proper splattering

Spider web 1024 x 768 jpeg, note:strands have a diameter of 73 to 400 nm, courtesy of electron microscope lab, u-berkeley.

a short one for a well worn knackered monkey.
some cats (as cat E says) gathered at wild flour of banff to have some kaffeeklatsch and general peanut gallery thing re: life. the topics came and went as they please, nicely weaving a sticky but thin, almost invisible beautiful spiderweb. and the trick is that such conversations, as fast as it blooms, often goes as fast. like spider silk, blown in incredible wind, being flexible, it will stand. however, one wrong thing to stick on, all gone. oops. so just thought i would smear some monkey rant before it all goes. where? i have no idea.

the intriguing thought was about the way things are interconnected. if molecular and subatomic theories hold true, everything materialistic in this world is made up of combination of small particles. and with this bizarre affinity (mr. salamander had some very eloquent thought on this recently. what a quark), these small things are related hence becoming something else. and once these bonds are formed, they are good to be alive- alive, as goes through the time progress. often it expands, contracts, breaks, forms another bond with things around it- may be same partner, may be not. it may meet its nearest partner or may meet some foreign( ! ) entity by chance- like CERN chamber. but is it chance? well not all things are chances. we arent too sure (as told by our highly esteemed scientists) how all these things work- chaos or order? well, i say to cut it so cleanly between the two ideas would be kinda limiting. lets say it's borderline (ahahaha. the word affinity has the word 'border' built into it. a funny quark.)

so anyhows, so if things are consisted of related articles in bonds, and bonds are flexible, they may move- and create a vibration. a frequency. ooh. sound. touch. perhaps even emotions and thoughts as well (as psychiatrists are currently convinced of chemical compositions of thoughts theory)(i mean who cares, whether it is chemically induced or by 'higher dimension,' it does not change anything about the very existence of thoughts and feelings). so if one assumes that even thoughts are created by bonds (even including the intangible ones such as exchange of emotions, conversations, 'that' feeling, whatever it may be at the moment), they will also have some sort of vibration, hence frequency. so. once again. sound. touch.

some old expressions exist for a reason i think. one of them is: being in sync. for instance, rarely but surely, one meets another and somehow both recognizes qualities such as (but not limited to): familiarity, comradeship, love, instantaneous understanding and reciprocation, etc. and if one is 'synced' with another, all the sudden the shared common experiences are so much more- richer. think of your first meaningful kiss. the glimpse of your first crush (esp if the crush was returned). rehearsing with a new partner and finding that instantaneous bond. okay- i will go as far as soulmate. dont call me cheesy. it's illusive, but we all want it but not all will have it (why? that's for another post)- hence it becomes something of a sour grape, so then it's eeewww cheeesy. im just saying- cheesy or not, there is a reason or two why such concept have existed through the centuries. to survive such time trial, a concept must be understood, experienced (even by its absence) and redistributed. it must be valid. it must hold some truth. so keep your cheese comment somewheres else. if you still grumble, im gonna say you are just bitter.

like finding radio station with old knobbed radios, you have to tune in. syncing does not happen for free. nothing in life is free. your birth cost someone something. your death will cost as well. inbetween it'll continue to cost. you must seek for that sympathetic frequency actively, and once found, must work to keep it alive (if you want to keep that bond that is. you can chuck it. no one will penalize. just your loss).

intricate bonds. overlayers. life is a transparency of spiderwebs. you move one slide just so slightly and it's a new image.you cant just do one thing. that's the curse and the most beautiful point of life. and a fair point. it applies to all. not just certain people. and as we are aware of our own energy/entity/whatever you want to call it, it becomes easier to seek another who will sync with you. with million things in this world, and even billions people who are ever changing through course of their lives,

*for instance, a certain boy named ANDY will have his birthday today, going from 16 to 17. not only he will have a great day, he'll also have to get used answering: umm im 17 years old. a new day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! may you grow to be your-true-self at age 17 (the best age is the age you are at- it have not passed nor it'll come later but now. feel. think. communicate. laugh. share. take and offer. like a proper young, energetic, talented and charismatic 17 years old young man).
and that you grow to be strong to hold your ideals despite of whatever life would like to dictate. show them who is boss really. i wonder if you would ever read this? but just because you didnt read it wouldnt mean i didnt wish it. and i do wish those two things. nothing is more beautiful or truthful than a well tuned human being- inter/intrapersonal. being kind, nice, happy, all those comes from being in sync with your inter/intrapersonal being i believe. how do i know? i cant tell you it's the truth, all i can say is that it may be interesting point for you to form your own views of life- whether by contrast or similarity.

-ahem, back to this bit, it is crucial that you learn to identify what's important but also to comprehend its entity. identification is not comprehension. but more on that later. because.. monkey needs to sleep!! oh i should really edit this splat but am so not going to. love to you all for reading this rant.


jumbles of last two days

couple things from recent- well last two days really!

this is new monkey residency from now till dec 12. that's really not that long is it- september is over and october will just roll on and then as you wake up sober from halloween madness, the trees will be naked and cold will hopefully roll on. beautiful cold majestic blue and grey. can't wait. inst of lloyd hall of banff center, which is what they give you as default, i asked to be located at farrally hall for some humanity. lloyd is nice but it's too professional. so quiet. all closed doors. farrally's got fireplace. no contest there really. i hope all works out alright, fire or not.

monkey's gene pools turned 60 this year. both of them. as traditional koreans, they, well their friends decided to have a shindig at a local restaurant. monkey cake stuff was related to this. this was the first cake topper made for dad. flowery eh. take that dad. ha ha ha. i think it's rather nice. and that cake rocked. mmm.

i feel quite not so sensible putting this picture up since i try to remain somewhat discreet. but this is a nice one of them and they are too preoccupied to 'discuss' something with me. how nice. as busy immigrant family we dont seem to have the luxury to do small or even big things such as birthday celebrations. i feel quite- hmm, not sad, but would consider it unfortunate. if you have the choice and decide not to celebrate i think that's okay but if you are just too worn out to raise a pitn, then.. i think something needs to be done. fast. mom/dad, please stay healthy and feisty till you at least retire or something. whoelses gonna yell at me and ask the same questions for millionth time without worrying about monkey shit splats?

caketopper for mom. at the end, only thing that count is love. awww. gag. anyways. this one was a little toooo girlie i thought but that's what she gets for trying to shove girliness to monkey when she was a child. i like making knickknacks like this. perhaps if piano doesnt work out, i should look into this. ha ha.

greetings from banff everyone. i miss you all- julian, cheryl, lina, danni, davidb, davido, piers, the list would go on and on. but i am also happy to see you all- julie, geoff, mhiran etc. and looking forward for new buddies and old connections who i will have such a pleasure to meet in banff- simon, scott, etc. i am so lucky. i wonder if i could get fit on top of it as well. all the sudden i think i shouldve just stayed in lloyd. i could be a little piggy going from room to dining hall, through elevator. rolling around. ah.. NOT!


i had cake(s) and i ate them too.

