I love days like Friday the 23rd – packed to the gills and fully satisfying if a little bit crazy as well. (I shouldn’t blog about them either because one of my siblings typically responds with a 3000-word e-mail exhorting me to slow down, scale down, etc. And of course, they have a point.) Maybe I don’t make it sufficiently clear that these days are the exception rather than the rule – and such a kick.
It started out with signing on at the station – technical glitch and all, which made it unexpectedly interesting but all okay in the end – and a fun live Morning Show with four participants in the next production of the 91.1 Players- a salute to the cartoons of Hanna Barbara. If there is anything besides opera about which I can wax poetically (and endlessly) it is cartoons . . . and it also gave me a chance to use my CD of Hanna Barbara Cartoon Sound Effects, one of the odder CD purchases of my life. It was all just great fun.
I was out the door very promptly because I had to make my way to Milwaukee next to play for Polly’s Tremper high School Choir, which was entertaining the masses at a statewide convention for School Board members at the Milwaukee Hilton. The choir kids got there later than scheduled because the buses were twenty minutes late picking them up, so it was nothing short of a frenzied hurry for them to get where they needed to be and get on time to sing. . . and adding to the excitement was the unexpected news that both the governor and actor LaVar Burton (from Star Trek-The Next Generation, Roots, etc.) were there. . . but Polly was her amazing self in keeping calm and orderly and getting it done. And the students responded with a fantastic performance of three songs, the first of which was my composition “Strike The Rock.” Very cool.
From there I had to race back south in order to teach my Adventures in Lifelong Learning class on opera. (This was made up from two weeks ago when the class had to be cancelled because of a snowstorm.) Unfortunately, there was one technical glitch after another. . . first, we couldn’t get any sound out of the laptop computer (I was playing a couple of YouTube things) . . . then the DVD player wouldn’t read one of my disks. . . and then we couldn’t get the unit to switch over to videotape. Eventually, the computer problem was restored, and all of my examples had to be played from YouTube. But somehow those kind of scenarios, where we have to discard Plans A, B, C and maybe D and sort of concoct Plan E on the fly, are when this weird split brain of mine comes in handy. It all went fine, somehow, and I walked out of there with a warm sense of satisfaction.
From there, it was home for a couple of hours of CD organizing – and then back to the radio station to record an interview with Jeff Neubauer from Racine – and his daughters Greta and Katherine – who attended Obama’s inauguration and many of the related festivities. They had all kinds of wonderful stories to share – like the four hours they stood in line to get through the infamous purple gate in order to enter the mall – or one of them working alongside actor Tobey Maguire at the Monday service project for Martin Luther King Day – and just being a part of that amazing day. It was a great conversation (which airs Tuesday) . . . followed by dinner with Kathy, the rest of the Neubauers, and the Barrows, at Villa D’Carlo in downtown Kenosha. Good food – good friends- what is better than that?
And from there, Kathy and I were off to the Racine Theater Guild to watch a comedy called “Dearly Departed” – and after all that had transpired, it actually felt divine to just settle into those seats and be plain old audience members for a fun performance. And when we got home, Kathy and I were working side by side in the kitchen, getting ready for a Saturday morning brunch for some members of my Musici Amici group, which was a nice way to cool down from all that had happened – and a nice way to remember what my siblings like to (and need to) remind me. . . that life is too frantic when it crowds out the people you love. So maybe that ‘s why this Friday was an especially good Friday- because for all of the spotlight moments it yielded and other intriguing stimulation and excitement, there was also time for some quieter moments with my wife to remind me of what is most important to me.
pictured: the Tremper Choir conducted by Polly, in their exciting performance Friday morning.