Happy Birthday To Me

I woke up on Wednesday morning to Glen excitedly wishing me a happy birthday. I had turned 32 sometime overnight. After that rude awakening, Glen went to work, and I went to work. More messages from people wishing me a happy birthday came through on Facebook which filled me with a warm glow.

I spent about five hours doing zoo work which smashed my brain a bit as I got through quite a bit. I stopped in mid afternoon and forced myself to go to the gym in the building (too cold to go over the road) so I could justify eating a little badly tonight.

Glen and I arranged to meet at the hospital after work and then go in search of food for dinner. Rather than take the 20 minute train ride to the hospital, I took the 20 minute walk through the university and around Queen’s Park to get there. I discovered a newly installed sculpture and then another that looked so well placed in its snowy garden.

Glen finished just after 5 and we walked down University Ave to Momofuku. I’m not sure why I decided we should go here. I think I expected it would be a sure bet for food quality and plus I knew it was in the area we were heading. Glen wasn’t impressed with it but made the sacrifice for me.

I thought the food was nice, though really, when you compare what we got to the price we paid, it’s overpriced and we could have probably got something just as good, if not better for a fraction of the price. Still, it was nice enough.

We had tickets to see Blithe Spirit in the evening but the show didn’t start until 8 and we were done with dinner by 6:15 so I suggested we go to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) for a quick look around. They have free entry on Wednesday nights and now that we’re no longer members, it seemed like the best time to go.

It was a chilly walk back up to Dundas St and I was glad to get inside. The place was bustling with people who, like us, were taking advantage of the free entry. We went upstairs and had a look at a Comix exhibition featuring the work of Art Spiegelman, who incidentally was the same guy who drew the Garbagepail Kids in the 70s, which I remember collecting in the 80s/90s.

After a quick look at work by the Group of 7, Glen went to the giftshop while I had a look at a photographic exhibition called Memory Unearthed. Henryk Ross took photos in the Lodz Ghetto between 1940 and 1944. He was one of the last people left in the Ghetto in 1945 and suspected he’d be killed any day so he buried his photographs, which not only contained images of propoganda but also photos of the real goings on in the Ghetto and the terrible conditions people lived under.

The most heartbreaking for me were the ones of people saying goodbye to each other before they were loaded on the train for Auschwitz and the other death camps. It was hard to take in. I didn’t see everything in detail. I didn’t stay long.

We walked down to the theatre on King St, arriving about half an hour before the show was due to start. We had good seats in the centre of the dress circle. One half of our row was completely empty. Anyway, the play was by Noel Coward and called Blithe Spirit. Honestly, the only reason we saw it was because Angela Lansbury was in it, but even so, it was a thoroughly enjoyable play, and not just for her (even though it was thrilling to see her in a live performance).

The play was a farce, which I really love, and the actors all did a really good job. The basic premise of the play is:

Researching for his new novel, Charles Condomine invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati to his house for a séance. While consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ dead wife Elvira. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of Charles’ new wife Ruth. Now if he wants his latest marriage to stand a GHOST of a chance, he’d better conjure up a solution quickly. One husband, two feuding wives and a whisper of mischief in the air – who will win in Coward’s unworldly comedy?

I thought Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati really was excellent, and her little trance dance made everyone laugh.

It finished sometime around 11 and we caught the train home. It was a great birthday.

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