melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Hey y'all. Things are better. About mid-day yesterday, my emotions tumbled back into their appropriate places and I was able to focus on the needful. Work was good. Choir practice was very good, even though I still have problems with scales. I can make my voice jump all over the place but for the love of the Intergalactic Fruit Bat, do not make me sing a scale in a piece. I'm sure to throw unwanted accidentals and make the line much more bluesy/jazzy than a renaissance song should be.


But I redeemed myself later in the practice and was a good example rather than the "project". Go Team Alto.

Hubbyfink took today off to chaperone the pest control guy. We didn't realize the guy would get there while I was still getting ready for work which means Hubbyfink could have gone to work. Ah well. It's a beautiful day and the Hubs is happy to be able to putz around on projects at home. Plus he slept in until nearly 8am. That's unheard of! It helps that the cats were being very good and very quiet.

Tonight I get my hairs cut and then Hubs is taking me out for steak. Nom nom nom. Tomorrow night is our follow-up meeting with our financial advisor. I've assembled and scanned all our financial docs and we're not in as dire straits and I'd initially feared, retirement-wise. We're not going to be retiring at 45 or anything like that, but we're on the right track and need only a few adjustments to make sure we can live out our golden years in the comfort and style to which we will have grown accustomed.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Alle Psallite convened on Missy Anne's church on Saturday for a four-hour recording session. We put "Chantez a Dieu (Psalm 96)" by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, "Angelus ad pastores ait" by Hans Leo Hassler, "Jaquin Jaquet" by Clemens non Papa, and "Salvator mundi" by Thomas Tallis to... what's the audio version of pixels? Whatever the name of that is, we put those songs to it. Recording was a fun, if exhausting, experience and we all felt really good about how the songs sounded. The architecture of the church's sanctuary produced gorgeous reverb and the omnidirectional mic above us, in addition to the mics on each part, made the tone sound so rich. We'll work up more songs and convene again a few more times to gather enough tracks for a fully fleshed out album. So exciting!

Afterwards, Sian followed me home to help Hubbyfink fix the hot water shut-off valve under the kitchen sink. Their work required an emergency run to Lowe's and I took care of some much-needed vacuuming and clutter clearing while they were gone. They returned triumphant from the hardware store and fixed the shut-off in no time at all. Hubbyfink took a celebratory nap after and then we spent the next two hours watching "Torchwood: Miracle Day" on demand. We're both fans. "Children of Earth" was SUCH a downer and left both of us feeling unsure of how the show would continue. We're very happy with how things are progressing and are happy with even the over the top aspects because, to be honest, the first couple of seasons of "Torchwood" were pretty over the top. So, yay!

I spent most of Sunday visiting with friends. I had two tubs of Pancho's Cheese dip for [ profile] courtney_d_h and enjoyed a good visit with her after handing off the dip. I need to spend more time with her. Then I scooted over to Missy Anne's Sweat Shop [tm]to help out with the cushion-making project for our Pennsic dining tent benches. I pinned a couple of cushions and stuffed most of the covers with the foam rectangles. We'll be sitting in comfort at dinnertime this year!

Hubbyfink had wanted to try a test ride to his office so I ducked out of the Sweat Shop early so we'd have enough daylight for the ride. We followed the path I'd taken for my bike ride to Jenny Craig that one time and then continued on along Elden Street under the toll road and up to Hubbyfink's office. That. was. terrifying. The walkway under the toll road was pretty narrow although, we were able to pass another cyclist going the other direction, but it was tight. When we got out from under those bridges and past the access road, the sidewalk disappeared and we found ourselves careening downhill on a loose dirt path full of large (not small gravel-sized) loose rocks. ACK! Busy road on our left, sharp drop-off into a drainage ditch on our right, madness straight ahead! We did safely arrive at Hubbyfink's place of business and I told him his commute sucked. A lot. We decided to try a different direction for the return trip.

