My New “Choir”

Speaking of performing, I have “joined” the Doctor Who Fan Orchestra. I discovered this marvelous group when Murray Gold, dreamy composer of Doctor Who’s music, tweeted a link to DWFO’s latest production.

I am a huge fan of the music on Doctor Who, so given that DWFO includes vocalists, I couldn’t help but ask to be included. ESPECIALLY when I learned that the next production would be Rose’s Theme and Doomsday. Because of the connection to Rose Tyler, these two pieces of music have both made me weep more than once. (Rose Tyler, along with Ten, continues to be perhaps my very favorite part of anything relating to Doctor Who, ever. The fact that there are Rose haters blows my mind.)

I am super excited to record my submissions, and it has even occurred to me that perhaps I might want to audition for the solo on Doomsday. I consider myself to be a solid choral singer, and not much of a soloist, but it can’t hurt to try.

Sometimes I forget that I had all these years I spent being involved with music. Choirs were a huge part of my life for ten years. Choral music took me all over the world and made me a part of history, when I sang at the 2001 presidential inauguration. It’s not really much of a part of my life now that I’m more involved in dancing–even though I’m a much better choral singer than I am a dancer.

I’ve been away from singing for so long that I’m sort of afraid I’ve lost it! I guess I’ll find out whether I still have it when it comes time for me to record my part and listen to it in the cold, silent light of day.

It’s exciting, not only because I love being a part of fandoms, but because I will get to bring a small, manageable bit of singing back into my life. I’m so excited for the finished product, and to perhaps hear my voice (and see my face?) as a part of it!


High School Musical

Over the weekend, I went to see my high school’s production of “The Wedding Singer.” A girl in my dance class is in it, and that seemed like a good excuse to revisit the past. Additionally, the girl who was in the show is so awesome that my sister and I both wish she were around ten years older so that it would not be weird for us to totally hang out with her. It was really fun to see her on stage.

(I also discovered once I got to the show that a girl I used to babysit was also in it. I changed her diapers, and now she is on stage as a PRE-ADULT.)

The show was fantastic. I couldn’t help but compare it to the one I was in my senior year of high school. The costumes seemed better fitting. The sets seemed more elaborate. The dancing was definitely more complicated. How did those kids get so talented?

I really do not remember my generation of students at the school being that good. It was a performing arts school, so presumably everyone who goes there is talented, but then, they also let me in.

Maybe it’s the time away that has turned my rose-colored glasses dim. It has been ten years since I graduated from high school. It does seem very far away, and perhaps in those ten years I have developed a better appreciation of talent than I had when I was actually in high school. It’s possible that at that time I saw all of the boys as either boys I had crushes on or boys I did not, and all the girls as people the boys liked better than me. Talent was not as much of an issue.

High school felt very, very far away. Yet, when my sister and I were sitting in the theater before the show started, a group of theater kids sat down behind us. We were able to hear every word of their conversation, because theater kids know how to project and they prefer that everyone hears what they have to say. They started talking about the Doctor Who movie and how terrible it was that David Yates was planning to ruin everything, and it suddenly felt like I may not be as far away from high school as it seems.


Today, I am getting ready to go out of town to a wedding, so I have to be quick.

A coworker recently shared a phrase with me that is basically the best, most true thing I have ever heard. In fact, I now share it constantly because it is so applicable to all areas of everyone’s life.

The apple tree is only ever going to make apples.

Do you need lemons? Well, this tree here makes apples. And that is it. So either find a way to use the apples, or go find another tree.

I tell myself this every time I expect something other than apples. Is that an apple tree? Then why the hell was I expecting a big slice of chocolate cake?

Any faulty expectations are mine. They’re not the fault of the tree.

Dancing x2

A recent development is that I am participating in a second dance class at my studio. My teacher asked for volunteers from my regular class, because the second class was down in numbers a bit.

My sister and I decided to go ahead, both to get in better shape, and because they were dancing to the song “Blow” by Kesha, which is a crazy, crazy good song. (I admit part of the reason I love the song “Blow” so much is because my sister pointed out what a FANTASTIC song it would make for a Sherlock fanvid. But it is also really excellent for dancing.)

So, we joined the class, and it has been a really interesting experience. It’s the class that’s the next level down in dance experience, which means that the people from my regular class who have joined it are stronger dancers than most of the rest of the girls in the class, many of whom are actually in middle school.

The difference in dynamic between this class and my regular class is completely different, largely because I feel so much more confident. (Which doesn’t say a lot considering that I have danced for longer than some of the girls have been alive.) In my regular class, I know I’m easily one of the worst ones in the class. But in the new class, I feel like I can actually take a few more risks.

As a result, I am now nailing axel turns. The axel turn was actually what I FELL on in my spring recital (and I had NEVER fallen in a dance recital before), and now I know I’ve got it. My teacher actually complimented me on them this past week, which was completely out of the ordinary. I love to dance, but I never get told that I’m doing anything well, because I am generally not doing anything well. I also am getting much closer to nailing fouette turns, which feels like a massive victory. I have been defeated by fouette turns since I started dancing again three years ago, but they no longer feel impossible.

(I just went to YouTube in search of a video that would show what an axel turn looks like, and I got sucked into a half-hour vortex of watching crazy good teenage ballerinas en pointe.)

