January 27, 2007

I'll Take Mine Straight, Thanks....

I know it wasn't Nice to say what he said, and I'm not at all interested in defending the original statement. But doesn't it bother anyone else that everything that followed Isaiah Washington's unfortunate name-slinging episode has such an Orwellian reek to it? Now he's packed himself off (running from the Media Hounds like... oooh, I suppose a reference to "Uncle Tom's Cabin" would be troublesome here...) for some nice ReEducation. He *assaulted* a co-worker, but that only caused a minor gossip-oriented reaction, no big deal, not truly interesting - on the other hand, there's nothing like a little UnPC rhetoric to get the media slavering and the entire country up in arms.

As a country, we really need to Get A Life...

January 25, 2007

Gentle Fall of Snow

Such a beautiful snowfall in the morning, the sort that they try to imitate in films, the slow and gentle fall of snow that resembles the fall of flakes in a particularly good snow globe. Even better, over the hour or so that it was falling the flakes changed shape and size, so that sometimes it was little flakes that flipped end over end, like little helicopter seeds, and sometimes it was the big fluffy 'chicken feather' snow that gathers so gorgeously and brilliantly frosts each tree limb, making the winter lace that inspires the artist in everyone.

Unfortunately, it's supposed to sleet today and then hard freeze tomorrow. From Currier & Ives to statewide Ice Rink, all in one weekend. Yup, it's Minnesota, all right...


The Kid came home a little blue yesterday, having finished the last of his lessons with his current voice coach, the wonderful Vicky Mountain. Next week, at her recommendation, he will begin lessons with a new coach - a gentleman who has an impressive classical background, and who is the music director for the Prelude singer/performer program at MacPhail. He seems a decent sort, and is no doubt very talented... but this is Bren's 3rd vocal coach in about a year, and it's hard to keep saying goodbye to people that he has grown attached to, especially when his experience in the past is that when he falls into a teacher/student mismatch the results are often disastrous.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit to a few nervous wonderings, myself. Certainly the new coach is a more rigorous sort than Bren's previous coaches, and no doubt less nurturing and flexible in his approach - not necessarily a bad thing at this point in Bren's 'career'. There are a few essential fundamentals that he never really got trained on adequately (breathing, for instance) that need to be addressed, but which the kid probably wouldn't bother with if he isn't forced to do so. My hope is that he has matured enough and gained enough confidence in the past few years that he'll be able to tolerate a certain degree of discipline and personality mismatch from an authority figure.

We'll see - but in the meantime, I sympathize with his reluctance to part with a teacher who has been both nurturing and effective. His concurrent mid-year entrance into a demanding program full of kids who have already bonded as a group is causing us perhaps even more excitement and trepidation. There will be social challenges, as well as skill areas where he will be far behind the other kids (movement and harmonization, for instance). There will also be opportunities, both social and academic, that he wouldn't have otherwise. Who knows what the result will be? The new year is shaping up to be an adventure!

January 20, 2007

As Bees...

Well, today we went to see "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" at Upstage! Musical Theater Workshop. Upstage! is a wonderful program that provides singing, movement and acting training for kids of all ages, and gives them an opportunity to work in a musical theater production with professional adult actors. I recommend it highly.

On the Musical Theater front, Bren is now in the Prelude singer/performer program at MacPhail. We're very excited - last weekend we saw a performance of the program members, and it was very professional and impressive. And the Shakespearean Youth Theater is starting rehearsals of "Much Ado About Nothing", which will be showing the first weekend of March.

So we're busy, busy, busy - but it's a good kind of busy, and that's a good thing!

January 17, 2007

Nearly Four Months

Yes, it HAS been nearly four months since I posted here.

I don't have any good excuses. I have reasons for my neglect, but in spite of being true, they are largely unconvincing. For what it's worth:

1. Let's start with the most stupid - but still truthful - reason I haven't blogged in four months.

I posted something that was extremely well intentioned, but it turned out to be something with unintended and potentially unpleasant consequences if seen by the wrong parties. I got an unexpectedly unpleasant dressing down for my trouble, and then spent a completely unreasonable number of hours and days trying to get the post in question deleted from my blog and from Google (for some reason when certain key words were entered in a search my little post was the first listing, right at the top of page 1). Google actually was not the problem - once I got the right info (thanks, Sis!), Google was very cooperative. Blogger, on the other hand, chose the (automated) position of "Go away and don't bother us," as their first, last and middle position.

So a good amount of my refusal to blog for four months was due to a passive aggressive response to that experience.

I never said I was reasonable.

2. I've been experiencing Health Issues. I don't want to get into that in detail, but I haven't had a lot of energy. So I've been parsing out my energy expenditures more conservatively, and blogging comes under "Non-Essential".

3. I've been busier lately with actual (paying) work. I need actual (paying) work right now. I need it a lot. When Push comes to Shove - as it so often does - actual (paying) work pwns blogging.

4. I've been busy doing things with The Kid. The Kid is getting busier and busier, and that means I have been getting busier and busier. This has involved:

a) A couple plays (me: transportation, attendence, volunteer work kid: performance)

b) Several recitals (me: attendence kid: performance)

c) A big charity/media event at the Mall of America that took entire weeks out of our lives (organizing, copying, shopping, transporting, marketing, training, meetings, etc). This kept us very busy, and caused us all a lot of anxiety for a while, but was a tremendously rewarding experience in the end. More about this can be found at The Kid's blog.

d) Transportation to and from + attendence at various classes (The Kid is Captain of his fencing team this year, how about that!), and

e) Organizing the homeschool front for a kid who is fast approaching his SAT's and his decisions about college. Urgh.

5. The holidays were in there somewhere. Lots of holiday activities and arrangements, because my family Does The Holidays.

6. My lovely Sis came from New Zealand to visit for nearly a week. I am SO glad she did, it was wonderful - but not conducive to spending time elsewise. Not that I cared. Sis pwns blogging.

7. My wonderful friend Susan From New York City came to visit for the main part of the holiday season. I LOVE it when Susan comes to visit, and as always, it was wonderful - but not always conducive to spending time elsewise. Not that I cared. Susan pwns blogging.

8. Somewhere in there I managed to spend some time harassing my husband and kid. I'm doing it right now, too - have you noticed my use of the term 'pwn'? The kid HATES that. I only use it so that I can watch him roll his eyes and huff and squirm (do you think that counts as 'physical education'?)


Don't ask me why, with all these things going on, I couldn't think of anything to write about.

Did I mention that I'm not reasonable?

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