We took Sunrise Valley -- OMG, the hill was almost like the Rte 28 bridge! -- up to Monroe/Van Buren. That seemed safe enough except that the sidewalk zigzags across the FOUR LANES AND TURN LANES ROAD a couple of times. WTH, Herndon?? Why do you hate pedestrians? I would have just said "screw it!" and stayed on the road, but Hubbyfink doesn't feel as comfortable on surface streets as I do. So, instead, we played a much more dangerous game of Frogger-on-wheels. We continued on Van Buren to Spring on to Old Town Herndon where we hopped on the trail. I'm so grateful we both had head- and tail-lights because dark was coming on quickly.

The rest of the trip home was a breeze. Crestview to Sterling is mostly downhill and we FLEW home. At one point, I wished I had a speedometer to see how fast I was going. Something hit my leg hard enough to hurt at that point. I assumed it was a frog -- I don't know... some kamikaze frog playing Frogger on the trail, perhaps -- or a bird. Hubbyfink told me afterward that I should think smaller and go with "bug". There's no mark on my leg today, so I'm still mystified about what I smacked into. Of course, my sweaty-and-sunscreened neck was covered with little tiny gnats and whatnots. Ew. Thankfully, there were no gnats or whatnots of any size stuck in my teeth.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The abrasions on my elbows are nearly gone and the only remaining soreness is on the right side of my jaw. I guess my bike helmet straps pulled my jaw a bit. I have a new helmet and Hubbyfink is checking the local bike shops for a replacement wheel. Provided all goes as planned, I'll be on my bike Sunday and commuting by bike on Monday. I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Enjoyed a fun choir practice last night. Two newcomers to the SCA joined our ranks as a bass and alto. Yay, another alto! They got tossed into the deep end of the pool, musically speaking, but were able to tread along and not get scared off.

My weight loss has stagnated again, but considering the lack of exercise this weekend and the comfort food ingested, I'm going to count maintaining as a win. My consultant is pretty brilliant at finding ideas to motivate me. I have to motivate myself as well. I feel awesome now and look pretty good, too. It's hard to see beyond what's happening now to think that I could feel and look even better.

I'm getting pretty excited about Pennsic. I haven't looked at the class listing yet so I can make my carefully color coded schedule which will be ignored during the event. I plan on working at Troll most of the time and relaxing the other part of the time. I'm looking forward to hanging out with my friends. I'm not going to say that I hope it's not too hot or too wet because it will be regardless. I need to take in some dresses and smocks so I have something to wear.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Testing the post-a-picture-by-phone process.

I spotted this magnificent creature as I dried my hair this morning. Never in my life have I desired a zoom lens as much as today. Neither my cell phone nor my actual camera could zoom in on him enough to show how pretty he is. He had a bright red head and shocking white streaks in his hulking vulture body. I feared for the TV aerial's structural integrity with that amount of bird perching and posing.

As much as I'd hoped our area would get walloped by the monster storm, I was not disappointed to wake to gentle, and non-freezing, rain this morning. There's still plenty of snow on the ground to make the world a wonderland while, at the same time, the roads are clear. Plus, there will be sun this afternoon.

Hubbyfink took the Highlander to the dealership this morning for an oil change and its 10,000 mile service. I thought I'd put a heinous amount of mileage on it, but I've had the truck for ten months as of this coming Friday so I'm running about average, I s'pose. It was weird driving the Prius to work. I know I've driven it since getting the Highlander, but it felt so small. It didn't help that Hubbyfink had pushed the seat way forward and the steering wheel down. I'm not that much shorter! (He keeps thinking I'm a little bitty short thing when I'm only three or four inches shorter than him! Silly 'fink.)

Speaking of little bitty, only four of us showed up to [ profile] carthew's place for choir practice last night. It worked out pretty well, though, as we were able to drill "Jaquin Jacquet" by Clemens non Papa. What an adorable little tune! What a tongue-twister of lyrics! I think I'm the only one in the group who studied French in school. I provided some pronunciation guidance, but it's Middle French, I think, and the words are weird. Still, fun!


Dec. 8th, 2010 11:35 am
melaniesuzanne: (Merry Ratmas!)
2010 Daily Ornament Report - 0 harmed; judicious use of the water bottle is paying off.

