Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Clock and other treasures and trash

Friends, something has invaded my body if not my soul - something that makes me ache all over, but not so badly that I'm helplessly sick, just sort of sick. Interesting. Is it a reaction to Obama's performance in the debate? Surely not. Actually, that could have been worse, in the end - even the right-wing hyenas seemed to be marvelling at his bad night. He has two other nights. Let's see if his fire returns. And mine will do, though mine is not as important as his.

Though it is, of course, to me.

My dear friend Brucie and I are having adventures. On Thursday we went to see "The Clock" at the Power Plant; what an amazing, brilliant piece of art. It's a 24 hour film showing clips from countless movies and the occasional TV show in which timepieces of various kinds are shown, from Big Ben to miniature watches, at the exact time you are watching. Bruce and I entered the spacious room and settled on a comfortable white couch at 10.18 a.m. A watch indicating 10.18 was on the screen. And then the minutes went by, one by one. There is incredible tension - so many movies involve just making a train or plane or escaping at the last minute or bombs ticking down. But there's comedy too, John Cleese on the wrong train, and there's sweetness and pathos. It's especially exciting as you approach the big turning points - 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and most of all, noon. Lots of excitement at noon. I left at 1.18 and can't wait to go back, if I can, to see the afternoon. On the weekends, the film runs for 24 hours; you can stay all night. I will have, with some regret, to miss that.

On Friday night, Mr. K. and I went to the opera. He has never seen the new opera building and was suitably impressed. My student in the chorus periodically passes on an offer for $25 tickets in the orchestra, so we went to the opening of "Die Fledermaus" by Strauss. It's a wonderful confection, said Bruce.

Not this production. OMYGOD. The first act was all right, though a bit weird - people in strange bat costumes, a giant watch overhanging the stage and a huge crack that appears in the set for no appreciable reason, requiring the singers to step through and over it. But the singing and the music were sublime.

Then the second act - interminable, joyless, offensive. One poor lead singer spent the act suspended above the stage, hanging from the watch, wearing a bat costume. There was an intimation of Nazi guards in the prison scene. I hated it and would have left if I could, sensing the cold dead hand of a director who hates actors, singers and life. And sure enough, when I wrote to my student, she replied that everyone had had a terrible time in rehearsal as he screamed at them.

So - if you go, leave at the intermission. I wrote a letter to the opera, suggesting that they not hire this director again. And then Richard Ouzonian gave it a rave in the "Star." So there you go. Believe whom you will.

More excitingly, Bruce always helps with my technology - on previous visits he has rearranged my office, taken me to buy a scanner and various other necessary machines. This time I told him my phone is substandard, I need a new camera and have never had a little thingie for listening to music. The conclusion - of course, how logical - was that I should buy an iPhone 5, the new phone from Apple, much in demand. Bruce is an Apple freak, with an iPad, IPod Touch, a Mac Air etc. etc. But the iPhone 5 is his objet de d├ęsir at the moment.

After various calls to Mac stores and to Rogers, my service provider, we discovered that in all of Toronto, there were only a few iPhones left at the Apple store in the Eaton's Centre. So we rushed off - and the last one had just been sold, no idea when more would appear. My despair was great, because the whole point is that Bruce is here to show me how the @#$#@ thing works, something I'm incapable of figuring out on my own. Many tears, without Bruce.

Long story short, we found the very last one in existence at a Rogers store nearby, got an amazing deal, got set up, and walked out with this incredible piece of technology. It's mind-boggling, what it can do, including transcribing what I say, finding information that I ask for verbally, downloading books - Bruce downloaded "Pride and Prejudice" for me, in case I'm bored on the streetcar. I can barely comprehend this thing. Plus it does make phone calls and texts and the simple stuff which is probably almost all I'll use it for.

Thank you, my Bruce. He also went out today as I lay in bed aching, to buy a giant roast of beef, potatoes, veggies - because the gang are coming for our Thanksgiving dinner tonight. We're not cooking turkey because we're making one next weekend in Ottawa, for my mother. So beef and Yorkshire pudding tonight for my kids, Eli and his cousin Dakota, other daughter Holly, Bruce and the feeble one. I can smell it now.

I give thanks for health, for family, for friendship, and for the artists and inventors who keep our world interesting. And my love to you all, on this day of various kinds of feasts.

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