Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mane Rule

It's perfectly fine to go about armed
as long as no lions are harmed!

2 Weeks & 2 Days Away, But Who's Counting?

Ordered audience programs for our New York show.
I made my reservations and I'm ready to go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

If Exercise Were A Pill

There's a saying you hear, "If exercise were a pill, then everyone would take it."

The idea is it's so good for you...
if only it weren't such a pain to do.

Well, someone claims to be getting closer:

'Ali Tavassoli, a professor of chemical biology, and Felino Cagampang, an associate professor in integrative physiology, reported that they had synthesized a molecule that acts as an "exercise mimic" by tricking cells into thinking they have run out of energy.'

But what if the pill's too costly,
and leaves you feeling exhaustly?

After Playing

Improv games, whether cautious or bold,
Never really seem to get old. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Lion in Milwaukee?

About a hundred miles north of here, up in Milwaukee, there have been a series of sightings of a "lion-like creature". Some blurry film has surfaced too.

Is it an escaped circus lion? A mountain lion? Is somebody lyin'?

I don't know. We had a mountain lion / cougar that made it into Chicago back in 2008. The cops killed it.

I like killer cats when they're in a cage.
I would not like to face their rage.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Game Stats

Words with Friends tells me that I have played 100% of 2 letter words, but only 90% of 3 letter words. 

The game doesn't let you play 1 letter words - not even on the first move. 

I think we only have 3. 
A, I, and O. No U or E. 

Update: on reflection, each letter is its own name, and is a word in that way. But A, I, and O all have a separate word. 

Calling Z a word because it's the name of a letta,
Seems kind of meta. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Unclean Windows

So, there's a PC running Windows 7 that can boot into safe mode, but not into "clean boot" mode.

I'm banging my head against that wall.
Not sure I've made any headway at all.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Zipless Never

I wanted to say something else about Erica Jong's heroine's quest, in FoF, of the zipless sex act. Namely: it's imaginary and impossible. You read of people who say things like, "We started to kiss, fully clothed, and the next thing I knew we were having sex."

But I don't think it's ever entirely true
That that was the very next thing that  they knew. 

They're simply skipping the awkwardness 
By which they achieved a state of undress. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Out of the Mists

I've been strangely busy this summer, but tonight I finished Madeleine in the Mists by Mary Catelli:

It's an interesting story in a complicated world of medieval fantasy, which isn't usually my genre. But a sympathetic and clear-headed heroine, combined with often cold-hearted feudal politics, kept my interest throughout.

I liked the way it ended.
Definitely recommended!

Darn Computers

I hear that hackers can now take control of your car. 
So keep your older vehicle, and boast how safe you are!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Zipless No More

There was a time when Erica Jong's novel, Fear of Flying, was all the rage. She was a prominent woman writer, a feminist in fact, and the heroine of her story was in hot pursuit of an ideal she called: "the zipless f-word". Sorry, it's a family blog, but it wasn't a family book, and the heroine desired a sex act of such all-consuming passion that she would not be aware of any unzipping involved.

"As described by her - It is a sexual encounter between strangers that has the swift compression of a dream and is seemingly free of all remorse and guilt. It is absolutely pure, there is no power game and it is free of ulterior motives. It has also been described as the perfect one night stand."

I must confess, I never read the whole book. I did read some of what used to be called "the good parts".

Wikipedia says: "Fear of Flying is a 1973 novel by Erica Jong, which became famously controversial for its portrayal of female sexuality, figured in the development of second-wave feminism."

Yes, this was feminism. I'm not sure which wave we're riding now, but it seems to be more like this:

"Anyone who still believes that affirmative consent policies don’t mislead students or restrict their sexual autonomy should visit Coastal Carolina University—where consent can only be given when all participants are both enthusiastic and sober."

I've started to think, as this trend has turned more extreme, that the motive behind all this is a kind of envy, the envy that self-questioning intellectuals harbor toward the apparently more spontaneous jock and cheerleader types. Puritanism was long ago defined as the fear that someone, somewhere, might be having fun. And this new trend seems to embody a fear that someone, somewhere, might be having sex without thinking about it too much.

What happened to tacit consent?
In certain circles, it got up and went.

Money Machine

"Snohomish County authorities say two thieves suspected of stealing an ATM machine from a business made it as far as the parking lot, but the machine fell out of the getaway van."

Succeeded in stealing an ATM,
but hit a speed bump... joke's on them.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cherry Punch Flavor, If It Matters

I did a long run in the heat yesterday, and decided to try something new afterwards, something I'd read about other people doing to replenish what they had sweated a way.

Instead of Gatorade,
I chugged some Pedialyte.
Not sure what difference it made,
but I guess I'm feeling all right.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Autocowrecked

Autocorrect is the great Leveler of Orthography. Those who cannot spell, are fortuitously repaired. Those who can, are gratuitously impaired.

Autocorrect has thoroughly wrecked my ability to show off how well I can spell!

I need to compete in a spelling bee
So the whole wide world can see
My skill at lexicography!

Hard to Believe

In days of yore,
when Marlowe swore,
and Shakespeare shook his pen,
they wrote all day,
sans MFA,
which wasn't available then.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rhyme Schemes

I don't mean to sound like a snob,
but the poetic licensing board is just not doing the job.

Poetry needs more barriers to entry!
I think I'll dig a moat and post a sentry!

Tabooboos

John McWorter has a long piece over at the Wall St. Journal about evolving taboos in language.

