Choir week

Aug. 23rd, 2016 02:54 pm
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
I had a lot of fun at choir week! There were many people I knew from past years, and several very nice new people too. I no longer stay up as long as I did in past years, but we still managed to play several rounds of Werewolf at least once, there was even a pubquiz once, and just in general hanging out with people was fun. It wasn't as hot as last year thankfully, when I was barefoot almost the entire time (which was great, except in the forest at midnight without a flashlight.) However this year we missed shooting star week.

Last year in choir we sang almost exclusively classical pieces, like Haydn's kleine Orgelsolomesse and Mozart's Ave Verum. This year there was a bit more variety, but still not as much as in previous years (this was my seventh time attending!) Beautiful pieces though, like Mendelssohn: Jauchzet dem Herrn, Scaldava il sol etc. I also sang in an ensemble that sang mostly sad Renaissance songs, and I did Dance again like every year. We always do very cool stuff, and it's good to give my voice a rest for a few hours.

For the "Bunter Abend" this year I wrote a poem inspired by a line from the voice warm up that morning, "Aunt Anna has an elephant in her tub." I tried to recite it by heart and missed a few lines, but overall it went over well. (Last year I prepared a medley of macabre Viennese folk songs, that was fun. There are many! I included Tauben vergiften, Biddlah Buh, Die Engelmacherin, Da Hofa, Zentralfriedhof, Der Tod muss ein Wiener sein, and two children's songs.)

Apart from the dance performance I wasn't completely happy with most of our concert on Saturday, but perfection isn't really what choir week is about. I stayed up until almost 2:30am and then, disappointed that there wasn't dancing in addition to the live karaoke, went to bed.
Around 3:45 or so (I was told later) I suddenly woke up because the door to my room opened. A fireman in full uniform and helmet stood there, looked at me, said "You can go back to sleep" and closed the door again. I was so confused I did just that.
About an hour later I woke up again because of the loud fire alarm. I was so tired I almost went to sleep again, except then I heard the sirens. Later I learned this is apparently normal in a village for a fire alarm, but for me siren=emergency, so I grabbed my jacket and phone ran downstairs. There were already a couple of other people there who told me that this was the second fire alarm. Apparently I slept through the first one, which is mildly concerning tbh but also funny. Fortunately the firemen were there (again) in five minutes, and instead of fifteen this time they managed to turn off the alarm in five minutes so we could go back to sleep. An alarm malfunction, ugh.
Next day we had warm up at 9 and a mass to sing at 10, with everyone exhausted… Actually it went better than I expected. At least we have a story to tell next year.

It's Tuesday now and I'm still very tired. My new freezer got delivered yesterday but I haven't gotten around to opening it yet, much less do anything more demanding. Clearly I need another nap. And enjoy all the music still in my head :)
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Thanks for the comments on my last post about meds and stuff. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist the week after. I was feeling good that week, so we agreed on a compromise: I'd keep with the lower dose of antidepressants over the summer, and I'll contact her again when she comes back from vacation in September to see how I feel and if I've made actual tangible progress with my current "project", i.e. job applications. I still think it was a reasonable idea, I really wanted to see if it would work, but so far… well, a little bit, but not to a degree that I'm satisfied with. It changes from week to week, sometimes pretty drastically, and this week is not one of the better ones, but overall I'm not happy with what I've done. So I'll probably go back to the higher dose.
Or maybe I just have too high expectations again, and I feel down because of a few bad days and I'm tired and it'll be better soon, I don't know. It's really annoying that it fluctuates so much. I really should start keeping better track of how I feel; I finally started today, hopefully I'll remember to do it regularly.

Right now I'm annoyed because next week is choir week and I'm not as excited about it as I want to be. I've already been seven times and it's been fun every time, but even knowing that I'll have a good time there, looking ahead it feels tiring. Ah well, it'll be fine once I'm there. There are tiring elements, but singing! And dancing! And more singing! I'm curious about the program already, I'm sure it'll be interesting. I haven't sung in a choir in months, I miss it.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
The thing about eating more and more regularly is that the first notable consequence is that I'm hungrier. That means even more preparing and cooking! I haven't gained any weight yet, I've even lost a bit more and am still underweight according to BMI. Not by much, but still. Maybe it'll help that now I can go running again (infection from dental surgery is pretty much healed), muscles add weight.

