31.7.09

monkey in a movie cage

i am notorious for not wanting to watch a movie. movie and tvs, for some unknown reason, i always try to avoid being involved with those two particular mediums. i cant quiet figure it out but i think it may have to do with the fact that once one sits down on that theater chair, one must (though there is hardly any enforcer really) sit down to the end of it and 'enjoy' it (or something).

or is it the fact that both mediums try to offer (big question mark on 'try') a comprehensive package of something- while sorely lacking most of the 'real' experiences it tries to portray (for instance, there's no 'smell' in a movie. impossible, yet, sense of smell is one of the most powerful sensory experiences of all). also the fact that majority of the sensory stimulation from such mediums (aural, visual) tend to create an invisible cage for one's own imagination. well, i think that's why people frequently complain about the crap translation of a book to a movie.


but sometimes, movies- esp. ones that were conceived as a movie from the beginning rather than a retake or a translation of something else, could speak louder than... well, bomb drops, i suppose. this week has been very unusual in a sense that monkey went to the theater twice. twice! excluding one documentary i specifically went to see two weeks ago ('food inc., a movie adaptation of eric schlosser's fast food nation and michael pollan's omnivore's dilemma and in defence of food. i do tend to dig well-made documentaries. i was real pissed when i found out that end of the line- another documentary about the epic fail of fishery industries in global scale was actually no longer playing anywhere in toronto...)i cant even remember the last time i went to a theater seriously. it was probably sometime last year, in november, when i was in new york. i always try to drop by the icp by village vanguard and catch a flick before jazz show at the vanguard. creature of habit.


the first one was the latest harry potter movie. now, i have heard many complains about the quality of this particular adaptation. however, barely remembering what was actually was on the book, i still found it quite entertaining. not profound or anything, entertaining. i mean. even the book series itself, it is not what i would call it masterworks, but of mastercraftmanship. it has all the elements of interests (good vs. evil, process of growing up, the ambiguity of decision making process, human emotions etc) and most importantly (for me anyways), it got many people interested in books! reading! what a bloody marvelous concept!


sarcasm aside. there is a reason why monkey went to see it in the theater, easy: it's a big theater movie. can one imagine how impressive it would be if.. well, if any of the spectacular CG effect scenes were on 10.2''screen with a crap built-in speakers (just look at the size of it... it's tiny. there is no way any sound of decent quality is gonna come out from it). so that was that. and it was entertaining.


second movie, however, was a different experience all together. hurt locker: it was about bomb removal unit in iraq. i have zero sympathy for military members in general, especially if they are from the countries which recruits volunteers rather than conscribes. you sign up to become a soldier. a soldier is a tool of a war. does not matter if you play in military band or cook for your fellow men, or even just maintain civil ordinance. the premise of becoming a soldier is to win the war, which involves casualties. you will be killed or you will kill. either way. no half ways about it.; no wonder that the us govt pays so well for what seems to be an easy gig- until you are actually sent somewhere. like iraq.


it involves this main bomb removal tech man, who is reckless in all things- except when he is de-fusing the bombs. i dont want to spoil the plot, but there isnt much plot really. his job is to show up to a site, find then dismantle the bomb. simple. day after day. his rather cavalier mannerism does get on his crews' nerves. and that's the whole movie. wanting to survive. wanting to take a safer way out (ie. evac then detonate) vs. dismantling the bomb properly. and the main character, a properly damaged man, does not have any other choice but to keep going back tot he bomb site, as he is no longer able to sense the world as an average person would- average, as me, you, whoever. seeing so much things in such short time (for instance, if you were 300 years old, perhaps the vigor and violent hunger of war wont be such a shock), so closely (it's interesting that people will often care more about some cat trapped in empty drain pipes than some numbers of dead soldier casualties in the iraq war), one has no choice but to be... conditioned.


conditioned for what? to become an addict of a sort. when one is properly addicted to something- whatever it may be, substance or a situations, emotions, etc., nothing else matters. for someone who is looking for that 'hit,' it is impossible to find a substitution. there is no substitution. only replacements. that's why the whole idea of addiction is deadly.


anyways.


this was not my pick but my matey PO's. he wanted to see it and i just agreed- as it seemed interesting enough. however, i walked out that theater with a profound sense of disturbance. stomach in a knot. eww. now. that was a proper movie. i always find it surprising- just visual and aural. and the passage of time. some directors can mold an entire world inside of- well, span of may be maximum 3 hours. and i left with a significant dent on my guts.

uneasy feeelings.


so ya. there's monkey's two nights caged in movie theater. but at least none was wasted, which is a rarety in the usual hollywood-bogged toronto theaters. so i remain happy for the experience but also wonders when my next visit's going to be..

29.7.09

books, imaginations, go!!

it's spitting rain here in toronto and i just came back from the latest harry potter movie. hearing people complaining about the movie was hilarious: well people, that's why books can be such an entertaining medium- everyone gets to make their own little world full of sensuous clues pulled off from the simple black-on-white pages.


really. what is a book? in the most conventional physical sense, it's pieces of paper usually binded with glue (well some old school books have been properly stitched), with covers (either hard binding or paperbinding), and pages and texts in usual black ink (sometimes you see coloured ones, especially in case of picture books). ya, i know. it's simple isnt it. we all see it and we all know exactly what it is. but do we?


some books hold more magic than its cover, and some books are just outright confusing. some are full of facts and some are full of narratives and ideas. fiction. nonfiction. poetry. prose. essays. stream of consciousness. you name it, it's been printed/bound/sold/given under the simple noun 'book.'


monkey was a 1. fat kid who was unfortunate with triple bad luck of 2. being ahead of class and 3. possessing absolutely no sense of spatial intelligence. i was the last kid to be picked in gym classes. for years! till now, i strongly dislike team sports. still worried about being picked last i suppose. which meant lots of time were spent on reading books. or scribbling.


and i honestly have not finished the potter series. i remember when the last of the series was released, i was studying piano with prof. jacques rouvier of paris conservatoire in orford, quebec. you had to take the once-in-an-hour bus to get to a 'downtown' to get anything, including the new potter book. and people went and bought them. then was glued to the book. i had much fun going around randomly picking up a character and announcing their death to random readers. nothing couldve pissed them off more at that point, hahaha.


come on. it's just a book. and i still dont really know who dies at the end. if i remember correctly, i think it is one of the weasley twins. well, it doesnt really matter does it. all it matters is that that series have brought back the interest for such an ancient medium called 'book' to the new and old generations. people suddenly realized reading, though it seems passive from the outside, could be a very rich activities, full of incentives, ideas, clues and experiences.


and the best thing is that one gets to build one's own very world based on those books. and the books with fantastic illustrations always add another layer of imagination and riches to the readers- i am still a big sucker for children's section in any book store and maurice sendak is one of my personal heroes. (in case it seems familiar, she is the lady who wrote/illustrated where the wild things are). kipling's just so stories. tenniel's illustration in alice in wonderland is another great example. and also some edition of candide with alan odle's illustration is fab. ooh and who could ever forget oscar wilde's salome, richly graced with aubrey beardsley. dont forget curious george or winnie the pooh either. the list can go on and on.


ooh sideways already. anyhows. it was interesting to think about book as a medium of inspiration/aspiration. the latest book i picked up was godel, escher, bach: the eternal golden braid by douglas hofstadter. this book has been crossing my path several times so far, but it always have slipped through my fingers. much like playing frogger. missing the car traffics both ways. and then, squashed!


