Saturday, May 09, 2009
Now I understand what "breaking even" means when drivers go about buying their next car. Simply put, it's the difference between what you owe the bank for your previous car and what the dealer is willing to pay for it as a second-hand car.
The amount I got for M2 not only paid off my existing loan but also went towards a significant portion of my downpayment for the new M2. So my initial capital outlay for the new car wasn't that much after all. What I did pay for was a reduction of the loan I would be taking from the bank so that my monthly installment for the new car is just a little lower than what I am currently paying.
Ok. Too much math. But it does show that it's a lot easier to buy a car when you already have a car.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Got interviewed on my own camera by my own publicity crew. They're making a "behind-the-scenes" video for Drama Night and wanted some short quotes to splice in with the rest of the footage.
It wasn't easy for me to say in just a short quote what I felt about Drama Night this year, and I think I mangled my interview. There are so many people to be appreciative of: from coach, to cast, to crew, to directors, to publicity, to Sha, my partner in crime.
I've been amazed by the organizational capabilities of the club members, and how resourceful and innovative they have been in getting all the help they need to run this show on their own, with me, Sha and Tina taking something of a back seat and only stepping in to offer guidance and support. It hasn't meant a reduction of our working hours, but it does mean that the kids themselves are making the major production decisions, from organizing their own auditions to building the set to even enlisting the support of the AVA crew who have been working flat out with us since yesterday. First time ever, AVA has been so supportive of Drama Club efforts.
The actors and crew have been dedicated to their task even though many of them are actually sub-cons and not actual Drama Club members. All of us are stretched quite thin by now, all keeping late nights as we have been rehearsing, revising and rehearsing again these past couple of weeks. And as of now, there's just one more week to endure till showtime!
But it's going to be a very long week. While the kids' forte is in organization and administration, they still have to make a quantum leap in their stagecraft and overall watchability in the next few days. Things are still looking pretty rough onstage, especially now that we have started rehearsing on site. From what I see from today's rehearsal, we need a miracle to get us ready in the one week remaining. But I'm still confident because miracles have happened before and there's every reason to expect they will happen again.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I wonder if we've got our concept of school ranking correct? We accord top ranking to the schools that deliver the highest 'A' grade percentage. Shouldn't it be that the top schools are the ones with the highest failure rate instead? That would indicate that the top schools are operating at the highest possible standards and expectations for their students, and that just passing alone is a real challenge. Pass the best, fail the rest -- that would be the true measure of an elite school.
Doesn't a high passing percentage mean that our standards are so low that anyone can pass? We just don't give failure the respect it deserves and, as a result, our students still haven't a clue what being challenged means. Does that mean we are sending our graduates and scholars out into the world unprepared?
Now, how am I supposed to address this conundrum?
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I suppose it was too much to hope for, but my bid for a COE was successful. That means my days as M2's owner are numbered. Well, they were numbered anyway, but now the number has reduced to a very small digit, and it's happened much earlier than expected.
I hate goodbyes, but perhaps M2 will find a better owner on the resale market. One who won't bump him around so much and will wash him more often. As for me, it's time to make a new friend.
The days are hot. Combining that with our humidity, we are being slowly steamed alive. No doubt our energy bills are going to rise as we rely increasingly on air-conditioning to keep cool.
But the past few nights have been most glorious for sleeping cosily snuggled up under the sheets. Stormy, rain lashing down, wind howling through the gaps in the windows, giving us good reason to overstay our welcome in the land of zzzs.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
I'm in a parable-telling mood. Nothing like oversimplifying complex issues as if I'm talking to 9 year-olds about the way the world is. Anyway...
Because of the North Korean missle test not too long ago, one of my kids asked me why we view NK with such suspicion. Let me explain it this way: Mostly, it's a matter of trust. NK fought a bitter war against the US over communist vs democratic ideology and officially there has not been an end to the hostilities even after 50 years.
NK still believes it is at war. It's just that it hasn't acquired the necessary technological advantages to win it yet. The US and pretty much the rest of the world are certain that once NK is ready with its war waging capabilities, it will end recess-time and start the war again.
For the world, it's like everyone's at a tea party, makin' nice with one another, while in a shadowy corner one of the guests is muttering to himself and playing with steak knives. Not too comfortable a feeling, is it?
So they're waving chicken wings and hors d'ouvres at him hoping he'll put the knives down and play nicely with everyone else. Sad thing is, he thinks that the only way he's going to get any food at this party is if he keeps pretending to talk to himself and play with knives. And when people start to ignore him again ('cos he grates on their nerves after a while) he gets their attention again by playing with bigger knives. Don't you just hate guests like that? Yet, you feel really sorry for him at the same time.
Trust me, I've been to parties like that before. Ooh... shiny. pointy. things...
Anyway, Mel Gurtov of Time has a theory on why NK behaves so strangely. Check it out here.
Thanks for providing the link, Amy!