Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Coming Home

don't say i didn't give you fair warning, all at home =) i have my tickets! for a slightly-less-obscene USD 1990, i get to fly home on All Nippon Airways operated by United Airlines -i love codeshares!- :

arriving 11.55 pm Dec 17th in Singapore and
returning to chicago 7.20 am Jan 3.

looking forward to seeing all of you then!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Evil Evil United Airlines...

...has recovered from its travails enough to charge an obscene USD 2257 for a roundtrip ticket home at christmas break.

but i really really want to go home!

damn you, airline companies. =p

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I like coffee
I like tea
I like the Java Jive
And it likes me


how is it that my first Java Jive of the year is in FOURTH week? this shouldn't be allowed to happen. i had a blast tonight -like i almost always do at Java Jive- and i'm really looking forward to next week, when Yoko will come with her band to play at our Halloween dance. gotta come up with some kind of costume i can dance in. isaac -one of my favourite dance partners- is coming in some sort of suit. that'll be all kinds of fun, i imagine. -grins-

dinner was also good: had a bunch of ex and current Mathewsniks over for dinner at my place, and made pasta with red peppers, mushrooms and italian sausage in a tomato sauce. easy and good. red peppers are the best, they taste so sweet once you cook them in olive oil...=) mmmm. and rachel brought stuffed clams, and pstan a huge-ass bottle of cheap white wine, which the six of us happily polished off, some of us more happily than others. -grins- it's been a good evening.

tomorrow i start work on the timeline/paper thing that's due next week in Lipson's World Politics class. basically i'm working on writing a paper reviewing various historical viewpoints on an event or series of events from the early part of the twentieth century, and i've decided to write -or try to write- a paper on the Japanese war in the Pacific. so i have to go hunt down sources from within Japan, within the Allied nations, and also from within the occupied Southeast Asian nations in WWII, of which singapore is one, and decide on what i want to focus on. there're two ways i can go abt it:

(1) historians and writers who were writing about the war DURING the war period. so i could use propaganda from both sides and the resistance movements from within the occupied nations as a way to looking at the War; or

(2) the post-war historians who were and still are writing after the war, trying to make sense of Japanese actions and motivations during WWII. in particular it's interesting to look at how Japanese official history views the war; how laymen view the war, that kind of thing. in contrast with what i know to be almost virulent anti-japanese sentiment in the generation that survived through the war when singapore was occupied. people like my grandmother.

i think ultimately it's going to come down to how much source material i can find for each option. so it's To The Reg for me tomorrow morning, after i brunch with mr staniland in BJ [for old times's sake] and hit up Crerar for next week's Organisational readings. woohoo! all dressed up too, because -drumroll- tomorrow night is Halloween Concert night. yay for Boito and holding high B-naturals! =)

Education, among other things

so my cousin ten hours away on the other side of the Atlantic -waves- sends the Family [we are like the mob only less cool] an email this morning expounding his opinions on the education system we have back home, and its similarities and differences with the education system we are currently embedded in. [ooh! Iraq war-reference, smart me. -smirk-] it was immensely pleasing in that he puts down in clear and therefore arguable terms what most of us waffle on about inside our minds quite a lot but never really come to terms/grips with. so now we have a defensible thesis and an arguable premise, always a good thing.

so, to recapitulate, my stand:

our education system takes care of the many and perhaps tends to let the few slip through the cracks. [refer to Adrian's latest post for some of those few] by and large it does a reasonable job of teaching kids who to read, write, and add one and one and hopefully get two. [i'm not sure it managed to teach me that, sometimes.] but it doesn't do that great a job of teaching us to THINK. this is my big bugbear and it looks like it is starting to become jon's big Bugbear also. yay.

so our education system is trying now to revamp itself. [it amuses me how i talk about it as though it were a single entity; a rational actor, as it were, in the Weberian sense] it is trying to somehow teach creativity, and unlike a couple of years ago, where it literally attempted to teach creative thinking, it seems to have grasped the idea that creative and critical thinking are skills rather than content, and therefore SKILLS have to be imparted, not lesson plans. so they institute Philo[sophy] and CFMs [cross-fac modules, for those who are not NUS-aware, IE 90% of the people who read this blog] in the high schools and NUS; they revamp the system to make a through-train, six-year-bypass of the O levels route for the Raffles and ACSian families, that sort of thing. but again we run into implementation issues. speed/haste/hurry seem to be our watchword, instead of quality, consideration, education, effectiveness. what's up with that? it does our kids no good to be rushed through an ill-prepared philo program: sure, it exposes them to things they were not previously exposed to, but they learn almost nothing. perhaps some knowledge of what the main points of Descartes's arguments are, or who Aristotle is, but will they learn to apply what they know to what they see? somehow, i don't think so.

