Manuel’s Birthday!

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Manuel of “Manuel’s View”, Happy Birthday to Youuuuu!

Here’s a cake in the shape of a burger, Manuel!

Enjoy your day and enjoy the cake!

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National Hamburger Day

Celebrate National Hamburger Day by ordering or making yourself a huge, juicy burger with all the fixins. According to Wikipedia, the first American hamburger may have been invented by a guy named Louis Lassen. He “sandwiched a pattie between two pieces of white toast for a busy office worker in 1900”. The burgers were then flame broiled in the “original 1898 Bridge & Beach vertical cast iron gas stoves using locally patented steel wire gridirons to hold the hamburgers in place during cooking”. So thank you very, very much, Louis Lassen.

Hamburger and Accessories

Hamburger and Accessories

Honesty…Yeeeah, not always the best policy.

I haven’t talked about the Cackler recently because she’s been pretty subdued. Even her laughter was less abrasive.

Tonight she was back in action – loud, prolonged and sharp cackles and playing the choir director’s assistant. We were practicing a song that has lots of words ending in “s”. We have to be careful about how we end that word or we’ll sound like a bunch of snakes. Our director taught us a few times how to do this well. Some still don’t quite get the hang of it, but if there’s a problem our director will handle it. He’s our director, I trust him.

At the end of the song, the Cackler announced, “I’m hearing a lot of “S”s all around me in the Soprano section! Particularly page 4, measure 10! Can we go through that again?” He listened to her and we went through it again. It is normal for people to ask our director to review a section of a song in order to perfect it, but Cackler grated my nerves. She’s always assisting, it seems. Ugh, oh well.

On the way down the aisle on my way out, a lady who sits next to the Cackler complimented on a shirt I had on. I thanked her, but there was a lull in conversation and for some reason I thought I had to continue the conversation. I said, “Thanks, I just bought it the other day…” And I’m positive my ears weren’t deceiving me, but I heard her snicker and say, “Nobody cares, Tara.”

Hmm…Um, okay I guess that’s true and I probably didn’t need to point out it was a new shirt. I said goodnight to her and we went our separate ways. Thankfully I don’t have to have much to do with her, if any. I don’t want to get into a rumble in choir, but then again that might make for a very interesting post!

A Fight Cloud (Sims Style)

A Fight Cloud (Sims Style)

Chicken and Pancakes

Sooooo?! How was the weekend for everyone?

This weekend was the kind where everything went smoothly. I was able to leave work at noon on Friday because I had to work on Saturday. I’ve been meaning to look for some frames for a few photos I had enlarged, but not many stores have that specific size. So before I could get too lazy, I drove to the craft store. They have a smaller shop next door that sells all art supplies, including frames. After looking for a bit, I finally came across some affordable frames with the exact measurement I wanted. So I picked up a few and then also bought a few wooden frames that were a little off with measurements, but I knew I could always trim off some of my photos.

Once I was done there, I thought I’d head over to Borders and see if they had “The Skeleton Key” on DVD. I have been on a little mission to find that movie – Yes there were plenty other places I could’ve looked, but the shops I did look in did not supply it. I looked for the DVD at Borders – looked in the Horror section since it’s a supernatural kind of movie. Not there. Dang it! Then something told me to look in the Drama section. To my amazement and glee, there it was – one copy, all for me. I picked it up as if it was made of gold. Also picked up the movie “The Prince of Tides”. Always liked that movie – very sad and crazy, but it has an interesting story. Then I started to browse some other sections and came across a workout DVD that teaches you Indian dancing Bollywood style. I picked that up too. All satisfied and excited about sitting down with junk food and watching some movies, I headed home (after paying for the stuff, of course).

When I got home I realized I had to pick up a 2009 season pool pass from the apartment’s leasing office. Did that and, since it was so sunny and toasty outside I dropped off my stuff, geared up with my swimsuit, a book and a few towels (one I used for a pillow because I don’t want to lie face down on a lawn chair and have stripes across my face, mm kay?) and my keys. Got some sun but missed some commotion in the parking lot. Someone was getting arrested and from overhearing the lady next to me, the guy who was getting arrested had apparently been in a fight in a basketball court last night. Drama! Anyway, after a little bit I decided to slip into the pool and swim around for awhile. Very nice. I was hungry, though, so decided to get out and head back to my building.

