Sunday, May 30, 2010

Leave the Kid at Home Next Time

We headed out yesterday afternoon to pick up some floor pillows for the gaming area, since the old beanbags are really uncomfortable, and a couple of T-shirts for B. We came home with a sofa for the gaming area (who knew that IKEA had $149 loveseats?), a T-shirt for B, two pairs of jeans for B, a skirt for B, a headband for B, a rug for B, and a body pillow for B. Guess which kid went shopping with us and which one stayed home?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Wheels

Current mental soundtrack: "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" by Tom Lehrer

I finally decided what to do with my March Madness winnings: I bought a bike today. I haven't owned a bike since grad school, and REI is having a sale this week, so DH & I stopped by to take a look. I had been eyeing a pretty blue one online, but they didn't have any in stock. Instead, I ended up with an even nicer green one (the official color is "wasabi"), complete with front and rear lights powered by pedal power. It's not the color I would have picked if there had been a choice, but it's growing on me. (And for some strange reason, I had to buy myself a limeade afterwards.)

Now I just have to wait for it to stop raining so I can take it out for a spin!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Six Performances

Current mental soundtrack: random selections from Sleeping Beauty, by Tchaikovsky.

Just got back from watching B's evening performance. She did a great job, and it was fun to finally see her on stage for an extended period. When kids first start performing in ballets, they're usually on stage for about a minute, and then they're gone. The entire second half of tonight's program was Sleeping Beauty, and she was in the opening number (4:48 according to the track list the stage managers were given), then stayed on stage as background throughout the first half of the work. (Did a good job acting, too.) She has one more performance tomorrow afternoon, which I won't see because I'll be at the Voci concert.

Checklist for tomorrow (I have to remember all of this when I leave in the morning):
  • Ticket for morning pre-ballet show
  • Money for lunch with B (she's requested Bongo Burger)
  • Campus parking permits for lunchtime parking ease
  • Voci concert outfit (top, skirt, socks, shoes)
  • Silver jewelry for concert
  • Makeup
  • Hair stuff (curling iron, styling creme, hair clip, bobby pins, etc.)
  • Water bottle
  • Music
  • Snack for self before concert
  • Shaker for possible use in one piece
  • Caramel pecan brownies for intermission bake sale
  • Dinner (t.b.a.)
  • Warm jacket & scarf 
  • Black top & black jeans for evening ballet show (assistant stage manager). Keep black concert shoes & socks
  • Notes for ballet show
DH is on chauffeur duty--he will be dropping B off at the ballet school at 8:30 tomorrow morning, then returning there at 2:00 with three of B's friends and my sister. After he drives everyone home (including B), he and the kids are going to a party at a colleague's house.

Garland Dancer

Current mental soundtrack: "Today, this Spring" by Libby Larsen

To hear my mental soundtrack, be sure to come to this weekend's Voci concerts!

B is performing this weekend in Sleeping Beauty, so I'm spending my "spare" time as one of the crew of stage managers.

Here she is backstage:

And here's a photo taken from the wings during yesterday's outreach performance:

It's fun watching her class progress. They started off as cute little beginners who mostly moved at the right times, but not always in the right direction. By now, they are starting to look like they know what they're doing. Their feet point the same way, they move at the same time, and they look like ballerinas.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

They're In!

Just got the announcement--B and her friends will be in Orinda Idol again this year. I've been waking up in the middle of the night wondering if they would get in, if I did everything I could to help them, if I should have steered them towards an easier piece, etc. Now I can go back to my more normal middle-of-the-night senseless worries :-)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

To and Fro and To and Fro and...

Current mental soundtrack: Hymn 355 from the Episcopal hymnal (yes, I
sang at church this morning)
Yesterday I wore my chauffeur hat; three round trips to the ballet
school! First was the usual Saturday morning pre-ballet class (B is a
teaching assistant). Then back home for B's Orinda Idol audition at
1:55. Back to the ballet school after that, to drop off B for her 1:30
rehearsal (late). A final trip to pick her up at 5:00.
DH took M to fencing, went to Costco, and got M a haircut. Each of us
also took a trip to the grocery store, because we didn't remember
everything the first time.
B's audition went pretty well, although I'm not 100% certain that
they'll get in this year. B, L, M, and A picked the hardest of the
pieces I gave them to choose from, and A is having some trouble
holding her part against the others. They didn't start work on it
until after the musical (two weeks ago), so it wasn't as solid as I
know they can do.
DH cooked a fabulous dinner last night, after all that driving around.
Porterhouse steaks, potato salad, corn on the cob, and fresh
strawberries (that we were too full to eat!). Our first BBQ of the
season :-)
Off to dim sum after church!

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hei, jäkkä däkkä düüdi aadi oodi aadi üüdi ambo

Current mental soundtrack: "Announcement III", by Jaako Mäntyjärvi

Long day is finally over! DH is in Crete this weekend (he finally made it there after having his original flight cancelled because of a transportation strike), so the kids and I got to travel together all day today.

We left home at 10:00 this morning to get B to the pre-ballet class she TAs for. While she was in class (10:30-11:30), M and I had coffee and breakfast across the street.
Next stop was M's fencing class from 12:00-1:30. B and I ran some errands, and picked up lunch at Costco.
At 2:00, we returned to the ballet school for B's afternoon rehearsal (2:00-3:00). I also got to stay and watch, since I'm one of the stage manager crew, and we were instructed to take notes today.
We got home at 3:30, fed the dogs, packed our bags, and were out the door at 4:05 to meet up with my carpool.
The three of us, plus two other singers from my choir, made it into the city pretty quickly. We met up with two other singers, and had dinner at Taqueria El Castillito, our usual stop before San Francisco concerts. The "super nachos" are enough to feed a family, and very tasty.
Concert warmup began at 6:30, and the concert at 8:00. It went quite well today--the, um, "interesting" things that happened in yesterday's concert didn't recur. The kids had their own role: Mäntyjärvi's "Announcement IV" refers to unaccompanied minors in the audience, so at the appropriate moment in the piece, the entire choir pointed to M & B, who fled the room! They had a great time acting this out:
Under health and safety regulations, unaccompanied minors are not allowed in this performance except by written permission from the composer. Unaccompanied minors will be removed and may be destroyed.
The encore was Mäntyjärvi's "El Hambo," which satirizes Swedish folk dancing, the Swedish Chef, and who knows what else. I brought a wooden spoon to dress rehearsal on Wednesday, since I just couldn't imagine the Swedish Chef without cutlery ("bork bork"). This evolved into banging the spoon on a pot held by my neighbor, since we weren't able to do the clapping written in the score (no time to memorize the piece).

For the post-concert reception, I made a lemon poppy seed bundt cake. My fellow carpooler baked a lemon bundt cake, and someone else brought lemon bars. I guess we were all in a lemon mood!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bork Bork

Current mental soundtrack: "Answer: The Cow" by William Bergsma

Tonight's rehearsal was long and difficult. I knew it would be that way before we started, and I was right. I love singing with S&P because it's fun to sing challenging music with a group of excellent musicians, but I think that this set is testing the limits of our muscianship. One piece in particular, Per Nørgård's Wie Ein Kind, has sucked up a lot of our rehearsal time. To give you an idea of how difficult it is, last week our conductor made the perfectly reasonable request that we try to observe the dynamics in this piece. I think I missed about half of the dynamic changes--the rest of my brain cells were committed to singing the right notes at the right time. (Those of you who have sung with me in the past know that I can sight-read almost anything, which tells you something about this piece!)

That being said, I think it will be a fun concert. Some very modern-sounding stuff, but also some very entertaining texts. (And be sure to stick around for the encore!)