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Friday, September 26, 2008

A Little Poe Moment

I survived having 18 kids in my house. Like the raven quoth - nevermore!!!!!!

Catch Up Time

  • Overall, my schedule this year is pretty decent, with lots of room left for new clients.
  • Corwin and Clara have settled very nicely into grade three. Clara is still taking violin and gymnastics, Corwin will be trying out curling, and both are in Cubs this year (the next level up from Beavers)
  • Last Friday, the grade threes had a field trip to a small town fair. They were there to see the agriculture and livestock displays and presentations (not the Midway or games). I was a parent volunteer, and it was a lot of fun.
  • Friday afternoon was a scramble when I got back from the field trip. Hubby had come home early, and he and I loaded up the car to go camping once the kids got home. Before any assumptions are made, let me be clear that I did NOT go camping. I drove them up to the site, helped set up, hung out for a bit with them and the other people who were camping nearby (notably my friend Frances and her two girls - her husband deployed last Monday to Afghanistan for 8 months), and then I drove home. I went back up the next day, bringing chili for dinner. I had lunch there, spent the day at the beach watching the kids kayaking and playing, had dinner, and stayed for a bit of the bonfire (during which there was some rain). I left around 9. I went back the next morning to collect everyone.
  • On the Friday evening after I returned home, V and I went for wings and beer. When we returned home, I played Rock Band with her husband. He made me sing. It was fun, but man, I do not know a lot of the songs. They need some more mainstream rock/pop, less heavy metal (Iron Maiden? I don't think so!!)
  • On Sunday, when we returned from the big camping trip, I was trying to finish laundry and pack for Montreal. We had a big gala to decorate, and I was riding with Boss Lady. We left around 2:30 to go to the warehouse to load up. That all went smoothly, and we headed out by 5 - six of us in Boss Lady's van, and two in the truck. The drive was uneventful (we even watched a movie). We missed the exit and had to go over the Champlain Bridge (Miss Step, I thought you would see the humour in this!) and turn around to get back downtown. We got to the Sheraton, and checked in, got the van parked in the underground parking, and the truck in the outdoor lot at the Best Western a block over. We couldn't unload because we had no access until the next day. We went out for a lovely dinner, hung out in our adjoining rooms and were in bed by 12:30 or so, ready to get a good start on the flower arrangements the next day (once the flowers arrived).
  • In the morning, we got up around 7:30, and we had some coffee in the rooms. We were going to have breakfast, but decided to unload the truck first, and then have breakfast. By then the flowers should have arrived, and we could get going. Boss Lady and the Truck Driving Woman (TDW) went to get the truck - you know, the one filled with $20 000 of props. Which was gone. Stolen. At 7:30 in the morning - the attendant from the next lot saw the guy get in, move the vehicle, check the load (obviously he moved the vehicle so he could cut the lock to check the load), and then drive away. In broad daylight!! Welcome to panic time!!!!
  • So . . . the afternoon was spent scrambling to find alternatives. Tablecloths and napkins, which had been rented from Toronto, needed to be replaced (Thank God the chair covers were delivered directly to the hotel - 700 chair covers would have been killer to wait until Tues to put on). Other vases, stands, tools, floral foam, etc, etc. When the flowers finally got delivered (they arrived late - VERY late!!), we were borrowing buckets from the kitchen staff, and wastepaper baskets from housekeeping to put them in, since they needed to be in water right away. We started making arrangements around 5 pm. Boss Lady's brother brought a new truck with other props that had been painted during the day. Boss Lady's BIL drove his car, and brought two more people to work. They guys drove home after we unloaded and parked the truck, and we made flower arrangements until 4 am. Oh, except the new girl, whom we shall call Princess. Dumber than dirt and completely useless. She went to bed at 11 - she wasn't feeling well (hmm, not vomiting, no fever, suck it up and do your damn job!!!).
