Lights…

Last night was the beginning of HSBC’s Celebration of Light, which is not just a celebration with fireworks, but a fireworks competition, the biggest in the world.

The competition consists of four countries, the first time this has happened. Those competing are Italy, Mexico, China, and the Czech Republic. Suspiciously, Canada does not have any entry this year. Each show lasts approximately 25 minutes and is set to music.

After a two hour walk, which consisted of ice cream, therefore defeating the purpose of the walk, Heather and I went up to Orest’s patio to watch the fireworks. They were amazing. The sun had set, but there was still light hovering above the mountains, while the first stars were piercing the sky. There were dozens of sailboats in English Bay, surrounding the fireworks barge, and half a dozen planes were flying around. From Orest’s balcony we could see most of the fireworks, minus the lower ones, but who cares? The big ones are what matter!

As a kid, I lived for the last day of our town’s fair, as it promised fireworks. Sure it was only between 5 and 10 minutes of pyrotechnics, but those were the most magical minutes of the year, only surpassed by those surrounding Christmas. I love fireworks.

Each year 1.4 million people see the fireworks over the four nights of the festival. That’s 500,000 more people than the population of Saskatchewan. How’s that for perspective?

Last night reminded me how beautiful Vancouver is at night. That’s the time I find the city at its best. It’s peaceful, relaxed and it reminds me of home. That’s probably what I like most about it.

Yesterday was also the day when my diploma from the Academy arrived. Unfortunately it’s a little bent because they forgot to put “CERTIFICATE ENCLOSED. DO NOT FOLD,” on the outside. I won’t begin to go into the metaphors it creates, but suffice it to say that there are many.

With the certificate I received my final recital grade. A-. Fine with me. There were really good comments from my teacher that we’d already been over, some nice complimentary ones from my conductor, and then the comments from the female voice teacher at the school who only gets under my skin.

After one concert she told me that I always look angry on stage. I was told that all singers are to look beautiful as they sing, even when showing anger. Whatever. After my recital she told me that one of my shoulders was higher than the other – that I was tilted. She even had me stand acros the room from her at my reception to take a second look. Apparently I also take too long to collect my thoughts in between songs (I know once was when I was trying to think of the words for the next song, and at other times I was thinking “What the hell am I doing up here?”), and I was wrong in picking a white (in other words colorless) knee-length dress for an evening recital. Oh, and I don’t walk on to the stage gracefully. The dress I picked I specifically picked because I wanted it to feel like a less formal recital. I’ve worn huge gowns for recitals, and it feels inappropriate – for me. And walking on stage? Nobody’s ever said anything to me about it before. I really don’t care. As long as I don’t trip before getting to the piano, it’s all good.

Anyways, minus the woman’s comments, it was anti-climactic. I was done with that place the second I sang my last note. This just seals the deal. I also finished all of the theory requirements for the Royal Conservatory of Music, so I will now get my Piano Performance degree from them. Someday I might complete the voice degree, but I need some time away from music. Maybe I’ll try acting…

Tomorrow I work for a couple of hours and then it’s the weekend, which doesn’t mean that much to me as I’m really not working much right now and have more than enough time off. But Saturday night promises more fireworks. I’ll definitely be watching…

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