Anyway, not much of that confidence is carrying over into my regular class, although I suppose a little bit of it is. I’m getting much stronger, and that is just very exciting to me. This past spring, I was starting to wonder if I was so terrible that I really should stop dancing for good. I don’t feel that way anymore, at least for the moment.

I was JUST ABOUT to go to bed, and then I remembered that I was trying to post in my blog every day in November.

I needed a topic, and right quick, and given that tonight was NBC’s Thursday comedy line-up, of course there was someone who immediately came to mind…

Ben Wyatt, Human Disaster, and My Dream Boyfriend.

I am pretty much convinced that I will never want to get married. However, all that might probably change if I were to ever meet the real life Ben Wyatt.

I think my compatibility with Ben Wyatt is well demonstrated by this scene:

He is a stickler for rules AND he is a sincere fan of well-made television. He is a huge nerd AND extremely attractive.

I used to be all on about Jim Halpert. All the ladies were. In fact, I used to be all on about The Office, and I hotly resented Parks & Recreation. How things have changed! I don’t watch The Office at all, and Parks & Recreation is the show I look forward to the most all week. And Ben Wyatt is way more appealing than Jim Halpert. (In fact, I don’t think Jim Halpert was ever my type. He just had the earnest devotion that’s so appealing. Ben Wyatt, however, I think may be precisely my type.)

I have loved a lot of fictional characters, but none of them were actually ever right for me. Jim Halpert was cute, but honestly, I do not care for pranks at all, OR casual disregard for the rules. I actually have a lot more in common with Dwight. Josh Lyman? Totally hot, but way more driven and obnoxious than I could actually tolerate. The Doctor–yes, dreamy, but I am not at all brave and I love routine, so I would make the worst Doctor’s companion ever. Ned the Piemaker is as cute as they come, but ultimately too emotionally closed off. Ben Wyatt is where it is at. Forever and ever, amen.

After years of driving to Cincinnati and Indianapolis and Chicago in order to go to Trader Joe’s, they have finally opened a store in my city.

It opened last Friday, and I am a little embarrassed to admit that when I walked inside the store, I teared up. It had been a long time coming.

I believe the first time I went to Trader Joe’s was during Wintersession my senior year of college. I had just been on a magical choir trip to California, and my choir pals and I returned to a mostly empty campus with no open dining halls. We piled into someone’s car and went to Trader Joe’s on Route 9. I was completely overwhelmed by my first experience. I don’t remember exactly what I bought, but I remember that my friends and I all brought our food back to campus and cooked and ate in the basement of Cazenove.

Trader Joe’s became a constant companion when I was studying–mostly in the form of chocolate covered soy beans and the TJ’s brand Pirate’s Booty, which a friend’s dad provided in mass quantities. And after I left Boston, Trader Joe’s came to partly represent those magical college years, that I knew I would never get back.

(It also represented healthy, inexpensive food, to which I am almost as devoted as I am to my college experience.)

So, any time I was in Cincinnati or Indianapolis or Chicago or Boston, I tried to make a point of going to Trader Joe’s, just to pick up a few things that I couldn’t get anywhere else. Walking through that door evoked the feelings of sitting in the backseat of a friend’s car to go stock up on Honey Sesame Cashews.

I went to the new store on Friday, and then my sister and I went again on Sunday. While I was there, I chatted with a woman who had also been driving to Cincinnati just to go to Trader Joe’s, and who also went to college in the Boston area. I mentioned that the first time I went to a Trader Joe’s, it was the one on Route 9 in Framingham, and her face lit up. She said it had been a while since anyone had mentioned “Route 9” to her.

It’s not out of reach any more. I have my very own Trader Joe’s. It’s one tiny little piece of my college experience that I can actually have back again in my real life.

This year, I had many different kinds of Halloween candy. This was a mistake. Tootsie rolls and Kit-Kats and Twizzlers are in no way equivalent to one another.

I found myself developing a set of rules as I handed out candy last night.

– Kids who appear to be under 5 years old only get one piece of candy, and they get the smallest, most boring type of candy.

– Kids without a costume do get candy. But when they walk up with their open backpack strapped to the front of their chest and stare at you until you put candy into the backpack, they’re only getting one lame piece.

– Kids with two candy bags that say they’re trick-or-treating for their sick sibling or their cousin or whoever also get candy for both bags, without reservation or judgement, because it would really suck to be sick on Halloween, and they’re not necessarily lying.

– Large groups of kids must somehow receive comparable candy distributions. A Tootsie Roll and a Twizzler pairing is probably equivalent to a Twizzler and SweeTarts pairing. It is not equivalent to a Laffy Taffy and Kit Kat pairing, though. Kit Kats must be held in reserve.

– Unless there are babies in that group of kids, in which case the little kid still just gets one piece. Here, employ the strategy of grabbing the candy in one’s fist, and dropping it deep into the candy bag, so it’s out of view from the rest of the kids and the parents.

– Girls dressed in costumes that do not adhere to stereotypical gender assignments (like the girl dressed like a ninja and the girl dressed like a bad-ass pirate) get an extra piece of candy.

– Kids who are particularly polite get an extra piece of candy.

Despite these rules, I managed to run out of candy by 8:15, and had to turn off all the lights and hide in the house.

Lessons learned:
Next year, I am buying only ONE kind of candy and EVERY CHILD gets ONE PIECE.

And no matter how well-prepared I think I am, I ALWAYS need more candy.