Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day After Caterday Post: Babysitting

I am taking care of this handsome lady:
and this pretty gentleman:
for the week.  They miss their people, but they are glad to see me. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Poetry Tuesday: Because It Is Mine

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
                       -Stephen Crane

I was given a copy of The Black Riders and Other Lines for a moving-in welcome gift!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Punch Card!

It was in a recycling bin!  I have no idea what it means or signifies, but there was a punched punch card in the recycling bin!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Caturday Post: The Mango Box

Mango season! 
Homegrown varieties available at your local pet shelter!  Box accessory optional.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pillage, Rape, and William Tell

Warnings: rape and opera

I recently saw two articles discussing a recent Royal Opera House production of William Tell, which garnered boos from the audience during the rape scene the director saw fit to insert. Both articles are noteworthy for their attempts to change the subject.  The one, by talking about booing itself, the other by talking about Placido Domingo, without actually even addressing his point about respect for the subject matter (there is no rape called for or required by the libretto), though it did give the director's rationale (that we have to experience the suffering of the oppressed Swiss). 

Myself, I have seen the opera Guillaume Tell once, as a livestream from the Bayerische Staatsoper, and was not overly impressed with the production.  Like too many of that opera house's productions, it was very dark lighting wise, minimalistic set-wise, and and boringly modern costume-wise. Particularly so on the boring costumes in this case as I am too shallow to believe in the revolutionary ardor of men in sweatervests.  Also, I felt betrayed upon realizing that the melody I know and recognize as the William Tell Overture is not the overture, it is merely the overture to the final act, which is not the same thing.  Despite reaching a point watching the opera where I was rather over the production and not paying much attention, I do not recall any reason why a rape scene would be supported by either the text or the score.  I do, however, recall people telling William not to disrupt a nice wedding with his gloomy speech about oppression, so I think the same narrative logic would apply to replacing a jaunty ballet with a rape scene. 

However, since I don't recall this opera that well, I consulted Andras Batta's Opera.  Batta says that this opera supports a variety of interpretations" which is the artistic equivalent of saying more research is needed--a phrase that is completely meaningless because it is never not true. However, the themes he identifies are those of heroism, an oppressed people rising to an occasion forced upon them, and also a very noble peasantry sort of pastoralism (my phrasing, not his).  This means that a rape scene really does not fit into the ballet, since an uncredited supernumerary who makes no further appearances cannot either have a blissful pastoral appearance or demonstrate heroism in the face of oppression.   One might, in fact, conclude that the raped woman has no narrative purpose other than to be a nameless and faceless victim against a cultural background in which women are seen as property of men, damage to which is damage to the men in their lives and often as justification for further violence.  Mr. Roof shooting a number of women because "you people rape our women" for example. It's a Conan the Barbarian "hear the lamentations of the women" type narrative that demonstrates crimes against women without ever giving women a voice.   Literally, in this case, since this is an uncredited actress with no lines, and no identification.  It sounds a bit unsavory.  I would probably have booed this production as well. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Value of Good Teachers: Movement Analysis

I took a rope/single-tail silks workshop at The Space with Marina Luna.  It was wonderful.  I learned new things, and tried out rope, and today I have some sore muscles.

The instructor really knows her stuff, too: she watched me try to swing into s-wrap, once, and told me why I am getting so much slack in the wrap, and what kind of motion I should be trying for, clearly and without unnecessary verbiage.  And I tried it, and I need more work, but I got a lot less slack in the wrap, first try.

Contrast this to a tae twon do "master" in the McDojo system I spent 4 years in, who watched my form and told me that "something is wrong, but I don't know what.  Next group!"

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Fabulosity: Conspiracy Theory Meets Fashion

Darlings if, like me, you have ever worried about your ability to protect yourself from government (or possibly alien) mind-control rays and remain fashionable, the internet is here for you. Flickr has a Tinfoil Hat Challenge.  There are also fun and fashionable project for protecting cats' minds from the mystic and inscrutable voices implanted by the government (or possibly aliens).  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Mad Seamstress: What I Will Do On My Summer Vacation

Part I: Cosplay

Princess Zelda, Twilight Princess style.  Heavy white satin for the skirt (to be divided, for purposes of aerial acrobatics) and underbodice, purple stretch satin (these days we can put elastic fibers in all the fabrics!) for the overbodice.  We're buying most of the jewelry from a talented Etsy artist, but note the shoulder pads o' doom, which I'm going to transform into jointed pauldrons that will (I hope) allow for the necessary shoulder mobility to use this costume in a trapeze routine.  The gold ribbon is for the skirt edging.  Still needed: fabric paint for the apron, some detailing to work out.

Link, Twilight Princess style.  High-necked renaissance-looking shirt in white stretch cotton, green kona cotton tunic, dust-colored cotton twill pants, gray patterned wool to fake a chain mail shirt under the tunic.  Belt and baldric from another talented Etsy crafter, semi-styled blond wig bought on Ebay that I'll need to finish.  Boots, vambraces, and sword I'm not going to try to incorporate into aerial work.  The light doesn't do this green justice: it's a beautifully classic hunter green. 
 As an aside, I am worried to see the selection of solid-color cotton weaves decreasing every time I go to the fabric store.  The closest Hancock Fabrics is down to one small half shelf of broadcloth and one shelf of kona cotton.   

Part II: Curtains

Left: bedroom.  Right, kitchen.  Yes, these really do change color depending on how the light strikes them, especially the red, which will change from purple through crimson all the way to flame orange.

Left: swag for the dance mirror in the living room.  (Yes, our living room is the dance room.  No boring sofas cluttering up our space!)  Right: living room curtains.  You may not need dragons on your living room curtains, but we do.

Part III: The Workshop

 I now have a sewing room,with my sewing machine set up permanently.  The iron and ironing board live in the same room, with space to set them up, and even leave them out, next to the sewing machine.  The dance room has plenty of space for cutting out. 

Thus my small projects no longer stall on the time-cost analysis of setting up and breaking down/putting away versus 2-3 inches of a raveled hem, and my summer projects do not make me give up in despair at mere logistical considerations. 

Let the snipping and pinning and stitching begin! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015