musesfool: boxing!Kara (but you can see the cracks)
[personal profile] musesfool
Wednesday! Books!

What I've just finished
The Five-Minute Marriage by Joan Aiken, which is delightful! If a little short on true romance. But the shenanigans are pretty hilarious and enjoyable, so I didn't mind the lack of feels too much.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, which was very charming. The funny thing is, I never really knew what it was until I read Between Silk and Cyanide (which I highly, highly recommend), because Leo Marks, the author of that, was the son of the owner and he mentions it in his book, and I was like, "wasn't that a movie? or something?" but now I have read it and I feel like a gap in my cultural knowledge has been filled. *g*

What I'm reading now
Speaking of gaps in my cultural knowledge, I never did manage to read The Three Musketeers, though god knows I tried, and I have seen numerous adaptations (I didn't keep up with the most recent BBC one, but gosh, it had a super pretty cast), so I have a sketchy outline of the story in my head, and it seems like Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts is following it pretty well, except D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos are LADIES (and numerous other characters have been genderflipped as well) and it all takes place IN SPACE. So I am utterly enchanted with it, though I kind of wish Constance had been left a lady too (I am very fond of Constance and Constance/D'Artagnan). I guess the dude version here is all right. And Athos is somehow more enjoyable here than I usually find him. It seems like it should be ending soon and yet somehow I'm barely halfway through, so maybe there is more stuff I just don't know about coming! I'll report back next week! *g*

What I'm reading next
*hands* I know I mentioned The Lie Tree last week, and there's a ton of other stuff on my iPad, so we'll see. My recent viewing choices may have an influence.

So last night, I finished season 1 of The Expanse. Unfortunately, I can only get the last 5 or 6 episodes of season 2 streaming on Syfy or via on-demand. What even is that model of streaming shows? If I can't watch the beginning of the season of a highly serialized show, why on earth would I watch the ending? Maybe if it didn't cost $30 for 13 episodes I'd spring for the season, but as it is, I'm just annoyed.

ANYWAY. That has nothing to do with the show, which I enjoyed, even though I can't say I'm all that invested in most of the characters.

Otoh, I am really digging the whole "Amos is kind of a sociopathic hothead whose first resort is always violence, so he uses Naomi as his moral authority" thing they've got going on. I haven't gone looking for fic because I don't want to be spoiled, but surely someone must be writing stuff where she doms the hell out of him, yeah?

spoiler )

Otoh, I want to know EVERYTHING about Naomi Nagata. And her service sub, Amos, who I like way more than I probably should. I think it's the fact that he looks like the love child of Aaron Douglas and Stephen Amell, and he has such dewy wide eyes. And great biceps. Idek. *facepalm*

On the third hand, the world-building is a lot of fun, Jared Harris is clearly having a ball, I yell CUTTY every time Fred Johnson appears, and Shohreh Aghdashloo is a joy to behold. If you are looking for a show to fill the BSG-shaped hole in your heart, this could do it, though sadly the characters are nowhere near as viscerally endearing as Starbuck, Roslin, and Adama were for me from the start.

Now I have to decide if I want to spring for season 2, or just wait until it shows up on Netflix, though even season 1 isn't on Netflix atm. Sigh. I think I have the first book in the series - is it worth reading?

***

Wednesday Reading

Jun. 28th, 2017 08:54 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I read books!

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch was engrossing and satisfying, and now I'm ready for the new book in the series. I hope this trend of More! Guleed! continues. I am loving Tyburn as a character and hope to see more of her.

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard was more depressing than I was in the mood for, but did have the virtue of making me homesick for Vietnam, a place I've never been. (It was very odd reading about dark corridors being strangled by magic while lounging next to a pool in the sun, watching The Tots frolic.)

There's a lot going on about privilege and colonialism and autonomy and change.

