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Spring Break 2011 
22nd-Mar-2011 04:48 am
I've been more active on Twitter than I have anywhere else lately. I've also done a lot of writing at my music education blog, The Columbus Cornet. I also "sold" my first story to a non-college publication and had it printed ... but I'm still working on getting a copy to share. Finals all went fine, but this term was a killer, in terms of the time I spent working and studying. All my friends are feeling pretty neglected, and I feel terrible about it, but there's just no help for it. I hope spring will be better, especially now that I'm attending one university instead of two.

I'm in SoCal (Simi Valley) visiting my family for spring break. Unfortunately, Sam wasn't able to get the time off work to join me. For the TL;DR crowd here's the happs: We just attended a taping of the Price is Right, then ate a lovely French dinner at the Farmer's Market. Yesterday was shopping with Mom and a trip to the pool hall with Alicia and our friends. Tomorrow is breakfast with Grandma. In the evening, we're going to a classical music concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Wednesday, we're having a Daddy+Daughter day at the Grammy Museum and/or aquarium, then I'm meeting my middle school buds for some tapas hopping at trendy restaurants, topped with drunken karaoke. Thursday, I'm going to lay down some vocal tracks for my Dad's Americana music project. In the evening: more singing, at a piano bar.

Day 1: A wasabi mistake
My flights all went OK, but were pretty uncomfortable. On my way to CA, the guy in front of me had his seat back the whole time. It dug into my knees something fierce, so I kept jostling his seat (sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose), but that didn't seem to discourage him. When we all got up to get off the plane, he was very nice and chatted me up. Next time, maybe I'll just politely ask the person in front of me to raise their seat a bit. Important lesson learned.

Dad picked me up for the airport and had sushi waiting for me. I really miss fresh seafood in Ohio, so that was extremely thoughtful. I offered him some, and he picked up a random piece. After a moment, he noticed something was terribly wrong and spit it back out, coughing and sputtering. In the dark car, he picked up the sushi-shaped piece of ginger and wasabi and chewed the whole wad. Poor Dad. He almost lost control of the car, but after the convulsions stopped, we had a good laugh about it.

Upon my arrival, Susy "Surprise" Tutt, a family friend, was there to greet me. She's one of the sweetest people I've ever met, and I loved seeing her for an all-too-short amount of time. I forgot my bathing suit, and she just so happened to have a spare (that fit!), so we all chilled in my parents' swanky hot tub and made up for lost time.

Day 2: Torrential Downpour; Shopping; Pool Hall
After a leisurely breakfast with Susy, Mom and I went shopping. I bought many, many shirts for summer ... but I figure this will be the only shopping I get to do for spring quarter and summer after. And since none of my old spring clothes fit anymore (too big), the new wardrobe is a much-deserved, well-needed expense. I also bought a lot of new jewelry (to help my retail-workin' sister make her sales goals) and some needed accouterments from Williams Sonoma.

The weather in sunny Southern California has been crazy. There was a torrential, sideways downpour and gale-force winds all day long. Mom decided to avoid the freeways and took backroads, where we dodged many uprooted trees and felled branches.

The rain put a damper on our evening plans, too. My sister and I had originally planned to go to a sing-along piano bar (Howl at the Moon), but no one wanted to drive out to town in all of that horrible rain. I also wanted to meet my friend Linda (a middle school buddy and one of three friends who went to my wedding), but at first, family obligations made that seem impossible. Thankfully, she was able to get away and meet me for coffee. When my sister got off work, the three of us and her friend Nydia went and played some pool. Nydia is awesome, smart and very close to my family, so we made fast friends. Then, we went to Denny's for some late night gripefest over fried foods.

Day 3: The Price is Right, and so is French cheese.
Dad, the Hero, woke up at the buttcrack of dawn this morning. He drove into town and got us passes to a taping of the Price is Right. Though you have to show up very early to get the pass, there's no guarantee that you'll be selected to be in the audience. Thankfully, most people were spooked by the rain. We waited for hours outside, in the frigid morning, before we found out we were going to be in the audience. Then, we had to wait for a producer to interview us individually before the taping, which started at 4 p.m.

The taping was a lot of fun. We didn't get to be contestants, but we had a great time anyway. No cell phones allowed, so we left ours in the car and just chatted with each other the whole time while waiting for everything. Drew Carey seems as nice as they come, and he joked around with us between breaks. The studio is really weird...much smaller than it seems on TV. On the show, they had Plinko! Sadly, no mountain climbers (my favorite). Several contestants won big on the wheel, and the showcases were pretty fabulous. I'm happy for the people who won.

After the show, we had dinner at Monsieur Marcel, a very stereotypically French restaurant. We had some delicious baked brie, sausages, truffled ham, salads, great soup and cappuccinos with foam so thick you could stand a spoon up in them. A great accordion player (accordionist?) serenaded us. Dad left him a very big tip, and when we mulled over song requests, I asked him to play his favorite, most challenging piece. It was an incredible piece with two themes alternating between languid and a whirlwind in 2/4 time. We thanked him heartily for the entertainment, bought far too much at the charcuterie for tomorrow's lunch, and made our way home for some delicious homemade pineapple upside-down cake (sorry Sam) and more relaxation in the spa before bedtime.

Spring Break 2011

If you want to see us on the Price is Right, the show airs on March 31. Look for us in the very back row, three fine ladies slightly to the left of center. My dad got separated for some stupid reason, and he's prominent in the show, immediately to the right of center.

Bonus video:
23rd-Mar-2011 02:46 am (UTC)
I'm amazed at Alicia's translucency. How does that even happen?
24th-Mar-2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
Green screen, green top, and a photographer that has to rush to photograph 300 people. I love it -- it mirrors the cheesiness of the whole experience!
23rd-Mar-2011 09:56 am (UTC)
Congrats on your first sale! Super cool blog topic btw - how awesome to get to write about a topic that interests you with the possible result of getting folks involved in keeping music part of a public education. Awesome photo; you look radiant.
24th-Mar-2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Julia! And thanks for reading, too. I always feel like I'm throwing my work into the abyss, and it's particularly distressing when I'm writing about topics that are so important to me and many others.
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