“Wanting to go back and change things”: a conversation with Julia Tenney

“Wanting to go back and change things”: a conversation with Julia Tenney


About this episode

We start by talking about the possible death of TikTok in the USA and move on to introduce Julia Tenney and marvel over her pysanky eggs, the methods for their creation, and their Ukrainian and eastern European roots. Lionel discusses the historical Piranesi and his sketches. This leads us to talk about dreams and their origins and consequences. We launch into a discussion of Dune, the books by Frank Herbert, and a little about the first recent movie. None of us had seen the second. Lionel mentions his enjoyment of the movie Bullet Train, directed by David Leitch, not Guy Ritchie with Brad Pitt.

We talk a bit about The Fifth Element and Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets which Lionel says taps into the aesthetic of the artist Moebius.

Julia recommends a book called House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski which must be enjoyed physically as a printed book. She is also reading S. (Dorst) (Ship of Theseus) by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams which is also full of printed marginalia. Finally, she says she read The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland which is about time travel and witchcraft. Julia also mentions The Midnight Library by Matt Haig about someone with regrets who moves into the multiverse to experience alternate timelines.

Jim mentions that he has some Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz books to return to Julia. Jim is a regular listener to their podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Julia mentions, correctly, that she was responsible for our podcast’s name.

We finally get down to the “Theme” which is Julia’s quantum daydreaming. She talked about going back to Pennsic Warwhich is a medieval reenactment festival in Western Pennsylvania. She found out recently that her ex, who fought for her in Crown Tournaments, is dying from something fatal and painful. So, she’s been thinking about quantum reality and doing meditations on it via The 3AM Reading and the Reality Shifting Reddit. We talk about lucid dreaming and meditation practices involving dreams. Jim quotes the title of a John Cougaralbum and Lionel quotes Miller from The Expanse. Lionel also mentions the German TV series Counterpart, where there are 2 Berlins superimposed upon each other. Jim brings up Robert Downey Junior today vs in the 80s and talks about his own past decisions.

Jim says he wants to see a fanfic erotic love story written about the podcast. We act out a little of what it would be like. Lionel says his fantasy is to make a porn movie with all the sex cut out. Jim says he wrote that song and Julia remembers him doing a mashup of Porno Plot with Meanies, sung in a Christopher Walken voice.

We agree to talk more about Vampires in our next meeting and Julia says it wasn’t Anne Rice who brought Dracula back but the Broadway Show and the movie with Frank Langela. Jim wonders why vampires are so sexy. Lionel contrasts the characters of Dracula and Frankenstein and says he wants to see the movie The Master and Margarita.

In closing, Julia plugs her website where you can view and buy her pysanky eggs, and Jim and she talk about their original meeting in Syracuse and Utica.