Weekly media report

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:37 am
immlass: (donut powered)
[personal profile] immlass
Very light media week because we were out of town and then had houseguests!

Books:
- none

Movies/TV:
- Class, Episode 5. I forgot a bit about where we were last time but oh, yes, and that, and I really like this show. And I'm bummed that it doesn't look like it's going to get a second seasons.
- Orphan Black Season 5, Episode 6. We're now rapidly careening toward the series finale with twists galore (some of them foreseeable, others less so) and the heart of darkness finally starting to blow up. I'm going to miss this show when it's gone.

Music:
- none

Of castles and bacon thieves

Jul. 19th, 2017 05:23 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Today we were incredibly productive. We hiked up to High Castle, which technically is neither a castle nor very high, but I am still proud of us, dammit. It's quite a view. Some of the original castle remains, but it's not particularly impressive compared to the sight of all of Lviv.

there are cats and other things )

In Lviv

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:13 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
This is a gorgeous city, maybe even more than Kiev. It's also very much a City Of Coffee, and I highly approve. There's a café where, if you go into the basement, you can "mine" for coffee in the walls, but besides that, when we asked the hotel guy where to get good coffee, he looked at us weirdly and said, "it's ALL good coffee." A random selection would suggest he's right.

We did a walking tour, saw various churches, the Catholic Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, all of which seem very close together by contemporary standards. Lviv has changed hands over its history, and the references to Galicia made me do a Google and feel like an idiot because Lviv was in the heart of what had been Galicia, and that's where my grandfather was from.

Anyway, here is the new friend we made:



more pictures )

Here, have some pictures of Lviv

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:03 am
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
We took the overnight train and got in at 6 am. Our hotel booking isn't until 2 pm, so we've just been wandering around and taking pictures of all the pretty architecture.

click to embiggen )
immlass: (music - radiola)
[personal profile] immlass
Tears for Fears and Hall & Oates at AT&T Center, San Antonio. July 13. 2017.

There was a third opening act but doors were at 6:30 and we got there at 7:15. Tears for Fears started at 7:17.

Tears for Fears were on fire. I didn't think I knew their oeuvre as well as it turns out I do, including songs I probably hadn't heard in 25+ years and could sing from memory. Their voices were strong, their instrumentation and playing were excellent, and while it doesn't look like they're putting out new material, I'd buy it if they were. Plus they win the prize for most on the nose cover with Creep.

Hall and Oates weren't bad, but it was hard to live up to what Tears for Fears was doing. They didn't really get into the music hard until the encore (which was basically a long second set). And Daryl Hall is almost 70 if not more than, so his upper register is shot and the rearrangement of the songs is a bit disorienting. Especially when the audience is singing along to the radio version.

I'm glad we saw Hall and Oates but Tears for Fears was the clear winner here.

Animated Shorts, Tosca Quartet, Austin Chamber Music Festival at the North Door. July 14. 2017.

We've been to the North Door for shows before and this was clearly the worst configuration for it. The seats were too close together, the AC wasn't working properly to the point where Michael had to leave, and the door was around the back because of construction on Fifth. The music was lovely, including the bandoreon player who gave a great intro to his instrument, and the shorts were nice enough, but we'd seen most of them because more than half were from Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.

I'd like to see another program like this in a better venue with a better selection of animation. The idea was sound, but not the execution. At least the company was good.

Some more pictures

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:02 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Our last day in Kiev until the end of our trip. Here's a few quick glimpses of things we've seen, as we walked and walked. This is going to be a bunch of tiny pictures 'cause I'm writing from a café before we get on a night train for Lviv.

click for larger versions )

Mezhyhirya

Jul. 16th, 2017 04:37 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Viktor Yanyukovitch was president of the Ukraine from 2010-2014, until he was fairly dramatically deposed and fled to Russia as he is currently wanted for treason here. By all accounts, he was incredibly corrupt, and acquired the massive Mezhyhirya estate with public funds. As wealth and corruption is no guarantee of taste, when asked which architectural style he wanted to build his massive palaces in, he must have replied, "fuckin' all of them," because when protestors walked in and took over the place in 2014, they were appalled not just at the excesses (which included a car museum, a zoo, a golf course, several tennis courts, and orchards), but at his alarming taste in decor.

It now belongs to the people and is a destination for Ukrainians to have weddings, bike around, and generally point and laugh. Also there are gigantic thrones and Greco-Roman ruins for no apparent reason.

pictures! )

Kiev, day 1

Jul. 16th, 2017 06:49 am
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I admittedly did little but eating and sleeping, as everyone is exhausted. We're staying right behind Maidan Nezalezhnosti, though, and even the laziest traveller could not fail to be moved by its beauty.



Post-2014 demonstrations, it is plastered with photos and memorials to the dead. No one goes out in Kiev this time of year except at night, when the fountains explode like fireworks and street musicians busk and young couples laugh and dance in the streets.











We grabbed dinner at an adorable café that, shock of all shocks, had food I could eat: mushroom kasha and vareniki stuffed with sour cherry, and sour cherry infused vodka.







Then exhaustion got the better of us and I probably slept more than I have in months. Awake bright and early now to do proper exploring.

P.S. Sorry for the size and quality of the images; DW's image hosting + being on my iPad makes for an unfortunate combination.







101 in 1001 report

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:57 am
immlass: (break the monotony)
[personal profile] immlass
I went to see the Tosca Quartet and I remembered that we had seen Mother Falcon which marked off another item. So I continue to be ahead.

List under the cut. )

I'm working through a lot of minor items that are winding down, and the exercise and house items plus food trucks are the big remaining things. And financial stuff. My next big gaming thing is I need to work on HOC experience.

Weekly media report

Jul. 12th, 2017 06:44 pm
immlass: (amazons of mars)
[personal profile] immlass
Books:
- The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, by Thomas Asbridge. Finished this, and it was really solid. I was glad I read it.
- Red Sonja, Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues, by Gail Simone. A fantasy icon written by a woman, with a woman-centered cast. More like this please!
- The Coldest Winter, by Antony Johnston. Prequel to the other Coldest story and I liked this one even better.
- Northlanders, Vol. 1: Sven the Returned, by Brian Wood. It's a western with Viking garb but it's a really good one.

Movies/TV:
- Orphan Black Season 5, Episodes 2-5. Four really good episodes, and now we're caught up. The first with a horrible end twist and the second an Allison & Donnie comedy piece, with bonus mando and Highland dancing. Then the evil science on the island and the counterpart of Sarah with S, Helena, and Kira in the next two. I loved the flashback to S1. I think my favorite bit was S as the researcher, which was great bit of acting work by Maria Doyle Kennedy.

Music:
- Fader, First Light. I didn't expect to love this as much as I did on first listen, but I really really did. I think Neil Arthur does better with a strong collaborator and Benge was one for this album.
- Lindsey Buckingham, One Man Show. Replicates the experience of attending his solo shows beautifully. Not a "single hits" listening album but nice music to work to.
- Usher's Island, Usher's Island. Self-titled supergroup doing their trad thing. Familiar and new all at once, and very enjoyable if you like your trad high church. (I do.)

Thoughts on New Who S10

Jul. 6th, 2017 12:11 pm
immlass: (dr. who - tardis pimp)
[personal profile] immlass
Spoilers, sweetie! )

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