(The sharing of the cake between the Lion and the Unicorn, illustration from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll 1832-98)

saturday 26 sept 2009 was a busy day. also a quasi-important day. it was my gene pools' b day celebration with couple of their friends. mom calls on thursday afternoon asking for impressive cake. for saturday. i thought she was mad.

but a mission is a mission and i will get it done, teeth and nails, begging on knees or searching high and low on yelp/chowhound/brain etc whatevers. it was rather brain bursting as my dear lovely friend was still intown, with such a lovely after-glow if receiving strad baby. one cannot help be be infected by such joy. a pure joy. this lady. i tell ya. a real class. a real kickbutt fiddler. a kick butt friend. and an honest person. however, most importantly, a dearest monkey friend.

anyways, long story short, i did manage to put in an order for two whole cakes from futures bakery in annex. i refused to get grocery store cake- nothing wrong with it, but if it was going to be such b day, i wanted to give them something special. real cake. and why two? well gene pools the female, is very very generous (i really ashamed- i wish i was that generous) and thought there HAVE TO BE ENOUGH LEFT for all kinds of peeps. including restaurant servers. and two wouldve been appropriate as mom/dad both turned sixty this year. though they are gonna celebrate her 60th b day next year (it has to do with this social circle they are involved with. some scheduling stuff etc), mom was GONNA GET A CAKE.

and nay to cheapo cake impostors. screw the freakin tinned sugar frosting *barf.

the traffic was nightmare. monkey brother and granny drove back from land of detroit so they were tired, cafe was busy, seemed to be hasty and unorganized, etc. however. we got cakes. and two cake toppers. i will put some pictures of them i think. tonight, sitting on top of massive cakes, they did look classy. and one of the cakes: my favorite. phantom. hazelnut, ganache, real cream frosting, chocolates, coffee, droooooooooooool.

we got there. took picutres, entertained, fed, and there was nuff cake for everyone. i want cake now. again. then i realized. i really was desperate for a piece of cake. anyone who was bothered by the rude crackbook update is prob familiar with monkey frustration: wants cake. now. (20 september at 01:22) and i finally had cake! two whole cakes! hell yes!

gene pool offered to pay for cake. i demanded eternal gratitude. don't think they are going to pay up.or even negotiate. ha.gene pools parents friends wished to make monkey sing. monkey was stuffed with cake.

that's right, i finally had that piece of cake i wanted.i do get everything i want if i am just being patient,and not forget the things that i have wished and wanted.for being impatient, not only one loses little joys of anticipation,but also loses the general aim of the projectile,hence loses all happiness related to the objectives,therefore should one eventually get his hands on it, it have already lost its meanings.how simple how clear and how difficult it seems for certain things.like half-opened roll of hobnobs. i think that just calls for... obliteration.

but i am slowly learning to be patient.esp. with such joys in anticipation.85 days till silver bullet

ride. to home. i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling). ooh ee cumming. oops. i digressed. sorries. anyways.

and another dovetail. peeps were amazed by intensity of the other cake. BW chocolate cake. and i had explain- it is good, but you do need a kick butt straight from grave electrifying espresso or at least an americano, unseasoned and unadulterated so that it's black dark and bitter. when paired with bitter, it will be real nice. and just recently mr salamander and monkey had a sharing about melancholy- about how one can appreciate dark pathos of life better when one is well- happy, joyous, loved, etc. (have to do with this bitter tango latin song, tarde. breaks one's heart. really.) what a coincidence.

anyways. nuff lessons from cakes. now basket. $hite. it is T-5 hrs till dept to casa de deus, then off to yyz terminal to board a bullet to yyc. to banff. last seg. before a short jaunt in yyc-yyz to load the springs to fly to man in dec. 85 days. yay.

and the lee family was happy.



stray strad at monkey basket

it is a bloody early morning and it's that one day of the week i need to actually work. i should get my butt to the bed. but i can barely contain the excitement though im really trying to put a lid on it. oh well, i guess good news can be spread right? well so here it is.

i have a good friend visiting from montreal. we met in a small festival in italy. she: violinist, me: monkey. we played mozart b major and some other ditties. it was good times. one of those few instances where you run into a person and then the world goes... click. and all the sudden, everything is infinitely better.

she was studying in nyc and i was all over- states, canada, whatever. but luckily we kept in touch and things been alright despite of busy schedules, distances, whatever. anywhos, she was in yyz this time to audition for canada council instrumental bank loan program. monkey had hastily practiced sibelius violin concert and after a night of rehearsal, we went. and played. i do have to say it was a bit rusty on monkey part (she was beautiful really. gawd i love that concerto) as it really has been awhile since she last played it- or do concerto reduction, really. ive been spoiled rotten doing all these nice sonata piano parts.

the best thing was that after it was done, it was done. no fretting. she put it aside, went around being herself. caring, funny, warm and generally being a beautiful person. and that's what really appeals to me: she's a complete human being before she's a violinist.

and long story short, right now monkey residency hosts two very special guest: my dear friend and her new violin: 1717 strad.

i really believe that the best musicians are the ones who are genuine. who are honest and good people. eventually, when you are being your trueself, whatever action you take becomes a true reflection of you- whether it be music, writing, conversing, or even just sitting and sharing a space. and she is a prime example.

im bursting with pride myself. it is terrific wonderful and amazing.
she's got a strad.
and i got a friend.
the world is a truly surprising and beautiful place.
the overlapping lives of my friends, my peeps- my life is heavily subsidized by it, and i am not bitter but grateful that all these people are taking the time and care to be a friend to monkey. letting me to be me but being true companions.

she believes in miracles.
i believe in humanism.
whichever it is, it's working rather nicely.


