Sunday, October 24, 2010


No, people, I am NOT talking about bras here.  I'm talking about people.

This weekend, CU Opera put on Carousel by Rogers and Hammerstein. I was in the chorus for the show, and had a very small solo in the second act, but was on stage for a pretty decent amount of time.

The show was great.  The cast was amazing.  I had a really good time (most of the time).  Those things aren't really a big deal to me right now, though.  The most amazing part of it for me was the fact that it reinforced something that I already knew:  I have an amazing support group.

My parents drove all the way to CO from ND to see me perform my 3-bar solo, stayed for a day, and drove the 15 hours back.  Friends and bosses and parents of friends and all sorts of other people came to see the show for my benefit, and they did it willingly.  And excitedly.  And I know there are even more people who wanted to come, but couldn't.

And of course, everyone gave very good feedback about the whole show.  And my "aria" (as my voice teacher called it).  I got an email from someone I hardly know that said that my hip-shaking shook the whole theatre, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a comment about my weight.  haha.  Just kidding, I know it wasn't. 

It's just really helpful to have people who are just as excited as me, if not more so, to see me doing something that I really enjoy.  It's a vote of confidence, and I like it.  

Thanks, supporters.  I appreciate you!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall is Here!

Because it's been uncharacteristically warm here in Boulder, I keep having to remind myself that it really is autumn.  We've had temps near 80 in the past week, and it's been awesome.  I would personally prefer if the earth was capable of keeping snow on the ground while the air temperature was at least 80 degrees.  That would be ideal for me.  I love the heat.  And sun.  

Alas, that's not possible, and I think that fall has come for real starting today.  I can cope because we've been so lucky so far.  Either way, no matter what the weather would have been like, last Sunday was definitely fall.  Or at least it was for a group of people who celebrated fall the best way possible: we went to a pumpkin patch.

Now, please keep in mind that I haven't been to a pumpkin patch since I was about 10 years old, so I was a little skeptical.  And there was, of course, a bit of drama involved (when isn't there), but the trip was excellent fun.  

We started the day with a little roost through a corn maze, despite the light rain that was bothering us.  Next, we headed to the pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins.  At this particular pumpkin patch, they hand out knives at the entrance, and each person gets to cut their pumpkin straight from the vine.  

I have never, ever, ever seen as many pumpkins as I did that day.  No joke, there were probably a million.  We could see the sea of orange from miles away.   Literally.  The hardest part was finding the most perfectest pumpkin.  I definitely succeeded.  So did Kenny, because I picked his out, too.  Here's a little sampling of one of probably 10 pumpkin fields:

After we had picked our pumpkins, we headed to the petting zoo and foodstands.  I got the most deliciousest caramel apple I've ever eaten, we fed the little pigs our apple cores, and almost went on a hayride.  Too fun.  I could go to the pumpkin patch every day.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Apt

I told myself I would do this blog thing, and I'm doing it.  Even though it's Friday night and I should be getting ready to go out.  But that's a topic for a completely different blog.  Oh, Coloradans...  

If you'll recall, when I first moved to CO last year, I moved without even having visited Boulder.  I moved into an apartment that I'd never seen, with a roommate who I'd only communicated with via email, and everything ended up just peachy.  Great, even.

Until I got kicked out of said apartment.  Again, a-whole-nother can of worms.  

Either way, being kicked out of that place ended in me moving out to Broomfield and in with Kenny, who I now cannot live without.  Seriously.  The condo we were renting from his voice teacher in SD was great.  Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a piano, amazing location, King Soopers a half block away, really low rent... Everything was wonderful.  Except commuting.  Commuting 13.6 miles one way, two times a day made me want to die.  Rush hour traffic at 8:00 am was never fun, and being at school for 14 hours and then driving home was about as enjoyable as having teeth pulled.  We both knew that we couldn't stay there for another year, no matter how much we loved the place.  Our cars hated us.

So, in March or April, when a mutual friend and fellow vocal performance major was asking around for two new roommates for this fall, I immediately offered to move both Kenny and myself in.  It didn't take her long to agree that we should move in, and we started to get things in order.  Even though rent would be substantially, significantly, and incredibly higher (this is Boulder, after all), we decided that it was worth it.  After all, when we figured in gas, car maintenance, and convenience, there weren't many arguments as to why not to move to Boulder.

