Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things to Keep in Mind

In Samplitude, in order to turn off that damned auto-looping they've started to have since version 10, you have to click "Y" and go to the "General" tab and unclick the "play cursor independent of range" box.

Here are 15 apps for recording Skype conversations. That's via Chance.

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." is apparently a Martin Mull quote.

Three things is my maximum for a blog post. Three things plus a bunny. Oh, and a naked person. So it's three things plus one bunny, plus one naked person. And a disclaimer. Three things, a bunny, and a naked person, and a disclaimer are the maximum number of things for any blog post.

Right?

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Internet Today

My cousin's backyard in the New York Times. (My parents don't believe she exists because they've never met her. ;-)
A glass lens doorknob. You'd really want this to be one-way in most cases. But doors to (say) kitchens which swing in-and-out would benefit.
The funniest sentence on the Internet today, Rogers on his terrible experience on an amusement park ride:
Afterward, the various twelve-year olds regarded me with pity. Pity. Do you know how far you have to fall in an adolescent's eyes before you drop below scorn? They're hard-wired for scorn. The evening ended with my wife actually taking me to the petting zoo for a bit, to collect myself, before we headed home.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Luksusowa

My oldest brother recommends Luksusowa Potato Vodka.
Luckily he has some as he is snowed in, in North Carolina.

What I Got For Christmas

Funny, nobody checked my Wish List on Amazon and got me a Hughes Kettner Rotosphere MKII



Or a Royer 121 ribbon microphone.


Instead, almost all my gifts serviced a drinking habit. From a stainless steel flask to a blender for mixing fruity drinks and a bottle of Absolut, I'm  ready! Way to go, enabling family! ;-)
Truthfully, I got other people things to drink. I bought my brother-in-law a fine Blanton's Bourbon. I'm not a whiskey drinker but that kind of bourbon could change my mind.
But the big win seems to be getting my dad an iPad. The big deal is that he can read the text in the Kindle app at the 2nd-to-largest setting -- without a magnifying glass -- which means he can read books with it. That's very exciting. We got him the Foote Civil war series (actually, we only got him the 2nd volume because for whatever reason volumes 1 and 3 aren't available 'till March or some such).
Now everyone is snowed in but comfy (I mean, as comfy as we can be without any orange juice.)
This Japanese cat has a blog.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

So I'm Walking Down the Street the Other Day

And I see this girl walking toward me and she is the spitting image of an ex girlfriend of mine. So I'm thinking "Hmm... how long ago was that?" And the math snuck into my mind that was as many years ago as this girl walking toward me is old...

Merry Christmas!

Sliding Otters

Sliding otters amuse me. And they amuse you too.
Funny Pictures - Otter Gif
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yuletide Cats and Virgins

Interview with a Virgin. This brilliant bit is from a show we did a few years ago at Theatresource.

The Yuletide Cat eats the lazy. Or perhaps children who haven't been given clothes for Christmas. I'm not entirely sure. But that link takes you to some groovy playing cards.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I get the Big Dummy for Christmas award

So last night my dad kind of implied that I should open my present earlier than Christmas day -- like when we get to the hotel in Bedford. So I take a look at the box he's talking about and decide that it's exactly what I want.
And being that I'm sure the box contains exactly what I want I should run out and get frozen fruit and some orange juice and some rum -- mm especially if I can find that rum that Joe and Libby brought. So I got all that stuff (rum, OJ, and frozen fruit) and it survived relatively cool ride in the trunk and we brought the supplies in and I opened the present and it's the most awesome of the blenders there are. For Christmas! Early Christmas! It's big and smooth and easy to clean and has sexy blades which will blend your beautiful fruits.
I have fruit and a refrigerator in my suite. I have the awesome Oster blender which totally rocks.

But I left the alcohol in New Jersey.

(I got the same brand of rum that Joe and Libby got us this year. That was so tasty.)
So tonight was mixed drinks for the under 21 crowd of which there are only cats... sigh. I made smoothies sans alcohol. Yeah I bought the right stuff -- rum from St. Croix. But it's in my car in a cold parking lot. Back in NJ. Not 4 hours away in PA, where I am now.

Meh.

My sister made some noises about getting us to a State Store tomorrow (Christmas Eve).

Notes on Future parties: more fruit more juice and also we should order sandwiches and such or at least get Chinese food.

This Oster blender is the party babay. Oh yeah. But tomorrow (after State Store) the above squompshous concoction will be a joy to the world. If I may.

