When you find what you were never searching for...

Outside Myself

Outside Myself
West Coast Body, East Coast Heart, California,
January 19
Don't even have to knock...come on in.
I am now 47 and perfectly OK with that. I've been a mom for over 14 years now. I live a rather simple yet difficult life of trying to make sure my daughters are polite, well-educated and know they are loved beyond question. I do my best to give my family whatever they need. And I'm trying to take care of myself. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I am infinitely trying to make people happy, make people laugh, make people feel good about themselves. I compliment often, but only with sincerity. I spend way too much time thinking about what might be the "right" thing to do in any given situation. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This is a personal journey for me. I have grown in ways I didn't know were possible. AND AN UPDATE: Don't forget your worth. This speaks to everyone, not just me. xoxoxo ~~~~ And thx, B. My heart was beginning to thaw but your beautiful friendship has melted it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx FURTHER UPDATE: - B, darling, you have brought me love and peace. You sent the words, "Be gentle with yourself." I am able to do so only because you have been gentle with my heart. I love you, soul mate.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, it's been 18 months... So incredible to recall where I was and where your love has taken me...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, two years have passed since those first simple PMs...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now, three...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now FIVE!!! :-)


JULY 24, 2010 12:34PM

12:34 ~ ~ A Special Repost for My Friends

Rate: 26 Flag
This is a special repost for me, considering the fact that I've recently admitted to wishing I had more time to read you, my friends on OS.
I will also note that less than two months after I originally posted this on February 9, Betty, the blonde in the photo, sadly passed away from a brain tumor.  
I hope y'all don't mind reading this again, as it is still an important message from me to you.
Love and hugs,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

As I've mentioned recently, I used to sing in a quartet.  

Four women.  Acapella.


We did not live close to each other geographically, but we were close friends which made the experience a most enriching one.


We were: 

  • One gal in her 30's, one in her 40's, one in her 50's, the last in her 60's

  • A brunette, a redhead, one with black hair, and a blonde

  • Three on second marriages, one never married

  • Three cheerful sorts, one always a bit pissed off but a damn funny lady (this was NOT the one who was never married, by the way)


In our hotel before competition

B, D, me, T 


Our quartet was part of an international women's competitive singing organization.

And it was nearing competition.


The judging categories (briefly explained):

SOUND - The Sound Judge evaluates vocal production, balance, blend, barbershop sound, and the harmonic accuracy with which notes and chords are sung.

MUSIC - The Music Judge evaluates the performance of the arrangement as well as the song and arrangement.

EXPRESSION - The Expression Judge evaluates the artistic and synchronized delivery of musical language.

SHOWMANSHIP - The Showmanship Judge evaluates the degree of rapport established with the audience through the visual salesmanship of the musical product.


Every note, word, phrase, breath, vowel, diphthong, "look," etc. must beperfect.


In order to best evaluate your own performance, every quartet member records every minute of every rehearsal which then allows you to listen to each little nuance and find where improvements must occur.  This is very hard on the self-esteem but you owe it to your quartet to be very honest and critical of your own voice.  A quartet requires a tremendous amount of time (both in group rehearsals and the hours spent by yourself pounding out notes and practicing) and money (all members spend hundreds of dollars as they must have several matching outfits, including shoes, jewelry, hair items, and even undergarments!).  It is a commitment and all members must count on each other to be as committed as the next gal.


But we were solid as friends and therefore, this was our soft place to fall.  It was the first quartet for two of us and that comfort was necessary in order to be successful.


Our quartet decided that since we lived so far apart, it would be beneficial to have a full weekend of rehearsals and thus, we met in the somewhat-middle at a home in San Francisco for a weekend of hard work.


So we met up Friday evening and rehearsed for a few hours before calling it a night.  Then we were once again working our little bumpers off that Saturday morning starting at 9:30.  We took a quick break for lunch and got back to it until another quick, ordered-in dinner.


