Τρίτη, Μαρτίου 30, 2004

Quote of the Evening:

"It was lovely stalking you this evening." -- Justin

Lesson of the Day:

"But when life gives you a frog in a salad, make a lesson out of it."

--From Kalispell, Montana

Δευτέρα, Μαρτίου 29, 2004

So...

Dear Katie,

We are petitioning the Tisch School of the Arts for your admission to our next class which will enter the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program in September, 2004. You should be receiving notice of your admission from Tisch in the near future.

We plan to admit you as a Composer/Lyricist. This means that you will be spending approximately half of your writing time in the first year writing music and half writing words­book and lyrics. During the second year, you
will form your own collaboration. It is up to you to discover the best collaborative relationship in the class for yourself for your thesis project. Where your emphasis is at that point, ­music or words ­or both­ is up to you and your collaborator to define.

In addition to our regular schedule of writing labs and content classes which all the students participate, we have special craft classes in music, lyric writing, and playwriting which we call tutorials. You will be required to attend all three of these tutorials as a composer/lyricist. Students admitted as composer/lyricists also are required to participate in additional activities such as collaborating on dance pieces with graduate choreographers, creating score material for projects in Graduate Acting, Film, and dramatic writing, and interning as a musical director's assistant at the Encores series at City Center or another venue.

After receiving notice of admission, you should begin making plans to find housing in the New York area if you have not already done so. If you plan to work part-time, please be advised that our schedule requires your presence from 2:30-7:00 on Monday and Wednesday, and from 8:30AM until 7:00PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Do not mistake this as meaning you have no other time obligations related to your work in the Program. It is not realistic to plan to spend large amounts of time away from New York during the school year since you are constantly involved with collaborators and
your time for outside projects will be extremely limited. It is of critical importance that you plan to be in New York over weekends--fully available to collaborate. This involves a huge investment of time and money on everyone's part and you owe yourself and each other your fullest creative attention and availability to work together.

We look forward to having you with us. The Program is a great adventure and we are delighted that you will be sharing in it. Please call us if you have any questions.

Σάββατο, Μαρτίου 27, 2004

Disturbing Acts of Journalism:

"There was Vice President Dick Cheney, a frequent butt of gentle Bush ribbing, holding his fingers a few inches apart."

-- MSNBC
Um...

Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 24, 2004

Counter-tenors should wear labels.

When a pre-pubescent boy sings as high as a woman, we call him a "boy soprano."
When a grown man does it, we call him a counter-tenor.
There's nothing stranger than looking at a nice, normal, deep-speaking-voiced man about to sing, and then have him bust out singing higher than you. He should have to say, "Hi, I'm Bill, and I'm a countertenor." Just so everyone has time to adjust.

Wicked is incredible. Some of the music is kinda generically Schwartz-y, and the book is pun-a-minute, but it was fun, and Idina Menzel sings like none other. If you happen to be in New York anytime in the near future, you really ought to see it.

I didn't, by the way, get the RGA job. Need financial aid...

I'M BAAAACK!

New York was terrific, I want to go back as soon as possible. Like, tomorrow.

I am a city navigatin' fool.

It's raining right now. I'm also wet.

I really ought to be studying Greek at the moment. I just auditioned for a Greek summer theatre thing. They definately want me, and will cut my program cost for being a techie (and big voice) but it's still probably too expensive.

Our collaborative piece went really well. This seems to be my collaborator's web page. Be sure to see this picture... he's the one in...red.

Mark Lamos will be here in just over 55 hours. Which means, basically, I need to have the show done by that point.

More frequent blogging will now resume.

Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 17, 2004

Quote of the Day:

"Well, it makes the left side of my face warm and the camel likes it..."

-Kyle

Bob Zangas, a US soldier and blogger was killed in Iraq this week. Alaa, an Iraqi blogger writes:

"The murder of Bob Zangas has made me very sad indeed. A real friend of our people. I feel it as almost a personal loss. I tried to leave my condolece message to his family, but I don't think it worked. He is a martyr of the Iraqi people. He joins the long list with Al Hakim and the others. After all these sacrifices, can we retreat? No we shall not, in honour of our martyrs, we shall not. As for the vile murderers, revenge will come, by God it will come."

Τρίτη, Μαρτίου 16, 2004

A few quick things before a) my lifegroup arrives and b) I dash off to a run-thru for the Arthur Miller Thing.

1) The Demon Poet situation has been solved basically. The profs told me there was nothing I could do to collaborate with that woman, and that it wasn't my fault. The poetry prof is gonna try and get me something to work with. I never have to speak to her again, if I don't want.

