Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two firsts

Well, where do I start. Within two days I have managed to experience two brandnew things. Where shall I start, where shall I start...

There's this website/game called Second Life. Those in tune with what's going on out there in the big, bad internet world will know what Second Life is. For those that haven't got a clue here's a short summary. Basically it's an online game, you sign up for it, create your avatar (you can make it look like you or you can be someone completely different - they look cartoon-like but still somewhat real) and then you start roaming about all these gazillion of places where other people are at the same time as you. The trick with this is that you can actually make a living in this game. To make a long story short, if you know how to make goods to sell (so basically create items such as clothing, books, whatever) you can earn Linden Dollars which you can then convert to real US Dollars. Suffice it to say plenty of people have made a TON of money through this game so I thought I'd join to see what the fuss is about.

Apart from the fact that you can FLY in Second Life (sooooo cool!!!!!), I found the whole experience overwhelming and confusing. Unless you're willing to spend hours or even entire days in the game, you won't get much out of it. So whilst trying to figure out how to teleport myself from one place to another, I set the scene for the first first ;-) Namely cybersex. And I have to tell you about it because honestly, I can't keep that to myself!!!
Basically I teleported myself to this place (without my knowledge, of course) and landed in the midst of a sex club. How did I know? PLENTY of naked people around (in Second Life you can take your clothes off with a few mouse clicks) and even more pornographic images all over the walls. It took me about two minutes to recover and one minute to start exploring the place. Why and how was it a sex club? I needed to find out. Going around I saw some of the naked people using some ball-shaped things that float around everywhere in the game. I realized they were scripts that (don't ask me how) make your avatar do certain things. Before I knew it I had "touched" one of those balls that said "dancing" and my avatar started dancing!!! Quite cool actually. And then I realized that others were touching different balls and that made them start to have sex. It honestly looked hilarious!!! I'm talking about seeing some very good 3D avatars get down to it from whichever angle you want to! Talk about voyeurism!!!
Anyway... not too much later (whilst still dancing cause I couldn't by the life of me figure out what to do to make it stop) I walked around another place that had something to do with sex and was approached by this guy. After very brief chit chat (he seemed nice enough) he asked me if I'd ever had sex in SL to which I had to say no and he admitted neither had he! He then proceeded to tell me that someone gave him... are you sitting down????... a penis!!!! LOL I almost fell off my chair laughing. Turns out the standard avatar in the game does not have "those" body parts LOL So now, as the owner of a brand spanking new penis, he wanted to try it out. So I said why not. The guy was actually really good fun and we laughed a lot, he teleported me to somewhere where I finally managed to stop dancing, then we got our avatars to slow dance, kinda precursor to the sex part. Eventually he found a secluded place with some of those scripted balls that indicated if you touched them you'd have sex so we went there. I can't even tell you how hilarious this was... first of all, the scripts in this particular place were so bad that the couple looked like they were floating in mid air, while doing the dirty deed. Second, the scripts were so bad that his brand new penis never came anywhere near where it should've been in order to do the dirty deed. I swear, it was the funniest thing ever.
Now I'm always cautious with those kind of things so I never revealed my real name or any contact details but the guy did so I guess if I ever bother to go play the game again, I have someone I can have sex with right there!!! LOL It's a shame I didn't take screenshots - you'd've have died laughing. Oh yeah... did I mention that he had to "wear" his penis? Meaning that he could attach it to any part of his body - I managed to persuade him to attach it to his shoulder. It looked interesting!!! LOL Oh, and then he gave me the penis, of course. So I'd have one just in case I ever needed one ROFL! Whoever said cybersex is no good had no clue!!!

