SF Opera

Opera tix

I've just received my subscription package for the upcoming season, and looked through it to decide which ones I really want to go to, and which ones I'd be happy to sell. The tickets immediately available for sale are:

Turandot, Sun 9/25 2pm
Don Giovanni, Sun 10/23 2pm
Carmen, Sun 11/6 2pm
The Magic Flute, Sun 6/24 2pm

For the first time in several years, my seats improved when my subscription renewed (though only by one row). I now have Dress Circle D126 and D128 -- fourth row, on the inner side of the first aisle out from the center. (Seating chart available here.)

The Series M package was $959 per seat plus shipping and handling. (Click on the Full Series "Packages and Prices" link on this page for a PDF with details.) Including S&H, it works out to around $107.50 per ticket (i.e. $215 per pair), so that's what I'm asking. Official face value on the ticket is $135, though I was just poking at the website and it looks like they've taken a cue from the airline industry and started using dynamic pricing based on demand. I found Dress Circle seats for different weekend shows priced as low as $129, and as high as $169. I definitely didn't see any for as little as I'm charging.
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
Auros Face from wedding

OSX Lion iCal is b0rked.

One change I am really disliking in OSX 10.7 is what they've done to iCal. It appears that it's no longer possible to get a view similar to GCal in which you have a small monthly calendar in the sidebar, and an arbitrary number of days displayed in the main body of the app by click-dragging across those days in the monthly calendar.

I frequently want to view 2-5 days at a time, rather than a full week (which causes events to pile up, when you have seven or eight calendars -- I have a couple of my own, Xta's, social group cals, etc) or a single day. I understand why this doesn't work on the iPhone, but in the iPad or desktop versions of this application, viewing a few days at a time is a Good Thing. When I'm trying to plan some kind of weekend socializing, I almost always want to be able to view Fri-Sun; and for thinking through how to schedule some weekday-specific errand around work, I frequently want to show just the weekdays.

Anybody know if I'm wrong about the loss of this feature? :-/
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    aggravated aggravated

creative ways to empty the fridge

I was trying to decide what to make for dinner, last night, and nothing was particularly catching my fancy, when I realized we had some slightly stale herbed breadsticks from some previous takeout, as well as the heels from a loaf of cheese bread we'd gotten from Whole Foods at least two weeks ago. It seemed like a shame to waste them, so I thought, what could I do with stale bread? The traditional way to rescue stale bread is to soak it in a custard and cook it. I suppose I could've gone with something like a savory french toast, and topped it with veggies. But instead, I cubed the bread (roughly 1-2cm), tossed it with some sauteed veggies (with some sweet balsamic and additional herbs and spices) and grated aged asiago, poured over the custard (five eggs thoroughly beaten, with a roughly equal volume of whole milk whisked in) and then baked the whole thing at 350F for 40 minutes. Basically a savory trifle, or a hybrid between a quiche and frittata (using the bread where we'd usually use potato).

It was really quite good -- the bread in the bottom was all soft and custardy, while the cubes that stuck out the top were lightly browned and crunchy.
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    pleased pleased

Still need to get to the DC office.

Finally, six months after this, got around to grabbing lunch with Farhad Manjoo, Slate's tech writer and author of the excellent True Enough (which is in some ways a lengthier meditation on the problem articulated by Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit). Discussed everything from how automation of increasingly complicated symbolic tasks is changing the employment landscape for highly educated professionals, to politics and the various complex catastrophes our society seems to be setting itself up for, to general personal stuff and kidlets.

I think possibly I was over-caffeinated, and thus even a little more energetic than normal. I'd had my morning coffee, and then also got a quite strong black tea when I got to University Cafe. I was there rather early because I'd already come up to Palo Alto for an earlier appointment, and since I was getting onto their WiFi to do some work, I figured I ought to buy something...
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    cheerful cheerful
SF Opera

tickets for Rheingold and Walküre on 6/14-15

The SF Opera Ring Cycle is opening in June, and from a quick check on the ticket purchase system it looks like tickets of the quality I'm selling are almost impossible to get, at this point, and even remotely similar ones are much more expensive than what I'm charging -- I found exactly one remaining Dress Circle seat for one of the performances of Rheingold, literally in the back-stageleft corner, priced at $180. I'm charging the face value at my subscriber price, $135, and I have a few rows forward, on the first aisle out.

More details:

Feel free to share with anyone who might be into opera. I'll consider a friend or friend-of-friend discount if you ask nicely and pay promptly. ;-)
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    busy busy

David Foster Wallace

It is so deeply, achingly tragic that a man who at times saw the world so clearly, came to find it so unbearable that he felt he had to leave it. He seems to have had compassion for, and understanding of, everyone but himself.

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I've been looking back at his essays and short stories a bit recently, because of the release of The Pale King, his unfinished novel, patched together by an editor who was close to him in life. It's about IRS tax analysts, and about the way that these people's tolerance for doing work that is, fundamentally, routine and boring, underpins the good, civilized life we all share. At a time when there is such vitriol against the kind of people who do this work -- work that is of the mind, but numbing to the same faculties it demands -- it is strange and sad to remember that somebody in our culture at least tried to point out, eloquently, its necessity and beauty.

And in case it isn't totally obvious, yes, I very much identify with his comments about the experience of doing this kind of work, and about the dangers of letting your most authentic, integrated self become subservient to a purely intellectualized self. And even more-so, the way he generalizes the idea of worship, and of freedom. I so frequently feel like nothing more than the "lord of my tiny, skull-sized kingdom, alone at the center of all creation." Free, but trivially so. "[T]he really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people, and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day."

Something I aspire to, but so rarely achieve.
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    sad sad

weekend summary

+ First ever ride in a Tesla Roadster. Next time I want to drive.

± Deep, and I hope productive, conversation with a friend who's having a rough month or two. I don't like it when people I care about are stressed / sad / upset. But I'm glad if I can, in some way, be helpful.

- Went out with plymouth and returned what was left of Tsuki to the place she came from. So now I'm sad myself.
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    melancholy melancholy
Not Left-Handed

OK, let's try: Anyone want to split the cost of HBO?

I guess I'm not getting any responses from friends who currently have HBO, so now I'm wondering if I have any friends who are into Game of Thrones and/or True Blood, and would be down with splitting the cost of a subscription, in exchange for getting to come watch the HD recordings at our place. I'm not really willing to pay $10/mo for it, but $5 would be OK.