surprise visit

this morning was a strange one for a change.  it is amusing and amazing what depth and surprises the subconscious can hold.  it often is surprising to see what your mind could portray in a dream- i think it is very fortunate certain moments in a dream cannot be caught, as it often include much tabooed ideas and situations.  as an insomniac, i do not get to dream very often, if remember it at all.  often it's just fragmented thoughts that leaves me very puzzled.  however, this morning was graced by rather clear, perhaps too clear of thoughts.  one of those dreams which are even more vivid than the reality. the ones that you almost wish that it was true (well, partially anyways.) sleeping well has been a real nice change from the bustle of the town.  and i am somewhat glad though i woke with enough tears and snots to wonder whether i had a water main problem in my sinus.

i have no idea where i was or doing what, but at certain point, i remember carrying a hand ax, running towards to my parents' house, being really upset for some reason and hoping to cut things off. i wonder if i was planning to ax murder my own family- see, a typical example of bottled thoughts expressed in hyper-exaggerated way (do tell me if you know of a one single adult who have not had a thought of inflicting some sort of violence to one's family unit.  i will send them a certificate.), which makes me a bit embarrassed.  i know my parents are having a very tough time indeed with recent brother incident and all.  and when i have stated my intentions for next couple years, including the choice of living location, they were not amused at all.

  in fact, before gabe's incident, i was ex-communicated for a good while.  and since then, my understanding is that they can be notified about my personal life (without sudden stroke or something, which i was very worried about), but without any active commentaries or acknowledgement.  i believe it will take load of time, so it is all really fine.  there's nothing i could do personally to make the transition easier, unless i dropped the whole transition, which is not an option.  there have been many unsaid frustrations from both parties and my mom still wishes that i would 'settle and live in the city,' implying and suggesting a whole set of different possibilities. anyways.

so mad monkey ran there with an ax (i wonder if it has to do with anything that since it's been warm, every time we make fire, mr. salamander has to go out and chop some logs to kindling with a hand ax.  just like last night), being all huffy mad etc.  then there he was, my little wee brother, as if he was seven-eight years old.  there's a very nice picture of him during one of my cousin's wedding back in the 80s.  he is wearing a navy-white striped polo shirt, a beige pants (may be corduroy?) and leaning against a tree that could fit three of him in its width.  so it was him from that picture.

he simply said: i need to go, but it's all going to be okay.  i held him and broke into tears: do you know how much i love you?  and the boy simply said (with that gabe smile), i need to go, but i am fine and so will you be.  and yes, i do know how much you love me.  but i couldnt let go.  i stood there like a small tree, welling up with great sense of- hopelessness, loss, pain, love, yearning, joy, warmth... i love you very much. then he said: i know. i will see you, no worries.

and then i woke, half-choking to tears, snots, all kinds of mucus and all stuffed to suffocation point.  red eyed.  and i was consoled by minnow, no questions asked, just a simple embrace and a quick cup of water.  as morning sun was hiding behind somewhat silly hazy clouds over the hills, i slowly weaved the melancholic areas between morning consciousness and half-sleeping tears.  as i was being held like a small child myself.  all mumbling and teary, talking softly into the pillow about what i have just seen.  

it is 24th of june today.  in two more days, it would be another land mark, a two-month anniversary of my wee brother's departure. i have been recently evolved into a child-sitter.  and i took her to manchester to see the phil concert, holding her hands, carrying a box of biscuits.  buying a small plastic tub of ice cream during intermissions and skipping down the stairs to take her to mommy and daddy (who are in the phil as well).  i have not been close to small children in a long while. and this kiddie isnt exactly a small one either.  that age, eight-nine, when they start to figure the world and self, piece by piece.

