Nothing but Flowers
Sunday, November 30, 2003
About me?
Have you googled yourself recently?

"Heidi Thompson started producing shows in her carport when she was seven. Real life was always some sort of a production, and by age fifteen, she was touring in a professional theatre company. By twenty, she was performing her own original songs in her L.A.-based band, and then, seemingly by accident, she fell into the "jingle business", where she wrote and produced hundreds of commercial jingles, many of which have won awards. "

"My name is Heidi Thompson and I work for a pharmaceutical company in La Jolla, CA. I am currently trying to put together an assay (preferably and ELISA) to detect mouse Troponin T from plasma/serum samples. To my knowledge, there are limited reagents to do this, and all that I have found are human. I would like to try using the human reagents, and would like to know if any of you all out there have a good source for me to try. Also, if any of you happen to know of a source to detect mouse Troponin T (I doubt it).....PLEASE let me know."

"Heidi Thompson grew up at Wandilo, a small rural community a short distance from Mt. Gambier in the SouthEast of South Australia. Heidi attended the Mulga Street Primary School and successfully completed her secondary studies last year at the Mt. Gambier High School. Her subjects included English, Legal, Social and Geography Studies and Biology. Heidi's tertiary entrance rank at the completion of her secondary studies was 92.05."

"Las Vegas based Heidi Thompson is recognized within the industry as  the premier Cher tribute artist. Heidi has headlined most of the recognized  lookalike shows including Legends In Concert... American Superstars and Legends of Rock'n'Roll. She has all the costumes but,  most of all, she has the pzazz to pull of a brilliant performance."

All of the ones that are actually me are attached to statements like "persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance..." or "for tickets call..."

And as always, tormenting me, Heidi& torments me from its position as the first hit when googling me. And yes, I know they live in my home town.

I'll post about thanksgiving and LA and my fun in the semi-sun later, but for now it's back to work. Stupid homework.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Off to LaLa Land!
I'm off to LA! Tomorrow morning that is. On a 7am flight. I must really love my friends. :)

On the upside, the wonders of modern technology have allowed me to check in and print out my boarding pass in advance, so I can probably wait to leave until 5:30am instead of 5am.

Yay for thanksgiving with friends though. Definitely the way to go.

Jon referred me to which is brilliant! and has nothing to do with homosexuals.

I am so unbelievably sad that Act 1 Books has been bought out. A Chicago theater institution, gone. And only a few short months after they moved into their new, larger, store. I forget when exactly they moved, but I know my mom was in town. I know that the new owners have promised to keep it the same, to maintain the "non-bookstore" aspects, but still...Act 1 was the 2nd largest theater bookstore in the country, space-wise, and the largest online theater bookstore. Plus I object to calling a bookstore Soliloquy. It's almost as bad as "from page to stage" and other hackneyed phrases. Sigh.

I think mostly I'm annoyed that I learned about it from the website before the trade papers. Even though Performink is read by "100% of Chicago theater professionals". (as a side note, I asked my boss, who never reads it, if that claim meant she was not a Chicago theater professional). I should note that Performink has a cover story on the bookstore changeover this issue, but that still postdates the website/bookstore signs. Oh, and this quote from the performink article worries me:

"The store's owner has 'absolutely no experience' with bookstores but is a Northwestern University theatre graduate with 15 years experience in Chicago's theatre community. She's not too concerned about her lack of direct book retailing experience however. 'It's not really a bookstore to me,' she said. 'I think of it as a resource for theatre professionals' To me it's not books, it's a living, breathing entity that participates in Chicago's theatre community."

The grammatical errors alone make me worry.

Enough. I will return to the blogsphere on Sunday or Monday. Don't miss me too much.
Off to LaLa Land!
I'm off to LA! Tomorrow morning that is. On a 7am flight. I must really love my friends. :)

On the upside, the wonders of modern technology have allowed me to check in and print out my boarding pass in advance, so I can probably wait to leave until 5:30am instead of 5am.

Yay for thanksgiving with friends though. Definitely the way to go.

Jon referred me to which is brilliant! and has nothing to do with homosexuals.

I am so unbelievably sad that Act 1 Books has been bought out. A chicago theater institution, gone. And only a few short months after they moved into their new, larger, store. I forget when exactly they moved, but I know my mom was in town. I know that the new owners have promised to keep it the same, to maintain the "non-bookstore" aspects, but still...Act 1 was the 2nd largest theater bookstore in the country, space-wise, and the largest online theater bookstore. Plus I object to calling a bookstore Soliloquy. It's almost as bad as "from page to stage" and other hackneyed phrases. Sigh. I think mostly I'm annoyed that I learned about it from the website before the trade papers. Even though Performink is read by "100% of Chicago theater professionals". (as a side note, I asked my boss, who never reads it, if that claim meant she was not a Chicago theater professional). I should note that Performink has a cover story on the bookstore changeover this issue, but that still postdates the website/bookstore signs.

Enough. I will return to the blogosphere on Sunday or Monday. Don't miss me too much.
Why should I title this post?
I'm going to be on a plane in less than 24 hours. Given how tired I am right now, that is not a particularly inspiring thought. The more exciting thought is that I'll be in LA in about 28 hours. Though as always before I go anywhere, the sheer amount of stuff I have to accomplish between now and 5am tomorrow is a little daunting.

