So…, I might be adventuring next month… We shall see…(!!!)
So…, I might be adventuring next month… We shall see…(!!!)
*Or one, anyway…
So, my mom and I were bringing home a woman from the workshop we had attended/catered in the yoga community, which had taken place last week and this past weekend.
And by “home”, I mean that we were bringing her back tot he hostel where she was staying, which was nearby.
I had heard of this hostel years ago, but learned little of it since first hearing about it – I had merely been glad back then that there was a hostel in Houston, and had left it at that.
So, when she offered for us to come inside and see her “humble abode”, as she called it, we gladly agreed wanting to learn more about the hostel.
While inside, we overheard a conversation about someone wanting to go to Rice University, and also that she was planning to walk the approximate 45 minutes each way.
My mom, of course, offered this nice-looking woman/girl who was clearly from somewhere in Europe, a ride to Rice in our car.
I helped by sharing that the girl was welcome to walk or take the bus home, and we could just drop her off and let her look around on her own, if she wanted, or that we even could show her around some ourselves.
At which point my mom added that we really could take her just about anywhere she liked, even if it wasn’t Rice – we were willing to help out.
After another handful of verbal exchanges, the girl says that, ‘Actually, I will accept your offer: I will take the ride to Rice.’
I get her name and tell her mine, and let her know that we’ll meet back downstairs in the entryway in just a little while, after we finish looking around.
Her name sounds almost French, and so we consider that as we finish looking around with the person who had brought us in in the first place – perhaps I will have someone with whom to reach out with French…
As we all leave together, my mom, this new girl, and I, we learn that she is German, and not of French-speaking origins.
But I still got to use a bit of German with her, which was nice (Germans around my generation’s age are notorious for being spectacular at English.).
As we arrive at Rice, it is decided that she would love to have us show her around campus.
My mom attended Rice, and so shared about various memories and events from the school, as we took the girl around to some of our favorite spots, and surprised her with the magic hidden amongst the older Rice campus buildings (they are serious cool).
(Aka science had us feeling silly, delighted, and also nerdy as we laughed over and over again at these spots.)
Eventually, she says that she would like to attend the concert with us later, that w head invited her to join us to attend.
We told her it was either a strong quartet or quintet.
When we arrive for the concert, which is to take place in an art museum on the UofH campus, we do a quick drive around that campus and are all just a bit underwhelmed after having just run around Rice campus, with all of its green and trees and live oaks overhead and gorgeous old buildings…
Finally in the art museum, we discover that we were incorrect about the string quartet or quintet.
The string quartet or quintet had played at the same performance as this group the very first time my mom saw/heard them both perform.
Since then, she struggles to keep their names straight from on another.
This group tends to be involved in slightly whacky performances and events, my mom shared as we sat in our front-row seats.
Sure enough, the concert turns out to be a bit of book readings, followed by six performance pieces, the focus and purpose being fluxus music, music from the genre of John Cage and his buddies who took music composition to a whole new dimension on many levels.
If you’ve ever heard John Cage’s piece “4’33″” performed – I suppose that’s the correct word, anyway – you can easily guess the kind of oddities and uniqueness found throughout the concert…. (View a performance of it here, along with a brief introduction on it.)
The pieces were great in their nuts-ness, and I thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
I also enjoyed that we had proffered a string quartet or quintet, and had then delivered John Cage and Fluxus…
One of the greatest pieces of the evening was the violin solo piece by George Maciunas.
Check out the written piece here, what goes on the music stand, when the violinist performs.
Did you check it out???
If not, I’ll offer it again, because you need to read it before moving onward here: Solo for Violin by George Maciunas.
Now, isn’t that nuts?!
What’s more nuts is that a guy actually performed it.
I was very stressy about it at first, then calmed down a bit, and eventually got a point of hilarity at it all – it is only a piece of wood, and we put a lot of importance into the piece of wood, and this is practically irreverent, but that this piece of wood is not actually anything to do with God…, and it was somehow hilarious… I could hardly contain my laughter by the time he started drilling holes.
Plus, he guy did a great job of acting with it all and really having fun with the whole piece – and it made it all that much better and well worth his efforts.
I share here a few photos from the performance, as well as what was slid and tossed at / handed to me near the end of said violin solo piece.
The fact that the lady had done a reading from her soon-to-be-released book (March, I believe) on Fluxus was really helpful, both in understanding and appreciating the pieces, as well as being mentally prepared for them all.
It was fabulous.
