Coming Out of Left Field

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The bells are ringing ...

Went to my third (if you count mine) same-sex wedding last weekend, at the lovely lodge where our dance crowd has March and September get-togethers. The ceremony was short and sweet (the couple danced their vows -- wish I'd thought of that!), and the rest of the day (dancing, food, company) was excellent. Even the weather, which had brought a torrential downpour early Saturday morning, behaved itself.

The one sour note was that our lodging (unfortunately, Stump Sprouts was filled with the couple's relatives) left much to be desired. Namely, doors that locked, a bedroom door that closed completely, firm beds, and clean carpets. I guess you can't expect too much for $45 a night, but that was definitely on the lower end of the scale.


Friday, June 25, 2004

A geek is a geek ...

... is infringing on a trademark, apparently. At least, that's what two companies are saying about each other:

That geek mystique: Two firms fight for nerdish label

Their dispute sounds a little silly to me. As the story points out, the word geek has been around for a while. Unlike Kleenex, Xerox, etc. it wasn't coined for a particular brand or even type of product. Good thing, too, because then I'd owe someone royalties -- although, given that my readership isn't that big, I can probably afford to settle out of court.


Thursday, June 24, 2004


Almost done with the directing class -- one more meeting next Tuesday, which will feature a quiz on the readings and a screening of all the short films we produced. In no particular order, here are the things I carried away from class:

-- Megaphone, beret, and chair are part of the director's accessories, but are optional, and very, very not recommended if you're just starting out.

-- A simpler script is a better script. You can jam a million actions and a dozen characters into a five-minute piece, but why would you?

-- Finding the right space is important. If you set your piece in a hotel lobby, for example (no one did this, fortunately), make sure you have one to shoot in.

-- A good cast = more efficient use of time = smoother shoot.

-- Same goes for your crew.

-- If a prop gets destroyed in your scene, like a Red Sox ticket, make sure you've got several copies on hand. Alternately, shoot within running distance of the Fenway Park box office (a rather more expensive option).

-- Have fun! The story's the thing, so go ahead and tell it.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Quote of the day

"We are taking a roller to a Rembrandt."
- Senator Richard J. Durbin, contending that, with DOMA on the books, there is no need to change the Constitution as well (Boston Globe, 6/23/04)

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality,

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Texan truism

The other night, I dreamed that I was watching election coverage on TV. There was one of those maps they used to predict which states would swing which way; Kerry was blue, and Bush was red. In the dream, state after state was turning up blue -- even Texas!

By sheer coincidence, my good friend Psychovant just passed along a story about the Texans' view of Mr. Bush:

Ever wondered what real Texans think of Dubya? Well, wonder no more:

While suturing a laceration on the hand of a 70-year-old Texas rancher (whose hand had caught in a gate while working cattle), a doctor and the old man were talking about George W. Bush being in the White House.

The old Texan said, "Well, ya know, Bush is a 'post turtle'."

Not knowing what the old man meant, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.

The old man said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle."

The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain, "You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just want to help the poor stupid guy get down."


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Friday, June 18, 2004

More political comedy

The same friend who passed along Mark Fiore's links alerted me to these columns by another San Francisco guy, Mark Morford. They're from a few months back, but are still relevant:

Where is my gay apocalypse?

(Morford's right to ask. Gay marriage's been legal in Massachusetts for a whole month, and I haven't seen any hellfire either.)

What are you so afraid of?

This one I might forward to the Senate, which may take up the gay-marriage constitutional ban in mid-July. Really, don't these guys have anything better to do, like running the country?

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality,

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Sojourn in Silver Springs

Just got back from a long (and much-needed) weekend in Maryland. It was a very nice trip, even better than going to a B&B -- our friends spoiled us tremendously, and didn't let us lift a finger the whole time. *happy sigh*

One day was unfortunately given over to work (shoot preparation for me, thank-you notes for the wife), but on Tuesday we got out and about a bit. Dupont Circle featured some GLBT stores and a nice cafe (mmmm, mint mocha). The Holocaust Museum was much more serious, and definitely worth a visit if you're anywhere near D.C. I wish I could drag Mel Gibson's father and like-minded thinkers through "Daniel's Story". The exhibit's geared for kids, so even Holocaust deniers might get it.

