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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Firefox users who, like Ryan in the comments below, are unable to scroll or arrow through this page need to DOWNLOAD THE NEW FIREFOX! Yes, Firefox 1.5 was released today, and lo and behold, those geniuses have fixed the scrolling problem with Mozilla and the IE position:fixed hack. How timely!

Equally awesome is the ability to change the order of tabs. Yay!

They also finally procured, and have various products which I rather covet.

  • This fascinating, if brief, article brings news which excites and terrifies me. Ice core records have discovered that glacialization is possibly not just about to begin, as periods between glacialization can last as long as 30,000 years. Anything which helps us to understand ice ages is awesome. However, they have also discovered that:

    Today's level of 380 parts per million of carbon dioxide is 27% above its previous peaks of about 300 ppm, according to the team led by Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern in Switzerland.

    That's information gathered from an analysis of the atmosphere from the last 650,000 years. Shit. Exit mundi. Unless, of course, the Republicans are right, and human-caused global warming is a myth. Hahahaha! Ha! Huuuh.

  • Jesus Dress-up! Hours of sacriligious fun!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Whoosh! Website updated for the most part. If things aren't scaling correctly or something looks off on your screen, feel free to let me know, but it's most likely because you have some sort of archaic screen resolution (800x600 ain't gonna cut it), or you're using the wrong browser.

I honestly don't know which is the correct browser -- sometimes I actually think this design looks better in IE, believe it or not.

Too much CSS. Too many howls of frustration for a Sunday night. My tailbone hurts from slouching on the couch with my notebook in my lap.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Good grief! It has been over two weeks since I threw a one-liner at some random bint at a party, and still she and her cohorts continue to flail about messily in an attempt to manufacture an Internet drama, both here and on MySpace. Do people in Dover really lead such awful, insecure lives that, with a single blog entry, I can leave them confused and shaking with puppylike rage?

*sigh* I was filled with such joyous hope after Dover ousted their horrible, horrible school board. Then again, perhaps in Dover there is compelling and obvious evidence against both Intelligent Design and Evolution.

Speaking of uneventful lives, Matt and I just made the most awesome batch of peanut butter cookies from ingredients we had lying around the kitchen, enabling us to bum around for the entire day without once stepping outside. Following the good advice (it worked last year) of my medical advisor, I'm consuming vast amounts of fat to stave off the 'flu, which I am newly terrified of, having just watched, back-to-back, an American Experience and a Secrets of the Dead about the pandemic of 1918. Apparently it's OH SHIT THE 'FLU! day on WiTF.

Since the original broadcast of this [episode of Secrets of the Dead], Taubenberger’s team has successfully created a genetic sequencing of the 1918 virus, resurrected the virus itself to study its effects on lung tissue and this fall announced a striking similarity between the 1918 virus and today’s H5N1 avian flu virus. Their findings indicate that the 1918 virus originated as a bird flu, confirming the legitimacy of concerns about avian flu. The updated episode includes new material and interviews with Taubenberger that reflect these new findings.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I finally finished transcribing Non-Entity, the "bonus track" Trent Reznor played at MTV's ReAct benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

At the left is a picture Matt took for the Adbusters competition (see last blog entry). I look like a dill, and the picture conclusively proves that I am not afraid to show a little thigh when tempted with free shoes. Ah, well; maybe in a month's time, I'll be laughing even more when I slip on my $95 pair of sweatshop-free, recycled tire sneakers.

I spent the afternoon with Matt and Erin. We ate at the Garden, officially my favorite restaurant in Harrisburg, and bummed around Barnes & Noble for a while. I bought a couple of monologue books so that I'll have something to give Emily to learn for upcoming auditions.
Last night, Matt and I watched most of Some Kind of Monster, the Metallica documentary , on MTV. It was hilarious - the closest thing I've ever seen to a real Spinal Tap. Between the band trying to make deep and meaningful pop psychology observations in therapy, complaining about their "difficult" lives in their million-dollar mansions filled with expensive art ("Like, how did the artist know when to stop putting those gold scratches there in the corner? How did he know that it didn't need ten more strokes? Yeah, I think our music is like that too."), both Lars and Hetfield being completely incapable of talking about anything but themselves, Lars' unbelievably annoying voice and mannerisms, and the truly atrocious music and lyrics on Saint Anger, Matt and I were giggling like schoolgirls on mescalin (to borrow a turn of phrase from Anthony). I almost want to buy the DVD. It's inspiring.

