Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Toyland, Toyland


brookeshouldercrop
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
So as I may have mentioned before, for now I have to post a picture whenever I blog. The pictures that I take most often are headshots, so I've decided that rather than posting random pictures of owls and such, I'll post some of the headshots that I've been taking.

I'm not able to post as frequently, as I've begun rehearsals for Babes in Toyland. Such fun to return for a while to singing as my day job. Returning to it now (again), I am struck by the fact that I am now a grown person dressing up and dancing with human toys....

Such fun. I'm also now really excited about Christmas, which we're not allowed to say in the show. We have to say "the holidays." Naturally, a couple people have slipped and whenever it happens, someone ends up screaming. It's just like the secret word on Pee-Wee's Playhouse, remember that? Someone says "Christmas" and then a bell rings and people run all around with their arms flailing.

I am discovering things about opera on this gig. Alot of my colleagues are from musical theater, one in particular has just finished a tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and it's been lovely talking with him, and seeing some unusual opera traditions through his eyes. The conductor for the production is a classical conductor-- in opera, the conductor usually runs the show. Everyone defers to him, and he has final say on everything. If the whole thing is staged and he decides that he needs everyone 15 feet downstage, it happens. If he decides that he doesn't want the soprano to stand where she's standing, she is moved. That's that. We also refer to him solely as "Maestro" sometimes "Maestro last-name-here" but that's the extent of it. It didn't occur to me how strange this must seem to those outside of the tradition.

I wonder if in musicals they call you to the stage by your first name or character name or how it's done.... In opera they refer to you as Mr. Last name or Ms. Last name. I'll have to ask him.

In the mean while, I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving, and begin to prepare a lovely..... CHRISTMAS :::::AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH::::::: hee hee...

Don't you want to work with her?


brookesmilecolor, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

So friendly :)

Brooke's final retouches!


brookeshouldercolor, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

So glamorous! :)

Closeup


brookeshouldercrop, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

Black & white version


brookeshoulderbw, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Headbangers and Chicken Bones or "God bless the ipod"


black nails
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
This morning I was running a *tad* late. Juggling a full-time "day job" with several other part time jobs just gets in the way of a well-timed commute some times. Actually, whether or not I depart in a timely fashion in the morning has everything to do with whether or not I have to wash and style my hair. Let's be honest. This is a mighty undertaking, and I prefer to take care of it at night, but there are times that this doesn't occur, and then *this* happens:

I forced myself onto a too-crowded L train this morning, when I saw a little spot of room just inside and to the right of the closing doors. How lucky I thought I was. I got in there and had the usual sensory assault of smells and sounds. The Russian woman directly to my left must have just bathed in cheap cologne (yes cologne, not perfume.) It, was of course, impossible not to notice the headbanger directly to my right since he was, well, headbanging. Also (like many others on the train every morning) his i pod was blasting loudly enough for most to hear. I figured he was the reason that the spot was open. No one wanted to risk it.

As it turns out, the reason that the spot was empty probably had more to do with the pile of chicken bones that were at the feet of the person sitting directly in front of me. (I was standing.) The train was almost too crowded for me to even look down, but once I finally could, I noticed the small pile of bones and tracked it back to a sleeping man (? I couldn't tell because the person was all covered up with a giant coat.)

I have become a bit compulsive in the examination of people's hands/fingernails on the subway. This is a new development and I have tried to stop myself, but I can't look away. It started when someone who was holding on to the same pole as I was sneezed into his hand and then grabbed the pole again. I just stared at his hand imagining all the germs that he was transmitting, and wondering if they would run down the pole onto my hands. It never stops. I look at everyones hands now on the subway and imagine all of the terrible (and germy) places they've been.

Today's subject of obsessive scrutiny was in a bad way all around, but the fingers were particularly bad, of course dirty (particularly under the fingernails) still greasy from the chicken, and twitching a bit from sleep. I had just long enough to fixate on them when the person woke up and resumed eating the chicken. A few minutes later he/she dropped a greasy chicken bone on my foot. That was when I no longer appreciated the humor in the situation .

