Sunday, August 30, 2015

Books and theater, wacky WIPEOUT race, July-August 2015

Books and theater, July-August 2015

Highlight of the summer-the wacky WIPEOUT race.  The bring the tv game to your town and let you run it!  Guess what, it is harder than it looks.

The organization was great-waves of people and enough help that there were some lines, but overall well paced.

First up the sweeper.  The thing you run across?  WAAAAY squishier than you think it is!

A couple more obstacles without photos-the wall climb, the big balls that jump across, the running (ugh!)
This one looks like tons of fun!

And it was-sure glad the photographer caught all that ;)

The foam slide was unexpectedly fun and easy.  But now we were all sudsy...luckily there is another water slide and a dunking opportunity

Holy cow the finale looks intimidating

Hardly anyone makes it across, but worth the try!

-by Holly Madison
Down the Rabbit Hole:  Okay, so I have to admit I was fascinated by The Girls Next you remember that reality show?  The 3 girlfriends of Hugh Hefner?  It seemed like Holly was too smart to have ended up there...the book is a look into how she ended up stuck there.  Sad but not too sad-good ending.  I'm sure some of the book is whitewashed, but seriously, who didn't/doesn't think that Hef is a he even still alive-yikes!

-by Ben Aaronovitch
Midnight Riot:  a mystery story...but there is magic in the world and our policeman becomes an apprentice magician.  Fun enough to read some more.

Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight!  Nice job by Foothill College

-by Deborah Adele
The Yamas and Niyamas, Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice:  Had an immersive yoga experience and decided to continue it by trying some reading about yoga.  This one is a nice self-help book, a little frou-frou, but mostly practical!

-by Jill Miller
The Roll Model:  Also from the intense yoga.  This is a hands-on book about self-massage.  But the book has all sorts of info on anatomy as well.  There are a few too many 'miraculous cure' stories for me, but all the practical stuff is in there with a ton of photos.

Backlog of Lucky Peach magazines:  not sure this counts, but they have real articles, not just food porn!

-by Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth
The Turnip Princess and other newly discovered fairy tales: complied back in ~1858, these are sometimes similar to Grimm's.  But many of them are not full stories, more like anecdotes.  Most are wacky-like a turnip princess, but only because they aren't in our heads from when we were young.

-by Jane Smiley
Some Luck:First in a trilogy following one family.  The main focus is the Langdon family, Iowa farms, starting in the early twenties and going to the early 50s.  Really gets into the heads of the characters-very well done and I'm looking forward to part II.

-by Arnaldur Indridason
Jar City:  The Icelandic detective again:  good and fast.

Romeo and Juliet:  for some reason I got it in my head to re-read this...and re-watch it!  Remembered how hard it is to read plays.  But then I watched the 1996 (?!?) Romeo + Juliet directed by Baz Luhrman.  So. F*ing. Brilliant.  I love all the clever bits when a production gets set in a different era.  Love the costumes and sets-Mercutio!  The scene when they first meet through the aquarium.

-by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Buried Giant:  hmm sort of an expanded fairy tale...I had to go and read a bunch of reviews because I felt a little let down at the end.  The reviews are a bit mixed, there are definitely fans and there are the same sort of questions I had-what exactly is he trying to get at?  Yes, sadness, repression of history, and was the setting really right?  ah well, I will see if it sticks with me.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

NYC theater trip, Aug 2014, part II

NYC theater trip, August 2014

From the Empire State building

Fifth avenue worships shoes

Another icon we'd never been too, Carnegie Deli.  You wonder why the prices are so high until you see the portions

Pastrami sandwich, for what, 4 people?!?


Hash-totally worth it-that is why there is a line and no one complains about the prices.

After the Aladdin show we got to go onstage/backstage.  Amazing how much they can do in a small space.

One lunch
 was burgers and beer and a visit with our friend Ian.  mmmm, much beer!

Up the Empire State building

Again with the Art Deco, but praising engineering.

Final theater spot we filled at the last minute with Rocky, the musical.  It was both terrible and wonderful, which is why it was closing soon, but had a small cult following of folks who were on their 10th viewing.  It is the movie on stage, with song.  The training montage was fun and the final fight scene was amazing-they brought the ring out into the audience!  This is not a show that will travel easily, but if your local theater ever does produce it, go...if for nothing else to hear "But My Nose Ain't Broke"  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NYC theater trip, Aug 2014

NYC theater trip, August 2014

I love going back to NYC!  Our friends knitpig and M had never been and we needed a theater trip to see our friend James as the Genie in Aladdin...and he won the Tony!!
Cause he is amazing!  Go to YouTube and Google James Monroe Iglehart and watch the Tony acceptance speech.  Or anything else-he is just wonderful.

We started the weekend at Ellen's Stardust diner, home of the singing waitstaff.  There was a line to get in and they have the windows well covered and sound proofed so you don't really know what you are getting into until you are inside.  Wow.  This is an only in New York thing.  It is packed and loud because the waitstaff are always singing.  
Not some sort of tame, stand off in a corner singing, but all over the room and on a mini stage-walk in the center of the room.  The staff are all aspiring to make it to Broadway and were excellent singers and good waitstaff to boot.  The food is pretty standard but clearly you are here for the experience.

After dinner we went to our first show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris.   Wow to everything.  The show is good, NPH is amazing-you can see just how much he throws himself into the role so completely.  Live theater is just so good!!

It is always easy to visit Times Square.  So strange because there is not really anything to do except see the crowd of people there to see the crowd of people....

The next day we hit the iconic Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center.

Love Art Deco!  Note to self-look into an art class...

What is NYC without some shopping?  There is a huge Lego store and normally we would just be looking, since you can buy it all at home.  Except!  They had just launched the Research Lab and I knew those would sell I got a couple

Woo hoo chemist!!

The whole team is awesome!

 A special art installation was happening-not a huge Koons fan, but it was right there


Next up, Grand Central Station!
vertical panorama looks a bit funky...

It is nice to stop and check out the classic architecture and people watch.

But the real reason we went was to ride through the City Hall Subway station.  This station is not used because the turn is too tight and it is unsafe to load and unload passengers.  But if you ride the 6 train and stay on after the last stop you can catch glimpses.  This photos I grabbed out of the Columbia Alumni magazine, summer 2014, you actual viewing experience will be dim.  It is cool if there are others who stay on the train as well to spot the stop.

In all my time I never managed to go into the library...manged to fix that this trip!

Great use of the iconic lion

which is tough to photograph

 Yes, inside is what you imagine it to be-stately, quiet, full of information, many readers, so tourists...good stop!
More in the second half.