Voila! It's my name in Chinese, as etched on a traditional Chinese seal my mother bought for me in (oddly enough) China. Speaking of my mother, I called her last night. She's home from Brisbane with my step-grandfather in tow, who is now ninety-three years old. Dad is in hospital again and will be undergoing surgery on Tuesday - he has been bleeding unstoppably, and the doctors don't know what else to do. Mum had an enormous fight with my father in Brisbane while she was up there. She broke down and started crying hysterically while relating that John allegedly stole an expensive and sentimentally valuable bottle of brandy from my grandfather while they were all having dinner together, upsetting everyone terribly. Dear God. She's also been fighting with the city council, who are threatening to tear down all the unapproved additions she's made to her house and forbid anyone from living in the unregistered basement apartment where I made my home for a year, and where a paying tenant is now residing.

My mother is frighteningly like Lars and James Hetfield in that she is equally unable to discuss other people, except insofar as they affect her. I tried to ask her about Mihali, but after only a very brief summary, she declared, "But that's beside the point!" and continued relating the tale of her own adventures. This happened several times throughout the conversation.

She seems to be thriving, though, and as long as she's happy, I'm happy for her.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

This Thanksgiving, I give thanks for chickens. There's a particularly endearing department store commercial in rotation at the moment which features three or four red chickens running at full tilt towards the camera. It makes me want to keep a chicken so bad, my cloaca aches.

Some other reasons to be thankful:
Matt - two years of marriage, and not a serious fight yet.
Tripoli - how a cat so sweet managed to survive on the streets of Harrisburg will forever be a mystery.
Jason - sometimes the borglink presents its problems, but I wouldn't do without it for the world.
Lucy - often, I find myself talking about you to bored people who have no idea who you are, because I miss you so badly.
My parents - not dead yet!
My job - my dayjob is acting. Let me repeat that for effect: my dayjob is acting.
My awesome, awesome boots that I have raved about on here before. They are the bomb.

Henry IV has been struck, new projects are looming, and I need a holiday. Unfortunately, all I have are a few days over Thanksgiving, though that's definitely better than nothing. I'm redesigning my website, but I already don't like the new design and I'll probably change it again a couple of months after I get it implemented. It contains COLOR!! *gasp*

We're heading down to Matt's grandmother's house today for Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently the turkey is already cooked and ready to eat. It's turkey time! Gobble gobble!

Matt and I can't think of turkey without thinking of tofurkey and turducken. Tofurkey is, obviously, turkey for vegans that is actually made of tofu. Turducken, for those non-Americans who aren't aware is a chicken, stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey. It is apparently a Thanksgiving treat, although I have yet to try it.

Jesus, look at this fucking thing. Only in America.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I've been sick as a dog for a couple of days. Yesterday I did the show while high as a kite on generic DayQuil, and I still felt like I was going to keel over (I forgot a cue for the first time in the run, but the line was thankfully unimportant enough that the scene kept going without it).

It's getting better, though.

I've been on something of a Weebl and Bob bender since discovering the toys. Of course, I love gothic very much. Other favorites from this year include piepod, and date.

Last night I had trouble sleeping because I kept laughing at "Apple Piepod."

I realize I haven't put many pictures on here lately. It's because the camera is in the glovebox of my car, and I keep forgetting to take it out.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Oh my good golly god! Weebl and Bob toys!!! Oh, god, I would give my right leg just for the Kenya ones. Well, maybe not my right leg. Maybe, like, twenty-five pounds. At Christmas. They can sit next to my plush Cthulhu.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blarg. I have a horrifically sore throat. It's a post-nasal drip. Thank goodness I got through yesterday morning's performance, but there are four more shows to come, not to mention two more performances of Aesop's Fables, Too! this week. Blaaarg.
  • Spiral Path Farm is officially the coolest thing ever. I wish I'd known about it earlier. I got the information from a friend of mine at WITF, Ben, who's also been telling me about a neat storytellers guild in the area. The only problem is that we're moving away next year, and therefore won't be able to take a full season's supply of vegetables. I'm going to contact them next season, though, and see if something can be worked out.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Woah. Here's to doing a show somewhat hungover and with less than six hours' sleep. Curtain up in 50 minutes!

Wherefore this sorry state? Last night after Henry IV, Cliff, Meathead, Anita, Matt and I hit the, uh, Central PA party scene. First, we had some raucous fun with the actors at the newly opened Cameron Street Cafe. Someone put Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love" on the jukebox; I don't think I had ever heard the complete twelve-minute track before.

Afterwards, we drove down to Emigsville to catch the dregs of Tony's party.


