Even with two cuts inflicted by “safety orange peelers” on my left hand, a swollen left lymph node, and particularly badly cut bangs, I managed to not crash and burn on my audition.


Scales=badly singed; needed bandaging
Pieces=singed on the edges
Sightreading=not burnt to a crisp! :D

I remember last year, on the first day of school, I had to carry my books around the whole day because I couldn’t find my locker.

Did you know that there’s an African lion in the Cornell gym?

..well, not really, but…


Recent happenings

This summer I ate:
1. Egg salad
2. Camel meat
3. Donkey meat
4. Goose liver?
5. And lots, and lots of pig ear, except it’s been given the name of “Thousand crunchy layers.”

I was complaining to my mom today about my utter lack of creativity and elicited this very entertaining and liberating response:

“Oh, then just be a doctor. Memorize stuff and make sure you don’t operate on the wrong part, that’s all.”

Look out folks, here’s Harmy comin’ at you, wielding a scalpel.

Gasp–Yesterday, I decided to open up my brand new Henle edition of Bach’s English Suites. The spine broke. Cracked like Africa (you know, because it’s on 2 diverging plates.) Split like the Church in 1517. Crumbled like a mung bean cake. Maybe it didn’t like being on an airplane.

Maybe it needs a chiropractor.

So Pluto got demoted to a dwarf planet by the vote of a panel?

Seems almost like how Jesus was promoted to Godliness by a vote, a la Dan Brown.

According to the article I found, Pluto has been demoted after “years of intense debate.” 

How come no one ever told us about this? We learned that the protein jackets of viruses have been found to reproduce themselves without genetic information, and may be the first of that sort that we’ve found; we learned that Thomas Jefferson may’ve had an affair with “Dusky” Sally Hemmings, and that he might not be the pristine character upon the white pony.

Though I became fascinated by a book called The Planets in 1st grade and felt like an absolute expert when they properly “taught” us the planets a year after, no one’s ever mentioned the debate regarding Pluto’s planet-worthiness. Why not? It’s fascinating stuff. There’s planets, and then there’s dwarf planets. It would’ve taught us another lesson in diversity: not all rocky things in the solar system are like Earth, plantety planets. Some can be smaller, less powerful, be really “far out” or “eccentric” and be classified as dwarfs, but they revolve around the same sun as us and deserve recognition.

And now, I hear that kiddies won’t really learn about Pluto’s change until 2010, when schools can finally cough up enough to get new textbooks. Even then, teachers may still speak with a skeptical nostalgia about “the planet that used to be” without mentioning the distinctions between various icy lumps in the universe.

On my penultimate day of summer vacation*, I’m procrastinating the writing of my Jungle essay. How? By reviewing my English books, and by reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Though said to be Victorian and obsessed with purity and such, it’s all…Romantic. “Angel?” passionately kisses Tess’s curdy, whey-flavored wrist, on lovely cheesemaking day. I know that people put trousers on piano legs and went “ooo!” when some damsel gave them a peek of her wrist, but gees. Cheese?

*Yesterday and the day before were Link Crew training. Tomorrow is the Freshy Orientation, to where I must arrive at 7:00 am; Tuesday is the first day of school. So there’s only Monday left, making today the penultimate.

I get to have a girl who listens to Jessica Simpson on her IPod shuffle while in orchestra rehearsal in my link crew group. May the remnants of her brains be blessed with the goodness of St. Julian, patron saint of travelers, then sucked out through her nose and offered to aliens. You know, to appease them. So they’d stop injecting CO2 into our puny atmosphere and using O3 as their tablecloths.

One thing we learned in training is to “Yes, and..” every negative comment. No “No, but..”–not even a “Yes, but….” 

In one of the exercises, we had to make a story among our group members, saving the protags, the Whites, from certain disaster with the power of the “Yes, and.” When it was my turn, the Whites had just been refused employment at a small convenience store in the Rockies. “Yes, and suddenly, congress passed and Dubya signed legislation that would raise the mininum wage to 15.25. Seeing that his two trapped and hapless vacationers had no clue about his, he fired the 2.8 GPA teenager he once kept and hired the Whites at 7.00 apiece. In no time at all, the Whites had earned themselves a case of Vitamin Water, 3 cans of Red Bull, 10 power bars, and other accessories to get them safely down the mountain.”

Freshman: “This sucks!”

Model Link Leader: “Yes, and so do you!”

El engordar no es tan horrible como a soggy dumpling.

I went Chinese megabookstore-ing yesterday. It was at one of the most famous shopping streets of Beijing, so there were hordes of white people. They were starting to look funny, and I realized that French and English people look about as different as Chinese and Korean people. (The preceding sidenote has no relevance to the bookstore experience.)