See, there were positive sides to a House. But of course there were. Of course there would be good people like her, like Laure—within Silverspires, within Hawthorn—even within House Draken, where Theophraste the tailor had been kind, and sorry to see the Annamite troops drafted in the war, and made his best effort to cut them uniforms with flowing patterns like those on Annamite silk, and handed them scraps of cloth they could use as blankets against the killing cold. It hadn’t changed a thing. Such people’s lives were richer, easier because of the House system. And in turn, the House system existed only because such kind, gentle people kept pledging themselves to it and strengthening it from within. They were all complicit, without exception. And so was Isabelle. “What threatens the House?”

I think if you like Tansy Rayner Roberts' Creature Court books, you'll like this (and vice versa); they had a similar tone to me, great powers losing their power and trying to deal with that.

Coincidentally, the themes of the de Bodard had some echoes in the Fowler book I read next.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler has been on my TBR since before it came out. I think I'd call this literary fiction rather than specific. TW for primates in labs. It's about families, and how we think about families, and also about animals and how humans relate to them, how we treat each other, and what that says about us both. I was especially struck by the themes intersecting with my thoughts about the current American healthcare debate between those who think it's about money and those who think it's about people.

“We need a sort of reverse mirror test. Some way to identify those species smart enough to see themselves when they look at someone else. Bonus points for how far out the chain you can go. Double bonus for those who get all the way to insects.”

Once, she’d given me a raisin for every raisin she’d eaten, and now she had two poker chips and was giving me one. Two interesting behaviors--that was as far as Dad could go. Here is what I’d thought it meant. I’d thought Fern was apologizing. When you feel bad, I feel bad, is what I got from that red chip. We’re the same, you and I. My sister, Fern. In the whole wide world, my only red poker chip.

The NotSame was this: Like a chair or a car or a television, Fern could be bought and sold. The whole time she was living in the farmhouse with us as part of our family, the whole time she was keeping herself busy being our sister and daughter, she was, in fact, the property of Indiana University.

Daily Happiness

Jun. 28th, 2017 02:21 am
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. This morning and early afternoon was ridiculously super hectic, but thankfully things died down and I was able to get out of work at a reasonable time.

2. Some people at work got me a birthday cake today, which was totally unexpected and a nice surprise. :)

3. Look at these Molly paws!

Scanlations: Fulldrum ch. 4

Jun. 27th, 2017 08:34 pm
torachan: (fulldrum)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Fulldrum
Author: Hakoishi Toru
Publisher: Young Jump
Category: Seinen
Genre: Humor, Sports
Status in Japan: 1 volume, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Anima Regia
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Hino is obsessed with playing sports in high school, but not because he loves sports (he doesn't), or is any good at them (he's really not). He's doing it because that's the way to get a girlfriend (or so he thinks). After getting kicked out of half his school's sports clubs, he's still convinced he just hasn't found the sport he's truly destined for. When he (literally) runs into Noborito Ayako, manager of the rubgy club, it's love at first sight (for him), but all she's looking for is another warm body for the struggling rugby club. Could this be the chance he's been waiting for?

Chapter Summary: Hino is now convinced he's a rugby prodigy, but not everyone agrees.



Chapter 4: Hino's True Ability

(no subject)

Jun. 27th, 2017 03:03 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
We ended up at Palm Palace for dinner last night. The food and service were good, but even though I was conservative about what I ate, I ended up not feeling well due to a combination of gas and reflux. I think that the reflux was partly due to the gas and such, possibly even mainly due to it.

I slept badly last night. I never used the c-PAP at all because it seemed unwise with reflux and with me getting up repeatedly during the first couple of hours. I woke up with the sneezing and runny nose again, so apparently the c-PAP doesn't relate to that. Damned if I have any clue what's going on.

I guess I'll keep the extra appointment I have with my doctor next month (I was supposed to cancel it in favor of the scheduled follow up in August, but I held onto it in case something came up). My chances of getting in to see her any earlier are almost zero. I didn't want to keep that appointment because it Thursday during Art Fair. That week is pretty much the worst time to go to UHS all year long as all the buses will be both detoured and packed. My dentist appointment, in the same general area, is the Monday of that week, but that should be before the detours start. Official Art Fair is usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with set up on Wednesday.

