Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cereal anytime!

There's a new restaurant coming to Iowa City soon. It's called The Cereal Cabinet and will offer 35 types of cereals as well 45 to 50 toppings including a variety of nuts and fresh and dried fruit. Different types of milk will be available as well according to this article in the PC. I am not a really big cereal eater (and I hate milk on my cereal), but I think this sounds like a great concept for a restaurant, especially in a college town. If I were in college, I'd like the idea of being able to get different cereals at 10 pm while studying for a test. It's located right down the street from Prairie Lights, which is definitely a good location.

Good luck, Cereal Cabinet!

I'm an uncle... again

It really doesn't lose any excitement even though this is the seventh time I've become an Uncle. Little Mia Falduto was born the morning of November 29th. She weighed six pounds, six ounces. Mother and baby are both doing well. Dad sounded very excited when he called yesterday. Big sister and big brother are hanging out with relatives while their parents get to know Mia. It sounds like she'll be going home tomorrow.

My brother is my only sibling to have more than two kids. I admit I'm a little jealous.

Edited to add a picture of Mia:

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Iowa Abstinence Billboard

I saw this on a friend's website. This isn't going to make Iowa look good.

I mean, really, who comes up with this stuff? Iowa isn't hip. I'm sorry, but we all know it's true. And that's okay. There are plenty of great things about Iowa. We don't need to pretend to be hip by using words like "bling" on our abstinence billboards. (Of course, the effectiveness of any abstinence billboard is highly questionable.)

And for heck's sake, if you have to use the word bling, don't put it in quotes and make it abundantly clear it's not a word you actually use in regular conversation.

By the way, anyone know where exactly this billboard is located?

Monday, November 28, 2005

The kiss of death

In case you ever wondered why a lot of schools have gone peanut free, check out this news article about a 15-year-old girl who died after kissing her peanut eating boyfriend. Rachel's favorite food is peanut butter and jelly. Clearly, that's not going to work when she goes to kindergarten next year. The article mentions that the number of people with peanut allergies is rising, but no one is sure why that is. This article offers some suggestions:

Researchers suggested several reasons for the increase:

  • Consumption of peanuts by women during pregnancy.
  • Infants exposed to peanut through breast milk, which may contain major peanut allergens.
  • An increase in the number of families who become vegetarian or supplement their diet with vegetarian foods, often containing nuts, particularly peanuts.
    Anyway, that's why Samantha is not allowed any sort of peanut product until she is two. Can you imagine your child being deathly allergic to one of the most common kid foods out there?

  • A very different Thanksgiving

    For the first time in my 30 plus years of life, I didn't spend Thanksgiving with family. I took a seasonal job at a store in the Coral Ridge Mall to make a little extra money and had to work the day after Thanksgiving. We'd planned many moons ago to go to Minnesota to visit Sharon's relatives for turkey day and it would have been too much of a hassle to get back to Iowa in time for work the next day. So I stayed home. I was kind of looking forward to spending some time by myself which happens rarely. A friend invited me to spend Thanksgiving with him and his family, but I was kind of set on spending it alone and besides I knew I didn't want to drive to Cedar Rapids. It was a darn nice offer, though. So I was playing poker Wednesday night (and losing, sigh) when it came up that I was going to be alone for Thanksgiving. greenman kindly invited me to spend Thanksgiving with him. He'd won a turkey and was going to be using this rotisserie thing-a-ma-bob to cook it. I waffled, but in the end I said yes. And that morning I got another invite to Thanksgiving from fellow poker player Tanman who probably had to clear it with the wife before inviting me. I'd have said yes to him if I hadn't already said yes to greenman. It was nice to see that the Thanksgiving spirit is alive and well out there in the world.

    I was definitely glad I took greenman up on his offer. The food was excellent. You know how sometimes turkey can be really dry? Not this turkey. Mmmm. The slices practically melted off the bird. There was also this spinach salad with raisins that was amazingly good. And I can't stand spinach. So we ate, we played some poker (of course), and we watched the latest episode of Lost, which I had completely forgotten about the night before.

