Archive for August, 2011

Time To Get This Thing On The Road

My lesson was delayed an hour today as K had to take her youngest to his very first day of school.  I remember my mother taking me my first day every year up until the fifth grade after which I had to do more than walk out the front door.  I do not remember my first day of preschool; however, I do remember that it was in a church in B-own not far from my current lesson locale which itself is a converted place of worship now serving as the South Campus of the local Y.

The lesson itself was GREAT! much better than last week’s when  we only made it through 2 songs.  Today, we breezed through 6 of the 11 songs in 40 minutes (lost track of time and since none of us had anywhere pressing to we did not stop).  One piece still had some problems but was better than the last time we attempted it.  So, I think after we see how the remainder goes next week, I will be setting the date for the fruits of my labor to be put on display… no pun intended.  NOW if I can just get over this cold/allergies that seem to have latched onto me. 😉

The Buzz, Buzz, Buzz of Those Irritating Bs

Good rehearsals and not so good rehearsals… all good just some better than others.  Yesterday was one of those “some better than others.” 😉 Only made it through two songs… the last 2 on my song list.  The first song was the one giving me all the headaches.  Probably concentrating to hard… relax! And the note I was having trouble with was a lot of bs … no really there were probably 10 of those little devils wrecking havoc, but they felt like a load of well… HEHEHE  However, I decided that instead of throwing the song out the window and not wanting anything more to do with it, I decided to go back for round number two.  Much improvement!

The second piece always had some problems for one big reason.  I had made a copy for myself and let K have the original.  Looking at both copies, I discovered that I had two pages in reverse order!  Fixed everything!  And not one flaw… THIS TIME! … “I AM my own worst critic”

I also purchased a copy of K’s new debut CD.  Kind of a folksy sound that I really like.  She wrote most (if not all of the 12 songs) herself and included her oldest son in one of my favorite pieces on the disc “1 Plus 1 Is Drew.”  Follow the link to the website to preview the effort and perhaps purchase the album digitally or a hard copy.

Puppetry Of The Newlyweds

I catch the Newlywed Game on Game Show Network occasionally.  Tonight, I had the opportunity to watch a couple I actually know (well… the male participant, anyway) try to guess each other’s answers.  I came in midway but I thought to myself… “That looks a lot like Rich Binning.” Given that the wife’s name was Olivia convinced me even further.  I was still like… “NO WAY!”  Until a question that seemed almost tailor-made for the New York-based actor who grew up in this neck of the woods was asked.  When a commercial came on, I rewound to the beginning to learn that it was indeed Rich and Olivia.  Of course, the actor’s latest professional gig was well plugged… something about contorting his maleness in various… well, you get the point.

Rich’s mother has taught at my alma mater since I was in elementary school.  I also shared the stage with him when FCF performed The Sound of Music several summers ago.  I played a party guest at the home of Captain Von Trapp  as well as the Nazi guard who announces the escape of the family following the festival concert near the end of the show. Rich played Rolf, Liesl’s love interest.

Unfortunately, the couple did not win but they had points on the board so it was not all bad.

Different Bat-Time/Different Bat-Channel

…or different location.  It has been three weeks since my last voice lesson.  The first week was due to the fact that I was needed at work earlier than usual and K was on vacation the last two.  To add even more confusion, we are now meeting Monday afternoons at an entirely new location.  A nice and cozy studio which harkens back to vocal lessons of the past.  For the most part, the three week hiatus did not hurt a bit.  There were two notable exceptions.  A few of the more character-driven pieces (from the same show mind you) were not exactly up to par.  UNHEARD OF!  I was not pleased with those two.  Ah, well… guess which two of the list will be pounded this week 😉  However, we plowed through most of my pieces leaving 3-4 to continue with next week.  In all, we made it through 6 in slightly more than half an hour.

I believe that I have mentioned that the songs I have chosen to perform will be very family-friendly to accommodate my many nieces, nephews, and other special little ones who may poppin.  Something for everyone to enjoy so no one needs to ponder whether or not to bring the little ones.


Another Pointless Reboot

Well… with our free Cinemax preview for as long as it lasts, I have been able to DVR a few movies I have been interested in seeing.  I always liked the original A-Team tv series but somehow missed the big screen adaptation so that is one movie on my list.

Another is the reboot of the 1984 classic A Nightmare on Elm Street.  I am sooooo glad that I did not shell out the money to see this senseless remake in the theaters.  I thought it would be good for a tv screening, if that.  I admit that these movies are about the furthest thing from high art as one can get but I for one expect to go in and be a little entertained and (Heaven forbid) scared.  Except for a few bits, this was an almost exact copy of the original.  Several of the few killings made me believe that I was watching the original.  The names of the characters (save for our heroine… “Nancy”) were changed from the old movie.

