Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Stoned Driver

Near the end of March, Tom and Ann and I went to lunch at Imm Thai Street Food (“imm” possibly means “stuffed” in Thai) followed by Macbeth at Berkeley Rep, featuring Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. The stage design was wonderful, creating a dark and ominous feel, though there was one moment of unmistakable levity, never envisioned by the author, when the actor delivering the speech with all the “knock knocks” in it looked meaningfully at the audience until several people finally answered, “Who’s there?” You’d think this would be very jarring, but it didn’t seem that way.

Somewhat more jarring were the three people seated behind us, who were having problems with their hearing aids, which hissed loudly off and on, plus one of them commented in a particularly loud voice at the end of several scenes: “‘Sound and fury, signifying nothing,’ Did you hear that? That’s wonderful, isn’t it? We had to study this play in school. I read the whole thing!” After several such announcements, another audience member issued a brief “Shh,” but that was the only response, which was rather remarkable, as all this unabashed commentary was quite disruptive. They must have thought being at the theater was just the same as being in front of the TV at home.

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My little Samsung flip phone was dampened by El Niño and did not survive the experience. I briefly considered joining the modern era and getting a smart phone and even ridding myself of my landline, but came to my senses. I delayed calling T-Mobile because I knew it was going to make me angry when they said buying a new phone would require picking one of their current, more expensive, plans. When I finally called, what a pleasant surprise it was when they said they’d be happy to transfer my current plan and remaining minutes to a new phone, either a phone of theirs or any old phone, as long as it was unlocked.

I went to Amazon and ordered the same flip phone F. has but then remembered that I have another phone identical to the one that got wet. I was using this other phone for work, since it was easier to use than the iPhone issued by my employer and also had better sound quality. I never really bonded with that iPhone. It seemed big and ugly compared to the solid little BlackBerry I had in prior years. Anyway, I called T-Mobile back and they switched my phone number and plan and minutes over to this other phone, and I went back to Amazon and canceled my phone order. Back in business, without spending a cent! I really am happy with T-Mobile. Their customer support is fantastic. I’ve never had to wait to speak to someone, and whoever I speak to has been friendly and has solved whatever the problem is.

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Last Friday I rode my bicycle to the beach for the first time in quite a while. Tom was going to join me, but his allergies were bothering him too much. Everything looked the same except for the gleaming new soccer fields near the beach. There was a ballot measure not too long ago regarding fake turf versus grass; unfortunately, the former won. This means, among other things, that rain, instead of soaking into the ground, becomes runoff for the sewer system to treat. However, the soccer fields do look lovely.

Back near home, I passed a mourning dove sitting in the middle of the street. It looked intact, but it also appeared not to be able to move. I would have and should have stopped to pick it up and put it on the sidewalk, but a Muni bus was immediately behind me and I didn’t trust the driver not to run me over. I also
didn’t think just to pull over and rescue the bird after the bus was gone; I think I was afraid I would find the bird squished on the ground.
 
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Walking to the soup kitchen, I saw a homeless woman pulling a wagon. This was hand lettered on the back of the wagon:


DRIVER IS STONED
MAY BE LOST
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