Just saw the Off Broadway production of ‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche.’ My friend, Thea Lux is in it, which is why I went, but I think you ought to check it out, too, if you like having a good time. I’m not a theater reviewer, but it has been getting good reviews, including one in the Times. The funny parts were REALLY funny, and there were a lot of them, though some stretches went longer that I’d like. You’ll pick up on the running joke early on, and just when you think it’s going to be beaten into the ground, the play shifts. You can bring your drinks up into the theater from the bar downstairs, which seems like a fun way to watch theater. The show is running until 11/20 on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, at the SoHo Playhouse. Check it out.
Wellesley College museum loses a painting. That’s got to be embarrassing in the, “You have one job, don’t throw away paintings,” kind of way.
I can’t help but be disappointed by a movie that garnered as much hype as The Dark Knight did. This movie was great and I can’t wait to see it again, actually, but neither the movie, in general, or Heath Ledger, specifically, lived up to the my incredibly and irrationally high expectations. Sitting in the 2nd row of the theater couldn’t have helped, either.
I hadn’t seen the Nutcracker in about 20 years (which is a weird thing to be able to say), but I don’t remember it pandering to children as much then as it did now. Also, the Nutcracker had a giant man’s mask, not a nutcracker mask, and the bandage around his neck was mysteriously missing. Some of the dances had too much to take in going on all over the stage – made me feel ADD.
An unfinished Dickens’ mystery turned into a musical. Ribald and good natured, the MC outshone his cast mates. Not much catchiness in the songs, breaking what I would imagine is rule number 1 when writing a musical.
Sarah Ruhl was a classmate of mine at Brown, and I think I even took a creative writing class with her; clearly, she’s better at it than I am. I liked, but didn’t love this play, though, and I can’t quite understand its critical acclaim. The first act was tight, funny, and affecting; the second act was kind of a mess.
Some of my discontent probably had to do with the performance. The actors were, as is usually the case at Trinity, generally excellent (only Cynthia Strickland as Lane fell into the usual Trinity trap where LOUD substitutes for intense), but the direction didn’t work for me; it was performed in the downstairs theater, but seemed to be staged for a proscenium space rather than the 3/4 arrangement (there were a few key moments that we just couldn’t see). Also, the final act’s interminable “washing the body” scene was probably supposed to be quietly affecting — alas, it was just boring.
Still, Ms. Ruhl clearly has talent. If you’re looking for a thoughtful work on the nature of humor and of women’s relationships to one another, and if you’re looking for some good laughs, I’d check it out.
Saw the Buddy Cianci movie last night at, appropriately enough, the Providence Place Mall. While I don’t think it was a particularly good film, it told a very interesting story. I don’t know how interesting it would be to someone who doesn’t live in Providence, and I imagine that watching the movie with a theater full of Providence folks (Providencians?) adds significantly to the experience. My two companions left the movie with more sympathy for Buddy than when they went in.
Gods and Generals was a cross between Ken Burns’ Civil War series, Masterpiece Theater/BBC remake, and any number of annoyingly aphoristic characters from any period drama based on history. The movie was based around the story of Stonewall Jackson, but it left out most of his well-known idiosyncrasies. If you have 3 hours and 38 minutes to kill, you might give this movie a shot, but know you’re in for the long haul; the long, boring haul.
12:00: What are the chances that President Palmer caves to Tom Lennox? There are reasons that people like Tom Lennox are aides instead of presidentsâ€¦ I wonder if â€œ24â€ respects that. If it was so easy for Wayne Palmer to be persuaded, he would be a Tom Lennox type of guy and not a President.
-So Karen is going to be on the show, a couple hours from now. Lame.
-â€œItâ€™s my job to worry.â€ Oh Graham, donâ€™t be so dramatic. You sound like a high school theater student. Itâ€™s Jack Bauerâ€™s job to worry, not yours.
12:08: Uh, right. Graham sent two guys to kill Jack Bauer? Only two? More importantly, Jack Bauer knows theyâ€™re going try to kill him. Could it be any more obvious whatâ€™s about to happen?
-JBKC: 6 (Grahamsâ€™ guys). Nope, it couldnâ€™t have been any more obvious what was about to happen..
