Sunday, October 31, 2004
Drunk wifey after the show, waiting for Matt to return from a Slow Andy gig at
Saturday, October 30, 2004
I've been kind of down lately. Part of me wants to blame it on the lunar eclipse a couple of days ago, but it's more likely the sudden cessation of regular work, the building tension of the play, the lack of time spent with Matt, and the onset of cold weather. For weeks, I've been too busy to pay proper attention to my college work, and now that I have time, I'm having difficulty finding the motivation to study. This leads to poor grades, such as the 70% I managed to squeeze out of the mini online math test I did last night (it was open-book, so I was literally learning the concepts as I took the exam), which in turn leads to poorer self-esteem and a sense of hopelessness.
I was quite capable of finding the real roots of high-degree polynomials when I was twelve years old, but I never learnt "Descartes rule of signs" or the "conjugate pairs theorem" (in fact, I don't think I ever covered imaginary roots with Kumon) or other bothersome (however useful) named concepts.
The Tempest opens tonight, and I hope I can pull out of this funk and enjoy our first performance before an audience.
"Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Melissa made her HSF debut this summer as Cobweb and musical director for A Midsummer Night's Dream. This year she has also appeared as Juliet in Theater of the Seventh Sister's Romeo and Juliet, and Margot in Open Stage's The Diary of Anne Frank. She holds an Associate Diploma in Speech and Drama from Trinity College of London and an Associate Diploma of Music from the A.M.E.B., and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Music Composition to be completed at West Chester University. Melissa has toured internationally as a violist with two orchestras and played with bands of all varieties, currently Second Sky and Tears for Agnes. Upcoming acting projects include Macbeth with Seventh Sister in 2005, and Two Front Teeth, an independent horror film to be shot in Maryland in January. Melissa is thrilled to be working with HSF again, and hopes to one day repay her wonderful husband Matt for all the missed dinners."
Friday, October 29, 2004
A couple of days ago, Matt received his voter registration card in the mail. There are problems.
Matt's middle initial is P. It always has been. However, he never entered a middle initial on his driver's license, so according to both his license and his old voter registration card, he is simply "Matthew Dunphy."
The new voter registration card states his name as "Matthew L. Dunphy."
More strange than this, despite being a registered Democrat for years, Matt's card lists him as a registered Republican.
The information cannot be changed before the election, as it takes ten days to enable changes in voter registration information.
My worry (and it is my worry - since I can't vote, Matt is effectively voting for both of us) is that there's some sort of voter fraud going on. Matt spoke to the Bureau today, and they claim there won't be a problem on election day, but I have grave doubts. My fear is that someone is trying to disqualify Democrat votes by either screwing up electoral roll information or creating duplicate votes.
Maybe I'm just being paranoid and tinfoil-hat. But it has been such a dirty campaign, and this is possibly the first election in my life in which I have had an emotional investment. I've been intellectually interested in elections in Australia for almost as far back as I can remember, but I've never personally despised a political machine as much as I do the Republican Party right now. I guess it's a result of having worked in TV news - suddenly my eyes are open to more than I would have noticed as a member of the general public.
On another note:
YO! It’s the green machine
Gonna rock the town without bein’ seen
Have you ever seen a turtle Get Down?
Slammin’ Jammin’ to the new swing sound
Yeah, everybody let’s move
Vanilla is here with the new Jack Groove
Gonna rock and roll this place
With the power of the ninja turtle bass
Iceman, ya know I’m not playin’
Devastate the show while the turtles are sayin:
Ninja, Ninja, RAP! Ninja, Ninja, RAP!
GO GO GO
Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO; Go Ninja, Go ninja, GO!
Go Ninja, Go Ninja. GO; Go Ninja, Go ninja, GO!
GO GO GO GO
Lyrics, fill in the gap
Drop that bass and get the NINJA RAP
Feel it, if you know what I mean
Give it up for those heroes in green
Just flowin, smooth with the power
Kickin’ it up, hour after hour
Cause in this life there’s only one winner
You better aim good so you can hit the center
In it to win it, with a team of four
Ninja Turtles that you gotta adore it’s the ...
Ninja, Ninja, RAP! Ninja, Ninja, RAP!
GO GO GO
Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO; Go Ninja, Go ninja, GO!
Go Ninja, Go Ninja. GO; Go Ninja, Go ninja, GO!
