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(no subject) [Jun. 30th, 2014|05:19 pm]

Got an email Saturday night from my dad saying they'd love to have me visit and we could "discuss our differences, or not....The visit with you is much more important. My relationship with my only daughter is even more important."

Which, well, brought and is still bringing tears to my eyes. Dad's not really an apologizer and he can definitely hold a grudge. I'm really glad he said something. And language like that is not like him at all (in a good way--I've never heard him say anything like that). I kept marveling over this vitriol, this stupid, stupid fight over the F-word? What the hell? I haaaaaaaaaaate family fights. It's just not worth it. Really, really glad he said something.
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(no subject) [Jun. 27th, 2014|09:53 am]
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So this happened.

A few weeks ago my stepmother sent out an email to my two stateside brothers (Bart and Erik) and me, inviting us up to MH to spend the 4th. She and Dad even offered to pay. I replied that I wasn't sure if I could get off the time, given that I was starting a new job, but I would definitely try. By last week I knew I would have off at least that Saturday (the 5th) and emailed back I think I can come, just working on the logistics. Didn't hear back anything.

Sunday I watched the USA/Portugal game and live-tweeted my reactions on Facebook, and used profanity (at one point I posted "HOLY FUCKING SHIT"). My Dad posts "Nice language" and this irks me for several reasons. 1) He's used language like that on many occasions, he is no choirboy, 2) I'm an adult, it's inappropriate to scold me, especially in a public forum, 3) it's passive-aggressive, and 4) it's a GAME. People get excited. It's not as though I talk like that all the time. But I'm trying to keep it light, the last thing I want is a public fight with my own dad so I post back something like "I know I've heard worse from you! Age has its privileges."

My friends are commenting on my various posts about the game and then someone else voices her opinion--a friend of my stepmother's whom I don't know at all, some older lady, but she friended me awhile back. She has never ever said anything to me before this--not online, not in person. This is literally the very first thing she ever says to me. And she posts something pretty awful, like "Ignorant. Your deplorable vocabulary and shameful ignorance is apparent in what you post," something awful like that. THIS is how you introduce yourself? The hell? I wrote back "Excuse me? Who are you and why are you being so incredibly rude?" And then blocked her/unfriended her.

Dad then posts this LONG post about language and how it's different online. Basically it's okay for him to swear in conversation but not for me to swear online because "it's different." And how employers might find this post and yada yada yada. I mean, it went on. Oh, he also brought up Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rants as an example of how speech could be used against you. Uh, there's a big difference between swearing while you're excited watching a game, and what Mel Gibson said. Seriously, there is no comparison. The reason Mel Gibson's words continue to held against him is because he's ANTI-SEMITIC. Not because he called a cop "sugar tits." MG also has a history of anti-Semitism, from his creepy interviews where he endorsed his dad's weird AS views, to his movie The Passion of the Christ which set off many people's triggers.

I refused to engage in a long riposte to my dad because I thought the whole thing was a complete overreaction. It's a GAME. A moment of excitement in a GAME. Jesus. It was all basically a joke, I'm making fun of my own excitement. Which is what I said.

My friend James K. from high school posts "wow, your dad wrote a book!" and I couldn't--just could not--resist responding "no shit!" which frankly still makes me laugh. I'm sorry, I shouldn't've poked the bear but I did think that was the perfect coup de grace.

Dad then posts another, even longer diatribe and here's where the issue really comes out. "Is it a joke when you post about Trayvon Martin? Or your anti-gun views?" AHA! I knew this had nothing to do with profanity--this is about my political views, which are very much to the left of my dad's. Sad to say as he's gotten older he is turning into the stereotype of the angry white male conservative. [And again, he is being hypocritical--he posts on Facebook some pretty creepy anti-Obama stuff. He used to send out a lot of emails like that--anti-Clinton, anti-Obama, etc. and finally I had to tell him "please don't send them to me, I just delete them. I'm not the audience you want for that." Notice the distinction--I did not tell him not to send them at ALL, just not to me.] And he's going on about how he's "worried" that employers are going to find my Facebook posts and judge me and I don't know what all. I didn't read it because I was getting pretty angry. I just posted back "STOP. Drop it."

