Friday, August 31, 2007

Well done Spotties!

Two of my former choristers, Karin and Steve Spottiswoode, received merit awards from the Roodepoort Central Rotary Club for their environmentalist work, during April. I'm sorry I didn't pick it up before, but congratulations to both of you! That really is super news, and you deserve it.
Thanks to my parents for finding the article in a local newspaper, and passing this information on to me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

bits and pieces

I'm sitting at my window looking out on the Hudson river. The water is sparkling, lit up by the lights of a thousand New Jersey apartment buildings. The George Washington bridge looks like a string of Christmas lights hung out between two states, and a rather unromantic Fairways grocery store LCD sign informs me that the New York water taxi now goes to Yonkers. How is it possible I'm here? I shouldn't be able to afford it. Not least because I am able to blog from this exact spot because I got a new computer today! My old was is three years old, and still functioning (more as a desktop than a laptop, now), but I was in need of something a little more portable and robust, with wifi. And today it arrived, all shiny and new, in an enourmous box that contained more packaging than computer.
Can you tell I'm excited?
I also attended a very intensive teacher training orientation event at the university today. Have I blogged that I'm teaching this semester yet? In case I haven't, you now know. I'm TAing, along with my good friends Ben and Ivan, for our department's new ethnomusicologist, J. Martin Daughtry. The course is on voice, and I am preparing a lecture on the castrati in choral music, and will be running two tutorial sections. I'm meeting with the professor and my fellow TAs tomorrow to discuss it all.
I am also, following a successful audition earlier this evening, now a member of yet another choir in New York city. This one is 60+ voices, so will make a nice contrast to the chamber choir that I am already singing with.
All in all, a good day!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

You know you're in New York when....

A group of close-harmony singers get onto the train with you, and begin performing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"!
Brief update: I got my missing bag back. It was delivered to my apartment building last night, and I walked right past it on my way out this morning. Luckily, all is safe, and I am very glad to have it back.
My room mate arrived back safely yesterday, and we visited the biggest green grocer I have ever seen! We also spent some time wondering around our new neighbourhood, which is full of lush greenery. The parks are beautiful this time of year, despite (or perhaps because of) the sweltering heat.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Getting back into it

Wow, has it really been that long? Still, it was a good holiday, and now I'm back in NY, enjoying the last (hot) days of summer, and getting back into the swing of things.

First bit of news: my bag didn't arrive with me on the flight yesterday, and is still, according to the airport company, nowhere to be found. At least I have clothes in New York, though, so it isn't the end of the world.
Second bit of news: I'm in an incredible apartment on Riverside drive, up in Harlem, until the beginning of October. The views of the Hudson, with New Jersey on the other side are spectacular!

So, after a morning dealing with the standard new semester paperwork, including trying to organise a social security number (quite a process!), and a lovely, relaxed lunch with my friend Rachel, I spent some time reading in Washington Square (or rather, I spent time watching the squirrels, when I should have been reading), and am now heading uptown to sing Verdi's Requiem. When that is done, I think I'll be about ready to fall into bed. I slept for 14 hours last night!