i finally gave up and picked up a copy and even from the very starting page i am completely amused and tickled curious. linking math, arts and logic is one of the oldest combination for mental exercises, i know. but once you add word pun (more pun! i cant even think about what kind of human mind processes are required to translate such things. like looking at the idea of translating jabberwocky. gawd.), all the sudden, each pages become such a dense material, monkey has no choice but to take each bite with absolute conviction and patience (how could i follow the logic of these mental math games unless i try? i was filling out one of the early exercises concerning formal systems-axioms-treaties, which filled up a page with all sorts of dashes and p-q, much to the next person's amusement at a stationary bicycle at the ymca. ha ha ha) ( i wonder if any of them will ever talk to me after such 'crazy' looking activity).


and i think this book will be a long time enjoyment coming. there is no way i would be able to understand everything from the book in one go, nor i could do a speedreading with such materials. all the sudden, reading becomes not a chore but a truly enjoyable activity! who would ve thought!


i remember looking at some random survey time to time, asking to grade what was the truly the greatest human invention. i cant say for certain, but if i were to restrict the question, such as : what would be the predominant human invention that you use on daily basis and absolutely cannot do without? then i would pick 'book printing/binding' without hesitation.


the beauty of it is that it (the enjoyment, amusement, enlightenment, everything inbetween) only becomes available when one is active in the reading process. i couldnt care less if i am just going through these black stains on white pages as phonetic code. it's when you start to contextualize and cross mapping between different planes of ideas and realities that things become dynamic and alive! voila, here comes monkey's version of: (whatever the book of the obsession is)!


anyways. stating the obvious, i must hit the basket as i have a funeral mass to attend to, and i could muster every ounce of courage and sleep as it's going to be a hard one (yes, it is the one of the man who suddenly collapsed and passed away last wk). at least i will have the luxury to catch up with my very own GBE. and at least i know that there are others who have been exposed to this beautiful book, including mr. salamander, who i would be able to share and add even more layers of riches. i am so lucky.


okay. off to basket. with an excitement of knowing that there's always more beauty than one can possibly understand at one given point. and that there's always at least a hint of beauty in some grimy parts of life as well. if not, why/what to live for?

26.7.09

torrent rain@yyz


the sky has a gigantic rip in yyz today
layers and layers of clouds desperate to patch it up
but alas no use, the city is drenched
with water, once graceful and clear
now just furiously pushing toward the public sewer
all grimes dirts parts of unknown things
all swirling into numerous small angry maelstroms
and i am soaked to my toes, through my shoes
chilled wet pathetic
in the city where it's all shades of cold, concrete grey,
i am a pale blue ghost of a self
empty sack of skin
as if someone has sucked the life-sustaining blood out of me,
leaving me only with skin and bones,
barely hung together, then further drenched in cold summer rain
kind of the day where one is tempted to
slit a wrist of something
just for some colour.
among the sense of needless desperation
i ran through the rain
with an umbrella, also broken,
hinges torn, a thin metal skeleton which no longer fits into itself
the black nylon hangs limp,
an umbrella that does not block the rain.

25.7.09

two passive events for one hell of active thinking day


today started in mild, unassuming manner, then it spiraled into one of the weirdest day monkey had in a good while. funny enough, none of the major events (that's right, two major weird things. i thought one would be sufficient) concerns me directly, which puts me clearly over the line of active involvement. so here i am, looking from the third person's point of view, all kind of confused and a bit contemplative.

since i am going to be staying in toronto for awhile, i am filling in for the organist position at my old work. the pay's alright and the work isnt too bad really; and above all, i swear that monkey's adult family members (mom/dad/granny) are way too happy to drag her around the house of god. and it is also nice to run into old choir members and etc., oh only if i could evade some questions life could be much nicer. i still have no idea why they ask certain questions and why they want to know such personal things about other peoples' lives- i mean, do they actually remember any of those short conversations? what is my life's aspiration for them? anyways. i guess that's what monkey gets for working there for eight years since she was a teen. at least they have stop telling me to pull up my pants etc. for now.

anyways, tomorrow is a sunday and that means that monkey's gonna trek across town on public transit and spend the night at the gene pools' place. which is tolerable. dont get me wrong, i love ( ! ) my parents, but we ARE much better when we are physically far enough, like most of just-grown-child(ren) and parents. though i have to say the bus ride always kills me. i hate... buses and street cars. somehow it's always guaranteed to give monkey a motion sickness. bleh.

as monkey usually crosses the city later in the evening (wknd bus ride is even more intolerable, full of people, just popping at the seams), gene pools usually call and check on her- some general stuff like what time im rolling in, what's the plan, whether im gonna eat with them etc. so when my phone rang this morning from parents, i assumed nothing spectacular. routine calls, routine answers.

except it wasnt a routine call.

apparently the choir rep of the church suffered a bad case of heart attack and now is dead. he was at home, then bang, gone. so tomorrow is a dress-in-black day. the autopsy is scheduled for sometime on monday or so and the funeral service will be held on wednesday morning. that's what monkey's parents wanted to pass on.

it feels funny. i just talked to him last wk about being back in town etc., just a five minute conversation, nothing lengthy or anything. ive known him since his family moved to canada, i think that was during my last year of service, which would be oooh a good six-seven years ago. he is married to this lady who often plays the piano, filling in for smaller services and such and i think they have two children, probably in university by now. he cannot be much younger or older than my gene pools, perhaps younger by half a decade or so. not an obese/heavy smoker/chronic problem kinda dude. an average.

and now. gone.

because i have been away from this scene for so long, i really dont have much emotional attachment to this person nor his family. to say that i feel sad would be an overstatement- i feel sympathetic. it's the only logical thing in life, that once you are alive- you will die someday somehow. surely. there has been another funeral recently in the church choir, of this gentleman who was a pharmacist. he also was married to a lady (who is a bit pushy), with two offsprings both doing music (eldest child, now a mother of a baby, is a fabulously good fiddle player). but the difference was that he's been ill for awhile. i think the story goes something like he once had a cancer and that was somewhat under the treatment, however, it came back with vigor and took him. and it did take a bit of time, so it was somewhat logical conclusion.

silly enough, after seeing the documentary food inc., i briefly thought about this idea of death in a context with my food. how i dont really care about the personal damage my food may do to me (ya i heard about heavy metal poisoning with big tasty fishes such as tuna; i still would eat it galore if i could afford and if it was ethical), but is rather concerned about the general damage my food item may have caused. or more accurately, how my choice in food (ie. what to buy) would dictate/or rather dictated by the larger context- health industry, food industry, environmental concerns etc.

and this is a particular interest of mine that's been going on for awhile. and i remember thinking about all these health claims the food item may make ('it's wholewheat! it's good for you: hmm really? lucky charms?) such as 'consumption of this whatever item may decrease your chance of heart attack etc,' and how the stats may have been completely obscured by the time it gets to me (okay so less people die of heart attack, but i bet it has to do with medical advances than the benefit of flax bread-like products with corn and soy byproducts)(topic for another day i suppose)

and the. a sudden, unrelated news of an unexpected death of an acquaintance. weird. monkey's granny just dropped another crumb of info that he was recently downsized from his work. she feels that his death is due to the economic depression. (shit economy - downsizing - stress- heart attack). but who really knows? i cant say that it has nothing to do with it, but i want to say that we'll never know.

then a second episode. after the phone call, i decided to get my butt to the ymca for a brief workout. since the shoulder dislocation, im thinking that i should do something about it- perhaps a lightweight strengthening exercise? rotation cup friendly exercise? who knows what. anyways, moving cannot be worse than not-moving. so i go. and i got the time. on way to ymca, i decided to drop by the bank, to make a small deposit. insert card. punch pin. select menu item. then.

