ceebeegee: (Default)
 So Wednesday I was assisting a coach in a class of 2-3 year olds. This coach is older, from Italy, and we have some awesome discussions. And he knows I’m a huge history nerd. So he was teaching the kids, and as the lesson progressed we ended up with a floor of big cones with smaller cones on top of them, and he wants the kids to knock them down. So he says “thees is lahk Rome and…”—looks questioningly at me—“…the Phoenicians?” I laughed and said “the Carthaginians, actually, although they spoke Phoenician.” So then I start getting into it and I’m encouraging the kids to “sack Carthage, we have to sack Carthage! Make sure they never invade our peninsula again!” Now I’m trying to figure out how I can come up with a lesson that incorporates Roman history—I have two kids (not even related!) in my Saturday class of 4-5 years olds whose names are Cassius and Livia and I love to call her Empress. My Saturday classes are outdoors and there’s a slope nearby—I can possibly recreate Hannibal’s passage through the Alps. The sack of soccer balls could be the elephants…
 
 
 
ceebeegee: (Mad Men)
I figured last night's Mad Men episode would be about the King assassination (last week's was set in March of '68). Yep. Wow. Even the background actors on this show are amazing--the cook who started sobbing when her heard the news over the radio in the diner really got to me.

Pete's showdown with Harry was awesome. The contempt on his face, in his voice when he said "we have a racist here!" Pete has many, many flaws but I love his noblesse oblige.

I like that they included the Lindsay story, although it was even more awesome than what Henry recounted. When Mayor Lindsay--a man as WASPy as I am, he went to Yale and St. Paul's, a man wrapped in privilege--heard the news about King, he said I have to go into Harlem. "Somebody has to go up there. Somebody white has to face that emotion and say we're sorry." As you can imagine his aides thought this was a Bad Idea but he insisted. He went up there with some people and walked down 125th St., walking through the crowd, telling them how much he regretted it, how important King's work was. He said this is a terrible thing. He was there. He wasn't cowering in a bunker or atop a high-rise, he was there in front of them. A real face, a real person, speaking to them as another human being, saying I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

THAT is a leader. That is some Guiliani on 9-11 stuff. Lindsay made some mistakes as mayor but that was an amazing moment.

The RFK assassination ep should be epic. My mother told me when she heard the news she started screaming, literally screaming. She said it's happening all over again, they killed him like they killed his brother. The 1-2 punch of two great men gunned down, within 2 months--just awful. Interestingly RFK had a similar reaction to the King assassination--he was giving a speech in Indianapolis when the news came in and the crowd was obviously very upset. Like Lindsay he didn't give some stiff prepared speech, he made it human, personal--he told them I too have a brother who was gunned down by a white man. I'm so sorry. Lindsay and RFK are credited with why there was no major rioting in Indianapolis and NYC in the aftermath of King's murder--unlike most other major cities, including DC. DC (aka Chocolate City--racial issues have always been a big problem in the district) was hit HARD--the P Street corridor didn't really recover for at least a generation.

I knew it!

Apr. 9th, 2013 12:11 pm
ceebeegee: (Mad Men)
The Groovy Murders--when Mad Men's premiere skipped over the Summer of Love but ended up in a dingy Village building, I immediately thought of the Groovy Murders (aka the hangover after the Summer of Love). Oh, such an awful story--I first heard about this during a documentary on TV (PBS?) about the Summer of Love and they talked about how very quickly the Haight turned from this idyllic hippie sanctuary into way-too-crowded, smelly and unsafe. How quickly the Summer of Love soured (in a matter of weeks, really)--and one example was the Groovy Murders. Linda especially stayed with me because she had such a WASPy privileged background--she even rode, for God's sake! Just another kid trying to figure things out and was murdered by a couple of "drifters." Awful and very sad.
ceebeegee: (Spring!)


High of 60 today? High of 62 on Sunday? 65 ON MONDAY??? Don't tease me, weather gods!

