Saturday, February 28, 2004

Opening night was amazing, the audience was the largest on any opening yet this season. They even laughed at all the right parts!!! Congratulations everybody!

And it was wonderful to finally get something close to 8 hours of sleep this morning.

Friday, February 27, 2004

And is it just me, or is this overkill?
According to this AP article, the newly elected chairman of Smith & Wesson's parent company has resigned in the wake of reports that he spent more than 10 years in Michigan prisons in the 1950s and 1960s for a string of armed robberies and an attempted prison escape.

At least he had extensive product-related experience?
A controversial ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals. The jist of the case:

Alexander R. Shire, now 29, was allegedly 14 years old when lured into sexual relations in with Laura Michelle Evelyn, then 21. When she and her husband, David Evelyn, got divorced testing determined that the child she bore in 1989 was Shire's. The ruling indicates Shire must pay child support, even though he was under age and claims he didn't consent to sex.

Question: if it had been a 14 year old girl who had been molested and become pregnant, would the court have: 1) allowed the perpetrator to obtain custody of the infant born fromt he molestation, and 2) awarded him child support?

What if the case had been brought right after the birth? Would we require the 15 year old to get a paper route to pay this adult child support support?

Does the juvenile court balance the best interests of the 15-year-old child against the best interests of the newborn child? Technically both are children and both are innocent of wrongdoing.

The possibilities are interesting.

I note in reading the opinion that any other precedent cited all involve underage males, not my hypothetical above. But the law is always changing. . .

Update: I should mention I saw it first on How Appealing.
One of the best little kid quotes I've heard in a while:

A friend's preschool-age daughter was practicing writing simple words in a notebook. Along with her name and the usual "cat" and such, she wrote down "j-o-d" and asked her mother what it spelled. Her mother said it spelled "jod" but that it really wasn't a word. No, the child replied, it spelled "juggle." Her mother carefully corrected her, taking the crayon and spelling out "juggle" for her while sounding out the syllables. The girl looked at it for a moment, then went back to writing. A few minutes later, she again wrote down "j-o-d" and asked her mother what it spelled. I told you, her mother patiently replied, it spells "jod" but that's not really a word. The girl snatched up the notebook and slammed it down on the floor. No, Mommy, she cried, I told you it spells "juggle." I'm not going to help you if you won't even try.
">OPENING NIGHT TONIGHT - party at the Mill afterward. Break a leg, everyone!!

by Caroline Francke
Directed by Jeff Shields

Mr. Banks / Kevin Burford
Mrs. Banks / Chris Hunt
Kay Banks / Elise Vaux
Ben Banks / Jack Sharkey
Tommy Banks / Drew Oetting
Buckley Dunstan / John McWilliams
Buzz Taylor / Andy Meisner
Peggy Swift / Maddy Burford
Delilah / Michelle Altmaier
Miss Bellamy / Kris Borchert
Mr Massoula / Gino Dykstra
Joe / Bill Gerlits
Mrs Pulkitzki / Marie Phillips
Red / David Pierce
Tim's Man / Bryan Tanner
Delivery person / Brandon Tanner
Delivery person / Thea Hamel
Light Design / Laura Kittrell
Light Board Operator / Dylan Wheeler
Costumes / Barby Buddin
Costume Run Crew / Kelly Herbers
Costume Run Crew / Katy Maher
Assistant Director / Barb Fishman
Stage Manager / Evie Stanske
The terribly bad legal limerick of the day:

An amazingly well-trained porpoise
Never caused any problems or fuss
Til a cigarette burn
Made him bite, all in turn
The next keeper to habeus his corpus

Okay, NOW it's Friday.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

"Father of the Bride" opens tomorrow. Anyone in the Iowa City area should come and take a peek. Kevin Burford (the one on the table) is an incredible comedic actor. Great job, guys!

