Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kabuki and a Truck

Nasty thing happened today in the middle of some fine to good things that were happening today. Class went well enough this morning, although tomorrow is their final exam and I know we have just gone too fast for most of them to understand what they've been taught. A few of them have it, but most of them really could have used more time.
After class, I was going with friends to Washington to see a Kabuki troupe perform--really, a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we were going to see it for free for the dress rehearsal - tonight's performance was $105! But the trip up is when the nasty thing happened--we were stuck in traffic for a long, long time--an accident on the freeway had clogged things up good and proper--and we were just getting in sight of the accident, which meant we were just getting in sight of being able to move again, when a semi in the left hand lane decided he wanted to merge into our middle lane, and did so right into my car. I was sitting in the back seat so I could work on correcting, and I saw it coming and couldn't speak, I just screamed. Then the other passenger saw it and she scremed a little too, but by this time we were being hit. Now the driver is starting to honk and move a little bit out of the way, but let's face it, we're boxed in, and the semi comes forward again and hits us a second time!! Both of my driver's side doors look terrible, there are even holes torn in the back one. So we called for a trooper and now my car gets to go back to the body shop, even though it was just there two weeks ago to fix an accident from January.
The officer railed into the semi driver. He asked him what he was thinking, changing lanes in traffic that is packed in so tight. I was glad that the officer gave him a piece of his mind. I learned a couple of accidents ago to not say much to drivers who hit me or I'll end up giving them a plausible lie to tell once the police arrive! So I was happy to let the officer be frank with him.
Thankfully, no one was hurt--it could have been so much worse! But we shook it off and continued along our way and saw a great performance. Japanese woodblock prints from the 1700s and 1800s often featured kabuki performers, and some of my favorites show them making wild eyes and pulling faces. It was so strange to see that in context today. They performed two plays. The first one was boring to me (not much action, just a lot of talk, and let's face it--I don't speak Japanese). But the second one was great with lots of body movement, vocal variation, and comedy. Both plays were visually stunning, there was live musical accompaniment, it was just a fantastic performance overall.
Finally I'm home now. I have to write my final exam for tomorrow. Yikes! But then the class will be over and I will be able to focus on other things, which, unfortunately, now include getting my car fixed. :P

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Big Audio Dynamite

Ok, so maybe the title is a little overreaching. But the fact is, I have a new project. After looking and looking and evaluating and looking more to find the perfect portable music/whatever else player, I ditched it and bought a big fat external hard drive (500 GB) for the purpose of collecting my music, photos, and a few other things. So now I am in the process of ripping my entire music library to MP3. Which is so much fun. I am listening to music that I never listen to because it is not in my computer. But now it is, and now I can listen to it. The whole thing makes me think of Hermione's sparkly new bag for book 7--a tiny little thing that holds way too much. (If you haven't read Deathly Hallows yet, please do--what a wonderful way to spend a weekend!)
But an external hard drive is not enough to code name this project Big Audio Dynamite. The fun part is the system of cables I'm putting together to pipe music beyond the study. Now, mind you, without a freestanding house it is really rude to do anything too loud and bass-shuddering (not that some of my neighbors over the years ever realized that--come to speak of it, it's not nice to shoot guns in the middle of the night, but some people just won't learn....) I digress. Anyway, we're not talking a big bad mother-of-all sound systems, just something to pipe some choice tunes through the house. It's fun. It makes me feel all zen with my computer and with my music all at once--everything connected, everything in balance.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Patriotic Zeal

Hi! Happy holiday, it's the Fourth, hooray for independence and freedom! I just rolled out of bed--it's 7:45 in the morning. The lovely thing about being a couple of time zones ahead of everyone else in the family is that they should all still be asleep (even the Boy is visiting friends a time zone away). So I'm resisting the pull to be terribly evil.

When we were kids there would be a pancake breakfast at the church every July 4. And a sunrise raising of the flag. The choir would sing some patriotic songs, it was all really quite lovely, but it did mean getting to the church early enough to call it sunrise. Which is really early in July. So dad would sneak his gigantic early 80's stereo (which, I must admit, I thought was so cool and called a ghetto blaster at a certain point in history when kids who wanted a stereo of their own really did call those things ghetto blasters) downstairs, plug it in in the hallway, crank it up full blast, and jerk us into consciousness to the tune of Stars and Stripes Forever. One year he even did it to the neighbors.

So, of course, right now I want to put on Stars and Stripes Forever and call everyone in the family. And maybe even the neighbors, who moved, but are still within telephone range.

Or maybe I'll let everyone have a nice sleep in and I'll just play it for myself and make some pancakes.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Holding Back Gale-Force Vindication

Let me tell you all what a good little lawyer the Kiddo is going to be. Today I went to my car, which I had parallel parked before class, and there was someone parked in my back bumper. I was livid. I wanted to knock in all their windows and doors. I wanted blood. The freak shouldn't have been parking there anyway--more than half the car was in a no-parking zone. I wanted to let the air out of the tires. I wanted revenge.
So I called the Kiddo to say hey, what's the deal, because I figured the police wouldn't really have to believe my side--I could just as easily have slid into that car. So the Kiddo asked me what damage I had sustained - none, really, as the back bumper is still messed up from when I was rear-ended in January. So really all I could do was call the police and see if they would ticket the idiot.
Remember. I want blood. If I had had a machine gun, I would have shot up the car.
But Kiddo the Lawyer was so calm about it, and all "Well, you could get the police to give him a ticket, or you could drive away and in a couple of hours be fine."
So I took a picture. I admit that I very much want to post it here with a "When You See This Freak Car Hit It" message, but who knows how many ways I could be held liable if anyone did. (I didn't bother asking the Kiddo about that. I like to think that I only have to be told to be a decent human being once a day.) What a good little non-bloodthirsty lawyer the Kiddo is.
I did leave a nasty note on the windshield. The jerk probably laughed and then threw it on the ground to litter the world up. I still wish I had smashed in a window or two. Hopefully Karma will do that for me.