Friday, October 9, 2009

My Keyboard is fixed!!

Yaaaaaaaaaayyyy!! I am so excited and thankful! I don't know if I shared on my blog that after I lugged my enormous 88 key yamaha keyboard all the way to Germany, I bought the wrong adaptor and blew a fuse...or something...I wasn't quite sure what I had done but I knew it wasn't good and it didn't work. Or, as they say was kaput. 

Definitely Kaput. But luckily one of my flatmates, Daniel, is an electronic genius and he looked at it and somehow it is all better now. I am so so happy! Now I just need to find a table of some sort to set it on so that I can play it. Right now it is sitting on the floor. 

It is crazy that more than a week has gone by since my last post. So much has happened and it is hard to know how to even begin. Instead of La-la-adventures maybe this blog should be called, "adventures in learning how to take care of myself". I don't know why, but taking care of myself is a bit of a challenge these days. It was much easier for me to focus on taking care of someone else and just sort of allow myself to slide by, rather than really pay attention to myself and what I need. I think most people deal with the opposite problem and are more narcissistic. But my problem is just as acute--and actually seems more pathetic. At least if I were a narcissist I could have a good career! Right? Instead, it is extremely difficult for me to settle down and actually pay attention to what I want and need and would be good for me. Asking myself, and answering myself are one part--actually then following through with that is a whole 'nother deal. Lots of times I simply don't know what it is I need. Or have no clue where to start. So I have been asking God to help me with that and I have made slow steps in the right direction this week. I have been going to yoga every day and eating really healthy--and I feel great. My body hasn't felt so good in a really long time. I have also been working on being really disciplined with practicing my singing--and doing the really tedious work of translating and memorizing. That is my least favorite part. My first and only audition at this point is on October 27. So friends, please pray for me about that date. Please pray that I can be fully prepared and feeling confident. And pray that it would be a definite option. It is for a fest contract (1-3 year contract) in Luneburg. Luneburg is a tiny town north of Berlin. It's supposed to be gorgeous there. And I am sure it is, but the thought of leaving Berlin doesn't sound entirely appealing to me. So, if it were my only option I would gladly take any job. But I am hoping that I have more than one option. 
I chatted with my friend Greg today who is singing at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and he said he would try to get me an audition there. He had tried last fall too and was unable to, but you never know. It could happen. And if it did, that would be really exciting. I also spoke with Thomas, a coach that works at the Komische Oper here in Berlin who I know because he used to work at Juilliard, and I will have a coaching with him next week sometime. I don't know how much sway he has in that company, but maybe if it goes well he could get me an audition there. I also have another audition for an agent in Dusseldorf but that isn't until January. So those are some things that need some prayers! 

Last night I went to my second "sofa gruppe" (small group) where we are reading Der Unbekannter Jesus (The Jesus I Never Knew) by Phillip Yancey. Auf Deutsch! My head kind of hurts after 3 hours of discussion like that. It is hard to pay attention when there is so much I don't know. But I hope that it will get easier. 

In the last two days I have eaten two WHOLE pumpkins. Really. I made pumpkin soup and that was pretty much all I ate for two days straight. It was so yummy. In the states, one of my favorite things to make was Butternut Squash soup, but it was always an all day process. Here, pumpkin soup is a big fall and winter thing and it is so much easier to make than Butternut Squash because you don't have to peel it, you just throw the rhine in the soup. So once it is cut up you just boil it for about 30 minutes and it is done. I love that! It is so easy. And soooo good! Yay for pumpkins. I will miss Halloween this year. 

As I am writing this, I am looking out my big, beautiful windows--by the way, I don't think I mentioned that I got to stay in the apartment that I was first living in! The girl who was supposed to come and take my place decided not to come. That was really nice. Made things really easy. And I get to keep my nice view of big sky and tons of beautiful trees. Actually there is a little hill so it makes the trees go in a curve and sometimes, especially when it is grey and cloudy, I imagine myself looking out at a huge mountain range. How lucky am I to get a mountain range outside my window in Berlin?! Today the sky is almost cloudless and bright blue. One of those days that remind me of the early days of college. Some of the trees are starting to change here. There are two little bushes that I ride by on my way to yoga that are starting to look like burning bushes. They make me happy when I ride past every morning. 

On Wednesday, I had my first night in at home since I have been in Berlin. Seriously. I am not joking. That is how much I have been going out and meeting with people, going to the opera, exploring the city. It is too easy to feel sorry for myself if I sit at home. But it was good for me to spend the evening alone too, with my pumpkin soup. I went to bed really early. I hadn't realized how tired I was. 

A couple funny things that have happened that I don't think I have shared roommate Tanja is super environmentally aware. She makes sure that our trash is separated into compost, glass, paper, plastic and other. And she will find out if it is not properly adhered to! Very German. She even washes their clothes with tree sap. Yes, that's right. Tree sap. I wish I could say that I were more into that, but I am not. I went to the store and got myself some laundry detergent. At least it had a picture of a baby on the front, so I thought it couldn't be that bad. But I wasn't too eager to show Tanja that I had gotten it. However, in the course of the last week I accidentally left it on the shelf and she said, "You are using laundry detergent right?"
 "Yeah, I am," I confessed. 
"Because you know THAT (pointing to my "so-called" detergent) is not detergent, that is fabric softener."

Awww, geez. I have been washing my clothes for a whole month, actually NOT washing my clothes for a whole month, with fabric softener.

The other thing is that I never really realized that I think, in general, in America, we don't tend to lock the bathroom door. I would just assume that if the bathroom door were closed, that someone is probably in there, so I would knock. Not so here. After several embarrassing charades, one must definitely lock the door.  

The other really fun thing, is that European toilets are different. They don't have enough water in them for one. Probably yet another environmentally active thing. And they are shaped differently. They basically have a shelf on the inside. A completely flat, straight across shelf before things go down the flusher. 
This is a problem when you poop. Not enough water + a freakin shelf inside the toilet= you have to use the toilet brush every time you poop if you don't want everyone in the apartment to find out that you just pooped. I had to find this out the hard way. Someone had to TELL me to use the toilet brush. 

Oh the joys of being a foreigner. 
But tonight I will make up for it by going to see Salome at the Staatsoper. And hopefully get some practicing in this afternoon. 


  1. Oh my stars and garters...I could write a post on this post here in your comments. You are so funny. Your perspective is so wonderful, even through all the struggles. You see burning bushes and it makes you happy.
    I loved reading that your keyboard was kaput. (I mean, I didn't love that is was kaput, but reading that word for some reason made me laugh.)
    You know, you are making a huge transition, and an unwanted one, in many ways, at that. It will take time to figure out all these things. Good grief...I'm twelve years into this life of mine and I still don't know what the #*!! (that word starts with an "h") I'm doing. For real. That was meant to be encouraging, but I'm afraid it didn't come across that way. You are not alone! As you have been reminded when you poop and are told to use the toilet scrubber. :)
    The laundry detergent thing really made me laugh. Sorry. Even if you have been wearing dirty clothes, they've smelled really nice and been super soft, no?
    Enjoy your pumpkin soup! And buy butternut squash in the freezer section-it's much easier to make into soup than your all day deal!!
    I'll be praying for your auditions. Love, me

  2. Love the fabric softener bit. And spend a couple more nights at home, why don't ya? Sounds quite lovely, really. Don't be afraid of it.

  3. Oh, lady lala. You are wonderful and crazy. Pumpkins and poop. teehee.