Lederhosen and a Helmet with Horns

Summer may last until September 20 for you or it may seem over already, especially if you’re affected by an early start of school. For me, today is the last day of summer. I don’t know why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s a nice day. We could be at the lake. We could be hiking. We could have floated the river.

We’re being vegetables. The TV’s on. I’m noodling around in the kitchen. The dog was pacing and has finally settled down with his head on the pair of Mike’s slippers that we all use to go out onto the back deck. He’s been sighing and groaning. Poor guy.

After a summer of not walking much, my back hurts and I’m out of shape. Poor Teddy has been patient with me, but I wish I could explain to him that grocery store parking lots are dicey places for a dog in the summer time, even if we are on our way to the park after that.

This isn’t what I wanted to tell you about today. It really isn’t. I sat down at my computer intending to tell you some opinion about opera.

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Are you still there? Anyone?

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Anyone?

I always think of Julia Roberts’ response to opera in ‘Pretty Woman.’ Somehow, her reaction made her good enough for this snooty GQ kind of guy even though she was a prostitute. Oh, I’m like all the other women. I watch it. Even though I know how it ends, my heart stalls a little when she drops the cash and walks out of the hotel room door.

You know, I never once believed that a girl brought up fixing cars with her brothers would ever become a prostitute without being drugged. And I never believed she’d listen to opera for more than one minute.

I’m finding that, as I get older, I appreciate opera more. To my credit, I’ve always loved classical music. I grew up in a college town where I could walk around the conservatory, listening to amazing voices and incredible musical instruments. I usually only stopped at the rooms with pianists in them. I played a lot back then, but I knew I would never reach the pinnacle of what these people were achieving during simple practice time. The vocals, on the other hand, I could imagine myself being able to accomplish, but I had no desire to sing that style of music. Classical vocals annoyed me. Don’t ask me why.

I have a voice for opera or country music. You’d be surprised to know that the same strength serves both styles. Yet, as a kid thinking of studying music, I had no interest in either. So, I studied engineering instead. Smart. Really smart. Eh, I guess I got a job after college. I was never completely broke except during college, so I did alright. I don’t quite understand, but my tastes have changed as I’ve gotten older. I’ve gotten an appreciation for country music and opera, not an enduring love, but an appreciation. So, I have to tell you, I have no idea why I’m about to do what I’m about to do.

I’m going to sing opera at a talent show in October. Oh, I have wanted to do this for a while, ten years, at least.

Picture a man introducing me, “This is our last entry for the night and I’ve been instructed to tell you that it’s not over until the fat lady sings. Let’s give a big round of applause for …. ”

I know it’s not nice. It’s mean to any fat people out in the world. Maybe I shouldn’t use that line. I’ve always wanted to, but not everything I’ve wanted to do is nice. Maybe I’ll keep it simple and just show up without the intro.

I’m going to appear on the stage wearing leather armor, lederhosen, and Nick’s helmet with horns. Can you picture that? Yet, I know that what I sing will be good. I can sing. I tell you, I can really sing.

Am I insane?

I think so. To want to appear as a parody of an opera star playing a viking warrior female and to sing some serious opera and to want, in all seriousness, to sound amazing just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t. Still, there’s some part of me that said that Steve Martin, standing with an arrow through his head, was really very good at playing the banjo. Do you remember that? He was a good musician, but he was very funny on top of it. I think I have my work cut out for me. Don’t you?

I’ve always wanted to do this. I really have. It’ll either fly, or I’ll have a story to tell. So, wish me luck.

Thank you for listening, jules