I woke up and couldn't find my glasses. I had put them on the wrong side of the bed, where i didn't even think to look in the morning. It's amazing how short-term memory works.

Mostly links, it's that kind of day
Paul Krugman takes on manners (of the press anyway)

There was an interesting articlein the NYTimes about the finalists for the WTC memorial site, and the predominance of young people in similar competitions.

poetry that writes itself (via arts journal. This is a new invention from Ray Kurzweil". I object--how can a computer simulate creativity? That's that really thin fine line... I actually went to school with Kurzweil the younger, when we were about 7-12 years old. I remember (quite vividly, actually) in 1st grade that I asked him why his last name was the same as the name on so much of the electronic equipment at the school. Because, he answered, my daddy's an inventor. I immediately conjured up images of Dr. Jekyll and regarded young Kurzweil (whose first name I can't, embarrassingly enough, remember) with awe.

This reminds me. Not only is Pinter alive (see prior post), but I also met his sister-in-law a couple weeks ago. Oops. I should have gone to Dead or Alive and checked first. I find that site highly creepy, particularly because it first crossed my radar when I googled my grandfather...the 9th hit was his "Alive!" entry...shiver...
Monday, November 24, 2003
Maybe it's winter
There's snow on the ground. Not much, but enough to make the claim that it snowed.

Yesterday it was in the 60's.

I used to whine that people talked about the weather too often; it's an effective place holder for actual meaninful conversation. I think I'm in the process of proving my own point.

I rediscovered ebay last night. I'm selling off my old electronics (the obsolete/busted ones) that have been sitting gathering dust for a couple years. But now I'm a little obsessed.

Speaking of obsession...I watched the 2 Towers extended version Friday night. Saturday morning I watched the first half of the attached documentaries, and then last night I watched the other half. That's about 15 hours of LOTR viewing this weekend alone...I think I have a problem.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
In response to another...
I think it's pretty funny that one of the actors in Henry V found my blog. He writes that I "just dismisses seeing Henry V, the bane of my first 2 months of college, as a mere impediment to writing a paper. Perhaps I can learn something from this perspective."

I'm sorry! I didn't mean it to come off that way. It was a very good show, and I certainly did not mean to dissmiss your hard work. I try to refrain from writing too much about the UT shows I see & the students involved because I'm pretty confident that I'll write something that will get me in trouble. Like that.

So, I'm sorry, please don't feel that I meant to dissmiss the production.

And god, I know what it is like to slave away on a production and then feel like it doesn't matter enough to the (non)paying audience. Please accept my apologies.

I have previously posted that I've seen the nutcracker as done by Boston Ballet nearly every year of my life. but now the Wang center has "severed ties" with Boston Ballet, because of financial woes explained in this article from the Globe. Which means they'll bring in the rockettes instead of the nutcracker. Apparently this was announced a while ago, but I missed it. The article includes this line: "The "Nutcracker" decision was "the cultural equivalent of the Red Sox sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees," one Boston Globe reader wrote to the editor."
As a born and bred Bostonian, I actually have to agree. The Wang Center is a non-profit host to non-profits, and now where will they go? What happens to the ballet?

"Offbeat" News
Chocolate Putin

Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird reports something that sounds a little too Matrix-y:
"Researchers at Panasonic's Nanotechnology Research Laboratory near Kyoto, Japan, said in August that they have begun to generate electricity from blood, which they say may eventually yield enough power to produce a human "battery" to run various implanted devices, such as pacemakers. Power is produced by stripping blood glucose of its electrons. [Sydney Morning Herald, 8-4-03"
Young stars dying
TV, stage actress Waymire dead at 36
She was Melissa on Six Feet Under.

And reports that Jonathan Brandis committed suicide last week are just hitting the radar. He starred on SeaQuest DSV but did enough other work in the early '90's that my pre-teen friends and I were all a little obsessed. He was 27.
Friday, November 21, 2003
I thought it was just an Off Off skit
I find this simultaneously hysterical and ridiculous. a sex contract for the masses.
Thursday, November 20, 2003
Last of Paris Surrealist set dies

and, because I know you love my constant updates on the weather, it is 68 degrees in Chicago today (November 20th!!).

But it is supposed to snow on Monday.
Oh those naughty playwrights
I hate to confess this (I'm going to get myself in a hole here, I know it) but I had thought that Harold Pinter died two years ago. I am very glad to know he's alive and fighting for the right side (not that that surprises me). My favorite quotes by or about Pinter from the last week or so include:

" At one protest, for example, author Harold Pinter called Bush and Blair "liars, God-fearing Christians and murderers," and compared U.S. policies with those of the Nazis." (courtesy of Rocky Mountain News)

"Playwright and political activist Harold Pinter derided political odd-couple Bush and Blair as liars.
"No nation has ever been so detested as the U.S. today," he said. "The U.S. is the rogue state par excellence."" (courtesy of Reuters

