Good Amazing friends and family;
2. Learning new skills;
3. Seeing my friends with their kids (or kids to be);
6. Being content in my own skin;
7. Not being 21 anymore (that goes along with #6);
8. Sunny weather
10. The sound of the ocean crashing against the shore.
30 September 2008
28 September 2008
Posted by MezzoCO at 2:15 PM
27 September 2008
Please pray for some close friends of mine. Their youngest child, Baby C, is very sick and - as of this posting - the doctors aren't sure what exactly is wrong. Baby C is only 1.5 months old...and is sick enough that the docs gave him a spinal tap this morning to try and figure it out.
Please pray for him and his mom, dad & big sis as they all go through this together (love you guys!!)
26 September 2008
1. What is your favorite apple dish? Tarte tatin…preferably with calvados, bien sûr.
2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about? I’ve planted several trees. The most recent were as part of a district-wide neighborhood “work day”. We planted cherry blossom trees in a low-income residential area.
3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not? The roaming around the countryside part does. Getting out of the city allows me to think, feel and experience stirrings of the soul more easily. As for the preaching part…? Not so much.
4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours? Ohh...hmmm....Jeanne d'arc.
5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do? I am almost constantly singing or humming or whistling . . . everything and nothing in particular. When I’m *trying* to be cheerful…I can't think of a specific tune.
25 September 2008
(Caution: contains spoilers for the movie In Bruges…which, if you *still* haven’t seen it…stop reading my blog and go watch it, already!)
A recent textversation:
R: Does colin or ken get killed in in bruges??
Me: what??? have u seen it?
R: Watching it right now!
Me: oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh it is such a good movie!!!! i am not going 2 tell u anything!!!! heheheheh
R: TELL ME
Me: hahahah nope!1! (well….some of it stems from the fact that I cant remember….hahahahahhaha)
R: Does ken die?? does harry kill him for not killing ray??
Me: omg already….just watch the effen film!!! u don’t have to go to work tomorrow so just enjoy the movie!!!11 hahahahahahahahah
R: I can’t! i hate it! im too anxious!
Me: hahahahah…..dont be anxious…it is.a.REALLY good movie :)
R: NOT IF HARRY OR RAY DIES!
Me: hey my friend A is looking for a place to move to in da city…maybe into your place?? she is very cool.
R: HARRY DIED, YOU BITCH!
Me: which one is harry?? Colin farrels character or the other guy? bcause really-i cant remember!
R: The other guy! ken, i mean! colin is ray!
Me: that’s rite! sorry love! :)
Me: put on your big girl panties and deal with it!
R: One of the most loveable movie characters commits suicide by jumping off a building and you FORGOT???
Me: yes. yes i did.
R: im already on my third pair! hahahahahahah
24 September 2008
23 September 2008
22 September 2008
My jacket has blood spatter on it.
Fake. Theatrical. Corn-starch blood, that is.
Along with beer and champagne.
And why? All because of a little piece of organized chaos called Point Break, Live!.
It was a live-action, raunchier, punchier, campier version of the 1991 Swayze-Reeves flick. The best part was the audience participation: the role of "Johnny Utah" (infamously portrayed by Keanu himself) is cast from the audience. Said "volunteer" proceeds to get abused by his fellow cast mates for two ours...it was great.
Throughout the piece, the audience (given ponchos upon entering the building) was bombarded with water, beer, champagne and fake blood (during the shoot out at the end.)
Hilarity ensued. Many times over. And, the actual director of the movie (Kathryn Bigelow) herself directed the show and was there tonight.
21 September 2008
...a lot on my plate, metaphorically speaking. Trying to figure a lot of stuff out. Or not. (Depends on my mood.) I guess what it all boils down to is well...we've got this one life to do our thing, make our mark...live. So. What is it I *really* want to do? What is it I'm supposed to be doing? Does it matter? And does that choice have to be so black and white, or can it be a "little of column A, a little of column B?"
I don't know. Yet.