Dad, allow me to educate you. You have been retired for over 10 years, and before that you worked at the same job for 30 years. And it was not any kind of "office politics" environment, you were employed because of your valuable skill set (he was a pilot). I on the other hand have worked many jobs over the past 20 years, and have stayed at one particular one for 14 years. I think I know the lay of the "office politics" land a lot better, and can negotiate boundaries much better because I've had to. I know exactly what I can and can't get away with. I'm not posting inappropriate pictures. I'm not bragging about running a meth lab. I'm using the occasional swear word. I don't even do it that often, that's what kills me! Generally speaking I don't swear that much. But I do sometimes when I get excited, it's a kind of deliberate over-the-top reaction. There is no company in the entire US that would give the slightest crap about someone who gets excited and swears while watching a World Cup, unless they were extremely religious or something. And may I remind you, I JUST GOT HIRED for a job, one that entailed a strict background check. So this is about my politics, not my language. Again Dad, I know more than you about this. The firm where I work, the office culture is definitely to the right of me. But we don't talk about it much. To the extent that we do, everyone is pretty respectful. My political views are not extremist in any way and for him to express "concern" is way out of line.

Allow me to educate you again--this time about Facebook. Dad does not understand really how Facebook works.

[As an example, last summer my uncle--Dad's oldest brother--had some kind of breakdown or something. Uncle's oldest daughter, my cousin Nancy, sent out a group Facebook email to all her aunts and uncles and cousins sharing what had happened. Every one responded with "that's awful, what can we do to help?" etc. I slept in, got up late, saw the email trail and was the last to respond. "That's awful, what can I do to help?" Dad goes onto Facebook, sees this email trail in his "messages" notification, reads it and for some reason thinks I'M the one who sent this out in the first place, and that it's a POST, not a private email. He then puts me on blast in full view of everyone, "yelling" as it were at ME for violating Uncle's privacy "where everyone could see it." AT ME. At fucking me. I was flabbergasted. One of my cousins emailed me separately like "wow, he really went off on you, sorry about that." Frankly I wish Nancy had straightened him out! I tried to explain to him that 1) it was not a public post "violating Uncle's privacy" but a private email sent to family members, and 2) I didn't send it. Uncle's own daughter did. But he refused to acknowledge he'd messed up. No apology, nothing.]

So yeah, that's one way he doesn't get how FB works. Here's another--I have strict privacy settings on my FB feed. I've gotten way too many weirdos trying to friend me, not here for that shit. My settings are so strict, it's actually very difficult to friend me unless we have a friend in common! So it's unlikely any company would stumble across my feed. Also Dad doesn't get that you can hide people's posts, you can "unfollow" them so their posts don't show up in your feed. In fact I think I did that already with him, because he posted too many anti-Obama rants. Love you but I don't want to read that stuff. He sees it as me FORCING my views down his throat. Then hide it, Dad. Not a big deal. I wouldn't be offended or hurt if you did that, not at all.

He thinks of FB as some kind of after-church social hour. It's not. It's another way to have a conversation, that's all. You can keep it light, you can use it as a social or political platform, it's pretty adaptable. No one's forcing you to be part of the conversation--you don't have to read what I write. But he'd rather get angry and insist "that's not what Facebook is for"--last summer he posted this angry rant about two weeks after the Zimmerman verdict where he threatened to start unfriending people if they didn't "calm down" and stop posting about it. I mean it was so nasty, so ugly. Can you imagine? Dad, I know you don't give a shit about that case. But I see that verdict as a profound miscarriage of justice. Sorry my social conscience bothers you so much. Go ahead and unfriend me if you need to because I'm not going to stop talking about things like that. Jesus.

So, to wrap this up, two days ago my friend Allyson sends me a link, a funny "here's a doctor's note to get out of work tomorrow so you can watch the USA/German game." I responded "FUCK YEAH GO USA!!!!!" Dad comments on the link "check your email." I do and he's sent me this angry email, DISINVITING ME to come up for the Fourth. He says he "can't have that around the twins" as though I were just some Tourette's person, swearing all over the place. And snidely comments that he hopes I don't use language like that when I coach soccer and work with little kids and he can't imagine how I got the job. It was truly unbelievable--unbelievable. I'm stunned he's reacting this way to a few f-bombs.

