December 31, 2008

Reflections on 2008

What a good year this has been. I mean, sure, it's had some not-s0-fun moments (being the most destitute we've ever been, losing a grandfather and recovering from losing a grandmother and an uncle, living with my parents as newlyweds, etc), but when I think of the blessings we've had in 2008, I'm just floored and completely humbled. Here are some of the highlights:

1. We got married (duh).
2. We were given a house.
3. We moved from Boston (partly VERY sad) back to Texas (nice to be back around family and, let's face it, financial help should things get really bleak again and/or the economy get worse).
4. I got a job.
5. Operaboy got a contract with an opera company.
6. We've both grown tremendously both individually and as a newly married couple. Life is good, and I truly cannot ask for more.

Things I'm looking forward to in 2009 (in no particular order):

1. Moving into the Operahaus
2. "Company"
3. Spending quality time with my family, especially those that may not be with us
4. Possibly a trip (we're considering West Coast, back up north to see Operaboy's family, or another Disney World trip)
5. More and more blessings and learning to recognize and be thankful for each one.

And now, before it's TOO late...finally, some pictures from Christmas:

Our Christmas tree that we found on the side of the road.

My niece and I in front of the tree.

My cousin and I giving my sister-in-law some lovin'!

My beautiful cousin and her handsome husband.

My cousin, my mom and I drinking wine on Christmas Eve.

My aunt (being zexy) and my beautiful grandma on Christmas Eve.

Me with the my puppy-niece, Phoenix (best. dog. ever.).

The baby being precious.

My mom and stepdad's dog, Deoge (pronounced: D-O-G. Yes, I know.).

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

Handsome hubby and I on Christmas morning!
See you all in 2009 with MOAR HOUSE PICS!!

December 30, 2008

New Year, New Layout

So as much as I loved my Christmas themed blog layout, the holiday season is nigh over, and I need a new look. Here are my options (I think you can click on the picture for a larger image):

Black and White

Birdy Berries


Open to Opulence
What do you think? Vote on the poll below and/or comment and tell me why!

Teaser Tuesdays - 12/30

Teaser Tuesdays: Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser sentences:

I stand up, turn off my office light, and walk down to the subway, trying to put Dex out of my head. But as I wait on the subway platform, my mind returns to our kiss in the elevator. -- From Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

December 29, 2008

Apparently We're in a Parallel Universe

GEEZ, where has the time gone? I truly meant to blog a bit before Christmas to wish you all, my faithful blog readers (all 5 of you) a VERY Merry and blessed Christmas. I apologize, but you all must know that I mean it anyway. I hope your holidays have been blessed.

It's been a busy several days since I last stopped by the blog. We had a really nice Christmas, and I'll share a few pictures eventually.

But first:

I want my Jessica...

And furthermore:

We'll take that Marion...all the way to the end zone.

Somehow...SOME HOW...beyond all reasonable thought and because of the help of some insiginificant teams....the Eagles have made it into the playoffs.

The EAGLES (no, really, I'm excited). The team who managed to add that elusive (and not oft-wanted) third number to their season record because they "didn't know football games could end in a tie," are going to be playing in the Wild Card playoff game next weekend.

I'm truly at a loss for words.

So, in my silence, I'll continue to enjoy the bewildered and angry sputtering of Dallas Cowboys fans all over the television and radio.

Merry Christmas indeed. :)

That's all I have for today, because I'm exhausted and SORE from moving and unpacking a boatload of crap into the Operahaus. We're planning on moving in on New Year's Day (New year, New House. Makes sense to me), so we have a lot more work to do. Hopefully I'll be back again to say hi before the weekend.

December 23, 2008

No Fishing Zone

Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, you have entered a "No Fishing" zone on this blog.

Now I know what you're thinking, "What? It's too cold for fishing anyway! And Christmas is tomorrow, who goes fishing then?"

No no no. In this entry today, I'm talking about fishing for compliments. Nothing annoys me more or frustrates me more than blatant, obvious fishing for compliments. Well, that's not true; lots of things annoy me more than that. However, fishing for compliments is HIIIIIIGH up on the list of "Things That Annoy Me."

