Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blogging into the Future

OK so...
as much fun as I've had with the Bucket, I think the time has come to try a new platform.
I've been using A Gibson Girl, on the tumblr platform, for about a week, and I really like it. It's easy to upload web stories, photos, text, quotes--all the stuff I love. Plus the format is much cleaner.
So--I will be moving my blogging over there. If you've got me bookmarked, change it to http://agibsongirl.tumblr.com.
Don't worry, the email (janeandessie@gmail.com) and this blog will remain, although this blog will be mostly for archival purposes. Not sure what I'm going to do with CPG yet.
I'm so glad that y'all have been reading and following my post-tx adventures. There is more to come, so jump over to the new blog, won't ya?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Wrote about it over here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New blog

I know, I have so many....
but check this out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Retreat Journal #4

Up over here
(I'm not abandoning you, really, I've got a bunch of ideas, just no time to write!)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

All In The Family

Me and my godson

Me with Belle (Courtney) and her older sister, Molly (who was in Godspell last year at this school)

L to R: Kelly, Jack, Ryan, Paige, Me, Courtney, Brendan, grandma. :)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The 'Burgh

Today was busy:
1) Lunch, Barnes and Noble and shopping w/ my cousin Kelly
2) Mass and dinner w/ the fam
3) seeing my cousin Courtney's theatrical debut in Beauty and the Beast, Jr., at her school.

Busy, but really fantastic! Here are the books Kelly recommended I get:
1) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (we're gonna read this together)
2) The Bean Trees

Pics of the play coming tomorrow (don't have cord here).
Oh, and the Pens won. Series 3-2 Pens. Going back to Montreal on Monday.

Ain't That a Kick In The Head?

This book (see left).
Yeah, that one. It gave me a big kick in the head the first time I read it. I wanted what those women had so badly.
And then a little voice said, "Well, why don't you try to get it?"
So I asked certain orders if they'd take me.
Nope. I'm too weird.
So I gave up on the idea.
Until recently, when I tried again with these ladies.
And...we're going to give it a whirl!
I'm going to visit them in September for a weekend. (Weekend to be decided. Might not even be in September, might be later int he fall.)

And I re-read this book several times this week. :)
So this might be dangerous reading. But oh is it good. 

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook--May 3, 2010

Outside my window:
A very nice spring evening--low 70s, perfect. Might go sit outside and read after this.

I am wearing: 
my Boden dress in blueberry batik print. My last birthday present from my parents. It was a popular pattern so we have to wait for it to be re-ordered.

I am thankful for:
my friends

I am reading:

From the kitchen:

I am thinking:
That it is so beautiful outside!!

I am creating:
A clean apartment: vacuuming, mopping, running the dishwasher. 

Toward rhythm and beauty: 
Daily prayer; spiritual reading (currently Gospel of Luke)

To Live the Liturgy: 
see above

I am hoping and praying:
for my grandfather; my family members in purgatory; a friend of mine who is about to try his vocation as a Dominican friar.

Around the House:
See above. :) But the bathroom is pretty clean! Woo!
One of my favorite things:
Time with my friends.

A few plans for the week:
T: Voting day
W: Choir
Th: Voice
Friday-Sun: Pittsburgh to see the family

A picture I'm sharing: 
 me and my siblings (Melanie, center, Bryan, right)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Clinic update