    It was good to spend the day with friends rather than alone. So thanks, greenman!

    Sharon and the girls got back on Saturday, which was good because I was really missing them by then. And I used the time to myself to get some yard work done, hang up the christmas lights, set up the Christmas tree, and clean some of the house. A productive weekend overall.

    Oh no!

    Random Mentality is gone! What has happened? Will it be back?

    Inquiring minds and all that.

    And just when Random disappears, Crap Flinging Monkey returns. Is it connected? I could make up a great story about that, I bet.

    Good taste

    So we get into the van this morning to take Rachel to preschool. Sami is babbling away about doggas. Rachel asks me to put in the Singing in the Bathtub CD, which features John Lithgow singing a bunch of kids' songs. I sigh quietly, but say okay. As I am getting into the front seat, Rachel says she's changed her mind. She'd rather hear "Today for You, Tomorrow for Me". I blink. The song from Rent? I sing a little bit of it for her and ask if that's the right one. She says "Yep." So I pop the CD into the player and listen to Rent on the way to preschool.

    My kid is into musicals. Love it.

    Rain Forest update

    State 29 has a round up of the latest news on the ridiculous rain forest project. You can also check out Dweeze's position.

    Basically, the rain forest folks (i.e. David Oman and Robery Ray) have been talking to Dubuque since September, which they'd previously said they hadn't done. So they lied. I know, big shock. Also, they sent a letter to Coralville with more demands (more land and assurances that Coralville can raise something like $40 million) and insisted they get a response by December 2, which is what? Two weeks later? Never mind the fact that they ignored Coralville's request for a timetable and detailed plans by a certain deadline. If Coralville bows to these idiots, there's no way the City Council members will be running unopposed next time. Hell, I'll run for City Council myself. This debacle is has gone on long enough. I don't see how any of these Council members can look at themselves in the mirror if they let Oman and Ray walk all over them like this.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    A major change

    I am going back to work full time.

    I had thought I might do that next fall when Rachel starts kindergarten, but an opportunity came up now and I feel I should grab it while I have the chance. I am excited about going back to work - I have missed it - but I am also very sad that my career as a stay-at-home dad is coming to an end. It's been the best job I've ever hard and easily the most difficult. There's no manual for being a dad. I made my share of mistakes, but I think overall I've done a good job. So why go back to work? Well, it's just too tough to make it on one income. We've stretched ourselves to the limit to give the kids these three year of full time parenting and that's really all we can do. Costs have risen each year and salaries really haven't kept up. Even if I didn't find this full time job, I would have had to find evening jobs that would have resulted in Sharon and I seeing each other mostly on weekends. That's no way to live. Rachel's ready for kindergarten right now, so I am sure she'll handle the change without any problems. Sami will be two in January and she's getting more and more independent all the time. I think she's ready.

    I am not going to publicly post about exactly what the job is until I get settled in for a little while. But suffice it to say I am happy with it.

    But what a change this is going to be.

    Quick moments from my day

    Conversation with Rachel 1:

    "Daddy, is there a guy inside the traffic light?"


    "Well, I think there is."


    "Must be a a pretty circle-y and thin guy though."

    How the Present makes me think of the Past:

    I drove by Perkins today and noticed that they had congratulated Shelly for 20 years of service on their sign. That made me wonder if Shelly might be that waitress who has worked there since I came to town in 1992 and looks just like Phoebe from Friends. We used to go there all the time during college after a show or No Shame because it was open late. And they used to have pasta bread bowls which were excellent.

    Conversation with Rachel 2:

    "Yes, Sami, that's your bottom. You have a bottom and a volvo."

    "That's vulva, Rachel."

    "Vul-VA. Thanks, Daddy. What do boys have?"

    "A penis."

    "Why do boys have a penis and not a volvo?"

    "Because boys and girls are different."

    "No, they're not."

    "Sure they are."

    "How do you know?"

    "Because I've been around a long time and I know a few things."

    "I think they are the same."