Case in point for today:

I still frequent a wedding planning message board from time to time, just to see what the girls who got engaged after I did are up to these days. There happened to be a post today that included a young bride-to-be asking for the board's opinion on her dress. Now, this is not unusual. We all ask/asked for opinions on different aspects of our wedding during the planning process, because, well, we get a bit tunnel-visioned after a while, and stress can make one lose one's sense of taste sometimes.

So I click on the post, thinking "oh, yay, I get to look at a pretty wedding dress!"

However, before the two links to the pictures was a paragraph-long disclaimer about how "don't worry the tattoo on my back is fake and i'm NOT SURE about the flower, so don't tell me the flower looks bad, and oh the dress fits on top but it is SO HUGE on me in the waist that it makes my hips look huge and DON'T WORRY those aren't my ACTUAL HIPS and please tell me what you think kthanksbai."


So I click on the links and see a blonde girl with a waist the size of one of my thighs standing in front of a mirror in a BEAUTIFUL dress.

Then I get pissed off.

I mean don't get me wrong, I understand insecurity. Who here has struggled with insecurity?? ::raises hand:: That's right. Most of us who have any sense of humility at all have struggled with insecurity, but good lord. I have never seen a more desperate plea for compliments.

A tiny part of it makes me sad, what kind of environment did she grow up in, blame society and it's stick insect models, blah blah blah....but mostly I just get peeved. It took all my strength to not let the snark overrule me and post back "Yeah I like the dress, but not on you. Maybe on someone with smaller hips?" Give me a break.

It could perhaps have something to do with the fact that the mean age on that message board is somewhere between 19 and 23, and now, at 27, I'm finally becoming very comfortable in my own skin and really don't need the acceptance or validation of a bunch of strangers on the internets. I dunno.

Just know that, should you come around these parts with your "Ohmigod I'm so fat" and your "You are SO much prettier/more talented/smarter than I am," you will likely get a response similar to this: "Yes I know. You suck at life. And you should probably go on a diet, despite the fact that you are wearing a size I wore in 7th grade."

Yes I know. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Self-Confident Night!

Teaser Tuesdays - 12/23

Teaser Tuesdays: Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser sentences:

Look up common, and immediately following the word you'll find the endings -er, -est. These entries show how to form the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective. -- From Who's (oops!) Whose Grammar Book Is This Anyway? by C. Edward Good

December 22, 2008

Bless Us All

Yes, I'm at work today. And boy do I not want to be! Just about everyone I know is off this week through the new year, yet here I sit. I'm not too upset, since after tomorrow I'm off until January 5th, but still. It's a lonely place today...

So as I eat my lunch, I'm looking around on YouTube (as I am wont to do) for something fun and/or funny and festive. I was inspired to look up clips from my favorite Christmas/Holiday movies, and I found this from The Muppet Christmas Carol:

I make no bones about the fact that this Muppet version is in a tie for my favorite version of the classic Dickens story (the other is the version with George C. Scott as Scrooge), and after the year we've had, I will admit to crying when I watched this just now.

Also, the music nerd in me thinks the harmonies are awesome, and that the movie just, in general, has great songs, but when have the Muppets NOT had genius songs in the movies? I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, how was your weekend?

Operaboy and I spent some MUCH needed time alone in the Operahaus (still unfinished, but really getting there...we'll have lots of time between Christmas and the New Year to get some little things done that will make it habitable enough to move into), and also had some awesome get-togethers with family and friends.

Saturday evening was spent (amidst a GLORIOUS fall from grace by the Dallas Cowgirls Cowboys) celebrating a dear friend's 2nd annual 29th birthday, and Sunday evening was spent having Christmas at the Operahaus with my dad's side of the family (rockin' around the secondhand Christmas to come soon!).

I think I'm finally ready for Christmas (about time, since I've got about 48 hours left until). I'm looking forward to spending some relaxing time with the families after the Week From Hell last week, and to working on the Operahaus.

I hope you're reading this blog, off work, in front of a roaring fire and cuddled up in flannel p.j.s. Excuse me while I live vicariously through you...

December 19, 2008

I'd Like to Thank The Academy...

Well, as award season is upon us (SAG, Golden Globes, Oscars around the corner...), it seems only appropriate that we here at Music and Baseball have been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger Award by Smash over at Great Books and Fresh Coffee! This blog has been nominated in the category of Best Newlywed Blog!


