Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quickie Book Review: Equations of Life

by Simon Morden

After the nuclear holocaust, Samuil Petrovitch manages to move himself from the remnants of St. Petersburg to the London Metrozone -- one of the few remaining free cities on the planet. Now, he spends most of the time working on high-level computer projects while trying not to stand out from the crowd. All that changes with one little mistake -- he stumbles upon a woman being kidnapped, and against his better judgement, he comes to her rescue. This is no ordinary Londoner, though, but the daughter of a wealthy Yakuza. Now, the police and the Russian mob are after him, and Samuil finds himself drawn against his will into a fight for the very future of what's left of humanity in London.

Equations of Life is a fast-paced ride through the underbelly of London after the world goes to Hell. But it's a fun ride, thanks to Samuil Petrovitch. He doesn't mince words, instead pointing out the facts in an almost nonchalant manner while trying to keep himself alive. Through gunfights and out-of-control computer systems bent on his destruction, he somehow finds his way to see the light of another day. And he's an atypical hero: he's really out to help himself, but whatever he seems to do always helps those around him. Author Simon Morden places him in an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world: the Russian mob pitted against a Yakuza who are both fighting against a new mechanical menace that's taking over the city: from automated cars to streetlights to the rail system. Dangers lurk around every corner, but Samuil takes things as they come, and you can't help liking him for it. It's a thrilling read, and I can't wait to read part two of the trilogy.

Equations of Life
by Simon Morden
Orbit/Hachette Book Group
mass market paperback, 390 pgs.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Re-Animated


Last night we saw Re-Animator: The Musical, a comedic re-make of the film based upon the story by H.P. Lovecraft. It was the perfect pre-Halloween treat. And we laughed evey time they drenched the first three rows of the audience with fake blood. The cast was amazing, especially Graham Skipper as Dr. Herbert West trying to prove that his serum will bring a corpse back to life. Darren Ritchie was great as Dan Cain, the med student who decides to help West with his scheme. (And I'm not just saying that because for one entire song he wore only boxers onstage.) Jesse Merlin played up West's creepy nemesis Dr. Hill. He has such an amazing voice!

It was a magical evening of theater.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

iTunes Saturday - The Hallowe'en Post (...Sort of...)

In honor of Hallowe'en...I really don't have any scary or ghostly music. Nothing to send shivers trembling up and down your spine. So...my selection for today comes from a movie which some cable channels are lumping in with Hallowe'en. It's a stretch, but as long as it gives me a reason to share it -- even a flimsy one -- I'll take it. This song is actually one of my favorites form The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tim Curry is amazing, and this particular song shows what he can do with a piece of music: I'm Going Home, performed by Tim Curry.

the rocky horror picture show (1975) i'm going home from rudyoutreville on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dahl-ing


Imagine that...four consective posts. Something must be wrong with me....

Last night we dashed to downtown Los Angeles, making surprisingly good time -- during rush hour, even -- to the Music Center. A few weeks ago, Caesar received an email from the Center Theatre Group for a special event related tothe upcoming production of Matilda. Free tickets to a Q&A with Tim Minchin, the composer/lyricist for the show. So of course we had to be there...along with hordes of children.

Luckily, it was an evening well spent. We enjoyed a few so gs from the musical, performed by one of the Broadway Matildas. Even Tim sang one of the show's highlights. He explained the creative process behind the show and how his lifelong love of Roald Dahl, wanting to remain true to the story.

And then, they offered us the privilege of buying tickets way bwfore they went on sale to the general public. We snatched up two tickets as soon as we could. Squee!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Slitherin'


Walking along the Upper Newport Bay during my lunch breaks allows me a brief respite from the office. Bird calls replace phone calls. The glare of the computer screen changes to the Sun reflecting off the bay. I lose myself in the walk...until I run into something like this: a small California King Snake blocking my path. At first, I thought it was dead, lying so still. Then the head moved, and I quickly snapped a pic and scurried on my way.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Little Lost


Last night, we attended a performance of Lost the Musical: We Have to Go Back at a little theater in L.A. This musical parody fit the entire six seasons into two-and-a-half hours, hitting all the main plot points, questioning some of the more bizarre story tangents, briefly reviving short-lived characters, and skewering the main characters. And yes, it was a musical, using well-known songs but changing the lyrics to fit with the show. It was all silly fun, and we laughed the entire time. 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

iTunes Saturday - Big Sky

I was first introduced to Kate Bush's music when I think most of America was -- with the release of Running up That Hill from her 1985 The Hounds of Love album. Something about the music, the lyrics, that voice, just stuck with me, and I've been a fan ever since. And this particular song remains one of my all-time favorites: The Big Sky from Kate Bush: