Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Deep Throat revealed

Well, Deep Throat has revealed himself. He's 91 year old W. Mark Felt, who was second in command of the FBI in the 1970s. I am glad the mystery is over. It's hard to have a strong opinion about the Nixon scandal and Watergate, as for me, it's just a part of history. I didn't live through it. Someone said to me once that the only difference between Nixon and any other president is that Nixon got caught. A cynical view, to be sure, but there's also an element of truth to it. At least, it's indicative of the overwhelming feeling in this country that politicians are not to be trusted. Maybe that inherent distrust in our politicians is the real legacy of Nixon. I've voted in almost every presidential election since I was eligible to vote, but I have never voted for anyone. It's always been about the lesser of two evils or voting for someone I knew never had a chance. In the most recent election, I was motivated to register as Democrat for the first time, not because I was so excited about John Kerry or the Democrat party, but because I was so disgusted with George Bush. The flip side is that I believe our political system is the best one on the planet. For some reason, however, we keep screwing it up. And right now Bonnie Tyler is in my head...

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero 'till the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life



Saturday, May 28, 2005

Star Wars quiz

I admit, I thought I'd end up as Anakin, but know myself well I do not.



You scored as Yoda.

Yoda

81%

Anakin Skywalker

64%

Obi Wan Kenobi

53%

Darth Vader

53%

General Grievous

47%

Mace Windu

47%

Clone Trooper

39%

Emperor Palpatine

39%

Chewbacca

33%

Padme Amidala

31%

R2-D2

28%

C-3PO

28%

Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, May 26, 2005

24 American Sith Lost

So I am thinking you don't add an "s" to Sith to make it plural. I think it's one of those words that can be plural without the "s" and you use context to figure that out. Just in case anyone was wondering about the post title.


The 24 finale was good, but different from all the others in that the exciting climax... wasn't that exciting. Some namless pilot shoots down the nuclear missle. Okaaaaaayyyy.... kind of boring, guys. However, the ending with Tony, Michelle and Chloe faking Jack's death was a great twist. And it provides an interesting set up for next year. Overall, it was a great season.


The Space Monkey Leader has a thoughtful analysis of Revenge of the Sith (and the whole prequel trilogy for that matter). If you're a Star Wars fan, you have to check it out. Plus, it's only Part 1! Who knows what tomorrow brings?


In other news, Bo Bice is probably better off having not won. Being runner up certainly didn't slow down Clay's career. I look forward to Bo's album. It will be the first American Idol album I purchase.

Rachel quote from the finale: "I didn't want to Carrie Underwear to win!"


LOST SPOILER FROM LAST NIGHT! DON'T READ ANY FURTHER!


Okay, did anyone else think Lost was over after the raft abduction scene? I was watching it on tape so I couldn't tell by the clock that was still time for another segment. I almost switched the TV off! That definitely should have been the last scene. I mean, how exciting was it to open the hatch and find out it was covering .... a hole? Should have ended with Michael sceaming "Walt!"

Overall, it was a great episode with a lot more humor than I expected. I loved the Hurley running to catch the plane flashback. The shocking death of Arzt or Arndt or whatever his name was was suprisingly funny. If you have a morbid sense of humor anyway. However, was there a shot of the monster that I didn't see? I saw black smoke... was that it? I don't get that at all.

And we're left with lots of other questions:

1) Was Sawyer shot?
2) Can Jin, Michael, and Sawyer survive with their raft blown to bits?
3) Where does the hole in ground lead?
4) Who are the guys who stole Walt and why did they steal him?

We have a few stories set up for season 2:

1) Charlie's continuing battle with heroin now that he got some from the plane crash.
2) Jack vs. Locke, with Kate backing up Jack... or will she?
3) The rescue of Walt

Overall, I was happy, but I really wish they had ended with the raft stuff. The hole in the ground was a letdown.


I think that ends my 2005 TV season. And the summer shows don't sound that interesting to me. I might catch a little of Big Brother, but I am not excited about it. Maybe it's time to focus on the movies. I saw trailers for Batman Begins and the Fantastic Four over the weekend. The former looks great, but I am still unsure about the latter...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Interesting quiz

This is one of the more interesting quizzes I've run across. Thanks to Kris.



