26.12.11

agent provocateur banjo

130am on a boxing day night, 
in the little house on the hills: 
let's see if that banjo is any good?

minnow got this banjo from mr. p. eliotte, a singer/guitarist man from the years gone by (60s) in manchester.  they played together for years, since minnow was a wee teenager with more hankering for 'cooler' music than chets stuff. their specialty was the music of 1940s: ragtime, al bowlley, early country, pre-rock/roll. it was the music of a man who hated the drum kit and yes, the beatles (this, i can concur).  anyways, he doesnt exactly remember when he inherited this banjo, but it's been kicking around rather quietly, without strings and couple pegs which has rusted/rotted away.  it's still loose necked, though with tweaking, it was certainly playable today. as you will see.

when i decided to pick up fiddle playing, i got immensely frustrated with the bow-arm business. i never had to expose my armpits to anyone, nevermind be fixed on such position (i suppose that helps with keeping the pits dry).  my friends, colleagues, random passer-bys all said 'it does get easier,' but i know that with piano training, finger picking (for a guitar, ex) is much easier than trying to manage unruly horse hairs under some tension which makes even the most beautiful wood bend.

so? well, i tweedle with stringed instruments often without bow. just fingers.  i can do alright faking on a guitar or a bass. often i do fool around with the fiddle and a recorder, making noise with pizz, no arco. so it's been on the list of things to do, to revive the banjo- bela fleck being uber cool also helps a bit, i suppose.

we ordered the strings may be more than a half year ago.  then the pegs fell apart. we looked on the net to see what this instrument is- in hope of finding parts, yes, the pegs.  it's a  j. e. dallas, before the company was bought and went into mass production (now called jedson), which dates the instrument back in 1920s.  all original parts. so perhaps getting new pegs were going to be complicated. tonight, minnow took the operation, with some tools- including vice grip that was integral to tuning (without pegs).  it took awhile as there are not so many information on 5-string banjos.

anyhow, it was revived, and  i took it off his hand, just tuned, and after busting head on the wall for a bit, i figured out how to play: I- IV - V on g major. hell ya. great. i can pick strings. i am the genius. i went for it.  this quick success apparently brought out the previously unknown desire of minnow to jam on mandolin with the banjo (this is where it gets boisterous). so we jammed. loudly. a la americana.

yeah, like YOU can play the banjo quietly.

then came the furious knock on the door.

it was the neighbour- who, in his angry rant, apparently just had a stroke last week (we didnt know), whose wife has been ill for years (this, we did know, but it did became a constant at a point), and couldnt sleep because we are too uncivilized and too loud. he mustve really saved up, as things from two years ago have crept up on conversation (though i do have to clarify that this particular example does not involve me nor minnow, but particular offspring while he was visiting me in canada; so much we could do when we are in... another continent).  he was really angry. hailstones. plague. locusts. whichever.

and he left when he was done. how do we know? we heard the door slam.

i feel really sorry about the situation.  you see, for years that minnow/i have been here, there has been zero mention of any noise leakage from either side of the quadplex (we are number 3).  and we can hardly ever hear the old neighbour couple nor the young family the other way with a brand spanking new baby (except the occasional bathtime crying. but then you would expect it as bathroom is usually crazy resonant place). therefore we assumed that may be these houses were built properly with heavy, thick stuff.

and yeah. we forgot that the banjo was made to be bloody loud.

holiday can be a stressful thing. end of the year can be very stressful thing.  especially if one just had a stroke and one's partner is scheduled for a grave internal surgery that she is too weak for.  talking to old ladies for years at the church while i worked as an organist, i think people, after certain age, views this short period between christmas to new year's with much fear, anxiety and regrets.  in fact, i used to everything in my power to avoid people above age of 70 in church during this time, as they frequently called wrath of god upon you, while you are still in the church.  the passage of time must feel differently- elusive, incredibly expensive now, never enough, often accompanied by life things that may burden souls: sickness, aging, loss of people and just plain winter.

there's nothing to be done except to put the banjo away. at least tonight. too bad i really like the instrument. im really not trying to be an asshole but it's got such great voice.  in fact, when i laid it on the couch, it spoke with resonance.  cant ever shut a song bird up, can we- unless we gut it out.  but yeah, it's a granny banjo. it's probably older than my own granny, who was born in 1924.  what a great thing that it found its voice again- it will need adjustments, esp. with the loose neck, but it's got beautiful tone. hand made, back in different era.

and boy, did it give voice to the neighbour.

i hope he sleeps. i hope she sleeps. i wish them the very best of possible days.  however, i am going lay low for a bit. no banjo after 9pm.  that goes for you too, mandolin.  and i will find a name for this banjo. someone suggested widow-maker. i think it's slightly ill-timed...

19.12.11

vignettes through life, slightly odder.

my parents live in a classy buildling.
but with such busy schedule,
surely santa can have one bigmac meal?

last freelancing location recording session,
with new apogee 'geoff',
please refer to craig ferguson show. haha.

and i thought i saw everything in the world now.
i dont think santa should have had large fries.
though children cannot see below his chest on cam,
if the elves arent feeling vindictive...

oh the feeling of fillet steak right along with your ribcage...

i was so happy to get an dental appt and got cleaning done.
surely the sign of aging, i believe.

shaving one sweater. 
enough to make a full grown adult snarky.

18.12.11

vignettes through the city

for the right goodies,
i dont mind looking like stalin.
korean bakery goodie with ms. chung.

sleepy giant taking the last look at the world,
by the time he wakes, it'll be 2012.

cold winter smokers. a few left nowadays.
i wonder if the culture will ever survive?

total non sequitur conversation of street arts.
such direct answer, yes- no?

after three separate trips,
granny gets new walking booties! 
go walk that shoes granny!
no use, you lose. love, c.

