Wednesday Things

Image

1. Our wedding guest book arrived!! I know I mentioned that I second-guessed it for a hot second in last week’s Wednesday post, but now that I have it in my hands, I couldn’t be any happier. I’m so excited to read the things everyone I love has written in it after the wedding.

2. Today has not been a day when the universe has been nice to me. I slept through my alarm (for the second day in a row), realized I forgot my wallet at home only AFTER I ate out for lunch, went to the wrong meeting place for a group project and didn’t realize it for an hour, got cussed out for walking into the grocery store (what?), and was then honked at and given the finger for safely and legally getting into the lane for a Michigan left (I had signaled, then braked, and then merged into the left-turn lane, all while monitoring my mirrors like a good citizen. I have no idea what this guy was angry about).

3. Today I had my last choir rehearsal ever. Probably for ever ever. My director said the sweetest thing to me after specially recognizing the graduating seniors; he said “what a neat opportunity you gave to me by auditioning and joining Chorale this year.” Although I’m slightly terrified at the fact that, in a little less than a month (WHAT?) I’ll be graduated and will likely never get the chance to sing with a group of people ever again, and almost definitely will never get the chance to sing with such a wonderful group of people who are just so dang good at what they do. You can say whatever you like about what you’re going to miss when you graduate, but the connection and belonging you gain by being in an amazing choir with a director who is the most enthusiastic and loving person I have ever met is something that will break your heart when you leave. Even though I’ve only been in Chorale for this past year, I’ve learned so much about who I am, who I want to be, who I can be, and what I value through the process.

4. Some of you know I write for MySubscriptionAddiction, a company that reviews subscription boxes. Because of the fact that boxes are only mailed out monthly (or bi-monthly, or quarterly), it’s taken some time to get a good number of boxes sent my way even though I’ve been employed for a couple months. Things have really gotten going this month, and I just have to say that this is one of the neatest opportunities I’ve had. I’m loving it. It’s also so much fun to try new things! I mean, sometimes I get clothes or high-end beauty products, and sometimes I get a box of Japanese action figures? All in all, though, it’s awesome.

5. Did you know that Audible lets you return audio books for 365 days after the purchase date? You can only return like, two online and then you have to call their customer service for the rest, but it’s so easy and they don’t even bug you about it. They might ask why you’re returning them, and you can literally say “just ’cause.” Guess who has 6 new books at once to listen to! This gal!

6. Can we just talk about how my fiancee actually researched relationship-related books and asked for us to get them to read together to prep for married life? On his own? It’s like he’s some sort of rare mythical beast or something. What guy does that? A great one, that’s for sure.

7. Does anyone else find it hard to feed yourself for real when you’re all by yourself? My parents have been out of town and, with it just being me here, I’m living off of cereal and grocery-store sushi even though I make great things when I’m cooking for someone else, too. You’d think I’d rather make something yummy and not have to share it when I’m on my own. Is this just me?

8. It’s just about the most fun ever to get the mail when there’s a couple cute RSVP cards awaiting your arrival every day.

9. I’m debating what I should do with all of my extraneous belongings like books and clothes and such. I’ve been thinking about making some sort of online store via facebook, or maybe setting up an Amazon seller’s page or something. Basically, a virtual garage sale. Do any of you have any experience doing something like this? Any brilliant ideas for me?

 

 

New Kids on the Block

Last night was the most dramatic night I’ve had to deal with at work in my life. First of all, I had a section full of tables requiring lots of attention and maintenance. From reasonable high-maintenance requests (bringing in a birthday cake for your son for me to present, cut, and serve – reasonable, but it takes a lot of time away) and those that were not-so-reasonable (grown men yelling at me that the strawberry lemonade we made him “didn’t have crunchies,” leaving me to figure out that what he was talking about were strawberry seeds and had to go bug the kitchen for real strawberries to mix into his lemonade, just to watch him chug it and pick out the strawberries with his fork from the ice left in the glass, and then proceed demand another all over again), I was already quite overwhelmed. I wasn’t behind or in the weeds (as we servers call it), but I was definitely to the point of asking for help from servers who weren’t busy at the time. I was in focused “go” mode. The moment I actually had a chance to stop for a second, I got caught up on some drama that was occurring among some of the people I work with. However, I’m very proud of myself because I actually stood up for myself against one of the managers regarding an (unrelated) issue that has happened more than once before and hadn’t been addressed. It wasn’t easy but I stood my ground and was ultimately commended for the way I handled the situation from him and my friends there. Personal victory: Check!

However, there was a whole bunch of “he said, she said” junk going on immediately after (again, two unrelated events). What was particularly difficult was not knowing some of the new hires that were involved very well at all, and therefore had no relationship or rapport with them already. We didn’t have any trust built, didn’t know each other’s character, nor what kinds of things are or are not just typical behavior of the other. I actually didn’t even know two of their names.

I’m currently the new kid in my university’s chorale. (This will tie in soon, I promise.) At work, I have seniority, I know people who have come and gone, and I’ve seen a lot of changes throughout my time there. In choir, I’m the new hire. I’m not even a music major, but I’m working to find my place in the group and become a real part of the team. Although everyone has been very sweet, supportive, and excited to have me there, I still feel the “new kid” awkwardness enter the scene when others tell stories about old choir members who have graduated, other music department faculty and events, and when hearing about the great times they had together over the weekend.

