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Here is the rest of the catch-up stuff.

Celebrity Death Watch: Louise Hay was a motivational author. Richard Anderson was an actor, best known for portraying the boss of bionic people. Hedley Jones was a Jamaican musician, who also designed and built the first traffic lights in the country (among other technical accomplishments). Shelly Berman was a stand-up comedian and actor. Walter Becker was one of the founders of Steely Dan. John Ashberry was a poet.

Take Me Out to the Ball Games: I got back on a Thursday and went to Nationals games (vs. the Mets) on both Friday night and Sunday afternoon. The Friday night game started out with some pathetic pitching on the part of young A. J. Cole. He did settle down, some, but the Nats never got very far against Jacob deGrom. Things did get exciting at the end, but the Mets kept their lead.

Sunday was Jewish Community Day and I went with some friends from my chavurah. There had been a special ticket price, which also included a ballcap with Nationals written in Hebrew! This is now my favorite ballcap, even ahead of the one from the Leones del Escogido. There were also tastings of various foods from a kosher caterer. As for the game, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a 3-run homer for the Mets in the first. The Nats proved to be really good at stranding men on base, though they did make things close. And it all came to down to Edwin Jackson getting thrown out at the plate at the end for them to lose.

Apparently, my wearing Nats gear brings luck to the Mets.


Vacation Stories: In between the two ball games, there was a Saturday night and a Better Said Than Done show, with a vacation theme. I told my story "M.D., Ph.D., G.R.E.A.T." which involves our family trip to Expo ’67 in Montreal, my parents’ failure to stop at any of the intriguing tourist traps along the way, and how I finally found satisfaction on another trip years later. The audience was responsive and I think it went well.
You can judge for yourself. Here’s the video.

Don’t Analyze This Dream, Part 1: There was a very important work matter, which I had to discuss with Bob Kaplan, even though he was in the hospital. Alexander Craig insisted that he and I talk with Bob, who was wearing blue pajamas and had just had surgery. We were then going to follow up with the Delaware group. Note that none of these are names of people or organizations I have any association with.

Don’t Analyze This Dream, Part 2: My home was invaded by a group of juggalos. Well, 4 of them stood outside and waited, while the one with the full clown makeup went inside, wielding an inflatable baseball bat.

District Dumplings: This past Thursday night I went out to dinner with a couple of friends who were in town. They chose District Dumplings in the Mosaic District. It was disappointing. The chicken and basil dumplings were good, but the others were bland. And, even though we ordered our dumplings steamed, they gave us fried. If you are over that way, Brine is a much better choice of a place to eat. Oh, well, the company and the conversation were good.

The National Book Festival: I volunteered at the National Book Festival this year, which was held this past Saturday. It’s the sort of volunteer task I can do – with a commitment measured in hours on one day (plus a couple of hours for a training session). I was a Hall Chaperone, which basically meant that I stood on the L Street Bridge at the top of the Grand Staircase with an "Ask Me" sign and directed people to other places in the Convention Center.

You’d think that sign would invite smartass questions, but there were only a few. Mostly people were asking how to get to the main stage (on the 3rd floor) or to the Metro. My favorite conversation was with the guy who said, "you look like you would like someone to ask you a question," to which I replied, "I would be delighted to be asked a question." (Alas, he just asked one of the usual ones.) Anyway, it was reasonably fun and I ran into several people I knew. I would volunteer there again if my schedule works.
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The King and I: I went with a friend to see The King and I at the Kennedy Center on Wednesday night. This is (like most Rodgers and Hammerstein) a musical I have mixed feelings about. There is some glorious music, e.g. "We Kiss in a Shadow." And, of course, "Shall We Dance?" is a nice showy number. But is "The March of Siamese Children" anything more than a way to show off kids so parents will go to the theatre? Louis (Anna’s son) could use a lot more development as a character. And "I Whistle a Happy Tune" simply annoys me, aside from its earworm potential.

Despite those inherent flaws, the production was quite good, with special kudos to Jose Llana as the King of Siam. I also thought Manna Nichols was very good as Tuptim. The choreography made good use of a relatively small space (this was in the Opera House, not the Eisenhower, which also has the disadvantage of less than wonderful acoustics). Could one write a musical nowadays with an internal ballet like "The Small House of Uncle Thomas?"

My only real complaint (aside from my overall lukewarmness towards the score) is that the show was awfully long. I was nervous about the metro schedule, since trains stop running at 11:30 on weeknights now. I may have to limit weeknight excursions to things that are driveable or that I know will end by 10ish.

Chinotto: We had dinner before the show at Campono, which has okay food and is right across the street from the Kennedy Center. The café in the Kennedy Center is dreadful, with mediocre food and high prices. And the friend I went with was driving, so didn’t want to do dinner in Foggy Bottom beforehand. My salad was fine, but the real reason I am mentioning this is that they have chinotto! I know I am the only North American who actually likes those bitter Italian drinks, but the point is that I do like them and they are hard to find here. So it was a rare treat.

Now, if I could only find somewhere that has Schweppes bitter lemon…

Fielding Dreams: I shouldn’t really go out two nights in a row, but the DC JCC had a program on Washington’s Jewish Ballplayers and, given my minor obsession with Jews in baseball, how could I resist? Fred Frommer (who authored a book on Washington baseball, not limited to Jewish players) moderated the event. The other speakers were Phil Hochberg who, in addition to a career in sports law, was an announcer at RFK Stadium, and Aviva Kempner, who is well known for her documentaries, including The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. The big news is that she is now working on a documentary about Moe Greenberg and she talked extensively about him.

Anyway, there were 18 Jews who played major league baseball in Washington, though some played only 1 or 2 games. The number should really be 17 because Buddy Myer, despite being in nearly every Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, was not actually Jewish. Most of the players talked about were active in the 1930’s or so, but there were a few I remembered. For example, Greg Goossen played for the Mets for a while, though, of course, their real Jewish star was Art Shamsky. (As far as I know, Ed Kranepool is not Jewish, though he did give a talk at our shul when I was a kid.) It was Goossen about whom Casey Stengel allegedly said "I have a 19 year old player. In 10 years, he has a chance to be 29."

Another familiar player was Jason Marquis, who I saw pitch here several times. The only Jewish pitcher who had a winning career in Washington, however, was Al Schacht, who went 14-10 in the early 1920’s. The other really significant pitcher who was discussed was Syd Cohen, who gave up Babe Ruth’s final home run. But the better story about him is that he played winter ball in Mexico under the name Pablo Garcia. The minor league ballpark in El Paso (where he grew up) is named after him – and his brother, Andy, who was the more successful ballplayer.

The big story, however, was Moe Berg. His baseball career wasn’t exactly impressive, but his career in the OSS made up for it. Apparently, he spoke at least 7 languages – and couldn’t hit in any of them. But his linguistic skills got him sent to Japan with much bigger names and to Switzerland to meet Heisenberg and so on. He was a genuine character and I’m looking forward to Aviva’s movie.

