timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Today was a beautiful day, of the kind that remind me why I moved here. Wrote a bit, got a smoothie and drank it in the park with Cavafy’s selected poems, took a nap with Copernicus, wrote some more. Slow progress is being made, much of it on the wrong side of the line between context and wild speculation.

I got an ARC of The Bane Chronicles (collected), and I keep saying I’m done with that whole series, but it is awfully addictive, if absurdly overwrought in places and totally lacking in main characters who are less than ridiculously, angelically (or demonically) attractive. Magnus Bane is pretty much the only character I would actually want to read about at this point (though the terrible movie gave me an unexpected fondness for Isabelle Lightwood). Nostalgic terrible sweater blast! Plus I like just about anything Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson write.

I also like Cavafy a lot, as it turns out.

“One of Their Gods” (C.P. Cavafy, tr. Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard)

When one of them moved through the center of Selefkia
just as it was getting dark—
moved like a young man, tall, extremely handsome,
the joy of immortality in his eyes,
his hair black and perfumed—
the people going by would gaze at him,
and they would ask each other who he was,
if he was a Greek from Syria, or a stranger.
But some who looked more carefully
would understand and step aside;
and as he disappeared under the colonnade,
among the shadows and the evening lights,
going toward the quarter that lives
only at night, with orgies and debauchery,
with every kind of intoxication and desire,
they would wonder which of Them it could be,
and for what suspicious pleasure
he’d come down into the streets of Selefkia
from the August Celestial Mansions.
timeripple: (Default)
I must be a grown-up. Today I actually thought, Kids. They know a little bit, maybe they know a lot, and they think they know everything.

Allow me to explain. (And please keep in mind that this is partly in response to a lot of ugliness about feminism I’ve been seeing around Tumblr, and partly in response to trying to marshal my thoughts on the new David Levithan novel, Two Boys Kissing. It is not a reasoned, quotable essay; it is a record of my own thoughts and feelings. It may veer into the tactlessly bitter.)

This afternoon, a couple of teenagers (not a teenage couple) came in and immediately started talking about the books, loudly and with the kind of indubitable, indignant authority sometimes displayed by the whip-smart young (and by the insecure intellectual male of any age). Well, the girl was doing the talking, anyway. She was clearly an authority on LGBTQ lit and declared herself the guy's Sassy Gay Friend.

Of The Song of Achilles: “The Greeks were way into homosexuality.” Of a number of YA books: “Stonewall” (that’s a British LGBTQ award). Of Cinder: “It was okay.” Of The Princess Bride: “That is the greatest book ever, and if you disagree, you are wrong.” On Teen Wolf: “If you are a lesbian, you will die! ‘Don’t be like this; you will die in a thousand horrible ways.’”

(This is a valid criticism: Danny is openly gay and the whole school’s darling, but the only lesbians were the Victim Couple at the beginning of Season 3, one of whom died horribly. It should be pointed out, though, that the role of Victim Couple is usually played by a straight pair, such as on Every Episode of Supernatural Ever. And the Victim Lesbians were adorable, right up until one of them got ritually murdered. Why did you have to murder one of the Adorable Victim Lesbians, show? They were so adorable.)

The girl approved of Will Grayson, Will Grayson and went into passionate, worshipful ecstasies on the subject of John Green. And, listening, I wanted to ask her: Have you liked any YA LGBTQ books by women? Any at all? How about Ash, Huntress, Pink, Parrotfish, Luna, If You Could Be Mine, Sister Mischief, Silhouette of a Sparrow?

Her companion said, mildly, “I’m a marketing guy” and bought The Fault in Our Stars, Ready Player One, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

And I thought, just a little bit, Teenagers. They get to know a little, and suddenly they think know everything.

But I also thought, They’re so much smarter about this stuff than we were at that age (“we” being the teenage peer group I grew up with in rural Northern California, myself included). And I think that’s partly because they have a literature we didn’t: a readily available literature that discusses sexuality and gender and race with teens as the focal point, teen experiences as the central narrative. They have a critical vocabulary and a hundred ways and places to talk about it that we didn’t have.

Don’t stop thinking. Don’t stop talking. Think more, talk more, listen more too.

(Ask yourself why all the authors you’re worshipping are men.

