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June 25th, 2008

Birthday Treat

Thank you all for your birthday wishes. I had the best day (well, best couple of days) ever. In our family, you get a day of celebration for every decade of life. This makes up for the general feeling, as you get older, that you blink and the day is over. They don't have to be contiguous (that might be difficult). And they're certainly not the whole day (that would be greedy). But a series of little celebrations, clustered around the day, make getting older that much easier and more appealing.

I'm up to five, now. And I've had three treats.

The greatest was the small party Ellen threw on Sunday afternoon, for celebration and also for Terri to get a chance to meet some New York folk as she passed through town. conteurlisa baked a cake: vanilla, pistachio mousse, and fresh cherries, with Swiss fondant icing and little orange buttercream flowers all over it. Just my colors; just my taste. It was wonderful. So was the champagne.

We need to throw another party, soon, for all the people we couldn't invite this time. This house loves parties. And the piano is tuned now, so we can have music. If we invite somebody who can play it. I took lessons for years, but somehow, it never stuck.

Another was going to see a dress rehearsal of La Bayadere at the Metropolitan opera yesterday. The tickets were free. Ellen got them from a friend who couldn't use them, and there we were, on the front row of the Dress Circle.

What makes it different from a "real" performance is that the orchestra's in shorts and Hawaiian shirts and the dance master (or possibly the house manager) keeps up a running commentary about lights and blocking while the dancers are dancing, and stage hands wander on and off the stage. Occasionally, a chorus member will dance off in entirely the wrong direction, or the male lead will stalk off-stage, muttering to himself about something he clearly thinks he flubbed, or the ballerina will become entangled in the extremely long scarf she's dancing with and have to start over. I loved it. I wish I'd been able to listen to the notes the dance master was giving the chorus during the breaks, and what the third temple-girl to the left was whispering to her neighbor that made her giggle so.

And then, when they were all dancing full-out, it was magical and beautiful and utterly transcendent, just like classical ballet is supposed to be. If you like it. Which I do.

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