Monday, December 03, 2007

Random bullets of "reply hazy, try again"

I've just returned from a lovely four-day weekend in New York. Highlights:

  • After a long day of teaching I went straight to the airport, arriving at HK's around 11--just as she herself was getting home from work. Rather than going to bed like sensible people, we lounged around her apartment until nearly 3 a.m., drinking beer, eating Mallomars, and asking an endless series of questions of her Magic 8 Ball.
  • Apparently, my life is as opaque to the Magic 8 Ball as it is to me--all weekend long I received a statistically improbable number of "Cannot predict nows" and "Reply hazy, try agains."
  • Every time we headed off to the nearest subway stop, I started singing, "If you think you can, well come on, man!/I was a Green Beret in Viet-Nam!" When I was feeling particularly inspired, I'd run through the entire song two or three times. This amused me enormously. HK's amusement was less in evidence.
  • Necessarily, there was shopping. I always buy lingerie and tights when I'm in town; less frequently do I buy a hat (in this case, a pretty, mulberry-colored cloche). Never before have I bought a replica human skull--but it's exactly what my office needs.
  • Friday night HK and I went to see Cymbeline at Lincoln Center. We had excellent seats; the costumes were gorgeous; and there were some masterful moments of performance and staging. But they were moments. Still, I figure I can write off my ticket as a professional expense. . . and how often is Cymbeline staged, anyway?
  • The next night Bert and I went to see Tom Stoppard's new play, Rock 'n' Roll, which was significantly better but still a bit disappointing; the better parts seemed derivative of his other, more interesting plays, and the less-good parts were--well--less good.
  • I meant to see the Kara Walker show at the Whitney, but didn't have time. I did, however, get up to see the Klimts at the Neue Galerie and they were so worth it.
  • There's nothing I love more than a diner, especially on a cold, grey day, with the windows all steamed up inside. And HK lives three blocks from the diner that Miss D and I used to go to all the time, as our last stop in a long night out.
  • To my surprise, every single one of my friends in NYC agreed with Evey that it would be ridiculous, and possibly result in an undesirable misunderstanding, for me to Be the Bigger Person in the aforealluded-to situation. (Which, just as a reminder: has nothing to do with anyone who reads this blog.) So you know what? Fuck being the bigger person.

And now~~just two more days of teaching!


Secret message to the colleague who appears to have found my blog: welcome! I'd suspected that one of my occasional readers was from the department, but now I'm sure of it. You must know who I am, and I figure that you're probably one of two people. . . so why don't you come by and say hi? You can meet my skull.


K said...

Ooh, I wish I could see that Cymbeline. I've never seen it live. And I think every office needs a skull.

Sisyphus said...

I highly appreciate someone who can accessorize with both a mulberry cloche and a human skull --- I don't think I could pull it off but I love that you're going to.

gwoertendyke said...

oooh i'm so jealous! what a fabulous weekend....i love diners, i love nyc, i love going to the proper theat-a, i love cymbeline.

sounds like heaven.

i don't love mallomars but i love the sentiment and staying up late with a friend.

and i kind of miss wearing tights. it is still too warm here.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Ooh, I want a skull! I don't think it would necessarily mesh with my current office decor, which includes a plastic frilled lizard named Jesus, but it would be just like living inside a revenge tragedy!

On second thought, that might not be the most desirable environment in which to conduct one's professional life. Never mind.

life_of_a_fool said...

I am jealous of your skull. I think my office could use one as well. And I am kind of excited you're not going to be the bigger person. I'm glad your friends (who know the specifics) convinced you.

Thoroughly Educated said...

That sounds like a wonderful wekend and a wonderful cloche!

Flavia said...

Thanks, guys!

And I suppose these comments are as good a place as any to remark on the fact that apparently everyone who knows me in real life thought, at least briefly, that my "being a bigger person" post might be about him/her. (And almost no one had any idea what it was actually about.)

I have no idea what this says about me--people fear my wrath?--or about my friends--they're highly anxious? But I'm chastened. Obviously, I need to be nicer. Or possibly meaner. This ambiguous shit isn't working for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Does this make me the only one to whom it was immediately obvious that you couldn't possibly be talking about anybody "on the inside," that is to say, anyone who reads your blog?

I suppose one could say that my insight comes from being your brother, but I don't think that's it at all.

I think that it has more to do with the tone of your blog. It strikes me as a bit of an us-versus-them kind of thing, where your readers are the insiders. Unless you're specifically referring to One Of Us, it's assumed that we're all on the same side, so you must be referring to some outsider -- someone who couldn't possibly be as sophisticated and in-the-know as we.

Flavia said...

Thanks, bro. I think that's true, too, or at least I hope it is (and I certainly hope that I'm not as passive-aggressive as the response of some of my friends/readers seemed to assume!).

Maybe the problem was with the vagueness of the post, although that was kind of the point: a particular upcoming situation inspired me to write it, but most of the descriptive details actually derive from a different event--one that happened YEARS ago--and I was imagining, as I wrote, a variety of different kinds of situations that either have in the past or could in the future provoke similar feelings.

It's all about what we English types refer to as "the larger truth," which in this case was about exploring a particular mood--not one that I have all the time, or even that I have *often*, but that I've had before and that certain upcoming events made me want to think about further.

Anonymous said...

finally, a post about me! glorious vindication. hee.

Anonymous said...

It seems to be the year of Cymbeline: it is in New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati, just to name three places.

St. Eph said...

Oh, I do hope you name the skull Gloriana.