There's nothing like a greasy chicken bone on your boot first thing in the morning to completely ruin the charm of psychotic compulsions, cologne-bathed Russians and head-bangers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"They sing choruses in public--That's mad enough, I think"

I am memorizing a scene from Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan (my favorites!) I don't know how many G&S fans there are out there (holla!) but I LOVE it. I seriously do. There is nothing funnier to me. I die a little each time I read the libretto to Ruddigore. It kills me with hilarity that Mad Margaret's secret word to recall her sanity is Basingstoke. Can I explain it? no. I cannot.

The only thing that may be funnier than the Chorus of Professional Bridesmaids in Ruddigore may be the Sausage Roll Chorus in the Grand Duke. (you must eat a sausage roll, a sausage roll)

If ever one day I go a-missing, you will find me somewhere in a coastal town in Maine rallying townsfolk for a Gilbert & Sullivan Society. We will be in a town hall throwing buckets of water and dancing a horn-pipe. Here's the dialogue:

ROSE. A maiden, and in tears? Can I do aught to soften thy sorrow? This apple – (offering apple).

MAR. (Examines it and rejects it.) No! (mysteriously) Tell me, are you mad?

ROSE. I? No! That is, I think not.

MAR. That’s well! Then you don’t love Sir Despard Murgatroyd? All mad girls love him. I love him. I’m poor Mad Margaret – Crazy Meg – Poor Peg! He! he! he! he! (chuckling).

ROSE. Thou lovest the bad Baronet of Ruddigore? Oh, horrible – too horrible!

MAR. You pity me? Then be my mother! The squirrel had a mother; but she drank and the squirrel fled! Hush! They sing a brave song in our parts – it runs somewhat thus: (sings)
“The cat and the dog and the little puppee
Sat down in a – down in a – in a –”
I forget what they sat down in, but so the song goes! Listen – I’ve come to pinch her!

ROSE. Mercy, whom?

MAR. You mean “who”.

ROSE. Nay! it is the accusative after the verb.

MAR. True. (Whispers melodramatically.) I have come to pinch Rose Maybud!

ROSE. (Aside, alarmed.) Rose Maybud!

MAR. Aye! I love him – he loved me once. But that’s all gone. Fisht! He gave me an Italian glance – thus (business) – and made me his. He will give her an Italian glance, and make her his. But it shall not be, for I’ll stamp on her – stamp on her – stamp on her! Did you ever kill anybody? No? Why not? Listen – I killed a fly this morning! It buzzed, and I wouldn’t have it. So it died – pop! So shall she!

ROSE. But, behold, I am Rose Maybud, and I would fain not die “pop.”

MAR. You are Rose Maybud?

ROSE. Yes, sweet Rose Maybud!

MAR. Strange! They told me she was beautiful! And he loves you! No, no! If I thought that, I would treat you as the auctioneer and land-agent treated the lady-bird – I would rend you asunder!

ROSE. Nay, be pacified, for behold I am pledged to another, and lo, we are to be wedded this very day!

MAR. Swear me that! Come to a Commissioner and let me have it on affidavit! I once made an affidavit – but it died – it died – it died! But see, they come – Sir Despard and his evil crew! Hide, hide – they are all mad – quite mad!

ROSE. What makes you think that?

MAR. Hush! They sing choruses in public. That’s mad enough, I think! Go – hide away, or they will seize you! Hush! Quite softly – quite, quite softly!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I will not buy anti-embollism stockings for my birthday


Vintage Birthday Card
Originally uploaded by sunset flame
I have a gimpy right foot. My mom says that it's because of soda (or at least that's why hers is/was gimpy.) I very seriously considered this as a possibility, imagining that the bubbles from my Diet Coke are somehow inflating my foot. I don't know if there's any science at all behind this, but I can see it. I must be growing up a bit, since I will now actually consider that my mom may say one or two things that are true. It sounds like I'm a terrible kid. I'm not terrible. Just cautious after being told that:
1. Chocolate was actually dog poop
2. I was actually born a monkey in a traveling circus, but she adopted me, shaved me off and raised me as her own.

There are many many more of these lovely tales, as well as additions from my brothers (who only recently found out that yes, there are eggs in egg noodles.) I feel they are best told in person, though if I'm ever low on material, I will try to flesh them out here. (If mom says it's OK. She says that I tell lies about my childhood. I say that liver with ketchup does NOT taste just like steak.)

