Friday, January 4, 2013

haikus, raps, and cumberbatch

a haiku ode to modern medicine:

antibiotics
lungs staying in my body
thanks, mister fleming

so, i have spent the last five days in bed unable to breathe. in my stubbornness, i kept thinking, you have a cold, suck it up and stop your whining. yesterday when i attempted to do dishes i started sweating and got winded...and that was the moment when i realized i probably needed to go to a doctor. twelve hours on antibiotics/super strong cough medicine and i already feel like a new person. what did people do before modern medicine...that's right, die. ps-yes, i did watch three star trek documentaries...don't worry about it. 

i have been on winter break from north central since november, 19th. i am SO EXCITED to get back to teaching. i also am excited about the way my schedule worked out this term. huzzah, awesome job.

one of the things i love most about being a musician is that there's a never ending deluge of music to be learned.  i'm only being about forty percent sarcastic about this comment. 

as soon as i'm a little bit better i'm starting this sugar detox:
http://balancedbites.com/2012/12/the-biggest-21-day-sugar-detox-begins-on-january-1-2013.html

this mainly serves as a warning seeing as i'm sure i'll be cranky mccrabbypants the first few days of it. 

but, i enjoyed the holidays a little too much. now, it's time to get back to work. in the immortal words of kassi bleifuss, 'mom's home'. 

also, in my sick haze i've been wondering why benedict cumberbatch and colin morgan haven't played brothers in something:



sherlock perhaps was my greatest discovery of winter break. i've been cumberbatching all over.
colin morgan was merlin in the bbc merlin...which is totally worth the watch if you love costume period sci fi shows...which, who doesn't, right?

also, this is a thing:

Friday, December 7, 2012

forgive me all my trespasses and take me to your glory...


the big ass les mis blog:

take my hand and lead me to salvation. take my love, for love is everlasting and remember the truth that once was spoken. 'to love another person is to see the face of god.'

well, as most people who would read this blog would know, I LOVE LES MIS. i remember the first time i saw it vividly...because i was allergic to the theater and vehemently refused to leave. the moment, 'at the end of the day' started behind the scrim i was sold and wasn't going anywhere-even if my lungs were trying to escape my body.

i predict that the movie is going to be visually stunning and that anne hathaway might actually make me think that she can do more than look like a constipated fivel on screen. however, i'm like, 97% sure the singing is going to be a shit-show. there's going to be a lot of back tongue tension, fluttery vibrato, disney princess singing going on (i'm looking at you, seyfried).

i figured i'd make a collection of my dream les miserables recording...
firstly, and i know this is going to be controversial but i LOVED alfie boe's, 'bring him home'



yes, i know colm wilkinson is the proverbial man...but, the way alfie sings this just makes me melt.

speaking of colm wilkinson...his epilogue makes me weep like an overgrown baby:



i'm certifiably, meh about samantha barks' eponine. i think the voice has potential but is a hot mess...how much more can someone love unnecessary glottal attacks, am i right? she also has no chest voice..which, you know, is sort of important for our dear ponine. she also nasalises her dipthongs (due  at least in part to her tongue tension, which is totes visable in this clip)-which is petpeeve.com for me.

in case  you missed the 25th anniversary special:


i was actually hoping that frances ruffelle's daughter would be considered for eponine...frances, as i'm sure most of you know was the original eponine.

i love that she actually sounds like  a street urchin. (ps-is it a requirement to have killer cheek bones to be eponine-frances, lea, celia, even lame-mantha barks all have cheeks for weeks)



oh, if you're curious about frances' daughter, eliza doolitle, check it:



but, let's be honest, there is no finer eponine than lea solonga...yes, i have seen both the sutton foster and celia keenan bolger versions. celia keenan bolger is the vocal love of my life, but eponine just did not suit her.

anyways, lame-mantha barks this is what chest voice should sound like...



also, if you've ever been curious, lea michele did do eponine pre-glee:


i feel since we've heard/seen so little of russell crowe in the trailers that he's either going to be amazing, or terrible.

but, you know who isn't terrible...norm lewis. i have such a voice crush on him! his porgy in porgy and bess, king triton in little mermaid, and his 2001 recording of elegies for angels, punks, and raging queens (aka my obsession).

