Friday, May 18, 2007

Barbie Bandit Talks

Blondes really do have more fun:
Johnston laughed about what she and Miller did after the robbery: "Go straight to the mall." The first thing they did was visit an upscale hair salon to get highlights in their hair.

"Some of the stuff we did was pretty ignorant," she said.

Authorities say the two also went shopping, ate a meal and gave money to the homeless afterward.
DMTC's Teen Cabaret Dessert Benefit

Tomorrow night!:
DMTC’s second annual Teen Cabaret Dessert Benefit is this Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased on the web site at . Come see over 30 performers light up the stage with great music and dance. Dessert is provided. All proceeds from the event will fund the annual scholarships awarded to graduating high school seniors.
South Australia Improves - East Australia Worsens

The cutoff low pressure system that just crossed southern Australia brought enough rain to start making people there feel optimistic, but once again, southern Queensland and other areas in eastern Australia got left out. Still, gotta start somewhere!:
Although heavy rain across South Australia, Victoria and NSW brought welcome relief to farmers struggling with the drought, the Murray-Darling Basin Commission has warned that at least one more metre of rain is required.

The water storage level in the Hume Dam rose from 170gigalitres to 180GL with the latest falls, but was still at just 6 per cent of capacity.

Commission chief executive Wendy Craik said that although the falls were good news, especially for farmers, much more was required.

"This has been very welcome but it really is mostly just wetting up the catchments," she said.

... Mixed-farmer Roy Pickering of Maldon, northwest of Melbourne, said the recent rain had been enough to "get us started on cropping".

"It's rained here every day for the last five days, significant rain, about 60mm for May so far, which is above the monthly average," Mr Pickering said.

"We desperately needed a very good fall of rain ... steady and heavy.

"It rained a couple of months ago but not enough to get the crops - oats, wheat, barley and canola - going and that's two-thirds of our business.

"This week's rain has turned the country from a dry dust-bowl into beautiful lush pastures.

"Over the last eight to 10 years, only two or three have been decent; the rest have been very tough."

Victorian Farmers Federation spokesman James Meek said farmers in the Wimmera and Mallee regions in the state's northwest reported the best start to the season for a decade.

"They've managed to sow half their crops with some rainfall a month or so ago and now they're looking forward to putting the remainder in on a damp, moist bed when the ground dries out a bit," Mr Meek said.

"At the moment it's too wet for some of them to get their tractors into the paddocks."

Farmers in NSW also welcomed good falls.

Tibooburra, in the state's far northwest, has recorded 275mm this year - more than its annual average of 225mm. The three days of rain this week followed a downpour last month.

Nearby, Bourke received 95mm on Thursday, its wettest day since 1995.

Meteorologist Jake Phillips said the drought was still a long way from breaking.
Why Are Scrub Jays Memories So Good?

Because they have to keep track of a lot of rapidly-changing information:
BN: How do Bay Area species like scrub-jays fit into the bird intelligence picture?

VP: First of all, the main premise for me was not just intelligence: it was survival skills like memory, which of course brings up intelligence. Scrub-jays in particular have been considered not to be that good at food caching because they live in mild climates, like here in Davis, in the Central Valley [where there’s less of a need to store large quantities of food in anticipation of a long, cold winter]. So, traditionally people thought that scrub-jays didn’t have very good memories. There was a lot of research trying to prove that scrub-jays do not have a very good memory compared to Clark’s nutcracker, for example. But what is interesting is that scrub-jays don’t cache intensely once a year; rather, they cache every day throughout the year. They also cache different kinds of foods; they cache acorns, yes, but they also cache insects, lizards, all different types of food. Potentially, this is very interesting because you’re caching perishable and nonperishable [food items] all over the place, overlapping in different areas, and some will last longer and some not. So scrub-jays have to actually remember not only where they’ve cached but what they’ve cached and when they’ve cached it. They keep track of time and content. Because if you cache an insect it will spoil within two or three days, while an acorn can last for a few weeks. If you don’t remember, it’s going to be a waste of energy; if you’re there two days late, it’s useless.
Tropical Storm Yutu

Spinning away in the western Pacific. Named after a Chinese mythical jade hare (we need a tropical storm Cloudy...)
On The Intelligence Of Western Scrub Jays

After getting to know Baby Blue, this comes as no surprise. These birds are whip smart!:
Now, though, Clayton and her colleagues say that they’ve found scrub jay behavior that qualifies as planning. In a lab setup, scrub jays cache food in places where they have previously been stuck without any breakfast. The birds also cache particular kinds of food in places that hadn’t provided them, Clayton and her colleagues report in the Feb. 22 Nature.

