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First of all, I would just like to say that I utterly love being Catholic, if only because we have a St. Bean.  Really.  Not kidding about this one at all.  And no, I don’t really know anything about him, except for the vague idea that he is Irish (or possibly Scots), but it doesn’t matter.  Because his name is St. Bean, and therefore he is awesome.  The end.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, another thing that I think is amazingly awesome is the opera.  I may have mentioned this before.  It’s just so completely unashamed about being totally out there, all the way, what is this “reserve” or “moderation” thing you speak of, I do not know this word.  I love it.  I particularly adore the tragedies, the ones that just take it all the way with no happy ever after, no little epilogue showing you that people were ok, no padding to soften the blow, nothing.  Like La Traviata, where our poor beleaguered heroine, having given up the love of her life in order to save his sister and family from ruin, as she’s dying of tuberculosis in abject poverty, is reunited with her beloved, and lives only long enough to sing (excruciatingly beautifully) about how much she loves him and how sure she is that she is now healed, before singing, “O Joy!” and collapsing dead.  And that’s it.  The opera is over.  Ring down the curtain, we’re done.  What, you’re feeling a little shell shocked?  Too bad.  Suck it up.  That’s opera.

Last Tuesday, one of my friends (who doesn’t have a nickname – alas) texted me to say that he had gotten some free tickets for the dress rehearsal of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Dayton Opera, and would I like to come.  I enthusiastically accepted, and Wednesday made my way down to the Schuster Center, where I settled into the quite excellent seats with my friend, his fiance, Pippi, and The Thinker to enjoy an evening of drama, passion, revenge, and betrayal.  Oaths were sworn, people ran mad from grief and betrayal, there was a sad lack of kilts (really the only disappointing thing), and a good time was had by all.  The cast was superb – every single one of them.  I had goosebumps from sheer beauty too many times to count.   Also, I had not realized going in that the opening chunk of the (justly) famous Mad Scene is also known as the (also justly) famous aria sung by Diva Plavalaguna in Fifth Element (one of my favorite movies.  Of all time.).  So, you know, more goosebumps.  And a very happy Bernadette.

You know what else makes me happy right now?  The fact that the radio doesn’t work in my car.  Usually this is not a happy-making scene, but right now it’s positively blissful.  Plus I hardly ever watch tv, and I get most of my news from the internet. These facts combined mean that, even though I live in Ohio, one of the “battleground states,” this has been one of the most restful election years I can remember.  A couple of months ago I had to double check my calendar just to make sure that yes, this really was an election year.  Usually about this time I’m gritting my teeth every time I see a campaign sign, and switching my radio station to the classical station because I just can’t stand it anymore.  And it’s not because I don’t care.  It’s because I care too much, and all of it is so supremely frustrating.  There is no candidate I actually like.  Plus there’s this one issue that I feel so strongly about that it dictates who I vote for, which is usually the candidate who irritates me the most.  So every election year I get more and more irritated, until voting day arrives, and I grit my teeth through once again voting for the lesser of two evils.  But this year, I haven’t actually watched a single political ad.  I haven’t had to change anything about the music I listen to.  I already know who I’m voting for, and for once it’s someone I can endorse with a clear conscience.  He’s Joe Schriner, the guy who runs for President every time, who has no chance of winning, but I don’t care.  I may have to write his name on the ballot myself, but for once I’m not going to be cranky on election day.

Besides election day, I’m also looking forward to this weekend.  AnniPotts, Indy and I are heading off after we all get off work to go visit Mr. & Mrs. Darwin and their amazingly witty brood of children (apple, tree, you get the picture).  We visited them about this time last year, and are considering making it an annual tradition.  This year Indy is bringing her Really Good Camera so she can take family portraits, and I’m bringing my sewing supplies so that I show the kids how to make themselves t-shirts from scratch.  I’m pretty sure they’re already a ways down the slippery slope of Craftiness – hopefully this will give them another little push.  🙂

Good times ahead!