Category Archives: Music

You Are Here

This morning, I ran 18 miles.

Near the end of mile 2, this song by The Wailin’ Jennys came on and I smiled.

You wonder why you wonder when
You wonder how now and then
How you became who you’ve become

You are here
And yet you dream of being there
Of being where you think the good life has begun

Every darkened hallway
Every fallen dream
Every battle lost and
Every shadow in between
Will bring you to your knees and
Closer to the reason

And there’s no making cases
For getting out or trading places
And there’s no turning back
No you are here

Who can say who made the choice
In the matter of your birth
Who brought about that fateful day
Well you are here and born with fire and desire
You’re the only one can stand in your own way

And every broken arrow
Every hardened smile
Every foolish gamble and
Every lonely mile
Will bring you to your knees and
Closer to the reason

And there’s no making cases
For getting out or trading places
And there’s no turning back
No you are here

And every sign of love
Every seed that’s growing
Every sweet surrender
To that silent knowing
Will bring you to your knees and
Closer to the reason

And there’s no making cases
For getting out or trading places
And there’s no turning back
No you are here

Holding back the happy tears.

Holding back the happy tears.

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Battle Hymns


So many things to report.  Pardon the radio silence but a confluence of weight gain stress, complicated and high profile concert stress, minor injury stress, and general STRESS formed a brick blogging wall.  But I’m back!  With unreadable run-on sentences and many, many things to share!

I fully realize that the few people who read this blog don’t read it because they’re interested in my classical music career.  Ironic since *at my very best* I’m a mediocre “athlete”.  Singing is my jam and I’d like to share a bit about the major event that kept me from blogging the last couple weeks.

I recently completed the West Coast premiere of  ‘Battle Hymns’ by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang.  The performances were collaboration between nearly 200 professional, amateur, and child singers and the fantastic Leah Stein Dance Company from Philadelphia.   The piece depicts the civil war through texts by Abraham Lincoln, the famous “Sullivan Ballou” letter, and fragments of songs by Stephen Foster including “Beautiful Dreamer.”  It was an incredibly complex piece to put together but throughout the rehearsal process, we all believed we were creating something very unique and potentially moving.  To our humbling delight, full houses at each of the four performances agreed with us.  Many of my colleagues and friends were unable to articulate their emotional response to the piece but their swollen, tearful eyes said everything.  There were many incredibly emotional moments in the piece, including an extended section where the children’s choir repeats the text “I’ll be a soldier” and suddenly falls dead to the ground.  The dancers swiftly ran to them, helped the children to their feet and escaped the “battlefield.”  I’ll admit that I shed more than a few tears myself the first time I saw them fall.  It was an absolutely incredible experience.

"Tell Me"

“Tell Me”

"A Father's Love"

“A Father’s Love”

Phenomenal dancers.  I got to touch one!

Phenomenal dancers. I got to touch one!

To read more about this work:

San Francisco Chronicle Review

New Music Box Review (with a reeeeeeally awkward close-up shot of ME in profile.)

Executing my training plan during  a tech/performance week of long calls and  performance anxiety (I had a very high and lengthy solo – ACK) was a major challenge.  I’ll tell you more about THAT when I wrap up weeks 3 and 4 of California Sprint Tri training!

Any musicians out there?  Any of my amazing Battle Hymns colleagues reading this and want to come out of the shadows to comment on your experience, MissJessicaIam writingdirectlytoyouinbold!

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Angry birds, natch.

Let me tell you about this amazing and perfect week of workouts and then I’ll give you all the LITERALLY GORY details.

If there is such a thing as a perfect week of training, this was it.  I hit every workout, challenged myself, exceeded expectations, and feel stronger for it.  AND it was rainy!  AND I had concerts!  Still nailed it! Can it always be like this?

Monday: Rest.  I’m so good at that!

Tuesday: 3.5 / 30:00 / 8:30 avg .  The super, mega SPEEDY DAY!  That was super, mega fun.

Wednesday:  TDM, 3.22 / 34:48 / 10:48 avg.  Slow run with a buddy who is returning to running after a few weeks off.  It was interesting to run at this pace.  I barely felt like I was doing anything and was able to talk normally the whole time.  No discomfort, even after my speedy run the day before.  Consecutive running days aren’t posing a challenge and that’s quite exciting.

I wondered several times if I could run at that pace for about 5 hours.  Today, probably not.  But in a year…..?  YES!

Thursday:  Rest.  And LOUIE at Davies Symphony Hall.  I can die now.



Friday:  TRIFRI!  (I’m not allowed to say that at home because apparently it sounds “idiotic” but I can say it on here as much as I like!  TRIFRI TRIFRI TRIFRIIIIIIIIII!)

I fucking LOVED this workout.  2 miles running on the treadmill, 12 miles on the stationary bike, and 2 more miles running in just under 74 min.  My running average was about 9:30 which would be a great pace for a first sprint tri.  Just sayin…

Picture taking abilities at minute 19, minute 74. #stroke

Saturday: Rest.  And by rest, I mean sing a reading of a new piece on the stage of the War Memorial San Francisco Opera House with the frickin’ San Francisco Opera Orchestra.  Then I sang the Schubert ‘Mass in A-flat’ with the San Francisco Choral Society and California Chamber Symphony.


Sunday: WIPEOUT!  6.25 / 59:44 / 9:33 avg.

Basically, I ran about 3 miles, feeling  fab.  Cool weather, easy pace, happy times.  Tripped on something, took two large steps to try to get my feet out in front of me but no dice.  I fell forward, skidding on my left side.  Several people were around and asked me if I was alright.  Aside from scrapes and a pretty bloody cut on my right hand, I was fine.


My hand and left leg stung (hello, my first road rash!) but I knew I was fine to continue.  Since I was near the end of my first loop, I decided to clean off my wound with water and a towel I had in the car and continue on.  The remaining 4 miles were  fine and the fall gave me an excuse to buy some sweet Angry Birds in Space (wtf) band-aids.

And then I got to be a diva again.

The show must go on!

Great wipeout stories?  Share ’em!

Tunes – July 2012

Suggestions are soooooo welcome!