You already know the salient part of Saturday's adventures if you read bitty's journal. It was supposed to be a Sopranos afternoon and evening, but fate would have it differently.
Prior to that I had a session with my voice coach at 2 p.m. in the Steinert Building on the Common. The Steinert Building is where they sell Steinways, and they have one of those old-fashioned elevators that has an attendant because travelling between floors is not simply a matter of pressing a button. Trés cool.
When I left Bitty's I drove south to the 128 so I could drive all the way north to Woburn for a housewarming party. I figured maybe I'd meet some young ladies to boost my confidence. The problem with attending a married couple's housewarming, though, is that everyone is married. Except for me and JC and 2 ladies. And even though I look like Prince Charming opposite JC, I had no interest whatsoever in chatting these women up beyond the standard insipid smalltalk.
I made the effort to wake up this morning so that I could check out the books that surrealestate was giving away and then join Keya, Dan, and Dan's mother for brunch at the Copley Marriott. I picked up a few interesting books from pheromone. I got Dune and Dune Messiah, so now I can tease Bitty about not letting me have the Children of Dune she was giving away recently. Also picked up the first few of the Dragonriders of Pern series, a book of stories by Larry Niven, and a Calvin and Hobbes book. Yes, these books were pretty mildewed, but I sense that I have lower standard when it comes to the condition of used books.</i>
I was meeting with a new client at 2 p.m. at South Shore Mall. At 2:10 I called him to find out where he was. Turns out he thought the meeting was at 10 a.m. I can't get to work by 10 a.m., so no way am I going to be able to three times as far by 10 a.m. He'll be coming to my office tomorrow.
While I am pleased that I've been contacted by 3-4 potential clients in the past couple of weeks, I question whether I really want to devote the energy to this right now.
When my client turned out to be a no-show. I called Ellie to see if I could move my voice lesson up from 4. She called back while I was checking out at Filene's. Good thing she agreed to meet earlier: I discovered I had left Arabian Nights at home. While I had pheromone's books with me and I do want to read them -- I wouldn't have taken them if I didn't -- I didn't want to start anything new right now, especially since I have 200 pages to read by my next book club meeting on Saturday. And for me, 200 pages is a couple of weeks' worth.
Did more talking than singing at the lesson. That's not a bad thing, though. We talked about technique, about voice classification, about the impact of social issues (such as the revelation that so many composers were gay) on musical and poetic interpretation, about how much of the song is really codified by the composer and how much is left to the singer to mold and make his own, etc. It was a good lesson even though I sang for maybe only 20-30 minutes of it.
I went to the 6 p.m. mass at the church I can't stand instead of the 8 p.m. mass at the church I love so that I could play Settlers with Keya, Dan, and JC afterwards. The priest wasn't as annoying as usual this time. Sometimes I wonder if all the good university priests were sent to BC and Harvard and if BU got punished with the not-so-bright priest who talks down to the congregation as if we're little kids. But this guy actually gave a decent homily today that I felt was particularly relevant to me.
The service was still unbearable, though. You'd think that if you are a practicing catholic, you'd know all the basic responses and such. There was a girl in the pew behind me to my left who, when she spoke, spoke in a loud, nasal, confident voice. Usually, those who speak that way know what they're doing. She kept saying the wrong things in the wrong places. Once or twice wouldn't have bothered me, but it was a real test of patience, especially since, this being a university service during summer vacation, everything she uttered could be heard clearly. After the Gospel reading, instead of saying, "Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ," she said, "Thanks...Praise be to God." She insisted on pluralizing every singular noun, and really emphasizing the "s" sound: "Lord, hear our prayersssssss." She would say "Thanks be to God" when the rest of us were saying "Amen" and vice-versa. Then, when she heard me singing loudly and confidently -- I sing in my mezzo-forte which, due to the nature of my genre, is louder than most people sing, but (1) after attending mass every Sunday and more for the last 10 or so years, I'm familiar with most stuff we sing in church, hence the confidence, and (2) if I try to hold back and sing quietly, I end up losing easy notes at the top and cracking a lot -- she tried to match me in volume, only she had no concept of pitch, so everytime she sang it was a loud, nasal, monotonous drone off-key. Ugh!
Then I showed up at Dan's place only to find that they weren't home and I couldn't reach them by cell phone. I was about to give up and go home when I finally got through to Keya on her cell. Turns out they were in but hadn't heard the cellphones ringing...for a good fifteen minutes. Uh-huh.
I modelled the 3 shirts I bought at Filene's. They really liked the black polo shirt. When I tried on the light blue button-up shirt, they both agreed that if I wanted to attract guys instead of women I should keep it. They said that if I wore that shirt and my current haircut, I would be proclaiming to the world that I am gay. I am tempted to keep it just to spite them. But, I really would like to attract women, so I can't make them think that I am unavailable to them.
We played a game of Settlers. I've been playing a lot online for the past month or two. It is so true that practice makes one better. Keya placed first and I placed fourth. She, naturally, got the best vertex on the board. Had she followed my advice on where to place her second settlement she would have been on the fast track to win, but she decided to place two vertices away and build towards the good spot; by the time she got there, everyone was way ahead of her. I was able to get my initial two settlements adjacent to each resource with a good number spread. Once I placed and Keya misplaced, I felt confident I would win. It might have been different if I hadn't beat Dan to a 3:1 port, but I did. I won fairly easily, 10 points to Dan's 6, JC's 6, and Keya's 4.
Then JC went home and the remaining three of us played a game of Trivial Pursuit. It wasn't close. I cleaned up big time. However, it wasn't enough to remove the bad taste from when pheromone so completely kicked my butt at TP a month or two ago. You see, there are a few people who can beat me at TP. But nobody -- absolutely nobody -- has ever schooled me at that game...not until she did it recently. I need a rematch with her to redeem myself. ;)
On my way home I was in the mood for classical music. However, WCRB was playing an early Haydn symphony. I really don't like Haydn symphonies. None of the other stations wre playing classical, and I wasn't really enjoying the jazz on WGBH either, so I turned back to the Haydn. Luckily, it ended soon and was replaced with Beethoven's 5th. I've probably listened to that symphony more than any other, and I was afraid I'd get hooked and spend an extra 40 minutes in my car. However, the first movement ended as I parked, so I was able to tear myself away.
And now it's time to sleep!