Sunday, August 30, 2015

Last gasps of August

I'm actually glad that we have one more day of August,* but it is definitely starting to feel like fall.  I wouldn't say this was a particularly lazy day, but I didn't push quite as hard as I often do, and I can picture actually relaxing a bit on the weekends in Sept. and Oct. (though one will actually be kind of busy helping out on a block party and then I make one more long weekend trip to Stratford).  I'm sort of debating whether to buy a hammock for the backyard porch or if I wouldn't use it enough until next year.

I took my daughter to the Textile Museum, and I enjoyed the exhibit on Artist Textiles.  I even have bought the catalog for my step-mother who is a textile artist in North Carolina.  The exhibit runs one more month and is quite nice, though I would probably recommend going on Wed. evening, when it is pay what you can.  Then we went over to the AGO and saw a few paintings, and went to the family area, though mostly she wanted to play ping pong.  I guess her creative juices had been exhausted in Milwaukee.

Sunday I did the groceries and I even trimmed the tree in the front yard.  (I hope I didn't trim too much and inadvertently kill it, but I think it looks pretty hearty.)  I had time to run down and see Jeffrey by Paul Rudnick at the Red Sandcastle Theatre.  It plays for one more weekend.  I enjoyed it, but I think it would have gone over a bit better with a bigger audience.  I felt that it was just a bit like Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy -- it is never entirely clear what is real and what is imagined and what is a slightly amped up version of reality.  I didn't mind that too much in Torch Song, but here the main dilemma is a gay man (an actor/waiter) falling in love with an HIV+ bartender, but petrified of being hurt when this potential boyfriend gets ill.  Many of the more touching scenes between them fall right after the fantasy moments, which somewhat undercuts them.  The director actually played just about everything straight, except for a scene where another friend has just died of AIDS and comes back to give Jeffrey relationship advice, while I gather the movie version played up the fantastical elements.  I wouldn't ever argue that only certain people get to write about certain topics, but I have to say it was a bit easier to swallow some of the main character's weaknesses when I confirmed that Rudnick was gay (the same way I was more willing to accept Kushner writing about a (largely) morally bankrupt gay character in The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...).  I still am not sure I buy the bit about the Catholic priest or the ending where Jeffrey finally agrees that to live life one has to make oneself open to experiencing pain and suffering but at the same time allowing love to grow, even in the face of uncertainty.  It was a lot of personal growth in about a 5-10 minute span.  Anyway, it was worth seeing.  I'll probably see their production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart next year, even though I have already seen the play. (I think this company seems to specialize in gay theatre.)

After all this, we had a nice moment where three of us went outside and sat on the deck and read.  I finished Elizabeth Taylor's A View of the Harbour and just started Barbara Comyns's The Juniper Tree.  This is the first book of the long pile of books that the library sent me.  I will really have to step up the pace if I am going to get through most of them, and it has certainly disrupted my reading list.  I guess that is it for now.  Tomorrow I will try to write up another museum visit from the recent trip to the States.

* That gives me another day to write something for Sing-for-your-supper.  I have an interesting idea I've been kicking around, but if this isn't accepted, it is the last time I bother.  It's not entirely wasted writing time, however.  I think of all the things that got rejected, several have at least helped me improve my dialogue and pacing.

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