A Farewell #Ham4Ham

Although my three-day vacation in New York was initially decided on so I could spare myself three of the 9 work days during which part of the metro route I take to work was shut down due to track work, I then decided my full day in New York would be Wednesday, so I could see a #Ham4Ham show, especially after I realized I’d be there for the final week before Lin-Manuel Miranda would leave the show.  By the time I was there, Leslie Odom, Jr and Phillipa Soo were also confirmed as off to hopefully reap some benefits from their newfound fame, although I also became aware of how early I’d need to get there, and started to wonder if it was worth it to stand in the heat for hours for a five-minute show.  But it was what I came to the city for, so Wednesday morning after breakfast off I went to the Richard Rogers.

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Back from New York

Ran away from the world for three days, and after one day back, I’m too tired and sad to do much writing tonight.  But I have some photos from my walk in Central Park Wednesday evening:

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Outside the Metropolitan Museum at closing time.

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I should be excited about the Grand Prix

But instead I’m in mourning.  Was it only a year that Joshua Farris and Jason Brown were going to be the next great two and the next great rivalry?  Like Evan and Johnny, except better, and more dignified.  Now we’ve lost a skater who could’ve accomplished so much.  You just hope this isn’t going to damage Joshua’s health permanently.  Jason’s farewell to him on twitter yesterday was both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

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More from JK Rowling

Honestly, I’m not sure all this extra Harry Potter stuff has gone all that well with JK Rowling’s image, especially since some of the details I’ve heard about the possible plot of Cursed Child make it sound like she’s gone off her rocker.  But I did like the story about Ilvermorny posted to Pottermore yesterday.  It even prompted me to go back the website when I’d fled it after it sorted me into Slytherin.  I deleted my account, rejoined, and took the quiz again, which got me safely back into Ravenclaw.  Also, I’m a Thunderbird, which feels kind of odd, but then again, we still don’t know much about these Ilvermorny houses.

Actually, that’s the strangest thing right now: we’re getting sorted into these new houses, and clearly Rowling has figured how what they are and what kind of students they take, and likely beyond the vague notions in yesterday’s release, but why not tell us everything?  The only explanation I can think of is we’re going to find out the rest in Fantastic Beasts.  But that takes place down in New York City, and so far we haven’t been told or shown in the trailers if the characters are going to be traveling somewhere else.  Is Ilvermorny a single side trip, or are Newt & friends going to be wandering all around the country, sending MACUSA into hysterics at the thought of how many chances No-Majs will have of spotting or bumping into them?  And either way, why would the details of how the houses work be so important that Rowling feels a need to withhold them?

I suppose placing wizarding immigration history on the Mayflower is easy, because it’s a story everyone knows(with few enough details utilized that Rowling sidesteps how much of it is myth.)  But I do think it appropriate that America’s European-style magic school was formed by an Irish witch, considering the heavy Irish immigration this country has had in its history.  Even more so when its in Massachusetts.

The Martian, by Andy Weir

It feels strange to finish reading The Martian tonight, surrounded by news that puts the ugly side of humanity all on display.  I’d been introduced to the story through the movie, which had been a deeply optimistic portrayal of humanity, and the book is the same, although it is has much less portrayal of the world and more of just the central character.  It’s gain some, lose some; we get more of Mark Watney’s inner mind, and a lot more of his personality, but his universe gets thinner.

Indeed, one can see definite weaknesses in the book, especially if you’re not into highly technical descriptions.  Andy Weir has persumably done his homework, and arguably it makes sense for all these scientist characters to talk at length with all their fancy terms, and of course much of the story is told through Watney’s log entries, but still, the eyes of most readers are going to glaze over a lot.  Perhaps it works a bit better in those sections where suddenly we go out of the limited POV narration and into an odd scientific/documentary style narrative, where even Watney is referred to just as “the astronaut,” and it makes it easier to focus in on whatever mechanical affair is about to happen.

Mostly I now want to see the movie again.  Not even necessarily out of it being better, but just because I feel like I didn’t get enough.  And I don’t know if I would’ve felt that way had I read the book first.

Yet another death

One of the brightest lights of the new Star Trek movies has now gone out.  It seems, too, that we’re only learning what we had with Anton Yelchin now that he’s gone, given how my timeline erupted yesterday, and it definitely wasn’t just the Trekkies who had reason to mourn; this man had done so many good things by 27 it’s painful to think how much more he might have done.  Plus he seems to have been a delightful person:

Anton Yelchin & the birds

Seriously. You can’t even.

RIP Anton Yelchin.

New skating montage

Made a tribute to Ashley Wagner, and discovered when trying to put it on Vimeo that said website has decided not to recognize my password even when I’ve just reset it.  I made a different account using my old email address, but it seems I must go searching for a new website…or possibly give in and return to YouTube, but I’ve no idea how many of my videos they’d block or mute. Password is “ashley”

aw from MsIsobel on Vimeo.

Okay, can this week end now?

Just how many damn shootings have there been over the past seven days? How many deaths? How many terrorist attacks? (You certainly won’t get an accurate number from the media for that one) It seems every time you turn around, someone else is dead. Or multiple someone elses.  Meanwhile, we’re trying to commemorate the one-year anniversary of another gun massacre, and all I can think is, at this rate?  Every day of the year’s going to be an anniversary for some similar event before too long.

Seriously, it was already bad enough that the populace of Britain’s looking like they’re going to vote to cut off their noses to spite their faces for the second time in as many years.  But when Parliament members are getting murdered in public over it, well, arguably they’ve already crossed a far worse line.  One I fear we’ll cross in the U.S. too, the way things are going; we even came close in 2011, though that time the congresswoman involved survived.  It’s telling that both that attack and yesterday’s were on female politicians, actually.

Four months to the election.  And now we seriously have to worry about how many people will get killed in the meantime.  Or after, since the people who are voting for Trump might even just get worse if their guy doesn’t win.  Stronger gun laws would help, of course, but even they won’t stop all of it.  There may be too many more weeks like this one in the future.