Pretty good choir practice last night, although I do wish that others would put more energy and life into their singing. I was very, very tired, but I still tried to make the lively songs bright and cheerful and the introspective songs ethereal. It's a downer to hear a bouncy piece of music be sung as a dirge. Or maybe I'm one of the few people who believes that the last practice before a performance should be treated as a dress rehearsal and one should practice as if one were actually performing. To be fair, "The Gloucester Wassail" was just about perfect in temperament. I wish the other lively songs could have been sung similarly. Hopefully we'll do better on Saturday.

I'm still tired this morning. I haven't been walking because of the bitter cold and I definitely feel the absence of that energizing activity. I'm also having a hard time not eating anything that isn't nailed down in the house. Amusingly, I am not going after the bowls of sugar free candy; I want SALT and almonds are my snack of choice at home. Not terrible, I suppose, but I don't feel positive about tomorrow morning's weigh-in.

There are some bright spots ahead. This Saturday's event should be laid back and fairly fun. K&J's Christmas party is Saturday night; I can't wait to see their new house. And Wombikins is in the area on business travel next week. The 'fink and I will take him out for dinner on Thursday. Yay!

Oof. I've got to wrap and ship Tennessee-bound gifts this week.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I finally have the 2nd alto part for our arrangement of Tallis' "Salvator Mundi" down. I've been practicing and practicing and I can sing all of my part with the midi for 1st alto from which I get a lot of my cues. I didn't think it would ever click, but last night the music finally got into my brain. Whoo hoo!

In other news, I ran a little while slogging away on the treadmill last night. Apparently A.R. Rahman's "Jai Ho" has beats of about 4.3 mph. Phew. Happily, I didn't feel like I was going to die at the end of the song; going that fast made 3.5 mph feel a LOT easier. There were a couple of other songs with beats around 4mph so I wound up with a little bit of speed interval training during my two mile walk. I'm going to up it to three miles next week.


Oct. 13th, 2010 12:23 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
Good Alle Psallite practice last night. There was ALTO WIN on both "With Wreaths of Rose and Laurel" AND Tallis' "Salvator Mundi". Praise Jesus and all the saints, I'm actually finally getting the hang of the alto 2 line on the latter. Only three more practices until performance at Crown Tourney so I need to keep banging along with the midi in my free time. I also need to come up with something to sing for the performance part of the Chalice competition next week. Blarg. I am so uninspired. Hrm. Maybe since I got the position of Baronial Bard this time around for a fantastic booty-shaking dance, I should dance with a snake. The theme of the competition is "Medusa" and everybody loves snake dances, amirite?

In other news, Hubbyfink and I have made yet another step into the 21st century: I bought our first blu-ray player. I'd been holding out against upgrading because I didn't know that blu-ray players would also play DVDs. Silly me. [ profile] zipmeister set me straight on that account and now we are ready for big screen magic when Hubbyfink makes that third step into the 21st century by buying an HDTV in the next month or so. (I went ahead and got the player because it was on sale and I had gift cards to burn.) I'm so excited about the player because it's Netflix enabled so we don't have to use the Wii for Netflix Instant Watch. Suh-weet. It's also Pandora-enabled. Pretty sweet.

I may be getting some new job duties and I'm pretty excited about it. A lot of workdays, I'm just waiting for someone to call or IM me with a question. Occasionally, I am very, VERY busy. But for the most part, I'm answering emails and stamping out fires for the first half of my day and losing at solitaire during the afternoon. Bossman thinks I'm a star for agreeing to do this new stuff; I'm not going to dissuade his impression.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I have a DreamWidth account which I've used only to help a friend troubleshoot their LJ/DW posting & commenting. I do not post there but I may port a copy of my LJ over there.

I have a Facebook account which I started so I could see pictures of my nephew. Then lots of real life friends "friended" me there and my Mom got me hooked on Farmville, and well, that's Facebook.

I have my Livejournal which I use for journalling my life and feelings in open, friend-locked, filtered, and/or private posts. I also read RSS feeds for the blogs of non-LJ-friend and lurk in many LJ communities.

Three separate sites for three separate uses. Woof.

In other news, there was lots of alto fail again last night, but Cassie and I had fun with it. [ profile] carthew tortured us with introduced us to three new pieces. She seemed a little discouraged at the end of the evening, but we five singers in attendance last night assured her that, while challenging, these new pieces will be fun to learn. Alle Psallite will be performing at Lochmere's baronial investiture on the 11th. Ooh, I should send in my reservation.

