Friday, September 24, 2010

Things: Installment 55

Since I'm in full-on show mode, the next several weeks of Things will be dedicated to all things Side by Side. You: But is there really that much material? Me: Of course! Plus, it's my show & I can plug it again (and again) if I want to! *wink*

Things Overheard in Rehearsal
  • No, Susan, your other left!
  • Well, if the divas don't want to sing it, of course they'll give it to someone else!
  • I won't lie, those shoes scare me a little bit.
  • You look a little stiff.
  • Just call me the dancing penguin.
  • I just pulled a Susan.
  • But my hips don't mooooooove like that.
  • Pardon me a moment, I have to go cry in the hallway.
  • Tim, you can just stand there for this part. *Tim all but dances a jig*
  • The last time I worked with a choreographer, I made her cry.
  • You want us to stroke his arm?
  • I swear that my lack of enthusiasm has nothing to do with you.
  • Right, this is a church production!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dori's Humiliation

Dori went to the groomer today to blow out her summer coat, which has been coming out in serious clumps all over the house for several weeks. They decided to dress her up today instead of giving her a bandana. She's not impressed ... in fact, she wouldn't even look at the camera!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things: Installment 54

This week we're gonna take a look at all of my nicknames. There have been quite a few through the years. Some are still in use, while others have gone on to the Place Where Dead Nicknames Go. (I have no idea where that is.)

Things People Have Called Me
  • Mrs. Johnson - My grandfather called me this. I have no idea why, but I gladly answered to it.
  • The Sus - This nickname was coined by my neighbor Kelli and has been adopted by our friend Bubbles.
  • Tinygrasshoppa - A group of my guy friends in college came up with this one. I can't really remember how it got started. But I can tell you that it must be said with your BEST accent. lol
  • Susan E. - My Granny calls me this. Most often when she has a point to make but sometimes when she just wants to get my attention.
  • Sus - Gosh, I've had this nickname forever. I have no idea who first coined it, but it's been adopted by friends and family alike & is the nickname by which most people refer to me.
  • Suzie Q - My childhood choir director, Ms. Becky, first coined this one. Several of my dear friends (hiya, Rachel V.) and coworkers still use it.
  • Goose - My dear friend Patrick came up with this one after I started calling him "Chicken."
  • Snuzan - My youth director Glenn gave me this nickname and still likes to use it every once in a while.
  • Midget - Derek's best friend from TCU gave me this name after which I started calling him Fat Man. Hey, all's fair!
  • Girlfriend - Derek's Pappaw first called me this. I think it was because he couldn't remember my real name but knew I was Derek's girlfriend. It became a bit of a joke after that.
  • Roomie - My college roommate Rachel still refers to me by the nickname she created for me all those many years ago while we lived in C-Town. (And when you go through what we went through together, you earn the right to call each other whatever you want!)
  • Midget Cricket - I actually don't know who first called me this. Maybe I gave it to myself? But I don't think so. Anyway, Derek & Skeet call me this everytime I drive the truck b/c, from behind, it doesn't look like there's anyone in the driver's seat.
You can call me by any of these and I will answer. BUT, under no circumstances should you ever, ever, EVER call me Sue!!!!! I just might come after you with a kitchen knife. Seriously.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where the Heck ARE You?

As you can see from my clear remiss in posting, I am most definitely in "show mode." Every moment of every day is spent working on some part of the show - from working on music to learning choreography to making cue books for the behind-the-scenes folks to assembling props and stage pieces, there really is no end. It is an all-consuming project, making it quite difficult to even think about anything else. I go to bed thinking about the staging for the more subtle pieces or choreography for a number I'm struggling with. I wake up in the middle of the night with some new idea or fear or *aha* something I'd forgotten. And then I get up and do it all over again the next day.

You: But, Grasshoppa. Why? It doesn't sound like any fun. 
Me: ... Because I love it. For the sheer joy of doing it. For the challenge. For the growth that always comes from an endeavor like this one. And it really is fun. Still, there's a reason I have a "day job:"  quite simply, as much as I love music, I could not pursue it as a full-time gig because it is too all-consuming. There would be nothing left for anything else. And I have lots of anything-elses that I enjoy doing when I'm not singing.

And I've done some of those anything-elses in the last several weeks, too. Labor Day was pretty low key. I worked in the home office some more. We had some friends over to watch football. I scrapbooked and made some cards. And I did have a rehearsal, but it was a fun one - we danced with umbrellas. In the front yard. The neighbors were entertained. But no one left us a tip. *sniff* Last weekend was (mostly) taken up with my high school reunion for which you will get to hear some hilarious stories later. Hmmm....maybe I can get Derek to do a guest post?? *hint, hint* That would be an entertaining tale of hillbillies and yuppies meetin' 'neath the ol' country pine at the Best Western!