i don't think that if i'd done Aristotle's Politics in NUS, just after reading Plato's Republic in a most unhappy translation, i would have appreciated to quite the same wondering depth the deviousness of SM Lee's mind in creating the Singaporean society we live in today. i just wouldn't have had the freedom or the skills with which to appreciate that mind. the critical analysis which liberal arts-trained undergrads bring to almost anything they read, or see, or write about - those skills are the ones that allow us to write papers about a Hobbesian Singapore, or an Aristotlean middle class in our society. these patterns repeat themselves -in part because our leaders, the old generation, have had the kind of liberal arts education and expose which we are now denying our kids in the -one plus one equals two- sort of education they receive- throughout history, because Hobbes Locke Rousseau Aristotle and Nietzsche have one thing in common: they are keen observers of human nature. and human nature hasn't changed all that much in the last few hundred years, shall we say.

it's not inconceivable that the NUS philo course, rushed though it is, is an excellent means of exposing otherwise closed-off students to the wonderful madness of logical thinking. =) but it all really depends on how it is taught. going through four philosophers in one class is sort of hard unless you are willing to work real hard at it, and you hvae a good instructor, who is good at pointing you in the right direction, able to ask pertinent questions, and give you a hand over the hard bits. and there are a LOT of hard bits. somehow i have my doubts that our instructors in NUS have any kind of tradition that emphasises independent learning, which is really the only way to comprehend philosophy, over rote spoon-feeding, here-is-the-cliff-notes-version sort of teaching that seems to prevail.

sometimes when i am sitting in Hutch with my headphones plugged in, papers and books spread out all over the table in front of me, pen and highlighter in hand as i read through -plough through- page after page of case study and theoretical explanation in Org. Dec-making readings, or IR theory, it strikes me that this is where i want to be right here and right now. that i am incredibly lucky, incredible blessed, to be able to study exactly what i love and my mind is most suited for, and have someone else pay for me to do so to boot. the wonderful rightness of feeling like i was BORN to do this work, to read and understand and apply organisational theory, or do structural analysis of WWII. [it's less apparent with econ but hey, it's still there, somewhat...] i love being here and doing this; this is definitely the school for me -cold weather, hard work and sometimes incredibly lousy hours and all. even when i whine and complain and feel like i can't make it, in the back of my mind a small voice is saying -God, i love this place.- and that, my friends, is a wonderful feeling.

Friday, October 24, 2003

STEAK

Contact Singapore took us out to dinner tonight at a steakhouse on Erie -appropriately named the Erie Cafe- and it was unexpectedly tons of fun. Angela, who is leaving us soon, is a blast, and her replacement, Chris, looks like he is going to be pretty cool too. once he has settled into the madness that is life in Chicago, that is. [not life at the U of C; living in the city is pretty insane all by itself really] the company was great and the food -while not fantastic- is pretty much a cut above what i have been eating for the last few days, which is (a) not very much and (b) not very good. =)

we had, between the six of us -bear in mind this includes two very hungry boys-:

filet mignon
chicken smothered in mushrooms and onions
veal smothered in mushrooms and peppers
whitebait
tiramisu
sorbet

and all this started off with house salad, and accompanied by endless amounts of bread and cottage fried potatoes, which is a fancy way of saying huge-ass potato chips. i am incredibly stuffed and happy -i don't usually eat this much meat at once. although this is v good meat. =)

it's been a long tiring sort of day, but it ended on a good note =) and now it's back to second-species counterpoint [yay! i can use fourths now! though only as passing notes, the bitches. who writes counterpoint according to rules anyway?? answer: people taking p.martens's firstyear theory for majors music class of course] before collapsing into bed. i am staving off H's plague, in heroic fashion, so that i'll be able to sing in saturday's halloween concert. in typical chorister fashion, however, i am probably going to collapse with the plague on sunday morning when the adrenaline runs out and my immune system promptly gives way...

til then. =)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

rehearsal tonight was fun, albeit exhausting. i've never sung with an orchestra before, i don't think. and the U of C Orchestra is not only pretty big, it's pretty good -with a slightly [perhaps entirely] insane female conductor named Barbara. it's funny to obey someone waving a baton, because i am used to following someone's hands. but honestly, when you are part of the two hundred strong choir trying to outsing an orchestra, all kinds of things stop mattering, like shape and tone. you just need to produce volumevolumevolume on the fortes, and everything else you sort of shape on autopilot. that said, it was a fun rehearsal because we finally got to hear the Boito played all the way through with the soloist in attendance -he makes a great dark and funny bass Mephistopheles- and now we all know the shape of the exerpt we are doing. it's also great fun to work with an orchestra; there is so much more cool stuff to listen for and laugh at.

we were also finally seated today, and i have been officially moved down into Sop two. =) i already knew that would happen; i don't have the colour of a sop one in my voice. it's most decidedly a mezzo's voice; too dark to be a soprano even though i have the range of a sop one. so must spend time relearning parts...biggest benefit of being sop two: sitting in front of the basses, though granted i will be seated in front of the B1s. still not complaining. baritones are much better than tenors!

too tired to write more; dinner out at steakhouse tomorrow with the Citylights comm and the Contact Singapore folk. gotta read!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

asshole
your asshole.


