Monday, April 30, 2007

We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service

This video makes me happy. Thanks, Jessica, for posting it on facebook. Also, little known (to me at least) fact: Jenny Lewis played Hannah Nefler in Troop Beverly Hills. Oh yes.

Mish Mosh Monday

I'm not terribly motivated to provide opinions or things like that today, but I do have a slew of interesting webthings. Check 'em out. They're totally random and cover a (sort of) broad range of topics.

  • A silly little springtime website my grandma sent me. It made my day just a little brighter. Click on the screen, or click and drag your mouse.
  • Schools have started using DDR in PE classes. I would've loved that. Running the mile? Basketball? Gymnastics? Flag Football? Not everyone was good at that. I certainly wasn't. But as one student points out in this article, you don't have to be good at DDR to get a workout.
  • More talk about this Spykes drink. I still think they look like nail polish bottles. But it's true, it's certainly not the first of its kind to be on the market. "Good tasting," flashy, hip, small bottles of alcohol are available at any drugstore--I've certainly found myself thinking "oh, that bottle of vodka is so cute!" more than once. This doesn't mean I buy it; I mean, unless it's cute AND fruity-tasting. Which still doesn't mean I buy it. I'm cheap, and not really an avid consumer of alcohol. However, I am more likely to buy something like this than say, a 6-pack of beer. And so, say critics, are underage drinkers...who are already drinking anyway.
  • Angela Lansbury is back on Broadway. I love her. So much. This is a pretty decent article/interview.
  • Kind of interesting: an article about a Broadway animal trainer. Good times.
  • A "behind the scenes" article about the production life of a ballet, Romeo and Juliet at NYC Ballet. I like these kinds of articles quite a bit; I've always loved the magical behind the scenes stuff.
  • And an article about the glorious Conan O'Brien, and his upcoming trip to San Francisco.
  • Knitty, the online knitting magazine, is having a photo contest for their 2008 calendar. If you're a knitter, check it out!
  • Jon Carroll wrote an amusing, if not over-ranting article about Carpool Lane Cheaters.

In MacArthur Maze news, there is less freeway closure than I had initially thought. Check out this guy's map for specifics--it's incredibly helpful. Also, the city of San Francisco is recommending this real-time map for information and help planning alternate routes. Frequent updates on the situation appear to be happening here, and some more detailed info on alternate routes and what the public transportation systems are doing to help (today, at least) here. And last but not least, a list of traffic updates.

And that's your Mish Mosh Monday.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


This morning, at approximately 3:40am, an oil tanker exploded and the flames melted the supports for the freeway intersection at the 580, 880 and 80 (aka "MacArthur Maze"). This is one of the most heavily trafficked areas of any freeway up here that I've ever experienced--it's basically THE hub for all the traffic between San Francisco and the East Bay. Kind of ridiculous. Traffic is going to be a nightmare in the next few months; I'm just glad I don't drive into the city, like, ever. However, the affected freeways are also the main freeways for the Oakland Airport, as well as the ones you take to get to the bridges that cross to San Mateo, Mountain View, etc. and generally where you go when you're leaving the East Bay (say, to get to I5).
photo from SF Chronicle media

For more information, go to any of these articles:

Happy Sunday...I'm guessing BART is gonna be packed--especially since they may be offering free rides for a while...hopefully we'll know more specifics about the freeway closures and where you can actually get through soon. I'll keep ya posted, oh loyal 8 readers!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Self Indulgent Googling, SuperFun Budgeting...and more!

Sometimes I like to Google myself, just to see what comes up. Sometimes it's good to know what the other people who share your name are up to, so that when someone asks you about your Swedish Therapeutic Chair Massage services in NY, or compliments you on your dart throwing championship win, or wonders about your wish list and why it says your birthday is May 16th, you know what they're talking about. Maybe that's just me. I do like some of the things that The Other Kim has on her wish list. She has good taste in cookware. But don't buy me a book of things to do in NY (maybe she's the chair masseuse!) or funky chunky earrings. It's not my wish list! And y'all know I am not a member of any American Dart Association. Right.

Anyway, I found a few things by Googling myself (both as Kim and Kimberly) that I didn't know were online. And some of them are kinda cool. The coolest, I think, is a credit for processing a finding aid for the Romo Vincent Collection at UCLA. I didn't even know I was credited for it. Neato. There's also a link to a letter to the editor I had published in the LA Times Calendar section, but it's not available online anymore. Awww. There's the stuff from Awaken and the Young Artists Ensemble, and Captain Ahab too, and a few things from the Daily Bruin. And for some reason, my Friendster profile, which I never log on to, is 2nd on the list of results. Odd? I think so. There are several pages of links pertaining to myself and the other Kim Weisbergs out there (I'm guessing it's about 3 or 4 of them from the links), but you can pretty much guess that if it's relating to theatre, music, dance, UCLA or cooking, it's me.

How self-involved can I be? Honestly! oy.

In non-self-involved news, check out this laugh worthy article from I laughed, and I didn't even go to the website they're talking about. Also, am I the only one in the world who is a little creeped out by Spanx??? This was sent to me by Daily Candy, and I'm a little confused. A husband and wife team that comes to your parties and hosts wine tastings? I think?

