Thursday, July 02, 2009

Lunch break

My feet are sore, and we have an hour-and-a-half for lunch. After such physical exertion, I usually don’t have much of an appetite, but I know I’ll need something in me to be able to continue.

I don’t want to do a full restaurant, so I stop into the snack shop, which offers refrigerated drinks, chips, candy, and a limited hot menu – a small pizza oven, and lots of other things heated in a microwave. Still, it’s relatively fast, in spite of the fact that a dozen or so other VM guys have the same idea. I grab a healthy lunch: chips, two hot dogs, and a Gatorade. (The Gatorade’s the healthy part.)

Brandon is up in the room, back from his adventure at the Gospel Sing. He reports that it was “good” – his primary teenager response whenever I ask him about anything – but with a little prodding reports that there weren’t many people there, less than 100 even. That I chalk up to location – the church they picked was a couple of miles away, and no transportation was provided. In Denver, where the church was within 3 blocks of the hotels, the 500-seat sanctuary was packed.

Brandon tells me that my parents have gone on to the Honda Center to watch the quartet semi-finals, and that my aunt & uncle are resting in their room. He hadn’t yet heard from the crew that went to the Crystal Cathedral.

I ask Brandon if he’s had lunch. He hasn’t, so I give him some money and he goes to the snack shop, returning with nachos. I spend my down time trying to sit up to eat while simultaneously propping my feet up – particularly my right foot, which even nine months after surgery, still swells and stiffens from too much use. And these past several weeks of intensive chorus rehearsals have definitely been “too much use”!

Becky calls, letting me know that she, Benjamin, Bob & Linda have finished their tour of the Crystal Cathedral and they have found a wonderful restaurant nearby. She describes in glorious detail an open-faced sandwich she is eating topped with crab and shrimp. I’m glad I’m not overly hungry, since my hot dogs are not quite that caliber.

Becky says they may go explore the Anaheim GardenWalk, a new complex of stores and eateries a couple of blocks from Disneyland and our hotel, after they’re done eating.

When Brandon finishes eating, he asks if he can go the Honda Center to watch the Quartet Semifinals himself. Hmm. Okay, this is one of those parenting moments that I don’t enjoy – how much freedom to allow. We’re talking letting him walk to another hotel and board a bus to a sports arena a couple of miles away, by himself. I have no doubts about his maturity and ability to get there without straying, and the convention is a pretty safe environment. At the same time, we are in a different state entirely.

I’m game to let him go, but we then discover another problem – Becky has his convention ticket. He can’t get into the Honda Center without it!

Okay, I have mine, but I am very reluctant to part with it. We’ve had it drilled into us, and drilled again, that we do not compete unless we have both current Society dues paid up and a full convention registration on our person! It’s part of the Society rules, and while a technicality, a very important one – if any one man does not have the proper paperwork, the entire performance can be disqualified!

I give Brandon my ticket with many warnings, threats, and impressions of seriousness – if he loses it, I’ll be using his ticket tomorrow! Great, now I have to worry both about him and my ticket going to the Honda Center unsupervised!

I’m exaggerating. Brandon’s a great… “kid” doesn’t work any more. He’s grown into a great young man, very responsible and mature, so I’m not too worried.

By 1235 I pry myself off the bed, put in my contacts (I’d forgotten them this morning, and my glasses slip around on my face from all the sweat and energetic movement on the risers), take some ibuprofen, refill my water bottle, and head back downstairs. Time for more rehearsal.

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