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What we wear, or used to wear, can be more than colors, patterns, and fabrics. They can be a time capsule, a scrapbook, to our most intimate memories. A dance. A birth. A funeral. All the coming-of-age insanity that defines us. From the mind that created When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, five women relive such moments through a series of monologues and ensemble pieces. They laugh and cry as they talk about childhood, high heels, motherhood, wedding dresses, cancer, surviving rape, and why we wear black.‚Äč

Bare Bones: Staged Readings at Theatre@First presents

Love, Loss and What I Wore
adapted by Nora & Delia Ephron
from the book by Ilene Beckerman
and directed by Santiago Rivas

ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Thursday, September 28th at 8pm

UNITY SOMERVILLE
6 William Street at College Ave

FREE with suggested donation of $5

No reservations required.
Our performance space is not wheelchair accessible.

For more information, visit theatreatfirst.org.

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Sep. 24th, 2017 05:25 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
It's starting to feel just slightly like autumn here, mainly because the days are obviously shorter - it's now quite dark when we wake up - and the light is more golden as the sun moves southward. However, we're still having temperatures in the low to mid 80s (low 30sC) so it doesn't actually feel very autumnal yet except that the nights are mostly quite pleasant and we can sleep with the windows open. This morning it was beautifully cool so S and I took the opportunity to go for a good long walk fairly early, covering just over 11 km/8 miles without getting too hot and sweaty. We're looking forward to the weather being perfect for long walks in the afternoons by the time I get back from England.

My trip still doesn't feel quite real in spite of the various bookings I've made (plane, shuttle, train). I think once I've started packing it might sink in that I'm going. The fact that it's a relatively short trip so soon after my long trip to Australia makes it seem less significant, I guess. Luckily this also means I'm not feeling any pre-trip nerves yet.
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This is a young-adult novel, a debut for the author, and it deservedly has a lot of great reviews.

Content notes for police violence

Starr Carter lives in a poor neighborhood called Garden Heights. She and her brothers commute 45 minutes to go to a mostly-white private school. It's Spring break and she's a a party in the Garden. She runs into an old friend, Khalil, and they catch up. A fight breaks out at the party and they leave, getting into Khalil's car. On the way home, a cop pulls them over, shoots and kills Khalil. The book is abou the aftermath of these events.

It's first-person and the strong use of voice makes this book real and visceral. Thomas deftly handles a number of difficult topics, such as Starr's complicated feelings about dating a white boy, and feeling torn between two worlds. The story is gripping, and though its long (by YA standards), its a fast read.

I hope to see this as required reading on syllabi.

Ellen Pao, Reset, 2017

Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:33 pm[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
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Remember how I said that I was probably way too close to the world described in Juliet Takes A Breath to have any kind of objective opinion about its merits? Join me in laughing hollowly as I disclose that I joined the venture capital industry very shortly after Ellen Pao first filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the industry's giant, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Why is it on me to learn and improve and not on them to listen to me like they listen to one another? I wondered.

I shall confine myself to remarking that I underlined every second sentence or so of Reset but nobly refrained from writing IT'S SO TRUE!!! in every margin, if only because I was reading it on my Kindle. And that Ellen is a real-life badass superhero and that her Project Include is an authentic Force For Good. And that this book is an pretty good primer both on the structure of venture capital and on what discrimination in the workplace looks like, and how insidious it is and how hard to fight. Okay, I'm done.

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, 1970

Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:21 pm[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
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Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and a fairly graphic rape.

I was puzzled by this book until I realized it was the author's first, and that when she wrote it she was not yet the astonishing artist who created Sethe and Beloved. The Bluest Eye deals with a lot of the same themes as the later novel - the crippling legacies of the slaveholding South, the crises of Black American manhood, the extremes to which Black women are driven to make sense of their predicaments. But they are present here in larval form.

Morrison uses the text of a child's early reader as a framing device, and to throw her dark material into stark relief. I realize as I am writing this that it works equally well as an ironic nod to the fact that the author is here feeling her way into her story and her voice.