You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative

88%

Existentialist

69%

Idealist

69%

Romanticist

63%

Postmodernist

50%

Materialist

44%

Modernist

25%

Fundamentalist

25%

What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com

I'm Lost

Tonight is the season finale of Lost. Sure, I've talked about American Idol in this space more than Lost, but the truth is when both shows have their season finales tonight, there's only one that I really care about. If there were no VCRs in the world, and I had to choose, I'd pick Lost without hesitation. (That said, if Bo doesn't win tonight, America is pretty darn stupid.)

Lost is one of those mythic shows, like the X-Files was. There is a mythology to Lost and it's fascinating. The continuing story draws you in and you're dying to know the answers to the mysteries... eventually. That's the danger with these sorts of shows. X-Files is an example of a show that failed because it didn't know how to handle the mystery. The audience does need answers. We don't need them immediately but we do need them eventually or we'll lose interest. Dragging out the reveal can kill a show. By the time we got X-File answers (sort of), we didn't care anymore. Lost is still really early in its life, so there's no worry about that, yet. I just hope the creators of Lost realize that eventually they need to answer the mysteries and provide an ending that works. Even if it means the network loses its hit show sooner than they'd want.

For those who like previews, here's a link to a Yahoo site with some vids.

*SMALL SPOILERS and SPECULATION AHEAD*
(Really, I don't know anything for sure, but in case you don't want to even know what the rumors are, don't read ahead.)











Tonight, we're supposed to get some answers about the monster. And apparently someone dies, although word is now that we won't know who that is until the beginning of next season. I guess at the end of the season, a lot of characters will be in jeapordy. The final pages of the script were only given to the people on the raft so that's where we're ending. You have to figure someone on the raft is probably going to die. Who will it be?



It won't be Walt, the kid. It's clear he has some unusual powers that will play a part in the future of the series. But his dad, Michael, might not be so lucky. Losing Michael could really shift Walt's story into high gear. Also, Michael doesn't have a major storyline outside of his relationship with Walt and building the raft, which is now complete. Sure, there's a flirtation with Sun, but that is one of the smaller stories. On the other hand, Sawyer is part of a major romance with Kate. He's not going to die. He's also a breakout character. The only thing that might hint toward him dying is fact that he told Jack about his father before leaving the island. If he had kept that secret, I know he'd be safe. As it is, he's still probably safe. And then there's Jin. Killing off Jin would make me the saddest. His love story with Sun is one of the most fascinating parts of the show. I really want to see them have another chance. However, his farewell to Sun was indicative of someone who was about to be killed off.

Survival Chances:

Walt: 100%
Sawyer: 85%
Jin: 50%
Michael: 20%

I hope it's Michael, but really I hope it's no one!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Rachel update

Rachel's our four year old for those who are casual readers. ("4 and a half!" she tells me as I read this to her.) Anyway, Rachel got her first bike this weekend. It was a gift from her Grandma and Grandpa, and kindly enough Grandpa put it together for us. Putting things together is not my strong suit. The bike is pink, with a basket and streamers as Rachel requested. She loves it. In fact she gave it a hug and kiss shortly after seeing it for the first time.

Here's a picture:



She is a little scared of going too fast. She fell a couple of times and skinned her knee once. She now has knee and elbow pads at her request. She knows how to use the brake and I think that was her favorite part of riding the bike. For a while there she'd pedal twice around and then brake. Then pedal twice and brake. Over and over. It took a while to get anywhere. Of course, stopping to look at ants or stand on the manhole cover in the neighbor's yard slowed us down, too. Then we played a "Catch the Gingerbread Man" game where I was the title character and as she was chasing me she didn't think about braking. As you can see from the picture, she is using training wheels. I was against them at first and if she were a few years older, I'd probably have said no to the training wheels. My feeling is she's going to have to learn how to ride twice. However, at 4 and a half just learning to pedal and steer are enough of a challenge. We'll get to the balancing part after a while.

It was a lot of fun helping her learn to ride. She had both grandmas helping her out too. Grandpa also sent her a cowboy hat. Here's a picture of my cutie bear with the hat:

Music Quiz





Your Taste in Music:


80's Rock: High Influence
Progressive Rock: High Influence
80's Alternative: Low Influence
80's Pop: Low Influence
Adult Alternative: Low Influence
Classic Rock: Low Influence
Hair Bands: Low Influence



...nod to Kris.

It's really over now

I saw Revenge of the Sith yesterday. Yeah, it was really good just as everyone's been saying. I felt like I was watching one of the first three movies again.

