Category Archives: Choir

December’s Audio Books Et Cetera

I’m fighting a migraine and it’s my birthday (12/30) as I write this and I’m waiting for my requested birthday dinner of 5 Guys, Burgers and Fries but my stomach is a little queasy from the migraine so no fair. December has not been kind to me. I’ve got a mystery bug that sent me in a panic to the neurologist after I almost passed out on stage while singing in the Tucson Girls Chorus 30th Anniversary concert. I thought for sure my MS was in one hell of a relapse but my MRI was clean, so the neuro tested me for an evil virus which I was sure I was dying from but that came back negative so the neuro sent me to my primary care doc and turned the mystery over to her. I see her next month. the neuro thinks I’ve got a bug that’s exacerbating normal MS symptoms like fatigue and dizziness. I get super breathless and light headed with the slightest of elevation changes. I’ll have a day of feeling better and then the next day I’m back to square one. Sitting in a normal chair is difficult since I feel like I’m going to topple out of it. I worked on my novel in the first part of the month after taking a week to recover from NaNoWriMo, then this bug hit and I’ve been useless. That’s about all I’m going to say on that right now since I’m fighting a depression that would love to grab hold while I’m weak so let’s move on to books, shall we? Oh, I checked my stat counter today to give me the motivation to care about this post and you’re still reading, so I’ll keep writing. comment sometimes, will ya? I’m fragile. tee hee. A ear end book recap/top ten list is coming at the beginning of next year.

*Seven books this month*

106. “The Twelve: A Novel” (The Passage Trilogy book 2) by Justin Cronin – narrated by Scott Brick

finished December 31

Ok so I really don’t think I’ll be finished with this on December 31 but it’ll be damn close and it’s a long book, as was the first book in this trilogy, so I’m counting it since I’m over half finished as of today, the 30th. Book two has been so much better than book one, which was good but very draggy. Lots of blood. Lots and lots of blood. Not quite your typical post apocalyptic. The third book is out next year and I’ll definitely read it to see how the trilogy concludes. And, Scott Brick. Need I say more?

Ok now I’m writing this on December 31 and last night the book started having an X-Files feel. Oooooh! Government conspiracy in the apocalypse? yes please!

Ok so it’s December 31 and I’ll be finishing this book tonight. I haven’t been able to put it down all day.

@jccronin

105. “The Passage” (The Passage Trilogy book 1) by Justin Cronin – narrated by Scott Brick, link Adenrele Ojo and link Abby Craden

Finished December 26

After I tied Ricardo up and made him read my favorite zombie trilogy back-to-back, he told me about this series, narrated by Scott Brick so I decided to read it since it’s Scott Brick and I kinda felt bad for abusively forcing Ricardo into that zombie series even though he did like it.

‘passage’ was good but after the first part, I was very angry and I can’t say why because spoilers but the book redeemed itself and I stopped being angry. Ricardo said he liked the second book better and I have to agree. This book was super laggy with navel gazing, a publishing term I just learned from my friend Lauren which means talking about stuff that doesn’t matter. On and on some passages (hey, passages, the Passage har har) went. Just get on with it, I thought often. It was a good book though. Very reminiscent of Stephen King’s “The Stand” but with a lot more blood. A lot.

The two female narrators read brief segments, the second of which being diary entries. As a warning to the listener, Scott Brick interrupts the second woman with things like, missing pages or illegible, and it made me jump to hear his voice suddenly haha.

good book, but there were times I wanted to skip through or just stop reading all together. Be patient, and I don’t think you’ll be sorry if you like bloody post apocalyptic thrillers.

104. “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” (Daughter of Smoke and Bone book 1) by Laini Taylor – narrated by Khristine Hvam

Finished December 17

I put off reading the Justin Cronin books because my friend Lauren wanted me to read this with her and would you believe it, she kept stopping reading it? I mean, my goodness. She’s reading it again now though which is good since I can’t wait to talk about it.

This book reminded me a lot of Diana Rowland’s kara Gillian series, but for young adults. It has an awesome fantasy element, angels and demons in an urban setting, with portals into other places. Oh and the protagonist has bright blue hair and tattoos. What’s not to love? the writing is absolutely exquisite, with passages that made my breath catch in my chest they were so hauntingly beautiful. then in the next breath, the characters would do something funny. It’s the perfect balance of beauty, humor, magic, world building and character development. I can’t wait for the next two books, which I bought with iTunes gift cards my uncle and aunt gave me for Christmas and my birthday. Weee!

Just wait until you find out what the wishbone is for…oh and the teeth…

This book is the closest to my novel that I’ve read since I began writing it back in November, well except for the achingly beautiful prose which mine doesn’t have yet in this first draft. Muahhaha!

@lainitaylor

103. “Champion” (Legend book 3) by Marie Lu – narrated by Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern

Finished December 14

What an excellent trilogy! Bleak dystopia, heart breaking romance, awesome narration and the most epic fighter jet scene I think I’ve ever read in a book. Highly, highly recommend this trilogy if you like YA.

102. “Prodigy” (Legend book 2) by Marie Lu – narrated by Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern

Finished December 10

Wait, the epic fighter jet scene, that was in this book, not book three. Why, why do I not write stuff about these books right as I finish them? I seem to remember at least jotting down notes. My brain this month, blame my brain.

I think all I’ve got is so good, go read, so good haha. click the links I provide to Audible and read about the books there, what do you think I am, a publisher’s summary blog? Haha! Ok I think I need dinner. Loopy much? Books? What? Oh right, books. I think the first book in this trilogy is in November’s book post.

