Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I know, I know, I know, it's not Fall yet. Still, every year in September, I'll remember the completion of band camp, back to school with new sneakers and new teachers (students), the coming of my birthday, apple-picking, pumpkin carving, hayrides.

I do so love the transitional seasons, especially in Virginia where the year is evenly divided into four distinct three-month chapters: December/January/February = cold and snowy/icy; March/April/May = lion & lamb, green shoots through ice and becomes lavishly floral; June/July/August = hot and lively with bugs, September/October/November = breezy, golden leafy and increasingly crisp. In New York City, it's more like November/December/January/March/April = sweltering radiators inside and cheekbone-aching sleet outside; May = wet and grey; June/July/August = confrontationally hot with the aroma of steamed human feces at any 34th Street station. But then suddenly September/October are boldly cinematic. Yes, Autumn in New York, it's good to live it again.

This year the changing of seasons is acute in the land of Spotsylvania's Marching Knights. In came Labor Day weekend, sweeping away my tenure at Boosey & Hawkes as well as my apartment of the past 3 1/2 years. I awoke this week with a new "job" and a new apartment. Or perhaps it was something to do with that wardrobe I encountered on Thursday night while I was packing.



I didn't think anything of the gaping hole in the back since it came from Alaska's side of the family, where every last drop-cloth is considered an appreciating asset. But its cedar magic is lost on me no longer. The wardrobe has transported me to a garden apartment—the first place Alaska and I have lived together that feels like real home where people go to stay. Our living room is the kind of place you invite friends to, to play Apples to Apples or Taboo, or to watch Young Frankenstein. (Frau Bl├╝cher!) It has windows and cross breezes and walls we painted with our own palettes and rollers, it has a back yard with next door neighbors who invited us over for drinks before we'd even moved in, it has a washer and a dryer (!!!) so my clothes won't all be stained permanently after one unfortunate wearing, and, the clincher: it has a finished basement just for making music.

A studio, I tell you! A real room with privacy and doors, separated from any other tenants by two floors. Not since The Year 2000 at JMU have I had access to a private place to make sneaky night-music. This is amazing stuff. Already, just by nature of the ample space, I find myself singing. Singing as I put books away, singing as I arrange the medicine cabinet, singing as I wash the windows with warm soapy water.

Speaking of new homes, you may have noticed some changes around the blog, including the new URL home. As I leap into the great wide open with my PR career, I decided to reserve My Full Name for that professional venture and to use more lively pseudonyms here. Therefore my most honorable husband is now "Alaska" (no, he's not from there) and I am henceforth known as "Virginia" (yes, because I'm from there). We'll see if these stick. There's another name I've had in my back pocket for a while that I may try on for size later.

On the professional front, I should have some more news soon. For now,  guess what? My first client as I transition as a free-lancer is...Boosey & Hawkes! I'll be handling their press writing/relations through early November, when my successor is installed. (I am pleased with the appointment, by the way.)

The clock strikes twelve. Time to go downstairs and play.