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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

To Sum Up

There is so much I’ve failed to mention the past few weeks. To quickly sum up:

The Producers with Siannan last week was a hoot. I’m a sucker for musicals, so this was perfect for me. I kept having that “Oh look at Matthew Broderick, he’s not Ferris Bueller’s age anymore” moment, but I got over it. He and Nathan Lane were both fabulous. And Will Ferrell was actually not annoying, which really surprised me. And Uma Thurman was too perfect as Ulla. Hummana-hummana.

Back in December, we went to see Rent with Siannan. That’s when we saw the preview for the Producers and decided we simply must go see that together when it comes out. Rent was interesting. It was the entire original cast, save 2 characters – with Rosario Dawson doing Mimi and Tracie Thoms (from Wonderfalls) as Jo-Ann. The songs were great. Seeing it all again was nostalgic. But really, I was to smack the director. Part of the thing with Rent is that all this stuff (the entire first act) takes place in one night. It’s one intense night that changes everything forever. Only in the movie, it’s stretched out over a week. Maybe they thought, “No one will buy that all this occurs in one day.” But that’s just stupid because I’ve had those days. More than once. Anyway, that annoyed me a lot. Then they also sanitized the show a bit by cutting Contact and replacing it with a very clinical death scene for Angel. There was some other stuff too that seemed to be changed for the sake of a PG-13 rating. They also cut a couple of other songs, some of which really didn’t make sense anymore because of the change to the timeline, but another that just seemed to be lost, shortening the compressed time scale of the second act even further. There was also a lot of other problems with carelessness. They specifically stated in the opening scene that this was 1989, but there are references to things that didn’t happen until after then in the lyrics. And there’s other things like anachronistic cars and such. I could forgive that, but why 1989? 1995 or 96 is so much more appropriate. The whole thing with Rent was that it was immediate and current at the moment it debuted. After 9/11, the story acts like a snapshot immortalizing that early dot-com era where there was urban renewal coming in and taking over the urban wastelands that the homeless and the artists had claimed as their own. I mean, the whole idea of a cyber-arts studio in 1989 is a little wonky. Mergle. Anyway, I could clearly rant about this all for a while. I was hoping to get to see the movie a second time, but it was gone from even my local art houses before I got back from the Christmas holidays.

Speaking of holidays, I did very much enjoy my trip to Washington. I miss seeing Camryn grow up. She’s going to a really cool co-op pre-school. You know it’s a good place when you show up to pick her up and she says to me and her dad that we have to wait because she has to do her second turn with the puppet show. She really likes it there, and she really loves her sister. And her sister Ella is such a totally different person from Camryn. They’re truly a fascinating experiment in nature versus nurture, because they’ve been so different from birth. Ella thinks she can do everything Camryn can do, and she tries and makes it most of the time even though she’s 2 and Camryn is 5. Camryn is a bit of a perfectionist and won’t do anything unless she’s confident she can do it well. Ella just dives in and tries everything. Anyway, I just love them both and wish I could spend more time with both of them.

Meanwhile, hanging out in Richland with Frank and Janelle was fabulous too. Janelle makes yummy enchiladas. And there’s this weird store called Griggs. It’s like a hardware store that got a little out of control and took over a whole block in Pasco. And pellet stoves are just cool. Little pellets trickle in and make lots of fire and heat and not lots of ash. Very very cool. The only problem with Richland is that it borders the Hanford Reach. So Frank works for Bechtel as a sysadmin, but the group he’s working for is working on developing a nuclear waste management solution, because the nuclear waste from the research of the last 60 years is stored really nearby. That’s kinda creepy. But so long as nothing goes wrong, they get to live in a nice small town with 3 rivers, lots of fishing, some snow, and a hot tub in their backyard, and boy are housing prices cheap!

So I flew back to town on the 30th and had this quiet little fantasy about being home. Ha! I repacked a bag and bundled up my entry for the Tivo Ambassador contest and headed to San Francisco. We had tickets to Corteo, and Rick had gotten us (both my mom and us) hotel rooms in SF for the night so that we needn’t drive home after the show. But there were a few things that went wrong. First, my flight was bumpy to say the least, and I was all kinds of nauseous, so I hadn’t eaten anything all day. Okay, I ate one ginger snap when I got home. And then packed up and left, dropping the packet at Tivo, heading to the city to check in. But the reservation was kind of messed up, so that took 45 minutes to sort out. Then my mom was lost in the city. Then I realized I forgot the tickets at home. We got to dinner about 45 minute late much to my great embarrassment, but beyond that, I was so hungry by then that I was really failing to function. Dinner was nice, but would’ve been better with more time. We scooted out of Acme across to the tent in the pouring rain. Thankfully, the show was fantastic. It was a real departure for Cirque du Soleil, refocusing, reinventing circus again. They’re good at that. And I feel sorry for any parent that took their young child to the show to see people bouncing on beds and hanging from chandeliers and using ladders as stilts. It was a fantastic show, and I think everyone wants to fly (float) like Balletina. Magical. I would say more, but this summary is already too long, and it might spoil the surprise for anyone still going to see it. After the show, we were completely unable to find a cab, so back out to the pouring rain, walking to the Caltrain station five blocks away to get a cab. I’ve not been that wet while dressed in a good long time, if ever. We scrapped plans for dessert in favor of hot showers and dry jammies.

The next morning we had breakfast at Café Mason, which I love more and more every time I eat there and then went out for a bit of shopping on Union Square. I found a great jacket for Rick at Macy’s for a relatively reasonable price in the Young Men’s department, so finally he has a stylish jacket rather than the ugly fleece thingy. Then we regrouped for tea at the King George hotel. So then Rick and I sent my mom and her friend Miriam on their way, and wandered up toward Chinatown to scout for the Browncoat Ball. With a yummy fresh bao in hand, we browsed through several shops, stumbling on a cherry print piece of luggage that matched my purse and several nice Chinese jackets for less than $50. I was sorely tempted, but not really in a buying mood. So we started to head home, and got part of the way there, then decided that I really did want to go dancing. So I did a quick change in the car and off to Friday Night Waltz for New Year’s Eve. There was dancing and more dancing and then some more dancing. It was good, save for the Brassworks making some odd choices. After the ball, we went to Cynthia and Alex’s place for a little champagne and treats and I had my sole piece of See’s Candy for the year (scotch-mallow). Then on the way home, I said to Rick, “All I want to do tomorrow is stay in bed. All day. Maybe get up and make food.” He thought this sounded like a capital idea, so we basically did that. New Year’s Day passed in a flurry of cat snuggles, cinnamon rolls, and viewing of 1940’s House on DVD while lounging in bed. It was perfect.

The next day I had to get ready to return to the office. Lots of laundry and tidying and a couple of errands, going to see Brokeback Mountain with Athena, and removing a fallen tree branch from the neighbor’s orange tree from our tree so that I could get the car out in the morning. And back to the normal day by day.

And yes, I do need a vacation to recover from my vacation.

Let’s see, coming up going to ACT to see Sexual Perversity in Chicago next Wednesday, then going to see Lestat, the Musical the Wednesday after that. Then there’s Tempest and Avalon Rising at the Starry Plough on the 27th, and the Fezziwig’s Cast Party on the 28th. Also, Monday, I’m planning to make it to the Plough as I have the day off and it’s Plaid Monday. Plaid Monday is the Monday after Plough Monday, when the sword dancers come for a demo. Plaid Monday is the annual wearing of the plaid. The person with the most different plaids wins.


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