By the time we arrived at Tony's house, it was nearly two in the morning. The day before, I had remarked to Matt that I wanted to be home by two, but if you're going to party, you may as well go the whole hog, so I quickly started to polish off a bottle of Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur.

About a half-hour after we arrived, while I was playing beer pong with Scott, Tony stumbled downstairs with a couple of drunk and highly sexed women in tow. One of them, wearing a pink shirt, drunkenly slurred, "I just explored every nook and cranny of Tony's bedroom!"

"Oh, really?" I replied. "Every nook and cranny?"

"Yep!" she grinned. "I lost my sock, too!" She raised the leg of her pants triumphantly to show me her bare foot. "I have no idea where my sock is!"

This struck me as hilarious. A few minutes later, as she gyrated and frantically jiggled her buttocks to the sound of top-40 hip hop in Tony's loungeroom, the Godiva began to settle into my bloodstream, so I hollered, "Hey, that's the girl that left her sock in Tony's cranny!"

Pink Shirt was evidently not impressed. She quickly sat next to me, and shouted in my ear, "Hey, you know, I'm married, and my husband was in the room the whole time. So, it's not like that, OK? You don't understand, OK? You don't understand because you haven't been here. I've been here from the beginning. You don't get it." I couldn't stop laughing.

After a drunken game of chess with Brian (whose arse I totally kicked, muahahahaha!), I wandered into the kitchen and found her telling a story about some "cunts" who earlier in the evening had drunk from her personal supply of liquor. "Listen," she insisted, clearly outraged, "I'm a grown woman. You know, I have three kids; I know what it's like to buy my own liquor."

Without even thinking, I shot back, "What, because your kids won't buy it for you?" before bursting into further peals of laughter. Well, come on! What the fuck was I supposed to say!?

Poor Pink Shirt. She stormed out of the conversation in a huff, then marched back through the room with her
entourage of skanks, declaring, "I've been insulted! My kids have been insulted!" On the way out the door, she announced to at least three other people, including Anita, "If you want to come to a party without drama, come with me!"

Jamie, ever the diplomat, apparently tried explaining to Pink Shirt that I was from Australia, a land of vastly different customs, and that I had not yet availed myself of American party etiquette. But it was useless. Within forty minutes of arriving at the party, I had cleared it completely of skanks. Poor Tony did not engage in a ménage à trois with a married woman and her husband. No more gyrating occurred in the living room (not counting Scott's drunken crawling about on the floor). No more lesbian action took place on Tony's bed. There was no more grabbing of stuffed tight-denim-clad butts.

Just call me the Poontang Exterminator.

With no jiggling posteriors or drama to distract me, I played another game of drunken chess with Meathead, who also buckled under the heavyweight genius of my intoxicated tactics. Both he and Brian blame their losses on Tony's Lord of the Rings board and its non-conventional pieces, but the truth is that I am the Grandmaster World Drunken Chess Champion. I just haven't let on until now.

Then Meathead's stomach rebelled violently against two-thirds of a bottle of Captain Morgan. Hey, a decent yak (or five) is good for you now and then.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

<---- From the Wilkes-Barre NIN concert the other night. Photo courtesy of Athenia Animus.

Also, bwahahahahaha!

Clark showed me just now. I hadn't heard of it before. Amazinly enough, they have Dead Inside the Chrysalis CDs for sale!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Things I currently enjoy:
  • Mucking around on the Internet between scenes

  • Thinking about King Lear next year

  • My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called "Max". To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time. When the world was powered by the black fuel. And the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men. On the roads it was a white line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed. Men like Max. The warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything. And became a shell of a man, a burnt out, desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again...

  • Captains and the Kings. It's terribly trashy, but a neat page-turner, and I don't need my brain engaged any more than it is right now.

  • Scoring 49/50 this morning on an online sociology exam I didn't study for in the slightest

  • Reading the posts of other students who argue that women shouldn't be on the front lines because "men are more on the “nature” side of things; they are the hunters and providers. Women are on the “nurture” side of things; they have the mothering characteristics." Nature? Nurture? Torture.

I do wish that I could connect emotionally to the play a little better tonight. I feel like I'm low on energy, so I have been pushing myself in the hope of finding my stride - only to be told backstage that I'm somehow louder, angrier, and more energetic than usual. I hate when my performance indicator malfunctions.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

If you look at Jason's blog, you'll see that everything is OK with him now (aside from extreme soreness and probably a very large headache). I spoke to him this morning, and we cheered each other up by making funny for half an hour. He sounds a shitload better than he sounded in his voicemail message on Sunday.