I had my regular clinic appointment last Monday, and all was well. The wrap:
  • New needles for port access; mom got it on the first go when she accessed me a few weeks ago with the 1" needle. Apparently port likes 1" needle now, the 3/4" needle is a bit wishy-washy. Besides the fact that the 1" needle looks super-scary when being inserted, it actually lays under the dressing quite nicely and goes in very well. So that's a plus.
  • CXR looks excellent.
  • PFTs also excellent. 62/57, if you're a number person. If not, um...I can't explain what they mean. I think they mean this: the 62% is how much volume I blow out in 1 second, and the 57% is my lung capacity. Course they could be reversed. Either way, much better than pre-tx!
  • Some med changes: I asked for my celexa to be knocked back to 10 mg. We upped it in 2006/2007, when I was in and out of the hospital and we thought it would be better at 20 mg. Which was fine then, but we never knocked it back down. Now I'm back to 10, and liking it so far. Drs. A &K also want to knock down the vfend from 200 mg to 100 mg. Vfend is a strange little drug that very few people take--I get a lot of 'huhs?' when I put it on med lists. It's a pre-tx antibiotic (meaning, I've been on it since, oh 2002? God prescribed it.). I guess since I"m about to hit 5 years, the chance of the bug coming back to cause problems is lessened, so we can knock it down to 100 mg. This makes me happy--the fewer drugs I'm on, the more I like--but it also can affect my tac level, so on the 14th I need to have a blood draw to check all that. Obviously we do not want the tac (one of the anti-rejection meds) messed with. I can't imagine it going any lower, since I'm only on 0.5 mg now, but I guess it could go up. Or maybe nothing will happen and my body parts and systems will all get along!
  • Nothing special planned for the five year, just the normal testing. So sometime in June I get to spend 1 1/2-2 days at Children's being a guinea pig. :) It's not so bad. I get to catch up on my reading and my children's television.

Breakfast time!

OK, if you know me, you know that I am not really a morning person. Sleep is my friend. So that means breakfast is usually a very simple affair--sometimes as simple as coffee and toast.
But this morning, I decided to get a bi creative, and I made these.
These are very, very good. And they take, oh, five minutes. Not kidding.
So, here we are:

Huevos Hyacinth
From The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook

For one:
1 slice ham (thinly sliced)
1 tomato slice, or picante sauce
1 egg
cheese of your liking (I used mexican blend, to fit the theme, but Ree likes crumbly goat cheese)

Turn on the broiler and butter one ramekin.
Place the slice of ham in the ramekin and top with tomato slices or picante.
Gently crack one egg on top.
Sprinkle with cheese. (OK  I did more than sprinkle. I gave it a nice covering.)
Place the ramekin on a baking sheet and slide under broiler. Broil for 4-6 minutes, or until egg yolk is slightly set. If you want it more set (as in, you don't like runny egg), broil for another minute or two.
Eat. :)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Saturday Evening Blog Post--March and April

Elizabeth is doing a twofer this month--March and April. Here are mine: For April, The Easter Pics, and for March, the Wonder of the Guinness Cake (really, I can't link to this enough. )
For more, or to link your own favorite posts, go to Elizabeth's.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Tonight's dinner
And...retreat journal #3 (which definitely deals with food).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Retreat Journal #1

Wondering where I was this weekend?
I'll post more as I write more...so keep checking CPG, or here. I'll cross-link.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday--Vol. XXI

This edition of 7QT brought to you by Caribou Coffee wi-fi. :) (mmm Northern Lite Latte!)

It has been a slooow week. I don't mean it's gone slow, I mean I've felt slow, like I'm moving through syrup. I think the ridiculously high pollen count might have something to do with that, even though I'm not technically allergic to anything. Claritin has been my friend this week. 

No blogging this weekend--I'm going here for a silent retreat. (You may remember I've done one before.) The weather is looking sort of blah, which is too bad, because the grounds are beautiful, but I"m sure it will be a fruitful weekend nonetheless. 

I really do like the silence. If you know me, you may find this hard to believe. But it's so wonderful to take a break from computers, phones, television--noise in general--and attempt to listen to that still small voice.

Books of 2010: No Time To Wave Goodbye (really good), A Thousand Tomorrows (very, very bad). Mother Angelica's advice book, and her book on the scriptures. Also reading Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer, The Eternal Woman (bringing this on retreat) and The King's Good Servant.


Great music stuff this week. I'm singing "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and "Stranger to the Rain" at an open mic event next week. And I joined St. Pat's choir! First up--singing for Confirmation on Sunday. 

