Friday, November 02, 2007
This year's pumpkin - Nancy Grace
15:51:Yes, she's creepy and she's spooky and altogether kooky and indignant about the victims (particularly when the victims aren't indignant)... so Nancy Grace won this year's prize as creepy character of the odd-numbered year, therefore winning her a spot on a Jack O'Lantern.
However, I haven't been able to get a really good picture of it pumpkin yet -- I carved it at a friend's house and the lighting wasn't great. Will post as soon as I have it. This is what we have. It wasn't a great carving, in any event.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Fire across the street
21:44:This fire across the street from RC's house in Capitol Hill was today, as I was driving home to meet architect #4. Four firefighters injured, and the house just a few doors down across the street is pretty much a box of charcoal now. Scary sight to arrive to ... I was driving across the 14th street bridge from Virginia, and wondered what that enormous cloud of black smoke was. I never imagined it would be right across the street.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
On having a green house
14:24:RC and I have decided (well, a few months ago) that they way to sort out the fact that we work in three different parts of the world and have houses in two is that we should renovate the townhouse he owns in Capitol Hill and move in there, hopefully be the end of 2008.
We've decided to try to a) renovate green, b) do it with cool and interesting design with an architect and c) make it a very Cool place to live.
I'll be trying to keep a solid journal on what we're doing and how we're doing it... green renovation is apparently not all that easy to do well.
Labels: green townhouse
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Pumpkin 2006 #1 - The Love of My Life
23:30:The last few years my themes for Jack-o-lanterns have involved scary political figures. And I do have another pumpkin to carve George Allen in all his hideousness to scare away little kids. But sometimes, you can scare away evil with beautiful things.
Since last September, I've had a wonderful man in my life. Some of you have asked to see a picture of my sweetheart, the love of my life and fire of my loins. Well, here's an artistic rendition of him for all to enjoy.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The Pigeon Erradication of 2006
19:39:I'm in the process of evicting some vile, dirty, guano-creating disease-carrying flying rodent-from-hell pigeons that have set themselves up on my balcony. These nasty, dirty creatures built a nest, and even though I've cleaned it up, cloroxed the hell out of the floor and tried to make it unpleasant, they're still around.
This will be my documentation of the things I've tried and how far it has taken me:
- Sweep & Clorox: this seems to have kept them away for a couple of days -- I'm guessing they didn't like the smell of chlorine all that much. But I'm not sure I want to set up a bucket of clorox out there that they may drink of and die--I hate the things, but I'm also not enough of a monster to make them into soup.
- CDs on strings: I'm building a string of old AOL CDS and clinking things and perhaps that will scare them away.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Fiddler On The Roof Reviews
12:54:I've been playing the Fiddler in The Arlington Player's production of "Fiddler On the Roof".
Here are some reviews:
TAP's 'Fiddler' Showcases Talents of Cast, Crew
Fiddler on the Roof: The Arlington Player’s Tradition
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Christmas in Colombia
21:27:It's been a Christmas, full of all the things that make Christmas in Colombia what it is--endless repetitions of traditional Colombian Christmas songs, lots of masses on TV, churches bellowing endless repetitions of traditional Colombian Christmas songs from the steeples, nativity scenes, and did I mention the endless repetitions of traditional Colombian Christmas songs?
Unfortunately, most of the week I've spent worrying about my parents' health... first few days, my dad's eye --the doctors say it'll recover but the process will be slow. For the last three or four days, mom has had some nasty combination flu and urinary infection that has pretty much wiped her out and has put her in bed all day... i knew that when I woke up one morning at my usual 9AM wakeup time and she was still in bed--my mom never does that unless she's really feeling sick. Even when we were at my cousin's farm house, she had been feeling like crap and hadn't said anything about it for two days...
So really a surprising amount of the time I've been here I've spent indoors, mostly here in the apartment, trying to be helpful but not knowing what to do to help and not knowing what to do with myself. No real reading material (I've read pretty much every book in my dad's library that I'd have any interest in reading by this age), a very slow dial-up connection, cable tv dubbed in spanish, and both mom and dad somewhat out of commission, a city I don't know well and in which I still don't feel completely safe (even though what I have seen hasn't given me any reason to feel anything but safe), and not really being able to do anything to help...
