If you’ve never been to this awesome place, you should. Admittance is cheap (3 bucks), and it’s well worth the trip, especially on festival days, which I have been told are now being held every third Saturday. I would happily volunteer to go with anyone interested, but I’m afraid that will have to wait until next summer, because I’m heading off soon to a place with older castles.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The latest news is that this past Sunday I attended a fabulous performance of La Boheme put on by the Cincinnati Opera. Years ago, La Boheme was my first opera, so this was quite a throwback for me, and after several years of going to and enjoying operas, I found that I had a better appreciation for Boheme this time around. Attending college also gives me a whole new appreciation for the quasi-bohemian lifestyle. Anyway, my dear friend – who we shall call Shrubby – and I went early in order to stand outside in the middle of the hot afternoon in full opera garb in order to purchase student tickets at the box office as soon as they came available. We split a sandwich, ate an apricot and tried to keep cool under the overhang of Music Hall.
Once we got our tickets, of course, we bumped into another roadblock, this one coming in the form of a very grumpy, stone-faced door guy. He was getting up there in years, and I think someone chiseled that frown into his face like someone carved the smile on the Joker’s. They let us into the little glass room that’s squashed between the outer and inner doors, but no one was really happy with that situation, and we weren’t the only students or other anxious parties trapped there. Soon cell phones were being pressed to the glass so the guy could see the time, but his watch was set for another time zone I think, and he didn’t believe us. In the end it was another door guy who came over and had to let us in. I told Shrubby that the job of door guy must always go to the grumpiest applicant.
Both Shrubby and I had invited our mothers to come and see the opera with us, so we had arranged to meet them by the gift shop (apparently mothers melt in sunlight, rather like vampires – joke, Mom). This was a bad idea for two reasons: 1, I had money, and 2, they had cute buttons I could stick on my bag and add to my collection. I bought two. One says “Life is short. Opera is long.” The other is the opera version of cover art with Rodolfo and Mimi painted in a pretty little scene. I was also tempted to get a really funny little book called The Bohemian Mainfesto. They were asking twenty for it, but it’s on Amazon for around five including shipping. Go me. When I have money again I’m getting it.
The mummies came, we went up a level and watched all the people in their pretty clothes milling around below, and finally actually watched the opera. At intermission Shrubby took me down to chat with her violin teacher, who happened to playing principle something-or-other in the pit for that opera. She was very friendly, and it seems that Shrubby talks about me when I run away to college. According to the teacher “You’re famous.” Scary. Now I wonder what parts of my insane friendship with Shrubby are common knowledge.
Once the show was over (great singing, great acting, good if somewhat colorless set, unimpressive costumes) I dragged my mom down with me to the green room. Now, the green room is not actually green at all. It is just a nicely furnished little room that the main actors’ dressing rooms branch off of. This particular opera was populated with some very cute guys, so enjoyed getting their autographs in my program. The best moment by far, however, came from a brief discussion with Ailyn Perez, who had played Mimi in the opera. I told her that I’d nearly cried – which was a rare thing for me, as there was only one other opera that had gotten me close to tears before. She agreed enthusiastically about the power of ‘Boheme’, and told me that “An old lady in Italy once told me that if you ever lose touch with your soul, go back to the last two acts of ‘Boheme’.” I would add that if you want to get in touch with your inner college student, all you need to do is watch the first two acts.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The conversation turned to books, and one friend – who is one of the few remaining Inheritance Cycle fans I know of – remarked that it had been two years since the series was added to. Personally, I thought the first book was a fun ride for younger audiences who aren’t looking for something particularly well-written, but just want a quick little fun ride. After the second book I threw in the towel. The only good things about the first book (such as a quick pace to keep the reader engaged) had been thrown by the wayside, and the author had assumed that since he’d done well with his first novel that he must philosophize (badly) with the second. Once it became obvious that the author had gotten too big for britches, I lost all respect (read ‘mercy’) I’d had for his first book, Eragon.
The plot is a carbon copy of Star Wars. It opens with an orphaned rural farm boy, living with his uncle on a farm. An old town curiosity is the mysterious old man who knows much but keeps to himself in very mysterious ways. The quaint little farm is attacked, the uncle is killed, and the boy discovers that the old mysterious man is really a Jedi – Oh, I’m sorry, I mean dragon rider. So, the old Jedi – dragon rider – takes the boy, who turns out to be a new Jedi – dragon rider – on an epic quest. The newbie learns fun and awesome things. Then there is the princess in the dungeon, and the newbie goes and saves her. There are consequences, however, and sweet old Obi-wan – sorry, Brom – bites the dust saving the newbie. Then the remaining cast members journey to the hidden rebel base, where they promptly have a showdown with the forces of the evil Empire (do I really need to say anything on that one?). Good prevails. Later on it is discovered that the sweet old (dead) Jedi – dragonrider – trained the second most powerful villain in the Empire, who, coincidentally, happens to be the newbie’s dad.
Ripping off the canon series of Star Wars wasn’t enough for the author, however, so later on he reveals that the newbie is really his old, dead teacher’s son. Half the Star Wars fans I know of were cheering for Obiwan/Amidala complications in the prequels, so the author has simply proved that he isn’t above copying the fans of major motion picture series, either.
What about the dragons and the mindreading and the true names, though? That’s easy. Everything that didn’t come from Star Wars came from one of these other well-known stories: The Lord of the Rings (ERAGON and ARYA? He’s human, she’s an elf. Sound familiar?), Wizard of Earthsea, and Dragonriders of Pern.
Oh, and the entire point of the second book was to prove that not all homeschoolers are Christian. Just saying.