In financial findings, this is a really great article about financial freedom from The Simple Dollar. As you know (unless you're a new reader who hasn't spent hours reading backlogged entries), I have hopped on the Budgeting Bandwagon and am really, seriously, starting to think about planning financially for my future. Wow, that's some Real Grown Up Talk, isn't it? Seriously though, I'm going to open a high-interest savings account (I just decided when--on my 23rd birthday. That's the day I'm doing it. Happy Birthday to Me.), and keep up with my Spend No Money Budget, and really just start soaking up as much personal finance advice and information as I can. It feels like All Of A Sudden I'm a Grown Up and I know nothing about Finances or Mortgages or Taxes or Anything, and I want to start learning now, while I still have no money or property or RealScaryGrown Up Responsibilities. Just a little quick (not scary) math: Right now, my goal is to put $100 a month into savings. Not counting interest, if I do this for the next 20 years, I'll have a little pocket of $24,000 saved away. Not bad. When I get a job, I'm thinking about putting even more in savings--$100 in an "emergency fund" that does not get touched, as well as some yet-unspecified amount into a 529, 401k, or other long-term savings account to be used towards future things, like buying a house or sending kids to college (in the case of a 529). Yeah, these things are FAR off in the future, and no, I'm nowhere near even thinking about having kids, much less sending them to college, but the biggest advice I'm getting from parents, grandparents, mentors, teachers, the financial advisor who spoke to us at work, and anyone who is older-than-I-enough to give advice, is Start Saving Now. Even if you can't imagine what you're saving for, you'll be glad you did when expenses arise.

And that sounds pretty darn good to me.

If you're interested in other fun budgetary, smart-financial-planning-type things, check out these two things: How to Eat Cheap and Healthy and 10 Herbs and Spices to Make Cheap Taste Good. Like I've said, The Simple Dollar and I are becoming fast friends. I really enjoy getting my daily briefings. You can too!

And that's all for today's little ole humble blog. L'chaim!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No Ado About Much Things

Oh, man, I am just full of exciting stuff to share today!!! With no ado whatsoever:
  • The Cal Performances 07-08 season. There is so much dance I want to see, it's not even funny. I'm excited and jittery just thinking about it!!! Just a few of the things I want to see include: The Joffrey Ballet, Miami City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (all doing Twyla Tharp pieces, and that latter two are doing Sinatra pieces), Mark Morris Dance Group's "The Hard Nut,"Garrison Keillor, State Ballet of Georgia's "Giselle," Alvin Ailey, Tchaikovsky Perm Ballet doing Natalia Makarova's "Swan Lake," and maybe the Peking Acrobats and Yo Yo Ma too? I need to start saving my money...but man, how exciting!
  • This article about Blue Door and the situation of general whiteness in theatres, social and political correctness, etc. that Jon Carroll (oh how I enjoy him) wrote in the Chronicle. I have very similar feelings to Mr. Carroll's, but he is far more articulate, so please, just read the article for yourself. It's good times. M-hm.
  • The Big Gay Sketch Show. Produced by Rosie O'Donnell and that woman who was the neighbor on Married...With Children, and some directors from Mad TV, this show appears to be exactly what it sounds like. Featuring gay and lesbian comedians and comediennes, and primarily LGBT-experience-themed sketches, it's sponsored by and appearing on LOGO television (the place for LGBT TV and more). They're calling it (no joke) "homo-fueled." Check it out? I watched sketch called "Pocket Gay Friend" that proved to be mildly, but not hilariously funny. Maybe others are funnier? When it comes to sketch comedy, I think there's a lot of mediocre stuff out there that is lauded as HILARIOUS and BRILLIANT, but that may just be me.
  • A neat little NY Times article about the new Pixar film. I'm excited about it. I'm excited for the Intern Pixar Tour on Thursday. I like Pixar. That is all.
  • Um, this Polish guy cut off his "manhood" in a French cafe in London called Zizzi (which apparently means "willy" in French--irony?). Just an impressive, if not disturbing story. Also, the photo of the "knife like one used in pizza diner by willy chop Pole" is kinda funny. Next we're gonna start seeing Dramatic Reenactments on YouTube. Hopefully not. Don't get any ideas, folks. Nobody wants to see that.
  • My buddy Jeff Wiesen is going to be playing Berger in Mountain Play's production of Hair this summer! Now, I was already planning on seeing it (Hair? On top of a mountain? Um, duh? How could I possibly pass up such a hippie experience?), but I am especially excited to see it knowing Jeff is in it!
  • There's an article in the SF Gate about a legless man who got around the city on a skateboard, who was hit and killed by a postal truck semi. I thought that it must be the same guy often seen around Berkeley, but it was not. Apparently, muses Lindsey Coates, skateboards are "the preferred method of transportation among the legless." Who knew? It's still sad, even if it's not the Berkeley Skateboarder.
  • A murderous elephant seal "running" rampant near the mouth of the Russian River!
  • Google has paired up with AIA to include architectural information and such in Google Earth "layers." For more information, watch this video or read this post.
  • You may or may not have noticed, but there are some additions to my favorite links on that little left sidebar over check out my friend Brian's Pop Culture blog if you have any interest in entertaining entertainment news and commentary. Also, I've added the Google blog. I find it very interesting. You might too.
And that's all that's fit to print this Tuesday. Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Snarky and Organized

On this post-Earth Day Monday, I have learned a few things about myself. No, I'm not about to get all Dr. Phil/Oprah/[insert touchy feely talk show host here] on you, but there are just a couple of funny self-revelations I've come upon in the last few hours. What can I say, it's been a boring morning down at the literary office.

