Get ready for a long post; it’s been 5 long days since I last posted, and so much has happened! Well, I mostly got to wear fancy clothes and heels, something I haven’t done in a while. I have to admit that when I was in college, my fashion sense went into hibernation, but in my defense, when you’re using as bike as your main means of transportation and when you’re a wimp to the cold like I am (aka anything below 70 degrees is cold for me), fashion is the least of my worries. Give me my fleece lined leggings (under my pants, of course) and shapeless jackets any day!
Wednesday night I went to see the LA Opera over at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a kitchy-pretty hall from the 60s that isn’t acoustically the best, but still in great shape. I was invited by my ex-piano teacher, a sweet old lady whose age remains a mystery to me, since she looks exactly the same as when I met her 7+ years ago. She’s still driving and teaching and generally has a lot more energy than I probably will at her age. She is tiny and slightly bent over; when I wore my 3.5 inch heels to the opera, she was a little higher than my elbow. When she drives, she sits on three cushions and pulls her chair up all the way to the front. I feel like a giant compared to her, and I’m by no means tall.
We saw Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (pronounced “oh-neh-gihn”); without giving much away, I can say it was a typical opera: beautiful lush score, gorgeous costumes, and there were lots of beautiful melancholy arias. I used to think opera was silly when I was little, but now that I’ve grown up a bit, I really appreciate the mastery opera singers have over their voices. The fact that they sing all their lines while projecting over an orchestra and into a theater without the help of a microphone is amazing; even if you’re not into classical music, you have to admit that’s pretty awesome.
I was debating on what I should wear, since it was my first time to a real opera, and in the end I settled on the safe LBD with a string of opera pearls, a dark purple blazer courtesy of the 80s, and black pumps. Apparently the LA opera crowd didn’t get the memo that color was all the rage over at NY Fashion Week; all I saw was a sea of black, with some cream and gold thrown in. Then again, the patrons were mostly 50+ and LA’s fashion scene has always been distinctly different from NY’s.
Thursday I volunteered to help out at the Chinese American Museum’s annual Historymakers Banquet, which is their big fundraising dinner of the year. It was held in downtown LA, and I can say with a certainty that I hate the one-way streets of Downtown with the passion of a thousand fiery burning suns. I hate hate hate them. But enough of the bad: onto the good! Helping out at galas are always fun because you can see all the patrons decked out in their fancy duds and pretend that you have enough money to bid on the silent auction items. I wore a dress my grandma had sewn back in the 60s, and I got so many compliments on it! Didn’t I say that my grandparents are awesome? It’s pink and coral striped Thai silk with a slightly flared skirt just above my knees, but the main highlight is the super awesome collar and the fact that it has pockets, something all too rare in dresses.
Of course, my feet were NOT happy with me, but beauty is pain, right? Or is it no pain, no gain?