101. “Kill Shot” (Icarus book 1) by Aria Michaels – narrated by Rhiannon Angell

finished December 9

This was a daily deal and I wish Kate Rudd had narrated. It screamed for her voice. the narrator was ok but there were two characters she did super high pitched that made my brain throb.

It was an entertaining read, though several times i found myself thinking, was this book self published? There was a glaring error of continuity at one point, where these teenagers are hunkered down in the basement of the high school after this solar flare causes all hell to break loose, and they’re in the basement for days. When the protagonist has to venture out she thinks to herself how different everything looks from when they walked to school that morning. *record scratching sound* Nooooo, back up and read what you wrote. Didn’t realize they’d be in the basement that long or something?

turns out the novel was self published. the reviews on the book are from people who were asked to review the book by the narrator. It all makes sense. I’ve got nothing against self publishing, but I’d like to see this book and the sequel get a traditional publisher and professional editors. Just a good polishing and this book would shine.

Ooooh, I did jot a one word note on this book: anyways. The characters kept saying it and that word is one of my pet peeves. Also, everyone kept saying the protagonist’s name. How are you feeling, name? How’s the weather, name? Name, what should we do now? And not her full name. Her nickname. It got so old! I still enjoyed the book though; I can’t lie.

@AriaMichaelsYA

100. “A Dangerous Fortune” by Ken Follett – narrated by Michael Page

Finished December 5

Ken Follett at his best, wow. This was such a good book. This book takes us into the inner workings of the banking world of the late 1800’s. It shows what happens when families have too much power and will do anything, anything, to keep it. Ricardo recommended this book and I could not put it down. Excellent!

***

Happy New Year and happy wedding day to Evan Longoria!

@Evan3Longoria Anyone who says they weren’t nervous on their wedding day is a liar! It’s a great kind of nervous! Excited to see my bride @jaimeedmondson. from Twitter for iPhone Dec 31, 2015, 12:07:17 PM

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Filed under 2015 Monthly Audio Book Lists, Audio books, birthday, Choir, doc, evan longoria, family, gratitude, humor as coping skill, iTunes, new year, rambles, spoons, twitter me this, writing

Here, have a post (Title stolen from the Vomit Comet)

I have a blog post by my Twitter friend Morgan I want to plug but I need to remember to blog earlier in the day. It’s only 7:30 and I’m so ready for bed. I want to give her post my full energy so it will have to wait. It’s so cool! Maybe I’m just being mean and making baseball fans wait.

I recently finished Stephen King’s new book, “11-22-63”. Incredible book, just incredible. I don’t have enough brain power to really write it up but I’ll just say I loved it and had an intense desire to read “IT” again. I first read that book in fourth grade, then again in eighth and I’ve wanted it in audio for awhile now. Unfortunately Stephen King books are very expensive. I wasn’t sure I wanted to use an Audible credit on it since I only get one a month, but B saved the day today, showing up with a $25 gift card for iTunes. I’m currently downloading “IT” and got it for nine bucks. Sweet! He also got me a speaker for my iPhone, which makes books sound so much better. I’ve been just holding my phone and using the built in speaker, but that makes a very tiny sound. B’s co-worker got us a Music Bullet and I’ve enjoyed hearing my books on that at night, so B decided an actual speaker would be nice. I’m really going to appreciate the volume buttons on it, that’s for sure. When you turn up the volume on the audio book on the phone, the screen reader gets louder too, which is rather annoying.

That’s a really long story to explain that I’m very much looking forward to going to bed. I’m almost done with “A Separate Peace”, so I might begin “IT” tonight.

I experimented with taking my new med this morning. My doc recommended that I take it at night since it can make you drowsy. I felt like I was wasting all my pain relief on sleep though and I haven’t gotten very sleepy at night on it. I can’t tell if it made me sleepy today or not, since I’ve had to rest my back today. Laying around on the heating pad and taking a long bath are rather relaxing activities, so I might just be sleepy from that. I also managed to do yoga this morning. My back had definitely tightened up over night so the yoga helped stretch me out again.

The injury is definitely healing. The pain is getting smaller, if that makes any sense. That’s a big relief. I’m still being uber careful though, and poor Jayden is being a champ about being patient with me.

Speaking of Jayden, I got the holiday greetings from GDB today. It was so cool! My eyes definitely misted a few times. I got to hear my field rep and my main class instructor! Yay! There were many others of course, several I talked to while at school. I was hoping to hear from Mr. Bad News since his wife was pregnant while I was in class, but he wasn’t featured. Jayden was curled up with me on the couch when I got the email, so he got lots of loving. Just about every other person said something like, “give your dog a hug from me” so Jay got even more attention than normal.

It made me wish I had recorded some kind of holiday greeting this week while I had time alone in the house. I thought about singing the song I sang solo in while in that choir, but I don’t have the music track anymore. Why did I delete that!?!? I have the CD somewhere, but who knows where. Oh well.

Blogging every day has been great and I’m happy to have a record of the last month and a half but it’s certainly not helping me write fiction. It’s like the fiction writer in me has fled. Although, maybe once I get used to this med and stop being miserable physically, that will help? Who knows.

I do know that as soon as I’m feeling better I have to attack this house. I haven’t cleaned in days. Sitting around and doing nothing for days on end is wearing on me. I’m usually at least somewhat active every day. This too shall pass. This is probably my body’s way of saying hey, let’s chill for awhile, ok? Sound good? Ok, I’ll listen.

Speaking of the body, Applebee’s healthy menu rocks!! I had a stake and shrimp dinner tonight and oh was it heaven, mmm. And from the healthy menu! Yay! Tomorrow won’t be such healthy food hehe! Dinner with my family. Can’t wait!

