Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Out of pocket

Who uses it: Teachers and students at Norfolk Academy, est. 1728 (ου πολλα αλλα πολυ)
What it means: Being somewhere other than the place you're supposed to be.
How you can use it: When you're away from home.

Most people use the term "out of pocket" to mean money spent in expectation of reimbursement, but at my prep school, out-of-pocket (or the snappier OOP) was an offense worth two demerits, halfway to the four that meant detention (three hours on a Saturday morning).

The last couple of days have been a little hectic, and if I've been hard to reach, I apologize. Too much going on and too many things to do.

I did manage to make it up to Annapolis last night to see Our Chris before he shaves his head (!!) for this weekend's production of As You Like It at St. John's. Chris has a lovely head of hair, as do all the male members of my immediate family; with the arrogance of any 22-year-old, he worries not at all about it growing right back again. Known for radical hair changes of my own (my motto: "If you can't change your life, change your hairstyle"), I have no standing for comment.

This afternoon I met my old pal John Erath for lunch at Aroma, an Indian restaurant on I Street that used to be one of our favorite haunts when he, John Mirvish and I all worked within a six-block radius of each other. Aroma's Executive Luncheon menu is still one of the best deals in town, but the cordial Sikh who used to greet us with such apparent pleasure wasn't at the restaurant today. Instead, the maitre d' seemed almost annoyed that we would bother him and take up space in his restaurant. Sigh. As Megan said when I got back to her house, "You can't go home again."

First five songs off the iPod Shuffle this afternoon:

"Nightclub Jitters," The Replacements. One of the few second albums (Pleased to Meet Me) that is just as good and maybe even better than the band's first (Tim).

"Automobile Noise," The Blue Nile. This entire album (A Walk Across the Rooftops) reminds me of Los Angeles, and this song does in particular. I'm not sure why.

"Mississippi Goddamn," Nina Simone. Nina Simone is the very best music for days when you're mad at the world.

"Gethsemane," Ian Gillan, from the Jesus Christ Superstar soundrack. "Once I was inspired/Now I'm sad and tired/After all, I tried for three years/Seems like thirty..."

"Let's Get Lost," Chet Baker. My client Kent Harrington loves to tell the story about an interview Chet Baker gave in the last years of his life. The interviewer asked Baker what his favorite moment as an artist had been. Baker replied: "Speedballs!" I have nothing to add to that.

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