The technician came today to do the tune up on the air conditioner. He says it all looks good (which isn't surprising given that the unit is only two or three years old). The woman from their office who called to let me know that he was on his way kind of freaked me out because she insisted that all of our windows had to be closed in order for him to work. Scott declined to shut the windows last night because the predicted high for today was 73F, and I can't shut most of the dratted things on my own (and Cordelia was still asleep). She assured me that the technician could close them for me. He was puzzled as to why she'd think it would be necessary. He said that that requirement is for when it's actually cold outside. That is, if the windows are open and it's 50F outside, it's kind of hard to get the AC to do anything so that he can see how it's working.

Anyway, that's done until the furnace tune up in the fall. We get the same guy each time, and I like him.

I've gotten the trash out. I'm holding out on the recycling in hopes that I can break down some of the boxes in the basement and get rid of them. I like keeping a few boxes in case of wanting to send a package, but we've probably got thirty Amazon boxes down there. We don't need that many, and I know there's room in the bin for at least some of them to go.

So, It's Tuesday

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:54 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I watched the first few episodes of Lucifer with C. last weekend, and we commented on how, in real life, we'd be running the other way from that guy and his come-ons and insinuations.

I'm still thinking on the idea of angelic punishment, Lucifer's raison d'etre, because what does it accomplish, really, in the end? Those harmed by the punishee were still harmed, and will still suffer from it; that is not changed, and especially if the victim is dead, what do they gain? It all depends on your feelings about revenge, I suppose. Is the punishment of a criminal an act of justice, or is it merely a momentary strike against pain that already occurred? Punishment and justice can be very different things.

In boring news, my thigh still hurts; I discovered this by not taking a night dose of anti-inflammatory for two nights in a row and self-assessing each morning.

I complain about exercising when I'm forcing myself to get moving and go, but I also complain when I cannot exercise, because there is no winning here. I would really appreciate the stress relief and sense of virtue that comes after a workout.

I probably won't play softball this week, even though we have two games. Agh.

Hopefully, all my muscles will not dissipate by the time I have no more resting pain/ache and can once again drag myself to the gym.

I did read three books this week, which hasn't happened in a while.

Going out to dinner with friends tonight, which ought to cheer me up.

Also, a big deadline at dayjob yesterday appears to have gone okay. Go me.

random updates

Jun. 27th, 2017 08:53 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Last week I posted under lock about a mysterious bump on my thyroid and sore throat that I'd gone to the doc for. Had the scan on Wednesday, got the results on Friday: just a cyst. Yay. Doc says we'll rescan in a year unless it changes dramatically.

Mom came up this weekend to go to one of the local art museums, which has an exhibition of paintings from a collection that focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including a lot of Impressionists. Alas, I am just not an Impressionist type of person. The painting I liked best was Alfred Sisley's Snow at Louveciennes, and that was because it reminded me of tramping through the snow in Arashiyama, Kyoto--the small hilly village, the snow, the feeling of cold in the air.

I pretty much spent the time Mom wasn't here playing Skyrim, and have come up with an actual motivation for Murderface 2.0! That shall wait for a real post. Let's just say it's petty and completely disproportionate to his actions.

I have discovered a brand of lactose-free yogurt and have been eating yogurt pretty steadily over the past few days thanks to antibiotic side effects, the less said about which the better. But plain yogurt with maple syrup is rather addictive.

And to end it all with, I now have another sore throat, which is much more obviously a respiratory-related thing than last week's was, and I am expecting to come down with a cold Any Moment Now, given my general run-down feeling right now. Alas. (I may be continuing to play Skyrim, in that case...)

Daily Happiness

Jun. 27th, 2017 12:54 am
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I had a nice, relaxing birthday. I really didn't want to go anywhere or do anything, so I didn't!

