Monday, July 12, 2004

obnubilate, impecunious, numismatic

Today's update will be large. I had a lot of fun at NEARfest, but more on that later. First thing's first - I wrote this entry about 2 weeks ago:
It may be that I won't be able to get reimbursed for a Kaplan GRE review course. Vidya's GRE review class turned out to be a part of the Harvard Summer School program, hence, it is eligible for tuition reimbursement. A requirement for the tuition benefit reads that the type of school must be: "Any accredited High School, Trade School, College or University". I doubt Kaplan is any of those. Before I give up I think I'll inquire on other schools to see if they have a GRE review course for the fall. Otherwise, either I pay the $1,000 myself for the Kaplan class or I get up off my lazy ass and start seriously reviewing on my own. Dammit! Is $1,000 worth the peace of mind? Kaplan's guarantee is "you get a higher score than your previous GRE score or your initial diagnostic exam or your money back". Check out my practice exam scores. Meh.

Either way I think I'll be taking the General GRE Test sooner than I initially planned. I'm now thinking August, so as to give myself more time to review for the Subject Test in November.


A lot has happened since, but what hasn't changed is my resolve to get into a graduate school program by Sept 2005. In fact, I am at the point that, if I can help it, I will let nothing get in the way of that plan. So, I signed up for the Kaplan course last Thursday. My GRE review and test schedule will be as follows:
July 13 to August 10 - Kaplan class Tuesday and Thursdays
August 15 - take the GRE General Test
That's just a month away now. Yikes!

So back to NEARfest...well...before that I just want to document that the best way to get to NJ is NOT to take I-95, and NOT to use the Tappan Zee bridge. My drive down to friday's concert took 7 hours. 2 hours of which was spent in a crawl during the rush hour frenzy between 5 and 7 pm. Henceforth, the route shall be as such:
1. Route 9 W
2. 95 N
3. 90 W (MA turnpike)
4. 84 W (exit 9)
* cross into Connecticut
* cross into NY
5. 87 S
6. 287 S
As I got closer to the venue, I had to drive slow, despite my dilatoriness, so as not to miss my turns because the signs were obnubilated by foliage. Someone really ought to cut those insidious trees and shrubs. To add insult to injury, about 10 minutes from the venue, my gas lamp merrily declared itself "low on fuel" causing me to make a detour to look for a gas station. So it takes a full tank of gas to get fom Boston, MA to Bethlehem, PA in a Ford Focus -- not quite fuel efficient if you ask me. Naturally, I arrived 30 minutes late for the NEARfest pre-concert by the Musical Box, a Genesis tribute band. They were playing "Cinema Show" as I was looking for my seat. They played the entire Selling England By the Pound and classics from Foxtrot ("Supper's Ready"!!!) and Nursery Cryme ("The Musical Box"!!!). I'm pretty sure I missed "Watcher of the Skies", my all time fave Genesis tune. Bummer. The remainder of show was worth it. They basically performed as the classic lineup would've played it during the early 70s, complete with on stage banter and fumbles. I now understand what "Firth of Fifth" actually refered to. Funny stuff. Amazing music.

Before I forget, it is usually tradition for prog fans in newsgroups and chatrooms to post their "loot" after coming back from these festivals/record conventions for all to peruse, envy, or make fun of. Sort of like: "mine is bigger than yours" or "HA! I got the last copy of [insert out of print album here]" or "I am one of the elite few who has a copy of [insert rare, obscure album here]". Anyway, here's mine, in no particular order:
Art Bears - The Art Box (6CD set)
Absolute Zero - Crashing Icons
Khan - Space Shanty
Noetra - Definitivement Bleus
Daimonji - Improg
Guapo - Five Suns
Ahvak - Ahvak
John Hollenbeck - The Claudia Quintet
The Claudia Quintet - I, Claudia
The Necks - The Boys (music from the feature film)
The Necks - Aether
Hidria Spacefolk - Balansia
Universal Totem Orchestra - Rituale Alieno
Fred Frith - Gravity
Olive Mess - Gramercy
Jan Hammer - The First Seven Days
Yezda Urfa - Boris
Tangerine Dream - Tangram
Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure
Gentle Giant - Giant on the Box (DVD)
\m/ Rock on !!! \m/

This, of course, offically makes me impecunious, penurious, pecuniarily destitute, numismaticaly indigent even!

Hmm...I didn't get to narrate the NEARfest-proper events and I'm suddenly feeling exhausted and sleepy. I guess there'll be a part 2 for this post. Stay tuned.

now playing: Absolute Zero - Crashing Icons