Wicked again 2003
I went and saw the musical Wicked again today and it was great. There was a note in our programs reading
To Our Valued Theatre Goers: Please be aware that Kristin Chenoweth suffered an injury to her neck earlier this week. She is getting better every day, is no longer in severe pain, and does not want to miss a performance. As a result she will be wearing a protective neck collar during the show.Naturally, in true Galinda style, her white foam medical collar was adorned with a lovely strip of rhinestones.
Afterwards - again a standing ovation and a very happy crowd - I was able to speak briefly to Kirk McDonald, who plays Boq, and to Ben Cameron, who's the tall member of the ensemble who wears the split-color jacket & a skirt in the Shiz scenes. When I told Kirk I thought the show was going to do very well in New York, he said "From your mouth..." He was very pleasant; I wish him great success. I got a bit quieter and more hesitant response from Ben, who, I suspect, isn't as used to people coming up and talking with him after the show or was tired or I was interrupting something. Still I was glad I got the chance to wish him well and let him know I was pleased to see two of my favorite characters from the book, Crope and Tibbett, represented in his skirt.
It's a great show. I hope I can make it to New York and see it. Kirk said they've got a break during which the "muckity-mucks" will rework anything that needs changing and then they'll have 3 weeks of rehersal before opening on Broadway. If you are or can be in New York, I recommend buying tickets now before it sells out.
Even the Statistics Agree 2003
After admiring the American flag flying at Market & Castro on my way home, I was just reading the wonderful news about the Supreme Court overturning that Texas sodomy law. As a steenkin' liberal, I try to make a point of voting in CNN's little home page poll when it's on a topic of interest. Today's is "Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision overturning a Texas law which criminalized sodomy?" I voted yes and, as usual, waited to see the display of the current results:
Heh. Yes, indeed.
This time, let the people choose the president 2003
I encourage U.S. citizens to start participating now in changing our government for the better. Visit MoveOn.org for more information and actions.
If you go there today and join, you can vote in their MoveOn primary to begin creating grassroots support behind a Democratic candidate for the next presidential election. I voted for Howard Dean because I believe he has the best combination of electability and position on the issues I care about.
Even if you don't join, do visit and read the candidate's statements. One thing I particularly like about MoveOn is that the questions the candidates responded to were proposed and the best ones selected by MoveOn members. I love what MoveOn is doing to revitalize democracy using the internet.
Goof or just something I missed? 2003
Over the weekend I watched the remake of Ocean's Eleven and enjoyed it very much. George Clooney and Brad Pitt work very well together and can deliver this sort of slick dialogue with humor and style. The rest of the caper team were fun and Andy Garcia made a nice foil for them. Still can't say Julia Roberts does it for me, but the out-of-character stuff with her laughing on set gives me a clue why her co-stars think she's the bee's knees. Would have been nice if her character showed some of that human charm.
I have one question though and it's a spoiler, so see the comments if you've already seen the movie.
I neglected to mention that the Summer Solstice began the season of Discardia which will end with the new moon on the 29th.
Chris and I had been talking about doing a yard sale or a trip to the flea market, but we live on a very steep hill without enough foot traffic to make a yard sale successful and it seems that you're supposed to show up at the flea market at 5a.m. so that's right out. We'd have to make a lot of money to make all that hassle worthwhile, so we'll try a less painful approach: the virtual yard sale.
If you're interested in any of the following items, just comment or email yardsale at this domain and make an offer. Please note that "I'll come pick it up" is a perfectly valid offer. (FYI, our place is in the Castro district in San Francisco).
