Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Good Day Sunshine

"We take a walk, the sun is shining down..."

I was thinking about this song when Spike and I went on our morning walk. It's been warm for two days but yesterday was bleak. Clouds blanketed a gray sky with only a streak of blue.

Today the entire sky was blue and the sun was warming and comforting. It was a pleasure to go on our walk this morning. I hope it lasts.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Aftermath of Nemo

I can't say that Nemo snuck up on us. At first, the forecasters only vaguely talked of snow. It was Wednesday before they said that this storm would be a big one.

When I first heard the name Nemo, I thought WTF? Then I heard that snowstorms will now be named. That got me thinking. It was probably because of sexism that only hurricanes (her - icanes) were named in the past, so maybe this is a good idea. It will definitely help people distinguish between snowstorms. Nemo is more memorable than the blizzard of 2013.

We've been lucky so far this winter with only a few inches of snow at a time. Even now with 22 inches of snow, we made out relatively well. A few miles up the highway, some towns got three feet.

We stayed in Friday and Saturday except to walk Spike and dig out our cars. Luckily, my car was less buried than Jeff's. I was the one who had to go out Sunday (a tutoring appointment and a class.) The main roads were fine by then at least where I had to go. But I did have some trouble with some of the side roads near my student's house.

Seeing mounds of snow reminds me of the horrible winter we had in 2011. I hope this is a solo shot of snow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Plays I've Seen

This post from Shakesville a few weeks ago got me thinking. I'm not sure what's the last play I saw--maybe Hairspray.

I decided to list all the plays that I can remember/name.

Hairspray--I preferred the movie--the songs were better and I thought the play focused more on Edna than Tracy
Rocky Horror Show: great fun
Death of a Salesman: we went to see my favorite actor, Brian Dennehy
Smokey Joe's Cafe (more like a concert than a play)
The Little Foxes
They're Playing Our Song (when our first attempt to see The Little Foxes failed because Elizabeth Taylor was ill--there's a funny story involved)
A Chorus Line

Miss Moffat--Philadelphia tryout for a musical version of The Corn is Green starring Bette Davis and Dorian Harewood
Macbeth--Stamford, CT starring Christopher Plummer and Glenda Jackson. I regret to say I feel asleep which is no comment on the production or acting
West Side Story--three productions: New Haven CT; Bucks County PA Playhouse on high school trip; Greenwich CT high school
Romeo and Juliet--with West Side Story above at Bucks County
The Stories Written on Your Face are the Ones You Must Believe--written by my sister-in-law, Thea Cooper in NYC
A scene from The Bride as Frankenstein also written by Thea Cooper in NYC
A staged reading of a musical based on the film Topper with Cole Porter songs at Norwalk CT Community College

There are one or two I can't name and perhaps a few I don't remember now.

ETA: Jeff's right that I forgot Jesus Christ Superstar and the Al Pacino play, Salome, which is vague to me. But I don't remember the Ty Cobb play/reading.

ETA 2: I forgot about plays at Shakespeare on the Sound, a series of outdoor performances in Rowayton, CT. I saw Henry V and Twelfth Night. I also saw an outdoor Shakespeare play in Stamford; I don't remember which play but I remember I had seen it before.

ETA 3: We also saw a play at the Westport Playhouse about Edward de Vere being the author of Shakespeare's plays. Elizabeth Ashley starred in the production.

ETA 4: Suddenly remembered that I also saw Godspell on Broadway.

ETA 5: House of Blue Leaves--Ridgefield Playhouse

Friday, February 8, 2013

Feet Don't Fail Me Now!

I've had more foot injuries than I care to remember. Most were twists or sprains but I've broken a foot a few times. The worst was in 1986 when I broke my metatarsal(s) and spent a good part of the summer in a boot and on crutches.

Even with the metatarsal break, I remained relatively independent.

