DCI Showing

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:06 pm
everchangingmuse: from the finale of 2005's Elisabeth (lavender musume and saeko)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
Last night, I went to the movies to watch the opening performance of six of the corps that make up the Drum Corps International, thanks to Fathom Events. DCI is like professional marching band - routines are complex, entertaining, real productions. The marching is precise, the flag is intense, and the athletic skill needed is as rigorous as any sports training. Forget most sports seasons, DCI is the super-competition.

The theater I went to last night almost didn't let me in, though. The boy at the counter told me they had to close the screening room because the AC had gone out, and it wasn't fit to sit in, and asked if I wanted a refund. I sadly said yes, and he went and got his manager. The boy had just turned away people asking to buy tickets, also. The manager came out and apologized, and scanned my QR code on my phone to print the tickets to start the refund process, and mentioned that there were only two screens in the theater that could stream the Fathom stuff.

Wait, I said. They were still going to show the DCI? I had a student in one of the corps, and I wanted to see them perform. He said they were, but they couldn't put the audience into the second, air-conditioned theater until 8:50, because there was another film in there already. But, you're still honoring the tickets? I can still see this? Yes, if I didn't mind the inconvenience. I did not mind at all. So, got my ticket and headed to the snack line.

I'd spoken loudly enough that the people who'd been turned away and had been off to the side talking about how they'd have to call their parents (teenagers), went back to the ticket window before the manager could walk away, and managed to purchase tickets as well. And then a group of adults got into line. I'm glad I spoke up about my desire to see the performance and asked clarifying questions. The boy at the counter had not been aware of the possibility, it seemed - it's a busy theater, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He probably wasn't aware of more than the basics of the situation.

The poor theater was under-staffed last night. There was only one person behind the snack counter, and he was running back and forth between the register and the back room to fill orders. He kept smiling, kept up his good humor, and everyone who was around me in line was very patient and kind with him. It's hard being the only person at a register when you can "just" stand and ring people up - the fact that he was making food, pouring drinks, checking stock, and ringing us all up? I hope the management was kind to him.

The screening room itself wasn't as bad as the ticket counter had made it seem. There was some air flow, so we weren't hot and sticky. It was a bit stuffy, but nowhere near the oven I'd been expecting. There were a ton of teenagers there, along with parents of people in the corps, band directors, etc. Most of the group was either a middle school or high school band, based on the snippets of conversation I heard. We were moved to the AC screening room between the first and second performances (I'll talk about those in a moment), which was a convenient time, because the feed itself had some issues and had stuck at that point. We all moved quickly to the new room, and everyone did the sensible thing of go as high as you can, or as far in as you can to the row you're on. There was an empty space next to a couple of teenage girls on the end of a row, and I asked if they were holding the seat. Nope! I plopped myself down just as the second corps began its performance.

As to the performances themselves, they were very fun! This is the first of the season, as I'd said before, so not everything about each program is finalized. They've been rehearsing for about a month now. My student who's in one of the corps left school as soon as seniors were done, and missed his own graduation for training. Some of the corps were in better shape than others. The cameras also had the unfortunate luck to focus in on some of the guard just as they missed catching their batons. The programs were diverse in tone and theme, and each one was a treat for both ears and eyes. I enjoyed the commentators, who, just like sports commentators, gave some background about each of the corps performing - their world class wins, their previous season's programs, changes in leadership among the adults (there's an age range for performers - I think it's 16-23, but don't quote me on that; I know there are 18 y.o. because that's how old my student is). Unlike sports commentators, they were quiet during the performances themselves, commentating on them only after the performance had finished. They spoke with directors before each corps performed, and got an "on-the-ground" perspective after from one of the corps members who was leaving the field.

In August, there's going to be another showing in the theaters, before the DCI finals. The top 15 corps' performances will be streamed to audiences, so they can see who the contenders are for the finals. The scoring is done by a panel of judges, and is kind of complicated - though the commentators kindly broke it down with overlay graphics for the movie-going audience. The corps my student is in came in 4th out of 6 - not bad for an opening volley, especially considering how tight most of the performances already are. I hope they make it to the top 15. If they do, I'll definitely go to the other showing. If not...I still might. I really enjoyed the routines I saw, and want to see how they evolve over the season.


Jun. 21st, 2017 09:59 pm
everchangingmuse: oozora yuuhi looking thoughtful (yuuhi pondering)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
I am slowly adjusting to being back from vacation. We left Hershey early-ish in the morning yesterday, after a stop at Duck Donuts for breakfast and, rather than take the highways home, we decided it would be more fun to take the scenic route. So, local highways and US-highways, rather than the Interstates. We stopped when we saw places that we liked, drove through a bunch of adorable towns (why, PA, why do you not need Latin teachers? I loved the places we drove through and stopped!), and generally meandered our way home.

