Friday, February 29, 2008
Is it just me or has it passed from funny into horrifying?
So, just in case you wondered how life is doing, apparently rosy. The President in his press conference yesterday said that the economy is "slowing down", but there is no recession or anything. (The New York financial firms have laid off over 27,000 people so far, the construction industry is at a standstill and home prices have fallen for the longest sustained period EVER recorded in this country.)
Wall Street reacted to our hands-on commander in chief total command of the facts in yesterday's news conference today by sinking like a lead weight.
President CEO McSmirkster has left our country bankrupt, a massive deficit (and the request that we go spend MORE MORE MORE), a legacy of stubborn refusal to acknowledge facts, a dollar that is worth .66 of a Euro, and 2 wars we "won" and are now losing. He has stretched our arm forces to a point of unreadiness and made enemies around the world.
(By comparision: President Clinton left us a huge cash surplus, a dollar that was worth 1.01561 Euros (exactly 8 years ago this week), a rising middle class, pulled us out of Somalia (where Bush #1 had sent people in) and pulled us out of Bosnia - after stopping an aggressive war. And it the embarassment of a white house hummer.)
It was never hilarious, and now it is just sad.
So, it’s an extra day (Feb 29th) and this is kind of just for me (and maybe Lisa).
In my mind, I can’t seem to forget (hence the title of this post) the show last night. Next To Normal touched me wonderfully. And I thought about this all last night, how interesting. You see Next to Normal was about manic depression and I thought it appropriate, Floyd Collins was a musical about a trapped cave explorer and I thought it was dumb (well performed, but dumb).
This contrast is made even more pronounced because the male lead in Next to Normal (Brian d’Arcy James ) is a Tony and OBIE winner. And... (....wait for it) ...was in the original (and until last month, the only) New York production of Floyd Collins – he is on the soundtrack of that show.
So, why was one fantastic and one craptastic. Here, I think, is the difference. Floyd Collins, although beautiful sung, was a show about limits and limitations. The big lesson – should there be one – was that exploring your world will lead to bad things (in his case - death). Staying home, staying in place, being content with what you have – no matter how little it is – is the answer to, if not happiness, at least to life.
The big lesson in Next To Normal is the opposite. You have to explorer. You have to strive. You have to jump at a chance for fun, or at love, or at sanity. Staying and hiding is a sucker’s bet. Maybe you’ll fall, or fail, or falter (pretty good there huh), but you might break through. Next to Normal makes me want to press on with the things I love.
Wild change of subject (unless you are in my brain). There is a song in Sunday in the Park with George (also coming to Broadway, but this song comes to mind without that ancillary piece of data), called Move On. Some lines are:
Stop worrying if your vision is new
Let others make that decision, they usually do
You keep moving on
I chose and my world was shaken, so what
The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not
You keep moving on
So there you go. And yes, I know that this was pretty much my mother's advice from jump street - but sometimes you have to keep learning the same thing over and over. Like, I said, today’s post was for me, now back to your regularly scheduled Nincompoopery.
Happy Extra Day!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
My Eddie, is ready for Winter to end. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of winter either. The difference is that I turn bleak at the first sign of frost, and don't cheer up until it is over. Ed, from the great midwest, anticipates the end of winter. He feels the air turn from snow to rain and he is ready for it all to end.
So close. So very close.
Monday, February 25, 2008
And I mean everyone. Right down to the never-show-ups like Spike Lee, Seal, James Earl Jones as well as the "oh-look-it's-Jack-Nicholson-again" troupe. Did they bring them up? I mean to announce the nominees they could have pulled up Spike Lee, Cate Blanchet, Randy Newman and Bai Ling. But then there wouldn't have been time on the montage on how the award ballots go out!
The most fun of the night was probably missed as it was on the Red Carpet on E!. I will include it here, because it was priceless. Jenifer Garner and Laura Linley are talking and Ryan Seacrest is about to talk to them, when Gary Busey bursts across at Ryan Seacrest. The look of total fear on Jenifer Garner's face is twisted. Espically because she obviously has NO idea who this freak is.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Yesterday Eddie and I had a great cultural day. I will say more about an amazing show at the Guggenheim later.
But first, Sister Dance. It was an off-Broadway show that our friend Chuck Saculla was in. These are the two Sisters referenced. It was a good show. It was written kind of poorly, but it was acted very well.
Chuck comes in at the end of the first act and is key in changing the tone and pace (for the better) in the second act. Here is a excerpt of the Broadway World review.
