Upgrade

I’ve been on a bit of a Spring Break hiatus (thanks for SSW for holding down the fort). I’ve upgraded to WordPress version 2.5 on the back end, which is actually quite nice. Will make some changes to the template. In the interim, I’ve been doing the following:

Seen Rent – the musical (have seen the movie, have the cast album, and played out the song book, but finally got around to seeing it in real life). Its run has been extended to September.

Was in Washington, D.C. for a couple of days for a conference, coincidentally when the Spitzer story broke.

Seen Patrick Stuart in BAM’s rendition of Macbeth. Awesome, and has been carried over to Broadway.

Overdid Brooklyn Restaurant Week, visiting

  • Blue Ribbon Sushi (awesome as usual – sushi/sashimi combo the best value)
  • Queen (excellent Italian)
  • Park Slope Chip Shop (2 for 1 was awesome, cod and chips cooked to perfection)
  • Dhaka Indian on Atlantic Avenue (2 for 1 also a value meal)
  • Taze (great food, but cheaper to order off of the regular menu)
  • Mediterra (had brunch, hard to figure out what was Turkish about the cuisine).

Hope for an awesome week ahead…

Last Sunday of March 2008

Saturday night: taking off of the Brooklyn Restaurant Week list (but again, going off the restaurant week menu): Miriam, at the Court Street branch. Thumbs up. Food was quite good, ambiance nice, servers also nice. Recommended.

Sunday: the Final Four are established – all number ones – U of North Carolina; Memphis; UCLA; and Kansas. Too bad for Davidson; its run as Cinderella was quite something.

Patrick Stewart, in a Newsweek Q&A on his “Macbeth,” and he’s defending the honor of Trekkies/Trekkers. Thumbs up.

In the NY Times’ “City” Section: a look back at Grand Central’s past, in photos.

Changes in a Brooklyn neighborhood – the Ohs’ dry cleaners couldn’t afford the rent anymore; the Ohs get honored for the contributions to the community at Brooklyn Borough Hall. A Brooklyn story – an American story.

Kids in Brooklyn finding solace in a Park Slope shop owned by a Chinese-American woman.

Love and Literature – so, what do you do when the significant other has poor taste in literature? Hmm. What about bad taste in movies, tv shows, uncleanliness, etc.? …

The Time.com article on yesterday’s Earth Hour. The article makes a point – did Earth Hour matter? Time’s Bryan Walsh writes:

Because climate change is essentially a political problem, and the language of politics is symbolism. Just because an act is symbolic doesn’t mean it empty. The only way to truly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to take the pressure off global warming, is an international regime that puts a cap and a price on climate pollution. And the only way that will happen is if politicians around the world become convinced that climate change is an issue that matters to people, one that will make them change the way they live, buy β€” and vote. [….]

We risk green fatigue because, after all, what can we do about it? But this is the moment when we need to keep pushing in every way we can. The technologies that will help us decarbonize energy are developing, but they need a push β€” and that will only happen if we keep climate change near the top of our political agenda. Earth Hour, Earth Day, Earth Year β€” we’ll need it all.

So, in a way, no; but, in terms of symbolism – in hopes that we’ll have the political will to finally make change – for the better – well, maybe a little at a time – Hour, Day, Year – will lead to something. Are Earth’s governments listening?

Week’s End

Friday night – Brooklyn Restaurant Week – the siblings and I went to Taze, the Turkish restaurant on Montague St., formerly where Kapadokya was. We went off the restaurant week menu to try the other stuff on the menu, reasonably priced as it was. Tried some of the lamb – quite good, and I usually don’t care for lamb. Dessert was excellent – the Turkish flan, the rice pudding, and the backlava.

“X-Files” creator Chris Carter reveals some stuff on the “X-Files” movie, which may or may not toss us a bone on what happens to William, the son of Scully (and Mulder? who knows!), last seen being given up for adoption for his own protection from the alien conspiracy (not to mention that he might have super alien-based powers that may cause – umm – problems).

Sarah Weinman’s comments on the updated, re-issued “Sweet Valley High” books; the new book #1 has Elizabeth and Jessica as size four instead of six; and pop references to ESPN and the tv series “Heroes.” I used to read these books; it’s so wrong that The Powers Behind the new Sweet Valley are tainting my youth like this!

Fascinating read – the Newsweek cover article on “When Barry Became Barack.”

Plus, Newsweek on “Hillary: What’s in a Name?” (or “How Hillary Rodham became Hillary Clinton”). As I understood it (and the article didn’t dispute this), she was Hillary Rodham after she married Bill Clinton, keeping her own name because she was that kind of person. However, the traditionalists expected her to be Mrs. Bill Clinton. So, she became “Mrs. Bill Clinton” (although, in professional life, she was probably either still Hillary Rodham or Hillary Rodham Clinton). On the campaign, she’s simply “Hillary” (well, kind of makes sense, just to distinguish her from Bill anyway).

But, people make the name thing such an issue because they think that the name makes the person – that Hillary Clinton’s switches of names makes her seem disingenuous. I kind of disagree; I think you just got to deal with things as they are. So she didn’t take her husband’s name when she married him; she had a professional life before and after him. Maybe the Arkansans just didn’t get that, and thought it was just “not their way”? Plus, back in the 1970’s, seeing a career woman with her own name isn’t like it is now; so I hope people aren’t still acting silly about that. Also, I hope people won’t get their knickers up in a twist over “Barry” to “Barack” thing (his choice, in the end, really, just as it is Hillary’s choice to go by what name she wants).

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to celebrate its 50th anniversary, reports Jennifer Dunning of the NY Times. Sounds exciting; plus there’s going to be an Ailey Barbie doll in honor of the anniversary, designed by Ailey company artistic director, Judith Jamison. Loved this part: Dunning writes, “Why no Ailey Ken doll to advance the notion of male dancers? ‘Do you know any other dance company that has its own Barbie Doll?’ Ms. Jamison exclaimed. ‘Give me a break.'” πŸ˜‰

NY Times’ Sara Rimer reports on an African-American science teacher as a role model to minority science students, by volunteering to go on a scientific expedition to Antarctica. Considering that America needs to improve its educating the young on science, I’m all for supporting those who make the effort.

And, speaking of Antarctica: the news is dire, pretty much bumming me out – the chunk of Antarctica the size of Connecticut collapsing. The urgency of the Earth being messed up at the environmental level (putting aside the political and security issues for the moment) – the need to do something, as the editorial in the Times notes.

So, I really like this idea of installing wind mills/wind farms at the Fresh Kills landfill – alternate energy generation plus a different use of land that’s not easy to use at the moment (at least, not while the garbage in the landfill is still decomposing). (a commentator to the City Room blog of the NY Times notes that this would kill the sea gulls – but considering the amount of garbage that the gulls try to consume from the landfill, I think we’re already killing the birds as it is; okay, me being morbid; plus another commentator suggesting the idea of tapping into the landfill’s methane gas into energy… guess I’m stepping off the soap box now…)

In light of everything, how exciting is Earth HourSydney onwards – turning off the lights between 8-9pm, at least to send a message that we really got to do something about the mess the Earth is in. Google getting in on it too. Hmm. Wonder if I can turn something off tonight.

The passing of Robert Fagles, translator of the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Aenied.