Saturday, April 07, 2012

"May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor" - The Hunger Games

President Snow:
And it was decreed that each year, the 12 districts of Panem should offer up a tribute of one young man and woman between the ages of 12 and 18 to be trained in the art of survival and to be prepared to fight to the death.

I saw "The Hunger Games" Saturday night: really thought very highly of it. Perfectly-aimed at young teens (and those who are young teens in spirit). With its perfect aim and dystopian science-fiction edge, "Hunger Games" reminds me, oddly-enough, of "Dune" (except aimed at girls instead of boys). And it's very much in line with the Promethean movie of the Reality TV genre, an under-appreciated science fiction masterpiece (because it came so early and was unavailable for decades, until recently, via YouTube), 1968's "The Year Of The Sex Olympics".

The number of excellent videos on YouTube that refer to "The Hunger Games" (including parody videos) is vast, but I liked this one, done with alternative actors (who apparently auditioned for the roles).

What did Roger Ebert think of "The Hunger Games"?:
Like many science-fiction stories, “The Hunger Games” portrays a future that we're invited to read as a parable for the present.

...As the story opens, the annual ritual of the Hunger Games is beginning; each district must supply a “tribute” of a young woman and man, and these 24 finalists must fight to the death in a forested “arena” where hidden cameras capture every move.

This results in a television production that apparently holds the nation spellbound and keeps the citizens content. Mrs. Link, my high school Latin teacher, will be proud that I recall one of her daily phrases, “panem et circenses,” which summarized the Roman formula for creating a docile population: Give them bread and circuses. A vision of present-day America is summoned up, its citizenry glutted with fast food and distracted by reality TV.

...One thing I missed, however, was more self-awareness on the part of the tributes. ... Nor do Katniss and Peeta reveal much thoughtfulness about their own peculiar position.

...Director Gary Ross and his writers (including the series' author, Suzanne Collins) obviously think their audience wants to see lots of hunting-and-survival scenes, and has no interest in people talking about how a cruel class system is using them. Well, maybe they're right. But I found the movie too long and deliberate as it negotiated the outskirts of its moral issues.
I think Roger Ebert is too ambitious for the movie. The first job is to survive. Social criticism can come later. And in any event, it's quite clear Katniss and Peeta ARE self-aware: it's just that they are BUSY!

In conclusion, Taylor Swift's "Safe and Sound". For Rue....

Friday, April 06, 2012

Del Paso Drum Drill

My mind is still fairly rattled....

What's this? A carnival? Apparently so!

Carla Fleming - Rise Again

Carla's new video is out!

Carla had said she had high hopes, and high standards, for this video. Indeed, the video is gorgeous, with lovely views of San Francisco, and clouds, and tiki torches, and Carla, of course!

After the Storm - CORE Dance Collective

Christina Day, Andrew Hopper, Jacob Montoya, and the others are AMAZING people!

Mark Ettensohn Can't Afford To Be Late!

Board Games

Jetta was on "Good Day Sacramento" this morning (but doesn't say anything in this video).

"Titanic - The Musical" - DMTC - Tilting Stage 2.0 (Beta Release)

OK everyone, one more time, 'Nearer, My God, To Thee'!

[That's a joke, folks! ;) ]

Which reminds me, Noel sent this link discussing Five Titanic Myths, where they discuss the role of 'Nearer, My God, To Thee'. "Titanic - The Musical" opens at DMTC
in one week.

Here are some iPhone pictures from Thursday night's rehearsal (sorry, I didn't have my regular camera with me).

President of the company that built Titanic, J. Bruce Ismay (played by Adam Sartain) chastises the ship's command officers regarding what he considers to be slow speed. Poor, pilloried Ismay is also discussed in Five Titanic Myths. I particularly like the quote:
His confused and confusing behaviour on the Titanic was due to the confusion around his status - was he an ordinary passenger, as he claimed, or as the inquiries suggested a 'super-captain'? People on ships act according to rank and Ismay had no idea of what his rank was."

This is Tilting Stage 2.0 (a Beta Release at the instant, as they are in the process of making final preparations right now, in anticipation of the production's premiere next week).