14.12.11

we all pop like popcorns!

winter is here!
from the usual night walk with chemist :)

the other day, i had funny feeling that i need to get in touch with chemist, an old friend of mine. weairdly enough, i cant never really tell how long i have known someone without serious computing- so many of my lovely friends  feel as if ive known them forever. how great is that! well, ive known him for almost three years and though i dont get to see him very often, i cant help but to be in contact when that lightening urge strikes.

well well, he tells me that he just had his phd thesis defense and now moving to boston to start the new year as a postdoc! i am very proud of him and it's a shame i didnt get to see him one more time before i left yyz. but you see, it's because that one free evening, i was scheduled to meet up with one of my dear friends from undergrad years, who is also wrapping up her thesis, totally buried and had to make inhumane effort to come above the water- but she did, yay! was a great meeting up in one of city's most colourful places, pomegranate restaurant.
nevermind spelling it, 
i can barely say what it was,
but this quince-lamb stew was...!

while we tucked into our rich persian food and post-pint, i get a short text from  s. cochlan who left nebraska with me (in fact, her dad is still terrified of my driving. i drive, according to him, totally mad) (and he used to work as a fireman, so may be when he feels 'threatened,' there may be a hint of truth...) that she's in just next pub, sneeeeeeky dee's. you see, if she lived in yyz, it wouldve been just nice. but she lives in buffalo, ny. so i really didnt have a choice but to jump ship and see her as well. what a fantastic night.

bookbomber is already in china, doing his tour thing.  a month in the east, he was so pumped about being a pianist and not having to be a carpenter (though i bet he really enjoy the carpentry bits).  dearest friend mr. oore is getting through the month through trudging through confusing medical journeys and belated works- but at least his holiday is also near, where he will get some face time with little nephew :D

we, the accompanists, bought ourselves:
lunch and lunch hours! hooray.

flomak have squeezed me and peter a fare-thee-well-busy-ass-year dinner in midst of juries and juries and juries. happy holiday to one of my fav kiddies, she's popping to west to vancouver to be... a solo piano student, no accompanying for a bit, hooray! *so she thinks, ha ha.  i was lucky to also put in a quick dinner with ms. melody- we go back a long way, back in the times in orford, it's nice to see her around school but it is even nicer to have a civilized lunch when neither of us have sold our soul per hour rate.

and the day before leaving yyz, i luckily managed to have a short meet up with one of the dearest piano kiddies from undergrad prog who is now working hard, teaching hard and practicing hard in indiana.  though it may be a short tea meeting, i was grateful that she made the time for me. how awesome.
and now, i am leaving to cross the pond. i hope mom/dad/granny will be alright and well till i am back, that my bro gets through the mad holiday season alright in one of city's busiest restos and that hills will greet me with some proper winter break. i am thinking beer. is this too simple? i hope not. after all, we arent too far from popping corn kernels, popping in random direction when there's just enough heat and moisture- to be light, free and... tasty!

12.12.11

blurs of december

mrs santa hustling before noon.
i bet she wishes she can take that back at 3pm,
on 2nd shopping wknd of december.

i remember thinking that december, i will catch on with you. i will dig my heels down and think about the important things and put period on every sentence i began this year. i will write cards and see people, catch up with life and thank the appropriate people for enriching my life.

realistically, i didnt get to do much of it! i dont really understand what have happened! school finished a bit early this year and i did take plenty of odd pictures which made me laugh. but the first two weeks seriously flew off.  i learned a new lutoslawski piece for violin/piano. i played for young, ambitious and hard-working musicians in the most pleasant manner. i didnt make it to the bassoon bonanza this year thanks to developing cold. i barely saw some people i desperately wanted to see.

in a sense, i had just enough time to book dental appointments, do laundry, pay bills and pack, sprinkled with a few visits from lovely lovely people. so here it is, a short entry of how life's been, nothing grand but i do take much pleasure looking back and making little remarks, so that i can open this invisible time capsule to relive the nice moments.  soon i be off to england for a proper holiday, hooray. another chapter in monkey life.

75% of kiddies i teach once a week.
i will miss them during the holiday.
though they will be happy having some free time!
they work almost too hard, i feel...

little wee puppy is waiting for holiday, 
'when are we going to have some walkies away from work bench?'

a late weekend evening at the conservatory.
a toy car, now free of its mad master,
left in the big world of freedom,
burns revenge against human kind
(watch out, mr. caretaker!)


28.11.11

what was i going to say *blank

i just came back from un-monkey-like pub visit on a sunday evening.  it was a nice pint- well, two half pints. yes. i know. logically makes no sense, but as a wee drinker, that's how i must roll- halfer at a time.  we went to the pub to celebrate amazing bassoon kiddie's recital- an event that i have been looking forward for a long time.

i always think of a moose calf whenever i see him.  he's quiet. not in a great hurry.  but not because he doesnt have things to say/think. i think it's the opposite, really.  he's busy thinking and processing, like the way a little moose calf chews on prairie grass. and just like a calf that have lived through a winter, he's not easily fazed or swayed. and most of all, such a great smile! when he approached to me to work with him, i was glad. smile was enough of a sign.

november is always full of mayhem and vagabonds, unexpected near-disasters and comically in comprehensive situations.  we worked through november, despite of bit nutty schedule and loads of responsibilities, juggling and juggling.  i wish that we could have more time rehearsing. but that's always going to be the case i suppose.    i tried as much as i could to prepare but nothing beats working together, esp. when one has to play with another.

long story short, i missed a bar in saint-saens bassoon sonata.  second movement. the 'uncomfortable'spot.  was it the long day/week that i was pulling? was it the lack of rehearsal? was it just 'meant to be'? was it physical mis-execution? i have no idea.

what i know is that for a bar, i was completely blank and that have not have happened to me in a very long time.  and luck has nothing to do with it.  in a weird sense, i ve been trying to come up with some sort of contingency plan for the unplanned events, such as complete 'blank out.'  i analyse, study, do structural mapping, practice things in odd ways and unnecessary combinations so that ideally, i can always stay on course.

but i wasnt there. a whole bar.

what's in a bar?

well, i just watched the video of the recital- there is only a very small 'missing' part.  we got back on alright and continue to ride to the end.  may be hardly perceptable.  without looking at the score (where i remember being lost), it is difficult even for me to find that place.  but you see, without that bar, the entire piece does not exist.  it would be a different bar. and saint-saens, who i begin to appreciate more and more,  wrote this piece in his last years in algeria (86 years old), not attached to anyone but of his dogs- this is the penultimate composition of a child prodigy who had his debut at salle pleyel at the old farty age of ten.  then yes... that one bar matters. not to mention it felt as if i was being lost in some dark water for full 5 minutes (or even longer).

the most regretful things is that i did think of doing additional work for that one bar- as it felt tricky for no reason at all, till well, i dropped the ball today. darn it. i shouldve analyzed. i shouldve memorized, fingersing, shoulder positions, everything i could possibly think of, i should have. but november being november and me being lazy, i blamed the month and skipped work.

everyone thinks it's a no biggie. well, missing the bar wasnt the biggie. after this blog post, i am going to analyse and i am going to know it inside out. i am not binded by the incident with anger or frustration.  i did end up shedding a few tears among friends because i was not happy about it.  that i missed a bar.  and the fact this was one of those performances that i really wanted to do better than i can.  and i overreached. and fall. if briefly.

no one likes to make mistake. but in this case, i wanted this recital to go well not for myself, but for the moose calf boy who has been busting himself to get ready for it.  and i wanted to be the best support he could have had. and that particular bar, i shouldve prepped self for that one bar. 'should have' is always a dangerous thing to see on a page. haha.