However, I felt really sad at the end and not just because the movie is a tragedy and we see Anakin become Darth Vader. I felt it was the end of an era, the end of my childhood even. Of course, here I am, thirty plus years old and childhood is long behind me. But the promise of a return to Star Wars, that great adventure that so captured my youth, kept that sense of youth alive inside of me despite jobs, responsibilities, bills, and having kids. I've always summed up my philosophy as "innocent man". You hold onto the innocence of youth while still accepting and fulfilling adult responsibilities. I never realized what a big part Star Wars was until it hit me that it was really over.

So I'm feeling somewhat maudlin today. Of course, part of that might be due to the terrible weekend I had.

In thinking about all six movies, I have come up with a ranking.

Tie for #1: A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.


A New Hope is number one because the wonder of the first movie was so overwhelming and life changing. It was the perfect hero story and probably is responsible for shaping my desire to be a hero in my own life and my fascination with heroes that I have explored in my writing and other's writing.

Empire Strikes Back would have this number one spot all by itself if it weren't for the fact that A New Hope came first. It was easily the most exciting, most real, best acted movie of both trilogies. And it had the best humor. Not suprisingly, Lucas didn't write it or direct it. I'm just saying.

#3: Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith takes this spot away from Return of the Jedi, although I'd like to watch Jedi again soon to feel the fresh impact of the climax when one considers what happened in Sith. Still, this movie was the fulfillment of the promise, and I greatly appreciate it. Plus, the pain I felt while watching the betrayal of the Jedi was palpable. I think one of the best moments of the movie was the very young jedi padawan trying to fight his way to Bail Organa and being cut down just short of escape. The end where Anakin falls in battle with Obi Wan was cataclysmic and the transformation to Vader was perfect.

#4: Return of the Jedi

Jedi gets this spot despite the Ewoks. I really wish Lucas had gone with Kashykk instead. I'd love to have seen the Wookies fighting the Empire at the end. Anyway, it was a fine end to the series and will probably resonate more now that we've seen the fall of Vader.

#5: The Phantom Menace

Worst title, but not the worst film. This movie had enough excitement to draw us back in. Sure we weren't thrilled with "midichlorians" and yes, Jar Jar was nearly unforgivable on so many levels, but overall the film worked. The introduction of Padme and the young Obi Wan was well done and Qui Gon Jinn was a great character. A lot of people weren't thrilled with seeing Anakin as a kid without any hint of Vader within him, but I think it was the right way to go. Kids are just kids even the ones who become mass murderers. That's the lesson the fall of Anakin teaches us - we're all susceptible to the dark side. We make the wrong choices and we could end up on the edge of a lava river horribly burned and near death. Well, okay, maybe that won't happen, but still.

#6: Attack of the Clones

This was the movie that almost made me give up on Star Wars. It was boring. It had a terribly cliched romance. (When I think of the great Han-Leia romance in comparison, I cringe.) The acting was awful. And I blame Lucas for that because there is no doubt that Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Ewan Macgregor and Hayden Christiansen are good actors. I wish I could rewrite this movie.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Beware Spiderman! Eric Foreman is back in town...!

Topher Grace (That 70s Show) is going to be the villain in the next Spiderman movie... Um, who the heck is going to play? Was there a kid wonder type villain for Spiderman?

A silly quiz

gonzo
You are Gonzo!! You really dig chickens and pigs
(wink wink). You are wacky with an extremely
good imagination. You are also prone to
getting into trouble.


Which Muppet are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Geez

My wife has worked at KGAN TV for... I think it's nine years now. Nine years. I was interviewed for a story about Dreamwell yesterday and in the 10 pm broadcast, they had me listed as "Michael" Falduto. This is despite the fact that I was laughing with the cameraman, who was also named Matt, about how many Matts there are around here.

It was a pretty decent piece about the theater otherwise.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Star Wars name

So I hear the last Star Wars movie is actually good. I'll try to see it this weekend, but I refuse to get my hopes up. Anyway, in the meantime, check out this which has been flying around the internet lately:

HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR STAR WARS NAME.

Your New First Name
1. Take the first 3 letters of your 1st name.
2. Add the first 2 letters of your last name.

Your New Last Name
1. Take the first 2 letters of your Mom's maiden name.
2. Add the first 3 letters of the city in which you were born.

Your Star Wars Honorary Title
1. Take the last three letters of your last name and reverse them.
2. Add the first three letters of the make or model of your first car.
3. Insert the word "of."
4. Tack on the name of the last medication you took.