First of all, there’s people selling little other, non-bookrelated stuff everywhere. Cellphone charms, trinkets, electronics, light-up gyroscopes, you name it. The salespeople’s pitches added to the din of thousands of interested people, all busily flipping through books.

We made a poor guy from Foreign/Imported books dig up a copy of The Jungle for me–I think he found it under a stack of Wuthering Heights. He looked like Professor Spit-a-lot from That’s So Raven. (again, irrelevant) That aisle must’ve had all the “good literature” that anyone could read, displayed more efficiently than any Barnes and Noble I’ve ever been to; too bad there were about 9 copies of Ethan Frome hanging out in plain sight, staring at me with their sleddy, lopsided eyes.

Then, we went to the music section, cuz ya know-that’s why I went back. On a really prominently displayed shelf, there was a row of four Henle edition books–Bach and Chopin. But there was only a tiny bit of Bach, and an equally tiny bit of Chopin! All the other editions were impossibly tiny and difficult to read–they made the 2 part inventions look totally foreign–so I asked made my mom ask a salesperson where there’d be more Henles.

She said, “That’s it.”

I thought, “WTK??”

Igitur, Harmy did not buy much music. However, she did notice that there was more Czerny than anything (major gag and minor cringe), and that there were a whole lot of music theory/”sightsinging” books that were incomprehensible, cuz ya know, the illiterate one learned her theory in English. Reminds me of how I heard that the Quebeckan violinist from camp kept looking exasperated during the theory placement test.

Then we went imported-disking. They were legal, all of them, but still cheap, except for one. Apparently, classical CD’s are sold full price, USD x8 style, so it’s not quite worth the airfare to transport them. Besides, that’s what the Bibliotheca Pontis-Materiae is for. Also, all the Bruckner symphonies they had were conducted by Karajan, and he goes kinda fast.

Anyway, mine eyes saw a disk. Then it saw passacaglia. Then it saw Webern. Then the brain said, “Whoa, that’s the one where you pluck around and make a whole lot of noisy jumbalaya!” Besides Webern, there was Berg and ..Schoenberg. I started listening to it this morning. The odd intervals, strangely, make me want to dance, and there’s some really poultry-sounds that I’ve never heard before. Like playing with the stick of the bow, or a weird metallic scrape.

Strangely, I can like Webern but not Chopin. Romantic-era music makes me want to hide, if you make me play it. Actually, I’m pretty certain that it’s because my physical technique and ability to decipher rhythms and accidentals becomes woefully inadequate after Beethoven.

Qitaque: And so, the others…
ita=so, -que=and, “qi ta”=others <—Lhinese! (latin/chinese) XD

I gave myself a crick in the neck this morning, and my achille’s tendons hurt from sodding around in the pool en pointe. Since there was a nice massage thing in the building, I was all, “Ok, let’s go see if they can relieve the neck spasm. The chiropractor just pushed something and it went away, so the people here should be able to do it just as easily, since they’re Chinese and all. (j/k)”

Hah. I forgot how ticklish I was–there was a whole lot of slapping and squishing, and at the end, the massager decided to apply a generations-old neck twist to relieve the spasm, but it gave me a sore eyebrow somehow. I enjoyed the arm rubbing part, though–that part is neither ticklish nor delicate.

I let go of a rope over water today! (the sort of diving where you grab a rope and let go, that is.) It was fun going into water that wasn’t so shallow that one can touch the bottom–the rest of the pool is depressingly and dangerously shallow. At one part, it’s like have a huge overturned bowl in the middle–the slope has made me fall over many times.

I also went into the ocean. Now, as coast-huggers, it’s not such a rare occurence to dip a few toes into LIS, but one would never actually submerge oneself in the muck. The last natural-water-hole I’d entered was a lake in the middle of Vermont. Therefore, I was quite shocked to discover that the water was salty–I had just gotten bored with the pool and decided to see where else I could get wet.

Oh–I also sunburned. Curse. I thought I’d gotten enough melanin-genes to ward that off–when I first realized that my shoulders were itchy, I thought it was a rash, since I do tend to rash easily. [Remember after those intense gym-class runs?] Now I know that I actually have to use sunblock..>_<

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People say that babies and the youngest children made the best philosophers because they constantly question, take nothing as a given, and have not conformed to society’s methods of reasoning.

People also say that old people are the wisest, given their accumulation and assimilation of life experiences.

So why does neither group have the faculty to command respect and/or effect change from the middle group, the theoretically dumbest but in reality, fittest and most powerful? Babies can’t talk; old people look stupid because they tend to trip over stuff and nap often.

