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Tag: theatre

OryCon: Day Two

Whew! Another long fun day at OryCon.

Last night at 11pm was the Polyamory panel, which was in a smallish room absolutely packed with people.  There was a lot of discussion about different ways to approach non-monogamy, and a couple of people there were dealing with particular issues in their own relationships that they asked the room for advice on.  There was a great deal of advice handed out both generally and specifically.  I got a good laugh when I noted that 95% of relationship advice for how to have a good poly relationship also applies as to how to have a good monogamous relationship, “and the 5% that doesn’t mostly involves calendars”.

I had hoped to make it to open filk last night, but after this panel was over, I was exhausted so I went back to the room and went to sleep instead.

We got up and out in time to get breakfast at the hotel buffet before I had to be at an 11am panel titled “Social Media:  Revolution or Time Sink”.  It was a spirited discussion about the various ways not only that we all use social media, but the way that marketers use the information they collect from our engagement on social media for various purposes.1  We got a lot of good questions from the audience, and it was thought provoking.

I had a couple of hours off after that before moderating three panels in a row.  The first was titled “Putting the Play Back Into Role-Playing”, and had a neat group of RPG vets.  We talked a great deal about storytelling, collaboration, and how role-paying is ultimately what you bring to the table as a player more than the mechanics of the given game you are playing.  I was left at the end of it with a desire to get into a really crunchy character-driven RPG again.2

Immediately afterwards3, we convened a packed, standing-room-only hour titled “Fifty Years With the Doctor”, celebrating everyone’s favourite Time Lord.  The audience (and the panel) was a pretty even split between old-time fans of the show like myself and folks who had only gotten into Doctor Who with the new series.  Two of the panelists even said that they got into the show because of their kids, which was a neat sort of reverse-generational story that you don’t run across too often.  After a few opening remarks, we pretty much threw this one open to the audience, and had a rollicking good time rockin’ the TARDIS.4

The third panel of the afternoon was titled “The Positive Influence of Video Games”, and was just me and one other panelist.  He had a lot of notes on scientific studies on the topic, and some background as a developer, so there was a lot of interesting data.  But aside from those studies, we also talked about the aesthetics of gaming and whether or not video games could be art, the sorts of skills and social connections that gaming can help develop, and stories about games that had changed our thoughts about things or made a positive impact on our lives.  We got a lot of good audience participation on this one, too, and I felt pretty good about it.

I met up with kitanzi in time to hear the very tail end of Callie Hills’s concert, which was unfortunately scheduled against my panel, and then we went back up to the room and ordered some food for dinner, after which I took a short nap before my final event of the day, which was being part of a “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” game.  If you’ve never seen the TV show, it’s improv theatre games, with the twist here being that a lot of the topics and scenarios were tailored towards a science-fiction con crowd.  My favourite game was one where we each took on the persona of a fameous author, and then discussed our approach to a book.  The topic was “Romance Self-Help book”, and the authors were HP Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, Dr. Suess, and George RR Martin.  The lady who had Dr. Suess went on a sad monologue about trying to gain the affections of Sam-I-Am, turning to me at the end and saying “He won’t try my green eggs and ham.  What should I do?” and I, as GRR Martin, stepped forward and said “It was at this point in the story that Sam-I-Am suddenly and tragically died.”, which good a good laugh.  When it died down, I said “But love must go on, so I am introducing 743 new characters in the next chapter.” which got an even bigger laugh. We also had a lot of fun with traditional bits like Party Guests and Dating Game.

Once again, I find myself too tired for open filk.  But I have my concert tomorrow at 1pm, so i’ll get to do at least a little bit of filking at this con.   But for now….sleep.

  1. Which is ultimately, in my view, not really as sinister as we tend to treat it.  95% of the people collecting data are doing it to more efficiently sell us things we might actually want, which means less time wadding through advertisements that you don’t care about.  Since they’re going to put ads in front of us anyway, they may as well be for things we want to see. 

