Thursday, February 23, 2012

Button Making

Today was my first experience at making buttons by this hand powered machine. You put the back of the top part in one of the sides and the paper with the name and the plastic protector on top and the back of the button in the other side. Then you press down on the handle onto the name and then flip the bottom around and press down again onto the back of the button, lift up on the handle and viola! you have a button.

What's interesting is when I was in undergrad I actually had a button business. I designed and created my own buttons, promoted them and sold them, but had someone else actually make them.

So now it's flip flopped and I didn't design, nor will I sell. I'm just making them. It's good experience though to see the other side and I'm glad I got to do it although unless I open another very small button business I don't think I'll have much reason to do so again.

My skills are masterful however, so if you'd like to hire me to make buttons, I'm available at an all call basis. Proof of my work:

Boba (Bubble) Tea

My friend Alec introduced me to my very first boba tea ever! I'd heard about it and have wanted to try it for a long time. After a delicious dinner at Veggie Grill Alec asked if I'd ever had boba tea. Coincidentally, no, I hadn't, but I really wanted to try!!!

I order a hot tea (because it was cold outside), peach black tea. It was too sweet and syrupy for me but I did enjoy the boba and will definitely have some in iced tea again and hopefully soon! The tea did come with a cool green spoon. If you'd like to know what boba actually is, you can read all about it here:  Granted it's a wiki article, but it does have accurate and informative data. Enjoy your read and thanks for sharing my first boba experience via my blog!

Tango Class

Tonight was wonderful. After playing sand volleyball for an hour I went to my first real tango class. I'd already watched some tango classes and have been to a milonga but never had any kind of formal training so I know the basics at best.

Now I can follow to some degree; I'm not the world's best follower nor the worst. A friend went with me to class which made it even better. The class is held twice a month at Impulse Dance Center in Aliso Viejo so it's nearby. Hopefully I'll be able to attend every class if I'm on land. I still detest land but am finding some things to make it more tolerable, like tango! :)

Now someday I wish to be able to dance tango much better and enjoy myself at a milonga. Someday, a tango just might end for me like this. The absolute picture of enticement, sensuality, submission, and passion. Wow. Dancing is so wonderful. When you can't say it, sing it. When you can't sing it, play it. When you can't play it, dance it. And when you're trying to say 'I want only you', dance a tango.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Bedding

Things change as life progresses. That's how it works. And so I have moved my resting spot. Yes, it's a lot more cozy, but it reminds me of the ship (minus the rocking) so it makes me happy. Another plus is the girl residing where I once was is going to be a friend of mine. Not two days after we met we already have plans to go out together. I'm looking forward to a new friend.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fiddling Frog

I'm in the short blue dress on the right!

Awhile ago I applied for a job at the Irvine Improv but I never heard back after my second interview. Though you might like the update. Sad news, but it does give me the freedom to keep pursuing the arts in every way I desire. This weekend; dancing at the Fiddling Frog in South Pasadena!

I've never been to another contra weekend besides Fire Ant Frolic in Austin so I'm excited to go to one in a very different location and with a new band I've not yet danced to! I'm friends with the Fiddling Frog coordinator so it will be lots of fun because I'll be able to make connections and dance my feet into the ground. It's always lots of fun when people that enjoy contra dancing so much that they come together from other states and cities to energetically dance some hot and complicated contras. I can never wipe the huge smile off my face :D  It's hard to do but I'll try to take a couple of pictures of the dance or perhaps steal some from someone else to post here so you can all share my joy. If you've never heard of contra dancing you can youtube it or visit this link to read about it.
I know it's a wiki article, but the one I usually would post I can't find so it may have been taken down.

If you'd like to try contra dancing there is a free dance Sunday night after Fiddling Frog this weekend or if you're not near Los Angeles check out your local contra dance community and they'll always help you get started. Every new city I visit for a little while, I always know that if I can find the contra community people I'll be ok. They're the nicest, most helpful, and genuine people across the board and across the country that I've ever met. I can always count on them if I ever need anything, especially good friends! I suggest you also try a contra dance and experience the breathtaking joy and undeniably fun exercise that will be contra dancing!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Taxes are DONE

Yea!!!!  I finally got all my tax documents and my taxes are officially done! Time to celebrate!!! Firestone Velvet Merlin anyone?

KUSC is confusing me

Usually when I get up in the morning I turn on the radio for some classical music. Today is no different except the music they're playing is choral hymns. I like it and have nothing against the religious music, but all of a sudden I begin to question, is today Sunday? What is going on? Did I miss a holiday? I have no idea. But apparently today is religious hymn day at KUSC because it's continued all morning into the afternoon. Think I'll switch to vague background tv noics or a playlist on the computer now.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Play Lists!