invisible things that are visible

often invisible things can make or break visible things.
case 1:timezones
some arbitrary lines drawn on map, applied by some serious bodies of people and all the sudden: there are such things are timezones. it used to baffle my head: what do you mean we are at a different time? like birthday, the either end of the opposing time zones are.. rather similar! looking outside of the plane window as a child, hoping to see the international date line was one of the most exciting and futile thing i ever did. whenever im involved with others who are a bit far away, i am baffled that though we are experiencing things simultaneously, we do not belong in the same timezone.

case 2: human connections
it's not as if we are always connected with something physical. things such as spiderwebs are always connected from one point to another in rather simple manner. this corner to another. than with applied gravity, it makes a beautiful curve. sometimes the curves are too small to be appreciated from human scale, but it's still there. human connection are just as fragile as spider silk. something that is slightly worse would be that since it is invisible, it is even easier to damage it and not know- or even remember how that happened. but once broken, it's not too important to see 'who' broke it first eh. rather, it's about: how do we fix it?

case 3: sense of _____
sense of achievement, accomplishment, pride, love, appreciation- the nouns that tends to matter a bit more than the others (for instance car, house, bank account), are usually too esoteric and erudite to be put into a visible representation. how would you explain it to another human being about the feeling of- preparing first big meal for the family, boarding that plane not knowing how things are going to go, giving someone a complete trust over your own life- letting them have it so that they may add to it to make a new thing entirely? cant be seen, however, when sensed, we all know how wonderful these things are.

case 4: hope
ive been working on real boring things recently such as: applications, proposals, scholarships, banking, student loans, packing boxes, address forms, request forms of various sorts, etc. and these are the things you see around, piled quite high, things so full of sticky notes that it is getting rather silly- where is the initial page? pens everywhere, even my desktop is getting messy with random icons that sounds very much the same:
thesis shite, monkey pictures, fall 2010 statement, CV for fall 2010, CV updated summer 09, ifi key, banff address, new stuff, new folder-
i know what they are right now, but no guarantee that i may even actually remember what's in there. for instance, i was looking like a madman to find a copy of my bloody thesis. i wasnt going to pay proquest (info system) for my own damned writing!
but silly enough, all these visible nuttiensses all add up to one very simple thing: hope. the hope of- well, im not going to jinx it, so let's put it this way: the effort to realize, perhaps materialize a desire. a hope. cant see it, but makes everything so much more important.

case 5: empty pie pan
the pie is invisible. because. the pie pan, which held the pie, no longer has any pie in it. in desperate effort to find cake (ive been craving cake but havent been able to find or buy the right ones)(at that caloric cost, i may as well have what i really would like i think. i mean, if it had same calories as celeries, who cares, i will go buy slices of all the different cakes. but then i will prob die early and messy. unnecessary, isnt it)(i bet it has to do with doing paperwork. i hate paperwork. i will do anything before paperwork, including ingesting cake), and not being able to find one, i finished the half-average-ho-hum-pie. hence the pan is empty. the good part, is now invisible. unless monkey's transparent- invisible monkey. ha ha ha.

case 6: applications
things on applications are rather visible, even readable. what they have to perceive is who i really am (which i dont even really know) and that they would like to grant me a chance. now that is an invisible plea. an invisible gamble. but with 90 days to go, i want to put in my best efforts. efforts= another thing that is invisible.

so rather than concentrating on the visible, i may as well chuck the worries and go for the invisible. have faith monkey. not even. this is not a blind faith. this is closer to a drive. i. want. to. make. it. happen. operation MAN, -90, roger.


i was just looking then...!!

the joy of applications are overwhelming at times. no matter how many of them i have done before, the one that's on the desk always looks the least interesting. every school job events you name it, they got their own agenda, their own lingos, their own deadlines (the most devastating of all) and fees (compare to deadlines it's all starting to look like peanuts).

monkey was casually musing in front and randomly decided to look at deadlines of things that i wanted to get done(or may be a nudge from some deity who took pity on this oblivious being). and this includes the dreaded applications for next fall. why dreaded? well, because i thought (which was true) that since i will be filling out an application in a different education system, that there is a good possibility that i wont understand a thing. so really, i was just going to take a casual look at it, take a dramatic sigh, then move onto something even more mundane, perhaps to look up why in the world kayne west did what he did in the mtv award.

not that i take a great interest in mtv and general pop culture (i wish i could; life would be much more maddening), but that particular incident sound way out of whack. well, more than to see how sorry he is or what made him do it, i wonder what beyonce is thinking since she was so passively associated with the incident- i mean, she shot a video and now it's in middle of this crazy pop controversy. ha ha. and i also wonder why people are upset about obama calling kayne a jackass. if not a jackass what was he at that moment? a prophet? high out of his ass? please. a jackass would be a mild compliment. americans need to stop blaming their current presidents for their problems- the wars, economic crash, housing burst (which really is fault of bush junior) to obesity, shitty health care etc (which is fault of everyone). anyways. now kayne says he's sorry. ooh. apology. gosh. so now the good old fashioned puritan america is supposed to say president has been harsh? wtf.

anyways. the casual look ended up being a bit of a panic moment. why? i was so naive to believe that things like school applications are always due in december or january. because well, it always has been. didnt even think twice. and then all north american music school start their auditions in the new years time, usually the peak being late jan-late feb. well. WRONG.

the application is due for 1 oct 2009! for fall 2010! @#$#!

luckily it mentions that for overseas kids they are willing to reschedule the audition (thank gawd. if i had to buy another plane ticket i may just go broke this year really; but may be they'll like the fact that monkey's busy knocking keys in banff meanwhile?) so hopefully that'll work out okay. and im kinda on it. only if i could understand the CUKAS english (conservatory united kingdom admissions system i suppose?). i mean.. i cant even find an option to put my degrees. i have no idea how to do it. so far, i have a high school diploma on my credentials. ha ha.

it's another hasty process for monkey. i swear to gawd earlier this year that i will be taking care of this application slowly and surely but boy someone had a different agenda all together. i am hoping that i could get this particular application done before i live to banff (holy crap that's like may be a week at the most. where did my time go?) and perhaps one more (just because putting your eggs in one basket is a bad idea. or so they say.) then perhaps think of audition programs and such. find instrumentalists. seek and ask for references.