    "Boys and girls are the same. Boys and girls are the same. Boys and girls are the same."

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Overheard on the way home from preschool

    I was driving Rachel and her classmate Dane home from preschool today. They were discussing their day. Dane, a very sweet boy, proudly says that he made a turkey as a project at preschool.

    To which Rachel replies in her most put out voice:

    "Dane. Everyone made a turkey."

    Later Rachel is instructing in fine art of drawing a peacock on her magna doodle in a very teacher-y coice.

    "Dane, I'm going to put dots and then you can draw it. It's kind of tricky here so I'll help you if you want."

    And then while Rachel was drawing the peacock, Dane asks to see the work of art. Rachel says:

    "Dane, you do not need to see this right now."

    Where did my kid get such an attitude?

    Happy Birthday, Rachel

    My big girl is five years old today. I really can't believe it. She's just so big and mature and confident. She's smart, too. One of things that's been really surprising is how good she is with numbers. Rachel seems to be a bit of a whiz at math as she is adding and subtracting all over the place. This is almost as suprising to me as her athletic ability. (She was the best player on her soccer team over the summer.) We're not sure where she gets these skills. She's also working on her reading, figuring out sounds and spelling words. I have a series of books that will help with reading that we're going to start soon. It'd be nice to get her reading before kindergarten. I know she's capable of it.

    I just want to know when this little girl:

    became this big girl:

    Happy Birthday, Rachel.

    I hope he runs again

    The following is why I still have a John Edwards for President sign in my garage. From the Des Moines Register:

    Edwards: We made a mistake. Now let's take steps to leave

    November 18, 2005

    I was wrong.

    Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told — and what many of us believed and argued — was a threat to America.

    But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.

    It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake — the men and women of our armed forces and their families — have performed heroically and paid a dear price.

    The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth.

    While we can't change the past, we need to accept responsibility, because a key part of restoring America's moral leadership is acknowledging when we've made mistakes or been proven wrong — and showing that we have the creativity and guts to make it right.

    The argument for going to war with Iraq was based on intelligence that we now know was inaccurate. The information the American people were hearing from the president — and that I was being given by our intelligence community — wasn't the whole story. Had I known this at the time, I never would have voted for this war.

    The urgent question now, though, isn't how we got here but what we do now. We have to give our troops a way to end their mission honorably. That means leaving behind a success, not a failure.

    What is success? I don't think it is Iraq as a Jeffersonian democracy. I think it is an Iraq that is relatively stable, largely self-sufficient, comparatively open and free, and in control of its own destiny.

    A plan for success needs to focus on three interlocking objectives: reducing the American presence, building Iraq's capacity and getting other countries to meet their responsibilities to help.

    First, we need to remove the image of an imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq. American contractors who have taken unfair advantage of the turmoil in Iraq need to leave Iraq. If that means Halliburton subsidiary KBR, then KBR should go. Such departures, and the return of the work to Iraqi businesses, would be a real statement about our hopes for the new nation.

    We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals. Therefore, early next year, after the Iraqi elections, when a new government has been created, we should begin redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq. This should be the beginning of a gradual process to reduce our presence and change the shape of our military's deployment in Iraq. Most of these troops should come from National Guard or Reserve forces.

    That will still leave us with enough military capability, combined with better-trained Iraqis, to fight terrorists and continue to help the Iraqis develop a stable country.

    Second, this redeployment should work in concert with a more effective training program for Iraqi forces. We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule showing that, as we certify Iraqi troops as trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will be withdrawn.

    Third, we must launch a serious diplomatic process that brings the world into this effort. We should bring Iraq's neighbors and our key European allies into a diplomatic process to get Iraq on its feet. The president needs to create a unified international front.

    Too many mistakes have already been made for this to be easy. Yet we must take these steps to succeed. The American people, the Iraqi people and — most important — our troops who have died or been injured there, and those who are fighting there today, deserve nothing less.

    America's leaders — all of us — need to accept the responsibility we each carry for how we got to this place. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives in this war, and more than 150,000 are fighting there today. They and their families deserve honesty from our country's leaders. And they also deserve a clear plan for a way out.

