Talk about a blast…

This evening and tonight were awesome. Sure, the cooking started and ended much later than they were scheduled to happen. However, the enjoyment of one another’s company initially was awesome, and the merriment had after dessert was spectacular. We ended up calling my man’s grandmother for her birthday after my mom and stepdad left. Today was her 91st birthday, you see. My man has been learning to play the piano, and we had gone through “Happy Birthday”, with him playing the top melody and my playing the bottom’s chords.

But get this: All of my instruments are at his house now. So…, we pulled out the xylophone and recorder for my brother and my sister-in-law to play, and my step-sister, who actually is a singer, sang with all of our playing.

I tell you truthfully, it was absurd. It sounded and felt like a little kids’ beginner band performance. But how else could it have been when the person leading the main melody on piano not only counted off wrong but played all weird timing throughout the entire piece(!)???!!! So, on his, “One, two, three,” my brother came in on the three for the pick-up notes on the xylophone – correctly so. But my man didn’t start his pick-up notes until the next beat(!!). So, it was a rocky start. But he then kept holding notes longer than usual all over the place, messing with all of us. So, that was terrible, right? Well, we also had my sister-in-law playing on the recorder, which was actually not an easy instrument for her – though she is not very musically inclined in the first place. She topped it off, sounding just like the little kid on clarinet whose reed squeaks on all the main held notes at the beginning and end of each phrase.

It

was

spectacular.

Truly.

And then we played “Heart and Soul” on the xylophone, my brother and I, even though there weren’t quite enough notes on the small xylophone for us to play the whole thing, even with us inverted, melody down low and chords up top.

And then we had an awesome time in general, just goofing around and hanging out, enjoying being ourselves together.

Thank you, God, for this amazing night. Please, grant us all beautiful and effective sleep and rest tonight, that we awaken ready and able to pursue your will fully tomorrow morning. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Bedtime

Lying on the bed, we listen to “You’ve got a lover” by Shake Russell. It was not planned. I was just looking for a YouTube version to send to someone who loved it when we had sung it the other day. But I listened to the whole thing after sending it to her. We listened. And it was a beautiful bedtime meditation. Thank you, Shake Russell. And thank you, God, for such amazing creativity and talent and artistry and work to be shared with the world and with us specifically. Amen. Amen. Amen. Praise be to God. And thanks be to Shake. Amen.

Now, go listen to it yourself: “You’ve got a lover”

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Happy Birthday

Today was my mom’s birthday. For whatever reason, as we went to get her a plant and flowers, this song popped into my head from a cassette we’d had for my oldest brother – clearly something my mom had bought for him in the late 80s.

Hey, Michael!
It’s your birthday!
I’m in charge of the stars
and I’m here to say,
“Hey, Michael!
You’re the big star today!”

Obviously, my mother is not named Michael. However, since it was stuck in my head already, and she’s the one who’s bought Michael that tape in the first place, I felt it was appropriate. I sang the song to her for her birthday. And no, I didn’t even change the name. ;P
Happy Birthday, Mommy!! Love you!!
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Puccini

Turandot is a spectacular spectacle – Puccini certainly got it right and did it well with this one, y’all. I almost cried twice, and then did cry near the end, all because of the music – it was so amazing. Robert Wilson’s visionary directing was spectacular in and of itself, yes. It was so fun and cool and amazing. But the music itself held its own… it was satisfying and utterly fulfilling… and, boy darn, was it good… Just wow…

Thank you, Houston Grand Opera, for this spectacular performance. And thank you, God, for allowing me to witness it… in gratitude, I pray. Amen!

P.S. One of the main characters suddenly had to step out (I believe it was today), and so another member of the cast played her physical role, while Juliet from the current production of Romeo and Juliet stood on the side of the stage with a music stand and in a black dress and sang the part. “Like no other,” the creative director said in his pre-show announcement, and it truly was. It was amazing on all accounts. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amen!

