A day of being sick away from home is no fun. Okay, sick is no fun, but being away from the comforts of home just amplifies the agony. I want my bed. I want my cat lounging on my chest. I want my sweetheart to walk into the bedroom and ask what he can get for me. Waaaah.
Took NyQuil last night, then was awakened at 1:30 by a rowdy next-door neighbor. Finally got back to sleep and woke at 5:30 with a sinus headache and stuffy nose. Smoothie for breakfast, class, voice lessons, a bowl of soup for lunch, a pass through the Scholarshop to buy Kleenex, afternoon class, a smoothie for dinner, and collapsing in bed. The day was a blur.
Woke at 5:30 with horrible sinus headache, sore throat, and cough. Pampered myself and went to the Café Tent for tea and a muffin. Thought I’d share that morning vista with you—the view across Osterlin Mall to the Maddy Building, where the administration offices are located.
After finishing my muffin, I walked the few steps to the Fine Arts Building to spend a few minutes watching Leslie’s class. Oh, joy—she was wearing the top I gave her last week. It did my shape no favors, but she looks fantastic in it. It suited her style and is easy for her to move in when teaching dance routines to these sweet juniors who, by the way, adore her.
Made my way to class and cowered behind my piano with my box of Kleenex and my water bottle. Then voice lessons where I played poorly and felt very bad about it, lunch, no time to lie down, back to class, then to the grocery store to get soothing things for my throat, Haufbrau for chicken vegetable soup, and home to practice. After a long talk with Leslie, I sent an email to our new collaborative pianist scheduler, expressing to her my concerns about being unable to properly prepare for all my obligations because of my rush-rush schedule. Dang, it’s hard being a grown-up! (Spoken by the ultimate non-confrontationalist.)
These days are a blur. Oh, how I hope to feel better tomorrow!
I’m feeling a little better this morning. Ran into Liza in the dining hall, and we sat down along the waterfront eating our breakfast. Liza, who is a friend of Leslie’s from academy days and Chip’s new love, and who is also a collaborative pianist, shared with me some of her experiences through the years she’s worked at camp. She was very encouraging. I tend to feel bleak about the entire world when I’m sick, so I hope my outlook will improve as soon as I’m over this cold.
I always tend to hold everything inside and obsess about it in my head. For a change, I thought I’d seek counsel from wise people around me. After last night’s long discussion with Leslie, I decided to talk to my music director this morning. She’s another wise person whom I greatly respect. I told her about my feeling of being overwhelmed and about the email I had written last night. I then asked if I should write an email to the instructor or try to talk to her in person. She suggested an email, with the caveat that I’d be available to talk about it in person if the instructor wished. Then she also sent an email to the new scheduler, supporting my statement last night that I didn’t have time to do “Oliver!” and 25 Broadway tunes. And quicker than you can sprinkle pixie dust on a difficult situation, everything turned around. I got a nice note back from the instructor; my M.D. got an email from the scheduler saying it would be fixed by tonight; then a couple of hours later, all parties received an email from the scheduler giving us the names of the two pianists who would take over for me.
Note to self: You can’t do a big show AND a bunch of other things at the same time. And I have to remember that in the fall when I take over as collaborative pianist for opera workshop at YSU. That’s a pretty busy job, plus I have the philosophy department editorial half-time position, plus I have the Joseph Badger High School, HS Show Choir and 7-8 choruses position. And I have to prepare the kids version of “Elixir of Love” for our Young Artists program in November. Yesterday I declined the position of opera chorus accompanist for “Elixir of Love”—what a big step that was for me. Now I’m thinking I may need to drop the Badger choir gig. At the age when most of my friends are retiring, I keep adding positions. And my friends are all playing while I’m working.
Wrote to the Badger High School choir director and told him he needed to find a new accompanist. Wrote to the two non-profit execs whose websites I maintain and told them I needed to resign those positions. Declined to apply for a great accompanying position that would have required late night long commutes home. This is my summer of learning wisdom! Told my Ohio house representative that she needed a new campaign treasurer.