    JOHN EDWARDS, a former senator from North Carolina, was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004.

    Just yesterday I was asking how do we get out of Iraq now that we've created this situation. Today, I find an answer. Thanks for offering a plan, Mr. Edwards.

    Couple of Lost links

    I found a couple of interesting Lost websites. The first is, which has a ridiculous amount of information about every episode, character, nickname for a character, and pretty much anything else you might want to know.

    The second focuses on the unanswered questions of Lost. There are a million of those, huh? It's a blog called Totally Lost and you can get there by clicking here.

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    New Iowa blog!

    Here's a link to a new Iowa blog. Welcome, iKasper. I think I'll do another search for Iowa blogs and see who else I can add to the list. Updates to come.

    Good or Evil?

    I decided to find out how much good and evil my site possesses and this is what the Gematriculator came up. I could say this site is:

    This site is certified 74% GOOD by the Gematriculator

    Or I could go the other route and state that it's:

    This site is certified 26% EVIL by the Gematriculator

    And then I could laugh maniacally.

    The Iraq War

    I have not been in favor of pulling the troops out of Iraq immediately because I believed that once we were there, we needed to leave the place better than when we arrived. However, when people like Rep. John Murtha stand up and say we should do an immediate withdrawal, you have to stop and think. He is a former Marine Corps Colonel and a veteran of the Vietnam War.

    According to the article:

    Murtha's call for a withdrawal may have a significant impact on the debate over the future of the Iraq war, as both Democrats and Republicans seek his advice on military and veterans' issues....

    Murtha, who has served in the House for over three decades, is the senior Democrat and former chairman of the Defense Appropriations Committee and voted in favor of the Iraq war. Now, he said, the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq are "uniting the enemy against us."

    "Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty," he said. "Our military captured Saddam Hussein, captured or killed his closest associates, but the war continues to intensify."

    I guess it forces us to ask the question - when are we finished over there? If we leave now, will Iraq fall back into a dictatorship and put us back at square one?

    Of course, then there's the argument that if they do, they do, and it's none of our business anyway. But we went there and took responsibility so don't we have to see it through to the end? Maybe we shouldn't have done that, but we have, so now what?

    No easy answers, huh?


    Comments like this (link to article) do not help:

    "They want us to retreat. They want us to wave the white flag of surrender to the terrorists of the world," Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said.

    This such a ridiculous distortion of what is being suggested. It's part of the fear mongering which lead us into this war in the first place. Removing troops from Iraq is not surrendering to terrorists. Plus, Rep. Murtha specifically says that we have to redeploy the troops. He's not talking about surrendering to terrorists. Hastert is an idiot.

    Last weekend!

    Fortinbras has only two performances left - this Friday and Saturday. We have lots of reservations already so I recommend reserving tickets or showing up early.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Funny Lost movie

    If you're a fan of Lost, you should check this out, assuming your internet connection is fast. It takes a while to load using a cable modem. My favorite part is the flashback disco dance party.

    A couple of silly tests

    via Kris


    To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    This one, I don't buy. I am so not Elvish. But the next one, ok, I agree with that.

    Big Bird
    You scored 75% Organization, 70% abstract, and 83% extroverted!
    This test measured 3 variables.

    First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

    Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

    Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

    You are very organized, more abstract, and more extroverted.

    Here is why are you Big Bird.

    You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. Big Bird is never sloppy and always under control... pretty good for a 6 year old bird living without a family.

    You both are abstract thinkers. Big Bird is a dreamer who always wonders what the world is like. You definitely are not afraid to take chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you
    playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough to get by.

    You are both extroverts. Big Bird gets along with everyone. He makes friends easily and always has a positive attitude. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

    My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
    You scored higher than 89% on Organization
    You scored higher than 93% on concrete-abstra
    You scored higher than 96% on intro-extrovert

    Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Arrested Development Done?

