We’ve been playing soccer for days now. There’s very little for me to do because soccer is not played with the hands. Mostly I’ve just been hanging out on set and getting pillows or carts for the puppeteers. Whee. Fairly dull for me, but better than the days when we all sit in the dressing room waiting for a shot.
The thing that we’ve been amusing ourselves with lately is this website. We’ve been uploading pictures of the puppets and cast members to give them new hairstyle. Hours of amusement. If you want the password and user id for the characters so you can play too, email me. I don’t feel comfortable posting them here.
Earlier I referred to the skies opening and the angles coming out to sing. What do angles sound like? Exactly what you’d expect. The sound of angles is produced by high winds blowing across the open ends of pipes causing a wailing, moaning skirl of sound. One refers to this as “angles singing” because the it requires the wind to blow at the right angle to make the appropriate pitches. I hope everyone feels edified now.
If you listen closely, you can hear the unearthly sound of a chorus of angles, like a haunting and slightly demented organ.
Last night I went to the opera with Sigga and Kahlua to see Sweeney Todd. In Icelandic. Fortunately it is one of the Broadway shows that I have memorized, so I didn’t have any trouble following it. The set was gorgeous and made good use of the space, but the staging was frequently overwrought. The voices were really strong, with one or two exceptions, but the acting was about what you’d expect in an opera. Sadly, Sweeny Todd requires stronger acting skills, or at least I’ve seen better productions.
I was walking down to the store to pick up some milk for my cereal tomorrow and the wind was snatching at me as I walked. It pushed me around with such force, that I almost didn’t notice the tiny white flakes swirling about me. It’s the sort of snow that you can’t see inside, only when you are in it do the specks of white dance close enough to watch. I’m back home now, and the sun is streaming through my living room window, so I have to imagine that it’s really snowing.
Jonathan had planned on having a games night tonight at his place, but at the last minute had to cancel becasue he had to stay at work editing an episode. So, we just convened at my place instead.
We played Celebrity, which I had never played before. It works like this: The guests are divided into teams. Each player writes down the names of three to five celebrities (or famous books, or fictional characters) on slips of paper, folds the papers in half and puts them in a pot. In the first round, you can use words and movements to let people know what celebrity you have drawn from the pot. In the second round, you can use one word (and no other sounds) and movement. In the final round, you can only use movement. Your teammates try to guess, while you try to go through as many pieces of paper as you can in a minute.
It was a lot of fun. The last of my guests left about fifteen minutes ago, around 1 a.m. They wanted to help clean up, but my kitchen is so tiny that it’s just not a good plan to have more than one person working in there at a time. I used one of Grandma’s lines, “It’ll give me something to do after you’re gone.”
And I’d also like to add a special thank you to my mother who taught me the importance of having emergency party food on hand. People were impressed with the spread I pulled off with only an hours notice.
Yesterday the weather was bright and clear, today it’s back to its normal fall overcast. The overcast here is different from Portland, though we have the same silvery light, the clouds change constantly in the sky. Usually, there is a patch of blue somewhere.
I went walking through downtown today, to pick up my new coat, and ran into two people I know. It seems as if I always bump into someone I know while I’m out and about. I enjoy having that moment of contact.
Last night a group of us went down to Postbarrin Ehf to see Sam Paden’s art show. The lights were too dim, so no one could actually see the paintings which frustrated the folks who hadn’t seen any before. I’m still quite tempted by them and I’m going to try to save my per diem next week so I can buy one.
Pat and Glenn headed for home at 6:00 this morning. By great coincidence, we had a screening at the studio last night of two new episodes. I actually worked in one of them, which was kind of exciting. Afterwards, we went out to Enrico’s in downtown Reykjavik for dinner. I had such a good time visiting with them, but it was much too short.
Last night I went out with Glenn and Pat to 101 Reykjavik for dinner. It was the first time that we really got to spend any time together since they got here. They’ve come for lunch, but I only get a half hour off so that’s not a lot of time for visiting. They’re off to the Blue Lagoon today, and we’ll get together tonight.
Do I really need to say anymore? I spent this morning carrying a turkey for Bessie as live hands. I also worked for ÃƒÅ¾or as Ziggy’s live hands. He was pleased with my work, which was nice.
I also got a nice compliment from a third party. Inger pulled me aside and said, “You want to hear something nice?”
I said, “I always like hearing nice things.”
Inger said, “We were in the screening room, watching a scene with Bessie on the lounge chair and Magnus stopped the tape and pointed at the screen. ‘Do you see that? Do you see how alive Bessie looks with her feet movie? Do you know who’s doing that? That’s Mary. She’s really good.'”
I think that I’ve mentioned that we’re shooting the Christmas episode. Besides doing some live hand shots, I also worked the Christmas tree for about an hour. No. It wasn’t dancing; it was being carried by two characters, one of which was a puppet, which meant that someone else had to do the actual lifting. Me.
Magnus kept saying, let’s get a strong guy in here instead of making this woman carry this heavy tree. I kept saying that I was fine and that it wasn’t that heavy. It got to be a running joke with the crew. All the guys were coming up and saying, “Do you want me to carry that for you? Maybe three or four of us could manage it.” Very funny. By the end of the hour, I was ready to admit that it was heavy.
Whew. I can’t believe it’s only five o’clock. I’ve been live hands for Stingy, Bessie, and Trixie in back-to-back shots. I’ve fanned, shaken presents, wrapped presents and put a turkey on the table. And Dad played fiddle with Magnus’s assistant for the whole company. The saw too. I was so proud.
They’ve gone home now. Sigh. Mrs. Kowal is still feeling under the weather but promises that we’ll have dinner tomorrow. It was good to see them, even if we didn’t get to visit much today.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]