Posted by MezzoCO at 2:41 PM
20 September 2008
I went to North Beach early this morning, and it was a veritable treasure trove of wackiness and beauty.
Now...where did I park? 2B or not . . . . ?
There's a public art project in the North Beach garage: fortunes written at each space.
Even on the handicapped ones:
I loved that this woman was wearing silver go-go boots:
An ewok/bear/chow hybrid:
Lots of building art in this neighborhood:
For all my friends who are teachers. My apologies, though, to you school administrators out there. Looks like you get the shaft here. So to speak. (I go past Big Al's Adult Book Store everyday when I leave work, and have been wanting to take a picture of this sign for two weeks. Finally did!)
19 September 2008
As this vivid season begins, tell us five favorite things about fall:
1) A fragrance: freshly baked pumpkin bread and hot spiced apple cider.
2) A color: gold(en): as in the color of the leaves changing. Which there are not very many of here, but where I grew up we had aspen trees.
3) An item of clothing: Our fall is in actuality our "indian summer". In other climates, I would list "scarf." However, here? "Lack of scarf" is my answer.
4) An activity: massacring pumpkins and toasting their seeds. Mmm. Also - dressing up in crazy makeup and costumes. Oh...wait. I get paid to do that on a year-round basis. *fistpump*
5) A special day: Thanksgiving – be it a bit clichéd – is indeed a special time spent with family and close friends.
Posted by MezzoCO at 3:27 PM
17 September 2008
1. My uncle once: lost his pants dancing at a formal event (suspenders came undone...)
2. Never in my life: will I smoke a cigarette.
3. When I was five: my brother threw a rock at my eye and I had to wear an eyepatch to kindergarrrrten.
4. High school was: great!
5. I will never forget: my grandparents.
6. Once I met: George Burns, at the DFW airport Crown Room.
7. There’s this girl I know: who writes amazing poetry.
8. Once, at a bar: I was on the winning pub trivia team.
9. By noon, I’m usually: drinking tea.
10. Last night: I cooked and had a lively discussion on James.
11. If only I had: perfect vision!
12. Next time I go to church: will be on Sunday.
13. What worries me most: my parents.
14. When I turn my head left I see: my kitchen.
15. When I turn my head right I see: my door.
16. You know I’m lying when: you look at my face - I'm a horrible liar.
17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: side pony-tails.
18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: the comic relief.
19. By this time next year: anything could happen!
20. A better name for me would be: Grace - ironically, of course.
21. I have a hard time understanding: extremism.
22. If I ever go back to school: it will be for an M.A.T.
23. You know I like you if: I laugh with you.
24. If I ever won an award, the first person(s) I would thank would be: my family.
25. Take my advice: get enough fiber.
26. My ideal breakfast is: cereal or oatmeal with soy milk, and coffee.
27. A song I love but do not have is: Delicate.
28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: drink lots of water.
29. Why won’t people: listen to one another?
30. If you spend a night at my house: you will feel welcome.
31. I’d stop my wedding: if it were the wrong person.
32. The world could do without: IED's.
33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: watch E.T.
34. My favourite blonde(s): Baby Clark-o in Italy, Addie in FL.
35. Paper clips are more useful than: push pins.
36. If I do anything well it’s: being hospitible.
37. I can’t help but: gush about my sibling.
38. I usually cry: at weddings.
39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: do your homework.
40. And by the way: don't let anyone tell you you can't pursue your dreams.
P is 3/5ths of the way though his deployment. I have to say that that little fraction sounds pretty damn good looking at it from over the (camel's)hump, as it were.
Those of us who know him choose to believe P when he tells his mother that he's in "one of the safest – if not the safest – neighborhoods" in country. But sometimes I can't help it – my brain starts in on overdrive. I mean, so, if it's so safe, what's to keep The Powers That Be from sending his unit to less safe places? And what's going on along the Pakistani border this week – are our UAV's *really* blowing $hit up in a country which has nukes??? Are we that insane??? And what's going to happen with the Petraeus/Odierno switcheroo? Hopefully that will be good for all involved, and not have any negative repercussions. And – oh yeah, it's Ramadan, too, etc etc.
