single perfect tear

Jul. 27th, 2015 10:40 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I know, I know, you wonder what FFA is even for, but I am here to tell you: for the Great Woobie-Off.

And best of all: [personal profile] skygiants informs us that the winner, the Woobiest of all the Woobies, is, of course:

Vanyel Ashkevron. Search your feelings: you know it to be true.

On a similar note, would you like to have your heart broken, and then fixed better than it was before with gay porn? Damn, son, [personal profile] cesperanza has still got it: "All the Angels and the Saints", Captain America/Bucky Barnes. Yeah, I know this is like a year old; this isn't even my fandom, I haven't been reading in it, I ran into this randomly, and whoa.

Exploring Relationships

Jul. 27th, 2015 09:33 pm
cahwyguy: (Default)
[personal profile] cahwyguy

Singed (Operaworks)userpic=theatre_ticketsEvery year we go to a fascinating show that is impossible to describe. The show is the finale of the Operaworks (FB) Advanced Artist Program called “Opera Reconstructed”. Here’s why this is so fascinating:

The Advanced Artist Program is for operatic performers in graduate school or beyond, who want to work in-depth on their repertoire – dramatically, musically, and physically. It’s goal is to teach the performers the “other” side of opera beyond singing. In particular, the not only learn how to address the business and marketing side, but they learn how to act and move on stage as actors and actresses — how to relate to other characters as characters, not just stand in front of a piano and sing. The program culminates with two performance shows of improvised opera. The show consists of three acts, not necessarily related. For each act, the students pick a location and come up with one paragraph bios of their characters and their relationship to the other characters in their act. They then pick arias, from both operas and other musical theatre, for each character to relate to another character. Improvising dialogue, they now put these characters and arias into a show. Here’s an example bio:

Brynne (Pulver), 42, was tragically murdered last year at her co-owned business, the speakeasy, Sassy Sally’s. She was the songstress for over fifteen years, and was a local favorite. A beloved mother, sister, and friend, she is survived by her daughter, Alexandra, and son-in-law Scott; her sister Johanna, and from what we are told, long-time lover Evelyn. Some say they still feel her presence in the speakeasy. Will she ever rest in peace?

If there is one constant in these shows, it is sex and violence. Perhaps this is because stronger emotions are easier to portray, to express. But the plots are convoluted (as one might expect from those familiar with opera), and remembering them a day after the fact can be difficult. It is also rare in these shows for a performer to sing more than one song — not a surprise when you have 32 performers and 32 songs in 2.5 hours.

This year the tree acts were only tangentially related: some characters from Act One reappeared in Act Three — even though it was almost 80 years later. Time discontinuity aside, that was really the only connection. Let’s look at the acts and the singers from what I remember.

Act One was called “The Speakeasy”, and took place in a 1920s speakeasy called Sassy Sally’s. Sally’s is run by Noelle (Thomson); she runs the establishment and interacts with all. Joanna (Watson) is the cigarette girl and assistant manager, and loves to daydream about her ex. Jaime (Billman) is coming off a messy divorce with Shelly (who reappears in Act Three). Evelyn (Tsen) was in love with Brynne (see above), and hasn’t been able to move on. But now she has feelings for Karen (Levandoski), a cop who was investigating the case.  Madelaine (M. Martinez) is the new songstress, and wants to end her days as a high-end prostitute. Maggie (Woolums) is a prep school graduate who was friends with Alexandra and Elena. Scott (Ballantine) was a guard at the state prison (which we see in the next act) and comes to the speakeasy after work. Alexandra (A. Martinez) is in a tumultuous marriage with Scott, and is also a bootlegger. Elena (Bird) has resorted to exotic dancing to support her drinking problem. Cole Perder (Douglas Sumi) was the speakeasy pianist, playing piano to fund his addiction.

Arias in this act were (in order) [🎶 title 🎼 composer 🎤 singer]:

To me, the most notable performer was Ms. Thomson — she was comfortable as her character and kept interacting with others and playing throughout.