GO GO GO GO
Villians, you better run and hide
Because one day you might not slide
Choose your weapon but don’t slip
Vanilla’s in control with the flex of the mic grip
Rockin’ the crowd the way it should be rocked
With the Miami drop that you like alot
Hittin like a Ninja Turtle when the bass kicks in
You better check your level
The power of the Ninja is strong
Fightin’ all the crooks until they’re all out cold
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Speaking of strange coincidences (though not really all that strange), Lucy, with whom I have had a strange borg connection since 1998, has also recently and randomly taken up knitting. I have long been convinced that there is something extraordinary connecting our lives; these little correlations serve only to help convince non-believers.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
All right, I am officially turning into a knitting nerd. Now that I am no longer working regular hours at WITF, knitting seemed somehow like the right thing to do. And it's at least a more productive way to watch TV as I try to work up the motivation to do all the schoolwork I need to do to maintain my average.
I am currently knitting a scarf, which I may well give away, since I already have a lot of black scarves, but I have no spare money to purchase a birthday present. Next, I plan on creating a knee-length Wee Willy Winky hat in black and grey. I must finish the scarf first, however - I have convinced myself that knitting teaches a certain mental discipline that small menial tasks can produce results when adhered to long enough. It is a lesson I dearly need to learn.
I have an enormous crush on Brown Sheep Co's Burly Spun wool. And Crystal Palace's Thick and Thin yarn.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
The only friends she's seen are theater geeks!
In all her spare time, she's been locked away
Rehearsing for a dark and stormy play:
As Ariel, she's knocked her shins and knees
And stretched her hamstrings leaping, climbing trees
And dancing in a way befitting quite
The role of Prospero's airy-footed sprite.
If you would like to see her tread the boards,
Depriving frightened villains of their swords,
And singing sweet and soporific songs,
And doing deeds to right three nobles' wrongs,
And conj'ring storms to wreck a royal fleet
Whilst speaking lines of five iambic feet,
O, then you should most certainly attend
The Tempest, which will open this weekend:
|October 30 - November 21
Friday at 7:30 pm
(Bring a Friend)
Saturday at 7:30pm
Sun at 2:30pm
(Bring Your Own Price)
Third Floor, Strawberry Square
(Above the Food Court)
Harrisburg, PA 17101
$20 General Admission
If you be short of money in your hand,
Fear not, for they provide a low-cost plan:
"Bring Your Own Price" on Sundays if you're poor
And any sum will get you through the door.
For Friday shows, it's buy one, get one free,
Which means half price if you have company.
Now, if you're flu$h, and want to do your part
Supporting the pursuit of Shakespeare's art,
Adopt a Tempest role (like ME, wink wink!)
By clicking on this handy little link:
If you aren't bored and wish to read more yet,
There's more material on the Internet:
Come see The Tempest, if you have a care:
I guarantee you'll find Melissa there!
(..because I am she. Enough of this third-person garbage.)
-- Melissa Dunphy
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Yesterday, Matt and I met up with Jadezuki after she presented a paper about Moravian Music at Moravian College in Bethlehem (The Bethlehem in Eastern Pennsylvania, not the Bethlehem in Judea. Though, oddly, as we were driving to Bethlehem, we passed Lebanon and New Tripoli. PENNSYLVANIA IS OBVIOUSLY FULL OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS.) I'll post pictures in the next couple of days, but it's about time I actually did my Visual Basic assignment instead of talking about it and studied for my Spanish exam.
Oh, wait, one more thing: I noticed a picture of Rodney Dangerfield as I was flicking through Rolling Stone a minute ago ... ironically, while I was on the toilet. And he reminded me of ...
The resemblance is startling, isn't it?
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Our next English essay topic is a compare/contrast of two sports or games. Today in class I asked our professor whether PC games were acceptable subjects. She replied that writing about computer games hadn't even occurred to her. Thus, instead of contrasting cricket and baseball, I am now contrasting Counterstrike and Warcraft III.
I am so happy.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Internet Math 103 - on campus test 1 result
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 15:47:49 -0400
You are so impressive! You got all 150 points on test 1.
Qingshou Kong, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Lancaster Campus of HACC
OMG I AM SO TEH AWESOME!!!!!
*LEAPING AND PUNCHING OF THE AIR*
I AS GOOD AT MATHEMATICS NOW AS I WAS WHEN I WAS TWELVE!!!!!!! AMAZING!!! ZING!!
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL HAVE TOTALLY NO EFFECT ON MY INTELLIGENCE!@!!11! BRING ON THE HOOKERS AND COCAINE!!!!!*&!111
I am listening to Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer's Music for Two. Like me, it is also awesome. OK, maybe a little more awesome.
