So here's what's going on this week around here:
- Busy at work, but not as crazed as last week.
- Thinking about sick friends and considering how best to help
- Keeping only half an eye on the news
- Fooling around with iPod more (David got me a dock!)
- Putting off on uploading more photos to Flickr
- Getting ready to travel again Real Soon (just a weekender)
- Realizing that there's not a lot of time left
- Playing catch-up in nearly every area of my life
Now that the Weekend of Crazed Running Around is over, I can finally say something about what was going on. Saturday, we had a bat mitzvah to go to for a cousin of my husband David's. I'd also committed us to volunteer at St Columba's rummage sale. Wow, how ecumenical of us! I should explain that the side of the family with all the cousins (they are only 1/3 way through all the bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, with at least 5 more in years to come). Then we'd also committed (or should have been committed for committing ourselves) to going back to the North Shore and working on a service project that was the "party" part of the bat mitzvah celebration. There was no guarantee that this was actually going to work, but now the timetable can be laid out with reasonable accuracy.
9:30am: Drive 1 hour to bat mitzvah in Highland Park (on time) 1:30pm: Drive 1 hour back home, change, go to St Columba (ran late) 3:30pm: Drive 1 hour, this time to Waukegan to volunteer party (on time) 8:00pm: Drive 1 hour back home again, home again, jiggity jog The discerning, non-spamming reader (that will be Mitch. Hi, Mitch!) will note that we spent 4 hours on the road. And we wondered why we were so tired and wiped out at 9 o'clock at night. Then I had to do some important quaffling and wittering and stressing and worrying about the next day's events. The bat mitzvah service was interesting because it was in a different synagogue from the one most of that side of the family attend, and they use a new, gender-neutral prayer book that made for enjoyable browsing while we were either waiting for something to happen or for a song to finish. Some of the incidental prayers toward the back were very beautiful and poetic. The work party, incidentally, was AWESOME though daunting. Basically, the parents put on a volunteer event at an alternative education center in an economically depressed part of Waukegan. Because of who they are and their huge social circle, there were about 400-500 adults and teens there, all put to work on carefully designed, easily completed painting projects. David and our niece Melissa and I worked on a wall mural with some young girls that were friends of our cousin's from camp. We managed, but I'm afraid that we had some problems with the detail work. In the end, we went for a kind of "WAY outsider art" look that worked. I just wish I'd been keeping more of an eye on helping Melissa rather than fussing over the crappy brush I was trying to use for lettering. The middle of the mural had a kind of unique mood, but by the end I'd figured out how to see the art that Melissa was able to produce and not worry about boring old color-within-the-lines conventionalities. And then we cleaned up the boo-boos and sharpened up the edges of the lines and letters and it really did look pretty good when we were done. Then we all cleaned up, scrubbed paint off the floor (even Melissa's dad, who was just there to pick her up, pitched in) and trooped into the gym for a ginormous pizza party. They brought in at least 40 boxes of Lou Malnati's pizza, plus big aluminum tubs of salad and mostaccioli. All very well, and everyone was in their painty duds and no one was all putting-on-the-dog dressed up as is the normal practice at these events. I was really enjoying the people-watching (and the pizza) until the DJ started up. About then, David got a headache (no coincidence there), and it was time to go.
8:30am-9:25am Drink coffee, worry, pack "concert MC" clothes
9:30am Rush off, late, to choir practice
10:30am Church stuff (sit stand sit kneel stand sing pray etc.)
12:00pm-12:10pm 10 minutes to just PLAY like a little kid with Noah.
12:10pm-1:30pm Clean cobwebs while others clean floors
1:30pm Greet artists with great affection and warmth (love the boys)
1:40pm Run downstairs and upstairs a few times on errands, panic, etc.
1:50pm Assist other church ladies in arranging dessert tables
2:00pm Run around outside with Fr. Ted putting up banner and posters
2:20pm Run to da Jool for some needed items and lunch
3:00pm send Fr. Ted to da Jool for some other needed items, eat lunch, change
3:20pm Arrange flowers in bud vases for dessert tables in sanctuary
3:30pm Sell tickets at the door (sadly, none to "unknowns"
4:10pm Introduce "the boys" and enjoy concert
5:10pm Intermission. Church ladies run downstairs to fetch dessert
5:40pm Curtain call. Standing ovation. Dessert and coffee at hand.
5:41pm-6:39pm 6:40pm Uncomfortable realization that "fundraiser" was close, but no cigar
7:00pmish Mostly done with clearing up. Wave goodbye to artists. Bye, boys!
7:30pm Home. Collapse on couch. Vow never to run another "fundraiser." :roll:
Honestly, the concert itself was a smash. It was great visiting with everyone and laughing at their patter during the concert. Apparently, when they do school concerts there's more joking around than for their "serious" concerts, and they felt relaxed enough with us to kid around a little more than last time. Jon, the French horn player, demonstrated why he often puts his hand in the bell of the instrument for some pieces. Rather than changing the sound or anything technical like that, it's where he keeps…his…squirt gun! And squirt us he did. Kind of risky for a concert in a church, but it got a big laugh (it was still quite a warm day).
I just wish it had been better attended (and more successful). That's a major disappointment, and I had been beating myself up for weeks over things done and left undone in the publicizing of it. But I think that turnout would have been light even if I had literally papered the town with flyers. It was just… not a good weekend to expect people to be in town for an afternoon, indoor concert. Damn. At least the people who were there really enjoyed it, and a lot of people lingered quite a while afterwards, chatting. They seemed to really enjoy themselves, which was one goal achieved, I guess. And as someone pointed out, it's asking a lot of people to attend any event in a church that's not a wedding or a funeral. Still, it's hard not to compare the family mega-event on Saturday to our mini-event on Sunday and feel… like a lamer. Ironically, even I realize that we are far better off than people who live in poverty. Somehow we have to figure out a way to help them, if we're to help ourselves out of this "we're too small to do anything" funk.
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