Thursday, September 27, 2007

Theatre: dark play or stories for boys

Jenny and I went to see this show at Actor's Express because a friend was in it, and because the Express has never let us down. It was quite good, in a way that surprised me. The premise is rather simple, even possibly silly: the twisted danger of the internet and the way this effects boys. But the lead actor carried the show (it's mostly told in monologue), our friend Brent was surprisingly amazing, and the whole setup was almost always interesting to watch.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Book: Lady Chatterley's Lover

by D. H. Lawrence (1928).

I loved the beginning of this book, with those little author asides (grand statements about the nature of women and freedom and all that). The middle bit was good as well, but a little less fun in that way. The British class and rank stuff is all foreign to me, but interesting. The sexy passages are indeed sexy. And, surprisingly, it ends on a hopeful note. I wasn't expecting that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Taking stock

My birthday just passed, and like at New Year, I find myself taking stock of where I've been and where I'm going.

Twenty-two was far from spectacular, but a whole lot of crap happened. I spent my birthday canoing with the boy I thought I'd marry; he left me before I'd even made it to my half-birthday. I was unemployed, but ended up working for a wonderful small business. I traveled the Southeast a lot. I organized the prop room at USM. I experienced folk art and beer in Louisiana. I drove the Natchez Trace. I hiked Stone Mountain, and stopped at a watermelon park in middle Georgia on Thanksgiving Day. I spent Christmas in rural Arkansas with Mormons (not recommended). I got my heart broken. My best friend moved in with me. I learned of the greatness of Athens, GA, and AthFest, and The Grit. I got a bunch of new traditions, from the pub where the bartenders love us, to a standing Sunday night at the Mountain Stronghold. I got a way better apartment. I started a self-portrait project. I celebrated best friend's birthday on the beach in Flori-bama. I reconnected with my college sweetheart. I made lots and lots of plans.

I'm utterly convinced that twenty-three can only get better. Look out for: more traditions, like mid-week movie nights; hanging the Division Champs banner at the opening Thrashers game; birthday trip to NYC for some Neil Gaiman-related goodness; holiday trip to London and various other European locales; flight-booking for Rome; other long and winding roads; plus good times galore with all these wonderful people.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Book: Magic for Beginners

by Kelly Link (2005).

This one has been on my radar since before it was even published. Then I actually read a Kelly Link story ("The Faery Handbag," in The Faery Reel), and I cried and knew that I had to read more. I read a bunch of other stuff, then finally bought the book earlier this year, started it, put it down, came back and finished it in one night.

These stories are absolutely amazing. Heartbreaking. Simple, spare, intense. Weird. I don't know that I can describe them in more than single word sentences. They pull you along, you can't make sense of them but it doesn't matter--the images and ideas are so beautiful, so resonant, that you never really stop to question.

My favorite was the title story, which deals with a group of friends and their love of an underground TV show called The Library (which is like Buffy on crack), a boy who inherits a phone booth and Vegas wedding chapel, and his father who writes books about giant spiders.


Small Beer Press has made Link's first story collection, Stranger Things Happen, available as a free download.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

by Susanna Clarke (2004).

A delightful and long (really long) novel about the Restoration of English Magic. It's been described as Tolkien meets Jane Austen, and that's pretty accurate, except Clarke is vastly more interesting than Tolkien. Indeed, few other authors could make 1000-plus pages of story consistently compelling. I didn't want to finish this book and leave this world, in the end.

(I'll just have to reread The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories for my English Magic fix.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Theatre: Doing Good Things

at 7 Stages.

A German fairy tale of sorts, about two girls in the woods, trying to do good things. It's harder than they imagine. This performance was crazy--very interesting but very dark and, well, German.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Film: 3:10 to Yuma

Even more amazing than the trailer led me to believe. Christian Bale is just as awesome as always; the story has all these interesting nooks and crannies for the thinking mind; Westerns are hot; Ben Foster deserves an Oscar for his performance. And Confederate soldier gear has never looked so sexy.

3:10 to Yuma
dir. by James Mangold, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Film: The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse

The League is weird, and this movie was weirded because it wasn't like the show very much at all. Tamer, with strange interruptions and divergent storylines. But still made of awesome, if only because of the talent of these actors.

The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse