Serenity Now!

Last night, my last free night in October, we had planned to have dinner at home for the first time in, I don’t know, FOREVER, and as I was preparing, the lights flickered on and off. Once.

The Sweetie was taking forever to get home because there was an accident on 405, so it was already 7 PM. After the lights flickered, I lit a candle and got out a flashlight. I have now lived here for almost 6 years, and since the power went out here THE DAY WE MOVED IN, I am pretty much always prepared for being without power. Sure enough, the Sweetie got home, and I was preheating the oven, and he was watching the Colbert Report, and BOOM, we are in complete darkness (except for aforementioned candle and the wood burning stove).

We waited for about 5 minutes, then I called SnoPUD. They reported that there was indeed an outage, but they didn’t know what it was, and they were on the way. So, we decided to head down to Woodinville for some sushi. When we got done with dinner, we called SnoPUD again, and they said that the power would be out until after midnight (it was a wire burning to the ground?). We headed over to the movies to see what was playing. 

boniblithe will happy to discover that we went to see Serenity. I enjoyed the movie, but it did confirm my suspicion that it could have waited for video. All the “funniest” parts of the movie were in the trailer, and, while the rest of it was, indeed, well done, I think I would have had greater appreciation if I were a fan of the TV show, which I am not. As I guessed, it was like the X-Files movie in that it was fun by itself but meant a lot more to fans. I’m not interested enough to become a retroactive fan.

We got home at about 11:45, and the power was back on (yay!).

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Apprentice rewards

One of my guilty pleasures is “The Apprentice,” and now Martha’s Apprentice. I enjoy watching not because I want to be one of those people, but because it reconfirms for me that I could have never been one of those people.

It also reconfirms that corporate environments are just fucked up everywhere. Take, for instance, the rewards that the teams get when they win a competition. This, my friends, is what reminds me most of my time at the large software company in Redmond. One of the biggest challenges for admins and morale teams alike was finding rewards and activities that would appeal to the greatest amount of people. In a company that is 70%  men, and on a team that was closer to 80% men, we usually ended up rewarding with more “boy” driven activities and gifts. The most disappointing gift I got was the ship gift for Millennium, which was a skateboard. Now, if I was a 15 year old boy, that would have been great, but as a woman in my 30’s it served as little more than a reminder that my time on that team was a nightmare, and that I was clearly not one of the “in” crowd. I held onto it though, because I had so very little to show for that experience, I felt that I needed to keep it; it still sits in my garage.

Then there was the “morale” event that was racing those little cars…I went, got my free sandwich, cheered a bit for some folks on my team, and left. I can tell you that my morale was certainly no better after that trip than it was before.

The Apprentice, particularly the Trump version, has been suffering from a similar problem of late. The past two rewards have been a trip to “play” hockey with a pro hockey team (gosh, I even forget which one), and “play” baseball with the Mets. The women’s team won the first of these, and on their journey to “play” hockey, one woman twisted her ankle around inside the skate and broke it. Hm, could that be because they didn’t have skates small enough??? The men won the trip to visit the Mets, and all was golden.

I’m all for equal rights, but honestly, if I was on one of the winning teams, I would have been less than thrilled with these prizes. I don’t think you could pay me enough to gear up and get out on the ice with pro hockey players. Not once in my time at said software company did we get a reward that was, say, a spa day, which is what I could have really used. I think that women (and yes, men) who enjoy playing hockey and baseball should get that chance, but that there should be alternatives for both genders. Heck, some men might enjoy a spa day!

Anyway, like I said, I’m glad I’m not on the Apprentice and I just get to watch it for entertainment value. More power to those women strapping up for hockey. If you do that, you deserve to win!

A chance to use my new userpic

From , a wonderful Denis Leary.

Oh, what a weekend. We had our first weekend of MSTT shows, and, as tradition requires, a party both nights. We didn’t get home until after 3 on Sunday morning. It’s the first time I’ve had that much fun at a party since, well, was married to someone else. I would tell you what all went on, but I really do think a locked entry is required.

Suffice it to say, I love theater people. I missed theater people.

I also realized that even though since High School I have only been involved with theater productions sporadically, I still have the mentality of saving various and sundry hair implements and makeup for the purposes of using them on stage.

This isn’t disaster preparedness, it’s theater preparedness!

A moving example of what to expect if you came to a Seattle Choral Company concert

Most of my college friends made the supreme sacrifice and came to see my concerts, even though they are not all classical music fans. Mostly this is because they love me and they could walk to the venue. Cut to life in the Pacific Northwest. Although I have some wonderful friends here, most of them have not made it to one of my Seattle Choral Company concerts. A lot of that has to do with their busy lives, but I also think some of it is that they don’t think they’ll “like” a classical concert, or they won’t understand it.