Speaking of Baseball: Jackie Bradley made an awesome catch Sunday night, robbing Aaron Judge of a home run. That is exactly how I like to see my Red Sox deal with the Source of All Evil in the Universe.

Don’t Analyze This Dream: I had, for some reason, been given an opportunity to do another Zero-G flight, for free this time. But there was a lot of paperwork to fill out – enough for a 100+ page book. I got hung up on a question asking me to check off which conditions I had, which including being blind, blonde, or blinde.
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Celebrity Death Watch: Ian Brady was the perpetrator of the Moors murders in England in the early 1960’s. Beatrice Trum Hunter wrote one of the first cookbooks focused on natural foods. Chris Cornell was the lead singer of Soundgarden. Chana Bloch was a poet, an academic (largely at Mills College), and a translator of Hebrew literature. Jean Sammet was a co-designer of COBOL and became the first woman to become president of the Association for Computing Machinery. Dina Merrill was an actress and the daughter of Marjorie Merriweather Post and E. F. Hutton. Denis Johnson was a writer, as was Ann Birstein. Jim Bunning was a pitcher, notably for the Tigers and the Phillies, and later became a politician. John Noakes was a presenter on the British children’s show Blue Peter. Frank Deford was the sports commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. David Lewiston was an ethnomusicologist, whose work focused largely on Asian music (e.g. gamelan recordings), though he also recorded in Morocco and Peru. Elena Verdugo was an actress, best known for playing the nurse on Marcus Welby, M.D., a show which I was sometimes allowed to stay up late to watch. Frances Sliwa was the mother and publicist for Curtis Sliwa and his Guardian Angels. E. L. Woody was a paparazzo, whose antics included helicopters and high speed car chases. Nora Mae Lyng collaborated on and starred in Forbidden Broadway. Jimmy Piersall played for the Red Sox (and, later on, the Mets) but is notable largely for his struggles with bipolar disorder which he wrote about in his memoir. Fear Strikes Out. Peter Sallis voiced Wallace in Wallace and Gromit.

Roger Ailes was the CEO of Fox News until he was forced to resign amid reports of harassing female colleagues. One is not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but I’d make an exception for the case of this racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic jerk. Similar sentiments apply to Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega, although his evils were more along the lines of murder and drug trafficking.

Roxcy Bolton was a civil rights activist, focused on crimes against women. In addition to organizing a shelter for homeless women in Florida and founding the first rape treatment center in the U.S., she is credited with having persuaded NOAA to change the names of hurricanes to include the names of men. That, of course, destroyed our childhood joke that hurricanes were named after women because they weren’t himmicanes.

Sir Roger Moore was an actor, best known as playing James Bond in several movies, though I think his work in The Saint is better, probably because my preferred Bond is Sean Connery.

Zbigniew Brzezinski was the National Security Advisor under Jimmy Carter. His political positions were difficult enough to assess, but I can never forgive him for having a name that is difficult to use in light verse.

Gregg Allman was a pioneer of Southern rock, best known for the band he formed with his brother Duane, who was killed in a motorcycle crash. You might want to eat a peach in his memory.

Carrot Cake: I was asked for the recipe. I vaguely recall pulling it from the recipe box a few months ago to make it. Apparently, I did not put it back in the recipe box. Or, if I did, I badly misfiled it. So it will take a little longer.

The Indie 500: Saturday was the Indie 500, D.C.’s local crossword tournament. There were quite a lot of out-of-towners and a surprising number of first timers.

I usually say that one can blame jet lag for any mental lapses for at least a full week after getting back from overseas. That is my excuse for having had a few errors on Puzzle #1, which should have been a simple one from Angela Olson Halsted. Apparently, I was looking at down clues only, because I had crossings that made no sense at all. And I was also pretty oblivious to the theme. So much for a day of clean solving.

In the case of Puzzle #2 by Paolo Pasco, I was just slowish, though I did solve cleanly. I grasped the theme quickly – and it is the type of theme I am usually good at. But there was a certain amount of fill I found weird and some fairly unsatisfying clues. I attribute that to Paolo being a high school junior. I should also note that he was not present, or he would almost certainly have been the recipient of the ritual pie in the face. By the way, the miniature pies arrived between puzzles 2 and 3 and the chocolate cream pie I ate was quite tasty.

Puzzle #3 was by Tracy Bennett. I solved it cleanly and in decent time. I can’t really say much more than that because, looking at the scan, I have only a vague recollection of what the theme was and it wasn’t really the sort of thing that made a difference in solving. I do remember there was a bonus companion puzzle that got handed out afterwards.

I think the lunch break was next, with another visit to Beefsteak and a lunch of gazpacho.

Then came Puzzle #4 by Erik Agard featuring Allegra Kuney. This had a complex theme, which took me some time to figure out, largely because there was quite a lot going on. I’m not surprised that Erik won the honor of being pied at the end of the day. My time was okay, but I flaked out on looking at one crossing, which coupled with a bit of pop culture ignorance led me to have one error.

I redeemed myself with Puzzle #5 by Neville Fogarty. The theme involved the sort of wordplay I enjoy, making this my favorite of the tournament.

There was a break with a reasonably entertaining trivia game, before the finals. As for the finals, Puzzle #6 was by Andy Kravis and had an interesting twist in that not all the clues were given to the contestants at the beginning. Eric Cockayne won the outside track final and Katie Hamill won the inside track.

My final standing was 64 out of 128, so dead center (i.e. 50th percentile). Comparing to previous years, this is not quite as pathetic as it sounds. At least I improved, even with jet lag in the way:
2017 – 64 / 128 (50th percentile)
2016 – 60 / 117 (49th percentile)
2015 – 61 / 100 (39th percentile)

Washington Folk Festival: The Washington Folk Festival was this past weekend. I pulled out a small bit of my project to learn a story from every country in the world. The five stories I told were:

  1. The Lion Who Could Not Write – Afghanistan
  2. The Man Who Was Used as a Ball – Fiji
  3. How Bill Greenfield’s Wife Taught Him to Tell a Story – United States
  4. Two Foolish People – Mongolia
  5. Hare’s Medicine Bag – Zimbabwe

This was the first time I’d told the last story in public and it wasn’t quite as polished as it should be, but I think it works for the most part. I stayed for Margaret’s set of mermaid stories after I was done, then listened to a little bit of Armenian music. (I’d gone through the crafts exhibit and watched some Morris dancing earlier.)
As far as the story project itself goes, I am looking for an Albanian story I like. The key words in that are the last two. I have looked at several so far, but nothing has really jumped out at me yet.

