Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekly Interlude 19: Sometimes It's Sunny in Vienna

Lillian has returned!
Glitter is the bane of mothers, fathers, babysitters, and teachers all over the world. It sticks to everything, embeds in carpets and cracks, taunts you with a flash out the corner of your eye, only to disappear. It travels faster than the common cold, beginning on a craft table and metastasizing to the kitchen counter, the sofa, your hair. The only medicine I've discovered so far (and it's not even really a solution) is a huge, unprompted hug from Lillian, who is so cute and so happy to see me again that I have no choice but to let go of my Glitter Grief.

One of my many glitter tattoos
Lillian and her family came back from the States this week, so I'm back to the grind. But the two afternoon/evenings I've already spent with her couldn't have been more fun. She was so happy the whole time, probably because of her glitter tattoo kit. She also has a new book/CD combo by Sandra Boynton called Frog Trouble, and it's entirely country music! Fun fact about me: I love country music. So Lillian might be more obsessed with painting butterflies on my arm, but I'm busy singing along with Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, and Darius Rucker. No big deal. Add in a couple spur-of-the-moment wrestle-hugs from Lillian, and we have a great evening.
Some foliage at the Belvedere

Tomorrow, my intensive voice lessons with Jennifer officially begin, and needless to say I'm massively excited. I have so many questions to ask her, so many observations I want to share from my four weeks without her. Plus, there's yet more music to learn. I'm still currently suffering from I-Want-to-Sing-Everything-Perfectly-Right-Now Syndrome, which is a hindrance more than a help, so hopefully she can help me sort out my thoughts and find a good path. I may have gone a little wild at the library a few weeks ago and checked out a bazillion scores and anthologies, so at least I have a lot to choose from!

The Upper Belvedere
Lillian's return to Vienna also marked the return of some of my winter clothes. Since I originally thought I'd be here until August, I only packed summer clothing; this quickly became a problem in September. My mom mailed some clothes to Jennifer in the States, who then brought them back on Wednesday, and may I just say, there is nothing like wearing your own clothes -- and having a choice about what to wear. I'd borrowed some jeans and sweaters from Jennifer in the meantime, but I was getting REALLY sick of wearing the same four shirts since June. Now I have choices! Long-sleeved, short-sleeved; the world is my oyster.

In the Museums Quartier
Now that I have long-sleeved shirts, however, the weather's warmed up a bit. Eliza and I sat in the Museums Quartier courtyard yesterday and read for a while. So many families and dog-walkers strolled by; I was people-watching in between chapters. Earlier in the week, she and I went to the Belvedere (two Baroque palaces built as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy), where we split a chocolate croissant and an apricot croissant and then wandered around the gardens. Two perfect and sunny days spent in lovely company, laughing and relaxing. Doesn't get much better than that.
Schwarzenbergplatz, in the 1st district

These two days were in sharp contrast to my job at Musical Munchkins, which is utterly exhausting. My three classes on Fridays are immensely challenging and drain me completely. After one of the classes in particular, I just want to curl up and sleep. But no. I must keep the energy high. Must. Push. Through.
A very cool plant growing across a wall

At least I'm learning new songs and stories to teach Lillian (who always appreciates them). Last night, when she was having a little trouble falling asleep due to the jet lag, I told her the stories of The Three Little Kittens, The Three Little Bears, and The Little Engine That Could. All off the top of my head! She really enjoyed them, too, so I think I should give myself more credit than I'm inclined to; just because I can't get a vibe (positive or negative) from most of the parents doesn't automatically mean that I'm a bad teacher. Not that I'm the greatest teacher ever, either. I mean, let's face it: sometimes I feel like I'm barely keeping afloat week-to-week. But that is okay. It's to be expected. I keep telling myself to chill out. My brain knows it, but my shoulders haven't quite caught on yet.
The Upper Belvedere

I have the entire day off today. Eliza's birthday is tomorrow, but I'm working all day, so we're celebrating today! I sense cake in my near future. And I may or may not have convinced her to watch Newsies with me... (But really, who can resist newsboys who sing and dance and speak with amusing New York accents?) All in all, an excellent weekend.

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