I had most of last week off from work, so despite spending more time in front of my screens at home than anyone probably should, I find myself with less to blog about than I would like.
I met a potential new coworker on Monday morning and finally got to see more of campus, including the turtle pond. The turtles reminded me of Testudo. I miss Maryland.
On Wednesday, I was able to meet up in person with the people from Austin Catholic New Media and signed on as one of their featured bloggers! It is so flattering to be asked to join the community. Even if you’re nowhere near Austin, I encourage you to check out the site. The discussions there definitely apply across diocesan boundaries.
On Thursday, I hung out with some great people from a diocese-wide Catholic young adults group I’ve joined. I’ve only been to a few events so far, but the people are really friendly. It’s good for me to be among Catholic people roughly my age who are only coincidentally connected to my work. I miss being part of an intentional Christian community, so I find a particularly sweet joy in building up that community again here in Austin.
On Friday, I recovered from being rained out the previous Friday and went to see Love’s Labour’s Lost in Zilker Park. The parks commission sponsors a free Shakespeare play and a free musical in the park’s theater every summer, and the weather has usually started to cool into the 80’s by then, so it’s a great way to spend an evening. I even ran into people I knew (on both trips), so I had buddies. However, I should admit that I have a theory that going with people to movies or theater is just this side of pointless. You can’t talk for most of the experience. It is nice to have someone to chat with during the sanctioned breaks, though.
Austin Shakespeare decided to give the canonical Love’s Labour’s Lost text a beach blanket bingo twist by setting it on the California coast in 1963. It was definitely different, but I loved it. The scenery fit perfectly with the open-air summer theater. The costumes must have been uncharacteristically comfortable; when the actors came out for their talkback, they were still in costume. I have never read this play, but my familiarity with and love for Shakespeare (and having read a synopsis ages ago) made it easily accessible. I’m not sure how others took it. I noticed considerable audience melt at intermission, but part of that may have been because people didn’t realize how long Shakespeare plays run and partly because there were a lot of small children present. I was in it for the long haul, though, and we got to move down to a more comfortable patch of grass because the people in front of us vacated.
Two aspects of this production stood out to me. First, I was enchanted by the use of 60’s songs and motifs. All of the songs in the play (there are several) plus a few sonnets were sung to the tune of Vegas big band standards, the Beach Boys, and even Bob Dylan. Mote, the page, appeared in various little-kid costumes from a cowboy to a spaceman to James Bond. The princess and her attendants had their chaperone, of course, but he could have easily doubled as Sinatra. Even the parson came with a guitar and a hint of grooviness. (Oh, Vatican II.) Second, I loved the women’s swimsuits, which they wore for the last two acts. They were colorful, fun, and so very modest. I realize that is just a sign of the times, but those styles should definitely make a comeback. Overall, it was a fantastic show, and I’m excited for Footloose in July, Hamlet in the fall, and next summer’s Bollywood Twelfth Night.
I ended the week last night by playing Apples to Apples and Mafia (the latter of which got very complicated very quickly) with another new group of friends. It was the best night I’ve had in a very long time, and it capped off a great week. I do love my job, but it’s so good to finally have time to just live.