heaven, hell, and the ‘burbs (with or without soundtrack)

by pieces of moments

This weekend I was house/dog sitting for a friend’s parents house in the Chicago suburbs. I suppose I’ll get myself into some kind of trouble by possibly offending some reader by saying this, but out of  sheer intense perplexity I have to think aloud: “why would anyone ever choose to live in the suburbs????” Okay, perhaps I should rephrase, or qualify by saying I understand a suburb like Oak Park, IL. It’s just enough outside the city that you get away from the perpetual noise and occasional madness and yet close enough to jump on public transit and easy-peasy be in the middle of the action within 20 minutes. I get that. In fact, I think it’s terribly charming, largely because Oak Park is interesting. Maybe that’s the key factor. Maybe it’s just the fact that the suburbs with which I am more acquainted are so massively, oppressively Boring.  The ‘burbs = Limbo. They’re neither this nor that – not the city and not the country.

No offense to those who love suburban living. I just cannot (having lived in the middle of cities my whole life  – the only exception being my four years of undergrad studies), no matter how hard I try, figure out the appeal.

Ahhhh…isn’t that better now?

Moving on…

It was another glorious weekend of tennis, though, my one-handed backhand seemed to have decided to take a vacay. I’m transitioning from two (which is what my tennis instructor taught me in high school) to one, so sometimes my one-handed shots are better than others. Oh, well. The after match wind-down included an equally glorious buffet lunch at the local Indian restaurant. I also got to re-watch the entire “Horatio Hornblower” A&E series, which I gladly confess to you I was obsessed with when they came out a decade ago for two reasons: #1 the 18th century British Royal Navy (I am fascinated tall ships) and #2 Ioan Gruffudd (on whom I had a massive crush having seen him in the Masterpiece Theater version of Great Expectations and Solomon & Gaenor).

This evening saw a long, great afternoon (inadvertently) spent nearly entire at Barnes & Noble with a bunch of friends, laughing, reading through magazines, and getting into totally interesting physics conversations/debates. When we finally changed locations, we also ended up discussing how we’ve noticed that movies these days seem to use music a lot more in crucial dialogue (or what should be crucial dialogue) scenes. Does anyone else feel like the soundtrack can be too much of a crutch? Scenes – especially those with intimate conversations – are often way more powerful (in my opinion, anyway) if they are accompanied by nothing but silence. In life, our important conversations are often accompanied by silence – no escape from the pain or awkwardness. I think that those odd beats are better conveyed on film sans soundtrack. The discussion arose after I remarked that I wondered when restaurants started perpetually playing music. I still wonder that. Does anyone have an answer? I need to research this in the spare time I don’t have.

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