Friday, October 22, 2004


I’ve had a bunch of cool things running through my head to post about in the past few days, but, as is often the case these days, I got too busy doing other “important stuff” and didn’t take the time to sit down and put my thoughts into words. Rather than do another “highlights” type entry about my music, I’m going to tell you about our new dog!

KD came to us from a shelter in Kennewick. (For you readers who are not in Washington, Kennewick is about four hours east of Seattle, over the Cascade Mountains.) I found her picture and description on, and she seemed to be just what we were looking for – a smallish terrier mix who is good with people and other dogs. (The listing also said she was good with cats, which is NOT true!) So we thought it was worth the trip to Eastern Washington to pick her up and add her to our family.

KD’s original name was “Flossie,” which we both thought was a little silly. So on the way home, we talked through some other possibilities. Since she came from Kennewick, we decided on “Kennewick Dog,” after the famous Kennewick Man, calling her KD for short. Sounds like “Katie,” so our geekiness is only revealed upon further inspection… She likes it, too, we think. A little more mature than Flossie. A little.

She has been such a good dog, feeling right at home with us. She is very territorial, which I always thought meant that a dog protected the home. You know, the “territory.” But, in fact, it means barking at anyone that comes near us while we’re on our walks, as if to say, “Don’t hurt this person! She feeds me and I love her!” We’re working on the barking, although I usually seem to be more bothered by it than the passers-by. She’s really not very threatening…

KD loves her new dog friends – Spackle, Jessie, and Uncle Loper. She’s the smallest of the bunch, but can out run and out play these kids anyday. Loves to be outside, loves to chew on her rawhide sticks (Jessie had to teach her what to do with them at first!), and LOVES to greet her people when they come home, even if they were only gone for ten minutes. She makes us happy every day, and we can’t imagine not having her here.

Monday, October 04, 2004

A gift

I finished up a nine-show run with the Pacific Northwest Ballet this weekend. What a wonderful experience! I am sorry to see Kent Stowell and Francia Russell leaving the company, as they have fostered a sense of well-being and caring in a business that is often nastier than opera. (I saw this first hand as a child in a couple professional ballet children’s corps; it’s what made me decide not to dance anymore.) Everyone at the ballet – dancers, administrators, crew – was friendly and warm. Businesslike, to be sure, but it was a good place to work.

A couple cases in point: Dancing being such a physical activity (understatement!), they have a resident physical therapist. Well, after a hellish day on Saturday, dealing with horrendous traffic, two performances and a rehearsal for another show in between, my neck and shoulders were a mess of knots by the evening. And even though I was a guest artist, – and NOT a dancer! – Boyd, the PT, worked on my shoulders for about 15 minutes. It’s amazing what a professional can accomplish in 15 minutes… During the massage, I asked him about how he cares for his dancers’ joints, since mine have been acting up a bit lately. After I’d gotten into costume, I went back to ask him about my ankle, which was hurting (prompting the original question). And he fixed it! Felt around for the tiny joint that was out of whack, showed me on my other foot how it was supposed to work, then CRACK! it was better. So cool… What a great perk of working at the Ballet!

Then after my final performance on Sunday, I was met on my way out of the backstage area by one of the technical crew members with whom I had been exchanging pleasantries over the past two weeks. I think his name is Michael. He handed me a small gift bag and said, “Here is a little something to thank you for your singing. I have really enjoyed it, and every night we all stand back here and watch and listen. You are wonderful” Wow! I was so touched. The card inside said that the CD (Ray Charles’ final, the duets CD) was from “Stage Right Tech,” not just from him, and I’m sorry that I didn’t get to thank them all individually. What a great way to end a great run of shows with a great company. I hope the new director will continue to develop the warmth and caring that most certainly contributes to the greatness of the company’s work on stage.
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