Know that I am in no way complaining or blaming them for the “new kid syndrome.” (How could I? There’s absolutely no justification for anyone claiming a preexisting group should revolve around the new kids or pretend they didn’t have an awesome time and group before we came along. In fact, celebrate it with them.)  Auditioning and getting this opportunity is the best chance I’ve taken in my entire college career. What I’m getting at is that it is that newness is weird and scary for everyone. At work, I am one of those people who reminisce about coworkers that have moved on or how things used to be, and it’s hard figuring out how to connect with new hires and figure out their unique place in the team. It’s hard finding myself on the opposite side of the situation, being the new choir member and figuring out how to relate to people who have had such a strong and familiar family for years before I showed up, and are now adjusting to new members. I know it’s hard for the new kids at work, and I know it’s hard for the others in choir. It’s weirdness, for all of us.

This juxtaposition just recently occurred to me, and I can’t help but to find it odd just how different the emotions and the responsibilities are from one situation to the next. In one, I have to decide to put effort into getting to know the newbies; in the other, I have to put effort into speaking up and showing people I really totally want to be their friend.

My tagline for this blog is “just for today, everyone be 10% less cool & 10% more open-hearted.” As the big kids on top, it’s easy to really enjoy just how cool we are. In any situation this is true. Heck, even as a new kid, it’s natural to use how cool we are to hide our fear of being inadequate and our awkwardness. If we can remember to just step outside of that, at some point we could find people, connections, friends, experiences, knowledge, that we hadn’t anticipated. The important thing is that we don’t have to “turn a new leaf,” or have some life-changing existential experience, or decide to become a whole new person. I’m just asking for 10%.

(However, I will admit that when you think about how freaking awesome YOU are, 10% less cool is still a lot. And just that bit can make a huge difference to some one else.)

 

Beginnings of senior year.

This year, lately, has consisted primarily of choir. I have choir obligations after school everyday but Tuesdays, and I’m a choir officer so I’m heavily involved in other ways. 

What’s been really, really, weird this year, is that no one’s acknowledged me. I haven’t gotten any encouragement or support or anything. When auditioning for solos, everyone gets cheered for. Not me.  Upon recieving solos and rehearsing them in class, everyone gets cheered for. Except me.

I’m not meaning for this to sound like a pity party, not at all.  It’s an observation of teenager social habits.  Now, I know that I’m not a terrible singer. I wouldn’t have gotten the solos or made it into Mpulse if I weren’t. But I don’t understand how I’m different than anyone else that other people should get compliments or encouragement or cheered on. I’m not ignored, just simply not given positive anythings.

Also, and I know this isn’t news to anybody, but the whole “frienemy” thing is really confusing. And it’s really starting to play into my social life this year. The last thing I’ll ever understadn is why teenagers think it’s appropriate or the smart move to pretend to be some one’s friend but actually hate them. There are three ways that disliking/hating some one should be handled:
 One: You don’t like this person. You’re smart and mature, though, and want to keep drama at bay. So you dislike this person and let it just be. You don’t broadcast it, you keep things civil, you keep calm and deal with it. Or maybe, at the very least, you just ignore them.
 Two:  You don’t like this person. They know it. Directly from you. Now, I’m not saying you bitch them out or you start fights or insult them or spread rumors or do things to hurt them or anything (although, that’s how it usually goes).  But at least they know it and it’s an all-around fact.
But instead, it seems that the “cool” thing to do is to act as if you like some one when you’re around them and then badmouth them awfully behind their backs. That way, the only incriminating evidence they have is vibes, gossip, and implications. Nothing solid. This is definitely to your advantage (which must be why it’s such a popular happening) because if they catch wind of your disdain, then all you have to do is say that it’s just in their head. And they have no proof.
 Three: You actually confront them about it. At an appropriate time. And heaven forbid you have the balls to actually discuss it with them and explain things honestly.

This is not okay.
And I can’t do anything to change this trend except set an example.
And it’s frustrating.

“Yearbook” is one word, right?

You know what’s always weird about school this time of year?       Signing yearbooks.

There’s several types of yearbook signers:

  • Those who take up a whole page with giant, bubbly handwriting. These people probably don’t really care what they’re writing to you; they just want to make themselves feel important.
  • Those who take up a whole page with an actual, heart-felt letter.  These people are probably some of your best friends. The letter is either sentimental and will make you cry and sad to graduate or it’s hilarious and will make you laugh until you cry and possibly pee your pants.
  • Then there’s the complete opposite: The people who write “HAGS” and their name, if not their initials. Or they only sign their name/initials. (Warning: if I sign your yearbook like this, I probably sort of hate you.)
  • There are those people who have one signature message that they write in everyone’s yearboook. This message probably goes something like this: “Hey! This year was so much fun with you! I hope you have an awesome Summer! We should totally hang out! Stay cool!”  Blah blah blah.
  • Those people who, similarly, write the same thing in everyone’s yearbook but it’s only an uncomfortable little rhyme that they think is clever.  Example: “Some sign in front, some sign in back, but look at me, I signed your crack!”  (…..Yeah.  I’ve had that one before…..)
  • There are those who write something just to write something. “Hey. Hi, hello, howdy, hola….  H is a fun letter.” (This is an actual entry in my own yearbook.)
  • Those who read all the other entries in some one’s yearbook and secretly try to top them all with the ultimate yearbook message.
  • And then there are those acquaintences who mention only a couple inside jokes: “Remember when you hit your head on a broom stick and got that bruise on your head for Homecoming? Sooo funny! See you next year!”  (Also an actual entry in my yearbook.) (I never did that.)

