Thursday, October 09, 2014

Listen to That Ragtime

Started the morning by finishing Mother Wore Tights. I didn't have much time after that, so I went into Halloween Is Grinch Night as I got ready for work. The strangest of all Dr. Seuss animated specials returns us to Whoville. A sour sweet wind sends the Grinch a-prowlin' and the residents of Whoville hiding in their homes. Little Eukeriah Who gets lost in the mountains thanks to that wind and becomes determined to keep the Grinch from getting to Whoville with his wagon of crazy psychedelic scares!

Work was pretty much the same as the rest of the week - crazy busy during rush hours, steady otherwise. This time, I didn't get lucky with getting out. My relief was late. They had to ask the self-checkout person to go in for me so I could get out on time.

There was a message on my phone when I got home. Andrew would be coming around with a fire inspector at 5:30 to check out the fire alarms and extinguisher in my apartment. I spent the hour between my getting home and their arrival making the bed, changing, and reading Ragtime. I haven't read this in ages and forgot just how complicated it is. The interlocking stories of three families - one black, one white, one Jewish immigrants - and their lives in early 1900s New York is woven with the stories of famous celebrities of the era - financier J.P Morgan, anarchist Emma Goldman, vaudeville beauty Evelyn Nesbit, educator and speaker Booker T. Washington, escape artist Harry Houdini, car manufacturer Henry Ford, and more. Not exactly beach reading, but if you love American history, the history of the early 20th Century, or complicated stories with lots of characters, this one is worth your time.

Andrew and the fire inspector did arrive at 5:30 as scheduled. After the alarms and extinguisher were duly gone over, Andrew told me that the only major change that'll need to be made to my side of the house is a total overhaul of my porch. It's been sagging for years. Covering the sagging parts with heavy boards is just adding to the problem. They'll have to come up with a way I can come and go while they work. There aren't too many other places I can stay.

Hit the bath after they left. Even just a short bath felt great. I ran the Broadway cast album of Ragtime as I relaxed. I continued Ragtime after I got out and made a quick bean and veggie soup for dinner. I've loved this since I bought the two-CD set almost 15 years ago. While this does leave out a lot of detail from the book by necessity, it also has a wonderful cast performing Stephan Flahtery and Lynn Aherns' gorgeous score. My favorite numbers are "New Music" (Coalhouse introduces the Family to ragtime...and Father realizes how out-of-touch he is), and "Our Children" (Mother and Tateh watch her son Edgar and Tateh's little girl play on the beach).

No comments: