‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, October 22, 2011


When I quit my job I told everyone I was leaving so I could write more. Everyone thought this was a cover story for a deep dark company secret because no one believes the reasonable explanations - only the crazy ones.

In fairness, I didn't believe my story either.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself with three operas and two ballets to review in the next two weeks.

I will be more cultured than any yogurt money can buy.

Here are my observations so far:

Observation number one
Ballet audiences are way better dressed than opera audiences. It's like opera audiences are TRYING to look like over-educated academics. I mean, I know they ARE over-educated academics, but come on now. Granted, I should count my blessings because the academics are some of the better dressed ones. The woman in front of me last night was wearing a black t-shirt with a rhinestone pattern that formed an elaborate necktie.


Furthermore, when did reusable shopping bags become acceptable alternatives to handbags?

Observation number two
Did the young couple snogging in front of me pay for their orchestra section seats and if so, did they not know you can get a nice hotel room for that same $340+ dollars?

Possibly related: get off my lawn you hoodlums.

Observation number three
If you get drunk before an opera and giggle throughout, make sure it's a comedy. Actually, scratch that. I like hearing people giggle.

Observation number four
I'm fine with people being comfortable at the opera and wearing whatever they want because I think more people should just shut up and go. It's that I also want the performance to extend off the stage and into the lobby. I feel cheated.

I try to fit these observations into my reviews, but short of writing them in code or uploading them as an image, they have not made the editorial cut.

Which is why God made blogs.

If I write anything vaguely entertaining about what I'm reviewing, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, I'd like to go on the record as saying that these shoes make my feet hurt and that I will only hot roller my hair for press seats valued at over $150.

Carry on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Upstairs Neighbors, part 768

Everyone needs an upstairs neighbor.

There are cat people and there are dog people. We are upstairs neighbor people.

About three years ago our friends needed a place to live while they looked for a house to buy. We were in the process of playing Musical Livingquarters and moving our bedrooms downstairs, so we invited them to take over the upstairs while they looked. We all thought it would take a few months, not a few years, but we're all very okay with the change of timeline.

You say "oh that's fine for you. You live in a tower."

I hate to disillusion you, but we don't actually live in a tower. It's a fairly average two story house that happens to have a kitchen on both floors. If we were Jewish, we could easily be kosher. Or we could have a vegetarian kitchen and a non-veg kitchen (read: Bacon Cookery). Or a macrobiotic kitchen and a microbiotic kitchen. The possibilities are endless.

But I digress.

We have friends who live in gigantic houses and say they still don't have enough room. More room is nice, but we like living in a big puppy pile. We like to be close to each other. If we had more space, we'd probably still all end up in the same room.

Our upstairs neighbors are the same way - or at least they're good fakers if they're not.

There is something great about sharing space. It's why people gather in town squares. With this many people living here, Trout Towers is its own town square. Come to think of it, as a computer consultant Chris IS the town square. Oh I slay me.

It is comforting having friends in the house. I know that if I'm eaten by wild dogs, someone will figure it out pretty quickly. There are always people around who have my back - simply by virtue of standing behind me. And you know those friends you never see because you're too busy doing laundry? Laundry day is when we see the most of our friends.

I understand that this isn't for everybody, but my recommendation is you build a yurt on your roof and ask some friends to move in. You may really like it.

For the record, I felt this way even before the Upstairs Neighbor left a chocolate oyster on my diningroom table on her way to work.

Monday, October 17, 2011

High Security

Do you lock your car?

I admitted to a friend the other day that I feel guilty when I lock my car. It's like announcing that I don't trust my neighbors for beans. Granted, it's not my actual neighborhood neighbors I'm talking about. I never lock my car at home because a) I kinda hope someone steals everything out of it and then details it, and b) I am lazy. It's when I'm in a parking lot - say, in front of my favorite coffee shop - and I have my laptop in the front seat so I know I should lock it but....

But I don't like telling people I don't trust them.

So I walk away from the car and lock it with the remote - being very careful not to let it beep.

And then when I come back to my car I surreptitiously unlock the car from a few feet away so I can open it and hop in like it was never locked. If I forget and try opening the door, I cover by giving the car my best "who locked my car?" look.

I only admit this to you because it turns out I'm not alone.

The friend I mentioned it to feels the same way about not wanting to offend his fellow townspeople.

We live in a small fishing town. Can you imagine locking your car in Mayberry? I can just see Aunt Bea frowning at someone whose car alarm was going off. "Not very neighborly," she would say.

I wonder if it's the people who are not from here who pull up next to me and alarm their car before going into the post office. I wonder how many of the other cars are unlocked, with keys in the ignition.

Not only do we trust our neighbors, we all drive cars no one wants.

And we all secretly hope that someone will throw away all the empty coffee cups while we're in the post office.

In my friends' towns, people don't look at you weird when you set your car alarm. Conversely, they would think you were a moron for leaving your laptop on the front seat of your car - locked or not. And they're probably right.

Maybe there's a bit of a New England thing mixed in with the Mayberry Factor. It is Not Right to presume that you have something that someone else doesn't have and would want. To presume that would be to admit a Failure of Thrift.

Which is very un-New Englandy.

But when I forget I've locked my car in front of the coffee shop, I end up spilling half my coffee as I struggle for the lock. That spilled coffee adds up. So basically it's six one way, half-dozen the other.

Which is why I don't lock my car.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Moving on.

I quit my job.

Just one of them, but still. I quit.

Here's what happened. I worked and worked and worked and then I had babies and when I went back to work I did it part time - you know, for the babies - and I figured as long as I was working part time I would try writing more as part of my work.

Which worked, but not enough. So when a new client came along that was really pretty dreamy in every possible way, I said yes. And it's been great.


I missed writing.

So I quit the job. And here we are.

Today is Day One After The Last Day At Work. I have submitted a column.

The thing about writing is that once you start, it's hard to stop. So I've sent my column and - I hope you don't feel used - I can't simmer down.

There are only so many facebook updates I can post without looking desperate. That's what blogs are for. I don't worry about not looking desperate here. It's kind of a given.

Besides all that, I've missed you. Can we be friends again?

Will you come help me fold all this laundry?

your highly caffeinated friend,