Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Ring, Week One

Think I may have mentioned this before, but this Spring, I am going to my first-ever Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera. It is a pretty major splurge for me, but I'm very psyched about it. I am not one of those "The Ring Cycle is The Greatest Thing in The History of Performing Arts" guys, but I do think it is a pretty incredible achievement that just gets better and deeper the more time you spend with it, and I'm really excited and awed to be able to experience it live. Which experience began on Saturday afternoon with Das Rheingold, which you heard live on the radio if you make a habit of following the Live at the Met Opera Broadcasts.

So where to begin? How 'bout with our seats? Carrie (an unexpected opera fan friend who dove into the Ring with me) got into the game pretty late and have fairly limited budgets, so we ended up with Balcony Box seats. We're in the first box on house right, meaning we are very close to the stage and can look down on the singers and the orchestra pit. We're in the box number 2 in the second (yellow) rung on this chart:

This graphic gives a sense of HOW high up over the stage we are. But it doesn't do such a good job at showing how much CLOSER to the stage we are than we would be if we were back in the balcony proper. This next chart does a slightly better job at that:

In this chart, picture us sitting where the number 2 is in the goldenrod 'Boxes Even" column on the left. This comes closer to doing justice to our proxmity to the performers. And sort of gives you an idea of our sightline...

You see, when you're in our particular box, there are some pros, and some cons.

The pros:

  • You're really close to the stage - MUCH closer than in the balcony proper.

  • You can see the conductor and the orchestra, so you can watch all the musical goings-on. And let me tell you: that adds something. I appreciated being able to see the harpists stand their intruments up when they were finished with their section; I appreciated being able to watch the incredible conductor James Levine doing his thing; I certainly have an appreciation I didn't have before of Maestro Levine's endurance: Rheingold has no intermission, and no breaks in the orchestral music, so the one guy who isn't able to take even a 3 second break in the whole 2 1/2 hours is the conductor.

  • You can see some of the 'pay no attention to the man behind the curtain' parts of the stage magic - you can see the little slide built in behind the 'rocks' for the Rhinemaidens to 'swim' down; when the Niebelungen are getting ready to climb up from underground with their bags of gold, you see it; when Donner and Froh are piling up gold as high as Freia between the giants' staffs, you can see Freia kind of crouching down and taking a rest behind the pile. Not everyone would be into that, but I think it's a treat.

  • You have your own semi-private hallway leading to the boxes. Not a big deal at all, but it does add a kind of fun approach to the experience.

  • The sound is great. This is true throughout the Met, and while I'm sure we're missing out on the balance that's audible in the front of Parterre, it still sounds amazing.

The cons:

  • You are WAY HIGH UP THERE. The stage is big enough and deep enough that you're not just looking at the tops of people's heads, but they aren't really singing to YOU unless they're raging at the heavens or something.

  • There's no sitting back in your seat. Unless you don't care if you're not seeing anything. The angle is so extreme that you have to sit up at the edge of your seat if you want to see, and have to lean over the railing if you want to see much. At first, this seemed like a REALLY BIG CON. But as the day went on, I appreciated the way it sort of enforces active observation: sit up to see this, lean in to see that, shift over to glance at the surtitles, sit back and take a rest. I found a repertoir of optimal postures pretty quickly, and by the end of the fourth opera, I'll be playing them like a virtuoso.

  • The sightline is seriously compromised. In fact, it kind of sucks. There's no way to spin this as anything but a big fat compromise to get to all the good stuff (including the relatively affordable - but still really expensive - ticket price) You can see a lot, but there's a lot you miss no matter how much you lean over the rail. You can't really see the upstage wall at all. This is a big problem. Opera at the Met is larger-than-life spectacle, and this production is an emphatic example of that. And while we can see a lot, there is a lot we miss. For instance, Das Rheingold begins with a discussion of the completion of the construction of Valahalla, the palace/fortress of the Gods, and it ends with a coterie of Gods and Goddesses walking off to the Rainbow Bridge that will take them there.

See how that gorgeous image is painted/projected onto the wall up there? Yeah, we couldn't see that. At all. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that this is going to be my least favorite thing about this whole operation.

And then there are some things that may be pros or cons depending on how they pan out. For instance: these boxes are set up for four people. There are the two of us, and two other guys. SO there's potential for that to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or an awkward intimacy. Das Rheingold has no intermission, so we didn't really talk to the other two guys at all, but I'm guessing that by the time we get to the Valkyrie's "Hojoto Hos" we'll know something about each other.

