Truth Universally Acknowledged

August 1, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — mboesl @ 5:54 pm

Yes, it has been a long hiatus. For those of you who have been faithfully checking up, I’m sorry. I ought to have posted more and kept the interest of the masses up. For those who gave up after a couple weeks: well done; you caught on.

Here are some statistics from the summer:

Flight distance from New Haven to Coos Bay Oregon: 2588 miles

Miles I travelled to get home (New Haven, London, Paris, Liege, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Munich, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Paris, Pheonix, San Diego, Sacramento, Salem, Boise, Seattle, Coos Bay): 16,664 miles


There is a strange phenomenon that occurs coming home. Having spent the last 10 weeks traveling around Europe with The Spizzwinks and Yale Glee Club and the American West Coast with Worldview Academy, my feeling at coming home was equivalent to an object in a moving vehicle that abruptly stops. It flies through the window. Now, lest you come to my house expecting shards of glass to litter the pavement, let me explain my little metaphor.

When life is moving by quickly, and you spend less than 4 days in a single country, sitting at home with no obligations, no schedule to observe and no immediate problems to solve is both wonderfully relaxing and unbelievably tiresome. It is impossible to fully return to home life, when I feel like I have changed so much, yet the dynamics of my family are very similar to what they were before, the local landscape is unchanged and the defunct lumber town I call my home has few additions beyond a couple store closings and openings. It’s a good challenge.

In an attempt to indemnify myself for not maintaining the blog, I will periodically post journal entries from my travels through the world in order to give you an idea of what I have been up to the last few months.

We’ll start in London:

Friday May, 13

Friday began with a really incredible breakfast in St. Ermin’s hotel. The hotel is a 4 star establishment that is letting us stay for free in exchange for our performances at a couple events they are doing over the next week. It’s a remarkable deal. The spread included lox and other meats, numerous jams and a good deal of really wonderful breads, muffins, croissants as well as excellent tea. We then hit the town, walking by Buckingham palace, (5 minutes from our hotel) a beautiful building rising above a sea of tourists eager to catch a glimpse of the guards with thei bright red jackets, tall black beaver hats and M-16s, the iconic picture of London. In front of Buckingham palace stands a massive monument to Queen Victoria, around which hundreds of motorcycles, cabs and private cars circle every hour. Boyd was very excited, as he was in a time of severe Royalanglophilia, exacerbated by a recent viewing of the royal wedding. It was all we could do to stop him from practicing his royal wave and continue with our walk through St. James’ Park, one of London’s many massive green spaces. In a certain part, there are hundreds of lawn chairs that can be rented by the hour. As we passed through the park we saw the Horse Guards Parade then began walking up the Thames, passing “Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre,” a reconstruction of the original Globe that holds performances that aim to be as accurate to the original mode as possible. There we bought 5 pound “groundling” tickets for As You Like It, playing several nights later. Immediately nearby is the Tate Modern Gallery, an old warehouse cum modern art museum. There are many fascinating works that span all kinds of emotions and methods, in most of which I failed to see any meaning. After spending an hour or so there, we returned to the hotel to prepare for our concert at the Lady Elenor Hollas school.  I had left my tux on a train the day before, and it had yet to be found, but I was still very hopeful. However, in the meantime, we decided to co-opt the Whiff “Turkey” position, where one member of the group wears an outlandish costume of some kind to the concert. This suggestion was very welcome to me and I sang my first concert in Europe in a white, fluffy bathrobe, white socks and a towel tied over my head in the most bathhouse fashion possible.

After arriving at the school, we had a brief masterclass where we ran Grace Kelly with the choir at the school. The choir director’s husband had arranged a part for the girls that fit in with what we were doing. It was really great. We then ate dinner at the school. Nothing particularly exciting to be found here, except for the pudding that finished off our meal. The concert was a smashing success, featuring many of the groups from the school as well as our own ninety minute set. So, for about two and a half hours, plus a reception, I was performing, selling cds and answering audience questions in a bathrobe and towel. The only difficulty was making sure the towel didn’t fall off my head. I am pretty sure I sang my solo with my head cocked at a 60° angle to prevent the white towel from rapidly vacating its position around my head. The crowd was overall rather confused, but the people who had the nerve to ask the source of the bathrobe were generally very sympathetic to my plight and understanding of the lengths to which I had been forced to go. A couple skeptically asked the question, “You do go to Yale, then?” Implying that surely a Yale student would be incapable to doing anything as stupid as forgetting his tux on a train. I assured them that, in fact, I did, and that even that was no guarantee on a life free from forgetfulness. My bathrobe attired self became, in the immortal words of Margaret Ashe, “The elephant in the room.” A compliment, I suppose, better than “Idiot in the Room.” For my part, I think we could achieve much more freedom in our performances if we were all attired in matching white bathrobes. But that’s just my opinion.


1 Comment »

  1. i felt similar coming back from germany. not the exact same, necessarily, but i can understand what it feels like to come home to a side of the world that has not changed but you have. it is hard, not going to lie. i pray God will give you the strength and patience needed to adjust!

    Comment by Gretchen Gantenbein — August 1, 2011 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

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