i honestly dont even remember how i applied for my undergraduate program. or masters. in fact. only one i remember is my doctoral program. the other things mustve been painless. or at least as expected. isnt it amazing- the power of... surprises!

so like a rabbit who just got poked with a stick or something- perhaps more like a tortoise with ass on fire, i am on these papers like a mofo. and i really hope something will come across in terms of funding and all those happy things. i am slightly worried- what if i dont make it? but then i suppose that is not up to me at all. it is up to them. i can only be who i am and who i could be. and may be that'll be good enough. or better than the minimum. whichever.

monkey is returning to the paper mountains. wish me luck. it is a somewhat single minded goal for me right now. 2010 fall. start school in manchester. full pop. we'll see how it all goes.



sometimes the shackling reality breaks one's soul.
to pieces that are just barely smaller than dusts.
they dont blow with the wind. they stay where they fall.
thought it all looked alright. just small spidery cracks.
then it comes all down. like a beautifully orchestrated demolition.
second look, all that is left is pieces.
ceramic pieces. hard. once lived through the hottest fires.
now shattered. parts significantly smaller than initial sum.
it wasnt just a chance that took the first chip off.
it was already cracked. a long time ago. before anyone knew.

but it looked so beautiful.
like prometheus it'll be back at some point,
regrown, reconstructed,
however, somehow less than the day before.

i fell on my knees and chocked.

detroit trip and newly-met family.

The Associated Press file photo, july 26, 1950, youndong, korea.

pant pant pant. much stuff since the last update. or episode. a brainsplatter. meanwhile i met up with one of my favorite persons from banff who now is in toronto (yay!!!), i have gone and came back from suburb of detroit, michigan, to meet aunt/uncle i saw may be twice in my life, trying to organize my life (such as arranging for addresses for banff move, packing boxes, banking, still need to get to laundry etc), and squeeze my brain out for an idea for dad's birthday (which resulted in buying nothing.. gawd),

i dont even really know where to begin. well, let's start with family. or distant family. in korean culture, you count relationships by distances. okay so how does it work: like this!

husband-wife: the bond distance is 0. because when you are together, you are together, but you may become unrelated by a simple process of divorce. so from married couple to total strangers: distance 0 to infinitely far. ouch.

parent-child is distance 1 and i think siblings are also distance 1. so if you are taking about your cousin, it goes like this: child-parents-sibling-child = distance 4! then i think grandchild to grandma is distance 2: child-parent-parent. from you to your uncle/aunt: child-parent-sibling is distance 3. so on etc.

my detroit fam is my grandmother's brother's children. so they are cousins of my dad. so in this case it would be something like distance 6. funny enough, i know my maternal extended families much better. well, it's probably because my dad's family isnt built on my dad's siblings (he does not have any) but of my grandmother's siblings, hence, they are one grapevine further... also two of them were out of the country even before i was born and some of them were far from my own age. and i did leave the country in 1992. i was almost 13. however, i went back once: in 1997. so unfortunately, i dont really know them.

my aunt, the han family side, i saw her and my 'secondary' uncle in 1994. my dad drove all of us to what seems to be an eternally long drive (funny it wouldve been the exactly the same drive i have done, even closer as they were living closer to detroit itself while they are now in canton, out of the city dump, but in suburbia pax americana). i remember henry ford museum, going to mcdonald for very first time and seeing so many poor people- unfortunately most of them minorities. houses and properties with signs for 'just one dollar!' the crumbling wasteland. i bet it's even worse now.

my granny and dad lived with these cousins and granny's in-law sister. during the korean war, they had to abandon the city (seoul) and granny was without grandad (being male, he was in hiding, hoping to survive). her brother with weak kidneys, unfortunately passed away. sister in law was left with 5 children. young ones. granny's mother, unfortunately, was not very mobile, so they (two young women with six children) left. the youngest one didnt survive the war trail. so end of the war, it was five kids (dad and cousins) and two ladies. granny set up a shop and worked as seamstress then as a tailor. sister in law stayed home while the kids are young, then eventually worked at u.s. military base as laundry help. the five kids grew up in the same household. dad, however young, never called his aunt by anything else but elder-mom (in korean, it would be 'big' mom, often used to for female stand-in mother figures instead of the biological mother). granny often came home after midnight and dad, a little kid, would be asleep.

there are too many war stories. and i was asked and told many many times by granny that i should never ever say anything more about the past. she is still scared and worried of men in uniform. military man. police man. small government office workers. i think the stories may not be unique- there are so many war-influenced family histories, but this is the one that matters to me i suppose. but i will respect the old lady and wont say much more.

anyways, so these detroit family, far from me, is actually quite close to particular people of my family- granny and dad. and granny's old- she's 85 now. we initially thought of flying but that would actually be even harder. since it was only 4.5 hrs of drive, i dropped her off and my bro is going to pick her up later. while driving up there, i had no idea what to expect of this family meeting. is it a family meeting? i felt like a puppy whose going back to the kennel it came from. only thing it knows is that it mustve came from a litter of some sort.

i stayed just a night. drive was fine. the stay was alright too i suppose. it was weird seeing her, seeing family resemblance with my granny. in a big macmansion right adjacent to the man-made pond in middle of the golf course. saved all their life, pinched every penny. aunt han and uncle kwon came to the states as 'skilled worker' (he's elec engineer). couple decades later: american dream came true.

a macmansion (it really is huge) right by the golf course. club memberships. two daughters and four grandchildren. comfortably retired. aunt han is 64 this year.

in comparison, my dad had his 60th birthday yesterday. more on that later when im a bit more sane i think. let's just say that i feel really badly that i cannot provide for my parents yet. i wonder, if ever? am i a failed result of faded immigrant dream?

ah. too much negativity. well, it just wont help me to think any better. i have to keep monkey head straight. too much deadweights, elephants in this room. so may as well look at the simpler things in time of... well, nuttiness. so im going to cheer for my aunt and uncle. who have MADE IT. cheers. and for this weird blood ties- that whether i know or not, it's there and that i wont be a total free-radical but belonging to something else as well. drama days.

i still have to pack. damn.


price of staying alive for this wk: $365

optical exam (which is no longer covered by ontario health insurance): 100
contact lens order: (at least) 100
glasses ordered over web: 65
medication refill: 100
total damage: 365

it's an expensive week. however, it does make me laugh a little that my eyes are sooo bad. silly enough, if stayed as a coffee wench@$bucks, all the vision cares would have been paid for. perhaps it's something to reconsider for all the freelancers of canada to think of. dang. my prescriptions are -10.75 and -10.00.