They couldn't locate the winch we used in 2006, so they borrowed this one instead from Travis' workplace.


Anticipating an entrance.

We discovered during the run of Titanic 2006 that the sheer weight of Tilting Stage 1.0 eventually compromised its rigidity, requiring props to help support its weight. Tilting Stage 2.0's structure is less-dense, which should improve rigidity. Props that fold out and can be withdrawn and stowed within the stage by use of thin ropes have been built into Tilting Stage 2.0's design.

During rehearsals, it's been discovered that the ropes and pulleys controlling prop withdrawal are likely too small, so they will be replaced. Thursday night, there were issues with orderly cable winding on the winch (which wasn't as much a problem in 2006 because the stage didn't tilt quite as high). All issues that will get ironed out before opening!

Tilting Stage 1.0 had a troublesome rigidity problem (which I thought might be soluble with a metal-frame design), but the Engineers have elected to go with wood for Tilting Stage 2.0. Tilting Stage 2.0's lighter-weight design and greater length makes it more subject to longitudinal twisting than Tilting Stage 1.0 was, but it doesn't seem to impair function, as long as the props work properly and as long as the center-of-mass of the added weight (the cast) doesn't deviate too far downstage or upstage.

Tilting Stage 2.0 is about ten feet longer than Tilting Stage 1.0, which allows a more-vertical pivot point for the cable hanging over the stage's end, which allows a greater tilt for the stage, limited only by the presence of the lights hanging above the stage's end.

Into The Lifeboats!

At maximum capacity (approaching 2,000 pounds added weight), the weight is borne by the props, not the cable.

Ship's Master Builder Tom Andrews (played by David Holmes).

In the final scene, as the ship prepares for its abyssal plunge and the stage tilts at near-maximum angle, the props are elevated completely off the stage.

Keeping Customers In And Derelicts Out

On Tuesday, the folks at Subway felt compelled to call the cops, in order to evict two 'customers' who were raiding the soda fountain without paying, and for other (perhaps illegal) conduct in the store.

It's hard to run a business that must be open for customers, but must also exclude derelicts.

And speaking of neighborhood characters, I noticed one of the chief characters of J Street, "The Queen", in an unfamiliar neighborhood (19th & T Street). Is it spring madness, or just madness in general?

Greta Gerwig's New Movie "Damsels In Distress" Is Coming Out!

Yay! I was getting worried: Sacramento's own Greta Gerwig had momentarily fallen off the radar screen, so I figured she must be up to something, and this is apparently what it is! And it's a tap-dance movie too!

Early reviews are really encouraging!:
Much of the peculiar magic in “Damsels in Distress” comes from Gerwig, who gives a powerful and complicated performance as a young woman who’s difficult to like or to trust, but who goes through a crisis and ultimately wins our admiration. (Violet is a companion in spirit to Chloë Sevigny’s gawky heroine in “Disco.”) But Gerwig’s not alone in this potent ensemble piece. Violet comes with two sidekicks: the arch, intelligent and beautiful Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke), and the confident, poised and sublimely stupid Heather (Carrie MacLemore). This trio is devoted to ridding the fictional but ancient Seven Oaks University — an Ivy-esque liberal arts college somewhere on the Eastern seaboard — of the lingering vestiges of male privilege, especially as manifested in poor hygiene and body odor. During freshman orientation, they seize upon a doe-eyed new arrival named Lily (Analeigh Tipton) as a fresh recruit to their cause. As Violet explains, these girls only date guys they think are far below their own level, “in that sympathetic zone of being not attractive and not smart,” as part of a selfless effort to civilize them. It’s a classic, rather broad war-of-the-sexes setup, with the women at the center — but that tells you almost nothing about where this digressive, whimsical, silly and ridiculously fun movie is going.

Mystified By Some Google Searches

Some people look on the Internet for the strangest stuff. Someone was referred to my blog by doing a Google search on the term:
Zia Pueblo Secrets
Hey, if you can find them on the Internet, they ain't secrets!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Sister Two Is Taking Sister One Home

Time to get rest....

