Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: CANDID

HAVE YOUR CAMERA READY AND JUST SHOOT.

— Leya, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 67

Prague, May 2019

Irene (self’s niece) and Martin (tour guide) crossing the Charles Bridge, our first day in Prague.

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Street Performers, Prague, Last Week of May 2019

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Prague Castle, Last Week of May 2019

Lens Artists Challenge # 65: PICK A PLACE

  • “Each of us at some point has visited a place that holds special memories.” — Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 65

This was an easy post for self to write. She just got back from attending Cal Shakes’ Macbeth. The Grove Talk by Philippa Kelly, Cal Shakes Resident Dramaturg is a Don’t-Miss.

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Philippa Kelly Giving Her Grove Talk, Before MACBETH

Have been watching plays here every summer since 2001 (Romeo and Juliet: Adam Scott played Romeo).

Tonight’s Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were played by a couple who suddenly put everything into a new light. All hail, Rey Lucas and Liz Sklar, for bringing the sexy back to a play first performed in 1606. These two are the youngest actors self has ever seen play Mr. and Mrs. Spot-on, the casting! For the first time, self understood the heat between the two;  she could see the similarities to film noir. In addition, because self and her party were seated third row from the stage, she could see every change of expression on the actors’ faces; it felt so intimate.

Also, for the first time ever, self heard Macbeth call someone a “whey-face.” lol lol lol

Her one complaint might be that The Weird Sisters were not witchy. Or not witchy enough. Of course self got very excited at hearing the immortal lines: Double double, toil and trouble. She just wishes there were an actual cauldron.

She wonders if there was ever a production where The Weird Sisters were replaced by giant hand puppets. During intermission, she eavesdropped on the people behind her who were describing a performance of Macbeth at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “There was a big pool of blood right in the center of the stage. And whenever a character did something bloody, they would supply themselves from the pool.”

That, in self’s humble opinion, sounds gimmicky to the extreme.

Philippa Kelly’s pre-show Grove Talk was fascinating — self wished she took notes. It revolved around the unmasking of identity, and how paradoxical it is that when people remark that “someone has changed” it usually means that the person’s true identity is finally being unmasked and undone.

Gregory also made self aware of the fact that the first actor to play Lady Macbeth was a boy, because back then women were banned from taking roles in the theater.  Women’s parts were played by boys whose voices hadn’t yet broken. Has there even been a modern staging of Macbeth where they use a boy for Lady Macbeth? She thinks not, but it would certainly give the play a whole new spin.

P.S. The Bruns Amphitheater was FREEZING and self needed to rent blankets. Her lips got totally chapped and her hands were frozen. For some reason, all self had on was a denim jacket and a scarf.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE: YELLOW

The theme for the week is YELLOW.

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Self was cleaning out son’s room when she came upon a box of legos. Was fascinated by the little people and their yellow heads.

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The box contains all of son’s Matchbox car collection. There’s a yellow car at the very top.

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My Life of the Party Rose has two colors of blooms: pink and yellow

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

Books/ The Economist, 9 February 2019

As dear blog readers can tell from the date, self has a whole pile of Economists to catch up on.

Today is Sunday and the sun is shining and she’s made good on her goal to spend most, if not all, of today reading.

She’s on the 9 February 2019 Books section, and there’s a review of a really interesting book:

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Another book reviewed in this issue (though not positively, lol) is Let Me Not Be Mad, by A. K. Benjamin. Sadly, The Economist does not warm up to its unreliable narrator, but self confesses to being intrigued by this excerpt, quoted in the review:

  • I walked over London Bridge in rush hour, faces thronging around me, and diagnosed each one in an instant: Psychosis . . . Depression . . . Lewy Bodies . . . Panic . . . Depression . . . Sociopathy . . . OCD . . . Cynophobia . . . Panic . . . Guam’s. Everybody has something, and now there’s a name for it, even if it’s fear of having something, of going insane, aka dementophobia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Paladin and His Minder: AUTONOMOUS, p. 40

Paladin and Eliasz go “undercover” to catch Jack the Smuggler, purveyor of the (illegal) Homework Drug (Which has an actual name, but please: self is teaching on-line. Does she have time to look up things? She just keeps thinking: Adderall. Adderall all the time)

  • Paladin noticed that Eliasz had changed his posture subtly, slouching and pulling his bangs over his eyes in a way that made him seem younger. He could pass for a postgraduate, and it was clear these drunk bio hackers were already responding to him as a peer. Paladin briefly admired this bit of HUMINT artistry, then considered that some of the records associated with Eliasz’s prints placed him at twenty-nine years old. Perhaps those records were accurate, at least in respect to the man’s age.

There is some really dry wit happening in the head of Paladin (who is AI). There is something really fetching about androids, robots, synths and such. Wouldn’t you agree? So much analyzing, so many surprises!

Stay tuned.

Jenny Allen, Essay # 15: WOULD EVERYBODY PLEASE STOP?