Don't get me wrong guys: pros and cons weighed, this was an awesome event. And I am not using that term lightly - the amount of effort and artistry involved, from so many people, in service of such an amazing musical and dramatic creation, is truly... awesome.

Stay tuned for more next week...

Restaurant Racism

The results of this study of expensive (i.e. lucrative to work at) restaurants in New York were just released.

"The tests showed:

- Nonwhite job applicants were 54.5 percent as likely as white applicants to get a job offer, and were less likely than white testers to receive a job interview in the first place.

- The work experience of white job applicants was less likely to be subject to scrutiny.

- Accents made a difference — with white candidates. White applicants with slight European accents were 23.1 percent more likely to be hired than white testers with no accent. However, accents in nonwhite applicants made no difference."

This is New York? Massive Fail.

One quibble with the writing here: the reference to "white testers with no accent." No accent? What does that sound like? Are they using sign language? The New York Times should know better.

Thanks to Cory for referring me to the article.

Friday, March 27, 2009

One Economic Perspective

Paul Krugman can be a curmudgeon, but I think the points he makes sometimes deserve a lot more widespread attention and discussion than they receive at the decision-making level.

...But the wizards were frauds, whether they knew it or not, and their magic turned out to be no more than a collection of cheap stage tricks. Above all, the key promise of securitization — that it would make the financial system more robust by spreading risk more widely — turned out to be a lie. Banks used securitization to increase their risk, not reduce it, and in the process they made the economy more, not less, vulnerable to financial disruption...

Much discussion of the toxic-asset plan has focused on the details and the arithmetic, and rightly so. Beyond that, however, what’s striking is the vision expressed both in the content of the financial plan and in statements by administration officials. In essence, the administration seems to believe that once investors calm down, securitization — and the business of finance — can resume where it left off a year or two ago...

Fallon Fan Club?

Well, sort of. But not exactly.

But Daniel, Maria, Rashmi and I did go to a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the other day, largely because we all love The Roots, who against all conventional wisdom took the gig as Fallon's house band. Very smart move by NBC, which guaranteed that there would be a strong, solid life force keeping this patient going, at least through the first few weeks, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, have seen our host bearing more than a passing resemblance to a deer caught in headlights.

I'm happy to say that the program we saw was funny and engaging. Jimmy still seems too nervous for someone who's ostensibly running the show, but he is doing way better than he was during his first week. They may want to figure out some clever alternative to the traditional Tell-Jokes-at-the-Audience-Opening-Monologathon, because he really is working too hard for that to be as effective as it needs to be. And I think that it's well past time to set that aside as the unalterable formula for late night television.

The best, funniest, most alive moments happened off the cuff, when Jimmy was chatting with us, or his guests (which included Rachel Maddow - he had an really good bit about mispronouncing her name while shooting a local-tv promo. If NBC is smart, that made it to air on at least one of their affiliate stations.) in between the scripted segments. And when he was at his best, it was really good stuff. Keep plugging, Jimmy - we're on your side.

Oh, and The Roots were amazing, natch. A-maz-ing.

Thanks to Susan for the fun cameraphone photo, Times Square flaring up in the background!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Real Gone

Another much-belated post on a more-than-worthy event. Saw the Armitage Gone! dance company perform its Think Punk! progam at the Kitchen.

Raucus and rockin', the Armitage dancers celebrated the energy of punk culture and downtown art, and the place of their own company in that history, while creating work that is still hyper-vital today. The music came recorded from Jimi Hendrix, David Linton, Mozart and X-Ray Spex; and also from live musicians including the amazing TALIBAM! (All these exclamation points everywhere. Sigh. I think the energy of the artists is self-evident without added punctuation, but whatever.)

I loved this performance. Elegant, athletic, sexy, powerful, inspiring. Made me want to create pieces, stage them and perform them, especially in rooms as bitchin as the Kitchen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sis Viz Redux

Remember how my sister was visiting last weekend? And we're both fairly active photographers (she's really active, actually) but neither of us took many photos? Add to that the fact that she doesn't really like having her picture taken and we have a recipe for very very few images indeed of her enjoying her trip.

But I did get one that I like, in spite of its technical suckitude:

Kind of captures the whirlwind nature of her visit. Plus she's, you know, cute.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

and then...

