Meg and I got some culture yesterday evening -- and went to see Black Watch, the National Theatre of Scotland's production, at the St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO. My father had seen it at the Edinburgh Fringe when it first came out and had strongly recommended it. We were unable to get tickets for its first US run, although Alex Massie at The Debateable Land was.
The play is derived from interviews the author, Gregory Burke, conducted with veterans and former soldiers from the Black Watch (The Royal Highland Regiment) who had served in the current war in Iraq. And while the play is about those experiences, it is also about the 'Golden Thread' that ties generations of young (Scottish) men to military service and the complete lack of respect for tradition that military bureaucracies seem to observe when they eliminate mythic collective identity for the sake of 'efficiency.' Even though it absorbed the histories of two of the oldest regiments in the British Army (the 270-year history of the Black Watch and the 375-year history of the Royal Scots), the Royal Regiment of Scotland has little of the magic that comes with generations of honorable military service.
All I will say as a review is that I went in feeling on the verge of flu and as though I might have to leave before the end of the 110min continuous performance. Instead, I didn't notice the passage of time and realized that I have sat through a lot of crap in my time. Really quite impressive.
The road-racing season is largely over. And while none of them have formally acknowledged being vanquished for the fourth consecutive year, I came out glorious in the Cobblestone Fantasy Cycling League over my friends, Dan, Mike, and Patrick -- coming in 67th overall out of 1013 players worldwide. Long live Team Chinggis!
Speaking of Chinggis: for those of you have visited Mongolia in recent years, you are probably aware of the amount of development that the capital, Ulan Baatar, has seen in the past decade. There are plans afoot now, sadly, to develop the Children's Park in downtown UB. The park is one of the few remaining substantial pieces of green space -- and just beyond the increasingly crowded city center. Journalist Michael Kohn has started a blog to try and coordinate efforts to save the park.
Thanks to Annie-bagsh for the heads-up and to Steve Bodio at Querencia for helping to get the word out.
We did get the call-up for the PANE Field Trial at Flaherty this weekend. I'm a little nervous at Mr. Enthusiasm's official debut as a field trial contender. Hopefully I won't screw things up for him. Here's a picture of his little muscle-butt pointing a quail from the other weekend for good luck!!!