Anyway. back to the anti-embolism stocking. I went to the Duane Reade after work on Wednesday to buy what my podiatrist referred to as a "support sock" since the last time I flew my foot nearly tripled in size. I decided against buying it because
A. it was called an "anti-embolism stocking." I categorically refuse to buy an anti-embolism stocking for my 30th birthday.
B. it was $37!! Let me say that I would gladly buy it if, god forbid, it was deemed medically necessary. but darned if I will use my tiny weekly budget to buy a medical stocking on my birthday.

Instead, Ashley took me out to fabulous dinner at Tamarind and we went to Sephora and to Forever 21, where the irony of shopping at Forever 21 for my 30th birthday did not escape me. After a slight twinge, I decided that it was far preferable to the anti-embolism stocking.
ALSO not to gush, but Ashley surprised me with a wonderful eye-shadow palatte and I felt the unsurpassed glee of a little girl. If I look particularly happy and sparkly eyed these days, we can thank her.

I also went to sunny Florida to visit Drake, where several wonderful things happened!
1. Alissa baked me a delicious cake
2. I saw a birthday dolphin and exclaimed (even though I was by myself) "Look! A dolphin!! It's my dolphin! It's my birthday dolphin!!"
3. I met a lovely toothless spa-owner in a wine shop who wanted to "use" Drake at his spa (presumably as a hair model?) He told us about his new space which used to be infested by rats but is now gorgeous and kind of broke my heart when he said that he knew "it was going to work out this time." He begged us to stop by before we returned to NYC "You know, just for a little arm massage or something."

You know. Just a little arm massage. in a lovely space that was heretofore infested by rats.

The tagline on his card was "Let us create art on the canvas which is you."

I will have no art created on me, thanks. And I will have no anti-embolism stocking either. And no liver, thanks.

Sarasota photo shoot


maria-8598, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

I was in Sarasota this weekend for my birthday and brought some equipment to do a session with Maria-- Here's one of my faves for her session. We were worried at first that we might be abandoned by the Florida sun on Saturday, but after a quick rain (AND a dolphin-sighting!) the sun returned and we got some wonderful light.

I wish I could have a little patch of Florida to shoot in all the time...
Also, a dolphin.

so lovely!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No amount of mental-rehearsal could have prepared me for this

So as I mentioned, I had the second half of a root canal yesterday. I thought that the worst part was over from my last visit and that they were just going to put in the permanent filling and I would be on my way. no no no. but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start a bit earlier in the day...

... when I called Drake in a terrible panic and asked him to distract me with his plans for my birthday cake. He said he had no plans yet and I panicked further and said, DRAKE! it's in two days!! and he says that he *didn't* snap back "I'll take care of it!" he just said it. But I interpreted snapping and that was the first time I cried that day. poor poor Drake....

When I got to the Dentist's office I promptly asked the nurse if I could listen to my ipod, and she asked the dentist and he said yes (YES!!) Life was much much better with the ipod, I'll say that right now.
I had "mentally rehearsed" this appointment, and rehearsal included my bravery/distraction during the novacaine shot, my tolerance of the new filling, and my miserable self-pity at home lounging on the couch later. If only.....

Have you had a root canal? I think that he built a tiny campfire in my mouth... that's all I can think of. I refuse to do any "actual research" about what comprises the "actual process" of a root canal for fear that I see "actual pictures." At one point, when I was left to "process chemicals" I realized how absurd I must look-- sitting upright with the mouth protector (which felt more like the mouth-invader or the mouth-stretcher or the mouth-violator) and knitting a tea cozy. I have never felt more absurd. There I was, listening to "I wish I had an evil twin" by The Magnetic Fields and knitting a tea cozy. No big whoop. Nothing unusual here....

So the tiny campfire. I opened my eyes a couple times (why??? why did I do it!?) and saw a series of what looked like tiny match sticks going into my mouth/tooth. There were probably 20 of them. Did he take them out? are they still in there? Did he burn them and actually make a campfire in my mouth protector? There was definitely smoke. I saw it several times. I didn't panic outwardly. I was afraid that if I did the fire might spread.

I will not go into any further detail, but I encourage you, if you have not had a root canal before and are suddenly surprised with one, to ask someone to tell you about it so that you can mentally rehearse. Cause I sure didn't see this coming. It's probably for the best, because my pre-performance panic would have been something fierce and wrathful.