What I Learned About Me Today:
  1. I really like the word snarky. It's a great word. I use it a lot, and no, not because Dane Cook used it in a bit once. It's been in my vernacular long before Mr. Cook came along. Sometimes it's because I am being snarky (ie: "Ok, I know this is totally snarky, but that girl is an embarrassment onstage!"). Sometimes it's because I want to make clear my intentions (ie: "No, I really meant you could choose the movie. I wasn't being snarky."). Sometimes I just say it. Snarky. It's kind of like a shark, or a ninja, or a ninjashark. Anyone else see the connection? Just me? Whatever.
  2. I am an obsessive organizer. Now, this may not be news to everyone (or anyone) out there, and it's certainly not news to me, but it hit me over the head this morning. We received an email saying we were on our own to find rides for the Berkeley Rep Intern Pixar Tour this week, and I instantly shifted into Organizer Mode. Without thinking. It just happened. Immediately, I was sending out emails, reserving company vans, counting seat numbers, tallying passengers, thinking about double-buckling, and arranging the quickest and most efficient way to arrange pick-ups from various locations. This is what I do, people. I'm nothing if not organized. Mostly, I think this is a good thing. Sometimes, I think I get on people's nerves. I can't help it though...I am constantly thinking of the most efficient way to do things, and that (to me) always means the most organized way. And if there's Tupperware (or any clear plastic container, really) involved, all the better. I'm sure it's genetic., and I'm sure it manifests itself in other ways, like my always wanting to be in control of a situation at all times. But I'm trying to let it only take over one (or two) areas of my life. For example: I will always have Tupperware in my house. I will always have more bags, plastic bins, file folders, etc. than most normal people. I will always carry a daily planner. HOWEVER, I would like to be less Type A in other areas. For example: Taking a vacation that isn't planned to the minute. Going on a road trip with no mapped destinations. Not trying to analyze and plan in advance for every friendship, relationship, job opportunity, phone call, future plan, etc. Sound good? Yeah, it's a start.
That's all for this Monday of semi-self discovery. Oh, except for the fact that Crazy Aunt Purl wrote a book! Such good news.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

It's Earth Day, so get ready for some extra boosts of eco-friendly activities! Be good to ole Mother Earth...use paper bags instead of plastic when you go to the grocery store (or better yet, bring your own bags from home. Trader Joe's even enters you into a raffle when you do!), and recycle your old computer parts, batteries, and other electronics. If you have to do some spring cleaning, check out this site for tips on green-cleaning.

In non-Earth Day news, I've been slightly-obsessively watching old Tony Awards clips on YouTube. Ah, Broadway. I also found this video of Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli that made me smile. Awesome.

Short post today--take a look outside and hug a tree.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mims, Money, Malcontent

I hadn't actually heard this "This Is Why I'm Hot" song, but when Jessie posted these remix lyrics on her blog, I couldn't resist the temptation to look up the actual lyrics to see what the fuss was about (not that I couldn't guess). Holy balls, I don't even know what Mims (MIMS?) is saying here, aside from "I don't have to do anything, and I'll still be famous. Oh, and hot." Maybe that's all he's trying to say? I would say it's an ironic statement on pop culture, but the lyrics aren't quite outlandish enough to strike me as purposefully ridiculous. It's just on that border between "this must be a joke" and "this is irritating, and kind of scary." Either way, I took a listen to the song, and I must say it's not for me. [Note: The remix that Mims himself did, which is also on his myspace page, is not the same as Jessie's remix lyrics. Mims' remix is NOT funny, and is in fact, awful. There, I said it.] I know the clubs are bumpin' it (is that the right term? God, I sound like an old fogie), but I just don't get it. Someone please explain to me why he is so hot? Seriously.

A couple things from The Simple Dollar:
  • 529 Savings Plans. Now, I am nowhere near ready to have a child or start saving for a child's college expenses, but I think it's a good thing to know about anyway. It's basically a savings account specifically designed for expenses relating to higher education. I suppose I could use it to save for grad school, but I'll have to read more into it before I think about that. The writer of The Simple Dollar believes that Iowa has the best 529 Plan out there--and you don't have to live in Iowa to open one (though he does. coincidence?). Many states have this option; you can open an account even if you're not a resident of the state, and many states don't tax you on withdrawls you make outside of the state in which the account was opened. Here's a handy dandy comparison chart of all the states and the plans they offer, if you're interested in that. And, just for the sake of it, here's info on the Iowa Plan. So, if you're about to be a parent, or are currently a parent, there you go. Maybe you already knew about it. I sure didn't--but maybe it's one of those things you magically learn when you become a grown-up and have "mortgages" and "taxes" and "re-financing." Sometimes the thought of all that is overwhelming.
  • Here's another list of things to do on what The Simple Dollar calls a "money-free weekend," which is basically how I'm trying to live my life at this point. It's quite fun to think of things you can do without spending money--and it makes you (or me at least) feel more active, and more aware of my community and all the great things my city has to offer!
In other news, I watched Notes From the Underbelly last night. To my dismay, Sunkrish did not even make an appearance! The episode was also not nearly as funny as the first two. Coincidence? I think not. Also, I'm a little irked at the blatant whiteness of the show. I mean, the central cast is made up of 6 characters. 5 of them are white. 5 of them were in last night's episode. Guess which one was not? Additionally, in nearly every review I have read, Sunkrish is the only actor not mentioned, unless they're merely listing the cast members. Even more puzzling, in the first 2 episodes, he received significantly less screen time than the other actors. Now, I don't know if it's a racial thing or not, but I know that Sunkrish is hilarious. And in the moments when he was on the show, he was very funny. His character is less developed, he seems like he's more of the enthusiastic-but-tired new-daddy-to-be, and not much else, but that's something, folks. Everyone's a stereotype on a sit-com. That's the way it works, and I'm going to be really mad if Sunkrish's character gets pushed out of the picture--I'm guessing since his wife is about to have a baby, he'll be more present, but you never can tell. And it would be great if he wasn't just the token Indian. Let's give his character a teensy bit of dimension, eh?

