Sunday, December 20, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I like flowers. Flowers are pretty, and they smell nice. I plant lots of flowers in my garden (some of which survive long enough to bloom), and I always appreciate having cut flowers in the house. Last night, after the final Voci concert, I received a beautiful bouquet. When I got home, I had a hard time finding a vase to put it in, because B has received FOUR bouquets (plus a single rose) this weekend!

On Friday, I saw her dance in the Nutcracker: she danced in a little duet near the beginning of the show (one of two soldiers that serves milk & cookies to Clara & Fritz), plus she was a member of the Russian Licorice corps in the second act. One of DH's post-docs came with his wife, a dancer, and they gave B her first bouquet.

On Saturday, DH took two of B's friends to watch her dance. Each friend arrived with a bouquet, plus we had purchased one for her, and DH's friends brought a single rose (probably a wise choice on their part).

I think maybe next year we'll skip the Costco bouquet, and go with just a few flowers!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Three Times Before the Tree Grows

I know it's been a while since I last posted; I've had a couple of blog posts rattling around in my brain, but haven't had the time to write them down!

Last weekend was a four-performance weekend. Friday night I worked backstage at B's Nutcracker performance. On Saturday, I left the house at 9:50 am, returned for five minutes at lunchtime, then headed out for another Nutcracker. "Dinner" was 15 minutes at home, spent packing up my stuff, e-mailing and calling carpool members to sort out who was driving, then driving into SF for the S&P concert. With the post-concert reception and the drive home, I didn't get home until 11:30. Sunday afternoon was the first Voci concert (one more this weekend).

On Tuesday, I worked backstage for two outreach performances of the Nutcracker (Act I only), and on Wednesday night I worked the first half of the dress rehearsal before leaving for a Voci dress rehearsal.

Which brings me to the actual topic of this post: Nutcracker music. Although I took ballet as a kid, I never got to perform in a Nutcracker. In college, my women's chorus served as the Boston Ballet's chorus for their Nutcracker production, so every year we would get on the T and ride downtown to the Wang Center. We put on choir robes, picked up our battery-operated candles, and waited backstage for our cue, which was the growing Christmas tree. I still know the musical cues for that--the music grows three times, and the big event happens at the end of the third crescendo. That's when we filed out onto the risers, holding our little candles. Two decades later, I'm still listening for the same cues, because that's when the stage crew has to stumble onto the stage in the dark and remove the furniture (couch, table, and chair), while trying not to collide with the mice frantically throwing gifts and the Nutcracker doll off stage. Next time you watch the Nutcracker, look around during that scene and see what's going on in the dark!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Mother Nature had a surprise for us when we woke up this morning!

The back yard

An unhappy rose bush

An icy branch

B's snowballs

B, L, L, L, & M at school with their snowman

(Photo by L's mom)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Choir Uniforms

Male singers have it easy--they just have to buy one tux and not outgrow it. Women, naturally, have a more difficult time. Some choirs require particular uniforms: you buy the same dress that everyone else wears. Easy enough to do, but because of the nature of dress committees, you usually end up with an outfit that doesn't look particularly good on anyone. (I have at least two long, black dresses in my closet that are gathering dust.)

Other choirs allow you to choose your own outfit, within certain parameters (generally black, full-length, long-sleeved). I've always taken this approach with the choirs I run, because every woman looks good in something different. It does have its drawbacks, though. It's not as formal as the men's unifed tux look, and can frankly look rather ragged with the disparity in styles.

My main complaint today, though, is that I have a closetful of formal black clothing, and can't decide what to wear tonight. Pants? Velvet skirt? Other skirt? Two-piece satin dress? T-shirt, beaded T-shirt, or sweater? Suit jacket or beaded cardigan? Plus, whatever I pick out needs to work with the "Christmas-colored" scarf I've been requested to wear for the second half.