i am much convinced that if i was born as a wild animal of a sort (ie. no human post natal care etc), i would prob died on the same day i wouldve been born (i weighed measly 2.2kg. that's 4.85lbs. apparently the average weight of a baby is 7.5lbs (applies to 95% of the newborns). and i failed one of the important reflex test: sucking reflex. apparently i just didnt have enough energy to suck milk. which lead to being fed intravenously. needles all over my bold head etc. within 2 months of incubator stays, i left with some additional weight of: 200g or something. ha ha.
supposedly that number is also kinda crap.

so here it was, a preemie with myopia (i didnt get glasses until i was 8 or 9. i thought the world was always blurry). wee fiddly thing.
i also broke couple things (esp. the left arm/hands and toes) multiple times, my joints are hypermobile (it's a possibility for me to pop my shoulders out stretching. or falling for no reasons). shattered my upper jaw in a bike accident, was required to be rebuilt for years and year (and my parents have already started to pay for orthodontist. go back to square 1. grr).

i required much attention and as i grew up there were more medical expenses. going nutters will costs you heavily, especially in the states. meds, treatments, clinics, whatever, you name it. i do know that i am more accident prone than most of people and that i am blind as a bat. and the costs will just keep adding on.


i am able to move as much as i can, not as fast as i can but enough to be at least an average speed mover. my hearing is almost intact save a very small portion on top and i am rather proud of my hand-eye coordination and dexterity. though the eyes are crap, i take decent photos and enjoy the varying depth of colours (unlike lots of men- 7%, who are at least partially blind). i am grateful that i can process abstract thoughts, understand and often even be able to create something from those comprehensions. i can relate, talk, even try to be witty and be sociable, especially in company of my lovely friends.

i try to be compassionate, attentive and opinionated while remembering that i have to differentiate the two thing: acknowledging and tolerance. i dont have to like something, but i will do my very best to acknowledge the difference. and if i dont like it, well, i may not be converted, but will always try my best to tolerate. i often wear my heart on the sleeve and am a $hit liar. because i dont think i need to lie. so i never really looked into it.

im a clumsy dancer but i can be surprisingly graceful in music (for a monkey that is) and being able to chop veggies, talk and not cut off my fingers. so that's good enough. not everyone can be physically graceful. i will gladly take the ability to be somewhat graceful at very few moments over being an oaf.

i know. it's all 'i's today. well, some days are like that, dont you agree? if i dont take care of myself, why would anyone? even if they do, if i do not care, what would be the point? and though i tend to be dismissive regarding many things, perhaps some basic things such as optical exams, shouldnt be overlooked (though i really went just because i have no spare contacts left and needed new prescription, hahaha).

so the grand damage of the week, i suppose, is a very small price to pay. and there'll always be more things to pay for. a human being, like any other organism, needs to consume (though i did not need to buy a new coat this wk i suppose) in order to survive. food. water. affection. intellectual and sensory stimulation. love. respect. all those things are needed (desperately) by a person, in order to be somewhat sane and happy.

ofcourse, one cannot be happy all the time, nor one should be. if you are happy all the time, how would you eve know that you could be unhappy? often the needs are not met in a perfect condition. you may be thirsty and prefer beer but could only afford tap water or something, for an instance. but the lovely thing is that there are enough variants in a personal needs that one can always find something to be happy about.

this week's medical bills are not funny. actually as pathetic as it may sound, for someone who does not make a crazy amo. of money and who is determined to clear another 3200 (student loan) before the end of the year, it is somewhat of a dent. sigh. however. with that proportionally small bill, i will be able to continue to see my life. and be aware and alert. not a such a bad price i suppose. for the things that i get in return. if i want to be completely waste-free, no-frills, i suppose the best way to do it is to 'do oneself in' but that's no good. therefore, monkey has no real other choice but to at least give back to her environment at least much materials she consumes- especially re: her peeps.

so myopic, now-broke monkey should go on for the day, with some sort of hope and determination that by end of the day, i must have contributed something back. for the total cost of being alive and some more (damned 365CAD bill), i may as well be functional, contributing and a happy person.



nutty flutist from banff, who i dearly like, but have not had a real chance to get to know, posted something on facebook and i had to look. sometimes i read these things. sometimes i dont. i have no idea how i actually decide what/when/where to read posts, but i did.

well, if you arent going to take the effort to go read this post (lazy! just highlight the url, ctrl+c(copy), ctrl+t(opens new tap), ctrl+v(paste), and you will be there)(yep, im still 'hot-key' generation. thanks to good old skull wordprocessors), i will give you a heads up. it's a posting re: el sistema, the current venezuelan effort to bring music to the masses, which eventually gave birth to the controversial and shocking band called simon bolivar orchestra. young youth orchestra. whats the big deal you may say. well, they play well. bloody well. and they engage. makes you listen. or something. you sit. watch. express. react.

The Guardian's classical music writer, Tom Service, said:
"It was fantastic really, such tremendous energy and you could see the connection between Dudamel and the orchestra. There is an absolute connection between everything he does and everything they play which is miraculous. It was a bit rough around the edges but then it was a rehearsal...The biggest thing Dudamel has is that he has been one of them. They've grown up together. They have an understanding of one another."
(the guardian, Thursday 16 April 2009)

mad flutist wanted to see what peeps have to say re: bringing el sistema, or music to the world. and for some bizarre reason, monkey started to write like mad:

i find it amusing that a system, ie. country, always focus on the cost of such program first. from what i have seen (esp. in canada), there has been a mass reduction in education funding, especially in arts. having an elem. music ed degree, i always wondered how one could possibly teach all these children (the ratio of teacher to students is unrealistic) anything quality. these children will grow up to adults. hence not only children, but the entire society is removed from arts, eventually.

evenmore worrying thing is that people, assuming that all arts transmits (which, by proximity, it always does; to have an arts without a context is impossible. by existing and being recognized, it has already interacted in the most primary level with the society), think one could simply expect to understand something of a quality, ie. arts (from what? crap? i suppose). however, it is rarely discussed
1. what is this particular art transmitting?
2. how much of it is understood by the recipient?
3. what does it have to do with anything- art and recipient?

hence we then have a generation that is sensitive to arts, however, are ignorant of arts. and somehow, this primal sensitivity now passes as understanding. let's focus on that major difference: being aware is NOT being comprehensive.

there's no easy way out to see how a public (now even more ignorant of arts; i am not being exclusive on the typical western/eastern but including any form of organized systematic music, ie. classical, jazz, traditional, folk, rock, whatever. think whichever course one is offered at a school), comfortable with its sensitivity, see a reason to pump resources to arts ('ya, i know arts when i see it. everyone does. music is the universal language.')