Please Don’t Analyze This Dream: I was leaving Sidney Harmon Hall (home of the Shakespeare Theatre Company) after watching a musical and then seeing an advertisement for all the musicals they had next season. I was concerned about it being late and missing the last metro train home, but it turned out to be only 8:30 at night. For some reason, I exited a door that did not lead me to F Street – or any other street I recognized. I went into a hotel, thinking I could walk through it to F Street, but the lobby didn’t go anywhere, so I had to exit again. I walked back in the direction I’d come in and went into an unmarked door, which led to what seemed to be a construction site. Again, things did not seem to lead anywhere. There were various scary looking (possibly homeless) people around, but as I walked back towards where I had come in, I saw more parents with children and it looked like the place was supposed to be some sort of construction-themed playground. I went out a door marked as an exit, which put me on a sort of jetty-like construction, next to a river. There were a polar bear and a wolf and maybe some other animal in the river, but everybody just seemed to be ignoring them and sloshing down into the river to leave. I managed to roll up my pants and get into the river further down from the animals, which quickly took me to dry land. I asked a man I saw if the street I was on would go through to the next block and he said, "yes, but it is always on fire because of the Latvians."
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Celebrity Death Watch: Linda Hopkins was a blues singer and actress. Dorothy Mengering was David Letterman’s mother and appeared on his show. J. Geils led an eponymous band. To paraphrase their most famous song, Death Stinks. Charlie Murphy was a comedian and actor – and less famous than his brother, Eddie. Bob Taylor was an internet pioneer, including playing major roles at ARPA, Xerox PARC, and DEC. Bruce Langhorne was a folk musician and, allegedly, the inspiration for Bob Dylan’s "Mr. Tambourine Man." Sylvia Moy was a songwriter, who wrote a number of Motown songs. Clifton James was an actor who played a lot of Southern sheriffs, despite being a native New Yorker. Dan Rooney chaired the Pittsburgh Steelers and later became U.S. ambassador to Ireland. Patricia McKissak wrote children’s books, including several biographies of African Americans. Sheila Abdus-Salaam was the first black woman to serve on the New York Court of Appeals. Apparently, she committed suicide, and there is a family history that may have played a role in that.

Sniffle, Cough: I thought it was just the absurdly high pollen count of this time of year, but actually succumbed to a cold. That meant that: a) I ended up skipping the second Passover seder, and b) I got nothing done at home. Except using a ridiculous number of tissues. Sigh. (I am mostly over it now. Well, except for my annual wish for the trees to have sex indoors.)

MIT Better World Event: This involved a reception and talks at the Newseum on Thursday night. Due to it being during Passover, I had to stick to drinking sparkling water and eating raw veggies (and some fruit for dessert), which was a bit disappointing. But the talks were interesting, particularly one by John Urshel, a math grad student who is probably better known for being a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. And I saw some people I have not seen in years – literally, as one of those was someone I lived on the same floor as when I was a freshman, over 40 years ago. And I worked on a research project with her husband around 1978.

Taxes: I use Turbo Tax, which is not, in general, too painful. I did a pretty good job of putting all of the relevant paperwork in one place. But I still had to mail in one paper form, due to having sold some stock. Reminder: even mild annoyances are annoying.

You May Interpret These Dreams: In one recent dream, I was moving stacks of books around in my living room. In another (this one, during Passover), I was licking the chocolate glaze off a donut.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Celebrity Death Watch: Marian Javits was an arts patron and the widow of Jacob Javits, who a few of you may remember from the days when there was such a thing as a liberal Republican. Joseph Wapner was the first judge on The People’s Court. Shrley Palesh played for a few teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Howard Schmidt was a major figure in government cybersecurity strategy. Joe Rogers co-founded Waffle House, thus saving the stomach linings of many a drunken Southerner. Rene Preval served two terms as president of Haiti. Tommy Page was a singer-songwriter. Miriam Colon was a Puerto Rican actress. Edi Fitzroy was a reggae singer. Fred Weintraub owned The Bitter End, an important venue for folk music and comedy. Kurt Moll was an opera singer. Robert Osborne as a film historian and hosted Turner Classic Movies. Joni Sledge sang as part of Sister Sledge. Robert James Waller wrote The Bridges of Madison County. Amy Krouse Rosenthal was a prolific writer of children’s books, among other things. Mother Divine was the leader of a cult founded by her husband. Royal Robbins was a big name in rock climbing but, more significantly to me, founded an eponymous clothing company that makes awesome clothes for traveling, including that green plaid shirt I am wearing in the overwhelming majority of my travel photos.

Errata: I erred. It was Jason Chaffetz, not Paul Ryan who made the stupid statement about iphones and health insurance.

Don’t Analyze This Dream: I was in Japan and upset over finding I had inadvertently taken my (work) cell phone with me. I was with another woman and we went down an escalator to exit a building with a very tall skylight. We were held up at the bottom of the escalator until there was a group of 4 men and 4 women and we all had to walk through a metal detector and send our things through an x-ray machine. Then we had to sing a song together before we could exit. Afterwards, I found out there was a side exit and people waited in line to sing, with fans of them gathered at the side of the security screening.

Story Slam: This month’s story slam theme was Womanhood, so I pulled out my "Woman of Valor" story, which is starting to get to having a reasonable ending. It went fairly well, though I finished third, so didn’t walk away with any money. I do wish, however, that this would go back to being on a Thursday night, because it conflicted with The Grapevine and I had to make an actual choice.

World Baseball Classic: Oh, well. Israel had a good run, but blew it in the second round.

Culpeper Tells / Virginia Storytelling Alliance Gathering: This past weekend was the Culpeper Tells festival and, once again, the VASA Gathering was held together with it. I preferred when we had a separate retreat, which made for a different sort of event, but I’ll take what I can get. I took off from work on Friday, intending to get some household odds and ends done and drive out earlyish. But I fell prey to the lure of napping and hit the road later than I intended, subjecting me to the inevitable slog through Gainesville. I was not all that enthusiastic to arrive at the hotel and find myself parking next to a vehicle advertising Pest Control and, specifically, "thermo bed bug eradication." Either their method works or the guy with the bedbug truck was just staying overnight at the hotel, as I didn’t get bitten by anything, but it was still disturbing.

Anyway, a bunch of us went out to dinner at Luigi’s which is mediocre red sauce Italian food. At least our server was mostly up to dealing with a big group. We came back to the hotel for a concert by Lynn Ruehlmann and Megan Hicks. Lynn blended the story of Psyche and Eros with the story of her own marriage, while Megan told a folk tale and her personal love story separately. Both were very good. That was followed by a story swap.

Megan did a workshop on Saturday morning, mostly emphasizing that we are all living history. There was a lot of confusion about when we were supposed to get into the room at the library, as well as confusion over who was signed up for what.

