The story for tonight

Tonight, I keep it extremely short:

Lin-Manuel Miranda, I thank you – you have given the world such wonder and love and beautiful creativity and expression, and we, the people, are grateful. 😉

And for all of it – you are a gift, and you have shared your treasure with the world at large… for that, and for following your passion and love, you have helped to make the world a better place on both a personal and a global level.

Thank you.

Post-a-day 2020

Two things about music

The first:

It is funny, the things that get us, that get to us… I have been mostly totally fine with all of the splatters of chaos going on in the world around me these past weeks (the past one especially), and my life has been rather normal-ish… I have been bummed for many a people who have had work closed (and, therefore, no pay) or canceled (performers who, of course, now will not be paid for unperformed shows), but that is it… I have been bummed about it.

Today, as I read the lovely e-mail from Houston Grand Opera, stating clearly and beautifully that they are cancelling their remaining shows, both paid and free to the public, of the season (four altogether, with many performances of each) and that they are still paying 50% to all workers and performers who were hired to work on the shows, and, if we would like, we could ‘click here’ to donate our ticket prices to help them do this (instead of being refunded or having it apply to next season or something), I found myself full on crying… tears overflowing, body shaking slightly, a feeling of failed, helpless distress filling me…

Perhaps it was the first thing that 100% affected me directly, and not merely indirectly…, and perhaps it was that they were doing it all so kindly, handling it so well for the performers and workers they knew would be out of income probably entirely until the public returns to a life that includes theatres and performances and people…, whatever the case, it helped me to experience all the feelings I had been avoiding inside myself about all of this… I am terrified for my friends, these people I love, who work in these industries that have closed, and I am distraught for my performer friends, the people who light up my life for me with their every moment of work – their entire job serves the higher good in my life, lifts my spirits, heals my soul… how can I tell them that everything will be okay, when it very possibly will be quite terrible for them for a while?

I cannot…, but I can love them and value them nonetheless for all that they do, for all that they are, both in the world as a whole and in my life specifically…

I don’t know how I would be in life without them and all that they do and are committed to doing…, perhaps that is why it is so hard for me to know and accept the current absolute halt of their work… they mean more to me and my life than they ever could know or understand.

And I believe they might be feeling entirely useless and stupid and helpless right now…, I want the to know that they are not – they are as amazing as ever, and will be even more so amazing when we move forward through all of this, and they stick to doing what they do so spectacularly, both for themselves and for the world around them.

::big siiiigggghhhhh…

Second thing:

I discovered today that one of my absolute favorite places to sing is in a parking garage… I have turned unconsciously to singing this past week, and unabashedly so.

Walking through the parking garage today, I couldn’t help but marvel at how spectacular my voice sounded, reverberating so majestically around the concrete and air that surrounded me… it was beautiful.

And I am not exactly a fancy or trained singer or anything – very much an average, so far as people who understand and play at least some music go.

It was just so amazing a space for singing, it made my own singing sound worthy of being on a soundtrack…

Crazy, right?

Anyway, I look forward to gathering with friends for music dates in the future, in which we feel not so unlike drug dealers, when we meet up in various parking garages at all hours, like it is totally normal. 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Let’s Nike it

The music is playing on my head again… the music from our routine, I mean…

Is it because I want to do the routine?…, because I want to be that clean (in my dancing)?…, because I want to be the professional I know it would lead to being in the dance world?…, or because I want that body shaping I had at the time?…

In the past, it was all about the first several reasons, but I think it is, this time, about the final reason: the body.

I watch videos from then, and I am surprised at how slim my legs are, how flat my belly is… and that surprise really drives home how unfit I had become in the past couple years.

I get it, though – a lot of stress in a certain kind of way can do this to me, especially with how I was emotionally and psychologically until this calendar year.

Now, however, I want to be done with it all, and move forward as the person I want to be, physical body and all.

We’ve been doing this exercise for two months, now… I was worried to look at a scale, because it doesn’t feel like the fat has been rolling off or anything… and I didn’t want to imagine I had been as bad off as I would have had to have been, if it has been rolling off, and this is how I look right now… (hope you understood that)…

I have so much muscle showing up, it’s almost funny…, but then it’s also a bit sad that the only thing left to complete the visual picture is food – the food I have done a terrible job at managing these past several months with my in-and-out circumstances with my home (which continued with a sudden water issue that kicked me out again last night, after having had only five days back at home since the last necessary departure)… so, in a way, I’m not fit yet, because I don’t have a stable home…

How crazy an idea is that?… really makes me wonder about people who generally have no stable homes… hmm… it’s so dreadful, even knowing that I have somewhere I could stay (most of the time, anyway)…, I can only imagine not having that, and trying to be healthy… even good emotional health would be troublesome to come by at that point, I think… man…

Anyway… so I’m back at home again, and I’m clearing out things, cleaning up and tidying, slowly taking on the KonMari lifestyle for realz – I want this, and it definitely feels like the world has been asking me to do it lately… perhaps a crazy and spectacular move is in the mix in the near future, and this has all been necessary to prepare me for it… only those in the know know, and I do not seem to be one at the present time… if only future self could hand me some words of wisdom. 😛

Actually, perhaps this clearing out is due to inspirational words of wisdom from my future self… we shall see what comes, I guess, and that is all we can do about the future, really.

