Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Update: Week 3

I give up. I swear I would have posted this one Sunday night, just like I planned, but I got home from church (yes, there are churches that take people like me) and found that once again Time Warner wasn't servicing me. My internet and land line were down until late last night. Too late even for me. I see a pattern here. Either I'm just a cheater or the Blogverse is fucking with me. Or both.

Oh what a gray, moist Sunday it was too. As Martini and I walked out of church he said, "What is this ... this in the air? It appears to be ambiguous precipitation." Ambiguous precipitation. I love that. Over the course of a few days we really did run the gamut from heavy snow to freezing sleet and rain to thunder and lightning last night. It was a good day to just stay home and .... and what? What the hell did I used to do before the internet?

Not to bore the shit out of you because the day wasn't really worthy of a novel, but I got a hell of a lot more done than I normally would have. I started by throwing some laundry in the washer and then stretching out on my Humvee big bed to read The Help* on my Kindle. That, of course, led to a long, delicious nap. Who doesn't love a nap? After my nap I checked to see if I had internet yet, crocheted a pair of glittery hot pink booties for Coraline, did more laundry, tried to get on the internet, graded all the papers in my backpack and planned lessons for Tuesday, played the piano with no interruptions, reset my modem so I could get on the internet, talked to Elvira on my cell phone 5 times, tortured myself with a long, painful yoga workout, tried the internet again, ate enough chocolate to balance the calories I burned with the yoga, and knocked a few TV shows off my DVR. 

Eventually I called Time Warner only to be told my modem wasn't connecting to the internet -- fortunately they don't charge me for telling me the fucking obvious -- and that Aaron would be glad to get someone out here as early as Wednesday. I said, "That's not acceptable." He said he'd be glad to keep an eye on the mumbledyshit and let me know if an appointment opened up on Monday. I said, "That's not acceptable, Aaron." He said he wanted more than anything to give me an appointment earlier than Wednesday, but he just didn't have anything available. I said, "That's not acceptable." He said sometimes people cancel but right now there's nothing before Wednesday. I said, "That's not acceptable. And give me credit for the three days or longer I won't have phone or internet." Really? Really. He did it and then he said, "Oh look! An all-day appointment just opened up for tomorrow. Do you want it?" Thanks, Aaron. I thought we might be able to find something that would require me to stay home all day and wait for your technician to call fifteen minutes before he comes out. It didn't matter. For some reason the problem resolved itself.

I also cleaned my sock drawer. I'm still don't remember why I saved all those baby teeth.

See? I did a lot. Maybe my internet should go down periodically just so I'd get more done at home. On to the update.
  • I attended "can night"** for a local professional production of RED, which won the 2010 Tony for best play. It's a story about abstract expressionist painter, Mark Rothko, and a fictitious assistant, Ken. I'm not sure what I missed that other people saw -- the two-man cast got a rousing standing ovation, although it could be that the lack of an intermission meant people were eager to stretch their legs. I know I was -- but I didn't like it. The performances were excellent, but the script left me sleepy. Such self-indulgent narcissism. If the guy didn't want to sell couch art, nobody was forcing him. Then again, no artist is guaranteed a living from his art. I didn't care a bit about either of the characters, even when Ken revealed a horrible story about his family. Just didn't care. Rothko didn't either. The beginning of the play summed it up for me: Ken shows up for his first day of work; Rothko asks him what he sees -- and then delivers several self-centered monologues before Ken can answer. Finally Ken says, "Red." I could have left the theater then. To be fair though, several of the people I went with loved it and were still moved the next day. You shouldn't avoid it because of my recommendation.
Wait! There was a dog in the movie?
  • I do not have the same complaints about The Artist, although the play and the movie share the similar theme of an artist who can't or won't keep up with changes brought about by commercialism. Maybe it's because Jean Dujardin is so fucking hot, but I don't think even his "oh my god one cookie with this man and I'd be set for life" sexiness alone would carry a movie that has no color -- not even red -- and no talking, just a soundtrack. I almost expected not to like it. There's a reason film-makers started adding speech and then color to movies, right? We like that shit. It's real. It keeps us interested. It allows for nuance and subtlety, as opposed to the manic over-acting and simplified, derivative plots of the silent movie era. The Artist, despite its lack of color and talk, delivered more subtlety and nuance than I've seen in any movie in a long time. It's a brilliant, heartbreaking tribute to the genre. I rarely give out A's -- ask my students --but this one gets an A. So does Jean Dujardin's mouth. I wonder if I can stalk him on Twitter.

