sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 22, 2005

posted by soe 7:11 pm

Congratulations to Frankie, the oldest of the “little” cousins on my dad’s side of the family, who graduated yesterday from Central Connecticut State University.

I see Dad’s side of the family maybe only once a year, so it was nice of Frankie to graduate and to give us a reason to come together once more.

Kudos, Frankie, and good luck with the job search. (And if anyone knows of an entry-level job out there for a freshly minted computer science degree, let me know.)

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May 20, 2005

tire flattened, tire reinflated
posted by soe 8:14 pm

After discovering moments before we were supposed to drive up to Connecticut that we had a flat tire, we called AAA.

AAA came.

AAA patched our tire, so we do not need to wait until 10 a.m. to leave for Connecticut after all.

Thank you, AAA (and Fargo Road Repair)!

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wimped out
posted by soe 8:55 am

I just couldn’t do it this morning. I signed up right away for Bike to Work Day this year because it was so much fun last year and because I do like to bike to work. But this morning’s deluge was just too much for me. Couldn’t do it. Okay, wouldn’t do it. I’m feeling mildly guilty, but I won’t for long. The guilt will wear off in less time than it would have taken me to dry off.

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May 19, 2005

disappointed and deflated
posted by soe 11:26 pm

I won’t go into details about Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith because nothing annoys me more than spoilers before I’ve seen a movie, but I will note that I was disappointed. Perhaps I wanted to believe the hype too much. I mean, the illustrious New York Times did say it was the second-best of the six.

But I didn’t feel the film lived up to its destiny. It was too long in the insignificant battle scenes, too rushed in crucial life-altering scenes. It relied too heavily on special effects, mostly because no one in the movie could act adequately (Jimmy Smits seemed to be the sole exception to this problem, giving me some hope for The West Wing next year). The Jedi were weak and foolish and surprisingly responsible for the downfall of the Republic.

Even Yoda disappointed me tonight.

Where was the Han Solo-type character, a cowboy whose temperament is smoldering and overwhelming and wrong (but necessary)?

I wanted to see some passion in an epic battle of good versus evil, but the only sparks that flew were from the Emperor’s fingers. Yes, yes, everything we knew had to happen did. It’s just sad that we cared so little as it occurred.

Turns out the Jedi were wrong. You have to find a way to temper the knowledge of what’s right and wrong with some passion for a life that’s worth living. Otherwise everyone loses.

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show tunes, engaging narrators, and May sunshine
posted by soe 1:54 pm

If it’s Thursday, it must be time for the Three Beautiful Things of the week:

1. The best follow-up to seeing a musical is having the cd to listen to and sing along with. It’s even nicer when they give you the cd for free at the show.

2. When I first started reading Le Divorce, I didn’t really enjoy it. The narrator was unreliable, and if I wanted an unreliable narrator, I wouldn’t bother to read; I’d just listen to politicians. But the nice thing is that as the book has gone on, I’ve come to like the narrator. She’s grown on me. If she were a real person, I wouldn’t want to spend all my time with her, but I would enjoy the periodic visits we did have.

3. The last few days we have been blessed with remarkably sunny, lovely weather. The sort of sunny weather that just demands that you have lunch outside, that you drink and read at outdoor cafés, that you have picnics, that you catnap in sunny spots, that you stroll everywhere with a silly smile on your face.

While I have always found things beautiful in the moment, chronicling them once a week has made me remember them longer and appreciate them more. Thanks, Clare, for inspiring the process.

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May 18, 2005

bright lights, big city, funny show
posted by soe 11:01 pm

We’re back from the whirlwind trip to NYC — there and back in 26 hours. We didn’t have time for nearly everything we hoped to do, but we managed to squeeze in a French café for lunch (I had a grilled brie on baguette), visits with friends, and a Broadway show. Of course, we almost missed our plane back, but hey — no trip is perfect.

After landing at JFK, we headed to the South Street Seaport where we did a little shopping and bought discount tickets at the TKTS booth. Then up to the Village, where we had lunch at a bistro, looked at yarn (too pricey to buy), bought coffee, looked at toys, and bought cds before heading up to Union Square where our friend Erik was waiting for us.

He walked us up to our hotel where we finally got to put our bags down and spiff up a little bit before heading out for the night. The three of us then headed out to meet up with Erica, my college roomie, for a chat in Madison Square Park. Erik is absolutely hysterical — definitely one of the funniest people I know. And Eri is a sweetheart. I was glad we actually managed to catch up with the two of them, especially since it looked questionable at the last minute.

Then off to Times Square. I hadn’t told Rudi what we were seeing, but I think he was pleased when we walked up to the Imperial Theatre where Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is playing. Originally I had been leaning towards Avenue Q per Erik’s rave reviews. But when the Tony Award nominations came out last week and DRS netted 11 nominations, I thought catching the original cast might be cool.

John Lithgow is a funny guy. He is not a great singer. But he is a funny guy. And when he sticks to songs in the octave range he has, he’s really, really good. But you can tell he wasn’t cast for his voice. He was cast for the imperious nature he brought to Third Rock from the Sun and for his comedic timing.

Norbert Leo Butz was amazing. Think Peter Scolari (from his Bosom Buddies days) meets Jack Black.

The show also features Joanna Gleason, whom I recognized from her brief stint on The West Wing, Gregory Jbara, and Sheri Rene Scott, who has an amazing voice — all nominated for their roles.

The story is one of a playboy (Lithgow) who is starting to feel that he’s grown complacent with his scamming of women after he meets an American (Butz) who’s doing the same thing on a low-brow basis. To spice things up the two men decide to woo an American debutante (Scott); the loser agrees to cede the territory to the victor. It was sort of a musical Marx Brothers comedy with its emphasis on slapstick comedy and its quick wit.

I thought the show started a little slow, but it picked up quickly and the second half was excellent. The funniest moment came in the last few minutes of the show when Butz and Lithgow are lying on the beach. Butz asks Lithgow a question, and, from what I could tell, the answer was not the one Butz was expecting. He cracked up, Lithgow cracked up, and the next few minutes suddenly had an improvised feeling to them, but in a really good way.

If you want to laugh a lot and then hum Broadway tunes for the next several days, I’d definitely recommend Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. And the good news is that the show hits the road starting September 2006 so you won’t need to brave Times Square just to see it.

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