That's all the ranting for now. I just found this interesting-looking book about the "hooking up" generation. I'm going to check it out from the library...I read this Q&A with the author, and it seems like a really interesting (for lack of a better word) read. I'm not sure about her perspectives on the necessity of relationships, her bit about it in the Q&A might be misleading, but I am interested (how many times can I use this word?) to see what she found about this new trend in women, how it's "empowering" (or not), its relation to some sort of skewed feminist movement among today's young women, etc. It's definitely something I've thought about; I had always thought of it more as a phase you go through in high school/college, but in my post-college days I'm finding girls (women) my age who are also looking for "hookups." I'll read the book and write an elaboration on this I'm sure...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday String Beans

Everyone needs an emergency fund! Such a good idea! I know I've recently maintained some sort of emergency fund (which I used to call my "don't touch this cash" fund, which was locked up in a cash box), made up of spare cash...generally from babysitting at a time when I wasn't particularly strapped for cash.

Normally, I don't like Andrew Lloyd Webber. I think he's arrogant, and that he recycles his material, and relies on Cameron Mackintosh's advertising brilliance (or annoyance) to make his shows into the Huge Commercial Successes they unfortunately are. However, this interview/article about him and his opinions on Reality TV About Theatre is interesting. I'm a little confused, because it says he had nothing to do with the American version of Grease: You're The One That I Want, but he was definitely a guest judge. What's up with that? Also, he kind of looks like a bug. Just had to put it out there.

This makes me laugh. It's an article about young artists being too vague about their objectives. Also about joining the circus. Ah, the emerging pool of young artists, with artistic policies like "our artistic policy is to have no artistic policy," and other such noncommittal phrases. Are we (and I say we, because these people make up my artistic peer group) doing acid in 1969? "Yeah, man, it's so deep. We're revolutionaries...our policy is no policy...make love not war...and stuff." Come on. I'm all for experimentation and public street theatre (well, sometimes) and expressing your artistic selves, but sometimes you just need to meet with your co-directors/leaders/buddies, put your heads together, and come up with a non-generic, solid mission statement. Or purpose. Or goal. It's like these BS "objectives" people put on their resumes: "To gain employment with a company wherein I can utilize my skills while growing as an individual." Or whatever. But that's a whole 'nother rant for a different day.

I have been told to check out the Harbin Hot Springs. It sounds like fun. Yeah! Add it to my list of things to do in the Bay Area! Other lists I am creating: Engaged or Married (because I have far too many friends in this category); Almost Famous (because I have far too many friends who are starting to "make it" in the entertainment industry). Oy. In a good way. I guess.

In JobSearch2007-related news, I have a phone interview with Google on Wednesday morning. I just about squealed when I got the email about it. Movin' along in the application process...we'll see what happens!

Oh, and if you're thinking, "Monday String Beans? WTF, Kim?!" -- click here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th...oooh scary

Not so scary, this Friday the 13th.

Things of note:
  1. Another newspaper article about my mom, this time with a picture! To see the first one, click here. For those not in the know, my mom recently received an award and grant (with the highest possible score!) for her outstanding developmental kindergarten program. She rocks.
  2. Today, we at Berkeley Rep said goodbye to Madelyn Mackie, our fabulous production manager. She's leaving the "reptiles" for a job with the Red Cross, something she's incredibly proud to be a part of--which she has made apparent by providing us with several earthquake/fire/emergency preparedness seminars. We had a lovely ice cream social, and we all went home a little early.
the one and only madelyn mackie
  1. I saw a surprisingly good production of The Cripple of Inishmaan tonight, presented by Berkeley's Wilde Irish Theatre. Read a review here--I also thought it was quite good. The room is tiny, and upon arriving, I thought it was going to be an amateur, community theatre type production, but I thought wrong. Martin McDonagh is fantastic on taking his audience on an emotional roller coaster (pardon the cliche) - you are literally taken by the twists and surprises throughout the entire play. Just when you think you know what you're feeling, or think "oh, well I figured out that twist," he surprises you again. Love him. And this production certainly did him justice.
  2. Last night, at a lovely little 2-person SnB at Espresso Roma, I (finally) learned how to pick up stitches and knit in the round (SO easy! I can't believe I was such a scaredy cat)! My brown bag is (finally) on its way to becoming a bag! It even looks bag-ish! For a moment, which sadly I did not photograph, it looked somewhat like a beret. I might make a beret. It might be ugly. I should have put the "beret" on my head and taken a picture. Not.
note the bag-like shape. pouchy! ah, bag, I remember when you were but a mere square...

note the lovely seam created by picking up stitches and beginning to knit in the round...

note the square-ish, bag-ish, totally 3D knitting! progress!

