Saturday, January 21, 2006


The spammers are working overtime. Yesterday I got 66. But not one of them made it past my home-made spam filter.:D

Friday, January 20, 2006


It is really weird seeing my blog (semi-)translated into German.

WEB SEARCH OF THE DAY (actually yesterday)

kick ass cross drawings has this blog as number one of 48,330. MSN Search really likes me. Sometimes I wish they liked me a little less.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Last night was the regular weekly Open House at the Crossdressers International apartment. Nothing terribly unusual transpired, but afterwards, instead of heading to Greenwich Village and the Monster Bar, six or seven of us just walked two blocks up to Dave's Tavern, a small neighborhood place.

It has a pool table in the back, and we had a lot of fun, pairing off and playing each other, plus one pair of guys already there at the bar. Playing pool after the Open House reminded me of my very first months presenting as a woman in public, at the old Androgyny Lounge--only this time the guys we were playing against weren't tranny chasers.

The people either were friendly or just ignored us (actually one kinda drunk, self-described "old gay queen" was a little too friendly), the drinks were OK, there were several TVs going so I could watch the end of a basketball game I was mildly interested in--it was a nice place. We may have found a new permanent after-Open House venue.

If so, I'll miss the Monster (I'll probably try to get down there once in a while), but then again, the Monster isn't quite what it used to be, under its new owner. A lot of things are better there actually, but some aren't. Maybe it's time to move on.

Anyhow, I have to go and get ready to go out tonight. I'm hearing Namoli Brennet at a little "house concert" at Ed Mannix's place--a guy I used to see at the Monster like five years ago. It's at 7:00 out in Brooklyn, so I have to get moving pretty soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Today it's "russian girls kick testicles"--and my blog has the dubious distinction of being number one of 14,031 results.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Shatner Sells Kidney Stone for Charity


Saturday evening we were back at Lincoln Center for a New York Philharmonic concert. It consisted of the New York premiere of John Corigliano's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, entitled "The Red Violin," and Richard Strauss' Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony). The concert was not on our subscription, but we traded for it because of a conflict on another night.

I was particularly interested in hearing the concerto. Corigliano won the 2000 Oscar for his film score for The Red Violin, and I liked the music in that very much. Joshua Bell played for the film, and would be the soloist with the Philharmonic.

Unfortunately, what worked well for the film fell flat as a concerto. Translating a film score into a work for the concert stage is always difficult, because the purpose of the music is so different. Background music is best when the audience doesn't really notice it. It reinforces what is on the screen without intruding upon it. Even with a film like The Red Violin, where the making of the music is actually depicted in places, the score is still just a supportive device.

But a concert work has to stand on its own, supporting nothing. Corigliano used musical themes from the film score here and there, but never really brought it all together--particularly when he gives the soloist a chance to show off his or her virtuosity. Such an opportunity is usually necessary to attract a great musician to perform a new work. Here Bell (still wearing the black pajamas he wore at Mostly Mozart last summer) got to show off his prodigious skills, but I didn't see any particular connection to the rest of the piece.

Forty-three year old Jonathan Nott, for six years the principal conductor of the Bamberger Symphoniker, made his debut with the New York Philharmonic with this series of concerts. A champion of new music, he made the most of what little the concerto had to offer. It went on for forty minutes or so, and then he, Bell and Corigliano got their ovations. All in all Corigliano's concerto was a little more enjoyable than last week's one by Walton, but I still have no desire to hear either of them again.

After intermission (they've begun to carry very good, chewy brownies at the concessions--if they'd only add walnuts they'd be close to perfect), it was back for the Strauss. His Alpine Symphony has never been one of my favorites--I sometimes call it the Alpo Symphony, because it is such a dog. It goes on and on and on, without a break, for nearly an hour. It's supposed to describe a nature lover going up and down a mountain--the program lists 20+ episodes such as "Sunrise," "On the Glacier," "Mists Rise Up," "Night." Some of them are distinguishable, but many just seem to mush into each other--it isn't worth trying to figure out where you are on the list.

Strauss used a huge orchestra for this work, even compared to his usual large forces. Besides the full string sections, there are twice the usual number of winds, including two tubas. Strauss even threw in a Heckelphone, sort of an English horn on steroids. The percussion section gets to empty several of its closets, and then go down to the basement for the thunder sheet--a couple of long pieces of sheet metal bolted together end-to-end, with a handle on the bottom. This is suspended from above, reaching nearly from the ceiling to maybe seven feet from the floor. What else? There is also a full organ. (Memo to the Philharmonic: If you ever actually do renovate/replace Avery Fisher Hall PLEASE put in a real pipe organ. That electric one SUCKS. Sorry for the language.)

