The putt-putt-putt noise made by my car when I stepped on the accelerator turned out to be an extremely expensive something-or-other gauge that is part of the smog system. Nearly $500 and two days at the mechanic's later, at least it's fixed and there are only the usual noises from my car. Now if I could just get around to changing the windshield wipers so that every time it rains I don't drive around muttering nasty things about the water streaking all over my windshield, I'd be all set.
Saturday Richard spent mostly off with a friend while I stayed home and procrastinated on cleaning the bathrooms by getting quite a bit of knitting done. Later in the evening he and the friend returned to our house, where we watched From Hell, which explained that the whole Jack the Ripper thing was actually some elaborate plot contrived by the queen and the Freemasons to take out all the women who knew that the prince had actually gotten himself not only legitimately married, but also had a daughter in the bargain. I found the movie amusing in the sheer absurdity of the plot. Richard determined that the sole reason for involving the Freemasons was so that you could immediately tell who was involved because they all wore special secret decoder rings that marked them as Men Who Should Not Be Trusted With Sharp Objects. Plus we got to see Johnny Depp acting alternately deep and mysterious as well as stoned - something he seems to do extremely well. Hmmm.
On a whim I agreed to help host the fellowship hour after church with a friend this Sunday. It wasn't until Sunday morning that I recalled that I had also agreed to help with communion…and when we showed up at choir practice, we also learned that we were going to be singing the first few verses of a brand new hymn for the congregation as well. Normally those who host the fellowship hour sneak out during the last hymn so they have time to set everything out before the hordes descend, but when my friend and I were looking at the schedule of the service we realized that with everything else we were doing, the only time we could conceivably sneak out was during the sermon. Which is always a fun thing to do when your mother the minister is sitting in the pew next to you watching you leave during what ministers like to think is probably the most crucial part of the service. But somehow we got all our timing worked out perfectly and plus we got to spend lots of time gabbing in the kitchen.
After church she and I and one other woman all converged on the piano in the sanctuary to run through a song we'll be doing a few weeks from now. I've always liked Andrew Lloyd Weber's Pia Jesu, and when I found the sheet music written for two parts I knew I had to play it *somewhere*. The two parts are written for high soprano however, and while we've established that I can actually occasionally sing soprano (despite the fact that I am actually a tenor), and I can actually hit those notes and have done so when practicing by myself, trying to do it on a regular basis makes my throat hurt in an odd sort of way. So they are singing and I am accompanying them on the piano.
Anyway, there we were, the three of us, running through this very pretty song with all the extra-high bits, and when we were done my mom came up to me with a grin on her face because she'd been talking to one of the little old ladies a few rooms away from where we were practicing. This particular little old lady has started really losing her hearing - a fact which was apparently underscored when, during the song, she paused briefly and then said, "Oh, I really do hate to hear those sirens." So the rest of the afternoon as we were cleaning up the kitchen after fellowship hour, we kept muttering "Sirens!" to each other. Even the minister and a few other people kept doing it too because by then they'd heard the story too.
I'm thinking that this should be a useful bit of information for anyone who might drive an emergency vehicle. If the regular siren goes out, just crank up the Andrew Lloyd Weber. Plus, now we know that if we three ever form a band, we have to call ourselves The Sirens. And we'll make sure to have lots of extra-high bits in our songs just to keep the confusion going.