May 26, 2006

Rosemary for Remembrance

One Vacant Chair
Words: Henry Washburn
Music: George Root

We shall meet but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
When one year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye.
Now the golden cord is severed,
And our hopes in ruin lie.

CHORUS: We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.

At our fireside, sad and lonely,
Often will the bosom swell
At remembrance of the story
How our noble Willie fell.
How he strove to bear the banner
Thro' the thickest of the fight
And uphold our country's honor
In the strength of manhood's might.


True, they tell us wreaths of glory
Evermore will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only,
Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
Sleep today, O early fallen,
In thy green and narrow bed.
Dirges from the pine and cypress
Mingle with the tears we shed.

To hear a beautiful piano version of this, go to and
click on the little box with the notes on it.

Have a thoughtful Memorial Day weekend.

May 22, 2006

Met the Ghost of Stephen Foster at the Hotel Paradise

We are all madly gyrating, a multitude of hula hoops whirling about our hips like electrons circling the nucleus of an atom, each hula hoop representing a social circle in which we travel. If we stand too close to one another, our hula hoops are deflected by the chance blows of our neighbors' hoops.

My hula hoops are falling at my ankles, folks.

Now, before I get accused of being all whiny (which, I'll admit, I am from time to time), I'm just thinking out loud here. Well, thinking in type. (Of course, I type kind of loudly so it could be argued that I'm thinking out loud, I suppose, but that's neither here nor there.)

Let's lay some background... I live at point Alpha, my sister lives 300 miles away at point Beta; our social circles do not overlap except for casual acquaintances from growing up and for family. When my sister was visiting, I introduced my sister to a good girlfriend of mine. They seemed to get along well. My sister visited again for Thanksgiving and I invited the girlfriend to Thanksgiving Dinner. I found out about a year later that they communicate (emails, phone calls) and, to my discomfort, discuss (presumably among other things, please God) me and my mental state. (I found this out through a chance remark by the girlfriend.) This weirds me out a little bit and I decide that, well, if they're going to discuss me, perhaps I oughtn't discuss my mental state with either of them as I'd really prefer they not be comparing notes as to how "off" I am. (Which, of course, leaves me without the two people with whom I discussed things.)

Fast forward 6 months. My sister is inviting the girlfriend to her "very small" wedding. Worlds just are not supposed to collide like that. I mean family is family and friends are friends. I expect to see my family and my friends at my life events and my family and my sister's friends at my sister's life events. This sharing a friend thing is more than a bit peculiar.

Of course, I absolutely recognize that she has the right to invite whoever the hell she wants to. Absolutely. No question about it.

For me, though, there are a couple things going on here. (1) Usurpation of a friend. She used to do this when we were small too. My friends all wanted to play with the cute younger sister. (Common enough, I know.) (2) Usurpation of a sister. I feel like I'm being put at the same level as my girlfriend in my sister's life and nothing more. (3) Frustration. I had hoped to use the wedding weekend, et al, to socialize with the family and family friends that I don't get to see enough; now I have to spend it entertaining a friend and her jerky non-boyfriend that she only keeps around for sex? (4) Guilt. Lots of it for being so selfish. But, damn it all, why am I always the one that sucks it up and makes nicey-nicey for the sake of other people?

Fortunately, it's a wedding, there will be booze. Unfortunately, (a) my mother will be there and (b) we're not made of cellophane.

May 18, 2006

The No-Clever-Title Entry

An info dump of sorts, just to post something, lest y'all think I died or something...

...Discovered today that the grocery store I won't normally shop at has a much broader array of the baby food I prefer. I hate when something like that happens. I hate shopping there because there is always a line at the checkout, I can rarely find what I want but am really good at finding big empty spaces where the product I'm looking for should be, and you just can't get a decent parking space -- even late at night. So, now, if I buy the baby food at the regular grocery store, I'll be thinking, "Oh, I should go to the other store to get ...". Which means more stops. Grrr.

...Have you ever noticed how obsessed guys are with mowing the lawn? It's like a God-given right to mow and heaven forfend should anything get in the way. Honest to God, John, the lawn did not need mowing that badly that I should have to haul the baby all around town to three grocery stores starting at 7 at night.

...Got a very nice "thank you for beta-ing" acknowledgment on a Stargate fic I betaed. It's always nice when that happens. Particularly since I'm kind of a picky beta... Sometimes I think people are sorry they asked me!

...Planted the last two plants (a lilac and a miniature rhododendron) - woohoo!! Now I need to get mulch, window boxes, potting soil, and annuals. Mostly mulch. Lots and lots of mulch. It amazes me how a bag of mulch covers so little ground. Oh, and seeds. I want to put a cutting bed in the backyard (all the work so far has been in the front) so that I can cut flowers for inside without taking all the color out of the beds that people see. I'm just going to put seed mixes in there I think, like I planted when I was a kid.

...Just so's you know, there is a dead skunk under the porch and it reeks. I probably ought to go haul it out of there and bury it. I'm not going to. I'd have to tramp through the flower bed that is finally (after 6 years) starting to take, pry out the nails, crawl the 30' to the other side of the porch, and drag out a rotting carcass. Nope. Not me. It'll stop smelling eventually.

...Oh, and on a smelling note! When I went to get the baby after her afternoon nap today, I could smell her diaper from the doorway (and her crib is on the other side of the room). Whooeey, that was a nasty one...

Some springtime afternoon
You may smell a diaper,
You may smell a diaper
from baby's bedroom door.
Then fly to remove
while baby reproves
and of course he's not home, so you're smelling alone...

(With apologies to Rodgers & Hammerstein)

May 15, 2006

Pearls Before Swine

Or a person shaped like a swine, at least... Round and sort of squishy. Although my nose doesn't turn up so I guess I'm only sort of swiney. ;)

Pearls... I got the best gift for Mother's Day. A double strand of real (real!!) pearls. They are gorgeous and I still can't believe it. Since I slammed him for the lack of birthday forethought, I figured it was only fair to share his success as well.

Vacation... We survived. It was actually about as I expected. Katie was very good, for the most part. Even at dinner in fancy restaurants. She flirted shamelessly with everyone she came into contact with. Only one problem: she hated the beach. And, even more, she hated the hat I made her wear. We wound up making a tent for her between our beach chairs, where she fussed for the entire 2 hours, making us both miserable. Still, she was awfully cute!

May 4, 2006

O Fortuna!

Got my recommendation letter today and will be sending in my application to sing the Carmina Burana at the CONCORA Summer Choral Festival. I feel a bit foolish going to music camp at my age but it is just a few evenings for a week and I do love singing the Carmina.

And who am I really fooling? I am also hoping to come to the notice of the Director and be asked to audition for CONCORA ( or at least figure out if they have open auditions and, if so, when and what the requirements are.

And since I'm writing of things choral... The church choir I'm singing in has paid section leaders. This is the first choir I've ever sung in that had paid section leaders. They seem a bit obsessed with them. It's just kind of odd. And a bit ego-bruising when the conductor assures my part (there are 2 of us) while looking at me directly that we will have a section leader for the performance... I don't think I'm that bad as to be in dire need of choral assistance. Think, of course, being the operative term. Maybe I shouldn't. Think, that is. Sometimes it's just a bad idea.

So, I'll just settle back and hope I get in to the summer camp. And leave you with this question: what the fuck were those 14th century monks doing writing about trading the world for the queen of England in their arms? That's just wrong on so many levels.

Werre du Welt alle min
Von dem Mer uns an den Rhin
des wollt ich mich darben
das die Koenigen von Engellant
lege an minnen armen.