Ok, tomorrow I will blog about Morgan’s post during the day when I’m not half asleep. Want a hint? It’s another Q&A with baseball players on Twitter. Did you miss her first one? I blogged about it here. And if you follow that link and then the link within that post you’ll go to Morgan’s blog and you can check out her latest post if you don’t want to wait for me to get around to blogging it. 😉

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Filed under Audio books, Choir, family, GDB, gratitude, iPhone, iTunes, Jayden, misty eyes, num num food, random stuff, screen reader, spoons, twitter me this, writing, yoga

This that and the other thing

Ahhhhh….that’s the noise one makes when things start getting done, the feeling of being overwhelmingly busy begins to subside and life starts looking a little normal again.

I’m waiting to update on Jayden until I get a phone call, so that will be in a Diaries post. I just wanted to update on where I’ve been, since I know I’ve been a bit absent.

Aside from worrying about Jayden all week, I’ve been working on the F2K writing course I mentioned briefly here. It’s been a lot of fun exploring my creativity in a fictional sense, since here everything is fact. I was talking to Georgie about it and telling her how weird it is that characters are just taking chape, seemingly with no real work from me. I suppose it helps that my female character is based a lot on me. The first assignment was to have the character write about me from her perspective. I was able to have her talk about herself in tandem with talking about me, and what came out is that she’s like the old me, the negative me, the dark me. She’s the part of me that is in the past, demons not dealt with. My maile character is turning into more of the present me, with solutions to life’s problems, an inner light, a strong sense of spirituality. It was so crazy to read back what I had written, to see who these people are becoming, and now I can’t wait to explore more and find out exactly what their setting is. I have ideas of course, but if the first lesson taught me anything, it’s that my ideas will morph and twist and become something I never expected. Georgie said I should post my assignments on my blog, but I don’t think I will. The class setting is pretty protected from theft, but a blog? Yeah, not gonna trust that. So many people have told me I should write a book about my life, based on what they’ve read here and while the thought intrigued me, it didn’t excite me like my fictional characters have. So, maybe I am supposed to write a book, but maybe it’ll be a fictional one.

Aside from that, I went to a rehearsal for a choir last Monday, but we’re not sure it’s going to go anywhere. It’s a completely different style than I’m used to. It’s Afro Cuban, done in a call and response style. The lyrics are learned by repetition and memorization, and they are not english haha! It was a lot of fun, but we’ll see if it continues.

I’ve been pretty isolated lately. I’m not really sure if it’s my doing or not. I mean I’m still going to Saavi and stuff, but obviously the last week we were pretty home bound while Jayden was sick.

I guess I’m talking more about getting out and being with friends. I think I’ve hit another impass in my life, where it comes to how I handle my sobriety. I have an incredibly strong relationship with my God and my spirituality. I practice the principles of what I’ve learned in my recovery program. I do these things by nature now, because I love what they’ve made me. I love who I am today, so why would I want to stop? It has become less about staying sober and more about continuing to be the person I want to be. Which actually is all about staying sober, because by doing these things and being happy with myself, there’s no reason to even want to pick up a drink.

The thing is, I’ve started getting some judgement for the way I do these things. I don’t do it the “typical” way. I don’t go to meetings every day anymore, like I used to. It’s not that I’ve chosen not to, but with my special circumstances, I’ve had to adapt my sobriety to fit with my limitations. I talk to another alcoholic daily, heck, I live with one. I’m surrounded by recovery 24 hours a day, not just for an hour in a meeting. The problems I’m running into are other people in the fellowship not being open minded at all that it can work this way too. I know their judgement comes from a place of love, but it’s just misguided, and if anything, it makes me want to run from the rooms, which is a sad commentary. I’ve talked with the people who know me best, B, Carol, Georgie and Erik, and they’ve all assured me that what I’m doing is working just fine. Georgie and I were talking about how you just need life experience to make you really see that there are different ways, and before I had mine, I was one of those who thought it had to be done n a meeting every day too. Carol and I were talking about pre and post spiritual experience, and how everyone intuits that differently. I’m feeling much better now after talking to these people, and I’ve always known I was right with God, and that matters more to me than anyone’s opinion. I just needed to hear it from others who value God in the same why I do, to fully accept that I’m doing just fine.

I have done some back sliding in the things I worked on in therapy, though. Namely my self esteem and confidence have taken some major blows and I had worked so hard to build those things up. My therapist had graduated me back in August, and I need to get in to see her again. There are just certain things that the steps and the fellowship can’t fix, that outside help has been the best for.

I had definitely fallen into a bit of a depression in the last couple weeks, and it’s not usually until I’m about to come out of it that I can recognize it and go, oh! That’s why I was so blue! Haha! So things are looking up there and when I get back to my therapist, she’ll be able to narrow it all down even more.

When I start taking on projects galore, I know I’m trying to step away from my own little reality. Not to say I’m trying to escape, but when I get uncomfortable, I’ll take on something different. Which is actually a good thing, in my opinion. As they say, pain is the cornerstone of spiritual growth, and for me, that takes shape in several different ways.

