Friday, January 27, 2006
Yes, this is more W-vitriol. I have adopted a new name for him. George Orwell created "Big Brother". The Conservatives and Republicans have created "Big Bother" - both are annoying, both are unfortunately powerful, and both want to flush your civil liberties down the toilet all in the name of keeping you safer.
Big Bother's latest attempt at doing so is to bypass the US court systems to tap telephones of suspected terrorists without permission from, well, anyone. Is it really that much trouble to get a judge to authorize a wiretap? Apparently, Big Bother doesn't quite remember 5th grade history and what the Founding Fathers said about the balance of power in the government. Basically, no one branch can do anything of consequence without another branch giving the OK. It's called Checks and Balances. This would mean the Executive Branch would need the assistance of the Judicial Branch - which shouldn't be too tough since Big Bother now has a conservative/republican majority on the Supreme Court. As he strips Americans of our basic civil rights, he is turning us into the very people he has sent the nations youth to fight. Honestly, the terrorists won a long time ago.
Big Bother is trying to establish himself as a wartime president because those leaders ascertain questionable powers during times of national wartime crisis: Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson's revocation of free speech during World War I, Franklin Roosevelt's order imprisoning Japanese Americans in World War II are all considered blatant abuses of power.
Our crisis today America is not terror - our crisis is 5 Ford Motor Company plants closing with an estimated 20,000 people out of work; our crisis is working conditions so bad that coal miners are losing their lives in West Virginia; our crisis is an 8 year-old Maryland boy accidentally shooting a 7 year-old girl in the arm at a daycare center with a loaded gun he pulled out of his backpack; our crisis is the murder of 2,250 American soldiers overseas fighting an invisible enemy that doesn't threaten the United States; our crisis is the lasting homeless and devastation surrounding New Orleans; our crisis is over 900,000 Americans dying every year of heart disease.
My favorite quote right now is from author Gore Vidal, who says, "This is not a wartime president. We are not IN a war. The 'War on Terror' may as well be called the 'War on Dandruff'. It's a metaphor, it doesn't mean anything." Big Bother is fixated on this war because without it, his presidency will have stood for nothing. At least that's all we know because he doesn't hold press conferences to tell us what he is doing or what his opinions are. We hear he is doing things, but he doesn't tell us about them himself. I am tired of the "spokesmen" on his behalf. I want to hear HIM say the stuff. It's so easy to deny saying anything when you've never actually said it to anyone. He doesn't share. He's not a giver. He's a taker. (I'm guessing he is also a lousy lay.)
He takes powers that aren't his, control that he can't handle, advisors that he can't supervise. In my opinion, our nation's greatest terror sits behind a desk in an oval office waiting for someone to come tell him what to do.
**Interestingly, this article came out the day after mine (great minds?). Granted, it's not a stretch to compare this presidency with Orwellian prophecy, but it does give me some validation.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Try the stairs. Going up or down just one flight? Take the staircase for God's sake. Make an attempt at being healthy. Work off that third doughnut from this morning. The stairs are usually faster anyway if you are only going one floor at a time. Push yourself.
Get in, not on. One gets in an elevator, not on it. It's an enclosed box, a casing, a room, complete with doors, carpeting, paneling, some even have windows. You enter it, not climb on top of it. If it was just a platform, then you would get on it. But it's not. So you get in it.
Don't push the button more than once. I don’t like when I am the only one waiting for an elevator and another person walks up and pushes the button again. Umm, didja think I didn’t already do that?? What am I, standing here for my looks?? Do I look that derelict that I don’t understand how an elevator works?? Also, pushing the button more than once will not make the elevator arrive any faster or the door close any sooner. Trust me on this. Double-click your mouse, not the elevator buttons.
Wait your turn. I don’t like when I am the only person waiting for an elevator, and then a crowd begins to amass. The elevator arrives, doors open, and all the people who arrived after me push in ahead of me. Everyone should wait his turn. If I was there first, I board first.
Move to the back. Once you press the button corresponding to your floor, move to the back of the elevator so the others can get in. It doesn't matter if your floor is first or not, move to the back.
