Thoughts on life and music.

Sretna Nova Godina, Dobrodošli 2013

Seeing as the Mayan Apocalypse failed to manifest itself in any of the predicted forms... we made it to 2013. I didn't need my bunker, water supply or extensive arsenal, which was very disappointing. In terms of the universe changing though... I've started running regularly, so that in and of itself is somewhat apocalyptic. And I'm kind of enjoying it.

The only problem is my 3-year-old gym shoes that kind of aren't doing it for my pathetically whiny knees. I'm an inward pronator or something, so I'll have to look for shoes. Now that we're all getting our fitness on, Chihiro, Rebecca, Kent and I are going to enter the Plitvice Marathon! Me and Chihiro are sticking to the half marathon, and the crazies are doing Insanity workout and training for a full marathon. They're literally insane. I'm doing Insanity a few days a week and running outside because I value my sanity and my terrible joints.

The New Year's concert was a ton of fun, we played more Strauss waltzes than I care to remember. We also sang through the Finale of William Tell, it was pretty hilarious.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZQZOXM5JCI]

During intermission (we had 50 minutes!) the orchestra's brass quintet played with a band in the foyer of the theater. There was also free wine and appetizers, which is always a bonus! I had the pleasure of meeting Cat, one of Ivana's friends working at a non-profit here in Sarajevo. She was from Texas, and hasn't been home in over a year. I felt a lot better about my life, I couldn't fathom 10 months and she showed up not knowing when she'd get to go back. I have it made. Cat (and her friend whose name I can't remember) were awesome, it was nice to meet someone else from America and ask if she has a cheddar cheese hook-up (no luck).

After the concert, the orchestra convened to the bar/cafe below the theater to celebrate 2013. We each paid a few bucks to cater in some awesome food, and a decent amount of it was gluten-free so I raided the cheese plate/chicken and rice dish. I learned how to dance like an Albanian, and that Europeans kiss everyone on the cheeks at midnight instead of making out with their significant other. Morena was an excellent dance teacher, basically you just act like a belly dancer and tone down the hips. Or drink a lot of wine and lose your sense of balance, either way you'll look the part. It was a good start to the year.

We have a lot of time off, so we're doing a "staycation" and exploring as much of Sarajevo as possible. This has mostly involved me and Chihiro making great plans and then realizing that A) it's cold outside and B) pajamas are great. Sometime this week we're going to this one museum we see from the train all the time. Unfortunately the large national museum closed about a week after we arrived. The government apparently ran out of money to fund it, so they put up a big "closed" sign and barred the doors. I sometimes wonder what's happening to all the artifacts and artwork inside... There's a couple other museums we've passed and have yet to enter, so between those and the free ice skating offered at Zetra we'll have plenty to do. I've also become a crocheter, and I'm a little obsessed with making things while I watch full seasons of TV shows. I'm caught up on Modern Family, Big Bang Theory and Family Guy and have made 5 scarves and one leg warmer so far. It's so wonderful, I can watch TV and not feel bad about sitting on my couch because I'm ACCOMPLISHING something... I've also taken to the watercolors/pens that Kent is always using, I'm pretty proud of what I made:

We also have a litter of PUPPIES to take care of!! "Mattia's dog," aka Narina, is one of the street dogs in Otes that Mattia leaves food out for. She had a litter of puppies and is taking care of them in an abandoned storefront of the complex next door, and they are pretty much the cutest things alive. There's three girls, two black and one with German Shepherd-type brown markings.

They get bigger and bolder every day. I'm in charge of feeding them while Mattia is in Italy, I might have to continue my daily visits even when I'm not bringing the food because they make me so freaking happy!

I made a pretty amazing Mexican salad the other day for lunch, we're dying for tacos/enchiladas/nachos/things covered in Fiesta blend cheese. Mercator has some fajita spice packets to flavor ground beef, so we made do without corn tortillas and I improvised a salad.

There's avocado buried in there, I made a habit of grabbing them at Mercator whenever they have a few to stash away. They have avocados most of the time, but it usually takes at least 5 days for them to ripen. And the price fluctuates a lot, I've seen 5KM/Kg up to 10KM/Kg. This is a serious issue for an avocado addict, stop judging me.

This week the girls and Kent will be playing Alma, but I get to keep enjoying freedom until next Monday. Mattia's valve strings broke so he had to go to Italy and get them fixed. It's amazing how something so simple becomes a huge problem when no one in the country sells horn string. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about mine. I should probably practice less to conserve and just travel more... ;)

We're playing Dvorak 9 on the next concert, so I'm excited to play the 3rd/4th horn licks. This is the second time I'll be playing it with a professional orchestra, last time I got to play assistant for Professor Bernatis. It's always fun to play a new part on a familiar piece!

A Whole New World

Peca i Vuk and Sretan Božić