Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hot date in a cold snap

I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.
I said that.
--Bob Dylan

Between our dreams and actions lies this world.
--Who said that?*
To keep warm during the recent cold snap, which the WaPo finally discovered today, Mama and I went on a hot date this weekend. We booked our friends D&D to babysit while we went to dinner and the symphony--I know, sorta' pushing the parental freedom envelope.

For dinner, we decided on sushi, and not just so we could quote one of 3B's favorite books, but because we love sushi. We might have also had a sushi jones going since a coworker came over this week and picked Mama's brain about Japan. Mama visited Japan with her Mom a few years back--I know, is there nowhere that Mama hasn't been?--and my coworker is going for the first time in a month or so. We made some quick miso soup and grabbed some sushi rolls from Trader Joe's for the occasion, but it just made us hungry for fresh sushi. Honestly, I was also hoping for some noodles, because the one other time I'd been to this place, I was able to get a great bowl of yakisoba. Unfortunately, yakisoba must only be on their lunch menu, but we still had a good meal and a great time talking to each other alone for more than five minutes.

The drive to the concert hall was illuminated by a fat moon, hanging low among the skeletal trees and glowing amber through the city air. The three selections of the concert all illuminated a common subject from various angles: A Midsummer Night's Dream--the play in which yours truly played Oberon in 6th grade, treading in the footsteps of Brother #2, who had played the same role on the same elementary school stage four years prior. The concert started off well, with Britten's piece, although it hit a lull for us during the Korngold/Mendelssohn version. What was exciting and captivating for us came after the intermission: Elvis Costello's Il Sogno.

We were fascinated by Elvis' rich and beautiful melodies, but we weren't surprised by how much we liked them. Ever since I heard the subdued first notes of "Beyond Belief" on a mix tape from John Yearley, I've loved Elvis' tunes and lyrics. Who better, really, to interpret in music this play about flawed love, deception, casual cruelty, and working class stiffs? This performance was also part of DC's Shakespeare Festival, so an actor sat beside the conductor, filling the brief pauses between movements with dramatic readings from the play.

Mama and I were quite nervous about this arrangement, since we had suffered through a similar performance last year that combined the orchestra with actors performing scenes from Shakespeare. The differences between the performances were vast and a great relief to us. While last year's actors appeared to be effervescent slumber-party escapees, complete with pajamas, who went on for pages at a time, dragging out the symphony and bringing us too, too short excerpts from the play, this year's actor was talented, and his excerpts were brief. This year's version brought the best of both pieces together, making for a transcendent performance.

However, we were still glad to return to a slumbering 3B and vaguely neurotic Barky after the concert. There is no place like home and no place I'd rather be than here with my family. I did have to venture out once more, however, since one of the D's was sick and could only drop off the other D to babysit. After rejoining D&D by dropping D at home, where she could tend to sick D, I drove back home to the thumping rhythm and chiming fiddle of Camper Van Beethoven's "Pictures of Matchstick Men."
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve;
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
--Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream
When I look up to the sky
I see your eyes, a funny kind of yellow
Rush home to bed, I soak my head
I see your face underneath my pillow
--Camper Van Beethoven

I'd offer a prize for the correct answer, but other than some old burp diapers, I don't have much that's worth sending off. Besides, MetroDad will beat you all to it, unless you can Google faster than he can read.

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  1. Google came up with zilch for that quote. I don't need any burp diapers anyway, I've still got a huge stash.

    We had that sushi book too, it was a favorite. The dim sum and jewish food ones are cool too!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. But Yahoo says it's Bruce Springsteen.

    We really don't need the burp diapers either. Buy me a drink someday instead.

  4. Gage has that book too!

    "...I see take-out tekka maki, kappa maki packed to go..."

    We love that book!

  5. Anonymous2:02 PM


    Wow, that sounds like a great concert. A little Shakespeare, a little symphony music, and a little Elvis Costello? I sometimes forget how much I really like that guy.

    Glad you and Mama had a nice evening out together.

  6. It's entirely unimportant, but "Pictures of Matchstick Men" is by Status Quo, one of the UK's longest working bands; in fact, it was their first single and is regarded as a classic of the psychedelic-era. Quo went on to write repetitive 12 bar blues and have been long derided (somewhat ironically, given the name) for having a back catalogue of songs that all sound the same.

  7. Anonymous11:37 PM

    Glad you had grown-up time!!!