Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Life, Better than a Reproduction Lecture

I am completely unable to ignore the man who first informed me - before I knew it myself - that I was a hopeless romantic.

Oh, I was flattered when I heard from the west coast, "Oh, shoot, is this the end of the blog? Say it ain't so...xo," but I was, alas, so much busier with work and a decided uptick in my social life that I had to let go of something.

I certainly wasn't about to let go of things like a poetry reading at Scott House, with verse dedicated to topics such as nosebleeds, elk offal, pyre-building and gray scum (Gregory Kimbrell's first reading from his completely disarming and disturbing new book of poems, "The Primitive Observatory") or Allison Titus' elegiac space rock poems about fireflies lamping the back yard.

As a result, I decided to use my usual blogging time for fun so I didn't have to miss out on anything like the screening of "Labyrinth" at Hardywood (my first viewing of the Bowie/Jim Henson classic) or an afternoon under the spell of K Dance's "Shorts," with works by Tennessee Williams, Suzan-Lori Parks and Shel Silverstein.

With no obligation to keep track of my comings and goings, I left town for three days, taking long walks in unfamiliar places, doing a lot of reading and savoring the lobster roll my critic friend recommended. When I got back, it was to an unexpected message, letting me know of the sender's "continuing appreciation for what you do to show a strong, smart, engaged approach to living."

There are people reading me who get that? Praise the lord and pass the biscuits.

Right, and there was that time I went to the new Early Bird Biscuit and shared my biscuit and blackberry jam with a homeless man who called me kind for doing so. I would call the person who wrote that to me kind as well.

When the French Film Festival hit town, Pru and I set out to get our yearly Francophile fix, except that what she really wanted to discuss for those three days was not cineastes but my absence in the blogging sphere, having been immediately suspicious when I'd stopped.

Over dinner at Secco one day, Amour Wine Bistro another and Bistro Bobette a third, she tried to get me back in writing mode. "All these amusing things I've been saying and no one's writing them down for posterity!" she lamented.

Days later, I get a message from her. "It looks like your radishes are growing fat instead of pithy at present...hmmmm." After much back and forth about my personal life, she offered advice not printable in a  family blog...or this one. Her summation? "Get out there and get pithy!"

Can I not be pithy without blogging?

Perhaps I'm too busy flaunting my D.C. roots with a James River Film Fest screening of "S.E. 67," a documentary about a group of Southeast Washington kids offered free college educations back in the '80s. I sign a petition to save the Enid Haupt Gardens in D.C., aghast that their demolition is even being considered.

There's a show and dance party at Studio 23 of go-go posters from the '70s and '80s (the graphic style instantly recognizable because I grew up seeing them everywhere), along with two DJs playing nothing but go-go, something that rarely happens outside D.C.

I have a ball dancing, talking to fellow go-go fans and even to a guy who'd attended one of the shows advertised in the poster. I overheard so many fascinating conversations and shared none of them.

Not having to blog meant plenty of time for dinner at the ever-fabulous Acacia (duck heart salad with strawberries, my, oh my and squid ink pasta with clams) before seeing Quill Theater's "King Lear" and repairing to Can-Can for Shakespeare discussion among the Saturday night divorcee crowd.

Did anyone really need to hear my thoughts on the new bands I've been seeing lately? The new Scott Clark Trio, for instance, or Microwave's soulful sounds at Cary Street? Zomes at Steady Sounds or the killer chops of Ralston, Parker, Fonville at Balliceaux? Probably not.

I have taken epic walks with my new walking partners, shared an unexpected brunch with an attentive artist and gone to a late night screening of a movie about wine, "Premiere Cru." At the Valentine's final Community Conversation, I enthusiastically discussed Richmond's public spaces with strangers and people of opposing opinions.

If anyone actually cares that I saw the cult 1986 documentary "Heavy Metal Parking Lot," I'd be thrilled to hear from them. Personally, it was a kick seeing all those skinny kids in the Capital Centre parking lot, the scene of most of my concerts for the first 8 or 10 years of my concert-going life.

Paul McCartney, Elton John, Cher, the Who, Fleetwood Mac, Diana Ross, the Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, all revealed themselves to me for the first time at ye old Cap Centre, but at this screening, I got the bonus of seeing the building's implosion, something I'd missed, having moved to Richmond  by then.

But who cares?

And does anyone really want to know that I've been to Merroir twice in recent weeks, along with Metzger, Pizza Tonight, My Noodle and Bar (I'm besotted with the decor) and the Roosevelt for a wine dinner with Chatham Vineyards, their delightful and voluble winemaker seated at our table? Probably not.

When it was last minute company I needed, I found it with an empathetic friend at Sabai for dinner and the Broadberry for a DJ out of Phoenix who took the stage at midnight after two others and melted our faces off with European beats.

Walking out of Richmond Ballet's Studio 3 series after being gobsmacked seeing "The Rite of Spring" and a world premiere of Mark Annear's "City Life," I run into the mustached scientist, whom I haven't seen in eons.

"Well, that was better than a reproduction lecture,' he observes in his usual deadpan, referring to the class he should have been teaching while he was instead watching dance.

Just before I get ready to leave the house Sunday, my trusty land line rings and it's the college friend who now resides in Key West, calling to check on me for the simple reason that I haven't blogged in a few weeks. Am I okay, how's my love life, how can anyone, friend or foe, be expected to match my energy level?

Although it sounds like typical friend phone conversation, you have to understand that we don't talk on the phone. Or if we do, there are years in between conversations. Clearly, he must have been worried and we can't have that.

After all, he's the one who advised me back in 2009 when my life was in shambles that, "Loneliness and regret are mean friends and piss poor mates."

I'm working on having none of either, thank you very much. So the blog is back, in some fashion or another, probably a less revealing one so more of my business is my own. How's that for pithy?

Say it ain't so.


  1. Thank god you're back!!!

    So glad to see you here!

  2. As opposed to all around town? Just kidding, thanks!