Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lent: Day 7

Lift High the Cross
Text: George W. Kitch­in; mod­i­fied by Mi­chael R. New­bolt in 1916, alt.
Music: Crucifer, Syd­ney H. Nicholson, 1916


Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Come, Christians, follow this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in unity combine.


Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died.


O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee.


So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lent: Day 6

"Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know"

Text: Johann C. Schwedler, 1741
Translation to English: Benjamin H. Kennedy, 1863

Ask ye what great thing I know,
That delights and stirs me so?
What the high reward I win?
Whose the name I glory in?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

What is faith’s foundation strong?
What awakes my heart to song?
He who bore my sinful load,
Purchased for me peace with God,
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who is he that makes me wise
To discern where duty lies?
Who is he that makes me true
Duty, when discerned to do,
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who defeats my fiercest foes?
Who consoles my saddest woes?
Who revives my fainting heart,
Healing all its hidden smart?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who is life in life to me?
Who the death of death will be?
Who will place me on his right,
With the countless hosts of light?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

This is that great thing I know;
This delights and stirs me so;
Faith in him who died to save,
Him who triumphed over the grave:
Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lent: Day 5

Grace, Greater than Our Sin

Text: Julia H. Johnston, in Hymns Tried and True (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: The Bi­ble In­sti­tute Col­port­age As­so­ci­a­tion, 1911), num­ber 2.

Music: Daniel B. Towner, 1910.

You can view the full text and listen to the MIDI here at the Cyber Hymnal.

Here is the second verse and the chorus of this simple, direct hymn about the truth of the grace of God through Jesus Christ:

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Refrain: Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

First Sunday in Lent

Here is what we will sing at the close of our traditional worship service this morning (our pastor is preaching from Luke 4:1-13):

Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley
(African-American Spiritual)

Jesus walked this lonesome valley.
He had to walk it by Himself;
O, nobody else could walk it for Him,
He had to walk it by Himself.

We must walk this lonesome valley,
We have to walk it by ourselves;
O, nobody else can walk it for us,
We have to walk it by ourselves.

You must go and stand your trial,
You have to stand it by yourself,
O, nobody else can stand it for you,
You have to stand it by yourself.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lent: Day 4

You are loved, you are beautiful;
You are God's gift, a new creation.
You are a gift to humankind,
God's gift of love to us.
You are loved;
God danced the day you were born.

This little song was sung to us pilgrims by the team that conducted the Walk to Emmaus I attended many years ago. I could not find any attribution for it; my current community does not use it. I believe it is a paraphrase of the original, which was in Spanish and which I've never heard. But whatever its provenance, I still treasure the concept of God's delight in each new human creation.

Today is my 48th birthday. That's not especially significant, considering the number of people in the world and the number of days in a year. It merely marks the beginning of the 49th such round of days in my life. Yet it IS an annual occurence, when it is appropriate to consider the course of my life to this point, thank God for what has been and entrust to God what is to come.

I bring this up and this song came to mind because a remarkable woman, with whom I'm acquainted only through Better Bibles Blog, has told a much more compelling story there, a story of her birth from out of a living death. Her story, though much different from mine, has had me thinking for hours now about the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth we sometimes experience in this life. I'm not talking about the resurrection from the dead, nor about our physical emergence from the womb into the world. I'm talking about the resurrection/rebirth OF the living from out of a hellish existence that really can't be called life.

This hell is "domestic" violence (a phrase that is far too pretty for the reality it inadequately describes). It happens to children, and women, and men, at the hands of both men and women. It can be subtly (or not-so-subtly) non-physical, or grossly physical. It can involve sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, neglect, or any combination of these. The common factor in this all-too-common atrocity is the willful misuse of another human being by one who, by virtue of the family relationship, is supposed to love the one whom he or she is abusing. Domestic abuse cuts across all kinds of societal lines: economic, educational level, ethnic, and religious. Speaking now to my fellow Christian readers, we can and indeed must call domestic abuse by its real identity: willful, chosen sin.

