Adventures with Dr. Lady Cutie Troublemaker

Life is in flux BIG TIME these days. I want to keep in touch with all of my peeps. The Internet is this beautiful thing. I can move to a brand new city and still stay in easy, near-daily contact with the people I love. When I feel connected to the people in my life that matter, I am unstoppable!

Singing with Celine: Opening Ceremonies 1996

By Abby at 7:26 pm on Sunday, February 21, 2010

Because I was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus during the 1995-1996 season, I was lucky enough to be a performer in Opening Ceremonies of the Atlanta Summer Olympics. I found a video of Celine Deion singing “The Power of the Dream” on YouTube. There was a discussion about whether she was performing live or not. I knew a little bit about this, since I was there and knew just enough to be able to answer the questions the commenters were posing.

The whole experience was really cool. When you watch the video, you’ll see that I’m one of the people standing behind Ms. Deion (Hahaha!) in a choir robe on the ramp. It was quite the vantage point. At this time in the proceedings, Mohammed Ali had already lit the olympic torch, and the parade of nations was complete. It was an incredible place to be, and despite the cheesiness of the Babyface/Foster music (which we recorded in Symphony Hall about a month prior), watching this video this morning made me cry. Just because being in such a place at such a time amidst such an incredible confluence of energy was overwhelming. I love people. I love being where the action was. And on that day, in that place, that was the place to be. Watch it, and at around 2 minutes, listen and imagine how cool it all was for me.

Below the video, you’ll see my responses to the commenters queries about what was live and what was prerecorded.

OK, this is crazy, but I’m actually one of the performers in this. I sang in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus during this time. I am one of the people in a choir robe on the ramp behind Celine Deion. We prerecorded everything so that no matter what technical things went wrong, there would be something to play on air.

What I recall is that those recordings of us (the chorus) were blended with the mics that were on us in the actual stadium. For the soloists, however (Celine Deion, Jesse Norman, etc), the recordings were only in reserve for use in case the mics were failing to feed into either the stadium or to the live feed.

It all went as planned, and so I believe what you are hearing is, in fact, live Celine. What you are hearing from the orchestra and chorus is all recorded, but inside the stadium, it was both the pre-recorded stuff and the live performance.

Filed under: Music,Stories From My Life,Video2 Comments »

I Did Some Singing

By Abby at 2:22 pm on Monday, November 30, 2009

This is my second year doing solos with the North Carolina Master Chorale for Carolina Ballet’s Messiah production. This year, Jake used my iPhone and a capsule mic I bought recently to record me singing. Here ya go!

Rejoice Greatly

I Know That My Redeemer Liveth

If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?

Filed under: Music1 Comment »

Lordy, Lordy!

By Abby at 7:33 pm on Monday, November 16, 2009

40th Birthday Candle/Cake Situation from abbyladybug on Vimeo.

Five days before my birthday, I wrote the following paragraph, but I never posted it. Now I have a video to share, and it seems that this would be exactly the kind of reason to go back to the blog. So here’s how I was feeling 5 days before I turned 40. Now I’m 40 and 1 day, and I feel like the same Abby I did last week. Go figure!

So I started this blog over 5 years ago when I was living in Memphis. I had just moved away from all my friends and wanted to keep in touch. It’s been a wonderful thing for me – having a place to share all the things that have meant something to me. On Sunday, I will turn 40. To me, blogging has been the stable force amidst so much instability: moves, relationships, jobs. And today, at age 39, 11 months, and about 25 days, I feel like I may finally be experiencing some stability. I have a private practice in a lovely building in downtown Raleigh. I have a 3-minute (on foot) commute to my apartment. It’s in this historic neighborhood – so pretty, and it has a great vibe. I’ve got a great boyfriend who loves me, challenges me, and is pretty much more fun than anyone I’ve ever met. Even though I lost Maggie this summer, I’ve got my hilarious Jeep, who (despite forgetting I’ve fed her within about 2 minutes) is an utter delight. Do I still need this blog? I don’t imagine I’ll shut it down, because here, people have me in their feed readers, and if I DO have something to say, this seems a fairly good place to stay it. But life has changed in the past 5 years for me, and a slightly more private online environment (like Facebook) seems a better place to share the “bloggy” topics I used to share here all the time. If you’re still reading, then thanks! Stay signed up, but don’t hold your breath. If you want to see me doing my thing, the better place to check is always Flickr. My photostream is how I communicate to the world now. I tend to save my writing for reports. But like I said, if I have something to say, I’ll be back around. As with most things, my output comes in waves, and right now, it’s ebb-time!

