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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Weekend events

Well, this is a bit late, but hey, I've been late before. Who knows? This may be the last time! (Was that a penguin I just saw? In Virginia? Hmm... I doubt things have so changed...)

In case my little parenthetical wasn't obvious enough, no, this being late will probably not be the last time... :) Oh, it's good to be me, where no one expects much of me, because I'm always late.

Anyway, as to the events of the weekend:

On Friday, I got off work at about 21:30 (9:30 PM, to all of you normal people). Ken and I drove back, and I had planned to go straight to Front Royal, but I didn't. I stuck around in Herndon.

Saturday morning, I went to Front Royal, but there was no choir practice, so I spent a good part of my day looking for car parts.

In the evening, it was St. Cecilia's Night, and at brunch, Michael C. had asked me if I had wanted to sing O Virgin Pure, by St. Nectarios of Aegina, arranged in four part harmony, as sung by Syrian Catholics. We were going to sing it in a similar arrangement that we had sung it a couple months prior around a Sunday brunch table. I felt a bit weird doing this, since I was an alumnus, but I agreed to do it anyway. We practiced it a few times, tried switching around the positions, but we finally ended up with me on the cantor line, Lizzie on alto, Michael on tenor, and Paul E. on bass. After running through the piece a couple times, and messing up in a couple places, we figured out that, among other things, the song was, unfortunately, too long. We were supposed to have up to five minutes. After two verses, we were at about 3.5 minutes, and the whole thing was four verses long. We decided to cut out the second verse.

At second to the last performance, we were right between a rendition of La Bamba on two harps (which, FYI, was awesome). We got up there, and just started going. Everything went flawlessly, and the audience loved us. They loved us so much that we go a standing ovation, and people started lining up for autographs and smooches...

And then reality strikes. I messed up the words on a couple lines. My voice felt shaky, and I was nervous all throughout the first verse. By the second verse (which was actually the third verse, because we didn't sing the actual second verse), I was much calmer -- too calm in fact. I just sang the words as I knew them, and then all of a sudden, it hit that I was singing the wrong line. It seemed to me like the world ground to a stop for a split second, and all eyes were glued on me as I was messing up one of the most beautiful hymns to Our Lady. I am positive that the rest of the choir all looked at me like I had gone insane, each with the look of anger, thinking, "WHY did we let him in on this?!", and then proceeding to look at each other, with a feelings of disgust and disdain towards the worst cantor of all times, saying, "Anyone else would have been so much better than him!"

And time snapped forward again back to regular time. While my conscious mind was imagining all these horrible things, my subconscious mind had gotten my voice, mouth, and eyes back on the correct line, and we continued, as far as I could tell, without skipping a beat.

The audience liked it. It turned out better than I had originally thought.

On Sunday, Mass at 10AM was as usual, with choir and schola practice before. I planned to go to Old St. Mary's in D.C. for their Tridentine Solemn High Mass. So, at about 13:30 (1:30 PM), I stopped playing cards with Dane, Kyle, and two freshmen, and went to Blessed Margaret to see if Lizzie wanted to go. She did, but in the couple minutes that it took her to put her stuff away, ken came up and gave me his cell phone with Kelly on the other end. We talked for at least twenty minutes, and then I had to say goodbye and go.

The drive out to D.C. was entertaining, because Lizzie revealed to me that I had fallen for a running gag, and I had not even seen it. This is something I fancied myself too good to fall for, but there it was...

Anyway, I had joined the schola there at Old St. Mary's a couple months prior, and this was my first tome to be there. I think it went well. I messed up a few times, but, everyone else was able to cover for me. This is good, because for once I wasn't one of the louder voices. Lizzie confirmed this for me: she said that usually when I'm singing with a choir, you can tell I'm there because of a certain thing in my voice (I'm going to call it an annoying sound), but everyone else there was easily as loud as I was, and had better voices, so the annoying sound of my voice was quenched.

After this, I drove Christine, Bill, and Lizzie to Bill's house, where there was an after-Mass celebration, as usual on the second Sundays. There were a LOT of girls over there, and a number of them were married with kids, so the unmarried ones spent a lot of time with the married ones, talking girl stuff. Bill and I decided to not join in this line of conversation, and went outside and worked on his car. He had to change the spark plugs in it, so I did a little to help him out. His car purred like it was supposed to when we were done with it. By this point, Lizzie and Christine had found us, and had gone over to the trampoline. We went inside, washed up, and went back outside. I found Lizzie on the trampoline, Bill, Christine, and another gentlemen whose name I've forgotten next to it, talking. Lizzie gets finished shortly thereafter, and it's suddenly "my turn." Pretending to not be too enthralled, I hop on and bounce around for a couple minutes, feeling like a kid again. I get a call from the ground, "Boring! Do something fun!" So I attempted a flip.

Now, I was fully expecting to land on my head or my neck on the trampoline. So I jumped up high, tucked myself up very tightly to minimize the shock, and flipped. Unfortunately, I propelled myself forward, too. I went all the way over, which I've never done before, my hand hit the edge of the trampoline as I went off it, and my head hit the ground rather directly. But because I was tucked and holding the position as hard as I was, I felt the impact, but there was hardly any movement. I hopped right back up, more excited that I had actually flipped all the way over, and got back on, forgetting about the fact that in the process of going over, I went too far over, and had practically crushed my skull. The few spectators worried that I had a concussion (because I hit the ground and left a large dent), and they warned me in much louder tones and much more repeatedly that I should NOT try that again. Understanding this very simple logic, and keeping my guy pride in a kind of check, I sat on the trampoline for a minute just to make sure that I was ok, but then bounced around just for the heck of it (doing nothing fancy) for a couple minutes, then called it quits.

Besides, it was dinner time...

Dinner was awesome, as usual. Fletch cooked up chicken fajitas, and they were good! I was hungry, and I had plenty, and there was still more to go around. The day was also Jamie's birthday, so we all sang her happy birthday. She had a cake with candles, and a card. It was nice. :)

After that, Christine drove Lizzie home, and I drove back to the apartment. As I was driving, I got so tired that it was all I could do to stay awake. I made it back without any problems, but suddenly the walk from the car to the apartment (which is about a five minute thing), seemed like it would take forever. I took a catnap in my car (in the parking lot -- how lame is that?) I woke up about thirty minutes later, went back to the apartment, and went right to bed.

On that note... it's getting to be about that time...
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