Wednesday, October 31, 2001

When you just can't seem to bring it yourself, steal from others. Submitted for your consideration: a cute, cuddly Cthulhu doll.
Posted @ 11:27 PM

Monday, October 29, 2001

I AM 21% GEEK.

Everybody's taking the Geek Test; give it a spin.

And no, the above is not a pic of me circa 1986, but the resemblance is a little disconcerting.
Posted @ 12:35 PM

Friday, October 26, 2001

Here's proof that all the concise domain names have been taken. memepool pointed me toward The memepool blurb identified the site as a repository for deliciously horrendous manglings of the English language.

I was just going to poke around for a minute or two to laugh at the under-literate yokels and teens I was sure provided most of the fodder for their site. Then I was struck by a horrible thought: what if some of my writing was on there? I like to think of myself as a pretty decent writer, but I've got the usual doubts about my abilities. So I dug into the site, determined to make sure I wasn't being held up for ridicule. After half an hour or so of serious searching, I'm pretty sure I'm safe. For now.

Paranoid? Me? No. Why, what have you heard?
Posted @ 11:55 PM

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Janeane Garofalo (the woman with the most radiant smile in showbiz) and I share something in common: a strong, unreasoning affection for Craig Kilborn. "Craiggers" first came to my attention as the original host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, and he's been sitting in the big chair on CBS' The Late, Late Show for a couple of years now.

Like Ms. Garofolo, I know I should hate "Kilby." I should despise him for the frathouse smarminess, the Maxim sensibility, the juvenile nicknames. Taken at face value, he's exactly the kind of person I would normally hold in contempt.

Yet I don't hate him. I've tried to, but there's something about him that transcends what would be grievous flaws in just about anyone else. I was sorry to see him leave The Daily Show (although I am most pleased with his replacement, Jon Stewart), and was thrilled to see him get the slot after Letterman. Despite the late hour, I catch his show once or twice a week, and may start TiVo-ing it for viewing during my post-dinner, pre-primetime viewing block.

I can't put my finger on why I find the guy appealing. Could it be I've got an inner party guy I've never let express himself that responds to Kilborn's free-wheeling persona? (Very likely.) Is it all just a perfectly honed act that I see through and appreciate for its comic genius? (Doubtful, but not impossible.) Am I gay? (Nope.)

Maybe I'll get a chance to meet Janeane one of these days. Comparing notes on the subject could be an inroad to a great, and potentially enlightening, conversation.
Posted @ 6:09 PM

There's a new wing on the HoC Gallery today. I've uploaded several pics from my recently completed run in The Fantasicks. Please enjoy them, won't you?
Posted @ 5:13 PM

I'm settling back into my regular patterns again after over a week in Chicago working my company's biennial convention. As a native, it was good to be back home after a few years away.

Our boss encouraged us to have a well-rounded experience while we were there, and I did just that. There was plenty of fun to be had. The view of the city skyline from my hotel window was spectacular, probably the best I've ever personally had. Many good restaurants were patronized; I particularly recommend Marché to anyone in the mood for fresh, innovative French fare served in a truly eclectic setting by a funky, knowledgeable and extremely competent staff. I even had fun working the show itself, which seems odd when you consider I had to be up before six each morning for twelve hours on my feet. The camaraderie of good co-workers can do that.

Most importantly, I got to spend a couple of evenings with close friends at the beginning and end of my week there, bookending the experience in a very warm and gratifying way. Beer and pizza the first night, excellent sushi the last, laughs a-plenty both times.

I know now that I've been far too long away from my beloved city. As soon as I can finagle it, I must visit there again and really get to know the place. I left when I was twelve, and other than one glorious summer during college I haven't had nearly as much time there as I would like. From the glimpse I got this week, I'm convinced Chicago will be even more magical and soul-stirring to me as an adult than it was when it first entranced me as a child.
Posted @ 10:36 AM

Friday, October 19, 2001

It's been an ultra-busy work week, with twelve-to-fourteen hour days spent entirely on my feet, followed by going out with the gang to unwind over a few drinks. Consequently, as I've reached the end of each day, all I've wanted to do is fall into bed.

All this has meant non-existant online time for me for many, many days. The weekend doesn't look much better, so it'll probably be Monday before I can post something more here than a pathetic little excuse. But there will be a few stories to tell, so hopefully next week will be fuller than this one blog-wise.
Posted @ 10:28 PM

Saturday, October 13, 2001

A few days ago I posted a link to a wonderful discourse on what the flag means to lefties like me. Today I ran across another one, this time from fellow blogger Barron Chugg.

