16 December 2006

Burying Talents

I did it! I finally did it!

Let me preface this with the fact that whenever I get in front of a group of people (unless it is immediate family only) to do something by myself (whether it be piano or singing or speaking), I am sick for the entire day before. Physically ill. In the bathroom. When the performance begins, I only have about 30 seconds before the jitters set in. I jitter so badly, I have to guess where my fingers will hit the next note (and sometimes I guess wrong since I can't replicate the conditions when I practice at home) or my knees feel like they are about to jitter away from by body entirely.

So, when the Christmas Musical Fireside I organized seemed to be low on musical numbers and I had written a number of (unsuccessful) pleading emails inviting others to perform, I gulped and signed myself up for a solo (and also got a quartet together). I enjoy singing in groups. I have had a lot of people tell me I have a beautiful voice. But I grew up in my mother's shadow.

She has always been rather proud of her voice. If she sings in a choir, you can hear her well. If she sings in a congregation, you can pick her out. She has a beautiful voice.

I never got praise for singing from her. I distinctly remember coming home for Christmas break one year. I had been in a section of University Chorale that semester. I was practicing for our family Christmas program and singing along with one of the Hymns. Mom came in and said, "Your singing has greatly improved since you left." That was the solitary compliment I ever got from her.

My sudden burst of confidence came from a sweet older lady who recently informed me that I had almost been asked to perform a solo for a funeral, and that the other person who was considered (and asked) is someone who teaches voice lessons. If said voice teacher had been able to come, I most certainly would not have attempted to sing.

So I practiced, but mostly when the SM wasn't around because even HE made me nervous (he was in Men's Chorus for several years and has a great voice). The Dude and the RC really enjoyed it, and even asked for encore performances.

So I did it. I stretched my comfort zone. And I didn't fall over. And I didn't screech. And I didn't lose my place.

So I'm glad I did it.

I don't know if I'll do it again.

15 December 2006

Limited Edition DVD

~Behind the Scenes~

The Spozo Maravilloso has been working diligently on our annual photo and movie DVD. The background music for the slideshow is usually the hardest part of the project. The movies: we just pick the ones we like. The photos: we just pick the ones we like. The music: has to fit the pictures. can't be too sad or depressing. can't be too alternative. can't be too quiet. can't be too loud. can't have dynamics.

I discovered a new limitation this year: The SM declares a unilateral ban on music that sounds "too country."

The SM has been asking for suggestions of music. Since I happen to like some country-ish type music and it is not too sad or alternative or quiet, I mention them. With a scowl and rolling of eyes (which the SM will swear he Never Does), it is rejected. Forcibly.

Musical differences aside, I think it is going to be great, although I'm not sure if our parents will keep the sound on while the movie is running. (The music diverts from the traditionally classical past editions).

~Marketing Shpeel~

The limited edition Catanzaro Family 2006 DVD (sure to be a great hit with the fans of the Dude and Rosita Chiquita) will be available only through select channels starting tomorrow! Reserve yours now!

09 December 2006

the Dude turns Three!

Today was the birthday.

Unfortunately, it was also the choir practice and church Christmas Party day.

So, sandwiched in between these activities, we had a small party for the Dude. Rosita Chiquita didn't even attend (due to an unavoidable appointment with a nap). Then again, the Dude probably appreciated sole attention from his parents. Probably the best birthday present she could've given him.

He didn't blow out his own candles since we can't convince him that blowing out has no "f" in it. (We've tried, we've really tried! Any suggestions?) We've only recently convinced him that three has no "f" in it. Good thing, too, or he'd go around saying "I'm free!" and I'm sure someone would snatch him up because he's such a deal.

He ate his chocolate cake with chocolate mint frosting that he helped make. He opened presents.

He was completely satisfied.

So why do I feel vaguely guilty?

06 December 2006

Comparative Satisfaction of Old Shirts and Birthdays: A Complete Analysis

The more birthdays you have, the less exciting they are.

I don't know if it is simply because as you accumulate more of them, the less the glamour of having yet another wears off. It is all about diminishing returns.

The first triple fudge brownie sundae with mint chocolate fudge sauce is really great, but the second isn't so great. Perhaps birthdays are more like shirts. The first few are really great, but after a certain point, they're just overflowing out of the drawers and closets and littering the floor. And then you get another. Yeah.

I'm to the overflowing drawer (singular!) stage of birthday satisfaction.

Too bad you can't get rid of birthdays like you can old shirts. Then I could just make room for more and enjoy the next as much as I did my first five.

Not that I didn't enjoy my birthday. The Spozo Maravilloso exerted himself to make sure my birthday was wonderful. He spent way too much on my present (as usual), made a scrumptious carrot birthday cake with ginger orange cream cheese frosting (highly unusual), and also "helped" the Dude pick out a gift for me (a first!).

The Dude was so excited to give me a present. He made sure that I opened his present first. Seeing his excitement made me enjoy opening presents all over again (So, maybe having young kids around helps you get rid of some of those old shirt birthdays. Hey! Now I understand why grandparents conspire to have grandchildren around come Christmas day).

SM was also quite excited for me to open his present because it represented the fruit of a year-long search! (See below) The perfect gift (for me)! He determined (with consensus) that it is not only beautiful, but it also reflects my personality perfectly. He hasn't explained the specifics of why. Not that I disagree, I'm just curious.

What do you think?

02 December 2006

Chasing Cousins

Trying to catch these two is like capturing an electron in its probability cloud around an atom. (In other words, good luck!) So, just like them, what we get is an approximation of where they might be at any given time. And it's kinda blurry.