25 October 2008

I, phone.

Sarah needed a phone upgrade for her new job (more minutes, a data plan, etc.). We thought about going with a Blackberry, but ultimately decided that for a small amount more, we could switch to AT&T and both get iPhones. So, we did. We got them yesterday, and are busy playing (ahem, customizing) them now.

Also, we saw W. today. Decent movie. Nothing real surprising, but a nice afternoon spent in a dark room.

20 October 2008

Float like a butterfly...

There was an incredible piece on The Daily Show tonight. One of the correspondents went to Wasilla, Alaska, to try and identify what Palin said when she suggested that small-town America was somehow more 'American' than big-city America. The correspondent discovered a whole lot of chain stores, a church-going man covered with tatoos of all of the women he's slept with (including his wife and the woman he was cheating on his wife with on the same arm!), a man who suggested that small-town America was impacted more by 9/11 than big cities (like NYC or Washington DC), and the current mayor, who admitted that Wasilla does not adminster any utilities or infrastructure, and two big parts of her week were the staff meeting on Monday and signing checks on Thursday. After listening to these people talk about how American they were, the piece ended, very powerfully, with a shot of NYC firefighters from 9/11.

Sarah and I were stunned. It was an Ali knockout punch! A light and fluffy piece that gets, in its last few seconds, scathing and righteous. It should be required viewing for anyone who is inclined to think that Palin had a point.

Oh, my head hurts from all those words!

Here's a direct quote from Sarah Palin:

"If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand, I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls and includes spending so much money on the television ads that, I think, is kind of draining out there in terms of Americans' attention span."

Apparently, she thinks that those 30-second TV ads are too much for our attention span.

19 October 2008

Hey, Hussein!

A number of my friends on Facebook have changed their official name to include 'Hussein' as a middle name. First, I noticed Phil Thompson become Phil Hussein Thompson. I followed suit with Vincent Hussein Olivieri. Now, just a day later, I count four additional friends who have done it. I changed mine out of solidarity with Obama, who catches a lot of flack from the right because of his middle name. The theory being, of course, that 'Hussein' catches flack because it's a Muslim name (and unusual in the USA), and that the more people who adopt it, the more we can point out how insignificant a name actually is.

On the other hand, the mere fact that a bunch of us are changing our Facebook names is proving the point that 'Hussein' is an unusual name, and drawing attention to it. I doubt that we're going to change anyone's mind.

Today, I went googling and found this article about other Obama supporters changing their name to Hussein. The article was written in June, which just goes to show that I'm officially out of touch with the youth. Oh well.


17 October 2008

Hey NYC!

I'm headed to NYC in December, to see shows and friends. I'll be arriving on the 15th and leaving on the 18th, when I'll travel down to VB to see family. Hooray for the East Coast!

I'm looking for a place to stay. I'm sussing out hotels, but am not having immediate success. I hope to find something near Penn Station (to facilitate getting to and from the LIRR & JFK).

So, friends, I hope I can see you when I'm in town! I'm also planning on seeing shows while I'm there, particularly ones with significant sound design...

more on that later.

12 October 2008

The racists come out of the closet

It's no secret that racists & bigots tend to vote Republican. I mean, I'm not saying that all Republicans are racist, but the truth is that if you measure your hate by the color of my skin, you're probably not going to vote Democratic (and certainly not in this election). And, I suppose that I don't have a problem with racists voting. As long as their eligible to vote, shouldn't they be allowed to express their opinion, no matter how wrong it is?

Until this election, however, the racists kept a lower profile when it came to national elections. Sometimes they disguised their racism as classism (which was roundly mocked in the 'Billionaires for Bush' campaign, which had the slogan 'Tax Cuts for Me, Not for My Maid'), and sometimes they came disguised as crime-fighting (Willie Horton, anyone?). Sometimes, the racists just shut their mouth, knowing that as long as they voted red, their agenda would be satisfied.

This campaign changed all of that. The racists are coming out in droves, and they're no longer afraid to admit it. Check out these videos. Look at the woman who says that she knows that Obama is a terrorist because of his bloodline (what heritage? his white family in Kansas? or his black family?). Look at the man with a MONKEY that he calls LITTLE HUSSEIN (Obama's middle name) who is wearing an OBAMA sticker! Look at how when protesters acuse him of being racist, he raises the monkey HIGHER! Oh and it's a little off-topic, but don't forget the misogynistic comments vis-a-vis rape kits ('She should die!' and 'She should pay double!').

Add to these videos recordings of people at McCain/Palin rallies who screamed 'Kill Him' in regards to Obama, and it seems clear that these awful awful people have decided that it's time for them to come out of the closet and own up to their racism and bigotry. I hope that when they come out to their families, their parents can still love them, because I surely can't. You know, being a racist and bigot is a choice.

11 October 2008

San Diego

On Thursday, I had a bit of a bad day, with some weird things happening at
the U. Everything will get sorted out, but it's more than a bit annoying
right now.

Yesterday, Sarah and I went to breakfast and then headed down the coast to
San Diego. We're taking a mini-vacation as part of her birthday. We got
into town yesterday afternoon, dropped our stuff off at the condo, and
headed into Balboa Park. We went to the Japanese Garden, which was lovely,
had a bit of sushi and tea, and then headed to the Museum of Man. Most of
the museum was based on evolution, ancient cultures of the Americas, and
dead humans (mummies, shrunken heads, etc.), but Sarah and I were both blown
away by a small temporary exhibit of modern Chinese woodcuts. They were
beautiful, and we're thinking that something along that line might be great
for our living room.