How exciting! I'm honored. I'd like to thank God first and foremost, and of course the Academy, and all the readers out there, and wait! Wait please don't play the music yet!

So, there are rules for those who have been nominated, and they are as follows:

I must list six characteristics that are important to me as well as six that I find impossible to tolerate. I then get to pass this lovely award to six of my favorite blogs! So, here goes nothing:

Six Characteristics I Love

1. A sense of humor. Yes, that's obvious. But more specifically, a sense of humor that gels with mine. Someone who can truly make me laugh (preferably on a daily basis)
2. Integrity. Deal-breaker here. If I can't trust you or respect you, it's a no-go.
3. Humility
4. Compassion for others.
5. A generally positive attitude. No Negative Nellies here, please.
6. Talent. This is not a necessity in those close to me, but one that I very much enjoy and respect.

Six Characteristics I Dont Like

1. Lying. Please, don't waste your time.
2. Pettiness. Can't we all just get along?
3. Bitterness. We are all SO blessed...please do not focus on all the things you think are terrible in your life. I guarantee you can find at least ONE thing that makes you smile, or even smirk a little.
4. Vitriol. Hateful people make me sad.
5. Drivers who pass on the right. Just trying to lighten things up a bit. :)

And without any further ado, here are my 6 nominees:

1. Lynn Michelle - Best Photography Blog! And not just when the posts feature me, I promise. Her posts range from wonderfully romantic to downright silly, and I enjoy the continuum.

2. CatPants - Best Friend Blog. She's one of my best friends, what can I say. We started this whole blogging thing together back in 2004, and at least she has kept the same blog (I can't say the same).

3. Mike over at TheMikeStand - Best Canadian Blog. To be fair, I don't read other Canadian blogs (that I know of), but I also enjoy his WhiskeyWatch posts and his philanthropic side during the month of MoNovember.

4. Charlotte with DeLovely Designs - Best Design Blog. Charlotte creates BEAUTIFUL work, and I'm thrilled that she did our monograms for our wedding.

5. Magazine Man - Best Overall Blog. That's the only way I can put it. I LOVE this man's blog, and even though I have to read his posts over my lunch break (they are loooooooong and sooooooo worth it), they always produce such wonderful emotions (laughter, sadness, tears, joy, fear, etc). He makes his readers feel like a part of the family.

6. Chris at My Name is Cool - Funniest Blog. I "met" this woman on a wedding-related message board, and her blog cracks me up EVERY time I read it.

Nominees: You have rules, too!

  • Mention the blog that gave it to you.
  • Comment on her (that is to say, my) blog to let her (that is to say, me) know that you have posted the award
  • Share 6 Values that are important to you
  • Share 6 things you do not support
  • Nominate 6 other bloggers for an award in a category of your choice

Have fun! And thanks again, Smash!

December 18, 2008

One Man's Trash... another person's family memories.

I have the best husband in the world. You may or may not have already known this. But he truly just made me cry a little at work. Let me give you a little backstory.

My Papa was a bit of a scavenger.

I cannot tell you how many times we were given televisions, lawn mowers, VCRs, radios, etc (you name it we got it) from my Papa that he "just found on the side of the road," or "found in a dumpster." He'd find something that someone else was careless enough to throw away, and he'd take it home, fix it up, and give it a new home. A LOT of this crap he kept for himself (as was evident when we were cleaning up the newly christened Operahaus after he passed away), but he also gave them to anyone who might need it.

"We were thinking about going to Home Depot today to buy a new lawnmower."
"What for? I got 3 of 'em out back!"

He also taught me the habit of always glancing down when walking outside, because you never know when you might find some money. Because of this habit, I found 26 lonely dollars on a deserted street in Boston one night.

So, last night, Operaboy and I were bickering a little on our way to go pick up some Dickens costumes for a caroling gig we have tonight (nothing says the holidays more than high tension levels and stress), and we were in a fairly nice suburb of a tiny little town near where we live.

I happened to notice that there was a large box on the curb next door to the house we were stopping by, and the sign on the box said "FREE TREE!" Of course, my curiosity got the best of me, and I walked over in the cold mist and fog to get a closer look. In the box was what appeared to be a perfectly good 7 foot, prelit Christmas tree.

