Jan 26, 2008

Of or pertaining to Scotland

1. Imitating a Scottish accent is universally (mostly) considered fun and/or funny. Why? Please elaborate.

2. Hilary is having her annual birthday clothing swap tomorrow, and I'm going to try to go up there with Sammy for the event. This pertains to Scotland because Hilary used to play street hockey on a team in Brooklyn with Mike Meyers, and the connection between Mike Meyers and Scotland is obvious.

3. Right around the time I left for maternity leave, my firm was purchased/subsumed by a large Scottish architecture firm. Nowadays, we see the Scots every so often as they visit our office - Friday, we had one such a visit. Scottish Architect did a slide presentation of some of the work going on there, and he used the phrase "bespoke building." I think I know what that means - like, a "dedicated" building, perhaps? The interesting thing with the far-flung English speaking world is that people from different sides of the pond can have whole conversations and perfectly understand one another, and then someone has to go and say "bespoke building" or "nappies and biscuits and trousers" or "bollocks" and we are forced to confront our insurmountable differences.

4. Scottish Architect also mentioned that British sculptor Antony Gormley had done a sculpture for this particular site. The piece he showed is called Angel of the North, a massive figure with a wingspan of something like 50 meters, made of corten steel. I like this image, and it reminded me of seeing Gormley's Field installation when I went to Edinburgh with Shari in 1994. Field was of particular interest to me - I liked the scale of the whole endeavor. I like the idea of a man bending 350 people to his will and convincing them to spend time making a zillion of these little guys out of clay. (Even more interesting is the ability of Patrick Dougherty to get volunteer labor organized enough to help him make these things. But he's not Scottish, so let's move on.)

5. Thanks to Jim and Lori watching Sam at their house for a couple of hours, TJ and I went out last Friday to see a reprise of The Sea by James Sugg, this time performed at Gloria Dei, the Old Swedes' Church. (Yes, I know the difference between Sweden and Scotland, stay with me.) I already happened to have seen this a year or two ago with Christine when he performed it at the Wilma Theater as part of the Live Arts Festival. But it was epic - I mean, it was fairly short, but James Sugg is completely diabolical on the stage and it was very musical, I loved it and I think Miller did too. How could we not, given its description as "a one-man rock opera" and "...the soul of a classical song cycle, but the performance style... of a full-on rock concert." A sea-shanty Rock Opera! When I saw it again in the Old Swedes' Church, it was brilliant there - I couldn't believe it hadn't been conceived there, it fit so well. The space itself makes you feel like you're in an old sailing ship of some kind, and the ye olde headstones in the cemetery outside have 'f's where there might have been 's's. As we were leaving after the show, I heard a little bit of a lilt coming from the steps above me and there was Rachel, of Scottish Ross-and-Rachel, who we met a little over a year ago when I was still pregnant. They're friends of a friend of Ashu, and when they came to Philadelphia we took them to the Standard Tap to introduce ourselves. Rachel, as it turned out, was the stage manager for the production and TJ and I were happy to see she found a niche in this city while her husband is working on his postdoc! They are both really nice and I look forward to getting together with them again and hearing them speak Scottish.

6. Last night we watched The Wicker Man on cable on-demand. As it started to unfold, I couldn't understand whether it was the worst movie ever made or the best. On the one hand, it had a goodly amount of bad acting and all kinds of creepy 70s-style sexual deviance. But, it was practically a MUSICAL! A musicale, even. And there was an autoharp involved at one point. And papier mache animal costumes and a freaky burning hand. His Majesty Lord Summerisle had hair like an electrocuted 80s Ted Danson. No, wait - more like Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future. There were Scottish accents and did I mention jaunty tunes? It was phenomenal. Now I know where Burningman in its current incarnation came from - some kids in SF in the 70s watching THIS MOVIE. Although when actual human and animal sacrifice is involved, sung to the Middle English tune of "Sumer Is Icumen In," it's a little more intense to watch and not a little upsetting.


Blogger k opined...

this makes me want to watch the late late show with craig ferguson.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Capella opined...

Happy birthday, Dubin!

9:21 AM  
Anonymous amanda opined...

you can get your pants bespoke, too.

I imagine a tailor on his knees whispering to my cuffs.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Dubin opined...

TROUSERS. You mean, you can get your TROUSERS bespoke.

9:01 PM  

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