Thursday, January 22, 2009
G's gentleman friend has solved my problem and thus earned the right to be called by his name--which would be Ryan--on this here blog.
I can now support my team with my heart, my terrible towel, and incessant renditions of "Here We Go Steelers."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
That wasn’t the plan. Val and I were supposed to go together, as Ed was working. But at about 8pm last night, she called with the news that she had a scored a ticket through Ed.
So I was on my own, or at least I’d have to wait until tomorrow to see who else would be headed downtown, and where they’d be.
I got on the Metro at 7:40am. It was full, but not the sardine tin that I’d anticipated.
|DAR Constitution Hall, where Marian Anderson was banned from singing |
in 1939, leading to her famous concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
|I couldn't raise my arms, so the guy next to me |
took this (very close up) photo.
|The view behind me. Note that the crowd|
stretches up around the Washington Monument.
“Who’s that? He looks familiar?” “Howard Dean.” “Oh, right.”
“Who are those girls?” “The Bush twins.” “But who’s the guy with them?” “That’s Jenna’s husband, Henry Hager.”
“HEY, Beyonce! And there’s Diddy!” (They didn’t need my help for those.)
But then the crowd spotted Malia and Sasha Obama, and they went BERSERK.
And then Michelle. More hollering.
And then the President-Elect himself. Flags waved wildly. The noise was deafening. “O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!”
|So. Many. People.|
|Obama takes the oath.|
|The crowd oozes, at a glacial pace, past idling tour buses.|
Sunday, January 18, 2009
1) "Cowher Power" is no longer relevant. And nothing rhymes with Tomlin.
2) They already got one for the thumb. "Pittsburgh's gonna get one for the other hand now" doesn't quite work.
We have two weeks to work on a suitable alternative. Thinking caps on!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
People often get reflective around the new year. I don’t like to conform, of course, so it has taken me until the 14th day of the year to get there.
When we were in London, Ed and I had these things that we called “Dude Moments.” These were instances when we would suddenly realize where we were or what we were doing and one of us would stop and say, “Dude… Can you believe we’re here?” Given the number of new and awesome experiences that semester, we had a lot of Dude Moments.
Anyway, do you ever have one of those moments? The ones where you think to yourself, ‘Dude. How great is this?’ I’ve been doing that a lot recently. I have a wonderful family; friends who I can count on and who make me laugh; a rewarding and challenging job; a great little apartment of my own in a city I love; and a lot of good books. I mean, really, what else is there?
I have these moments fairly regularly, which I think makes me a pretty lucky person. Just this year, I’ve probably had hundreds, but there have been a few that I can remember in the last several months (some of which I’ve already talked about, notably November 4, 2008, when much of the country was having a collective Dude Moment), and—in the interest of reflection and whatnot—I shall share them with you now.
1) October 30, 2008: I sat in a small room in the U.S. Supreme Court with 190 other people, among them the Justices of the Supreme Court, Plácido Domingo, and other local and government persons-of-interest, listening to Renée Fleming sing “Deep River,” and thinking, “How on earth did I end up here?”
2) August 29, 2008: Lola the Corolla was at full capacity as I drove back from BWI with a car full of people, a trunk full of luggage, and six conversations going on at one time—which was saying something since there were just five of us—me, Jules, Miguel, Ash, and Jason—in the car. The Trio, once inseparable, is spread across the country now, but our annual rendezvous is a joyous event—and a loud one.
3a) December 21, 2008: I stood in the choir loft at my home church, with Mom on my left, Dad on the podium, a full orchestra in front of me, and the glorious sounds of the Munsey choir seriously bringing it on Handel’s Messiah, when suddenly, the glorious sound of a trumpet—and one, in particular, that I’d know anywhere—burst forth from behind me. It surprised the hell out of me (though I’m not sure why, because what self-respecting choir director forgets to hire a trumpet player for the Hallelujah Chorus? Certainly not my father!), but brought the biggest smile to my face. (Also bringing a smile to my face? When my father, five bars from the end of the piece, snuck a peek at his watch while conducting. What, you can't wait another ten seconds?)
