My online journal.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Well, THAT didn't go so well

Alas, I guess 2 hours of writing per week is more than I can currently handle! In my defense, Joel's sister Julie is getting married next weekend and Joel, Lucy and I are standing up in it... plus Jean and I are doing the ceremony music. I'm a bit consumed. I remember planning my own wedding and being super-grateful for my lackadaisical office job (online editing for Consumers Digest; don't bother to look, because the web site is basically a 2-page advert for the magazine, which is NOT A REAL MAGAZINE but possibly some sort of Mafia shell organization -- anyway, the work my cohorts and I did there is looooong gone), which allowed me to give the appearance of doing work while, in reality, spending hours each day on

I love weddings -- I love the pageantry, the drama. I love dressing up. I'm a completely hopeless romantic, which really surprises me because I'm not the sort to moon over Joel, posting sappy things on Facebook or writing lengthy tributes to him on Father's Day. Maybe I just love the idea of true love, and the overwhelming optimism of a wedding. In a weird way, it's the same feeling I got when I saw the baby trees lined up along 3rd Street, waiting to be planted to replace the tall, shady ash trees that they chopped down last month. "Hope springs eternal" is the phrase that popped into my head when I saw the baby trees. I feel the same way at a wedding, and it's a comforting, warm feeling, like stepping out into the sunshine on a spring day.

Speaking of sunshine, what a lovely weekend we had! Joel and the kids and I got quite a bit of yard-readiness stuff done -- weeding the strawberries (that I SWEAR never turned brown or hibernated over the winter -- is that even possible?), planting the measly remains of last year's seed packets, mowing the lawn, busting out some of our homegrown compost, etc. Joel is, I'd say, completely sold on the composting -- thanks to our 2 heaps, we've got so many worms in our garden that he and the kids are skipping with glee (and I grit my teeth and try to grin; Lordy, do I hate creepy-crawly things). Joel's thinking he *might* even try to convince his parents, the staunch non-recycling plastic-burners, that they ought to compost up at the lake. There would be SO many advantages for them: for one, it'd be WAY less garbage they'd have to haul back to Monti every Sunday; for two, they'd have a neverending supply of worms to fish with. The number of eggshells, fruit rinds, and coffee grounds alone would make a huge difference. But it's so hard to change people's minds -- and I know they're worried about raccoons. Any ideas, blogosphere?

On Saturday Lucy and I had a really lovely Girls' Day together. We hit the post office, a couple garage sales (I scored a pair of hockey skates for JG for $5), then Herberger's, to try to find a better-fitting suit for Eddie for the wedding (Donna bought him a suit set at TJMaxx for $30, hard to beat, but the jacket, shirt, and tie are all a teeeensy bit too small). Well, all Herberger's had was CK jackets for... egads!... $78. They did have some super-adorable boys' ties that zip instead of clip... but not practical enough for this Mama. Lucy did get a dress for $15; I got a training bra for $12, and we knocked off a needed birthday gift as well. We roamed the mall for about 20 minutes (I may be able to have remarkably grown-up conversations with the little lade, but we're still dealing with that 5.5-year-old attention span), then hit McDonald's so we could redeem her coupon for a free Happy Meal for reading 10 books all on her own. Her teacher has a "book bag" program for students starting to read, where she gives them a little tote with a book in it and a log for me to sign after Lucy reads it. The books are VERY simple (I pack my bag. I put in my shirt. I put in my socks. I put in my pants. I zip my bag.) but, ladies and gentlemen, the girl is READING. It's just the coolest thing. I'm so proud of how hard she works, sounding things out and flipping through her "sight words" (the teacher also sends home a ring of flashcards with words on it that Lucy doesn't need to sound-out but can recognize on sight, like "as," "was," "in," "were," and so on). She made it part-way through Goodnight Moon this morning, and it's really interesting reading it through her eyes -- I would have though that was the simplest book ever, and yet words like "telephone" and "mouse" that we just KNOW, she has to really work through.

Sidetracked! OK so then Lucy and I went to SuperTarget -- NOT the place to go when you only need 4 things, let me tell you. We got into a very in-depth discussion about why white tights would look better with her white-and-red flower girl dress (with red shoes) than pink tights. She almost won, too -- I'm usually the first to remind dancers how pink tights are generally more flattering than white. After our shopping trip (and subsequent nap), Jean came over and she and I went for a run before practicing our songs for Julie's shindig. I believe we are ready... I believe we're going to sound fine (if not maybe even pretty good in spots!)... but that's not going to stop my bowels from loosing themselves this coming Saturday. Must remember to stay hydrated.

Lucy and I then caught the evening performance of Willy Wonka at Ashland. I think she totally loved it (with candy as the subject matter, I'm not surprised), and it was so great to see so many people I know on stage and in the audience. Can't believe how much some of the kids have grown... their bodies along with their talent!

Going backward, I spent Friday night babysitting for a dear ECFE friend who had not had a date with her husband in... well, it sorta sounded like forever. They have 2 kids, age 4.5 and 1.5, and it was really fun seeing another family's bedtime routine. Plus it was nice to get some time alone to myself, with no guilt about housework. Plus they have cable so I got to watch the Twins game! Plus Laska and I got to talk (very briefly) about writing. Good stuff.

This week I'm starting my spring gig choreographing for Hastings HS's spring choir concert. Today I choreo'd "Da Doo Ron Ron" for the sophomore girls' group -- I teach it Tuesday. It's a nice, simple one to start with -- not like getting tossed right in with the 200+ boys like I was the first year! The boys, btw, are doing "Seize the Day" from Newsies, plus a Bon Jovi medley. There's so much pressure for the boys' group to be the highlight of the evening -- and I'm under strict instructions to keep their movement MANLY, plus their director is the main director, Lin Warren. He's been getting quite a bit of press following the success of Hastings varsity show choir, Riverside Company, and of course because of the size of Hastings' choir department. Anyway, Newsies will be fun but a serious challenge (I want the dancing to be especially athletic, but we're limited on time), and I'm guessing it'd be gauche to steal the Bon Jovi choreo (not mine) from the Hastings show 2 years ago. Though it totally rocked. So I have my work cut out for me.

Well, my hour is up! See ya!

Friday, April 16, 2010


For those of you on the moon, I got to be in a flash mob yesterday morning. I stink at posting videos, so here are a couple links.

Supershort clip (but this site will have a fully-edited, "super cool" clip on Monday, so check back:

The FULL video (including 2.5 intro minutes of "crowd milling about," featuring me (in orangey pants and a navy Mauer t-shirt, carrying a big red bag) attempting (desperately, unattractively, and in vain), to untuck my undershirt from my underpants. Also you can see me during the dancing:

I'm told this one is of better quality:

I'd read about auditions for the flash mob (which were not true auditions -- they took everyone, I believe) online and I went, tried out, and went back for 2 rehearsals, then just showed up on the plaza at Target Field for a quick rehearsal (at 8am Thursday... groan...) and then wandered around for 90 minutes until they started playing the music. I dunno... what else do you want to know? It was crazy fun, I got crazy nervous, and I met a whole bunch of crazy-cool people. Many of whom are working actors here in the Cities, so it was great making some connections.

Monday, April 12, 2010

One hour of writing

Well, here I am lying in bed at 6:25 AM -- and if you're reading this you know me well enough to know that I am not typically up at this hour. But after a dayful of dance rehearsals yesterday, and putting the kids down at 6:45 last night... well, I zonked out at 9:30 and then I was wide-awake at 5:30 this morning. I'm guessing this is part of aging. I hate it. I'll probably never get to sleep until 10AM ever, ever again and I miss it already!

