Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wedding number 7... DONE.

This wedding was becoming a big source of terror in my life for about a month... for a few reasons. The bride and I used to be best friends. Used to be being the important part of that sentence. We didn't speak for almost 6 years. And the music that I was singing was challenging music. And I haven't sung in a public setting in over 3 years. So, you can imagine my fear.

The singing went great, actually. My voice didn't crack... I wasn't flat... and I made people cry. That's always my goal... making people cry when I sing. It's a weird goal, but to me, that's the best compliment. Because I always cry when I think someone is amazing, and that's a big compliment from me. One of my friends said that she didn't like the rendition that I sang of Ave Maria because it was too fast... and it could have been. I'd never sang Ave Maria before, so I really don't have a concept of pacing. I thought it felt slow, actually. I like when songs feel like they're moving... it helps me breathe better.

The ceremony was beautiful. The bride looked gorgeous... and her son was waving at her throughout the entire ceremony. And when the priest pronounced that his parents were married, he said "YEAH YEAH YEAH!!" He's one. And awesome. The music was beautiful (and I'm not talking about the singing here.. I'm talking the accompaniment). Her friend played the guitar. Before the ceremony started, he played The Rainbow Connection, God Only Knows, In My Life, and Over the Rainbow (last minute addition). The bride walked down the aisle to I Will, and they left the church to I've Just Seen a Face followed by Let My Love Open the Door. I was dancing in the choir loft to Let My Love Open the Door.

At the ceremony... instead of signing a guestbook, we signed Home Plate. For serious. Their cake topper was a model of the couple in their wedding attire with Phillies jerseys overtop. We had rally towels with the date printed on it, and when the couple came in (after being announced like the starting lineup at a Phillies game) we all waved our rally towels. It was so cool. If you can't tell... the bride and groom are big Phillies phans. She told me that she was trying to hire the Phanatic to come to the wedding, but I guess that didn't happen.

We did have a really good time... I danced a lot. My whole body was sore the next day. The only downside to the whole day was that I was forced to sit at a table with people I severely dislike from high school. People who didn't bother to show up for the ceremony... barely said congratulations to the bride and groom... didn't dance... and wouldn't even say hello to me when they first showed up. As soon as they figured out they were sitting with me at dinner, they started sucking up real fast. They also MOVED MY STUFF so that they could sit closer to the bride. And they didn't even have cameras. But. Against my better judgement and lack of a filter, I was very polite... I didn't call then the four letter word I really wanted to... I didn't start a fight. I just put up a wall, spent my evening with the people who attended that I did like.

And then I went home and played my new Super Mario Brothers Wii game. Because I'm a big ol' nerd.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's an honor just to be nominated

Wedding update to come later today or tomorrow.. I promise.

But! Apparently, I've been nominated for a contest over at Candy's Daily Dandy! And I needs your votes. So vote for me please!! I'm #10.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I can't believe it's here.

No, not Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or even Christmas music that is already driving me crazy. I can't believe my final wedding of the year is here. Wedding #7. This wedding is the one that I've been dreading.

It's my "best" friend from high school... and I'm singing. I haven't sung out loud in front of people in almost 3 years. I've been practicing my ass off... I've already warmed up my voice today (8am! My neighbors LOVE me). I have my music with me at work... I have lots of tea and lots of water (cuz oh yeah, I still have a cold and nasal congestion! awesome.)

The music has already been changed once a few weeks ago. I'm singing Schubert's Ave Maria (that's the one everyone knows), You Were Mine (which I thought was a funeral song...), the funniest Responsorial Psalm EVER (May your children flourish like olive plants. I have to sing that. And not laugh), and then the bane of my existence.

