The Gradient

The Gradient – Northern Lights Style

The new movie version of Dune dropped yesterday and I managed to watch about an hour of it before it was off to the theater with Anne. What I did see was as good as I had hoped for. Vax cards in hand and masks in place we ventured out to COCA’s Catherine B. Berges Theatre (a marvelous new venue in U-City) to see the Reps new production, The Gradient—a world premier satirical look at toxic masculinity, which also manages to poke fun at tech startups and bad bosses in general. The Gradient is a new facility that promises to take men accused of sexual misconduct and rehabilitate them into responsible citizens. Born of the #MeToo movement and fueled by the likes of Donald Trump, R. Kelly and Harvey Weinstein, this play is set in the not-too-distant future and portrays an organization that employs an algorithm, which mathematically and scientifically evaluates candidate men and then delivers an individualized treatment regimen to rehabilitate them. We follow new-hire Tess, as she wrestles with her often less than truly forthcoming patients and a sarcastic boss who is also too often less than helpful. In physics, a gradient is an increase or decrease in the magnitude of a property observed in passing from one point or moment to another. Here the property is toxic masculinity and much to Tess’s surprise, The Gradient doesn’t always lead to its decrease.

In other news, Anne and I went to Target to look at lawn furniture and get our Covid booster shots. Yesterday, the CDC approved mix-and-match boosters. Our original vaccination was the one-and-done J&J shot, which while it was the first one available to us, it also now seems to be the least effective of the three brands that have been approved. At Anne’s behest, I shopped around for Moderna shots, which she has determined to now be the best of the three. I got us appointments for this afternoon with CVS, at their local in-store pharmacy. Here’s to sticking it to the man and the woman—besides my microchip’s battery had died.

Presentation of the MAD Quilt

Presentation of the MAD Quilt

Pictured is Anne presenting the MAD quilt to Maren and David. This scene occurred at the brunch on the morning after the wedding. Anne had finished the quilt only 24 hours earlier, on the morning of the wedding. There is no minute like the last minute. This quilt is the largest one that Anne has ever made and required many hours of work to complete. It turned out beautifully and Anne should be very proud of herself.

Finally, a Wedding Update


I guess that it is high time that I actually write a blog post, instead of just posting photographs. Cabin tradition holds that we take a group photo of everyone, before we each depart to our separate lives again. As per usual though, we end up missing a few people. For this photo, Harry and Jane had already departed for the night and they headed straight away back to Ann Arbor in the morning. Not to worry, I’m sure that the professional wedding photographers got plenty of pictures of everyone at the wedding.

It was a beautiful wedding. I want to thank Maren and her parents, Bruce and Kim, for doing all of the work that it took to pull it off so successfully. I want to also thank all of the family and friends who made it to the wedding, I hope that everyone had a good time. I know that I did and I didn’t even go to the after-party. The best story came from after the after-party. One of Dave’s four groom’s men, left the after-party early and went back to the Air B&B, locked the door and fell into a deep sleep. When the other three groom’s men showed up, they could wake him and couldn’t get in, until they remembered that they had left a window open. Two of the groom’s men were men of color, so it fell to the one white guy to climb through the window and unlock the front door. A police cruiser did pass by, but didn’t stop.

The wedding was held in Maren’s hometown, Geneva, New York. The venue was the Cracker Factory, a repurposed factory building that actually was originally a knife factory. Friday’s, rehearsal dinner was held in the back room, while the ceremony and reception were held in the main room. I sprung for Uncle Joe’s pizza for the rehearsal dinner. The chuppah that Dan and Brit brought looked fantastic and Anne’s canopy fit perfectly. It rained the day of the wedding, but a little moisture couldn’t dampen anyone’s mood. The food at the wedding was excellent and Bruce supplied the wine with supper. Bruce is a vintner and a professor at Cornell, where he teaches and researches vintology.

We spent two nights in Rochester before the wedding and one afterwards. Our friends, Alice & Chris and Bob & Noreen room and boarded us, along with Joanie, who traveled from Saint Louis with us. Thank you very much! Also, going and coming to New York, we spent one night each staying near Columbus, Ohio at Joanie’s sister Max and husband Kevin’s house. Again, thank you very much. The whole trip took a week.

Sunday, on the morning after the wedding, Bruce and Kim hosted a brunch at their home. After the previous night’s festivities, it seemed that the crowded had an unquenchable thirst for coffee. It was then that Anne presented the MAD quilt to Maren and David that she had made for them. Finally finishing it, the morning of the wedding. There is no moment like the last moment. It was a fantastic wedding. And Maren and Dave make a lovely couple. I am quite sure that they will have a wonderful life together.