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Jim’s Jottings for March 9, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Oscars: Was I wrong or what? I was writing from what I know of the Good Old Days when scifi was ignored, anything sexy was ignored, slasher flicks were ignored, etc. Last year, I was sure “La La Land” would win, and it did for a few seconds! In truth, the nominations this year were all for really good films and wonderful performances, so making a decision would be tough. We went to AMC on Tuesday to see “I, Tonya,” about the ice skater Tonya Harding and her monster mother, played by Allison Janney, who did win an Oscar, and justly so. So what we haven’t been able to see yet include “The Florida Project” and “Mudbound.” Perhaps, now that they have won awards, they will show up. If not, Film Forum?

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great. [Mark Twain]

Opera: It’s that time again. Met in HD will present “Semiramide,” one I have never seen. The libretto by Gaetano Rossi is based on Voltaire's tragedy “Semiramis,” which in turn was based on the legend of Semiramis of Assyria. The story is set in Babylon in two acts and 9 scenes. Premiered at La Fenece in Venice in 1823, this opera is one of the last masterworks for the bel canto style of decorative singing. Its composer, Rossini, was most celebrated for his tragedies with “Semiramide” being the best. Running time: 3 hours, 29 minutes, starting at 1 PM at the Regal Hollywood cinema.

When you reach for the stars, you might not quite get them, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. [Leo Burnett]

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. [Samuel Johnson]

Sound EQ: Coming in yesterday for Writing, I noticed that all our new sound equipment and a new projector for the big screen have been installed. Thanks are due to all of you that stepped up to donate $$$ to help make this possible. I’m sure, if you still want to donate, Jae will be glad to help you.

There’s no point in speaking unless you an improve on the silence. .

Most people like to talk; the more refined ones can force themselves to listen.

There is no economy in buying cheap equipment. Buy only the best.

“Naga Mandala:”  I’ll be interested to hear from some of you that went to see this play last Sunday. Bonnie and I left at intermission because it broke my First Rule of Theater: DON’T CONFUSE THE AUDIENCE! We could only hear about 60% of the dialog, so the plot and meaning were simply not getting through. The director’s notes in the program didn’t really help. If, by the end, it made you want to discuss it with friends, then it succeeded on some level. It may be that the script was so tied to Indian culture and traditions, that it did not survive its move to WVU. With world theater traditions, that can be a very heavy load to interpret. I am glad they made the attempt though.

Individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. [Vince Lombardy]

The silly season is here for the weather. It looks and feels like winter is back and yet the crocuses are blooming and daffodils have broken ground, sure signs of spring’s impending arrival. And you snowbirds sitting in your Florida/Arizona/California condos—don’t be smug, some of us up here in the arctic would be glad of an invitation to flee south! Brrrrr.

And, finally, The Girls (our new cats) are doing just great…and have taken over the house…and thanks for asking!

Just Jim