Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Overheard In A Bar

I have never been a big drinker.

I have my favorites.  Yes, I do.  But drinking has always been an issue of budget for me.  We just couldn't justify purchasing alcohol when we needed, say, well, food.  And clothes to wear while eating that food.  Oh, then there was the mortgage.  We needed our home so we could have a place to get dressed and eat our food.

I'm not even a social drinker - yes, I'll have one of these (in the photo) on the porch with a friend from time to time (and I do blame this one for turning me on to these little drinkypoo's), or I'll have a margarita or martini every once in a while.  But, for the most part I don't order drinks with dinner, do not purchase "party packs" unless I'm hosting a BBQ, which is like, once a year, and just don't even think about stocking up on alcohol.  So, it's funny, that my little bit of drinking inspired this comment from Harper.

While sitting at a golf club bar munching on hot dogs prior to George's half marathon (he wasn't eating a hot dog - that would be completely gross before a race), Harper looked up, noticed a Smirnoff bottle on the shelf and exclaimed in a volume which she could only have gotten from me, "Hey, look Mom, they have your favorite drink!"

Yes, the place was full.

No, I did not order a drink.

I drink responsibly . . . she said while taking the last sip of her Mike's Hard Limeade given to her by a neighbor.

Beaver is a cesspool of irresponsibility and iniquity. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

I've Worked With Some Talented Kids (who are now adults)

Meet Danielle.

I first met her when she was 11.  Or 12.  Which was it, Danielle?  I remember you were auditioning for Grease and I was pregnant with Zane.  And huge.  Upon meeting you I was struck by how diligent you were at taking direction and running that dang song over and over an over.  You wanted that role.  You still work THAT hard.  I always knew you wouldn't lose that drive. What a pleasure it was to coach you.   

Anyway, Danielle is no longer 11. Or 12. She's now a sophomore in college with a budding singing career.

Perhaps it will sound like I'm patting myself on the back here, but before Beaver, I worked privately with a ton of talented kids in the Chicagoland area.  Actors, singers, dancers, you name it.  I would travel up and down the north shore prepping them for auditions - sometimes, against each other . . . wow, I saw a TON of Anne Franks during Steppenwolf's auditions for that show.

But, back to Danielle.  THIS photo reminds me of all my coaching sessions with her.  Always smiling.  Always friendly.  Always down to Earth. 

She recently made a leap in her career and I wanted to share it with you, just as I've written about the successes of some of my other students.  So, I asked Danielle to give us the down low in her own words.  Take it away, Danielle:

Hey Everyone! My name is Danielle Robay and I am an 19 year old singer, songwriter, hip-hop dancer, student at UW Madison, and not to mention, a HUGE Joline Atkins fan :). For the past 2 years I have been writing and recording a demo CD with the help of J.Roman, the lead singer of the new hit group Jump Smokers (and DJ for Chicago's #1 Hit Radio Station B96). After hearing me sing, J. Roman and I co-wrote “Real Girl,” my first professionally recorded song. It is all about being cool with who you are, I think the lyrics speak for themselves: “So many girls in this world changing their ways but, I like the skin I’m in and I’m proud of this face”.  Roman and I have been co-writing and recording ever since! In fact, Jump Smokers new album came out July 27th and I did an electro/pop song for the album called "Love of Electro" which is available on Itunes now!. After the first few days it actually hit #39 on the iTunes Dance charts which was pretty cool! I'd really appreciate if you would check it out on iTunes and if you like what you hear, check out for more music/info/pictures.

Way to go, Danielle. 

Let me add, that my relationship with Danielle and my other "kids", was so incredibly special.  Special enough for them to give me a thoughtful send off when we left Chicago.  A send off which included a party with students and parents, a song, written just for me and sung by those amazing talents in the room, and the expression of wonderful memories.

Danielle was there.

And look where she is now!

Way to go, honey.  You've found your "niche".  I am proud to share your recent accomplishment with my readers.

And I'll also have you know that "Love of Electro" has taken its place on my playlist as I run my 5, 10k's, half-marathons . . . and clean my house.

If I could, I'd list the accomplishments of all the "kids" (they are all grown up now) I've worked with over the years.  The ones who are now at NYU and Yale.  The one who sang with Disney, and with Patti LuPone.  The ones at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.  There have been so many reasons for me to applaud.

Only this time, the applause is for YOU, Danielle.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zane Prefers Confectionery Worship

Yelled with enthusiasm in the middle of Candy Kitchen last night:

"Praise the Lord!  Candy is in the church!"

I believe there was even some hand raising.

Maybe even dancing.

He has been slain in the sugar.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

History Lesson

As much as we wanted to visit the Sturgis One Room School Museum today, we couldn't, as it wasn't open, and neither was the Pocomoke Chamber of Commerce which we were instructed to contact in order to make an appointment to see the museum.

So bummed.

George and I had explained to Harper and Zane that this school was different from the one room school we have back in Beaver.  This school was specifically for African Americans, during a time when blacks and whites were separated from going to school together, IF blacks had the opportunity to go to school at all.

Zane's response?

"Oh, yeah, I know that time.  That was before we had God.  We only had Kings that ruled the planet."



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And She's Off!

I'm wiped out.

It was a very late night, or rather, early morning.

A restless 9 year old battled bouts of anxiety and excitement until at least 2 AM as her mind raced about the upcoming trip to Grandma's house.

Sans parents.

While she finally slept.  I didn't.

It wasn't that I was particularly nervous for Harper's week-long adventure in Ocean City with my parents, but rather, my own mind battled missing her.

Yes, the week away is giving me some more one on one time with Zane:  an uninterrupted play-date with his best Beaver pal, art class, plus a few other tricks I have up my sleeve, but having Harper take off alone is the first step in her developing an independence - that I want her to have - and yet, don't.

She was so ecstatic as she met me bedside this morning to hug and kiss me goodbye, "Mommy, we're leaving for the airport now."


And then there was the email I got later in day describing how her first plane "took forever" to leave the runway.

But an email just wasn't going to cut it for me.

By 8 PM, I had to hear her voice.  She sounded amazing.

Amazingly old.

And then, she showed me just how much her family means to her.

"Mommy, put Zane on. I need to talk to Zane."

I overheard bits and pieces of their conversation.  She asked if he was having fun and what he did today (he was stripping the stairs with George) and then responded by telling him how cool it was that he was helping Daddy with the stairs.

See, he cried in his room this morning when he realized she wasn't home when he woke.  He also had a hard time comprehending how Dad was able to drive my mom and Harper all the way to Ocean City and make the return trip by the time he woke up.  The entire morning confused him.

Harper knew Zane would be sad, for they hang out together every morning before I wake up, and thus she made a point of making sure she spoke to him this evening.

I love that they love each other.

This is Harper's first trip away without us.  It is so important for her.  It is so important for us.  It's just mind boggling to me that we are at this age.  The age at which we've begun discussing human development, problems with friends, and the all too familiar "what makes me nervous" discussions.  So far, we have managed to create a very open atmosphere of communication, where every question deserves an answer - even if it freaks me out to have to answer.

There's that tug of wanting to continue holding my baby, and wanting her to branch out.

Today was a pretty long branch for my girl.

And I am very proud of her.