Sunday, July 19, 2009

all's well that starts well

I have to give props to the good people at Delta for giving me the best London flight yet! Smooth, sure, and lots of movie choices - even if they cost $6 now. I usually dread the flight, and I'm not going to pretend that it was loads of fun this year, but somehow it seemed to go more quickly this time. But maybe the people I should be thanking are the good people at Amazon for creating my Kindle. Because I did some serious reading. No in-flight magazine for me, sucka!

On my flight to JFK I was sat between a married couple. She was on my right, he was on my left. They were middle-aged, and they were headed to Italy. They were also, unfortunately, fighting. They argued a lot and the whole time I kept pretending like my ipod or my movie was loud enough so that I couldn't hear anything. But of course I heard the whole thing. I kept wanting to be Dr. Phil and jump in and resolve things. I wanted to tell Bruce that Mary had every reason to send her mother that email, and that it wasn't his business, but that Mary should have notified Bruce about the email anyway so that he wasn't left completely out of the loop. Mary and Bruce are not going to enjoy Italy with all of that unresolved email tension. Just sayin'!

On my flight from NYC to London I was sat next to an asian teen and a girl who might have been his sister or his lover. It doesn't really matter. What really matters is that neither of them looked at me THE ENTIRE FLIGHT. Not even when I sat down next to them at the start of the flight. I said hello and everything. And they just ignored me. As far as this couple was concerned, there was a GIANT POCKET OF AIR sitting in seat C. Now, I have made it clear in the past that I'm not a real airplane chatter, but this was sort of ridiculous. And then, you know, you basically all sleep together. Because those seats are tiny and your head lolls around and hits your neighbor. But still nothing from the dynamic duo! Well, I can't complain.

I continued to anger and annoy people upon my arrival in London. I hailed a taxi and the guy drove me literally down the street to my flat. I was in that that taxi for 20 seconds. But when it came time to pay he wouldn't accept my 5 pound note, which is like 10 bucks. TEN DOLLARS to drive down the street. So I told him that was all I had, which is true. And he looked at me like I was lying, because I was wearing a fancy banana republic shirt and I looked like I had money. Little did he know that I got that shirt on the clearance rack.

Finally, I made it to Manson Place. I tried not to sleep all day, but it was impossible. I actually slept like 6 hours. I put on those eye masks they give you from the plane. While I was asleep maids kept coming in bringing towels and flower arrangements and fruit trays, and every time one came in I would bolt up in bed and wave my arms around like when Thelma loses her glasses on Scooby-Doo. I was confused by that eye mask, you see.

I got out of my flat and bought tickets to see All's Well That Ends Well at the National. I had read great reviews, and I was not disappointed. This play is weird. It's also a fantastic production. I have never seen it, and thought this might be one of my only chances. Plus it's directed by Marianne Elliot, who did War Horse and the really cool Saint Joan I saw two years ago. She set the play in this really interesting Edward Gorey world. Lots of stick trees and castle cut-outs and ravens flying around. And then there were fairy tale elements: Helena wore a red riding hood, and there were glowing rings and silver slippers. It was very inventive and I enjoyed it. The play is difficult because you don't buy the main love story: Helena is so wonderful and Bertram is such a tool so you never want them to really end up together. But this production somehow made it work. I'm glad I will always have this production as a reference point. Also, as I was leaving the show I heard an old lady tell her companion that she was glad it was more fun than King Lear, and that she was relieved that "no one's eyes were rooted out."