And then – somewhere inside – the light clicks on and that little voice shuts up and God is gracious to replace it with the Voice of Reason:
"Our troops are well-trained. P is well-trained AND he's no dummy. Everything happens for a purpose. *Surely* things with Pakistan are not going to escalate any further than they have this week. Also - the weather is probably starting to cool off in the desert, which will help morale of everyone. And P is in a safe neighborhood and gets to know some of the locals. What a great chance for cultural exchange and broadening of horizons…etc etc."
Sometimes….sometimes I need a vacation from my own head.
Posted by MezzoCO at 12:55 PM
16 September 2008
15 September 2008
There has been a lot of critical acclaim going around for HBO's new miniseries, Generation Kill. The story centers around the Marines in the First Recon Battalion in the days leading up to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. I've also read a lot of reviews of the show by people (often military) who think that it panders to the Hollywood stereotypes of what Marine snd Soldiers are: uneducated, violent, videogaming kids.
I haven't seen the show - and thus, cannot comment on it. However, I *did* just finish the book of the same name on which it is based (by Evan Wright). I thought the book was quite good - an unbiased (IMO) account of the experiences of those Marines.
The edition I read had a new afterword by the author which was very interesting - especially this part:
After the publication of Generation Kill, [one of the main character's] reference to Grand Theft Auto was cited in several news stories as proof that to the young men and women serving in America's armed forces, war was no more real than playing a video game.
In struck me that such analyses had it backward. It's the American public for whom the Iraq War is often no more real than a video game. Five years into this war, I am not always confident most Americans fully appreciate the caliber of the people fighting for them, the sacrifices they have made, and the sacrifices they continue to make. After the Vietnam War ended, the onus of shame largely fell on the veterans. This time around, if shame is to be had when the Iraq conflict ends - and all indications are there will plenty of it - the veterans are the last people in America to deserve it. When it comes to apportioning shame my vote goes to the American people who sent them to war in a surge of emotion but quickly lost the will to either win it or end it. The young troops I profiled in Generation Kill, as well as the other men and women in uniform I've encountered in combat zones throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, are among the finest people of their generation. We misuse them at our own peril.
Amen to that, brother.
For some reason, I'm having trouble embedding the video for this - but if you didn't get a chance to see it on SNL, check out the Palin-Clinton (equal opportunity) lampooning here.
14 September 2008
13 September 2008
1. Do not set your alarm clock;
2. Wake up when you *want* to wake up, not when you *have* to wake up;
3. Read in bed for a little while;
4. Get a phone call from your brother . . . WHO HAS JUST PROPOSED TO HIS GIRLFRIEND!!!!!!!!! (who said YES, of course!)
5. Spend the rest of the morning talking to various and sundry relatives and friends about how excited we all are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6. Talk to your now official future sister-in-law(!!!) and get her side of the proposal story;
7. Freak out with sheer happiness and live on cloud nine for the rest of the day!!!!!!!!!!
I do believe that we all have parts of ourselves and facets of our lives which we hide from everyone else. It's human nature. Those buried down parts that you think "Man . . . if anyone else knew xyz about me, they would run screaming in the opposite direction."
But, really, you know what the beautiful thing is? We all - each and every one of us - can relate to each other because we all have those deeply buried places, no matter how translucent a life we try to lead. And it is that part . . . that part we even try to hide from ourselves at times . . . which helps deepen our capacity for compassion, understanding, and love for one another. In theory at least.
Now, if only everyone could just *realize* this, we'd be well on our way to utopia . . . or something like that. heh.
12 September 2008
1. Is anyone going back to school, as a student or teacher, at your house? How's it going so far? I'm taking two classes this fall: Spanish & Arabic
2. Were you glad or sad when back-to-school time came as a kid? Both. I loved summer vacation but I've also always enjoyed being a student.
3. Did your family of origin have any rituals to mark this time of year? How about now? We always took "first-day-of-school" photos.