I don't expect however, that yours will end as summarily perfectly as mine did. After the Mouth Protector was removed, I couldn't close my mouth on my own anymore-- (I think it's like when your arm falls asleep and you have to pick it up with your other arm, and you can play the whole "why are you hitting yourself?" game.) He closed my mouth, and I must have looked totally traumatized, because he said "I know that's uncomfortable, but I have to do it that way and here's why"

And I'm not joking when I tell you that he picked up a very large syringe and held it centimeters from my nose. I'm not sure what effect he was trying to provoke, I think he wanted me to smell it. He said it smelled like bleach. I couldn't smell anything because I was starting to lose my hearing and my heart was trying to escape the room. I managed to say "Um, why are you poking my greatest fear in my face?" and he must have thought I was joking, because he DID IT AGAIN! and said "what, you don't smell that?" And to my credit, I think because of the absurdity of the situation, I didn't faint. Instead I said, "look, we've done so well thus far, you need to put that back on the table before I faint and knock out all your hard work."
Know thyself.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't wear anything you wouldn't want to be cut out of.


Dog Training
Originally uploaded by George Eastman House
I'm going to the dentist today to have the work on my root canal finished. There is nothing in the world that I wouldn't do to get out of it and have the work magically completed when I wake up in the morning.

I never had problems with the dentist until a few years back but since then I've been a big ball of anxiety every time I have to go. A few weeks back I had a root canal, and after warning him that I'm a fainter (as it were) I proceeded to curl up into the tiniest ball as he gave me the novacaine shot. I then got a terrible cramp in my foot and despite all of my bending and stretching throughout the entire procedure, I couldn't stop the cramping. until the moment he was finished.

Which leads me to the fact that I cause myself distress for no apparent reason. Or do I do it for story fodder? Do I bring these events upon myself so that I can have a humorous self-depricating anecdote later (once I gain perspective)? Just so you know, nothing funny whatsoever is going to happen this afternoon. I will go home and change my sweater (in case I faint and the EMS needs to cut it off of me *see above*.) Then I will go to the dentist where nothing remarkable will happen.

I will get a shot, and he will fill my tooth. I will not twitch oddly while this happens, I will not trigger any involuntary muscles, accidentally punching or knocking things over is right out. I will walk home and eat a smoothie and it will be delicious. I will not even bite my tongue or cheek. Nor will I have any terrible misunderstanding while trying to communicate with anyone while my mouth is numb.

Just thought I'd let you know so that there are no expectations.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like....

.... my 30th Birthday!

Under the current blogging system, I must include a picture with every post, hence the awkward transition between picture and entry. Just putting that out there. Also, I cannot wait to get these stockings out from the hall closet and hang them back on the fireplace where they belong. They maybe my favorite things that I've ever knit. (Also my first felted project!)

Well, there is much to be said about my approaching landmark birthday. I am excited and not anxious at its approach. 30, huh? that seems great to me. I've been thinking lately about writing out some of my favorite stories from childhood, and will try for the next few days (before the trip to Florida!) to do that. Here's one that came up a few times this weekend...

When I was young, I was constantly terrified that I would be abducted. I had no reason to be fearful of this. I think that I just really took the warnings of McGruff and of The Fonz to heart when I was watching Stranger-Danger-type infomercials in the early 80s. In any case one day, mom sent her friend Jean to pick me up from pre-school. This is someone who I saw at our house countless times, and who I knew by name. I greeted her when she pulled up in the car. I waved and I smiled! But when I found out I was supposed to get in the car I refused because she didn't have a password.

The teacher called my mother and told her the situation and when they put me on the phone with her mom asked me what the password was, since we had never talked about it. Of course I couldn't tell her on the phone since that would ruin the whole point. OBVIOUSLY.

I was also frequently convinced that there were thugs circling our building. One time my cousin Christine slept over after babysitting me and was quietly listening to my only tape Stevie Wonder's In Square Circle. The sound bled from the headphones, and not knowing that she was listening to it, I woke up my mother to make her look outside. I pictured a bunch of teenagers leaning up against the wall of our house smoking cigarettes with their boom-boxes turned down low so that we wouldn't hear them.

It's funny when I actually force myself to re-imagine the people that I was afraid of when I was little. For the most part, the mental image is of the bullies in Karate Kid. You know, the ones that chased Ralph Macchio out of the Halloween Party when he was dressed as a shower? Them and the evil creatures in The Dark Crystal that sucked the life blood out of the cute little fuzzy creatures. They were a big threat, and if you get into a car without a password, they will undoubtedly get you.

meh.