By the time we crossed into VA, though, we were ready to just be home. We grabbed the Interstate system again just over the border, and used it to get as close to home as we could before the necessary hop back onto the US-highways and local roads. We got back sometime between 5:30 and 6, I think. Honestly, I can't remember. And we'd left our hotel in Hershey before 10.

But, home! Honestly, part of what I like about vacation is the appreciation for home I have when I get back. Back to my own bed, my own shower, my rooms. Rooms, plural. Being able to exist in separate spaces made both me and my wife very happy after a week of sharing very close quarters.

We went out together just for a little while this morning - quick trip to the local grocery to pick up what we'd need to tide us over until proper grocery shopping. May have to pop out again tomorrow, because the local only had one gallon of my tea, and I can drink that down in a day. But, then she had work, and I had time to myself in the house, which was nice. I'm still tired, but I've done some tidying and started the laundry (two loads done!).

Tomorrow, I go out on my own - something I don't tend to do in the summer. The DCI (Drum Corps International) is having a showing of some of their bands in movie theaters via Fathom Events, and one of my students is in one of the corps marching in the show. When I found out his corps was going to be featured, I made sure to nab a ticket. I love the marching shows in general, but I especially love it when I know one of my kids is out on the field performing. My wife isn't as interested, so we're meeting for dinner when she gets off work, and then she's going home and I'm hitting the theater. The show is 2 hours, and doesn't start till 8:30 - I won't be getting home till way late, and I'll be driving on my own in the dark. I'm a little nervous about that, but I know the roads well, and I plan on resting up and eating well before the show, so I won't be too tired when I'm driving.

Next big thing on the agenda: OBGYN appointment on Monday. After that: my sister's wedding in July. After that: Field Trip to the Newseum AND the African-American History museum in early August (for professional development credits!). And then, the big events are done, and it's time for school again. But, that's well over a month away. Plenty of time to enjoy being home and to do things on my terms.

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:55 pm
emma_moon: (Default)
[personal profile] emma_moon
I'm getting back to writing a journal entry. It's kind of... scary and liberating at the same time. I haven't written in my journal since before my stroke. I'm definitely out of practice and just thinking of writing is enough to give me anxiety. Well, here we go.

Things have been going not so well. Bob is not working but he did sign up and start driving for Uber. He is making money (not a lot) but some money. The only problem is we have only one car and it's reaching 107 to 119 degrees here and our only vehicle is being run into the ground with Uber. Bob has been applying to jobs but no one has called for an interview. I'm getting really worried that he won't find a job and I'm only working 32 hours a week paying everything but it's not enough. I don't know what to do and I can't go to my family because they told me they don't want to hear it. So... yeah.

I hope that someone, anyone calls to give him a job. I can't do this anymore.

Hershey is Sweet

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:04 pm
everchangingmuse: dresses in BeruBara look like cupcakes^^ (BeruBara cake timez)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
We chose well when we decided to do the Hershey museum and gardens rather than the theme park. There have been brief but terrible thunderstorms this afternoon, and the theme park was shut down. Meanwhile, we had a fun time going through the exhibits about the town, and about Milton Hershey and his wife Kitty. Hershey is such a cute place! And it was designed by Mr. Hershey to be a good place for his employees to live (and inspired by the brothers Cadbury, who'd done something similar near their plant in England) and work and play. And, I learned that Mr. Reese, he who created the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, was from here as well, and started work while Mr. Hershey's factory was a thing - and Hershey encouraged him to do his best and helped him with his start-up. How cool is that?

We had lunch at the cafe in the Hershey Story museum, which is when we saw the first of the storms. But, the museum was safe, so we were good. Delicious food (though we were too full for an ice cream sundae), and then more museum time (there was a special exhibit about the different types of factory workers and their respective jobs), before we headed back to the car and drove a few miles away to the Hershey gardens. We got there just as another wave of thunderstorms came through, but the butterfly garden was indoors, and that was the main attraction we'd wanted. There were so many gorgeous species of butterfly! One even landed on my back and crawled up it, through my hair, and onto my head before flying away. I took so many pictures. So very many pictures. I ended up having to delete music from my ipod because, for the first time, I ran out of storage space. I've had this ipod for at least two/two and a half years, and only now run out of space. I suppose that's a good thing. I need to clear old pictures out so I have room for the new ones.