But that's my dad. He looooves being angry, he prioritizes his anger over family. He and my other uncles stopped speaking to all his sisters--all four of them--after my grandmother's death. [As I said to my Mom, "it must be nice having so much family that you can turn your back on half of it."] Over the years the aunts tried to reach out, make amends, but he refused even when it looked like my aunt Nancy was dying. Can you imagine? It's more important that he nurture his anger than try to come to terms with your DYING sister. [She actually did recover but we literally were told she had just a few more days.] He'd rather deny me the chance to spend time with my niece and nephew so he can tell himself he's right.

The irony is, my uncle (not the one above, but the other one, Son #2--Dad is very close to him) LOVES me. He has posted many times on Facebook how proud he is of me, how special he considers me to be, how he loves hearing about my soccer and my acting and my life in general. He's actually in town right now and he and his son (my cousin) and I went out for dinner Saturday night and had a GREAT time. Uncle is so much more supportive of me than my own FATHER is. Dad has always been incredibly hard on me, alternating between distance and contempt. Examples:

*Didn't come to either my HS or college graduations (and I'm the only female cousin to graduate from college).

*When I lived with them, it was a huge struggle to get them to come to any of my games. Like I think overall they came to maybe 3-4? In three years, over 3 sports. The most hurtful thing is that I was a great athlete--I was a select soccer player (on a mostly boys team--I was one of 2 girls) and I was also nominated for a major local award, the Louise Gale Scholar Athlete Award. Of course they didn't bother to come to the ceremony.

*Over the course of my theater career, overall they've seen only 2 shows of mine. Missed productions include the 2006 (free) production of Midsummer in Central Park when they were in town already. They were already in town but just couldn't bother to come to see the production their daughter slaved over.

*Still haven't seen my new apartment that I OWN. In fact they haven't visited any of my apartments except for one in the 14 years I've lived here. They've visited Bart on Long Island many times though.

For some reason he just does not like who I am. I feel like I have to justify myself to try to figure out WHY he is so hard on me. Dad, I'm a good person. I have good friends who love me and support me. I haven't messed up--haven't done drugs, haven't been arrested, haven't done anything illegal. I try to do the right thing, I try to respect people, I try to live a conscious, questioning life. Every time I see them I am without fail enthusiastic and supportive of their lifestyle, their beautiful house, how nice it is to visit and spend time with them. Why the hell do you have such a problem with me? Why can't you love me and show that love?

I just don't get it. Very sad and tired right now.
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Final [Jun. 16th, 2014|06:17 pm]

Oh yeah. Speaking of soccer we had our final this week--we'd been undefeated in the regular season, and only conceded ONE goal (we'd scored something like 15 or 16). I'd scored quite a few of those--in fact I was tied with Zach as the highest scorer on the team. And I am still basically the only female scorer--Lindsay has scored one all year (last summer) and the others haven't scored at all. Nikki plays back so she never gets near the goal but Alyssa plays up--she could score if she had more of a killer instinct. She has to WANT it. I find myself mulling over this a lot, why good players don't score even though they'd like to. I personally think Lindsay is a better player than I, her ball skills are far superior. Why doesn't she score? She admits that she gets flustered and freezes up when she's near the goal. One of our guys, Chris, is the same way--killer dribbler and passer but doesn't shoot and he said it's because he freezes up. Fascinating.

Anyway. So since last summer (a year) I have been scoring 3 goals per season. So I expanded my personal ambitions to achieve one of 3 things--to score 4 goals per season, 2 goals in one game or score in the post-season. I achieved the latter two in the final, where we tied 1-1--I was our one and was bear-hugged when I gasped my way off the field after the score. (Scoring does take a lot out of me, I tend to come off right afterwards. Lot of concentrated energy.) Getting back to the theme of "wanting it," all game long whenever the other goalie would make a save, I would be right there as he bounced or dribbled the ball--I wouldn't just let him have his space. Finally he started getting annoyed but tried to cover it up. Him: "Ha ha, you sure are persistent, ha ha!" Me: "That's right." Him: "Ha ha, I just don't want to hit you when I kick the ball!" Me: "You let me worry about that." A few minutes later Sam shoots the ball, goalie saves it but it squirts out of his hand and I pounced upon it like a cat on the hunt. GOAL. Sweet, sweet satisfaction. It ain't pretty but it counts :) You can't EVER let them relax.

