RIP Michael and Farrah!

I am so overdue for an update here that news and personal events are piling up in a heap. Michael Jackson dead at 50! Farrah Fawcett passes away on the same sad day. Shmoopy was watching YouTube Farrah tributes last night while I was at my penultimate session of the writer’s workshop led by Michael McAllister.
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Despite all the craziness that surrounded Michael Jackson, his creative genius was never in question. He will be more remembered for his music and performances than anything else. Which is more than can be said for his adult life, sadly.

Amidst the gloom I got a chuckle from the statement last night from his attorney as quoted today in the papers:

“I have warned that one day Michael Jackson would wake up dead”

– in regards misuse of prescription drugs. Well, unfortunately he did not wake up.

At writing group one member said he was a huge Michael fan as a teen, even keeping a rhinestoned glove hidden in a drawer. Another member had the iconic Farrah Fawcett poster in his room. I still have a fondness for Charlie’s Angels – maybe Lifetime or Oxygen will begin a set of reruns.

Nobama

With the DOJ’s insulting brief against a gay California couple’s challenge to federal DOMA, I am even more over Obama. Just not feeling the Hope any longer. Bashing gays? Protecting torturers? Shutting down backers of a public health option for reform?

Nope. I’m not feeling it.

Viva tomato!

My Sweet 100 and Black Cherry are growing big – and I’ve already got some wee little cherry tomatoes. I put a daily reminder on my Blackberry calendar to bring the pot in at 5pm, but it only goes out on days (like today) where we have sun.

The heirloom beans stay on the roof but seem to be doing well regardless. I think they are pole beans, so I’ll need some supports soon.

Moving Men – Modern dance at The Garage

MovingmenThNQAF 2009 is in full swing leading up the SF Gay Pride the end of June. Too many events are going on across the City to get to all of them but Shmoopy got tickets for us to see the modern dance performance “Moving Men” last night at The Garage on Howard Street. More performances all month.

It was a great show – the space is intimate so you get the up-closeness that is impossible at a venue like Yerba Buena when we go to see ODC Dance. You hear the thumping when people hit the floor, the schussing of the slippers skidding across the floor. The lights even sometimes caught sweat flinging – reminding the audience (as if we needed it!) how much athleticism is required to do modern dance. In one piece a dance was silhouetted in a backlight open doorway, reached up and grapped a hidden bar. He did a one-handed pull-up, very slowly so the effect was his body lifting from the floor as if growing weightless. But no – a one-handed slow pull-up was just the start. Then he started a series of slow leg raises. But wait! Then he started a series of clock-hand twists. All in the backlighted doorway.

The show was choreographed for four dancers but the company had to replace one performer at last week when he got a job with Virgin Airways and was put on call all this weekend. (I said to Shmoopy – yeah its Gay Pride LA this weekend; you can bet any flight attendant with an ounce of seniority is on vacation in LA right now). Anyway they had to change some of the pieces to reflect a fill-in dancer, who did a great job – and he obviously didn’t have the background and training of the others. He was huffing and puffing like you or me would. But the show went on, and well done!

I’m now listening to Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” as I blog this. This piece was the music to one of the dances. In fact a lot of great music was heard and I’ve got to remember to get some more off iTunes. This piece is a Philip Glass-y with vocals thing. A nice change-up from all the dance music we listen to. Curious how modern dance performances eschew “dance” music.

What a busy week! Not complaining though – it’s good to find myself suddenly loaded with assignments. For my banking client I am now sorting through and getting them organized for three significant process reengineering efforts. For my high-tech client I’ve got two case studies in review and website content and layout coming. For myself I’m in a weekly writing workshop and another less formal writing group that meets (usually!) every other week.

A friend in Connecticut is threatening to get a Jane Austen reading club started – with (I think) a monthly Skype meeting. She hasn’t started it up yet. And I’m not pushing.

Next week I start traveling – down to LA where the bank client has main operations. After that, I think I will work almost exclusively from their downtown SF building – which will be great (i.e. not having to take 6am flights), although it’s much more difficult to do what I’ll be doing without a lot of face-to-face.

I managed to get some gym-time in this week, and also get dinners made so we haven’t gone back to our old habit of eating out every night. Thank God for Trader Joe’s pre-cooked ribs/pot roast/carnitas/ and even the chicken chilaquilies! Which were (almost surprisingly) good. Shmoopy has pitched in as well.

We take a break tonight though, an old San Jose friend now living in Russian Hill is having us over for dinner. He is a gourmet cook but the downside is the dinner conversation tends to be, ummm, either dull or totally unsuitable for dining. Couldn’t think of a more delicate way to put that. His husband is in medicine and he forgets not everyone wants to hear about the yellow-green pus swollen infection he had to tend to or the ER patient with blood spurting or what-ev-ah.

Busy weekend here. I’ve been reading Joan Didion’s “Play it as it lays” set in the late 1960s in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I hadn’t read Didion before – I tried her novel “The last thing he wanted” but found it too ‘inside baseball’ – somehow about things gone wrong within DoD and State. Just a jumble of acronyms to me. But “Play it as it lays” was tight, descriptive, and very redolent of the era. I’m going to read more – now working on “The white album” which is non-fiction about her life in the late 1960s. So it should be a good pairing with the novel.

We met a friend last night from LA at the GLAAD fundraiser at Trigger. Two nights in a row for us there. Ended up talking about relationship traumas and issues. I left early to get to a new literary reading series down the street – the Barbershop Reading series at Joe’s. It was a full house (and it is not a small space) and we were treated to two prose writers, a song writer and a poet. I’ll be there again next month – and will be reading. What? I don’t know yet. We’ll see.

I had the weekend off from work – whereas last week was pretty occupied with catching up on assignments for a client in Cincinnati. This week I did a new paper and a revision for the client in Melbourne – and I really like how the rev turned out, the voice is much more engaging even given the dry technical topic, so I hope the client is enthused as well. I have to work on headlines though. Also did another press release. This next week I have a new assignment for the client in Melbourne and will probably have a rev of last week’s work also. A client in Bangalore needs me to do a new website review – this is the site that I wrote content for, and now they have the graphics and layout set and are previewing it within the company.

Just finished dinner with a friend who is going through a bad breakup. Sudden, unforeseen, and he needed some support.