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Sep. 7th, 2013


I love a good meme

1. You have 50 dollars in your pocket, what do you do with it?
Enjoy a better than usual meal.

2. What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
Bitter Moon. Roman Polanski directed. I would have walked out but I didn't drive.

3. Have you ever seen someone die?
Thankfully, no.

4. Describe a favorite memory.
Pretty much any of many beach vacations.

5. If you could choose one place on earth to live, where would that be?
I have fond memories of Copenhagen. I think I'd like to live there for awhile if I ever get the chance. I do miss NYC and if I could get paid enough to actually afford to live there (not just scrap by) I'd jump at the chance.

6. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now?
Unfortunately that stupid Blurred Lines song. It's on everywhere I go. It's not so much stuck in my head as stuck on every radio station.

7. Did you have braces?

8. What is the last book you bought?
I found a copy of Demented by Ethan Mordden at a second hand store. hard cover. I'm very happy to re-read that.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy recently?
No beach vacation this year (or the last two). It sucks to be a poor grad student. I'm hoping that's about over.

10. What do you want most in life?
A secure job and a stable future.

11. Are you in love?

12. Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Both, but I do love a good novel. I have to read too much nonfiction for school.

13. What does your Livejournal name mean?
Back in the olden times when Pluto was still a planet I was in a chatroom with a soprano who was using the screen name Off-coloratura. That's a reference to PDQ Bach's one-act opera The Stoned Guest. In that opera the characters are all rescued by a St Bernard. The dog's part is listed as a Houndentenor role. I used the name that day, people liked it, and I'm still using it all over the interwebs.

14. What kind of person do you think you are?
Just a human with all the pros and cons that come with being one.

15. Do you believe there is nothing higher than human kind?
I am not sure what that means. The question seems to presume things that I'm not sure are true. Are we the highest of living things? By what criteria would we determine that?

16. Which fictional character could you most see yourself marrying?
Dr. David Sawyer (The New Normal)

17. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Fritz Wunderlich, George Gershwin, T.S. Eliot, Olivia Newton John

18. Name an obvious quality you have.

19. Do you have an all time favorite song?
Imagine (John Lennon)

20. What type of friends do you like?
Smart, funny and reliable.

Oct. 6th, 2012


How do these "conductors" get hired?

I've been around awhile and have stared at a wide range of batons over the years. Some were like dying and going to heaven, others hell. The current one isn't the worst I've ever had, but he's pretty awful. His conducting technique is spastic. He doesn't have any physical condition, but you'd never know from the way her jerks his baton had around. The worst part, though is that he has no clue about the singing voice. We were pretty well prepared (in too short a time, I might add, by a chorus master who does understand the singing voice. In fact a good deal of rehearsal time was spent getting everyone, mostly the men, to sing a free, vibrant tone which of course project so much better than yelling. It's Verdi which is an extension of bel canto. It's not to be screamed. That's not louder. Just ugly. Anyway, the conductor (in the absence of the chorus master who was working with another group in another room) asked for more tension in the voice. Tension. Really. If we sang like he was asking us to, it would sound like shit. he's an idiot. How do people like this get hired? Fortunately it's his last season with the company. Honestly at CCM I worked with two AD conducting students who were far better than this guy. I hope to work with them in an A house one day because with a decade of experience they will very much be ready to be there. And why are the worst conductors the biggest douches? He's just a jerk. Maybe deep down he knows he sucks. That would be good since he does. He knows what notes come next, but he doesn't seem to have anything beyond the most superficial understanding of the opera (Aida). Verdi deserves better. We worked very hard in too short an amount of time to be jerked around like this in staging rehearsals. At least the stage director is competent. Not brilliant by any stretch but at least he has the good sense to sketch out the rough outline and traffic patterns and adds the details as we go (rather than obsess over pointless details and then never staging the entire opera until the dress rehearsals...yes I have encountered that although I think at the professional level most of those don't get hired back.)

Okay just needed to vent. Seriously this is the level of conducting that we endure at the university level. I have no idea how this guy got what is a pretty good gig. (Definitely more money than I'll ever make!) he sucks.

Jul. 26th, 2012


Is it just me?

"I am looking for a very strong teacher who teaches in the vein of intuitiveness, lightness, expansion, compression and strength."

I have no idea what any of that means. I'm sure it means something to her, but to me those are just words and could mean anything.

I'm tempted to be a mensch and give my usual list of good NYC-based voice teachers, but I'm not sure I want to since I like all those teachers.

Apr. 28th, 2010


Obviously Laura and I have a different definition of "friend"

"In 2004 the social question that animated the campaign was gay marriage. Before the election season had unfolded, I had talked to George about not making gay marriage a significant issue. We have, I reminded him, a number of close friends who are gay or whose children are gay. But at that moment I could never have imagined what path this issue would take and where it would lead.” -Laura Bush, writing in her forthcoming memoir. (Hat tip to joe.mygod.com)

No, Laura, you do NOT have gay friends.  If you are willing to sell someone out they are not your friend.  Please use another word.  How about something that means "people we are nice to in private but are willing to stab in the back when it serves our purposes".  I'm sure there's a word for that.  You're a librarian.  I"m sure you can find the mot juste.

