March 17th, 2008

LJ Idol

Hear Me Screech

I love reading aloud. I love singing. I love the concept of making a joyful noise. Hymns were my favorite part of the service when I was little, and I still hurry to service so as not to miss the worship music.

I sang in my high school chorale, and I loved it. Sadly, I missed almost all of the Christmas programs: I contracted laryngitis like clockwork, three out of the four Decembers I attended high school. The one year that I got to participate, my teacher was more excited than I was when I was finally able to perform in the Christmas program.

I attended an all-girl high school, and there was a local boys school that recruited at our school when they had need of female voices. I never tried out for the musicals, because the idea of auditioning was too intimidating. I think I was actually selected by my chorale teacher for the one gig I got there. Two other girls and I were invited to sing the vocals for Gonna Fly Now on stage with the boys school's concert band.

We had one rehearsal. Oh, the song was constantly on the radio, there was no problem with knowing the lyrics or the notes. But we had only one rehearsal with the band, where we were told that we would stand on stage, to the side of the band; we would share one mike; oh, and, one last thing - *I* had to sing the first note, and *I* had to get that note from the band at one specific spot.

Wait! Where was that again? How did that measure sound different than the one before? And, do I get, I dunno, some sort of score to follow?

The other two girls ran with the popular set. One was the girl whose hair always looked perfect. All day. With, apparently, no hairspray. I mean, it swayed and bounced just like Lana Lang complained about Lois Lane's hair in that episode of Lois and Clark where they were trapped together and had to talk. The other girl was her inseparable friend. They went to the prom together, both wearing tuxes. I was the smart geek who hung out in the math lab, and knew how to put together a Soma cube in 15 seconds. And here I was, being singled out again, just because I had the purest, strongest, most beautiful soprano voice.

Um, have I mentioned that I Do Not Have perfect pitch? Did I make it clear, in the above paragraph that I had no clue how to find that one elusive note from the orchestra? If you are familiar with the theme from Rocky, you'll know that there is a lengthy musical fanfare leading up to the vocals, which begin on a high note.

The three of us got together to plan our outfits: black dress pants, white blouses. I'm sure the other two planned their hair together. I've no memory of how I did mine, but knowing the era, I'm sure that I didn't do anything to take advantage of my gorgeous red hair. I probably had it in an unattractive bun, minus the curly bits that Blondie always has. I was so nervous.

The night came. I had friends and family in the audience. We stood onstage as the band played, resolutely not fidgeting, with no place for our hands. Then the moment came. I think. I thought. I sang out. My voice was strong, my note was pure. The others joined in and we sang.

It was finally over.

After the program, I asked my friends how we did. They said that when we first started singing, there was some sort of feedback, and then the techies did something, and everything was fine.

The truth is, I had the wrong note, and my strong, pure voice resonated exactly wrong with the instruments. They turned our mike off, and the audience thought they heard the rest of the vocals. After all, we moved our mouths, we were obviously singing away.

One of the friends I had in the crowd was my boyfriend. He played drums in a rock band, had perfect pitch, and studied classical composition. He was the only one who knew the truth. But he was kind enough not to bring it up in front of the others.

Since then, I've always been shy about singing on-key. I mean, I get compliments on my voice, but I'm only comfortable singing in a large crowd or solo a capella. Knight swears it was me, that time in Rupp, when the conductor commented about the strong soprano up in the audience at the the Christmas Sing-a-Long.

One of the first things I came to love about my church is the worship music. Since it is amplified contemporary worship music, I can sing out as loud as I like, and know that my voice is harmonizing with all the others, not standing out or creating feedback.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Ps. 100:1 KJV

This has been my entry for the LJ Idol writing competition, Topic 19: Hear Me Roar!
By the grace of Gary, both ladyozma and I managed to pull through the last round of voting, so watch this space (or my journal) vote a link to the poll when it opens on Wednesday.
bundled up, walkabout, snow

What a week!

