neadods: (busy)
I've been so wrapped up in the neverending "must be done"s and "ought to get done"s that I've long since written off the "enjoy doing"s... and that's not right.

So I'm making an effort to spend not just a little time doing the things I enjoy, but putting them on the schedule as a high priority. There is little in my life that HAS HAS HAS to be done on a schedule anymore - there's no cosmic difference in my life if, say, I set up the new laptop today, tomorrow, or Wednesday. I need to do it soon, yes (this one is dying of cat hair and entropy at a high rate) but I don't actually need to do it *now.*

So I'm making a point that on the weekends I take the time to:
- read a chapter of a book. A whole chapter, all at once... and that this feels dangerous and slothful is, frankly, appalling.
- Spend significant time crafting. This can be knitting, sewing, quilting (even mending will count, I think, just to get the mending done) but Accomplish Something With My Hands
- Listen to a podcast or Big Finish. I'm about 3 behind on my Big Finishes and my podcast backlog is in the hundreds (recs at the end of this post)

The other day one of my actual chores was to sew a Jane Austen logo onto a second-hand purse so I'd have something appropriate for the upcoming Janeite convention, and I was sitting there, podcast and sewing machine running, thinking "I'm happy. I like this. Whyyyyyyyyyy did I ever stop?"

So... I won't stop. There's no damn reason on the face of this earth why I can't give myself the same happy time at least once a week.

So, podcasts. My backlog is in the hundreds because I'm now listening to quite a few. If you have an iphone, I recommend PodCruncher as opposed to the native bullshit app, but there is a learning curve and they haven't updated it to properly fit the size of the screen past iphone 5. Still, once I got the hang of it, I really enjoy using it.

Podcasts I listen to always:
- Staggering Stories (fannish news & chatter. ~1 hour to 90 minutes; Doctor Who predominates)
- Welcome to Night Vale (fiction. 30 minutes; NPR from the Twilight Zone)
- Stuff You Missed in History Class (history all eras. ~30 minutes; The vast bulk of my backlog is downloads of the last 3 years of this one)
- Folger Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare Unlimited (nonfiction. ~30 minutes; a must-listen for theater, history, and Shakespeare nerds)
- Within the Wires (fiction. ~30 minutes; the Night Vale folks break out into relaxation tapes for medical prisoners)

Stuff I listen to if I like the topic(s) du jour:
- BBC Comedy of the Week (exactly what it says on the tin. ~30 minutes)
- BBC Drama of the Week (see above)
- Big Finish Podcast (Advertising for BF. ~30 minutes)
- the Holmesian trio: Baker Street Babes, Three Patch Podcast, I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere (all ~1 hour)
- Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast (nonfiction. ~20-40 minutes; theater interviews and Reduced Shakes news)

I'm off Great Detectives of Old Time Radio at the moment simply because Adam isn't running any of the shows I'm interested in. There are still some Ellery Queens and Philip Marlowes in my backlog, though.

And I'm waiting to catch up in Zombies, Run! before I start listening to Podcast Detected, although I know it's out there.

I'm about to test-listen to some food-related podcasts, such as The Salt, A Taste of the Past, Gastropod, Gravy, and Dinner Party Download (episode 356 of which apparently has Doyle at the dinner party).
neadods: (theater)
So, I've been to England to see the Queen Benedict Cumberbatch. And I loved it.

...as I normally tolerate Hamlet at best, this may be a warning as much as praise. Much more under the cut. And yes... the production needs cut text.

I'm going to watch Lyndsey Turner's career with interest )

So, some interesting choices. Not all ones that work, but points for taking the leap of faith.
neadods: (sherdoc)
There's a music video of my hands-down favorite song from Something Rotten: Hard to be the Bard.

Watch for the lyrics or for Christian Borle wearing little more above the waist than a neck ruff. I'm not judging.
neadods: (sherdoc)
Does anyone lie awake at 4 a.m. and wonder why, if Shakespeare wrote in iambs, his character names tend toward dactyls or amphibraches? Or is it just me lying awake in the wee hours going:
Higgilty piggilty Romeo and Juliet
Ruin the meter in which their plays scan
Benedict and his dear Beatrice likewise, and
Richard the Third, that poor mistreated man
neadods: (theater)
Holy crap, Something Rotten is one of the best shows I've seen in my entire life. Take Shakespeare and every musical of the last 50 years, throw them in a blender, and add some brilliant actors and watch them compete for Tonys.

