Happy Sunday, Friends! I hope it’s sunny where you are; I know I need it. There’s a section of the theatre in which I worked called “the furniture room” that I have since dubbed “the reading room.” These large frosted windows cover one wall and let in buttery sunlight perfect for reading before work.
This Week at the Theatre Job
We closed Caroline or Change on Sunday. You know, “strike the set, sign the check”? LOL, there are no checks in community theatre, but we did strike the set! Monday at 3:00PM, the Popovich Performing Pet Theatre arrived to set up for a one-night show! They aren’t connected to the theatre; they rented the space. It turns out that only 1-2 people spoke English — everyone else spoke Russian — so I ran around and did a lot of pointing. I got tickets to the show and saw fun tricks, like a cat pushing a little shopping cart with a dog in it, rats boarding a tiny train, and Popovich himself doing amazing acrobatic feats on our stage!
We’re gearing up to open a straight play called Grand Concourse next Friday in our black box theatre. The set is a functioning kitchen (sort of): they can cook and wash their hands. Below is the set (not quite done yet). The poor lighting designer is having physical issues, so I had to go in on Saturday and use Facebook Messenger video chat to have him walk me through hanging and adjusting lights, and programming the board! Ack! I was out of my element, but theatre is very Tim Gunn: “make it work!”
I also saw a stage reading at a different theatre, the Acting Ensemble. They’re very low budget and small, but they have a wonderful crew of actors who have a lot of fun. Below is an image from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy III: Life, the Universe, and Everything.
This Week in TV & Film
The newest season of The Santa Clarita Diet came out! Yay! If you’ve tried this show and didn’t like it, let me explain. Before Sheila is turned into a zombie, she and her husband, Joel, are very boring people. That is reflected in terrible acting by Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant that almost made me quit watching Season 1. But as things progressed and got stranger and more deadly, the show turns into a hilarity bomb you can’t resist. If you’re squeamish about blood, don’t watch.
This Week in Reading: Finished Books
Just last night I finished reading Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith to my husband. Hooray! While he initially didn’t like the novel, he got into it. We haven’t discussed it yet, as he takes a while to mull things over. I’ll post a review next week.
Though Jackie and I finished Magic’s Promise and Magic’s Price by Mercedes Lackey a couple of weeks ago, we posted our conversation about the books this past week. Thanks to everyone following along with #ReadingValdemar. We’ve encountered fans new and old, and I love it!
I’ve owned it for too long, so I finally read and loved Destroying Angel by Missy Wilkinson. Many of you lamented that her book isn’t available anymore due to a terrible press abusing its writers, but when I wrote to Wilkinson to let her know of my review and suggest she seek a new publisher, she was grateful and glad — and this is one of those moments I love about being a blogger.
You can’t help but pick up a book called There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories, so when you get inside and the stories are incomplete, it’s hard not to feel let down. Of course, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya has other books with similarly fascinating titles, so I’ll try her again (especially since I already own There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales). Callum and I agree that maybe Petrushevskaya’s novellas will be better, such as There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family.
This Week in Reading: Books in Progress
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh: I’m working to finish the entire Mark Renton series, which has five books, in 2019. Trainspotting is gruesome, leaves a funky taste in your mouth, almost all written in Scottish dialect, and feels more like short stories connected to make a novel. So far, I’m liking it more than Skagboys. I read Trainspotting in 2004, but remember little.
By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey: If you’re following along with #ReadingValdemar, here is a head’s up. Jackie and I planned our next book to be Winds of Fate, but the first page is a summary of what’s been happening since we left Talia. Prince Ancar attacking was in Talia’s books, so that made sense, but apparently he attacked again two years later and was defeated by a mercenary named Kerowyn. Okay, that’s enough summary, but when I started the first chapter of Winds of Fate, there’s Kerowyn, a main character.
I quickly text Jackie, and we decided to add in By the Sword, the novel in which we meet and learn about Kerowyn. By the Sword is connected to the Oath books (there are three, but not really a trilogy), but you don’t have to read them first. So now, it’s sixteen Valdemar books in 2019. What could go wrong?! By the Sword review now due on April 15th and Winds of Fate review on April 29th.
Vow of Celibacy by Erin Judge: a novel for my goal to read more books with positive representations of fat women. I wasn’t keen on the title or the premise, but this book has surprised me with it’s clever writing, sex positivity, and strong characterization. Loving it so far!
Next Week in Reading:
As soon as I finished Vow of Celibacy, which should be soon, I’ll start Roxane Gay’s novel, An Untamed State. I confess I don’t care much for Gay’s essays or the opinions she shares on Twitter, but I enjoyed her fiction collection Ayiti. I’ll also start Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell. This is a re-read for me, and it’s the book I will start reading next to my husband at night.