Freaking Out Squares

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Night at the Opera

So, it's a hundred and eighty degrees here today in the big city on this, my day off from my new job (my new new job, not my old new job, about which I'll still remain mum, except to say that I had to quit it because it was commission only, and ain't no way in hell I can buy bread and cigs on a wing and a prayer) selling subscriptions for the New York City Opera. Since my recent foray into telemarketing was a complete bust, I was convinced I was gonna be back on the soup lines faster than you can say "Un bel di, vedremo," which, depending on who you are, may take you a while, so maybe that's not the best example, but whatever. But wouldn't you know--I've sold three subscriptions so far, and I've only been hitting the phones for like a week! Hot damn! Granted, one subscription was for the IT department of this humble page (who also serves as the loan officer, part-time shrink, and music encyclopedia), but two were from folks who have no vested interest in seeing me make commission! Four hours a day, five nights a week on the phone selling opera subscriptions is a certainly bearable way of pulling a steady, if small income whilst I putter around with this blog and look for freelance jobs and try to decide whether or not I want to shed the tonnage I gained over the past two years so I can do the acting thing (or at least not lumber around like a waterlogged pregnant rhino). I mean, we listen to opera the whole time, for god's sake, and if that sounds like torture to you, remember you're dealing with someone whose musical snobbery was cultivated at a very early age, thanks to her even snobbier musician mother (it was her idea to give me the middle name "Dorian," after the Dorian Mode). It's so Stepford, but at the age of four or something, that woman had me trained so well I could sing that one phrase from "Carmina Burana"--"O, o, o, totos arde o, ya ma more, virginales, totos arde o"--flawlessly. Is that amazing or what? No, seriously, I need to know if that's "amazing" or if it's "what," because my sneaking suspicion is that it's more akin to a thousand monkeys in a room typing Shakespeare than it is any kind of genius on my part. I also don't know, after twenty-five years, if that's how the hell you spell that phrase from the aforementioned. Perhaps the Music Library could weigh in here...? Anyway, point being, I love opera, and you probably do, too, even if you think you don't or you're too cool or some such shit. By the way, there's no shame in admitting your first exposure to opera was through Bugs Bunny! I think that might be true in my case, although it's hard to tell, because Bugs and giving your child the Robert Eroica Dupea* treatment ran neck-and-neck in terms of importance in my childhood abode.

By the way, I thoughtfully provided the link to the website so you could watch the trailers and decide which operas you might want to see, not so you can buy tickets through it! The box office doesn't open till August, anyway, so if you wanna get the best seats (or the cheapest--hey, I's is po' myself), order 'em through me. Did I mention I need the money? Why, yes, I did, in the previous parenthetical aside. So don't wait--let me know! And please don't send me your credit card information in an email--just tell me you'll buy a damn subscription, and we'll take care of the numbers over the phone when I'm on shift. Capisce?

"But what operas should I see, O Wise One?" Well, my feathered friend(s), that's up to you. Here's what I'm going to see thus far: Carmen, by Bizet (remember that orange on "Sesame Street" that sang "L'amour et un oiseau rebelle"? That's from this opera); Die Tote Stadt by Erich Korngold (a disturbing, rather Freudian piece about a young man whose wife dies and who immediately falls in love with a woman who's the spitting image of her. Sounds godawful? It did to me, at first, and then I heard the music, which is some of the loveliest I have ever heard in my life. I can be no more specific than that--my music literacy Stepfordizing hit a serious roadblock when I started first grade and discovered the pop stylings of one Michael Jackson); Madame Butterfly by Puccini ("Un bel di, vedremo" is the aria playing in the background on that "Simpsons" episode when pre-AA Barney Gumble makes his award-winning film about being an alcoholic. "Don't cry for me--I'm already dead"? Remember?); and La Traviata by Verdi (the one they go to see in Pretty Woman that's so good it almost made Julia Roberts pee her pants). I'll probably end up seeing all of them at some point, but that's what's on the docket for now. For the rest of the season, see the website. I'm off-shift for now, and I'm oh, so tired of running through the whole season until my gums bleed, usually to hear a "Well, thank you so much for telling me about the season, but we're really not opera people..." Well, then, why waste my time? I highly doubt you were entranced by my thick, nasal alto with the Pennsylvania twang. Hardly a choir of seraphim whene'er I speak, you know? (Oops--hope I didn't alienate any potential buyers there. It just GITS to me sometimes.)

Oh, yes, a subscription means "more than one," which I'm sure you already know, although I have had a couple o'people who wanted to buy a single ticket. Can't do it--sorry. You gotta buy a minimum of four. Any fewer than that, you gotta go to the box office in August and take yer chances then.