One more follow-up thought: I have some wonderful people in my life. Jake’s planning and generosity this weekend knocked me off my feet. Shannon and Brian are awesome as always (and not just because of Ham Dip, Beer, and DJing). My friends who came are awesome. Lalitree made me Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Pamela gave me the prettiest necklace and took a buzillion awesome pictures. Holden gave me a fun quad camera – the REAL kind that uses film. Robert and Elise got a babysitter and made the trek from Durham. Jake’s parents, Nancy and Barry, opened up their home and put on the charm. I could go on and on, but the more I go on, the more I need to talk about every single guest, and I’m sure you’re already bored by now! I am a lucky, lucky woman!

Filed under: Blog Announcements,Friends,Stories From My Life,Video4 Comments »

Instapaper + Feeds + Tweetie = CRAZY DELICIOUS!

By Abby at 11:54 pm on Monday, August 10, 2009

Do you have an iPhone? If you do, do you further understand the awesomeness that is Instapaper? If you have an iPhone, you really should start to get it. It’s awesome like RSS feeds are awesome. It’s awesome like GMail conversation threading is awesome. If you get why those are so awesome, then I urge you to consider that there is another kind of awesome that you may not quite get yet.

In Instapaper’s own words:

Instapaper facilitates easy reading of long text content. We discover web content throughout the day, and sometimes, we don’t have time to read long articles right when we find them. Instapaper allows you to easily save them for later, when you do have time, so you don’t just forget about them or skim through them.

In the above audio recording, I explain why, for iPhone users,

Instapaper + Feeds + Tweetie = CRAZY DELICIOUS!

Take a listen, try it out, and see if you agree. That trio along with the Kindle app for iPhone means I am reading MUCH more than I did only a few months ago. It’s a no-brainer and easy as pie. It makes it more possible to read all those articles you’ve kept in open tabs. There will be a useful place to put them; a place where they may actually get read!

Filed under: TechnerdlinessComments Off on Instapaper + Feeds + Tweetie = CRAZY DELICIOUS!


By Abby at 12:46 pm on Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Sickos

I decided about a week ago to stop trying to raise money for the Maggie Memorial Fund. I had gotten so close to my goal already, and to be honest, asking for help is a difficult thing to do.

I’ve taken some big risks this year that were unsuccessful, and this was one of them. Still, I have absolutely no regrets. I’ve risked when it’s mattered to me. In the case of Maggie’s surgery, the vet and the surgeon were very optimistic since Maggie was otherwise in excellent health and since the success rate with this surgery prior to Maggie was 97% (29 out of 30 cats had survived and been helped by it). Had the surgery been a success, Maggie would likely have had many more healthy and happy years ahead of her. In the end, there was an unforeseen complication that meant Maggie would not be as lucky as those other 29 cats. Still, knowing that we did everything that was possible for her means my grief is pure. There is no guilt at all – just sadness and a lot of missing her. It’s weird that pure grief can be a gift. It’s not something I’d expect to feel, but I do.

I ran into a friend yesterday who I hadn’t seen in a while. He asked how I was doing, and it was one of those times when I had trouble answering the question. I have good days and bad days, and while I FELT like I was having a good day, the question caught me off guard. “Did you hear about Maggie?” I asked. Yes, he had. He was very sweet about it and said he was so sorry to have heard. Then this morning, I received a surprise donation of $100 from him, an amount that put me over the $2,000 fund-raising goal I’d set for myself. (If you can believe it, I actually WANT to pay as much of the cost of Maggie’s surgery as I can, but having started my own business this summer, this was an unlikely goal.) Here is the fund-raising thermometer as of this morning:

So I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all my generous friends, and know that if you’re ever in a fix, I’ve got your back. I mean that. I had it anyway, but if it’s possible, I have your back MORE! Gratitude is not something one gets to feel on an average Monday morning, but I’ve been feeling it a lot this summer. My friends are my strength. Thanks for the donations, thank you for the kind words, thank you to those who followed Maggie’s story with interest, thanks to the lovely people at XX Merge who came up to me and gave me hugs, and thanks to all my close friends: Shannon, Lalitree, Katy, Oliver, Chris, Brian, Andy, Robert, Elise, Dad, Mom, Jason, Prachi, Pamela, Don, Everette, Nancy, Kendall, Holden, Libby, Kathryn, Ian, Clara, Rachel, Kurt, Tricia, John, Drew, Hugh, Hamilton, Aaron, Brad, Barbara, Ogun, Scott, Sunitha, Jake, Leah, Veronica, all the lovely Blarty-goers, IM friends, interested Facebook friends… ALL of you. It’s funny. I know I’m forgetting tons of people like I just won an Oscar or something. It’s just… during a really hard time, I’ve gotten so much support in so many ways, and without embarrassing everyone I know, I wanted to say Thank You in a very public way.

Playing with My Long-Forgotten Speedlight (Hey Kitch, Where my Kit Lens At?!)


Filed under: Family,Friends,Kitties,Stories From My Life3 Comments »
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