Friday, October 31, 2008

Well...Isn't That Special

So, just when I thought I could deal with all the crap going down, yet another cosmic curve ball comes rocketing over the plate. I went in to work this morning, gave some orders to my minions, then headed to Home Depot to pick up some more set building stuff. As I'm pulling out of the parking lot my phone rings, and an unfamiliar voice asks if I am who I am. I reply in the affirmative, and he tells me that he is a paramedic who just took my wife out of a car wreck, and she's fine, but they are taking her to the hospital to confirm that she's fine. So I race back to the shop, drop off the stuff, bark some orders, tell my boss what's happening, and haul ass to the hospital. The parking garage is about five miles from the ER, but I eventually get there. She's in a bed/gurney thing with a neck brace on. They wheel her off to get a CAT scan and x-rays and I wait. During the wait a police officer drops by to give her a ticket for running a stop sign. He was very polite and as pleasant as possible given the circumstances. Finally she comes back and we wait. She's banged up, but not too badly, and managed to not get the airbag in the face. The car is apparently a total loss, but the insurance company will have to make that determination. I would imagine so from what was described to me.(I haven't seen it yet) Finally, after numerous tests, and a very unpleasant IV, they determine that she is bruised, but unbroken, and we can go home. It's now 4 hours since I arrived at the hospital. We pick up the COA on the way home, and then I had to go back to work to try to get something done. Fortunately a couple of my more dedicated students came in to help, but by 9pm I was physically and emotionally drained. I have to really bust my ass over the next few days since the show opens on Thursday, and hopefully our insurance has a rental car provision, otherwise I'll be taking her to work at 3am, picking her up at 9:30am, bringing her home, then going to work myself.


Let the fucking sunshine in my ass!

Marius the Grumpy

New Phase

On this day of Samhain I want to turn away from sorrow and sadness, and use the power of light and hope to bring healing during this time of trial for my family. I can't promise to not get outraged over the goings on of this world, but I will make a concerted effort to be more positive. I thank all of you for your wonderful, and humbling words of kindness, hope, support, and love, and if there truly is power in prayer then we shall be well taken care of. So I now cast away the shadows, and ask the light to come in.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Facts Found...Sort Of

Why can't doctors just say what's going on? I got to the hospital this morning and the nurses wouldn't tell me anything, kept asking my mom what she knows about her condition(sometimes everything, sometimes nothing) and finally the doctor came in. After he checked her vitals he and I stepped into the other room and he started explaining what had happened that day. I finally stopped him and told him that I had no idea what was going on, and that as far as I knew my mom had a stroke. Then the dance began. No stroke, or if there was it was not of any consequence in light of the lesions in her brain, and lungs, and liver, and the tumor in her lungs that they had just biopsied. Finally, after several minutes of him spewing jargon and refusing to tell me just what the fuck was really happening I explained to him that I needed to tell my brother in North Carolina what was going on. A few more minutes of tip-toeing later I had pieced enough of his spiel together and stopped him. "What you are saying is major systemic cancer, right?" He sighed and nodded. They were still assessing the data when I left, and will be discussing treatment options. I will most likely not blog much about this, unless it is good news, but those of you with a need, or desire to know what's going on may contact me privately for updates. I honestly can't even guess at the outcome, and right now I'm too tired to think about it.

Thank you all for your words of support and prayers. It means a lot. We have our first technical rehearsal for Reckless on Saturday, so I'm going to be working my ass off for the rest of the week, so I may not be blogging much. But fear not, I'll be back, and Starbase 66 will still launch...just maybe a little later than we had hoped.

Take care, my friends.

Fact Finding Mission

I'm in West Palm Beach and I'll be going to visit my mother in the hospital in a couple of hours. Hopefully I can find out what the real story is since talking to her on the phone is a bit disjointed right now.

More when I know something.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Littlest Sith

Tonight we took the COA to Halloboo at the Museum of Science and Discovery. She was one of many tiny Sith lords, and clone troopers running about. But she had a good time, and we got to see two of my favorite students from back at the high school, so it was a mostly good night. I talked briefly to my mom on the drive home, but she was so sleepy that I didn't stay on the line long. I hope that sleeping a lot means faster recovery. Anyway, there are more pics, but I'm too tired to put them up now. Mayhap on the morrow.