- queen-size futon with simple wood frame & two pieces which act as side tables when in couch mode
- folding screen, black lattice & white fabric "rice paper", three ~17"x66" panels
- pressboard 2-drawer unit, 16" cube
- classic fold-up card table, 30" square, been in use in my family for decades, needs a good home
- blue leather Palm pilot case (suitable for Palm I-III, possibly I-V)
- 60's look checkerboard pattern knit mini-dress with red stripe, needs light repair, size m, very Speed Racer in aesthetic, could also pass for 1930's geometric
- round stone table fountain with pump
- Jensen JMP-33 computer speakers
- small, extremely solid safe
- Honeywell air purifier
- wooden folding tv-tray-style table
- metal "No Dumping Allowed" sign
- comics: Paul the Samurai #1-3, Paul the Samurai:Tick Spinoff #2-4 & 7, Enigma #1-4, Marvels Book 1 (Flash), Superman the Man of Steel Feb 94 #30 Colorforms issue with Lobo.
- SF Examiner article from Sept 23 1979 about Dungeons & Dragons "Joys, dangers of game where one's imagination is the limit"
- music memorbilia bag (cassette Green Jello "Three Little Pigs" pre-cease & desist order, button "I'm too sexy" from Right Said Fred tour, Bruce Cockburn Big Circumstance tour button, repro of Rolling Stone magazine #1, "I love the Bay City Rollers" patch)
- movie & tv memorabilia bag (Cool World Holli Would button, Naked Lunch button, 3 Batman logo from first Burton film buttons, Spike & Mike Twisted Toons barf bag unused I should note, Misery bookmarks & 2 buttons, Cool World promo postcard, "The Tucker Times" printed promo page for the movie "Tucker" with Jeff Bridges, People magazine Sept 25 1989 issue about Saturday Night Live, Entertainment Weekly #3 issue on Hunt for Red October with a little coming soon ad from NBC with this blurb near the bottom "The Seinfeld Chronicles: A different look at the life and misadventures of the single man, from hip new stand-up comic Jerry Seinfeld.")
- collectible trading cards bag (unopened Jyhad starter deck from original version, 4 unopened booster packs ditto, promo material for re-release of game as "Vampire: The Eternal Struggle", complete set of Jyhad cards mint in binder, 1995 Magic: the Gathering binder, Tomart's Photo Checklist & Price Guide to Collectible Card Games vol. 1 first printing 1995, The Duelist magazine #6 featuring art of Rob Alexander, The Duelist magazine #5 featuring art of Liz Danforth, The Duelist magazine #7 featuring art of Mark Tedin, The Duelist #4 featuring the art of Melissa Benson, 1995 Other Worlds: Michael Whelan II collector cards binder w/ promo sheet & 3 cards 14 21 & 41, 1995 David Cherry collectible cards set [complete, I think, but the cards are sleeved out of order & I feel lazy at the moment], 1994 MTG poster illustrating many cards and 1994 Jyhad poster plus bonus gift of Chris Baccalo poster of Death from Sandman, box from 1995 MTG 2 deck starter kit in very good condition, Mark Poole deck box with juggling sorceress, assortment of 1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation cards including Wesley Crusher, 1991 3M Olympic Innovator's Collection Olga Korbut card)
- politics & news memorabilia bag (Spy magazine Oct 1997 with Bill Clinton on cover as superhero - bagged in very good condition with Clinton/Gore 92 bumper sticker, front section of SF Chronicle May 25 1987 "The Great Party" 50th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge, "No on 65 Stop LaRouche" button, front section of San Jose Mercury News Feb 8 1990 "Communists give up monopoly" "Bush backs arms control, SDI" "Top official [Gassee] on way out at Apple", used "Fight the Right" phone card with picture of Newt Gingrich on it, Garbage magazine Premier Issue, lots of 1989 Quake related newspaper sections including SJ Merc Oct 23 "The Long Road Back", SJ Merc Oct 22 "We will never forget" 16 page memorial, SJ Merc Oct 23 front "Thank God, I'm alive" Buck Helm story, SJ Merc Oct 19 3 sections including front section with "Cold fusion heats up", SF Chron Oct 18 8 page issue "EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA HUNDREDS DEAD IN HUGE QUAKE", Contra Costa Times Oct 18 " Earthquake: Over 200 die; bridge, I-880 collapse", SJ Merc Oct 18 "MASSIVE QUAKE 76 die in seconds of horror". SF Examiner Oct 18 "EARTHQUAKE EXTRA 7.0 quake stuns Bay", SJ Merc Oct 21 front section, SJ Merc Nov 10 story about Bookshop Santa Cruz, and the best thing of all, Kevin Cowherd's column from the morning of Oct. 17th about the World Series game which reads "Actually, I have no idea who is going to win the Series, because these are two teams from California and God only knows if they'll even get all the games in. An earthquake could rip through the Bay Area before they sing the national anthem for Game 3.")
