Saturday, July 01, 2006

Make that the only American, period

On a day that saw five Americans go down to defeat in singles (three on Centre Court), only Perry survived to the fourth round. Sentimental favorite Andre Agassi (in his farewell appearance at Wimbledon) and No. 3 seed Andy Roddick both lost in straight sets. I can hear the teeth gnashing at NBC headquarters from here--probably no Americans in their "Breakfast at Wimbledon" broadcasts next weekend. Ratings disaster.

The only American woman in the fourth round of Wimbledon is...

Shenay Perry? Who would ever have guessed that? She's ranked 62nd in the world, but this will go higher after the fortnight, as she went out in the third round last year.

I find it strange that people are talking about "the next generation" of American women including Perry and Jamea Jackson--but Perry's actually only 4 years younger than Venus Williams.

As for Williams, the defending Wimbledon champion, she lost today to 29th seed Jelena Jankovic. Thus, for the first time since 1999, there will be no Williams sister in the final--Serena didn't even enter this year, due to injury.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Minor rant: Wimbledon commercials

The ESPN coverage of Wimbledon is pretty good, but they keep using the same commercials over and over.

I'm really sick of the Fanta one.

I say bake and flush

Bin Laden Wants Zarqawi Buried in Homeland
Yeah, right. I say cremate him and dump the ashes down the toilet, with the other excrement.

Why I've never joined the ABA

Bar Association Agrees to Pay $185G Fine
I've always gotten the feeling that the American Bar Association was more interested in protecting the incomes of its members than in advancing the law. I get absolutely none of that feeling with the New York County Lawyers Assn., and the LGBT Law Assn. of Greater New York, which I have joined.

Obviously the ABA does some good things. But there has been this undercurrent of resistance to anything that makes it easier for anyone to a) become a lawyer, or b) build a practice in any way outside of the "Old Boys' Club." I've never felt any impetus to send them any of my money.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Plat du jour

Cool! A limo that goes both ways!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

To B or not to B

I see there's no "B" in my changing logo above. I assume flickr spell is just having a temporary problem. Otherwise I guess I'll have to rename my blog.

UPDATE, 2:54am, Thursday: I see it's working correctly again. So no blog name change.

Weird blogsearch

Someone just found my blog doing a blogsearch on "blogsearch."

Plat du jour

Another broker?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Plat du jour

I retiree.

Is Rush Limbaugh really this stupid?

Rush Limbaugh Under New Investigation
A few weeks after he made a deal with prosecutors on prescription fraud charges, he's caught going through customs with Viagra prescribed in someone else's name. Did he not think he would be under heightened scrutiny after this? Did he not think to make sure everything having to do with his prescriptions was totally in order? Did he just not think?

This is another example of a high profile person who just doesn't believe he has to take care not to violate the law. It's the same mentality that gets public officials thinking they can take bribes or skirt campaign finance laws, entertainers thinking they can violate the drug laws, or corporate executives thinking they can juggle their books. They are so isolated from everyday life, surrounded by aides and security people, that they forget they are subject to the laws just like everyone else.

Maybe Limbaugh's infraction is minor enough that it won't upset his previous deal. But it's certainly an indication that he's not taking the situation seriously enough. Which is stupid.

Weird websearch of the day

Someone in Germany did a blogsearch for "my office" shredder. S/he had to go all the way to the ninth page to find mine.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Wimbledon surprise--NOT

It's raining at Wimbledon! I tuned in to the first day of Wimbledon (ESPN2) and found them broadcasting last year's men's final. It just wouldn't be Wimbledon without rain. Sometimes the rain delays are fairly brief, but they say this one has been two hours already, with another hour predicted.

The one time I saw it in person, there was one day that was totally rained out. We sat under umbrellas for hours hoping, but it never stopped. That is very unusual though.

