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November 27th, 2005

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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.

What fun.
Current Mood: nervoushiding in my room
Current Music: The Brain Surgeons -- The Revenge Of Vera Gemini

(20 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 30th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
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.
[User Picture]
Date:December 8th, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC)
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.
Garmonbozia for the soul.

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