October 16th, 2012

Angry White Poodle

More bad dreams

Dreamed about two weddings last night - my mother's and then Jason's. My mom wanted me to go to her wedding but I had no intention to. Cue lots of bad feelings, and me feeling bad because I did actually want to visit with all of my mom's relatives I hadn't seen since Grandma and Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary.

Of course, all of these people, including my mom, are actually dead.

Then it was Jason's wedding (with bonus his mom was in town and being shitty to me again). He was getting married to some girl he'd met while he was in Greece. "Man," I said, "it's going to be a problem when she finds out he is still married."

"Oh no," said another guest, "she knows." "I wonder if she knows about his girlfriend?" I added. Then I left and went and looked at British Airlines destinations, trying to figure out some place Richard and I could go to for free.

I woke up too early. For some reason my heart was racing. And now, touching my throat, it feels like I might be getting a cold.

Reviews: Ding Dong the Wicked, Tennessee William's "Green Eyes," Desire Under the Elms, and Lungs

I have let myself get really behind with blogging about my theater blogging. It used to be pretty reflexive: write the review, bit.ly it to Twitter, cross post here and Facebook. But I'm trying to write under such tighter schedules now that I'm not keeping up, and my stats are suffering. Now, part of the reason I moved to a separate blog for my reviews was to keep people here from being bored by them: but hey, maybe some of you are interested. So I'll give a brief summary of the various plays I've seen lately, in order of awesomeness.

First, the short play "Lungs," done as part of the Paines Plough season at Shoreditch Town Hall. Who doesn't love creative use of derelict buildings, and how much better when it's a piece of writing so great you forget you're watching actors read a script? The other short play I saw with it ("One Day When We Were Young") was also really good, but "Lungs" moved me, and I'm pushing it here so anyone who wants to see it gets a chance.

Second, the three short works by Tennessee Williams being done at the Grange Hotel in Holborn (Green Eyes, The Travelling Companion, and Sunburst), billed as "The Hotel Plays." While the writing quality is uneven, the novelty of being in a hotel room that is the setting for each of these plays - and the proximity to the actors caused by this - cannot be understated, and at least one of the works really got me. It's also short and cheap and centrally located.

Quick and bizarre, Caryl Churchill's Ding Dong the Wicked is more of an exercise than a play, taking the same words of a play and running them in separate order with different context. It's probably the shortest, individually presented work I've ever seen, as it was only twenty minutes long (and also cheap at £10). Fun if you're the theater braniac type.

Utterly missable was the turgid Desire Under the Elms, which I only watched through to the end because I was promised it would be short. Imagine a high school theater company doing Oedipus in the style of Cabaret but with the sex needing to be represented "metaphorically." Argh! What a contrast with Lungs, which had a longer first act but seemed to take about ten minutes!

Finally, I did a preview of a concert that was a mix of Monteverdi madrigals and the poetry of John Donne - only the second time I've done truly original content on my blog. Very people read it, but as I was promoting an organization I like and I got free tickets to the show to boot, I didn't mind too much.

Anyway, I'm keeping busy, my spirits are generally good, but I think I need to get more exercise into the mix - as soon as my credit card statement closes this month, I'm rejoining the gym. And dying my hair, you know, gotta maintain myself in all ways I can control. :-)

Wine tasting: Hidden treasures of Spain

I went to another wine tasting last night and took notes ... if you drink wine, you may enjoy reading this.

Spain: think of rioja, cava, and sherry - but many, many other wines are made there. Starting with Mariona Alicante (artiga 2011, white) from Alicante. Very light ,fruity, not sweet, like apricots. Dry and meant to be drunk young. "Climbs out of the glass to meet you."

Too dry: "dreimann wein," takes three people to hold you down to drink it because it's so acidic.

Gravonia white riojas, aged in oak, deliberately toasty (oxidized, "frutas secas"), about 10, also Catalania from Murieta. Placet from Palacios also good.

Herencia Altes (the Altes family) Benufet garnacha (spelled "garnatxa") blanca 2011, "Terra alte, Spain" - near Taragona (Priorat, expensive and small, surrounded by a cheaper but nice place), Med climate but with cold winters. Minerally, a grown up flavor, not my thing. Composed, austere. Good with food.

Wine details

Bobal ("bull") red wine, Clos Lojen, 2010 Bodegas Ponce, from Manchuela. Because it's young it has a stink , loss of oxygen/exposure to air for first time. A common, rough wine, "rustic." Keeps its acidity.

12 Volts wine ( 20% callet grapes, oaked) from 4 Kilos winery 2010, Vino de la Tierra, Mallorca. Yummy! More tannic/vanilla-y. Snuck myself a little extra.

12 Volts wine

Now on our last wine, El Bon Homme (a 2011 monastrel) by Rafael Cambra, from Valencia, blended with cab. Thin body, floral, but again not my thing. May gain with age but not much. Only barely oaked.

Recommended: nebbiola and burgundy.