Wicked Musical A+

Wicked Stage, originally uploaded by alachia.

I went to go see the Broadway Musical Tour of Wicked last night at the Bass Concert Hall (Austin). I was definitely not disappointed at all. I had no idea really what to expect and I honestly thought I might not like it as much because I had heard nothing but good things. (you know the old saying about hype)

However, it definitely lived up to the hype. Sometimes with musical productions either the music carries the show or the story does. In this case, it was both. I was very impressed with most of the musical numbers. It helped though that they had Marcie Dodd playing Ephalba (one of the lead characters).

This woman's voice was just incredibly amazing. When she did her first semi-solo musical number "The Wizard and I" you could tell the whole audience wanted to give a standing ovation if it weren't for the fact that the musical was still going.

While the rest of the cast was also very good, they were definitely overshadowed by Marcie's talent. I'm not sure if that's the way it's supposed to be with musicals but I didn't mind it.

The only two comments about the show was that I longed for a just a little bit more eye-candy with the stage set design and production. Often times, there would be numbers that involved a color drop curtain and spotlights. The other thing would be that Colin Donnell who played Fiyero was completely understaged by Marcie. I would have liked to have heard a stronger voice paired with her. He was still a great actor though and had amazing stage presence.

Other than that, I totally loved it. The story line, the singing, the whole atmosphere of the production was perfecto. After curtain close and a standing ovation everyone left the theater saying nothing but wonderful things. Everyone wanted to get their hands on the soundtrack. If they were selling CDs outside, I'm sure there would have been a line as long as the yellow brick road goes!



Xeriscape I, originally uploaded by alachia.

Xeriscaping is a funny word, I know but it's quite an amazing technique for landscaping. It's been around for quite some time but hasn't really hit mainstream yet. You hear about it it a lot in those up to do magazines that are all about green solutions.

What it all amounts to is water conservation. You use natural plants of the environment that are usually very drought tolerant and require minimal water and maintenance. This means giving up those luscious green lawns and San Fran flowers but as a trade off, you get to throw away your lawn mower. :)

I'll be adding more plants and vegetation to the front and backyard for sure but I'll be keeping xeriscape plants in mind when I do it. As much as I love colorful flowers, I'm going to try and sacrifice my need for tasting the rainbow in order to conserve water.

Nap Time

Nap Time, originally uploaded by alachia.

I used to take a lot of naps in college. I think it was mostly the late nights in the studio and having 8am labs and such. There was nothing more delicious and delightful than letting my mind slip out of consciousness for a few hours out of the day.

Hell, I'd say back then it was even a hobby! But now I never take naps. In fact, I hate the idea of sleeping. I'm not sure what changed. I guess I feel like sleeping makes me lose time. I feel like awareness is a huge virtue and I like having my eyes open all the time.

I owe a lot of that to my life in the meta where every day always shows me something new. I'm addicted to discovering new sights, new cultures, and just exploring the people I've met (without ever having to leave my desk nonetheless). I find even the smallest details about people delectable. And the ability to share and connect is getting easier and easier.

That being said, I still like the idea of naps. I like the idea of peace and rest. I strived really hard in this house to create guest bedrooms that would sponge people and suck them in so they feel nothing but relaxed. (insert jokes about pits in the basement here). There's nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable when you're in another person's home. I guess the only drawback is when you can't get them to leave. heheh.

The sheets on this bed are 100% modal (from BBB) which I discovered this year. They are far better than the highest count of Egyptian Cotton in my opinion. They are as soft as cotton but also have a silky feel while still being warm. Sometimes when I lay on this guest bed, I feel like I'm in a sea of chocolate silk.

As for the comforter, it's micro-suede, nothing fancy and was super cheap. Most people don't believe me when I tell them where I bought it (Walmart). The accent pillows were a present my mom made for me. She is somehow gifted with the talent of sewing which I hope to one day acquire as well. :)

If you ever visit me, this is most likely the bed I'd put you in because it's my favorite. I'm not sure if I'll add another brown accent wall in the new house though but we'll see.

