will ponder for food

Shakespeare and our political moment

The ASP season for next year came out last Wednesday. Collapse )

***

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.
small girl in big world [_extraflamey_]

[2017] Logan [2017-03-04]

I haven't watched any X-movies since the initial trilogy (in part because I'm not great at actually getting out to see movies -- and also because Michael Fassbender [young!Magneto] is an abuser, and Days of Future Past starred Wolverine instead of Jewish woman Kitty Pryde like the comics arc did).

But X-23 Laura Kinney is not your weapon! I have read none of her comics, but have a fondness for her thanks to fox1013's Tumblr.

musesfool had posted: "Logan is getting really good reviews! Comparisons to Unforgiven have been made! Apparently it lives up to the trailers."

Coworker-Mallory hated it because it was way too violent for her, but I really didn't mind the violence. I tend to not do well with on-screen violence because I wince seeing physical pain onscreen, but this felt more cartoonish -- yes, we stabbed people in the head with adamantium claws and decapitated people, but we rarely dwelt on anyone's pain, and almost everyone who died was a bad guy we were in no way rooting for.

Some thoughts:

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your mountain is waiting

Congrats, team; we survived 2016.

(Well, depending on what time zone you're in, you maybe have a little more time, but I believe in you.)

As people have pointed out, 2017 will likely be worse in many ways, but at least we've been warned. ("Warning: may contain fascism," I quipped tonight.)

***

Email from my friend Scott:
May your 2017 be as awesome as it is Phibonacci* -- and may your whole year be prime time.**

QED,
Scott


*That is, 2017 satisfies a Fibonacci-looking identity in terms of the Euler phi Function: phi(2017) = phi(2016) + phi(2015). The last such year was 1601, and the next is 4337.

**Also, 2017 is prime.***

***And so is 20170123456789.
Addendum: My sister-in-law posted her Instagram #2016bestnine, and of course most of them relate to the baby, and thinking about this baby growing up I wonder if that would be a helpful motivator for me -- to remind myself that I want to help build a better world for hir.
be brave now

[5777]

I'd been seeing "shana tova" posts on social media today, but forgot until just a little while ago that I have this practice every year. I turned 33 this summer, so I'd definitely been thinking for a while about how this would be "my Jesus year," but I'd forgotten about this period (albeit not of my own tradition) of reflection. The "new year" framing feels appropriate at this time when I've been thinking about various relationships and trying to figure out new, more life-giving patterns.

***

As has become my custom, reposting this from Amy:
One of the big pieces of the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that you reflect over the past year, and you attempt to (A) accept and forgive anything that has been done to you, and (B) apologize and ask forgiveness for anything you have done to others.

[...]

Anonymous is enabled, and all comments are screened. If I've done anything to hurt you this year, let me know. If there's anything you think I might still be upset over, let me know that too. I won't unscreen unless you specifically request I do [...] The goal isn't to start fresh- that's often not possible- but to acknowledge what has happened over this year (or any previous time, if you so choose) as an attempt to not have it happen again.

I promise to treat anything you say seriously and respectfully, and I will seriously be considering it over the next ten days.
***

Scott's email this year was:
May your 5777 be as sweet as it is Hyperfibonacci* -- and may you have a truly golden year!**

QED,
Scott

*See https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/journals/JIS/VOL19/Urbiha/urbiha4.html .

**Note that 5777 = Floor[Phi^Chai], where Floor[x] is the greatest integer less than or equal to x, Phi is the golden ratio (1+Sqrt[5])/2, and Chai is 18.

~ And note also that 5777 divides the 5778th Fibonacci number -- so next year should be pretty excellent, too.
pride

[QHC] We are the Body of Christ

On May 2, I got tagged into a thread on Queer Exchange Boston ("A couple friends and I are looking to build intentionally radical, queer space for folks who identify as LGBTQ and Christian to come together in Boston. Are there folks that might be interested in thinking this through with/joining us?").

I went to the first one (Sun May 15) and then to the first planning meeting (beyond the core group of folks who'd been dreaming up the first one) on Thurs May 26 (house church was meeting every other week).

