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    Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    Fortunes and Glory

    Yesterday's Fortune Cookie Fortune: There is a prospect of a thrilling time ahead of you.

    Today's Fortune Cookie Fortune: Do not hesitate to tackle to most difficult problems.

    Apparently, it's going to be thrilling to tackle problems.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Conservative Blog Post Recipe

    In light of the previous post, I wrote this sometime ago during the Schiavo debacle. Seems like now is a good time to post it.


    1 vaguely homoerotic nickname

    3-4 opinions from prominent conservative commentator (may be substituted with one opinion of one’s own repeated loudly and frequently)

    3-4 facts, twisted

    2 cups exaggeration

    1 tablespoon gross exaggeration

    Prominent Democrat reference (one for Hilary, two for Bill – may be substituted with 1 reference to Ted Kennedy, 3 references to Nancy Pelosi, or one positive reference to Joe Lieberman)

    1-2 Incompetent and/or Liberal Press references (may use more as a substitute for a reference to a prominent Democrat)

    Equation of opposition to evil, stupid, or both to taste

    Paranoia to taste


    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients well, being careful not to let any humor or deference to others you might disagree with accidentally get into the batter. Pour into greased cake pan, place in right side of oven on the uppermost rack. Bake until halfway done. Remove. Serve.


    Keep ingredients handy (a well-stocked conservative pantry will always have plenty of each).

    If you’re using Coulter or Savage as your prominent conservative commentator, you only need to use half as much. Oh, and don’t forget the Powerline!

    Feel free to use references to prominent local Democrats or local press outlets!


    You know, I was all set to dislike the filibuster compromise. After all, anything that potentially allows a Janice “God Trumps The Constitution” Brown or a Priscilla “I Killed Willie Searcy” Owen to sit on a Court is not a good thing. But anything that causes raving lunatics to froth at the mouth like this deal has done can’t be a bad thing. I’d do some linkage, but you can’t swing a dead cat around the Web today without hitting a Conservative In Name Only blogger complaining about how they have been sold out.

    Here’s the thoughts of a true conservative, John Cole at Balloon Juice. He’s someone who actually has the temerity to think for himself instead of just drinking the Powerline Kool-Aid and writing posts that mirror what the unholy trio have to say.

    First, I have felt that all along that nominees deserve a vote. That just seems fair and appropriate. It does not, however, have any historical foundation in fact.

    This was nothing more than a brazen power grab by my side, and everyone knows it. Fortunately, we get a few nominees put through, things go back to normal, and the Senate will not shut down. Life will go on.

    As usual, the extremists will be screaming for heads. The evil moderates snatched 'defeat from the jaws of victory' (you will see phrase over and over again in the next few days) and they have betrayed the center-right coalition, and must be punished.

    What Hugh and others fail is that the Republicans won because they wrap themselves up in the moderation of the centrists, presenting themselves as all cozy and warm and as 'compassionate conservatives.'

    In other words- Bush is President in large part because moderates voted for him. It was Arnold Schwarzanalphabet and Rufy Guiliani and John McCain who were the most effective campaigners for Bush in 2004. I didn't see Dobson speaking at the GOP Convention. Republicans control the Senate and House because of moderate support. Try to organize a Republican leadership without the moderates. It fails.

    At any rate, I voted for the Republicans, and all they have done is shit all over me since election day. The bankruptcy bill, the censorship calls, the pandering to the religious right, the new mandatory minimus bill, the Patriot Act II, and so on and so forth. It is about time we gave in to some 'moderation.' What else am I getting out of this coalition that demands my pure loyalty but offers me nothing in return?

    The hard-liners don't get it, though. They think because you support them some of the time, you must support them all of the time. They think in terms of permanent lock-step coalitions, not coalitions about ideas or issues. They are wrong.

    At any rate, calls for conservative purity should fall on deaf ears. The Republicans are in control of the government in large part because of the moderates, not in spite of them. Go give money to these seven, they are going to get shit on by the extremists for the next few years. You should support them. (emphasis added)

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    Linkage News

    More linkage. Added Pooh back, cause she started posting again. Wheeze decided she needed to rename her blog. Put in three more baseball (Cardinal, of course) links. Enjoy!

    Ice Machine Update

    I know you're all wondering what is up with the ice machine here at my work. Today, this sign was on it:

    The Ice Machine is dispensing ice in large sheets. A part is on order.

