Monday, August 03, 2015

Fancy Dress on the Side of the Road

Once upon a time I was a Bridesmaid. (Technically twice, but you know, not the point here.)  The bridal party was large.  As seems to be the nature in these larger events, there was a day of hair doing, and photo taking at the bride's parent's house before we all loaded into the two limos (remember, large party) for the journey to the church. Limo 1 contained the bride, the maid and matron of honor, and some other assorted bridal party members.  I was in limo 2 with the remainder of the bridal party.  We followed Limo 1 to the end of the road, to the intersection to make the turn onto the main road when the limo drive said, "Oh no." 
He fiddled with some things, he restarted the limo and we made the turn onto the main road and the limo died.  He called in, the company promised to send another car, but expected it to take at least 30 minutes.  We all pulled out cell phones.  One person alerted Limo 1.  We obviously didn't want the car carrying the bride to turn around, even if there would have been space to pile us all in there.  However, we also knew the wedding was taking place in the last slot, if you will, of the day for that church and then they had another event after, so they weren't going to hold the service for too long.   (The bridesmaids had all parked their cars by the reception site earlier that morning, so while we could have absolutely walked back to the bride's parents' house, none of our cars were there.) Fortunately a car passed by with some other wedding guests. Followed by another.  (And another problem was trying to figure out who might be on their way, but not already at the church, might know the area well enough to locate us quickly rather than getting another guest lost while searching for us.) Another two cars of guests spotted what were clearly bridesmaids on the side of the road and the rest of us managed to squish in and get a ride.  So in the end we were all there.  Probably a smidge later than the church administrator would have wished and we pretty much strode right into position to process into the church and in the end, all was well.  Fortunately the bride was pretty zen about this being a thing that was out of her control instead of getting outwardly stressed out and it became the funny story, especially as the priest referenced it in his homily, noting that there are things you cannot control.
But all of this is to say I had a pang when I saw this story about the broken down taxis leading some bridesmaids to try some hitchhiking. It worked out in their case too, when a stranger gave them a ride, and then the bride wanted to take the chance to properly thank her and so had reached out to social media. She found her helpful driver and now they both have great stories to tell.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Three Interesting Things

1. Sarah Dessen had a dramatic end to her vacation, that ended up with her using her CPR skills (which she read about in a book).
2. Gene Demby at NPR's Code Switch had a piece about the burden of being the only 'other' one in the room
3. And it turns out tech companies are finding liberal arts majors useful members of the team.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

RWA in NYC again

I'm kind of cheating here, using a storify of my tweets to do most of the work.  But, I tried to be a good tweeter, so once my brain was mush, I would have a record.  The bus trip to New York was blissfully empty, such that I had a row to myself.  (Coming back Sunday was not the same, but not unexpected. And my seatmate back had a little manspread issue, but was otherwise fine.)  We did not quite make it in time for me to hit Lady Jane's Salon, which was a shame but, as these things go, traffic based transit carries this risk. 
I stayed offsite, so ended up getting even more steps than I would have traversing the five floors of the conference hotel the worshops were spread across.
The Literacy Signing seemed much smoother to me, they set up a huge room with chairs assigned by letter so that you could sit inside and be called by batches.  There were clumps where traversing the aisles got a little messy, but it seemed so much calmer than I recalled from before. 
I enjoyed the workshops I went to (tweets here: and got the recordings so I could catch up on the others.  The YARWA chapter also had an event with a chance for people to hang out and also to ask questions of a panel of agents and editors and authors. (Tweets here: Katie McGarry and Sarra Cannon both told stories about reader interactions with people telling them their story gave them hope you could get through the dark times.  The Rosemary awards were also given out. 
And then Saturday there were a few more workshops, and then the awards where the Ritas and Golden Hearts were given out.  The awards were wonderful (although I hear seating was tight, I was maybe in line very early to avoid that).  It's one of those things.  I happen to have read some of the entries for the Golden Heart, and had read some of the nominated books.  I haven't read all of them, but I know I read an entry that I loved that didn't final.  I read an entry that finaled but didn't win.  So for everyone who won, so, so, wonderful.  And for everyone who didn't - well your story still touched someone.  So, yay. 
It was a great conference.  I look forward to San Diego.  And well, I'm so happy for everyone I did get to see, if even briefly, and will try to do better catching up with folks I didn't get to see or see enough of.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Last Week in Shows

I spent last week in New York City primarily for RWA, but I confess I carved out a little time to see some shows. I saw both "Hamilton" and "Fun Home".  Interestingly a few people were more curious about the "Fun Home" choice, possibly because all the "Hamilton" news has everyone saying wonderful things about it, and the "Fun Home" stuff is a little less fervent.  The two shows actually have more in common than you might think.  I mean sure, one is about a founding father who worked his way up from nothing, and one is about a cartoonist reflecting on her life growing up with her father who was secretly gay and who commit suicide shortly after she revealed she was gay, but in the end the two had some very common themes.  Both of them looked at expectations and desires and the choice to be open about them, versus keeping them inside. Both of them had love songs.  Okay, "Hamilton" had the edge with a peppy little you'll miss me when I'm gone song sung by the King of England. But "Fun Home" had the hilarious pretend commercial the three kids put together for the family funeral home (aka fun home).
Both were amazing, both had wonderful casts.  (I had done less pre-research on "Fun Home" so had totally missed that Judy Kuhn was in there.  What?) "Fun Home" worked wonderfully in the theatre in the round setting, and they did a great job aiming the action at all sides so that you didn't feel left out. (This is, I know, a basic function of directing theatre in the round, but it was very well done.) It was an intimate theatre, and I was on the side near the orchestra, so got a special warning that I would not be able to leave without crossing the stage so I should, well, not leave.  Having Alison there watching much of the action ended up being a really interesting device especially her comments and even outright embarrassment at watching her early encounters with her girlfriend Joan.
"Hamilton" was is a large, multi-tiered theatre and it was packed to the brim. The set design was bare looking. (I'm sure it's the kind of set that people describe as spare and the set designers nod through gritted teeth at all the stuff they've packed in there.) I haven't read the source book, so it's hard to tell how much of the use of Burr as the foil for Hamilton, the focus on Hamilton's wife and sister-in-law came from the book, versus a choice for the show, but, even putting to the side the color-blind casting, this story about a founding father managed to also look at women, mention slavery more than once, and look at the intersection of passion and politics without failing to let these characters be flawed.
I already have the "Fun Home" cast album, I cannot wait for the "Hamilton" one because I'm sure both will reveal even more on repeated listen.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Three Interesting Things

1. John Metta gave a sermon about why he doesn't talk to white people about race.
2. A woman made a lace collar for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and got a wonderful response.
3. And the city of Melborne assigned each tree an email, for better problem reporting, and well, this happened.