October 9th, 2010

storyteller doll

An Entertaining Week

I did a lot of entertaining things in the past week. I've already written about my trip to Niagara Falls last weekend. Here is a wrap-up of other things:

Amazing Race: None of the teams really pissed me off, though I did notice a lot of cluelessness, starting with nobody being able to pronounce "Accra" correctly (or "cedi" for that matter. The currency of Ghana is usually pronounced with a long "e" so it sounds like "CD.") I didn't care much for the sunglass sale challenge. It did strike me that nobody really caught on that bargaining is the norm in that sort of market and started out asking for a higher price. I was glad that they had the coffins as an option, since the fantasy coffins are one of the truly unusual things about Ghanaian culture. I was surprised to see them miss the other unusual thing as none of the businesses they went to had names with religious references. In the end, it seemed to come down largely to taxi drivers, which is disappointing but probably realistic.

The Social Network: Because of my bruised foot, I thought it best not to go to dance class on Tuesday night. I had a free movie ticket from a refund offer and used it to see The Social Network. My understanding is that the film exaggerated how much of a jerk Mark Zuckerberg is, but it makes a better story that way. At any rate, I thought the movie was very good, with some genuinely funny material.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: The Trocks were at the Kennedy Center this week and I went Wednesday night. Burly men dancing en pointe always makes for an amusing evening. It works because they are good dancers, able to keep in control of the parody. But I will note that they are really doing pretty much the same shtick (e.g. "Swan Lake" with exaggerated pantomime) as they have been doing for some 30 odd years.

Elon Gold: I went to see Elon Gold's show "Half Jewish, Half Very Jewish" at Sixth & I Synagogue on Thursday night. I'd say he is funnier than Jackie Mason (who I admit I don't much care for) but not as funny as Avi Hoffman. Some of his jokes are rather dated. For example, he has a bit on the differences between Israelis and Jews which includes lines like "Israelis return fire. Jews return merchandise." He talks about his father teaching in the South Bronx. "What does he teach? Schvartzes." On the plus side, he had some very funny material about every rabbinic sermon, which he used in a routine about a rabbi doing stand-up comedy. And his demonstration of how his cantor can drag out "Baruch Ata ..." into 30 minutes was spot on.

Other stuff: We have an annual security orientation at work. They give us something for showing up (which is kind of odd, as going is mandatory). In the past, the gimmes have included things like flashlights and a beach bag. This year, it was a fleece blanket. Yes, I now own an official corporate security blanket.

This weekend: I have no plans. There's an Octoberfest party at my condo complex tomorrow night, but that is low pressure. I have already spent a lot of time catching up on reading and sleeping.