Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gee, do you think this movie is about duality?

Everyone's been spoojing all over Black Swan, and I was super excited for it myself based on the trailer alone. I finally saw it last night and I was pretty meh about it. I enjoyed myself for the most part, but I didn't think it was actually a good movie. And the last five minutes pretty much ruined the whole thing for me. Spoilers ahead.

First, the good: I thought the performances were all fantastic, including Natalie Portman, who I've never liked much (I think I'm coming around on that though), and delightful, underused Winona Ryder. Even better is the art direction and costume design. SA commented on the way out that it felt very believably New Yorky, and I agree. Nina's apartment was completely realistic for the location and likely household budget, while also being creepy and claustrophobic. The costumes and visual effects are gorgeous. The oppressive, cinderblock world of the theater was great, and made me feel bad for whoever has to actually work in that location all the time. But I loved how it captured the real lack of glamour that often lives behind the scenes, even if it was a little over-the-top because they were also going for the whole psychological oppression thing. I actually liked how the dancers' world was portrayed in general, despite how little dancing there actually was for an ostensible dance movie. Except for crazy Nina, the theater looked pretty much like a regular workplace. Everyone shows up, does their job, goes home. They have friends, they gossip, they don't take it too seriously. You get a sense that all those people in the background have lives, and just happen to have an unusual job. I feel like that's often missing from backstage dramas. I especially liked the little moments with the physical therapist and the wardrobe supervisor, which didn't even feel scripted.

But that sense of lightness is absent from most of the movie. Okay, it's a psychological thriller, it shouldn't be light, but did it need to be so goddamn pretentious? Look, a reflective surface! The film could have been campy fun, but it's too busy taking itself so very seriously to let us laugh. But I didn't think it was good enough to justify all that heaviness. The people behind Burlesque set out to make a new camp classic, and wound up making a halfway decent movie by accident. The result was a film that was neither good enough to be good, nor bad enough to be funny. I felt similarly about Black Swan, but in reverse. They tried to make something artsy and deep, and didn't quite make it, but sucked all the fun out along the way. I think I had a better time at Burlesque.

Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy Black Swan. I did! Nina's transformation scenes were wonderfully creepy and cringe-inducing (in a good way), and her descent into madness was completely believable even though it was also completely absurd. The sequence where she turns into a swan onstage was one of the most beautiful things I've seen on screen in a long time. But it's really because of all that that I think the end of the movie left such a bad taste in my mouth, because in a pretty tightly-constructed world, where the lines of reality and madness were, if not exactly clearly drawn, drawn in a way that felt believable for Nina's experience, the final twist made not one bit of sense.

(Seriously, major spoilers.) So Nina performs an act of Swan Lake, then stabs Mila Kunis with a shard of mirror (never mind how she has time to hide the body and do a full makeup and costume change during a 15-minute intermission; that I can forgive), then performs act two, then finds out she didn't really stab Mila Kunis but actually stabbed herself (and she has, at some point, put back on the very white costume she supposedly stabbed herself in, then took off), pulls the mirror bit from her body and her white white costume, and dances a whole other act before a) dying and b) anyone notices she is bleeding all over the place. HUH??? Look, this girl has been hallucinating for days. I'm totally down with all of this stabbing being completely psychological. And a final reveal that the blood wasn't real and she just died of craziness (or, better yet, jumped off the thing and deliberately missed the crash pad) would have been all I needed to make the ending work.

Writing it out like that I think maybe it wasn't supposed to be real, but we do consistently see the blood in shots from other people's point of view, including at the very end, which hadn't been the convention of the movie until then. It was sloppy, and it made me leave the theater with a bad taste for the whole thing. The deeply pretentious credits ("Beth Macintyre/The Aging Swan" WE GET IT) were the final blow.

But, y'know, going through it now I think maybe I need to give it another chance on DVD. Maybe it's one of those movies that gets better on repeat viewings, when you know all the twists and can look for the clues. And enough people whose opinions I trust really really like it. On the other hand, my favorite professional movie critic, Slate's Dana Stevens, agrees with me pretty completely, so I'll leave you with a link to her. The review is good, the podcast is even better.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Hidden Dangers of Musical Theater

With Monday's news about a fourth show-stopping injury at Spider-Man, and all the attendant press and snark (my favorite comment, from JeffMacIsHere on Twitter: "I think it's time the producers of the Spiderman musical just go ahead and let Christine Daae play Spiderman."), my own feelings about the show have been swinging more wildly than a high school Peter Pan, and I keep thinking about one story in particular from early in my now-defunct stage management career. It filled my head enough that I decided to break my rule about blogging about theater. Hey, at least it's got me writing!