-Is it suspicious that Jack Bauerâ€™s dad shot that guy right in the heart?
12:10: I wonder who the new engineer is. Is it possible itâ€™s Morris? Chase? Why else would they make a point of saying â€œHe wonâ€™t work willingly.â€
12:16: So by 12:26, we should be able to see the picture on the profile.
-Hal Turner, wonderful. Iâ€™d love to be Agent Hal Turner. Also, Iâ€™d love to know how Graham is the leader of a multi-national terrorist organization, one that reaches presidents, and he doesnâ€™t have guards or cameras in his house? Heâ€™s going to be surprised in his own house? Uh, yeah, right.
-And his wife says heâ€™s the worst liar and always has been? HOW DID HE FOOL JACK BAUER?!
-You seem to be a little overmatched, Graham, you ought to put the gun down.
-I hope Jack Bauer stabs him in the knee this time.
-Oh Marilyn, stop looking at Jack Bauer that way. His heart feels love in a whispery way.
-Marilyn knows what happens when Jack Bauer tries to protect peopleâ€¦ Weâ€™ve all seen it, Marilyn, and youâ€™re right.
-â€œI panicked.â€ Thatâ€™s why you tried to kill your brother and father? Um, Iâ€™m not sure thatâ€™s going to fly.
-So Graham really is a terrible liar and always was. And yet Jack Bauer believed him? Iâ€™ve never been more disappointed in Jack Bauer.
12:27: Morrisâ€™ brother is sick? Is Morris going to take off and then get coerced into making Nukes?
-Chloe, you have a tender way that brings all the Morrisâ€™ to the yard.
-Torture Scene 4. I never would have thought that â€œ24â€ would have Jack Bauer torturing a family member twice in three hours.
-Graham sweats a lot.
-Hold him, Jack Bauer, he needs you now. Iâ€™m thinking itâ€™s unlikely this is going to end well for Graham Bauer. Jack Bauer was shown up by Assad in a torture showdown and now he canâ€™t relent.
-Why is Graham dropping this now? This is a Patriotic thing? This doesnâ€™t have anything to do with nukesâ€¦
-I wonder if any of that is admissible in court.
12:40: I was kind of hoping that â€œ24â€ was going to do the usual thing and just drop Walid as a character. Itâ€™s pretty cool that heâ€™s all patched up and resting now only one hour from when he got beat down. I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s feasible.
-Morris was supposed to be done with the photo unscrambling 15 minutes ago or so.
-Morris is a warez pirate! Downloading an unlicensed application.
12:44: For some reason today, all the TV stations are tuned to CN8 or something. They were all on Fox a couple hours ago. I wonder why the change.
-Jack Bauer DID deserve a better family.
-Iâ€™m pretty sure that Jack Bauerâ€™s dad is going to either kill himself or do more plotting. Thatâ€™s what theyâ€™re setting up anyway.
12:50: Who is it? Who is it? Who is it?
-Another conniving power grabbing Vice President? It seems a little soon to be reusing a plot line, isnâ€™t it? They used this LAST YEAR.
-Yes! Wayne Palmer has a spine. Tom Lennox and the VP must be shocked, SHOCKED.
-The Founderâ€™s intended for the Constitution to be used during war and during peace time. Tom Lennox is going to blow a gasket.
-Wayne Palmer is pretty much saying some revolutionary stuff. Too bad he wasnâ€™t around for the 2004 election.
-â€œWe are governed by the rule of law and not by the politics of fear.â€
-â€œThe discussion on this matterâ€¦is over.â€
-If Morris just drove out, why wouldnâ€™t they get someone to follow him.
-Oh shit. Again, it seems like if Morris was going to be expecting that, he might have been better suited to escape.
12:56: Jack Bauerâ€™s dad is up to no good.
-â€œIâ€™ll hold my mud, dad.â€ â€œEverything is going exactly as planned.â€ â€œMeanwhile, the company lives on.â€
-So I guess they didnâ€™t have those monitors on Graham anymore. Too bad.
-His death was predictable.
-They didnâ€™t have a medical team on scene at Grahamâ€™s house?