Sock #1 (?)
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
here is finished sock #1 (on swollen ankle).
I finished it with a picot bind off which I love, but which rolls. Of course I haven't blocked it yet.

Thinking that I might pull out down the ankle, increase every 5 stitches and rework in a k5 p1 rib. I don't want the sock to be any smaller in the ankle/leg, but I think it wants ribbing.

Any sock-sters out there with advice?

In case you were wondering what can come up the drain in NYC


Octo-squid
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
I improvised this octo-squid (Drake says that it is neither and both) this summer. Used the leftover yarn from Lila's Tomten Jacket

Just finally took pictures of it this weekend on my first day off since September! ahhhhh.....

Work is moving along nicely on the super secret project which must not be named. Pics will be up as soon as it is shipped off to its recipient.

Swinging from a lampost at the corner of the street...


joncp-8119, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

This weekend in central park.

Doesn't it seem like the fall will last forever in NYC right now? I sure hope it does...

Don't get me started.....


april-4465, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

I can't believe that it's taken me months to post some of my favorites from April's session. Isn't this lovely?? She has a gorgeous voice, first of all (lyric sop). So warm and rich. We sang together at Des Moines, and one of the great tragedies of the summer was having to miss her Thais scene in order to get my hammer-pants on in time for my Italian Girl scene. Alas... ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let it now be made official


toyland
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
I've been sitting on this one for a while, waiting to sign a contract in the wake of what has been a pretty intense shaking of the economic world. So sad to hear that some of the regional opera houses are being forced to close their doors.

I just signed the contract today to appear in Victor Herbert's "Babes in Toyland" with The Little Orchestra Society at at Lincoln Center. This is for two performances on December 13th.

My mother has already rented a bus. I'm not kidding. She has rented and filled an entire bus. I can't even imagine the fun that will be had on the Boover-family party bus on the way too and from NYC.... I seriously can't wait to see everybody. This is an updated version, and we only did a preliminary reading of the new script, so I can't really tell yet what it's going to be like. I've met the cast and the production team, and they're all wonderful, so I'm very much looking forward to it.

I have a very special place in my heart for operetta, and I thought I'd die of happy nostalgia when I realized that I get to sing a bit of the "Toyland" song. You'll know it when you hear it. You might not know how you know it, but you will. That's the wonderful part of operetta to me it. I have no idea how some of those songs are part of my consciousness. Actually, come to think of it I have a very good idea. It has an awful lot to do with the countless afternoons spent watching old black and white movies while crocheting with Memere, and it has an awful lot to do with the songs that Pepere used to sing, and which my Mom sang to us.

I hope that my brain gets rid of all of the lyrics to "Bust a Move" and "Walk Like an Egyptian" so that my children can enjoy fond memories of the songs I'll sing to them...

Get tickets here.

Unsolicited attention


Top Hat
Originally uploaded by George Eastman House
Usually, I don't even notice, but this has been special and concentrated attention and I want it to GO AWAY.

I do everything that can to make awkward situations alright. I really try to. Go ahead, say something awkward and (when in top form) I will say something 10 times more awkward to make you feel better. Try this sometime if you haven't seen me do it! I will warn you that it could backfire-- I may inadvertently *do* something awkward that may involve breaking something or spilling. That or pants-ing someone. You've been warned. You're welcome.

So this attention comes in the form of a twice daily visitor to my office area. It started out with general lingering, progressed to awkward banter, and at this stage he walks very quickly by my desk eyes down, and then stops short and says "Oh, hello-- I'm just so busy." and then proceeds with the awkward banter. it's always very awkward.

I don't know if I can properly communicate the awkwardness verbally, since much of this has to do with the comical physicality. The strange dance of ignoring me and then noticing and then trying to figure out how to transition from "looking really busy" to "wanting to talk." This is made all the more interesting since lately I have been actively trying to discourage any talk. I have tried many things;

1. Being on the phone. This doesn't seem to help, he'll just stand there and say "Busy?" then sometimes he will wait, in order to tell me that he has no business reason to be here, and then move on. Blissfully, a couple of times I've been on the phone with my husband and said "OK, I've got to go, love you." This has had no effect.