A housekeeping note: I do update the tabs on the top of the page, from time to time, so check it out! My vocal repertoire (under 'theater') gets the most updates, but I've also added video and stories about my transplant to the transplant tag.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CF bookshelf: A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury

In general, if I see a book has a CF angle, I try to avoid it.

Usually it's milked for maximum trauma and tragedy, and bears little to no resemblance to actual CF life. This was especially the case with the Lurlene McDaniel books that were so popular when I was in high school. If any of my friends read the ones with the CF characters, I cringed. The biology books were bad enough (so outdated!)--did fiction writers need to make life harder, too?

However, I am always open to being surprised. And I have been--once--with the book A Little Love Story. Not only is it a great novel, but CF is portrayed realistically! And some of the proceeds from book sales go to the CFF, so if you haven't bought it, um, do so.

So that brings me to the book in question, "A Thousand Tomorrows." I was randomly searching the Columbus Metropolitan Library database for CF books, and this popped up.

I general avoid her books, because, based on the plot synopses alone, they are treacly books just a step above the Romance Novel category, meaning we get stock characters doing stock character things (also known as--where Nicholas Sparks' novels are heading). But since CF was in this one, and I was going to the library anyway to check out the Oliver! score, I thought I'd pick it up.

Oh, I was so correct. Not only is it treacly to top all treacly novels, but there is so much tha tis just flat out wrong. The book was published in 2005--the year I got my transplant. So yeah, transplant technology at that time is something I'm pretty familiar with.

The author says in her notes that the inspiration for the book was a little boy on her husband's softball team. She says she talked to families about CF, and she gives information on the CFF. So that's all good.

What's not good is what's in her story. Essentially, the character with CF is used as a redemption device for the real protagonist, Cody, a pissed-off bull rider who's mad that his dad walked out on their family when he was a kid. He has a brother with Downs Syndrome, which is the reason his father left--the typical 'I can't handle it' excuse.

So Cody meets Ali, who rides in rodeos. Of course, this is supposed to be The Worst Thing Ever for her CF. Actually, any sort of physical exertion is good for CF patients; having taken riding lessons right before my diagnosis, I can attest to this! Ali doesn't breathe when she's in the arena because the dust and hay and all that can hurt her lungs. Um, if she was breathing, and exerting herself that way, she'd cough and that would be good. (And, most CF patients who are on the transplant list cannot hold their breath for 18 seconds, like Ali can in the book. Um, no.)

So Ali is admitted to a hospital in Denver after a rodeo, and her doctor springs the transplant discussion on her. Ali is, of course, shocked. Now, OK, in fairness, I was shocked too the first time my docs mentioned it. But Kingsbury's writing just makes this painful to read. Ali needs to be listed for a transplant ASAP. And of course she needs to stop riding. (If you're being listed for a transplant, most everyday things are out of the question. There's NO WAY she could've been riding. NONE.)

Well Ali wants a 'single lung' transplant, which CFers don't even get. What Kingsbury means is a "living lobe transplant", which is where two separate living donors are used to replace two lung lobes. This is generally not a permanent treatment--CFers require double lung transplants. That's a fact. The lobes will just get infected with the bugs from the 'native' lungs.

So after all this medical mumbo jumbo the reader has to digest, we get back to Cody, who loves Ali, who hasn't told anyone about her CF (this is actually accurate). They're in love. Cody wants to be a donor. Cody is a match! (Cue the inspirational music.)

Of course at this point, the story must mention how expensive all this is, how insurance won't cover it , yada yada yada. When you're listed for transplant, you meet with a financial person who works through all your options with you. Most insurance companies have some sort of transplant coverage. Is it capped? Yes (sometimes). Are your options limited,in some cases, as to center? Yes. But there is usually some sort of coverage. This is 2005, not 1985. Transplants are not exactly groundbreaking treatments here. Of course all we get here is the trite father pronoucement that "we will do everything we can to pay for it." (eye roll here)

So anyway. Ali gets her lobes (from Cody and her father). Of course we get the gloom and doom predicitions--only three years! (ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE THESE!) And she's talking, immediately after surgery? Um, no. You're on a ventilator for a few days. Hence, no talky.

