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Monday, January 28, 2008

I Think I Even Managed To Sound Intelligent!

I just finished my phone consultation with the Handsome British Researcher. I had submitted some questions in the past couple of weeks, and he rang me promptly at 12:30. I was very nervous, thinking "I submitted 5 questions, what if they get answered in 15 minutes and then I have nothing to say?". I needn't have worried. My questions were apparently sound, and they led to more discussion of research and also clinical practice. I have 5 pages of notes, and he is sending me a few journal articles by e-mail. HBR also told me that if I get a study designed, and have it looked at by the people he suggested (music therapists who do research, the Educational Board that I will be conducting the study under, etc), he will also be happy to look at the study before it is implemented (after August - he's swamped until then).

Dude, did I just agree to do a study? Am I actually going to get brave and do research? Apparently I am! (how can I not after HBR told me that he thought it was wonderful that I was so motivated?) And I actually have a potential idea for a study floating around in my brain. I just need to clarify it on paper. I guess I'll be doing some in-depth reading of journals (Journal of Music Therapy, Perspectives in Music Therapy, British Journal of Music Therapy, etc) in the months to come.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If I Was REALLY Hungry . . .

You're safer around me than Dr Brazen Hussy, but your best bet is to hang with Luckybuzz.


A High School Meme

Yeah, I know I just did a meme, but this is stolen from Beck's FB notes, and it looked fun so . . . . here it goes!

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be. (I have taken the liberty of including some info from my gr 12 year as well as my gr 13, since we moved to a new city for gr 13)

1. Who was your best friend(s)?
In gr 12: Bev, Kirst, Laurie, Chris, Karim and Sanj. Gr 13: Jane and Tania

2.What sports did you play?
sports? What are those? I was in concert band and a couple of ensembles (ensembles were in gr 11 & 12)

3. It's Friday night, where were you?
Working at Black's Cameras in the Hazeldean Mall

4. Were you a partier?
Umm, no.

5. Were you considered a flirt?
Apparently yes, though apparently it's just my personality.

6. Ever skip school?
Only a couple of times

7. Were you a nerd?

8. Did you get suspended/expelled?
Definitely not!!!!!!

9. Can you sing the fight song?
Did we have one?

10. Who was your favorite teacher?
In gr 12, Mr Gillespie, the music teacher. In gr 13, at the new school, I HATED the music teacher (he was a total idiot who wore a beret!!!). In gr 13, I liked Mrs Connelly and Miss Cover (both English)

11. Favorite class?
gr 13 - Independent Study (music). And English - Creative Writing
gr 12 - music. And English

12. What was your school's full name?
Up until gr 12 - North Park Secondary School
gr 13 - Earl of March Secondary School

13. School mascot?
North Park - teams were Vikings, don't recall a mascot
EoM - some Lion

14. Did you go to Prom?
I went to Grad, both gr 12 and gr 13. Gr 12 was amazing, downtown Toronto at the Hilton Harbourcastle. I had 2 dates, Karim & Stuart. I had pics taken after grad on the subway vents outside of Toronto city hall a la Marilyn Monroe. Gr 13 was at Ottawa's Chateau Laurier. EoM had stupid rules, like you could only go as couples and had to pick tables ahead of time. I had a boyfriend, but Jane got set up by another friend with a friend of her boyfriend who was quite a little jerk. The fire alarm went off during the evening.

15. If you could go back and do it over, would you?
I would absolutely go back to North Park. Aside from Jane and Tania and a very few other things, gr 13 was the worst year of my life.

16. What do you remember most about graduation?
Well, convocation is in November, so I came back from university to Kanata (where I no longer lived - my parents had moved to Atlanta), got my diploma and broke up with Clint (Hubby and I were already dating). That was pretty memorable.

17. Favorite memory of your Senior Year?
Too many to count from gr 12, and nothing stands out for grade 13!

18. Where were you on senior skip day?
Did we have those?

19.Did you have a job your senior year?
gr 12 - at the Brass Touch (I hate all things brass now)
gr 13 - Black's Cameras. It was a great place to work.