Picked up a free soccer game last night for one of the leagues (they needed a woman). It was at the Brooklyn Bridge Park--I HopStopped directions, foolishly thinking it would be as easy as that. OH NO. The directions took me to a very weird place--basically the Bridge was looming on my left and over me the whole time, and I knew the park was on the other side of that so I started bearing in the direction of where I knew the park was--and ended up on the Promenade. Which has no entrance or exit except at either end, and doesn't connect to the Park at all. So there I was, stuck, hurriedly walking to the end of the Promenade, hoping to find my way down to the park (the Promenade is directly over the BQE, the park is lower down than the BQE, right on the water). Finally I made it to the park but didn't see any soccer fields anywhere--I walked for another 20 minutes and finally found them.

Nice big fields too! It's been awhile since I've played full-field but I really do prefer that--something about the scope of the game. This was a great team too, LOTS of passing--I ended up playing really well with some passes I was very proud of*, and a couple of assists. made up for the epic journey getting there!

*Including a sweet bicycle kick pass to a teammate behind me.

When I left I went a different way and walked through the 'hood of Brooklyn that's closest to where the fields were. OH MY LORD, is Brooklyn Heights gorgeous. W.O.W. What a beautiful neighborhood--and that view!

Have another game tomorrow EARLY--the game is at 9 am aaaaalllll the way down at east River Park which is days away from the nearest subway station. I will have to leave the apartment around 7:45 to get there on time. OH THE HUMANITY. But I have to get in soccer shape--I haven't been able to play for a few months outside of my Dolphman league games

Okay, this?



makes me cry sad tears. This is a promo shot of the upcoming season premiere of Mad Men. The last episode of Season 5 ended in the spring of '67--this is from the premiere, so it's the next episode, and there is snow on the ground. WHICH MEANS THEY SKIPPED THE SUMMER OF LOVE. They skipped one of my favorite happenings of the '60s, a major, major cultural event, the explosion of the counterculture! (AND was kick-started by a marketing gimmick, Scott Mackenzie's song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" which was written specifically to mpromote the Montery Pop Festival). And even though the Haight was on the West Coast, the fallout (the Haight reached critical mass very quickly and by mid-summer was crowded way over capacity) was felt here in NYC as well with the so-called "Groovy Murders." Okay, I feel a Clio entry coming on, so I'll save my Deep Thoughts for that but the Groovy Murders are really depressing. Not as depressing as the Manson murders but still pretty sad.

Griffin text

I'm sure I'll love Sunday's episode anyway, and I know they're going for the "NYC is getting dirtier and less safe" angle but I'm still sad :(

Good News!

Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:24 am
ceebeegee: (Celebration)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting!

Having watched their wedding and that of his parents and knowing his family tree as well as I do, I feel ridiculously proprietory about this!

Hopefully it's a girl--now that they've overturned male primogeniture, it'll be nice to have a girl as Heiress Apparent, rather than Heiress Presumptive.
ceebeegee: (Snow on the river)
New Cliopolitan entry (FINALLY), all about the Long Island Express!  Read, comment, click, forward!

Um...

Sep. 21st, 2012 12:18 pm
ceebeegee: (Crescent Moon)
Okay, I post in a group called  [livejournal.com profile] craftgrrl--kind of the LJ version of Ravelry, people upload pictures/descriptions of their current or most recent project and everyone shares the love.  But this?  This is just weird.

Admit it:  he's the cutest little serial killer you've ever seen, isn't he? =)

Jack the Ripper eviscerated his victims--he literally tore them to pieces.  Click on that link and scroll down to see how poor Mary Kelly ended up.  (Whether or not it was just one murderer or several is immaterial for the purposes of this discussion.)  And of course, OF COURSE, as fucking always, he targeted women.  He literally slaughtered some of the most helpless, powerless members of Victorian society--women prostitutes--and multilated them in as insulting, misogynistic a manner as you can imagine.  Two of them, Annie Chapman and Catherine Eddowes, had their respective uteruses cut out of them, for God's sake.  Why is this something to be domesticized and made cute, complete with smiley faces?  This really happened--these women really died, and it wasn't that long ago.  We certainly do not live in a post-misogynistic society so how you can blithely laugh this off, I don't know.  I understand the fascination with JtR but this--this is just disturbing.