Now, my second first was not nearly as exciting as my first! LOL
I was asked by a colleague of mine if I wanted to go and see the Red Sox play last night - how could I say no??? Though I'm really not a spontaneous person, I knew this was a chance to experience real baseball.
We had seats in the bleachers but because Fenway Park is relatively small, we could still see really well. It was a beautiful day yesterday, in the 80s and as the sun came down over Boston, the Red Sox played the Toronto Blue Jays... and LOST :-(
Personally, I found the game relatively boring, mainly because out of the entire three hour game time, maybe one hour total meant real action. It's a game that's very slow moving, that's not action packed and that hardly makes you wanna bite your nails in frustration LOL
But the atmosphere there alone was well worth the trip. Yesterday was the 613th day of consecutive sellouts of Fenway Park which just goes to show how dedicated Red Sox fans are (cause they sure as hell ain't winnin!). The friend that asked me to go with her is a huge fan and she explained to me certain things about the game and toward the end, I kinda got the main gist of it though I could still not see through the details of certain things. I stood with the rest of the stadium when they sang the national anthem and it made my hairs stand up on end, as it did when they all started singing "Take me out to the ballgame" and later "Sweet Caroline". These are the things that you gotta be there for to understand why it's so cool... no description will really do it justice.
Apart from sitting in front of some immature mid-twenties guys who literally talked every single second and added their unwanted commentary to anything happening on the field, the evening was very cool. I had a Fenway Frank (a glorified hot dog, which for 4 dollars was the most overpriced piece of crap I've ever eaten) and I got up to cheer and scream when they tried to do the wave. I even joined in boooooing one of their own players. Or so it seemed! Turns out there's this player called Kevin Youkilis and when it was his turn to bat, the entire stadium started booooing him. So I turned to my friend and said "Why are you booing, what did he do?" and she just laughed at me and said "We're saying Yoooooooouuuukkk, his name is Youkilis so everyone does that when he steps up" LOL Duh, could've fooled me! After that I was well versed in the art of yoooouuuuuk screaming ;-)
I will try to upload some videos I took but I'm not promising anything. I've got so much video footage I meant to upload, who knows when I get to this one.

Time for bed now... night night!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Some pictures

I've realized that I took all those pictures over the past few weeks and never took them off the camera to upload here.

So here goes... a few pictures of cakes I made in my cake decorating classes:

Birthday cake for a colleague - combined effort with a friend I took this class with. I made the white roses and the green leaves, she did the rest. And if you're wondering what's on the cake - they are candles looking like tools... lol



I made this cake for the choir's get together after our last concert at the end of March. I chose a fitting theme and it took me HOURS to do those musical notes, trust me!



This is the last cake I made - part of the new gum paste and fondant class. I started by making the base out of fondant (a bit like clay shaping, only eatable lol). I chose the blue and green mixture for the base and then when it came to cover the cake with a fondant layer, I thought I'd continue with that theme. So the cover of the cake is also green and blue and then we started learning about draping pieces of fondant on cakes. Since my cake isn't all that high, it was hard to drape anything on it! LOL The two orange looking things are my attempts to drape! After the draping I started making things up as I went along and suddenly ended up using leftover fondant to make little fish and then got the idea to make Squirt, the turtle from Nemo! :-D You gotta work really fast with fondant and even faster with gum paste because they dry out immediately. So here's my underwater cake. I made it the day before I left for Charleston (and the carnation on the cake was something I did because I knew I'd end up missing the next lesson and just wanted to know how to do it). Oh and by the way - whilst fondant might look cool, it's not nice to eat. So when it comes to eating it, you just take everything off it and then eat lol






Shortly before going to Charleston I went to the mall to find a top and a skirt for the wedding. I came across this bored looking Easter Bunny - turns out every child that was placed in his arms to have pictures taken with him started crying their heads off LOL In which case I suppose his stance is more sad than bored.



Looking at this picture of Boone Hall, it just seems so... normal. Even after looking at the videos I made while there, I realized that they just can't compete with actually being there and seeing it for yourself. It is truly stunning.
As soon as I get my non-digital pictures developed, I will put them up here too, maybe they can convey the grandiosity of this building better :-)



And last but not least - a look at the books I bought at the library book sale yesterday! :-D For all these and another CD and 7 tapes, I paid $25!!!! I LOVE book sales!!!

