I'm not saying their process is "bad," but when she flipped the book open to retrieve my driver's license, it was stuck in a slot on a page with at least eight other ones, presumably belonging to people who had as equally an unsatisfactory customer experience as I did. Ridiculous.
I got to Myra's at about 10:30, and after a tour of her wonderful new home, we headed out on I-70 West to 85 North to 95 North to 64 West to Staunton, Virginia.
The ride was uneventful in terms of traffic or mishaps, and we had great conversation along the way, while listening to some of my CDs and some of her CDs between conversations.
Our hotel, the Best Western Staunton Inn, was right off the exit, and we arrived there somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00.
As we were checking in, this (white) lady comes up to the desk, and says, "I need another copy of our room key."
"What room?" the clerk asked.
She said the room number, the clerk verified the name, the woman confirmed, and the clerk said, "May I see some ID?"
The woman responded, "I'm not black. I'm not going to match the ID."
Myra and I just looked at each other, like, "Huh???"
Then, we both had to stifle our uncontrollable urge to guffaw — uh, I mean, if you show your own ID, you are going to "match" it, whether you're black or white, or green or purple for that matter. I know what she meant was that her ID was not going to match the name on the room, but she had her wires crossed when she made that statement, which just sounded totally ridiculous to us.
I mean "I'm not black," is pretty much a non sequitur to the question, "May I see some ID?"
This so reminded of the "Do you prefer top or bottom incident" that happened to Joe and me when checking in to the Quality Inn in Wilmington in May, and I shared that story with Myra.
We arrived at the Blackfriars Playhouse about a half-hour before the show, picked up our tickets at Will Call, and took a couple of the general seating seats Myra has sat in in the past.
I loved this quaint little theater, which reminded me at times of both an old courtroom and an old church. Have a look at it by clicking on this thumbnail:
One thing that I liked about this theater is that they provide entertainment while you're waiting for the performance to start, which is really nice if you have general seating and get there so early.
The entertainment before the first performance was provided by John Harrell, a member of the resident troupe. He was quietly engaging with a very sharp, dry wit that I, myself, found quite charismatic. He played guitar and sang.
The first performance was The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, and performed by the Blackfriars' Paul Fidalgo.
This was a well-done adaptation of Sedaris' work, though personally, I think the original work is a tad too brilliant to tinker with. Paul did a great job with facial expressions and overall impressions, though — the bringing-to-life, if you will — of the bratty kids and out-of-touch parents that Sedaris describes in his work.
We had an hour-and-a-half before the second performance started, during which we walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner at The Pullman Restaurant at Historic Staunton Station, a delightful little restaurant billed as "one of the Shenandoah Valley's most unique restaurants."
Our dinner was complete with an accommodating train passing through while we dined. Myra and I both had the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich with mashed potatoes as our choice of potato. We split a piece of cheesecake, with the cherries on the side, so they wouldn't touch my half, and Myra could put them on her half.
Back at the theater, we went through the Will Call line again, and re-claimed the same seats we had at the earlier performance. There were a lot more people at this performance, and the pre-show entertainment this time consisted of a local choir that had "Trinity" somewhere in the name. I believe it might be The Trinity Choir, as I believe the director did say her name was Carol Taylor.
They sang mostly classical choral (duh!) kind of work, some songs not in English, and Myra and I spent a good deal of the time trying to figure out if the bald-headed guy in the soprano section was 1) really singing soprano, and 2) really a guy. Not that it matters.
I really enjoyed their performance of A Christmas Carol, as I can't remember the last time I've seen it that it 1) wasn't on TV, and 2) wasn't the Ira David Wood (bastardized) version of it.
In fact, we overheard the girl in front of us say to her friend at intermission something to the effect of, "So this is what all of the spoofs (of this play) that I've seen is based on."
Back at the room, Myra and I listened to this week's podcast of This American Life:
|Stories of people stuck in their own personal reruns – moments or episodes that they revisit over and over again.|
Prologue. Ira talks with This American Life producer Starlee Kine, who loves TV reruns more than first-run shows. She explains that even if it's a show she hates – Caroline in the City for example – she'll watch the rerun. The simple fact that it's a rerun makes it, not better exactly, but comforting in a way first-run shows aren't (6 minutes).
Act One. Action! Action! Action! Starlee Kine tells the story of a man more obsessed with reruns than even she is. Director Trent Harris made a movie called The Beaver Trilogy. It's a whole movie that's a rerun, based on a personal rerun that Trent found himself caught in. Starlee saw the movie, and tells the remarkable story of why it was made. (27 minutes.)
Act Two. Marriage as Rerun Many couples eventually encounter this problem: one person in the couple trots out the same story over and over, and the other person has to just listen. But what does it mean, the stories we tell in front of our significant others, and what do the significant others really think of them? Host Ira Glass talks to three couples about the stories they've each told and heard countless times, and why. (16 minutes)
Act Three. Reruns at the back of the Bus. Sarah Vowell identifies a phenomenon that's sort of a cultural rerun. It's an analogy that gets made over and over in different situations: people – often who aren't black or women or in any way involved with civil rights – comparing themselves to Rosa Parks. (7 minutes)
Act One was a little tedious. I absolutely loved Act Two. Act Three made me laugh, as most everything by Sarah Vowell will do.