Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Show Biz, Part 2

Update: S was cleared by the orthopedist to perform her solo in the show, so B is off the hook. S will not be in the chorus numbers in the first 3/4 of the show, but she can hobble around on her crutches well enough to sing the last part. B is quite relieved--she was up last night worrying about fitting into a different cast with only one rehearsal. The funniest thing is what finally reassured her enough to go to sleep: I reminded her that the Tuesday cast chorus did not (and does not!) seem to know where to go when on the stage, so it wouldn't matter if she was in the right place or not!

Now I just need to finish learning the keyboard part before Friday...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Show Biz

B's life just got a little more interesting. Seussical is scheduled for this weekend, and we just found out that her counterpart in the other cast has broken her foot, so B is doing all four shows this weekend. Dress rehearsal for the other cast is tomorrow, so she'll be scrambling to find out where S stands in the chorus numbers (standing order in each cast was determined by height, not role).

I really feel sorry for S--she put a lot of work into this, and happened to have an accident the week of the show. I hope she gets a really good role next year!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

B's Tenth Birthday Party

We survived another birthday party here at the house. I'm amazed at how much noise ten girls can make!

The theme this year was American Girls. B sketched out the design for me, and I put together the invitation:

She also designed the cake that I finished last night:

When the girls arrived, we started them on some crafts. We provided cloth napkins, fabric paint, and fabric markers for them to make doll blankets. I think next time I'll stick to markers--the paint takes too long to dry. Another table was set up for them to design books for their dolls & stuffed animals, since it dawned on me late last night that the doll blankets were too big to all fit on the table at once.

Next on the plan was Molly's Mystery Party Game, which I bought from the American Girl website (on clearance!). It was a bit on the cheesy side, but the girls had fun doing it.

After that, they played Charades. I printed out a custom set of cards for the game, which they played in two teams. In addition to the usual list of movies, books, etc., I threw in several characters from Seussical, since nine of the ten girls at the party are in next week's show.

Last, but not least, came the cake and gifts. The dolls and stuffed friends had their own party (with miniature blondies to eat):

The birthday girl and her cake:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Musical Workout

Last night's S&P rehearsal was a real mental workout. We started with Poulenc's Petites Voix, which has some extremely challenging sections. Fortunately, I have conducted the pieces before, so I do know them pretty well--I just have to work at wrapping my tongue around the French in a couple of sections. (I know what the French is supposed to sound like, but my tongue doesn't always cooperate!). Next came four Bartók songs: it appears that the group went over the Hungarian text for the third one during the one rehearsal I missed, so I didn't know either the notes or the words last night. (Naturally, it was the one really fast one of the set--I could probably have made a decent attempt at sightreading Hungarian on a slower piece). I spent the break copying over diction notes from another singer.

Last on the list was a run-through of the first half of Karin Rehnqvist's "Triumf att finnas till." Wow. Those of you who know me from choirs know that I rarely practice--I can sight-read almost anything, although I sometimes have to practice foreign language texts. In S&P, the two altos that sit to my right are equally good musicians: if the three of us are not with the conductor, we generally assume the conductor screwed up! This piece is one of the most rhythmically challenging pieces I've come across. During much of the run-through, not only were the three of us not in agreement, but we had no idea which (if any) of us was right! And this was at least the second time we'd rehearsed the piece! I guess that means I need to do some practicing before our Saturday retreat.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Preview of Summer

Currently 90 degrees outside at our house. Unfortunately, since it's not actually summer, we don't have time to go to the pool today. M will be home in about half an hour, then we need to get dinner packed and everyone into their gear for Monday activities. I'm sure B & M will both have a great time this afternoon at the unairconditioned ballet and fencing schools :-(

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sing A Song

And another song, and another song, and another song...

Today was the Voci retreat: 9:00-4:30, with breakfast served beforehand. Afterwards, a couple of us had pizza together, then I went off to the Sacred & Profane fundraiser. I put together an SSAA octet to sing "Java Jive," and it went pretty well. Off to bed now--we're going wine tasting tomorrow, and since I'm the designated driver, I should probably be awake. (DH & kids are not yet home from the lab party.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Beginning of the Season

I had a nice, relaxing weekend in Kansas City with my college friends C & M--just what I needed before the annual spring crunch begins. We stayed up late talking, had way too much to eat (including a lovely Easter dinner cooked by C's mom), and did a little shopping, mostly for the kids in our lives.

Yesterday morning I got up at 4:30 am CDT to catch a flight home, and finally finished my day around 10:30 pm PDT when I arrived home from S&P rehearsal. I couldn't stop yawning during the last hour of rehearsal, but I think I had a pretty good reason!

This is the beginning of the spring rehearsal & performance season at our house:

Tonight (April 14): M's school choir sings at educational foundation concert
April 18: Sacred & Profane House Music fundraiser
April 24: M's school musical (he's on tech crew)
April 25: M's school musical
April 26: M's school musical
May 1: B's school musical (I play in the pit, too)
May 2: B's school musical
May 15: B's spring ballet performance
May 16: B's spring ballet performance
May 16: Sacred & Profane concert
May 17: Sacred & Profane concert
May 23: M's school choir performance at MarineWorld
May 30: Voci concert
May 31: Voci concert

Plus two all-day choir retreats (4/18 and 4/25), a bunch of dress rehearsals for both choirs and ballet, B's birthday party on April 26th, and we have tickets to see Spamalot on Memorial Day weekend.

Off to Seussical rehearsal now!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gate Assignments

Off for the weekend to visit some friends! First leg of the trip has been smooth so far. I'm at the Denver airport right now, waiting for my next flight. I got a little more exercise than anticipated, though. My first flight let me off at gate B36, and the monitor said my next flight would leave from gate B20, so I hiked down to the other end of the terminal, and sat down with my snack and laptop. When I next looked up, the sign had changed from my destination to another one. Back to the monitor I went, to find out that the flight is now departing from gate B31, almost back where I started.

Update (11:35 am): Can you believe it? They moved the gate again! Now I'm at gate B24.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Procrastinators Unite!

Taxes are finally done, and have been e-filed. Every year it happens later and later. The tax forms are not the problem: I've been using TurboTax for years, and it makes filing taxes much less of a chore, even a little bit fun. My personal holdup is that fact that I need to sort out the previous year's expenses before doing taxes, and since I procrastinate entering things into the "checkbook" (a.k.a. Quicken), it takes a really long time to organize twelve months of receipts and bank statements. Every year, I tell myself I won't let things slide for a year, and every January I suddenly realize another year has gone by.

There are other things I tend to procrastinate on, too. In about half an hour, I'm leaving to get my hair cut. I just realized, after entering all those receipts, that it's been a full year since the last time I got a haircut. I MEANT to get it cut last fall (I aim for twice a year, since I have long hair), but again I just never got around to making the call. This time, I'm trying a salon closer to home (the previous one was picked for its proximity to B's old ballet school, which she left two years ago), and B is also coming along for a cut.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fools

We survived April Fool's Day without too much chaos. This year, the kids' pranks consisted mainly of leaving stuffed animals and other toys in random places. I found two Beanie Babies (camouflage bears) in the silverware drawer, three small dogs in the pantry, and a piece of fake dog poop on top of my tax paperwork. There was also a deflated whoopie cushion on DH's side of the bed, a small doll in his pillow (which I didn't find until this morning), and a large plastic fly on my bedside lampshade.