Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pity on Me

My dear dear husband has finally taken pity on me and delivered me, for a few days, out of this frozen tundra.

True, it is to the F state, but sun is sun right now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Toilet Gestapo?

So I was at Present Laughter today.  by the way, very good. Kevin Kline is great, and Colby Smothers was very pretty.  All in all a great British drawing room comedy.

Kevin Kline (center) - Colby Smothers (in silver)

Anyway, at the interval I went  to the bathroom with a million other old coots.  Matinee, you know - enlarged prostates and all.

So the line goes down the stairs and at the bottom there is an usher directing traffic. Well this old f*ck (younger than me, but still old) cuts in front of me. Actually, he tries to cut in front of me.

So I hold up my phone, which I am typing on so he can't get in front of me. I don't look up but I say, "Nope. There's a line."

He looks at me and says "What are you, the Toilet Gestapo?"

I was mildly witty and responded "No, the Line Gestapo.  Behind me." But l thought of a million other things to say later.

On my way home I decided I do kind of like the title Toilet Gestapo though. It places like that it is necessary. If not me, then who? If not now, then when?

Saw War Paint Last Night

Last night I headed off and saw War Paint. It is the musical about the rivalry between Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden from the 30s to the 60s.
Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersol in War Paint
It was amazing to see these two women singing on stage. Their voices are both different and (justifiably) world famous. Christine Ebersol makes almost every song and lyric meaningful and vibrant.

Patti Lupone was, unfortunately, saddled with a Eastern European accent and is great enough to sing with it. Her songs were normally less touching, but when she had the heights to hit no one does it like Patti. That broad can belt it out.

The story itself was a little distancing. I mean, they hated each other, the were proto-feminists, they built companies and would have been treated better if they were men. Then the get old, lose their companies and fade.

In treating them as World Class entrepreneurs, the play gets its feminist credentials. In treating them like cat-fighting women, it gets is "real housewives" fan base. In casting Patti Lupone and Crhistine Ebersol, it gets a phalanx of gay fans. I would have preferred a little less marketing and a little more substance.

Having said that, it was a treat. And they can sing anything well!

The Boy Who Cried Wold

This is what happens when you lie about the previous administration and stick with the lie even after everyone (FBI, CIA, NSA, Great Britain, Republicans and Democrats) has said you are wrong, yet you keep on lying.

The start to question you on everything.  Even actual problems.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Liar in Chief

Our current President accused President Obama of an illegal act, wiretapping or ordering surveillance of Candidate Donald Trump.

Watergate was actually an act almost exactly like what Donald Trump accused President Obama of doing.

The accusation is a lie. Not false, not wrong. A f*cking lie! That is, a known untrue statement presented as true.

When confronted with this, he double downed and accused the British spy agency of doing it for Obama.

The Brits were justifiably peeved.

  • The Republican and Democratic Heads of Intelligence Committees in both the House and Senate have said it is not true.
  • The FBI has said it is not true.
  • The Department of Justice has said it is not true.
  • The Head of the CIA and National Security Administration said it is not true.
  • The British Spy Agency, with confirms nothing - called bullshit.

Yesterday President Trump said he didn't believe any of it and was still convinced that President Obama Wire Tapped him.

Even Presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush 2 and Obama admitted mistakes after this much.

Heaven Help Us All.

The problem is not that he is a narcissistic sociopath here. I mean clearly that IS a problem, but not THE problem here. The problem is that, as President, people all over the world depend on him to tell the truth. Every time the President is wrong, it hurts us. When he lies on purpose, then the blowback is preventable and will be horrible.

My Review of Lincoln Center's How To Transcend A Happy Marriage is up

meh ....

