- Next up for WATCH: Assassins at Dominion Stage and The Audience at Little Theatre of Alexandria.
Anderson, Heart of a Dog
“When L died, our teacher said, Every time you think of her, give something away, or, do something kind. And I said, Then I’d be giving things away non-stop. And he said, So?”
Category Archives: Like Life
charity I work for-contribute to/conference organizer,
Mucho travel this year, even a trip for my job. Overnight stays in 2015:
- Lexington Park, St. Mary’s County, Maryland
- La Plata, Charles County, Maryland
- Oregon, Lucas County, Ohio
- Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia (3 visits) (Thanks, Charlie, as always!)
- Vineland, Cumberland County, New Jersey
- Staunton, Virginia (and)
- Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana (road trip)
- Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
- Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee
- Boston, Massachusetts
Didn’t get around much this year, but I did visit one performance space that is no more.
A couple of quick snaps from a short trip to Boston for training and meetings, with a visit to our Digital Services unit.
The building for NPR Digital Services, in the old warehouse district of South Boston (we’re on the fifth floor), on the singularly-named Wormwood Street. A tech-rich environment here: an old smokestack bristles with comms gear.
Ezekiel J. Emanuel has written the truly provocative “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” His thesis, to chop the article down to an elevator speech, is that he’s rather certain that when he reaches that age he will no longer be a creative, contributing member of society, but only a consumer of health care services.
… over the past 50 years, health care hasn’t slowed the aging process so much as it has slowed the dying process.
And for Emanuel, what seems ethical for him to do at that point is to refuse major treatments and let nature take its short, brutal course.
I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive. For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop.
I find a certain affinity with Emanuel. Like him, I fear the loss of faculties; for me, to be bed-ridden and watching endless daytime TV would be miserable. I think we differ on the milestone. Eighty sounds like a nice round number, but let me get back to you as that time post looms.
On the other hand, consider what Fred Jones (88 years old) has to say. He’s one of a half dozen elderly New Yorkers that John Leland has been talking to. Jones is one of the unlucky folks who has too much income to qualify for government subsidies, but not quite enough to afford services that would make his life more comfortable. He’s sort of trapped in a rent-controlled $300-a-month Crown Heights walkup; if he were to move, he’d be priced out of the market. Nevertheless,
Mr. Jones was not dismayed. He never is. “Oh no, I don’t have any money worries, thank God,” he said. “I have none. My only money worries are, keep the ladies away from it.”
* * *
I asked him when in his life he was happiest.
“Right now,” he said without hesitation. “I have health problems, but it’s been going on a long time, so it’s secondary. But I think happiness really is what’s going on at a particular time. I used to think happiness was something that somebody brought to you. But happiness, as opposed to enjoyment, is when you are doing something and you are elated.”
I am taking a moment to enjoy my new windows (right). No more cracked-glass, peeling paint windows (left) that don’t open, don’t close, and don’t seal out the cold air and dust.
And the scary kitchen window with the busted sash that needed a stick in the track and a shim under the lock to stay closed and secure? Gone!
Leta and I patched together a road trip of several places that we’d never visited before. Much driving, many quick stops, unmanaged time zone changes, and an emergency trip to the phone repair shop, but a good trip nonetheless.
In downstate Indiana, we visited Leta’s colleagues at their offices in Bloomington as well as our theater friend Erika in nearby Nashville. The street name signs in this town with artist colony roots are quite nice.
Also a quick afternoon in Columbus (this part of Indiana is full of cities that share names with much bigger burgs) for a gawp at the architecture. I found much more to see than we’d planned for, so we’ll have to come back (and schedule a Miller House tour in advance). But we did find the Robert N. Stewart Bridge (J. Muller International, 1999), which is very fine. And we wandered as far as the Cummins Inc. Plant One—perhaps less noteworthy architecturally, but it’s a reminder of my B-school days and many, many case studies.
The next day we moved on to Olney, Illinois, resting place of Robert Ridgway and his family, where I made one photo to contribute to the Commons. The historical marker on U.S. 50 is easy to see, but Bird Haven is a little trickier to find—unless you listen to Leta and look for the big blue sign. We lunched at the Roll with It Bakery on Main Street, justifiably known for its “loaded” cinnamon rolls.
Relentlessly, we headed south for Memphis: Beale Street, the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Wapanocca NWR across the river in Arkansas. We both enjoyed dinner at South of Beale. An unexpected find to add to my collection was this fallout shelter sign downtown on Court Avenue.
After breakfast at Brother Juniper’s in the university district, we pushed on to the bigger Nashville to see Reid (Leta’s cousin) and Jocelyn. Jocelyn gave us a tech tour of Nashville Ballet’s costume shop. We paid homage to the closing sequence of Robert Altman’s Nashville with a visit to the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
CBS This Morning finally ran its feature about Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson’s Tiny Desk Concerts. They were there to film on a couple-three occasions many weeks ago, including February’s awesome Mucca Pazza show. Apparently the producers felt that my colleagues made for more interesting audience shots than me, but you can see my chin and my wristwatch starting at 3:59.
New books on the shelf, thanks to Brett, Leta, Cleveland’s Horizontal Books, and Powell’s.
I visited several new spots, without making a big deal of it this year.
- Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, Washington
- Anacostia Arts Center, Washington
- The Lab @ Convergence, Arlington County, Virginia
- Reynolds Hall, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, W. Va.
- Paul Sprenger Theatre, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington
- Howard Theatre, Washington
I missed the VNPS annual meeting in Tidewater Virginia this year, but I got to visit a few places. Overnight stays in 2014:
- Manhattan, New York County, New York
- St. Davids, Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
- Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia (3 visits) (Thanks, Charlie!)
- Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania
- Rocky River, Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Thanks, Dotty!)