Monday, July 13, 2015

mid-July weekend update

This was the last weekend I have with the kids until late August.  I find I am still a bit cranky, particularly when I am busy with the remaining tasks -- and when I am then asked about things that they should be able to take care of on their own.  Nonetheless, it is not good to be so crabby all the time.  I do hope that taking some special time with them and doing some fun things gives them some positive memories of this summer, and not just recalling the stress of the move.  (To be honest, they didn't have to do too much during the move, and they both seem to have picked up some friends on the block, so I think they'll be fine...)

Last weekend, we went to the ROM and the Pompeii exhibit.  I'll be writing a bit about that fairly soon.  The next day we saw Inside Out, which was quite good.  Not good enough that I am going to run out and pay to see it again, but I'll probably order the DVD when it comes out.

This weekend we went to see Minions.  It wasn't quite as bad as I had feared, but it wasn't great.  It was roughly 6/10.  The original Despicable Me was more like 8 or even 8.5, and Despicable Me 2 was about a 7 (I would have probably gone higher but frankly thought the evil purple Minions were a bad idea).  Personally I don't find the Minions particularly interesting, we had to hear far too much of their boring babble-talk and there were almost no inventions at all in the movie.  I also don't think very highly of slapstick as a genre.  Give me the Marx Brothers or Abbott and Costello over the Three Stooges (or the Keystone Kops) any day.

After I dropped them off, I ran off to see another Fringe show, this one called Waiting for Alonzo, which was an odd mix of outer space comedy (reminiscent of Red Dwarf even if not directly inspired by it), feminist parable and Beckett's Waiting for Godot.  It had its moments and was a pretty typical Fringe show.

Today we did manage to get a relatively early start and took the bus up to the Ontario Science Centre.  We got there just a bit before 11 and got tickets for the Mythbusters exhibit.  That was pretty fun, as they tried to distill 11 or so episodes and have the museum patrons replicate them.  So for instance, there was the one about the toast machine to test whether toast really does tend to land butter-side down.  And a walk/run through the rain exhibit.  That was my daughter's favourite.  She also liked the blind driving test, though I have to say she didn't do all that well at it.  My son and I both managed to yank the tablecloth off the table without the plates falling on the ground.  Neither of us were able to leave the vase standing upright, though I think it was simply too light.  At least it stayed on the table.  I was a bit nonplussed by how hard the crew were trying to get volunteers to dodge a paintball.  That didn't seem at all fun for me, either watching or being the dodgee.  I did buy a special commemorative DVD that had all the episodes that were referenced in the exhibit.  I may watch just a bit tonight if I keep the volume low.

We had lunch (any lunch out is a good lunch according to my son) and we spent about another hour at the Science Centre.  My daughter definitely wanted to stay longer.  She actually is thinking seriously about trying to work there when she is older, and that sounds something that I should encourage (compared to most of her career choices, which are a bit fanciful, like supermodel or famous singer).  I don't think we will go quite often enough to justify a membership, but if she continues to take an interest in science going into middle school, then I'll consider it more seriously.

The bus back was crowded, but we did manage to get seats in the back, and fortunately she didn't get sick (from the gas, as she explains).  I dropped them off and headed out again.  This time I wanted to get to Robarts, which was pretty close to St. Vlad's, which was where Twelfe Night was playing.  I decided after all to go, though on my own.  One of the books I was looking for had been returned but was not on the shelves or in the sorting area, though I ended up getting a book of Robert Coover short stories from the sorting shelves.  Well, I should be going back in a week or two and will look again.  I also picked up Albert Cossery's Proud Beggars, which is mislaid somewhere downstairs, and it is just easier to get it out of the library than to go through all those boxes again.

I had to hustle but I made it to Twelfe Night with just 10 minutes to spare.  For all that, I had a good seat anyway.  This is definitely a case where if you don't want the actors in your space, occasionally even sitting in your lap, you probably want to avoid the front row!  I thought it was well done, though they obviously had to cut quite a bit out to get it down to 90 minutes (no intermission).  They are actually going to have one more show this Thurs., and I'll mention that specifically in another post.  So all in all, I did 3 Fringe shows.  I thought seriously about sticking around and catching Skunkweed by Eric Bogosian,* but I really needed to get a few things done at home, mostly gathering up all the construction material they are supposed to be picking up on Monday.**  I did drop by work and got a little bit done, though nothing substantial, mostly it was scanning papers so the originals could be recycled.  So it was a reasonably well balanced weekend, though, as ever, I think I should have gotten a bit more actual work done.  Ciao.

*  I am kind of sorry I missed this production by Triple ByPass.  They look like a company that is right up my alley. I can't blame myself too much for missing their John Patrick Shanley show, as I was just settling in in Toronto, but I don't know why I didn't hear more about (and go to see) their George Walker show this past April.  Well, I will bookmark their page and see if they manage to pull together a remount of Skunkweed or do something else this next season.

** They didn't get the construction trash until late Tuesday, but it is all gone now (even that bookcase) and the place looks so much better now.  I think the worst is definitely over, and we can start enjoying being in our own house now.

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