Saturday, November 25

SixSider @ The NSA

On the way to Baltimore to got to the America Visionary Art Museum, we stopped by the NSA. We didn't see if we could drive up to the main building (see below photo), but we took the winding path to the closed-for-the-day Cryptology Museum. I checked my cell to see if it was being tapped. And sure enough, it was! No, not really. Actually the battery was dead... but why??? Dum Da Dummmm!
The real NSA.

SixSider @ EPA

This morning I got up early to wander down to The Mall. On my way back, I smelled something funny. It was here. Go figure.

SixSider @ Papa Six

Here is my favorite. Papa Six taking photos! Here he is taking pictures of the the Jefferson Memorial while on a business conference call. Multi-tasking! Sweet!

(Note: all D.C. photos by Mama Six except for the Boy Scout one which was by Papa Six is Mama Six's camera.)

SixSider @ Boy Scout Memorial

Papa Six first enlightened me about this memorial earlier this year. Luckily we made time to visit it this time. (Actually this photo was taken on the third visit. The first time the photo didn't come out. The second, we tried to jump out just to take this picture but were foiled by a series of small fences. This third attempt was a success.) Again, I am just impressed by the almost naked man standing behind the boy. From what I can tell, his nakedness symbolizes the Boy Scout ideal of being physically fit. Or "comfortable" with our own bodies. Or with the bodies of male adults. I don't know. You can't see it here, but he does have an amazingly tight and well-formed butt.

The statue does have an inscription that ends with the words "morally straight." *snicker*

SixSIder @ FDR Memorial, part 4

And FDR is backed up by Eleanor, who also kicked some serious tuckus. I now give the edge to Team FDR over 28 foot Lincoln.

I have a feeling when they get around to making a Reagan Memorial (especially if they make giant Nancy) that he'll end up taking the top spot. Not because I'm a Reagan fan, mind you. I just imagine they'll make his memorial particularly fight-worthy. And if they put in a giant Bonzo... no contest.

SixSider @ FDR Memorial, part 3

Well, looky here! FDR keeps getting more of an edge. This is the giant Scottish Terrier, Fala. So FDR has a cape AND a giant dog sidekick. He's a bit like Superboy.

SixSider @ FDR Memorial, part 2

Okay, now we're talking! This FDR could had least give 28 foot Lincoln a good fight. And this one has a cape, so he may also be able to fly. I still put my money on Lincoln as he still has about 12 feet over this FDR.

SixSider @ FDR Memorial

Look! I'm on the lap of our cripple president! FDR was awesome! He fought the Depression better than Zoloft, fought WWII from a wheelchair, gave fireside chats! But in a fight between him a 28 foot tall Lincoln, I'd have to go with Lincoln.

SixSider @ The Washington Memorial

Not a lot to say about this one. It's tall. It's white. A bit Masonic. Much like the ex-Congressman C. Thomas McMiillen that I sat next to at Cirque du Soleil last night (more on that later). But seriously, what can you say about a great stick of stone. Something about penises, I guess... but I really have nothing to add. Maybe there is some place in D.C. where you can line up the Washington Monument with the Jefferson Monument so that the Jefferson looks like a scrotum. That could be humorous. But also a long way to go for a penis joke.

Friday, November 24

The Book As Art

We went to the National Museum of Women in the Arts today. The they have an exhibition called The Book As Art: Twenty Years of Artists' Books. Very very cool. It was inspiring to see all of the ways books, storytelling and the written word can be expressed. It did leave me with a sense of wanting, as book exhibits usually miss out on one important factor: the sense of touch. Books are meant to be felt. Pages are meant to be turned. And in many of the art pieces, it is how the artist played with (or against) that very aspect of books. Ah, well. Not much to be done about that.

Anywhozits, if you are in Washington D.C. anytime before February 4th, check it out.

Thursday, November 23

SixSider @ The OAS

Oh my god. It's the Organization of American States! I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this moment. Really. I can't. But, look! It is Queen Isabella of Spain! The inscription reads:
Ysabel I La Catolica
Reina de Castilla
de Aragon
de las islas
y tierra firme
del Mar Oceano.
How awesome is that?

SixSider @ WWII Memorial

At first I thought it was the WoWII Memorial. I was like,"What!? They came out with World of Warcraft Two... and it is already dead?!?" But then I realized that is was a little conflict back in the forties. This is me at the Pacific side. China, Burma, India. Those are eagles, not pelicans like I thought. Pelicans would have been cooler.