I am making some progress cooking more! Deciding to eat mostly vegetarian helped: there's not as much choice and that makes picking what to cook a lot easier. I'm a big fan of onions, tomatoes, and zucchini, and you can do a lot with that. Mushrooms are also good, and spring onions, and sometimes other vegetables (I'm not the biggest fan of peppers, for example. And potatoes are side dishes.) Mixing various vegetables in a pan and eating it with couscous is easy and good. This week I twice made stuffed eggplants, with improvised stuffings, that turned out very good. Today I made a casserole with potatoes and tomatoes, also improvised: it tasted good, despite the fact that my first casserole form exploded in the oven (fortunately not in very dramatic fashion, the oven is fine and I could save over half of the casserole. Could have used another spring onion probably.) I like cooking without recipes, it makes me feel like I really know what I'm doing.


Yesterday I went to a concert of my old choir. The topic was "Austrian music", it had everything from folk music in several languages to "Der g'schupfte Ferdl", "Birdland", and "Rise Like a Phoenix." I can't get "Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck" out of my head. I enjoyed the concert, and I decided I definitely need to look for a new choir this fall.


Stanley Cup Final game 5 tonight! The Penguins are leading the series 3-1 and could win it all, and on home ice. Aaaaaaaa *flailing* I don't quite believe it'll happen, sounds almost too good to be true. (I'm convinced the Sharks will score first tonight. Just seems like the kind of thing that is inevitable.) But it would be so great.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
Today LB and I made our first Christmas cookies of the year. A new recipe, coconut macaroons with chocolate filling, they are not excellent but they are good.
Dad made roast pork <3 With bread dumplings and sauerkraut (not exactly sauerkraut but translating kitchen words is hard.) He's already an expert at roast pork and gets better every time.

A third of my choir visited the already much smaller refugee camp at Vienna's central train station and we sang a few songs from last year (this year's songs aren't good enough yet.) It was nice, I'm pretty sure they enjoyed it.

I started playing Flight Rising, because pretty dragons! At first it was a bit confusing, but fortunately [personal profile] myrdschaem and [personal profile] forests_of_fire helped me out and then I discovered that Wind Flight is amazingly helpful and generous.
My first association with "dragon clan" were the Pit Dragon chronicles by Jane Yolen, where humans breed dragons, so it took me a few days to go from that to independent sapient dragon clans in my head. (Breeding for specific genes still feels a bit weird in this context, eh, handwaving.)
I already have several very pretty dragons in my lair. I can't not make up stories about them, and it's fun. Maybe one day I'll write more about my dragon stories, or actually write my dragon stories, but I wanted to post today because the twins grow up tomorrow. I have two beautiful blue male Skydancer babies from my second nest and I want to show them off :)
pics )
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
Still no hockey practice for me today :( The dentist took out the stitches yesterday but told me it was better to wait for another week.
Geno's four-point-night was great, but Olli :( If that was a routine hit that happens 500 times a game, then that needs to be changed.


Writing for hockey Festivus: hmm… okay, I have an idea, and then it could go like this, these details I can just make up, here is a rough outline, and now I just need to write it.
Writing for Yuletide: The prompt I'm most interested in is X. The best way to frame it would probably be [this], and the most exciting option is [this], that would lead to a,b, and c, I also need Y for that to work, and for d and e I need to do more canon research. Y has to fit these parameters, so what are my options… Basically it's a lot more careful stone-on-stone building, but so far it's working, and I'm having fun.


During the summer I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue with my choir. I really like the kind of pieces we are singing (which is not that easy to find in a choir) and the people are nice, but somehow I never really talked much with any of them and often felt kind of awkward. In addition to that sometimes practices were frustrating because too many people chatted instead of concentrating. I decided to stay though, and so far I'm happy with that decision.