So we went to overtime--still a tie. Then it went to penalty kicks. Lindsay was sort of talked into doing the PKs (at least one kicker must be a girl) and in retrospect, I probably should've done it. I don't like doing them--too much pressure--but she didn't know how to shoot a PK so I quietly coached her (choose a corner and shoot for that, and keep it low). She ended up kicking it over the goal so it didn't go in. Now obviously I might've done that as well, anyone can make a mistake but I've trained them before. Ah well. A second place medal is nothing to sneeze at and we had a great season anyway, it's all good.
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Brunch Etc. [Jun. 16th, 2014|05:58 pm]
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Ryan came over yesterday and we did brunch al fresco. Mmmm, mimosa-hybrids (orange/mango/peach juice) and omelets with onions and avocados and provolone cheese YUM.

Afterward we went to Central park to kick the soccer ball around a bit. Ryan wants to get back into the sport and I of course am encouraging him! We worked a few drills--one-touches, give and go, trapping, etc.--and had a great time. (Last night Ryan sent me the cutest text: "Today was so much fun! Thank you!!!") This was actually good practice for me because...

I have a new job! Up til a week ago my assignment at Lazard was actually three assignments and one of them (two days a week) ended because the woman retired. So I had to make up those extra hours. Originally I was going to send out my resume--and I did spruce it up and write some killer cover letters--but one of the other people I work with her suggested to me that I apply at a company where her daughter takes soccer classes. I applied, went through several rounds of interviews and observing classes (and being observed) and such and well, got the job! I was very worried about the age factor but it doesn't seem to bother them--heck, maybe they think I'm more mature :) So I'll be working with kids anywhere from ages 2 or so up to young teens, teaching them soccer skills and basically encouraging them and indoctrinating them in the love of the game. Doesn't that sound perfect for me? I'm going to give them a shot for a season or so and see if I like it and want to stay on. If all goes well shortly I should be making even more money than I do at Lazard--most of which will go to my Roth-IRA, my savings and my mortgage, in that order :)
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Belmont Stakes [Jun. 13th, 2014|05:58 pm]
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So the Belmont Stakes was a complete bust, sadly. Obviously the main reason being that California Chrome did not win--frankly I could've overlooked everything else had we all not been disappointed AGAIN. Coburn got a lot of crap for speaking out--and certainly his timing was bad--but he was absolutely right. Don't expect us to continue to give a crap about the triple Crown when we're currently in the middle of the longest stretch ever without a winner, and the system gets more and more stacked against the favorite. It's appalling. No horse should be at the Belmont who hasn't at least run in the Preakness. As far as I'm concerned, Tonalist did not deserve the victory and everyone around me felt the same way. No one gives a shit about your empty victory, Robert Evans.

That said, Belmont Park is a disgrace. When we finally got there (we left around noon but traffic was HORRENDOUS, it took us 3.5 hours to get there), we were able to squeeze into a parking spot along the side of the road, facing against the traffic. We walked up to the entrance and once we got in, the crowds were unbelievable. Record crowds, they said, and they actually closed the lot after a while. The lines were so long for everything--15 deep for food and upwards of 30-deep for cocktails--and it was so difficult to move around, I said to hell with it. Our seats were terrific though, front row of the second tier. Time and I decided we would try to get something to eat or drink after Race 11 (THE race--there are two more races after the Belmont Stakes) to give the crowd some time to dissipate. It was hopeless, though. We walked around the facilities for a while, fruitlessly searching for something to eat. Every single booth was closing up and all these lazy shitty temp workers just shrugged. Remember, there are still two races to run so there is absolutely no excuse for their refusal. Finally we gave up and decided to brave the crush in the parking lot. We were able to find our car and then we sat there because it was way too crowded to try to turn around. Finally Tim sort of begged other drives to give him room and we were able to enter the packed mass of cars. With all that it took us nearly an hour to exit the lot because Belmont Park provided neither employees nor police officers to try to direct traffic. The truly hilarious--and by hilarious, I mean it makes me want to scream in frustration--part is that the Belmont has a DRESS CODE. UGH. This pretentious pile of bricks has the audacity to expect us to dress up and in return they refuse to feed us or help us exit the park in a timely fashion. By the time we got back to the city I was going on over 12 hours with no food! I was RAVENOUS. And at this point a lot of restaurants had stopped serving as well. Finally we found a 24 hour diner and I was able to eat. Interestingly a couple of customers came in who'd also been at the Stakes--they noticed our lanyards with our tickets and said hi. They told us that the train was even worse--they were waiting on the platform for [b]hours[/b]. Guys, you've had over a hundred years at this--you really should know how to handle the big crowds better than this. Triple Crown threats happen all the time, they're not uncommon at all. Get your shit together, especially if you want us to dress up.