SixSider @ The Lincoln Memorial

Look at Lincoln. He was huge! No wonder he kicked butt in the Civil War. He was like the Godzilla of Presidents. Scary!

SixSider @ The White House

Papa Six, SixSider, Aunt Six.
I tried to climb the fence. They said Cheney was in Iraq, so I don't know who took shots at me.

Why I Love This Country

So I'm in Washington D.C. with the 'rents and my aunt for Thanksgiving. It is cold and wet but nicely quiet. This town must be crazy in the summer and crowded. But my point is the plates. Here we are, in our nation's capital and on the license plates is a simple statement: TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Think about that. On all the cars, in the center of our government, is a protest against our federal government. That is just cool. I mean, how many nations care say the same? (Not that it has led to a change, but, hey, it is something.)


Nike Savvas is an Austrailian artist. Her installation Atomix - Full of Love, Full of Wonder is just darn pretty.

Why I think the Wii will win

Because your kid, any kid, will do this.And because these two will get more exercise than they have all year.

Wednesday, November 22

20 years... One the street!

Here is an audition tape from a young man audtioning for Full Metal Jacket in 1984.
22 years later, he returns in response to his audition tape being placed on YouTube.Someone give Brian Atene a movie, god damn it!


Mythbusters Slash

For those who don't know, slash is a special type of fan fiction that puts fictional or real people is homoerotic situations. (Maybe it is broader than that. I don't know.) As far as I know it originated, or was at least hit its sweet spot) with Kirk/Spock tales. I don't quite see the appeal but then again I don't quite get furries or plushies or squishies (are there squishies?) or whatever. Whatever floats your boat that doesn't hurt someone (unless that is what they want).

Anywhozits, there is a LiveJournal community dedicated to Mythbusters Slash. Yes, Mythbusters. Those guys on the Discovery Channel who put urban legends and such to the test. Now, I understand that there is a bit, um, gay about the show (I don't mean that in a bad way at all). I just never thought that there would be a community built around sexy stories about Adam and Jamie and their team.

From Kazohuhouou's tale "Role Play"
Jamie got into a batter’s stance, ready to swing for all his worth.
Adam gasps, his eyes flashing open as he wakes-realizing that it had all only been a fantasy after all…
The paddle drops.
“OH COME ON!” Jamie exclaimed, having lost his chance to spank Adam to kingdom come.
Um, enjoy?

(If anyone finds any Deadliest Catch Slash, please tell me.)

(via Table of Contents, Wired)

XboxLive Marketplace Movies

So Microsoft has started "renting' movies over their Xbox Live system for the 360. You download them, you have 14 days to start watching it and then 24 hours after you start. Around $6. The system downoads them in the background (so you can play games and the download will continue). Considering that a non-hidef movie is over a gigabyte, that's a good think. It is certainly not play-on-demand, but not a horribe system. If they REALLY wanted to push the Zune, they would allow you to transfer your movies to it... but they don't.

This is of course Microsoft trying to take stabs at Apple's iTunes. I have to say, that I am more likely to download a "rental" that I can play on my TV than to purchase a movie that I can only play on my Mac or iPod. (Okay, yes, there are all sorts of way I could move an iTunes movie to my TV, but the resolution isn't all that great and it is not seamless.) Yes, this system isn't great, but it is an interesting move.

But what I find most interesting is the initial movies available.
9 1/2 Weeks
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
Analyze This
Art of War
Ask the Dusk
Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever
Batman Forever
Chariots of Fire
Clash of the Titans
The Core
Cradle 2 the Grave
The Dead Pool
Deep Blue Sea
Exorcist III: The Heretic
Failure to Launch
The Hunger
The Lake House
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
The Matrix
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Natural Born Killers
Patriot Games
The Perfect Storm
Pootie Tang
Rat Race
Rebel Without a Cause
Romeo Must Die
Rosemary's Baby
The Shining
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek VII: Generations
The Sum of All Fears
Tequila Sunrise
Three Kings
V for Vendetta
We Were Soldiers
A lot were the kinds of movies I expect. V for Vendetta, Zoolander, Romeo Must Die, Rat Race, Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever, The Matrix. General action and comedy stuff.