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i love dancing so much because it's one of the few arenas where i'm allowed to be a girl. it's perfectly fine for me to be a Follow, to be Told What To Do. it's a perfect place for me to say that my job is to make my lead look good, because that's what it IS. when some guy tells me -'Jeanette, you make me look good! you make it look easy!' i can just smile and nod and accept the compliment and say 'Just doing my job!' and mean it. i can be girly and coy and wear swishy skirts and play with the music on the dance floor, and none of my leads look at me like i've an extra head because i've decided to be female for a little while. i guess i've just built a reputation even here in chicago as a guy rather than a girl. -shrugs- and most of the time i don't care, but sometimes, especially when i'm tired and it's late and it's dark and it's cold and all i really really want is to be home, in bed, with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate, and i know that what is really going to happen is a long-ass meeting, a cold walk home alone in the dark, and then a ton of undone homework sitting on my floor...then it sucks. it really sucks.

don't get me wrong, it's great to be treated as 'one of the guys' most of the time. but sometimes i am led to wonder if i were a little bit -ok a lot- more xiao jie, a little bit less -i can take care of myself-, a little less arrogant and self-assured and pseudoconfident, my life would be a lot simpler. a lot easier. a lot more -taken care of-.

but i have no time to ponder that now. homework awaits, in its monstrous pile on my floor; and there is so much to do that i don't think sleep is an option anymore. it's encouraging that i still care enough about my academic life that it doesn't seem to be a BAD tradeoff between sleep and work.

and emily left me a brownie on my bed. that, my dears, may well be the turning point of the night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

received in mail today:

letter from St. Charles's Parish informing me that my fine for my traffic summons will be 500.

catch me driving in Louisiana again! if i weren't such a law-abiding citizen i would so not pay the fine. what do i need with a driver's licence anyway? i almost never drive, and even when i do i don't really drive at the kind of speed that will get me pulled over anyway. bah.

off to figure out whether the US Army functions like a Limited Problem Solver or whether it is just A Mess, while recovering from the massive cheque writing spree i just went on.

First-Species Counterpoint...For Dummies

Rule 1: Only consonant intervals may be used. That is, you must use only the: third, fifth, sixth, octave and unison. NO FOURTHS.

Rule 2: Begin and end your counterpoint on scale degree 1. End with a cadence: both voices moving in opposite direction toward scale degree 1 on the last note.

Rule 3: Never move from one perfect interval to another perfect interval of the same size. [Parallel perfect intervals are forbidden.]

Rule 4: Do not move two voices to a perfect interval by using similar motion.

Note to self: writing counterpoint while having Italian opera stuck in your head is a really bad idea. it makes things much harder.

and why the hell are fourths forbidden in first-species counterpoint? boooo. Fourths = good. i like the way they sound. how are they dissonant? if you were on crack maybe. but if you were on crack you would like augmented seconds and the dreaded tritone too. blah.

motet has moved into super-rehearsal mode for our concert on saturday, and i spend a lot of time being exhausted. i am also still incapable of holding the B natural above high C for the required 8 counts at the end of our operatic performance, although my god, i can hit it. at FFF. i guess opera is starting to grow on me.

clearly, however, i am too exhausted at this point to do anything but grumble and fret at the restrictive rules of counterpoint, and wander off to bed -perhaps after doing some more polisci reading. Simon's Limited Problem Solver, here i come!





Monday, October 20, 2003

first things first:

Happy 21st Birthday Eunice and Charles!

i think that i can just squeeze that in under the wire. yes, i know that it's already tomorrow where charles is, and in fact, it's already tomorrow where eun is too. but here in chicago it is still the 19th and therefore technically still their birthday. hah!

