Jan. 29th, 2012

philena: (dampskunk)
You may skip the following if you care nothing about my forays into computer programming )

You may skip the following if you care nothing about my forays into linguistic research )

Mr. Philena and I went to see The Gondoliers today! It's the first time I've seen the play since I was in the chorus in college, and it was really lovely. It's certainly not one of the best Gilbert and Sullivans, but the singing and staging and music and acting was excellent, and even mediocre Gilbert and Sullivan is reliably good. The venue was in a sort of ritzy community that was easily accessible by public transportation, and we had a nice stroll around the neighborhood, which, in addition to the expected clothing boutiques and haircutteries, boasted no fewer than three piano stores, two of them on the same block, and a store dedicated to cupcakes, which we naturally patronized. It's the kind of neighborhood that is very good for taking one's parents to: lots of nice restaurants a (and piano stores), and a very large arts center that puts on productions of Gilbert and Sullivan and George Bernard Shaw plays. We're hoping to go there to see Arms and the Man sometime next month, and I hope we'll like it as well s we did today's play.

It is possible that one reason I'm so eager to see more good theater is that Mr. Philena and I have been extremely unlucky with movies recently. I happen to really like the old Jack Lemmon and Cary Grant and Hitchcock type movies, as well as British costume dramas (Downton Abbey), but Mr. Philena has gotten bored with them (and I can see why). Mr. Philena really likes nature documentaries, but we've seen the entirety of Planet Earth, Life in the Undergrowth, Life of Birds, Life of Mammals, and Life in the Freezer, and as much as I find David Attenborough charming, I've gotten a bit bored with them (and I hope one can see why.) There are some movies that I don't even try to suggest we watch together (e.g., science fiction thrillers and action flicks), and Mr. Philena likewise doesn't expect me to join him watching biopics about musicians. Sometimes we find really, really good non-classic movies that we both adore (The Lives of Others and Clueless, in particular), but it seems that more often when we watch new movies or famous movies we're disappointed (Adaptation) or so dissatisfied that we simply turn them off partway through (Crash, Magnolia*, 2001: A Space Odyssey**). The most recent disappointment was Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It had been described to me as a sort of Clueless-type thing, only earlier and not quite as good, but worth seeing as a cultural icon. And it might certainly be a cultural icon, but I was certainly not expecting all the sex, and there was nothing clever or subtle about any of the rest of it. Mr. Philena and I could easily predict a lot of the dialogue, and about the time the girl who has been having lots of sex reveals that *gasp* she's pregnant! we simply couldn't take it any more and turned it off again. This is getting very tiresome. I know that it is possible to find good television and good movies that we both like. We've done it before. I just wish we could do it again.

*It is possible that there was some confusion between Magnolia and Steel Magnolias which led to the lack of success of this movie

**I must confess that we fall among the crowd who cannot see past the incredibly boring-ness to understand the brilliance. We did give it a fair try, though--we watched the whole monkey sequence and a fair bit of the space-faring bit before we simply couldn't take another lengthy shuttle-docking scene and turned it off.


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