And now, we are happily tucked into our hotel (motel? I can't remember the difference) just a couple of blocks from the Hershey museum. Across the street sit a row of brick houses, built for the factory workers back in the early 20th century, and they are beautiful. I want to live in one. I also love the fact that the workers were able to buy their properties from the Hersheys and the mortgages were really low, so they could have pride of ownership and further stakes in the town and company doing well. The town was meant to be a family town, and it shows.

We'll be going out in a bit to find a place for dinner. Breakfast is provided here, so woot! One less worry.
tmbreck: Bonnie, Caroline, and Liz. Time travel fic (You Hold Me in the Dark)
[personal profile] tmbreck
Title: Chapter 5: Cut From the Same Cloth
Characters: Bonnie Bennett, Caroline Forbes, Elena Gilbert, Elizbeth Forbes, Kol Mikaelson, Maddox, Mindy, Rebekah Mikaelson, Sheila Bennett, Tyler Lockwood
Rating/Warning: FRT
Word Count: 3,305
A/N: Thank you so much to kirythestitchwitch for being my second set of eyes on this. Though I list a lot of characters, and some of them actually do get dialog, some of them just pass through.

You and me have taken it out on each other. )

Philly, Days 4-5

Jun. 18th, 2017 07:25 pm
everchangingmuse: 900 year Diary from the 1996 tv movie "Doctor Who" (Default)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
We ended up switching the days we'd planned for doing museums and downtown, and it worked out so very, very well. We're calling this trip the "we accidentallied the good stuff" vacation.

Yesterday, we hit up the museum of art - amazing!!! There was a special exhibit of Goya's sketches, which was amazing. We also hit up the impressionists, the modern art, and the Asian art wings of the main museum, then grabbed the free museum trolly over to the Rodin museum. Gorgeous sculptures and casts and it was amazing! I'd been looking forward to the Rodin museum so much, and it did not disappoint. We grabbed the trolley back to the main museum so we could pick up our car (driving made more sense than the train/bus schedules), and ended up getting rerouted due to road closures, so we saw a bunch of neighborhoods we wouldn't have otherwise. More pretty architecture!

Today, we got up and out (surprising, since we'd decided the night before that we were going to take it easy), but I'm so glad we did. We stopped in at the Reading Market when we got off the train downtown and looked around at the stalls. Our Philly travel pass book had coupons for the tour bus that goes to all the sites, and that let you hop on and off all day. We got on a bus and got a tour of most of the city, but then ended up getting rerouted, because Market Street was closed off for a parade. We got off a stop or two early, and then ended up in the crowd that had gathered for the Pride parade. I've never been to a Pride parade before, and it was so amazing! So much positivity and love and fun and color! And I was so excited that they'd closed down one of the main roads in the Old City - the big tourist area - for the parade. And, the police were part of the parade as well (in addition to keeping pedestrians and parade-people safe). We dipped in and out of the crowd, so we could go see the Liberty Bell, and then again to grab lunch. We found a vendor near the end of the parade and bought some merch - a nice rainbow lesbian flag and some awesome buttons. I'm kind of bummed he didn't have the new pride flag that debuted this year in Philly, with the black and brown stripes above the red one, but I saw plenty of people wearing it or holding it. I also saw bi, pan, and ace flags in the crowd and in the parade. It was so cool!

Once we'd gone beyond the parade, we went to look at Independence Hall (didn't get tickets, but hung out in the park and looked at the building for a bit, and then wandered the old buildings till we found the Second Bank of the US, which is now a portrait gallery for the revolutionary personages. It was a wonderful museum, and they let people take pictures, so I made sure to do so of the people I knew and enjoyed learning about. We walked through the Ben Franklin Museum's gift shop, because it started to rain, then went through the courtyard of his townhouse (more pics) when it was done, and found our way back to the tour bus stop. Took the bus back to the market and got crepes for a snack before we went to catch our train back to the Germantown neighborhood.

Soon, we pack. We're leaving tomorrow morning early, so we can get to Hershey and have time to walk around and do things. We've both decided the theme park would be a bit too much, but we're going on the factory tour and looking into the local attractions (there's a butterfly garden!!!) before checking into our hotel for the evening. And then, Tuesday, it's back home we go.

Despite aching feet and joints, feeling very tired, and getting lost a couple of times, this trip has been amazing. My first trip to Philly has been a good one. I'm already looking forward to coming back sometime. Now that I know what's around and where things are, and how to get around, I think I'll be better prepared to hit up the stuff we couldn't fit in this time around, and to hit up the places we went that were fun enough to get a second go-round.