These were the pieces:
Afterward, I offered for us to go have leftovers from the amazing food my mom and I had made for the event the previous several days, and the German girl once again accepted our offer, though we made it clear yet again that she was 100% welcome to decline, if she so wanted.
We had a little picnic in my living room, and it was a lovely, hot soup (including the dessert: hot apple soup) dinner that we all enjoyed greatly.
Finally, my mom took the girl back to the hostel, and then headed home herself, while I started rushing to get myself to bed ASAP.
Unfortunately, I got to bed around 23:30, and had to be up around 6:30 at the latest the next morning… so, I was exhausted Monday… I even cried a little at the start of the gym time after work, I was just so tired and my emotions were out of whack from exhaustion.
(Fortunately, the girl with whom I was talking at the time totally got it… also, I had voluntarily asked her for a hug when I’d first arrived, and that was great [even if it did set off my crying spell].)
Then, the German girl/lady walked over to my place for dinner again Monday night, and my mom joined us a bit later, after she finished a meeting downtown.
We went to the Waterwall, to show one of my favorite spots in town, only to find that it had either closed early or closed temporarily for construction – we really weren’t and still aren’t sure which… super bummer… anyway…
Now, the German girl/lady has headed off to Georgia to visit her family from her days of au-pèreing, and life is back to usual for my mom and me.
But I have a new friend in Germany (who also wants me to come visit sometime) now, which is great, and I have a renewed sense that I am sharing lovingly with the world – she had an amazing and blessed time while visiting Houston, and in ways she never could have anticipated.
And I am grateful that my mom and I were able to offer that to someone, to share our love so distinctly and strongly with someone.
Be sure to check out Natilee Harren’s book on Fluxus in the Spring – I think it would be a valuable read for everyone to learn a bit about the whole process of creation involved in this whole movement of music composition and performance.
Also, find the music ensemble Loop 38 if you’re ever in the Houston area – they are sure to impress, though I couldn’t tell you in what way it will be, aside from music’s being somehow involved!
Today was a wonderful day, filled with wonderful happenings and lovely people.
I’m exhausted and need to sleep now, so I’ll share about it all tomorrow, but I’ll mention that it included procuring a German girl from a hostel – no, we didn’t even know of her existence until we kind of ran into her – and bringing her around town to do fun things with us, none of which would have been in her Houston guidebook, but all of which she seemed thoroughly to enjoy.
We had a blast, too, my mom and I.
That violin, however… I’m not too sure it had a good time… that was rough…
“Do you happen to have your camera with you?…”
“Actually, I do… I was just saying I’m about to go get it out of the car, because I didn’t mean to leave it out there, with the heat.”
God sent the camera with me, though I’d brought it on accident, and God delivered a wonderful photo opportunity to me.
They were extremely grateful, I had loads of fun taking the pictures – turns out I really do like photographing events, as I’d always suspected (they just need to be interesting and fun events, is all).
And then… the photo turned out great already, and, with a little touching up, they now look spec-tac-ular(!).
And that is objectively so, not merely my opinion – fact-based statement, that is and was… the photos are amazing. 😛
So, I am truly beginning to feel like a genuine and good photographer, worth people’s hiring and even paying loads of money to me to produce photos for them… I’m not the best, but that’s just a yet. 😉
For now, however, I can feel and see objectively improvement in my photography as a whole and in specific areas every photo shoot.
And it feels amazing.
Thank you, God, for the steps forward on this beautiful path I now explore.
Okay, last night was the whole full lunar eclipse slash full moon slash blood moon slash (I forget what it’s called at present, where the moon is at its closest to Earth……ha! Got it!) perigee, making it a Super Blood Moon.
(Man, that’s a lot in one breath!)
As Daniel Day Lewis’s film declared, there will be blood – and there was…. well, it was red, anyway…. for a few minutes…
In the spirit of sharing and celebration, and in delighting in my own joy found in last night’s activities in nature, I share with you these photos that I semi-spontaneously took – I just happened to have my camera with me, and so decided to give it a go…
… and it worked really well!
I started in a parking lot, and then rushed home to pull out the tripod for the choicest and most surprising parts.
(FYI they moon and the camera moved a bit, so the moon isn’t in the same spot in each photo, but I think you can manage. 😉 )
We went to an opera showcase tonight, and, as we commented on the style of box seats in the hall (or was it when I was listening to the host say something about Mozart?), I recalled the night I first saw “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”).