Tim and I decided that if we go next year, we get there at the crack of dawn and eat at the Clubhouse. And park in valet parking so we can get out easily.
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Reunion '14 [Jun. 6th, 2014|12:11 pm]
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Reunion was a lot of fun. Took me far too long to get there as I was caught in Friday afternoon traffic which was AWFUL--at several points I literally didn't move for several minutes which was pretty maddening. But the time I finally cleared 66 things finally cleared up and I was golden after that. And the drive was lovely as the sun was going down. But still, didn't get on campus until nearly 10. ARGH. By that time everyone was nicely drunk and almost ready to go to bed. So I ended up staying up and chatting with '84ers (who were, oddly, English and theater majors so we had a lot to talk about). At one point I was stepping away and one of them came after me saying what class are you again? I said '89. She asked me HOW old are you? I told her--she was blown away. She said you carry your age VERY well! I said it's all the soccer I play :)

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through Fletcher (home of the English Department so I had to take a peek--they now have a Medieval/Renaissance Studies minor WHERE WAS THIS WHEN I WAS THERE),

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into the new addition to the library, a balcony that juts out like the bow of the Titanic, and through a few other places. I had a ride scheduled at 1:30 but there was also a luncheon which I attended (wearing riding gear) which was a mistake--it was all alumnae honors and they only served a chicken salad. I ducked out early and went up to the barn which is looking GORGEOUS.

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My ride wasn't as fun as it could've been, frankly. They gave me a dud horse who just did not want to go out--I do better at controlling crazy horses who want to GO even if it's too fast, than urging on lazy horses, especially if they're horses and not ponies (horses are bigger which means I have less leg relative to the size of their girth, which gives me less leverage).

Me on Zip
See how short my leg is on him? Legs are an acceleration aid--if he doesn't feel my leg that much, it's easier for him to ignore my signals. My posture is horrible in this picture, BTW.

So from the start I'm in the back trying to pick up the speed of this horse's walk with limited success. Ten minutes in and my thighs are aching from trying to wake up this horse, misnamed Zip. I was giving him so much leg, my KNEE was even hurting, really in pain. Meanwhile the guide is chattering away to the other two riders, one of whom wasn't even an alum, he was a husband--not that I mind about that, certainly, but if anyone should've been stuck in back unable to participate in the conversation, it should've been a non-alum. The guide thought my stirrups needed to be adjusted but that wasn't really the problem--Zip didn't want to be out there! At one point the guide was saying how passive-aggressive this horse was and then "if I were on him he'd pick it up for me but he's testing you." Okay, now it is ON. Do not throw out darts like that. If you think that, why don't we switch mounts then? So I can get the damn ride I paid for?

