Sunday, April 23, 2006

Could you not talk?

Today was part two of my birthday celebration (David took me for a delicious French bistro meal last night. ) Today, David had the day off, and he had planned a few different options for how we might spend the day. (We had tickets to a play in the evening.)

I chose David's suggestion of going to North Point state park; part of the site is the location of the old Bay Shore Amusement Park, a popular site for Baltimoreans from the turn of the century through the 40's. There are a few remnants of the park that still survive -- a pier, a fountain, a trolley shed (where city dwellers would disembark) and a restaurant (which has now been turned into the visitor's center.) You can see some photos here (scroll down to the section on Bay Shore.)

We wandered in the beautiful spring weather along paths through meadows where butterflies floated about. It could not have been any more serene. It was the best way to spend the first day of my "new year": I always like to go someplace I've never been before on my birthday, and I like to spend some time in contemplation. This was perfect. (Also, David knows I have a mini-obsession with vanished amusement parks. So, points for David for acknowledging my odd little interests.)

We came home, ate a quick meal, and walked to the theater. It was Radio Golf, by August Wilson, at CenterStage. The production was excellent -- they always do good work, but this cast was above even the usual high standards. I found the play mesmerizing.

Except for The Woman Next To David Who Talked. When an amusing character said something funny, she remarked, "Oh! He's CRAZY! Tee hee!"

I was proud of myself for nipping this in the bud. David was leaning forward at this moment, so I took the opportunity to look over him at the woman, and just said, "Could you not talk?"

Now, that was more curt than Miss Manners would really suggest in this situation, but I. Have. Had it. Get a grip, people.

She was late 20s to early 30s-ish, in a smart white pantsuit from the 90s -- appropriate I suppose since the play was set in that decade. She looked at me and said, "Sorry."

Another funny line followed almost immediately, and David chuckled. The Pantsuit sneered, "Can I laugh?"

I didn't hear the next few lines because the blood was pounding in my head so loud. ERRRRGHHHHHH!

David told me later that before the show, Pantsuit Patty was regaling her companion with anecdotes about how well-connected and powerful she is. I can see that she is truly classy, through and through.

Still, the play was engrossing, and Pantsuit Patty was at least paying attention. When people are chatters in the theater, I mentally cut them a little slack if they are at least following the action (as opposed to being bored, taking a cell call or texting their friends...) But still. Is it so hard not to talk? Sometimes I think I would be happy having taken a vow of silence in a monastery somewhere.

Well, at least until the latest Desperate Housewives was on, and I wanted to talk about just how off-track the writers have gotten with Bree -- but that's another story for another time. I'll fill you in on my adventures in the monastery later, too.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Queen Isabella, Mrs. Garrett and me

Born today:

Queen Isabella I of Spain
Jack Nicholson
Glen Campbell
Charlotte Rae, perhaps best known for her role as "Mrs. Garrett" on The Facts of Life (born in Milwaukee, Ms. Rae turns 80 today.)
Bettie Page
Eddie Albert (who played the kindly RV owner Jason O'Day in one of my favorite movies, Escape to Witch Mountain.)
Peter Frampton, who appeared in another one of my favorite (bad, bad, bad) movies, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Aaron Spelling

On April 22, 1509, Henry VIII became king.
On April 22, 1889, the Oklahoma land rush began.
On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated.

And on April 22, 1966, in the Philippine Islands, I was born.

Yay me.

On my birthday, I usually go and buy all the New York area papers that carry horoscopes (the Daily News, the Post, and Newsday) to see what the little "if today is your birthday" thing has to say. I'm in Baltimore today, so I just zipped around the internet to see what all the various astrologers have to offer.

Today's Birthday (April 22). At first, it may seem as if you're blocked every step of the way. This year is not about avoiding problems, just finding new ways around them.


Birthday Baby: You are a lover, inventor and an adventurer. You are intuitive, philosophical and spiritual. You are empathetic, concerned and will do your best to help others.

Now that's more like it.

For those of us born on: April 22
Happy Birthday! The months ahead are likely to start with a boost of energy, particularly when Mercury enters your sign, although romantically you could face a few, if brief challenges. The way you communicate with your loved ones could come under fire if you don't think before speaking! From June both planets in your friendship house start moving backwards, so you might see one or two friendships weaken slightly, but there is nothing to worry about. You can look forward to some dramatic developments in your love life around late fall, whether you're attached or single. There will be plenty of time to be responsible after the start of the New Year, when your work or school house fills up!

Happy Birthday: Don't let things get away from you because you aren't prepared to make a decision. Be organized and ready to take action if you want anything good to come of this year. Find out whatever you need to know to move ahead with your dreams. Don't let someone else hold you back because of his or her burdens. Your numbers are 13, 18, 20, 27, 33, 39

Okay: here's your chance to give me a birthday present. Contribute a line to a horoscope for me. Advice, predictions, criticism: go for it. Write my future.

Edited to add: You can just make it up. Go ahead. Indulge your inner astrologer.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Open Door Policy

As you can see, I’ve been away from blogging for months. Every day, something will happen and I think, I should really blog about that.

And then I don’t.

I think the key is going to be trying to write shorter entries. We’ll see if that works.

Anyway: today’s topic is, Why Am I Always Leaving Cabinet Doors Open?

This is a strange habit that I have – I don’t think it’s some form of OCD (like, I must open all the doors three times or else) because it seems to be completely unconscious. I had never really noticed that I did it until my senior year of college. I was sharing an apartment with my friend Kari; the kitchen was huge, and had a long row of cabinets above an endless counter that went around two sides of the room (the only time I can ever say I had too much room in a kitchen.) I was puttering around or cooking something, when Kari finally piped up: “WHY is every door open?” I looked up, and sure enough, they were all open. I didn’t remember opening them. It was like the scene in The Sixth Sense when all the doors are open, and Toni Collette timidly asks, “Did you want something ...?”

I try to remember to close them. But no matter where I am, I turn around, and all the doors have been left open. Why?

(Note: this doesn’t seem to be the case with actual doors, only with cabinet and closet doors.)

Armchair psychologists, start your engines!