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.

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. 

seriously folks i do this for a living

Friday, July 20, 2012

replying to violence.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.

-Leonard Bernstein

i woke up with a barrage of messages asking me if i was okay.

my mother's text was simple: call me when you wake up!
needless to say, by now, most of you will understand 

firstly, let me make explicitly clear: my heart is breaking for colorado. i teach kids who go to columbine. i teach people who's parents or aunts and uncles were at columbine when the shootings happen. i have seen how directly this impacts a community. columbine happened in 1999 and still people remember it like it happened yesterday you never forget that trauma...never.

secondly, let me make clear how much i hate the media. speculation with no actual facts. at one point the local denver abc affiliate started talking about the weather at the apartment building of the suspected shooter.
they also just showed a southwest plane for a good four minutes...granted, it was the shooter's father getting off the plane but, until more facts are collected and until the fbi figures out how to get into the apartment building the reporting seems like an exercise in futility.

perhaps nothing has infuriated me more than this:

the argument that we can lessen violence with more violence and more guns is so unbelievably ludicrous.
louie gohmert represents tyler, texas and just for shits and giggles i decided to look up their city data...wouldn't you know it, all of their crime related data is above average. now, i'm not naive, i know many factors go into it but, i mean...really, there has to be some congruence.   

i also came across this which i think has some really interesting data to look at about the usage of guns in different states in different types of assaults...colorado ranks far lower than texas. 

i would just like to say that in events like this we tend far more to remember the name of the shooter and forget the names of the victims. twelve are confirmed dead, one of their names has been released. let's take a moment to remember jessica.

i leave you with the music of bernstein:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

sometimes you make resolutions in the middle of july

resolutions are a funny thing...
i feel like i always set resolutions at times that are not congruent with norms (new years, birthdays, etc)

resolution number one:
my big resolution this year has been to unleash an inner athlete...i started the day before know, like normal people do.

now, usually my general klutziness has barred me from being able to do most physical activities in the past. the two people who will read this blog will know that i can literally break my toes walking five feet from my bed to the bathroom. as a kid i had terrible knee and asthma problems which led me not to participate in gym for the duration of my youth. i started swimming because it was something i could do that put no pressure on my knees and then my ear issues got in the way and the doctor told me i was no longer allowed to swim. i was essentially the girl in the bubble...

some weird thing came over me in november where i decided i wanted to try and be athletic. honestly, it wasn't even about loosing weight at first. it started with trying to regain a part of my childhood that i thought i never really got to experience.

so what happened in november?
i went to go get my hair did at my favorite denver salon and two of the stylists (sarah-my stylist and lindsay) were discussing crossfit. now, i had heard of crossfit before but i assumed it was primarily for douchebags who were obsessed with their abs and lack of brain cells. granted, if we're being entirely honest some of those people do certainly exist. lindsay mentioned that her boyfriend had just opened a new crossfit and that i should go...and the next morning i did.

in general i am not a shy or timid person with two blaring exceptions: boys (i'm like baby carrying that watermelon in dirty dancing) and physical activities that aren't dancing (trust me dudes, i own the dancefloor). my first crossfit class there was two of us. absolutely nowhere to hide, nowhere to run: pure, unadulterated exposure. i have in my life been someone who has carefully constructed living a life where i only do the things i know i will succeed at (which will factor heavily into the second resolution of the year-but, more about that later). this was the first time, i tried something that i didn't think i'd be good at. my first day we were doing push presses and i push pressed a hundred pounds. it was like a gateway drug into physical fitness. i determined right then and there that i would huff and puff my way into becoming a crossfitter.

resolution number two:
resolution number two came in february when i decided i was going to let myself start failing at things. if i failed it meant i tried...and that was an important step for me. i don't really do vulnerable well (foreshadowing of resolution number three)...and failing is vulnerability at it's most embarrassing or soul crushing. i started allowing myself to be more vulnerable...i even cried once at the gym-it was awful and totally cathartic. i feel as if  i've encountered a totally different person in my skin.

this new found vulnerability also managed to bleed into other aspects of my life. it's made me a better performer and frankly, a better person. things that had formerly held the power to shut me down now were less likely to do so...or i was more inclined to be honest and say something hurt my feelings instead of stonewalling. recently, i had someone say something to me about the size of my arms on stage. it stung...a lot. then, i went and did my wod (workout of the day for you non crossfit folk) on monday and could easily clean and push press 85 pounds(the rx weight for the workout) and i stopped and had a moment where i was grateful for my large arms. they're strong and resilient and i like that.

resolution number three:
at the start of all this i very specifically did not want to make my weight loss the narrative of my life. nor do i want it to be my narrative now. but, i do want a place where i can share what's going the gym, on the stage, in life, yadda yadda yadda.  it's an attempt to be more honest in all aspects of my life and with this resolution  i figured it was time to fire up ye ol' blog again. so friends, i'm back...and i know, i've said it before but i promise...there's far more intention to my blogging now.