May Day

Today has been a good day.

I decided to take the day off from work. I woke up, showered and ate breakfast, did some chores, ran a few errands, and – at the advice of a friend – finally worked in my garden.  Those of you who know me probably thought I took the day off to go and see Avengers 2, but I didn’t. (Don’t worry, I’m seeing it tomorrow. I even watched Iron Man 3 this afternoon in preparation.) I took the day off to celebrate a day that never came.

Today would have been my daughter’s first birthday. It’s strange to think that instead of planning a movie with friends this weekend, I would have been planning a birthday party. Instead of thinking about what would’ve been my child, I’d be watching my child grow. It’s also surreal to me that I’m not sad today.

Today has been a good day. And this year has been a great year! I’ve performed in several shows, including another solo cabaret. I became a librarian for the Chamber Chorus, and I’ve loved every concert this season. I’ve taught more in my school districts and made many connections with other music teachers. Last summer I took a great online class about children’s literature, and I’ve been catching up on the never-ending pile of books by my bed. Ralph and I made a trip to New Mexico in January to spend time with my mom and stepdad (my first vacation since the miscarriage).

There have obviously been some difficulties on the fertility side. It has been a long process with the fertility doctor, full of medications, mood swings, and needles. (I never knew I’d be so used to poking myself in the stomach with a needle.) Just like my pile of books, I sometimes feel my doctor’s visits are never-ending. But I look forward to the day that I go to the doctor and see my baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

Hopefully by next May Day we’ll have our family. Until then, I’m going to keep auditioning, teaching, performing, and living. Happy birthday, Pen!


Internet Roundup

I don’t have much to say about my life except I’m currently in the middle of rehearsals for an opera, a musical, and a choral recording; and I’m taking a Children’s Literature online class to renew my teaching certification. Due to the class, my summer reading list has morphed into books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and How to Eat Like a Child (if you haven’t read the latter, do so!) Anyways, to my internet roundup!

10 Ways You’re Being Sexist (And Probably Don’t Realize It)
I highly recommend this entire blog. The articles have opened my eyes to the sexism that surrounds our everyday lives, and it makes me want to help change the way people treat women and men.

29 Times Tumblr Raised Serious Questions About “Harry Potter” 
For the Potterheads in my blog audience.

Hogwarts: Which House Are You?
One of my favorite YouTube videos ever. Oh, Hufflepuffs…

Edgar Wright – How To Do Visual Comedy
Well worth the watch. We need more comedies such as the Cornetto Trilogy.

The Evolution of Dad Dancing (with Jimmy Fallon and Gov. Chris Christie) 
I have to tell you a secret… I like Chris Christie. These words may come back to bite me in the ass, but right now they’re true. And this video just works.

The Truth About Being A Dad, According To 14 Really Funny Famous Guys 
Most of these observations apply to both dads and moms. I look forward to having my own “annoying short people.”

Hey Cat
Simple, yet delightful.

This Kentucky Restaurant’s New ‘No Tipping’ Policy is Genius 
Oh look, a restaurant that pays its wait staff properly!

Little Boy Meets Baby Sister for First Time and Only Has One Question
No such thing as a stupid question, right?

What Games of Thrones Would Sound Like If It Were Set in New Orleans
I personally don’t watch the show, but I’m always finding funny videos and articles for my husband.

How Long Would Each Disney Princess Last on Game of Thrones?
‘m sure this article is funnier to people who’ve read the books/seen the show, but I still enjoyed it.

Mila Kunis Against Men Saying “We Are Pregnant”
Do you have to squeeze a watermelon-sized person out of your lady hole? No.

The Scary Reason Illinois Just Banned Your Face Wash
So many exfoliant alternatives to the microbeads exist, and they’re probably cheaper.

5 Year Old “Jordan” Shoes You How To Make A Hip Hop Song
This kid is super fly.

Stare Dad – Milkshakes
Another favorite of mine.