i reached for a deposit envelop for the atm. then realized that it's heavy. heavier than an empty single envelop. what the heck. take a peek. then

there it was. exactly 1000 dollars in cash, with two cheques. total of 1500 cad. sitting there.
someone prob was intending to deposit- then who knows what happened, it just was dropped and was left there. right ON the atm terminal i was using.

i finished my transaction. then looked around to see if there's anyone who LOOKS as if theyve lost something. no one. so now what? i brought it to the bank tellers. there were four of them. and usually banks are on serious surveillance system. no way that they can just div it up and pretend nothing have happened. it's not that i dont trust people, it is just easier if you leave less room for a possible temptations. if i approached a security officer, with 1000 in hard, cold cash, he may feel inclined to.. well, not finish the report. same with police officer. it's too big of a sum to go missing and it's too tempting of a commodity to be completely honest. like those lost-wallet surveys. most of wallets will come back with IDs and such, but usually, with zero cash, if there was any.

they asked if i wanted to leave contact info. and i was gonna. then i wondered why would i need to leave it with them? because the cheques were made by two different people for one person, to trace back the probable owner of this asset would be very easy (call the people who issued the cheque, backtrack who it was written for, etc etc). i didnt think of doing it myself because i want nothing further to do with it. i mean why would it be necessary for me to be known to that person? only thing i could think was that eventually i may expect a word of thank you, may be even a small thanks gift of a sort once the owner has been identified. i mean, i would thank the person who found my stuff. but that does not mean i should expect it, does it.

so i left.

did i thought of keeping the cash? no. it's not mine. would it have helped to just randomly pick up a thousand bucks off the street? hell ya. i couldve flown to uk for mr. salamander's birthday. i couldve put it in for student loan payment. i could have done many things.

but simply it is not mine.

and returning something to someone does not mean that i should be thanked. it's ethically right thing to do and i honestly think that most of people would do the right thing.

so two things today. weird. dovetailing. surprising yet both situations were not a complete surprise in a secondary sense. we die and yes, if one realizes what would be the ethical action would be for a given situation, one's oughtta act it out. but why is it that both situations feel rather strange? anyhows, it's all over and i am hoping both situations will resolve without further complications.

passive accidents for active thoughts. bah.

24.7.09

monkey as part of intimate group of friends


a short one. i had 1.5 pints and am quite sleepy from it. good old friends from utoronto days. and unexpected quark running- to my old friend who is leaving town on sunday to study ethnomusicology in texas! what a variety of people. the topics of the night were all over the place, as people are also all over the map. but out of all those people, i have to say the company of particular fluties (thats what i have been calling them for ages for some reason), esp. miss LB and miss CH are always enjoyable. and i am glad to think that it's mutual- yay.


miss L's off to start masters of music-flute in montreal and miss CH's been working diligently on her phd thesis ever since the unicorn appeared (last year her university had so many ups and downs and i have a great admiration for the way she dealt with all that paper crap and going to UN meetings blah blah so many things. she's a super woman). and mr. AN is about to start a degree at utoronto, which is pretty sweet. fab. btw, mr. AN takes a very significant role because he makes miss CH happy. yep. that's what counts in life.


toronto city-wide strike, documentary food inc., michael pollan and eric scholosser, joel salatin, ethical choices and awareness, human rights, sexism, protection of the weak, health care and taxation, duties of civilian in a society, music, nonse words, beer, all things that looks really far apart but really close together- these were just part of the things we have consumed tonight. the best thing however, is the chance and the grace of my friends who are willing to share their time and voices, and who do share it freely with me. no charges, no guilt, no nothing. just being there, knowing from this point to the next, we'll all go on and pick up all these small bits and pieces of interests, until we can all share them again.


it could be a bizarre concept to share such intimacy with other individuals, considering that we dont get to see one another all that often. a good example out of this group would be monkey- mr. salamander. but let's clarify what monkey means by intimacy, as it is primarily used in physical context now days. im looking into somewhat larger meaning of the word and rather than me talking about it, i may just let the word speak itself through its biography:


the word intimacy
derived from the english word intimate
derived from the latin word intimus (inmost; most secret; most intimate)
derived from the latin word intimatus
derived from the late latin word intimare (tell, tell about, relate)


it is a human privilege to be able to relate to another person. and it's even better to take the chance to foster a relationship with another. eventually to the level of intimacy. and i really do sense that my friends are accepting and challenging simultaneously, which is a real nice. like well-matched tennis game. it's not boring, not comfortable, but meaningful and there's always more to go around for the next time.


and it is such a joy to know that regardless of the present distance or time differences, that i could be, and am intimate with another individual, to a degree that neither of 'us' stands as individual, but is redefined as 'we.'


and now. to basket. with all kinds of red dots with weight lighter than helium, floating across the physical distances.

21.7.09

evening walk with jabberwocky


last night i was lounging around the cyberspace doing not much but really, wasting time. but serious, who, of any of us, could really say that they have never wasted time in their lives? if so, well.. i say you are either 1. crazily hopefully or 2. crazy.

and i cannot remember how i got into the topic of lewis caroll and his books, notably alice in wonderland, through the looking glass and what alice found there. naturally, monkey got into her favorite time-waster: word chewing. etymology is one of the most fascinating things in my life. i think it probably dates way back to the time when she was transplanted to anglosphere of canada at age of 12. when i moved to toronto, i did not speak a word of english nor i ever thought i would be going across the world, exactly one of the farthest point from her previous location (it's about 12-13 hours of difference between seoul and toronto, total reversal of night and day hence, furthest from one another).

instead of going to a popular uber-big arts-specialized high school, monkey's parents sent her to a small, quaint if not somewhat exclusive catholic high school. the reason was that the regional highschool was full of asians and they were worried that monkey would never assimilate. well, whatever. like i had a choice in matter. i think they also not so secretively like the pious nature of all-girl small catholic school. my graduating class has barely 100 people in it and it was the biggest one over the years i was told. anyways, dressed in emblemed shirt, tie, knee-high socks that never stays up and a real scottish kilt, she went to school. as told.

those scottish kilt was really funny in a sense that everyone was desperate to keep them short. the regulation length wouldve been 1-2" below the knees. however. most kids wore them more as a ruffled extensions of their shirts. well, enough details to fuel some curious minds for those exciting catholic school girl fantasies. or i would say, phantasms. not all fantasies are.. urr pleasant. ha ha ha. anyways. i remember being horribly disappointed when parents gave away her kilts to some random person without asking. i would have like to keep it for some bizarre reason. anyways.

this exclusive highschool didnt have an ESL course: english as second language. i guess that was the subtle way of keeping the 'lesser' stocks away. ha. anyhows, so there she was, learning english and french, battering through julius caeser and stratford festivals. brutal sessions. and at one point, i thought this is ridiculous to always have to find some sort of 'equivalent' words in korean-english and vice versa, as 'some sort' and 'equivalent' already clashes.

so went the dictionary and came thesaurus. doing pages and pages of brainstorming and diagrams, slowly i learned to appreciate the subtle differences of similar words. then came the next step: why are they similar? how did they become different and where did they come from?

it's been awhile now. thanks to some miracles and other nonsensical happenings, monkey learned enough to write a thesis and finish school. and though my grammar still sucks (i still dont exactly know where to put articles. i think i will never learn how it really works. thanks god for real friends who are willing to proof-read), i still appreciate chewing on random words. and this particular hobby has been a real pleasure recently as mr. salamander also happen to like wordsplay.