anyways, things happen and i find it odd that i was welling up with tears not because for self, but because i wanted to be the very best i could be for someone else.  and i really mean it, no false modesty or anything.  well, i wonder what i could do to make the situation better- i will learn the part and i will memorize it, good for life i hope.  my emotions, well, i am okay. it's done with. and i have come up with an idea to offer him something, not because he complained but because i want to make it 'right' for the bar i missed.

otter boy said: now i understand partially why you say 'music is only music.'

that's right. music is only music but life can become music.  and in this case, me wanting to be the very best i could be for the moose calf kiddie, it was an idea that was larger than the reality of today.  and with this recital finished, i shall get rid of silly tears that welled up, as they are out and done with, and move onto being myself: get on with it, it's only music. and rejoice the fact that there are people that inspire me to try to be greater than me at the present point. and i will try rise to it, even if it involves couple falls, here and there.

congrats moose calf kiddo! you were awesome today.
i will try to do better and hopefully next time, i will be there for you, as much as i can be and i want to be- and we shall simply play music, without tears or frustrations. we'll be what we will be- impractical yet passionate people, making music at that given point of life.

23.11.11

... tis a simple request yet...

so this conversation continues on. it's quite amazing, no?
when i returned from work at wee hour, i found another email from susan (but now with a last name 'LI', a vast improvement? it's at least 100% improvement, going from no last name to full last name) / alicia jame (this is still a bit of mystery).

Dear (monkey's name in a different font altogether) 
Thank you for your email.
We have read your email 'seriously,thank you very much for the suggestion.' (another font)
We will refund you $120 for the mistake and you can own the jacket.
Sorry to cause you so much trouble and we will do our best to help you.
Best Regards,
Susan Li

and i thought: this is still nutty and yet amazing. how many variants of 'cancellation/refund' can i write? anyways, i did my very best not to be rude. or condescending. or bursting out laughing in helplessness. i mean, what am i supposed to do?

to susan li,
(i still have not seen any official company information here; should i consider that a mistake or should i assume that you still have not read all parts of my previous correspondences?)

i have to say, your english is getting better by the minutes. 
what makes me curious is that i cannot be the first one to point out your sub-par communication skills of previous correspondences.  what have happened to the others? do you always send out a nonsense reply until someone writes back gingerly for days?  anyway, i could not help to point out some details once again. let's use red and green in spirit of christmas shopping season:

Thank you for your email.  (this is fine)
We have read your email seriously,thank you very much for the suggestion
(once again, you need a space after a comma) 
(and make sure that once you have cut-and -pasted from another person's correction, 
you should always check the format so that it is in same font and same size)

We will
refund you $120 for the mistake and you can own the jacket.
Sorry to cause you so much trouble and we will do our best to help you.
:i have no clue why you would make such an offer after reading my replies (repeatedly so)
i do not understand how i could explain myself to you any differently (as i have spent at least three replies saying the same thing),
but here it is once again:

i do not want a partial refund with the jacket.
i do not want to own the jacket that may not be a genuine item as that is against my principles.
you have done nothing to establish the real identity of your company.
therefore i now have to assume that this is not a genuine canada goose item.
hence i do not want it.
there are such things as intellectual rights and trademarks law.
and i do respect them.

i am asking for the full refund of my payment and cancellation of the order.

please, if you do mean what you say, stop causing any further trouble, do close the dispute by refunding my payment, take the jacket away from my life and i ask you to do the very basic for me, not even your best, i spelled out every detail of my wish:
cancellation of the order.

and please do include your company's physical contact information, ie. address and phone number.  
i am hoping that the above sentence would be easy to understand and even easier to comply with,
as any business would be supplying such information freely and honestly,

dr monkey

oh the complicated life i live. i learned today that a friend of mine have also bought a jacket from the same site, just hours before she read my post. she was howling then realized that the url looked too similar, too familiar... darn! at least she knows what to expect.  it's often much better for oneself to be amused than ticked i suppose. love to all who had to deal with counterfeit product/bad service/everything in between.


22.11.11

'but i dont want it anymore!'


http://www.canada-goose.com/counterfeiting/

monkey to fake internet merchant 1, as 4 nov 2011 order has been bank processed in complete silence. the website, of course is now moved/disabled. so in wonder i wrote on 15 nov:


hello,
i have put in an order for a jacket, but i have not heard from you nor received any sort of reply (i have emailed you previously regarding this order). would you please update what is the current status of this order (no. 54) and whether it is actually being processed or if there's any problems,
sincerely,
dr c

followed by a weird unexpected msg from merchant to monkey, from 'alicia jame' on 17 nov:


Dear (monkey),
Thank you for your order.
We will sent the goods within 3 days when we receive your order,so pls be patient,any problem pls feel free contact with us,thank you!
Best Regards,
Susan


so a curious correspondence started to roll on its own, 18 nov:

hello susan,
(i have to say i have never seen a business reply without a proper name, including last name of the correspondent)


despite your untimely late and inappropriate business reply,
i am letting you that i do not wish to continue with the order,
that i am requesting you to cancel the order and that i have requested my bank to dispute the transaction your company has processed on my credit card.


the company is completely uncommunicative and unprofessional:
1. my previous emails were all ignored up to this point (where i stated the decision to refer this case to my bank's dispute dept)-
which is a rule breaker from your side, as your website does promise reply within 24 hours of submission of a complaint/information request


2. shipping dates are wildly out of proportion- your customer feedbacks on web clearly led me to believe that the transaction would be completed in 3-4 days and there is no apparent explanation or a disclaimer that there would be a long wait period with zero communication from the merchant.


3. and when a company that decide to communicate using short-hand internet slang ('pls' is something that teenagers use to text their friends in informal setting. it's never been accepted anywhere in professional world), dotted with gross grammatical errors ('so pls be patient,any problem pls feel free contact with us?' it makes no sense grammatically) i have no reason to believe that this is a legitimate company who deals with genuine merchandise. i have to say i have never seen a business reply without a proper name of the correspondent, which would include his/her last name.


4. which makes me to believe that even when i receive the merchandise, i have no guarantee that it is the real canada goose item, in fact, it is most likely to be an imitation. i cannot personally bear the idea of buying counterfeit merchandise.


so please,
do cancel my order and refund the money please. or i shall wait till my credit card company's dispute department will resolve the situation with your company.


dr. monkey


a returned msg from alicia jame/susan on 18 nov:

Dear dr. monkey,
Thank you for your email.
We have check your order and we found the good
We have check that we have sent the good for you.
If you want to return,pls sent back the jacket when you receive it.You are surposed to pay for the shipping if there have no problem with the jacket.
All of the jacket we sold are real,pls be patient,any problem pls feel free to contact with us,thank you!
Best Regards,
Susan

another message to alicia/susan on 19 nov:
to: susan with no last name, or alicia jame,


i feel as if i am trapped in a bad comedy as at this point i dont think you are capable of communicating in english.


first of all, i am not even sure who i am addressing here, are you susan or alicia?
what company do you belong to and who am i speaking with? what is your official position and who is your employer?
are you with the counterfeit company or are you with the third-person company who has been contracted to deal with complaints?
and what is your physical address?
if you are a real company, you should and would provide all these information.
though i doubt you would understand what i am actually requesting at this point.
so please, do explain yourself further.


re: your reply, none of your sentences are up to minimal standard of english writing- grammatically and commercially. so i am not sure if i am actually able to understand anything that you want to express. let's take a short look.