4. Favorite memories of back-to-school outfits, lunchboxes, etc? I loved - and still love - getting new school supplies.
5. What was your best year of school? Ooh. Tough question - I'm not sure. College, perhaps. Junior year abroad...that was pretty awesome.
10 September 2008
For as much as I love SF & living in the Bay Area, I still get pissed off by some of the consequences of living on the Left coast. I know . . . I shouldn't complain . . . it's my choice to live here . . . blah, blah, etc, etc. But I have spent a lot of time this week looking for any 9/11 memorial events or services happening anywhere in SF County. I would like to go to something . . . anything. But my search has come up null and void. There are a couple of events up in Marin County, but I have yet to find anything here other than the 911-Truth events, which I will most definitely not be attending.
My search for official "Patriot Day" activities brought me many results about Tom Brady's season-ending injury. (Sucks for him, sure, but not exactly what I was looking for . . .) I would think that at least the folks in City Hall might have some sort of something planned for the early morning hours here . . . unless they've all-but-forgotten that some of those planes were headed for SFO.
I'll keep looking around this afternoon, but if all else fails, I can always go to the big Catholic church near my office and light some candles before going to work in the morning.
Prayer for our Men and Women In Military Service
O Prince of Peace, we humbly ask Your protection for all our men and women in military service. Give them unflinching courage to defend with honor, dignity and devotion the rights of all who are imperiled by injustice and evil. Guard our churches, our homes, our schools, our hospitals, our factories, our buildings and all those within from harm and peril. Protect our land and its peoples from enemies within and without. Grant an early peace with victory founded upon justice. Instill in the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere a firm purpose to live forever in peace and good will toward all. Amen.
Posted by MezzoCO at 4:35 PM
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. -Proverbs 13:12
I think this fall is turning out to be a season of learning for me - both secularly and spiritually. The secular is pretty obvious (language classes); the spiritual is starting to unfold itself.
I have to admit that coming out of the summer, I'm out of balance - spiritually speaking. When I'm heavily involved in performing, my extramusical relationships get put on the back burner. This includes my Vertical relationship with God. Even though I still pray and seek God, it's not a daily occurance during these busy times. I have been blessed with some wonderful friends who know that yes, when I'm involved in a show, my time is limited, and is mostly spent with a select group of castmates for an intense period of time ranging from several weeks to a few months.
I realize that I have been uniquely placed in the SF music scene as an artist who happens to be a Christian. I do not see myself as a "missionary" to my fellow musicians; I don't wack anyone over the head with a Bible during rehearsals. Rather, I pray that I'm the exception to a lot of people's stereotypes of what or who a modern day Christian is - and that being a Christian artist is not an oxy moron; that it is possible to honor God with and through all types of art. However, when I don't spend the time on my own nurturing my spiritual side, it's more difficult to take joy in that role, and much easier to get bogged down in the "Singing is the be-all-end-all-of-my-life" mentality.
Tonight I met with a small Bible study group. We're doing a shortish study on the book of James...which is a very practical book. James talks about how to apply God's teachings to our everyday lives, and live them out accordingly. I think this is going to be a very good season of learning - and reminding - for me.
When I decided not to take a performing role this fall, I immediately felt at peace with that decision. However, over the last week and after many questions from family and friends, doubts and feelings of guilt started to seep into my brain about saying "no." After this evening, I feel at peace again. I feel that this is a time for me to draw nearer to God and examine some things in my own (non-musical) life which I need to address. Besides this study on James, I'm also going for a few Sunday mornings before service to a group which will discuss world views...and determining what exactly my own world view is in relation to different religions and even to my own Christian religion. Should be interesting.
09 September 2008
A list of all the kiddos in my life - friends' babies; adopted nieces & nephews; real-life cousins (in alphabetical order):
Cameron & Timothy Ko
Addie & Carter Schantz
Bella & Lilian Termini
Some are here, some are on the way, and all are precious as can be. But there are probably a couple I'm even forgetting . . .(ack!)
