Friday, April 17, 2015

Wow Charleston is Pretty

Charleston has some amazing architecture.  Here is a sample.
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There is a "Charleston House" which is prevalent in most of the city.  It is a two (sometimes three) story building with a front door on the street.   Once you go through the door, each floor is divided into two main rooms, front and back.  In between a bathroom and/or stairs.  They used to be single family homes, although many have now be updated to apartments - particularly around Charleston University.
Two typical "Charleston Homes"
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Same idea, but rehab'ed and mondernized.

"South of Broad St." are some gorgeous antebellum mansions / homes that are stunning.  I am putting quite a few pictures here, because they were so nice.  I will put more on facebook if you are interested in looking.





The Famous Colored Row Houses
 And then there commercial areas area mix of antebellum and art deco that is very nice.
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Words you never want to hear

I usual don't listen to Ed's calls, but this morning he was on an 8:30 call from home.  He is the CFO and his first answer is never something you want to hear from a CFO on an early morning call.
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"No one.  I invited myself."
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Ut oh....

Monday, April 13, 2015

Musings on Films vs. Plays

I went to a reading yesterday.  A Reading is an early walk through of a play or script with actors doing the parts, but they haven’t yet memorized them, or blocked them out.  They primarily read the script from a podium and emote.

Example of a Reading (but this isn't the one I am discussing below)
The actors were amazing.  I am constantly amazed by the level of talent that can bring a piece to life with less than 48 hours of seeing it for the first time.
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However, the play itself that bugged me.  It was written by someone from LA and would make a fine screenplay.  So, it took me a while to figure out why I didn’t like it.  And I am not sure I liked the answer.
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Without saying too much, I will say a handgun is introduced into the proceedings 2/3s of the way through.  And it is introduced in a “movie” way, not a play way.  In a theater piece, a gun is almost always a malevolent thing; a threat, a danger, a potentially violent act personified.  But this gun is described as erotic, emboldening and hyper masculine.  All of that is fair – rules are meant to be tested.
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But… up until this point in the proceedings, the woman in this play has had enough.  Her finance has been petulant, manipulative, and selfish; and she herself is a normal woman with a normal job and no time for this shit.  She has called an end to the relationship.  But then…. After seeing that her (wimpy) fiancĂ© has committed a crime with the gun, she fondles it herself (really I think that was the word used in the stage directions – fondle) and she reverses herself immediately.
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Suddenly she wants her finance – who she just kicked out – to “do it” (not make love, but screw her).  She decides she wants a life of crime.  Pretty much everything about her character that has come before this is thrown out because she and her fiancĂ© have played with “a piece” and she sees him in a new light.
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And it really bugged me.  The sexualization of humiliation, violence and death.  How a pretty good and sometimes funny show descended into the violent third act because “real crime sells”. The juvenile wish fulfillment that a woman came become a man’s (boy’s) sexual partner by knocking over a liquor store and showing her a handgun.
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I can’t decide if it angered me or just sadden me, but it stuck with me for all the wrong reasons.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

2016 is coming too fast in US

We in the United States are always working on the next election.  But, there isn't a reason to go all crazy yet.
Don't Feed The Beast!!!
So yes, I am following it.  And yes, I do get annoyed by the day to day craziness.
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But I will try not to comment on it.  I promised to try not to buy into the stupidity too early and often.  After all there is plenty of time for that later :-).

Friday, April 10, 2015

Charleston Food: A Great Surprise

I am not a foodie - as one says.  Even more, I am not enamored with Southern Cuisine.  Not just the celebrity chef southerns (Paula Dean, Emeril Lagasse and so forth) but that whole down home, lard laden heavy stuff.  My grandmother cooked it and it generally sits in your stomach screaming for a nap and sweet-tea.
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Although I am partial to the occasional biscuits and sausage gravy.
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And so, I expected Charleston to be a cross between too much grease and too quick tourist cooking.  You know, like Savannah.
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Imagine my surprise then to have some amazing food in Charleston.  We ate at tourist spots (Poogan's Porch), local favs (Hominy Grill) and some new finds (the amazing The Grocery).  All the food was very good.
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In particular I have to give total props to The Grocery.  But in a repurposed warehouse, this place was beautiful and offered a locally sourced favorites in surprising ways.
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The Grocery sits at the end of a entire row of restaurants and bars north of Calhoun.  It is just outside of the most touristy part of Charleston.  The entire strip is popular with locals, including kids from College of Charleston and The Citadel, an older local crowd and the southern hipster.  This part of town made me love Charleston and finally see what Brendan James was singing about.
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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

At least Ron Paul "kinda" believed all that crap

Rand Paul, Ron's more attractive son, has pitched his hat into the ring for President.  It is an embarrassing thing to watch.  His big schtick is that he is  a "Libertarian", but he pretty much has jumped off that train.
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Here is the basic Libertarian manifesto.
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All to the good.  But Rand Paul doesn't believe almost any of it now.
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Personal Freedom is all to the good if you are denying service to gays or blacks, but in the case of gay marriage or a woman's right to contraception then he doesn't support it.
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His big claim to fame was that he was anti-interventionist.  He has, of course, chucked that by double down'ing on boots on the ground in the middle east against ISIS and Iran.  He is no longer for open borders (a silly libertarian idea anyway).
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Ge doesn't even claim to separate church and state anymore.
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One might suppose that he is Libertarian-ish trying to get elected.  But once you renounce your key ideals, what have you left but a amateur Ted Cruz with better hair and no back-bone.
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I appreciate his stand against domestic spying.  And I did appreciate some of the stands he took befor running for President and backtracking.
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He is also kind of a dick to women reporters.  He told Savannah Guthrie she didn't know how to interview (when shy asked questions) and shushed Kelly Evans from CNBC when she was discussing his budget proposals. It would be one thing if he was just prickly, but he is only like that to women... which is both rude and kind of half-ass lame.
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