Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Plans

This has been my second week at my new job. I am finding the job to be very rewarding. The work is stimulating and the people at the office are top-drawer. It is a first-class law firm in every way, filled with first-class attorneys and first-class people. I like it very much.

Tomorrow night, Andrew and I are going to attend a performance of David Mamet’s play, “Speed The Plow”, at the Jungle Theater. Neither of us has seen this play, and we don’t quite know what to expect. All we know is that it is a three-character play lasting ninety minutes.

I have never seen a David Mamet play. Andrew has seen a couple of Mamet’s plays, but they were early Mamet, and probably not typical of mature Mamet. We are both sort of curious to see what we will think of “Speed The Plow”.

On Saturday, I think we will go over to Andrew’s parents’ house and do some yard work and watch college football games. We will be able to switch back and forth between the two activities as we like, depending upon our interest level in individual games as they unfold. One game or another will be on continuously between 11:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

I love autumn Saturdays, and so does Andrew. We both love to do yard work in the fall, and we both love to watch college football. On top of that, we will be very well fed, and we will get to rumpus with the dog. It will be a great day.

On Sunday afternoon, we will all go to Saint Paul to attend a performance of Verdi’s “Un Ballo In Maschera”. This Minnesota Opera presentation received mixed notices in the local newspapers. However, musician friends of ours have informed us that the presentation, musically and theatrically, is far worse than a mixed result. Apparently Minnesota Opera’s “Ballo” is more or less a disaster on all counts. If we did not already have tickets, we very well might plan to skip it.

Andrew and I are currently reading four books about Russian history. We are reading “Dances In Deep Shadows: The Clandestine War In Russia 1917-1920” by Michael Occleshaw; “Moscow 1941: A City And Its People At War” by Rodric Braithwaite; “Stalin’s Guerrillas: Soviet Partisans In World War II” by Kenneth Slepyan; and “Krushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story Of An American Adversary” by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali. A year ago last summer, Andrew and I spent the entire summer reading from Russian history, and we both decided to return to this subject after a year’s respite.

To provide us with some variety, we are also reading “Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed The World” by Paul Cartledge; “Panorama Of The Enlightenment” by Dorinda Outram; and “An Illustrated History Of The First World War” by John Keegan. The latter two volumes are dangerously close to coffee table books. The Keegan is mostly a rehash of his earlier books on the subject, all of which we have already read, but the photographs, maps and illustrations are marvelous and make for a beautiful and artful publication.

None of these books is a masterpiece, but these books are providing us with a rewarding reading program, since we can switch volumes as our interest in each waxes and wanes.

On Monday morning, very, very early, Andrew must travel to Louisville on business. He will remain in Louisville until late Wednesday afternoon, when he will fly back to Minneapolis.

Consequently, on Saturday morning, Andrew and I are going to decamp and move over to his parents’ house, where we will remain for a week.

We will both stay there Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Andrew will have to rise at 3:30 a.m. Monday morning and leave for the airport at 4:30 a.m. He will drive our car to the airport, and I am going to remain at Andrew’s parents’ house on Monday and Tuesday evenings and ride to work on those days with Andrew’s father.

Andrew will not return to Minneapolis until late Wednesday night, so he and I are going to stay at his parents’ house that night, too. Since we will all fly to New York on Friday afternoon, Andrew and I decided that we might as well stay at his parents’ house on Thursday night, too.

This will keep things simple and avoid a week of nonstop back-and-forth maneuvering between our apartment and Andrew’s parents’ house. In addition, I will have lots of company while Andrew is gone and I will get the world’s best food for six days and six nights! Can’t beat that!


  1. Glad you're liking the new job, Joshie. That's a fine firm. Make a good impression there--maybe you'll get a job there after law school. Hope you guys have a great weekend. Paul

  2. Joshua, it is good to know that you have fully recovered!!!

    However, the tide has turn, for it is me that is indisposed at the moment. You see, my diva Angela Gheorghiu, has cancelled the Boheme I was looking forward to see all summer.

    Since the news broke out(dear Andrew was actually the one who alerted me) I'm left numb with frustration. I gotta go rest now.

    Have a terrific weekend with Andrew. Try not to worry too much about my broken heart!!!


  3. Chanteuse, I am so very sorry!

    Andrew called me at work as soon as he read the news, and the first thing he said was that you would be heartbroken. I know how much you have been looking forward to Gheorghiu's appearance for months.

    There is not much consolation in a case like this. The best hope is that you enjoy the performance immensely, even with a different cast.

    So go hear "Boheme" anyway, and find that you are having a grand time!

    I'm sure you will have a better time than Andrew and I will have at "Ballo" here in town. Our local "Ballo" is supposed to be intolerable!


  4. Josh:

    What's going on? It's hard to follow things from over here.

    Angela Ghorghiu has dropped out of Chicago's "Boheme"? She is still listed on the company's website.

    And what exactly is supposed to be wrong with the Minn-e-so-ta "Ballo"? Who is in the cast? I could not locate the cast on the company's website.

    Sort of curious. We are having our own problems here. Bryn Terfel cancelled Pappano's "Ring" at Covent Garden at short notice, claiming one of his children had hurt his hand. Pappano was livid.


  5. Hey, Calvin.

    Angela Gheorghiu did not drop out of "La Boheme" at Lyric Opera Of Chicago. She was fired for missing rehearsals. News of her dismissal this morning is on the website of the Chicago Tribune. A friend of ours had picked up tickets months ago solely to hear Gheorghiu. Obviously he is very disappointed.

    Cast of the Minnesota Opera "Ballo In Maschera":

    Riccardo: Evan Bowers
    Amelia: Cynthia Lawrence
    Renato: Charles Taylor
    Ulrica: Christin-Marie Hill
    Oscar: Nili Riemer

    Have you ever heard of any of them? Only Cynthia Lawrence is known at all here. Once she was thought to be a singer of promise, but no more.

    Musical direction is by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Stage direction is by James Robinson.

    None of these artists work in Europe.

    What is supposed to be wrong with the Minnesota "Ballo"?

    Well, the sets are supposed to be dark and dreary, and cheap-looking. Estimated cost: $5.00.

    The stage direction is supposed to be completely inept.

    The conducting is supposed to be completely inept.

    The singing is supposed to be completely inept, except for the young lady singing Oscar. She is supposed to be quite captivating, and an absolute doll.

    It is supposed to be the worst thing the company has presented in years.

    We are not exactly looking forward to it. Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised. I sure hope so.

    Take care of yourself.