The actual festival started after lunchtime. There were four tellers – Geraldine Buckley, Michael Reno Harrell, Adam Booth, and Donald Davis. Each of them had just under an hour in the afternoon and then another half hour in the evening concert. The highlight of the day as far as I was concerned was Adam’s telling of "Ashton," a story from his Appalachian series, involving a coal miner's wife, and the early recordings of country music. It was exquisitely crafted and well-told. I should also note that I thought it was interesting that all of the tellers were telling more or less personal stories and there weren’t any traditional stories at all. By the way, there was also a story slam, but my name didn’t get drawn from the hat, alas.

At the dinner break, I ended up with a few people at a small place called Four C’s. I have this theory that, if you see a few ethnic items on what is otherwise an American restaurant menu, you should order from those, because it means the cook is including some of his family specialties. There were several Peruvian items on the menu, so these were clearly the way to go. I ended up getting some very tasty grilled fish that way. There’s no atmosphere, but the food was good and very reasonably priced and the service was friendly and efficient. It’s a good place to keep in mind for the future.

There was another swap back at the hotel afterwards, but it was too late for me, especially what with changing the clocks.

Sunday morning had the VASA annual meeting (which hadn’t actually been mentioned on the schedule). All I will say is that I am really glad I am no longer on the board. That was followed by "sacred stories" (not my thing) and puns (very much my thing). I told "Why I’m Not a Millionaire" to transition us between the two.

Overall, it was a reasonably good weekend. I was annoyed at various little things, but being among my storytelling tribe made up for them.

Annoying Weather: We had been having lovely spring-like weather, but it changed radically for the weekend. And Monday night was a sort of winter storm. Only sort of, as the snow total can’t have been more than a couple of inches, but there was plenty of sleet. In other words, things were nasty and icy. OPM made a bad call with a three hour delay and my company made a worse call by sending out confusing emails. One said we were on a mandatory delay in the subject line, but the body said all offices were open. Another had a subject line reading "message 1 of 2" but there was no "message 2 of 2." I had brought my laptop home and told my boss I was going to work from home, so none of this affected me per se, but it made me grumpy. I dislike working from home to begin with (too many distractions, including the fact that I really need to replace my desk chair) so I was inclined to be grumpy.

I’m back in the office today. One area of my walk to the metro was treacherous, but most of it was clear. I expect it to be worse tonight, since it isn’t supposed to get above freezing all day.

More Corporate Miscommunication: We are all getting new phones. I got an email telling me mine was ready and that I needed to go to an office 30 some odd miles away to pick it up. Since that office doesn't open until 9 and we are talking about DC metro area traffic, that would kill half my day. In fact, our IT guy came around this afternoon delivering phones for the 50 or so of us in this office. This is much easier, of course, but I would have preferred them sending out the correct info to begin with.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
1) I am (obviously) not doing Holidailies this year. I feel vaguely guilty about that, but I am just too swamped with things to attempt it. I haven't even come close to meeting other goals and I just can't take on anything else. But I'm going to experiment a bit with seeing if I can do slightly more frequent entries based on just a few things at a time.

2) It's rare that I tell stories that other people tell, but it happened at Saturday night's swap. I wanted to run through The Most Precious Thing, which is the story of the clever innkeeper's daughter who marries a wealthy landowner. When she questions his judgment, he tells her to leave but take with her whatever from his home is most precious to her. She, of course, takes him.

One of our young tellers told a different version of the same story. The differences were fairly superficial, e.g. the exact riddles she has to solve to win him and some of the details of the setting. (And, in her version, the husband was a king, not just a rich landowner.)

Had she told before me, I probably would have told something else, so I thought it was interesting she went ahead with what she had planned.

3) I had a dream the other night which involved some event at MIT with set-up involving a truck creating a circle of portapotties. It is probably a good thing that I believe dreams are often random electrical discharges and not of deep psychological significance.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Celebrity Death Watch: Tammy Grimes was a Broadway actress, most notable for playing the title role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. She was also the mother of actress Amanda Plummer. Natalie Babbitt wrote the children’s book Tuck Everlasting.


Genealogy Update: I finally tracked down confirmation of a family story. My uncle had told me a relative had been killed in a train crash in Washington, but he was inconsistent about whether it was Celia Lubofsky (my cousin once removed) or Mary Lehrman (my great-aunt). Since Mary’s headstone says she "died in accident," I figured I would start by googling train wrecks for that day. And, indeed, there was a major one. The Congressional Limited from Washington to New York crashed just outside Philadelphia on 6 September 1943, killing approximately 80 people. And I did, indeed, find Mary’s name on the lists of the dead. In fact, the Chicago Tribune even printed her address (2272 Barker Avenue in the Bronx). Since the wreck was on Labor Day, my guess is that she had gone to Washington to visit her daughter, Sima Slansky (the one whose husband later committed bigamy according to the laws of Maryland, which didn’t recognize his residency for a Reno divorce as valid).

Mary had a difficult life, what with being held for inquiry when she immigrated to the U.S., though it looks like she only had to wait a day or so for Nathan to show up and claim her. She was widowed in her 30’s, with her daughters only 9 and 12 years old. And then her beauty salon got used as a test case when the state of New York decided to pursue an electrolysis school. (Mary got a 6 month suspended sentence for practicing medicine without a license, but was later vindicated.) So it seems her life was a bit of a train wreck before she died in a literal one.

Note, by the way, that the May 2015 Amtrak crash was in just about the same place.

Baseball: Okay, Cubs fans. You can shut up now. And thank us Red Sox fans for letting you have Theo Epstein.


Don’t Analyze This Dream, Part 1: Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory character) was in a bathtub with a large, grey wolfy sort of dog. He got scared of the dog, which then started growling at him. So he stood up and dangled a badge holder to distract the dog, while he got out of the bathtub.


Don’t Analyze This Dream, Part 2: I was searching for Dily Niwab Street, which turned out to be a block from Audubon Boulevard, where my elementary school was.


Don’t Analyze This Dream, Part 3: I was trying to find my copy of Alice in Wonderland to lend to someone, but kept pulling out other books, notably Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. Finally, I found a boxed set of 8 Alice stories and lent the other person the first two volumes. (Which are, of course, the only ones that actually exist.) But I kept on about how wonderful it would be to ride a unicycle like Alice did in the rest of the series.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Celebrity Death Watch: Kevin Meaney was a comic actor. Sheri S. Tepper wrote science fiction under her own name and mysteries as B, J. Oliphant and as A. J. Orde. I am intrigued by the titles of a few of the pamphlets she wrote for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, which include "The Great Orgasm Robbery" and "So Your Happily Ever After Isn’t." Colin Snedeker invented the washable crayon. Jack Chick published fundamentalist Christian tracts, which you have almost certainly seen as his followers seemed fond of leaving them on parked cars. Tom Hayden was a member of the SDS who grew up to marry Jane (and divorce) Jane Fonda and to serve in the California Assembly and, later, state Senate. I lived in his district for a while and was always happy to vote against him. Bobby Vee was a pop singer, best known for "Take Good Care of My Baby." Junko Tabei was the first woman to climb Everest.