2) Crying man in the elevator...as if being in an elevator with strangers wasn't awkward enough... didn't know what to do about that one.

3) 8 Composition students, 3 Poetry students, 1 Pultizer Prize-winning composer/professor, and a smoky Greek diner. Good times. Double points for the really cute composer across the table.

4) Narrowly escaped Dryer Purgatory earlier. I put in one quarter, and then realized I didn't have the second one. It wouldn't give me my quarter back, it wouldn't let me use Entree Plus. I was saved when someone working at the Half-Ass took pity on me and made change for my dollar. They DO have souls.

5) There appear to be 36 of us going to NYU for the applicants' weekend. We're divided into pairs, each pair consisting of one word person and one music person. There are, as far as I can tell, 7 women. I seem to be the only female music person.

Δευτέρα, Μαρτίου 15, 2004

It's very difficult for me to express exactly how I feel right now, as Sweeny Veronica, the Demon Poet of Comp Class has just emailed me back, responding in the most childish way imaginable. Perhaps when my hands stop shaking and my head stops throbbing and I'm not about to cry, I'll blog more about it. If you'd like to see what I wish to blog right now, hold down shift and run your fingers back and forth across the row of numbers.

Σάββατο, Μαρτίου 13, 2004

Holly: "Do you want a McDonald's Cheeseburger?"
Me: "No. Do you have one in your pocket?"
Holly: "Yes."

The bunnies are gone. Sad.

I've read quite a bit of discussion about, if perpetrated by Al Qaeda, whether or not the 3/11 Madrid attacks are in retaliation for Spanish participation in Iraqi Freedom. This is possible. It's also possible that Al Qaeda resents the Spanish infidels for driving out the Moors a good 600 years ago, and then going to building a sucessful society without them. The Al Qaeda terrorists want to return the world to its "glory days" of the Caliphate and of all the western societies in existance today, the one that did the most to squash those dreams, long before there was a US to hate, was Spain.

Eat meat on Monday! Monday is International Eat An Animal for PETA Day, just to make 'em mad!

Παρασκευή, Μαρτίου 12, 2004

This is interesting, ironic, and sad.

"A pregnant woman who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a Caesarean section to save her twins was charged Thursday with murder after one of the babies was stillborn.
Prosecutors said Melissa Ann Rowland, 28, didn't want the scars that accompany the surgery.

An autopsy found the baby died two days before its January 13 delivery and that it would have survived if Rowland had had a C-section when her doctors urged her to, between Christmas and January 9. The other baby is alive, but authorities had no further information.

The doctors had warned that without a C-section, the twins would probably die, authorities said. A nurse told police Rowland said a Caesarean would "ruin her life" and she would rather "lose one of the babies than be cut like that."

In January, the state Supreme Court ruled that unborn children at all stages of development are covered under the state's criminal homicide statute.
The law exempts the death of a fetus during an abortion."

So if she had, for whatever reasons, aborted BOTH babies, that would be perfectly legal...

Πέμπτη, Μαρτίου 11, 2004

Haiku of the Evening:

So if a tree falls
And it lands on a poet
Does anyone care?

Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 10, 2004

Alright, desperate times call for desperate measures. I've written a dummy lyric for a song that I have already written and at 9:45 tomorrow morning, I'm going to email the lyric to the poet and tell her to write something that matches the rhythms and rhymes exactly. The fun of the dummy lyric is that it doesn't in any way have to make sense. Mine is:

There are reasons why you don't wear leather
There are flowers on your seat
I hear liver is the Captain's choice
And sometimes the lava flows by
And my heart starts to laugh
As elephants fly

And sometimes I flambe the cat
I TRY to french saute the cat
For Sundaes

Some warnings are for distance
Some moons are seen from nearest end
Some sleeping is for never
Some fights you resist to call
Or that China has a wall

And sometimes I flambe the cat
At least I TRY to french saute the cat
For Sundaes

Sometimes the cat won't maul me
Some weeks they just won't scold me
But they'll adjust to the visions of me
And they've never missed me
But someday
Maybe today

One if by day
One if with sorrow
One if you say
Almost never

And I'll try to throw away my hat
But I'm not all that well skilled at that
But I want to fricasee the man
For an omelet, a fritter, some flour, some clay
Maybe
Someday.

I'm fairly sure this is going to make her extrordinarily angry, which is why I'm going to wait until I can call my prof tomorrow during office hours and get his blessing. As long as I know that he's on my side, making her mad is not a huge issue to me.

Also speaking of lyrics, 28 hours and counting after our last conversation, Veronica still hasn't gotten me lyrics. I am not okay with that.