Chuck Saculla is appealingly rowdy as the aforementioned Duncan, who is essentially a bad-ass drunken cowboy version of El Gallo from The Fantasticks. It's easy to see why Fleur is attracted to his roguish charm (and some fanservice shirtless scenes from Saculla are a welcome diversion from the plot), though the character is so transparently self-serving, it's hard to credit Alice's attraction.
See? All the acting was really great, but the reviewer was not fond of the play story itself.
Any how, here is a shot of Chuck from the 2007 Broadway Bares charity event (and 2008 Calendar party). He usually isn't Gold. We met Chuck in LA a while back. He is a friend of Mickey's.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Everyone is getting ready since the dearth of parties and shows due to the strike.
I miss the LA Times as you can only miss your hometown news. The business section has how the strike has impacted the city, and how it is getting back to work. The sports section actually has scores and stories about games that happened the night before (although I get that they do have the advantage of 3 hours). And there is ALWAYS a Bruin and a Trojan article or three. The Home section still discusses what famous person(s) bought / sold /listed what this week. And the Calendar section is the best TV/Movie Entertainment section in the world (although the New York Times does cover the Stage better – if a little full of itself).
And, driving out of the Hertz lot, KNX 1070 gave me the 4 (FOUR!) SigAlerts that were in effect at 1PM on a Tuesday. Yes, 4 freeways had Significant Alerts (more than 1 unexpected lance closure for more than 30 minutes) in the middle of the afternoon. And I listened for an hour and heard the traffic every ten minutes. Now that made me homesick. Epically because they were all far away and not on my route (710 North at DelAmo, 118 East at the Santa Susanna Pass, 10 West in Covina and the 605N to 91E connector). And if, in your brain, you find yourself mentally checking if this was on your route home – you miss LA too sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being in New York and there are tons of fun things to do. Eddie and I are seeing a really cool show this week-end at the Guggenheim. It was just a nice trip down memory lane (and Gavi, thank you for the El Coyote dinner!).
Friday, February 22, 2008
“Back?” I hear you ask. Yes, I was in LA yesterday to see my doctor. I had my normal, “good-god your old” check up; complete with testicle grab-turn-and-cough routine (I’ll tell you if I have a hernia), the horrible snap of the rubber glove as you face the wall (perfect prostrate health, thank youfor asking) and an EKG (my heart is fine).
So... except for this hideous rash and wonton attack on my liver, I am doing good. Yes, you heard me. I have a most of body rash and the dermatologist blood report shows my liver is under attack (and not from drinking!).
Turns out the rash and the liver damage is due to a delayed hyper sensitivity to the one blood pressure medicine that has been working. Oh well.
So I am back now testing different blood pressure medicines, looking for one that doesn’t kill me as it saves me. Actually we are now trying an entirely different strand of non-statines. Which many of you probably don’t care about so much, but I just wanted to clear that up for my mom who stills loves me.
But I knew it was a serious examine when Dr. Gary didn’t joke during the prostrate part. You know, I usually get the old, “Look, Amelia Earhart!” When your gay doctor doesn’t make butt jokes during the examine, you know he is worried about something!
PS; LA, even overcast, is still LA. They were having "horrible" weather with lows in the 50's! I wanted to smack 'em.
Monday, February 18, 2008
So there are a lot of pictures and video of "Girls Gone Wild with SWAT Boys", but that isn't the worst of it. On the way back, they stopped at a Hooters in Alabama, and took tons of pictures where they gave the Hooters' Girls the semi-automatic weapons.
Now, the Lieutenant in charge is claiming that the news team has slurred him name. As his lawyer says, despite the contracts they sign twice yearly about treating guns as always loaded says that an unloaded gun is only as dangerous as a paper weight. This Lieutenant, by the way, is the weapons officer for the SWAT team.
Nincompooperythey sign twice yearly about treating guns as always loaded
By the way green is the new black.
Except for hard shoes where brown is the new black, but it is getting so acknowledged (in Esquire no less) brown will soon be the new pink.
You know, where it is so accepted that it is the new black, that old men in Fort Lauderdale start wearing it, and it suddenly it just looks pink - not hip at all.
Where was I? Oh yeah, green shoes.
Ed's are almost neon and look great. My Puma's are deep green and also look great.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
But once again I think a serious discussion has been reduced to a stupid left / right - blue / red situation that isn't that simple (or shouldn't be).