Ode to joy

And so my performance of Beethoven's 9th has come and gone.
Standing on those risers barely being able to breathe because of the thick, oxygen-free air in there, I tried to savour every second but didn't quite manage to.
Keefe Auditorium is not made to allow the artists on stage to see their audience (not when the lights are down in the auditorium anyway) so most of the time I sang to the conductor, Royston Nash, whose last performance with the Nashua Choir this was.
It is funny - out of all the performances I've had with choirs so far, there was always someone in the audience that came to see me. This one time, the ONE piece closest to my heart - nobody was there...
I still sang like there was no tomorrow and again, like Beethoven's Missa Solemnis proved to me all these months ago, I could hit all the high notes, even keep hitting them time and time and time again, as the 9th requires. I don't know what it is about being on stage and singing in front of an audience with an orchestra. It just seems to be the only environment that allows me to let my voice go. Strange. We got standing ovations immediately after the last note rang out. The audience was on their feet instantly and it was only then that I finally let my emotions get the better of me and the tears started flowing. Happy tears though - how can you not be happy after hearing (or singing) this piece? How can you not want to hug the world and tell everyone in the universe how happy you are at this particular moment?

There is something upsetting about the concert though - it was recorded. But we can't have a copy. Stupid rights issues with some of the orchestra members prevent us from ever being able to hear ourselves performing that masterful piece.
I don't know what the hell it is that seems such a big deal - what will I do with the performance? Sell it on Ebay??? *shaking head* This whole copyrights issue is going WAY too far, people need to take a chill pill.

Enough of my post-show ramblings - time for bed.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hmmm...

I've made a startling discovery today.
To make a long story short, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy myself a Wok. I love BB&B. It's an awesome store full of home things and then some! Sadly they're more expensive than the standard stores like Target or WalMart but nevertheless I go to shop when I need something and have a 20% off coupon!

After picking up my Wok (I had done my research online so I knew exactly which I wanted), I started kinda trawling through the store, looking at this and that and out of the blue it hit me.
I have some friends coming to visit in a few weeks (Hi Brina & Corinna!) and I realized how I was looking at things with intention to buy them cause I could use them when my visitors came!!! I guess the startling discovery was that I never even thought of buying things FOR ME! It was only at the prospect of having visitors that certain things seemed logical to have.
One good example - towels. I have a total of 4 towels. They're four different sizes, four different colors and old and well used. They're perfectly good for me to use so that's exactly what I do. At the thought of visitors coming to stay with me, those measly 4 towels suddenly seemed ridiculous and inappropriate.

My entire life I have lived like this. All of my posessions are throw-away. I can count the things I would want to keep for life on one hand (books and CDs/DVDs excluded, of course). I have lived my life like a upper class gypsy, making do with as little as possible, expecting to one day finally arrive. Where, you ask? Good question. A place that I can really call home, I guess. A place I will be able to imagine spending the rest of my life in, or at least a longer amount of time. And until then it seems like such a waste to spend money and invest emotions in things that might not fit in my future life.
I know it sounds crazy - trust me, I've only discovered this today too so I'm currently reassessing things. Not to say things will suddenly change but it was a nice eye opener.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

STUPID US AIRWAYS!!!!!

NEVER AGAIN will I fly with US Airways, no matter HOW cheap they are! Their entire group of employees (flying crew is the exception) is made up of morons and imbeciles and their customer service numbers are manned (how else could it be) by non-English speakers who can barely understand you or make themselves understood. If you work with English speaking customers, LEARN THE FUCKING LANGUAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to bed now before I burst a blood vessel in my head. More details when I've calmed down.

