Here is an important note to myself: I enjoy Chamber Singers rehearsals. I need to make this note to myself and perhaps also to remind myself to come read it next Thursday, because I never want to go, and once I get there I really enjoy the singing.

Last night was unusual, because we were recording, and also doing pictures for our CD cover. I didn’t mind about the pictures, because although I’m not that photogenic, I’m also not that vain, so I don’t care much. Also my hair was being fluffy.

I was aware of this because the woman who cleaned my teeth mentioned it. “When you get to our age,” she said confidingly, “You need a bit of fluffiness.”

She had begun by asking me if my hair was natural, a question I get surprisingly often. I have no control whatsoever of my hair, and it is hard to imagine that anyone would think I had made it look as it does (whatever that is on a given day) on purpose. It may be that what they really mean is more like what a Canadian woman asked me once: “Do you feel a lot of pressure to dye your hair?”

Unfortunately, we were speaking French at the time, and the question was not merely outside of conventional conversation, but outside of my vocabulary in French, so I was flummoxed. She had to translate, and by the time I understood the question, the discussion had sort of gotten derailed.

That is still better than my Spanish. In spite of faithfully attending Conversational Spanish class for a month, I still can only say I have this and I am that. Once you have enquired after your interlocuter’s pets and kids, you have pretty well exhausted the polite conversational options for those two verbs.

I had constructed a discussion to have with the instructor, on the question of whether it was common in Argentina for people to have domestic servants. I figured she could then go on to talk about the political and social situation in her country, and I would nod intelligently and say “Si, si.” However, I have not yet had the opportunity. Since I do not know anyone else from Argentina, and do not know the names of any other countries in Spanish, if I do not get to use this particular conversational sally with her, it will just go to waste. Still, it could happen that someone will come into the store and ask in Spanish whether we have any books in Spanish, at which point I will be able to say triumphantly, “Si, tengo libros en espanol,” and it will all have been worthwhile.

But I digress.

The thing is, after having gone to class on Tuesday and Wednesday and choir practice on Wednesday, by Thursday night I do not want to go anywhere. But I really like the music we are singing (Renaissance and Baroque, mostly) and the rehearsals are well-conducted, so it is fun.

Last night, we were in our concert black and standing in a mixed performance sort of grouping around the microphones for the recording. Twila Paris attends the church where our director conducts the choir and was, he thinks, the anonymous donor of a bunch of snazzy recording equipment which we were able to borrow for the occasion. I passed this on to the tenor next to me, as a bit of gossip for the evening, but he looked at me blankly. He may not know who Twila Paris is (you can click on her name up there if you don’t know either). The tenor on my other side said, “I’m not used to standing with altos,” and I was trying to determine whether that was a “Eeeuw! Girl cooties!” remark or what, when the first tenor chimed in, “I’m enjoying it,” so I guess the blankness on his part was about Twila Paris and not about me.

The director was sweating. He was trying to get a particular sound from us and apparently was not getting it. He told us to be transparent. He told us to sing like tightrope walkers. He told us to sing in such a way as to give the listeners a kick in the pants. We can do “darker” or “greater intensity” but I guess we were not able to do “transparent.”

Tonight I am supposed to go pick #2 son up after the Big Game. The high school is playing its great rival. Both the teams are called bulldogs, but different colors, so it is the game of the purple dogs and the red dogs. The boys have washed their purple shirts and practiced up with purple body paint and saved up their voices for the shouting. After the game, however, #1 son has a party to go to and wants me to come get his little brother and bring him home.

Since I have this little trouble with agoraphobia, the thought of having to drive in the dark through the bikers (I did mention the 400,000 bikers we are entertaining this weekend, didn’t I?) after having had to drive to places on the last three nights as well is weighing on my mind. The boys tell me it will be good for me.

I’ll tell you one thing, though. It may be good for me, in the sense of not allowing my agoraphobia to progress any further. And it is certainly true that I enjoy my classes and rehearsals once I am actually present at them, so they are worth it. But all this gallivanting around does cut into my knitting.