I suggested to the bride that we do Panis Angelicus for the Eucharistic hymn. She said that she loves that song... and that it's a great idea. Wonderful! Well, I couldn't meet with the music director when they all wanted to do that, so I met with my accompanist the next day. We go over the Panis Angelicus...and it is SO not the version that I know. And I even said to them "MAKE SURE IT'S THE CAESAR FRANCK VERSION." That's the one everyone knows. It's beautiful. Apparently, the music director said "I have two versions of this song. A really really complicated version and a much simpler composition." Guess which one I know. They picked the simple one. I only discovered this seriously like 9 days before the wedding, and at this point, that's way too late to say "Yeah.. um.. we need to do the other one." I did call the bride IMMEDIATELY and warn her that the Panis Angelicus that we're singing is not going to be the Panis Angelicus that she thinks it is. She asked if it was still going to sound good. I mean, it is.. it sounds like it belongs in a funeral because of all the flats.. but it'll sound fine, I suppose. It's a bit boring because it's the same 4 notes over and over again.

I'm still not comfortable with it. And I no longer have a piano (well, keyboard) on my person, so I couldn't even teach myself the song. I'm hoping that it'll just come to me at the rehearsal tonight. I'm a bit terrified. It's funny, because I was fine with the Panis Angelicus and worried about the Ave Maria before this... because it's the song the bride was most excited about.

Please let this go well.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Overwhelmed by the Christmas.

I know it isn't Thanksgiving yet, but Christmas is already giving me an ulcer. This is my first Christmas since I've "rediscovered" knitting, and I decided to do my first handmade Christmas. I know. I'll regret it. But for right now, that's the plan. One of my Christmas presents is 95% finished... my sister's. They're completely knitting, but I need to line them with fleece. Because I'm an overachiever.

The rest of my Christmas knitting?
* Mother = not started. And I can't even talk about it because my mother is in the blogosphere and follows my blog.
* Gene = 40% done? He's getting the biggest knitting project. I started it in September. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, but just in case he's a little sneak... I'm not saying what it is. But it's full of win.
* My brother = no idea what I'm making him. I don't even have yarn or a pattern picked out.
* Daddy Dearest = yarn is purchased, pattern is picked out. He's getting a scarf. I don't know if he's a scarf wearing person, but his job takes him to very cold places (Vermont, Canada, Washington... it's cold in those places)
* nuWife = I feel if I'm making something for EVERYONE else, I should probably make something for nuWife. So she's getting a scarf too. Ridiculously easy pattern that looks more difficult than it is. Win.
* Gene's dad = Don't know. I have the yarn. Don't know what I'm doing. It's Eagles Green... Gene says scarf. Maybe I'll do a similar pattern to what I'm making for Daddy Dearest.
* Gene's mom = super cool mittens out of ALPACA!! I loves alpaca. Not as much as I LURVE merino, but I loves alpaca.
* Gene's gramma = don't know, but she's so fascinated that I'm a knitter and loves looking at all my projects, so I HAVE to make her something. Ideas??? Gene thinks maybe slippers.
* Best Friend = I don't know if she reads this blog either, but she already knows she's getting mittens because that's what she asked for. It's cold in Ireland.

Here's my dilemma. Now, those of you who are NOT crafters are the ones I'm talking to. This notion is highly debated on ravelry often... where the people who make gifts for don't understand the work and love that went into making it. I've heard many stories of knitters making socks (which take a long time! For me anyway) for people who say "Oh, thanks." and then never wear them. I know that my sister and the best friend will appreciate what I make. I know my mom and Gene's parents will appreciate what I make. It's my brother, Daddy Dearest, and nuWife that I'm worried about. I've never made anything for them before... so I can't really gauge their reaction. Also, my craft bloggy friends know that yarn ain't cheap. At least GOOD yarn ain't cheap. And I like the good stuff. I wasn't planning on getting much else for people for Christmas. Usually I'll do one big gift and then a few little things. Well. This is the big gift. What if they hate it? What if they think I'm a cheapskate, even though I KNOW that I'm not... and I KNOW that I spend a lot on yarn, and spent a lot of my time making the project.

It always amazes me when people who aren't crafters of any kind discover that I'm a knitter. They almost always say, "Well, you must save so much money on sweaters!" Not really. I've made 3 adult sweaters. The yarn on each of those was around $60. It could easily have been $100. I had someone I work with ask me to make her a sweater. I said, well... a sweater is between 30 and 40 hours of work, so let's say it's a complicated sweater and it takes me 40 hours. At $10 an hour (which is actually a low price) that's about $400 plus cost of materials. Her jaw dropped to the floor. You wouldn't ask a carpenter to build you a bookshelf and pay him $50.

