Friday, February 29, 2008

And Many Happy Returns






Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday Kal-El,

Happy Birthday to you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Modern Mirror of Erised

There is a Wikipedia page devoted to unusual articles.

A person could stumble into this thing and, hyponotized, never come out again.

Where if it doesn't make you smile it makes you wonder, and where it doesn't make you chuckle, it makes you think. Some entries do all four.

Happy perusing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

White-Knuckling Until A.C.

Work is oppressive right now, and the amount of time I'm spending in traffic being suburbo-dad is getting old fast.

Anyone reading for a year knows I went to Atrlantic City last year with a bunch of guys to watch the Atlantic 10 basketball tournament. I could link to the posts, but I'm too grumpy to bother. You can find 'em along the right hand side of this page if you look.

It was great. The GWU Colonials (twice my alma mater) won the whole shebang, and everybody did a lot of farting, scratching themselves and cursing. We fit in a few games of poker and a I mighta played a couple of hands of blackjack. It's a little foggy.

Well the trip's coming up in a few weeks and I CANNOT WAIT.

It'll be different this year. Fewer folks are coming (GW basketball is less-than-stellar so far this year) and the mix of entertainment will be different.

BUT I CANNOT WAIT.

I'm gonna drive out of here about three Wednesdays from now with Springsteen blaring and a lighter step.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flush with Success

My hometown Nationals haven't proven anything on the field yet, but it looks like things are moving in the right direction at the new ballpark.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Still More Humor from my Mom

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand.

He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?'

She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

TV Needs More Choharis

Peter Choharis is a professional acquaintance and an all-around good egg. He's had a couple of shots at political punditry lately.

Give 'em a look-see. I think he acquits himself admirably, here and here.

Down with the old pundits. Up with the ones who know me by name. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Company

There's a back story to this one. Check it out here. (Go ahead, it's o.k.. I'll wait.)

I just got done watching Great Performances on PBS, which showed a version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival which gives my current post its title.

When you get a chance, watch the rerun. My childhood friend is great, as are a number of the other supporting players.

The star is awesome.

And the fellow who captured the stage play for television during one of its last nights on the boards did everything right. His name is Lonny Price, and here's a reviewer who agrees with me:
On PBS's Great Performances, director Lonny Price tries to do nothing else but to get inside the pictures and the personas that controversial director John Doyle made for the stage. This Company doesn't look like most TV. But for the musical-theater lovers who, like me, don't get to Broadway nearly as much as they'd like, TV's Company comes as close as it can to re-creating what you missed. Director Lonny Price and editor Gary Bradley, working during the course of one of the show's final Broadway performances, manage to capture the free-flowing pace of the show, so that each scene seems to spring up like a fresh memory in Bobby's mind -- another glimpse at marriage and romance that might make living alone seem preferable. Or does it? It's that ambiguity that makes "Company" timeless -- and well worth the time spent with it.

If you like Broadway musicals in the key of Sondheim, this episode of Great Performances is a "Do Not Miss".

Mazal tov again, Bruce.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Left Wing Bullshit

This watching of Extreme Tracker is great fun.

Right this very second, I am the #2 hit for the phrase left wing bullshit on Google in the United Kingdom. Out of more than 1,000,000 hits!

I can't tell you why that gives me such a giddy thrill, but it most assuredly does.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Extreme Tracker

Insidious truth has a whole feature based on this. I gotta admit, checking out what search queries, or what sites, refer people here can be kinda fascinating.

All of a sudden, I'm getting a spike in queries where the search terms suggest they're looking for the angrier verses of This Land is Your Land, by Woody Guthrie. No idea why. (I know why they get directed here; I posted about them once) But I can't fathom why, all at once, several people are looking for this particular bit of arcana.

It could be the onset of the recession has a bunch of unconnected people looking for the same thing, or it could be some random teacher's random homework assignment.

One thing that makes me happy is that, of the 1100 search words that have brought people here since 10/23/07, the single most frequent word is "funny" (15% of all search words).

I'm also intrigued when an exotic locale shows up as the origin of a visitor. I've had three unique vistors from the Islamic Republic of Iran and four from Malaysia.

I was all excited when I got my first visit from Cairo, but was a little disappointed when it turned out to be what I hope was an American ex-pat. Why would a real Egyption be looking for Dana Hork's 2008 SOTU Quiz?

A couple of recent visits from Brandeis with a familiar first name and last initial in their trailing data have me wondering too. But that's probably an over-active imagination.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chesapeake Primary

Until the very last minute, I considered voting in the Republican primary today. (You can do that in VA --- one or the other, but not both.)

The cynical calculation for that move would be to vote for Huckabee, the candidate most likely to complicate things for the GOP.