Is it better to confidently say, “I’m not sure” in an isolated situation, or to say, “My mind’s not the sharpest” altogether?

To me, the former is like saying: “From these data and my 1337 calculator stat skillz, I have a +/- 10.% error.” [look, decimal point after the zero=2 sigfigs!]

To me, the latter is akin to: “Well, I didn’t even bother to really collect data; I know that I got a really cruddy balance, and my graduated cylinder was kinda uncalibrated, and since I ran out of filter paper, I used Kleenex.”

Woah, LJ still comes in Chinese.


Wo zai/Estoy en/Sum in/I’m in Hai Nan! (San Ya) Hai Nan means “Sea South,” quite literally. The largest (?) island in China, it’s also the equivalent of Florida and Hawaii because of its warm climate and sandy beaches. It resembles Hawaii so much that the speakers in the hallways quietly hum Hawaiian music, and that the dinner serenaders sound vaguely like the Beach Boys. (god, America. keep your tendrils tucked in.)

The hotel that I’m at is quite nice. (understatement.) More like: “Si estuviera en USA y tuvieramos que pagar en dolares americanos, nunca, jamas, nunca lo pagaria.” More like: The price for one night for the 3 rooms that my aunt, maternal grandparents, mother, and I are staying in, would be enough to keep a modest family of 4 going for a week, at least. More like: “Oh, we don’t even need to pack toiletries because the complimentary stuff they give is going to be decent.”

The fees keep a small army of laborers laboring. They’re everywhere, weeding, hoeing, digging, skimming..It feels weird, a bit, the juxtaposition of haves and have-nots. Maybe being a gardener at a resort is a relatively good job, compared to wading around in ricey things?

It’s also like the prices of food: at restaurants, food’s like 40-200++ RMB/yuan a plate, depending on how weird it is. But if you go to the morning market, vegetables of the utmost freshness are usually 1 or 2 yuan/kuai qian/RMB a pound. Personally, if you stew up some veggies for me, I’m happy. Eating weird fungi/seafoodies doesn’t feel like eating; it feels like a biology lesson. Maybe the exorbitant cost of restaurant food is to employ another brigade of waitress-people.

But they’ve got cool water slides! In my familiar-with-water-park’d opinion. At my suggestion, my aunt and 4 year old cousin Doofy slid down one; they emerged with Doofy missing her swim cap and goggles and both thoroughly vowing never to go down one’o those again. Apparently, Doofy slipped out of her mother’s grasp and slid down headfirst.

Hehe-and I still remember how to swim. Unfortunately, using my arms doesn’t seem to make me go much faster than just kicking my feet, so my modus nadanti is to float on my tummy, kick, then flip over to breathe, kick, then turn over again. Not that you actually need to swim; the water’s only 1.5 m deep at the deepest point, except at the diving pool, where it’s 4 m.

The flight to Hainan was awful. Tiny plane, nearly falling apart (one lady’s armrest actually fell off), heavy turbulence (there’s a tornado swirling around), seats designed for a person way taller than me. Food was intriguing; non-fried apple chips and some sort of meat-injected fried tofu. On the way back, I’m taking Dramamine.

Oo-the morning before the flight, I decided to take a stroll around the clump of buildings where we live. It’s really nice–there’s little clumps of grass with signs saying “Please spare me, I’m only a bit of newly-grown grass,” and the location is convenient. It seems like a bunch of taxi drivers live there, so there’s usually a taxi waiting. [I haven’t tried to bike yet XD.]

But the highlight of the clump of buildings is their outdoor fitness center. It’s bright shiny colors like a jungle gym, but the things there are much more usable. There’s a shoulder press, nordic track, some sort of ab-thing, as well as the usual communist array of gymnastics equipment, like double bars and stuff.

So I ambled in and was all, “Monkey bars! Woah, due to my nascent ripped biceps and lats, I can actually attempt to do those!” I jumped up for the first bar (see, since they’re communist, there’s no bar to step on so you can reach the bar), missed, and, with American spirit, jumped again. But once I got up there, I realized that my hands were really sweaty. However, I advanced a bar, not wanting to waste the opportunity. Then, I realized that my hands were much too sweaty for safety, jumped off, and strolled away.

When I was a while away, I heard a guy say, “Na ge gu niang hai you dian(r) jin(r)/That girl does have some strength.” Heh. It made me feel like I had a positive impact on society, you know, being remarked for my attempt at the monkey bars.

I haven’t boughten a single questionably legal CD/DVD/electronic device yet, so if there’s anything you want, comment!