Happy Solstice! 2003
I had a lovely long walk today. I've been lax about both exercise and my project of walking every street of San Francisco, so it was really nice to get out and do a major one. I went up over the hill, stopping at Tank Hill Park just before noon which was a nice place to be at noon on the summer solstice, and on down Quintera to the ocean.
I had an interesting moment of surprise while I was going through a posh neighborhood near Laguna Honda. I was walking up a curved road on a hill and suddenly noticed about 10 feet ahead of me were a couple of little black and white kittens coming out from under the hedge by the curb. My foot came down as I kept walking forward. The kittens aren't kittens. My other foot came down. They're baby skunks. I reversed myself midstride and walked backwards down the hill until I was out of sight of them around the curve. I never saw Mama Skunk and boy am I glad.
Ikea Redeemed 2003
I should mention that after all my frustrations with Ikea regarding getting replacements for some lost instructions and nuts & bolts, when I tried again to go back and get them before giving up and throwing away a perfectly good, albeit disassembled, bookcase, they were quite helpful. I got the instructions and a complete set of the assembly parts and they waived the usual charge because I had been misinformed on my previous visit.
Making Dream Stock 2003
For better dreams, season your mind before bed with stimulating and unusual imagery and/or writing.
Last night I read more of The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Subsequently, in a dream, I was working on a story with a group - sort of writing it, sort of reading what we already had and rehearsing it for performance - much as Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh did with the actors who worked on their movie The Anniversary Party, the making of and commentary on which I had watched on evenings over the past few days.
My character's name in the story in my dream is "Otto Oxox". I read this on some notes summarizing the characters and key information about them and I mention that because reading in dreams is usually difficult. In this case, I read it in the dream, looked away, looked back and read it again and it still said the same thing: "OTTO OXOX". Maybe uppercase letters are easier to read in dreams.
By the way, Google knows nothing of "Otto Oxox", so it's apparently an escapee of my imagination rather than something learned and forgotten.
[Apparently I further added to my dream stock that evening, because an old calendar notes "Dinner & 'Wicked' w/ Fil!"]
Zeigarnik Effect? 2003
I'm reading an interesting book called "How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason In Everyday Life" and came across this:
And, as any student of psychology can tell you, there is the "Zeigarnik effect," or the tendency for people to remember interrupted tasks better than those that have been completed.I wonder if that's why I find multi-tasking so invigorating? I can feel more connected and awake when I'm switching between several tasks rather than focusing on just one.
The quote has a reference to Zeigarnik's 1967 work "A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology" and I may try to track down that section. Anyone (Mum? Paul?) know anything about Zeigarnik or this idea?
[December 22, 2003: This post has been noted by spammers and is getting repeated junk comments. I have closed commenting on it for that reason.]
An Observation of Strange Human Behavior 2003
When someone has posted something inappropriate to a list and one is replying to tell them that said confidential information shouldn't be posted to the list, perhaps one should not quote the offending message.
Further, when apologizing for said post, perhaps one should not quote it again in one's message.
MetaGrrrl is pro-fun. 2003
Neal's right. The trend against dancing, sex, getting a little bit buzzed and, in general, having fun is alarming.
