Long, Strange Journey

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hello from the most beautiful place I have been to in a long time. Riva del Garda is a resort town at the north end of a pristine lake in the Italian Alps and we're the resident orchestra for a music festival they have every year. Unfortunately, we are also the orchestra for the conducting masterclass which means 11 hour rehearsal days and string player revolts, but this program isn't known for its organization to begin with. So far the best part has been the abundance of wine and the beach hang after the conducting sessions conclude in the evening, as well as gelato shops on every street and a beauty that itsn't found anywhere in the United States. We play a concert tonight under a crazy Russian conductor named Karabtchevsky, who has already warned us that our rehearsals have very little to do with the way he will conduct us in performance. What a comforting thought...

As eye opening as this whole experience has been, living out of a suitcase is beginning to get old, and I will definitely be ready to stroll the mundane Naperville riverwalk when I return home. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer activities and that postcards are finding their way stateside!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So I gave up on waiting for a convienent time to post pictures and am instead updating sans shots of 6' 5" Texas drag queens. The Wives will be up shortly.

San Francisco is wild. What probably makes it stranger is the amount of public transportation I ride on a daily basis, commuting on CalTrain and riding the Muni Buses and BART whenever necessary. In the process, I've met what is likely most of San Francisco's homeless population, but here even the homeless people make great conversationalists. Take that Wolf Man!

I work out in a city called Menlo Park. This place is a lot like Evanston gone California resort, lots of old people mingled with southwestern decor and redwood trees. With Stanford a few miles down the road, it's very easy to understand why so many of my friends migrated here for school. Imagine being able to walk OUTSIDE to class without parka and accompanying sherpa hat. Pansies.

For all of the hype, SF really does live up to its reputation. I was walking home from the train a few days ago, straight uphill of course, the sun crested over Twin Peaks and hit the city skyline. I was speechless. More on this when my boss isn't handing me stacks of music to photocopy.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pacific Coast Time

<--------Snoqualmie Falls

Howdy from North Bend, Washington, former home of the television show "Twin Peaks" and current home of the Runde family. I've stopped by to visit my friend, Katie for a few days before heading down to SF and bask in the views and the caffeine. The flight in was delayed due a line of thunderstorms from Moline to Cincinnati (!), which necessitated a full-out sprint in DFW airport from one terminal to the other with trombone in tow. I made it by a full 3 minutes. I'll be flying into San Jose tomorrow evening and attempting to navigate my way to an apartment in the city where I'll be staying for the next two weeks. Suggestions of things to do/avoid in San Francisco from those of you who've been there are appreciated!

Katie diligently studying her Irish (Gaelic) language workbook for about the fifth hour today.

Mount Si from the Runde house.

Apologies for the spastic nature of this layout. I'll be messing with it over the next few days. Right now, Kcatie and Ckatie have some cooking and some Risk-playing to do!