In the vein of Zinedine Zidane comes this from the world of horse-racing. Specifically, Jockey Paul O'Neill was seen on tape being thrown from his horse, City Affair. This would be nothing special... if O'Neill hadn't come around in front of City Affair and head-butted him. Oddly enough, this seems to have been exactly what the thoroughbred needed, if the change of horse's change of temperment on the film is any indication. That said, the Horceracing Regulatory Authority has decided to launch an investigation into "improper behavior" on the part of O'Neill.
For my part, I'm vastly amused. Seriously, who headbutts a horse? I also have doubts about City Affair considering that he just took that headbutt and backed down. I mean, come on... who's going to want a stud with a reputation of lacking chutzpah. City Affair needs to consider his street cred and take some drastic measures. Maybe he needs to go win a race in France... at least then people would start levelling allegations of doping against him and start taking him seriously. And if that's too hard, just go get arrested on solicitation or drug trafficking charges. Come on City Affair... do you have what it takes to be a star athlete or not?
This past Saturday evening, I went to take in Longview Community Theatre's production of The Scarlet Pimpenel with my wife, Barbour, and Rachel. Jared was not in attendance due to some pathetic and whiney excuse on his part, and Randy had gone home for the weekend.
Anyways, departing from their usual playhouse at the Longview Community Center, the Community Theatre troupe produced The Scarlet Pimpernel at the much larger T.G. Field Auditorium (the current home of the Longview Symphony Orchestra and Opera Longview) across the street.
Now, having never seen the 1997 Broadway musical that provided the basis for the Longview production, I went in relatively open-minded and with hopeful but realistic expectations... which I've found in my past dealings with the Longview Community Theatre to be a good thing.
At the outset, I must say that I really should be more careful in my expectations of foreign accents in Longview productions. It's been a problem in the past, and it continued to be a problem in Pimpernel. Most notably aggregious were Chauvelin's Monty Python French Accent, complete with farcical stereotypical gutteral laugh and the "Belgian's" confused accent that ended up sounding like a confused hick. Percy's French and British accents were fine when they were working, even while singing, but he had this incredibly annoying habit of "finding" and "losing" his accent mid-sentence and mid-song. On the whole, it is my personal belief that accents are a wondeful thing and add to the realism of a play when they work, but half-done, they do far more harm than good.
As far as the actual production went, each of the leads was very proficient, a good choice, and an excellent vocalist. My only complaint with the leads (accents notwithstanding) is that Marguerite is quite obviously an Alto, and the female lead role was quite obviously written for a Soprano. Don't get me wrong, she was probably the strongest actor in the show and the best singer... but someone probably should have done some rescoring in light of her not being a Soprano.
With regards to the rest of the troupe, it should be noted that LeTourneau's own Dr. Patrick Mayes plays one of the most convincing British fops that I've ever seen on stage. Some of the rest of the league of the Scarlet Pimpernel was a bit weak, but Dr. Mayes' over-the-top characterization helped carry the group. Choreography was definitely a problem, but I am told that some of the original cast quite on a very last-minute basis, which could explain many of the issues with group choreography and with the pit orchestra.
All in all, the show was excellent and a step or two above what I've come to expect from the Longview Community Theatre in terms of sheer acting. Many of the problems that arose are typical of the troupe and could be hoped to be fixed in the future, especially the issue with accents. Insofar as preparedness and choreographical issues are concerned, while it would appear that the selection that the Theatre has to choose from in terms of cast in the area is somewhat limited, perhaps a greater use of understudies and more recruiting at local colleges would ensure that play quality is less.... uneven. I would rate the play 3.5/5 stars on the whole and 4.5/5 stars on the Longview Community Theatre scale. It's a shame that it only ran one weekend, because I really would have liked to encourage more people to get out and support the local theatre (and thus give them some more money to work with... :-D )
Courtesy of Wilson, who got it from some bloke named Jared who is apparently not our Jared. Oddly enough, he is also a Wilson, but not our Wilson. The viral distribution path of memes always confuses the hell out of me. Anyways.
A movie that made you cry
I really don't cry... though if I did, I think Life is Beautiful and The Notebook would have done it.