(Ask your Marketing Guy friend.)
timeripple: (attir'd with stars)
My darlings, I have not dropped off the face of the planet—though it sort of feels like it—no, I am in California, and here I stay for the foreseeable future. Mind you, I can only deal with the future about two weeks in advance, so you see the problem with my life planning skills right here.

I have traveled by train and by car from one end of the country to the other, with lots of detouring in between and a brief stint where my friend M and I seriously considered becoming casino waitresses in Reno and then writing a trashy novel about it. [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli took me to a palace of wonders called Chocolate World and let me sleep on her couch and bond with Datte and watch all her con DVDs.

This has actually backfired, though, because now I’m in a KAT-TUN phase, and somebody needs to take all my music away from me, because I keep listening to 勇気の花 and then sobbing every time it gets to Hittori ja nai yo, nakama ga iru yo.

See, I'm crying again. No, stop. A road trip is more than what you leave behind. I have seen little harbor towns and shining cities and also elephants and a whole lot of sagebrush. I have participated in philosophical conversations about the human condition (lasting most of Kansas) and masqueraded as a German tourist (super useful for thwarting obnoxious panhandlers). I have visited the first coffee shop west of the Mississippi and driven past a mountain forest fire at night and seen the Milky Way.

Of many peoples—their cities he saw, and understood their minds;
Many perils his spirit suffered upon the sea.


Because a loose and selective translation of Homer is always relevant. Always.

More soon--I will try.
timeripple: (anenome)
At the airport on the way to CA! Why is it that I can never actually sit down to write except when at an airport where there’s literally nothing else to do except walk around carrying luggage and eating fried food?

I have, for the first time, been confronted with a backscatter scanner and requested to opt-out. I had heard horror stories, but these two ladies were very courteous and professional. Much appreciated.

Lalalalala. Typetypetype. I mean there’s always people-watching, but I get enough of that already. And I want to save my book for the flight. It’s an ARC of Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta, sequel to Finnikin of the Rock, and I’m enjoying it, but I had to make a paper cover because I was embarrassed to be carrying it around. Seriously, that much soulful guyliner just does not say “street cred”.



A Day in Pompeii )



Okay, I’ve finished my yogurt and I’m going to find some more food. Just not the greasy noodles.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
I am so tired. I had a day off yesterday, but had been called in for overtime on Monday and apparently I'm not totally recovered yet. Today was really, really busy. It was the kind of day where I didn’t really have to wrack my brains to find the right books for the right people, but enough people came in asking about children’s books that I kind of felt like hey, I actually do know my stuff. So that was kind of nice.

The building fire alarm did go off around 11, adding a little spice to the morning of extreme business. We stood around outside in the pleasantly nippy street. Some people had dressed up just because they felt like it, and the guys were being super cute about lending suit jackets to ladies in dressy short sleeves. It was adorable. (I, of course, was sensibly clothed.) The fire dudes took their sweet time getting there, kind of wandered around a while, then trooped into the historic burger place next door. They trooped out a few minutes later, turned off the alarm, and went home.

I hope they got some fries, 'cause we sure didn't.

All in all it was a good thing I'd gotten chai beforehand.

Currently reading: Datlow & Windling vampire anthology, due out next April (I am so tired of hip young anthologies. It's not that the stories are bad, but that short story anthologies wear me out because they never seem to end and I almost never have time to get attached to any of the characters). Also Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan (uh, just because. No, actually because all Japanese police dramas are actually about how the police are corrupt, and those that aren’t corrupt are underfunded, and I'm in Joker withdrawal *sob*, so it looked interesting).

I had subscribed to the Unshelved Comics feed, because usually I like their comics (obviously), but I defriended them this morning because I didn't feel like dealing with my reaction to today's comic. Seriously, guys? Seriously? I understand that you're being funny, but that's hitting a little too close to home for me.

Leave it to me to pick the literary field that gets the least respect (well, one of them). This is something I'm going to have to deal with, though, and articulate. Soon. The idea that a professional interest in children's books does not make me infantile, or stuck in my own childhood, or otherwise nonfunctional as an intelligent adult. Because I get that a lot, and I'm going to have to have a response. (Other than Um, I read your precious Plato in Greek, and you know what? I gave him up for those "kiddie books." Suck on that!)

