Thursday, November 02, 2006

Into the Woods

My roommate's brother and sister-in-law are staying with us. They're very friendly. I can hear him snoring through my wall. This usually scares his wife down to the living room to sleep on the couch, which means when I want a snack I have to tiptoe around in the dark.

I love musicals. They always impress me: so much coordination. The hours of work are readily apparent.

I should relate that during this particular production of Into the Woods, during one of Cinderella's dialogs with her helpful birds, from the orchestra pit came the expected sound effects of chirps and tweets, and then--unexpected, but very audible--a massive moo.

Wrong button. The band was in hysterics.

JAY: Did you hear about the Topology Journal?

SCOTT: Is that like, the beginning to a joke? Like I say no, and you say, "It's bent out of shape"?

JAY: No.

SASHA: Have either of you seen this before? The final number has a tune that sounds just like The Candyman. "Sometimes people leave you..." Which of course is the same notes as "Who can take a sunrise..."

SCOTT: I guess this proves once and for all that Sondheim is a hack. "Who can steal a melody..."

The Beardless

JAY: I miss your beard. I liked your beard; I demand you bring it back.

SCOTT: I needed to know if it was me people liked--or just the beard. Anyway, it turned out to be the beard. Whoops.

Also, while I'm dumping crap out of my camera, here're some photos of the zoo. I go to the zoo often, so it's questionable which trip this was. But chances are Jay was there, because--let's face it--if we lived in Massachusetts, Jay and I would probably be celebrating our second anniversary.

The tortoise was frightened of us, but in the half hour it took for it to run away, I managed to snap a shot.

This is an Indonesian honeybee. It feeds primarily on Indonesians.

A rare cat-snake. It's a snake that looks like a cat.

No idea.

Queen of the crustaceans: the spiny lobster. In Melville's sequel, Moby Douchebag, Ahab hunts one of these as vengeance for his stolen watch.

What might be a sliver of hippo!

So utterly elegant.

We found this thing in Jay's apartment.

This was in a bird cage, or monkey cage or something. When we saw it, Jay said, "So that's what happened to my package."

Crazy-looking bird: I recall liking the first season of Alias. But then it just started to go downhill.

Monkey thing: Look, I'll give you that, but I think the second season was worthwhile too. The third sucked.

Bird: Sucked.

Monkey: So did you see the Office last night?

Bird: No. You know everybody says I should watch that.

Monkey: Do you like the whole Christopher Guest, mockumentary, genre?

Bird: Mockumentary?

Monkey: Yeah. Like Spinal Tap.

Bird: Never saw it.

Monkey: Or Best in Show.

Bird: Oh. Yeah, I remember liking that.

Monkey: Well, then, I think you'd like--wait, a pair of homosexuals are taking a picture. Squawk at me or something.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I was studying in Wolff this evening (Structuring Venture Capital turns out to be a stimulating class if one has the reading done) when I heard a gasp, and looked over to see Jay, frozen in position, eyes wide.

I snapped a picture. You see, I've been to the Midwest--and I knew I'd seen that expression somewhere before.

Jay Goodman Tamboli: I had a really interesting idea.

Scott D. Scheule says: Did you hear a coyote? Was that the idea?

But go easy on Jay. Today he and he alone came to class in a Halloween costume.

I don't get Rautavaara (but I will be getting some Finnish hits after mentioning the name). Granted, I've only listened to his Symphony No.7, and Annunciations, but those are supposedly some of his best stuff, and, with the former at least, all I hear is a bunch of breathy sugar.

Now, Copland on the other hand, is very fine. I've been listening to his early orchestral works--spiky, concise, punchy and spooky. None of the corny socialist stuff, but plenty of the modern socialist concrete and steel. The Symphony for Organ is lovely, and the Piano Concerto quite fresh.

EDIT: At the proper volume, Anunciations is well worth listening to.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Caught Up

Had all of my reading done today--more amazing, actually understood and participated in Professor Ginsburg's class. Such a day occurs but once every 32 years, when the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter rises in the East. Or did it have something to do with the four dozen snails I swallowed yesterday?

Today, I opined to a friend that few of the defenses social conservatives give for not extending marriage to gays are genuine (that, of course, does not render them illegitimate), not the slippery slope argument, nor the welfare of children. In fact, I don't even imagine Biblical arguments are all that truly believed--as there are plenty of edicts in the Bible we happily ignore or bend beyond recognition. What reason for harping on the particular sin of homosexuality?

No, I imagine that the true reason people disapprove of gay marriage is because they disapprove of homosexuality, and sanctioning it in a public fashion would mean--perhaps--having to see more of it, more openly displayed. It is, to be sure, abnormal after a fashion (but normal after another), without obvious procreative value. And people disapprove of the abnormality, rightly or wrongly. Recall normalcy isn't all it's cracked up to be either.

Now my opinion: no person has a right to forbid others from joining into whatever union they wish, and no person has a right to force others to recognize a union they do not wish to recognize. If two men want to enter into marriage, then so be it. And if another individual wishes to believe that that marriage is not true marriage, or is sinful, etc., so be it. Such a dividing line keeps both sides within the bounds of the Harm Principle.

One might respond that whether or not something is recognized as marriage governs the application of many laws, and is thus pertinent. This is true, but I imagine contract can move around those restrictions without a terrible amount of trouble--and if it can't, it should be able to. The policy maker's choice is thus, rightly, only to set the default that applies. I don't imagine there's any reason that default should distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual unions.

Memorized three poems today while lifting, cute petite Frost poetry.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Eating Snails

At New Big Wong, a Chinese restaurant, I ordered the Rice and Pacific Slams, because, with a name like that, you have no idea what you're going to get (with a name like New Bing Wong, however...). A slam? Why, that could be anything! Could be some sort of slug! Could be a snake! Chicken?

But five minutes later she came back and said they were out of that. So I ordered the next thing down on the menu: Snails and Stuff.

They served me a pile of gastropods. I wasn't sure what to do, until they brought me a cup full of toothpicks. Apparently you stab the snail in the head and drag it out.

Point is, it looked like this:

Mostly I studied.

Jay Goodman Tamboli says: At least I don't talk to myself.

Scott D. Scheule says: I've talked to you before, and I don't blame you.

Jay Goodman Tamboli says: I don't know that I'm going to ever be able to look at Miriam again without picturing her dressed as a dinosaur.

Scott D. Scheule says: What do you see when you look at me?

Jay Goodman Tamboli says: 185 pounds of man.

Scott D. Scheule says: I should have told people that was my Halloween costume.

Also, and this is the second time in as many days, Jay and I went to CVS, where he tried to buy Sudafed. The clerk brought down the book where federal law requires you to sign your name and address upon purchase of this particular decongestant.

Jay: Forget it. I'm not signing that. I'm not signing that! There is no reason you need that information. Look, I'm not a drug dealer--I just have a cold.

Later, I said, "Don't worry, Jay. I happen to know how to make Sudafed out of crystal meth."