One of my first jobs was as a production assistant (a low-level member of the stage management team) on a technically complex Broadway show. At one point, after a scene change, the lights came up on an actor alone onstage. After a moment, another actor emerged from underneath the first one's elaborate costume. (I could explain why this was, but we'd be here for days.) The actors entered in a blackout, the second one crawling under the costume of the first, at the same time as a huge, heavy, automated wall flew in behind them. At our second preview, they were just a few inches too far upstage, and the wall landed on top of the costume and kept moving, wedging the crawling actor's head between it and the floor, before being stopped and reversed.

I didn't see any of this happen. PAs aren't on union contracts, and so aren't allowed to run shows on Broadway. They're mostly rehearsal assistants, but stay on through previews to help with those rehearsals, finish paperwork, etc. What I remember most about that day is how exhausted I was. It was our last day before a day off after two weeks of 12-hour tech rehearsals. We'd had our first preview the night before, then come in for two hours of morning rehearsal before this matinee. Everyone was kind of a wreck. I didn't have anything to do during the show that day, so I was half-asleep in the office, wearing a headset in case anyone needed me, and suddenly I heard the voice of the head carpenter in my ear screaming "Take it out, take it out, take it out!" and I ran to the stage.

I don't remember what happened next, but I do remember being out on the sidewalk, still wearing my headset and holding the cordless phone from the office, waiting to meet the paramedics and lead them in through the stage door. The headset was out of range, but it helped signal to the thousand or so audience members on the street that I worked there and please get out of my way. It also signaled this to a reporter who happened to be there to interview one of the actors after the show. I don't remember saying anything I shouldn't have, but I do remember being slightly terrified and looking around for our press agent.

The ambulance came and went, and I got in a cab to follow it. The stage managers stayed at the theater with the director to rehearse the understudy, and company management had to deal with all the patrons who didn't get to see the show, which meant lowly I was the only member of the management staff at the ER for a while. The rest of the cast was released and most of them showed up. It's not like in the movies where everyone is still wearing their costume and make-up, but it was definitely a strange waiting room to be in. And even though I'd had nothing to do with the accident personally, I remember how awful the whole thing felt for all of us. If any of us threw any blame around, it was only about how tired everyone was. No one got mad at the set, or the crew, or even at the director who'd worked us so hard (okay, maybe a little).

The accident had been the result of several little mistakes, most of which were only apparent in hindsight. The actors were in the wrong place. The furniture that was set at the same time as their entrance was in the wrong place too. The stage manager was watching on an infrared (night vision) monitor, but those have poor depth of field, so she couldn't tell anything was wrong until it was happening.

In the end, the actor was fine – lucky the wall stopped when it did, and with a mild concussion, but fine – and we took our scheduled day off and came back to work on Tuesday. The first order of business at that rehearsal was changing the transition where the accident had happened. The changes were small. The entrance was moved downstage a bit. The spike marks for the sofa were changed, and the actors now followed the crew on with it, and used it as a guide. A second infrared camera had been installed with an overhead/side view so the stage manager could see better. SMs and crew watched from either side of the stage.

I can't think of a single show I worked on later where there wasn't at least one odd cue that was in place because something had gone wrong once. From watching moving scenery that has no reason to fail but once did so we always make sure, to checking an actor's fly before he goes onstage, because there was this one time.... You prepare for as much as you can, but sometimes the mistake has to happen so you know it's even possible, and then you know how to prevent it.

Theaters are dangerous places. It's easy to forget that, since acting isn't brain surgery or firefighting, and if it's being done right it should look effortless to the audience. But big musicals are full of moving scenery and trap doors and lots of people in tight spaces in the dark. I've worked on small shows that were arguably more dangerous, since lack of space and technology meant lots of unique storage solutions, heavy lifting, and cramped quarters. There can be swords or guns or pyro or even just the fact that the act of pretending to be someone else sometimes takes you out of yourself enough to do something clumsy. Or you just happen to do something clumsy because we all do sometimes, only 1,000 people are watching.