Things Cool, and Uncool

Greetings, Friends. It has been a bumpy couple of weeks here on this sandy little patch of peninsula. The show I'm building at school, Reckless, is coming along, but we're still a bit behind and I'm quite weary upon my return home every night. It is now what Eckerd College calls 'Fall Break', so the students have Monday and Tuesday off. This is a built in buffer against hurricane skulduggery, so should we have lost any days to Mother Nature then these days would make up for it. But since no storm felt we deserved a smack down this year the kids get some time off. Theoretically so do I, but there is too much work to do, so I'll be going in on Sunday, and probably Tuesday. At least we hired a lighting designer for this show, so I have the oh-so-rare luxury of only having to worry about building the set.

On the uncool side of the ledger my mom had a stroke sometime last week. She had been feeling unsteady and had a headache that wouldn't go away, so she finally got to the doctor (she's worse about that than any five guys you might know) and had an MRI done. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday for tests and observation. I spoke with her on the phone and aside from sounding like she was on pain killers, which she isn't, she sounded ok. So as strokes go, this one sounds minor, but I'll keep you posted.

Back on the cool side of things I am finally going to be doing a podcast of my own. I have been wanting to do one for a while, but the questions of what to do one on, and who to do one with, since I doubt I could be interesting on my own for more than a few minutes, were daunting. Finally I posted a query on the Simply Syndicated forums asking if anyone would listen to a Star Trek based podcast, and if anyone would be willing to do it with me. The avalanche of support and encouragement I received was quite surprising. So I have asked two of the folks, a man in Canada and a woman in Maryland, to be my co-hosts, and they have both agreed. We are in the process of working out the format, and technical details, but I will let you all know as soon as we are go for launch. We do have a title...Starbase 66...and it will cover all things Science Fiction and Fact with the orginal Star Trek as a jumping off point.

And now here's a bit of ultra cool. NASA has released pictures of the new Lunar Rover. Rather than being a skeletal dune buggy, this beast is a twelve-wheeled, pressurized space RV designed to carry two astronauts without spacesuits. These shots are from trials in the Arizona desert.

And that's all for now. Big things in the works, and big hopes for a full recovery for Mom. Thanks for tuning in. See y'all soon.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Still Fuming

I had sort of planned to apologize a little for last night's tirade, but this morning I'm only a little less pissed off about Amendment 2. I was looking at my sample ballot last night as I was planning to continue researching my local races when I looked ahead to see what else was there. That's when I came across this thoroughly repugnant and offensive screed: This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized. Gah! It still makes me want to fill this space with enough profanity to make Blogger's servers blush. I am appalled that this affront to human decency made it to the ballot, and I will do everything in my power to fight it. I couldn't care less about the presidential race now. My path is clear, and this amendment must fail.

That is all.
Marius the Furious

Monday, October 20, 2008

F*#k Off, Tallahassee

Why is it that asshole Conservatives who claim to support smaller and less intrusive government can't wait to legislate their own twisted, 14th century, limp-dicked, frozen vagina morality? Amendment 2 proposes to 'protect' marriage as only between one man and one woman. You know what, if my friends K and T were to get married, it would not affect my marriage one bit...well, except to give us one hell of an excuse to party. This whole thing is such a blatant fucking smokescreen, yet all the mouth breathing Neocons out there will eat it up like the whole damned planet will go up in flames should this amendment not pass. Bullshit like this just makes me want to grab every last redneck-minded simpleton who thinks that this amendment is anything other than a weapon of mass distraction and shake them until all the stupid falls out of their single-wavelength tuned ears.

Tomorrow morning I'll be voting early. I just wish I could vote twice.

I know I'm preaching to the choir for the most part, but please, if you value human dignity, or if you believe in what the Republican party used to at least pretend to believe in, vote no on Amendment 2. I don't care who else you vote for, but shoot this ridiculous, bigoted, narrow-minded, hate-filled piece of bogus legislation down for good. Please.

Good night,


I grew weary of losing bits of pictures and/or text to the narrow template. How do you like this one?

Oh How I Wish...

Call me a Luddite, call me a technophobe, call me whatever you want, but all I need my cell phone to do is send and receive calls. And I really don't care what other phones can do.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Something Made it Inevitable

Your result for The Which Lolcat Are You? Test...