Got an extra hour in my day today and spent it prone on bed, resting my cough-ridden body. And tonight I’m learning four new songs to play for a master class tomorrow. One of the four singers for tomorrow forgot to bring me her music, but her cabin was going out to Bud’s for dinner, so I used that excuse to take myself to Bud’s for dinner. (Any excuse will do.)
Went early to breakfast to give myself more time to practice for the master class. Came back from breakfast to find someone had tacked an envelope of Emergen-C, a bag of lemon-ginger herbal tea, and a bag of organic roasted dandelion root tea (!) to the bulletin board outside my room. The only suspect, after asking friends who had recommended Emergen-C, is my nextdoor neighbor. Maybe he is tired of hearing me cough all night. Now here’s the interesting part: the Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Herb Tea bag proclaims “Promotes Healthy Liver Function.” Hmmm. And that has what to do with having a cough?
We had four kids sing in the master class this morning. The “masters” were Marcy Heisler, Michael Kooman, and Christopher Dimond. The singers all did great jobs, showed no anxiety (that I could see from my vantage point behind them), and really behaved so professionally before these intelligent and thoughtful Broadway pros. Three of the songs were new to me: “All That’s Known,” from “Spring Awakening,” “Lucky in Love,” from “Good News,” and “Unexpected Song,” from “Song & Dance.” I had heard the last one before, but never seen the music. The fourth song was “Almost Like Being in Love,” from “Brigadoon.” When I was speaking with Michael Kooman afterwards and thanking him for coming, he said he wished he could stay longer. “The place seems magical,” he observed. Boy, he hit that nail right on the head! This is a magical place!
Lunch down by the lake, with strong winds kicking up whitecaps. Watched a pontoon plane practicing takeoffs and landings.
Back to the theatre for afternoon singing and staging. Then Maddy’s for the Verterra pinot grigio and pulled pork nachos. I’ve gotten the same waitress three times now. She knows I come in alone, with my iPad, and don’t want the complimentary pretzels and mustard. By my next visit she’ll automatically bring me the Verterra, just like Serena automatically pours a La Crema Chardonnay for me at Station Square. Afterwards, ran into town to grab some Twin Tip Sharpies at Staples. I need more color on my music.Saturday, July 25, 2015
Rough night due to having an inconsiderate next-door neighbor. Woke late, skipped breakfast in order to enjoy a long hot shower to combat my headache, then visited HR to seek counsel on my housing situation. They asked me to call my “house mom” and tell her what’s going on in my world. She happens to be the mom of one of my “Oliver!” kids, so knows who I am, and assured me they would take care of the situation.
Great rehearsal—aren’t I lucky that making music always makes me feel better? Dr. Anne and I are at the point of refining the ink spots on the page to find the notes I don’t need to play. I think we’re up to five in the number of musicians in the pit orchestra. Whew! After lunch, an afternoon of working out all the transitions between scenes.Went to Maddy’s again for dinner. Heather was not my waitress, but must have seen me come in and figured out who my waitress was, as tonight’s waitress came up to me and asked if I wanted a glass of the Verterra. Made me smile! I opted for the house chardonnay tonight and a small flatbread pizza with lots of fresh veggies and some feta cheese on top. A great end to my work week.
After this long week, I decided to treat myself to an evening of sewing. I’m doing a little mending job for Dr. Anne (in exchange for a couple of envelopes of Emergen-C) and making a Swoon Ramona crossbody bag (without the diagonal bands). I hope to finish the bag and the mending tonight.
Annnnd, about 30 stitches from completing the topstitching that would finish everything except the strap, I broke my needle. My only needle. How could I have brought all my gear from home and forgotten a pack of needles?! So glad Interquilten is open on Sundays!Sunday, July 26, 2015
Breakfast with another collaborative pianist whom I met the first day and admire greatly. Honestly, I’m just wowed every time I hear her play. She’s thinking about seeking work on the West Coast and we were tossing around ideas and possible contact names. It felt great. The calibre of musicians, of artists—simply, of people—at Interlochen is just mind-blowing.Went back to my room and did some laundry, then went to Interquilten for needles around noon. I was craving a big glass of iced tea, so drove to Wendy’s which was swamped with people headed west to the Lake Michigan shores. After standing in line for five minutes, I gave up on my iced tea and went back to eat in the dining room. After lunch, came back and listened to some more of John Grisham’s “Gray Mountain” while finishing the strap on the new bag and do the little mending job for Dr. Anne. And napped.
