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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Night At The Opera

Ten week furlough? What ten week furlough?

Yeah, I'm back and for those of you still reading - thanks for that! I've really been doing nothing much except working, a little socializing, and damn little else of consequence. Certainly nothing worthy of reporting here and not anything picture-worthy. But I've got some stuff to talk about now, and I'd also like to take this moment to introduce a new friend, one Julie Rogue. Her blog is now linked at the right as well! She's a fellow fan of Jake Johannsen, who is one of the funniest stand-up comedians I've ever seen. Jake was featured in my very first blog entry, and Julie found me from Jake's MySpace page and added me to the fan club she runs over there for Jake! Like me, she's another blogging veterinarian, and she's got a very clever journal going over there so I encourage you to read through it when you get a moment.

Well there will be yet another first for me coming up soon. I have booked tickets to go see my first-ever opera, and it will be Puccini's Turandot. I can't wait because it has taken me a very long time to get to the point where I am actually interested in going to the opera. There are several factors contributing here, and I guess it all goes back to that Music History course I had to take to finish out an Arts elective back at my old school, William & Mary.

The teacher was very good, which was key*, as I had no musical background or any real interest in the history of music outside of that which was absolutely necessary to get me a passing grade. But the people and the events behind these compelling dramas, not to mention the stories they told, were really pretty fascinating.

I'm a big fan of the American sitcom, Frasier, as well, and many times throughout that show's seasons Frasier and his brother Niles made it to the opera. You can't help but absorb a little bit of the culture associated with the opera and I found myself hitting Wikipedia over and over again to look up what the hell Frasier and Niles were talking about. Many of these operas sounded very interesting!

So it is that I find myself with tickets to the opera in ten days' time. One of the many things I love about Wellington is having a strong arts scene, and although I've not been inside the St. James Theatre where Turandot will be playing I have visited the cafe there many times (called The Jimmy) and it's really nice.

I'll post back with my account of the whole experience and I'm sure I'll be doing something in town before or after the show as it's on a Saturday night.

Aside from that, I am looking forward to my trip home to visit the States in about six weeks. It has come up fast and I know it will go by too quickly as well. I've had to move one more time but now am on a two-year lease so I don't have to worry about my flat being sold out from under me again. Didn't see that one coming, but then again there are very few apartment complexes over here, like we have in the States. Most flats (what apartments or condos are called over here) are privately-owned and, unless you've got something written into your lease about a guaranteed length of stay, they can decide to sell it and you've most likely got to move. They did give me six weeks which was plenty of time and I'm not complaining but I did find all this out the hard way. I was quite happy in Totara Park, but in the new place I'm still the same distance from my favorite walk up to Cannon Point, plus the new flat is a little bigger for basically the same rent. 'Sall good.

I finished the Improv class and really loved it, and as with the Drama class we finished with a performance. My friends Sarah and Simon came along to see me in the show, however like a dork I mistakenly told them the wrong time so they didn't get to come inside! I'll almost certainly take another class like it again, though, but not the one that just started this week. The next step of the Improv class I just finished began the other night but I decided to skip this term. I'd have missed two or three of the classes due to my trip back home, and there are only seven classes total. I'll miss it because it was a great outlet and there are some really cool people in there, but I'll take the rest of the year off from classes and start them up again in 2008.

My writing class was all right, but I found that as it went along I was not putting the time into my short stories that I needed to have done. As such, I was turning out hastily-written stuff and I wasn't developing my writing skills at all. I also found that the writing guides I have bought on my own seemed to be at least as helpful as what I was being taught in class, minus the chance to read what my peers were writing and having them critique what I wrote. It's all right, though, I did learn that I need to consistently put in a good chunk of time every week and develop a writing routine if I ever want to improve at it. This I can do using books and I can collaborate with others on-line as there are heaps of short story and creative writing outlets out there now, as well as the occasional workshop. I don't think I'll take another weekly class again, though. It's too spread out and only goes on for 8-10 weeks.

Well, that's me! This rather long-winded and rambling update is nowhere near as earth-shattering as a 'first post back after weeks away' type post should be, but it's a start.

So I'm a little rusty!
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*Ha, get it? Key?! I'm writing about music...