Monday, August 31, 2009

S&P House Music, Take 2

House Music (the annual S&P fundraiser) was a success! I don't know how much money we brought in, but we had a full slate of performers and a good audience.

In the past, we've done HM in the spring, but it's always been a little crazy, trying to prepare for that between our two spring concert sets. The board decided in June to move the fundraiser to August (thereby having a second one this year). Unfortunately, because of the late notice, many of the singers were out of town the weekend of the fundraiser, including the three current members who had organized them in the past. So, since no one else volunteered themself (I did wait several days after the e-mail arrived to see if anyone else would), I offered my services.

I feel like I've spent the last month-and-a-half harrassing people by e-mail! First, there was the push to get enough performers, given that at least a third of the members were going to be away. I sent out general e-mails, individual e-mails to singers who had performed in the past but had not responded to the general e-mails, and follow-up e-mails to make sure that the people who were forming groups were going through with it. At the beginning of August, we had six acts, which is pretty skimpy, but the director thought that we should go with it. We ended up with thirteen acts (I participated in four of them: three as a singer and one as pianist for B & her friends).

Next was the push to get singers to bring stuff, then finally the quest for guests. It turned out we had plenty of guests, plenty of wine, and not quite enough to eat (there was nothing left after intermission!).

In case you're interested, here's a copy of the program:

Now it's time to get back to the rest of my life. School has started, but after-school activities ramp up gradually over the next two weeks. Oh, and Orinda Idol is in less than two weeks, so we're trying to squeeze in a couple of rehearsals for the girls.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School Registration

School starts tomorrow for B & M.

B's school registration went smoothly as usual. The only difference this year was that her school started an online payment system, so I had already paid all of her fees before arriving at the school today. That saves all us from having to wait in the payment line of previous years. B was thrilled to find out that BOTH of her best friends will be in her class this year.

M's school had some trouble with registration this year. Last year, online registration happened the first week of August. That came and went this year, with no communication from the school. On August 7th, we finally received an e-mail telling us online registration would begin on August 15th. On August 14th, we received another e-mail telling us to wait until the 17th. The e-mail on the 17th said it would start on the 18th, which finally did happen. We were told schedules would be online today. So, of course, we got another e-mail yesterday telling us that we wouldn't be able to get them online, and we'd have to go to the school today between 4:30 and 6:30 to pick up the schedule. Apparently something went wrong at the district level with the new database. As you can imagine, it was a zoo in front of the school, with 800+ students and their parents all trying to find the ends of the four lines for schedule pickup!

M did get into French for this year (a limited number of spaces are available for 7th graders in French and Spanish), but he didn't get either of his first two choices for the other elective slot.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Accordian Effect

You know how traffic often slows down, then speeds up, then slows down again? Tonight felt like that. I rushed to get out of the door to a 7:00 rehearsal at someone's house, then sat around for fifteen minutes after I arrived. (With good reason--the third member of our trio was rushing to get the music copied, and backed her car into another one, which delayed her arrival.) Once everyone was there, we went through our piece a couple of times, then at 7:45 two of us had to rush out to another rehearsal at someone else's house. All members of the octet arrived around the same time, so we rehearsed that piece until 8:30, then I had to rush out the door again to pick up DH at the BART station. (He was returning from a trip to Sweden, and quite understandably didn't want to end his seventeen-hour trip by sitting at the BART station waiting for me.) Naturally, I got there early, and ended up waiting for HIM.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Personal Economic Stimulus

The kids go back to school next week, and I'm doing my best to stimulate the economy this week:

Parents' club membership for B's school
Parents' club donation for M's school
Educational foundation donation for district
Yearbook for M
School dance pass for M
PE sweatshirt for M (he lost last year's)
School lunches for first semester
Ballet school tuition for the year
Ballet leotard
Pointe shoes (expensive!)
Pink ballet shoes (for class)
Black ballet shoes (for Nutcracker)
Tennis shoes for B
T-shirts for both kids
School supplies for B (don't have lists for M yet)
Body cord for M's fencing

Oh, and the sewer line backed up last night, so I got to pay the plumber, too.

Growing Up

One of my son's friends just called. I'm still not quite used to the fact that his classmates no longer have little-kid voices. I thought this one was a salesman!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When Is a Cupcake Not a Cupcake?

When it weighs 1,224 pounds.

I always thought cupcakes were cupcakes because they were small.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

25th Reunion Weekend/Camping Trip

We arrived home yesterday afternoon. It was a fun trip, although I didn't take as many pictures as I should have.

Day 1

Picnic lunch at Humboldt Redwoods State Park (CA):

Skipping rocks at Jedediah Strong Smith State Park (CA):

Day 2

Fabulous dinner of fresh crab, steamed in foil over the campfire at Jesse M. Honeyman State Park (OR):

Reading in the tent:

Day 3

Had our route over the Columbia River temporarily blocked by a truck carrying an enormous turbine blade (the white thing in the middle of the bridge).:

The turbines in action:

Had coffee with one classmate who refused to attend reunion (bad high school experience), then drinks with reunion attendees. Didn't remember to bring camera to either place.

Day 4

Attended a "Chimposium". M & B seem to have learned a lot about chimp behavior:

Reunion dinner at the Moose Lodge. The average age of the serving staff was probably in the eighties (one friend talked with the head cook, who was 96). Dinner was tasty, if a bit old-fashioned (prime rib, baked potato, overcooked green beans, iceberg lettuce salad with choice of ranch, 1000 island, or french dressings). Note the attractive Budweiser lamp in the class photo:

Day 5

Family Day at the park. This was the least organized of the three reunion events. Basically, we were told to go to a large park (117 acres) and somehow find each other. One friend came well prepared with fun things for the kids to do: here's M kayaking with his new friend S:

Day 6

Drove to Seattle, picked up M's best friend from San Diego to tour Boeing factory:

Day 7

Crater Lake

Day 8

Lovely view of Mt. Shasta on the way home

Friday, August 7, 2009

When the Weather Doesn't Cooperate

After all that time spent finding the right outfit for tonight's casual gathering, it turned out to be cold and windy. I did wear the shirt we picked out, but I wore it with jeans and a fleece jacket.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Marshmallows, toasted golden brown over a campfire--who needs chocolate or graham crackers?