Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's official...

The man and I have cut off the cable.

It is a money saving measure, but also a measure to keep us from getting our time sucked up from spending far too much time in front of the tube. We mainly stuck to watching stuff we DVR'd (is that a verb now, like "googling"?), but on weekends, we could end up all day on the couch. Sometimes, this is good. But when we are also trying to get things done, whether it was cleaning or actually trying to do a project, or read even, it could get problematic. We figure we will survive as we can get the Daily Show on line as well as many of the shows we really like to watch and if I get a craving to CNN's news-on-crack, I can get that on line as well.

I do wonder if I will actually end up missing commercials for HEAD ON! and those sleeper blankets that look like cult robes (I kept waiting for either purple Nikes to appear or for them to show them in tan with Yoda modeling them.)

All right...time to...not turn on the TV, continue listening to the radio and actually clean up this place :p

Peace --Alex

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And just so you know...

I am FINALLY making more progress on SW?F.

I may remain a statistic in the city, and have been distracted from creative ventures by, you know, trying to find a job and all that, but - thank you Kevin from the Savvy Actor for keeping me on a schedule - but the transcriptions are DONE!

Last Friday, I finished typing up Rivka from Atlanta...and I cracked open a bottle of Bourdeaux - thank you Trader Joe's wine shop.

Now I just have to write the rest of the thing.

But the editing has begun. There is nothing like sitting on the subway, reading these, pencil in hand, hearing the voices nearly as clearly as I did on the tape and starting to figure out what's gonna go where. The process is beginning..

And you can SEE some of this progress-well, at least the New Yorkers can-February 20th as I will be testing out new material at my friend Eric's long standing variety show No Name and A Bag O' Chips which will be celebrating its 15th anniversary that night! There will be great comedy from Leighann Lord, music, one of my fav close-up magicians Lee Alan Barrett, solo performer and comedian Marilyn Torres and me at Otto's Shrunken Head.

I will also be in Gordon Farrell's one-act In The Red Room at People Lounge on Allen St. The shows are Thursday 2/12, 2/19 and 2/26. It is a combination of spoken word and monologues taken from conversations Gordon had with various women - strippers to a Christian fundamentalist - essentially about being a woman. It really is some great work, the actresses I am working with are excellent, but I will give fair warning that I have one of the saddest monologues ever. Bring the kleenex.

AND...tentatively (have to clear up one conflict!) on the 26th, I will be at The Tenement Museum for H.R. Britton's storytelling series.

And so ends my shameless plugging.

Hope to see you one of these events!

Peace --Alex

A week and a day...

And it already does feel better...expansion of stem cell research; the closing of Guantanamo; global gag rule repealed; decent cabinet picks; already trying work on the Israeli/Palestinian situation; trying to work his stimulus package...

Though he is - as a compromise move for the GOP I'm sure - planning on stripping provisions that would expand access to proper family planning for low-income women. This is a compromise I just don't think the president should give in to, and if you feel the same way and have not already gotten an email about it, call about keeping the Medicaid Family Planning State Option in the stimulus plan. The White House comment line is 202-456-1111.

Now...about the Inauguration itself which I had been writing about on my husband's computer, but then I did not get a chance to upload everything so here's the jist of everything...