I'm just so worried. I want my family to love my work... and to love what I do.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Okay not yet. But this week! Road trip! With my mom!

We're driving out to western Pennsylvania to see my baby sister in her first college play. She's a freshmen this year, and she was cast in a Mainstage show (it's a BFD) so we're driving out to see her. It's about a four hour drive... and we're staying about an hour away, bc I have hotel connections there. So free hotel! yay!

We used to do family roadtrips all the time. Mama Gigi (my gramma) lived in Maryland, and while she was alive, we would drive the three-ish hours once a month to see her. We would ALWAYS have the following for family road trips (that never included my dad. Ever. That really should have been a red beacon of a clue) Taco Bell Supreme Doritos (REMEMBER THOSE??? THEY WERE GOOD!), Cool Ranch Doritos, pretzels, gatorade, water, and some kind of soda. And we always played the license plate game (keep track of all the different states you see), and this other band game. I don't remember the name. I think we called it the band game. We were very inventive. I would say the name of a singer or a band, let's say The Beatles. Then you would have to say the name of a singer or band that began with the letter S because Beatles ends in S. And so on and so forth, until you get stuck. And you can't repeat bands.

On one road trip (to North Carolina.. NINE HOURS) we saw every single license plate in the US and a lot of Canada except for one state. North Dakota. It took me almost ten years to see a North Dakota license plate... and it was last year in a random parking lot in Delaware. I was so excited. I was convinced that cars didn't exist in North Dakota.

For this road trip, we have a book on tape! Now, this book on tape has been a bit of a controversy. I originally wanted to get Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (IT'S AMAZING. READ IT NOW.) but there were 3 problems. It's expensive to buy, it's hard to find in a library, and it's 32 hours unabridged. The abridged version is 8 hours. That's A LOT cut out. So I refuse to get it abridged. My library does have it, but the waiting list is 8 people deep. So I'm not getting it by Friday. I did find a website where I could download it for $7.50, but then there was the 32 hours dilemma. It's only a 4 hour trip. So we'd really only listen to about 1/3 of it.

I got a backup book on tape (ok, cd) from the library... an Alex Cross James Patterson novel. We both like James Patterson (and Alex Cross) and neither of us have read this book. It's also only 8 hours unabridged. So it's a better fit. But I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to listen to Outlander, because I know my mom would love it. I'm a bit disappointed.

Now I need to figure out what else we're bringing for road trip snacks! Doritos are a must. But as for the other stuff? Suggestions??

Monday, November 2, 2009

At least I no longer sound like Mrs. Turnblad

Halloween was a mixed holiday for me this year. Normally, I love getting dressed up. I usually spend an entire year trying to come up with the perfect costume. Every year, we go to this big Halloween party with our poker friends and it's always a lot of fun. But this year was bittersweet. Last Halloween was the last time I saw my friend, the chocolate cake man.

So this year, we decided to boycott all things Halloween related and celebrate the Phillies being in the World Series instead. You can see how well that went for us (they lost... in case you aren't paying attention to baseball. They have to win tonight, or else the bastard Yankees get yet another World Series win.)

My Halloween weekend started on Friday, when I went into work for a whole hour... went to the doctor... discovered I had a fever (I don't get fevers hardly ever, and when I do... I'm REALLY sick) and went the hell home. I had to pick Gene up from school, and we went to the drug store to pick up a few things. I decided to stay in the car, so I didn't cough all over everyone inside, and he went inside. When I went to start the car up to go home and make dinner, the car wouldn't start. It just clicked. Because our battery was starting to die. Luckily, we have AAA... they came out to give us a jump, and we had the battery (which was only about a year old) replaced the next day. Thank goodness it was only a faulty battery and not something like the starter. That's the last thing we need right now... zero car. I spent my Halloween evening locked in my house with the lights off watching a really really bad movie upstairs. Wolverine: Origins. It was really bad. And because I'm sick, I didn't want to spread my germ love around to the neighborhood kids.

On the bright side, I no longer sound like Harvey Fierstein... my fever is gone... and I get to see my sister in two weeks. I guess things are starting to look up.