20. Where did you go most often for lunch?
home - I could walk.

21. Have you gained weight since then?
Hello, I'm pushing 40. Of course!! (though not the freshman 15 in first year)

22. What did you do after graduation?
Undergrad, Master's, marriage, internship, work, kids, work . . .

23. When did you graduate?

24. Who was your Senior prom date?
gr 12 - Karim (& Stuart) - neither of whom I was dating (but Karim got me the corsage and I got him the boutinniere)
gr 13 - Clint, my boyfriend at the time

25. Are you going to your 10 year reunion?
Oh, we are so far past 10. And no, I didn't go. But I am trying to organize a music alumni reunion from North Park for this summer.

26. Who was your home room teacher?
Gr 12 - Mr Gillespie.
Gr 13 - Beats the hell out of me - EoM was weird, you didn't have any classes with that teacher. Useless waste of time to send you somewhere for 10 minutes, then move around again.

27. Who was President of your class?
Beats me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Sometimes, you're entitled to a lazy day. With all the client shifting in the schedule, I now have nothing until 2:55 every other Wed. This is that day. I could be really responsible and clean the linen closet or something, but that doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Instead, I am going to get groceries now, come home and put them away, and then take myself to the 10:40 showing of Juno. I have heard many mixed reviews and I want to see it for myself. I could wait until it comes out on video, but I'm here, the movie is playing, and the popcorn beckons so . . . . off I go.

As a quick footnote, Weasley and I went to a movie on Monday evening. We saw Mad Money. It was really entertaining, and I would see it again. There's a bit of everything - suspense, drama, and a lot of laughs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My First Meme of 2008

I'm sure there will be many more. Seen at Dr Brazen Hussy's and Luckybuzz's.

The bold is yes, obviously. And number 12? I have no idea.

1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children’s books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs (and grad school)
16. Went to a private high school (no, but I did for grades 6-8)
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them (it wasn't new, though. Well, the first one wasn't)
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child (more like starving artist oil paintings of nature and ocean scenes than Monet or Picasso)
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house (from grade 6 on)
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child (I'm an only child)
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course (we don't have SATs in Canada)
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up (some museums, and lots of ballet, theatre, and symphony performances)
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

Red Wine, Weird Dreams

On Saturday night, Hubby and I went out (together! no kids!) to celebrate his sister Kit's fiftieth birthday. It was a surprise party at an Italian restaurant with thirteen of us in attendance. His other sister, Kat, and her boyfriend, Frogman, drove with us. We arrived early to put up a few decorations. We all had a beer once we were done decorating, and were waiting for everyone else. Kat and Frogman each had a second beer, and then Frogman and I decided to share wine with dinner. Hubby doesn't drink much, and he can't do wine at all anymore (age! Seriously, though, the sulfites and tannins make him very ill even with half a glass), and Kat was at the next table, sticking with beer. It was a lovely red, not too tannin-y, and it paired nicely with our appetizers. By the time the main course arrived, the wine was gone, so we got a second bottle. I was a little worried about singing the next day because, even though I was not drunk, just feeling a little happy buzz, wine has been giving me pretty wicked hangovers lately (just dehydrated and headachey). Oh well, that's what Advil's for, right?

Sunday morning dawned peacefully (Corwin and Clara had slept over at my parents' place), and Hubby and I headed to church - me with coffee only, no need for Advil. I'm calling the restaurant to get the name of that wine because it was lovely, and so was the lack of headache!! I did have weird dreams, though. Allow me to elaborate, but first a little background info. Do you recall the panic I had back in November about winning the bid for the research consultation with Handsome British Researcher? Well, I finally sent him some questions, and a got a reply asking for my phone number and a time for him to call me. I sent the info, and another question, but have been trying to think of something else to send (sadly, I go blank when I think of trying to sound smart enough to have this conversation with him. Again, what was I thinking when I bid on this?). So that's been on my mind, as has the fact that he wort of reminds me of Alan Rickman (not as Snape, but my crush has finally transferred so that I have a little Snape crush going on too. Sad). So this dream . . . .