in fact, i remember the time he used the word 'chortle.' what is a chortle? well, before you look it up.. think... what would it mean? well, it's very simple. you wouldve probably got it, it's chuckle and snort, jammed up together, sort of like when you are at a serious company dinner table as the lone child, and start to laugh at something 'inappropriate' such as the visiting lady having a big booger hanging out of her nose or the men spiking their drinks while the women arent watching. since it is inappropriate, the child desperately tries to hold the laughter and it gets. worse. and worse. chuckling under the brutally clenched jaw, one cannot help it but eventually choke on a small piece of food, which.. travels through the nasal cavity (snort), then... flies.. across... landing at some unfortunately visible spot.

it's no small venture to chuckle under clenched jaw. for instance did you know that an average human jaw can produce 165-200 psi pressure? for reference, psi stands for pounds per square inches: 1 psi = 1 lb/in2. so that means.. a jaw can produce pressure of 200 pounds per every square inches! that's enough to.. well, chew the toughest and roughest mystery school meats.

i mean there are tons of these jammed, invented words in english history, but in carroll's literature is special in a sense so many of them were planted as a joke devices that became enjoyable entities of their own. however, one does not see these wonderful words too often, nor gets to play with them in a true sense that all parties involved must be able to appreciate the etymology/context/and possibly the sarcastic misuse of the particular instances. so seeing the word 'chortle' in 3tz was one of the biggest unexpected surprise. yay for wordsgames! another one you may have been familiar with in this monkey splattering would be quark (this one is borrowed from mr. joyce in finnigan's wake). these pseudo words, born out of curiosity, necessity and humour (last but not the least), are called nonce words.
these nonce words, once born, goes through the growing up period of neologism. (often when a word is born with a particular hope of becoming mainstream, is called protologism; in a sense that it is made with that particular intention, it is quite different from neologism. neologism includes all words that are.. well, born.)

what happens these delicate new borns during neologism? well, they are all unstable at the beginning. newly born and just casted, the initial users work carefully around the baby word. then like any other hype, the baby becomes the talk of the neighbourhood. much like a lingo, limited to a particular audience/subculture, diffusing slowly to the surroundings. then comes stabilization where it is grown enough to venture out to the larger area, being understood by broader audience. tv, conversations, articles, conversations, whichever. it's working its way through, establishing, waiting for a real break. then becomes dated, where it is no longer new, but is accepted as part of the norm talk. and often it becomes even passe, old, dated, ghost of the past. so old and familiar that people try actively to not to use it (esp if you wanna be hip or something). much like a person's life eh. ah how we all works to not to be a passe. ha ha ha.

anyways. as always, monkey's lost in circular, even curved path of thoughts. what i wanted to do was somehow get to the topic of jabberwocky. but i think it's getting wayy too long. so this is the point where i should stop i think. but whenever i think of fantastic world of alice and the continuous distortion of words, black on white, especially of james joyce as well (where all the sudden the familiar words are wearing different costumes and new words sneak in and blend perfectly with the olds, the initial image of words as solid, definitive and easy-to-comprehend starts to deteriorate. FAST), i cant believe how rich this world can be. this also applies to music i think- reading a score is not music. score is just a medium, a concrete medium that 'represents' a musical thoughts and intentions. it has nothing to do with sound, perhaps with exception of all-too-frequent swearing and grunting during the deciphering/executing/scrambling process. and those notes and symbols- could mean so many things, initially hiding behind its flat, 2D surface.

i know that just learning to peek at these sublime riches is frabjous. bloody frabjous. and like a proper jubjub, i will always try to pick apart the surface with desperation and find some dusts of beauty/joy. and as a the most beamish monkey in the world, i am lucky enough to continue this journey with mr. salamander and other appreciative people. gawd. who knew. jabberwocky. nonsewords. two fishes interweaving, just playing. please come over and play with us anytime- bookbomber, ms. j, lady l, and anyone who may be so kind to grace my life- and our lives.

life is simple isnt it. it's about joy. happiness. and the irreplaceable connection between the individuals, as we are no longer individuals as the sum of parts are always greater than the parts. and like newly born words, we all are responsible to care for these little wee babies to stage of stabilization, but also to keep it afresh, to not be a passe.

unless:
you like being passe.
someone still buys kitsch stuff! you wont be alone, ha ha.
and if you are patient enough-
it may even come back in style.
just like moonwalk.


http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/jabber/jabberwocky.html

20.7.09

power sunday: deity, gene pools, quarks and MY universe


today was spent obeying tempers of god and my gene pools.
after what seems to be a real amusing if not amazingly not-entertaining conversations about 'correct dosage of vitamins one should consume when expose to abnormal amount of radiations, such as in airplane cabin,' kindly provided by my random seatmate, monkey was dropped with mercy at my parent's house in north end of toronto, at some ungodly time after pumpkin hours.

actually, i stand corrected. it wasnt exactly a conversation. as a conversation would imply at least somewhat reasonably interested replies and further inquiries from one party to another. this was a rather.. unexpected and unasked case of pseud- holistic approach to plane ride to preserve the 'natural state' of one's body. the most amusing part was perhaps the fact i was continuously thinking that there is nothing, absolutely nothing natural about being hurled across the big open sky in a large metal object that consumes ungodly amount of fuel at an amazing height and distance.

amazing enough that i was feeling slightly provoked to only imagine that if he kept it on, perhaps something really natural would happen. like monkey splattering a fellow passenger with something that is not life-threatening but even more dangerous as it would be just annoying: how about a sharp edge of a paper? mmm. it would be a true technique to be able to inflict open wound with paper edges. ha ha.

ouch. that thought actually hurts i think.

anyways, thanks to a fellow collaborative pianist and her sister/the respected boyfriend who came to the airport for the night pickup, during the early hours of the sunday morning, monkey had a big bowl of soup *mm courtesy of granny,* a long shower (it's just about a week ago i spontaneously decided to carry a particular limb with another in an utmost careless act, nevertheless, followed by the most careful act of getting shipped to the local ER of town of banff. what a drama. and of course it's getting better so i totally forgot about it at one point and yanked my lightweight suitcase with it. ooh smart. but i didnt really know any better since i was knocked out somewhat still with kindly derived chemicals ha ha. gawd. but i did remember heat/cold alternation and took a great advantage of indoor plumbing. yay), a noodle around the internet (addict!) then a short sleep.

then back to the good ol'house of god for a little homage to tradition and well, a realistic cheque that would follow by the end of the month, with parental units. ooh my gene pools are very particular people. actually because they were having their shop boiler inspected (mechanical sunday. no rest for the wicked- perhaps the industrial revolution really was wicked and evil?) monkey was delivered to the sanctuary by another person's gene pools. thanks to the good peeps, i was on time, even early (five whole minutes!!) and rather familiar (as i never left or something) ritual of morning rehearsal and service.

it's been about 5-6 years since i left my old church. it's been enough time that one of my friends is now a priest. that does seem rather funny at times, but then i think sometimes such devotion to a belief is so amazing that for someone like me, who are constantly running into the wall with such concept seems funny. not funny ha ha but funny as errr... i dont really... get it... but i do respect it.. kinda.. funny. like getting yelled at by the headmaster for some bizarre thing you cant even remember. anyways, i had/still have no intention of ridiculing the religion. and after all, i did have fun playing with long and short pipes. now that sounds obscene. but how often really a girl of my size gets to play with something called 32' bourdon? yeah.... that is enough rumble to power a chocolate fountain. anyways. it was nice to play back on organ for the old choir. some even recognized my sound (or perhaps the impatience of me, expressed by changing my registration at least once in a verse, ha ha ha) and came to say hello. aww.