2. It was pretty hot and muggy today, but if the forecast is to be believed (and I would like to believe it), today was the worst and it should be getting cooler for the next ten days or so. (It's definitely cooled off a lot tonight.)

3. We ordered Indian food for dinner and it was super tasty. The place we got from was new to us, but I will definitely be ordering from them again in the future. Among other things, we got mango chicken masala, which was amazing. Also cheese naan.

4. I happened to see a really cute Darth Maul Funko Pop the other day and ordered it from Amazon as a birthday present for myself and it actually came right on my birthday. :D

5. Chloe is such a pretty kitty!

umadoshi: (Deadline Russian cover)
[personal profile] umadoshi
New DW Communities

[dreamwidth.org profile] drawesome is "a friendly community of fan-artists who enjoy drawing. We hope to inspire and motivate each other to practice and hone our drawing skills in a stress-free, supportive environment."

[dreamwidth.org profile] comicsroundtable is "a fannish community for comics discussion, reviews, and general chat."


Fannish/Geeky Things

Neat Twitter thread on Wonder Woman costuming, written by a costume designer.

"Wonder Woman Actor Says Chief Is Actually a Demi-God". [io9]

"Dungeons & Dragons Wouldn’t Be What It Is Today Without These Women".

"More Murderbot Adventures from Martha Wells". [Tor.com]


Miscellaneous

"Disney Princesses Reimagined Years Later As Queens By Daughters And Mothers". "The main idea was to portray the relationship between a true mother and daughter as the same princesses a generation apart to show the similarities, the features that are alike." (Related ~10-minute YouTube video, which I haven't watched.)

"Report Finds Diverse Movies Outperform White Ones At Every Level".

"Declawing: A new study shows we can’t look the other way".

"Host a Silent Reading Party in 7 Easy Steps". [Book Riot]

"Why Honeybees Are The Wrong Problem To Solve".

"Invention Saves Wildlife From Drowning in Swimming Pools".

"Sitka artist designs slinky dress from 20,000 salmon bones".

"How I use comic books as a learning tool in my social studies classroom". [March 2016]



On Atlas Obscura:

--"Most of the World’s Bread Clips Are Made by a Single Company".

--"Jupiter Is Even Weirder Than We Thought".

--"Laurel Dinosaur Park: This dig site outside D.C. is known for its exceptionally high density of baby dinosaur fossils and dinosaur eggs".

--"The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool".
chomiji: A young girl, wearing a backward baseball cap, enjoys a classic book (Books - sk8r grrl)
[personal profile] chomiji

The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gift exchange for fic based on children's and YA books and short stories from picture books to edgy teen novels. The FAQ can be found on Dreamwidth (and I think on LJ still).

So I had these dates ALL WRONG:

June 18th - June 27th - Sign-Ups
June 28th - Assignments Sent Out
August 21st - Deadline for Stories
August 28th - Collection Goes Live (Hmm, I need to ask the mod - it looks like they changed that date ... sometime the first week of September, at any rate)

Tag Set (on AO3)

Sign Up Form (on AO3)

Good timing for a Yuletide warmup, perhaps?

no totoro

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:35 pm
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Jesse and I went to go see "My Neighbor Totoro" at the theater. We get there and it's very nearly sold out; we get the last two tickets that someone was refunding. Neither of us are quite trained into the new system where you are supposed to always buy your tickets ahead of time, having lived our whole lives as spontaneous movie-goers.

I get some snacks and we settle into our seats. The movie starts, the cute song and the little girl walking. Soon we realize, we are seeing the Japanese version with no subtitles. Someone alerts the staff and the movie plays on. I'm happy to watch it this way-- the story is very simple and to me, not understanding the words only plays into the dream-like quality of Miyazaki movies. But not long into it, the movie pauses and the manager comes in, to apologize. He says that they got the wrong version, and they will be playing the English dubbed version. Some people in the audience object. My friend a row below us calls out for people to clap if they want the dubbed version vs. if they want the Japanese version. It's about evenly split.

