Sunday, March 18, 2007

A wild, wild weekend down in my neck of the woods. It began with a madhouse...

Every Friday, I have a voice lesson with my synagogue's choir director. I have to keep up with cantorial soloist duties, and I am now saddled with half the solos for a special Shabbat service that's coming down the pike - it coincides with the first weekend of JazzFest, hence its "JazzFest Shabbat" moniker. Since my husband and I don't own a piano, we have the lessons at my friend Edie's house. That way, she can have her lesson, too, usually after I have mine.

This past Friday, however, fate and scheduling conspired to make the usual lesson a little crazier. Choir Director couldn't come until much later in the afternoon, it turned out - we agreed upon a new time that had to happen after I picked up the little guy from school. Okay, well, we'll just have to deal. Added wrench in the works: Edie had to leave the house around the same time I'd be commencing my lesson to pick up some teenagers staying at her house while they attended the regional synagogue youth conclave at the synagogue. Oooo-kay, so no one would be watching my son while I'd be singing...I'll have to deal. Fine, I'll put Finding Nemo on the DVD player for the kid. It would have worked out well, except that the little guy pulled the plug on the surge protector for the TV, DVD player and VCRs. OOPS. No problem, I'll just stick the DVD in the iBook upstairs. I got that started and had to let the choir director in the house. My voice lesson began, and I cringed a little every time the little guy ran into the room - and relaxed every time he ran out, because all he wanted was a toy from his backpack. Whew!

The piece de resistance to all this: the conclave teenagers came into Edie's house and were greeted by Edie's two barking shepherds, a piano man, a short, squat broad singing the Hebrew liturgy strong enough to raise the roof, and a four-year-old kid who immediately planted himself on the teenaged girls' guest bed and tried to chat them up. Welcome to New Orleans, ladies!

I got roped into two singing situations. One was leading Saturday morning services, which was not a problem. The other involved teaching a bunch of kids - 2nd to 5th graders - some of the songs they were going to sing at the aforementioned JazzFest Shabbat. That was trickier. I had to walk among a crowd of forty-some-odd kids and get them to repeat parts of the song after me, and to sing it all together. The walking amongst the kid masses is essential to get them all singing and keep 'em from slacking...and I am sooo glad I didn't trip over a one of 'em. After a good half-hour, I think I got the kids started on one song, at least. Ever since our full-time cantor left for other saner worlds, it's been tough getting someone to teach the kids Jewish music and liturgy, because there really isn't anyone who can fill the former cantor's shoes in this regard. Edie wondered why I wasn't doing it full-time, and I told her I couldn't do it and teach the religious school first graders. If she's wondering why I'm not doing it full-time, I guess that's some kinda compliment...

In other news, I got a response from my dad on the link in this post (see the comments!) . Now if only all 'a us NOLA bloggers could yank on the ears of the mainstream media outlets...we'd certainly give dudes like Matt Drudge a run for his moolah. We only caught six cabbages at this year's St Patrick's Day parade (thank GOD!...I'm so happy it won't be a complete repeat of this).
And I had this little conversation with my neighbor on the disposal of his old fridge to make way for a new one:

"So, what kinda graffiti are you gonna write on it when you put it out on the curb?" I asked.

He laughed. "Oh, I think the landlord doesn't consider this fridge a lost cause just yet."

"My personal fave said, 'Warning: Insurance Adjuster Inside'."

"Hah! I was think more along the lines of saying something about its being (William) Jefferson's fridge..."

I laughed. "Ohhh, yeah!"

If he does that, the thing will be picked up in two seconds, I'm sure...


saintseester said...

It takes a brave (and probably talented) soul to walk amongst 2nd to 5th graders and teach them to sing. I admire your patience - I tried religious ed with kids but I just can't deal with little kids.

Leigh C. said...

This past summer I spent as a head teacher for a day camp crew of 20-plus seven-to-nine year olds was like a boot camp in terms of handling the young 'uns. Sink or swim, indeed...

Pray for me, anyhow. I've signed myself up for another summer with the kids. I must either love it or I'm one SERIOUS glutton for punishment.