then eventual pick up by the real gene pools, and the 2/3 of the family (basically the boys were out working/sleeping/freedoming) went to sunday lunch. it was mom's b day recently however, i really didnt know what to get her (as town of banff sells very limited means of anything practical and nice at same time, nevermind logically priced), so unfortunately monkey was.. um. empty handed. buying something for my mom gets rather tricky because we are so damned different. i love the lady dont get me wrong (unlike. ur.. couple years ago.) (oh come on, stop pissing on me. i know youve been there at times) but since we are so different, it's a real trial to find something that connects both of our real identities. and luckily, she knows and she calmly (and thankfully) said she'll let monkey know when she thinks of something appropriate.

i have a bizarre feeling that it's going to involve some human labour of sort, like delivering granny to the grand city of detroit (gawd. now. that's a wasteland that would make t s elliott proud) in september or something. how does that count for b day present for mom? i have no idea. but let us make a bet. i bet she would ask for that. grrr. ha ha ha.

may be i can actually go out and bear the burden of a short jewellery shopping or something. i traditionally get her some feminine trinkets (miraculously she likes monkey's taste) but it has to be the right one. which involves days of scoping. perhaps that's in order this wk. grrr.

anyways. then a rather long catch up (by monkey standard), then at certain point, monkey was release by the grips of authorities to return to her old cage. whoot.

i havent even unpacked which is pretty unusual. usually i would have had the entire house cleaned up by now. my dear friend PO does a good job of keeping the place, dont get me wrong. im just saying that the price of one's own neurotic ism is rather great. it's almost habitual now. but with this annoying shoulder (i went off the chems this afternoon to just to see how it is really. and it's- vocal enough to notice. bleh.) i think im gonna give up and just do enough to clear my bed space. ooh. old. familiar. basket. space. though. now. the concept of. basket. is.
changing fast.

anyways.
and as one tries to sleep, one cannot sleep.
so here i am, after reading james beard's old skull cookbook, im bout to hit the sack. i may be amused about the amount of unnecessary rants and curly decorations of the first day back to monkey ground later but for now, i think it's enough.

im still chewing and defining pieces of my peeps of banff summer 2009 session. there are just simply too much riches to spit them all out all at once. like a proper distillation, it must be done with utmost care i think. i have collected impressive raw materials. now i should take a great care to define these new materials in my mind. and let them mingle and boil gently, releasing their individual beauties in unhurried, unforced processes. and then. let the mixture take time to start to ferment, then to initial filter, then care for them dearly, watching some raw impressions to disappear, like proper angels' shares, as explained in proper scottish distilleries, and caring for the best bits,
the best bits of summer 2009 banff session.

i am feeling very lucky, fortunate and privileged. and most importantly, cared and loved for being just a silly monkey. there are things i have not finished or been able to achieve in this session, but there are more impressive things that came during the journey, and the most important thing would be: my newly quarked friends. like subatomic particles in CERN chamber, we've been running around freely, in our odd directions, only to run into one another, not totally by pure chance, but not by totally calculated and directed preparations either. we've all been looking for one another in some way or another, and here we are. with still fresh impressions in monkey's soft, thin skin.

before everything gets to the initial cooking pot, i just wanted to mae a small mark for myself- that this what life is about. people.
people who i love and people who i hope to grow to love.
people who love me for what i am and what i may become, as i interwine with their lives. individually. collectively. freely. but with great care and impressive cost. the cost being our lives. the time. pulses. the one thing we cannot bring back or compensate for.

ah. yyz good to see you.
ah. yyc you were good to me.
ah. my dear friends good to see you again.
and my new friends, thanks for the start of some amazing journey.
i hope i can only be an active nurturer of your willingness to share your lives and thoughts.

i am so lucky.

and hullo mr. salamander.
as of always, somewheres around, 3tz.
somewhat a strange feeling of return to see you in 3tz in yyz.
as i always lose sense of real location and time in 3tz. wag.
greetings.
now.. to basket.. with nice.. chemicals.... mm... true ... monk..ey... fash...io....n.......zz......

16.7.09

Le Mat. yes. i am a fool.


thursday july 16, 2009, today is one of the last few days left in banff summer session. now, a brief assessment, as it would be impossible to tell what i would actually retain and remember, in contrast to what i may would like or not like to take with me. only thing i could possibly know is what i think at this very point.

being in banff for the second time was a bit of surprise in a sense so many feelings came back to visit and so much of new things came on way as well. silly enough, i also had one of the worst beginning of a festival, with well-prepped and demanding instrumentalists (i think it is great that they were all so ready to play and demand what they wanted; i just wish there was a bit of time for me to absorb it a bit before we went 'public' haha) doubled with vistas food attack (now that i have a self-imposed policy of eating at vistas only once a day, it's all been an okay ride, thank god) it was rather rough. then things got even better with flipping out on thin air.

oh i meant to put a brief note on this one, but just never got to, until now! hahaha. basically after the brandenburg concerto dress rehearsal, on way from the m/s building to lloyd hall (residential hall where i stay), i took a fall. why? i have no idea. i suppose i was trying to de-evolve self, give up walking on two, back to four or something. who knows. there was no potholes, no ice/water, no nothing. flat concrete. then. BAM.

and lucky me ended up dislocating my shoulder again and that was that. i had to be taken to the ER as no one in the centre wanted to put it back (pity!), my bosses had to come pick me up from the hospital and tons of paper works. the worst is when my violinist asked: why are you not changed yet (for concert dress)?
and monkey said:

urr. am not playing today. sorry.

.... WHAT?? HOW DID YOU TAKE YOUR SHOULDER OUT???

so rather comical if not intentional. haha. and i thought that was going to be the ultimate kick on the butt. ooh boy i was wrong. the day later, one of my bosses took collab pianists out to dinner, a chinese place. and i. had. the fortune cookie. with.

NOTHING IN IT!

so after that, i suppose things are just silly and i realize it's all going to be alright. if not, what's the point of fussing anyways? haha. so since then monkey's done her performances (the last thing being biber mystery sonata at the church on organ) it's all chilling. too bad the shoulder's lame to read anything serious, but at the same time, i cannot be so bitter.

i played rather un-monkey like in this festival. short duration. no time to makeup for the mistakes. pressurized chamber. demands. crack. fall. etc etc. i think my best contribution probably was the fact that i played continuos and various things beside the piano. that's what mattered. there were tons of better pianists here.

about that- i may feel a little pathetic as i am no longer a young puppy, and should know better, blah blah. but at the same time, i do have to realize that all directives of my actions and thoughts are usually not piano-centered anyways; it rarely was, and it will probably never be. for me, piano is a mean of an expression, a tool of a kind. and hence learning a few basics of harpsichord/organ/clavichord was the same thing. just learning the tools of the trade so that should the need arise, i can always be able to babble some. and in a fact, that makes me think of a friend i know: this girl went to a high top notch conservatory to study cello. scholarship and everything. drops off the program, studies LSAT and now in law school.

and i asked why; she simply said there isnt enough time to do both- music and other things. so she kept music as a interest (very keen interest haha) and decided to study something that is much broader. good for her.

i suppose im not too far from it. only thing in piano-related thing i havent really digged on would be vocal coaching. and i am sure i will get on it, as it's one of the few top priorities of 'to learn' list. when and where will come when the time's right.

i wondered if i was at the right place this time. most of the time, i understood what they wanted me to be, whatever that may be. however, i wasnt exactly the right cut. im too thin skinned, too dependant on personal relationship to my instrumentalists to play music (which is impossible in a shrot duration festival setting), has too wide range of interests, and find things beside music too fascinating (right now it would be collection of prints and annotated research book on british illustrator/printer hogarth, who, by the way, made series of prints that became the inspiration for stravinsky's opera, rake's progress. see, at least i learned to justify these far-fetched activities as 'useful' stuff, ha ha), too opinionated, somewhat lax in professional conduct (too casual/cavalier), etc.

