ever would have expected to have an opportunity to learn this song. I never thought I'd have the voice for it and I'm just thrilled because it's a great song. You can hear Jennifer Larmore sing the song here, just hit play and look at something else. The video is horrible, but the singing is very nice. I more often sing stuff like this (this is Mozart, and I sing the piece a bit faster than Ms. Popp). I sing no where as beautifully as these ladies, but hopefully you'll be able to hear a difference in the voice types, as well as the range and style of the songs.
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This week is so fantastic. Boot camp is sheer, muscle-aching delight. I jogged 5 miles yesterday!! People! This is HUGE. I am my own hero. I am not a runner and I made it around Lake Merritt (3.4 miles) plus some! Thankfully, there was a great pace setter for me to mindlessly follow. I got to look at all the birds making happy morning sounds as the sun came up over the hills: mallards, Canadian geese, two kinds of seagulls, two types of crane-like birds, and a heron, not mention other assorted small ducks and birds. Wow!

Of course, this morning I am beat. Staying out past midnight to go to a show was not wise, but it was fun. Adam and I and our neighbor went to Cafe du Nord (GREAT venue in San Francisco) to see Noe Venable. She was fantastic. Melodic, lively, mesmerizing, musical. Plus, the lady gets extra huge props from me for two reasons: she is a high soprano and she is starting a grad program in comparative religion at Havard Divinity School. Hot damn!

But those delightful joys just take me to Wednesday. Today is Adam and [livejournal.com profile] hrafntinna's birthday. I am making some seriously tasty nachos for dinner tonight at Adam's request. And tomorrow Adam and I will be house sitting in an amazing black house near Golden Gate Park in SF for the weekend. I look forward to exploring this little nook of a neighborhood. Plus, tomorrow morning I am heading to the communal baths at the Kabuki Spa. I can't wait. The the next three days are like a vacation - except I'm only going across the bridge.

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