Friday, October 28, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
When the lady is a king
Sunday, October 23, 2005
BY DAVID N. DUNKLE
Of The Patriot-News
The man who would be king must walk the walk, and that was a bit of a problem for Amber Wagner, a definite female.
"You don't feel like you are walking like a girl until you try walking like a man," said Wagner, who will play the role of Prince Hal in Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival's upcoming production of "Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2."
Melissa Dunphy, who will play Hal's sworn enemy, Hotspur, in the production, agreed.
"It's so different," Dunphy said. "You have to think yourself into a man's body. Since I'm five foot three and don't look anything like a man, it's hard to think of myself into having broad shoulders and thinner hips."
"Once I feel an emotion, it tends to be right out there, on my sleeve," said Wagner. "Men try keep their emotions under wraps as long as possible. [Now] I can understand a little better why they are afraid to let everyone see their emotion. There is so much of a power struggle going on all the time. If you show any weakness, the next person is going to come along and take your position away from you."
In the case of Prince Hal, that person is Hotspur, an angry young man who challenges Hal's right to the throne.
That rivalry will lead to a battle of armies -- and a more personal duel.
Break out the broadswords, ladies.
"I have a great big sword fight with Prince Hal," Dunphy said. "That's been a lot of fun, but it's a real sword. It's pretty heavy. You swing that thing for a few minutes, and you are sweating, your muscles are aching, and you are puffing for breath."
Click on the headline to read the rest of the article.
Miss Lydia Bertaux-Bertold, whom we have always loving called 'Miss BB', died in the early hours of Monday 24 October. Miss BB had been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.Miss BB was smart and funny and pretty, and I don't remember anyone who didn't like her. She gave hugs, and she was better than any of the other language teachers. She taught me German in grade eight, but I think she spoke seven languages. If I recall correctly, her double-barrelled surname was the result of her father moving to France during WWII and changing his name (what's the French equivalent of "anglicize"?), but hyphenating the German and French versions after the war.
We remember her as a wonderful friend and teacher who inspired our students, and gave generously to her colleagues. Her enthusiasm for life was infectious, her love of her students obvious. We shall miss her deeply.
In my conversations with her in the past few weeks, she made clear that she felt at peace with God. We give thanks for her life and for all she has done. We are truly blessed to have known her. Please keep her and her parents in your prayers.
Al and I skipped class sometimes to hang out with her in her office on Graham Street, and she'd write us notes so we wouldn't get into trouble. We found out near the end of high school that she had breast cancer. I don't know if it was common knowledge, but I remember her talking to Al and me about the possibility of a mastectomy. Self-infatuated 16yo that I was, I couldn't even fathom how scared she must have been. I wrote her letters for a while after I graduated, and received a couple of replies, but we eventually lost touch.
That was nearly ten years ago.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
During my time in Cambodia (one of the most poverty stricken countries in the world) I learned that just because you earned a college education didn't gaurantee you a job. Many young people would come to the capital city, go to colleg for two or three years, and after graduating they still wouldn't be able to find a job as hard as they tried. There just wasn't the need. Many of the students would then end up going back to their province to live with their families without fulfilling the dream of attaining something better. It weemed like an endless cycle.
Oh, heavens! Those poor Cambodians! Thank goodness we live in the USA where college degrees are always put to good use. Can you imagine the horror of going to a city to get a degree but ending up afterwards in the backwater rural area where you grew up!!?! Praise God Americans - particularly Central Pennsylvanians - don't face this problem.
Of course, I was compelled to write a snarky reply.
Regarding your experience in Cambodia: that's not exactly far off from the situation in the USA, is it? At first, I couldn't even tell if you were talking about Cambodia or this country. I know plenty of people in Central Pennsylvania who went to college in Philadelphia or Pittsburg and found their degree pretty much worthless when they graduated. They ended up back in Central PA, working unskilled jobs that shouldn't even require a degree.
I was shocked when I first arrived in the USA to discover that some advertised receptionist positions require applicants to hold a degree! Personally, I think this is not only a result of a poor job market, but the degradation of the American education system. From what I can tell, American high schools have been doing such a poor job of educating students recently that young Americans now require a degree just to be able to write a correct sentence (and even a degree doesn't necessarily guarantee that - I have also come across many degree-holders and even professors who can't seem to grasp basic grammar). As more and more people feel entitled to a degree, universities come under pressure to pass students rather than face failing a large percentage of the student population, and degrees become practically meaningless.