You see, it was a regular night in my life in Vienna, and I thought it would be nice to go see a show – that was kind of an incredibly easy thing to do while living there. I arrived to the theatre and purchased my ticket for the show using the fabulous discount that Austria offers to young adults and students, and headed toward the coat check. At this point, I recognized a friend of mine ahead of me, and called out his name. Apparently, we had both spontaneously decided to come to the show that night, and, with my having bought my ticket directly after he’d bought his, our seats were together. It was my first – and possibly only, actually – time in a box seat. The show was truly spectacular, and it was wonderful having someone to share the experience with me. When I later relayed the tale to my mom, we were utterly tickled by how crazy the whole thing was, especially with how snobby it could come across. ‘Oh, yes. I had spontaneously decided to attend an opera one night, ran into a friend upon arrival, and we enjoyed the wonderful show together from our box seats.’ 😛
I’m sitting on the bathroom floor, eating bagel-shaped bread (that is not a bagel), stretching, occasionally gulping water, and writing this. My two roommates are asleep already, it is 6:05am, and I have spent the past many hours dancing.
The ballroom sort of closed around 4:30, but I was having such a great time dancing, I didn’t want the music and dancing to stop. Plus, I hadn’t gotten to dance with one friend who was still there, and I had been wanting to dance with him since I’d first seen him at the dance event earlier tonight. So the DJ – he also happens to be the event director – said that just the friend and I would be dancing, and everyone else would watch (seeing as the ballroom was closing and all), and announced us as though we were a couple in a competition from earlier tonight.
For whatever reason, everyone, as they gathered around in the floor, ended up encircling us, and stretching out their legs so that they formed a very large star around us on the floor. As we danced, they clapped along and cheered us on. When we finished, everyone agreed that another couple needed to dance, now that we had started this whole contest idea. The DJ, glorious in his will to be ever-spontaneous in order to suit the current situation, allowed and rolled with the idea.
So, another couple danced, and we cheered them on. And we went through all five couples sitting on the floor, plus the one girl who had been recording, over to the side. One of the other girls and I traded off dancing with her, since the DJ declared that he had to remain DJing. (Cough-cough, though really I enjoyed getting to lead in his place.)
We didn’t do an all-skate at the end (where all the couple dance one song together). Most everyone was too tired. But that’s okay. We had an amazing Superstar dance contest in the middle of a human star, and that’s more than fine with me. 😛
Right as I was heading through the rising action into the climax of a film I was watching before bed this evening, my best friend and I ended up texting one another over some e-mails and SNL (Saturday Night Live) sketches from earlier in the day, and, since we were already interacting, she invited me to do yoga with her. Naturally, I knew she meant from some online video, and not something that required me to leave my living room or put on real clothes, because, as you might already know (click here to know how you might already know), we are living in different countries (England and Japan). Since my life is totally normal and all, I had no hesitation in pausing the movie at 10pm to do a 30-minute yoga set for winter blues with my bestie.
We put up FaceTime on my laptop and her phone, so we could see one another and be together, and then we synchronized the youtube video on each of our computers (I then muted mine, having us both listening to her computer, but each watching on our own screens). It took us a bit to get started, as we went back and forth about whether or not to wear bras and pants (American pants, as we already had the British ones), but I finally gave up on trying to find either, and settled myself in front of the heater to keep my legs warm (since I wasn’t sitting underneath a super cozy blanket anymore). The only requirement was doing downward dog facing one another, so we wouldn’t get a face full of bums on our screens…. except that we still discussed and tested doing downward dog from facing away from one another (I put on a scarf as a sort of half-loincloth in the back), so as to establish that we could, in fact, look at one another during the pose, delighting in one another’s faces (despite the legs and bums also noticeably visible).
And so we did a wonderful little yoga set from this great girl in Austin, Texas (who happens to have a strong resemblance to a friend of ours from high school). We chuckled. I made all sorts of silly noises (thanks to my It is freakin’ cold here, how on Earth do people function like at all in this country in wintertime lack of outdoorsiness (and thereby exercise) these past two-ish months). And we never really flashed one another. (Though downward dog is quite funny when your own shirt is loose, and shivs down (up?) over your eyes as your put your head downward.) And it was great. Totally simple. Totally normal (for us, anyway, though I’m not sure we’ve ever done this together before). Totally great.
I love best friends. I love being naturally silly. I love yoga. I love my best friend. I love warm weather.
And I love that we’re still on FaceTime with one another, though I’m busy writing and she’s busy eating lunch and reading, and we aren’t even talking to one another right now – we’re just hanging out together, and I love it.
P.S. In case you, too, want to beat the winter blues (I really do love the music kind, though), here’s the video we used. Take special care to note her various comments throughout the set, as well as the dog that shows up in the final couple seconds of the video.