Friday, October 31, 2008

The Grand Guignol

Jordy had been wanting to see Le Chat Noir's production of Grand Guignol: Theater of Horror. I was pleased to accompany her, and also wanted to see my friend Doug and coworker Dana, who were both featured in the production.

Le Chat Noir is a cozy little place. When watching a deliberate gore-fest like Grand Guignol in such a small venue, theater-goers may choose to sit a foot or two from the stage, waiting for the inevitable spatter of theater blood. We sat a little further back.

The plays were well acted, and engaging enough, though I was always on the edge of my seat waiting for that AIGH! moment. Which did happen in both shorts we saw. Jordy pleased the staff and actors immensely by laughing delightedly during the gruesome parts. Except for the two (well, three. Maybe four) turn-my-head moments, I enjoyed the performances.

Afterward, we talked with Doug and Dana for a while, stepping outside with Doug so he could light one of his hand-rolled cigarettes. I heard something briefly, but it was not repeated. When we stepped back inside, several excited stage hands were coming into the bar from the back.

"I just got held up at gunpoint," one proclaimed wide-eyed, holding out a bloody hand.

Okay. This is in a place that specializes in blood and gore.

"Really?" I said skeptically.

"Yeah, this guy was outside with a gun, and he hit me..."


One of the other guys was heated.

"Look, M----------r, that just happened!"

Okay, I believed him. Mostly.

For once, I was not armed. I suppose it's a good lesson. In all, it was a lovely evening, though Jordy was stressed when we returned because she couldn't find a key. Hopefully, it'll turn up today.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Creature of Chemicals

"You've lost weight."

"One kind of stress puts it on, another takes it off. I am a creature of chemicals."

I was reminded of this quote from Ender's Game this morning, as I reflected that I ate one bite of food and some sugar-free gum yesterday, without any deliberate intention not to eat. Well...I can stand to lose 10 lbs or more, even though I would prefer to do it another way.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Party's Over

When I was younger, I went through a phase of listening to a lot of Nat King Cole. One of my favorite songs was "The Party's Over". It's sad and wistful, leavened with Cole's honeyed voice. Here are the lyrics:

The party's over
It's time to call it a day
They've burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
It's time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid

The party's over
The candles flicker and dim
You danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend

The party's over

It's time to call it a day

Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend

It's all over, my friend

Change is on the wind here at Shirley Ground Zero. It remains to be seen whether what grew here will remain, grown stronger and better, or whether that tree must be replaced with something else.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life and Death

A friend of mine, close to my age, has an attractive wife he's been with for 16 years and beautiful children. His life seemed in many ways to be where I would have wanted mine to be.

Life can seemingly change in an instant.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Seizing the Reins

I have taken over all teaching for the next 2-3 weeks. Today was hard because first 9th, then 10th, and finally 11th graders were called out of sequential classes. Students were wound up because of the change in their routine, and many of them were resistant while I used some techniques they hadn't seen before.

If I can just keep my head above water for three weeks, I should be okay. If you don't hear from me again, I just couldn't keep kicking.

Biden/Palin debate

The transcript of the debate is up. Capable leaders aren't always incredible orators, but Sarah did a good job of seeming capable while folksy. We'll see how the pundits rate it and Americans receive it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008