1. 'We have check your order and we found the good'
: this is an incomplete sentence that is missing articles and incorrect verb tense. when written proper, it should at least resemble this example
: though what are are you referring as 'good?' you found a good in my order? which would be my credit card information? what you want to say may be: 'we found the good that corresponds your order.' additionally a proper noun in this context here would be a 'merchandise'.
: dont forget your period to finish a sentence. without it, it is not a sentence.


: 'We have checked your order and we found the good.'


2. 'We have check that we have sent the good for you.'
: same here. incorrect tense and contextually inappropriate noun.
: koodos on your period on this sentence though.


: 'We have checked that we have sent the merchandise for you.'


3. 'If you want to return,pls sent back the jacket when you receive it'
: where am i wanting to return to? what is returning? i am certainly not returning to wherever it is, as i do not know the location nor the subject you are referring to. though i am going to assume a minimal intelligence that you are referring to the 'merchandise' that would be the focal point of the subject of this incomplete sentence.
: 'pls' is never used in proper business or formal writing. it is spelled 'please' if you have never seen it in its full form.
: 'sent' is a past verb tense. i cannot send anything, never mind a jacket, if i have not received it.
: yes, you do need another period to close this sentence.


: ' If you want to return the merchandise, please send back the jacket when you receive it.'




4. ' -.You are surposed to pay for the shipping if there have no problem with the jacket.'
: i cannot understand what you want to say here, but let's go through the mechanics first.
: when writing in most languages as i have seen in europe, asia and americas, people usually put a space or two after a period. but because you lacked a period in the previous sentence, you now need to add a period and then another space to accommodate the 'end' of the sentence then start a new one. i have no idea what language you may be speaking but seeing that you are attempting to communicate in english, you should use the period - two space device.
: 'surposed' is not a word. perhaps you meant 'supposed'- do not make your readers guess what you are saying with a spelling error.
: ' -there have no problem,' this also does not make any sense. you mean 'there has been no problem' or may be ' (you) have no problem?' who has problem? or should there be no problem? who is 'there' mentioned here? the way it is structured, 'there' is being a pronoun.


: ' -. You are supposed to pay for the return shipping if there is no problem with the jacket.'
there. it is marginally better now. though i am assuming that's what you want to actually write.


5. 'All of the jacket we sold are real,pls be patient,any problem pls feel free to contact with us,thank you'
: you only sold one jacket according to this fragment. or you do not understand plural vs. singular and verb tenses. it is either 'jacket we sold was real' or 'jackets we sold were real.' to add to options, you may be even be wanting to say 'jacket we sell are real' or even 'all of the jackets we sell are real', may be?
: dont for get your space after a comma. it would be a one, singular space, unlike a period, which would be followed by two spaces.
: no 'pls' teenage informal texting/chat garbage in business writing, ever.
: and another space after your comma.
: 'any problem-' you mean i can contact you if the gas prices are too high? or people are driving through red lights? any problem of what? of whom? this is vague and confusing. i do not understand why you want me to contact you in crisis that is unrelated to my business transaction (or lack there of, except the credit card payment you took). or is that what you are saying? or is this an incomplete fragment- fragment of a fragment, i suppose.
: 'pls'- please stop using this shorten form.
: '-contact with us,' using this verb here, you do not need to state 'with us,' it would be just 'contact us' with a space for your comma.


: 'All of the jackets we sell are real, please be patient. if there is any problem (i am still not sure what kind of problems, i am assuming with the order) please feel free to contact us, thank you.'


after deciphering your sub-par correspondence, i am writing to you now, to check if i understood it correctly- that you are refusing to cancel the order.
as a customer, all these errors in writing in addition of your lack of business etiquette/practice, i am once again requesting you to cancel the order, which would be a civilized thing to do as a legitimate company. please do write back if there is any further information you need to convey, however, i would highly recommend that you do proof read it so i do not have to waste an hour to fix the message itself to even attempt to understand what you wrote.


and please do not forget to include your name, position, employer and the physical address of the company as requested.


dr. monkey

whats more amusing is that 1. i got another reply
and that they have a new web address now.
http://www.canadagoosesaleca.com/

now another reply but with vast improvement on technical aspect of english, 19 nov:

Dear (monkey),
Thank you for you email and sorry for the delay.
We sent the goods within 10 days when we get the payment.
We have check your order and the jacket have been sent,it will arrive to you soon,so pls be patient.
Any peoblem pls feel free to contact with us,we will do our best for you,thank you!
Best Regards,
Susan

monkey reply on 20 nov:

to: susan with no last name, or alicia jame,
who still have not disclosed the official business information as requested
(your position, title, company name and physical contact information)


first of all, i am surprised to see that your communication skills have improved greatly over just a couple days (assuming that it is the same 'susan' i was communicating with so far).
but i still have to point out that it is sub-par in technical context and it fails to be comprehended as you refuses/ignores my request to cancel the order. which makes me believe that perhaps you are not able to comprehend any replies, despite your wish to communicate with the customer(s).


1. thank you for you email and sorry for the delay:
it is wrong: you email is just two nouns, which has nothing to do with one another.
i believe you may wanted to say: -your email,
as of my email that was addressed to you (whoever you are at the moment)
: thank you for your email and sorry for the delay.
*though there is no need to be sorry, as i was not complaining about the delay but was making a request for the order to be cancelled.


2. We sent the goods within 10 days when we get the payment.
your verb tense is incongruous in this sentence. is it in future or in present?
it is either:
: we sent the purchased item within 10 days of the business transaction. or
: we send the purchased item within 10 days of the business transaction.
and yes, you are sending me a 'good' not a multiple items, which i have requested you to not to send. but that's not a technical error, it is a syntax error.


