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04 July 2007

O Canada!, Baptism, and Pictures!

I do not know why, but lately I've felt compelled to blog. Compelled to write my thoughts. Compelled to get on my virtual soapbox and speak to the world.

And yet... it's practically taken me forever to decide what to write about. What luck.

Fortunately for you, I've come up with stuff. Yay!

Way back on Memorial Day, I sang with the Girard Ecumenical Choir (which only performs once a year) at Girard's Memorial Day ceremony. As usual, we sang the hymn God of Our Fathers as well as the American and Canadian national anthems. The hymn was written out in four-part harmony, and we were all familiar enough with the Star-Spangled Banner that we could "fake" harmony there. O Canada!, however, was sung in unison straight off of the sheet we were given.

Now, I may not have the most musical ears in the world, but they're certainly trained enough to know that that just doesn't cut it. So a few days later, I started arranging O Canada! for four-part choir. I soon forgot about it, but then on the morning of Sunday 01 July (Canada Day) I realized that there would be no better day on which to finish the project. Working under that self-imposed deadline, I came up with the following composition, which was recorded on Monday and (heavily) edited on Tuesday. Enjoy.


O Canada!, arr. Timothy J. Parenti, 01 July 2007.
All rights reserved.

While I was working on this, I decided that I'll do the same for the Star-Spangled Banner on Wednesday 04 July (Independence Day). I may even do La Marseillaise on 14 July if I'm not exhausted from camp... which means I probably won't be doing it. Here's hoping that once I give my arrangements to the person in charge, they will be received with open arms and hopefully performed next May. Of course, if not, I'll just be proud that I arranged a couple of national anthems. And that's good enough for me.

I mentioned camp just then. While I've got my mind on it, I'd like to say that this will probably be my last post before camp, which starts on Sunday 08 July. Since I'm a counselor, though, I have to be there on Saturday 07 July (07/07/07). Camp continues through the evening of Friday 13 July, and I'll probably return some time the next morning.

I'm going to have to actually set up a voicemail message for my cell phone.

Backtracking a bit (but for a reason), it wasn't all that easy to arrange O Canada! on Sunday because that was also the day on which my great aunt Jana's daughter was baptized. It was a quaint little ceremony with five other babies and their families present.

Afterwards, it was time for a picnic! And since the father of the baptized is a chef by profession, no one went hungry. He cooked burgers, hot dogs, and chicken on the grill, had Italian sausage, lasagna, an array of salads, and quite a few desserts. Of course, there were also cookies and snacks ready as all this food was cooking, so by the time everything was ready, I wasn't really in the mood to eat it. But what I ate was really good, and what I didn't looked good, too.

One of the main "attractions" of the picnic was this elaborate fruit bouquet. Seriously. Whoa. One relative said that some of the chocolate-covered strawberries were "the size of small pears." They tasted amazing, too.

Obviously, this picture was taken with my cell phone, which is why it's not the best quality picture. Ever since about December, I've wanted a real digital camera of my own, but I haven't gotten around to it. I hope to get one in time for camp, but unfortunately, I can't promise myself that.

See, even though my father is usually off on Thursdays, and could take me into Erie to get a camera, he'll likely be too busy preparing our bathroom for the remodeling scheduled to take place, conveniently, while David and I are at camp. Mom's also off that day, but she doesn't really know that much about technology, and she admits it. But definitely in time for band camp. Because quite frankly, these cell phone pictures suck.

But that hasn't stopped me from taking over 700 pictures (of widely varying quality) since I got the phone in December. Here are some of my more recent ones:

Tuesday 01 May
The Ocean City Music Pier. Ignore the blatant spelling error.

Tuesday 01 May
Beach at Ocean City.

Saturday 05 May
Just part of the cookie room at the Italian wedding I attended. Amazing cookies, too.

Friday 11 May
An abstract look at my unpacking from college.

Wednesday 06 June
Feeding the fish with my mother in Linesville. The ducks weren't walking on them that day, though.

Friday 08 June
My grandparents and I toured a replica of Columbus' Niña while it was docked in Erie.

Friday 08 June
I'm slightly worried about the one who left this message on the band room chalkboard at graduation.

Saturday 16 June
At the Lake City Firemen's Carnival: Bingo?

Saturday 16 June
No bingo.

Saturday 23 June
Bathroom prepwork before the remodelers come.

Sunday 01 July
Cute and recently baptized baby.

Sunday 01 July
Amazing cookies. I was so full that mine took me an hour to eat.

Well, hopefully you enjoyed that. I know I sure did. Gosh, I've been treating you to all sorts of media today.

Also, at some point during the baptism on Sunday, my six-year-old cousin Danny, who was in the pew in front of my family, bolted out of his pew, ran into the aisle, and came into our pew. He squeezed past each member of my family until he plunked himself down between my father and I. Dad felt honored that Danny would decide to sit next to him... until he realized that Danny was clinging to me. And he did so all day.

Dad said to "be gracious," and I was, although I still hadn't been expecting such behavior. He started calling me "Uncle Tim," even though I'm his cousin, and sat on my lap on numerous occasions. He also tried calling me "Uncle Phil," but I drew the line there. It was quite adorable, even if it got really annoying when it was time for us to leave. Fortunately, six-year-olds are also easily distracted.

It's nice to be looked up to, I guess. All I know is that my arm hasn't been tugged so hard in quite some time.

See you after camp!

Random tangent 1: My family will be observing its standard Independence Day festivities once again. I mean, when you have a prominent relative who truly was "born on the fourth of July," the tradition kind of forms by default. I'm hoping for a little better weather, though.

Random tangent 2: By my count, there are 666 days until the Heinz Chapel Choir trip to China. Ironically on Independence Day. Good thing I'm not that superstitious, but still... that's freaky.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm the first to comment?

Daniel does like his cousin Tim, even though he is likely to call you Uncle. Also, he seems to favor Aunt Helen and Uncle Mike too.

On a related note (pun intended) I find it funny that you call Jana "aunt" but not Great Aunt Jana and never mention Great Uncle Richard (resident Chef) at all. I guess mis-naming relatives runs in the family.

Tim Parenti said...

I call Jana "aunt" in person because that's how I was taught when I was little, but I wrote "great aunt" here to avoid any confusion... double-check, and you'll see that it's there.

As far as not mentioning Richard, he never comments on this blog (unlike Jana), and I figured that his name was irrelevant to the fact that he is an amazing chef. You know, some people who read this aren't related to me...

Barbara said...

I loved the arrangement of Oh Canada.

Anonymous said...

I am finally getting around to comment on this blog. I did make great uncle Richard read the part concerning the baptism. We are glad you enjoyed the food! I must say, even though Richard's cooking was wonderful, the fruit arrangement was the hit of the party!!

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