We have a very cool program this semester. Some things we are singing, with (non-curated) examples from YouTube:
- The Creation – A Rock Cantata. This is really cool to sing.
- Gospel Mass by Robert Ray. This one too, plus we'll sing this without sheet notes.
- many shorter mostly winter-themed songs, like The Snow by Elgar, Amid the Falling Snow by Enya, Invierno Porteño by Astor Piazzolla, O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen, and several more, including one in Hungarian, two in Hebrew, and one without words. "Invierno Porteño" has no words, only syllables, including several sets of "pa-da-bam pa-da-bam" etc., and every time when I'm distracted I want to sing "padawan" instead.

People I find annoying in a choir:
- those who never ever write anything down, like when to end certain phrases, and then inevitably get it wrong
- related, those who always take a breath at the exactly wrong time
- those with a voice that is much more suited for singing solo than in a choir and who can't/don't rein it in so that they stand out a lot
- those who always have their mobile phone in hand and text during the whole practice
- and worst of all, those who always chat when the conductor speaks and sometimes even when others are singing. Shut. Up.

We had practice weekend last week: 3.5 hours practice (including breaks) on Friday, 10.5 on Saturday, 6.5 on Sunday, 2.5 on Monday. I still have my voice left! Practice. By now we at least know most of the notes, and the fun part begins :) Though I do like learning the notes too, I've become much better at sight-reading.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I'm mostly healthy again, yay. I'm still hoarse and feeling tired, but that could also be because for some reason I keep waking up early, it's annoying. I love naps.

I have enough energy to work on my thesis again, which is good, because I'm way behind. Before I got sick I told my advisor I would be finished at the end of May, that's not going to happen. But I still want to finish as soon as possible. I'm actually not sure what her deadline is, and I'm a bit scared to ask :(

The timing is terrible though, because next week on Tuesday is choir concert and that means this weekend (half of Friday and the entire Saturday+Sunday, plus Monday evening) is choir practice. No time to study. I can't afford that! I need that time. Usually I'd tell myself "who knows if I'd actually study during that time anyway", but I have to, because I'm out of time. And I'm actually almost optimistic that I will be able to: I managed yesterday, and I already got some work done today. My therapist told me to try to use anger productively, I think it helps a bit.

So I might cancel the choir concerts, which would suck. I probably will, I just haven't decided yet. Fortunately it's not my favorite program we've ever sung, but there are still some very cool pieces (Sikuya kuja, Sixteen tons...) Hopefully I'll at least get a ticket for the concert! Bah, watching and not being able to sing -.-
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
Yesterday we had our big choir concert at the end of the semester. At the moment I'm mostly glad it's over: we had choir practices the whole Saturday and Sunday, then again a few hours on Monday and Tuesday, and it was very tiring. But the concert itself was nice, and we sang a few great pieces this year: Brahm's Liebeslieder-Walzer, A Boy and a Girl by Eric Whitacre, Butterfly by Mia Makaroff, Die eine Klage by Stefan Kalmer (not on youtube, but it's great, I really love this composer), the boys sang Lass mich dein Badewasser schlürfen by die Viel-Harmoniker (transl: Let me slurp your bath water), and a couple more. We also worked with someone who developed some choreography and some theater-like elements with us and came up with a great moderation: the end result was very nice, even though the process was at times difficult.

Hockey practice: I still haven't scored a goal. I had a few great chances!, like the one where I was alone in front of an open net with the puck even lying still and I still missed it. Fortunately we won, otherwise I'd be even more annoyed at myself. And I'm improving, if slowly, so that's good :) My knees hurt much less since I'm using knee bandages, that's also great.

Apart from choir and hockey, I have a lot of other stuff to do. I know I'm accomplishing some things, I'm not actually doing nothing (and the past four days I had an excuse.) But it feels like for everything I finish, three new tasks appear, and I'll always be behind. Ugh. One step at a time.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Over four hours choir practice tonight because our first concert is in a week. Tiiired. I still have a few pieces to learn by heart and a few passages I sometimes get wrong. This was the first practice after the holidays, for that it wasn't bad. I love choir singing, but I think it'll be a bit too much the next two weeks. Especially because it's the whole weekend again. (Plus I have doctor's appointments coming up, ugh.)