It's the new A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, tone-wise (language wise, it's a definite R; there's a fair amount of swearing.)

And oh, my god, the homages. The Tony award number was only the start of it (and THAT had been cut down a little for the Tonys, too, leaving out Jesus Christ Superstar, Drowsy Chaperone, and Pippin.) I'll need to see it three times just to catch them all; the reaction to "raindrops on Rosencrantz" wiped out the next two lines, for example.

The plot is basically that the Bottom brothers need a hit but Shakespeare is getting all the love and attention and funding (and girls). Christian Borle reminded me of a young Tim Curry; he had such personal magnetism that I'm half surprised the cast didn't stick to him. (Borle himself was obviously aiming for Mick Jagger and hit the target dead center.) In desperation, Nick Bottom goes to Nostramdamus to find out the future of theater. The answer? "Musicals!"

Raindrops on Rosencrantz is the least of what happens next.

The scene that lingers longest, though, is the one where Shakespeare throws a private party for his fans. Watching someone in a black pleather codpiece grind to "Now is the winter of our discontent" is both hilarious and permanently life-scarring.
neadods: (theater)
The Stratford (Ont) theater festival guide arrived yesterday, and for all I was "meh" when someone told me what the plays were last year, now that I know details I'm all "There are five I am GOING TO SEE. Nonnegotiable."

1) Taming of the Shrew. While I honestly don't think any Shew could EVER top the Gregory Doran RSC version that I saw in 2003, the only person who could is the director of last year's amazing gender-bent Midsummer Night's Dream -- and that's who's doing this year's Shrew. Chris Abraham is now a "must fan stalk watch" for me.

2) The Adventures of Pericles. It's being directed by Scott Wentworth, whom I've fangirled over for close to 20 years now. 'Nuf said. I haven't seen a show he's directed in quite some time; it will be interesting to compare it to the earlier work I remember. (His minimalist Christmas Carol was quite something; the stage was awash in fake snow and characters would pull the small props they needed out of it.)

3) The Physicists. The murder mystery plot (which, according to the guidebook "inhabits a space somewhere between Agatha Christie and Tom Stoppard") sounds interesting, but to be honest, I stopped reading after "Seana McKenna, Geraint Wynn Davies, Graham Abbey" because it doesn't matter what comes after that really. "...read the phone book." "...read graffiti off the lavatory wall." "... recite the Bentley's menu."

4) She Stoops to Conquer. Because I like Restoration-style comedy.

5) The Alchemist, because Scott Wentworth is in it. (See #2).

Now I have to find a time to see them that won't use up too much of my vacation, conflict with Gridlock DC, or suck up all my money before the JASNA meeting in October. (Yes, I have first world problems.)
neadods: (theater)
Last night I saw the most uproarious, hilarious, unique version of Midsummer Night's Dream I've ever seen - and I'd only gone because I'd been offered a free ticket and Scott Wentworth was in it!

There were white bouquets on the ends of the aisles, as the conceit was that we were all members of a wedding party watching the entertainment, presented modern times in modern dress. That it turned out to be an interracial gay wedding was the first warning that all the rules were off. As the play went on, Lysander was played by a woman, "Thisbee" was played by a bald man with a foot-long beard, and when the drag queen of the fairies showed up, 5 people in my row walked out.

And just because gender wasn't the only assumption subverted, Egeus was presented as deaf, all his lines signed and all the other actors signing to him (except Theseus-Scott, who made sure to face him closely at all times for lip reading.)

The modern dress, gender twisting, and general hilarity led to changes in the text. Demetrius added a furious "Jeeze!"to the end of his speech to Helena about leaving him alone. "Thisbee" stopped the line at "I have a beard." Puck, presented with a Hermia comfortably ensconced in a pup tent, said "she doth NOT lie on the dank ground..." A drunken Hippolyta turned her line to "I was with Hercules... Literally." (Later, even drunker, she would call to "Let them bring Frisbee forth.") Titantia's song turned into "woodbine, eglantine, you and me all the time..." The abrupt end of the dance at the end was explained by Theseus as "I have neighbors." And the moment when Oberon confronted Puck with (her? Not sure if they were presenting trans or woman in trousers) mistake about juicing the wrong person turned into this dialog (paraphrased, I don't have the text and they did use the original words):

"You said I would know the man by his Athenian weeds!”
"The MAN by HIS..."