I hope you go bankrupt, US Airways - YOU SUCK!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Charleston, part one

Well, thank heavens for unencrypted wireless connections! LOL Unbelievable how many people have their wireless routers set up without and excryptions key (or for those uninitiated between you, without a password!) - this basically allows me to use their internet connection without having to do anything (or pay for it!!!). Said routers are somewhere in the vicinity of the house I'm a guest in at the moment so I thought I'd give you an update of my visit here so far.

Wednesday was a VERY long day... got up way too early (at 5am) because I was nervous about missing the bus and the flight. Got to the Boston Express (the new link between Nashua and Boston South Station or Boston Logan!) for the 7.30am ride and got to the airport for about 9am. My flight was due to leave at 11 so I spent some time browsing the shops, buying a magazine (which I've yet to read) and having a McDonald's breakfast (at 11am!). The plane to Charlotte was delayed by about 20 minutes which caused a lot of problems for pretty much everyone, including me. Everyone on the plane had connecting flights to catch in Charlotte and they all missed them due to the delay. I just managed to make my flight because I ran like there was no tomorrow. With 10 minutes to spare I boarded the plane to Myrtle Beach. Once in MB I picked up my rental car (a red Chevy Aveo 2007) and started driving towards Charleston. I came across a few rainy moments but all in all the drive wasn't all that bad. Two hours later I arrived at Apryll's house and was SOOOO unbearably glad to finally rest for s while. I met David, her soon-to-be husband, who is wonderful and really good for her. I went to bed fairly early (9.30pm) because I was dead tired.

Thursday I woke up around 8am and went ice skating. Yes, you heard me right. I had checked out the nearest ice rink and it wasn't too far from Apryll so I took my skates with me and on Thursday morning went for one and a half hours of public skating. It wasn't all that great because the ice wasn't in such great condition. Mainly due to the fact that they seem to be using the rink for figure skating most of the time and from what I have seen there, there's some serious figure skating going on. I'm talking about double jumps and such. So lots of deep holes in the ice. Anyway... after that I took the car and drove to downtown Charleston.

I can't tell you what a wonderful city this is... the architecture, the parks, the ocean, the rivers, the bridges, the plantations - all of it is stunning. It took me a good hour of cruising around Charleston to find a parking garage that wasn't full but I finally made it. Once I was done with the whole parking situation, I went straight to the water. Waterfront Park is beautiful and very peaceful, with a stunning view of Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter and all other things around it. I sat down for a while and just enjoyed the peace and quiet, ate some ice cream and read a book. I meant to take the Fort Sumter tour at 2.30pm but when I got to the ticket office at 2pm, the boat was already full so I gave up on that. Instead I went walking around downtown some more, taking pictures and shooting video as I went. At about 4pm I got in the car and went back home where I spent a nice and quiet evening with Apryll and David.

On Friday, Apryll and I were supposed to go to see BOONE HALL PLANTATION (for an explanation about this, see last entry in my blog). Unfortunately, Apryll had had a job interview that morning and hadn't slept the whole night so we cancelled that and just stayed in doing nothing much but reading, watching TV and chatting. At about 5pm I took off with all my stuff as I was moving to stay with Apryll's friend Keran (pronounced like Karen). I got there and she was a wonderful, really sweet older lady who showed me her whole house and told me to pick a room (she had three standing free). Once she had shown me her jewelry making stuff, I started squeaking and squealing with joy - I LOVE jewelry making, even though I've never done it myself. Suffice it to say, if I wasn't already doing so much expensive stuff, I would definitely start on jewelry next! Anyway, she showed me all kinds of stuff she'd done and I came across this beautiful Swarovski stone bracelet in silver and blue that was just stunning!!! I told her I'd like to try it on if she didn't mind and she helped me put it on and it just looked so cool, I couldn't stop admiring it! And with that she then said "Well then, it's yours. It's a welcome to Charleston present!" Isn't that wonderful??? She is absolutely awesome! I felt guilty because that really hadn't been my intention but she was so sure she wanted me to have it that I gladly said THANK YOU and gave her a big hug :-) Oh and she has two lovely dogs that are adorable!!! We spent the rest of the evening watching TV, me trying to figure out what kind of sightseeing I could do for Saturday and Sunday and she just relaxing on her Friday night. She did drink quite a bit of alcohol and smoked, which I really didn't like (the smoking bit anyway) but I didn't feel like I could tell her to not smoke in her own home!!! LOL So I just sat it out but it was REALLY hard not to just up and go, I've become SO incredibly intolerant to smoke, my throat was hurting all night.