I wonder if our professor will read it. She told me my work was excellant again this week.
So, I just learned something. Wonders will never cease! She still learns, even when drunk! The Colonel Bogey March was, in fact, not written by Malcolm Arnold (whom I admire greatly because I rather like his viola concerto, which I played for my A.Mus.A. exam a long time ago). The shame of ignorance! No, it was a popular tune well beforehand. Thank goodness. You know, I am so glad this has been cleared up. See, I only knew the Colonel Bogey March as "that ridiculously fucking catchy tune from Bridge Over the River Kwai," a movie that was filmed in 1957, with music composed by Malcolm Arnold. However, I am also familiar with "Hitler Has Only Got One Ball," which I figured must have been writted during WWII. With this new knowledge, the truth has finally been laid bare. And now, of course, I can't get the damn song out of my head.
Göring has two but very small,
Himmler has something sim'lar,
But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
The White Albun is all right, but the DVDs are awesome. AWESOME. I completely forgot just how much I love TISM. This can be witnessed by the fact that these days, I am pretty bored by live videos of NIN, but this morning I was lapping up live TISM videos like a parched cat.
Cuts cuts cuts
Giblets Giblets Giblets
Guts guts guts
Death - Death
Hacksaw hacksaw hacksaw
Scrape scrape scrape
Murder murder murder
Rape rape rape
Torture torture torture
Rack rack rack
Slaughter slaughter slaughter
Attack attack attack
Death death death death
Death death death death
Amway Amway Amway
Amway Amway Amway
Also, Promite is the KING OF MITES.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Anthony, I fucking LOVE YOU. I fucking LOVE YOU TO FUCKING DEATH.
You have no idea how grateful I am. Holy shit. I love you so much.
I miss you like fucking crazy, you fucking arsehole. Shit. Shit!
You know, I was just thinking a couple of days ago that if there was one thing that would get me through the next two weeks, it's Promite. Godsend.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Does anyone see the fucking problem here? It occurs twice, but let's focus on one example.
To give a sense of perspective, here is an excerpt from a fourth grade spelling list:
WHAT. THE. FUCK. My college professor - my COLLEGE PROFESSOR - cannot spell at a FOURTH GRADE LEVEL. No wonder she can't spell "McDonaldized."
You know, I have some very intelligent friends online who can't spell too well. Generally, they get around this problem by spellchecking their words before posting them to the Internet. This is remarkably easy to do given that spellchecking is now a fucking automated process. One would think that using correct spelling online would be even more important if you were a college professor attempting to teach a college course to college students.
Here is the question we were given to answer this week:
Trafficing. Ocnfessed. Perscription. PERSCRIPTION.
I'm not even going to get into the punctuation. Jesus Fuck.
Tomorrow, when the deadline for the online exam is passed, I'll post some screenshots of the questions therein. Some of them are equally mind-blowing.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Yesterday, Matt and I went to Giant to pick up some organic sugar, and ended up coming home with a three-pound center cut of pork, which we set to work roasting (rubbed with minced garlic, salt, crushed pepper, mint flakes, and extra virgin olive oil). It's all gone. We sat around for an entire day eating nothing but pork. Today we got to work on the triple chocolate cake we bought at Wal-Mart on Saturday. We are well aware of how lucky we are. One day when our metabolism is in the shitter and we can eat nothing but boiled lettuce to lose weight, we will look back with fondness on the days when our diet consisted solely of pork and chocolate cake.
Until then, I'm going to reflect on how fucking awesome it is to be an adult. Yes, kids, it's true; being a grown up is everything you dreamed it would be and more.
I am currently engaged in a discussion in my online sociology class about the dangers of large cities, specifically New York. Apparently most of the students in the course think that NYC is a terrifyingly dangerous place, full of crime and terrorists. Driving through NYC makes the hair on their arms stand on end. Whenever I come up with a rebuttal (e.g. the crime rate in Harrisburg is about twice as bad as in New York, Three Mile Island is a prime terrorist target), they simply come up with another poorly written excuse.