To dinner, which was spent with Carrie, a music composition teacher, and Elizabeth, a viola teaching fellow. The first time I met Carrie, she was dining with Chip, who always calls me “Mom.” So now, whenever she sees me, she automatically says, “Hi, Mom!” She makes me smile. We had such an interesting dinner conversation, about perfect pitch and synesthesia and Nadia Boulanger and the musician’s brain.
Later: a lovely evening sitting on the mall, listening to the World Youth Symphony Orchestra play Dvořák while knitting.
Quick, quiet breakfast, then a stroll down to the deck to admire the beauty for a few minutes. Back to the room for some computer work and then music preparation for the week.
Lunch with some of my favorite ladies down by the water, then back to the room to cut and file my fingernails and work on music, all the while getting close to the end of John Grisham’s “Gray Mountain.”
Quick dinner while marking music, followed by a weekend-concluding dance rehearsal. Back to my room to knit while finishing the Grisham.
And suddenly it’s the penultimate week!
If you aren’t on Facebook or don’t follow what I say there (ahem, a certain man who shares my life …), here are some of my posts for the same period as this blog post.
Searching for the song “Lucky in Love” from the 1927 musical “Good News.” Found a 1996 cast recording from a production in Wichita. Also in the musical is “The Girl of the Pi Beta Phi.” Who knew?! (July 23, 8:01 p.m.)
The smile on the face of the student asked to lead the dance warm-up this morning could light the world! (July 24, 10:05 a.m.)
I went to Bud’s last night specifically to connect with a student who forgot to bring me her music for today’s master class. When I saw the girls from her cabin walk in, I walked over and immediately heard several voices call out, “Jan’s here!” Love these kids!! (July 24, 10:08 a.m.)
Came back from breakfast to find someone had tacked an envelope of Emergency-C, a bag of lemon-ginger herbal tea, and a bag of organic roasted dandelion root tea (!) to the bulletin board outside my room. I thought maybe Dr. Anne, as we had discussed Emergen-C. She reminded me that she doesn’t know where I live. So I thanked Leslie, who said no, not her. Trying to think who else. Maybe Tyne, who knows I’ve been sick, but I don’t think she knows where I live. Ahh, maybe my next door neighbor, or his unauthorized overnight visitor. I noticed they slept with the fan on all night, maybe so they wouldn’t have to hear me cough. Or so I wouldn’t have to listen to their, um, antics? (July 24, 12:22 p.m.)
Beautiful, breezy day. Decided to eat down by the lake. As I was walking down the path, eight or ten of my kids were eating at a table on the deck and shouted out “Hi, Jan” as they waved to me. How cool! (July 24, 12:33 p.m.)
Happy Friday Night. My next door neighbor is trying to learn the melody to the Star Spangled Banner on his electric guitar – by ear. Honestly, I could write that line out for him in his key of choice faster than he’s able to pick it out! (July 24, 7:48 p.m.)
Tyler Clark, will you be back up here before the summer is over? We never got our traditional picture in front of the sign! (July 24, 7:51 p.m.)
Apropos nothing I’m going to discuss here: Sometimes you just can’t explain crazy. (July 25, 12:43 p.m.)
I don’t have a tub to soak in, so I’m going to sew for a while. Then I may post a note on my next door neighbor’s bulletin board that says, “I’m older than your mother. Do I really have to listen to your nighttime activities?” (July 25, 8:08 p.m.)
Have you noticed the phenomenon of more and more people bowing their heads and praying before meals?
Oh, wait. They’re just checking their phones. (July 27, 8:34 a.m.)