Don’t crowd the elevator. Six adults is plenty in a standard size elevator. I never get in one that already contains more than 5 people. Be patient. Elevators are like men – another one will be along any second.
Don’t talk to me. I don’t want to make conversation. I do not consider this "awkward time". Usually I am trying to concentrate on getting my ears to pop. That’s all the entertainment I need for the 20 second trip, thanks. A polite "excuse me" is all I require as you exit.
No "elevator humour". No comments about the cables breaking and the elevator crashing. These are not funny. How would you like it if I pulled out a butcher knife and came at you? It'd be scary, right? So is the thought of me plummeting to earth in a box big enough for me to touch all 4 sides at once.
Push your own buttons. I work in the building, but not in the elevator. You’re a grown-up – decide what floor you want and push the appropriate button. I will assist you only if your hands are full of papers and other work, but not if you are loaded down with coffee, newspapers, and/or breakfast. There was time for all of that before you arrived. You know you have buttons to push (other than mine, that is), so allow yourself a free finger if necessary.
Don’t touch me. It’s bad enough I have to share the space, I don’t need to feel you. I know you are there, I don’t need proof. I am concentrating on going from the first to the thirty-fifth floor on express. Admittedly it’s a quick trip, lasting just a few seconds. You will not starve for human contact in that time. If we get trapped in there, God forbid, then maybe you can hug me after a day or so. But not before then.
Just stand there. Do whatever it is you need to do before you get in the elevator. Don’t try to put your coat on, or load your briefcase, or juggle papers. It's an elevator, not a circus ring. I am not a scout for Ringling Bros. Stand still.
No cell phone conversations. Don’t have a private conversation in a small public space with no other visible person.
Remove bulk. Take your backpacks (very unprofessional, by the way), gym bags, and large purses off your shoulders and put them at your feet. Most of us are larger up top than we are at the bottom. There is plenty of room to sit your luggage at your feet. You alone are allowed to take up the space of just one person, not two.
And last but not least ...
No bodily releases. An elevator is like a Tupperware container; there's not even a source of oxygen. So no burping, belching, sneezing, coughing, and most of all farting. Even dropping a slight bomb can spell catastrophic possibilities. Remember, this is a public elevator - not your dorm room, not a bar, not your parents' recliner, not a bathroom, not your automobile, not your cubicle.
And if you get in an elevator with me, and break any of the above rules . . . God help you.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The Ice Princess.
The amusing and lovable gay uncle.
The pompous, overbearing Know-it-all.
The mousy quiet talented one who secretly has a killer bod.
The character who was killed off in a previous season only to return with a vengeance to suffer the same tragic fate.
The Club Kid/Pachuco/Street Hustler.
The sassy black diva.
The crazy aunt.
The snotty foreigner.
The Insecure Older Sister.
The grungey girl who needs a shower.
The one who slips under the radar.
The gestating, gelid German.
The brilliant, benevolent bellwether.
The critical, contrary, confident critic.
The meager,magnetic, modern maven.
My predictions for the top three are: Nick, Daniel Vosovic, and Chloe.
My prediction for the overall winner: Daniel Vosovic.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Again, don't hate smokers, but I do hate smoking. And with all the negatives, I have to wonder why people smoke at all. With cigarette ads long pulled from television and print ads, and a smoking ban inside public places being enforced in Chicago, as it has already been done in many other cities across the country and the world, not to mention outdoor public spaces like beaches.
SIDEBAR: I have a similar opinion about anyone catching HIV these days. I know accidents happen sometimes and I know people will misrepresent. But anyone who is out there having unprotected sex with strangers (and yes, that guy that you met in the bar 4 hours ago but feel a connection with is STILL a stranger) is just plain crazy. Getting HIV is a shame, but asking for it is just lunacy.So I ask these questions - not to be confrontational, but to seriously question why. If I could get an intelligent answer to these questions, say an answer that would convince me to start smoking myself, then perhaps it might all make sense:
1) First of all, I have to wonder why smoking is even legal given the fact that not only can you die from it, you can kill other people as well?
2) Is the craving to smoke a cigarette so intense that you can't wait four seconds for the doors on the train to open before lighting up?
