Speaking Confidentially: 13 October 1997

Not a birthday

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treeRRP's birthday

On Saturday it occurred to me that today, Monday the 13th, was RRP's birthday, and I hadn't bought her a card or even talked to her since my mother's wedding. This morning, in the shower, I remembered again, remembering further that I had neglected to get both her new phone number and new address that weekend. But I really wanted to call and leave a message with the Beatles' "Birthday." It was too early to call Albuquerque to get the info from SWBW. Damn. I called her old number, but it had no new number. So I called Information, glad it's now national. Nothing. Then I remembered I could call her at work, so I called the Danielson office, which told me she was in Norwich, so I called there.
"May I tell her who's calling?"
"Lisa?! How are you? What's going on?" Clearly RRP thought a Crisis had come up.
"Happy Birthday!"
"It's tomorrow."
"Oh." Hers is the next day, the month before, and RDC's is the day before, the month after. Oops. Me? Forget a birthday? Plus October 14th is so set in my mind as Hastings Day that I can't cram a birthday on top of the mourning. But I had to tell her the whole story about finding her number, and we laughed about that, but she said she'd had the phone company tell the new number. Maybe it doesn't work from a different area code?

She told me M. has taken her birthday off. N.B. she has work tomorrow and class afterward. But M.has the day off. We found this hilarious. How sweet! How considerate! "Honey, I've taken your birthday off for you since you can't." Actually, with the day off he can have supper ready for her when she comes home, and will be there at all when she comes home. He works swings, so only by his taking the day off do they see each other a little bit.

RRP asked me if I'd found out about the bread. I had to tell her no and that I bet even if I asked, I wouldn't be told. There's the good news, though: because of either honeymoon bliss or realization, I have had exactly one postcard and one phone call in the past month.

Then I told her about 971010's mix-up with K. and K. I haven't changed.

She and M. are so married now! They have a gas grill and a washer and dryer and a lawnmower. Marrieder than I am, though not legally.

treeCLH and John Denver

I saw a "coming-up" teaser on the news that John Denver died in a plane crash. So I called CLH, who's lived in Aspen, and who claimed, after seeing the Coors ad where a man walks into a local bar and feels alien until he starts singing "Rocky Mountain High," that the same thing had happened to her. CLH said she heard a few days ago that he died in a car crash. "Airplane, the news said." I wouldn't be surprised if she dreamed it; we both dream presciently. But a friend of hers from Aspen was his assistant, so she was worried. Just then the real story came on, so we watched CNN together: it was Denver alone, so her friend is probably okay (although out of a job).

treeFocus on the positive

HAO asked me yesterday as we drove to the ballet if anything good had happened on Sunday. I was acting negative and therefore being negative, and I'm glad HAO alerted me. There was a dusting of snow yesterday morning, which was good (although not as good as the other two years we've been here, with a dump of several inches as an inaugural snowfall in September). I felt really cooped up and inactive and not as slowly and luxuriantly slothful as I usually do Sunday morning after "CBS Sunday Morning," so I cleaned the kitchen. I guess I'm really not liking Libra, to look for that excuse.

Also I noticed the books and bookshelves were filthy when I added several inches of books to the shelves the other day: The Babel Tower, the new Don DeLillo, and two Gretel Ehrlichs. Tower came from Fahrenheit's; Underworld; and another Fahrenheit, The Living, evicted the Ehrlichs from my Writing Section. (The other two recent Fahrenheit finds were Temple of My Familiar, which I was able to cram among my Favorites after donating a tattered pulp edition to Dot Org's trading shelf, and Libra, which took up no more space than the pulp Libra already in General Fiction.) I was able to add Underworld, The Babel Tower, and the Ehrlichs by turning Hemingway and Hesse on their sides and stacking them. So now we have two vertical stacks, Dickens through Dreiser from several months ago, and Hemingway and Hesse. I didn't have to move Hijuelos to the next bookcase, but I don't like stacks of books. Anyway, stacked or not, now they're clean.