Musical selections included Bizarre Love Triangle after the scene where the lovers' dilemma was first presented and Bad Moon Rising for the "ill met" scene.

The fairies tap danced, one of the Rude Mechanicals pulled out a smart phone to check if the moon would shine (the audience laughed at that, but roared and applauded when Quince -- played by Lally Cadeau -- found the answer faster in a printed almanac.) Bottom's suicide as Pyramis was accomplished via light saber -- which he pulled back towards him by the blade to turn off as he died. (Thisbee turned it off on the withdrawal from under his arm, winking at the audience)

There was a lot of character dropping. "I have more lines!" Demetrius wailed as he was swarmed by child fairies. "Stop making me laugh," Oberon finally ordered a grinning Demetrius, who has contorted himself into a ridiculous position to get de-juiced. (This after he'd noticed how stressful the position was, mimed looking at his watch, and moved a bit upstage to see how long it could be held.)

They did not double roles. For a Scott Wentworth fan, that meant less of him, but it meant Jonathan Goad had far more time to chew the scenery with panache. (Goad and Evan Builing switch between Oberon and Titania.) not that there was much left to chew when Mike Shara (Demetrius) and Stephen Ouimette (Bottom) were chewing madly as well.

And if there wasn't riot enough, Goad took the ALS ice bucket challenge, in character, center stage, during the intermission. He gave a speech about how, due to the stage and his costume (the wings had been removed for their safety) the ice water was replaced with a bucket of leaves... and had just enough time to shout "THAT'S NOT LEAVES!" Before the ice water hit him in the chest. "Oh, that's cold," he quavered in falsetto. "Oh, my fairy berries!" He then challenged everyone laughing at him from the orchestra.

Photos of THAT, by the way, have already started hitting twitter. Look for #stratfordfestival.

I really, really hope that this production is chosen a some of,the ones the Festival records and sells. My one great regret of the season otherwise will be that I only saw such brilliance once.
neadods: (sherdoc)
I'm of two minds about this year's Shakespeare trial. Measure for Measure isn't a particular favorite. On the other hand, this is the description:

"The Duke of Vienna entrusted Angelo with the power of his office while he hid among the people to observe how everyone behaved in his absence. Isabella, who suffered greatly under Angelo’s misrule, eventually sued the Duke for myriad abuses, including illegal secret surveillance, false imprisonment, negligent appointment of an unfit deputy, and his disrespect for her commitment to her religious vows. But can the Duke be hauled into court for common law torts, or is the suit barred because most of Isabella’s complaints involve non-justiciable political questions, or because the Duke enjoys qualified immunity from suit for her complaints?"

...and the resolution of that does intrigue me. Inasmuch as I'd be able to understand the legal arguments, which *isn't* much. After all, this topic does not lend to the kind of lowbrow levity that Justice Kagan milked out of the Much Ado trial.
neadods: (sherlock)
[livejournal.com profile] suricattus is right; this plot makes more sense when you think of the whole thing being a very drunken weekend party.

There are two very lovely bits of business unique to this version. In no other production have I seen:

1) The Friar being pissed at Leonato. There's a nice little snap of anger while he tells Leo to calm down and try the fake death scheme.

2) Claudio: "I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope." Benedict, silently *Oh, fuck no! wince*

Linkarama

Nov. 21st, 2012 09:30 pm
neadods: (Default)
Random links to while away the holiday.

Shaddicted links to a variety of Sherlock-inspired knitting patterns.
http://shaddicted.tumblr.com/post/36234464614/areyoutryingtodeduceme

Exactly what it says on the tin: Things I would like to see Holmes introduce Joan as, knowing she has to play along:
http://shaddicted.tumblr.com/post/36234117513/things-i-would-like-to-see-holmes-introduce-joan-as

For the Shakespeare fans - [livejournal.com profile] wiliqueen's list of things Overheard at Dunsinane
http://wiliqueen.livejournal.com/756471.html#cutid1

This was highly recommended at a Holmesian chat: Action Sherlock Brain Theater Home
http://www.sherlockpeoria.net/Miscellaney/SherlockActionTheater2005/SHATheaterHome.html

For Thanksgiving dinner: PW Dinner Rolls – No Kneading Required!
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/11/pw_dinner_rolls_-_no_kneading_required/
neadods: (theater)
For the purposes of not typing for the next 8 hours, I'm using initials/acronyms for names in the transcript. They are bolded below.

