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Calling Opera Queens

Went to the Washington National Opera this past Wed to see the new production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. An opera based on a tragic story about a fisherman(Peter Grimes), accidental deaths of his young apprentices, and villager's inquisitions that ultimately caused Peter Grimes' death. A poignant reflection on how hypocrite societies can be and how cruel group gossips can be.

It is a rather unconventional opera in every measure. It is written by a contemporary composer, therefore the music is more modern than operas that the romanticism music that most opera goers are accustomed to. The music was also exceedingly dark and angry. It was evident the audience was not used to Peter Grimes. The opera hall was not sold out, and more and more people leave and never came back during each intermissions. Even though I went by myself, since I didn't know of any opera queens other than myself, I truly enjoyed this opera. The cast performed admirably, and the music sounds acceptable from where I sat, and I always enjoyed a good tragedy.

But honestly, shouldn't us gays enjoy operas ?! What happened to all those Opera Queen stereotypes portrayed in movies such as Philadelphia, and Milk ?! Regardless, here's one of my favorite aria from Peter Grimes.





Heather Harper (soprano) as Ellen OrfordLibretto:

(Ellen)
Let her among you without fault
Cast the first stone
And let the Pharisees and Sadducees
Give way to none.
But whosoever feels his pride
Humbled so deep
There is no corner he can hide
Even in sleep!
Will have no trouble to find out
How a poor teacher
Widowed and loney finds delightIn shouldering care.
(as she moves up the street)
Mr. Hobson, wheres your cart?
Im ready.
(Hobson)
Up here, maam. I can wait.
(The crowd stands round and watches. Some follow Ellen and Hobson. On the edge ofthe crowd are other activities.)
(Mrs. Sedley)
Have you my pills?
(Ned)
Im sorry, maam.
(Mrs. Sedley)
My sleeping draught?
(Ned)
The laudanumIs out of stock, and being brought
By Mr. Carrier Hobsons cart.
Hes back tonight.
(Mrs. Sedley)Good Lord, good Lord
(Ned)
Meet us both at this pub, The Boar
Aunties we call it. Its quite safe.
(Mrs. Sedley)
Ive never been in a pub in my life.
(Ned)Youll come?
(Mrs. Sedley)
All right.
(Ned)
Tonight?
(Mrs. Sedley)
All right.

Dock


 


Pic taken at Westover Plantation near Charles City, VA.
No post processing other than cropping was done to the raw image

Blogging Software for Mac

Now that typing problem is mostly resolved, I've moved my attention to finding a good offline blogging software.

So far I've identified MarsEdit and etco.

MarsEdit:
PROs:
  • Built-in Flickr support
  • Clean interface
  • LJ support without any fuss
  • Lots of users and easy to find help/forum

CONs:
  • No WYSIWSG
  • Expensive @ almost $30
  • Tagging seems to be not working


Ecto:

PROS:
  • Less expensive (~$17)
  • WYSIWYG
  • Tagging works out of the box
CONs:
  • LJ support broken out of the box, requires some tweaking but it'd work
  • Problem editing published posts on LJ
  • Interface is a bit more cluttered than MarsEdit
  • Support forum a bit messier since it was recently acquired by another company
  • WYSIWYG produces unexpected outputs at times (for example.. crazy spacing between bulleted items)


I can't quite make the call just yet, but any of these two beats using the blog site online editor

Gym shopping

I am currently deciding between a few Gyms around the apt.
So far I've visited :

3 x Sports & Health clubs in the area(cheap but yuck, yuck, yuck!)
Mint Fitness ($$$$)
Vida ($$$, inconvenient)
WSC ($$)

Yet to visit:
The Y (semi inconvenient)
Fitness First (semi more inconvenient)

So far I've noticed most gyms forces you to sign up for a yearly contract and charge you a huge up-front cost ($90~200, depends on gym), but lets you cancel with minimal fee if you move (~$30). I personally think the huge upstart cost is outrageous.

