After a week of thinking about it, in light of recent events involving Johnny Weir, while I am not completely convinced of his being the party who committed the wrongdoing, I have decided nonetheless I no longer wished to have a blog titled with a Lady Gaga lyric chosen largely because of his famous “Poker Face” program. So I have decided instead to have a title referencing one of my favorite childhood Garfield strips(though I very nearly went with “Where Did the Vine Come From,” but it it didn’t have the same nostalgia for me). While I was at it, I changed my theme and culled my list of links a little. Pretty?
So the immediate question is: what happens why Skye wakes up? I can’t be the only one who is seriously worried if she’ll still be herself, or if the drug will tamper with her mentally(on the other hand, given how many people don’t like her character, maybe this is the way the producers can fix that problem without killing the character off and having to find a new actress/character to replace her).
And the long-term question is: when’s the reckoning going to come with the higher-ups? I think Coulson and Nick Fury are due to exchange a few Words with each other at the very least, and the way things are going, it might be more appropriate for Coulson to do something drastic. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first season ends with him walking out of S.H.I.E.L.D.(at least he’ll be able to reunite with his cellist girlfriend, only that might be a problem when the organization ultimately gets him to come back in the second season). And even with the addition of Deathlok as a villain, the Clairevoyent’s going to run out of henchmen at the rate he’s losing them, and I’m starting to think he might not be the biggest antagonist in this series. You have to think things have to change at S.H.I.E.L.D., and that will be the ultimate story of series(unless Captain America steals that storyline). Their modus operandi isn’t looking too good, and not just because of what happened in the Guest House, but the way even everyone treats Ian Quinn on the plane; when May’s beating up the prisoner and Coulson’s possibly ready to murder him if Skye dies, they are products of their organization.
On the other hand, it seems FitzSimmons are having a bit of slow character arc, learning to defy the rules right along with the others, which means they continue to be the highlight of this show in every way that doesn’t involve Coulson.
Although for this season the big news isn’t the celebrities; it’s the more regular faces. Brooke Burke Charvet has been exchanged for Erin Andrews, which is all well and good, and Harold Wheeler and the band are gone, which is very much not; it sounds like everyone will dance to recordings now, which just is not the same, it really isn’t. That’s bad enough, but with the cast reveal we also got the news that halfway through the show the viewers will vote to reassign the pros to what stars they want them to dance with, which isn’t nice either, if it means other pros can get credit for the hard work done by each pro early in the show. As for the cast of pros themselves, two more members of the dance troupe have been rotated in, including a much overdue Henry Byalikov, and Farber has gone back to the dance troupe, but mostly the cast is the same as last season, except Tyne Steicklin and more sadly Tristan McManus are also out, and of course we have a big comeback from Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who had previously looked liked he’d moved on for good, and if only he can stay with her he might have the biggest chance of winning. For now, the current partner assignments:
This is the view outside my window right now. The snow is only now really coming down in earnest here. Yesterday I watched the buses get suspended while it was still 50 degrees out, and I knew I’d be home today before dinner last night. At the time it still hadn’t dropped to freezing; in fact, it still hadn’t even when the Oscars were over; it wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that the ice started. Nowadays the winter storm experience starts very early. Mom and I even went to buy orange juice and milk yesterday, along with my sister, who compared the crowded aisles to a jammed highway; the woman in front of us told her to turn our cart’s blinkers on. At least we avoided having to park in the parking lot; the line went out into the street.
Prince Igor was the opera I was perhaps looking forward to the most this season, if only because as a figure skating fan, I was interested in hearing the Polovtsian Dances in context. On the other hand, like most people who know only that piece of music, at least by its original name(other pieces of music from the opera have also been appropriated into other things though), I didn’t know much about the opera itself. Which might have been just as well, since the Met production broadcast yesterday was actually a whole new approach to what at the time of composer Alexander Borodin’s death was a collection of pieces of an opera-in-progress he never properly put together, discarding must of the music his colleagues had composed to create the original full opera, and staged to suit modern ideals, delivering a strong anti-war message on a day when Russia’s current leader declares his intention to invade the Ukraine-a coincidence of timing, or perhaps just an indication that noone ever learns from the mistakes of the past. Either way, it increases the opera’s power.
