Thursday, April 1, 2010


Last Sunday was the big moving day. Furniture is all there. Nod found two young men and worked with them for six hours to get it all done. I took a few loads and ferried the children. And fretted and felt grief and shame and dislocation. There are random items in every room of the old house, clamoring to be picked up/thrown out. I would hate to have anyone see it. It is every fault I don't want to show. The new place feels like a nice vacation condo. I woke up with a sinus headache after the first night int he new place and felt distinctly hungover. But a mocha after lunch restored some of my faith in the future. Our neighbors/landlords are friendly and good at fixing things. Our next door neighbor offered to come keep me company at the old house while I shoveled. Very sweet.

Read some blog posts and several reviews of Burton's Alice. No, I'm not in a big hurry to see it. I enjoyed (mostly) his Sweeney Todd but it sent me back to the source material. From what I read, his Alice would do the same. I hear it's dark and a mishmash of the books plus (what sounds to me like an unsatisfying) meta-story. What would I do with Alice on film? Instead of Burton's darkness, use overexposed segues, washing out to white between scenes. Have all the encounters colored but not vividly and with white paper and black ink backgrounds. Even the forests, at least the edges. So inhabit and go beyond the Tenniel illustrations. Would I change the text? Would I cut? It seems so tempting to do a straight read through keeping everything. Mm retention, hoarding, treasure. But then again, how long does a straight reading take? Some scenes would be shorter or longer, some could be told without words. Story boarding the book(s), do I even know how to do that? What themes would I want to draw out? The intrigue and mystery of the dream world. And the practical exasperation of Alice at the nonsense when it goes too far. The melodrama of each character (Mad Hatter sorrowful or bossy or terrified and bootlicking).

Boingboing links to a very early advertisement for the wonders of electricity in the home. The boingboing curator imagines the ramifications of this change:
Finally, I love the last couple pages that allude to the real conflict between man and nature. Forget about simplifying housework. Centralized electricity changed energy production from a difficult, in-home process that kept the messy by-products of progress literally in your face, into something magical that happened when you threw a switch. The choking smoke was still there, but not at your house. There was still heavy labor involved, but it wasn't done by you or your children. For the first time, people were able to pretend that their standard of living was provided, free of downsides, by little elves that lived in the wall. All benefit, no detriment. Action without consequences. In other words, this is the point where everybody went a little bit bonkers.

Last Friday we took the kids and went to a free cultural event on campus, something I yearn to do more of in this town. We went to see the Tuvan musicians Alash Ensemble perform. Tuvan throat singing is folk singing that includes the exotic-to-us ability to sing two tones at once: a growly low drone and a high tone almost like bird song. So wonderful to be in the same room with that. It was packed and we were happy to have spots to sit on the floor. When I took Katy to the restroom later we got to see all the people who were standing all the way out the entrance hall to the exterior doors in order to hear the music. Lexi drooped towards the end but we stayed for everything but the Q&A afterwards. It was delightful music. Absolutely wonderful. I thought a lot about seeing Paul Pena and Kongar-ol Ondar in San Francisco ten years ago. I got to brag about it to someone at this show too ::smug::. This link is to "Ondar videos" including some with Kongar-ol Ondar in his big hat and some with Bady-Dorzhu Ondar as a child and also as an adult (he is in the Alash Ensemble) and maybe some other Ondars I haven't heard of yet. Are the Alash Ensemble coming to your town? Could be, they are heavy on the Nebraska dates on their event list.

Oh! Be sure and try to see Mercury during the next week, just after sundown. It is a rare opportunity to see it at all. It appears below bright venus after the sun gets out of the way. But only for the next week or so. Here's the info from Sky and Telescope.


The Subtle Rudder said...

If I could, I'd go back to the old place with you to fetch the remnants. That was always the worst part of moving; it felt like going backward, not forward. I imagine it's an even heavier load for you with that house; such painful freight. Damn. We'll have to meet up one of these days to commiserate and cheer each other on.

Do you read Bossy? She's doing a driving tour of the US and there's a meetup in KC. Might be fun to meet some other bloggers.

Nimble said...

TSR: Thanks for the sympathy. I am starting to perk up. Venting my distress to kind listeners (here and IRL) has been helpful. The shock of moving is wearing off.

It would be great to meet you! I do read Bossy. That's right, the no-book tour rides again. I could probably do a May 5 KC outing. I'll put it on my calendar and as long as no more safes or pianos fall from the sky, I will be there. I read Surrender Dorothy sometimes but no other area blogs. Do you recommend any?

Lucy said...

Oof, bon courage. Our neighbours moved out about two years ago, but haven't rented out the house or done anything much with it. There are still old kids' toys in the garden which the children will have grown out of by now, and which are covered in green algae. It's all mightily depressing and I don't know what's going on. They just don't seem to be able to deal with coming back to sort things out.

My sister was urging me to see Alice, but I'm unsure I want to. The 3D gimmick might be enough to induce me I suppose. I like the sound of your version better.

I've always found that Tuvan throat singing fascinating when I've seen it on TV. Thanks for the link.

Nimble said...

Hi Lucy, thanks for the courage. Yes, dealing with the left-behind stuff is no fun. But I hope your ex-neighbors will get off their duffs and do it. I am peering toward the end in sight for us. Maybe we'll be able to finish up our sorting/disposing at the old house this weekend.