It was not a good day for Boss today, I managed to stump her twice. The s/w I couldn't find where she thought it was did have to be special ordered by her for me. And a test machine which I couldn't get to sync seems to have that feature disabled, so we sent a note to the person in charge of it, after much troubleshooting by Boss.
Good thing I brought lunch, that place was a zoo again. What kind of logic makes a company shut down most of the food services for a 4-day week? Will bring lunch again tomorrow.
Morning report - Spook spent some of the time on the bed, but finished the morning on the bathroom mat in front of the shower, staring at me in bed. After I'd turned out the lights, she came storming through the building, sounding like a herd of buffalo, landing next to me with a plop, fighting with her little stuffed lobster - about the size of a crayfish. While I was in the shower she was playing with a golf ball-sized nerf ball. We played soccer with it for a bit. She's pretty good about batting it back to me. Until she gets distracted.
After work I went straight to the movies, Tuesday is cheap ticket night, a friend reminded me. Friend is not a senior so he didn't know Mondays is $2.25 cheaper for me. La La Land opens with one of the best musical production numbers ever, and that is followed by an almost as good one with the 4 starving actress roommates (or maybe it's 5?) clever choreography and superb cinematography. But the quality takes a dive as we are inflicted mostly with the leading lady and man, both of whom look the part of "I'm not going to make it in Hollywood". Which I guess is the whole point of casting them. I was surprised to find out later that Ryan Gosling did all his own piano playing - he is extremely good. He also did all his own singing, and he is not. Ditto Emma Stone. They both can carry a tune, but neither have legit musical theater voices. I got the impression that the middle 2/3 of the movie was shot by a different cinematographer with different lighting, because it was rife with long, unneeded, not very sharp, mediocre-ly lit close-ups of Emma. Right at the end the original techies return for a production number. There are two or three songs I liked (and would have liked more, I think, if the words weren't mumbled), credited to Justin Hurlow on the CD, but I think the lyrics were by someone else, from what I saw of the closing credits. Found it - lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (known as Pasek and Paul). Sometimes it is the build-up to a number which makes it work, as long as the singing is adequate. Emma's rendition of Audition (The Fools Who Dream) was that for me. She delivered it like a wet rag doll, hands at her sides, no motion and just enough diaphragm support to not ruin it. I was deeply touched by the sentiments.
She lives in her liquor,
And died with a flicker
I'll always remember the flame
Here's to the ones who dream
Foolish, as they may seem
Here's to the hearts that ache
Here's to the mess we make
I have several friends from TheatreWorks and Palo Alto Players/Children's Theater in the 80's and 90's who moved to LA to live the dream, and I thought about them as I listened to the song. Three of them achieved some level of fame, one drives for Uber. The ones who went to NYC fared better over all. One is a star on Broadway (Mathilda, Dames At Sea), one is a cabaret singer with a permanent gig, a couple are doing off-Broadway shows and one is struggling as one of the founders of a small theater company. Someone I saw a lot of but don't know personally is on Broadway as the Genie in Aladdin.
I've never had that dream. I wanted to be a TV cameraman. Acting has always been "just" a hobby.
But I digressed.
There are a couple more of brilliant scenes, one at the Griffith Observatory, another in a stark white set with gold wire trees, both leading to stunning dance numbers, both with great cinematography and lighting. I loved the opera affectation of a recurring musical snippet by Gosling's character which ties him to Emma's.
Plans for tomorrow: