Coming Out of Left Field

Friday, September 30, 2005

Aarrrgh. Yay! Dammit. Whew! Yikes. Wow! Uh-oh ...

Yes, I'm watching the Sox-Yankees game as I post this. How did you guess?

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Commander in Chief: "Pilot"

Caught half of the latest TV political drama Tuesday night, and came away going, "Eh ...." Most of my problem was that I'd missed all but the last few seconds of the West Wing opener, so I was suffering major WW withdrawal. Plus, the episode, being the first one ever, had to make a lot of introductions very quickly (especially since the pilot was only an hour long).

Still, I was disappointed. Geena Davis is fine as the new POTUS and Donald Sutherland does a good job as the chauvinistic Speaker of the House, but all the other characters so far are just roles -- reluctant Cabinet member, scornful daughter, bewildered First Husband -- rather than individuals. Plus, the subplot with Nigeria seemed like it was stuck in the story just to show that Davis' character won't be a wuss, instead of letting it develop more naturally as the season went on.

The other thing that stuck with me -- when the teleprompter went on the fritz, I was hoping Davis would unleash something completely funny and idiosyncratic and off-the-cuff. Instead, she seemed to do the speech from memory, even glancing up a couple of times as if trying to recall her next line.

Afterwards, we watched the Boston Legal season opener, which was quirkier and more outrageously, and thus a lot more fun to watch.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Come out swinging!

A public service announcement on behalf of Swingtime Boston:

~snip~

Hello everyone!

This Season of the GLBT Swingtime Dances is upon us. You've had a whole summer to rest your dance feet, but now it's time to take your dance shoes, dust them off, and dance, dance, dance! So come on out to our Season opener and "Come out Swinging."

There will be a swing lesson taught by Ms. Liz Nania from 8 to 9 pm. The dance starts at 9:00 pm and runs to 11:00 pm. DJ Leandra Maclennon will be playing all your favorite swing, latin, ballroom and two-step tunes. Cover charge at the door is $8.00. Refreshments are free and there is parking in the lot and on the street as well.

Swingtime Dances are at the Brookline Academy of Dance located at 136 Westbourne Terrace, corner of Corey Rd. and Westbourne Terrace, Brookline MA.

For additional info call 617 364-7207 (before 9 p.m.) or go to www.swingtimeboston.com.

See you all there, and don't forget to bring a friend!!!

~snip~

Even if we weren't on the committee, my wife and I would definitely be going on Saturday. Hope to see lots of other folks too!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Duh" moment

This belongs under the "can't see what's right under your nose" department ... during the drive to western Mass. last Friday, we stopped at a McDonald's for a break. I was waiting in line at the ladies' room when the woman behind me struck up a conversation about the last Harry Potter book. For the next few minutes, everyone had fun speculating whether So-and-So is really dead, whether another So-and-So is really evil or secretly good, etc.

Later on, back in the car, I was thinking about the talk and how enjoyable it was -- and also how out of the blue it seemed. Odd, I thought, that she would just bring it up like that, without any way of knowing that I'd even heard of J.K. Rowling.

Then I happened to remember that I was wearing a T-shirt saying "Harry Potter" on the back and "Quidditch Gryfindor House Team" on the front.

Have I mentioned I can be quite oblivious at times? *shakes head at herself*

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Techie term of the day

From Wikipedia:

Skywave: "a radio wave from a distant radio station (or rarely, a TV station) that is refracted in the ionosphere. It brings in distant stations at night as clear as local stations."

I was prompted to look this up because of an experience with this Friday night, while going to Western Mass. for the weekend. We'd been listening to WEEI's broadcast of the Sox-Orioles game, which was randomly interrupted by static as we got further and further from Boston. At a certain point we lost the signal, and the driver searched for another station that was covering the game. She eventually found one that was broadcasting Orioles baseball. For the rest of that trip, we listened to the Baltimore station, chuckling at the incongruity of hearing ads meant for people 400-odd miles away.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Papi gets a plane

Song (the discount airline) is naming a 757 after David Ortiz. How cool is that?

Look! Up in the sky! It's Big Papi (free registration required)

Even cooler is that the airline donates free flights for patients at the Jimmy Fund clinic so they can go down to spring training and meet players.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Happy birthday, blog

My blog is two years old today. In lieu of stats about posts, pageviews, etc., here are some random numbers describing some of the stuff that's happened during that time:

Number of same-sex weddings attended: 4
Number of same-sex weddings I was a part of: 1
Number of in-laws gained by said marriage: 15 just in the immediate family, plus countless first cousins, second cousins, etc.
Number of months being happily married: 16 and counting!

