Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Betcha I'll still be writing 5764 on my checks...

Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to all of the readers of this here blog. May this year bring peace and prosperity to all.

Monday, September 13, 2004

This is a life?

Much too many things going on, and yet it seems like nothing quite gets done:

Dropped by school to get started on thesis research. Will be working with professorial choice #1 on Suzuki-Miyaura reactions (don't worry, I hardly understand 'em myself), as soon as I can find a couple of free hours to get briefed by his post-doc. Between the professor, three of his other researchers, and both analytical technicians being Indian, I'm liable to start sounding like Apu before this semester is out.

Veeeery slow moving on the apartment. New bookshelves are up, but it looks like even with the downsizing, we're gonna be short on shelf space. Might be making yet another New Jersey pilgramage. In the meantime, we've gotta clean the joint up for the holidays, since we're having the folks and friends at different meals.

What? We *still* haven't gotten our financials consolidated over with our advisor? Grr...

I'm trying (without any success at all) to convince The Lovely Wife(tm) that she's not going to be a Scrabble widow. I made my inaugural stop at NSA Club 56 last Thursday, and played four games, three of them against ranked players. Okay, so I only went 1-3 (with the one victory against a fellow newbie), but held my own into the endgame with two of them, and played five bingos during the course of the evening (SECURITY, NOTICED, TINCTURE, TINNERS, and UNPROVEN, for those who care about such things). "GI" Joel Sherman was reasonably impressed with one of my plays (TINCTURE... didn't know it was that obscure a word), and it was pretty wild to see a roomful of semi-legendary word freaks (the Sherman brothers, Lynn Cushman, and Stefan Fatsis, among others). I'm not liable to find URAEMIAS in my rack anytime soon (actually, now that I know it, who knows?) but I'm certainly liable to be dropping by more often. Now, we've just gotta get a sanctioned shomer shabbat tournament started so's I can get ranked. Either that, or figure out how exactly This guy does it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Mind Matter

The folx, TLW and yours truly caught Marc Salem's Mind Games last night. Now, I've read about the show for quite some time, and learned a few things from James Randi's Website about mentalist acts, "cold reading," and non-verbal communication, but this thing was just another level entirely. Creating a 4x4 "magic square" for a randomly chosen audience number, reading a bill's serial number blindfolded, and telling people about their vacation locations, all while "just warming up," Salem had the place in awe. His best trick, however, was one which most of the audience missed. While going up the aisle to pick a "volunteer," he stopped to quickly greet my father by name, recognizing him from some 35 years ago, when his brother and cousin were roomates of my father's (and Salem was still known as Moshe B.) There hasn't been much contact since, but we managed to sneak in a quick conversation at the stage door.

Actually, we pulled a pretty nice name recognition trick of our own later in the evening. Back in our "we're not really dating, we're just hanging out" denial days (okay, so *I* was in denial, The Lovely Wife(tm) was just confused), we caught Fred Barton giving Karen Miller a break, playing a couple of songs for an Australian woman with a killer belt named Anita Plateris. Fast forward nearly five years to last night's Cast Party, where TLW and I pass by a table with a striking brunette seated. The name "Anita" immediately sprang into both our heads, and we managed to find the her before we left, and confirm that yes, indeed, our memories were correct. In town for a short while, Anita's going to be performing with Fred at a venue and time TBA. Hopefully, we didn't scare her too much by gushing over her last performance (I keep waiting for performers to take out restraining orders on us, but I guess we keep the adulation at an appropriate level.)

Oh, and as a reminder to myself as much as anything else: The upcoming New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF for the attention-span deprived) is featuring a show called The Big Voice written and performed by my favorite Southern-Baptist-gospel-singer-songwriter, Steve Schalchlin, and his partner, Jim Brochu. I've previously shlepped out to such godforsaken locations as Rochester, Baltimore, and the Wings theatre to see productions of their first show, The Last Session, and I can't wait to catch this one.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Ooh... pretty!

*drool*. I want one. I want one now.