sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 3, 2006

weekend update
posted by soe 2:35 am

The weekend is going very well (well, all except for the cleaning part). Yesterday we slept in and then bummed around the house for a while, watching old Andre Agassi footage and knitting and generally hanging out. Eventually we convinced ourselves to get off our butts and headed to the library, where we picked up some books and dvds. While this is normally exciting enough as it is, a block from our closest library branch is a new Trader Joe’s. So we stocked up on necessities like peanut butter pretzels and beer.

Last night we moseyed over to Michael and Julia’s to help Julia celebrate her 40th birthday for the third straight year. This year’s party was low-key, but I think I enjoyed it more than some of their wilder parties. Our friend John has decided on a way to get me elected D.C. mayor in about 10 years. (I suggested that it would also make me eligible for Providence’s mayor’s position.) It only involved embezzlement, drug dealing, and murder, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be looking into it as an option quite soon.

Today we sauntered to the farmers’ market to fill our baskets for the next few days. We brought home milk, plums, corn, tomatillos, pluots, pears, peppers, carrots, and a tiny little palm-sized melon.

Then we returned home to breakfast upon scones and watch the Agassi match. I admit I teared up at the end watching him struggle to compose himself in order to thank the crowd for their longtime support of him. He’s such a classy guy, even if he did once plow into my mother in a Georgetown shopping mall. (I was so jealous! I wanted him to walk into me!) I give him a lot of credit for helping popularize tennis among my generation.

Agassi never seems to finish tennis matches quickly these days, so we didn’t leave ourselves a whole lot of time to hit the Smithsonian Museum of American History. I think I mentioned that they close at the end of tomorrow for two years to renovate the building. While part of the collection will temporarily be housed in the Air and Space Museum, the rest of it will be mothballed until the museum reopens. We wanted particularly to see the Jim Henson exhibit that’s about to end. It really was cool to see how his puppetry evolved from the first Sam and Friends critters to The Dark Crystal animatronics. Coolest of all, of course, were the Muppets I grew up with. Dr. Teeth, Rolph, Kermit, the Swedish Chef, and an early iteration of Rizzo were all present and accounted for, as were Ma and Emmett Otter. (Rudi took pictures and I ssume will upload photos tomorrow night.)

Then we pedaled over to the Kennedy Center, where our friend Michael was doing a staged reading of his latest play, The Quick Brown Fox Jumped over the Lazy Dogs.

He describes the play thus:

Take a simple sentence. A typing drill. Nine words. 37 letters. What do the words mean? How are they related? How is meaning conveyed? Inspired by the texts of Saussure, Jakobson, and Chomsky, [the play] addresses linguistic concepts such as metaphor, meaning, message, and messenger. The work is infused with absurdist musings from Lewis Carroll, Donald Rumsfeld, and George Bush and illustrates how — in this age of global telecommunications and a barrage of media outlets — nothing is being said.

I admit that I am an English major. I enjoy wordplay. I find communication fascinating. But I thought Michael’s play was hilarious and meaningful and — ultimately — timely. I cannot say enough nice things about the play or Michael’s creativity (and I would feel that way even if I didn’t know him personally).

A bunch of us then went out to dinner where we talked politics and life and generally whiled away a pleasant evening. Afterwards, Rudi and I retired home to the Burrow where we finished out the night by watching Junebug, which was sweet but ultimately lacking something. Its message seemed to be that life is short and too many things ultimately get miscommunicated or left unsaid and that we don’t appreciate the things we ought to. But I found it frustrating that the only urban, “intellectual” character in the play is portrayed as insensitive, overly ambitious, and ultimately clueless about the important things in life. It strikes me that there are just as many shallow people living in the small towns of America as in its cities.

Rudi’s going out riding a quarter of the miles it takes to get to my folks tomorrow. I have offered to make this ride memorable by riding on his handlebars, but we ultimately agreed I’d probably be happier if I hung around D.C. and knit and read and oohed and ahhed over baby tigers. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

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