Apr. 27th, 2010


Finally some good news for a TV show

The gay characters on TV are rapidly disappearing. Kish is gone from OLTL and Nuke will be done when ATWT ends in September. Ugly Betty is gone.

So it's good news that TNT is renewing Southland for another 10-episode season to start airing in January. The further adventures of Officers Rookieboy and Cuddlybear! YAY! Boo to NBC for canceling their first good new drama in eons to make way for the Leno fiasco, but kudos to TNT for giving us a quality cop show. And extra thanks for making the eps available on the internet!

Apr. 26th, 2010


Is he or isn't he?

Last week at a Teabagger event, a speaker "outed" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Now I'll admit that Graham dings my gaydar. But is he actually gay or just a little fey? I'd think if there were any real dirt on him, Mike Rogers would have outed him by now. So is he? Or isn't he? He seems pretty good at dodging the question (which straight people never seem to do).

Also interesting, the gay Republicans (yes, there really is such a thing) go ballistic when Rogers and others out a closeted Republican pol. But after a good bit of searching I couldn't find any public statement about this much discussed outing. This has gotten far more play than outings of Charlie Crist and others. (In fact on Morning Joe, a reporter was once mocked by the rest of the panel for insinuating that Crist's impending marriage was a sham.) So why the silence on this one. Is Graham not Republican enough for the Log Cabin/GOProud crowd? I know I'm missing something here.

Apr. 25th, 2010


Rational responses to irrational questions

I try to keep my discussions about religion in a comparative religion context. The truth is that I no longer find the evidence of a supernatural explanation for natural phenomena convincing. And I'm well versed enough on the Christian scriptures that I find it annoying to discuss anything of a religious nature with most Christians because I have actually read the Bible cover to cover and it becomes very obvious very quickly that most Christians have not or they couldn't say some of the things they say about that collection of writings.

But in spite of my best efforts to avoid these discussions it comes up on occasion. In the last few months I have been confronted with the typical, nonsensical statements about lack of belief and I need to vent on them.

1. "You have to believe in something!" Well actually, no I don't and neither does anyone else. I certainly have principles and ethics but but I don't need them to have come from someone else who claims to have gotten them from divine inspiration (when in fact they were usually cribbed from an earlier source). What most believers believe in is belief. It's that kind of circular reasoning that I am attempting to avoid. If something is true it is provable. If not then perhaps it's not true.

2. "What do you base your morality on if not the Bible?" The problem with this is that the person saying this doesn't base his or her morality on the Bible either. Slavery is wrong. One human being cannot own another. Yet the Bible (both the Hebrew and Greek parts) never condemns slavery. It merely puts some limits on the practice. Genocide is wrong. Yet the Hebrew God sometimes orders the Israelites to commit genocide. I could go on and on. One of many things that tipped me over the edge into nonbelief was a children's sermon on the story of Jacob and Esau. For those not familiar Jacob plays a trick on his father Isaac (with the help of his mother) and steals his brother's blessing. What kind of lesson is this for children? You can get what you want by using deceit and trickery without being later punished for it? There are dozens of examples of this kind of "morality" in the Bible. There are wonderful things found in the Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic scriptures that are inspirational and quite true. But there's a lot that I don't think most Christians would want applied in the modern world. Our modern ideas of morality are not based on this book.

3. "How can you be so sure?" I'm not. I don't have to be sure of anything. If I am presented with evidence, I feel free to change my views on any issue. It would be foolish to cling to what I was taught about the solar system in elementary school. We now know that all the gas giants have rings, not just Saturn. Jupiter has hundreds of moons, not just the 12 I learned about back then. We should always be open to new information and to adjust our understanding based on evidence and reason. Why should I cling to what I was taught in Sunday School when I don't feel the need to cling to what I was taught in science class? And moreover, I'm not at all convinced that most people who claim to believe actually do. From my observations about 99% of people who claim to be believers are far more afraid of being caught by other humans than they are in facing the wrath of a supernatural being.

No, I didn't bring all this up with my friend the other day. He's a good guy. He is just too afraid to question the circular logic he was raised with. And I'm not in the mood to fight over such things. But it is sometimes hard to bite my tongue when people said things that are so obviously not based in reality or logic. I don't feel any need to debate or proselytize, but then I don't find that courtesy extended to me. If find that most believers are terrified of nonbelief. Could it be that what they really fear is that they don't really believe either?

Feb. 8th, 2010


How to apologize

For those who missed it, Andy Samberg as Rahm Emmanuel issuing an apology.


Jan. 20th, 2010


Writer's Block: Rotten tomatoes

What is the worst movie you've ever seen? Did you sit through it or walk out? What made it so dreadful?

Bitter Moon. I hated all the characters. They were on a cruise ship. I was hoping they'd hit an iceberg so they would all sink and I could go home. If I had gone in my own car I would have walked out.

Sep. 6th, 2009


My new favorite song

Not safe for work.

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