And then there are dancers! People who willingly do crazy things with their bodies eight times a week. (See also, acrobats, athletes and circus people). Movements that might not be dangerous on their own can take a huge toll when combined with others and repeated over and over again. Choreography could be adjusted but usually isn't. But those injuries don't make the press, and no one goes on Twitter calling for the shutdown of the show. It's just the job, and there's a culture of sucking it up. What I did for love, and all that.

So I've been trying hard not to judge the Spider-Man situation too much. I have no idea what it's like in that theater, and I know from experience not to trust all the press reports and certainly not those audience eyewitness accounts of Monday's accident. They've been under such scrutiny from the day the show was announced, which adds to the swirl of emotions within the theater community, I think. There's a wish that Broadway would get this amount (though not this kind) of attention all the time. There's a lament that within the community we're so quick to jump bitchily on splashy failures or movie star stunt casting, but we're not equally vocal about supporting lesser-known shows that we love. That's a really good point. But it's wrapped up in the gripe that theater producers (commercial ones, especially) don't take enough risks, and what could be riskier than Spider-Man? I know they mean artistic risks like The Scottsboro Boys and Next to Normal, but why not also create a big spectacle the likes of which no one has ever seen before? One that will employ hundreds of people, and bring thousands of tourists to a Broadway show? The odds are so against them ever making their money back, even if no one had been injured and the show is a hit, I have to believe that there was once some real belief in the project, and in the joy of creating something wildly imaginative and special. That it appears not to have turned out to be that is unfortunate, but it's not like Julie Taymor is some hack without any artistic cred. This show is an artistic risk. You can't argue that it's not something new.

The economics of Broadway are simple, in that they are generally bad. Unlike a film, which pretty much costs what it costs once, and can be shown many times a day on many many screens and then move on to DVD, a live show can only go up eight times a week, in one place with only so many seats, and continues to incur costs every week. So the odds of making back your initial investment are generally against you. That's not to say that it's all for love and no one ever gets rich doing it, but in a world of gambles this one seems a little bit insane. So even without U2 or Julie Taymor or the accidents, this thing was always going to be a major story. It's the Titanic of musicals (which, oddly, wasn't Titanic: The Musical) and look how that turned out in the end.

The sad truth is that no matter how worked up we theater people may get about a show we love, the national press only cares about this story because of the apparent hubris behind the show and the potential for disaster. All the good vibes in the world won't make them report on a little show that most of the country won't even get an opportunity to see. I kind of wonder if most of the people who hear about Spider-Man care, even now. Living in the bubble of New York and the theater world, we can't get enough. Do most people skip over these stories like I do with sports news?

I, for one, was really looking forward to Spider-Man. I've been a Julie Taymor fan since long before The Lion King (this makes absolutely no sense out of context but it's the only clip I can find), and as much as I love serious musicals, I also love a good spectacle, and a good time. I also think a diverse season is good for the business, and I love to see giant touristy shows like this alongside smaller, "deeper" fare. Something for everyone. If it brings people to the city, or gives kids their first live theater experience, or employs my friends, I don't have to like it. Not that I've never made a snarky comment or six about a crappy show, but in the end I'm glad they're there. (For a great look at a particularly odd season, check out Show Business: The Road to Broadway.)

So I want to be supportive and not judgey since I don't know the whole story and I know if I worked there I wouldn't want to hear it. But I also know people in the show and I don't want them to get hurt. And when I read things like this (again, with a grain of salt), I have to wonder what they were thinking. Really? There was no verbal verification of being hooked in? I learned that at summer camp when I was 12.

To their credit, the folks at Spider-Man don't seem to have made the same mistake twice. But on most shows those mistakes don't involve falling 30 feet or more. I keep thinking about the exhaustion factor. The show has been in tech and previews for weeks now. Everyone is working incredibly long days at a physically demanding job. The technology might be safe, and the procedures might make perfect sense, but that environment can't be helpful. Again, I have no way of knowing this. I haven't seen their schedule. But remembering my own experience, which is nothing compared to this (well, the concussed actor might disagree), it's the thing I keep coming back to.

