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Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Time Event
Cue the violin music
"Wordplay" box office is getting on the anemic side (under $1000/screen over the weekend). Time to think about other things. But first, excuse me while I Google blog search one more time (it's tough to break these habits).

A guy on MySpace had "Ellen Ripstein's Tabula Rasa" as a screen name for a while, but has since changed it.

We B team members are not involved in commentary for the DVD (sigh; I wonder if people weren't looking at our web site interviews), but the A team was here this weekend to work on it. I was invited to have dinner and do Q/A with them at IFC Saturday, but had to decline as I had long-standing plans for the annual BBQ/Mostly Mozart excursion (see 8/6/05 entry).

As usual, I met Mark and his friend Mike at BBQ, and had a half chicken and cornbread. We didn't stop at Barnes & Noble, but walked right to Avery Fisher and used the restrooms where the toilet flushed and flushed and flushed and finally stopped - though no one else was in there, so I didn't have to feel embarrassed.

You'd think people in the sophisticated concert audience might have seen "Wordplay" but there was no sign of recognition. Then again, we were in our seats early and did not leave during intermission, so I was not exactly mingling. The mother and daughter in back of me said "crosswords" and I whipped my head around, but they looked at me blankly and were... just talking about doing crosswords. I did not say anything, so they probably just thought I was weird.

Seasoned concertgoers don't clap between movements, but hold applause until the end of the piece. The savvy pre-concert audience was dead silent between the three Mozart preludes and fugues played by a string trio. The auditorium (including stage seats) filled up for the regular concert, and there was a smattering of applause between movements of Mozart's Haffner symphony.

The last half of the concert was Beethoven's violin concerto. It starts out slow, almost soporific for the first two movements. Then the last movement is a brisk, very familiar theme, so you leave forgetting how dull the beginning was. We heard it a few years ago with Pinchas Zukerman. This time the soloist was the David LW clone Sergey Khachatryan, a black-clad 21-year-old Armenian who held the audience in thrall. Stunning in every way. The audience did not hold back on applause at any time, and went completely wild at the end, being rewarded with a long encore.

This blogger says it better than I can.

The encore was so long that the concert did not let out until almost 10:30, too late for me to consider joining the "Wordplay" gang in the Village (if it turns out they ventured further uptown, oh well). We stopped at Lincoln Plaza so I could stand under the poster, and the guys headed for Brooklyn while I walked up to Food Emporium, being careful to avoid the temptation of their eggplant rollatini of Death (it LOOKS good, but nooooo).

On Monday, I called about the air conditioner and they can't come until Thursday morning. Since it was in the 80s and not the 100s, I decided to take a walk. I went up Broadway to 119th and back, feeling very very hot at the scene of last year's Haystack (I'm not planning to play this year, but have asked if I can help out in a way not requiring exercise). I stopped at 2 supermarkets along the way for some air-cooling, hoping unsuccessfully to find Minute Maid light raspberry or diet V8 Splash. I also got an Absolute bagel but saved it for home, as the store's air-conditioning was almost as bad as my living room's. I think I'll bring my work to the Times today, as dripping sweat is not conducive to productivity.

I'm not big on memes but jedusor tagged me: Write five lies about yourself and put in one fact. Have people guess which one is true and the first one to guess wins. Tag 5 people after.

*I once fell off a bicycle and chipped my front tooth.
*I did not go to my grad school graduation.
*I can snap my fingers.
*Eggs are one of my favorite foods.
*My family first got a TV when I was 10.
*I've never had an Enigma complete.

I'll be ornery and not tag anyone.
Book update
In the last entry, I forgot to mention recent reading.

Jill McCorkle, "The Cheer Leader": It sounds like a teenage novel, but it's written for adults. It's a coming of age story in the South in the 60s and 70s, where the protagonist is popular growing up but completely loses it by the time she gets to college. By the last third of the book, I couldn't stand her or her insanity and just skimmed to the end. I left this book in the drawer of the San Antonio Holiday Inn, my first BookCrossing "wild release" (I don't count the books I've left in my building's laundry room book exchange as those aren't accessible to the public, but then again a specific hotel room isn't accessible either)

Alaa Al Aswany, "The Yacoubian Building" (ARC): I see nothing on the Harper Collins First Look site that says I can't talk about it, so I'll reveal that this is the ARC I was reading and finally finished. I almost saw the movie version at Tribeca and now would like to see it. The book is mercifully relatively much shorter (258 pages). It takes place in modern Cairo, but has the feel of a different time, since it's in a different culture. I'm not one who is curious about foreign lands, but the story was fairly interesting. The foreign names got confusing. It's going to the laundry room shelf.

Robert Lipsyte, "One Fat Summer": Teenage novel about a fat boy's summer in a lake community where he becomes less fat, learns about himself, etc. The book was published in 1977, and at one point you learn it takes place in 1952, but there's no real sense of time other than some pop song references thrown in. The kid grapples with his summer job, food, friends changing, bullies and family. Very fast read, nothing special.

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