Exhibit A

I give you the following:

It's festive, isn't it? It's a nice little shot of Liberty Street with the Michigan Theater sign all lit up. Does it put you in the Christmas spirit? Does it make you yearn for cookies and hot chocolate and long days of sledding? Do you hear a faint refrain of jingle bells...jingle bells....jingle all the way?

It's cozy, no? You can't see us, but my friends and I are snuggly sitting on the second floor of Potbelly's, eating our warm and gooey subs, watching the snow fall and relaxing from our hour and fifteen minutes of trekking a route (by car) that usually takes ten.

Does your spidey sense tell you that something is off? Can't quite put your finger on it?

Let me help you.

It's MARCH 21.

I live in ANN ARBOR, not ALASKA.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've never been dreaming of a white Easter.


Snow Day


Morning's desire stretches across an early sky.
It is deep and quiet as I walk.
The river moves slowly in subdued tones
and the trees are heavy with snow.

A thousand snowflake kisses fly across the river.
I watch them advance with open eyes
and succumb without protest to their insistence.
Snow rests on my lips, my eyelashes
binds strands of my hair in icy sweetness

Wanting to lie face down in untouched splendor,
I bury my naked hands instead
and am pierced with delightful burning.
I squeeze the softness into my palms
until water running down my wrists
soaks translucent into my skin.

The wind presses itself against me.
It is familiar, flirtatious...
It hovers in coy whispers around my face
and coils around my legs.
Hidden warmth rises from the covered earth
to balance morning's cold beauty.

I stand in the silence of winter's dawning,
surrounded by brightness,
and am known by this place
in infinite, intimate ways.



I feel like I should be keeping a journal of these two weeks here in Vancouver so I don't forget things which happen. Tomorrow I plan to go and buy a notebook since I would rather write by hand than type. And since I'm pretty sure that Stacey is the only person who checks in on this blog, I'm sure she won't mind a non bike related post (since I've been keeping track on bikejournal anyway).

So, dear Stacey, feel free to read or not, as you so choose. :-)

Today I sang the opening recit and aria to La Mort de Didon in masterclass. It felt good and I was able to be more dramatic than usual. I think that maybe the movement classes with Steven have helped that and just being in a totally non judgemental (well, as non judgemental as a group like this can be) environment has given me space to explore. What truly amazes me, though, is that in two days Ellen has opened up my sound in such a major way.

It's none of that small, held, sometimes tight mostly straight nonsense. Oh no. It's real, deep, earthy, rich and full and free. Me likey. The core of my sound is still there, but there is just so much more ˆcolorˆ. There's more height to the sound and it feels so much better. When it sits right, I actually feel the way I'm ˆsupposedˆ to use my breath. Pretty damn cool, if you ask me.

I have no idea if I will be able to maintain it once I'm gone, but I really hope I can continue to find the deeper resonance and fuller vowels she has been able to pull out of me. I have to remind myself not to overpractice for fear of losing the placement.

The rest, I suppose, I'll leave to actual writing. (You're not missing much, Stace, I promise) I still haven't adjusted to the time change and it's feeling very late.


a cool thing happened...

...while I was waiting to turn left onto Pontiac trail. I had decided to go out tonight for an easy easy easy bike ride to recover from yesterday's killer and to prepare for tomorrow morning's Monday jaunt with my BF (who for the sake of this blog I'll call Trumpet).

After tooling around the neighborhood for a bit, I rode up Pontiac and down Dhu Varren to a nice development with a great hill. It goes down, veers to the left, and back up again. When I was first learning how to ride my bike I used this hill to practice shifting down to granny gear (which I hardly use anymore) and back to the second chainring.

I took a few rides around the block, so to speak, and thought it might rain, so I rode back up Dhu Varren to the Pontiac intersection. I slid into the center of the lane (because I was turning left), unclipped, and rested my weight on my right foot. One car went by. And then another. I saw my opening after a little white something-or-other car.

As the little white something-or-other car went by, the driver honked and gave me a thumbs up!

It was über cool. And I think it will make me happy for weeks.



Well, I have been tagged by my friend Lizzie and the 7 Random Things meme. I suppose I'll be a nice blogger and play along!