So I wish them well, in every sense. The show employs a lot of people, so I want it to run for a very long time. I want it to be a happy and safe workplace. I've paid for a ticket, so I want it to be entertaining. Lots of other people have paid for tickets, and I suspect for many it will be their first Broadway show, so I'd like it to stop being a punch line (as funny as those Conan sketches are, they're not exactly making the case for musical theater as a viable art form). Most of all, of course, I don't want anyone else to get hurt. I feel bad for the company having to go through this. I feel a little bad even writing about it, and contributing to the glut out there, but I guess I wanted more than 140 characters for a change.

And if the show runs, and tons of people come here to see the spectacle, I hope they see a smaller show the next night. The tickets even cost less! It will be totally worth your while.

I leave you with this, which is unfair, but so ridiculous that it shouldn't count:

Friday, October 29, 2010

On Facebook

This is another one of those posts I started forever ago and didn't finish and then it wasn't timely anymore. And then The Social Network came out and I still didn't finish it because really, what could I add to all that that would be of any interest? But then the other day I saw this on The Joy of Tech and then today Lifehacker had this ridiculous poll: "Is Facebook Evil?" As of this writing, I was one of only 7.37% of people who voted "No," with a whopping 51.65% picking "Yes." The other choices are "A little," and "Only where my privacy is concerned."

This makes me inexplicably mad. Inexplicable because I have no ties to Facebook and no particular reason to care about what people think of it, and it's a huge corporation that I suspect in my heart probably is a little bit evil. But all this "Facebook stole my privacy" nonsense just rubs me the wrong way, and always has, because I don't understand how anyone can really complain about a lack of privacy over things that they share on the internet. If I stood on a soap box in Times Square and shouted out status updates, people would think I was crazy. If I handed out photos of myself drunk at a party while I did it, no one would accuse the people who took those photos from me of invading my privacy. But somehow the internet makes doing basically the same thing eeeeevillllll, and also somehow not my fault.

I'm not saying Facebook hasn't done some iffy things. They don't communicate changes in policy or interface well enough. Or at all. That thing where going to certain sites installs, without your permission or even knowledge, an app in your Facebook account and we're not even sure why or what they do was deeply fucking shady. (Is that still around? It hardly got any press in the first place.) It's one thing for Facebook to do stuff with the information I share, but I do not want them monitoring my web traffic just for the hell of it unless I tell them they can. Mark Zuckerberg seems like kind of a dick (and I wrote this part months ago, so I'm not basing that on The Social Network's characterization at all.) I think he's a good case for why not a lot of 25-year-olds run multi-million dollar companies. Not that the experienced guys do it so well all the time, but there is a maturity thing. I won't be at all surprised if he brings about the Sontaran invasion of Earth. It would be nice if stricter privacy settings were opt-out instead of opt-in.

But also... I kind of see his point that the site is pointless without openness. Have you ever tried to look for a friend with a common name, only to find a completely blocked profile? If you don't share at least one photo or where you went to school or your birthday with everyone, your actual friends can't find you, and then why are you on Facebook at all?

Maybe I have the wrong perspective on this, seeing as how I'm making this argument from a blog, which I will later link to on Facebook and Twitter. I am clearly one of those self-absorbed over-sharers Aaron Sorkin hates. But I take responsibility for that. If I share things on the internet, they are inherently not private. That's actually the definition of sharing. Even if I never touched my privacy settings (which really aren't that hard to find or understand, but that's another story), I have control over my Facebook profile. There's no law that says I have to put my age, or my workplace, or post a photo, or update my status. I could easily use it to keep in touch with friends without sharing a thing.

It's true that there's some expectation on Facebook that you're only sharing with your friends and not the whole world. But, hello, duh, the internet. As Failbook proves, we all have "friends" who will happily take a screenshot at our expense. Anyone can tag a photo of you (I do wish they let you approve photos tagged by others before they go live, instead of just removing the tags after the fact). My boss isn't on Facebook, and professional colleagues who are not also non-work friends are blocked from much of my profile, but I would never write "I hate my boss" on Facebook. Because someone will see and it could get back to her. (I don't hate my boss, my boss is awesome, it's just a very commonly used example!)

A few months ago people were complaining about those "Like" buttons popping up on other websites, as if Facebook was somehow following them around. Even NPR anchors were acting like Facebook is somehow psychic. "It knows what I'm doing! It's Big Brother!" You share links on Facebook all the time, so what's the difference? Um, just because the button is there doesn't mean you have to click on it. No one is forcing you to "Like" anything.