Don’t Analyze This Dream: I was at a story swap at the home of someone I worked with about 8 years ago. Only one other storyteller showed up, but then left, leaving me alone in the living room with a television on. Three dogs came into the room and one settled in next to me and began telling me how it wanted me to pet it. Sooner or later, I fell asleep on the floor, with this dog next to me. When I woke up, it had turned into a rather attractive man. It was morning and more people began arriving. The man began explaining how he had become a werewolf.

Party weekend: Last weekend was just filled with socializing. Well, okay, two events. One was a friend’s book launch party on Saturday afternoon. Then, on Sunday afternoon, there was a get-together with some flyertalk friends. Both were lots of fun, with good conversation and good food. Which is pretty much what parties should be about.

Speaking of That Book Launch: Jessica Piscitelli Robinson has written a novel titled Caged. I admit that urban fantasy isn't a genre I normally read, but since I know her and all, I bought it and pretty much devoured it. There are lots of things I could quibble about, largely because I am somewhat of a purist on the subject of vampires, but she has a knack for chapter endings that leave just enough hanging to make one want to keep reading. And I do like novels with strong female characters. If you like a real pageturner and can handle a certain amount of gore, I recommend it.

Ruthless: I saw Ruthless at Creative Cauldron on Saturday night. This small theatre in Falls Church has become one of my favorites over the past year or so and this production hit the mark again. It’s a rather silly show, with lots of insider references to musicals (and movies). The story involves a talented young girl, Tina Denmark (ably played by Sophia Manicone), her mother, Judy (played by Katie McManus, a local favorite), and Sylvia St. Croix (played by Alan Naylor), who shows up to mentor Tina. There are other characters, too, notably Lita Encore, Judy’s adoptive mother (played by Kathy Halenda), who sings the showy and hysterical "I Hate Musicals." But the focus is on Tina, who will do anything for the lead in the school play. And then there are the secrets lurking in Judy’s past and Sylvia’s… The book is a bit predictable, but this was an excellent cast and the company made great use of the small space.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Celebrity Death Watch: Jok Church drew the science experiment comic strip You Can with Beakman and Jax. This was, apparently, the first syndicated comic strip drawn and distributed by computer. Daniel Berrigan was a priest and peace activist.

Business Trip: I spent most of the week in Florida for a series of meetings, which were reasonably interesting and productive. The highlight was a field trip to see the last satellite of our current program and the launch vehicle which it is going to get its ride on. This was just a shoe-cover tour, versus one requiring more protective equipment, but it is still always good to get to see actual hardware.

I also got to go out to dinner (at a very good Cuban restaurant) with some old friends who live down that way and talk about international travel.

I should note that this trip was my first experience with Jet Blue. The service was fine and, most importantly for a business trip, the schedule was convenient. And their snack options include blue corn chips, which are always a good thing.

The Mystery of Love and Sex: Despite having had to get up at oh-dark-thirty to drive back to Orlando for my flight home, I went to Signature Theatre Friday night for this play. The title is terribly misleading. While the story does have something to do with people coming to terms with their sexual identities, the real issues involve broader assumptions about who people are. The basic plot involves a Jewish woman and a black man, who have been best friends since they were children and who most people expect will marry each other. The only catch is that she might be in love with a woman. And he hasn’t come to terms with being gay because he’s a Baptist convinced he will go to hell. Then there’s the problem of her father, whose mystery novels have racist, sexist, and homophobic undertones. This all sounds like one of those dreadfully serious plays that 20 year olds write when they are being proud of themselves for coming out, but that isn’t the case at all. It’s actually quite funny and an enjoyable couple of hours. Too bad about the title, though.

Caroline, Or Change: I was too exhausted to do much of anything all weekend, which means I even skipped the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I did, however, have a ticket to this production at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church. I’m not all that keen on playwright Tony Kushner (mostly for political reasons, which I needn’t get into here). But this was a musical at a theatre I like a lot and I got the ticket very inexpensively, due to a gift certificate at Goldstar. I am glad I went because I liked it quite a lot. The plot involves a black maid working for a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana and her complicated relationship with the sad son of the family. Some of the clever things involve her interactions with the radio (played by a trio of women in glittery red dresses), the washing machine (a woman), and the dryer (a man). The family is consumed in the tragedy of the mother’s death from lung cancer. The father has married a friend who is not adjusting well and who can’t reach the boy. At their best, musicals use their scores to illuminate character and to enhance the mood and Jeanine Tesori’s score, with a mix of ethnic styles, did this effectively. It also helped that Iyona Blake was outstanding in the title role. I also want to offer shout outs to Ethan Van Slyke as Noah Gellman, a demanding role for a young boy, and Tiara Whaley as Emmie Thibodeaux, who gave a spirited and convincing performance. This is playing through the end of May and I highly recommend it if you are looking for something to do in Northern Virginia.

Don’t Analyze This Dream: I am a bit vague on the details, but I know it involved serving one of my government customers, who is a big burly guy, coffee in little dainty teeny tiny floral cups.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Celebrity Death Watch: Vanity was a singer and primarily known as a protégé of Prince.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1992-1996. There were lots of questions about how effective he was, including the UN failure to act in the Rwandan genocide, but also inadequate responses in the former Yugoslavia and in Somalia. He was the only UN Secretary-General who was not elected to a second term in office.

Antonin Scalia was a Supreme Court justice and a major voice for conservative opinions. As much as I despise many of his judgements, I do admit to his intelligence and his literary skill. He was the subject of a play (The Originalist) and an opera (Scalia / Ginsburg). There is, by the way, no justification for Obama waiting for his successor to name a replacement and certainly no historical precedent. Pushing such a move should only hurt Republicans in the Senate who will be seen as obstructionist.

Business Trip: I spent much of last week in Los Angeles. The trip was largely for one meeting, but I also sat in on a review for an upcoming launch and got a firehouse of program info from my management. It also provided a good opportunity for me to meet a couple of customer folks and for me to get to know my boss better. So, as exhausting as it was, it was definitely worth the effort.

Other L.A. Stuff: I suffered a bit of weather shock. When I flew out on Tuesday morning, it was raining when I left my house, sleeting when I got on the bus to IAD, and snowing when we took off. When I arrived in L.A., it was in the 80’s. And I came home to extreme cold, with temperatures in the 20’s or below.

I also took advantage of the trip to go to Community Storytellers on Thursday night. There were a fair number of people there and some good stories, but we had to end early to avoid getting locked in. Of course, we then did the traditional stand and yak in the parking lot for ages afterwards.

Lost in the Stars: I got home, dropped my bags in my house, and ran off to the Kennedy Center to see the Washington National Opera production of Lost in the Stars. I’m not a big opera person, but this is Kurt Weill and it was an option on my theatre subscription. It does raise the question of where the barrier is between opera and musical theatre, but, frankly, I don’t think the line matters. If I enjoy something, why should I care how it gets characterized?

