Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Reason for aliyah #4,732: Do you think anyone else in New York cares about why there were lyric changes between the original Israeli cast of My Fair Lady and the revival?

There are times when you realize that this world is just too $#@# small. "GI" Joel Sherman, director of the Scrabble club that I've been away from for far too long now, is going to be making his cabaret debut with gashole, a performance duo featuring Karen Mack, who I've known for centuries as a backup singer for Jay Bradley's annual show. Of course, I only got into Scrabble because of my friendship with co-worker Richie Lund, who hit it off with me when I recognized the work of his tattoo artist, who I knew thanks to Catherine, who I met back in my Renthead days. (Insert obligatory Kevin Bacon joke here).

Just in case I haven't already overshot my link quota for a single post: Natalie Douglas's Nina Simone CD is finally out, and it is magnificent, even though it only captures about one gazillionth of the intensity and energy that she puts forth on stage, which is still a gazillion times more than any of those American Idol posers, lemme tell you (anybody know the technical term for a gazillion squared, by the way?).

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Nightmare Ends

Looks like we're back on normal work schedule again... my 16-hour overtime shift (what would have been my 11th in two weeks) was cut short after only four hours last night. TLW and I celebrated by shopping and shlepping around the city, and finally crashing (three nights in a row sleeping in my own bed... wow, a guy could get used to this)

I think the only person happier about all this than us is David: maybe now that I've gotten some sleep, I'll stop leaving awful puns in my comments on his site!

Off to Birdland tonight for Natalie and Cast Party for the first time in what feels like ages

Friday, March 18, 2005


S: So, I hear you've had a long couple of weeks
Me: Yeah, I pulled an eighty-hour work week last week
S: How many hours in a week?
Me: (after some quick mental calculation): 168
S: So? No big deal; you spent less than half the week at work!
Me: This week, I'm spending eighty-eight hours at work
S: Okay, so now you're overworked...
Me: Thanks

It's one heck of a paycheck when the federal tax alone is more than your usual take-home amount, but I'd rather have the sleep back.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Go, Gadget, Go!

You know you're WAAY too far down the road to gadget geekdom when you're on the bus listening to your iPod, playing Scrabble on your Palm, and your cellphone goes off (on vibrate, mind you... people whose phones play "Ride of the Valkeries" at full volume on the bus should be shot, quartered, and then really hurt.)

Okay, so now that I'm married n' stuff, I shouldn't be getting all cuddly about my electronic toys, but our new mini is just the cutest darn thing in existence. Combined with our new cinema screen (I decided that I didn't REALLY need that left kidney anyhow), we've got our full audio/ video/ computer system set up on just two shelves in our bookcase, which makes me far prouder than I have any right to be.

Oh! Natalie Douglas is back at Birdland next Monday, officially releasing her Nina Simone album. SO there, you have no clue. Between work and school, I've forgotten what the place looks like.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Somedays, even wearing the lucky rocket ship underwear doesn't help

People who've made the mistake of letting me talk about Scrabble know that I get a huge kick out of many of the words that are legal in tournament play, particularly transliterated Hebrew/Yiddish words (TREF, TEREFAH, BRIS, MITZVAH, MIKVAH, MILCHIG, MOHEL/ MOHALIM, TEFILLIN, TALLIS/ TALLIT/ TALLITH/ TALLAISIM/ TALEYSIM/ TALLISIM/ TALLITHES/ TALLITHIM/ TALLITIM/ TALLITOTH - all legal; I'm not even going to try to list all of the legal variants of "matzah"). This week is quickly turning into one where I understand why AARGH, AARRGH, and AARRGHH are all legal.

Starting with the good stuff. Got to see our beautiful and perfect-in-every-way niece over the weekend (I think we spoke to my sister and brother-in-law too somewhere along the way), and catch David again at an NBN seminar. Since then, life seems determined to do one of these on me:

(and no, "AAUGH" is not a legal Scrabble word, although I think that I'm going to ask the NSA to include it in the next dictionary)

First came the word that I needed to do some overtime work at the office. No biggie, and hey, a few extra bucks to help pay off the upcoming tax hit is always a nice thing, right? Yeah, now try pulling four consecutive 16-hour days alternating between 7am-11pm and 11pm-3pm. The extra money? Heck, that's gonna go straight to whatever makeup gift I have to give The Lovely Wife(tm) for not being around all week (and I'm sorry, honey, but it doesn't quite cover a trip to Hawaii). Thesis research? Um, sure... would you trust someone who just worked 16 hours on 4 hours' sleep to run reactions with chemicals that are simultaneously explosive and carcinogenic? I didn't think so.

