zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
Spoilers, sweetie )

In other news, on Sunday I developed the sudden miraculous ability to sing In Paradisum without my voice cracking on every single note. The concert went pretty well. As noted on Twitter, the microphones are arranged so that from the choir, the politician giving his politician's speech sounds like he's saying "Wurble wurble wurble". (Unfortunately the effect extends to the soloists, ah well.)

There are three jobs in other cities I could be applying for. Well, one closes today so call it two. Either would be a fantastic opportunity. But leaving my house and friends and family is a daunting proposition, and I wouldn't even get the opportunity to learn Kazakh into the bargain. And then some days I think that my current job (despite Everything) does give me room to do all sorts of the things I enjoy doing. So I dunno.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Apparently aftershocks may continue for decades (though obviously decreasing in average size and average frequency). I distinctly remember, nearly a year ago, scientists saying they'd probably stop after some weeks. Clearly they were/are talking about different magnitudes. Possibly they wanted to break it to us slowly.

I gather there are people planning to commemorate the year tonight/tomorrow morning with a bottle of cheer at 4:35am. I'm hoping I'll be allowed to commemorate by sleeping at 4:35am, but we'll see.

The other commemoration I plan is being part of the large combined choir singing Fauré's Requiem (and a few lesser things: national anthem, Hallelujah chorus, and Jerusalem[*]) at Christchurch Sings tomorrow night. It's going to be pretty fantastic, primarily because Fauré's Requiem is one of the most astounding pieces of music in the history of music. (I met it last year and fell in love.)

The conductor working with us is awesomely enthusiastic - you can tell he works with high schools normally - and gives us fantastic metaphors. Ducks on water, squeezing toothpaste, bow and arrow, that kind of thing. Have learnt a heap in the last four days.

(Am also learning a heap from our new conductor in my regular choir. He's teaching us the solfa method, and after just a few weeks I'm feeling I'm getting a better hang of intervals. This Tuesday he explained modes to us so for the first time ever I know what they are, and spent the next full day earwormed with the Dorian mode - until Wednesday's rehearsal of Fauré, since when I've been earwormed primarily with Libera Me.)

I may end up lipsyncing In Paradisum, though. Is it just me or is that a particularly hard movement? I can't figure out if it's because by the time I get there I'm tired, or because it requires monumental control or something, but my voice keeps failing on the most mundane notes. The notes in and of themselves don't seem harder than any other movement, so it's a bit of a puzzle.

[*] Jerusalem narrowly missed being saddled with some words written for the occasion of the anniversary. Or, at least, the person who showed me the words thought it missed out by a narrow margin of 'not enough time'. Possibly the decision maker took one look at the words and, having the same reaction I did, scrambled for a plausible excuse. It's not that I adore Jerusalem's lyrics above all else - they've got their issues - but it is a classic, and if you're going to filk a classic for an anniversary then you need to be a genius on one of your better days.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Went to choir, grabbing a sub on the way. Alas, as I expected they couldn't accept my coupon which is only valid at one of the Subway stores in town. (I think said store is still standing, but since neither I nor its staff can get to it this is a bit of a moot point.) Credit still works though.

Choir was a bit tiring but not too bad and by the end we actually got to the point where we were all listening to each other and our chord tuned just right, liquid sunshine.

Afterwards I got someone to drop me off at a bus-stop, intending to spend the busride home reading. Instead however I got an empty bus and a bus driver who started off with "Aren't you going to sit at the front with me?" and took my mild protest that I had a book to read as a conversational gambit: "Oh, what's the book?" and well, one doesn't want to be rude when one has been acculturated not to be rude, so I ended up chatting with him for over an hour. Mostly it was an okay conversation (primarily about the earthquake. The earthquake makes marvellous fodder for smalltalk) but occasionally it got mildly creepy (eg he complicated my sense of humour. You know, not creepy-creepy, but unnecessarily personal-creepy) so when he asked me my name -- and given that he was going to be dropping me off right at the end of my street and in fact (though I didn't know it at the time) was only persuaded not to drop me off right at my door by the fact that I'm on a dead-end street so he couldn't drive down it -- I promptly told him "Jane". This may have been a tactical error because normally I only do this with people I know I'll never see again, and with bus drivers one doesn't know; some I continue to see for years going on decades.

So if anyone's ever on a bus with me and the driver confidently addresses me as "Jane", please try not to look surprised. Just because I occasionally give people a fake name doesn't mean I want to be rude to them. :-(

The official earthquake blog says:
If you have been delivered a chemical toilet, and the water supply has been reinstated to your property, please continue to keep and use the chemical toilet to reduce pressure on the sewage system and keep pollution out of rivers.
So I guess I'm supposed to use the thing and occasionally lug my waste on a half-hour walk zigzagging through my neighbourhood to the nearest disposal point. Really I think I preferred the hole in the garden (though, admittedly, that's less discreet now that I'm getting more visitors and the painters are back working again).