in comparison, there's no way that i couldve taken care of my brother in similar manner, as we were too close in age.  in fact, most of our interactions were sprinkled with good bits of sarcasm and sibling rivalry.  but there were signs of tenderness, if hidden somewhat under the brilliant display of panache and power-struggle between us.  his birthday gifts i picked out year after year, with huge long complaint about how 'i get nothing.'  the duty-free shopping at every instance i cross the border: the usual carton of cigs, either davidoff or dunhill, fully knowing that 'i will pay you back later' means 'thanks.'  earlier this wk, we were over at friends' house for tea, on the day related to her departed brother- about thirteen years ago i think.  and the air was joyful, however, with tinge of blue. like small bubbles that dotted the air. and i wondered what i would be like many years later, on many different anniversaries related to my wee brother.  and then this morning.

i wonder if my head have made up the whole thing (i am sure), though there's always a slight hope for the supernaturals, a wish that it really was a message for me, to let another small piece of grief out.  in canada, i feel that i cannot really express these feelings as i still feel that i need to be strong for others, mainly mom/dad/granny.  i thought once i am here in the hills, i may be faced with various facets of this life-long process of living with my wee brother. and yes, his presence does weave in and out in various occasions and thoughts, actions and events, though this morning's teary dream was one of the most intense i have experienced so far.

like a true obsessive-compulsive, i count this as the fourth time monkey let tears through this particular ordeal.  the first was when i was talking to dad about 'how' to bring him home- as we decided to bring him neat and tidy.  the second time was in the middle of the night while minnow was doing orch tour, that i felt completely utterly alone.  and there was a third incident a bit ago here in the hills, the night smudged with tears, triggered with nothing, really, then quickly dying the entire dark fabric of soft night with violent stains of anger and suffering. then today.

it is not that i am proud of holding my emotions in. in fact, i think it's a rather silly thing. but i dont want to be always letting things out so easily either, especially if the 'thing' holds a great importance.  i would like to pay proper attention and give it all the space it needs to express itself.  such as grief. love. loss.  i miss my wee brother dearly and i wonder where he is and what he's up to.  sometimes his msn messenger still writes random things on my chat windows and being the generation of my own time, i cannot help but to peek his farcebook profile once in a while to see- well, just to see.  i love him and for long as i am concerned, he's still my favorite family member.  it was nice to see him being so wee cute this morning. i didnt let him go. perhaps i should have. perhaps next time, i could stand and wave him a good journey.


kissing another

so another recent even of memorable nature was my first, ahem, car crash. it sounds really important and traumatic, but nothing like the above pic, which is just spectacular. it was sort of traumatic because... i never have crashed onto anything nor have been involved in auto accidents (well there were couple that i got mowed down while on the bike, but i dont think they really count), so it is really a milestone of a kind. i  cant remember exactly when i got my full license but it is +10 years ago. oh boy. i felt as if i should celebrate with popping champagnes and all the jazz as the nascar racers do. well looking at the statistics, this would actually be even rarer than someone winning a car race. ha ha. i certainly hope it'll keep that way, no doubt.

the very last time i was driving a stick (as we call it in north america) was about 5 years ago, being the designated drivers for bandwagon of happily trashed graduate students.  on and off, but i did learn and did it okay. not great. but if i was halting and screeching with the clutch, well, they didnt know because- they were definitely in a happier plane.  and this would put me geographically in the midwest, where all things, including social events, can be very flat. so there i was, monkey designated driver, being the great chauffeur and the dreaded recollector of everyone's night log:

'seriously, what did i do? crap, dont tell me i kissed that scumbag!'
'well dear dear oh dear- i wish i could tell you otherwise'
'oh come on, tell me i didnt!'
'well... (slightly put empty latte cup towards the middle of the table)
(the desperate grad student makes a dash to the espresso bar)
(monkey sits while twiddling her thumbs)

anyways. so what does it all mean? well, not only im driving on the wrong side, with stick, i am stuck in the land of 'gentle, rolling green hills.' aha. very poetic. except these arent any gentle hills, they are freakin'swirling furls studded with ridiculous amount of traffic lights. so well. first day driving. all went a-okay. we did your typical drive-in-empty-parking-lot ordeal.  see, the main challenge actually is not to drive, but to stop and go. over the years, i somehow maneuvered self through the sea of traffics without major dents.  once it's on, it's easy.  the problem is the fact before the car is set in motion, the car must start.  oooh eeeeek.  instead of simple 3 set steps of automatic: turn keys- steer- accelerate (well meanwhile somehow fit in checking for traffic flow), i was involved in some complicated devil-devised steps of myriad frustrations. somehow, i manage to remember most of it. thank the lord, so i thought.

