Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seize The Moment

Late tomorrow afternoon, Andrew and I will fly to Dallas. We will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas at the home of my aunt and uncle, whom Andrew has met four times. Andrew met my aunt and uncle over the last two Christmas holidays as well as at the high school graduations of my sister and brother.

My brother will not have to travel for Thanksgiving. He attends university in Dallas, so he will already be in town.

My sister will fly to Dallas from Nashville, while my parents will drive to Dallas from Oklahoma.

Andrew and I will be the last to arrive, but no one need worry about traveling to the airport to retrieve us because Andrew has insisted upon our renting a car so that a vehicle will be available to us “as necessary”. I interpret “as necessary” as signifying “we will have a means of escape if our sanity is threatened”.

We will fly nonstop to Dallas, but our return trip on Sunday will involve a change of plane at Washington Dulles—as well as one segment on an Airbus 320, an airplane Andrew calls not Airbus but Deathbus owing to its unfortunate safety record. In its short lifespan, the Airbus 320 has experienced over 20 “cabin breaches” involving the deaths of more than 600 persons. We hope not to be fresh additions to that grim total.

Sunday was Andrew’s birthday. To celebrate, we drove up to Lowell to attend a Merrimack Repertory Theatre presentation of “Heroes”, Tom Stoppard’s translation of a recent French play by Gerald Sibleyras.

“Heroes”, set in 1959, is a tale of three World War I veterans bristling at their confinements in a retirement home. A very short play (ninety minutes, no intermission), “Heroes” is also a very slight play. It is not particularly amusing, not particularly charming, and certainly not dramatic in the least. The play’s message—seize the moment—offered the profundity of a greeting-card sentiment.

“Heroes” might prove magical in a magical production, but the play did not amount to much in the Merrimack presentation (which was based upon the New York production from earlier this year and involved much the same cast).

Andrew and I have only two items on our calendar between now and Christmas. While in Dallas, we will attend a Texas Ballet Theater performance of “The Nutcracker” at the new Winspear Opera House. After we return to Boston, we will hear Christoph Dohnanyi (whom I have never heard) lead the Boston Symphony in music of Bartok, Martinu and Dvorak.

For me, the month of December will be devoted to my term exams, which will conclude on the 18th, followed by the holidays.

The morning after my exams end, Andrew and I will fly to Minneapolis, where we will remain for more than two weeks. We will not return to Boston until January 3.

I am pleased that we have sixteen days at our disposal for the holidays this year. Last year, we had only eight days for the holidays, and eight days were not enough (plus we split those eight days, 50/50, between Oklahoma and Minnesota, and it seemed as if we were always on the move).

I look forward to sixteen days in Minnesota.

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