|Jae Jae had moved to Germany and then to Switzerland for the year to work at some fancy thing or another. I went to visit her in Geneva, where we ate fondue, talked to her roommate about slash fiction, spoke broken French and took this cute little picture.|
During my trip to Geneva, I took a quick jaunt to Neuchatel, where I met up
with Alex, her parents and Jochen. I had confused Neuchatel with Neuschwanstein,
and was looking forward to seeing the celebrated castle only to discover that
Neuchat is somewhere completely different. In any event we had a nice time walking
around the old fort, eating spaetzle and stargazing.
Zacky, who is as cute as ever, must learn math, so I bought him a math book
for his birthday.
Zacky's younger sister, Kira or Kiki or Meimei, was born in February of
this year. She is a little thing, but I predict that she will have superhuman
qualities one day. Even before she turned one, she was biting Zachary when
he sat on her head.
This year my studies in Greek take on a more serious turn. I enlist the help
of a Greek tutor and meet fairly regularly, reading through Iphigenia in Tauris,
Antigone, Cyclops, snippets from old Greek philosophers like Xenophanes and
Parmenides, who mutter on about what is and what is not and what will be.
My friend Paul the costume designer was out of work, so I decided to throw
a project his way. I asked him to make for me a Nazgul Ringwraith cape, which
ultimately cost about $1000 to fashion. My goal is to have eight others made
and eight friends to wear them. Then we will roam around the dark winter evenings
of Wellesley and scare the bejeezus out of everyone. Perhaps with horses!
The kitties are fine. Baby continues to be fat and Stingo continues to
be slender. Stingo develops the habit of petting my face, which drives me
to distraction, especially when his little nail come and pokes me on the
nose. Not nice! He continues his blog, where he continues to make fun
of Baby Kitty's corpulence.
|| Hong Kong
In September on my way either to or back from Shanghai, I pass through Hong Kong
and spend some time with Sealing and Tsz. Hong Kong is a beautiful and cinematic
city full of wonderful food, sights, flowers, cars and tall buildings. The streets
are practically airconditioned, since each business blows cold air onto the sidewalks
to attract customers.
By my recommendation, the chamber music department at Wellesley College decides
to allow eight of us to perform Bach's Brandenberg Concerto Number 4, First Movement.
I never quite got all of my obligato lines. They were so fast, and my left hand
sucks! Our eventual concert was given a B- by our coach, Suzanne Stumpf. Evidently
our timing was completely off, but at least we had a good time playing and practicing.
I somehow stumbled upon this game online, voted in some category to be the
best internet game of the year. Well, let's say that it completely consumed
my life. Since any amount of log off time was dangerous (city can be sacked),
I was constantly glued to the computer screen updating my fortifications and
building armies. I got up at 4:00 in the morning to feed my troops.
I met sour sorts like Straitscuba and Noctural, and made
wonderful friends like Arheas, Saris, Bellason. Others of note were Ferris,
Tas, Southern Nymph, Wicked Witch
and Lady MacBeth. Oh and there was the drama of Lord MacBeth who pretended
to die in real life and then came back as some player that started with an N.
Arheas tried to close down our nude yoga club. Then there was Kevin, who was
some evil spy. Arheas suspected everyone, even me! But in the end he allowed me
to babysit the World Wonder, which collapsed minutes after I passed
it to Luckygurll.
|| Coro Allegro
I was recruited to join Coro Allegro, a GLBT choir of about 50
singers in Boston with absolutely no GLBT mission. I swear
that I did nothing right in my audition except sing
the middle note, which conductor David Hodgkins "was there,
but I didn't know that it was there!" But he said that I had
a nice middle baritone range and put me in the bass section.
I had not sung in about 9 years, and only tenor before that.
We sang Poulenc and Faure for the first concert. The Poulenc
was crazy hard, and I must have gotten only about 10% of
the notes. I offered to be webmaster, and, even after putting
a huge number of hours, I decided to quit!
During the summer I make a trip down to Fort Lauderdale to develop
a college-based logic course off of the IMACS site in Plantation.
Terry Kauffman and Ed Martin are wonderful people, and one day I
will get rich off of this course!
I spend the first part of the summer in Shanghai giving lectures
at Fudan University, and take a quick trip to Fuzhou to meet
up with Granduncle and Uncle Morgan. Granduncle tells me
quite repeatedly that my mother was born in the mountains
right next to a pig pen. Know your roots, he says! Uncle Morgan
takes good care of him. Granduncle loves to eat taro cake more
than anything on earth.
DJ meets up with me in Fuzhou and we take a trip to Changle, the
site of my remote cousins and the cultural museum dedicated to
the Chinese author Binxing, who had matriculated at Wellesley
in the 1910s. Of course I had no idea what was going on; DJ held
court and impressed everyone with his Chinese. The organizers
were all muddled because I would eat no meat.
In the dead of winter, the Academic Planning Committee sends a few
representatives to Macalaster College in Minneapolis, where I was able
to meet up with my old friend Alessandra Chiarela, who went with me
to the May Ball in my second year at Cambridge.
Here I am with my students Yang Song, Qing Chang and Weiwei Chen
at graduation. None of them went into math! Boo hiss. They were
spectacular students and I hope that they give lots of money to
the math department when they become rich.
Ismar and I were invited to Berkeley to participate as panelists
at the diversity conference at MSRI. The very lovely Rhonda Hughes
had extended the invitation to us, and we are very lucky to be
part of this dialogue. It was also my birthday, so Ismar and
I went to Chez Panisse for lunch. For dinner we went with Tiffany
to Le Bateau Ivre, where I saw Doug, the waiter who worked there
in the early 90s. Then we went to harass the Mormon Latina women
who were putting up Prop 8 signs on public property in Oakland.
We tore down a few of them. Ismar called them "dumbasses"!