Working On Another Update To The Master Cast List For DMTC

I've been wanting to update the list (most-recently updated in November) to include shows that are not in the regular DMTC and YPT seasons, such as Summer Workshops, Storybook Theater, Hit of Hits, Teen Cabarets, etc., plus irregular shows and fundraisers. Things are so quiet here at work that progress on the update is rapid!

Whither Goest Thou, O Possum?

On the weekend, I put an assortment of water-heater-related garbage, including food items, into a garbage sack, and left it by the door to the garage.

Monday night, I came down the back porch steps to find a possum raiding the garbage bag. The possum looked up at me with loathing, and began turning in a tight circle, trying to decide whether to retreat into the garage, or flee into the yard. I hunched up my shoulders, extended my arms as if casting a spell, and hissed loudly. The possum retreated into the garage.

I went back upstairs to bring down food for Bailey The Rabbit. Bailey was hunkered down at the end of the yard, sheltered from the rain and as far from the possum action as he could get. His whole demeanor suggested he was trying to disappear from existence.

I went back upstairs and came downstairs again several times, retrieving groceries from the car. Every time, the possum was making a break for it, trying to flee from the garage. Repulsed by my grim visage, every time, the possum halted and retreated back into the garage. Finally, I left the possum alone to make its craven departure.

Weather Prognostications Uncertain

It's been interesting watching the forecasts the last two days. Mother Nature has been having trouble deciding whether there will be a second cutoff low off the California coast, or not, and that has a material effect on our forecast. Right now, it looks like there won't be a second cutoff low, or at least not much of one, but there will nevertheless be a trough, and maybe two episodes of rain, starting next week, on Wednesday.

Wishing My Sister The Very Best On Her Surgery Today!

When she's feeling better, I want her to take her gall bladder down to this place, on North Fourth Street, and make either a commemorative coffee table conversation piece, or something we can all play hacky sack with....

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Annoyed By Pretensions Of Impartiality

On Sunday, Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Joyce Terhaar launched a screed decrying unseemly bias among journalists:
Call me old school. If a newspaper holds judges accountable for their actions, then its journalists need to be held accountable as well.

For journalists, the goal is to be accurate and fair, and as objective as humanly possible. Behavior matters because perception matters.
If anything has become more than crystal-clear since 9/11, it's been that journalists routinely pretend to be objective when they are anything but! Journalists are the most reactionary elite society has to offer!

When extremists hold governmental office (these days, practically anywhere Republicans hold sway), and journalists present stories with a false equivalence between those supporting the government and those opposed (rather than as a few powerful thugs vs. the rest of society), they do the powerful thugs immense favors, for which they receive excellent, indirect compensation in the form of pay and privilege. Willy Horton, Vince Foster, Wen Ho Lee, Judith Miller, Valerie Plame, FOX News: on and on and on and on; the outrages abound! 'Fair and Balanced' indeed!

Yes, journalists need to be held accountable, but that won't happen without the help of outside bloggers and journalists who don't pretend to objectivity and are finally willing to call the dictators to account.

Flying Semi-Trailers!

Dallas/Ft. Worth tornado pictures.


This fictional portrait movie of photographer Diane Arbus was on the Sundance channel last night. Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr. were amazing! And what a peculiar movie it was, too!

On The Importance Of Hearsay

Tucson's Mexican-American Studies Ban, via Jon Stewart (via Hullaballoo).

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Iowa Governor Hates It When News Goes Viral

I'm surprised Iowa Governor Branstad never realized how vulnerable they were to a campaign like this:
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad called Monday for a congressional investigation into how what he called "a smear campaign" against the meat product commonly called "pink slime" got started.

...But a recent piece by The Daily on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's purchase of meat that included "pink slime" for school lunches touched a nerve with Houston resident Bettina Siegel, whose blog "The Lunch Tray" focuses on kids' food. She started an online petition asking Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to halt use of "pink slime" in school food, and the USDA announced last month that starting in the fall it would give schools the option of choosing ground beef that doesn't contain it.

