hermionesviolin: image of The Thinker with text "Liberal Arts Major: will ponder for food" (will ponder for food)
The ASP season for next year came out last Wednesday. The Downfall of Despots )

***

Last night, we saw a broadcast of the RSC's Tempest -- finishing out Shakespeare's jubilee year (2016 was the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death) with Shakespeare's last solo-authored play.

They had a teaser for ROME, and I thought it was just the next play they were doing, so I thought, "Julius Caesar? Or Antony and Cleopatra?"

No, it's the whole next season -- Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicus, Coriolanus. I'm excited. I mean, I'm meh on the first 2 plays, but the RSC has done such amazing productions recently that I'm at least interested to see what they do (if nothing else, we'll get to see them make great use of their visual resources -- they have an amazing stage, and amazing amounts of money, so their productions honestly feel worth watching for that alone), and to see how they comment on our current political moment.

In talking about next season, Gregory Doran (Artistic Director of the RSC) was like, "In this post-Brexit, post-Trump," and he just kinda looked at the ground in sadness as he was talking. (In talking about Lear -- unwise breaking up of the kingdom -- IIRC he said that the Brexit vote happened the first day of rehearsals for the show.)

For their ROME season they're bringing back the director of Othello (I forget for which play, but I'm real excited about that -- they evoked Abu Ghraib in that one, so I look forward to any politically-engaged play under that director) and have a woman director for one of the plays (again, I forget which one, but good on you RSC, and take note Hollywood).

And it feels so Shakespearean to use stories about Italy to talk about England :) (Now I'm curious to see a table of how many Shakespeare plays are set in Italy [or elsewhere] vs. set in England -- esp if we exclude the histories. A quick Google suggests that 1/3 of all Shakespeare's plays are set in Italy. Folgerpedia has a nice sortable table -- which also allows a quick at-a-glance that almost the only plays he sets in England are the histories; the only exception/s being The Merry Wives of Windsor in Shakespeare's modern-day, and King Lear and Cymbeline in mythic pre-Christian Britain.)

Oh, and the latter 2 plays in their ROME season are so great -- Titus being always a trip, and Coriolanus being a lesser-known play I've seen some really great productions of.
hermionesviolin: (be brave now)
So, ASP did a Winter Festival this year -- 3 shows, each with a short run.

(1) Shakespeare's Cymbeline -- a pared-down version of a minor play (there's a good review by someone else here)

(2) The Hotel Nepenthe -- a surreal series of interconnected vignettes which I enjoyed more than I was initially expecting

(3) Living in Exile -- an adaptation of a retelling of the Iliad

I cried a number of times in the first act -- which ends right before the Iliad actually begins (which explains why so many of the stories in the first act felt new to me). Early in the second act, I thought I wouldn't like the second act as much as I did the first, since I'm not actually a big fan of the Iliad, but the second act pulled me right along (though it is genuinely shorter than the first act).

When Patroklos begged Achilles for his armor, I wept -- held my hands in front of my face and wept, knowing what would come next. ([livejournal.com profile] musesfool, I thought of you.)

I also wept during Priam in Achilles' tent, though less hard.
hermionesviolin: image of snow covered hill and trees with text "the snow with its whiteness" (snow)
I was not expecting it to snow today. Huh.

In other news: \o/
Actors' Shakespeare Project
2011-2012 Season
Laughter, Loss & Longing


Twelfth Night
by William Shakespeare
September 27, 2011 - October 23, 2011

The Merry Wives of Windsor
by William Shakespeare
December 7, 2011 - January 1, 2012

Medea
by Euripides
translated by Robin Robertson
February 8, 2012 - March 4, 2012

Troilus and Cressida
by William Shakespeare
April 25, 2012 - May 20, 2012
(I am, however, sad that NSMT apparently nixed Little Shop of Horrors for Footloose.)
hermionesviolin: photoshoot image of Charisma Carpenter (who played Cordelia on the tv shows Buffy and Angel) with animated text "you say / BITCH / as if you think I'd care" (bitch [mys1985])
Community Night: Miss Conduct Tames the Shrew
Thursday, October 15th | 5:45pm to 7:00pm
Upstairs on the Square