We have to have 3 wrap parties in my apartment in the coming year. So I'm gettin' good at this mixin' berry drinks, let me tell you.

Your Pandora Machine links

Well, this maybe belongs on the Pandora Machine blog. But it's not there. It's here. I published to the wrong blog. I'm over it.
I thought this was a very smart quote. From the Complications Ensue blog:
A TV show is, fundamentally, about the sort of things that happen to your characters every day. They may be extraordinary things, but then your characters are people to whom extraordinary things happen every day.

A movie is, fundamentally, about the most remarkable time in the character's life.The turning point, the moment they change, the time they face their greatest challenge.

And the Unknown Screenwriter is back. (H/T to Josh James). I have zero idea how to follow his RSS feed. Can it be done?

And via Lost in Schlock, miniatures by Lori Nix, plus also Steve Wang creates monster suits.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A New Kind of Awesome

My sister took pictures of cats. You will be looking at my sister's pictures of cats.
Disembodied Pushkin cat head with a Winston in the background.

Is Pushkin really staring down Chien here? I have no idea. Pushkin is not an aggressive cat but Chien is a SERIOUSLY non-aggressive dog.

Chien looks the OTHER way.

Meydl and her blurry tail.
I decided to stick with Foxmarks and not go to Lastpass at all. Thing is, they're the same company now.
I'm completely fascinated with these kinds of anthropological things. Humans came out of Africa (many stayed in Africa) and some (Europeans) bred with Neanderthals. Now we know about Denisovans -- a new kind of not-quite-human whom New Guineans are related to.
Actually, I'm using Firefox Sync. It's not cross-browser though. Oh well.

Bun Schlaff

The Cherry Lane theater is closing. It's most famous for being down the street from Milk & Cookies. Which is unfortunate because now I want a cookie.
The Economist says life gets better after the age of 46. I think they're just saying that for my benefit. They also explain why their articles don't have bylines. Another reason is because many of them work in intelligence for a couple of the bigger governments.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This Close to Christmas

You'd think I'd be smart and have all my holiday shopping done. I could be like my partner Blair and have my office stuffed with boxes from Amazon.
But I don't.
A trip to a liquor store and I'm about finished with Christmas shopping.
I simply cannot stand Christmas shopping. Especially the incessantly happy Christmas music they pipe into the stores. I always think the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York as like an antidote to "Jingle Bell Rock".
I look forward to talking politics with my family. We're a fun gang. I'm going to be testing my "end of Monroe Doctrine" theories against the wisdom of my brother-in-law. At some point this will happen during the conversation:
"The invasion of Nicaragua"'
"No, I mean the other invasion of Nicaragua."
"No, sorry, the other "other" invasion.'"
"I believe we're referring to the one after that."
Are we talking about just the 20th Century?
"Yes, so it's the one after that."
"Oh. I see."
Wap. Aren't we still IN Nicaragua. Aren't they like the 51st State?
I don't think legally. Not anymore.
The last invasion was Grenada. No, then Panama. How is Lulu President?

Yup, this is how the conversation will go.

I'm not a bettin man but I see South America in the next 40 years.

Yep. With intermittent petting of cats, drunkenly. If you're not talkin' politics and religion, you're talkin' about cats.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trois Meydl

Or: "Innocent Tongue Thinks" which I think should be a secret spy code for something. I ordered up some pictures of cats from my photographic sister Jeanne, this is what she provided.
Innocent

Tongue

Thinks

People I Look Like

I've been told I look like professional drummer Keith Carlock. It turns out I do. Via.
I always think I resemble Alex Lifeson.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tidying Some Pencils

Via.
There are 378 comments on "Tidying Some Pencils" on The Dullest Blog in the World (and you thought this was the dullest blog in the world.)
Here's an interesting article on updating and auditing your passwords. I just use "123456" -- that's good, right? Well, that and "password". In any case, I'm going to look into LastPass.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Less IMDB

IMDB is just generally a pain in my chops. I've got two movies, with distribution, which I'm not going to be able to get on IMDB unless we submit to one of their "partner festivals" via Withoutabox. Those are Day 2 and Earthkiller. Grrr...

Less IMDB is a John August script which makes some browsers show IMDB pages in a way that... well in the way they should be shown in the first place.

Somehow I've managed to not see both Chopping Mall and The Keep. I don't know how I did that but I did.