I'll do my best to pop in a few times here and there over the next several weeks. But as the time to cram things in the noodle draws (too) quickly to a close, don't get too concerned if I go off the radar again. I'll meet ya back here on the flip side.

You're Invited!

Curtains Up for Side By Side

By Sondheim Musical Revue

Side by Side by Sondheim, a musical revue featuring works by celebrated Broadway and film composer Stephen Sondheim, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, and Saturday, Oct. 10, in the Sanctuary of Lake Highlands United Methodist Church.

This popular production features Sondheim songs from productions including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, West Side Story, Follies, Evening Primrose, Gypsy, Anyone Can Whistle and Pacific Overtures. Although a gifted composer and lyricist in his own right, Sondheim collaborated with the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Mary Rodgers, Richard Rodgers and Jule Styne, producing some of the most memorable and entertaining songs in musical theater.

Featured performers will be Chancel Choir Soloists Susan Fox and Whitney Dewell, along with baritone Tim Marks. The ensemble will be accompanied by dual pianos played by Scott Ayers and David Morgan. Other cast members will include LHUMC Chancel Choir members Janelle Krumbholz, Staci Mannix and Mary Nell Tripp, with narration by Robert Temple. The show was choreographed by Daon Ward.

Tickets for Side by Side by Sondheim are $10 each for adults (13 years and older) and $5 for children (12 and younger), with a family maximum of $25. Tickets sales begin Sunday, Sept. 19, in the Narthex and the Refreshment Center prior to and after the Sunday school hour and after 11 a.m. worship services. They also will be sold from 5:30 p.m. till 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Refreshment Center during the dinner hour at Wednesday Night Live! Or you may purchase tickets online through the church website:

Proceeds from Side by Side by Sondheim will benefit the LHUMC’s December 12 production, A Texas Christmas, featuring all church choirs. “Stephen Sondheim’s works are witty and wonderful,” explains Rev. Nicki Lyford, Minister of Music. “Bring your family and your friends and your neighbors, and enjoy an evening of memorable entertainment and fun.”

Friday, September 10, 2010

Things: Installment 53

On the eve of my fifteen-year *gasp* high school class reunion, I thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane and see how much I've forgotten ... uh, I mean, how much I can remember. And just provide some general trivia. There will be a quiz later.

Things About High School
  • I graduated with 220 of my fellow classmates. That is about half of the number we started with as freshman.
  • I was in the photo that graced the front-page of the paper the following day. (Thanks to my aunt who happened to be the Staff Photographer at the time. And I suppose b/c I was sitting in the front row with the rest of the National Honor Society.)
  • I was 7th in my graduating class, just as I was when I graduated from 8th grade. (Yes, we have a junior-high graduation ceremony and name valedictorian and salutatorian, as well as the top 10.)
  • I can still sing and know all of the words to both the Fight Song and the School Song (as I proved to myself on the way to church last Sunday morning).
  • My brother and I have class reunions the same year - we graduated 5 yrs. apart.
  • My brother and I also graduated on the same day five years apart - May 26th.
  • My graduation ceremony was held in the rodeo arena. (I believe I've whined about this before.)
  • My high school's colors and my college's school colors are the same - blue & gold.
  • This will be the first class reunion that I've attended.
  • My class did not have a 10-yr reunion.
  • In 1995, my class won the most scholarship money of any class to have ever graduated from SSHS. (Since then, I think several classes have broken our record.)
  • Just as it did more than 15 yrs ago, the town still rolls up the streets on Friday nights when the 'Cats play football.
  • Just like the team of the 90s, our current high school football team is a Power House. The only difference? This generation has a State Football Championship to show for it.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Things: Installment 52

Because it's been really quiet around the office for the last several weeks, I decided to take some personal time the end of last week. I was tired of just complaining about the wreck that we call a Home Office and decided to actually do something about it ... other than just move the piles around. So, how about we take a look at some of the (bizarre) things I've found stashed in the office?