    Whew. I never would have know it was dispensing ice in large sheets without that. Thanks!


    Friday, May 20, 2005

    Scenes From The Mall

    I ate lunch at Panera Bread today.

    I don’t usually eat lunch at Panera Bread. For one thing, I don’t usually have the car to go to the mall to be able to eat lunch at Panera Bread. For another, I don’t really care for Panera Bread all that much.

    But with Lesa out of town, I had the car. I also had to get some stuff at Target, and while I could have waited until tomorrow and taken the boys, then I would have had to spend a half hour in the toy aisle. So I went today.

    Further, I had a gift card from Panera Bread that I got from Young Footliters for directing The Poet and the Rent. So, I thought to myself, why not use some of it.

    So I did.

    Now, I don’t know if there are Panera Breads where you live. And when I say you, I mean my non-Iowa readers. I think it’s primarily a Midwest chain, its origins in either Kansas City or St. Louis. I suppose that’s information I could glean from their Web site, but doing that search would indicate a level of caring about the answer that bears no relation to my actual level of caring about the answer. So I won’t.

    But if you don’t have a Panera Bread, you do. It’s your standard upscale deli with fancy-schmancy sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries, and coffees. Panera Bread is the sort of place that has table tents that say things like:

    All-natural chicken tastes better because it is raised to taste better. Chickens live stress-free with plenty of fresh air and clean water to help them grow at a more natural pace. With plenty of exercise, they don’t require antibiotics and they develop firm, tender meat.

    Like I said, if you don’t have a Panera Bread, you have someplace that has something like that on its table tents. Everyone does. I’m betting even Buggy does, and she lives in Bumfuck, Texas.

    (By the way, all that description is missing is something about the intellectual stimulation the chickens receive. And yes, I stole the table tent, thank you very much.)

    So that’s why I generally avoid Panera Bread, and why I wouldn’t have gone if I didn’t have the gift card. (Also by the way, if the gift card had been from Best Buy, it wouldn’t have gone unused since the first weekend in March. But I digress.) Because here’s the thing.

    Don’t try to sell me your sandwich. Don’t try to craft loving language to entice me. Don’t give me marketing twaddle. Just tell me what’s in it. If it sounds good, I’ll try it. If it tastes good, I’ll get it again. If it’s really good, I’ll say to my friends “Hey you know what’s good? The peppercorn steak sandwich at Panera.” And if it isn’t good, all the flowery language in the world won’t get me to order it again.

    Cause that’s what’s important. A recent survey found that 90% of the people who took the survey felt a friend’s recommendation was the most important factor when determining to try a new restaurant. To be fair, the other 10% thought I was “making that up” and that “no actual such survey exists” and “Dweeze is pulling stuff out of his ass again.” But who cares what those losers think?

    By the way, if you’re going to Panera? Skip the peppercorn steak sandwich and get something else.

    Still More Questions

    From Talia at Collecting Shards.

    1. Who is the best living playwright?

    Tough one. For me, it’s either Mamet or Albee. Of the two, Albee wrote the best play (Virginia Wolff), but I think Mamet’s overall body of work is both more impressive and shows a wider range of ability. So I’ll go with Mamet.

    2. You will lose one of your senses, but you may select the one you will do without. Which one is it and, of course, why that one?

    Smell, by the process of elimination. Sight and sound are the two most important to me – I wouldn’t want to go the rest of my life without being able to see or hear my family. Taste is the second tier. I love food too much, the diversity that can be found within food, to lose it. Which leaves touch and smell, and of those, feeling the warmth of another person, or the fur of a dog, or the feel of grass beneath bare feet, trumps the value from smell.

    3. Underwear has suddenly disappeared from the universe. How are you affected?

    Less laundry. More chafing.

    4. Why does the Iowa caucus matter? (For all you voyeurs, this is a conversation I wish I could spend 6 hours having with the weasel. Feel free to move along.)

    This is also a conversation I could spend six hours writing about. If you don’t mind, I’m going to do a whole post on this one. Look for it early next week.

    5. Outside of your family, who most influenced the parts of you that you like?
    Perhaps the toughest of the questions for me. I don’t have that one teacher many people seem to have, that person who was inspirational, who showed me things within me that I didn’t know were there, who believed in me, etc. Those people were my family. Generally speaking, I got “Why don’t you work harder” speeches from teachers.