But filling the stage with, I don't know, maybe a 100+ players wasn't enough for Strauss. There is an off-stage 12-piece brass band in addition. Perhaps this should be called A Musicians' Union Full Employment Symphony.

Anyhow, they played it. The off-stage brass gets its turn early on. And after playing for maybe a minute, they're done for the night. The ones that live close by were probably home before the symphony ended. The ones on-stage soldiered on. They played and played. I watched the Santa Claus-bearded Heckelphonist through my binoculars. I can't say I every actually ever heard the Heckelphone, though--the Heckelphone part is always mixed in with a lot of other instruments. At long last there was the storm episode, time for the thunder-sheet, which had been looming over the orchestra all evening like a sonic sword of Damocles. Christopher Lamb, the Principal Percussionist (and tallest of the bunch), reached up and gave it a few shakes. It wasn't even particularly loud--a big disappointment.

Actually, I didn't think the symphony was quite as bad as I did the other couple of times I've heard it. Nott led it tightly, at a very quick pace, and that helped. Maybe, though, it was the distractions around me: the pair of whispering yuppie couples behind me, with the restless guy who kept nudging my wobbly seat with his foot, and the sniffling woman who kept rummaging in her purse, and the totally bored teenager next to us who couldn't sit still, and the cougher a couple rows back, and...oh forget it.

The best part of the evening was the brownie.


House Republicans Unveil New Ethics Plan
The House Republicans could improve the ethics of Congress much more simply by all of them just submitting their resignations.

Monday, January 16, 2006


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There's also my prior installment, which I continuously update.


Another one of the very-early-in-the-day-but-I-think-it's-the-winner web searches: india fuck hot story to read actress xxx found this blog. Someone from Singapore.

I'm really glad I didn't come up until page 8 on this one.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Laura Bush Backs Domestic Spying Program
I can see why she'd say something like that. With a husband like G.W. she needs a program to keep an eye on him. Who knows when he's going to fall off the wagon.

She is talking about spying in the home, isn't she? Or does she think she's the next Hillary Clinton?


Following Keep Not Silent-Orthodykes at the 15th Annual New York Jewish Film Festival Thursday was the much less successful Pork and Milk. This was the New York premiere of French film-maker Valérie Mréjen's very straight-forward 2004 documentary lets ten Israelis who had left the confines of ultra-Orthodox Judaism for the "secular" world tell their stories, just talking to the camera.

But no one ever really says what "secular" means here. The subtitles used the word, publicity for the film uses it, but I don't think what they are talking about is a totally non-religious life. Rather, I got the impression that at least to the ultra-Orthodox everyone outside of their branch of Judaism is "secular," regardless of how observant they remain. "Secular" may just be the closest translation to a Hebrew word they are using, but I really don't know.

That was just one of the problems of this film. The ten stories varied widely in length--a couple of them were very brief. The whole thing was only 52 minutes. A lot of time was spent on one man who became a chef, as he slowly struggled, sometimes silently, to relate his experiences. He had run away (to where? he never said, other than that it was still fairly close to his home) at 14½. He did explain how he supported himself, but a lot of other details were omitted. He said that later two of his sisters followed him and were living with him, but nothing else of them was mentioned.

And that was the person in the film with the most screen time. The others' stories were even sketchier. There were only two women. One spoke of joining the Israeli army, and the isolation she felt from the other soldiers, who had all kinds of misconceptions of ultra-Orthodox life. One man was shown donning his old cantor garments, and beautifully singing a prayer--but there was no explanation of why he did that. Was it just to show what he used to do, or was it something he still did? The film didn't say.

I really didn't learn a whole lot from the film. I already knew what they were running from, but found out little of what they had hoped to find. The experiences they related were mostly quite predictable--dating problems, etc.

I wouldn't waste my time on this one.


So now it's Ohio congressman Bob Ney who's the lastest Republican in Washington stepping down "temporarily" from a leadership position because he's being investigated for corruption. The list keeps growing (see my article).

If the Democrats aren't totally stupid (never a good assumption, alas), they'll take back at least the House this fall.