Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Happy New Year! Hallo, 2003!

Well, I have to say that I think we ended 2002 the right way- with smudging (although perhaps sage is the smudge-herb of choice because it smells so bad that nothing, including evil vibes, wants to stick around...? Yeah, maybe we should do lavendar next year? Although it did smell fine by morning), with excellent presents (Thank you!), with old friends and family and taco dip, and as I write this at 9:27 p.m., the best man I've ever met is reading comic books in the Hiami Merald parking lot, waiting for me to finish so we can go see fireworks and ride carnival rides and basically ring in the New Year like it's the Fourth of July. :) Yay!

I am sure there will be much cell phone-age at midnight with many of you, but Happy New Year and much love to all!

Monday, December 23, 2002

So I'm back in Lancaster for the holidays. Buh-dump-bump. I came home and had one of the best laughs I've had in a long time with Amanda, Alissa, Scott and my dad, around the kitchen table, of course. :) I can't wait for the rest of you who are coming home to be there, too. (Also, Kelly and College Roommate Countdown: 5 Days!) Yay!

Jilly, I wish you were going to be in a "NOT 10+ Hours Away" Type place, so it would be feasible to see you, too. Boo. But I got your present! I love it! It reminds me of your sunflower teaset and multiple varieties of cocoa. Thank you thank you (to Nikki, too!) Oh, and thank your mom for the cookies. SO GOOD. :)

Also, I have some good news. I haven't shared it with many people yet, partly because I wanted to see how it would turn out, and I feel really arrogant just announcing this on my blog, but I do want to share it, so.... AH. Okay. This week, I completed a freelance travel piece about Miami that will appear sometime in the next month in the Yew Nork Times. Seriously. I almost fell off my chair when they called (recommended by one of my editors at the Hiami Merald.) They are thinking about a 4-6 (probably five?:) picture layout, although that's always contingent on space and design, etc. But I am really excited. I don't know the publication date yet, though. So yeah... That was the big thing keeping me busy this week.

Well that, and FINALLY locating the source of the Increasingly Funky Smell emaninating from my fridge. Who knew people in humid climates have to empty the drip tray once in a while? I'm not even sure I *knew* about refrigerator drip trays before....

Friday, December 20, 2002

I highly recommend that everyone read Alissa's web page, because it's very funny today, and it's Possession Amnesty Day, of which she is the first official Queen. She will remain Queen of this until someone else comes along who has received a worse or equally bad deal than the one she got from That Bastard in New Jersey, upon which a new queen will be chosen and showered with presents.

I'm not sure if Liss has really been "showered" with presents since I created this holiday (although the inspiration came from a book and I sort of extended it), and, therefore, am the only one who is obligated to be doing the "showering" (and anyway, Jason, I really don't know if there's enough room for anyone else in this shower, so....Hee! Love you!) I can't really afford to send enough presents to constitute a "shower," although she *did* get some fancy soap...

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Hee! I am very excited because Stephen has decided to come down here and spend a solid three weeks visiting! YAY! I haven't seen him for more than two consecutive days at a time since last Christmas, so we're both really looking forward to this.

Incidentally, he sent this email out to friends, family, etc. I found it to be highly amusing, so I'm pasting it up here. Apologies to those of you who will get this twice, first from him and now here. Enjoy!


The New York Times recently caught up with world famous actor and physicist Stephen Libby. He is best known to our readers as a student at Syracuse University, a native of Connecticut, star of stage and screen, and inventor and patent holder of Gravity, "the force which makes stuff heavy." Here is an excerpt from our interview.

New York Times: Stephen, for many of our readers, it's been a while since they last heard from you. How have you changed?

Stephen M. Libby: I've grown three feet and lost seventy pounds, the result being that I look like a freakish sort of flag pole with hair and a sweatshirt. I've also started watching football. It's frightening.

NYT: How will you be spending the Holidays this year?

SML: I'll be with family in Virginia, my brother's family. It will be nice to see my two year old nephew, who is still amazed that I can hum and whistle simultaneously. Easy crowd.

NYT: You were recently involved in a production of "The Witch of Blackbird Pond.:" Tell us about that.

SML: Well, it was done at the Wheelock Family Theatre. The play is based on the book of the same name that for many, and I think I'm justified, and not too boastful in saying this, was compulsory reading in sixth grade. It's about a witch trial in Connecticut in the late seventeenth century. I played John, the young minister's pupil and suitor to the Wood household. I daresay that the play is a gruelling tour-de-force of the human psyche, a twisted fun-house mirror into the soul that leaves the spectator breathless, not knowing whether they want to live or die. Also, there were cookies in the lobby.

NYT: You received some critical praise for your role, correct?

SML: Yes, in all modesty, I was called, 'wryly amusing,' as well as, 'competent.'

NYT: Has all this acclaim and fame gone to your head?

SML: Of course not. I'm still the same designer suit wearing, cocktail drinking, hard partying man of the people I've always been.

NYT: Are you still working at the magic store?

SML: Sadly, no. The store closed due to pressure from the landlords. But I am now investigating the fabulous world of data entry and unemployment checks. And the store did teach me a lot. I walked away with a unicycle, a rubber chicken, and the ability to throw a playing card like a boomerang and make it disappear and reappear from my bare hands. If that's not a marketable skill, I don't know what is.

NYT: It must be very exciting to be you.

SML: Yes, it must.

NYT: So, what's next for Stephen Libby?

SML: Well, you'd have to ask him. (Laughs for five minutes straight.) God, I'm funny.

NYT: So. . .

SML: I've been going on auditions, reading scripts. Speilberg wants me, and there's talk from Her Majesty the Queen's camp about knighthood, despite the fact that I'm not an English subject. Apparently, they're willing to make and exception just for me.

NYT: Any plans?