I lost that independence in 2003, when I broke my ankle. I couldn't put any weight on my ankle. I couldn't open doors for myself. I couldn't carry anything unless I could hang it around my neck. I couldn't even get into the front seat of the car.

I broke my other ankle in 2007. Thanks to a wireless connection, I could do most of my job at home in bed. But I needed assistance to do almost everything else.

Recently my left ankle has bothered me--usually when walking down the steps. Last night it hurt a lot just walking across the floor. Since we're in the midst of a possibly historic snowstorm, I wonder if the two are related.

This morning Spike chose to walk down across our front lawn instead of using the stairs and the sidewalk. There was just enough snow to make the grass slippery and I walked gingerly, leaning on the building for support, afraid that a wrong step could lead to injury.

All I can do is take it slowly. And carefully. Feet don't fail me now. Please.

Netflix Movie Night: Beasts of the Southern Wild

We watched Beasts of the Southern Wild last Saturday and I've been thinking about it ever since. You can read a description of the plot without getting the real sense of the movie.

It's lyrical, mystical and fantastical with haunting images and narration. I was enthralled. In an odd way that I can't explain, it reminded me of Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven.

The best part of the movie was the performance of Quvenzhane Wallis as Hushpuppy.  She was only six--with no acting experience--at the time of filming. Last month, Quvenzhane became the youngest ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

Amid many favorable reviews is this critique by bell hooks. I missed most of the issues she raised but she gave me a lot to think about and question.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our New Furniture is Here

Our new couch and love seat were delivered Monday morning. They are beautiful with hand rubbed brown leather. We didn't realize it when we were trying out the furniture in the store, but the seats are a little higher than those of our old sofa and love seat. We like the height but it took Spike a few tries before he could gauge his jump correctly.

We had moved some furniture, tabletop items, pictures and shelving to make it easier for the movers. Of course, I just can't replace things where they were--I'm cleaning everything and also rethinking the placement of small things and moving them around. For example, I placed several small boxes together on the end table next to me. I still have many things in temporary spots until I make up my mind. A snowstorm is predicted for Friday so that will be a good time to put the living room back together.

Now we just have to replace the lamp shades and the living room will look great.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nancy Drew--Revisited

Earlier this year, when I wrote about the Nancy Drew movie starring Emma Roberts, I mentioned that I added two TV shows about Nancy to our Netflix instant queue. We watched a few episodes the other night--both shows were disappointing.

First up--we watched two episodes of the 1995 TV show starring Tracy Ryan. Nothing worked for me. Nancy didn't look right with her bright red lipstick; she didn't seem very bright or savvy. Nancy was also a smart ass to a professor telling him about problems she had with one of his papers. This was when she was asking for a spot in his class after missing the registration period. Bess and George were simply goofy.

Worst of all, the mysteries weren't any good. In the first episode, it was more misunderstanding than mystery. The second featured a villain who practically had "bad guy" stamped on his forehead. Although the episodes suffered from being only a half hour long, they were so bad a longer running time wouldn't have saved them.

Next we watched the The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle. This was the first Nancy Drew episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries from 1977. It was better than the 1995 series, but not particularly good.

The episode begins with a no-nonsense Nancy attempting to get some kind of gliding (sailplane) certification. But her passenger George was scared and complaining. This is not the George from the books and took me out of the scene. Ned looked and acted more like a stereotypical nerd than the smart college football player from the books. When he and Nancy go gliding, he refuses to wear his glasses and almost crashes into trees before Nancy takes the controls.

The mystery is unbelievably complicated. But Nancy, George and Ned make some silly moves. Nancy takes George sleuthing in a secluded area off a closed road in late afternoon. Doesn't everyone wear a white jacket and wave a flashlight around while sneaking up on criminals in the woods? Nancy and George make enough noise to alert the crooks and are captured. Their later attempts to escape with Ned are comical. It was fun to see Len Lesser (Uncle Leo from Seinfeld) as one of the bad guys. But overall, this weak episode didn't inspire me to watch more.