3. We have check your order and the jacket have been sent,it will arrive to you soon,so pls be patient.
: we checked your order or
: we have checked your order
*though it is clear that you actually have not checked my order at all (why? because i asked you to cancel it)
: - and the jacket have been sent, it will-
: - and the jacket has been sent (verb tense, please), it will-
and dont forget the space after a period or a comma.
: - soon, (space) so please be patient.
* no informal contraction is ever appropriate in a business communication. i have mentioned this to you in last email, however, you are either not reading my reply or there are multiple susan(s) and/or alicia jame who does not communicate with one another within the company, or you are unable to comprehend my reply in english. would it help for me to get it translated to your language? that may be easier, i believe at this point.


4. Any peoblem pls feel free to contact with us,we will do our best for you,thank you!
: what problem? what of problems? i am assuming that 'peoblem' is supposed to be 'problem' unless it's a new word.
: if there is any problem, please feel free to contact us
*yep. once again, no contraction please.
*and as said on last email, not 'contact with us' but 'contact us' and yes, another space after the comma is required.
: -we will do our best for you, (space) thank you!
*but you are not doing your best for me, in fact, you have not done anything for me. what are you going to do for me at this point? i do not understand what it is that you are offering as a company to me at this point. unless you have no idea what you are saying or that you are saying whatever you feel like. either way, this is a problem for me. it should be a problem for you as well.


so here it is, i have attached last reply i had for you ms. susan(s) and/or alicia jame, of company that is undisclosed and mysterious, as you continue to ignore my request for your physical address and contact information, never mind the real name of the company that you work for, in hope that may be you are not suffering from amnesia or a mental stress that would have wiped my last reply from your consciousness.


i cannot understand what your replies mean- as it is clearly not a two-way communication yet your wording says differently. i am left to the lack of response from your side and i have no idea who i am communicating with and for what. but i suppose it is impossible to understand some mysterious things in this world. i have no faith to believe anything will be delivered to my address and only thing i can trust is that my bank's visa dispute department will at least try to to their job and get my payment back from you.


thanks for hours of frustration and inefficient communication.
i have never thought such level of business transaction was possible, to point of amusement which is slightly above anger and frustration.


sincerely,


dr m


credit card dispute dept says it will take about 4-6 wks to resolve. all i can say is that it's all so much more than i thought i was buying. will update when the next amusement gets delivered. november is a cranky month.  next issue will discuss: stolen laundry basket. ooh dear.  love to all honest people in this world! and bit more for my friends.

17.11.11

et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis

jacob's ladder, marc chagall

tis the yuletide (though it feels ridiculously early at the moment) in the western hemisphere (and part of east as well, i assume).  the streets are covered with desires that is supposedly burning me at the very moment: gifts! services! for you! others! why not buy when you can!

when i was a little kiddie, i asked my father if i could have something specific for christmas (i dont remember what it is anymore), just like all the little kiddies who are aware of father christmas/santa.  boy, the conversation was a bit more complicated than i have anticipated:

monkey: daddy, i want ___ for christmas, can i?
dad: you want what for what? (looking really confused)
m: (now sheepish) - no no, never mind.
d: wait, i just want to understand. tell me once again.
m: (quietly) i wish for ___ for christmas...
d: okay (pause) how did you come to that conclusion?
m: huh?
d: what is christmas?
m: jesus' birthday?
d: okay, so then how is it that you want a gift?
m: (gunshot through brain) oh! hmm-
d: i just want to understand
m:(sudden relief) no no, it's fine, i dont want anything!
d: wait, if you still want ___, you may have it, but-
m: no, it's someone else's birthday, never mind. i was mistaken.

i dont think he was trying to trick me. i think he was genuinely curious. at that point, i did not lose my innocence. i think what i lost was the false relation of christmas and gifts.

of course, gifts aside, there are things about christmas that i quite like.  especially in ecclesiastical context.  for instance, the four weeks of advent- the ritual of lighting of candles every sunday, from purple to eventually white (of course, of life, of innocence, completeness, etc). purple is a funny colour. it is also the colour of lent- the last ritual, the pre-planned and unavoidable journey of self-sacrifice.  however, it is also colour of royalty.  but the pink candle is the best- signifying that christ the messiah comes in flesh (gaudate sunday) and it already echos of his demise. without dying, there would be no miracle and no nothing. (a real reason why i dont like the blue candles used in some denominations- as blue bears quite a different meaning, of all hope and openness- not much dark things in there, really).

and how odd it is that we, as western collective, rejoiced the arrival of an innocent, who we knew we would kill?  and how is it that we lost the meaning of sincere waiting through self-offered penitence (as we knew of death of flesh being inevitable)in lieu of rosy cheeked coca cola santa-
but back in the days when religious practice was more common, garbed in purple- of decadence and penance, what was it that people sought in advent? in praying? in their daily lives?

see, all this goes back tot he chauvet cave.  book bomber, returning from his sabbatical journey (nevermind million concerts, he got to be a pianist and only that. we both know that he'll be covered in dust in no time in yyz), brought some interesting thoughts. including one that is non-verbal.  a musical thought. and i could not help but to think: what are you praying for, genius man?  well, it helped a great deal to realize that he somehow went back to the chauvet cave. it's his secret garden i think.

*and he's been so kind to let me post his thoughts here. thanks!!! :D
http://www.davidbraid.com/Chauvet.php

which then lead to golijov's dreams and prayer of issac the blind.  issac also prays.  desperately. as he would be a lost man, a lunatic without his god.  golijov says in his prog:

... blindness is as important in this work as dreaming and praying. (i) had always the intuition that, in order to achieve the highest possible intensity in a performance, musicians should play, metaphorically speaking, 'blind'.  that is why, i think, all legendary bards in cultures around the world, starting with homer, are said to be blind.  'blindness is probably the  secret... whose who dont need their eyes to communicate among them... blindness..is then music as it was in the beginning: an art that springs from and relies on our ability to sing and hear, with the power to build castles of sound in our memories.

with such caution around secular and religious, it is easy to forget to see what it means to 'pray'.  its root is based on late 13th c, to 'ask earnestly, to beg,' from old french 'preier' (c. 900) and latin 'precari'. so really, without the dogmatic approach to life, what is it that we all seek and ask for? im not being sarcastic. i simply am wondering.

in that chauvet cave, through herzog's eyes, those paintings werent of pleasure or showmanship. to me, it is the very seed of the verb 'to pray.'  and the world prayed with it, amazingly- the physical world, by keeping it sealed, warding off any gestures of immediate gratification.  the day that the first stroke was made on the wall, man was born from animals.  to seek, to quest for something- and all we have is simple cryptic clues in form of cave paintings.  of animals that have passed the time in utter silence and grand pause, holding onto passage of time, as if nothing and everything have happened.  and the men who made these paintings- we will never know why but we do know what- he sought to express.  what a gift, taking the risk of presenting private thoughts to uneducated audiences (who may think they may be beyond these simple paintings).

sir edward bunett tylor and sir james george frazer, anthrolopogists, goes as far as to say that earliest intelligent modern human practice would be the prayer.  aha. no wonder book bomber's thought echoed so loudly in my head: a prayer.  and of golijov, through the iconic blindness of issac the prophet: a prayer.  of forgotten practices of christmastide: a prayer. a daily human need against the restricted and often contrasting condition: to seek and ask for relief/peace, a prayer.

we all ask.

what are we asking?

how are we asking?

http://youtu.be/vNY7oyDUMxM
with great cantor shalom katz abiding final good bye to the departed in this great prayer, i simply sink down to the nebulous yet comforting zone of 'seeking', which is not what i have planned for (initially i planned for evening of cheap entertainment through solitaire and television blaring on side) yet it is only natural, to pray.  i may never find out what it is that i seek for. but the thirst, the curiosity will be there till the day i find it.

and to you all, courage to continue praying.  and loads of love. in this demanding retail season of christmas coming.