...Branstad said he's firing off a letter to all the other governors in the nation, urging them to be equally aggressive on the issue. He also called on students at agricultural colleges in Iowa to use their social media skills "to counter what Hollywood and the media elites and the people who are spreading this misinformation are doing."

"It's their future that's being threatened by this," Branstad said.
One person's misinformation is another person's information. People tend to be sensitive about what they eat (although I tend to associate 'pink slime' with 'lunch').

It's amazing how quickly this 'pink slime' meme spread, once it started. You know an idea has arrived when economist Paul Krugman slimes Republican economic ideas as the equivalent of 'pink slime'. By summer, everything will be pink slime!

It's A Dessert Topping!: It's A Floor Wax!

It's both!:
“Titanic”: Waterlogged schmaltz, or pop classic?

Regarding Guns, This Is What We Really Need

It's rather paradoxical that gun ownership is less and less part of our lives, even as the ones who own guns seem to be getting nuttier with time:
America has witnessed the proliferation of gun-happy laws in recent years, especially laws making it easy for citizens to carry concealed handguns, and the now-widely discussed “stand your ground” laws. The spread of such legislation would lead you to believe that Americans are fonder of guns than ever before, but in fact fewer citizens own firearms now than they did in the 1960s. Why have America’s gun laws loosened even as guns themselves decline in popularity?

...[C]ritics often overlook the NRA’s motivations. There are more than Second Amendment principles at stake. The NRA confronts an existential threat to its recruitment base: declining gun ownership and use among Americans.

Not only do fewer Americans own guns than before, but fewer Americans engage in traditional hunting and sporting activities. And younger age cohorts take less interest in guns than their parents and grandparents. In a 2008 survey, for example, gun ownership rates were highest among those over the age of 70 (48 percent), and lowest for those ages 18 to 29 (17 percent). Even though roughly 80 million Americans own guns, demographic decline is already in the cards. Gun familiarity comes mostly from family habits, and fewer families are carrying on gun traditions. What better way for the NRA to re-supply the gun users pool than to strip the nation’s laws of obstacles to gun purchase, use fear of crime to motivate potential gun buyers, and to desensitize the nation’s majority of non-gun owners to the sight of civilians packing heat?
Stripped of consumer appeal, and absent strident defense, in time, gun ownership is likely to become a relic of a bygone age. How can we accelerate this process?

Gun ownership issues aside, my big fear regarding guns is the very lucrative gun-show trade near the Mexican border. Gun owners near the border head to the gun shows, and in complete anonymity sell their guns at a premium to narco-mafiosi mules, who bring the guns south across the border for endless mayhem. The money to be made is breathtaking! The narcos are no obligation to follow our laws, or anyone's laws but their own, and, in time, having a foreign base so close to our homes is a direct threat to all of us.

What we really need to do is to break up this arms-for-cash trade. The weak link is the anonymity of the trade. We need people to set up cameras outside these venues, capture license-plate numbers, find ways to look these numbers up, and post online the identities of the people who own these vehicles. These are the people who most-endanger our lives with their appetites!

A little bit of Anonymous, James Bond, and all for a good cause! No conservative dweebery here!

Conservative Dweeb On The Prowl

Nothin' better to do with his life:
Young, bearded, a bit scruffy, a young man walked into a community organizing office in East Harlem, lugging a heavy bag. A little nervous, he said that his name was Melvin Howting, and that he worked for an environmental company in New Jersey and had a few questions about how to organize a union.

He wanted to know how to get higher wages.

And, oh yes, he had another question: If he formed a union, could his fellow workers join with the employer to shake down politicians for more money?

At this point, Rhea Byer-Ettinger, an organizer for Manhattan Together, felt her internal baloney detector go on red alert. “Beep, beep, beep,” she said. “I said to him: ‘Well, that’s not how we work. Tell me, why are you asking me about that?’ ”

...Nothing this fellow said was true. Public records reveal that his real name is John M. Howting. He is active in the conservative movement and does not want to organize a union. His company — for which he built an elaborate Web site — and its officials do not exist. Ms. Byer-Ettinger suspects that he secretly recorded their conversation.