Today I was doing a bit of research to see how to make my blog more friendly to view and decided I should add a couple of play lists. For all of your benefits, they don't start automatically and I've divided them into two categories so you can pick based on your taste of some pieces I really like. Unfortunately I couldn't find some pieces I was looking for but there are several I did find! Enjoy and let me know which one(s) you like!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm aware that this post is written the day after and therefore not technically on Valentine's Day, but I fell asleep writing it last night so you'll just have to bear with me and forgive me as such.

Today was semi productive (tomorrow hopefully more so) in that I got in some good exercise and bought a bike light.

I purchased the Nite Rider MiNewt.150 Cordless Combo. I've already used them biking to and from volleyball! So far so good :)

Yup, I've been really wanting and kind of needing lights for a while. Technically I can drive, but I spend money on gas, and don't get the extra workout, and I have the stress of dealing with traffic.

I got the combo on a super deal plus I went while the store was having a 10% off sale on all merchandise so I scored as best I could price wise!

Hope I made the right choice. The cherry bomb doesn't fit on my seat post so I attached it to my helmet. I think that's just fine, but it is slightly annoying that I can't attach it where it belongs.

All the goodies that came in the box. Although I was mystified at the lack of detailed instruction manual. Usually there is a thick book with at least 6 languages, but I had to you tube some instructions. Thankful for the internet!

Then it was out to dinner ($0.55 wings and a margarita!) solo. It was a tasty dinner though company would have been swell...good company that is. My book and the sports on tv did suffice as usual.

But for my big treat, I soaked in a nice warm bathtub with bubbles and candles and a good book. Something I can't do on board ships that I really miss, especially after three hours of sand volleyball!

I tried not to burn the house down and I was successful. I didn't continue far in my book though. It was a long day of exercise and I was tired. But boy oh boy, the little extravagances I cherish on land; candles and bathtubs, libraries and bike lights; all these make for a fabulous land life!

Clean Bicycle

I took my bike to the bike doctor yesterday because after the wreck it's not been shifting cleanly and not shifting at all into my highest gear (which I do use frequently). He fixed it and then told me my bike was, I washed it today! And myself in the process....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My own excerpt of Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life from Naughty Marietta

Naughty Marietta is such a wonderful operetta and the music is divine. I've been so fortunate to perform it. As I watched the last episode from season one of Boardwalk Empire they played the violin solo which I have such fond memories of playing myself. So I've included a link for you to hear me performing the solo for Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life back in 2005 I believe.

I'm so glad this piece has been used in the series. It's not often I hear it at all and to hear it twice is simply marvelous. I definitely like the taste of the people who pick the music for the series; classic wonderful songs.

Thanks for indulging me yet again in my love of this music.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grocery shopping

Yesterday I went grocery shopping as I mentioned in a previous post. I thought I would share how well I'm doing at saving money and wisely spending those food stamp dollars.

Always love a receipt with everything discounted! You should all be very proud :)

Max Manus: Man of War

Today was very windy and got quite chilly early evening so instead of venturing outside to get blown over and shiver I decided to stay in with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the movie Max Manus: Man of War.

The movie is about a Norwegian saboteur in WWII. It's in Norwegian with English subtitles. I liked it very much. We see so many movies from the German or English/American side of things, but to see it from a standpoint of a Norwegian was new to me. It greatly broadened my view of the war and the resistance that went into it in the countries that were occupied. Highly recommend you watch it as well.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My night in

Tonight I had plans to go out but they got canceled so instead I am doing laundry and enjoying a night in. Lucky for me I already had a mostly full bottle of some ruby red port, a clean port glass, a pretty soft lit lamp and an empty bedside table. Looks like the night isn't so bad after all...

Dinner Salad

Yum! I got to go grocery shopping today with the measly amount of food stamp money I have been so lucky to receive. I love fresh fruits and veggies so outside of two frozen pizzas and two cans of soup, one box of cookies,  some milk and granola, I loaded up on the fruits and vegetables.

Boy was I excited tonight to get to eat a fresh spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, mushrooms, orange pieces. Already ate an apple today so I skipped adding that and ate a couple strawberries on the side. No dressing. Just delicious healthiness.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Boardwalk Empire plays Naughty Marietta

I've been watching the tv series Broadway Empire. Yesterday I was watching episode six I believe and what music did I hear in the background but the main theme from Naughty Marietta, Ah Sweet Mystery of Life!

I have had the amazing privilege of performing this operetta live and also play the solos for the show. I still remember how wonderful and moving this song is and the story behind it in the play. Please enjoy the YouTube clip and if you didn't already know this song may your life be more full with its sound.

Here is the link to a lovely version on YouTube sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. The lyrics are pasted below. It's such a wonderful love song and I was shocked but very happy to hear it as background music in Boardwalk Empire. Kudos to the sound team!

"Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life"

Ah! Sweet mystery of life
At last I've found thee
Ah! I know at last the secret of it all;
All the longing, seeking, striving, waiting, yearning
The burning hopes, the joy and idle tears that fall!
For 'tis love, and love alone, the world is seeking,
And 'tis love, and love alone, that can repay!
'Tis the answer, 'tis the end and all of living
For it is love alone that rules for aye!
Love, and love alone, the world is seeking,
For 'tis love, and love alone, that can repay!
'Tis the answer, 'tis the end and all of living
For it is love alone that rules for aye!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Irvine Improv Interview 2

The Irvine Improv called me back for a second interview and it went well. I'm planning on a call Wed. to say I'm hired! Then you'll all have to come out for some funny lines and fantastic drinks and see me of course! I'll let you all know if I hear something back. Keeping my fingers crossed....

Dana Point Symphony in the news...

This symphony had a former mayor there last night to sit and listen as well as a board member and an aid. We've also had photographers come poke their cameras around. The debut is getting good press. Here's a story in the Orange County Register:

It includes pictures, but I'm not really in any of them. Just part of my arm. Can anyone find my arm??

Article Tab: musicians-rehearsal-focus

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Irvine Improv

So today I was nearly late for the symphony rehearsal because I was at a job interview. The Irvine Improv Comedy Club was having open interviews for multiple jobs.
As luck would have it I didn't find out about them till last night so I the only day I could go was today and they were held right before rehearsal. Well....I made the first cut! They called me back and want me to come in to interview again tomorrow!!!
Yea me! I really hope I have a job there soon. It will be within biking distance too. Under five miles away by bike. Sweet! I really hope I get the job. It will be nice to have steady income that is flexible with my performance schedule and the job is at night. Gotta love having the day free and working at night :) I'm stoked and hoping tomorrow's interview goes superbly and I start right away.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pirates of Penzance

Often, orphan (said with a British accent)...this is one of my favorite comedic lines of all time and today when I got in the car to drive home after dinner Pirates of Penzance had just started on the radio. Boy was I excited. The people in cars near me must have thought I was on drugs or something because I was bouncing up and down and head banging to the music and laughing hysterically.

So you can appreciate and join in my merriment of this evening; here is my favorite dialogue in verse:
(please enjoy with much laughter and frivolity of spirit)

General. (aside) Hah! an idea! (aloud) And do you mean to say that you would deliberately rob me of these, the sole remaining props of my old age, and leave me to go through the remainder of my life unfriended, unprotected, and alone?
King. Well, yes, that’s the idea.
General. Tell me, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
Pirates. (disgusted) Oh, dash it all!
King. Here we are again!
General. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
King. Often!
General. Yes, orphan. Have you ever known what it is to be one?
King. I say, often.
Pirates. (disgusted) Often, often, often. (Turning away)
General. I don’t think we quite understand one another. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan, and you say “orphan”. As I understand you, you are merely repeating the word “orphan” to show that you understand me.
King. I didn’t repeat the word often.
General. Pardon me, you did indeed.
King. I only repeated it once.
General. True, but you repeated it.
King. But not often.
General. Stop! I think I see where we are getting confused. When you said “orphan”, did you mean “orphan” – a person who has lost his parents, or “often”, frequently?
King. Ah! I beg pardon – I see what you mean – frequently.
General. Ah! you said "often", frequently.
King. No, only once.
General. (irritated) Exactly – you said “often”, frequently, only once.

Music Room or Bedroom?

So today I finally finished everything on my to do list for the bedroom. Hung the mirror, moved in the too small electric piano, and all that's left really is to add some artwork over the head of the bed. That will get done tomorrow. My cello is missing from the scene sadly. It's stuck in Wichita. If anyone out there is flying or driving to anywhere near LA or even Tucson/Phoenix please let me know and I'll pay for a seat on a plane or pay your some gas out here if you bring my cello. By the looks of the room you'd never guess I'm a musician!
It's a sparse room I realize, but in reality I'm never fully moved in anywhere. Even when I live on a cruise ship for six months half my stuff is stored in my car on land so I don't know what it's like anymore to unpack. I still live out of bags mostly. There's a few things I've stashed in drawers and I dug out my sweater and shoe closet hang organizers so those are in use for the first time in years, but for the most part it's the same as living in my car but I'm sleeping in a bed. I'm comfortable this way though. I like being able to leave at a moments notice and go anywhere. Makes me feel nervous and vulnerable to even unpack as far as I have at this home. Now, I do stretch myself outside my comfort zones periodically so that's what I'm now, but ideally, I'd be living on a cruise ship or out of a suitcase. I understand that makes most people feel unbalanced and unstable but that's what I gravitate toward I suppose. Don't understand it. Don't try to. Just live and live on the edge.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dana Point Symphony

I didn't realize it when I emailed the symphony and then agreed to play the first concert, but this is the inaugural season of the Dana Point Symphony and I'm a part of it! That's pretty cool don't you think?

