I got some great family time in this weekend. My parents flew in from Wisconsin and got to see me sing in concert for the first time in ten years! Did I mention I am really excited about this? Well, I am! The concert went swimmingly, and I really enjoyed it. Howells’ Requiem is an incredible piece of music that the composer wrote for his son, who died at age nine of polio. Howells refused to let the requiem be published and performed until almost 50 years after it was written, because it was too painful for him to hear. I feel honored to have performed it.
I will say goodbye to the choir at our next rehearsal on Thursday, which will be my last time with them. That will be one of my harder "goodbye" times, as this choir has kept me sane and happy through many a trial and tribulation.
I have tickets now: I leave the country in just over two weeks via LAX! I have not been doing any significant Japanese practice. The only exception is my weekly Skype sessions with my iTalki tutor, Yuri. We talk for an hour each week in 100% Japanese, and it is great practice and great fun.
This week has been one of tweaks. All the major pieces are in place, and now my team and I are tweaking the website, newsletter and accounts, and I am advertising on Google. Several major NP bloggers have agreed to review my book, which I am very excited about. I am getting more excited about the launch, and hopefully I can get lots of other people excited as well. I want this book to change lives!
Yes, yes, I know. The picture is of Mentos candy, not mementos. But Mentos make me happy, and mementos make me happy, and they sound almost the same, so voila, my brain says they're the same thing. And so it goes.
I have a number of special items that I keep around my home, and some specifically on a little altar in my office that I meditate in front of. Many of these items are too heavy or too fragile to take traveling with me. I will leave the actual items with friends and family, but I have now taken pictures of all of them with my iPhone, so that they can come with me on the road! The lightest, smallest and most special will be coming with me, of course.
My favorite memento for this trip: A Japanese friend gave me two bandanas a number of years ago that say “Study Hard!” and “Always Victory!” These are most definitely coming with me to Japan.