lewis owning javert's suicide like a mother flippin' champ in the 2006 revival:



and boe and lewis in the confrontation scene from the 25th anniversary concert:



and when talking about javert and and valjean you can't forget to include this gem.
'you are wrong and always have been wrong. i'm a man, no worse than any man. you are free, and there are no conditions, no bargains or petitions. there's nothing that i blame you for. you've done your duty, nothing more. '



adult cosette is so boring and so often sung poorly. judy kuhn, aka the singing voice of disney's pocahontas is the exception. also, i predict that in the les mis inspired fashions yet to come, deep plunging lace v's will be all the rage:



also, i love seth rudetsky's deconstruction of judy kuhn and the role of cosette in general. cosette the annoying school marm who participates in annoying one-ups-manship. (i am lost--i am found, etc.)



she also went on to sing fantine in the most recent broadway revival...here's a live recording of the epilogue:




the thenardiers...
it is my dream to play madame thernardier. firstly, i think she should always be played by a plus size woman...sorry, helena bonham carter. i mean, i know that sacha baron cohen and hbc are going to chew up the sceneray with their hilarity. but, i really think matt lucas stole the 25th anniversary. i wish he and rebel wilson were doing the thenardiers.



also, if you weren't obsessed with the pbs reality show, 'broadway or bust' you might have missed charmingly insecure, evan greenberg's perfectly punch-lined interpretation:




enjolras:
aaron tveit is amazing and i'm excited to see him do this role. for those of you unfamiliar with him he was gabe in, 'next to normal'...he's alive, he's alive, he's so alive.



he also can sing the crap out of one of my favorite kerrigan-lowdermilk songs:



i'd be remiss in not mentioning how awesome ramin karimloo was in the 25th anniversary special as enjolras.

but, ramin, has also done marius...and while nick jonas was totally amazing, (insert liz lemon-esque eye roll) you should probably give this a listen:

song starts at 1:06


also, let's not forget michael ball:



just like vanessa williams, i've gone and saved the best for last...
it's no secret that, 'i dreamed a dream' is in my top ten musical theatre songs of all time...
fantine as a character is so heart breaking and her music is entirely reflective of that. her death sing, woof...insert me blubbering and rocking myself back and forth. now, lea solonga sang the stuffing out of, 'i dreamed a dream' both in the revival on broadway and in the 25th anniversary concert:



someone at some point decided it would be a good idea to have daphne rubin vega (original mimi in rent) do fantine...take-me-ooooouuuuut-of my misery. it's like fantine smoked five packs a day and then sang with helium...



patty did it for a variety show...and i love how she changed rhythms and pitches to be so ridiculously patty-esque...



do you need an, 'i dreamed a dream' dance remix...obvs, who doesn't?



les miserablah:



and then there's the perfection that is ruthie henshel:



if you love the confrontation scene and comedians...then, these clips are for you:





i'm partial to david wain:


these things exist:





so, friends, if anyone is still reading this, what are your thoughts on the upcoming movie?

Monday, September 10, 2012

i've decided my fall look is young molly weasley professorial chic...killin' it, right?

i have spent the majority of the day arguing with the illinois tollway and completely understand most of dante's circles of hell...especially eight and nine...which led me to want to engage in seven. apparently years ago in one of my drives i missed one toll...they sent a bill, i paid what they sent me and told me on the phone that even though i paid $64 dollars for missing an eighty cent toll that i now owe $150. now, this is ludicrous to begin with but they wouldn't issue me an ipass until i made the payment. i wanted to ask the supervisor how she slept at night but resisted the urge.

i'm sitting at a whole foods in naperville waiting to meet up with eric wilberg for dinner. it's funny that me and a good friend from denver are currently both working in, 'the thrill'.

tonight are student voice placement auditions and i couldn't be more excited. it's like christmas for me. what are they going to sing? will any of them bust out queeny riffs? will i hear at least one stephen schwartz song? hopefully awesome show tunes will erase the rest of this day.

i went to a job interview today for a part time voice teacher position in northbrook and ten minutes into the interview i realized that the woman was interviewing me for the wrong job...so that was awesome. yes, it would indeed be a necessity for a music director to play piano...i'm here for the voice teacher position...sorry.

saturday i went to the barrel of monkey teacher training...it was awesome. i know there's a lot of mixed feelings about the teacher's strike. but, i don't think that some of the things the teachers are asking for are all that incredulous. air conditioning in school...that should be a given. i dare you to throw 40 eighth graders in a room that's about 120 degrees and try and teach them. it's not just good for the teachers, it's good for the students. schools that have stronger support staffs have stronger performing students...yadda, yadda, yadda. i do feel like people are perceiving this as being a financial issue but honestly, the teachers have said that's not the biggest of their issues and despite karen lewis' sometimes overly aggressive nature i think she's only a third of the problem...rahm and jean claude rounding out the other two thirds. let's just try and put down bruised egos and do what's best for the children.

joliver, out.

