May is for Misanthropes

So, although it is still early in the month, all signs are pointing to another month of misery and terribleness in the world. The Ukraine situation is not getting any better and it’s just heartbreaking. Plus, the pandemic is not over. Yes, we are holding our own, but we need to still be practical and not stupid.

It has felt weird to be in crowds again and even eat in a restaurant. For me, there is, to an extent, still an odd sense of impending doom with all of this. Some of it is my anxiety, some of it is being inside for two years, and a lot of it is based on dealing with the public at my old job. People are still shitty.

I am settling into the new gig. I like being at home and I only have one thing to focus on which is a nice change. Plus, if I deal with anyone it is at a distance and they are not able to physically annoy me, which is nice.

As someone who is fairly extroverted, the pandemic and the weird period following the lockdowns didn;t really get to me. In fact, I liked being left alone by the masses. Except for movies, concerts, and bookstores, I did not miss a lot.

This brings me back to my main point of thinking… Please do not be an assclown and please be careful out there.

Thinking about the news…

That corrections officer who ran off with a prisoner looks exactly like what you think a corrections officer looks like.

I have made my own judgement on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial. They are both terrible people. Really, no one should really care about this. It’s mindless National Enquirer fodder.

It also is sad how much of a mess our infrastructure is. The roads and bridges here need work, and I suspect it is a lot like this everywhere. There are a lot of really messed up streets and bridges right now. I hope they all get fixed.

Over the last month, I went out into the world. I went to Atlanta for a few days to see Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). They were really good. I have seen them before and was glad to see them again. Especially since they did Stanlow, a song about an oil refinery.

It was a nice weekend getaway. The weather there was abysmally hot, I got to see some friends, and I got to see the Puppetry Center which was pretty terrific. They had a pretty good collection of puppets, past and present. A large portion of it is based on the work of Jim Henson and his crew.

Outside of Sesame Street, there as also some pieces from The Muppet Show, The Dark Crystal, and a nice section on the history of puppetry.

I spent a nice afternoon there.

I was a bit chuffed that the Marriott I stayed in had no closets or drawers. They just expect you to plop your suitcase in a corner and live out of it. It’s fine if you are a hostel kind of person, but if you are not, it’s a bit maddening.

Apparently, this is a nationwide kind of thing. I want to know what genius got the idea of taking closets and dressers out of hotels at a time when people are beginning to travel again. it sounds like a giant miscue to me. I know they want to attract younger travelers, but at this point, those folks are going elsewhere.

It is this kind of nonsense that symbolizes the decline of Western civilization as we know it.

I still love Air BNB, but there are times when it isn’t practical in terms of money and location.

The Upthrown Stone

I recently watched The Upthrown Stone, a 1969 film from Sándor Sára.

I was pretty unfamiliar with the films of the Hungarian New Wave, but this story was well-acted and gorgeously shot. It is set in the postwar Hungary of the 1950s, a time when there was a lot of division and angst in rural areas of the nation as gypsy farms and lands of the lower classes were gradually taken from farmers.

In the film, Balázs Pásztor’s father is jailed, forcing him to grow up fast. His father’s incarceration also means he won’t be allowed to attend film school.

Without much of a future, Balázs becomes a surveyor and starts to build a farmhouse with a Greek partisan, Ilias, and his wife. When a government land grab happens, the local peasants blame them for the false promises of the state.

Later on, Balázs works on a film crew to get the experience he is denied by not being admitted to college. As the film progresses, an older, Balázs has become a director. Knowing the power of film, he makes a film about his experiences and the plight of Hungary’s gypsies.

The movie was well-acted and holds up well over five decades after its release. I also liked its pacing.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

I know it is pretty early in the movie calendar year, but so far, Everything Everywhere All At Once is the best thing I have seen this year.

It is not a movie for everyone. You have to pay attention and just go with it, but, in the end, the performances are amazing and the story is gloriously bonkers.

Basically, an interdimensional rupture unravels all known reality, and Evelyn, an unlikely hero with no sense of direction, must fight a range of odd and strange dangers from the multiverse.

While Michelle Yeoh is great as always, Jamie Lee Curtis is terrifically entertaining. The film lets her use her depth and range, something we never see in the Halloween films.

The Cheap Seats

I have been seeing more theater over the last month. The latest touring production of Hairspray was more enjoyable than some of the other recent touring shows at the Fox Theatre. The revived production of My Fair Lady was also really good.

I have seen the touring production of Hamilton twice. What was cool was that the first time I saw it was a show where several of the understudies performed. Most of the leads were the same some of the support characters were replaced.

The second time I went, I had seats that were closer than previously. This meant I could see a lot of the staging better. What is intriguing about Hamilton, besides the songs, is how they transition scenes and move the sets. It is all very clever and sly.

I also saw Stray Dog Theatre’s hilariously goofy Triassic Parq. A spoof of the Jurassic Park franchise, this musical follows the daily drama of the dinosaurs who live on the island where the films take place.

In appliance/household news. The faucets in the bathroom have very small drips going on. They probably need to be replaced. Also, as the hot weather approaches, I am thinking about getting a ceiling fan.

Here I go again, ranting like an old man

I am amazed at how people have reverted back to pre-pandemic behavior with a careless nonchalance. You would think that with no live theater happening for over two years people would show up in time for the curtain. Nope.

The long and short of it is, show up to the damn play on time. it’s a pain in the ass for everyone to stand up and move so people can get by. It makes following the play harder and it is disrespectful to the people making the show happen. If you can make your dinner reservation or be on time for aunt Hilda’s big dinner, you can make a curtain time without bothering others.

I am not sure why I am starting off the month being so grumpy. I am sorry.

But I will say that this is the best time of the year to read new books and hear great new music. and there are some excellent films out.