The jay results are the first in any animal that “unambiguously” meet the criteria for planning, comments comparative psychologist Sara Shettleworth of the University of Toronto.

2007 Israel - Teapacks - "Push The Button"

Israel's entry in the Eurovision 2007 song contest is fun and clever!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rush Asks Silly Questions

From his May 16th radio show:
I kid you not -- "[w]omen and minorities." Hardest hit: women. You can count on it in every -- just like there's a template developing for the Republican debate last night. "How come there are no women and minorities on stage?" I guess you forgot about 2004. And I guess -- you know, the Democrats never get those kinds of questions because it's always assumed that they're fair and just, and not discriminatory and all that.
And why don't Democrats get these kinds of questions?:
Presumably, debate moderators would not ask Democratic presidential candidates why "there are no women and minorities" on stage because the Democratic field currently contains two minority candidates, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is Latino, and Sen. Barack Obama (IL), who is African-American, as well as a woman, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY).

In 2004, the field of candidates for the Democratic nomination included two African-Americans, one of them a woman, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (IL), and Rev. Al Sharpton. President Bush was not opposed by any major candidate in the Republican primaries of 2004.
Practice Tolerance

Just like Nigel Powers (Michael Caine) says in Austin Powers III:
There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.
Embarrass The Police, Get Arrested

Whose da dummy?:
When police spotted a gun-wielding suspect lurking in the shadows of a suburban front room, their response was swift.

Armed officers burst into the house, shouted at the owner to lie on the floor, and ordered him to surrender his weapon.

But efficiency turned to embarrassment when the "gunman" turned out to be a life-sized model of the video game character Lara Croft, complete with trademark outsized pistols.

Computer shop owner David Williams, 42, had taken the dummy home to put it up for sale on the auction site eBay.

As the source of the confusion dawned on all concerned, it might have been the moment for an apology from the police.

Instead, however, Mr Williams was taken to the cells and held for more than 13 hours before being released.

He is now on bail for a suspected firearms offence, and Lara Croft remains impounded as evidence.
Thinking In Pictures

I picked up the Winter 2004 issue of "Bark" Magazine, and saw an interview with Temple Grandin, the livestock care scientist whose autism gave her unusual insight into how animals behave. I once heard an interview with her on NPR, and found her analysis of why cattle panic in some feedlot chutes, and not others, to be absolutely riveting, as well as the special 'hug machine' she built to ease her own autism-caused anxiety. Here, she describes how cattle think:
I first used my video library in one of my early livestock design projects, creating a dip vat and cattle-handling facility for John Wayne's Red River feed yard in Arizona. A dip vat is a long, narrow, seven-foot-deep swimming pool through which cattle move in single file. It is filled with pesticide to rid the animals of ticks, lice, and other external parasites. In 1978, existing dip vat designs were very poor. The animals often panicked because they were forced to slide into the vat down a steep, slick concrete decline. They would refuse to jump into the vat, and sometimes they would flip over backward and drown. The engineers who designed the slide never thought about why the cattle became so frightened.

The first thing I did when I arrived at the feedlot was to put myself inside the cattle's heads and look out through their eyes. Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads, cattle have wide-angle vision, so it was like walking through the facility with a wide-angle video camera. I had spent the past six years studying how cattle see their world and watching thousands move through different facilities all over Arizona, and it was immediately obvious to me why they were scared. Those cattle must have felt as if they were being forced to jump down an airplane escape slide into the ocean.

Cattle are frightened by high contrasts of light and dark as well as by people and objects that move suddenly. I've seen cattle that were handled in two identical facilities easily walk through one and balk in the other. The only difference between the two facilities was their orientation to the sun. The cattle refused to move through the chute where the sun cast harsh shadows across it. Until I made this observation, nobody in the feedlot industry had been able to explain why one veterinary facility worked better than the other. It was a matter of observing the small details that made a big difference. To me, the dip vat problem was even more obvious.
Heidi Fleiss On Paris Hilton

Interesting perspective:
HF: Let me tell you, I think Paris is awesome. What I love is that if you take the really richest families in America, all those Fortune 500 parents who send their kids to Ivy League schools and give them the most opportunities to experience culture, their kids still all want to be Paris. I love that.

RA: Do you think her going to jail will change that?