Hubbyfink is ripping up the carpet in the upstairs hall this evening and will hopefully be done before I get home. Kit has damaged the carpet too much and I'm now worried about the subfloor beneath. If needs be, we'll coat that with some Kilz. Until we're able to replace the carpets, we'll lay out some of the indoor/outdoor rugs which can be hosed off if Kit's nasty bathroom habits continue. Hopefully, we'll have a better-smelling home in a few days. I am excited about this prospect.

Another killer workout last night. I didn't cry while climbing the stairs this time, but my legs feel like jelly 18 hours later. I am so happy that today is a "rest" day (although, I did do another 20 dead leg lifts this morning). Hubbyfink has promised to entertain me by trying Wii Active tonight while I'm on a conference call. Good times.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I have a tiny little headache directly behind my left eyebrow. I push on my eyebrow and the pain flares up for a moment. I withdraw the pressure and the throbbing stops for a few moments. Lather, rinse, repeat.

My craft room is in complete disarray. It will remain that way until Friday night, most likely, when I will have enough time to devote to putting away clothes and accessories. Someday my house will be clean and straight again. And not smell like cat pee. :/

It's been three days since I last bit my nails. I've got a few months before being trapped at home after a blizzard makes me so stir crazy that I bite them all off again.

Things were ugly in Memphis last night. My brother's cat was, presumably, hit by a car suffered a brain hemorrhage and died in the driveway shortly after Mom got home. She loved that cat and is devastated. My brother won't talk to anybody because he's hurting so badly right now. The cat was living at Mom's house because brother's wife didn't want brother's cats in their apartment. Stepdad didn't put the cat inside when he saw the cat wandering around in the yard. (No surprise there; he was an indoor-outdoor kitty.) There's a lot of blame and self-blame going around.

I feel a bit like a fraud for having a Pearl for music since I sight-sing for absolute crap and can carry a tune only when I've practiced and practiced and practiced. Last night's choir practice was another exercise in ALTO FAIL. I'm trying not to be demoralized by it, and I will dust myself off and practice, practice, practice. But right now, me = music phony.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The two days of rain has made me morose. Everything is really and truly peachy keen in my little corner of the world, but all I want to do is curl up in a ball and eat doughnuts.

The continuous discussion about ticks and tick-borne illnesses makes me reconsider my desire to attend Sapphire Joust. I haven't been bothered by ticks the two (three?) times I've attended the event -- in fact, I haven't had a tick on me since childhood -- but I'm pretty skeeved out by tales of "I was covered in ticks!", "I have Lyme disease because of the Sapphire site!", and other tales of terror. I should simply visit my local lawn & garden center and pick up the vaunted tick repellent and camp with abandon. I know I'll have a good time, ticks or no (preferably "no").

I've been practicing the soprano line of some of the pieces Alle Psallite is working on so that [ profile] psalite doesn't have to sing all by her lonesome. She's a fantastic soloist, of course, but sometimes it's nice to have backup. We had a decent number of altos regularly turning up for practices so I shouldn't be missed on that part. We shall see what Psalite and [ profile] carthew think.

I'm moving to a new cube in a month and I am soooooooo excited. I don't have a firm move date, but I'm slightly more happy about coming in to work every day.
melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
I took last night off from homework and joined up with my Alle Psallite buds at [ profile] carthew's house. We ate girl scout cookies, caught up on each others' current events, and even sang for a little while. It was very, very good being with the choir again.

Today I am barely containing the panic that is burbling in my stomach. The fortnightly project call is tonight and I need as much time as I can scrounge to figure out how to do next Monday's assignment. I was up very late this past Monday working on said assignment, but I couldn't do what I wanted to do. After I figure that out, I'll need to do next Friday's assignment and start thinking about the following Sunday's. Next Wednesday's assignment is critiques of classmates' work and I won't be able to start that until someone else decides to post their assignments early. I may actually get away without taking too much of a hit on participation points, but that might require me logging in from Mom's house on Sunday morning to sneak in last-minute commentary.