Yesterday evening I read a fic that was described as dark, so I expected things like rape and murder. It had those things, but also an extremely dysfunctional relationship with two people who care about each other but keep hurting each other, and a hopeful ending at best. It was very well written and also very disturbing, so I stayed up way longer than I had planned to get it out of my head before I went to sleep. It's still not out of my head. This is the third time something like this has happened to me (that I can recall), and every time it was a bandom fic. I should probably start being more careful with bandom fics.

DD is back from the US and she brought me a souvenir! I now have my very own Geno Malkin shirt ))))
She watched the Pens-Lightning game before Christmas live, I'm envious. She also stayed on the same hotel floor as the Pens, so she got to see hockey players running around half-naked with only towels on and met Kuni and Tanger in the elevator. Sadly not half-naked.

Simon Despres is playing very well this season, which is great. Two days ago there was a new article about him and I found out that I got some details wrong in Losing Down. That was inevitable; what's annoying is that it gave me a few interesting ideas for things I could have added to the story or changed, but it's too late now. Or maybe it would just have become more complicated.
Maybe I should write a Despres primer. But my only attempt to write a primer so far (Tommy Shepherd) stalled in the middle because wow is that a lot of work. And I doubt it would actually lead to more Despres fic being written. Put it on the "maybe one day if I'm bored and have time" project list.

More Bab5

Oct. 20th, 2014 11:35 pm
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
My calendar this week is full of small stuff so inconveniently timed that it feels like I don't have time to do anything. (I usually can't get any productive studying done if I know I have less than at least two mostly uninterrupted hours.) Thursday-Saturday I'm visiting my relatives for a wedding, which I look forward to but it also feels like I really can't afford to lose the days. I'm so behind on my studies! I'm very stressed about - well, things in general, I hate it.

Choir practice today: I looove the pieces we're singing, it's going to be a beautiful concert. The topic is love, and we're singing songs by Brahms, Carl Orff, Whitacre, Herwig Reiter, Stefan Kalmer (he did the wonderful Shakespeare songs we sung two years ago), the Beatles, and a few more composers my mother knows.
I'm very annoyed by those people who apparently think it's completely okay to constantly text during practice, even when they're supposed to sing - wtf are you doing.

I'm almost finished writing my Yuletide letter! I'm excited.

LK is going on vacation for three weeks (I got the recipe for his scrambled eggs and salad just in time), so today we took the last opportunity for a while and watched some more Bab5.

2x02 Revelations )

2x03 The Geometry of Shadows )

Wow do I always have a lot to say about episodes. This show is just very good.

Busy week

Oct. 7th, 2014 12:31 am
schneefink: (Fleury)
I had a busy week! (Today is also busy, but I'm taking a break. In my pyjamas at 1pm. What.)

Monday was the second choir practice this semester. We're 85 people and I know perhaps ten names, this is going to be hard. But I think the songs we're singing are pretty cool :) There'll even be a choreography element. I'm really looking forward to it.

One of the new people is a girl from Canada who just moved here a month ago and speaks barely any German, so I translated for her a bit. She said she's from Alberta, so I decided to use my knowledge of Canadian stereotypes and asked her "Oilers or Flames?" Flames, and apparently it's a big topic in her family because she has relatives in Edmonton and they even dress strategically when they skype. I also told her about the Dan Radcliffe quote "If you want to annoy a Canadian, when they say 'hockey', ask 'you mean ice hockey?'", and apparently it's completely true because she went on a three minute rant. I loved it.

I'm the last person in my family not to get sick this autumn, I only have a bit of a sore throat. Let's hope it stays that way.

I got some work done - I actually met my goal for the day on Wednesday! That was a fantastic feeling, I could do what I wanted in the evening without feeling guilty. That happens very rarely.

