*The trip to Richmond and back has become familiar to Kelly and me in recent years, but never quite so familiar as in recent weeks. We drove to Richmond and back on Friday the 20th of September (to see the first night of Dixon's Ramapalooza standup comedy) and again on Saturday the 21st (to see the second night.) On Saturday the 28th, we drove down to see him host and perform in the Ramapalooza sketch comedy performance and returned home, only to wake up on Sunday the 29th and head back to Richmond to celebrate Ian's birthday. We did that with brunch at Kuba Kuba and a little shopping, and then Kelly and I swung by Trader Joe's on the way home. I returned to Richmond on Friday, October 4th, to broadcast Woodberry's 24-14 win over Collegiate School, and Kelly and I will head back on Monday October 7th in order to see Dixon's performance in The Submission.

Mathematically, then, that breaks down to six trips to Richmond and back in sixteen days. Maybe we should make the boys come home to see us next time.

*Speaking of Ramapalooza, the sketch portion was just as much fun as the standup portion, and we had the chance to see Dixon deliver still more of his standup in his role as host; yes, as per Saturday Night Live, he got to deliver the opening monologue, but he was also a big part of a number of sketches. He was one of a pair of suburban men who kept inserting the word "bro" into everything they talked about, as well as a wannabe super-hero trying out for the Justice League: "My name is Altar Boy. My body has the power to resist puberty and I can repress memories. All of them." His best sketch, in my opinion, was the final one, in which he spent the whole time wearing a full-body pink pig suit. He was playing a high-schooler who had been named mascot for his school and had fallen completely into the role of Hammy, the Hamilton High School Ham. And yes, that means he hadn't taken off the suit in two years.

A click here will take you to an interview with Ramapalooza director John Porter and some photos of Dixon and his cohorts Becky Granger and Elliot Duffy. You can also click here to see a pic of Dixon with his standup night trophy and read a blurb about his win from Richmond's Style Weekly

*Fall migration occasionally produces some interesting birding. I've turned up a few unusual sightings in my recent walks around campus, including first-of-the-year birds like the Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Nashville Warbler. Today, however, the bird came to us, as we were jolted out of a lazy Saturday afternoon's lolling about by a loud thunk against our living room window. A quick inspection revealed this young fellow sprawled in the greenery beneath the window:

DSC01321.JPGIf you don't have your field guide handy, you can take my word for it: this is a first-year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, whose resemblance to his mother is strong, but whose pinkish wing linings reveal his youthful machismo. Kelly obligingly broke out her iPad and snapped this pic of the two of us during his brief period of recovery:

grosbeak 2.jpgAfter catching his breath in the shrubbery for a bit, he flew off on his way southward. Maybe we'll see him at the feeder next spring; I saw what may have been his dad in our yard back in April, after all, and what may have been his mom turned up on Woodberry's campus only a week or two back.

*Our government is shut down. Y'all know me as a moderate fellow who is moved to rash acts only when the situation demands it, so recognize the seriousness with which I view the current situation when I say that for the foreseeable future, I am voting straight-ticket Democrat. Period. I'll hold my nose and cast a ballot for Terry McAuliffe, even. The Republicans in our government have lost all semblance of concern for anything other than their own power; from declaring the defeat of Obama their top priority to gerrymandering themselves into a House majority to furloughing 800,000 federal workers while declaring "I need my paycheck," the national leadership has officially set itself up in opposition to the votes, the desires, and the needs of most Americans. If they can flush this element out of their party and return to a rational, thoughtful conservatism, then we'll talk, but between Eric Cantor, Ken Cuccinelli, John Boehner and Ted Cruz, I'm ready to cut the whole lot of them loose.

*I finally did something I've been meaning to do for some time: I finished Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth. Zowie. I finally got around to reading The Age of Innocence a few years back and was bowled over, but it took me a while to get going with the story of Lily Bart. I'm very, very glad I did. I do sort of wonder if I would have liked Wharton this much if I'd read her when I was younger, but if I hadn't, I'd have to say that saving her for later was a wise choice. I also took a look at the scripts of two excellent comedies that I'm considering for the black box show I'm directing this winter, and I think tonight I'll be cleansing my palate with some good old-fashioned mainstream superherodom: a new collection of Batman & Robin by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. It's coming on the heels of one of DC's periodic "alternate-world purges," as critic R. Fiore once referred to the company's attempts to rejigger its continuity, so I'm not hugely optimistic, but maybe something will click. Or maybe I'll find myself thinking that Dick Grayson was lucky to get out of the Peter Pan booties when he did.

*And tomorrow: a trip to CHARLOTTESVILLE for a change! An outing with my advisees! A chance to eat sushi! Even a visit with my mom! But yeah, we're headed back to Richmond on Monday.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on October 6, 2013 12:46 AM.

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