After Balboa Park we drove into the Gaslamp (Gaslight?) district, which is
where all of the chain restaurants and stores are. There's a Yardhouse AND
a RockBottom. o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o! We left there pronto and found our way over
to Little Italy, which was much more our speed. We found an art gallery
featuring Latin American artists, another great small art gallery, a Chinese
import shop, a couple of yummy Italian delis and scores of Italian
restaurants. We ate at one. Sarah had gnocchi with sundried tomatos and
chicken. I had imbottini, which I had never had before. It's thin-sliced
eggplant wrapped around pasta, pesto, and ricotta cheese. It was very

After dinner, we came back to the condo, walked along the beach, got some
frozen yogurt, came home, read, and crashed. Now, it's almost 10am. Our
family who owns the condo are coming over for breakfast. Then, we're going
to do something - we just don't know what it is yet! More later...

09 October 2008

California students can't write

This is a quote from a student of mine:

"In this sound design I will use a DJ remix compilation of Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up,” “Jamaican Rum” and “Jammin” to depict the figure’s sense of youth, freedom and illustrate the beach lifestyle attitude using it as the theme to demonstrate its aspects of the no worries, laid backness, and free spirit mood, attitude and perspective."

I have great fondness for this student, but really, look at this sentence! OMG!

06 October 2008

John McCain: not a nice man.

A lot of moderates talk about how no matter who wins next month, at least we'll be done with President Bush. That attraction alone can be enough for a disaffected Republican to vote for McCain, thinking that by not being President Bush, he's bound to be kinder, more intelligent, etc. To put those arguments to rest, I 'd like to point you to an interesting article, listing some of McCain's more nasty moments. There are some doozies there, but one of the more interesting ones is a nasty letter that McCain wrote to Obama years ago. Happy reading!

A long long long long week.

Yesterday, after a bit of excessive lounging in the morning, I dragged myself to the U to get some work done. Sarah and I grilled (again!) last night, and we watched the new episode of TRUE BLOOD. Then, we started to watch an episode of FRINGE, but the stream from fox.com crapped out. We took that as a sign that perhaps we shouldn't watch the show. It's all okay though... we didn't really like the pilot.

Then, some Wii Fit, and then to bed. This morning, I start yet another long long week. I've got to piece together a score, set up the recording, and write an important letter for the U. All in the next four days. Crap.

04 October 2008

New York City, Gilgamesh, and a Birthday Party

We just finished the first week of classes back at the U. My undergrad
class is shaping up to be a good group, with a nice balance of technical
thinkers and head-in-the-clouds artists as well. My grad class is also
going well. It's taking a bit longer to settle into the pace of the class,
but we had a good couple of days this week, so that was nice.

Sarah's birthday was on Tuesday, and she got a Wii console. We had thought
about going out for dinner, but we decided instead to stick around at home,
order in, and play with the Wii. Happy birthday my dear!

As I write, I'm sitting on a plane, traveling back from NYC. I flew out
early Saturday morning for a meeting with the director, the director's
husband, and the set designer for an adaptation of GILGAMESH that we'll be
doing in Minneapolis this fall. We talked for hours last night, and we've
got some great ideas to work on. We're more interested in exploring how the
myth can be connected to other, semi-related, stories. As such, we won't be
doing any sort of linear story-telling. Instead, we'll deconstruct the
story, incorporating different aspects of it into other stories. We'll be
exploring scale, oil, rapture, buddy movies, mortality, dreams, and many
other avenues. No one knows where this will lead, but we're definitely
excited to see where it takes us. I've got a couple of interesting projects
in the meantime, including a slow, Victorian Era striptease to write.

Tonight, after I land, I have to rush home and do some baking, for tonight,
we're having a small birthday party for Sarah. We'll have a small group
over for games and munchies. Then, tomorrow, a full day of work.

02 October 2008

Biden/Palin: Two Things

In regards to tonight's debate, two things to think about:

1) The only people for whom this debate has significant meaning is for the undecideds. A good number of people have decided to vote for McCain/Palin, and a good number of people will support Obama/Biden. It's only a small number of people who haven't made up their minds yet. It's safe to say that for most of those undecideds, the issues aren't as strong a concern as the candidates themselves. If the issues were factors, those undecides would have decided by now. No, it's definitely not the issues. Probably, it's the candidates. Demeanor, personality, command of information. Who is more presidential? In those cases, the debate can only have swung for Biden.

2) The top three Palin gaffes, in no particular order:

a) Sarah Palin suggested that perhaps Dick Cheney doesn't have enough power, and she suggested that she and McCain might try to find new ways to make the VP more powerful. Really? Did you really just suggest that you want to be MORE aggressive than Dick Cheney?

b) Sarah Palin tried to get a sly vote-for-me-cuz-I'm-a-woman jab in there by suggesting that only she knew how hard it was to balance work and raising a family. Of course, she probably forgot that Biden is a widower, who lost his wife a long long time ago. So, Biden choked up a bit. Way to go, Goverrnor!

c) When Ifill asked Biden about how a Biden administration would differ from an Obama one, Biden said that they would be more or less the same. When Ifill asked the same question of Sarah Palin, Palin basically said that she disagrees with McCain a lot, and that if she were in charges, she'd veer significantly in a new direction. Here's her quote: "As for disagreeing with John McCain and how our administration would work, what do you expect? A team of mavericks, of course we're not going to agree on 100 percent of everything."

Really? McCain, really? You appoint a no-name to be your VP candidate, expect your supporters to tow the party line and support her, and then, when she's asked what she'd do if she were the number one, she basically says 'whatever I want?' Really?

See you next Tuesday.