Me, I find it easy to be against waterboarding because I listened to John McCain the first time and he said torture doesn't work. A person will say anything as you are being tortured. Kali Sheik Mohammad apparently said he was behind the 9/11 attacks. And, as torture continued, there were upcoming attacks planned against the Brooklyn Bridge, the Washington Monument, the Pee Wee Put in Myrtle Beach. The US sent teams all over America as he designated plots, but it turns out none were true. He would say anything to stop the torture.
Now, IF waterboarding really saved thousands or millions of lives, then we would have to have a serious discussion about it.
But it annoys me (and offends me) that politicians on the right pretend torture works and that if you vote against torture you are soft on Terrorists. Equally, it annoys / offends me that politicians on the left seem to say that it is inhuman to torture IF it really saved thousands of lives. (I had friends in the London Tube that day a couple of years ago. IF torture would been the fulcrum on which their lives turned - torture away baby.)
But Politicians don't want to have discussions and think we are stupid enough to fall for it. And so we end up in this position where the Right screams at the Left, "You care more about Terrorists than Americans" and the Left screams at the Right, "You are sadistic psychopaths that dehumanize all Muslims so you Waterboard at will."
I don't think either is an accurate description, but I do think that it plays into Politician’s hands as they want to divide us and get elected. So all of us self-rightous Democrats, before you assume that your Republican friends are Neanderthals; and you Neanderthals, before you assume that your Democratic friends are gutless chum - try to remember that we all are working to make the world as good and safe a place as possible.
Except Politicians. They are bastards.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
See, I want to believe that I am not old and jaded. But I am. And I know that my lack of enthusiasm for Barak Obama is due to past history. I’m old.
I remember back when most people I knew were convinced George McGovern was going to beat Richard Nixon. It was 1972 and I was in high school. I remember my first Presidential vote was for John Anderson because Carter had already conceded to Ronald Regan. I remember the excitement as we knew Tom Bradley was going to be the first Black Governor of California. I remember the excitement and hope and desire and the crash of reality in a ton of contests. (Although not John Kerry, because I thought he was a boob.)
And I wish I could be excited for Barak Obama. But… But…
But : 1. I am pretty sure that he won't be elected. He's a black man, from a black racist church and the general electorate won't play nice like the Democrats have (for the most part).
And 2. I see the excitement, but not a plan for action. I don’t think that a dream is enough to elect someone for.
And I know, that makes me old and jaded.
I have never felt older and more jaded.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Of all the overrated things in the world - sex on the beach, John Updike - the most overrated is the Truth. The Truth has its uses, yes, but it should be approached with extreme caution. Especially when dealing with self-knowledge, the Truth can be a soul-sapping drag.
My love of delusion crystallized when I learned about a psychological theory called depressive realism. This holds that the people with the most accurate view of the world are the clinically depressed. Studies show they have a correct perception of how much they control the outcome of events - namely, very little.
Self-delusion is not a defense mechanism or coping technique. It's the most human thing we have. It's faith, existential courage, essential to mixing a decent drink, loving our spouse, writing a sentence. It's what separates us from the animals and the boring.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Yes, it was just as cheesy as one would expect. But it was a fun little movie. I mean, face it, when the great majority of the advertising features a mostly nude Matthew McC or Kate Hudson, you can guess you aren't going to see Othello.
But it was a lot of fun. They are both cute, they have move chemistry than the reviwers gave them credit for and it is a fun little story. And then , when all else fails, Matt and Kate are nearly nakid a lot. That helps.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Now to the story. Let me say this would not be a topic that pops out and you and says.. “Hey! Make a show of this.” The show was about Floyd Collins. A man who is a cave explorer, then gets caught in a cave in. And dies. And (wait for it)… it’s a musical. About a singing spelunker.
Tough show as your lead (and a very charismatic actor) spends 85% of the show center stage, trapped under a rock. Dying.
It was done extremely well. The singing was great. Technically, it was great. My only criticism is that maybe… maybe… the slow, tortuous death of a cave explorer might not be the best topic for a musical.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
So with Ed at class, I went and saw this play, August: Osage County. I saw it without him because it is a 3 act, 3 1/4 hour non-musical play. Not so much my honey's cup 'o tea,
It was GREAT. It was about a completely disfunctional southern family with tons of issue, in a funny way. But I gotta tell you one part.
