Work love

Tonight, I did photography for a corporate Christmas party…, and I loved it.

It was more like play for me than work.

And I got paid for doing it.

I think this was my first time being paid for doing photography (aside from the small handful of photos that went to the college campus newspaper back when I got involved with it while in college).

Thinking about that now, I recall a recent talk from a local musician, and something she said about her process to becoming an effective full-time musician.

“Did I pay all my bills… doing this thing I love? Okay… maybe I can do it again next month…” -Kam Franklin

Quicker and quicker, I slither and slide toward that goal, and tonight was a perfect example of a great scoot forward.

Post-a-day 2018

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What(-anabe)?!

And, yet again, 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe has shown up in my life.

I was visiting a friend in her classroom today at lunchtime, and some kids needed instruction and practice on how to do quick-changes for a theatre contest this weekend.  (We won’t discuss how they’re only just learning this skill, despite their not being new to theatre and despite their being enrolled in that particular contest [of many contests] over the weekend.)  I happen to have a rather strong background in the workings of theatre, and so I took over helping them, while my friend worked with other kids on tying knots (No idea, but maybe it connects with lighting in theatre?)

Anyway, as we were about to do a practice run-through of the quick-change I’d set up, using clothing items I’d found around the classroom, one of the kids with me asked, – and somewhat snarkily (though not rudely) I might add – ‘Are there even any shows that actually need this?’ I responded with an immediate affirmative, to which he queried, ‘Like what??’
Again, immediately, and out of seemingly nowhere in my brain stores, I said, “‘The King and I’… Yes.., Yes! ‘The King and I’!”
Somewhat chastened, though still quite happy, he said an, ‘O-kay…’
I had surprised even myself with my immediate response, and wasn’t entirely sure of how I’d found the video of that memory so quickly.  “There’s actually this really great video,” I said, “of a somewhat famous quick-change from it.  I’ll pull it up in just a minute, so you can watch it.  It’s actually really cool.”

And so, I pulled up the video and played it, admiring the quick-change and the whole concept of Broadway and fabulous singing voices and all that jazz, and explaining to the students what was happening and why.  Then, we resumed our practicing.  The video, however, continued on to another video, as YouTube’s auto-play feature does.  It was the same quick-change again, causing us to look briefly at it once more, but with the scenes before and after it included.  I happened to glance up after the quick change finished, and what did I see?

You guessed it: The leading lady dancing in the arms of 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe.

And I was blown away doubly.  Because, despite the fact that I was remembering this quick-change video from “The King and I” at (I think) the Tony Awards, I had not made the connection from having read 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe’s Internet info pages the other night that his being the lead in “The King and I” several years ago was the same production.  I’d even told my mom just this weekend about his having been in it, and we talked about it briefly.

But the two pieces of information were stored in such separate cabinets and files that they hadn’t linked up yet in my head.  Until, of course, I saw the video with him in it, and it all clicked.  And then I was actually jumping up and down, declaring that it was ‘渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe, it’s 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe!’

Boy, I’d really like to interview him.

I wonder how he’ll pop up next into my life.  I can hardly wait to find out. 😀

Post-a-day 2018

Africa

I’ve started singing lately in an unknown language that sounds African… it reminds me of Swahili at times, or Zulu or Sotho or Xhosa…, but also totally not those… no matter what, though, it always sounds African to me….

And it has me wonder if it is linked at all to that deep-seated longing I have to live with the lions in Africa (or something to that effect)… perhaps, as I was considering tonight, I was in Africa in a previous (or another) life, and perhaps that was when my mom was Indian, and we somehow met through that proximity, and agreed to have this life together…

Wouldn’t that be neat…?

P.S. If you aren’t aware, look up an audio pronunciation of the language name Xhosa… I first heard it spoken aloud in the audiobook of Nelson Mandela’s A Long Walk to Freedom, and I loved it almost instantly.

Post-a-day 2018

Life

The Universe gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

Period.

Today, I needed a reminder of the magic that abounds, and I was granted that reminder thoroughly and beautifully.

I was even declared an interpreter by someone who didn’t even know that languages are a prominent part of my life, nor that I know more than one language.