So you see, all in all, a rather un-freaky Friday the 13th. More posts soon...maybe more knitting? Eh? Eh?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Books and More!

On this lovely Thursday, I have stumbled across many websites that I deem worth sharing. So here I am, sharing them with you. Whoever you are, if you're out there. If you like any of these websites, let me know. Don't be scared to comment! That's the only way I know there are actually people out there who read this thing, which, let's be honest, I kinda hope there are. Tell your friends! Kim's Kitchen Sink is the place to be! Rock on.

Without further ado, your Thursday Things:
  • BookCrossing - A really neat idea, as far as I'm concerned. BookCrossing was developed as a sort of response to those Where's George websites that track dollar bills, allowing people to feel connected to the rest of the world, seeing where their money was (literally) going. BookCrossing works in a similar way: you log into the site and enter the information for the book you want to "send out into the wild." You can leave the book on a street corner (neatly labeled with a BookCrossing "free book" sticker, or in a ziplock of your own devices) or give it to a friend, book circle, used bookstore, etc. When someone finds or receives the BookCrossing-labeled book, they (hopefully) go to the website and write a little note about where it was found, if they read it, etc. etc. etc. Theoretically, you're doing a good deed by sending books you no longer read out into the world, and people are getting free books, and you get to see where your books are going. Sounds fun, no? There is also the option to go hunting for books, wherein you look up your city and see where people have left books. It's kinda cool--you can see that someone left a book on the front steps of the Equinox fitness club, for example. Run down to that corner and see it's still there! How fun! There are currently no released books wandering wild in Berkeley, so I'm seriously considering going through my book collection and releasing one. Keep your eyes peeled :)
  • Along these same booky lines, check out Book Journals. If you're into journals, or maybe want to get started in the world of pouring your soul out on the pages of your secret diary, this could be a good place to start. At $13 each, they're more expensive than my taste allows, besides the fact that I don't write in my paper journal much, and I have about 5 empty ones at home anyway, but they'd make a nice gift. The covers are made from recycled book covers. Pretty cool.
  • Need some coupons? Maybe the thing you're about to buy is on this website. Save a buck or two!
  • Did you miss your favorite TV show? Don't have money for TiVo? There's a good chance that you can watch it for free online. I haven't played around too much here yet, but a friend from work says you can watch movies too. She recommends this one in particular for TV shows. They've got quite an extensive list.
  • And in the spirit of budgeting, I present some frugal fun in the form of The Best Frugality Tips, Frugal Lunch, and Cheap but Great Dates.
  • My friend Myles is very smart. Also, he is very funny. He writes things that make me laugh. His puppet-related antics are comical as well. And he is one mean improv-er. You should check out Weak Nights, a blog he and his similarly smart and funny friends write. Also, check out How Do I Say This. Started by these same folk, this video-site helps people tell other people things they don't know how to put into words. Like, "how do i tell my friend he's a bad actor and should quite?" I'm sure I'll write a whole blog about this someday.
  • In hopes of becoming More Adventurous (thanks, Rilo Kiley), I'm seeking free or cheap things to do in the Bay Area. I found several things to get myself started, just by browsing the old Google for a few minutes. For starters, free museum days! I love museums, and it's about time I started going to them again! There is also free sailboat rides around the Berkeley marina area on Sundays, as well as several walking tours of San Francisco--that would help me not be so Overwhelmed and Generally Lost and Scared of the City, wouldn't it? And there are always tours of breweries, wineries, and chocolatiers! Adventures around every corner!
In closing, in the immortal words of Ace of Base: "Life is demanding without understanding. No one's gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong. And where do you belong?"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Sense of Humor, Please

Maybe it's just because I'm in a field where people frequently try to show off how smart/connected/snotty they are, but I am sensing a real lack of humor recently. There is currently a thread in the LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) listserv right now debating the use of the word "chick" to describe females. I think this is just ridiculous. The woman who first expressed opposition to the word describes herself as a "broad," which I think to be equally offensive...unoffensive. Personally, I think the word "chick" describes someone who is young and hip and altogether cool. She seemed to take it as a derogatory term, describing someone soft and little and needing to be cared for, which she also admits might be because she is an old "broad" from a different generation. Either way, I think we put WAY too much emphasis on this sort of thing, making the silliest of things into heavy academic discourse (seriously, people were quoting Plato and talking about derivation of terminology and its relation to "chick/chik-lit" and "chick/chik-flicks" etc.). Can't we all just chill out a bit?