Speaking of things I need to articulate, I'm starting once again to think about that evolutionary-biology-in-children’s-sff rant I promised back in August. Don’t feel like looking up all the things I need to look up right now, though. Sleepy. Utterly burned out, and will save the rant research for another day, because I really don’t want to get my homologous structures mixed up with my analogous ones, you know?

Signing off. Good night!
timeripple: (i said nothing)
I am so tired. I had a day off yesterday, but had been called in for overtime on Monday and apparently I'm not totally recovered yet. Today was really, really busy. It was the kind of day where I didn’t really have to wrack my brains to find the right books for the right people, but enough people came in asking about children’s books that I kind of felt like hey, I actually do know my stuff. So that was kind of nice.

The building fire alarm did go off around 11, adding a little spice to the morning of extreme business. We stood around outside in the pleasantly nippy street. Some people had dressed up just because they felt like it, and the guys were being super cute about lending suit jackets to ladies in dressy short sleeves. It was adorable. (I, of course, was sensibly clothed.) The fire dudes took their sweet time getting there, kind of wandered around a while, then trooped into the historic burger place next door. They trooped out a few minutes later, turned off the alarm, and went home.

I hope they got some fries, 'cause we sure didn't.

All in all it was a good thing I'd gotten chai beforehand.

Currently reading: Datlow & Windling vampire anthology, due out next April (I am so tired of hip young anthologies. It's not that the stories are bad, but that short story anthologies wear me out because they never seem to end and I almost never have time to get attached to any of the characters). Also Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan (uh, just because. No, actually because all Japanese police dramas are actually about how the police are corrupt, and those that aren’t corrupt are underfunded, and I'm in Joker withdrawal *sob*, so it looked interesting).

I had subscribed to the Unshelved Comics feed, because usually I like their comics (obviously), but I defriended them this morning because I didn't feel like dealing with my reaction to today's comic. Seriously, guys? Seriously? I understand that you're being funny, but that's hitting a little too close to home for me.

Leave it to me to pick the literary field that gets the least respect (well, one of them). This is something I'm going to have to deal with, though, and articulate. Soon. The idea that a professional interest in children's books does not make me infantile, or stuck in my own childhood, or otherwise nonfunctional as an intelligent adult. Because I get that a lot, and I'm going to have to have a response. (Other than Um, I read your precious Plato in Greek, and you know what? I gave him up for those "kiddie books." Suck on that!)

Speaking of things I need to articulate, I'm starting once again to think about that evolutionary-biology-in-children’s-sff rant I promised back in August. Don’t feel like looking up all the things I need to look up right now, though. Sleepy. Utterly burned out, and will save the rant research for another day, because I really don’t want to get my homologous structures mixed up with my analogous ones, you know?

Signing off. Good night!
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have to preface this entry with a link to This is Why I'll Never be an Adult, otherwise the next paragraph will make no sense.

Day Off. Woke up at 9:30, called dental and health insurance companies to make sure they’re not trying to screw me over, paid dental and health insurance bills, wrote a dreadful belated birthday walrus poem for my aunt so I could write it in her belated birthday walrus birthday cake card, forwarded a bunch of grad school emails to myself, hung out with [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie, who informed me that cumin is the essential ingredient in black bean burritos, went to the bank, mailed aunt’s belated birthday walrus poem card, bought food, came home, did laundry, got a little fiddling in, am now contemplating submitting multiple papers for publication (ugh, abstracts). Kind of a Get Shit Done Like an Adult and Still Have Fun Day, which will probably never happen again ever.

Pretty much the only thing that did not get done was Wash the Hair Like an Adult, but whatever.

never trust a fellow with a helmet on his head )

In other other news, I need new jeans.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have to preface this entry with a link to This is Why I'll Never be an Adult, otherwise the next paragraph will make no sense.

Day Off. Woke up at 9:30, called dental and health insurance companies to make sure they’re not trying to screw me over, paid dental and health insurance bills, wrote a dreadful belated birthday walrus poem for my aunt so I could write it in her belated birthday walrus birthday cake card, forwarded a bunch of grad school emails to myself, hung out with [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie, who informed me that cumin is the essential ingredient in black bean burritos, went to the bank, mailed aunt’s belated birthday walrus poem card, bought food, came home, did laundry, got a little fiddling in, am now contemplating submitting multiple papers for publication (ugh, abstracts). Kind of a Get Shit Done Like an Adult and Still Have Fun Day, which will probably never happen again ever.

