Monday, July 29, 2002

The process of revamping this site, begun over a month ago, has finally reached its end. All pages should now have a look and feel consistent with this one, save the vestigial weekly archive pages I've linked to in the past. Someday I'll figure out how to fix that little glitch, but today is not that day. I've done enough coding to last me for a while.

There are still little additions on the drawing board that may or may not see the light of day, but they are purely cosmetic. The framework is done, so I'm declaring victory.

Let me know if you run across any errors or broken stuff.
Posted @ 4:00 PM

This week's Onion revives an unofficial, occasional series they started last year, which recasts George W. Bush as an erudite intellectual giant. The new entry, Bush Begins Hunger Strike To Protest Human-Rights Abuses In Nepal, evokes the same wistful if-onlys of the first two, and adds a new hypermoral dimension to their "SuperBush" character. The doctored photo of Bush unloading food aid bundles in Uzbekistan makes it worth the click alone.
Posted @ 1:07 PM

Friday, July 26, 2002

Study Finds Narcissists Make Lousy Long-Term Lovers. Except, one must assume, for themselves.
Posted @ 3:47 PM

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

In the past I've been coy about job prospects, not wanting to jinx things. That strategy has failed to pan out. So I'm shifting gears. In the hopes that a little positive energy from you good folks will help things turn out for the best, here's the skinny on my latest nibble.

I had a job interview on Monday that seemed to go very well. The position is with a small but successful non-profit, and I'm in the running to be their new Outreach Coordinator. Their mission is exciting grade schoolers about science through hands-on experiments, a most noble goal indeed and one I can get behind wholeheartedly. The fit between what they want for the job and my own skills and inclinations is very snug, the staff appears to be intelligent and dedicated, and I'd have my own office with a door. All very good things.

Once again, I ask for crossed fingers and good thoughts. I'll post an update once I hear something, which should be in the next couple of days.
Posted @ 10:10 AM

Saturday, July 20, 2002

I'm a NASA fan from way back, and in the last couple of years I've become even more interested in our space agency. So when exciting, imagination-firing news comes out of there, I sit up and pay attention. Today's tidbit from the kids at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is one such item: the discovery of the Interplanetary Superhighway: the new, cool, efficient way to cruise the solar system. (link via MetaFilter)
Posted @ 9:27 AM

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Firefly, the new space opera from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Joss Whedon, just got a huge bump in its potential cool factor. The official Firefly blog, which up until now has been a big disappointment, finally came through with some worthwhile news that's got me absolutely floored. Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick and one of the most creative minds taking in oxygen today, has joined the writing staff of the show. Joss and Ben both had their hands in the Titan A.E. script, so I'm assuming that's how they met up.

The idea of these two incredibly inventive guys working together on what James "Spike" Marsters described last weekend at the Shore Leave con as "Hill Street Blues in space" increases my already high anticipation for the project tenfold. Between Ben on Firefly and fellow comics scribe Jeph Loeb's addition to the Smallville writing stable, it's shaping up to be an autumn filled with some amazingly wonderful TV viewing.
Posted @ 3:57 PM

So, I guess everybody's waiting on pins and needles to see how Anything Goes did on opening weekend. Well, in this case pictures definitely speak louder than words, and RMT has posted some great ones that impart the feel of our creation as well as any static medium could.

Words we have though, from the Washington Post's Michael Toscano. It's a pretty glowing review overall, although I certainly have my quibbles with it. Too many people deserving of praise are left out entirely, and my friend Chris is given short shrift for his performance. He and I really connect in our all-too-brief scenes together, and for the second summer in a row I'm loving the give and take between us.

I just have to keep in mind that a review reflects just one person's opinion, on one given night. The important thing is that it is a positive review, which should bring more people out to see it, people who can experience the show in its entirety and revel in the great stuff Mr. Toscano missed.
Posted @ 12:27 PM

Friday, July 12, 2002

Opening night for Anything Goes is just six hours away. We had a fairly good invitational dress rehearsal yesterday, but with just enough glitches to satisfy the superstitious part of me that wanted a bad final dress. My illness is finally fading away, and I should be healthy and pumped up by the time I hit the stage.

