Sunday, February 22, 2009

Delicious Mind Putty

So this week I had the pleasure of seeing two excellent shows: Happy Days by Samuel Beckett and Coraline. The former was a bit of a surprise to me- Teagle invited me along that morning as I was driving to work, and I figured "why not?" When she told me who the play was by I began having second thoughts. I mean, this is the man who wrote Godot, a play that I have heard I would hate above all others. Still, it was a free show, I got some Teagle Time (TM), so I figured why not.

Thank God I was extremely pleasantly surprised. Happy Days was an excellently executed, acted, and scripted play. Basically the play is about a woman who is partially buried in dirt. She doesn't seem very concerned about this, except for occasional terrified glimpses into her psyche where she realizes she can't remember life before the dirt. The only other actor, her husband, is more of a prop than anything else- occasionally says a few words, but that's about it. As you may have guessed, there was tons of symbolism going on, but not so much that the options for interpretation became endless. I think the version that Teagle and I came out with was that the woman was actually a terminally ill patient in a hospital who exhibited that depressing kind of optimism and can-do attitude that occasionally grips the soon to be departed, which was occasionally dispelled by momentary realizations of her condition. The husband at first simply made sure she was taken care of and visited her occasionally, but at the end realized that he had not done enough and was desperately trying to make up for it. There's a couple of other cool tidbits, but they wouldn't make much sense if you haven't seen the play. Suffice it to say that the show was very entertaining and engaged my brain in a way that a show hasn't done in... well, ever. Good job, Mr. Beckett- your weirdness paid off.

Speaking of weirdness, Coraline is awesome! We went on Friday to see the 3D version with Laura and were completely blown away. I think it's one of the very few times where a movie has elicited so many sounds of pure amazement, joy and terror from a group of 20-somethings. The visuals were spectacular, so much so that I caught our row audibly reacting to the impossible, beautiful images on the screen. The story was suitably whimsical and dark at the appropriate times, and many times at the same time. So much so that it might not actually be appropriate for children, but damn was it appropriate for us. The line between reality and fantasy becomes delightfully blurred towards the end, which made me smile evilly as I now have some more ammunition to use in my upcoming Changeling campaign. Finally, the 3D element- it's not needed, but it certainly amps up the visuals to a high degree. Nothing jumps out at you in a hackneyed manner- instead it draws you more convincingly into the story and manages to elicit even more "oohs" and "aahs" from the audience. Go see it. Now.

In other news:
-have been working on the e-waste project. Should soon have radio and print ads alerting ethnic minorities about their e-cycling options.
-junk mail is terrible for the environment. Just think about how many trees are cut down for paper and envelopes; how much water is used in paper manufacture; how much fuel is consumed in transporting logs, paper, envelopes, and junk mail; how few pieces of junk mail are acutally responded to; and how few of the rejected mails are recycled. Post if you want to get more info on stopping junk mail.
-got to see more Carleton folks on Saturday with rousing games of Catan and Heroscape (the latter took some getting used to after 40k, but was still fun.

Until next time...

"The castle-building habit, the day-dreaming habit--how it grows! what a luxury it becomes; how we fly to its enchantments at every idle moment, how we revel in them, steep our souls in them, intoxicate ourselves with their beguiling fantasies--oh, yes, and how soon and how easily our dream-life and our material life become so intermingled and so fused together that we can't quite tell which is which, anymore."
- "The $30,000 Bequest," by Mark Twain

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