Brief Bout of Self-Promotion

Don’t worry, it’ll pass.

You all probably know this: I’m a singer. And I’m in a lovely group in Munich with a choir, orchestra and Big Band, English Speaking Music Ensembles e.V. (ESME). We do two big concerts a year and our winter concert is quickly approaching.

Do you need a big blast of Christmas cheer, right in the face? Wanna support live music made by your fellow expats? Just looking for a way to spend a Sunday evening in Munich? There are still tickets left through München Ticket, but they’re going fast!

Snowflakes and Sleigh Bells
19:00 on Sunday, December 1
Festsaal – Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz

Snowflakes and Sleigh Bells
Snowflakes and Sleigh Bells

Downtown Rochester by Night

More than a few years ago, we lived in Downtown Rochester, Michigan. Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Sarah and I got the chance to catch up with a friend from Regensburg who moved near there last year.

It was nice to see him and his son and his sister-in-law again. But despite the chance to visit and the festive holiday decorations on the buildings, it was a sad visit for us, since his wife died this past autumn.

We miss her.

Choir Concert in Munich, December 4, 2011

I’ve never put this on the blog before, but I thought it might be fun to give it a try. Once.

I’m in a choir and we’re having a Christmas concert in Munich. It’s a pretty good group with a variety of musical abilities and an eclectic program of songs. There’s also an orchestra and Big Band doing instrumental pieces.

Wanna come?

If you’re going to be in Munich that day and have a couple of hours to kill, check out the details at the TT Orchestra & Singers website. The venue is somewhat small (fewer than 300 seats), so buying tickets ahead of time is probably a good idea. Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me directly through the ‘Contact’ link above.

And with that, we close out Christmas here in Bavaria

OK, today’s the Feast of the Epiphany. Start concentrating on Spring.

Here’s a little something to pass the time if you’re not in Bavaria and have to work today (and your employer doesn’t block your access to youtube).

I heard about this version of this song from the Coverville podcast. Check it out if you like exploring cover versions of popular music.

Five Munich Christmas Markets and an upcoming trip to Turkey

Englischer Garten near Chinesicher Turm

Englischer Garten near Chinesicher Turm

Yesterday we headed down to the Munich Airport in Freising to scope out some deals for Christmas travel. We were thinking about some place exotic, and at least kind of warm (though a fantastic deal on a trip to Iceland would not have been out of the question), wanting to add another country to our list. Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and even Thailand were in the mix. In the end, we opted for a 10-night stay in the Turkish Riviera region at an all-inclusive resort. Since we’re going toward the end of December, we’re not expecting weather particularly well-suited for pool lounging; rather we’re hoping for more opportunities to check out the area. The travel agent assured us that hotel-arranged and public transport would meet our needs for getting out and around. Feedback in advance about the area will be much appreciated!

After that, we met up with the Zurikas and caught a bus to the Chinesischer Turm in the Englischer Garten in Munich. We hit the Christmas Market there and snagged some adorable mugs as memorabilia. We didn’t have to renege on the deposit at all — they’ll happily sell you clean, unused mugs for the same price as the deposit on the one you just drained.

After that, we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying four, yes four! additional Christmas markets:

  • The artsy one in Schwabing
  • The one at Sendlinger Tor, where I purchased some really nifty “glittens” — fingertipless gloves with a removable mitten-like hood over the otherwise exposed fingertips (these will be perfect for winter photography and bike-lock fumbling)
  • Pink Christmas
  • The renfesty one (near Odeonsplatz), which was suprisingly crowded, considering the lack of soup-in-a-bread-bowl until we got ourselves some Feuerzangenbowle (see the goblets with rum-soaked sugar cubes on the side? Yeah, they light that stuff on FIRE!)

Aw, bummer, we’d just missed him!

my darling clementines, some more anti-spam measures, and another H.P. book

It’s that time of year again. The rooves are snowy, the wind is blustery, and the apartment is filled with the scent of a freshly-peeled kilo of clementines. Clementines are about due for mid-November, but the snow and stuff was kind of surprise. Wonder what kind of a winter we’re in for. I’ve pretty much already resolved not to ride my bike to work for the remainder of the year given my 3-week post-op recovery period and our upcoming vacation.

On another note, I’d been trying to limit the amount of blogspam we deal with (Sarah’s efforts combined with mine spare you, our dear reader, from having to see all the ads about high-risk loans or getting out of debt in Colorado). The spam filter published by Joe Tan as a WordPress plugin just wasn’t getting the job done. I’ve installed “Bad Behavior” by Michael Hampton in parallel and so far it’s doing a bang-up job. I recommend other WordPress users try it.

Oh, and this morning I finished Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens*, which I’d started while recovering in the hospital. Meh. I hope the next one is better.