We sang today in Princeton, for a wonderful friendly gig in the world’s most modern town hall. We arrived at my house about midnight. There’s some talk of watching a movie, but really everyone’s too wiped, and we’ll probably just go to sleep.


I woke up this morning to the sound of a rainstorm, and voices. As I woke up and began to understand what they were talking about, I learned that one of my fellow Chorallaries had clogged the toilet upstairs, which had flooded and was leaking through the ceiling onto the ping-pong table below, making enough dripping sound for a downpour.

In the end, they turned off the main water valve, aired out the ceiling tiles, and laid down a bunch of towels.

Luckily, it’s an absolutely beautiful, perfect day outside.


Ten years ago, my family and I went on a vacation trip to Italy over my spring break. I was in sixth grade at the time. We were inspired to go because we had won a drawing that I had entered (in my mother’s name) at AAA a few years earlier, while booking tickets for a different vacation. The prize was a free two-week Globus bus tour of our choice, including, breakfast, dinner, hotels, and sightseeing, for two. We eventually chose Italy, in part due to my family’s connection with the country. We flew on my grandfather’s frequent flyer miles and my parents paid a children’s rate for me. It was a fun trip, and I still remember much of it vividly.

My mother demanded that I keep a diary while I was on vacation. This seemed like a very silly thing to ten-year-old Ben, but since I still have the diary I have decided to post each entry ten years to the day after it was written. I’m transcribing the text. I thought about posting pictures of the pages, but there’s really no point: my handwriting hasn’t changed since I was ten. Reading it, you may decide that a few other things have.

Hard Driving

Geoff hosted the Chorallaries last night. He was beyond hospitable (thanks Geoff!), but since he lives alone, it was no surprise that he didn’t have enough blankets for all the blanketless Chorallaries. I was really beat by the end of the night’s partying, so once I took a shower I decided to put on two layers of pants and crash on the hardwood floor with a pillow. It was cold, but I was too tired to deal with it.

I woke up this morning at 6, my hands and feet numb with cold. Undeterred, I found my car keys, got my North Face jacket out of the car, laid down my towel for insulation from the floor, put on my boots, and went back to sleep.

We first drove into Manhattan, intending to spend the day there before our evening gig. I used my GPS to navigate, as usual. Unfortunately, it works less than perfectly in the narrow metal canyons of The City. Combined with the near-impossibility of parking, it was after 1 PM by the time we got out. We were starving, and wet to a bank to withdraw money so we could get some food. While we were there I got a surprise call from my girlfriend who, in a bizarre coincidence, was directly across the street. We all walked together for a few minutes before myself and two other Chorallaries went to the MoMA. We all went out to dinner together before the performance.

Afterward, my GPS was having trouble routing us, and we spent half an hour wandering in darkest Newark before I realized that I’d left it in Pedestrian mode, and it was trying to route us from Manhattan to our host’s house by foot.

Tomorrow: Princeton.

Edit: I misspelled the title. I’m dumb.

In the process of outfitting my phone with some music (it functions not unlike an iPod) I ran across a great song, or at least it’s great if you like techno beatbox remixes of hardcore meta gangsta rap. More to the point, it’s released under a Creative Commons license.

If freely-licensed music that sounds like Eminem but happy is your thing, check out
http://ccmixter.org/media/files/marc/4492 .


After a reasonably uneventful 4-hour trip, we’ve all arrived at Prathima’s house in Staten Island. Like most houses in Staten Island, it’s a very nice place, in a good neighborhood, about two blocks from the biggest garbage dump of all time.

I spent last night prepping for the trip, and in particular, tricking out my cell phone. Most notably, I downloaded a movie from a DVD onto my phone, and installed an SSH client (The geek gold standard of internet connectivity). I also got some cables in an attempt to connect it to my car, which worked less well. Radio Shack doesn’t seem to have quite the right adapter.

Tonight is just for fun, and rehearsing to adjust for only having half the group. Tomorrow is our first performance.


We just performed, by which I mean competed. We had a darn good 12 minutes, good enough that if we don’t win, I will not have to wonder about what we could have done differently.

So now it’s a waiting game, followed by a partying game, followed by a touring-the-northeast game.

This is going to be a great spring break.