So, when the summer was over, Kenny and I moved into our new place in beautiful Boulder.  The new apartment has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.  There are 4.5 of us (Brent's boyfriend is around a lot), plus a very cute rabbit named Potato and Max the chinchilla.  We did have Bob the cat for a few weeks, but Brent's parents took him back when it was decided that he was too much stress.  Sadly.

Our location is great.  We're literally one block away from the Hop bus, which drops us off 20 feet from the front door of the music building on campus.  Target and the 29th street mall are a mere 6 blocks away.  We walk to and from the world-famous Pearl Street pedestrian mall a few times a week.  When we feel like it, we can take the scenic route and walk the 25-minute walk to school.  It's seriously wonderful.  

The roommate situation couldn't be better.  Here's the breakdown:
  • 2 females
  • 2 males
  • 3 voice performance majors
  • 1 opera fanatic/physics master's student who knows more about opera than the rest of us combined
  • 2 sopranos
  • 2 gays
What more could a person ask for, really?  And that's not mentioning that we all get along really well, especially when you consider that we hardly knew Danielle and had never met Brent when we moved in.  Our building could use a few improvements, but that's not happening anytime soon.  Damn BPM.

Also not happening anytime soon is pictures.  If you'll recall, I put my camera through the washing machine last spring, and haven't had the money to get a new one.  I'm asking for one for Christmas, though, and when it comes, I'll get ya'll pictures.  Until then, feel free to come and visit at anytime.  Then you can just see it for yourself!

Monday, October 04, 2010

My sincerest apologies

Oh, I really do apologize for hardly writing at all.  Okay, for really not writing at all.  I'm a horrible person.  Okay, I'm not a horrible person.  I'm just a very, very busy person.

Thank you to all of you who are continuing to attempt to keep in touch with my life via this blog.  You're keeping up with your side of the blogging game.  I, however, and not keeping my end of the deal.  

I hope to change that, from now on out.  I will put time into my schedule to blog at least once a week for you all.  I know that that's substantially less than last year, but I'm going to do it.  Notice that I said, "At least once."  It's the best I can do. 

Okay, okay, enough of my grovelling.  

Now for one of those really boring, really annoying, all-encompassing updates on the life of Raissa.

About a month ago, I was offered and accepted a job as a section leader in a choir at a church here in Boulder.  I attend weekly rehearsals and church services and get paid to sing.  Which is what I want to do with my life, so it's perfect.  Not to mention that the choir is small, but pretty darn talented and that the director has amazing ambition and a great vision for the choir.  It's an adorable church and a really great space to sing in, and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to be working with these people. 

I was cast in the chorus of CU's fall opera production.  Okay, so this year it's not so much an opera as a musical theatre piece, but if we focus on the important thing here, which is that I was actually cast, then we're thinking about the most important thing.  Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel will be performed in CU's Macky Auditiorium on October 22, 23, and 24.  Visit to purchase tickets.  If my parents can make it all the way from ND, you can make it from wherever you are.  I'm singing a very small solo, so cheer loudly!  
I'm still working at the Center of the American West.  Sewing purses.  Don't get me started on that topic, because I might freak out.  But if you must know, I'll send pictures once they're completed.

Kenny and I have officially scheduled our junior recital.  We'll be performing on Tuesday, April 12th, at 7:30 pm in Grusin Music Hall.  Put it on your calendar now.  I don't want you to miss it.  We'll be singing some stuff together, which is very exciting, because he's a bass and I'm a soprano.  Oh, and because we both rock.  

The new apartment is still great as ever.  If I had a camera, I'd send you pictures, but if you'll recall, I put that camera through the washing machine last year in March-ish.  Mom, don't worry, a digital camera will be on my Christmas list.  Along with some other stuff that I'm sure you'll start asking about soon.

Okay, as far as broad overviews go, those are the most important things.  Keep looking for more frequent updates.  And thanks again for continuing to read through my excessively long hiatuses.