however, i know i will be walking out with some real possibilities of further bonding with very few, but incredibly fascinating people. and knowing that a few people even really like the way monkey plays is a big relief. not only because they liked my playing (yes, call me shallow, it matters to me. at least i can acknowledge the fact) but also took interest to get to know me a bit. why i am the way i am. these are the real bondings that i dig. it makes everything else worthwhile. so what if im a bit battered from past three weeks? there are relationships that i could foster for next three decades if i want to. and which i will.

nick d., monica h., lady lev, old friend gm, newly acquainted mutual friend sm, a convolutly connected yk, continuo buddy t, on top of i suppose now 'old' friends such as j and g at the office, there are some special people.

for three wks, that's kinda amazing.

i have couple reading sessions left and then i will be enroute back to toronto. then back in september. now im gonna get some candies with my 'artist' card which will expire on saturday, which will give me the full right to be a normal person again, not a serious 'artist,' and i am looking forward to the summer coming. there's still more of summer left. and boy. life is unexpected, exciting, frustrating, but never boring. at least in this monkey's view.

15.7.09

good night, sir and lady downes.



from the many passing news and notices of the world, i have found a very particular report intriguing and significant. about death of certain individuals who i have never met or seen. someone who is rather far, but somehow ended up being not too far from monkey in the grand sense of the world- esp. when you take the consideration of how many people are actually living and breathing in this world: According to the International Programs Center, U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of the World, projected to 07/15/09 at 05:11 GMT (EST+5) is 6,771,165,967.

so then why does this particular death, which really should as significant as any other generic birth strike such a note? well. because it was a choice. and because it was not just a death, but of two persons.

sir ted downes, a british conductor at age of 85 took hand of his wife, joan downes at age of 74 with terminal illness, and went into the land of the truly unknown at the iconic swiss euthanasia clinic, dignitas. with over half of a century of companionship, they have chosen to withdraw. together.

i first encountered this news through mr. salamander. ironically he pointed out that bbc phil is currently on the move to salford, and it was maestro ted who occupied the newly painted space of studio 7 when bbc phil moved into the new building back in the 80s. and that it was maestro ted who led the bbc phil during the years 1980-1991, i suppose the early days of mr. salamander at the phil.

like closing of a chapter. not only there is the physical aspect of moving, but also physical aspect of closure. the final closure of this common chapter known as life. and monkey found this news rather- provoking at this point. as monkey's also passing by some remarkable points of her life, regarding many different aspects- personal, professional, inter/intra personal, whatevers inbetween. significantly smaller closures i suppose, in comparison to death. still. big enough closures for monkeyself.

there has been many points in monkey's life where she wanted to opt out, nice, short, concise decision- perhaps not too wise, nonetheless, true feelings at the time. and for some reason or other, those attempts never really materialized to success. there are many points of small damages, however, never up to the point where monkey is dead or forgetful. and i think at this point in my life, things are actually quite pleasant and beautiful.

now you may argue that this is all because monkey stuck it out and only after suffering one can appreciate the 'compensation' or 'earned break,' or whatever else term you may fancy. but really, if there was no grit, would monkey be able to appreciate the finer beauties of life today? am not so sure. but it's also a useless argument as there is nothing i could do to change the past. just like the cutting marks. they dont disappear quickly. some of them older than most of my friends' child(ren). i can see the ones that are really old. fading. slowly. human skin is produced on constant basis, a human body is practically renewed every seven years (well, mostly, as some tissues wont regenerate itself), and we all know that though scars remain, they do fade, even colloids.

so really. at times i do feel quite attached to my scars. they may not be the most generally appealing part of myself, however, am quite fond of the history they carry. why? because it happens to be my own identity. a big chunk of it.

and im just thirty years old now. i cannot imagine what it would be like to have a partner for over half a century. there is no way to guess such feelings. i know what it feels like to have that feeling of simpatico, or just being understood, rarely accepted as who i am, and even more rare, loved as a person, nothing less or more. the intensity of such feelings may be somewhat comparative, however, the durations not even close. half a century is a long time.

they went together. made all the appropriate arrangements. had the resources to pull the whole plan together and execute it. hands in hands, as their children said.

i am envious, slightly. and am also deeply afraid that i may never be able to make such choice myself. afraid- fear factor- not because i am afraid of dying, but because i may be the one who is left behind. it's pathetic however genuine. if i have been in such a strong bond with another individual, would i be really strong enough to be able to withstand such loss? individual comes from the expression indivisible: no longer divisible, a single, smallest, solitary entity.

when one enters into a relation with another, one is no longer completely free, hence, no longer is an individual. ideally, one would retain all characteristics/ preferences prior to the engagement, and instead of yielding without reason, one would be in a continuous process of exchanges and considerations- for oneself as well as the other who is involved. the world still will recognize the individualistic parts of the union, though the union itself may now be Incorporated to build a new identity of the 'related' parties. a simple case of one plus one is not a simple two, but something else.

so when the end of the union is near- in this case, after unusually long period of time (well, that is probably more applicable to my generation rather than the older generation, but still), i think there would naturally be a question about the resolution of the relationship. such as the one ted and lady downes had to face.

fortunately they were able to make such choices without compromises regarding legality or financial/emotional resources. and they made a choice which i think is reasonable and logical, if not universally supported. i think it's perfectly fine that it is a rather hot topic. it's a big decision. it's a common situation- though the ending of a union may be in a slightly lighter situation: ie. a breakup, divorce, separation, etc. and everyone will take it differently. with all their reasons and contexts. but ultimately, if we were to draw a simple survey, it will be something like: do you support or do you not? or do you decline to answer?
one of the three. you check it off on square box of some sort. and cast your vote.

this story is right now being stuck on my mind, like hot melted plastic. searing hot, but since it's not solid, you cant exactly just peel it off from your skin, as it'll just stick to another part of you. more effort to get it off, the more pain it brings, for now anyways. like mortar bombs. i keep thinking about it on and off the day. and if i were to check the boxes, i think i would prob check:

(X)i support sir and lady downes' decision of simultaneous euthanasia

would i do the same? i cannot say for sure, but as an ideal situation, i probably would. though i would be a bit of a coward and would hope to go a bit earlier than my companion. a nicer thing to do would be to go together, or go a little behind. but i am a coward- i am not too sure if i would be strong enough to be able to stand and be the one to put the final period of the last sentence of such chapter. i would like to be able to. at least that much is true.

as a person who is relatively newly enamoured with another person, i cannot imagine what it would be like to stand at a such position. i am in that stage of attraction and what i would imagine as love, and right now, the position is rather simple, easily put down in three words:
i ___ ___.

and those three words will grow (hopefully!) with this relationship and one day, i can only imagine of the relationship taking an identity of an individual entity- meaning that it's not a simple companionship of one person with another, but of something that is well-integrated and weaved together. and though i am perhaps unreasonably confident in the future direction of this particular relationship, i can only be slightly envious of downes' decisions and their consequential closure. not because i wanted to be just like downes, but because at this point, i think i am beginning to understand that there is nothing else in this world, but the human relationships that could rescue, sustain and revive a singular individual.

sir and lady downes, greetings and salutations for your last journey. the final journey. i hope that both of you still felt the warmth of the other, as the dusk fell swiftly and quietly. and i cannot imagine what feelings that you both must have shared at that point, but i certainly hope that one day, i can be so lucky that if i were to be in a similar situation be brave enough to make such a decision. to stick it through together. thick. thin. and now to. niente. i heard a bit about you as a conductor. as a leader. from the media. from your old team member. a man who understood pulse and time. of trial and performance. you must have known the importance of pulse of life. and after such a busy life, in sync with lady downes, rather than being out of sync, you took the option of abrupt but logical resolution. and i can imagine your marking for this last journey: adagio con amour. then.

calando.

niente.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/world/europe/15britain.html

12.7.09

(a found note from the hallway)

hullo(mellowed out)
mmm. opiate. tasty.
joking!
really??

