2010 so far….

This is what I’ve accomplished in 2010 (and the few weeks before):


1. Got my nearly-blind eyes fixed. Sometimes I miss taking off glasses at night, because I’m so used to that being part of the going-to-bed process. But being able to see in the middle of the night – you can’t imagine what a miracle that is.

2. Got a smartphone. Still get a kick out of the notification sound, “DROID!” Scares the heck out of my husband, especially in the middle of the night. (Note to self: Turn off phone)

3. Bought the car of my dreams (not entirely true – I wanted a VW Beetle, but they’ve stopped making them in stick except for the base model, and at my age, I don’t want the base model).

4. Got the personalized license plates I’d wanted for years – MEZZOID. This has become my brand – it’s my email address, it’s part of my Facebook address, it’s my website domain name, and it all started with a little joke made during a choral rehearsal:

Choral Director: All right, altoids, let’s turn to…

Me: Excuse me, I am not an altoid.  happen to be a mezzoid.

Choral Director: What’s the difference?

Me: I’m still curiously strong, I just sing a 3rd higher.

And that’s where that began. This summer when I showed up at NATS in SLC to pick up my registration forms, someone looked up and said, “You’re mezzoid!” I was nonplussed. I was famous. Hopefully not infamous. Makes me think twice about the things I post on the internet. 


5. At the age of … whatever I am …. I decided that I was going to run. And not just run, but train for a 5K. So I downloaded Couch to 5K Lite (the free app) to my Droid (see above) and got myself running for 42 consecutive minutes over a 3 month period. I did my first 5K at Irish Fest a few weeks ago. 


It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I couldn’t run the whole way, and I can relate this to singing, like I can relate everything to singing….


I didn’t check the house, or in the case, the trail. I didn’t scope out how much shade there would be, and since I had trained running on the shady sides of streets, running in blazing sunlight two hours later than my usual training time made a HUGE difference. 


I trained wearing specific outfits – sleeveless tops, light fabric. I ran the race wearing a short-sleeved Irish Fest/Arthritis Foundation t-shirt. Not smart. Between the annoying sleevage and the blazing sunlight, I was ready to fall over. I could not do what I’d done in training. It’s like wearing flats in rehearsal and then putting on heels for the first time in performance. Or getting new reading glasses to do a concert and realizing that you have not mastered the skill of looking down at your music and up at the conductor and you are not going to master it in performance (I did that one a few years ago….)


But I will try again.


6. I got to be really good at Zumba. I think I am, anyway. And I’m contemplating becoming certified to teach it.


7. I switched from PC to Mac! I’m really enjoying the new levels of creativity that this change is going to offer me. 


There are more things that I’ve done and more things that I intend to do. And as this week of break continues and the new school year begins, I want to keep trying new things, going new places, and exploring new ideas in singing and teaching singing. I’m hoping to give a recital next spring at Carroll, I’m coordinating a MacDowell Club recital for next March, and Ryan and I are putting together a bunch of cabaret shows that we want to market here and outside Milwaukee – outside Wisconsin, for that matter!



Jane Pesci-Townsend, 1959-2010

A DC performer that I had the good fortune to encounter during the wonderful 9 year period I lived in the DC Baltimore area just passed away this past Friday. I did not personally know her, but she was an authentic performer and teacher who will be missed by many, including people who will not have had the opportunity to be touched by her work. 


Please enjoy the video at the bottom of this obituary.

What sort of diary….

Dominick Argento set parts of this entry as the opening movement (and returned to it in the final movement) of his brilliant Diary of Virginia Woolf, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975. It’s the way I feel about this blog and my journal:


“What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.”
Virginia Woolf


I hope to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself – and refined itself and coalesced as such deposits so mysteriously do – into a mould – transparent enough to reflect the light of our life…..