  • Tuesday we got up at 8, and started on arrangements again. We ordered breakfast to be delivered to the room. Princess arrived, freshly showered and ordered her breakfast. When it was time to start taking arrangements up the escalator to the ballroom, she was ridiculously slow. First, she wanted to take the elevator. Ummm, no. It's faster in the escalator. She wanted to use a dolly because the arrangements were large and a bit heavy. Ummmm, no. So, we managed to get it all done by 6, when the gala started. It looked amazing, even if it wasn't Boss Lady's original vision. The client was blown away - his comment was that it was "breathtaking and magical". I'll try to get a picture, but I forgot my camera.
  • We all limped, staggered and hobbled back to the rooms. We all either showered or washed up, and went out to dinner. The place was okay - it was pretty, but overpriced, and the food wasn't fabulous. But man, the wine was wonderful (one glass - I would have fallen on my ass if I had more!). At the hotel after dinner, we chilled out in the rooms, and had a bit of a nap, but headed back for takedown at midnight. First we had to clear the room where we had been making arrangements because they needed to get it ready for a breakfast meeting at 8:30 am. And then we started undecorating. Oh, all of us except Princess. She "wasn't feeling well" again, so she left from the restaurant to go stay with her sister, who lives in Montreal. Can we say "not a team player"? We packed everything up and had it at the far end of the ballroom, because they needed to close off a portion of the room for a big political thing the next day. We were in bed by 5. We had been told we had until noon to get our stuff out, so we planned on some sleep and then loading at 10 am.
  • 7:45 had us panic stricken and running around again as we needed to get our stuff out NOW!!!! Whoever told us noon was apparently mistaken. We loaded, and then packed our stuff and got the hell out of Montreal. What a crazy event.
  • I called my parents on Wed eve to thank them for all the help while I was away (my Dad met the kids after school, and my Mom went above and beyond by making meals so that Hubby didn't have to, and didn't have to make lunches for the kids either). Anyway, my Mom was folding laundry when I talked to her. The kids' laundry. She had gotten my Dad to empty their dirty clothes hamper and bring it home. She washed and folded it all, and he brought it back yesterday (I have clients all day Thursday so I'm not home until after choir). Awwww!!! My parents rock!
  • Last night I talked to Gordon about the piece that is way too low. I told him that it really messed up my voice because I was singing too low for too long. I told him I knew it, but would barely be projecting from E to C, and just fish mouthing B and A. He confessed that it hasn't been turning out as well as he thought. I mentioned that AVT thought he should transpose it up a third, and he said that he should have. Hopefully, he will decided to scrap the whole damn thing.
  • Diva was very pleased that I talked to him about that, but reminded me that I really need to talk to him about Compline. I will. Soon.
  • We celebrated Diva's birthday last night at the Church Bar after choir. It was fun.
  • Now I'm going to finish getting organized and make loot bags, as Corwin and Clara's birthday party is this evening from 5-7 pm. Sixteen children are coming over for dinner (hot dogs, chips, carrots and dip, and juice boxes), cake (chocolate cupcakes made by the Cake Lady), and games (probably pictionary junior on the whiteboard easel, Corwin's team vs Clara's team). To use a favourite Seinfeld quote . . . serenity now!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Goin' Head to Head With Oprah

