What can you say about a musical about your big sister? How weird was it to see an actress on stage playing a sib and hearing her words come out of the mouth of a stranger. We went to Renewing Wright last night. I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was billed as a musical about the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Darwin D. Martin and about the formation of the Conservancy and the restoration of Graycliff. I liked the use of the correspondence between Wright and Martin as a device for developing the relationship between the two men and the use of photographs projected on a screen at center stage. Surprisingly, it worked but when it hits Broadway, I think they should get Bernadette Peters to play Carol.
I went to City Hall to protest a parking ticket. The room could not be found where it should have been [who would think to look for room 111 in the basement?] or where you would ever think to put it unless you were actively trying to discourage people from finding it. Down some stairs, through a door, down a hall, many more turns—I should have suspected something when the guy in the information booth laughed when I asked him how to get there. Just finding the place should be penalty enough but no. The office is maintained at a toasty heart of the sun temperature, hot enough to curl the tape on the grimy handwritten notices, all liberally peppered with exclamation points and typos, none offering the slightest bit of useful information.
There were two lines—one for scheduled appointments and “other.” I, of course, was among the others. I waited in line for oh, about a millennia, as the young man ahead of me, so covered in dog hair that I tried to catch his name, sure that it was something like Lad or Jip. I listened to him as he swore, not very creatively but certainly thoroughly, at the State of New York from top to bottom, from the governor to the mayor to the county. I was sure glad he didn’t start naming people street by street, although he certainly seemed to be building toward that. Seems he was upset that he invested in a truly impressive stack of unpaid parking tickets only to find that the door prize was a boot on his car. Things were not going much better at the other window. A well dressed and initially polite oriental lady was foolishly trying to get a copy of her summons. She tried valiantly but ultimately failed. To her credit, her parting, frustrated shot “Birdbrain!” at least showed some effort at originality.
Somewhat disoriented by my experience, I walked back to my office and saw and well dressed man standing staring vacantly at a bench in an empty bus shelter. While I was still a distance away, he started gesturing wildly and shouting. I thought I understood. “Scheduled appointment” or “other?” I was prepared to ask. As I got closer, I saw that he was talking on a cell phone. I walked on, glad, at least, that I hadn't tried the inaptly name "information" line like this poor soul.
Last year was a time of great change for me. Neon Moon was in California for most of the summer and her departure for college was immanent. Mona Lisa spent most of the summer at camp. I could practically hear The Sprite growing as she slept. I felt as if my window of opportunity to spend any significant amount of time with the girls was closing and, full of working mother guilt and other things, I decided to create more free time for myself. As working less is never an option, I decided to cut back on my own extra curricular activities and resigned from all of my volunteer boards. Now, one year later, the dust has settled and I find myself missing the level of community involvement I formerly enjoyed. Imagine my surprise this morning when I received a call from a friend asking if I would be interested in a board seat on an organization of personal interest to me, one with which I had no prior formal relationship. Hmm. I am not sure if it will happen but perfect timing nonetheless.
So I am sitting in the school parking lot waiting for the Sprite, looking around at all of the other minivans holding parents waiting for their children to emerge from play practice, club meetings and such. Across from and facing me is one such standard issue kid-carter. The windows are tinted so I can’t make the driver out clearly but he/she seems to smile and nod so I smile and nod and it is not until the Sprite is crossing the parking lot toward me that I see the driver across from me lurch across the front seat and try to jump out the window to greet her. Ok, so it was a dog. I just didn’t want to hang around to see it drive away. I think I’m kind of tired.
Speaking of children’s literature, Put Me in the Zoo remains one of my favorite reads; who can resist laughing when he turns the spots into socks? If only our own sock “situation” could be so easily resolved. Somehow, at some point, the socks in our house took over our house. I periodically throw away the mateless socks but they only seem to multiply. I am convinced that most people do not devote the same time, energy and conversational content to the topic of socks. Mona Lisa has attempted to deal with it by wearing wildly colored toe socks that can be easily identified, The Flash has developed a new mantra “Dark socks! Dark socks!” The Sprite is one of the culprits, in cahoots with the sock forces as it were as the mysterious gravity in our house causes her socks to fall off as soon as she crosses the threshold, only to turn up months later. Neon Moon fled the state but was unable to escape the strange sock karma of our house. At the end of my freshman year in college, my roommate returned home without emptying a drawer that, as it turned out, contained nothing but socks. Baseball socks, soccer socks, socks with lace, different sizes, different colors—there was little to explain this cache. Perhaps the socks traveled as spots through time and space from behind sofa cushions and dryers to this drawer. Good as any other theory, I suppose.