The madness was likely a result of his new HIV drugs reacting to Xanax. This is better than anything I dreaded, so I'm incredibly relieved. God, the possibilities were horrible.

Finally, there is a reason to congratulate myself for beginning to watch Alias (starring Miss Mannish Features USA) a couple of weeks ago. At the height of Jason's episode, he had delusions of being Jack Bristow. This delights me no end. Hey, it's way more original than Jesus. If he had been Jesus, I would have flipped out.

As it was, I flipped out pretty nicely anyway. But that's all right. Flipping out = love. And Jason knows that.

I'm totally buying Jason for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I hadn't checked my voicemail messages in a couple of days, because things have been so busy, and usually the phone calls aren't important.

But I checked them this morning, and found this from over the weekend:
Hey girl, it's Lulu... I just thought I'd call you and talk to you because we're having some problems at home with Jason, who, sadly, seems to have lost his mind... So he has been committed - on Friday - and, yep, it's all gone to hell in a really fast car... Anyway, give me a call if you have a chance. And if you feel like talking about it, that would be great, because I know I do. I love you.
And then, from Sunday, a frighteningly sedated-sounding Jason:
Hey Mel. It's Jase. Just ringing up to let you know I've had the worst couple of days ever. Anyway, just thought you might like to know. Hopefully I'll hear from you soon. OK, bye, hon.

I'm trying to call Lucy, but it's half past one in the morning over there. I left a rambling voicemail message.


Well, I guess that explains why I was so completely fucked up last week. Fucking borg.

The ridiculous irony here is that Jason had a friend committed just a few months ago. I don't know if Jason's current condition has anything to do with the HIV. I don't know anything. I wish I had thought to check my voicemail messages sooner, though I'm not entirely sure what I would have accomplished had I known this four days ago. Maybe I would have cried over this instead of the laundry.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gah, there is too much to say, and too much going on. It's been a fucking tough week. I've been feeling unreasonably down and stupid, culminating in me crying over the fucking laundry before the Henry IV run on Saturday night. When you're about to play an angry young man on stage, you wouldn't think that crying over the fucking laundry would make for great character preparation, but apparently I did an all right job on stage. Use that womanly hysterical angst, use it.

Matt just got Tripoli high as a kite via a fur-puff covered in catnip, and in a drug-fuelled frenzy, she skewered the tip of my index finger with a claw. The first joint has swelled at least 50% and has become stiff and firm. Hooph. Sexual innuendo in an allergic reaction.

The shows have been going well. That is to say, I haven't forgotten any of my lines or fallen over on stage, and I've managed not to run myself through with a sword yet. This weekend, there's a good possibility that Cliff, Meathead, and Anita might be showing up, and Mr. Vince is coming on Friday.

Last Friday, I was delighted that Daphne, Sheryl, and Mick made it from Little Rock, Washington DC, and Ireland respectively. I only wish we all had more time between NIN shows and Shakespearean productions to hang out with each other and just chill out.

Out-of-town friends coming to see me perform is my anti-drug.

On Saturday night, owing to Henry IV, I didn't get to meet Trent Reznor, unlike half the goddamn Eastern Seaboard, apparently. However, I did get to attend the Wilkes-Barre show on Sunday evening, at which a curtain malfunctioned, causing Trent to menacingly ripple his deltoids, throw his guitar around the stage in a rage, and refer bitterly to Spinal Tap. More thrilling even that this was the opportunity to meet two online friends for the first time, the delectable Jaimie and the incomparable Carol. Of course, as is almost always the case with longtime e-friends, they were even better in person than online. Not to mention gorgeous. I hope someone will have some photos to share soon.

In unrelated news, my friend Julia Smith, who designed the costumes for my productions of Rhinoceros and Amadeus, has launched her lingerie website. See right. Mmm.

On November 29, I have to stay by the phone, as I have been chosen as a lifeline for Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. Pressure! I still would love to know what's stopping lifelines from looking up answers on Google while on the phone. I'm pretty sure I can Google the answer to anything asked on that show in under thirty seconds.

  • Scientists have studied how to tip a cow. Sometimes I wish I were a scientist and could work on projects like this all day. Clark says I need to tip a cow, and it came up in a conversation with Jaimie over the weekend. Synchronicity.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bill Blando gave me a nice review in yesterday's Patriot-News.

