March 24, 2013

oh hey, internet.

miscellany:

• the city accidentally did me a huge favor by putting a turn lane in on my street, right in front of my apartment, because in doing so they turned the part of my street just before our driveway into a no parking zone. every day for the past, oh I don't know, fourteen months? I've mentally cursed out the neighbor in the building next door who parks his huge-ass child molester van so close to the driveway entrance that I'd have to come to a screeching halt in order to make the turn. so thank you, city of portland. also the turn lane is pretty ace.

• it seems like a hundred years ago that I was falling asleep in the middle of rinaldo tech rehearsals. time passes so strangely.

• I discovered during the run of rinaldo that I really like cherry jolly ranchers. (our director brought a bag in to the theater). like, really like. because I am 12.

• in other junk food news, I had most of a bag of popcorn kernels left over from a party we threw this week (I'll tell you about that later) and so I finally braved making popcorn on the stove, since I live in the dark ages and don't own a microwave. and y'all, that shit is easy and now I am in danger of eating nothing but popcorn for the rest of my life.

slightly less miscellaneous:

horse
cookie and I have been hanging out a lot. her leg healed but not before I shelled out $170 on a vet visit, which of course happened to be scheduled about 12 hours after I realized she no longer looked lame. I didn't cancel because I was afraid to trust my instinct. so the vet visit went something like, 'yep ... she's totally fine.' incidentally this is the second large vet bill I had to pay in a two-week period, since I'd had the dentist out just 10 days before for a full float. as a result of paying about $325 to columbia equine this month, I'm currently subsisting on $18 worth of groceries.

by the way, the one fortunate thing about the vet visit was that her all-clear came the day before tech, so fortunately my days of getting to the barn at 7 AM to cold hose and then going back at 9:30 PM ended just before I would have had to instead visit the barn at 5 AM and midnight instead.

anyway. we have been hanging out a lot, although not so much the last few days, when I have just been too worn out. my goal has been to see her at least every other day, either to ride or to hang out, graze, groom. I've taken to walking her around the property on a lead, like a big dog. although this is ostensibly because I want to expose her to new sights and sounds (something I have been pointedly bad at while I have owned her), it might also be because while I was sick last weekend I watched like 6 hours of the best of the dog whisperer with cesar millan. so if you need a dog trainer, call me?

so, cookie and I are kind of hitting the reset button, and I am feeling better about all of it than I have in a long time. now, she nickers to me when I come in the barn door. also, if I stand at my tack bin, which puts me just out of her reach, she makes this ridiculous face:

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which is her attempt to mug me for treats. it usually doesn't work.

opera
I had this thing happen a couple of weeks ago where we decided we wanted the singers & orchestra to play bird call sounds backstage at the top of one of the numbers in rinaldo, a number called 'augelletti' (little birds). so I contacted our principal percussion player to rent some, along with a thunder sheet and a wind machine. (it never stops amusing me that this sort of thing is par for the course in my job). then someone asked me to find out how many bird calls he was going to bring over, so I asked, and he said: one.

one bird call.

this was two days before the first time we'd use the calls in rehearsal, so I promptly went in a panic through the entire internet trying to first figure out what kind of bird calls to buy -- they were being played by the singers backstage and there really wasn't time for 'nightingale calls 101' -- and then where to buy them where they wouldn't cost a fortune and could be shipped to me overnight. I discovered that you could buy children's whistles that realistically simulated bird tweeting when filled with water, but after much searching and hang wringing I could only find one vendor on Amazon who could get them to us quickly enough. I placed the order on a tuesday morning for a wednesday afternoon arrival and felt pretty good about it all. the order was for a dozen bird calls. I signed up for a trial of amazon prime and the grand total of the order was $9.98 so I also felt pretty smug and awesome.

then on wednesday, they arrived and were nothing like I thought they'd be and were not even water whistles but rather regular whistles made of wood, in the shape of birds. fuck. me.

at this point, half-panicked and with about 17 hours to go, I made a comprehensive list of every toy, party, and game store in town, with a plan to call them one by one the following morning. not having bird calls wouldn't have been the end of the world -- it was our first tech rehearsal, more than a week before opening night -- but our conductor so enthusiastically believed that I could produce any musical change, item, or instrument at will that I really hated to rob him of that belief.

in the end, totally by accident I thought of cargo, this crazy imports shop downtown where incidentally I spent about an hour and a half on my birthday last year with g, trying on funny hats and making all the lucky cats' paws move and opening the drawer of every cabinet and table they were selling. and although their online catalog is far from comprehensive, there were the birds, $3 apiece. I went to the store in a state of terror, afraid they'd be out of stock or would no longer carry them or god knows what else, but I walked in and there they were, an enormous display of them just next to the register. like, 150 bird whistles. every shape and breed. the girl behind the counter, seeing me grabbing fistfuls of them, demonstrated one to me and I nearly cried in relief.

this is why every night when the singers played them from backstage -- despite being children's toys, they are remarkably bird-like and very present and require no amplification -- I think of them as my birds. I brought one of them, a rooster-shaped one, up with me to the spot booth and at the end of the aria before the bird cue, I'd crawl out of my chair, lay on the floor by the spot window, and bird call as loud as possible, in hopes to add a little magic for the folks in the second balcony.

rinaldo closed last night and today my only goal is to do nothing for as long as possible. although it's supposed to be a relatively nice day -- normally a recipe for total guilt and restlessness for me -- unless portland pulls out 80 degree wather and birds come knocking on my door and the ice cream man drives by a few times, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be me, zelda, netflix, and probably some of that popcorn. and if you happen to need 11 bird-shaped wooden whistles (I broke one), give me holler.

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