"Taboos are about what we fear. In one era, it is the wrath of God; in another, hanky-panky; in ours, the defamation of groups."

That corresponds to some general cultural trends.

God has been deflated,
Sex has been degraded,
Groups have been elevated.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Uber Economy Fears

Just recently you hear people complaining that everyone is being forced to work on a free lance basis, as if everyone will soon be an Uber driver, but the numbers apparently don't bear out this new worry:

'In the future, new technology and businesses may herald a different world for workers. But for now, the "gig economy" and a "nation of freelancers" remains a phenomenon on the margins of the labor market.'

The labor force of gig
really isn't that big.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Misattribution

"The net is insane. Keep it out of your brain." - Mark Twain

Attribution

A quote from a meme, from "Abraham Lincoln", clear in its thinking, pithy and wise, and perfectly timely in theme, is probably some other guy's.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Actors for O'Brien & O'Brian

Bianca Vitale will play Darlene O'Brien.


Jacob Corbett will play Alan O'Brian.


One of the most important factors
in any production is... fabulous actors!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Inkscape

I've been learning new graphics programs, just to create ads and postcards for my play's festival run in NYC in August. Recently I did things in Wimp and Inkscape. For some reason I like Inkscape better. Both are free.

Thanks to Inkscape,
I think I'm in good shape.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Poop Fairy Blues



In fact there are winged creatures,
of diminutive size,
who will slowly remove it,
but they're just called flies.

Wrong Number

Araceli King is up for a big payout:

"Time Warner Cable Inc must pay the insurance claims specialist $229,500 for placing 153 automated calls meant for someone else to her cellphone in less than a year, even after she told it to stop, a Manhattan federal judge ruled on Tuesday."

Let's see. 229,500 divided by 153... that's a fine of exactly 1,500 per mistaken call.

Time Warner, if that's the going rate,
Two hundred wrong calls would really be great.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Cherokee Or Not

There's a prominent scholar of Native-American studies, Andrea Smith, who apparently isn't a Native-American herself, but somehow passes as one. It has apparently been a long-simmering controversy, and now it has come to a boil.

"Joanne Barker, an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe and professor of American Indian studies at San Francisco State University, wrote a blog post comparing the Dolezal and Smith cases and the relative lack of attention (in the mainstream media) to the latter case."

It's a sort of comedy, to me. If you click the link, you can see what she looks like. She looks about as white as I do, which is pretty white. Academics of the left get a queasy feeling when facing this sort of case, the sort of case in which they vaguely fear they have been revealed as chumps.

On the one hand, self-identification.
On the other hand, cultural appropriation.

Should everyone be free,
to be a minority?

Monday, July 06, 2015

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Lydia Diamond's "Stick Fly", Live

I read this play back in 2009, but I finally got a chance to see it performed last night at a fancy new venue in town, the Windy City Playhouse.

It's a glitzy, no-expense-spared production, about the troubled family life of some very elite black folks, all set on truly posh real estate: Martha's Vineyard.

The dad's a neuro-surgeon, one of the sons is a plastic surgeon, and the other son is a multi-degreed aspiring author whose first novel is soon to be published. Even the fill-in maid, the regular maid's daughter, has been to a couple of the best schools in the country.

But these 2 sons have brought their current girlfriends home to meet their parents. Neither girlfriend is a perfect fit for the family. One is white. And there are dirty family secrets about to explode on stage, amid arguments over race, privilege, and family values.

Did I mention it's a comedy?

The audience liked it a lot, and so did I. As we were walking out, I happened to cross paths with none other than the author, Lydia Diamond, who was exiting unobtrusively. I said hello, shook her hand, and told her it was good to see her and that I had taken a class from her years ago. She smiled and asked me if I was still writing, and I said yes and wished her a good evening.

She was a really good teacher. Taught a dialogue workshop. Here's a recent interview with her, which gives some idea of the sort of advice she gives.

She was insightful and kind
with student's work, such as mine.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Counterintuitive

People are always saying how intuitive Apple interfaces are, but I actually find them to be counterintuitive. I would say they're interfaces are elegant, but frequently baffling, at least until you can find an explanation, either from Google or from a true Apple fan.

Yes, just now, I was trying to delete the photos from my iPhone, to make room. That took me a while.

There's a book, the Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman, that goes into this topic of elegant design as opposed to truly intuitive design. The whole thing, in a revised version, is now available for free on PDF.



I'm not sure he'd agree with me about Apple. After his initial version of the book, decades ago, he worked for Apple for a while.

"The most important experience was at Apple, where I began to appreciate how issues—budget, schedule, competitive forces, and the established base of products—that seldom concern scientists can dominate decisions in the world of business. While I was at Apple it had lost its way, but nothing is a better learning experience than a company in trouble: you have to be a fast learner."

While writing about faucet design, he describes the problem I have with a lot of Apple interfaces.

"In the name of elegance, the moving parts sometimes meld invisibly into the faucet structure, making it nearly impossible even to find the controls, let alone figure out which way they move or what they control."

Don't get me wrong. Apple does a lot of great stuff. The iPhone is a wonder that I rely on.

But getting rid of photographs
Shouldn't be so hard.
Did they do it just for laughs?
I fear my psyche's scarred.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Maple

One of nature's more curious things -
I'm talking about a seed with wings.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Garish: Roadside Color Polaroids



A marvelous book.

I got it in the mail!
The pages, without fail,
are loaded with lovely views,
highway scenes in stunning hues.