I won't summarize the Better Bibles Blog entries and subsequent comments here. It's far more powerful to read about it there. What I am led to do here at "my place" is to tell a little about why it's so important for those of us who've inhabited that kind of nightmare to tell the truth about it. In doing so, we show a different side of what the BBB entry was about in the first place: BEING the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are observing what Christians do, over and above what we say.

Virtually all children, and many adult, victims of abuse at the hands of a relative or household member, believe they deserve what's happening to them. They have the idea, often deliberately taught by the abuser, that if they would only "behave better" or "submit" or "know their place," the abuser wouldn't "have to" beat/berate/rape/molest/humiliate/otherwise abuse the victim. They often have no one they can tell. Churches have a dismal track record of believing those who report domestic abuse, and an even worse record of doing anything effective to stop the abuse. Law enforcement involvement rarely results in the abuser being kept away from the abused party, and can trigger an escalation of the violence once the abuser is reunited with the victim. Friends may commiserate, but often know of no resources to get help for the victim. And abusers often threaten further abuse if the victim tells anyone. If the victim is the spouse, the children may be threatened, if they're not already being abused. An adult may threaten to harm a sibling or a pet if the child victim tells; this is especially common when the abuse is sexual and is being kept secret from the spouse.

Domestic abuse often entails planning by the perpetrator, to prevent such obvious injuries that disclosure is inevitable. It is often made worse by substance abuse, which is frequently blamed by abusers for their misdeeds. And the point I want to make here, is that domestic abuse is often "excused" and/or justified, when it is perpetrated by men, by claiming that as "head of the house" (a title never bestowed by the Scriptures on anyone), a husband has the "right" to "discipline" his wife and children any way he sees fit, and it is their duty to obey him--only more often, he'll misuse the biblical word "submit" in his demands to his wife.

Do all proponents of so-called "biblical" patriarchy behave this way? Thankfully, no. Do some Christian men shield their abuse of their wives and children behind the privilege of patriarchy, and dare to call it godly? Unfortunately, yes. Do some Christian women abuse their husbands and/or children? Yes. (The difference is, of course, women can't hide behind their "role" as "head" when they do it.) And the big question is, is the form of hierarchy in which men rule over women (and children), a godly way to structure the home (or the church, for that matter)? Though I find a number of descriptions of patriarchy in the Bible, it is simply never mandated, and many biblical principles preclude it as a commendable practice for Christian households and congregations. There's simply no support for a man presuming to rule over his family, nor for a woman in this free society to condone his doing so.

But that's easy to say, and much harder to make reality. Intimate relationships result in emotionally charged complications when violence enters the picture. And when there is religous coercion to stay with a violent spouse, and the violence is long-standing, a victim of domestic violence may not have the emotional strength to challenge what is happening. If the victim is female, she will almost certainly be told by a pro-patriarchy church to return and be submissive to her husband. If the victim is male, the strong pressure to conform to stereotypical "gender roles" will ensure that he never discloses his "weakness" to anyone related to the church--or indeed, anyone at all, for fear of his masculinity being called into question. And children quite naturally can be fairly easily intimidated by adults of either gender into terrified silence.

The stories told in this series of entries and comments at Better Bibles are not foreign territory for me, though the details differ somewhat from my own. I was abused, sexually, physically, and emotionally, as a child. My abusers were careful to leave only marks that could not be seen when I was clothed. I made flimsy excuses the few times I couldn't avoid them being seen (by other girls when dressing for gym class), because that long ago, no one talked about child abuse and I had no reason to think anyone would believe me or do anything about it. My father and stepmother could not have children together, so early on in their attempts to adopt a child, my brothers and I were told by our stepmother that if we told the social worker anything (clearly implying, anything about the beatings and other abuse), she would kill us. We believed her. And since, with frightened children cowed into silence, and outwardly saintly appearance of our family, no one ever seriously suspected anything amiss. Regretably, but not surprisingly, my father and stepmother were eventually awarded a newborn baby for adoption. Helpless to do anything about it, I witnessed the beginning of another child's entry into a living nightmare.