talked to eun earlier today, once my phone call decided to go through [we left an earlier voicemail while sitting in salonica's for breakfast: janice jeanette and alex singing very loudly into jeanette's cellphone 'Happy Birthday to EEEEUUUUNNNIIICCCEEEE!' and hopefully not annoying the fuck out of everyone in earshot], and she complained that my blog has been unreadable lately because it is full of Cubs vs Marlins tears and joy. so here's an entry entirely for eunice =) [also: the Cubs are no longer in their post-season, or rather it ended on a sorry Game Seven defeat that broke Chicago's heart]

busybusy weekend, but one of The Highlights of the weekend was Blues and Ribs on friday night. though even before that: i was at a University of Chicago Presents concert featuring La Vexiana doing madrigals in latin and italian, and it was amazing. i want to sing with a male alto [or perhaps countertenor would be a better term for him] because the control and the blend is absolutely amazing. and the soprano -the only female on stage- had a lovely warm voice even up in the high range, with wonderful interpretation and dynamics and all the pretty decorative shaping that is lacking all too often in performance of old pieces. it made me happy. very happy. i want to sing like her. hmm. =)

but. Blues and Ribs. the food was pretty good, although the quality of the ribs tends to fall when mass produced. can't complain about the always-excellent Popeye's chicken though. and the MUSIC =) dancing in Cloister in Ida is always kind of iffy - sometimes it is amazing and sometimes it is crappy depending on (a) which part of the newly polished floor you are on and (b) if anyone has dropped anything sticky on it in the last twenty minutes when there is a function on. but on friday night, it was beautiful. live blues band on the stage, and after a while a whole flood of good leads appearing. even isaac, who has been missing in action because -gasp- he has a part in the cabaret. how weird is that. anyways, i got in a good dance with him: just as i stepped onto the floor with him, having stolen -or reclaimed- him from zhi'an, the band switched from their frantically paced music to a speed PERFECT for dancing with him - slow and bluesy but fast enough to actually do lindy moves as well. and oh my twist-twists! for some reason i can only really SWIVEL with certain leads, and isaac is certainly one of those leads. -grins- hanyann would've been proud of my pepper-grinder hips, if she had seen them -she was off dancing with someone else, of course. =) but it was a beautiful dance. i had a whole bunch of great dances that night, including one with leonard -i used to be afraid of dancing with him because he is good, but now i relish the chance: i always always learn something. and i get to play a little more with the music. yay! playing with the music is something i need to work on more and more...and alex is learning to lindy! yay =) it is all kinds of fun. another lead to dance with!

lots more to say but so little energy to say it with thanks to (a) Motet rehearsals taking over life; (b) Citylights Chicago attempting to claim whatever is left of life; (c) pitiful attempts to write another paper this week for Padgett's Org Dec-Making class, which entails doing a shitload of reading by wednesday night, none of which i have started and (d) coming down with/threatening to come down with The Plague otherwise known as the dreaded Flu. hopefully this will not happen before saturday, when Motet has its first concert of the year, participating in the Halloween concert with the Orchestra. we must get dressed up. i think i am going as a japanese schoolgirl. if i can find some way to make my hair behave like your typical anime character's =)




Friday, October 17, 2003

News from Home

AVA stands by decision to stop sterilising cats

It says educating pet owners is the way to go and turns down appeal; SPCA says move is shortsighted

By Ben Nadarajan

ANIMAL lovers yesterday attacked the Government's decision to end its programme to sterilise cats, but the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is unmoved.

'We have considered SPCA's appeal but believe that public education is the way to go,' said AVA's spokesman, in reply to a statement from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

It will intensify its programme next year to encourage pet owners to be more responsible, especially not to abandon their cats, he added.

The SPCA was not impressed, saying the decision not to sterilise was 'shortsighted and premature'.

'The SPCA foresees a stray cat population explosion in Singapore whether or not the AVA runs responsible pet ownership education programmes,' said its executive officer Deirdre Moss.

'Yes, you might be able to educate people not to abandon their cats but you cannot teach a cat to stop breeding, which is why sterilisation is needed,' she added.

Ms Moss wants the AVA to rethink its decision last week to abandon the Stray Cat Rehabilitation Scheme after feedback from 16 town councils showed it was ineffective.

The scheme, launched in 1998, had volunteers rounding up the strays and taking them to the AVA to be sterilised. In its five years, it sterilised only 3,500 cats out of about 80,000 strays, with animal welfare groups sterilising another 7,000.

Cat volunteers said the low number is because so few time slots were opened for them to take the strays to the AVA.

Ms Moss also pointed out that the scheme had been in place for only a 'relatively short period'.

'With tens of thousands of strays still to be sterilised, naturally there would not be a significant fall in the population,' she said, adding that continued support from the AVA 'would have yielded better results in the long run'.

It costs between $40 and $60 to neuter a male cat and between $70 and $100 for a female.

