November 27th, 2005
|11:55 pm - Weekend Update: The Masquerade|
Our house is full of LARPers.
Madison By Night usually games in the Memorial Union, but the Union is closed, apparently, so they've gathered here. I don't really know any of them and I've already forgotten the cute one's name, so I'm hiding out in my room.
Anyway, this has been a good and weekend. On Friday night I braved the bad weather to drive to my friend Josh's house. I know like, eleventeen people named Josh, but this is the only one who doesn't have a livejournal. evil_jim and I went to his place to check out the game Call of Cthuhlu: Dark Corners of the Earth which looks great. For both of the H.P. Lovecraft fans in my audience who aren't Jim, the plot of the game is a pastiche of The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Shadow Out of Time, re-imagined as a first-person shooter. To the credit of the developers, they really made some good choices with this game. Lovecraft doesn't adapt well to visual media because his stories are all about effeminate college professors poring over ancient, blasphemous tomes and correlating forbidden knowledge. The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a rarity in Lovecraft's cannon in that there's a prolonged chase scene where the main character is being hunted by the semi-batrachian inhabitants of a crumbling New England fishing town. This premise is perfect fodder for a mindless first-person shooter, but the designers of Dark Corners of the Earth were obviously familiar not only with the source material, but with the reasons it works (hint: it's about story, not action). I'll be picking up the PC version, if it ever comes out.
We also watched the film The Call of Cthulhu, which Jim had been saving for an appropriate time. It was well-liked. I was relieved, since I'd purchased Jim's copy for him without telling him first, and asked him to knock the cost off a debt I owed him.
On Saturday I got together with Ellen before she had to go to work. We had lunch at the Irish Waters Pub and talked about the usual stuff Ellen and I talk about. Books. Movies. He-Man vs. Chris Elliot. Whether or not Dolph Lundgren ever starred in anything good. I wish I could make hanging out with Ellen sound more exciting, but the fact is that we have these terribly worthwhile conversations which don't come across well in summary.
Saturday night I had dinner at the home of my high school choir director. Most people have one teacher to whom they owe the ability to function as an adult, and Mr. Beutel is this person for me and a great number of my friends. Four out of five members of offBeat look at him this way, as do two (possibly all three) of the people I lived with until August. Anyway, he had invited a couple of people over for dinner and asked them to extend the invitation. Eight guests showed up in all, three of us members of offBeat. Nice, quiet gathering, and the food was incredible. I was the youngest one there and it is slowly dawning on me that I accidentally wormed my way in high school into a social group that is otherwise comprised mostly of the sons and daughters of community leaders. They are all purchasing condos and working on having kids and being white and affluent, which is the course they've been plotting, more or less without realizing it, since birth. It's a little weird, but it was pleasant, and I didn't have to admit that I don't have a business card or talk about not going to Europe for the summer because the conversation was monopolized by the couple who work in law enforcement and the Japanese guy who is fascinated by American criminals.
Today I took my sister and her boyfriend to my parents' house and conned my dad into watching Best In Show which (I hope) he liked. Later on I got together with offBeat. We had a potluck dinner and practiced. Then I came home to find the living room full of LARPers.
Current Mood: hiding in my room
Current Music: The Brain Surgeons -- The Revenge Of Vera Gemini
|Date:||November 28th, 2005 09:16 am (UTC)|| |
On a slightly related note, earlier today (it's still Sunday some
where) I bought the first three issues of Army Of Darkness: Ash vs. the Re-Animator
. It's part of a continuing Evil Dead
comic storyline & each story arc has its own title. It's entertaining, & pretty much what I expected from the title but I don't think I needed to have purchased them. I know you don't buy many comics in the first place, but if you consider any of this, um... genre, I suggest borrowing from me first or reading most of them in the store. At the very least the cover artwork are worth checking out.
|Date:||November 28th, 2005 09:28 am (UTC)|| |
Oh, and if you've been so kind as to ignore the grammatical errors in my first comment, I attempted to purchase CoC: Dark Corners of the Earth
for the PS2 earlier today only to find that that release for that system has been canceled
due to reasons unbeknownst to me. Or you.
Really? That sucks. I'd read on the newsgroup that the PC version is either cancelled or postponed too, but I can't find this information on the game's official website (it still says "for PC and XBox, XBox version available now").
|Date:||November 28th, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC)|| |
Wanna go halfsies on an X-box?
Um, no. Sorry.
