Alicia just called to say her sister Angela has a sore throat and wants me to do a lot of singing tonight at the restaurant so she won’t have to do as much.
“Why don’t you sing? You’re the professional,” I said.
“I want to stay home and hang Christmas lights,” she said.
My wife is weird. She’s also the most wonderful woman I’ve ever known. And she’s nuts about Christmas.
So it looks like I’ll be singing everything Angela and I have ever practiced, a hodgepodge from Jairo, Sting, Francis Cabrel, Bread, Simon & Garfunkel, Carlos Vives, Piero, Roberto Carlos, Joan Manuel Serrat. I wish we had time to work up Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man and Mary Black’s No Frontiers, but they’ll have to wait.
I sang a couple of songs last week. My current favorite is Sting’s Until. I was weak on the first verse (I had been eating patacones) but the second verse sounded really good, thanks in part to the better sound system Angela acquired. It’s much easier to sing well when you can hear yourself.
At some point I want to write a blogpost on recycled love songs. But I don’t know if it’s a good idea.
As I said, Alicia is nuts about Christmas. I’ve had to bite my tongue when she shows me some of the decor she wants to get. Clear glass Christmas trees and manger scenes illuminated with lights that change color do nothing for me. But if I wait until we can find decor that we agree on, it’ll be years before the house is anywhere close to decorated, because 98% of what is out there is either tacky or beyond our budget.
So I suppress my inner Grinch and say, “Fine.” Unless it’s something I really can’t stand.
I’ve made three business trips to Panama City, FL, in the past three weeks. When I was coming back Wednesday afternoon, my boarding pass said I would be leaving from Gate 3. The monitor overhead said it was Gate 4. The actual gate turned out to be 5.
The Delta self-service machine said my flight was overbooked, and asked if I wanted to give up my seat in exchange for a voucher worth (check one) $50, $75, $100, $125, or fill in an amount. I said I would do it for $400. (Can you believe it costs $475 to fly Delta from Panama City to Tampa? It’s only 400 miles. But you have to stop over in Atlanta or Nashville.)
They didn’t call on me to give up my seat. Cheapskates.
Alicia leaves Monday for Colombia. She has a concert Thanksgiving Day and another December 6. I’ll be flying down just before Thanksgiving and will be there just a week and a half. Fortunately all this travel to Panama City has given me a little comp time.
The Thanksgiving Day concert is called something like “Una voz, una mujer” (“One voice, one woman”) and is in honor of Alicia herself, who just retired from the Universidad de Antioquia. They will be launching her latest album (same name), which she recorded just before our wedding last year. (I hope they have it ready in time. They were throwing together the cover design and notes just a couple of weeks ago.)
Her sister Angela and niece Sara Elisa are going along, and will also sing in the concert.
Alicia’s album was put together with songs for which the university symphonic band already had arrangements, because the budget was tight. Alicia is a mezzo-soprano, but some of the songs are arranged for soprano, and one or two for tenor. She did an amazing job (recorded all the vocals in just eight hours), but there’s no way she would perform something out of her range in a concert. So her sister and niece (both sopranos) and a male vocalist will do some of the singing.
Well, my workday is over, and I have to pick up Alicia at the mall on the way home. I hope you all have a great weekend.