The biggest problem with purifying the opera in this way, perhaps, is that it leaves all the gaps which Borodin didn’t get around to filling. As a narrative arc, what was put together works well enough. It is left ambiguous what happened to Igor after his defeat, since in between the march off to battle and his return to his ruined city, all we see involving him is told in hallucination and flashback, with the famed Polovtsian Dances where the Khan’s slaves sing tribute to him turned almost into a nightmare sequence, and you have at least briefly wonder if his son really defected for love, or was simply killed in battle and hallucinated by his father. Whether this a good thing or not, I suppose, depends on whether one likes having their mind screwed with. But one undisputedly bad result of this is Prince Igor isn’t the biggest presence in his own opera-lead Ildar Abdrazakov is great when he’s signing, but you have to wait some time for that. Meanwhile, the main character almost becomes his wife Yaroslavna, sung by Ukrainian met debutante Oksana Dyka. Not entirely inappropriate to have her lamenting the consequences of the war, though, on this particular day. It helps too that she’s really good. The production does it’s best to fill some of the gaps with projected image of the battle, and Abdrazakov in the end rejecting the grand welcome back chorus from his people in favor of leading off a clean-up of the stage.
Also the production previewed next season broadcast schedule, when much of the cast from yesterday will be featured, including Abdrazakov headlining Marriage of Figaro, and Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci with Marcelo Alvarez singing the lead in both. Those ought to good. Sadly, Dyka’s next doing Aida, which they will not try to broadcast again.
But something I’ve come to realize since the story broke that maybe Rowling had changed her mind about who Hermione should’ve ended up with(although when the quotes are put into context it turns out they aren’t quite as strong as first seemed): I’m a Harry/Hermione Friendshipper, maybe even more than a Ron/Hermione shipper.
I’m still the latter, certainly. In fact, the idea that things still weren’t easy after the events of the book concluded, but they still had things to work through and growth as people to do, makes me care about it more than I would’ve otherwise; I’m more interested when it’s not easy. But the days when their relationship was my main focus as a fan are long gone now. These days when I reread the books or work on All The Extras, I find my favorite thing is the friendship between all three characters(as perhaps evidence by the final scene in part three of that fic, I suppose, with the platonic sharing of a bed). I loved the dancing scene in Deathly Hallows specifically for that reason; I loved the idea that two people in love with others could still have that kind of bond.
So Rowling’s interview still makes me a little sad, that she doesn’t seem to see the particular value of that, although again, putting the quotes in context make them not as bad as they initially seemed out of it. To me, Harry and Hermione didn’t waste any potential of their relationship with each other out of failing to be anything other than what it was.
Actually, the news that is occupying me the most at the moment is Nicklas Backstrom, especially as someone who has made copious use of pseudoephedrine myself in the past to cope with my own terrible sinuses; I was even prescribed it back when that was allowed in the US, though I haven’t used it in a while now, if only because I stopped seeing any effects; I develop tolerances to medication way too easily. Perhaps the minimum allowed level should be raised a little, if the medication can cause it?
At least for amusement we have Plushenko apparently broadcasting his next back surgery for his fans to watch. I wonder how much of that is to head off any accusations from the press that he’s faking it, especially considering how mad they are at him right now. The scary thing is, I’m pretty sure a lot of his fans will watch(I think I’ll be busy that day).
Sadder is the news that Kavaguti & Smirnov can’t even try for Worlds, but then, I don’t know if they would get named to the team anyway. Bazarova & Larionov pretty much passed them last year, and now that Stolbova & Klimov have passed them, who is there left to bump? That will continue to be a problem next year, if indeed K & S keep competing then, as they now say they will; they may have taken their last trip to the bigger stages already.
And speaking of sad pairs news, one wonders about Evgeni Krasnapolski, ending his short-lived Olympic partnership and putting himself up on IcePartnerSearch before the games even ended! Combined with the way he dumped Danielle Montalbano last year and you get the image of a cad of a partner who any girl should think twice about skating with if she wants a partnership that she can rely on lasting.