Boston Globe blogger, Robin Abrahams, will read from her new book, Mind Over Manner: Master the Slippery Rules of Modern Ethics and Etiquette, and lead a discussion about sex, communication, Petruchio and Kate. In the Zebra Room at Upstairs on the Square, we'll eat, drink and discuss all the Shrew-ness we can handle!
Okay, so it didn't start until like 6pm, and they wrapped it up at like 6:45 (to allow people time to buy her book and stuff, I guess).  There were waitstaff walking around with appetizers -- most of which were actually vegetarian (unlike most of the entrees on the menu) and OMG shot-glass of creamy tomato soup with a tiny grilled cheese sandwich!  However, Cate and I did split an entree 'cause we thought we'd be excessively hungry otherwise.  I knew from having had lunch there during Restaurant Week that their portions are small, but still, wow...  How is this our default restaurant for taking candidates?  Anyway.

Miss Conduct & The Taming of the Shrew -- reading/talk/Q&A )

The house didn't open until 7pm, so we went to Herrell's (which is apparently open through Head of the Charles -- this weekend -- and ambiguous after that).  I got Hazelnut Cream, though I couldn't really taste it what with the hot fudge.

So, the show.

ASP does The Taming of the Shrew )

Hyperion Shakespeare Company is doing an all-female Richard II (10/21-10/24 ... I think I'm going to go Fri. 10/23).
hermionesviolin: (glam)
I spent Saturday with Cate and Allie (not to be confused with -- per one of my coworker's last week when I was talking about my upcoming weekend plans).

Veggie Planet was takeout-only due to The Campfire Festival at Club Passim*, so we ate at Grendel's Den -- yay eating outside :)  I got vegan chili (I forgot that chili means onions :( ) and linguini with pesto (what I was actually given was shells pasta, but since I prefer that to spaghetti-like pasta, I wasn't complaining).

*Looking it up online, Campfire Festival includes Mya Elaine and Brooke Brown Saracino.  Hello people I went to college with.  (Mya was my first year roommate.)

We were a little pressed for time, and as we were heading to the bus, Cate said, "I know Elizabeth has strong feelings about being on time."  She used the "strong feelings" phrasing twice, so then I had to tell the story of Ian and Andy from like a month ago at work.

I successfully paid attention to street signs and read the map I had printed out, so that after we got out at Dudley Station I took in the correct direction to get to the venue.  \o/

We had apparently been issued tickets for the evening performance rather than the matinee (and I didn't even notice on the confirmation email), but they were far from sold-out, so we got our tickets reissued -- same table and everything.

***

Yeah, I am not big on the comedies.  Read more... )

***

I didn't look up local ice cream places in advance, so we just took the #1 back to Harvard and got ice cream at Herrell's -- and ate in the vault this time.  I got a coconut chocolate chip, which was good.
hermionesviolin: black and white photo of Emma Watson, with text "hermionesviolin" (hermione by oatmilk)
March 30, 2009, 7pm

Coriolanus Conversations: The Politics of Compromise
Moderated by Director Robert Walsh

Panelists:
Ron Goldman, Cast Member & Psychologist
Diana Henderson, Shakespeare Scholar, MIT
Robert S. Ross, Professor of Political Science, Boston College

With scenes and discussion about the play and its relevance to our times, in our lives, today.
The word compromise was in Shakespeare's vocabulary, but barely, and not, it would seem, very welcome.  In Richard II, King Richard is assailed for having "basely yielded upon compromise" lands and other assets "which his ancestors achieved with blows."  Compromise seems here associated with the slimy parts of politics---talking, not fighting---though that word, in the plural and hence in our modern sense, does not appear in Shakespeare.

In any case, it is odd but interesting to invoke these terms in connection with Coriolanus.  Coriolanus himself is, on the whole absolute---a word that appears four times in the play, twice used by him, sarcastically, of the common people, twice applied to him, as a term of approbation.  He, much more than anyone, has the strongest, clearest set of values.

Absolutism, however, in 1607 or so when Shakespeare presumably wrote this play, was under scrutiny.  King James I was flirting, at least, with the idea of absolute monarchy---the God-given right of a king to rule as he saw best.  He was facing increased resistance from members of his court and especially from the elected members of Parliament, vox populi, the voice of the people.  There seems a strong possibility that Shakespeare chose to dramatize this story from its source in Plutarch precisely because he could see in it the birth of politics in our sense.  He could see the transition, at the very beginning of the Roman republic, from a time when the power of the state was vested in whatever man could claim it by absolute strength of arms, to a time when power was geld to derive from the people, temporarily assigned by them to some strong person to use in their interest.

