Celebrity Death Watch: Mobster Henry Hill died of natural causes, which is somewhat surprising. He was the subject of the book Wiseguys (and the movie based on it, Goodfellas) and, more relevant to why I mention him, lived in my home town for a few years. The other celebrity death to note is Rodney King. The acquittal of the policemen who beat him triggered the L.A. riots, which was certainly one of the scarier experiences of my life.
Should Have Been Celebrity Death Watch: Most of you will never have heard of storyteller and cowboy poet Mark Wilson, who passed away last week. He was a smiling presence at a number of storytelling events in California. Mark always dressed in cowboy style (hat and boots) and spoke with a quiet Western drawl. He was always kind and caring and will be missed.
Animal Death Watch: Someone mentioned to me what he described as another black bear fatality in his neighborhood, involving a police officer. I assumed that meant a bear had killed a cop, but he clarified that the cop had killed the bear. I am sure someone out there is ranting about police brutality. In a related story, my boss witnessed an entire family of ducks (mama and 12 ducklings) get wiped out on I-70 over the weekend. Robert McCloskey must be rolling over in his grave. (And, yes, we talk about this sort of stuff in our weekly staff meetings.)
Ceu: I went to hear Brazilian chanteuse, Ceu, perform last Tuesday night at Sixth and I. The opening (and accompanying) band, Curumin, were competent but not really exciting and way too loud. Her voice is great and I wish I could have heard it without the ear piercing background.
Artomatic: This is an art show that happens roughly annually , moving locations to take advantage of unused office buildings. This year was of particular interest since they are using the building I used to work in. I went on Wednesday night with two friends, one of whom worked there with me. (The other worked for my company until our recent lay-offs. Her husband worked with me in that office building, too.) I will spare you much about our conversation, some of which led one of the others to remark, “why aren’t we writing for The Big Bang Theory?
As for the art, this is an unjuried show so is quite a mix. One of the usual highlights is the Peeps Show, i.e. exhibit of peeps dioramas done for the Washington Post’s annual competition. A lot of the most interesting art at the show uses found objects, which is why creative people have so much trouble throwing things out. I am, by the way, contemplating exhibiting at a future Artomatic, but I do not use anything weirder than magnetic tape (which is, by the way, a real pain to crochet with).
Three Things That Seem Unrelated But Are Not : 1) I had to drive to darkest Maryland for meetings on Thursday and Friday. Getting to my destination (near Baltimore) took 40-50 minutes in the morning. Getting home took about 2 hours. I apologized to my car. 2) There were several signs up at the company I was visiting about an upcoming seminar on being an openly gay professional. This would have been unknown not all that many years ago. Some changes are good. 3) Suppose a man likes to wear a crochet kippah but is losing his hair? What does he do if there isn’t enough hair left for bobby pins? (This last is related because the thought was triggered by a man who was at one of the meetings I went to.)
Lateness: We got asked to include something in a report on why the report is late. The real answer is that it sat on the desk of the person asking for 2 months before he looked at it. “It’s your fault” was already deemed an unacceptable statement to include. (Lateness is a chronic problem in my organization, by the way. Boss Standard Time is 15 minutes late. As a prompt person, this drives me nuts.
Other Random Work-related Thought: Is the phrase “primary back-up” an oxymoron?
Mixed WMATA News: On the plus side, they changed the bus schedule for the route I take. On the minus side, the new “Rush Plus” on the metro completely screws anybody who lives along the western side of the Orange Line and needs to connect to the Blue Line. They claim it benefits more people than it hurts, but my experience is that about half the people on the trains I take get off at Rosslyn to go to the Pentagon or Crystal City and will now end up waiting 20 minutes on a crowded platform. (Yeah, the trains are supposed to be 12 minutes apart at worst, but they were 12 minutes apart before when they were supposed to be every 6 minutes.) The upshot is that I will probably end up taking the bus more often.