1.027 Lunch, writing, theater

Sunday, 12/29/2019

Did the crossword puzzle at home, then walked out intending coffee at Mme Collette’s, but the mademoiselle was taking the holidays off. Walked instead to Verve. Back home, I spent an hour trying to adjust the TV for a better picture, using youtube adjustment videos. And finally ended up resetting the picture controls to factory defaults. Dunno where I went wrong, but when I had the brightness/contrast perfect to display grayscale bars from 0 to 255, the resulting color images on live channels were flat and too light.

I’d been invited to have lunch with Ian and Jean and Michele.  This was a pleasant occasion. Ian and Jean are a retired nuclear physicist and chemist, respectively. Somehow the issue of the Chinese government came up (not my doing), and Jean, who was born in China, was ardent that I understand there were two sides to the matter of the Uighurs and other minorities there. No doubt. There always are. One side’s separatist terrorists are always the other side’s heroic freedom fighters and vice versa.

In the afternoon I spent some time writing on the novel, and straightened out some of the tangle that was causing me distress last time. I also looked back to an earlier scene to clarify some dialog that set up a clue for later. Then I read a bit of it and was (again) really pleased. I very much like what I’m creating. I like the people and I like the incidents and words they’re experiencing. Back in the 80s when I was writing, I came up with the phrase “a sense of gift”, meaning, the feeling that I had something other people would enjoy, and I had the power to give it to them. That feeling carried me through the tedium of a lot of writing, and I’m starting to get it back now. Maybe I can drive through and finish this damn thing soon.

A bit before six I took my hat, coat and umbrella and went to the dining room for a quick supper, and then walked the quarter mile to the Lucy Stern center to attend the new musical version of Pride and Prejudice. It seems that Palo Alto Players have produced the world premier now of four of the musicals written by Paul Gordon, who seems to specialize in musicals based on classic novels: Jane Eyre, Emma, Daddy Long Legs, and now, Pride and Prejudice.

I enjoyed this production a lot. All the actors were very skilled at acting, had good voices, danced well; the lyrics were clever and appropriate; the set design and staging were good; the sound augmentation was just right, natural and intelligible. I didn’t remember the novel well enough to know how it all worked out in the end, so at intermission I was really curious how in the world they would bring these people back together. But they did, sniff.


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