I am... Matfa Lewin, Otufor of Advil!

May the Force be with you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The next American Idol

After last night, there is no doubt that Bo Bice should win American Idol this year. For his first song, he sang Dont Let the Sun Go Down on Me by Elton John. Excellent. Pure Bo. And that's the thing about Bo. We know exactly who he is. He has his own sound and it's great. So many of the other performers are singing the songs, but they don't infuse the performances with their unique style. That's what Bo does. His third song was the Stones' Satisfaction. Great performance. He reminded us all that he is a rocker. It was fun, and while it didn't show just how great he can be, we didn't need to see that in the final song. Because in between those two songs was the finest performance on any season of American Idol.

Bo chose to sing Within a Dream by Badlands .... a cappella. I don't even know the song. And usually that plays a big part into whether I like a performance. In this case, I was glad that the first time I ever heard the song was Bo's version. It was haunting. Beautiful. Perfect. I listened to it twice. There is no doubt in my mind that Bo Bice should win this competition.

The other two did really well. Even Carrie, who I don't like very much, was good. But it doesn't matter. The competition is over. Bo is clearly one hundred times better than either of the women. I have never bought a CD by any of the previous American Idols. But I think there's a good chance I'll pick up Bo's CD.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Dreamwell on TV

If you watch the 5 pm news on KCRG TV Channel 9 today, you'll see a segment about Dreamwell Theatre. Matty Brewbaker talks about the theater. Josh Sazon and Kevin Burford donned wigs and beards for a scene from The Book of Liz. Check it out!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Gazette Article about Dreamwell

The Gazette covered us in their Sunday paper with a nice article and big ol' picture. There's no link to the article, but here's the text:

Dreamwell finds home in mall
By Eric Clark The Gazette

IOWA CITY — The next time you want to go to the theater, you might want to check out the mall.
Dreamwell Theatre, a volunteer theater troupe that has performed at various locations in Iowa City for eight years, has moved into a second-floor space in the Old Capitol Town Center.

The group’s previous homes were in the Wesley Foundation and the Unitarian Universalist Society. The new location is about 2,600 square feet, which is nearly twice as much room as the troupe ever has had.

‘‘’We’ve been trying to get our own space for years,’’ says founder Matt Falduto, 33. ‘‘Downtown Iowa City is such a great place and the mall was willing to work with us.’’

‘‘The Book of Liz’’ will be the troupe’s first production at its new location. The play, written by humorists David and Amy Sedaris, was performed in November by Dreamwell Theatre and was the group’s most popular show to date.

The four-actor comedy is about a nun who leaves an Amish-like community to find her own way in the world. Falduto says the play is funny yet rarely performed.

‘‘We’re trying to carve our own niche,’’ Falduto says. ‘‘We want to put on shows you might not have heard of but you won’t soon forget.’’

Dreamwell Theatre usually stages four plays a year. Other plays scheduled for this year are ‘‘David’s Red Haired Death’’ in June, ‘‘Baal’’ in September and ‘‘Fortinbras’’ in November. Next year, the troupe will attempt to stage six plays.

Falduto says he does not find it odd that a performance theater is in a mall.

‘‘We’ve been around for eight years,’’ he says, ‘‘so hopefully we’ll be in this location for another eight years and then another eight years after that.’’

Contact the writer: (319) 368-8809 or eric.clark@gazettecommunications.com




My question is... why did they want to know my age? Once you hit thirty, shouldn't that question be off limits? I mean, what news value does my age have in this story?

Anyway, check out The Book of Liz this weekend. Tickets sales are brisk - we're over halfway toward being sold out for the opening, so I recommend reserving them online or calling 319-541-0140.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

ICCT's next season

ICCT has their 2005-06 season on their website. Two of their shows next year - Fiddler on the Roof and My Fair Lady - will be performed at the Englert. I can't understand why they aren't going to do The Odd Couple there as well. It's a big enough name show that it should draw the audience and it's cheaper to produce than the musicals. Strange decision, in my opinion. One of the other things I noticed about their fall schedule is that there is very little overlap with Dreamwell's fall schedule. Fiddler will go up opposite the last two nights of Baal, but that's it as we don't have anything in October and they don't have anything in November. That's very good for both theaters.

