Finally got around to watching SING. Better then I expected.
Backyard "Widow Makers"
AKA, semi-broken, large tree branches dangling by a thread, ready to fall on you when you least expect it. One large enough it could kill. Thus the local term for these: Widow Maker.
Large tree in the back corner of my yard has a semi-broken branch, probably close to 6 inches (15cm) at the base. It's dangling over back neighbor's (rental) yard. Technically, it is not my problem by state law. Landowner has the right to cut/trim any tree branches from a neighboring yard that dangle over their yard. I'd be willing to take care of it, but can't reach it as it is a good 22ft (7m) up the tree. Even on my step ladder balanced against the back fence, I can barely reach it with the pole saw--not enough to do anything about it.
The other one was dangling from a tree in my neighbor's yard, basically the top half of a tree, close to 8 inches (20cm) at the break. Holding by a thread, dangling over my yard and fence. Should it come down there, it would do damage to the fence. Normally, I'd ask permission to go into his yard, though he's told me I don't need it. He wasn't home. It cut away easily, but dangled there due to creeping vines. I was able to maneuver it away from the fence and then drop it. Consider the shame of that portion of his back yard, I don't know if he'll even notice. (shrug)
When someone comes to you and says,
“hey, I don’t understand what you mean. Because sometimes you say A, and sometimes you say B. (Where A and B are mutually exclusive.) So what’s going on?”
It is not useful to say, “I’ve never changed my mind on this matter”. Even if that’s true, there’s a communication problem and whatever it is you think is not being conveyed.
It is not useful to say, “whenever I say something that doesn’t make sense you should ask”. That person is —at this very second— asking!
It is not useful to say, “I’m sorry you misunderstood”. Because no, you are not sorry in the slightest, you are a fucking jackass. When someone is asking you for clarification, blaming them for your failure to communicate does nothing to clarify matters. Moreover, words like these are an attack. That person was trying to bring up the existence of a communication failure, and because you are unwilling to accept responsibility for the fact that communication is a two-party process, you instead lash out and blame the person. The fact that you are incapable of accepting responsibility is one thing. But attacking the person for bringing the matter up for discussion says that such matters must never be brought up for discussion. This is how you construct a toxic environment.
(I'm at least halfway through the story, but it doesn't have much dialogue, and writing stories with minimum dialogue is the pits, I tell you.)
So instead I'm going to lurk around on Dreamwidth and write about random things.
Random thing one: I'm singing in an opera concert next week, and it's totally nuts. It's called 'A Journey through the History of Opera', and has been made more fun by the fact that we only got most of the music on Friday and the concert is next Wednesday. The first half is fairly normal, and gives me the opportunity to sing a duet with a truly gorgeous countertenor (and I do not use the words 'gorgeous' and 'countertenor' in the same sentence lightly). So that's lovely.
The second half, on the other hand, is bonkers. Somehow, our Dear Director found an opera written in 2007 by a chap called Viktor Fortin about Franz Jägerstätter, who was recently canonised as a saint and martyr of the Catholic church for refusing to fight for Hitler. We are doing three movements from this opera.
So it's super cheerful. And super atonal, because it was written in 2007, and is about Hitler. (Hitler is being sung by the counter-tenor. I am amused to note that there was absolute agreement between all altos and tenors present that this is the appropriate choice and no more than countertenors deserve, really, since they steal all our solos. Since he is a very nice counter-tenor, and really deserves all the solos, it seems rather cruel in this instance, but we can see where the composer was coming from.)
Also, it's in an Austrian dialect. And there is lots of weird spoken word stuff in Austrian dialect, mostly spoken by me pretending to be three different children. Yay. Though this is still better than having to sing the alleged music.
You might think that this is a hard act to follow, and it is. We're following it with Gilbert and Sullivan, specifically a duet and an ensemble piece from Iolanthe. Wings optional, though I'm hoping very much that I can find some. I'm trying to work out whether this choice is unbelievably terrible or secret genius.
