Sunday, January 6, 2008

Seen Lately

I've spent most of the weekend aggressively getting nothing done. The activities involved in AGND range from lying in bed and reading to going out to a movie and dinner with friends, but everything has in common that it's both enjoyable and non-productive, two things that we could all use more of. A summary follows:

Friday nights we had tickets to see The Brothers Size at the Studio Theater in D.C. We typically take the Metro down to Dupont Circle and then walk the six blocks or so to the theater, stopping for dinner on the way. For those of you who don't live in the D.C. area, the Dupont Circle Metro station is justifiably famous for its very long escalators which break down with alarming frequency. If, say, you get on the only escalator that's going up (because one of the three is already shut down) and you ride up perhaps 20% of the way and the escalator then grinds to a halt, you have no choice but to climb the remaining 150 or so extra-tall steps. This happened to us Friday night, and it wasn't pleasant. Good exercise, I suppose, but somewhat antithetical to the notion of AGND.

Anyway, we'd left Bethesda early, so we had plenty of time for dinner and a stop at rhymes-with-Warbucks before the curtain. While we were sipping our coffee, we had the following conversation:

B&c: I was reading the craigslist personals yesterday, and there was a guy who was bragging about his very small waist.

TED: Well, good for him. Bitch.

B&c: It was spelled w-a-s-t-e.

TED: Oh. Ohhh. Ewwww. Still, chacun à son goût, I reckon.

B&c: I think it was a spelling error.

TED: On craigslist, how would you know?

B&c: Exactly.

TED: It's an interesting question, though. I wonder just how small his waist or waste is. Context is everything: in one case, twenty-six inches is impossibly small; in the other, it's HUGE.

The Brothers Size was amazing. It has everything I want in a play, including three young (The author [pictured above], the director, and all three stars were 2007 graduates of the Yale School of Drama.) and handsome Black actors who spend the entire play with their shirts off. I'll admit that I spent much of the ninety minutes (no intermissions: hooray!) wondering whether they were wearing underwear, and I will have to say that they didn't have quite as much booty as I would have liked. But they were terrific in their roles, so I guess it evens out. The play itself is a wonderful blend of mythology and percussion, and there are no dull moments.

I continue my bad habit of buying cheap DVDs with gay subject matter. Many of these films border on execrable, but occasionally I find something that's unexpectedly entertaining. Saturday afternoon, I devoted 83 minutes to 9 Dead Gay Guys an Irish film from 2002. (A lot of the cheap DVDs are not especially current, so I feel a bit sheepish about reporting back on something many people may have already seen, but, heck, it's my blog.) Here again, no dull moments and laughter throughout. The publicity for the film makes a big deal of it being politically incorrect. That's usually code for rude and unfunny, but the humor here was funny and not especially rude. Then again, maybe I have an artificially high shock threshold when it comes to cock jokes. This is not the sort of film that's going to change your life, but given the humor and the extreme shagworthiness of the two leads, it's a good movie to watch with a group of your friends. Skip the director's commentary, though. See above about bordering on execrable.

Speaking of execrable, if someone asks you over to watch 10 Attitudes, just say no. Maybe this movie is funny or poignant to guys approaching or just passing 40 who are having trouble finding other guys worth dating, but I doubt it. It seemed very autobiographical, but you learn nothing either interesting or insightful by subjecting yourself to it. There's some decent eye candy, but it doesn't make up for the dreariness that comes from every other aspect of the film.

B&c and I met up with my old friend Jason and his new boyfriend Dan tonight. We saw The Great Debaters and then had dinner. The movie was literate, eloquent, and stirring. I'm surprised to find it a bit disconcerting to watch Denzel Washington get older, but while it's his movie (he directed it), it's really not his movie: it belongs to the young actors who play the college students. I'm not sure that there's a compelling reason to see the movie in the theater, but it was fun to hear the audience respond to the movie, and it would make a great Netflix selection when you want something that's uplifting without being sentimental. Always a good thing.

A week or so ago, when we were on the way to the airport to go to Florida, the girls and I stopped at the Daedalus outlet to pick up some reading material. In the somewhat limited gay and lesbian section, I found Some Kind of Love, a gay detective novel that is, apparently, the third in a series of mysteries featuring Jas Anderson, a gay PI in Glasgow (or some other Scottish city: there can't be that many, right?). The story moves along at a good clip and the mystery is entertaining enough, though you may find that you figure things out a good bit sooner than Jas does. My only big criticism is that most of the dialog is spelled to sound like a very heavy Scottish accent. I don't know why it's necessary to do that. I'd much rather the author spelled the dialog the way the characters would have written it down, had they been writing. I can imagine the thick accent all by myself, and then I wouldn't have to stop to figure out what in the hell they're saying. This annoyance, however, is more than compensated for by all of the sex that goes on over the course of the novel. For the most part, it's described in moderate detail. Enough to get you revved up but not so much that it turns into pornography. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.


Canberrabiker said...

That "Some Kind of Love" sounds interesting, I'll check it out, I think. Maybe the heavy Scottish accent was actually written in Lallans ("Lowlands" scottish English - hence Lallans) - so it might be written as they would write it. another reason to check it out.

Canberrabiker said...

Oh and PS - Happy New Year ! Here's looking forward to more of your great writing.

Will said...

I don't know 9 Dead Gay Guys but from the title alone I know that it must be screamingly funny. I SO depend on you for filling in the lacunae in my cultural life.

As to the novel, the sex has compensated for an incomprehensible partner a couple of times in my life, so I know exactly what you mean.