Unfortunate and Fortunate Events

August 24, 2010 at 5:43 pm (Uncategorized)

Have you ever wanted to do something quite badly, that was impossible because of circumstances beyond your control? Only to have those circumstances changes quite rapidly and then realize that the factors that were prohibiting you before were really just surface factors and something much deeper has also been holding you back?

All figurative language aside, I am really upset about something that I wanted to do. I’ve been wanting to sing in a formal setting for most of my life. I dreamt of being a country singer as a small child, even had the opportunity to stand onstage next to Lorrie Morgan once (though I was so young at the time, I didn’t fully grasp the honor at the time).  In school, I took every opportunity to sing: chamber groups (hello, my Peace Piper friends, my Divas, even my Girls Ensemble friends from middle school!), a capella groups (Sevenfold, how I miss you all, and Sweet Tones, I’ll never forget you!), tricounty, all county, all state. I was once ranked the top alto in the state of Maryland. Yes, thank you.

After college, there was only one group I longed to sing with left on my list. I didn’t know that the Patuxent Voices existed until recently, but I did know of the St. Maries Musica madrigal group, and I wanted to be in that group so badly. I still do. One of their members, my friend Monty Hill, recommended I audition for Patuxent Voices in the meantime while they lacked an opening for a female voice. And I totally auditioned for Patuxent Voices last night. But then I heard the practice schedule and I realized (perhaps not fully until later) that this might not work as planned.

See, I am going to school part time and working full time. I commute to both. I have two dogs and a fiance at home and these are not things in my life I can neglect. I am planning my wedding. I am involved in my church. Very involed. Look in the church bulletin on a given Sunday and you’ll see the Clifton name written all over it.

Then I get the message that St. Maries Musica is having an emergency audition on Monday. And I am personally invited. And suddenly, the floor drops out from beneath me, because I can’t even make the audition, much less a practice schedule of that magnitude.

So you see, I am in a bind. I finally have these two great opportunities, and I am going to have to turn both down. And I am ever so disappointed.

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My Momentary Return to Virtual Reality

August 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm (Uncategorized)

I must apologize to any (if any) readers who have been awaiting new posts. I got caught up in real life and although I had things I wanted to blog about recently, I haven’t really sat down to put my fingers to keyboard for much longer than it takes to check my email since about February. I guess that says a lot of about my real life, which validates that I do have one, at least.

For those who care, I am still working on my education while working for the Navy. This summer I took two classes through Capitol College at the local higher education center: Mathematical Method for Engineers and Laplace & Fourier Transforms. Both had their relative merits and I’m glad that I did. I reassured myself that I still understand calculus, and I refreshed my memory on the algebraic methods required to break complicated polynomial fractions into partial fractions before applying an inverse Laplace transform (which was a new technique I learned. I learned to use MATLAB beyond the basic functions and I even wrote some small m files to help solve systems of equations. So, I am pleased with the result.

Right now, I am finally on vacation. My parents, one of my sisters and one of her friends are with me. My uncle Sam works for Marriot, and he was kind enough to let us use his vacation week at the Marriot Grande Ocean resort in Hilton Head Island. We also took a trip to Savannah, GA to visit my grandmother and a few cousins. It’s the second day. I am in love with the semitropical climate already. Where else can you find Spanish moss alongside palm trees, with tidal pools and seagulls, soft sandy beaches as far as the eye can see and the horizon? Well, somewhere you’re bound to other than here, but there’s nothing like this in Maryland as far as I’m aware.

Regardless, I will not spend my vacation online for very long. Hence the title of this post. But I strayed online because I wanted to look up one of the authors that I have recently discovered. And she is worth touting on here, because she is the kind of creative writer that I strive to be in secret. if you knew me professionally, you’d probably be shocked to find out that I spend an inordinate amount of time reading fiction and writing fiction. Considering my field of choice is physics and my career field is in Defense, fiction seems a far cry from my professional goals. But Leah Stewart is one of the few authors that I have read and immediately said to myself, “Yes. This is the kind of writer that I want to be.” Her latest novel, Husband and Wife, recently was published. I have also recently read “The Myth of You and Me” and had the same reaction. I liked that one so much, I bought it. I’m usually the library book type because I read them faster than it would take to drive to a bookstore, browse around and buy one. Leah Stewart is worth reading, folks, so take note and go get one of her books. And then drive down to Hilton Head Island, knock on the door of my condo and I’ll get you situated next to me on the beach, cocktail in hand, to read yours while I read mine.

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