Act Two, “The Prison”, took place in a prison. It seemed to concern a racial war between white prisoners and, umm, non-white prisoners (who were either Asian or Hispanic). The prisoners and other characters were: Carmen (Metry), a former foster child who found heroin on the streets; Mengtao (Zhou), a Chinese Black Widow who murdered seven boyfriends and is now in love with the guard, Nick (Harmantzis), who was brought up in an abusive environment and has pent up frustration and anger. Azur (Valcour) was sexually brutalized, and so strangled her oppressors and drank their blood. Katherine (Bruton) is a housewife with particular values, so she poisoned the blacks that moved into her neighborhood with arsenic. Christina (Ramos) had her child taken away, and is soon to be released — she’s also the only sane person in the unit. Eva (Kastner-Puschl) is a slutty murderer who killed her boyfriend, and subordinate to the leader of the “Whities” and makes out with the guard. Margaret (Boeckman) is a lifer who killed a nun who physically abused a friend, who is also under the rule of white supremacist Katherine. Lily (Barber) drowned her infant daughter and 3-yo son. Lau (Pu) is from a prominent family who killed her fiance. Elle (Logan) is a southern girl who had a psychotic break and dismembered the torso of her ex-husband. Quite a fun bunch. Tickling the keys was Dolores Cliburn (Mark Robson), a cross-dressing former piano instructor with a penchant for arson.

Arias in this act were (in order) [🎶 title 🎼 composer 🎤 singer]:

I’d list memorable performances, but I was so involved with watching this one I forgot to make any notes.

Act Three, “The Family Reunion”, brought together a large disfunctional family to see Grandpa Mark (Mark Robson). The family members were as follows: Katia (Kotcherguina), a fun-loving party-going college student.  Shelley (yes, the one divorced from Jaime of the first act) (Mitchell), who is still hurting from the divorce (80 years ago?). Laura (Remy), the father of the family who came out last year and is transitioning, trying to connect with her two daughters, Ekaterina/Katia and Lindsey, who is estranged from her sisters Anna and Sarah. Anna (Buck), the mother of three who just wants perfection, and who has cut ties with two of her rebellious children, Michelle and Jen. Carolyn (Forte) is married to Andrew (Metzger), the winner of a reality show. Jen (Hansen) is a feminist lesbian. Sarah (Baumgarten) is a single-mother to Andrew, and has found Jesus and judgement. Michelle (Drever) left home at 16 and is a paleontologist and does makeup. Lindsey (Fuson) is a defiant teenager feeling abandoned with her father’s transition and her sister going off to college.

Arias in this act were (in order) [🎶 title 🎼 composer 🎤 singer]:

Again, this was an act where I was so caught up following the performances that I failed to make notes.

Technical Credits: Stage Direction: Zeffin Quinn Hollis (FB). Movement Coach: Dr. Paula Thomson. Improvisation Coach: Laura Parker. Artistic Director: Ann Baltz (FB). Additional faculty and Operaworks staff is listed on the Operaworks site.

Alas, yesterday’s was the last performance. Operaworks (FB) will have a winter production on January 16, 2016, so look for it.

Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre critic; I am, however, a regular theatre audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I subscribe at three theatres:  REP East (FB), The Colony Theatre (FB), and Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals).  I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows: August continues the theatre craziness, with a double header at Theatricum Botanicum (FB) the first weekend: “As You Like It” on Saturday, and the rescheduled “Green Grow The Lilacs” on Sunday.  The second weekend of August is equally busy, with “The Fabulous Lipitones” at  The Colony Theatre (FB) on Friday, our summer Mus-ique show on Saturday, and Concerts on the Green in Warner Park (with a Neil Diamond cover band) on Sunday. The third weekend of August is calmer, but only because we moved theatre off the weekend because my wife is driving my daughter’s car back to the bay area. As for me, I might very well go back to see the revised “Jesus Christ Superstar” at REP East (FB) — they are returning to have live music and I expect that will make a significant difference. The third week of August may see us back at REP East (FB) for their “secret seventh show”, which has been revealed to be “A Company of Wayward Saints“. After that we’ll need a vacation … but then again we might squeeze in Evita at the Maui Cultural Center (FB) the last weekend of August. September right now is mostly open, with the only ticketed show being “The Diviners” at REP East (FB) and a hold-the-date for “First Date” at The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (FB). October will bring another Fringe Festival: the NoHo Fringe Festival (FB). October also has the following as ticketed or hold-the-dates: CSUN’s Urinetown (end of October – 10/30 or 11/1);  “The Best of Enemies” at The Colony Theatre (FB) (Ticketed for Sat 10/10); and  “Damn Yankees” at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB) (Ticketed for Sat 10/17). As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Bitter-Lemons, and Musicals in LA, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411.