We've been able to sleep with the windows open the last several nights, which is pretty much my favorite thing ever. Except the birds are LOUD at 6AM! We've got this massive, gorgeous pine tree outside our bedroom window (it would make a really lovely municipal Christmas tree) and there have got to be dozens of birds trying to mate in there, not to mention a mess of squirrels, too. The cacophony is really quite beautiful; I'm not complaining. I wish I knew bird-calls better -- or could even explain them better -- there's one song I've recognized since I was a kid but I don't know which bird makes it. It's 2 very clear notes, the first one higher than the second. Then there's a return-call that's 2 notes lower. I know, super-descriptive, right? If I could play it on the piano it would ... well, I'd have to get up and go to the piano to work that out for you, and I'm tucked REAL snuggly into bed... plus Joel just brought me a steaming cup of coffee, so you'll have to wait.

So a couple days ago at breakfast Lucy said "Mama I had a dream," and I encouraged her to talk about it, and she replied that she wouldn't, because then it wouldn't come true. Which means the dream was definitely about her becoming a princess and wearing the same dress every day with no shorts underneath, and then getting candy for breakfast and never having to brush her hair ever again, and also about finally being able to swallow her toothpaste. Anyway, Cinderella, the old '50s Disney cartoon version, is to blame for this notion of "Your wish won't come true if you tell people about it," And (and this just occurred to me the other day as I was talking with Lucy) it's HORRIBLE! If you have a wish you want to come true, you must TELL AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE, because A) They can help hold you accountable, and B) You never know when someone will be able to help you achieve your dream. I remember watching Cinderella as a kid, and I remember that line, where Cinderella won't tell her little bird-friends about her dream. And I swear this is why I never dated in high school -- I honestly thought if I kept my hopes and wishes to myself, they were more likely to come true. Ah, the wasted time! Of course, for Cinderella, wonderful things magically came to her, but this is not realistic. We must share our goals, our hopes, our dreams. So we can work toward them, allowing others to support and guide us on our path.

OK so this is part of the reason I'm here writing at 6:47 AM -- my life coach is encouraging me to do more writing, so Step 1 of that is, strangely enough, Doing More Writing. Because I've always thought I could be A Writer, and I know I need to write to make that happen, and I haven't been writing. She's holding me to 2 hours per week of writing and I need to get it done by Tuesday and here it is Monday morning and it was a crazy weekend so now I need to find another 90 minutes to write before 10AM Tuesday. I work well under deadlines, but I've got meetings and rehearsals and phone calls and grocery shopping to do, and I'm starting to panic. Just a little.

The good news is, it was a remarkably productive weekend, and because this blog is not only a way for me to Do Some Writing but also a journal-of-sorts, I ought to record here what a FABULOUS spring we're having. Not a flake of snow in March, for the first time since 1878 (and March is typically our second-snowiest month). We haven't had wintry weather to speak of since late February, and that, my friends, is simply delightful. It's done wonderful things for my mood, AND my green onions are already more bountiful than I know what to do with. At the rate we're going, we'll have rhubarb pie before May. Mmmmm!

Joel went on a spring-cleaning rampage the last couple of days. He emptied out much of the garage, mowed some of the lawn, put some fencing up around the garden, and tidied up the entire main level of our house. I hemmed my dress for Julie's wedding, took up the straps on Lucy's dress (and tacked the front so it lays flat), cut Ed's hair, and tried curling Lucy's hair (it REALLY doesn't want to curl, and she REALLY doesn't care to sit for the curling process, so I think it's just going to be straight for the wedding, which is just fine by me). We got a bit of laundry done -- I even dried some stuff on the clothesline (in April! Wheee!), and we also had Jean and the Dalys over for dinner-and-margaritas-on-the-deck. I'm SO glad we get to do that kind of thing with people we love. Jean and I got to practice the music for Julie's wedding -- less than 2 weeks to go! My stomach churns at the thought. Today, my goal is to get Eddie to try on his wedding outfit. That might not sound too challenging, but I promise you it will be a feat of epic psychological warfare.