Also some weird choices when it come to sequels. Star Trek's Wrath of Kahn and Generations, but not First Contact (actually I think First Contact is over rated, even for a Trek film). The first Matrix but not the others. Batman Forever? Exorcist III: The Heretic?!?

But there are some really interesting choices too. 9 1/2 Weeks? (What? Are we going to get Last Tango in Paris too?) Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby? Is Polanski an Xbox fan? THX, Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, Chariots of Fire, The Hunger, Gallipoli? Superfly? Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World? And his there a huge market in the video game community for films like The Lake House (which I caught on an airplane recently... eeep!)? Fingers crossed for On Golden Pond and Terms of Endearment.

Tuesday, November 21

"Jersey... Where are you?"

All day was spent with the family. Tom's Diner (Brooklyn). Subways. B&H. More subways. Central Park. Metropolitan Museum of Art. More subways. Rest at Starbucks and strange tasting pretzels. Empire State Building. Subways back to Brooklyn. Pasta for the kids, Indian food for the adults. It was great and fantastic and fun and exhausting. But walking the streets of NYC and riding the subway with them is just mentally draining. The older two are pretty easy to handle, listen pretty well, but I still became very aware of all of the dangers EVERYWHERE.

And then we got the two and a half year old. He's a bolter. Most of the time he was in is stroller, but as soon as you cut him loose, he is off! Just gone. I watched him run in large circles for half an hour straight. I adore him so much but he is a massive showboat and a bit crazy.

My conversation with him up top of the Empire State Building.

Me: "And over there is New Jersey."
Him: "Where?"
Me: "Right over the river."
Him: "I want to swim in the river and swim with the boats."
Me: "No, you really don't want to swim in that water. Besides, it would be so cold."
Him: "I'd wear a jacket!"
Me: "In the water?"
Him: (laughs... and then sing-songs to himself) "Jersey... where are you? Jersey... where are you? Jersey Jersey Jersey. I want to swim to Jersey. Jersey.... where are you?"

Love him 'till I burst.

Video Games vs. Poloitics vs. Improv vs. The Novel

I realize that this last week has been all about video games. And the week before was all politics. And improv, for the most part, as as been getting a short shift. And the novel has been hardly mentioned at all. But it all makes sense.

Last week was perhaps the biggest week in video games ever. Do next-gen consoles were launched... two consoles with totally different takes on what folks want. And the launches went so differently (PS3 - riots, shootings, muggings, massive reselling on eBay, story after story of people getting ripped off on eBay; Wii - hugs and love and people dressing up as Link and Mario and Wiimote). I've been checking the up on the Next-Gen Console Wars 3 times a day. And I never even posted about the Halo 3 news.

Before that was of course a pivotal election. With much wackiness but a lot less contested than I expected. It was a lot more Wii than PS3.

And then improv has been over for a week. Well, class is. My lovely lovely group is still practicing on Sunday afternoons. And I have signed up for my Level 401 with Michael Delaney. I am excited and a bit scared... everyone seems to love him as a teacher but many have made comments about how it took them a whole other class to get them out of their heads afterwards.

And the novel... I am still plowing through it. I am really trying to get to some sort of end. It is still in a few files right now, so I am unclear on how many words I actually have. I've been focusing on getting a daily word count, but haven't been focusing on my total word count. We'll see what I end up with.

But the other reason I haven't been writing about writing is that this story is both less personal and more personal. Less personal because I am not writing about a character based so much on me and events that so closely mirror my life. But more personal because it comes most closely to my views on religion, God, suffering, morals. But it is harder to right about because it is less about story, less about discovering "joy," which was what last years novel was about. This is more about discovering... "the soul"? Not sure.

So it is still going, and going strong, so no worries.

Get Behind Jesus

Anything I say before hand would just lessen your Belief and Faith.

Just go.

Get Behind Jesus.

Monday, November 20

Low Gravid Water Shut-Off Valve

So the electrician discovered it was the low water shut-off valve that triggered the boiler no-more-worky thing. Easy fix. He was done in 35 minute and now there is heat. (There remains the question of why it was triggered. The plumber is supposed to call tomorrow so we can discuss it. The electrician didn't have any clue. It might be nothing. Maybe it is something more. Who knows.) Still cost as much as it always costs to have an electrician show up at 8pm, but a lot less than having to rip out all the wiring. I also got to discover which outlets I have plus a space heater into and not have it trip the circuit breakers. (One answer is the one in the kitchen... until you attempt to microwave some Hot Pockets... but that is kind of a no brainer).

