Saying No – Guest Post

Hey everyone- Today’s post is from a blogger that is pretty amazing at everything, Lori O., aka In Pursuit of It All.

(Note: this is super late in being posted. Again, life got super hectic for me. But better late than never, right? 🙂 )

It’s not like I could say no.

When Mitch asked if I’d share a blog post to celebrate his blogoversary, how could I refuse? He is, after all, the official Sassy Gay Friend of the Court.

We monarchs must offer the occasional boon to the courtiers.

Here, the not-saying-no thing is great. It means I get to write something fun.

But there are other times when my inability to say No gets me in trouble.

The set-up with my best friend’s date’s older brother? Shoulda said no. Shoulda run away screaming, but ‘no’ would have been a good start.

Taking the health class I didn’t need because my friend didn’t want to be friendless? Should have said no. The teacher used a diaphragm as a Frisbee.

I could have said No to the smoking roommate in college. Although to be fair, it wasn’t the smoking that was the bad part, it was the tantrums and the live-in boyfriend in the 10X10 dorm room.

Then there was the time I was asked to supervise the new intern. The one who then showed me his medical marijuana clearance. In a hospital. I’ve got no problem with people who need to medicate, I’ve got no problem with doing it herbally. I don’t want the patients left in the elevator because the intern needed a Twinkie. Becoming a little more intimate with No then would have been a damned good idea.

I could have said No when the saleswoman said, “That orange sets of your complexion.” Or when the cosmetics girl said, “Dark gray eyeshadow is good for evenings AND the office!”  Or when the shoe salesguy said, “You just need to get used to the feel of walking in stilettos.” I should have made No my buddy then. I’d be richer and have fewer back problems.

I need to be a little less afraid of No. Because if I could just be a little bolder, I might find myself with a few extra dollars, a couple extra hours and with a few less bruises from hitting my head against the wall while saying, “Why on earth did I agree to this?”

Which then means less spackling and painting.  I’d say that’s all good.

A Jubilant Song (coming soon to ears near you)!

Hey everyone – I apologize for the time between posts, life has been a little hectic recently. However, I am super happy to announce that I am in the process of commissioning a new piece (by NYC composer Clint Borzoni) for an international recital I am putting together for 2013, and I need your help in doing so.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/192615499/a-jubilant-song-coming-your-way-soon

After hearing some of Clint’s songs, I decided that I wanted to commission a new setting of Walt Whitman‘s A Jubilant Song, and have the world premiere of this piece on my upcoming international recital tour that will occur in 2013.

I first heard Clint’s music last year, when bass-baritone Tim Hill was commissioning a set of Walt Whitman songs (that are quite lovely). What attracts me to Clint’s music is the way that he uses harmonies in new and unusual ways, but still keeping the vocal line stunningly beautiful. To find out more about Clint, google “Clint Borzoni” or go to http://clintjborzoni.com. Do both…Clint does not “toot his own horn” as much as he should on his personal website (another reason to like this guy and his writing!)

The money that I am raising goes towards the cost of Clint’s commission fee, the recording studio’s fee & the pianist’s fee for playing the recording session. The catch with kickstart is that I must raise my goal, or I get none of the pledges. So, it is imperative that I raise at least $550.

If you are interested in helping Clint & I create new repertoire for the amazing art that is song, and I hope you are(!), it is all documented

here.

Any and all donations will be gladly accepted! Thank you for any help you may be giving us!

The Local Girl – Guest Post

Hey everyone- Today’s post is from a blogger that is full of the awesome, Susan Fujiki, aka KungFuPussy. Enjoy this wonderful post about the juxtaposition of a young generation X’er & opera.