Lion Warning Cat

60% Affectionate, 64% Excitable, 49% Hungry

You are the good Samaritan of the lolcat world. Protecting others from danger by shouting observations and guidance in cases of imminent threat, you believe in the well-being of everyone.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Take The Which Lolcat Are You? Test at HelloQuizzy

And Now A Political Commentary

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodbye, Dinker.

Sixteen years ago or so our next door neighbors had a bit of a problem. A little tan and brown puppy was hold up under their propane tank in their yard and wouldn't come out. My mom, who normally could charm Cerberus himself had no luck in getting the critter to come out, and I figured I'd give it a try. To everyone's, including mine, amazement the puppy came to me. She was very tiny, scared, and hungry. We took her inside and gave her something to eat. I was in college at the time, but I said that she would be my dog. My mom then asked where my broke ass was going to come up with all the green to keep a critter, and quickly convinced me that it would be best for everyone if we took her to The Dome, the no-kill shelter in West Palm Beach. I went to school, and by the time I got home she had a name, Princess, and a permanent place in our home and hearts. She was the weirdest looking dog, and even the vet couldn't guess at her lineage. The best way to describe Dinker(we rarely called her Princess) was she looked like a Dachshund/Doberman mix...and no, you don't want to imagine either way that might have happened. She was longish, with stubby little legs and Dr. Seuss feet, and long tan and black fur. She was playful, protective, and very loving, although she had to get to know you first. She also had an addiction; an addiction that all our dogs get...Milk Bones. The ritual was always the same whenever I would come to visit. Knock on the door, bark...bark...bark, oh, it's you. A few perfunctory kisses then it was time for a cookie. Eventually she stopped eating them and just started a collection. Sometimes I could just palm one I had already given her and give it to her again, but I had to make sure she didn't see me pick it up. She was pretty smart for such a goofy looking animal.
You probably know where this is going. My mom just called to tell me that they finally had to put Dink to sleep. Sixteen is very old for a dog, and she had lead a good, safe, happy, cookie-intensive life, but she had lost control of her bowels and her back end was all but useless. When we went home last month I had a feeling it would be the last time I'd see her. But even then her tail was held high, and wagged freely. I loved that dog, and I'll miss her, but I'm glad she won't suffer any more. And if there is a doggy Heaven, then I'm sure she's making life miserable for spectral lizards, and squirrels, and cats even now.

And now I think I need to cry a little bit.

Actually it ended up being quite a bit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We Will Add Your Photographic Distinctiveness To Our Own

Paramount have finally released several production pics from the upcoming Star Trek movie. Here are some of them I have...ahem...assimilated. I'm curious as to your opinions. You can see more here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I just got home from an amazing afternoon of theatre. My friend, Dahlia, who also starred in my Summer show Standing Still, was in a production of Hair at the University of South Florida, and she got the missus and me a couple of tickets. Oh...My...God! What a show! I had only seen the movie, and wondered why the show was still considered a classic, but now I understand. I don't know if I can convey to you with mere words the gamut of emotions evoked by this incredible play. The music is amazing, and most of the singers were well up to the task. The plot is paper thin, but makes perfect sense since the entire thing comes from the minds of the perpetually stoned hippies that make up the cast. The songs jump from theme to theme with little reason, but plenty of rhyme, and seem tailor made to piss off anyone who always colors inside the lines. There is vulgarity, scatological humor, and a fair bit of nudity by both genders, but amazingly none of it seems gratuitous. In fact at the end of act one the entire cast strips completely naked and sings the final few bars of the song directly to the audience. On the surface one would think that seeing 20 or so young, fit men and women completely naked would be erotic, but it is actually the opposite. Rather than them being made vulnerable in their nudity they became empowered by it, almost saying 'fuck you for being clothed!' It was a powerful moment.
Act two gets a bit heavier when one of the main characters, there really isn't a lead per se, gets drafted and goes to fight in the Viet Nam war. We don't really know if he lives or dies, and I found the final number, Let the Sunshine In to be somewhat ambiguous with some of the singers smiling, and others seeming angry, and I loved that ambiguity. This show did not spoon feed me one thing.