*that comment absolutely drives me bonkers btw. it's a language, yes, but do you understand it? or are you just 'hearing' it? who is it to say then a bat, with its amazing sonar sensitivity, is not 'listening' to music?

well, unfortunately, though i think often that it's complete bollocks, it is up to the people who are aware of such needs (ie. artists, lets say, whatever that means), to bring up the issue.

"if the mountain won't come to mohammad, mohammad must go to the mountain."
apparently mohammad was extremely glad that the mountain didnt come to him, crashing and burying everything in its path. an awareness, a consciousness, is like a splinter. mohammad prayed and prayed. well, would the mountain come? no way. we (lets say we call ourselves artists), cannot make the mountain come to us (the sense of urgency re: current state of music ed). so then? we must go to the mountain. and why go to the mountain at all? why bother? because- one may find different things in mountain, whatever it may be (as everyone who have been to banff can recall something personal, am sure). but telling mountain to accommodate mohammad would be well, useless.

well, let's all bring 'arts' down from its podium. like the stupid banff vistas table markers, once it's on a higher plane, it's just annoying. and means absolutely nothing, save for the very few. (like the servers who likes to skip the arts table all together). a mountain, unclimbed, inexperienced, is just some rocks. you look at it and say 'i guess that's mountains.' let's take the step. let's experience the mountain. discussing mountains with person who have never been to 'a' mountain will be... well, frustrating. it'll be all in secondary expression. trying to explain what an orange taste like to someone who never had it. M.A.D.

we, fortunately educated and passionate (hopefully still), are able to break 'arts' down. whether it be incorporation of folk, traditional, whatever, orchestra, choir. think of the most basic means of creating/communicating through musical means. but let's not be so crazy about the 'virtue' of music. it's another sunday preach to talk 'virtue' to an individual. virtue? forget it. replace it with... personal involvement. interested and enthusiastic hobbyists are always the most dangerous, haha.

drop the terms, theories. drop the techniques and expenses. music can be quite complicated or primal. music needs not to be a tool of 'improvement' of a society. because. music, like all basic human behavior, already exists in individuals.

but what does it really mean anyhows in practical terms? well, i think that's as far as i can take this note. i could discuss what 'i' do in feeble effort to bring music to my peeps. but that's for a particular group of people in a particular cultural/socio/econo/geographical context. all i could say is start to look really carefully about what's already around you. unless you live in a hole in the middle of the outer space, there is already a pre-existing effort, however dead or alive it may seem. community programs, school programs, volunteer concert experiences, brownies/scouts, religious organization. even in hockey game telecasts, we get music.

make it relevant.

make it count.

let your peep know that they already 'sense' music. they already 'have' music.
bring it out. if one really wants, one could do more than just inspire, but co-spire.
keep your feet on the edge. keep looking. keep hoping.
and take that first step toward the mountain.
and you will get there.


escapism: vampires, violence, movies. and motion sickness.

i have to confess that my least preferred medium of general culture is movies. i wouldnt say that i hate it, but i tend to dislike most of them- well, a lot of them. wait... i cant say 'dislike mosts' because well, just because i really do not go see a whole lot of movies. therefore, when i take that particulr point into a consideration, i cannot say i dislike, but perhaps the correct way to say it may be something close to 'indifferent/unenthusiastic toward movies.'

recently monkey was hanging out with bunch of friends and acquintences. for some unknown reason, this particular crowd veered toward movies: quotations. the usual likes/dislikes. peanut gallery comments on directors/movies. associated rituals and such. funny enough, i found that i had more things to say than expected for someone who have appointed self as not-a-movie-person. in fact, in one of the longer discussions, i ended up drawing a big laughter with a oxymoronic comment: i dont like movies -> which led to: monkey, you have awful lot to say about movies for a person who dislikes it so much. haha. how typical of me.

the biggest reason perhaps may be the fact that i live in north america. i am grateful that i had the chance to grow up here, where there are much riches and wealth, security and safety. however, i do have to say that the general output of hollywood culture is not my cup of tea. particular genres such as 'romantic comedies' (need i say more?) or 'slapsticks' (the nutty professor anyone?) is surely a monkey repellent. even what they call 'thrillers' (usually buckets of blood and infinitely looped drum/bass beats) and 'action' (excuse to blow things up) could cause otherwise-calm-monkey to roll her eyes and pretend to be dead (in spite of the urge to smash someone, f0r various reasons..). the reasons may be different, but it is true that i find most of the mass-release-hollywoodish movies a total bore.

but yes, there has been many movies that monkey adores (excluding documentaries; im a doc-whore. nothing like a real world footage). and some of them are quite a big productions as well, surprisingly.

i remember watching trainspotting and requiem for a dream in 90s,
resonating with that atmosphere of grunge and tiredness of my generation, souped
up in chemical fantasy world.

any production by carlos saura (who could forget the sultry heat of salome
and tango!) used to be a preferred method of reality-escape, into the land of
music, dance, power and sex.

the implied emotions that spills over the silences in certain movies-
brokeback mountain, eternal sunshine of spotless mind.

hyperviolence and antisocial explosions in fight club and pulp

surreal amalgamation of mythology, fantasy and arts in pan's
labyrinth and perfume.

love. just many different aspects of love. last tango in paris.
english patient. harold and maude.

these are just a few examples. perhaps i do like movies. just not so many. anyways. why a rant about movies all the sudden? well, monkey just went to see 'gamer' last night. a rare voluntary experience. the concept- controlling/controlled, definition of reality, idea of a game (there is always an object to be proven/won/convince- a core principle of the human nature), many things about this movie seemed promising. patting self on the shoulder to remind self that cross-screen-explosions really arent all that impressive on her sub-laptop, monkey walked in and sat with a hint of interest.

oh boy. that interest was quickly exchanged with quasi-motion sickness instead. ha ha. instead of entertainment, i ended up being half-sick the rest of the evening. brilliant.