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Sunday, June 13, 2004

The comics of politics

Thanks to a friend, I now have a new favorite cartoonist: Mark Fiore, a San Francisco-based political satirist. His animations (particularly Reaganesque, The 2004 Nader, and The Gay Agenda) really hit home, which makes them both hilarious and sad at the same time.

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Friday, June 11, 2004

Rehearsal nerves

Somehow managed to survive the rehearsal for my film yesterday, and mainly learned that directing is a damn hard job. Being under the spotlight as an actor (or as a bride) is nerve-wracking enough, but having everyone look to you as the final authority is something else. It made me wish I had clones: one to watch the actors, one to plot camera angles, and one to talk to the crew. And as long as I'm fantasizing, the first one could also go to my day job, the second could take care of dishes and household chores, and the third could balance my checkbook and pay my taxes.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Hot, hot, hot

The weather gods decided to hike the temperature about twenty degrees today. Naturally, this happened just in time for our first Directing class shoot, which took place inside a small, crowded apartment where the windows, because of light and sound issues, needed to be kept closed. Fortunately no one fainted from the heat, though our DP did need to take a breather at one point, and other folks rehydrated whenever they had the chance. My arms didn't get tired from holding the boom, but my ears took a while to stop ringing (shades of Cafe SCAT).

Despite the weather and the chaos that accompanies any shoot, I was darn glad to be on a set again, it's been way too long. Two more sets of rehearsals and shoots after this, starting with my first run-through on Thursday.

Is that really two days from now? Ulp. Thank heavens I won't be doing this for a living.

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Friday, June 04, 2004

Massachusetts march!

Boston's Pride Parade is next Saturday, and I can't wait. For the occasion, the wife and I will be sporting our brand-new "Married in Massachusetts" T-shirts, made by our friend Yani Batteau. There's going to be lots of floats this year, but we'll probably end up marching with Come join us!

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, Massachusetts

Thursday, June 03, 2004


I came across a geekiness test yesterday and decided to try it out. If I'd tried this a few years back -- when I a) was single and b) still owned a stack of Dragon magazines -- I might've scored higher than I did. Fortunately, I got 16.76529% percent, which means I can still call myself a geek, rather than a goof with merely geeky tendencies.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Chicken crossings

Someone on Easily Addictive posted some "Why did the chicken cross the road?" variations. The political ones are particularly telling:

GEORGE W BUSH We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either against us or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

HANS BLIX We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road I am now against it!

RALPH NADER The chicken's habitat on the other side of the road had been polluted by unchecked industrial greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled habitat on the other side of the road because it was crushed by the wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.

PAT BUCHANAN To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

RUSH LIMBAUGH I don't know why the chicken crossed the road, but I'll bet it was getting a government grant to cross the road, and I'll bet that somebody out there is already forming a support group to help chickens with crossing-the-road syndrome. Can you believe this? How much more of this can real Americans take? Chickens crossing the road paid for by their tax dollars. And when I say tax dollars, I'm talking about your money, money the government took from you to build a road for chickens to cross.

MARTHA STEWART No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY To die in the rain. Alone.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

GRANDPA In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

JOHN LENNON Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together - in peace.

ARISTOTLE It is the nature of chickens to cross the road

KARL MARX It was an historic inevitability.

RONALD REAGAN What chicken?

CAPTAIN KIRK To boldly go where no chicken has ever gone before.

SIGMUND FREUD The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES I have just witnessed eChicken2003, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook, - and internet explorer is an integral part of eChicken.

ALBERT EINSTEIN Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE I invented the chicken!

THE BIBLE And God came down from heaven, and he said unto the chicken THOU SHALT CROSS THE ROAD. And the chicken didst cross the road, and there was much rejoicing.