Our Town -- 04/26/02
date weight week
03/29 204  
04/05 203  -1  -1
04/12 201  -2  -3
04/20 200  -1  -4
04/26 199  -1  -5

This is a three-day weekend for me because I've taken today as a vacation day. I don't want to find myself in a situation like last year where I had to cram vacation days into the end of the year -- in fact, lost half a day -- because I had been too busy to take the time off and we work on a "use it or lose it" basis.

Of course, I didn't actually do any vacationing today. This was use a roto-tiller on the yard day. Oh my aching back!

Tomorrow we (Nancy and Sean and me) will be up early because we have a 7:22 a.m. train to catch -- and we have to get to the station early enough to pick up our tickets. You may recall that a few weeks ago (occasioned by a business trip to Philadelphia via Amtrak)I commented on Amtrak's dumb-ass "security" policy of requiring photo-id to be produced for all ticket purchases (except, of course, if you use one of their automated ticket vending machines). I was annoyed by this mindless bureaucratic absurdity again when I stopped at our local station to purchase tickets for our trip in advance -- the train we wanted to take to New York and the return train on Sunday are both "all-reserved" trains and I didn't want to find them sold-out when the time came. The ticket agent could not sell them to me -- each adult for whom tickets are being purchased must be present to show photo id -- he suggested that I call the 800 number to order the tickets and pick them up on Saturday morning, but that each traveler had to show id then. I tried to use the webpage to place the order, but I couldn't seem to get the AAA member discount and was getting frustrated so I decided to use the 800 number. I evenually had to use Google to find the number because these idiots do not list that number anywhere on their webpage. Added annoyances: Amtrak is having a spring ticket sale, thirty percent discount but you have to reserve seven days in advance (and it doesn't apply to Sunday travel) and Sunday travel costs almost thirty percent more than other days. (Also, only one or two trains a day on the Washington--NewYork--Boston run have basic unreserved seating; all the others are Reserved only... which does not mean that you get a reserved assigned seat, it only means that they charge more for the ticket and try not to sell more tickets than the total number of seats on the train.)

I said "Oh my aching back" but actually it is my arms and shoulders that hurt the most and I am having real problems with my hands. At one point I had to go to Agway to pick up some stuff and it took me four tries to sign my name on the credit card slip... the pen kept falling out of my hands, I couldn't get my fingers to grip. It was a from the strain of holding onto the grips of the roto-tiller, struggling to make it go the way I wanted plus the vibrations.

I ordered Chinese take-out -- way too tired to cook dinner -- and then Jennifer and I went to the URI theatre for Our Town -- one of my favorite plays. (Nancy had gone to a matinee performance with her eighth grade students today.) Jennifer had never seen Our Town. They did a good job with it... minimal staging but very effectively done. The part of the Stage Manager was played by four people -- two men and two women. When I saw that in the program I was a bit concerned but actually it worked very well. The first one seemed to have more lines than any of the others (he also officiated at the wedding and the funeral)... the others also filled in various roles (the questioners from the audience, various townspeople, choir members, school children) but sometimes the four of them would address the audience, taking turns speaking the Stage Manager's words to the audience, functioning almost as a Greek chorus (which, in a sense, is part of what the State Manager is doing, commenting on the action in the play.) Very nicely done. I had wondered if they would be able to handle the third act properly but, in fact that came off very well with some of the strongest performances.

I cannot type anymore, just too difficult, hands hurt, I'm tired and need to get up very early (to catch that 7:22 am train) so this is not gonna get posted until we get back Sunday night.

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