Archive for the ‘reports recaps reviews’ Category

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Sundry and Philology

November 8, 2010

While carefully avoiding the massive pile of Bakhtin at the foot of my bed, I decided to procrastinate on Language Log. This was fun, because there’s a lovely discussion of preposition stranding in Wilde which led me to both the cutest linguist-issued death threat ever and the cutest picture of and information about Oscar Wilde ever. He’s a witty classicist! Who gets linguists excited! This is a really fancy version of my entire social life! (Also I’ve a friend who’s reading Dorian Gray for the first time, and she keeps emailing me with adorable flailings about the language, and it’s making me want to reread that instead my augh-why-do-I-inflict-Bakhtin-on-myself.)

Now, I really do have to finish this Another Damn Essay On The Cena And Gatsby (working title), but in the meantime, go look at Ben’s ballot poem, which is gorgeous and inspiring.

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Em’rald City: the spring break edition

March 23, 2010

I’m in Seattle, visiting my dear sister and partaking of the most adorable things to be had in the city. Among them are:

1. The Balagan‘s production of The Jammer, which is described as the “King Lear of roller derby plays.” Not an inaccurate description! This is why I love tiny hole-in-the-wall we-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-budget theaters: the production was so resourceful, so spirited, so darn enthusiastic, that it wasn’t even a case of forgiving or ignoring the cardboard-cutout (literally) ensemble. No, it was to the point where the cardboard was endearing, when the characters could directly interact with cardboard, acknowledge it as cardboard, and still have an emotional confrontation with it. That’s theater at its finest, most pure, most goddamn adorable. I’m definitely going to patronize the Balagan next time I’m in Seattle, just because of that.

(The Jammer also introduced me to an awesome idea: all emotional relationship-related conversations should happen on rollercoasters. It’s so ridiculously appropriate.)

2. Cupcakes! I continue to love and adore Cupcake Royale, the closest to my sister’s apartment and also my heart. I got my “Legalize Gay Cupcakes” teeshirt there last time I was in town, and this time I got a delicious lavender cupcake and also the cutest goddamn teacup on the planet.

3. Puppies!

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That is Batman, an 8-week-old English/American bulldog mix, the newest addition to my sister’s family. He’s awesome and falls asleep on me a lot.

More later; I’m off to have more adventures!

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Seattle Rhymes with Cupcake

September 9, 2009

And yea, the Goddess of Cute Thingies did descend and spake unto me in a dream, and did say:
“Unto Seattle-by-the-Sea ye shall descende, and so shall ye partake unto you all of the cupcakes, and all of the yarns, and so shall ye do so under the strain of thy feete and the sweat of thy pores.”

So, we drove to Seattle. And we got a parking spot because the Goddess of Cute Thingies put in a good word for us with the God of Parking Spots, and we are keeping that parking spot for the rest of the week because we know better than to spit in the face of the God of Parking Spots. That’s why Odysseus had such a hard time, you know– it wasn’t Poseidon he pissed off, it was the God of Parking Spots. And so, as the goddess bade us, we tramped all up and down the hills of Seattle and found the yarns and the cupcakes.

On our first day, sleep-deprived and a little dazed, damp from the rain and exertion, we stumbled into Cupcake Royale on Pike Street near Anna’s apartment. It was delicious and adorable, very simple cupcakes, and including very nice teeshirts. I bought one, because it was purple and my size and said LEGALIZE GAY CUPCAKES on it. So far I have had four strangers start conversations with me because of it.

On our second day, neither cupcakes nor yarn were had, but Anna and I did get to see Ponyo, and that was so adorable it made my teeth hurt. I’ll be knitting a little Ponyo fish plushie as soon as I’m in the same state as my yarn again. Instead of cupcakes, we did also find Molly Moon’s ice cream, which had amazing delicious flavors like honey lavender and balsamic strawberry.

Today, our third day, we managed both cupcakes and yarn. On the advice of the beautiful shopkeeper/potion-mistress in Pilot Books on Broadway, we tromped all the way downtown to try the cupcakes at Yellow Leaf. She said they were her least favorite, but the toffee-chocolate one was plenty amazing and they have definitely mastered the Art of the Buttercream, so it’s really a difference of taste I guess. We then tromped directly to So Much Yarn, where we were enthusiastically greeted by the most adorable shopkeepers on the planet. I escaped with under a hundred dollars of yarn, which felt like an accomplishment– I always forget that my Swift Stitch employee discount only, uh, applies at the Swift Stitch.

We have Plans for the rest of the yarn stores today and tomorrow, and there’s one more cupcakery we know of somewhere on Boren that we have to find and try. So, we shall see if this Holy Quest is successful~

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Fefu and Her Friends got me all wet

May 30, 2009

Today, I went to a UCSC production of Fefu and Her Friends. This entailed driving up Empire Grade through those lovely hills to a house in Bonny Doon known as the Clap Trap. The house was lovely and, I’m sure, the setting of many interesting non-related hijinks (especially judging by the name). Among the small cast was my dear friend and housemate Deepika Singamsetty, who told us about the play and of course performed admirably in it.

I’ve never seen a play in this format, where the audience is split into groups and led around the house to view different scenes theatre played out simultaneously in different parts of the house. It was intensely intimate, and left the feeling of being squashed face-first up against the fourth wall. At one point, an audience member sneezed and a performer blessed her without interrupting the action or breaking character at all– that’s how cozy it was.

Like an exagerated theatre-in-the-round, we were often behind the backs of one of the performers during a scene. Unlike any traditional theatre, we were physically on the set, and usually less than five feet from the performers. It was bizarre, because once in a while the performers would use their stage-voice instead of their indoor-voice, and the difference was a little jarring. In the small group scenes, the performers didn’t have to project at all to be perfectly audible. Also, because of the somewhat awkward shapes of the rooms, once in a while performers had to directly interact with the audience simply to get through the doorways.

This almost claustrophobic intimacy had some weird effects. I was much more emotionally connected to certain characters, especially at times when they were making almost direct eye-contact with me personally as an effect of the angles at which everyone in the room was positioned. It didn’t feel any less dramatic, nor any more realistic, than most plays I’ve seen, but I felt pulled into the artifice as if I were myself a character in the drama.

It also reminded me that I should get working on my own darn play, because what a wonderful medium in which to write.