Number of hours spent moving into current apartment: too many
Number of books that needed to be moved into said apartment: way too many
Number of books available for us to read: never enough

Number of film school classes taken: 5
Number of additional classes I need to graduate: probably 8, not including thesis credit work
Expected date of graduation: hopefully within the next decade

Number of Super Bowl games won by the New England Patriots: 2
Number of World Series championships won by the Boston Red Sox: 1
Years spent waiting for the Sox to win the World Series: 10 for me, 2 for the wife (lucky her)
Odds that the Sox will repeat this year: after last night's loss and the Yankees' win, too close to call

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hanging in there

It was nice to get up this morning and find the Sox batters have woken up too:

A revival beating for Sox (Red Sox 15, Devil Rays 2)

Still in first, though only by half a game. Now would be a good time for the Sox to win five or six in a row (or for the Yankees to lose that many). Tense, dramatic pennant races are exciting, but I'd prefer some breathing room.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Recreation of the Creation

No one will ever really know for sure how the universe came into existence, but Paul Rudnick has an idea of how things would've gone if an intelligent designer (or designers) had been in charge:

~snip~

Day No. 1

And the Lord God said, "Let there be light," and lo, there was light. But then the Lord God said, "Wait, what if I make it a sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filtered half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger?"

"I'm loving that,” said Buddha. "It’s new."

"You should design a restaurant," added Allah.

~snip~

I can't help wondering if this was the prototype for "Queer Eye".

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Monday, September 19, 2005

School stuff, continued

Spent most of this afternoon working on a different (simpler and hopefully better) idea for my film project, which came to me in a recent dream. Yes, in a dream, which never happens. I remember moving the camera and the lights around, telling the actor whether she should be sitting up or lying down for such-and-such shot, and checking the script to make sure I was getting all the footage I needed. The dream was so vivid that when I woke up, my first conscious thought was, "But we don't have a couch." Fortunately there is one where we'll be really shooting, though I think I'd rather take over a spare bedroom instead -- less chance of breakage, more room to maneuver.

Anyway, the idea is now a script, which I will run by the wife tonight and e-mail to my advisor for approval. Knowing how slow I write, I should probably start thinking about ideas for next semester. I won't even think about Screenplay I -- that would make my Muse up and go on strike right now.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

School stuff

This weekend, in between our social obligations, I should work some more on my final film project for Production I. When I went to see my advisor the other day, he actually hadn't gotten around to reading what I'd sent him five days earlier (grrrr), so he just read my one-paragraph treatment and told me that it needs fleshing out. Even though I do have a longer script, I should probably take another look and see where I can expand on things. I also need to find a cast and crew and nail down the shooting dates (hopefully I'll need just one day) so I can reserve equipment. And next time I'm down on campus, I may have to go to student services and order a new ID card, since mine has gone missing and without it I can't use the Steenbecks or the sound transfer room. All this is going to mean missing some work and/or juggling my schedule so I don't spend too many time away from the wife.

I was thinking of all this when the advisor brought up future plans, and I told him I would like to do editing for my thesis credit. That was fine with him, though he did point out that I'd be at a disadvantage in finding directors to work with, since they wouldn't necessarily know me:

Advisor: "So you may want to consider directing your own thesis film."
Me (out loud): "Yes, I'll keep that in mind."
Me (to myself, thinking of all the time and money and stress involved): "Noooooooooo ... I don't think so."

Let someone else have the glory and the headaches of being in charge. I'll be very happy with some footage and a splicer, thank you very much.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

A retort to Travis

Just e-mailed to Representative Phil Travis, as a response to his quote in an AP story about yesterday's vote:

~snip~

Dear Representative Travis,

I was rather intrigued by your recent statement that "The union of two women and two men can never consummate a marriage. It's physically impossible."

First, I am not quite sure what exactly you mean by "consummate". Merriam-Webster defines consummate as to "to make (marital union) complete by sexual intercourse". Without going into details, I can assure you that gays and lesbians, contrary to your statement, are in fact able to satisfy the requirements of this definition.

Second, although I am not intimately familiar with all the nooks and crannies of Massachusetts law nor with the legal history of the Commonwealth, I have not heard of any recent cases in which a marriage, either opposite-sex or same-sex, was annulled on the grounds of non-consummation. When I was married myself last year, neither my wife nor I were questioned about our ability to consummate, nor has anyone else we know who has gotten married in this state (either opposite-sex or same-sex). So I fail to understand what consummation would have to do with the legal aspects of marriage in Massachusetts.

Third, I fail to understand why this would concern you on a personal level. I am not in the habit of wondering what goes on in other people's bedrooms, and find such behavior unseemly when someone expresses such curiosity in normal conversation. To hear such a remark from someone in public office as part of a public debate about people's civil rights is extremely off-putting and offensive, and does nothing to help your cause.

In future, it would probably be better if you would confine your remarks to the merits or demerits of the case, rather than engaging in speculation that is, on many levels, absolutely unnecessary.

Sincerely,

[soxfan]

~snip~

I doubt I'll get a response, but if I do I'll be sure to post it.

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Yes!