HF: Of course not. She's spent nights in plenty of places that are worse than jail.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Most Useful Picture Of The Day

From Australia, downtown Sydney's Harbour Bridge, with the Sydney Central Business District, as seen through heavy fog.
"Alice In Wonderland" - DMTC's Young Performer's Theatre

A few pictures from the show! Performances continue at DMTC (Friday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 19 at 2:15 p.m., and Sunday, May 20 at 2:15 p.m.).

Left: The Dormouse speaks at a mad tea party. Left to right: Mad Hatter (Jasmine Strode-Elfant), Dormouse (Rebecca Rudy), Lorry (Mary Ellen Price), Alice (Kennedy Wenning).

Left: The Walrus And The Carpenter. Left to right: Moon (Soomi Yoo), Alice (Kennedy Wenning), Carpenter (Turner Petersen), Walrus (Kimberley Casazza), Sun (Sally Li).

Left: Carpenter (Turner Petersen), Walrus (Kimberley Casazza), Oysters (Lisa Parente and McKinley Carlisle and Dana Daniells. Seated, White Rabbit (Chris Petersen) and Tweedle Dee (Sarah Rudy).

The Walrus And The Carpenter.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Left: Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Alex Chen and Sarah Rudy).

Alice (Kennedy Wenning) and the Queen of Hearts (Kimberley Casazza).

The player that impressed me the most in this show was Kimberley Casazza. Her vaguely-Slavic, erratic and menacing Queen of Hearts was a delight to listen to and watch!

After its sad song:

`Once,' said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, `I was a real Turtle.'
...the Mock Turtle prepares to dance. Left to right: Alice (Kennedy Wenning), Mock Turtle (Lisa Parente), Gryphon (Cass Olson).

Left to right: Alice (Kennedy Wenning), Caterpillar (Emily Hirsch), Butterfly (Dana Daniels).

Baby sneezes, so even more pepper! Left to right: Alice (Kenndy Wenning), Baby (Ashlyn Barbieri), Duchess (Moriah Haworth).

The cast at final bows.
Long Talk With WCA Volunteer

Tuesday morning, I called the Wildlife Care Association, and asked to be called back. Being a decentralized volunteer organization, W. called back three times from her house while I was delivering Baby Blue to the WCA baby bird nursery in Carmichael.

Finally, Tuesday we talked. She was much more sympathetic than the officious clerk I had dealt with earlier. We both agreed that Scrub Jays are remarkably agreeable birds to work with. We discussed the foods that young Scrub Jays should not eat (avocado, and probably not the salty smoked salmon I had been feeding the bird with) and the foods they should eat (hard-boiled egg yolk rendered into a paste, stringed-chicken baby food, bananas).

One reason she began volunteering to help birds was the experience she had of saving a Scrub Jay, only to fail in adequately socializing the bird with other Scrub Jays. The bird vanished one day, likely in the claws of silent death (a circling hawk the Scrub Jay never properly learned about from other Scrub Jays).

I asked if she would let me know how Baby Blue is doing at the WCA. She said she would do that for me. I look forward to the occasional updates!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Defense Of Paris Hilton

Richard Abowitz says some nice things:
In Las Vegas, Paris Hilton has become a professional at attending parties. She reportedly gets paid for it, and she is good at it. In fact, she is the best I have ever seen and, as a result, the resort nightclubs and all Las Vegas have benefited. Paris Hilton created an economic boom for Las Vegas by being one of the first celebrities to pied piper her well-tipping, big-spending and, blessedly, mathematically-challenged friends and worshipers from LA to make hot the new generation of Vegas nightclubs in casino resorts. They play hard; they spend big; they tip well. From my stories to the limo drivers to the cocktail servers: everyone gets something out of the Paris Hilton crowd visiting Las Vegas. A lot of working people (and their dependent families) who are not trust-fund folk or celebrities have benefited hugely from Paris Hilton's role in focusing her large spotlight on the new Vegas as party central.
Meanwhile, that showboat Joe Arpaio says some insensitive things:
PARIS Hilton could be forced to join a "chain gang" because overcrowding in Los Angeles jails mean the hotel heiress might not be able to serve her 45-day sentence in prison.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in charge of the US's only "all-female chain gang", says he's spoken to the chief of jails in Los Angeles and offered to house Hilton at Tent City in Arizona.

"I just made an offer," Sheriff Arpaio told the Drudge Report.