15.11.11

echo of autumn warmth

it is an unusually warm autumn this year.  it's mid november and the park is now covered in the golden glorious blankets of life- celebrating the last bits of the summer, to remember and to cherish the last bits of the sun, of another year, 2011.

it is hard to believe that it's already 11/12 gone. perhaps it's because i am no longer chased by school deadlines. or being away from television, being haunted by the spirit of 'buying' (they conveniently want to call it giving, haha).  or is it because it's too warm and too beautiful to think that the season of downward grace, inward to centre of the cold yet alive earth is already here?

i remember heading home two wknds ago, passing through eaton centre, seeing the great tree built. in the same manner a tower is built.  it is a bizarre thing to look at- a mimicry of nature yet- so industrial and so appropriate for the artificiality of the winter.

may be that's what it is. it's the displaced weather.  or the fact that all the lovely people around me keeps the spirits high and vibrant.  i often do wonder what am i supposed to do with my life- as if i am supposed to have a great goal and run toward it without any hesitation.  then i remember i dont really dig running. i rather walk and see little bits of life around the random part of the road.  and though i am not doing anything significant in any objective manner, perhaps having the time to please my own eyes, hence keeping self always fed well and happy, keeps the winter chills away.

perhaps when the real chill comes to bite my nosetip off, i will launch self over the little water puddle and keep myself warm with real fire, in the midst of a wee house with minnow, with wee fluffies around.  they are also small yet their eyes are bright and alive.  how wonderful love is, it even brings life into quiet fluffies, patiently waiting for you to discover their hidden voices.

9.11.11

inconsistency of time

though christmas is still a bit away, the stores are starting the sensory assault. in the states, at least they wait till the thanksgiving is over i suppose- but here in canada, right after halloween, it's almost expected to see all things red, green, gold and expensive. sigh.  though i do enjoy the window displays, especially of holt renfrew bloor and hudson's bay on queen.  so as minnow is in town, we decided to casually walk by.  

though the soundtrack was horrendous (the tracks mustve been damaged, it was skipping and continue to be stuck on- but how would shop employees know that? they are inside! ha. the irony), the little animated figures werent as scary as i find them sometimes (i have things about dolls and human figurines. i dont like them all that much. fluffies are different matter altogether though).  even bits of canadian history i studied for citizenship  test came back to my mind, with wooly warm feeling as i saw the familiar scenes of (victorian) christmas and hudson's bay's involvement with early canadian history.

it is a curious thing, this christmas advertisement.  every year, the display specialists try their very best to sell the newest trend and newest products, through evocation of tradition and history.  and through looking at the nostalgia, one is supposed to be grabbed by the ankle, thrown into the frenzy of BUY NOW. as if christmas would expire and never return.  buy it like there will be no more christmas. ha ha... bah.


and then there's another aspect of time and history- things that actually expire.  i often carry one banana in my bag, as i get so side tracked, often there is no time to eat. though this particular day, i could smell the anxiety and worry in my bag- a hell of a ripen banana.  the whole morning. but you see, i coudlnt eat it, as i knew that i didnt really have time to go grab food, which meant i was dependant on it to get me through the day, 8am till at least 3pm.  

so i carried it with utmost care.  no nostalgia or joy. just head full of caution.  the last thing i need to do is add banana mash to mozart... or ibert... even lutoslawski doesnt deserve it.  but came lunch time, it was eaten in a hurry. as if... i couldnt wait to eat it fast enough! hah.  passage of time and the importance of flow of time is an interesting notion. how did your day go? how did it flow from wake to snooze?  i hope, however, that it had some real love and care, from people who loves you dearly. even when one isnt aware.  


8.11.11

what do you see through whose eyes?

the boys are together again, wee and tee.  looking over the forest of big tall concrete buildings, they wonder and talk about the grace of the big cities- when you are sitting tall in the quite morning, even the most grungy city street can exude composure and beauty.  especially when it is shared generously.  

wee and tee- how are they together? did tee come for a visit in an air mail envelop perhaps? aha, no.  he decided to carry on a big trip, like a big boy.  and just like wee would have done, tee came with a small travelling companion.  minnow was there to encourage tee through the tedium of the air travel- and buy the tickets, go through the airport and the joys of security check, etc.  oh what a man would do for the happiness of a fluffy.

this is a very short visit, just merely a week long.  there are many things we would like to fit in. and then there is a full week of work as well- practice, learning, rehearsing, working, etc.  it's always bursting at the seams it seems.  how did we get so busy, being small people doing small things? suppose the derived joys from such activities satisfy all bits of our lives, hence making it even larger than life.  perhaps busted seams are okay as well. that's what the seamstresses are for.  or even a simple attempt at DYI.  as a cheapo DIY fixer of various things (zippers, buttons, worn patches of pants, falling-disintegrating scores... the list continues to the next century i think), i now know that it can always be fixed up. usually better than before. as it is now soaked with love and care.  yay. no longer brand new generic boring stuff.

and talking about non-generic, we were walking by china town, to have a small coffee at my fav cafe.  and then all the sudden, we found a tiger, with a roar that deafen our ears.  it cleverly disguised its voice through the assumed rumble of the passing-by ttc street car.  it is a funny thing to find, in the concrete jungle.

wee and tee asked how dangerous the tiger was.  we quietly said it's pretending to be harmless, but one never knows.

the world always gains more stories and imaginations when minnow is around.  what a gift it is, to share a life with a person.

and of course, the random (yet may be not random at all) apparence of tiger!  the eyes of an adult can then appreciate the beauty of the world through the eyes of a child, unguarded, unafraid and so free.  finding freedom of king of a jungle in a city sidewalk is an amazing gift.  i wonder what else i will find on these streets.  and who also have seen these comic scenes of the day.  but sheeeeeeh, dont tell the tiger, it just may come for a wee bite when no one's watching out for me...