For some reason, it started with Handsome British Reasearcher (HBR) getting ready to fly to North Carolina (why, I have no idea. He works in England for his practice, and spends a lot of time in Denmark, where he teaches at the University of Aalborg). Anyway, I was to be ready with my questions so we could have our consultation before he left. Then I was at the summer camp that my children went to, with Bugle Boy helping me to look for a lost blanket/towel/sweater of a little girl. Her father was waiting. It turned out that she was missing (or had died) and her father just wanted this item she had lost. I think we found it, but I was tearing up and Bugle Boy asked if I was okay and I thanked him for helping, but didn't actually cry. And then I had to hurry to meet HBR, because he was picking me up in his green Range Rover so we could have the consult as he was driving to the airport. Alan Rickman/HBR picked me up and then we drove and drove and drove on these windy roads over gently rolling hills that climbed higher and higher and looked much more like New Zealand (as seen in Lord of the Rings) than England, or North Carolina. Weird, very weird.

I think it must have been the wine. And I am obviously very nervous about this phone consult, which may happen next Monday. Oh My God!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


For some reason, I watched the last 40 min if Stepmom on tv. Big mistake. Now, I am stuffy and have a headache from crying, and I'm sure my eyes are puffy, too. Why do I do these things when I know I will sob my heart out?

Did I mention I saw Atonement a couple of weeks ago? And wore mascara? I mean, really, what was I thinking?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Accidental Diva

You'd think, that with the whole performance anxiety thing, I would choose more subdued pieces to perform. Well, the Pie Jesu from Faure's Requiem probably fits that description, and the Italian piece that I hated so intensely wasn't my choice, nor was it very common so therefore if I screwed up, it wouldn't be as noticeable.

So what am I thinking, convincing AVT that I want to sing Un bel di vedremo from Puccini's Madama Butterfly? And jumping at the chance to try the soprano part in the duet Sous le dome epais (The Flower Duet) from Lakme, by Delibes. If that isn't recognizable, it just means that people haven't been watching British Airways commercials. I think it has even been used for Whirlpool or another dishwasher/washing machine commercial, too. I think the two extremes of my personality are fighting it out, and the diva side is currently winning!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Few Of My NOT Favourite Things

(to the tune of "My Favourite Things")

Children who whine and fight with each other
Corwin who doesn't listen to his mother
Dalmatians that wake me at 6 for a treat
These are a few of my not favourite things.

Wet boots and mitts, snow melting in puddles
Soaking wet socks, everything in a muddle
The musty and stagnant smell lingering
These are a few of my not favourite things.

Husbands in snitty moods, in-laws with attitude
Damn telemarketers and people being rude
Drivers that change lanes without signaling
These are a few of my not favourite things.

When the doors slam
When there's yelling
When there's crying, too
I simply remember the wine in the fridge
So I don't start feeling blue!!!!

(Okay, not the best scansion and lyrics, but not bad for a morning bitch session)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not Quite What I Expected

Somehow, last March, I found myself agreeing to be on parish council. (I still place most of the blame firmly on Beck!). Anyway, I go to the meetings, and try to contribute some sort of opinion at least once during each. This fall, when I joined the advanced flute choir, I realized I would be missing some meetings because they are on the same evening. So, I miss every other parish council meeting (they are once a month). Last night, I planned on missing the meeting and attending next month, because it was our first flute choir rehearsal of 2008. That was before I found out that in the budget proposal, there was a plan to slash the music budget by $1000. Not on my watch!

