slogging through spectacle
Sunday, February 21 2010
This morning Gretchen and I had brunch at our place for us and our friends Jen & Chris. (That's a terribly-confusing pair of names for a couple to have given all the Jens and Chrises we know. But to clarify, he's an artist and she's a photographer, and they live together in Woodstock.) The brunch was a big success despite Gretchen's concern about the waffle batter, which had seemed to go a bit funky sometime during the night. At some point I gave us all a tour of the brownhouse and the greenhouse. The brownhouse was more of a drive-by, and the sunny, windy weather seemed to be pulling enough fragrance from the nearly-full poo chamber to actually give a slight hint of dead cat to the immediate outhouse vicinity, though I don't know if the others noticed. Jen and Chris were both delighted by the greenhouse despite its two dead banana trees and the large but nearly-dead tomato (with its four cherry-sized fruits slowly wilting unripened on the vine). Jen had her camera and took a number of pictures of me against the rich texture of the greenhouse's interior masonry wall. [I saw these later and they were stunning.]
After our brunch guests left, I immediately set off into the woods to begin hauling back the wood I'd cut up yesterday. The weatherman was calling for a big snow storm in two days' time, and I always like to stock up on firewood in anticipation of such things. I managed to haul back a single overloaded cart of wood, most of it super-dry American Chestnut.
This evening Gretchen and I met up with our friends Penny and David for the first time in something like two months (we'd seen him more recently, but not her). The four of us met in the Davenport's parking lot outside Stone Ridge and carpooled from there to the Rosendale Theatre to see the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a lavish visual spectacle starring the late Heath Ledger. I knew five minutes into the movie that it was going to be a long muddled slog, and sure enough it was. There was a period about a third of the way in where I nearly fell asleep, something I haven't done in a theatre since I was in my early 20s. I couldn't tell what was going on and none of the characters made me care one way or the other. After the movie, all of us except David agreed that watching it had been an unpleant experience. For his part, David insisted that it had all been about the trippy visual experience. But for me, even that had been tiresome.
After the movie, we found the kitchen closed at the Brickhouse Tavern, so we ended up at the Rosendale Café, where we were at the mercy of an incredibly slow kitchen despite the fact that there were no other customers in the joint. We quickly deduced that the tattoo-slathered cook must start toking up at a certain point in the evening, and from then on God help you if you want your food in a timely manner.
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