It is certainly the case that at the core of this play is a call from the people to compromise, and an equally literal call toward the absolute.  How the struggle turns out in the pay you know, if you have seen it.  What's remarkable is how relevant the conflict still seems, 2500 years further on.

-David Evett [Scholar-in-residence]


***

While waiting for this to start, I was listening to conversations happening with audience members near me.  One woman was attempting to translate the Russian on one of the images projected on the wall, and said she thought it approximated to "everything for the struggle."


I gave up on making full sentences complete with contextualization out of my notes.

Read more... )
hermionesviolin: image of Caleb from Buffy with text "none are righteous" (none are righteous)
Sat, March 21 - Fight Night: Fight Call & Violence Design, 6:30pm
Pre-show talk with Robert Walsh, Director of Coriolanus
I think it was actually the guy who played Aufidius who said the interesting stuff I jotted down.

He said that staged combat is more storytelling than martial art.

He talked about combat as being a way we communicate when words fail.

I think it was in talking about fight choreography that he talked about something (I didn't quite catch what) as Lego blocks, with which we create different physical sentences.

***

Caius. Martius. Coriolanus.

[Note: Most every performance has a free pre- or post-show talk/reception, schedule listed on this link, plus the pay-what-you-can Conversation.]

spoilers for the play in general and specifically this production of it )
hermionesviolin: black background with red animated typing the "blood and rhetoric" bit from R&G Are Dead -- ending "Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see." (blood)
Opening Weekend (January 8 - February 1) of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi at ASP.

Some months ago, Cate's coworker Kate was talking about something and said, "When's the last time anyone did a production of The Duchess of Malfi?"  To which Cate replied, "Well..."

It's ASP's first non-Shakespeare production, and I hope they make a habit of having one non-Shakespeare show each season, 'cause no one does Jonson or Marlowe or any of that ... plus it allows them to go more seasons before they have to start repeating Shakespeare plays.

spoilers )
hermionesviolin: image of Caleb from Buffy with text "none are righteous" (none are righteous)
Stephen Greenblatt said directors and actors are usually "evasive," but Melia Bensussen (Director, ASP's Merchant of Venice) and Jeremiah Kissel (Actor playing Shylock) like never shut up.  It was really interesting hearing their impassioned thoughts on the decisions they made for this production and their thoughts on the play more broadly.

The other two panelists -- Bernie Steinberg (President & Director, Harvard Hillel) and Michelle Ephraim (Associate Professor of English at Worcester Poly Tech) -- seemed almost extraneous.  Though I need to email the Hillel guy 'cause his blurb on the program talked about him doing bridge-building and I obv. wanted to talk to him about that but I didn't catch him after the show.

I didn't take notes, so this is all from memory.  [Oh, and it's not necessarily obvious from the commentary, but the two ASP folks are practicing Jews.]  Read more... )
hermionesviolin: image of Caleb from Buffy with text "none are righteous" (none are righteous)
ASP is currently doing Merchant of Venice at Midway Studios down by Fort Point Channel.

Cate and I got dinner at Channel Cafe.  I got the Deluxe Veggie Burger, which was definitely tasty, though I'm not sure worth $10.95.  I could have gone for dessert (despite the fact that it surely would have been overpriced) but we didn't have time.  We went to Wendy's in Central Square after the show 'cause Jason hadn't had dinner, so I got a chocolate chip cookie dough Frosty -- and some of Jason's french fries 'cause the woman neglected to take down that part of my order.  According to Jason, Wendy's french fries are made with love and rainbows with no animal fat, so I didn't even have to feel guilty.  (McDonald's french fries use animal fat, but they are so much tastier than Burger King's animal-fat-free french fries.  Wendy's fries are def. tasty.)