The Supreme Court of Messina:
Chief Justice: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (SCOTUS) RBGins
Justice Samuel Alito (SCOTUS) ALITO
Justice Elena Kagan (SCOTUS) KAGAN
Judge Brett Kavanaugh (US Court of Appeals) KAV
Judge Douglas Ginsburg (former Chief Justice, US Court of Appeals) DGins
Judge Merrick Garland (US Court of Appeals for DC, former special asst. to the Atty General of the US) GARL
Judge David S. Tatel (US Court of Appeals for DC)

Counsel for Hero: Sanford Ain, cofounder Ain and Bank. HERO

Counsel for Count Claudio: Reid Weingarten, Steptoe & Johnson. CLDIO

Trial Transcript )

While the court deliberated, the audience could vote (a blue token for Hero; a red for Claudio) and ask questions of a member of the Theater and the two counsels.
Audience Q&A )

An usher brings in two ziplock bags of chips, one red, one blue and tries to weigh them on the scale of justice stage left.

VOICE FROM THE AUDIENCE: The scales are uneven!
Theater Guy: That's how we do it in Messina!

Many spill, and members of the audience object. However, any way you slice it, there were far more red than blue. M thinks some people voted red accidentally; someone in her row couldn't remember which chip went with which color, and the counsels calling "Red for Reid" weren't helping.

FINAL COURT DECISION:
RBGins: Three out of the four questions presented to the court had a unanimous verdict.

One: Is the marriage broken? We give a resounding yes to the divorce. We remind you of what the matchmaker said: she married not wisely or well, and men were deceivers ever.

Two: Should Hero get alimony? 2 justices dissented, but the majority agreed that Hero is not entitled to alimony from Claudio. She is young, the world is in front of her, she has no kids.

Three: Did the court err in quashing the subpoena on the Leonato Family Trust? Every lawyer knows this is a moot question without alimony.

Four: Is Hero entitled to the return of her dowry? We do appreciate that she is going to suffer consequences as she is definitely no longer a maiden. We affirm that she keeps the dowry.

The dissent was given by Garland.
We begin with the theory "What's love got to do with it?" We hear that Claudio was a cad who should be punished 5 million a month.

DGins: [my notes are too scribbled, but they boil down to Claudio owing alimony because] Her market value plummeted on the mere thought that she was not a virgin and now this is truly the case.

ALITO: I join with the court except for the part that "men were deceivers ever."

RBGins: [thanked the counsels and] Now it's time for champagne.


trial background
neadods: (Default)
The mock trial post is getting really long, so I'm splitting it into two parts: the background information and the actual trial transcript. This is the background post.

Three years ago, I went to a mock trial called "Malvolio's Revenge" held at the Shakespeare Theater.

This year, I went back. And before I get into details, I want to put into record two facts I need to remember for next time:
1) The wait list did indeed come through. It came through so swimmingly that I was called back not just when tickets became free, but *on the day of* just to be sure there were no empty seats.
2) Although seats in advance were $75 and seats for trial & dinner are $350, seats bought 6 hours before the show? ARE ONLY $20!!!! (M came zipping from work like a scalded cat; we didn't sit together, but we both got to go.)

Although? For that night of political humor, law, song lyrics, and theater (in all senses of the term) honestly? It would totally have been worth the $350 not to miss it.

This one was called "Ado, I do, Adieu: Claudio v. Hero." The general gist, as taken from the theater's website (copied because they'll take it down):
After three months of marriage, Lady Hero of Messina files a complaint for absolute divorce from her husband, Count Claudio in the Superior Court of Messina, seeking, inter alia, return of her dowry, division of marital property (specifically, their opulent wedding gifts) and permanent alimony. In a pretrial stipulation, Hero and Claudio agree that in Much Ado About Nothing, their matchmaker, William Shakespeare, has relayed accurately the saga of their courtship and marriage. At trial, they agree on little else.