I Googled the title of the game in conjuction with the word "cancelled" this afternoon, and I'm finding different sites that say it's either cancelled or delayed. Gamespot.com (which seems to be as authoritative as anybody) lists a release date of March 1st, 2006. The developer's website doesn't have anything more recent than the press release for the XBox version, which says the PC version is coming soon. I expect that the game would be popular enough that they wouldn't abandon a project they've already sunk money into. Cross your fingers (or at least, hope really hard).
|Date:||November 28th, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC)|| |
Wow, how is Beutel doing? The last time I saw him he was visiting a friend of his at Skaalen. Was there a really nice ex french teacher named Hank there? I miss Hank.
I was really pleased to see that Mr. Beutel is doing very well. His guests on Saturday night were all former students (and a couple of their spouses). He's doing a lot of travelling, I guess, as well as remodelling his house and (when the season permits) gardening. You wouldn't have been able to eat the meal, but it was delicious and all of the vegetables had come from his garden.
I really want to see this game, too bad they are killing it for PC. How is Ellen? I haven't seen her in awhile.
Are you sure they're killing it for PC? I can't find a straight answer on the developer's website, all it says is PC version coming soon. Google points me to several message boards where people are saying it's either cancelled or delayed, but the dates of these posts overlap and none of the posts come from authoritative sources. Gamespot.com lists the PC version as having a release date of March 1st, 2006, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
As to Ellen, she's doing well. She's still working at Fox and has mixed feelings about it. She plans to go to law school next year and is taking the LSAT this week.
I'm glad Mr. Beutel had a positive impact on someones life. Apparently if your ugly and your parents aren't known people of stoughton then he hates you. All my childhood I loved to sing and dreamed of being on head table. I took proffessonal voice lessons sice the 3rd grade and had many people request for me to sing at their wedding. When I got to high school I tried out twise and didnt get in and realised that it wasnt talent that got you in but popularity. I did finally get in Singers of St. Cisilia.(I can't spell I know). I missed one practice because I had a migrane and ended up in the emergancy room. My mom called from the hospital and told him I wouldnt be there. The next day he yelled at me and told me he only let me in to singers because he felt sorry for me. I quit right them and their... I don't deserve that kind of crap. I haven't sang since really. He treated me the way the music industry would have in real life so I guess he did teach me something.
I know this got long and I know you probably don't care but I just thought you might want to know how the rest of us that aren't pretty or popular got treated. But I do think you are very talented and a great person and deserve all the success in the world.
Oh and on a positive note I love Best In Show too.
Peace and Love,
Well... I'm not sure what the problem was there... You're not the only one I know who had this experience, but I could also name plenty of people who were unattractive and not at all well-to-do whom he really liked. He yelled a lot at everybody (everybody), and I remember him being frustrated a couple of years ago when he was directing the city choir and couldn't motivate (yell at) them the same way he yelled at his students. I think he's just somebody who has so much going on in his life that he decides right away whether he likes you or not. If you give a bad first impression, you're on his bad side unless you really work hard to make it up to him, and sometimes that bad first impression is both unavoidable and not your fault. I had that experience with a lot of teachers in high school. When Mr. Schultz (the math teacher) decided from my appearance that I must be a stoner and a slacker, and he wouldn't grade my work.
Oh and I think he let a lot of people into Singers/Mads/etc. because he felt sorry for them, but I'm surprised he said it in those words. I think a lot of women made it into those groups simply because he'd watched them try out three years in a row and he wanted to acknowledge their dedication. Nobody was guaranteed a spot in any particular group, but it was just easier for the men because there weren't as many of us.
I think my sister had a similar experience to Sarah's, also ending up in Singer's, also never going quite as far. She knew she wasn't as good as the top-tier Madrigals, for example, but when it came down to who was going to get the last spot, she lost out to someone who didn't work as hard (i.e. didn't show up every day) or sound as good.
If there really is some kind of "legacy" favoritism, it also permeates the sports world. I know all about that one firsthand.
...and also, Mr. Beutel knows how to "play ball," and he does it. It's not like there's any dealing going on under the table, but he knew how to assemble his groups to best take advantage of the community's resources. Madrigals always had a couple of "courtesy members" who were chosen because their involvement meant guaranteed resources and labor on the part of their parents. Yes, it was unfair, but it's the only way the choral groups could hope to see a fraction of the band's annual budget. The band, of course, had people like this too. Dave Rowley (assuming you knew him) was a talented kid whose parents could provide all sorts of support for the music department, so (despite his obnoxious nature) he was the music department's Golden Boy throughout his tenure at SHS.
The orchestra, being smaller and less... I don't know, audience participatory? never managed to figure out how to harness this while I was in school, though the annual theme concert is close. I don't know if they still do that, or even if they were doing yet during your senior year, but it's sort of the orchestra's version of the Pops Concert or the Variety Show.
Yeah, year 2 was the Hoe Down where they made all the guys dress in skirts and do the can-can. I think I still have a picture from The Hub where I'm prominently displayed.