No Paws on the Table

As my sister (who took these pictures of Pushkin and my dad) pointed out, there is an explicit "No paws on the kitchen table" rule at my parents' apartment which is routinely ignored by the 12 feet of cats which routinely roam the abode.
Pushkin has a Papal dispensation, however, allowing him to do whatever he likes without even the stern "talking to" the other cats might get.
And, I suppose, arguably there are no paws on the table. Tail, absolutely, chin, rump, flank... but paws might be safely tucked away.
Last night Pushkin fell asleep on my lap. Which as a normal adult cat he'd never done. Sitting on lap for pettings was more his style. But he's getting old and sleeps a lot more now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today in the Pandora Machine

Ironically I'm having the problem with Hulu which is the opposite of what one would intuit. The dang commercials are freezing up when the regular program streams just fine. Unfortunately, Hulu won't let you go ahead and watch the program when the commercials are frozen. I can understand their need for commercials. I just wish that whatever tube they're going through was a bit bigger.
I've been informed by my family's IT department that my father can in fact read my blog. I have sent instructions to mark by blog as "read" so that all posts preceding this one are invisible to him. If he wants to know what his Christmas present(s) is/were/may be he'll have to figure out how to read the entire blog. And that's just not going to happen, no matter how much I tease him about it.
UPDATE: hi Dad.
Here's a sample conversation between me and redacted:
Me: hey that musical project you were working on, there are a couple sync issues.
They: yeah, I know. [The client] re-recorded some vocals because they didn't like the takes.
Me: You mean you shot lip-sync to material which they were going to re-record with different timing?
They: Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
Me (cracking my knuckles):  Do you need me to choke a bitch?
They: No, no. They haven't made their last payment.

Darkness is Cheap

Plus he has nice hats.
The deliriously handsome Greg Oliver Bodine is performing his Christmas Carol this year. He's doing the one-man-show at the Workshop Theater Company, not at Theatresource. Last time I saw it I got all sniffly and sobby by the end. It's a fantastic show.

You know the first time I really interacted with Greg I was a total jerkwad to him. I asked if we could borrow his dressing room right at half-hour of his solo show so that Ted Raimi would have a place to dress and try on costumes before we shot Millennium Crisis. Which really is a dick move on my part to make that request. And Greg graciously let us take over his place just before he was to go on.

I thanked Greg at the time but I can't imagine that I thanked him enough. Like you don't have enough to do before a one-man show and now someone is moving into your dressing room? Sheesh.

Go see A Christmas Carol. It'll make you cry. Don't ask if you can use his dressing room beforehand though. I'm the only one allowed to do that.

The iPad

One of the big advantages of your parents not being able to read your blog (unless specifically directed to it) is that one can publish freely about Christmas presents.
My Dad is notoriously difficult to buy for. And I don't know why it took a whole freakin' year, but we finally did a test (using Science™) and found that the iBook reader on an iPad actually gets a font size that's big enough for him to read comfortably (in his words: "I don't even need a magnifying glass!")
The Kindle reader on the iPad seems a bit better to me as the iBook reader expands the space between words in a somewhat unreadable manner when you get up to some big type sizes. Looks like a 36-point type-size is about where my dad needs his text.
As soon as he gets Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy he's not coming out 'till Spring...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Amuseth Me

OK, look, I don't know who Kate Gosselin is but her line on "Sarah Palin's Alaska" (while camping in the rain) is the funniest thing I've heard all day:

"Why would you pretend to be homeless?"

That pretty well sums up my feelings about camping.

++++
(For some reason I think I still have the ur-knowledge of how to select high flat ground for a tent, and dig a draining ditch around it with a trowel. For someone who dislikes spiders as much as I do I think I spent a lot of time camping as a kid.)

Three Cool Cats

From back to front that's Meydl, my dad, and Pushkin. Jeanne took the picture with her iPhone.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Learning New Things

Now, I'm not normally considered a stupid guy. When someone accuses me of being smart though I usually reply that it's not that I'm smart so much as I'm paying attention. So when I don't know something it's probably because I've never run across the information before. And here's something I ain't never run across before.
+++++
So here's a question for you. What's the name of the country immediately to the south of the United States? You know the one which shares a border along the Rio Grande (so right, I'm not talking about Cuba).

I'm talking about Mexico.

What is the actual name of the sovereign state of Mexico?

I'm sure I only know one person who would be able to say off the bat what the answer is, and that's my brother-in-law Dave Lewis.