Scientists Consider New Names For Climate Change
If you’re unfamiliar with Andy Borowitz, think of him as the political version of the Onion. Only better.

Calvin and Hobbes Creator Returns To Comics Page
I LOVED Calvin and Hobbes as a kid! So nice to see Bill Watterson’s creations in the comics again, even for a brief period of time.

Kids In Third World Countries Read First World Problems

Kid President’s 5 Things That Make Summer Awesome
I love you, Kid President!

Daleks sing Gilbert and Sullivan
As someone who has sung in the chorus of Pirates of Penzance, this video made my day.

Jennifer Lawrence interview: Miley Cyrus tells her to “Get it together” 
I want Jennifer to be my BFF!

F—k, Marry, Kill with X-Men stars
Patrick Stewart is kind of adorable.

Shit Rough Drafts
I had originally planned on posting a specific picture from this website, but in the end I figured you all needed to browse through it yourselves.

If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say
Another eye-opener.

What Happens When You Get Rid of All Your Stuff
I found this article soon after my last internet roundup. While I’m not getting rid of all my stuff, it certainly helped me clean out my house.

And the finale – and oldie, but a goodie:


My World and Internet Happenings

Now that summer has started for me, I can finally get to my to do list and finish projects – most of which involve cleaning my house. I’m also taking the summer to clear my head and figure out what’s important to me. Part of this goes along with cleaning house because I’ve been going through rooms and getting rid of things I just don’t need. I’m keeping this phrase in mind: “The more stuff you have, the less happy you will be.” I’ve been giving away items on FreeCycle and Facebook, and it’s felt so… freeing.

I’ve also come across a variety of neat articles and videos lately! We’ll start with the Doctor Who former cast member trailers:

David Tennant in the US version of Broadchurch, Gracepoint.
His accent is surprisingly good! I hope that the similarities between Gracepoint and Broadchurch end at the pilot; It would be terribly boring for those of us who have already seen the UK version (which I loved, and is coming back for a second season).

Karen Gillan’s new sitcom, Selfie
I love Karen, but I cannot stand her accent in this trailer! We’ll see how this turns out.

Guardians of the Galaxy trailer #2!
So stoked!

The reason Matt Smith shaved his head: Lost River (formerly How To Catch A Monster)
I still have no idea what this movie is about, but I’m excited to see Matt Smith, Christina Hendricks, AND Iain De Caestecker (Fitz in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD).

Billboard in Lima, Peru Creates Drinking Water Out Of Thin Air
I hope they create more of these. What an ingenious idea.

Gorgeous Henna Crowns Empower Women Who’ve Lost Their Hair
“Henna Heals shows that it’s not about hiding or disguising your traits that don’t fit within the narrow standards of conventional beauty. It’s about celebrating those traits, enhancing and loving what makes you different, and expanding the definition of what’s beautiful.

What If We Admitted to Children That Sex Is Primarily About Pleasure?
Food for thought.

More than a National Day: Understanding May 17
This article was interesting to me because I have so much family over in Norway.

What Language Does Your State Speak?
Different maps of the most common languages in each state in the U.S.

How Football Sounds To People That Don’t Care
I happen to find archaeology fascinating…

10 Unbelievable Facts You Didn’t Know About Redheads
I never knew the color is why it’s hard to dye my hair… not like I ever wanted to permanently change it, anyway.

62 Thoughts Every Pale Person Has At The Beach
This is why I don’t go to the beach. Also, I live in Missouri.

Let’s end with an inspirational photo:

The Silent Mourning

I started this blog because I needed an outlet. I needed to write about things that made me happy. I wanted something to take my mind off of what was going on in my life. After about a month of blog posts, however, I stopped writing. Every time I thought of writing, I could only think of one topic – a topic that had nothing to do with Doctor Who or singing or fun, nerd things. It was the reason I started my blog in the first place. Here goes:


I found out on October 8, 2013 that I had had a miscarriage. I was supposed to be eight weeks along, and due on May 1, 2014. Today. Lying in that ultrasound room and staring at the silent monitor was the worst moment of my life.