3) Why do you light your cigarette in the lobby of the building, or just inside the door, rather than wait until you are outside, as the law requires?
4) If smoking is banned in the workplace, how are people allowed to smoke in automobiles (cops, cab drivers, trucker drivers) that are owned by the employer?
5) Do smokers realize how bad they smell when sitting in front of/next to/behind you, no matter if it's in the bus, train, restaurant or movie theatre?
6) Knowing that you can get lung, throat, mouth, esophogeal and larynx cancer, as well as heart disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis from smoking, is it really worth the risk?
7) Do smokers realize that no amount of gum, mint, or breath spray will masquerade the smell of nicotine?
I know these questions sound like I am judging, but I really just would like decent answers to them in order to understand.
The main reason for this post is actually to share this story: Back when I was young, I was in a restaurant with my friend Curt. Curt was saucy and a spitfire and one of those true "I just say what I think" types. Seated at the table next to us were four women, two of whom were smoking (back then there weren't separate seating areas). With cigarette smoke billowing into his face, Curt turned to the table and said, "Excuse me, could you put that thing out,the smoke is getting in my face?" One woman drolly responded, "Well I can't help where it goes" and turned back to her table. Curt looked at me, made a mean face, and then I saw the lightbulb go on over his head. He leaned over to me and said, "Watch this" and then let out a loud 5-second fart.
As the women all turned with disgust and looked at us, Curt simply said, "Well I can't help where it goes." I was in awe! And as we got up to leave, he turned to the table and said, "Well at least you won't get cancer from me".
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
You are Hulk
|You are a wanderer with|
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Had to decline. No way to gauge the new boss's reaction to my taking a day off to play prisoner. I figured I would just tell her about it and see what her reaction was. If she came back with "Oh, you should have just called me", then I would do it the next time - if there was a next time. However last Monday, when I told my boss, she only said, "Well that's too bad."
Too bad is right. Too bad Prison Break didn't call me during the three months I wasn't working. To make matters worse, they did it to me again THIS week. Yesterday the casting agent called me to tell me the director hand-picked me to be in a scene being shot in the Hilton on South Michigan Avenue today at 9:30AM. Again, had to say no.
I guess I will just have to become famous some other way.
Note to self: Do I still have those tassles in the back on my sock drawer?
Friday, January 13, 2006
I liken the whole thing to online cheating: morally it's wrong, but technically it's no big deal. Lying about your life story is like cheating at solitaire - the only person who will really suffer is you. If you write a story that you pass off as non-fiction, it should be truthful and accurate. Otherwise, the only legacy you will leave behind is that you are a liar.But the best point I made was that I am considering Frey's book in the same vein as I consider The Bible - probably full of fabrications, however the underlying themes are the messages you need to abstract:
If Frey's book can be used as a message and beacon to others who are suffering from drug abuse, loneliness, or a sense of failure, then does it really matter if the color of his prison jumpsuit is accurate? Besides, in his mind, based on all the drugs he used, he might really believe this was the way it all happened (three hours in a jail cell can easily seem like three days when you have no sense of time). If he was as drugged out as he claims, then he's left brain cells all over the country. And the mere fact that he can put together a few coherent sentences is quite a feat.
Do I believe that the world flooded for 40 days and 40 nights and that one man rescued two of every living creature? No.
But do I believe in the idea of second chances and new beginnings? Yes.
Do I believe that men stomped their feet and blew their horns so the walls of Jericho would tumble to the ground? No.
But do I believe in the power of community? Yes.
Do I believe that Samson lost all of his strength when Delilah cut his hair off? No.
But do I believe that love can come back and bite you in the ass? Hell yeah.
Was it wrong to lie? Sure. Did he lie? No idea. Is it his memoir as he remembers it? Probably. In life, if you tell a lie long enough, it becomes your truth. Whether these things actually happened to him or not, perhaps he really believes that they did. Drugs will do that to you. So will despair, loneliness, and a feeling of needing to belong.
So let the man alone. And remember - you have the option of NOT reading his book.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
2005 - Happy hour at David Greggory and then the Scissor Sisters concert at 9:30 Club.