  2. Aside to the old Defensive Perimeter folks:  I miss you all so much. 

  3. luckily, all three of these were in the same room 

  4. If the TARDIS is a’rockin’, don’t bother clockin. 

Delightful Day

I slept late this morning, after having stayed up late the night before, so I was still a bit bleary eyed when I sat down to start scanning LJ and Facebook this morning. Saw that tigerbright mentioned the cinema broadcast of the resent mini-revival Stephen Sondheim’s Company, starring Neil Patrick Harris. I’d wanted to go see this when I first heard about it, and then promptly forget to note it on my calendar. Did a quick check, and sure enough, it was playing at a theatre near my house.

For one show. In an hour.

“So,” I said casually to kitanzi, “How do you feel about dropping everything and rushing off to the movies to see a Broadway musical?”

I waffled a bit back and forth, but finally decided to take a quick shower and get dressed and we dashed off to The Avenue in Forsyth County to catch the show.

I’m glad we did. The cast, anchored by Harris with support from Christina Hendricks, Steven Colbert, Jon Cryer, Patti LuPone and others, was marvellous, and given the subject matter of the show, we laughed a lot. (I’d heard most of the songs over the years, but had never actually seen an entire production of it.) Larissa also had a good time, and we walked out of the theatre in considerably high spirits.

Made a detour to do a little clothes shopping, and then back home for a lovely dinner and catching up a bit on Mythbusters. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 🙂

Social weekends

I’ve really been sort of absent from these pages lately, and in large part that’s because the last several weeks have revolved around kitanzi‘s work schedule, which has her at her office 12 hours a day five-six days a week, and as a result I’ve been trying to pick up most of the household chores. This plan has been hampered by the fact that I’ve been having more troubles with my back, finally coming to the point where I got myself referred to physical therapy in an effort to get it fixed.

For the last two weekends, kitanzi has actually gotten the weekend free, giving us time and energy to actually be social with folks. Last weekend, we headed up to Colbert, GA for ApheliCon 2, the second annual Aphelion Webzine barbecue, hosted by my old friend vila_resthal and his lovely new wife, Lyn. Attendance was light, as usual, but Lyn’s delightful daughter Michele was there, along with Bill Wolfe down from Tennessee, and mrjaimie and his wife over from Marietta. We had barbecue and chili, discussed writing and science and art and politics and music, and I played my guitar a bit, at the command of the hosts, who insisted. (I also played them a bit of cadhla‘s amazing live album, and got at least a couple of converts, I think.) We stayed until about 10pm, and decided to drive back home rather than get a hotel room in Athens, which was a prudent financial decision, if it means I didn’t really get down into Athens at all on this trip.

This weekend was full of people too. Saturday evening, we went to the monthly Gafia housefilk, hosted by Alice and though it was lightly attended, the company was great, with mrpsyklops, his wife and daughter, and also joyeuse13 and abovenyquist, and we had a good deal of conversation and played some good music and had a grand time.

Sunday, we met up again with joyeuse13, abovenyquist, and Alice at Oglethorpe University to see the Georgia Shakespeare Festival’s production of Metamorphoses, a play based on the works of Ovid. Rather uniquely staged around the centerpiece of a large pool of water, the players retold several important stories from the Greek/Roman myths, all of which centered on the theme of transformation and change. All of the stories were familiar to me, but the presentation was so original that I found myself spellbound for the entire 90 minute production. If you are in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend you try to catch the show before it closes on August 20.

(Digression: I used to see a great deal of live theatre, but I’ve fallen out of the habit in the last few years. The last time I saw a play was, if I’m not mistaken, when I went with tigerbright, browngirl, and magid to see Copenhagen in Boston four years ago. That’s much too long.)

In other news, I got kitanzi a copy of The Sims 2 as an anniversary present, and we’ve both become rather hopelessly addicted to the game. I remember I used to watch telynor play Sims 1 on her laptop (I even got her a couple of the expansion packs), but I never really ‘got it”. But now that I’m actually playing it myself, there’s something strangely compelling and zen like about directing these imaginary people through their lives. Kit likens it to playing dolls for grownups, and that’s certainly fitting. It certainly does eat up a lot of time.

And that’s the news from Lake Unionhill. May all of your days be full of joy.

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