And, on my way home this evening, just to let myself free in having fun, I sang a free-flowing song in a language I don’t entirely understand (yet, anyway)…. and it, too, was magical.

Yes, today has been magical, magic-filled from the Universe.

Thank you

Post-a-day 2018

Ear-worm* mashups

Does anyone else ever end up with a mashup between “Last Christmas” by Wham! and “Lucky” by Britney Spears in your head?  It happens to me almost every time I get into Christmas music (yes, this means that I’m already getting into the Christmas music mood).  As with any song, “Last Christmas” will get stuck in my head, kind of repeating casually as I go about my business, even thinking about other things.  Whatever I do, though, the song plays like background music, just inside my head.  Eventually, I become aware of the fact that I’ve been going back and forth between “Last Christmas” and “Lucky”, and then totally crack up inside at how utterly different the two songs’ topics, years, genres, and artists are.

If you think I’m just nuts here, or even if you just are interested, give it a try.  Here’s how the words work out the switch:

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart,
and the very next day, you gave it away.

This year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special…..
(dumm dumm dumm)
She’s so lucky.  She’s a star.
But she crie-crie-cries with her lonely heart,
thinking, “If there’s nothing missing in my life,
then [why do these tears come at night?”]
the very next day, you gave it away.
This year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special….

And then the whole thing repeats.  Notice that the brackets part is how that line would continue in the song.  I left it, because, occasionally, my head finishes out that line, too.  Usually, though, it has a sort of fading overlap, like how what DJs do or the original settings in iTunes did, having the Wham! song come in at that exact spot as the new main line.

Fun, huh?  (Well, I like it, anyway, so that works for me.)  🙂

*We don’t really have a single word for this in English, so I used a translation of the German term Ohrwurm, the word used to reference a song that gets stuck in one’s ear/head.

Post-a-day 2018

Stromae (and my solo gelato dance party)

Last night, waiting for my dinner to finish baking, I was dancing in the kitchen while snacking on some pre-dinner gelato (because when else is gelato so satisfying?), jamming out to a Stromae (pronounced like “maestro” split in half, the second half said first) song, when I suddenly recalled how spectacular his music really is.  I haven’t listened to almost any music lately, and so haven’t listened to any of his either.  When I taught high school French, I listened to and discussed his music all the time with students.  They had to find a new francophone song every month that they liked, and each student and each class went in all different directions.  But, without fail, a single Stromae song would come up once in a class, and then his entire repertoire would show up the following months from different students in that class.  They regularly requested his music, whenever we played music during work time in class.

We listened to a lot of French language music, and the kids knew I loved lots of it.  But they also knew that I liked Stromae for more than just his voice, and, at some point, they decided that I really loved him and his music.  I remember one specific incident of Stromae coming up in casual chat during class, and a student said, “Oh, we know, Miss —: you would totally date Stromae if you had the chance.”  I’m almost certain that I verbally agreed immediately, and we all laughed.    It was great.  (So many things those kids never knew about me and my life, but they always remembered anything they ever heard about dating or marriage.)  😛

If you don’t know Stromae’s music, check it out.  You can start with this English interview he did, which is great.  He still sings in French, and even dances a bit (he’s a spectacular dancer, by the way, as can be seen in his music videos), but the discussion is all in English.  I find the themes of his music to be powerful, though regularly dangerous and tough, even scary – but, to me, they are real and honest.  What’s more, they make for a great dance party any day, because the musicality is tops (especially so if you don’t understand the lyrics).  When I first heard of him, it was from a German kid when I’d first arrived in France for school.  He mentioned that the only French song Germans knew was this “Alors, on danse” song that I wasn’t too sure I’d ever even heard, but definitely had heard of.  That was the only line I understood when I first listened to Stromae’s music (“And so, we dance”), but it didn’t matter – I still loved it all.  Now, I just love it even more, because I understand the words.

(“Dodo” is one that gets stuck in my head most often these days.  It’s a prime example of what I mean by a tough song – a difficult theme combined with beautiful music.  I recommend you watch the video first, and then look up the lyrics.)

Post-a-day 2018