Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And The Band Played On

We have just returned home from Fifth Grader's Springtime Musical Spectacular. And it did not disappoint.

When I say that it did not disappoint, I don't mean that it was a night of awe-inspiring performances. What we had on our hands tonight was a riot of first- and second- year pupils of various musical instruments, with a mostly unvarying lack of control over said instruments. We had our standard program of secular musical selections that I have never heard of before - with goofy (and, I suspect, made up) song titles, like "Tyrannosaurus Rocks" - but which, if you close your eyes and strain your ears and maybe stand on just your left foot with your head upside down, sound a little like other, more familiar musical numbers, but off key and with irregular tempos. In other words, we had your standard public-school-music-program-quality spring concert.

What we did not have on tonight's program was a slew of pained adolescent grade-specific singing. The grade-specific singing is always the absolute worst part of these concerts, because...well, just think back to your own grade school music class days. Did you ever actually enjoy singing "Eating Goober Peas" on a stage in front of all of your classmates' parents? You did? I went to private school and we didn't even have a music program, so I'm not speaking from first-hand experience or anything. But I do remember attending a friend's concert, somewhere around the fourth grade, at her public school where I sat with her parents and listened to her class sing...well, "Eating Goober Peas". I don't so much remember it, actually, as bear the mental scar of the experience. So, kids singing on command and actually enjoying it - not so much.

As I said, we skipped that part tonight. The principal made an executive decision to showcase only the instrumental programs and the chorus this time based on the kids' total lack of enthusiasm for even opening their mouths and pretending to sing at the holiday concert a few months back. This was probably intended to teach a lesson to someone, and it did: skipping the part where the kids are supposed to sing, but really don't, takes about forty-five minutes off the program. Lesson learned.

A second lesson is that apparently, when you tell Band Instructor (oh, Band Instructor) that you have eliminated an entire swath of wasted time from the lineup, he takes this as his cue to throw in a few extra numbers for the band. You know what? That's fine with me. Let the man indulge. Are those new glasses he's wearing? He's doing a wonderful job.

If you need a third lesson, here it is. If you take your eyes of the entire fifth grade class for four months, when you next see them all together again? They look like ninth graders. Woah. There's a whole lot of growing up going on around here. Not so sure I like that.

Oh, it wasn't really all that bad. The band kids are actually all pretty enthusiastic and eager to please Band Instructor. I think even Fifth Grader has practiced more than usual lately in preparation for tonight. And the chorus? I could almost hear them! They might have sounded pretty good, to be honest. And they did a great job of holding those black folders. Maybe the song where they had to snap and clap, while holding their black folders, wasn't completely thought out. But hey. Lessons for next time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pathetic. Beyond Pathetic. What Comes After Beyond Pathetic?

I'm going to write this post under the assumption that I have let far, far too much time pass since the last one, and that nobody at all is even bothering to check my blog's vital signs anymore, because why bother? Just to come up empty again? Just to discover that the disappointing void of information on the life and times of moi, Fifth Grader, and Third Grader just continues on into the nothingness, with no signal that I might ever say another word about any of it, ever?

I don't blame you, blogosphere, if you have given up on me. Not one bit. I hope that you haven't, but hey. What can be done?

The truth of the matter is that plenty of stuff has happened over the past few weeks - would you like a summary? Let's see, there was Third Grader's acting performance at the end of April vacation. Certainly blogworthy. There's the whole past month of softball practices, softball games, and all things generally softball-related that have made available a whole array of possible posts. There was our three and a half hour drive to Lake George, New York a few weekends back for Gymnastics Regional Championships, plus ensuing hotel experiences in the company of an entire gymnastics team and its doting parents, plus the three and a half hour drive home at the end of the whole debacle. (The hour I spent poolside in deep conversation with Jane Fonda Wannabe herself would have been tasty material. Indeed.)

There was the day that Fifth Grader and her female classmates had to watch "The Movie". You know the one. Oh, and Mother's Day. Mother's Day would have been a great post. And then there's Miami. Yeah, I just got back from Miami. Yesterday, actually. Miami over Memorial Day weekend is a week's worth of posts, easy...and will I write extensively about Miami over Memorial Day weekend? Will I take the time to paint a detailed picture of a loving couple, trying to get away from it all for a few days in a sunny location, finding themselves unsuspectingly stuck in the middle of the annual South Beach Hip Hop Festival? Are you curious about how that went? Because I have stories...oh yes, I do. But will I tell them to you?

Honestly, I'm going to say I probably won't. Because let's face it: I spent seven months enthralling you with my parental observations during gymnastics meet season and then completely BLEW OFF the chance to post about Regionals.

All I can say is: if you happen to see my mojo lying around somewhere, please let me know. 'Cause I'd really, really like it back.

Miami is, of course, still fresh in my mind. It could happen. But it ain't happening tonight. This is all I can muster tonight - this laundry list of prime material that I have allowed to lay, wasted and unused, at my fingertips - before I bid you good night, blogosphere, so I can chase those girls into bed.