    So to answer, I’ll think about the parts of me I like the most. And one of those is my writing. I’m pretty proud of my writing talent. I’d like to think that some of personal voice is present in everything I write. Even the work stuff, the dry stuff, I think you can see me in it. And for that I owe all credit to Hunter S. Thompson. HST showed that you can put yourself into what you write, no matter what you are writing. He showed that ultimately it was all personal, and that wasn’t a bad thing. He’s been the greatest influence on me as a writer, and I owe him tons for that.

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    Remember When?

    Remember when the ice in the ice machine here at work came out in cubes instead of book-sized sheets? Good times. Gooood times.

    So what ultimately-totally-irrelevant thing is annoying you in your world today?

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    Curse You, Activist Massachusetts Judges!

    Kris has this post about a love affair gone bad that ended up in the courts.

    Well, technically, there isn’t anything there indicating that love was involved. Here’s the, uhm, money graffs:

    The plaintiff and the defendant were in a long-term committed relationship. Early in the morning of September 24, 1994, they were engaged in consensual sexual intercourse. The plaintiff was lying on his back while the defendant was on top of him. The defendant's body was secured in this position by the interlocking of her legs and the plaintiff's legs. At some point, the defendant unilaterally decided to unlock her legs and place her feet on either side of the plaintiff's abdomen for the purpose of increasing her stimulation. When the defendant changed her position, she did not think about the possibility of injury to the plaintiff. Shortly after taking this new position, the defendant landed awkwardly on the plaintiff, thereby causing him to suffer a penile fracture.

    Penile fracture, though sounding extremely unpleasant, is fun to say. Penile fracture! Penile fracture!

    Although this was generally a position the couple had used before without incident, the defendant did vary slightly the position previously used, without prior specific discussion and without the explicit prior consent of the plaintiff. It is this variation that the plaintiff claims caused his injury. While the couple had practiced what the defendant described as "light bondage" during their intimate relations, there was no evidence of "light bondage" on this occasion. The plaintiff's injuries were serious and required emergency surgery. He has endured a painful and lengthy recovery. He has suffered from sexual dysfunction that neither medication nor counseling have been able to treat effectively.

    You know, maybe if he wouldn’t sue a woman (apparently an extremely limber woman), who inadvertently injured him during sex (and, presumably, he could have said “Take it easy Olga Korbut – that hurts”) thus rendering him an unfit sexual partner for both paid and unpaid prospective partners ("No way, penile fracture boy"), he wouldn’t be suffering from what I am assuming is severe depression over the extreme unlikelihood that he will ever enjoy sexual congress (as opposed to sexual Congress, which none of us want to consider) again.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2005

    Not That You Care, But

    Having 24 on Monday night really throws me off because after three years of it being a Tuesday evening staple, I'm conditioned to think it's Tuesday when I watch it and, hence that the next day, in this case, today, is Wednesday, which means the work week is half over, but it's not, it's only about 40% over.

    Which bites.

    And they better damn well not kill Tony. I know we've got a major recurring male character set to die yet this season, but it better not be Tony. Kill David Palmer. As long as he's alive, people will want to keep having him come back in future seasons, and as this season shows, it's tough as hell to work him in. Tony, on the other hand, is easy to work in. I'd even settle for Michelle being offed if it kept Tony alive.

    Remember, you read it hear first. Tony Almeida, Private Eye. It'd be a great show, and it's not like Fox couldn't use another great show or two.

    More Questions

    This time from Wheezy. See rules in prior posts.

    1. What is one major news story or world event that you recall clearly from your childhood, and how did it affect you?

    I remember the Kennedy assassination, because coverage of it pre-empted the Saturday morning Bugs Bunny cartoons.

    Hey. I was four.

    2. Deep down, are you more like Tom or Ian?

    I was going to say Tom because I’m 40, not early 20s, but even at Ian’s age I wouldn’t have let Tom and Kate send me on the guilt trip that Ian let them send him on. So Tom it is.

    3. What is your opinion on body piercing?

    Mine? No way. Lesa? Ears are okay, but it’s her choice. My kids? When they’re older, if that’s what they want, okay. Anyone else? It’s okay if that’s what you want.

    4. I overheard a conversation recently. Two people, both of whom were disgusted with Republicans and Democrats, suggested that maybe it was time for a third political party in America. How would you respond to this suggestion?