I did not like the new Freddy, at all.  He sounded quite reminiscent of Christian Bale’s Batman growling.  The finger-knives did not screech giving the nails across the blackboard effect.  Instead, they produced sparks as they glided over the steel pipes of the boiler room.  I also did not like the addition of Mr. Krugger’s complete backstory.  It painted him to be nothing more than a pedophile who was hunted down by a group of “justice seeking” parents and incinerated.  OK… so he was in the old movie as well but to actually see it played out?  Not sure of the intent of the backstory but it did nothing to endear itself.

All in all, this masterpiece only almost PUT me to sleep without any fear of the boogyman slicing me to bits.  Should have stuck with The A-Team.

Take A Sad Song And Make It Better

I was very honored to join with the church choir this morning as we said farewell to one of our own.  Mark lost his long battle with the nasty “c” word this past week.  I first learned of his condition almost half a year ago when I began my own recuperation.  Mark’s 59 years (while only a blink of an eye) were lived with love, hard work, and a lot of fun.  Until being struck by the illness, he and Barb faithfully climbed the steps to join us on the Sunday mornings we sang at services.  He also was an avid classic car enthusiast and the procession outside church this morning was a testament to that (I will not display my ignorance and even attempt to name the makes and models).  He was also a passionate music fan.  In years past, Mark and a select group of gentlemen made up Stevie and the Studebakers (a 50’s-60s doo-wop group).  Not entirely sure what became of the group (and their barbershop equivalent, The Edgertones) but they were great fun to watch.  I was still young in their heyday.

Father Art… in the short time he has presided over our masses, he has really endeared himself to the congregation.  His message today was full of meaning and a bit of laughter as they have been for the last month or two.  He went to a corner and pulled out his 1951 “Something-or-other” saxophone and mashed together three classic 60s tunes (“Blue Moon,” “Mbube,” and “Hey Jude”),  the first two of which had been performed by the Studebakers. The Beatles hit was Mark and Barb’s “song.” Although Mark and Father Art only knew each other a short time, they are both the same age and were born in the same era.  Never pretending to know him anymore than he did, Father described a man who really took “sad songs and made them better.”  Later, the sax joined the organ and choir for “How Great Thou Art.”

The choir sang songs hand picked by Barb (and Mark I am sure) including “Oh, Holy Night.”  You may ask why in the middle of August  one would choose to have a Christmas carol sang at a funeral.  I have been honored to have attended two in which the untraditional seemed traditional.  Another tribute to Mark’s legacy was the number of choir members who sang this morning.  Usually, we have no more than ten.  We had double that and more today, even some from a neighboring parish.

Another good guy to join the heavenly chorus.  May we all strive to make our own sad songs better.

Have to Watch Out for the Old Ones

Never a dull moment at a small four-aisle grocery!  Receiving prank phone calls, nasty notes from the boss telling you that you do nothing, and co-workers who (after 6 months on the job) still do not know what to do.  I thought I would help these two along by leaving polite notes reminding them of what needs to be done while they are working.  For the most part, they helpED and kept those who needed a little nudge busy.  That is until last night when I worked a whopping 4 hours and had a list of duties that I would normally need a full day to accomplish plus the addendum that the helpful notes I had been leaving “Will stop!”  So much for being helpful.

Today, no note… the boss left before I arrived at noon leaving one person in the store (at noon?!).  I was able to get sooooo much more done than any of her laundry lists demand me to do.  How long have I worked in retail?!  My leg is feeling SOOO much better… maybe not 100%, but I “See the light at the end of the tunnel!”  Of course, the last hour arrived leaving me there all alone because the other person leaves an hour before closing(never understood this).  Of course, the last hour is one of the busiest but somehow, I did get the coolers straightened and everything ready to lock up.

And now… to the title of my post.  Around 8:15 a female who is getting on in years, came into the store and purchased a good quantity of groceries.  I offered to help her out; however (like so many), she pushed the cart outside.  A short time later, after I realized she was not bringing the cart back, I went outside and noticed a surprise.  Inside the cart, I discovered a squarish green bottle and my jaw dropped as I read the  Jagermeister label.  No wonder she wanted to push the cart out herself (not that I’m 100% sure that it was hers).  And noooooo… it was not mine.  Warfarin and alcohol do not mix.  I showed a customer who I know well the bottle and we had a good laugh.  I took the bottle and left a note on the desk.  This might backfire as I may get yet another note about leaving notes.