We're getting good press this time, too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

">Oh, give it up already. Apparently, they have deficit spending down to an art. Key quote:

"For the others, once their funds dry up it becomes too much of a hard slog," said Charles Halloran, campaign manager for Sharpton, whose campaign had $1,039 in the bank at the end of January, debts of nearly $500,000 and unpaid staff salaries dating back to May.
">Legal haiku:

Five margaritas
So what was your name again?
Mutual mistake

And it's only Wednesday . . .
It seems there have been some very questionable deals going on in some Iowa courtrooms. As a former prosecutor, I find this rather disturbing. I am glad to see the supreme court is intervening.
">I found out last night that I've been cast as Katerina in Rosenstra├če. Yay!

I was briefly taken aback by which character I was offered, as Katerina's stated age is a decade older than my true age. I'd been auditioning for the two parts within my own age range, and I wondered if I really looked like I'm in my forties - yikes. Then I re-read the bio and discovered she's also described as a sturdy blonde. Given I'm a skinny brunette, I presume we're casting against type.

I'll go blonde, but no way will I be "sturdy."
Cool! I had a dog named Snoopy once.

What cartoon dog are you?

Brought to you by the good folks at

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

">Okay, I'm completely new at this and I just figured out how to add a sitemeter and my email (substituted " at " for the @ to discourage spammers). I love new toys! I'll also know if someone ever reads this. Way cool.

I'm going to have to learn how to do things other than alter the color and add links, but for now I'm quite proud of myself. I've no experience with web sites whatsoever, and the whole thing is trial and error.

And I just got my telephone mediation for precisely my target number, plus costs. So there, nyah.
">I've auditioned for a role in "Rosenstrasse" with Dreamwell in IC. I'd not planned on doing anything else this year, but after reading the script I'm impressed. I was in Berlin for a summer in high school. I hung out on Kudamm, went up in the Funkturm a gajillion times, and visited many of the best tourist sites - Sophie-Charlotte Schloss, Pfaueninsel, Checkpoint Charlie (this was just before the wall came down), etc. Because I stayed in a German home, I even got to get a bit of personal insight about what it was like to be a child during WWII. That was quite cool.

But I'd never heard of the Rosenstrasse protests. Apparently, toward the end of the war the government was implementing the final stages of it's ethnic cleansing project by arresting Jewish men who had been spared from earlier transport to the death camps by virtue of their marriages to German women. They sent the men to a former Jewish community center on Rosenstrasse for holding before shipping them out. They kept them separated from other Jews to convince their wives that they would be protected and sent on a special work detail. In reality, they were going to suffer the same fate as all other arrested Jews, as evidenced by the fact that at least 25 of them were processed through to Auschwitz.

When their wives learned of the arrests, they began to gather on the Rosenstrasse sidewalks, anxious to see their husbands. They were denied entry, but curiously refused to disperse. Instead, they formed an impromptu protest movement. In shifts, up to 6000 women stood outside the building demanding the release of their men. It became a public relations nightmare for the government. The censored newspapers reported that they were protesting the bombing of their homes by allied forces. The Gestapo set up machine guns to strafe the crowds, thinking to end the protest and deter any future insubordination. Anyone who died could be set up as an insurrectionist and a traitor. But the women only shouted louder, demanding the release of their husbands and calling the Gestapo murderers.

In the end, the government let the men go, even retrieving the handful that had been sent out to Auschwitz. Amazingly, non-violent protest from a crucial group of people had made even Hitler blink.

***************SOAPBOX ALERT***************

I am fascinated by the possibilities that holds. What if it had sparked a general movement? Could it truly have driven even the Nazis from power? I'm too young to remember the civil rights movement here, but from what I understand of the past conditions it utterly changed our nation.

An interesting thought: What would happen if the peace protests that have gone on in the past year had taken place in oppressed nations against recognized genocidal dictatorships? I mean, almost across the board, everyone agrees that Saddam Hussein was a rather nasty guy, as are terrorist groups like Al Quida, etc. While polls seem to show that a majority of US citizens support the war against terrorism, including armed conflict when necessary, there is a substantial minority of citizens who do not support the war, mainly due to a perceived lack of authority. If I recall correctly, several of them traveled to Iraq in an effort to stop the war by being "human shields."

What if instead they'd taken the opportunity to launch a massive movement to oust Saddam before the US could invade?
What if right now, the peace movement would devote half its efforts to decrying the US government's actions in Iraq, but the other half to demand and support the election of a democratic government there? For example, all the disillusioned Deaniacs who invaded Iowa. Instead of just fading away, could they have taken their election know-how to stop the debacle in Iraq?