This is part of the reason I wanted to do production, rather than academic dramaturgy. Given, many of the members of the listserv and of LMDA in general are not strictly production-based, and everyone has every right to assert their haughty academic selves...but that doesn't mean I have to like it. There is just such a holier-than-thou sense to the world of dramaturgy that I didn't really know existed outside of the scholarly world, and it really frustrates me. It's like everyone with a PhD feels the need to prove themselves to anyone who will listen. Like the PhD isn't enough to prove you're smart. On second thought, maybe it's the non-PhD'ers out there that are asserting their oh-so-wise opinions so heavily. I don't know...I don't have a PhD or even a Masters, and I don't feel the need to name-drop Greek philosophers or paraphrase as many ancient theatrical texts as I can in order to prove that derogatory language should somehow be universally offensive.

Just because one person is so lacking in a sense of humor that they are offended when someone asks for names of "chick-heavy plays" (and it was a woman asking, mind you, not that it should make that much of a difference) doesn't mean that we should change the name of the thread to "plays in which the majority of characters are women." I mean, honestly. I know, I know, I'm spouting my opinions much in the same way this woman was spewing hers, and one could argue that I didn't have to read the thread. And you know what? I stopped reading after the first 40 or so posts. It just became too much about who could babble the most impressive reason for why, historically, "chick" was or was not offensive, the parties it may or may not offend, who was authorized to use the word, and the implications therein. I couldn't take it. So I gave up, and posted to someone off-list who had expressed a similar feeling. Sometimes a little venting-to-the-choir is affirming, or comforting, or useful, or whatever. I'm glad there's someone else out there who thinks people need to lighten up and take things (themselves) less seriously. And I'd like to think I'm a pretty cool chick.

In other news, funny funny: go to Google Maps and get directions from New York to Paris, France. Read them. #23 in particular. All the more reason to love Google. A sense of humor, people. It's a good thing to have. And Jon Carroll talks about missing socks.

Laugh a little, will ya? :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I just found out about a hotel in NY called The Pod. It looks Uber Hip and Totally Cool, a hi-tech hotel for the iPod lover. Each room has modtastic furniture, a cross between IKEA and The Jetsons, and an iHome dock so you can plug in your iPod and jam the night away. Features include a rooftop lounge area (complete with cushions), a modern art lounge, swank restaurant (open 'till 4am) as well as flat screen TVs, free wifi, and, if you want, bunk beds (what?!?). Also, it's one of the only hotels I know about in NY (not that I know about many NY hotels at all) that also offers rooms with two double beds -- DeCadence had a lot of trouble with when trying to find a similar situation for their NY tour, and were told that such a room does not exist in New York City. [side note: do not use they are mean and not at all accomodating!]

This place looks a little too Trendy With A Capital T for me, but on the other hand, it's reasonably priced for New York (starting at around $139 a night), in a good location (Midtown East), and seems like an overall nice (aka not sketchy) place. And who am I to pretend "care" about "trendy" or "not trendy?" They have a wide variety of types of rooms, and all in all, it looks like a place to check out. I know that when I make my obligatory "give NY a second chance" trip, I'll consider staying here.

The Pod, you're welcome for that free publicity.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Mystery Cats and Simple Dollars

Check out this bus-riding cat! So awesome!

Also, I stumbled across this blog called The Simple Dollar. Easily accessible financial information for the general public (in fact, the tagline is "financial talk for the rest of us"), including stories and advice and such. In light of my Spend No Money budget, I find it quite appealing. Nothing helps you stay motivated to save money than reading about other people who are doing the same thing! That's part of why I'm blogging about this, honestly. I know several people who are also attempting Spend No Money budgets, or budgets along these same lines, and hopefully hearing my tales of woe/success will prove helpful. If you have financial advice, budgeting tales, or any other relevant information to share, please leave a comment! Like I said, I love reading about other people's budgeting and financial adventures, and I can only assume that there are people out there that feel the same way.

I'm sure I've written about this before, but I'm really loving my Spend No Money budget for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that it is totally empowering. I'm not making any more or less money than I was before Spend No Money began. I'm just spending less. And making the conscious decision to save more because I'm working towards a tangible goal gives me the control. I don't feel pitiful and sad like this little poor child, always saying "no, I can't do that because I'm poor," or "I'd love to, but I can't afford it." It seems like a small thing, but just changing my mindset from "I can't" to "I don't want to" makes all the difference. Now, I don't feel bad about not buying lunch or going out for drinks, because I know I'm doing it by choice. I spend money on special occasions that I have planned (aka budgeted) for, like taking a friend out for a birthday dinner, or buying a ticket to a concert I'm dying to go to. I plan for each of these expenditures at the beginning of the month, and I'm not allowed (because I say so) to spend outside that budget. Within reason, of course. There will always be a mid-monthly baby shower announcement or something that happens within that month; there will always be something that comes up. When that happens, the first step is to see if there's a free way to do it. If there isn't, I spend the least amount possible. And there are no more "earring emergencies" or "pre-packaged salads are so much easier" or buying things just because they're on sale. Which, I hope, will save me some money. I'm putting everything I can into savings, and keeping that goal (first, last, security deposit on an apartment) in mind. We'll know at the end of the month how well it's worked, but so far, so good.