    Did you vote? Do you take part in the political process otherwise, by contacting party leaders or taking part in party meetings? Cause perhaps it would be better to attempt to influence the existing parties instead of creating something new. Oh, and finally, how can you really compare what the Republican party is doing with the Democratic party? The leadership of the Republican party (not Republicans themselves, mind you, but the leadership) is attempting to subrogate all the rights and responsibilities we have had since the founding of the country. The Democratic party is one of the few things standing in their way preventing the establishment of a theocracy.

    5. What would you consider to be the most dreadful occupation in the world, and why?

    Dog costume photographer.

    Costumed Dogs: The Sequel

    I realize I should also have linked to this. Remember – friends don’t let friends get their dogs stoned…

    Monday, May 16, 2005

    Some Like It Ruff

    This? Is not a picture of a happy dog. Neither is this. By the way, that second dog, which you can also see here, looks a lot like our younger, secondary dog.

    Comics Funnies. Or Is That Funnies Funnies?

    Some days you've just got nothing, so here is some funny from other folks: Superman Is A Dick (courtesy of Glorious Nonsense), and Seanbaby's page of Hostess Cupcake Comic Ads. If you read comics in the 70s and 80s you know what I'm talking about. Otherwise, you don't. Sorry.

    Friday, May 13, 2005

    Waiter, There's A Finger In My Chili

    Authorities have finally identified the source of the finger that the woman in California put in the Wendy’s chili. Film at eleven, story at Yahoo.

    The finger that a woman said she found in a bowl of Wendy's chili came from an associate of her husband who lost the digit in an industrial accident, police said Friday.

    "The jig is up. The puzzle pieces are beginning to fall into place, and the truth is being exposed," Police Chief Rob Davis said.

    The man is from Nevada and lost a part of his finger in an accident last December, Davis said. His identity was traced through a tip made to Wendy's hot line, he said.

    He said authorities "positively confirmed that this subject was in fact the source of the fingertip."

    The man who lost the finger, whose name was not released, had given the finger fragment to Plascencia, Davis said. Davis would not disclose details of the investigation but said the man was cooperating.

    Well, that was certainly nice of him to lend a hand…

    Satan Gets A Blog

    Added a link for the Devil’s own.

    Okay, it’s just a cartoon. He’s not really Satan. And if my real life friends don't know who I'm talking about, just know that it's another one of my online friends.

    Thursday, May 12, 2005

    Rebuild Them!

    Keith Olbermann doesn’t blog often, but when he hits it, he hits it. See this post on what should go up on the site of the World Trade Center.

    Republican Sex Junkies

    The Rude Pundit (caution: rudeness ahead) has a wonderful round-up of Republican kink, from bestiality (anti-abortion extremist Neal Horsley), homosexuality (former Spokane Mayor Jim West), buggery/anal rape (W. David Hager, a Bush appointee to the FDA advisor committee on reproductive health drugs) to forced wife swapping and group sex (John Bolton).

    This exchange between Horsley and Alan Colmes from Colmes’ radio show is priceless:

    In the course of the interview, however, Colmes asked Horsley about his background, including a statement that he had admitted to engaging in homosexual and bestiality sex.

    At first, Horsley laughed and said, "Just because it's printed in the media, people jump to believe it."

    "Is it true?" Colmes asked.

    "Hey, Alan, if you want to accuse me of having sex when I was a fool, I did everything that crossed my mind that looked like I..."

    Alan Colmes: "You had sex with animals?"

    Neal Horsley: "Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule."

    AC: "I'm not so sure that that is so."

    NH: "You didn't grow up on a farm in Georgia, did you?"

    AC: "Are you suggesting that everybody who grows up on a farm in Georgia has a mule as a girlfriend?"

    NH: It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality... Welcome to domestic life on the farm..."

    Colmes said he thought there were a lot of people in the audience who grew up on farms, are living on farms now, raising kids on farms and "and I don't think they are dating Elsie right now. You know what I'm saying?"

    Horsley said, "You experiment with anything that moves when you are growing up sexually. You're naive. You know better than that... If it's warm and it's damp and it vibrates you might in fact have sex with it."

    Wow. I guess the Republicans do have a big tent.

    They need it for all the animals…

    Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    Curse You Englert Theatre!

