Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not so hot

The summer has been hot in Kansas City and basically everywhere else. Today is not though. I enjoyed my coffee this morning while sitting on my front stoop watching people in my neighborhood leave for work. The air was a brisk sixty-eight degrees and made me absolute happiness. Of course I love a good sweat but I almost forgot that autumn is just around the corner in all this heat. I wouldn't complain if it stayed around this temperature for the next six months. I love sweater-weather.

Here is one of the songs I am working on today in my practice:
"Oh! quand je dors" Music by Franz Liszt, text by Victor Hugo. Soprano, Barbara Bonney and piano, Malcom Martineau. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kansas City Eating

Wading back into the blog today with a quick comment on my breakfast. I went to ingredient for breakfast in Leawood, KS. It's a regional franchise and it didn't make me want to kill myself. Here is my breakfast breakdown:
  • Coffee is self serve and decent but not amazing (on the thin side). It will deliver your caffeine fix but not inspire any artistic revolution in your soul. So I guess it's just a matter of what you want your coffee to do for you.
  • Tomato basil egg sandwich (with two eggs, Gouda, toms/bas, on an English muffin) was like a fancy Egg McMuffin and I mean that in the best possible sense. I have however been regularly dining on tomatoes and basil (among other herbs and vegetables) fresh from my friend's gardens recently (as it is the season for such delights) so my palette has been spoiled. It was served with remarkable salty-herby home fries which the table agreed were exceptional.
  • Doughnut holes came out much later (as in significantly after the sandwich and taters were introduced and well acquainted with my belly) but were hot and fresh from the fryer. You can choose a variety of toppings for the "doughnut holes" (quotations necessary because the holes were the size of a nine-year-old's fist) and our were topped with whipped cream and strawberries (both of which were definitely trying their best). The serving size was ridiculously large and would definitely be best split as a dessert among at least four people. I don't care so much for a giant bowl of fried cake for breakfast myself, although many people do. Anyone out there that wants to eat more than one Belgian waffle for breakfast could probably handle the whole doughnut hole serving on their own.
  • FINAL VERDICT: Satisfying but not memorable. In fact every part of the experience left me with the desire to go somewhere else that does that one particular thing better. I missed table service desperately (especially at breakfast). At ingredient you order at the counter and they bring your food to you but drinks/forks/napkins are all self-serve. The doughnut holes would be better off advertising themselves as beignets but one bite in made me want to get up and drive to Jazz's who make beignets that make you want to get a job with benefits so you can spend all your time and money there eating them. For serious go to Jazz's (I've only ever been to the own in KC MO, fyi) and at least just get beignets and then you can die happily. The sandwich mostly seemed like something I could've made at home with minimal effort. Best thing about breakfast at Ingredient was the home fries and I wouldn't go just for them.
I promise I am not a cynical asshole. I just f-ing love breakfast.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Date Night!

I am currently on a much belated date with one of my very favorite people. Me! Rehearsals for the opera once again concluded extremely early giving me ample opportunity to romance myself. First I treated myself to some sushi, then straight to the couch for a scary movie. Later on the agenda is a mani/pedi and foot massage. Then to bed early for snuggling.

My Friday night, ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rehearsals: la premère semaine

The week of music rehearsals for the opera (Dialogues of the Carmelites) is almost over. I am tres psyched about my progress on this score. I need to do a better job in the future of remembering what it is possible to accomplish. Only a few weeks ago I opened my score for the first time and became utterly terrified. Today, I sang my whole role memorized, well, more or less.

My roommates have a friend in from out of town this weekend which is wholly fantastic because it gives me a lot of reasons to socialize and not work on my library homework (I'm not look forward to it, surprise!) Mostly, I like meeting new musicians. I'm just expanding my network, right? And if being a devoted fan of Mad Men has taught me anything it's that one can easily mix business and pleasure. In fact, sometimes it is absolutely necessary.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I started going to school again. (yay) Hopefully this will mean something will be happening in my life that is a little more post worthy than other people's kids and my ever fluctuating weight.

It's October 2. I have now been in school at UMKC for six lazy weeks. So far I have been moseying along making super new friends and learning a whole bunch-a new music (two things I thoroughly enjoy) but in a few hours rehearsals for the first opera start. Also, I think things in my only academic class this semester will start picking up soon which should mean a lot less facebook for me (not a bad thing necessarily).

Things I need to do more of:
Practicing (always need more)
Working out
Eating vegetables
Ride my bike

So I'll be working on that I suppose.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

8 down, 22 to go

So I have this idea that I want to lose 30 lbs (from my heaviest, which might be more than you'd think). If I don't actually get to 30 lbs that's cool the whole point of having the big number goal is that it will keep me motivated. The real point is I have lost about 8 lbs since May 16 and I am so excited about it. It's one of those things I feel like if I don't tell everyone I know I might let myself become not so accountable about it and then I'm back to lying on the couch eating bags of salty chips (OK, I didn't do that very often before, just making a point).

I am the kind of person that needs to know someone else did it a certain way. I am not very good with just coming up with my own plans when it comes to food. I can pick out healthy stuff and I love to eat it but I didn't seem to be able to translate healthy eating into a slimmer waist. In this case I was watching The Today Show, probably while changing a diaper on a job, and they were talking with the author of The Flat Belly Diet. For some reason I was just hooked. I thought, "that's what I am going to do." And I did, and it totally delivered, so I give it a recommend.I won't wax poetic on the book but I will say I liked it and it definitely helped jump start me in the right direction and since the weight loss and slimming was so quick it was really really helpful in keeping me motivated.

Since then I have been exploring various other light cooking methods/books/systems/etc. Just recently I found out about the Hungry Girl line of cookbooks, yada, yada. My offer to make some Hungry Girl recipes has my fiance Kasey beside himself. He has also just jumped on the get-smaller-clothes bandwagon and was pleased at the prospect of healthy low-cal fries, onion rings, and other yummies.

Other current obsession: Ashtanga Yoga!
Starting a regular yoga practice has made working out so much easier. I used to LOATHE the elliptical because my knees and back would be in so much pain. Since I have been working with connecting with my body and focusing on supporting my body with muscles I have relieved a lot of the tension. YOGA BONUS: more strength, flexibility, and peace! :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

My favorite wedding venue (so far)

My mom and I have visited four potential wedding venues over the past two days. My favorite so far is Crowne Plaza Northstar in Minneapolis, MN.

This is why. You get an amazing suite for free on the night of your wedding. They give you a good price on the block of rooms reserved for your guests. They have an outdoor rooftop terrace to have your wedding ceremony. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. It's a prime location for out-of-towners to mill about the city on foot. Also, out-of town guests can easily manage the entire weekend car-less, which will be nice considering almost everyone will be coming from some non-Minnesota location.

I took some pictures while were there and there are some from other people's weddings (you'll be able to tell which is which):

This is the patio we saw today; they're resurfacing the floor or something like that.

This is what it looks like in August set up for a wedding:
Neat, huh?

Here are a couple photos I snapped of one of the suites. It's pretty sweet:
That room opens to another king-sized room, if you wanted to invite the whole family to stay with you ;)

This is the foyer outside the ballroom that serves as the back-up space for the "social hour" in case of inclement weather.

The ballroom today was set up for a meeting or something.

But it might look like this for a wedding, to get an idea:
Basically, it's all happening. I guess I just can't believe that people plan weddings in three months. I feel stressed and it's like a year and a half away. I'm glad I only plan on doing this one time.

The other hotels we went to were all great and a few are still in the running, this one is just the current favorite!