Yet More Entertainments

Not too much to report - just too much entertainment in the last week. It started with Stones in his Pockets, a play about an American film company filming in Ireland. Of course, they want the hokey stereotypes, while the locals are a lot more modern. But still ordinary folk down on their luck (one had a video store that went bust, another visited New York and got home sick), happy to be extras on the film, getting 40 pounds a week and lunch, lusting after the female lead. There's a bit of Irish friction when work hours conflict with a funeral for a drug addict kid who loved the movies, was kicked out of the pub after annoying the star, and then walked into water with stones in his pockets. It doesn't end happily, but in a recursive twist the losers decide to write their own movie about the events. Oh, did I mention that this was played by just two actors, sometimes changing voices and posture as rapidly as modern TV commercial cutting does? Pretty amazing stuff. Particularly showing all the different kinds of happy happy joy joy when commanded to cheer when the regional lord was bought out by the good guy. The extras cheered miserably (funeral time) even after being threatened, then the actors turned into the crew manager and her assistant, showing them how to do it, then the directory and his idea of expressing joy. None of them got it right. Good acting!

I also saw the latest Pride and Prejudice. This time around I knew which characters were important and which should be ignored (otherwise it's just too confusing). Nice settings. The big impact for me was the demonstration of the difference between the poor family with lots of daughters and the rich aristocrat. He's got a huge mansion, with rooms dedicated to just a statue collection. Meanwhile the others have a farmyard right behind their decrepit country mansion. Anyway, glad I was able to follow the story and characters easily this time.

Finally, we had our company Christmas party on Friday afternoon and evening. This year we also went out to play curling (throwing rocks on ice) before the dinner. My leg muscles still hurt from running up and down the ice so much. Lots of fun. Plus I got a box of assorted beer, a copy of Friends (did some work on it), and half a gigabyte of photos and videos, which amused my co-workers today.

- Alex

Copyright © 2005 by Alexander G. M. Smith.