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I didn't even go outside today, not even to take trash out, and I don't regret it one bit. This month has been hell on wheels work-wise, and yesterday was busy and long, so I took today as a much-needed down day: sleeping in late, reading, lazing about, watching a movie, doing a few small things about the house, and bird-watching from the couch. I even took a late nap, and now I just have Bron to look forward to in about an hour, and then it's back to bed for me. Hopefully that will go some way toward recharging for the week ahead, which is quite busy.

Yesterday started super early, as Anders' alarm went off at 4:45 and he was gone by 5:15 for a skiing in Italy with friends and co-workers. I did manage to get back to sleep but was up again fairly early and rousting Karin out of bed as well, as we had to both get ready and eat before leaving at noon to pick up my colleague Anette on our way to the 1 pm general rehearsal for the gospel fest concert yesterday evening.

Last year, we were 6 people from work, and the event was very professionally staged at Malmö Live's convention center with guest directors and pop/gospel artists. We were 1000 singers and more than filled the venue. THIS year, it felt like they scaled back considerably, for reasons unknown. It was held at St. Pauli Church, a beautiful late 19-century hexagonal church in the center of Malmö with a newly refurbished and very shiny (originally copper, now bright silver aluminum) spired exterior.

We were "only" 700 choristers this time, and the audience was quite small, only 200 people, but we nearly filled the church to bursting. Two balconies were empty, as we weren't allowed to use them for some reason, but every other bench/pew/seat was filled and 3 parts of the choir were standing throughout. Karin participated with me this year, after having learned all the songs last year, and it was fun to have her by my side. The only thing was that the whole event felt much more like a church service and less like a concert event, like last year's.

Don't get me wrong, that's fine...but it was quite a contrast for the few of us participating who aren't particularly religious, and surprising to me, in a basically secular country like Sweden. I basically only participated this year BECAUSE Karin wanted to, and it's not like the name of the event doesn't clearly spell out what you are getting into. But it will be the last time for me...gospel and church music, while beautiful in many ways, just isn't part of my life anymore. And it was hard not to roll my eyes at some of the behavior going on by other participants.

I have many issues with organized religion, even though it was a huge part of a short period in my life, and it's best if I just stay away in the future. If only the beliefs professed by the faithful were always carried out in real life, I would probably feel differently, but too often that isn't the case, and for those who DO believe and who DO live by a creed of love and kindness, I hope they continue to fight against the hypocritical behavior and insularity that mars so much of religion in the world today. It didn't help that a large part of the evening news just days before had been centered on the abuse and murders perpetrated by members of a Christian sect in northern Sweden a dozen years ago.

ANYWAY, I didn't set out to write about my beliefs and feelings when it comes to religion or faith, far from it. The other part of the evening that wasn't so fun was that they had shortened the practice time to only half a day. Which meant much less time for all of these people who had learned the music and songs separately, to practice them together. Added to that, of the only 7 songs we had learned, they removed a favorite song at the last minute, AND tried to teach us FOUR new songs in the same space of time, with varying degrees of success, without really going through any song all the way. Very stressful and confusing, and it contributed to my overall feeling of nope, not doing this again.

All that said, Karin did a fantastic job, for someone who has little singing experience and NO choir experience. She learned all the songs by ear, despite minimal time spent listening to them in the car with me (she's not IN the car with me much anymore), and was engaged and attentive throughout the event. And it was fun to have Anette with us, too, who is one of my favorite people from work and a lovely person.

To add to the long day, I drove both my mother- and sister-in law home afterward (we gave tickets to Anders' mom for Christmas) and then spent another half hour taking Karin to meet up with friends in another part of Malmö, and then hit every single possible red light on my way out of town. I didn't get home until well after 11 pm and I feel like I could use another lazy day like today to make up for it!
mood: tired
music: Katie Melua—A Happy Place


Your day yesterday sounded great until "doing a few small things about the house" - that's a fail for a slug day, I'm afraid. Liz must try harder :-)

Saturday sounded super busy and I'd need a whole week to recover from that. I can understand your feeling less enthusiastic about that choir gig given the changes they made and the slightly chaotic practice session. At least you had a good bonding time with Karin, so that was something positive.

All my slug days are like that, unless I'm sick. It was only watering plants, emptying the dishwasher, and 1 load of laundry. I can stop anytime.

From Megsie

Your Sunday sounds lovely. My weekend was a work weekend...I hate that. The worst part is that I didn't get anything all the way done, so I went to work feeling unprepared. It was all fine, but ugh. I really dislike how my job is NEVER done to the point where something is not being left out or late. It gets disheartening.

ANYWAY...sorry your choir was a bummer. I am glad you and Karin had some quality time together though! How special! We have big news in our house...some of my kids' choir are singing at the SUPERBOWL! Nicholas is the only one from this house because they were very particular...they wanted only 7th graders, but there was only one 7th grade boy, so they had to leech from 6th grade (at least 12 years old) and 8th grade to even out the genders. Nicholas happens to be an 8th grader with the correct anatomy. My girls are disappointed, especially his TWIN, but they get that it isn't HIS fault. But still, CRAZY!


Re: From Megsie

That is so cool about Nicholas getting to sing at the Superbowl! Do you all get free tickets?? HAHA! :D

Re: From Megsie

No. We can't even go to watch HIM. He is whisked onto and off of the field. Only there for the song, then back on the bus to get home!


Sorry to hear the concert was not to your liking -but not at all surprised as I think you said much the same last year. But- great that Karin wanted to join you! Love that opportunity! Love, Lizardmom

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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