Classical concerts

19 02 2011

Tobias plays the cello in the Harvestehuder Orchestra.  A few weeks ago, they had a Beethoven and Shostakovich concert in the Laeiszhalle.  That was great.  This is him practicing the day of the concert – doesn’t he look great?

This evening, Tobias is playing a Brahms piece with a choir in the Michel.  (The common name for St. Michaelis, the most famous church here in Hamburg.)  I’m excited!

My Gram and my dad often go to classical music concerts together.  My dad has always liked classical music.  When I was younger, it wasn’t my favorite type of music, but I didn’t mind it every once in a while.  And though it’s still not my favorite, I enjoy listening to it a lot more.  That’s probably because Tobias has the radio on to a classical station almost all the time.  And the most impressive thing is that he can identify the composer and the piece about 98% of the time!  For some reason, I find that so sexy.  Lol.

There was one symphony we heard on a road trip we took together in the States a few years back, and he couldn’t identify it for sure.  But it ended up being one of his guesses, and that became “our song”.  Schubert’s 9th symphony, “The Great”.

Do you and your significant other have a song?


Friday Date Night

7 11 2010

This past Friday at lunchtime, I came up with the idea to do something special with T.  I told him I’d like to treat him to sushi for dinner, to take him out on a date.  And he was so excited about it that he suggested we also check and see if there was anything interesting at the opera.  (We went to a few operas together in Paris, and it’s something we like to do every once in a while.)  Turns out, there was a ballet called Parzival playing that evening, choreographed by John Neumeier, who is well-known for his very modern choreography style.

It was so great to have something nice to look forward to during the day!  So I went to my afternoon and evening classes and then met him at the opera.

We wanted to have our sushi before the ballet, but we didn’t have enough time and there weren’t enough seats in the restaurant – so we just grabbed a coffee and a little pastry and then saw the ballet.  It was really nice!  The music was beautiful, and the dancing was very fun to watch.  We didn’t know the story behind it, so it was interesting to make up our own versions of what was happening.

We went back to the sushi restaurant after the ballet was over and enjoyed some sushi together, picking colored plates off of the kaiten.  We had a beer afterward,  and I finally decided to try the Hamburg beer cocktail “Alsterwasser” — Alster water — a combination of beer and sprite, named after the big lake here in Hamburg.

We talked a lot about this potential new apartment we looked at on Thursday.  Turns out, we were chosen from all the applicants and can have the apartment if we want it.  The realtor called us on Friday and told us this news, and said we could have the weekend to think about it, since he wouldn’t do anything until Monday anyway.

Long story short, and lots of hesitation and thinking and rethinking later (and actually getting to meet one of our potential neighbors), we’ve decided to take it.  As long as a few little details are cleared up, so we won’t know for sure until tomorrow.

I’m excited to share more about it once it’s really for certain!

Weekend plans

11 09 2010

It will be so nice once the internet company comes and sets up our real internet!  Hopefully then it won’t be so stupid.

The internet connection we have right now would have been top-notch about 10 years ago.  It has NO chance in 2010.  It even took about 5 minutes for this page to load fully for me to write this post.  It is painfully slow, which is just not compatible with most sites on the internet these days.

The internet we have now is from an internet stick that Tobias ordered to tide us over until our internet gets set up.  It’s a little USB stick with a SIM card inside.  It was working fine until the other day, when the connection suddenly became extremely slow.  T called the company to complain, and they said it was because we had already used 1GB of data, and that the connection speed was automatically decreased until the 23rd of the month, at which point it would be restored to its full speed.  The crazy thing was, the guy on the phone said it is restored to a “normal” internet connection via modem.  Modem?  Seriously? How is anything about a modem normal these days?

But after that, the internet was faster again and was so for a day or two.  Last night, however, the speed dropped back down again while I was skyping with my best friend Peter, and then I received a text message via the SIM card repeating the message that the speed would be reduced until the 23rd.  Sigh.  There go my plans of catching up on The Big Bang Theory this weekend!  The videos just can’t load.  Well, even though the connection is slow, at least it’s better than having no connection at all!  I really shouldn’t complain.  🙂  But I just had to share because of the guy’s comment about the modem…I still laugh about that.