It's fun to feel like you're in control of your money, and it's a really good feeling knowing you're working towards something you really want. Good luck!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Every Friday is Good Friday

I believe that all Fridays should be Good Friday, because Friday = Funday in my book. If you work for The Man, maybe you get "Casual Fridays," so maybe you're wearing comfy clothes today. I always wear comfy clothes to work, so there. Ha ha. I work in the Artistic department at a non-profit regional theatre. I'll probably have dress all corporate soon, so let me have my laughs now. I'll get my comeuppance, don't worry. Other things about Friday include the fact that in most cultures, it seems, Friday is named after Venus, who we all know as the Goddess of Beauty, but also for the planet. Good ole Venus. It's also known for another Goddess of Beauty, the Goddess Frigg. Good ole Frigg.
the goddess Frigg. Or Freyja. Or Venus.

Today is a special kind of Friday, though, for all you lovers of a one Mr. JC. That's Jesus Christ for those not in the know...not JC Chavez of *NSYNC. Seriously. This is the day when y'all commemorate his crucifixion (for which, according to Mel Gibson, my people are responsible), so that on Easter Sunday you can celebrate his resurrection by hunting for colored eggs and eating chocolate bunnies. And going to church, I guess. [note: I did not see Gibson's movie, so my opinions are based on hearsay and brief internet research. I didn't skip it because of religious reasons, I skipped it because it looked violent and gory and not like a fun night out at the movies. That's just me though.]

Thusly, in the spirit of it being Good Friday, I provide several things of interest. Several. Because Fridays are Good, I'm seeing Taylor in Jersey Boys tonight, I'm in a good mood, and it's still Passover. "Once We Were Slaves; Now We Are Free." Or, "Once We Had No Internets; Now We Have Many." Enjoy.
  1. I like David Sedaris. Some people are just stupid.
  2. Champagne is bubbly. Be careful with your sword.
  3. 30 Rock is a good TV show. Just Ask Tina.
  4. Will Arnett makes me laugh. See what I saw last night.
  5. A fireman wearing a bikini? I promise, it's not from The Onion.
  6. Uganda tries to be less sexist. Now everybody can sleep around!
  7. I can't ride a bike. Maybe it's better that way. See also this.
  8. Scandalous pictures and stories online? Welcome to Generation Next.
  9. Books are wonderful. Little Witch is one of my all time childhood favorites.
  10. Remember Scholastic Book Fairs at elementary school? So good!
Happy Friday, for whatever reason you choose!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Rap/Pop Rapport?

Talking to Will today about turning rap songs into pop songs, I remembered this video that I wanted to share. Alanis Morissette, this is two days in a row that you're in my blog. And I'm not even an angry teen anymore either. Thank You.

Ha. If anyone else got my stupid little pun-esque joke there, I'll be your friend forever. If not, I'll just chuckle lamely to myself. chuckle chuckle.

Anyway, it's an interesting debate: does taking "inappropriate" lyrics and setting them to "appropriate" music somehow make the song suddenly "ok" or less "bad?" Isn't it ironic (damn you, Alanis) that the lyrics and music form a sort of dichotomy of in/appropriateness? Personally, I agree that it's hypocritical to say it's somehow "better" or "appropriate" when the "inappropriate" lyrics are set to nice, pleasing, non-confrontational pop music. The words are still there, and while both music and lyrics (damn you, Drew Barrymore) are essential to the genres of music in question, the lyrics are generally the way the public gets the message of the song. (If they're even listening. I have a strong feeling a lot of people hear lyrics, and learn lyrics, even memorize lyrics, without actually listening to what they say.)

So, taking the sexually explicit (degrading, racist, violent, mean, etc.) lyrics and setting them against a background that is pleasant (calming, non-confrontational, easy to listen to, beautiful, etc.) does not somehow make the general Meaning or overall Song-ness magically appropriate, says Kim. I could go into the "appropriate for whom? who decides what's appropriate?" discussion, but that's old and tired and for another day.

However, presenting the "inappropriate" song in an "appropriate" way does say something about the performer's interpretation of the song as a whole. When, say Ben Folds, sings Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit," it gives the song a different vibe. It's not harsh or off-putting, until you really listen to the words, but even then, it's funny. It's silly that someone like Ben Folds is singing about prostitutes and violence, and it makes the song not as "scary." It's somehow ironic; I would even go so far as to say, especially in the case of Alanis Morissette's cover of the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps," that it showcases how ridiculous the lyrics actually are. Yes, many rap songs talk about serious issues such as rape and gang violence and all that...but aren't they often glorifying these things anyway? And isn't that ridiculous? (if young people didn't take it so seriously, anyway) NOTE: When I'm talking about rap music, I am aware that I am generalizing. Performers like Naz, and I'm sure others I don't know of, do progressive work that brings a good name to rap music. But the mainstream rap is the rap I'm talking about...the rap about bitches and hoes and guns and money and all that nasty stuff.

The side by side contrast of the "yucky" lyrics and the "yummy" music, I believe, make for a really interesting comment on the type of music we listen to. The type of music we deem "ok" for our society, our kids, our grandparents, our teenagers to listen to. The type of content we allow to be produced, whether obviously tongue-in-cheek or subtly horrifying or degrading or racist or comedic or sugary or whatever.

Comments? Questions? Opinions to share?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wacky Wednesday

It's Wednesday, and it's not really that wacky, but the Dr. Seuss novel by the same name was always one of my favorites, so there you go. I used to read that book all the time. So good.