"Instead of reducing for her sentence, which I feel is wrong, why not bring her over here? We can incarcerate her here. She can do her time over here."

..."Oh, I’d love to have her here," Sheriff Arpaio said.

"Just another celebrity. Not that I'm a publicity hound, but I'd imagine if I had her in these tents there'd be (publicity)."

Sheriff Arpaio says that while that Los Angeles County is considering his offer, Hilton’s lawyers will probably object.

Hilton’s psychiatrist today filed a declaration stating her star client was too distraught to participate in a civil trial brought against her by diamond heiress Zeta Graff, according to

Shrink Dr Charles Sophy claims Hilton needs time to recover from her May 4 hearing during which she was sentenced 45 days of jail time for breaking probation.

Dr Sophy stated Paris is, “emotionally distraught and traumatized…(and) cannot effectively respond to examination as a witness or provide any significant input into her defense."

Graff filed the $10 million lawsuit in 2005 claiming slander and libel after Hilton told the New York Post that Graff once tried to snatch a necklace worth four-million dollars from Hilton’s neck at a London nightclub.

Hilton was to appear in court on May 21 but to avoid "(exacerbating) her current mental condition," the judge has move trial to August 22.
Falwell Reminiscence

So, Jerry Falwell has passed on. Time to recycle my Falwell story:
I think back to the fall of 1980, when Jerry Falwell's campaign road tour came to Tucson, where I was attending the University of Arizona. I stood across the street from the downtown arena and protested with some folks as the crowd of about 10,000 gathered for Falwell's speech. A fellow graduate student (and born-again evangelical) taunted me from across the street, "look who you're with!" My newfound compatriots looked fine to me, but I think he thought they looked gay to him. Maybe they were, but I thought they were nice folks.

Quite to our surprise, the doors to the arena appeared utterly unguarded after the crowd entered, so we decided to enter the arena in a spirit of protest. We entered the indoor space just as Falwell came to the podium, and we erupted spontaneously into rigid arm salutes and spirited shouts of "Sieg Heil." Falwell knew straw men when he saw them - I'm sure that's why the doors had been left unguarded. He immediately condemned us for our self-evident, perverted totalitarian spirit (truly absurd, but we had played a little too easily into his hands). Several protestors were removed when they became a little too feisty. But Falwell actually wanted us around: he knew just how shocking we were to his followers, despite what I thought was our meek appearance, and how useful that was to fire up his followers. We settled down and listened to Falwell's keynote speech, watched a patriotic spectacle, and listened to a few other speeches in a similar vein.

At the very end, Falwell asked everybody to stand and sing "America, The Beautiful." I abruptly noticed our little protest group had been surrounded on all sides by various flacks, who quickly grabbed our hands (hard), pressed us in from all sides (hard), and more or less forced us to sing along with them. So, despite our manifold differences, we all sang together in a (forced) spirit of patriotic harmony. And if we had decided to struggle and shout, who knows?
Ah, the entire spirit of the Bush Administration, previewed 20 years in advance!
Radical Changes For Baby Blue

Last night, I was sitting in the easy chair and Baby Blue was fluttering about the living room, when she landed on my crossed leg. For whatever reason, she slipped off, and fell. Even though the drop was only a foot-and-a-half, she hit hard on her breast, and instantly retreated under the coffee table in the manner of a wounded animal.

This morning, she had considerable difficulty standing up. She wobbled and weaved and fluttered, and backed up against barriers in order to keep standing. Once, tumbling over, she screamed in pain. Nevertheless, she largely kept her appetite, which suggested to me that the injury need not be life-threatening if she got care (and presuming that the problem was indeed an injury, and not something else, like poisoning, or vertigo, or an inadequate diet, or etc., etc.....)

For an hour, we cuddled in the back yard.

I called the 'Bird Doctor' veterinarian, but it wouldn't be until tomorrow until his mobile van was in my neighborhood. I called the Wildlife Care Association (WCA - 965-WILD), but their Scrub Jay consultant's phone had been disconnected. So, I decided to take Baby Blue directly to the WCA in Carmichael.

The small house housing the WCA had a reception area in one room. Various signs suggested that patrons donate; for example, to adopt recovering crows. In the next room, I could see a woman in a lab coat tending various boxes on shelves from which a cacophonous roar of many dozens of birds could be heard.