...right after the good news, some really bad news follows.

Suddenly, sadly, and unbelievably ahead of schedule, Natasha Richardson died. Just took a fall while taking a skiing class. We'll learn more as the days go on I'm sure, but it looks like it was a simple fall, nothing horrific or brutal or ghastly. Except...

This just hollows me right out.

New Mexico Repeals Death Penalty

Governor Bill Richardson today signed a bill abolishing the death penalty in New Mexico. This is good news for Human Rights and the groups that work to defend them, and more evidence for people who are seeing a sea change in American public opinion regarding this subject.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Celebration City

I've had a lot to post about lately, but have been too busy/distracted to get to it. Massive shoutouts needed for the Martha Clarke Garden of Earthly Delights (running through April - go see it!) and The Cherry Orchard & The Winters Tale which were performed at BAM through The Bridge Project (those have closed - hope you had a chance to see them.)

But for now, let me take another swig of coffee and recap the headlines from this past weekend.

My sister was interviewing with a company in Philadelphia. SO let's start with the first big cause for celebration: she got the job! This wasn't really a surprise (we were pretty sure it was going to go down that way) but it's still REALLY good news. And may develop into even better news if one of her future promotions brings her and her family out east.

They love Lori so much (how could they not?) that they arranged for her to fly into Philly, but out of Newark, just so she could have a chance to come up and visit me. Which brings us to the second big cause for celebration: she came up to the city and stayed the whole weekend! Lori got into town at about 8:30, and we went over to a new wine bar near where I live that I really like for some formaggio e vino. Yum! Then back to my place for another bottle of wine and more catch up.

Next morning, we met Richard and Peter at Good Enough To Eat on the UWS for brunch. Peter mocked us for calling a Saturday meal with a 10:30 start time (which he couldn't be bothered to make) "brunch." Whatever, dude. We had things to do. You better watch out - you're on my sister's list.

After brunch, Cory met us and we walked with Richard across the park to the Met. Went in and checked out the Beyond Babylon exhibit as well as parts of the permanent collection, then grabbed a cup of coffee and went out to meet Rashmi and take a bus downtown past the sights of 5th Avenue until we arrived down near Union Square Park. Then we walked West and did some shopping (my sister is a paper nut, so we went to a couple of those stationers in Flatiron) and met a bunch more people at City Bakery: Sherin, Molly, Rudy, Susan, Daniel. Oy, am I forgetting somebody? We ran the gamut of their offerings, and even had a small confrontation with a guy who wanted to steal one of our tables. Silly nastiness. Then we split off in a variety of directions, with 6 of us headed over to 5 Ninth for dinner. Mmmm... I've written about that place here, and once again, it was SO good. Try the wild mushroom gnocchi. And, of course, the pot de creme with bourbon infusion.

Pause for a moment to look at an image from the Met exhibit, from the Hittite Empire, 14th–13th century B.C.

It's a mug. Those Hittites knew how to party.

Then we went over to the Village Vanguard for the Lou Donaldson Quartet. Lori got a "let's not think about what would happen if there were a fire" kick out of how much of New York happens in what are essentially basements, and this spot was the epitome of that for her. The show was fantastic, of course.

At this point, Susan and Daniel headed home, and Rudy went back to his hotel to nurse a sprained ankle. Lori was wiped out and crashed, and Molly & I walked with Cory for what was yet another cause for celebration this weekend: Kristin's birthday! The meal part of her party had happened at a Brazilian place in Midtown, but they were at the Half King at this point, so we went over there and met them all dressed up in their birthday regalia and reveling in the occasion.

And then we put Molly in a cab, and that was Saturday.

Sunday had some of the wrong kind of drama. We went to brunch at 202, which Lori really loved for its Nicole Farhi design elements. But we had a late start, given that we still had to accomplish the acquisition of souvnenirs for Lori's kids. Dominic met with us for a small slice of time, then we did a couple loops on foot through Meatpacking, the Village and Chelsea. We were under the gun, but we managed to grab the needed "I Heart New York" t-shirts, and the snow globes, and... well, we couldn't manage the 'teeny tiny koala bear' that Anna wanted, but we got her a pretty damned cute stuffed penguin.