Operaboy rolled his eyes at me and said I could take it as long as it was MY deal...I could be the one who wrestled with it. So he cleaned out the backseat for me and I loaded the thing up.

We took it by the Operahaus and I tried to start setting it up, happily thinking that it would be perfect for our Family Christmas Gathering on Sunday night (we had already planned to decorate a tree, but we were going to use a tiny little 4ft Charlie Brown number from my dad).

Unfortunately, there was no stand. The tree was far too heavy to support it's on weight so, crestfallen, I dismantled it and put it in the garage to throw out later.

Just now, Operaboy sent me a pix message on my phone:

He had gone to Walmart after he dropped me off at work and found a Christmas tree stand, then he went to the house and wrestled with the thing for two hours until he made it fit!

Of course he complained about how we're NEVER EVER GETTING A FAKE TREE EVER AND THIS IS WHY WE GET REAL ONES, but I could tell he was immensely proud of himself and happy to have done something that made me so happy.

How apropos. I think Papa would be proud. :)


WHY am I just now discovering the greatness that is Etsy?!

I've just found a MAJOR distraction, and a possible venue to find LOTS of cool stuff for the Operahaus, all while supporting local sellers!

I think I love THIS, if anyone is thinking of any last minute Christmas ideas for me:

Hey! Look over there!


I added a widget on my sidebar that updates every time I share something I think is cool on my Google Reader feed.

Have YOU discovered Google Reader yet? It has seriously made my transition back to blogging a much more smooth and easy process. It shows me which blogs have been updated, and I can read the new posts from the comfort of my Google Reader page, rather than clicking on the link of every blog I read to see if anything new has been posted. I love it. So should you.

Anyway, back to shared items. Google Reader gives you the option to share any posts you find particularly memorable, interesting, funny, noteworthy, etc. and I just yesterday found the widget to add to my blog. Gotta love how all (most) Google products work toward the same goal with each other.

So check it out! I probably share 1-2 things daily, so try to keep up! :)

December 17, 2008



the auditions went well last night, and I got the role of AMY, which is exactly the role I wanted (and posted a YouTube clip of in a previous post). Woo hoo!

And in the "so cute I could puke" section of today's news, Operaboy got cast as my character's fiancé, Paul.

Hoorah! I'm VERY excited to get to work on what promises to be a GREAT show, with a dynamite cast.

Oh and I just noticed that this marks this blog's 50th post. I feel like there should be some sort of celebration? Perhaps I'll wait til the 100th for that.

December 16, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays 12/16

Teaser Tuesdays: Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser sentences:

And now the psychiatrist asked her a lengthy series of questions relating to Regan's psychological history. When at last he had finished, he seemed disturbed. -- From The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

December 15, 2008

This is what is wrong with the world today.

See the picture above, of an ad I saw when I logged into my MySpace account over lunch.

Can you even imagine what bothers me about it?

The answer is: several things. But MOSTLY (!!!!!!!!) the fact that the girl in the "before" picture on top is the one that is "fat." Are you freaking kidding me? She looks NORMAL and healthy, to me. Sure, maybe she's a little soft around the middle, but AREN'T WE ALL?

Add to that the fact that the middle and bottom pictures are OBVIOUSLY PhotoShop-ped and that apparently one can go from "fat" to thin in only 4 weeks with NO exercise, and I think my head just might explode all over the computer monitor.

This is what teenage girls are seeing when they login to My Space?! THIS is what is wrong with the world today.

It's perhaps also sad that I'm 27 years old and have what some might call a sickness involving my addiction to My Space and Facebook (mostly the latter) but that's another therapy session for another day.

A Floor to Walk On

I know, it's been a long while since I posted about the progress on the Operahaus. We've gotten a LOT of work done, though, so rather than tell you about it, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves (well, with a few captions by yours truly).

Here she is, Home Sweet Home! The OperaHaus from across the street.

The bright red we painted the Piano Room (where the magic happens, in a musician's household). This is actually a little brighter than the actual color, so I tried again...

Even though it's dark, you can get a better idea of the actual color here.

Yes, that was the wall of mirrors! Now textured and mostly painted!

A closeup of the texturing on the living room walls.

Yes, that is me, pre-makeup, and cutting in around the trim in the kitchen. Damn Dad, stole my camera and started snapping away.

