Saturday, April 07, 2007
You call this Easter?
I'm freezing my ass off over here. What happened to Spring, rebirth, renewal? What happened to the goddamn temperature?
By now you've probably guessed that it's unseasonably cold in New York and I'm kind of pissed.
A year ago it was 67 degrees on Easter Sunday while the weather idiots are calling for highs of 45 degrees tomorrow. Come on, people, we can do better than this.
This weather blows especially hard because my brother and his family are in from San Francisco. It's been great seeing them over the last week--they're going back on Monday--but we've had to curtail a lot of the walking around that we had planned back when the weather was legitimately cold.
It's been a crazy week. I took a few days off from work and we've all been doing New York like tourists. We saw Inherit the Wind on Wednesday--a horribly cold and rainy day--with Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer.
It was great seeing two fine actors in the flesh, though they are both getting on. And the show was edited down from three hours so it felt like the Cliff Notes' version of the story. I saw another production of this play in Scranton many years ago with the playwright Jason Miller portraying Henry Drummond.
This, of course, did not compare to the Broadway version, but it was interesting in that the play was staged in the Lackawanna County Courthouse, so you were really inside a courtroom as the drama unfolded.
I'm still fond of the film version with Spencer Tracy and Fredric March. That has some best acting you'll ever see on film, particularly during the climactic trial scene. And the show takes on a new meaning today in light of all this "Christian" lunatics trying to ram Creationism down on throats. Back you, freaks, back to the dark ages from whence you came.
We also saw a musical called Spring Awakening, which had have to been one of the worst productions I've ever seen. This was an adaptation of a 19th Century play for the MTV generation, so you have these kids breaking out into crappy pop tunes every time someone turned around.
I think several of the young people in the show were talented, but the songs were just awful--they had a pre-programmed boy band sound to them, as if they were the product of market research rather artistic inspiration.
I was having an out-of-body experience watching this thing. I saw all this youngsters singing and wiggling their rear-ends on the stage while my mind was in other parts of the universe, moving about like some swami passing through different dimensions.
And, as if I didn't get enough grief, I came home to watch David Letterman and found the cast of Spring Awakening was the musical guest and they performed one of this lousy songs. Oy--I give up already!
All The World's A Stage
I'm sure the response will be that I'm too old, I don't get it, but the truth I get it all too well. Crap sells and this play is selling out something fierce. Broadway deserves better and so do young theater-goers.
We also hit the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Natural History, where the exhibits on the origins of the earth and the evolution of humanity are guaranteed to give your average Creationist a stroke--Ack! reality! knowledge! No, take them away! Sorry, Bible-thumpers, but the truth really can set you free, if you let it.
My poor sister got a cold during all this running around in the freezing weather and I'm nervous, as I'm just getting over my latest bout with disease. Please, give me a break, okay? Thanks...
But the really great thing is that I'm getting to spend time with my lovely niece Victoria. She is now 12 years old and so tall I can't believe it. I can't bounce her on my knee any more or make her laugh with goofy faces. I actually have to talk to her, but it's been wonderful seeing how she's grown--even though I do miss those old goo-goo days.
As a Californian, Victoria is not into walking and constantly wants to know how far various destinations are. I explained to her that everything in New York is acouplablocks--a couple of blocks for you out-of-towners.
Tonight we ate at my Aunt Marie's home and Victoria had me laughing like a lunatic as she showed so bizarre hand-slapping game that makes Patty Cake look finger snap.
She calls it Slide and she is a very strict teacher. I kept on screwing up one of the key sequences and each time she insisted we start from square one.
When I finally got somewhere with this thing, Victoria starts singing the Hamster Dance song, which immediately had me laughing, and thus, screwing up the sequence all over again.
"Will you stop that?" I shouted between guffaws.
"No," she said, "it's helping you concentrate."
Like hell it was. But we finally got through 10 straight rounds of the Slide, and even though Victoria said I was a disgrace to the Slide community, I feel rather proud of myself. And I haven't laughed so hard in ages.
Now, it's about 1:30 AM and I'm looking over the first quarter of 2007. If my life were a corporation and I had to address the shareholders, I would be forced to admit that it has been a challenging time for Robbo Inc.
In this first quarter, my father died, my health went down the crapper, my career is stalled and I can't find a woman to give me the time of day, let alone go out with me. Plus my fiction is sputtering around in circles as I try to focus on one project and see the damn thing to its conclusion.
Still, do I give up? Hell, no. There have been some bright spots--most notably the solo performer class I'm taking--and I take comfort in the fact that it will indeed get warmer.
This really is a time for renewal, even though you feel like putting up a Santa Claus decoration instead of the Easter Bunny. Spring is here, it just doesn't know it yet.
So I must ask all my shareholders to be patient and give me, the CEO, a chance to turn the company around. I will increase the value of our company over the remainder of the year and our stock will rise.
And if doesn't, feel free to cancel my contract and put some other poor bastard in charge of this whacked company--if you find someone crazy enough to take this gig.
I'll be heading off now to pound the living crap out of the Easter bunny. See you next quarter.