Eventually, I got the help I needed to stop living the only way I knew how: as a victim. As a victim, I'd never have told ANYONE my story. It took more courage than I thought I possessed, to finally disclose to anyone the nightmare that was my childhood. It's still not easy. But now, in telling when the Holy Spirit prompts me to do so, I can trust that it's for someone else's good. I have seen over and over again the dawning that takes place when someone realizes for the fist time that he/she did not cause the abuse, did not deserve the abuse, and need not let the abuse rule their lives. Ironically, there are Christians who scoff at survivors of violence who are also egalitarian. They concoct the fiction that we are egalitarian because of the abuse and would accept "complementarianism" if only we'd accept our "god-given" roles in life and stop "playing the victim" (remember, it's always about "roles" for those who oppose biblical equality). They lie by saying that we refuse to forgive those who abused us; again, if we'd just give up feminism, we'd somehow magically "forgive" and all would be well with our families. I pray that they tell these lies out of ignorance, out of never having HAD an abuser to forgive. Forgiveness is a choice; it frees us from the perpetrator's power over us, and it frees the perpetrator IF (and ONLY if) the perpetrator accepts the forgiveness. But this nonsense about redefining forgiveness (making it a "never say another word about it" and "you have to restore your relationship with the person who abused you") for someone they've never met, is nothing more than self-righteous busy-body bullying. And when they pull this garbage on someone very newly on the path to healing, it's spiritually criminal. But all's fair in the "let's hate egalitarianism" and "blame it on the feminists" games, apparently. And I read it over and over again.

I accept Scripture's teachings that we're to submit to one another, simply because we honor Christ and because he both taught and modeled for us what it means to give up our own lives in service to one another. One of the ways we serve others is to offer them freedom from however they've sinned against us. It is not possible for us to make them live within that forgiveness; they, with God's help, must do that for themselves. Meanwhile, their sin no longer binds us, once we've learned how to live as whole persons, free of the warped reality that abuse forces us to live within.

I accept Scripture's teaching that how we treat the least of Christ's brothers and sisters is indeed how we treat Christ himself. Those who mistreat those over whom they have power, will have consequences for those actions. The worldly authorities rightly have the means to prosecute those who abuse others, even members of their own families. The church has no call to stand in the way of such actions; they are the law of the land. The church can and should stand by those who have committed violent acts as they face the consequences of their actions. Meanwhile, the church is called to be a family of brothers and sisters to those who are their victims. The world is looking on, measuring the validity of our faith by the integrity of our actions.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lent: Day 3

Dear Jesus, in Whose Life I See

Words: John Hunter, Hymns of Faith and Life, 1889.

Music: Hursley, Ka­thol­isch­es Ge­sang­buch (Vi­en­na: 1774); adapt­ed from the Met­ric­al Psalt­er, 1855

Dear Jesus, in whose life I see
All that I would, but fail to be,
Let thy clear light forever shine,
To shame and guide this life of mine.

Though what I dream and what I do
In my weak days are always two,
Help me, oppressed by things undone,
O Thou Whose deeds and dreams were one!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lent: Day 2

Hymn: What Wondrous Love Is This
Text attributed to Alexander Means
Tune by William Walker
Published in Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, New York, Hast­ings House, 1835

Read more and listen at The Cyber Hymnal.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the liturgical season of Lent. As I begin my own observance of Lent, I have decided to at least try to post something each day out of my personal experience of the season.

We had a simple service that included the Imposition of Ashes this evening. Our Informal Service music team presented "Above All," and as the service ended, I sang the late Rich Mullins' "Jesus." Here is an excerpt of the lyrics:

. . . .
Jesus, they say You spoke and calmed an angry wave,
That was tossed across a stormy sea;
Please teach me how to listen, how to obey
'Cause there's a storm inside of me

Jesus, write me into Your story;
Whisper it to me,
And let me know I'm Yours
. . . .