I don't recall if I have written about this before, but one of my clients (The Future Mrs Keith Urban) is obsessed with watching Oprah. It used to be Oprah and Dr Phil, but her parents have been limiting the Dr Phil exposure - some topics are a little too much for her (chronologically she's almost 20, but developmentally she's a bit younger). Anyway, she is so fanatical about Oprah that she will not watch it taped - it must be "live". And watch out if you make her late for the opening moments of the show. She even told off her doctor for starting an appointment late, because she was going to miss some of Oprah.

Accordingly, she and I have had our sessions from 3-4. Which then morphed into 2:55-3:55, because of the O Almighty. Fine, whatever. This year, when scheduling, I arranged her session for 2:55-3:55 on Thursdays. Everything seemed good. Unfortunately, I got a call from her mom. Seems that the van that brings her home arrives later this year - more like 3:10. For anyone else, a 3:30-4:30 session would be the logical adjustment. But . . . "O" no!!!! And I already have a client from 5:30-6:30, followed by choir on Thursdays. Mondays are out (Clara, gymnastics, 5-7). Tuesdays I have flute choir. Wednesdays, Hubby and the kids have Cubs at 6:30. I could do it from 5-6, but we have one car and walking to Cubs isn't always feasible. Fridays? I'd really rather not. Looked like it would be Wed, but I was wracking my brain for alternatives. Lo and behold, the beauty of time shifting. I searched, making sure the big O was available at 5, and then presented the idea to The Future Mrs Keith Urban's mom. She was unaware of time shifting, but thought it was a great idea, especially as it will give them more flexibility for other stuff that may come up. The only potential fly in the ointment would be TFMKU's rigid adherence to the "Oprah is at 4:00" schedule (just in case you aren't familiar with people who have developmental delays, routine is often HUGE and messing with the routine can really throw them off in a big way). She promised to get back to me . . .

Well, it was a hit!!!!! TFMKU thinks that it is awesome that she is watching Oprah on the Calgary station - because that's where Paul Brandt is from (another country singer she has a crush on). So 3:30-4:30 it is. Woo hoo!!! How many other people can say they went head to head with Oprah and came out on top?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

But What About Compline

In news related to choir, the women sing compline on the second Sunday of each month, the men on the fourth. We rehearse at 8pm, sing at 9, done by 9:30. There are only a few people who sing at this, and it divides differently depending on who shows up. Apparently, when Gordon first arranged the music for women's compline, there were not many sopranos, and quite a few altos, so there are 3 part harmonies - top soprano, and two alto. Sometimes, I get to be soprano, but often I get stuck in my favourite (no sarcasm there!) place in the middle. Yuck!!

I do enjoy compline, but I hate . . . as in despise . . . singing the middle part. I am trying to decide whether I should just skip it, because I really don't have any interest in singing that middle part. Or talking to Gordon and telling him that I would love to sing at compline, but that he's going to have to move somebody else into the middle part, because I won't do it. I have enough alto shit in the second soprano position in choir, and that isn't going to change (which I have accepted - I refer you to the previous post). So . . . any suggestions? Feedback? Help me decide!!

The Compulsory (and last) Second Soprano Rant

Friends, I have turned over a new leaf. I have accepted my place in this world (well, in the choir, anyway). I am resigned to my fate. Even with Beck's departure, I am still a second soprano.

I had allowed my hopes to raise a tiny little bit when Gordon and I were discussing the new people in the choir - two tenors, an alto, and another woman who said she had sung alto and second soprano when she auditioned. Gordon said he was hoping she was an alto, but she was more of a second soprano and that's where he was placing her. At this point, I asked what he was going to do about the firsts - Beck is gone, and Newfie Postdoc has an interview for her dream job . . . back on the Rock. He said that in that case, he would probably place the new girl as a first. Inside, I was screaming "what about MEEEE!?!?!", but I just smiled and nodded.

Anyway, upon arriving at choir last Thursday, the new girl was placed in the firsts. In Beck's spot. And then they gave her Beck's locker. Hmmm . . . does anyone else see extra reasons besides just the fact that she's a first for me to not embrace her with open arms? But I smiled and said hi. And I smiled about getting to sing the first alto part in this one piece (because that's what we seconds have to do in this choir, since our altos are . . . not so strong). Even though I am unbelieveably pissed off at the crappy, too-low part, I kept my beatific smile on my face. Because I am no longer bitching about it. So, enjoy the rant - it will be my last.

*regarding the new first soprano - I've tried, last Thursday and Sunday, to be friendly and welcoming. I'm done. The word snotty comes to mind.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Well, not really playing hooky since I didn't have anything scheduled during the day today - my daytime clients start next Thursday. But I took a little bit of a "me" day and went to see "The Rocker" by myself. Really by myself - I was the only one in the theatre!! It was hilarious - laugh out loud funny in many parts. I definitely want to see it again.

Then I went and bought myself a new shirt and a new pair of jeans (my fave pair finally got a frayed hole in the spring - sniff). And got the kids some new undies (Corwin keeps saying his are fine, but there's NO way they can be comfortable!)

I do have a client at 5:15, followed by choir. So I should get my act together and grab a shower before the kids come home from school. They were pretty excited - they biked today. I'm sure they'll be very proud of themselves when they get home.