Pretty much the only thing that did not get done was Wash the Hair Like an Adult, but whatever.

never trust a fellow with a helmet on his head )

In other other news, I need new jeans.
timeripple: (riiko says buzzer beat!)
Feel exceptionally unlike writing things down, and yet things to write keep popping into my head.

[livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and I are watching Buzzer Beat (for me it’s a re-watch, but a welcome one). It took us all of thirty seconds to realize that the drama is, basically, an AU of our lives. This lead to me exclaiming aloud as we were walking back from Burger King, “I get Yamapi! Yay!” and doing a gleeful little twirl right there on the sidewalk.

It’s like someone wrote an AU where we’re hard-drinking boy-crazy would-be professional musicians (instead of amateur musicians who are/were graduate students in other subjects) who have fated encounters with hot basketball players. I’ve got the long hair, the capris, the flowy shirts, the messiness, the bookstore job, the violin skillz, and the flail. She’s got... well, the flute skillz, the tidiness, and the matter-of-fact attitude. And the name starting with M. I am now plotting to ambush her hair into Mai’s dango style. Uh, somehow.

Neither of us has the make-up skillz. I did say it was an AU.

It’s not just about the surface similarities, though. It’s also about being a twentysomething trying to build a life, whatever that entails; trying to do what you love and also make it pay the bills.

[livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl, by the way, has succumbed to the inexplicable Yamapi dead fish eyes charm, as all must in the end.

Naoki’s little sister continues to crack me up. I saw her in Yamanade, months after watching Buzzer Beat the first time, and totally didn’t register that it was the same actress. So now it’s like... okay, what’s an analogy... well, imagine watching Buzzer Beat if the only thing you’d seen Yamapi in before was Nobuta wo Produce.

It’s kind of like that. XD

And Maya Miki! It's like the producers got together and said, okay, who's the one actress who everyone will believe shares genetic material with these people, who will bring warmth and humor and energy to the part, who's still willing to play supporting roles? XD

...

In other news, I am reading the Percy Jackson series and I am liking it. It is restoring my faith in prose intended for sixth-graders. And the mythology is actually kind of part of the Daisy Chain/Tom Brown’s School Days project of figuring out how Greek is still relevant. My grad student heart burns to write a paper. My graduated student heart is gleeful that I don’t have to.

Anyway, we’re going to the beach tomorrow, so I’d better get some sleep. Good night, everyone!
timeripple: (riiko says buzzer beat!)
Feel exceptionally unlike writing things down, and yet things to write keep popping into my head.

[livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and I are watching Buzzer Beat (for me it’s a re-watch, but a welcome one). It took us all of thirty seconds to realize that the drama is, basically, an AU of our lives. This lead to me exclaiming aloud as we were walking back from Burger King, “I get Yamapi! Yay!” and doing a gleeful little twirl right there on the sidewalk.

It’s like someone wrote an AU where we’re hard-drinking boy-crazy would-be professional musicians (instead of amateur musicians who are/were graduate students in other subjects) who have fated encounters with hot basketball players. I’ve got the long hair, the capris, the flowy shirts, the messiness, the bookstore job, the violin skillz, and the flail. She’s got... well, the flute skillz, the tidiness, and the matter-of-fact attitude. And the name starting with M. I am now plotting to ambush her hair into Mai’s dango style. Uh, somehow.

Neither of us has the make-up skillz. I did say it was an AU.

It’s not just about the surface similarities, though. It’s also about being a twentysomething trying to build a life, whatever that entails; trying to do what you love and also make it pay the bills.

[livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl, by the way, has succumbed to the inexplicable Yamapi dead fish eyes charm, as all must in the end.

Naoki’s little sister continues to crack me up. I saw her in Yamanade, months after watching Buzzer Beat the first time, and totally didn’t register that it was the same actress. So now it’s like... okay, what’s an analogy... well, imagine watching Buzzer Beat if the only thing you’d seen Yamapi in before was Nobuta wo Produce.