Overall, the meeting went well. As with most churches, there are budget issues, especially when the church is as large and old a building as ours. It is also in the downtown core, with quite a high turnover of parishioners. Anyway, there is an attempt to put forward a balanced budget, which is all well and good until you look closely and realize that it's only balanced because our priest retired and we are in the process of hiring a new one. Until Sept, we only have the curate's salary to pay (and she is currently the priest in charge). Anyway, it looks like we may be starting a new stewardship campaign (basically, trying to get people "on the payroll" - with weekly planned giving instead of loose donations), as well as adjusting both the music and Christian Education budgets (which was also cut by $1000). The revenue from both the facility rentals and the community shop are higher than expected, so projections for 2008 for those will be adjusted accordingly, which should offset the music and Christian Ed cuts. Seems like the Vestry meeting may actually be exciting this year. Well, as exciting as Vestry can actually get.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wild and Crazy 2008

So far, the new year has been busy. Corwin and Clara rang in 2008 with a sleepover at my parents' house, while Hubby and I went to Senate Woman and Traffic Dude's place for a lovely dinner. New Year's Day saw quite a bit of snow in the morning, the result of which was the in-laws "taking a rain check" on dinner at our house (hello, at 10 in the morning the blowing snow was bad, but it had stopped by mid afternoon and the roads were clear by dinnertime. Whatever!). Beck came with the kids and I to see The Water Horse on the Thursday, and my parents took them to see Alvin and the Chipmunks on the Friday, while I undecorated at Scotiabank Place. Basically, from the fourth through the seventh, I was undecorating all over town. Then I got to do it all over again at my house!

Clara started violin lessons last Tuesday - the whole lesson was with a faux violin to practice holding the instrument (held between chin and shoulder, no hands). This week, the real instrument comes out. I'm trying to decide if I'll need to buy earplugs by the gross to hand out to all the neighbours!

My mom turned 65 last Thursday, and the kids and I went over for a visit and dinner before I had to dash off to choir. (The inconvenience of being a one car family is that hubby got home too late from work to join us. If we had 2 vehicles, he could have come over, and then I could have left directly from there to choir. One day we'll have to cave and get a second, but at the moment, we're managing with one). We got my mom a Lampe Berger with Mandarin oil (they were out of orange cinnamon, my first choice. This will be perfect since she likes to cook a lot, but now they have this huge great room. The Lampe Berger can eliminate the cooking smells and look beautiful while doing so. On Saturday night, we all went out to dinner for my mom's birthday. She didn't know that my dad had arranged for a super stretch limo to pick them up, and then come and pick us up. The kids didn't know, either, and Corwin was beyond thrilled. He thoroughly enjoyed pouring and sipping water out of a champagne glass. Clara was all prim and proper, and kept fluffing her dress and futzing with her shoes. We had a lovely meal at L'Oree du Bois, and Corwin and Clara had a fabulous time at their first very fancy dinner. We left the restaurant around 8, forgoing the dessert menu because it was getting late and the kds were tired. We did, however, order 3 plates of the homemade dark chocolates to go - one each for the kids, and one for the rest of us to share. Corwin is saving his money to go back to the restaurant because he thought the mushrooms in puff pastry were "totally delicious". That I can handle. It took a bit of convincing to make him realize that we would NOT be booking a limo for his next birthday!

On Sunday evening at Compline, I got to sing the soprano part instead of the middle line (which is far more first alto than second soprano, and I HATE it). This was due to a little chat beforehand with Gordon, when I asked how many were coming, and if I was going to be singing the middle line. He said yes, and asked why. He was very surprised that I didn't like it, and said "But you're a second soprano!", at which point I told him how much I dislike that, too. Again, he was a bit surprised, and told me that it is a compliment to be a second soprano because we get to sing high but also sing harmony, and he tries to put strong singers and readers there. Damn, I knew I should have faked my ability to sight-read at the audition! Anyway, I started on the middle line, and then he mixed it up by moving Beck down to the middle, and me up (yay!!!! Beck wants to sing harmony. I really don't, unless it's a descant). It all went well, I was really happy, and when I got home, I messaged Gordon and just said "thank you :)". I found his reply particularly amusing "Anything to keep you happy -- as you know, it's my primary goal in life ;) Take care, sleep well ...", to which I replied "I'm glad to see you have your priorities straight ;)". Even if I don't always get to sing the part I want, I'm very happy that I have a choir director with a great sense of humour!

I guess I should get back to the grind. I have a lesson with AVT today, and I badly need to practice. Belated Happy New Year to all!