People also seem to forget that Facebook is free, and yet we expect them to never go down, and to store all of our photos and everything else. How we've become a society that doesn't want to pay for anything is a topic for another, even more Andy Rooney-ish post, but I have to wonder why people are surprised or upset by targeted ads or anything else Facbook does to try to actually make money, as if that were so insane. And again, if you don't like it, why are you on the site? I bet most of those people who said Facebook is evil in that poll have accounts.

Look, people are stupid, and I just don't see how that's Facebook's fault. Our proverbial kids are going to be online whether we want them to or not. We need to be raising responsible users, just like we need to be teaching them about sex, or money, or generally not to be idiots. But we adults need to take responsibility for our own actions, and not act all surprised when (it's worth saying again) something we share on the internet winds up on the internet.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Year in Pictures

April 28: 365 West 52nd Street

Last summer, my friend Dave proposed a photo group. Anyone who wanted to join would take a photo every day for a year, from September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2010, and post it on Flickr. Dave's a pretty popular blogger and twitterer, so he attracted a pretty far-flung group of mostly strangers. Well, strangers to me, I suppose it's possible he knew all of them, but I don't think so. I knew a few of them in real life before we started, and met a couple more on a photo-taking trip to Roosevelt Island (I wish we'd done more of those), but mostly I spent a year communicating with these people through photos and the occasional comment. It was fun to see different people's approaches to the project, and get this weird peek into their lives. We did some theme days here and there, but there was no structure to the project, which was nice. One woman took a picture of her baby every day. Lots of us cooked a lot. I saw some beautiful sunsets and sunrises.

I've always liked taking photos, though I'm no expert and have no desire to be one. I think I have a pretty good eye, and I like the results I get with my little Sony point-and-shoot. I always say I should carry my camera with me more, but I never did it. I liked having a bit of structure to my photo-taking, though some days (especially near the end), it started to feel like homework I didn't want to do. It's a cliché, but it changed the way I looked at things. I looked up more, I noticed more things around me.

I think I only missed one day outright. I will admit I missed some other days but I posted photos from other days to make up for them. Yes, it's cheating, shut up! Considering how many people didn't make it through the year, I feel fine about my occasional reinterpretation of the rules. And for all the days when I took a hasty picture of the cat before bed, there were days when I took many photos and had a hard time deciding which one to post. Which explains why the final set has 372 pictures in it. (Two also got eaten in a weird iPhoto/Flickr sync glitch, mysteriously gone from both forever.)

With the year over, I made a list of what I thought were the trends (and one deliberate anti-trend) in my pictures. Today, as I counted, was the first time I'd sat and gone through all 365 (um, 372) photos. They form a neat little visual diary. There were a bunch I'd completely forgotten about. Most of the trends I identified were spot on, though some of the numbers were higher or lower than I expected, and as I looked I found a few more patterns. Some of my categories are a little arbitrary and so is my counting. But it seemed like a fun way to share some of my favorites here. (Click a photo to view full-size.)

  • Photos of the cat: 27
    October 4: Fat Sleeping CatDecember 28: So Cute, So PointyJanuary 22: Paws UpFebruary 28: Radish, Protector of SocksMarch 28: Nap BurrowJune 6: Glamor Shot
    I thought there'd be way more of these!

  • Photos of food (or drink): 60
    September 5: HomeOctober 8: Katz's DeliOctober 29: MargaritaNovember 27: Best. Sandwich. EVER.February 27: Quack!March 27: Top ChefAugust 1: Citrus Pound Cake

  • Photos of or taken from subways and subway stations: 31
    September 3: 82nd St Station, Jackson HeightsNovember 10: Danger/WarningOctober 30: Roosevelt Avenue and 82nd Street, Jackson HeightsJanuary 28: SisyphusFebruary 18: Roosevelt Avenue and 83rd StreetMarch 12: Dismantled Token Booth
    I thought there were more of these too!