I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced all the above sorts of yearbook signers by now.  But, you know what?  I have one more year left and I hope that next year I’ll be able to read some messages in the back of my book and not think “I wonder if they actually meant it.”

There’s also a couple different MOs when it comes to people letting you sign their yearbook:

  • Those who reserve three pages – each page for a different “bestie” to take up the entire space of.
  • Those who won’t let anyone at all sign it until their BEST FRIEND signs it first.
  • Those who secretly compete with everyone else to get the most signatures in their yearbook, regardless of whether they are actually friends or not and secretly check out everyone else’s yearbooks.
  • Those people who are too cool for you to sign their yearbooks and lend it out to their exclusive groupies and whenever you ask if you could sign their yearbook always say that one of their cronies has it.
  • Those people who tell you that they didn’t get one because they don’t want you to want to sign it.
  • Those who really don’t take it that seriously but might appreciate the nostalgia and lets anyone who really wants to sign their yearbook. I am this person.

A very interesting start to what’s bound to be a very interesting new term.

So my first term started last Friday.   First off, let me explain the situation: Exams for third term wre Wednesday and Thursday, we had the first day of the new term Friday, and now we have Spring Break until Monday.  So naturally, half the school skipped on Friday.

I, unfortunately, was not one of those people.

My first hour, choir, didn’t change. Except we got a new song.  And it’s totally strange.  To start, it’s named “Las Amarillas.”  The Yellows? Here are the lyrics.  The song’s originally in Spanish, but this is a translation:

The yellow larks fly from their cactuses
No longer will the cardinals sing happily
na-na-na
and na-na-no

The trees on the hillside, since they haven’t revived
For this the larks sing, or the nest hold them down
na-na-na
and na-na-no

You are little and beautiful, and the way you are, I love you
You look like a little rose from the shores of Guerrero
with your na-na-na
and na-na-no

My father was a sparrowhawk and I was born to peck and peck
Where I place my beak, I’m like a trumpeter
na-na-na
and na-na-no

Everyone has their farewells, but none
is like this one. 

Four times five is twenty,
three times seven is twenty-one.

Yeah, you read that right.  Multiplication!  The last verse is multiplication tables!!  Oh, I don’t understand, either.  And you know how directors sometimes have notes along with the song to tell you how each bit is meant to be sung? Continue reading

The best days I’ve had in a long while.

I have had the best last few days.

Thursday night was my choir concert. We were called to show up way earlier than we needed to be there (four-o-clock call and the concert was at seven-thirty), but I was able to get to know the people in my show choir a lot better. Justin said I look like Doris Day, so that’s what he calls me now. =]

The all-girl show choir went before the senior show choir, the one that I’m in.   My group was hanging backstage manically dancing to the other group’s music.  Oh, it was so much fun! Even though I’m in show choir, I’m not one to just… dance.  But back stage, everyone just let loose and I think I might have actually been doing it right.

I will admit, I made more mistakes this concert than usual, but it was still fun.

I had some great people come see me, so that was pretty much amazing. A lot of alumni choir friends came to the concert, too, and that was really great to see them.

Friday night, I had dinner with my family and my sister’s boyfriend. That was pretty cool because I was able to geektalk with my nerdy dad and sister. 

After that was my show choir’s Christmas party.  My hair was great and I had a great outfit.   ;]  Near the end of things, we went caroling.   When we approached a house and rang the doorbell, everyone had a great idea to Continue reading

… Cont’d

I love music. Choir is an extremely high priority for me.  My school’s choir has some really amazing songs this winter, so I thought I’d share them:

There Will Be Rest”  –  Frank Ticheli
MSVMA Honor Choir performed this last year; that’s what the link in the name is to.  It’s gorgeous. The lyrics are one of the last poems written by Sara Teasdale. She committed suicide at the age of 48.

“There will be rest, and sure stars shining
           Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
           The music of stillness holy and low.

I will make this world of my devising,
           Out of a dream in my lonely mind,
I shall find the crystal of peace, – above me
           Stars I shall find.”

 

Another one we’re doing is “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”  The lyrics are a Robert Frost poem:

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. ”
We’re also singing Carol of the Bells (Peter J. Wilhousky), There Is No Rose (Gary Garcia), The Sleigh (Kountz), The First Breath of Winter (Phyllis Wolfe-White), and a few others.  But I couldn’t find any videos of them, though.

However, while I was youtubing, I came across this.  I say you should watch it.  It’s hardcore.  Lol.