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Archive for June, 2003
driving into the darkness over san francisco
I spent six hours in rehearsal and coaching today while participating in the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s Summer Chamber Music Festival
; I’m playing Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B flat major (Opus 97 — ‘Archduke’) with Sabrina and Sheila, and so far we have made considerable progress, even though we only received the music this morning. :)
I had a good time hanging out with Heidi
, and meeting some new people. There is a Harvard student at the workshop named “Eric Cheng” — the first person sharing my name that I’ve met in person! Anyway, The SLSQ, Stephen Prutsman, and Ruggero Allifranchini performed in the evening at Paul Brest’s house, just off of Stanford campus. They rock.
I am exhausted. I still have to post a new review at Wetpixel
before going to bed.
Wendy sent me this blurb regarding the mockingbird from a few days ago:
“Although all adult male mockingbirds sing during the day, only a bachelor sings at night. He stops doing that as soon as he wins a mate… Law is on the side of love and the bird, for it is illegal to harm, harass, or remove the mockingbird.”
Good thing I didn’t try anything! ;)
I love my new desktop wallpaper. :) It was taken from a boat in Bimini, at dawn.
I went to see Finding Nemo with the other Eric tonight. What a fantastic movie! I loved every minute of it. Well, except for the moments when the 500 little kids in the audience would talk/babble/stomp/clap/cry/etc. We should have gone to the 10pm showing. :) Also, who would have know that it would be 60 degrees and blustery in Daly City! I was still dressed for Bimini: shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops. Wrong move. I suppose the cold was a welcome change from the incredible heat the last two days have given us.
My car died on the way back from the theater. We were on 280 North just after Cesar Chavez, and luckily, the car coasted along over the hill, stopping in the space between the freeway lanes and the Cesar Chavez on-ramp. It would have been horrible to have stopped in an actual lane! Stupid cars. My fuel gauge read 1/8 full, but it felt like I ran out of gas. I guess I’ll find out on Monday when the dealership calls me. Eric and I sat in the car until Mr. Tow Truck came. Thanks for your patience, Eric! And thanks to Jeremy for picking me up, afterwards. :) [see some photos]
Jim Abernethy called and left a message today. He said that Zoe has been repeating my name non-stop. He said, “I’ve been with him for 11 years and he still hasn’t learned my name!” I guess he likes me. :)
Also, congratulations to Elliot and Mandy, who were both mentioned in Business Week for winning a student design competition!
There’s nothing like leaving the country for a month to shake up the ol’ brain. I’m confused about almost everything in my life right now.
I’ll be participating in the St. Lawrence String Quartet Summer Chamber Institute (or whatever it is called) next week, which culminates in a 2:30pm concert on Sunday the 6th, at Stanford University. I’m not sure yet how I will play music for hours every day after not having touched my cello for so long. I guess I’ll see. :)
And I may be in New York from the 11th to the 18th. The plans were definite before I left, but now I’m no longer sure.
There’s a bird in the neighborhood that starts chirping loudly at 1am. It’s not actually chirping; he sounds like a loud car alarm, running through twelve or so songs before repeating himself. He’s been going for several evenings now (my sister says), and doesn’t usually stop until the wee hours of the morning. I had to sleep with ear-plugs in. Wendy and I went out last night with a night-vision scope to try to find him (he’s sitting in a tree, one house away), but the leaves were too thick to see to the top of the tree. I surely would have done something drastic (like kill it) if I had found it. And I wouldn’t even have felt bad about it.
Saw Whale Rider tonight in Palo Alto, with my sister and Stephanie. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Asians I saw from 5/30-6/26: 1
(Ft. Lauderdale, Bimini, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach)
Asians I saw on 6/26, upon returning to SF: a crapload
I didn’t actually notice that there weren’t any other Asian folk until I started seeing them (us, I mean) again. What a strange feeling.
[see all photos]
I met Walt Stearns
today on Jim and Anna
‘s boat. We went for two 70 minute dives together and bumped into seven enormous loggerhead turtles and three enormous green sea turtles. It’s too bad I was equipped with a 100mm macro lens! Jim and I had agreed to shoot macro today because the conditions weren’t so great for wide-angle photography yesterday and the day before. Walt kept telling me, “it’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight,” and he was right. Oh well. That’s how it goes. :)
However, I did get some pretty pictures, even if my subject matter wasn’t very exciting. Some of these photos are in the class of photos that can be described as shots that only non-underwater-photographers like. The colors and form are nice, but there is no interesting subject from a marine-life perspective. “Where’s the shrimp? Where’s the crab?” marine photographers will ask, just before I smack them in the head with the nearest blunt object. There is no damn shrimp, and there is no damn crab! It’s just color, and form! I’m not angry. It’s just a basic disagreement over aesthetics. :)
Finally, you can see a video
(298Kb, Windows Media Format) of Zoe (Jim and Anna’s macaw) and me, talking in the shower. By the way, I absolutely hate
my voice in that video. I sound like… I sound like Kenny
, when he is talking to a girl, except that I’m talking to a bird.
A scorpionfish. He actually bit my gloved fingers.
[see all photos]
me, trying to be artsy
Fresh water showers. Who would have thought that they would be such a luxury?? I’m staying here in West Palm Beach with Jim and Anna
, and they told me that I could take one for as long as I wanted to. :)
I miss the Sharklab, and I really miss the people there. The thought crossed my mind today that that I should harrass Doc to try to get a longer gig there, but I’m pushing it out of the realm of possibility for the time being because I have intermittent plans until the new year.
I’m not really browsing the web anymore. It’s actually quite nice: I have no urge to do anything online other than check world news and the ongoings at a few of my friends’ sites. I hope I can keep this up! In related news, my inbox has grown to over 300 messages now. It’s hopeless…
I feel distant from my friends and family on the West Coast. I need to see them.
Hey, cool! I just found out that I got the cover of Dive Magazine‘s July 2003 issue! People have been writing to congratulating me, but I didn’t know about it and was pretty confused. I mean, I was interviewed for it, but I thought it would be just a little spread somewhere. :) The same thing happened with the EPIC photo competition; in fact, I have still not heard a peep from them, which is just bizarre.
Also cool is that footage of me swimming and photographing great hammerhead sharks and caribbean reef sharks is featured in Dive Magazine’ Shark Issue DVD (shot by both John McIntyre and Jim Abernethy). Jim dropped it off when he came by to see Doc and me yesterday (the Shearwater happened to be in Bimini, so he drove his little 15HP zodiac eight miles to the Sharklab, and then to the North Sound. He is insane. :).
PIT is winding down, which is a little sad. We have our last day of tagging tomorrow night (I’m not going — I’m on the home team), followed by a few days of other activities. I’ll be back in the States soon!
From: Shark Lab
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 4:31 PM
To: Shark Fanatics
Subject: News from the Bimini Biological Field Station
Dear shark fanatics,
For the ninth consecutive year the Sharklab (BBFS) will be marking and genetically sampling the entire cohort of lemon sharks at Bimini, Bahamas, between May 30th and June 22nd. We are fortunate this year to have the skilled services of photographer and writer Eric Cheng, who edits and administers Wetpixel.com, a web site dedicated to digital underwater photography. Eric is part of the research team and will be documenting the progress of the research effort by posting images and a daily description of the activities of the shark team at the following URL:
Please visit the web site to find out what the Sharklab is up to!
Bimini Biological Field Station
South Bimini, Bahamas
June 5, 2003
I’m still alive! Check out the real-time report over at Wetpixel. :) If you’re
here from the Wetpixel report, please feel free to leave a comment. :)