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iPhone entry

I just found the Livejournal.app on the app store.
Weeeeeee!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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First Cisco Cert

Finally! My first Cisco certification.
I've been resisting having anything to do with the Netzilla(TM) since I started my career in IT. Gotten as far away as possible but somehow stumbled into and fallen in love with Enterprise Storage, a field where cisco has shown increasing influence (actually, with the rise of iSCSI, it's probably going to be as prominent in storage as it's in networking .. sigh).

anyhow, since my current customer is becoming a 100% Cisco shop in SAN, it's only logical that I learn something about it.

So there, I'm now CSSDS certified.
Personally I found the cisco SAN training material to be one of the lowest quality one I've ever seen in IT training classes. It is too vendor centric. For  class that's supposed to also provide basic SAN knowledge to its students, the CSSDS class does not cover enough basic FC or SCSI knowledges. Basically, it's just a class to train snake-oil salesmen. oh well.

countdown!

3 Days, 3 Hours, 45 Minutes

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Mad World



I love this song.
Every now and then I would stop and look back at my life's journey and would think how lonely I'd be without all those people I know. I've been living half a world away from my families ever since I was 17. It's been a very transient existence. Seattle, Florida, and now from PG county MD to Rockville, MD.
I'm not sure where I'll be in a year from now, but I certainly hope that I'd find some stability in the future.

Got a few calls lately about some 100% travel jobs that will put me up in hotels near client sites for months at a time. Jobs like these would've sounded like a grand idea for me just a few years back. But now, things had changed quite a bit.
Not exactly sure if it's because I'm just getting older and more mature or just being in love with someone; Waking up at a completely foreign place, greeted by stiff hotel linen everyday after work just doesn't seem that appealing to me anymore.

Does growing up make loneliness more unbearable ?

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ah ! the weekend of food poisoning

Not entirely sure what the hell I ingested. Friday night I had dinner with E-, and we were all fine.
Saturday morning I felt this weird feverish sensation and entire body was feeling very weak as if I just spent the whole night out running a marathon.

The strange thing is, I woke up at 6:20 to shut off the alarm clock that I forgot to disable the night before,  and i was okey,  but by the time E- woke up I was already feeling queasy and my whole body was hurting.

So i told E- to go ahead get his own breakfast and I'll try to wake up in another hour or so.

as time passed by, I kept getting worse.

But I did managed to go to Target with him to get some supplies and then down to DC.
(thank goodness he drives!)

Then I crashed at his place for at least 15 hours.

Lucky him, E- was fine the entire time i was sick like a dog.

thanks for the chicken soup, E- :)

XOXO

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ZOMG! it works !
so I'm trying not to pay Comcast for their exorbitantly  priced internet + cable service.
Since I am already paying for a Verizon EVDO service, I've entertained the idea about using it full time and ditch comcast.

After I moved to my current location, I decided to build my own EVDO router with my spare box, but alas, the hardware haven't been used for a long time and seems to be highly unstable, (plus I accidentally bought the PCMCIA bridge that is not supported by 2.4.x kernel and I'm too lazy to configure a full blown RH/CentOS installation to do what I want). so I went out and bought a Linksys WRT54G3G-ST

WRT54G3G-ST is the US version of WRT54G3G found in some other countries, it's basically a WRT54G with a PCMCIA slot that accepts data service cards. 
Officially the ST version only supports Sprint's cards; searching on the google did not yield much infoo about using it with Verizon cards. There were even a few posts complaining about certain verizon cards not working with it.

As much as I could tell, no one had said anything about using it with a KPC650 card ( possibly the best pcmcia EVDO card for verizon in the market now. )
Anyways, so I bit the bullet and ordered one from an online vendor, dreading that I might have to deal with the hefty 15% restock fee + return shipping or may have to wait a few months for newer version of OpenWRT/DD-WRT firmware to be release to use it.

BUT it worked!

as soon as I plugged the card in, the blue power indicator lit up, and I logged into the web interface, clicked 'connect' and all my computers were online again! i didn't even have to put in any configuration for the EVDO network!
woo-hoo!!

the cell reception in my apt isn't that great but I'm still getting about 550kbps/110kbps, which is quite acceptable for light internet and bi-nightly tivo schedule synchronizations.