Monthly Archives: June 2007

Workin’ at the car wash.

Across from the town dump that I visit every Saturday morning is a play field with a parking lot, in which fundraising groups (a different one every weekend) hold $5 car washes. My first car wash of the season was by the high school boys’ lacrosse team. They worked cheerfully alongside their dads, and approached each car with an organized strategy and a sense of energetic urgency.

Too bad they did a crummy job on my car. After a week of driving around with embarassing dusty streaks on my car, I pulled into the same parking lot the following Saturday. This time, it was girls’ lacrosse. I handed a mom my $5 and said “The boys’ lacrosse team washed this car last week and as you can see they didn’t do a very good job. Let’s show them we women know how to get car clean!!”

The nice lady got a laugh out of that, and shouted my message ahead to the girls with their hoses and sponges. I must say they worked up a lather on my car, but still left a few dirty spots.

Skip ahead two rainy weeks. It’s a beautiful day. I drop off my trash and recyclables and have time to kill before my laundry’s done. And the Dance Team is washing cars. Why not? The lady taking the 5’s said I looked familiar, but we couldn’t figure out where we knew each other from.

From the outset, things didn’t look good. The supposedly high-energy dancers moved slowly, with no obvious plan of attack. They hovered around my car for several moments before anyone reached forward with a sponge. One walked up to my window and smiled at me. Then they started hesitantly swabbing at my car. A couple dabs, then walk away and swab at a different place. A dad came over to stand on a 4-gallon bucket and do the roof. Never seen that technique before. More smiles, but I didn’t actually see much washing going on.

I pulled forward to the dads with the rinsing hoses, and found they used a similar “technique.” A couple squirts, then get distracted. Someone else sprayed me again, then walked away. Finally, someone walked around and did the driver’s side. Finally, a thumb’s up sign meaning I was done.

Oh, well. I’ll have to start saving money and washing my own car, I thought.

When I came out of the grocery store, I discovered the truth.

The Dance Team got my car THE CLEANEST IT’S EVER BEEN.

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Fifth recital down.

Today I sang a German art piece (“Still vie die Nacht” by Karl Bohm), a Tom Lehrer song, and was in the chorus of a number from “The Mikado.”

I’ve sung in 5 recitals since 2005. I took voice lessons for a year before getting up there at all. Early lessons revealed odd auditory-processing problems with pitch that, thankfully, did (and still do) improve with practice.

One of the songs at my first recital was “Little Lamb,” which a young Natalie Wood sang in “Gypsy,” a movie I saw when I was 3. I couldn’t sing it without crying for the first few months of learning it because of memories connected to a trauma at that age. My voice teacher was a saint. I’d sing 8 measures, cry, and then we’d do it all over again the following week. Getting to where I could sing it in public was a victory in itself.

In fact, all of these 5 recitals have been mostly about getting up there. Performing through the quaking knees, spasming lungs, and quivering cords of stage fright. Well, yahoo, I’ve done it, I’m a trooper, yada yada.

I’m done with being Ms. Trooper. Next time, I don’t want my performance to be about being brave. I want it to be about the performance. Next time, I don’t want to just get up there.

I want to knock ’em dead.

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Dance right through your life.

This horse has the right idea.

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Bumper sticker sighted today.

“My country invaded Iraq and all I got was this expensive gas.”

Favorite bumper sticker of 2004 election season:
“Bush: Let’s not elect him this time either.”

Only bumper sticker I’ve had:
“If you can read this, you are in phaser range.”

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