Friday, April 29, 2011

Things: Installment 62

Do you ever have fleeting thoughts? Ones that make you go "hmmmmm?" It's okay. You're not alone. I often sit around and ponder things that may or may not have a solid answer. Regardless, it's fun to ponder them.

Things I Sit Around and Think About
  • Do you think there was road kill back in the days when the central mode of transportation was horses?
  • Do you think that animals have real conversations ... like we do?
  • Do you ever wonder if we see colors exactly the same way? Like is the red I see the same red you see?
  • Do you ever give much thought to the incredible gift that composers possess? How do they hear and imagine so much going on at once? How does it all come together? Amazing!
  • Do you ever wonder if progress for progress' sake will lead to our unraveling? Or has it already?
  • Why do I find myself doing and saying the same things my parents did or said when they were my age?
  • Is every generation of children worse than the last?
  • Do you ever wonder what it was like to live on the prairies of N. Texas back when it was first settled?
  • Why are Mockingbirds so annoying and who thought it was a good idea to make them the State Bird of Texas?!
  • What do you think goes through a bug's mind before it slams head-on into your windshield? Oh $h!t??
  • Why is it that stupid people can reproduce like bunnies but smart people have to resort to modern medicine?
  • Is there really life on Mars? Or anywhere else in the vast expanses of the universe, like the Stargate series suggests?
  • Do you think insects break wind?
  • What's really whispering in the trees?
  • What would it be like to be a royal or someone with great power? Are they really just like everybody else?
  • Why do squirrels and bunnies have The Suicide Club when their greatest chances of survival would be won by standing still?
What do you sit around and think about?? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Did You Hug Your Admin?

So yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day, formerly known as Administrative Assistants Day formerly known as Secretaries Day. (Honestly, I do not understand the hang-up on what you call your secretary. I mean, really. Whether I'm a secretary or an assistant, my job functions remain the same: I'm a phone answerin', paper pushin', calendar managin', travel coordinatin' diva!) Did you do something spectacular for your assistant?

I may or may not have mentioned before that I happen to be an assistant. Actually, I have five bosses, if we want to get really technical about it. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but I have it down to a science. Or perhaps my bosses just don't require that much of me. Take your pick.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeenyway, some of my wonderful co-workers/staff brought me THE bestest gifts EVAH today - shoe crack. Oh yes. I admit it. I have a problem. A high-heeled, open-toed, b-e-a-utiful problem called shoes. Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes! And I am now the proud owner of $170 worth of plastic, cue-the-angelic-choir, pure heaven in my wallet, shoe-purchase-enabling, do the happy shoe dance, glorious cold plastic shoe cash. And I will soon be the proud owner of some sparkly, smell-that-faux-leather, new collectible beauties for my shoe cabinet.

For you see, aside from the plastic-glorious-plastic shoe cash, I've recently retired a number of pairs of My Pretties. Some are going to better homes and a few were sent to a tearful grave as I literally wore them out. But as an eternal optimist of the shoeless mind, I have merely begun my search for the next set of Pretties to fill the voids on the shelves. And filled, my friends, those voids shall be come Friday night when I join My Girls for a fantastic evening that we so lovingly have coined Margaritas and Shoes.

But this week, rather than sneaking my shoes in the door at home one pair at a time, I will proudly prance in and put them on display in runway fashion as a) I didn't spend our money, honey and b) babe, I'm not banning any of your shoes to the hiding place under the stairs this time b/c I have roooooooooom to fill on my shelves!

Now everyone say a little prayer that my favorite shoe store doesn't fail me like it did the last time the girls met for Margaritas and Shoes when I left with NONE...uh...ONE!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Knowing What to Say

I don't know about you, but I've been known to have the What the Hell Do I Say to THAT problem, especially lately. I don't recall always having this ineptitude for comforting social interaction, but apparently, the older I've gotten the more awkward these situations have become for me. Am I losing touch with my softer side? Or have I just forgotten how to be a real friend to someone?