Also, because I'm now the lone soprano in this group, I'm doing no fewer than three love duets. Despite the super-short hair which I feel ought to qualify me for trouser roles. This is a little uncomfortable, because I am not a huggy person with men I don't know well. And two of my are with the tenor, and while he has a lovely voice, and we don't get along *badly* exactly, I always feel as though he finds me annoying, and also, I can never tell whether he is joking or not, which is uncomfortable. Definitely not someone I'd be hugging or fake-kissing in the normal way of things. The third duet is with the counter-tenor, which is awkward in a slightly different way, because I have a little bit of a crush on his beautiful, beautiful voice. Fortunately, that particular duet is probably more hand-holdy rather than fake-kissy, but still.
Naturally, I am not doing any duets with the bass, with whom I get along very comfortably and could hug without any feelings of awkwardness whatsoever. Or even with the alto, which would also be fine.
Still, at least it isn't weird 21st century Hitler opera.
Let's see, what else? I've been reading and reviewing lots of books for the Smart Bitches RITA review challenge, and they should start turning up online soon. I also had a rather poorly-written (mid-grants season) review published at BookThingo, and they'd like me to do more reviewing for them and have offered to send me free books for this purpose. I may also be doing some writing for another blog but that's still all under discussion. It would be a lot of fun if they decided they wanted me, however.
I may possibly be aiming for some sort of record for the number of blogs I am writing myself or freelancing for.
I haven't got a lot else done this week. I'm still ridiculously tired, post grants and Easter, I guess, though I'm at the point where my brain likes to start listing all the terminal illnesses for which tiredness might be a symptom. My brain is a real positive thinker.
I really do need to get back to politics blogging, but haven't had the energy.
I think that's enough for now.
" — a guitar demigod, knife-between-the-teeth hunter and conservative provocateur — "
which shows how little they know about rock music.
I've seen Ted Nugent live twice in my life... and BOTH times he was outclassed and out played by the 'warm up' bands.
The first time it was the fat man... and I swear he was the biggest man to ever pick up a guitar... by the name of Leslie West. He had a little group in the 1970s called Mountain. "Mississippi Queen" was the claim to fame. He was there with a drummer and bass guitarist... that's it. He played four songs... and was on stage for 40 minutes... 40 mind bending minutes of awesome guitar work. Ted Nugent and has army of other guitarists was a let down.
The second time the opening act was some new group which had just put out their first album. Their name was "Van Halen". Yeah... THAT Van Halen.
Ted Nugent is no guitar demigod but a washed up has been who I personally saw spiked by a fat old man and a young punk kid.
One of about 6 magpies who frequent the back yard... having worked out the butcher birds feeding schedule
Nothing much to report from the last few days, except to say that the new tabasco-marinated KFC is not for the faint-hearted - both during dinner & the hours following
As the saying goes - Sometimes I sits & thinks. Other times, I just sits
And sometimes I question my lifestyle choices...
That's all here for now. Maybe more later? WE SHALL SEE... /dramatic music
Would you be interested in attending Waterloo Region Perseids partyParty
Yes, but only as a pretext for fleeing the US
Some other option (see comments)
I would like to complain about this poll
Thus ends some fifteen years of having rats as animal companions. The entry point was a few years prior whilst living with Glenn K., in Richmond where his rat Spit befriended me. Following my return from Timor-Leste I've lived with Harlequin and Montebanc, then Vagabond and Rogue, Ragamaffin and Scoundrel, Calamity, Mischief, and Trouble, Rascal, Nomad, and Riff-Raff, Tricky and Naughty (the mothers of P, P, & P), Lucky, Picador, Pierrot, and Prankster, and finally, Scamper, Rover, and Tramper - this is along with looking after Bambi and Suki for a neighbour.
For the uninitiated the rat may seem a strange choice of companion. They have bad press, as bearers of diseases (true), dirty (false), cunning (true), and selfish (false). For those in the know, they are intelligent, they are social, they have memory and reasoning and - from a combination of these factors - are surprisingly moral creatures, exhibiting empathy, guilt, and altruism. I have learned a great deal from them, and perhaps a little about myself as I have done my best to care for them. I hope I have contributed in some small amount to their comfort. I have not lost interest in the creatures but my own life-plans do not allow at this stage for their limited lifespans. So, in parting, I raise a salute to these heroic creatures.