If I do say so myself, I had a brilliantly successful prediction earlier in the show (Morris), and a slightly less brilliant more predictable prediction (Jack Bauerâ€™s dad killing Jack Bauerâ€™s brother). This is why you tune in, right?
It’s the morning after Valentine’s Day. We had a fabulous dinner at our favorite restaurant: a complimentary Kir Royale, a 7-course tasting menu, and wine paired to each course. A gustatory extravagance. We didn’t get to sleep until well after midnight, and I overslept, and now I have a headache and I’m running late and of course the car is almost out of gas. I pull into the Shell station around the corner (I know, I’m supposed to go to Hess because they give more political money to Democrats but, see above, I’m running late).
Just as I’m finishing up and pulling the nozzle out of the tank, he comes up to me. His car is idling at the pump on the other side of the island. He’s wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap and he ambles — that’s the only word for it — over to me, and heartily wishes me a good morning and a Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m wary but I return the greeting. He introduces himself: his name is Mike. I replace the gas cap, tell him I’m Mâ€”, and head towards my door.
“Mâ€”! I’ll remember that: M&M’s, we have the same first letter.”
Then he launches into his story. It’s windy, and his enunciation isn’t perfect, but I get the gist. He lives in Newport. He’s out of gas. He lost his wallet. He wants some money for gas, and suddenly, I’m flashing back to San Francisco, six years ago.
I’m 23 or 24. I’m in San Francisco for a week, sent out by my company to work on some ridiculous software project that we shouldn’t have started in the first place. The customer is pretty crazed, and we’re all working 10-hour days. I have a cold. My dad’s in the hospital. I’m tired, sick, and I want to go home.
Actually, all I want at this point is to get to my hotel, which means hailing a cab. I really, really suck at hailing cabs. It’s stressful and terrifying and part of why I don’t live in a real city. Whenever I’m in New York, I have to have someone else get the cab for me. It’s pathetic, really. Once Rachel and I were in New York for a romantic weekend to see a Broadway show (Ragtime) and we started walking from the theater to our hotel when we realized it was fricking freezing out and we were stupid and should take a cab. I made a few half-hearted attempts to get one on my own, and then guiltily slunk into a line for cabs outside some random hotel and let the doorman hail one for us. Not my proudest moment.
So anyway, I’m standing on this corner in downtown San Francisco, sniffling, hungry, and exhausted, when I see this guy walking towards me. He’s tall, well-dressed, African-American, and striding down the block with great purpose. He greets me, asks if I’m from around here, and launches into his story. I can’t remember the details, but you can probably guess the broad outlines, car broke down, wife’s sick, lost wallet, needs money for repairs, etc.
Right away I can tell it’s a scam. His patter is too good. He even slips up once — even after I told him that I’m not from San Francisco, he still says the line, “I don’t have AAA, and your police are no help.” Your police. If he was telling the truth, if he was talking off the top of his head, would he have made that mistake? I didn’t think so. But somehow I find myself taking out my wallet and giving him $40 anyway.
I don’t know why I did it. No, that’s not true; I know exactly why I did it. I was tired and miserable, and didn’t have the energy to make a scene or argue with him. I remember he took my business card, like he was going to somehow pay me back or something. I finally went back inside, called a cab company to come pick me up, and finally made it into bed. I felt like an idiot. I felt like even more of an idiot a few days later on a shuttle to the airport, when I heard the two guys in the seat in front of me talking about being approached by the same guy with the same story and telling him to get lost.
So back in the present day, Mike’s asking for money, and I’m not going to give him any. I start to stammer out excuses. (Literally. I know that’s an expression people use, but I actually began to literally stammer out excuses.) I had no cash on me. (True.) I was running late. (True.) I was really, sincerely sorry I couldn’t help him.
“You’re not sorry,” Mike said, walking away in disgust. “If you were sincere, you’d help me out.”
I got in my car, and I drove away.
And Mike was right. I thought about it on the way to work. I decided he was scamming me, and so I turned him down. He asked for help, and I turned him down. Maybe I was right, and it was a scam. Worst case, I’d be out a few bucks. But what if I was wrong? The worst case for him is a lot worse than it was for me.
I really hope he got home.