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Ricky Martin

“Mommy, it’s Ricky Martin.
And he’s dancing.
And he’s wearing a kimono.
And silk gauchos.”
“Picture, please.”
Tonight was the Ricky Martin concert after the rodeo. When the full sounds of “Livin’ la vida loca” burst forth from the darkness with sparkler flames and party lights, the place went wild, myself included. And then, he was singing… he was singing these words I had forgotten that I knew prectically perfectly – as perfectly as we could get back in the pre-Internet days, if we didn’t have a copy of the CD.
And then he was dancing on the parts where he had singing breaks.
I kid you not, not even halfway through the song, I had streams of tears rolling down my face, absolutely unanticipated, unexpected. I didnt even notice I was crying until I felt a downward movement of water on the lower half of my cheeks.
But, I suppose, it makes sense. That song and the period of my life that goes with my learning its words and notes so well, those were huge for me. I remember watching Ricky Martin on MTV when I was at my brothers’ dad’s house. I remember dancing around in the living room to this song in particular on multiple occasions. I remember trying to figure out what “mocha” meant, and how it connected to a skin color.
But I never once considered any possibility of seeing Ricky Martin in real life. Let alone hearing him sing or seeing him dance. It was so far out of the realm of possibility. Ricky Martin was, to me, more along the lines of history. He was like the president or Julius Caesar. He was a real person, but not one who ever would be real to me, not the way people in my life are real to me.
And, suddenly, years and years after his initial fame and my foundation of gratitide for him and his music, he pops up… and he is accessible. I get to see THE REAL RICKY MARTIN, right there… singing, dancing, doing costume changes (including a vest that was all lace on the back with a pair of pants that had half of a kilt-like skirt… and no shirt)… looking spectacular, by the way, and bringing to life a dream I had never even known to dream.
Gracias, Ricky Martin, for all you do and all you share with the world. And thank you for releasing that book entitled “Yo” that I originally thoight was in English, and so thought you were unexpectedly thug. That still gives me a good laugh.
And thank you, God, for this spectacular blessing. Please, guide me to be your love. In your name, I pray. Amen.
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(Still had to think about it!)

Goodbye songs and prayers

Sure enough, as expected but almost didn’t come to happen, I cried while singing to this one class in particular. Somehow, I got to the last three lines totally fine, but then got one clear look directly at one student, and fell apart almost instantly. I had to stop entirely, because I just could barely breathe and I was crying so suddenly and so intensely. We had a fun few moments of me learning to breathe again, and of our joking about how ‘You can’t do an encore, if it isn’t finished yet.’ I had one more line to go, and I was going to sing it! And I did. And it was wonderful. And I just love these kids dearly.

Thank you, thank you, Thank you, God and Universe for the blessing of this position this semester, and for the blessing that is and has been getting to be with these kids and be loved by them.

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Ce soir…

L’opéra, l’opéra, l’opéra at last. After nearly a two-year delay, Houston Grand Opera has returned to the stage officially, and we attended our first show tonight. It was lovely. Also, it was Carmen, and I love the music from Carmen. Sure, the story and lyrics are still totally typical dramatic and repetitive opera, but, goodness, that music is especially spectacular. I’m a big fan. (And I had a fan that I used during the performance, when it was a tad too warm early on. Then Carmen kept pulling out fans and using them herself. However, hers were used very much in a sultry, seductive way, and mine was merely used to cool my face and neck.)

Thank you, Georges Bizet, for this wonderful opera whose success you never got to see or know (He died only three months after its debut, and the reviews were not so great at the time.).

And thank you, God, for this opportunity in my life, and this gift to the world.

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Songs

So, I wrote these songs. I like them. As it turns out, I am now entirely clear that I want to turn them into real songs, so to speak. I want a full instrumentation on them, and a great recording quality. I want them to be like any other song I might play off of a phone or computer or sound system. I want them to be real songs. How bizarre is that? I thought that was for the select few in the world…
I actively want to work on them and improve them wholly. And I can see that I truly will do all of that.
How truly bizzare… and that it feels so utterly casual, normal for me. Perhaps this is a perfect example of my cousin’s point as to whether I even knew what normal was. 😛
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Music

I wrote another song this week. I was hesitant to share it with the public, as my opinions are not exactly the most vocally common… However, I felt that it was the piece of love that I needed to share with the world right now, and so I sucked it up, let it all go, and shared the song. The following is all I said with it.

“I was deeply distraught regarding many, many experiences, both firsthand and secondhand, recently, and I finally started to write about it on Sunday. My frustrations came out in verse, as has been common for years for me. As I wrote them, I was able to release them, and was left, instead of with despair, with the hope of stepping into something of value and filled with love. These words were what was left filling the page, and _________ asked for some ukulele… So, here we have another ukulele song! ;)”

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Music to my ears

It seems as though I have a bit of unfinished business regarding baritones with spectacular singing abilities. I shall contemplate this further, in order to reach clarity, but it seems as though I either need to have a relationship with one, or I need to have a major completion conversation about them…

I believe I shall say more about this tomorrow, when it is not already 2:05am, and I am not literally aching to be asleep.

Post-a-day 2021