I encourage you to follow the link above; scroll down past the "advertising" to the actual text of this remarkable song. If you have never listened to Mullins' last project, the "Jesus Record," buy it (download or CD). I'm not a huge CCM fan, but this album is one of my favorites of any genre. The texts and music (though not necessarily all the performances) are that good.

The song begins by asking Jesus to teach me how to walk as he did, because I want to walk with him. That, above all else, is my prayer this Lent. And as I see it, that's a thoroughly dangerous prayer, if I really mean what I say. I can't pray to walk as Jesus walked, without being changed.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Alphabet Questions Meme

I've been tagged by Dr. Platypus for a meme. I think I'm one of the few people in all the blogosphere NOT to have been tagged till now! But if I hurry, maybe I can get mine done before Singing Owl does hers!

A - Available or Married? Available, though particular concerning to whom or what I am available.
B - Best Moment? Serving the Lord's Supper for the first time when serving as a UM local pastor.
C - Cake or Pie? Cake. Chocolate.
D - Drink of choice? Diet Dr. Pepper. (I'm with ya on that one, "Dr. P.!" (Tried the cherry vanilla variety yet? Quite good.) A good cup of hot jasmine tea comes in a close second in the winter, though.
E - Essential Item? Daytime: My car (after all the hassle, it had BETTER be essential!). Nighttime: Sleep.
F - Favorite Color? Blue, purple, or red and their corresponding pastels, depending on my mood.
G - Gummi Bears or Worms? Bears, especially the pineapple and lime flavors.
H - Hometown? Portland, Oregon.
I - Indulgence? Chocolate.
J - January or February? February. It's when I was born.
K - Kids & names? When I was married, at age 21 I miscarried early and never learned whether we lost David Michael or Rachel Frances. I've mothered a series of feline children since then; those who share life with me now are Rosie Lee and Jenny Lou.
L - Life is incomplete without? Love.
M - Marriage Date? December 9, 1978 (though the marriage is no more)
N - Number of Siblings? Three, two of whom are still living.
O - Oranges or apples? Apples; like Dr. P., preferably Granny Smith, but definitely withOUT the peanut butter. Now caramel sauce is a different matter...(one should not blog while hungry).
P - Phobias/Fears… Snakes and heights. That is why I never went to see "Snakes on a Plane," I suppose.
Q - Favorite Quotation? Humorous: “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” --Clairee in "Steel Magnolias"
Serious: "I can make good come out of evil--I AM the good come out of evil." --Walter Wangerin, in Ragman and Other Cries of Faith
R - Reason to Smile? Three- and four-year-old choir members
S - Season? Spring.
T - Tag three people! Molly, April, and Paisley
U - Unknown fact about me: My lowest undergraduate grade was a well-earned "D"--in New Testament! Kept me from being graduated with honors.
V - Vegetable you hate? Toss-up between beets, eggplant, and okra. And no, not even frying the latter makes them palatable to me. (I'm told that's proof I wasn't born in the South, to which I say, "I never claimed I was.")
W - Worst habit? Putting off till tomorrow what I know I'll wish I had done today. Yep, Queen of Procrastinatia here.
Y - Your favorite food? See "I."
Z - Zodiac? Western = Pisces; Chinese = Boar (I simply refuse to say "Pig." But I guess it's now "my year," huh?) Does it count if I think both are a bunch of hooey?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Attack of the Killer Musicians!

I am blessed to work with a pastor who's, by and large, a dream of a colleague. Please make no mistake: I am NOT prompted to write this entry because of any professional friction between the two of us.