Anyway, for those unfamiliar with Lost in the Stars, it is based on Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country. The plot involves a black preacher, Stephen Kumalo, who travels to Johannesburg to search for his son, Absalom. Absalom has fallen in with a bad crowd, which leads to him killing a white man (who is, in fact, a friend of his father’s). He refuses to lie about the matter and ends up sentenced to death. This being apartheid era South Africa there are various racial undercurrents, which are handled rather awkwardly, perhaps because the show was written in 1949. Even more awkward is Stephen’s crisis of faith, which gets resolved all too easily.

I was impressed with Eric Owens as Stephen Kumalo and with Sean Panikkar as The Leader. But the real scene stealer was Caleb McLaughlin as the child, Alex. Overall, this was worth seeing, but there are some tedious moments to sit through for things like the glories of the title song.

Jewish Genealogical Society: The JGSGW meeting on Sunday was part assisted research workshop (in which I made a bit more progress on Chaim Schwartzbard and his children, though there is still confusion due to things like his having one son named Harry and another named Harold) and part speaker program. The topic of the latter was Family Search and I thought the presentation was fairly basic, but I did learn a few useful tidbits.

Recurring Dream: Or, more accurately, recurring nightmare. Three times in the past week, I have awoken in a panic from a dream in which I was trying to check in for a flight only to discover I had left my passport at home.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Celebrity Death Watch: Just a few people to note this time. Percy Sledge sang "When a Man Loves a Woman." Elio Toaff was the chief rabbi of Italy. Sidney Abbott was a feminist and a significant leader in NOW, with a particular focus on lesbian issues. Mary Doyle Keefe was the model for Rosie the Riveter.

Please Don’t Analyze This Dream 1: I had a very complex dream, involving an attempt to transfer from a domestic to an international flight. This required me to use a kiosk, sort of like the automated passport ones some airports have at entry points. But it required me to scan a credit card first, then rejected my passport because my photo had acquired a second copy of my picture as a sort of birthmark in the middle of my forehead. I had to scan the credit card again for it to use Photoshop to fix this, while it stamped a warning on passport. Apparently, I was too slow in clicking some box, because I had to keep repeating this whole process. There were only three of the kiosks, so the lines were getting very long behind me. (There was an earlier part in which I complained to the TSA agent about where he told me to wait, which was nowhere near the kiosks.)

Please Don’t Analyze This Dream 2: I was supposed to be at a volunteer gig in Maryland at 7:30 a.m. but other people, including one of my former colleagues, kept making me wait for them. So it was 9:30 and I hadn’t left my house yet. But they wouldn’t let me go back inside to get my cell phone to let people know I was going to be late.

Storytelling 1: I went to the show Kristin Pedemonti and Nick Newlin did in Friendship Heights last week. Kristin had an interesting story about her experiences performing at a festival in Iran, starting with the challenges of getting a visa quickly. Nick also had travel related stories, but my favorite part of his program had to do with how Quaker boys (namely he and his brother) fight as children. It was a good show and worth the time.

Storytelling 2: Saturday night was the monthly Voices in the Glen story swap. There was a bit of narrative poetry, given that April is National Poetry Month. There was also a wide mix of stories and conversation. As always, it was fun.

Storytelling 3: And then Sunday was rehearsal for this coming Saturday night’s Better Said Than Done show. It’s going to be awesome and you should come. 7 p.m., April 25th, The Auld Shebeen in Old Town Fairfax.

Other Stuff: I am spinning my wheels a bit on various household odds and ends I need to get done. It would be really nice to have rewind, fast forward, and pause buttons on my life.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Sort of Celebrity Death Watch: I forgot to mention that storyteller Steve Sanfield died recently. He told Jewish stories (including Chelm stories, though, of course, my versions are better) as well as African-American stories and other folktales. He also wrote poetry. His most significant achievement was probably having founded the Sierra Storytelling Festival. He will be missed.

Non-celebrity Death Watch: I am still in shock about Joel Ratner’s death. I grew up with him and, while I have not seen him since high school, I’ve heard that he built a great life as a music educator and family man. People my age should not be dying.

Don’t Analyze This Dream: Actually, I don’t remember enough details to write about the dream coherently, but it involved both sushi and gefilte fish. I like both, but they really don’t go together.

Weather Whining: We got about 6 inches of snow this past Saturday and another 2 or so late Wednesday night. It is really distressing to me when the temperature in Oslo is 15 degrees higher than the temperature in northern Virginia.

Deli Man: In spite of the snow, I trudged to the metro and slid down Q Street to see the screening of Deli Man, part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. There are scenes and interviews involving many famous Jewish delis, with the main focus on David "Ziggy" Gruber of Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston. There was, alas, no explanation of who Kenny is or was. Despite that lingering question, the movie was excellent. I laughed, I cried, I drooled. I went home and made matzoh ball soup.

Food Failure: With all that pristine snow falling, I completely forgot to collect some in a pie pan and make sugar in the snow. I have real maple syrup on hand so it would have been simple enough to boil some and pour it over a pan full of snow. Maybe next winter. (I refuse to hope for more snow so I can do it this season.)

General Kvetching: I have several annoyances with things ranging from work to the Norwegian railroad website to the likely closing of McCoy Field (home of the PawSox) to the stupid selfie crap on the new season of The Amazing Race to my own sheer lack of focus. But, you know, it doesn’t pay to dwell on any of that, so I will keep from boring you with my current state of discontent and leave myself time to do something about some parts of that.
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Used Bookstore Run: I did a used bookstore run this past weekend. I got rid of a total of 86 books. I haven’t counted how many I brought home in exchange (I am fairly sure it is 20ish), but I will note that the most interesting was Crasswords: Dirty Crosswords for Cunning Linguists edited by Francis Heaney. I don’t normally get puzzle books at the only one of the used bookstores that has them (McKay in Manassas) because they price them at close to their cover price, but this is something a bit different. And the puzzles are by people whose constructing skills I respect. (The price doesn’t really matter, because it’s trade, anyway. I just find it annoying.)

My plan is to get rid of the rest of the books that are ready to go out this coming weekend, with an excursion to The Book Thing. There are, alas, many many more books that need to be read (or, in some cases, reread) first. And I barely made a dent in bringing my mother’s books down here. I got all the books I could find upstairs, but only a shelf or so of what’s downstairs. And I may have missed some upstairs because I didn’t go through all of the wall unit. (Come to think of it, I know there are a couple of dictionaries in a drawer in the living room, too.)

Don’t Analyze This Dream: I woke up in a minor panic this morning after a dream in which I was unable to explain a parameter in an elasticity equation to a colleague. The equation in question was, of course, complete nonsense and, yes, I do know that the symbol for Young’s modulus is E, not rho. Such is the way of dreams.

It was also slightly less disturbing than the dream which involved a long-dead great-aunt pointing at my alarm clock.