She said culling is not the answer because it has been done for decades without any effect on the stray population. The AVA culls about 40 cats a day.

another triumph of shortsighted financial planning. wait til we're up to our ears in cats, boys and girls, and then you'll rue the day you decided it wasn't worthwhile to keep the sterlisation program. they'd rather drag in forty cats a day to put down?

in other news: Singapore is going to allow a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. how times are a-changing.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Once More We Wait Til 'Next Year'

the Championship series is over, and the Marlins have won, 4-3.

the Cubs and their loyal fans will once more have to wait until 'next year' - whenever that fabled next year comes. because if we couldn't do it this time, in this series, with Prior pitching and with Wood pitching and with Sammy, Alou, Lofton, and any number of great hitter/fielders on the team, then when will we be able to do it?

the bright spot of the day was Dad's visit -he stopped by, driven over to hyde park in a black, shiny, snazzy-ass lincoln continental with tinted windows. totally pimped out, had a cool driver who performed a highly illegal excessive reversing move in the middle of 55th street with great aplomb. i was impressed. but yeah, i got to hang out with dad and show him the apartment =) which was good.

and we sang Bonito -read: opera- in Motet rehearsal today, and i found out that while i can HIT a B natural above the high C, it's really quite quite impossible for me to hold it at ff for eight long and painful beats. yeah. but it's fun to try.

and i've discovered that i can still crank out a draft five-to-seven-page paper in two hours in the middle of the night. hopefully it'll still sound coherent in the morning.

but oh, the Cubbies. how about them Cubs.

Take me out to the ball game
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks
I don't care if we never go back
So let's root root root for the CUBBIES
If they don't win it's a shame
So it's One-Two-Three strikes you're out
At the old ball game...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Baa

following in adrian and CT's footsteps, this is what i am:

HASH(0x88a4304)
Idol


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Monday, October 13, 2003

...such a minute fraction of this life do we live: so much is sleep, tooth-brushing, waiting for mail, for metamorphosis, for those sudden moments of incandescence: unexpected, but once one knows them, one can live life in the light of their past and the hope of their future. Sylvia Plath

‘And then we will get even older and our memories will fail almost completely. But no matter what happens—no matter how wide the gulf between us becomes—we will each be the last people we forget in each other’s memories. Because we were each the first to be there.’ Shampoo Planet, Douglas Coupland

National League Championship Series Game Five: Cubs 0 Marlins 4

how about them Cubs indeed.

just when we think they have it in the bag, they let the Marlins blindside them into the narrowing gap between the two teams. we still have a 3-2 lead coming back to Wrigley Field, and this does mean that for the Marlins to go through they have to win all the remaining games, but still. i think the Cubs have a secret hankering to win on their own ground, in Wrigley in front of a huge crowd of their own fans, instead of in Florida in front of Marlins fans.

so come tuesday night, Mark Prior will pitch for the Cubs in what will hopefully be the deciding game that sends the Cubs to the World Series. history in the making. if we can't do it in Wrigley Field, with Prior pitching to shutout the Marlins' offence, and with Lofton-Sosa-Alou at bat, then we'll never be able to do it.

roll on tuesday. GO CUBS!

National League Championship Series Game Four: Cubs 8 Marlins 3

we won Game Three by one run in the eleventh, just like how the Marlins took Game One. waiting with almost-bated breath -it's hard to hold your breath while singing- in the middle-of-nowhere-woods, Michigan, for an update on the sole working cellphone in the entire Motet. and when the cellphone rings to announce the Cubbies win, an unholy scream goes up around the bonfire in the middle of the night, people dancing in the dark, jumping and screaming. Game Five this afternoon. in an hour. the Cubbies win this one, and we're going to the WORLD SERIES for the first time since 1945. who knows, we could win this one: for the first time since 1907 we could have a World Series title. i hug myself in anticipation, and mentally weigh the benefits of eternal salvation -IE going to Mass at five pm- against the monstrous demerits of missing a historical moment in time: the Cubs winning Game Five and making it to the World Series. AHHH.

Motet retreat in Michigan was a blast. rode down with our president, Anne, and lisa, another sop, and kenneth, who is a really nice and cool bass who happens to have lived in singapore for two years [Holland Road, five min away from RJ. how weird is that?] and comes from Norway. his life story is possibly one of the most interesting i have ever heard. and then getting there, and meeting everyone, and learning everyone's name...and hanging out with aaron by the lake on the dock in the odd fall sunshine, enjoying the breeze and the heat of the sun on my back and the sound of the water lapping at the bottom of the floating dock.

and the singing, always the singing. the wonderful thing about being a soprano is getting to sit in front of the basses, and this year we have an amazing bass section. they move me to tears, because they have the loveliest resonance down in the bottom register and they are so solid and secure. we can really tune to them now. and even the TENORS are good and blend with each other and stay in tune. that, to me, is the most amazing thing. and the colour changes we get, the responsiveness to Randi's conducting, the wonderful feeling of taking a breath together, feeling each other breathe and responding to that -- and it can only get better from here on out. feeling the snap of overtones matching to produce that perfectly tuned chord, with the basses rumbling beneath the headtones of the sopranos; the perfect balance that runs down my spine and vibrates in my entire body, til i can't tell where the sound is coming from, i can't find individual voices, i can't feel myself - just the music, an autonomous whole, more than the sum of all its parts.