On Thursday I met with a friend at uni to study. I had a bad day, but with her help I at least got some writing done, which is good :) Not as much as I wanted, but in hindsight I had my expectations set waaay too high.

Then I went to a two hour meeting on debate tournament tabbing, came home around midnight, and I knew I had to get up early on Friday. So I exercised a lot of self-control and didn't watch the Pens season opener against the Ducks. I "just" got up half an hour earlier on Friday to watch the highlights on dtmts.

6-3 against the Ducks! Duper with four points in his comeback, Sid with almost a hatty, Hornqvist and Comeau with their first goals as Pens, Maatta with three points! Friday was a long day, but every time I felt down I reminded myself of the 6-3 win and was excited again. Yeees! My excitement about this hockey team is not rational, but it makes me happy. (When they don't lose in the playoffs. Shut up.) Literal flailing and everything. I haven't even seen the interviews yet, I'm scrolling down my Tumblr dash to find the game gifs, I want to watch the highlights again, and I really hope I'll find a place to download games. (Tips?)
Leafs today! And I'll probably sleep again, because I need it. (Otoh it's Saturday? Let's see how much I get done today.)
NHL hockey is back!

Friday morning I participated in a debating workshop for school students (unfortunately my group of students wasn't really engaged and the topic I was given wasn't good, but whatever.) Then I met with LK and AV, we went shopping, cooked, went to IvB's birthday party, and then left early to watch the end of Bab5 season 1. It was fantastic. Details in a different post because otherwise this'll take too long.

It's LB's birthday today. The present I ordered him still hasn't arrived even though I paid for express shipping :( He also didn't let me hug him, because *coughs* I might have forgotten his age during the birthday song. In my defense I sometimes forget my own age and I had very little sleep! But still.
I still need to buy the ingredients for the cake tomorrow.

I also have a list of OTW things to do, plus high goals for studying and some other minor stuff.

One of those, an unexpected thing, is that I found out that CP, a good friend from the debating society, makes FB posts against feminism. I know it's most likely a definition problem mostly, but it still hurt. Feminism is for me the belief that women should be equal to men, and it also respects the fact that this is currently not the case. So if someone is against feminism I feel disrespected and also less safe.
We're both debaters, so we should be able to discuss it rationally. (LK and AV said they already tried...) I have to try, because it's important to me, and I'm optimistic that I can convince him. But it's unpleasant and unexpectedly stressful.

Btw, I'm also writing fic! Several hundred words this week in response to a kinkmeme prompt. I was very surprised, but I like it.

So, I should probably get started. Maybe by getting dressed.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I'm back from my last summer vacation, and it was great. Choir weeks are the best. We sang beautiful songs (beautiful but difficult), the people were great, and it was so much fun. Especially the dancing, even though everything hurt after the first day. A few highlights included singing Monty Python's Galaxy Song at Karaoke night (there's a great Rodney vid by obfreak for it here) and being introduced with the Star Wars Rebel theme song, "for all the geeks and nerds out there", persuading five friends (all new to the week) to sing a song at the entertainment evening with a text I wrote, convincing ten people to play Werewolf with me, and many other things. When I compare my experience this year with my first choir week five years ago it's interesting for me to see how much I've changed and how much more confident and willing to talk to people I am now :) And I can sing better, too.

Now I'm back and should start being serious: preparing for university, my driving license, my bachelor's thesis, and things like that. There's still tomorrow? It took me several days, but I eventually managed to stop checking my emails during my vacation; that's great, but it means that now I have soo much to catch up on. I've only seen a fraction of all Vividcon vids, and I don't think I read even one of the books I wanted.

I did find a great university course program for "promising minds" that I want to apply for. They only take 30 people, but I do have good grades and extra-university activities so I think I have a chance. The only downside is that it would be at the same time as choir practice and my choir has a fantastic program this year :( I still want to try and get into this study course, it sounds so good, they got some of the best people from politics, economics, media etc. in Austria to hold lectures and discussions. Application deadline is in a week, wish me luck. :)

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schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
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