I’m really enjoying the autism series. I got really behind in posting daily, but I got caught up today. I’m just making the number on the autism label match the date. I was starting to wonder if anyone was reading the series because I’m not getting comments aside from Katrin, who really adds to the material. But I looked at my stat counter today, and people are reading and following the links, so that makes me happy. The whole point of the series is to help people become aware and I hope it’s helping that it’s all in one place and written for the layman. I’m really excited for tomorrow’s post, because I have a guest poster! You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to read it. 🙂

So, that’s where I’ve been. I’m settling in to the writing course, and can’t wait for the next lesson to be posted on Wednesday. I’m so surprised at the feedback I’m getting. Someone told me I’m good at “turn of phrase” which I had to ask what that even means, and I’m still not even sure haha! People have said my writing was poetic. Wow. Never would have thought that. Hopefully some day I’ll be able to share it with you all. I’m already thinking about the audio book narrators hahaha!!

A Diaries post is coming soon, promise.

Oh haha, I have to mention that B is out buying me a new belt right now. I was going to go with him, but don’t want to take Jayden out yet, so we measured my old belt so he can get a smaller one. I’ve had that belt since about 2002 and it finally needs to be replaced with a smaller one. *grin* So happy!

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Filed under accomplishment, Choir, faith, fellowship, I might be a writer, Jayden, plugs, sobriety, therapy

Doggy Diaries – No title

Eh, can’t think of a title. Kinda brain foggy at the moment. But wanted to blog since it was a cool day.

Jayden and I got all ready for Dave this morning and he arrived promptly. It was finally time for the nice walk in the old historic neighborhood where I started off my cane training. I was excited to get there, to take Jayden for that walk everyone says is so great. That first walk with a guide dog that I just never really felt I got. Turns out, I get my walks right here at home. It’s still so fun to watch him continue learning. The walk in the neighborhood was nice, don’t get me wrong though. We just walked. Dave let me decide where to go. So I just turned and crossed as I felt like it. It was so cool! Some of it was familiar from the old cane days, like these alley ways that are landmarks, and from these big bushes and such. Jayden tried to stop and sniff every so often, but I didn’t need the Gentle Leader. About halfway through the walk, his guide work started getting a little sloppy. Then he took me straight to a grass yard. Ah. LOL! Nope, not here. Don’t want him relieving on grass, since it’s hard to find in the desert. In fact, a grass lawn could send me on a rant about water conservation, but I won’t go into that.

Dave said there was a dirt patch nearby. He’s been there with guide dogs before lol. We had to cross a street to get there, and Jayden wasn’t targeting the up curb because there was more grass. Finally we made it up on the sidewalk to the dirt and when that harness came off, he let it go lol.

Then I stopped at a street crossing and said, you know what sucks? What? I need a human relieving ciercle. Hahaha!!! Normally the amount of limiting fluids is fine for our lessons, but I find that since I walk a lot faster with Jay, it activates things for me just like for him hahahaha!!!

So we made our way back to the car a different way and when we were around the corner, I heard a roar. Growing louder. Vibrating the air around me. Filling my chest with it’s rumble, making my heart beat fast, excitement bubbling up inside, about to burst. I halted Jayden, growing excited, starting to jump up and down.

You’re probably thinking, what on earth? What the heck got her so excited? The Thunderbirds, that’s what. There’s an air show this weekend. Gamma told me this morning. I knew that sound. I haven’t heard it since going blind. I was yelling to Dave, that’s The Thunderbirds!!! He confirmed it. It was sooooo awesome. They’re practicing today, so I’ve heard them all day. My dad and I used to go whenever there was an air show, and I love them. So I was really excited. I think it was good too, because it was really loud and could have frightened Jayden, but I was so thrilled that he didn’t even mind the noise.

We got back to the car and I thought my need of the restroom had cut our lesson short. But it hadn’t. We’d been out an hour and had walked several blocks. Really? It’s so fast with Jayden, that I lose all concept of time. I was thrilled to discover we had done so much. I was also getting tired.

So Dave dropped me off and there was a box outside my door. Poop bags!!! Hahahaha!!!

Jayden pretty instantly fell asleep once we were inside. Oh yeah, I finally had some worry alleviated about Jayden’s breathing. I kept asking Dave about it, because it seemed weezy. He said no, Jayden was a very content dog. He said his dogs sound like that too.

So since Jayden was passed out, I called Carol and talked with her awhile and then I just settled in to read. I didn’t even feel like crocheting.

I was checking email though, and found an invitation to join another choir. I’ll discuss that later. I’m gonna do it though, but it deserves it’s own post.

Jayden’s dinner time was drawing close, so he stood by me with his nose on my leg lol! I finally fed him, took him out, and then harnessed him up to go get the mail.

I’ve been waiting for a car to be in the spot that we pass through, to see what he’d do, and I finally got my wish today. I told him left and he pointed me left and stopped. Car! Kibble. Then I said, ok, got it, forward. I wondered what he’d do. He walked me right around the car to the curb. I was doing a moving right but I don’t even think he needed it. Then he nailed getting to the mailbox and sat patiently while I looked inside the empty box. As we were leaving, a man was walking through and said hi and Jayden just ignored him, intent on getting me home. He was hesitant to walk up to the back of the car but I prompted him and said to show me the car. Kibble! Then he worked us around it and straight to the door.

I can’t explain it, but I sense a change in him now on this route. How I feel it, I don’t know. A confidence. A bounce in his step. Handlers, do you know what I mean? I can feel his happiness. I can feel that he’s thrilled that he knows where to go and how to get there. It’s just so cool! Maybe that’s why just the mailbox route is more thrilling to me than the neighborhood was today.

Tomorrow we’re doing a Best Buy trip. I want a Dyson. Enough messing with cheaper vacuums. I want a Dyson. They don’t lose suction. *Insert snobby British accent*.

