Chaos Attraction

Parties, Book Conferences, Plays

2020-06-13, 11:08 p.m.

More crap dreams. The last one was getting a phone call at work (note: my job circa 2002) saying that I was getting a 99% pay cut. Fuck that. I had to wake up.

Booked myself for another busy Saturday. Started out the morning with a salsa dance party held by Daybreakers (same as last week), which was similar fun. I was rather disconcerted to see a second Radha (the host)'s head floating around disembodied at the beginning, which she claimed was her consciousness (?), but then later revealed that her twin sister was there, and the sister (and the rest of her body) danced with her. It was very sweet to see them touching.

Most of the rest of the day was indulging in book conferences. Both and are holding book conferences right now on Crowdcast, I'm not sure if you can view these links without signing up to watch the shows or not, but they're linked just in case.

I watched a livestream interview with Mary Robinette Kowal about her new book, The Relentless Moon. It sounds like some cool free things will be coming out for that.

Notable things from the interview:
* In the book, there's a polio pandemic on the moon because due to the people working on the vaccine getting killed by a giant meteor, it took about ten years to get one in her universe. Hoooo boy.
* The narrator, Nicole, is partially based on watching her mother do fundraising events.
* Mary Robinette also reads audio books, including her own, and she read the first chapter of the book.
* She said, why did I put all these different languages in here I don't speak and don't have accents for?
* The five aspects to creating character voice: pitch, placement in your body, pacing, accent, attitude. She pointed out that she reads the October Daye books and the only thing she can do to distinguish between October and May (note for those who never read the series: May is her magically-created twin, more or less) is to do different attitudes. Which I would bet works well because October is more practical clothes, private investigator, world-weary and May is a punked out, funky hair dyed, colorful wacky dresser personality.
* Life in the pandemic: "You find the tiny pockets of joy that you can and cultivate these things."

I also watched this stream of Neil Gaiman and Victoria Schwab that I didn't get to watch live yesterday, which I don't have commentary on but found to be really sweet.

I had signed up for a online storytelling festival that was supposed to be running this afternoon and got an email today saying they overbooked and had already sent out the link to the first 100 that signed up and that everyone else was on a waiting list....I wrote back to say never mind, you can take me off the waiting list under the circumstances. (Also, maybe they need to improve their processes on keeping track of that shit? Seems a wee bit rude.) They did say they'd send me a recording afterwards though, so there's that, if it happens. Am slightly thinking it will not since they then canceled my registration and said I would receive no more emails from them.... hmmmm.... Oh well. Whatever. I don't have energy for this. If they do ,they do, and if they don't, they don't.

Then I went on to watch the Llewellyn livestream, with a guy who does "Fearless Tarot", a lady talking about spiritually protecting yourself . Is it just me or is conjure and hoodoo the Hot New Trend in the pagan community? I kept going to tons of that stuff at Pantheacon and now it's on here too. Hmmm. ("Sometimes, you can use your own urine" was just said.) I'm never sure what to make of conjure/hoodoo, it's rather interesting but also has an intensity and complication level I'm not sure I could maintain personally. I am more of an improvising person. Then I switched to Chaotic Communal Storytime, but then their livestream had no sound and crashed. I feel like having the word "Chaotic" may have jinxed it somehow.

But let me share what was in the chat:
Tor Books · 18:03 T E C H N I C A L D I F F I C U L T I E S (How embarrassing for us)
Tor Books · 20:49 DON'T PANIC
Tor Books · 20:56 WE CAN'T HEAR EITHER
Tor Books · 12:49 We see you! And we are working on it!
Tor Books · 13:04 We will be right back with sound!
Carol Waller · 10:01 You know what they say about a good dress rehearsal. One would think you’d learn from the Scottish play

I gave up and went on to watch Water Magick for a bit, and I was all, "Florida water coming up again? More hoodoo?" It looks like....something...eventually worked with the storytelling somewhere, so I listened to that, but I started to get tired and sorta zoned out there.

Then I watched Femme Fatale's "Little Boots," which was the other play in this I knew would be hard going.

