Monday, January 13, 2014

Cyrillic Emails

25 days to go!

Olympic Center in Adler

Every day, usually every morning, I receive any number of emails for the Olympics.  Unfortunately, this is the fastest communication between the US and Russia outside of middle-of-the-night Skyping as there is an awkward 9 hour difference.  I am used to hearing the language but reading the Cyrillic Alphabet is quite a challenge at times.  This email came this morning:

Внимание изменился адрес вашего размещения в Сочи

I was not happy to see this.

Essentially what the email says is that they have made a change to my accommodations due to travel and security reasons.   Originally, I was planning to stay at the Tsar Nicholas II era palace, but that has unfortunately been changed.  It's not all that bad, I will be staying in a new beach-side 5 star resort instead.  Essentially, it an hour closer to my work site than the previous location would be, which means it will also cut two hours of daily driving out of my already extensive 15 hour work day.  I will have lots of pictures after I check-in later this week.

Back in New York City, I went to see Phantom of the Opera.

If you know anything about me, even remotely, you would know my opinion about Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mozart.  And what do they have in common?  I don't like to sing their music!  I'm afraid of Mozart - it is very exposed, but Lloyd Webber just flat out annoys me.  And I especially don't like pipe organ and trap set overtures.  As fate would have it, I have spent a lot of time in New York City over the last five years but I have never seen a musical on Broadway (I saw Avenue Q off Broadway, which was excellent).  I usually go to the Met, because they are the true Olympians of singing.

So, I bought 50% off tickets from the TKTS stand at Times Square to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.  The tickets were originally $150, so at $75 they were still relatively expensive, but the show was a spectacle.

Policeman and horse, keeping us in line at the Phantom of the Opera

The view from my seat before the show begins

Majestic Theater

Majestic Theater
I have only wonderful things to say about the production.  The visual effects were exciting and stunning.  The leads had technical vocal troubles, and at times some very annoying troubles, but I was able to forget about that for awhile and enjoy what is the longest running show on Broadway. Technically, the singers in the cast are miles away from, let's say, the winners of the NOA competition last Saturday.  I have received a Susan Boyle CD, Phantom of the Opera DVD, and the NBC made-for-TV fiasco of The Sound of Music DVD, purely due to my public ridicule of those travesties.  So I have learned my lesson.  I won't speak so harshly of shows anymore.  Instead, I will speak harshly about the things that I like, so that people will give me those things!

Do you know what I really hate?  Chocolate chip cookies that are still gooey in the middle...

Lastly, I got the lens of my camera cleaned today so my pictures and videos should be flawless in the future.  Tomorrow is my penultimate day Stateside.  I plan to go to a Vietnamese restaurant, wash my clothes, and pack for my LONG flight.  More stories will follow soon!

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