30.10.11

oh why did you leave me?

perspective 1:

0830: catch walk to school w PO in semi-sleep fuzz. locks the door.
0905: slugs down to practice dungeon with a hot cup of tea.
11-13: be amused when unexpected things happen with fixed score.
1420: WHERE ARE MY KEYS
1435: completes run of the day's trajectory around school.
1445: begs office peeps to produce miracle: my keys?
1446: downcasted eyes, asks librarian: (asshole) keys.
1515: grunts in frustration.
1630: explodes on housemate. takes hiskeys. leaves.
1745: in anger, decides to head over to gym.
1900: gets home. in defeat, picks up a takeout dinner.
1905: laments over lost keys over skype. keeps minnow up.

2400: WTH ARE MY DAMNED KEYS


perspective 2:
0830: locks door, gets snug in pocket.
0905: opens dungeon door. rare stay out of pocket. wheee.
1100: MONKEY?
1420: MONKEY?
2400: MONKEY...

luckily, keys and its careless owner was reconnect in total random incident. despite of desperate running around the school, the keys were not found because... well, a friend had picked it up as it was left in the practice room. a full day after, i decided after an awesome day (great recording demo sessions with two incredible friends and the dearest tonmeister housemate, a solid run-through for tomorrow's recital), as tonmeister was meeting up a friend, decided to do another takeout dinner. and there, came the emotional reunion:

YES YES YES
CAN I PLEASE AT LEAST BUY YOU A DINNER?

she had my keys. she has found it, quietly protesting in waiting for this monkey to pay attention in the practice rooms.

the lady gracefully rejected offer, exchanging it with a raincheque for a coffee and i skipped all the way back home. funny, last night i was thinking about this keys situation. i was trying to not to be angry. as it does not help the situation. it just worsens the situation- the worst being losing one's dignity, because one was- well, careless.

i was yelling silently in my head: where did the damned keys go? nuts! why would you bugger off, keys?

the truth was that keys didnt run away, i left them. and if they could talk, they would have called on me: hey hey mommy, where you going? take us with you! we like your pocket the best!

as i was still experiencing the after steam of frustration that i failed to dissipate, i kept trying to think about the poor wee keys, left in dark somewhere in the building, wondering why i left them all alone.  they may have even wondered why i didnt want them any more. i hope that if they were animated, at least they wouldve figured out that i also like them as they have magic powers to open doors and closed things, that i do favour them on my pockets over anything else- even phone or wallet.

luckily, they were kept in company of someone, not left in the total dark. yay. at least they didnt spend the night in lonely silent music building.

so i was extremely happy to see them again, dangling and calling out in childish unisons: monkey! it's monkey!! yaay!! we are going home!!!  so here we are, once again united, happily snug safe in my pocket.

then i chuckle: what a nutter i am. it was just a lost key set.
but if life gives you difficulties (rather, most of the time, people make their own difficulties), why not at least get something out of it?  the sight of wee keys dangling on the ring, calling out for monkey in excitement is a very beautiful thought in my mind.  aha. such a relief. what a silly life.

27.10.11

loner monkey plays in rainy evening alone

die kinderspiele, pieter bruegel, 1560

it is once again well after midnight- 215am, eastern standard time.
the night takes the bustle of the desires and schedules away from the city, leaving it somehow pristine and neutral.  of course, there are occasional sirens and car breaks, also a bit of random yells from drunken ryerson kids.  but with the rain that soaks through the thickest sweater, as it permeated throughout the entire day and night, the accents of city night has been dimmed.

there are condensations on my window, i can hear occasional wind trying to blow through the smallest cracks of the glass- it is impressive how much dust i sweep on daily basis- the dust that rose from the ground and travelled all the way up to 32nd floor.  this building started in 1971 and was completed in 1973 (same age as my bicycle), all 105m of it.  considering there are only two more floors above this tree house, to say that i live about 100m above the ground could be a nice round-up.

from here, i see many things passing by- yes, i am letting it pass by and i am quite content.  numerous parades, festivals, even protests.  as a person who favours small gatherings, in a sense, it gives me a great vintage point to the world. especially when it's the single digit hours of the night.

i often am strongly admonished that i should be sleeping earlier- along with all the great advises. staying up late is a true vice of mine.  the space that night brings us- the time and openness for renewal, meandering, reflection and concentration, i find it often irresistible to let it soak onto unconsciousness.

of course, i sleep much differently in various settings. in the little house in the hills, i am known to sleep early and lots, curled in spoon with my favorite minnow. often i open a book in bed, only to close it off on my face, already lost to the dreams that i dont often remember- and in the middle of neon pause, i feel as if i am desperate to collect the thoughts and fragments of the day that whizzes by so fast.

i may be a bit tired tomorrow, of course, but one cannot simply have everything one desires.  i am glad to have a bit of moment to not be productive, to be 'decadent' in use of my own time- a play time, a time that has nothing to do with earning, working, serving others or being practical.  all animals play, in fact, playing is probably one of the most important trait of true intelligence.

so here i am, playing by myself, quietly, as i did as a loner child, with all the small pieces of the day. i am happy.  what a beautiful slice of the precious night, rekindled in simple need for a solo playing. love to you all, souls with twinkle in the eyes, the ones who still seek out the simplest pleasures.


http://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital.html

19.10.11

in the depth of winter, i finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer (camus)




the weather has turned just last weekend. today, i brought my cycling gloves out- as thin as they are, they will keep the wee fingers from the little nipping teeth of the wind, like hound puppies- not deadly nor permanent, enough to leave a dent on bare skin, as i ride in the morning and late evening.

the leaves has fallen and unfortunately, because of the loads of rain we had, there wont be a spectacular colours this year. or is it that i have missed the apex of the year- where life turns another corner, sinking slowly yet surely, each step closer to the heart of the matter- of the earth, of oneself, of individual hearts and honestly naked emotions.  already in yyz, the daylight is shorter than twelve hours.  the steps towards home are heavier and a bit more hurried as the days rush by, shorter and shorter.

i turned on some yuletide music for the first time for the upcoming winter.  i am not so fond of the christmas festivities itself, however, i am very much in love with winter. it is demanding and harsh at times- in lesser times, people often threw end of the year party (one of the origins of halloween) before winter would take on the entire village by the full strength, leaving fewer and weaker survivors by the time the earth remembered that its role is to nurture, not to merely hold.

but i love the bare minimalism of winter. the extreme contrast of winter- the role of the preserver, keeper of life, of legends and memories underneath the wrinkled and frozen outlooks, makes my heart leap with unexpected joy- even a surprise to myself, in the midst of continuous grey and darkness.

not much left to the year already, 74 short days till another journey around the sun to start. 

instead of the jolly carols, i open tracks from sting's recent winter album and pick out my favorites- such as gabriel's message, you only cross my mind in winter, the snow it melts the soonest, coventry carol...

i miss a few things as i ride on this downswing of the things- into the deepest slumber.  but none will be lost. nor will be forgotten.  i plant and replant the beautiful bits of my life, into the depth of the soil.  i believe that they will all stay asleep, waiting to be awaken from the stillness of the frigid air. and they will continue their existence within my life, our lives, with each beating heart beat.  especially my little brother.

i look forward to the gentle closing of the year, there will be quiet happiness, like little mice nestled in borrowed holes under the snow, blanketed by the crisp and clear winter night velvet.  warmth. fire. spoons. love. generosity. grace. then another solstice, we shall all gradually move upward, onward.  as we came downward.