"After landing at Stansted yesterday, he [German protestor Maik Neudorf] made his way to the offices of the Stop The War Coalition next to King's Cross. Workers there were busy arranging a bottle of white wine for Harold Pinter ("It's got to be a bottle of dry white - Chablis or Sancerre," one volunteer said), who spoke last night at one of the group's rallies." (Courtesy of The Guardian

This Crop of Broadway Shows Is Finding Dog Days in the Fall
As the NYTimes astutely points out,This Crop of Broadway Shows Is Finding Dog Days in the Fall. I get major theater news emailed to me through a variety of listhosts, some for Chicago some for NY, etc. I think the last two months the news from NY has been all about shows that are either terrible or closing quickly before word gets too much farhter about how terrible they are. Except, of course, for Avenue Q. Which still rocks (not that I've seen it. I just listen obsessively).
I think this line from the NYTimes article about sums it up:
"All of which means that an industry that has survived Sept. 11, a slump in tourism, a sluggish economy and last spring's musicians' strike is suddenly facing a far more pernicious enemy: a string of clunkers, money-losers and mediocrities."

CNN occaisionally reports on things that are a little too obvious. Like, for example, Lewinsky says her past has hurt her love life. Duh.

My paper for class today is a complete joke. I got home from work at 11:30 last night (I had to stay to see Henry V), and was not in the mood. So it's three semi-coherent paragraphs and a bunch of numbers that I made up.

Yesterday my brother sent me a link to The Meatrix approximately 2 minutes after I had finished watching it. Great minds think alike, and the internet works in mysterious ways. But you should all watch: it makes a very good (very important) point without preaching.

Yesterday Chicago alderman agreed to a fee hike. (I think you need to subscribe to read the article about it in the Trib). The increases mean
1) SUV owners will have to pay $90 for their city stickers (vs. my $75)
2) there's a new restaurant tax of .25% on top of the 8.75% we already pay.
3) Parking meters in MY NEIGHBORHOOD ONLY now demand money evenings and Sundays.
4) Water is more expensive.

My opinions? I know you want them...The city needs money, and these are good strategies. As a non-property owner I wouldn't care if property taxes increased, but that's just because I'm selfish. But I'm still going to whine.
#1 is great. But it only applies to SUVs that weigh 4,500 pounds or more. In other words, according to the city of Chicago Explorers, Mountaineers and Grand Cherokees are not actually SUVs.
Also this ignores the fact that I deeply resent having to pay a fee just for the privilige of parking in the city. Those of you who don't drive here should note that this is in ADDITION to the yearly plate renewal fee (over $100) and the yearly parking zone stickers if you live in a zoned neighborhood ($30-50).
#2 is a little ridiculous. Although it doesn't change the "double the tax to get the tip" rule. But that feels like a huge tax on top of an already high sales tax.
Don't get me started on #3. In some ways it is brilliant, solving congestion and fiscal issues all at once, but it also may increase traffic problems like double parking, circling, and so on.
Also, it points to a system wide inequity--the fee for an expired parking meter is $100. The fee for parking without a zone sticker is $50. huh?

Okay, enough about city politics. Half of you don't care, half of you don't drive, and the other half...wait...

As Sean Connery would say "many things are half the battle. Lets talk about what's all the battle."

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Every night on my commute home I come up with something I really need to blog about. Something interesting, evocative, and that I know enough about to talk about. Then I get home, check the mail, grab a diet coke and promptly forget everything I was going to write about.
I do the same thing, but backwards, in the morning. By the time I go to work I have composed the Great American Blog Entry. It's simply brilliant. And then I get halfway from my car to work and it is gone.

I linked Despair, INC a while ago. Adding to the proof that I should grow up to be Andrew Taylor he links to it today.
Oh, and while I'm on the subject of The Artful Manager, one of his "uncertain terms" is "the box". You know, the one we always try to think outside of? Or put certain students into?

Sometimes I forget that I live in a nice liberal bubble. And then I read articles like this one from Salon about young adults' opinions on gay marriage. And I remember: I live in a nice liberal bubble.

Salon also tells me that Colorado studying eliminating 12th Grade. I understand their fiscal justification (they'd add a year of preschool), but can you imagine college campus' stuffed with 16 and 17 year olds? That is, of course, provided colleges didn't hold graduate's early graduation against students.

Trust the Brits: The London Telegraph ran this article about museum's recent attempts to over-explain their art. It's an interesting article. You should read it. (don't I always say that? Well, I mean it about this one. So there.)
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Friendster connections
AndrewSullivan is 3 degrees away from me on friendster.

I also just learned that my cousin is on friendster--but not in my personal network. Which is odd, since we know a lot of people in common (we went to the same high school and are only a year apart in age).

I was totally over Friendster, but as of today it's exciting again. - Massachusetts court rules ban on gay marriage unconstitutional - Nov. 18, 2003 - Massachusetts court rules ban on gay marriage unconstitutional - Nov. 18, 2003
Why Nerds are Unpopular
A friend who is an admissions counselor sent me this article about Why Nerds are Unpopular. Apparently someone referenced it in his/her essay. Its interesting--nothing we didn't already know, but also not something we usually articulate.