The pregnancy seemed to be going smoothly – although I couldn’t have known for sure, as I had never been pregnant. We went to my 8 week appointment on September 24; my doctor measured the fetus and stated that I was only 6 ½ weeks along. She said she could see a heartbeat, but I couldn’t see it. We scheduled an appointment for two weeks later.

The week before my appointment, a feeling of dread started to come over me that I couldn’t explain. I can be a rather dramatic person, so I assumed my mind was playing tricks on me. I watched videos on YouTube of women at their 8 week appointments – to see what an 8 week old fetus was supposed to look like. But then I started to watch videos of appointments where the woman found out she had miscarried. I think I subconsciously wanted to prepare myself for what would happen.

I ran a fever of 100 that weekend and lightly spotted for the week prior to the appointment. I called my doctor, but she stated that the spotting was normal and the fever wasn’t high enough to worry.

My appointment was scheduled for October 9. The day before, I was getting ready to leave for an afternoon teaching job. I decided to hit the bathroom one more time before I left (and I’m so glad I did or the revelation would’ve been so much worse). When I realized I was bleeding – more than just spotting – I took a moment to sob before calming calling my doctor to make an emergency ultrasound appointment. The appointment was in 45 minutes, which was just enough time to bury my face in my dog’s fur and cry for a few minutes, call my husband to pick him up at his work, and head to the hospital. I drove, and I did so with tears silently creeping down my face.

The ultrasound technician seemed chipper. Or maybe it felt that way compared to my feelings at the time. As I undressed behind a curtain, I could feel dread with a tiny glimmer of hope. Maybe this is normal. Maybe I’ll be lucky.

I sat down on the chair for the (unfortunately, transvaginal) ultrasound. We could see immediately that there was no heartbeat. The technician stayed calm (which kept me from bursting into tears immediately) and she used the wand to check out my ovaries. It was slightly painful, which for a brief moment kept my mind away from the other pain. After what seemed like years, she finally went back to the fetus and said something along the lines of, “I need you to see.” I don’t really remember her exact words (my husband probably does), because the second she started speaking was the moment that it became real. I was inconsolable. My husband held me and never let go.

When we left the doctor’s office, my husband asked me what I wanted for lunch. I immediately said sushi. Sushi is my favorite food, and yet I hated every bite that day.

I had choir rehearsal that evening. I decided to go, and I immersed myself in the music of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes. Nothing like singing about death on a day of death.

For the next week, I watched all of the Harry Potter movies and reread a couple of the books. I needed to be in a different world. I needed something else to talk about when people approached me at choir rehearsals, because I couldn’t tell them the truth. My conversation skills started to wane: “Hi, how are you?” “Fine.” “What’s new?” “Not much. Reading Harry Potter again.” And my head is screaming, “I had a miscarriage, and I feel lost!”

I lost the idea of my child. While the fetus wasn’t big enough for me to consider it a “child”, the idea was planted. I had plans. Plans that were ripped from me on October 8. In my head, I had lost my daughter. My daughter that would’ve been so much like me.

People try to comfort with words. It’s hard to explain to someone that their “words of comfort” aren’t really much comfort at all, and sometimes make it worse. I had someone say to me that it was “God’s plan”, and that he saw I was getting busy with my new teaching jobs and wanted to lighten my load. It took me everything I had not to punch her in her stupid face. Whether I believe in God or not (I don’t), that comment was so ridiculously asinine. Really? Your God thought killing my future child would make my life easier? I think most of these words of comfort make the person speaking them feel better, because it’s them trying to make sense of why something like this would happen.

Word of advice: Don’t give words of comfort. The best thing that was said to me was this: “That sucks. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I am so, so sorry.” Seriously, that’s all you need to say. Don’t say anything that starts with the words, “At least…” Just listen. And give hugs. Hugs are good.