Tigger's birthday was lots of fun, stretching across a very busy week.

Tuesday, we had dinner at Joe B's. Flar and TIgger shared one pizza, Critter ate another, and I had Cannelloni. Tigger and I had come from his therapist, and Flar and Critter had come from home. I got Critter to drive Tigger home, so I could ride in Flar's car. Yay for luxury cars. I got a chance to talk quietly with Flar about some of the stuff we've been covering in No Stones, and received a real gift of hope.

Wednesday night, I worked in KidCare for an i² gathering. Tigger came with me to church, since he had missed tutoring during the snow, and would be missing the next Saturday for his sleepover. His math tutor attend Quest as well, so he was going to tutor him after helping to get the older kiddies settled down with a movie. Tigger did homework during the service, then played with the two and three year olds with me, until G came and found him. After they were done, it was so much fun to hear a teacher who had worked with my child at night. He's 100% more focussed, more attentive, more awake! Poor TIgger has at minimum another five years in the day-walkers' world, and possibly longer -- I expect the Cordon Bleu doesn't do night classes in Paris, but you never know.

Thursday, I got my entry posted for Live Journal, worked on some admin stuff, and ran around with Tigger. I ended up with more slack in my day, which is good, since I made the mistake of sitting down to post my entry after a big helping of sweet cereal for breakfast. And napped the rest of the morning away. Note to self: sugar mornings are really only suited for physically active mornings with an early lunch ahead. Critter left from school on Thursday afternoon to go to Bowling Green for the State KHSSL tournament.

Friday, Tigger didn't have school, and his sleepover was scheduled to start at five. Flar was having a toenail removed that day, so Knight was kind enough to come over and be a responsible adult to greet arriving guests. Flar and I got home around 6, and then I left around 7:30 for the Mat. When I got back, there were still no additional kids in the house. This was the first party for which Tigger was handling the invitations. He never gave me a list of people to invite, and he said that he talked to them all at school -- and called the others. New at this game, he didn't include "please let me know if you can come" in these talks.

Saturday morning, I helped V and S create a railroad crossing post for the KidsQuest Jr downstairs hallway. I haven't taken pictures yet, but it turned out great. When I got home, Tigger was moping around, guestless. I talked over how he had "invited" people, and then called people for him. In the end, there were four boys for the party, one of whom didn't stay overnight. During the party, I baked two cakes and cleaned the kitchen. Pictures to follow when I upload them.

Sunday, I attended worship in V2, then worked with FOURTEEN two year olds in KQJr. There were four of us to 14 of them, and amazing few melt-downs. The amazing times were when we had 12 out of 14 of them paying sitting all around the table, making a craft and then later, eating snack. Wow. After church, I met Critter, Flar and Tigger at Knight and Ro's, for Knight's 42nd birthday movie party. We watched The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain and [of course] The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.. The cake was yummy, and we left all the leftovers with Ro and Knight, since we had leftovers enough at home. Ro had lots of yummy goodies for us to snack on during the movie, and rich ice cream to go with the cake. Thunder and Ravyn and Ang3la and Myrhh were there, too.

Today was the deadline for LJ Idol voting, and this week's race was darned close. My team was hovering over, or in, the last two for much of the weekend. A little after 1, when I checked for results, it looked like we were out. Then when I was checking on the other team names to email Ro, I saw that Gary had changed the results to only eliminate one team for some technical error. So it looks like I'm in the competition at least another week. :)

Flar's toenail removal went well. He didn't start feeling it until we got home. Then he was able to prop up his foot and take one of his pain pills. We waited until Saturday morning to change the bandages for the first time, and then I helped him with it a few more times over the weekend. Unwrap, soak, dry, rewrap. He seems to be doing well. He showered for the first time this morning, and his toe is definitely less tender than it had been at first. Unfortunately, he has a chronic problem with his achilles tendon, that flared up from the inactivity. Poor dear; it will be at least two weeks more before he is up to snuff again.

That about covers it.