Email inbox: the Mac mini that we ordered two weeks ago finally shipped via FedEx! Cool! So I'll be seeing it tomorrow! Let's check the tracking... the package just left "Shenzhen, CN"... what state is "CN?" Oh, wait... never mind...

Oh, and the joys of trying to contact the Israeli consulate by phone are few and far-between, let me tell you... just about the only good thing, in fact, was finding the morfix milon, an online Hebrew-English dictionary, which helps immensely when trying to remember just how you say "consulate" in Hebrew ("consulia," for those who care).

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Deep Vertigo

Since we've gone a bit without any major theatre reports on this site, and since this post ain't gonna really be about theatre either, I may as well open with an appropriate obscure showtune quote:

There'll be ups and there'll be downs
There'll be smiles and there'll be frowns
There'll be hopes and there'll be doubts, ins and outs
But whatever the fates decide
Take it in your stride

(Irving Berlin, cut from Annie Get Your Gun).

Truer words were rarely spoken. Usually, this kind of quote refers to life in general, but I guess I needed a "life in microcosm" kind of day yesterday, with ups and downs galore. With apologies to the Animaniacs:

Good Idea: getting all your collected loose change over to the nearest Coinstar to convert to "real" money and make out a check to charity.
Bad Idea: Shlepping $100 worth of change in a backpack to and from work, because the nearest Coinstar center isn't open when you pass it by in the morning, so you lug half a ton of coins around for half the day.
Unexpected Positive Consequence: workout does wonders for the posture

Good Idea: Getting the new Fables trade collection, and enjoying Bill Willingham's superb writing.
Bad Idea: Finishing the whole darn thing on the train and bus, so that now I gotta wait another seven months before continuing with the storyline.

Good Idea: Finishing up a 24-hour reaction that you spent five hours the night before setting up, carefully extracting your product, and setting it up to dry.
Bad Idea: Dropping the flask containing said product on the lab floor, thereby setting back thesis research a good week.
Unexpected Positive Consequence: Good incentive to go out and get a drink (not that I really need the incentive, but hey...)

Good Idea: Joining The Lovely Wife(tm) to meet up with internet blogging legend (hey, four JIB awards gotta count for something, no?)David of Treppenwitz, and picking his brain about life, Aliyah, and the cosmos
Bad Idea: Yammering at David incessantly for several hours, thereby giving the impression that we're a couple of complete whackjobs... yes, yes, I know that we are a couple of complete whackjobs; however, we usually like to at least present a facade of normalcy on the first meeting.
Unexpected Positive Consequence: David, brain obviously fried from the combination of jet lag, our nattering, greasy pizza, and a Cold One, unwittingly blurted out an invitation for us to drop in when we finally make it to the Holy Land. Mrs. Treppenwitz: Please don't abuse your husband too badly for allowing the riff-raff into your lovely home... he wasn't in his right mind.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

When a blogger meets a blogger

If nothing else, I've gotten the chance to find out about a bunch of wonderful people by doing this here blog thing. One of the most notable, David of Treppenwitz fame, has briefly abandoned his wife and cuties to shlep back to the US on a Nefesh B'Nefesh promotional tour, and we were able to arrange a quick get-together this evening. As David is the author of one of my all-time favorite stories, we're looking forward with tremendous anticipation to meeting him. Since we want to make a good first impression, I've gone all-out (clean work shirt, and the jeans without the acid burns). Since David apparently wants to talk (he might change his mind once he realizes that I just don't shut up once I get started, and I'm the quiet one), we're probably not going to hit the piano bars after dinner, but who knows? (dangit, I should've gotten him to bring his trombone; I bet he and Leslie Anderson could whip up some fun duets...)

Oh! I've simply gotta throw up a link to the most bizarrely wonderful thing I've found all year: the Hebrew version of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky."