Is it wrong that I watched the movie "Sideways"* last night while drinking Two-Buck Chuck?
Actually, that juxtaposition is a perfect illustration of the unusual week I had, culturally.
It started last Sunday, when my pal Melissa and I took a trip back to the 80's, when we went to see the English Beat at a small club in the city. Well, okay... it was really just lead singer Dave Wakeling and Some Other Nameless Dudes, but they were billed as the English Beat. And because Melissa knows everyone in town, including the owner of this club, we were able to get in free. Cool! And as we lined up outside, we ran into Miss Cheese
, who decided to go to the show at the last minute. Double cool! Aside from the extraordinarily crowded conditions (Great White, anyone? Yeah, we knew where the club's back exit was....), and the guys behind us who decided that it would be a good idea to start slamdancing during "Mirror in the Bathroom," it was great fun. We danced and sang and sweated our asses off. I literally had to peel off my clothes when I got home, I was so sweaty. (Was that TMI? Oops.) Did I mention I didn't get to bed until 1 a.m.? Did I mention that I have to be at work at 7 a.m.? Yeah. But Miss Cheese has to be in at 5 a.m., so she had it much worse than I did.
Then on Tuesday, Melissa and I trekked over to Berkeley, for the premiere of Berkeley Rep's newest production, "Finn in the Underworld." Ummm. Yeah. It's a play that's billed as a "psychosexual horror story," so it was.... unusual. To say the least. And very graphic, sexually. And again, we ran into about 50 people Melissa knows during the reception after the play, so that was entertaining.
To top off the week, Miss Cheese and I got all dolled up on Friday for a night at the opera.
I know what you're saying right now. "Umm... aren't you the one who likes Ricky Martin**? You went to the opera??"
Yes, I did. We took in San Francisco Opera's "Dr. Atomic," which is about the development of the atomic bomb. Not your garden-variety subject for an opera, so that's why we were so intrigued by the prospect of seeing it. And it's not every day you get the chance to see a world premiere that's drawn national attention.
I don't think I'm cultured enough to fully appreciate opera. (I do LOVE the ballet though. Do I get culture points for that??) And it didn't help that so much of the libretto -- which is in English -- was so literal that we had to stop ourselves from laughing out loud at times. One great line? "All that I hear in your hair." Another classic: "Our only solace is the ham sandwiches and the coffee."
Yeah. Imagine those lines being sung in operatic fashion. It reminded us of the way we sometimes sing the news at work.
I actually wanted to bail at intermission, but the wise Miss Cheese thought we should stay so we could see how they would stage the actual explosion. And really, if we'd left, I'd always have wondered about it. But we did both struggle to stay awake during the second act, and some people around us actually left. DURING the second act. Once it was over, and the performers were taking their bows, a number of people fled as if the building was on fire.
While I can't say I liked it, I'm glad I got to see it. And I did find elements of it interesting. I'm just too much of a dork for opera, I think.
Oh. Are you wondering how I got to do all this, even though I'm in a financial bind? Freebies. And the generosity of friends who buy me cocktails and pay bridge tolls when we're out.* so there's a scene in which the two leads stop to get gas. the price per gallon? $1.71. remember when?** but I don't really like his new song. however, I'd watch him read the phone book, so I AM enjoying all these talk show appearances he's making to promote the new CD.