Since mom's been out of commission for the last couple of days, I've been focusing on trying to scramble up lunches and dinners for dad out of leftovers. His diet is particularly fussy--between what he can't eat and what he won't eat, it doesn't leave room for much. I've also had so many meals that have consisted of arepas (corn meal griddle cakes) and queso fresco that I'm sick to think about it. I was so out of sorts and bothered by the situation that on the 23rd, the day of reheated pea soup for lunch, I ended up going down to the mall a few blocks away and committed the cardinal sin of eating a hamburger just to eat something non-boiled, non-arepa-ish...
I feel pretty stupid even complaining about this stuff--I'm just coming to grips with the fact that my parents are getting to that age where health complications will continue to emerge. I suppose that if I look at it differently, it's better that I be in the position of caring for their health than they caring for mine--it's the way it
should be. I just had hoped that this second trip to Colombia wouldn't be about illness but about health and family. And I'd hoped that I wouldn't have spent the balance of the last four days indoors in the apartment trying to figure out what to do with myself...not like I know the city well enough to venture out on my own to go do something... when I do go out with my parents, some of the little habits they have that I've always known about (like trying to constantly bring in strangers into our conversations) make me tense for some weird reason--not sure why, since that's the way things are here.
Christmas eve was fun--a good 6 hours' worth of family fun. We went to aunt Gladys' house, where all of her clan gathered (her three kids, their spouses, her grandkids, her husband, my grandma (Gladys' mom), my great-aunt-and-godmother Guillermina, uncle Juan Carlos (the one who I always got the sense didn't want me to grow up as some kind of non-drinking sissy) and his wife and kid, uncle Norman (the one who did bookbinding, played the guitar and always took me around town to see cool places, the soft-spoken intellectual) and his two kids (the eldest of whom I last saw when she was 2), aunt Stella (who has mellowed out a lot in her latter years) my parents and yours truly...lots of food, about an hour's worth of gift distribution for all the
munchkins... got to dance with my cousin Marcela, who is a violist with the Antioquia Philharmonic and who's a lot of fun--we got to laugh about how bossy all our aunts are and how stepped-on our uncles are--and tried to dodge Juan Carlos' serving me more aguardiente (the colombian hard liquor of choice, name translates to "water that's on fire")... all in all, very traditional and just as I remember it...
Today we went to aunt Betty's house for some ajiaco (remember that chicken soup we had at the colombian restaurant?). on the way there, dad decided we needed to take a detour from the metro to get on the "metro cable", a mass-transit aerial tram in the best Swiss style. They built it to connect some of the poorest parts of the city, up on the top of the hills, to the main metroline, and it seems to have had good results. the trip to Betty's house also takes you to the narrower part of the valley, and the mountains around here are so green and lush and beautiful... I do want my guy to see this someday. It's a lovely place. It really is.
We had trouble catching a cab back from Betty's house to the metro (it's X-mas day after all, and she lives in the waybeyond), and mom was carrying a fever... we still had to do a pit-stop at grandma's house for coffee... good thing we were outside today, but hard to do so when I knew my mom was feeling like crap and is unlikely to say anything because she doesn't want to inconvenience...
Now it's 9 PM, both parents are asleep, and I'm sitting here spilling out what's eating at me and feeling like a bad son for moaning and bitching about stupid stuff, and worrying about more important stuff that's still not very productive to stress about over email (the fact that my brother and sisters are missed, the fact that i worry about what mom would do if I'm not around, the fact that my parents' finances aren't very solid...)...
Argh. I need to stop moaning and focus on lovely things like arepas with queso fresco and pretty displays of lights. That's the ticket...
Saturday, November 12, 2005
I need to tell the world....
15:49:I've met a wonderful guy who makes me extremely happy. It's been a very long time since I've spent days on end with someone and felt like I just hadn't gotten enough of him. That's what I've been feeling for the past few months.
Just thought you all should know.
End of mushy moment.