Oh, Spinelli is laying on my leg and Jayden is just beneth us. The cats are doing fine now. No more hiding. Yay! Well, just as I was bout to end this post, Jayden stood up and Spinelli hissed and took a swipe at him. She can’t be doing that. She has front claws. I told her no and pushed her away. She just did it again. Urgh. I jinxed us lol!

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Filed under cats, Choir, cool product, Doggy Diaries, Gamma, guide dogs, Jayden, relieving, Spinelli, transitioning, working dog

Doggy Diaries – No phone call for Christmas

So I got an email instead:

***

We are pleased to confirm that your application for a Guide Dog has been accepted and a place is reserved for you in our San Rafael three week class that begins Monday, February 15 and graduates Saturday, March 6, 2010.
***
Yay!!!!!!!!!! Words cannot express how excited I am!! Wow!!!!

So, of course I had to look up the puppy pool results. So far, tied for the lead are:

February 15 Carin, Maddie and Toby

No one is out of the running though, as there are so many other factors. To refresh your memory, here are the pool results.

Everyone said I’d get a phone call, Don included. Then people on my email list said I wouldn’t hear until the holidays were over. Today I’ve just been crocheting and tracking packages and ambled over to check my email and the subject line said “Guide Dogs for the Blind”. I arrowed over to listen to the name and didn’t recognize it and when I opened the message, I had to listen like 3 times before it sunk in! They are sending a packet of info with a cd of class lectures and suggested things to pack. My travel arrangements will be made soon. And I go to San Rafael for 3 weeks on February 15th. I’m just in shock! This means I’ll be back in time for choir to start up, and for my friend’s baby shower. Wow!!!

Carin, I told GDB to notify me in time so you’d have this post and emails for Christmas hahaha!!!

Yayaya!!! My pooch is waiting for me at school as I write this. Wow. I wonder who it is? Wow!!!

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Filed under birthday, Choir, crochet, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, GDB, guide dogs, holiday, puppy pool

The Concert

Oh what a night!

L picked me up at 5:20 and I was so glad to be underway. It helped the nerves a little, since I was all dressed and ready to go. We wore white tops and black bottoms. I put some more pineapple juice with water in my water bottle for some added throat protection hehe.

We arrived at the church a little before 6 and found our places. There were pews reserved for the choirs, and we had figured out where to sit so we could line up on stage easily. The rest of our choir showed up and Miss K was working with the little ones. Oh my goodness they were so cute! The first choir was first through third graders. Then the second choir were fourth and fifth graders. They were all so cute. She didn’t work with us at all. We all warmed up just after 6 and then we sat around talking.

The doors were gonna open at 6:45 so L and I ran to the bathroom at about 6:35. We had to walk through the church lobby and holy cow it was full of people. As we were coming out, I heard my name and it was my second cousin, who found me on Facebook. He drove in from out of town just for the concert! I couldn’t stay and chat, so we went back in.

The doors opened and all the women were exclaiming about all the people walking in. Before we knew it, Miss K was asking the choirs to relinquish their seats for the crowd. They had never had such a big crowd! I knew I couldn’t stand the whole time, so I sat right on the end of the pew for the first three choirs.

they were so cute! Miss K really worked miracles with those kids. I’ve never heard children’s choirs sound that good!

About halfway through the third choir, we all went and lined up in the lobby. They were singing 12 Days of Christmas. Miss K separated the crowd into 12 and those groups had to get up and sing their number. Georgie saw me going into the lobby so she got up and went to tell me she was there and give me a hug. I was getting really nervous. One of the women said we should sing along to warm up again, so we sang 12 days in the lobby to warm up.

Finally it was our turn to get up on stage. It went very smoothly. I had told L to lay my cane down back behind us. We sang the first song, Chestnuts, and sounded great!

The dreaded Sleighbells was next. I had woken up with that song in my head. Miss K said something to the crowd about how hard the song was and we all laughed nervously.

About a third of the way into the song, I felt like I was going to pass out. It was really weird, because I felt everything, the sudden sweating, the metallic taste in my mouth, but I had never experienced that blind before, so I didn’t get the weird vision like I used to. I told myself to relax my knees but they already were. Meanwhile I’m singing my heart out to Sleighbells. I wasn’t going to let a dizzy spell stop me; I had worked way to hard on that darned song hehe! I reached over and grabbed L’s arm. After the song I said I needed my cane back. It’s not a support cane, but something about having it calms me down.

We changed things a little. Snowfall was next, and we originally weren’t in groupings for this song, but Miss K said to do groupings, so I got to sit on a stool. As the opening notes were played, I thought to myself, “this is for JayNoi”. I remembered! 😉

It sounded great! Then it was time for Uncle John. The other hard song. We got back into choral position for this one. That one went really well. We got a little messed up on the first set of wah sah wah sah’s but then after that it went great. Everyone cut at just the right time and it sounded great in that church!

After that it was time to pass the hat, to help us pay for the church. We found out on Tuesday that several of us would crowd around the piano and sing like we were just chillin at a party while the others went and passed the hats. The women were given cards with the songs and the first one we sang was Silver Bells. I don’t know this song very well, so I sang what I knew and smiled and moved my mouth for the rest lol! Then we sang Winter Wonderland, and I knew that one.

L was putting my boa on and I was like, “Merry Christmas Darling is next, not santa Baby” but everyone was putting on their stuff. I was not wearing a boa for my solo lol!

We got back to the groupings and L positioned me in front of the stool and I took off the boa. Someone handed L the mic and she handed it to me.

Oh yeah, after the hat passing, a woman came up and said, “Your Grandma asked me to tell you she and your Uncle are here”. I knew my uncle was gonna go. Grandma kept telling me all week she got a ride from someone in the neighborhood, but I could tell she was fibbing hehe.