so went the first day. no major traumas. no driving on the 'wrong' side etc. okay.

then came the second day, and not only i managed to drive on the right side of the road (which was quickly reminded by the oncoming traffic), i got into a fenderbender. damn it.  i just remember the old wise saying of a great prof friend of mine: when things are all coming straight your way, you may be in a less than an ideal place. how laconic compare to monkey panic/confusion on the road.  so after getting back into the appropriate lane (im not even going  bother with 'correct/right/wrong' lane concepts anymore), we passed the elementary school en route, with all the parents, children, going home traffic, occasional trucks (some tall enough to rip off the bridge tops that justve been fixed, ha ha), on foot, tires, scream-powered pre-schoolers, skipping ropes, etc etc.  and by this T- junction we have, it was a bit of a mayhem.  see, uk roads are much more narrow (cheapos!) and somehow people have this infinite trust that they can squeeze parking on top.  and by this house, there's always a parked car. right by the T-junction. which is always a bit risky in my head. but whatever.

so tight from both side, and i am on the bottom of these 'gentle' hills.  see, when i was growing up, i frequently hear the fondle expression 'british gentleman.'  but if the definition of this 'gentle' is anything like the 'gentle hills,' i think i should brace for either light domestic violence or seeing the teeth of british 'rough' man (from the light domestic violence of course!) (in aid to my own, i did get stepped on several times around london victoria station, which i have decided to deem as the most uncivilized tube stop of all london. esp. the ticketing machines area.)  well anyways.  so this 'hill start' thing, which involves: (i think)

ahem, because the hill puts gravity on the ass of the car, which will start to roll back, you  need to put on parking break.  and because you wanna start going forward (usually), you will now have to release parking break while creating enough push to get the car rolling. so:L

1. getting on red, stopping with parking break and both clutch and break down
2. on yellow, release parking break, start to accelerate
3. as you gas, start to release the clutch
4. theoretically at this point, you should be laughing, en route.

except i got real confused for some reason. so with minnow in that low-forced-calm-quivering-voice: stop stop stop, i ahem kissed ass of another man while he was there. oh bad me. flustered really! so anyways, after exchanging insurance etc etc., instead of shelling out some 800 odd pounds (the third man i kissed ended up having a few things bent underneath the bumper and wanted to get it fixed, which meant everything needs replacing, painting, labours, taxes, whatever), thanks to the insurance deity (which i have been repeatedly told of his asshole quality), who have agreed to pay for it for only a marginal increase in insurance fee, we are all okay.

well, except for slightly bruised monkey ego. ha. i am sure i will get the hang of it.  what really is frustrating is that i really hate being anything less than excellent or at least above average. with such mental set (if im going to do it, i am going to be GREAT. if not, i aint touching it with a stick), learning new things are hard. not because the tasks are hard, but tolerating mistakes are hard.  exactly the reason why i never really bothered to pick up a real secondary instrument: because while learning the instrument itself, i feel pretty low.  so rather than realizing im human, i just get really pissed and throw things off the pram and sulk.  when this crash happened, i wondered if im going to let anyone know. i can conceal and still be the 'perfect' driver. but it would be a bull$hit lie for no good reason than... (ooh the dreaded v word) vanity.

so, world, be comforted that no one was hurt and insurance deity has sense of sympathy at times.  and please, refrain from poking fun at monkey next time you see her. she just may claim 'clutch confusion' and roll over your toes, then say 'oh shit', reverse, roll over it again , ah-ha.  love to you all.