Yesterday i got an angry email from a director; the listing for his show in the Reader bore little relation to the press release he had given us. I checked, we sent the reader the right release, they decided to adapt it (as our publicity manager said "I don't think I've ever used the word jingoistic in my life!"). We decided, however, that it didn't really matter since no one comes to our shows based on the Reader listings. That's just common sense: we're way on the south side doing student productions. northside yuppies aren't going to travel all the way down here.

Murphey's law: yesterday 2 people called saying they'd seen the listing and wanted tickets. I refrained from telling them that the listing directly contradicts what the director intends to present.

and maybe Turner was painting what he saw

ok, back to work.
Monday, November 17, 2003
An alum from the class of '02 is in town for a visit and just stopped by my office. After an awkward "to hug or not to hug" moment we moved on to talking about our lives. She's living in NY, translating for refugees, waitressing, and reading scripts for a literary agent. She is also the first person who upon hearing what I am doing with my life has said "let me know when you are running an organization so I can come work for you." Everybody else I know says "you'll work for the company I'm going to found, won't you?" I'd never thought about it before, it was just the way Nelly phrased it that threw the rest into relief.

That was my deep personal reflection for the morning. It inspired yet another internal monologue about how no one should found a company until they have some profound explanation for why what they are doing is different from what everyone else is doing. (And "we all went to school together" doesn't really cut it). But that's just my opinion, and it runs counter to those of at least 6 people who've graduated from UT in the last 4 years or so. Training, whether on the job or at school (but with any luck some of both) is crucial.

That is my righteousness for the morning.
You should all read Frank Rich on "Angels, Reagan and AIDS in America" from yesterday's NYTimes.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
I want a dog...
...but it's very clear I can't have one. 2 days of dog-sitting made that very clear. It was fun, and really great, but also a huge pain. And despite the attention he got, the dog still felt a little unloved and stir crazy.

Also, he likes boys much better than girls. This makes sense since, after all, he lives with two men. But it was funny how much more cuddly he got when my boyfriend was over...the dog completely ignored me but had his head in my boyfriend's lap. It was cute, and highly jelousy-provoking since, after all, I was the one feeding him.

Friday, November 14, 2003
Margo sent me this article from Slate yesterday. Actually, she read it to me over the phone first.
It's amazing. And perfect. If you are a Red Sox fan that is. Or if you just like clever metaphors. And Kerry's comment that the Marlins' victory was "the first legitimate victory out of Florida since 200" is pretty funny.

There is a huge fire in Pilsen right now. The largest fire in the city since McCormick Place #1 burned down. And friends of mine live in the area that was closed down/evacuated this morning, but evidently they're having fun just watching out the window. I know this because I got panicked phone calls at 7am from a couple people who thought I might have better phone numbers. It was really weird seeing a street I'm pretty familiar with burning.

At 8:45 this morning, there was enough smoke blowing onto lake shore drive (remember those record wind storms we've had this week?) to make my eyes water, despite the closed car windows. And the smell of burning fabric and plastic was a little off-putting.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Why is it that my least favorite members of the Bush administration are U of C alumni?
(That'd be Wolfowitz and Ashcroft)
As well as one of the least successful candidates in the democratic party?
(That'd be Mosley-Braun)

But all three are law school alums, so I don't have to claim them.

Find your favorite notable UC alum

This truly random post inspired by an email informing me of the official university font. (Adobe Garamond, in case you were curious. All official University documentation has to be in that font).
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Citibank just called so obviously I should take a break from my reading (which I have to finish before I can do my weekly case write-up, this time on the Airline industry).

Citibank called because they put my new credit card in someone else's envelope. Luckily, that person called to tell them before going on a massive spending spree. But this means they have to cancel my account for security reasons. Being without the card is not actually any sort of blow to my purchasing power...I still have my Discover card, my visa, and my OTHER citibank mastercad. Not to mention my Express, Bloomingdales, Linen's 'N' Things, Marshall Fields, Carsons, and Ann Taylor cards. So really, my finances aren't effected at all.
Oh, and I also have an MBNA Red Sox credit card (a mastercard, I think) that I haven't used in over two years but couldn't bare to cut up because of the picture, and haven't cancelled either. They send me the ocaisional balance-transfer offer, but I don't get bills or owe them any money.
Not that I have too many ways to spend money or anything. Oh, and my ATM card is also, natch, a debit mastercard. Thank god none of them have annual fees...

The Citibank CSR was really nice. I think maybe I wasn't annoyed enough-maybe I could have gotten something out of their screw-up.
He also started joking with me, which is always a little odd.

Disembodied male voice: Can you confirm your address for me Miss Thompson?
Me: [give address]
Him: Oh wow, I'm so jealous. You live so close to Wrigley. Wrigley's, what, 1164 Addison?
Me: something like that
Him: Well that's close
Me: yeah, about two blocks
Him: That's great! I love Wrigley. That's an amazing neighborhood.
Me: I like it.
Him: Well Miss Thompson I just might have to move in with you!
Me: parking stinks.
Him: I can imagine. But still, great bars and public transportation. Too bad about the weather. Now, I'm shutting this account down as of today. You should receive your replacement card in about 10 days.
Me: Thanks so much for your help!
Him: You're welcome. Hope I didn't interrupt anything.

Is it just me or should the conversation have gone more like this?

Him: Can you confirm your address for me please?
Me: Yes, it's...
Him: Thank you so much for your time, and once again I apologize for this error. You should have your replacement card in about 10 days, and because of the inconvenience our mistake has caused you Citibank would like to offer to pay your grad school tuition for the rest of the year.
Me: Damn straight you will.

Sigh. I never should have answered the phone. But I keep thinking it will be my mother, who I talked to for approximately 5 seconds today for the first time in several weeks. She left a message last week telling me that my grandfather (who is nearly 100 years old and staying with her for the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas season) had pnemonia. He's better now, and talked to me briefly on the phone.
It was the first time in about a year that I've been sure he's known who I am as an individual (as opposed to his usual recognition of me as "female descendent whom I know well and love", which means I could be my sister, aunt, mother, or cousin). I told him that I get to dog-sit this weekend and he wanted to know all about the dog (and had advice, in case I needed it), and asked about school and work, and told me he was feeling much better. His inital response when I asked how he was doing was "Barely alive", which is a more common response from him theses days, but it breaks my heart every time. And then my mom took the phone and said she had to go but would call back after dinner. And then I cried. A lot.

In the 5-seconds I talked to my mom she managed to throw in "and you're still determined to abandon us for Thanksgiving?" Even though I had talked it through with her about 50 million times and she said it was fine. I sent her an email when I bought the tickets. I protested the terms, and she said "oh I know, you're visiting Margo of course it's ok". There is something about motherly teasing that just brings out too many conflicting emotions. I'll be home for Christmas and in Colorado with her for New Years.

I don't think my emotions can take any more of the close-to-death announcements I've gotten about my grandfather. Every few months we're all told "any time now", and we all freak out and become unbelievably sad. And then he, thank god, gets better for a few months. I think we're all beginning to think that he is invincible, and if/when anything happens we're all going to be flat-out devestated.

Can you see why reading and writing about pricing strategies in the airline industry between 1991 and 1995 is really low on my list of things I want to do?
The Onion | Mom Finds Out About Blog has this linked from their homepage, but I figured it was worth it to post it here too.
The Onion | Mom Finds Out About Blog
Oh sociology!
I slept funny last night and woke up with my arms and wrists asleep. Still working that one out.

Speaking of large bequests (we were, remember, with NPR?) The Boston Ballet got a $3million gift
That's almost as exciting as the $200million to NPR. We used to be subscribers to the Ballet, we'd go on Sundays after church...and I've seen The Nutcracker every singly year at Christmas time since I was 5. I might have missed one when I was 12 because I had the flu, but I'm not sure.

This is courtesy of Arts Journal: Wired News: ITunes Undermines Social Security We're having an "ism" party at the end of the quarter, I may just go as "playlistism". Hee.

Also from Arts journal: Sound of Music audience sues over plunging nuns.

always something to entertain the kids with.

I'd post more but I don't have much to say and am going to be on the late side at work (by my standards that is. I'll be 20 minutes later than the boys but still beat my boss by 2 hours.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
It's 60 degrees in Chicago today.
Who would guess it snowed this weekend? My point from last weekend is made.

Things that bothered me today
1) I put a fair amount of effort into making a template for something, as a favor, only to find it completely ignored in favor of something really really crappy looking.
2) The poster for this week's show says "persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistence should contact..."
This is why I like proofreading. It's not that I don't trust the students, its that outside eyes see things others miss. Same goes for the program, last week's had several typos. Sigh.
3) On a different note...I don't have degrees in psychology. I'm not a certified counselor of any kind. I really can't help students who have true emotional problems, except through empathy (and I can only go so far). And I'm in a really awkward position right now, knowing something that comes very close to the point where I would be ethically/morally obligated to share it with others but is just far enough on the safe side to stay with me, and me alone. Which makes it much harder because I don't know what to do. Which I've said, a million times, but there I am, the trustworthy empathetic one. How do I get myself into that situation over and over?
hah. - Do-not-call list revives door-to-door sales

Showtunes should be on a different night. Because I'm feeling it today, as always. But it was another good crowd-Jon, Christopher, Elizabeth, Eric, Ann Marie, Linara, Irene, Kristoph, and some other of Irene's friends. Linara said she was at the Matrix, like most humans last week it seems, and the Barbershop2 preview came on as the first preview. She hadn't seen it before, so at the point with her in she screamed "oh my god that's me! that's me!", and everyone else in the movie turned and stared. I think that's pretty damn funny.

All righty then. I'm not feeling like talking.

I saw this on Friday but forgot to post (it makes me happy), but I doubt it'll change my life much Games at work may be good for you

Who Wants to marry Dennis Kucinich? Vegan candidate for the democratic nomination seeks someone willing to spend the rest of her life (or at least the campaign) with him. Now that I know he's vegan (from a Washington Post article that I can't find) the "choose Kucinich, it's the one that rhymes with spinach" slogan makes more sense. It's still the most pathetic thing ever, but it makes more sense.