And, of course, Ali's lobes reject and she dies. But at least Cody reconciled with his family! Which is really the entire point!

This book made me angry to read. If you've even considered reading it, don't. If you have read it, I'm very sorry you had to endure it. There are so many wrong, wrong, WRONG things in it. Even the terminology is wrong. Ali has a "compression vest", --she means the thAIRpy vest, which she doesn't describe accurately. She talks about Ali having four inhalers but never mentions an aerosol machine, which is what most CF patients use regularly. Inhalers are like a quicky treatment. Honestly, she treats CF more like asthma. Ali's mom does PT on her at one point, and Cody FREAKS OUT, like Ali's being abused or something. I taught one of my pre-tx boyfriends how to do my chest PT for when we spent the weekends at his parents' and I couldn't lug the vest (mine was one of the first ones, and it weighed about 1500 pounds...). It's not that scary, it's not even gross to watch! It's not like Ali's mom was inserting a chest tube.

The whole thing is just DRENCHED in melodrama. And Ali isn't even very likable! She's really bitter about having CF. Of course her sister, Anna, had it too, and of course, Anna died, so Ali is SUPER bitter. I'm not denying that you can get bitter. Heck, it's probably normal. But Ali is of the "ignore it and it doesn't exist" school.

It's so cliche, and so awfully written, that no one should ever, ever pick this up. Instead of doing a service to people with CF, like A Little Love Story does, by protraying us and our lives realistically and truthfully, Kingsbury makes Ali a stock character whose medical drama serves only as a plot point.

If you are interested in GOOD CF books, this is what I can recommend:
A Little Love Story
Breathing For A Living
Cystic Fibrosis: A Guide for Patient and Family (Hardcover)

Or, you can shoot me questions at janeandessie@gmail.com

Fashion Note

Spring is upon us in many parts of the country. That means--flip flops are back.
I sort of hate these shoes.They're good for very few things in life: the pool, the beach, the locker room shower, taking out the trash, or running very brief (like getting gas) errands.

They are NOT appropriate in the office. Ever. At all. Let us all wear real shoes to work, please. These consist of a proper sole and foot covering that's more than a mere thong between toes. Even the most strappy sandals have a heel, and a real, honest-to-god sole.

And if you are walking to work, wear running/walking shoes! Flip flops provide no support, hence the "flip flop" name. But then the Nikes come
off when you are at your desk!

Let's make this simple: If you can wear it in the gym shower, you cannot wear it in the office. 'Nuff said.

(oh, and I don't
care how bedazzled and bejeweled they are. They. Are. Not. Shoes.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recipe The First: Herbal Iced Tea

adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)

4 bags Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea
4 bags C.S. Raspberry Zinger tea
4 cups pure apple juice (I used healthy balance since it's lower in sugar)

Place the tea bags in a pitcher. Boil a kettle of water and pour 4 cups boiling water over the teabags. Let seep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
Add 4 cups apple juice. Chill. Serve over ice.

(Note: In BC's book, she uses regular apple juice, so she doesn't have to add sugar. I thought I'd use the lower sugar apple juice, and if it needs sugar later, I'll add it.)