Well, they must have decided to do the dubbed version because they stopped the film. We decided to leave and get our refund.

Anyways, that is our Totoro story!

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:21 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Today is our 24th anniversary. Scott took the day off so we could hang out together. We went into Ypsilanti to do some Ingress and got lunch at a diner called The Bomber.

Cordelia spent most of the afternoon with one of her friends downtown. She kept calling us and asking us to suggest things to do. I couldn't come up with anything she liked. They'd already gotten ice cream and didn't want any other type of food. They didn't want to window shop. They didn't want to actually shop. They didn't want to visit any museums. Pokemon Go and Ingress are too out of style to even be considered even if they had either on their phones.

Yesterday, Scott got the lawn mowed and cleaned out one of the two Time Capsule drives. The big problem we've got is that his hard drive is over a terabyte of family photos and videos. We may need to dedicate one of the drives to his machine and use the other for me and Cordelia, but that will require that Scott actually pay attention to what the program is doing and be willing to address the matter rapidly if one drive or the other stops working.

We watched two library DVDs last night and then returned them today (long, long waitlists). Both were amusing in different ways, and we even got Cordelia to join us in watching one of them.

Scott bewilders me by watching TV episodes on his laptop while he's also watching his brother playing games with active voices (and explosions). I think he flips back and forth in terms of the visuals. When I'm in the same room with him, I keep trying to follow what's going on just by listening, and... Yeah. Not working.

I used the c-PAP for a chunk of last night and didn't have any sneezing or runny nose today. Hopefully, that's done. I'm not sure how much the Ativan is actually helping and how much is just that I've got more time for sleeping to make up for the poor quality. I'm having trouble, when on my side, with getting adequate head support without dislodging the nasal pillows. I very much doubt that a different mask would help given that it seems to be the shape of my face changing depending on which bit the pillow is pressing against.

And now we're trying to come up with dinner ideas...

It's just a mountain, I can move it

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:12 pm
musesfool: art deco brandy ad (been drinking since half-past three)
[personal profile] musesfool
I was completely useless last night after several hours of day drinking. it was a lot of fun, but oy the headache that hit around 7 pm! Even though we definitely hydrated.

Now I have version 3 of some sort of bug bite balm cooling on the counter - it uses coconut oil, which I don't really like the smell of, so hopefully the tea tree oil, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender essential oils will cover that up. Though I would bear the smell if it meant the itching stopped.

I know I said I was done with trying to make anti-itch cream - hot water, ice, and rubbing alcohol in conjunction with benadryl and zyrtec seem to work best, tbh - but I figured third time's the charm? And I had all the ingredients so...I guess we'll see. Or maybe I am just super itchy, since i am super allergic to bites and swell up and get all welty.

I guess that's all the exciting news from here.

***

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:15 pm
such_heights: amy deep in thought (who: amy [dust after rain])
[personal profile] such_heights
It occurs to me I've been on twitter a lot the last two months, but nowhere else. So - hi. Still here. Grieving, but here.

Comments disabled as I think I've had as much sympathy as I can handle (it's much appreciated, just A Lot sometimes).

<3

Two Concerts

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:48 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I attended concerts on Saturday night and Sunday night.

Saturday was Night Music, playing the following on period instruments with a pick-up choir for the last two pieces:
Mozart: Divertimento, K. 138
Mozart: Oboe Quartet, K. 370
Joseph Haydn: Trio, Hob XI:80
Michael Haydn, Divertimento for oboe, viola, and violone, MH 179
Mozart: Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618
Mozart: Te Deum, K. 141

I've memorized "Ave Verum Corpus," but never sung K. 141, so I really enjoyed hearing that. My favorite was K. 370, terrifyingly virtuosic for the oboe, full of moments of WTF amazement.