They were able to get some play in before the rain started today. It was odd looking at the highlights, with the grass all green and pristine. Soon there will be brown areas, especially at the baseline. It's a shame that there aren't more grass court tournaments (the game's real name is "lawn tennis"), but I guess it's just too expensive to maintain the courts.

The rest of the week

Well it's Sunday night (no, it's Monday morning, actually), and I've only blogged about what I did through Tuesday. So here's the rest of my week, briefly:

WEDNESDAY: To mark the longest day of the year, we went out to Port Washington for dinner with friends. We had mediocre seafood at a dockside restaurant while watching the sunset.

The best thing about Port Washington was the treasure-trove of vanity plates. Unfortunately, I couldn't photograph them from a moving car. I did get one in the restaurant parking lot. My favorite: HEMATOMA.

THURSDAY: "Reception and Cocktail Party Celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Week 2006" This was co-sponsored by the LGBT Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (City Bar), as well as their Sex and Law Committee, and the LGBT Law Assn. I volunteered to make some brief remarks on behalf of the latter--despite the fact I hate public speaking. It's even worse when I try to maintain some semblance of a woman's voice. But I did manage to get through it--though despite my notes I still forgot one thing I wanted to say.

Otherwise it was a very nice affair. I've gone to this event the last four or five years, and this was probably the best. The turnout was quite good, much more than last year. And this year there was a pianist to serenade us (nice touch when he played the theme from Brokeback Mountain).

I got to talk with my friend Donna, who's on the City Bar LGBT Committee, though she had to leave before my speech. Tom Hickey and I also continued our conversation from Tuesday. After my speech I had a nice chat with Lisa Badner, the co-chair of the City Bar Committee--we found out we both went to the University of Wisconsin--though I attended a number of years before she did.

The reception lasted a couple hours. Then I went down to Lips to finish the evening. I had a little dinner at the bar, as the place went from nearly full to very crowded. I saw Jesse Volt's Show (she did Joan Rivers and Cher, while Frankie Cocktail did her usual Dolly Parton, Madiva did her usual Madonna, and Jason Cosmo did Liza Minelli. But the big surprise was Ginger, who usually has Thursdays off--she did Bette Midler).

FRIDAY: It was an unusual event, but my wife wanted to do something without me (normally we do things together on the weekends). Left to my own devices, I arranged to see The Threepenny Opera with my friend Rochelle, the president of CDI. We missed out seeing it in April, and I really wanted to see it before it closed Sunday. I know a couple of the cast members, at least slightly: drag performers Edie and Flotilla DeBarge. Edie wanted to perform on Broadway since she was a child, and she had finally made it--curiously not based on her dancing talent.

I e-mailed Edie to tell her we'd be coming. She said she'd see us before the performance, as some of the cast members would be out in the audience then. Unfortunately we arrived a bit late, and went directly up to our seats in the mezzanine. Rochelle told me later that she had seen Edie standing behind the orchestra section, but hadn't recognized her in her costume. Oh, well.

The production did not get very good reviews, and I could see why. It sort of wandered from song to song, with a very explicit new translation--sometimes I thought the idea was simply to shock the audience. The performances I liked, though I was underwhelmed by the biggest name in the cast, Cyndi Lauper. The rest of the cast was at least adequate, with Jim Dale nearly stealing the show. (He was the star of one of the first shows I saw on Broadway, Scapino!, back in 1974! I also saw his Tony-winning performance in Barnum, opposite Glenn Close, a few years later.) I also really enjoyed the amazing Brian Charles Rooney as Lucy Brown. His soprano had no touch of falsetto whatsoever. This was the role Edie was supposed to have, until they added "Lucy's Aria" to the show, which was way too high for her to sing. (I love the cartoon of him as Lucy on his site.)

After the show we went down to the Brazil Grill for a late dinner.

SATURDAY: After seeing a pair of Sarah Bernhardt's films, and an exhibition about her at the Jewish Museum, we followed that up with I, Sarah, a one-woman play in town for three performances from Eugene, Oregon. This was in one of the smallest theatres I've ever been in--31 seats, if I counted correctly, though these were comfortable armchairs.

