Other than the somewhat disappointing experience of finding blatant plagiarism in one of the essays submitted in my writing class, I’ve had a pretty good day:

  • I got a little writing done on my ghost story in the morning, and I’m now at over 120 pages of material. My ghosts are verging on arriving in Pyongyang, which means I’m probably about halfway to finishing the story, or maybe a little less.
  • I watched the first episode of the old TV show Battlestar Galactica and I am not really interested in watching the rest, but I kind of vaguely got why so many literature professors are so interested in old, early TV SF. It’s so full of references to the society contemporary to its time that I cannot help but laugh. Battlestar Galactica is more a fantasy about America in the 1970s than it is about some faraway colonies of humans fighting a desperate space war. The hooker in the first episode dresses just like a 70s disco queen, and the robotic dog is practically a Disney-type creation. This is, I’ll add, precisely why I related to the old, grouchy-looking guy at the Montreal SF club meeting who mocked people who were only into TV SF and never read the books. (His sarcasm was wonderful, but his personality wasn’t; he reminded me of a guy I knew and strongly disliked. A part of me stayed away from that club for fear of becoming too hateful of the majority of SF fans, who I think are weird, but don’t actively resent because I’ve had such extremely limited exposure to them.) Anyway, as this guy pointed out a couple of times during the hour I met him, most TV SF has none of the good qualities of written SF, and all of the worst qualities of it. I hate it. Still, watching it and realizing how much I hate Battlestar Galactica was really fun for some reason.

    Oh, and as a bonus, I figured out where the “Yaaaaa-hoooo!” sample on the original UK-release Little Fluffy Clouds double-CD by the Orb came from. When the young pilot who dies in the first episode shoots down an enemy ship, he says “Yahoo!” and when I heard it, I recognized it from having heard it hundreds of times before, in a different context. It was the sequence taken from the moon landing on the track “The Back Side of the Moon”, which is a great track on a masterpiece album.

  • While the Yamaha bari sax for sale up in Seoul is far too expensive for me to even consider (at over 4 million won, it’d be all of my camp money gone in one shot on what’s probably an enviable horn, but also too pricey for me at the moment), the Conn bari isn’t too expensive at all… and, Lime called the girl who posted an ad for it online, and then called me this morning with the good news: it’s still available! Yes, it’s a Conn, not a Selmer, but then I think that all kinds of horns can be good horns; I try not to think Selmer is the only good sax on the planet, and some of those old Conns do have a wonderful sound. Okay, it doesn’t have a high F# key, or a low-A key, but those aren’t really absolute necessities, and to be honest, a decent-playing bari at this price is a steal, if you ask me, especially considering that I don’t need to leave the country or pay a horrendous import duty to get it. I’ll have to try it out to see if it indeed is a decent-playing bari, of course, and that necessitates a trip up to Seoul—at least, I assume the girl lives in Seoul, I’m not sure where the girl selling it lives. I’ll have to call and find out. But I may own a big fat wonderful used (but new to me) Eb bari sax as soon as Wednesday, depending on how things work out.
  • In joyful anticipation of the possibility, I’ve downloaded the Bb and Eb versions of the Charlie Parker Omnibook. I really look forward to working through some of the solo transcriptions, slowly at first and working my way up to speed. Now, bebop on a bari sax isn’t all that common, and there’s a reason for that—manipulating the horn at that speed isn’t very easy—but the exercise itself will be fun. I wonder if I’ll be able to fit the bari into my locker at work for storage? It’d be nice to be able to practice during breaks between classes.
  • I watched a couple of episodes of the anime series Hellsing to purge my mind of all the essay and journal content I’d worked my way through. I have five more journal/portfolio packages to go, out of eleven students who submitted them (which leaves only one who didn’t, and who will consequently get an F for non-submission of stuff that makes up 70% of his grade). And one of those students’ portfolios I will look at only cursorily, since he cheated on the main essay and will therefore be getting an F in the class. Which leaves me only 4 portfolios I need to really, truly slog my way through.
  • I got most of my marking done by (late) dinnertime, but of course I still wasn’t hungry by then. That’s because I tried a new dish at Shinpo Woori Mandu, a soup called 김치칼국수 (kimchi kalguksu) which has kimchi dumplings, kimchi, and kalguksu noodles in it. It’s fine stuff, and less fatty than my usual 배빔만두 (bebim mandu), which anyway I had last night with Lime. Okay, it got my stomach a little upset, but I have a feeling that’s more to do with the particular shop I had it in, than the dish itself.
  • I have only a little work left to do tonight. Having pushed my way through the exams mainly in one sitting per class, I put in a lot of extra work time last week (finishing my last exams at around 7pm on Friday night) so I am almost finished for the semester. Tonight I’ll finish with the student portfolios from the writing class, and tomorrow I’ll get the grades for my other classes calculated and entered into the computer system. That leaves only a few signatures to put onto the paperwork, the portfolio packets to mail out, and then I’m done with it all till March. Well, except for the camp.

As you can see, today’s been a good day. I’m eager to et back to those portfolios, though I may just do three tonight and leave one for tomorrow morning, at the office, something to warm up my brain before I settle into the mind-numbing grade-calculations and paperwork.

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