Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Facts of Life

Okay, I know I've reverted to just posting links and videos again, but this is too amazing not to share. I heart Bea Arthur!!



Also, completely unrelated, except that it also made me laugh today, there's this.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whoa, homo, whoa.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Okay, it's possible that the audience at Sweeney Todd who applauded the Mamma Mia! trailer was just full of musical theater fans, not necessarily flaming homosexuals.

The crowd tonight at Mamma Mia! who applauded for the High School Musical 3 trailer, however, is another story.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4

Amazing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Car Alarm, Car Alarm

Great piece from the New York Times about changes in New York over the last decade, as viewed through the lens of Rent - and why there's no such thing as a "realistic" musical:
Bohemia Takes Its Final Bows
“Rent” is closing at the end of the summer, but its ragtag New York left the stage many years ago, elbowed out by fusion cuisine and designer labels.


I especially like the part about how "Cyberland" is the enemy of the piece, when today all the characters would be blogging.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ayuh

So I've been traveling a little for work (oh, right, new job, blog about it), and mostly I haven't been bringing my camera because they're brief business trips without much sightseeing so I don't want to bother with one more thing to carry. But last month I was in Maine and found myself taking lots of pictures with my phone - though more of the kitchy safety card on my tiny, fairly ancient-seeming plane than of the scenery. I think I was somewhat inspired by Glark and Tara's "Atomic Tour" podcast and photo blogs, which are far more entertaining than they have any right to be. (Not that Glark and Tara aren't entertaining – they helped found and write for TWoP before NBC went and fucked it all up – but I've essentially been avidly watching the vacation slides of people I've never met. Which I guess is no different from any blog, but all the other podcasts I listen to are a little more presentational than a married couple chatting about their day of driving. But I'm totally hooked.)

Aaaanyway, speaking of other people's vacation slides, here's my dispatch from Maine.
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Do you think when Rent closes next month this person will drive her car off a cliff?

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This gelato? Not a fiasco at all! Unless you consider all the weight I would gain if I lived in Brunswick and could go here every day. Why would you name your business establishment this? Seems like tempting fate in a bad way. I wonder if a husband and wife fought over spending their life savings on an ice cream joint, and the one who didn't want to said, "Well this will be a fiasco." Curious. Anyway, I'm told they do quite well.

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Next door, though... not so interested in this "experience."

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It's Maine! We're folksy! I love that these rocking chairs litter the Portland airport, but no other attempt was made to make the building look like anything other than a modern (and quite nice) airport. I did spend quite a bit of time in one though, as my flight was delayed and it was near an outlet for my laptop.

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Hey, where's the plane?

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Dodging sniper fire.

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I'm not much of a flier. It doesn't freak me out but I just don't enjoy it, and I don't do it very often. This plane, despite having my own "row" made me very claustrophobic. Also, when it was on the ground, there was this horrible squeaking noise that made me think of the cartoon landing gear from Amazing Stories

I was slightly obsessed with the old-school safety card on the tiny plane.
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In case of heat vision, please locate the emergency exit closest to your seat.

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Telekinesis!

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Aquaman!

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Who would pull out a remote controlled car on a plane?

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In the event of a water landing, this aircraft is equipped with a floating light bulb to distract your infant from his imminent death.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Skynet cooks and cleans for me

Lots of blogging in my head lately, very little of it making it through my fingers to the keyboard. Life is good and fairly dull overall. Good dull! Lots of domesticity.

Speaking of which, the dishwasher has been successfully installed! I'm quite proud of it, actually. The various tasks were exactly the opposite levels of difficulty I'd anticipated. I was very nervous about wiring the thing, but that turned out to be the easiest part. The few carpentry skills I have (plus some borrowed tools and the stock pieces we bought) served me well for building the counter, as did my improvisational approach from a decade of fixing props on the fly in low-budget theater (no hot glue was involved, but shelf brackets are my friends!).

We're not crazy about our existing countertops, and were also amazed to discover how many variations on that brown-ish speckled pattern there are at Home Depot, so rather than try to match something we don't like anyway, we went in the direction we'll ultimately head in if we ever decide to redo the whole kitchen properly. Instead of looking like Frankencounter like I thought it would, the new section feels of a piece with the dishwasher, making it look like a "normal" (in my worldview) appliance with its own skin.

Which leaves us with the plumbing, which I foolishly thought would be the easy part. Even the simple task of attaching the water line became stressful when I discovered that the hot water valve to our kitchen sink doesn't close completely and had to race to finish before the small container I had catching the drip filled up, while trying not to burn my fingers too badly. Then it turned out our drain pipe was extremely bendy, made up of many pieces of copper pipe, at many different angles. The first piece out of the sink was only a couple of inches long, and was followed by a curved piece. Dishwasher "tailpiece" attachments only come in one size that I could find. You can trim the bottom easily enough, but the piece where the dishwasher's hose attaches was already too far down from the top for my drain to accommodate in its odd configuration. So off came the second piece of pipe. And then the third. Much sweating and frustration and mild panic under the sink ensued, and in the end, I cobbled together out of bendy-straw-like PVC pipe and duct tape a contraption that looks like something the A-Team would use to shoot non-lethal projectiles at bad guys. It's on the list to replace eventually, but it works for now.

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(The crooked outlet, for the record, was like that when we moved in - not my doing at all!)

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The entrance to the kitchen is a little tight now, but that had been almost totally unused space before, so opening up the actual working part of the room is a worthwhile trade-off to have made. I love having the extra counter space, and shelf/hanging space above, and everything feels a little brighter. Oh, and it washes dishes too! I'm never satisfied, of course, and I want the dishwasher to basically be magical. I don't understand why some things dry nicely and others (made of the same material and just inches away) don't, and I'd really like it if it could teleport the clean dishes away to the cabinet when it finished with them. Is that so much to ask? But no, I love it, and I can never live without one ever again.

The weekend of the dishwasher turned out to be a big one for our kitchen all around, as it was also Boy's birthday. I'd made bread a few weeks earlier, which prompted him to declare that we should get a bread machine. I was skeptical for no logical reason, and said I could just make bread more often. But then it got really hot and every time I thought about doing it I didn't want to take the time or run the oven, and he hadn't really talked about wanting anything else, so it seemed like the perfect birthday present. And it's really kind of awesome. It still takes hours for dough to rise and what-not, but it's all automatic. You dump in the ingredients and walk away. I've used it once, but mostly it's Boy's toy and he keeps trying new recipes and I keep getting to eat them. It's a win-win! The machine has a Cylon-esque look about it, so in keeping with the theme of Colonel Tigh, Boy named it Number Six. Because it has a bun in the oven.

Friday, July 04, 2008