Posted by MezzoCO at 6:44 PM
08 September 2008
I start my Spanish class this evening, and am very excited about this. (Cue sniffing new spiral notebook...ahhh).
However, I forgot about one thing. Textbook. Now, when I received my registration confirmation/payment receipt in the mail, at the bottom was a note reading "Textbooks not included." I read it and thought nothing more of it.
This was...a month or two ago.
Fast forward to today when I looked up the address for the class meeting online. There was a new link under course description for "textbooks". I click it and - lo and behold - there is a text and a workbook listed there. But, there's also a note reading "textbook optional," but only under one of them. So . . . ? Not sure. I click the link and it takes me to an online store to purchase the texts, where - in big, red, bold letters - it reads "REQUIRED." But the course descprition said optional. Hmmm.
I'll just be "that
guy girl" who shows up on the first day of class without a textbook. I hate that. (The perfectionist student part of me is alive and well, so it seems...) Luckily, my adult brain chimes in with a "well, it's not like your permanent record matters or anything - you'll be okay".
07 September 2008
06 September 2008
Living here in SF, I've become accustomed to a lot of things.
I don't look twice at two men or two women walking down the street hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm. (Unlike the busloads of tourists now being let out to take pictures of people in the Castro these days...wtf?)
People in chaps and leather? Neon and feathers? She-male hookers on Polk street? A random qi-gong parade downtown? I've come to expect these sights. Really - almost nothing surprises me anymore.
I'm *not* yet - and hopefully will not ever be - used to seeing people sleeping up against walls, outside in makeshift cardboard "shelters" and wind-barriers. I do notice, however, that when in other cities, I tend to mentally compare the numbers of homeless people I see on city streets. Usually, there are fewer than here, and if I'm with people not "used" to seeing people out on the streets, their reaction is different from mine. I will offer to buy people food, but not give them money. And I hope that I would continue to be like that.
But last night, I saw something I never expected to see and never hope to see again. My college friend was in town and we were on the bus. And our bus pulled up to the intersection at Fillmore street just as the SFPD was taping off a crime scene. A man had been shot, and we could see the body. Lying right there outside of our window, in the road, by a parked vehicle. And it was one of those horrifying moments of...not being able to look away and being so shocked at what we were seeing. It was surreal. And neither L nor I had words to say anything. Eventually I croaked out that I was glad I hadn't let her come by herself downtown (I am sick, and considered not going at all) and let's pray for that guy and his family.
I have been to (too) many funerals and have seen many dead people in that context. But not in this one. It was such an odd feeling...I felt much more detached than I thought I should feel. But I think that was just shock: my mind numbing itself to keep me from going over the edge. When we passed by that same quardened-off intersection a couple of hours later on our way home, two young women in front of us were loudly discussing the whole incident. "I wonder who it was who got shot? Wonder if it was someone we know? I wanna know who it is. Let's find out. Let's ask around...I wanna know what happened." Her friend stayed silent, but a young man turned around and said, "You should just be praying it's NOT someone you know. You don't want to know - I'm telling you - you don't want to have to go through that." As he said that, his eyes were filled with a combination of admonishment and deep sadness . . . someone who *knew* and had lived through such an experience, but who had had part of himself die in the process.
It was - and still is - very surreal. It will probably be a while before my brain wraps itself around this one. Or, well, perhaps it never will, but perhaps . . . I don't know. Closure? Something. In the meantime, I'll be praying for the families involved. Tragic.
Vampire stories + nightime tylenol cold medicine = wacked out dreams.
Added bonus? Going to the Symphony after a hit of Afrin and more cold meds only to listen to Ligeti's Lontano. Not my favorite piece of music, but it basically proved to be the perfect soundtrack for my wacked out vampire dreams. Best part? Ligeti's Romanian, of course.
1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person?
In real life (as opposed to this blog, I guess) I am a private person - stemming from shyness - but I have learned to work with and around that and force myself out of my shell, both in my private life as well as my musical life. Part of that stems from being a shy child and expressing myself through music (piano playing); also, I tend to "come across" better in written language than in my tongue-tied self. As pertains to my performing, I've written about being vulnerable on stage here, here, and more recently, here.
