Thursday, April 25, 2013


Vacatis - the condition of overwhelming confusion when planning vacation. Often followed by Vacapathy, when you just don't care any more

That's where I am now. Having spent at least 3 hours a day in the past 2 weeks or more online, on Pinterest, on my friends' last nerve, I now know how everyone else would spend their 14 day Orlando vacation. No idea, still, how I want to spend mine.

Groupon is usually more help, and hasn't entirely failed me this time. I have day fishing, night fishing, The Improv, painting pottery, and mini golf covered. A few meals planned using discounts. However, Groupon is stumbling a bit and they aren't offering the sparkling activities I've enjoyed in the past. In fact last year I used Groupons to receive 4 different massage or body wrap sessions, and this year none appeal to me. And no matter how deep the discount, I'm not sky-diving, learning to pole dance, or swimming with manatees.

But this is Orlando and the past 3 visits we managed to ignore the Big Mouse and other attractions that have sprung up in his shadow. Water park? Dinner show? Epcot? Sea World? Aaarrggggg! I don't know! What if I pick the wrong one and waste all that time and money being somewhere when I should have been somewhere else?

It should be noted that, being from SoCal, I've been to them all at least once.

But one thing my travel companion and I have, strangely, agreed on. AMC has a Dine-In Theater at Downtown Disney. You order your meal from a full menu and eat it at the table in front of your theater seat! Now, true, we don't usually go to movies at home. The experience sounds a lot like watching television in the BarcaLounger with dinner on a TV tray. But it still sounds unique enough (or maybe, familiar enough) to appeal to us both. And I think we can still see "42", the Jackie Robinson movie

So there you go. Back to Vacapathy. I'm past looking at one more website, brochure, or Pin. Pack me up and ship me to Florida. I hear sun and palm trees are the antidote to my condition

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Sweetness of Caterwauling

The other night I was reminded that my heart child's orchestra recital was coming up.  I used to attend every performance, hanging on every flat note and missed cue and loving the experience for all it's imperfections

This was different. I have been working so much more than when I was Working (the difference between having my own business versus having a "job job") and most evenings collapse in a puddle of inertia. Please don't make me go anywhere...Please! And if you do, please pick me up and don't make me go look for this place in an unfamiliar neighborhood. But mostly don't make me go

So the day of, Willow (my TTF) texted to say she couldn't go - Food Poisoning! I took this to mean I was off the hook too and was starting to imagine myself solving the Final Jeopardy question from the comfort of my couch

Not so fast. I soon received Text Part The Second...Heart Child is SOOOO excited that I'm coming! Yeah, she brought out the big artillery...the little performer WANTS ME. So off we go.

She has been playing Clarinet for about 6 months. Rumor is, she hates it. But when we walked into the auditorium (having paid $3 each - who charges for kids' recitals?) there she was, barely containing herself, watching for us and leading us to our seats with her, her Daddy, and little sis. Notice anyone missing? Yup, Mom got to stay home. I wonder what the Final Jeopardy question was...

Several classes were performing. First, Beginning Orchestra grinded their way through Bach and an ancient hymn or two. Major stage shuffle and there she was, my little clarinetist, joining Beginning Band in their three pieces. iPhone raised and steadied, I captured every note and squeak for posterity.

Again, major stage shuffling. There must have been a smoother way to segue from group to group, but suffice it to say moving chairs and music stands is apparently best accomplished by young men in suits who would rather be anywhere else. Next...Intermediate Orchestra

They were pretty good! I could see the light at the end of the tunnel! But wait! Why are they moving chairs again?

It turned out we were less than halfway through the evening's entertainment. And there was no sneaking out early, as Heart Child had told me she would appear twice more, including in the finale. Wow! I leaned over to her Dad and let him in on the fact that we had much, much more to enjoy. He frowned and sent a tense text back to Willow...probably something like "having a great time! Hope you are resting,"...

Then magic happened. The next call up was for Chorus, and Heart Child was right there, far end of the third tier. This teacher seemed to sparkle, explaining what "scatting" is and that the next song would be done in that style. Da dum, da dum! Da dum da dum da dum da da da da dum....did you recognize the theme from Pink Panther? The performance was contained (hands at sides, eyes front) except for the little girl on the end of the third tier. As the teachers arms flew, coaxing blended voiced from the choir, Heart Child's hands acted out the music that was all bottled up in her and SCRAMBLING TO GET OUT! She absolutely rocked it and her love for the fun of this song was palpable even 50 rows back. Besides the scatting, there was finger snapping and jazz hands...this was a song to be sung with the whole body, and that's just how Heart Child did it.

Rejoining us after their third number, she was still glowing and when I asked if she loves singing, she said "Oh, Yes!" After her clarinet piece, she said "at least THAT'S over" but in song, she had found herself

There was another 90 minutes of music and I found myself enjoying it more ( and resenting it less). When we first got there Heart Child sincerely told me she was so glad we came, and thanked us each for being there. I presented her with red tulips. She thanked us again as we left. And I learned, or re-learned, a big lesson. These moments go so fast. A busy life is plain vanilla without spicing it up with the things that have import to those we love.  And being an invited guest of a twelve year old is mean so much when they become a shared memory