Friday, September 7, 2012

so let the wind blow hard and wear the falling stars.

last night i got a whopping thirty  minutes of sleep...thanks to my sleep tracker i know just how little sleep i actually got.

as i sat staring at the ceiling this morning i decided that i should get up and go to the gym before work as opposed to afterward. i figured regardless of when i was going today it was going to be one of those workouts where you just slog it out...which was totally the case.

i had a moment where i was getting frustrated in the midst of the workout and gave myself an internal verbal smackdown. yes, this workout was most certainly not me in peak performance mode...but, i got up and got my ass there and did it. it wasn't pretty, but i did it.

then, as i was on the rowing machine i realized it was the first time since starting crossfit in december that i didn't have to move my knees out into a plie-esque position to accomodate for my stomach. it's funny that even in the midst of frustration the little things can bring you such joy if you just stop and realize that everything is a process.

i have been hesitant to weigh myself in this journey because i don't want to obsess over numbers. this change was started because i wanted to take better care of myself and try and become the best version of me that i can be..that being said, i DID weigh myself this weekend. i am officially 72 pounds down and i think that my goal of 100 at the year mark is totally attainable...but, if it doesn't happen, i'll still get up and go to the gym...because really, that's the victory.

in other news...

i went to st. louis and it was wonderful. seeing friends and having farm to table feasts...pretty much perfection.

it's raining, i'm listening to trampled by turtles, and drinking pumpkin flavored d&d coffee...it's almost autumn, y'all.

i start my teaching job at north central as of sunday and couldn't be more elated.

i love chicago. i feel so much more myself here.

i think faceinhole.com should pay me to make funny awesome things...i made one yesterday that's pretty great but i'm waiting for the person i made it for to receive it in the mail before posting it publicly.

i am really hoping this one night of insomnia is an isolated case and not something that will become habit. (i found myself in the car saying, 'don't sell this farm ray, you gotta keep the farm'...you know, my brain thinks in field of dreams quotes when exhausted)

the highlights of the dnc for me: the last five minutes of obama's speech, biden being tough but gracious, michelle obama reminding people that she is in face a lawyer, elizabeth warren giving us all an economics lesson, bill clinton basically being politifact, and the castro smile...dang those boys are cute.

bruce covey poetry is beautiful.

i'm being terrible at finishing the book i'm reading. which is weird because i love it...i think i just don't want it to end.

i need to find a tap class.

alright, time to shower and get to the office.

Friday, August 17, 2012

and it's all i can do to keep from falling in love with you...

i'm approaching my two weeks in chicago mark.

i feel like things are finally coming together. i have a bed, and it is assembled. seriously though, the few hours i spent hopelessly attempting to assemble the frame by myself would be comical to the outside observer. i felt like i was trapped in an episode of a sit-com. imagine if you will me, an allen wrench, and all matters of props trying to make it possible to screw in the head and foot board to the sides of the bed. hopefully by the end of this weekend i will be entirely set up and all of my items will be in one apartment. currently my life is scattered in three different locations. i'm not complaining really, i just don't know where anything is...ever. which, is an odd experience for me. 

i also have some leads on jobs. i have been hired by takelessons.com and am in the process of setting up my website through them. there's no guarantee of students but i'm hopeful that people will find me and use me. my interview on wednesday was pretty great. in fact, the talked to me about the possibility of blogging about vocal pedagogy for them. it's as if i've died and gone to nerd heaven. i also might have a part time job lining up as well which i don't know how much i can talk about until the pieces come together. 

i have been listening to dolly parton non-stop. it is all i can do to keep from falling in love with you dolly...big hair, big sequence, big personality. done. 

staying at a house with netflix hooked up to a television is a dangerous thing. all documentaries, all the time. real people tend to fascinate me far more than made up people...except in literature. i have been remiss in my reading as of late. i can feel myself getting less intelligent. things that will absolutely be remedied. 

this morning i made myself paleo scones and a strawberry peach compote...the perfect compliment to my coffee. a grand meal leads to a good start to your morning. huzzah!

note:
mortified by my earlier bad grammar in the title...problem resolved.

