Things that Piss Me Off Rant #1: The MTA and the Local Post Office
So today started as one of those average days, as I was making my way to Queens after my theology class, so I could volunteer. (I tutor a group of Tibetan children, ages 7-9, every Wednesday. Oh and I’ve recently become the unofficial art teacher and run “fun” art activities for them) Since yesterday was the start of Mardi Gras, I had an epiphany this morning and was like “oh em gee the kids should make Mardi Gras masks today” :D
When I got to the station, I realized that I forgot to refill my metrocard and thought no biggie, I’ll just refill it. So I insert a $20 in the machine and patiently wait for my card. I wait. And wait. And I don’t get my card. Or my $20 back either. It turns out the transaction failed due to the machine’s inability to “encode media.” I honestly still have no idea what the hell that means.
My first reaction is “fuck. I’m going to be late.” My second reaction is “shit. that was all the money I had.” And my third reaction is *gesticulates angrily at the MTA machine* Damn you MTA machine of doom. Seriously MTA? You seem perfectly capable of jacking up your fares like every two months, but you can’t even keep tabs on your incompetent vending machines? Which btw also like to suck and not accept certain credit cards at times - I remember seeing this poor soul the other day who had to swipe her credit card literally 5 TIMES IN A ROW before the machine recognized her card.
So I am forced to admit defeat and go home without seeing my little monsters (my affectionate nickname for the kids I tutor) When I call MTA so I can film a claim, I am of course greeted by the splendors of bureaucracy and then take part of a wild goose chase called “pick a number, then pick another number.” Surprisingly, I do not have the privilege of listening to Beethoven while I wait for a customer service representative. Oh and of course during all this I am kindly reminded by MTA that their claims/refund center is also experiencing a backlog at this time. Translation: your $20 is ours, sucker. well at least for a good while.
So after this experience, my thoughts are as followed: Screw you MTA for your fare hikes. Screw you MTA for your incompetent vending machines. Screw you MTA for taking ma money. But most of all, screw you MTA for preventing me from visiting my little monsters and depriving them of their fun art activity today.
And you ever have those days where you think your day can’t any worse but it does? Yup. that was mine.
While quietly seething in rage about MTA, my father casually mentions that my application for a summer internship I was applying for was returned. Accompanied is a return to sender sticker, claiming the address doesn’t exist. So my first thought is “wahhh??” followed by my second thought “shit. the deadline was last week.”
But alas! When I double check the website and call the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the organization, she confirms the same zip code of 10011. It would appear that some doofus at my local post office thought he or she knew the address better than I did, and deduced that I had meant to write “10001” instead of “10011.” Note below how this individual has circled the first 1 on the zip code and replaced it with 0.
Yeah. no wonder the mailman couldn’t deliver my application, its cuz you know, you decided to completely CHANGE THE ZIP CODE without my knowledge. Which btw if it confused you, a simple google maps search would have sufficed, and is where you could see that the zip code 10011 CLEARLY EXISTS.
Eh. But I was able to re-send the application today via UPS overnight shipping. (thank you lord for having the local UPS store 2 minutes from my house) Buttt I’ve still missed the deadline now. So damn you local post office.
= basically epitomizes how I feel right now.
So, I guess I’ll just go and drown my sorrows with tequila lime chicken wings and grape juice now - yes. that is actually what I’m having for dinner :p
Marie Feret as Nannerl Mozart and Clovis Fouin as Le Dauphin
Saw a screening of the film “Mozart’s Sister” (La Soeur de Mozart) at the Rendez-vous with French Cinema film festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center today. The film, directed by Rene Feret starred Marie Feret as the 14-year-old Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart, David Moreau as the adorable 11-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Clovis Fouin as Louis de France (Le Dauphin)
The film, as stated by the title focuses on Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang’s elder sister and a musical prodigy in her own right. Despite Nannerl’s obvious musical talent, it is clear that she is overshadowed by her younger brother Wolfgang, who their slightly tyrannical father Leopold, pays the most attention to. Nannerl eventually becomes forbidden to play the violin or compose music as she approaches marriageable age. You can really see how torn Nannerl is between obeying her father’s orders and pursuing her interest in composition and the violin, due to the limitations imposed on her as a woman in 18th century French society.
While the film takes some liberties such as fictionalizing Nannerl and the Dauphin’s romance, since it was probably a speculative account, I really enjoyed it overall. I’ve rarely come across French period dramas in general, and I think Feret did a solid job on a modest budget. Marie Feret did a convincing job as portraying Nannerl Mozart, and you really feel the frustration, yearning, and emotion behind the character. David Moreau, (who oddly reminds me of a French version of British actor Thomas Sangster) was delightful as the talented but mischievous incarnation of the 11-year-old Mozart pictured below.
Ahhh, you had no idea how much I wanted to glomp this little boy in the film heheh.
But I was really taken with Clovis Fouin’s portrayal of the seemingly sweet, shy Dauphin, the son of Louis XV. For me, there was something definitely about Fouin’s charm that was disarming to the viewer. Eh. well maybe it also has to do with the fact that I was still attracted to Fouin, despite the boatload of makeup and silly white wig he wore all throughout the duration of the film :p
Overall, I think “Mozart’s Sister” is a delight for both film and music lovers. In the tradition of most period films, the pace is slow and thoughtful. However, it still proves to be beautiful, sad film that grabs your interest in a subtle and quiet manner - note: if you’re a person that likes happy endings, then this film might not be for you. While its not the most spectacular period drama I’ve seen, the gorgeous cinematography, the lovely set design, (some scenes were actually shot in Versailles) and elaborate costumes still make it a relatively authentic and enjoyable film.
