Tuesday, June 24
the most enjoyable part of the ceremony was actually the conferring of diplomas part. everyone gets to write a few remarks on a card, which is then read by ms. salzman (since the graduates themselves can't be trusted? but it's also nice for them to just stand there and look and listen and pose for a few seconds). it's mostly pretty tame, but some people have a sense of humor: my favorite was maybe the first guy, who plans to attend the "university of henrietta" - but also caitlin wiley, who thanked her family "for making her so fabulous," the kid with huge hair-spikes sticking through holes in his mortarboard thanking elmer's glue for the support, and a guy who thanked "some of his friends." they are forbidden from mentioning god or religion in the cards, but people found ways of getting around it, from bryan thanking "his pastor's boss" to a few kids who just pointed up.
so much for the reason i came home. well, not quite; there was also the party sunday, which was huge and well-attended. aijung was there early but pulled an aijung leaving me to bounce back and forth between the adults (all of whom without fail asked about the internship and how i felt about martha going to swat, though amazingly only perhaps one or two asked about next year) and martha's age-set, gossiping about people i don't know (oh, their parents were gossiping too; mostly about them.)
and a visit to the zoo yesterday. i had some initial zoo-queasiness (what comes of spending too much time around vegans? it's pretty heartbreaking, along with amazing, to see a pair of bald eagles who can be housed inside a short rail fence, totally uncaged - their once-broken wings aren't strong enough for flight, so all they can do is hop along the branch) but once i got over that it was pretty neat. i think we picked a good time to go. i watched orangutans demolish a pile of citrus and celery, penguins hold council and take showers, polar bears vigorously backflip out of the water to pounce on a floating ball, and tortoises have loud grunting sex (which continued at least as long as the two hours we were there.) best of all were the elephants, who after heeding nature's call outside and trumpeting happily at the prospect of lunch, lined up to go inside, the rear one wrapping her trunk around the forward one's tail, which is the most adorable thing i've seen in a while. they took turns being fed (much tidier eaters than the orangs), but first they did a series of impressively complex, asana-like stretches (or tricks, i guess) that made my dad wonder if he should look into teaching elephant yoga.
and there was also a fantastic vietnamese meal out last night, with the entourage of martha's erstwhile best friend (hard to say much about now), where i was the only one at the kid's table willing to try the carpaccio. i skipped out after dessert and ran over to catch the second feature at the cinema. turns out i'm very glad i did. the film was laurel canyon, which i hadn't heard much about except lukewarm reviews, but it was actually a fabulous movie for me to see with myself. it had things i like in a serious movie - believably appealing-but-flawed three-dimensional characters, (helped by) terrific acting, in realistic but not "conventional" situations mostly brought on by the confrontation/mingling of different worlds and value-sets (for instance, academic meets artisty), and a lot of really good music (including film versions of mark linkous' songs). (though the movie's most surprising failing, especially given a clear interest and taste in music on the part of the filmmakers, was some clumsiness with the music stuff, such as how they portrayed recording sessions.) but i'm especially glad to have seen it because a lot of the issues that the characters are dealing with felt particularly relevant to me and the things i think about; indirectly if not the specific situations - stuff about sex, figuring out relationships, being in a band, and so on. (i've really been missing being in a band. and, yeah, the other things too.) now i'd like to talk about it with someone else who's seen it. then i was cat-called by a group of girls as i walked home, which was amusing.
okee, wayl i've got an early flight tomorrow, back to the brooklyn, so i better get some stuff done and slept. one other thing about being here in rochester - they've got an actual summer going on here. or maybe things have picked up downstate too, but at least the day i left it was an appreciable twenty or so degrees sultrier up here. birks and shorts weather, which it was not where i can from. stands to reason they'll have gotten it there too now tho, so i'll see.
i could have been miss punta blanca
i could have but i didn't want ta