(Why can I hear my mother telling me not to get too confident or I'll make stupid mistakes in the next test, even though it's been ten years since she's said those words to me?)
Ever wondered what happens if you leave a wok containing the remnants of spaghetti sauce on a stovetop for a couple of weeks?
How did this happen, you ask? I believe the creation of this beautiful but unbelievably ill-smelling work of art commenced when my wonderful but delightfully unobservant husband offered to wash the dishes after I made dinner. The wok in which I had made the dinner, of course, was overlooked. Since the lid was left on the wok, I guess we both presumed it was clean on subsequent dishwashing occasions.
Today I came home early from work, since there's precious little for me to do there anymore, and decided to finish some housework before writing a couple of English journals and condensing my VB textbook into notes. I picked up the wok to hang it on its usual hook ... and found the fascinating moist array of fungi which you can see above.
I can't seem to get the smell out of my hands.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
An elaborate game of spot the difference.
This morning I had an interview for a Comunications Analyst position at WITF. Honestly, I think I would be perfect for the position, and the interview went really well. However, the Better Business Bureas has offered me a receptionist/customer service position.
Do I want to:
(a) Take the secure option and grab the BBB job, even though it's only $8.50 an hour. I'd be hard pressed finding a 20-hour-a-week job that paid more than that around here anyway.
(b) Wait for two weeks to see if I get the Communications Analyst position at WITF?
Every day is another choice, and I know each choice I make will affect my life in a momentous way, at least in the short term and probably the long term. Is this what maturity brings? An enhanced perception of the gravity of consequences, leading to perpetual dread?
Dishonest Dubya Action Figure - the pretzel choke made me lol.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
When The Tempest is over, I am deeply considering learning kung fu. I mean, hell, I'm half-Chinese; my lack of kung fu knowledge is kind of embarrassing. Tim Parsons recommended this school, and from what I'm reading, they sound pretty awesome.
To defend against the cold, I have an inclination to eat continuously and pack on the pounds before winter. But I know it would not be a good idea to gain weight during this production, since I'm being carried/lifted a number of times. To eat or not to eat? It's a constant struggle.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Last year, Melanie Freebairn (now the costume designer for Two Front Teeth) gave this to us as a wedding gift. It's an embroidered arm cuff which she created featuring a gothic version of me. Note the crow.
A year later, I'm still narcissistically fascinated with it, though Matt usually wears it because it fits his arm better (i.e. his arm isn't the diameter of a pencil).
You can have your own if you visit Skull and Berries.
Anyway, enjoy the smoother browsing if you happen to give a rat's arse! I am most pleased. I even updated my resume, for all the good it will do me.
Tomorrow - fixing the framesets in my portfolio! Whatever will I do? Only time will tell! I know the suspense is killing you, but you're just going to have to put up with it. Seven hours of Tempest rehearsal have turned me into a very tired little chicken.
The day was frabjous for more than one reason. I began it by having brunch with a potential new friend. If blink tags worked in Mozilla, I would place them around the words "new friend." Instead, I'll merely offer you this link.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend, nay insist, you do. It's thirteen minutes of your time, and it's the most awesome thing I've ever seen.
Click here to watch it on iFilm
If you're internet-stingy, here is the transcript, but it really is something that needs to be seen rather than read.
He's really just recycling material from a Now with Bill Moyers appearance from last year, but that doesn't make the material any less valid.
Friday, October 15, 2004
 Actually, it didn't work for over eight hours because that's how long it took me to realize I needed a base tag to operate the CSS.
It's all about winning.
Why did the man solder a resister to his stove?
Because he always wanted an ohm on the range.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
You will now notice e-mail links at the bottom of each post, in case you have the inexplicable desire to immortalize my entries privately via e-mail.
I scored 102% in my third Spanish test, bringing my average to 101.83%. My teacher wrote "Wow!" in the margin. I still haven't lost a single percentage point on any piece of writing I have handed in for English Comp.
This week, two long-lost friends contacted me completely out of the blue. Tibi, whose comment you will see below if you're one to be bothered reading comments, is my oldest virtual friend. We met in an IRC chat room in 1997. I believe we insulted each other for a few hours as a litmus test. You can see his website here.