Anyway, if you're in the area of Dana Point you should come support this new symphony!

Garden Spinach

The place I'm staying has a little garden out back with carrots, onions, green beans and the like. All of those are yet to be ready to eat, but the spinach is doing beautifully and so we're having lots of spinach salad! Here's some pictures of the spinach I picked yesterday!
Another big batch of spinach freshly washed and drying with the half of orange I had yet to eat :)

Gotta love fresh fruits and veggies!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Flower Delivery Girl

So I'm sure some of you wonder what I do since I'm not on a cruise ship or performing with a symphony. I do random things. Here's a couple pics of me at a recent job...delivering flowers.

I like delivering pizza so I though flowers would be fun too, but I wasn't given a single tip and so I barely broke even. It sucked big time. The good side? My car smelled fabulous!!! 8)

This arrangement barely fit in my car. Some of the twigs at the top had to bend at the top. Glad the company didn't have a car size requirement for their delivery drivers!


I missed the one month mark by a couple of days, but I am close. On New Years Eve I flew over my handle bars, knocked myself out, don't remember a thing, still haven't recovered all my mobility or strength yet. But it's improving by brute force on my part and time on the universes part. Thought I would include some pictures for you all to include you in my journey of recovery.
Day of just back from the fire station where I regained consciousness. At this time I was still planning on going dancing in a few hours. I hadn't yet realized I could barely move my arm. The firefighters had cut off part of my shirt and put electrode things on me. Too bad I wasn't conscious so I could have made some cool friends!
This is today after a months worth of recovery. The main area is still pinky and you can see white stripes going down (or up in the picture) my arm. Those scars will always stay I'm sure. But they'll always be accompanied by a fabulous story, with fill in by my friends facts (since I don't remember).


Broken Glasses

What's missing from this picture?

Take a close look!!!

I'll give you an ear full and tell you it's not a lens.

Yup, you got it!

I broke another arm and then successfully lost it which I guess doesn't matter since it was not fixable.

So I finally threw away the glasses I've had since high school and now only have one pair (patched back together for now!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Drinking games

Gotta love it! I am definitely a big fan of drinking games and this one rocks the boat!
Anyone up for a round??

To Do Lists

I have to be super organized when I am trying to spread myself across so many different avenues. So I have a memo pad on my phone that I've been adding to over the last two weeks while I've been working everyday and staying away from home. Finally, today I got started.

Yesterday was fabulous! I got the video done to send off to a potential job and hopefully that gets some positive results! Would be awesome to get back out there playing violin for a living again!

I do have some violin gigs coming up though. Not all the ones I was hoping for, but a couple none the less.

Tonight was wonderful because I got to go see Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic perform Mahler Symphony 9. It was a fabulous performance and I'm so lucky I got to go! There are a few positives to living in LA/OC and the LA Philharmonic is one of them! However, I drove up there from Irvine. Last time I do that. It was miserable. I wanted to take the metrolink, but there is not a train that leaves after 10p.m. from the Union Station; THE station! Unbelievable, but true, so I chose to drive there and back since that's cheaper than a hotel room. Well, not next time. I'll plan ahead better next time and if I can't find a free room  I'll get the hotel room and save myself the stress and frustration of driving.

Now that I am staying in Irvine for a little while at least, I'm glad to be able to get back to running every day, hopefully starting some boot camp workouts, and maybe some pilates. Also I can get everything organized so I know what's coming at me at least. I'd like to start dancing around here, so that's on my to do list of things to add into my schedule :) Nothing like getting a sexy body by dancing in addition to the dieting and other exercise routines.

I'm back to starting the Almased diet although with my schedule it seems impossible to do the fasting diet so even though I'd rather do that and then transition backward to a more normal diet I'll have to settle with two meals a day and sometimes just one. But at least I can supplement the other meal with fresh fruit, raw super cookies and snack bites, seaweed, almonds, and vegetarian dolma. All delicious and super healthy yet low calorie. I can't wait to start consistently losing weight!!

There is a neat thing in NY where some hospitals trade medical services to artists of all kinds in trade for whatever the artist does. They don't have that here in LA, but there are so many homeless people that the government has free healthcare in LA and OC. So tomorrow I'm all set to go to the hospital and get interviewed for healthcare. I so need to go see a doctor about my shoulder. It just isn't healing completely or properly. I can play violin fine, but there are a few things that aren't healing on there own or with my stretches. And there are other things that I need looked at too. It's tough when I only get insurance while on the ship and so can't afford to get it while I'm on land because I have no idea how long I'll be here. Hopefully tomorrow will go well and I'll have some health insurance!