*whew*

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:55 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Hurrah for hermiting!

Things I could have done on Wednesday: lunchtime free Zumba class, free Bach Collegium concert.

Things I did do on Wednesday: went straight home, ate, showered, crawled into bed with fanfiction, went to sleep early, sleeeeeeeeeeept.

I feel much better today, in the sense that fewer things hurt physically. And I realized this morning that nothing was stopping me from taking a day off tomorrow. That would mean I can sleep in after "Elizabeth Cree" tonight, and go to bed early before my crack of dawn train to NYC on Saturday morning.

What a removal of mental weight. A day off. How glorious. It will be much easier to enjoy my day in NY with a reasonable amount of sleep beforehand.

Wednesday Reading

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:19 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Recent reading included Champions Vol. 1: Change the World by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos, which featured a new superhero team headed up by Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) and including the Miles Morales Spiderman, Nova (Sam Alexander), the Amadeus Cho Hulk, Viv Vision (Vision's daughter), and teenage Cyclops from an alternate reality. It's clear this is meant as a showcase for updated versions of old characters, but I really enjoyed it anyway, mainly because it felt like it had a good heart. They're trying to do good and respect people and not kill anyone. It's attempting to be a politically responsible comic, which is why I am really worried about reading the crossover with the awful Secret Empire storyline...still debating if I will read it. Is anyone else farther along in this series?

I also finally finished the fourth and last volume of the original Runaways comic by Brian K. Vaughan, which alas ends in a cliffhanger. I liked a lot of things about this series, particularly that the teenagers acted like teenagers, sometimes making good decisions and sometimes making stupid ones. Towards the end, though, I felt like the writer was struggling to have enough plot for all of the characters, particularly the two newer ones, and I was getting annoyed with Chase and his angry angst, true-to-life as it was. I think actual teenagers might like this series.

I'm not doing a lot of reading this week beyond magazines and some scattered fanfiction because it's All Opera, All the Time.

as I was walking...

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
Actually, I was settled in one place, come to think.

Anyway, so Cambridge (the College) has moved, and unexpectedly postponed the start of classes for a week due to what seem to have been electrical and networking issues, so classes only just started. (I did various Useful Things at home during the week, but, confronted with an extension of my vacation, I also shrugged and vacated some more. I went to Nut Island one day, and then World's End over the weekend, after which I had the entertaining experience of watching the fog roll in on Nantasket Beach. Rarely does it happen so clearly. Also got to watch the sunset at the endpoint of Hull. Mmm. Waves.)

Getting back to the point, here, it's already become clear from three days' worth of evidence that if I leave campus at a certain point, I will miss my useful bus home. It's not like I'm doing it on purpose, it's just, the way class and the subway and the busses work out, I barely miss the last bus before they transition from every-20-minutes-or-so, and hit the valley of the one bus that's a 40 minute wait. (After that they're every half hour.)

Since my various travels of August and September disrupted my gym routine (and then I was sick for a few days), and I haven't gotten back into it, what I have been doing lately is walking more. Running into this bus valley enables me to mutter and, rather than waiting in irritation, I stop by the grocery store/food co-op, and then am able to walk 3/4 of a mile or so until the next bus comes. (The way to do this is to walk until I see the inbound bus coming, at which point I stop at the next bus stop and wait for the outbound return, because to be caught between bus stops would be *annoying*, yo.)

In this particular instance, I had just stopped at the bus stop and was (I admit) looking at my phone when a guy coming out of a cross street whammed into the woman driving on the main street, right in front of me. (Durnell Ave at Washington St. No one cares but me.)

More detail than one needs on an accident. )

So! Good deed completed, I left and went down to the bus stop with a bench, and hung out reading until the bus came.

Waffling over classes. )

O17, "We Shall Not Be Moved"

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:46 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Last night, I visited the Wilma Theater for the first time to see the world premiere opera "We Shall Not Be Moved," which focuses on the violence that comes of racism, poverty, guns, and bigotry. It was intense, as you might imagine. It did not end well for anyone, though the ending is not entirely without hope. If you squint. I did not feel depressed afterward, perhaps because I had experienced all this as really good art and art uplifts. That sounds weird, but it's true.

Those of you in NYC, the show is going to be at the Apollo, and tickets go on sale next week, I believe.

There are two primary, opposing points of view: a Latina cop, and a group of teenagers on the run, looking for solutions through cryptic messages from the past (dancers in white sweats, notes dropped on the floor of an abandoned house). There are shootings. There's a school closing. There's a plot twist which I guessed pretty quickly but was still dramatically effective. There was a lot of really good singing and dancing, but not as much spoken word as I'd expected.

I'm not sure how I feel about a male countertenor (John Holiday) playing a trans boy, but damn was he a good singer. The bass (Aubrey Allicock) was also particularly fine, I felt (I have a weakness for basses, so caveat emptor). The bass did most of his second act singing while lying on the floor or propped in someone's arms, which was impressive.

