Friseur snips as Snow Falls

Yesterday at ballet class I complimented a lady on her hair, and she earnestly recommended her hair stylist, an artiste who specializes in Curly Hair.
Comrades, I HAVE curly hair.
So once home, I called the salon and got an appointment for 3 pm.
However, by 2 the bright sky had dimmed to gray and the dreaded snowfall was beginning as predicted. Did I quail? Well, yes, a tiny bit, but diligent reading of the predicted weather seemed to say that this was no big thing. That it would be warming soon, that it would all melt, that we would all soon find ourselves basking in an eternal summer of golden happiness.
I may have over-interpreted that last bit.
So off I sped to Virginia. Hmm. Bad traffic already, particularly in the other direction, the coming home direction.
Dearie me.
But onwards! My phone expertly guided me to the place (=”you have REACHED your destination”) and I entered a huge and luxurious salon. After an extended and serious discussion, the stylist led me to the chair and we began our pilgrimage. Apparently during the years that I have been going to a common and cheap hair clipper, significant changes have taken place in the svelte world of hairdressing! To begin with, there were none of those old-fashioned hair dryers to be seen! No indeed–instead of anything so shamingly 1950’s, we are now set into a stunning REM Heatstream Processor Mobile, a splendid machine with large disks that radiate a soothing warmth on the user.
Which does in fact dry the hair but in a MUCH MORE MODERN way. Before my 20 minutes within the pleasant embrace of this modern machine, the stylist had carefully scissored the hair, coated each clump with a Magic Ointment, and then given it a good shake. This “sets the curls.” (Or possibly, “sets LOOSE the curls?” I was not listening as carefully as I should have been, regarding the snow pelting down outside with bemused fascination).
Once the heatstreaming was accomplished, she pulled all the strands about, administered a pat of pomade, and off I went into the storm. The snow was billowing and traffic was fierce, but as it happened, once I successfully navigated the turn onto 495 I cared not! I had a lovely new hairdo, with each curl carefully assembled by an expert! A lady can handle just about anything under those circumstances.


MORE Foreign Detectives

There was something of a gloomy lull after I watched the last Montalbano show–what could possibly take the place of that charming Italian, living on that lovely island lapped by turquoise waves? In which he swam every morning before breakfast–his apartment was right on the beach.
Nothing lasts in this floating world.
Acorn TV had a few shows, but nothing that SANG to me.
MHZ Choice, which hosted Montalbano (and is therefore blessed) has many other European shows, and I heroically tried a couple, but loved none–until I came across a GERMAN cop show called Tatort Cologne. This show has been running for YEARS AND YEARS–45, if you can believe it. Tatort means crime scene, and the show features different detectives solving crimes in their own cities. VERRA popular in Germany–the Sunday night show that everyone watches. This particular iteration is set in Cologne, and stars 2 men who develop as the series progresses, and who are fun to watch. Max has a beautiful face and athletic frame, while Freddy is a large and sturdy beer-drinking type. With an earring in one ear.

​The episodes I’m watching are from the 90’s–the lads have AGED somewhat since then but continue to protect Cologne–there are EIGHTY FOUR EPISODES, says IMDB.
Perhaps a few more than one needs. And MHZ only has some of them in any case.
A good show, with not too much horrible gore, and a rather pleasant relationship between the cops. They go bowling! Freddy wears cowboy boots!
The ladies in the show are not quite as radiantly beautiful as the Italian ladies–and perhaps a teensy bit heavy-set–but there they are, and the guys appreciate them.

Addio Montalbano! Guten tag Max und Freddy!


I hope you have all honored the day with a charming tribute to your beloved! If not, here is handy valentine to bestow:

This morning on the walk to the bus stop I saw that someone had adorned the window of a car with chocolates carefully stuck on in the shape of a heart, and within this delightful assembly was a little note saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
I heartily approve of this message, and forward it on to you. Without, alas, the chocolates.

The Alvin Ailey dance troupe has just finished its triumphant Washington tour, and I have just returned from watching the show. The theater was packed to the rafters, and many many black families had come to honor the dancers– a very different audience from that with which one normally shares the theater, much more enthusiastic. Cheering and clapping with great good humor at every piece–at every pause even. Not every piece deserved such accolades, but there, let us not be mulish about it.
The first piece (=”Stack-up”) was all bopping and jiving, really splendid stuff, all those dancers out on stage in brilliant colors, displaying such amazing athletic grace, such verve. The second piece (=”Victoria’) not QUITE so fine, the music was squalling away, and there were 3 large white– trees? Constructs? Sort of like the feet of the Eiffel tower. Underneath these edifices, the dancers writhed and moved in astonishing ways but not in ways that one loved so much. I somehow found myself napping a teensy bit. Then, they did a charming piece called Ella, which was simply 2 men moving to one of Ella Fitzgerald’s ridiculous scat singing pieces, silly stuff but very lovable. The audience ate it up. Lastly, they did their standard piece, Revelations, dances to a bunch of spirituals, which seemed to be what most of the audience had come for. Good enough stuff, deep pliés in long skirts sort of thing. But the LAST one was something else–Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham! Worth the price of admission right there. The ladies came on, all dressed in bright yellow dresses with matching hats and fans, holding stools in their hands. And they quivered the fans, and set down the stools and sat on them–and, wow, such moves! And then in came the men, all dressed up with pants and shirts and vests, and my, how they danced!

