newmoonstar: (phantom of the opera)
I have tickets for Oklahoma! at the Lyric Opera in Chicago in May!!! WOOHOO!!! I'm super, super excited; it looks like a pretty awesome production, they're using the original orchestrations and Agnes deMille choreography, and real ballet dancers for the Dream Ballet, and the cast is amazing: Ashley Brown is playing Laurey, and Curly is played by JOHN CUDIA. *SQUEE!!!* One of my Favorite Phantoms Ever, mind you. His voice is so beautiful, I think he sings the best 'Music of the Night' I've ever heard. (Well, it's a toss up between him and Howard McGillin, sometimes you feel like a tenor, sometimes you feel like a baritone... how can you choose between perfect and perfect?) So I'm just keeling over at the prospect of actually hearing him live, especially since Oklahoma! is one of the more gorgeous scores in existence. C'mon, that voice singing 'Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'?' or 'People Will Say We're in Love"? Yes, please! (And that's him in my icon, by the by, with the equally awesome Jennifer Hope Wills. That photo always makes me giggle!)

(In the back of my mind I'm horribly and terribly afraid that something will come up and prevent me from going though, since last time I had tickets for something out-of-town, my car broke down beforehand, and I had to miss it. I'm trying not to worry until it happens though, nor to worry about the prospect of staying at a hotel in one of the worst cities for bedbugs in the country [insert screams of terror here], because if a horrible disaster happens, there'll be plenty of time to tear my hair out afterward. For now, I'll try to focus on the awesomeness. And to figure out what to wear, since Lyric Opera = ritzy. I think the pearls need to get busted out for this one. Heehee!)

In TV viewing news, I can't believe American Experience is finally doing The Abolitionists! It's long, long overdue, if you ask me. Such an important chapter in American history that shouldn't be overlooked. And Civil War reenactors can only do so much! I'm not even technically 'the abolitionist' of my group, but as 'the women's right's reformer' much of what I talk about is inextricably bound up with abolitionism, because the two issues were very closely linked before the Civil War. The stories of people in both struggles have interested me since I was a child, and as someone who cares about these issues not just in the past, but as they relate to the progress toward equality in the world even today, I think it's so important that we move toward perceiving the fight for civil rights for women and minorities not as just 'women's history' or 'black history' but as mainstream AMERICAN history, pure and simple. While I do wish this documentary were a little bit more inclusive, since the casual viewer will probably get the impression that William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass were the only abolitionsts out there from this show, nonetheless, the very fact that it's on PBS at all will at least get people interested to hopefully learn more. (And they'll be shocked to learn that Garrison wasn't the zen-like soft-spoken gentle soul he's portrayed as here. Seriously, who cast this thing?? Anyone who's read any of Garrison's writing would know he wasn't like that! But at least he gets more airtime than Sarah and Angelina Grimke. It's like "we better stuff some Token!Women in there! But downplay them, 'cuz you know, they were into that pesky feminism!") We've still got a long way to go, but if people in the 19th century could hang in there and fight and win in the face of such unbelievable opposition, so can we. :)
newmoonstar: (little dorrit (spaceyplum))
I never like to talk about politics on LJ, but I'm just so miffed by the idiocy of the media over the mid-term elections I just have to rant. Everywhere you look they're all squaking about 'the Republicans will win, blah blah blah' on the premise that everyone must hate the Democrats because they haven't managed to fix in only two years all the problems the Republicans took eight years to make in the first place. Is this not the stupidest, most flawed logic ever? Anybody with half a brain obviously does not agree with that analysis, and anybody who doesn't have half a brain will be duped into believeing it, thereby unfairly creating the edge for the Rebublicans that you say is already there. So either way, stop saying it, and then pretending you're just innocent, impartial media reporting the truth. Arg!!!! I hate politics. I hate political ads. Just re-elect Feingold for the love of god, because he's the only honest politician in the history of ever, and has at least proved he knows what he's doing, and if we the people of Wisconsin are stupid enough to let that go, then maybe we just deserve to rot in hell with the Republicans. Thank you very much. ARG!!!!