Anyway... today I set off for Boone Hall Plantation early in the morning. I got there at about 10am, bought my ticket and got ready for some major goosebumps and waterfalls. Luckily, whilst the tears were in my eyes most of the time that I spent there, I managed not to cry.
I can't tell you what it was like to finally stand in front of that house that for me, represents so many different emotions. I realize that "North and South" is just a movie but it's the movie that's brought the Civil War to my attention. And it's made one particular side of it so vivid and painful that it will always be more of a reality for me than just a movie. The idea of two great friends being torn apart by a war, in a time where values and morals and honor were such major parts of people's lives is just too painful to contemplate.
I spent a good two hours at the Plantation, taking the House Tour, finding out about its history and the fact that the current owners actually LIVE there a few months out of the year. Out of those two hours, one was spent purely on taking pictures, setting up the tripod so I could do panoramic videos of the house and the wonderful, stunningly breathtaking Avenue of Oaks, which lines the street coming towards Boone Hall. All the while, hearing bits and pieces of dialogue from the movie in my head, seeing particular shots of particular places... it was an almost religious experience. On my way out I made the mistake of calling Ally to tell her about it and that's when the floodgates opened and I started to cry. Thankfully I was driving the car so I knew I had to get it together before I caused an accident. I then proceeded down US Highway 17 towards Patriot's Point where I boarded a boat for the Fort Sumter tour.
For the uninitiated, Fort Sumter is the place where the Civil War began. On April 12th 1861 the first shot was fired on the Union garrison at Fort Sumter and that shot started the Civil War between the North and the South. It lasted almost 5 years, in which over 500,000 men were killed. I didn't even know that the Secession of the Southern states happened not because the Northerners wanted to abolish slavery, but because they didn't want it to spread to any of the new states!!! The Southerners however, felt that their way of life was in jeopardy and after years of turmoil, South Carolina was the first state to seceed, followed by 5 others (can't think which now...).
So anyway... visiting Ft. Sumter was wonderful, the boat ride was great too, even though I somehow always end up sitting in front of some bad behaved kid that either kicks my seat or screams or whatever. I even saw dolphins and I think I managed to get them on film too. Once on Ft. Sumter, we had an hour to look around, visit the museum and we were even privy to the reenactment of a drill, which apparently only happens a few times a year! Basically, there's these societies of people who dress up in the old Southern/Northern uniforms and reenact certain things from those times. Unfortunately my camera's battery died since I had used it extensively at Boone Hall but I managed to get a few shots of the drill. Very impressive.

After Ft. Sumter, I jumped in my car and drove to Apryll's where she and David were having some of the wedding guests over for pizza. I stayed for a few hours and then left as thunderstorms were predicted in the area and I didn't want to be caught in one.
It's time for me to go to bed now and dream of wonderful Boone Hall and my next "when I am rich..." installment. Cause you know what that's gonna be... right? ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

After 16 years...

... I am finally making it to the place I've always wanted to go. Charleston, South Carolina.
When I turned teenager extraordinaire, I became obsessed with the mini TV series "North and South" with Patrick Swayze and James Read. And when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. I used to copy down parts of the dialogue and carry that piece of paper in my hand at school (it was around the time I was being bullied for not being cool/in/ whatever enough and that piece of paper carried me through some hellish days), I sometimes learned it by heart and when I was finally able to get VHS tapes, I taped the show and used to wake up an hour and a half early so I could watch an episode every morning before I went to school. So if you don't think that's obsessive, I dont know! ;-)

Thankfully, I've grown out of that phase but my love for that particular series and everything to do with the US Civil War has stayed with me since. And I remember the first time I thought I wanted to move to the US it was to live in Charleston, South Carolina. I wanted to be in the middle of all that history and all that Antebellum past. There is something incredibly moving about the Civil War, I can't really explain it.

