Originally uploaded by madabandon.
Last evening, relaxing at home before I went with Y to see "Children of Men" (a harrowing, brilliantly-directed film by Alfonso Cuaron*) I noticed a faint burning, rubbery sort of smell. I looked everywhere in the apartment but could not find its source. The smell grew stronger. Suddenly, the lights overhead in the corner of the living room, above the sofa, flickered, and I went to check. The transformer that plugs into the socket must have short-circuited, because it was starting to melt. I quickly unplugged it, snipped the wires, and now I will have to make a visit to the lampman. Good thing I was there. I never leave those lights on when I am home, but I might have been sleeping and a fire would have started. It took a while to disperse the fumes, even with fans running and windows open.
*His son was my student, and so I had occasion to meet him and then see him repeatedly over a four-year period. He was--and I am sure still is--down to earth, energetic, and struck me as extremely cool. Of course, I did not know who he was the first time we met. "Y Tu Mama Tambien" had not yet been made. But I was impressed with his knowledge of music--modernist music, Ligeti and Berio and so on--and for his utter lack of pretense. It is great to see a man like him become so successful. Maybe I can score one of his films someday.