The great John Leonard gave this book a lovely, generous review.

Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982

Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:53 pm[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
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Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and intimate partner violence.

I knew this book only from the Spielberg movie. I am not a fan of Spielberg; I find him manipulative and his films shallow and cloying. Nothing prepared me for hearing Alice Walker read her own novel aloud. Her performance brings out the vivid poetry and wry intelligence of Celie's very singular voice.

This is the story of the three great loves of Celie's life: her sister Netti, the singer Shug Avery, and God himself. God is fine, I guess, whatever. Shug is one of literature's greatest bisexuals, and I would take a bullet for her. But Celie and Netti are America's Jane and Lizzie Bennett. Their love is vast.

By the end of the book I found myself hanging on every word, and gasping aloud at turns in the plot. You say something like "a modern masterpiece" and it makes it sound like homework reading, but The Color Purple is both great and really, really good.

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Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:58 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
I've been debating which bag/s to use for my trip to England. I was thinking I could take two medium sized duffle bags (one containing Eden's quilt and the other my clothes etc), and check them both, but I was forgetting that I'm going to England, not Australia, and travelling with British Airways, not Qantas, and therefore I can only check one bag. (On flights between Australia and the US with Qantas and possibly other airlines you can take two checked bags.) However, I can have two carry on bags, so I'm thinking I'll carry the quilt in a soft bag (which can be folded small for my return trip) as one of my carry on bags along with my usual backpack containing computer, phone, and camera plus various other incidentals. I would like to avoid taking my largest wheeled suitcase as it will be easier to navigate the tube system if I don't have to worry about finding stations with lifts (since not all tube stations are accessible), and I don't need a huge bag for just a one week trip.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:51 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
S and I usually do the Saturday morning errands (grocery shopping, sometimes going to the bank) together, but this weekend she was also planning to cut the grass (hopefully for the final time before winter), plus most of the groceries would be for her since I am leaving mid-week, so we decided to split the labour - I would make a start on cutting the grass while she did the errands, and when she got home I would stop and leave her the rest of the job as she enjoys doing it. I thought I'd be mowing for maybe an hour or so and then she'd arrive home, but I just kept pushing and pushing that mower and still she didn't arrive, until eventually (after about two hours) I finished and she still wasn't home. However, she made it not much after I finished, and it turned out that she had decided to go and pick up a prescription plus get a flu shot before doing the rest of the errands, and she ended up having to queue for about an hour to get the flu shot. I'm very glad I didn't go alone and that I got all the grass cutting finished, because now the rest of the weekend is free for both of us.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:01 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
I guess it's officially autumn now. (And I guess I should really say fall.) I always forget when the seasons change here because it doesn't happen on the first of the month like I'm used to. (It's been spring in Australia since 1st September, for example.)

We're hoping that we're now done with fleas. The pest control company did their 30-day check yesterday, with the guy spraying something along the skirting boards in every room, I suppose as a "just in case" measure as we have not been aware of any fleas since the initial treatment. They are apparently supposed to come back again 60 days after the first treatment for a final check. One unfortunately side effect of the treatment is that every day we find one or more dead crickets somewhere inside. We have nothing against crickets and I for one quite enjoy hearing them in the house.

Our friend L finally came home from hospital yesterday, more than two weeks after she was first admitted. After the initial neurosurgery she had to have a minor patch-up operation in her nose, but after that she developed low sodium which must have been quite bad as she was in the ICU for about a week, until just the day before she came home in fact.
Monday, September 25, 6-8 p.m.

Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland Street, Senior Center, 2nd Floor

Join the City Planning Department for a special update and discussion on the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan. We’re excited to present this meeting with the help of a facilitator who specializes in a meeting format designed to give participants control of the discussion topics. First, city staff will offer an update on the plan started in 2013/14 as well as a look at next steps. Then, to address outstanding topics and ensure that any new ideas and goals are identified, our facilitator will use the Round Robin meeting format, which asks participants to bring up topics for small-group discussions. In short, participants will set the agenda for the night and also shape topics for the next meeting.