I most loved the choral singing by the entire cast, as you might expect if you know me. My favorite solo was at the end, sung by one of the female dancers - I want to hear that piece again, several times; it was mesmerizing.

Music by Daniel Bernard Roumain, libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, choreography by Raphael Xavier and Bill T. Jones, directed by Bill T. Jones.

Presskit.

PhillyVoice article.

I got home about 11:30 pm, then had to shower and wind down, so I am pretty draggy at dayjob today. Our first choir rehearsal of the season is tonight, 7-9 pm. *blinks*

Dear Love Your Sister...

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:52 pm
thnidu: Box, labeled: "Contents: One infinite universe. Open other end (arrow)." Caption: It figures... From lj:lapislaz (it figures)
[personal profile] thnidu
Apparently today is the birthday of the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson. When I clicked on the Google Doodle, one of the hits that came up was about another Samuel Johnson, apparently one well known in Australia: Grieving Samuel Johnson says he might as well ‘sell some f***ing socks’. It begins:

SAMUEL JOHNSON has continued his sister Connie’s crusade to find a cure for cancer by launching brightly hued fundraising socks.

Connie Johnson died after a long battle with breast cancer earlier this month.

Samuel sees the socks (which reference their nicknames Connie Cottonsocks and Sammy Seal) as an extension of The Project host Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer initiative.

“Seeing as Carrie has the whole Beanie thing covered, we thought we’d bung out some ‘Connie Cottonsocks’ and try and cover this cancer conundrum from head to toe,” Samuel wrote on the Love Your Sister Facebook page.

“Connie doesn’t have any use for your sentiment now. If she wanted anyone to take anything from her life, it was to highlight the importance of medical research. And we all need socks right?

“In the name of my dear gone sister, I’m asking. Please buy some socks and then maybe we can share the absolute bejesus out of this post and turbocharge our push for a cure, so families need not continue to endure the baseless trauma that cancer so cruelly provides.

“I want my sister back but seeing as that’s not going to happen, I might as well sell some f***ing socks so that other families don’t have to go through this pain.

I remain, more than ever, very truly yours. Samuel Johnson Head of Cancer Vanquishment.”
 
Well now! That looked worth following up.

But... Here's the text I just sent them:
 
I've about given up on most of my charitable giving, since I'm retired and on a small income, but I want to buy some socks, especially in memory of my wife. HOWEVER... You say in small print "We only ship within Australia", and your page says "City and state are mandatory" (though the form accepts only Australian states). So if I give you as much of my address as you'll take, your page will refuse the rest. And even if I somehow succeed in ordering socks, how the heck are you going to get them to me?
😕
You know, if you're going to ask the whole world, you really ought to allow the whole world to answer.
 


oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Silent movies are my jam. So I really, really loved the production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" I saw Friday night.

The stage background is plain white with doors at two levels. The upper doors open to reveal small platforms and/or stools, on which the singers stand (yes, they had safety belts). Animation was projected onto the background, and the singers interacted with it. Everything was in a very 1920s style, with touches of steampunk. The singers wore white silent film-style makeup. Spoken lines were replaced with intertitles (in the appropriate font, even!).

The best part was The Queen of the Night. The singer wore a tall headdress and makeup with a plain shift that concealed the rest of her body. Projections made her appear as a giant spider, the size of the entire background, prone to stabbing at Tamino with her stabby legs while he dashed out of reach. I also loved Papageno's animated black cat.

One update I really appreciated was that Monostatos, molestor of Pamina and chief of the slaves (this enlightened country has slaves?) was originally described as "a blackamoor." In this production, the tenor is instead costumed as Nosferatu, who leads a pack of wolves. Not only was it less skeevy, but it fit the theme.

A great start to my experience of the O17 festival, and the only non-premiere I'm attending. Tonight is "We Shall Not Be Moved," which will be very, very different from the Mozart.

Review at Bachtrack.

Broad Street Review.

Dear Houghton Mifflin...

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:27 pm
thnidu: Mirrorverse bearded Mr. Spock, I FIND YOUR LACK OF LOGIC DISTURBING. lj:stevemb's variant of icon by lj:madfilkentist (logic)
[personal profile] thnidu
(Ị am addressing this message to Technical Support because there is no more appropriate contact listed on your "contact us" page. Please forward it to the appropriate editorial department.)

In your American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition (open in front of me) and still in the 5th edition (https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=Paraboloid), the marginal illustration for "paraboloid" shows a diagram of a circular paraboloid with the caption

>>>>>

paraboloid
The equation for a circular paraboloid is:
x²/a² + y²/b² = z

<<<<<

(The caption has the fractions in vertical format with horizontal lines, which I can't reproduce here, but the equation is mathematically unchanged.)

