Friday miscellany: On my mind this week

Sassy the Elf reappeared this morning. She (he?) is nestled in the Christmas tree. The little guy was up first, so I showed him where she/he was, so he immediately told his sister when she came downstairs. Then she proceeded to tell her big brothers where Sassy was, which infuriated them. There were such discussions at the breakfast table as “I’m going to wake up early tomorrow and find Sassy and show you where he is — so there!” Also, the 2-year-old tried to haul a chair over to the tree to climb up and touch Sassy, specifically because his siblings told him not to. His sister in horror: “If you do that, Santa won’t bring you a truck!” The 2-year-old: “I don’t want a truck!”

I attempted to make elf-shaped pancakes. They looked more like gingerbread men than anything else.

The elf is definitely not my favorite part of Christmas, but the kids expect it. And hey, I guess good to have some kid-oriented fun in the house. It’s a nice distraction from all sorts of not-fun news in the outside world.

I have been pondering the Matt Lauer news. It’s always strange to learn that someone you’ve met and conversed with had quite a dark side (though I don’t think dark sides are rare. Indeed, I think almost anyone in power will be tempted to use that power for selfish aims, which is why safeguards, and checks and balances, and laws exist). But that is somewhat removed from my everyday life. What got me a bit more in shock yesterday were three emails received almost in a row — literally within 90 minutes — about other people abusing positions of power. A former karate instructor at my kids’ martial arts school was arrested for molesting teen students while they were away on competition trips. Someone who worked for a school enrichment program one kid attends (though not at our location) was arrested for inappropriate contact with students. And just to top it off, I got a letter from Massage Envy about sexual assault claims at various franchises. I had somehow missed this in the news the past few days.

I guess the upside of this is that I doubt such events happen more frequently now than in the past. It’s that people feel empowered to report it. Which is a good thing.

There’s no good way to transition from that thought to any other Friday miscellany thoughts. So…let’s just pretend the rest of this is a separate post.

I did a substantial round of edits on my fable. I could use maybe half a dozen sets of eyes on it. If you’re familiar with the business fable genre (The Go-Giver, The One-Minute Manager, or the classic Who Moved My Cheese?) and would be up for providing actionable feedback relatively quickly, please let me know. Lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.

I have been pondering my closet, and realized I have a real winter uniform. Almost every day, I wear a pair of straight-leg jeans, and a longish sweater with a cowl neck. I have the same sweater in 4 colors from Gibson. I also wear a pair of wedge heeled shoes, though I suspect it will soon be too cold to do that. What can I say – it’s all comfortable.

At choir rehearsal last night, we sang through the Bach Magnificat. Another Bach work with a fantastic second soprano part. I love the runs – particularly one in Fecit Potentium. Years ago in college I had learned the Bach B-Minor mass (which also has a separate second soprano choral part with a lot of long runs) with the glee club, and then I’d gone to Australia to study abroad so I never got to perform it. Someday!

The kids made cookies yesterday. They are really, really good. I’m sitting in my home office, and I can hear them calling to me from the kitchen next door…

This weekend will feature one kid’s musical production, sports, a birthday party, an advent workshop and a get-together with friends. It’s making me feel festive. Who knows, I may even start liking the elf…


5 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: On my mind this week

  1. I always like reading about your singing. I also belong to a choir and and working on our big Christmas concert. My goal: to have the entire set of selections memorized by Monday’s rehearsal. You’re a good inspiration as you mention preparing in advance for your rehearsals.

    1. @Debi- thanks! I’m a big fan of preparing in advance. They send us the agenda for the rehearsal, so we know what will be covered. And it’s like a meeting in terms of using time well. My learning notes can just be done with one person (me). If I ask for notes in rehearsal, it’s wasting 40 other people’s time 🙂

  2. I’m not a fan of Elf on the Shelf. We didn’t do it for our kids, so they don’t miss it. My daughter isn’t doing it for hers, either!

    I’m also a big fan of Bach. I think of it as heavy metal Baroque music!

  3. I hate the elf! Who has time. My kids asked why we didn’t have one. I told them that parents have to request an elf from Santa (i.e. purchase one) and that friends elves were very mischievous (one local family took picture of theirs in mixing bowl hotter with a Barbie). I said, we have a very busy house with 4 kids and I cannot deal with an elf having a date with a Barbie in a mixing bowl! They seemed quite satisfied with this answer.

  4. I too have been pondering the news of the week. Since I work full time, I’ve never watched much of the Today Show but my husband and I are long time Prairie Home Companion/ Garrison Keillor fans so that news saddened us this week. I agree that it’s a good thing that women are empowered to report this stuff.
    My kids are grown so I never had to have deal with the elf. It sounds annoying. I don’t think I missed much but I wish I would have heard of the literary advent calendar when they were growing up. We all would have enjoyed that. Maybe someday… if I ever have grandchildren.

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