Zach made the comment the other day that it appears I have given Hotspur my e-cock. He's right. Hotspur is just Mormolyke. I think I'm going to temper that with Elliot Stabler if I can.
- I spent a couple of hours today creating a MySpace profile for Gamut. If you're on MySpace, add that profile as your friend for theatre updates (if you're not on MySpace, sign up, loser).
- Link to Idle Hands, Maria's website!
- Shit. Thank Christ I moved out of Australia before the government became so completely union-unfriendly and subservient to big business-- oh, wait ...
- What the hell? I thought it was already illegal to torture prisoners?
Friday, October 07, 2005
I'm not drawing conclusions, but the picture makes me grin.
REad the down-to-earth sociology box- "The Mcdonaldalization of Society". Discuss your understanding of the concept, and based on your reading and review of the how our social institutions are run today (education, politiecs, religion etc) do you think our society is becoming overly rationalized or mcdonaldlized? Explain your answers (include concrete examples to support your position).Sic. Yes, believe it or not, this homework assignment was typed by a professor at an accredited college.
My response (excuse the lack of paragraphs; apparently our weekly postings are not permitted to be more than one paragraph long, if you can fucking believe that):
One of the first things I noticed when I came to America was how different each of her cities seemed to be. New York, Washington DC, New Orleans, Seattle, and Los Angeles each have a distinct flavor. However, I also noticed that much of these cities is homogenized. Large chain businesses such as Wal-Mart and McDonalds are ubiquitous, and around the nation, suburbs are identical landscapes of alternating highways and strip malls. As our population expands and efficiency becomes an obsession for individuals and organizations, so much of what is offered to us is a cookie-cutter package. In politics, we categorize ourselves as either "conservative" or "liberal," and within these categories, beliefs and opinions are expected to be uniform. Cable news analysts and radio talk show hosts spit out ready-made talking points and arguments to be parroted by their fans. Evangelists preach to audiences of millions on television and airwaves without personally tending to their flock as preachers were once expected to do. The focus of our education system is to achieve high scores on standardized tests with strict deadlines rather than encouraging critical thought and a love of learning. For example, although I believe I have submitted thoughtful answers to the first four chapter postings in this course, my failure to post them by a deadline implemented for the sake of efficiency has already seriously damaged my grade - and thus, my college career - and evidently, the large size of this online class has led to no possibility of extra writing credit. It is possible to some extent to avoid this process of McDonaldization individually. We don't have to buy package tour holidays, eat at TGI Fridays, or toe a political party line. I am enjoying this course, and despite the repercussions of my grade, I think that I am learning interesting and pertinent information and understanding analytical concepts -- and I believe this to be more important than a GPA. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly easier to accept society's rationalization. Shopping at Wal-Mart is cheaper than shopping elsewhere. Swallowing concepts whole is easier than critical thought. Giving automated online quizzes is easier than marking dozens of essays. Worrying about a GPA is easier than contemplating our true level of knowledge and ability. Making individual choices rather than accepting a package is becoming a struggle. If we give into this struggle, our lives may be easier, but that ease may come at the cost of our individuality.
Yeah, I'm kind of pissed off that she won't let me off the hook for being a few hours late for handing in my posting last week. Can you tell?
Whatever. As I read that homework topic, she fucking asked for it. Ooh, there was so much more I wanted to say, but I held it in for the sake of efficiency.
It's PMS week. Fucking bite me.
Oh, holy wow. Quick quick quick, let me share with you verbatim another student's response to the homework topic above.
Our society is becoming Mcdonaldalized. We need/want everything right now, immediately or we throw fits. I spent five months last year in Cambodia, a third world country. It was common to have something scheduled at a certain time and it wouldn't actully begin until one, two, or three hours later, many times giving us lots of time to explore, meet new people, and see different things. People in cambodia have far less than we have, but are much happier. We visited several people in the countryside who didn't have electricity, running water, or even a front door to their houses, but their smiles were far bigger than most people I see in America.
