My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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You think I’m just a terminally cheerful person, don’t you? But no, I can be crabby and critical, yes, it’s true. I turned on NBC’s “Broadway Cares” on Friday, looking forward to seeing Broadway performers in excerpts from their shows, raising money for theatre people out of work for nearly a year, certainly a cause dear to my heart. My poor ex, with his vast building in Washington – three theatres – shuttered, many people laid off, no idea when things will start up again. So I was thrilled to check out this show. But – why do singers yell these days? Everything at 2000 watt energy. Tone it down! There were a few good numbers, but when You Oughta Know from the Alanis Morissette musical came on, a young woman howling in rage at top volume, I turned it off. 

Last night I watched “Let Them All Talk,” with a stellar cast, about a famous writer sailing to England on the Queen Mary – what could go wrong? A lot, as it turned out. Partially improvised, it was meandering and more or less pointless, though it did feature three older actresses including the ubiquitous Meryl, so that’s good. The major plot point was the author bringing two of her best friends along on the trip, one of whom had had her life ruined by exposure in one of the author’s books. But was anything explored or resolved of this fascinating and personally relevant subject? Nyet. Candace Bergen was terrifically authentic as the sour, damaged friend desperate to hook a rich man. 

At the end, I thought, well, there’s two hours of my life I won’t get back. And then – God, it’d be fun to travel on the gorgeous Queen Mary, especially as a famous author in a luxurious two-story suite. Any day now. From the NYT review, 

By the end the issue isn’t the sluggishness and unseasoned execution, but its moral ambiguity regarding Alice’s use of the unofficial Karl Ove Knausgaard writing method — plucking from loved ones’ lives for inspiration. The question of what stories Alice can own, what’s off-limits and how she herself lives in the writing is more interesting than the film gives it credit for. But I’m done now; can we change the conversation?

A grey gloomy drizzly day. Yesterday was lovely and warmish; while out for a jogette, I ran into Pierre, a nice young man from Paris who lives across the street, and invited him to join Monique and me for apéritif on her porch at 5. Then her nephew Tom and his partner Olivier dropped over and sat nearby, so we had a grand porch party with three handsome young men, in French. Human company – what a rare, much needed treat. Pierre bought on this block without knowing there are six people fluent in French a stone’s throw from his front door. 

Today, for the first time in months, I have a piano lesson. It’ll be painful, as practicing has been, to put it mildly, sporadic. As in, almost nil. But it’ll be good to see Peter, who’s coming for tea. Tonight I have not one but two Zoom concerts to choose from, bad planning on my part: James Ehnes, with Stewart Goodyear on piano, playing 3 Beethoven violin sonatas, and the Gryphon Trio performing Beethoven piano trios. Luckily I can spread them out, so I don’t overdose on Beethoven today, especially if I’ve struggled through the Moonlight Sonata for Peter. 

Though as the rain pours through thick pewter clouds, this is a good day for some Ludwig, to be sure. 

Happy Chanukah!



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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