In no particular order:

1. I like Star Trek. I'm not a trekkie (or trekker...or whatever they like to be called), but I do enjoy a good episode of TNG or Voyager. I think Patrick Stewart is quite sexy in his uniform and I think of Captain Picard everytime I drink Earl Grey tea. Make it so, Number 1.

2. I jumped off the roof when I was thirteen. No, it wasn't a suicide attempt. It was a challenge from my sister who called me a chicken. Looking back, it was a REALLY stupid thing to do. I landed myself in the emergency room and then in surgery a week later. They had to use a screw to correct my shattered ankle. Bye bye ballet!

3. I, in general, hate movies about music or musicians. It's probably because I am one. I found Mr. Holland's Opus contrived and I was very aware of its attempt to manipulate my emotions. Which it didn't. I'm okay with Amadeus, as long as people realize that the movie is a completely dramatized version of Mozart's life. Salieri wasn't really such a villan. Most of those events didn't even happen the way they were portrayed. Sigh.

4. My favorite food is pizza. Yup, I'm 30, and I can still say that pizza is my favorite food.

5. I once thought about giving up music and moving to Korea. Or becoming a massage therapist. Or teaching English in China.

6. My current dream is to be a good enough cyclist and a good enough German speaker to spend a few weeks cycling through Germany. My dreams change often, though, so stay tuned. It's my Gemini nature.

7. My favorite book is Travels with Charley by Steinbeck. I read it first when I was 13 on a recommendation from one of my aunts (can't remember which one...). It's a great account of Steinbeck's travels through America with his dog, Charley. I think it may have sparked my interest in travel at a young age.

So there it is. Seven random things about me. Alas, I don't have much of a web presence yet, so I won't be tagging anyone.
But if you happened to run across my blog and read this meme, I hope you found it interesting!

Now I think I'll go ride my bike.


Yesterday, I received the most thrilling package in the mail. My bike shoes finally arrived!!

Aren't they pretty?

Over two weeks ago I decided to go for it and go clipless. I did research. I visited my LBS. I tried on shoes and got my size. I spent hours online trying to find the best deal on shoes and pedals and finally, last Friday, took the plunge and ordered them. I decided it would be okay to order these online because 1) it was going to be cheaper 2) I had a gift certificate to Nashbar and 3) I knew I would have help putting the pedals on my bike.

I couldn't WAIT to try something new. (As if the whole cycling thing wasn't new enough!)

I ordered my pedals from ebay and they arrived while I was away at the beach.

Here is the old pedal:

Here are my new pedals (obviously not on the bike yet):

My shoes have cleats which lock into the pedals. The feeling of being clipped into the bike is totally awesome. Just as long as I don't lose my balance...and take a tumble...

It's the starting and stopping that's tricky. And the standing. And the not falling over.

But it is totally and completely worth it.


car musings

My car is old. Ancient, even, by today's standards. It was in an accident once, had its windshield replaced, brakes fixed, new tires, countless oil changes, and a very, very close brush with death. A few years ago it was given a grim diagnosis.

"It could go any day now" the car-guy said. "Or, it could last a few months. We just don't know".

A friend of a friend advised me to make it look real nice and sell it. Somehow, though, that didn't seem ethical. How could I sell my car to someone when the car-guy said might go any day? Eventually I got over my fear of konking out on the road and starting driving it around town. I mean, I do have AAA and friends to come rescue me, right? So if I get stuck somewhere I won't actually be stuck, right?

Today, though, I had to take the car in to get the seatbelt fixed and unexpectedly had to leave it at the dealer. After getting over my annoyance at a miscommunication with yet another car-guy, I took the bus and walked home. It gave me a chance to reflect on car-lessness. So many blogs I've read recently are of folks who are forsaking their cars for more sustainable forms of transportation. They commute by bike, by bus, or by foot. They combine trips when forced to use their autos, or they carpool. It all makes so much sense...

Can I use my car less? Yup. Do I always make the "greener" choice? Nope. But I want to. I want to keep that slightly giddy car-free feeling I had on my walk home. I want the freedom to make that quick coffee stop or to pop into a local shop. I want to do less harm to the environment and just take more time.

Of course, this is all easy when it's sunny and 75 degrees. Who knows how I'll feel in the middle of a Michigan winter.

For now, though, I'll continue to explore car-lessness and continue to read and continue to see if I can make changes...slowly.