2. Prominently featuring my wedding photo. Again nothing. It could be that he's near-sighted. We've talked awkwardly about glasses more than once. (He wears them since he has to read so much.) When I started wearing mine he noticed and asked if my eyes hurt.

3. Refusing to make eye contact. That was my tactic today. I just stared at the computer screen and when he said "Hi there" I said "Hi" without looking up. It backfired. He stopped at the desk and said "Oh, I'm sorry, were you talking to me? I couldn't tell cause you didn't look up" ACKKKKK!!! just leave me alone! (is what I silently screamed.)

I am confounded by this situation because usually I find awkward people wonderful (being one of them myself) and do everything I can to keep them around to see what will happen next. I guess in this situation the awkwardness is predictably mundane. I must do away with it somehow. I'm considering a gross prosthetic facial deformity.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recording today!


Celia's Owl
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
Well, after work I am off to Chelsea Studios to make a recording. Every year we need to do new ones, and the time is nigh upon me. This year's fare:

1. O mio Fernando from La Favorite by Donizetti. This is the most beastly thing I've ever sung, and by beastly I mean awesome. It has everything an aria needs. Drama and screaming high-notes abound it. I love it.

2. Orlofsky's Aria from Die Fledermaus. This is standard fare for me. I've been singing this aria since I first did the role in 2004, so much fun. Getting to play an eccentric Russian prince gives me the license to do fun and crazy things. I never get bored with this aria.

3. En vain pour eviter from Carmen. This has been my starter aria for the last couple years. It is my favorite of the Carmen arias because it seems to me to be the aria where she is most herself. In the Seguidilla and the Habanera she is totally working it. You know those girls who are totally different whenever there are men around? Carmen is one of them. It's great fun for me to sing this because it's so raw and honest and she's confronting her fate in a very defiant way. Opera doesn't get any better than this, in my humble opinion

4. Lucretia's Aria from The Rape of Lucretia. Had a great session on this this summer during my apprenticeship at Des Moines. Historically, this one has been tricky because I get too involved and when I cry I lose most of my chest voice (which is not good for this one). I've been focusing more on technique lately, and plan on singing this one with the music to avert this problem for now.

In case you're wondering what the owl has to do with this post; nothing. I just think it's super cute, and it lives with my friend Celia now. I may do a couple more for Christmas this year, although the cork elves (more soon...) do have my heart.

ALSO! Sock number 1 is finished! I'm not allowing any pictures until I at least cast on sock #2, lest I abandon them entirely and carry on through the winter with just one sock.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We're so lucky....


BarackObama
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
Seriously, aren't we?

It was so funny and charming and wonderful when he told his girls that they'd finally get a new puppy. I felt like *I* was getting a puppy. I guess that's what's so great about this campaign/election-- Mr. O is very empathetic and it's easy enough to empathize with him. His joy is ours now! how ridiculously lucky.

So I'm sure that we all have election stories to share-- here's mine.
I spent the evening with some wonderful friends from college and I fed my nervousness. :) I ate and ate until the election was called at the end of the night. It was so great to be in NYC for this election, it was really electric. I'm sure that there was tons of great energy elsewhere too, a big day for everyone!

I left at 10:30, so sleepy from the early voting wake-up call, and deciding that if I didn't go then, I'd probably be there all night (happily! but, exhaustedly....) When I got out of the subway, I heard screaming outside of the station, and literally within minutes people completely flooded the streets. Traffic had stopped, and people were beeping their horns and running out of buildings, I heard on someone's blaring car radio that "John McCain had just called to concede the election"

It was so exciting!! people were all over the place just screaming with joy-- I went inside, but spent a while out on the landing listening to the screaming and honking and fireworks-- I held up the phone so Drake could hear it. Things were much more tame in Florida...

Everywhere I've gone today I've overheard bits of conversation ..."and when he took Florida, I had to pinch myself"... "I know I *acted* nervous about it yesterday, but I knew he'd win"....

It's so wonderful and inspiring to see the change in people's attitude in just one day. It really does feel like anything is possible.

I think I want a puppy too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted. Now where's my sticker.


It ain't easy...
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
I woke up at 6am and walked myself to the "Swingin' 60's Center" (I am not joking. That was my polling location).