The color of the carpet that is going into the 2 bedrooms (aka the rooms we weren't able to get the stains out of even with professional carpet cleaning).

The master bedroom, painted "Spanish Moss." I was very hesitant about this color, but in the end... ended up looking perfect next to our bedding!

Mom seems VERY excited to put down the wood floor! (Either that or she's about to clobber her husband with that hammer...)

Ooh, Mahogany Laminate flooring, how I love thee...

The kitchen, looking COMPLETELY different with paint and flooring down.

Our new and improved living room! Please forgive the lack of baseboards...we won't be able to splurge on those until January.

The other view of the living room!

Needless to say, we are getting VERY close to being able to move in! The shower is still going to be a problem, seeing as how the tile isn't really REAL tile, and no one has taken a shower in that bathroom in 46 years...we're going to have to figure something out before we can bite the bullet and afford to renovate it.

It's so exciting to watch this house transform! Operaboy and I cannot wait to move in and be in our own little corner of the world together again. :)

December 12, 2008

Christmas Cookie Recipe

Thought I’d share this recipe I found. Make sure you read the instructions carefully!! Merry Christmas!!!

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample 1 level cup of the Cuervo to check the quality.

Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is still of the highest quality, pour another level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Remove butter paper wrapper from bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another level cup ...just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruits, pick the frigging fruit off floor...Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshzasheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.


Not Getting Married Today

Next week, Operaboy and I are auditioning for a community theatre production of Stephen Sondheim's "Company." I can't help but hope for the role of Amy. One, because I was a bride quite recently, and two because WHO WOULDN'T want to sing this song:

December 11, 2008

A New Game

So Operaboy and I have started a new "game" in the mornings while we're both getting ready to leave for the day. It didn't start out as a game, but it's become one...and a quite fun (and funny) one at that.

Maybe it's because we're both musicians and perhaps we're the only people that this happens to, but every morning -- WITHOUT fail -- I wake up with a song stuck in my head. Usually it's random, but it could also be something I've been rehearsing recently.

One morning last week I was towel-drying my hair, and Operaboy came into the bathroom with his index finger extended toward me. He said, "Quick! Sing what song's in your head RIGHT NOW!"

Without missing a beat (literally), I started singing the alto part to one of the movements from the Canite Tuba (a piece we recently did with the Bach Society). He laughed and sang something I can't remember at this moment.

Since then, we've done it a couple of times a week, and this morning I decided that we need to do it every morning. We'll make it our "thing." Don't judge. It's actually quite fun. :)

Oh, in case you're wondering, here are today's results:

Me: "To the left, to the left, all your things in a box to the left..." (Beyonce -- Irreplaceable)
He: "Bobby come on over for dinner..." (Company by Stephen Sondheim)

Also please note that I'm putting exactly what we started singing...that does NOT always mean they're the right words/lyrics.

December 10, 2008

Just in Case We've All Forgotten

...consider this:

Quite possibly my favorite clip. Ever.

Thoughts on the Twilight saga, Part I

***Okay I'm just going to tell you NOW that I neither have the time nor the energy to research the HTML coding necessary to hide spoilers from this post. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Perhaps I will search it out at a later date, but for now, just stop reading RIGHT NOW if you don't want to have any of these books spoiled for you.***

Don't try to scroll down as far as you can before you see that I'm totally serious about the above disclaimer. Go. Go NOW.

Okay so in an earlier blog entry, I made mention that I was finally entering the Realm of the Twihards by finally giving in to reading the megahit young adult novel, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Now, the reason you haven't heard about it again since then is because, true to fashion, I became sucked in and had to read all four books before I could even think about posting my opinions, thoughts, and ramblings on the book.

Now, I'm not going to go into extreme detail about each of these books because frankly, I don't have the time, and I'm also not getting paid to do so. You'll either read the books or you won't, and I doubt my "reviews" will influence you in one way or the other. With that being said, I highly recommend reading at least the first book, even if you're totally not interested in them. Simply so that you won't feel like a complete noob when others around you are discussing this phenomenon.