***

Merchant of Venice is one of the few arguably the last major Shakespeare play I still had yet to read or see a production of.  [I would link to that "which Shakespeare plays have you seen/read?" meme, but I'm not sure I ever posted it -- *finds unposted draft from back in March*  *posts*]

I knew it was the anti-Semitic play, of course, and I knew it had the "If you prick us, do we not bleed" speech, and that was about it.  I was not prepared for the fact that I was SO UNCOMFORTABLE.  I think I just assumed that Shylock was a slimy villain and that because it was like, "Hey, villain, and also he's Jewish, 'cause clearly the only Jew in my entire oeuvre should be a villain," it was nowadays considered an anti-Semitic play.  more about the play )

***

I am skipping econ class to go to:
Merchant Conversations: Being Shylock with moderator Stephen Greenblatt
November 18th, 7pm, Midway Studios
Panelists:
    Melia Bensussen, Director, ASP's Merchant of Venice
    Michelle Ephraim, Associate Professor of English at Worcester Poly Tech
    Jeremiah Kissel, Actor playing Shylock
    Bernie Steinberg, President & Director, Harvard Hillel
Join us for a riveting evening of scenes and discussion exploring the provocative and resonant themes of The Merchant of Venice today.
    Price: $12 - $15
    Buy Tickets Here
hermionesviolin: (self)
gym: Wed.-Fri. )

***

I feel like I've been on summer vacation since Wednesday.

Friday was the now traditional "Light Lunch" followed by an afternoon off.  Peter and Greg walked over to lunch with us.  I picked up a small whoopie pie for dessert, and Nicki was asking me what the filling was, like was it flavored, and I was like, "Um, it's a whoopie pie... it's just cream."  Katie reminded me that we'd had a conversation before about how whoopie pies are a New England thing.  (Greg didn't know what they were, but we're used to that 'cause he spent a good chunk of time in Israel.)

Cate joined later, and some I ended up telling her about due South fandom.  I don't think I'd really realized before that CKR was in due South and that's where everyone initially knows him from.  (Yes, apparently I think of The Canadian Actor Mafia as its own fandom.)  I've never seen due South, but I was recalling that I did sporadically watch some tv show with Mounties when I was younger, and really, how many tv shows about Mounties aired on broadcast American tv in the 1990s?  Dad, do you remember anything about this?

Speaking of fandoms I'm not in...
via [livejournal.com profile] monkeycrackmary: Steph in Africa (on scans_daily)

Anyway, we hung out for a couple hours and then went our separate ways.  I did a couple errands -- though not as many as I should have.  We reconvened for dinner at CPK at the Pru.  Cate was running late, but we still had our food (I got the mushroom pizza.) with enough time to eat and not feel rushed.  (We ended up getting to Park St. like right at 7:30 -- minor T delays was something of a theme with me that afternoon -- but ASP never starts on time, so we were okay.)

That morning, I bumped into Layna on my way to the T and Allie at the T, and on the Green Line to Prudential I saw Meredith.

***

ASP's 4th season wrapped up with King John, which neither Cate nor I had ever seen/read before.  (And I didn't look at the synposis, opting to just go with the flow of the play)

Turns out it was really good.  Both the play and the production.  It was very modern -- people in suits, drinking martinis, brandishing pistols, etc. -- and that made SO MUCH SENSE.  And the play itself is interesting and engaging (and okay there were a few bits I could have done without, but that's usually true of me and lots of the comedic bits Shakespeare sticks in the histories).  I told Cate afterward that it was probably my favorite of the season, definitely made me excited about giving them money for my subscription for next year.  She commented that the other productions this year had schticks, like the all-female Macbeth, the Henry V with only five actors, and she was like, "See, when you have a multi-gender cast of more than half a dozen, you can do great things."  I commented that while this one also had a "schtick" (the contemporary, shades of mafioso, setting) it was more of a theme -- we agreed that this was like Titus, which was the play we saw last season and which was also awesome.  I also said that they didn't overdo it, which she agreed, and she commented that ironically, she thought if they'd done more with the schtick in their production of Tempest this season it might well have worked a lot better for her.

spoilers )

***

As I expected, I had mixed feelings about the apartment I looked at this morning.  It's a two-level two-bedroom condo.  The woman living there is looking for someone quiet, and part of me is like, "I'm never home, and when I am I'm mostly just playing on the internet," but part of me worries that I would be on edge, worrying.  The two bedrooms abut each other, and she mentioned that for example, "If I make a late-night phone call I go downstairs" (the upper level is the two bedrooms and a full bath, the lower level is a living room and eat-in kitchen and half-bath) and yeah, that kind of quiet consideration feels maybe excessive.