Weather: It is only November. It is not supposed to be this cold. Please re-boot the calendar.

Miscellany

May. 19th, 2014 04:36 pm
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
Books about organizing often say that one should never have a filing category labeled "miscellaneous." You are supposed to, instead, actually make more folders or just get rid of stuff or something else that I don’t understand. My goal is to have just one "miscellaneous" file. Consider this entry the electronic equivalent.

Celebrity Death Watch: Mary Stewart wrote romantic suspense. Jerry Vale was a singer. And Jeb Stuart Magruder was a Watergate conspirator. Most of the obituaries I saw omitted his middle name, but it is how I think of him. I have to admit to feeling vaguely guilty about not having paid enough attention to Watergate at the time, but I was a teenager and the crush du jour was always a higher priority in those days.

Dinner at Jaleo: I went out for dinner at Jaleo in Crystal City on Friday night with friends from flyertalk. We ate all sorts of good things, as one does at a tapas place. And I drank sherry, as I do when eating tapas. The service, however, was underwhelming. There were a dozen or so of us at a long table and we had sort of ordered in groups of 4. The waiter auctioned off dishes, not making any attempt to get things near the part of the table that had ordered them. Several people got talked into ordering the strawberry ice cream for dessert and got raspberry sorbet first, though it was corrected afterwards. (This did not impact me – I am a coffee and brandy person with such a meal.) Still, the food was tasty and the conversation was enjoyable.

Story Swap: This month’s story swap was Saturday night. I would normally have taken metro since it was in the city, but there was the inevitable weekend track work on the Orange Line, so I drove. Surprisingly, I did not get lost and found parking quite close by. The swap was fun, with a good mix of stories and several newcomers, most of whom just listened.

Knitting Group: I don’t get any knitting or crocheting done other than at knitting group lately. So, despite the great weather on Sunday, I did go for a couple of hours and crocheted a couple of afghan squares.

Dream Geography: I spend a lot of time in my dreams on trains. But dream geography does not match real world geography. For example, in a recent dream, I was taking a train north from California to Canada but ended up in Brazil. I wonder how many frequent flyer miles I would get for that routing.

Shoe Failure: I had a catastrophic shoe failure at work today. The front seam on my right shoe just disintegrated. I suppose that is a lot better than other things that could fail, since someone at the office had a stroke last week. But it is still annoying.

Snippets

Jan. 24th, 2014 02:56 pm
fauxklore: (storyteller doll)
As usual, I have a bunch of catching up to do.

Used Bookstores and Spices: I finally got around to doing a used bookstore run last weekend. It was a particularly successful one, in that I left the house with 65 books and came home with only 4 of those (plus 18 new to me books, but that is to be expected). I also took advantage of the last store on my route being in that general vicinity to stop into Penzey’s and buy saffron. I will note, however, that they had no true cinnamon, at least not in stick form, but only cassia. (My issue is not the coumarin, as I don’t use it in huge amounts, but cassia is harder to grind and has a harsher taste.) They also don’t carry rosewater, so I still need to make a trip to one of the Indian stores (probably Aditi) to stock up. Actually, I should check first to see if Shopper’s Food Warehouse in Fairfax has it, since they carry some seasonings other supermarkets around here don’t (e.g. star anise) and do have a Middle Eastern section.

Game Night: My Chavurah had a game night on Saturday night. It was kind of weird, but I realize that most people would consider what I think of as a game night as weird. Basically, there was no interest in strategy games at all and complete distaste for anything that suggested actual competition. It was still reasonably fun. We played Balderdash, which I am very good at because: 1) I have a good vocabulary, meaning I don’t consider words like "succubus" to be the least bit obscure and 2) I understand what dictionary definitions sound like and can, therefore, snooker other people into picking my definition. We also played Sour Apples to Apples, which adds a silly penalty thing if your choice is considered least appropriate. In my opinion, that adds nothing to the game.

I should try to make time to go to real game nights, i.e. ones where people are more amenable to playing things with some level of complexity, thought, and feigned malice.

Knitting Group: Sunday involved knitting group. I finally found the needles, yarn, and pieces in progress for a particular sweater I’ve been working on. I even found my notions bag. So, of course, the pattern went missing. I worked on something else instead, but this is extremely annoying.

Weather: Monday was decent out, but we got 4 or so inches of snow on Tuesday, leading me to work from home. That’s a reminder that I really need a new desk chair. It’s been extremely cold since and I am feeling a certain amount of cabin fever.

Do Not Analyze This Dream: I had a dream the other night in which I stopped at a semi-rural resort / retreat center for dinner on my way to somewhere in Pennsylvania and found that several of my friends were there at a storytelling workshop. They talked me into staying for the night, during which I discovered that I had forgotten to bring my Volksmarch books with me. Much of the dream involved whether or not I should drive back home to retrieve them.

Notes to Myself: I scribbled the following in the front of a crossword book:

102 Loon Lake

105 (?) Yellowhead Lake

I am reasonably sure that there is no significance to this being in a puzzle book and that was just a handy piece of paper, suggesting I most likely wrote it on a plane or a train. If it were not for the question mark, I’d think it had to do with Volksmarch events. But, as it is, I am befuddled. Any ideas?

Make the Punishment Fit the Crime: When I rule the world, anyone who submits a document for approval without an acronym list shall be subject to drowning in a large vat of alphabet soup.
fauxklore: (Default)
Rosh Hashanah made this a quiet week, so I can finish catching up. This is all the odds and ends I have been saving up, including several mini-rants. Well, everything except the longer entries I have been planning on the subjects of politics, dating, and social networking.

5773: If it isn't obvious, I wish a happy, healthy and prosperous year to all. I may even manage to mail out cards this weekend.

Storytelling: I was part of A Sampler of Stories at Friendship Heights Village Center on Wednesday night. I had fun telling a personal story, about what I really learned in 6 years of ballet classes. There were two other personal stories and three folk tales, making for an interesting mix. Where else can you hear about Beowulf and the minor traumas of suburban childhood in the same evening.

Now I have to pull together the story I am telling at Better Said Than Done at the end of the month.

Work rant, part 1: If you send out an email to six people asking what their availability is for a meeting on Wednesday or Thursday, you should not then schedule the meeting for Tuesday.

Work rant, part 2: The correct time to close restrooms for cleaning is not during lunch hours or during peak departure times.

Work rant, part 3: When I rule the world, all documents sent for re-review will have all changes (including deletions) clearly marked. If they are sent as Word documents, one can often find this via "track changes," but that is not the case for PDF files.

Work rant, part 4: Why is it that any acronym I don't already know is the one that is missing from the acronym list?

Work rant, part 5: We've been getting new computers with Windows 7 on them. What child thought having a default font size of 8 points was a good idea? I had to change the font size in Outlook in 3 separate places to make my mail readable. And changing the overall display resolution required rebooting. I have things more or less functional now, but this was a waste of my time. (The thing that is not fixable is specific to our set-up. It now takes two steps to log-in, instead of just one. I reserve the right to gripe.)