2004 - Stayed late at work to prep Board Packets, then hit the gym.
2003 - Saw The Hours with friend Dean in Georgetown, and we mutually agreed we hated it while we had dinner at Pepper's.
2002 - Shopped in Pentagon City with friend Chris, then went to the DC Eagle for Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend.
2001 - Went to the DC Eagle for MAL with friend Kirk.
2000 - Went to JR's with friends Al and Scott.
1999 - Dinner with friend Ron, rented The Opposite of Sex.
1997 - Had dinner at Afterwords Cafe with friends David and Al.
1996 - Snowstorm in DC - total of 17 inches! Office closed, so spent the day in JR's (natch).
1994 - Dress rehearsal for Johnny Got His Gun, off-broadway play.
1992 - Played Taboo with group of friends.
1991 - Redskins v 49er's Playoff Party at my apartment with friends from DC Aquatics Club. Then out to Lost & Found (long gone club) with friends Matt and Jeff.
1989 - Went to Thursday night Track's (long gone club) with friend Barbie and cousin Brad.
1987 - A study group at 1pm in the student lounge. Worked 4pm-12am at the hotel.
1986 - Out with Crystal (Ex-Fiance) to see Agnes of God.
1984 - Senior Play rehearsal of Harvey.
1983 - Skiing at The Wisp Resort with friends from school.
1982 - My sophomore year. I was grounded for something, but I can't remember why.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I have always thought of them as an odd couple. Hilary Swank's obviously got more testosterone than Chad Lowe, and besides that, his name is Chad. Chaaaaaaaaaaaad. Is there a gayer name out there? Is it possible to say that name without adding all the extra A's? I think not.
Hilary has won two Academy Awards, both for portraying women who secretly desire (in one way or another) to be men. Dare we say coincidence? Again, I think not. It's of course a given that her portrayals were examples of her flawless acting ability, but I think it's time she takes off the strap-on and puts on a fur bikini for the remake of 1 Billion Years B.C. Playing a suffragette wasn't enough. You worked hard on that bod, Hil, so show it off, girl! You got a backside to die for.
Chad's career has been, well ... how shall we put this? ... buried so deep in the Atlantic that even James Cameron can't get to it (oh, wait, there was that afterschool special back in 1988, No Means No - the viewer comments alone would be enough to make me live in a cave on a mountain). I mean it's bad enough that your wife can pass for a more masculine man that you, but add on top of that being Rob "He Sets My Heart On 'St. Elmo's Fire'" Lowe's younger and not-nearly-as-attractive brother. Well, I'd just kill myself.
A friend of mine photographed their apartment back in 2001 for Apartment Living, or something like that. He said that while Hilary was fascinated with the camera and lighting and how it all worked (foreshadowing a possible directorial debut?), Chaaaad was flitting about ("flitting" - his word, not mine) moving flowers, playing with their 2 parrots and fussing with his shirt collar (the joke about wondering who wears the pants in that family is just wasted here).
Admittedly, it is sad when a couple, especially a young one, just doesn't make it. And they were together for eight years -- that's nothing to sneeze at. But perhaps it is for the best. Even though I can't see either of them dating anytime soon, Hilary can now move on and find someone who is on par with her celebrity status, and Chad can settle down with a nice she-male in San Francisco.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
First, there was Kylie and Dannii. Then, there was Britney and Jamie Lyn; then Jessica and Ashlee; then Hilary and Hailey. Now you tell me that there are now two Lohans: Lindsay and Ali. Isn't just one of these girls enough? Are any of them so outstanding that the public deserves a sequel in the form of a sister?? (Okay, maybe Kylie) But if Mandy Moore has a little sister out there someplace who is in talks with Nickelodeon or something, I'm taking a chainsaw to my forehead.
Let's recall the divas of yesteryear: Cher's sister didn't follow in her footsteps; neither did Diana Ross's or Mariah Carey's. No one in Madonna's family tried being famous. Meryl Streep sister wasn't doing bit parts in Meryl's movies. Even Marilyn Monroe's sister stayed the hell away. So what is it that makes today's smaller versions think they are just as talented as their siblings?
