Monthly Archives: April 2004

Outage

Power outage on the north side. I think my stereo blew out. Or just the fuse. The thing’s old anyway – I mostly use it as an amp for the computer – the 3-CD player doesn’t work and I don’t play MiniDiscs with it anymore and the radio antennae doesn’t get reception since I’m halfway underground.

Computer blew up again a couple days ago. Probably just going to go to Best Buy and buy their $400-500 Acer desktop. I don’t need to buy a new display. No reason to shell out mega for a Sony desktop when nobody is going to see it (and I still can’t afford the Hoojum Cubit).

Starting to sneeze. Lots of stuff blooming. The tulips all over are beautiful and there’s lots of flowering trees.

I’ve decided I want to live on Briar Street. It has mostly four-story apartment buildings. But it’s the trees. The trees are all matured and tower over you and sway in the wind. The street breaks right before the Blue Man Group theatre so there’s never any through traffic and noise is minimal. Yuppie heaven. Now all I need is a gated community.

I’ve noticed that. Many of the newer condo buildings going up lack a front entrance and so have a very fortress-like appearance. This fits in with the Hummer and SUV and Cruiser crowd (that is, Americans preffering intimidating cars that make them feel protected).

Found out one of the guys at the gym had a nosejob. Or at least it’s a rumor. Which explains why this Vietnamese guy has the whole Anglo nose going on. Other rumor is pectoral implants – that I’m less likely to believe. Ron says he’ll look for scars.

That fantastic blogging and business opportunity I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago is heating up again and might become a tangible gig in mid-May.

We switched over to a super-fast intranet at work this week. The code is from the early 1990s and was designed to run on slow servers so it runs on our souped up boxes at lightning speed. A huge difference from our previous turtle-paced Zope-based system.

Back to Thebes

My adaptation of Antigone is going to be produced in Ohio this coming fall! This was my thesis and project – sort of what would happen if Oliver Stone and Stanley Kubrick did a Greek tragedy. I read it now and see a lot of me intuiting things that I sensed were happening in the world around me but now I have a lot more knowledge and research about just how screwed up things can be.

Antigone is the third play in the Oedipus Cycle (extra credit: the plays were never part of the same cycle at the Dionysus festival but are often performed today as a whole). Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus. Her brothers tore the country apart battling for the throne – killing eachother in the process. The traitorous brother is denied a burial and Antigone feels this is a gross violation of the laws of the gods and proceeds to do something about it.

Antigone was a very strange play – I was never really in love with the play very much (note to self: FUCKING WRITE!). Just found myself sneaking into it more and more and what started as a modern dress version of a translation turned into an entire revamp/update of the whole story. But keeping that kernel of the laws of gods versus the laws of man. Usually the story is hinged on a feminist or anti-war bent but I really wanted to focus on telling a powerful story of a family falling apart and their disintegration leading to their country shattering to pieces. I am constantly fascinated by seeming small decisions that have an impact on the entire world – like the collusion of the Bush family and the Saudi royal family and how their connections have shaped international policy for generations. Or the Kennedys. Or the machinations of someone like Henry Kissinger.

I added a huge mass media influence as well as influences from rave and industrial music and ultraviolence – I think all the ensemble died 3 times each. I had just seen Natural Born Killers when I was writing it and was very influenced by that idea of violence as the last resort of communication. This was fresh off the Rodney King beatins and LA riots as well.

My main themes was that

A good play (or story for that matter) is either Loony Toons or Wagner – and if you’re lucky: both at the same time.

I tried to have a constant vacillation between the epic and the petty. To their citizenry the family appears heroic and locked in mortal struggle but inside the palace they are small, scared people. My paradigm for the actors was to ‘act from your DNA’. To reduce themselves to animals clawing for survival in an chaotic society. We had a ball.

Anyway – I’m packing my mental baggage and going back to Thebes to give the story a fresh War on Terror update. Expect bulletins.

Bush Cleans Glasses on Woman’s Sweater

Hardly to be entered into the political discourse but a welcome example of his arrogance.

During a commercial break on the David Letterman show, producer Maria Pope was on stage and discussing something with Letterman, and while she was standing there in front of Bush, George leaned forward, grabbed the back of her sweater and used it to clean his glasses.

Available in Quicktime and Windows Media.

Dentisto

Just got back from the dentist. I hadn’t had my teeth cleaned in a long time. Got three potential cavities that better brush will take care of as well as some gingivitis that more Listerine can help. Other than that the choppers remain in good shape – though a little bit tea-stained – might be time for some whitening.

I have a suggestion to all dentists everywhere. Start applying chapstick or some kind of lip balm to the patient before you start digging in there. The constant stretching and moving on a dry pair of lips is very uncomfortable. Somebody call the Wahbmulance.

Happy Birthday Dungeons & Dragons

Original Dungeons & Dragons ampersand logo.Countless hours I spent in my early teens as the adventurous Mage Trazen. I even had my own island of Rebow where my populace was happy to be ruled by such a noble and courageous sorcerer. Times used to be you could solve any problem by casting a Magic Missile spell. The Beeb gives the scoop on the revolution of role-playing games that started 30 years ago with the first release of Dungeons and Dragons. (via Slashdot)

I still maintain that RPGs are the easiest way to teach kids (especially young boys) algebra and probability. Hell, you can even use it to teach sociology – anything revolving around understanding total integrated systems – ecology… all that stuff.

Bushworld

You may have read Maureen Dowd’s rip on Bush – if not it’s worth a reading:

In Bushworld, our troops go to war and get killed, but you never see the
bodies coming home.

In Bushworld, the C.I.A. says it can’t find out whether there are W.M.D.
in Iraq unless we invade on the grounds that there are W.M.D.

In Bushworld, there’s no irony that so many who did so much to avoid the
Vietnam draft have now strained the military so much that lawmakers are talking
about bringing back the draft.

In Bushworld, we’re making progress in the war on terror by fighting a war
that creates terrorists.

In Bushworld, you don’t need to bother asking your vice president and top
Defense Department officials whether you should go to war in Iraq, because
they’ve already maneuvered you into going to war.

And my personal favorite

In Bushworld, it’s perfectly natural for the president and vice president
to appear before the 9/11 commission like the Olsen twins.

Running PHP Through Crontab

A tidbit I learned from my webhost’s help pages was that you can use the lynx command to run a PHP script. Often webhosts don’t allow PHP to be run easily through crontab because of some kind of permissions stuff that I can’t really get quite clear on. Anyway – here’s the gist:

It is like setting the server to open a webpage as the cron event – just makes it easy to use PHP as your scripting language. This would run the cron event at midnight…

0 0 * * * lynx -dump http://www.yourdomain.com/cronfile.php