DI article about Dreamwell

The Daily Iowan has an article in the 80 Hours section today about Dreamwell's grand opening. There's a great picture of one of the actors in the print edition. For the online edition, go here.

Last night, we cleaned up the space and set up our chairs including the ones we borrowed from the Iowa City Community Theatre. It's really starting to look like a theater in there now. I'm getting really excited.

Did I mention that if you've ever worked on a Dreamwell show, you get in for half price? I hope to see a lot of familiar faces on May 20.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Iowa Blogger Get Together

Kris at Random Mentality is organizing an Iowa blogger get together. Check out her post for the details. I am hoping to make this one since it'll be in Iowa City.

Amazing Race and American Idol

SPOILERS FOR THE AMAZING RACE AHEAD. TANMAN, DON'T READ ANY FURTHER!






Let's start with the Race. It was a great finish. Uchenna and Joyce, after arriving last at the penultimate pit stop and losing all of their money and possessions, came from behind to win it, narrowly defeating Rob and Amber. Ron and Kelly finished a distant third.

There is, however, a controversy brewing. Rob and Amber made it on a flight to Miami, Florida ahead of Uchenna and Joyce. Uchenna and Joyce raced to the departure gate only to discover that the flight was closed. They even removed the runway from the airport to the plane. There was no chance of getting on the flight. Cut to commercial. When we return, we discover that the pilot decided to let them on and the plane actually taxis back to the gate. Um. Hrm. That sort of thing just never happens. A lot of people are suggesting the producers had a hand in it because otherwise Rob and Amber would have won easily and the finish would have been boring. I hate to align with conspiracy theorists, but I would be surprised if the producers didn't have a hand in it.

And here's what really burns me up. Having Rob and Amber win it by making that plane would not have been anti-climatic, it just would have placed the climax a little bit earlier than usual. They could have done a great ending as Rob and Amber triumphantly move from clue to clue to finally win the Race they deserved to win by being the best racers ever. So I am a little disappointed in that sense.

Still, Uchenna and Joyce are great people and it was great to see them win it. I think despite the probable producer manuevering, this has been my favorite season of the Amazing Race.


Moving on to American Idol. I loved last night's show for one reason and one reason only. Anthony Federov and Carrie Underwood sang the same song - If You Don't Know Me By Now - and his performance blew hers away. In fact, both of Anthony's performances were great. I think I liked him better than anyone else last night, even Bo.

Carrie was not bad at singing the country song (Sin Wagon), but Amy Adams did a better version last year. She's still the Carriebot, devoid of emotion or full of forced emotion that doesn't ring true.

Bo bored me on the first song (Travis Tritt's A Great Day to Be Alive), but he still sounded good. His second song (don't know the title) was much better, but still I wasn't blown away like I have been in the past. Rachel still loved him, however. "I'm a Bo girl!" she said.

Vonzell was pretty bad on the first song (How Do I Live) and Paula played a sympathy card for her during the judge comment section by alluding to some really emotional event that affected her performance. I would love to know what the heck she was talking about. Vonzell's second song (Don't Leave Me This Way) was much better.

I already mentioned that Anthony nailed If You Don't Know Me By Now, but he also gave us an excellent performance of I'm Already There by Lonestar. I definitely think this was Anthony's best night. His voice, when he's hitting it, sounds like Dennis DeYoung's voice. I hope Anthony squeezes through this week. My dream is to see Carrie go home tonight, but her fanbase is huge, so she's probably safe.

Still Constantine went home when everyone thought he was safe....

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Cop Talk... er Law & Disorder is back!

Apparently, he just couldn't stay away. Check out Law & Disorder, formerly CopTalk. I really enjoyed it before and look forward to seeing the new improved version.

An amazing season

This has been one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, season of Amazing Race. The teams have been great, the competition has been fierce, and the spoilers haven't ruined it. (Something that cannot be said about this season's Survivor, in my opinion.)

(Incidentally, remember the sunset background spoiler from way back when? Turned out to be false as Rob/Amber, Ron/Kelly (mountain background) and Uchenna/Joyce are the last three teams.)

The finale is tonight. I would be happy to see Uchenna/Joyce win it all. They were a good team and they clearly love each other very much. They are a great couple who support each other. So if they win, I'll cheer for them. The one team that I hope and pray does not win the Race is Ron/Kelly. Her comment about Ron not being committed to the army because he used his experience as a POW to get honorably discharged was perhaps the coldest comment ever made on any season. Not that Ron has been that nice to her, either. So Uchenna and Joyce over Ron and Kelly, definitely.



