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December 3rd, 2018

Off-kilter

I'm three days late on this, so no one will see it, but here are my responses to the most recent Friday Five:

1. What actor or actress would you like to see in a film genre he or she has never attempted?
I like it when comedians go serious, but I don't have a specific per--- Wait! Has Neil Patrick Harris played a straight-up dramatic lead in a film or on TV? It seems to me he's mostly been about the comedy, exaggerated character parts, self-parody, music, and the stage-y stuff. His out-sized, inherently ironic style seems particularly suited to the stage, so perhaps he's already gone serious there? Anyhow, I'd like to see him try it on film.

2. When did you recently see something beautiful in an unexpected place?
One should expect beauty everywhere, because that's the surest way to find it, right? That said, I sometimes get wowed by street art that comes out of nowhere when I'm walking in NY, but that's not a very specific answer. Hmm ... I'll get back to you.

3. In what way is someone you really admire flawed?
How about Michael Moore? I love his documentaries and his POV, but he can come across as a crackpot, and (based on the Q-and-A from the time I saw him in person) I don't think it's all "antic disposition."

Also, I have hero-worshiped a couple of authors, plus one actor, who I later found out cheated on their respective wives, which is a super-trigger for me. But I don't like to name them here, because they were all from a time when you didn't necessarily become famous for this (but I just happen to know about it, due to too much research).

And now there's Neil deGrasse Tyson. For a smart guy, he's not been so bright about women (and how to act around them so you aren't super-creepy/super-creepy-seeming -- whichever one it is).

4. In what situation did you recently find yourself utterly out of your element?
Before I saw the word "recently," I was going to say, "At my first job out of college, the cubicle one working for the Army. It was the worst, and I was the worst at it." But that was 35 years ago, so, in the words of the great Emily Litella, "Never mind."

But hmm ... recently? I currently have three jobs, and it feels like 90% of my waking time is divided among them, so I would have to have been doing something rogue during the other 10% in order to get myself into an unfamiliar (& therefore uncomfortable) sort of situation...

ETA: Okay, thought of something. Last weekend I played the piano for a Handel's Messiah sing-along. I was asked to do it by my old chorus, and frankly I figured it was because they were too poor to afford someone good. Now, don't get me wrong: I'm a decent general musician and an okay hack pianist, and I don't undervalue those skills in myself, but it takes something a little more to do justice to those stupid orchestral-reduction accompaniments. I expressed my reservations and was assured I was just what they wanted, so I said "yes." And the whole thing was fun and went all right, but I was correct: doing actual justice to it was beyond my hack skills.

I didn't name this at first because a Messiah sing-along really *is* my element, if any context is! However, musically, I was in over my head, and I only didn't feel super-bad about it because I'd discussed it ahead of time and am confident that I went in a known quantity to the group, whose director enthusiastically expressed her satisfaction with the concert immediately afterward.

5. What implement do you use in a manner unintended by its designer?
I've hemmed a skirt with duct tape, which may be one of the intended uses of the tape, but probably violates the intentions of clothing manufacturers everywhere. And I have used half of the long pointy things I own, including scissors and knives, as emergency back-scratchers.