December 9th, 2019

storyteller doll

In Which Things Vanish

Celebrity Death Watch: Clive James was an Australian critic, broadcaster, and writer. Frank Biondi was a media executive including heading HBO, Viacom, and Universal Studios at various times. Marion McClinton was a theatre director who specialized in the works of August Wilson. Irving Burgie was a songwriter who wrote a number of pieces for Harry Belafonte. Yasahiro Nakasone was the prime minister of Japan from 1982-1987. Pat Sullivan was a football player. Shelley Morrison was an actress, best known for playing Roasario in Will and Grace. Mark Butler was the majority owner of the Harrisburg Senators (the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals). Robert K. Massie wrote biographies of the Romanovs, including Nicholas and Alexandra. D.C. Fontana was the first female writer for Star Trek. George J. Lauer invented the Universal Product Code. Ron Liebman won a Tony for playing Roy Cohn in Angels in America. Carroll Spinney was a puppeteer whose work included Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street.

Jonathan Miller was a neurologist, humorist, theatre director, and general public intellectual. I particularly remember him for The Body in Question, and I believe I have a copy of the book that accompanied the television program. I am less fond of some of his theatrical decisions, including a production of The Mikado for which he admitted to not liking Gilbert and Sullivan.

William Ruckelhaus was Deputy Attorney General during Watergate and resigned in the wake of the Saturday Night Massacre. He became the first (and fifth) administrator of the EPA.

Paul Volcker was an economist who chaired the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987. He is credited with ending high levels of inflation.

Rene Auberjonois was an actor. While he was well-known for both films and television roles, he also did a lot of theatre, starting with performing at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. He won a Tony for his performance in Coco in 1969. He also played a major role in founding theatres companies, e.g. The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

The Past Week: I spent a lot of time catching up on admin chores at work. Aside from that, I also bought a lot of tickets to do things with friends in the coming year. I got a little closer to catching up at home, though I am still suffering CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). In a truly miraculous achievement, I actually finished reading the Sunday Washington Post on Sunday. By the way, the magazine section had a good (i.e. reasonably well-balanced) piece on the Space Force.

Service Charges: Having done all those ticket purchases reminds me of how much I hate service charges. It’s rather deceptive when a site advertises free tickets to an event, but then charges a five buck ticket fee. The most annoying part is that you don’t generally see what the fees are up front, though you do before you hit the button to pay.

The best of the theatres in this respect is Ford’s where there is only a two dollar fee and that is earmarked towards restoration costs. I still think it should just be part of the ticket price, but I can live with that.

Breakage: One of my corelle plates slipped off the counter on Saturday and shattered. It’s not a big deal really as we are talking about a cheap dish that was bought probably 40 years ago. But it was a pain in the neck to clean up. That stuff shatters into a lot of sharp pieces. And I couldn’t find a dustpan, so made do with a piece of cardboard. I did get it cleaned up so it would be safe enough for me to walk around in the kitchen without shoes on. I still think that I must have a dustpan somewhere, but it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near any of my other cleaning supplies, all of which I keep in the laundry room.

Speaking of Searching for Things: My toiletries bag has the ability to become invisible any time I am going on a trip. I also need to find where I put my camera bag. And my headlamp. Sigh.

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