It’s kind of like that. XD

And Maya Miki! It's like the producers got together and said, okay, who's the one actress who everyone will believe shares genetic material with these people, who will bring warmth and humor and energy to the part, who's still willing to play supporting roles? XD

...

In other news, I am reading the Percy Jackson series and I am liking it. It is restoring my faith in prose intended for sixth-graders. And the mythology is actually kind of part of the Daisy Chain/Tom Brown’s School Days project of figuring out how Greek is still relevant. My grad student heart burns to write a paper. My graduated student heart is gleeful that I don’t have to.

Anyway, we’re going to the beach tomorrow, so I’d better get some sleep. Good night, everyone!
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have survived April! I am pretty damn pleased about this, let me tell you.

So, it seems like I never talk about books around here any more. This is probably because I spend all my time talking about books. But I was really fascinated by Christina Meldrum’s Madapple, which we read for class this week. I am convinced that the protagonist, Aslaug, is not a Dionysus figure but Antigone. [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie will agree with me once she’s actually read it. I highly recommend it as a dense, difficult YA book, btw. If you don’t mind a lot of crazy alongside your mysticism and botany. It also has a terrifyingly awesome cover, as well as fun things like Chosen Ones and maybe-incest and atemporal narrative! How can you resist?

Last class of the semester is over. There was pie and brie and Orange Crush afterward. Still have paperage to do. Wooooo.

Made Mexican wedding cookies (sans nuts) for M to take to class tomorrow. Mmmmbutter. Did the dishes in boiled water and ingenuity.

...

In other news, I am convinced that the following Emily Dickinson poem is fair game for a post-Buffy interpretive community:

Fate slew him, but he did not drop;
She felled—he did not fall—
Impaled him on her fiercest stakes—
He neutralized them all.

She stung him, sapped his firm advance
But, when her worst was done,
And he, unmoved, regarded her,
Acknowledged him a man.

In a post-Buffy world, that second part’s even potentially funny.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have survived April! I am pretty damn pleased about this, let me tell you.

So, it seems like I never talk about books around here any more. This is probably because I spend all my time talking about books. But I was really fascinated by Christina Meldrum’s Madapple, which we read for class this week. I am convinced that the protagonist, Aslaug, is not a Dionysus figure but Antigone. [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie will agree with me once she’s actually read it. I highly recommend it as a dense, difficult YA book, btw. If you don’t mind a lot of crazy alongside your mysticism and botany. It also has a terrifyingly awesome cover, as well as fun things like Chosen Ones and maybe-incest and atemporal narrative! How can you resist?

Last class of the semester is over. There was pie and brie and Orange Crush afterward. Still have paperage to do. Wooooo.

Made Mexican wedding cookies (sans nuts) for M to take to class tomorrow. Mmmmbutter. Did the dishes in boiled water and ingenuity.

...

In other news, I am convinced that the following Emily Dickinson poem is fair game for a post-Buffy interpretive community:

Fate slew him, but he did not drop;
She felled—he did not fall—
Impaled him on her fiercest stakes—
He neutralized them all.

She stung him, sapped his firm advance
But, when her worst was done,
And he, unmoved, regarded her,
Acknowledged him a man.

In a post-Buffy world, that second part’s even potentially funny.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I’m supposed to be writing a paper, so of course instead I’m doing laundry with the windows open and lying around reading and plotting non-school things to do over spring break and lusting after shoes.

So... here, have a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem I found in my class reading the other week.

The Windhover
To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

flail and dork )
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I’m supposed to be writing a paper, so of course instead I’m doing laundry with the windows open and lying around reading and plotting non-school things to do over spring break and lusting after shoes.

So... here, have a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem I found in my class reading the other week.

The Windhover
To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

 
flail and dork )
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
We’re reading Charlotte Mary Yonge’s The Daisy Chain in my Victorian children’s lit class, and I... kind of love it. I’m probably the only person in class who thinks the parts where they talk about Greek are the best bits. (And they talk about Greek a lot. XD) One of the characters has to declaim Priam's speech to Achilles during an examination. Of course I dug out Benner’s Iliad and tried to recite it myself. Scansion fail!

