Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Entertaining Weekend

Last summer when we were on Vancouver Island I found a boxed set of the entire series of the show Firefly...for only $20! It was a great deal, but it's been sitting in my DVD cupboard ever since. On Friday night, my friend Jennifer was passing through town and stopped overnight. At dinner I was raving about how much I loved the Avengers and how great Joss Whedon is, and how I really need to get my butt in gear and watch Firefly. She responded with, well, why not right now?! So we did! It had been a long week and we were both really tired, but we watched the first two episodes on Friday night, and a third one on Saturday morning before she left. It's so great! Firefly...where have you been all my life?!

And unlike the heartbreak I just suffered with Sanctuary being cancelled on me, I know that there's a limited amount of Firefly, so I won't suffer sudden but inevitable betrayal. :) A friend asked me about my favourite character, but after only three episodes, I haven't decided. Mal's sudden dispatch of the bad guy in 'Train Job', while understandable, left me a bit shocked, and his initial treatment of Inara was just dastardly, so while I know he's the 'hero' I'm not sold on him yet. Wash and Zoe are awesome - I love that this show has a functional married couple, which you don't see much of, and the fact that Zoe is such a strong, non-sexualized female character is just SHINY. Kaylee is pretty perky - I haven't decided yet if that's going to get on my nerves or not, so the jury's still out on her. Shepherd Book is a bit of an enigma - I'm suspicious of any character presented as religious, because so often they end up getting a bad rap, so we'll see. Inara...well, I struggle with her a lot, because, um, well, for her employment being NSFW, if you know what I mean - it just seems kind of objectified, but it certainly does add quite a bit of tension to the show. :P Simon is really cool - besides the fact that he shares a name with my own brother, he gave up his entire cushy life to rescue his sister, which I think makes him the hero of the show. And Jayne is just a nut-job!

I think my favourite thing about Firefly, besides the fact that it's character-driven, is the way they talk. They have a slightly archaic syntax, and alien swear words, which makes the conversations really interesting to listen to. I've only watched three episodes so far - between conference planning, school, and the fact that I'm also trying to re-watch Sanctuary season 3, Stargate Atlantis season 4, Clone Wars season (3?), not to mention stuff on YouTube, I've got my plate pretty full. Plus trying to save my sanity by having some fun!

Speaking of fun, I LOVE the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra - it's one of my top five favourite things about Calgary. (The other four are the Calgary Comic Expo, the view of the mountains, my friends...actually, I think I only have a top four. :P) Every spring when I get my flyer in the mail with the upcoming season I circle everything I want to see the way I did with the Sears Wishbook when I was a kid. Then I narrow it down to something reasonable and pick the things I REALLY HAVE TO SEE.

This weekend it was an ABBA tribute, with a Finnish vocal group called Rajaton. I'm not sure I can explain how good it was. I've been going to the CPO for about eight years, mostly to pops concerts, and I don't ever remember masses of people literally dancing in the aisles, or not one, but TWO standing ovations/encores. They had great vocals - their acapella numbers were incredible - and great presence and were so smooth. The CPO always does a fantastic job at whatever they play, and something about the combination of these two groups was just magical. Really, music is quite magical - you have all of these people from different walks of life, and when they're warming up it's audible chaos, but then the concert master comes on stage and raises his violin, and the orchestra starts tuning, and you can get a hint of the magic waiting to be unleashed. And then the conductor comes out, waves her magic wand...and you're carried away on a sea of sound as all of the disparate parts are unified. Just magical! If you're anywhere near Calgary, check out the CPO's 2012/2013 season - if you've never been to hear a live orchestra before, you're in for a treat that everyone should experience at least once in their lives!

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