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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book of the Week ~ The Inner Sky: poems, notes, dreams by Rainer Maria Rilke

Solang du Selbstgeworfnes fängst, ist alles
Geschicklichkeit und lässlicher Gewinn -;
erst wenn du plötzlich Fänger wirst des Balles,
den eine ewige Mit-Spielerin
dir zuwarf, deiner Mitte, in genau
gekonntem Schwung, in einem jener Bögen
aus Gottes grossen Brücken-Bau:
erst dann ist Fangen-Können ein Vermögen, -
nicht deines, einer Welt. Und wenn du gar
zurückzuwerfen Kraft und Mut besäßest,
nein, wunderbarer: Mut und Kraft vergäßest
und schon geworfen hättest ...(wie das Jahr
die Voegel wirft, die Wandervogelschwärme,
die eine ältere einer jungen Wärme
hinüberschleudert über Meere - ) erst
in diesem Wagnis spielst du gültig mit.
Erleichterst dir den Wurf nicht mehr; erschwerst
dir ihn nicht mehr. Aus deinen Händen tritt
das Meteor und rast in seine Räume...

As long as you catch what you've thrown yourself, it's all  
just clever agility and venial gain;   
 but when you suddenly come to catch a ball  
an eternal playmate has thrown 
at you, at your center, has exactly set 
in mastered motion, in an arc 
out of God's great bridge-building -  
then that you catch is real power: 
not yours, the world's. And when you even 
have the strength to throw it back, 
no, better yet: have forgotten courage and strength 
and thrown it back already...(the way the year
throws birds, the flocks of migrating birds 
hurled over the ocean from an old to a new 
warmth - ) then, that gamble, is the first moment 
you too can be said to play. You 
unburden yourself of the throw no longer; you burden 
yourself with the throw no longer. Out of your hands steps 
the meteor and it races into its skies...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I had such an amazing Birthday weekend last week! My beautiful friend Lindsey was in town from California...arriving just in time for a heavy dumping of snow (sorry Linz!). Luckily she missed the really terrible weather of this past case you don't live in MN here's essentially what happened: it snowed a crap ton, and while it was snowing the weather was relatively warm so it was that delightful wet snow that packs down really easily (as in, when cars drive over it...or people walk on it...etc). Then the temps plummeted again, which meant that now all of the roads that had been covered in wet, packed snow (even highways) were now basically a skating rink. No kidding, I have never seen the roads this bad - the highways were literally coated in 1-2 inches of ice for several days...scariest driving I have probably ever experienced.


Here are some photos from my birthday weekend :) Linz, Ben, Chris and I made cupcakes at our place, then met a bunch of friends for dinner and margaritas at La Cucaracha, and then back to our place for scotch, cupcakes and Cards Against Humanity.

Ben found this pirate hat in the kitchen and then requested that I wear it while baking.
OK. If you insist.

Then we started our own pirate band and kidnapped the Clark

Probably the most stylish I have looked while baking, ever

Linz selfies are my favorite selfies

It was time for a wardrobe change

Post-dinner game time


Face time with J :)

Whisky + CAH = yes


More selfies

More friends

When you've known each other for 13 years....


at the end of the night, the cat sweater comes out

OOOoooook. Well, time to get some SLEEP. Things are about to get very interesting over's gonna be a long next few months haha. I'll fill you in shortly, all good things but man. This year is going to be insane.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You are here for life

So I've been keeping myself fairly busy lately...all good things, but things that take up a lot of my time. Work obviously, and yoga, choir and running, so the usual. Plus I'm joining The Singers Anniversary Chorus for Mozart's Coronation Mass on 2/22, the winter session of Asana Junkies is in full swing, my dear friend Lindsey is coming to town this weekend for my birthday, I'll be spending the following weekend in a workshop with Noah Maze (and that's the weekend of the Singers concert), and the weekend after that, Ben and I are road-tripping to Madison. And I'm subbing for Laura the first two Wednesdays in March. Oh and I'm also legit working part-time(ish) for Minnesota Bach Ensemble now, doing marketing/website/event planning shtuff. So you know... in case I didn't have enough going on already.

It does feel like a lot, but it's also helping me to compartmentalize my life more. When I get home from work, I have to TURN OFF work...and turn on whatever else I'm doing (MBE, yoga, choir, what have you). I know I have a tendency to take on too much (as my friends are constantly reminding me), but this time I'm approaching it as a conscious choice. I'm tired of living out of fear - avoiding taking on things I really want because I tell myself I can't or I don't have time. Bullshit. I will make time. You only get one life, and if you don't fill it with the things you love then what is the damn point.
End rant.
I guess this is my version of leaning in.
And I honestly think what will happen is, my vision of where my life is going and what I want to fill that space with will become clearer and eventually some things will start to fall off. It's already started, at least mentally.

Oh hey, also it is really cold here in Minnesota. My dad keeps saying it's "just like the olden days of winter, back when men were men and we walked to school both ways through 80 feet of snow bla bla bla"...ok so obviously those were not his exact words, but you get the general point. That statement is in fact FALSE. This is officially the coldest winter we've had in something like 30 years, so no, every winter did not used to be like this. Turn off your selective memory.