    Neko Case, Americana’s punk goddess, will be performing at the Englert on Thursday, June 8. I’m going to have to break my self-imposed vow to not see a show at the Englert until ICCT performed there. Go here for tickets.

    (Yeah, she’s the twangy artist I sometimes play on poker night.)

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    More Questions And Answers

    Remember how I did the interview thing before? Here are more questions I’ve gotten. These are from Superman.

    1. If you had to eliminate either the entire police force in the United States or the entire U.S. Military, which would it be and why?

    The police force, because you could use the military as the police, but you couldn’t really use the police as the military. Plus, the firemen would thank you for it.

    2. Design a new form of currency. What's the style, amount, and who's on it?

    I’d create Government-issued and backed debit cards that you could fill up for free from your bank account. The amount is whatever you want to add to the card from your account. I’d require that banks assess no fees for loading the cards. I’d put a picture of the founding fathers on it. And a founding mother, too.

    3. You've just come up with a product idea that is guaranteed to make you a billionaire within a matter of months. The problem is that test markets show that your product is extremely offensive to about 25% of the general population, the other 75% say it's something that can't live without. It will cost you absolutely no money to produce and projections show that you could employ up to 10,000 people at the end of year one, paying each of them enough to be considered middle class. The 25% have already said that they would protest, but legally, you know they have no chance of successfully taking this product off the market. Do you produce it or not?

    It would depend on who was protesting. If I alienated the Christian right with the product, I wouldn’t care a bit going ahead. If I alienated a group I cared about, or was a member of, I wouldn’t be so cavalier about going ahead, although I still might. If what I was making would offend me personally, I wouldn’t do it.

    4. Same scenario, except this time you're unemployed (and have been for 6 months with no other income)and you can run the new company anonymously. Do you do it?

    I’d like to think the answer is exactly the same, but I don’t know. If I went ahead with it even though it offended me, you can bet I’d be doing big time donations to charity.

    I wonder if that’s why Gates gives so much?

    5. Which do you love more, pistachios or cashews? Mmmm...

    Neither? If forced, I would choose cashews.

    These are from Matt:

    1) What three changes in ICCT would you immediately implement if you had ultimate authority and knew no one would oppose your changes?

    A. Go to a four-show season. Saves time, saves money, saves volunteer effort.

    B. Change the process by which plays and directors are chosen. Rather than relying on directors to submit shows and then having the Play and Director Selection committee select the show and director as a package, have the committee first select a slate of 5-7 shows, then ask people to submit for those shows and only those shows. Then conduct the interview process to narrow the selection down to four shows and directors (and two alternate shows and directors) to present to the Board for approval. Play selection is one of the most important decisions the theatre makes – the Board needs more input into the process.

    C. Create three positions - managing director, artistic director, and technical director - with ultimate responsibility for the day to day management of the theatre. Give these people authority to make decisions for the theatre, reporting to the Board and the membership. Remove direct election of officers from the membership. Add a couple of additional board positions, then elect officers from the members of the Board. Give the directors two-year contracts (even if not paid positions) and give the Board approval over only a few of their decisions.

    2) Would you rather have a heart wrenching dramatic role or a fun loving singing role? Why?

    There are three parts I would be willing to kill someone to play.. (Well maybe not kill, but at least beat someone up to play.) Cyrano in, well, Cyrano, Harold Hill in Music Man, and Billy Flynn in Chicago. That’s one heart wrenching dramatic role, two fun loving singing roles, which would tend to indicate I’d rather do fun loving singing roles. On the other hand, musicals, especially big musicals, are a pain in the ass time-wasting venture. Great dramatic roles can often be found in small to medium-sized plays. I’ve decided I’m going to be picky and only be in musicals if it is a part I really, really, want. The same restriction does not apply to dramas, which would tend to indicate I’d rather do heart wrenching dramatic roles. On the third hand, I love singing on stage, getting that chance to show off. So let’s go with musicals before I change my mind again.

    3) (giving you back one of the questions you gave me) What would you like your sons to know about you? (Not necessarily right now, but when they are older.)

    That I considered my life a success even though we may not have had fame or fortune, even though we may have had struggles, and that they can do the same as long as they are willing to define success in terms that have meaning to them and not in terms that are imposed by others. That I am a personal of spiritual faith, if not of religious orthodoxy, and that while that is a more difficult path to tread, it is ultimately more rewarding. That two poems by Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening and The Road Not Taken, are essential to understanding who I am.