Speaking of lyrics, I absolutely love the lyrics of the Spanish-language version of the song "Go the Distance" from Disney's Hercules. Don't really care for it in English. Now, you'd think that the Spanish version, once translated to English, would be roughly equivelent, and thankfully, you'd be wrong. Disney's English version goes:

"I have often dreamed
Of a far off place
Where a heroes welcome
Would be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer when they see my face
And a voice keeps sayin'
This is where I'm meant to be

I will find my way
I can go the distance
I'll be there some day
If I can be strong.
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere
To feel like I belong

I am on my way
I can go the distance
I don't care how far
Somehow I'll be strong
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I will go most anywhere
To find where I belong
"

"I know every mile will be worth my while..." Gag me.

Let's go to the Spanish.

Una vez sone Que en algun lugar Once I dreamed that in some place
Yo podria ser alguien Si lograse amar I could be someone who managed to be loved

Y tambien sone Que si he de triunfar And I also dreamed that if I am to prevail
Mi orgullo aferrado Tendre que superar I wil have to overcome my obstinate pride

Un dia llegare No importa la distancia A day will arrive when distance won't matter
El rumbo encontrare Y tendre valor I will find the path and I will be strong
Paso a paso ire Y persistire Step by step I will go and I will persevere
A cualquier distancia And whatever the distance
Yo el amor alcanzare I will find my love

Una vez te vi Once I saw you
Era todo irreal Y aunque fuese un sueno It was totally unreal and although it was a dream
Te sentia junto a mi I felt you with me

Se que estas ahi Que te encontrare And you are there and I will find you
Aunque tarde una vida Even late in life
Yo jamas renunciare I will not turn away

Un dia llegare... A day will come....

Mas alla de toda gloria Beyond the glory
Del orgullo y el valor Of pride and courage
El poder de un heroe The power to be a hero
Esta en su corazon Is in your heart

Un dia llegare No importa la distancia A day will come when distance won't matter
Junto a ti estare Con tu resplandor I will be together with you, in your resplendance
Paso a paso ire Y persistire Step by step I will go and I will persevere
A cualquier distancia At whatever distance
Yo tu vida y tu amor tendre Your life and your love I will have

Now (besides losing all poetry in translation), isn't that better?

It's 9:34 AM. Do I know where my poem is?


.....sigh...no....

Umm....yeah... Feel free to leave captions in the comments...

In good news, Susan called... hoohoo!

In bad news, the time is now 12:07AM and I still do not have a poem to set.

Τρίτη, Μαρτίου 09, 2004

Haiku of the Evening:

After tonight, the
Dead Poets Society
Gets Veronica

Another reason I'm having a crappy day is because my 'poet' for my words and music 'collaboration' was 'busy' this week and thus hasn't been able to write the words for a chorus for our song and revise the rest so I can't write the freaking song and it was supposed to be performed a week from today and now it's gonna be two weeks from today, but I'm going to be in New York for a good chunk of that week and not going to have time work on it then and she yelled at me today because I had the audacity to not respond to her over spring break when I had clearly told her I would be out of town and I did get back to her within two hours of landing and this is making me nuts.

And so's the scholarship thing. I had my final RGA interview today, which will cut the expense of NYU in about half, but I still really need financial aid. What scares me to death is that I'll get into the program I'm dying to go to and not be able to because of the cost. Loans aren't really an option, as I will not come out of grad school with a $60,000 a year job. I will probably waitress or something. I'm going nuts.

I'm not ruling out poecide.

I'm not having a good day. This fellowship I'm applying for wants my parental financial information, and unlike FAFSA and large chunks of the rest of the world, doesn't even consider you to be independent for grad school. My options for being independent at this point are to either turn 24, have a child, or get married before March 15th. I think I'm gonna go for option 3. Any takers?

I talked to Bill Bolcom today about the Arthur Miller gig in hopes that he could point me in the right direction. He's one of the top 5 living American composers, and a friend of Miller, so he seemed like a good start. His opinion was that the autobiographical sections are very deliberately guarded, with so little of Miller himself actually exposed, and basically it would be both ineffective and impossible to try and evoke the man or his emotions. He suggested minimalist detachment. I can do minimalist detachment.

I am disturbed by the marginal but determined presence of sediment in my drinking fountain water. I have spent time in both the Third World and pre-renovation Central High School, and therefore, I am not deterred. Nonetheless, I am disturbed.

