Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer so full....

It seems there's never enough hours in the day to do all the stuff I want to, but summers especially are particularly full. Inevitably, there are scads of concerts, events, gatherings and such that I want to go to, but I end up having to pick and choose.

This week's a perfect example. I entered a drawing at Comics & More for free tickets to see the new Batman movie, but the date landed on the same night as a performance with my quartet and chorus. I didn't win anyway, which was a bit of a relief, but still... Tonight, Weird Al is at Meadowbrook and I had access to $10 tickets. Nope, gotta work the video store so I can have Saturday off to go to the annual Harmony Hideaway barbershop picnic. I hate having to rank and prioritize the fun stuff.

The task is even more difficult this summer as I am now TRIPLE employed again. There's the video store and the new job, of course, but this freelance job doing the learning tracks is taking up more time than I had expected. Well okay, not necessarily the gig as a whole, but one song in particular. The first one, "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning" was simple enough and I was able to knock that out in a few hours last week. The next song they want done is a medley of "Flying Sinatra" songs ("Come Fly With Me" and "Fly Me To The Moon"). A very cool arrangement, but the Finale file I got had some errors with lyric notation, is replete with awkwardly notated syncopation that doesn't follow exactly what I'm used to doing at the karaoke bar, and the lead is in my horribly awkward break range. I'm getting through it, but being the detail-oriented nit-picker I am, I've re-recorded the lead and bass lines about a billion times to get it to a point I feel is at least 'okay' to my standards. I haven't even gotten to the oddly chromatic bari part or the tenor yet. So that's adding about an extra 8-10 hours minimum to my 55 hour work week. That's not including chorus and quartet rehearsals and performances at 3-10 hours a week on average, so you'll understand why I haven't blogged much lately. This leaves little time for other extra-curricular activities - even those I would LOVE to do.

Wednesday night was a performance with the chorus and quartet at Nardin Park UMC. We go there about every other years and do our full Annual Show to a completely packed house (being a free concert, as opposed to $17 a ticket). The chorus did okay, as did my quartet. Not our best, but good enough for the price. We have a bunch of performances coming up, so we need to get some more rehearsal in and tighten things up, not to mention get our contest set together for October's contest.

Still, I'm not overly stressed or unhappy. The learning track thing is something I love to do (despite having to turn off the fan & AC to avoid ambient noise during the hottest part of the year), and I'm able to fit in a few fun things now and again. The few nights a week I'm home, I get to spend some quality time with my family, barbecuing in the back yard and talking over dinner under the gazebo, watching cartoons with the kids, and last night I was in our 12' inflatable pool with them for about an hour playing games, splashing, and just having a TON of fun with my 2 wonderful children. True summer fun with my kids and some great Kodak moments. I needed that.

Tomorrow is the Harmony Hideaway barbershop picnic at the Slamka's in Riley Twp (that's about as BFE as you can get in SE Michigan). I always take the kids with me. Liam has a blast playing with other kids and participating in the games and the talent show. Courtney is a bit more withdrawn from the crowd and kinda clingy, but she usually has fun and as she's getting bigger, I think she'll have more fun this year. The weather report isn't terribly promising, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed (and the umbrella in the car, just in case).

Sunday, the kids head to the cottage, Sonya and I may go to see Sugar Ray & Spin Doctors at Freedom Hill, courtesty of a couple free tix from a coworker, so it's gonna be a fun-filled weekend, if a bit hectic.

...oh yea, and a TON of work on these learning tracks every spare minute inbetween.

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