By virtue of being one of 2 people at this planning meeting besides the 3 core organizers ... I got voluntold into giving the reflection this Sunday evening?

Because I had 2 and a half days to pick a text and come up with something to say about it, I attempted to crowd-source, but one of the organizers said she'd really like for people to reflect about what's truest for them, which is totally fair, but somewhat challenging. I came up with an idea by the time I got home that night, though. The reflection I ended up writing wasn't the one I'd initially intended to write, but I liked it, and it got positive feedback in the room.

***

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (NRSV)

Content notes: mention (no dwelling, no details) of suicidality, self-harm, eating disorders, getting kicked out by your family, sexual assault

Now, will you pray with me? May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of all our hearts, be acceptable to you oh God, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.

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every week is ibarw

"I hope you don't take this the wrong way..."

Way to make me feel so nervous about what you're going to ask me!

I was getting tea this morning, and one of the faculty members was getting coffee and said he'd noticed in my email signature that it says "please refer me to use the pronouns she and hers" and asked, "as opposed to what?"

In fairness, I felt way more nervous while actually answering the question than I did in the lead-up but still, I do not recommend, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way" as, well, as something to say probably ever really. (Certainly I've said things like, "This is going to sound meaner than I intended, but I can't think of a better phrasing," so I'm not saying you shouldn't acknowledge when you think something will be taken more negatively than you intend, but...)

I started with saying that people's genders aren't always clear from their names, that some people have gender-neutral names & warmed up to saying that not everyone uses binary pronouns and so sometimes people will volunteer that in their email signature, asking people to refer to them as "they" or "ze" or whatever and that it feels important to me to normalize that practice of volunteering one's pronouns rather than leaving it as something that's only done by people with unexpected pronouns -- "Does that make sense?" He said yes and seemed placated.

Hi, I'm your resident radical queer, I'll be here all forever.

(At coffee on Monday, some folks were talking about the Stanford prison experiment and whether it would replicate today and I literally chimed in with, "police brutality -- people are given power, in a system that dehumanizes certain people, and they abuse that power," and I had never felt so out-of-place far-left at work -- not that anyone pushed back, I don't even remember what got said next, but I just had this sense of total non-engagement.)
moar bike lanes pls

driving practice #35: driving home from Council

I probably could have biked yesterday (it got close to freezing -- as opposed to the previous day when it topped off at low 20s and was more consistently windy) but I wimped/lazed out, so as we dispersed from Mike's at literally 11:30pm I asked FCS-Ian if I could drive his car home. It was basically uneventful -- though when I take a right turn onto a street that has a lot of parked cars I go kind of slow 'cause I wanna make sure I don't hit any of the parked cars, and FCS-Ian reminded me to go faster 'cause there was oncoming traffic (slow/far enough away that I wasn't in danger, but I was gonna piss them off).
moar bike lanes pls

driving practice #29: ready for a road test?

I drove for about an hour and a half today -- after having not driven for almost two months, so I was feeling nervous leading up to it. Actually driving, I felt fine -- though interestingly, after I was back inside my house afterward I felt high heart rate etc.

I still felt a little nervous on roads where I was going more than ~30mph, but I was routinely in the lefthand lane on major roads and didn't feel nervousness about the oncoming traffic (well, I sort of felt it, but it was sort of like there was a wall separating me from that feeling).

I was fine pulling into parking lot spaces, but less good pulling out, so that's probably worth practicing -- and FCS-Ian wisely suggested consulting the driver's manual about the official most correct way.

On reflection, I'd also like to pratice 3-point-turns and parallel parking once more before I actually take a road test.

I feel like I'm a (at least) minimally competent driver at this point (and FCS-Ian continues to be mostly wholly unworried while I'm driving), but I'm not sure how stickler/demanding the instructor will be (despite trijinx's assurances that her road test was "basic and boring," I'm still partially convinced that I'm going to fail my first road test).

Edit: I went online to schedule a road test for over the Christmas Break and apparently the next available road test is January 27 in Cambridge -- I don't even know when the next one in Watertown would be. :/