March 12th, 2012


Spring Break in the 90s

It's spring break around here, and that makes me feel like it should be a holiday week even though I'm not in school to be on spring break. It's like that philosophy question about a tree falling in a forest and whether it makes a sound if there's nobody there to hear it. If you're not in school and your work doesn't have anything to do with that schedule but you can take off when you want to, is it still spring break? It does affect me because it means I don't have children's choir or a choir rehearsal and I don't have dance. But then I actually have a fair amount of work to do so I think I'll take my spring break some other time (though it's nice today so there may be walking).

I feel like I had a nice breakthrough on the singing phobia yesterday. I sang in a quartet and didn't really get the usual nerves from singing where I know someone can hear me (since the soprano part really stands out). I feel like I performed as well as I did in rehearsal and didn't get the shakes or the kind of tension that affects my voice. I sang the way I know I can sing. I did, however, have lots of anxiety nightmares the night before. On top of the hourly wake up to check the clock and make sure I haven't overslept thing I had my typical nightmare pattern where I arrive somewhere I need to be in plenty of time, then remember I forgot something and have to go back to get it, and then all sorts of obstacles arise to keep me from returning in time. One time, I recall that I dreamed I got to church only to find out we were supposed to be wearing Victorian attire, so I had to go home and change and then couldn't make it back (to play it safe, I wore one of my quasi-Downton Abbey WWI outfits -- of course, there was no dress code but I was determined not to take any chances). There were several other dreams I don't remember as well, all involving waking up in a sweat-drenched panic. I'd taken a shower before bed to save time in the morning but had to take another in the morning. After all that, I guess I sweated out all the anxiety and was pretty calm when the time came to sing.

The weather did conspire against me this weekend. It was cold and rainy -- the perfect weather for staying home with a book -- on a weekend when I was busy and had to be out, and I was rather glad I got the early service so I could go home and enjoy the cold and rainy day. And as soon as I got in bed for a nap, the sun came out and ruined everything.

I did indulge in some HBO over the weekend, revisiting some 90s movies they were playing on one of their "family" channels. They were showing the animated Anastasia film, which irritates me on one level even as I get sucked into it. If you know much about history, you'll find yourself screaming at the screen, and I think the DNA proof that Anastasia really was killed with the rest of the family came out after the movie, which makes it even worse. It might have worked better if they'd just put it in a fairy-tale world instead of taking real events and people and turning them into a fairy tale that didn't fit the real events (even with all the Anastasia theories, there was always photographic evidence that she was with the family in captivity. She didn't just disappear at the start of the revolution. It was just hoped/believed/theorized that she escaped the slaughter). And then there were the voices, where all the characters had vaguely Russian accents, except the two main characters who were very, very American (complete with 20th century colloquialisms and attitudes) and who were obviously John Cusack and Meg Ryan (in her patented romantic comedy perma-snit mode) and who obviously weren't John Cusack and Meg Ryan when they sang. But still, the music is good (the songwriting team behind Ragtime, which is brilliant), the movie is lovely to look at, and I have a soft spot for the couples falling in love during a journey thing. I just have to pretend that it is a fairy tale that has nothing to do with actual historical events or people.

And then there was Sister Act, which I watched mostly because I needed a Maggie Smith fix. Although repurposing old pop songs as hymns is a lot of fun, my favorite musical number in the movie is the first one the revamped choir does, where they jazz up a hymn. That one was a lot more complicated musically, which I found interesting, as the ones they did later when they were supposedly better were much, much easier, though I suppose they were farther from traditional, which was the point. I couldn't make myself stay up late enough to watch the sequel (which I never saw), but HBO tends to repeat things. It was shocking how dated and "early 90s" everything looked. I'm not used to seeing movies that came out after I was an adult as dated looking, and when you're living through something, you don't think in terms of the era having a "look."