Mindy Nirenstein portrayed the world's first international superstar actress rising from her deathbed to describe her life, with a few monologues from her plays thrown in. Her acting was quite good, though the writing left a little to be desired. At one point Bernhardt says that she had no trouble crying on stage, but could not in her real life--after saying that she wore a veil at Molière's funeral to hide her tears. The monologue from Phaedra went way too long.

Afterwards we went around the block to Caminosur for a couple of pisco sours and some plaintain chips.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tuesday: Democratic women, comedy(?), thai food

Tuesday I went to Therapy for the "first annual" (ahh, optimism) Stonewall Democrats of New York Women's Event, "A Celebration of Women in Politics."

I'm always a little leary about going to "women's events," as some are transphobic. But there was no question here--the invitation I received explicitly said transwomen were welcome. Then Stonewall Dems president Dirk McCall said men could come too, when he announced it at the 20th anniversary celebration. (The first women's event after 20 years? What took them so long?)

So after the question of whether I would be welcome was settled, my next question was, what to wear? This being a political event, I decided to keep it pretty conservative--a royal blue silk blouse paired with my black-on-black paisley slacks. I ended up getting compliments on both.

My final question was, what kind of turnout the event would get? I don't know that much about the club, really. I've been to only a handful of their events in the last four or five years. I actually joined just this last year. One thing I did notice is that there were relatively few women attending the events. (I get the feeling that LGBT groups are no different than any other mixed-gender organizations--men tend to predominate.) It turned out to be pretty well-attended. There were a fair number of men there. There were three of us transwomen also--joining me were Clover Honey (who is on the Stonewall Dems Board of Governors), and Melissa Sklarz, who arrived late after attending something at Gracie Mansion. Notably absent was Diana Montford, who is on their Board of Directors. Clover was happily telling everyone that the television show she appears on, Under the Pink Carpet, might be shown here in New York on one of the public TV channels.

I had a nice conversation with Eliyanna Kaiser, aide to Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, prime sponsor of the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). Then I talked with Carol Polcovar, artistic director of the Fresh Fruit Festival. She's all excited about the upcoming world premiere of her new play My Mother Told Me I Was Different: Voices from the Rebellion, a docudrama about Stonewall in the words of the people who of lived it.

Finally, I chatted with Tom Hickey, the former chair of the LGBT Issues Committee of the New York County Lawyers Assn., before Clover and I went upstairs to claim seats for the presentations.

First up was comedian Michele Balin. I had seen her on a segment with Clover from Under the Pink Carpet. She was quite funny. Then came the award presentations, and this being a political event, the inevitable speeches. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn could not be present to accept hers, as it's "budget time." Councilmember Rosie Mendez was present though. Finally one went to Lisa Canistracci, owner of the lesbian bar Henrietta Hudson. One thing seemed to puzzle a number of the presenters and awardees. The award, a 10" lucite obelisk, was rather phallic-shaped. A couple of them made remarks about it--I think one even used the term "strap-on." I'm wondering if this was due to the fact that most of the work organizing the event was actually done by a man--Patrick Yacco, from the law office of Yetta Kurland, the Host Committee Chair and Stonewall Dems Corresponding Secretary.

After the ceremony Clover and I said our good-byes to people, and then made our way around the block to Vlada. We got drinks and waited for the show. Soon a rather lame host/comedian got up and introduced a very lame gay Indian (like from India) "comedian." I use quotes, because he really wasn't very funny. Even worse, he had to refer to a loose leaf notebook to remember his "jokes." Next up was Allison Castillo. Actually, she was pretty good--though still not quite in the class of Michelle Balin. Finally the host returned for his lame act.

By then we were quite hungry, so we went back to Ninth Avenue and had a decent dinner at a Thai place.