We haven't started packing for Gulf Wars, but I have to remind myself that there's not that much to pack. Nearly all of the camping gear stays packed in baskets, canvas bags, and plastic tubs on and near a shelving unit in the basement; it's just a matter of hauling all that stuff upstairs and into the loving embrace of our rental van. I prepped my clothes this past weekend and simply need to fold my dresses and pack them plus breeches, smocks, veils, stockings, and belts into my clothes chest. Lacing cords, pins, and jewelry are in their box. Shoes are in their basket. Toiletries are in their own chest. Linens are gathered together on the sewing table. So really, the only thing(s) left to get are food, beverages, and ice. So. It'll be okay. (This is obviously for me, not you, gentle reader.)
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Last night I attended my first choir practice after our summer hiatus. We had one soprano, three altos and two tenors so I wound up joining [ profile] psalite on the soprano line. My high Fs weren't too awful; they didn't make anyone wince, anyway. Singing that high isn't necessarily comfortable, but it wasn't hurting my throat. I always forget how much fun it is to sing with a group.

Hubbyfink has a new love: Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. He picked it up while I was in Memphis and was playing it before I left for practice and when I got home two and a half hours later. Addict.

And speaking of addiction, this month's BPAL update is tempting me in a terrible, terrible way. I have enough perfume. I do! And yet...
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I haaaaate the elliptical. It's been sixteen hours since I got off that machine and my legs are still jelly-like. I was sweating like a huge sweaty thing. And it was woooonderful. Well, except for not getting the happy-making endorphins but I suppose that's okay. Something cool: the elliptical read my heart rate monitor. I kept checking the wrist monitor and realized the elliptical display was showing the correct heart rate even though I wasn't gripping the monitor handles. Sweet!

Tonight, I shall do upper body work to give my poor legs and hips a rest.

In other news, last night's Alle Psallite was awesome. We rocketed through "Exultate Justi". It should sound good by the 21st. We also dove into "Cantate Domino" and did a fairly good job of plowing through that for the new folks. It felt good to be singing with friends again and the energy was exactly what I've been needing for a while. I've missed my friends.

SCA name change paperwork is en route to the Golden Dolphin Herald. Yay!


May. 26th, 2009 02:54 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Being out of the office for a week and a half has whet my appetite for more vacation. Thankfully, bossman and coworkers are giving me space to catch up today; I'm sure I'll be hounded with emails and phone calls tomorrow. Bossman has also graciously said he'll handle tonight's 10pm call and I don't have to participate. We loves the Bossman, oh yes we do.

I will be at choir practice tonight. I think it's been two months since my last appearance? That can't be right... Well, maybe it is. We have four practices before our next performance and I need to get my behind voice in gear. Sources say the alto section has been fairly thin lately.

I've been chatting with the local herald and she's compiling a name change packet for my SCA persona. I will keep Millicent Chandler as an alternate and my primary persona name will (hopefully) be Pippa Martelli. According to the Academy of St. Gabriel site, "Pippa" and "Martelli" are found in the Catasto of Florence of 1427. Right time period, not quite right location. A little hand-waving and everything will be okay. And it's not like I don't like Florence; it's certainly easier to find clothing resources in my preferred time period in that location! But... you know how it is. Ah, stubborness: it's a good thing you're not a deadly sin.
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
Last night, [ profile] alienor graced Hubbyfink and me with her delightful presence. We dined on gyros at Amphora Diner and then stayed up late watching cat videos on YouTube until we were hyperventilating from laughter.

We live on the edge, my dears. Yea, verily.

I thought we might have a captive houseguest for one more night, but her training session has ended early and she's already on the road trying to get ahead of traffic. This means I get to hit the gym (and duck if it hits back) after work and then scoot on over to [ profile] carthew's for choir practice. If you're in northern Virginia and you enjoy singing medieval and renaissance choral music, come on out and sing with us!

In honor of the best month (and best holiday) ever invented, I need to come up with a list of haunted house/field/town tours in the area. I'm definitely going to Markoff's Haunted Forest on Halloween. I need to research what's happening at Algonkian park so I don't miss out on a super local haunt just down the road. Stay tuned to lists and cattle calls in the coming days.


melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

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