Book 1 - Twilight:
I'm not gonna lie. I LOVED this book. Loved. Still love. Will continue to love. It took a chapter or two for the hook to really grab me by the jaw and pull, but it happened. I finished this book in one day, and it took staying up until 2am on a work night to accomplish this feat. The lack of sleep was worth it to me because I was completely sold. Team Edward -- right here.

Let me just pause for a moment and give you a little backstory on my fascination with vampires. It might aid in your understanding of the schoolgirl babblings you're about to be subject to with regards to Edward Cullen. When I was a freshman in college, my best friend **InsertFunnyBlogPseudonymHere** and I decided to start reading the Anne Rice "Vampire Chronicles," beginning with Interview with the Vampire. We would discuss the hotness of gorgeous undead men with alabaster skin pinning us up against a wall and -- oh my -- biting our necks. Yes, we chose to ignore the slight fact that it would probably leave us dead or undead (which is to say, immortal). It was our world and we lived in it; don't judge. We both have a thing for vampires. It's just the way of it.

So, back to the book. The character of Bella is almost obnoxiously Mary Sue with her Joan-of-Arc-Complex, her adorable klutziness, and the fact that even though she is completely oblivious to it and oh-so-plain, every boy in her new school wants to go out with her. However, I love her. I love how stubborn she is, and I love the way Meyers writes the feelings that Bella has for Edward Cullen. I could relate to it, honestly. I was able to recall with vivid feelings and colors how it felt to be that close to a gorgeous guy for the first time, the aching moments before a first kiss, the frustration of trying to know what he was thinking, etc.

Speaking of Edward, the resident angsty 100-year-old teenage vampire, I must say that I love him. I love him throughout all four books. I've gotten into discussions on a (non-Twilight related) message board that I frequent about the general consensus that Edward is "creepy" or "a stalker" or "is too protective and territorial of Bella." Um, dudes? He's a vampire. In what universe, fictional or otherwise, did you expect to read about a normal, healthy relationship between a teenager and a vampire? Just sayin'.

I love the way Stephenie Meyer writes the restraint used by both Bella and Edward to control their baser, primal urges. Several have acclaimed this book for its "message of abstinence," but I don't think it's so much a moral issues as an "Edward will crush her like an aluminum can if he lets himself lose control" issue. The moments leading up to these rare, passionate moments though are brilliant. Brilliant and HOT. So much so that while I was reading late one night, I almost woke up Operaboy.

Meyer has a lot of potential as an author, but I must be honest here and say that I think she should thank her lucky stars EVERY DAY that this book became the phenomenon that it did, and that she had a publisher who was willing to take a chance on her. She is not the Next Great Author by any means; she seems to ignore the basic plot structure (exposition, climax, denoument (sp?), you know all that stuff we learned in high school), and she can beat a dead horse like nobody's business (Edward Cullen is so beautiful. His skin is so perfect. His eyes smolder. His skin sparkles. Yes, we get it!!!). However, her story is written in such a way that even grown women I know have not been able to put this book down.

She certainly made a believer out of me. I love it. Even after reading all four books in the saga, I will still say that Twilight is my favorite.

Okay I have work to do, so stay tuned for Parts II, III, and IV.

December 9, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays: Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser sentences:

It was harder not to speak to him because I was the one who wanted to speak. Instead, after a brief hesitation, I shook my head. -- From The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Afernoon Delight - Survey Tag from Smash

Silly Smash is at it again and tagging me in her blog. I might as well be honest and tell you I've been known to cheat at this MeMe. Simply because I have some strange things on my iPod.

What does your music say about you?

Put your iPod, Windows Media Player, or whatever music player on shuffle.
For each question, press the ‘next’ button to get your answer.

You must write that song name down no matter how silly it sounds.

Title this post the same as the answer to the final question.

"Comin' Home" by Michael Bublé (see this is why I cheat. What a stupid answer. It's a completely ridiculous answer to "Is this okay?")

"We Are Man and Wife" by Michelle Featherstone. Awww...That one works. I freaking love this song.

"I Believe" from the Spring Awakening broadway cast recording. *boring* Though, I suppose I could make it work. I would prefer a guy/girl that I'm close to to be a Believer, as in a Believer of Christ the Son of God.

"My Way" by Frank Sinatra. I suppose I am feeling a bit petulant today, if I think about it.