In a related story, here is the view out the window of my office building...delightful:

Welcome to MN, where the people are tall and...
the snowdrifts are even taller

Continuing on with random photos of my life...Ben and I went to Macbeth at MN Opera a couple of weeks ago!

excitement for the thing.

Also, this was in Rice Park. Worth posting, I thought.

And here is me, working from home. These are the days...when anything goes.

Someday, I will forget how to dress professionally and will wear holey jeans into the office..
I've been doing some quality reading lately, as well - John Eliot Gardiner's biography of Bach, and the third installment of The Lunar Chronicles. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite young adult series - basically, it's fairy tales set in the future, in space. Each book adds a new major character, and manages to cleverly re-tell the fairy tale for that character (Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel...and the final volume is Snow White), while still keeping the overarching story rolling and looping the new characters into the existing main cast. Plus, the female protagonists are quite bad-ass: Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who ends up basically leading a revolution, Scarlet is a pilot and Cress is a technology prodigy. Yes, I realize you probably had trouble taking this recommendation seriously after the words "Cinderella is a cyborg mechanic"...or possibly "fairy tales set in the future in space" and yes it sounds totally weird, but I am really loving this series.

(sidebar - one of my yoga friends joined goodreads recently, and after looking at my shelves is accused me of never reading anything light. Clearly he has not seen my extensive shelf of childrens and YA lit.)

Bach was one sassy cantor just need this in your life. YA lit FTW.

Also last weekend, I went to Wits for the first time! I sort of describe Wits as...Prairie Home Companion for a younger audience. I've listened to it a bunch on the radio but had never been to a live show before. This installment featured Andy Richter, with musical guest Neko Case. There was a recurring bit with Abe Lincoln's Ghost, Tom Waits and Morrissey doing commercials and it made me legit laugh out loud. Multiple times. Highly recommend.
AND Theoroi got to go backstage! So fun.

Had to take this photo - brick at Wits signed by one of Ben and my favorite bands (Storyhill)
Hmmm OK. Well, I have a 7am call tomorrow so I should probably get some sleep.  Hope you are having a lovely week!!

we are all connected

"In daily life, we are often lost in thought. We get lost in regrets about the past and fears about the future. We get lost in our plans, our anger, and our anxiety. At such moments, we cannot really be here for ourselves. We are not really here for life." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, February 3, 2014

...and a valuable lesson was learned

Heeyyyy friends! Well, it has obviously been a while since I've written anything here. I'll try to get through this catchup business so we can get to the good stuff like concerts I've been to, musings about teaching yoga and other stuff that's been on my mind lately.

Before we go any further though can I just say, this winter is straight up ridiculous. It's either -30 or snowing...there is no middle ground here. 

Also I broke my car about a week and a half ago...and by 'I broke it' I actually mean 'dude ran a stop sign right in front of me and I couldn't stop in time' my lovely little Honda is now in the body shop, sans front bumper. Thankfully no one was hurt, and my stop sign-running friend was actually a decent human being who stopped to make sure I was OK, exchanged insurance info with me, and hopefully learned a valuable lesson about traffic laws. 

I did drive away, and went straight to my favorite yoga class. Good times. [Sidebar - it's possible that I should not have actually driven away nor should I have driven to the body shop a couple of days later. Dennis (the shop owner) gave me the extreme side eye and was like 'yeah...this is borderline driveable...' ) but you know, everyone is alive and OK so all's well that ends well]

In a related story, Facebook has identified the following as the defining moments of my life in 2013:

That last one is probably the most representative of my life

Here's a little somethin somethin from my Weather Puppy app. This basset hound is not pleased about the -41 windchill, and neither am I.

Nope. Do not want
A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered selling tickets for the Minneosta Bach Ensemble's winter concert which was fun times. MBE was founded last year by my former choir director (he left us to move to Boston...le sad), another former choir colleague and friend is the managing director and I know most of the musicians and soloists so I always enjoy working with them. At one point, we ran out of tickets so I started tearing up small pieces of paper and writing 'ticket' on them. Profesh.

Real tickets

Also real tickets?
That same night, I went to Hilary Hahn and Haushka's concert at Aria in Minneapolis. Aria is in the former Theatre de la Jeune Leune space in the warehouse district, and I hadn't been there since it was Jeune Lenue so it was fun to see a classical concert there. Well, classical-ish. New classical. Hauschka plays a prepared piano, which I will link to a video of in case you haven't seen this. You's awesome. He also de-prepared his piano towards the end of the night and just started tossing the random objects all over the stage - fascinating and hilarious at the same time. And to top it off, the show was almost entirely improvised.

These two have an album together, Silfra, which is gorgeous and atmospheric and I definitely recommend checking it out.

Hilary Hahn and Hauschka at Aria

Last Sunday we went to Piccolo for Ben's birthday - Piccolo does very creative preparations and small plates, and it's one of our favorite spots in MSP. We shared roast carrots with fennel and bleu cheese (pictured below), lamb loin with brown butter gnocchi and mushrooms, and an oxtail terrine...and a buttermilk panna cotta for dessert which was heavenly. Favorite dessert of 2014 so far.


And for good measure, here's what my car looked like after Thursday night's incident. Stop signs are not a joke, friends.

Well that's all I've got for tonight! Time to 
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