Since many of you have been asking for more information, I'd like to say that the happiness continues and grows stronger.
We met, unexpectedly, while working on the recent TAP production of Once Upon A Mattress. He was the producer, I was the executive producer, and neither of us had planned on being involved in a show during the month of October. It's wonderful thing that we got pulled into the show, all things considered... although I must say that for the first three months of the production process, I didn't really have any evidence that he existed--the director said he did, but I had only his word to go on. Let's just say that I'm glad he turned out to be more than just a figment of the director's imagination.
What can I say without falling into schmaltzy prose? RC is a great guy--smart, funny, full of great stories, earnest, hard-working, creative, talented, responsible, caring, tender, rough, gruff, cuddly, with a wide range of interests and a willingness to try new experiences. Oh, and he enjoys board games. theater AND hockey... what more could a fella want?
Monday, September 05, 2005
Presidential Photo-OP: disgusting is the word
19:12:From an open statement by Senator Landrieu on Saturday, Sept 3.
"[...]But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast – black and white, rich and poor, young and old – deserve far better from their national government. "
Millions of people homeless and thousands dead, and the only thing that the jackass in chief can think of is on how to stage a photo-op in front of a broken levee and then take away the equipment once the photo-op is done.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
An open letter to my congressmembers
10:32:Dear Virginia Delegation:
I'm outraged. Outraged that we send two senators and one representative to Washington with the expectation that they will act to watch out for our country's and people's best interest. And after seeing the stunning and tragic display of incompetence, mismanagement and unresponsiveness of the federal government to the million human tragedies unfolding in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, I wonder: What have you all been doing for this time? Whatever happened to your oversight responsibilities? Your need to demand that our government protect and defend its citizens? And what do you plan to do about demanding that the executive explain its tragic bungling of response efforts? Do you plan on asking the president to answer why he'd say "no one could have predicted the tragedy in New Orleans" when it was so clearly predicted by dozens upon dozens of experts for 40 years?
One million of our countrymen are homeless, without food, shelter or medical care, without the basic elements needed for human survival. And now we find that the agencies that are supposed to have been prepared for these kinds of catastrophes have been unfunded to the ground, that plans for mobilizing hospital ships, massive evacuations, ships with drainage pumps, which at one point FEMA had and existed were allowed to languish and be forgotten or unfunded? Why has such a vital agency been allowed to be buried under a bureaucraticly inept monstrosity as is DHS? Why has FEMA been taken apart to the point that it can't mobilize? For tax cuts and a war in Iraq? Why?
For every one of us who writes to you, hundreds are expressing similar levels of outrage and disbelief in living rooms, water coolers and dining rooms across the country, all wondering how you and your 534 colleagues on the hill could have allowed this situation to get to this point. I'm asking similar questions of Senator Warner and Representative Moran. Both parties have failed us.
It is time for real, honest investigation--without the usual partisan bickering you all are so good at. We demand real efforts at figuring out what happened, at making sure that those who made the decisions that took us to this place are held accountable and lose their jobs, and at rebuilding our nation's emergency preparedness for real emergencies.
Juan Felipe Rincon
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
So it WAS Karl Rove
10:23:... and you obviously can't shame the shameless.
So it WAS Karl Rove
10:23:And now Bushothep II and Scott McIWon'tAnswerAnyQuestionsAboutAnOngoingInvestigationEvenThoughIHaveDoneSoPlentyOfTimesInThePastWhenIt'sConvenient
are both disassembling... I mean dissembling....
And it seems that the White House Press Corps finally got a little bit of gonad fortitude.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
PlameBait: Was it Rove?
14:46:Oh, wouldn't it be lovely if the White House Chief Of Staff, Karl Rove, gets hauled out in front of Congress for perjury?
It's becoming increasingly clear that Wilson was either informed or prescient in suggesting that the leak of his wife's identity as a CIA undercover operative was engineered or at least assisted at the highest level by Turd Blossom himself.
Pop Culture Front: Smoothies?
