Playing Catch Up With Opera, Choir, Secrets and Travel
It's true. I'm still alive, though I couldn't blame you if you'd considered otherwise. I've been neglecting this blog of late. Actually, I've been neglecting most of my life lately but soon, very soon, I shall have a break and I wanted to get this Long List of Stuff out of the way before that happens so here goes:
A little over a month ago, I attempted to expand my cultural horizons by taking in My First Opera at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. I accompanied Margaret, Dianna, and Aisha to the show and like good opera-goers we dressed up pretty for the night, then quietly mocked the yahoos who felt that jeans and a tshirt was appropriate.
For my part, I can't say that I really enjoyed the opera. (Sorry Diana). I didn't hate it either though. Frankly, it didn't do much for me at all. I found much of the music frustratingly simple when compared to a symphony or even broadway show, and the characters completely unbelievable. The emotion they conveyed (quite brilliantly I admit) didn't make any sense when the story seemed so trivial. I guess Opera just isn't for me.
I still have trouble getting over the fact that they would hold something like an opera in a venue that doesn't really lend itself to acoustic projection. The QE Theatre, while quite functional as a normal theatre, doesn't hold a candle to the acoustics you find in The Orpheum, yet they hold rock concerts in the latter and opera in the former. This makes no sense to me.
Not too long after my night at the opera, I went to my first choir practise in years. Simple Gifts, a local amateur choir run by Ieva Wool and for the most part, I liked them. The people I sang with had talent, the director was patient and helpful and overall everyone in the room seemed to really enjoy the whole experience. The only negatives were the average age of the singers (~50ish) and the fact that the practise was held on Tuesday nights... I had no idea how tiring a regular weekday practise from 7:30 - 9:30 would be, but it was.
I had the opportunity to try out the choir for two practises before I decided whether or not I was "in" or not, and the decision of whether or not to keep going came down to a simple gut feeling: I was just too tired. That is, the idea of going to choir on Tuesday felt more like a responsibility ("you're going to like, this so you have to go") as opposed to a joy ("yay! choir!"). I chalked it up to the general energy level of the choir (dear gods I miss Mr. Rhan sometimes) and my own energy reserves at the end of my work day. I just couldn't give anymore, so I declined to join.
If my situations changes for the next "term", I'll drop in again and give it another go, but for now, I just didn't feel like I was getting what I needed out of it.
The Super Secret Project
My father is an Idea man. Much like myself, he has new ideas all the time, though the difference between us is that his ideas are usually profit-driven while mine remain the betterment of mankind-types. His latest idea however has been snowballing into a full-blown project and will likely launch this year. Through the life cycle of his this beast, he's been coming back to me asking questions about how he could do "x" and I would work out with him roughly how everything would work... well it's time, now he wants me to build it.
I've done some research and it looks like I'll be installing Gentoo Linux on one of these running a really cool Python script I wrote that captures mouse clicks and logs stuff to the database and then pushes said data over the Internet to a master server via one of these things. It's gonna be fun.
Korea and Japan
And now for the big one: I'm going to Korea on Saturday and then to Japan on the 14th, then home by the 22nd. It's gonna be frickin' cool. My friend Susan, who's currently teaching English in Daegu, Korea was looking for company for a Japan trip and I jumped at the chance (finances be damned!). The way I see it, Japan is too foreign a country for me to be comfortable exploring on my own, and frankly, few of my friends have the money or the interest in making the trip. This opportunity was too rare to pass up... and so I go!
It looks like th total cost of flights, trains and accommodation will be in the neighbourhood of $3000CAD which may sound crazy high but you have to remember that it is the other side of the world -- the two trans-Pacific flights alone make up 50% of that sum.
It'll be fun to hang with Susan though -- we never spent enough time together when we were both in Toronto, so this will give us time to catch up :-) She has her heart set on a traditional costuming thing that they do regularly in a park in Tokyo, and I'm really stoked about both riding the subway in there and visiting the Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto... no, I don't know if they have tours, but I don't care. I just want my picture in front of the Nintendo sign :-)
I'm currently taking orders for stuff people want me to bring back, so if you want on the list, just drop me a comment. Also, if you think that there's something I should see out that way, let me know and I'll try to add it to our itinerary. The cities I'll be in are: Seoul, Daegu (maybe), Tokyo, Kyoto, Okinawa City, and Naha.
Alright, I figure that makes up for my rather long absence. I'll try to be more studious when I'm blogging on the other side of the planet :-)