Hamlet, Roman architecture & butter
Say what you will, but I don't think that four pieces of ciabatta toast with english butter and honey is excessive on a morning when you've run a couple of miles on the treadmill while watching your husband sweat on his bike beside you, glancing too the hunting habits of the Chinese snow leopard in vivid High Definition.
I have been humbled. I've thought about this a lot and the only words I have for it are humbled, by my son's eleventh grade Hamlet night - a performance collage inspired by Hamlet. I am loathe to go to these things and do so with much eye-rolling and expecting it frankly to be crap, but I was truly amazed by the level of creativity & humor shown by the students. There was visual art, theatre, poetry, hip-hop performance, jazz saxaphone, comedy, ballet... and all of it good, solid work. Moreover, and maybe this is stating the most obvious, I realized that he was part of a community, a big, warm creative community of people all absolutely engaged. Yes, it is one of those warm and fuzzy moments when you realize that your child has a life outside of the home, outside of his immediate family, in the big wide world. Sigh.
Another echelon of creativity was reached this morning at Minky's Museum Day, which is a huge exhibit of the sixth grade's Archaeology project that they've been focusing on this semester. I'm afraid the Roman Baths in Bath took somewhat of a nosedive yesterday when someone trip over them resulting in something that looked like an earthquake or the eruption of Mt Etna. The questionable columns fell, the roof caved, and all that was left was the sparkling silver pool. My favorite was a stunning example of roman architecture created entirely from different kinds of pasta (imagine the sturdy walls you can make with lasagne, the columns created from fusili, the spaghetti fences). I rather enjoyed the self-referential nature of the project too, even though Mr Webster assures Minks that pasta is a relatively modern Italian invention. Anwyay, Emily, the pasta-architect genius behind this particular model, had managed to cover the stuff in a doughie substance so it almost appeared to be rendered. Unbelievable. It took all the will-power I could muster not to drive home and immediately raid my larder and the crafts drawer to challenge myself similarly.
I don't like to be mean. I am mean, I know. But it's not a quality in myself that I like enormously. And I particularly dislike people who are unkind to people that they consider less than themselves, such as waiters, valet parkers, gardeners and cleaning ladies. I have always gone out of my way to be respectful of everyone (except of course agents, lawyers and a**hole film directors, and anyone who talks loudly on a cell phone in a restaurant and people who are nasty to their children, oh, and people who don't like dogs) but, and I don't know why, Monica, my lovely cleaning lady, who is very young and has just come back from her week-long honeymoon in San Francisco, annoys me so much that I can hardly bear to be in the same room with her. I know she means well. I know she's a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I know that even though she says she wants to be a doctor, that is what I like to call a "pipe dream". What irritates me is that she is slow and not even that meticulous. She is painstakingly slow. Even the size of her bottom doesn't annoy me. To be honest, I'm sure I'm a little jealous of her J-Lo bottom. (To be fair, hers is about three times the size of J-Lo's). I have just sent the following email to my friend E and because it is still STILL annoying me, I am sharing it here. I am sure God will strike me down. And I can still hear Maureen's voice in my head, "Oh she's LOVELY, you are NICE to her aren't you?" Yes Maureen, I am, honestly. Most of the time. Most of the time we get on well, especially when we work side by side, like when we were making brochettes for Jumby's birthday supper, we laughed and we chatted like old friends. Anyway, witness:
I've never seen anyone unloading a dishwater in five steps before. Step one, take out one glass. Step two, take out one more glass. Step three, arrange one glass inside the other on the counter. Step four, repeat steps one and two. Step five, carry one (not three or four) glasses to the cupboard and place it in its proper place. Step six, repeat with each plate, glass, etc, never carrying more than one at a time.
But the worst thing is, she scraped as much soft butter as she could from a pack I had out on the counter, meticulously and painstakingly of course, into a small china bowl and then threw the rest away -- a good quarter of a pound of it. I fished it out of the trash and threw it back in the fridge as if I were a housewife during the war on rations.
I wish there was a cure for acute irritation. Like Benadryl for the soul or something.
I do truly despise this bourgeois trait in myself. At times like these, I wonder what my grandmother would do. One imagines she'd do something clever and witty and it would all be solved. I've done what you're supposed to do with small children. Removed myself. I'm having a time out in the garden with my laptop, the dogs, and the soothing sound of running water.
Posted by misswhistle
at 10:40 PDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 10:43 PDT