Sunday, October 31, 2010

Singing in Skinny Jeans

I am a new member of my choir at church.  I haven't been a choir since the 10th grade, and it shows in my singing.  I don't remember the first thing about reading music (I wasn't so great at that, anyway).  I'm pretty terrible.

I am aware that I'm not really a singer. I can carry a tune, but I'm a mimicker - a repeater, if you will.  That has always been more of a talent of mine than singing.  I can hear a sound and repeat it back...hence my random impressions of people (characters from cartoons, Roma Downey from Touched by an Angel, my high school principal, etc).

My mockingbird skills aren't getting me very far.  Anyone can sing in the shower, in the car, or to their little ones.  But singing on a stage while someone else sings the "other" part in your ear presents a challenge for the musically illiterate (like myself).

Most choirs usually involve people who can read a scant bit of music.  Unfortunately, I've been able to find more grammatical errors in my music than musical notes that I recognize.   Maybe this is why I like to write...writing doesn't involve appearances or ambiguity.  Sentences are either correct or incorrect.  Words are what they are...and I find comfort in their intrinsic collaborations.

And, while I'm at it - do you know what isn't comfortable?  Skinny jeans.

I really want a new pair of cute boots.  Unfortunately, wearing a cute pair of boots would also require me to wear them with skinny jeans.

I loathe skinny jeans.  Why?  Because I have hips.  Hips and skinny jeans don't really go together - hips cancel out the whole "skinny" aspect of a skinny jean.  I've tried on a couple of pair of skinny jeans, and I just look like a top that's about to start spinning.

Yet, I see all of these girls wearing skinny jeans and boots - and they look really cute. I just really don't think I can pull that look off. I would say that I'm too old, but the Pioneer Woman (who is older than I am) tucks her jeans in her boots all of the time and she looks downright adorable.

Maybe there will be a day when I'll be able to sing my soprano part confidently in my skinny jeans and uber-cool Steve Madden boots (because I heart Steve Madden).

Until then, I'll wear my boot-cut jeans and try to listen a little better to music around me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Book Club

I started a Jane Austen Book Club a few months ago.  I started it for many reasons.

1) I really am that dorky.  2) I haven't read all of Jane's books, and I felt like I needed to read them.  3)  I wanted people to come to my house and hang out.  (I felt like one of the "callings" on my life when God blessed me with my house was to SHARE my house.  When I lived in my condo it was very difficult to have people over, so I feel blessed to have the space to share with others.)  4)  Have I mentioned how I really LOVE Jane Austen?  This was a way to share her books, the movies based on her books, and gain insight from other people.  5)  I. Like. Food.

Surprisingly, 18 people signed up to read Jane's six novels - something that may be considered torture to some!

Our first meeting was over Sense and Sensibility.  Some people had other obligations and couldn't show up, but I think everyone who came had a lot of fun.  We ate some really yummy food (the theme for this meeting was "breakfast"), had a discussion over the book (among other things), and watched the 2008 BBC version of the movie.

Oh, Colonel Brandon.  Sigh.

I thought Sense and Sensibility was an easier read than some of the others...but I think I was wrong according to the feedback I received.  Oh well, I guess I know for next time.

My REAL best friend Kathi (who is cooler than my celebrity know...she's real...) donated her book wreath to the festivities, giggled a little bit when she surrendered it, and told us to have fun.  The book wreath totally set the scene for the evening.

Our next reading is over Northanger Abbey, and our next meeting will be in January.  Northanger Abbey is already proving to be an easier read than Sense and I feel bad.  You are more than welcome to pick up a copy (or browse through some SparkNotes) and come and join us! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Pretend BFF.

She's not really my bestie.  But if she was, we'd have some Starbucks together, talk about theology, and I'd ask her if I could afford any of her clothing choices.

I heart her.  I mean, I know this fact has already been established on this blog, but I thought I would say it again.

I just downloaded her new album, and it totally made me cry.  What kind of singer writes lyrics like,

"Who's at fault is not important/
Good intentions lie dormant/
And we're all to blame"

I mean, who writes stuff like that anymore!?  Who writes with a conscience -- a soul?

Definitely not John Mayer...just sayin'.

I totally dig music with a soul, and I'm so glad I stumbled upon the music of Brooke Fraser. 

I'm going to be my pretend BFF's PR person give her a plug on my blog ...that three people read....hmmm.

Anyway, you might be surprised at all the songs she has written (that you sing at church...she also writes and sings for Hillsong United).  You should totally check my pretend BFF out. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Moon

Amelia is obsessed with the moon.

The moon has been exceptionally bright lately - you can even see it in the afternoon, a glowing orb of wonderfulness in the sky.

Amelia recognizes it every single time.  She points at it, and says, "Uuuhk!  Uuuhk!  Whatisit?"  (That, translated, is, "Look!  Look!  What is that?")

I've been reading "Goodnight Moon" to her since she was a teeny tiny baby, so this may be why she gets so excited about it. She loves it when I talk like the little bunny and tell all of the things in the room good night (like mush...which is what I assume that little bunny is doing -- "Goodnight Moon" is a little odd).

The other day, I got a video of her looking look at the moon.  She was so excited.  She literally pushed Jeremy out of the way to get to the door.

