Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Tea Spot et al.

I just got back from Queer Night at The Tea Spot. I liked it a lot. The tea (and they have about 100 different types of tea) was very good, and the company was as well. Not to mention one of the employees is very cute. I may have to make it a regular occurance...

In other news, physics is actually going well, for some strange reason. I seem to understand more than my classmates (or, at least, the ones at the review session), but even though not everyone is getting it, the professor doesn't seem like he's going to back down with his expectations. Which is very good.

I also finally got a frame for my "Map of the Sandwich Isles" drawing (after, oh, three or four years of having it). The frame is a middle brown wood (I think mahogany, but I don't know about such things), and matches one of the mattes. I hung it on me wall. It makes it look that much more classy in here. Now I just need to get a hook for the other painting (okay, actually a print) and we'll be good.

And a chair. And a lamp. Yep.

So, Amy's in Boston now, off on her MIT adventure. I hope that things are going well. I think she'll be fine, but she has to make it through the first week.

I got Gentoo installed on my laptop, after much fun with the kernel configuration. It's not completely ready yet; I need to set up X and some other things, like the wireless card, but otherwise, I'm pretty happy. I screwed up the windows install that was on there before, as I expected to (it wouldn't defrag correctly, so I ended up blowing away whatever was on the second half of the hard drive. Unfortunately, as near as I can tell, it was the NTFS file data, so consequently I couldn't access any of the files at all). But, no big loss. I'll have to reinstall some things, but the only pieces of work I had on there were the Woody Guthrie project and some homework, which I was prescient enough to copy over to my flashdrive. I love my flashdrive!

Anyway, that's about it. I need to finish my homework and get some things ready for DLP and PSP.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Gmail

Oh, and I've a few gmail account invites available to me, if anyone wants one.

This Land is Your Land... And My Land

For those of you who haven't been following the JibJab case, in which Ludlow music threatened suit against JibJab for using Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land, the EFF recently discovered a 1945 published version of the song (at the time, works were covered under copyright only at the time of publication, not at the time of creation, as is the case now), which would have had to have its copyright renewed in 1973 by Ludlow to maintain the copyright. Unfortunately for Ludlow, the Music company thought that it had the original publication... in 1956.

JibJab had originally filed suit against Ludlow for its threats, and enlisted the aid of the EFF, claiming that the animation was, in fact, fair use as parody, not merely of the current presidential race, but also of the ideals set forth in the song in contrast to today's. However, with the discovery of the 1945 songbook [PDF], JibJab has dropped the suit.

Now, while this is not a victory for fair use (since nearly any use of the public domain is legal), it is an interesting twist.

But, more importantly, I have an idea. I'd like to take the scan of the document, and republish/rerelease it, restored, under a Creative Commons license... once the dust has settled down a bit on the matter, of course. It would be useful, though, if anyone had an actual copy of the book, firstly to verify that the EFF scan is accurate (though I'm sure it is), and secondly, to be able to better read it (there are parts where no amount of guessing at the words will help).

So, is there anyone interested in pursuing this project with me?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Bite!

Well, it's back to school. Parts are good. Parts are not so good. I like my EM class. I dislike my "modern physics" class. I had to drop a class and scramble to find a new one because it turned out that the one I had fulfilled a core requirement that I'd already fulfilled. I still have one more tomorrow. So, a lot of fun.

In other news, I'm strongly leaning towards DelPhi this semester, especially after tonight's PhiSig meeting. When we had the meeting for DelPhi last night, it was great to see everyone again, and I was very enthousiastic. But, when we had the PhiSig meeting... Well, I just didn't feel it.

Lessee, what else? Sunday I went to a LAN party in Loveland, which was fun.

Oh! I ordered a laptop last week, too. And it came to my parents' house today, so I'll have to go get it tomorrow.

I think I'll try to volunteer down at Left Hand Books on Tuesdays. That might be fun. Assuming that I get homework taken care of, of course.

Friday will be a Welcome Queers BBQ, and will be fun as well. Maybe I'll meet some nice boys. And so on.

...And for those of you wondering about the title of this entry, we've decided that 'Bite!' is the name of the game the cats play.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Leben und Leben Lassen

Warning: Contains Spoilers!

Cabaret is not an easy musical for the audience. The first act opens cheerily (though a bit tawdrily) with a cabaret act presided over by the Emcee of the Kit Kat Club in Berlin. It's New Year's Eve, 1929, and the city is a roaring party, perhaps a veneer over the deep depression looming over Germany following the crash of the American stock market the same year. Things, though difficult for the characters, are not desperate. As Frauline Schneider tells us, things aren't great, but, "So what?" They'll get better.

The first act develops the dual love stories of Clifford Bradshaw (our protagonist, an American writer) and Sally Bowles (a British singer working at the Kit Kat Club), and Fraulein Schneider (the proprietress of the boarding house) and Herr Schultz (the Jewish grocier, who lives in the boarding house). Things are going well between the two couples; Sally has become pregnant, and, rather than perform an abortion as she has in the past, she decides that, perhaps, "Cliff" will be the man for her. Meanwhile, the shy Herr Schultz proposes to Fraulein Schneider to counter claims of impropriety.

Unfortunately, this happily trending scene (interspersed with vivacious dancing by the members of the Kit Kat club) turns sharply for the worse in the final scene of the act, when Ernst, Cliff's first companion in Berlin, disrupts Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider's engagement party by singing (and gathering with him most of the guests at the party) the Nazi party song, Tomorrow Belongs to Me.

The second act proceeds downhill from there, with each couple breaking apart due to the increasing presence and influence of the Nazis. The show ends, finally, with the Kit Kat band sputtering to a clattering halt as Emcee removes his overcoat to reveal a prisoner's uniform, with a yellow star of David above an inverted pink triangle, above the underlit faces of the characters.

Cabaret gets its point across, no doubt about it. Although drenched in not-merely-mainstream sexuality, including drag, polysexuality, homosexuality and prostitution, there is still an undercurrent of sweet innocence, as portrayed by Schneider and Schultz' love affair. All of which is submerged in the rising tide of fascism.

Boulder's Dinner Theater, as always, did a wonderful job with the show. A.K. Klimpke, who I've seen a number of times, most notably as Applegate in Damn Yankees!, did a very convincing job as Ernst Ludwig, and I was impressed by Brian Mallgrave, who played Emcee.

If you get a chance to see the show, do so, but be prepared to leave depressed.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Possible Change in Colorado's Electoral College Policies

An interesting article in the Rocky Mountain News today. Apparently, the ballot issue would change the state from a "winner-take-all" method to divvying up the votes by percentage.

Since everyone reading this blog is (probably) a Colorado voter (and if you're eligible to vote in Colorado, by Athena, do it!), it behooves us all to consider what such a change would mean. I don't know whether this is a good idea or a bad idea, yet. Although, God's Ex-Boyfriend's blog takes a short look at the issue.

More later, possibly. Off to the dinner theater now.