    4) You mentioned wishing you had studied film at NYU. What films have had a huge impact on your life?

    Mostly older films, films like Casablanca, A Night at the Opera, and Singing in the Rain. Films with heart, that touch you in some way, that don’t speak down to the audience. I don’t really go to movies to be enlightened – that’s why I read mostly nonfiction. I go to be entertained. If there is a message, and it’s presented in an entertaining manner, cool. But I don’t appreciate didactic films. So, the lesson I’ve derived from films is that it’s better to entertain first, educate second. Cause if you go the other way, you’ll lose too many people.

    5) What one question do you want me to ask and what is the answer?

    Q: Do you want me to tell you when I’m bluffing at poker? A: Yes.

    Jesus News

    Here’s a great paragraph from today’s Bull Moose post about the prospects of a Hilary Clinton campaign in 2008. He has this to say about the argument that Hilary would be subject to an intense amount of personal attacks if she ran:

    The ugly truth is that if Jesus of Nazareth himself returned and dared to run on the Democratic line the righteous right would tar him as a bleeding heart vagabond who couldn't hold a job and that he needed a shave. No doubt a Galilee Fishingboat Veterans for Truth outfit would call into question Jesus' miracle claims - financed with lavish funding from Rove's buddies in Texas and maximum exposure on Fox News. Just imagine the book - "Unfit to Save".

    And don’t forget this story on CNN about how Jesus is trying to get a driver’s license in West Virginia. My favorite line:

    ”Christ is not speaking to the press at this time," Pishevar said.

    When The Bradman Testifies

    As Kris at Random Mentality silently points out, Bradman has announced his candidacy for one of the at-large seats on the Iowa City City Council. Kris and I both met Bradman when we acted with him in ICCT’s production of Harvey a few years back. Bradman was the orderly, whose name escapes me at the present. Brad has a weekly television show on Thursday nights on Public Access TV and is the middle of the day DJ at KCJJ. It’s weird. Brad is basically an intelligent, funny, somewhat sensitive guy, but he has created this whole buffoonish Howard Stern-lite sleazoid personality for his radio and TV gigs. I think he might actually be good on the council, but I also wonder if it isn’t all a joke. It’s an elaborate one if it is, as he has an official Web site and a campaign blog where he discusses issues. On the other hand, check out the totally cheesy picture on this page.

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    2015 SATs

    The Poor Man lists questions from the 2015 SATs. Here’s a question from each portion of the test:

    PART A: Science

    2. Global temperatures have risen 1 degree F since 2004. This is due to:
    A. the greenhouse effect
    B. unsound science
    C. the Clinton administration
    D. gays

    PART B: Mathematics

    2. If dinosaurs first appeared 250 million years ago, and became extinct 185 million years later, how long ago did they become extinct?
    A. 65 million years ago
    B. There is no paleontological consensus that dinosaurs ever existed
    C. 3500 years ago, during the Flood
    D. However long ago it was that they turned gay and lost their moral values

    PART C: History

    1. The US lost the Vietnam War because:
    A. we miscalculated the determination of the enemy.
    B. liberals and the media wouldn’t let Rambo do his job.
    C. IT WAS A TIE!
    D. Clinton made everyone in the Army get gay married.

    PART D: Literature

    1. What is the greatest book ever written by an American?
    A. The Great Gatsby
    B. A Charge to Keep
    C. Left Behind 2: Tribulation Force
    D. The Bible

    This One Time On Coruscant

    Darth Vader’s blog. For Matt.

    Friday, May 06, 2005

    Songs For A Crappy Friday

    Good Year For The Roses
    Elvis Costello

    I can hardly bear the sight of lipstick on the cigarettes there in the ashtray
    Lyin’ cold the way you left ’em, but at least your lips caressed them while you packed
    Or the lip-print on a half-filled cup of coffee that you poured and didn’t drink
    But at least you thought you wanted it, that’s so much more than I can say for me

    What a good year for the roses
    Many blooms still linger there
    The lawn could stand another mowin’
    Funny I don’t even care
    As you turn to walk away
    As the door behind you closes
    The only thing I have to say
    It’s been a good year for the roses