Victory is sweet:

Mass. Legislature rejects proposed amendment banning gay marriage

I happened to be switching T lines around 2 p.m., and gave in to the impulse to stop by the State House. My timing couldn't have been better; after about 45 minutes standing on the sidewalk with a MassEquality sign and my "Married in Massachusetts" T-shirt, folks were asked to go inside pronto. We were just in time to hear -- and applaud -- the vote count. I can't speak for anyone else, but I was stunned by the final margin. Yes, some of the anti-gay legislators probably voted against this amendment to clear the way for an even worse one, but 157 to 39? That qualifies as a butt-kicking no matter how you look at it.

Unfortunately I couldn't stay (work and dinner duties were calling), but I was there long enough to hear some of the speeches and hug a couple of friends in mini-celebration. With my usual lack of preparation, I didn't bring our digital camera. So I have no pictures to share, just the joy of one more battle won, and many, many thanks to the people who worked so hard for the cause.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Equality lyrics

With ConCon starting up tomorrow, a certain Catie Curtis song keeps playing over and over in my head:

~quote~

I love this town
You can see the stars at night
Even from downtown
'cause there are no city (am) lights
This town was my (biggest fan
'til I was who I am

(Chorus)
What's the matter
What's the matter
All I ask is
Why be afraid of this girl
What's the matter
What's the matter
All I ask is
Why be afraid of this world?

~quote~

Aside from saying what I want to say to all the people pushing these amendments (especially the one that would outlaw everything), this is also the song that clued me into the fact that Catie is family. I remember quite distinctly listening to the phrase "Straight or queer or mother of two" and going "Ohhhhh, so that's why ..." Guess the gaydar wasn't fully functioning yet.

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, Massachusetts, lyrics

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sample scenarios

Now that my Muse is (for the moment) not needed for my Film Production I script, she has spontaneously come up with some ideas for a future screenwriting assignment:

Scenario 1
Film student puts together a script, budget, floor plan/shot list, and other paperwork for a project. She submits them by e-mail to her professor. The professor looks them over and e-mails back with some comments. The film student reads the feedback, makes some adjustments, and then starts a long list of tasks (ordering film, finding cast/crew, reserving equipment, etc.) that will lead into several weeks of nervous, frenzied work and (she hopes) to a completed film by deadline and her re-entry into the program the following semester. The End.

Scenario 2
Same as above, except that the professor e-mails back saying, "You were on leave for almost a whole year, and you couldn't come up with anything better than this?" Film student is so dismayed by the feedback that she leaves the film program, never to go near a camera or a Steenbeck again. Years later, she can often be found in front of the TV, making cutting comments about the shows and commercials and muttering to herself, "I coulda been a contender." The End.

Scenario 3
Same as Scenario 1, except that the student receives an autoreply saying the professor himself is on leave this semester, and all deadlines are therefore extended until his return. This scenario could go one of two ways. In 3(a), the student somehow wangles access to the equipment over the summer, and has the completed film waiting when the professor comes back. In 3(b), the break from classes allows the student to take on an unpaid editing internship, which unexpectedly turns into a paying job, enabling the student to leave the program without needing to complete the film project.

The working titles of the film: "Anxiety," "Fantasy", "Reality". I'll leave it to you to figure out which one is which.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Happier happs

Among the troubling state/country/world news, some very small but good things that have been going on:

-- Almost all our books are unpacked and off the floor. Another bookcase or two, and we're there. That is, if we don't buy any more books before then.

-- The wife's niece turned 16, so we had a nice little family get-together in NH last weekend. There was a nice dinner of chicken and veggies, followed by cake (with seven types of ice cream available as toppings), presents, and a fireworks display. OK, so the fireworks were actually across the lake, but it felt like it'd been planned for the occasion. Afterwards, back at our own house, we were lucky enough to see a little bit of a meteor shower.

-- While in NH, we also saw the Mt. Washington Valley Theatre's production of "A Chorus Line", which featured some excellent dancing and wonderful voices. The wife and I agreed that the playhouse does need to fix its acoustics; lots of people singing different tunes + piano + keyboard + drums = a lot of lovely-sounding words that can't be understood at all.

-- The TV reception is bad at our new apartment, so we've just had cable TV installed. Right now, even though we asked for the basic package (just the regular network channels), we're receiving Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, etc. also. Not wanting to risk arrest, I called the cable company, and they're sending a technician on Friday. For once, I hope he takes his time about showing up.

-- Last but not least: the Sox are four games ahead of the Yankees. Go Sox!

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One step forward, two steps back

Just when you think things are looking up in one place (California legislature approves gay marriage bill), they go to pieces in another (Reilly certifies gay marriage ballot initiative).

At least now I know who not to elect governor in 2006. Dammit. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

Related petition (from MassEquality): Let Attorney General Reilly know of your frustration

Update: Schwarzenegger announced yesterday that he'll veto the same-sex marriage bill. Guess GLBT Californians know who not to vote for next time around. Dammit.

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Moore missive

I don't often read Michael Moore's website or send other people there, but this time I can't resist:

Vacation is over: an open letter to George W. Bush

I think this sums up all the disappointment and anger I'm feeling right now at a president who once again has dropped the damn ball.

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