3b) December 25, 2008: I considered not mentioning this, since it happens every year, but whatever. Christmas Eve worship is my absolute, undisputed favorite two-hour period of the entire year, from beginning to end. It also happens to be the one time of the year when I want to be a soprano. It wouldn’t be Christmas without G rolling her eyes at me as I squeak my way through the descants. And at the end, in the first few minutes of Christmas Day, hundreds of candles are lifted skyward simultaneously on the final stanza of “Joy to the World,” and I literally get chills.
4) November 18, 2008: The Israel Philharmonic performed at the Kennedy Center, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and it was, bar none, one of the most incredible musical experiences I’ve ever had. Aside from the stellar performances of Tchaikovsky’s 4th and Brahms’ 4th symphonies, the orchestra began first with the national anthem—and, of course, many people sang along. But then they launched into the national anthem of Israel—a gorgeous, haunting melody—and, amazingly, much of the audience sang along with that, too! It was a powerful moment, and one I’m not likely to forget anytime soon.
5) October 14, 2008: At her request, we kept the festivities for Val’s birthday small this year—just a low-key dinner with her, Ed, J, and me. Since J doesn’t live here anymore, it was the first time in a long while that just the four of us had spent any time together since the Roommate (Plus Val) Dinners that we regularly had at the River Road house, and it was fabulous. Thus, they were the perfect three people to spend the first few (awake) hours of 2009 with at brunch on New Year’s Day.
So anyway, there it is. 2009 will bring many new challenges, adventures, trips, and people. Oh, and weddings. Lots of weddings. But ’08 was a good year. Thanks to all those who were along for the ride.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
No longer a cyber-wallflower am I. Perhaps this will increase my readership
Monday, January 12, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
I'm not particularly a fan of Saturday Night Live, though I will tune in occasionally if there's a particularly interesting host (Peyton Manning totally has a comedy career ahead of him if that football thing doesn't work out) or when it's timely (most of the 2008 election cycle). But I will totally be watching tomorrow night, because GUESS WHO'S HOSTING??
NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, that's who! The 11:30pm to 1:00am slot in my planner is BOOKED.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Anyway, the holiday break was lovely. I escaped to Tennessee on the 20th, where I did assorted things:
- sang Messiah the Sunday before Christmas. I did quite well, too, considering I haven't sung it in about five years.
- watched the Steelers lose to the Titans. Not so fun, actually.
- had a Weather Report Duel with G's gentleman friend, entertaining my father in the process. [SIDE NOTE: Apparently, G's gentleman friend thinks that I'm intimidating. Is this true? (picture intense stare here) I found it rather surprising, given that was wandering around in pink sweatpants and festive Christmas monkey socks for most of the time he was at our house.]
- had several old friends over for an Impromptu Holiday Gathering (not to be confused with a H&G's Christmas Extravaganza, which we did not have this year).
- successfully avoided setting foot in the mall.
- experienced A Christmas Miracle (in addition to, you know, the birth of Jesus), about which I will post at a later date.
Then, on Christmas Day, we ventured north to West Virginia, where we spent a few days with my grandparents, great aunt, Mom's sister, and three awesome cousins. It was, as always, a fun and rather loud time.
I drove home on Sunday after Christmas listening to the Steelers on the radio, turning it on just after Ben Roethlisberger's frightening hit. "...spinal injury.....sure was hit hard....He's been down for more than ten minutes now.... not moving.... these are the kind of moments that professional athletes try not to think about."
I celebrated the New Year mostly by eating. A BITTER cold New Year's Eve was spent at an epic--yet lively!--dinner with Ed and Val, followed by a party at a friend's house. Val and I spent the final hour of 2008 checking our watches ("Twenty minutes....eleven minutes... five minutes...") and plotting a quick escape after the ball dropped. I was in bed by one. The next day, the three of us and J had brunch, which was followed by a lengthy afternoon nap and then pork, sauerkraut, and the Rose Bowl at Ed and Val's. It was a great way to start the year--good foot, good friends, and, well, a pretty unexciting football game.
Anyway, I'm now back at work "for real," since last week was a series of rather short days (every day, BC ambled by around 3pm: "You can go home. Nobody's here.") and one food-filled holiday. It's been a bit of an adjustment, but I'm getting back in the swing of things.
One of my resolutions this year is not to abandon you, my loyal readers, for weeks at a time. I shall try to do better!