And then she started making corrections. Lots of them. Sit up, Clara, sit back, Clara, loosen the reins [uh, gathering the reins is a commonly understood signal to pick up the pace], Clara blah blah blah. I bore this fairly patiently (because it was obvious that she was a very good rider) and then the horse spooked a bit (we were passing by a couple of observers, one of whom raised his arm and startled Zip). I got him under control but a minute later Zip spooked again, more violently, and I had a time getting him under control. Guide sees this and is just FULL of corrections and I'm starting to get annoyed. I'm not the most experienced rider ever--there are many, many riders better than me--but I HAVE been riding uneven terrain for more than 20 years and I've never been thrown or lost my seat. If anything I like the horse better when he's challenging me like this--it's certainly more interesting than his plodding along. She asked me lots of questions about the incident and I told her he actually spooked a bit earlier and I'd handled it. Then a little later we're crossing over a big wet mud patch with water and her horse takes a slight jump over it (instead of walking through) and she said something about it. When Zip gets to the puddle he hesitates and she tells me don't look down, that's blah blah blah and finally I snapped "I was looking down because Zip was trying to decide if he wanted to jump or not, and I wanted to be prepared." Implication: I know what I'm doing. That shut her up. And then a little later she complimented me for not losing my cool when Zip was spooking. And then after that she asked if I'd ever hunted (as in ridden to hounds, not as in with a gun on foot)--which means she must think I'm a decent rider after all? Truly annoying though. But even annoying riding is better than no riding. The ride back was actually decent and he listened to me.

Went to the bookstore after this and was a little disappointed with the selection. I was hoping to get a polo shirt but they only had them in men's sizes. Uh, can I point out to you that Sweet Briar is a very preppy college--a polo shirt is a pretty sure thing, guys. Just saying. I ended up getting a lemon yellow Sweet Briar tee which I will probably take in.

There was a dinner and dance that evening but a bunch of us opted out and went for Thai instead which was fun. Then afterward we all hung out in our hospitality suite and drank. My group of friends tends to dominate Reunion because a lot of us show up, and the others who are there are kind of singles (without their SBC friends), so I try to reach out to my classmates whom I don't know that well, so they don't feel left out. So I got to connect with Aubrey, a classmate who runs marathons.

We stayed up quite late which ended up being a mistake as I'd signed up to sing in the alumnae choir for the memorial service the next morning. I had to scramble to get breakfast (for which I was not hungry but it WAS a Sweet Briar breakfast in all its Southern glory and deliciousness, including biscuits and gravy) and crawled into the chapel.


In the end I was glad though--less than half of those who'd signed up actually showed up, and of us few there were only 2 first sopranos, and the other one didn't read music. So it was a good thing--like, it would not have sounded nearly as good if I hadn't been there, to be brutally frank. The other girl just was not learning it until she heard me. Oh also, the Director of Development (who'd taken me out to dinner a few weeks ago) came over to say hey.

After this I walked over to Babcock, the performing arts center which also houses the music department.

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As we were walking through the music department I told Beth about my theory final junior year--it was the hardest final I had so I'd saved it for last (Sweet Briar has unproctored, unscheduled exams because of our honor code). The night before I'd planned to make the big push studying but when I got back to my room, my roommate was having a mini-party, my Mom called, one thing led to another and I ended up drinking QUITE a bit of peppermint schnappes and forgetting to set my alarm. I woke up ten minutes before the exam started, RAN down to Babcock and threw myself into my seat. I had to leave the room three times to yak and to this day I cannot abide the stuff. However I did get an A on the exam :)

As we walked through a woman came out and greeted me--she was the accompanist for the memorial service and I greeted her по-русски saying Здравствуйте! (The music director had told us she was Ukrainian.) Her face lit up--she said yes, she was Ukrainian but her native tongue was Russian, did I speak it? I said no, just a tiny bit. We had a nice chat, she complimented me on my voice, and I introduced Beth. As Beth and I walked back I told her how initially I'd regretted signing up for the choir--I really would rather have enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with my friends--but afterward I was glad. I said I take what I can do so lightly, I just assume everyone can do it, but really no, they can't. A lot of people cannot sing and even a lot of singers cannot read music, much less sight-sing. It really is a gift (of course backed up by years and years of training) and I need to remember that and share it when appropriate. (I don't mean force it on people, I mean at a time like this, when they need singers and musicians.) I told Beth the story about having to reteach N**** the music for the Shakespeare concert, she was properly horrified.

