Photos available

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's a little surreal

When I left Texas for Vienna, I gave away lots of stuff.  I mean TONS and TONS.  A few people have asked if I need some of my things back.  Usually I say no.  Not because I don't need the stuff, but it is more that I don't want to take back what I gave to someone else.  However, I did make one exception.  As I was cleaning out my garage last year, I found an old computer.  I gave it to the friend who was helping me. She doesn't have a computer, or an email account.  She marveled at seeing her first instant message last year!  I told her that the computer should be refurbished but that if it still works, it should be fine for surfing the internet.  When I got back to town, I asked her how it was working.  She told me she had it refurbished but that she still hadn't used it.  I told her that I needed another one and that I was shopping around for one.  Needless to say, she offered me the one that I affectionately call, "the dinosaur."  I originally got it in about 2004.  For some reason, I am deliriously happy to have the dinosaur and to be typing on it now.  Another friend of mine restored a 1959 trailer/camper (it looks like a silver bullet).  I am as happy with my dinosaur as she is with hers.  Maybe I just feel good about having recycled and restored something that most people would have thrown away without another thought.  OR maybe I'm just excited about getting a "new" computer without putting that kind of cash out for it. 

The other surreal factoid in my life right now is that I'm working per diem at a hospital that, 10 years ago, I was working at via contract.  Lots has changed there, and nothing has changed there.  Somehow, I think that I have a lesson to appreciate from that time in my life.  The computer has recycled itself, and I like to think I have also refurbished myself.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recognizing Amazing

We miss out on AMAZING when we prejudge the package in which it comes.

That thought struck me just as I was signing off my favorite social network the other day, so I published this as my status.  It is easy to see how true this is in the music world.  We looked at the audition videos of Paul Potts and of Susan Boyle.  We were completely stunned when they could actually sing, but there was that extra "something" that made chills go down our spines as we felt the emotion with which they sang. How much of that was a pang of guilt because we thought, "Oh, Seriously??" until the magic voice came flowing out of their mouths?
OK, I know my friends who are "serious" musicians don't really think much of these two singers because there are lots of "better" (i.e. more trained) singers on the planet.  I have to say that these two are my heroes.  I do like their voices, but even more, I appreciate their stories.  (My favorite line from Paul's BGT audition video is when Simon says to him, "You work at Car Phone Warehouse and you can do that?")  They share their gifts honestly with the rest of us on the planet.

There is an idea on the planet that the best voices come in the prettiest (most slender with pop-star looks) packages.  I think we miss out on a lot of great singers because we have the package idea wrong.  Would Joan Sutherland be a great star if she were up and coming today? Yet, there is another idea that there are working singers performing today only because they are pretty.  Just read the YouTube comments on Annette Dasch's interpretation of Haydn's Nun Beut Die Fleur das Frische GrĂ¼n, or on anything posted with Anna Netrebko singing in it.  You will get the idea.

I haven't interviewed any of the mentioned singers for this bit of commentary, but of one thing I'm relatively certain: If the music weren't calling them, they wouldn't be performing today. Following the music is one of the most difficult things a singer can do.  It is difficult for all of the reasons mentioned above; there is always someone prettier and someone more talented in the audition line.  What do these singers bring to the table that are lacking in those who are not so well known?

What other AMAZING things do we miss just because they don't look like what we thought they would?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bright Blumen and other things

I just visited the blog of my friend Martha from Vienna.  I saw her photos labeled "bright blumen."  They are so beautiful that I wish I had taken them myself.  You can see her photos at  It also reminds me that I have been wanting to take pictures for the last couple of weeks myself.  The most wonderful thing about photos is the beauty in the memories.  Here are a few more from my "neighborhood" in Vienna.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Glad to be home

As much as I miss Vienna, the coffee, the ease of public transit, and my new friends, there is no place like home.  I finally made it back to Tarrant County, Texas.  My new full time gig starts in just under a month.  When I left, I was so ready for a change, and it is something I got.  I am grateful for all the events and opportunities from this past year, and still, I expect that there is more to come.  Not just travel or vacation, but more ADVENTURE.  Getting to know another culture so similar, yet so different from my own has been life changing.  One thing I noticed with regularity is the willingness of most Europeans to just accept things because they have always been that way.  If a person is old enough to remember history from the cold war to WWII, the phrase, "It's not possible," easily rolls off their tongues (for the most part).  The young people working for a great, international company called Starbucks appear to be the generation that have some "can-do" spirit about them.
Home is a good place to be.  I have been hugged, welcomed, asked to "call the boss and come back to work with us," and have been put on the path that is right for now.  Vienna, I miss you!  Berlin, I will come visit!  Fort Worth, here I am!  We have a lot to catch up on!