10 April 99 
Well, we're cut off from the network now, so I'll be taking my answer off 
the air -- I thought, so what, I can still do a little matlab.  But 
because we've got to be linked to the FUCKING LICENSE SERVER to be able to 
use it, I suppose it just wasn't meant to be. 
A few quotes from Rob Brezsny's Real Astrology column: 
"Be assured that life is far more mysterious than even the smartest and 
most confident people imagine." (I hear ya, dad) 
"'God was my copilot, but we crashed into the mountains and I had to eat 
her.'" (This one's for Stu) 
There was also a cartoon making fun of the Antiques Roadshow on PBS, one 
of my current favorite TV shows.  It's kind of bitter, but that's what the 
Voice likes.  Pissed off, and satire that doesn't quite make the point. 
Like one This Modern World strip about Iowa sending bombers (filled with 
manure) for airstrikes on Rudy Guliani to shape up his act.  Actually, it 
was rather funny, but as a comment on the current Kosovo mess, it doesn't 
really say anything.  I feel I can take these strips seriously, because 
the authors evidently do. 
The last one, Tom the Dancing Bug, is going up on my door.  One realizes 
that in American satire, subtlety just isn't a virtue: thus, a strip 
taking the logical extension of states advertising their lotteries to 
states advertising for people to do other stupid things for the short-term 
gain of the government.  You know, like smoke (& pay high cig taxes), 
drive drunk (because the state gets to keep the cars), pay the max tax 
rate no matter what, keep your kids out of schools.   
Is anybody even trying anymore? 
Bitch bitch bitch bitch. 
What do you expect when I can't get my online cartoon fix?!  I revert to 
picking up the Village Voice!  By the time people are able to read this, 
it will be too late to send me something to get me out of bitch mode.  I'm 
bitchy cause I'm disconnected and if you can read this I'm no longer 
disconnected!  Obvious right?!  But because of the fluoridation of water I 
have to MAKE THINGS CLEAR!  Cause people are FUCKING IDIOTS! 
And onto other news in Lake Wobegon:   
Let's see, two things (or so) that I wish to note from this week... 
Math talks I have attended:  one on some numerical technique, that turned 
out to be as interesting as an extended algebra problem can get,  one on 
how cockroaches scurry -- it seems most cockroaches run too fast for their 
nervous systems to be controlling every single step.  So Phil Holmes 
(princeton) et. al. looked to see if there's some kind of mechanical 
stability in a certain striding pattern.  And there is, in their grossly 
simplified system (they gave the bugs 2 legs instead of 6....  but it's 
not _that_ bad of an idea, because roaches use 3 legs at a time on each 
side when running -- so instead of two cylindrical legs, they're behaving 
like they've got two tripods for legs.  Neat, huh?) 
just showing the legs touching the ground... 
     my roach:		left stance:		right stance: 
	\o/		    \o			      o/ 
	-o-	 	     o-		             -o 
	/o\		    /o		              o\ 
numma numma numma numma 
other activities this week: 
I got an award for Community Service from NYU - looking down the list, I 
noticed that I was the only person from the Grad. School of Arts & 
Sciences receiving this award.  Makes me wonder.  In any case, I think 
there's one or two students who work the soup kitchen that gets this award 
each year.  This is my third year into it, so it was about damn time. 
I went to the New York City Opera again this week (and got stood up, but 
more on that later) - I was wearing my lovely knit/crochet shawl in bright 
variegated red over my new blue rayon dress (mmmmm) to attend this 
delightful staging of the only two operatic pieces by Ravel (they were 
both rather short, 1-act operas.  Alot nicer than that one-act 
monostrosity of Strauss's called Elektra.  For heaven's sake, give us a 
potty break!  (Go now, or forever hold your pee)).   
The first one was "The Spanish Hour" (this is all in French - I think the 
title is L'Heure Espagnole or something like that.)  It's the day that a 
Spanish clockmaker is supposed to go around town doing maintenance on the 
official clocks, and his wife uses that day of the week for her trysts. 
