austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

We'll remember things we're doing

The last day of bunny_hugger's visit would be a short one, between our natural tendency to rise late and the need to be at the airport before her scheduled flight back, which it would turn out was not overbooked (but which would leave late).

She woke up before I did, so she had some time alone and getting to firm up her impressions of mundane things like the quality of the cats' inspection of her or the defects of the Asbury Park Press. The Park Press has been getting worse lately, as part of the newspaper industry's effort to build itself a better class of customer by making the actual newspaper product wretchedly bad. She had hopes that the paper would have some virtues, since the masthead proudly shows off how it won a Pulitzer Prize not too long ago, and those are generally taken to correlate with some quality.

Unfortunately, what the Park Press actually won was the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, which might as well be passed around as a rotating honor to the newspapers that bother to have an editorial cartoonist anymore. I don't want to sound too harsh on editorial cartoonists, particularly given the chance that at least one may read this, but as a creative force I feel they've been coasting since about Blondie Boopadoop's marriage, and we don't really need shoddily-constructed talk-show-monologue jokes shakily illustrated with figures carefully labelled so we have any idea who the caricatures are supposed to be. (Am I being too dismissive of the genre? Maybe. The 2009 winner for this was Stephen P Breen. Does the name have any associations to you at all? And he's a repeat winner, like the winners for 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005 were.) And since their turn came up last in 1998 I don't even know if the Park Press still has an editorial cartoonist.

Anyway, she reserved her ire for an editorial which took on an issue almost staggering in its unimportance --- whether the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders should change its name to something a little less 17th Century English Countryside in tone --- and argued poorly enough to make her oppose whatever the paper's stance was. I'm not sure what the paper's opinion was and I think she found she didn't care, she just rejected their opinion because of its poor logic and composition. As someone who's been tempted to bloodsheet issues of the paper and send it back to the editors to shame them into competence I agree with bunny_hugger even without reading the editorial.

Still, we had something really precious to do first and most importantly before the close of the visit. Between dinners with my family or hers and vegetarian restaurants and going to Jersey Mike's and whatnot, we had not yet had a meal at any diner. Worse, we hadn't yet had a meal at our diner, the one in which we had our first meal together. We wouldn't be able to linger for the sort of endless time that allows the waitress to apologize for the need to go off-shift, but, we would have the time and presence together and that's what we really wanted. One of the ways we bond is sharing places, and omeletts, and French toast.

And we took, reluctantly, the long drive north to the Newark Airport, talking along the way about each other, the most urgent subject, and wondering about when would be the next time we'd be in person together. (At this point I started thinking of how it would be really sweet to visit her over the Valentine's Day weekend, although since there'd be a paid work holiday on Presidents Day that would make a more practical day off --- I'd be able to stretch the visit to an extra day without having to make up more time at work, or be able to consider myself as being paid for spending a day with bunny_hugger, either of them grand prospects.)

As usual for us we got into varied subjects, such as the writings of E T A Hoffman. This was more in mind than might otherwise seem to be, as she hoped to attend a Metropolitan Opera production of The Tales Of Hoffman, from the convenience of nearly at home. It's one of those things like the nationwide Rifftrax events where something from one performing venue is broadcast to theaters around the country. She was catching a repeat broadcast, as the original she hadn't heard about before and would have been snowed in anyway. We also talked about Colombo, a favorite show of hers, and particularly about the episodes which found clever ways to tweak the format of the show and just how far they could vary things without breaking the show. (This was something which came up in the wake of watching the Sherlock Holmes movie too.) And we got into a slightly silly pastime between us of thinking up combinations of words that might be Doctor Who episode titles.

I think the specific starting point there was the episode from the night before, The Seeds Of Death, which showcases some of the elements of a generic Who title, the words ``Seed'' and ``Death''. Add in some other nouns like ``Doom'' or ``Planet'', and some closers like ``of the Daleks'', ``of the Cybermen'', and so on, and you have a game that was probably extremely old before either of us had ever heard of Doctor Who but which can provide for steady amusement in five words or fewer. (``Death Seeds Of The Daleks''? ``The Planet Of Doom''? ``Curse Of The Cybermen Planet''?) Also I probed the depths of my ignorance of the Who universe, and things like werewolves and vampires that seemed like they should have got more play as supernatural monstery things than they seem to have quite managed.

We got to the airport without the terminal being changed on us, which was a step up from her previous visit out. And that was a good thing, too, since we had managed to cut things closer than either of us was comfortable with, and we had pretty much exactly the right time to get near the security line before she had to walk through screening for the start of boarding. It would turn out, naturally, that the flight was delayed and we could have had something like another half-hour before she'd have actually had to go, but who gets news like that ahead of time?

So I waited, getting up now and then to watch the departures monitor, checking my phone for any text messages, until I was certain she'd started the flight home. After that, I drove home without incident to wait online for news that she'd arrived safely, which she had. The year was off to another good start.

Trivia: Michael Lanyard, ``The Lone Wolf'', was a detective created by Louis Joseph Vance in a 1914 novel, and was eventually adapted to TV. Source: The Trivia Encyclopedia, Fred L Worth. (Also radio, which Worth seems to overlook.)

Currently Reading: Expository Sciences, Editors Terry Shinn, Richard Whitley. Er ... (in talking about the popularization of the --- incorrect --- notion that men with an extra Y chromosome were more likely to be violent criminals than those with the normal chromosome pair): By the early 1970s, there had been at least two `thriller' films in which the main character is a violent criminal driven by a chromosome abnormality, a series of crime novels with an XYY hero (who constantly wrestles with his inner compulsion to commit crimes), and as a spin-off from the novels, a TV series called ``The XYY Man''. Ah, popular culture, you've done it again, somehow, and for some reason.

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