How To Carve A Djembe

Twin Twisters In The Dallas/Ft. Worth Area

Gabe heard about twin tornadoes touching down in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and wondered about my opinion about it. The reason he asked was because he heard stories about how apoplectic I got several years ago when watching twin tornadoes collide and merge over Los Angeles in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow".

Irritated already at the people behind us for talking, the panoramic visual stupidity on display sent me over the edge. I stood up and chastised the chatterers behind us, then to the amazement of my friends, vented towards the screen about this mentally-retarded, sad sack of a movie.

You see, if tornadoes get close enough to merge, they would first start rotating around a common center: whirling vortices, if you will. Any meteorologist knows that. Hell, any 10-year-old child knows that! The only people who don't know that are people in Hollywood with vast budgets allocated for bringing computer-animated stupidity to you, 24/7, over any, and every, available media platform (for a fee, of course). They just had the twisters collide, like really dumb spinning figure skaters at the Olympics!

I wish my best to the traumatized folks in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and hope they are well this evening. My only requirement is, if their twin twisters merge, that it be done in a meteorologically-appropriate way.

That is all.

Usher ft. Nicki Minaj - Lil Freak (Electro Remix)

I was taken with the infectious beat of the remix for this song in yesterday's Cardio Step fitness class, but where Pepper actually got his remix is uncertain. Nevertheless, this remix is close, or at least close enough: a faster, harder-driving beat than most of the remixes out there, so it's the right idea!

Dancing Swedes At Lunch

The Nordic countries are full of good ideas:
"It is absolutely fantastic!" exclaimed Asa Andersson, 33, who broke away from her job at a coffee shop to dance last week. "It is the first time I'm here. I'm totally happy and ecstatic, totally covered in sweat, and I'm full of energy. It does not get any better than this."

The first Lunch Beat was held in June 2010 in an underground parking lot in Stockholm. Only 14 people showed up. But they had so much fun they immediately planned another event. Word spread, and now the Swedish capital has monthly Lunch Beats that attract hundreds.

Similar events have been held in at least 10 other Swedish cities and in Finland and Serbia. Portugal's first try will be in Porto next month, organizers say.

The party starts at noon and goes for one hour. There's no alcohol, which gives it a different ambiance than nighttime clubbing, says Daniel Odelstad, 31-year-old organizer of Lunch Beat Stockholm.

"People are sober, it's in the middle of the day and it is very short, effective and intensive," he said. "You just have to get in there and dance, because the hour ends pretty quickly."

..."The first rule of Lunch Beat is that you have to dance," he said while checking prepaid tickets at the door. "If you don't want to dance during your lunch hour, then you should eat your lunch somewhere else."

The events are not-for-profit. Cover charges are used for rent and sandwiches, so dancers don't return to work hungry.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Time To Climb To The Top Of The Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in Moscow!

Working On The Jigsaw Puzzle At The Dentist's

Hmmmm..... Something is missing.....

That Damned "N" Word Will Trip You Up Every Time!

Via Eileen, on Facebook.

Healthy Eating Habits

Kristine W - Feel What You Want

Lovely Spring Sunday

Beautiful day! I spent the afternoon cleaning stuff, particularly outside.

Some of the stuff outside didn't particularly need cleaning. Because the winter had been so dry, I had been able to be particularly thorough with cleaning back in November and December, and things were only slightly out-of-order now, but that wasn't the point. The point was, to be outside!

The Japanese-Maple-type tree on the left, with the red leaves, has leafed out now (the blossoms had been excruciatingly-beautiful a few weeks ago), but the eucalyptus on the right seems dead-ish, or dead-like. I hope it's just a bit early for the eucalyptus. I wouldn't want to be in the position of having to tape leaves to the branches this summer, in order to give the facsimile of life to dead wood.

Pam Kay Lourentzos' Last Class

Pam: I have an announcement everyone! Today, I'm teaching my last class ever here at The Ballet Studio!

Bunheads: (gasp!)

Pam: April Fools!

Bunheads: (laughter)

Pam (in an aside): (This is the first time ever I've been able to pull a joke like this off!)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

"Legally Blonde" - Runaway Stage Productions

Cassie March as Elle Woods.

