Is it Really Only Thursday?
There are just some weeks when the calendar fills up until you have to scream, “No mas!”
Monday was the SFWA reception. Lots of socializing but a late night to start the week.
Tuesday was lots of hard work at DC followed by the gym and then a collapse at home, watching TV. (Speaking of which, here we are, well into the second season of House and the lead remains an engaging and enraging bastard. This week’s episode proved that time and again.)
Wednesday started with completing proofreading the designed page proofs for the Organizing book on the train, followed by more hard work at DC followed by an alumni event. The big donors and major volunteers got invited to a screening of The Squid and the Whale which features Billy Baldwin, ’85. My pal Ray got invited and I got invited to be his date. First, I misplace his building by a block so I’m late to meet him for our trip downtown. It’s raining hard and we’re sloshing through the streets to the 1 subway. When we finally get to the 42nd street platform, we then cool our wet heels for something like 15 minutes before a train arrives. By now it’s 6:29 for a 6:30 event in Tribeca.
We finally make it to Franklin Street and start looking for Greenwich Street. A woman is also looking for the same place so the three of us trudge ahead. We enter the Tribeca Screening Room, thrilled that things hadn’t started yet. We take our seats, exhale and then look around. I lean over to Ray and say, “This crowd doesn’t quite look like an alumni crowd.” He leans to his left and asks the person next to him what movie we’re seeing. It’s something called Double O Zero. We head back downstairs and ask the guard if he knows where we need to be. Turns out, he just sent the film over to 54 Varick Street just a little while ago.
Let’s just say it took us a while to find 54. Varick Street was easy. We arrive, even wetter now, and it turns out Ray was late in RSVPing and missed that the location had changed. The film had begun only scant minutes before so we hustle towards the front, grab seats and start drip-drying. Ray, until we sat on the subway, thought we were seeing a nature film on the order of March of the Penguins so I quickly corrected him.
The movie itself is engaging, despite being a mere 80 minutes. It’s the story of a divorcing couple in 1986 Brooklyn and their struggles to make join custody work. Both parents are self-absorbed to the point they have little idea what’s going on with their own children. Baldwin plays the youngest son’s tennis coach and is pretty much a dimwitted but pleasant fellow. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, it’s largely autobiographical and stars Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels. Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates’ son Owen plays the youngest son who, at 12, has to say and do some pretty rough things (hence its R-rating). The movie is very gritty, feels real and as a result, you get uncomfortable (especially if you’re a parent) at what gets said and done. Still, it was strong and it deserves its positive reviews.
Afterwards, Baldwin addressed the packed screening room, taking questions for 20-30 minutes and answering quite good-naturedly. He also extolled the virtues of his time at Binghamton University and was pretty rah-rah about supporting the school in whatever tangible way people could.
There was a reception that followed and there, I ran into fellow alum and fellow fantasy baseball owner Chuck Rosenbluth, which was a pleasant treat. The appetizers were tiny but plentiful still, when I left at 9:50 to catch a train, I was still hungry.
Got home at midnight and suddenly it was Thursday.
This morning, I spoke at Robbie’s high school. This week it’s Teen Read Week and the high school wanted Brian Augustyn (whose daughter also attends) and me to come talk about comics and graphic novels. Brian and I have been good buddies and neighbors for years. Despite not seeing much of each other in recent times, we picked up our good-natured patter and went back and forth, hopefully educating and entertaining three periods’ worth of students. I think it went well and the Librarians and teachers seemed pretty pleased by the conversation.
I took the train in, arriving at DC around noon and played catch up and have been working steadily. Tonight I get to leave and attend a Parking Authority meeting.
Friday, which seems so long away, looks very light with just a gym workout on the schedule. And then there’s the coming weekend with holiday shopping, raking, and some writing to try and fit in.
I need a break.