July 30th, 2006

dance, happy

Visible Progress

It's been a busy time at the halfway house so I'm not able to check in on LJ as much as I'd like. We are actually seeing progress so that makes the stress and disruption seem more tolerable-at least for this weekend.

The first two new paint colors are on the walls. We selected Pollen Grains for the kitchen, living room and hallway. Juannie suggested a yellow for this part of the house and I was leery at first but I am very happy with the result. And we've wanted to do Terra Cotta in the den for a while.

As befits life in the halfway house, it's only half done but the final coat goes on tomorrow. And then they'll be tiling the floors. See the stacks of tile waiting patiently in the lovely Terra Cotta room.


Living Room 08/13/05 Living Room 08/13/05

Den 08/27/05 Den 08/27/05

Pollen Grains Pollen Grains

Terra Cotta Terra Cotta


booklover

Passing The Time

To keep myself from obsessing on the renovation, I have plunged into crossword puzzles and reading. I am working my way through 1001 New York Times Crossword Puzzle Omnibus. And I am currently reading In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant. I adored her first book, Birth of Venus, and I am loving this one.

"Renaissance Italy enchants in Dunant's delicious second historical (after The Birth of Venus), as a wily dwarf Bucino Teodoldo recounts fantastic escapades with his mistress, celebrated courtesan Fiammetta Bianchini. Escaping the 1527 sacking of Rome with just the clothes on their backs (and a few swallowed jewels in their bellies), Fiammetta and Bucino seek refuge in Venice. Starved, stinking, her beauty destroyed, Fiammetta despairs-but through cunning, will, Bucino's indefatigable loyalty and the magic of a mysterious blind healer called La Draga, she eventually recovers. Aided by a former adversary, who now needs her as much as she needs him, Fiammetta finds a wealthy patron to establish her in her familiar glory. Through Bucino's sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued narration, Dunant crafts a vivid vision of Venetian life: the weave of politics and religion; the layers of class; the rituals, intrigue, superstitions and betrayals. Dunant's characters-the steely courtesan whose glimpse of true love nearly brings her to ruin; the shrewd and passionate dwarf who turns his abnormalities into triumph; and the healer whose mysterious powers and secrets leave an indelible mark on the duo-are irresistible throughout their shifting fortunes." Publishers Weekly
d2

Song of Myself

I regularly learn new songs to sing. If I hear a song I really like, I'll find it and download it. Then I search out the lyrics online and spend a few weeks practicing the song around the house, in the shower and while in the car. Everyone should have at least one song they like to sing even it's just to themselves. Juannie and the pups get to hear my ongoing practicing. And I have sung in recent years at family weddings and parties.

I heard Charlotte Church's version of Habanera, from the opera Carmen, for the first time a few weeks ago. It blew me away. I've listened to a few of her songs in the past but had not heard her rendition of this song. It's magnificent. I sang this in high school while taking voice lessons and performed it at a recital. It was by far my favorite song I studied while taking voice.

I'd been with my teacher for almost two years when she suggested Habanera for the spring recital. I was a sophomore and we'd worked on lots of classical songs together during our weekly lessons but this one really changed me. It gave me enormous confidence as a singer and in the rest of my life.

It is a song very obviously dealing with adult sensibilities and feminine allure. There is no way to breeze through this song. It demands full attention and real passion. Every part of me had to be engaged when I sang it. The first time I finally got all the way through it, hitting every note while singing the French pronunciations correctly and getting my teacher's approval on my rhythms and phrasing, I felt like I could conquer the world.

I remember the day I performed it at the recital and how completely in control I felt of myself, my voice and my audience. It was a powerful and important moment for me. It taught me the true meaning of commitment as a performer and as a person.

I downloaded Charlotte Church's version not long after I originally heard it. And each time I listen to the song, it takes me back to all those lessons where I practiced it and to the day of that performance. It makes me want to return to voice lessons because I'll need lots of practice and coaching if I plan on hitting some of those high notes again. The pups and Juannie may be hearing lots of this one.

L’amour est un oiseau rebelle
Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
Et c’est bien en vain qu’on l’appelle,
S’il lui convient de refuser.
Rien n’y fait, menace ou prière,
L’un parle bien, l’autre se tait;
Et c’est l’autre que je préfère
Il n’a rien dit; mais il me plait.
L’amour! l’amour! l’amour! l’amour!

L’amour est enfant de boheme,
Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi,
Si tu ne m’aime pas, je t’aime,
Si je t’aime, prend garde à toi!
Si tu ne m’aime pas,
Si tu ne m’aime pas, je t’aime!
Mais, si je t’aime,
Si je t’aime, prend garde à toi!
Si tu ne m’aime pas,
Si tu ne m’aime pas, je t’aime!
Mais, si je t’aime,
Si je t’aime, prend garde à toi!

L’oiseau que tu croyais surprendre
Battit de l’aile et s’envola;
L’amour est loin, tu peux l’attendre;
Tu ne l’attend plus, il est là!
Tout au tour de toi vite, vite,
Il vient, s’en va, puis il revient!
Tu crois le tenir, il t’évite;
Tu crois l’éviter, il te tient!
L’amour, l’amour, l’amour, l’amour!

L’amour est enfant de boheme,
Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi,
Si tu ne m’aime pas, je t’aime,
Si je t’aime, prend garde à toi!
Si tu ne m’aime pas, je t’aime,
Si je t’aime, prend garde à toi!
Si tu ne m’aime pas,
Si tu ne m’aime pas, je t’aime!
Mais, si je t’aime,
Si je t’aime, prend garde à toi!
Si tu ne m’aime pas,
Si tu ne m’aime pas, je t’aime!
Mais, si je t’aime,
Si je t’aime, prend garde à toi!

Translation:
Love is a rebellious bird
That nothing can tame,
And it is simply in vain to call it
If it is convient for it to refuse.
Nothing will work, threat or pleading,
One speaks, the other stays quiet;
And it’s the other that I prefer
He said nothing; but he pleases me.
Love! love! love! love!

Love is the child of the bohemian,
It has never, never known any law,
If you don’t love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don’t love me,
If you don’t love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don’t love me,
If you don’t love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!

The bird you thought to surprise
Bat it’s wing and flew away;
Love is far away, you can wait for it;
If you wait for it no more, it is there!
All around you, quickly, quickly,
It comes, goes, then it comes back!
You think to hold it, it avoids you;
You think to avoid it, it holds you!
Love, love, love, love!

Love is the child of the bohemian,
It has never, never known any law,
If you don’t love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don’t love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don’t love me,
If you don’t love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don’t love me,
If you don’t love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
  • Current Music
    Habanera by Charlotte Church
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