Here is a surprising confession: yesterday, I felt quite cheerful. I wouldn't mention it, except that I have not been feeling cheerful for rather a long while and it made a nice change. I spent the day blue-fingered and generally freezing (and please, dwellers of other lands, I know it is colder where you live and Californians discussing winter sparks great mirth and/or derisive snorting for you and your family and when you come here, you persist in wearing shorts because it is so balmy, etc. etc. I understand that cold is relative. However, I am still cold much of the time. I'm not kidding about the blue fingers. I hereby decree that I am allowed both to live in San Francisco and to be cold. At the same time. Thank you.) but when I left work around 7:30pm, there was a very crisp sliver of moon in a cloudless sky and it seemed benevolent. Upon my arrival at home (a place where there is a very reliable heater, praise be), I did some dishes (I am hoping the new year will prove to be a tidy one) and then settled in to watch the latest episode of "Downton Abbey" which I had somehow forgotten to watch the day before. If you are me, the revelation of a forgotten, unwatched "Downton Abbey" is akin to finding crumpled twenty-dollar bill in the pocket of your recently laundered jeans. This, along with tea and some small, delicious cupcakes made my the inimitable Katy Stephan, made me feel for the first time in weeks, like maybe everything is looking up, after all.

I had planned for my Christmas vacation to be a veritable festival of cocktails and treats and cinema excursions. Instead, I had the plague. No need to go on about it; after all, you're familiar with being sick, but it was a particularly miserable and lingering affair, not at all conducive to holiday jollity. Then, approximately two days after achieving near-wellness, I had surgery and went back to bed. Sigh.

Still. Happily, the kidney stone is no more. And soon, I hope, the remaining pain will also be awarded the past tense. And then--hoo boy--will I ever be a champagne-drinking social butterfly.

The afternoon of New Year's Eve, I finally felt well enough to go to a movie at last. After poring over my options, I chose Les Miserables. Now then. I am a girl who likes a musical, but somehow I had never actually seen this one. Frankly, that seems impossible to me, yet it is true. Ultimately, I think film is a very bad way to be introduced to it. I didn't know it was one of those opera-style shows where the singing just doesn't quit. That doesn't bother me onstage, but it turns out it bugs the hell out of me on screen. I became an eye-rolly snorter. No one wants to sit next to that girl. Sorry, everyone. I was really shocked by how much I didn't enjoy it. Before the revolution even got into full swing I thought, "Okay fine. Those two will get together. That one will die. I'm done here." And, people, I left. I almost never leave a movie. It felt quite rebellious. I think there was still a full hour to go. I tromped back to the parking garage where I had very begrudginly parked my car only because the movie was too long for the two-hour street parking limit. That damn garage charged me $10 which may be commonplace, but which made me absolutely furious. All in all, going to a movie I didn't like and didn't see all of cost me $20. Grrrr.

All of that may be why I enjoyed this so very much. There's a little mp3 clip that I invite you to listen to.

Edited 4/1/13 to add: Better yet, this. This is exactly my experience. A couple days later I found the antidote: Lincoln. Oh, how I loved it. If people in the 1800's actually spoke anything like that, I am truly sorry for the anemic state of the modern vernacular. But then, what I experienced may not be the conversation acrobatics of a bygone era; it may simply have been the conversational acrobatics of Tony Kushner. In which case, Tony Kushner, I thank you most humbly.