May 29th, 2010

storyteller doll

All the News That Fits

First, there are a whole bunch of celebrity deaths to note. I have to admit that I never really cared much for Art Linkletter's sort of humor, though I do understand why he was popular. I never understood, however, why Gary Coleman was popular. (I do admit to finding the use the creators of Avenue Q made of him very funny. I also think that makes me a bad person.) There was also a Dominican baseball player (Jose Lima), which I mention largely because I am sort of planning a trip to the Dominican Republic largely so I can go to a ball game there. Finally, today's news brings the death of Dennis Hopper. As further proof that I am a bad person, my immediate mental association with him is this little bit of verse from my youth:

I ride my Harley chopper
Just like Dennis Hopper
I ride my bike alone
and tear up the old folks' home


In more positive news, I saw that Lori Berenson has been paroled. Since all of my co-workers reacted to my mention of this with "who?" I will explain that she is a nice Jewish girl from Long Island who went to MIT, but dropped out to do aid work in Latin America. She got involved (and here is where the story gets blurry) with a Peruvian terrorist group called Tupac Amaru. (The name is that of a leader of an Inca rebellion which fought the Spanish colonial administration, by the way.) Part of the blurriness has to do with who you call terrorists and who you call freedom fighters, but more of it has to do with just what her role with them was. At any rate, she's been in prison since the mid-1990's. She married her lawyer (who was also part of Tupac Amaru) and had a child in prison about a year ago. They're going to make her stay in Peru for the remaining five years of her sentence, but at least she won't be in prison.

The Watergate Hotel is being sold. I wonder what kind of bug inspection the buyers will insist on.

The other item from the newspaper I wanted to mention was John Kelly's column about After the Storm. These guys perform at the entrance to the Crystal City metro station frequently and they always lift my mood for my evening commute. At least for a few minutes. Then I have to get into the station and deal with cluless tourists. Which prompts these haiku:

Actually my
time IS more important than
yours is. Damn tourists.

Someday I will crack
and throw a tourist onto
the metro train tracks.

I don't think I ever followed up on it, but Jammin' Java did refund my money for the cancelled Pierre Bensusan show once I called them. The performance venue that I am annoyed at currently is Studio Theatre. I have gone to two shows there over the past couple of years. One of those I was lukewarm towards and the other I completely detested. But what I am annoyed about is that they keep calling me for donations. I have asked them at least four times to remove me from their call list. Short of them premiering, say, a new Sondheim musical, I will not go there ever again.

I went to see A Prairie Home Companion at Wolf Trap last night. Garrison Keillor is very good at what he does and it was very entertaining. The guests were jazz singer Inga Swearingen (who did a lovely rendition of "Lazy Afternoon" from The Golden Apple) and folk singer Tom Rush. In addition to a few of his own songs, Rush sang "Old Blevins" by the Austin Lounge Lizards, which I mention largely so I will have a reminder to get tickets to their show at Wolf Trap next April. He also had a great line about The Old Man of the Mountain - "it is creepy to have outlived a geological feature." All in all, it was an enjoyable evening, despite the couple seated behind me who apparently believed they were in their own living room and could, therefore, continue an argument they have been having for 33 years while people were up there on the stage talking and performing music.

This morning I drove down to Fredericksburg and did the river trail Volksmarch. I had actually intended to go to Richmond, but the traffic was so heavy that I bailed. This was a pleasant walk, especially along the canal trail. I didn't much like the couple of sections along a busy road with no sidewalk, but the historic district is always nice to walk through. And the expected rain held off, so I didn't even have to drive home in a storm.
storyteller doll

Fun With Names

Somehow I managed to miss these two clippings in my news wrap-up.

1) The crime section of a local free newspaper reported a story on a dog bite. The Animal Control Officer who responded is named Barker.

2) The Jewish Study Center is offering a cleverly named class. "Shir Havoc: Meshugah melodies for familiar prayers" is all about "fitting prayers to everything from Vivaldi to movie music to sea shanties and Irish drinking songs."