And so I will make way for what is to come, and I will be better prepared in doing so than if I had stayed unaltered … for life is change, and nothing is ever stagnantly the same, so let us change willingly and wholly with life, embracing it as we go… that’s my present intention, anyway. 🙂

Let’s do it.

Post-a-day 2019

Little siblings

I never had little siblings, younger brothers or sisters… I was the baby of many, and by a bit.

My eldest sister would be mistaken as my mother whenever we would go out places… eleven and a half years difference can do that.

And so, I grew up learning loads of things not to do, loads of mistakes not to bother making, because at least one of my older siblings did that thing, made that mistake, and I learned the result long before I might have considered doing any of it myself.

Therefore, I’ve always struggled to understand what it could be like, having your younger sister in grammar school or still in high school… going to their terrible school performances or sports games… my siblings were all older by a good amount, so their performances and games were always awesome to me – in my child mind, they could have been pro compared to my own performances or games at the same time.

Tonight, I ran into two old classmates who were attending the art show of their little sister… and it reminded me that people actually do that, come back to the high school because of the younger sibling… I’d forgotten.

I’d thought people only really returned to visit for themselves, see old teachers and new buildings… that sort of thing… or to work there.

As I pondered how odd that idea feels, I suddenly recalled that I actually can relate a little bit.

You see, it’s almost like I have a borrowed younger sister.

My best friend lives in England, but her youngest sister lives in Houston, and she’s in high school right now.

Though I mostly am at the school for work purposes, I occasionally arrange my schedule around seeing her or spending time with her.

For the art show tonight, I had already planned to attend it, because it is always amazing.

However, I also knew that she would be performing in it, and so made sure to arrange accordingly to be there when she performed.

I always record her performance, and send it to her sister, who, naturally, is too far to make the trip for a short little performance every time.

So, in a way, I have a borrowed little sister: my best friend’s little sister.

It’s not exactly the same as her being my real sister, because I’d have attended loads more of her events and such…, but it has enough similarities for me to be able, ever so slightly, to relate to those who have younger siblings.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

How far we’ve come

I saw the light
I’ve been baptized
By the fire in your touch
And the flame in your eyes
I’m born to love again
I’m a brand new man

As these words rang out across the stadium – quite clearly, surprisingly, seeing as where we were – my lips were already moving in synch, silently matching every word since the initial “I”… and tears welled in my eyes, beginning almost immediately to overflow.

I was attending the Brooks and Dunn concert at the rodeo tonight in Houston, kind of as a celebration of my life, for my birthday – something for me, on my own.

I’d asked my mom to stick around with me, but she was ready to head home, so I was okay hanging on my own for the musicians and their music.

When I was about eight years old, I attended the Brooks and Dunn performance at the Astrodome, also for the rodeo.

During their performance, when walking around on the dirt, they pulled two ladies out from the audience to dance with them.

I remember distinctly being upset and embarrassed as the one lady proved, after two quick but failed attempts, that she could not do any sort of partner dancing, let alone the by of two-stepping one of them wanted to do with her.

Rather than rejecting the lady, reading her out for a better model – that’s actually how my brain analyzed it at the time – he just grabbed her around her waist/hips area, and swung her around in a circle or few.

My frustration at this lady for having been unprepared for such a monumental opportunity – dancing with Brooks and Dunn – was not only projected blindly, but had me consider how I would have done, if I’d been the one pulled out onto the floor…

I was rather confident that I would have been able to manage it.

However, I fully acknowledged that I was not certain.

And so I made it my business immediately after this event to make certain that I knew how to two-step and could do it with just about anybody on demand.

Fast-forward a couple decades, and see me at the concert tonight… I found it almost ironic that, though I never anticipated to be pulled out to dance with Brooks and Dunn, here I was, two decades later, likely one of the best country western dancers in the entire stadium, knowledge, ability, and a world title to prove it.

Isn’t that at least a little bit totally crazy?(!!!)?

Anyway, so I can dance, and extremely well, but that’s only part of my mentioning all of this.

When the guys began playing and singing tonight, I was in instant and somewhat constant tears (even throughout the whole show!), right?

Right.

And it occurred quickly to me, This is the power of music.

