Friday, June 28, 2002

Rarely have I seen such a wonderful marriage of headline and photo:

I guess somebody at Excite has a pretty good sense of humor.

Politics aside for a moment, best of luck to Mr. Bush with this delicate procedure.
Posted @ 4:31 PM

Thursday, June 27, 2002

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the unconstitutionality of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance had me all fired up to blog my support for the decision. I'd have done it too, if Tim hadn't beaten me to the punch in his usual brilliant fashion. Everything he said on the matter I wholeheartedly second.

I only have this to add: if you hear anyone complaining about this ruling and what an outrage it is, ask them why they're defending a phrase that was shoehorned into the original, substantially changing its intended meaning of national unity, and which was born out of the Red Scare of the 1950's. It's ever so much fun to watch people try to defend the fruits of McCarthyism.
Posted @ 2:21 AM

Monday, June 24, 2002

Hey kids! It's the first multi-subject post here in a long time. You may want to go grab a beverage before you dive in.

(Warning: Seinfeldian rumination follows. Read only as your tolerance for such things allows.)

Watching an old X-Files rerun last night, a pet peeve that's been bouncing around my subconscious half-formed for some time finally crystallized in my mind. Scully's getting herself a cup of coffee. She pours in a fair amount of dry creamer, grabs a stirrer, makes two or three half-hearted swipes at her java with it, and proceeds to drink.

This is standard TV and movie behavior. Character dumps cream and/or sugar into coffee, stirs it with a thin little plastic stick for about a second and a half, then drinks the stuff.

Here's my problem: there's no way that coffee is properly blended. With a good stout teaspoon, it takes me at least a dozen vigorous circuits of the mug before it's all mixed together. The way Scully did it, she's got a bunch of little undesolved creamer clumps floating on top. And that's just gross.

Is this the way fictional characters like their liquid pick-me-ups, all gritty and lumpy with sugar sludge at the bottom? Or is it maybe a Hollywood thing we non-famous people aren't meant to understand, like the muffin baskets and air kisses?

All I know for sure is this bugs me a hell of a lot more than Schwarzenegger firing thirty rounds from a Glock without reloading or hemlines in some period piece being three inches too high.

For the first time I can remember, multi-user blog memepool has fresher entries than the normally more prolific MetaFilter. Either the MeFians took a summer solstice break this weekend, or Matt's new server is continuing to give him grief.

Looking for a little irreverence today, maybe with a nice dollop of sacrilege? Then God's LiveJournal is just what the doctor ordered. (via the aforementioned memepool)

As the first anniversary of the House of Cheer approaches, I've got the urge to spruce this place up a bit and do some revamping. Nothing too drastic, but there are definitely some tweaks to be made. With a year's worth of entries piled up, the archives are getting a bit ponderous. I'm also itching to put in a sidebar where I can list out favorite sites and the like. And would it kill me to have more than one color around here?

Depending on rehearsals and how many job app cover letters I've got to write, I may start tinkering this week. If you've got any suggestions on what you'd like to see around here design-wise, now's the time to speak up.
Posted @ 11:51 AM

Friday, June 21, 2002

The rights to Coupling, the hilarious BBC series often described as "Friends with sex," have been bought by NBC. The Peacock Network plans to revamp the show for the US audience, complete with a home-grown cast. Their hope is to use this new Coupling as a replacement for... wait for it... Friends.

Let's get this straight: the plan is to strip Coupling of its Britishness and subject it to US television standards, meaning the sexuality will have to be toned down and the distinctiveness of the London setting and English characters will be lost. So we're left with a show about six quirky-yet-attractive, um, pals, living and loving in the big city. Oh, and the hottest of the three women hooks up with most stolid of the three men. Plus there's the out-in-left-field girl, and the slightly dense stud-muffin guy...

Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper for NBC if they'd just re-boot the show they've got and call it Friends: The Next Generation?
Posted @ 12:28 PM

Thursday, June 20, 2002

So I'm sitting here kicking myself because the gaps between posts are getting longer and longer, and there's nothing I hate more than having this site lay fallow so often. After a few minutes of this self-flagellation, I decide to head over to MetaFilter and see it there's anything worth swiping.

I strike gold with the third item down: The Science of Superheroes, from the BBC. A fun little piece that's right up my alley. It's perfect, and I take it as a sign that maybe this slump is ending. We'll see just have to wait and see.

Yesterday I received my first ever Father's Day card from my newly-minted goddaughter Annalese and her brother Grayson (with a little help from their mom and dad). As someone who loves kids and looks forward to fatherhood someday, this was both a touching gesture and wonderful preview of things to come in the next few years.
Posted @ 11:03 AM

Sunday, June 16, 2002

A beautiful Sunday morning, a full pot of coffee to enjoy throughout the day, some charmingly easy chores to accomplish, and no rehearsal. It's shaping up to be a lovely day indeed, as the holding pattern that is life around the House of Cheer continues.

