Forest for the Trees

Sequoia Forest for the Trees

Today is weigh-in day. Anne lost two pounds this week for a total of more than twenty pounds and I managed to not gain any weight this week, having lost 25+ pounds in total. As a percentage of total weight Anne is way ahead of me and has probably hit her weight goal, while I still have further that I’d like to go. As is our wont, we went out for a celebratory feast after weighing in. After all, we now a full week to account for any excesses on Monday. The humidity has moderated some, making it possible to pleasantly walk outside again. We did the long version of our neighborhood walk, which has Kaldi’s Coffee located on De Mun at about the halfway point.

Anne snagged a table in the shade, although there were plenty still available in the sun. They also now have some inside seating, but it was way too nice not to sit outside. She had a latte and I had a cold brew with milk. We both ordered their avocado toast, which is my favorite version of this dish, the first avocado toast that I’ve ever had and what I have always used as the model for my own avocado toast. Kaldi’s doesn’t use as much avocado as I do, but their toast is extra thick, because it is served on hand sliced bread. They accent the plate with lines of the Siracha with mayo mixed in with it, which makes it a little milder than straight Siracha sauce and gives it nice orange color that looks quite appetizing along with the green of the avocado. They also sprinkle the dish with black sesame seeds, which we joked look like mouse turds. At least I hope that they are not mouse turds. Now that I’ve refreshed my memory with how Kaldi’s makes their avocado toast, I’ll have to revisit their recipe again, because I can see now that I have strayed quite a bit from it over time. I had to bus our table as soon as we each had finished eating, because the sparrows were both fierce and voracious, with no sense of the meaning of personal space.

King Lear

Mom’s African Mask

Shakespeare in the Park has restarted this month, after last year’s hiatus and since this festival has been going on so many years now, they have already performed all of the “good” plays at least once. This leaves them with the need to add a new slant to each revisited production going forward. They chose King Lear for this year, but instead of setting it the way that it was written, in England, the scene has been moved to Africa and is performed by an all black cast. Think Wakanda, without any Vibranium, but with still plenty of the family politics. We are thinking of going, but because of Covid, you can’t just show up this year, you need a reservation and I have not quite figured out their reservation system yet. For those of you who are not familiar with this story, I offer the following 200 word synopsis of the play’s plot, which I found on the Internet:

Lear, the aging king of Britain, decides to step down from the throne and divide his kingdom evenly among his three daughters. First, however, he puts his daughters through a test, asking each to tell him how much she loves him. Goneril and Regan, Lear’s older daughters, give their father flattering answers. But Cordelia, Lear’s youngest and favorite daughter, remains silent, saying that she has no words to describe how much she loves her father. Lear flies into a rage and disowns Cordelia. The king of France, who has courted Cordelia, says that he still wants to marry her even without her land, and she accompanies him to France without her father’s blessing. Lear quickly learns that he made a bad decision. Goneril and Regan swiftly begin to undermine the little authority that Lear still holds. Unable to believe that his beloved daughters are betraying him, Lear slowly goes insane. He flees his daughters’ houses to wander on a heath during a great thunderstorm, accompanied by his Fool and by Kent, a loyal nobleman in disguise. — Kartik Pareek

In addition to the Forest Park production, I am also reminded of the King Lear story, because of what is occurring in Anne’s family. Harry has decided that he doesn’t want to continue living alone and has decided to sell his Ann Arbor home of some forty-five years and move into an assisted living center, where he can be around other people for a change.  He and Jane have chosen a place and selected a realtor. Now don’t get me wrong. Harry is no King Lear. He is probably one of the sanest people I know, but he does have three daughters. They had a Zoom call last night, where they discussed the work ahead of all of us soon. Eavesdropping, it all sounded quite amicable and business like. One would expect no less from Harry’s daughters. I would not deign to cast Harry as Lear, but I am just enough of a big spoon to cast his three daughters. Jane is obviously Cordelia, because she is the youngest and the favorite. I’m placing Anne as Regan, because of the whole RegenAxe thing. That leaves Goneril for Jay, sorry Jay. Study your lines girls, we’ll have a first reading in a few weeks. Now if I have stepped in it with this post, I am sorry. Please allow me to lighten my tread some, with the following bit of Lear inspired humor:

The Gathering Place Theater

The Gathering Place Theater

We booked tickets to Boston for Maren’s bridal shower. We plan of flying to-and-from Detroit. This won’t be a part of our first cabin trip, but the second, as yet unannounced one. We ended up speaking with Dan soon afterwards. I think Anne wanted to know, if he planned to attend the shower too. She caught him driving back from the lumber yard, with a Prius full of maple. He is going to build a bedframe, for Britt’s and his new place. They had to make four or five trips up the five flights to their apartment and being a hardwood, maple is heavier than pine. The plan is to cut the wood on the roof or the 6-th floor. He has been working an really interesting new reality TV show, but I have been placed under a cone of silence about that. It is Hot, Hot, Hot here in the Lou. We did a neighborhood walk in the morning. Near the end of it, we met a man, who was typing on his laptop in his front yard. I asked if he was working, but no, he is on vacation this week. He was writing. It was about something that involved, aesthetics, nature and religion. By day, Jason is a surgeon at St. Mary’s, but I guess that he has a more metaphysical aspect too. It turns out that he and I once treaded some of the same parts of California, like Mount Tamaulipas and Big Sur. Anne and Joanie knitted in public later in the day. In the evening, next door neighbor’s Art and Caroline threw an ice cream social, in honor of their daughter’s, Gracie, middle school graduation.