As I opened the tab to write this post, I was thinking how much I appreciate WBVN. Not only do they have a good mix of music and a snazzy new Flash player that started playing even before I finished logging into my awoken laptop, they play up-beat, more rock kind of music on Friday and Saturday evenings – perfect for waking up on Saturday and Sundays! – and as I started this post, they were playing some nice quiet songs over there in US-Saturday-morning-time, which was great for my late Saturday evening winding down. (Now sadly it’s a show with talking, but you can’t win ’em all.) I don’t know if this is planned or just a reflection of their DJ personalities, but it works well with my 14-hours-ahead life!
However, the main topics of this post are the cool, exciting things going on here in recent evenings!
Two nights ago was the first performance of the Qingdao Carolers. It was our only outdoor performance, and it was SNOWING! Absolutely perfect. I even brought my muff even though I couldn’t wear it while holding my music because how could I leave it at home when it was the only thing missing from the “picture print by Currier and Ives”???? It was sooooo much fun, just amazing. Equally amazing has been learning the alto part of half a dozen Christmas songs, and learning about learning the alto part (for example, I have re-confirmed the fact that I can’t sing harmony for many measures before getting lost unless I really do have someone else singing it with me.)
Last night I stayed at school all afternoon for the Secondary Christmas Gala in the evening. It was also amazing. The jazz band rocked, especially with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (don’t ask me what that has to do with Christmas, but the fiddle-playing took my breath away), the “Stomp” group was funny and fun, especially the head chef “smoking” a cinnamon stick (I wish they’d had Stomp when I was in high school!), the 6th grade band showed their hard work, all the choirs sang beautifully…. The a capella group’s final song was a Spanish one with a small hand-drum and I wish I had a recording of it! The high school choir was beautiful in their matching dresses and nice suits, though perhaps someone hit the “fast forward” button as they mounted the stage, tee hee. And during the long intermission there were fresh tortilla chips and tuna salad, among other things (like salsa, but I prefer the tuna!), and a chance to view the middle and high school art gallery. I posted some photos to Facebook during the show, and will try to transfer a few here. Simply amazing.
Today started off not-so-hot, with a skirt from the tailor that makes me look entirely too poufy at places I’m already too naturally poufy, a total lack of powdered sugar at Metro, and a lot of not-to-my-Western-taste calendars at the Chinese C’ian bookstore (I bought nary a one!). But all in all I was getting done what really needed doing, aside from *cough* lesson plans. For instance, I got some generic “Chinese” gifts for people, and I was finally able to pick up the custom-made Chinese shirts for a friend in the States that weren’t ready when I used part of my personal day to go pick them up last week. (If I spoke more Chinese I would have asked the tailor to pay for my taxi today, it cost me an extra $12-13 today round trip plus that chunk of my one free day wasted last week; she’d promised they’d be ready the day before I went.) Anyway, the later part of the day was better. With the wonderful new thing I’ve discovered since chopping off my long hair – that I can wash and blow dry it on a weekend afternoon and have nice hair right away instead of having to wait 24 hours – I dolled myself up for the one-night-only performance of “The Nutcracker” at the grand theater down the road! A visiting Russian ballet company put on a splendid performance; I’m so glad I went! Before the show I dropped in on Karen’s “Elf” party, saw friends, and doled out Christmas goodies, and then Laura and I went out for a blue cheese arugula burger at Canvas before the show.
Waiting for the bus home, I glanced up and, lo and behold, a lunar eclipse was in progress! I pulled out the pocket binoculars I’d brought for the show and enjoyed waiting for a bus in the cold more than I ever have… I even stayed standing outside when I got back to my apartment complex for about ten minutes watching it approach totality! Two firsts in one night, watching live ballet and seeing an eclipse. I can’t even tell you which one I’m happier about.
This coming week will bring 4 afternoons of rehearsals, the upper elementary Christmas show on Friday evening (early elem had theirs yesterday morning), the end of a reading unit… and it will end with just 3 1/2 school days left until Christmas break!!!! This time two weeks from now will be Christmas eve and I’ll be in America, G. willing. He is so good!