 

This entry was originally posted on Observations Along The Road (on cahighways.org) as this entry by cahwyguy. Although you can comment on DW, please make comments on original post at the Wordpress blog using the link below; you can sign in with your LJ, FB, or a myriad of other accounts. There are currently comments on the Wordpress blog. PS: If you see share buttons above, note that they do not work outside of the Wordpress blog.

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umadoshi: (WotH: making music (iconchacha))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Photography

"Glorious Photo Captures the Moon and a Two-Tailed Comet".

"15 B&W Historic Photos Restored To Full Color Bring The Past To Life".


Videos

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] lizcommotion, "Ideasthesia: How do ideas feel?". "The traditional model of our mental function is that first our senses provide data to our brain, which then translates those senses into the appropriate mental phenomena: light into visual images, air vibrations into auditory experiences, etc. But what if that process is actually occurring simultaneously? Danko Nikolić describes the theory of ideasthesia." (Six-minute animated TED-Ed lesson.)

I feel like maybe I've linked to Vienna Teng's solo cover of Ain't No Sunshine / Lose Yourself before (where she lays all the vocals and backing herself on stage), but it's worth linking again.


Cute

"Sand Cats: Where The Adults Are Kittens And The Kittens Are Also Kittens".

"22+ Sleepy Kittens Doing What They Do Best – Sleep". Ohmygosh, the belly spots in photo #9...!

"Shelter Puts Dogs In A Photo Booth To Get Them Adopted, And The Results Are All That!".

Adorable photo of a frolicking baby orca.

"Meet Atchoum. He’s the only cat in the world to have Hypertrichosis – aka “werewolf syndrome”" is about a cat with a rare condition that means his fur grows constantly.

"Once Thought Extinct, 'Royal Turtles' Make a Comeback".

"Curious Cows Help Save Seal Pup Stuck in Mud After Swept by Tide Into UK Marshland".


Unsorted

On Oxford Words, "What do you call a group of…" is a gallery of their favorite collective nouns. (The post also links to this longer list. "Some are fanciful or humorous terms which probably never had any real currency, but have been taken up by antiquarian writers.")

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] jjhunter, "Playing Mozart’s Piano Pieces as Mozart Did". "While modern players tend to hunch over the keys and hold their forearms nearly perpendicular to the keyboard, 19th-century style dictated that pianists sit bolt upright. The posture prevented players from bringing their weight to bear on the keyboard, instead forcing them to rely on smaller finger movements. The elbows were held firmly against the body, with forearms sloping down and hands askew. As Ms. Kobb became more fluent in this approach, she found that certain movements — jumping quickly between disparate chords, for example — became swifter and more fluid. “The elbow against your body serves as a sort of GPS, so you always know where you are,” she said.

Chords and scales sound smoother and can be played faster, Ms. Kobb also found, and dramatic pauses between notes — often a matter of physical necessity rather than of style — are lessened. The old style also allows the performer to be more discriminatory and subtle in choosing which notes to stress, Ms. Kobb learned, producing a performance that is subdued by today’s standards."
(The post includes a link to a 23-minute video of Christina Kobb playing and discussing her work.)


In response to this article on the debate of whether it's racist or appropriative for non-Japanese to wear kimono*, [dreamwidth.org profile] swan_tower posted "Preserving Fire". (That link is to the Dreamwidth post, where there's some discussion, but there's a lot more at the Livejournal crosspost.) "“Kimono,” as we think of them now, are the fossilized relics of nineteenth century fashion, the domain of specialists who have learned all the rules and can steer clueless modern people through them like dolls. It’s as if a “dress” in Western society meant a corseted garment worn with a lobster tail bustle, made out of fabric that matches the color and pattern aesthetics of 1870, and god help you if you mistakenly wear a day dress to an evening dinner, or a riding dress when you intend to go for a walk in the park.

If that was what a “dress” was in 2015, it would be going the way of the dodo.

