Friday, September 26, 2008

Days of Defeat/Victory (or, My Life of Late)

You know the days--the ones where you want to run up the white flag and declare to the world--"I SURRENDER, WORLD!!! YOU WIN!! YOU HAVE DEFEATED ME THOROUGHLY!! I HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON!!! PLEASE JUST PICK ON SOMEONE ELSE FOR A WHILE!!!" I know that you have had them, because I think that everyone who has decided to take on the quest that is life, is defeated by it now and again. The trick is to decide that you can start tomorrow with a fresh new battle, and hopefully, you have learned a thing or two from the previous day's defeat that can aid you in the fight.

The real problem is that sometimes you are so weary from the previous day's battle, that you don't want to fight. Sometimes you are wounded, and want to take a while and heal before deciding that you can face the challenge again--but the unfortunate news is that the war wages against you even if you choose not to fight, and if you are passive, you will wind up defeated once more.

There is no surrender!! There is no rest!! No matter how defeated you are feeling, you have to fight the fight each day, and learn how to fight better from the days of defeat. Victors are those who continue to fight.

I need to remember that when my days, and sometimes weeks and months, are filled with more defeat than victory, I am not yet defeated tomorrow! If my my seeming defeat has taught me something, then I have won.

Maybe I'm not as ready to surrender as I thought...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm Sorry, But the Morning Ain't Gonna Come...

So, I don't know what has gotten into me this year, but looking back thus far, I have done a lot of things that I have never done--nor dreamed of doing--before. I have to say that the latest of my crazinesses was quite possibly the most out of my comfort zone. A previous student of mine, Geoph (who played Jean Valjean in Les Mis at Northridge) who is currently one of my son's guitar teachers (the other is a friend of his named Simon) asked me at one of my son's recent guitar lessons if I would sing with their Ska band at their CD release party. Now, I feel that I have had ample musical experience to be able to sing with confidence, and really, how difficult can a song that a 19 year old kid wrote in his spare time working as a host at Mimi's Cafe be to sing? Apparently, if the aforementioned kid is very musically gifted, the song can literally be the most difficult piece of music that I have ever seen!! So much for my bigheaded musical experience! For those of you with any musical background, let me explain a few things about this song. It is written in 6/8 time, the entire song is arpeggios done in 16th notes--and the best part is, the pace is at about 200. (Go and find a metronone and set it to 200 and then imagine singing 2 notes in between each beat). Now you have to know that each note has it's own syllable--and so this means that you are singing over 250 words in 45 seconds.
So, after a week of doing almost nothing else but practice, I had to go and practice with the band. Now I was thrown another curveball--I had to sing the song and compete with two electric guitars, a bass guitar, a drum set, and another vocalist who already knows how to sing loudly enough to be heard over the other instruments. I was still attempting to figure out whether it is humanly possible to breathe during the song, let alone sing with any type of volume. I was then directed to a mic, that I had to do the rocker thing with and "EAT" to be heard at all!! This was very uncomfortable for me as my previous mic experience has generally been standing next to my sister with a piano 25 feet away--we are usually standing at a pulpit and being reasonably (I say reasonably as this is me that we are talking about) reverent and the mic is facing straight up at the ceiling so that we are not too loud for the congregation. Needless to say that my Avenue (the Ska band) experience was quite different.
All in all, the whole thing was very enjoyable, and terrifying--I became lightheaded as soon as the song was over the night of the party and had to go outside for a minute so as not to pass out--but they have asked that I sing with them again, and although I had to promise to sing louder, it went pretty well in the end. Yea for living life and trying new and different things!! Yea for not getting in ruts!! Yea for making the occasional fool of yourself so that you can experience as many things in life as possible!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

You're Older Than You've Ever Been, and Now You're Even Older...

So, my thirtieth birthday was on the 9th of this month. (Good thing that I am still so young and hot, right?) Anyway, on the 6th, (which was a Saturday), I was called by a member of the Bishporic to tell me that the Bishop wanted to meet with me at 7:15 that evening. "Oh great!", I thought, "I am getting called to the nursery." (Not that the nursery is a bad calling, I am just enjoying my current calling in Achievement Days.) Anyway, Bry had a sitter for the evening as he wanted to take me out for some ice cream or something, and we left to the church. When we arrived, there was a sign on the door that said the bishop's office's carpet had been recently cleaned, and we needed to go to an office on the other side of the building to have our meeting. Bryan decided that we should cut through the cultural hall, and much to my suprise, it was filled with tons fo people all there to celebrate my thirtieth birthday! It was AWESOME!! There was food and dancing, and balloons and stupid pictures of was really great!

There were a lot of high school students there (as I am involved with the Drama Dept. of Northridge High), and they were a lot of fun to have there, as they kept the party young and interesting. It was so fun to see so many of my friends there in one place--however really weird at the same time. You know how it have different groups of people that you associate with, and in your head they are kept separate. It's kind of a shock to your system to see everyone intermingling: family talking to students, bookclub socializing with high school friends, Kimball Mill friends introducing themselves to "Forum" people--it's like watching all of the people from your favorite TV shows come together. Imagine Dr. House treating Jack Bauer, or Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute being investigated by Mulder and Scully. It was crazy!

Overall--I was so happy to see so many of you there to help me celebrate my birthday!! My understanding is that my sister was very involved with the planning, and was a big help to my husband. Everyone was so thoughtful and my party was really great! Thank you to everyone for making me feel like I am still cool--even though I'm now not-quite-so-young and hot!!