I absolutely adore this song to death, and I can’t help but tear up sometimes when I listen to it - It never fails to transport me somewhere else every time.
I know that you’re hiding things Using gentle words to shelter me Your words were like a dream But dreams could never fool me Not that easily
I acted so distant then Didn’t say goodbye before you left But I was listening You’ll fight your battles far from me Far too easily
“Save your tears ‘cause I’ll come back” I could hear that you whispered as you walked through that door But still I swore to hide the pain when I turn back the pages Shouting might have been the answer What if I’d cried my eyes out and begged you not to depart? But now I’m not afraid to say what’s in my heart
Though a thousand words Have never been spoken They’ll fly to you Crossing over the time and distance holding you Suspended on silver wings
And a thousand words One thousand confessions Will cradle you Making all of the pain you feel seem far away They’ll hold you forever
The dream isn’t over yet Though I often say I can forget I still relive that day You’ve been there with me all the way I still hear you say
“Wait for me, I’ll write you letters” I could see how you stammered with your eyes to the floor But still I swore to hide the doubt when I turn back the pages Anger might have been the answer What if I’d hung my head and said that I couldn’t wait? But now I’m strong enough to know it’s not too late
‘Cause a thousand words Call out through the ages They’ll fly to you Even though I can’t see, I know they’re reaching you Suspended on silver wings
Oh, a thousand words One thousand embraces Will cradle you Making all of your weary days seem far away They’ll hold you forever
Oh, a thousand words Have never been spoken They’ll fly to you They’ll carry you home and back into my arms Suspended on silver wings ohhhh
And a thousand words Call out through the ages They’ll cradle you Turning all of the lonely years to only days They’ll hold you forever Ohhhhhhhh A Thousand Words
The Merovingians: My New Favorite Dysfuntional Royal Family
Queen Fredegund appearing to be trying her stuff her own daughter Rigunth in a treasure chest. Wow. Its nice to know that when my mum gets mad at me, she doesn’t have an urgent need to stuff my head in a treasure chest.
It’s Official. The Merovingians are one of my new fav. dysfunctional royal families throughout history, probably only second to the Tudors. Basically I was doing some text reading for medieval history, and after reading about Clovis, I thought the rest of the Merovingians weren’t gonna be that interesting.
Boy was I was wrong.
When I get to the section about Clovis’ grandsons, three brothers named Sigebert, Chilperic, and Gunthram, (how awesome are those names?) I suddenly go from reading about boring ol’ Frankish politics to reading about “a wild, barbaric tale of treachery, violence and lust.” (yup. that’s actually how my textbook describes it.) Best part is everything is true of course. heheh. Now to give you a quick rundown of Frankish politics, basically after Clovis’ death, the empire was split four parts: Aquitaine, Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. Sigebert ruled Austrasia, Guntram ruled Burgunday, and Chilperic ruled Neustria.
For Sigebert, he decided that only a “real” princess would do for his wife, so he married Brunhilde, a Spanish princess. Chilperic apparently got mad jealous, so he made negotiations to marry Brundhilde’s sister Galswintha. At first, Chilperic was cool with this b/c Galswintha brought along like shitload of treasure with her. But, alas after a months he “tired of her” and had her strangled, and married his “depraved” mistress Fredegund (wow. what an ass.) So you know, the whole murdering your sister-in-law thing didn’t bode too well with Sigebert and Brunhilde, so a bitter blood feud broke out, with Sigebert invading and conquering Neustria.
But…of course this didn’t bode well with Fredegund either, so she sent an assassin who stabbed Sigbert to death. (oh no she didn’t!) So, the Austrasians were forced to fled back to their own land, since they didn’t have a king anymore. Brunhilde, surprisingly, was just sent into exile in Rouen. That would be the end of the story right?
Haha. Nope. Not by a long shot :p
Apparently, Chilperic had a “rebellious” son named Merovech who fell in love with his aunt Brunhilde and married her. (cuz you know, marrying ur aunt was totally okay back then) Chilperic then sent an army after them, (wonderful father, that Chilperic, isn’t he?) and Merovech supposedly had himself killed to avoid capture, while Brunhilde escaped again. Though we all know, Merovech’s death was probably arranged by Fredegund…
Chilperic was eventually assassinated (thank you!) and when Guntram died, Brunhilde’s son Childebert inherited Burgundy and united it with Austrasia. Only to then die within two years, apparently poisoned. (seriously, dude?) Shockingly, Fredegund doesn’t appear to have been responsible for Childebert’s death as she died in the same year. (now that actually is a shocker.)
So, Brunhilde basically emerged as the victor, as ruler of both Burgundy and Austrasia. (which I guess, is a nice consolation prize after surviving the death of your 1st husband, your 2nd husband, and your son) However… the Austrasian nobles who “tired of their alien, imperious old queen” double-crossed her and turned to Clothar II of Nuestria for leadership. (what assholes…) Oh and yeah, he also happened to be the son of Chilperic and Fredegund. (Oh shit.)
Clothar II continued his mother’s blood feud with Brunhilde and captured her. He had his aunt tortured for three days, and then tied to the tail of a wild horse and dragged to death. (well I guess like father, like son) And that was the end of the feud, while Clothar II then ruled over the entire kingdom of the Franks.
Now I gotta say, there’s something to be said about the women (Fredegund and Brunhilde) in this story. Note how both of them survived their husbands, and appeared to be the ones that wielded true power. Gregory of Tours, who chronicled Merovingian history, even noted how these two hated each other so much, that were able to persuade their husbands to go to war with one another in the first place.
Badass, albeit somewhat bloodthirsty queens in history = WIN. :D