lydamorehouse: (ticked off Ichigo)
Over the weekend, I went to see "Blade Runner 2049" by myself at 10:15 pm on Saturday night. I hate seeing movies by myself. I actually ended up at the wrong theater--I'd pre-purchased tickets for Inver Grove Heights, but apparently, despite living here for decades, I don't actually know the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and I ended up in Oakdale. I guess I just thought "Oh, yeah, that nice theatre with the comfy recliners" and I drove to the wrong one on automatic pilot. "Blade Runner 2049" wasn't even showing there, so I had to decide whether to race across town to try to get to the place I'd paid for, or, to head off to somewhere closer in order to not miss any of it. I opted for not missing anything, because some months ago, I agreed to talk to the folks over at Just Enough Trope about the movie. So I ended up at a super late show, in IMAX. I'm not a big fan of the IMAX experience. I'm old, so I often find it too loud and the screen is so big that sometimes I feel like it's impossible to take everything in properly.

But, I saw it and we recorded my part of the podcast on Sunday afternoon.

I'm listening to the podcast right now, for the first time, and I don't sound too stupid.  They edited me a little, but not a lot, so you get me in my most rambling, interrupting myself glory. The podcast itself is surprisingly long. I talked to them for about an hour, and almost all of that is there. But, the conversation is interesting (at least I thought so both at the time and listening now.)  We get into some interesting things about cyberpunk and the questions of humanity that it often plays with.  If you get a chance, check it out and see what you think of it. On the Just Enough Trope page, they list the time stamp for when my interview/conversation starts, so you can just jump to that. Though I listened to the front matter, just to hear the context.

Other news is that late last night, Mason announced that he is going to homecoming with A DATE.  He won't tell us who (because he's a little sh*t), but we have some guesses.  We do know that it's a young woman, so take that for what it is. Adorably, he calls her his "lady friend."  We are going to be doing some shopping in preparation.  Mason still has a few nice dress shirts, but he'd like to get some dress pants that aren't high water (damn those growth spurts!) and check out shirts and ties, just because. We're going to re-dye his hair either tonight or tomorrow.  It's kind of exciting.  It made me remember my first high school dance.  I already think Mason will have a better time than I did at the first one, since he's actually going with someone he likes, as opposed to me, who just longed balefully in the direction of Rich Steffans.  (Kind of pathetic in retrospect. No offense to Rich, but I obsessed on him and literally NEVER talked to him, so he must have been so baffled by my odd behavior.)

I did later go to most of the dances with dates--yes, I dated boys, some I quite liked, in fact.  

Anyway, I'm excited for Mason.  

II spent yesterday doing some more fussing-because:POLTICS.  Shawn confessed over the weekend that she's always hated the bins we have for recycling in the pantry and wanted another solution to them. I suggested reducing the number (we had four) and moving one of them to the bottom of the landing, since we have alley pick up of mixed recycling now and that's on my way out to the back.  We left one in the pantry for guests, but moved it into a more out of the way place. I painted both of the ones we decided to keep. Shawn had wanted brown, and I hunted around in the basement, certain that we had a brown--only it turns out what we had was a dark brick red. They turned out really nice, actually, though when they were still wet I was pretty terrified that I'd be saying, "Um, so..... I know you wanted brown, but how do you feel about pink???"  I took the remaining bins out to the garage where they'll function as storage.  Into the spot they used to occupy we pulled down Shawn's grandfather's spool table from the attic.  It's got a bottom shelf, so we're using it as a bookshelf for our overflow cookbooks, which had been piled around Shawn's comfy chair in the living room. (Our personal home decorating aesthetic is built around this New York Times article: 

At any rate it looks nice, though it has made it starkly obvious that on my list of home improvements, we're going to have to move "repaint the pantry" further up on the list.  :-)

Maybe I should go listen to the news and see if it makes me anxious enough to tackle another project!  ;-)
lydamorehouse: (??!!)
 Every time I teach teenagers, I take a moment to gather "market" information. I ask them what they're reading/watching/playing and what they wish they'd see more of.  For YA authors out there, here's what my Loft teens would like most of all:
  1. Assexual representation.  They want a character who is explicitly ace who DOES NOT FALL FOR SOMEONE BY THE END.  Please more GLBTQIA+ representation in general. Non-binary/Genderfluid/Genderqueer, too, please. (Ace comes up every year, by the way.) 
  2. Supernatural creatures who are *not* run of the mill vampires
  3. NO MORE ROMANCE.  Or, if there must be romance, can it please be something more than the tradition love triangle.  Better yet, let the triangle end in a poly arrangement (yes, my teenagers asked specifically for poly).  
  4. More dystopia, but no more Divergent rip-offs. How about a post-apocalypse that has nothing to do with the government dividing people by their skills/factions/what-have-yous?

Obviously, this sample size is small.  My class this year had twenty students, only four of them male-identified, one non-binary, and the rest using she/her pronouns. The majority of the class was female.  There were only two obvious PoCs. All of the students, except one that was there on a scholarship, came from families that could easily afford a $300+ class for their kids. Most were urban/suburban/Metro area, though some came from the 218 area code (I can't remember how many without checking my class list, but it was at least two. I remember because it surprised me.)  

The only other thing of note is that this is the first class where we've had to have a few discussions about the technical aspects of writing. Every year I teach, I try to have an opportunity for students to have their work critiqued. It's best when the whole class can participate and I can teach "how-to" peer critique, BUT with twenty kids it was strictly voluntary and I took their work home and typed up my response to their opening pages.  I bet half the class participated.  

Their abilities ranged wildly, but I was expecting that in a group of 13-17 year olds.  What I wasn't expecting was at least three students who seemed to have zero concept of paragraph breaks.  Their writing was otherwise good, it was just presented as a giant block of text.  I'm not sure where this comes from, and I had to take some time to remember how *I* was taught when a good paragraph break should come.  Of course, much of it comes from osmosis, from reading.  But I do remember someone requiring that we learn about what should be contained in a paragraph... I wonder which grade though?

Anyway, that was the only 'surprise.'  It's tempting to blame the lack of paragraph breaks on the internet.  But, I'm still not convinced that the Internet is ruining young writers. I suspect this lack of breaks comes from generally not being much of a reader.  (Voracious readers always have an obvious 'ear' for how stories are structured.) Or from reading things, like graphic novels or web comics, that come in a differently consumed format.

It was a weird year at the Loft this year, but, ultimately, the class was great.  My boss asked me to be sure to propose something similar for winter quarter.

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