    Fox has cut Arrested Development's episode order from 22 to 13. This is almost always a precursor toward cancellation. Yahoo is reporting that the show is done, although other reports say there's still a chance it'll come back. The best line in that second link is:

    Give me 13 episodes of "Arrested Development" over five years of soul-sucking lameness like "According to Jim" any day.


    I mean, honestly, it's one of the funniest shows ever. There are more jokes crammed in the first two minutes of any episode than most situation comedies have in 25 minutes of laugh tracks. It will be an absolute crime if this show is canceled.

    A quick Google search brings up a Save Arrested Development Petition. 4792 signatures so far. Help save the funniest show on television!

    Is he joking?

    An article in the Press Citizen today detailed the financial records released by the Iowa Rain Forest project. They're spending tax payer money while making zero progress. Here's the kicker:

    Some $321,021 went to salaries for six people, five of whom started during 2004 and therefore did not collect full salaries, Oman said. Oman's salary in 2004 was $189,500 plus $5,310 in benefits, an increase from $148,791 in 2002 and $175,000 in 2003.

    Oman said the project keeps salary costs below similar projects by maintaining a smaller staff.

    "We're running this in a pretty tight way with a very small number of people working very hard," Oman said.

    Running it "tight"? Oman's making $189,500/year and he calls that tight? Plus, he's had substantial raises each year while accomplishing nothing. This is sickening. How does this man sleep at night?

    Monday, November 14, 2005


    Thoughts about the Bears game...

    * I have never seen wind change the direction of a kicked football like that. At one point the Bears rookie kicker sent a ball straight toward the uprights and the wind took it a completely different direction.

    * I have never seen Adrian Peterson run for over 100 yards in a single Bears game. Of course, neither has anyone else. With Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones out with injuries, it looks like our running game is still strong. Thank God, since we can't seem to throw the ball.

    * I have also never seen a field goal attempt caught 8 yards in the end zone returned for a touchdown. Nathan Vasher (the Slasher?) entered the NFL record book with the longest scoring play in league history.

    * I have also never seen a football party thrown together so quickly and effortlessly as my sister-in-law did yesterday when informed the night before that my family and another brother was descending upon their house on Sunday. Tasty pizza and a delicious brownie for desert. Plus, the sister-in-law in question is 8 months pregnant!

    I think there's no question the Bears will win the division and get into the playoffs, but I'd feel better about the whole thing if the Lions, Vikings and Packers didn't all win yesterday. Not that the Packers at 2-7 offer much of a threat. Heh. Still, the Lions and especially the Vikings with veteran Brad Johnson at the controls, could still mount a counterattack.

    Here's a picture of Adrian Peterson, the Bears new starting running back:

    Crazy orange jerseys, huh?

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Couple of local issues

    There's an article in the Press Citizen today about the recommendation of the Iowa City Alcohol Advisory Board. In a shocker, they say forcing the bars to go 21-only is not the answer. The co-chair of this Board is none other than Leah Cohen, owner of Bo-James, a downtown, um, bar. Isn't that sort of like setting the fox to watch the henhouse? Of course, the Board is going to say the 21-only ordinance is not the answer. They have a vested interest in alcohol sales. This whole thing is just a sham, just like the last time they got together and said they'd make changes to help the underage drinking problem.

    Although councilors say they intend to hear the bar owners' proposal, Mayor Ernie Lehman and some city activists assert that bar owners did not keep the promises they made last year in association with the 19-only proposal.

    Owners vowed last year to hire extra bar monitors, mandate wristbands, provide free non-alcoholic beverages and require all alcohol servers to be trained to identify underage patrons and fake IDs.

    Just go 21-over and be done with it.
    Moving onto the rainforest issue, there's a PC article explaining that David Oman and his board voted 14-1 to stick with Coralville. Oh, gee, thanks. Really thrilled with that decision. Couldn't find any other sucker cities that want a monorail, huh?