14:39:I wonder if the visible rise in the so-called "smoothies" phenomenon might be one explanation as to why the tide is turning in the gay mainstream. It seems that chest and body hair are finally making a well-deserved comback tour after their 15-year exile enforced by lasers and hot wax.
It's a well-known thing that once a fashion pattern goes from gay mainstream into straight mainstream, the gay fashion pattern switches... and there's a growing number of men who are now saying "I no longer shave my nards" in GayWorld.
That's one time I won't complain about gaiboyzz adopting the trendy. Not too much.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Will the EU Finance Ministers show reason when Bushothep II didn't?
21:50:Well, there is a confirmation hearing for who will be the president of the World Bank. While those making macroeconomic analyses in the US may be either blind or just shy, I'm wondering if the collective pool of EU finance ministers will show more logic and reason before confirming someone who has no economics background and was key in the planning of one of the biggst development disasters in recent history, Paul Wolfowitz.
Friday, February 11, 2005
Bushist distortion of the week: scientific fact
14:16:Scientists in the U.S. Fish and wildlife service finds that at least 20% of respondents to a survey on behavior received pressured or instructions by higher-ups in the service to not answer the survey conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Of those who did answer, 44% replied that they have been instructed to withhold research findings that and "to refrain from making jeopardy or other findings that are protective of species." Twenty percent have been directed to exclude information from reports that would result in a stronger case for protection. Fifty-six percent report that they have seen commercial pressure to remove or reverse scientific findings that would lead to a case for greater protection. Forty-two replied that they don't feel they can do their job as scientists within a Federal agency without the fear of retaliation.
One more example of how this administration loves to play games with the truth. They keep on speaking about morality and values. How about some intellectual honesty?
Bushist outrage of the week - Journalistic Payola continues
09:55:This time, not quite a payola--but another one of those "oops, we didn't know, how could we" messages coming from Bushohthep II's spinners.
In a press room where Helen Thomas, White House correspondent to the stars, never gets called by the Phresident or his spinner-in-chief, (currently Scott McClellan), where real journalists rarely get to actually ask ANY questions of the administration, let alone any probing ones, we find that one Jeff Gannon, who's been given access to the Press Briefing room, and who actually got to ask a very politically charged question of the Phresident during his very rare press conference on January 26, both used a fake name to get access to the press room, is not a real reporter, and is in fact working for a faux news organization bankrolled by an activist group known as, interestingly enough, GOPUSA.
Not only then, is a person who's lying to get into the White House being given repeated access, he's also given prime-time visibility to ask a question that fabricates quotes that Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader, never made, all to lob a softball at the Phresident so that he can continue fabricating a crisis around Social Security.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Virginia is for BusyBodies
14:22:VA's current crises:
- not enough state revenues to maintain an adequate road system statewide
- air pollution in Shenandoah Valley destroying both views and habitats
- a north-heavy tax base with a relatively underdeveloped south
- air quality in northern Virginia rated as some of the worst in the country
So what is the state assembly focusing on?
- passing laws making wearing low-rider pants a misdemeanor
- making adoption by same-sex couples illegal
- putting a third law in the boox that makes same-sex marriage illegal (never mind the other two)
- redefining contraception
- adding a license plate that advocates "traditional marriage" (lest we forget that VA made interracial marriage illegal until the late 1960s)
I just wish these pseudocons would keep their hands out of our gonads, our beds and our wedding bands.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Bushist outrage of the week - the No Rally List
11:07:Seems that the fight for freedom and democracy that Bushotep II doesn't apply in the US, at least not when it comes to access to the President's public events as a servant of the people.
Here's a quote from Salon from 2/7/2005:
"When Bush traveled to Fargo, N.D., for a forum there Thursday, more than 40 area residents found themselves on a list that prohibited them from getting tickets. Suspected terrorists? In the eyes of local Republicans maybe -- the residents on the list all seem to be known, one way or another, for their liberal political views."
- being a city commisioner
- being a university professor
- hosting a liberal radio talk show
- being involved in a Democratic gubernatorial campaign
- being a high school student
- being a member of Howard Dean's Democracy for America Meetup group.