Sunday was Arcana New Music Ensemble, performing:
Oliver Messiaen: Le traquet stapazin (no. 4 of Catalogue d'oiseaux)
Franco Donatoni: Fili
John Cage: Two
John Cage: Aria
Kenneth Amis: Interludes I-IV
Stefan Wolpe: Quartet for Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone, Percussion and Piano

My favorite was the Donatoni, requiring incredible virtuosity on the flute; my least favorite was Cage's "Two," which mostly made me aware of how people can't sit still and listen to silence. The vocal soloist for Cage's "Aria" was terrific, and I'd never heard that piece live before. I also loved the Amis Interludes, short sets of repetitive phrases from the four voices, overlapping and echoing, exactly the sort of thing I love to listen to deeply. Alas, I was tired by the end and the Wolpe mostly blew right through me, so I'm not sure if I would have liked it or not.

Next up, I need to think about tickets for next year's season for the various local groups.
havocthecat: john sheppard facepalms at stupidity (sga sheppard facepalm)
[personal profile] havocthecat
[profile] wendelah has been a nurse for 32 years and knows her shit: Go here and see these links for helping to fight for the Affordable Care Act. Yes, it's flawed, but it's a far cry better than what they're looking to replace it with.

I have many strong, personal feelings on health care and the medical system right now and don't want to dump them on you, so I'm going to disable comments and make a more upbeat post soon. If you want to talk about the ACA or health care, or any of the other interesting political things that [profile] wendelah has linked to, please let the focus be on her post. :)

Daily Happiness

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:20 am
torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Not only is it my day off tomorrow, but it's my birthday, too! That was a nice coincidence.

2. I bought a couple manga tonight and I have to say, I am so happy I finally discovered how to buy ebooks on Amazon Japan. Not only do I prefer the interface of Amazon to the iTunes store (I hate that you can only buy things through iTunes itself and not a webpage), but I can use my own credit card rather than having to get someone to buy me a gift card. With iTunes I always hesitated to buy anything because once I used up the gift card amount, I would have to ask someone to buy me one again, and I'd have to pay up front for it. With Amazon, I am really casual about buying manga, because it's just like $4 here and there. I also like how it's just automatically downloaded to my kindle app and I can load it on my device or delete it in seconds, rather than having to go through iTunes (again).

3. Jasper was being super cute and silly while he was napping tonight. He actually got even sillier after I posted this picture. (I didn't think it was possible.)

Day 1 with Bestest post-surgery

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:31 pm
sophygurl: Lamb with cute face, with text "What's up?!" (Default)
[personal profile] sophygurl
So I made it to bestest's place.

I haven't traveled anywhere by myself in ages so even though I had rides to and from my bus stops, I was a little nervous about busing. But it all went smoothly and while my bestest friend's sister did some last minute rushing around and got ready to head back home to her hubby and kids, I got myself situated in bestest's apartment and reminded her about six billion times that I am here for HER so she should absolutely ask me for help and not worry about my needs my gosh I can do that myself I will TELL you if it gets to be too much for me let me HELP YOU you just got out of the hospital after major surgery GEEZE.

I helped her with her drains and some other stuff and helped her get into comfy jammies and settled into bed surrounded by pillows to support her in various places. Even though she settled in around 9:30pm, we're calling this a nap and she plans to get up in a few hours.

Bestest keeps much later hours than I do, so this is going to be tricky. I'm gonna plan to do my own bedtime meds and such later than usual and then just hope that if she needs me after the meds have kicked in, I'll still be functional enough to do stuff for her.

This is all a rather wait-and-see kinda experimental process of figuring out what all she does and doesn't need help with, and of the things she does need help with - which things I can actually do. True to form, she is more worried about aggravating my fibro and OCD than she is with herself but hopefully she'll keep asking for what she needs.

The emotional impact of it all has yet to really hit her, but we both know it's likely coming soon.

Gonna be an interesting week. I just keep asking the universe to help me to be what she needs from me.

Sophingo!