it's hard to believe that i went two whole years without doing this.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's Off To Work We Go

the Motet is off to michigan for an overnight retreat! more when i return...but in the meantime am looking forward to spending some time singing and messing around with some of the most talented singers on campus...and BASSES! oohboy! =)

of course it means missing Game Three tonight. the sacrifices we make. i suspect there will be huddling in cars listening to the game on the radio tonight...

Thursday, October 09, 2003

National League Championship Series Game Two: Cubs 12 Marlins 3

how about them Cubs?

tonight was truly a night to remember: a night of big hitters getting big hits -and not-so-big hitters slammin' the home runs too. it was as if Wrigley field had shrunk in the wash, and suddenly the left field seats and even Wyland Avenue weren't all that far away. homer after homer flew off the bats of various Cubs, and of various Marlins as well -two of their three runs tonight were single run homers, back to back in the sixth inning. there are few things as beautiful as the sight of a baseball soaring in the lights of the ballpark, high into the night sky, falling into the reaching hands of the fans in the bleachers; the sight of hundreds of fans screaming 'GO! GO! GO!' at the ball as if sheer force of will would keep it from falling out of the sky too soon.

but tonight, unlike last night, it was all Cubbies. the Marlins tried to make a break for it time after time, and were shut down, shut out even, by mark prior, who as always pitched a beautiful game. it almost -not quite, but almost- makes up for the loss last night that really shouldn't have happened but did.

so the series is tied 1-1 and we go to Florida to play Games Three and Four this weekend.

however, the Motet is going to be on retreat in Michigan this weekend, so i will be missing Game Three -although there are enough crazy baseball fans in Motet to ensure that at the very least we will know the score when you do, even if we can't watch the game...=)

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Norah Jones

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away with me where they can't tempt us
With their lies

I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows
knee kigh
So won't you try to come

Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountain top
Come away with me
And I'll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

National League Championship Series Game One: Cubs 8 Marlins 9

sammy's valiant attempt in the bottom of the ninth though spectacular was not quite enough to bring us through this time. that said it was a spectacular two run homer: he hit it out of the ballpark, literally - it landed on the street outside of Wrigley. and bringing kenny lofton home tied things up for us, with moises alou coming up to bat. we could've won it in the ninth but didn't; we could've won it in the tenth but didn't; and when the eleventh rolled around, it was the end of the road for us. the Marlins hit a single home run, and that was enough for them to call it a night.

it's all right though, Cubs: we'll get 'em tomorrow. =) roll on Game Two.

the first Continuing Lindy II class was today, and Hanyann came up with the brilliant idea of teaching a class called 'The Art of Giving and Receiving'. basically an opportunity for all of us dancers to critique each other's dance styles and break each other's bad habits. it was a fun time for all -- i think we don't get opportunities like this often enough, to get to dance short dances focused on picking up things that need to be improved and telling people what they need to work on. as usual i got called on the way i cheat on my twist-twists -sheepish- and i need to work on giving the right amount of my weight...but at the same time it was good to hear some of my favourite partners tell me that they like dancing with me, i'm a good follow, and i've really improved over the last year. it is always great to hear things like that =)

i also had a bunch of really great dances, for which as always i thank the leads, since i just do what i am told to do, as a follow. -grins- this always makes me happy. i would hate to have to lead, i think. i would just do swingouts constantly, literally.

so. tomorrow. midweek hump. hopefully i make it. the beautiful weather certainly helps: according to some reports there are rumours that tomorrow we might even hit a high of 80.




Tuesday, October 07, 2003

how can it cost more than 1500 USD to fly home for winter break? it boggles the mind. i've never had to pay that much for a Chi-town-Singapore-Chi-town ticket before!