Self’s favorite essay so far. She loves the motherly distress over the thought that her 13-year-old daughter receives dick pics from an acquaintance. The mother, a true Mama Bear, calls the boy (whose number she finds from an email on her daughter’s computer — Bad Mama for snooping! Bad!)

“Hello?” says the boy, “warily.”

“Hi! Who’s this?”

“M—-” he says, giving his name. Good Lord, this boy would probably follow a guy who said he had a hurt puppy in his car.

Anyhoo, the conversation never touches on the dick pic, and yet there is eventually a

Long pause. “Oh.”

And I think, he’s putting it together. He knows.

The mother does talk to her daughter about it, and succeeds in being very light. Trusting, you know. She lets it go. But inwardly, she can’t stop worrying. So, some time later, when she and her daughter are “on vacation in the country,” she brings it up again:

“Were you shocked when you saw the picture?”

“Yes.” She’s smiling, but she says ‘Yes’ in the same tone that she might say “Of course” or “Duh.”

“Well, what he did was send an assault, and that’s wrong, and — “

“Bye-bye.” She walks outside. She has always been a private person. She hates Talks.

And the mother is rebuffed. Again. And yet again.

The last image is of the daughter sitting on a swing: she “swings slowly, the wood making little creaking sounds like a sailboat’s mast in the sea.”

How lovely the image!

And a few sentences later, the piece ends.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.

 

Story # 4, OLIVE KITTREDGE: A Little Burst

Olive has been eavesdropping at her son’s wedding. Suzanne, her new daughter-in-law, and a guest are discussing her son:

“He’s had a hard time, you know. And being an only child — that really sucked for him.”

Seaweed murmurs, and Suzanne’s oar slices through the water again. “The expectations, you know.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Style Guide, The Daily Stormer

The Daily Stormer is a relatively popular neo-Nazi blog, although it’s impossible to know exactly how popular. (From the style guide: “The site continues to grow month by month, indicating that there is no ceiling on this.” Also from the guide: “We should always claim we are winning, and should celebrate any wins with exteme exaggeration.”)

— Andrew Marantz, in a piece from The New Yorker’s Talk of the Town, 15 January 2018

Apparently, a HuffPost reporter, Ashley Feinberg, got sent a style guide, which is seventeen pages long. Excerpts:

  • Links must not “stretch into the spacing between words.”
  • Images must be exactly three hundred and twenty pixels wide, to avoid anything “aesthetically problematic.”
  • Each post “should be filled with as much visual stimulation as possible,” in order to “appeal to the ADHD culture.”
  • Passages from mainstream sources must be unaltered, so that “we can never be accused of ‘fake news’ —  or delisted by Facebook as such.”
  • There is NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH HYPERBOLE: “Even when a person can say to themselves ‘this is ridiculous,’ they are still affected by it on an emotional level. Refer to teenagers who get arrested for racist Twitter posts as ‘eternally noble warriors bravely fighting for divine war to protect the blood heritage of our sacred ancestors’ . . . You and anyone reading can say omg corny lol. But it just doesn’t matter to the primitive part of the brain.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Jay Parini, from the Introduction to the Penguin Classics Edition of TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, by John Steinbeck

Finished In the Lake of the Woods in the wee hours. Got back past 11 p.m. from the City, resumed reading and just could not put it down until she knew what became of the missing wife.

She then turned to the next book on her reading list, Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck. She’s still on the Introduction, by Jay Parini:

  • East of the Mississippi, the conversations he overheard usually revolved around baseball; west of the Mississippi, the topic was hunting. Even though this was the autumn of an election year — Kennedy versus Nixon — there was no rigorous political debate to be heard anywhere.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Alienist Ends

Self didn’t get to see the final episode. She’s here in Mendocino, reading tweets.

She didn’t get to watch last week’s episode either, but there were lots of tweets about CATS. Wait, what?

Then, there was almost a Twitter silence. For about five minutes. Which meant, everyone was watching and something was going down.

This evening, the tweet-storm began with something about coulottes. Sara?

  • Oh my GOD! THE CAT! I wanna unsee that so hard rn
  • I have anxiety.
  • I don’t understand why they had you go through with that charade. Laszlo could not have shaken them some other way? So what if they followed? They couldn’t be less conspicuous than Roosevelt and his horsemen.
  • Okay so that’s him.
  • I suspect there’s something about this opera specifically that mirrors the plot of this episode. If only I understood Italian opera . . .
  • Geez, does EVERYBODY carry around a chloroform-laden rag with them?
  • Nothing like going after a brutal serial killer in your opera’s finest.
  • Keep making noise!
  • Joseph!
  • HURRY!
  • This seems like a bad idea.
  • I’m barely breathing.
  • The suspense is killing me.
  • Laszlo, your ego might get you killed.
  • What?!
  • Heart is beating so frickin fast!
  • “It’s not only love that resides in the heart, it’s pain.
  • My nerves tho.
  • I can’t take it!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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