So I’m standing there in front of my stool with the mic, and the opening notes played. All nerves were gone. I wasn’t shaking. My stomach wasn’t turning. I knew all those people were there, but I couldn’t see them hahaha!!!

I nailed it! No cracking, nothing. I was so happy! It sounded fab!

After my solo, I sat on the stool and finished the song with the mic hanging at my side. I gave it to L after, and we put our boas on for Santa Baby.

That song went great too! You could tell everyone was really loosened up at that point, and it was awesome.

For the last song, the choir spread out around the whole church. L took me down the steps and we stood up front. It’s a beautiful song. All unison, it’s called “In this very room”. It’s such a pretty song, all about how there’s enough love and joy in this very room to chase away any gloom. Lovely. One of our singers couldn’t be there, because her mom got deathly ill, so she had asked Miss K to dedicate that song to her mom. The last note hung in the air and there was silence and then loud applause. As the applause died down I could hear sniffing. Hehe! When you make an audience cry, you’ve done a good job.

Suddenly my uncle was there hugging me tight and I could hear tears in his voice. He wisked me to Grandma and she hugged me and there were tears in her voice. I think she hugged me like 5 times haha! Then my cousin who I’d met on FB was there hugging me, then Georgie and Kevin and one of my dearest friends who I wasn’t expecting and my other friend Sarah and Georgie’s boyfriend and Finally B. they were all yelling about how great I was and Kevin said he was in tears haha! Then the old piano player from the old choir with Miss K was there, and one of the mom’s of a girl from way back then.

It was hugs all around, and then Miss K was there. She said who she was and gave me a hug and I said thank you and she said thank you and I could just feel this moment, I can’t explain it. Unspoken. I’m tearing up as I write this. She is just so incredible.

I stood around talking to everyone for a bit and L and I had contemplated going to eat with everyone after, but I was covered in sweat and needed my water and hadn’t sat down in over an hour except for the stools so B and I slowly said goodby to everyone and made our way outside. the cool night air felt absolutely wonderful!

We ran back into my Grandma and cousin and uncle in the parking lot and talked some more and then I finally got to sit in the car. Ah, sweet relief!

We drove home and rehashed the concert and got stuck in the crowds from the winter lights neighborhood. I said something about rain being scheduled on Monday and B said, someone scheduled rain? Hahha!! I was so brain numb by that point.

We got home and I talked about Miss K. I guess I had never talked about her much to him. He didn’t realize I had been in her choirs before. I think he just forgot really lol.

He hugged me tight as I was going in to lay down and sid he was so proud, and how great it was to see me in my element.

Law and Order SVU was on tv, my favorite show hehe. I lay down smiling, thinking about how wonderful the night was. Eventually I drifted off to sleep.

I slept like a freakin rock haha! When I woke up I was in a ton of pain. I felt hungover. Funny how I can still feel hungover with no booze lol. I think it was probably from all the nerves, excitement, getting hot, almost passing out, and not drinking enough water before we sang.

I’m feeling much better now after going through a ton of emails and having my coffee. today I’ve gotta clean my bathroom to get ready for the home visit tomorrow!

I don’t know if anyone recorded the concert. I’m praying someone did. As soon as I know, I’ll let you know.

Thanks to everyone for helping me through all the nerves yesterday hehe. And L, if you read this, thank you so so so much for all your help during all the rehearsals and the concert! You are truly a wonderful friend!!!

I’ll be emailing the post I wrote about Miss K to her. So if she stumbles onto this one, thank you again Miss K! I had such a wonderful time last night, and it is such a joy to sing under your direction again! I can’t wait till March!

I just talked to Grandma before posting this, and she said she had such a wonderful time. She told me about this little boy in the children’s choir. Every time Miss K turned around, he started goofing off and dancing around, and then as soon as Miss K faced the choir again, he was as good as gold haha!! Grandma had a wonderful time and said I sounded beautiful. I’m looking forward to talking with l in a bit too. Ok, think I can finally post this.

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Filed under accomplishment, Choir, coffeeholic, fellowship, Gamma, Miss K, misty eyes, music, quirky words, spoons, white cane

Nervous McNervousen

I woke up this morning before 7am thinking “through the town and by the river cold winds blow and then we shiver birds are winging singing teaming joining in the song”. Apparently my brain was working on choir songs before I woke up. I went to bed to watch the 6th Harry Potter movie, which B got me for an early Christmas present. I really didn’t think I’d last through the whole movie, but I did, so I didn’t sleep till after midnight, and woke up before 7. Oh boy.

I’m nervous. I think I had the jitters a little in the past, but not like this. We had 2 months to rehearse these songs. 2 months. And in my old choir with Miss K, I think we had like 5 months. Also back then we had a mandatory rehearsal the week prior to the concert, where all the choirs came together. Then, the day of the big show at the music hall, we arrived at 1pm with all our costumes and make up packed up. We loaded into the dressing rooms, and then it was blocking and rehearsing until 5pm. We had dinner break until 6pm, came back, got dressed and made up, and the show started. See how much rehearsing that was?

tonight we arrive at 6pm, warm up, and sit down. We don’t go on until after the other 3 choirs. We don’t get to warm up again. My solo is after 4 songs. I won’t have time to lubricate my throat. What if I have to pe before we go on? What if I can’t, and then I have to pee the whole time we’re singing? What if my voice cracks like it did on Tuesday? I’ve got friends coming to the show. What if I’m terrible? What if the choir is terrible? What if we totally embarass ourselves? What if I trip and fall? What if I forget the words to my solo?