stone-dusted-chilli-smoked monkey

it has been a real long while since i posted anything. i feel somewhat guilty about it. it's a similar feeling to having a plant then forgetting to water it for couple days. you come back and expect... well, rather pathetic and wilted plants i suppose. bad me.  i had all intention of writing, i swear! hahaha. anyways.  i suppose the absence of monkey trails could mean several things. the fact that i am happy and well-occupied (hence finding the time is difficult). the fact that i felt really silly about some things and had to really think about: am i really going to go public with such dumb facts about me? (i suppose that's vanity.)  there are many things i want to do, many people i feel as if i need to catch up- one never has to catch up with other, but it feels incredibly important and dear.  so here i am, at backyard at home-chinley, with airing duvet and lawn chairs, life is okay.

last week was a rainy week. the entire wk was drenched in wet grey british blanket of moisture.  with little sheeples scattered around the gentle green background, not unlike the little eraser dusts on the green cutting board, i was busy- reacquainting self with the world that i have left couple months ago. with epic-ish stories of past while, monkey was eased into getting back to a different tempo of life.  slow. open. vast skies. gentle rolling hills. absence of the crazy neon lights and bustle of the city.  

i certainly plan to recap on several silly things that have occurred since then- the first memorable point was learning to cut stones and dress the edges, getting them ready for the patio laying.  mr. salamander immensely enjoy the noise and power of the angle grinder and it's been on to-do-list to learn how to use it.  gyroscopic in its design, it's got a plenty of kick start, where it twirls and do a figure of 8, banging its end into the unsuspecting rookie wielder.  the immediate concern that was presented was in relation to my fingers.

concerned cellist: have you done it before?
monkey: ah- no, it's my first day i suppose-
c: i would be so scared for my fingers-

well, yes, except i figure that since you have to hold the machine with both hands (right hand trigger, left hand guide), the safest sets of fingers would be mine actually. and the stance you hold it (knees bent, folded over the stone one is cutting), along with the fact that the blade is parallel to your spine, to cut one's knees, one would really have to make sharp turns (at least 45') which means... well, i am safe. 


hahaha,. anyways. so that was the day full of angle grinder, dust, rubber mallets and mortar. i fed the mixer with cement and sand, gently wet them with soap water (i never knew but apparently it loosens the surface tension, making it easier to mix).  i dug the ground and broke the old foundation of the ww2 air-raid shelters to put int fresh soldier stones.  i banged away from my shoulder and back with rubber mallet with a wood beam, to level the new stones with others so no one will trip.  and at the end, we finished the end of the stone-laid patio, consisting mosaic of 4 inches deep yorkshire stones.  awesome.  this particular day concluded with a generous helpings of bangers and mash and balloon playing with little boy named archie.  and on top, we even had enough time to go pick up tasty things from the turkish supermarket! score!

and then there was a day of lofting as well at the friend's house.  loft = attic.  it has to do with putting in new joists on top of the old (as they were all crooked and uneven.  one cannot lay a leveled floor on it, nevertheless the pain of cutting pieces to meet the annoying seams of the old joists. so the new pieces of wood beams will be nailed onto the old joists on equal heights.  then goes on the insulation layer.  after they have been stapled, one lays particle-board-zigsaw-puzzle floor pieces.  it was a rainy day and all so it was not so unpleasant to work in the loft, but i must say, i rather prefer working outside.  luckily there's a bit more left on the previous garden to finish (the other corner of the garden) and pointing (filling up the gaps between the stones) (and this also applies another garden).  so perhaps we'll get to finish them next week when the orchestra's having their week off.  with keeping everyone's finger intact, of course.

then there was also so fancy bits of cooking in the kitchen. with lots and lots of smoke- chili smoke that make everyone cough.  hand trimmed baked rainbow trouts with lemon-caper sauce.  roasted new potatoes in home grown thyme-garlic butter with maldon sea salt..  spam noodles (you laugh but it's crack-addictive) with 5 pepper sauce and lea-ferrins. beurre-monte poached scallops on top of miso couscous.  iranian fesenjann, laced with pomegranate syrup and rich walnuts.  pink-centered lamb burgers atop union ciabattas with home-grown mint-yoghurt.  it's always such a pleasure to make such things- the local produce here, especially butchery goods, are amazing and the fact mr. salamander takes food with great enthusiasm makes it really easy to enjoy the entire process. we now have a small wee garden patch of herbs.  still looking for spear mint though.  and i was much appreciative of mr. salamander's lamb tikka with dark saag curry. yum.

