31 August 2011

Pub Singing and Merlin's Unrest

A friend invited me to a pub sing, and I was actually free, so I agreed to go.  To prepare, I pulled out my maritime music CD (hooray for random free promos) and gave it a listen.  I headed to the pub after an 11 hour day at work.

This is pub singing, not opera: loud, boisterous, informal, and slightly (increasingly) drunken.  Pitch is not the most important thing.  I'm not sure what is; maybe enthusiasm?  There were sea chanties and hymns and shaped note music.  I knew a couple of the songs and different versions of a couple others, so I couldn't really sing along, per se.  There were some folks who were amazing and a few who were terrible.   All of them were passionate about music.

I kind of wished the director of my a cappella choir and maybe some of the members could go to one of these.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's because I enjoy watching inhabitants of the Great White North encounter rhythm and emotion.  It makes them uncomfortable.  (At a concert I went to recently, the only people moving to the beat were a handful of children too young to have the joy of motion stamped out of them by peer pressure.)  I also think that they might have enjoyed themselves and learned something that could transfer to their classical singing.

My friend goes because he's learning harmony from it, he says.  It's definitely a good place to do that because when you don't know the songs, but you want to sing, you have no choice but to make up your own notes.  The repeated choruses tend to make this easier (as does the fast and loose pitch sometimes).

Did I mention the pitch issues?  It wasn't always as bad as I'm making it seem, but when a room made up of several professional singers can't seem to find the key because of the warbling soloist, you know it's not great.

My friend concluded, "I guess I'm not as fussy about pitch as you are."

My sister would get a kick out of that.  My ear for pitch always drove her crazy and made her nervous about singing in front of me.  And she wasn't even the tone deaf sister.

I seem unwilling to cover my reaction to bad pitch, even now.  I just can't enjoy it, no matter how much passion and love for music is involved.  Why is this?  The world may never know.

Perhaps it's related to why I apparently must move to music when I'm surrounded by people who are uncomfortable around people who move to music?  It doesn't feel like contrary orneriness, though.  I wonder.

They had good root beer.  I enjoyed myself.  Will I ever go again?  Maybe.  There's something undeniably compelling about random people loud enough to drown me out singing whatever the spirit moves them to sing . . .

27 August 2011

What's scary

You know what's scary?  WebMD is scary.  I go there when I get some weird symptom, hoping it will tell me, "Eh, that's just life," not, "You may have toxic shock syndrome from strep after smashing your finger in the garage door." 


I do not have time for a life-threatening infection.  Can a month go by where I don't have some new, weird medical problem?  At least a month?  Please . . .

24 August 2011

Toad Herding for Fun and Profit

Yesterday night, my flimsy building key stopped working, and I was locked out of my apartment.  This was a bummer because I live alone and had no one to call and let me in at 10 pm. 

This morning, I called to arrange for a new key, and we agreed it could be shoved under my garage door, though the trauma of smashing the crap out of my finger in said door on Saturday was fresh in my mind. 

I got home and opened the garage door, looking for my ticket into the building, and a mid-sized toad hopped in and promptly got itself stuck thinking there was No Escape even though three directions were open to it.  It kept hopping further and further along the wall when it wasn't playing the If I Don't Move the Large Thing Menacing Me Will Forget I'm Here and Go Away and Leave Me in Peace game.   

I suspect that toads are not one of the brightest species in the ecosystem. 

There was no way I was going to just close the door and let the thing die and stink up my garage.  I tried to gently herd it out, and it just wasn't working until a lady walked by and, attracted by the sound of a possibly crazy person waving her hands and cell phone at the ground and trying to be some sort of toad whisperer, stopped to get a better look. 

I explained my problem.  She laughed at me as I kept trying to humanely get rid of my newly acquired amphibian, but she eventually got fed up and whacked that sucker back out into the driveway with a hand like a trowel. 

