Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Very busy, very social couple of weeks passed.

We had a last minute weekend with the families of Haddayr and Karen. Wonderful people. Great discussions. Nice relaxation. Some birthday, ice cream cake goodness for Alan. What more can I say?

Alan got Netflicks from my parents for his birthday. Yay!! Now instead of checking the mail for rejection letters we look for movies. So far we've seen:

Irma Vep which was a strange but compelling movie by the director of the very twisted Demonlover. While both movies had unsatisfying endings, they were worth the trip.
Dog Soldiers which was an interesting twist on the traditional werewolf movie by the writer/director of The Descent. The werewolves were cheesy but the acting was strong (including Kevin McKidd from Rome) and the characters sympathetic.

Up next are Dave Chappelle's Block Party and Walk the Line. Suggestions for movies to add to the queue would be very welcome.

Diversicon was last weekend. We've only been once before two years ago when SP Somtow was guest of honor and Mark Rich was special guest. We missed it last year because we were out of town. This year we had the magnificent Kelly Link as guest of honor and very cool Bryan Thao Worra as special guest. I missed most of the panels due to absent mindedness but also because I was helping out or gabbing with Gavin at the Small Beer Press table. It's a small convention but packs a punch with programming, lots of time to meet and visit with the highlighted guests, and lots of other interesting attendees. Highlights included seeing Lyda glammed up as Tate; stocking up to feed my reading habit with two bags of used books from the dealers room; an affordable live auction with booty including more books and original Mark Rich artwork; a long chat with Eleanor Arnason (check out her new blog here); Bryan Thao Worra's awesome presentation on Laotian mysterious places (see Dark Wisdom #9 for his article on the Plain of Jars) and mythic creatures (toe sucking forest spirits!), music from Mark and Martha as Keg Salad, and a great film discussion with Andrea Hairston that included one of my favorite films, Lonestar, and a new, eye-opening take (to me) on Rush Hour. Andrea will be guest of honor next year, so you'll have to come and ask her about it.

Once again, the past two weeks reminded me how blessed we have been with such a great group of friends and writing/SF community around us. As one of my new co-workers said on the way out the door today, "Peace out, y'all!"


Karen said...

I'd love to hear Andrea Hairston's take on Rush Hour.

Kristin said...

I'm never going to do justice to Andrea's discussion, but I'll try to give a little bit of it. She teaches a course at Smith College that traces the history of minstrel shows into the present and towards the end of the class, she shows Rush Hour. The main characters are right in the tradition of minstrel shows. Chris Tucker plays the crazy, wise-cracking black character and Jackie Chan, the inscrutable, acrobatic Asian character. They even introduce Jackie Chan's character with a gong, a common element in minstrel shows. Because of their popularity in early America, Minstrel Shows provide a great snapshot of early American attitudes about race. I did some extra coursework on the Asian experience in America as part of my East Asian Studies major and minstrel show scripts would have been an interesting source.