There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hurricanes, Music, More

First, Hurricanes

You probably know that yesterday was the anniversary of Katrina hitting New Orleans and a huge swath of the Gulf Coast. You hear a lot about how things are getting back under control, how rebuilding has occurred, etc. But, for the poor, elderly or simply unlucky, things aren't so great. I'd encourage you to read this account from a former resident whose knitting blog I have followed for a long time, with photos and personal stories. We need to remember these people, and help if we can. I know folks from my church have gone down to help on weekends, and my dad has done so, too.

I have always loved Louisiana, especially the coastal parts and the Cajun culture, stemming from when I married into it briefly. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama...these are not wealthy parts of the US. There are so many people who have always lived simply on not much money. It's hard to recover when you don't have any back-up. (And as someone struggling to get myself a nest egg, only to be hit by unexpected expenses every time I do, I think there but for pure luck go I.)

Now Music

I went to the first church choir meeting for the fall last night. We had 5 altos and one of each other part. One alto (reluctantly) went to sing tenor. One sang soprano (a visiting recent high school grad with a lovely voice, but she's off to Stanford in a week or two). I sang loudly to help the two new people, one of which will need a bit of help with pitch--which we are always glad to do. But that meant a lot of loud singing on low notes. The choir director was POUNDING the notes and I was blasting them at the new people.

After song #1 I traded with High School Graduate, and she blasted the next song, while I went and sang with the one soprano who showed up, luckily the woman with great pitch. Ahhhh. it was nice to trade off like that. It's hard to keep on your notes when someone's a-wanderin'

But the good thing was that I suddenly realized I was singing quite vigorously on notes such as "E" the one above high C. The one I did NOT have a few weeks ago. YAY! I can sing again! And I still have the E two octaves down, too!

Why this matters is that, you may recall, I've had singing "issues" the past few years. For some reason, being a reasonably good singer has been important to me most of my life. It's what makes me "me" in my mind--part of my persona. Being the star of the high school choir is what kept my self esteem up in those years, when otherwise I felt ugly and unpopular (I was neither, in retrospect). And later, I have enjoyed harmony singing so much, and enjoyed being a leader in the choir. (I do realize I am not a great singer, just a very good one--but it's enough to count as "good" where I am now, or in a high school.)

Jeff messed up my singing esteem for quite a long time. I am not a trained singer--the only instruction I've received is from choir directors, but I do know how to breathe, blend, read music and support myself. But Jeff was so caught up in proving he is a great singer that he put me down a lot. Told me how nasal I was (funny, no one else says that), how I didn't do this and that, how I should not think of singing professionally because I am such an amateur in quality. Yadda yadda. So, I stopped for a while. Even stopped choir for almost a year. He feels bad about it now, but it messed me up.

So, feeling able to sing in my trio again, or with Lee, or in choir is a sign I am doing better. And auditioning for the community chorus without feeling inadequate is another sign. I am so glad that the vocal issues appear to have just been allergies, not something else. Yay. Singing makes me feel good. I am glad I can sing, and am FINE with singing at the level I do. It's enough to bring joy.

And School

I think the kids are settling into school better. Beccano had to fight a bit to get his schedule worked out, but it is now, and I hope he will locate all his classes and make it from now on. I contacted his counselor and asked her to please straighten things out, after someone told him he had to go through a bunch of rigmarole to fix his schedule--the school messed it up--they were supposed to be bending over backwards to put him in the right band and elective.

We also had some issues with getting to and from school, but I think those are resolved, too. Now if we can just get all the weekend activities done and not interfere too much with paternal visits, all will be well.

Then Jobs

Lee did have an interview yesterday, where I work now. That would be fun, but who knows if he'll get it. You just never know what people are looking for. I was surprised at what an in-depth interview he got. Mine was minimal. They wanted a writing sample, but, oops, Lee hadn't grabbed any before he was escorted away. I hope he can get something. I knew when I was leaving ALE, so I saved a few things that were generic and bland for samples. And heck, they gave me a book with the training I developed on my own, so that is a handy sample.

At least Lee's old house really is sold. It really will close next week. Wow. I wish I could have helped him fix it up, but really, it's a better use of our resources to fixate on one house only. We can look forward and maybe get something to fix up that is all ours at some point. Nice to be able to plan for a future.

Finally, Irritation

I got extra irritated at a private email list of people formerly and currently associated with the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization yesterday, when someone (not a list owner) sort of ordered the members to not talk about something. On a list with no restrictions. Now, some of you know that I have been ordered to not talk about something by people in my former organization before, and that really pisses me off. I don't work there any more, anyway, so if I wanted to say a certain six-letter acronym over and over, I could. I think I can talk to my friends about topics that interest me or matter to me a lot (though, actually, I have not said a word on the current hot topic on that list--just sitting back and laughing my posterior off at grown women being treated like naughty children: "If you won't play with the toys we gave you the way we want you to, we will just take them away!" ). I guess censorship is still one of my touchy issues, even when I am self-censoring mightily.


Robin said...

I's so glad you have your voice back. Because I, too, get so much pleasure from singing, I can empathize!

Sam said...

I am so glad you are back to feeling confident in your singing and finding places to sing. As someone who proudly boasts of possessing one of your CDs I am EXTRA excited that others get to enjoy the wonder of your beautiful voice.

Stephanie said...

Sing out sister! I too am proud of you for overcoming stuff that makes you question your ability. And I empathize heavily. (Did I mention that when I said I'd like to sing at baby BIL's wedding this fall my dh asked me if I was really capable of such a thing? Oy. So I paid for a private voice lesson with a music teacher I know just to have a professional say "you would not embarrass yourself in public to sing this song." Oy again.)

As for unmentionable subjects, I don't get that. Seems we should be well beyond such silliness. The "current hot topic" has come up on a local list where I lurk and it sure is interesting to watch people kick and fuss in their confusion. Thank goodness we have other things to focus on these days, eh?