(insert long hair joke here)
It's crazy to think that Kaebisch has been doing this for 10 years (and has a son who's coming up on six!) -- when I started in high school she was newly married and fresh out of college. When I went to visit a couple of years ago, she had CUT OFF HER HAIR. It was crazy. Turned my whole world upside down.
It's funny -- after all that, and I pick up the bass...
and I pick up the bass...
...but you still like girls, right?
I'm not sure what you're referring to with that quote -- all I meant by it was that after seven something years of violin playing, I pick up (the electric version of) the instrument on the other end of the of orchestral spectrum as my axe of choice.
On this aforementioned visit, she asked me if I ever picked up "this funny little wooden instrument" from time to time, and I sadly had to admit that I did not.
Hm, perhaps explaining that encounter first would have helped the previous comment make sense to people who are not me...
Yes, I still like girls -- long, billowing tresses or no.
Now that I'm more sleep-deprived, the lack of oxygen has allowed me to understand the gag you were going for. :p
Well... The gag wasn't worth it anyway. But congrats on your good taste. I too am fond of women, with long, billowing tresses or otherwise.
Wow.. funny, Matthew and I were in Stoughton on Saturday night. We were celebrating our 2nd anniversary, so we decided to go back to the place where it all began... It would have been fun to see some high school friends. We decided to eat pizza pit and bowl at viking lanes (which we had to do separately, unfortunately), but Viking lanes was overflowing with high schoolers wearing their hootchie clothes. We bowled 3 games and left. We were saying to ourselves "maybe people our age hang out at bars now.. not viking lanes." We felt old as we looked for people our age in the bar at viking lanes before we left.
It's really interesting to read your comments and your friends' about the madrigals. Matthew and I had a long conversation about the Madrigals and how much that meant to me in the car. I remember trying out, year after year after year... finally my senior year I thought I might have a chance. I remember being absolutely convinced that I hadn't made it. During the auditions, remember how there was a time when the former madrigals & Beutel could invite people to sing in quartets - I didn't get asked to come up again... not once. I went home and bawled my eyes out, and was convinced I wasn't going to make it, and then found my name on the list the next day. I was totally in shock about it. It was one of those things where I was absolutely convinced about not making it. I had seen the patterns before in former years... you know what I mean.
The thing about Madrigals though is that it really left a lot of people out... that's one thing that I look back and feel really badly about. Had more men been avaliable and willing to sing, it almost would have been good to have another group. Or an even more elite female group. I really did enjoy singing in Singers of St. Cecelia though. We could sing tricky women's music well, and we had many things with 4 or more parts.
I remember going to Milwaukee as a group and not really feeling a part of the group, because even within the madrigals, there was sort of an 'in group'. Yet I remember being so sad when the dinner was done that year, it was some of the best days that I can remember. So much fun.
Some days I think it would be fun to go back to high school, with all of those same people, for just one day. I have a lot of really good memories there. And some bad ones. But you remember the good things... you know what I mean.
Hey, happy belated anniversary! Your family is all out of the area now, right? Did you manage to visit anybody? Sorry to not have responded before, I only got this comment in my e-mail today.
I have a lot of really good memories there. And some bad ones. [...] you know what I mean.
I do know what you mean. It really is too bad about Madrigals; we were a sixteen person group, and there were too few spots for everybody who deserved one to get in. As I said, as far as men went, it wasn't so bad. Women, on the other hand, usually only got in their senior year, and even then a lot of people who were good enough to get in had to be passed over. As I recall, we decided early into the audition process that you were a serious candidate for the group because you're a good singer and you were going to be a senior. It was harder to choose the underclassmen.
I think Beutel purposely shied away from creating another group because audiences were always vocal about only having so much patience to sit through classical music they've never heard before. The perfect example of this is the Sacred Concert, which featured almost every group the high school had. It got really long for the audience.
I know what you mean about feeling like an outsider, too. The group had felt very cohesive during my sophomore and junior years, and then during our senior year, it became a group of small cliques. John, Dustin, and the Chrises were part of my normal social circle, but there were definite divisions in Madrigals.
As for places where twentysomethings hang out in Stoughton, I have no idea. I wasn't old enough to go to bars when I was still living there, and I find them unpleasant enough now that I just don't go unless it's with a group. I know that when the class ahead of us had their five-year reunion, they went to Pack-R-Place which (according to Nate) is popular with people around our age. Tomorrow night my a cappella group is singing at Stella's, a martini bar in the space which used to be The Creamery. I've never been there . In six short months I've gotten used to Madison's total ban on smoking in bars, so I'm a little worried about my voice.