31 January 2008

Because Schelby didn't play it today

Today's Three for Thursday on 94.7 is Tom Petty, the White Stripes, and the Violent Femmes. I asked for my favorite Tom Petty song, but, to no avail, alas.

And if you want to think that this song makes me think about you, go for it.

A Thing About You by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I'm not much on mystery
Yeah you gotta be careful what you dream
I thought this might pass with time
Yeah I thought I was satisfied

But oh baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
Baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
It don't matter what you say
It don't matter what you do
I , i, i, got a thing about you

Somewhere deep in the middle of the night
Lovers hold each other tight
Whisper in their anxious ears
Words of love that disappear

But oh baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
Baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
It don't matter what you say
It don't matter what you do
I, i, i, got a thing about you

Baby you own some strange control over me
Yeah its so wild it hypnotizes me

Raise both hands
But oh baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
Baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
It don't matter what you say
It don't matter what you do
I, i, i, got a thing about you

And I rejoice in that

I just took the F Scale and got a score of 2.7666666666 with the comment:

You are a liberal airhead.*

Considering how many achtung aspects I have to my personality, this is a bit of a relief.

Nicked from James Nicoll.

*A score of 5.5 or greater gets you this comment: Have trouble keeping the lint off your black shirts?

30 January 2008

My favorite Billy Collins poem

The Lanyard by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that's what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I , in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

29 January 2008


From Arcadia, Act I, scene 3:
Thomasina: Oh, Septimus! -- Can you bear it? All the lost plays of the Athenians! Two hundred at least by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides - thousands of poems - Aristotole's own library brought to Egypt by the noodle's ancestors! How can we sleep for grief?

Septimus: By counting our stock. Seven plays from Aeschylus, seven from Sophocles, nineteen from Euripides, my lady! You should no more grieve for the rest than for a buckle lost from your first shoe, or for your lesson book which will be lost when you are old.* We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language. Ancient cures for diseases will reveal themselves once more. Mathematical discoveries glimpsed and lost to view will have their time again. You do not suppose, my lady, that if all of Archimedes had been hiding in the great library of Alexandria, we would be a a loss for a corkscrew? I have no doubt that the improved steam-driven heat-engine which puts Mr. Noakes into an ecstasy that he and it and the modern age should all coincide was described on papyrus. Steam and brass were not invented in Glasgow. Now, where are we?

*whereby Septimus shows that he has the same talent for poor prediction that I do.

28 January 2008

Grown up plays

The first play that I remember seeing in a theater is Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession in London. I was 14.

Dad and I were visiting England while we were living in Belgium and he got us tickets. I don't know what his criteria was in selecting that play, but I loved it. I have long since lost the program, but in the dim, murky recesses of my memory there are still impressions of dresses and movement and speech. There were definitely stripes. Maybe on the wall paper, or the furniture, or maybe on the dresses, I don't know, but there were stripes. I'm sure that I didn't understand all of it, but I got most of it and have been very fond of Shaw ever since.

Well, Samantha has me beat. She is ten and her first grown up play - i.e., one that doesn't involve bright, cheerful characters asking the audience for help, or Disney characters on ice skates - was Arcadia. She was there on Saturday night.

At lunch after church some weeks ago, Stacey and I were talking about the show and Sam said that she wanted to go. Hoping to give her more of a sense of the play (i.e., lots of math talk, very few chase scenes), I asked her to run some of my lines with me. We ran a chunk of Scene 2, carefully picking up reasonably far after Hannah's "I'm going to kick you in the balls" and left off reasonably far before Bernard's "The Byron gang are going get their dicks caught in their zip..." and when we were done, she said "I wanna go see this play!" all bright-eyed and enthusiastic.

I don't think that she has developed a life-long love of Stoppard at age 10, although it's not impossible as she is a very bright girl, but I do think that what she wanted was to see a play where I was on stage instead of in the house.