This reminds me a little bit of how the Powers That Be in the '50s tried to normalize the Bomb through domesticization--they had a term for the smaller bombs, they called them "kitten bombs."  *shudder*

Finally

Jul. 19th, 2012 06:16 pm
ceebeegee: (Riding)
Senate passes resolution, Obama supports it, to have moment of silence for murdered Israeli athletes.

Yes! It's an absolute disgrace it's taken this long. Just unbelievable. The IOC failed miserably back in '72 and Avery Brundage was a wretched example of Olympic ideals. (God, he sucked. From refusing to support a boycott against the Nazi Olympics to being a complete dick about the travesty of Jim Thorpe's stripped gold medals to ignoring the massacre of the Israeli athletes--a massacre that was enabled by HIS shoddy security practices--in every way he was just a terrible, terrible human being. He also had a female athlete, a gold medal favorite, kicked out of the Olympics for drinking champagne refusing him after he hit on her.)
ceebeegee: (Game of Thrones)
I posted this on the HitFix review of the Game of Thrones finale:

I honestly don't get Stannis's insistence that that's the law [i.e., that Stannis is the rightful king]. By LAW, Vicerys (and now Dany) should be ruling. Their father was the last King, and they were in line after their older brother and his children, all of whom were killed. Robert usurped the throne--although you could make a legal argument that he became the rightful ruler by right of conquest (which was how Henry VII assumed the throne in 1485). Or, if you want to get very technical, notwithstanding Joffrey, Tommen & Myrcella's actual parentage, they were in fact borne within wedlock and Robert is officially their father, and he acknowledged himself as such. That's the law. The real idea, which Stannis is resisting because it undermines his claim, is that after a certain point, power makes its own rules. Joffrey is king as long as the people want him to be king, or as long as he has an army to back it up. If Stannis's army, or Robb's army or Dany's dragons, can rewrite history, that's what will happen. Stannis's tone-deaf insistence on his "rights" isn't going to win the day, especially since he had his brother murdered to back it up.

Titanic

Apr. 13th, 2012 01:29 pm
ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
I'm writing up a Clio entry on the Titanic and just had to share this thought--Rose had MUCH more chemistry with Cal than she ever did with Jack. The whole scene where she and Jack are getting to know each other, when they're strolling on the deck and she's looking at his pictures? Cringe-inducing. THIS is supposed to lay the groundwork for her life-changing decision to throw in with him? HE'S TEACHING HER TO HOCK LUGIES. Nothing says sexy like seeing phlegm fly out of your beloved's mouth! The drawing scene when he's sketching is hot, but mainly because of Old!Rose's voiceover--i.e., we get inside Rose's head. The big problem is that she seems so much more mature than he does--Rose dresses older, she looks older, she looks bigger, she talks like a woman. He looks and sounds like a boy, she comes off as a woman.

Now Rose with Cal? HOTTT. (I love it when he says "Rose is displeased...what to do?"). I definitely think she could have schooled him on his disdain for Picasso and the like. He was crazy about her, even if he was a psychotic abusive prick. So don't marry him, Rose--but don't kick him out of bed ;) I think Rose and Cal would've worked better 100 years hence, when he didn't have quite so much male privilege on his side, and she would have more options.

I think finding a starlet from old Hollywood was a cool idea, but Gloria Stuart really looked nothing like Kate Winslet, and I don't think she was much of an actor. (Frankly I thought the Supporting Actress nom should've gone to the woman who played Rose's mother. SHE was great.) There's a way to deliver some of those awful lines like "you mean, did we 'do it'?" (*shudder*) You have to say it impishly--it's Rose stooping to conquer, Rose having fun with her aristocratic background and demeanor. You can't say that line flatly and informationally or it just dies because it is really a terirble line!

I do love that final scene--very sweet, her seeing all the rest of them in her dream (or maybe rejoining them, if she actually dies then).

Start Trek

Nov. 21st, 2011 06:47 pm
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
I watched Star Trek again last week and something occurred to me.

