Sunday, August 26, 2018


Having been released from hospital duty by the successful discharge of the patient, I had the time for a couple of artistic outings.

First to Stanford, for a concert by a series of student pianists who played Louis Andriessen, Frederic Rzewski, and a whole big wad of Schubert. A rather peculiar combination.

Then to the Livermore Performing Arts Center for the latest Lamplighters production of The Pirates of Penzance. I liked the theater, which I hadn't been to before. Though likewise arena-sliced, it's smaller and more focused than Lesher in Walnut Creek, and consequently sounds better. Nor is it any farther from here to drive to. Excellent singing, especially from Michael Desnoyers as Frederic and Erin O'Meally as Mabel. But the innovations in staging, largely intended to update the Stanley daughters to 1890s "new women," sat incoherently with the plot.

A missed turn on the drive home sent me zooming off towards Pleasanton, which at least is not far out of the way, so I decided to take the opportunity to stop off at the Inklings coffee & tea shop there, just because of the name. If you order your strawberry-mint lemonade, which is just about the only thing they had that wasn't either coffee or tea, from the side of the counter with the menu on it, they'll direct you over to the other side where the computer is, then direct you back again to the original spot to pick up the drink. Confusing.

There were lots of small tables and comfy chairs around. The walls were lined with bookshelves, but a close look suggested something a bit of the poseur quality to it, as despite a few Lewis and Williams volumes scattered about, most of the contents were yard goods: a volume of Winston Churchill's war history here, Zane Grey and Tom Clancy novels there, a bunch of law textbooks over there, and lots and lots of Readers Digest Condensed Books. In one spot by some branded t-shirts and coasters and the like is a sign indicating two books are for sale. One is by Lewis, Perelandra, and the other isn't. The hand-lettered sign gives the title as Voyage to Articus. Jiminy Cricket and all the little fishes, it's supposed to be Arcturus.

Also on the walls are some nicely-done pencil portraits of the four principal Inklings (Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, and Barfield) and on the opposite wall some framed quotations, one real one from Tolkien and two ones falsely attributed to Lewis that are actually spoken by his character in the Shadowlands movie or play. Tsk.

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