It’s strange to go through so much pain and realize that so many women have gone through the same silent mourning. It seems to be understandable to grieve for the death of a child publicly, but when the child dies while still in the womb – whether or not you believe the fetus to be a child – it’s not “appropriate” to speak of it. Like, I’m going to scare new and expecting mothers if I speak about it. Death happens. Yes, it sucks and it’s scary, but it happens. And when it comes to miscarriages, it happens quite frequently. (My doctor says 1 in 6 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 1 in 2 first pregnancies.) Nature happens.

For those of you reading this that are currently pregnant or new mothers or new fathers: Don’t think you have to hide your joy because miscarriage exists. When I finally become a mom (heck, when I get through the first trimester), I’m going to be posting baby and baby bump pictures like everyone else. And while I wish I could be you right now, I’m still incredibly happy for you.

For those of you who are in my position: I’m sorry. It sucks. It will get easier with time, but it will never go away. Let me know if you ever need to talk about it. Have a hug.

And for those of you who have gone through miscarriage and finally made it to parenthood: You give me hope, and I am thrilled for you.

Hey Look, a Blog!

Welcome, 2014! AKA: I started a blog in November and forgot about it for 5 months. My bad! Anyways… uh… Christmas happened since I last posted! And I think my family and friends have started to notice that I like Doctor Who, because these are some of the gifts I received this year:



Yup, that no-joke happened. They know me so well! Oh, and I got a sewing machine, so I can finally do more with my cosplay (once I learn how to use it properly.)

I will be singing in the chorus of La Traviata for the second time, this time with Union Avenue Opera. This is my fourth production with the company, and I highly recommend coming to a show if you’re ever in the St. Louis area in July/August. I also have a few auditions lined up, including one for the the show (I kid you not) “Jerry Springer – The Opera”. I love trying new things! 🙂

Which brings us to this weekend: St. Louis Wizard World! I have only been to two conventions, but since one of them was San Diego Comic Con 2013, it’s going to be difficult to top. It will be nice not to have to purchase a hotel room or flights. Plus the AMAZING guests: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Bruce Campbell, William Shatner, Sean Astin, Eliza Dushku, Adam West, Burt Ward… just to name a few. It’s gonna be LEGEN… wait for it… I hope you’re not lactose-intolerant, because the other word is DARY! Oh, and I’m cosplaying as Kaylee from Firefly and the 11th Doctor. I dressed as the latter at SDCC, but I’ve just put the finishing touches on my Kaylee costume (unfortunately I couldn’t find a jumpsuit… but I’m sure I will one day).



I will do my best to post here more often! I will do my best to write about interesting topics, or at least share humorous pictures. I’ll end with this:


Practice, Practice, Practice

I have had an exhilarating past few days! As a member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, I traveled with the group to New York City to perform a concert version of the opera Peter Grimes (in honor of the centennial of the composer, Benjamin Britten’s birth). And I just have to say: We NAILED it! And I’m not just talking about the rave reviews; As the last notes of the opera faded away, I could feel that we had touched the audience. And that certainly showed when the audience gave us a standing ovation at least ten minutes long (here’s proof – this rarely happens in New York). I couldn’t help but cry. Mr. Britten would have been proud.

Here are the reviews:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “When it was over, there was an explosive reaction from the audience and cries of “Bravo!””

The New York Times: “The impressive chorus (Amy Kaiser, director) and the orchestra, which is sounding great these days under the dynamic Mr. Robertson, its music director, conveyed not just the seething emotions in this climax but also the hint of maniacal glee that runs through the music.”


Feast of Music: “…what Robertson and his players brought to Carnegie last night was nothing short of extraordinary… The chorus, which plays such a central role in this opera, sang with searing intensity.”

Classical Voice North America: “Robertson led the forces of his St. Louis Symphony brilliantly, achieving utter clarity in a first-class, recording-ready performance of this translucent score.”

