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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Updates on various things:

CELLO
I saw a secondhand cello on Friday afternoon that I found entirely by accident on Craigslist. The owner bought it from Violin Makers in 1997 for $1,200 (I saw the receipt), took one cello lesson, and put it in a corner for eight years. On the inside label, it says it's a Hoffman, model SC2 (Strad Copy, maybe?), imported from Korea and tweaked in America according to MARC standards, whatever the hell they are. I found a reference to Hoffman violins here, but it doesn't seem to fit. The strings are old and cruddy, and the soundpost is floating around inside. But judging from the condition of the varnish, it really does look like it's just been sitting in a corner for eight years. The owner seems to think this is a good thing. I guess he doesn't know how much better string instruments sound when they are played regularly.

He's asking $1800, which includes a hard case, padding bag for air travel, and a (crud) bow.

It's difficult to decide what to do - I can't tell how the cello sounds and plays until the soundpost is repositioned and it's strung with a new set of good strings. Unfortunately, Violin Makers isn't open on weekends - I would have stopped in and asked for advice. Since he would have to supply a couple hundred dollars' worth of service and strings, and I'd probably buy a bow from him as well, I can't imagine he'd be too dishonest about it. Now I'll have to wait until I come back from the UK.

LONDON
I'm "busy" packing for London, which is to say, I'm moving very slowly and getting very little done. With shock, I realized today that I need to give my parents some sort of amazing present. Stupid Melissa! I should have thought of this long ago. So much for being a good Asian daughter.

I put my mind to it, and decided to throw together a scrapbook of photos, newspaper articles, programs, and certificates from the last two years. I haven't started on that yet, but I bought a scrapbook this afternoon.

After my wrenching experience with The Joy Luck Club last week, I thought it might be nice to get them a copy of the DVD or the book or something. Then I came up with a better idea. I could make my own audio book. I bought the paperback, and read the first thirty pages (one and a half hours) into a microphone tonight. Hrmm. Looks like this is going to be a much longer project than I thought. Maybe I'll give them the first couple of CDs when I'm in London and send them the rest as I complete them.

THEATER
The Popcorn Hat summer camp had their final performance today just before Jack and the Beanstalk wrapped. While teaching at camp and performing to kids were terrific, I am so glad for the extra time I'll have during the day now. There's a website to finish, and a tour to book, and about a dozen other little officy things I've had to put off lately and am eager to put back on the table.

Mind you, there's still a lot of acting to be done - we are beginning rehearsals for our abridged version of Hamlet (I'm playing Ophelia, Horatio, Guildenstern, a player, as well as narrating a couple of short passages). Oh, I'm so excited. I started going over some of the scenes under my breath on a bus home the other day, and I started crying. I had to hide behind a chair to avoid drawing attention to myself. It's probably a hormonal thing, but I'm hoping it's a good sign.
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