It's got a nice basement I could use to store some of my boxes (though yes I know I should purge before I move) plus washer-dryer.  She has RCN wireless internet; I would need wired Internet and would like cable tv.  The bedroom is good-sized (11x14... my current one is about 11x11) and with a good-sized closet.

There's a nice little playground across the street, including checkerboard tables with attached seats.  It's something like a 15-minute walk to Harvard Square, and I could pick up the 86 (direct to my campus) like five minutes from the house.  It's near a Market Basket, plus the FoodMaster by Inman and the Union Square Farmer's Market and it's a 5-10min. walk to the 87 to Porter (Shaw's).

She rents from the absentee landlords (they're in California, but apparently there's a local repairperson who's good... and the condo was built in the 1980s and is in good shape) and was talking about a month-to-month lease, which makes me nervous, though it also provides flexibility should I decide it wasn't working out and wanted to move (and I do trust that if she decided to move -- she's been flirting with the idea of buying a place herself, but doesn't think that'll happen any time soon -- she would give me plenty of notice).

I'm not under pressure to decide SOON, which I appreciate.

Part of me feels like I should just wait until July, when the bulk of the August 1 openings will be posted.  And part of me thinks I should actually check out July 1 openings 'cause if there's something that's a great fit then it would be worth double-paying rent for a month.

***

I went to Gusti's graduation party (at the Nave Gallery at CHPC).  The official start time was 4:30, so I left my house at 4:30.  (I live about a five-minute walk away.)  It was really nice that so many of Gusti's communities were there (people from her neighborhood, people from CHPC, people from school -- including her undergrad [she just graduated from HDS]).  I actually chatted with people I didn't already know.  *proud of me*

SarahD. was talking about Adam Sandler's new movie (the Zohan one), which apparently includes Israel-Palestine issues.  I now feel like I need to see this movie.  (She also mentioned how she walked out of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.  I was so pleased.)

***

I was chatting with mjules after I got home, and it's good to have someone who knows what you're talking about when you wtf at "The Devil Is Bad" by the W's (Track 8 on Disc 1 of WOW 1999 The Year's Top Christian Artists and Songs).

Track 12 is the Supertones' "Little Man," which brought me back to the Supertones concert Tim took us to back when I was in high school, which I had totally forgotten about until now.

***

I was okay in the heat today, and my apartment still feels decent.  I am very pleased by this.  (Though I expect it will get worse as the days continue to high near 90F and it only cools off to like 70F overnight.)
hermionesviolin: (self)
gym )

***

Do I wanna go to Many Stories, One Voice: Ecumenical Welcoming Movement Celebration?  It's Thursday-Sunday the weekend after Labor Day (ha -- I'd miss the opening Singspiration of the season ... after the conversation my mom and I had, I wrote JoeF a letter in which I mentioned that "it feels easier to just let people at United assume I am who they think I am;" I did not mention that I try not to lie in answer to direct questions, but this reminded me that last time: I said I was staying overnight but then getting an early train back to Boston to attend a conference, and GinnyH actually asked me what the conference was, and I said, "transgender legal issues," and she didn't give me shockface or anything, in fact started asking me about it like had I learned interesting/useful stuff or something like that and I just went with it and did my best to answer).
It's in NOLA, at the Marriott.  *checks*  Our horrible experience was at the Doubletree.  *relief*

Speaking of United... I got the "Responses to 'Family Meeting' Questionnaire" (cf. a March 7 meeting, apparently) today.  I feel like that's cutting it close for an April 6 evening meeting (reminder to self: lift that up in Prayers of the People on Sunday -- also: hai, Singspiration one week from tonight's gonna be interesting), though possibly town residents got theirs earlier since it's Local mail.  Anyway.  I shouldn't be surprised that JoeF sent me one.  I skimmed it, and some of it's good and some of it reminds me why that is Not My Church and of course some people's thoughts directly contradict other people's thoughts.