So is this way of life, trying to get more and more packed into a 24 hour day, really the solution to experiencing and accomplishing all you can in a lifetime? I believe the exact opposite is true. Take time to enjoy life! Take pleasure in the small details of a flower, of the beauty of God's creation. Make friends! Do the things you've always wanted to do! Travel! Dream big! Smile huge! Don't take life for granted!! At the end of my life it will be the accomplishments of my life that fulfill me. I know that what will truly fulfill me will be the relationships I have, love that I have shown, people I've cared for, and most of all serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!
Thursday, October 06, 2005
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST 2 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 17:22:38 +1000
From: Cindy Shong
WE HAD A VISITOR AT 3PM -IN THE MEANTIME MUM GOT ME TO WEAR A SUIT-SHE EVEN GOT TREVOR TO WEAR A SUIT AND FOR SOME REASON SHE GOT OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR THE EGYPTIAN ALSO TO WEAR A SUIT THE CEREMONY TOOK ABOUT 30 MINUTES SO IT IS NOW AS FROM 3-30PM AUSTRALIAN EASTERN TIME THRE IS A MR AND MRS JOSEPH AND CINDY MUNSHONG NOW RESIDES AT THIS ADDRESS.THE WHOLE PROCESS TOOK 30MINUTES[OPPS I AM SO EXCITED I DID NOT KNOW I ALREADY TOLD YOU-THIS CELEBRANT IS VERY POPULAR-2 OF HIS PREVIOUS CLIENTS WERE MICHAEL JACKSON AND YOUR PRES G W BUSH'S BROTHER.
footnote;-FOR THE LAST 4 DAYS I HAVE BEEN IN HOSPITAL AGAIN WHILE AT HOME I WAS GETTING A VERY HIGH FEVER[39.5] MUM INSISTED I GO BACK INTO HOSPITAL-THE DOCS SAY THAT THE ANTIBIOTICS ARE NOT THE RIGHT KIND IT HAS FINALLY BEEN SOLVED -THE STENTS WERE THE CAUSE AND I WILL HAVE A TEMPERATURE NOW AND AGAIN
LOTS OF LOVE TO U AND MATT
MR AND MRS MUM AND DAD AND TREVOR
Also known as the Salmon-Thirty-Salmon.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Tripoli is pooping nicely in the toilet-training litter tray. It shouldn't be too long before she's pooping in the toilet proper, but we're taking it slow, because we've discovered that if we freak her out too much with sudden changes, she is not averse to pooping on the bathroom rug.
- The Bilderberg Group isn't even trying to hide anymore
- Nifty use of ragdoll physics (courtesy of Clark's blog)
- This is truly, truly disgusting. I couldn't look away.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Now it's onto picking the music and making sure I know exactly what props and costumes I have to make.
Speaking of Hamlet, I want this very, very much. Also, this. Angela brought the Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue to my attention at my lesson on Friday. Oh, the things I would own if I had too much money.
Play Pong with meeee!
Yes, gentle reader, I shit you not. Let me give you the Cliff's Notes of the last five years or so in the Shong household. Bear in mind that in these last five years, my family has behaved no more oddly (indeed, they have probably been less odd) than I have known them to behave in the quarter-century I have been alive).
- A few years ago, Mum and Dad divorced. Mainly this was so that they could collect better pensions, but it was also because they genuinely didn't like each other much. However, they couldn't function without each other, so despite being divorced, they lived in the same house, bickering constantly. Thus, life was no different from when they weren't divorced.
- Along comes Trevor, Mum's schizophrenic boyfriend whom she met in a mental institution, and he moves in with them. Dad at first objects, but soon grows to like Trevor, and they all become great friends. Dad is still very uncomfortable with Trevor's status as Mum's boyfriend, however.
- Dad discovers he has terminal prostate cancer.
- Mum and Trevor fulfil Dad's dying wish by helping him go on a frantic European holiday. Wherever they go, they all stay in the same hotel room to save money. Mum and Dad pretend to be siblings to "avoid questions."
- Mum and Trevor decide to get married. However, Dad's not best pleased about this.
- Dad becomes extremely sick. Mum decides instead to remarry Dad to make him happy, then marry Trevor after Dad dies.
Yeah. That's my family.
I am the most normal person on earth. You hear me? The most normal person on the entire goddamn planet.
Clark tells me I should see The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.