Shod in beaten up Doc Marten 8-ups and flannel, I may have appeared less than open-minded to many people as a teenager. Always searching for something to believe in and something to fight for I was the stereotypical Gen-X’r.  I was anti-animal testing, pro- Body Shop and anti- Kate Moss. I listened to loud music, hung out with the wrong crowd and sometimes got into trouble.  As a group, we thought we were different; different from what had come before us and the authority figures currently in front of us. We were going to change the world – but please just wait until we finished our cigarettes and listened to the latest Soundgarden album. As a group I guess Gen-X was different from other groups but as a member of the group we were all one and the same.

Ripped jeans? Yes. Play guitar? Yes. Write angry poetry? Yes. Want to die before you get old? Yes.

Yet, behind my uniform scowl I was a girl with a secret love. A hidden admiration for someone long gone and someone her friends would ridicule her for if they found out. To find what I was looking for I had to be the strange kid who hung out in a cemetery to focus and I hid in a museum to do the same thing. I would listen and smile on the inside as the world continued around me.

No one ever knew, but I loved to lose myself in the voice of Dame Nellie Melba.

I spent the first twenty-two years of my life in a town called Lilydale in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.  If you were looking for action and adventure, Lilydale was not the place to find it. For most people, the most exciting thing about the place was the annual agricultural show. Every November you could eat corn dogs, make out with the ride operators and get drunk as you watched fireworks explode overhead.  For some of us though, there was something else that was more exciting. We shared our home with the memory of opera star Dame Nellie Melba and from an early age her voice intrigued me.

As a child I learnt about Dame Nellie Melba in primary school.  If you lived in the area you couldn’t help knowing who she was. She was an opera singer and also the most important, world famous export the town had ever had. Her Australian home was in Coldstream, the next town over from Lilydale, and was called Coombe Cottage. It was built in the 1800’s and a monumental part of local history. Every time we drove past my parents would say “oh that’s where Dame Nellie Melba used to live”. As a child I wondered what was over the hedges as they were too high to see over. I used to even dream about it, like it was some kind of a secret garden and I had the key to get in.  I dreamt about parties and high society and all sorts of amazing things that may have happened over the walls back in the day.

As I got older and was able to wander about town by myself, I used to visit her grave at the local cemetery. People assumed I was just some crazy Goth kid hanging out amongst the dead but I wasn’t in the cemetery for that. It was local legend that you could hear Dame Nellie Melba sing at her grave so I would sit for hours and do just that. Listen. I’d hear the trees rustling in the wind and the magpies and cockatoos screeching but I’d just focus and concentrate and try to hear her voice. I figured it was all a matter of letting your imagination run wild. And, yes I heard her. I heard her sing to me.

When I was older still I volunteered to work at the historical society after visiting there with school. There was an entire room dedicated to Dame Nellie Melba. It was dusty and antiquated and full of everyday things: plates, menus, gowns, chairs, and sashes – all sorts of stuff. But there was something else; the room played her records.  This was before the internet so it wasn’t as easy to listen to music like hers for the secret fan like me, so I loved to just stand there and listen. When people would ask me why I was working there I would tell them it was because I wanted to work in a museum. That was only partly true. Yes, I did plan on being a curator that was in fact true, but there was also another reason.  I worked there to listen to her sing.

Dame Nellie Melba was talented, famous and lived all over the world, in the end but she chose to be buried in Lilydale with “Addio senza rancore, Farewell without bitterness” etched into her grave. Now, more than 100 years later, I too am a woman who left Lilydale. I left more than ten years ago and I now live in a whole other hemisphere. My life is now so different from that I had as a flannel clad teenager, it feels like I’ve had two separate lives. She chose to go back. I wonder when it’s my time if I will choose to do the same.

It was on this day, 25 years heretofore…

You will have to forgive me, as this entry is a little lot indulgent, and I think, on this day I am allowed to be. So, if this isn’t your thing, or you don’t like photoblogs, which we are today, you may want to come back next week, when we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, today is my 25th birthday! In the process of looking for pictures of my great-aunt for her memorial service this weekend, I came across a lot of pictures of my childhood. Turns out, I was one pretty adorable kid. I originally took these pictures to show the Boif and thought, in honor of my birthday, I would do a post highlighting the good and bad pics from the past. So… ENJOY!

