Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's been a good week. First of all, it's premier week on TV! Did anyone catch the premier of Lipstick Jungle last night? I started watching the episodes on from my laptop during tour last spring, and I got hooked. I thought it was a pretty good start, and it left me speculating all kinds of ways things could go. Tonight, sadly, I will be at church during The Office premier, but Nick has strict instructions for taping and not watching til I get home. I told him if I get home and that show is not on tape, he's out on the street. :) Kidding. Sort of.

In other news, the Handel Hercules concerts with MOB went really well. I'm so thankful for that job; it is definitely the highlight of my performing life at this point. The soloists, as usual, were incredible, and really inspired me to keep plugging away at my solo career as well. Now it is on to the High Holidays for the next two weeks. And the money is going to start rolling in, thank heavens. I've already picked out an amazing pair of brown boots that are going to be my comeuppance from this summer of retail starvation.

Wedding plans continue to come together! I hired our photographer this week. We are using Judy Gaulden out of Fort Wayne who did my sister's June 2007 wedding. Chicago photographers are pretty ridiculous price-wise, and Judy's packages are so reasonable that even with adding her travel expenses we're going to save quite a bit of money than if we'd hired a Chicago photog. Plus, I was totally overwhelmed by the hordes of Chicago photogs to choose from, and I was getting so many mixed reviews from various people, that going with Judy was the easiest and most secure choice for us. Elaine's pictures were gorgeous, so I'm really excited about our decision. I've gotten in touch with the DJ recommended by the Hotel Monaco, and she is available, so I'm going to meet up with (and hopefully hire) her next week. Then all I really have to do is hire a florist, and I can take a few months off and not really worry about anything until after the holidays! September has already flown by, and I just know the rest of the year is going to whoosh past before I know it.

So that's the news! Ankle is healing ok, but I haven't been able to work out for the past two weeks, which has been driving me all sorts of crazy. I forgot how addicting exercise can be. Hopefully by next week I can manage the Elliptical machine or bike or something. I don't want to mess things up even more, so I'm trying to take it slow, but I just really want to work up a good sweat!

We're hosting a little dinner party this weekend for my gal pals Stasi and Allison and their husbands. I haven't seen my girls since our bridal gown shopping adventure in July, so I'm excited! Should be a great time. I've got to get cleaning and making a shopping list. It makes me feel oh so grown up and domesticated to host dinner parties. :) Hopefully I'll have some pics to post of the evening.

Have a great weekend, everybody!
All you ever wanted to know about.....Nick, my fiance. Taken from my sis's blog.

1. He is sitting in front of the TV, what is he watching? Sci-fi channel, Ice Road Truckers, or CNN

2. You are out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? balsamic vinagrette

3. Whats one food he doesn't like? you know, he is not a picky eater at all. i honestly can't think of anything!

4. You go out to a bar, what does he order? a Leffe (beer)

5. Where did he go to High School? American Community Schools of Athens (??? I think that's what it's called)

6. What size shoe does he wear? huge. 14. he can only buy shoes at Nordstrom.

7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be? he's a big collector. watches, cameras and camera equipment

8. What is his favorite sandwich? patty melt

9. What would he eat every day if he could? probably a burger or a steak

10. What is his favorite cereal? raisin bran crunch, or the chocolatey stuff we can only find in Europe

11. What would he never wear? anything pink, yellow, or orange (believe me, i've tried)

12. What is his favorite sports team? probably Cubs. we're not huge into sports around here.

13. Who will he vote for? tough call. i know who i WANT him to vote for!

14. Who is his best friend? Aki

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? cry about my finances/career; be really hard on myself

16. How many states has he lived in? well states, one. countries, two.

17. What is his heritage? i'm pretty sure it's Greek ;)

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake is it? chocolate cake, chocolate frosting

19. Did he play sports in High School? track

20. What could he spend hours doing? surf his online watch forum, walk around taking pictures, bake something

That's Nick, in a nutshell!

