I just had one of those weeks. I can scarcely wrap my mind around the fact that it's Sunday. But it is. Let's see... what's gone on in the Jenn-iverse since last I blogged. Well, the way-back machine takes me back to pre-Halloween. I talked about the really interesting Experimental Tuesday film I went to see, but not the one that was so torturous that when I finally gave up and walked out one of the film department peeps - with a look of sheer disbelief written all over his face - said to me, "how did you make it that long?!?" I honestly don't know. So we can talk about that. I also haven't mentioned the great fun of going to see the Milwaukee Ballet's production of Hamlet with it's associated mooning. (Yes, mooning. I got mooned at the ballet. How many of you can say that, huh?) I didn't really get a chance to relate the details of Mariah's party, nor have I brought you all up to speed on boy y. Or the predictable hilarity of the woodwork debuts a few of my other boys have made.
Shall we start at the beginning? Chicago seems like the beginning, I think.
I took the afternoon train down to Chicago, arriving around 2:30, I believe. It had been my intention when this jaunt was in the planning stages to walk over to the MCA and see what's going on over there, since I am a member and haven't been since I last had an overseas visitor. (Which was a looooong time ago now.) However, Mariah called on my way down and said hey meet me on Dearborn and Adams my dad and I are going to a protest. And so I asked the obvious question: "What are you protesting?" To my amusement, Mariah answered, "I dunno, Dad, what are we protesting?" Somewhere in the background I heard Mariah's dad answer- "The war." Hilarious. So I walked down to the square by the post office at the appointed sculpture and watched as the SINGLE LARGEST PROTEST I HAVE EVER SEEN unfolded before my eyes. I can now say that on October 27, 2007 I attended a protest that 30,000 other people also attended. It was INCREDIBLE. Mariah has yet to deliver on pictures, so I'll have to pester him. Which I actually just did. Just now. I'll post what I receive.
The party was interesting. It's funny to me how different groups of people react to the presence of a new person sometimes. I remember when the aforementioned overseas visitor was here and I believe that his biggest complaint was that none of my friends seemed interested in talking to him. Personally, when I new person arrives in my midst I want to ask them a ton of questions and make them feel welcome. Not everybody does that, as it turns out. And the majority of Mariah's friends did not seem interested in me. A few people talked to me but largely, I was ignored. Mariah did well making up for that so I wasn't like, bored or anything. And observing his group dynamic and the perspective his current group of friends have on him vs the perspective I have on him was really, really interesting. My Mariah is quite different than their Mariah. I love those kinds of peeks into people's social universe. And how different phases of their lives produce different versions of themselves and it's kind of exciting to be outside the usual scope of his everyday life looking in. Ultimately, it was great fun.
The following Tuesday I attended another Experimental Tuesday at UWM. This was a Danièle Huillet memorial tribute. When UWM folks talked about it at the "I think there's something worth dying for" screening it sounded fabulously interesting. You say French film and I am there like a shot, strictly speaking. I love the French aesthetic in film more often than not. But this was not a French film. It was German. Based on a German play by Friedrich Hölderlin called Der Tod des Empedokles. And it was horrible. I have since, when asked, taken to comparing it to Vogon poetry. It was just that uncomfortable to watch. Danièle Huillet was part of a duo with her lifelong partner Jean-Marie Straub. The wiki entry describing these two is also fabulously interesting. But what I did not note is what their aesthetic was all about.
Here's a tidbit for you:
"Aesthetically, their films are often described as being "austere." They utilize long, immobile takes, often framed in an unconventional but seemingly primitive way. Key actions or objects are often not shown, leaving the audience instead to imagine them or have them described by the characters."
They also used non-professional actors. And did it ever show. The main character kept looking down as he was delivering his heroically long monologues. I imagine to make reference to the text. I can scarcely imagine a professional actor memorizing that entire script, much less some guy off the street. Now, most people are frightened off when a descriptor mentions long, immobile takes. But being a fan of the 70's film style, which certainly uses the aforementioned takes I embrace them. I am the only person I know who was able to not only stay awake for but also totally enjoy Equus. I've tried to share my love and no one has ever made it through. This stylistic choice can either be pleasing as in films such as Equus, Coffey, the French Connection or it can be incredibly unpleasant. At least for this film, it was more of the latter.
But my evening was saved. As I was walking home, I got a call from boy y. He wanted to come to where I was and so I met him at the coffee shop across the street from my house. As I walked the sidewalk in front of the shop, I could see him in the huge bank of windows. He'd just had his hair cut, he was wearing a crisp green shirt and he hadn't seen me yet. I could not help but smile. He greeted me as I walked in the door saying, "This won't work. I need to go to a darkened room." I remember being sort of taken aback. Thinking, "Oh yes? Really? Praytell what exactly do you have in mind?" He smiled at me and showed me his camera. I knew about this piece he's been working on, actually. Years ago, probably 4 or 5, I went to a gallery night at Turner Hall. There were belly dancers, and two very interesting projects one was film from the security cameras that are all over Milwaukee and the other was this non-stop stream of eyes. Irises, specifically. And I remember standing there in front of the film projection, transfixed.
