Cranksgiving 2011

Friday night, Anne and I joined Captain Don and DJ for dinner and a show. Dinner was at Cyrano’s and was served with extra whip cream. The show was the Rep’s “God of Carnage”. By Yasmina Reza, this was the Rep’s second production of one of her plays. “Art” was the first of her plays to be performed. When I saw “Art” for the first time, it seemed like déjà vu all over again. A three actor play, I’ll call the three characters, Chris, Bob and Mark, not that they remind me of anyone in particular. In the play, Chris shows Bob and Mark a new painting. The painting is an almost completely white canvas. Mark assails it, “That’s not art. It is just a white piece of shit.” Bob is more conciliatory and tries to reconcile the differences between the other two characters. It is funny how sometimes art reflects life.

“God of Carnage”, Ms. Reza most current work, won the Tony in 2009. Set in the present, in Brooklyn, two couples meet to discuss the fight that has occurred between their two sons. One child has broken two teeth of the other one. The evening begins civilized, but quickly devolves from there; quickly, as in one ninety minute act. The play reminded me of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Except that “Carnage” is a comedy and only the darkest of souls could see Mr. Albee’s play as funny. That being said, both plays star two newly met couples, all of the action is set in one living room, and both play’s evenings begin amicably, but soon turn unfriendly. Albee proceeds to have his characters bloodily eviscerate each other through the course of the evening. While, Reza play’s her strife for laughs, the signs of her scalpel are still evident. The objective of her razor wit is not the individual characters’ psyche or souls, but that of the entire middle class.

Saturday, I woke-up with a sore-throat and didn’t do much more than read the complete works of Calvin and Hobbes (unabridged). Thank you, Jane! And watch schlocky Netflix movies on my iPhone, on the couch, under two blankets, at least until the phone’s battery gave up the ghost. Last night’s fevered dreams, fueled by a combination of Calvin and schlock, made for a restless night.  Meanwhile, über woman, my wife, biked 21 miles, to give her 2001 miles for the year. Cue the kettledrums. Saturday night, she went to go see the play, “A Raisin in the Sun”, at the high school.

By Sunday morning, I felt better. Well enough that Anne and I launched out the door for Cranksgiving, part bike ride, part food drive. We biked 25 miles, our route taking us by multiple grocery stores. We stocked up on can goods, Anne in her backpack and me in my messenger bag. We had done this charity ride in 2009, so we knew all of the ropes. Skip the expensive stores, like Straub’s, go light at the early stops and then stock up with canned meats near the end. Spam, Spam, Spam, tuna fish, Spam, Spam, Spam … Schlafly’s Bottleworks was start/ending point for the ride, so a wee bit of libation was involved after the ride. It was a great day to ride. The weather cooperated. It was one last chance to reconnect with friends, before winter sets in. Afterwards, we had lunch at Foundation Grounds, in Maplegood.

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