Belated Birthday Party

I usually celebrate my birthday with my friends the week after my actual birthday, since sometimes my birthday is during Easter or Holy Week, and there's just no time. Normally we go out to eat and then come back to my place for cake and The Birthday Game (sort of like Cranium, but incorporates questions about the Birthday Person). 
This year, we're mixing it up. My friend Aaron  (the food guru who introduced me to Mezzo) suggested we have a pizza party, where we make our own pizzas.
I thought this was a very good idea. So that's what we're doing. Everyone's coming to my place and we shall make pizza.
I'm also making:
  • the Ever Wonderful Guinness Cake,
  • Barefoot Contessa's Herbal Iced Tea, which uses Celestial Seasonings tea bags and apple juice,
  • Tennis Team Salsa (recipe to follow)
  • and this pizza.
Currently the cake is in the oven and water is heating for the tea. The salsa I make right before I serve it, so that can wait. I am cleaning while things bake/cool/chill out.
Pictures and recipes to come...

Organ Donation Editorial

April is Donate Life Month, y'know.
So, if you're not an organ donor, maybe you should ponder it?
(Because you're only reading this fantastic blog because of an organ donor...)

Today's Columbus Dispatch has an editorial about donation. Worth checking out.
And if you want to be an organ donor, you can sign up here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Better Late Than Never...

I have discovered The Pioneer Woman!
And her cookbook!
You have to read the story of how she met and married her husband. I love it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Only Know What I Know

On my facebook page I've been posting a bit about the Oliver! soundtrack. Auditions for a production of the show are in May. Before, oh, a few months ago, I didn't know a whole lot about this show. I knew Consider Yourself and a bit of Food, Glorious Food, but that was it.  I learned "As Long As He Needs Me" as a potential audition piece, but I didn't know how it was set within the context of the musical.

Anyway, now having watched the movie several times, listening to the soundtrack, and working on the vocal selections book, I have a pretty good grasp of the music.

Today's weather was really nice, so I posted "Who Will Buy This Beautiful Morning" as one of my status messages (just that line). This lead to a discussion about the song, and a friend being surprised that I wasn't familiar with Oliver! until fairly recently.

So here's a list of shows I could sing in my sleep: (bold type indicates I've seen it live, italic means I've been in it)
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Les Miz
  • Jekyll and Hyde
  • Parade
  • Miss Saigon
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • The Secret Garden
  • Ragtime
  • Side Show
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Lion King
  • Avenue Q
  • Titanic
  • Gypsy
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • My Fair Lady
  • The Sound of Music
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Evita
  • Into the Woods
  • Wicked
  • Children of Eden
  • Annie
  • Annie Get Your Gun
  • Cinderella
  • The Producers
  • Spamalot
  • The Music Man
  • Fiddler on the Roof 
  • Aida
Ones I know fairly well:
  • Oklahoma
  • The Light in the Piazza
  • The Pirate Queen
  • Carousel
  • Allegro
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Chicago
  • Company
  • Working
  • Love Never Dies (still working on this one)
  • State Fair
  • South Pacific (I know almost all of the songs except for ones like Dites-Moi. Know the title, not the tune.)
  • The King and I 
  •  West Side Story
Ones I'm familiar with (as in, I can sing a few of the big songs, but that's it)
  • Kiss Me, Kate ("Another Op'ning", "I Hate Men", "Brush Up..."
  • Flower Drum Song (The ABHORRENT "I enjoy being a girl")
  • Martin Guerre ("How Many Tears?", etc.)
  • Cats ("Memory", that's it, sorry.)
  • The Little Mermaid (this, and Mary Poppins--I know the movie songs)
  • Mary Poppins
  • A Little Night Music ("Send In the Clowns")
  • Camelot ("The Simple Joys of Maidenhood", "Before I Gaze...", "If Ever...", "Camelot")
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Fantastiks (Who DOESN'T know "Try to Remember"?)
  • Finnegan's Rainbow
  • Brigadoon! ("Waiting for My Dearie")
  • 42nd Street ("Lullaby of Broadway", "42nd Street")
  • Chess ("Someone Else's Story")
  • A Little Princess ("Live Out Loud")
  • A Christmas Carol 
  • Street Scene (which could be considered more opera...)  
  •  A Chorus Line ("One", "What I Did For Love", "Nothing")
  • 1776 ("Sit Down, John"...I would like to know this one better. On the list...) 
  • Hello, Dolly! ("Hello, Dolly!", "Ribbons Down My Back", "Until the Parade Passes By" )
    A short list of ones I know nothing or almost nothing about:
    • Swing!
    • Contact
    • Steel Pier
    • Spring Awakening
    • The Woman In White
    • The Beautiful Game
    • Little Women
    • Merrily We Roll Along
    • 50 percent
    • The Apple Tree
    • The Putnam County Spelling Bee (yeah I know, I shortened the Title)
    • Mamma Mia
    • Jersey Boys
    • Stop the World, I Want To Get Off
    • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (I know "comedy tonight")
    • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
    • Two By Two
    • Zorba

