Just arrived home. It’s lovely outside. The snow has melted, everything is muddy, it feels like spring.
I went to see a play tonight. “Nothing Sacred.” It was an adaptation of the Turgenev novel “Fathers and Sons.” Normally I’m an utter ponce about live-theatre, but I think I just play at being judgmental and too difficult to impress because I have a severe case of stage-envy. So setting all that aside, I really enjoyed the play. Almost as much as I love the book.
I was thrilled with the politicking that happened on the stage, the way that Bazarov the nihilist spat and shouted his lines, the dandyism of Pavel, the uncle, and the sweetness of Arcady’s father. Arcady was a bit of a liability because he was played as a comedic character when he should have been unbearably endearing, but in spite of that, the play was very good. And I know it was good because all the Russian literature I’ve ever read leaves me feeling hollowed out, like some piece of my soul has been taken or at least shoved around a bit, and this play left me feeling the same way.
The one rather sharp criticism that I have is with the way the female characters were treated. The play was adapted some time ago by a Canadian playwright and for whatever reason, he wrote all the spunk out of the female characters. The Countess lost all of her mystery, her beauty and power. She became a simple, cruel, sadistic, and very skanky character. I’m not sure if that was lazy acting or bad writing. If it was bad writing then I’d accuse the playwright of failing to understand both the sixties (when he read the book) and the message of the novel. But, pshaw, this is the first play I’ve been to in a while, and the first time I’ve manage to get through any play without cringing, so why criticise? I liked it.
This journal is BOOOORING.
(I wonder if I should add that to my profile?)
Played squash today with Akin for an hour and a half--lost 2 games; will make my comeback next week.
I guess that just doesn't cut it as a journal update; the readability factor is at least minus a gazillion. So what can I type of more general interest? Well...
I'm taking a quantum mechanics class this term and the default textbook at my school, as at many schools, is written by Atkins. It's a terrible introductory text; it makes these tremendous leaps of logic and offers very poor justifications for the claims it makes. This is impossible to rationalise, if we're asked to spend over a hundred dollars on the text book it really should be useful. For example, we should at least be able to use it to teach ourselves the course material.
At any rate, the Atkins text fails miserably to make itself understandable, so on Sunday, when darling D and I were working our way through the class assignment, we decided to buy copies of a really much more excellent textbook called "Physical Chemistry, A Molecular Approach"
by Donald A. McQuarrie and John D. Simon. We ordered two copies over ebay; they arrived Tuesday; and since then I've been carrying this sweet text around with me everywhere reading a few easily digestible pages at a time.
The rather funny aspect of this all is that my text was printed in India on cheap, thin paper, and it's only a fraction of the cost of the Atkins text.
[So this wasn't really of general interest, I suppose. Quelle tragedie.]
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Had an hour between classes today, so I went to the pool and swam for 25 minutes; 50 free, 900m back, 50 easy. Had a lot of trouble with my suit, I keep forgetting that what was acceptable when I was racing is not acceptable at adult lane swims. Time to start doubling up those bathing suits again!
Uh oh, it looks like I haven't been swimming in a while. I think I should post all of my workouts.
Today I just hopped in and swam a straight 2200 m freestyle, then I did a 400m back/breast swim with one of the faster med students. It was short and sweet, cause I had to get to my dinner date with my grandparents.
ps//I am in looove.
Today I have a really bad cold but I went swimming anyway. (I guess it all works out because I’m a little too fast to be swimming with this super nice group of people, anyway.)
200 free warm-up
5x100 free on 2:00
200 back: 50 kick/100 swim/50 kick
200 pull free
200 kick: alternating 50 breast /50 free
200 IM 50s: 50 fly/back, back/breast, breast/free, free/fly
200 cool down: 100 free, 100 choice
Only 1900m. Yeah, it was an easy practice.
They had to stop shoveling grain because the auger broke.
They had to stop shoveling grain because the auger broke?
They had to stop shoveling grain because the auger broke!
I don't think I ever expected that anyone would say this to me. But someone did. And I love [it.]
On Tuesdays and Thursdays I've been swimming with a bunch of people and the swim is more about socializing than distance or speed:
300m free warm up
200m: 100 bk/100 fr
200m: 2x75m fly/bk/br 50m fr
200m: 75, 50, 75, 25 free
200m: 50 fr, 50 br, 50 bk, 50 fly
200m: 50 br, 50 kick, 50 pull, 50 swim
argh. I can't really remember the rest, we did about 2100m.
I'm such a grouch in my journal. It bothers me that all the self-righteous ire I used to direct against the sweeping injustices of the world has been redirected at so many petty things. [Remember "USURP" in highschool? Our moto could have been 'Futile, but Fun.']
Believe it or not, in person I really am a pretty mellow human being.
In other news...
I'm on the backswing of my chemistry infatuation phase. Which means I'd rather be writing essays about "-isms" than organic-dye-doped-titania-solar-cells (cool as they are.) It suddenly struck me that rather than go through one term of loving my subject, one term of loathing it, I really should have started from the very beginning by alternating between the hard science and something softer, like Art History, Political Studies or English. It's a bit late to put this plan into action now that I'm almost done, but it's definitely something to keep in mind for my next reincarnation. For this to actually work, I think I'd have to die with exactly neutral karma so that I could come back as another first world, bourgeois student. And that might be a little difficult to work out, but frankly, it's been such a sweet deal so far it'd really be worth trying for.
[Especially what with the Ukrainian farm boys & all.]
AHA! I knew there was a reason I was posting. I'm going to 'journal' my swimming practices. And yes, I did just 'verbize' a noun.
500m free; warm up
4x300m (100bk/100fr/100bk) on 20 sec rest
300m (50breast/50fly:1 arm)
5x100m free sprint, on 30 sec rest
300m breast (50kick/50drill/50swim)
200m cool down (100 stroke, 100 whatever.)
I swear, I have heard about COLONOSCOPY three times today, in three totally different contexts! Dammit, I'm starting to think I should go for a pre-emptive screening!!
AHHH! So the LJ community spotlight has been on my chemistryhelp community for what feels like forever and my lj friends page is full full full of people posting to say; hey! I can't do basic chem problems, haven't read my textbook, but think this community will be excellent for me! well, I'm leaving it, and I'm kind of annoyed and I now think that the spotlight idea is stupid. people should really have to hunt out communities otherwise...well I'm thinking lowest common denominator. Yes, I'm awful. But I'm also right.