i hate the airline industry.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Losing our right to choose: overturning Roe vs. Wade

i wanted the Cubs to have a post all to themselves, hence the separation =)

the homily during Mass this evening mentioned -not really in passing, actually in quite some detail- the argument over abortion that has engulfed the catholic church, and now is starting to become a big issue for all women in america, really. while i understand the catholic church's position, and personally believe that i would never go for an abortion myself, i am willing to stand here and argue for a woman's right to choose. i don't think it's a contradiction for me to be able to say that at all. i refuse to believe that a woman doesn't have the right to choose what is going to happen to her body; that she is hostage, essentially, to what she doesn't want. and think about the child she brings into the world -- if it is unwanted, if it can be fed and sheltered and kept warm. the antiabortionists, as Vogue dubs them, though perhaps pro-lifers is a nicer way of putting it, are doing much better in this war of opinions: a bill banning partial-birth abortions has made its way through the House and if passed by Congress will become law. while i agree with the argument that partial-birth is a pretty horrifying and traumatic process, i can't help but feel for the pro-choice segment of the population which sees it as a slow chipping away at a woman's right to choose. there is local legislation in many states that makes it illegal to have an abortion, and there are interest groups working on making it illegal to cross state lines for the sole purpose of having an abortion based on a statute that states it is unlawful to transport a woman over state lines 'for immoral activities' - abortion, they argue, is an immoral activity. despite it clearly being targeted at pimps who are moving prostitutes around to get the best prices.

i think it is outrageous that the very person to whom Roe refers in Roe vs Wade is now fighting to have the motion overturned. while i understand that she has somehow had a miraculous change of heart in the last few years -she has 'got religion', so to speak, to me it smacks of 'well the motion has benefited me, but now i am going to work to take that benefit away from hundreds of other women'; to me the whole fight against Roe vs Wade is an introduction of religion into the affairs of the state. and to be honest, i don't like that. i disagree with the Bishop's pointing out that the First Amendment doesn't REALLY provide for the separation of church and the state. while certainly not worded as such, i believe that the accurate interpretation of the First Amendment's language is basically 'Church, keep your nose out of our legislative affairs' - and this is certainly not what is going on. especially under George W. Bush.

i'm too tired to continue with any logical arguments...i need a shower and then to sleep for a week. but i'll settle for eight hours. in the meantime, i'll go marshall up some more arguments about civil liberties and rights. goodnight, world!




Next Year Is Finally Here...Satan Do You Want To Borrow My Ice Skates?

the Cubbies have won the series 3-2!!!!! the Braves went down, hard, tonight: the Cubs scored 5 beautiful runs to their one run of the evening. it was a gorgeous night for the Cubs and for the devoted Cubs fans, some of whom have waited their entire lives for this moment: waiting, on tenterhooks, as the batter with two stikes prepares to face what could be the last pitch of the game. he swings, and he misses, and the dugout erupts into cheers and hugs and backslaps; Cubs fans all over the stands and in front of TVs in homes and bars and pubs explode to their feet in an ecstacy of screaming, a thunder of joy.

so we go to face the Marlins for the division title and a spot in the World Series. Let this be OUR YEAR!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Bend It Like Beckham

just back from the late late showing of Bend It Like Beckham with Liza Lili Hanyann Claire Paul and Lauren, and it was a blast. the movie was great - i was laughing, i was crying, i was laughing again -- and i could totally empathise with the main character, Jess, about the doing what you want to do vs doing what your parents want you to do, though thankfully my parents have NEVER been that hard on me. frankly, all the main characters were really well done, the supporting actors did a great job: everyone deserves plenty of kudos for making an eminently watchable movie that deals -sometimes a little heavy-handedly, but effectively nonetheless- with a whole bunch of issues surrounding being an alien in your adopted homeland, dealing with culture clashes and changes between generations -- and ultimately, about being your own person in your own time. =)

that said, however: i have seen the most beautiful man alive. Jonathan Rhys Myers did a wonderful job playing the coach/love interest of Jess -our main character- named Joe, but other than the acting, Oh My God the man is HOT. all my guy friends who read this are now going to laugh at me, but at this point i don't really care. -grins- the one scene where he shows up at her place, her sister opens the door and we get the full on look at him all spiffed up to try and talk to parents into letting her play? yeah. -hyperventilate- i swear, when he flashed onto to screen, the three girls sitting in a row just gasped. it was blindingly beautiful. -grinning- i'm done being girly now.

so the movie was a great success -Thanks Doc Films!- and dinner was fun...but prior to the dinner and the movie, disaster struck. the Cubbies -who were doing so well!- lost Game Four 6-3 to the Braves. on home ground! it was a heartbreaker of a game: we are at the bottom of the ninth, two outs, one man on second, Sammy Sosa at bat. it's full count. it's the stuff dreams, movies, legends are made of. we NEED this homer, we want it -sammy wants it- so badly we can taste it. we could tie it up with one big hit, we could go on to win. Game Five could become a wistful dream for the Braves. the pitch comes, and Sammy swings and connects, with a solid, beautiful crack. the ball sails toward left field, Sammy does his little 'home run hop', and the cameras follow the floating ball into the night sky. everyone in Wrigley is screaming at the ball, as if it would change anything -'Go! Go! Go!'. at home, staring at the TV screen, screaming 'Go! Go!' with the crowd and shrieking in horror as the ball starts to fall out of the sky too early, too short. the crowd is still screaming, but now it is for the outfielder to drop the ball, to somehow fumble the catch, to keep our inning alive...but the ball drops neatly into his glove, and the game is over.

