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Happy Times, Good Luck, Pics of Egypt

You know what? Life is made up of small moments. If we let each moment live on its own merits, we don’t stay stuck in any emotion too long. I am glad for that, because my day started grumpy like yesterday… and it ended just fine, indeed.

One of my computer students at Foster Center and I got talking about the music Brian and I sing. This man has a really encyclopedic memory for these songs. I hope he gets to meet Brian sometime. He had me singing “If I had a Talking Picture of You,” “You’re the Cream in my Coffee,” “Button up Your Overcoat” and a host of others. I had such fun talking to him that I never left my classroom for the half hour I usually take as a break. It was delightful.

Then after work I went to Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. I don’t go there often, as Lansing has lots of entertainment for affordable prices and Wharton is really expensive. However, they had the show “Moving Out” with direction and choreography by Twyla Tharp and music by Billy Joel. It’s an interesting thing, there is not a single spoken word in the whole show. Just music and dance, and nothing else. Since I’m the perfect age to adore Billy Joel and his music, I loved this show. I knew most of the words to all but two of the songs. I was surprised one particular song was not included, it would have fit the story line perfectly in my mind, but they didn’t ask me!

And there was dance, dance, dance! I liked it a lot. I think I prefer some other choreographers, but not much more (OK, Bob Fosse is so incredible that nobody else comes close, but Tharp is excellent). And I got to get a good cry in there, too, right in the middle of the show. I think it is good now and then to just plain cry. So I did, and I think it was good for me.

Best of all: I got the ticket for free. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but when I went to the ticket counter (just as the show was starting, as my computer lab at Foster ended merely an hour before the show) and asked for a single ticket, she said she had a free one I could have. I was thrilled! It was in the very last row, but I prefer the balcony for dancing shows, you can see the locations/blocking of the dancers better that way. So I got a ticket perhaps within a few rows of the one I would have purchased, but I got it for free. I don’t know who paid for it, but I really hope they can feel the good karma that gift entailed. What a lucky girl I am.

Because I didn’t have to buy a ticket, I was able to buy a “souvenir” of the show on the way out. I bought the book by Ms. Tharp, entitled “The Creative Habit, Learn it and use it for life.” I love books by dancers, about dancers, and about the creative process. We’ll see how I like this one, but it’s right up my alley so I’m bound to get something from it. And the woman is super-prolific, so she does know what she is talking about. It’s winter and I’ve been wishing I had something I really wanted to read (I just don’t get into fiction). Now I’ve got it. Something to read when I am sitting on the heat vent, sipping tea.

(Whew! I just had a computer “hiccup” and I thought I lost the above text. I’m usually very careful to save as I work, when I am working on my own hard drive. Saving through the internet is so slow, that I don’t do it as often. My browser literally disappeared from the task bar for a while, but somehow miraculously it re-appeared, still holding my text. I guess today I’m a lucky girl in more than one way.)

And I was extra-lucky to go to Africa. More pictures again today (you folks keep writing me, saying you like the pictures… so far, I believe you). These are all from Egypt… one from Alexandria, one Giza, the rest Cairo.

1) Fruit stand in Alexandria. That is our driver/guide, Nabil, buying us tangerines and guavas. This was just down the street from another picture I showed you about a week ago, on the same street as the fish restaurant. 2) Homes (probably condo apartments) on the way home to Cairo from Giza (pyramids)… notice that each unit can paint the outside of their property any color, even if it doesn’t match the neighbors… this could not happen in my city, where conformity is mandated in places like this. Even the windows on each unit are different styles!

3) Cairo skyline, Christmas morning 2004. You can see it is the second-largest city in the world! Taken from the 19th floor balcony of our Marriott room, where we ate the tangerines and guavas (and pastries) purchased in Alexandria the day before, for breakfast. Pure luxury! 4)One room of the oldest section of Cairo Marriott, a palace built for Napoleon’s Josephine, preserved perfectly. 5) Bread delivery man on bicycle in Cairo’s market called Khan al Khalili, balancing bread on his head. We saw this a lot, but they move so fast this is the only picture I got of it.

6) Christian Chapel in Cairo. We were invited to light a candle, and we did. It seemed very holy there (it is a very old place, lots of marble, tiny, on the spot where they believe Mary once stayed) so I lit a candle and gave thanks for my trip. (That plaque on the wall appears to be written in Greek, not Arabic.) 7) Sunset on the Nile, December 26, 2004. This is from an overlook on the street. We then descended down some stairs about a block from here, and took a sailboat out on the river for about an hour. We watched the sun set from the boat, and the full moon came out. It was wonderful (and I don’t typically like boats).

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