That opening sequence, when Kirk's father is trapped on the ship as the others are escaping and as his time is running out, he hears his son being born and is able to say "I love you so much--" one last time? Whether or not Abrams and the writer intended it, the sequence is an echo of 9/11. That is exactly what so many of the victims experienced.
ceebeegee: (Default)
The Lambeth Goosestep, all about the very first mashup (musical theater and history)! Read, comment, click, forward!

Yesterday

Aug. 24th, 2011 07:01 pm
ceebeegee: (Columbia)
Looking at pictures of the damage from yesterday, it's kind of amazing no one was killed. The National Cathedral had some pretty sizeable statuary fall, and the Washington Post has a picture of a car whose windshield was smashed from falling bricks. We're pretty lucky.

I was actually outside when the earthquake happened, just coming into the building. I didn't notice ANYTHING--of course, I was born in California, and it's possible I'm just too jaded ;) When I came into the apartment, Anya was freaking out--she said she'd just had "the most intense paranormal experience" she'd ever had in her life. She went on in this vein for 20 minutes or so--I suggested maybe it was an earthquake and she said it couldn't have been, or something besides the couch would've moved. She really went on about it--I grew bored with the conversation after awhile because something like this is ALWAYS happening to Anya. (Love her but she really has this need to be "special"--you would not BELIEVE the amount of drama that seems to single her out.) And lo and behold, she checks Facebook and comments about the earthquake were all over the place. That ended THAT discussion!

I spoke with an advisor at Columbia yesterday--I'd like to take a sabbatical for at least a semester, so I can let my savings account recover! Columbia is quite expensive and of course this is a non-degree program, so I don't qualify for any grants. And I won't take on debt for this, so I have to stop for a little bit. I also talked with her about grad school--specifically about the possibility of tailoring a program to my needs, as I wrote about last spring. She gave me the information for a couple of professors within the Department, and I'm going to email them to set up a meeting. So yeah--if that meeting goes well, then this year I was be applying to the Columbia grad school of Arts and Sciences. *crossing fingers* Like Professor Kosto, the advisor was also surprised to hear about my history blog--she said I was probably better prepared than most of their current students! Kosto told me flat-out "you should have no problem getting in" which is actually a little disconcerting, because the website makes it sound much more difficult (I can't remember exactly what it said, but something incredibly intimidating about how few students they accept). I don't know whose evaluation is more accurate, but I'd better ace my GREs!

At one point in our conversation, I mentioned that two of my brothers have Master's degrees--"and one is from Yale, so I can't just let THAT stand!" She knew exactly what I was talking about :) Where would we be without all our siblings? A lot less competitive, that's for sure!
ceebeegee: (oz)
Friday evening I went down to the Gene Frankel to see the last Planet Connections show I could, Doug's (our Tom in Sweeter Dreams) other show, Hummingbirds. Not bad at all--his performance was great, as were the two women. One of them (the two women) buttonholed me two weeks ago after Sweeter Dreams, raving about my performance and...touching me?! Not inappropriately but flirtatiously. I certainly wasn't offended but was wondering if I'd interpreted that correctly and later Duncan said "oh yeah, she was all over you." Okay, then! Anyway, she and the other woman, whom I'd seen in another PC show, Loose Women... (she was great) were both very strong. I couldn't hang out to compliment anyone afterwards, as I had to book way back uptown to catch the end of Jason's "Take Back the Park" viewing--I guess I'm sort of a mascot now!

I got there and it was a bit of a bust, due to the clouds. There were about 5 other men besides Jason--he introduced me and then he and I talked for a bit. After the interview came out the day before, Jason had emailed me, calling me "very brave" and he followed up on this. I demurred a bit--I'm not traumatized, and nothing lasting happened to me, other than radicalizing me even MORE about rape and violence against women. It's not brave, it's just facts. At any rate, he told me that he thinks the interview was not just on local radio, but on "All Things Considered"--which is national! Wow! He thinks this because some friends of his heard the interview in New jersey, out of range of local NYC radio stations. Pretty cool!

