March 9th, 2012


Friday Geeky Odds and Ends

Oh, man, ballet was tough last night. I woke up already a bit sore. I don't know that we did anything particularly difficult, but the teacher was really focusing on technique, and when I focus on doing things exactly the right way, I know I'm a little more tense. Plus, if you've been doing things the wrong way, you use a different set of muscles when you do things the right way. Thus, the sore thighs. It probably doesn't help that I got there early and was watching the really advanced class in the adjacent studio. Those are the teens who are probably going to dance professionally. I should know I can't do anything close to what they can do, since they're young enough to be my children and have been dancing far longer than I have, but having seen them made me try harder -- possibly harder than I should have. And now I have a week off because of spring break. I've told myself that I will exercise this week so I won't suffer too badly when I go back, but we'll see how that goes.

I also get a week off from choir, starting Sunday morning. I drew the short straw in being assigned to the quartet singing at the early service on the morning of Daylight Savings Time, but the choir isn't singing at all Sunday, so instead of having to do two services, I get to go home when I'm done with the music for the preschool Sunday school. Then there's no rehearsal or children's choir on Wednesday. If I get groceries on the way home from church, I won't have to leave the house all week! Other than to go walking or to a movie, or something like that. Anyway, my quartet is singing Aaron Copland's arrangement of "At the River," and it's pretty easy for me because sopranos sing the melody, except for this one descant part that's a little tricky.

I finally got around to watching the pilot of Awake, the series in which a cop seems to be living two parallel lives -- one in which his wife died in a car accident and one in which his son died. In each life he's got a different partner and a different psychologist, but clues from one life bleed into the other. I'm kind of iffy. It's on when I'm out, so it will be an OnDemand show, and probably one I'll catch a full week later, since NBC is now putting the as-aired versions OnDemand for the first few days, complete with commercials and network promos for things that have already been on. I like Jason Isaacs from the British mystery series Case Histories, and I like him here, even with American accent, but the series didn't grab me as much as I expected, since I love those "what if?" parallel lives plots (and still want to write one). Strangely, I like the cop part better than the parallel lives part, and the clues bleeding over aren't actual clues but just strange connections, so I suspect they're going for one reality being a dream instead of a science fictiony premise where they're both somehow real in alternate universes. However, this series probably has the highest Harry Potter Score on American television right now, with Lucius Malfoy starring.

Meanwhile, the current highest Doctor Who Score on American television is probably The Office, with Catherine Tate (Donna) as a recurring character (who seems to be set up to become a regular next season). It's rather ironic that it's the American version of an originally British series that has the highest Doctor Who score.

By the way, the Harry Potter/Doctor Who Score is a game I play when watching TV or movies after I noticed that almost all British productions involve at least one cast member who's been in either Doctor Who or one of the Harry Potter movies. It's kind of a geeky "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" thing, only you seldom have to resort to degrees. Now that Mark Sheppard has been in Doctor Who, it makes it a little too easy for American series to have a Doctor Who score, so I do have a clause for him where it has to be a recurring role instead of a one-episode villain to count. Otherwise, every series on American television would have a Doctor Who score, and that's just not right. I may have to institute a similar rule for Alex Kingston, except she's a recurring Doctor Who character, and a rather pivotal one at that, which makes excluding her from the scoring more problematic. And that means CSI has a Doctor Who score, no matter how hard I try to avoid it -- though it's still lower than The Office, since she had a one-episode role on CSI and Catherine Tate is a borderline Office regular.

In the meantime, while reading the book on forensics, I think I came up with the murder plot for the book that will kick off my potential mystery series. Now I just need a good evil scheme for another thing I'm working on. I had a dream of one last night, but it turned out to be The Matrix, and I don't think I want to go there.