Right before the clock guy leaves, a mule driver (who carries mail over 
the mountains with his mule) comes in wanting his old watch fixed.  Mrs. 
Clockguy is pissed, because her husband tells the guy just to wait in the 
shop while he's out doing his duty. 
Mrs. Clock doesn't want this guy hanging around, so she has the muleteer 
take a large clock from the show floor up to her bedroom.  While he's 
doing this, her lover, a poet, shows up.  Mrs. C wants to get it on and 
even grabs the poet's hands to put them on her bosom, but he won't stop 
singing poetry about clocks.  Muleguy is coming down the stairs, so poet 
hides in a corner, and to buy time Mrs. C decides she wants this -other- 
clock up in her room - but first take the first clock back down.  So she 
tries to get it on with poetboy again, but he's pissing her off.  She gets 
the idea to put poetboy in the second clock (and he starts singing a song 
likening the clock to his casket and mortality...etc etc etc).  Muleguy 
brings the first clock down, and hefts up second clock to go to second 
floor (did I mention there are three automata in the corner that get up 
and about doing this little routine with a clock in the shape of a heart?   
no matter.) 
Anyway, while Muleguy is taking clock with poetboy inside upstairs, this 
old lover of Mrs. Clock shows up -- the guy who gave her husband the 
municipal clock gig (to get him out of the house).  Mr. Pompous says that 
considering the trouble he made for her, she should give up a little of 
the good stuff.  Well, she's intending to go upstairs to her much younger 
lover, so she blows him off (ahem), and trips lightly upstairs, drawing 
her shades after getting in the bedroom.  Mr. Pomp decides he's being too 
serious for this young woman and hides himself in the first clock 
(remember, Muleguy brought it down earlier) waiting to surprise her. 
Muleguy comes down to the first floor singing some kind of paean to a 
generous hostess who suits tasks to her guests, but is interrupted by Mrs. 
C. yelling for him to take the 2nd clock down ("It doesn't work!"). 
While Muleguy goes upstairs to bring the 2nd clock down, Mrs. C is huffing 
downstairs and is taken aback by Mr. Pomp cuckoo-ing at her.  Mr. P 
finally persuades her to get busy by reminding her that he may not be 
young, but he has more experience with and appreciation of women.  She 
thinks, why not - first guy was a loss, but I might get a little action. 
So Muleguy comes down with the 2nd clock, takes the 1st clock upstairs. 
Mrs. C pulls poetboy out of his clock and tells him off.  He sings about 
the difficulty of love.  She's sick of this, and he decides to perservere 
by hiding in the clock (?) 
Mrs. C goes upstairs after the 1st clock (with Mr. Pomp inside), and 
Muleguy comes down, singing about this lovely woman again.  Again, he is 
interrupted by Mrs. C yelling that she can't stand the 1st clock, he must 
take it out of her room (it seems Mr. P is so fat he can't get out of the 
clock). Muleguy cheerfully complies. She's at her wits end, then realizes 
there's been this young guy who can haul about large clocks with men 
inside.  So when Muleguy asks Mrs. C what does she want to take up now, 
she requests him to go upstairs to her bedroom without a clock. 
The two discarded lovers are downstairs in the clocks, one refusing to 
leave, the other unable to get out, when Mr. Clockmaker gets home.  He 
thinks these are two customers inspecting the clocks, and he sells them 
their respective clocks.  Then there's the only ensemble piece of singing: 
a quintet bearing the motto: "Even the Muleteer gets his chance." 
The End. 
The second one was "L'enfant et les sortileges".  This one is simpler to 
describe: a bratty kid is grounded, he has tantrums, then the furniture 
comes to life and starts pushing the kid around for all his abuse. Book 
characters moan about their books being torn up.  A mathematics lesson 
gets its licks in.  Then the boy runs outside and is harassed by trees, a 
bat, some butterflies, a bird and a frog.  The boy bandages the wound of a 
squirrel and all is well again.  He calls for his mama.  The end. 
As for being stood up, Chad forgot we were supposed to be going to these 
operas, but he took me out to dinner last night at La Paella (and we split 
a bottle of wine), so all is well again. 
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