These are the three components of a successful weekend and I can prove it. Begin with ballet. Put together Christmas themes, candy and toys, live music, and dresses that are the nes plus ultra of chiffon frippery, and you have The Nutcracker. My sister took us all, as a royal Christmas present, to see The Nutcracker on Saturday which gave Toddler Harbat a chance to put on a party dress and sit in a big person seat in the theater.
She sat rapt through the first half, clamored for candy at the snack stand during intermission, and sat quietly the second half while dancers performed astonishing feats while balanced on a toe pad the size of a quarter. The Nutcracker really is the perfect everyman’s ballet since it constantly rolls from one piece to the next, one style to another, and has fabulous costumes and scenes. I am really shocked that TH didn’t get out her tutu when we got home but I know I was whistling Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies for a couple hours.
How did I transition from Tchaikovsky to Styx? With the help of Band Hero on the PS3. My wife got an incredible deal on Black Friday, braving the white-eyed über-shoppers at Wal-Mart to get the band bundle. I was skeptical until we started playing drums and rocking out. That fun lasted until Friday night when the drums slowly stopped working, a pathetic and simpering death well inside the warranty period. Back went all five thousand pieces, cables, and instruments into the box, a puzzle that couldn’t be sorted by even the most spatially-gifted savant. A new box was procured at Wal-Mart after I pushed my way, Frogger-style, through a few thousand people at the returns area. We got home, set up the new drum kit and…drum roll please…one of the cymbals didn’t work. It all went back into the box and I drove to a different Wal Mart to get another box. This time I just got the drums out, put in the batteries and…oh $#@^$#%*! It wouldn’t even switch on. Deader than the Terminator’s eyes. Deader than a bug that turna into a star shape of mustard on your windscreen. Deader than George Hamilton’s career until he discovered tan in a bottle.
Would most normal people just accept defeat? Yes, but wife and I are nothing if not driven. We went back to Wal Mart again, walking through the pissing rain in the dark parking lot with our third Band hero box. I saw the same greeter at the entrance, dealt with the same laconic and sympathetic ladies at the returns counter. One of them said, “Fourth time’s a charm?” and I gave a limp thumbs up before retreating to the car.
It worked, but we bought the extended warranty to ensure that we’ll have wasted six bucks and the drums will still work perfectly long after our civilization has crumbled to dust. Murphy had a wicked sense of humor when he wrote his law.
Rain? Yes, please. Even at our rainiest, here in San Diego we can’t get enough of it. The desert comes to life, bursting into a palette of green unimaginable during the desiccating Santa Ana winds of summer. It started raining Thursday and has been going…and going. Sunday we went to La Jolla to walk along the cliffs, a perfectly safe thing to do when soil the consistency of wet bread likes to fall into the sea a hundred feet below.
Toddler Harbat dressed herself and had a snack while we looked upon the grey sea, smelled the output of a thousand sea birds with intestinal distress, and had our hair gently misted with rain. It was a perfect rainy day at the sea, and we found a little coffee shop and had warm drinks and Panini while watching Pacific rollers crash against the rocks, gulls tumbling like bits of torn paper across the horizon.