Saturday, November 25, 2017

culture and ecology

It's Thanksgiving weekend. If the people haven't gained weight from food, the newspapers have gained weight from ads. I stayed home on Friday and literally did not shop anywhere.

Other outings have drowned out my chance to mention that, last weekend, I attended the second all-female cast Hamlet I've seen this year. Only this time the actors were all Stanford undergraduates. As with the other, the male characters stayed male, regardless of who was playing them. Claudius and Polonius wore business suits, and Polonius had a paste-on beard. The performers were pretty good, just lacking seasoning. The stage was covered in dirt, of the symbolism of which the program notes made much, and wasn't separated from the audience. Ophelia gave me a daisy (it was actually a twig). Best touch was the Ghost's tombstone, which read "HAMLET / King / Father / Royal Dane".

Despite a link on the show's website to a detailed map clearly showing the location of the building on campus, due to absent and misleading signage finding the actual theater in the building was impossible for a stranger. It was a weekend and nobody was around to ask. I almost gave up, thinking the performance had been canceled, until I saw several people walking on a path leading apparently away from the building and decided to follow them. Naturally, the production people could not possibly have cared less when I told them that I almost missed their show for this reason.

Meanwhile, I'm making far more progress in re-reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which I'd never done before (I'd read it, I just hadn't re-read it), than on watching the Hulu mini-series adaptation. The more it goes on, the less of the book's distinctive eerie tone and atmosphere it captures.

Reserved a hotel room for next year's Worldcon an hour after the reservation link opened, which turned out to be just fast enough. The committee were sure they wouldn't go that fast, but even though I haven't been to a Worldcon in 6 years, I knew better than that. Worldcon hotel rooms vanish at the speed of drops of water in a hot pan.

Hmm, I'll spare you the tale of the city's mysterious garbage bin update until I figure out what's going on here.

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