Thursday morning, I took the train from Providence into Penn Station.
I love train rides. Love them so much better than flying in a plane. With planes I'm in a continual state of apprehension. Will this be the time I perish in a great big fiery blast? With trains, the worst I worry about is having a really fat smelly guy sit next to me.
My plan was to work on the nebulous chapter of "Pictures" for most of the train, and I well exceeded my quota. I got through the rough stuff and wrote out four pages. The rest should be easy, and I plan to work on more while Corb's studying this afternoon.
That evening was a night at the theater. Dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner, which is a totally touristy choice, but one of my favorite places to eat on Broadway. My friend David would have much preferred drinking a dry martini in a place that wasn't covered from ceiling to floor in kitsch. Me, I'm all about the kitsch.
Then, off to see Bye Bye Birdie, which is in previews in a revival by the Roundabout Theater Company. Even though it's been performed by every high school in America, I've never seen the show.
It was cute. The set was fabulous. A friend who saw it last week said that the secondary characters were more interesting than the leads, and I think I agree. John Stamos basically hits one note the entire show--that of a self-confident swaggering Dean Martin wannabe--and doesn't show any passion whatsoever. His female lead, Rosie, got better as the show progressed, but spent a lot of the first act talking and singing in this pouty sexy tone that kind of reminded me of Fran Drescher without the Brooklyn accent.
Still, although it was fun, the show was sort of dated, and some of it doesn't play well. I found the bigoted mother to be annoying, for example, and didn't have much use for the song Spanish Rose. And, as with the revivals Guys and Dolls or West Side Story that took place earlier in the year, I think I was haunted by why came before--all I saw in my head when I watched John Stamos on stage sing "Put on a Happy Face" for example, was the thought of what a great performer Dick Van Dyke is. Maybe as a result, it really hasn't stuck much with me much after it was all over.
Not like Billy Elliott or even, say, the 39 Steps, a revival of an old movie that was really cleverly staged. These shows had some different to say. I like different.
Revivals like Bye Bye Birdie, I think, are kind of like Chinese food--tasty going down, but one hour later, you're hungry for something with more substance.
That night, when I arrived at our place, I turned on the TV and watched David Letterman. I haven't seen Letterman in probably a decade, and so it's weird that, of all nights, I'd pick this one to actually pay attention.
I liked the way he delivered his "sextortion" bombshell: "Do you want to hear a story?" It was typical Letterman, told in a sidewinding manner, with little emotion and lots of ironic, silly observations. And I honestly hope he doesn't feel obligated to say anything more about it.
Do I care that he had sex with women on his staff, even though he had a long-term relationship? Not really. But then, frankly, I cared little that Bill Clinton received a blow job in the White House. That was between Bill and Hillary, just as this is between Letterman and his wife.
When it comes to sexual matters, I'm usually a libertarian. The most you can get out of me is an amused giggle.
Actually, I've enjoyed all the celebrity scandals this week, from Polanksi to Jon and Kate. Corb and I disagree about Jon and Kate, by the way. I think Jon has every right to withhold permission for his kids to be on his wife's revamped show, if only because I won't have to see any of those horrible episodes any more.
Home again last night. For some reason, I couldn't sleep, and stayed up until two. Didn't do a single constructive thing, either.
Today, we spent the morning packing. The place is a total mess. Three weeks from now, I know we'll be all set, but right now, it seems like a hopeless uphill task.
Oh, well. At least it's a rainy afternoon, and I've got time to relax and write. Corb's at his drafting table, trying to recreate a three dimensional view of our kitchen, this time, and complaining about every little thing. I love days like today.