Friday, July 27, 2012

don't question why she needs to be so free, she'll tell you it's the only way to be, she just can't be chained to a life where nothing's gained and nothing's lost at such a cost...

the reality of leaving is setting in.

the goodbyes have started...goodbyes are the worst.

so, in an attempt to combat the sad i've decided to talk about this i'm excited for.

on my first day back to chicago i get to go to the wedding of my dear friend stina peterson and her soon to be husband john dufour. yay, love!

tuesday, august 7th i'm going to a harry potter marathon. (you know you're jealous)

i bought new bed linens and am excited to decorate my room...thanks, ikea.

i found a place in chicago that does gluten free deep dish pizza.

singing some wonderful griffes music.

living within a six block radius of the majority of my friends.

buying a sweet bike and biking to said friends.

using my groupon at tre k.

seeing my friend, smash on the drive out. i have grown to love my stops in omaha...also, their whole foods there is ridiculously awesome.

as for now i should shower, get coffee, and go be productive (you know, get allergy medication and go to the gym) with my day. i didn't wake up until eleven! who am i?

also, i saw florence at red rocks on wednesday. it was magical.
video




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

softly and tenderly chicago is calling...


well, my time in denver is coming to a close. i always thought when it was all said and done that i’d leave colorado without really looking back-how wrong i was. not to say that i’m not excited for chicago, i am. i just will miss some things here in denver.

things i will miss:

martile rowland is my hero and one of my biggest champions. seriously, that woman re-instilled a love of singing. i will never forget the first conversation i had with her. i was still living in chicago and had been arguing with the irs for two hours. i got a call from a number with an area code i didn’t recognize and assumed it was the irs calling me back. i picked up the phone and said a very venomous, ‘hello’. ‘hello, hello jessie? this is martile rowland’… ‘oh, i thought you were the irs’. from that moment on i knew i’d like her. when i came out to colorado, i had pretty much given up on singing. my last year of grad school was rough. my teacher and i didn’t agree on anything in regards to my voice and the lessons had become down right abusive. i came out to colorado to do vocal arts symposium as a final hurrah to singing little did i know that the decision to come out here for three weeks would end up changing the trajectory of my life forever. three weeks after the end of vocal arts symposium  i learned how to drive and moved out to colorado. i came here to study with martile and sing the mother in hansel and gretel with opera theatre of the rockies.  i thought i’d be here for a year, than two, and now i’m leaving after six years. over the course of six years i’ve switched fachs, performed in three mainstage shows with opera theatre of the rockies, and felt like i’ve become a better person and singer.

my friends:
two of the closest friends i have in colorado were met within hours of landing here for singing. claire anderson was the person assigned to come pick me up from the airport when i came out here to sing for VAS. who would have guessed that it would start a six year friendship that i attribute as one of my dearest. i met marisa the first night of VAS and a year later she moved to colorado. i know these girls will always be a phone call away but it will be sad not to have yoga time or hbo time with them.  i am so lucky to have formed so many great friendships while out here. sarah s, amy, rainey, sarah m, catie, linder, lauren, kevin, the list could just keep going on. i will miss you all. you all have a standing invitation to come visit chicago.

          fun, weird, completely inappropriate.

i never thought  i would be discussing how much i’m going to miss my gym. honestly though, i was so fortunate to fall into this community.  they’re such a fun, funny, smart, fit pack of weirdoes. i would never be able to thank tj and lindsay enough for their kindness, motivation, and ass kicking. thank you to all who welcomed me and made me felt a part of the group and not just like the fat girl in the corner.

i haven’t made it one day since being back in denver without crying over leaving my job. the kids i teach are so special. they make me laugh, challenge me, and give me hope for the generation to come. seriously, if only i could move this entire place and all the people in it with me, i would. in the three years i’ve worked at ygp there has never been a day where i am not excited to go to my job. no matter how crummy i feel, or what drama may have happened in my life, getting up and going to work is a sheer joy. how many people actually get to say that? i know how fortunate i’ve been and i don’t take that for granted…not even for an instant. BEST JOB EVER. i am happy that marisa is taking it over. i feel like i’m leaving them with someone who will not only be a great teacher but also someone who will love and care for the kids here. 

video
seriously folks i do this for a living