Transcending Marriage Has Its Own Risk and Rewards

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How To Transcend A Happy Marriage, opening at the Lincoln Center’s Mitzie Newhouse Theater, is an untidy show. Beautifully acted and well signposted in the first act, the second act is a bit of a mess.
It starts with a friendly pair of married couples, Paul & George – played by Omar Metwally and Marisa Tomei and Michael & Jane – played by Brian Hutchinson and Robin Weigert. The ladies (George is a woman) have been friends since High School and are still close. Both have children now, Paul and George three younger children, Michael and Jane one teenage girl. They get together occasionally for dinner, drinks and the odd game of scrabble.
One such night, Jenna mentions a temp at work, Pip, who is a Bohemian in a polymorous situation, living with 2 male partners. She is an free spirit who will only eat meat she has killed, wears want she wants and lives a wild life. Some jokes, questions and mild titillation arise about Pip and her lifestyle. And so then the couples decide to invite Pip and her men for New Year’s Eve.
Omar Metwally, Marisa Tomei, Lena Hall, Austin Smith, David McElwee
Later, before George leaves for the party, Marisa Tomei addresses the audience directly, letting us know things take a bad turn. This admission plants a layer of expectation and dread before New Year’s Eve begins.
At the party, enter Lena Hall as the fascinating and sexual Pip, trailing her two male partners (David McElwee and Austin Smith) – smart, sensual and opinionated in their own right. The seven spend New Year’s Eve drinking, flirting, talking and eating hash brownies. Yeah, you know where this is going. Pip is a magnetic figure; eyes follow Ms. Hall no matter what she does. Her sexy rendition of “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round The Mountain” is an oddly erotic tour de force.
Varying amounts of justification, guilt, acceptance and self-reproach, follow the sexual shenanigans. The discussions are, in varying amounts: interesting, redundant and self-indulgent. It is as if we, as a society, have sexually and emotionally regressed since the 1960s (or decades earlier if you happened to see Unfaithfully Yours at The Mint).
How To Transcend a Happy Marriage is, oddly enough, bound by a set of societal limitations that seems slightly archaic to me. The characters appear (to themselves) to be breaking beyond norms, but their actions as normative as possible in the situation. I would have expected no different conclusion had this been written during the Eisenhower Administration.
How To Transcend... is beautifully acted, particularly by Marisa Tomei and Lena Hall. But ultimately it leaves a frustrating taste in your mouth, a self-congratulatory Greenwich Connecticut flavor.
How To Transcend a Happy Marriage | Playwright: Sarah Ruhl | Director: Rebecca Taichman | Cast: Lena Hall, Brian Hutchison, David McElwee, Omar Metwally, Naian Gonzales Norvind, Austin Smith, Marisa Tomei, Robin Weigert

Monday, March 20, 2017

Roadtrip

I spent yesterday and today on the road. I had an emergency in Washington and I drove down for the day and back up this morning.

I noticed many things on the drive and i shall share a few.


First, New Jersey still requires gas stations attendants to pump the gas for you. Now, while this is annoying often - on this blow through the state it was quite nice. You can stop on the toll road, pull up to the pump, tell them what you want and then go pee.

When you have returned they have filled your car, cleaned your windows and you give them a buck and you're on your way.

Second, the New Jersey Turnpike toll road seems to give you a license to speed. I set the cruise control at 81 and was passed very often.

Third, Maryland a very cool state flag.

Which the university has turned into a nice logo. 
I stopped at the rest stop to see if they had a t-shirt. 
They did not, but they had this hideous shorts. 


Ed did NOT get a pair.

Fourth: Open Joints.

Virginia has the occasional "Open Joints" sign. This does not refer to either a fast food dive that is open, nor is it a reminder to tighten your marijuana cigarettes.

I looked it up and it is actually makes sense and isn't over used.

Friday, March 17, 2017

(NTF) Condors in Northern California

The Yurok Indian Tribe in Northern California is working to reintroduce the California Condor to their ancient lands.

The bird was a totem to the Indians for generations before the last Condor along the Oregon / California coast border was killed.  That Condor was shot sometime around 1900 and is now stuffed in museum.



But the Indian Tribe has worked with the right authorities and will soon reintroduce them to the Redwood Coast.

Cool. (link)

(NTF) BNP Tennis Reception

Last week was the BNP Tennis demonstration at Madison Square Garden.  This s a yearly event, much of  it to go to various people's charities.
Lovely Llyeton Hewitt - laughing

I was lucky enough to go the welcome reception to see everyone be interviewed.

And I was restrained enough not to jump on Llyeton Hewitt.

This is 15% out of respect for Lleyton Hewitt and 85% respect the Ed would beat me around the head and shoulders if I embarrassed him at a work function.  But let's leave that 85% apart and applaud me for my restraint.

Pics:

Lleyton, American Jack Sock and Aussie Nick Krygios. Krygios is charming in person - which is a shock because he is most certainly NOT charming on the court.



Chris Evert on the desk with (top row Juan Del Potro (Argentine that won the Olympics) and Ken Nishikori: Bottom row with Venus Williams and Andy Rodrick




It was kind of funny to hear Andy tell a story about watching Venus when he was still a kid and learning. Venus is the old woman (in the recent era) ever to be a Grand Slam Final - this year in Australia at 40 years old.  It looked for a moment that she might (good-naturedly?) punch Andy.

(NTF) Poor Tim Allen is Persecuted Like 1930s Germany

Oy!
Apparently being conservative in Hollywood is just like 1930s Germany.

Because in Germany they gave enemies of the state $1,200,000 per week per episode to star on TV?


Apparently that whole Kristallnacht was different than the pictures.


(NTF*) The Catholic church up the Street

Just up the street (Morningside Park Drive) is a Catholic Church based on the Church at Lourdes.