Then, a little later than we'd hoped, I drove Lori to EWR for her flight. Which was cancelled. Yup. We didn't find this out until I had almost found myself a parking space in Hoboken, but there was some kind of mechanical error, and the airlines being the fonts of customer service that they are these days, they offered my sister nothing to make up for her time or inconvenience. Well, that's not quite true: they offered to put her up in a motel in Newark, from which she would have been able to pay her own way to JFK the next morning in time for her 7:45 flight (this would be a $100 cab ride, for those of you who don't know the area). Gee thanks USAir!

Instead, she took a train back to Penn Station (it wouldn't have made sense for me to pick her up and drive her to the 'boken so we could then take a bus into the city) where I met her and brought her back down to Chelsea, where... we had a fantastic evening! No friends, no schedule, we just went out for pizza and beer (And what pizza! You can almost believe the hype about Co.) and walked around the neighborhood and went back to Cory's place to play Scrabble and have some beer and Kentucky Chocolate. It was actually kind of perfect.

The next morning, Lori got up really early to take a car to Kennedy and the rest of us went to work. All was well with her trip, and it turned out that Annie was pretty happy about her penguin. I know I haven't put much into this entry in the way of images (kind of funny that two fairly avid photographers didn't want to be bothered with taking pictures this weekend), but hopefully this one taken from Lori's cellphone will help make up for that.

So that was our weekend. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Oh, and by the way - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Depression-Era Photos, in color

Here's a site where you can see some Farm Security Administration photos. (Thanks to Jessica for the tip.) You've seen things like this from people like Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, but it's almost always in black and white. These are in color, and they're more than worth a look.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Is anyone else a little weirded out by the Kindle? The digital book-reader thing that they're pushing this week.

Not necessarily the device itself, which actually appears to be pretty cool (though vastly overpriced and somewhat underachieving, but that's pretty par for the course with new-ish technology). I'm bothered by the name. "Kindle," as in kindling; as in the wood that you use to start a fire; as in go burn your books now that we have this nifty new computerized gizmo; as in Fahrenheit 451 nightmare city.

Phhheeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuw! File under: craptastic.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Exciting News

My sister is visiting New York next weekend! This is the most exciting news I've had since I booked my trip to Rome.

She's going to be in Philadelphia for a business meeting, so I invited her to come up and stay with me for a couple days. And that's what's happening! Woo Hoo!

The thing you have to realize is: I haven't had time with Lori one on one (no kids, no husband, no parents) for... a really really long time. Like, longer than I want to admit. Like, since the first Bush administration.

So if you want to claim time with us next weekend, you better get on it!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Yesterday, the dayjob boss proclaimed to us "Don't bring in any food tomorrow - group lunch!"

Which is really nice and generous and all that. One of the things we all really like about her.

But then she left a meeting at noon to wander the building without her phone or blackberry and was not heard from for a long, long time. (Time slows down when you're hungry.) In fact, she ducked attempts to contact her.

Meanwhile, our tempers were shortening and our mutinous spirit grew.

Those of you who know me know how I get when I become too hungry. It is a sad and unlovely part of my personality. But it's there, and people have learned how to deal with it.

Not, however, the dayjob boss. She finally came back and was making jokes. Jokes that at this point were not funny. At all. The (unannounced) meetings she had been bouncing among were not of the serious, economic downturn emergency variety. They were off-the-cuff "why don't we talk about this now" type meetings.

I walked her into her office with the menu and our food orders and told her she couldn't leave until she had ordered our lunch. Then I walked out of her office and shut the door behind me.

Yep. That's what I did. To my boss. Those of you who don't know me now have a sense of how I get when I become too hungry.

Out of my mind. That's how I get.

Just got the phone call from reception. It is now 1:50. Food's here.

New York, New Music, New Hall

The other night we went to the "New York, New Music, New Hall" program at Alice Tully Hall. The revamped hall has been getting a lot of press lately, having recently re-opened after a major mondo monster renovation that took almost two years. Most of this press has been very positive, though I did read a naysayer regarding the acoustics for large orchestras (I have read only good things about the acoustics for smaller ensembles, and pretty much unanimously favorable reaction to the visual design elements).