Brotherly love
The pictures below are from the early years of Jason & I. Pretty much, we’re cute together.

enjoying our time in the Redwood forest

this must have been before he dropped me...

 

the picture that mom says is her favorite of the two of us

brother and I, probably around 3rd grade. aren't we adorable?

Sleepy time!

Even now, I have this tendency to fall asleep very easily, whether it be on a short car ride or just watching tv on the couch. Things were not much different back when I was a little one.

sleeping in front of the gorilla statue at the Berlin zoo

sleepy time!

Sleeping again...

The early years

 

these pictures span the months right after birth through right before pre-school. I was a toddler that was full of the awesome.

< 1 yr"

an early showing of my love for soccer

after my first haircut

Bitch, please

workin hard for the money

Hey you guyyys!

for what person does a playground not bring joy?

a habit that would not quit for a while...

I am SO happy, I can't contain myself!

my best NY gangsta face

happy baby!

gettin some water in my short shorts & farmer tan

Mom & Dad + me

looking cute as a sailor (obviously)

Don't cry for me, Argintina (if you don't see this, we may need to re-evaluate our friendship)

Time to get all learned

All of these pictures are my school years, with a few missing.

Pre-school

Pre-school, from the class picture

Gotta love this one (unknown age)

unknown age

1st grade

What a delightful picture...We have no idea what it was for

1st grade

4th grade (in my favorite Lion King shirt)

4th grade

4th grade class picture

5th grade (I don't know what's going on with that shirt or my chipmunk smile...

5th grade (love the hair, right?)

6th grade class photo

6th grade (looking like a powdered Ethiopian, weighing in at a whopping 59 lbs)

7th grade

8th grade

Unfortunately, that is where our stroll down memory lane ends. Thanks for joining me on this pleasant journey. Sad for you (but great for me), there weren’t many bad pictures; only the 5th grade sticks out in my mind…

Ciao,

Your favorite 25 y/o tenor

This bad blogger turns over a new leaf. Also: an update

So, let me first apologize for the lack of posts since August. I have been a bad blogger. The “London” post has been in the works for quite a while, but the time after I got back from London to now has been an *interesting* time. I got a job at the beginning of September where I didn’t have the free time that I thought I would have, like at my last job.

Speaking of said job, I was relieved of that position on Dec. 2 because they said that “it wasn’t a great fit” (along with some other BS reasons. If you are more curious, email me) and since I was still under probationary time, and they just got rid of me. The only nice thing they did was decide to pay me through the 15th. So, I have been chilling out, staying up late, sleeping in, catching up on my tv shows, and discovering a love of USA Network‘s Psych, getting caught up on all seasons in a week, due to the gloriousness of Netflix. Despite the suckiness of not having a job around the holidays, it has been really nice to not have to work whilst the Boif is here, during his winter break, which sadly ends this Saturday :(.

Musically, the time between London & now has been wonderful. Boheme (Puccini) with Utah Opera was tres fun, especially since last year’s chorus heavy season. I got to do my first Messiah this year and I was selected to do 3 performances (Sam in Floyd’s Susannah, Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen & a Broadway concert) with the Utah Mid-Winter Song Festival later this year.

I think that this just about sums up everything I’ve done since I last posted. London’s blog will be up in a few days, after I get it all prettified. Expect a lot of pictures for that one.

Getting back to being a better blogger…

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog  once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Ciao!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Sydney style! This is a wonderful and quite long display from our friends down under. I especially love the music choices at the end.

Enjoy!

 

ps, [the very overdue] London & [not so overdue] Christmas posts are coming.

Promises, promises

So, I know I promised a more updated blog, but things have been a little hectic.  I am working on one from the 4th of July. It’s pretty epic (and complete with pictures), thus the tardiness. Fear not readers, I have not forgotten [the dozen of] you!