What a good little while it's been, starting on Friday with (I think - marks aren't out yet) killing at my Mandarin exam. Trying desperately to cram all the shit I'd forgot in Vancouver and the shit I hadn't learnt yet produced a series of declics and in the end went beyond cramming into breakthrough territory. One must be calm; language learning is an unlimited series of breakthroughs after frustrating plateaus, each making the proceeding stage look like absolute retardation. But a couple more months like this, and I'll start putting " Elementary knowledge of Standard Chinese" on my resume, and I don't have the balls to lie on my resume.
Then the Windsong festival on Saturday, which was very nice. It's hard to believe the format isn't more popular since it seemed pretty good for the musicians and the organizer involved, in financial terms. However, it wouldn't have been spectacular for the organizer in financial terms - no selling places to vendors - and I think I have the answer to why the format isn't popular right there. I think the organizer turned a profit, but probably not one enough for someone whose heart wasn't deeply into what he was doing to feel compensated for the man hours. People bandy around terms like "commitment" and "doing what you love" a lot, but do they? Do they fuck. Anyways, even someone like me who isn't nuts about folk music could really love on a festival like that.
Since then we've been out bush, while Mum is at bandcamp and I work and prepare for second year Mandarin, which starts tomorrow morning at 5 fucking am. Melbine and her family joined us for too short a time, and gosh it was nice to see her. God, she's such a good mum. And those kids are terrific. Clever and adorable or, to be all standard Chinese about it, 很可爱， 也很聪明。It was so nice to get a chance to get to know them and (since if I didn't write something about running, this wouldn't be the Dread Pirate Jessica's blog as it is these days) so nice to spend time with Melbine after so long, including a nice little run around the park while her patient husband was patient.
Now that I think about it, she's actually only the second person I've run with, after the F-word. I'd been planning to run with my double cousin and her new man the other day, but when they were late coming by the cabin I went on my own, in some relief because her new man (who is in his 50s but chiselled like a fucking Greek statue - my doublecousin may be the closest thing I've got to a sister but oh yes, I've looked, and come on, I haven't got laid in almost a month now, so I won't accept judgement for the way I'm turning into a human-sized wet spot) was some sort of Olympic runner and would have gone too fast. Melbine is not an Olympic runner, though pushing out three kids is probably more of a workout than that, but she still had to slow down for me. Anyways, it was terrific to have the catch-up, both in and out of breath.