I got home and heard the AMAZING NEWS!!!! YAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!! So, so happy for all my gay friends and family--we truly are all brothers and sisters in the eyes of God! So happy that the New York legislators did the right thing. It is TIME! I started weeping, reading the explosion of joy of Facebook. Then the historian in me was even more moved reading what the legislators had said to explain their affirmative votes--this especially got to me:

Republican Senator Mark Grisanti then spoke about his struggle before coming to his decision to vote for the bill. "A man can be wiser today than he was yesterday," he said.

This is literally bringing tears to my eyes. This is how progress is made. This is how we make things better, not just for us but for those around us. This is the difficult, incremental process of social evolution. There has seemed to be so much anger and hatred for the past 20 years in politics--so many wedge issues, so much pointless divisiveness, so much cruelty. (Specifically, I'm thinking of shitty, godless Pat Robertson blaming 9-11 on feminism and homosexuality. That's not partisan, that's not ideological or true to your religious beliefs, that's just being a nasty, cruel piece of shit.) I'm not kidding myself that it's all ended--I know it hasn't. But by God, in the past 3 years, we've elected a black man to our highest office, and we've just doubled the number of gay people in this country who can be married. Even the setbacks are being nullified, like when Prop 8 was overturned in the courts. I love reading about the '60s--there was so much incredible heroism in the civil rights and anti-war movements, and so much history was made. It happened so quickly. My friends, these are our sixties. This is our time, our chance to change the world for the better. To grow, to accomplish--to change the world.

By the way, I just called my state senator and thanked him for voting yes on Friday. His assistant was thrilled, thanked me and told me also to email him, which I will.

Saturday was the final performance of Sweeter Dreams--Christine was there, as was my friend Linda, as well as Jason and Caroline. Jason was right up front laughing at everything, it was great. I had a little fun with the interview scene and finally FINALLY got a laugh on my throwaway snark on Joanna Remarque. I made two small adjustments--I emphasized my criticism of her in my first monologue just a little bit more, to set it up, and then in the interview I made the eye roll bigger and FINALLY got a laugh! I also added a new obnoxiously correct pronunciation--Spielberg is now Schpeelberg, the way the Germans would say it. Heather told me they all laughed backstage when they heard that.

After the show Jason and I got Mexican food and just had a nice long convo. I had plans to have dinner with Tim so I raced hom and got ready, then I met him at Houston's by the Lipstick Building (one of my favorite buildings in the city). We talked forevs, had a lovely time. He thinks the cop rape verdict is complete bullshit, BTW. We went to a bar for a nightcap and the Yankees game was on--they showed a guy sliding headfirst in slomo and I commented that I'd done hook slides (and of course regular slides) but I'd never slid head first, I was too nervous about messing up my face.

Sunday I slept quite late--finally got up and cleaned and got ready for my Sunday softball game. We played the Northwestern team and HAMMERED them. The final score was 12-1. Yikes! I hit .500, plus a sacrifice grounder. And I was part of a double-play--there was a runner at 2nd who was caught between the bases when our center fielder caught it. I yelled "Throw it here, he has to tag up!" And when I got the ball, ran his ass down, even though I could've just ran back to 2nd base. But what fun would that have been? :) It's more fun to tag them!

At one point I was on 1st base and someone popped it up to the infield--the 2nd and 1st base players weren't communicating too well, so I gambled, thinking they wouldn't catch it. Well, the 2nd basewoman DID catch it so I was in trouble since I hadn't tagged up! I DOVE back to 1st base just under the tag--so now I can say yes, I HAVE slid head first!

After the game 5 of us hung around for batting practice and then we went over to a bar when the Northwestern team told us they'd be. And--I think one of my teammates was flirting with me? Sometimes it's hard to tell. But he seems to direct a lot of attention my way--he's always teasing me or asking me questions, and then he was comparing our gloves (his is huge and expensive, mine is very old--I've had it since I was 8-9--and NOT-expensive) he said something like "I'll only buy her a good one if she goes on a date with me." Um, what?! I'm just saying, my female radar is pinging. He is cute, though. Anyway, we all had pitchers and maued wings. Nom, nom, nom...

Clio entry

May. 17th, 2011 12:20 am
ceebeegee: (Default)
New Cliopolitan entry (all about the Royal wedding and attendant issues). Read, comment, click, forward!

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