Philly, Days 1-3

Jun. 16th, 2017 06:39 pm
everchangingmuse: 900 year Diary from the 1996 tv movie "Doctor Who" (Default)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
We're on day 3 of our 5 day stay in Philadelphia, and so far...it's exhausting. Amazing and awesome and wonderful, but exhausting. This trip is showing me exactly how out of shape I am.

The first day here, we walked around our immediate neighborhood, to get a feel for the area. Discovered lots of shops, a nice park, and an IGA food market, which is awesome, because it's less than half a mile from where we're renting. And, it's between us and the train station, so we can pick up things on the way home from downtown.

Yesterday, we went to the Philadelphia Zoo. It was so much fun!!! Lots of exhibits, lots of fun pictures, and a helpful tour guide who noticed us when we walked in, and gave us directions to the parts of the zoo the school tours didn't start with. We stayed nearly until closing. I definitely overexerted myself, but in the end, it was worth it. We ordered take-out Chinese for dinner, courtesy of a local shop and GrubHub (like Lyft for food). Delicious take-out Chinese that made leftovers, which we're having tonight.

Today, we went into downtown, via the local train system. Awesome trains! We went to the observation deck at 1 Liberty Plaza, which is kind of like the Empire State Building's observation deck in that you can see the whole city. Unlike the Empire State Building, it's enclosed, with thick windows and AC, and art installations inside. The view was fantastic, as was the ability to sit down occasionally. Then, we went to the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities, stopping for lunch at an authentic ramen bar on the way. The Mutter Museum is amazing! You can't take pictures inside, but there are tons of specimens of human everything to look at. They also have a poisonous plant garden, but we decided to skip that in lieu of getting time at the Franklin Institute, a very hands-on science museum. So amazing! We crawled through a heart, looked at the physics of sports, touched a meteor, looked at brains.... Very fun. We ended up staying till closing, then headed back to the train station.

All of this moving around today? Walking. Good for us, but it really does prove how out of shape I am. My legs and feet, especially where my legs meet my hips, hate me. I'm doing better today than yesterday, though, and I bet tomorrow will be even a little better from that. Having a half hour train ride from downtown to the neighborhood where we're staying helps.

Tomorrow, the plan is to go back to downtown and do the historical tours. Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, etc. The tour coupons we got let us hop on and off the double-decker driving tour buses, so we'll probably use them to get around when and where we can. Then, on Sunday, it's art museum day, and possibly the penitentiary that's been turned into a museum. And then Monday, we start our trip home - we're stopping at Hershey to do the theme park, and overnighting there before finishing the drive on Tuesday.

I wish we were able to stay longer - there's so much in the city that I want to see! I'd also love to just have a quiet day here, where I could go to the park and read, and then grab food at the awesome little restaurants. I'd also love to go to the Juneteenth celebration - I think it's Sunday night, even though Juneteenth is Monday, but I'm not sure we'll be awake enough to handle a block party/park party and packing so we can checkout on time. Ah well.

Once more, with tags

Jun. 15th, 2017 10:52 pm
john_amend_all: (ulkesh)
[personal profile] john_amend_all

I'm obviously far too obscure for my own good. The fandom was actually Babylon Five (though there's also a nod to The Man Who Was Thursday). Here are the headers:

Title: Recruit
Author: [personal profile] john_amend_all
Fandom: Babylon Five
Characters: OCs, Ulkesh Naranek
Rating: All ages
Word count: ~1900
Disclaimer: Ulkesh was created by J. Michael Straczynski.
Summary: In Victorian London, a working girl finds she's on the side of the angels.

(AO3 link)

Fic: Recruit

Jun. 14th, 2017 11:59 pm
john_amend_all: (wizard)
[personal profile] john_amend_all

This isn't any of my WIPs, but it wanted to be written.

Also, I'm not including headers or tags, because it'd be interesting to know at what point you recognised the fandom / characters (if you did).

Recruit )


Jun. 14th, 2017 04:13 pm
everchangingmuse: it's a shaymin, a cute hedgehog Pokemon (cute shaymin is cute)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
We've arrived in Philadelphia, and are settling into the studio apartment we're renting for the week. It's adorable and charming, in an older building. We have a window unit for AC, and it's doing a nice job so far. The building isn't far from the school for the deaf, and the buildings around here are so pretty! I've seen Gothic, Tudor, and Victorian architecture in the neighborhood on the drive here.

We're still not sure what we're doing on which day, but we're going to go out for a walk in a little bit, both for fun sight-seeing and to find a corner market and pick up something to drink. We have a tiny fridge, so we'll have to mind our sizing.

Vacation Time!

