Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pointing No Fingers

Infidelity never looked so good.

By that I mean, the 50th anniversary 4K restoration of "The Graduate" that the Byrd Theater was showing tonight was pristine. I don't think it's looked that good since 1967.

"This is the best possible way you'll ever see this movie," manager Todd told the assembled masses and he wasn't kidding. Never have the various colors of Mrs. Robinson's half slips or the details of her blue eye shadow been so vivid.

I started at Garnett's for dinner only to arrive during prime happy hour (it's been a while since I've seen a pitcher of beer served) and just barely manage to snag the only stool available at the counter.

In the tiny kitchen was the always charming Mac who greeted me by catching my eye in the mirror behind the counter. It was enough to get my attention and a smile from him so I had to assume that the baseball-sized mound of chicken salad on my green salad was his doing.

To my left was a guy eating solo and our server's innocuous inquiry about his day turned into a highly detailed account about his company's move and how they planned to spend $30K on renovations, but then the contractor upped the price to $140K, so the company balked and it was lowered to $100K, but then they demanded a $35K deposit.

Her eyes glazed over even before mine did just listening to him ramble.

It was hardly surprising that there was a sizable crowd for "The Graduate," but I have to admit I was surprised by how many young people were in attendance. I'd have been curious to know how many of them were seeing the seminal film for the first time.

Then, too, I wondered how certain dated details registered with them. Like beer cans with two holes punched in the top because it was the pre-pop top era. Or how Mrs. Robinson wore actual stockings and a garter belt, not pantyhose. How Mr. and Mrs. Robinson had to get married because she got pregnant. How the drinking age was lower, so it was okay to offer a 20 year old scotch or bourbon.

For that matter, stop for a moment and consider that Benjamin's father buys him a full scuba diving suit and accessories and complains that it set him back $200. I overheard a guy sitting behind me say it would be at least $1200 today and even allowing for jaw-flapping, I'm sure it wasn't a cheap gift then or now.

And although the movie had its dated moments (clip earrings, opera gloves, lots of teased hair), it held up beautifully for how it melded the story with Simon and Garfunkel's songs and delivered that most sought after ending of all: true love triumphing.

Sigh. Thank you, Hollywood circa 1967.

From there, I headed to Vagabond for music because I have been out for live music far too infrequently the past few months and I think it's affecting me and not in a good way.

The low-ceilinged Rabbit Hole downstairs was mobbed when I walked in and as I stood in the back looking for a way into the crowd, I spotted a girlfriend all the way across the long bar.

Starting toward her, we met in the middle only to return to her corner for a better vantage point. The first band finished their set and we took the opportunity to catch up because, as she said, women gotta talk and men don't always.

Because her relationship is in a state of uncertainty at the moment, she told me that after crying for 48 hours, she'd resolved to take a deep breath and focus on herself. That means she'd been at yoga before this, as well as cutting back on caffeine and drinking, doing whatever she thought would make her feel good.

And we both agreed that going out for live music always makes us feel good, with or without drinking, which is how we'd both ended up here tonight.

Keyboardist/singer Calvin Brown and his band then took the stage and proved that their brand of soul was just what we needed. The jazz critic came over to join us for a bit while the band began weaving its R&B spell over the room.

Brown had written a song or two about Instagram, "Because that's the world we live in," (causing the critic to joke, "I'm waiting for their song about MySpace"). When the singer bantered with the crowd between songs, he was pleased when people responded.

"I like when you answer me like that. I'm a church boy!" he said to applause before launching into "Cool."

I like when I go out looking for true love and end up letting the music wash over me until I feel good. Sure beats yoga.


  1. ....and if you haven't seen it lately --
    check out "Midnight Cowboy" if it ever comes back around...


  2. I have NEVER seen it, cw, and it's on my short list of late '60s/early '70s movies I am eager to see. Maybe I'll suggest it to the Byrd for their Big Screen Classics night.

  3. never seen it?? ..
    .. then a piece of your puzzle is missing.


  4. Right?!

    After I saw "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" 2 weeks ago, I started thinking about all the titles from that era that dealt with the sexual revolution that I'd never seen and would love to with adult eyes.

    I'm talking about "Carnal Knowledge," "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice," "Myra Breckinridge," "Midnight Cowboy" and the like. Films dealing with a seismic shift in their depiction of sex, what was "normal"and relationships.

  5. Wow! if I actually knew you -- I would say, "where have you been?" That's OK, you can make it least in a way. See "Carnal Knowledge" but definitely see MC.


  6. You can still say that, cw! And I hope to.