Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Strategy, Servers, Singing & Surreal Shirt-Washing Moments

Work on Monday was frustrating. Firstly I was meant to be meeting my boss at 3pm to go over the first draft of my budget and the notes I’d developed on the strategy paper I’m supposed to be writing. The budget is reasonably in hand but the strategy definitely isn’t, so I spent a lot of the day trying to knock my thoughts into some kind of coherent shape. I got to somewhere approaching presentable in time for the meeting, went along to find him and discovered he was off sick for the day. Bugger – if only I’d thought to check earlier!

The other hassle that day was problems with getting our new team in Boston up and running; the server configuration hat should only have taken a couple of hours to complete wasn’t complete when I left for Chorus (late!) and I ended up with the Boston IT guys on the phone during the rehearsal which pissed me off somewhat – but at least they are keen to get their new system in place.

The rehearsal itself wasn’t bad; we pretty much completed work on a new song to the repertoire; Waterloo Sunset. The Baritone part is dead easy, so it wasn’t much of a learn. We also did some more note bashing on the older repertoire which was very useful. I hadn’t realised quite how badly we butchered Keep It Gay last time around; there are parts where what I remember bears no resemblance whatsoever to what is printed on the page.

Had a worthwhile chat with Mikey in the break; last season our sitting together at every rehearsal became a bit of an institution and I wanted to make sure he wasn’t feeling constrained by that. He wasn’t and took the question in good humour, so all was good.

Brett had sent me a link to a round the world yacht race that anyone can sign-up for as an idea to get me out of my rut. We’d actually talked about it a while ago and not followed up but, in the spirit of doing new things, I filled in the brochure request and also forwarded the link to a few of my friends to see if they were up for it too. The replies ranged from “Not my thing, thank you,” to, “Are you mad?!? Look how high those waves are!” As it turns out, I was mad; Brett had already received his copy of the brochure and spotted the fact that to sail the whole race would cost roughly £32,000 per person – on top of the nine months off work it would take to complete!

Probably best to shelve that idea pending my lottery jackpot win.

During the rehearsal though I did get reminded about my desire to learn to play the piano. That is probably a more achievable goal. This time though, I’ll sign up with a private tutor rather than take a class, so I’ve got more actual tuition time and can go at my own pace. Maybe this time… it’s gonna happen.

Today was unremarkable at work. Highlight of the day was definitely the evening. Theo D was hosting a Baritone social evening at his flat up in Angel. He’d offered to play piano for us to sing through his collection of sheet music. A dozen or so of us turned up and duly sang our way through a selection of Avenue Q, Cabaret, West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, Abba, Queen, Shirley Bassey and so forth. Theo had laid on a splendid buffet table; more quality than quantity, yet still enough for everyone.

Unfortunately some of the (actually quite a lot of the!) red wine selection ended up adorning my shirt, so I had the slightly surreal experience of standing in Theo’s basement kitchen in my undershirt, washing my shirt in an aromatic bowl of warm Liebfraumilch whilst listening to a slightly-drunken male-voice rendition of West Side Story’s I Feel Pretty; a moment that will stay with me for a long time I suspect!

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