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:22 pm
sophygurl: Lamb with cute face, with text "What's up?!" (Default)
[personal profile] sophygurl
Sophingo! My Free Bingo Card

Kept seeing these on twitter and had trouble figuring out how they were made. So glad to see folks here explaining it so I could play too!

This is from myfreebingocards.com

Row 1: laughing out loud, superheroes, disability, Big Brother, intersectional feminism
Row 2: memes, friends & family, speculative fiction, Books, tumblr
Row 3: bamf ladies, John Hughes films, Star Wars, Christmas, queerness
Row 4: Veronica Mars, WisCon, Cats, fandom, gender
Row 5: jokes that are punny, The Hunger Games, Table top games, Television, soap operas

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 02:15 pm
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (cosmia)
[personal profile] skygiants
I have never read Dhalgren or indeed any Samuel R. Delaney. However, as of yesterday I have at least had a Dhalgren Experience, thanks to [personal profile] aamcnamara, who turned up a local theatrical-dance-music-light-'architectural puppetry' performance of something called Dhalgren: Sunrise this weekend.

Dhalgren: Sunrise is comprised of bits of text from what I assume is Dhalgren the book, accompanied by dance, light, and music, almost all of it improvised. Also, some of the music was performed on imaginary instruments. "That must be a theremin!" I thought brightly to myself on seeing one of the instruments, mostly because I don't know what a theremin looks like and therefore I assume that any instrument I don't recognize is a theremin. But it turns out it was not a theremin, because there was a credit in the program for 'invented instruments,' though I don't know whether the one I saw was the Diddly Bow, the Bass Llamelophone, or the Autospring.

Anyway, so my new understanding of Dhalgren is that it is about a city in which Weird, Fraught and Inexplicable Things Are Happening. This is not a very thorough understanding, but it's still more of an understanding than I had before. The show is composed of seven scene-vignettes:

Prelude: A brief reading of [what I assume to be] the book's introduction.

Orchid: Three women dance on a bridge and a man acquires a prosthetic hand-weapon-implement. The director at the end gave special thanks to the dude who made it, understandably so, because it very effectively exuded Aura of Sinister!

Scorpions: Gang members dance and fight in front of a building? Alien gang members? Just aliens? Anyway, some entities wrapped in glowing lights have a dance fight in front of a building; the text is from the point of view of a worried inhabitant of the building who Has Concerns.

Moons: The moon has a new secondary moon friend named George. The dancing in this section was one of my favorite bits -- the Moon did some amazing things with her light-strung hula hoop. [personal profile] aamcnamara pointed out later that the narration in this bit, which featured a wry and dubious radio announcer, seemed like a perhaps-intentional echo of Welcome to Night Vale. I have never actually listened to Welcome to Night Vale, but from my cultural osmosis knowledge this seems about right.

Fire: The light show took front and center in this bit about everything being on fire and also, simultaneously, not on fire. The maintenance man doing the narration is very plaintive about all of this. There may also have been dancing in this bit but I don't remember what anyone was doing.

Sex: The guy with the sinister prosthesis has an intimate encounter with two other people inside a blanket fort. I always like the blanket-fort method of showing sex onstage, it hints appropriately while allowing actors not to have to do anything they're uncomfortable with. At some point in this process the sinister prosthesis is removed for the first time, which I expect symbolizes something about human connection.

Sunrise: The characters who have previously just had sex emerge from the building and now seem to have a difference of opinion about whether the sunrise is just normal, or whether the earth is actually falling into the sun. Eventually all the characters are onstage being distressed, along with the music and the lighting -- again, really cool light effects here, especially the final overwhelming projection of light followed by and darkness.

It's a one-hour show without intermission, which we all agreed afterwards was for the best; the deeply weird mood and atmosphere would have been difficult to slip back into if one could get up in the middle to go to the bathroom. For those of you who have actually read Dhalgren, I will leave you with [personal profile] aamcnamara's sum-up: "It was a strange experience, but honestly could have been stranger."

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