N’awk!

Greetings from a sumptuous suite here at the luxurious Le Parker Meridien in New York. The closet has a door on it, making it technically a second room, so I’m just going to go ahead and call this (lovely) single a suite.

I’m pretty damned bushed. I didn’t get to bed until 6 or so. My train was due to leave at 9:29 and I woke up at (oops) 8:49. Fortunately, I packed everything the night before…and this is Amtrak. I board at a station that’s almost within walking distance and I can carry my bags straight from the car and onto the train.

So while I would have liked to have done some fancy big-city things like “showering” before leaving the house, I managed to knock the snow off my car and deliver myself to the station with plenty of time to spare.

On the road again...

I’ve been enjoying the new Diana Damrau CD so much that I Amazoned that DVD of “The Magic Flute.” It arrived yesterday, just in time for in-train viewing. And it turns out that this video is the perfect length for the trip…or very nearly so. IAmtrak can get you from the Boston burbs to Penn Station in 3 hours 15 minutes, and the DVD runs for 2 and 45. Perfect. But I got up and bought myself a breakfast sandwich in the club car, and I had to pack things up well before I arrived in New York.

So as I got inside the Town Car that CBS had sent for me, I was just a bit impatient to get to my hotel. The sooner I checked into my room, the sooner I could find out how the opera ending.

Yes, of course: I’ve read the libretto and I’ve even seen this DVD once before, when I checked it out of my local library a few years ago. But damn, Royal Opera production really is just that good.

I also manfully concede that after a couple of weeks of listening to her new CD and a few hours of watching this DVD I am totally crushing on Diana Damrau.

How badly? Well, no need to exaggerate, here. It’s not like I’m thinking about getting something tattooed.

But if I learned that Ms. Damrau was going to be a guest on the show tomorrow and there was therefore an excellent chance that I’d meet her in the green room, I’d be spending most of this evening rehearsing ways to not look like a complete ass. I think the goal wouldn’t so much be to cadge a date out of her so much as to cautiously defend the 1 in 1000 chance that a date with this woman could ever happen. A .1 percent chance isn’t much, but it’s way better than one in a million and that’s a start.

If I saw her using an iPhone, however, I think I’d be correct to take the initiative. I’d strike up a conversation and offer her a copy of my new book.

That’s just good marketing.

Dinner tonight with Shawn and Lesa King, preceded (I hope) by a trip to Midtown Comics to buy the funnybooks which I failed to procure on Wednesday or Thursday, owing to the slings and arrows of outrageous workload. Then early to bed and early to rise.

(They’re just props for tomorrow’s segment, Ms. Damrau. No, I’m not one of those losers who still reads comics No no no. Unless you dig guys like that, in which case: shall we discuss whether the Thing could beat the Hulk in zero gravity, over a nightcap?)

This is the last Saturday before Christmas so I’ve packed a garishly cheerful ensemble of a black sport coat over a black dress shirt. And I almost took my black dress slacks, before I realized that if I wore an all-black ensemble at the studio I’d better be prepared to be addressed as “Reverend” by a great many people. At minimum, I’d have to prepare an explanation in advance.

(“Oh, the outfit. Well, I’m playing the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in a community production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ right after the show.”)

4 thoughts on “N’awk!”

  1. Don’t feel bad Andy, I showed up at work the other day and realized I had managed to dress myself in black jeans, a black T, and a black Dickies long-sleeve, and a pair of black Docs. Someone mentioned the ‘Johnny Cash’ look, and I told them I had just come from a child’s birthday and didn’t have a chance to change out of my party clothes…

  2. Mr. I., I have to confess that I was won over by the youtoob link you provided to Ms. Damrau’s performance in “The Magic Flute.” I’m no huge opera fan, but I _always_ respond to genuine, heartfelt performance, in almost any medium or genre I can find. This woman wrestled that scene into submission, acted the crap out of it while making the vocals look easy, and yanked an in-kind response from her scene partner to boot. Thank you for the reference, sir. I may just have a hook into watching opera that hasn’t been directed by Peter Sellars or written by John Adams. Fear not, however. You have no rival in me. I have no need to ever meet this lady, as long as I can watch her work.

    Re: Comics. I would love to hear your opinion of Darwyn Cooke’s “New Frontier” for DC. I’m running out of superlatives to describe what he’s done, bringing the Silver Age DC universe into the light of post-Alan Moore awareness, adding a dash of Milton Caniff and a soupçon of Frank Capra to his impeccable capture of any number of period artists’ styles. This work is impressing me in a way that few holdovers from the 1960s have often even attempted to. I sure wish the Star Trek franchise could take a cue from this sort of thing, but that’s another topic entirely, isn’t it?

    Again, my thanks.

  3. Oh, and I also played Bob Cratchit in a community production of “A Christmas Carol” a bunch of years ago. Did my best to draw attention away from the house-favorite who was playing Scrooge. Got to work with three amazing kids, and did my best to channel Patrick Stewart’s dialect.

    So there.

  4. Andy-
    If you ever do find yourself in New York and graced by the company of Mme (or is it Melle- were is my 9th grade french teacher when I need her?) Damrau- grab a bottle of bubbly, a few fluted glasses and your cleanest black DC comics t-shirt and head for the middle of Central Park. At about were 72nd Street would cross through the middle of the green rectangle of the park- along the shore of the Lake is the beautiful Bethesda Terrace with its lovely sandstone carvings and the famous Angel of the Waters statue. Follow the gaze of the angel and you will find yourself in a subterranean Arcade that is decorated with a miraculous encaustic tile ceiling- rich polychromatic arabesque patterns beautifully under-lit with a soft golden light. This space, particularly at sunset, or perhaps a moment or two after is as magical and unreal as a Metropolitan Opera set design or a particularly well pixelated corner of World of Warcraft and the acoustics are out-of-this-world. See if you can coax Mme Damrau to unfurl her resplendent voice and I promise you that heart will stop, you mind will leap from your body and all of the of the secrets universe will be revealed to you…….If Mme Damrau is otherwise occupied, settle for a Guiness in a brown paper bag and bring you ipod. Cheers.

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