Ok, had to voice those fears. I was screwing around on a new commenting system this morning so it kept my mind busy. Now it’s all flooding in. I think I better crochet to Harry Potter again.

I’ll be drinking my pineapple juice and eating Pringles today. Pineapple juice and salt are great for preparing a throat to sing.

I have to have a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger before the show. I realized this the other day. We always went to Carls Jr. on dinner break for the big show and I always had that. So I told B and he’s getting that for me sometime after 4. L is picking me up at 5:20. I can’t eat in my clothes because I have to wear white and I always spill on white.

Ok. I feel better. I think. I think I’ll go crochet now. I’ll let you all know how it went tomorrow.

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Filed under Choir, crochet, Miss K, rambles, silly girl

Last rehearsal

Tonight is the last choir rehearsal before the concert on Saturday. I am dreading it, because I’m downright exhausted. The weather here has been insane. When I checked iGoogle a bit ago, it said it was 46 degrees. I stayed in all day resting, but tonight is going to be a lot of standing, as we’re doing staging and blocking for the show. B has to drive me since L’s son has a school concert tonight. We’re leaving soon, and I just want to go to bed.

I was going to spend the day at Saavi on Thursday. They’re doing a finger food potluck. But I got to thinking about it, and after I hung out there for that Halloween thing, I got sick. At least I think I got sick after that. I’d have to check the blog but I’m lazy. Anyway, point is, I’m not gonna hang out there, because I’m so afraid of getting sick for the concert. My throat has a little ache to it tonight, but it sometimes does that when I’m having a really bad spoon day.

Playing it safe though. Not gonna risk eating food a bunch of people have touched. I’ve so loved being in the choir, but it definitely takes a lot out of me on Tuesdays, so I certainly don’t want to miss the concert, and my solo.

I don’t know if I’m going to get a recording of it. I hope someone records it, but so far I haven’t heard anything.

Counting down until I can sleep. Won’t be much fun tonight since we won’t really be singing. I think I’m emotionally hungover from yesterday too. Talked to Georgie about the SunVan driver, and we decided the best thing would be if I phoned in anonymously and asked them to do a general reminder. Since I didn’t ask the guy to turn down the music, or turn up the heat, I don’t think it would be right for me to personally report him. Georgie pointed out that unless we give someone the right to amend their behavior, it’s unfair to turn around and report them. That was the real reason I was beating myself up. Because I didn’t speak up in the moment.

I should have expected a bad physical day today. When I let myself get really emotional, it affects me physically. So, I spent the day with Harry Potter and yarn. I’ll get to fall into bed in about 3 and a half hours. Let the countdown begin.

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Filed under Choir, spoons, weather

Shopping for functions

Tomorrow I get to go shopping with Georgie for my upcoming functions. Georgie has become my personal shopper and fashion consultant since I lost my sight and she keeps me very well dressed hehe. For the concert, I need black bottoms and a white top. I was hoping for a skirt, but skirts have to be floor length, and I’m not gonna try and juggle a skirt and my cane and an elbow going up the steps to sing haha. I’ve got a pair of black slacks I bought last year to go to West Virginia, and I tried them on and they barefuly fit. Way loose yay! But they’ll work. Georgie has a button down white top that she’s gonna bring to see if I like, and then I won’t have to buy anything for the concert function.

The other function I need to shop for is B’s holiday party for his company. It’s a pretty fancy party held at the Hilton. I went to this function 2 years ago when I could see. Gamma and I spent an entire day trying to find a good dress. I was a lot heavier then, and I found an ok dress to wear, but when I showed up at the party, I felt way under dressed. So this year I’ll be prepared for this function. Georgie said the best place to shop for nice dresses that won’t cost an arm and an eye is JC Penny, so we’re headed there tomorrow. I’m trying not to have an idea of what kind of dress I want, because when I have something in mind, I never find it. I’ll trust Georgie to pick something out that’s good. I’ll probably get some fun jewlery to go with it, just those cheap pieces you can only wear a few times lol. A pair of black ballet flats will work for both functions, so I won’t have to drop a lot of money that i don’t have.

After that I’m getting yarn to make a baby blanket for my friend. I can’t go in to any kind of detail in case she stumbles onto my blog. I’m excited to start a crochet project because I haven’t made anything in awhile.

I certainly hope I have enough energy for all this tomorrow. I’ve got O & M with Dave in the morning and it’s freaking cold here right now. Not feeling well today at all, this whole week actually. So I just hope I can survive the shopping trip.

I want to look good while attending these functions.

Really the only reason I wrote this post is because I’m trying to make myself stay up until 8 and nothing is keeping me occupied. And I wanted to write a certain word a lot.

This is my one time of year to be girlie 😉

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Filed under Choir, crochet, Gamma, holiday, Orientation and Mobility, random stuff, silly girl, spoons, weather

Random randomness and maybe a rant

Oh I’ll be relieved when November is over. I mean, I know I didn’t actually officially commit to writing a post every day for national blog month or whatever it was, but I told myself I’d do it, and I hate letting me down.

but man, I’ll all of the sudden get this panic like, oh crap I haven’t written today. I think yesterday I just copied and pasted an email lol. But today I guess I’ve got some random stuff to write.

I think I’ve officially forgotten to write about Silicon Sassy and the vacuum. I’ve just lost the urge.

this week has been busy. Well, really most of last week, the weekend, and this week have been busy.

I think I wrote about hanging out with Kevin and Georgie on Saturday. And then it was the normal Gamma on Sunday, and then it got interesting Monday.