so hopefully that gives a short update on monkey journey at this point.  there are may post cards to write and people to be in touch with. and also... well, life!  so please excuse this lazy monkey with a wink of an eye, and i swear there are more exciting news on the way. including a first car crash and all that jazz.  love to you all, from the green hills and finally with hint of sun, monkey reported from uk.


i shouldve cried

At times it is almost impossible to not to believe that a plan is a near- reality.  One is encouraged and often forced to make future plans, small and big.  From ‘when should i set the coffee machine for the next morning’ to ‘what should one do for life.’  And for some bizarre reason we are constantly encouraged to build this fictitious frame of reference for the paradigm that does not exist in reality: the future (cue dramatic fanfare).  however, life, being much larger than a will of a pathetic individual, often ends up crashing over the poor person who had his house of dreams built with the twigs of ‘plans.’  Though it could be quite maddening for awhile, the ‘foiling’ process can also be hilarious, even spectacularly entertaining.  All because of one simple fact: plan/future involves life and reality, however, they do not equate to life itself. 

Such grand introduction, monkey. Where are you going with this?

Well, as i am writing this in my laptop (notice the unusual guest appearance of capital letters?  Microsoft office, like a well-behaving school boy, believes that the credential and the meaning of this document lies in its use of capital letters. And instead of vanquishing each capital letters, i am going to calmly enjoy the fact that i justve been defeated by... protocols. Yay. Go you, protocol. Ooh wait. That’s right. You cant even enjoy your victory, how silly. Then there’s no reason for me to waste my life in anger is there?

Planned a bit while ago, i was supposed to board flight from yyz-man, departing at 1905, arriving at 0705.  I paid my bills and printed my ticket.  Got to the airport in a cushy airport shuttle (see, this may have been the problem to begin with! More on that later)  and lined up like a good-law-abiding-monkey.  Then came the lady with clipboard, eyeing people with half caution and half dread.  Then she asks me:

Airline lady: are you heading to Manchester?
Monkey: Oh, why, yes?
A: there may be a possibility that we may have to redirect you.
M: urrr okay, can you expand that idea? (where am i going? Hell? Shit.)
A:  the flight to Manchester has been overbooked and we are hoping we can redirect people without seat reservation to Birmingham.
M: hmm (so this is why people pay extra to have their seats pre-booked, in case... someone did not keep their words. Alright, fine)
A: the flight may not be full so let’s keep the fingers crossed.

See, i wonder if i would have had less trouble by taking the rocket to the airport.  After the thank you letters, a consistently difficult shoulder pains has been accompanying monkey everywhere she goes.  I am wondering if it’s been tight enough to dislocate itself while yawning (you think i am stupid but i have dislocated shoulders while stretching.  A long story for another day)- anyhow, so i was being decadent and taking the airport shuttle. What i have not realized is that downtown traffic is a mess because there are massive constructions all over the places.  So the bus was about half hour behind the usual mark (they usually overestimate by 15 min and i usually underestimate by 15 min, which makes for that half hour.  Darn it) and by the time i was in line, there were three of us, a bombardier executive, me and another Indian girl.  If lucky, we all get to board the flight. If less lucky, some of us will be put on Birmingham flight, then the company would pay for cab ride to our destination, which would have been okay, considering then minnow may save a trip to Manchester to pick monkey up.  And yes, i will just show up on the door, expecting a british fryup and a great coffee.  However. There are more options.  Such as: both flights are full.

Five minute to six. I have spoken with the bombardier executive man. Nice guy. Has two kids, 7 and 9.  Have been working in Canada since early 2010 and going home so they can wrap up school and move to new market.  Okay. The Indian girl was on the phone/or off the phone, getting aggressive by the seconds.  Then came the lady with clipboard and she says: there’s only one seat left for Birmingham.

Oy dear.