Answer: Greedy parents. It's the Joe Simpsons, Dina Lohans and Lynne Spearses of this world. They see their younger children and think "ca-ching!" Shame on them. These situations can only end up in two results: 1) Child #1's success so overshadows #2 that #2 doesn't even stand a chance and ends up working the graveyard shift at Dunkin' Donuts, or 2) Child #2 is actually more talented than #1 and a confused public can't deal with that so it alienates both of them. Either way, Child #2 is doomed. And only for the almighty dollar.
In today's tabloid society, the only thing younger siblings are good for is gossip: they end up saying the wrong thing to reporters about their sibling. Or they get arrested. Or they lip synch. In any case, enough is enough. Parents, one of your kids is plenty (and in some cases just one kid is one too many).
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Four jobs you’ve had in your life: Paperboy, Desk Clerk, Gap Manager, Marketing Associate
Four movies you could watch over and over: The Wizard of Oz, All About Eve, Die Hard, The Nightmare Before Christmas
Four places you’ve lived: DC, New York, Chicago, Ocean City
Four TV shows you love to watch: The Golden Girls, Project Runway, Orange County Choppers, Family Guy
Four places you’ve been on vacation: Provincetown, Niagara Falls, Cancun, New Orleans
Four websites you visit daily: Bigmusclebears, The Onion, iTunes, Americablog to name just a few
Four of your favorite foods: Popcorn, pizza, french fries, Mom's lemon meringue pie
Four places you’d rather be: Love Chicago, but 4 destinations are Sydney, London, Berlin, San Diego
Four albums you can’t live without: Standing At The Edge, Clear Horizon, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Patience
Four magazines you read: OUT, Advocate, American History, Premiere
Four cars you’ve owned: Chevette, Accord, Tempo, Jeep
Four people to do this meme: Kevin, Dennis, Justin, Joe
Twelfth Night (the evening of Jan. 5th)
Twelfth Night was celebrated as the end of Christmastide. The decorations, including holly and mistletoe, were taken down, the burned out Yule Log was removed from the fireplace, and its ashes stored temporarily. These were then buried along with the seeds planted in the ensuing spring to ensure a good harvest. Each of the twelve days after Christmas was considered, in the countryside at least, to represent the corresponding months of the year, and the weather on these days was carefully observed and noted as a guide as to what could be expected for the rest of the year.
Feast of the Epiphany
On January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany was an important celebration in Wales. In Glamorganshire, a huge loaf or cake was prepared, which was then divided up into three parts to represent Christ, the Virgin Mary and the three Wise Men. A large company of neighbors was invited to be present at the dividing of the cake in which rings were concealed. Whoever discovered a ring in his piece of cake (or bread) was elected as King or Queen or Misrule and presided over the day's festivities. January 6th, of course, was the date of the old-calendar Christmas Day, and many of the festivities connected with it lasted well over a century after the new calendar was introduced in 1752.
To wassail means to be "whole, healthy", and both Christmas and New Year were marked by wassailing, which included both drinking and singing. The custom seems to have begun as a way of wishing the farmer successful harvests from his fields and the increase of his livestock during the coming year. The wassail bowl itself, which had twelve handles, was filled with cakes, baked apples and sugar into which was poured warm beer and spices. The bowl was then passed around hand to hand in the circle of friends and neighbors gathered round the blazing fire until the beer was consumed. The remaining food was then shared out and eaten. On Twelfth Night, the wassail bowl was taken to the house of newlyweds or to a family which had recently come to live in the district, songs were sung outside the house door. Those inside the house would recited or sing special verses, to be answered by the revelers outside.
Hunting the Wren
Another Welsh custom associated with Twelfth Night. A group of young men would go out into the countryside to capture a wren (the smallest bird in the British Isles). The bird would then be placed in a small, decorated cage or bier and carried around from house to house and shown in exchange for money or gifts of food and drink (if a wren could not be found then a poor unfortunate sparrow would have to undergo the ritual).
