Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There may be trouble ahead

Right at the moment there is more on my plate then I can eat: family, work, not knowing where to, numerous ifs.
All life and no game.
But sometimes it's just about facing the music, isn't it?

I can't believe it's been ten years already.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A home at the end of the world

I’m a big city girl by birth and at heart.
But if I weren’t, I'd spend my life living in this house.
And which one would be yours?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"And Oh, how happy shall that future be!..."

Last night I didn't get much sleep, as my old neighbour tried to torch his flat.
Officially he was busy microwaving some rolls, but as it happened to occur around midnight, he must have forgotten all about his hunger and fell asleep. The rolls were reduced to cinder, the fire alarm went off and we spent half the night airing his kitchen and scratching what left from his dinner-not-to-be into the waste bin.
He is a sweet old man, who keeps forgetting my name but never misses a beat when it comes to flirting with me.
Each time we would meet in the staircase, he'd straighten his back (I can almost hear his fragile vertebrae uncurling) and flash his false teeth. I would slow down to let him cram out his old, carefully polished chat-up lines. Sometimes he gives me a toffee and watches me unpeel the sweated-in wrap from the sticky surface of a candy.
In his youth he must have been quite a ladies man.
In the morning the air on our floor was still thick with fumes. My hair is reeking of smoke because I was way too done in to wash it.
That's not what I intended to write about. You see, my thoughts are all over the place. I must be really tired.
I'm an avid
IGoogle -user. Lazy as I am, I couldn't find a better way to organize my favourites.
My igoogle- page is packed with your blogs, but also lots of neat&nifty gadgets.
It tells me about the weather in BA, supplies youtube news, it countdowns hours left till the clock-out and sometimes I calligraph little mean things about my boss onto the little yellow notes one can magically make disappear.
However, on IGoogle one can now get so-called
"artist themes".
I tried a couple of motives before tripping over the
pig of happiness and now have a confession to make.
I love
Edward Monkton and his interesting thoughts.
The person behind these designs is a well-known poet. He is also a
courageous man, who happened to have successfully fought cancer while doing his finals in Oxford.
Besides he knows everything about women's profound relationships with
chocolate and shoes - and isn't afraid to tell you so.
Now I'm sitting at my desk, and the sheep of destiny is grinning at me, promising me a happy future.
And for once I do believe it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

...The world is a stage

My relationship with opera music has been somewhat ambiguous. The reasons were plenty, the most important of them being that I've been an opera singer for a major part of my life. I grew up listening to this kind of music. Later I had studied it, loved it, lived it.
Yet, I have never regretted my decision not to pursue this career.
"Don't look back!" was a motto I lived by.
Although I hadn't stopped singing altogether, I rigorously cut back on it. For a long time I did my best to avoid music theatres. Apparently it was way too close to home and I was at home.
Now I'm cautiously groping my way back to the path I once explored with such fervour, it nearly destroyed me.
I took it easy at the beginning: went to some recitals, took a couple of lessons again, and worked on technically tricky things– just for myself, without any pressure from outside.
Last year in September I ventured out to Metropolitan's Lucia di Lammermoor". It was great, yet I left feeling uneasy: my throat felt tight as if I had spent tree hours competing with Natalie Dessay. In my mind I stood on the stage again, carefully forming tones and phrases, reliving something I always aspired, but never came really close enough to. I was taken back with surprise and also annoyance.
I guess I wasn't ready then.
But Sunday afternoon I went to small theatre in the neighbour town to hear Giulio Cesare in Egitto.
It was a nice performance with a superb young singer, from whom I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more in the future.
And for the very first time in ages I thoroughly enjoyed it.
At last I was just a spectator.
I guess I've moved on.

Here is an (unfortunately) curtailed vesion of " V'adoro, pupille", sung by the one and the only Tatiana Troyanos.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Squaring the circle

Do you remember that hilarious short story by O. Henry called "Squaring the circle"? If not, do read it. You won't regret it. It's about a feud between two Kentucky families that "flourished for forty years”. The last two Cumberland feudists, helplessly lost in NYC, meet "in the angles of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and Twenty-Third Street" and shake hands, relieved to see a familiar face . There is a human twist to it as to any other O. Henry story which makes it applicable to … well, anything.
Bear with me, there is a point to the tale.
Friday night I went to a far, far, far away milonga. I had a personal reason for wanting to break away from my tango routine. Recently I got caught up in a tangle of other people's relationships, but instead of taking sides I just went into hiding. I would write it off my chest, but don't yet know how to.
Anyway, on Friday night I found myself out of my natural habitat.
It was a nice enough place: small and snug, smooth timber floor, a friendly DJ and decent music.
The only problem was that no one was there apart from two or three older couples working on their cool moves.
I decided to give it an hour, before calling it a night. So I slumped back into the armchair and closed my eyes.
As I opened them again, I didn't believe whom I saw.
There is one leader in our tango community. He is very good and - borderline arrogance aside – treats those "beneath" him relatively friendly. But he would never, ever dance with me, because he considers me to be waaay out of his league. To make sure that our kind doesn't get any wrong ideas about it, he tends to give us this glazed over "Oh, you here?" - fake smile - moving swiftly on” routine. Most of the time I find such conduct fairly amusing. Once he caught me out bitching about such kind of behaviour, and although I never got as personal as to mention his name specifically, he knew enough to ignore me from then on.
I still don't know how he managed to end up there, in this godforsaken milonga. Hunted by his own devils, I suppose.
He lumbered indecisively by the entrance.
Then he saw me and his face virtually lit up. He waved (I had to look around to make sure he really meant me) and crossed the dance floor to give me a kiss.
And then I laughed. I couldn't help it.
Because exactly in this moment the short story about two foes stumbling upon each other in a big strange city came to my mind:
"Howdy, Cal! I'm durned glad to see ye."