***

Today was a slow day, so I'm not up for teasing out a full list of joy sadhana items, but I did want to note that today's pasta special included Tofu Picatta.  Hi, this is the first time I have ever seen tofu on the pasta bar.  Okay, I paid $2.15 additional (pasta w/o protein is $5.00) but....

***

We went to Wisteria (a Chinese food place near where Cate and Jason live) for dinner.
    Their fruit smoothie drinks include "Purple Tour of Romance" and "Sea of Magic," which we totally ordered.
    Some of our food and drink was a bit slow in coming, which was only a problem because we were pressed for time.
    I had scallion pancakes, which I had for the first time last night and am apparently a big fan of.  I also got "vegetable ravioli" (basically steamed dumplings) which I was less thrilled with, though they weren't bad.

***

We saw ASP's production of The Tempest, and I was unimpressed.  Read more... )
hermionesviolin: Boston skyline at sunset with the word "Boston" at the top (Boston)
Friday night, Cate and I were gonna meet at the Qdoba by the Agganis Arena before going to Macbeth.  I walked from HBS to where the 66 meets the B Line, and figured I'd just walk along Comm. Ave., except my sense of direction is not great in that area, so I walked in the wrong direction and then hopped a B Line at Allston St.  The parallel street thing that Comm. Ave.'s got going on is weird and awkward.

The Qdoba was crazy busy.  We saw after we left that there was a hockey game that night.

The show was at Studio 102 at BU's College of Fine Arts.  I had thought I would have been to all the theatre venues in the city by now, but clearly I was wrong as I had discounted college venues.  This particular room had like no ventilation, so we were very glad to spend the intermission outside in the cold air.  (I'd been taking off as much of my clothing as I felt I could get away with sitting in a public venue.)

I say it's my (second) favorite play, but I become less and less sure about that.  Everything happens so quickly, for one.  And Lady Macbeth's all badass up until Duncan's murder and shortly thereafter she and Macbeth have a total role reversal, which I don't entirely understand.  And Macbeth goes seriously crazy (hello Banquo's ghost scene).  He spends like five seconds considering the possibility that the kingship will come to him without any effort on his part like Cawdor did, and completely dismisses the Banquo prophecy until after he gains the kingship.  A lot of this is understandable on reflection, but watching it happen in front of me I had difficulty finding it believable.
     It was an all-female cast, which neither added (except that girls are prettier than boys, on the whole /shallow) nor detracted for me, which I'm really okay with.  The animalistic costumes for the witches in the scene where Macbeth goes to look for them were visually v. interesting, though I'm undecided as to whether I find them problematic.  At the "all my pretties" bit, I teared up.

There's a Cold Stone Creamery next to the Qdoba now.
     I wanted something light-ish, but all the stuff that looked potential had mix-ins I wasn't in the mood for.  I felt like it would be lame to go to a ColdStone and just get a single flavor, so I got a Birthday Cake Remix.  The server asked me if I wanted it in a coconut-dipped waffle bowl and I said sure.  Turns out he waffle bowl is coated in chocolate and then coconut, so it's wicked rich plus hard to eat 'cause the waffle part is curved and it's coated in hard thick chocolate.  Eating it, I realized I think I've had their cake batter ice cream before and yeah, not a huge fan.  Sigh.
     Cate got an After Dinner Mint and decided that yeah, she should have just gotten the straight-up chocolate peppermint ice cream since the mix-ins (chocolate shavings, marshmallows) didn't really add anything.  (We both got samples of the chocolate peppermint ice cream, though, and it is tasty.)
     The cashier asked the girl behind us if she was a student.  (Apparently we don't look like we could be students?  Though possibly that girl was wearing some sort of college paraphernalia, which we definitely weren't.)  When we left we noticed the sign outside that we hadn't registered when we came in that said you get 10% off with a student ID.  Sigh.

***

I'd been getting 6 hours of sleep the past couple nights. Saturday I slept for nearly 12 hours.  It was AWESOME.

I got my hair cut at Salon Femia again.  Yay walk-ins.  I ended up getting the same woman I had last time; I should have asked her name since it totally escaped me from last time.  I actually enjoy that they don't chat with you while they're doing your hair. I'm not sure it's the best business practice for them to chat with each other and not so much the clients, but it works for me.  I'm not opposed to small talk in those settings per se, but I never have the right answers for small talk -- I dislike the hot weather, love the cold weather and not just in a cozy bundled-up kind of way, don't really follow sports, rarely have exciting vacation plans, etc.