So what else? Velllll...I have a freelance writing assignment for a little publication that shall also remain classified until I write the article. (All I'll say is it's genuinely a small publication--it's not like I have an assignment for The New Yorker and I'm being all coy about it.) But hey, who cares? I'm writing an article and getting paid! Who cares if I'm three months and one day shy of thirty and I should have started my writing career years ago and now I should focus on getting a Real Job and flagellating myself for being such an irresponsible, self-centered loser with emotional problems all these years. Well, that's the rule in Karla's BioDome anyway, where mothers raise their kids by scream and cuff and That Olde Tyme Religion permeates everything, like toxic mildew! (The BioDome is going to have to be a post in itself. I've brought it up in therapy two weeks in a row and this week, I qualified it with, "By the way, that's a Pauly Shore movie," to the amusement of my therapist and a hipster goofball friend of mine, who later told me he was all, "Oh, no, she di'in't!" when I said that. Hee.) Anyhoo, I'll let y'all know when it's published, but that won't be until at least October, so just relax.

And finally, I believe I mentioned my cats on here, n'est-ce pas? Well, if I haven't, it's probably no surprise that a misanthropic spinster like me is the proud mother of two adorable felines, Hissy and Fitz, who will be six years old next month. That's what the lovely women at the rescue place from whence I procured the little freaks told me, anyway. Hissy and Fitz are semi-feral cats who were rescued from a vacant lot in Brooklyn, where their mother was killed by a moving car and rotten neighborhood kids threw rocks at them. I've had them for five years, and finally, finally Hissy has made overtures of affection bolder than just staring at me pointedly for hours on end and/or curling up on my bed far, far from my feet. In the past month, Hissy has decided that I'm a tree trunk, and whenever my feet are planted firmly on the floor, she head-butts my ankles and winds in and out of the gap between them. It's adorable. She's at the point where she meows when she sees me coming and positively yowls if I dare to move a millimeter if she's not finished having her way with my legs! Mon dieu, mon petit bete! She's even grabbed the cuffs of my pants a few times, which would send her straight to the principal's office if she were a "normal" cat, but since she's such a schizo I take it as progress. I think her sister is getting a little jealous, but Fitz has kind of a 'tude problem. She's the one who meows when the kibble in the dish is down to inedible bits, but damned if she's gonna let on for one second that all she really wants is love. I can't pick her up, either--she runs too fast. Little tease.

That's all for now. Happy Bastille Day, everyone!

*Robert Eroica Dupea was Jack Nicholson's character inFive Easy Pieces. His father was a classical pianist who was determined to turn his son into a musical prodigy. Bobby Dupea responded by getting a job in the oil fields of Puget Sound and knocking up Karen Black and having sex with Sally Struthers while running around the house with her. Oh, yeah, and he also tells a waitress to shove the chicken salad up her ass. Just change "oil fields" to "accounting department of a mid-size PR firm" and strike the parts about the waitress and the having sex with my legs looped around someone's moving figure and you've got my life!


Anonymous Marcia said...

I can't believe you didn't mention La Boheme being featured in Moonstruck. Wait, I forget if you've seen and/or like that, one of my all time favorites movies, as you probably know. I want tickets to half of them. I have to figure out when to bring my parents in to the big city, and organize a thing, but so far I have my eye on Carmen, La Boheme, Cosi fan tutte, L'elixir d'amour, Pirates of Panzance (this one I feel less strongly about, but I just think Kevin Klein, and I'm pretty sure that so does my mom- we are the same person after all), Madame Butterfly, and La Traviata. So, right. Get on that.

9:38 AM

Anonymous Marcia said...

Oh, I also feel compelled to correct 2 French things that jumped out at me: "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" - not "et" but "est" - and "Mon dieu, ma petite bete" - as bete is feminine, regardless of the sex of the being described. Thank you for your participation, and for your patience. You know how compulsive I am with these silly languages. I can do nothing on the Carmina Burana front... looks right to me, but it's been a while since Latin high school Latin. And I'm too lazy to look up the words right now.

9:48 AM

Blogger Karla said...

Eups. I can't believe I made that mistake with "et" and "est." That's just insane. As for "bete," well, I never was good at remembering gender. But thanks for the corrections all the same.

The reason I didn't mention La Boheme and Moonstruck was because as of now, I'm not seeing La Boheme, so it wasn't germane to the post, shall we say. But yes, I have seen and enjoyed Moonstruck--you'rethe one who showed it to me, remember? Silly rabbit.

Thanks for YOUR participation and your support of the arts! You are a true Un-American!

6:22 PM

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