Thanks to my darling friend Apryll, who is getting married there on Monday, I will now be able to see it all - I can hardly contain my excitement!!! I will finally get to see the Boone Hall Plantation which served as the main house for the Southern part of the story... *Swoon* The beautiful avenue of oaks that looks so stunning in the movie will be within my reach tomorrow!!! YEY! I shall take lots of pictures and movies and will post them when I return. And of course there will be wedding pictures too :-) Ah, bliss... to be away from work for a whole week, to be in the city that I've wanted to see for ages and to see one of my best friends get married. PERFECT!

And until then, to keep you going - here's the link to the Plantation. Enjoy! :-)

Boone Hall Plantation - Charleston, South Carolina

-

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter! :-)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The ghosts of music

Still on a high after tonight's performance, I decided to finally put down in words what has been lurking at the forefront of my mind lately.

It's really strange. None of the stuff I'm about to mention is new (to me, at least), yet, in the past two or three months it has inched its way into my consciousness, slowly but surely. And it is now in a front row seat so that I can't miss it. It's looking me straight in the eye and there's no avoiding it, no way of pretending it's not there.

I am, of course, talking about music. Particularly about me and making music. And even more particularly, about me and making classical music.

I've been a country music fan since I was 16 years old. It was the kind of music I needed at the time, the kind of music that spoke to my teenage heart and soul, the kind that kept me from falling when I was spiralling out of control in my emotional life. I discovered that I could write music back then. Pen to paper and I wrote countless songs, mainly lyrics that dealt with unrequitted love and breaking free and everything else that any other teenager feels at that age. I still have that love in me. I can go back and listen to some of those songs that I used to listen to back then and wooosh, flashback, I'm back in my teeny tiny room at the age of 16, swooning for some boy or other. It still touches me the way it used to and it's as sudden and as unexpected as can be when it happens. Because at the forefront of my current life, country music doesn't really play a big role anymore.

In its place, classical has squeezed its way back into my life, without any warning. I guess I need to backtrack for that (and if you haven't by now figured out that this will be a loooong post, be officially warned now!).
I grew up hearing from everyone around me that I was so musically talented. My grandmother used to rave about my musical ear from the age of one or so when she took me out on a noisy street and found me sticking my fingers in my ears and taking them out, apparently testing the difference of sound. I don't know. She's my grandma, she'd say that. On the other hand there's no denying that music is the one and only constant in my life. At any period during the past 30 years, every single day, music was part of my daily life. I remember being the soloist at kindergarden, standing on stage in front of the choir of other children, not quite understanding what I was doing apart from them. Apparently I was very good, or so I'm told. I don't remember much about the actual sounds I made lol
It continued in school where again, I was singled out to sing solos. And I loved it. When I was 6, I started piano lessons. I guess this is what really brought classical music into view. I remember my piano teachers, the music schools I went to, the "competitions"/exams I took part in. I also remember having to practice in the living room while I could hear my friends play outside on the street and calling my name. I wished nothing more than to join them but to make it easier on myself, I kept picturing myself as a virtuoso pianist later in life, highly successful on world stages, performing in front of thousands and my friends were there, front row, applauding me, being green with envy. It was this fantasy that made me continue.
I very much owe it to my parents that I continued to take piano lessons and after 6 years, started to actually ENJOY it for the sake of hearing the music. I had always loved "Fur Elise" and so even though my teacher didn't think I was ready for it, I got the score and started practising it in my own time. I had managed to teach myself a fairly good version of it in the end but that didn't matter for long.
When we moved to Germany, the piano had to go. I was heartbroken. Just when I started to enjoy it, I had to give it up. The move was of course very difficult, our lives after that, for many years, were just as difficult financially. A piano was not an option at any time, because of the space, the noise and the money issue. Though I am told that my grandpa, bless his heart, insisted they get a piano so I could continue to play. Alas, that never happened either.
For the next 4 years music was nothing more to me than listening to the TV, casettes and radio. I got into "pop" music, as you do at 13, and completely forgot all about classical. Then country came and I took up the guitar so I could write.
In all those years, there was one thing that would overwhelm me on a regular basis though. The yearning for a piano. When that emotion came, it came full force and almost blew me away with its intensity. I remember standing in front of a piano store once and actually crying, people watching me like I was crazy or something. But to me it seemed so impossible to reach this dream. And then, just as quickly as that feeling came, it disappeared. And then I'd have peace for a few months, maybe even a year and then it would come back again. As I grew older, and after moving to the UK, the yearning for a piano became stronger and more frequent.

