Orange Aphelandra

Orange Aphelandra

I had lunch today, with the Perma-Bear. My former coworker is still on the job, even as more of our colleagues depart. Some like me have retired, while others move on to greener pastures and a better job. He filled me in on who has left.

We both updated each other on the doings of our respective families. I got to regale him with my travels. We both skated close to, but neither of us ventured into the abyss that separates our two sets of different political views. This duel self reserve combined to produce quite a pleasant luncheon. It was good seeing him again.

After lunch, I swung by the store to buy lottery tickets. On Saturday, when the Mega Millions’ jackpot hit a billion, I bought my first ticket of the year. No one won that drawing, so today I doubled down. I bought another Mega Millions that now has a jackpot of $1.6 billion and a Powerball ticket that has a jackpot of $620 million. These two lotteries have a combined payoff of $2.2 billion. Winning both games would make one, one of the richest Americans, #368 on the Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans. Near the bottom, but still on the list, but it doesn’t really work like that. After a lump sum payout and taxes the cash that you would receive is about half. I hope that someone wins this time. I’m getting tired of buying tickets. 

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Jay on the Durango-Silverton Railroad

This was a great trip. Not just the railroad, but the whole vacation. Well, maybe not the whole vacation. I’m remembering now the Saturday night massacre, with a double feature at the ER after a course of mac & cheese from sweet Auntie Pooh, “Have some more cheese, my pretty.” At least Rey finally got his lactose intolerance diagnosed.

Vallecito Cabin

It was 2006 and Saint Louis met Seattle in Durango, which is about halfway in-between. We rented a pair of cabins just outside of town that overlooked a lake. Really just a damned river, but Vallecito Reservoir still represents a sizeable percentage of Colorado’s 0.4% water covered area. I saw there, but did not snap a flight of national guard C-130s that swept in low over the lake. I still have the bike. Dave has the car. 2006 was the Gnome summer.

Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

In addition to the train ride, we also drove to Silverton via the “million-dollar highway.” The other big highlight of this trip that we shared was Mesa Verde. Jay, thanks for having a birthday and the excuse to go down memory lane.

Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde

A Doll’s House, Part 2

Doll’s House, Part 2 Cast

A Doll’s House, Part 2, written by Lucas Hnath, is a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s famous play by the same name. We went to see it, Thursday. A group discussion followed the performance. At the conclusion of which, the cast, Tina Johnson (Anne-Marie), Caralyn Kozlowski (Nora), Andrea Abello (Emmy) and Michael James Reed (Torvald) agreed to a photo.

This play begins fifteen years after Nora famously shut-the-front-door, while walking out on her husband and children. Having never heard from her since, the household is surprised to find that first she is not dead, but instead wildly successful (She has become a women’s writer.), as she walks back into their lives through that same door. She has again run afoul of Norway’s repressive 19th-century laws and needs a divorce to make things right.

The play’s bleak set telegraphs the message that the past fifteen years have not been kind to the Helmer household, with chairs stacked in the corner and only the shadows of paintings that once hung on the walls. The actors were attired in period finery, particularly Nora, who’s costume we learned later was both heavy and hot. The play’s dialog is written in contemporary language, replete with the use of four letter words.

In addition to Ibsen’s original characters, Anne-Marie the housekeeper, Nora the wife and husband Torvald, Hnath introduces daughter Emmy. In the original play, three year-old Emmy’s was only a mute walk-on part. In this sequel she is a grown women, as willful as Nora, but unwilling to flout conventions as her mother did. Reproach is the order of the day that greets Nora upon her return. Anne-Marie is resentful that having once raised Nora, she is then left to raise her children. Torvald was deeply wounded by her act and still feels aggrieved and  Emmy would prefer to have nothing to do with the mother who abandoned her.

Ibsen’s play was a forerunner of what we now call #MeToo. In-between these points, women’s rights has enjoyed successes from the suffragettes to the feminists, but as Michael James Reed’s pictured “I Believe Her” button attests, there is still much work yet to be done. It is good to see a pioneer like Nora brought forward into the 21st-century, to continue on the struggle.