The actual name (in Spanish) is Estados Unidos Mexicanos

In English the name is United Mexican States.

How could I have possibly not known that?

UPDATE: as per Dave's comment below, my childhood friend Todd (being a high-school Spanish teacher) knew the actual name of Mexico. So that's 2 people.

Betty Ouyang Booyea

At our wrap party we were talking about how many of the actresses we've worked with have disappeared on us -- by going out to LA. Hmm... if they're willing to run that far, maybe we should be a bit paranoid! ;-) In any case, the wonderful Betty Ouyang is one of them. And she sure has been doing a lot of work there.
She's working (or finished) a new picture. They made a "behind the scenes" video of her new movie "Piehead".

I'm Not Mr. Darcy

Do you like Chicago? Do you like style manuals? Then you'll LOVE the Chicago minibook. It's a .pdf. Print it out and give a copy to all your friends for Christmas. (Wait, it doesn't seem to actually work. I wonder if that's part of the style?)

Cornelius is on our left here. I don't look like the dreamy Mr. Darcy.
This is the dude I keep thinking I look like. His name is Cornelius Booth and he played Colonel Fitzwilliam in that recent Pride and Prejudice I like so much. His face is rounder than mine though.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

TMI

Today is "I forgot to take a shower day". Forgot.
I woke up. Got dressed. Got breakfast. Took nap. And now I'm out and about and having completely forgotten to take a shower.
So I'm wondering "why do I feel so gross?"
Oh.
That's why.
Maybe I should just take another nap and hope for the best tomorrow?
That's probably the way cats rationalize everything.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cat News

Meydl.
I'm sure you're wondering "Why no pictures of the black cat?" Well he's been feeling poorly of late. He hates those awful sulphur baths the vet puts him through, but we need to take him like four more times to clear up his skin condition. Poor fellow was in a cage in a shelter for at least a month before we got him. He does, on the other hand, occasionally run around with Meydl and the other day my sister saw him licking Pushkin's head.
In any case, he mostly sits in a little cat ball on one of the couches in my parents' livingroom. It's just not that photogenic because he's an inky black puddle of cat when he does that. In fact, normally my parents can't see him at all when he's being a cat doughnut.
Pushkin is less than pleased with the new cable box. He barfed on the old one, shorting it out. I think he's done that to at least six other cable boxes. And that's no hyperbole. In any case, the new box has no vents on the top as a consequence of it running much cooler than the old cable boxes. Which makes it a much less pleasant place for a kitty. I told my mom we should put a heating pad on top of the box for Pushkin. She managed to nix that idea without saying any words out loud.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I am Omnipotent

Hmm... apparently Nancy McClernan thinks I'm in Canada now

http://mcclernan.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html#4301731001485681997
Meydl "chillaxin".

"Domain Name rogers.com ? (Commercial)
IP Address 24.42.74.178 ? (Rogers Cable)
ISP Rogers Cable
Location 
Continent : North America
Country : Canada (Facts)
State/Region : Ontario
City : Toronto"

I can't for the life of me think of who this must be (if it is, in fact, real.)

Canadians. Typing silly things into search engines. You guys crack me up. Plus you're thinking "Ha, Drew's the only one who will get any static over it!"
I never get anything fun in my searches, just "Andrew Bellware Blog" and "Mechs". The former is probably my sister and Maduka. The latter is... I have no idea but you can't imagine how many hits I get with the word "mech" on my blog. It's a surprising amount of traffic.

The Catpocalypse

My sister Jeanne (and there's still question in my mind about how to properly pronounce her name... after 46 years) took these pictures.
Meydl and Andrew Bellware.

Meydl and Andrew Bellware getting more pettings (Meydl, not Drew).

Pushkin being petted so. He can't keep his eyes open.

Well That Didn't Take Long



Nancy McClernan has been hammering my email addresses (as well as Facebook -- I didn't realize someone could contact you on FB without being "friends" -- shows you what I know.)
It's been going like this. First she spams me with multiple versions of this email:

  • Unbelievable. You libeled me on your blog yet again.

  • Remove your claim that I've ever said I was stalked. This is a lie.

  • You also imply I have stalked someone. This is also a lie.

  • Remove these lies about me from your blog now. Libel is an actionable offense.

  • Nancy McClernan
To which I (naturally) replied:

"Cease contacting me."

So of course she had to reply again:
  • On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 9:51 PM, Nancy McClernan <nancy@mergatroyd.org> wrote:

  • I am done with your libels and your search-text harassment.

