Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Little Peek at Garrison

Last weekend was top-notch in terms of entertainment. Tom and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Ovo on Friday night, a mesmerizing, beautiful spectacle. They are such amazing performers, and the costumes were so gorgeous and inventive. It was extremely funny in parts, and the live music was outstanding.

Afterward, we went to see the Red Cross ship that is docked at about the east end of 16th St. I first saw it several days ago on my bike ride home and was awestruck. It’s huge, with few windows, and entirely white except for a couple of giant crosses painted in red. Tom and the cab driver were properly impressed. I think the cab driver was a little nervous when we got in the cab and said that we wanted to go to the Mission, but first we wanted to go in the exact opposite direction, to that dark and desolate spot, but as we were leaving the ship, he said he was going to go back the next day with his camera.

On Saturday morning, I saw D. at the hospice and we went to see her cat as described below, and then I went to the War Memorial Opera House for a taping of Prairie Home Companion, of which I have become a fan.

It was a thrill to see Garrison Keillor in person. He has very long legs and moves quite gracefully. He was wearing a tan suit and white dress shirt and a very bright red tie, and red Adidas tennis shoes, or at any rate, red tennis shoes with three white stripes. We could see the house band and all the guest musicians and the man and woman who do the voices, and the sound effects fellow, who acts things out even when it doesn't contribute to the sonic landscape. When he was making a bird sound, he flapped his arms like a bird, which was charming.

The house band warmed up at 2:45, and at 3 p.m. sharp, the opening theme was heard, and at 5 p.m. sharp, it was over, though the house band played one encore and Garrison Keillor came back out for that. The show is evidently broadcast live in some places. It's not live here, but almost: I got home at perhaps 5:30 p.m. and at 6 p.m. I heard that same show starting on KQED and felt thrilled all over again.

Saturday evening, Tom and I got a City CarShare car and went across the bay to take Lisa M. out for a birthday dinner at Sweet Basil Thai in Berkeley or Albany. I think it’s actually in Albany, but the charge slip said Berkeley. Anyway, the food was really fantastic at this tiny place which has very pleasant ambience. It was also half as much as you’d pay on Valencia St., with entrees in the neighborhood of $10. I highly recommend it and will likely visit again one day. I had vegetarian pad see yew with soft tofu, and Thai iced coffee. Then we went to downtown Berkeley, right near the BART station, for gelato.

On Sunday I did nothing, more or less, and on Monday, a day off from work, I watched three DVDs: Daddy Nostalgia, Rudo y Cursi, and The Other Man. My favorite was Rudo y Cursi, which was quite funny. It stars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal as Mexican soccer players who get a shot at stardom.
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