It was recently cleaned in the front and you can see the difference between the front of the church and the side of it.



As for the inside, behind the alter is a homage / recreation of the grotto at Lourdes.  This is where a bunch miracles are attributed to The Virgin Mary. It reading up on it in Wikipedia, I was surprised to see that this whole miracle grotto only dates from 1858 and was found by a young girl (Bernadette).

I was also amazed to learn that the whole "immaculate conception" i.e. Mary was conceived without sin, was new as of 1854!

From the inside of the church.

Detail of the grotto.

Anyway, the church is cool.

* NTF: No Trump Fridays

Thursday, March 16, 2017

NOT A Shit Show... Yet

President Donald trump Unveiled His Budget the other day with all the cuts and growth he wants.

It would be easy to go nuts about this, DON'T!!!

Three reasons.

1. The Budget as proposed by any President is never (in 50 years or so) enacted as requested. This is the President's way of laying out his priorities. We know he hates science and loves big guns for his little hands. This "budget" just reinforces that for the folks watching at home.

2. It cannot be implemented as is because the Military increase goes above approved limits set by Congress and the Democrats will filibuster to not allow changes as set up.

3. More than usual, this is an opening bid. Trump has often stated (in his Art of the Deal) that he likes to negotiate with an inane opening bid to get to where he wants. What is really important to him? Tax cuts for4 rich people and less regulation for businesses - particularly his.  Don't treat this as much of anything yet.


Project 1948 Write Up!

This is very cool.

The Voice in My Head Have Stopped

It should be no surprise to anyone that I have (had!) voices in my head.

Actually, of course, less "voices" than "a telepathic studio audience of aliens asking insightful questions about human emotions".

In any case, I have (had!) a group of them.

Sometime in the last year or so, they left. Being telepathic, I am sure they didn't go "silent" - I would know. Nope - they're gone. No "good-bye"s. No "thanks for the knowledge, you humans are fucked up". Nothing.

Over 50 years and then zippo (since I was about 5).

I acknowledge that they were super duper helpful in getting through my shit. AND, they were a nice brake on when I was careening off the rails.

Kids, the rails went in for a reason!
It would be great to say that I am no longer careening and so "their work here was done" so to speak. Great, but not entirely correct. Not even mostly correct.



I feel a bit rail-less - and without the bumpers or dividers.

I am annoyed. Which is, I hope, healthy.

Shit Show Thursday - Non Trump Part 2


Israel has it's panties in a bunch because the UN says that it practices Apartheid, that is - a system of separation by race (link).

I get the word "Apartheid" has some bad connotations, but what word would you like, "Jim Crow"?

It is the 60 anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank. The VAST majority of those living there, were born there. And the country has a completely different set of laws for them. Different and separate - apart (which - wildly enough is the what the world "Apart-heid" is based on.

Palestinians cannot vote - other than on their penned in homelands... They cannot travel freely. Their property is taken at will for settlements: best case is pennies on  the dollar and they have no new home. What would you call it?

In Gaza, Israel allows in no building materials and only enough food to cover basic nutritional value - up to 2,000 calories per person - as decided by Israeli Military. Movement is limited and their labor is exploited.

Here is the road system in Israel...


In the most obvious example - here is a map of South African, when they established "self-governing homelands" for the black Africans to be penned on.


And here is a map of the occupied parts of Israel where the Palestinians have areas they are penned on.
The entire country is not shown - only those areas where Israel is considering some sort of home rule for Palestinians

Apartheid seems to be the nicest word possible. It makes you sound like you have some plan rather than none.

Shit Show Thursday: Non-Trump Part 1

Welcome to the Shit Show! Where the idiocy of life is on full view.

The NCAA Basketball Tourny starts today (go Bruins!), so I must be quick about this.

1. Texas - Good God!

The Texas Legislature is deep into it's attempt to mimic North Carolina and pass a Transgender Bathroom bill that will require you to produce a birth certificate to pee.

This is the same state that just freaked out when a boy competed in a girl's wrestling tournament and won. The young man had no choice, since he was born a girl. He wanted to wrestle in the boy's tournament, the school and parents wanted him to wrestle with the boys since he was on testosterone - but the state ruled that he was born a girl - proving the state is the perfect agent to decide this (link).

Texas Legislature, busy making sure that Mark here uses the Ladies Room the rest of his life.
Now the legislature is trying to make sure that he only uses the Ladies Room for the rest of his life - or until he leaves the state.

On the other hand, the legislature will not release the funds to investigate rape (link). They want to go to crowd sourcing for the investigation of RAPE. Crowdsourcing is something you do when a friend's house burns down - not when you have a legal obligation to investigate crimes.  But Texas is too busy legislating that young Mark uses the ladies room the rest of his life to investigate something as petty as rape.