"... the small of a woman's back,
the hanging curve ball ..."
  • I helped my good friend, sometimes cycling partner, and most excellent photographer the Architect with a nuts-and-beer reception for a photography exhibit he has hung this month. In other words, I poured the beer, collected money, and laughed at Architect's dirty puns. And I finally found a beer I can tolerate. I've tried hundreds of beers and I've never found one that didn't taste like raccoon piss in the back of my throat. Not the Schlitz my dad used to give me sips of from the time I was two, and not the expensive artisan beers my friends bring to my house. The Architect has been trying for years to find a beer I would drink more than a tablespoon of. I just don't like it .... until now. I finally found a beer I can swallow: Curve Ball Blonde Ale. I drank at least two full ounces of it and it didn't taste at all like raccoon piss. Not even squirrel piss. I can hardly believe I'm saying this, but it almost tasted good. It's like finding the holy grail. My only complaint is that they don't seem to brew a ginger ale. ***

  • Later I braved the winter storm to hang out at a local watering hole and play pool to celebrate a theatre sister's birthday. Even with my own stick, I'm a lousy pool player, but the upside of that is that games take longer and the night costs less overall. I'm apparently incorrigible about getting overly friendly with the natives though. It happens too often to be considered accidental any more, but I still apologize and act surprised. One of the natives actually seemed disappointed kind of pissed off when I refused to give out my phone number. It's not personal. Maybe if he'd helped me scrape half an inch of ice off my van windows when I left, but ..... no. I leave with the stick I came with.

  • Saturday night I went to a winter party where I ate lots of good food --I'm afraid I'm going to have to buy a tricycle just to carry my weight on the bike path this spring -- drank lots of good wine -- I wasn't driving -- and reconnected with many old friends I hadn't seen much of in the past few months. It felt good to be in a place where everybody knows my name, and my kids' names, and even my LtColEx's name. Where we share stories and history.
Weekend Wrap-Up

What made me laugh:

David Thorne at 27bslash6 always makes me laugh. Read some of his other pieces too. Kevin gave up way sooner than most people do.

What made me cry:

It's the heroes. They get me every damn time.

That's it for tonight. Have a great week!

* Just read it. There's a reason why so many people are reading this book, and it's not because of the movie. I'd be glad to write a review if anybody cared, but better you just read it.

** As part of their service to the community, the theater opens a dress rehearsal to the public and collects food instead of ticket money.

*** Either you got the pun or you didn't.


  1. How do you know what raccoon and squirrel piss taste like? I am guessing that ginger ale would probably taste like reticulated piss but I am not offering to do the taste comparison.

  2. I'm guessing even Curve Ball Blonde Ale wouldn't work for me. Only beer I've ever liked is the one sip after busting my butt on a real hot day and I'm drenched in sweat and so hot I'm nearing the boiling point. One sip -- that's it. Even in the service doing heavy work in the Gitmo area where the beer rations were plentiful -- I still preferred the cold water to the beer.

  3. Vapor, I don't really. So much of my life only happens in my imagination.

  4. Rollo, I expect I won't like it much the next time I try it. But drinking two ounces was significant! And maybe gave me a tummy ache. I'll probably stick with hard cider when I want to drink from a bottle or can. People tend to stare when I drink from a wine bottle. Busybodies.