So people in Japan are trying to figure out how to preserve fire, instead of worshipping ashes. Part of that means relaxing the rules, so that you no longer have to do things exactly the way they were done in 1870 Japan."


*Specifically, the example is of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts' display that allowed visitors to try on a kimono that was very similar to one in an 1876 Monet. There was protest in the US, but in Japan, people were apparently sad to hear that fewer people would get to experience wearing a kimono.

Wrong exercise, I think

Jul. 27th, 2015 07:13 pm
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
[personal profile] redbird
I was feeling fidgety and a bit down this afternoon, and decided to do a bit more exercise (because that can help my mood).
cut for exercise details )

My ankle is now unhappy. I have iced it, and am hoping for the best. Healing is slow, and so many of my ordinary activities, as well as the things that would usually be good for me, either hurt or seem to slow it further. That ten minutes of exercise may mean not going to Ivar's for clam strips tomorrow. *sigh*

I see the physical therapist again Thursday afternoon.

Taking up the needles again,

Jul. 27th, 2015 09:50 pm
versailles_rose: (knitten)
[personal profile] versailles_rose posting in [community profile] knitting
When my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knitted her chemo caps. I'd send her two caps a month. Deb was ill for nearly two years when she passed a year ago last May.

Since she died, I didn't feel like knitting. I'd say that knitting so much wrecked my hands and gave me Carpal Tunnel. (It's not a lie, I really did.) Just recently I've started knitting again. I'm practicing colorwork, and design. This evening I cast on a hat to knit in blue and white. It is the first time I've knit anything in over a year.

I guess my period of mourning is over, and I can enjoy knitting again without feeling the loss and sadness.

Anyone else go through something like this?
lordultimus: (Default)
[personal profile] lordultimus posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Meredith Finch: "What we want for [Donna Troy] is a struggle for her to see if she can become a good person, knowing the terrible things that she's done. I see her now going forward as more of an anti-hero. She has a ruthlessness to her."

One page behind cut.

Read more... )
davidlevine: (Default)
[personal profile] davidlevine

IMG 4589
This weekend I took a hard-hat tour of the former Blue Heron Paper Mill in Oregon City.



Click for tons of photos )

Injection #2

Jul. 27th, 2015 04:19 pm
laughing_tree: (Default)
[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily


"There’s a deep strangeness to Holmes that rarely makes it out into adaptations. One of the first mentions of Holmes made to Dr John Watson — a war veteran with a dodgy left arm — describes a lunatic at loose in a morgue, whacking corpses with a big stick to see if people bruise after death. The walls of his disgusting rooms are slathered yellow from the hundreds of tobacco products he’s lit and let burn out there so that he can study and catalogue the peculiarities of their ashes.

"In an early CSI, William Petersen is found whacking a fake head filled with fake blood with a rebar to observe blood-spatter. In the first MONK, Tony Shalhoub sniffs a curtain and can tell that someone was standing next to it smoking Newports. These are the same gags, minus that certain berserk intensity. He may not have been the first fictional detective, but he invented everything in the genre you see today."
-- Warren Ellis

Read more... )

Marville #4

Jul. 27th, 2015 05:03 pm
informationgeek: (lyra)
[personal profile] informationgeek posting in [community profile] scans_daily
marville4cover

"Let's us once again enter the scummy, disease, carcass of a comic series that is Marville. That's a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, for it to be a carcass, it would have had to been alive at some point."

or

"THIS COMIC....AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! JUST........AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?!?!?!?!? ....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! *cue him throwing the comic across the room*"- Linkara

"In fact its a bit of a stretch of the imagination to even justify calling it a book... A book has a reason to exist... This does not." - Matthew Lane (an Amazon review of the trade paperback)

Writer: Bill Jemas
Artist: Mark Bright
Inker: Paul Neary
Colorist: Transparency Digital

More quotes from victims of Marville.

Read More... )

Liberality For All

Jul. 27th, 2015 11:42 pm
[personal profile] history79 posting in [community profile] scans_daily



"It is 2021, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. America is under oppression by ultra-liberal extremists who have surrendered governing authority to the United Nations. Hate speech legislation called the "Coulter Laws" have forced vocal conservatives underground. A group of bio-mechanically enhanced conservatives led by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and a young man born on September 11, 2001, set out to thwart Ambassador Usama bin Laden's plans to nuke New York City."