2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry?
Depends on your line of work - heh. As "executive assistant" yes, it's pretty important that I be professional. (Though I am the token "artsy" one in the office). As an actor and singer...well, professional has a dfferent meaning, I think. Professional is different from vulnerable. One must be on time, know ones lines and be a good ('professional') colleague. If the character you're working on demands you be vulnerable, then you learn to be vulnerable on stage. The transition between acting life and real life gets easier the more you do it.
Also - while ministry is not my vocation per se, I find that being real (or vulnerable) with people is a great deal more effective way to minister than beating someone over the head with a Bible verse or anything like that.
3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss...
I have them - we all do. I've learned to recognize them and get rid of a few along the way; some people unmask me while others almost necessitate that I put on one mask or another (for protection, indeed).
4. Who knows you warts and all?
My closest friends. They know who they are. And my family, perhaps.
5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.
Barber's Adagio sung with an Agnus Dei text. The hymn Amazing Grace. Chopin's nocturnes. Lots of music moves me for different reasons. Listening to certain pieces of music with people - especially in live performance - is an extraordinarily strong experience for me. There's nothing quite like it.
04 September 2008
Things I am thinking at this moment:
1. I *think* I might be getting a cold. But I'm not sure. So I will try to get a lot of sleep tonight.
2. The only problem with #1 is that I really want to finish the books I'm reading this week (the Twilight series). They are a fast and easy read, and Stephanie Meyer knows how to write a captivating story. Even if I *do* find myself irritated with the main character at times, I think it's because I'm sucked-in (pun definitely intended) and invested in their relationships. It's also quite interesting to see how these particular books affect me in a way. Not sure what it is just yet.
3. And just to balance things out, literature wise, I'm going to read The Idiot next. There's nothing like a good juxtaposition of Young Adult Vampire fiction with intense Russian literature.
4. I am looking foward to a college friend's visit this weekend. We're going to the symphony & the de young musuem. Too much culture and she is the perfect friend for these adventures, as we were both music majors & both studied art during our adventures abroad.
5. I'm also looking foward to seeing Rona this evening for drinks at the new Mini Bar on divis.
6. I *also* get to see my friend The Queen this weekend to belatedly celebrate her birthday. I've not seen her in a long time - since my birthday, I think, so that will be fun, too.
7. And yet, this all brings me back again to #1, with the hope that I'm not *really* getting a cold. But I always one to leave that admission to the very last minute. ack. Here's hoping . . .
03 September 2008
Posted by MezzoCO at 12:48 AM
01 September 2008
Days of vacation: 10
Miles logged in Ford Excursion rental: approximately 1,200
Not including: 160+ miles on a bus
Grizzly bears: 5
The peak of Denali: twice
Arctic chipmunks: tons
Willow Ptarmigans: 2
Mosquito bites: 1
Beautiful panoramas: infinite
Old, bearded fishermen: infinite
Espresso joints in every town, outpost or wide spot in the road: minimum 2 each
Batmobiles: 1 (just a few miles from new VP Candidate Sarah Palin's hometown)
Giant Ice Cream cones: 2
Ted Stevens 2008 signs: 100+
National parks visited: 2 (Denali & Kenai Fjords)
Hikes taken: 3
Pounds of fish:
Caught by family: 58 (halibut, silver salmon, cod & rockfish)
Being sent (frozen) to our house: 30
Consumed by family: too many delicious pounds to count
Bottles of wine purchased by family: 15
Microbrews tasted: at least 6
$5.38/gallon just outside of Denali National Park
$4.38/gallon everywhere else
Trips to the ER: 1
Sea shells: 3
Books on moose (for dad): 2
Postcards: couple dozen
National Park stamps for passport book: 4
Long-sleeved t-shirts: 2
Average hours of daylight/day: 16
Average hours of sleep/night: 9
Road-tripping up and down Alaska with the family: PRICELESS