Paddington Bear

When I watched the trailer for this movie a couple years ago, I thought, THANKS, but I’ll pass. Paddington was a lovely bear, but there he was sticking toothbrushes in his ears and flooding the bathroom–UGH. A little too close to home for me, I had just paid many $$ for bathroom damage and didn’t feel that it was really such an amusing topic.
However, there is a new Paddington movie, and I just read that it didn’t receive a single bad review on Rotten Tomatoes-not one. People LOVED it.
So when I saw the Paddington 1 was available on Netflix, I thought, OK, I’ll watch it.
​And what do you know–it is simply charming. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins are the mom and dad–and they are just lovely. Nicole Kidman is the Wicked Villainess–and she is just lovely too.
What can I say. I am a sucker for this kind of movie, filled with imagination and delightful details, where nothing really goes wrong. Yes, Paddington floods the bathroom, but magically, no damage results, and in any case, Hugh B has been on the phone to his insurance agent the moment the bear walks in the door, to ask for an increase in his coverage.
So that’s OK, you see.
I realized that there were tears of happiness on my cheeks

​as the movie ended. The movie is just charming, as I said before.


Tuesday night was ABT night at the Kennedy Center! This time I made it without any undue excursions to Virginia, in a calm and tranquil manner– SO different from a previous event which one has simply REMOVED from memory.
SO embarrassing.
Having parked for a thrifty $16 across the street (MY it was COLD–a short walk but very horrid) I entered the hallowed halls and strolled to my seat.

First on the program was Serenade After Plato’s Symposium, music by Leonard Bernstein, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky–supposedly an “abstract exploration” of Plato’s themes. All men, except for one electrifying moment when a woman suddenly appears, dances with one of the men, and then disappears. Women=transitory. Thanks for that revelation, Plato! There was some astonishingly beautiful dancing, though if you’d told me they were celebrating the third snowfall of 2018 in Prague or the invention of moveable type I would probably have bought it.

After Plato came a little Chopin, choreographed by Jerome Robbins: a huge grand piano on stage and two lovely dancers doing charming dances to 4 mazurkas and 1 waltz.

Very nice, if not particularly inspiring.

Then came the Challenging Piece–danced to music by Philip Glass, who is not one of my favorites, but let us not be cantankerous for heaven’s sake. The dancers worked hard, and they are very nimble–those beautiful bodies, in perfect alignment, so strong, so dedicated. Misty Copeland starred, a lovely young woman whose excellent moves have made her a principal at the ballet. Apparently this was a role previously reserved for white and Asian women. Her life has not been easy–but dance, dance, she wanted to dance and there she was on stage, those fabulous legs sending her flying like a bird in the air.

Then came the last piece, to music by Benjamin Britten, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon–both favorites of mine. Which was why I was there on a Tuesday night, dooming my Wednesday at work to frightful yawnings and fatigue. The music was so fresh, so engaging, and the dance so fascinating–I was mesmerized. Here is a bit of it–a little fuzzy, but you can see the patterns, the charm: the reason for spending all that money, for leaving the house to travel the wintry world, for facing all those unfriendly people.
Ballet is just so beautiful.

Then back across the freezing street to the garage and home.

Yesterday I stayed home because I was awaiting a serviceman. And not just ANY serviceman. This person was hired from Amazon. You’ve seen how Amazon is always begging you to hire a plumber or whatever, and mostly you say, I HAVE a plumber, shut UP Amazon–well, the light went out on my projector, and as I went through the business of ordering a new one, Amazon coyly asked if I needed someone to install it.
You are thinking, YOU HIRED SOMEONE TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB? Well, yes, I own the soft impeachment.
See, the projector is an elaborate (AND EXPENSIVE) electronic device which is installed on the ceiling. I thought I could probably figure out how to effect the exchange, but the anxiety and fear of failure (and of irretrievable harm to the device) made the expenditure seem trifling. Comrades, I clicked YES!
When the doorbell rang, I hastened to the door and opened it to find a stout man smelling strongly of tobacco, no insignia or uniform, standing before me. He introduced himself, and I showed him to the room. He quickly did the job (it looked complicated, so I felt vindicated)​, we tried it out and it worked. Grand!
I thought, what a useful fellow! I asked him for his card, but he said he couldn’t give it to me. That bully Amazon has him in thrall!
It is a new thing, to me at least. I’m not sure that I approve–but am very relieved to have my projector back on track. Movies tonight!

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