however, i couldnt help but to notice certain trends (or may be i am delusional), particularly towards senseless violence (inglorious basterds), terror/horror (vampires, zombies), fantasies (upcoming adaptations of classic fantasies such as alice in wonderland and where the wild things are) and real-surreal (surrogates, the final destination). but PO pointed out that those genres always have been popular, in fact, it's me who just rediscovered popularity of such genres.


how interesting. i was thinking that it was the general public who has refocused on such genres because of the current historical temperature- ie. political and economical uncertainty, environmental disasters (whether man- or nature-based), as an effort to escape from the 'depressing' reality. but if these were always popular, may be it is ME who have refocused on these genres, just behind everyone else! ha ha. that still is a quite a revelation for me.

it does not really matter which way it went. like light-dark, life-death, chicken-egg, spend-save, the opposites/anti-statements will always exist (as a coin will always need two contrasting faces to be a coin that co-exists). monkey vs. public is also a same issue. me, trying to be an individual, is judging the public- which is subjective, in attempt to create an objective view (ie. hollywood movies sucks, recent rise in popularity of vampires, etc). but all in all, we are all trying to see beyond the daily routines. even when i keep saying that i don have a routine (as a total bum waiting for the next banff session), i do have a routine. even a principle/motto: 'i dont have a routine.' what an oxymoron.

i got really sidetracked here. i was going to ramble about 'why the pop culture is obsessed with paranormals and fantasies- (and i would try to twick it toward the phenomenon of escapism). instead, i am reminded of that i, who often forgets that i also belong to this society, must realize that i am still influenced by the society regardless of self-awareness, and that objectivity and subjectivity really cannot exist without the other. and that everything else is inbetween the two.

i suppose the only thing that i can still be certain is that it's going to be a long time until i will walk into a theater with voluntary interest. perhaps it may even be a vampire movie. till then, i guess i can still chew on the delicious dichotomy of monkey-movie. ahh what a way to pass the time. at least i dont need any remotes or entry tickets for it.



the red dots have been taking a long round about of a route for last couple days. the usual big window is now subjected to a temporary restrictions of size and frequency, as monkey in nyc and mr. salamander in lago maggiore equals to a quite a bit of distance. for curiosity monkey looked up how far those places are: by timezones, 6 hours and by distance, about 4,000 miles (that is the distance between nyc and turin, piemonte, italy).

a human being may walk at 4 miles/hr if one is not injured and is in good health. that would be 1,000 hours, which is approximately 42 days. imagine walking constantly, like those camels from black/white movies, going on, left-right-repeat, 42 days straight. even the devil left jesus alone after 40 days in the desert. ramadan typically lasts a month (29-30 days). poor jonah had to walk around nineveh like a madman after being barfed out of a whale for 40 days, screaming god's warning msgs. moses went nutters on the mount for 40 days. buddha starved for 40 days and lent also lasts for 40 days.

so if these red dots were humans, they wouldve been subjected to rather difficult discourses. thank god that it literally takes a wink to travel 4,000 miles when it is just a quick txt/sms. it's amazing that it gets to the destination without being lost or obscured on top of that speed!

and how it gets even more intricate!

while in nyc, it went like this: departure from mr. salamander's phone @ lago maggiore - hutchinson tower somewheres or whoever it roams with - monkey's number @ yyz - monkey's actual handset @ nyc, roaming.

this evening, mr. salamander called mokey: he made the call from skype, in overpriced wifi from the hotel. skype sends it to toronto server where monkey's latched on with a death grip. toronto server then send it to her terminal and realizing that she's not there, it re-routes the call to her cell phone. quite a route i say.

looking at the frequencies of instances where one's communication with another gets rather quickly if unexpectedly obscured, this technological re-routing in its timing difficulties (despite of the time zone difference, both parties must be able to communicate), technological difficulties (sometimes the connection is $hite), and the most imposing one of all: emotional limitations (i dont think i need to explain this), works miraculously well.

and i think it works because the contents of the communication is simple. silly enough, even without the tech aids, the old fashioned 6th sense would also be okay- for couple days anyways. whether i say it or not, whether he hears it or not (and vice versa), the expressions already have been presented, understood and appreciated. as a human being connects to another human not through words, pictures or even touches, but of emotions. the rest- sensory, is just shed full of tools for expressing.

the weather @ yyz is turning into a beautiful autumn. apparently lago maggiore is absolutely breathtaking. sunny. warm. etc etc. and though the exact details of both surroundings may be a bit different, the beauty of it rings through one to another and it's been a rather heartfelt messages, condensed and wrapped in red bullets dots, sent across 4100 miles (yyz is a bit further away) in a flash.

and though it gets there with all its capabilities,

it's still not enough to represent the emotions truthfully.

but then if there was no compromise between initial emotion and its transferrable image, we wont be using the verb 'represent' anyways. the best will come in december. just gotta wait it out. meanwhile, the window now have been java-fied, filling and spilling out of small phone screen, carefully unravelling very nice, fragile and much appreciated thoughts. like mercury, the winged messenger, it's been hopping around the globe rather swiftly, taking the tales from one city to another.

of course i will be happy when mr. salamander returns to the basket, not only it's closer (3400 miles), the window will be a little more flexible expandable and a bit cheaper. and as the days go by, the distance will eventually collapse and then. it will be existence in simultaneity. by choice. hooray.

but meanwhile, best wishes from monkey to salamander departs toronto in odd times of the day, and monkey's back pocket buzzes in unexpected times with warm thoughts. red dots, good job and please do keep going.


plunge into autumnal prepping

i just realized last night that i will be heading off to banff soon. sooner than i thought- am scheduled to fly right after my last sunday service on 27th. which would be 21 days. exactly 3 weeks. this summer is a weird one in a sense that every little cusp point between the major events has been a tad bit dramatic, ha ha. banff - home - uk - home - banff - home/holiday at home - nyc - (insert detroit somewheres) - home- banff. thats what it looks like. i am spending 7 months out of the year in the mountains and will have gone through at least 11 flights by end of the year. the goal is to clear off my student loans and keep sane, play well and continue to appreciate the nicer things in life, such as peeps.

even when you have to drive down/back from detroit!

