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I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
RL, lately 
31st-Mar-2017 10:03 pm
Converse: black
The downside of having a working sleep schedule for even a couple of days seems to be that I can’t nap. Which is sad because I love naps and I’m fucking exhausted. I have a touch of tonsillitis I think (my body is a wonderland for that particular disease - I’ve had it upwards of 15 times in my life and I’m 27) and I’ve been working a lot.

Which on one level is great - not least because I can’t think of another month in my life thus far where spending £200 on tickets to see Cursed Child one more time would be a detour on my paying-off-debt goals but totally possible as opposed to massively out of reach. BUT IT IS AND I’M GOING AND I’M SO EXCITED. :DDD The cast is changing very soon, and while I’m sure the new cast will be great, I’m so grateful I’ll be able to see them all again. Noma and Jamie Parker will be especially hard to replace in my heart.

But oh god I’m so tired. Lots of work this week, last week (and next). It was also a lot of new stuff: instead of being in a classroom teaching present perfect in a lively & engaging way, which frankly I could do standing on my head at this point, I spent six days taking Russian teenagers out to a variety of London attractions. It was only eight kids and their group leader came, but I had to lead them around and lead them through specific learning activities -- it wasn’t meant to be just a tourist/cultural experience but actually involve English learning. Plus there were several times I had to improvise because a gallery was closed or an artwork had been moved.

My boss is very happy with my work though. I don’t think I’m a star in the classroom as compared to the other teachers here, because this is a really good school, but engaging teenagers and improvising are my particular talents so it’s nice to show that off.

I missed you! I’m so sad to have missed the sign-ups for H/D Remix and HP Threesomes and to not have had anything in the Ron/Draco fest. But life’s been very busy. Before my epic work weeks, I’ve been Doing London all over the place. Which is nice! Because London actually has a lot of free/low-cost-for-what-it-is stuff, and doing them is part of what makes the rent and the air pollution and the noise one thousand percent worth it, so that I can’t imagine loving anywhere else like this.

I went to the British Museum’s Crick Crack Club collaboration. The Crick Crack Club is a storytelling group, and Melusina and I went an event with a woman telling stories about the meeting of Solomon and Sheba. It was excellent and kind of reminiscent of Mara’s bits in Roz Kaveney’s (rozk’s) Rhapsody of Blood books: lots of stories and anecdotes weaved around a few characters and events, with echoes down the line and a pleasingly ancient flavour. And Lilith stories are always fab.

I also saw The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, a heavily autobiographical musical about a young black girl growing up in 60s and 70s LA and becoming a dancer in 80s New York, and learning to stop being so bubbly - smiley and charming and having no needs of her own. It’s a fascinating mixture of darkness and light; in the first scene child!Bubbly and her love-interest-to-be are walking home from school, and he talks about when they’ll grow up and get married. She tells him never, because she doesn’t want to be bossed around the way married women are, she wants to be a ~dancer! And it’s very cute and very first-scene-of-a-very-perky-musical, and then he tells her she’s ugly anyway, like that girl that got blown up. And on the background of the stage is projected images of the four Alabama black girls who were murdered when their church was blown up.

There was also a brilliant song about dancers auditioning with a pervy male director who apparently is heavily based on Bob Fosse! ~The more you know

Afterwards there was an interesting Q&A with the cast. I eyerolled a bit at the white members of the cast talking about how surprised they were to hear from their black & biracial castmates about experiences they’d had with racism but it is good to hear about that kind of education. I asked about the extent to which being “bubbly” is required to get cast, and how much they thought racism and sexism are kind of inherent to that process because women, and especially women of colour, have to do so much more to be perceived as bubbly and happy, non-threatening and not angry or difficult to work with. The woman who played the mum said judging the balance came more easily with time. Unfortunately for me though the other black women in the cast stayed quiet. Best part was after the white director had slightly wandered from my question in his answer, when the dude who played the love interest gently redirected the conversation back towards my question’s focus on black women and was like “I don’t want to speak for my sisters” and generally adorable as well as very good-looking. And had mentioned liking both classic musicals and hip-hop and being straight so I was like, “man, can one of my Qs be if you’d like to get a drink after this A?” But I resisted.

I also saw Hidden Figures which made me very very happy. Black women triumphant, and female geniuses, and the value of community and friendship! AND ASTRONOMY?! ALL OF MY BEST THINGS. I kind of wish there’d been more about caregiving responsibilities and how much harder they make it for women to succeed, but I think there were definitely implications of that in Katherine’s clearly needing her mother around to make things work.

I saw a rock musical about Lizzie Borden and Get Out as well, but that’s another post.

This was originally posted at http://lokifan.dreamwidth.org/358378.html. Comment wherever you like :)
31st-Mar-2017 10:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah Hidden Figures was SO GREAT but it is laughable how they make it look like -- "and then she went home to her perfect children and they smiled and said we love you mommy and everything is grand and good luck with the rockets!" Whew, so thank goodness raising children didn't seem to have been a hassle. Lol.
1st-Apr-2017 12:56 pm (UTC)
LOL RIIIIGHT. Srsly. I was expecting such a different scene when her girls were waiting up for her, especially with how brutally clear-eyed it'd been about other aspects of sexism/racism. (e.g. I loved "you probably believe that" to Kirsten Dunst's character claiming not to be racist. That allllmost made up for inserting a random good white guy for me, because it's so important.) And the same thing when Janelle Monae's character was leaving her family to go off for evening classes, I was expecting conflict that didn't appear. Even when they had the cute gettin'-drunk-with-friends scene I was like "it's daylight, who is looking after your kids rn?"

I did love it! And I'm so incredibly happy to have a story about the importance of community in activism and getting by, rather than One Special Girl. But the way caregiving responsibilities fall so disproportinately to women is SUCH a big aspect of institutional sexism that it was weird to see that basically breezed by, especially with a single mum in the frame.
1st-Apr-2017 01:47 am (UTC)
God, I wish I lived in London. I know it's horribly expensive, but the things you do sound fascinating. Great question for the Q&A, too.

Lizzie Borden! I have been totally fascinated by her and her case since I was 13; I don't think there's a book about it that I haven't read. I've even visited her house in Fall River, Massaschusetts, and I used to know a man (deceased now, of course) who had seen her on the street when he was a child (he lived in Fall River).
1st-Apr-2017 12:58 pm (UTC)
Hoooorribly expensive. But I'm very lucky really.

I knew very little about her, because she's not an urban legend here - everything I knew before the show came from Amanda Palmer's "Ukulele Anthem" and a review of Sarah Monette's (aka truepenny's.)
1st-Apr-2017 07:37 pm (UTC)
A Lizzie Borden rock musical?!

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