The court finds in her favor awarding one-half of their wedding gifts and an alimony award of 30,000 florins per month, permanently. Claudio is appealing the divorce and the award of alimony. Meanwhile, Hero is making a cross-appeal with respect to the denial of the return of her dowry. “The course of true love never doth run smooth……”


Full legal text of trial scenario )

Side note 1: Last time, the bios listed how many times each Counsel had argued before SCOTUS. Apparently neither one of these has.

Side note 2: I found out from a former theater usher that RB Ginsburg is a huge Shakespeare fan with season tickets to every opening night and is very likely one of the instigators of the mock trial concept.



There was a champagne reception after, and on my way out I passed Justice RB Ginsburg as she was leaving with a champagne flute. I told her it was always a pleasure to see her working. She inclined her head 1/16th of an inch.

Trial Transcript
neadods: (theater)
This year's Shakespearean mock trial is on April 30 (tickets on sale March 21) and is titled: Ado, I do, Adieu: Claudio v Hero. "Claudio is appealing the divorce and the award of alimony. Meanwhile, Hero is making a cross-appeal with respect to the denial of the return of her dowry." As per the course, the judges & trial lawyers are the most high-powered they can lay their hands on, which in this town means "including several members of SCOTUS."

Trial website; Legal filing (pdf)

"Hero claims that that Claudio has anger and trust issues that have irretrievably broken their relationship. She testifies that she discovered soon after their marriage that Claudio is short-tempered, rash, gullible, unperceptive, paranoid, and irrational when angered."

...after their marriage? Seriously? After?



Anyway - I would not miss this for the world which is a stage. I know a good brewpub around the corner and a great fish place up the street. Couch space available. Pickup from airport (we're a Southwest hub), train, or bus by arrangement. Who wants to join me/have crash space?
neadods: (theater)
I am finally watching the Tate/Tennant Much Ado. (Legally, I hasten to add; M bought the download.)

My original reservations about the time setting still apply; I'm having trouble reconciling the language and the visuals. After that, though, I'm finding it peppered with interpretations that I haven't seen in any of the other productions before (and that's rather saying a lot for this play.)

Oh, and no I'm not going to cut-tag a past production of a 400-year-old play, so onward!

"Will you have me, lady?" Up to the Thompson/Branagh movie, I'd always seen that moment played as a joke; the prince isn't serious. It still sort of throws me that he's serious in the T/B movie and she's serious back. Here is half and half - he's serious, she blows him off thinking he was joking, and then spends the rest of the scene half hysterically trying to either get him to laugh or get herself to stop blurting out what she thinks. It's hard to describe, but it's working.

It's also one of several moments when we are reminded that Catherine Tate is first and foremost a Famous Comedienne - she's doing excellent work, but she's also very much A Famous Comedienne.

The other thing that's surprising me is that it's the first time I've seen Don John not as the main shit-stirrer, but more like the stirring stick. His henchmen are playing him like a fiddle. (No wonder the prince agreed to take him back; he wants to be dangerous but isn't on his own.)

There may be updates - I'm writing this during the Dogberry parts, as I always found him overrated. But I'm surprised to find that there's more here than a novelty setting and stunt casting.
neadods: (universal_roaming)
Nanoseconds back from a long, lovely chat with [livejournal.com profile] wendymr and Spouse, and wish we could have talked all night.

Before the cut, I'll say that Seana was brilliant, but it was a rather strange Richard because they wanted to push the idea of Richard as the continuation of the medieval play character of Vice, and thus Richard wasn't a frustrated king or a politician or even a person, he was an Idea of Evil. And... that didn't particularly work for me.

However! The ending scene made up for everything. And I didn't think that anything could compare to the last RIII I watched here, where Richard was hung up by his knees in a tree, and the last image was a back-lit shape of black (no, I can't spell the s-word and the ipad doesn't have spellcheck), an image of the dying king, his withered arm slowly falling to dangle next to his good one. Brilliant stuff, gave me goosebumps.

Here, cut for major staging spoilers )

And now, alas, I must pack to go home, a trip that will start horrifically early in the morning. When I get home, I'll see what's up with my userpics, half of which seem to have disappeared. I'd rather still be talking with Wendymr & Spouse!
neadods: (theater)
Today was pretty much shopping day, and I bought a lot, because every time I bought food for someone else (like the ice wine smoked salmon at Indigena) I bought some for me too. Good thing I have my entire car to fill up!