At the second meeting in this series on October 19 (at the Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. 6-8 p.m.), we’ll take a deeper dive into the community-selected topics and identify action steps to address the goals and needs related to each. City staff will bring in resources and experts on the topic areas selected in the first meeting to serve as a resource during discussions.

Whether your concerns are open space, traffic, parking, streetscape, bicycle infrastructure, housing or more, we hope you’ll join us.

Unfortunately we cannot monitor this page, so if have any questions or need any more information, please contact us at planning@somervillema.org

For more information about Davis Square Neighborhood Planning visit https://www.somervillebydesign.com/neighborhood-planning/davis-square/

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 05:28 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
Getting ready for another trip - I've just booked train tickets to travel from London Charing Cross to Sevenoaks. I plan to get myself to Charing Cross on the tube, and hopefully will find somewhere to buy a UK SIM card before I get on the final train so that I can contact my daughter to let her know what time I'll be arriving. I know I've seen SIM cards for sale at Heathrow before. Unfortunately it appears that neither Charing Cross station nor the train itself has wifi, although I might be able to find wifi at Heathrow before I leave there so I can give my daughter an approximate idea of my arrival time if I haven't been able to buy a SIM. (I looked at the rather short list of train stations in London which have wifi and Charing Cross did not appear.)

Follow up on Inner Ear

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:00 pm[personal profile] fabrisse
fabrisse: (Default)
The physical therapist performed the maneuver. I'm feeling better. However, she also thinks the doctor may have misdiagnosed me. I may have been holding my jaw so tight that it affected my inner ear. She based this on the tightness of my shoulders and mandibular muscles (my name for them, probably not the right one) and the weakness of some of my throat muscles. I have homework to strengthen the latter and loosen the former as well as other exercises in case it is the gravel. One other thing she noticed is that my eyes aren't tracking smoothly, especially down to up. In her words, they jump. She thinks this may be a contributor to my dizziness, too, and gave me eye tracking exercises.

I have a lot of homework.

PS: I made it through the day without medication, though I did have some brief spells. I'll probably take it tonight, though, since waking up is one of my worst times for dizziness.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:01 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
My trip to the airport turned into a bit of a saga last night, and we didn't get to bed until after midnight. I left home earlyish, while it was still daylight, because I don't like driving in the dark, but even in the daylight I got semi lost trying to find my way through the multi-storey carpark out into the open air section where we both prefer to park. There are gates directly into the open air section but they seem to never be used any more so you have to wind your way through the underground part and go up a level to get outside. (Then when you leave you have to do the same thing in reverse. We both find it confusing because of the change of levels.)

However, I got to the airport well ahead of the plane landing and sat around reading my book for a while. The baggage carousels were deserted for a long time, then suddenly around 9 pm it seemed like at least half a dozen planes all arrived within a few minutes of each other and there were people everywhere. It's only a small airport though, so none of the incoming planes were huge and most of the carousels were cleared in just a few minutes. S's plane landed around 9:20 and we were leaving the airport soon after 10 I think.

We were very lucky with our train connections and didn't have to wait more than 5 minutes or so at either of our stops, but we were worried we would have to wait for a later train at our downtown connection as there had been a concert or something and our platform was jammed. We didn't want to have to wait as trains were running at 20 to 25 minute intervals due to track work, and luckily when the train arrived the crowds were miraculously absorbed into it and there was room for us plus S's large bag.

Of course I had trouble falling asleep after such an active evening. It felt like my body just couldn't relax for at least an hour after we turned off the light; various patches of skin got itchy and my right leg just could not get comfortable no matter what position I lay in. Then suddenly around 1:15 am I felt myself get completely relaxed, my leg got comfortable, and I fell asleep. After only about 5 hours sleep I feel surprisingly good.

Edit: I drove from home to the nearest metro station and then took two trains, one to downtown and then a connecting one out to the airport just across the river from downtown. In spite of the carpark confusion, this is a much less stressful way to go than driving to the airport.
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