Until then, I'm just kicking back. Might take in a film this afternoon, might just putter around until I have to leave for the theater. For the next couple of days, at least, I'll enjoy the freedom unemployment allows. I'll get back to panicking on Monday.
Posted @ 1:47 PM

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, and the moon became as blood. - Revelations 6:12

Okay, so maybe Joey Fatone of N'Sync joining the cast of Rent isn't as bad as all that. It's just that I hate the stunt casting that's been running rampant on Broadway for the last few years, and it displeases me greatly to have it come to a show I've seen, listened to and loved. It also doesn't bode well for the future of Rent; shows that resort to stunt casting have a nasty tendency to close shortly thereafter (see Hasselhoff, Jekyll & Hyde).
Posted @ 12:56 PM

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

With the great success of the Marvel Comics-based movies X-Men two years ago and Spider-Man this summer, I've been wondering when Warner Brothers would take the hint and get around to reviving its two great DC Comics franchises gone astray and stagnant, Superman and Batman. Turns out I've been wondering the right thing, but I should have been thinking singular, not plural.

Batman Vs. Superman has been greenlighted (or should that be greenlit), with Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, In the Line of Fire) as director/producer and Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, Sleep Hollow) penning the script. They're aiming for a 2004 release.

Looking over Petersen's filmography, a number of movies stand out. In addition to those mentioned above, he directed the under-appreciated sci-fi flick Enemy Mine, the leave-your-brain-at-the-door-and-have-fun summer blockbuster Air Force One, and the great fantasy The Neverending Story. In fact, I've enjoyed all the English language films of his (Das Boot remains a gap in my education) that I've seen, and I love a couple of them. Thus, high hopes for his take on the World's Finest team.
Posted @ 2:48 PM

Monday, July 08, 2002

Today is the first anniversary of the House of Cheer. As we cross this milestone, I thought it'd be fun to take a statistical look back at the last twelve months. To steal a phrase from the only financial news program I can stomach, let's do the numbers:

  • Posts: 137

  • Subjects: 192 (1.4 subjects per post)

  • Words: 25,669 (Minus two long quotations)

  • Paragraphs: 564

  • Pages: 55 (in Times New Roman 12)

  • Images: 21 (10 in the blog, 11 in the gallery)

  • Links: 399 (does not include internal links)

All in all, it's been a great, eventful circuit around the sun. Total page views were 15,484, which I'd say is pretty darn respectable for a little cowtown Web site like this one. I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you, my loyal readers. Well, you guys and purple lightsabers. But mostly you guys.

So thanks everybody, and welcome to Year Two. Onward and upward.

To start this sophomore year off with a bang, I'll be broaching a major subject in the next few days. It's something I've kept under wraps since before the HoC was even a glimmer in my eye, and something I've been chomping at the bit to talk about this whole time. Stay tuned...

With Hell Week for Anything Goes (get your tickets now) upon us and being in the grip of a slight but annoying summer cold, the blog redesign stalled over the weekend. I think I've figured out the last tweak I want to give it, a tiny graphic that I'll work up as time and health allow. Your continued patience is most appreciated.
Posted @ 1:38 PM

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Happy Independence Day!

The tweaking of the front page continues. Guess I'll downgrade my earlier estimate and say that I'm maybe 75% done at this point, with a decent chance for that number to drop even further in the next couple of days. At worst, I figure I'll be done by the HoC anniversary, four days hence.
Posted @ 11:44 AM

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I just loaded up the revamped front page, as promised last week. It's a little sparse yet and there's still some tinkering to be done, but I'd say the page it 90% of the way to being how I want it. I'd keep going, but if I don't get to the store in the next few minutes, my cake will never get made.

Any comments on the new look will be graciously welcomed.
Posted @ 4:53 PM

The culmination of all humankind's hopes and dreams, a multi-millionaire riding once around the planet solo in a hot air balloon, has finally been realized. Now maybe these bored rich pricks who've been trying to chalk up this alleged achievement for the last few years will leave us alone for a while.

Reality check here, Mr. Fossett: you're not Charles Lindbergh, and the only difference between you and some moron who gets into the Guinness Book of World Records for walking backwards on his hands for ten miles is that you spent a hell of a lot more time and money to get your name to go down in "history."

Oh, and get out of Chicago, would you? I don't need you trivializing my city by your continued association with it.

In more festive and less venom-filled news, I'm making a flag cake for the 4th. It's easy, corny, fun, and I've wanted to do it for a few years now. This year is finally the time, as I'll be partying with two of this old House's dearest friends, Jen and Dan. Jen in particular is looking forward to it, but I know it'd be better if I were able to decorate it with wild berries from Dan's backyard tree instead of the store-bought blueberries I'll be using. Ah well, it should be tasty nonetheless.

While searching for the recipe (yes, I felt I needed one, make of that what you will), I ran across one of the stories from the Onion's superb post-attack edition. Every item in that issue is still as moving, funny and wonderful as it was nine months ago, and more than worth another look.
Posted @ 2:40 AM


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