As for my friend's performance I have nothing but praise. I have seen her in several shows now, and even had the unparalleled honor of directing her, but this was her finest performance I have seen to date. She played a pregnant hippie chick who is in love with the guy to goes to war, and is a bit unhinged. When she first came out on stage it took me a while to realize who she was. She totally submerged herself in the part, and her solo sounded nothing like the woman I know off stage. I always knew she had talent, and it is gratifying to see it grow and mature.

As many of you know, I have been doing theatre for nearly two-thirds of my life, and I don't impress easily. Most of the time I find it difficult, or impossible to enjoy a show and not notice the technical aspects and/or mistakes. This show kept me rapt and focused on the players, and I appreciate that more than anything. Normally I feel that standing ovations are given far to easily, and too often, but when the curtain call began I was one of the first people on my feet. This is what theatre is supposed to do. It is supposed to engage the emotions as well as the senses, and even when the story is vague and somewhat random, the mind. USF's Hair did all that. It will go down in my mental scrapbook as one of the finest theatrical experiences of my life. My only regret is that today was the closing show, because I would have loved to see it again...and again.

Peace, y'all,

Thursday, October 09, 2008

You Load Sixteen Tons...

So due to my illness last week we're a bit behind at work. I've been working late all week to try to catch up, with some success, but damn, I'm tired. That's probably why I said I wouldn't be blogging about the election any more. On the night of the recent presidential debate my wife was channel surfing and stopped on it just long enough for me to hear McCain say something like 'My opponent wants to raise taxes...' and I got so disgusted that I really wanted to hide under my bed until the first Tuesday in November. But don't worry, I'm not really going to do that. And once I have a bit of breathing room I'll catch up on what's going down. I'm sure there will be plenty of outrage to fill the next three weeks. Oh, yeah, that reminds me. The other day as I was driving home and listening to Dan Carlin talk about how a Conservative columnist received death threats because she dared to criticize Sarah Palin, I saw a car with several bumper stickers. One said 'Obama Sucks', and another said something like 'Vote No for Hussein' or some other ignorant stupidity along those lines. It never ceases to amaze me how so-called Conservatives will rant and rave about how great it is to be an American, and how the rest of the world hates us because of our freedoms, but then get all bent out of shape when someone actually exercises their freedom to have a differing opinion. I don't care for McCain's policies, and I think that Sarah Palin is dangerously unqualified to be Vice President, but I would never put up a sign accusing them of being terrorists, or use a coincidence of naming to try to make a political statement. It truly frightens me how lock-step people are with their respective parties. I don't think Obama walks on water, or that Biden would make a very good president, but I like them a hell of a lot more than the other candidates. But I will also be looking closely at our local candidates, and vote based on qualifications, rather than party line ignorance. I just wish others would do the same.

Gotta go to work. Buh bye.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

And Now...Cute

Here's a bit of adorableness to soothe your frazzled nerves. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...a loris.

Adorable Loris

Old Joke, New Punchline

My friend Jenn just sent me this:

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.'

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.' The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. 'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.'

To be perfectly honest, unless something monumentous happen between now and Election Day I'll probably not say much more about the race. I've reached my tipping point as far as my disgust for the process goes, and I just want it over. I'm sick of having to translate the lies and low blows and I'm ready for it all to be over. As Tim Robbins said on the Daily Show Monday night, I just want somebody smart to run the country!!

See ya soon,

Sunday, October 05, 2008

RIP, Bennett Strange

In mid-2002 I was getting ready to leave grad school and was looking for a job. I was introduced to Tammy Killian, the Artistic Director for the theatre at Louisiana College. We got along, and she invited me to come for an interview. I went, and was hired. Not long after that I received a letter from China from a man named Bennett Strange. He was the head of the division of which the theatre program was a part, but he was out of the country. Based solely on Tammy's description of my visit he wanted to personally welcome me into the family. When I finally did get to meet him, picture a slim, well groomed and somewhat grumpy Santa Claus, we got along quite well. He constantly thanked me for my efforts, and was always glad to engage in conversation. He was something of a curmudgeon at times, and a devout Christian, and on very rare occasions we didn't always agree, but I respected, and loved him dearly. And now he is gone. He was diagnosed with cancer several months ago, and seemed to be doing well, but I just received word that he passed away. I don't know the details, but I do know that the world has lost a good man, and the river of tears that must be flowing in Louisiana will be deep, and swift.