    After three full years of marriage, it’s the first time that you haven’t made the bed
    I guess the reason we’re not talkin’, there’s so little left to say we haven’t said
    While a million thoughts go racin’ through my mind, I find I haven’t said a word
    From the bedroom the familiar sound of a baby’s cryin’ goes unheard

    What a good year for the roses
    Many blooms still linger there
    The lawn could stand another mowin’
    Funny I don’t even care
    As you turn to walk away
    As the door behind you closes
    The only thing I have to say
    It’s been a good year for the roses

    Walk Away Renee
    Left Bank

    And when I see the sign that points one way
    The lot we used to pass by every day
    Just walk away Renee
    You won't see me follow you back home
    The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
    You're not to blame

    From deep inside the tears I'm forced to cry
    From deep inside the pain I chose to hide
    Just walk away Renee
    You won't see me follow you back home
    Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
    For me it cries

    Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
    Still find a way to haunt me though they're so small
    Just walk away Renee
    You won't see me follow you back home
    Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
    For me it cries

    Just walk away Renee
    You won't see me follow you back home
    The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
    You're not to blame

    Thursday, May 05, 2005

    Summary Time

    My American Idol summary is up at Reality TV World. Read it here.

    Wednesday, May 04, 2005


    There’s this whole interview meme going around the blogs I visit. The blogger gets questions from someone else, posts the answers on their blog, and then opens it up to others to ask for questions. (The rules are posted at the bottom of the post.) I asked for questions from both Gothmog and Immunegirl. The first set are from Goth:

    1. What theater production (that you were directly involved in) was the most enjoyable experience for you, and why?

    I’d say it was playing Mr. Peachum in a production of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. Not because of the production as a whole. Oh no. On that production I first learned of Greenman’s “They Won’t Hate Me Theory”. Read the link for the whole thing, but in short the theory says that when the production is going poorly, you can either not care or try your hardest so that even if the audience hates everyone else, they won’t hate you. Perhaps you’ve never considered it before, perhaps you have and just didn’t do so consciously. But you can’t imagine how much audiences like having someone or something to like in a production that otherwise bites.

    (This same production had one of the best review lines I’ve ever seen. The man who played the street singer was gay, flamboyantly gay. A reviewer said he was “Full of warm spunk.” Our reaction? “Well of course he is.”)

    So no, not because of the greatest of the production. Because of the greatness of the part. Peachum is a truly villainous character who justifies his villainy as being the same thing the wealthy are doing. It’s a big, juicy part, full of great lines. He has four great songs – two solos, a duet, and a trio, as well as a key part in another ensemble. It was a great chance to show a lot of range, range people who didn’t see the production forget I have. I loved it, and would love to do it again.

    And yes, they didn’t hate me.

    2. You're ahead of your time in your belief that...

    The gay rights battles in this country will eventually be looked at as much briefer, and much less bloody, than similar battles over racial and sexual equal rights. Indeed, I think by the time we hit 2020 the vast majority will have no objection to gay marriage, and that most people will look back and think “What? Were we high?”

    3. What's your biggest regret from your youth?

    That I chose the University of Iowa over New York University. Usually, it’s the small choices in life that have the biggest effect. You make a small decision here, a small decision there, and another and another and eventually you find yourself on a vastly different path. But that there was a huge decision. I can’t imagine what I would be if I had gone to NYU to study film instead of Iowa to study journalism.

    4. Who had the most influence in the development of your sense of humor?

    My father. As much as I might sometimes think it comes from other places, he had this semi-twisted totally off-kilter sense of humor that is the basis of mine. You can see the same sense of humor in my older and younger sisters.

    5. Someone saw you on the street this morning and said "That was you?" What did you do to earn this response?

    I would assume the Royal Flush Plumbing commercial where I play the father desperate to get into the bathroom his teenage daughter is using started airing again.

    These are from Immunegirl:

    1. What is the one thing you know the most about?

    Me. I’ve been studying me for almost 45 years now. I’m probably the world’s expert.

    2. Which is the one TV character that you would most like to be?

    Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

    3. If you had a million dollars to donate to charity(ies), where would it go?

    Easy. $600,000 to the Iowa City Community Theatre, $300,000 to Dreamwell Theatre, and $100,000 to the scholarship fund in my father’s name at my high school.

    4. What is the best advice you've ever received?

    I keep coming back to my father, but there you have it. Just before I started college he took me aside and said to me:

    “There’s a lot of temptations out there. The trick is to know which ones to give into and which ones to avoid. I think we’ve done a good enough job of raising you that you will do well at that.”

