Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rich Cravings

The strangest thing happened to me while I was living in the States. I somehow acquired a taste for really good dark chocolate. I've gone from only eating milk chocolate to preferring 70 to 80% dark. And it has to be the good stuff. The phony darks don't do it for me. I wonder how that happened? Perhaps it was because the cadbury milk chocolate that they had stunk, or maybe they just know how to do dark better, or perhaps it had to do with being surrounded by people who only ate dark. I would really like a piece of that Ghirardelli stuff right now. I wonder if we even have that here. I think it's an American chocolate company cause there's a big eagle on the logo. Perhaps I'll have to take a trip over to Godiva tomorrow to see if their dark is worth splurging on.

Friday, July 20, 2007

How Kelly Feels is how I Feel

The topic of singleness came up last weekend at our female only MasterWorks devotional time. One of the faculty who was in her 50's and had never been married got up and expressed so eloquently and honestly the fact that our society, particularly the Christian culture , sees those who are married as the winners while those who aren't married or never marry are considered the losers. She shared how she constantly has to fight this idea that she's a loser because she doesn't have the "marriage trophy" on her mantle.
I was listening to Kelly Clarkson's new album My December today and was reminded of that praticular winner/loser notion.(Yes I actually like Kelly Clarkson:) I'm so loving the song How I Feel. Boy, do her feelings ever resonate with me. How gutsy and honest of Kelly Clarkson to put this song on the album. It's easy to see singleness as a flaw and it takes so much energy to fight the lie by attempting to convince ourselves and others that we're not losers because we haven't found the right man or aren't on our way to marital bliss.

How I Feel (Kelly Clarkson)

looks like I made a mess again
heartbreak everywhere I step
this fire is getting hot again
but I touch the flame 'cause
I'm a curious cat
creeping where I don't belong
finding out what I knew all along
crying all alone
and it's all my fault, all my fault

yeah, I did it again...again

oh, I'm getting tired of believing
even sicker of pretending
that it's not so bad, just wait it out
oh, I think you're feeding me lies again
the only good man left wasn't him
and that's how I feel right now
so just let me be, let me be.

It seems every time I find a good man
he's got a good little wife
I'm not jealous but I won't lie
I don't want to hear about your wonderful life
and babies everywhere I look
trophy wives with their little black books
at this rate I'm gonna end up alone
it's probably all my fault, all my fault

oh, another dead end: again
oh, I'm getting tired of believing
even sicker of pretending
that it's not so bad, just wait it out
oh, I think you're feeding me lies again
the only good man left wasn't him
and that's how I feel right now

bitter pill that I've swallowed
just how low can my heart sink
fairy tales from so long ago
save them for someone that's not smart enough to know
'cause I, I'm getting tired of believing

I'm through pretending
yeah I'm broken and sad so I'll sit this one out
oh i think you're feeding me lies again
the only good man left wasn't him
and that's how i feel right
now let me be.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another simple piece of paper

(Joy captured the expression on this little girl's face perfectly - just look at her admiring Christy's costume with such awe and dreaming of one day being just like her, so cute!!)

I just found a very special crumpled up American $1 bill in my bag. This dollar bill was given to me by the sweetest little girl after our performance of Traviata the other day. She shyly came to me and told me that she thought I did a really great job and that she wanted to give me a dollar for doing so well. I felt odd taking money from a child but she insisted and looked a little hurt when I told her that I couldn't take it. I ended up graciously taking the dollar and went about introducing her to Denise (Violetta) and Richard (the doctor) who were her other favorite singers and whom she also tipped for doing such a great job. She had to have been about 7 yrs old and was as adorable as ever. She was all dressed up and looked at all of us with such awe. I have to say, that little girl truly made my day!! It made all of the hard work and dramatic rehearsals more than worth it. For me that little girl represented the reason why I sing. Not for the experts, or critics, but for people who appreciate the art for it's genuine beauty and wow factor. When you work at an artistic discipline like singing, it's so easy to lose sight of why we do what we do. So often I worry about what the experts will think rather than the actual audience who is not there to analyze and criticize, but to be entertained, taken on a journey and deeply moved.

I think I'm going to keep this dollar bill, and put it on my piano. It's such a sweet reminder of why I spend so many frustrating hours trying to perfect such a craft. Not for the money(definitely not that:) ,and not for the critics, but for the enjoyment of the real audience.
I have a feeling that in 20 years or so one may just find that little girl from the other night sitting at her very own piano, practicing Ah fors e lui . . . Sempre libera remembering her very first opera experience at the MasterWorks Festival in 2007 :)

A Simple Piece of Paper

It's amazing to me how much a simple piece of paper can come to represent. Today I had to surrender my work visa to the border guard as I crossed the border to come home. I actually got all choked up and started crying when I handed the visa to the guard today. (She probably thought I was nuts.) Of course part of the difficulty in letting it go came from the mere obstacle that it took to get the thing in the first place. Waiting an extra 2 months, it getting lost in the mail and all that drama. My tears weren't really about having to let go of something that was so difficult to obtain. That visa represented for me a journey. A year long journey that God used to change me forever. Represented in that piece of paper is: growth, learning, waiting, faith, faithfulness, courage, disappointment, endurance, perseverance, truth, revelation, cleansing, pruning, pain, trust, discovery, loss, grief, loneliness, sacrifice, love, direction, fear, encouragement, uncertainty, praise and healing. I felt as though I was leaving all of that behind in such a concrete way today, but as I thought about it I realized that really I was leaving nothing behind at all I was really taking so much of an abundance in blessings home with me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - Music Video

This is Aaron "the baron". This guy has fooled us all into believing that he's just another reserved, laid back, low key baritone. But now the hippo is out of the bag, Aaron clearly is one big hammy ham who loves hippos:) How adorable is this video!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sousa Slappin' Granny

This video that I recorded at the annual 4th of July concert in Winona Lake was just too cute to resist posting on youtube:)