i am rather convinced that there is absolutely nothing left there but perhaps i would be wrong. i hope so. in case you wonder WHY im heading to detroit, i am taking my grandma to a family reunion of a sort. shouldnt be more than 4-5hrs in a car one way, but since she would like to stay for extended period, that means i will be going twice. i love my granny dont get me wrong, i remember being there in '93 or something and thinking it's all... gone. dollar houses = economic downfall. and that's when there still was so called traditional car industry. now... i suppose i will find out. let's say i dont want to find out by asking strangers directions in downtown.

then there are some things i need to get my hands one and start sinking down (like poulenc sonata which have been glanced with curiosity and a bit of panic. ha ha), which starts.. today!

overall, the summer is gone. in nyc we had some warm days, in high 20s it felt like (i couldnt re-adjust to 'f, which seemed so funny as i lived with 'fs for five years ha ha), esp. in the middle of crowd and all that jazz. but now back, i see that it's all in the mid 20s and low teens. it is autumn. only hint of summer that lingers is the humidity. that will however stay for a bit, no doubt. and it seems banff is already on way to cooling period.

back in yyz for probably the second last period for awhile (am planning to cross the puddle shortly after the fall session), a short 21 days. i better make most of it. there are ton of people who are back in town, just got into town, and people i meant to keep up with and have not done so far! and if i let the days pass by, it'll do exactly that, it'll just pass by. oooh no. yes, i will have to tend to stoopid things like changing contact addresses for bills and stuff, but meanwhile, i better remember what's important and keep that up: peeps.

it was great to see everyone in nyc. i felt so fortunate. james moody for instance, was a great show in iridium (what a difference bet. iridium and village vanguard shows however! ha ha), but the highlight of the day goes to hanging with peter then meeting up with youn, chris and lady liv. and i am happy to say that yes, that is the correct priority. and i better make an effort to remember that as it need to be appreciated, not expected.

on that somewhat insightful note (gasp!), monkey's off to do stuff. good day to you all and have a blast in this labourday wknd (if you are in north america) and whatever you do in this wknd. as this particular wknd of 05-06, 09, 09 will never return. may as well enjoy it.


nyc interim report

monkey and PO have been roaming nyc and i cant help it but feel a bit like a miniature king-kong. it's been an interesting trip so far in a sense that i am actually travelling in a third place with another person (i am a usually a lone traveller-) and boy that brings out details that i need to think about- simple things as do we walk or take the transit to whether to buy internet at the hotel (at 10 bucks a day! gawd!! well, obviously we succumbed and now am musing on web. so much for 'sticking it out' monkey!) (but that also meant monkey may be able to catch up with mr. salamander at some point which would be... good).

anyways, back to the nyc trip itself, we got through the border through yyz-lga which was less crazy than many other times i remember travelling as a student, thank god. but flying two propellers trotter was a bit noisy. but thank gawd, monkey slept through most of it. hooray. btw, did you know that matt's tomato juice contains about 48% of daily recommended sodium intake in one single can? that was the highpoint of the flight to lga. which is a good thing.

we are staying at this old place called milford plaza, which has this ad on the side that says: the phantom of the opera lives next door! i think that should be a great ground for a bargaining. i mean we need more musical? we are both thankful to each others company that we DO NOT wishes to do anything to do with musicals. hey, if you like them, it's fine. i just... dont. so current location is 8th and 44th. lots of blings, right by the times square. central.

day spent at hanging around the times square (since we were already there) and greenwich village with lots and lots of munches and coffees (i lose it in nyc with the street carts. why cant they be around the world all the time? my personal favorite? the halal chicken dudes near times warner building on 6th. yum yum). also checking out basses for peter and seeing lovano-motian-frisell trio at the village vanguard. gawd i love frisell. he's a hero! HERO! GODSENT! freakin amazing.

and today... we went to MoMA (my favorite building in nyc all time. so beautiful) and wonderful current exhibition by ron arad (crazy fab designer!) and james ensor (amazingly hilarious and sarcastic. the best combination!) on top of that crazy 'usual' collection. i love. mondrian. klein. picasso. rotheko. but really. the winner today for me was ensor and arad. i wonder if im getting used to the museum itself? used, therefore, unlearning to appreciate the unusual beauty? ahhh monkey's gotta be careful.

then walk down (eventually) to k-town. meanwhile we stopped for some korean cart food (i never saw it, i heard of it from l.a. peeps but really. it was alright- they dont have the street mad cred yet but hopefully it'll come), sent some postcards and stuff, meet up with the girls (from banff, from toronto, all over) for a huge dinner (spam-kimchee stew! yeah!) then a stroll back to time square to meet up with the boys (nebraska and toronto). what a great day.

and i do take a great pride in introducing these people to one another, '___ is a great/kickbutt/amazing/nice ___ player.' the girls were accusing me of 'raising the median,' but really it is a quite a collection of people over all. scholarship kids at utoronto, juilliard, festival participants, new york young artists competition winner, ASCAP prize winner, juno nominee- the list goes on and on. and most importantly, though im kinda rubbish at keeping in touch all times, these peeps were happy to be here in nyc and catch up- as if no time have passed. good laughs and good company.

and all these hours were sprinkled with such lovely messages that took a real long time to get to monkey: italy-uk-canada-us. red dots scattered throughout monkey's hours. enough to make her want to savour every bit of the good wishes sent all that long way.

the life of monkey is never going to be full of wealth that can be counted with numbers. perhaps i should be uber happy about the fact that im not under a huge debt. in fact, hopefully with hard-ass work, i will be able to clear everything by the end of the year (well that's really only student loan that i gotta clear up. i better do it!!).but beside that, oooh boy i have some real nice elements in my life- my occupation (esp when music cooperates, haha), my freedom and my peeps. i love my peeps. they are the best really. the best.

i know people think highly of their friends. i think one should think highly of their friends. if not, why bother? i am always respectful to all my peeps and i really appreciate every moment of life they share with me. they dont have to, but they do, only because... they want to! how nice is that?!? i could now probably go to all kinds of big international cities and call up the peeps- and if it's anything like the way it's always have been, we'll always be catching up with lots of love and appreciation, but as close as ever.

this sound real happy and gooey. but i take no shame and not going to reword anything. because. it is true. i mean it and it is really, all true.
love to all my people from nyc. wherever you are doing whatever you are, i am thankful for your presence in my life and i miss you dearly. but i am so happy to say that next time i see you, it'll always overflow with appreciation and love.

greets from nyc.