Not that I went anywhere, I just haven’t had anything to say.
Sort of a strange couple of weeks–not only have I not been writing, I haven’t been reading, either. I’m way behind on my New Yorker, there are new books on my phone to read, I’ve forgotten what the newspaper even looks like. For some reason I just became sort of illiterate, or possibly alliterate, just living without the written word.
That may be somehow related to all the tsouris going on around here. Gail’s son Toby’s father is in the hospital in Louisville, KY, where he received a liver transplant almost 4 weeks ago. It isn’t going well, and she spent all of last week there. She’s home now, which always makes me feel better, but he is still there, still not getting better at any reasonable pace.
Now it’s Christmas Eve. Toby flew in this evening, will be going back to Louisville in a few days. Depending on circumstance, Gail will or won’t be going again soon. Or later. Or not at all. Our lives are literally and figuratively up in the air right now.
. . . <== three dot journalism at work
We saw Black Swan two weeks ago, and part of my blogging reticence is undoubtedly related to what I thought about it.
This is a movie I was really looking forward to. I like movies, I like the director, Darron Aronovsky, I love the ballet. How could an Aronovsky movie about ballet not work for me?
The answer is: it could not work a LOT. Ballet is the most subtle of the arts, Aronovsky is the most sledge hammer of directors. This short description of this mess is Texas Chainsaw Murder meets Swan Lake.
I didn’t like it. Gail didn’t like it. The guy sitting behind us didn’t like it. Lois Grandi, the only real live ballerina I know, did like it. Somehow, 88% of big city reviewers liked it, hence the 88 on the Tomatometer. But I didn’t even want to stay for the finish, although we did.
. . .
Which leads to another subject: just how controversial do I want to be? I’m pretty contrarian by nature, so it doesn’t bother me much to have opinions outside the mainstream. On the other hand, this blog has a readership of 30 or 50 people, who are all my friends, and I hardly want to offend them. It seems strange to me to hate a movie that is getting great reviews, but I can live with it. But do I really want to discuss strong political thoughts that some of your will wildly dispute?
At dinner last week, Mike Rippey and Gail were voicing their opinions on religion, and wanted me to take a stand here, agreeing with them, of course. And while I do agree with some of their thoughts, I’m more willing than they are to let others hold beliefs that I think are different, or odd, or silly or just plain dumb. That sort of open-mindedness (or wussiness, take your pick) is perhaps antithetical to huge success in the blogging/opinion business, as either Olberman or Beck can attest.
So I’ll post some politics here, but this isn’t going to turn into the center of screaming libertarianism. And if you just hate my perfectly reasonable, eminently logical views, that’s life.
. . .
Now for some gossip. Pat George is getting married, to Arlen Schlectman of Sacramento. Yes, he’s a bridge player, president of the Sacramento Unit. Since she still has a job, they will live in Concord. He’s retired, from being the guy who made the missiles fly out of submarines. He’s one of the few people who have sailed on all 41 of the US nuclear subs. I like Pat a lot, and I’m glad to see her happy.
. . .
Mike and I played cards today in Pleasant Hill. It’s very strange when you are only 3 points out of first place and don’t even scratch, but that’s how close the game was.
As is too often the case, the game moved at the speed of mud. I’ll sure be happy when we start using the clock for each and every game–there is no excuse for slow movements. Directors sometimes are afraid to try to speed the slowpokes up lest they stop playing altogether, but they fail to consider the other players whose enjoyment of the game is so greatly diminished by having to sit and wait every round.
. . .
Picked the kid up at OAK tonight, and went to SR24 for dinner. That makes 3 times we’ve eaten there, and the food just keeps getting better. Tonight I had the Pumpkin soup followed by the Chicken Pot pie, which was simply smashing. We shared the pumpkin jojos, which is slices of pumpkin battered and quick fried. There weren’t any leftovers. Gail had the tomato soup and grilled cheese, of course. Toby had the roast lamb, and it was amazing just how lamby the lamb was. We’ll be fighting for the leftovers tomorrow.
The bad news is that the kitchen was inexcusably slow tonight. Our entrees took forever to get there, and even our desserts were slow to arrive. They weren’t all that busy and there were plenty of cooks in the galley, so I don’t understand it. I’ll let them get away with it this once, but if it is a trend they’ll lose loyal customers.
. . .
It’s time to put out the cookies and milk and go to bed. Hope Santa brings me lots of good stuff to brag about.