  • Nancy McClernan

To which I (again, naturally) replied:

Cease contacting me and harassing me.

Her follow-up so far has been:
  • My lawyer will contact you.
Which I believe, in and of itself, constitutes a threat.

Will someone please remind me how she became something any of us care about? I'm sure if you look around on her blog you'll find more funny stuff. I only learn about the whack stuff she writes second-hand from actors who won't work with her anymore but still read her blog for amusement.

In the meantime, here's my cat. Pushkin. No really, he's there.

Damp Cat

I'm reading Dan Abnett's "Ravenor" omnibus, which is a trilogy in the Warhammer 40,000 series (because, apparently, I just can't stop reading them.) It's by far the best of the Warhammer novels I've read.
Meydl. Silly cat.
One thing which amuses me is his use of language by creating new slang which doesn't mess up the readability too much. I'm making a list of some of my favorite words and phrases. I expect that some of them might be actual modern-day British slang I'm unfamiliar with. But I dunno. I'll probably add to this list just so I can keep it around.
smile-girl = party girl. Originally I thought it meant "prostitute" but apparently that's not the nuance, it's mostly upper class women who are what we might call "fameballs" now.
twist = mutant. I think this is the best slang term for "mutant" ever. I'm totally stealing it for my personal use.
hammer = hired muscle, untrained mercenaries like you'd find in a gang
fleck = a kind of drug which comes in little glass-like flakes
gladstones = psi-narcotic stones which you hold and get you high
grin = noun, a drug. "A couple clansters were looking to lax out on some grin before the show."

Today I had a meeting about the movie business. It involved a lot of alcohol. If only we had cats in the studio it would have also involved cats. But meetings about business (especially the movie business) should always involve alcohol. Or morphine.

Ooh look, I'm being blogged about again. The best part is that originally she blamed one of our actors for stalking her, and now she thinks it's me. The irony is that those who claim to be stalking are frequently those who stalk. But bonus points for link to review. (H/T to Anon. for the heads up!)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Schlaef or Schluff

Man, I don't know why I've been so able to sleep 11 hours lately, but I have. I can never sleep more than 8 hours at a stretch yet lately I go KONK at about 11pm and don't wake up 'till 10 the next morning. I try to walk a few miles every day -- maybe that has something to do with it? If not, I'll just blame the change in the weather. Yeah. That's it. I'm hibernating.
Via.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Chinese Horror

So I had this horrifying moment last week. Horrifying in that I felt like the life I'd led until now was useless and wasted.
I was at Ten Ren Tea getting my mango bubble tea and the lady behind the counter said "Thank you" in Mandarin to me. (No, I have no idea why she decided to say that in Mandarin. I think she just likes to do that even though she speaks English.)
And I had no idea how to say "You're welcome."
Two years of Chinese in High School and a semester in what I laughingly call my "college half-year" and I have no freakin' idea how to say "You're welcome" in Mandarin.
So I looked it up on the Interwebs and it's all "Bu" something-or-other but I don't think you really use it in the situation in a store because when a storekeeper hands you change and your bubble tea and says thank you I suppose (just like in English) you should really say "good evening" or, more to the point in Chinese, "see you tomorrow" (which is also more relevant to me considering my Bubble Tea addiction.)
Still: egads.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

How Does This Qualify As News?

Or Valerie Plame, where are you?
Wikileaks discovers money is flowing to terrorists from support money the US is giving to Middle Eastern countries.
And meddling by Iraq's neighbors adds to Iraq's woes.
I'm mean I'm just shocked. Amazed. Faint-hearted at the news. How could we have known those things were happening?
I mean, other than them being public knowledge.
And seriously, is there anyone who's complaining about Wikileaks being "treasonous" who also wants Dick Cheney prosecuted for, you know, actual treason?

Friday, December 03, 2010

I Still Don't Understand

Why we have 7-day weeks. OK, I get it: the Bible. But why does the whole world do it that way? I guess it's because the Gregorian Calendar won the calendar wars.
Why we name our 7-day weeks the way we do.
Why all neo-cons are former Trotskyists.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Then There's This

Do you like your elephants loud? Do you like them on trampolines? Then you'll love this.

And seriously, is anybody surprised by any of the Wikileaks "revelations"? I mean, is there a single one where anything is released that we didn't already know? Ooh -- the US distrusts Putin! The Canadians feel "overlooked"!

Today I'm watching my computer crash over and over again.