Monday, January 24, 2011

Twelfth Night AfterMath

My title for this blog is decidedly tongue-in-cheek, as you will soon discover. Those of you who were at our Twelfth Night party, as well as those of you who also know of my disgusting propensity for puns – great, groaning puns at that – will probably guess what I am alluding to. The rest of you will just have to read on. All will be revealed.

First things first though - the bonfire was great – thanks to all the dried out Christmas trees contributed by various neighbours, and encouraged by lashings of old oil from last year’s oil changes. A picture is of course, worth a thousand ...
Andreas -as his Mennonite father always feared .... photo credit Jasper Reynolds

But before the fire was started, we all regrouped for some live music, and that music is the prime reason for this particular blog.

For the past few years, Katherine & Peter – who recently crossed the threshold to became officially husband and wife  - have performed a song or three at Twelfth Night, usually just after we all join in a rendition of The Viking Song, and then collectively bay at the moon. The Viking Song sort of sets the mood for everything that comes next. This year, K&P also wrote a song with lyrics featuring none other than The Schroeder himself.

It wasn't just that Katherine had grown up hearing stories about the famed Schroederian heroics with respect to construction and house repairs, but that she and Peter also heard about and saw the house repair work that he did last June, after the wedding of our eldest daughter. It was staggering - even by Schroederian standards.

A few months before their wedding, our daughter and her then-fiancĂ© had sensibly bought a three story house in Boston. It came with three suites, including one for them to live in, but it was over a hundred years old, and was in serious need of repair. The thing is, that if you ever dangle either the word repair or even the thought of it in front of the nose of The Schroeder, it is akin to dangling a wriggling mouse in front of a cat. 

In this case, Andreas aka The Schroeder, packed up a few tools, did some pre-planning with the kids, and then stayed in Boston for five days after their wedding. In that brief time-span, he accomplished the following:

For starters, he found a weakened beam supporting the first story, and then jacked up the whole house with some phenomenal jack, and installed supports for the beam that were substantial enough to take the house well into the twenty-second century. He also tore away a rotten stoop at the entry from the outside deck to the third floor suite, removed all the dry rot, installed fresh wood, made it all good to go, and then built an overhang so that such rot would never happen again. Not necessarily in this order, he then jack-hammered a circular hole in the basement concrete, dug down with a mattock, and installed a sump pump to address the issue of periodic flooding. In a stairwell leading to the third floor, he built and installed a bookcase and also ripped out a bunch of the stairs, and arranged for them to be realigned  so that sofas, appliances and such could now get through. Not content with that, he also installed a wall and a French door to create a mud room for the use of those on the 3rd floor. In between times, he showed our daughter and her husband - who were amazing in that they were actually able to almost keep pace with him - how to do a myriad of small home reno tasks such as caulking shower stalls and the like. I am probably missing some of what was left in his wake after this five day stint – but at least you can get the drift.

In the video that follows, the lyrics of: Small German with a Heart of Gold mention his habit of grabbing a gallon of milk, going from dawn to dusk on nothing more, as well as the fact that he stands 5'6" in his stocking feet. In this video, you can see a bit of Katherine seated in front of Peter showing flash cards to illustrate the core concept of each verse. The latter are a little hard to see here. I wish the lighting and framing were better. Maybe next year we can work on that, but at least it conveys the overall flavour. 

Another of their songs should be played in every school where children struggle with Math, which of course means every school in the whole wide world. If it was, there would be no AfterMath – instead there would be AlwaysMath – and as a result we could all breath a sigh of relief. Bridges would not fall down, recipes would always be correctly interpreted, and musical notation, with all its fractional notes and semi-tones would make more sense to the musically illiterate.

After this, Katherine, in her rap persona, TendaLoin, performed the last song this year that we have a video of. I have added a photo of her  taken from the side where the lighting was brighter. It gives a better feel for the energy.

TendaLoin performing "Rap Right"

And now for her rap which details what it takes to make a great rap. It may help to know that TendaLoin majored in linguistics, has an ear for both language and rhythm, and is also a superb dancer – which this video does not reveal, but I guess we can't have everything.

So, after that - what can I say? I mean, how lucky are we? Profoundly blessed is all I can say. Profoundly blessed.

PS  K&P also performed another crowd-pleaser, and we have a recording of it from last years Twelfth Night performance: I Got Tha Greens

1 comment:

  1. "Schroeder with your horns so bright, won't you sing the Viking Song tonight?!"
    We missed the event but now we feel as though we caught a bit of the action. Thanks. xodd