The executive looks at monkey. I can see that he can be totally pushed over the edge to yield the seat.  Crap. I should have told him that i really miss minnow.  I should have spoken about how my brother recently died as well, for that extra sympathy point.  Come on, cry monkey cry.  Cry like the day you cried in front of the cops to avoid ticket for going at 100+ miles in 75 miles zone. 

Damned integrity.

Instead, this monkey says: hey, great. You will get to go see your kids’ soccer game tomorrow morning, your wife will love you for driving to the game. 

Executive man: are you-
M: -kinda sure. Now, go and have a safe journey, before i beg you for your seat.
E: ha ha (with hint of wobbly cautiousness), okay then, sorry, but i am sure they can work something out for you-

So he leaves. Walking with dancing steps. I think: your kids better win that damned soccer game.  So there are two girls left. Nice. Okay.  The other girl is getting nuttier and nuttier. We are taken to the service desk.
They can transfer me to flight to Gatwick, then transfer from there with BA to Manchester, the flight will get to the airport around four. I say it’s too late.  I suggest if they could reimburse me in case i book a train journey from London o Manchester.  The three ladies behind the desk says: we cant book you a train, oh no, we aren’t capable, just like the greek theatre chorus. Ha ha.  Okay.  Minnow’s on phone saying: oh no, what are they going to do? They should compensate you! Terrible!  Indian girl keep saying: me too, im screwed! Whatever option she chooses, i want that! I have to be there!

And monkey thinks: i can either lose my mind and be one of those people who screams their heads  in public places. Or i can really try to be witty. Funny. Anything but angry.  So she goes on.Okay, minnow. Chill out please.  I am close to losing it.  Don’t be a help in turning me into a rabid animal.  I will figure something out and will call you asap.
2.       Okay , three ladies.  I can book my own ticket. I will buy an internet access once i clear the customs.  No worries. I can send the bill to whomever.  Can you repay?
3.       Okay, Indian girl. Please chill.

And i flash a big smile and say: this could be so unpleasant! But it is not! Thank you guys! Lets find a way!  So the clipboard lady takes me to the transfer counter, gets me on flight to Gatwick with specific instruction: give this small 5’5” girl the biggest seat you can find! (girl says: well, the first class is full, but yes, i will put her in emergency exit aisle, which is wide enough to do yoga).  The girl on the phone offers to get me a cup of coffee as she’ll go get one anyways.  The older lady with glasses who led the chorus: oh we shall not book you a train, says she’ll get on the vouchers. VOUCHERS? COOL.

So i go get my ticket for the flight to Gatwick.  Come back, receive a great apology and even greater vouchers (400 CAD worth, woohoo).  Ladies are also nosey and wants to know about minnow. Minnow calls back, i apologize for being a demanding cruel monkey (i was pressurized!) and the three ladies are laughing their heads off.  Minnow is fine (And even happier when i say train bill is covered and i recovered about 60% of my travel cost in vouchers) as long as i get my ass in uk before the terminal Mahler 10 erupts, much like a long-awaited pimple that have turned into a boil. 
Indian lady is still on the counter, phoning and getting upset.

So after the entire discussion of minnow being a violinist, monkey is a doctor of music, the inevitable death of... well, Mahler and everyone else, i was sent off to my gate with blessing of the airline staff. One of them even yelled from the back: ‘be nice to (mr minnow), he sounds nice!’ ha, lady, i know. Grin.
So instead of having a regular 6-7 hours flight from Toronto to Manchester, i will be doing a bit of somersaults.  From Gatwick, monkey will be trailing to Victoria, then Victoria to euston with the world famous tube, then euston to Manchester Piccadilly on virgin train, then finally be picked up, only to have a wee bit of stop at the bridgewater hall. Only AFTER Mahler, i shall dream of being back at home. How silly is this? But then i think: oh boy. It could have been lot more unpleasant. The voice of reason will also say, ya, but it could’ve been much more pleasant as well, only if you could cry at will!

