Defining.... Something

There's an article about female directors in the San Jose Mercury News this week.

I tend to get uncomfortable with this kind of thing. Uncomfortable on more than one level, of course; there's always the level of, well, how much does this really tell you, no need to be a feminazi (which is such a horrible word), judge films by their merits, etc. And the level of ... that's it? Female movie directors are only 7%? Really? Really really? Because gross.

It's about film, and I don't know whether it's the same in theater, which is the area I'm more interested in directing. I imagine (or hope) that it's not, but it's annoying to me that that will always be in the background for me, almost regardless of what I end up doing. And you try not to give it too much attention, because then you drive yourself crazy, but you can't quite just ignore it either.

It's something that's sort of been bouncing around in my head over the last year or so; something I had to come to terms with at SJC (because what's rarer than a female director? A female philosopher, of course!), but coming to terms with it in the real world is something else again.

Not that I've faced any direct bigotry in any theater stuff I've done before, at least none that I knew of. And I feel really lucky in the people I'm working with now, I have so many role models there, many many of whom are women, strong and powerful and intelligent and interesting ones, and it is absolutely amazing to go in every day and just ... soak stuff up, you know. Sit and watch and feel the brain expanding, and occasionally mutter a suggestion. So it's not something that I'm facing, or overcoming, or anything really, in my day to day life. More something that is ... nibbling, I guess. At the back.

I didn't mean to ramble. This stuff has been on my mind for awhile, and certain things in the article crystalized certain things in my thinking. Clearly, not enough that I actually make any sense, though. I'll come to an answer about it sooner or later.


The Sad and the Books

I haven't written for awhile, because I didn't feel like sharing all my apathy and depression, or describing in detail the panic attacks I was getting every day for the last week or so. The last thing the world needs is one more idiot blabbing to the internet at large about their apathy and depression. So I put off writing until today, the first day this week I haven't wanted to rip my own eyes out with a rusty spoon, which might be considered progress of a sort. (Seriously, I'm dealing with it, I'm going to be fine, no need to worry.)

Right, sorry, not talking about that. Instead I have some happier updates.

Dude! Cynthia Voigt has another Bad Girls book out! (And I got to it before my mom did, which is moderately exciting to me.) I totally forgot how exactly and completely spot on she describes middle school/high school age kids. The way they talk, the way they eat, the way they think and plan. It's eerie. For a few minutes I was back in ninth grade myself. (Hello, Mrs. Peters' geometry room lunch gang-of-three!) The character of Casey especially reminds me of me at that age... and Mikey and Margalo are as charming, intelligent, and misguidedly entertaining as usual. Anyone who has survived grades five through nine really should pick up this series at some point. It will click in scary ways.

Aside from reliving adolescent trauma, I've had like eight million books I'm starting and stopping out of. History books, a lot of them (somehow I wish I just knew more history, without having to read about it. It's so interesting, and I so don't have time), plus I've been on a total King Lear kick. Of course I read the play, and good old Asimov's notes, right at the start of camp, but it didn't stop there. I don't actually intend to do research, exactly, but I keep coming across literary analysis books -- at home, at work, at the library -- and picking them up, and skimming them, and then bringing them to rehearsal. I'm also finally reading A Thousand Acres for real, (I borrowed it from my grandma like three years ago -- heh, sorry about that) and it's quite good, although I think it goes a little slowly compared to the play. And there's no equivalent to the Fool as yet, or Kent, which I find disappointing. I like Ginny and Ty both, though, and Jess, against my will. And on my Netflix there are three or four movie versions, none of them actually set in England (is it my fault the one starring Patrick Stewart is set in Texas? Patrick Stewart playing Lear is just something my life is incomplete without).

Anyway, I've also been watching a great deal of House, M.D. -- my dislike of Cameron grows more heated every episode; GOD what an incompetent emotional waste of space -- and the occasional Joan of Arcadia, which I have so far failed to really like, meaning after this disk if it fails to improve, it is off Netflix forever. And on a whim I got the old 80s version of Anne of Green Gables. (I had a rough week. Yeah, you can all just shut up.) It was not as relaxing as I'd hoped, but Gilbert is quite fetching, or would be, except that the actor was like seventeen when he made that movie. (And, in one of the fun bits of trivia that only I care about -- he just showed up on season two of Slings & Arrows. Completely unrecognizable, as an obnoxious playwright. Cracked me up.)

While I'm letting my trivia minded geek flag fly, I should point out I found this in the Guardian -- apparently Tolkien beats out Rowling where it really counts. I can't say I disagree with this ruling, actually. Well, I disagree with number four, but what can you do.


New Hobby

In an effort to replace some of the brain cells I routinely assassinate with booze and television (see, I've assassinated so many that at first I couldn't even spell assassinate; the computer had to correct me) I've asked my stepdad to start teaching me chess.

I was doing wicked good with all my pawns in a cute little net and him all blocked off, and then he moves one thing and my net collapses and I lose not only my net but a knight, a bishop, and eventually my queen.

My attention span is just not built for chess right now. It's one of those things -- like learning to play a musical instrument, which, incidentally, my stepdad also does really well -- that I wish more and more I'd learned at a young age, because now it feels too late to get any good at them.

Just a Thought

Is it me, or does this read like the elderly woman across the street saying, "Well, yes, that young hoodlum does ride his skateboard awfully fast, and yes, he has been known to set fire to neighborhood cats, but he's really quite civil and intelligent once you get to know him"?