Lately, it seems like my go-to response to bad news is "I'm sorry. I'll be thinking of you." Seems so ... I don't know, COLD or something. Not that I don't mean that I'm really sorry for whatever has happened or that I'm not really thinking of the person as they deal with whatever bit of bad news they're facing. But seriously, people, surely I can formulate a better array of go-to responses that aren't so .... cliche?!

So I'm throwin' it out to you, interwebs, what do YOU do or say to comfort your friends in their times of need?

Monday, April 25, 2011

In a Nutshell

(ETA: For those of you following me in Google Reader, I began this post the Monday after Easter but have not had time to finish it, so it will publish with today's date even though it will appear on the blog back in April.)

This last several weeks has been a little nuts. I've said that before. Probably many times. But I had no idea just HOW crazy it would ultimately be! With the big Palm Sunday performance out of the way, I really thought that I would coast through the remainder of Holy Week at Ye Olde Church Job. Boy, was I ever wrong on that one!

We had a rehearsal on the Saturday before Easter to go over the big pieces that we would be presenting during Easter worship services. We were pulling a movement from a piece that we sang several years ago (mvt 1 from Rutter's Gloria). Honestly, we had not worked on it very much b/c we were SO focused on the Chilcott. Our Wednesday rehearsal went pretty well, so we felt confident that, even though we hadn't rehearsed this piece very much, we would still be able to do it justice at the baton of our Fearless Leader on Sunday morning.

Well, that was fine and dandy until .... I arrive at Saturday's rehearsal to a flurry of activity and some BIG news. Our Fearless Leader was in the hospital AND her husband had been diagnosed that week with squamous cell carcinoma!! Her husband is our tenor section leader and by far the coat tails that the men ride on each week. A double whammy, to say the least, this news was. (Hello, Master Yoda.) That left us scrambling to pull of this rehearsal and tentatively make plans in the event she was not able to be released and join us for Sunday morning worship. Talk about running around like a chicken with one's head cut off!! Oh my.

To say that Saturday's rehearsal was one step short of disaster is an understatement. We split up conducting duty between two of our most capable members. (And in the end, I'm SO thankful this duty did NOT fall to me b/c it would have been absolutely disasterous on Sunday! Seriously!) Our confidence in that one difficult piece that we hadn't rehearsed much pretty much went down the tubes. We labored most of rehearsal on that one piece. And it was certainly a struggle. There were many grumblings about cutting it ... except that we had no suitable replacement AND we'd hired a brass quartet specifically for this particular ball-buster! Oy.

I received a phone call towards the end of rehearsal that our director would NOT be with us on Easter Sunday morning, that she was being held in the hospital for observation. She and I talked through all of the logistical things that would need to be put in order between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. These duties DID fall to me. Needless to say, Saturday afternoon turned into a busy one for me. I had set-up to take care of, phone calls to be made, checks to be found, emails to be sent, and signs to be made. AND I had a dinner party to give at my house that evening.

Sunday morning came really early. I had to be to church by 6:30 a.m. (!) to get all of the ducks in a row before the good folks of the choir arrived to begin rehearsing at 7 a.m. We ran a tight ship that morning out of necessity. Our schedule allowed no wiggle room. Early worship was at 8 a.m. The brass arrived as scheduled at 8:30 (right in the middle of early morning worship) and we had a very brief rehearsal between early service and late service, which began at 9:30.

To say that we were all just a leeeeeetle bit stressed about music is an understatement. But when all was said and done, it went pretty well. Could it have gone better? Sure. But given the circumstances, I think we were all rock stars. Am I glad that it's all over? Absolutely.

Our director was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon after a battery of tests and no definitive answer. She developed severe double vision on Saturday morning, and they believed it could be a stroke. However, all tests ruled out that possibility, but none of them were definitive in explaining what happened. It could very well be related to stress. This last week, with her husband's diagnosis, it would certainly make sense, not to mention in addition to the stress of preparing for Holy Week. She'll be on bed rest this week and go to several doctor appointments to try to determine the cause.

