On Not Yelling at Your Computer
Peter said, I’m not dancing the hornpipe. I’m not. Besides, I don’t know any hornpipes. However . . . .
Do I need to suggest you stop right there? I said.
No, no! said Peter. This is a supportive, constructive remark! I was just thinking you might want to learn some angry songs! There’s a lot of good ranting in Handel, isn’t there? Sorceresses and things. Since you like Handel.*
Something of the sort had already occurred to me.** I have also told you that I was in psychotherapy/counselling for a number of years***. One of the bottom lines with each of the various psycho-disciplines my various shrinks had trained in is that you can’t just stop something, to make a change stick, you have to replace the behaviour or the thought-pattern or the what-you-like with some other behaviour or thought-pattern or what-you-like. So I warned Peter that if I am overcome with the need to shout at my computer I am going to start doing singing exercises.
So from this moment forward my day goes something like this: clickclickclickclickclick. Damn. Click. Clickclickclickclick. Oh damn. Click. Click. Click. DAMN.
Ee, ah eeee ah, eeee ahahahah, eeee, ah. EE. AH. EEEE. AH. EEEE AHAHAHAH EEEE ARRRRRGAH.
Good breath control. Great projection. This is so going to help my EXPRESSIVENESS.
|I HAVE TO STOP YELLING AT MY COMPUTER BECAUSE I’M HURTING MY SINGING.|
Oh, this is too funny. Made my day.
I CAN STILL SHOUT BY EMAIL, YOU KNOW.†
* * *
* A partiality I do not share with my husband. Back in the days when we still went to live operas in London, I did manage to take him to Semele. Afterward he said no more Handel. —Hmmph. Philistine.
The furious aria that is going to come first to the average opera-goer’s mind however, is the Queen of the Night’s second appearance in THE MAGIC FLUTE: Hell’s vengeance boils in my heart.^ Excellent.
I don’t think so. I still have happy dreams of regaining my high C, although I haven’t decided yet if I mean a working C, which means I need a D to float down from, or a C to float down to the B from, but my high F days are past.^^ And, speaking of technique . . . yeep.^^^
^AKA Kill the beggar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_the_Night_Aria
^^ I’ve told you I had a silly range when I was younger—I sang anything from high soprano to middling baritone. I’m a little fascinated in hindsight what that upper register must have sounded like. Like a needle through the ear, probably.
** And about interpretation? About COMMUNICATING with my audience the reality of the song? I bet I could do anger. I bet I could really do anger.
*** And a good shrink is worth her or his weight in gold, jewels and obedient hellhounds^ several times over. You think I’m overwrought and overreactive now. . . . My first shrink had a whip, chair and trank gun.
^ Actually this wasn’t a set up, but since I’m here . . . we were out striding over hill and dale beyond Warm Upford today.+ We turned at the top of the hill++ and were now walking on the near side of a low, thorny hedge, with a field on the far side. I could see a person ambling along near the hedge on the other side. Oh gods, I thought, she will certainly have a dog. She did. My heart sank. But then—joy—I noticed she had it on a lead. Hurrah hurrah hurrah. We were, of course, going faster than she was. We usually are going faster than the other guy. And we were no more than about eight feet behind her when—without looking around—she leaned down and let it off the lead.
Okay, I thought, the hedge is pretty frelling thorny, and we’re moving at a clip and can perhaps move a little clippier so by the time we get to the end of the hedge we’ll be well out in front and . . .
Bitsyboo! said the woman, who had finally noticed our existence, as we pulled even with her. Bitsyboo! Come! Sit! Wait! Stand! Stop! No! Bitsyboo!
Bitsyboo was galloping back and forth along the hedge, frantic for a way through. With this kind of persistence, of course the bloody thing found a way through and was on us at once. Great. Splendid. Gak. Frell me.
Fortunately it was friendly, more or less. It was completely manic, and it did an awful lot of dashing, pouncing and growling, but it was pretty clearly play growling, and while Darkness is not the most reliable coal-mine canary, if we agree about a dog’s intentions we’re probably right, and he wasn’t reacting to Bitsyboo—other than spare me which I powerfully agreed with. We kept going. We kept going at our best clippy clip because my experience is still that most pet dogs—I say nothing of working sheepdogs or hunting dogs or various other countryside menaces—are not particularly fit and if they aren’t actively trying to gnaw bits off you you have a pretty good chance of just outrunning the miscreant.
The cries of Sit! Stay! Bitsyboo! Come! were growing fainter in the distance, till they morphed into Excuse me! Excuse me! —I know what this means. It means, would you please stop, so I have some chance of catching my dog because I am an incompetent moron and it is an untrained disaster, and if you don’t stop I may never see it again.
No. No, I won’t stop. You are an incompetent moron and I’m not in a good mood and next time LOOK AROUND before you let your untrained disaster off its lead. I’m also running [sic] about twenty minutes behind time because every road in Hampshire is being dug up, including the ones that footpaths cross, and we’ve had to take an unscheduled detour and I don’t feel like wasting another ten minutes while you (a) catch up and (b) play tag with your mutt. And yes, if it were vicious we’d be standing in a tight little wodge while I tried to stay between it and my hellhounds and I am therefore being unfair to mere incompetent morons and I don’t care.
And yes, Bitsyboo did get tired before we’d sprinted the two miles back to Wolfgang. I admit I’d’ve stopped before we got to the main road: I have a deep dislike of blood, even incompetent moron’s untrained disaster blood.
+ There’s a house that got put up a few years ago in the middle of that heavily pheasanted and gamekeepered cultivated wilderness and I keep wondering what they do during shooting season. Lie flat on the floor for six months perhaps. Anyway. The house has a peculiar name. Let’s call it . . . Botulism. It’s in that category. Why anyone would want to name their house after a disease is a little beyond me. Even if it’s a private joke, still Botulism is what the world knows you as. Fortunately I’m not likely ever to be invited to dinner there (even out of hunting season, when we get to sit in chairs).
But it apparently exists in the Warm Upford Alternate Dimension. It’s got to the point that if we’re walking along the little road at the bottom of the valley and have to press ourselves into the hedgerow to let a vehicle past, and the vehicle slows down to speak to us, I open my mouth to say, yes, it’s half/a quarter of a mile ahead/behind. Today we had turned off the road and were toiling up the hill again when I heard a commotion behind me. I turned around. There was a delivery truck on the road, and the driver had got out of his cab and was starting to run up the hill after me. Miss! Miss! he said (he was a serious distance away, you understand). I stopped. Do you know where mumblemumblemumble is?
Yep. Half a mile that way, on your left. —And am I sure he was asking about Botulism? Yes. I could hear the B, the t, the l, and the fact that it was three syllables. But if I wasn’t used to people trying to find it, I might well have said, Bottlebrush? Never heard of it.
++ Yes, that hill
† As I believe I proved just a few hours ago on the subject of frelling Facebook’s latest draddarkle fambanged remodel, which Blogmom is going to have to cope with.
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