In what my operations professor called "an ops prof's dream" Business Week did a cover story on the Toyota Production System, which was our topic in class yesterday. I think I've studies TPS and Southwest Airlines in every single class I've taken at the b-school. But what made me particularly excited was the cover picture: a Prius just like mine! Okay, not just like mine, I have a car with 33,000 miles on it that is already a "classic" because the technology upgrade between the '01 and '04 model year is so huge. But even though I don't have GPS or self-parallel parking, I do get 48.3 mpg currently. So there.

speaking of which, I should use that wonder machine to drive me to work right about now...
Monday, November 10, 2003
Tuesday's with Morrie was pretty good! I was the youngest person in the audience by about 25 years, with the exception of the twentysomething nurse sitting behind me serving as caretaker for an elderly blind&one-legged man. The demographic didn't surprise me--Sunday matinee in the suburbs, gotta expect it. The production value was high: the actors were great, the designs were solid and appropriate, etc. I felt a little manipulated (this is the point where you cry, this is the point where you laugh, etc.), but less so than I expected. And hey, I'm not the target demographic.

Other than that, yesterday I did homework and watched "The Untouchables" on DVD (the movie, not the TV show). Every time I see it I remember that it is really an amazingly good movie, despite the relegation of women to helpless providers of babies (which is, one must note, a function of the movie being set in the 30's).

It's supposed to hit 50 today. Heat wave!
Sunday, November 09, 2003
Ew! ew! ew!
Body parts found in leaking FedEx package
Saturday, November 08, 2003
Am I bad person?
I was supposed to go to Northlight to see "Tuesday's with Morrie tonight". But my friend who was the AD called to say she couldn't get a comp. And tickets cost $50. So I'm bagging it.
Actually, I'm going to the matinee tomorrow instead. But still, should I have just sucked it up and paid? I don't think I've paid more than $15 to see a show (any show!) in years. I've managed to either a) scam comps b) be my boyfriends date, my aunt's niece, or my mother's daughter c) work at the relevant theater (or have worked there in the recent past) d) have a willing-to-give-comps connection in the "artistic associate" position. (thanks Curt!) or e) gone on "industry night"/when they were papering.
So, basically, I've managed to see an immense amount of theater for very little money. And I'd be the first person to say every non-profit theater in the world needs all the money it can get from ticket sales.
i.e. I'm a living, breathing, hypocrite. And yet, I don't really feel all that guilty about it. Which, I think, means the answer is yes, yes I am a bad bad person.

Although, on the moral continuum of things, I think this offense ranks me slightly below your average dictator, mass murderer, or abuser.

And no, I'm not paying tomorrow. Maybe I'll make up for it by seeing Northlight alum Megan Mullally at their benefit. I love her on Will&Grace and am a little bit of a fanatic about her CD.

(Side note. I don't actually "own" the CD in the conventional sense. My boss does)

Although this does lead to interesting question about my personal willingness to spend. I'm willing, nay eager, to spend $75-100 to see a TV star sing a few songs but apparently unwilling to pay more than $15 to see live theater, the industry that I am fervently, even obsessively, committed to.

And, being a business school student, I was tempted to term that paragraph above in economic theory. But then I remembered that my teacher thinks I only make comments "completely devoid of economic theory" and decided not to.

Not that I'm still bitter. (I should, to be fair, mention that I got my midterm back in that class and scored above the mean. Which means I actually understand at least some economic theory. Or else my handwriting is so bad it just looks like I do...hmmm...)

On the school note, I have to bid on classes this week. Which I totally forgot. So that's bad. And the LOTR: TROTK video game came out too. Sigh. It's so hard to be such a colossal geek.
Weather, Wait Wait, et al.
I think that today, on the occaision of the first snow in Chicagoland (though I doubt any of it will stick) would be an appropriate time to reflect on the weather.

Having spent the first 18 years of my life in New England, moving to Chicago 6 years ago did not daunt me, weatherwise. Everyone kept saying "it's so awful! so cold! so hot! so windy!"
Some corrections: yes, it is windy. but less windy than Boston. It's called "the windy city" because of the politics of the democratic convention some years ago. Not because of the winds. Yes, it can get cold. But only a few degrees, on average, colder than most parts of New England. Yes, it gets hot. But only for a few weeks, and again, not that much hotter than, say, Washington DC.
However, there is one big difference: It can be 70 degrees one day (like, say last Monday) and then FREEZING COLD a day or two later. like the rest of this week, when it didn't get above 40. It might even get warm again. It might not, but you never know.
And, of course, if you are by the lake all bets are off...
The moral being, the weather is not as bad as everyone says

This weeks Wait Wait, don't tell me!" is unbelievably funny. Lots of riffs on the enormous grant and what that will mean to NPR (for example, fake pitches for McDonald's 5 times in one sentence), and of course the usual mockery of the weeks news. My favorite had to do with what Henry the 8th (I am I am) would think of the religion he founded and its new acceptance of homosexuality, given its impact on, for example, marriage. I laughed so hard I...yeah.
In addition, someone I know (the U of C visual arts department TD) was a contestant. Which was really funny. He introduced himself as a set designer in Chicago, to which Peter Segal responded with "and what's your day job?". He admitted to working at the U of C.

