Friday, December 28, 2018

The Most Annoying Tour Guide - Me!!

My husband’s extended family have rented a house in Savannah, Georgia for the time between Christmas and New Year’s. 

For the past two days I have been frantically trying to re-read “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.  If you’ve never heard of it, you weren’t in a book club in the 90s.  It is nominally a story about a murder that took place here in 1981, but is really a love letter to Savannah.

Everyone I know who has read the book, which is basically every woman I know since we are all in book clubs, wants to come to Savannah.

And here I am!  But now I am torn between the Savannah of the book and the Savannah that is literally outside my door.  I want to finish the book so I can annoy my family by pointing out things they care nothing about, such as the location of Emma’s Piano Bar, an establishment which closed years ago, since the book’s events all take place before 1990.

Before taking a trip, I read everything I can get my hands on about where we are going.  But then I can only remember bits and pieces.  So I act as a super-annoying and forgetful tour guide, stopping in the middle of streets to point out where someone may or may not have lived and something may or may not have happened at some undetermined time in the past.

OK, I have to go now and speed read the rest of this book since I think we are taking a trolley tour of town this afternoon, and I will absolutely be trying to talk over the tour guide to regale my family with half-remembered facts.  You’re welcome!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

I Don't Hate The Messiah!

I thought I hated The Messiah, but it turns out I only hate bad Messiahs. 

My husband loves to sing, and for the past many years we have attended a Sing-Along Messiah.  I can’t carry a tune AT ALL, so for me, being at the Sing-Along Messiah is akin to be being the only sober person at a party.

My mother, who we are staying with in Virginia, also loves classical music.  For a Christmas treat, I booked tickets to the Kennedy Center Messiah featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, a choir, and some opera singers.

Full disclosure: I do not like opera.  I have tried to like opera, because it seems like the sort of thing a liberal elite such as myself should enjoy, but it’s boring and screechy.  So when we came up one ticket short, I was planning to do some Sudoku in the Terrace Bar during the performance.

But, as often, but not always (sadly), happens, last minute paid off: I scored a single box seat ten minutes before the show.  So while my family was in the cheap seats in the second balcony, I joined two confused families in their private box.

I can honestly say that the tenor soloist at the Kennedy Center Messiah moved me to tears.  Despite the fact that it is seen as a Christmas show, the Messiah covers the whole life of Christ, and when the tenor was being Jesus and singing about how the world had abandoned and despised him, I was moved.  And I’m a lapsed Catholic, one of the most cynical religious groups in the world!!

And the University of Maryland Choir was amazing!  So young to be so talented!

So now I know: watch out for false Messiahs, but the real ones are pretty great.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Lady of Los Altos

I had a really excellent LOLA (Lady of Los Altos) day today.  I woke up to my alarm at 7:15, provided my high school senior (Amy) with a healthful egg sandwich, and then went back to bed because she has her own car.
Upon waking at 9:30, I texted my Wednesday morning hiking group and we went on a walk around the Country Club. 

When I got home, Amy was moody, so I took her out for vegetarian Indian thalis.  Then I made her go to Goodwill with me.  I enjoyed it, she did not, so I brought her home so she could walk the dog.

I made my way to Draeger’s Supermarket, an upscale grocery frequented by all the rich old biddies in town.  The heavy Indian lunch caught up with me, so I napped in my car for a while.  This is a particular skill of mine of which I am unreasonably proud.  I can recline the front seat of my car and sleep at any hour of the day, in any parking spot.  Old ladies were slamming car doors all around me, shopping carts were trundling by, children were misbehaving as they do at the grocery store; I slept through it all.

(Once I fell asleep so hard in my car in front of my kids’ grade school that a fellow parent thought I had suffered a heart attack.  No, just asleep.)

I received a text from a friend that she needed a cocktail, so I joined her at a downtown bar.  I could only stay for one drink, as I had frozen spinach thawing in the back of my car.

Upon arriving home, I turned on a Pandora station (MeatLoaf) and made dinner.  My kids make fun of me and say Pandora is for old people, but I am old, so shut up.

After dinner, Larry and I went to the Elks club and had a few Manhattans (seriously).  All in all, a useless but entertaining day.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Conquering Sudoku

I am pleased to report that I can now complete a level 4 Sudoku puzzle in less than 30 minutes.  This was not an easy victory for me.  I have always been pretty good at puzzles and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t do the daily Sudoku in the San Jose Mercury News.  I know that MAGA supporters in Iowa can do these goddamn puzzles and it began to infuriate me that I could not.
            So I watched TWELVE HOURS of YouTube videos by The Sudoku Guy, an older British gentleman with a penchant for strange shirts and a girlfriend named Katherine (seemed like kismet).  Which is odder, that I watched these videos or that they exist?
            I would like to thank my husband for providing me with the sort of lifestyle that enables me to pursue esoteric quests like being good at Sudoku.  I am grateful every day that I don’t have to haul manure to a potato patch or some such task and can instead sit at the kitchen table and enjoy several limited-edition Nespressos while muttering to my newspaper.