Late Bloomers

The last of the magnolias are coming up. They sit smugly pink on the branches amidst the wilted remains of their brethren. There is one particularly arrogant one beside Olin, the last one standing in a sea of brown petals. The pear blossom still bleach the trees down Ho plaza. And the tulips are up! Not sure about the irises, haven’t really seen any. And the weather has taken a turn for cold. Sigh. At least its raining so hopefully the water level in the lakes and ponds and creeks will go up! I waded in up to my waist at Taughannock on wednesday and still didn’t manage to catch anything (for the record, we were on the hunt for atlantic salmon). Today Jim Schoenfeldt came up to me before the service (when I had just woken up from my post-sunday school pre-sermon nap :P) and said “when are you coming fishin?” and he proceeded to tell me about his pond, and the bass in it and showed me how large they were. And then he said he made 28 casts the other week when we had some really warm weather, and he got 28 fish. Good grief. I think I will be a total noob next to him and Darren. I told him I didn’t have a rod, and he told me it was not a problem and that he had three fly fishing rods propped up in his garage!! This is really crazy exciting. Darren lent me his waders (somehow water got in them :( ) and now I have a pond with huge bass to fish in! I guess that’s who’s gonna come to my bbq at chris’s house :P

We had bass for the chimes decision dinner in thai cuisine in a tamarind chilli sauce and it was great. love fish. we also took in two boys, same as my year, only two. i suspect there will be crunch years sometimes, especially since we wound up with a year with only 7 people once (because we only had two in my intake) and claire and I had to do four concerts a week. thankfully that was round about when i’d started retiring from school and academic aspirations :P

There was an hour and quarter of chiming on saturday for cornell’s open house days (which lasts about 2 weeks). The weather was uncharacteristically warm this week, whereas last week it threatened to snow. At least the prefrosh know what they are getting themselves into. I wish I got to play more duets, but people seem to have partnered up and well, my duet partner is busily enjoying herself in Paris. gah. I think she’ll be back in time for graduation, so I’ll get to see her before I leave. Meanwhile I hope hyangmi sticks around for a bit so she can play with me for the senior recital. Maybe. I should also practice the top part of sabre dance at some point. I used to play a lot of bottom parts with Sam and now he’s not here I should probably practice the hard parts if I want others to duet those pieces with me.

Lots of culinary plans this week. Tiffany is coming over tmr for potato and leek soup and brie en croute. Zhihao and joy are coming over on thursday for cherry glazed ribs and buttered corn and maybe some kind of aglio olio or roasted mushrooms for joy. And charmaine wants to learn how to make my mum’s shepherd’s pie so she’ll probably come over on friday and i’ll get to delegate all sorts of saikang! and there is a lot of saikang involved in making shepherd’s pie. I wonder how my mum ever managed. my dad never helps out. And you need muscle to mash the potatoes, to mince the garlic, to chop the onions and carrots real small.. and my dad’s not even half as appreciative as liangze. I reckon once liangze starts pushing 40 or 50 he’ll probably take good shepherd’s pie as a given, the same way he expects all fish to be steamed perfectly cause his mum has this failproof method of steaming cod and he hasn’t had any overcooked fish, ever.

the spring concert went okay, i guess. jenny liked the piece I played. There was a not-so-little glitch in it, but not at the run I expected to be glitchy. The piano also kind of threw me off because it was so stiff! Even the ones in the Lincoln basement are better and that’s saying a lot. The steinways here all seem much lower quality than the steinways in singapore, probably because they are older than singapore itself and all falling apart. i kinda expected a better piano in the A.D. White house however. The standard of the performers seem to be steadily declining (this is the 3rd spring concert I’ve been to), but lots of people from my cpx analysis course attended, one guy even played the F minor ballad! Well, even. the rest were kinda meh, in a meh-er way than mine. one nice old lady in the audience (probably a professor’s wife) came up to me in the intermission to compliment my playing and ed was sitting in the row just in front and it was pretty embarrassing. I think compliments are embarrassing in themselves (although I’ve somewhat gotten used to them here. I’d never get any in singapore (except in church) hahaha that’s how different the standards are) but compliments in front of other people who may know better are even more embarrassing. She said my playing was very expressive, but the preludio en la noche is an expressive, even operatic, piece in itself that hardly needs any work in shaping the melody musically. I listened to Lecuona’s own recording of the piece (I never do that, i.e., listen to a piece before performance but I had some spare time on friday in the library during which I ripped ALL of beethoven’s piano sonatas, symphonies, and piano concertos and lecuona’s piano music put them in dropbox. His rendition was rather brash and quite different from what I did, so y’know, however expressive I may have been there’s a good chance it was not intended by Lecuona at all.

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