Of all of the concerts we do in a year, our holiday concerts tend to be the most accessible. They are usually mostly in English, and everyone understands the theme. There are some people who are worried about the religious themes, but we do try and aim for some Winter/December themes as well.

So, with all this in mind, I wanted to share one of the pieces that we’ll be doing at this year’s “December Starlight” concert, on December 2nd and December 3rd (click the dates to buy tickets). We originally sung this in our 2001 concert, and the recording I link to is that concert. We are reviving it this year because it fits into our concert theme. I find this song to be incredibly moving…the hardest part about singing it, for me, is refraining from crying.

Little Tree, which was composed by Stephen Heitzeg, has lyrics from this poem by e.e. cummings:

ITTLE tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”
Please click here to hear “Little Tree” as we sung it in 2001. If you like it, please consider coming to our December Starlight concert.

No dishwasher makes me sad

Last week, we got an “F1” error on our Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawers. We have an extended warranty, and it took some doing to get a repair scheduled since there are so few repair providers in our area, and most of them don’t want to work with extended warranties.

Handwashing dishes sucks. I haven’t been without a dishwasher since moving out here in 1997. Funnily enough, before that time (I was already 28) I had never owned or lived in a place that had a dishwasher. Now I wonder how I functioned all those years!! I actually had to go buy a dish rack and now I spend about an hour a day washing dishes (and we haven’t even made dinner here in 2 weeks!).

Oh, and one of our toilets has a leak, so we have the water shut off to it. This is like camping! 😉

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to whine about such insignificant stuff? I try and count my blessings that I have a dishwasher to break and a toilet to leak. But, hey, it’s my Blog and I’ll whine if I want to, whine if I want to, whine if I want to.

37 Today

Today was my 37th birthday. All in all, it was a rather unventful day, but not a bad birthday. Last night the sweetie got me a cake and lit it when I came home from rehearsal (the card was signed from him and Hildy!). He also bought me a Sirius subscription, and a radio (the radio is coming, it’s not here yet), so I can make sure to listen to Howard when he makes the switch in January. I also can listen to all Broadway all the time if I want to (but I probably won’t want to).

I got chocolates from a friend, and a check from Grandma and a Barnes & Noble gift certificate and flowers from my dad and stepmom, and a t-shirt from another friend. I also got a gift card to Chico’s from my mother-in-law. My mother, stepfather, and aunt all called me and I got lovely e-mails from quite a few people.

Today started off with various phone calls, mostly dealing with a semi-crisis in my singing group. Then, like I do every other Wednesday, I had therapy (and this week I discussed my problem client…if you want to learn more about her you need to get into my Flist, so do let me know if you’re interested), and then I had a chiropractic adjustment (which always makes me feel better…I get my brain and my back adjusted on the same day). Then, I had a bagel sandwich at Mikie’s Brooklyn Bagel, and then went to Vitamin Shoppe, where I picked up a few necessities.

Then, because our dishwasher is on the fritz, I bought a dish rack at Bed, Bath & Beyond, then I bought some bras & underwear from Lane Bryant. After attempting to find free WiFi and failing, I headed over to MSTT rehearsal and now I’m home.

So, I’m 37. It’s a prime number. So far, that’s really all I have to say for it. I’ll let you know if I have further words of wisdom later.

Existential Whining

As I think about venturing back into the workplace, I am clear on the fact that I can no longer pretend like I’m doing whatever job it is because I’m passionate about it. I cannot remember a time in my working life, or, even my school life, when I woke up in the morning looking forward to the day ahead. To me, life is mainly a series of obligations. You do things because you have to.

I realize that this is evidence of my Puritan genetics and Puritan descended upbringing. I also realize that if you are enlightened, you may be able to overcome your upbringing. I haven’t gotten there yet. Besides, this attitude is what makes me reliable, honest, and responsible, and those aren’t bad things are they?

Work to me was always fitting my skillset to something with which I could make money. I never, ever, considered pursuing those things I enjoy as a career. There are many reasons for this. Primarily, I feel I’m not talented enough to make money at those things which I enjoy. However, I also have always been afraid that if I started to be obligated to do those things which I enjoy, I would stop enjoying them.

Anyway, I’m clearly not feeling too positive right now. So, I’m trying to focus on doing those things which I enjoy, even though I will continue to be cash poor. To me, though, this idea of pursuing your passion and making money at it is completely foreign. Clearly, I should have been royalty. Oh well, maybe next life.