    I know I'm missing some. But really, there's a fair amount of musical theater--especially from the 50s, 60s and 70s--that I know NOTHING about. Any big dance shows are not my thing, because my dancing skills are limited. And any shows without decent alto parts--also limited. So that eliminates a lot of early musical theater.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    The Simple Woman's Daybook--April 12, 2010

    Outside my window:
    Bright and sunny--low 70s. Perfect. My office went out to lunch in honor of my birthday and we ate outside! I could get used to all this al fresco dining.

    I am wearing: 
    gray scoop neck top, a gray heather skirt, and I have kicked off my red flats. :) Oh, and my Tiffany key necklace.

    I am thankful for:
    my friends

    I am reading:

    From the kitchen:
    Quesadillas (tonight), spaghetti (tomorrow), burgers (W). Not sure about the remainder of the week. 

    I am thinking:
    That it is so beautiful outside!!

    I am creating:
    A clean apartment.

    On my iPod:

    Toward rhythm and beauty: 
    Cleaning the tub and bathroom mirror; sweeping/mopping kitchen floor. 

    To Live the Liturgy: 
    He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!!!

    I am hoping and praying:
    for my grandfather. (still)

    Around the House:
    See above. :)

    One of my favorite things:

    A few plans for the week:
    Th: Voice
    Sat.: Birthday dinner w/ my friends!

    A picture I'm sharing:

    The communications office at lunch today.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    My birthday

    Part One: A beautiful day for a symphony concert

    At the Ohio Theater
    The CSO warming up

     Part Two: Tiff and I at dinner in Gahanna

     Jeni's ice cream? I think so!


    Divine Mercy Sunday

    Over at CPG.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Spring bookshelf

    ('ere we go...)

    This is actually a very nice edition; both stories are included, with a nice introduction that explores Dodgson's life and deeper themes in the Alice stories. The illustrations are from the original. I have to say the cover is what lead me to get this copy, as opposed to the millions of other re-issues that are flying about now. I enjoyed Through the Looking Glass more than Adventures in Wonderland, and the recent Tim Burton movie takes its inspiration more from Looking Glass. 

    Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors. I just love her stuff. It always makes me want to go out and write, or put on classical music, bake, and then get in a huge bubble bath. (Read The Year of Pleasures, or Until the Real Thing Comes Along or Talk Before Sleep...you get the idea.) This one is about five different high school classmates who are attending their 40th high school reunion. Although some of the characters are repellent (Dorothy!), it's an enjoyable book--classic Berg.

    I love Richard Paul Evans. I read his first book, The Christmas Box, when I was in seventh grade, and fell in love. His stories are always well-written, and probing. They are almost always love stories, but adult love stories--love stories that require sacrifice, stories about grown-up love (one of the reasons I love them). He's written two series before: The Christmas Box series, which consists of the titular novel, as well as The Timepiece and The Letter; and The Locket series, which consists of The Locket, The Looking Glass (one of my favorite novels), and The Carousel.
    The Walk is different--it's the first of a five-part series, with each installment to be released in April (the next is due April 11). Alan Christofferson had everything--and lost it. Now the only thing he can see to do is walk cross-country--from Seattle to Key West, Florida. The Walk series will chronicle his journey and the people he meets along the way.
    The first installment was good, although does anyone know a person actually named McKay? A very strange name for Alan's wife. Alan's struggle is conveyed through journal entries, as well as through conversation with the people he meets along the way. I'm really interested to see how his walk turns out.