I'm not quite that cynical yet.

Richardson was my first choice and I still think he's the best of the lot who appeared on today's Virginia ballot. But I checked out his web site and he's urging supporters to choose carefully among the candidates still running.

So it came down to Barack or Hilary.

She's smart and her heart's in the right place, but there's little difference between them on the issues and he's way more inspiring.

And her telephone recorded phone messages at dinnertime this weekend didn't help.

Obama '08

Sunday, February 10, 2008

World Clock

Wonder how many cases of leprosy have been diagnosed this week?

How many barrels of oil were pumped today?

How many bicycles were produced last month, in comparison with how many cars were manufactured ?

How many species have become extinct this year?

It's all here.

I think it's kinda mesmerizing.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Feel Just Like Sally Field Again

I'd like to thank the Members of the Academy, my manager, my accountant and all the little people without whom winning this cool Nerd Award would never have been possible.



But most especially, I'd like to thank mielikki, who actually bestowed the award.

Ya never know what's gonna perk up a day here on the Internets.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Serendipity

I was totally looking for something different when I stumbled onto this quote:

“The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision.” --- Lynn Lavner

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Don't Let it Bring You Down

There's a great moment on the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young live "Four Way Street" album where they introduce a song with this gem:

"Here's a song guaranteed to bring you right down. It's called Don't Let it Bring You Down."

The problem with a blog that is, at least sometimes, autobiographical, is that you can worry people.

I've mentioned before that my mom shies away from reading this blog for fear of running across a depression post.

On Monday, a dear friend (who reads but does not post here) noted the awkwardness of the fact that he'd read my most recent post on depression, but without that, he wouldn't know. I seemed pretty level-headed and engaging. So should he ask how I'm feeling or trust the bleakness was passing and not call attention to it?

And then there's the outpouring of warm fuzzies (both posted and privately delivered) that follow such a post. You guys are awesome. Thank you.

But I don't mean to trigger a comfort mechanism or make anyone feel awkward or sad. Sometimes getting it all out on paper (or in electrons) just helps.

And another friend who reads but doesn't comment tells me the blog can be a boost for others struggling with depression a little less publically (narcissistically?) than me. She comes to mind sometimes when I post about this stuff.

As does R., Mistress of Evil. We've never met, but if anything I write here is helpful to her or evil-e, so much the better.

Things'll improve.

For me, until they do, love, friendship, Tofranil, Klonopin, tutoring, worship and poker with the guys will get me through.

I think.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Prayer for Voting

A friend forwarded me this awesome prayer:

With my vote today I am ready and intending to seek peace for this country, as it is written:

“Seek the peace of the city where I cause you to roam and pray for her sake to G-d, for in her peace you all will have peace.”


May it be Your will that votes will be counted faithfully and may You count my vote as if I had fulfilled this verse with all my power.

May it be good in Your eyes to give a wise heart to whomever we elect [for primaries: whomever we support] today and may You erect for us a government whose rule is for good and blessing to bring justice and peace to all the inhabitants of the world and to Jerusalem, for sovereignty is Yours!

Just as I participated in elections today so may you help me to do good deeds and repair the world with all my work, and with the deed which I pledge today [insert your pledge] on behalf of all creatures and in remembrance of the covenant of Noah’s waters to protect and not destroy the earth and her plenitude.

May you give to us, to all the peoples of this country the strength and will to pursue righteousness and to seek peace as one unity to cause to flourish, throughout the world good life and peace and fulfill for us the verse:

“May the pleasure of our G-d be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us, make the work of our hands endure.”

It comes from a website called http://neohasid.org/. I've never heard of them before but I'm going to be exploring their website.

Running on Empty

I haven't been posting much, or commenting elsewhere. I haven't been engaging much with the real world, either.

Being the parent of an active 10-year-old insures that I can't just roll up in a fetal ball and sleep away the days, the way I did in my twenties when bleakness struck. Thank heavens.

So I'm a much better-functioning adult, thanks to life-saving meds, a competent pshrink, and the love, support, and (in the case of Monkeyboy) needs of those closest to me.

But from here inside my self-generated black hole, the world looks grey and the outlook seems hopeless.

Work's a nightmare. I'm getting a lotta credit for backstopping a lot of things while we hobble along with key vacancies. But it's tiring, scary, and I'm always worrying about which balls are just about to drop.

In other aspects of my life I'm going through the right motions --- laundry and garbage at home, tutoring and worshipping at shul, poker with the guys every couple of weeks --- but I'm nearly anhedonic.

RFB, Monkeyboy, and some dear friends are hip to where I'm at. They try to provide help, comfort or perspective. Sometimes it works. Briefly.

It'll pass.

Soon, I hope.