An excellent show at RSP!

I had some difficulty with some of the lyrics, due to the tempo and some trouble hearing the words over the orchestra, so I checked on two songs that appeared remarkably clever during the show, but for which I couldn't always be sure of what I was hearing.

First, Paulette the Hairdresser's ode to the famed Emerald Isle made famous by 'Riverdance': "Ireland":

Elle, do you know the number one reason behind all bad hair decisions?

(sung) You're lost without your love
Your heart is on the floor
I can help you
I've been there before!
When I need to relax
I just put on some tracks
From this CD I bought for the store

(Celtic chanting)

(spoken) Isn't that relaxing? It's called CELTIC MOODS!

(sung) When I'm lonely or feeling dejected
I play this and it never fails
I pretend like I'm in Ireland
With Enya and the whales

When my telephone gets disconnected
Or I spend every night alone
I pretend like I'm in Ireland
Where the Irish bagpipes drone

Smell the grass as a rainstorm is endin'
People smile while I stroll past their farms
With a redheaded sailor named Brendan
And we dance without moving our arms

In a bar once I met this guy Dewey
And he bought me like 14 beers
And he told me that he was from Ireland
So I lived with him 10 years

If I squinted he looked like my sailor
Through my boozy delusional fog
But he dumped me for some slut named Kayla
Took my trailer and took my dog

In Ireland they know how to love you
You embrace in the misty Irish breeze
And if your Irish boy tires of you
You're allowed to shoot him in the knees

Hey, you look like that poster for Ireland
Long blonde hair and the sweet sunny face
Oh no wait that's the poster for Sweden
Oh screw it. I'll never see either place!

But a girl sweet as you has a future
You have hope as each new day dawns
Girls like you always get to see Ireland
Give my love to the leprechauns
Second, the song There! Right There! This song is the most-amusing musical-theater song I've heard in years: perhaps the most-amusing song ever!

The legal team defending Aerobics Superstar Brooke Wyndham (played perfectly by the ever-athletic Kris Farhood), who is on trial for murdering her billionaire husband, needs to quickly-establish which 'team' the foreign-mannered witness, Nikos the Pool Boy (played by Seth Benkunsky), plays for:
There! Right There!
Look at that tan, that tinted skin.
Look at the killer shape he's in.
Look at that slightly stubbly chin.
Oh Please he's gay, totally gay.

I'm not about to celebrate.
Every trait could indicate the totally straight expatriate.
This guy's not gay, I say not gay.

That is the elephant in the room.
Well is it relevant to assume
that a man who wears perfume
is automatically radically fey?

But look at his coiffed and crispy locks.

Look at his silk translucent socks.

There's the eternal paradox.
Look what we're seeing.

What are we seeing?

Is he gay?

Of course he's gay.

Or European?

Gay or European?
It's hard to guarantee
Is he gay or European?

Well, hey don't look at me.

You see they bring their boys up different in those charming foreign ports.
They play peculiar sports.

In shiny shirts and tiny shorts.
Gay or foreign fella?
The answer could take weeks.
They will say things like "ciao bella"
while they kiss you on both cheeks.

Oh please.

Gay or European?
So many shades of gray.

Depending on the time of day, the French go either way.

Is he gay or European?

There! Right There!
Look at that condescending smirk.
Seen it on every guy at work.
That is a metro hetero jerk.
That guy's not gay, I say no way.

That is the elephant in the room.
Well is it relevant to presume
that a hottie in that costume

Is automatically-radically

Ironically chronically

Certainly pertin'tly

Genetically medically


Gay or European?

So stylish and relaxed.

Is he gay or European?

I think his chest is waxed.

But they bring their boys up different there.
It's culturally diverse.
It's not a fashion curse.

If he wears a kilt or bears a purse.
Gay or just exotic?
I still can't crack the code.

Yet his accent is hypnotic
but his shoes are pointy toed.

Gay or European?
So many shades of gray.

But if he turns out straight I'm free at eight on Saturday.

Is he gay or European?
gay or european?
Gay or Euro-

Wait a minute!
Give me a chance to crack this guy.
I have an idea I'd like to try.

