Tuesday, May 31, 2005


The New Opera Theater, Copenhagen Posted by Hello

The glittering building above is the newly completed opera theater in Copenhagen, Denmark. It provides the newest in stage technology and public comforts, complementing the city’s classic Beaux-Arts style opera house that will remain in active use. With any luck we may get to tour the new building in early July during the week in Denmark that begins our vacation in Europe. Fritz and I both enjoy touring theaters even though he would probably rather undergo root canal than attend another opera.

Like a MacLuhanesque unit of fame, sun and warmth had their fifteen minutes over the holiday weekend and are gone. Boston awoke to cold and fog this morning. I headed off to Jury Duty.

West Roxbury District Court is a compact, utilitarian building of red brick that stubbornly avoids looking classic or picturesque as it ages, jazzed up a little by a “new” 1980s entrance in neo-Bauhaus style. The jury rooms are plain and small, but there are several of them, one a bit too cold and the others overpoweringly hot. I went for the chilly one. Someone had the pleasant idea of removing the over-glossy “inspirational/motivational” art with sayings I had seen there last time i did JD, replacing them with unframed canvasses by (local?) artist Nelson DaCosta. These consisted of eight or nine cubist-style portraits of women that were offered for sale, see the Bailiff if interested, all of which were routine except for one in African style and colors that was boldly patterned and decorative.

The orientation video was hosted by Chief Justice Margaret Marshall of the State Supreme Judicial Court, aka “devil woman” to the radical religious right for decreeing gay marriage in Massachusetts. A handsome woman with a surprising South African accent and no ability to pronounce the consonant “r” whatsoever, Madam Justice Marshall welcomed us and laid down the terms of our service. Maggie Marshall’s my heroine; because of her, I’m the married gay man I am today. As the court house is in an area totally devoid of any fast food, cafes or other sources of caffeine, the state provides the services of a retired man who brings in bottled juices, coffee in carafes and doughnuts at ridiculously low prices. We reported at 8AM and at 11:45 were informed that all six cases on the docket, faced with jury trials, had decided to plea bargain--and we were dismissed.

Today was also my fifth day not shaving. I’ve been without a goatee or beard for a couple of years now, and I tend to change my facial hair every 18 months or so, according to current fashion or simply what I’ve never done with my face before and always wanted to try. Recently, I’ve been avoiding shaving when I go up to Fritz’s because he likes the feeling of stubble . I grow in very fast and by this morning I was able to start shaping it. Fritz has wanted me to do a beard again for some while, but I’m not sure summer’s the best time—we’ll see how it goes (right now it’s in the very itchy phase and is driving me nuts).

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