Monday, February 26, 2007

What I learned this weekend

People are self-centered boobs. We started our weekend with one of the boyfriend’s favorite cabaret acts: Justin Hayford singing overlooked Cole Porter songs. The setting is pretty simple: Justin, a piano, a microphone and an intimate room. With a two-drink minimum. We were seated in the back seats of one of the tables when a woman and her mother were seated at the two front seats. They expressed extreme concern that they’d block our view, which we assured them wouldn’t be a problem since we top out at 6'1" and 6'4". And I was thrilled to be seated behind people who expressed such concern over being possibly disruptive or rude. How delightfully rare, I thought. How not like my morning commute. Or any given movie theater. Or my naptime at work. But my thrill was quickly killed when the lights dimmed, the Cole Porter started getting under our skin … and the mother launched into a series of monologues about how much she loved each song. Fortunately, after a few songs her two drinks kicked in and she shut up before she got a kick out of us.

The boyfriend and I have artistic differences. As we’ve been picking out paint and tile and window treatments for our new condo, we’ve discovered what is becoming a vast discrepancy in matters of taste. See, I like things relatively plain. My wardrobe is 90% dark, solid colors. My walls have typically been bold, solid colors. My dishes and decorations and even flooring have been more or less plain ideas rendered in neutral colors. You get the picture. In glaring contrast, the boyfriend likes bright colors. He likes fancy detailing. He likes things I’ve traditionally described as “foo foo,” and not in a little-bunny-hopping-through-the-forest kind of way. After hours of discussions, we have yet to agree on a paint color for a single room in our condo. But after a couple hours at the tile store on Saturday, we did manage to pick something we both like for our new kitchen floor. It’s the exact same tile as the countertop, so we’ve hardly achieved a diplomatic victory. But we’ll take our signs of progress wherever we can get them. And we take the results of Saturday’s summit to be proof that the marriage will indeed last. Somehow.

Being married has little financial perks you never really think about. It was a few weeks after we agreed to move in together that it dawned on me that we’d be splitting our living expenses, thereby leaving more in our individual pockets at the end of each month. Then we got a family plan at our gym, which effectively cuts 30% off our individual membership rates. And on Saturday we got a family plan on our cell phones, which is cutting my personal phone bill almost in half. Now if we could only get marriage marriage. Or the chance to kick Dick Cheney in the balls once a day. Either option would bring even more value to my life.

Train wrecks aren’t always what you’d hope they’d be. We saw the Joan Collins/Linda Evans revival of Legends on Saturday night, hoping it would either be campy fun or a train wreck of horrifying proportions. Instead we just got wooden actresses hacking their way through a script that is at once clichéd, puerile, appalling and just plain bad. Nolan Miller’s costumes are pretty fabulous, but he didn’t take into account the fact that Joan and Linda are now shaped more like old ladies than screen sirens. His gowns for Joan are particularly ill-conceived, and the dress she wears for her curtain call pushes her boobs up to the point they look like oranges floating in bags of pudding. But we found free parking on the street, so the evening wasn’t as much an affront to our bank accounts as it was to our sensibilities. And since the show balances its racial slurs with gratuitous non sequiturs, Joan’s line about telling her black maid to “go pick some cotton” was balanced nicely with the random appearance of a male stripper. And they at least cast an actor for the role who didn’t look like he was made of oranges and pudding.

Macintosh is not always your friend. I have what are apparently first-generation Harman Kardon SoundSticks—terribly modern-looking computer speakers that import sound through a USB connection. I bought them at the Mac Store a couple years ago. They have worked perfectly fine with three different USB ports on three different Mac computers. The AirPort Express thingies I bought at the Mac Store last week so I could project sound to those speakers wirelessly has a USB port as well, along with an ethernet port and an eighth-inch audio port. I didn’t understand when I set up my AirPort Express thingie last week, though, that I didn’t get a choice—USB is for printers, ethernet is for … um … ethers and audio ports are now for music. PERIOD. Even though I have speakers that I bought at a Mac store with a USB connection. Which is the reason my AirPort Express thingies have seemed like they haven’t been working since I set them up. Frustrations like these are the reason my iPod has been sitting in a drawer for the last two years.

The Oscars are totally gay. We watched the awards at Sidetrack, along with every show-tune queen in the city. The place erupted like a televangelist at a hooker convention every time anything Dreamgirls appeared on the screen. And when Jennifer Hudson won for best supporting actress? Pande-freakin’-monium. I was part of the whooping and screaming, even though I find her to be weird. And now I kind of get all the whooping and screaming you see people doing when they watch sporting events on TV. But only kind of.

My boyfriend rocks. We spent our first whole weekend together in our condo, waking up in our bed, eating our food and making decisions about our crap. I'm 38 years old, and I've never been an "our" before—at least not in the sharing-a-house sense. It was one of the best weekends of my life.

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