Monday, October 16, 2006

Pet Shop Boys, Deepest Darkest Maryland

We got to the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall just before eight, picked up our free tickets and complimentary CD, and found our seats - front row of the first tier of the balcony. Fantastic location. In the Hawaii section even! Made note of the male to female ratio, somewhere around 2:1 or 3:1. Idly wondered if they were a gay band. The show began: two guys in white jumpsuits tore away the brain image to reveal a pair of silhouettes, from which emerged the men matching those silhouettes! Applause. Then two MORE men matching the silhouettes emerged. Um, more applause. Huh? And then a third pair of men matching the silhouettes emerged, and there was tons of applause. Aha! These must be the real Pet Shop Boys! (Turns out the first two were backup singers, and the second two were backup dancers. Sneaky...)

Our next clue that this might be a gay-friendly group came during intermission, when Scott and I tore open our CD. It's pink! Neon pink. And there's a track entitled "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show." The second act brought us a pronouncement from Neil Tennant: "DC, you are so flamboyant!", a song of the same nature, and a number of dancing cowboys wearing gold lamé, head-to-toe. Gay. Yep. Got it. Fabulous!

A fun show overall. It didn't overwhelm me, but I had a good time and am certainly glad that I got to see them. And now that I've listened to their album Fundamental a few times, they're really growing on me!

So that was the very end of the weekend, Sunday night. I was tired on Friday night, so skipped out on a happy hour and a going-away party in favor of lying on the floor reading New Yorker articles for an hour. When Scott got home, we watched Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, a documentary that
interweaves the stories of four obsessive men, each driven to create eccentric worlds of their dreams, all involving animals: Dave Hoover, a lion tamer who idolizes the late Clyde Beatty, and who shares his odd theories on the mental processes of wild animals; George Mendonça, a topiary gardener who has devoted a lifetime to painstakingly shaping bears and giraffes out of hedges and trees; Ray Mendez, who is fascinated with hairless mole-rats, tiny buck-toothed mammals who behave like insects; and Rodney Brooks, an M.I.T. scientist who has designed complex, autonomous robots that can crawl like bugs without specific instructions from a human controller. As the film proceeds, thematic connections between the four protagonists begin to emerge: the lion tamer and the topiary gardener look back at ways of life which are fading from the scene; the mole-rat specialist and the robot scientist eye the future, envisioning creatures that may someday replace the human race.
This one gets the Scott and Libby seal of approval. Not as good as Bubba Ho-Tep, I think, but worth watching.

I was up early on Saturday morning and got to read and drink coffee for a few peaceful hours. Then I made ratatouille (to use up the 2 eggplants and 6 zucchini that were threatening to go bad) and played Scrabble with Scott (where I got lucky with letters so beat him soundly). We headed out to Maryland in the afternoon and met up with my aunt and uncle. We stopped at a farm store for apples (honey crisp! Yum!) and pumpkins, went for a walk with their Newfoundland Winston in the nature preserve across the street from their house (which my uncle refers to as deepest, darkest Maryland), sipped wine and looked at pictures from my uncle's and dad's recent kayak trip before heading out for dinner at an excellent Italian place nearby. Nice dinner, nice chatting at home, sound sleeping, tasty fresh-out-of-the-oven coffee cake in the morning. They dropped us off on their way to church, and we went home and played Scrabble. Scott won this time, but I was close!

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