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The drive back was MUCH easier than the drive down, thank you Jesus. And beautiful too in the daytime--that road is just gorgeous. Imagine it in the fall, it puts you to sleep, it's so lovely. I do love New York but man, do I miss Virginia sometimes.
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The plates came yesterday! [May. 16th, 2014|02:49 pm]
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And they are indeed lovely. Four dinner plates in bone china, made by Lenox. Gorgeous!
Now I can entertain like a lady.

Ugh, weather is awful--I do not want to play in the rain, I'm hoping the game tonight gets cancelled. At least my game tomorrow morning is cancelled so I can sleep in.

So the new Star Trek reboot has gone downhill already. It started with the sequel, Into Darkness--when I realized a rebooted version of Khan was the villain, I was all "they're going back to the old stories already? They couldn't come up with a new story? Seriously?" And the director of the new one that's coming out soon is some kind of conspiracy theorist, a 9/11 "truther." Oh Lord. Save us from wild-eyed nutters. Apparently he'd woven his conspiracy crap into ST2 (he wrote the screenplay), it just went over my head because I found it pretty boring. Like anti-vaxxers, truthers (and birthers and gun nuts and Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists) make my head explode. They absolutely refuse to listen to reason, to acknowledge facts, and I just can't with that shit. I just PRAY they don't allow this Orci dude anywhere near my beloved Star Wars reboot. Ain't nobody gonna fuck with my childhood.

So here's an interesting story about Chipotle shareholders voting down an executive package. Okay, all well and good--God knows exec compensation is out of control. But look at this sentence: Chipotle shares were down 2.1 percent at $493.88 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange. THEY'RE AT ALMOST $500 PER SHARE. Six months ago they were at 300!! What the FUCK? How are they pulling that? They're not Google, with infinite possibilities. They're not even GM or Ford. They make one product--burritos. They're terrific burritos but still. I just don't get why their stock is valued so highly.
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(no subject) [May. 15th, 2014|12:15 pm]
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The Preakness is this Saturday--Tim and I are gonna watch it at a seafood place near Rock Center. It's called City Lobster--it's kind of pricy but the crabcakes are really yummy. I have a soccer game tomorrow and then another one Saturday morning, plus softball that afternoon.

So I signed up for reunion and apparently everyone who signed up before some kind of deadline was entered into a drawing and I found out last week that I'd won the drawing. The prize is a set of four plates:

I think this is them. Aren't they lovely? All my friends were emailing and Facebooking me with congratulations. I didn't even know I'd been entered! Someone asked me if I was going to mount them on the wall--no way. I curate very carefully what I want on my walls, I'm going for minimalism. But I will definitely use them. Maybe I could host a dinner party?

Looking forward to reunion. I switched around my work schedule so I can leave earlier and get there earlier--I'm planning to arrive by 7 or so. PICTURES.

Oh, and I had an interesting dinner last week. When I sent in my registration forms, I also signed a non-binding letter of intent to name Sweet Briar in my will. As poor as I am now, when I pay off that mortgage I will be sitting on a pile of money. That neighborhood is only going to get better, and 20 years from now it will be worth quite a bit. And I don't have kids (although I do have two nieces and nephews and yes, I will cut them in ;) so I have to think what I want to do. And I love Sweet Briar, so I'm happy to name them.

I got an IMMEDIATE response--the director of development emailed me and invited me out to dinner (she was planning to come up to NYC). We ate at the Sea Grill (very nice!) and she absolutely pumped me for feedback about Sweet Briar. What is my most lasting impression, why did I love it, how did it help me in my career, etc. etc. I realized that I actually had a useful platform. And when she was telling me I could structure the gift any way I liked (slush fund, 25% to theater, whatever), I started talking about the state of higher education. I said I'm very concerned about the spiraling costs and the race to the top with college costs. Especially for someone whose entire adult life is a paean to the humanities--when college costs are through the roof it restricts people's choices. It becomes ridiculously impractical to consider majoring in music or English or history when you're trapped under the burden of student loans. But college isn't vocational school--you shouldn't be trapped into having to major in something practical like pre-med or business. I said it's very important to me that we have a strong financial aid program with forgivable loans and merit scholarships (such as I had).