I'm not sure my hair looks any prettier, but it's easier to manage, which is worth a fair amount.  (And Trevanna complimented me on it on Sunday, so that's yay.)

***

Michelle's living in Leominster at present, so she had her 30th birthday party ("karaoke, beer, and fun") at The Tiki in Westford.

Jess took initiative about getting directions and arranging carpooling.  Bless her.
     Michelle had said something about it being an hour drive, but it took us 40 minutes, so we arrived right at 8pm (the approximate start time we were given), beating Michelle and her sister.

I was deciding what to wear for the day and remembered that I was going to Michelle's party so I didn't need to wear anything classy.  Looking for a different black shirt and remembering [livejournal.com profile] queenmother49, I opted for my "Everyone loves a cunning linguist" t-shirt.  Practically the first thing Michelle said to me upon greeting me was love the shirt.

Eric and Trelawney bought her a bag of Doritos ("orange salty guilt," as she affectionately refers to it).  That was arguably the best gift of the night.  I fail 'cause it didn't even occur to me until she got her first gift that duh birthday party perhaps I should have gotten a gift or a card.  I just so rarely do obligatory gift-giving dates.  (And she didn't even say anything, I just felt sort of lame.)

I was in the mood for a side of fries or something, but the place serves Chinese food so my options were kind of limited.  I couldn't remember whether Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls were more likely to be vegetarian and just ordered a side of Spring Rolls.  The dominant taste was fried, and I couldn't tell whether I tasted meat in it or not.  The last bite I saw shrimp.  Sigh.  I was then mildly worried that I would get sick, which thankfully didn't happen.  Having gotten used to drink prices at real Boston restaurants (or, god forbid, clubs), I was really pleased to find that drinks were $5 (and beer $3.50).  Not that I ever drink a whole lot -- though I did buy the birthday girl two drinks.

I'd never been to karaoke before, and I was so grateful that neither Michelle nor anyone else pressured us to participate.  'Cause hi, I don't sing.  I had more fun watching/listening to other people's performances than I had expected, though.
     Someone did a a country song called "Big Deal," which I wouldn't have guessed was LeAnn Rimes.  The woman singing it had a country appropriate voice, just not a LeAnn Rimes voice.
     Someone else did "Goodbye Earl" (Dixie Chicks), which song I was surprised Mike didn't know -- yes, I know it's a girlie song and he doesn't listen to country, pop crossover or not.  Meredith was surprised I didn't know "Under the Boardwalk."  Someone did "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" -- which I didn't even know was a song until that night.  There was a lot of Frank Sinatra, which I wans't really into.  A couple guys actually came into the audience with the mic, which was cool.  Someone did "I Am... I Said" by Neil Diamond, which again I'd never heard before, but I liked it.
     Michelle's sister Nicole and their friend Denise signed up for a karaoke together, and the DJ called "Nicole and Dennis."  When we have him grief for it, he said he wished he had a projector so he could put up the slips of paper and see if we could do a better job than him of deciphering them.
     Michelle did "Trouble" (which Google tells me is by Pink), "Holdin' Out for a Hero" (Bonnie Tyler), and "Crucify" (Tori Amos).
     Mike did Billy Joel: "Keeping the Faith."  Again, new to me, but I liked it.
     Trelawney did "Head Over Feet" (Alanis Morissette) 'cause she and Eric are just that sappy.
     Eric did "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" (They Might Be Giants) which I thought was fabulous, since he and Trelawney went to Turkey on their honeymoon.
     Someone did eve 6 "Inside Out," and I was like: I love that song ... I could maybe even sing that song.  Though I'm not sure if it crosses the line from energetic to angry too much for me to really feel like singing it.

We stayed until closing (12:30) and driving home was a bit more difficult than driving there, but we made it, and I learned a bit more about driving in the Harvard etc. area (Jess was driving me and Jenny, who lives near the Washington Street stop on the B Line).
hermionesviolin: (older Cordelia)
Friday

Prof.B. working from home is both good and bad.

I went to the gym after work.  Did a half-hour on the elliptical (interval program), pedaled backwards for second half.  (mile 1 - 11:17, mile 2 - 22:52)  Then I did a half hour on the rowing machine.