    Note that it wasn’t “avoid this” or “avoid that”. It was “make wise choices” and then putting his faith in me that I could.

    5. If you had an unlimited budget and could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

    Well, I’ve never been to me.

    Wait, that contradicts what I said above. So instead, I’d learn how to sail, buy a good, sturdy boat, and set sail around the world. No particular destinations, no particular agenda. Just sailing towards whatever I find. As an alternative, London.

    And now the rules for those of you interested in being interviewed:

    1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

    2. I will respond by asking you five questions of my choosing.

    3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. If you don't have a blog, you can post your responses in my comments section.

    4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post, following the same rules.

    Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    Two Baseball Stories

    Actually, the first is not a baseball story so much as a human interest story involving a major league baseball player. The story is about the player’s parents and it really wouldn’t be much of a story if it weren’t for the fact that his parents are a lesbian couple. (His father left prior to his birth.) The interesting thing about this is the amount of acceptance his parents have received from his friends throughout his baseball career, which, when you consider that he went to college in Alabama, is somewhat surprising. Ultimately, it is testimony to the fact that much of people’s fear of gays stems from lack of knowledge, and that almost always with acquaintance comes acceptance. Someday our current battles over equal rights for gays will be a relic of another day, and it will be in part because of stories like this.

    The other baseball story is truly a baseball story. Former Braves pitcher (and former major league pitching coach) Tom House recently gave an interview where he claims that steroid use was widespread among players in the 60s and 70s when he played. Now, one of the things that causes the most hand-wringing among sports columnists when it comes to recent steroid use in baseball is “What shall we do about the records? We don’t know how many homers X would have hit if he hadn’t been on the juice! Course, we don’t know that he was on the juice, but still.” But if it is indeed the case that, as long as there have been being paid to play the game, there have been players looking for an extra edge, then it really doesn’t matter what you do about the records. You can assume that everyone in the past was clean, you can assume that everyone in the past was juiced, you can assume that some were clean and some were juiced. You can assume all sorts of things, but you can’t prove any of them about the past. So let all records stand as they currently are, no asterisks, and move forward from there.

    Monday, May 02, 2005


    We had a good time playing cards Friday night. It was a small group that started the evening: Matt, greenman, Kris, and TanMan. Kris played two games and left. The rest of us played two more. I took a first, a second, and two fourths, though I was in strong position to win a second game and if I hadn’t made a stupid bluff, might have placed in another. So I was happy with the evening.

    But that’s not why I’m writing. If I just wanted to write about poker, I would post on our poker blog. I want to write about humor. We said some very funny things Friday night. Indeed, I said something around 2:00 am, when there was just the four of us left, that had us all laughing hard. It was that intense kind of laughter that makes you stand up and walk around and bend over and you still are laughing and you can’t stop and you start to ache and tear up but you just can’t stop. And then, after we had all regained composure, TanMan riffed on what I said with something that made us laugh even harder.

    But I can’t share it with you. For one thing, it would take way too long to set-up. What I said was based on something Kris had said five hours earlier. It played off of conversations we had in the intervening five hours. I don’t have the time to recreate five hours of conversation and you have neither the time nor the inclination to read them. For another, if you didn’t know the people involved in the joke (people we all know and have acted and worked backstage with) it wouldn’t be funny. It was genuinely funny to us, and not just in a 2:00 am sort of way. But it wouldn’t share very well. At least not in a manner that would be as intense for a reader of this as it was for us.

    And ultimately, isn’t that the case with all humor? Isn’t it the case that the more people that can understand the joke, the less intense the resulting humor is? I’ve been to movies where I laughed very, very hard. But it never has approached the intensity of the laughter I experience in a situation with a small group of friends like what happened Friday night.

    Late Links

    Some more housekeeping stuff. Due to popular demand, I've changed my profile so that it is actually my profile. Not sure how the Arabic one got in there, but that wasn't me. Really. I've also added an email account. A brand-spanking new email account that will probably be filled with spam in under an hour. Oh, and two more links: one from Goth at Quips and Quibbles (should have been Quibbles and Bits), and one at Collecting Shards that I think I know who it is but am not saying cause it seems the author wishes to remain private.

    And thanks for the comment deleting tips, Goth.