Now, I'm no acoustician, but I flatter myself that I have a pretty good ear. My perspective on the 'room sound' thing is that it's largely a matter of opinion, though there are certain things that most everyone agrees on (too echoey is bad; if you can't hear the soft parts it's bad; if the street noise is too audible it's bad). After that it gets a little yitzy - most everyone agrees that some resonance is good, but there can be a lot of debate about how much is the 'right' amount. And, if I may be so bold, I think that when these discussions begin, I think we start to see posturing pretty quickly. My personal priorities in terms of acoustics tend toward the realms of audibility and clarity - I do like some warmth, but I want to be able to hear the distinct instruments and voices without too thick a bassy boom or a whole bunch of mush.

But the bottom line is: the acoustics are there in service of the music. That's what we're going to the hall to hear.

Cory scored us our tickets pretty last minute, so we didn't make it to the free opening performance by the string quartet Ethel in the rather vast lobby, but it looks like it was pretty cool. We had seats in different parts of the auditorium, but thanks to the kindness of a solo traveler, we did end up sitting together. John Schaeffer was the host, providing a bit of chat at the beginning of each act. The first ensemble he presented was Alarm Will Sound.

They were the youngest group of the evening, and while I know we like to avoid cliches I will admit that catchwords like 'hip' and 'energetic' do spring to mind. More importantly, they're really fucking good. Ah, New York: a place where you can put out the word that you want to start a contemporary music ensemble and you end up with a stage full of world class players. Or you can if you're Alan Pierson, anyway. Their first piece was Derek Bermel’s “Three Rivers” which pretty much leapt off the stage and grabbed my attention. If you look for images of Alarm Will Sound on the internets, you'll run across a photo of them playing in front of a projection screen featuring a Frank Zappa aphorism. That seems appropriate, as this piece of Bermel's reminded me of nothing so much as some of Zappa's compositions - ones done by his groups, yes, but more so pieces that groups like Ensemble Modern have performed.

Their second piece, Oscar Bianchi’s “Mezzogiorno,” didn't blow me away as much, but that probably had a lot to do with the fact that I was working hard through much of the piece to stifle a tickle in my throat that was fighting to turn into a cough. That cold still hasn't gone away. It is making me lose my patience. However, I was better off by the time their third piece, Caleb Burhans’s “oh ye of little faith ... (do you know where your children are?),” began - which is a good thing, because it was lush and beautiful.

The Bang on a Can All Stars were up next. Love them - pretty sure I've written about them here before. Oh, that's a sad, small picture of them, but I didn't want to use the old out-of-date promo shot you see everywhere. They opened with Julia Wolfe's "Lick," which was amazing; moved on to David Lang's “Sunray,” which was zippy; gave us the world premier of Michael Gordon's “For Madeleine,” which he wrote for his mother and which was appropriately moving; and wrapped up with Glenn Kotche's “Mobile.” Glenn is the drummer for Wilco, and he joined the Can Bangers to perform his piece on a second drum set (amidst jokes about Little Feat, the Allman Brothers and other 2-drummer combos) - it's not terribly surprising that his piece was the rockinest of the night, and I'm happy to say that it was also a complex and wholly effective composition. Probably wouldn't give much hope to the "Give me A.M. or give me death" crowd of Wilco fans, who are in for more of the "sonic exploration" incarnation of the band if Kotche's work is any indication. After the set, Glenn came out and sat right behind us, which gave Cory some palpitations. Blah, blah, blah. Girls and drummers. Did I mention that the Bang on a Can pianist, Ning Yu, is really cute?

For the last section of the night, John Schaeffer rhapsodized, at some length, about the legendary status of Steve Reich's “Music for 18 Musicians.” It's true - not many contemporary 'art' compositions have such lofty status or are so well known. I've heard "...18 Musicians" bunches of times, but never live.

Gotta tell you, folks, if you ever wanted proof that live music just exists on a whole other, better, plane than the recorded kind, you could have done worse than showing up at Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday night. This piece worked so well on so many levels, and gave us things to appreciate that just don't exist in recorded form. Simple things, like being able to see with your own eyes the attention and endurance of the marimba players, and being able to see things that you have to guess at when you're listening to recorded versions (where do the voices end and the instruments begin?) But also some of the more esoteric, harder-to-define things that work 'room sound' fanatics into a lather: the clarity, the subtlety of the dynamics, that (fuck it, I'll just say it) magic that happens when you've got those air molecules wiggling straight from the musicians to your ears.