This Arthur Miller gig is proving almost impossible. I've been asked to write music for the transitions, which are chunks from Miller's autobiography, which reads like a narration reel for a film in freshman American history. At this point, it's becoming more of a 'find and arrange' project than a composition project, because basically what they need is a bunch of semi-period music which I see no reason to reinvent the wheel over. If I felt there was anything at all creative I could add by writing new old music, I'd go for it, but there's nothing for me. Besides the period stuff, there's no room for music, nothing really in the script to go on. For example, I have to underscore a bit where he's talking about being Jewish. What do I underscore that with, Havah Nagila? Or do I go for the neutral Lifetime schmaltzy background music and die the dreaded death-by-Muzak? Sigh...

Δευτέρα, Μαρτίου 08, 2004

For those of you who were at lunch today and part of the holding Kyle down and shaving him discussion, I present this article.

Over at Voting Mango, I have two fun posts on the Kim Jong Il endorses John Kerry story. Good times.

Κυριακή, Μαρτίου 07, 2004

"Don't grind the monkey." -- Dad

It's a long, accordian-intensive story.

Tonight, Holly threw out a block of cheese. This became necessary because it's mold colony had moved past the 'biology project' stage and on to 'sociology project,' having developed an awareness that there might be life outside the fridge, and paying homage to a fungal deity.

Holly's take:

"The Various Stages of Societal Mold Evolution in Dorm-Based Refrigerator Systems:
It wasn't just a mold colony anymore; it had incurred mold revolution and started a union that had progressed to Roman Empire status. It had started to ponder the point of mold existance. Representatives were being sent to explore food matter in far reaching corners of the Refrigerator System. It could ponder the existence of life outside the Refrigerator. It it had developed to the point where it wondered if there was someone who created the cheese. And the Refrigerator. Is there a curd-based-food-product-concerned diety and does it look like a cow?"

I enjoy corrupting people. April now has a blog.

Project of the afternoon:

Arranging tunes by George and his lovely wife Ira for the Arthur Miller Fiasco.

The Surrealist Compliment Generator

I got:
Eyes like scars dimple your ears.

A legion of French Bosoms could not match the lucid beauty of your toenails!

You are as orange as a congeleen afro curled around the bony edges of a silver spoon expressing its innermost desires for a lime-based detergent.

What about you?

Σάββατο, Μαρτίου 06, 2004

This is a terrific Woody Allen piece (did I just write that?) explicating the poetry of O'Shawn, so to speak.

Quote I relate to:
Patrick O'Higgins introduced O'Shawn to Polly Flaherty who was to become O'Shawn's wife after a courtship of 10 years in which the two did nothing more than meet secretly and wheeze at each other. Polly never realized the extent of her husband's genius and told intimates she thought he would be most remembered not for his poetry but for his habit of emitting a piercing shriek just before eating apples.

I do not shriek before eating apples, because I do not eat apples, but if you were to force me to eat apples (or think strenuously about the topic) I would undoubtably shriek before and during consumption; for me, the experience of eating apple peel is comparable to that of eating foil. ::shudder::

The Exorcist, in 30 seconds, with an all-bunny cast. Odd.

Παρασκευή, Μαρτίου 05, 2004

My duckcam, unlike Susan's contribution to the genre, actually has ducks. It even refreshes about every 5 seconds. Good times!

I agree with this Village Voice article on civil unions.

Duck cam.

One more and I'll stop, I promise...
This week in Get Fuzzy, Bucky Katt has started his own religion. Lots of cat/religious jokes. Very entertaining.

Also, this week Satan is visiting Rat and Pig over at Pearls Before Swine. Make sure you read perhaps the world's worst cartoon pun.
(Update: This is a close second. Never underestimate how far Stephan Pastis will go for a pun.)

This week Agnes has discovered ping-pong. Definately worth the time and brain cells.

If you'd like to see (not my) pictures from Spring Break, go here. It's a directory, but it's perfectly functional. Enjoy.

Πέμπτη, Μαρτίου 04, 2004

I've changed my font so italics are now legible. Woohoo!

This is a scholarly and intriguing, if not slightly disturbing, underwear-centric account of American history.

Representative quotes:
"In 1898, Teddy Roosevelt may have been decked out in a new summer union suit from Lewis or a cool Cooper's "Closed-Crotch" union suit when he charged San Juan Hill in Cuba."

"The Panama Canal opened after thousands of men had toiled away for years, perhaps in Chalmer’s Porosknit summer underwear, trying to beat the tropical heat."

"Charlie Chaplin introduced America to the magic of cinema, creating the look, the walk and the costume of the Little Tramp. In 1914, Charlie's distinctive garb no doubt covered his one-piece union suit. "

"116,500 of America’s fighting boys lost their lives in Europe, but those that made it home brought their newfound love of less-covering underwear back to America’s shores."

