I got that forklift job yesterday. I got to pee in a cup and everything. And my mother-in-law offered to watch our children so my wife and I could go out for Valentine's Day. I thought we would both be working, making for 3 lame Valentine's Days in a row. But with a babysitter lined up I made plans to go out. I should have clarified in my last blog entry that I only watch movies that I can get my hands on cheap or free. We rarely go to the full-price theater. I checked and there were no new movies I wanted to see so instead I found some tickets to a ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet downtown. I considered a murder/mystery dinner thing but it didn't seem like Valentine's Day to me.
The ballet was pretty cool. Everyone is dressed nicely (a few people wear jeans and others look like they are at the prom). Nobody is shoving popcorn in their face or sucking on a Big Gulp. There are a lot of younger people there that give you the impression that they don't actually like ballet but are willing to pretend that they do for the sake of seeming "cultured." The program booklet is filled with advertisements for plastic surgeons and ladies that want to dress you and shop for you "professionally" because you're a hopeless slob who wears brown shoes with a black belt.
For about three minutes, you wonder why you're staring at an ornate gate surrounded by dramatic shadows and then you remember this is all live and guys are back there in the darkness pushing pieces of the set around. It gives you a moment to realize that every note of music is being made by someone down in the orchestra pit. It's not a CD playing over the speaker system.
There are only a few people that get to dance a lot. The rest of the cast seem like glorified mimes. I asked my wife, "Don't you think it would hurt to get picked up by your rib-cage a hundred times a day?" Poor Juliet. Some of the scenes are drawn out, like where Juliet dances out her conflicted feelings of whether or not to take the potion that will make her appear to be dead. Mercutio's death scene was pretty good because he tries to play it off like he's only pretending to die. Mercutio was an oriental dude in this version of the story.
I like live things because it's finally appropriate to clap. I always think people are strange for clapping in movie theaters. But at the ballet, if you like the spotlight work, if you like the costumes, sets, music or even the dancing, you can clap and the person responsible will hear you. About ten percent of the audience watched three hours of professional dancers leaping in the air and then they practically ran out of the theater the moment Juliet stabs herself.... you know, to beat the traffic. Seems somewhat rude to watch the dancers for three hours and then bail one minute before they take their final bows.
So it ended up as a good Valentine's Day. Employment and a good date (though one or two ballets a year would be plenty). When I called in sick for work my boss started out like he was going to be vindictive. He started to say something like, "This puts us in a brutal situation..." but then he just said, "Well, you do good work so just go and have fun." I really haven't had a chance to despise the box loading job. Oh well.