Meta Footprint

I entered Alachia into this cool visualization output tool done by MIT. (http://personas.media.mit.edu/personasWeb). It combined the meta for all digital traces of my existence and compiled this data.

Unfortunately, my name is borrowed from other unique character in the verse who has a lot of data written about her. Queen Alachia of the Blood Elves from an RPG table top fantasy game I used to play. I think that’s why there are a lot of visualizations regarding “books” and “genealogy” in that composite.

I’m fascinated mostly though by the difference in meta output from Alachia and my real name. Because when I entered my real name I got an entirely different result. I don’t exist online as my RL name.

I am not exactly surprised by this at all as I’ve taken great efforts to separate the two identities and leave the one that is most insignificant behind in the RL.

I am quite happy to see that I, Alachia, am able to visualize a completely meta footprint after all.

I'm not ashamed of my RL self at all. We're one in the same really. It's just that her identity, the one bearing my real name, doesn't have much meaning. Just as the visualization tool findings, there is no substance to that identity. I've actually contemplated on changing my RL name at one point but then realized I like the flexibility the duality of existences provides me.

The Wasp and I

The Wasp and I (1/3), originally uploaded by alachia.

Despite rumors about my likeness for the great outdoors, I do actually enjoy warm summer breezes and chilling outside. One of my favorite things to do this summer while working is to kick open the balcony doors and let air circulate.

Today however, I was working and looked up from my monitor to this annoying bbzzzzt bbzzzt sound. There was this gigantic wasp bzzing all over my ceiling.

I tried to lure it out the door by waving around my arm sleeves near it. It panicked and went to desk window instead and lodged itself there. This is when we had a thirty minute stand-off.

After rattling the blinds for about 10 minutes, I was finally able to get it to come down in range for me to beat it with my note pad. However, it would keep playing hide and seek with me inside the window.

This is when I got bored during the stand off and started taking pics of it. lol. I was so terrified it would come and sting me while I was snapping shots.

It finally came down enough for me to beat it scared with my note book and it bolted for the door which I then shut and locked (yeah locked).

I wonder why people think I have something against nature and the outdoors? hmmm. I dunno. damn pesky outdoor aliens! that's why!

Austin Photowalk aka Paparazzi Tour

I went on the Austin Photowalk hosted by Trey Ratcliff last night. It was a public event which started at the Driskill Hotel on 6th street. I think about 70+ people showed up. Huge turn out.

When I stepped inside the Victorian Room which is where we started the meeting, I noticed EVERYONE had a DSLR. Maybe like three other people like myself had a point and shoot (meh Cannon G10 FTW!) Lol. Talk about feeling inadequate.

But for me right now, it has been more important to actually get the shot than worry about the quality of the shot. Once I get into the habit of taking photos, then I’ll worry about upgrading.

The walk was from the Driskill hotel up to the State Capital and back. I only made it to the Capitol Building and then decided not to go back to the hotel for “drinks”….

The only conversation I had was with a guy who asked me, “is that a clicker?” He wanted to know if I was using a point and shoot camera which I thought was an odd question considering I was one of the only people there with a camera lens that is attached to the camera. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to make me feel bad but decided he was just genuinely curious because he was very friendly.

Once I told him it was a G10, he was like, “oh that’s more than a point and shoot. You know you can attach lenses to that?” And I didn’t really know that so I thanked him for the info and asked him how he liked his Canon DSLR and he told me he’d rather have the Nikon. lol.

While I didn’t really learn anything or talk to anyone, it was just great to be able to feel comfortable taking photographs in public. And I think I got some really great shots which I’ll be posting and working into HDRs soon.

Oh and while I only talked to one other photographer, I talked to about five total strangers who kept asking me what the heck was going on…. they wanted to know if it was a photography class or if we were some crazy paparazzi crew. Willie Nelson was apparently downtown as well so they thought it had something to do with him.

I’m hoping there will be more events like this and that as it continues, the numbers will start to get smaller and so I’ll have more of a chance to get to know people. I’m waaaaaay too shy to talk to people in large settings.