Finally, at 10:00, we thought it was enough work for one day and we decided that although it wasn't great for the vocal chords, we'd celebrate with a cocktail.  Welllll, we had several but it was just such a release after such a stressful, hard-worked day.  We laughed a lot and sang stuff just for fun, told stupid jokes and just had a great ol' time.  By the time we went to bed it was after midnight! 


Well, they went to bed.  I snuck back out into the living room where everyone's tape recorders were.   I quickly gathered up everyone's little electronic self-esteem-crushers and hit the record buttons.


In my silly, goofy, um...drunk voice, I leaned into the recorders and whispered, "Hi guys!  It's me!  I just wanted to say that I love you guys and I'm having such a great time being with all of you.  We're gonna kick ass at competition!!  Anyway, that's all.  I love you guys!  Oh, it's March 14, at 12:34.  Hey!  The clock says 1-2-3-4!  Hahahaha!  That's funny!  1. 2. 3. 4.  Hahahaha!!!  Get it?  Hahahaha!!  OK, I love you guys!"


And so, ever since then, every single time I see a digital clock at 12:34, I stop and take a moment to think of my friends. 


I have made so many lovely friends here on OS and so when that clock hits 12:34, I think of you.  And so this post is dedicated to you.


"I love you guys!"  

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Are you talking to me, babe? Because if you are: I love you too! (And it ain't an electronic self-esteem crusher. I've heard you sing!)
Steve! You bet your sweet bippy I'm talkin' to you! Thanks for loving me back! :-) (And thanks for the kind words, hun.)
I love you too, baby!

I've heard your silly, tipsy voice but I don't think I've heard your drunk voice...guess I'll have to send you some more beer :)
Smithery ~ Sweetheart, some of the care packages you send that I love the most are the ones containing beer - it just makes me laugh. OK, and I am a beer gal. :-) Can't wait to share wine in a few weeks, though...
I remember your voice dear. How could I forget the canary of OS??

beer is highly rated. So are Margaritas. On the beach.
Expensive tho'.
Hugs friend.
I love this place too.No time anymore for me.
sigh.. I wish I could sing..
Loved this and I am just praying you guys get together soon.
Rated with hugs
Mission - I don't see you as often; I understand, believe me. But it's so nice seeing you here to comment. Gotta find time to have some beer or margaritas on the beach - I'll meet ya there! :-) (And thanks for the kind words, sweetie.)

Linda - Hey! Happy birthday!!! Thanks for the hugs!
I think I remember this from before--because it was the first time I realized you sang with the Sweet Adelines, an idea I always played with but knew I'd never have the time or resources to give to it.

And it's just as sweet today as it was then. Thanks for the sentiment, Angela. We're just glad you can be here when you can be here. Take care of you, now. D
so nice, i will think of you at 12:34 too. what a lovely thing to do. i wish i had heard y'all singing.
My sisterinlaw sings with a Sweet Adelines group out of Indianapolis! Wonderful wonderful! I'm new to you, so I really enjoyed this and enjoyed getting to know more about you! Thanks so much for the repost!!! :]
Hey, Angel Voice! That sounded like great fun. I hope the contest went well, too.
Singing is such a gift and to do it with friends through your life a treasure. I like your message, to remember and appreciate people in your life. Thanks, I appreciate you too! R
Singing is such a gift and to do it with friends through your life a treasure. I like your message, to remember and appreciate people in your life. Thanks, I appreciate you too! R
You have a beautiful voice. And that is such a special gift. Glad I caught this re-post.

p.s. Cocktails are bad for the voice? I thought they just warmed things up;)
Love and loves to you too. This is so dear and I remember your group.
I loved this! Thanks for the repost so I would get to know you better.
Any recordings of said music?
YO - Yes, I spent 10 years singing with my mom in SA (she was in 20 years!). It can be quite expensive but sometimes there are "angel" programs that help financially. It is a time investment but it was worth it for a while. Thank you for being here, dear friend and for your sweet thoughts.

diana - I swear, I literally can't go by a clock that says 12:34 without counting my blessings for friends.