ETA: After another round of double vision this weekend (May 8th), the doctors believe that she is experiencing a new kind of migraine. She has suffered from severe migraines for more than 20 years and apparently this is a new manifestation.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Did It

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, I recently posed the question "have you ever had a bikini wax??" I asked this b/c a friend of mine (hey, Daon) and I were talking about it and how neither of us had ever been brave enough to get it done. (I'm not sure that I've mentioned on ye olde blog that Derek and I are taking a quick little cruise to the Bahamas in the middle of May. No matter how quick the cruise, it's still too many days for repeated shaving of sensitive areas, IYKWIM. And I'd rather not skip any beach days simply b/c I've got a case of the stubbles. So that's kinda the evolution of this whole conversation.)

Eeeenyway, I got some good responses on the FB post - from general encouragement to things to make it a more positive experience. *ahem* And I also got a referral for a local spa and most importantly a person to see. I've had the info for a good week or two, and I've just been sitting on it. B/c you know, I'm still a little nervous about the whole thing. But today I finally worked up the nerve to call and book an appointment for a bikini wax (somebody still needs to explain to me the real difference between a bikini and a Brazilian. I know what I think it is, but the spa's description didn't seem to match up). I opted to get it done a week before we leave just in case I have any kind of adverse reaction (there should be time for it to settle down before I have to don a swimsuit).

I shall let you know how this adventure unfolds. I hope it's quick and painless, not to mention worth my fretting (and my moolah)!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Open Letter

Dear Listerine:

While your product may actually make mouths cleaner, though I believe this to be an arguable point, I would beg to differ about whether it kills bad breath germs. Quite frankly, in my opinion, I believe your product is single-handedly responsible for bad breath. In fact, it causes a very distinct kind of bad breath. Something I like to call The Breath of Death. B/c seriously, that's some stanky skank you leave behind. Downright horrible, in fact.

What's sadder still is that Death Breath comes completely unbeknownst to the Listerine user. Like somehow your product manages to strip away the user's ability to smell the green cloud that is emitted from their own mouths. And how do you tell someone that Whoa...Dude...DUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE...your. breath. is. horrible??!! Yeah. Not that easy. Instead, you do your best not to breathe around them and find the quickest escape route to the nearest gas mask and/or nose salve!

So please, do me a favor. Take a cue from all of the other mouth washes out there and find a way to kill the germs without killing everyone around the Listerine user!


Monday, April 18, 2011

From Disaster to a Masterpiece

It is nice to have the busiest part of the spring over and out of the way. It should be a smooth and quiet coast into summer and a much-needed respite.

This weekend's Palm Sunday program went from a potential cancellation to a wonderful masterpiece in just a week's time. Our last-minute tenor was a wonderful addition to the program. Honestly, I'm in awe of what he was able to do in such a short time. And I'm certainly indebted to him for affording us the opportunity to perform this beautiful work by Bob Chilcott.

Monday, April 11, 2011

When Disaster Strikes

This is the time of year that is insanely busy for me, particularly at Ye Olde Church Job. It pretty much just sucks the life right out of me, as a matter of fact. Don't get me wrong, I love the music and the opportunity to sing! But .... Lent is the time of year when lots of things are happening in the music program all at once.

The children's choir musical was last weekend. The big slog up to the show is always a difficult one. It's hard to keep the attention of 30+ 5-10 year olds, particularly for two hours at a time! I can (and will) write a whole other post about the frustrations with working with kids these days. But after all of the frustration and feelings of "we're aren't gonna be able to do this," the musical was a tremendous success. And if you ask me how, I still can't tell you!

At the same time, the adult choir is preparing for Holy Week activities, which kicks off with Palm Sunday. In particular, we have been working on a new piece. Not only is it new to us, it is actually hot off the presses. Last year, Preston Hollow Presbyterian premiered Bob Chilcott's Requiem. We are fortunate enough to be among the first Dallas-area churches to perform this work since the premiere. To my knowledge, we will be precisely the third choir (stateside anyway) to sing it. It's a beautiful work written for orchestra, soloists, and chorus with soaring melodies and intricate, dissonant harmonies. It truly is a masterpiece!