I'm glad I'm not the only one out there who refuses to allow Old Glory to be the symbol only of those who agree with the phrase, "Our country, right or wrong." For our flag to mean anything, it must represent this country in all its facets: our failures as well as our virtues. Like the song says, "America! America! God mend thine every flaw."

I'm enjoying the new Star Trek series Enterprise more and more with each episode. It looks like Rick Berman and company finally figured out that human beings laugh, make mistakes and occasionally touch each other, and that's made all the difference.

As much as I like what they're doing with humans, my favorite character on the show isn't one. He's not even a biped. He's Porthos, Captain Archer's dog. He is one cute pooch.

And you know a beagle is cute when he draws a red-blooded hetrosexual's attention away from T'Pol (or, as a friend of mine refers to her, T'Pow!).
Posted @ 7:57 PM

Thursday, October 11, 2001

A thought struck me today as I was getting ready for work: it is amazing how quickly the tactics used to cause the World Trade Center and Pentagon atrocities were adapted to and nullified.

The passengers on United Flight 93, the one that crashed in Pennsylvania, were no different from those on the other three doomed airliners save for one crucial element: they knew what the terrorists intended to do with their plane. The cell phone calls they made to their loved ones provided them with news of the attacks that had already been committed. Armed with that knowledge and a resolve we can only imagine, they were able wrest control of the craft from the men who planned to use it as a missile, and foil those intentions.

The actions of people doing what had to be done made this grand scheme quickly obsolete. Years in the planning, the gambit had an effective useful life of about forty-five minutes upon implementation.

It's thoughts like these that allow me to sleep peacefully most nights.

Many words and images have moved me in the month since the terrorist attacks. There's one picture that's haunted me since very near the beginning of this. I want to share that picture and what it means to me, but I just don't have the words yet. Soon, I hope.

In the meantime, I can offer the words of another. On this week's season opener of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor read the poem I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great by Stephen Spender, to sum up his thoughts on the attacks and their aftermath. In a gentle yet confident way the poem (particularly the last stanza) evokes the memory of the brave men and women who ran into the World Trade Center to save whoever they could.
Posted @ 5:01 PM

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

After missing the "Very Special" episode of The West Wing and the premieres of Buffy and Angel because of a combination of forgetfulness and VCR failures, I broke down and got TiVo over the weekend. The guys over at TeeVee have been raving about it for a long time, but fear of price and complicated set-up kept my enthusiasm for this new technology rather low.

A little online investigation of the facts about TiVo quickly changed my mind on the subject. Couple that with a substantial "open box" discount on the unit itself and you've got one very happy new user.
Posted @ 4:51 PM

Friday, October 05, 2001

Either I refuse to rest on my laurels or I don't know when to leave well enough alone. You be the judge.

Three-quarters of the way through the well-received run of The Fantasticks I've been part of at the McLean Theatre Alliance, I began rehearsals for Potomac Theatre Company's production of the same show this week.

It may turn out that my biggest challenge in this new production is remembering how to act like a nineteen-year-old. This time I play Matt (The Boy), returning to a roll I first did twelve years ago. I've almost always had to play my own age or older, as is often the case in community theater. Now I'll have to go back to a time when getting into college and figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up were the foremost subjects on my mind.

Hmm... now that I think of it, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. Maybe I won't have half as much trouble relating to this kid as I thought.

A little over six weeks ago (or, as it feels in post-attack time, back in the mid-eighties), my buddy OtherTim posted a list of favorite current singles. Normally, I look at such things with only passing interest. My CD purchases nowadays are usually old stalwarts, a certain Northern Virginia-based band that deserves much more attention, and musicals. On the radio, I gravitate toward news and talk.

So while it'd been a long time since I'd really listened to anything resembling a chart-topper, for some reason I got a wild hair and decided to give young Tim's list a listen. Over the next couple of days, I sought out all the songs he'd recommended and gave them a try.

Much to my surprise, I liked seven of the ten songs on his list. I've still got five of them in heavy rotation, a rather long shelf-life for me.

I'm forced to concede that the noise those kids listen to today isn't so bad after all. Guess I've still got a few years left until I can really become a curmudgeon.

My friend Elise passes along this excellent article by the author Barbara Kingsolver. In just a few hundred words, Kingsolver adroitly illustrates why, in this time of national crisis, it is more important than ever that our flag be the symbol of unity and inclusion it was always meant to be.
Posted @ 9:37 AM


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