There is a button I have on my bag that reads 1-20-09: Bush’s last day. Today is that day my friends.
I am not in D.C amidst the throng, but instead I am in an auditorium here in New York at Credit Suisse (one of the handful of investment companies that told its clients NOT to invest with Bernie Madoff). The man told me that they were showing the inauguration here and I was all over coming in to watch it. Some friends are in D.C. (but did not decided to go until last night), most friends are working. I would have been watching this thing at home alone as the man has to work himself, but I knew I had to be among people for this. If this opportunity had not arisen I would have gone out to Times Square in sixteen layers of clothing…admittedly I am very happy to sit indoors amidst the bankers and other folk here at Credit Suisse, holding a spot for the man with my coat as if I were at a movie theatre for an opening night show.
The room started filling up a little after 11am and is nearly full now at 20 after. What I like best is that this room has a crowd like the one in Grant Park the night of the election: a nice mixed crowd. Old and young, black, white and everything in between, gay, straight…yes even at an investment institution, we got a mix here, and it is nice.
The lights were dimmed so we could get a better view of the three screens – one giant screen in the middle then two plasma screens on ether side. Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer and Suzanne Malveaux were commentating. As often as I blame CNN for the state of broadcast news today with creating news and hype where it is not necessary, I can’t imagine watching this on any other network.
They are showing the crowd in front of the capitol-packed…and then they show the crowd on the mall…I don’t think there’s been a crowd like that for an inauguration…ever. Just a sea of people. I figure there are people also in their hotel rooms, in the living rooms of the houses they are staying at, I know one guy who was staying in a yurt last night at a camp ground and hopefully amidst that crowd…or perhaps watching on line from the yurt. It truly is an historic time…and Bush can look at that crowd, and know that pretty much all of them hate him. Okay maybe that’s a strong word, but you know they have been waiting for this day to come when he and his ilk would be out of office and the celebrating…began Novemeber 4th and will continue until at least the end of the week.
And Cheney in a wheelchair. Can’t take the pain of leaving. Jeff says "Where's his big white pussy cat?"
Obama will be using the Lincoln Bible for his swearing in, and it has not been used for an inaugural since Lincoln used it.
Michelle is in a yellow ensemble that frankly looks like something my mom would have gotten in 1969…not sure how I am feeling about this...though it does look good.
Anderson Cooper says that that the crowds stretch about 2 miles from the capitol. Just amazing.
You know, people have asked me how I feel as a mixed race person about Obama becoming president, and I have to say I’m not sure how to answer that. I only found out that I was mixed race a few years ago. And I was a Hillary supporter and am thrilled that she is at least going to be secretary of state. What I am glad about with Obama being President is that he is a SMART man in the job for the first time in eight years and he is a true face of this generation in America. To see that we have finally gotten beyond our past history and chosen the best man for the job (if not the best woman – meow), is a joyous thing.
That is what I started with and then, as they got to actual swearing in and oath taking, I had to stop typing.
As Rick Warren gave his invocation, I found him...ironic. For all his talk about asking God to forgive us when we disrespect someone, I was thinking " You must ask for this forgiveness a lot," as he disrespects and entire population of people. I know people who grew up in churches like his; where they believe gay people need to be and can be "fixed". It is the fault of the parents if their children turn out gay, yet also the fault of the gay person for choosing this lifestyle. It still galls me that Obama chose Warren to give the invocation, but one friend did say that if it keeps Obama from feeling obligated to choose someone of Warren's ilk to be part of the cabinet, well...
Okay maybe not "well..." Rick Warren needs to be taught a true lesson in Christian generosity and love by Bishop Gene Robinson, all the gay and lesbian couples who adopt and give good homes to children, many with special needs, Zenobia Conkerite, an ordained non-denominational minister who came and blessed our apartment the day we moved in, and definitely Susan Sparks, minister at the church I sing at (Madison Avenue Baptist) who, while not gay herself, has created an open and loving space for all congregants. God loves all his/her children, and as we are all perfect is his/her eyes, why would any of us need to be "fixed"? (can I get an amen?")
Joe Lowry, who gave the benediction was...okay not only was he fantastic, but he was just adorable. Someone needed to get that man a box to stand on so he was not obstructed by the microphones. Still, he was fierce, funny, open, poetic and definitely should have been the one to give the invocation AS WELL AS the benediction. And he made Obama crack up at last after what I am sure was a mildly stressfull morning.

The Inauguration was not over for me though, until I saw the helicopter take off. I know I am not alone in this thinking. Most of the other folk with whom I shared the Credit Suisse auditorium, including my husband, had to head back to work, but a handful of us knew we had to stay until the copter took off. I was sitting there goin' "Come on! Get on the copter! Stop waving and get on the frickin' helicopter! Come on, now..." luckily, they did, they were waved off, we all applauded...and there was much rejoicing.

The man has many toils and trials ahead of him, and he is running at them at full speed, but feel free to nag him about the medicaid family planning option and about repealing the Defense of Marriage Act...and anything else you want to nag him about. This guy is actually trying to OPEN THINGS UP, unlike our last clandestine administration. So let's hold them to it!

Peace --Alex