Jun. 14th, 2017 08:01 am
everchangingmuse: ian and barbara return home in the dalek time machine and are overjoyed (giddy ian and barbara are giddy)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
This year, my wife and I are going to Philadelphia for our vacation. I've never been, and am looking forward to it. Plans include a trip to the old town - Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell, etc; the Zoo, the Museum of Medical Oddities, the Franklin Institute, the art museum and the Rodin museum. We'll see how many places we actually visit.

We're staying in an apartment in the city, but north of center. There's easy access to bus and metro lines, so we won't have to do much driving once we get there and find a place to park. And there is a bunch of stuff around where we're staying in terms of food choice, if we don't want to cook and eat in (having that option is amazing, though!).

We're also stopping at Hershey on the way home, because neither of us has been to Hershey Park since we were little kids.

Where are you going, if you're taking a vacation this year? Where would you want to go if you could?

School Musings

Jun. 11th, 2017 06:11 pm
everchangingmuse: 900 year Diary from the 1996 tv movie "Doctor Who" (Default)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
For someone on break for the next two-ish months (little less now), I've been surprisingly into working with my content and curriculum thus far. I've been reading through the chapters in LLPSI I that I didn't get to teach this year as breaktime and bedtime reading (One of the nice things with using a reading-based textbook - each chapter is a little story). And, wow. The characters get worse, behavior-wise, and I've learned the timetable of the stories is so far 2 days. I've read through chapter XXV now, and it's day two of the overall story. Everything that's happened in both the A plot and the B plot has been two days. It's a bit unrealistic.

I'm also starting to chafe at the mundanity of the book's content. I'm missing CLC's sweeping plots and twists and turns. I miss knowing when in time my book's story takes place! Through inductive reading and looking at the drawings of coins in the margins, I've managed to determine that Iulius and his family have their two days of adventures no earlier than 55 CE. There's a coin depicting Nero in one of the margins. That's what I've got to go on. There's been talk of Augustus Caesar earlier in the book, so that narrowed the story to the Imperial period, and now I have a slightly more narrowed down time frame. Rome is still the capital city and center of commerce, so I know we're pre-tetrarchy as well. And there's fighting in Germania (surprise, surprise), but that doesn't help much. When I've written my own stories for exams and such, I've had Iulius et al. living contemporaneously with the Caecilii from Pompeii in CLC, so I can have Quintus and Clemens show up in the field with the shepherd, or boarding a boat with Medus and Lydia.

Sort-of related - I just finished listening to the newest episode of Jennifer Gonzalez' podcast, Cult of Pedagogy, and she interviewed three ladies who coined the term "hyperdocs" and codified its meaning. The concept of hyperdocs sounds amazing, and it seems like something I could incorporate to help my students get into the stories more - or at least build up the cultural aspects and extend the concepts taught via the stories. I'm already using google apps for ed a bit in my classroom - I've made Slides of several chapters to help break down the huge walls of text and let the students have visuals to go with the sentences so they don't have to resort to English to understand what's going on. But I think, after listening to this podcast episode, that making a hyperdocs lesson would go further (and I can link the Slides I've already made, which would be cool).

I'm also reading a book titled I Read It, But I Don't Get It, about how to help kids derive actual meaning from what the read, not resort to fake-reading, etc. It's an interesting book, and I need to follow the advice in it and read back through with purpose and take notes. One of the main problems I discovered this year was the wall of text, as mentioned above, was intimidating to a lot of students, so they'd tune out, or wait till others told them what it said. I want my students actually reading Latin, and comprehending what they're reading so that we can discuss it on more than a surface level, regardless of the reading level of the text. I'm hoping that by planning with the ideas from this book in mind, I can get closer to that goal.

I've got a lot to think about over the summer, and a lot of summer stretching in front of me in which to work at my own pace and plan on my terms. I want next year's classes to go more smoothly in terms of content delivery and procedures. I want students to get excited about Latin and what we do in class. To make that happen, I've got to do some summer homework.

Rest In Peace, Adam West

Jun. 10th, 2017 01:16 pm
calliopes_pen: (devildoll  Bruce Diana hold hands)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Adam West has passed away at the age of 88, following a battle with leukemia. May he rest in peace. He will be deeply missed. I absolutely loved the 60’s version of Batman so much when I was little and it was in reruns on The Family Channel. It should be on Me-TV sometime tonight. It was always great to see him pop up on other shows or films.

For MST3K fans, he was also in Zombie Nightmare and hosted Comedy Central’s 1994 MST3K Turkey Day Marathon. I remember he was also the principal on The Adventures of Pete And Pete.

(As I don’t have any icons of the Adam West version of Batman, have an icon of Batman and Wonder Woman holding hands.)