Apparently, the only vice acceptable to conservative political leaders is gambling.
I say joke 'em if they can't take a fuck. Enough of this anti-pleasure bullshit. Get politically active, send some money and/or donate some time to a worthy organization working for civil liberties, then have a cocktail, crank up the stereo and go commit acts of sodomy (remember, kids, that includes oral sex!) Just make sure you don't share any of that fun with those who claim to support this new prohibition.
It's time to get this party party started. Kick it!!!
Two Moons? 2003
What would Earth be like if it had two moons?
I started out thinking of various natural differences - the tides, for instance - and then got to thinking about how most human cultures seem to be fixated on duality - light/dark and male/female and good/evil. It's interesting to speculate on the societal impact of a third heavenly body. If night and day were less uniform and distinct - no moon nights and one moon nights and two moon nights - would humans be better able to deal with the shades of grey between right and wrong? Is our morality a by-product of our planetary configuration?
Happy Moon's Night! 2003
Tonight is the shortest night with a full moon of the year. Enjoy!
Lovely Day 2003
What a gorgeous day! Chris and I went for a walk up over the hill and had a light brunch at the Reverie Cafe in Cole Valley. Then we went up Parnassus to Willard and explored the neighborhood around the Farnsworth Lane stairs. Couldn't figure out where the entrance to the Sutro Forest is, so we came back down and Chris caught the trolley home while I went on to Haight Street to do a bit of shopping.
Kevin, if your answering machine has a message which is nothing but the sound of sirens, that was me checking to see if you were home and then having your voicemail drowned out by passing fire trucks.
I had such a good time, I'm going to go for a big walk again tomorrow. I've been slacking on my "Walk every block of every street in San Francisco" project.
Cheese of the Day 2003
Tonight's cheese - courtesy of the incredible selection at Rainbow Grocery (where I also got more of that delicious Bravo Farms Sage Cheddar, some Grafton 4 year and 2 year aged Cheddar and an Italian Pecorino Pepato that goes incredibly well with green apple) - is Ardrahan from Neal's Yard Dairy. It is now tied with Brie for "skeeziest cheese I love". Here's what the Cowgirl Creamery (whose new store will open soon in San Francisco's Ferry Building) says about it:
Eugene and Mary Burns are third generation dairy farmers for whom cheesemaking is a true passion. Their washed rind cheese, Ardrahan, is a true farmstead cheese, made using milk from their farm in County Cork, Ireland. The small 2 lb. discs are made using pasteurized cow's milk and vegetarian rennet. They are aged from 1-2 months during which time the sweet milky cheese develops the true pungency of a classic washed rind.
We're also enjoying a nice wine tonight, the 2000 Navarre Mourvedre. Mmmm.
["PTO" noted on old calendar, so looks like I took a day off]
A Good Change 2003
Because MovableType is one of the better software products I've used.
Because I trust and respect the people and the company that make it.
Because I don't really need to spend $40 a month on hosting (or if I do, I can at least help keep my friends paychecks coming in).
And most of all...
Because I'm never gonna get my sorry ass fully web standards compliant without a little help from my friends.
This weekend I'm very much enjoying the DVD of the movie Wilde, starring the wonderful Stephen Fry. It is a masterfully drawn portrait of a man whose life has had a tremendous impact on attitudes about beauty, morality, fame, and sexuality over the last hundred and twenty-five years or so.
Amusingly, Oscar's biting wit seems to rub off on the makers of the film as evidenced in this bit of discussion in the commentary track:
[They are discussing how one of Oscar's presumed lovers, John Gray, the man who perhaps inspired The Portrait of Dorian Gray, eventually converted to Catholicism and became a priest as did one of the "rent boys" who, I think, testified at Oscar's trial]
Screenwriter Julian Mitchell: "Well, there was a great sort of overlap between high camp and high church."
Stephen Fry: "Which remains to this very day, let's be honest."
