Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tulsa Tidbits

Today was a turning point---ridiculously long, but pleasant and productive. And somehow with it behind me, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel which has been the 2011-2012 Season. Tunnel might sound a bit negative. But think of the Detroit airport tunnel. Psychedelic, colorful, exciting, potentially dizzying, sometimes stressful (you're still in an airport people), and a portal to home. Or not home, but for my analogy home it will be.

So, here I am. With a finish line (both literally and figuratively) in the not too distant future. And the potential of possible blogging as well. Now on to the subject of today's post: TULSA. I am no longer in Tulsa, for the record. And Kansas City has also come and gone. Currently I reside in Dallas, but as I am having interesting adventures along the road, I would like to recollect and recount a few.

Let it be known that Tulsa is not my favorite place. Nothing further need be said in that regard. Despite some of my negativity which may have been appropriately or inappropriately channeled at the city, there were some highlights. Here are my Top Ten:

10. My amazing home decor. I had two matching sets of these:

9. Freckles. Unique name for a custard shop, but I'll take it. Several times during my stay in fact. I'm a bit prejudiced against regular ice cream since my discovery of frozen custard. I'll eat both, don't get me wrong. But I prefer what's pictured below.

8. Tide Pods people. These are revolutionary. You may have seen similar products for your dishwasher, but it's taken some time for that genius to transition into the laundry room. And I don't understand why. I've been saying they should for ages. I could probably sue someone out there for taking my idea...Anyway. They're compact. They travel well (an absolute necessity in my current existence). And they're cute. Yes, laundry detergent can be cute.

7. SMOKE. Not a habit I picked up, but a fabulous restaurant on Cherry Street. Friendly people, locally sourced food, and a tasty experience all around. One of the true joys I find in travel is eating. And this was my Tulsan favorite.

6. The Philbrook Museum of Art. A true gem in the midst of the city. I saw this version:

But this version might be more awe-inspiring:

The grounds are stunning regardless of the season, as is the mansion and the art collections it houses. I went with a friend who happens to be an architect and it was fun hearing some commentary from that perspective.

5. Girl's Night Out with Valerie. Let it be known that I was not social in Tulsa. The combination of long hours and a physically/emotionally exhausting opera don't inspire me to do much beyond going home and getting in bed. I didn't realize how much I needed a night out until we planned a dinner date at the Redrock Canyon Grill. I will never forget the gorgonzola sauce of deliciousness the waiter recommended be poured over my steak. Best decision I made in the month of February by far. Add in lovely company and quality conversation, and it's obvious why this makes the highlights list.

4. Valentine's Day. Despite my continuously single state, it's a holiday that I love. I love people and I love thinking about all the love I have in my life. I had the morning off and I spent it frosting sugar cookies made the evening before. Anyone who knows me is aware that baking is one of my therapeutic habits. And that morning spent frosting was seriously needed. In fact, I should probably add frosting to the random list of objects I travel with. Might be best to start every day frosting something...

To celebrate the occasion, I made my fresh juice of the day to color coordinate. I love beets. I don't love what beets can do to your hands and clothes if they have a mind of their own. Another story.

3. Meeting the composer. Most of the music I deal with on a regular basis is 100+ years old. It's inspiring to work with an individual that's creating art for the operatic medium NOW. I'm a music nerd and love a good note session (breaking down what can be improved in the performance) but especially when the person who created the work is present. Awesome.

2. Working with inspirational people. This can be said about many of the locations I find myself in, but this cast was especially committed to the project. It's always refreshing to see people who are making music an art, rather than simply a business.

1. It might not have actually occurred in Tulsa, but my final gig of the 2011/12 Season is owed to my involvement there. And I couldn't be more excited...it means I get to spend an extra month with these lovelies!

Two weeks until Washington DC!
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