- ACC Studio Synopsis


A comic even dumber than Holy Terror )

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2015 05:22 pm
skygiants: the Phantom of the Opera, reaching out (creeper of the opera)
[personal profile] skygiants
Twice recently [personal profile] rymenhild has brought joy into my life. The first time was when I found out that there was a Valdemar ficathon scheduled and emailed her about it. She explained to me that the Valdemar fandom had experienced a small explosion, and the ficathon was in fact the celebration of a victory won by an anonymous fail_fandomanon person, known only as Vanyel's Campaign Manager, who after much successful lobbying and quoting of Mercedes Lackey's loving depictions of Vanyel's tragedy at last saw Vanyel Ashkevron crowned the Woobiest Character Ever.

This is so appropriate that I don't really have words to express it. The nineties have returned -- the once and future nineties -- and Vanyel reigns enthroned, as always was destined, from the beginning to the end of time, below a banner that says "Saddest of all the medium-length* tales ever told."

*you know, the ones appropriate for a three-volume novel in mass-market paperback form

The second time was today when she told me that Frank Wildhorn -- my favorite-least-favorite composer of musical theater, author of such enduring works as The Scarlet Pimpernel: The Musical, Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical, and Death Note: The Musical -- just got married to takarazuka actress Yoka Wao, known for playing such roles as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, and Dracula in Wildhorn's own Dracula: The Musical. That last one isn't even a takarazuka show! They just cast her as Dracula anyway, I guess because she's just that good at incarnating seductive evil in a tuxedo.

When Andrew Lloyd Webber cast his girlfriend as Christine, that was creepy. This? This is AMAZING. Frank Wildhorn is a man who is living his dream, and I have never liked him better.

Slave Ships in Action

Jul. 27th, 2015 02:26 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
See an animated map of the slave trade.  If you pause the animation, you can click on any ship for details.

Around 2 million Africans died on the slave ships alone, and more before and after that.  Never forget.

Sigh…

Jul. 27th, 2015 11:28 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Ever spend several hours on a blog post, only to have WordPress eat it?

Charlie Brown Sighing

 

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

oursin: image of hedgehogs having sex (bonking hedgehogs)
[personal profile] oursin

I.e.
13 Little Things That Can Make a Man Fall Hard for You*

Good tips for making sure that the kind of man who likes this sort of infantilising/dog-training approach to relationships stays far far away - do the opposite.

Quite apart from, what on earth does the woman get back from all this?

Also, I think the compiler has missed one important point:

Keep young and beautiful, if you wanna be loved

(I have eschewed the actual clip of Eddie Cantor, in blackface, in Roman Scandals, 1933, which adds a significantly racist element to this sexist claptrap.)

*Is she SERIOUS? Plz 2 B telling me it's a spoof, or the reprint of something from 1955 or so, please, please.

umadoshi: (hands full of books)
[personal profile] umadoshi
I finally got all of the books I bought in Toronto this spring entered into my spreadsheet! For anyone who's curious, here are the lists. ^_^

At TCAF, I picked up:

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks. Maggs, Sam
Lover's Leap: The Tale of Jane Riley. Adams, Leisl
Nimona. Stevenson, Noelle
Seanan McGuire's InCryptid: The Price Family Field Guide. Bing, Kory. (Postcard book of 24 critters from The Price Family Field Guide on Seanan's site.)
a softer world: truth and beauty bombs. horne, emily and Joey comeau
Tokyo Demons 2. Sentar, Lianne


And then there was the trip to Bakka-Phoenix, AKA my very favorite bookstore, AKA a store I'd love to support more than airline weight restrictions usually allow for. This trip involved Ginny's moving truck. And so.

As you'll see, I picked up all the books from The United States of Asgard despite never having read anything by Tessa Gratton before. This is a combination of having had her recced to me by a couple of people and the fact that Chris, the manager at Bakka, explained the publication situation to me and I decided to just nab them all rather than risk buying the first one or two, falling in love, and then not being able to acquire the third and the book of short stories/novellas (I don't remember exactly what it is ^^;).

Bakka acquisitions: are under the cut )

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