Plays:

Merry Wives was loads of fun, although maybe not my Ultimate Favorite Shakespeare Play anymore. Everyone was good, but Ger Wyn Davies was Falstaff, so you know he did his best to mop the floor with everyone else. "His favorite dish is the scenery," Mo said, and he dined well.

He also treated the fourth wall like three gibberish syllables, constantly breaking it in asides to the audience. On lust "making beasts of us all... yes, (pointing) you sir, you know what I mean, I know you do." On a joke that got only one tiny titter, it was just a point and "Thank you."

The audience ate it up.

The Misanthrope... I started out a little disappointed because the after show talk was cancelled "for unforseen circumstances." And then, during the first half... well, aside from thinking that Sara Topham is typecast as The Sprightly Ingenue and that everyone was riding roughshod over the poetry, I found myself profoundly indifferent. At intermission I asked myself if I was having fun (no), if I was comfortable (also no; how can an ass be so fat and so boney at the same time?) and if I wondered what would happen (not much; the playbill spoils the ending).

And so, blasphemously, I didn't go back in when the trumpets sounded.


On the other hand, I have seen swans and even cygnets and ducklings. And also -- there's an app for Stratford. Two, actually. One is more or less the festival visitor's guide in interactive form; the other is for the town and has tours and non-main-drag shopping, etc.
neadods: (theater)
The B&B may be a long walk from city center but right now I'm not only eating a light lunch of cereal, yogurt, OJ, and chocolate poundcake supplied for free, my clothes are in the wash. @ 26 may not have the mega gourmet breakfasts Aspidistra used to give, but the amenities are well worth the walk. (And you can go right by the chocolate stores on your way back and pop 'em right into the fridge so they don't melt.)

Anyway.

NEXT PART CONTAINS AN OPENING SCENE SPOILER FOR CAMELOT. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED FOR THE FIRST 5 MINUTES OF THE SHOW, SKIP DOWN.

Mo came back burbling that she'd seen The. Best. Warning. Sign. Ever. You know how theaters put up the signs: Warning, this play contains strobe, this play contains gunfire, etc. Camelot's reads "This play contains mist, smoke, [blah blah], birds of prey."

"Ha, ha," says Mo to herself. "That's cute."

But even having read it, she wasn't expecting the play to start with Merlin calling a live hawk to his arm.

SPOILER END

In a little bit I have my first play, Merry Wives of Windsor. I adored it and considered it my favorite Shakespeare play when I first saw it in Regent's Park.

... in 1984.

So we'll see how it plays out now. Then tonight, it's The Misanthrope, with a break for fish and chips and chocolate tour sundaes between.

This morning was a Meet the vegetables Festival* with Seana McKenna & her husband/director Miles Potter. (*So called behind the scenes) Highlights:

On doing a one-woman play: SEANA: "The cast parties aren't as fun... but you never miss a cue."

On costuming: SEANA: "I wear two corsets this season. One pushes everything up; the other pushes everything down." She also discussed how she did Richard (no platforms or bindings lest she hurt herself over the run, and building up the costume over the "strong" arm to look masculine, while her own arm would look much weaker in comparison.)

On "Shakespeare's Will" MILES: "It may be a play about an unhappy marriage, but the strains of an acting marriage? Oh, yeah, we could relate."

On a female Richard:

SEANA: Richard's always an other anyway. I'm just taking that one step further.

MILES: He's always compared to animals - the toad, the hog. I think she's doing a bird of prey. (SEANA: "Skree!")

MILES: He's pretending throughout. The gender is one more pretense

SEANA: Although one guy didn't get it. He was complaining that Richard was too effeminate.

on the seduction scene: SEANA: "In Shakespeare's time it was a man to a boy; we're just flipping that dynamic. Also, what does he tell her? 'I did terrible things, but I love you, I won't do them anymore, and you're the only one who can change me.'" (Nods as women in the audience laugh appreciatively.)


Would you believe that I haven't seen any swans yet? I've been by the river.