Well, i think i still can jerk a tear or two if necessary. But if all is well and i have more than half of my flight cost covered, it’s not a total loss? And yes, i will get there, which is more important than anything else.  If i wanted things to be easier, i should’ve stayed where i am. Simple, isn’t it.  Love to you all and next time you are stuck at an airport, see what.. you could... make them... do... for you! Ha ha.


busy month of may

i am somewhat ashamed about the recent silence in monkey life, as it has been rather full of nice things. i am almost finished with wrapping up gabe's businesses.  there was much merriment in toronto as former nebraskans- my best mexican friend and adopted japanese sister from the doctoral prog days have come up for a visit. we have not seen one another for a long time and weirdly enough, it was as if time have never passed. we ate and drank like... we used to, i suppose, hahaha.  very unusual for monkey in toronto though, late nights (well, early i guess, wrapping up and arriving to home at 3 am) fueled by superb beer selection (if you are in toronto, check out bar volo. amazing. simply put) and great food.  we went chinese, sushi, izakaya, persian, kensington market fruitstalls, coffee shops, aforementioned bar volo, markham area chinese/japanese all-you-can-eat (at which point, mexican and canadian friends became... comatose), vegetarian/vegan, pizza...  though we used to cook like there's no tomorrow while we were in nebraska, i suppose there were just too many choices to pass up on in this city.  no complaints so far.  i cant wait till our next gathering.

and then there are some more things to be dealt with. on 4 june, i am riding a tincan across the puddle to go see the other minnow, which has been greatly anticipated by both minnows.  it will include much merriment, which have not been set in stone yet, but i am thinking there will be more pints/riots/music/etc.  i will be greeted by no less than cooke's version 3.0 of mahler 10.  minnow asked which version i prefer, as there are numerous 'reconstruction' of the piece (poor mahler didnt finish it. but then he knew that the end was coming so...) and i had to reply with no cheekiness, all sincerity: solti's.

solti never approved of any of the franken-mahler reconstruction of the 10th . ha ha.  too bad that some musicologists are just... too... enthusiastic.

and the latest business also involves writing many thank you cards.  the most i have written in a day was... 53. in total, i think it is some ridiculous number like 60+.  my shoulders have seized up and they are complaining rather consistently and bitterly. i wonder if i can carry my backpack after all for the flight. sigh.  it is a real nice thing to be able to appreciate all the kind gestures from everyone, during this particularly demanding time (esp. for the parental units and granny), but lemme tell you. after 20 cards or so, the feeling (not the merit or appreciation, mind you) of gratitude decreases rather abruptly, until by 53, you are somehow closer to homicidal.  i dont really understand the transformation, but han solo (as seen on the top corner of the picture) was kind enough to ward off any mad man who was willing to disturb monkey with sharp pen.

death by ball point pen would be rather tedious and painful, said han solo. ha ha ha.

then there were much using with pens and paper, which are somewhat personal in nature (ie. it will be closer to impossible to decipher what they mean, without contexts, nothing salacious i think?), but since some of them are really funny i am daring myself to put up a few. i hope you enjoy. and re: the mouse who gets run-over by the pollens- i had the most disgusting chest/sinus infection i could ever remember. breathing through straw. guk all over the cavity of head and body.  green industrial strength snots and stuff. i wonder if it would be clear once dry? *gag.

- i have no idea where these three blind mice came from. but they surely were silly enough. so in middle of squicking through skype tin, we let them stay and see what happens.

surely, one of them got run over by the allergens. the recent temperature changes brought a massive blooming madness to the city and i think that was partially responsible for the green snots. mmm.

so thus, defeat. but i want to make a point that often a defeat is not about 'losing,' but 'giving up.' ha ha ha. i tried to feel better and move around and do stuff while i was stuffed but it was not possible. so pollen win. monkey fail.  at least i can breath again. thank the lord.

anyways. i am still behind. there are notes to write, letters to reply, emails to be sent, call be made (grrrrr), and thank the lord, time waits for no one and i will be on the metal can shortly. yay.  it's not that i want to run away from my life in toronto. it's just that i am ready for a change of scene.  it's been a real busy month and i am hoping that i can retain all the beauty that life have showered me with.  what a lucky monkey.  love to you all!