To my delight, Seema Khanna, one of my dearest friends from college, also sent me an e-mail a few days ago, and stirred wonderful memories. I had tried to Google her a couple of times in the last year or so, but apparently there are far more Seema Khannas in the world than one might imagine. She is studying film-making in Barcelona. I am stunned, and I am so happy for her.
And now, I have a question.
Provided that all goes well at my Green Card interview on November 3, and provided that Matt earns enough money for us to save for travel, should we:
(a) Drive around the USA, or
(b) Backpack in northern Europe, where I will possibly meet up with Seema?
Both are equally appealing to me. I'll let the question fester for a while and see what is left of it in a few months.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
A couple of months ago when I was visiting West Chester University, I met a New Zealand girl who was studying medicine there. She had become convinced in the course of her studies (I had the impression it was during a class on the subject) that HIV was caused by the development of the polio vaccine in the 1950s. Ah, so that's what blfo was talking about!
I forgot about it until today, when I read this story in the news. So I did a cursory Google search.
Polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS: some key writings
The River : A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS - see also reviews
Scientists rule out polio link to Aids
Oral polio vaccine: fact versus fiction
My bullshit alarm is buzzing rather loudly, but I think it makes for some good and scandalous reading in any case. I hadn't heard of this specific theory before the NZ med student brought it up, if you don't count blfo's paragraphless lunatic ramblings.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Proving that I can indeed snarl like an evil elf.
We pretty much spent four hours in this position. My quads are still on fire. I was thinking about riding my bike to Tempest rehearsal tonight, but I decided not to since I'm still in some pain walking.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Friday, October 08, 2004
This week, the BCIS (Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly known as the INS) sent a letter to our old address. This is annoying given that we notified them of our change of address - and received confirmation of our notice - over a year ago. Luckily, our old address is Matt's parents' house, so the letter was passed onto us.
The letter itself, however, is even more perplexing. Instead of being address to Matthew and Melissa Dunphy, it is addressed to Joseph Shong and Melissa Dunphy. Joseph Shong is my mother's husband. He is listed as my father on the forms we submitted. The BCIS apparently thinks I have married my father.
Here is the letter:
I am flabbergasted. What is wrong with these people? Is it so difficult to read information we correctly entered on a form they created?
We tried to call the customer service number, but we were only able to leave a message. Last year, when we were trying to sort out my Employment Authorization, Congressman Tod Platts office left messages at the Philadelphia BCIS that were never returned. I don't really expect our message to be returned either.
My worry is that when we arrive at the BCIS on November 3, they will turn Matt away because his name is not on the interview invitation. I hope this will not be the case, but you never know. I've heard worse horror stories arising from trivial administrative errors like this.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
and today a letter arrived at matt's parents' house from the bcis christ jesus they've fucked something up and it's addressed to me and my FATHER they think i'm marrying my goddamn FATHER what the hell is wrong with them? there's an interview in philadelphia on november 3 but i'm pessimistic because there's a bloody great big TO: JOSEPH SHONG AND MELISSA DUNPHY on the letter instead of MATT DUNPHY AND MELISSA DUNPHY and what if they kick up a fuss even though it's a stupid administrative error on their part the entire thing is stressful enough to make me forget about sentences and capital letters
for god's sake, our professor spent ten unbelievable minutes in our last english class explaining how to use an apostrophe in plural possessives THAT my friend THAT is what is wrong with america THESE PEOPLE ARE IN COLLEGE AND THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE A FUCKING APOSTROPHE AT LEAST MY OMISSION OF PERIODS AND COMMAS IN THIS BLOG ENTRY IS DELIBERATE
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
In charge of the costume design and creation for those plays was Julia Smith, a tiny elfin girl who lived on Coogee Beach with her volatile Italian family.
Julia now has a line of gorgeous underwear that has been launched internationally ... check out her website at http://www.juliasmith.net/.
*Maybe one day I'll direct another play. I would love to do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead one day. Or maybe Rhinoceros again - it certainly never fails to stay topical.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Have you ever cut into a red cabbage and been completely transfixed by how beautiful it is on the inside? It's an incredible intestinal purple-and-white fractal*. I hardly wanted to cook it.
What does it mean when one suddenly finds oneself enjoying domesticity? Interior design, cooking ... I guess it's all right as long as it isn't about babies.
I am still procrastinating, naturally, although I managed to complete half of my math revision yesterday. I need to finish a chapter on graphs tonight so I can do the midterm tomorrow. I rather like that you can choose your own exam time when you take an online college course.
*More comma confusion here. Last week I learnt some more bizarre things I never knew about what is fast becoming the bane of my punctuational existence.