The White House's response? "Overzealous volunteers"; "We knew nothing of it". How typical--next they'll blame it on "a few bad apples".
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Bushist outrage of the week - Journalistic Payola grows
So, just a day after Pharaoh Bushohthep II stood and said "well, you know, this is bad, we shouldn't be, you know, doing this--our policies should stand on their own merits" we learn that there was yet a third journalist that was paid by a federal department to serve as a shill for the government's agenda.
All in all, the Bushies spent $88 million on public-relations contracts in 2004. That's money that didn't go for AIDS patient services (Whitman Walker clinic had to shut down its housing assistance plan for HIV+ people in the DC area because of a funding shortfall that could have been covered with 1/2 of 1% of that money). That's money that didn't go for body armor for a Marine now disabled at Walter Reed hospital. That's money that didn't go for funding after school programs, No Child Left behind mandates, voting machine fixing, survivor death benefits for National Guard members killed in line of duty... I could go on.
Add to this the fact that for every 40,000 hours of right wing programming on the airwaves and television EVERY WEEK there are 3000 of liberal programming on those same airwaves, and one keeps on wondering--where exactly are these liberal media that the conservies keep on talking about? How many of the so-called "Fair and balanced" media that have been pushing a right-wing agenda over the last four years have been bought like this?
Thursday, January 27, 2005
11:43:So, if I expressed objections to seeing heterosexist portrayals of family life that exclude gay and lesbian families in kids' shows, and said that I don't want my nephews and nieces exposed to them, would you pull distribution of such shows much as you did with the Postcards from Buster show that talks about a legitimately coupled lesbian family in Vermont?
Come on PBS! We count on you to represent ALL aspects of life with balance and fairness, not to kowtow to those who'd like to pretend some things just don't exist.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Condi on Latin America
11:47:Thanks, Senator Dodd. When Condi basically started venting about how horrible Venezuela's Chavez is and equating him to Fidel Castro and how little he's done to help the situation by what he says and how he's not cooperating, he replied "Yes, but Lula in Brazil has said very similar things--in fact following similar lines--and you've found a way to work with Brazil."
Condi: no matter what you may have heard, Latin American politics are not just based on "we like Castro, we don't like Castro". The US has played a serious role in creating perceptions about itself all throughout the continent, and continuing to blame populist presidents for the bad perception of the US in Latin America is as disingenuous as continuing to say "nine eleven" every time there's a question you don't want to answer.
Bushist Outrage of the week
11:27:Ok, so it took Bush a few days to go further than his initial US$15 million to relief work in the Indian Ocean. That's a fumble that almost didn't get caught.
But the big fumble is that the budget for his second inauguration is $40 million. This, at a time when they say there's not enough money to pay for schools or health care or AIDS treatment programs.
But even more outrageous: they tell the District of Columbia that they have to suck up $17 million worth of security related costs out of their general budget. That's $17 million the District didn't have. Of course, the Republican-controlled Congress and White House won't appropriate any funds for this. GOP certainly won't pay for it. Set aside that they paid 10 times as much for NYC security during the GOP convention.
So what do they do? The reach a so-called compromise. What is it? Basically, DC is to divert $11.9 million from emergency regional security emergency funds to pay for things like parade review stands and presidential security.
Add to this that these same parade review stands are not open to the public. The Inaugural committee is charging $60 a pop for a seat at these stands. Where is that money going? Who knows.
That's money that is earmarked for paying for hospital services in case of regional emergency, transit emergency planning, security and safety equipment for first responders, etc. This is not just DC money, it's regional money. Northern VA and suburban MD.
So, basically, those of us living within miles of Nucklehead-in-chief must give up money allocated for our safety and health in case we are attacked so nucklehead can have a second party that costs more than what he initially allocated for aid to a part of the world that is a hotbed of antiamerican hostility based on our inaction and empty posturing.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Die-cast planetoids made in Macau
This looks like either cheap cookware or one of those old-style Monopoly playing pieces that you shouldn't use because you might get lead poisoning.
The Intelligent Design whackjobs will have a field day with this new image of the belt around Iapetus, one of Saturn's moons...
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