I was somehow transported to my life when I listed probably daily to Brooks and Dunn music, as I simultaneously saw all that had happened between them and now, how what felt like a lifetime and ten different people ago had somehow led me to today, to who I am today.

There was a lot of good and a decent amount of bad in there, especially early on, and it was a very, very full time all throughout.

And, somehow, here I am, experiencing it all again, while feeling empowered by the open bliss and joy for life I felt back then, reminded of the sadness of what I went through off and on, and encouraged by the fact that I have made it to here so far, and I’ve plenty more wonderful expansion and beautiful growth yet to come for myself in my life.

All of this from music, specific songs and notes and voices and instruments all put together in a certain way, as though, almost, specifically and intentionally with me in mind.

It was of the best kind of medicine.

And this reminds me of how my high school band director always used to tell us that music is a language… tonight, their music spoke directly to me, throughout every place within me.

Post-a-day 2019

Friends in action

There is a bit of a tizzy going on amongst those sitting in the director’s circle, just after my friend begins her solo song. I hear something like an ‘I don’t Know,’ from the circle as Blue Sweater turns ’round, shaking his head intensely with an air of sighing disbelief.

“Are you talking about the rag that was left behind?” I ask, since she had just had to step over a dropped white rag from the previous scene.

“What?”

I repeat.

“No. HER,” he says, somewhat dramatically, tipping his head toward the girl on stage, toward my friend. “She’s …perfection. She’s… she’s just perfection,” he says, hands flying with something like exasperation.

‘Oh.’ I agree… a few moments of silent awe follow, as everyone watches her on stage.

Shaking his head, “I mean, she has to know how perfect she is… she Has to know – I Have to give her the note,” and he flips open and begins writing in a notebook.

Everyone watching the stage is smiling, and they are smiles from deep within.

🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Musicals

“Prince Siddhartha: The Musical”

Go see it – it’s wonderful.

It kind of felt like someone did what the makers of “Urinetown” did, how they took famous bits of other shows and included them in “Urinetown” (e.g. the “Evita” portrait in the mob, or the waving of the flag from “Les Misérables”), but just taking songs from famous musicals…. not that they stole anything – just that they were inspired strongly by those famous songs, especially in terms of the orchestra’s role and notes.

Nonetheless, it was a nice musical, and I kind of want the soundtrack now, so I can sing all the songs. 🙂

Post-a-day 2018

Recycled(?) and Reused(?) Concerts

We went to a sort of concert tonight, where musicians composed and performed musical pieces on unsalvageable – truly – pianos (or, in one case, a big chunk of what used to be a piano).

I saw an article about it in the Houston Chronicle on Friday, and sent a photo of it to a friend, since the concert was free and she and I were planning on doing something together Sunday, but weren’t sure what exactly… and so, with little knowledge of what precisely was going to greet us with this performance – I mean, we did know the location and that the location, Super Happy Fun Land, was absolutely absurd in and of itself, so we had a big hint that the performance would be of the artistically absurd type, but we weren’t sure in what way or ways – we went. 🙂

By the end of it all, we had seen and heard from our recycled AMC theatre chairs the use of hammers, drum sticks, bass drum mallets, a wheel-y thing, a piano tuner, pliers, chain mail, and vibrators (yes, the sexual kind – three kinds of them, actually, one being bright, Pepto Bismol-y pink) on pianos as a means of making music, and we’d heard a bit of poetry with one of the pieces, too.

And (Oh, I guess this counts, too, as something used on a piano.) the third and final piece ended with the performer/composer shoving, with an almighty wrench, the upright piano backward onto the ground – complete with a humongous, resounding and somewhat shocking BOOM! – and then jumping up and down on the strings, smashing all that he could with his shoes, before completing with a satisfied, deep chuckle.

It was, indeed, a creatively absurd evening.

Post-a-day 2018

The Opera

Opera is ridiculous.  One night, I have a constant close-up of an incredibly-endowed woman’s exposed nipples, and another is packed with the gag-inducing stupidity and lovey-dovey total BS drama whose only competitor is telemundo’s telenovelas.  Actually, they are almost all packed with that last bit.  Most nights, eye rolls abound, and we occasionally have to restrain intense laughter at the nonsense of people’s declarations of what their love must mean and be able to do, or else what their rage and fury must now cause.  Tonight was one of those nights.

And yet, it is such spectacular music, it is what I long to hear most evenings, as I am settling in at home for the evening.  I feel as though most of the dramatic operas are best when the words are not understood.  Otherwise, they are all just idiots, and you really don’t seem to mind at their dying (slash you kind of want them to hurry up and just die already).

Let us be clear here: I love opera.  It is just painfully dramatic and ridiculous at times, that I just want to punch people and hit a fast-forward button, so that the stupidity will end already.  I get enough of that in real life.  Let’s not dwell on it so dumbly in our entertainment.

Post-a-day 2018