Friday, October 31, 2003
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
I went to L.A. last night to see the Kronos Quartet and the Tiger Lillies. It was odd going to Los Angeles for fresh air, but it was nice to be able to breathe freely for awhile. They of course have their own problems at the moment, but the air quality didn't seem to be the issue it is down here. The show was at Royce Hall, which is a neat building, a nice place to see a concert. I had a pretty good seat near the center in the balcony. The first half featured the two acts doing solo sets. The Kronos Quartet were good, the Tiger Lillies were great. After intermission, the two groups took the stage together to perfrom The Gorey End. Based on works by Edward Gorey, I was expecting more of a visual aspect to the performance, drawings by Gorey projected onto a screen or something. I didn't get that (it turns out the writings Gorey had given to Martyn Jacques were not illustrated) , but was not at all disappointed by the evening. Even without many visuals, the story of the various tragedies to befall the Hipdeep family were still made vivid. And the spirit of Gorey was clear in every song. "ABC" followed a similar structure to "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," as did "Histoire de Kay." "Dreadful Domesticity" was perhaps the most bluntly dark song of the evening, as a married couple of a dozen years realizes "They have exhausted all the other/Revenges for existing wrongs," and proceeds to beat each other into a single pile of pulp. I think "Weeping Chandelier" and "Trampled Lilly" were my personal favorites, both especially well-suited by Jacques' distinctive voice. Overall, a great show; I'd highly recommend the album.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Monday, October 27, 2003
Sunday, October 26, 2003
School's have been cancelled in San Diego, and the Mayor is calling on all non-essential employees to stay home, so I assume UCSD will be closed. So I guess tomorrow I can stay planted in front of the TV all day. The weather isn't supposed to give us a break, and after its jumped the I-15 and the 52, who's to say how much this could spread. If an ember were to set off something in Rose Canyon, say, this could get really ugly.
Which stinks, for the people who have lost their homes, of course, but in a more petty (at yet for me more important) way, for me. I've been sick for awhile now. Thursday and Friday were the worst, but I've been sick enough that I haven't been running since the Thursday before last. I can't recall if I mentioned my unpleasant run around Lake Murray and the gastrointestinal distress that accompanied it, but lets just say it wasn't fun. I missed the Chancellor's Challenge 5K, which I've been looking forward to for some time, and which may in fact be the final event in the series, due to the Chancellor's departure. And I feel myself growing sluggish and gaining weight, when I should be beginning serious training for the San Diego Half-Marathon in January. So today, having felt better yesterday, I was to return to running, but the heat and smoke have cancelled that plan. Tomorrow is supposed to be worse heat-wise, which means it will probably still be bad smoke-wise. Perhaps I'll head to the Kroc Center for some treadmill running.
A volunteer just informed me they are evacuating Mira Mesa due to the Ramona fire. I-15 closed, bumper-to-bumper traffic. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised; the wind blowing the smoke should be doing the same for the flames. The Alpine fire two years ago was pretty bad, but I don't remember anything this wide-spread and with such a horrendous effect on the air quality. I also don't remember, in previous fires that have destroyed houses, hearing talk about hundreds of homes lost, as were in the L.A. County fires. And as I was typing this, I hear even more news of the Ramona fire, which I guess I should now call the Scripps Ranch fire, growing even more, and half our fire department is helping in Los Angeles. It's pretty bad.
But I digress. Haven't posted much lately, because not much to share. Been sick, missed a fair amount of school; not my best academic quarter, I think I've admitted as much here before. But I think I'll do respectably well. Saw Comedy of Errors at the La Jolla Playhouse, would have enjoyed it very much, I think, had I been feeling better. My birthday is Tuesday; looking forward to seeing the Kronos Quartet and the Tiger Lilies in Los Angeles that day. I pre-ordered Final Fantasy XI for the PC, as a birthday present for my mother to give me, but then cancelled it, because I'm afraid it might not run on my PC. So I've just been playing Final Fantasy X instead. Not the best in the series, but I enjoy it. Will purchase Final Fantasy X-2, I'm sure, though maybe I'll play through the early games in the series while I wait for the price to fall. Of course, with the amount of time I waste already, should I really be playing video games? I've put off buying the Simpsons Hit-and-Run until the quarter's over, both to avoid the distraction and in the hope that the price might come down by then (though I doubt it will before the holidays).
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Also, my right arm hurts badly. Today not as bad, but yesterday I could barely lift it without a sharp pain in what I think is my tricep. I can feel a sort of knot, which I can't locate on the other side, which is a sure sign it ain't supposed to be there. I don't know what I did; I lifted a box not too long before it started hurting, but it wasn't that heavy. So basically, I'm just falling apart.