One of my co-workers, listening to me kvetching about my disdain for Microsoft, said, "this tells me you don't want to learn new things." Uh, no, I love to learn new things, but I want to choose which things I learn. And spending time learning where they moved 28 separate buttons on an application takes away time I could spend learning to read hieroglyphics, which would be infinitely more amusing.

Work rant, part 6: We had a potluck brunch Thursday to "celebrate" our one year anniversary in our new digs. Aside from that hardly being an event to celebrate (small, noisy space and a bad commute for pretty much everyone), this was announced on Wednesday around lunch time. I managed to run into Whole Foods and buy mini-muffins, but with adequate notice, I would have made my famous mixed berry muffins. When I rule the world, all potluck events will have a minimum of one week notice.

Work non-rant: My promotion finally came through.

One final note on work: We got an announcement about a new program for charitable contributions. It included the information that United Way contributions had ceased in February. Maybe I should look at my pay stubs more closely, since I hadn't noticed that.

Why I want to retire: Aside from all the work ranting, the real reasons I want to retire sooner rather than later are: a) the horribleness of commuting to the Land that Transit Forgot, b) the events that I miss because they conflict with work (e.g. a two day symposium on Yiddish radio at the Library of Congress earlier this month), and c) the annoyingness of administrivia, especially this time of year when I am waiting for my badge and CAC renewal paperwork to get done and I have to deal with semi-annual and annual report inputs, in addition to the usual monthly and (two separate) weekly reports.

Celebrity death watch: Hal David wrote pop songs. Raindrops keep falling on his grave. Reverend Sun Myung Moon married his followers off to one another in exchange for having them sell flowers. Actually, until his recent death, I don't think I'd heard anything about Moonies in over a decade.

Note to myself: If I weren't interested in learning things, would I have scrawled the following in the margins of a planner page?
Language
Class
+ Dance
+ Everything Else

Odd ingredients: I was eating lentil-couscous soup for lunch yesterday and noticed that the ingredients list included "pineapple (dried)". Why?

Don't interpret this dream: I had a dream in which I was about to board a flight to Russia and realized I had forgotten to get a visa.

Trivia for the week: There was an interesting article in the Washington Post the other day about race and American Sign Language. Apparently, there is actually such a thing as Black ASL. I suppose it isn't surprising that there would be ethnic "dialects" to ASL, but I admit it's something I had never thought about before.

Baseball: There's always next year for the Red Sox. But the Nationals are in the post-season. I attempted to get NLDS tickets, but ended up waiting in their electronic virtual ticketing line for several minutes only to get a "this game is sold out" message. Sigh. (I could have tried for tickets to games that might not be played, but that isn't really my sort of thing. I hope to have the opportunity to try again for the NLCS and the World Series.)
fauxklore: (Default)
I've been toying with doing a show tune related meme (which has proven harder than I thought it would), which leads me to mention a show tune related dream.

I woke up several nights ago singing "Sominex / Suppertime" from Little Shop of Horrors. Of course, one's sense of time is distorted when waking up in the middle of a dream, but it felt like it took me several minutes before I could stop singing, "go to Seymour, talk to Seymour."

Note that: a) the only person I know named Seymour usually goes by "Sy" and b) I do not have any plants to feed.
fauxklore: (Default)
I have, as usual, too much to do.I am scrambling to get things done before back to back trips. The business trip to L.A. is for a conference but I am trying to squeeze in a couple of meetings, too. And I am planning to take advantage of the timing to go to both Long Beach Storytellers and Community Storytellers. I'll have a night at home when I get back and then fly up to Boston, nominally for the Boston Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Somewhere in there I have to deal with life maintenance like laundry and taxes and such.

Sometimes life gets in the way of things I planned to do. I'd intended to go to zumba (or possibly try out a hula hoop class) tonight but the metro got in the way. I did scribble down a few haikus once I finally got on a train, only the first of which is really related to tonight's commute:

19 minutes is
way too long to wait for the
Blue Line at rush hour

Please do not block
the door with your stroller. Have some
common courtesy.

Manual braking
makes the metro ride herky
jerky. I feel ill.

Cherry blossoms may
be nice to look at but they
bring ugly tourists.

I need to sleep at times, also. I woke up in the middle of the night and it took me a long time to get back to sleep, not helped by my deciding that I wasn't going to get back to sleep and doing a few things on-line. When I did get back to sleep for a few hours, I had a dream in which I had managed to lose two cars in the same parking lot. [livejournal.com profile] piefessor pointed one of them out to me, but it turned out she had really stolen the license plate and the trunk of my car and installed them on an orange and white PT Cruiser. I was upset that the jar of spaghetti sauce I'd had in the trunk was missing.

But I still managed to watch The Amazing Race. And I will put spoilers behind a cut.
Clicky here. )
fauxklore: (Default)
Alabama: I had a quick business trip down to Huntsville on Thursday. Well, actually to Decatur, where we toured the launch vehicle factory. As I've said before, hardware makes me happy. In the early evening, my two colleagues and I went to downtown Huntsville and meandered around the Twickenham historic district, admiring the 19th century houses. We also found an actual decent restaurant - a place called Cotton Row, where I had some nice ahi tuna with bok choy.

Celebrity Death of the Week: The obituaries for Larry Gelbart concentrated on his work for M*A*S*H, but I think his greatest accomplishment was the book for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
There's no doubt that he was one of the great humor writers working across pop culture.

Health care: I read a book last week about the battle for smallpox inoculation in both London and Boston. (The Speckled Monster by Jennifer Lee Carrell, if you care.) One interesting historical tidbit is that one of the disputes within Boston medical society of the 1720's was between doctors whose patients paid them an annual retainer and those who charged a fee for service. In other words, the American health care system has been muddled since colonial times.

Walking: There was a Volksmarch today at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. I was having a hard time getting myself started this morning, but I couldn't pass up a walk that close to home. It was quite a work-out, with lots of hills. The scenery was nice, though the gardens are really better when the peonies and daylilies are in bloom.

Don't Interpret This, Please: I had a dream last night in which President Obama was getting springs added to his shoes at a salon where I was getting my legs waxed.

Dreams

Jun. 20th, 2009 05:41 am
fauxklore: (Default)
Two odd dreams last night:

1) I had a list in front of me (on a website) of the competitors in each Superbowl. I said to the person I was with that I thought it was a nice touch that they'd indicated in green which ones his family had been to.

2) I was with my brother and trying to park my car in a small Canadian town during a blizzard. I pulled into a spot, but as soon as my brother got out of the car, it rolled forward into the car in front of it. Then I got out and it kept rolling, pushing the other car into an intersecting street. My brother managed to grab it and turn it onto the intersecting street and then stop my car.

Neither of those sound quite as weird when writing them down as they did when I was actually dreaming them.

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