Busy weekend

I haven't posted a life update here in ages. Not sure why; just haven't felt the urge, I guess.

Rather than trying to catch up on the past few weeks, I'll just write up this past weekend.

A couple weeks ago, I realized that the Santa Cruz Shakespeare season was coming to an end, and so I bought some of the last few remaining reserved-seat tickets for their final weekend's performances. In particular, I got tickets for Measure for Measure and The 39 Steps:

  • I read Measure for Measure in college, but have never seen it performed. Kam recently saw a show called Off the Rails, which appears to be a loose modernized adaptation of Measure for Measure (and sounds great!), but she wasn't familiar with the original.
  • Santa Cruz Shakespeare had advertised The 39 Steps as an adaptation of the Hitchcock movie, and I hadn't particularly liked the movie, so I had no interest in seeing a stage version of it. But then something clicked, and I realized that this was probably the same show that a friend in Connecticut was performing in, and he had described it as a hilarious slapstick comedy. I checked with him, and sure enough, same show.

So we planned to see Measure for Measure on Saturday evening, then stay over in Santa Cruz, have breakfast at Zachary's (our favorite Santa Cruz breakfast place) on Sunday, and then see the matinee of 39 Steps.

And then the weather intervened.

Not the record-high heat in California; no, this was weather elsewhere. Kam has been a part of one of the Federal government's Disaster Medical Assistance Teams for some years, but they've never deployed during the time that she's been with them. And suddenly it looked like they were going to deploy, and she was on the roster, but there was no telling exactly when the deployment would happen, nor how much notice she would have before she had to be at the airport.

And so heading to Santa Cruz didn't seem like a good idea. She was all packed, but even so, if she were to get a “your flight is leaving in four hours” notice in the middle of the play, timing would've been pretty tight.

So we reluctantly had to skip Measure for Measure. We stayed home and watched DS9 episodes instead.

And at some point she got an official notification that she wasn't flying out until Monday evening. If that notification had come about an hour earlier, we could've still made it to the play, but oh well.

So on Sunday, we drove down to Santa Cruz (which took over an hour and a half instead of the usual 45 minutes, because of course huge numbers of other people also wanted to go to the beach to escape the heat), had breakfast/lunch at Zachary's, and went to The 39 Steps. Which turned out to be delightful and hilarious.

(I'm still not sure why the theatre company's writing about the show persisted in downplaying the comedy. Not only the advertising; also the director's note and the thaumaturg's note in the program book. Which were very similar to each other (I suspect they didn't read each other's notes before publishing them), and were both brief dry recountings of the history of the show, starting with the original novel and then moving on to the movie. To read these notes, and the ads, one might be forgiven for thinking it was a straightforward staged version of the movie, with a few jokes tossed in.)

Lots of great moments and bits. Four actors playing 150 parts. Great use of minimalist sets. A bunch of great physical comedy, and a bunch of entertaining verbal jokes. The second half wasn't as much fun as the first half (more running through wilderness, less laugh-out-loud comedy), but overall very much worth seeing.

After the show, we went to the beach for a while. I love being by the ocean; I really ought to go there more often. We didn't see any whales, but we did see a fair number of pelicans. When I was a kid, all the portrayals of pelicans I saw emphasized their big beaks and suggested that they were gawkish and graceless; it was a revelation when I first saw them flying, three in a line, skimming effortlessly low over the water. This time there were a bunch of them, and we had brought binoculars, which were a nicer aide to bird-viewing than I had somehow expected.

Then we went to Logos, Santa Cruz's venerable used bookstore, which is sadly going out of business. Bought several books apiece.

Had dinner at the Saturn Cafe, which is probably the first restaurant I ever ate at in Santa Cruz, sometime in the '80s.

Then home; another hour and a half over Highway 17.

On Monday, Kam's flight wasn't until evening, so we went to her place to do some repacking, and then hung out with Geoff & Michelle and Bruce (and played Dungeon Fighter, a very silly cooperative boardgame that's sort of a cross between Quarters and D&D, in that you have to bounce dice off the table and onto a target board, sometimes with your eyes closed or your back turned), then back to Kam's place for some more repacking.

We were going to grab a quick dinner before her flight, but my car suddenly entered a weird mode in which the dashboard wouldn't light up and the engine wouldn't turn off. That's happened a couple of times before, but it always goes away again, and my local Toyota shop tells me that fixing it will require me to leave the car with them for a full week, so I haven't yet gotten around to dealing with it. Anyway, we really really didn't want Kam to miss her flight, so we skipped dinner and headed straight for the airport. I was super tense; I was pretty sure the car would make it that far, but I've never driven more than a short distance without a working speedometer before. But we got her to the airport in plenty of time, and managed to get her luggage out of the car even though the hatchback wouldn't open; and I headed home, exhausted. (The dashboard did start working again after I turned off the engine at the airport and let it sit for a few minutes. Note to self: holding down the power button for a few seconds seems to help when the car doesn't want to turn off.)

So that was my weekend. (Except that I'm leaving out various things, like acquisition of some new stuffed animals, and a phone call with Sumana, and doing some reading, and working on the project to post my mother's letters-to-her-parents, and doing a bit of travel planning.) It doesn't really seem like I did all that much, when I present it this way; but I'm tired.

And now I suppose I really ought to head off to work. I'll try to post a bit more often here; I've got a couple of things lined up to post over the next couple days.

(Wrote this this morning, but didn't get a chance to post it 'til this afternoon.)

Join the Conversation