I'm house-sitting this week for Bobbie, and I have to say, I like it. I know, it's barely been one day so far, but having a space all to myself is really nice. I'm house-sitting a lot in the next few months, which should be a nice transition to living on my own, and hopefully it won't be totally lonely. Yes, I shall keep myself company! I will read books! I will cook glorious meals for myself! I will watch reality shows and documentaries! Yes, Alanis, I will walk around naked in my living room! Should be fun, no?

Daily Candy provided these treats for me, and thereby you, today. First, we have LicketyShip, a company that helps you arrange, and provides, 4-hour delivery on almost anything. So cool if you buy things, which I don't at this point, but if you do, this might just be a handy thing to help you out. Second, we have Just a Drop. Apparently this stuff is the savior of the smelly bathroom, so if you're at a party where they're serving a lot of bean dip and dried fruit, you can relieve yourself without worrying about stinking up the place. Score! Third, along the same line of stinky potties we have The Breeza. This handy little device looks something like a toilet seat and takes the stinky potty smell in one end, filters it, and sends the clean smelling air out the other side...I think. Something like that. Apparently it also comes in a version that warms the seat for you. Ok. Cool. Moral of the story: you don't have to have a stinky bathroom! I just keep some matches and a scented candle in there ICE (that's In Case of Emergency, for those not in the know), but if you want a more technologically advanced bathroom deodorant, try these babies out!

Nothing on the JobSearch2007 Front today, but here's a funny story about Google. You know, because I love them and all. I don't love snakes though. This story was actually on the news last night. The things they put on the 11:00 news, I swear...

I found this recipe for "extra easy hummus." I want to make it--it really is "extra easy." Mmm

Oh My Gawd! They're calling it Oedipal Cannibalism! He's going on Drug Binges! Snorting...his father's ashes? Oh Keith Richards, what will you think of next? April Fools? All I know is that there are over 800 news stories about this online today, one titled "Richard Claims the Daddy of All Highs." No joke.

"That makes me feel emotional." Heather Mills, of Dancing With The Stars fame, has a rubber leg, and she's not afraid to show it. But let's not talk about dancing; let's talk about not being a gold digger. Fame! I'm gonna live forever...

Oh, and I finally watched the season finale of The Hills. The look on Lauren's face when Heidi tells her she's moving out: priceless.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

2fer Tuesday

Today's Two Tuesday Things:
  1. This article from the NY times. Someday I'll find these interesting things for myself, but for now, I get them from my grandma. It's a really interesting article about Elizabeth Edwards' decision to stay involved with the political scene, despite her stage 4 cancer. I'm not a NY Times subscriber, and you have to be one to read the full article. OR you can email me and I'll send it to you to read.
  2. The Tudors on Showtime. I watched it on Sunday night, and aside from the fact that Henry doesn't have red hair, it is quite excellent. I look forward to watching it every week, that is, if I can find a TV on which to watch it...anyone have Showtime and want to watch? tape it for me?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Good Old Pesach

Today is the first day of Passover, which means matzoh, macaroons, charoses, and lots more food. And history. Jewish history, to be exact. Not that I believe all the stories, but they're still good stories, whether they're true or not. And sometimes, it's nice to remember where you (supposedly) come from. Tradition, Tradition!
In honor of this most excellent Jewish holiday, I present The Two-Minute Haggadah (that's the prayer/story book we use on Passover, for all you goys out there). Sent to me by my awesome grandma, originally from Slate Magazine, this pretty much sums up our family Passover.

With no further ado, I present:

The Two-Minute Haggadah
A Passover service for the impatient.

Opening prayers:

Thanks, God, for creating wine. (Drink wine.)
Thanks for creating produce. (Eat parsley.)

Overview: Once we were slaves in Egypt. Now we're free. That's why we're doing this.

Four questions:
1. What's up with the matzoh?
2. What's the deal with horseradish?
3. What's with the dipping of the herbs?
4. What's this whole slouching at the table business?

1. When we left Egypt, we were in a hurry. There was no time for making decent bread.
2. Life was bitter, like horseradish.
3. It's called symbolism.
4. Free people get to slouch.

A funny story: Once, these five rabbis talked all night, then it was morning. (Heat soup now.)

The four kinds of children and how to deal with them:
Wise child-explain Passover.
Simple child-explain Passover slowly.
Silent child-explain Passover loudly.
Wicked child-browbeat in front of the relatives.

Speaking of children: We hid some matzoh. Whoever finds it gets five bucks.

The story of Passover: It's a long time ago. We're slaves in Egypt Pharaoh is a nightmare. We cry out for help. God brings plagues upon the Egyptians. We escape, bake some matzoh. God parts the Red Sea We make it through; the Egyptians aren't so lucky. We wander 40 years in the desert, eat manna, get the Torah, wind up in Israel , get a new temple, enjoy several years without being persecuted again. (Let brisket cool now.)

The 10 Plagues: Blood, Frogs, Lice-you name it.

The singing of "Dayenu":
If God had gotten us out of Egypt and not punished our enemies, it would've been enough. If he'd punished our enemies and not parted the Red Sea, it would've been enough.

If he'd parted the Red Sea-
(Remove gefilte fish from refrigerator now.)

Eat matzoh. Drink more wine. Slouch.

Thanks again, God, for everything.

Happy Passover!