Monday, October 17, 2005

The Martinaland Event Schedule

For some strange reason my normally boring existence has been pretty busy these past couple weeks. There are so many things I want to talk about, but I fear I will forget before I have time to do so. So, here is the short version, possibly to be revisted later. To make a short list, here is what I have been up to:

The Battle of the Hyacinths

Viewing the The Exorcism of Emily Rose
- Just as quick aside, I've gone to more movies in the past month than I probably have all year. I don't know what's possessed me, though I do know that my pre-Emily Rose self-creep out of wondering if I could handle the movie in all of its demonic creepiness was way scarier than the actual movie was.

Liederabend der Romantik (with Heidrun Kordes and Thorsten Larbig). I'm going to admit right now that Romantic Lieder are not necessarily my favorite genre of music. I really enjoy Romantic piano pieces. Vocally, the Lieder are sometimes just too much for me. Even though I appreciate the level of difficulty in singing them, I tend to prefer vocal music of a simpler, more melodic structure.

That said, the Lieder do have some definite plusses. The piano accompaniment is almost always gorgeous, and they mostly borrow their lyrics from Romantic poetry, which I do love. Best of all, though, is that they tend toward the gloriously melodramatic. Even the tortured soul program title "Let, oh world, oh let me be" was melodramatic. My favorite piece by far was Brahms' M├Ądchenfluch (A Maiden's Curse), which features lyrics like:

For, you see, Jawo has
Muddied the water.
How, then, o dear mother,
Could I have bleached it?
Curse him, mother, dear mother!
I will curse him too.
May God in bright heaven grant
That he might hang himself
On a terrible little tree...
On my white neck!
May God in bright heaven grant
That he might lie imprisoned,
Imprisoned deep in a dungeon...
On my white breast!

It goes on with the cursing from there, but I think it gives a good taste of the piece. In fairness to the performers, there was more to the evening than melodrama. Both really were incredible musicians. The particular style of music just isn't my favorite. Still, I am glad the I went. It was an interesting experience and I did learn a lot about the genre that I did not know, which is never a bad thing.

Seeing The Corpse Bride

Visiting the Shanghai Tunnels

Viewing Mirrormask

Continued visits to the gym (Soon I will be so buff, no one will recognize me! Well, either that or I will look a little less weebilesque.)

Taking the Northwest Earth Institute's Voluntary Simplicity course

Attending a performance of The Lion King
I know I said I would revisit this later, but while the feeling is still new, I just have to say WOW. The whole production was incredible. It even overcame my Disney prejudices! The costume design was beautiful and innovative in the most of the time I was not thinking "Huh. I'm spending two hours watching a grown men dressed up and pretending to pounce around like lions. Greeaat." The costumes were proportioned in such a way that, for example, the actor's face became the chin of the mask. The costumes managed to avoid being cumbersome and really did just become part of the characters.

Will I expound on all of these things as planned? Probably not, though hopefully I'll get around to a few. Either way, I have accounted for my whereabouts for a good portion of the past week or two.


Jen said...

I am glad that you dug the Lion King! I've heard it is pretty amazing, so I'm glad that that was not just a bunch of hot air.

How was the voluntary simplicity class? I know some people who took it several years ago, and they seemed to enjoy it. They wandered the halls with little tomato seedlings and notebooks, which I just took to be the arcane rituals of their course. (OK, OK, they just wandered around with tomato seedlings ONCE, and it was probably just from their meeting room back to their desks... but the notebooks were every time, man.)

Martina said...

It really was cool and well worth the price of a ticket. I'd be willing to see it again before it leaves, if I could get tickets (and if I had a never ending stream of money flowing through my backyard). Since I have neither, I'll just have to reminisce about the time I DID get to see it.

I've only been to one voluntary simplicity class, but I already feel gipped. I didn't get a notebook. Where's my notebook, I ask? I did get a nice little collection of environmental readings, so I guess that makes up for the lack of notebook.

Martina said...
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Martina said...

Doh. I guess I didn't really answer the "how did you like it?" part.

So far the class seems okay, though it does appear to be a lot of sharing personal reflections with great I'm ok, you're ok stress on whatever you get out of it being...well, ok. Some of the sessions do look like they will be pretty interesting, though. I liked all but one of the first week's readings - the offender being an except of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's 1955 "Gift from the Sea", which just seemed terribly dated and whiny in "we poor women have so much to worry about" way that mostly just left me thinking "Suck it up, Annie, and get on with your life." Also, something about her writing style just bugs me, so I only read half and in favor of reading something else that spoke to me more.

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