Monday, April 7, 2008

UPDATE - April 8, 2008

April 8, 2008


  1. Brother, entrepreneur-on-the-rise, received a job
  2. Sister, computer IT expert-turned project manager, received a few job offers and one really nice one
  3. Deidra (legal expert and virtuosic violinist) got a great new job in Chicago
  4. Cheryl, a maturing woman (so proud), stepped out, quit her job, and moved to Hawaii enlisting in a school “for the nations” and she’s raised over $3k so far

Heyyyyy, guys. This is Victor. “Howzit?” SA shorthand for “How’s it?” SA English for “How’s it going?” News, news, news. Not much really going on here, but here’s an update.

First, I don’t think I am depressed. That was an April Fools joke. I have felt bad in the past for doing an April Fool’s Joke that plays on another person, so I decided to do one on myself and avoid the embarrassment or feelings of foolishness on the part of the other person. Fewer people get concerned judging by the responses. But thank you for those who were concerned. Interestingly enough, I found out that I am depressed or so some have told me. So thanks for the psychoanalysis; it’s always good to know. Additionally, someone diagnosed me with hemorrhoids!! And all from a distance. I had better get to a doctor and quick!! I’ll call tomorrow.

Actually I am physically sick. Ryan, my roommate who lives in his bedroom and eats in his bedroom, may actually have a good idea. Since he doesn’t live in the living room and eat in the dining room it’s harder for him to catch any sicknesses. So Radesh (Anna’s boyfriend, something like a 4th roommate) has been staying over a lot more. Usually they rotate places, but he moved to a new place. And for some reason he’s been here straight for over a week. The point is that he was sick with what he called (or Anna called) the “flu.” Anna then got it. And I felt something happening to me yesterday, strangely. And today it’s hit full force. I had graded tests to turn in by 9 AM so I had to go in. I also start lecturing a course this week and start lecturing another course in two weeks. I’m about 100 pages behind in my study-review for the course (I’ve been trying to read an 800 refresher book on the stuff that I must lecture). So I have something, but can fake it pretty well, when I feel like it.

Sometimes I have those moments where I don’t want to send these because of bad responses, but I am a bit too courageous. So that never happens. I do delay them sometimes because it delays the responses. A quick note. I am a student here. I may help lecture and do other things but my fellowship dollars are not taxed because of that. So I don’t earn the top rand like the jobs of the SA elite. But I’m quite fine. The car I have is average compared to all those of my friends. Used cars are common among students. And it should be fine, as well. There’s no disgrace in it. I am not saying I am not a researcher or fellow. I am those things as well. But I am a student also, at least in a sense.

I still haven’t picked up the car. The process is slow. I at least went ahead and registered the tracker (GPS) service and got insurance. Here there are only three kinds—third party, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive. I got the cheapest because the car is cheap plus I have a tracker which means there’s no need for fire and theft. The tracking doesn’t work if the car leaves the country but hopefully it won’t be stolen while I’m right at the border and thus give the police enough time to get it.

Someone gave me a ride to a wonderful concert at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens by the UCT Orchestra. It was a RAG event. RAG is the fundraising arm of ShortCo which is a student philanthropy-community service group. RAG primarily gets its dollars by dubious means though (getting people dangerously drunk). So it was nice to see a nice event where people could picnic, eat cheese and wine, and enjoy music. I don’t know how you eat wine. They had a battle of the bands contest at UCT and the winner was allowed to open this event. Then they had the more established band Plush, who I believe came out of UCT (the members were former students). They have a great following because the students knew the words. The AMAZING thing was that the orchestra conductor picked three songs (or an arranger/orchestrator –I wish they had asked me) and they orchestrated it. Now, imagine it. You are an artist. You singing your heart out and rocking your song to tons of fans who are singing your words and you have an orchestra behind you intensifying the emotion of the song! WHAT! I wish you could have seen it. It was truly beautiful to watch the performance and the interaction and relation between the band (especially the singer) with the crowd and the orchestra. Magic. Then the the orchestra brought out the BALA Brothers. One is a famous R&B singer with a ring-stud going through his bottom lip. The 2nd has gone in and out of R&B and gospel and something else. The third is not known well but all three were part of the best boy choir in SA, the Drakensburg (I am messing the name up) Boy Choir. They had beautiful voices and reminded one of “Three Mo’ Tenors.” If you don’t know the group, look them up. They’re excellent. Though I think their popular songs are still sung a little too operatically. Neeki, my gifted friend, who looks up to them actually sings with more versatility. He has an amazing ability to just plain sing not to mention slow down or speed up his vibrato and sing any style you want without infusing R&B into everything.

Anyway, when the Bala Brothers sang certain songs the crowd went WILD. The stormed the stage especially for the opening song to Lion King and for “Circle of Life.” Apparently the opening theme song to Lion King was written by a South African whose rights were smartly acquired by an American, so it has some deep sentiments for South Africans. Lion King is like THEIR play/musical/songs. And the opening number is in Zulu though the some of the names of the animals are in Swahili, I think. It’s not a recognizable South African language to me (Mufasa, Simba, etc.). The UCT Choir also sang with the orchestra. The Bala Brothers even did Josh Grobin. And they had some soprano that sang the Queen of the Night Aria and totally went out of character and shook her head from side to side (in an “attitude” way) as she did the high notes to show off). She came back and sang with the Bala Brothers. Good time. Wish you were there.

Also, I was dropped from my play. Many people will say it’s my fault, so no need to say that. But I’ll quickly explain. I’m used to getting/knowing the dates of the performance before auditioning and even knowing the rehearsal schedule (or at least giving the director my time conflicts). If the director or casting person doesn’t ask for your availability it usually means they will work with the actors on the schedule. This is, at the least, true of university performances. Well, I was cast and had no idea when this would play or if I would be in town. Moreover, they set the first rehearsal without asking if people were available. I had a night test that day (the course for which I’m a TA) and had TA duties which did not end when the students left. There was multiple counting, taking the test scripts to the convenor’s office, dividing them up, a meeting, instructions. Anyway, by the time I could have gotten to Hidding campus (and I do not have a car) I would have missed the rehearsal (or maybe had 15 minutes left). I could have gotten there earlier, but I did not want to pay hundreds of rand just to go to a rehearsal because it was set during a test (there is public transportation there earlier in the day). Point being they thought I dropped it and didn’t bother contacting me. I told the director let me know the results of the meeting a week ago Friday (before the first rehearsal a week ago Monday (today)) and I even e-mailed my availability. The director went to university in the US and so she checks her e-mail like an American. She never got back to me. We communicated on Friday because I contacted her to find out what happened, when the next rehearsal was, and why no one has gotten back to me. By the time I made contact she said they thought I had quit and it’s too late because they have had 1 week’s worth of rehearsals. Oh well.

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