So Sam and Stacey and Cliff and Eileen came on Saturday night and, even though the show lets out at 10:45, she was all bright-eyed and enthusiastic afterwards in the lobby. I was so surprised and enchanted to see her there that I may have largely ignored other friends as I dragged her around to meet as many of the cast as were still around. But then, I am usually an idiot in theater lobbies post-show, so that night may not have been different from all other nights. It's basically just me with more adrenaline.

We have a date to see the next kids show at Elden Street, but I'm thinking that if she can do Arcadia, I may have a companion for some of my upcoming WATCH assignments. Especially as - oddly enough - Arcadia may actually be the most kid-friendly thing I audition for this year.

You go ahead. Really.

So there we were hanging out in the dressing room before Sunday's matinee. Janet (and her young son, John Michael) made us brownies which, like all food near actors or engineers that is not instantly fatal, were going fast. Especially as these brownies were very yummy and not fatal at all.

Poor Erin didn't know about the yummy brownies until after she was starting to change her clothes and so was in no position to go scampering out to grab one. I offered to get one for her as I was completely dressed.

"But I'd feel guilty if you bring me something you can't have."

"Sweetie, don't worry about it. If you go deaf, I'm not going to stop listening to things."

And so I brought her a brownie.

Note to guys: This is another good reason to do community theater. You might find yourself bringing brownies to pretty, semi-clad, young ladies. And having them all appreciative about it. I'm just sayin'.

How to get rich doing community theater

Our props team and running crew for Arcadia have to provide an ongoing supply of stuff for us to carry around, including a decanter of wine (Septimus) and a glass of wine (Valentine). On dress rehearsal night during scene 7, Sasha (Septimus) opened the decanter and I learned that we would be using real wine. Effective way to get the color right, I guess.*

So Sasha and I drink a few sips from the same glass but Patrick (Valentine) has his own glass. On opening night, I noticed that his glass, which he carries on, was pretty full. Being the sort of low, base person that I am, I promptly bet Patrick a nickel that he couldn't finish that glass during the scene. "Get your nickel ready," was his reply. No cheating, so he couldn't start drinking it before he went on.

Not surprisingly, Patrick, for all his bravado, could not drain several ounces of wine in a scene where he's doing most of the talking. About physics, no less. My job in that scene is to listen to and prompt more physics talk, so I could have more or less polished off his wine, my own, and a fair bit of the rest of the decanter, had I so chosen.

My only real reason for posting this story, of course, is to tell the entire internet that I won a silly little backstage bet. And to tell the entire internet that Patrick owes me a nickel. When he pays up, I'll update this post. So if two hundred years in the future, you are reading this and there is no update, go ahead and assume that Patrick still owes me a nickel.

Update: Patrick is a man of honor. And a gentleman and a scholar. The nickel has been paid.

* My recipe for making stage red wine is Cranberry juice with a couple of drops of blue food coloring. Just FYI.

25 January 2008

Sort of like a program credit, only different

An e-mail that I sent to my boss:

Company shwag on local stage

The costumer for the show I'm opening tonight asked me to bring in some clothes that my character might wear for him to look at. Among other things that I grabbed from my closet is the blue chambray company-logo shirt that we were given a couple of years ago. The costumer approved it and I'm wearing it my first scene.

Kind of appropriate considering how much math there is in "Arcadia."


I'll bet not many others there have done as much to promote the company as I will be doing subliminally.

Uncomfortably Numb

Yesterday I hit a wall.

Not with my car or anything, just the mental wall. Here's the background: We just took a play to the Maryland Festival last week; I work full-time; I don't take time off work around shows because then I would never be there; it's Tech Week for Arcadia (please come); I've been working some random overtime; I haven't been sleeping well; and my building is doing some really invasive (prophylactic) pest control* which meant that I had to put everything I own that's made out of fabric into plastic bags, empty the closets, and move all the furniture into the center of the room.

