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I’m working on a list of pet peeves today.  High on the list would be people who use five million staples when assembling the documentation for their travel expense reports, requiring me to then remove all the staples (and isn’t it fun when the copy machine jams and starts sending screeching alerts to tell you that you’ve missed one?) before I can copy the report for our files, re-staple it, and send it to Accounting.  Paper clips, people, paper clips!  Although there was that one guy who taped all his stray receipts to sheets of blank paper, making it possible for me to stick everything in the copy machine hopper and photocopy it all at once.  He was my favorite.

Johnsy is not having a good day today.  On our way out the door this morning, her wheelchair decided to make a break for freedom.  It chose its moment well, picking the instant when Johnsy was wheeling herself off the curb from sidewalk to the street on her way to my car.  Usually this is no problem.  We have a smaller than usual curb, and Johnsy’s good at them.  This time, however, she lost her balance and started to go over backwards.  The two huge bookbags she slings on the back of her chair (one school work, one gym) hit the ground first.  The impact jarred them loose, and the wheelchair slipped out from under Johnsy, dumping her in the gutter on top of the bags.  The chair itself, now freed from its burdens, flipped back upright and started out.  I heard a whump! and looked up to see Johnsy sprawled on her butt with the bags behind her back and the wheelchair heading for wide open spaces.  It was like something out of a movie or a cartoon.  One of her shoes had even come off from the impact.  (Johnsy:  “I do all my #%@ stunts.”)  I grabbed the wheelchair and we got her into the car and off to school anyway.  But boy, what a way to start a day.

By contrast, my day has been pretty good.  Today was the Stander Symposium, which actually means no school.  I ran errands in the morning, ending up with a little quality time at my favorite bookstore before going in to work.  Unfortunately, I was so engrossed in my reading that I didn’t leave myself enough time to grab lunch, so I was getting pretty hungry.  Around 3:30 I caved in and got some ranch-flavored goldfish from the vending machine (the only thing in there that wasn’t sweets or chips).  My boss was attracted to my desk by the smell, and when she heard that I hadn’t eaten lunch, produced a tub of curried chicken salad she’d picked up from Dorothy Lane Market for her own lunch.  After she bought it she realized that she didn’t like the flavor, so she’d stuck it in the fridge to take home.  She doesn’t care for the flavor of tumeric, but I do.  It tasted mighty nice with those ranch goldfish.

Last night I went to see the East Village Opera Company down at the Victoria.  They’re a group that does opera music with hard rock musical accompaniment.  It was pretty cool.  I liked some of the ways they transposed the orchestra parts for electric guitar, etc.  However, their vocalists just weren’t up to the challenge.  It was a man and a woman, fine vocalists, but much more rock singers than opera singers. And friends, opera demands some serious chops. They didn’t have them. They couldn’t stand up to the music, and they especially couldn’t stand up to their own accompaniment. They were good, almost great, but the “almost” was heartbreaking. The saddest was when they did Nessun Dorma, and turned what should be a freaking powerhouse show-stopper of a song into something merely nice. Plus, the lighting was a little annoying, all rock-concert strobey. That works great in an arena, but we were in the smaller formal theatre where they usually have ballet performances. It was a little much.  Johnsy and I left early (flashy strobes, loud music, and throbbing base + person on anticonvulsant medication = bad, bad combination), so maybe they redeemed themselves in the second half.  I guess I’ll never know.  I’m ok with that.

No Prof. Peat quotes today (see: Stander Symposium), but the magnolia trees are in bloom all over town.  Go look at them!

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