Here is what happened this year:
Seng Lim left, and came back, and left again, and came back again. Nga left, and came back, and left again, and came back again. I don't think they're done.Seng Lim's off again in March, and Nga for the summer.
Nga discovered that she's smart. Our fault I suppose--parents tell their daughters one of two things: that they are pretty or that they are smart. Then the pretty ones think they aren't smart, and the smart ones think they aren't pretty. We told Nga she was pretty; I guess we assumed she knew she was smart. It's best anyway, to learn yourself that you can be both.
Seng Lim discovered that he's good-looking. Apparently women check him out when his hair is short. (He was the smart one. Sigh.)
We continue to make an oddly comfortable living despite our somewhat unconventional job situations. The count in April for our income taxes was seven W2 forms and nine 1099s. Are there really households that have only two? We seem to be managing to pay cash for Nora's freshman and sophomore years at the city college and have enough left to help her with housing. I am completely enamored with writing $1,400 checks instead of $14,000 checks, like we did for Seng. Hooray for community college.
My life changed (it was due-- if you care to check, you will see me reinventing myself about every 5 years). With yet another hours/pay cut from Light Opera Works (where I have made less each year that I have worked there-I think they are doing it wrong) they took themselves down to a level where I now work fewer hours and make a lower hourly wage there than at any of my other numerous gigs. So they got relegated to their relative status and I went looking for new things to do. I found clients for my mythical "Juno Consulting" business, discovered Chicago's sustainability community, and decided to go for my Master Gardener certification. Classes start in January 2011. I've made dozens of new friends who have re-energized me and reminded me that there's life beyond not-for-profit arts.
Yes, I invited people I met on line into my home. And lived to tell the tale.
Contemporary Art Workshop closed, leaving a huge gap in my life.
Wei signed on to sing in the Chicago Symphony for one more 3-year stint, possibly his last. In two years, it will be 40 since he first sang with the Symphony back in high school. Even though it wasn't a continual gig, that has to be some kind of record. He continues to be a star in Oak Park, with his church, concert series and children's choir. This last gig has major benefits, such as getting to meet Rick Bayless at an Oak Park cocktail party (and to eat the guacamole and ceviche that he made).
The recession cost Wei the regular monthly choir gig directing at Anshe Emet, but he continues to direct the High Holidays choir. Our dear friend and Wei's mentor Richard Proulx died, which I suppose in some sense moves Wei into line for the Chicago choral scene's eminence grise. How strange.
And so it goes.
Blessed be in 2011.