As long as I'm posting, I should just comment on a few random things I haven't bothered to post yet. Saw Intolerable Cruelty; not the Coen's best, probably because they didn't write it, but I enjoyed it very much all the same. Great moments, but just lacking a bit in cohesion, so as to not be as strong as the sum of its parts. School ain't going too hot; I've focused all my energies (such as they are) into the one class I care about, and just let the rest fall apart. It's a bit frustrating, since I'm on the one had eager to finally wrap this long educational saga up, yet I barely seem to be advancing at all, and then there's the whole Latin situation, which I won't go into. Cecily's getting married, which is surprising to say the least. The guy looks a bit gumpy from what I've seen on the website, and by my math, I figure they couldn't have been dating more than six months, but who am I to judge? She seems suited for live in Merced. Dad's birthday was 10/8, the Wednesday before last. I went to the cemetary on a whim and hung out at his grave about thirty minutes, and yet didn't realize until far later in the day that it was his birthday, felt a bit unobservant, seeing as the date was written right on the marker and all. 10/11 was the anniversary of him first getting sick, out in Boston. 10/28 is my birthday, I'm going to see the Kronos Quartet and the Tiger Lillies in a performance based on some unpublished work by Edward Gorey. Also on my birthday, Final Fantasy XI comes out for the PC. The Playstation version won't be out until about February, because that's when the required hardware to make it compatible for the Playstation comes out. I broke down and pre-ordered the PC version, my mom is making it a birthday present for me. I hate the idea of paying $50 (actually, $40 with a rebate) for a game that requires a subscription fee, but considering I purchased a Playstation and later a Playstation 2 solely to play Final Fantasy, why pass up a shot to try the first massively multi-player version? I'm eager to go to Vegas again, even though I'd have to say I only had a mildly good time last trip, and I'm not sure how I can really get away in November, but I think if I leave on a Wednesday after class, I could stay for the weekend and just miss class on Friday. I haven't decided if its really a good idea or not, though. Free room offer from Green Valley Ranch, my favorite Las Vegas (actually, Henderson) hotel, with a $50 dining credit, which should go a long way in their new Sushi restaurant, if I'm dining alone. Stay their Wednesday/Thursday, then move to the strip or downtown for the weekend. Go alone, or see if Chad can skip out on work. I believe he's going Thanksgiving weekend, but I'd feel bad leaving Mom that weekend. Mom's wrist still bothering her, rather ridiculous she hasn't been to a doctor about it.
Sunday, October 19, 2003
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Friday, October 10, 2003
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Aw, who cares. Governor Schwarzenegger? What the hell?
Monday was an odd day. I just felt very out of sorts and disoriented, like I was in some sort of haze. In one class, I managed to knock over my coffee cup three times, and also get caught on my desk, creating quite a bit of disruption. Then in another class, I was asked my opinion of something we'd just read, and found I couldn't remember a word of it. I ended up going to bed early, and getting a good night's sleep, and feel better now. So maybe it was just sleep deprivation.
Have I mentioned that I've enjoyed watching The Joe Schmo Show? God help me...
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Saturday, I intended to study, but instead ended up playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City all day. It is a guilty pleasure, to be sure; destroying SUVs (well, its set in the '80s, so I guess they aren't really SUVs) and whatnot. I gathered quite an arsenel, beating up cops and taking their weapons right outside my apartment. All you have to do is duck into your apartment and change clothes, and then the cops won't recognize you. So, you see, not only is it fun, but it teaches kids a valuable lesson.
Later in the evening, I went to Madstone Theatres to see Ping-Pong, part of the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Though it was somewhat difficult to take seriously at times, due to a lack of respect for a game I am usually drunk when I play, the film was able to overcome this (without trying), due to its tenderly humorous story. In fact, not only...I'm trying to phrase it differently, because saying the film "overcame" my preconceptions of ping-pong is a bit patronizingly ethnocentric...but not only was I able to get beyond my narrow notions of the game, but I found it one of the best sports movies I've ever seen. Certainly blew Seabiscuit out of the water. I believe it is available on a region-less DVD; I highly recommend it.
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Point One: I was at the post office the other day, and passing by the pawn shop next door, and there was a sign in the pawn shop firmly requesting that you turn off your cell phone. Cell phones, I grant, are highly annoying; one should definately turn them off in a movie theater or during any presentation, and when dining in a fine restaurant, or in a library, or anytime common sence dictates. But whenever I find myself complaining about cell phones, I do not find myself lamenting how the rise of cell phone has stripped pawn shops of their charm. Are we to whistfully reminisce about a time, long ago, when one could step into their friendly neighborhood pawn shop with a VCR and get $20 to buy smack, and not have this very special moment, one of life's few remaining simple pleasures, spoiled by the piercing ring of a cell phone? I am considerate in my use of my cell phone, but come on, people, do we really need all these rules? Half the people at the pawn shop are probably raising money to pay their cell phone bill, be grateful they exist, pawn shop owner.
Point two: Why are the slowest drivers also the most unsafe? I find myself, more and more, stuck behind people driving less than twenty MPH on city streets, and sometimes I feel guilty getting impatient, since I was speeding before they came along, and so aren't I the menace on the road? Yet I've noticed that it is these slow, apparently concientious drivers who do the truly stupid things. They may be driving slow on the open stretches, but they also go through the intersections at the same speed, stop signs be damned. Today some asshole going about fifteen MPH right in front of me, missed a red light (meaning, of course, that I did too), and preceded to run it, cutting off the person who had the green. I think more people need to get tickets for going too slowly, maybe then a paper trail will emerge to strip a few of the elderly of their licences. I should be fair, it's not just the elderly; the guy who ran the light looked to be about thirty. I used to enjoy driving, but good God it's gotten stressful lately.
I'm watching CMT (which is no longer carrying the Grand Ole Opry--what the fuck?!), and just saw the new June Carter Cash video. Am I a horrible person if I observe she should have stuck to singing backups?
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Before dinner, I went running with the group I was training with for last weekend's 10K. I didn't think many of us would still be running with the group now that the race was over, but there were at least ten of us. I've always said I view training as a solitary pursuit, but I must admit one or two group runs a week really helps break up the monotomy and keep you motivated. I've agreed to run with a few of them in the San Diego Half-Marathon in January. My original goal, you might remember, was the Silver Strand Half-Marathon in November. I cancelled that due to my knee problems, which now have gone away completely. I considered calling it back on, but I think the January goal, with the training support of my friends from the group, is probably for the best.
School is off to a good start. Oceanography can be a bit dull, but as science goes, is pretty gripping stuff. Revolutionary-era American Literature is also a tad dull, but doesn't seem particularly challenging. Nature Writing is the only class that really interests me.
Did I ever mention I saw Lost in Translation the other day? I enjoyed it. Bill Murray is a genius.