"The Ladies Who Lunch" from the Company broadway soundtrack. Wow, that's depressing. My life's purpose is to be a "Lady who Lunches?" Jeez. So glad I got my degree so I can be a Stepford Wife in a "caftan planning a brunch."

"Wait" by the Beatles. Hardly. They have never approved of my waiting to do anything really. Waiting to get "the perfect job," waiting to get married, waiting to have children, etc.

"It Was a Very Good Year," by Frank Sinatra. Hmmm...that's quite introspective actually. I was just telling someone who "can't wait for 2008 to be over" that, while it was a hard year, it was a good year. I got married. I moved back home. I got to spend time with family before loved ones passed. I got a house. It was a very good year.

"Angel" by Sarah McLachlan. sweet! He is a bit of an angel.

"Everything" by Michael Bublé. I cheated on this one b/c seriously the next one made NO sense. It was bad, trust me.

"Dream" by Michael Bublé. Okay apparently my shuffle likes Michael Bublé this morning. But yes, he is my dream come true. :)

"Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Okay I actually LOL'd at that one. HOW REDNECK WOULD THAT BE?? For the record, I did NOT dance with Operaboy to this song at our wedding.

"The Best is Yet to Come" by Frank Sinatra. Hey! That's kinda cool.

"Me and Mrs. Jones" by Michael Bublé. Well, since the song is about having an affair, I suppose that works. Yuck. Moving on...

"Only Wanna Be With You" by Hootie and the Blowfish. I don't think that's much of a secret is it?

"Someone is Waiting" from the Company broadway soundtrack. I don't feel like delving into that one too deeply. Though, I suppose some of Operaboy's trademark lateness might have rubbed off on me a bit, I still try not to be late.

"Afternoon Delight" from the Anchorman soundtrack. HAHAHAHAHAHA! What a great way to end.

So I only cheated once. That's better than I usually do at this one.

December 5, 2008

Christmas Music

Last night, Operaboy and I started talking about Christmas music and what some of our favorites songs were. As it should, the name Bing Crosby came up and I said something akin to, "It's just not Christmas without the sound of Bing's voice. He and Nat King Cole really make it feel like the holidays."

Sure, there are others that top that list, and not even because of their status as "classic" crooners or even "standard" holiday music, but more because as children we used to listen to the same scratchy Christmas Collection LPs every year as we decorated the tree.

Nat, Bing, Gene Autry, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, et al would fill the house as we blew the dust off of Christmas decorations and gently smoothed out the faded wreath made of contstruction paper with our names ("age 5") carefully written on the back.

Even now, when I hear a certain version of "Amazing Grace" that was on our record, I laugh because I expect the 5th verse to skip over and over until someone adjusts the needle.

These songs and this music gets more poignant to me the older I get. It doesn't make it any easier after having experienced what seems like loss after loss and setback after setback, with moments of joy and relief also peppered throughout the years.

Being musicians, it shouldn't surprise anyone that we had this conversation (well, the beginning of this blog was in our conversation...the rest has just been me rambling on the internets) about how music affects us and brings back such strong memories.

I told Operaboy also that the emotions I feel at Christmastime always surprise me with their strength. I wouldn't even call it "sad," necessarily, just "emotional." I find myself brought to tears much more quickly than usual, and at the most random times. I think I may have figured it out. It's not because my Nana died near Christmas last year, or because this Christmas is spent with a bit fewer relatives that have gone on to Heaven to wait for us. Those feelings intensify the emotional tide, yes, but they are not the cause.

I think it's because every time I hear a certain song, or hear a choir singing "Silent Night," 26 years of Christmases are firing in every synapse of my brain, and my heart, much like the beloved Dr. Seuss character, swells to several times its normal size. Every Christmas morning plays in fast-motion in my head and random postcard images play of smiling children, mugs of eggnog, and the laughter and tears of family members. I think of how I understand now how many sacrifices our parents made to make sure we had a memorable Christmas, and I can't help but think of what it will be like when we have our own little Diva (or Divo) to make memories with.

It doesn't seem like all of that can fit into a mere moment of time, but it occurs mostly as a sudden surge of emotion or even an uprising of goosebumps when I hear the first organ chords of "O Holy Night." Certainly I don't think of all of these things every time, but I think it's my way of defining what I do feel at those times.