A movie that scared you
I hate "scary movies" that use the cheap gotcha to make you jump. Yes, I have tightly-wound nerves... but does it really count if I know it's coming and am counting down the moments until I jerk up of no accord of my own? I really can't recall having been scared by a movie... but, there was apparently a documentary on wolves that my parents watched while I was a young child that scared the piss out of me so much that I had recurring nightmares from as early as I can recall until 2nd or 3rd grade. Oddly enough, I can remember nothing of the documentary, just the bizarre dreamscape cubist abstraction of a monochrome black dog with cartoonish black and white eyes. Still kinda creepy.
A movie that made you laugh
The Producers is the most recent favorite... all-time champion probably has to go to punch-drunk laughter courtesy of UHF. In my opinion, the best comedy on my list has to be Blues Brothers, though.
A movie that disgusted you
Wilde. Damn you, Wheeler.
A movie you loved in elementary school
Petes' Dragon... though that was pre-school. I suppose Star Wars would be elementary school. (I've loved that movie since I can remember...)
A movie you loved in middle school
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (this continued on well after middle school)
A movie you loved in high school
I watched so many awful movies in high school... probably 90% of the crappy movies I've seen date to this time. That said, there were some gems, like The Godfather, which probably takes the crown.
A movie you loved in college
Casablanca. I'd seen it once or twice growing up... but I really didn't fall in love with it until college. I first saw Boondock Saints in college... which is probably my favorite non-classic dating from that period.
A movie that challenged your identity or your faith
Casablanca. I think that I can identify a lot with Rick... probably too much. The Bicycle Thief is another one of those tragic realisms that I loved for showing the darker side of reality.
A series that you love
Star Wars, episodes 4, 5, and 6.
Your favorite horror
I pretty much hate horror as a genre... but Hitchcock's psychological thrillers are good stuff... so I guess I'll toss them in here as they're all you're going to get me to watch by way of "horror."
Your favorite science-fiction
The Matrix... already got Star Wars.
Your favorite fantasy
The Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter is a distant second.
Your favorite mystery
Does Twelve Angry Men count?
Your favorite biography
Citizen Kane. Yes, I know, it's not quite a biography... but it works for me.
Your favorite coming-of-age
Gotta go with The Graduate. Partial credit to the Tin Drum... *snickers*
Your favorite not on this list
So many choices. Too many choices. Fiddler on the Roof, I reckon.
It's a good thing that this bar isn't closer to LeTourneau, or it would be luring students away left and right...
Some fun stuff that I found and decided that you ought to see, in lieu of my actually posting. That said, I hope to do some of that actual writing stuff this weekend.
Note: those contained below the fold might raise objections by people who consider my humor occasionally crass.
It's worth the download time. Quite amusing.
So where have I been? Over at wikipedia, of course. Keeping track of the vandals, wiping them out, and whatnot.
Oh... this last weekend? With Wilson in town... yeah, I suppose I ought to do some play write-ups and the like. This is mostly to assure you that I am, indeed, alive.
Cynic: so... Wilson tells me you need an apron?
Cynic: I'm pretty sure we could get you one
Ardith: No, actually, I don't.
Cynic: you have one then?
Ardith: No. But I wouldn't use it if I had it. Thus, I don't need one.
Cynic: tsk tsk tsk... but you never know when you'll actually need one
Ardith: *laughs* Yeah, whatever. If my mom can go years without using one, I don't imagine I'll have much trouble.
note: the emphasis is Ardith's
I know I wouldn't dare cast aspersions on my own mother's domestic skills. Ardith must want out of the will.... =D
So... yesterday I visited the Longview Cable office. I've not had internet reliably in my apartment since it was supposed to have been activated last Tuesday, and this fact had me greatly angered. My visit was answered by a receptionist attempting to give me technical support and finally by a chance to speak with an actual "technician": an incompetent woman (yes, I know, redundant) whom I suspect was also a phone support specialist or something.
So, this "technician" was sassy, obnoxious and clueless. Oh, and she made the mistake of swearing at me. Apparently this is considered good conduct in Longview Cable Tech Support land. I probably ought not to be so proud that I tutored her both in the workings of the cable modem that they have in my apartment and the proper usage and assembly of profane and insulting dialogue... but... well... there it is. Now, given the choice of deciding to get her fired and shooting back, I probably should have chosen the former, but well... let's just say that having Anna several hundred miles away and a lack of sleep were partially responsible. That said and in hindsight, it felt very good to choose the latter.