    And in a attempt to save face, Senator Grassley said that the Rain Forest folks wouldn't be able to use any more of the $50 million government pork grant until they come up with matching funds. The deadline for that is 2007. I am rolling my eyes, in case that's not coming through. And apparently, they've already spent $2.9 million and have no matching funds to show for it. Way to waste $2.9 million in govenment money, Chuck.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    Sorry to disappoint...

    To the person who found this blog by googling Sex Oasis.... my deepest apologies for not living up to your expectations.

    And the person who was googling talon mower crap... well, I am dying to know the story behind that one.

    And finally, to the person who googled "Corn of Copia Picture", that blog is one street over, second house on the left.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Tuesday thoughts

    This just annoys the heck out of me. How low can you go? Lousy thieves.
    I thought about voting today, but all of the Coralville City Councilors are running unopposed. The only reason to vote would be to change the current City of Coralville Library Ordinance:

    22.03 QUALIFICATIONS OF TRUSTEES. All members of the board shall be bona fide citizens and residents of the City. Members shall be over the age of eighteen (18) years.

    to include one member from unincorporated Johnson County. Which seems like a good idea to me, but you know, I don't care enough to actually take my two rambunctious children to the voting booth.
    There's an interesting vote going on in University Heights, the tiny little town that ought to just be annexed into Iowa City and is known mostly for the fact that it's one long speed trap. Currently University Heightsers have to buy an Iowa City library card for a one time fee of $100. However, the library is going to discontinue that policy if the UHers don't pass this bond:

    “Shall the City of University Heights, Iowa levy a tax not to exceed 27 cents per thousand dollars of valuation for support of a public library,with the levy to expire after five years on June 30,2011?”

    So if it doesn't pass, residents of University Heights won't be able to get library cards. Can you imagine being cut off from the library?
    Fortinbras got a good review. The reviewer was absolutely right about the strong cast.
    This is funny. And strange. And James ought to appreciate it with his recent panda posts.

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Wow, that's a funny show

    I saw Fortinbras tonight and I can't remember the last time I'd laughed so much in a single evening. The actors are alll excellent, especially Chuck Dufano as Osric and Greg Aldrich as Horatio. And Bill Gerlits is Polonius! I just feel damn proud to have Bill on Dreamwell's stage. Bill's been doing theater in Iowa City forever. He's a living legend, really. I was lucky enough to work with him in Barefoot in the Park many years ago. He played the telephone repair man. It's a small part with huge laughs and Bill got every one.

    Truly, it's a show you cannot miss if you're in the area. And since we for all intents and purposes sold out opening night, I recommend getting a reservation through the website or by calling 319-541-0140. Usually our audiences get larger each weekend but they can't get too much larger than opening night.

    Oh and because I am sure you're wondering... the sword fight was excellent.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Fortinbras pictures from the DI

    The DI has a couple of Fortinbras pictures at their website. Photos by Aaron Hall Holmgren.

    "The gaze of Alex Stansky´s ghost of Hamlet cuts through the darkness at the Dreamwell Theatre in ´Fortinbras´ on Tuesday evening."

    "Horatio (Greg Aldrich) holds the dead body of Hamlet (Alex Stansky) during the opening scene of Fortinbras during rehearsal on Tuesday evening at Dreamwell Theatre."

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Macbeth's review and Fortinbras' article

    I would like to get over to the Fairgrounds to see Macbeth, but my weekend is pretty full. There was a review in the Daily Iowan today. There were some good parts to the review:

    "Luckily the acting contains superb moments, namely in the heartfelt, intense soliloquies from Macbeth (Abraham Peterka), who delivers Macbeth's "dagger" monologue, one of the first indications of the Scot's creeping madness, with surprising personal touch."

    "Moongarden stuns people with its moments of intimate engagement, but otherwise, the show's best audience is those who have not seen or read the work before."

    But for some reason, the reviewer was less than impressed with Lady Macbeth and the witches. Which is suprising to me.

    "Lady Macbeth (Paula Grady) does all she can to provide the malicious muscle needed to egg on her husband, but Grady's demeanor is too serene and kindly. Her long, flowing red hair and careful, quick strides evoke a slightly batty fortune teller rather than a power-hungry force."