From The New Century Handbook, 3rd Ed. P.846
"When the adjectives in a series could be arranged in any order or could be (but are not) strung together with the use of and, they are termed coordinate adjectives. To show their loose relationship and to avoid confusion with adjectives that cumulate in a particular order to modify each other, separate coordinate adjectives with commas."
Now, way back when I first learned to use commas, we were told to always put commas between adjectives when describing a noun using more than one adjective. However, at the ripe old age of 24, I have now shockingly discovered that this is not true at all.
You should only really put commas between adjectives when they can be categorized under the same heading from the "preferred ordering" list below.
Oh, you didn't know that there is an actual concrete order in which adjectives should be listed before a noun? Neither did I. Here it is, on page 930 of the above. Marvel.
"The following list shows the preferred ordering of adjectives in English:
1. Article or determiner: the, a, an, my, our, Carla’s, this, that, those
2. Ordinal expression: first, second, last, next, final
3. Quantity: one, two, few, many, some
4. Evaluation: beautiful, delicious, interesting, unfortunate, ugly
5. Size: tiny, small, short, tall, large, big
6. Shape: square, oval, cylindrical, round
7. Condition: shiny, clean, dirty, broken
8. Age: new, young, old, ancient
9. Color: black, red, yellow, green, white
10. Nationality: Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese
11. Religion: Catholic, Confucian, Buddhist, Muslim
12. Material: cotton, stone, plastic, gold
13. Special use or purpose (may be a noun used as an adjective): carving,
carrying, sports, medical, computer
14. The noun being modified"
I might be the first person in the world to have a grammatically induced nervous breakdown. And the worst of it is that all this is happening to me in America, a nation of the worst English speakers/writers on the planet.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
At a work party on Friday night, I played around with an original Parker Bros Ouija Board. I probably should never have touched it, given my friends' experiences with them and considering I have always vowed to steer clear of them. In any case, the planchette moved around a fair bit while Brad and I rested our fingertips on it. I can only vouch for my own complete honesty. When asked who would win the presidential election, it went to "J." When asked if I would stay in Pennsylvania for the next ten years, it answered "No." When asked which city or state I would move to, it stopped in a blank spot. Maybe I'm going to die in the next ten years.
Something about moving brings out the rabid Martha Stewart in me. The thought has crossed my mind several times in the past two weeks that one day I should try my hand at artfuck interior design. If I had my own building and unlimited funds ... oh, the things I would do.
Matt is at the christening of our nephew. I have excused myself because of study and because my allergies are out of control. I need to turn off a runny mucus tap somewhere in my head. Despite having popped two Sudafed, I can't stop sneezing for more than five minutes at a time.
I spoke to the neighbors on the other side of my house (i.e. not the Virgin Mary neighbors) and they appear to be great people! Nancy is an older lady who occupies her time making dolls and playing with her cat and her dog Daisy. Judy is younger, and works in web design for Gannett Fleming. On the other side of them is Nathan, who is involved in local theater - in fact, he's in Pirates of Penzance with Theater Harrisburg at the moment. He told me I should audition for TH, but I think I'll stick to paid gigs as long as I can get them (and so far, I've had plenty of luck).
Judy and Nancy turned to gossip after only a little prodding, and revealed that the Virgin Mary household are definitely eccentric and redneck, and the folk who live upstairs have "sex parties." It just keeps getting better!
After watching Pecker the other night (thanks to the free trial of Blockbuster's Netflix ripoff), I can't see the Virgin Mary in my neighbors' front yard without chirping "Full of grace! Full of grace!" Every little coping mechanism helps.
Joe e-mailed me from Perth, where he is holidaying at the moment. Apparently Mum is doing all right, and Trevor really seems to help her moods and calm her down when she becomes agitated. I sent her a letter last week explaining that Matt and I are not going to buy a house for a couple of years and that we are investing the money she's given us. I hope she re-establishes contact. Occasionally I feel so empty, like I'm missing something important, and I think it might be the fact that I can't tell her about my success at college. For a dozen years of my early life, I achieved good grades purely to earn her approval. Now I'm doing it on my own, and we're so estranged that I can't make her proud. Part of me thinks I shouldn't have to - that I should be achieving for myself. But seeking her approval is a hard habit to shake. I'm certain the only reason I perform (musically and theatrically) is to seek the open approval I never received from my mother from an audience of strangers. It never fully suffices. But I keep trying.