And that brings me back around to the Hall renovations. The warm appearance of the room (and the improved comfort of the seating) helps in ways that seem at first to be extra-musical, but actually add quite a bit to the experience. And that experience began pretty much as soon as I stepped out of the subway stairs and saw the facade of the building, the interior visible through huge glass wall/windows. I overheard a couple different groups of passersby murmur impressed comments, along the lines of "Wow. That looks really... great." And it looks great from the inside too, and - most importantly of all - it sounds great.

'Twas a good night out.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Weekend Update

Haven't posted one of these for a while, but this was a good weekend for a general update entry.

Friday -

was a quiet night in. Kind of perfect.

Saturday -

we slept in then went for a fantastic brunch at City Bakery. It was the last day of the Month of Hot Chocolate there. Mmmmm... The food there, while kind of pricey given that it's a serve-yourself buffet, is exceptionally good. Also, as Cory observed, if you don't have kids, it's the type of place that is apt to reinforce your attitudes toward childbearing, whatever they happen to be: it will appeal to you if you want to have kids (so many hip, elegant, interesting-seeming young families) or if you want NEVER to have kids (they are clearly a handful and a half, and it turns out they make a certain amount of noise).

Then I met Terry at MoMA, where we walked through the Martin Kippenberger exhibition. It was very very good - an ambitious retrospective of a wildly prolific artist who burned out and died way too young.

He comes through as a sort of Picasso-obsessed Duschamp disciple by way of Gerhard Richter with a heavy dose of cult-of-my-own-personality Warhol thrown in for good measure. But more original than that slapdash description implies. Also fascinating to me is that he came from a theater/acting background. You should see the show go if you have a chance.

One little note here: kudos to MoMA for overhearing what I (and surely several others) had been saying for some time and offering some audio tours online as podcasts. But why only some of them? If they're already set up for it, I'd think that all the tours (the current ones, at least) would be uploadable. I see why they'd be reluctant to post images of all the works, but it would be quite the useful convenience to be able to download the recorded tour ahead of time, maybe even listen to it between visits. They could restrict some of them to museum members, and make it a selling point. There's got to be somebody at MoMA whose job it is to follow blog alerts - got an answer for me here? Art partisans want to know.

Then Terry and I went to his studio and looked at some of his recent work. Some really good stuff. He's in the process of setting up his website - I'll be sure to link to it when it's running - and looking to get some gallery exhibitions going. If you've been to my place in the last couple years, you probably know that he's responsible for the big multi-panel piece I have up. I'll be shooting that for Terry's site, and maybe I'll post some of the images here too.

We went out and had some food as we watched Duke win a perilously close and hard-fought game against unranked Virginia Tech. Then we headed down to the Village to see Gomorrah, an Italian film which was the darling of all the New York critics last week, about the Neapolitan crime organization Camorra. Problem was, it was sold out. Sad. This is what happens when a movie gets to be the critical fave du jour. SO - we made a call and bought some advance tix at Lincoln Plaza so we could see a later showing uptown. It was good; maybe not really worth the hype, but I was in an especially Italian mood.

Have I mentioned that Cory and I are taking a trip to Rome? Well, we are. I reckon I'll be more than usually enthusiastic about things Italian for the next little while, at least.

Sunday -

I woke up early for some reason and went to the gym for the first time in over a week (I had been sick, and then had a procedure done on my tendonitis-ridden elbow) So that felt good. Then I moved Lola and ran some errands, made a good breakfast, read part of the paper, did a bunch of housework, listened to some great music, talked on the phone a LOT, including the all-important call to my sister, whose birthday was Friday (hey - I called her a bunch of times before I managed to get her on the phone). Also got to watch a good chunk of a Red Sox pre-season game: Beckett and Wakefield both looked strong, so that's good news. Whipped together what was actually a pretty fab dinner (ziti with a chicken, mushroom & artichoke cream sauce), watched a great episode of the Simpsons, did a little reading (including some out-loud Julius Caesar vocalizing - told you I was getting enthusiastic) and went to bed not too too late.

And that was my weekend. So there.

Snow Day

But not for me.

This is the last-gasp storm of the winter in New York (because I say so), and I am in the office for no good reason I can think of.

I feel like everyone else has a snow day and my school is the only one that didn't close.

Took some rather basic and uninspired photos before I left my apartment. Could have gotten some nice blizzard shots, but I had to, you know, go to work. Sad.

By the way: the boss did not make it in today. This after her 'don't come in until the roads are safe' - i.e. DO come in eventually - message. Shocking, I know.