What I have read and heard, too many times recently for my comfort, is cases of highly unprofessional behavior of church musicians toward the clergy who serve their churches. I won't get into the details of any one story, but trust me--they're not pretty. And don't get me wrong: I know there are some real Clergy-Kongs out there who neither respect nor behave professionally toward the musicians with whom they work. That's perhaps worth addressing, most effectively by clergy who are as fed up with Clergy-Kong stories as I am right now with Music-Zilla tales. So you Music-Zillas, if your egos will permit you to identify yourself in what follows, read and heed. And if you're trying your utmost to be the best church musician, staff member, Christian, and co-worker with your pastor that you can be, then this isn't about you; if you read it, remember it if you're ever tempted to make yourself the star of your own church music show.

I am Music-Zilla. I have the credentials to prove it. I am the resident expert in all things musical at my church, and I defy anyone, especially the pastor, to find fault with anything I do, musically or otherwise.

Do not forget that it is your great good fortune that I am here, wasting my great talent on this pitifully music-challenged church. You have neither the intellect nor the taste to adequately appreciate what I so generously share with you musical ignoramuses.

Since your tastes are so parochial, I alone am qualified to judge what pieces of music, styles, and genres are appropriate for this church. Any attempt to judge my decisions is simply proof that you have no musical taste.

You are only a clergyperson. You couldn't possibly understand or appreciate what it takes for a musician to do what a musician does. Do not presume to suggest that I have any need to study new music, methods of teaching or conducting, or expand my repertoire in any way. I was performing this repertoire long before you arrived here, and I'll still be performing it when you're long gone.

I alone have the discernment to know if I ought to practice more. At the pinnacle of my art as I am, it is difficult to imagine that there is much more I could possibly learn. Do not presume to suggest additional practice or continuing education on my part.

I don't (often) tell you how to preach your sermons. Don't you dare try to tell me how to choose hymns, choral and ensemble pieces, solos, or service music. Stop bowing down to the altar of "The music must fit the texts/theme of the service." Nobody cares or notices about that nonsense except you. In "Church Music," remember that "church" is only the adjective; the noun is "Music." You tend to your knitting, and I'll tend to mine.

Whatever it was they taught you at that high-steeple seminary, it sure wasn't how to work with musicians. It's not my job to educate you. I'm too busy doing what it is that I do. Treat me with the deference due any fine artist, and we ought to be able to get along when we must. Simply do not expect me to be impressed with your credentials. Do not hope to earn my respect. I am Music-Zilla. I am bigger than you. Or at least, my ego is.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Resurfacing with More This 'n' That

Hello to my readers. I've been "busy with much serving," as well as down with some stomach bug or other over last weekend and into the beginning of this week (yuck!). So I ought to at least do a little updating:

At long last, the traded-in car got towed (presumably by the dealership's wholesaler). It was still a day later than I was promised it would be gone the last time I talked to someone there, but my parking place is now my parking place again (except for when the purple Altima repeatedly gets parked there, despite my written request that the driver stop doing this. The next call is to the towing company).

I still haven't finished my letter to the owner of the dealership. I'm waiting until I have my payment book and final confirmation from the finance company that I do indeed have a loan with them. (Thank goodness I still have another month before the first payment is due...) I do not want the dealer to be able to retaliate by demanding that I return the car to them. Besides, I think this final ridiculously long wait for such confirmation needs to be added to the rest of my documentation and included in the letter. It *will* be a doozy, but I promise to remember I'm a Christian--honest, I do! :D

My church has provided me with a laptop and a flash drive, and it's a (mostly) whole new world. I can do my weekly informal service presentations at home. There are some problems, such as not being able to unlock the full 60-day free MS Office trial because HP didn't provide that key, and Microsoft, true to form, displays "This page is not available. Please try back later" when I follow their steps to get the key online. I'm quickly running out of non-key uses (total of 25), because every single time I access ANY MS Office application, it counts against that total. Yikes! And they warn you at the MS home page, that you can't get the key over the phone. IOW, "Don't bother us with our mediocrity. Make do until we take our sweet time fixing things. We're #1, so we don't have to try at all." (Believe me, if we could have crossed over to Mac, I would have done it in a heartbeat. But I didn't make the decisions, and to be fair, it would have been disastrous because of all the ridiculously old PC-based applications our staff and volunteers still have to use.) But anyway, it's a breeze to create the presentations and pop that flash drive into the sanctuary's projector-linked computer (on the back, of course, since it's so old). I won't even go into the nightmare that was my previous M.O. of doing those presentations, which I'd been forced into last fall when the office hard drive crashed irreparably and our volunteer computer guy never thought it was important to recreate the ability to burn data CDs. Since I didn't have administrator privileges, I couldn't load anything. But that's all in the past. I am the laptop's administrator, and it will gradually get everything I need for worship and music ministry, even if I have to buy it all myself. (I've been promised that with the new year, that won't be necessary.)