Good Fun 2003
Chris and I just went and saw The Italian Job. We had a great time. It's a nice classic caper, well-directed and well-cast. I recommend it (unless you're the kind of person who doesn't enjoy a good story well told again).
Yum! Crow! 2003
Okay, so I said I got weirded out by that one fan/gossip board and got uncomfortable with it all and yadayadayada. So I've still been checking the board, but instead of just enjoying it, I sometimes get weirded out, sometimes enjoy it, and mostly feel vaguely guilty.
But, every now and then, along comes a post which makes me laugh so fucking hard I really don't give a damn anymore. I love it when a certain sharp-tongued lady lashes into the trolls who come in raising hell because someone thinks their favorite movie stars might be gay, "You people are horrible! I mean, just because they were seen in a gay bar doesn't mean..."
How dare you nasty people think a man isn't straight just because he sucks another man's cock! I have plenty of straight male friends who do this to each other all the time!! The nerve of you people!
[This post remained unpublished until January 2004 because, I guess, I felt more than vaguely guilty about reading raunchy gossip]
Very interesting developments 2003
Macromedia is breaking new ground. This presentation on Macromedia Central is intriguing.
The concept of the occasionally-connected user feels much more realistic than the "everyone continually wired into a broadband connection" dream of recent years.
I also congratulate Macromedia on not wasting time and money on a slick and impersonal press release, but instead using Flash to let a team member give a personal presentation. It makes me think that more business meetings and conferences should be a combination of this sort of "now I'll show you slides and tell you what they mean" presentation in advance with the face-to-face time being used for roundtable discussion and in depth questions. (Though I confess that approach would take away most of the learning experience of watching an audience react to a presentation).
Welcome to Pride Month! 2003
Here are a few links to help celebrate sex & gender diversity:
The Commercial Closet, the self-described worldest largest collection of gay advertising.
Rent the wonderful film The Celluloid Closet and get some insight into the influence of homosexuals on 20th century cinematic storytelling and vice versa.
Hang out with your queer friends, or at least go visit The Bradlands - with 8 years experience crafting his sweet snarky site, you know Brad's only getting better all the time. Happy anniversary, darling, you know you don't look a day over 5.
Read a book about some wonderful outsider or have one read to you. Click "More Stories..." down there on the left and enjoy Sean Astin reading a lovely children's book called A Bad Case of the Stripes. It has nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with being yourself.
Permutations of My Name 2003
(#3 in a series):
Jamba Juice, June 4, 2003 - Vineah
MmHm. Monday. 2003
Some days your brain works.
Some days it doesn't.
Not my most productive day ever.
Thank goodness for mindless tasks that (sort of) need to get done.
Recipe: Spicy Chicken & Nibs 2003
New recipe tonight, probably to be refined for a larger quantity:
Clean the fat & bone off two chicken breasts and chop or tear them into chunks.
Put them in a glass dish.
Sprinkle over them:
- a pinch of ground cloves
- a couple pinches of ground cinnamon
- two or three fennel seeds
- a black peppercorn
- half a teaspoon tomato paste
- half a teaspoon chopped garlic
- half a teaspoon sesame seeds
- a tablespoon of Sharffen-Berger chocolate nibs
- one large (~2 inch long) dried chili pepper, crumbled
- one half inch long chunk of bay leaf
Add enough water to almost cover the chicken.
Cover and set aside in fridge to marinate for 3 or 4 hours.
After the chicken is marinated, place a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and let it warm for a minute over low heat.
Add the chicken and its marinating liquid into the pan and spread the chicken out so all the pieces can cook.
Let it go for a bit until the top edges of the chicken start to turn white, then flip all the pieces.
Let it go that long again and a bit longer until the thickest piece of chicken has no more pink in the middle.
Turn the heat on high and sear the chicken for 30 seconds on each side.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Discard the bay leaf and the peppercorn.
Serve with something bland - rice would be good - and a big glass of water.