I may start investigating a) exactly how far the disposal points are (so far I have only a map-derived guesstimate) and b) exactly how this doodacky's supposed to work anyway. Who knows, the results of my investigations may make me more enthusiastic. I don't think they could make me much less so.

Why don't I have a tag for toilets? This clearly must change.

Oh, forgot to mention: now that I can clearly not write my awesome post-apocalyptic Christchurch novel (dammit real life intruding on the territory of fiction) I've been trying to work out what I can write instead (once I've finished these two short stories I'm working on. One of which I may have to put aside; the basic shape is severely broken; the other one should be fixable though). And I want to get back to science-fiction, which means I have to ignore all my fantasy ideas.

(This is almost political sort of. Fantasy ideas are coming more naturally to me at the moment, because I'm mostly reading fantasy, because most of the sf I come across is... excessively privileged for my current taste; or if not so, then just not to my taste otherwise. Not all, but most. So it's a struggle to think of sf ideas that aren't Yet Another Military Space Opera, but while it would be tremendous fun to write Yet Another Scheming Nobility this feels little more original. (Oh, earthquake brain. I had to look up the word 'original' in the thesaurus.) Um. Point being, I believe there ought to be more sf that I'd like out there, but as I can't find much of it at the moment, it behooves me to write it.)

I've loaded myself with various other constraints in the kinds of stories/protagonists I want / don't want to write about right at the moment. Suffice to say that it took me a while to think of something. (I even briefly considered a version of the sky-falls-down story in which no-one actually dies, however I concluded that this would more or less miss the point of "post-apocalyptic" without much alleviating the depressing "Oh God not again" nature of another Christchurch disaster.) Fortunately however I have a store of half-started story ideas from my early 20s, not all of which are Star Trek clones -- even if many of them are clones of spin-offs from my first Star Trek clone. One of these can be further tweaked and will be a really fun story, once I work out what happens beyond the middle of chapter 2, with the potential for thoughtfulness too if I feel the urge, so I think I'll in due course try writing that again from the start and see what I come up with.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
The water got turned off again, alack. The supplies I have are more than I need for anything except flushing and using the washing machine, though, so no worries. However I think I shan't say no if we ever get a portaloo or chemical toilets out here. My garden may be large but it's full of clay; I can't dig much more than the depth of my spade-head deep.

No bodies were found in the Cathedral. This kind of makes the day worth while all by itself.

May or may not go to choir on Tuesday night. By some miracle, though the building had been damaged in September, we can still use it now. I'll need transport home, is all, but someone's offered that; but it'll depend on how much energy I have to deal with socialising. It took me two days to get around to just replying to the offer of transport.

It's really weird that some smaller aftershocks are more unnerving than some larger ones. There was a 4.1 this morning which was just like being rocked in the cradle of my house (yay flexi-house) and even the cat wasn't alarmed. But earlier there was a 3.4 (same location, same depth) that hit with a bang and startled me awake with serious heart-thumping and set the cat a-running. Is weird; I shall never quite understand quakes.

I have two bunnies in my backyard. They're not very sure of me but they do like the parsley and dandelion leaves I feed them. So far Boots doesn't seem overly interested in them, which is good. Last night I dreamed that for some reason my backyard didn't suit them after all so my sister had set up all eight pairs of bunnies in her backyard and I was going to have to go over every night she was away to feed all of them and the bus didn't even run in weekends. Normally my pet anxiety dreams are (as one might imagine) about discovering I have extra cats in the house and they're all starving because I thought there was only one and thus hadn't been feeding them enough.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Word of the day: coronial, "relating to a coroner: a coronial hearing". (My guess, seeing it adorning an office building next to a coat of arms and discarding "typo for 'colonial'", was "relating to the Crown".)

Choir: Byrd's Precamur is an absolutely sadistic piece of music: my throat aches, my diaphragm aches worse, and I feel awesome. --Also the actual conductor came this week, and seems amenable to me hanging around.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Every now and then I've seen ads in the uni newsletter for a choir that sings awesome medieval music and stuff, and I've thought about going along a couple of times, but last night I actually did.

I was expecting them to be big and formal with auditions and Simon Cowell telling me I can't hold a high note for beans, but I walked in and they handed out music and we sang together and I didn't in fact make exponentially more mistakes than anyone else, even when the person I was listening to for the melody went home with a migraine. And one of the other new members recognised me from a library lecture I gave last Friday.

They seemed quite happy for me to turn up again next Tuesday too. I may, um, try to actually figure out these tunes in the meantime though. o.O Sightreading isn't my superpower.


zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)

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