The WeekendListening to: Footloose soundtrack. Although what I'd really like to listen to right now is the Phantom (movie version)... although I suspect the CD will lose a lot. The singers in the film weren't as technically good as the original LW LP.
Interesting weekend. It involved critiques, graveyards, a good view, worst movies, vampires in England, cleaning and a series of unfortunate events.
Mum, don't panic. I mean the movie. :-)
Thursday, I went to Brissy a little earlier than intended to pick a friend up from the airport. Said friend then "forced" me to lug her suitcase all over the carpark until I died.* I'm dead now. Seriously. :-P
We then went to see Phantom of the opera. Again, for both of us. I figured since I didn't have to pay for the last trip (thankye again, D!) I could justify paying for a second trip. Still a good film.
I have been rather amused, though, by some of the discussion sites on phantom where a bunch of sighing girls lament the fact that Christine didn't choose the "sexy" phantom over the delightfully insipid Raoul. I'm starting to think that Gerard Butler was a serious miscast, because he's too pretty to be the phantom, and there wasn't enough lumpy makeup applied to disguise that. Sheesh, I fell for the Phan char in the film (as I did Marek in Timeline -- based on char, though, not actor).
However, having said that, I have to say that, having been in a long-term relationship where the other thought "love" was all about ownership, loss of freedom and control, I'm with Christine on this one. I can understand her fear of the phantom char, even while I understand his pitiful past (in the book was actually different there is more of a "redemption" quality about the last scene because in the book he was taught to be an assassin, he didn't just accidentally fall into it as a result of cruelty: he was amoral, had no concept of murder not being a solution to a problem) and her awe. Given that Christine and Raoul were childhood sweethearts and the man spent his time trying to ensure her freedom, and the Phantom had already murdered a guy, and threatened to kill others, it's a bit of a no-brainer, don't you think? I sometimes wish there'd been a Raoul in my life. There is nothing "romantic" about the Phantom's behaviour and the life he was willing to subject her to for his own needs.
Thursday night was very nice, although I got to bed way too late, I think.
Friday was spent at Clarion sitting in with Michael Swanwick and the students for their morning crit. I have to say I am very impressed with Michael's work ethic and commitment to the students over the week. Not only did he crit the stories he had up for the week (the only stories he was "required" to read and probably around 85,000 words), he also read the submission stories (approximately 90,000 words if memory serves) and the week one stories (also around 80,000 words) -- and he marked them up. He worked very hard. Great job!
Some of the Clarion students kindly had me for lunch (although since I was still dead at this time I'm sure I wasn't all that tasty), and I spent the afternoon reading the first bit of Stephen King's On Writing, between other stuff. Then I went to dinner with 5 of the students at Fortitude Valley. Unfortunately, one of the students was 45 minutes late showing up, so another was pretty well ready to eat the rest of us by the time we left. Of course, I had already been eaten so he had to go hungry for a while. (Joking! I gave him a bikky). But we ended up at King of Kings and ate actual food. Then we headed up to Mt Coo-tha for a look at the view: the others were out-of-towners (hehe, sort of like me!) and Mr Lateness reckoned it was a pretty good view. He was right, beautiful, although I'd forgotten how insipid (that's my word for the day, can you tell?) the stars are when there's a lot of light. Where I live, the stars are very clear (except by fullish moon, of course), and the Milky Way actually does look milky.
Someone decided a trip to the graveyard would be good, so we went. No-one brought stakes, though, so we got eaten. The other students will need to watch out for the few that are currently avoiding sunlight and mirrors. Just thought a warning was in order.
Of course, nothing actually happened, but i'm thinking that's because we forgot to bring the "scary, oh-NO-don't-go-THERE!!, look who just got separated" theme music.
Maybe next time.
Actually, in all seriousness, I'll have to go up there during the day so I can actually read the tombstones and see the mausoleums by day. Genaelogist. 'Nuff said.
Friday was fun, although I got to bed much too late.
Saturday, among other work-related things, I saw A Series of Unfortunate Events with a couple of friends. D gave me a birthday present (Nicky already had given me one) -- candles and books were the theme this year, which makes me happy. You can NEVER have too many yummy candles or too much non fiction. One opf those fortuitous things, too. If you're reading this, D, remember how I told you that the book would have somethign I'd been looking for in it? It does!
Story is, D had gone in to get me something else and this book (Venice, Lion City: The Religion of Empire by Garry Wills) was just sitting there, like someone had been looking at it, decided at the last minute not to buy it and then just dumped it on the table rather than putting it back. He thought it would be perfect for me, so bought it.
Meanwhile, I have been writing a few books (as anyone familiar with my blog should know by now) and one of the world building aspects of one of them has been bugging me. Despite being an epic fantasy, the book is very political, and I have some basis in Ancient Egypt but I wasn't totally satisfied with that. I then remembered the political situation in Italy (actually, more like the separate Italian states we now know as Italy) in the middle ages-early Rennaisance and thought it would be interesting to know more, but could only get some basic info on the specifics--everything I found was too broad. I also really wanted some good pictures of some of the Byzantine mosaics.
Guess what the book's about?
And guess what is clearly and lovingly pictured, on colour plates, in the middle of the book?
Then, ice cream. Ice cream is very very good, even when you're dead. :-D
I then had a quiet social function on Saturday night, and went to bed much too late.
Sunday, I finished On Writing, did some cleaning, had a few meetings, including one with our new tutor for the week, Ellen Datlow (of Datlow Awards fame). I like Ellen, and the fact she gave me a signed copy of her anthology has nothing to do with that. :-)
Then, by the time I got home, I got to bed much too late.
Monday, my children and I did the basic housecleaning and then we used the PS2 all day, together. 'Twas good to kick back for a bit.
Tried to watch Empires: Japan with my oldest son last night, but i can't for the life of me remember any of it, although he tells me he watched it all the way through before turning off all the lights and leaving me asleep on the couch.
A bit stiff (pun unintended, being that I'm dead and all) this morning, but at least I got an early night. :-D
* This was the word said friend used. There was no forced involved, actually. She had hurt her foot and so I pulled the suitcase. Actually, I volunteered. At the time of my volunteeration, I didn't realise that she had packed books. Many, many books. :-P