The floor is yours.

So Mr. Argitacos...
This alleged affair with Ms. Windam has been going on for...?

2 years.

And your first name again is...?


And your boyfriend's name is...?

I'm sorry! I misunderstand. You say boyfriend.
I thought you say best friend. Carlos is my best friend.

You bastard!
You lying bastard!
That's it.
I no cover for you, no more!
I have a big announcement.
This man is Gay and European!
you've got to stop your being
a completely closet case.
No matter what he say.
I swear he never ever ever swing the other way.
You are so gay.
You big parfait!
You flaming boy band cabaret.

I'm straight!

You were not yesterday.
So if I may, I'm proud to say,
He's gay!

And European!

He's gay!

And European!

He's gay!

And European and Gay!

Fine okay I'm gay!


Nikos and Carlos:
Fine. Okay. We're gay!

Christina Castro prepares to bow. Brent Dirksen (with the dog, Rufus Buonofonte), Danielle Hansen, Christina Castro, Ambercade Guidry.

I hadn't had time to talk with Christina before. In DMTC's recent production of "Chicago", she struck me as the most-amazing dancer ever, by being able to flirt with the audience while dancing the opening number: a truly amazing feat, given the rapid tempo. Apparently Christina's dance roots are in Elk Grove, at J. Rene Dance Studio, among several studios in her formative years. I had never heard of J. Rene, but the suburban scene is often the birthplace of great dancers (in Tucson, where I started performing, Tucson Regional Ballet had started off as just such a suburban studio). In Christina's case, she had gone into theatrical dancing competition early, and excelled in it. I hope she's on stage in Sacramento for years!

Caitland Martin, Brent Dirksen, Kate Richardson, Danielle Hansen, Christina Castro, Ambercade Guidry, Michael Cross.

Matt Welch and Cassie March prepare to bow. Caitland Martin, Brent Dirksen, Kate Richardson, Michael Cross, Ashley Holm, Danielle Hansen, Christina Castro, Matt Welch, Ambercade Guidry, Cassie March, Cole Forstedt, Jennifer Schmelzer.

It was great seeing Matt Welch again! I hadn't seen him since DMTC's "A Chorus Line", in 2003. In the intervening years he's been involved in set design and directing in San Jose and Portland, but hasn't performed on stage in four years. Excellent singer!

The DMTC crew on the outside steps after the show.

The social scene around any musical is always a bit hazardous. I had two opportunities to demonstrate what an ass I am.

First, before the show, I saw Riley Spieler whom I hadn't seen much of since 2009's "Seussical the Musical" at DMTC. I asked him if he had done any shows recently. He gave a pained grin and said he had been in the children's show that had closed that very afternoon at RSP (which I should have known about, if I had been paying any attention).

Secondly, I congratulated Kate Richardson for her wonderful portrayal of Paulette the Hairdresser. I also congratulated her for being the liveliest cast member in RSP's January show, "The Wedding Singer". She thanked me very much for the compliments: particularly for the being the liveliest cast member in "The Wedding Singer", since she hadn't even been in that show, but very much liked the idea that she was the liveliest person.

Characteristically, I had confused Kate Richardson with Jennifer Schmelzer (whom I fervently-hope was actually a cast member in "The Wedding Singer").

West African Drumming Class - 2nd Session

I ain't got rhythm, I ain't got music, I ain't got no man, Who could ask for anything more?

Hot Water Heater Saturday

Out with the old....

And in with the new!

Wet Saturday

The storm, coming in on Saturday morning. The TV forecasts on Friday showed the storm coming in so fast that it seemed nearly unprecedented, but I was skeptical it would come in so fast. In fact, it came in a bit slower than the TV forecasts said.

The back yard as the rain fell.

Afterwards, no rainbows, but Bailey the Bunny instead!

Here is the rainfall for the past week.

Unfortunately, despite the rain, we are still only 59% of normal for the season (we tend to get rain at this time of year anyway, so we have to run hard just to stay in place).

Surreptitious Bunny

Kale is the bait!

"South Pacific" - Woodland Opera House

Friday night, after a pizza with extra salami, Sally and I went to see "South Pacific" at the Woodland Opera House (DMTC friends were there too).

An excellent show, with Catherine Nickerson as Nellie Forbush and Michael Maples as Emile de Becque. I hadn't seen Nickerson perform before (Steve says she was in 'White Christmas', which I didn't see). Maples was apparently Colonel von Trapp in WOH's 'Sound of Music', which I did see, but since he changed his accent, from German to French, I no longer recognized him. They were ably assisted by Deborah Hammond as Bloody Mary, Jason Hammond as Stewpot, Spenser Micetich as Lt. Cable, and Allison Ruanto as Liat (plus other friends: Erik Catalan, Emily Jo Seminoff, Kara Sheldon, and Keri Ruanto).

After the show, Steve Isaacson greets flute-player Sue Ann Sheya (center).

It's amazing! Sue Ann used to be a co-worker with Steve and I, but these days she's given up air pollution engineering so she can play the flute full-time! Life is good!

The after-show socializing!

Dagnabit! Nartnoside Went To ETD Pop 2012, But I Didn't Even Get A Lousy T-Shirt!

But then, Nartnoside's own T-Shirt got trampled on at the show, so he had his own difficulties....

(Life can be hard at the Big Dance....)

I didn't even know about this show (at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Saturday night)! I saw "Legally Blonde" at RSP instead (but had I known......!)

The first video focuses on the spectacle, but I prefer the second video.

World’s Ocean Surface Currents - Animation

Kate sends this:
Last year, a group of NASA scientists and animators put together this animation of the world’s ocean surface currents, based on ocean flow data for June 2005 to December 2007. The video starts over the Atlantic, and as the globe rotates, you can see the whorls and waves dancing across the ocean, the relative calm of the Pacific, and the stillness around Antarctica. It’s dazzling and hypnotic.

If It's A Big Job, It's Time To Argue With Joe The Plumber

M.: Listen, I don't care how stupid my questions might sound. You answer them!

J.: Listen I'm trying to do you a favor, so just do what I say!


(After eleven years of ups and downs, this is less like a commercial relationship, and more like a marriage.)

(And it's also time to argue with E.)

E.: MMMMMAAAARRRRCCC! When will you ever learn? 'Psycho Two' is a Fake Plumber!

(But it's hard to argue with leaking water! The hot water heater has reached the end of its lifetime!)

E. Recalls Scary Cross-Country Auto Trips

E.: MMMMAAAAAARRRRRCCCCC! We should drive to Massachusetts!

M.: Massachusetts? That's a long way!

E.: That's true, but we can stop in Alabama. And New Mexico, of course. Did I ever tell you about when George and I used to drive to Massachusetts? It was scary!

M.: Scary?

E.: There was the time we were passing through Las Vegas, around sunset. The cars, they drive so fast there, and there was a horizon!

M.: There was a horizon? (???)

E.: That's right! And there was the time we stopped at a gas station in Lovelock, Nevada. Have you ever been there? It's so small! It's in the boondock. I went to the bathroom, and when I came out, George was gone. I looked everywhere for him. I talked to the gas station attendants, and I said "Have you seen my husband? Where did he go?" They pointed out into the desert and they said "He went that-a-way." MMMMMAAAARRRRRCCCC! They were so mean and stupid!

M.: Where was George? Did the Alien get him?

E.: No, he was right there in the gas station all along, but for some reason I didn't see him.

M.: You didn't see him?

E.: No. And then there was the time we were in Nebraska. We had gone to Triple-A, where we got the maps, and they gave us directions saying there was a hotel at a certain highway exit, so we took the exit, but we drove and drove and didn't see nothing. Just corn. Corn everywhere! But no hotel. MMMMMAAAARRRRRCCCC! It was scary! And it was getting dark! Just when we were about to give up, we came across a motel in the corn. Whew! But it wasn't a hotel.

M.: Scary! It makes me think I don't want to go to Massachusetts!

Venetian Princess - "The End Is Nigh" - (Parody of Lady Gaga's 'Yoü And I')