Not much else to say. I'm in a good mood. I'm going to see, dear god, Tuesday's with Morrie tonight. But hey.
Friday, November 07, 2003
Ah. Conundrums. The Neofuturists have asked me to work on their next show, SEX. I of course have class. And little shop. And really want to do it. I'd have to miss one week of classes per show...I could swing both, or one, I just don't know what to do. I haven't been double booked since I started school (and just started giving blanket no answers) so it's nice to feel wanted, but...

NPR gets $200 million, which is like the best thing ever. As long as it doesn't make the government or "listeners like you" stop supporting them.

There's a passive agressive fight in the waiting that I'm refusing to engage.

My class Thursday was all about the rise and fall of Nintendo--finally, a case I could relate to!

that's it for now, more later when I'm feeling more talkative. It's been a long week.
Thursday, November 06, 2003
Dog Shoots Man
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Rain Rain go Away
I just emerged from my 3rd flash rainstorm of the day. Yes, third. Not the third of the day, the 3rd I've been caught in.

#1: I stayed in my apartment 10 minutes after I wanted to leave waiting for the rain to abate. It was clearly going to, just drifting in and out. And my umbrella was (I thought) in my car. So I waited. And then I started to walk to the car when there was no rain. Right. It started when I was about 5 steps out the door, not wimpy rain but rain that falls so hard it hurts your skin (and no, it wasn't hail, it was rain). By the time I got in the car, 2 blocks away, I was soaked.

#2: I arrived in Hyde Park 40 minutes later still slightly wet and more than a little shaken from the near-invisibility of the first part of my commute. Luckily, however, it was raining only lightly, the heavier rain didn't seem to have traveled south with me. By the time I had parked in the garage and ascertained that my umbrella was not actually in my car it was pouring again. I hovered in the doorway for a while before giving in. At work Gil, the building janitor, offered to give me an umbrella from the lost and found. I thanked him, but said I thought I had one somewhere. And besides, I'd already been caught in the rain twice...

#2.5: This doesn't count since I didn't get out of the car, but I had to stop at the drugstore. I figured I'd stop at the one in hyde park on my way home so I could get some water and perhaps cure my splitting headache before spending 30 minutes on the road. As I pull into the parking lot, however, it starts to pour. Not feeling particularly like a fish, I pull out of the lot and get on the highway. It continues to rain. We're not talking wipers on level 2 rain, no we're talking so-heavy-you-can't-see-the-road rain. Heavier-than-an-automatic-carwash rain. And then, around Fullerton ave. it let up. Completely and totally. Awesome.

#3: Like that was going to last. I pull into Osco: drizzle. I open the car door. CUE POURING AS IF UNLEASHING THE GODS' FUROR ON HUMANITY. cue sprint to Osco. Where I picked up what I needed and was subjected to the 12 year old boy in line behind me's running commentary, which somehow included a really bad I-am-pretending-to-be-an-old-man-so-I-must-hunch-raise-my-voice-squint-and-wave-an-imaginery-cane impression. Some of the things I were getting were things 12 year old boys shouldn't be allowed to see, which made me even more annoyed by his general hyperactivity and bounciness as I tried to maneouver out of his line of site. I also bought an umbrella. Which only sort of helped me stay dry-I had to close it before I got in the car, and got re-soaked. And then parking by my house the puddles are so deep, the rain so heavy, and the night so dark that I had to park by sense of smell (well, touch really, but don't tell my neighbor's hummer that). The puddles cover the curb, which meant some creative jumping around. ARGH.

On the upside, it was nearly 70 again today and is currently 66. That combined with the thunder and lightning makes it feel like a cool evening in late august instead of early november.
More than Enough thought for early morning
I keep having dreams about working in the shop, making the final push to finish a show that is way overdue. It occurs to me this might, just might, have something to do with the pneumatic equipment being used in the adjacent building. There's nothing like the rattle-hiss of an air compressor to wake you up. And since the workers start at 6:30 and I wake up at 7, it's prime dream influencing time. And, I might add, a little pathetic. I keep remembering all those hours sitting on the air compressors staring at drawings or partially built sets and thinking "hmm. what next now that that didn't work?" or "what the hell was/is that?" or "she slept with WHO?".

Spent a fair amount of time at the office yesterday reminiscing about the ghosts of shows past. This was a prompted discussion, not boring ramblings (before you all accuse me of that, justifiably). It made me realize that we haven't had any big disasters for the current kids to claim. Lots of little problems, but nothing that 6 years from now people will still talk about. I mean, what UT-er hasn't heard about the "ass menagerie" even if it closed when they were freshmen in highschool?

It may just be me, but I think the number of UC-ers who went to boarding school is increasing. I keep meeting more first years who I, at some point during the conversation, I ask "did you go to _____". Usually because it is just that obvious, sometimes because they are wearing a t-shirt. I don't know if it's just that I avoided it so much in my post high-school hatred of boarding schools (currently faded to a much more reasonable detachment), but my first two or three years I knew exactly one person who had gone to a boarding school, and that was because she'd been at mine.

Can you statistically analyze greatness? This article from Commentary supports my side of that argument and has a bang-up last paragraph, which is really all I ask for.