I'm also able to use it for a nice little personal thing: watching DVDs. I don't have a DVD player, if you can believe that, and haven't replaced my finicky VHS player. I've bought a few DVDs from Half-Price Books and have rented a couple. Of the three I watched: Elizabeth I (with Helen Mirren in the title role) is superb, if historically very inaccurate at times; The Devil Wears Prada was a fluffy bit of guilty fun, and A Prairie Home Companion was just plain strange--and I'm a PHC fan from WAAAY back. Disappointing; glad I only rented that one. In the wings are Little Miss Sunshine and two old favorites for the next rainy day when I'm not booked (sometime in late May, I believe): Steel Magnolias and The Princess Bride.

Children's choirs start back up this Sunday night. But first, I'm singing at the United Methodist Men's Sweetheart Banquet tomorrow night ("So in Love" and "My Funny Valentine"--think I can hack it as a sultry torch song singer??). Next weekend is my first wedding as the church's wedding coordinator, though the two this month have already been largely handled and I just need to be there and field any emergencies that may arise. Then there are two in March and two in May. This is more than we usually have (more like 2 or 3 a year)--seems we're now the popular place in town to have a wedding. Some have direct or distant family connections to the church, but a couple of them are for brides who think our church is prettier or bigger or something better than their other options. So the end of last week, the pastor and I were frantically trying to get the new policies presentable and republished--the old ones were ridiculously out-of-date and unsightly from much reproduction. I will actually have more responsibility than the previous wedding coordinator did. I asked her for her "J-Lo" velcro wedding emergency waist belt, but she said she didn't have one. (If you've never seen the otherwise forgettableThe Wedding Planner, that reference will make no sense. Suffice it to say that the perfect wedding planner is able to whip out Evian in a spray bottle to refresh a distraught M.I.A. F.O.B ["The F.O.B. {Father of the Bride) is M.I.A. {Missing in Action)"] once he's found on the basement stairs weeping for his little girl, more than a little tipsy. All her other emergency stuff, from nail polish remover to mouthwash, is contained in a remarkable wide belt that velcros around her rib cage beneath her dignified pale blue suit.)

The day job is going well. I really do think this is going to work out long-term. The scope is getting more enormous, as I'm entrusted with more and more of the clean-up of a massive data migration to a new database. There's enough work just with that for several more months, then there's the fact that they've hired 4 new professional engineers just since I started a month or so ago. That means that someone's going to have to enter data and maintain this database, hence the indication that there's enough work for a permanent position. There are overlaps with IT, Marketing, and HR. The people there are friendly and very, very smart, and a lot of fun to work with. Their respect for each other and for me is refreshing. I had lunch the other day with the founder's (now Chairman of the Board) admin assistant, who's been with him for over 20 years. People really do retire from this company after all or the majority of a career there. I wouldn't mind being one of them, though I also deeply long to be working full-time in the church. I guess I'm "selling myself" to work where I can get paid, eh?

And with that, I'm going to call it a night and get some sleep, so I can be ready to sing Cole [Porter] and Richard [Rogers] tomorrow. Better spruce up my luscious deep red velvet ensemble and tend to my manicure. (What manicure?! I forgot to mention that before the main numbers we singers present, I'm doing strolling violin! Can't have long enough nails to really call it a manicure, can I?)