Listen to St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Beacon: “Friday night, at Carnegie Hall, David Robertson, the chorus of the symphony, a cast of young but glistening stars, brought down the house. Ten minutes of ovations! It was an occasion that deserves finest-hour description, and our appreciation. In recognition of our capabilities, our strengths and our deficiencies, we face our need to make our world and our region better and stand in awe of our strong place in the world of international artistic accomplishment.”

New York Classical Review: “The performance was beyond all superlatives.”

Classical Source: “The precision of the Chorus gave its contributions terrific impact…This was a triumphant evening that greatly honored Britten’s memory and legacy.”

WGXR: “Orchestra and chorus gave world-class performances, but with something extra.”

Super-Conductor Blog: “There was no better choice for this tale of an individual against the oppression of a community than the St. Louis Symphony, here under the baton of its music director David Robertson.”

And some more photos.


It’s WHO Week!

Alright folks, we only have five days until the world premiere of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special! And while I’m pretty sad I have to watch it five hours late (I’ll be on a plane back from our Carnegie Hall performance), that doesn’t stop me from nerding out all week about it!

The Day of the Doctor clip that premiered during the Children in Need special

The Night of the Doctor mini episode

Behind the scenes of Day of the Doctor

And a list of everything important happening on your TV this week.

And just for fun: Dalek Space Invaders and the Google Doodle game!



One Billion Things We’re All Tired Of Hearing

In my last post, I mentioned that I tend to peruse Buzzfeed quite a bit. The lists are amusing, particularly the ones that remind me of my childhood. (OMG I TOTALLY HAD THAT POLLY POCKET THAT YOU COULD CHOKE ON THE PIECES! THE BEST EVAR!)

And then there are these lists: “24 Things Single People Are Tired Of Hearing”. Or “21 Things You’re Tired Of Hearing If You Didn’t Study Abroad”. Or “20 Things Every Twentysomething Is Tired Of Hearing”. I will read one of these posts, and then I have to immediately memorize the whole list to make sure I don’t piss someone off.  Or if I hear someone say one of the things on the lists, I’ll think that person is a total ass. ‘I can’t believe you called him “Kiddo”! Don’t you know that’s the number 13 of “19 Condescending Nicknames We’re All Tired Of Hearing“’? No one’s ever going to always say the right thing. What’s fine by me won’t be fine to someone else. Of course, there are some things that aren’t really fine to anyone. (I did have to talk with a six-year old student about how it’s inappropriate to ask someone if she’s pregnant.) We just like to complain.

Speaking of complaining: I recently came across an article from the Wall Street Journal entitled “OK, You’re a Runner. Get Over It”. This journalist (do I really have to call him that?) proceeds to bash runners – and not just the people who consistently run marathons, but anyone who wants to go outside and run. ‘Ha ha, free exercise… those suckers!’ He complains about the “26.2” bumper stickers, and the running magazines, and the running apparel stores, and the florescent tape runners wear – because god forbid they don’t want to get hit by cars.

All people want to do is complain. We love it. Because by complaining, we are the “better person” in our minds. ‘I don’t understand these Crossfit posts about WODs on my friend’s Facebook page. They’re stupid, because she’s bragging about exercise. I’m cool because I don’t do that.’ Everyone’s going to have an opinion, which they have every right to have. And they have every right to post said opinions. I’m sure I’ve posted my fair share of articles about “Five-billion Things Musicians Are Tired of Hearing” (but seriously people, “Phantom of the Opera” is NOT an opera!) But you know what? Who cares if someone puts a bumper sticker on their car, or posts about Crossfit constantly? Does that affect you in any way? Do you have to stop living your life because you’re SO MAD that someone is different from you? I feel almost obligated to say “Can’t we all just get along?”

I’m going to sing at Carnegie Hall next weekend. I think that’s pretty awesome. I will most likely post something on my Facebook wall. And at least one person will look at my post and think I’m obnoxious for bragging about my accomplishment. Well, hopefully they can “get over it”.