8 February 2003
It was the fourth or fifth heaping platter to pass under my nose that evening. It started
with fried mozzarella, then two enormous salads, a couple of chicken dishes, and the three
plates heaped with pasta dishes.
We were at Buca de Beppo, that quirky Italian restaurant chain with every inch of the
walls covered with unique "things" -- posters, photos, record covers, etc. We
didn't get to sit in the "Pope Room," where all the decorations are
Pope-oriented, and a large bust of the pope sits in the middle of the table. (Probably
just as well--I'm sure we would have been zapped by lightning or something).
This was a terrific group of folks. The core group consisted of people who had all been
part of the tech crew for The Lamplighters until they began to play in union houses and,
as San Francisco is a very strong union town, non-pros can no longer schlepp scenery in
and out of the theatres. But during the years when Walt was part of the team, they
developed a very solid core of folks who now get together periodically for social reasons.
Last summer we all went to one of the Giants games (my first time at the
new baseball park). There are barbecues at the home of the former tech director and his
wife, train rides on the personal car of one of the guys on the crew, who hooks his car up
on the back of an Amtrak train for a trip up into the mountains, etc. A nice group of
Tonight we were eating at Buca di Beppo which is about two blocks from where The
Lamplighters were opening the latest production of Princess Ida (not one of my
favorite Gilbert & Sullivan shows). Most of us were going to the show after dinner.
So the linguini with clams passed under my nose and I took a nice helping of it and passed
it on. Parmesan. It would be better with Parmesan. I picked up the container of Parmesan
and shook a good dose onto the mound of food...and then realized, even in the dim light,
that it didn't really look like Parmesan. That's when I saw the real container of Parmesan
still sitting on the table and realized that I'd just added a liberal dose of sugar to my
linguini and clams.
I didn't let those around me know I'd done such a dumb thing, but just stirred it into the
pasta. I have to admit it was...different. I'm not sure it's something I'll be trying
again, but it wasn't as awful as it sounds.
The show was good, even if it isn't one of my favorites. It's always nice when there is
something new in a show that you know so well, and this production had one outstanding
actress in one of the lesser roles. After her first scene Walt and I both looked at each
other and said "she's wonderful!" You couldn't keep your eyes off of her. She
brought things to the role I'd never seen before--and that's saying something about a show
which I've been watching for 40 years.
I bought a CD after the show was over, music that a friend of ours had recorded, and
decided to put it in the CD changer in the car so we could listen to it on the way home.
That's when I discovered that the CD carrier is stuck and won't eject, so it looks like we
have to either take it in to be fixed or find someone who knows something about CD players
who can unstick it for us. Bummer.
But now it's 2 a.m. and I'm going to head off to sleep. It had been a very busy work week,
and it was nice to have the night off...even if I did pour sugar into my linguini and
This is St. Patrick's church in SF. I
love the contrast of the old and the new architecture.
It Seemed Like a Good Idea
at the Time
The wisdom of someone who works part time as a theatre critic and has problems
staying awake to review a show taking an evening class where part of the class involves
watching a 90 minute movie may be questioned.
Two Years Ago
Blowing in the Wind
I find Im too restless to sit at the desk and I wander out into the
darkened kitchen. I eat. I shouldnt. Im not hungry. But I eat anyway. I drink
coffee. And the wind blows. My brain fills with thoughts and images and feelings and the
wind blows. The windows and walls shake, the trees rock back and forth, and I drink more
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