Oh, Greek. I better hurry up and write my weekly theme so I can translate that speech so I can talk about it in class and how it's relevent to the novel. I could just look up a translation, I guess, but it’s more... fun this way?
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
We’re reading Charlotte Mary Yonge’s The Daisy Chain in my Victorian children’s lit class, and I... kind of love it. I’m probably the only person in class who thinks the parts where they talk about Greek are the best bits. (And they talk about Greek a lot. XD) One of the characters has to declaim Priam's speech to Achilles during an examination. Of course I dug out Benner’s Iliad and tried to recite it myself. Scansion fail!

Oh, Greek. I better hurry up and write my weekly theme so I can translate that speech so I can talk about it in class and how it's relevent to the novel. I could just look up a translation, I guess, but it’s more... fun this way?
timeripple: (attir'd with stars)
This evening there was a farewell party for a classmate who’s moving out to SF. All that delicious sourdough couldn’t happen to a nicer person. :)

Yawn. Rachel posted about the past week, so I should get my butt in gear and do my own, much chattier version. (She has mastered the art of brevity. I, as you may observe, have not.)

Ahem. Right. But first, a few comments on the Buzzer Beat Inter-Episode Kiss Battle, and other things )

...

Oh right, this was going to be about Adventures in New York.

Last week I took the bus in to the city for an astonishing $1.50, which was great. On the minus side, the passengers were forced to listen to (and watch) Happy Feet for the entire ride.

The excellent [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie met me uptown and we had awesome pizza and black cherry sodas before heading further up to her place, where everyone was absolutely lovely to me. Her cat promptly decided I was fascinating and new. I happily petted the cat and sat limply in front of the beautiful, beautiful air conditioning. And then we made quiche. Nothing burst into flames this time, but I was most happy with the experience nonetheless. (I was allowed to beat the eggs and wield the pointy cheese-cutting knife. Yeah, my joy in cooking is kind of predictable.)

We awoke in the predawn hours, hauled our stuff over to 81st Street, collected people, and proceeded to camp out for hours and hours to get free tickets for Shakespeare in the Park’s production of The Bacchae. Some of you will probably remember that I was actually in The Bacchae a few years ago. The experience was memorable not only for my lingering affection for the play and tendency to suddenly intone bits of it in Greek, but also for my then-nascent addiction to chai.

Tickets obtained, we crashed for a few hours, ordered Thai, and headed back to the park. The production was really, really good. The music helped a lot-- originally it was musical, of course, and I think that went a long way toward making it accessible. I would personally have cut some of the long choral passages about the beauties of such-and-such fields, but in general having the chorus be an actual chorus worked really well. Dionysus was insolent and hilarious and a little crazy, as he should be, and had perfect Dionysus hair. Well, obviously I don’t know if the flowing curls were perfumed and dripping with oil, but they flowed very nicely.

The production notes were very clear on what an uncomfortable play The Bacchae is. And it IS uncomfortable. It has comic bits that work toward and culminate in tragedy. It has dancing and songs about idyllic fields and innuendo and cross-dressing and hideous, hideous gore. It has a king who is trying to keep his damn city-state functioning, versus a god who is in the right because he is a god, and for whom functioning city-states are completely beside the point.

I kept trying to remember what Nietzsche said about it, and could only remember that it was the only Euripides play he liked, and he didn’t just like it, he loved it.

I was delighted to discover that the translation they used was the same one I’m familiar with. I honestly got chills when the chorus started in on “From the mountains I have come.” And “It is finished” is much more elegant than “Thus have these things turned out” (my own version) for toiond’ apebe tode pragma. (Please pardon the accent fail; I’m functionally font illiterate and moreover working from memory here).

We finished up the evening, as one does, with very elegant desserts and very loud Beatles music. Delicious. ♥

I’ll leave the rest of the week for another time because I am sleepy and have packing to do. My bed, such as it is, is becoming more comfortable by the minute. *snuggles* Sweet dreams to me. (I do hope there is no body-switching tonight...)
timeripple: (attir'd with stars)
This evening there was a farewell party for a classmate who’s moving out to SF. All that delicious sourdough couldn’t happen to a nicer person. :)

Yawn. Rachel posted about the past week, so I should get my butt in gear and do my own, much chattier version. (She has mastered the art of brevity. I, as you may observe, have not.)