    "Unfortunately, the witches in Moongarden's version "boil, boil, toil, and trouble" with all the inspiration and costuming of bored Stevie Nicks imitators."

    What I liked best about the article (and I imagine the City Circle folks liked this sentence, too) was the fact that the reviewer mentioned Dreamwell. Hee!

    Though the performance space mystifies one with its slanted barn roof, glitzy blue lighting, and location on the outskirts of Iowa City, many of its actors are familiar faces from Dreamwell Theatre in Iowa City and City Circle in Coralville.

    Fortinbras got a preview article that includes this gem:

    "Within the space perhaps better suited for retailing shoes, Dreamwell's production proves that parody can work anywhere."

    I appreciate the comment about we prove parody can work anywhere, but must he bring up retailing shoes? I don't think that spaceever even sold a single shoe! Grumpity, grump.

    I said this in the article:

    "I'm a believer that when you do Shakespeare, you should do something to make it different," Falduto said. "We're relating it to current life and having fun with it."

    Considering the fact that the reviewer (same reporter who did our article) made a point of writing about how Moongarden's Macbeth is "plain" and "without any off-the-wall directorial decisions", I am sure he was thrilled to get my contrasting quote about how you should do something different with Shakespeare. His question to me was a leading one and I probably should have realized there was a reason he wanted me to say that. I haven't seen the print version of the articles, so I wonder if they're on the same page.

    Anyway, let just repeat.




    Check it out.

    Book recommendation

    I recently finished A Girl Named Zippy. Excellent memoir. Touching and funny and true. I highly recommend it if you'd like a glimpse of small town life through the eyes of a very real little girl.

    Next on my list is Shopgirl by Steve Martin.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Gaghans and Paolos

    Unfortunately, the Gaghan family was eliminated from the Amazing Race last night. Which means the spoiler is right and if it holds true, the Godlewski family is next. I suppose it could be the Weaver family if it continues counterclockwise. Or it's just a coincidence.

    I was really sorry to see the Gaghan Family get eliminated, but I have to give those parents credit. They knew their kids well being was the first priority. Little Clarissa said "Winners don't quit, and quitters don't win" as they were driving toward sure elimination. Sure, it's a cliche, but it shows this is a kid who is being raised by good folks. At the end when they were eliminated, Dad Gaghan told both kids, "Good job." It was clear they wanted to their kids to be proud of their accomplishments. I am happy to say Amazing Race Family Edition has impressed me and my worries seem to have been for naught.

    Something else has started happening in the last couple of episodes... I've started rooting for the Paolo Family.

    This is the team that I despised in the first episode. The oldest son, DJ, was so disrespectful to his Mother. Of course, Mom Paolo is not much better. The Dad doesn't say much and I think the younger son is kind of like the Dad in a lot of respects. However, last episode we saw them do the bungee jump together. They really supported each other, especially Mom Paolo sticking with DJ through the whole thing. DJ is terrified of heights. They jumped together and it really seemed to be a turning point for them; it seemed to bring them closer together. In last night's episode, the boys got a newfound respect for Dad Paolo who showed his physical strength by lifting these massive bunches of bananas. And then they had to race to the Pit Stop and Mom Paolo again impressed by giving it everything she could so they could come in first place. Afterward, Dad Paolo talked about how proud he is of his wife and how much he loves her. They just really seem like a real family that has real fights and still loves each other and sticks together no matter what. The Paolo Family has come a long way since the first episode and I hope they continue to do so.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Thanks, Einy

    Via Kris, who has a different suggestion for weekend entertainment.

    Macbeth or Fortinbras... really, it depends on your mood. Do you want to laugh or cry? Or maybe laugh til you cry?

    So much good theater in town.


    This Friday, Fortinbras opens at Dreamwell.

    It's easily one of the funniest plays I've read in the last five years. If you're looking for a laugh a minute evening to stave off the upcoming winter blues, this is the show. And....


    I mean, really, does it get any better than that?

    Reserve tickets through the website or call 319-541-0140.

    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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