Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tour's back on

Tour's back on 3/4/2006
So I screwed up my courage yesterday, and I marched down to the Chorus Office, and I tried to sort out why we hadn't gotten any of the tour mailings.

Apparently, everything was getting sent. We're on all the appropriate lists. Things were mailed. We just didn't receive them. It's like some cosmic confluence of factors, conspiring to make me nuts. Because of course, this is compounded on the fact that there was a glitch in the automatic bill-pay from my credit card, and Skip's tuition hadn't been coming out the last 5 months. Hello, hit me upside the head with another bill. Thanks.

The office manager is a wonderful woman. She knows EVERYONE by name, and knows all the boys, even though she's not involved in the music end at all. She immediately tried to put me at ease about the glitch, but, of course, what do I do when I'm uneasy? Especially when I'm uneasy, and someone is trying to put me at ease? Especially when I'm UBER-uneasy about the finance end, and the manager is thinking that I'm just nervous (and perhaps a bit neurotic?) about sending my son, the youngest ever to be promoted so quickly to the Concert Choir, away on his own for a week to Montana.

Why, I cry.

Thanks for asking.

Which of course makes me look even MORE neurotic than she thought I was, even though I'm *NOT* neurotic, I just am incapable of stopping the tears from flowing when I'm nervous, and don't want to bring up the topic of money.

But finally the topic of money comes up, and I manage to compose myself enough to say that we can't be spending ALL of our non-earmarked income for ONE activity for ONE of our children.

There. I've put it out there.

I've confessed that we're not the wealthy money-buckets that she thought we were.

And it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

But now the guilt starts seeping in.

"Oh, we have financial aid in place for families just like yours. I don't want to offend you, because some people are very proud about accepting help..."

And the fact remains that we're not proud at all. We're honest. When the financial aid form says "I can/cannot afford $1300", in all honestly, we HAVE to circle "can", because, let's face it. If a sudden expense came up that we HAD to pay, and it was $1300, we'd find the money, ergo, we CAN afford it. We could easily take out a loan, or we could put it on the Line of Credit, [or heck, we could dump it on my credit card, the one that was issued to me when I honestly said that my income was ZERO, so they sent me a card with a credit limit high enough to buy a car.]

And I tried to make that clear. That we COULD afford it if we HAD to, but we didn't want to tell the kids that we weren't going to be doing A, B, C, and D, because Skip's concert tour was a requirement of his joining the Chorus. (Double whoopsie: When I asked if the tour was optional, I was informed that I'd SIGNED a contract saying that the Singing Year Commitment included Camp and Tour. Crap! I remember signing that, too.)

Once again, I was presented with the option of Financial Aid. I think she was worried that I was going to just say "We can't afford it, so we're pulling Skip out of the Choir" because she started saying how impressed they all were with Skip's musicianship, and how bright he was, bla bla bla. I've gotta say, she said all the right things. I've not been hearing much good news about Skip, lately. Perhaps folks just think that his brilliance is implied, or something. Anyways...

Then she said the magic words: "You're not alone. There are a number of families taking advantage of this program. Why, some families have been hit extra hard by the costs of PRIVATE SCHOOL...."

ding ding ding ding ding

You mean that PRIVATE SCHOOL EXPENSES are considered a hardship? Private School doesn't even figure on our horizon, it's such an unattainable luxury right now. If folks are sending their kids to posh chi-chi private schools, and ALSO applying for financial aid, you can bet your left butt cheek that I'm going to be all over that 'scholarship program' like white on rice.

So Skip's going to be going on tour.

Montana, here he comes.

And we'll be paying a fraction of the expenses. Hopefully. I still have to fill out the forms.

They were EAGER to grant me an extension to fill out all the forms.

And now, knowing that I won't be out $1300 that I don't have, I'm eager to fill them out.

(ooh, and maybe, with the money we save on this, I can take a little side-trip to small-town Big Sky Country to learn how to dye yarn from the master)

I'm really glad that I didn't give up yarn-buying for Lent.

This uber-soft shetland worsted is going to become a little lace-edged baby blanket for my friend Shelley, who's having a boy in June.

And while buying that little cloud-soft bit of loveliness, I discovered that my newly-found favourite yarn store is moving at the end of the month....


Still not close enough to walk to (but nothing is, from our house), but it'll be in OurTown, now, instead of nearly two cities south.


And they asked me how my Knitting Olympics experience went.

I kind of wish I'd printed this out, so I could've whipped my gold medal out of my wallet. And it doesn't have a hole in the middle, either.

Speaking of knitting.

The sleeves are done on Kelly's bunnyhug. I'm about 3 inches done on the sweater-back, too. I think it's time to put the kids to bed, and knit like a maniac in front of the TV.

Yesterday, Lisa took to knitting like a fish to water. She's a natural born knitter. I gave her some mint green Jaeger Merino DK, and some blue/grey/green/cream variegated of the same yarn. She's well on her way to making a preemie-sized baby hat, as a memento for the ectopic baby that they lost. And there will be plenty of yarn left over to make a real newborn-sized hat for when they have a full-term success story.

Skip's class leaves for Outdoor Ed on Monday morning.

What was he doing yesterday? Taking last-minute notes at school? Discussing packing strategies with his teacher? Planning out the hikes and beach trips that will be happening?

Why no, he was languishing on the couch, making dying-animal sounds, while his temperature spiked to nearly 103.

Children's Tylenol, how I love thee.

He seems to have made a rebound today. He still looks like death warmed over, but that might be just his response to being told to have a shower. We just finished packing his duffle bag. You can be sure I checked it three times to make sure the orange towel was packed.

Our choir is performing in Palo Alto tomorrow afternoon.

I *SWEAR* every concert, I say the same thing "this is the WORST-prepared I've EVER been for a concert!" but this time, I mean it.

*stamps foot*

Honestly, I had SUCH high hopes for myself. I was going to bring the music home, and put it on the piano, and practice my lines. I was going to know the scores backwards and forwards, and I was going to have the words all committed to memory. Even the German words!

In actual fact, I brought my music out exactly ONE time.

I suck.

But people won't be looking at me.

They'll all be looking at the full-of-herself contralto soloist. The one that keeps dragging the tempo down, down, DOWN, while she drags out her little swoopy "Qui tolis..." until everyone around her is silently praying "Miserere"

(little Choral Humour there)

I will do a better job of publicizing our May concert. We're doing Fern Hill, and it sounds like it'll be pretty fun. And if you make the trip, I'll comp you a ticket if you let me know in advance that you're coming

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