It all came to a head around 4:30. I just couldn't any more. There were a few, small things that I needed to get done before I left but instead I sat and stared for a while. It all felt like too much effort. Everything felt like too much effort.

I don't get that way very often because, among other stupid characteristics of mine, I seem to thrive on doing what I call running on caffeine and oxygen. So Tech Week is usually a happy time for me. David requires a certain amount of downtime where he shuts the door and the world is on one side and he is on the other. My requirement for that kind of downtime is vanishingly small. So these walls always take me by surprise.

I did the few, small things that I needed to do a work and stopped by home to pet Pekoe the Fabulous Orange Tabby, put on make-up, and have dinner. (A spoonful of peanut butter, thank you very much. Eating before a show isn't a problem for me and, in fact, I usually do one-armed curls with whatever snacks are available at the theater, but when I feel like this, the thought of food kinda makes me sick.)

So I went to the theater, trudged up the hill, weaving only slightly, and wandered around inside for a while trying to get my focus back. I made myself a cup of tea, leaned on a door jamb, watched people, and waited to get anything like my groove back. To tell you how out of it I was, I was quiet.

The folks started arriving. The ladies dressing room is shared with Erin, Sarah, and Janet and it's just pleasant to be around them. And Erin is her own nuclear source which is pretty energizing.

The show is divided between two time periods, so when I am off-stage, the whole other cast is on, so I pretty much see Clyde and Michael and the rest of the 1809 men during green room and as we're leaving. Well, except for Sasha, who has the same assault-level of friendliness that Erin and I do, so he crosses over.

I spend most of my stage time with Dan and Patrick but Dan is more like David in terms of personal space and Clyde is teaching Erin to tango or something which makes poor Patrick the recipient of my excess attention. He bears up well, but spare some pity for him.

Eventually being in a theater and around theater people worked its magic. Theaters are energy stores. And being on-stage under the lights did the rest. Vitamin L, you know. Those lamps shining down on me are my love and approval. And like some kind of weird plant, I turn to the light and perk up.

By the time we curtained down I was back to my old self. And by the time I got to David's - a little before 1:00 - I was bright and spunky. Just in time for bed.


*Hint: good-night, sleep tight, don't let the....

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, Come on, Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
I'll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child I had a FEVER
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am.

I have become comfortably numb.
I have become comfortably numb.

Just a little pin prick.
There'll be no more aaaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working, good.
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on it's time to go.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
but I have become comfortably numb.

Batter up

Arjewtino is going to Adult Baseball Camp. And because Community Theater is pretty much Fantasy Camp for drama geeks, I totally understand his excitement.

Have a great time, hit some ones, don't spit too much.

24 January 2008

Stuck in my head

"Comment" by Dorothy Parker

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

And why is it stuck in my head? Because Hannah says "So listen to me. If Byron killed Chater in a duel I am Marie of Romania."

23 January 2008

How you know that I'm not a psycho-killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est

When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed.
Say something once, why say it again?

Oh. Yeah. Right.

Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa


My general rule for secrets is that if I am trusted with one I don't tell it until after I hear it from a different source or two. Sort of like the concept of "inevitable discovery" on Law and Order.

This rather spiffy song from the Pierces really needs to be heard instead of read because it sounds like the sort psychedelic carousel music that plays in a movie soundtrack about the time that I'm burying my head in David's shoulder because it's getting creepy up there.

Secret The Pierces

Got a secret
Can you keep it?
Swear this one you'll save
Better lock it, in your pocket
Taking this one to the grave
If I show you then I know you
Won't tell what I said
Cause two can keep a secret
If one of the m is dead…

Why do you smile
Like you have told a secret
Now you're telling lies
Cause you're the one to keep it
But no one keeps a secret
No one keeps a secret
Why when we do our darkest deeds
Do we tell?
They burn in our brains
Become a living hell
Cause everyone tells
Everyone tells…


Look into my eyes
Now you're getting sleepy
Are you hypnotized
By secrets that you're keeping?
I know what you're keeping
I know what you're keeping


Yes, Katherine.
I have something I want to tell you, but
you have to promise to never tell anyone.
I promise
Do you swear on your life?
I swear on my life

[end spoken]

You swore you'd never tell…
You swore you'd never tell…

You swore you'd never tell…
You swore you'd never tell…

(Chorus x3 and speeding up to really bring the creepy)

Yes two can keep a secret
If one of us is…. Dead.