While I was doing all this removal and dusting and replacing, Blake was in his playspace on the top of the bookcases (two side-by-side three-shelf cases next to his cage). He's always been fascinated with looking Behind things: Behind the futon, where he occasionally makes an expotition and emerges at the front, having spelunked through the tape cases under the futon; Behind the desk, Behind his cage, Behind the bookcases. Well, yesterday Behind the bookcases was especially interesting because of these odd noises. Poor little thing, he's not that bright: I'm not sure if he connected me sitting in front of the cases to the noises he heard from Behind. He was curious about what was going on back there, especially after RDC saw him (I couldn't from my angle), realized what was going on in his little pea brain, and told me so that I started knocking on the back panel. Then I put him on a shelf of books I'd finished so he could look Behind the books. He thought that was neat, so then I set him behind the books I was currently shelving. He spelunked bravely along and presently I heard him scurrying in the far corner. I knew he'd realize these were books needing his chewing so I took him out, telling him I didn't have a cask of Amontillado for him so he couldn't stay back there.

So those were the Good Things I thought of at HAO's behest. About the Denver Ballet I have two things to say: To the director: live music is integral to the ballet, and canned music piped from the pit doesn't cut it (sitting listening to canned Prokofiev before the curtain lifted as if canned mattered as much as live was laughable). To the dancers: Ker-plunk Ker-plunk Ker-plunk. The men, who I assume are heavier, landed less noisily than the women, including (especially) Juliet. HAO knows the technical aspects and said the dancers prepared too much for their jetés and pirouettes. HAO is looking forward to the Ballanchine and she makes it sound much more appealing; and I assume if Ballanchine is so specific with choreography and costume and so on, live music is also part of the package.

treeLow-brow ballet

Call me low-brow, but I have not found the two ballets I have ever seen very appealing. Perhaps because they've been Shakespeare? and Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet lose a lot in a ballet? Perhaps something written first as a ballet and not adapted, like Swan Lake, wouldn't seem as hollow. Or perhaps because the music has been canned. Melodramatic. It took Mercutio longer to die than Paris, Romeo, and Juliet in the final scene.

And I can't blame that inequity on the Denver company, because especially with canned music, they cannot have truncated the final scene and padded Mercutio's swansong. Of the two, I think I prefer Midsummer: Puck jumped a lot more and I like good thighs in action. I do like dance, and I do like memetic dance: Momix dancing the life of humankind to Passion was one of the best shows I've ever seen. For now, though, I'll say I haven't liked Shakespeare danced.

I have begun to listen to The Eagle and the Raven, and there's nothing like listening to a book to revel its excesses. I'm listening to a parahistorical novel. And I'm liking it, just as I liked it in print so there. Low-brow, as I've already confessed. Speaking of low-brow, seeing Romeo and Juliet yesterday reminded me of Petals on the Wind. Thankfully, A Midsummer Night's Dream didn't. It must be that Cathy danced as Juliet but not as Hermione, not that ballet and V.C. Andrews are permanently linked in my head, which is good. I asked HAO about Andrews. She's never sunk so far.

treeBookending Sundays

Then the second of the Sunday television bookends: the morning one is "CBS Sunday Morning" and the evening one is "60 Minutes," "Simpsons," "King of the Hill," and "X-Files," but Fox has baseball on so only watched "60 Minutes" then CNN's "Impact." And then, joy of joys, with perfect timing (because my stomach was upset), TCM broadcast "The Philadelphia Story." My favorite line this time was "To know him slightly is to know him well."

treeAn eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

Which brings me back to today. I don't consider this a forum of Deep Thoughts, mostly because I don't write a good enough first draft about anything that I Think to justify posting anything, and only by posting do I see the faults of my writing and my argument.

With that said, let me opine that the headline of today's Rocky Mountain News confirms my stance against capital punishment: "Execution today." Mark your calendars? Be glad another person will die? Certainly it's not a call to protest. Perhaps the news story is that this is Colorado's first execution in 30 years. I suspect it's a story about the case in point and the person convicted and sentenced for the crime, not about the novelty of the sentence.

I know more about the victim and the horrific way in which she died than I do about the evidence that convicted the man who is to die. The media justify the execution not by a criminal's guilt but by a victim's suffering. That's wrong. One person's suffering does not prove the guilt of another. The condemned person might have committed the crime; I do not here doubt the truth of the conviction (and no one who reads this has grounds to think that's what I posit). I do doubt that this person will be executed for justice's sake. He will be executed for vengeance's sake.

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Last modified 14 October 1997

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