Sunday, March 02, 2008

I've lost my voice

No, not in terms of politics, but my speaking voice.

Betcha can't tell, though, huh?

I had a slight cold in the middle of last week. I had a cough on Friday, but insisted on going ahead with a publishing Karaoke outing that was planned for that night by T.S. and others.

I sang A Whole New World with T.S. It wasn't too bad. At a friend's advice, I sipped scotch in between songs to help sooth my throat (I tried to order a hot toddy first, but the bar tender had no idea how to make one). Then I sang Un-break My Heart. My voice started straining a bit, but I was impressed with how it was holding up. Growing Pains theme song, The Rainbow Connection, and then sang backup on one last power ballad before leaving. I think that did it.

I haven't lost my voice this badly since college--a day or two after screaming at the Big Game, it was gone. I think it came back after a day or two...

It's so odd to not be able to talk. Yesterday a girl asked about my Sony Reader while on the train, and I could barely squawk out an answer--oh, how I longed to show it off to her. I babysat my cousin's kid Owen last night, and I managed to squeak out questions and talk to him, but not with my normal energy. And I couldn't sing to him, or even read to him for long without having coughing fits. He was so good, though.

Today I went to dim sum with Sara and her family and some friends, and it was torture not to be able to actively participate in the conversation. There were so many moments I wanted to contribute a story or ask a question. Here and there I jotted notes down on a pad, but that was unwieldy and slow, of course. It was easier when I went to the WBAI studios for a planning meeting--at least it was quiet, and I was able to be heard.

I need my voice back by Thursday at the latest--I'm supposed to tape an interview of authors Grace Lin and Justina Chen Headley on behalf of NATWA2 for the WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York for Women's Day, airing on Saturday, March 8th. The show will air from 1-1:25, so tune in! You can listen online, and hear for yourself if my voice has recovered.

Any advice on getting my voice back quickly? It seems that the best thing to do is to just not use my voice. I've also heard gargling salt water; drinking hot liquids; cinnamon and honey tea; hot water with fresh garlic, lemon, cayenne pepper, and honey. I have garlic breath right now.

***

I watched the movie Once tonight. This is the movie with the Oscar-winning song "Falling Slowly" that I'd heard being compared to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, which I love. I actually bought a pirated DVD of the movie while in China (I know, I know, bad). Anyway, it was excellent. Beautiful, thoughtful, touching, and for me was reminiscent of the Before movies, and also Lost in Translation.

I was charmed by the two main characters' performance at the Oscars, and then enjoyed this Q&A with the actor Glen Hansard. I loved his anecdote about meeting Bob Dylan.

***

Last Friday was a two Met day for me. I took the day off to hang out with my brother who was in town for a conference. It was a messy, snowy day, but his flight made it in. We trekked over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which I really enjoyed--I used to pop in more often when it was on my walk home, but haven't been in at least two years. We mainly focused on the modern art wing, but wandered through at least half of the museum, I think.

Then I was off to meet a friend for dinner and then the Metropolitan Opera production of Otello. Fantastic. I had never seen this performed before, nor read the play, although I did know the basic story. What a painfully tragic, beautiful show. I don't know much about opera, but the sets and constumes were gorgeous, the voices clear and soaring. Libby later told me during our Blue Rose Girls weekend that Othello is the production that has inspired the most audience intervention--people yelling at Othello, or even physically jumping on stage to prevent certain characters from killing other characters (I don't want to give it away for the few of you who aren't familiar with the story). Totally understandable, considering the unfairness of it all.


***

Anyway, that's all for now. I hope to be able to talk soon.

3 comments:

d-michiko-f said...

Alvina-
I hope you get your voice back soon! I lost mine while working at an outdoor school one summer, and when I got it back it had a Demi Moore quality to it. It took a year for my voice to go back to normal and my then boyfriend was disappointed! (He met me during my Demi Moore voice.)

I love ONCE!

Having breakfast with Tina next week! I look forward to your interview with her!

Rita said...

Whoa, those are some mighty songs. Nice!!

Damon lost his voice yesterday--it's gone--and has key meetings today. (He has a slight cold he thought he'd beaten.) And we just saw Once last last weekend! We loved it! For me it captured the essence of what Lost in Translation was going for (which didn't hit the mark as strongly for me as it did for all my friends).

I am fascinated by the idea of an interactive Othello. Whoa.

Anonymous said...

We saw ONCE well before the Oscars.
We were rooting for Falling Slowly but didn't think it had a chance.
The song winning the Academy Awards was so excellent, against all odds, so sweet a song from such a low budget film with such a big heart. And then the speeches! Mar getting to come back and say her piece. That was the best moment of the whole show.

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