Monday, December 06, 2010

I Survived the Weekend (Plus, Steampunking the Tree)

I managed to survive the crazy weekend, and I'm not even that tired and burnt out from it. My kindergarden choir was utterly adorable, and there was only one minor stage-fright meltdown before we sang (among the kids, not me -- but dealing with a crying child distracted me from my nerves). Then I think all the other choir stuff went pretty well. I was starting to lose my voice, but since a lot of what we were singing was jazz and I was singing the second soprano part, it wasn't a problem because I didn't have to sing that high and was mostly on the low end of my range. When we were warming up Sunday morning and going down to the low notes, I was hitting notes some of the tenors couldn't hit. The director teased about a soprano going lower than they they could. The evening concert coincided with the end of a suspenseful Cowboys game, so there were quite a few smartphones being held behind choir folders, with the ESPN app being constantly refreshed for updates.

A sign of how crazy my weekend was: I didn't realize until this morning that I hadn't turned my heater on in my house. We had a cold snap hit Saturday evening, and from Saturday night until Sunday night, I seemed to be constantly on the go, so that when I was at home I was either cooking/eating, getting dressed (with an electric radiator in the bathroom to warm that space) or going to bed (with an electric blanket). When I got up this morning, I finally had the chance to notice that the house was cold. It took the heater nearly an hour and a half to get the house up to 55, so it must have really been cold.

I kind of have an urge to write, so in spite of planning to give myself a day off, I think I will do some work. I may also put up some Christmas decorations.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was thinking about steampunking my Christmas tree. One of the issues I've found with steampunk, whether it's in clothing, decor or writing, is figuring out where regular Victorian ends and steampunk begins. Even in a steampunk world, not everything is going to be all brass goggles and Colt laser pistols. A schoolteacher, for instance, would probably be the same as in the regular Victorian era. She'd have no reason to wear brass goggles, though I suppose the Colt laser pistol would depend on where she was teaching school. I'm not sure I get the sticking gears all over the place, unless it's just a way of incorporating an interest into personal ornamentation, like the Victorian fascination with insects meant that there were a lot of insect themes in jewelry of that era. I guess wearing jewelry that incorporates gears would be no different from wearing bumblebee brooches.

My Christmas decor (and really a lot of my home decor) is already pretty Victorian. My Victorian tree involves silk flowers, some dried botanicals and ribbons and was inspired by a Christmas tour of Victorian homes I went on about ten years ago. I think what would tip it over to steampunk would be swapping out the botanical elements for more industrial elements.

After a recon mission to a couple of craft stores, I've decided this project will have to wait until next year because it will take some time to create the decorations with a mix of craft store items and hardware store items, as no one seems to currently have a steampunk line of ornaments. To steampunk the tree, I might do garlands of brass jingle bells and use some brass hardware on moire or velvet ribbons as ornaments. I've seen some LED lights that look like small bare globe electric lights that might fit the theme. There are some snowflake ornaments where the snowflakes look kind of gear-like. I do need to rethink my Christmas decor, as it hasn't changed much in ten years, but this isn't the year for that. I need to think further ahead. Maybe I'll hit some post-Christmas sales this year and keep an eye on hardware stores during the year. This year I don't have the time or money to redo it all.

In other news, I finally watched Avatar on HBO OnDemand this weekend. There was a lot I liked about it, but I lost a lot of interest once they got to the big, climactic stuff near the end because it was just so very heavy-handed, to the point it seemed unrealistic to me. I found it hard to believe the bad guys would do what they did because their motivations were so simplistic and they were so cardboard cut-out, and when your bad guys become cartoon villains, it ruins the credibility of the whole story. I think it would have helped if we'd seen how they were using this unobtanium (unobtanium? Seriously?), how it benefited them aside from making money and what would happen if they didn't get it. As it was, it came across as them just being mean, and that's not very interesting. You can have killer robots from the future or alien creatures who just kill mindlessly because that's what they do, but I think human villains need more nuance than that.

1 comment:

Outofmymind said...

I think you should find someone to create characters from your Enchanted Inc and make ornaments, especially the magical creatures.I'm dying for the 5th volume even tho your publisher says no more. These are more fun than Harry Potter!!!! I LOVE your sense of humor!!!