Sunday Salon: What if you punched someone at a Punch and Judy show? and other miscellaneous spring break items

Last night, C.J. and I went to a puppet show for adults at The Hub, a performance space/art gallery run by a small group trying to revitalize downtown Vallejo where we live.  Because C.J. is a fan of puppets, I’ve become something of an expert on them myself over the years we’ve been together.  Last night was my first Punch and Judy Show.

It was not for children.

I enjoyed the show, smiled through the entire thing, and even laughed out lout several times.  I know it’s horrible, but it really was funny when Mr. Punch ran the baby through the sausage grinder.  You had to be there.

However there was a hipster couple behind us who could not help themselves.  Sarcastic commentary running through the entire show.  Talking back to Punch and Judy is entirely appropriate, though it’s not something I do.  But theirs were little asides to each other making fun of the whole thing, the whole thing being what the rest of us paid “good money” to see.

Dangerous Puppets performed a very cool version of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky after a short series of little entre act numbers that featured a puppet version of the devil who sang Ave Maria which I thought was brilliant.

Dangerous Puppets makes all of their characters from fallen wood and other natural products.  They don’t paint any of them all all which gives them a very interesting and beautiful look.  I loved all of their pieces but the hipsters behind us would not stop until I turned around and asked them nicely to be quiet using about 80% teacher voice.  Teacher voice has turned out to be a useful super power.

Afterwards we went on stage and asked if we could see the puppets up close which is how I know about the techniques used to make them.  Here’s a video version of their Jabberwocky:

Meanwhile spring break is hear at last.  We’re not going to be taking any trips this year, but we have lots to do.  We’re off to hear some jazz later today and to have dinner with some old friends.

For the rest of the week, I have four books I’d to review, a small stack of non-fiction that I checked out from the library post TBR Double Dog Dare and quite a few projects around the house that I’d like to see finished very soon.  I just started The Secret History of Wonder Woman which has not turned out to be at all what I expected, but I’m enjoying it so far none-the-less.

We’ll be going into the city a couple of times this week to look for art supplies.  We need a cheap paper source for school since we’re all planning on making journals for history when we go back to school.  I’ve been taking a series of classes on how to bring more art into your school. One suggestion was having the students make their own journals for use in the classroom.  I think these will work well in history where we do a lot of writing and can always do more drawing so I convinced my department to give it a go with our final unit of the year on Renaissance Europe.  I’m waiting for the Dover historical coloring books I ordered to arrive.  Between those and what we hope to find in the city we should be able to put together some pretty good journals.

Friday the kids were taking a test in history so I read a book.  I got through all of Shelia Burfords The Incredible Journey which I had never read before somehow.  It was wonderful..  I highly recommend it.  The story of two dogs and a cat who make their way across 250 miles of Canadian wilderness to find their way home was one of the best animal stories I’ve read.  It’s great for it’s depiction of nature and for the way she keeps her animals animals.  At no point did I find them slipping into human qualities.  They don’t speak to each other, the react to the people and other animals they meet as domestic dogs and cats would react.  And the adventure is quite exciting, too.  It’s a little old fashioned at this point since it’s 50 years old now, but I highly recommend it.

And I should have a review up later this week.

Advertisements

11 Comments

  1. readerbuzz says:

    Teacher voice as a super power…love it. (And happy someone acknowledges that we do have super powers.) I am crazy about my puppets and often use them to teach lessons. I’ve had Jose since the first year I was in the library and it’s nice to see how he’s gradually become much less shy. Pepe the Chihuahua would probably take over the teaching completely if I let him. We’ve had occasional appearances of my puppet horse, puppet sheep, puppet rattlesnake, puppet praying mantis, and many others. Though none of these guys are really very edgy…maybe I’ll find a nice edgy puppet next week at the library conference.

    1. Many of us also have “the look” as a second super power. I think there could be a market for edgy library puppets. There’s an audience out there, certainly a lot of literature in the library that edgy puppets would love.

  2. Bellezza says:

    Ah, I must comment on the Teacher Voice as well. It is all I can do to go out in public and not use it, particularly at restaurants where no one manages their children. I can well imagine your irritation, and I’m sure you were justified in squelching it. Now, if I can just figure out how to do that politely in church… (Bellezza, boss of the world.)

    1. I’d try “the look” in church. 😉

  3. Lisa says:

    I am sure there were people sitting around you who were silently applauding you. I know I would have been.

    I have never read The Incredible Journey, but now I’m going to look for a copy.

    1. I really enjoyed it. I do have one student who is also reading it, and she’s reallly enjoying it too.

  4. Teresa says:

    Those puppets are amazing! I’d love to go to a show like that.
    I remember reading and loving The Incredible Journey when I was a kid, but none of the details about it have stuck with me. I wonder what I’d think of it now.

  5. I always hesitate to reread things I loved when younger, but I think this one is very good.

    We’re going to another puppet theatre group next weekend.

  6. Jim Randolph says:

    We have a Center for Puppetry Arts here in Atlanta which does similar things and is very cool.

    I love the Teacher Voice superpower. My wife is better at it but it still comes in handy.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed The Incredible Journey. It was one of my favorites as a kid but I’ve been afraid to re-read it or even recommend it becasue I don’t trust my own youthful enjoyment but didn’t want to re-read it and have it ruined for me. Now I know it’ll be safe to return to. Maybe my daughter will enjoy it. Thanks!

    1. It’s kind of old fashioned, but I enjoyed it. I think it could have a pretty good readership with an updated cover.

  7. Laughed at your “teacher voice” to the hipsters. I was at the theatre one night watching a drama and the woman in front kept bringing her smart phone with the bright light out checking for texts, etc. I told her twice to put it away which she did but would bring it out again. On the third go I grabbed her shoulders and shook her I was so angry. Then I realised what I had done but it worked. agghhh. The Incredible Journey has always been my favourite journey and I also loved the original film Disney did back in the 60s I believe. The ending was so happy everyone cries. Worth a look. I look forward to hearing how the journals go.

Comments are closed.