Which brings us to the final team and the one I am really rooting for - Rob and Amber. Yes, they already won a million dollars on Survivor: All Stars. Yes, they are mediawhores who are milking every minute of fame they can. But so what? Look at the way they've run the race. They worked together as a team. They support each other always. They never attack each other the way practically every other team has. And they've come in first an amazing four times. They've never been worse than fifth place. No other team has performed as well and no other team has had everyone gunning for them before the race even started the way Rob and Amber have. In the preview for the finale tonight, we see Amber saying, "I can't go on!" and Rob says, "Get on my back!" He carries her. How many times have we seen a footrace where the stronger teammate runs hard while screaming at his teammate to hurry up in a futile attempt to win? We won't see Rob doing that because he's loyal to Amber. Win or lose, they'll do it together.

Rob and Amber deserve to win. I hope they pull it off.


That said, I'm not going to watch their spectacle of a wedding in a week or so. I mean, come on.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Dweeze's questions

I am taking part in an interview meme that I came across while reading Dweeze's blog. The blogger gets questions from someone else, posts the answers on his blog, and then opens it up to others to ask for questions. (The rules are posted at the bottom of the post.)

1. If you had to choose between never directing again and never acting again, which would you choose and why?

This is a far harder choice than I thought it would be. I haven't done nearly as much directing so I don't want to give it up before I'd have the chance to really sink my teeth into it. But still, I would probably choose "never directing again", I think. I just enjoy acting more because of the rush of performing. And I think I as I get older there will be some really interesting roles for me to play. And I am a better actor than director (at least at this point) and, while I love challenges, if am I forced to choose, I'd rather do what I am best at.

2. What would you like your daughters to know about you? (Not necessarily right now, but when they are older.)

Everything. I want them to know about my childhood, the mistakes I made, and the things I did well. I would like to be an open book to them. I don't want them to have to wonder what their dad is like. I want them to know me very well.

3. What is your proudest moment unrelated to either your immediate family (Sharon and the girls) or theatre?

Tough question. So many of my best moments have been tied to family and the theater. Oh wait, this is easier than I thought. I once wrote a 50+ page epic poem about a boy who survives the destruction of his city and wanders into the forests and mountains until he finally finds another human being. Finishing that poem, which is one of the finest things I've ever written, is my proudest moment that doesn't relate to family or theater. Oh, and the poem is entitled Survivor. Yes, it was long before the reality TV show came along.

4. What teacher (or professor) had the greatest impact on your life? Why?

None of my college ones. I barely remember their names. I would have to say Ms. Guenevere Olson, my 9th and 12th grade english teacher. As a freshman in high school, I struggled because I didn't fit in and I was so upset about that that I didn't work hard in my classes. Even the ones I liked, which included Ms. Olson's English class. At the end of the year, I realized I was not going to pass the class because I had not completed the research paper on Huckleberry Finn. I was actually going to fail and not become a sophmore. This was ... completely ... unbelievable. I had always been a good student. Always. I totally panicked. My parents were extremely upset. I pleaded with Ms. Olson to pass me, but of course, she wouldn't do that, but what she did was far better. Ms. Olson, recognizing that I might be worth a second chance, told me I could write the paper over the summer and if it was good enough, she would pass me. She gave me a second chance when I really needed one. I didn't let her down. I completed the paper, although by the time I handed it in, I hated it. But it was good enough to earn a passing grade and I became a sophmore with the rest of my class. I learned a lot from that. Generally speaking, people deserve a second chance. But you shouldn't just get a second chance - you have to earn it. And it helped my self esteem to know that Ms. Olson thought I was a worth a second chance. And when I had Ms. Olson for 12th grade English, I was able to show her how far I had come. That was a great feeling.

5. What place would you really like to go to that you have never visited?

There are so many places. I want to visit Ireland because my family comes from there and I have relatives living there now. I would also like to visit Italy for the same reason. However, I think I would most like to visit the places where Jesus and his followers lived. For me, there are many unanswered questions about Jesus and that period of time and I would think that being there I might find some answers. Incidentally, I've been researching the Gnostics and the differences between those groups and what became the Catholic Church. Fascinating stuff. I will have to blog about it soon.


And now the rules for those of you interested in being interviewed:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by asking you five questions of my choosing.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. If you don't have a blog, you can post your responses in my comments section.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post, following the same rules.

Help?

So I am in this Survivor game where you have to guess the order of the booted contestants. Every once in a while you can get bonus points. This is this week's bonus puzzle:

"1. ROWPO FCTMWMST RWDD OVMK JOK UWTFJ PSXUKFFWSXVD?

2. ROVJ PSDST PVT RWDD JOK TKRVTI POVDDKXYK RWXXKT RWX?

3. JS ROSQ RWDD ZKUU HTSNFJ YWMK JOK WQQCXWJL XKPBDVPK?

I can tell you that in these questions, I did not use the English letters Q X and Z. If your coded answers use one of these letters, use the code letters A for Q, G for X, and E for Z."

If anyone can figure this out, I will be eternally grateful. I am not good at this kind of stuff at all.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Too much time on his hands...

Lost is a great show. Easily one of my favorites this season. And it has a lot of fans. But this guy may be the biggest fan ever.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wanna be a pro baseball player?

My answer is no way. I can't stand baseball. The only sport more boring is golf. Still, I found this to be a unique fundraising idea. The River City Rascals are offering a chance to be a professional baseball player for one day. You get:

- Minimum 1 At Bat

- Play half inning in the Outfield

- 1 Day Professional Contract

- Keep game Jersey and Hat

- 20 Tickets for Family and Friends

Proceeds from the auction benefit River City Rascals Charities, which according to their website is basically United Way.

The highest bid with four days to go is $2,225.00. So how much would you pay be a pro baseball player for a day? Dweeze, you're a big fan. Would you be interested if you had a couple thousand to spend?

Cut it out!

So there's a movement called Vote for the Worst which is pushing everyone to vote for Scott Savol to totally mess with American Idol and force them to market someone who has no business being an "American Idol".

I want all of those people to know that if Bo loses because of this inane idea my four year old girl's heart will be broken. Broken, I tell you.

Vote for Bo and save a four year old's heart!



Edited to add Rachel's comment upon seeing Bo's picture above:

"Bo! Rock and roll, buddy!"

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Another Iowa blog... sort of

I received a congrats email about the new Dreamwell space from an old friend who appeared in Barefoot in the Park with me a few years ago. Turns out he is a contributer to a blog, so check it out if you like. The blog leans left. And since there is at least one Iowa contributer, I am declaring that enough midwestern influence to be placed on my Iowa blogs list.

Movin' on up

The Press Citizen has an article about Dreamwell's new home at the Old Capitol Town Center.

One thing that's not mentioned in the article (because I didn't know it would be happening when I was interviewed) is that anyone who has ever volunteered for Dreamwell whether onstage, backstage, or behind the scenes gets into the grand opening for half price - $6, which coincidentally was the price of admission to the first Dreamwell play eight years ago. The other day I went through the old Dreamwell programs and looked at all the names of the people who have been in a show over the past eight years. I am so grateful to each and every one of them. Every one them is part of the reason why Dreamwell has gotten to this point. I hope everyone comes to the grand opening so I can say thanks in person.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I hope the North Koreans love their children too

There is a lot of talk in the news right now that North Korea could potentially attack the United States with a nuclear warhead. Certainly they could hit Hawaii and Alaska and probably the West Coast as well. This is, to me, scarier than anything we faced during the part of the Cold War that I remember, i.e. the 80s. At that time, we had a president who was committed to bringing peace, who knew how to reach out to the leaders of other countries. Reagan, for all his other faults, was instrumental in ending the Cold War because he was able to reach Mikhael Gorbachev as a man, not as the enemy. Contrast that with our current president who has adopted a policy of pre-emptive strike, who has goaded terrorists with inflamatory comments like "Bring it on!", and who just a few days ago referred to Kim Jong Il as a "tyrant". I don't deny that the man is a tyrant, but there is a huge difference between me saying that and the President of the United States saying that. North Korea has made it clear that there will be no talks so long as Bush is the president. Great. Way to work those diplomatic channels, Mr. President. Not that diplomacy is what this president believes in. I hope we don't all pay an even higher price than we already have because Bush doesn't know how to talk to people.

Let's talk about the policy of pre-emptive strike for a minute. Talk about a slippery slope. What's to stop North Korea from deciding we are an imminent threat to them and attacking us first? And by our own policy, we'd be hypocrites to denounce them. When war is not the last resort, the descent into anarchy begins.

And frankly, I am little scared.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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