The WCA volunteer clerk asked me to fill in a form describing how I came to find the bird. Then he removed Baby Blue from my cardboard box, did a quick inspection, and placed her in a small container topped with a screen. Our conversation was confrontational, however:
MPV: May I come and visit the bird?
Clerk: No, you may not.
MPV: I just want to make sure she is OK.
Clerk: In our six-month season, we receive five to seven thousand birds. You may not come and visit the bird.
MPV: Well, then, may I have the bird back?
Clerk: It is illegal to keep wildlife. You may not have the bird back.
I was reminded of the scene from "Oliver!", when Mr. Bumble is reminded that, in the eyes of the law, he is responsible for his wife's actions. "Well, if the law supposes that, then the law is an ass." Continuing, the clerk said:
Clerk: The bird needs to be among her own kind. We will take care of her. You did the right thing.
I donated some commercial baby bird food to the WCA and then slipped out the door. Then I returned to drop $20 in the donation box. The clerk had gone into the other room, where I overheard his conversation with the woman there:
Woman: Oh no!
Clerk: I know, the guy's crazy....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fischerspooner At Coachella 2004

And speaking of Coachella Movie, give it up for Fischerspooner!

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies) - Coachella Movie

I was feeling glum because I didn't even try to go to Coachella 2007, so I took solace from the Coachella movie, and one of the best live performances ever!
Sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is
Sleeping is giving in, so lift those heavy eyelids
People say that you'll die faster than without water
But we know it's just a lie, scare your son, scare your daughter

People say that your dreams are the only things that save ya
Come on baby, in our dreams, we can live our misbehaviour

Everytime you close your eyes (Lies, Lies) [4x]
Everytime you close your eyes [4x]

People try and hide the night underneath the covers
People try and hide the light underneath the covers
Come on hide your lovers underneath the covers
Come on hide your lovers underneath the covers
Hide it from your brothers underneath the covers
Come on hide your lovers underneath the covers

People say that you'll die faster than without water
But we know it's just a lie, scare your son, scare your daughter
To scare your son, to scare your daughter
To scare your son, to scare your daughter

Now here's the sun, it's alright (Lies, Lies)
Now here's the moon, it's alright (Lies, Lies)
Now here's the sun, it's alright (Lies, Lies)
Now here's the moon, it's alright (Lies, Lies)

But everytime you close your eyes (Lies, Lies)
Everytime you close your eyes (Lies, Lies)
Everytime you close your eyes (Lies, Lies)
Everytime you close your eyes (Lies, Lies)

Everytime you close your eyes [x3]

Mazal Tov!

From Jason Hammond and Deborah Douglas:
Things have been moving quite fast for me and Deborah since we found our new church at the beginning of the year. On the 9th (one week ago) our pastor discussed with us that while he was in Africa last month, he was praying on a hill and saw the two of us…married. We agreed and he suggested Tuesday. When I picked Deborah up off the ground, she asked for a day to think about it. Now the first day I met her in June, 1989, I declared that I had “met the girl I was going to marry”, so for me…I was ready. For Deborah, who likes control, it took a minute. We decided that we would, we called our families, got our license and made our plans. On Sunday, May 13, 2007, in front of a few family members, Deborah and I finally got married. Interesting fact: I was born on Father’s Day and married on Mother’s Day. Eventually, we will have a reception and invite all of our friends, but we wanted to keep the ceremony small and stress free. We didn’t want anyone canceling plans for a last minute decision, so we decided to let all of you know after the fact. Please feel free to share the news as we don’t have an email for everyone we would like to tell (especially the Sweet Adelines and Theatre Community)

My wife and I thank you for all of your warm wishes, J

Mr. & Mrs. Hammond

PS, Deborah is Deborah (no middle) Douglas, I am Jason Douglas Hammond; we will now both be “Douglas Hammond”!
"Annie Get Your Gun" Closes

I didn't get to post as many photos of "Annie Get Your Gun" as I wanted, mostly because I was busier during the show than I had been for "Camelot". Certain events would have been fun to capture. For example, when Ryan Westlake, dressed as a cowboy, fell through the top of the barrel upon which he was sitting. And what expression on Annie's (Lauren's) face, frozen an unusually long time because Buffalo Bill (Adam) took his time with his lines, set Frank Butler (MikeMac) to giggle during the last performance?

At the cast party, looking at Dannette's photos, I was surprised how nice the show looked from the audience. It's easy to forget the overall impression when one is in the midst of a show.
Blogging Anonymity

Lots of discussion on the Internet today regarding blogging anonymity. Digby, among others, prefers anonymity, and refers back to the pampleteers of the American Revolution:
In the early days of usenet and internet communities people adopted noms de plume, sometimes as an affectation, but most often as a function of insecurity about the new medium. Unlike their revolutionary predecessors, they weren't afraid of the crown but they were afraid of losing their jobs if their political views became known.