Things I've Found While Cleaning Out the Home Office
  • Poultry seasoning - I kid you not! I'm guessing that this fell out of one of the bags that Derek took camping. Why was that bag in the office? Your guess is as good as mine.
  • Business cards - about 500 of Derek's, to be exact. Why on earth they're not in the box they came in  beats the heck out of me. I'm sure they fell off the bookshelf at one point and no one (ahem) ever bothered to pick them up & put them back in the box.
  • An unopened bottle of baby oil - Um. I'm not even sure what to think about this find.
  • Computer programs - Which isn't so bad until you consider that they were all for PCs and we're a 100% Mac household!
  • Bills and statements from closed accounts - I really thought I'd purged all of the stuff from accounts we no longer have, but apparently, I missed a whole box of 'em.
  • Bills and statements from 2000 - Seriously, I think I can dispose of these now, don't you?
  • Old photos - I found some of my senior pictures, some photos from church camps in the late 90s, our engagement photos, and some of Derek's old photos from Disney, just to name a few. It was fun to walk down memory lane. They're now all in one box together to peruse again another day when I want to remember "the good ol' days."
  • A bottle of vitamins - I think Derek was hiding them from me so that I'd think he was actually taking them.
  • College scrapbook - I think I kept everything from my college days. I have papers that I wrote, newspaper clippings, certificates for making the Dean's List, rosters for civic organizations, notes from my roommate, etc., etc., etc. Man, I'm a packrat!!
  • Cards - Cards from wedding showers, from wedding gifts, from birthdays, from anniversaries, from holidays. Cards, cards everywhere! I won't lie, I looked at every single one of them & decided to keep some of them.
  • My baby book - My mom went on a cleaning streak at her house several years ago and brought me boxes and boxes of things that I'd left at her house or things that she'd found in the cedar chest that she thought I'd want. Clearly my mom liked documenting things as much when I was little as she does now b/c the entire book is full - not a single page left blank. So if I wanna know the first solid food I ate, it's in there. First word - check. First birthday present - check. First tooth - check.
  • Boxes - All because I thought I might need to keep them for warranty purposes. In hindsight, not. so. much. So all of those puppies went to the recycle bin. From old cell phones (like my first one that I bought in 1999) to Wii equipment to iPods (that are now defunct) to iPads (both of them) to ... well, you get the idea.
  • Old cell phones - Several of which were broken. Why on earth would I save phones that don't even work? But know what else I found? Those handy little cell phone recycler bags. Zipped those puppies in there and sent them to wherever those things go. Thank you, Sprint!
I think this gives you a pretty embarrassingly clear idea of the kind of crap I like to keep hanging around for years beyond its shelflife. Well, let me be the first to tell you, NO MORE! (And you all can remind me of this the next time I purge the office and give you a similar list of junk that I've ratted away for safe keeping.)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Catching Up

I intended to write several posts ... over the weekend, earlier this week, yesterday. But, well, I just didn't. So there. Here's what's been going on, for those of you who have any interest. And if you don't have any interest in the sordid (boring) details of our lives, you should just click "mark as read" and move on. ha!

I took a coupla days off the end of last week. It was super quiet at the office, and I knew that this week would be crazy since we closed out FY09-10. Plus, Friday was a holiday (thanks to good ol' LBJ) so I didn't have to take personal time for that day. What did I do with my time off? Well, I'd like to tell you that I did something exciting, but I don't think cleaning out the home office counts. (However, cleaning out the home office did provide some good blog fodder, so come back tomorrow to check that out.)

I spent Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, and part of Saturday morning working in there. While I didn't get the home office put back together, I made HUGE progress. Like ... the closet is finally empty! (And if any of you had seen what the closet looked like before, you'd give me a big ol' pat on the back for gettin' that thing empty!) I managed to move a big four-drawer filing cabinet from the garage & get it in the closet ... all by myself. Gotta love the invention of the appliance dolly! And now said filing cabinet is beginning to fill with all of the stuff I intend to keep, like Derek's work stuff, tax returns, manuals (for everything under the sun ... yes, I'm weird like that & keep them all ... hey, you never know when you might need one), etc. etc. etc.

In the process of the office clean-up, I filled three big polycarts w/ junk. Plus, we filled the back of the truck with empty boxes (not all of which came out of the office but a good portion did) and made a run to the recycle center. Which, by the way, was an adventure in itself. City of Garland, do me a favor - empty your dang recycle bins once in a while! Lordy but that was ri. di. cu. lous!!

Now that the closet is finally empty and I've sorted through all but two of the boxes that we'd stashed away in there (some, I'm ashamed to say, had not seen the light of day since we moved into the house ... wait for it ... in 2003!!!! Sheesh!), I'm well more than halfway to a useable home office again. Oh blessed day, how I long to greet thee!

The rest of the weekend went by in a blur. We went boating with some friends on Saturday afternoon and then had them over for dinner & football. (Ugh. The Cowboys are suckin' this year! I think I'm gonna have to find a way to keep up with my Packers instead.) Sunday was the first full rehearsal for the show, and it went smashingly well. I can't tell you how excited I am! Wickedly good talent, if I do say so myself. It's gonna be a must-see. Really. So make your plans to come see it. Have I mentioned there will be dancing?? Choreographed by my friend??

Last night ushered in the new year for children's choirs. Oy! It's gonna be a challenging year. While I have quite a few 2nd graders to be good leaders, I have equally as many kindergartners. Very young kindergartners. Which means that I hold their attention for ... oh ... about 10 seconds. So that drastically alters how I'll conduct rehearsals this year. I'm still working out the finer details, but I can tell you that it's definitely gonna take My Thinking Cap to figure out how to keep us on track.

And that, my friends, sums up another exciting week.