I had braille scheduled for 10am. I hadn’t been for 2 weeks since I had been sick. And that guy had rearranged his schedule, since I had to be paired up with an over 55 for funding reasons. We hadn’t had our first lesson together yet, so Monday was supposed to be it.

I scheduled my transit, told them I had to be to Saavi by 10am so they scheduled me an 8:50 to 9:20 window. Ick.

After being sick, getting up and being ready to go for braille and a workout by 8:50 pretty much zapped my spoons. I get to Saavi at like 9:15 and have 45 minutes to kill. I decide to get on the couch and rest and try to get some spoons back.

Well, there’s this guy who takes a lady to Saavi and then hangs out. I don’t know why he hangs out there all day, but he does. And he’s taken to wanting to talk to me. Every time. How’s your MS? How does it affect you? I used to be a caregiver blah blah I delt with MS blah blah I knew so and so with MS and all of the sudden they were in a chair blah blah.

I’m slumped on the couch, eyes closed, nodding and grunting. Finally I say, I don’t listen to other stories about MS. MS is so different with every patient, that I don’t dwell on what could happen to me. My doctor told me from the get go not to go online. Don’t get over educated on MS. I took his advice. I know enough, I know how it effects me, I don’t want to hear about a thirty year old woman who couldn’t walk one day.

I was nice about it. I wasn’t like, shut up!! Just shut up!! But he got the hint and said, I’ll let you rest now.

So finally I can just rest my eyes. Now, I hadn’t looked at my braille. I’m realizing that I can’t do braille on command. Sometimes at 7am I feel like looking at braille. Sometimes at 5 pm. But I can’t be guaranteed to be able to do it at 10am on a Monday. So its about 9:45 and I remember that last time, we met in the back module, which I need help getting to. I haven’t mastered the route on my own yet. So I go up to the desk and ask if I’m meeting back in the back module. She’s like oh I don’t know, let me call. She calls my teacher and is not getting her on the phone. She’s like, maybe they took you off the schedule since you weren’t here. I’m like, no, she knows I’m gonna be here. I sit back down. Then she’s like, I’ve got her on the phone! So I pick up the phone and my teacher’s like, I totally spaced that I had a lesson today, I’m so sorry, I’m helping with the planning for the parade of lights. But L is there right? I want you to sit with him and go over punctuation.

At this point I’m thinking, I’m exausted. I could have caught my ride at 10 and avoided the last 45 minutes of falling asleep on the couch. I say, no. I’m here, but I’m not here mentally. I think I’ll just head back to the gym. She says oh, ok. And gets on the phone with L to let him know she spaced the lesson and I went back to the gym.

I pretty much decided right then and there that I’m gonna do self–taught grade 2 braille. I talked to another teacher and she was like, yeah once you have grade 1 down, you could do grade 2 yourself no problem. So that problem solved. I don’t like having someone else’s life being contingent on my spoons like L was, and I don’t want to feel guilty when I have a bad couple of weeks. So I’ll get the book and learn at my own pace.

The workout kicked my arse, but it felt good, and I was able to do everything I’d been doing, just a tad slower.

Yesterday I went to a meeting at noon, then was looking at some stuff for the job, then Carol and I had an impromptu diner meal before choir. Went to choir, came home exausted and passed out.

Go to Saavi today just for the workout and I like that, because I can head straight to the gym and bypass the guy that hangs out in the lobby. I worked out and i twas great! Weighed in, and lost 5 pounds! Even though I had been sick, I still lost 5 pounds, yippee!!

Go out to wait for my ride and MR. How’s the MS is there, but he doesn’t say anything. So the other how’s the MS guy asked how the MS is today. I’m like, oh I’m fine, just sore from working out. Oh, how does MS affect the workouts for your legs? I’m like, not really any differently knock on wood. I only have fatigue and blindness, knock on wood, and I”m knocking on the coffee table there. I like this guy though, and I was able to steer the conversation to computers. He’s really struggling because he used to program and really misses computers since going blind, and he feels like Saavi is taking too long to teach him. I told him he should say something and he has. He was told everyone in the class gets started off slow. Man, did I dodge a bullet there by teaching myself the Apple. I’d hate it if I was held back. I asked if he has Jaws at home, and I told him practice, try and find online help, you’ll get it, you’ll be amazed, its tedious, but you’ll get it. He thanked me for my positive attitude. I want to help this guy, man. I can’t imagine feeling all stunted with the computer. When I made the decision to learn the Mac, I dove right in. I didn’t have to wait on anyone.

So thats it. I really wanted to title this something like I’m not MS. I’m not dammit. And I never feel that way any place but Saavi. Its like, come on, we’re all blind, can we focus on that? Guess I need to just get used to it. Some days it bothers me more than others.

Oh yeah, there’s only one more official choir rehearsal before the concert. Yikes! Hope we can pull it together.

Oh, and I’m going to B’s fancy company party on the 19th, so my girlie girl part of me is getting excited about getting a new dress hehe.

Going to a nice buffet with the family tomorrow for Thanksgiving, where I plan on putting on those 5 pounds I lost. Yummmm turkey and prime rib and lamb and stuffing and desserts oh my!

Oh yeah, B just called and I got sidetracked. I forgot I was writing a blog. I decided to try on the brown dress that I tried on a month and a half ago that fit, but was too tight. Guess what? It fits perfect! So I can wear it for Thanksgiving yay!!

Oh yeah, I caught my microwave on fire today. That takes talent 😉

9 Comments

Filed under accomplishment, assistive technologies, braille, Choir, Gamma, NaBloPoMo 2009, proud geek, random stuff, rant, silly girl, spoons, workouts