Anyway, that was the highlight of Saturday. On Sunday, 28 February, I went to Michael's for lunch. More specifically, Dominic was bullied into making a quiche by Wei-Yun and it was slated to take place at Michael's on 28 February, 1pm. I'd gone for a run in the morning, and of course, when I say 'morning', I really mean late morning, closer to noon; and I wanted to do this 10-minute abs exercise that Dominic introduced to me, but I was afraid of being late for lunch and so I skipped it.
I should have known that lunch wasn't going to be served on time, considering Dominic was making it. When someone finally opened the door and let me in (the doorbell doesn't work), it was around 1.10pm. Dominic said, 'The quiche will be another 20 minutes.' And he wasn't kidding.
I foisted my large box of milk chocolate Lindors on everyone. I bought it on a whim and regretted it when I realised how huge the box was; it was even bigger than my face. Hence, the lunch was a good opportunity to distribute the burden that I would otherwise have borne around my waistline. It was a good decision because people liked it, so yay.
Michael made a delicious salad of quinoa and beetroot and rocket and this amazing dressing which I still need to ask him about. When the quiche was finally ready, Wei-Yun was ultra excited, and so was I. When I bit into it, my first thought was, 'Eh, why not salty one?' But despite the lack of salt - he later confessed that he forgot to put salt - it was quite yummy. It was a leeks and mushroom quiche and the leeks were delicious. He wanted to make it with courgette but I told him that I don't like courgette (honestly, I don't really know what it is save that it's cucumber-like and I hate cucumbers), and he said, 'I won't make something that you don't like.'
Alastair made a Viennese/Austrian apple strudel for dessert. I think it was a bit overbaked but the filling was really delicious, so it was nice. We all - 'we' meaning me, Dominic, Wei-Yun, Michael, Alastair, Shirley and David - sat around and talked until 5pm. It was actually really late, considering I really had to clean up the side project that I was doing and Dominic also had to work. In fact, he thought that we'd be done by 3.30pm. HA! He was so wrong.
All in all, it was an enjoyable afternoon: good food, good company, good conversation. People kind of talked about human rights and natural law. I made some perfunctory comments and I was mostly non-committal. Whenever Wei-Yun bullied Dominic and Dominic was all, 'Why are you doing this?' I would say, 'It's funny!'
I focused really hard on the project for about 3-4 hours, minus the time it took me to make this new pasta that I saw on the New York Times ages ago. I even worked on it while I ate, which I hardly ever do. It was, in fact, the second time I ate and worked at the same time; the previous time was when I was rushing to finish something to submit to my supervisors. At 10.10pm, Dominic and I met at the Punter for a quick drink. I discovered that he can totally work as a mouthpiece for the Singapore government when the government wants to justify their human rights policy. He is almost the complete opposite of me when it comes to these issues - he is as conservative as I am liberal. It is insane! I told him about the section 377A situation, about the "compromise" that the government (thought it) made by retaining it, and he said, 'That's entirely reasonable.' He also thinks that Europe is on a downward spiral, that values are being eroded, that people are too individualistic, that there isn't an emphasis on the betterment of society as a whole. He sounded almost exactly like Lee Kuan Yew's interview with Foreign Affairs when LKY said that America's problems (in the 1990s) was due to an expansion of the right of the individual to do as he pleases. It was really quite a crazy mindfucking moment for me, when I realised how PAP-esque Dominic is. I think it's useful for me though: if I ever need to test my arguments, I can just present them to him and he'd of course have something to say against it, and if I can rebut him, then it means my arguments are sound and his/the Singapore government's are rubbish, and if I can't, then I need to refine my arguments. I am very much liking the accidental utility to my PhD that my dating him has produced.
29 February: On Sunday, I asked Dominic if he wanted to come with me to John's concert. John plays the cello in the university orchestra and they had a concert on the evening of 29 February. When I told Dominic that they were playing Dvorak's New World Symphony, he was like, 'Ugh!' with the look of disdain that he usually pulls when something isn't to his liking (which is quite often). On Monday at about 11am, he messaged me on Facebook to say that he probably wouldn't be able to make the concert because he wanted to work. I was disappointed, obviously, but I replied saying okay sure no problem. Then he told me that he was around the law faculty and asked if I wanted to have coffee at about 3.30pm. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to see him in daylight on a weekday, I said okay! I was also SUPER sleepy due to my having to wake up way too early for 9am research seminar, so I welcomed the coffee break.
Over coffee, I inadvertently guilt tripped him a bit about not going to the concert with me. It started innocently enough; all I did was to confirm that he wasn't going to the concert (he confirmed it) and I think he asked if it was okay with me. I tried be indirect about it by asking, 'What if I'm upset?' He didn't entertain my attempt at the hypothetical; he said, 'But are you really upset?'
In the end, I admitted that I was a bit disappointed, but that it was okay if he wanted to work instead. I also meant it. I don't see the point in making him do something that he isn't inclined to do on his own volition. I was perfectly fine with going to the concert on my own; it wasn't some fancy concert in London or anything, so it didn't matter that much.
When we parted, I was under the impression that we'd agreed that he wouldn't go with me; so imagine my surprise when I saw a message from him saying that he'd had a think about it on the way back to the maths department and he'd decided to go with me after all. Later, he said, 'I thought maybe you'd like me to go with you.'
When he puts his mind to it, he can be quite sweet.
All that being said, I totally did him a favour. He ended up liking it more than he'd thought he would. In fact, he didn't even know Dvorak's New World Symphony. He even had the piece confused with the first piece, a Mendelssohn piece, because the programme had the order of the pieces wrong. I definitely took him to task for judging Dvorak's New World Symphony on Sunday when he didn't even know it!
Still, it was really cute when I noticed during the concert that he was really getting into the music. I was very pleased that he'd decided to go with me in the end. It was nicer with him next to me.
I also enjoyed the concert regardless. Of course, it wasn't perfect; in particular, I noticed that the trumpets were off as fuck during the beginning of the fourth movement of the New World Symphony. Dominic noticed that the strings were also off at some parts. But I think it was good overall. I really, really enjoyed Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor. The pianist was really good. He also looked like he was 16, so he's probably an undergrad. The fourth movement of New World Symphony is a bit long and repetitive, which I never really noticed; I'd heard it a million times on the radio in my mom's car, but I'd never paid that much attention, certainly not the attention that is required and which will be paid when you're sitting in a concert hall listening to a performance of the piece. It's a bit bombastic and lacking in elegance, but I like it. I also really like the second movement now. It's not as popularly played as the fourth movement so I wasn't as familiar with it, but god, it was pretty in parts.
I am really into classical music now. I just bought Arthur Rubinstein's playing (?) of the Grieg piano concerto, together with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor. I kind of wish that I didn't give up on the piano when I was 16; it would be so nice to be able to play some of my favourite piano pieces. Alas, it is too late now.
I have some thoughts that I don't want to write publicly, so I will post this and write the private entry now.