Monday, November 10, 2014

And Now, the Romance

I didn't need a whole lot tonight versus embracing the random. All good.

You see, the last two nights in Delaplane with my sisters had taken their toll. Friday night I'd gotten about six hours' sleep and last night no more than five. Fact is, I'm a nine hour a night myself type. So while I wanted to go out, it wasn't going to take much to satisfy me.

The Silent Music Revival at Gallery 5 was ideal: a four-block walk, it lasts less than an hour, I never tire of the combination of a silent film with live, improvised music.

While tonight's crowd was nowhere near as large as the Halloween show had been, the Sunday crowd held plenty of friends. The globe-trotting couple who just put a contract on a farm. The tireless musician whom I hadn't seen in ages and his lovely date. The former co-worker on a rare night out. The Hat in his leather jacket.

Tonight's band was the Richmanian Ramblers, an apt choice as we began with a Lithuanian/Romanian silent short film, "Lullabye." It was even more intricate than that because host Jameson explained that there's a good chance Charlie Chaplin was of Romanian descent, born at a gypsy camp and taken under by English parents who saw his potential as a member of their traveling circus.

Boy, it sure is harder to exploit your children these days than it was 100 years ago.

The 1919 film "Sunnyside" had all the usual Charlie Chaplin tropes: plenty of slapstick, just enough pathos, a down and out character. Charlie's character herded cows (of course losing them), was tickled awake by a quartet of nymphs with daisy chains (an early dream sequence), got kicked in the butt almost constantly and climbed in and out of windows as if they were doors.

He also fell in love (the title card read, "And now, the romance"), tried unsuccessfully to woo and eventually got the girl. As a bonus, I could geek out on language since one of the title cards used the word forenoon - "the whole forenoon nearly gone" - which you never see anymore. What more could I want out of a 29-minute film?

The Ramblers did an ace job of pairing their Romanian gypsy songs with appropriate scenes (during one scene with goats, the song had sheep bleating sounds) to enhance the experience of watching. Accordion music flowed freely.

Afterwards, a friend suggested getting a drink at Saison because she still had a babysitter's services, so with the Man About Town in tow, we walked over. The bar stools were occupied, so we made do with a table to support their cleverly named cocktails: the Nimble Kitten Parade.

Our trio made an interesting group since never before in the history of mankind had the three of us done anything together. You could chalk it up to silent movies making for strange bedfellows or you could say three smart people who'd just seen a tasty film/music performance wanted to keep talking.

And topics? Everything was fair game: seeing the mayor drunk and acting like a fat cat, "gentle" gentrification, rebuilding the Diamond and memories of Gaston and Isabelle. After so much dealing with sisters this weekend, it was just great to have conversation with non-family.

Before long, a friend came over to the table to say hello, bringing with her tales of her latest art work (nude snowflakes and dollar bill portraits) and what her three-year plan is. I admire a woman with a plan.

After a couple of hours, the friend with the babysitter had her Cinderella moment, suddenly realizing she needed to be home shortly. We three walked a block together before going our separate ways, me home to bed after a long weekend.

One way to look at my evening is that I ended up with way more than I needed tonight. Another would be that there wasn't a single thing I didn't want. Random wins every time.

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