At that point in my life I wasn't exactly happy and I managed to cut music out of my life almost completely. It was almost like I was punishing myself for something. When I took an "Artist's Way" class online, everything came crashing down on me. I realized that I had sabbotaged everything in me that was giving me pleasure and happiness. At that point I knew that I had to change something. So I joined the Woking choir and then bought myself a digital piano. Things were starting to look up.
As soon as I had bought that piano, I started looking for piano teachers and started downloading music scores like crazy. I borrowed them from the library, found them online, copied and printed them out. I came across old favorites, pieces I knew I had played when I was little and I remembered how to read music. It wasn't long before I started wanting to take music theory lessons again. And so I did, kinda, with my choir sidekick Sel, who had studied music. In our lunchbreak she'd show me this and that and I tried to remember. Needless to say, the opportunity to come to the US came along last year and that was the end of that. My digital piano (his name is Cas, in case you wanted to know lol) is in storage over there in the UK and I've got a cheap keyboard here to at least allow me to practice my choir parts.

So I guess what has been happening here in the past few months is something very logical and obvious. My love for classical has always been there. When the country station here started pissing me off because everyone they played sounded the same, I switched to the classical station here in Boston. Not that they are great, far from it. They're nothing like the UK's Classical FM! But the music is simply brilliant and it remains brilliant. It is very much the only thing I listen to in my car, or at home or at work.
What has started to freak me out a little is the sudden "coincidences" that I run into nowadays. Like finding books that I want to read in the library and they turn out to be about music (I'm one of those people who judges a book by its cover so I don't always know what's in a book when I pick it out). Or I go into some store or other thinking about a particular piece I'd like to hear and it comes on (seriously spooky, I swear!!!). And then there is of course my current obsession with Beethoven. I could write another looooooooooooong post about him but I'll spare you for now. Suffice it to say that I'm in love. Everytime I hear Beethoven music my heart sings with joy. There's just no other way to describe it. And even if it's the 5th symphony, I'm still full of joy, no matter how many people say that that piece is angry. All I hear is pure, unadulterated passion and I want to hug the world because it makes me so happy.

I can't really avoid it anymore, can I? I know I was meant to make music. I know it's the one constant thing in my life and always will be. I have gotten to a point where I really want to study music. Theory, history, voice, instrument, the whole shebang. Needless to say I now live in a country where college costs an arm and a leg and there's no way I can afford it. Yet I wonder if that's not just another excuse and if I'm maybe just standing in my own way.

After performing 3 Mozart pieces tonight (Ave Verum Corpus, Ave Maria and Missa Brevis) I'm realizing again how much I love doing this. The most wonderful compliment came from a lady tonight that approached me after the concert and said "You were wonderful to watch, you know? You were smiling and looking like you really enjoyed singing!" Does it get any better than this??? I don't think so. So maybe I just really need to get my ass in gear and start doing something about it. I've been sitting on the sidelines for way too long...