An Odyssey

Aug. 15th, 2017 01:00 pm
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[personal profile] lillibet
When we first put together a schedule for the summer, it didn't look as though we'd be able to make our usual pilgrimage to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but as the plans got rearranged and put back together it turned out there was a narrow window when Jason and I could get down to Ashland just to see Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of The Odyssey, which she was reviving herself for the festival.

For those of you keeping track at home, Mary Zimmerman is probably my favorite stage director. She created Metamorphoses, one of the most perfect theatrical experiences of my life, and I loved her White Snake, as well. I am really enamored by her talent for taking ancient, epic stories and making them personal for modern audiences. I have read her version of The Odyssey in the past and been completely mystified how it might be staged, so I was very excited to see this production.

We flew down from Seattle on Sunday afternoon and checked into the Ashland Springs Hotel, which is a lovely, classic hotel just a block from the festival theatres. After a pleasant walk through Lithia Park, complete with a wade in the stream there, we had dinner at Amuse, our favorite restaurant in town, where the standout this time was a dessert of cherries soaked in balsamic vinegar and served over vanilla ice cream and a brown sugar cracker for a marvelous combination of contrasting flavors and textures. Then we headed over to the Elizabethan Theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre built to echo Shakespeare's Globe.

Detailed reflections on The Odyssey )

Overall I liked this show, rather than loving it. I think that if I ever decided to take on this story myself I would investigate other adaptations, or simply begin with the source text and carve my own show from it, rather than working from this script. I am very glad to have seen it, but would rank it below the three other shows I've seen her direct.

We went back to the hotel and watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones before bed. In the morning we had breakfast there and then I was able to squeeze in a massage across the street at Waterstone Spa. I always enjoy my experiences there, but this was definitely the best massage I've gotten there, and especially helped my thighs, which were still painfully tight from all the gardening on Friday.

When that was done, we piled quickly into the car and after a much-anticipated lunch at Jack-in-the-Box, hopped on our flight back to Seattle. Reunited with Alice, Steve, and Eric, we met Jason's best friend, Todd, for excellent sushi at Chiso in Fremont, and then I got to read Alice bedtime stories for the last time in a week before Jason took me back to Sea-Tac for my redeye to Boston. The flight was easy and quick--we made it in under four and a half hours, one of the fastest transcontinental flights I've ever flown--and I hadn't checked a bag, so I was able to walk out to a cab and be home just about the time we'd been scheduled to land. Jason and Alice are staying for another week, planning to go camping north of Boise over the weekend and catch the total eclipse before heading home.

It was strange to be doing all this travel and engaging in rituals of personal grief and delightful sensory experiences while violence in Charlottesville and its aftermath were taking over the news. I'm very glad to be home and able to engage more fully in the resistance to those awful events. Thanks to all those who kept me informed and in touch over the weekend.

In Memoriam

Aug. 15th, 2017 12:40 pm
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[personal profile] lillibet
As I believe I've mentioned, Jason's mother died in early June. A lovely obituary for her is available here. We went out to Idaho in July for the family reunion she'd helped to plan, which became a chance for her family to mourn her together.

Jason's dad, Steve, decided that the memorial event in Seattle would be a gathering in their garden this past Saturday, so we flew out on Wednesday night. We spent Thursday puttering around and Friday mostly working in the garden--one of Trish's gardening friends came over to get us started and point out what needed doing. I was rather amazed at myself for doing that much yard work, but it was oddly satisfying and felt like a real way of honoring Trish's memory.

On Saturday people packed into their beautiful garden. There were co-workers of Steve, people from the neighborhood, friends from the book club she founded more than thirty years ago and members of the chamber choir she had joined more than forty years ago, and about twenty members of her extended family--all her siblings, a couple of their kids, three of her first cousins, plus their assorted partners. Everyone expressed their shock at her sudden passing and told stories of her generosity in their lives. One of her friends brought the sheet music for Wild Mountain Thyme and Jason's brother, Eric, accompanied us on his violin as we sang "Will ye go, lassie, go" in the lovely Seattle afternoon in the shade of the trees Trish had planted.

It was a beautiful farewell to a life full of friends and family, music, literature, and love.

Weird times...

Aug. 13th, 2017 11:10 pm
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[personal profile] cz_unit
So it looks like the KKK is back and race wars are getting underway. Weird, thought it was going to be a more relaxing decade.

I miss when things were boring.
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[personal profile] cz_unit
It's that time of the year again! 
When the Moon Bounce causes the very Earth to
QUAKE IN JOY!!!!


Howdy folks, hope you can join us for the annual food and fun at CZ and Alex's house here at wonderful Boo Manor in Relay MD! . . .

Saturday, August 26, 5 pm onward.

Bring sides and desserts if you like, but we'll provide lots of burgers and other things to grill and nosh.

We have a steep driveway with limited parking, but more spots can be found  a few houses away on Selford Ave, the cross street at the stop sign, and across the street on Kallan Ct.

Drop us a line if you can make it or need directions!

Grins,
Alex, Chris, and the rest of the residents at Boo Manor.

Thought....

Aug. 10th, 2017 11:53 pm
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[personal profile] cz_unit
I remember when Google's motto was "Don't be evil". That was the promise and agreement......

Then again I remember when we were supposed to have raves in the Digex datacenter.

Sigh.

Communication in Dating

Aug. 8th, 2017 04:58 pm
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[personal profile] lillibet
While I was in Northern Ireland last summer, I started making a list of all the stories I tell that I'd like to write down. This is one of them.

A few months after I moved to Berkeley I threw myself a birthday party. One of my friends brought along another guy from MIT, who hadn't realized it was my birthday and apologized for not bringing a present. I said he was plenty of present for me and he promptly put a bow around his neck. As the party wound down we ended up in my bed. Before anything much had happened, he paused to explain that he was in the midst of founding a start-up and didn't have time for a relationship and didn't want to engage with me under false pretenses. I appreciated his forthrightness and we went merrily on with the evening's activities.

So there we are, amorously involved and chatting playfully, when he suddenly looks down at me and asks "Do you know a guy named Dave Policar?" I laughed--this is not what I expect to hear from my lovers--and asked why. He said that we tell stories the same way, and I laughed some more and explained that we often even tell the same stories, and that we were former housemates and very good friends. Dave, by the way, was very amused when I told him this, and gave permission for his name to be used in this story.

On Sunday morning he thanked me for a lovely evening, I thanked him for a marvelous birthday present, and he asked for my number. I gave it to him, but didn't actually expect to hear from him, so I was surprised and pleased when he called me on Tuesday afternoon. He said that he was stuck in traffic after a very good meeting and had thought of me as someone he'd like to share that good news with. We chatted for twenty minutes or so and then he asked if I was free on Friday night. I said "What about the start-up?" and he explained that he didn't have meetings or need to be out of town that night and thought we might see a movie.

That sounded good to me, so we met up on Friday night, saw a movie and spent the night in my bed again. He once again explained that while he really enjoyed spending time with me, with the start-up at a crucial phase he really didn't have time for a relationship and hoped our date wouldn't raise expectations on my part. I said that was fine, I was glad to see him, all was well, and when we said goodbye the next morning I didn't really expect to hear from him again.

On Tuesday afternoon, he called me to say that he was thinking of me. We chatted a bit and he asked if I were free on Friday evening. We went out to dinner, spent the night together, had the same conversation and a lovely time and he left in the morning with no plans to see each other again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. For six weeks running.

On the seventh Tuesday he called and said that he had just bought a JEEP, so rather than getting together on Friday night, he'd like to take it off-roading on Saturday and invited me to join him. I drove down to his place in Palo Alto--he was paying a couple of thousand a month to rent a garage with no bathroom behind a house on University Ave--and we went from there up into the mountains and then down along the coast. We walked hand in hand along the beach at sunset and he told me how much he wanted to someday be married and have children. It was horribly romantic.

As night drew on we went back to his place, ate some take-out and settled in to watch the version of Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth that his mom had just sent him. At midnight I asked if I should go. He said no and drew me closer to him on the couch. By 2am I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and suggested that we should go to bed. He explained that he was happy to make up the couch for me, but that he had decided that we shouldn't have sex anymore, because he was afraid I was getting too attached. That woke me right up and after a few tense words I got in my car and drove forty-five minutes back to my home and figured that was the end of that.

On Tuesday afternoon he called me and asked if I were free on Friday. I explained that I was going to a party with my housemate and when he enthusiastically offered to come along I explained that would not be appropriate, as I didn't know my hosts and was, in fact, hoping to meet new people. He said "But Friday is my only free night this week! What am I supposed to do alone? You know we always spend time together on Fridays!" I pointed out that he was sounding very much like a man in a relationship with expectations and that while I would be happy to entertain future offers to spend time together on a case by case basis, he should not expect me to keep my time free for him.

He didn't contact me again. For five years. And then I got an email from him saying that he understood that I was back in Boston and married, and so was he, and inviting the two of us to get together with him and his wife for a movie followed by dinner at their apartment in Cambridge. I accepted and we met them and had a very fun conversation with him and his wife on the way to the movie. We all enjoyed the movie and on the way back I was chatting with his wife while he and Jason talked tech, when she asked exactly when he and I had met.

"Well," I said, "We started dating on my 27th birthday and that was in..."

"Dating who?" she asked, sharply. I explained that I was referring to her husband and she said "Wait, you two dated?!"

"Yeah," I said. "We dated casually for about six weeks. It didn't stick," I added, a bit obviously.

We continued to their lovely apartment, had a very nice dinner while she continued to watch me carefully and the conversation got more and more stilted until we took our leave without lingering over coffee.

And I have never heard from him again.

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