16.10.11

homo spiritualis > homo politicus

*chauvet cave prehistoric paintings

it's been quite an unremarkable week, coming from wk full of rehearsals, masterclasses, coaching and recording project. i even went off caffeine and slept proper, which magically eliminated most of the muscle tensions on my shoulders, yipee. though that confirms that there are no short cuts to living humanely- especially for oneself.

with a bit of extra time, ive been working on some music i have put on the side (project with minnow and some other things i just happen to really like), taking care of little things like balancing the book ( ! ), running surprise lunch deliveries, checking up on kiddies to see if all are alright, putting up posters for gigs, etc.  and then came a surprise unpleasantness.  you see, as a freelancer, we put up posters for gigs at the conservatories and universities, so that interested people may take our info.  often, however, it gets incredibly low and some days you realize that someone has taken down your poster. i find this quite disheartening.

we work in music, of course, as cliche as it sounds, we do work in the field where our subjects are much larger than our little lives and that we constantly strive for 'better' part of humanity.  so whenever something like this happens, i find it disturbing.

i try not to push myself against other people nor i try to undercut peoples' rate. the way it seems is that there are many people who wants to make a living by playing music, a far more than we could possibly employ, as a society. so competition is fierce. and because we tend to work with people on individual basis, often it is a healthy thing to remind self that one simply works not only with abilities but of humanistic ties we build with one another.  of couse i would like to play more, but being able to play my instrument is only a very small part of the whole process. and there are enough people who are pushy about work- i know that there are a few who are brave enough to negotiate and undercut the rate.

i often wonder if that's what i should do.

then i feel either 1. completely useless (because it is against everything i hold important and to compromise self for something that is so fundamental seems to state that i have actually 'failed' to build a 'self') or 2. ridiculous (whoever ripped my poster off, i hope you got some satisfaction out of it- as clearly you arent exactly sane, happy nor financially stable).

perhaps i should schmooze and befriend these people and try to work up the ladder- be political, at core, one does live in a society! but then- it never comes to reality. i believe i should care for people because it is the right thing to do, not because it may result in some sort of personal benefit. once i start to see the human interaction as chains of bartering, i may degrade myself as a poor, unsuccessful failure.

i am nothing big. i am nothing special, just another human being, trying to strive to better self, to find fulfillment in my work, making my best efforts to be financially independent and responsible. and i better be happy with self, as no one else can do that for me.

as part of my other strategy to make a living, i work at the university as a backstage hand. i often get to interact with real, genuine artists and i do take pride in doing my things right- i dont really care if that means making sure that right piano bench is out for a pianist, running to go get a water for a greenroom guest- i may as well do it to the best of my ability.  rarely but surely, this attitude does get me a big thanks. i didnt do it to be thanked for, but i do sure enjoy it.

and i also get to see these great shows- well, i dont get to see it but i do get to hear it, from the backstage corridor. yesterday, it was a great jazz workshop by mr. chase sanborn and mr. terry promane. i really enjoyed and got some important points for myself *to take home, though i am so far from jazz. the finishing concert with legendary wayne bergeron didnt hurt either. who is he? well, youve heard him-really! he's the guy who did the trumpet lick for the jeopardy show and other things such as music tracks for the pirates of carribean and the incredibles, etc.  the house was HOT. and today, it's aldeburgh connection, a program entirely by faure and four lovely singers and the great couple, steven ralls and bruce ubukata.  i think: i am loving the fact i am exposed to these wonderful things.  and yes, i am getting paid on top of it. not much, but something. but that's only for my bank. i leave with riches, the haunting melody of regrets from faure's automne ringing in my mind- a small example.

http://youtu.be/lwnIu5CrVwg

this song, i first came across it while accompanying in italy. in the middle of italian grilling summer sun, it seems surreal to think of the waning autumnal dusk, full of yearning and hint of regret.  and as i hear it again on the stage, a live performance, it brings all kinds of feelings- glittering gold leaves of falling leaves, of the lovely text by silvestre, beautiful melody and heart-breaking harmony, the fall into the middle of the winter- the point of silence, sense of 'leaving'... the list goes on and on. i think of my brother who is no longer with the land of living. of people who lost and who were lost. of lives that are older and dramatic than my own, of emotions and stories that is larger and deeper than young 'me.' collective human emotion sharing its depth of emotion so freely with whoever is willing to listen. the thoughts that i may not be able to arrive on my own for a long time, perhaps never.

i recently went to see a herzog documentary: the cave of forgotten dreams on bookbomber's urging. he rarely mentions anything twice so at third mention, i just booked a night off to see it. and yes it did something. i dont exactly know what. i may go back to it again. there were so many things that clawed into my recently defeated heart. especially in the middle, the anthropologist jene-michel geneste discusses the idea of 'human soul' so poignantly in this movie, as he relate to oldest paintings of man, forgotten till now then found untouched recently in chauvet cave, southern france. i wish i can get the exact quotation but in a very simple form:

yes, this is a true human soul. not just homo sapiens ('knowing man'), but of homo spiritualis.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/cave-forgotten-dreams-work-homo-spiritualis

http://www.franceculture.com/personne-jean-michel-geneste.html

a man does not live with bread alone. 

with such beautiful thoughts that keeps sprouting up on the most grim and depressing days- much like the lovely surprise mushrooms after gloomy rain, i keep my heart close to myself and to the ones i love dearly.  of course life is expensive and demanding. and for some reason, i feel bit more dented than others on regular basis. it does make me wonder if i am just weak or invalid (especially when something stoopid like 'torn posters' happen)  but at the end, it's always a full-circle, back to self. however invalid and not important i may be.  

so here's another day. i am not financially much better today nor i have succeeded in becoming more powerful or desired. but just like yesterday, the day before, and many moons ago, i still have many wonderful things around me. and lovely people. the list goes on. i shall hold onto this fragile life-saving spidersilk rope carefully. much love to you all and i wish you all the most beautiful sunday afternoon on 16 oct 2011, as it will also pass by, in a wink, and never returns.