Hm. I should be my snarky self more often. This is a fairly long post.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
50 Things to do in the next 10 years
1. Finish college with high grades
2. Pay off college debt
3. Graduation trip with three friends to Hocking Hills
5. Write five short stories a year
6. Finish Transformers fic
7. Get a short story published
8. Weigh 130 (and maintain it)
9. Fold 100 paper cranes (per year)
10. Get an apartment
11. Take Mekenzie and Melissa to Ren Fest
12. Make gypsy costume
13. Rewrite Realm Perilous
14. Finish Spiral
15. Put blue streaks in hair
16. Try Mayan hot chocolate
17. Learn Japanese
18. Teach English overseas
19. Complete departmental honors
20. Take voice lessons
21. Fold 100 paper frogs
22. Go to a steampunk outing
23. Take Maribeth to Universal for 1 week
24. Go to Canada
25. Help Mom set up children’s museum/play place
26. Go horseback riding
27. Visit Seaworld
28. Read 100 books
29. Volunteer as a KOV squire
30. Go to Disney
31. Finish The Lady of the Fishpond with Niki
32. Spend a day in a cemetery
33. Make green eggs and ham
34. Have an epic 21st birthday party
35. Get a dog
36. Go snorkeling
37. Have a night on the town with a friend
38. Try sashimi
39. Go to Serpent Mound
40. Go kayaking
41. Go to King’s Island
42. Buy new earphones
43. Go to the observatory
44. Prank the entire campus
45. Learn to drive
46. Go to the zoo
47. Go to the Festival of Lights
48. Write a blog series on various Medieval and Renaissance Festivals
49. Get a car
50. Buy a ModCloth dress for graduation
I really do need to learn to drive. The fact that I can’t yet is just ridiculous laziness. And just think of all the trouble I could get into with my own wheels!
Since finishing the list I realized that I also want to go to an anime con sometime, because even though I don’t know much about very many animes, they just look like fun. And I could go in costume. That’s always a plus. If you ever want me to go somewhere just say “You can come in costume” and I’ll probably do it.
Monday, July 5, 2010
So, I’ve come to a major, life-changing decision… ok, not really, but it will have a major impact on my writing life. I’ve decided to give up fanfic, or at least to give it up for the time being. Soon I will be posting the next chapter on my current fic, and the readers will decide their fate. If they review well, I will finish the fic before throwing in the towel. If they don’t, then I will put the fic on hiatus and let it sit for a while so I can devote more time to my short stories.
Now it is time for a salute to Emily, the lovely lady who can run three miles and pass off gas as the property of the old guy next to her. I can make it all of eight minutes before I’m panting and gasping loud enough to be heard over the machine and Beauty and the Beast. It isn’t pretty. Way to go, Emily. I shall forever be in your treadmillish dust.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
First, they attacked in their usual swarm. Even with bug spray I ended up with about a dozen bites by the end of the evening. One even had the audacity to try for my neck. It must have had delusions of grandeur and figured that it was really a vampire. It needed to be reminded of its heritage, so I gave it a good slap.
The true violation, however, was an attack from the rear. Literally. I had just sat down in a lawn to chair to watch some very fabulous – and rather illegal, but who in Ohio cares – fireworks, when I felt a pinch upon my bottom. Then the pinch began to itch and when I went to take I shower, I verified the fact that I had been viciously violated by a sneaky little skeeter. This is an assault upon the honor of our conflict! For years I’ve been the poor soul scratching at five bites while everyone else in my party gets off itch-free. My mom insists that it’s because I’m sweet, but I have no interest in being any skeeter’s sugar. What’s worse is that I know it’ll itch even worse tomorrow, like all mosquito bites inevitably do, and that I will parade around the house itching my bomming. At least I don’t have to go anywhere for the next day or so.
Remember, though, the next time you see someone scratching their rears in public, that they might have been violated by a mosquito too.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Today the finished cake met its end at the annual family reunion for my grandma and her sisters’ families. It was yummy. The cake, I mean. It’s amazing how much more your older relatives talk with you when you’re not a teenager. The fact that I’m going to be studying abroad helped, too. My personal favorite moment, however, was sitting across from my… errrrr… second cousin?... who plays in Scrabble tournaments and tells very good stories. Apparently bunnies overran one of the campuses where she played. “They breed like rabbits, you know.”
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The wonderful thing about kids is that there are always new ones, and with each new kid comes some new thought or question that is downright hilarious for us ‘big kids,’ also known by the unfortunate title of ‘grown-ups.’ Today I began a new part time babysitting job where I got the pleasure of spending some time with four funny little boys. The oldest can’t be more than five, the twins are between two and three, and the youngest is still sleeping in his crib and sucking on pacifiers. After a vigorous game of freeze tag (where there was much tagging, little freezing and several ‘its’), we found ourselves sitting in the living room with a pile of blocks and some bouncy balls. This, of course, struck the eldest as a marvelous chance to get to know his new ‘sitter. The trick is, in his world there are two kinds of people: kids like him, and grown-ups like his parents.
His first question: “Who married you?”
I explained that I wasn’t married at all and was still single and wondered privately why I wasn’t the one to do the marrying, but why some poor person had to make this a one way relationship.
His second question: “When are you getting married?”
My answer: “I have no idea. A long time from now.”
His third question: “How many kids do you have?”
Once again, I explained that I didn’t have any, and wondered if this kid shared another of my friend’s thoughts – that one day I would just split in two and there would be two Mindys instead of one. What is hilarious, is that this thought stemmed from the fact that I haven’t been interested in having a boyfriend during my college career. Maybe my college buddies know the kids I babysit. I hope not.