I was horrified as I watched it tumble and come to a dusty and very final stop, sure she'd killed the silly thing whose only crime was being stupid and confused.  After heart-stopping seconds of being stunned, it rolled over.

"It's alive!" I thought and rejoiced until it hopped toward my garage.  I stomped and waved it away and closed the door before any more drama or trauma ensued.  The woman walked away laughing as I thanked her.

I watched the toad as, at a loss, it headed back out into the middle of the parking lot where it hopped in strange, possibly concussed polyhedrons for a while, despite my encouragement to get out of the place where cars go.  I washed my hands of him eventually, as he seemed destined to end up flattened by someone's tire.

Good night, sweet toad.  May flights of angels sing thee to they rest.  One way or another.

20 August 2011

Out again? Alas . . .

 I am almost out of ibuprofen.  Again.  It's discouraging.

Can you identify the item in question from this lineup?

 I always hope each new bottle of ibuprofen will be the last.  It never has been.  I started collecting them in 2007 in case a photo op like this one arose.

Yes, I'm having too much fun with this.

Some day, when the ibuprofen bottle I buy is the last, will I be able to type novels-worth of words again when I desire? 

Maybe.  Or maybe I won't be pain-free until I get to heaven.  That could be a long time.  And a lot of ibuprofen.  Sigh.

. . .

14 August 2011

Yesterday perfection

Took a walk
Made progress
Hung up sun catchers and pointless, gauzy curtains
Finished a book
Swept the floor
Saw a tiny, nearly translucent frog hop away to avoid being crushed by the opening door

13 August 2011

Musings on a weekend when I'm (still) unpacking

Robert Frost said
good fences
good neighbors.

I think loud air conditioners
do the same thing.

10 August 2011

When summer acts like fall

Two perfect fall days in a row in August so far as it tries to make up for the horror of July.  When summer acts like autumn, I have to resist the urge to go find a patch of grass under a tree and just lie there doing nothing for hours.

I can't do nothing yet because I'm still puttering in the new place.  All the books are unpacked and sorted.  My study area is set up.  The living room area is bearable and traversable (sp?).  Now I can also enter and exit the bathroom without contortions, and there's really just one last hurrah of a pile by the door that needs to somehow move out to the garage (super old files I need to keep but will not likely be accessing ever).  I may be completely unpacked by this weekend, which would be so glorious.

Just in time to start getting serious about planning for my class that starts the last week of August . . .  Don't worry; it's only a half class, so there shouldn't be any meltdowns this term.  Good times.

Looking forward to autumn,

03 August 2011

Inhabiting new spaces

What I know about my new apartment:
  • I have some very kind neighbors who help without even being asked.  (Some of them even before I pass them looking pathetic.)
  • It's easier to like my neighbors when I have the AC on because then I can't hear them.
  • The sliding toilet seat of doom will either improve my posture or destroy my sanity.
  • I don't mind sleeping on the floor, and neither does my back.
  • Over 90 degrees with matching humidity is a bit of a chore for the poor AC for some reason.
  • I want to be done unpacking.
  • The stairway I prefer sings if you walk up too fast.  (It also smells less of cat wee.)
  • I still love alphabetizing, despite the pain.
  • When I am done unpacking, there will likely be fewer bruises.  I sincerely hope.
  • It is unfortunately likely that I will fall down the stairs at some point; it will then be rather difficult to navigate the labyrinth I have made out of this apartment.  (High priority: getting bed frame put together, so I can finish shifting and unpacking, so there will be enough clear space for me to negotiate with a cast, should the need arise.)
  • I have a freezer again, and it is marvelous.  Once I clean off the stove, I can even make use of the freezer's few inhabitants.
  • I still can't hang things straight.
Signing off clutching my checklists,

01 August 2011

in case you were wondering

I fell off the face of the earth due to packing for a move, moving, and unpacking.  I'm still unpacking, but there may be a return to our regular posting schedule soon . . .