It's kind of like asking the pro-life movement what support they intend to give pregnant mothers considering abortion. In my own personal philosophy, we should take every movement we support and demand the practical be supported as well as the philosophical. If you don't like war, provide an alternative that works.

Maybe I'm still too practical/optimistic. But it's a thought.

***************END OF SOAPBOX***************
I just read a really infuriating editorial from my local college newspaper about the report in the Observer stating that the world is basically coming to an end in 2020. It's a snide little article, as you can see by these quotes:

"And what group put out this study? you ask. Surely it was a bunch of namby-pamby liberals, doom screeching Nervous Nellies who have nothing better to do than prophesying an apocalypse or two just around the corner. Well, not exactly. The study is the product of that oh-so-liberal group commonly known as the Pentagon."

"And who is the guilty party here? you ask. Osama, the nefarious terrorist? An escaped Saddam, crazed with visions of revenge, digging up his WMD that he cannily hid in Nebraska? Same-sex marriage? George Steinbrenner? Um, no. The culprit, according to the Pentagon, is global climate change. You know, the thing that the Cowboy in Chief and the Stealth President don't believe exists except in the imagination of liberals, which is why their motto is, If you're not burning a fossil fuel every waking moment, you're a traitor to your country."

Brave New World, The Daily Iowan, February 24, 2004.

Given I'd already heard about this particular bit of crackerjack reporting from Instapundit and other blogs, I felt obliged to respond from the original Fortune article. Here's the letter for reference, in case it never sees the light of day in the DI:

To the Editor:

Imagine my surprise when I read in the DI this morning that the sky is falling, the world is coming to an end, and all within the next 16 years or so. (“Brave New Climate” 02/24/2004). I guess I won’t be needing that IRA, huh? Not only that, but I’m told that the sole report on this global disaster is a secret one produced by the Pentagon but suppressed until obtained by the Observer newspaper of Great Britain. Fortunately, before I drained the retirement fund and booked a trip to Europe, I thought I’d do a little fact checking.

It seems the Observer isn’t the first to publish this story. In fact, in ran in Fortune magazine on January 27, 2004. But the Fortune version includes a bit of information that the Observer and DI seem to have omitted. Here’s the cite if anyone wants to look the article up on the web:

Was the report produced by the Pentagon? Not exactly. According to Fortune, it was produced by Peter Schwartz, a futurist and business strategist with the Global Business Network - a scenario-planning think tank out of California - who helped create the futuristic scenarios for Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. Please note that Mr. Schwartz is not a scientist, he merely consulted with scientists in creating his scenario. But surely this was a top secret report suppressed by the Pentagon? Again, not exactly. According to Fortune, it was an unclassified report willingly shared with the magazine by the Pentagon itself. Was it at least a realistic prediction of a statistically likely future for which we should all be prepared? Oops. Not exactly. According to Fortune, the report doesn't pretend to be a forecast. “Rather, it sketches a dramatic but plausible scenario to help planners think about coping strategies.” Oh, like a worst-case training scenario? I guess the Pentagon can’t do a bit of disaster training without the world coming to an end – literally, according to the DI.

There. (Sigh) I feel better. Now if I can just get through Hell week. . .

Update Oops myself - I called the article "A Brave New World" and ignored the cute twist in the actual title: "A Brave New Climate". I got it right in the letter, fortunately.

Monday, February 16, 2004

I'm going into hell week and it's not going to be pretty - I do community theater as an incredibly fun but at times weirdly masochistic hobby. Hell week - which in this case is technically hell week-and-a-half - requires me to leave work on the dot of 5:00 (not easy for an attorney - but a great excuse to do so), drive for an hour to Iowa City, do makeup and a full run of the show until 10:00 or 10:30, drive another 45 minutes home, and collapse at about 12:30. Then I get up at 5:00 and start all over again. If it weren't such a great show. . . then again, let's face it, I'm a sucker for applause and a good party. My psychological profile is basically people-pleasing, and there's no bigger "hit" than theater.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Only a month into blogging and already behind.