  • Photos of the NYC skyline or major landmarks: 28
    November 25: West 34th Street and 8th AvenueDecember 29: 14th Street and Irving PlaceFebruary 19: Lincoln CenterMarch 16: Junction Blvd.March 29: Ominous SkylineJune 18: Long Island City RooftopJuly 1: Spires (Union Square looking North)July 7: Hot in the City 2August 15: Flushing Meadows

    • Of those, photos of the Empire State Building: 10
      October 6: West 35th St. between 6th and 7th Aves.December 27: Caught Between the Moon and New York City (W. 33rd St. btwn Broadway and 6th Ave)Februrary 11: ESB and icicles (W 34th Street between 7th and 8th Aves)February 20: Reflection (6th Avenue and 42nd Street)
      Not nearly enough of the Chrysler Building, which is actually my favorite, but I work really close to the ESB.

  • Photos taken outside of NYC: 43
    November 18: Water, Earth and Sky November 20: Sears Tower, ChicagoFebruary 22: Dupont Circle, Washington, DCMarch 18: Lincoln Memorial from the WWII MemorialApril 19: Amazing California SkyMay 1: Drawbridge, Indiantown Road, Jupiter, FLJune 2: Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, CTJuly 18: Weston, VT
    This one surprised me too. I didn’t realize I'd spent so many days out of town!

    • Of those, photos taken outside of the US: 5
      January 16: Berlin Holocaust Memorial and the ReichstagJanuary 17: Berliner DomJanuary 17 Alternate: Jewish Cemetery, Berlin

  • Photos with people as the subject: 5
    June 26: CalvinApril 5: Big Banana
    (Okay, the weird-ass giant banana is really the subject of the second one.)

  • Photos of ruined, crumbling or abandoned things: 9
    September 14: W. 37th St. btwn 8th and 9th AvesNovember 7: Roosevelt Island December 7: 10th Street between E and F Streets NW, Washington, DCFebruary 13: Neighborhood Tragedy (37th Aveue and 84th Street, Jackson Heights)February 14: After the FireJuly 30: Roosevelt Avenue between 89th and 90th Streets

  • Attempted "artsy" close-ups of objects (not including food and cat porn above): 36
    September 28: HomeOctober 5: $119.50January 31: LampJuly 25: Sleeve

  • Photos in or out the windows of my office: 18
    September 30: Office WindowOctober 14: Organizey!

  • Photos of or out the windows of my apartment (where you can really see the apartment, so again not the food or cat porn – this was a weak category to choose!): 17
    September 27: HomeOctober 24: KitchenDecember 19: Stormy Night

  • Photos taken at work events: 4
    October 18: Conference BeveragesOctober 20: Festival

  • Photos of or in theatres: 14
    September 6: Avenue Q, NYCOctober 15: Union Square TheatreOctober 27: Play: W 41st St between 7th and 8th Aves, ManhattanDecember 20 Alternate: West 76th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.January 12: Barrow Street TheaterMarch 31: Broadway SunsetJuly 20: '62 Center for Theatre and Dance, Williams College (Williamstown Theatre Festival)August 19: Thursday Night on the Broad Way

  • Photos taken into the sun: 16
    October 19: 82nd Street and Roosevelt AvenueDecember 20 Alternate: Amsterdam Avenue between 74th and 75th StreetsMay 7: Chelsea SchoolJune 7: West 66th Street and BroadwayJuly 6: Hot in the City
    I thought there would be more of these. This is definitely a visual tick that I have.

  • Photos of screens: 9
    September 21: Symphony Space, NYCNovember 21: Three ScreensJanuary 10: Barrow Street TheaterApril 15: ScreensAugust 31: Meta

  • Jokes or Puns: 5 (Mouse-over for captions)
    December 18: [Don't] Stop Believe[ing] (West 34th Street and Broadway, Manhattan)March 7: The Great Muppet Capers

  • Photos taken with my phone: 6

  • Photos I don't like: 12 (Pretty good, out of 372!)

And here are some more I really like that don't match any of the categories above:
September 29: W 37th St. & 8th AveOctober 11: Midtown Community Court / American Theatre of Actors, W. 54th St. btwn 8th & 9th AvesOctober 26: 83rd Street and 37th Avenue, Jackson HeightsDecember 17: Empire Hotel Lobby (63rd and Broadway, Manhattan)April 1: Spring?June 25: 9th Avenue and 51st Street

Here's the whole set.

This was fun. Thanks to Dave and to everyone else in the group. One of the things I'd like to do as I try to blog more is post more photos (not quite this many!), so I'm hoping to keep carrying my camera and taking more pics. Just probably not every day.