I did not have a movie night right away, though. I think there were some movies on TV that I wound up watching. Couldn’t stay up too late, I had to work the next day. That went really quick and it was fairly quiet since it was the last day of school before a two-week break. It’s the last day completely for the ones who will be graduating, so a few of them stopped by my office to pick up their caps and gowns.

Once I got home and cleaned up a bit, I was ready for my movie night. I watched “Prince of Tides” in the afternoon and then watched “Skeleton Key” at night. In between those movies I tried out my Bollywood workout DVD. That seriously gets the heart pumping. I like it. The movie night was a complete success. The transformation from sleepy and a little jaded employee to a relaxed and content apartment dweller was complete.

Anyway, my mom and I went shopping on Sunday. The luck I had on Friday was carried into that day as well. We both found some really nice stuff. A few things had to be taken back later, but we were still happy with most of the stuff we bought. I have been more daring and less insecure about buying sleeveless dresses and tank tops. If you remember how I wrote about how self conscious I can be about my upper arms, you would be very proud to know that I picked out and bought a sleeveless dress. It is a sort of abstract, yellow flower design with streaks of black and gray in there as well. It’s very pretty and Summery and it fits well. Now I need to buy some shoes and maybe a yellow, silk scarf for an accent. Accessorize!

Today’s plans were moved around and changed a bit, but it still resulted in a nice day. We went to see the local Memorial Day parade which included my nephew’s high school band. It was a quick parade which ended just down the street. Then it was time for a really nice Memorial Day ceremony. My nephew played Taps with another fellow trumpet player and then a woman sang, “God Bless the USA”. Made my mom cry, and it’s been awhile since something like that has brought her to tears. Usually I’m the one. Can’t deny it, though, my eyes were getting all blurry and I was one more patriotic song away from crying right along with her. If they had played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” I would’ve lost it. It was bad enough they followed up “Taps” with a lone bagpipe playing “Amazing Grace”. I’m surprised that didn’t grab me.

After the ceremony we went to Perkins and ate some breakfast. I love that restaurant because we can order pancakes and sausage any time of the day. I ordered a huge breakfast meal complete with three pancakes, some sausage links and a patty, a pile of scrambled eggs, two strips of bacon and two pieces of smoked sausage. Those were not add-ons, people, that was the entire meal. Blerg, I felt like such a slothy, gluttonous pig. But it’s a holiday! I was hungry, I ate almost everything. I vowed I wouldn’t eat another fattening thing for the rest of the day, and I’ve stuck to that vow.

Went back to my mom’s place for a cup of coffee and then finally headed home where I took a quick nap, then took a shower and now I’m telling you all about my weekend. We have a four-day week, but here is a little time line of what is gonna be happening:

– Saturday: Dress rehearsal for choir concert
– Sunday: Concert (Did I mention I’m in a choir and we’re having a concert? Wasn’t sure I mentioned it enough or too much)
– That following week on Thursday (June 4th): Our school’s June graduation ceremony
– Monday June 8th: I have a day off, my nephew graduates
– Tuesday June 9th: Nuthin. I have another day off. Woot!

Band Member

My nephew is the one in the middle, hunched over just a bit. Probably ready to pick up the trumpet again.

Beautiful Horse

Here’s a photo of a really pretty horse that appeared in the parade. There were a few other beautiful horses trotting around too. I noticed later on that the person who lived in the nearby townhouse had the nerve to hang a Yale banner in their window when they are near my college, Baldwin-Wallace. Sheesh. Out they go, they need to be evicted.

Civil War Dudes with Guns

On our way, we heard some sharp banging noises. They were coming from the small group of Civil War buffs providing tribute to the flag by firing off their guns during a cool ceremony.

“Isn’t it Bliss? Don’t You Approve?”

We have one more regular choir practice next week before we have dress rehearsal next Saturday. I always get excited at this point in time. Finally our hard work pays off and on May 31st, not only will it officially be my 7th year of working at the same place (twitch, twitch, hallucination), but our 2009 Spring Concert will begin at 3pm EST. No blizzards are expected (or invited). Plus, we’ll be in the same hall we were in during our Winter concert, which has better ventilation and air circulation. Our poor director must’ve lost 8lbs when he directed us in the church last year. No air conditioning, just small fans. Not enough. Oh and hopefully no broken bones like we had last Christmas.

Okay, so here is what our main choir is singing:

– “Come to the Music” (cuz the concert theme is “Come to the Music”, see?)
– “There is Sweet Music Here”
– “And the Night Shall Be Filled with Music” (Dang, but I hate this song)
– “Mountain Music” (I love this song. – I told the girl next to me, who happens to be our choir’s secretary or some deal like that, that we should all be able to wear cowboy hats during this song, since it is country. A guy in the first row thought it was a good idea too. No such luck. White top, black skirts or pants as usual. Yawn. I mean c’mon, we all shout “Yeow!” at the end, how convincing is it gonna be when we look all pristine?)
– “Send in the Clowns” (When I was little I thought the lyrics were: “Send in the Clouds”. Now when I listen to the actual lyrics, I can sense some sad sarcasm, but I still like the song. It has come together quite well for us, too. The guys just need to get the beat right in the beginning without rushing it.
– “O Music” (oh music. tsk.)
– “You Are the Music in Me” (Oy vey – not that we won’t do our best to sing this god forsaken song, but it has been a chore)
– “The Music’s Always There with You” (I like this one)

Then there are songs from our breakout group called the Chamber Choir, and then back to the whole group singing:

“Friends” and then,

“Friends in Low Places” (I never thought I’d like a song sung by Bolo tie wearin’ Garth Brooks, but this one was fun – it starts as an awesome solo – the guy in our choir does the country music voice cracks and just sounds amazing. I heard he was the only one who was permitted to wear a cowboy hat. (sigh)…I guess it’ll have to do).

And that’s it, but I didn’t include the songs the smaller chorus is singing. It’ll be a good group of songs, for sure. I’m psyched. I feel like I’ve been studying for a test since mid January and I’m wiped out. Psyched and excited, but wiped out. Let’s do this already, right? Actually, I hope most of us can meet up for that Summer concert, too!

Oh here are two other things:

One of my nephews, C, will be playing “Taps” on trumpet with a friend of his pretty soon. My mom and I are anxious to hear it, but we both know it’ll make us cry.

Also, that same nephew will be graduating next month from high school. Then he’ll be off to an art school in another state. Yikes, where has time gone. Seems like only yesterday that same kid was turning red from the 2-year-old tantrums he was throwing in the middle of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Now he’s 18 and is as stable as a teenager can possibly be at that age, has an idea of what he wants to do with his artistic talent, and has survived the sense of humor our families have thrown at him. He’ll kick ass, that’s my assumption. Should I tell him that it took me a few years in college before I could focus and get my grades in order? Or that college tests are a little different than high school tests and that the first time I got an “F” on a test in college, I called up my mom (who lived less than 2 miles away) to cry about it in the corner of the college Union? Should I?….Nah, I’ll let him wait to experience those magical moments himself and then he can call his aunt and vent it out. Tough love.

“Three little birds, sat on my window. And they told me I don’t need to worry.”

I don’t have much else to say today, I’m very tired. I tossed and turned for a large chunk of the night, thinking about the meeting we were scheduled to have today with our school manager. What was she gonna say? Has she hired someone to be our department manager yet? What’s the scoop? Well I need not have lost any sleep, because there wasn’t anything new to report. We’re in limbo right now regarding any word on hiring someone else, so we’ll stay the course. She did tell us to keep up the good work, we’re doing an excellent job. It’s helpful and nice to get feedback like that every so often.

On to some other things – just stuff I overheard while we were set up at the sale:

A woman was walking behind her husband who was pushing a stroller. He stopped suddenly and she said, “If you stop in front of me like that one more time, I swear.”

Then while I was sitting at our table, I heard a couple looking at books in the section next to us.:

Guy: “You’re looking at books?”
Girl: “Yeah!”
Guy: “Don’t you have….like…600 of them?”
Girl: “Yes, but I don’t have this one.”

Finished off a long, stressful and mildly frustrating day by going to a Thanksgiving meal in May over at my friend’s place. We had it on her porch. Friends, food, chatter and a nice breeze that occasionally blew through. I love this time of year.