*seriously it is just painkillers for popped shoulder. monkey took a spec-ta-cu-lar flip on ground on air and took a shoulder out. am good. (wag index finger) may be.. too good!! anyhows.


sorry, monkey's being nutters. ahahaha.
am rolling into bed, tail curled and tucked underneath the shirt
which is a little wet from ice pack but am happy
*monkey cant really raise right arm enough to take a shirt off so. that meant going to bed with the same shirt on. hmm. oh well.

knowing that you are there, well. here. breathing. living. loving.
busy being _____.

am sorry ive been a lousy-ish company,
and i do really appreciate the fact that i can just be myself,
even when it's less than spectacular times,
that i am loved. because i happened to be me. and that you just need me.
not a version or me, or just part of me, but me.

thank you ______.
i love you and now monkey to basket.
and. boy. when i think of you,
it flutters. butterflies.

c
*total public bragging. thank to opiates i have no shame. for now. when it runs out, i will take some more. ha. droooool.

11.7.09

book of אִיּוֹב



3:3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.

3:4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.

3:5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

3:6 As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.

3:7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.

3:8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.

3:9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: 3:10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? 3:12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? 3:13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, 3:14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves; 3:15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: 3:16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.

3:17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.

3:18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.

3:19 The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.

3:20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; 3:21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; 3:22 Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? 3:23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? 3:24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.

3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

3:26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

book of job's gotta be one of the most discussed topic in the world, in the most general sense of the topic, not restricted to any particular religious perspective. for not doing anything but just being around, job is played as a pawn between satan and god, seriously getting his butt kicked. it's highly unfair but why is it that we are expected to find this great salvation through job's suffering if he clearly did not deserve any of it? is he simply expected to pull through just because he is a god supporter? does job's suffering matter to either parties? did they care- if so, were they caring for the outcome of their bet (hoping job wont die before the bet was over) or the pawn itself? let's simply forget the usual question associated with book of job and take a short look: why does bad things happen to good people?

it doesnt really matter the way i look at book of job today. bad things happen, yes, but it shouldnt happen just because there are external parties involved who are playing around with another life, just prove a point- or to create a point, establish a case, make an example, whatevers in between. job really didnt do anything in particular that made him to 'deserve' his situation. job just happened to be an exemplanary person (which, if one may pinpoint, should have been recognized and at least not punished for it), and just because he was capable, or god/satan thought job was the fitting choice of such experimentation, job suffers. needlessly. without ground.

yes, sure, the book of job talks about how he gets supplimented later for his 'given' sufferings with long life and such, but really, is that even fair? to suffer not because of one's actions, but because of one's external circumstances? and when you say 'thank you' later, or even be patronized for the suffering later, does it really nullify the thoughtlessness of god/satan?

may be i am too human, but as i look at book of job today, i cant help but agree with job's litany about his suffering. it had nothing to do with his own actions, but everything to do with being at the wrong place at the wrong time. then should job just forgive god for playing a pawn with him later? just because god explained later? just because god 'rewarded' job?

the external parties playing games with job's life angers me today.
3:16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.

7.7.09

wearing it out, like a fav pairs of shoes



a short prog report for the day, im antsy to get outta my studio however am cautious about bringing my laptop back to my room ( i shall never sleep again)- but since am on a concert tomorrow evening, may as well to get some sort of rests. luckily monkey does not have a major playing-related injury (thanks to laziness), but that doesnt mean that i would need one nor i should get one. also perhaps depressurizing may be good for a change- ive been adding all sorts of unnecessary pressure to the days and i dont think it's all that nice. time to grow up a bit. also lessons tomorrow morning and i really wanna play well. so. a short dot. before. exit.


out. to. freedom.


really?

haha probably not. it's always a funny thing, often one does things because one NEEDS to, but for some reason, one (well i do) also often laments about it. for instance, after all those small and big breaks i took inbetween playing music, there has been plenty of chances to go do something else, but i have made a conscious decition to just come back to it, doesnt really matter what the reasonings were. and compare to the possible scenarios, things are rather good.

so there.


i just wish i played better. but if one is conscious, i suppose it's always going to be so- always wanting to be a bit better, trying to see over the current line of sight. but it's also helpful to remember that wanting to and working-onto are two different things. there's no disadvantage in wanting to improve, to see, but there maybe a significant disadvantage in dwelling in such place. if you are only paying attention to the current location, you will never see where you need to go next, then like a pond that no longer flows, it will be stagnant, then.. die. a live body of water, including a pond, is always a little 'dirtier' than a bowl of clean, septic tap water. there's always that bit of life grease whenever things are alive and progressing through time.


with that in mind, i may as well take some of the dirts from the day on my feet. often it's not a such a terrible thing to go to bed with somewhat dirty feet. especially if you are doing your own laundry and is sleeping alone! no need to share the dirt, hahaha. the working feets get grimy, unlike prissy nice ones which rests pretty on cushions. i think of all the things i like- and ya, they are usually worn in, fixed, mended and loved. once perhaps new, but mostly grown into a 'thing' of itself, with its own stories to tell. so why should i be any different. i may as well life put some elbow grease on me, and hopefully i will be able to look at it with an understanding that it's just the course of things, and that an old leather always looks much better than new. warmth.


5.7.09

talk with my double grand marnier


the days are faster, harsher and to be honest, surprisingly demanding/abrasive at times. but i suppose it's because i am too sensitive, a big baby. it's a bit of schizophrenic life here as a piano kid. but everyone seems to be holding alright, tall, proud and smiling. well, im kinda dented, but i suppose i can at least squeeze out a silly face. i realize that i may have a look of defeat from the day, but really, it's not appropriate for me to advertise my 'hard' life to others. i know that it's not others' business to be considerate in a sense that i need to perform certain tasks and that they need to be done as well as it could be. simple. what i need to do to get it done, simply should not be their concern, but just mine.


because it's my work you see. not their work.

i signed and i am working. if i need to produce a certain product, it is my bloody job to deliver what's asked of me, or as much as i could.

it's not anything to do with me, but of what i need to do. practical, cold? i dont think so. practical without having emotional attachment. there's no real need for cushioning life. it's always going to be what it is. sometimes lucky, sometimes unfair. the wheel of the fortune goes round and round.


luckily i have a banff family. or what it seems like a family. people who love and care for me just because i happened to be who i am. no more or less is asked of me. just being me in banff seems to be enough of a reason for these wonderful individuals to care for me.


i am bloody lucky that there are people who are willing to take the effort just for me, for nothing in return, but just keep monkey sane and somewhat safe. and there has been some old topics, re surging but always with same answers..

no1, mr. H is right, i shouldnt really care about small remarks. i can only do what i can. it's not ideal, but it's what it is. and these people who may make damaging remarks may not even know, or EVER know what/how that remark dented monkey. not their problem, and it does not need to be my problem either.

secondly, miss J is right. i always at least put my neck on line, playing unsafe.and that's the way i think. so when you do that, sometimes you take a flop. but at least you are taking chances. yes. i would rather play out and be wrong at times. if it's wrong i can fix it. if it was never said, well..