She's growing up so much.  She's picking up new words and phrases all of the time, and they usually incorporate little hand gestures.  She loves to tell people, "HI!" when she sees them and she holds her hand up high.

She's starting to understand boundaries a little bit better - she's starting to understand what "no" means, which does help a lot when I'm trying to keep her from falling off the bed, jumping in a drawer full of razors, or diving head first into a bathtub of water.

She made it through the nursery last Wednesday night without crying the whole time.  I felt like that was a true breakthrough.  She needs to go, even if she hates it.   Social interaction is important.

I let her run around barefoot in a onesie last summer.  So now, of course, shoes, socks, and pants are a battle.  I'll have to keep working at it.

The whole world stops when "Yo Gabba Gabba" comes on.  I totally ate my words.  She watches it and LOVES it.  I'm pretty sure she would trade me and Jeremy for that scrawny DJ Lance any day of the week.

I'm amazed at how fast she's growing up, and how amazing (crazy, wild, loud, wonderful) she is.   

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teenage Mutant Ninja Tooth


"Would you like me to to ahead and pull this tooth for you?"

It sounded so simple.

My dentist presented this option to me like the cafeteria ladies present options in the lunchroom. (Life is so much easier when one has to decide between chicken nuggets or pizza.)

Unfortunately, this wasn't about chocolate or strawberry milk.

This was about THE TOOTH.  My icky, humongous, wisdom tooth on my bottom left side.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Tooth.

I named said tooth several years ago, when it was coming in and causing chaos and disorder in my mouth.  I said I would take it out then.

I didn't.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Tooth kept on a-comin'.  It made a little pup tent inside my mouth - it leaned against my other molar for dear life.  Flossing between my molar (2nd molar...?  Do they have names?) and TMNT was pure torture.

Finally, I called the dentist.

This was a big step for me.  I have a mouth full of veneers, you see.  Veneers are no fun.  Think of that time you puked on the school bus...wait....that wasn't you...think of that time you danced to Paula Abdul in front of your whole elementary....crap...still not you...

Think about something REALLY BAD.  Then, compare that experience to getting veneers.  I got veneers when I was fourteen.  I remember the sheer misery of the occasion.  I remember that it snowed outside the day I got them,  that I got to be out of school, and that I didn't care.  I just wanted to die.  I decided then and there:  dentist = pain.

Again, for me to call the dentist - well, it's a big deal.  I called to have the tooth looked at (because, foolishly, I believed that I would need some type of anesthesia and oral surgery...yesterday I also believed that the Fraternal Order of Police called me to get my debit card number...but that's another story entirely).  I just planned on a consultation.

So, when the dentist asked me if I wanted TMNT removed, I thought that sounded grand.  I thought, "right now?  No more tooth?  Sounds good!"

I succumbed with little persuasion.

Within a few minutes, a barrage of shots headed toward my mouth like a bunch of Patriot Missiles that had finally found Osama Bin Laden.   It was that fast.

After being numb for a few minutes, the dentist (who is a very nice fellow, I will concede) yanked out my tooth.  I think he used some sort of plier-esque contraption.

I felt okay.  TNMT was gone, at least.  I was pretty happy about the cost - sixty-six dollars!

The dentist called me the evening of the tooth removal to check on me.  I was doped up like a geek, watching "Dancing With the Stars" and laughing at the stupidity while he spoke.

"That's the drugs talkin',"  he said.

(He obviously doesn't encounter me on a regular basis.)

The foolishness of my decision didn't affect me until the next day.  I woke up the morning after the tooth removal feeling a little groggy, but okay.  I got into my car and thought, "I can do this."

By the time I got to school, I felt like I was going to die.

By the time my Dad got to school to pick me up, I was almost certain of my upcoming death.

By the time I puked near my alma mater (hearkening memories of the aforementioned school bus incident) I knew it for sure.  Yup, I was going to die.

I spent the next several days in a blur of medication, torture, and yuck.  Apparently, pain medicine and I do not jee-ha.  (How in the world does House do it?) I got a dry socket.  I felt dizzy and nauseous often.  Sickness, medicine, and a liquid diet will kill a healthy appetite like mine.  I dropped weight (don't worry, I'll gain it back...give me a few lattes) and became quite puny.  I'm pretty sure my students thought I was insane.

It's been over a week, and I'm just now starting to feel normal creeping back into my bones.

All because of a tooth.

Just one stupid, pesky tooth.

What makes this even more depressing is that my wisdom tooth on the other side is coming in sideways.  TMNT's brother, Shredder, will haunt me later.  I'll have to have Shredder pulled...probably sooner than later.

The moral of the story?  Whenever the dentist asks you something, just remember it isn't as easy as you may think.  We all do this in our various professions/life situations ("Kids, it's just a test, it's not that bad..." or "Amelia, carrots are yummy!") Things are different on the "other side."

Think with clarity.  Be the Nancy Reagan of your mouth.  Just say no.  NO!  No, I say!

But seriously...if a decision deals with tooth removal, you may want to think about being laid up in bed cryin' for a week.  I may be a wimp, but wimps still have to go to work and take care of their babies, and that can get tricky in the midst of wimpiness.

Decisions are important, yo.  Make them carefully.

(Oh, and if someone calls saying they're from the Fraternal Order of Police, don't believe them.  And don't give them your debit card number.  It's a hassle to cancel that booger.)