Monday, September 15, 2008

help, i've fallen and i can't get up

So, last week I fell down some stairs at one of my students' house. This will come as no surprise to many of you who know me, as I am wont to trip and stumble. Once, while backpacking in Spain, I slipped with a giant backpack and ended up like a turtle on the sidewalk, frantically waving my arms and legs trying to get back up. But I digress. This particular fall was bad, and now I have an ankle the size of a tennis ball. I finally wised up and went for an x-ray last Thursday, just in case, and thankfully it isn't broken. But I can't do yoga or run, nor can I walk in a shoe with any sort of heel. Which leaves me one pair of wearable shoes at the moment (I'm a big fan of heels). So that's kind of annoying.

But work is getting better. Things picked up quite a bit with my return to the CPS school (where I teach through MOB's outreach program) and my classes in Plainfield starting up. Time is once again flying, and I can look forward to a fat bank account in the very near future (well, by my standards, anyway). Our first MOB concerts are Sunday/Monday, which is always a good time. It's really a feast and famine type deal with freelancing. Thank God I'm heading into feast phase again. I need some new clothes like whoa. I purged my closet of several pairs of pants that I don't have a prayer of fitting into ever again. Sadly, I'm no longer 22 and have dinners of cottage cheese and beer. Or just beer. Side note, cottage cheese is a great pre-drinking meal. ;)

Anyways, things are back to somewhat normal for me. I've been seriously considering getting my teaching license though. I really enjoy my days at the public high school, and the benefits and stability are highly attractive. Nick and I have been discussing it -- it would be very helpful for us to have good insurance benefits, since at the moment both of us are independent contractors and will be paying out the wazoo once we have kids. I would still be able to do lots of the professional singing I'm doing now since rehearsals are usually in the evenings, and I would have the summers open for singing gigs as well.'s just an idea right now, but one that sounds more and more promising and exciting to me the more I think about it. A paycheck every two weeks? Good heavens, I can't remember what that's like.

So yeah. Good stuff. Wedding plans are coming along. Besides my swollen ankle, I'm feelin' good. And it's FALL in Chicago. The best season of all. How could I not be totally blissful?! :)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sorry folks, I've just been feeling a little...unbloggy...lately. I'm a little down in the dumps about work right now, and I just don't have a lot of interesting things to write about.

I thought this week was going to feel different, since I was back to MOB rehearsals and church. But it feels pretty much the same as summer, except that when Nick comes home from work, I leave and go to a rehearsal. I'm bored all day by myself at home, and then when I want to be home spending time with him, I have to leave. It sucks. Most of my friends are back to working day jobs, so I have nobody to hang out with during the day, and I can't hang out with them in the evenings either. Whine whine whine, I know.

You are probably thinking, here's a solution, get a day job. Well, here's the thing. I don't have to have a day job. Why in the world would I want to work at a horrible, low paying, zero satisfaction job that isn't in my field if I don't have to? And yet I can't continue my current schedule forever, nor do I want to. If I could think of ANY nine to five job that was fulfilling and enough money to make getting up early and spending forty hours a week doing it worth it, I'd be there. As of now, I can't think of anything. I've thought about going back for my teaching license, but I feel like that's selling myself out a little. I went for a Masters degree so that I could someday be a voice professor at a college. Unfortunately, these days you need either a doctorate or ten years of experience. So I'm going to have to wait on that one a little. I'm always on the lookout for a small adjunct voice position, but those are hard to come by around here.

So at the moment I'm just trying to get more students on the North Shore. And sort through the mess of possible auditions for this year. I did have a great coaching yesterday with my favorite Scot, Alan D, so that perked me up quite a bit. He gave me some really terrific audition advice and some new ways of practicing that I think are really going to help. It looks like I'm going to have an audition next week for Sarasota Opera young artist program, which would mean three months in Florida in the middle of winter. That sounds pretty freakin' awesome.

Oh, here's a bit of fun news: This week I was elected to the Yelp 2008 Elite Squad! I was thinking about applying after I reached fifty reviews, but I didn't even have to apply! The Yelp community manager emailed me this week that I had been chosen! Check out my nifty new Elite badge on my profile. So, yeah, I'm pretty much a guru on what's hip and happenin' in Chicago. :) The best part is, I am now eligible for Elite events, which often mean free food and booze! And I get a free Yelp hoodie. :)

So that's it from here. This weekend will be hardly a weekend, since I've got a rehearsal tonight, Nick's working tomorrow, and I've got church AND a rehearsal on Sunday. We're going to try to fit in a trip to the Windy City Wine Festival somewhere in there, and hopefully a good meal or two.