Men, women mix it up in compelling 'Henry IV'

After the mostly silent page beseeches the audience to hear his speech and see his curtsy at the end of Sunday's performance of Shakespeare's "Henry IV" and suggests that is might be "a displeasing play," another voice is heard with an equally simple and direct plea: "If you enjoyed this show, please tell your friends. We have some reservations, but not enough."

The request is a fair one. It's hardly a displeasing production -- long, yes; displeasing, no.

The voice belonged to J. Clark Nicholson, who not only directed this 20th production of the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival but also served as half of the team that consolidated parts I and II of "Henry IV."

It's a shame that the unusually cast show doesn't seem to be generating larger audiences. But the hope is that his request will ignite a rush to the box office of the Gamut Classic Theatre on the third floor of Strawberry Square. Because of the energy of a large and talented cast, it's more than worthy of consideration by area theater lovers. Shakespeare fans will get more than their money's worth as the program runs 31/2 hours, including intermission.

In addition to putting together the parts that Shakespeare wrote as separate plays in 1597 and 1598, Nicholson assigned women to play the four major male roles and many of the less prominent ones. In another gender reversal, he cast two men in female roles. It does make an audience sit up and take notice when they see Melissa Nicholson (the director's wife) sitting on the throne as the title character discussing the events of the day with male and female members of the court. They're all supposed to be men, of course; that's what the Bard had in mind.

Then, Amber E. Wagner shows up as the king's playboy son and heir apparent, Prince Hal, looking pert and pretty in short bob. And Karen Ruch, properly padded and blustery, appears to more than fill the role of Sir John Falstaff, the plump and aging knight who's been teaching Hal how to enjoy the raunchy things of life.

The fourth member of the key quartet is Melissa Dunphy, dark-haired, dark-eyed and full of anger. She plays the fiery Hotspur (Henry Percy) with an intensity and rage that make her a compelling figure to watch. Unfortunately, Hotspur is killed off in Act I, but fortunately, Dunphy, like 11 other members of the 15-member cast, has multiple roles. So she returns to the stage.


My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?

I'm rather pleased. In fact, you could say that the review, along with a rather smashing NIN concert last night at the MCI Center in Washington DC (we were in the second row hard stage left - I am a little deaf in my right ear), saved a week which was shaping up to be something of a downer. Yesterday I accidentally put Falstaff's red cloak in a combined wash and turned King Henry's shirt bright pink. I think I've saved it with bleach, but I'll have to check when I head to the theatre today. The day before, my e-cock grew stiff and pointed itself firmly in the direction of Diana Martin at the e-mail address I'm giving her maybe 48 more hours to explain herself before I ... well, perhaps I'll make that a surprise. I'm pretty sure it's going to involve some form of pornographic fanfiction, however.

Good lord, Al and I idolized Graham Young a little when we were in high school. I remember we used to jokingly ask Dr. Kerr if there was any thallium in the lab in Chemistry class. I still love that movie. The homages to A Clockwork Orange are terrific. At least, I think they're homages. Maybe I just had A Clockwork Orange on the brain.

Speaking of news, I noticed the other day that Sight & Sound theatre has bought banner advertising on Portal of Evil News. God, that's hilarious.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The play is finally open, which means I suddenly once more have a life outside of rehearsal. Not that life has become any less busy, but it's definitely less exhausting. On my desktop is an intimidating list of incomplete tasks which has been accumulating for the last few weeks and which I am slowly working my way through, beginning with sleeping, laundry and updating this blog.

The two Henry IV shows we have performed so far have gone very well, I think. The Sunday matinee audience was a little dead (I shouted most of my "Arm, arm with speed" speech in the face of a particularly unattractive bluehair who had fallen asleep stage left), but the show still moved at a decent pace. I'm curious to see what the attendance will be like this weekend, especially given my efforts on MySpace. The electronic flyer (see below) has thus far been viewed 15,800 times. I have no idea if that will translate to bums on seats or not.

I got my mandatory embarrassing slip-up out of the way at the final dress rehearsal. The new coat of polyethylene on the stage has made it somewhat slick, and during the arrest of Mowbray, Scroop, and Hastings, my heel skidded, leaving me lunging like a wannabe gymnast at the feet of Westmerland. Relief that it had happened at final dress instead of opening night had me in peals of hysterical laughter for a quarter of an hour afterwards.

Tomorrow night, after Clark and I get back from leading some kind of Shakespeare workshop at State College High, Matt and I will be booking it down to Washington DC for the NIN concert at the MCI Center. I bought new shoes just for the occasion (see right). Less than $30 including shipping on eBay for a brand-new pair of Sage Boots, huzzah! They pinch at the toe a touch, but they'll break in.