Persistent - Thank you for taking some time to read through this (kinda sorta) long post. It was a big part of my life for a long time. How very cool that your SIL sings with SA! It's a hoot!

Lezlie - Contest went pretty good - we came in 5th out of 35. :-) (Better than 5th out of 5!)

Sheila - Thanks for getting the message. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with life and then 12:34 shows up unexpectedly (well, kind of...you know what I mean) and it helps put things in perspective.

Scarlett - I know! Like I could stay away from cocktails during a weekend of a bunch of women singing and enjoying each other. Yeah, right. My sister always said that I sang flat when I drank but I just told her she listened flat when she was drinking. :-)

xenonlit - Ohhh, I haven't seen you for a while! I'm glad you remember this; they were lovely ladies...

PW - Actually...yes. :-)
i swear to god, angela, you're the nicest person here. and, like dr. steve, i've heard you sing, too and all i can say is: you should do it again so the newer peeps can, too. what a great post.
femme - Nuh-uh, you are! Funny you should say that about the singing...I was actually trying to record something this morning - a capella on my iphone :-) - and was interrupted by a call. But no complaints, it was my darling man. Then I lost my focus. Maybe tomorrow... :-) Big hugs, doll.
You can sing, and you can use words to bring happiness to others. I'll just say, "Yay!" R
Natalie - I would hate to do otherwise, so thank you, hun.
Oh yea! The voice of an Angel. I love to listen to your recorded posts. It appears that you two are ging to see each other soon. That's great to hear. I sure your time together will more than maek up for all the time apart. Enjoy yourselves (and enjoy the beer, I'm envious :-)
Bobby - Yes, a visit will occur very soon but of course, not soon enough. We have several lovely days planned in SF... Thanks for being here, sweetie.
Beautiful story!!
This is so cool . . . I remember when you posted this the first time . . . my condolences on your loss, as well. I agree with the others that we need more music from you!
It is truer the second time around. There isn't much I feel comfortable telling people advice wise, but everyone has regrets. Those people that are special to us, they don't deserve to be held in a place of regret. We loved them and we didn't get a chance to say it to them one last time. They knew. By holding them in special place, they from the beyond know how special they are/were to us. I really believe that.
It's a shame Sally Stanford's Valhalla Restaurant is no longer operating in Sausalito. It was Chris' and my favorite place to stop during our SF visits twice per year.

Sally Stanford was the mayor of Sausalito with a very checkered past. She operated a brothel in the years of prohibition in same buildng as the restaurant was later built, Sally would frequently greet people at the door of the restaurant and hand them a menu.

The menu was not your regular menu as it was about 2 inches think, telling the story behind Valhalla's. It seems that during prohibition, some of the notorious gangsters would hide out from the G-men there. Baby-face Nelson tended bar there and they would keep their booze hidden just below low tide line. That way the FBI could never find it and when the tide went out, the crew would dig it up and resupply the bar.

The food was excellent and the window tables we always sat at offered a very romantic view of SF across the bay.

We even spent our honeymoon in SF and every subsequent visit we stayed at the same place - The Columbus Motor Inn. The rates were perfect for newlyweds and it was located close to everything we wanted to do.

We have some very fond and warm memories of San Francisco
If your voice is as sweet as your personality, I am sure you sing like an angel.
I remember this (you posted it on my birthday!). Wonderful lessons learned that are worth sharing again.
BTW - I guess I need to explain the reason I commented about Valhalla's. I didn't know it was closed so I was going to suggest it as a place for you to take Barry. It was probably the most romantic restaurant I've ver taken Chris to. But SF has a boat-laod of romatic getaways as I'm sure you're aware.
I remember this post. Full of love and warm memories. Blessings, Angela, and stop the guilt trip about not being on here much! We all have lives to live. You do too.

awww! you're always so sweet:) i too wish i had more time to read and comment here. i'm always glad to see you when i do:)