That is the general equation of an elliptical paraboloid, of which the circular paraboloid is a special case. To quote from Stack Exchange
(https://math.stackexchange.com/q/1249308):

>>>>>

[T]he equation of an elliptical paraboloid is given by

z/c = (x/a)² + (y/b)²

If a=b, then this elliptical paraboloid is also a circular paraboloid.

<<<<<

The divisor c is irrelevant here, so we can write

z = (x/a)² + (y/b)²

In other words, the equation of a circular paraboloid is

z = (x/a)² + (y/a)²

or in your arrangement

x²/a² + y²/a² = z

or more simply

(x²+y²)/a² = z

Sincerely,
$THNIDU

It's Opera All the Way Down

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:42 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Time for the O17 Festival! I am not going to everything, but I'm going to a lot.

Tonight: The Magic Flute - The innovative production from Komische Oper Berlin presents Mozart's The Magic Flute in a style that evokes a meeting between 1920s silent movies and David Lynch, with the singers performing amidst fanciful animated projections. Also, the women in the chorus get to be in drag for part of it, complete with top hats and beards, which I know because all my buddies were posting pictures of their makeup on The Book of Faces.

Monday, 9/18: We Shall Not Be Moved, world premiere - Acclaimed composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph team up with legendary director Bill T. Jones to present the World Premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved, a genre-defying chamber opera combining spoken word, contemporary movement, video projection, classical, R&B and jazz singing, and a brooding, often joyful score filled with place, purpose, and possibility. This is the one related to the In/Sung event I went to last Saturday.

Thursday, 9/21: Elizabeth Cree, world premiere - Composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, the team behind 2012’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, return to Opera Philadelphia for the World Premiere of a chamber opera based on Peter Ackroyd’s novel, The Trial of Elizabeth Cree. One of my choir friends has a small named part.

Sunday, 9/24: Wake World, world premiere - Opera Philadelphia Composer in Residence David Hertzberg transforms the renowned Barnes Foundation with the World Premiere of The Wake World, a site-specific, one-act opera inspired by Dr. Albert C. Barnes’s famed collection and the works of mystical 19th century British poet Aleister Crowley. This one has a lot of cool chorus work.

I also slide in a Saturday day trip to NYC to see the premiere of Brown Girl Begins, a movie from the first part of Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring.

See you all on the other side.

Dear Power Thesaurus...

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:33 am
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio http://tinyurl.com/9q2gkko (Dr. Whomster)
[personal profile] thnidu
I wanted synonyms for "hemorrhoids". One of them was "piles", which is the one I was looking for, the one my grandmother used and I didn't understand.   The first 20 also included 
Dozens
Gobs
Heaps
Lots
Oodles
Rafts
Scads
Scores
Slews
Stacks
Tons
Wads 
– none of which have anything to do with hemorrhoids but which are all clearly synonyms for the common colloquial meaning of "piles".  

Synonymy is not transitive.  

Sincerely,

Accomplishments This Week

Sep. 14th, 2017 02:25 pm
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
1. No gym on Friday, because I'm going to see "The Magic Flute," so I made sure to do both weight-bearing and cardio last night.

For weight-bearing, I did sets of twelve pushups and lunges and tried a new thing for my back muscles, which was pulling myself on a mat using my forearms. I did some ab stuff as well, though not as much as I'd planned. For cardio, I did intervals on a bike as well as trying out the new "Jacob's Ladder" climber machine; I didn't go very fast or very long, but twice got my heart rate up high. I plan to try that machine again.

2. Today, I got a flu shot, and my arm already hurts.

3. I paid my choir dues. Rehearsals start on Tuesday.

4. I bought four concert tickets for Tempesta di Mare, all for 2018.

5. I got a haircut.
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
Meet Sid, the Good Luck Crab. He was hangin' backstage with us. #Lizzie #CTCLizzie #ctc24 #dw

 

This was automatically posted from xtingu's instagram account. the Hooray for computers and IFTTT!

Wednesday Reading

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:41 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
A chunk of last week's reading time was taken up by my review book, but I also have some fanfiction recs!

Beyond Belief by thingswithwings crosses over Agent Carter with Wonder Woman, and there is action, and lesbian shenanigans, and heading off into the sunset together. More like this, please.

Season Tickets by shuofthewind is an X-Files AU in which Darcy Lewis is Mulder and Matt Murdock/Daredevil is Scully from S.H.I.E.L.D..

The Other Man out of Time by sara_holmes features Clint Barton traveling in time and meeting Bucky Barnes and falling in love. It's also AU Age of Ultron. Happy ending.

The Course of Honour by Avoliot is original m/m romance fiction on AO3 - features arranged marriages, treaties, gaslighting (in the past), and political intrigue.
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