numero 3, big bro figure G is just really looking out for me. and it's real luxury to have someone cares for you, just because they happen to like you as a person. no return, no barter, no exchange. i offered him a pint on behalf of monkey/mr. salamander, but i suppose G is determined to collect his drink from mr. salamander himself, haha. whenever it may be... G, you can cash it out as a pitcher, with such interest. interest that you earn with heart.

and also no. 4, lady M always looks out for monkey. smile, a wave, whatever. lucky me.


i had a double of grande marnier and it's partially the honesty of alcohol talking now.i dont like to let it out when things are a little difficult,because i think now i understand that im a little too sensitive,unnecessarily so,counterproductively so perhaps.but that's the way im built and i suppose that's the way it goes for me.last couple days here at banff havent been exactly a cakewalk. but it's not about me is it-it's about music.nothing to do with me in fact. what am i anyways? im just another human being who decided that music is desirable enough that i can bank the next little bit of my life on it. that's all. and if it does not matter, why do it?


so it's alright if monkey gets a little dented.by end of the third week, i hope that something has been said and something has been communicated.and if that's gonna happen, some wrong notes are inevitable.it would be better if there is less of it, so i will work on it.and hopefully learn to grow some thick skin. but for now, to quote a friend: well, (he knows) when (i) had enough monkey- go rest.call me from your bed to report!hahaha.
that's my blessing. all these people in my life. everywhere i go, i always have people looking out for me,and not just because it's part of their own self interest,but also because for some bizarre reason they decided to care for me. same here in banff, no exception.


i hope to grow out of this needy puppy phase and perhaps even start to offer something for others, rather being so needy all the time.but for today,i am sustained not by food, not by sleep,but by the people who love and care for me,and the first on the list (i have enough to have a list!!) is mr. salamander.


thank you for your love for me.words may do some justice for what it means for me,but it's not so necessary as hearts talk more clearly without words.

a long day, much work, some abrasions, some roadrashes,some crushed feelings and some tears, but it's all going to be okay.because i know that i am much loved, for no other reason than i am who i am. which. makes. it. another. spectacular. day.

2.7.09

banff@canada day


happy canada day fellow canadians and pro-canadians and everyone in between! just a short one to keep up the current report from banff, alberta. majority of my year 2009 is spent here, looking at mt. rundle. notice the difference between this one and posts from jan-feb? it's clear! with lots of trees! not much grey left, but hints of various blues, almost plastic-ish evergreens and lots of yellow overtones, in comparison to the winter.

this would be monkey's new studio space. a piano, coupla chairs, window looking at tunnel mountain drive. yes. it's still tunnel, though i get to see quite a bit of traffic. cant complain though, still nice. now.. only if all my playing can be this nice. sigh. will work on that.

canada day firework; a short stroll to downtown banff (ya i agree that it's kind of an oxymoron, but even an oxymoron can be nice at times?) with another banff repeater. was nice to catch up and yak. esp. because she's awesome. isnt it funny how everyone feels the need to celebrate with booze, fires, randomness and loud music on canada day? even monkey had to go down to see some spectacles. though. work awaits. for. tomorrow. bah.

even a pictorial greets from monkey to the world. hope all are well and miss you the fellow residents of winter 2009 term, and hope that i will be making more connections through out this summer internship. it's a nice place to be back. it brought so many surprises and joy, just being here in the short winter days of early 2009. and it kinda set me up for not only this year ( i am back for the fall 2009 residency, same gig, different time), but for a long term. trajectories, curves, tangents and weaves. and the red dots that connects these thoughts and characters.

i live a very rich life. and it feels real nice to be able to celebrate canada day, knowing that every day in monkey's life is even larger celebration than canada day.



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1.7.09

vita d'amore


unexpectedly, surprisingly long day today. day 2 of 21. hmm. the prediction was tears by day 10 (according to my boss)- i beat the odds by couple days i suppose. but i still have to remember that it's not so important- everything is important yes, but only if you make it important.


there were some difficult bits during the early day and it led to much unnecessary meltdown. but at the end, all the loose ends are wrapped (or i hope so, i guess if there's still stuff, i will get to find it out tomorrow. oh joy) and i gotta keep things in perspective: even when things do look catastrophic, only a very few will actually turn out to be a catastrophe. i can't please everyone, but it's a damn right thing to try, and even when it doesnt work, one still has to look forward the good things in life, as there are always a plenty of good things. one just have to take the time, breathe, and look away from what seems to be a persisting or acute problem. the world, though one is important in its context, still contains many things outside of self. none is permanent. good and bad.

today is no different. some bits are good and some bits were.. less than desirable. for instance, the effort to ingest some form of solid food has been foiled; monkey has been defeated by vicious vistas. sounds like a badass gang rapper. ha ha. vistas, btw, is the name of the cafeteria/dining area of banff center. spectacular view, food is usually pretty good, just that monkey's not having too good of a time with it for now. im sure it may have to do with the fact i didnt really sleep for couple days before i headed out here so. whatevers. so after getting through two days of internal turmoil, a literal and figurative one, it's a relief to head to shower - basket. oooh sleep.

however, i did luck on one major thing. one of the faculty, nicholas daniel, an oboist from uk, is playing bach bwv 1055 concerto for oboe d'amore on thursday concert. and they figured out whose going to play- except for the harpsichord player. and monkey was at the right place and right time. after short signature, there she held the copy of continuo part and excited heart for 1400 rehearsal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZS2sWj5L-k&feature=related

this concerto also exists in an alternative version for the harpsichord, though i do prefer the oboe d'amore version. a mezzo/alto of the oboe family, a little more mellow and sweeter than the modern oboe, oboe d'amore has this real lovely high range. it's absolutely gorgeous. the sound of oboe is of a thin silk ribbon for me. supple, colorful, sheen, gloss, but soft to touch. lighter than air. flies and weaves through the wind. always a tad bit melancholic than anything else. a nicely voiced oboe is a gem in a larger texture, it can be piercing- not harsh, but still, piercing through the mass, conglomerate of sound, a shine. the harpsichord version, i find, is tad bit too bright and jagged (let's face it, it is bloody difficult to create an illusion of a continuous line on a harpsichord) in comparison.

so when the office dude asked 'do you happen to know this piece?' i had to say 'yes, both versions and though the keyboard version is FUN, i prefer this (oboe d'amore version).' and i was full of hot air, waiting for 1400 rehearsal.

and when 1400 arrived, it took all the weight off the day. what a glorious piece. esp. the last movement, upward, like true summer sunshine- perhaps a late summer, where the green grasses are sort of tired after the long summer days, looking into the slight fading of yellow, that golden glow that comes only after the blazing passion of the sun, but still supple and joyous along the winds that cuts across them. tall grasses, high as they could be, grown and survived all summer, waves, as if they are the water particles, reflecting the late summer sun, the last holidays before the arrival of the fall. a hint of melancholia, but still, happy with a lilt on the heels.

and the soloist, nicholas daniel, is a fab player.
amazing.
beeeeautiful.

so at least there still is one amazingly beautiful thing in the day. actually, when monkey takes a bit of distance, there are several beautiful things. the tsunamis sent from my friends, the red dots that connects the courses of the day- regardless of the time zones, faculty at banff whose wholly supportive and cheering for monkey (despite the meltdown), and a surprise gift of BWV 1055.

i just have to remember what's important. what is important? well, very easy. one step back, it'll immediately pop out to one's heart.
i am much loved and cared for, and though it is impossible to please everyone, including oneself (more often than not), there are still so many beautiful things in my day. enough lightness that monkey's gonna put the worries of the day off with the stream of time, while packing the beautiful bits, tie it to helium red balloons, sending it off to share.

oboe d'amore concerto, you brought vita d'amore for monkey.