After the photos were taken he plugged his camera into my tv and flipped my eyes onto the screen. I have wavy muscle in my irises. These long, undulating lines of blue and gold with big brown "freckles" up top and to the right on each. It was so interesting. He sat and explained to me what he knew about eyes. We discovered I have dusty eyeballs. Which is, you know, kind of freaky. And afterwards, after the picture snapping and eyeball perusing there was kissing. Really, really good kissing. Which seems to be a theme. Which is good.
Halloween itself was fun. Spent with boy y. First we went to see a reading of a play by a youth theatre group at UWM, then we met up with boy y's friends at Trocadero. The instant we walked in I knew we would get along - the boy friend was dressed like Kelly. Which, like... totally cool, right? We had a great time, we laughed, we talked we danced. A good time was had by all. And, whereas I had gone dressed in daddy duds to the Chicago paty, a la the letter jacket and sweater, for Halloween proper I went as "Edie Sedgewick, pre-Andy Warhol" (which no one got) dressed in my mother's dress and jacket. So, Dad for party, Mom for going out. Which was good because like, the mommy dress was red and short which is always good when in the company of a boy you like. I wish I could find some specific information on the youth theatre group who performed the thing so I can be a little publicity conduit for them but google searches haven't yielded good results. Maybe I'll ask the boy later.
Moving on to Friday...
I work with a woman who is a very curious person. I don't know if I quite understand her but we've some similar interests - namely men and dance. So, when she invited me to attend "Greet Your Seat," an event for the "Balletomane" season ticket holders, during which I was utterly swarmed by board members I jumped at the chance. And we had a good time. Then she invited me to the "Dialogue for Dance" with Stephen Mills, the guest choreographer from Ballet Austin and Michael Pink, the Artistic Director for the Milwaukee Ballet. Which was quite wonderful. We got to see a preview of the ballet, hear about its inception, and really be front and center for a gorgeous view of some of the male dancers' callipygian-ness. The ballet, Hamlet, sounded quite amazing and when it was revealed that the musical score for the show was Philip Glass... that was it, I was sold. I would've bought tickets. But I didn't have to, my co-worker offered them for free.
We had decided to get really dressed up, so I donned the beautiful dress I wore for the Milwaukee International Film Festival Gala. You can go ahead an look in the photo gallery for me, there were pictures of me from that event but it looks like none of them made it onto the website. *shrug* I loose. (My bet.) Boy y decided to work an in at the Ballet and got a ticket from a friend who works there. Boy y picked me up. I was running a little behind schedule, had wet fingernails, and was carrying a jumble of crap when I walked outside to the flash, flash, flash of a shutterbug sitting on the wall beside my driveway. Boy y treated me to a taste of celebrity with a paparazzi reception.
The Ballet itself was slow to start but huge in patience payoff. It was gorgeous, magical, enthralling. And I got to see ass. The lead, Hamlet, split his pants in the first act. It started small but eventually his ENTIRE ass was visible. Running, jumping, leaping was cheeky as hell. The co-worker and I loved it. After the performance we attended a champagne reception where I had the opportunity to speak with the lead. He was very humble and jovial about the "wardrobe malfunction." Which was great. After the reception, the co-worker, boy y and I all decided to go out to dinner at a new tapas restaurant called, La Merenda. The place is positively adorable with really great ambiance to begin with and the food is quite excellent. We had something with shrimp and something curry and something else I can't quite remember. Which is sub-par for my usual food porn, I know, but hey - I'm lucky I remember that much these days.
Now, fast-forwarding to the part where I talk about the woodwork and it's recent yield. Cuz that's the fun part ;) Well, for some of us, anyway. So, remember when I posted about how it was kinda upsetting how after you're newly single all of a sudden your guy friends who have been such very good friends suddenly start looking at you as a dating option? Well, as we all well know it works the other way too. Meet someone you like a lot and are kind of smitten with and watch as all your old flames suddenly wanna start something up again. I got a couple of emails from Houdini boy (now you see him, now you don't - now he's all bound up in chains and submerged in a cooling bath of his own pain), it may or may not have been a toe in the water of round 3 but we'll find out for certain when he does or does not respond to my last response in the email chain. He saw me with boy y on Friday night. Tried to sneak by me with his head down and his baseball cap pulled down. I thought about calling to him to say hello but I decided to let him sneak if that's what he wanted. Went out for drinks with another old flame and after I got home got a text message requesting the pleasure of his presence at my apartment. There was another one in there and it involved a late night face-to-face request but I'll spare y'all the details. You know, and the thing is - I'd love to be friends with Houdini. He's a great guy who I like a lot and while apparently he's not exactly relationship of any kind material I'd still like to know him and double-bubble geek-a-licious boy of the texting fame is a dear heart too whom I care for immensely. And the face-asker, well he's just one of those people I love. So what up? Huh? Do my pheromones change or something? I know they say it's attitude but I like to think I'm a generally happy and bubbly person anyway. I dunno, whatevs, right?
I think that pretty much covers the last couple of whirlwind weeks. Tuesday I leave for Orlando so y'all get to be real jealous of NWG. Heh.