These 3 older sisters are sitting around talking about their parents... who have behaved as parents do and we never expect them to. The parents are of the age of the "greatest generation"... you know, WWII, the depression, Tom Brokaw's books. Well one sister has had enough of the "greatest generation."
"Greatest generation.. blah! Did anyone really look at ALL the generations? Because I hear some of those Iron Age generations were pretty damn good. Really... What makes them the greatest generation. The were hungry and hated the Nazi's? Hey. Everyone hated the Nazi's, that's not an accomplishment."
Almost Actual Discussion at Wharton Business School on Monday in an "Executive" Class...
Some Woman (SW): So.. “Neppl”? You wouldn’t happened to have relatives in North West Iowa would you?
Ed: Why yes. Yes I do.
SW: My family has an action business and we just auctioned off a “Neppl” Farm in Fonda, Iowa.
Ed: That was my grandparents farm!
SW: Shut up! I’m from East NoWhere, Iowa? Do you know it?
Ed: Know it, ha! My father is buried in West NoWhere Iowa.
Ed: You know that cemetery on the edge of East NoWhere, right next to South Still-Not-2- Minnesota, Iowa?
SW: Of course, I drive by it all the time on my way to Minneapolis.
Ed: My father is buried there.
SW: Wow… small world. ...
...........................So, did you ever visit Fonda?
Ed: All the time. You know the pool in Fonda, Iowa?
SW (excited voice rising): Yes…
Ed: My other grandfather was mayor when they put in that pool.
SW: Ohmygawd. I used to pee in that pool.
Ed: Me too! Ahh.. good times. So, do you still live in Iowa?
SW: No, I moved with my job (Corporate Overlord) – Dental.
Ed: In Egan Minnesota?
SW: Yes… Why?
Ed: My brother and his family live right across the street from (Corporate Overlord) – Dental.
SW: Ohmygawd so do I. Right by that little pond.
Ed: So do they!
SW: Get out! My little boy pees in that pond.
The Bizzaro Triangle…
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Here is a shot of him just goofing around during off time at a meet.
And because Lisa has a little "thing", here is the obligatory thigh shot.
There are no good US Decathalete sites. Although we have a good prospect in Brian Clay.
Pascal gets ready to race.
But they do have a really cool thing. Left over from the 1964/65 NY World's Fair is a HUGE scale model of the city of New York. You walk around the edges and every building in New York is on the model - thru 9/11. Apparently, now they have computer models so they don't need to see a project in scale to approve it. They were keeping it up because it was a useful tool and fun. But once the Twin towers collapsed they stopped using it.
So here are two pictures of it. This is Manhattan from Harlem looking towards downtown / Wall Street.
That is a person's elbow to the extreme right. It is a huge model.
Below is a section from the Lincoln Tunnel accross Manhattan. The Red circle is where we live (our tower was built after 9/11) and the blue circle is Rockefeller Center, where Eddie works.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Bizarre, but fun. I mean LA hasn't had a pro team in what, a thousand years. I alwasy root for UCLA and Wisconsin - and pro teams that have Bruins or Badgers on the teams. But I have actually kind of rooted for the Giants. I mean, after the Green Bay (WI) Packers were out of it.
Ah... I thought it would be a fun experience - very Nick and Nora. It turned out to be a nightmare of slow moving trains, 4 hours late and Ed constantly bitching about it in a very un-Nick or Nora like manner. And, at the end of the trip, Eddie making me take the camara out to get a picture of him getting off the train. He said, "Take a picture now. Cuz, you're never going to see me on Amtrack again!"
Well, last night Eddie called as he was riding Amtrack from New York to Philadelphia. And he was loving it. More room than the plane, less hassle. He lef our house at 7:30, got a ticket on the 8PM train and would be there in less thna an hour. Or, quicker than it would be to get to Newark Airport and go through security.
Thank you TCS. You haven't made the skies one whit safer, but you have made train travel seem more pleasent.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Well, Eddie finally decided to buy an original. It is a beautiful picture. It will hang in a Exhibit in Sydney until March, then they will send it to us. After Ed purchased it, the artist actually called him and they spoke for a while about his inspirations and works. My honey is thrilled about it all.
I have enclosed a small version here, and a link to the bigger version. Here: Ross_Watson.jpg
Friday, February 01, 2008
Ingeniously. Voila, the "trampe" lift on the biggest hill from the waterfront to the top of old town.
It's a very clever footpad that you "step" on and it propels you up the hill.
More info here.
ps- The "porn-stashe" is so not going to make a come back in the states.