just before twenty ten
Thursday, December 31 2009
A couple inches of snow fell this morning, and soon after it stopped, I went around with a snow shovel, clearing the driveway and all the important paths (to both the brownhouse and Stick Trail). Over the winters I've discovered that it's best to clear snow no matter how thin it accumulates as soon as it stops falling. To not do so is to risk it later absorbing rain and freezing into a treacherous and lingering crust of ice.
Perhaps appropriately for the last day of the decade referred to in its title, today I found myself watching 2001, a Space Odyssey, which I'd never completely seen. In the past, I'd found the opening scene starring men dressed as apes intriguing, but had quickly wearied of the dialogue-heavy space station scene that follows.
2001 is a form of pornography aimed not at the sense of the erotic buy at the sense of the sublime. It's slow and ponderous at times, but the goal isn't that of a conventional movie. It is instead to hypnotize and overwhelm. By the time you stumble out of the theatre, you should feel like years of your life have passed and you're now wiser and clued into the sad, lonely nature of the human condition. That said, the special effects of the last quarter of the film, where we're treated to a colorful lightshow, aren't even as mesmerizing as a good computer screensaver. Given the appropriate soundtrack, I could watch Advanced Visualization Studio for hours. Still, in 1968, when LSD was to that period what crack was to the 1980s, it must have been awesome.
This evening Gretchen and I met up with our Brooklyn friends (Ray, Nancy, Linda, Adam, and their friend Sarah the Vegan) at the Garden Café in Woodstock. I really only appreciate the Garden for its bean soups, and tonight would be a pre-fixe meal, meaning even less choice than usual. I didn't end up liking the meal all that much: neither soup option featured beans, and the rice that came with my filo-dough-and-mushroom entree was totally meh. The best part of the meal was actually the appetizer, two huge chunks of peanut-sauced tofu on a bed of pineapple slaw.
Later all of us reconvened back at our house in front of the fire for dessert and snacks (we'd all taken our dessert and most of our entrees from the Garden to go). Inevitably the subject turned to "stinky finger" (which Gretchen insists on calling "butt finger").
By 10:30, Nancy had started playing the Fame soundtrack on our record player. The song "Hot Lunch" is a favorite with this crowd, though to my ear it sounds like a rapturous ode to a disgusting sexual practice.
We only made it to within an hour of midnight. All our visitors were sleepy, so they headed off to the place they're staying, a house they've rented just east of Rhinebeck on the New England side of the Hudson.
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