Friday, October 22, 2004

Update on the Girlies

I absolutely adore my girls. I had never experienced unconditional love until I gave birth to them, and watched them grow. It's overwhelming. And it's a great avenue toward understanding true humility. I am sooo glad for the experience.

Grace finally coughed up information on the All-State audition. She passed! She scored an 88% on the written test, and sight-read 14 (I think) measures out of 24 correctly. The minimum number of measures one had to read correctly was 8. But there's yet another audition!

The kids who are to go on to the next level were given their music on Wednesday, and a CD on Thursday. If I remember correctly, there are about 8 pieces, varied genres, for them to learn by November 8. The CD is very helpful. It gives the pronunciation of Italian and Latin lyrics, and then plays the pieces with a woman singing just one part. On Grace's, she sings the Soprano II part. Now, time for practice! In the audition, three kids in a group; Soprano I, Soprano II and Alto; will sing in front of judges. That can get tricky, especially if one doesn't know his/her part well. Cross your fingers!

Meghan has been moved to the on-camera Weather person. The teleprompter kid didn't want to do the weather from day-one, so Meghan started off talking from behind the camera, then everyone decided to have her in front of it. She's a little disappointed that she hasn't been on the camera crew, but she enjoys doing the weather. She has to come up with her own lines. Meghan was just accepted into the Gifted Program, so, I'm sure there will be news about those activities soon. She is very inquisitive, especially about science-related things. I guess she'll be asking DADDY questions a lot, because I'll hardly ever have any answers for her!!!

Emily is excelling in school, too! She's also in The Colts Chorus, which consists of 2nd and 3rd grade students. She tells me that on the mornings that she has chorus rehearsal, she misses out on doing her "bellwork", but just yesterday she actually finished after going to Chorus! She's my beautiful brown-eyed girl!

Carolyn! What can I say about Carolyn? With her big blue saucer-eyes, long, curly blond hair and chubby cheeks? She's such a love! Such an affectionate, happy, spoiled kid! One more year to go before Kindergarten! She and Daddy pal around all day during the week. I miss her terribly when I'm at work, and on weekends, she plays with her friend, Abby. She says she misses me, but she won't visit with me on the weekends. I guess she's happy knowing that I'm home, and that she can walk in the house and I'll be there, but playing with Abby is VERY important!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

15 Years

Fifteen years ago, on October 19, I had my last drink. I had left Key West FL and was in the Miami airport waiting for a connecting flight. Final destination, Buffalo NY and "Daddy's house". I was sitting at a bar in the airport, and figured that since I'm gonna quit, I'll have a private toast to my new life. So I ordered a REAL Madras. A real one, as opposed to MY version. Normal people drink a shot of vodka with orange juice and a splash of cranberry juice, the orange juice being the main ingredient. My version was a splash of orange juice, a splash of cranberry juice and the rest vodka. I was adding the orange and cranberry just for apperance's sake. But I was quitting that day, so I wanted to at least pretend that I could drink only one, and a normal one at that.

Looking back, I'm surprised I didn't go out with a bang; go on yet another bender, with the blackouts and anti-social behavior. Instead, I went out with a whimper, which, come to think of it, is exactly how I felt. Besides - I had just recently had one of those blackout-thingys, and I just didn't feel up to the task that day.

I was beat. Licked. I had tried everything imaginable to be able to drink like normal people, but nothing worked. I had also tried quitting on my own and that didn't work. I didn't realize it then, but I was on the verge of surrendering. Giving up the fight. I was desperate, paralyzed with fear, hopeless.

But I was going home to Daddy. I was grateful for that, because at that point I wasn't sure if he'd let me go home. By that time he wasn't talking to me very much. Little did he know that he was doing the best that he could have done for an alcoholic like me. "Detach" and "Tough Love". There really are names for that kind of stuff.

Almost immediately upon arriving home, I got busy trying to find some help. I didn't enter into a rehab, because I felt that I couldn't "miss out on life for a month". HAH! WHAT life??? I found where "meetings" were held and started going to those.

What I heard was amazing! The people there were telling my story! I couldn't imagine that other people felt like me! I thought I was the only one! From the beginning, I felt that I had come home.

And here I am, fifteen years later, a different woman. I'm not the hopeless, frightened, desperate person I was when I walked through those meeting doors. I've changed. My perspective has changed. I have recovered "from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body".

I suppose I could write about how it happened, but I think I'll leave that for future posts...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Let me start off by saying that I'm SOOO proud of my daughter, Grace. She simply amazes me. Maybe it's because she's growing up, or maybe it's because she's doing what I most feared to do as a kid, without blinking an eye.

Yesterday was the audition for the Florida All-State Chorus. Middle School and High School students from Hillsborough County gathered at Chamberlain High School in Tampa to take a written test, and if passed, a sight-reading audition in hopes to gain a seat in the Chorus.

Grace and 10 of her school-mates were "invited" to attend and had practiced twice a week after school for two months. They learned Music Theory and sight-reading.

We were told to be at the High School at 3:30 and that registration and testing would start at 4:00. HAH! They lied! Testing started at 5:15!!! And they KNEW it wouldn't start until then!
Oh, the memories of waiting! Of standing in line, waiting!

The first part of the written test was listening and multiple choice. Which of the four choices looks most like the passage played, etc. Another few questions were on intervals. The second part was without audio. The kids who passed the test were able to wait for another couple of hours before it was their turn to sight-read in front of two "adjudicators".

Finally, at around 7:30 pm, Grace was the next one in line to go into the "room" (in other words, she passed the written test). She was cool as a cucumber. I asked her if she was nervous, and she just shrugged her shoulders and said "No...". When she went in, I tried to listen through the door, but being the deaf person that I am, couldn't hear much.

This sight-reading thing was very difficult. There were three increasingly difficult passages that they had to read. A scale and corresponding arpeggio was played prior, and the student had to start on the tonic note. If, during the reading, they faltered, they had to start at the beginning and had only one chance to do that. They had only one chance to start over from the very beginning, so they were advised to try not to use their "start over" right away. They could choose to use a one syllable sound, like "la la la", or the note names "do re mi". Grace opted for the "do re mi" names, because she felt that it was easier for her. Personally, I would use "la la la", because I CAN'T go down the scale with "do re mi". I'm impressed!

Grace took everything in stride until I was tucking her in bed. Then she broke down and cried, announcing that she really messed up during the sight-reading. I told her that her absolute biggest accomplishment was going in there and trying her best. I told her that I was VERY proud of her and that it doesn't matter what the outcome is. I shared with her some of my auditioning experiences, and that I wasn't always accepted, just sometimes. I reminded her that she's already in "Notes Alive!", along with the other school choruses, and that is an accomplishment in itself. I also reminded her that what she had just faced was very difficult, that I've never seen such advanced demands on 7th and 8th graders.

She went to sleep, finally.

I think it's time to contact her Godfather, Frank Scinta, to let him know (brag) what she's doing...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Back to Business as Usual


I'll try to recollect my thoughts, and post something at home, where I'm less likely to LOSE IT!!!!