Lots happened in the past week that will be best done in bullets (geez...back to Dirty Harry!):
- Found out some interesting facts about the McDonald's that was being torn down last week. As anticipated, they're going to build a brand spankin' new one there with an outdoor coffee patio and dual drive-thru lanes. On a more historical note, the old building was the VERY FIRST in the nation to have a playground built as part of the restaurant! All those dirty, germy play areas that have grossed out parents for decades exist because the people of Helena made it a success!
- S1 was in town for the weekend. Meaning the family getting together a couple of times. My youngest niece was the only grandchild participating, so she got to sit in on the adult discussions. The highlight of Friday night was when Mom took out the boxes of "old" photos from the 80s and 90s. I think it was the first time she'd ever gotten to see her parents in their youth. Lots of dark hair, skinniness and goofy faces. It was actually the first time I'd seen many of them too, since I was out teaching in the day, so I missed out on her high school/college years. Amazingly, there were pictures of both me and S2 that we had to take second looks at because we weren't sure if they were really us or not!
- Went to the Brewhouse for beer on Thursday night with Kamey, her brother and his fiance. Kamey is one of my beer drinkin' girls (when she's in town from Alaska), and was one of the earliest HNTers. She and I drank too much. My condition doesn't really allow for that sort of thing anymore, but I didn't even come close to my prior "normal" consumption. I might have to give up my title as beer drinkin' champion.
- I met with her brother and fiance again tonight (only had one beer--even that made me feel a little loopy...). They are going to have the band with no name (remember us?!?) play for their reception over Labor Day. Putting the band back together just for the occasion, so we went over song lists and requests. Definitely looking forward for that gig!
- I apparently did such a good job with April's opera that the Symphony wants to hire me for next year's opera in the same capacity ("Madame Butterfly", for those keeping score). Unfortunately, there's no rest for the wicked, as we've had a couple of production meetings for it already. We have a sponsor waiting to drop all sorts of cash on us for next year's show, so we have to have our Ps and Qs and Ts and Is all properly taken care of soon. Sort of hoped I wouldn't have to think about it for a bit.
- Also on the meeting front has been production meetings for our big summer concert in July. Fortunately, there's not much to worry about there, as we've been doing it successfully for quite a few years. Still, it's another "thing" to take up my free time.
- You might remember I mentioned a project in the wings for the summer. Well, it's taking off! I was asked to join a soul band. Lots of Temptations, Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, etc. What I wasn't officially asked, but had anticipated, was to write the horn arrangements for this band. Not a really big deal, but our first four rehearsal happen between now and Sunday. There's no way I'll have everything done. I just have to plug away on them when I can (during my free time that isn't Symphony related). I'm looking forward to it, but...
- ...I spent the better part of almost 10 hours today in front of the computer as my music writing program crashed on me while trying to boot it. Add to that my ongoing router/wireless problems, and it was a frustrating day. Good thing it was raining all day so I didn't miss any activity!
- It's been cold and rainy now for too many days. While I appreciate the fact that we need the moisture, this is getting really old.
- The "Operation: Phain" project has gotten the short end of my stick. I'll come up with a plan, I promise. Fortunately, everything has been working out fantastically well for her, so that sense of urgency isn't there. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't do something!
(really, it's not all as bad as that!)