There may be an update early this evening, but only if the rather tempting merlot on the table stops calling out to be imbibed over a late lunch.
Posted @ 10:55 AM

Friday, June 14, 2002

I find myself tempted to steal one of Garrison Keillor's signature lines, so I think I will:

It's been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon...

It's been so quiet, in fact, that there's virtually nothing to report. I could just repost last Friday's entry verbatim and it would still be accurate and timely. Everything's in a holding pattern, and it'll be at least a few days until there's any movement.

So yes, I'm alive, but no, there's nothing to say. Well, almost nothing. A couple of friends have produced memorable quotes recently, and I'll leave you with those...

  • "So essentially what I'm doing here is throwing the joke grenade." - by a friend of mine at Anything Goes rehearsal, in response to a request to make something "bigger"

  • "The horse is dead. Bury it, and go find a camel." - another friend's new motto
Posted @ 1:51 AM

Saturday, June 08, 2002

I mentioned yesterday that a buddy of mine has a new blog. That buddy is my old college roommate, Steve, whom I've mentioned here many times. His new blog, Keeping Score, first hit the 'Net just under three days ago, and he's already off to a great start with some juicy links and pithy observations.

So now I'm feeling all proud and big brotherly (in a good way, not a 1984 way) that I helped influence my friend to jump on the blogging bandwagon. Perhaps a tad patronizingly, I think that maybe someday with a little work, Steve's site might even reach the modest yet respectable traffic levels this old House currently enjoys.

Getting back from rehearsal this afternoon, I fire up my browser and start doing the rounds of my usual sites. I hit Wil Wheaton Dot Net to check out what Uncle Willie's been up to. I scan his most recent stuff and see that in the second item down he's linked to the South Park Character Generator. That gets me welling up all over again, 'cause it was Steve who pointed me there. Then I see how Wil got there: "I found my way to this guy's website..."

"This guy" being Steve.

I remembered Steve mentioning he'd dropped Wil an e-mail about something or other, and him wondering idly if Wil would even read it, busy guy that he is. Guess Steve got his answer.

Good thing I'm not the jealous type. Nope. Not even a little bit. I'm just happy that my compadre, after three lousy days of blogging, gets noticed and linked to by "[s]omeone famous (in both the Blogger and real world)," as Steve himself put it. I'm not even envious in the slightest of the massive bump in readership he'll get thanks to that link. Here I am pouring my heart out week in and week out for nearly a year, steadily building an audience, and my "little bro" does quadruple my average hit numbers after half a week just because he's in like Flynn with Wesley Crusher. Lucky, lucky bastard...

What was I saying? Oh yeah, um, I'm just really proud of Steve. And happy for him. And stuff. Way to go, guy.
Posted @ 11:50 PM

Friday, June 07, 2002

All's quiet on this front lately. Rehearsals for Anything Goes continue apace (a fast pace) and the weather is already falling into a typical summer pattern of hot, humid days and rainy nights.

A couple of dear friends have asked for help with moving in the next few weeks, giving me a chance to relive my mid-twenties. Back then, it seemed every other weekend in June or July found me hauling heavy objects up stairs and through narrow corridors, followed by feasting on beer and pizza. On the alternate weekends of those early post-college days, I'd have a wedding to go to; roomie Hutch is reliving that end of the experience for me.

The other dominant fact of life currently is hope. In fact, this is a highly hopeful time. I don't want to talk specifics, for fear of jinxing things. I've still got enough superstition in me to make me hold my tongue. All I will say is I've not felt such hope and quiet anticipation in a very long time. Send some good thoughts my way if you get the chance, won't you?

I'll close out this non-post post by directing your attention to the hot site of the moment: Build Your Own South Park Character. I got it from a friend, to whom I'll link once I get the all-clear from him.

You can even make yourself, as I did. Behold South Park Jack:

Posted @ 1:22 PM

Monday, June 03, 2002

Attack of the Clones has been out for a week and a half now and, at the risk of damaging my sci-fi geek street cred (not to mention my purple lightsaber traffic), I've not yet seen it. My plan was to wait at least a week, for two reasons. First, I wanted to let the crowds thin out a little. Second, by not rushing straight out to give George Lucas my $7.50, I was making a small token statement about my dissatisfaction with Phantom Menace. But I knew I'd be going sooner or later. Several of my friends had really enjoyed it, the reviews have been much better than those for the last one, and come on, it's Star Wars.

My desire to see the film started to waiver when my friends Jen and Dan gave it a less-than-glowing critique over some mighty tasty steaks last night. I'd heard reports of clunky dialogue and stilted acting from other sources, but they actually had to avert their eyes from the screen at times lest the horrific banality overwhelm them. Suddenly I'm on the fence; do I really need to see this thing just because it's Star Wars?

Then, a couple of hours ago, my buddy Tim gave me a powerful shove off that fence. He and I don't often see eye to eye on popular entertainment, but his argument against this film was simply too compelling to ignore.

So no Clones for me, at least not until the DVD comes out. And even then, I'll watch my roommate's copy, with a cold beer handy to help wash down the badness.
Posted @ 2:41 AM


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