R
neadods: (Default)
General Links of Interest

[livejournal.com profile] honorh's heartbreaking personal account of being in the Japanese tsunami and aftermath

Food From the Age of Shakespeare

I think I got this from [livejournal.com profile] wshaffer; the sort of crack that the Internet was invented for: I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie but is There an Evolutionary Reason Why?
When a girl walks in with an itty-bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get vital evolutionary information that acts as a fairly accurate indicator of overall health.

And sprung. You also get sprung.



Sherlock Fic Recs
When Harry Met Sally (and then Sherlock Holmes) Harry Watson hadn’t expected the Met, and possibly the British government, to be this keen on locating her missing brother Lovely character work as Sally Donovan takes a scuffed-up Harry Watson to the hospital, and Harry starts meeting the mad people she thought her brother was making up.

I think I may have recced the first of these... or maybe not, I don't quite remember. It's a quadrilogy (why is this not a word?) in which I think the sum is far more than the parts. In the first story, Sherlock is caught between a peaceful old age keeping bees and dying in a warehouse at the end of The Great Game, unable to know which is reality. The cycle processes through the funeral, their (very slashy) afterlife, and their final burial, giving beautiful character moments especially to Mycroft, Lestrade, and Mrs. Hudson. In order:

I Meet You There and We Go (illo)
The Half-Open Window
I Broke Them All for You
I Dream a Highway (Back to You)
neadods: (hamlet)
YouTube link of a man reciting Sonnet 116 in Received Pronunciation followed by original pronunciation.

The weirdest part of all this is that OP sounds like someone who spent 20 years in rural Ireland and followed them up with 20 years in rural West Virginia... something that sounds like hillbilly and yet it's some of the most enduring and erudite English in the world.
neadods: (theater)
I had planned on liveblogging my trip this year, but that was before the ipod touch accepted the B&B network and the netbook didn't. Typing on that teeny screen is Just Not Worth It. (On the other hand, like the palm pilot before it, the Touch went from toy to tool in about 10 minutes; checking weather, keeping my schedule, holding play texts, etc. It certainly was lighter to carry than the netbook and a hardback book - I really see the appeal of ebooks now - and with wireless in the theaters I kinda got into the habit of doing a quick email check at intermission. Perhaps when the rumored smaller ipad comes out, I'll have something that will be better for typing on the fly as well as a better reading screen.)

The trip: We took a new route that was supposed to save 90 minutes. It added 90 minutes. *insert BLEH! icon*

The town: Two things of note for the tourists.

1) The County Food Company is now selling picnic pails. For $25, you get two big sandwiches, three small containers to fill with your pick from the dozen-item salad bar, 2 cans of soda or bottles of water, and a Secret Picnic Map (read: hand-drawn map of the Avon river), all in a bucket. It's a lot of good food, and a reasonable price for two.

2) Downtown businesses have grouped together to form the Chocolate Trail. For $20, you get 8 tickets, which you have 3 days to redeem at your choice of 16 businesses (repeats allowed). The woman at our B&B was giving us all the good hints - "Chocolate Barr only gives you two truffles, while Rheo Thompson gives you a box of 9 mixed cremes and Rocky Mountain gives you your choice of half pounds of fudge." (We chocolate trailed slices of turtle cake at Let Them Eat Cake for Mo's birthday.) Even non-candy stores were getting into the act - P'Lovers gave away chocolate mint bath salts, two tea shops gave away chocolate teas, Fosters gave away chocolate martinis, Kitchen Connoisseur gave away jars of mocha ice cream topping, and Bradshaw's gave away a plastic stemless wine glass with a couple pieces of chocolate and the promise that you could get the glass filled at a restaurant across the street.

The theater: Peter Pan, The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, & Winter's Tale )

Things are going well for Stratford. After a year of them begging me to renew my membership and a bad exchange rate (from the American point of view), I thought things would be bad for them. Instead, every show was filled to the brim.

On the personal side, I was devastated to discover that the Aspidistra is changing - it is turning into a guest house with no provided meals. As the breakfasts were the biggest draw, I'm looking for new Stratford lodgings.

On the plus side, [livejournal.com profile] wendymr and I had a wonderful long dinner and chat on Saturday. Great to see you again!

Now I have to go back to real life... and figure out why my feet are swelling. I know I've been walking a lot and I've spent the whole summer in the same shoes, but that shouldn't cause edema, should it?

I'll be catching up with LJ and real life tomorrow after work. Good night, all!

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