Sunday, February 12, 2012

Personal Politics

I remember there is some joke about gynecologists not wanting to come home and see the "same thing they had to look at all day", and though it's a bit of a stretch, it popped into my mind this week when hubby turned on American Idol. Honestly, after a day of listening to 13 amateur singers attempt to be, well, better, i really don't want to come home and watch any more singers. My analytical brain is basically shot, and my ears want a major break.

I feel differently about watching The Voice. For me, this taps into something about being a person who has worked and worked and then gets a chance to prove it on national tv. These folks have friends and family who've based their whole lives on the dreams of a loved one. And I feel calm while they sing. They know what they're doing. I don't feel some vague sense like it could all fall apart by the end of each phrase.

Of course, I say all of that, and while warming up for this Chicago audition I find myself occasionally falling apart at the end of phrases. I'm rusty, and I've decided to try and learn a little something new in the meantime. What they heck, either you grow or you die.

Lately facebook has been a lot of politics. It's interesting, as hubby does not find that his facebook is a lot of politics--so maybe I just know (and like) a lot of opinionated people? I do find that I am about 20 times more likely to read and comment on a funny picture of a baby or a pet than I am to have that interest in something political.

And this is why.

I am so annoyed by how many people have to make politics personal. Why can't we keep these discussions as thoughtful, interesting and educated? Why do we make up nicknames for a party of people who encompass at least 25 per cent of EVERYONE? What makes me sad about this is the "marketing" part of this whole thing. Somehow, those whose job it is to promote their candidate or party have been able to talk other people into believing they are "good guys". So, the others, by definition, must be bad guys.

And I believe pretty firmly that there are no good guys and bad guys. So this whole thing bothers me. I highly doubt many people walk into a voting booth hoping that people will be miserable. They believe that what they're voting for is BETTER for everyone. Eye Roll. This whole thing annoys me.

I swear, if one more person posts a picture of someone in politics doing something (ANYTHING) and says "this picture says everything" I'll puke. My husband works in the news, and I'll tell you while pictures are worth a thousand words, Only a small portion of those words are truth.

In the meantime, back to practicing.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Go Shorty. It's Your Birthday.

So I'm 38. I think this makes my "more about me" section officially a little off. My husband came up to me this afternoon and put his arm around me and told me it was his last day of being married to a young woman. He's 42, so I'm not sure where he's getting this.

We are so eager for our trip to Orlando in March--beaches and sun and maybe just a tiny bit of Disney. Baby S will be so thrilled that it will possibly spin her head right off of her body. I'm hoping this is the perfect time to get that pacifier out of her mouth....and that hopefully that won't ruin our trip! I promise to be somewhat flexible. If it doesn't work, we all just accept it must be a few more months.

I officially have an audition for the Chicago Lyric Opera chorus(I think it's Lyric Opera of Chicago, but that's more awkward to type). It's 5 days after our trip, so I should be well-rested and officially tan. I am committing to get enough practicing in before then but I have been R.U.S.T.Y. this week going over my music. I have neglected practicing for months now. Bad idea.

I remember when I sang with the Los Angeles Opera Chorus years ago. I loved it. It was my first professional gig. There were famous people standing next to me, and the rehearsals were like a well-oiled (union) machine. People were good....and LOUD and it was the single best experience I've had with a group of people singing Happy Birthday to me :) But I remember then wondering about the people in the chorus who were so good....amazing...and 10-20 years older than I was at 26. I wondered where did they go wrong, what was wrong with them? Why weren't they having rich solo careers? And yet I also kind of liked their lives. Many of them sang in an opera chorus, in the master chorale, and then taught a little, and it was enough to make a pretty good living ( doing what they loved). Me? I was going to be a big star, that was the only way to say you'd "made it." Right?

So now I look back with such different eyes. Talent, excellence, they are a fraction of this career. The career is a slippery sweepstakes, with a surprising number of people trying to win.

This month I tried to win a trip for 4 to universal orlando theme park. Hubby and I played 10 times a day (the maximum) for at least 20 days. And the sweepstakes gave out 12 prizes a day. but we didn't win. Were there that many people playing? Sometimes it seems like that with opera...that random, that confusing. Are there really that many people who are good, doing the maximum, believing in it, practicing? And yet....trying to figure out what to do next in their mid 30s?

I went way off. I suppose my job is to analyze myself. After all, it's my birthday. But right now I'm ok with stuff. I have a lot to get done this year, and I'm hoping the chorus might end up being a way to earn some money NOT teaching. Right now that sounds good...just to have a break every so often.

I wonder where I'll be next February 7.