Monday, September 29, 2008

Josiah Patrick

My third nephew, Josiah Patrick, was born at home to my sister Emily early this morning. Head on over to Emily's blog to see him in all his perfection. He joins his big brothers Jonathan Phineas and Thomas Nathanael as one of the sweetest boys in the world.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Single for the Weekend

For the first time in almost 21 months of marriage, FavoriteBoy has left me for TWO WHOLE DAYS. He and his brother Andrew are on their way to Philly to attend a concert of the Philadelphia Orchestra with the Wanamaker Organ. I am staying behind because I have a gig playing in the pit orchestra for an operetta.

I spent the morning trying to decide what to do with myself for the day, an entire Saturday without my husband. I thought maybe I'd treat myself to a massage. I've never had one before, and in fact, I promised myself one if I ran a 10K, which I did - but then once I did it I decided it wasn't really impressive enough to merit a massage, so I never got the massage, after all. Then I thought maybe I'd go buy myself Mexican food for lunch - after the massage - since I love Mexican and FavoriteBoy does not. Then I thought I'd go to Target, because I just like walking through Target and looking at things. Then I thought maybe I'd call a friend - catch up with someone I haven't seen in a while, perhaps, or meet a good friend for coffee.

So that's what I imagined doing.

You know what I think I'll actually do?

Go to the gym. Call my parents to say hi. Hem a pair of pants. Clean the kitchen. Practice my violin. Go play the show tonight - which is quite a hilarious operetta, by the way. Get home around 10:30. Hope FavoriteBoy calls. Tuck into bed so I can go to church in the morning, be alert for the matinée performance at 3, and then do an eight-mile run after that.

The thing is, eating out, browsing through stores, or going out with friends just doesn't seem that fun without FavoriteBoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The personnel for one of the orchestras I play in have an odd habit of likening orchestral happenings to sports happenings whenever possible. For example, when introducing the role of the concertmaster to children at a kids' concert, they explain, "He's like the Tom Brady of the orchestra."

Last weekend's attempted correlation wasn't as successful as the conductor may have hoped. He announced to the audience, "The bassoonist you're about to hear perform the Gandolfi concerto (an extremely cool piece, by the way) is kind of like the Manny Ramirez of the Boston Symphony."

He must not follow sports - or Boston news at all, for that matter - very closely, because I doubt he meant anything like, "He's kind of that member of the BSO that everyone hopes will just leave already..." (Or that he has already left, since he remains principal bassoonist!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things

A nine-year old piano student's book contains a piece entitled "Minstrel Show." Unfortunately, many children today are unfamiliar with the word "minstrel," and this student, A., is no exception. This week at her lesson, A. exclaimed unwittingly, "For some reason I always start to say the words 'Minstrel Flow' instead of 'show.' I'm not sure why."

Stifling a laugh, I responded, "I'm not sure, either."

And then explained what a minstrel was.

(I'll leave any other explaining that needs to be done to her mom.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grammar Blogs

I've been enjoying two grammar-related blogs lately: Apostrophe Abuse and The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

I recall an old post in which I bemoaned signs advertising the sale of "hot dog's," but obviously my local gas station is not alone in its misuse of apostrophes! Lots of pizzerias are offering Pizza's.

Unnecessary quotation marks - now there's an oddity. I can't understand this phenomenon. I recently saw an item on a breakfast menu called "fake" turkey bacon. Do the quotations marks negate the "fakeness," meaning that the turkey bacon is in fact real? And is it not actually fake bacon, but quite real turkey bacon? I often think that I should get a job editing menus. Have you ever noticed the sheer number of grammar or punctuation errors when you're perusing your food choices? Even big chain restaurant menus are not without their little mistakes.

I particularly like this post showing a sign reading "Very Nice" Any Time Gifts because it looks like the writer of the message wasn't sure whether "any time" should be one word or two, so he squished them together - but capitalized each word just to cover his bases. (Also, the "very nice" gifts are actually a style rather reminiscent of the seventies, so perhaps the words "very nice" do belong in quotes after all, as a joke - although I doubt the writer intended it that way.)

I also got a laugh out of this sign, advising people to "Pull" on the door handle (or do they mean the opposite?) - and giving them some encouragement as well.

I personally love signs that label a building as "Office," or a desk as "Main Desk," or that instruct persons in conspiratorial, quotation-laden terms to "Ask For Assistance." It leaves me with the vague impression that I've entered a front for the mob, and that if I just know the password with which to "Ask For Assistance," I'll be ushered to the real "Main Desk" where the inside business is conducted.

I often see the words "historic" or "historical" in quotes, and I wonder about the writer's intent. Is the site in fact so non-historic as to be laughable, or do some people think that words like this just belong in quotation marks?

My Grandma is the only person whose rampant usage of quotation marks is an endearing trait. She particularly uses quotes for words or phrases so "historic" that she fears I might not grasp her meaning, writing to me that she is "hanging in there" although she is getting a bit "old," warning me that she is a "nut" thanks to said "old" age, asking if I can "figure out" her meanings, or advising me to do some "sight-seeing" back East when I can. She also appears to use quotation marks for emphasis, as in the following: Love to you "and Nathan." (Or perhaps she doesn't love Nathan, after all.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

30 Years

Today is my parents' 30th anniversary. 30 years is quite a long time: long enough to live in several different homes, to have several differnet jobs, to have four babies and change a lot of diapers, to raise those four kids and see them all off to college, to acquire two sons-in-law and one daughter-in-law, to have two grandkids - and a third due any day. 30 years is a lot of life.

For their anniversary, my brothers and sister and I are getting my parents a new set of dishes. It seems appropriate, since after all we were the ones that broke, chipped, or stained all the dishes they got 30 years ago for their wedding.

Mom and Dad love each other so much, and every day they live out the vows they made 30 years ago. They've lived through "for better, for worse," and "for richer, for poorer." Lately it's been the "in sickness and in health" bit - actually, especially just the "in sickness" part. They certainly honor one another deeply. They serve one another so very joyfully in all circumstances. What a wonderful example they have set for their children.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My First 5K

Odd that I would run my first 5K a week after my first 10K, but that's what I did. Yesterday my friend Story told me about a 5K being held this morning at the seminary her husband attends. A seminary 5K! Naturally, we thought it'd be low-key, informal, and non-competitive. She was planning to run it, and invited me to join her. I agreed.

The seminary 5K was not what we expected. Those seminary students had sparks shooting from their squinted eyes as they gazed at the course ahead while we all waited behind the start line. Their tightly-pressed lips betrayed their resolve, and they even squatted and grabbed their toes to get ready for the start. Story, a veteran runner who has run the Marine Corps Marathon before, laughed with surprise, and we quickly realized we might be the only ones there planning to run slowly (Story just had a baby two months ago), at a pace that allowed chatting, and just for fun.

Sure enough, those seminarians ran intensely. The lone professor running the race, a gentleman in his fifties or sixties, was the only person running at our pace.

Nevertheless, we had a great time, and I enjoyed my first "official" race - the kind where you get a number pinned on your shirt - no matter how ridiculous the outcome!

Story tells me that most races have runners of all ages, shapes, sizes, and speeds, and that 11- or 12- minute mile runners can finish in the middle, instead of at the end.

Next time I'll have to find that kind of race.