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Scheherazade

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About this blog

One thousand and one tales to while away the bleak hours of the night.

Entries in this blog

 

like a whited sepulcher

I have a confession to make. I'm having a crisis of faith.   For those closest to me, this isn't really news. My husband knows. Some of my friends know. And they pray for me (at least, I think they do). I'd say that this most recent crisis began seven years ago (o! auspicious number!). I remember walking through the basement of the church that we were members of; a huge, old polish Catholic church in Chicago. I was on break from rehearsal before Mass, and I ran into a friend, a co

Noelle Zingarella

Noelle Zingarella

 

Immaculata

This year the Feast of the Conception of Mary falls on the Second Sunday of Advent, and so I bring you a post with lots of music for the occasion.  (as always, all links are rated M just in case)   The Meeting at the Golden Gate by Giotto di Bondone As much as this day is celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary, it also remembers her parents. Sts. Joachim and Anne were honorable people who lived to old age without being blessed with any children. One year they went up to Jer

Noelle Zingarella

Noelle Zingarella

 

Thundersnow

The Thundersnow of 2011: A Recollection for Jane   We knew it was coming.   The radio had been going on and on about it. The blizzard is coming! The blizzard is coming!    So, we stocked up on food and diapers. We left the faucets dripping (damn pipes freezing!). We had extra blankets and flashlights and candles and a plan of where we’d go if the power went out.   Mr. Zingarella treated it like a regular day (does he ever stop working?) and drew

Noelle Zingarella

Noelle Zingarella

 

Adventslied

Madonna of the Dry Tree by Petrus Christus   Today is the first Sunday of Advent, traditionally a time of preparation. In the Zingarella house, while we are waiting with varying degrees of patience to put up the tree and trim the hearth, we have music to keep us company. One of my favorite Advent carols started out as a pilgrimage song. Maria durch ein Dornwald ging is a hauntingly beautiful song relating the story of Mary on her way to visit her cousin Elizabeth. On the journey, she p

Noelle Zingarella

Noelle Zingarella

 

Nothing New Under the Sun

Whenever I find that the waters of life are more rough than smooth, I turn to Jane Austen to soothe my nerves. I have read through the canon of published works more times than I would care to admit. It is a comfort to know that, whatever may be going wrong in my own life, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will always be there for me. I am halfway through Persuasion, and I was looking around for something else along those lines to read, lest I go back to the beginning and simply start reading Pride and Pre

Noelle Zingarella

Noelle Zingarella

 

Sitivit anima mea

Note: all links in this post are to youtube videos and are rated M to be safe.   Singing a wedding is like getting a bonus. Everyone seems to want the same set of songs, so the rehearsal is minimum. It's never an early morning call. We get a big break during the procession and the vow exchange and the other singers and I crowd the edge of the choir loft so that we can see and critique admire the finery. If I'm singing it with friends, we get teary-eyed and nostalgic about our own

Noelle Zingarella

Noelle Zingarella

 

The results of the Make Me Like Sirius Black Challenge

It's time folks, to announce the winners of: (All graphics in this post were made by me!) This was my first time hosting a challenge, and I was thrilled to receive eight awesome entries from five fabulous writers: @Lacey Black with:  Leaving Home (M), a thriller of a one-shot exploring life in the Black family home. It isn't pretty, and Lexi pulls no punches. But the story takes an unexpected--and beautiful turn by the end. Mssr. Padfoot, a series of drabbles/one s
 

A is for Agoraphobia

(Please note that all links in this post are rated M because--youtube. Also, trigger warning: this post will be talking about anxiety, panic attacks, etc.)   I've been writing this blog post in my head for a while now and going back and forth about whether or not to actually put it up. As some of you may know, I have been dealing with PTSD for the last five years or so but, sometime in May, I realized/admitted/came-to-terms with the fact that I have agoraphobia as well (joy!). Agorapho
 

Self-image

Once in a while, like today, my five-year-old daughter, Battle Maiden, will come up to me and say that she wishes that she had light colored skin. I am white and my husband, Mr. Zingarella, is of mixed race, and so our children all look quite different from each other. Battle Maiden has by far the darkest complexion--in fact, she looks just like Mr. Zingarella would look, were he a beautiful woman.  I always tell Battle Maiden that her skin is perfect and beautiful just the way it is. And s
 

Mélodie

If I were forced to sing only one genre of music professionally for the rest of my life, it wouldn't be church music, it wouldn't even be opera--it would be mélodie (French art song). The composers working in the 19th and early 20th centuries were writing for my voice and my heart specifically or, at least, it feels that way to me. It's a beautiful day here, and finally not raining, so I thought I would start my series about mélodie with a song that is unapologetically beautiful, shamelessly lov
 

Of Bicycles and Freedom

It’s been a frustrating week at the Zingarella house. We’re all fine, but our van is in need of major, and expensive repairs, to the point that we’re looking for a new vehicle. We live in an area where having a car to get anywhere is essential, although we make do with one for the whole family. Since there are six of us, that means a van (a total mom-mobile, too). Hopefully we are nearing the end of the process of replacing the broken one, but it has not been fun. I think I find it particul
 

Egoriy the Brave

While we're on the topic of St. George and the dragon, I wanted to highlight a series of animation produced by the Pilot animation studio. Pilot is a privately held Russian animation studio, and their project, the Mountain of Gems is a series of thirteen minute long animated shorts telling fairytales from all over Russia. The styles of animation vary, some are stop motion, some are hand drawn, etc. The quality is a little uneven and some of the shorts are much better than others, but the sequenc
 

St. George and the Dragon

In the interest of #keepingitreal I'm going to come right out and say that I am frequently too exhausted to play with my children. Mr. Zingarella, fortunately, more than makes up for this, but I sometimes usually feel a bit guilty about it. I have found that reading aloud to the little Zingarellas--even and perhaps especially to the older ones--is an activity that I can do in lieu of physical play. All I have to do is sit on the couch and read the words off of a page and--like magic--we're all s
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