Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Domingo in concert

I was going with my Dad to an outdoor concert hall to see Placido Domingo in concert. We stopped in a small town for a quick bite to eat at a small sandwich shop; just to describe how small it was, the sandwich shop's outdoor seating area was directly next to the parking lot, and there were no railings to divide the people from the cars. When we parked, the nose of his truck blocked a middle-aged couple from getting out of their bench seat on our side. The other side was right up against the wall. They had to crawl over the seats to get out. No one was upset, though; this was normal.

We got a sandwich, found some seating and talked about what we hoped to hear at the concert. Dad wanted a lot of opera, and I wanted a mix of things, particularly his Mariachi music.

We left the sandwich shop, and continued on our way to the concert. At the auditorium, I ran into a few people I knew, including Michael C, but having to go through the line to get the tickets, I was unable to say anything to any of them at first. Strangely enough, in the ticket line itself, there was another deli. (No, it's not Lent.)

After hearing the tickets, I found that Dad and I were sitting completely different sections of the auditorium. This was kind of sad, but it was what it was. We agreed to meet after the concert, and, after pointing out to each other where we were sitting, we parted ways.

Concert already started: Placido Domingo was singing a pop song while Santana wailed on his guitar. I liked it, but entire section of the audience left after that song was over. Santana then left the stage, and another pop singer came on the stage, although I don't recall who it was.

At this point, Michael C walked up to me and asked if I was enjoying the concert. I told him yes, but that I was hoping it would get better. He didn't have high hopes for this, but he agreed that he hoped it would get better.

Shortly after this, Domingo began an opera set, but they were poorly chosen selections. There were no crowdpleasers, only arias from little known operas, and it was all some of the most atonal music I have ever heard.

I looked around for Dad, to see if he was enjoying himself or not, and I couldn't find him. I looked around for my friends to see if any of them were still around, and I only saw the back of Michael C's head as he was leaving. Looking around at the auditorium, I saw that fully half of the seats were empty now.

Even though I wasn't enjoying what I was hearing, I could not bring myself to leave. After all, Domingo is easily one of my favorite singers. He has so much good repertoire that I was still hoping that what I was hearing would end. Within a few minutes, I was one of the few people left in the auditorium. I woke up before I found out if I was going to be the last one.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Weddings and such

 I was driving along the Prince William Parkway to get to church to go to Mass. Along the way, I passed two police officers commuting to work in a Honda a Accord.  They looked like political caricatures; their only movements were the drivers hands in the wheel and the passengers hands on his smartphone.

When I arrived at Mass, Paul E, Sylvia S, and I went to Mass at a nice looking church; it was a church I'd never seen before, although it had a few elements of some of my favorite churches, as well as my childhood parish, St. Philip the Apostle in Dallas, TX.  Walking in, I didn't realize that it was the feast of the Annunciation, but Sylvia pointed that out to me.

The deacon read the readings in Latin, and the Gospel was in English.  The Gospel began with, "At that time, Jesus said to His disciples," and we all knew it was the wrong Gospel.  So did the priest, fortunately; either that, or he was aided by the fact that half of the congregation did not stand, while the other half that was standing had their eyebrows raised high.  (It was at this point that I noticed Mike and Carissa E, and Alex and Ashley S in attendance as well.  They were seated.  I was standing with Sylvia and Paul.)  The priest reread the correct readings, and when he announced the Gospel, everyone stood, because it was the right one.

The rest of Mass continued as normal, and sometime between the Agnus Dei and Communion, Sylvia had left the pew and had put on a wedding dress, as had Ashley S.  The suit that Alex was wearing turned out to be his morning dress.  Sylvia was getting married and Alex and Ashley were renewing their vows.  When the girls saw each other in their wedding dresses, high fives went around, and they came back from Communion to their pews positively giddy.  I think I might have even seen them hop down the aisle.

So, after Mass, Sylvia told me that even though her rehearsal was that day, the guy she was marrying was from Sweden, and she wouldn't be getting married in the States.  However, she wanted Christine and me to be there.  I gave the best promise I could, which felt like a weak promise, but I didn't know when the wedding was.  Nor did I ever find out; I woke up very soon after this point, as Sylvia was asking Ashley to be her fill-in matron-of-honor and Paul to be the fill-in groom for the rehearsal.  It was when the priest came out of the sacristy and asked if she was ready for the rehearsal that I popped awake.

Choir rehearsal

Joe M and Paul E were staying at the same bachelor house, to which I went for rehearsal for something.  Upon arriving there, I parked in front of a median with a large tree that had been chopped down and was piled there.  It was pouring buckets, so I stuck around until nearly midnight when the rain slackened.  I ran outside to my car to find that it wasn't there.  I walked up and down the street , wondering if it had been towed or stolen only to find that I couldn't find it...

...ready for this?...

I couldn't find it because I was driving it.

I woke up, and resisted the urge to go check on my car.