Words Are Hard

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Tag Archives: Stratford Shakespeare Festival

Alas, Poor Yorick

Nope, I didn’t see Hamlet.  It’s not playing this year.

I did have a ball in Canada though!  I love Stratford and every time I go I always forget how much that particular area of Canada loves it’s brick houses.  Aluminum siding was really rare.  I’m actually very curious as to why that is because the difference was striking enough that it stood out to me.

For the record, I am all about brick houses, but I accept that I may be in the minority there.

If you’re wondering about a deluge of pictures, unfortunately I don’t have that.  My paranoia made sure I left my cell phone in the hotel room pretty much full time.  Not because I thought it would get stolen, but because I didn’t want to be that person.  If you’re a theater goer, you know what I mean.  It’s the person whose phone goes off during the performance.  I spent the first show with my purse between my legs, my cell phone not only set to vibrate but turned off completely and my mind just would not shut up.  I was convinced that it would turn itself on and start bawling.  After that, I left it in the room and just let myself enjoy the shows.

(I never said it was rational.)

As for what we saw and what I thought: Waiting for Godot was my least favorite.  It was plagued with pauses and silences that, I think, were aiming to be Pinter Pauses but actually came across as though the actors forgot their lines.  Combine that with the fact that it was the first show we saw and therefore the one I spent agonizing over the magic cell phone turning itself on.  That definitely didn’t help.  It wasn’t all bad though.  The actor playing Lucky was brilliant and I don’t use that term lightly.

The rest of the round up made up for it.  Blythe Spirit was good, Othello was spectacular, Measure for Measure was awesome, and Merchant of Venice was effing amazing.  Setting MoV in 1930s Italy was about as subtle as a brick to the face, and the only likeable characters in the entire play (for me) were Portia and her groupies, but I loved it.

I’m sort of torn between Othello and MoV as my favorite.  Both casts were amazing but I think Othello’s set design (including the lighting design) wins out.  What they were able to do with a plain (but mobile) square stage and moving flats was breathtaking.  Also the performances.  I was actually able to forget my paralyzing fear of heights (we had nosebleeds) while the actors were on stage.

If you ever have the chance to head up north to Canada and see some Shakespeare, I would highly recommend it.  Have I mentioned that they’ve already announced next year’s season?  Between King Lear, Midsummer Night’s Dream (two different versions!), Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Man of La Mancha, I pretty much put my foot down.  We are going.

Things I would recommend for any long car ride:

The First Act of Star Wars (Episode 4) as performed by Famous Voice Actors.

Welcome to Nightvale.

The latter has the benefit of being voiced by someone with a Phone Book Voice.  Anyone possessing a Phone Book Voice is immediately my favorite.

It’s been awhile since I got back.  In my defense …I have no defense.  After throwing an epic tantrum way back when over Final Fantasy going online when FFXI came out, I’ve been sucked in by Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.  To clarify: I am an old school Final Fantasy nerd.  I played the first one on the Nintendo when I was nine.   I’m a bit strange in that I don’t like FF7 (I mean to say that I really don’t like it and I wish they would stop trying to get blood from that stone) and FF8 (one that is pretty much panned as terrible) was my favorite, followed closely by FF6.  They’re up to 13 (and it’s sequel) now.

In essence: I always played Final Fantasy because the games were RPGs with a story.  Probably not the best stories, but at the time they were addicting.  It was a rag-tag group of heroes thrown together by fate to defeat whatever evil baddy happened to be threatening the world this week.  You had your sword guy, your brawler, your gun guy, your lancer, your white mage, your black mage, your cranky/emotionally stunted or gloriously sarcastic and cheerful hero (pick one), your designated love interest, or any combination thereof.  Pretty standard.  Throwing that into an MMO made me do this:

This is not to say that MMOs can’t have stories – I go back and forth on whether or not I like WoW’s story but it’s there and it drives the game.  It’s just that the first “M” in MMO stands for Massively and that is like the exact opposite of “small rag-tag group of underdog heroes saving world.”

So I said NO! to Final Fantasy at that point (and haven’t finished an FF game since then, though I’ve tried both 12 and 13 – and will probably finish 13 eventually).  I got the schadenfreude bug when Final Fantasy XIV first came out.  It was called a $50 beta for a reason.  It was awful.

And then they fired everybody and brought in a new team and there was a free beta weekend so I said Oh why not and then suddenly:

So if you need me I’ll be leveling my Conjurer.

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Freedom!

I have completed the gauntlet that is the end of July and the beginning of August! A winner is me! My voice is cracking, and I’ve spent the majority of that time battling a migraine, but I managed to not call in and will have about 38 hours of overtime pay coming to me on Thursday. Now I have two glorious days off before heading back to my regular four days on. Once I get through those I have vacation! Twelve days, most of which will be spent in Stratford, Canada, watching the Stratford Shakespeare Company do their thing. And then it’s back to my normal four on, four off with however much overtime I want to pick up in between.

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to it.

But today is my Friday! Which means I get to come home and transcribe the new Chapter One. I’m actually mostly happy with the way it turned out. It needs some tweaking, of course, but that I can do on the rebound. I also threw together a possible prologue, but I’m not sure if I’m going to use it as a prologue or a flashback, since it would work both ways. I am stupidly happy with how it turned out, so I may toss it out here to see how people react. We’ll see if I’m still happy about it when I get it transcribed into a computer.

The problem with working as much as I have is handwriting things. When I’m up, the words don’t wait for me to get home to a keyboard I can actually use for the Project. As a result, my wrist is a bit sore. Oddly enough, my throat isn’t sore, I’m just losing my voice. That should make the raid tomorrow night interesting (I can raid!).

But first things first: Sleep. I haven’t gotten as much of that as I’ve wanted to the past couple weeks. And tonight? Real, honest to goodness, cooked food. Nom.

Oh, and guess what I found on sale at Walgreens last night?

It works! And it cost less than half what I was expecting to pay for it!

Considering it’s a cheep knockoff brand, I don’t expect it to last long, but hey – it works for now so I’ll take it.  This is my cheap “Congrats on nearly working yourself to death” present to myself.  My more expensive “Congrats on nearly working yourself to death” present will happen when PayPal gets off its duff and finishes recognizing that money exists.

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