    This one I'm still working on. I love Jane, as we know. I love good bound books. The new Penguin Classics hardcover has them all. I'm reading it rather slowly, partially because Emma is my least favorite novel, and partially because I like to enjoy Jane, even when I don't particularly like her characters. In my opinion, the novel doesn't pick up until Mrs. Elton comes into the picture. Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice are also available in these hard cover editions.

    Over at CPG

    Fr. Z analyzes a Newsweek article on clergy sexual abuse. Definitely worth reading.

    Friday, April 09, 2010

    Quick Takes?

    Over at Catholic Poster Girl this week... shake things up. :)

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    For my grandpa--"Song for Athene"

    I sang this piece as part of the 2000 Ohio All-State Choir. My grandparents had a copy of this CD.
    This song is best known as the recessional for Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010

    Update--unexpected trip

    I'm writing this from my family's hotel room in the 'Burgh.
    My grandfather, who was diagnosed with cancer in October, died on Monday (which is also one of my aunt's birthdays.).
    There are two visitation days--today and tomorrow--and the funeral is on Friday afternoon.
    The hotel has wi-fi, which makes it easier for me to keep ahold of my email, but I probably won't be blogging too terribly much.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    BalletMet: American Legends rounds out the 2009-2010 season

    COLUMBUS, OHBalletMet Columbus closes its 32nd season with the soulful triple bill of American Legends: Johnny, Sammy, Stevie, April 23-May 1, 2010, at the Capitol Theatre, 77 S. High St. Three of North America’s most renowned choreographers offer three world premiere works set to the music of country music royalty, a Rat Pack crooner and a Motown superstar. The visionary James Kudelka sets his work to the music of Johnny Cash. Rising star Darrell Grand Moultrie pays tribute to the music of Sammy Davis, Jr. And famed star of stage and screen Maurice Hines presents a new work to the music of Stevie Wonder.

    The choreographers, legends in their own right, were inspired by the musical genius of three musicians who shaped their musical genres and the history of American music and culture; they overcame adversity and personal struggles to inspire generations of fans and aspiring musicians and other artists. Their songs commemorate American life and the dance works in American Legends emulate that, creating an entertaining and engaging revue. Each of the three choreographers will return to Columbus in March and April to work with the company.

    “I am thrilled to close our season with this lively premiere that honors the timeless music of three American icons,” said BalletMet’s Artistic Director Gerard Charles. “The dancers have enjoyed working with these incredible choreographers and performing a variety of dance styles. The energy in the studios is palpable. You can’t help but sing along!”

    THE MAN IN BLACK (Music: Johnny Cash; Choreography: James Kudelka)
    The BalletMet dancers trade their pointe shoes for cowboy boots in James Kudelka’s new work, The Man in Black. Kudelka felt that Johnny Cash’s songs—country music infused with touches of rockabilly, rock and roll, blues and folk—offered themselves to such iconic costuming and fitting movement style, celebrating the American spirit and ‘the working man’ with both humor and sentiment. “The songs tell stories and we are respectful of that,” Kudelka said. Most of the songs Kudelka selected for the work were recorded late in Cash’s life. “I liked the seasoned quality of his voice on these recordings,” Kudelka said.

    SIMPLY SAMMY (Music: Sammy Davis, Jr.; Choreography: Darrell Grand Moultrie)
    “It’s a dance tribute to the music of Sammy Davis, Jr., arguably one of the most talented entertainers of his generation,” said choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie of his work, Simply Sammy. “His music is infectious.” Moultrie’s work pays homage to Davis, Jr.’s extensive and varied songbook that spans six decades, featuring nine songs ranging from the reflective Mr. Bojangles to the playful Lady is a Tramp to the sorrowful What Kind of Fool am I. “It’s a rollercoaster ride of excitement and emotions,” Moultrie said. In honor of Sammy Davis, Jr.’s tap dance legacy, a tap dancer will join BalletMet dancers on stage. Tap dancer Marshall L. Davis, Jr., based in New York City, is a professor of tap at Queens College and is performing in the touring production of Savion Glover’s Bare Soundz.
    WONDERFUL (Music: Stevie Wonder; Choreography: Maurice Hines)
    When Maurice Hines met with Stevie Wonder in 2009, he told Wonder about his new work for BalletMet, Wonderful. Wonder was blown away, remarking with astonishment “ballerinas are dancing to my music?” Indeed, BalletMet dancers are celebrating Wonder’s joyful songs and his significance to American music history through Hines’ theatrical movement. “This is a celebration of what [Stevie Wonder] means to me,” Hines said. “There is such positivity in his music and the world needs that right now.” As for working with the BalletMet dancers again, following his work High C for Jazz Moves Take 2, a 2009 collaboration between BalletMet and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, the distinguished Hines said “they are wonderful, inspiring. They make me better than I am.”

    PERFORMANCES and Tickets
    American Legends performance schedule is as follows: 8pm Friday, April 23; 8pm Saturday, April 24; 2pm Sunday, April 25; 7:30pm Thursday, April 29; 8pm Friday, April 30; 8pm Saturday, May 1. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased through CAPA (614.469.0939), Ticketmaster (800.982.2787, ticketmaster.com) or balletmet.org. College students with ID can purchase $15 Student Rush tickets at the theater beginning two hours prior to show time.

    ABOUT BALLETMET COLUMBUS: BalletMet Columbus, renowned for its versatility and innovative repertory, ranks among the nation’s largest dance companies, and its Dance Academy ranks among the largest professional dance-training centers. Since its inception in 1978, BalletMet has added 152 Company premieres to its repertoire and produced 124 world premieres. It has also developed DanceReach, a series of educational and outreach programs that serve nearly 30,000 people annually; through DanceReach, up to 70 scholarships each year give access to talented youth, many from minority and underserved groups, who cannot otherwise participate.
    SPONSOR SUPPORT: American Legends presented with support from American Electric Power. Support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Media partners are The Columbus Dispatch, alive!, TV One, Magic 98.9, Power 107.5 and Joy 106.3. Senior Dress Rehearsal sponsor is WMNI. BalletMet Columbus receives support for its annual performance season from The Columbus Foundation, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Ohio Arts Council, Classical 89.7 WOSU-FM and Time Warner Cable.


    Monday, April 05, 2010

    The Simple Woman's Daybook--April 5, 2010

    Outside my window:
    Bright and sunny--upper 70s!

    I am wearing: 
    coral t-shirt dress, a string of peals, brown BR heels

    I am thankful for:
    my siblings

    I am reading:
    God and the World . But have also read: House Rules, Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian, The Hour I First Believed. (Bookshelves coming later, I promise)

    From the kitchen:
    Not sure. Going to the parents' for dinner. I need to make out my menu tonight.

    I am thinking:
    That I do not want it to snow on my birthday! (Friday. And yes, it's a possibility.)

    I am creating:
    A clean apartment.

    On my iPod:

    Toward rhythm and beauty: 
    Vaccuming. Possible window cleaning. 

    To Live the Liturgy: 
    He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!!!

    I am hoping and praying:
    for my grandfather.

    Around the House:
    The vaccuming, dishes, dusting. Stuff like that.

    One of my favorite things:
    Spring; Holy Week

    A few plans for the week:
    Th: Voice
    Friday: My birthday!!!!!
    Sunday: LOTS of LOOP stuff. More on that later.

    A picture I'm sharing: 
    Mel and I at brunch yesterday.