Okay, now I've got THAT out of my system...On to fun things! About the rest of my Milwaukee trip, the Charles Allis Museum was also most awesome. Even though it's an Edwardian house and therefore architecturally much more boring than a Victorian house (in my opinion!), it was stuffed full with amazing art and antiques. The ancient Greek artifacts were just spine tingling, to see a water jug that someone had used thousands of years ago still in one piece(!). And there was a Duncan Phyfe table and chairs and sofa which were very drool-worthy, and I was more drawn to those than all the paintings! Even the Gainsborough landscape, I really only care about his portraits! (Can you tell I'm a costumer? Teehee.)

So that was a fun adventure, and I hope I'll get to see more museums and historic houses next year! This was definitely my last trip till spring, because now it's getting too cold! Seriously, where is the hot chocolate and electric blanket?? Brrr! I need to move to a warmer climate!!
newmoonstar: (beatles (theboxingbutton))
Whew! Been busy lately. Today is my birthday, so hopefully I'll be able to at last stay home and do nothing! (With the exception of going out for lots of ice cream and other junk food items!)

I didn't count on any more traveling this year, but the weather was so unseasonably warm that I decided to go to Milwaukee on Friday, and I went to all the museums and had myself a history-and-art filled fun time. The Pabst Mansion was my favorite, of course, since overly exhuberent and cheerfully overstuffed high Victorian architecture and interiors are my favorite things ever! The Ladies' Parlor was my absolute favorite room, all pink and gilded and flowery Rococo revival, I think I nearly keeled over of happiness when I walked in! That is exactly the sort of room I want! The tour guide was really good, and it was neat to hear about all the little tidbits of Victorian life that you don't get in most history books. The reason some of the chairs in the same set have different heights on their arms? High armed chairs for the gentleman, and low armed chairs for the ladies, so that they could drape the skirts of their huge dresses over the arms rather than having to try to squish them in between. Makes perfect sense now! Only one of the rooms on the second floor is fully restored, so I hope to go back again someday when they get the others done!

Villa Terrace Museum, buildt in the 1920's in the style of an Italian Villa, was also beautiful, it's best feature in my opinion being the enclosed center courtyard garden, because you can look around, and there's nothing you can see to tell you that you're not in Renaissance Italy. So pretty! Would be great for taking pictures in Italian Ren costumes too!

Eek, no more time to type now! (Plus my arm still hurts from that tetanus shot I had to get after scraping my knee on a rusty metal kitchen cabinet.) Will have to go on about the rest of the awesome houses and art I saw later!
newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
Been doing lots of interesting research lately. Just finished an amazing book A Very Dangerous Woman: Martha Wright and Women's Rights by Sherry Penney and James Livingston. It's a biography of one of the founding leaders of the women's rights movement in the 19th century, and so inspiring and eye-opening. Martha Coffin Wright (sister of Lucretia Mott) was one of the organizers of the first Woman's Rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, was present at the founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia in the 1830s, and served on in it's business commitee, her home was a stop on the Underground Railroad, she attended or presided at all of the annual National Woman's Rights conventions and many regional ones from 1850 to 1861, she was part of a party of women who went to Washington to speak before the Senate in support of women's rights, she collected signatures for the National Women's Loyal League petition during the Civil War, which helped to end slavery, after the war when the Women's Rights movement split, she sided with the more radical NWSA, attending their annual conventions and becoming a president in the 1870s, but continued to advocate for reconciliation with the more moderate AWSA, who were also friends and colleauges. Over the years she wrote numerous letters and articles championing women's rights and abolition for various publications, and counted Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison,and William Henry Seward, among others, as personal friends or reforming colleauges.

I always thought I knew quite a bit about the history of the women's rights movement in America, and I probably did know a bit more than most people. But Seneca Falls, Stanton and Anthony, and Suffragettes are just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much interesting stuff, so many more brave people, so many important events, and so many untold stories that are worth discovering, and I'm really excited to go find out more now. :)

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