But because he was so quick and because sister and her horde decided to pass on the ice house and stay in Jersey until tomorrow morning, I was able to book out of the house and run to UCB to see Gravid Water.

Oh my.

Gravid water is, has the program says:
"a theatrical experiment the uses both actors and improvisers. The actors in tonight's show have memorized and rehearsed their scenes much as they would for a regular play--they will not depart from the script. The improvisers, who have never before scene their script, will be improvising."
Oh my god.

I've seen it once before and I worried if that one night had been a fluke. I had loved, adored, melted at it. Tonight was... crying until I couldn't see, almost pee, can't breath type fantastic.

Dan Bakkendahl (The Daily Show) was very good as the improviser in two scenes, but Christina Gausas in her two scene was just amazing! First she was Emily in the "when Emily and George realize they will get married" scene from Our Town. But her scene from Middle of the Night by Paddy Chayefsky... the emotion she allowed her self to show was up their with some of the best performance I have ever seen on stage, scripted or not.

And then Michael Delaney as the improviser with Joel Karrie as the actor in August Wilson's Fences. A particular hard scene since the "actor" had a lot of "response line," lines that are clearly in response to another line. Like "Stop bring your mother into this!" There really was no choice for Delaney but to call it out and make Joel a bit crazy. Which Joel played up so amazingly well. And it was all about heightening. Joel just gets angrier and angrier and Delaney had to just keep playing it real. (In fact there was a bit of subtext in Delaney's words that could be taken as a lesson on why the scene was bad improv... but it was not. It was so the exception that proves the rule.) And watching white Delaney being chased with a baseball bat (real, not "improvised") while being called the N-word by a angry angry black man... okay, that is funny.

I feel bad because I haven't talked about all of the actors, who were all great. But I need to get some sleep now that I can go tourist-ing with family tomorrow.

Oh, I am so happy that I have registered to take level 401 with Delaney. (Must not swoon.)

The next Gravid Water is December 14th.

Yay! Electrician!

The electrician just showed up and it turns out there IS power to the boiler. That means it is not some horrible meltdown in the walls. Not that it will be fixed quickly or cheaply... but it has to be cheaper than ripping out and replacing wiring in the walls. He is still looking at it. But it may just be a single broken piece and it may be under warranty. Oh, the simple joys! It is like thinking they will have to amputate your leg and finding out it is just your foot.

Presidents' Heads on Dollar Coins; Nixion in 2016

While I wait for the electrian to call, debating about going to target for more blankets and space heaters, I am looking around the web. I can't write right now. Too focused on the damn house. Anway, he are getting to dollar coins. Man, do they want us to use dollar coins. I'm nt sure what it will take at this point. But I doubt putting the presidents' heads on them will do it. Yeah, I know the state quarters have been a success. And I am sure folks will collect the new dollar coins. But will the use them?

Nixon coins are coming in 2016. Those will be popular.

Damn house.

So the heater stopped working yesterday (I think it was yesterday... that's when I noticed). The pilot light had gone out and I can relight that. I am just that good. And just that. But the burners weren't lighting. No heat. So I called in the excellent folks who put it in. They have come over. It now appears that it night be the thermostat... or all of the electrical power to the damn thing... or a problem with the chimey... or something else. It does appear to be electrical and not mechanical or with the gas. But they are having a hard time tracking it down.

And I have my sister, her husband and their four lovely children coming to stay with me in just a few hours... and I have no heat. I may be runningto the store for space heaters and blankets. Lots of blankets.

Grrrr. I hate this stuff.

The Best Wedding Gift Ever! both the bride a groom happen to be gamers.These folks have some great friends.


First (A) some world leaders.

Second (B) The First Lady.

Sunday, November 19

Woh! Mention MIT & Zelda and everyone comes lookin'!

I case you couldn't tell this blog is pretty much for my own entertainment. I just post those things that interest me. But for whatever reason, I ended up at the top of google searches for "mit hack triforce." And what a difference it makes. I went from 60 to 90 hits a day to almost 300. I know that is nothing in the scale of the internet and I know that only a very very few of those folks will return ever again (maybe 1). But it is just kind of shocking to go look at my visit chart and see the sudden massive jump.