It features Esperanza "Little Boots" Gutierrez and her attempt to file a rape report against Sgt. Rosas, and of course every man around is going to take her down and paint her as the vengeful town pump. Her one (gay best) friend Campos won't back her up because then he'll be outed. Basically...the same horrible story you always hear about women in the military getting raped and what happens to them if they don't want to put out and if they try to fight back. At one point she insists that the military has to help her. Yeah, right. And to think she just got into it for the college money. I wasn't at all surprised by the plot until it was revealed that Rosas is mentally troubled--by which I mean he knows this, should be on medication, admits privately he knows he shouldn't be hurting people, but he snaps periodically and takes it out on people--and Captain Hall (the guy she's trying to make the report to) has been trying to cover for his ass because he's "done some fucked up shit" himself. Privately even Captain Hall admits the rumors he hears about her are bullshit. "I'm going to have to be a fucking dick!" Captain Hall yells. Anyway, she pulls a gun on Rosas, gets a psych evaluation, gets sent home. She can't understand why nobody wanted to help her. She was dishonorably discharged for infidelity when she wasn't even the married one. Who's defending us, she asks. Nobody, of course.

Describe this one in a sentence: "True to life," says the guy playing Captain Hall, and I think we all agreed because nobody had any other suggestions.

The playwright said that she didn't get raped while she was in the military, but did get treated badly while she was in there and that was from real life. She was cringing hearing her own lines read aloud for the first time. "I had to apologize for being such an asshole," one of the guys said. I said that I wonder if abuse of women in the military is ever going to get major backlash along the lines of MeToo and BLM.

"I've never been this bad of a bad guy before," Captain Hall and Sgt. Rosas said. There's no redeeming qualities, Rene said, though we do see that Rosas is having issues. Hall said he didn't think the rape would have happened if Rosas wasn't egged on by the third asshole guy, Miller. Someone asked the director why she chose to direct it and she said she didn't choose it, it was assigned to her (Beth said the same to us... ) and she had a lot of reactions to it and then said, "It's a really good play, and I DON'T LIKE IT." "It's really good, to the point where I do not like it." She said it was hard to read the stage directions without being caught up in her throat. Some random lady asked "Did you take off your clothes?" and that got a lot of headshakes and exasperated expressions, particularly by the playwright.

The girl playing Esperanza talked about a girl who's been vanished from a base and was being sexually harassed before and....yeah, you know what probably happened. "The military is never accountable for anything," the playwright said. She said that she does like that the show makes people uncomfortable and mad.

The next play was "Cyrano on the Moon," which is a sequel to guess what. Cyrano wakes up on the moon after his death and is addressed by a lookalike of Roxanne but is really the moon. "Must I carve out my own path, even in the afterlife," he whines," and I'm like dude, that's how it works. He's still swordfighting up there too.

Back on earth, Actual Roxanne is working with two nuns to write about Cyrano, I presume that the plot of "Cyrano on the Moon" is what Roxanne is writing/dictating. The nuns are forbidden from reading Cyrano's work, but clearly liked him very much when he was around, so they volunteered to assist Roxanne. Sister Claire in particular seems to have a crush and somehow goes into Cyrano's "moon" world to talk to him. We worshipped you, she says. Of course, the ladies imagine that Cyrano and Christian are hanging out on the moon, and Christian asks if Cyrano and Roxanne got married and had kids....geeeeeeez.

"You made your pining into a sport," Roxanne says. "Imagine what we could have done with even a year of discourse." And then apparently Roxanne drops dead. The nuns decide to finish the work, having the guys fight over her. The guys debate who Roxanne is gong to choose once she dies. Instead, she tells them off. "That is mighty harsh," Sister Claire says, and Sister Marthe is all, "Roxanne was never one to suffer a fool." Can't we write a happy ending, Sister Claire asks. The moon shows up and picks Christian as her consort, Cyrano wishes them well. Then Roxanne shows up. They go off to look at craters.

I don't really know what to make of the play in general. Interesting, but surreal/weird?

I asked about the inspiration for the show (some of the actors said they wanted to ask the same!). The playwright said she was in love with the show, but she ended up seeing it three times a week at a place she worked at and the more she watched it, the more she got frustrated with the ending and wanted to give Roxanne a voice. Each of the characters are different facets of her interest--Claire for the romance, Marthe for the fighting and chivalry, and Roxanne with the poetry. She said writing Christian saying, "What do you MEAAAAAAN?" was the first thing she wrote of it. "I thought we nuns made a great ending for her," said Marthe. I was amused when Roxanne changed her background to a tropical island afterwards. The actors talked about having to "rewind" and do things differently and act out the writing process.

The director said it was put on live before and the girl playing Roxanne was the stage manager before. Zoom left some of the elements to the imagination, having the moon there gave it a very different magical texture this go-round.

There was discussion of viewing in speaker view vs. gallery view, and I pointed out that if you filter out non-video participants, you can see it all better.

After that, I got an invite to a "Halloween in June" party, so I threw on the peacock outfit and went to that. Someone asked how long it took to put on costumes and I was all, uh, 30 seconds? Since I already had costume stuff at the ready. However, I will actually have to dig out stuff for an inevitable "Christmas in July" party. (I made that joke and then yes, later they announced that they would throw one.)

One kid dressed up as an evil clown said it took 2 hours and "Wanna know where I got the skin? My sister. My sister is not to happy I borrowed her skin. I said I would give it back. After the party." He also did "magic tricks" with a pet rat appearing and disappearing.
There was another Jennifer on there (well, "jeNN") who was wearing a pumpkin on her head and had the pi symbol drawn on her face that looked a lot like Lioness, which was throwing me off quite a bit. Except she looked a lot more depressed. Costumes on tonight were the evil clown and his "FREAKSHOW" family in similar, a wolf, a voodoo doctor, pirate (with her adorable pom dog), and some kids.

Tonight was clearly Killer Clown Kid's night, as he knew a lot of the trivia and won the costume contest. The prize was a Caribbean trip and he asked in chat "When is the trip exactly." Good point, kid, that's exactly why I didn't want it. Nobody answered him.

Anyway, the DJ was rocking, I chair bopped, we did some Halloween trivia, all was well.

In other activities:
* I figured out that I have to take out a lot of the project I've been working on (grr) and redo it. I'm trying to knit a wrap dress and have been having problems figuring out how I am supposed to be doing the front parts. Very confusing, the designer should spell out HOW many stitches you are supposed to have at all points.
* I wrote another letter to Cameron since it looks like I will be forced to go get the mail tomorrow even though I don't want to, might as well mail it then, wrote about the play and jury duty.
* I heard back from Kelly the playwright and she asked if I want to read the play she's working on and I was all, HECK YES!!! I was about ready to volunteer halfway through reading the email! She said she tried to get a few actors to read it and one ignored her and the other was all, "I don't want to read about feminism and women's right to vote," which horrified me. LET ME AT IT, THIS IS RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!!!
* I am attempting to read a book. Specifically, rereading "A Unicorn In A World Of Donkeys" because I mentioned it to Coleman/Shanna (more or less, I can refer to her by her given name, as Coleman is a stage name so as to not interfere with her day job reputation) and she was interested in hearing more about it. Hmm, hard these days.

From my email: some theater is having in-person auditions for a children's show that they seem to think will be running at the start of August:

"The theatre will be practicing and enforcing social distance protocols. You will need to wear a mask. We will audition you in groups of 10 and each group will run for one hour. Auditioners only (no parents or guardians) will enter at the Vernon street entrance with their audition forms and COVID-19 questionnaire (all forms found below) filled out in advance. Temperatures will be taken at the door, please do not stand in the heat or sit in a hot car before auditions."

Hard to avoid when it's summer in this area, I'd like to point out, and I don't think y'all are gonna let them all wait in an air-conditioned lobby? Where they should not be congregating anyway because indoors + air conditioning + crowds = coronavirus outbreak now? Uh.... I seriously wonder how the hell actually rehearsing the show is going to go. Because I have seen this show and uh, it has more than 10 people in the cast. And it's not like 10 people equals safe, it just means 10 people only catch it at a time instead of larger numbers of them catching it at once.

Even worse: "Everyone who is called back after the first day of auditions, is accepted into the program. The workshop fee of $275 will be due upon arrival at callbacks on June 16th, before the singing and reading for parts begin. No one may participate in the callback process who has not paid the workshop fee. This is a non-refundable payment." Wait, what, you're paying to get into this show? And that much?! Nonrefundable?! I know theater is in dire straits these days, but that just seems asshole on many levels.

A few other places are also having auditions, which they did not spell out as being live or virtual or what the hell ever, but I suspect are live (musicals). This does not sound good to me.

This sums it all up on my feelings on "the world reopening." Y'all are INSANE to think this is doable right now under the circumstances. Just totally insane and going to all die horribly on a ventilator.

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