In any event, apparently my vitriol, anger and profanity mixed together to get me results, because today I got a phone call informing me that my cable technician (note: not the crazy woman from the LCTV office) was on my doorstep. Ignoring the possibility of this being retribution for my conflict with the psycho woman, I rushed home and assisted the technician, who found nearly 25 dBmV worth of excess lossy spots between the main box and my apartment cable drop. Over the course of the next half hour, he bypassed and fixed some of those spots and just boosted the signal to account for problems and made me a happy man who now has internets.
So yeah... sometimes I can nuke the crap out of flies with vinegar. Take that: Anna, Wilson, Mom, and anyone else who has called my pursuit of verbal sparring a less than noble and productive endeavor.
She is gone to Lake City until next week. That sucks... =(
I hope she enjoys herself... but it still sucks that I'm down here by myself.
Oh... and getting up at 3.45 am sucks too... but not as much.
It should be noted that even as I tried to post, my internet connection went haywire. From what I can tell, the connection between my cable modem and the connection on the other end is tenuous at best... so if you should attempt to get ahold of me, bear in mind that I'm dropping packets like Shaggy and Scooby were dropping acid.
There was once a man who needed to move across town... because the apartment that he lived in was small and dirty. The apartment wasn't really actually dirty, but it smelled very dirty on account of the man's upstairs neighbors being mean and nasty people. The man's upstairs neighbors smoked and drank themselves silly all night long and every morning, the man's apartment smelled as if he had been doing the same. To make matters worse, the man's wife was made sick by all of the dirty smells and kept awake by the noise of the nasty upstairs neighbors. So, the man and his wife decided to move to a nicer place.
Now, moving (even across town) is not an affair for the faint of heart or the weak of muscle... especially when one's new apartment is up a rather haphazardly-arranged flight of stairs. That said, the man had some good friends to help him... and help they did. So after two evenings of hard work, most of the man's worldly possessions (and even those of his wife) had been loaded into the back of a rickety truck, driven across town, taken out of the back of the truck, and carried up the stairs and into the apartment.
Somewhere in the process of doing this, the man realized that he would very much like an internet connection at his new apartment like the nice people at the cable place had told him he could have. And they even came out and promised that it would work... but it would appear that they were misinformed, or just stupid. For when the man tried to set up his internet, it just didn't work. Try as he might, the man could not make his internet work... and so he did the thing that he hated to do: he called technical abuse.
Technical abuse is the secret name for the people who live inside of the telephone and pretend to help you with your computer and electronic problems. You see, once upon a time, there were real people who lived on the other end of the telephone and helped people with problems, but then the companies that hired the people decided that they could buy cheaper people in India and put them inside of the phone. The problem is, when they crammed the people in there, they forgot to cram some support in there, and then all they could fit in was a little script for the people in the phone to read off of.
So anyways, the man called technical abuse and after talking to 4 or 5 different people over the course of a very long time, he convinced them that he really knew what he was talking about. The people in the phone seemed very impressed at how much he knew about computers and electronics... so much so that they even agreed to send one of the people outside of the phone to come and look at his problem and make his computers get on the internet.
Sadly for the man, he was at work when the person from outside of the phone came, and so Technician (for that was his name) talked to the man's wife. And while the man's wife was good at many things, she was not well-versed in the secret trickery that Technician and his technical abuse friends practiced... and so Technician only fixed the man's internets a little bit.
And so now the man sits at his computer. He surveys his apartment, filled with partially-unpacked boxes and haphazardly-arranged furniture, and he is pleased with that. He looks at his computer, lovingly glowing and filled with electricity after spending several long days in darkness, and he is pleased with that. He looks at his happy blue wireless box, which sends internets in every direction to anyone who know's the man's secret handshake, and he is pleased with that. And then, he glances at Technician's box of lies, and he is sad and angry. For Technician's box of lies sometimes gives the man internets... only to take them away like an angry little boy stealing a piece of candy, and then it holds the internets hostage until nobody is watching, and then sometimes it gives them back.
Technician may have won this round, but the man is watching. The man will get technician... of that much you may be sure.