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
The really weird part about seeing the movie was that The BF and I felt like we had entered a parallel universe. People all around us were laughing, knee-slapping and even applauding some lines in the movie. We almost didn't crack a smile through the first half of the movie and there were people behind us gasping for breath. After thinking that maybe we just didn't get it, we looked down our aisle and found another couple (man and woman) who looked like they felt the same way we did. After bursts of laughter, they too would look at each other and shrug like, "What the eff?" There were times when I actually thought to myself, "Am I really watching this?"
Except for a few admittedly funny moments during the show within the show, The Producers was basically . . . well . . . stinky. Perhaps on stage, this show is a tour de force, but translated to the big screen, it seemed excruciatingly over the top. Matthew Broderick has one facial expression (see left) and he uses it throughout the entire film. Nathan Lane delivered his lines with traditional ballistic aplomb, but almost every line should have been followed with a rim shot. After the musical numbers, the singers just stood freeze frame for a few seconds, as if waiting for applause. Uma Thurman stood out, impressing me with her singing and dancing, but even she seemed misplaced.
I was a Mel Brooks fan when I was younger: Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, and History of The World, Part 1 were all brilliant and hysterically funny. A few years later, Robin Hood, Men in Tights was released and I could see alot of the old jokes being recycled. True, The Producers is an older comedy, but it still seemed stale and trite. I totally expected Nathan Lane to turn to the camera at any point and say "It's good to be the king". And I know that Brooks' comedies are basically humored for 14 year olds (with fart jokes and cleavage shots), but I expected more this time.
If you love love love musicals, then I guess you will enjoy The Producers. But with everything else out there right now, all the great movies, I suggest putting it down at the bottom of your list. I didn't see the musical on Broadway, and perhaps the audience members were all huge fans of it. But we just didn't get it. And all I could think of during the show was - I missed Munich for this?
The comments and opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of the management.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
All the whining I did about being alone at 12:00 and not seeing The BF until well past midnight basically was tossed back in my face like a dishrag when The BF's boss told him to invite me to BMG so that we could be together.
The BF was working the last show of Blue Man Group, which on its own merits is extremely fun and entertaining. There is a huge amount of audience participation and every show is tweaked just a little bit differently than its predecessor based on the audience and the vibe. I walked into BMG at 11:45 and after a quick hello to a few people I know (and a welcome smooch from The BF), I was handed a box of noisemakers and sent into the audience to distribute them (the nickname of "jack" is added to whatever task you might be performing at BMG. Since I was giving out horns, I was the "blowjack" for the night. Nice!)
The energy was beyond heightened and electric. The band was rocking it out and the packed house was tense with anticipation. The three Blue Men were performing behind a white scrim that displayed a digital clock counting down to midnight. Their shadows traveled back and forth coming up with zanier outlines each time. If you have never seen a BMG show (umm.. go!), it's hard to describe, but they were performing as only the BMG can do.
At 11:59, when the capacity crowd was loaded with hats, noisemakers, blowhorns and champagne (every audience member got a small bottle and a glass), everyone in the building (audience, performers, staff) gathered in the theatre and began the countdown. The BF and I were down near the stage and with his hand in mine, the view of the theatre with everyone psyching up was just dynamic. The countdown began ringing out at 10 seconds. And at midnight, while the theatre exploded with exhilaration, I turned to my right and kissed Kevin.
After a few personal moments we turned back to the crowd. The Blue Men were now shooting streamers into the audience out of hand-held cannons. Tubes descended from the ceiling and were twisting and turning, grabbing the streamers and making mini cyclones. And then the Blue Men began to play "Auld Lang Syne" on the tubes - simple at first and then joined by the band and pounded out.
The theatre emptied out within 20 minutes or so, and The BF and I hung out with a few of the staff. We did our best to drink as much of the champagne as possible (I had 5 or 6 bottles myself). Around 2AM we were given even more champagne and decided to head back to The BF's. He had one bottle in each jeans pocket, one in each coat pocket and I had several in my coat. We stopped and bought some crackers and cheese to help soak up all the hooch and headed home.
This was an exhilarating night. I was where I wanted to be, with the person I wanted to be with - a perfect night. If the rest of 2006 turns out half as nice, I've soooo got it made.