but we'll get 'em tomorrow, Cubbies. Game Five. 'Next Year Is Finally Here'

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Keeping the Dream Alive Part II

The Cubbies have won Game Three! Prior pitched all nine innings in front of a screaming home crowd, and we beat the Braves 3-1 tonight at Wrigley Field. when Prior came out to pitch the ninth inning the crowd rose to its feet in a great roar of 'Pri-or! Pri-or!' and stayed on its feet until he pitched an amazing 133th pitch to shut out the final inning for the Braves...it was a beautiful sight. he is amazing. =)

we are 2-1 ahead in the series, and it's Game Four tomorrow afternoon. Baseball has come to rule my life. we are on absolute tenterhooks.

in other news, the sushi party went well -- rolled my own sushi which didn't involve any raw fish but DID involve plenty of cream cheese. i love cream cheese. many kudos to rachel for her brilliant idea of sushi night, and the provision of her kitchen for said sushi night. =) it was great seeing lots of people tonight too.

time to shower, and get some sleep...i mean work. =)

Break Out the Champagne Part II

I MADE MOTET!

despite screwing up during the recall, so badly i can't imagine why Randi wants any part of my voice in his choir, somehow, miraculously, i am in. i'm just going to thank my lucky stars, and go to rehearsal on monday prepared to work my ass off to get my messed up voice back in shape. in the meantime, i'm going to enjoy knowing that someone thinks my voice is good enough for a choir, still.

homemade sushi and Cubs vs Braves Game Three tonight!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Keeping the Dream Alive

the Cubbies lost Game Two to the Braves: 5-3, with the wheels starting to come off somewhere around the sixth inning. leading to the painful painful eighth, where the Braves scored two runs that they totally shouldn't have. and we started so well, too; two runs in the first inning.

but it is all right. the Cubs come home to Wrigley Field for Games Three and Four -friday and saturday nights- and we are going to kick Brave ass and win this series on home turf!

Break out the champagne

i made the Motet recalls. they are on friday. hopefully as long as i don't completely screw up i will be part of Motet this coming year, with the following benefits: getting my messed up voice back in shape; singing some real classical music in latin no less, which i actually prefer to acapella singing; seeing aaron at practice three times a week! and the untold funness of singing during the traditional christmas presentation of Handel's Messiah in Rockefeller Chapel. how cool is that?

in other news: reading J.M Roberts's History of the Twentieth Century this afternoon while waiting for Lipson's class to start, i discovered that the poem i randomly ran into, fell in love with, and used in my UCAS application as a summary of my life's desire three years ago in 2000 is the original source of the phrase 'movers and shakers'. how entirely random. =) here it is, reproduced below [just the first stanza] for your delectation:

Arthur O'Shaughnessy [1844–1881]

Ode

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

now i am going to go read for a little while, listening to Jacqueline Du Pre play Elgar on my Logitechs at the same time, and wondering how to make my potatoes taste nice for dinner.

report on the Cubs game at bedtime. Game Two tonight.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Game One

tired out of my mind but have a few things to say before bed:

(1) the CUBBIES WON! we beat the Braves in Atlanta in Game 1 of the playoff series. tomorrow we play them again at Atlanta, and friday they come to Wrigley. i can't imagine the Cubbies losing at Wrigley.

(2) the beef stew turned out well. slow cookers are amazing.

(3) i think i broke my hairdryer. it's stuck on the cold setting, which while admittedly better for the quality of my hair is far worse for getting it actually dry. my head might freeze before it dries at this rate.

more tomorrow.

Cooking is one of the pleasures of life

recipe for risotto:

aborio rice
lots of chicken stock
italian sausage
chicken -thigh meat, preferably
lots of mushroom
lots of onion, garlic

fry onion lightly in olive oil, add mushrooms and garlic, add stock when mushrooms have started to reduce. after onions reduce slightly, add rice and stir-fry until rice is coated lightly with oil. add chicken stock to barely cover rice and reduce heat to a simmer. as rice absorbs chicken stock, add more to keep rice moist. while standing over stove stirring, add half the portion of italian sausage. in separate pan, on medium-high heat, stir fry italian sausage to render the fat then add partially cooked sausage to risotto. continue to simmer risotto while frying chicken in sausage fat, then add mostly-cooked chicken to risotto. continue to add stock as necessary until rice becomes slightly translucent and sticky, then cook remaining stock off and serve.

it is SO good. beef stew tonight, so more details later. =) also, Cubs play the Braves this evening in the national league playoffs...