Anyway we had a great conversation. I think she was trying to work out who I was, because I definitely look much younger than most of my class. But, at the risk of sounding conceited, I think I impressed her.
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Sports [May. 5th, 2014|06:58 pm]
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Had a fun weekend, filled with sports. Friday night my Dolphman team had a game and I got there super-early. I figured I'd either catnap or get picked up for a game and either would energize me for my game. The latter happened--in fact two teams were short their required number of female players so they both approached me. Yay, got to pick up an extra game! Then it was time for my own team's game which we won quite handily, 4-0. I scored the first goal, quite inelegantly (Brian threw in the ball and the goalie was out of position--the ball was bouncing kind of high so I just kind of...walked through it. Inelegant but it still counts :) Then I assisted on the next goal--Zach and I were driving toward the goal, I passed it to him, he scored. Nice and easy. Loving it because this is our best season ever--we're undefeated with a huge goal differential--after our worst season which was this past winter. Not sure why since we have basically the same players but there it is!

It's a good thing that game went so well because I had another one Saturday morning for a team that needs females and offered me a shirt. This team--oh my Lord. We were SLAUGHTERED. Absolutely horrible. 13-1. We have some decent players but, unusually for this league, some genuinely terrible ones. There's one girl who just does not belong on a soccer field. And there's one guy who's pretty awful as well. Just cannot kick the ball. I relieved some of my frustration by throwing body checks all over the place but frankly I'd rather we not lose so badly!

Saturday afternoon I played softball, and then I had another game yesterday evening. Oh, and Saturday evening I went down to a place way downtown called Whiskey Tavern to cheer on California Chrome for the Kentucky Derby. Lots of sports!
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The weekend [May. 2nd, 2014|11:33 am]
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So the concert actually went quite well. N**** came over Friday night and we drilled the living hell out of her shaky parts--we drilled so long I was worried I wouldn't have a voice the next day. Girl just does not read music and isn't really that musical (like she does not have the instincts of a singer. Some of this is knowledge and some you're just born with). I figured out at one point she was adding counts because she thought that the fragmented measure that accompanies a cautionary key change (when there's a new system and the key changes, the composer will add a key change at the end of the previous system to alert whoever's playing/singing that the key is about to change, like this:

She thought that was its own measure and was adding counts. Anyway so I worked her through this and DRILLED. (I found out from Donna the next day that she'd basically told Donna she could read music and work on her own which obviously was not the truth. Donna was pretty annoyed.) She sounded okay on Saturday--still a little shaky (from nerves more than anything) but she didn't blow it. I felt very good about my music even though I'd kind of risked it since I'd been unable to turn down a soccer game that morning (although I forced myself not to yell). (And oh my God! I brought some oatmeal and ate it on the train and stuff the container in my bag which of course overturned on the way to the game and vomited oatmeal ALL OVER my stuff. Nice.) But it all went well and Donna was telling me that she'd heard some nice reactions to my soli. (I will admit, I know how to nail Come Away Death and The Willow Song.)

And my aunt was in town! One of my Dad's four younger sisters, my aunt Clarissa--and she's my godmother as well. After my game I ran over to Penn Station and picked her up and we took the train up to Inwood for the performance. So she got to hear me sing! Afterward she treated me to a Broadway show and we decided to see The Bridges of Madison County. I haven't read the book or seen the movie and dozed off *several* times during the first act. So perhaps some of this escaped me but I had a hard time figuring out why she had this affair when she wasn't really unhappy in her marriage. Clarissa explained some of it to me but I think perhaps the movie would do a better job--I think movies are better for communicating intimacy. I don't know. The score was certainly gorgeous and the guy who played Kincaid was terrific (and he was the standby! I think he went up on the lyrics during his last number but he was still great). Kelli O'Hara has an absolutely lovely voice but I did think she was a little mannered portraying an Italian (the hands).

Criss also gave me some family artifacts like--this is wild--my Dad's teddy bear from CHILDHOOD. Daddy gave it to her when he went off to boarding school and asked her to keep it safe for him--she has kept it all these years and now gave it to me. It is now thoroughly battered and well-loved. I put him next to Paddington and they can be friends. She said I could either return it to Daddy or keep it--I think the latter, I'm worried he won't take it from her (my Dad and his brothers are in the middle of a huge feud with my aunts. They haven't communicated in years).
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