Other plans

Luckily, I have other plans that don’t include internet use this weekend.  Tobias has gone on a weekend trip with a friend and some other guys to do some sailing.  This evening I will go out with a friend, her roommate and some other people.  That should be fun, because Simone is super-nice and I really like her.

Other goals for this weekend include

  • going to the post office
  • getting groceries for tomorrow (nothing is open on Sundays here)
  • cleaning up the apartment a bit
  • finding a good day planner, as my schedule is getting more complicated
  • going to the little flower market in my neighborhood’s main street.  I’d like to get some chrysanthemums in honor of fall! (the ones pictured are pictures I snapped from my cell phone, outside of an office building…so pretty!)
  • reading more of my library book, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (for which I admit the cover art helped my decision to borrow this book from the library)
  • trying to make a cinnamon apple cake via a recipe my mom sent me
  • listening to The Mamas & The Papas

Happy weekend to all of you!


Rain rain, go away.

10 06 2010

(This is the view from my window, into my building’s courtyard.)

It’s been a very rainy week in Paris, and though the forecast is sometimes subject to change, it looks like there may be rain for another week.

I stayed in most of the day.  But then, in the afternoon, there was a break in the rain – the sun came out, and the sky was even a little bit blue behind the big, whispy clouds.  So I decided to take advantage of an opportunity to walk around without getting soaked.  I went for a walk.

I listened to my iPod, and took Boulevard Haussmann and kept walking straight, all the way to Strasbourg Saint-Denis.  About 3 kilometers, walking in the sunshine.  It was nice (except for walking with a little limp because of some horrible blisters I got last weekend).  When I got to Strasbourg Saint-Denis, I hopped in the metro and took it back home, reading my book on the way.


Even though a rainy day is perfect for staying inside and getting things done, I don’t know…I just don’t feel very motivated to do anything except relax.  This morning, however, I was very productive and cleaned things up a little bit around the apartment.

I have some more ideas on things to tell you guys, to write about, but so far they’re still ideas.  Here’s hoping for more motivation tomorrow, and I leave you with a song I to which was recently introduced by Peter, via Kate’s musical taste.  I really enjoy it, and just realized I was humming it.  So I took that as a sign that I should pass it along.

Happy Thursday!



30 04 2010

On April 27th, Tobias and I attended MIKA’s concert in Paris at the huge Palais Omnisport at Bercy.

It was THE most exciting concert I’ve ever been to!  Mika sure knows how to put on a good show!  Wow!  I took a few videos (okay, 27 of them, *cough cough*) and wanted to share them here for you just to give you an idea of how AWESOME the concert was.

If you only watch one of them, watch the last one – the grand finale.  It was incredible.  Enormous colorful balloons bouncing amongst the crowd, gold confetti and rainbow streamers rained down on us.  People were jumping, clapping, singing along.  Here it is:

And you should watch the intro.  That boy sure does know how to make an entrance!  (I have a video of my own of Mika’s entry on stage, but this one by Mobilboy is longer and much clearer!)

If you enjoy Mika, even just a little bit, I do not care what measures you have to go to, but go to one of his concerts, seriously! You will not regret it.  No matter the cost, no matter the travel.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience with an incredibly eccentric but talented artist.

Unfortunately, my camera has pretty bad sound quality.  Try to imagine it with music that is 1,000 times clearer.  And I should probably also mention that if you get motion sickness or have epilepsy, it’s probably not a good idea to watch them.  You’ve been forewarned.  😉

The rest of my videos of the concert can be seen here, on my youtube page.  They’re only short clips of most of the songs, because I didn’t want to spend my time videotaping the whole thing.  I wanted to dance!  As Mika said, “Ce soir, on va s’amuser.” – Tonight, we’re gonna have fun! – and we sure did!


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