So, before I ramble on any further and bore you all to tears, let me share with you two of my favorite Christmas song moments, courtesy of YouTube. The first is from the movie "Holiday Inn," starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, and the second is just an awesome (and a bit surreal) moment between Bing (again) and David Bowie. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

***ETA: For a WONDERFUL story of giving, please see my comments section and follow the link provided by Suldog. You'll be glad you did.***

December 4, 2008

New look for the Holidays

I thought I'd give it a shot. What do you think of the holiday look here at Music and Baseball?

Vote for Pedro...ia

Great news!

First? Rookie of the year last year.

Then? Gold Glove Second Baseman, Silver Slugger award, then AL MVP

Now? He's staying with us, baby.

Woo hoo!! I love you, Pedey!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Tonight is the 20th Annual Holiday Lighting on the Square in my hometown. Operaboy and I will be singing with the Bach Society at one of the participating locations. Luckily we're only singing for 2 hours of the 4-hour event, so there will be at least an hour and a half of walking around, drinking wassail, and shopping to be done in my favorite part of town.

I love that it's FINALLY cold enough in Texas to make this a festive event!! I haven't really felt the holiday spirit yet just because, until we're finally settled in the Operahaus, we feel a bit like a man and a woman without a country. I think tonight will help.

The square in downtown is truly my favorite part about this erstwhile small college town. I even had my bridal portraits done there because I feel like it's such a part of who I am. Case in point:

And if it's that pretty in the day time, one can only imagine how gorgeous it will look when covered with thousands of lights, and surrounded by lit lampposts adorned with holly and garland.

I'm looking very forward to singing beloved carols, walking around in the crisp winter air hand in hand with my husband, seeing friends, and kicking off this holiday season with a real bang, courtesy of Brave Combo.

Hope to see you there!! Come by the Bayless-Selby house from 6-8 to hear our dulcet tones, then enjoy the rest of the festival!

December 3, 2008


Just found this gem courtesy of PerezHilton and YouTube:

This is a heart-throbbing duet between X-Factor winner Leon Jackson and my future extramarital affair (I kid, I kid) Michael Bublé.

You're welcome. It's Ear Candy AND Eye Candy!!

If Operaboy loves me, he'll take me to see Michael Bublé in concert the next time he's in our area.

Movies: Prince Caspian

Susan Pevensie: Why didn't I see Aslan?
Lucy Pevensie: Maybe you weren't really looking for him.

Last night, Operaboy and I watched "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." I don't know why I waited so long to see this movie.

Much like it's predecessor, "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," this movie humbled me and brought me to tears with it's symoblic representation of God's love. Normally, I don't like when movies or books throw blatant symbolism in my face, but with C.S. Lewis, it's done so tastefully that I don't mind how obvious it is. He intended it to be an allegory, and I'm fine with that.

I'm not going to summarize the movie here, because a) most people have likely already seen it, and b) nearly everyone I know has read the books. However, I will say that this movie is beautifully done. There is just enough action to make it exciting, but the violence is understated enough even for small children to be able to handle.

I'm happy that they used the same 4 actors for the Pevensie children, and that even the younger ones were still good actors even out of their "I'm young and cute, so people are bound to like me" stages.

I love that Eddie Izzard was the voice of Reepicheep, the mouse with an inflated sense of bravado.

What I love best about this movie, though, was the simple and true faith of Lucy Pevensie. It never occurs to her to doubt that Aslan will always come through, and that he's always there whether or not we actually see him or feel his presence in a physical way. Her lines, delivered with the innocence and simplicity of a child but loaded with the faith of a mature, God-fearing woman, touched my heart and reminded me that it's not really so hard after all.

I highly recommend these movies for your personal collection. I'm hoping to own them all very soon.

December 2, 2008

Lovely, lovely...

I have always had a tiny girl crush on Kristen Chenoweth. Ever since her Sally Brown days in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and even more as I was introduced to some of her more classical repertoire. This is a BEAUTIFUL version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" that is on the diva's new Christmas CD. Enjoy:

December 1, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Okay I was introduced to THIS greatness over Thanksgiving weekend:

I LOVE Neil Patrick Harris, and I am a little bit in love with him after seeing this short movie (the above is just one of the songs).

I hope to own this DVD in the near future. Love love love.