SML: Well, I'll be spending a few weeks in Florida with my girlfriend @ngie, [sic] writing, relaxing, scooping together the little bits of my brain that have fallen out and cramming them back in. Then, I'll start making plans for a move to NYC.

NYT: Sounds exciting.

SML: Yes, it must. My life is a whirlwind.

NYT: Lastly, what do you have to say to the rumors that rather than sending out gifts or personalized Christmas cards this year, you'll be sending out some crappy kind of form letter?

SML: That is a blatant falsehood of untruthity. I would never do that to my friends. A form letter! Ridiculous! I have no dearer or closer friend in the world than [YOUR NAME HERE]. He or she means far too much to me. And I sincerely hope that [YOUR NAME HERE] has a beautiful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Okay, today provides a really good example of why I really, really like my job. No day is ever the same, and the day itself can be a completely polar experience depending on the assignments I get.

This afternoon I covered the Miss Flea Market pageant, a highly coveted crown for drag queens in Miami. Yep, you guessed it! tThe competition takes place at a flea market. Okay, so picture your best, most flamboyant and "completely passable as gorgeous women" drag queens snarking at each other in the dressing room. I was there shooting from the neck up (hair and makeup touch-ups, final primping, etc) and let me tell you that serious drag performers, who are really not shy, are not as much about padding as you would guess.

I really wish I were back in college, because the experience- from a woman telling me, "Honey, I don't know anything about that whole male-to-female whatever you just asked me about thingy. I am a DRAG. QUEEN. I got t!ts AND a pen!s, if that's what you're askin,'" to recognizing the choices of non-operational transgender people choosing to have some surgery (breast enhancement) but not others (not one official post-op transsexual person in sight) would have made a nice "response paper," the never-ending 2-page assignments that became the bane of my existance as I tried to be original for each one through four years of study. Wow. That was a long sentence.

My second assignment today was to shoot a Christmas Cantata, 200 children from 5 area Southern Baptist churches performing in what was essentially one enormous Christmas pageant. You know how we used to make fun of Erik Rose'n'Barker for meeting his "wife" (they divorced after, like, 2 months) in a Christian Mime group? Yeah. I saw a Christian Mime Group tonight. It wasn't that corny, actually, because the kids were really into it. They were having so much fun, and actually, it was more like a step routine than miming. (No one tried to get out of a box or anything.) Although, being the only person of my ethnicity in a room of 500+ people would have made of an interesting response paper, too, come to think of it.

I love my job.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Hey, people. Sorry for the lack of bloggage. I've been really busy with work, trying to make up for my week off for Thanksgiving and get ahead for the week I'll have off at Christmas. It's funny, I kept thinking of things I wanted to blog about, but I never had time, but now I do have time, and I can't remember what I wanted to say now. Sigh.... I am going to put up a big essay type entry for my dad's birthday tomorrow, though. :)

Monday, December 09, 2002

Pssst! All new gerunds below. Knock ya'selves out. :)

(Oh, and the Soapbox is back up, too)

Friday, December 06, 2002

Hello, campers and camper-ettes. Greeting from the land of 85 degrees! I am a little envious of all the people up North who got snow days, especially as being back here in the heat makes me have Season Amnesia. My apartment complex is all decked out with Christmas lights and Big Plastic Santas and whatnot, but someone asked me about Thanksgiving, and I swear it feels like it was six months ago or however long it would take the weather to go from what it was in PA to change to what it is here. How bizz-ah.

Not too much to report, really, but I wanted to get back on the blog. :)

There is this giant art show for wealthy people happening here that usually happens in Basel, Switzerland, and this is the first time it's been held anywhere else. Apparently, when Sotheby's and Christie's and the other big auction houses and Obscenely Wealthy People decide to buy Picassos and Van Goghs and Degas (Degases? Degasi? Becky, any thoughts?), they all head to this show. And it's here. And you have to pay a LOT of money to get in to see the famous masterpieces and flash your Secret Weathy People Club Card, so it's not even like you can use this opportunity to see amazing art, blah blah blah.

A lot of other galleries in Miami, however, are holding big shows now because all the most important art critics and buyers and "private art consultants" (people who fly around the world scouring galleries for expensive artwork they buy on behalf of rich people who are too uninterested to pick out paintings they are going to spend a million dollars on for themselves- I KNOW. I want to be rich enough to have an Art Bitch. On the other hand, if I ever get that rich, I'm gonna be MY OWN Art Bitch. Yeah!) are here.

So I went out to cover this art show for the paper about up and coming Latin American artists for the Merald, which was pretty fun. There was this one piece, though, that was essentially a giant vagina made out of papier mache and tissue paper and fabric and I don't know what else, and the opening was stitched together with condoms. Ow. The artist wrote a message in Spanish and English, that appeared on either side of it, about the overpopulation of the third world and the inhumanity of being born to die of hunger. The piece was titled, "the Anti-venus." It was very powerful, actually.

So I was following this prim little old lady, a world-renowned art critic and her very elderly aunt around the show. The art critic was wearing this multi-colored shawl that she kept flinging around and huge round glasses like that Gorgon in those Old Navy commericals, you know? (although, I think that lady died. I probably shouldn't call her "the Gorgon.") And we got to the "Anti-venus." She starts going on about the use of the oval as symbolic of female genitalia in both medieval Christian art (I'll never look at those creepy gray Giotto madonnas the same way again) and indigenous Mayan cultures being recast as a symbol of the commericalization of the body in the Third World and on and on and Gwen calls my cell phone. The incongruity of this little old lady next standing this really big vagina and primly taking notes about it just made me want to bust out laughing and start screaming the entire story to G. in the middle of this gallery of Christie's buyers and so on.

But I didn't. Hooray, self-restraint! :) (I HAVE to get ask G how to upload photos....)