Good bye, Bennett. If there is a Heaven, you are surely in a place of honor there.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

She Ain't Pretty, She Just Looks That Way.

Ok, I've been reasonably fair, and tried to look at the shenanigans of both candidates, but Palin has gone too far. Yesterday she accused Obama of seeing America as "as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." This ludicrous claim is based on the fact that Bill Ayers, a founder of the radical Weather Underground, an organization responsible for some early 70's bombings, lives in his neighborhood. Obama has said he has met the man but does not sympathize with the 63 year old, who he describes as "somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8."

It was bad enough when people were trying to connect Obama to his whack-job former pastor, but at least that made a modicum of sense. To accuse him of palling around with terrorists because an aging radical lives in his neighborhood is bullshit of the highest degree. I had hoped that Sarah Palin was a good woman who got thrust into a position she wasn't really prepared for, but now I see that she is every bit as disingenuous and evil as Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, and between her infuriating condescension during the debate, and this latest round of repugnant falsehoods I have lost any and all respect for her.

Marius the Indignant

Friday, October 03, 2008


As I have mentioned many times I enjoy the podcasts and forums of They are a group of Brits who do podcasts about movies, and TV shows, and current events, and just about anything you can think of. The forums are frequented by people from all over the world including Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and of course the UK and US. As a result of this I have found some Britishisms working their way into my colloquial lexicon. Some of them I had heard before, and some were new, and the new one that is most relevant right now is 'poorly'. It is what someone from Leeds says when they are feeling ill. It is obviously short for 'feeling poorly' but the feeling part has been lost in the mists of time and now one merely says, "I'm poorly." I love this phrase because even in its abbreviated state it is far more grammatically accurate than our equivalent "I feel bad."

The reason this phrase is so much on my mind of late is that I am very poorly right now. I've mentioned having a bit of a cold, but this is the absolute worst cold from Hell I've ever had. Normally I feel like crap for a day or two, then it gradually decreases in its intensity over the next few days. Well this started last week and I feel every bit as lousy today as I did on Monday. I went to the doctor today and they took very good care of me, giving me numerous medicines and orders to stay in bed all weekend, but I still feel poorly. At least C's laptop is the gift that keeps on giving, and I am writing this as I lie on my, I mean couch...trying not to cough too much. So if I'm a bit less productive, blogwise, over the next couple of days I hope you understand.

Buh bye.

Marius the Infirm


The web site analyzed the VP candidates' statements from last night's debate, and uncovered several obfuscations, misstatements, and outright lies. Behold:

Biden and Palin debated, and both mangled some facts.

* Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.

* Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.

* Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.

* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.

* Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.

* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the president of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.

* Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.

For full details on these misstatements, and on additional factual disputes and dubious claims, please read on to the Analysis section.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Veep Stakes

I'm still sick as hell, and quite exhausted, but I want to say a few things while they are fresh in what's passing for my mind. Biden did well, and did not put his foot in his mouth. Palin pissed me off many times in her avoidance of questions, but it was funny how you could tell when she was extemporizing, a condescending tone, downturned eyes, and sarcastic smirk, and then she'd find the mental file and she'd click into rhetoric and the smirk would vanish and she'd look straight into the camera. There was a moment when her condescending tone made me long for the old fashioned honesty of a Cheney 'go fuck yourself!' I did not go into this wanting to dislike Palin, even though I disagree with most of her policies, but I left really wanting to smack her in the mouth. I'll admit she did handle the debate better than I expected, but she was, and forgive me for choosing such a gender charged term, a complete bitch. And before I sink too far into a sexist quagmire if a man had used that tone I would call him an asshole. Biden was respectful of her through the entire debate, but she often treated him like a misbehaving teenager. Did this debate change my mind about which party I favor? No. Did this make me even more dedicated to getting Obama elected if for no other reason than to not have to listen to her for at least four years? Yes.

And now I'm going to take my rotting corpse to bed.

Good night and God bless.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I'm kinda busy right now, still feel like crap, and have no fucking clue what to think about all this Wall Street buyout nonsense. So here's a photo that was sent to me under the title: Redneck Fire Alarm. Enjoy.