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So this is what I’ve been doing instead of blogging: running all over Dayton acquiring things and fulfilling requests for the kind of people who don’t know what they want, get frustrated when you can’t read their mind, manage to step on your toes and offend you in almost every way possible, and then apologize and tell you how much they appreciate your work after every thing’s done.  And, yes, the apology and appreciation go a long way (especially for a person like me who pretty much lives on verbal affirmation), but for heaven’s sake, why did they have to make it so miserable in the first place?

Oh, and did you know that somehow being a Grad Student means that you suddenly don’t know how to make coffee?  And meeting the delivery guy with the lunches for your own bloody meeting is now somehow beneath you?  I don’t remember them covering that in any of the grad classes I’ve taken.  But maybe that’s because I’m a girl.  Apparently male grad students get an entirely different curriculum…  If you want to imagine my blood boiling right now, go right on ahead.  It’s enough to make me want to shave my head, stop shaving my legs, and start picketing the nearest government building.  The worst part is the supervisors of said annoying Grad Student, the ones who are approving of this crap, are women!  There’s just no words to express how I feel about that.  Well, no words I’m willing to publish here anyway.

But on a more cheerful note, the other thing I’ve been doing is making multiple fresh fruit tarts for the annual Midsummer’s Eve Party.  This is the blowout affair that Mariah and The Duchess throw every year (well, except for last year, when they renovated their kitchen instead).  The idea is that everyone gets dressed up in fantastic costumes (provided through the combined resources of all the sisters), pick parts out of a hat, and do a read-through of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Usually the setting for this is Mariah and The Duchess’s back yard, with oriental carpets and mounds of pillows spread on the grass, Chinese lanterns and tiki torches providing lighting, and fabulous food and drink (including, among lots of other lovely things, the tarts) set on tables nearby.  Unfortunately, the weather this year forced us, for the first time ever, to have an all-indoor production.  Thankfully, two good friends who live in the townhouse next door let us spread out into their downstairs, so we were able to have the women’s costumes in the upstairs of one apartment, the men’s costumes and all the accessories (hats, shoes, scarves, jewelry, etc.) in the downstairs of the other, leaving the downstairs of Mariah’s place for the food and the read through.  It was crowded and hot, but very fun.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get my picture taken in my costume so I can’t show you the awesomeness of it.  I had on a short silver slip dress over a very full crinoline petticoat which extended several inches below the dress hem, several strands of vintage pearls plus pearl earrings, a silver hip belt of belly-dancing bells, pink elbow-length gloves, and a vintage wedding veil.  It was pretty sweet.  My part this year was Flute, one of the Rude Mechanicals who put on the play-within-the-play at the end.  This meant I was also Thisbe, the female half of the doomed lovers, so I got to die tragically.  So much fun.

Speaking of tragic deaths, next on my list is going to see Madame Butterfly at the Cincinnati Opera on Wednesday.  This is my birthday present (well, really a couple of years worth of birthday presents) from The Duchess.  Wednesday is Opening Night, so we plan to dress to the nines.  I haven’t completely decided on my ensemble, but I’m thinking the green silk Mable dress, the pink gloves from Midsummer’s (with the three little pearl buttons at the wrist), and either a vintage pink fur capelet borrowed from Annipotts, or a pink evening shawl if I decide wearing fur in June is gauche.  I still haven’t decided on the shoes.  But then, that outfit sounds very ingenue, and I’m not sure if that’s really the look I want to go for.  We’ll see how I feel about it on Wednesday.

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