*

Mike&Meredith hosted a Game Night.  I only ever seem to be able to attend the ones they host :)

Michelle's been talking about how she read Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible, and I'm starting to want to read it 'cause she talks about how LaVey is such a good writer.
Michelle recommended Elaine Pagels' The Origin of Satan to Sue.  Anyone have thoughts?  I remember being unimpressed by Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, and I seem to recall that I've heard mixed things about Elaine Pagels.
She also explained the difference between a pentacle and a pentagram, which was news to me.

At one point during the night, Michelle said approvingly, "I'm getting my back rubbed by a cute girl."  (I was sitting behind her on a piano bench.)  She hadn't heard from her boyfriend since Tuesday and next time she talks to him she's gonna tell him: "There are plenty of people happy to take me off your hands, if calling me once a week is too back-breaking for you" and totally namedrop me :)

Michelle was telling me about this online survey that had as one of its questions: "Who would you HIGH-FIVE right now?"
She said she cracked up laughing, and thought of me.

At one point she said she (we?) needed to get psyched up... that the jazz music in the other room just wasn't doing it for her.  I knew what was coming, but when she busted out with, "Shot through the heart!" I  still nearly died laughing.  [ref.]

At one point, Sue asked, "Were you two separated at birth?"
I said normally Michelle prompts a lot of "This is my tolerant face" from me, but that we happened to be focusing on the stuff we mutually geek out about.

Michelle says next time we marathon HIMYM we're inviting Sue and Catherine.  I pointed out we're most of the way through S1; she said we'll start over, she's happy to rewatch.

We played Apples to Apples.
I got intense (Black Holes - Mike) and corrupt (My Love Life - Michelle).
The last hand we played before people had to start getting home (it was like midnight) was "spunky" and the final choices were "Rock & Roll" or "Girlfriends" -- my card and Trelawney's, respectively.  Trelawney enlisted peer pressure, and not actually wanting to be spunky, I was ok with forfeiting to her.

Saturday

I was gonna go to the gym but ended up sleeping for an eternity.  ::confused::

[livejournal.com profile] collegecate and I went to see Titus Andronicus, with dinner at Tamarind Bay beforehand, and dessert at Finale afterward.

I had Nezami Handi ("Mix Vegetables with spinach in almond sauce.")  It very much wasn't what I was expecting, but I liked it, and though I was surprised at the apparent small amount of food, I was full at the end.

Anyway, Titus Andronicus.  That was a very disturbing play.
Back when we watched The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover and Emma couldn't stomach it, I said, "But you love Titus," never having seen or read the play myself.  Now that I've seen it, I stand by that statement more strongly.
Also: there was a moment wherein a character gagged another by stuffing a piece of paper in his mouth.

Yeah, that a dessert place has a buy-one-get-one-free promotion with a production of Titus Andronicus is a bit disturbing :)  I'd actually never been to finale before.  I ordered a Manjari Mousse.  Not to die for, but that was okay.

The company that did Titus Andronicus... their 2007-2008 season is: Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest, King John; and the coda to the 2006-2007 season is Love's Labour's Lost.
I am undecided.

Cate lives near Coolidge Corner.  Good to know for future midnight showings.  [midnight showings permalink]  I wouldn't have gone to the prom thing anyway -- though because '"Everything's funnier when seminarians do it," I will be at ANTS next Friday :)

Sunday

I dreamt that I happened to visit the library and I saw Terry in the old children's room with a young daughter.  Awake, I have decided this was Tallessyn's daughters, whom I see at Cambridge Welcoming every Sunday (especially since my dream self seemed to think Terry had two daughters) but it was very bizarre since that is not how he normally shows up in my dreams.

Last night I was telling Cate that I was considering taking an Intro to Islam course at the extension school next year.  However, trying to come up with a bibliography and thesis for my 15-page research paper for my Medieval Church class is making me wanna drop out of school.  I also dislike that I've been in a poor mood all day because of it.

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hermionesviolin: an image of Alyson Hannigan (who plays Willow Rosenberg) with animated text "you think you know / what you are / what's to come / you haven't even / BEGUN" (Default)Elizabeth (the delinquent, ecumenical)

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