Ahem. Right. But first, a few comments on the Buzzer Beat Inter-Episode Kiss Battle, and other things )

...

Oh right, this was going to be about Adventures in New York.

Last week I took the bus in to the city for an astonishing $1.50, which was great. On the minus side, the passengers were forced to listen to (and watch) Happy Feet for the entire ride.

The excellent [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie met me uptown and we had awesome pizza and black cherry sodas before heading further up to her place, where everyone was absolutely lovely to me. Her cat promptly decided I was fascinating and new. I happily petted the cat and sat limply in front of the beautiful, beautiful air conditioning. And then we made quiche. Nothing burst into flames this time, but I was most happy with the experience nonetheless. (I was allowed to beat the eggs and wield the pointy cheese-cutting knife. Yeah, my joy in cooking is kind of predictable.)

We awoke in the predawn hours, hauled our stuff over to 81st Street, collected people, and proceeded to camp out for hours and hours to get free tickets for Shakespeare in the Park’s production of The Bacchae. Some of you will probably remember that I was actually in The Bacchae a few years ago. The experience was memorable not only for my lingering affection for the play and tendency to suddenly intone bits of it in Greek, but also for my then-nascent addiction to chai.

Tickets obtained, we crashed for a few hours, ordered Thai, and headed back to the park. The production was really, really good. The music helped a lot-- originally it was musical, of course, and I think that went a long way toward making it accessible. I would personally have cut some of the long choral passages about the beauties of such-and-such fields, but in general having the chorus be an actual chorus worked really well. Dionysus was insolent and hilarious and a little crazy, as he should be, and had perfect Dionysus hair. Well, obviously I don’t know if the flowing curls were perfumed and dripping with oil, but they flowed very nicely.

The production notes were very clear on what an uncomfortable play The Bacchae is. And it IS uncomfortable. It has comic bits that work toward and culminate in tragedy. It has dancing and songs about idyllic fields and innuendo and cross-dressing and hideous, hideous gore. It has a king who is trying to keep his damn city-state functioning, versus a god who is in the right because he is a god, and for whom functioning city-states are completely beside the point.

I kept trying to remember what Nietzsche said about it, and could only remember that it was the only Euripides play he liked, and he didn’t just like it, he loved it.

I was delighted to discover that the translation they used was the same one I’m familiar with. I honestly got chills when the chorus started in on “From the mountains I have come.” And “It is finished” is much more elegant than “Thus have these things turned out” (my own version) for toiond’ apebe tode pragma. (Please pardon the accent fail; I’m functionally font illiterate and moreover working from memory here).

We finished up the evening, as one does, with very elegant desserts and very loud Beatles music. Delicious. ♥

I’ll leave the rest of the week for another time because I am sleepy and have packing to do. My bed, such as it is, is becoming more comfortable by the minute. *snuggles* Sweet dreams to me. (I do hope there is no body-switching tonight...)
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I had a crazy weekend in that it was the Simmons Summer Institute, with the theme of "Crimes and Misdemeanors." The class's syllabus was based on works by the speakers, so it was pretty exciting to hear them speak and meet some of them. What a weekend. I am still reeling from how much I love MT Anderson. I thought I loved him before, but damn.

This section has been cut for fangirling )

And now I'm searching frantically for books featuring a thief narrator/protagonist so I can write my paper. I've got Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief and sequels, Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy, Hilari Bell's first two Knight and Rogue books, and Celia Rees's Sovay. Any others you can think of? Children's books would be best for my paper, although I'd be interested to hear of any others you might recommend.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I had a crazy weekend in that it was the Simmons Summer Institute, with the theme of "Crimes and Misdemeanors." The class's syllabus was based on works by the speakers, so it was pretty exciting to hear them speak and meet some of them. What a weekend. I am still reeling from how much I love MT Anderson. I thought I loved him before, but damn.

This section has been cut for fangirling )

And now I'm searching frantically for books featuring a thief narrator/protagonist so I can write my paper. I've got Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief and sequels, Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy, Hilari Bell's first two Knight and Rogue books, and Celia Rees's Sovay. Any others you can think of? Children's books would be best for my paper, although I'd be interested to hear of any others you might recommend.

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