"In 1927, Charles Lindbergh — perhaps in a Sealpax union suit or a pair of Topkis Brothers Athletic Underwear — completed the first nonstop solo transatlantic flight, landing in Paris after 33 hours in the air."
[note: the big selling point of Sealpax was that it was guaranteed not to be pre-worn, which begs the disturbing question: was this a problem?]
"Prohibition was repealed and Franklin D. Roosevelt … perhaps having thought of it pacing the White House corridors in a pair of shorts closed with new, patented Gripper Fasteners … brought new hope to Americans with his New Deal programs."

"Meanwhile, the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge typified America’s great potential, as did Duofold’s new Duocraft Action-Support Underwear … an aid to active men. "

"Harry Truman, no doubt wearing some form of boxers, led the country out of the World War and right into the Cold War. "

"The men who dropped the first hydrogen bomb were, perhaps, wearing Hanes "Fig Leaf Briefs," but Elvis Presley no doubt donned classic "Y-front, Hip-Taped" Jockey briefs for his hip-swinging, crowd-pleasing concerts."

"President Eisenhower knew that he would have to use force to guarantee integration. Ike, no doubt, made that decision still wearing his baggy army drawers. "

"The same American ingenuity and hard work that had produced the world’s finest underwear for the last 50 years allowed Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin to become the first men on the moon in 1969."

This Ann Coulter column on the NYTimes on the Passion is a good read. That said, it's borderline offensive in a few places. Nonetheless, she's got a point. It's just a little hard to see behind the snarkiness.

Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 03, 2004

This is a sad (and infuriating) article about the funding cuts driving gifted programs to near extinction. You may need to register to read it, but it's free, and it's the Times -- there's no good reason not to register. The article is about Mountain Grove, MO, which is in the same general neck of the woods as Springfield, so Mom and her Pagelets asked me to write a response (which I sent to the Mountain Grove News-Journal. An abridged version went to the NYT.) Here's my response:

"Editor -- I write in response to the New York Times article on the loss of gifted education programs in Mountain Grove (“Schools, Facing Tight Budget, Leave Gifted Programs Behind,” 3/2/04). While I am saddened by the loss of these important programs for gifted children, I am also concerned by Principal Bridget Williams’ callous disregard for the needs of the gifted.
Principal Williams’ statement that, in losing gifted education programs, the only thing gifted students are losing is “the title” is both insulting and ignorant. It is insulting because it implies that gifted children are simply in search of attention or an ego boost, an unfortunate stereotype that obscures the real needs of the gifted.
It is ignorant for several reasons, the first of which is that gifted students have been documented to have different needs from other students, and are actually more likely to fail when those needs are not met. When undereducated, gifted students are at higher risk to drop out of school or engage in high-risk behaviors. Additionally, gifted children who are rarely challenged often do not develop the persistence and tenacity to deal with difficulty situations, and because of this, do not attain their full potential.
Furthermore, anyone who believes that, among children, gifted is a status symbol ranking up there with good hair, trendy clothes, or an iPod, has obviously never been a child. In fact, many gifted children "dumb down" or conceal their abilities in an attempt to fit in with their peers.
Growing up gifted, I routinely experienced discrimination by my peers on account of my giftedness; in the fourth grade, i was excommunicated from my group of friends for being "too smart." Gifted eductation programs provide not only enrichment for students, but also an environment where it's okay to be smart, where it's okay to be different, where it's okay to ask questions. By cutting gifted ed programs, I'm afraid that gifted students are being deprived of a learning environment that provides the one status every child truly craves -- normal."


For those strictly interested in accuracy, even at the short-bus gifted school, I was not, by the strictest standards, normal. That said, even a peer group as dysfunctional as the Full-Time class (Example: Our group dynamics were so bad that in 6th grade they made us read Lord of the Flies in an attempt at behavior modification. The one big thing that came of that was that the boys in my class captured by stuffed manatee and tied it to the ceiling fan in the little room, and turned the fan on, chanting "Kill the Manatee! Kill the Manatee!" It's really surprising I'm as normal as I am.) was an improvement over 5th grade, which I spent sitting in the 18" square teachers closet, huddled with a flashlight between kickballs and umbrellas, trying to read. Nonetheless, my point stands. My isolation in normal school was at least in part because I was gifted. My social problems at the gifted school were not because I was gifted, they were because I was weird.

So I've been seriously slacking on blogging. No particular reason, just slacking. I'll try to do better.