October 24, 2016
Like Urinetown, this is another sci fi satire musical I’ve known about since forever (it’s just a few years older than Urinetown) but haven’t managed to see — until now. And kudos to whoever at the Longmont Theater Company keeps picking these seminal off-Broadway science fiction-adjacent shows to do. Keep it up!
So, how was it? I have to admit, this went way way darker than I was expecting. I think I was expecting high camp silliness, and that’s certainly there. But then the bodies start hitting the floor at the end of Act I and don’t really stop until the finale, where the stage rivals that at the end of Hamlet. The show takes a very dim view of humanity.
Next up in the series of late 90’s to mid 00’s camp science fiction musicals that I would love to see: The Last Starfighter: the Musical. Alas, it’s unclear to me whether that one’s ever even been performed since its original premier. Hey, Longmont Theater Company…
And someday, someday, I will see Hamilton…
October 21, 2016
I’ve been taking yoga classes regularly for almost two years now. A big part of yoga is breathing. Focusing on breathing, on filling your lungs and emptying them out in ways we don’t normally in everyday life. Moving and breathing at the same time, calmly, in a way that is both energizing and relaxing. It’s good stuff.
This week, I went in for a practice scuba session at the dive shop, in preparation for my dive trip next month. And I realized that scuba focuses on breathing even more than yoga does. Taking yoga has actually made me a better scuba diver, in terms of controlling breath and breathing calmly. I think I’ve cut my air usage by a third since taking yoga. Using less air means more time under water!
But it’s more than that, because in yoga I still struggle with keeping my attention focused. Not letting my thoughts drift off to the to do list or whether I love or hate the background music or trying to remember when was the last time I washed my mat.
But you know what turns out to be very focusing? That whole, “Yeah, if I don’t breathe correctly using this mechanical device, I’ll die” thing. Very focusing, that. And oddly relaxing. Even sitting at the bottom of a twelve-foot pool, listening to bubbles tumble out of the regulator, making sure my breaths stay slow — slow breath in, slow breath out — I think that’s about the most zen I’ve ever been.
It’s even better in open water. One month, I’ll be there.
October 19, 2016
October 17, 2016
This Halloween my niece wants to be Mary Poppins, so I’m making the outer layer of her costume (hat, coat, etc.). I actually found a parrot-head umbrella so I won’t be embarking on adventures in Sculpey this time around. But the coat. Heh. I can tell I’m a real costumer now because I looked for a coat and couldn’t find anything that worked. I hit up thrift stores. I searched online. And all the coats for little girls were too frilly, too cute, or too pink. I needed a nice somber, tailored, governess’s coat, right? I checked “how to make a Mary Poppins costume” websites and they’re all like, “Just take a jacket out of your closet!” But they don’t look right. So I made one from scratch, and I’m quite pleased with it. All I have left are buttons and buttonholes, and then it goes off to the kid. I’ll show you when I get pictures of the complete ensemble.
Mr. Robot, second season: I’m through episode 8. This show. THIS SHOW. Taking unreliable narrators to a whole new level. It’s kicking my ass and I’m loving it so much, and it’s still so cyberpunk, without being actual cyberpunk. I am all amazement.
I have a story to wrap up and send to an editor, another to revise and send back, a new novel to start, a critique to finish up. I bet I can get it all done this week and I’ll feel so accomplished. Oh yes. Must hang on to that feeling, it doesn’t come around very often…
October 14, 2016
I’m having a much better week than I did last week, when I was bringing home gin and knitting needles. I’m actually getting work done, which is oh so nice. If I can just keep making progress before MileHi Con I’ll be fine.
Meanwhile, via Bookriot, I have had my complete and utter nerd-out for the day. Ambient sounds for your favorite geek settings. Remember that ambient Enterprise engine hum that you can turn on forever? Same thing, but for like Rivendell, the Gryffindor common room, a Jedi Temple, and and and… It’s out of control. I’m going crazy over here. I’m planning dinner parties for Asgard and Hobbiton. I can’t stop.
People are so creative. It’s so wonderful.
Now excuse me while I go see if someone’s done an ambient ship noise for Serenity…
October 12, 2016
From recent reading, Peter S. Beagle’s introduction to his short story collection The Line Between:
“…it is the shadow that terrifies, not the monster it hides. The monster is an actor in a monster suit. The shadow is always real.”
October 10, 2016
“So what are all these characters’ motivations?”
“The actors really wanted to be in a western.”
The cavalcade of remakes continues! The reasons I go to see westerns are 1) spectacular vistas, 2) beautiful horses, and 3) rugged men in leather. The Magnificent Seven remake has all of these. Plus heroes stepping through swinging saloon doors as the camera pans up, townfolk looking through windows and then quickly lowering the curtains, a comically evil robber baron, and a single named woman character with bottled red hair and a blouse that if it had been cut any lower they’d have had to change the movie’s rating. In short, I found the whole thing rather tedious and chock full of cliches. The vistas, horses, and rugged men in leather were not enough to distract me from the cliches.
About the only things recommending this are the performances of the leads, which is really why I went to see this particular western. Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Byung-Hun Lee were all great fun to watch, even if the story propping them up was this weird combination of that one episode of Firefly with the brothel and the Battle of Helms Deep. (The body count on this thing. Holy shit.) Vincent D’Onofrio was inspired as a crazy doof of a mountain man. So yeah, go for the rugged men in leather. Stay for the rugged men in leather.
Mostly, I imagine this movie will be remembered for featuring what must be James Horner’s very last score. And it’s a good one, a distinctively Horner score, with a lot of evocative woodwinds and vocals. Made me sad.
So, there are good reasons to see this movie. But it’s not going to give you anything you don’t expect going into it.