An elf at work, the Grinch at home
Today was Holiday Sing, the new way that I kick off my holiday season. It's a free event at the big theater, where the Marine Band - conducted elegantly by a friend from grad school (a pleasant and welcome surprise!) and two of my esteemed colleagues lead 7000 people in holiday songs. Trees and poinsettias, beautiful music, a legion of local choristers, and some special appearances by Frosty & Santa and some particularly mischievous elves add up to quite a show! And this year's was particularly dramatic, with the power cutting out a la the Renee Fleming concert in 2006! (Kudos to the Marine Band for playing so well - and following a rallentando - in pitch blackness! Amazing!) I sang and danced [backstage, thank you!], ate my weight in fabulous iced chocolate brownies, and totally coveted Biff's (the Stage Manager Elf) hat. 'Twas the coolest. The evening ends with "Silent Night," with the lights turned out and all of the participants, on stage and in the audience, with lights/electric candles lighting their way. It's one of the most beautiful moments in my year.
One of my favorite things about the holidays (and also one of the reasons that I love my job so much), is that there's a real sense of camaraderie...I love showing up without knowing what'll be asked of me, and just fitting into whatever shaped slot they need a peg for. Trimming greenery? Sure. Wrangling a choir? No problem. Moving cars? (You really trust me with your keys? Oooookkkkaayyyy) Flexibility, a sense of humor, and comfortable shoes...all I really need on those days. And many of my colleagues are similarly flexible and good-humored...and those who choose to wear uncomfortable shoes make them look pretty comfy.
The issues happen immediately after the show...it's 6:00pm once everyone has left the building, and I'm panicky because Boo (aka Piddles McWhizzerson) doesn't do so well after 6:00pm. I have a tree to take home from the show (yay! free tree from the office raffle! I already have the lights and ornaments unpacked and ready!), but it's getting so late that I forego it until tomorrow and run home. Fighting the rain and the traffic, it takes me about 30 minutes to make it to Chez Rahree. I let the dog out of the crate, get him to the door, put the leash on....and am too late. Four hours worth, all over the floor. (And I know it's not totally his fault...he's just a baby, and I was gone past my usual time. But I'm already tired of cleaning up after this pup, no matter how cute he is.) Add to that a crushing headache, crappy wet weather pup's constant desire to use me as a huge teething toy, and another night sleeping next to the crate on the couch and well, I wish I was back at work.
Tonight? Sinus medicine. Steeler football, finally on network TV in the DC area - huzzah! Pajamas early, a nap on the couch next to Piddles, and a little bit of writing. I'm trying to make myself do an exercise every few days, whether it's a character sketch, free-writing to a prompt, journaling or blogging. (Breaking myself of the blogging habit, which is essentially freewriting about my daily life, is going to be hard. But I keep promising more content, and I think the only way to get more interesting content is going to be to think harder and practice more. Bummer, eh?) It's really the only thing that's popped to the forefront for my next 30-day project...I'm not sure it counts, as it's a bit of a continuation of last month's missive. But it'll have to do...at least until I grab onto something better.
Here's hoping that this week is kind and sweet to you, and that whatever gets you in the holiday frame of mind happens in a lovely, unexpected manner.