...As the political internet grew out of this early manifestation, many of us maintained our pseudonyms when we started our own blogs, partly because the people we already interacted with "knew" us by that name. Our identities in this community were more real than our legal names.

...There is also freedom in this kind of writing and an intellectual challenge. Writing as a genderless entity, without history or corporeal identity and without (usually) allowing myself to resort to personal anecdote or appeals to authority, I think my arguments became sharper, more tightly reasoned. The blogging ethic (driven by the technology that allows it) requires that one not only make a logical and consistent argument, but one must document and substantiate one's work by linking to source material. These demands that bloggers "show their work" and the feedback from our highly intelligent audience of pedants and political junkies served as a kind of diffuse editorial check that lends credibility over time to any blogger but especially to pseudonymous writers like me --- at least among my readers.

...Many of the pamphleteers wrote pseudonymously and many of the founders and revolutionaries wrote pseudonymously in newspapers from time to time as well, which meant that nobody knew if it was an "important" or "unimportant" personage making the argument. ... Fortunately we live in less dangerous times (for the moment, anyway) when it comes to the government. But for many who write psuedonymously it is still dangerous for them to write about politics --- after all, the law allows people to be fired solely for their political beliefs --- and in the real world we all know that there can be great risk of derailing your career by going against the bosses wishes. Who among us hasn't pulled our punches in front of the boss? Blogging pseudonymously, for all its drawbacks, has the very particular advantage of honesty, with all that that implies, in a political world that is dominated by elite interests that impact the average person's livelihood as much as the crown impacted the lives of the colonial revolutionaries. There is value in that even if it is, at times, rude and uncivil.
So, the principle advantage of anonymity is the ability to write frankly. One downside is that it's possible to lose discipline and write intemperately, which you might not do if your real name was attached to the final product. Speaking for myself, I've always considered intemperateness to be the greater danger, and not fear of job loss, which is why this Web Log will remain Marc Valdez Weblog.
Baby Blue's Weekend

This weekend, two weeks after I started caring for her, Baby Blue started to fly. Mostly it was a matter of short hops. She's been travelling all over the bedroom on the floor with hops and small darts.

Watching a DVD last night was fun. First, Baby Blue would jump from the back of the easy chair, behind my head, to the dusty black-and white keyboard. Then she'd fall off the keyboard and hop around the floor, scaring Sparky back to the sofa, until she'd finally jump on my shoe. I'd then extend my leg, raising the shoe to easy-chair level. Then she'd fly the four feet, or so, to the back of the easy chair. Then she started all over again, working me like a Rube Goldberg perpetual motion machine.

She's also noticed her reflection in the cookie tin that forms her nest. Poke, poke, poke.... She also listens carefully to what I say, and tries to imitate my imitation of her.

At night, she likes to hop down from her nest and cuddle near my face, poking and tasting my nose, or trying to grapple with my rubbery thumb, fingers, or lips, or fussing with tiny hairs on my hands. When I open my eyes, she looks up, eager to poke again curiously at that huge, magical, mysterious blinking eye.

Still, it's beginning to get awkward here at work. Not only did she poo on me three times this afternoon, smearing my shirt and pants, but she plastered the chair and the telephone as well.

I knew the teenaged days would be the hardest....
Jenifer Foote's Back In Town!

There was an excellent article in Sunday's Sacramento Bee by Bruce Dancis regarding Jenifer Foote and her role as Jolene in California Musical Theatre's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

Jenifer Foote performed with Davis Musical Theatre Company (DMTC) over an eight-year span. It is heartening to see just how well she has succeeded on Broadway.

According to the handy-dandy DMTC Master Cast list (Excel spreadsheet), here were Jenifer's roles with DMTC:

Oliver!; Apr-May 1986; Workhouse Orphan, Fagin's Boy

South Pacific; July 1986; Szazabo/ Kia/ Child

Bye, Bye Birdie; May-Jun 1987; Teenager

Evita; Jun-Jul 1988; Children's Ensemble

Brigadoon; Feb - Mar 1990; Townsperson of Brigadoon

Alice in Wonderland; Sep - Oct 1990; Alice

42nd Street; Jan - Feb 1993; Phyllis Dale & Set Painting