In other, less life-and-death news, we went to see a Berkeley Playhouse production of The Pirates of Penzance today, and it was loads of fun. I'd never seen or heard the actual Pirates of Penzance musical before this, but I saw the 1982 parody film The Pirate Movie (which most people, apparently, consider an abomination) many many times as a teenager, so I had a sort of twisted introduction to both the story and the music. It was weird to see -- so many years later, after seeing the parody so many times -- the original musical that inspired the movie with which I was so familiar. I was surprised to see some songs had been borrowed in a fairly straightforward way; others had been used purely for so that they could be mocked; and some had been used but significantly altered here and there (such as having the Major-General sing that he was "older than the Beatles, but younger than the Rolling Stones"). I absolutely must watch the movie again, so that I can view it from this new perspective. Right now, I still like the movie better, because it's so tongue-in-cheek, but everyone else seems to think it's horrible, so I'm bracing myself for disappointment.
The one thing I absolutely *know* that I like better about the movie is that the movie's Mabel is the undisputed hero of the story, while the original play's Mabel is an absolute ninny. In the movie, Ruth (the nurse) is also a much stronger, more independent, less ridiculous character. It doesn't ensure that the movie is good, of course, but it's an improvement as far as my feminist little heart is concerned.
On our way to the Julia Morgan Theatre for our musical experience, Shannon and I picked up sandwiches and had lunch in the park, watching dogs run around and have fun in the sunshine. It was a great way to enjoy the nice weather.
In other other news, I don't think I wrote earlier this week about my failed attempt at adult literacy tutoring. I found the woman with whom I was corresponding (via email) at Berkeley READS to be extremely frustrating, as she couldn't seem to give me any prior notice about what time I was supposed to meet my student, but just kept jerking me around. Finally, she gave me a time, and told me we would meet at the Central Library. Then I never heard from her after that. The day before the meeting, I realized she'd never told me where in the library I should meet them, so I emailed her. No reply, but I wasn't surprised, since it was so soon before the set time. So I went to the library at the appointed time -- after checking my email immediately before leaving the house, of course -- and checked in at the Information Desk, figuring that this would be the logical place where Esther (the Berkeley READS woman) would leave me a message, or even wait for me. No dice. After placing several fruitless phone calls, the Info Desk librarian sent me to the Reference Desk, where they paged my student by name, again with no success. Finally, I checked my email on the off chance that Esther had emailed me instead of actually coming to the library, and -- indeed -- there was an email from her, letting me know that she and my student were in the building next to the library. How does that make sense? You tell me to meet you at the library, and you wait in the building next door? You don't bother to leave any kind of message at the obvious places? It turned out that she called a different branch of the library to leave a message, because that's where the Berkeley READS office is located. Dude! You didn't tell me to meet you at the West Branch! You said Central! Why not leave a fucking message THERE? So I now have very little respect for the reasoning or organizational skills of the Berkeley READS staff. Where is the logic, I ask you?
So I wasted what turned out to be about an hour of my time. Sure, I don't have a job, but I don't like being jerked around, even so.
When I phoned Esther (which I hadn't done earlier, of course, because I was inside the library, as had been specifically requested), she was completely unapologetic, and we eventually agreed to reschedule via email, probably for this coming week. So when I got home I sent her an email with a lot of very specific questions about exactly where I should be, when I should be there, and what I would be expected to do. Sheesh!
Really? The building next to the library? Really? What kind of idiot thinks that's a good idea? Sheesh!
ETA: Also, Lisa and I went to the city yesterday to have afternoon tea at a new tea place I hadn't been to before, called The Secret Garden, right across the street from Golden Gate Park, near the Botanical Garden and the museums. It was fun, as high tea pretty much always is, but I think next time I'll suggest we go to Lovejoy's. The highlight of the afternoon actually was the Botanical Garden, where we roamed for quite a while. Afternoon tea is such a wonderful, luxurious treat for me that I would expect it to be the most exciting bit of the day, but the garden was fabulous. I definitely have to go back.