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December 09, 2006: The colours of Christmas

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I made up a list of things I wanted to get done today, and was actually pretty happy to have made it through nearly half of them. The beauty of making lists is that no matter how much is left on them when you are done, you at least have the satisfaction of a visible notification that you did accomplish something that day, even if you had to divide some silly little chore into three list items just to make it seem like more. And the way this week has gone, the sheer fact that I was able to run two loads of dishes through the dishwasher, and one load of laundry through the washer *and* the dryer this morning was actually pretty good.

We decided to do a Starbucks run for breakfast, and then swung by my parents' house to help my dad install a new garage door opener. This turned out to be far more complicated than any of us had imagined, but after an hour or so - most of which i spent inside chatting with my mom because it turned out to be a two-person job and Richard seemed to be having too much fun getting to play with power tools with my dad for me to interrupt - we finally got the machine hooked onto the ceiling. The remainder of the task involved splcing wires for the remote and installing some lights, but my dad didn' t need us for that, so we headed home to try to get through a few more chores and inhale some lunch before Richard's parents arrived. I even had time to write up the arrangement of "He Is Born" for the recorder group (in four parts, complete with descant - my first time actually arranging music instead of just transcribing it, so I am crossing my fingers and my toes that it actually sounds okay once we play it) before giving up on the rest of the list to whip through another few rows of my sister's lace shawl.

We all headed off to Sacramento almost immediately after Richard's parents and sister arrived, and easily found parking, which turned out to be a good thing since at that point it hadn't started pouring rain, like it did a few hours later. We found a Japanese restaurant for dinner, although I had to pretty much inhale mine because by the time they finally brought out our food I only had about ten minutes before I was supposed to be at rehearsal, in preparation for the concert later in the evening.

The rest of the evening was kind of a whirlwind. We ran through the few songs where there were problem spots, and then headed off to a little room in the back, since they started to let people in. By the time we came back, the room was nearly packed, which made us all just a bit giddy to see. The church we rent out to use for practice and concerts is located right next to the Convention Center in Sacramento, where they were holding performances of The Nutcracker this weekend. Plus I guess this is also the weekend there were a bunch of art gallery events, and a few other large performances, all in the same area, so to get that kind of turnout - especially considering the weather turned pretty dismal by the time we started - was nice to see.

The concert went really well. There were a few weak spots, especially during the second half, but I know that most of the time this sort of thing is only obvious to the performers, because we're the ones who know how it should sound, despite the fact that it might actually sound just fine to everyone else. Overall, though, it was wonderful. It felt good to be part of something like this group, singing with the other women, sitting together in our little dressing room before the concert, and during the intermission, practicing, closing our eyes to visualize the notes coming out just so. The composer of one of our most challenging pieces attended the concert and when I chatted with him afterwards, he seemed quite pleased with how we had done. I suspect it's always difficult to hear someone else perform your work, never knowing if they will do it justice, but he said the moment we started singing our first piece, he relaxed, because he knew we would be able to do his song just right. And we did.

We all stayed to clean up, including all the performers' respective boyfriends or spouses, who all apparently grasped the fact that if they ever wanted to get out of there, they would have to pitch in too (the part of being associated with a performer that they never tell you about!). And then we finally left, navigating through the rain and the streets that were now finally empty of all the crazy pre-performance traffic only a few short hours before.

Richard and I swung by Ben & Jerry's for some celebratory ice cream (and I would like to take a moment to note here that their Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream is divine) and now we are home. It is cold outside, and still raining, but I have turned on the fireplace in the bedroom, and as soon as I finish this, I am going to go find myself a cat or three (shouldn't be too hard in this house) and change into my pajamas and curl up in bed and go to sleep with Christmas Colours in my dreams.

Tis the season for Holidailies

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