Tonight was the Gergiev performance that I had been waiting all season to attend, and no amount of ‘upper respiratory infection’ was going to keep me down. Slightly high on a cocktail of Robitussin, Zicam, and a few others, I managed to keep my drool from the amazing music and numbness from the entire bag of cough drops I’d consumed in check. I managed not to embarrass my arm candy for the evening, Miss Meghan.

In between psychadelic trips, I had one of those moments where I realize how much I love what I do, and I am very happy to be a working musician, as it were. Usually a fantastic recording, or great performances, like this one, stir up those feelings. I’m always aware at how hard it is to “make it” on audition days, when droves of the finest conservatory graduates (and sometimes, less fine) descend on Cincinnati, and would be all too pleased to perform with sheet boy, a singing band of howler monkeys, and the Pops. I think often of my BFF, Jennifer C. Porto, who has been auditioning with gusto in the European opera circuit, in hopes of staying in Germany when her time as a Fulbright Scholar concludes. Obviously, the JP is smart and talented, and I have no doubt that she will make it big. I have so much respect for her as an academic and musician – and she reminds me not to take living the dream – to get paid for what you would do for free – for granted.