I lived in Louisiana during the last presidential election in 2004, and that was the first time that I voted in an actual voting booth. Before that it was absentee ballots for me. The voting booth in Brooklyn was so old!! It involved levers and switches. I felt like somehow I was not voting, but actually controlling the New York City Transit System.

There were many great things about the Swingin' 60's Center. First, it was run by many wonderful Brooklyn retirees who were old enough to say things like "now seal that up yourself, because otherwise we could change your vote. That's tempting, but I don't want to do that!"

Also there were two ladies looking for my name in the big book of registered voters. After they found it, one of them (who must have done this before) said "Now, in a case like that, if we hadn't found it, you would maybe look under 'Alma' since her name is unusual." That tickled me.

It was a perfect morning. Except that my favorite coffee place Gimme! Coffee was not open! What the heck!? Aren't coffee shops supposed to be open at 6am? what's the point of coffee.

Also, they didn't have the "I voted today!" sticker. Is it wrong that I wanted one? Someone else asked about them, thank goodness, because I would have felt like a two year old. Maybe I wouldn't have wanted it so badly, but that a cabbie yelled "Don't forget to vote!!" at me on my way to the polling center. I want to proclaim that I've done my civic duty, so that people don't yell at me. And I want to do it with a sticker.

Monday, November 3, 2008

OK! Last one, I swear!


Pratyush
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
(I can only blog one photo at a time with my current methodology...)

An artist and his work


An artist and his work
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
One more.

Prabha's house!


Prabha cooking
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
I went out to New Jersey this weekend to visit my friend Prabha and her family. We had so much fun! Her son Pratyush is 4 years old and is the cutest child. (see below and above) We read books, we made scarves (ha ha) we played soccer, we went shopping, AND! Prabha and Praveen fed me millions of tasty things.

The picture is of Pakora which is batter dipped vegetables (green tomatoes! :) Isn't that the best pan you've ever seen? I am very enthusiastic about that pan. It is deeper than a wok and perfect in every way. Prabha said that I could get one in Little India. On this trip we drove through, but Pratyush was sleeping, so we drove a little further to do some shopping.

I wanted to go trick-or-treating, but Pratyush wouldn't let me, because it was already November and I didn't have a costume, so we painted instead. It was a whole lot of fun. Their home was so beautiful and colorful, and not at all beige.

Prabha said that she tried to make all the food as un-Indian as possible, which made me laugh. I told her that I had been drinking milk and having thoughts of curry all day. Can't wait to go back for another visit (next time with Drake!)

Speaking of Drake, I'll ask him to cover his ears for tomorrow's entry in which I tell about the rapper I met on the PATH train. (I'm trying to come up with a pseudonym to use for him... I don't want screw up his google results with my blog about knitting and opera )

I can't help it! People talk to me all the time. I think it's because of my overbite. I always look like I'm smiling...

Pratyush


Pratyush
Originally uploaded by Alta Marie
Could he possibly be ANY cuter?? Drake asked me if he was a "professional." He really could be, Prabha. If you want to surrender his childhood to the modeling industry... :)

Seriously.

Headshot session with Lucas


lucas-6816, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

Lucas and I went to Eastman together. Since then much has changed and much has not. He is no longer swinging dinner ingredients into my apartment window via a self-rigged pulley system made of my brother's tiny cowboy hat and telephone wire. He is, however still singing like a rock star and taking it global. Here's one of my faves from his session (unedited). More to come very soon....

Catch him if you can stateside as Don Giovanni in New Orleans or Santa Fe. Many many more to come, I'm sure!

Glorious!


megan-7263, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

Megan and I did a studio session before we met up with John in the park for his headshots and for their engagement session. I LOVE her pics.
Here's one of my favorites, again pre-editing-- look at those eyes!

Love the tie!


John-7460, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

Here's one of my fave's from John's headshot session. In addition to loving the session, I spent a great deal of time loving the tie.... I studied it intently, a replica will soon grace the photo pages of my "finished objects" gallery
This is unedited. just natural great face :)

Engagement session


John & Megan, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

John and Megan just moved up to NYC from Texas this fall. Megan is at MSM and is a very fun and spunky mezzo. (Did I just use the word spunky? yes. yes I did.)

We trotted about Central Park on a gorgeous fall Sunday. The day after John and his choir participated in the Bernstein Mass at Carnegie Hall. Here's one from their session... many more to come, or follow the link.