I'm so annoyed by all the controversy over the Reagan's miniseries. So they'll probably point out that the man had flaws. Who doesn't? They might question his policies. Sure, and they should. You think a bill clinton miniseries wouldn't assert a whole lot about him? And pure partisanism aside, the whole thing is ridiculous. Just air it. I really doubt it will permanently change many political opinions in this almost-an-election-year. The Republican party seems full of people scared that the perfect image of their heros might get tarnished. Welcome to the real world.
Monday, November 03, 2003
As was pointed out in a correction to my last post (trust a Clark-ite to be on top of these things), we actually rejoined UNESCO last September (as in '02). The story I was linking to is still true (and ran the day I linked it), and perhaps my point (if I had one, I can't remember) is thus even more valid. my political awarenes has wavered up and down since I got my poli sci BA and thus claimed automatic austuteness without actually reading the news. Wait...

I was so excited last week when there were stories on NPR, CNN, and the like about the MIT students who had figured out a way to fix the whole file-swapping problem (ok, just part of it. and only for MIT students. but still). Apparently, however, it's no longer allowed. Is this my opportunity to promote the itunes music store again?

Last night I watched part of a Discorvery Channel special on the Big Dig. It was very melodramatic, as if they were setting the stage for some imminent disaster. Which of course they weren't (unless you count the more than $1 BILLION over budget as a disaster, which they didn't seem to).
This was followed by a special documentary on the blackout of 2003, which actually was a disaster...but the documentary had a much less forboding tone. I was amused.

It was also the first time in my almost 2 years of cat foster-parenthood that I was seriously annoyed with the cat. She wouldn't leave me alone. It started cute: I brought a new scratching box home from the pet store and she jumped on it before I had it unwrapped, clearly smelling the catnip through the plastic. Then she left me alone for a little while while she scratched it nearly all the way through. Then she decided to sit on my laptop while I tried to do homework, and reacted badly to my request for her to leave. Every time I moved she would jump back on the computer, clearly seeing it as a threat for my affections. When I gave up working and went to bed she sat on top of my chest, occaisionally scratching at my nose to demand more attention. I think it may be related to the super healthy, ultra organic cat food I was talked into buying. If so, then it really does seem to have made her much more active and happy (if somewhat annoyingly so), and thus I should keep buying it. I'm holding out for more evidence though: it is almost twice as expensive as the (not cheap) Iams I had been feeding her. Which is nearly twice as expensive as nine lives and all of those brands...This seems a little off of the way pricing is supposed to work, or maybe not, I haven't taken that class yet. And beware when I do.

Speaking of class, it went well today. I also, for the first time, looked closely at the donor plaque. It's pretty straightforward--giving level, list of names, etc., on this large gold plaque. And, of course, more people in the lower categories and a mix of corporations and individuals. Remember, this is just the plaque for the people who donated to the building, not the b-school. Top level: $15 million or more. one name--Mr. Gleacher, of course. The next category was $250,000-$500,000 and so on down to the $50,000 or under level (I think, I stopped looking to carefully). It's just so amazing--1 $15million gift. Which is what it takes to get your name on a building in the heart of downtown Chicago, I suppose, it just looked so lonely on it's own line. And then nothing even close after it.

When I'm a billionaire I'd have a building in downtown Chicago named after me. doesn't it sound great? The Thompson Center. Wait. That's taken!! There goes that brilliant idea.

That was much wittier in my head, I promise.

And, this is only relevant to a very few of you, we haven't created a disaster waiting to happen we've merely taken a big risk. We might fail, but we might also succeed. And nothing ventured nothing gained. Fair enough?
Sunday, November 02, 2003
I don't have a title
Yesterday we had our quarterly proposal meeting to come up with the next season of plays. It was a good meeting, less painful then most, but it also took more than 7 hours to decide we were gonna do them all.

So this post is likely to be link heavy. I'm too mentally drained to really think.

Did you hear? The president was in danger yesterday: a car crashed where he'd just been. Poor woman. Now she's a threat to national security.

I'm not sure that I would call The Producers anything less then a smash hit, but evidently it is The incredibly shrinking blockbuster.

Check out the Bushism of the week. It's pretty funny. Though I hate that we've entrusted our nation to a man with the grammatical skills of a 5th grader.

The Schiavo case has increased my determination not to be kept alive in a vegitative state. Ever. Pull the plug. I think my whole family feels that way, certainly my parents have talked about it with all of us, but I want it really clear. Ugh. The whole thing is so sad.

Slate is less reliable about sending me Today's Papers (a fabulous amalgamation of the major journals) every morning. It used to arrive promptly in my inbox at 6am, eagerly awaiting my perusal. Now some days I don't get it, some days it arrives after I'm already at work. End result? I almost never read it. Not that I couldn't just go to the site and follow the link, but that isn't in my current morning routine and I am, if nothing else, a creature of habit.

I think it's funny that even pianists like to stage publicity stunts. For charity, of course.

It was announced in September that theUS would rejoin UNESCO and no one seemed to notice or care all that much. Probably because it's not like we'll have any money to spend-it's all dedicated to anti-terrorism. Sigh.

Powered by Blogger