Three four five month retrospective: Part II

As usual I’ve been very slow about writing these update blog posts, but better (two months) late than never, right? So winding the clock back to June…

In my last retrospective I forgot to mention that at the end of May I saw Vienna Teng perform in San Francisco. She is one of my favourite singer-songwriters, and it was a lovely concert.

June started off with Nana’s memorial service. Esther and I sang, and many friends old and young came, demonstrating just how many lives Nana’s had touched. My uncle Cal put together a slideshow of pictures that spanned every decade of Nana’s life and showed her leaping the high jump as a high school athlete, meeting Chiang Kai Shek in Taiwan, and shaking Richard Nixon’s hand, among many others.

After the memorial, the real work started: dealing with Nana’s estate. 93 years is a long time to accumulate possessions, especially as the last 40 of those years she lived alone in a house that formerly fit her, my grandfather, and four children. Nana was a lifelong collector of Oriental arts and antiques, so we spent days on end wrapping up netsuke, suiteki, woodblock prints, china dishes, and textiles. I can’t really capture the sheer quantity of things and amount of time my family has spent dealing with them over the past four months.

As some of you may recall, I performed last year in the California Christmas Revels. In April I started singing with the Revels Solstice Ensemble and performed at various events throughout the spring and summer. Our largest show was the Summer Solstice Gala in June:

That same weekend, Graham and I DJed Friday Night Waltz. It was my second time DJing a dance event, and the first doing it for something so well established. I had fun putting together the set list, which among other things involved editing about half of the songs to make them more danceable, and watching people dance to some of our favourite tunes.

June finished up with yet more dancing at the Stanford Dance Weekend, which was 11 hours of classes in waltz, swing, salsa, vintage dances, club dances and more. I particularly enjoyed improving my west-coast swing and learning some new cross-step waltz variations, though the whole thing was fun.

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