In the air, fed and coffied, listening to the second movement of the Grieg: as good as it gets. I’m convinced, based on the album art, that the pianist is a bit neurotic in a way she doesn’t think is obvious, is aware of her beauty but oddly disconnected from it, shut down every instructor who ever made an advance, and has a faint persistent nervous BO. I do not know why and am not basing this on any brilliant musician I have known in my time. Perhaps everyone who gets to the level where they can play the Grieg without a wrong note is a bit off in their own idiosyncratic way.
There’s nothing unusual about this performance, and any understatements or overstatements I blame on the conductor. I’ve heard better.
So, going or returning? I'm the way home. We went to Boston, briefly, for Thanksgiving. A short trip and worth every sou. Sara’s sister & husband live there now, or rather again, and they have two kids who live there, each married, with small children, AND the third kid was going to be in town, with wife, AND, Daughter lives there, AND, next year we could be dead, who knows? So go. Never assume. Take every opportunity.
Up and out at a not-unreasonable hour on Wednesday, nice flight except for bone-dissolving turbulence a bit on the way down. Not shaking and bounding about, but sudden OH NO SOMETHING IS HORRIBLY WRONG and then stops after three seconds, only starts up again in a minute. Fun. But then you’re down and it’s a reminder that the planes can endure much; just don’t look at the wings going up and down. As it happened the FA - sorry, the steward had asked me to close my window a while before, supposedly because of the light, but now I’m thinking ah, the engine’s on fire, isn’t it, and you don’t want a panic, which is understandable, but won’t the fire suppression systems put it out? Unless of course you know heavy turbulence is coming, and you suspect the fire will have weakened huge structural integrity of the airframe, so what might be bowing within design parameters will now cause a catastrophic failure?”
“No, sir, it’s the glare.”
“Ah yes, of course.”
Anyway, I'll take this down after noon so I don't get copyright strikes, but really, you think they'd be pleased for the publicity.
One minute from here to there.
Landed, get on the screeching T.
You can hear it coming before you see it.
It's amusing: last time I was all certain we were going to take the wrong train and end up in Maine, and this time I'm all shrugs: Bus to Blue, Blue to Gov Center, Green D. Took an hour. I've spent more time this year on tubes and trains keeping my wheeled luggage from rolling away than any other year. This is not a complaint.
Indian dinner with Daughter and Wife and in-laws, because that's the food whose characteristics will be completely absent on Thanksgiving. Had a rather voluptuous vindaloo. I prefer them to be more stabby and less sumptuous. Fell asleep at the hour most adults fall asleep, I guess, if the old turn-off-the-TV-after-the-Carson-monologue paradigm still holds. (Although I'll bet most people pushed it to the end of the first guest.) Then a very long day of family and food. Just the best in both.
We had two turkeys. One was fried in the backyard in a new rig one of the kids had just bought. Peanut oil. He’s a doctor. The kid who works for an energy investment firm - angel work on high-tech startups, I gather - was inside making the batter for the onion rings and deep-fried pate balls, because why not deep fry the pate balls.
There were small children - the cousins who grow up together and always be close, you hope - and the spouses who have married into this brilliant clan. We have that in common. There’s not a soul among them I don’t love. A great big American family. I trust one of the smaller kids will write the inevitable novel about them all.
There was a small catastrophe, a minor thing for a Thanksgiving dinner: the fridge broke. At some point the hostess realized that the lights weren’t popping on when the door opened.
It was late enough in the day where we knew nothing had gone over. Of course I had to sit down with brother-in-law and investigate. Compressor? Blown circuit board? I'm pushing for the latter, since it had no power at all, and nothing was tripped at the box. You google the wait time on the circuit board, I'll check the warranty details! Go! Go!
Made it to the end of the night without saying "oh, one more piece of pie before bed," although I wish I had.
Set my alarm on my iPad and drifted off . . . until the alarm shrieked at two. WHY, I thought. WHY, my wife said. I set it for seven! I know I did! (Mentally, I'm imagining my tired finger flicking the screen and moving it from seven to two without noticing.) It was only later, around 2:30, as I laid in bed wide awake, that I realized my iPad was probably set on London time.
Ah, the problems of the modern man. Dash it all, I forgot to recalibrate the deuced thing, and now damned if I won't be knackered the day long. I know I fell asleep, because I was awakened when the dog started to barf.
It was a very considerate and quiet barf, though. I only hoped he did not barf on my computer, which was on the floor, charging. The next morning I learned that it was not indeed an episode of barfing, but merely the perturbations of his stomach that presaged a bout of the hiney blurts. They got him outside in time.
Up and out to the airport, plenty of time, security a breeze, the flight without incident, and deposited back in the cold. It's cold. It's suddenly cold again.
Light dusting of snow.
Lights are up.
Heard a carol the other day, and thought: okay. I'm in.
That can be arranged, if you insist:
It starts with lots of low-quality inadvertent documentary.
Where is this?
Has to be Bunker Hill, the usual location for all the seedy shots.
But there’s an office building. A modern place.
Our only hope: t’s a movie theater.
But nothing comes up.
Or could it be . . . Cafe Taca something?
I don’t know. Back up a bit. Could it be Broadway?
Anyway: our hero-but-not-really-but-maybe:
He’s dictating a story to someone, and starts by saying he’ll be dead in 55 minutes. So it’s Double Indemnity?
If that’s the case, who’s the femme fatale:
Look, we all love her, but I’m not sure she’s the right one for a tale of murder and infidelity?
Good thing she’s got a good lawyer: Raymond Burr. This might be the first time his essential Perryosity is on display.
The prosecuting attorney:
Why, it’s our old friend from radio, John Dehner. For that matter, Raymond Burr was everyone’s old friend from radio. Anyway, it steals the tape machine confession from Double Indemnity, shamelessly. And hence no one is surprised by the end, when the tape recorder is turned on and reveals everything:
Busted by the framing device! The end! Show's over! Could've been worse, audience. You know they can't all be classics. Oh like you all could do better
That'll do. Mild start to a standard week. Except nothing special, and you'll be consistently satisfied!