22 January 2008

How to make me blush #17

I swear that I had nothing to do with this. Of course, I'm amused as all get out over it. I've kept their formatting, although the italics are mine own.

E-mail from Rockville Little Theatre to rockvillelittletheatre@yahoo.com
Subject: Coming this weekend - TOM STOPPARD's ARCADIA (Rockville Little Theatre)

So you have the winter blahs and feel like seeing a comedy, right?

Well look no further than to your friendly neighborhood theatre who will give you nothing but a good time with the Winter Production of ARCADIA, by Tom Stoppard.

For a synopsis, keep reading....

ARCADIA is opening ... drum roll please... THIS WEEKEND!! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, January 25th - February 3rd on Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sunday Matinees at 2 PM


Are you doing accents again? Really??*

Not to worry! Accents are limited and easy to understand.

I'd love to bring my kids!! Will they like it??

Yes. If they understand sex and physics. Otherwise, they may find it talky. It's not really an evening for the little one's like, say, Seussical would be.

I love Leta. I'd come see it if she were in it. Is she??

I'm glad you asked! She is!! Leta joins a stellar cast of new and veteran actors, directors and technicians - Rockville Little Theatre's best and, for the most part, brightest, including Director David Levin, WATCH nominated Sound Designer Robert Schaffer, and the ever so handsome Nic Ruley on Running Crew. Amazing, huh??

My tickets say "Anna in the Tropics", can I still get in??**

Of course you can! But I have to warn you, that is not the show that will be playing. We switched out. But if you think accents are a problem, could you imagine if we were doing Anna in the Tropics? Oy vey gevaldt!


Arcadia is a play that moves back and forth between 1809 and the present at the elegant estate owned by the Coverly family. The 1809 scenes reveal a household in transition. As the Arcadian landscape is being transformed into picturesque Gothic gardens, complete with a hermitage, thirteen year old Lady Thomasina and her tutor delve into intellectual and romantic issues. Present day scenes depict the Coverly descendants and two competing scholars who are researching a possible scandal at the estate in 1809 involving Lord Byron. This brilliant play moves smoothly between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between classical and romantic temperaments, and the disruptive influence of sex on our life orbits the attraction Newton left out. Winner of the 1995 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and the 1994 Olivier Award.

For More Information, please visit rlt-online.org

For Tickets and Exchanges:
240-314-8690 (F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater box office)

For Other Information:

By Mail:
Rockville Little Theatre
P.O. Box 4466
Rockville, Maryland 20849-4466

* When RLT recently did an "accent show" some of audience complained about the impenetrability of the dialogue. So we are nearly accent-free. Kinda.

**Anna in the Tropics was the show originally scheduled for the January slot. Due to circumstances, etc, and, unfortunately, after the season tickets were printed, Arcadia had to be substituted for Anna.

20 January 2008


The 2007 WATCH nominations were announced this evening.

For those of you just tuning in, WATCH is the community theater awards program that I spend a fair bit of time volunteering for (and talking about). WATCH judges adjudicated 109 shows for 2007, about 2/3 of them plays and 1/3 musicals.

The numbers: 29 member companies, 4 judges per company, 109 shows seen by 10 judges semi-randomly selected from each company. Scores are tabulated with highest and lowest numbers eliminated. The top five people in each category are the nominees for the year. The winners are announced at the beginning of March.

And this year, I am a nominee.

My "nomination memento" (i.e., pretty postcard) reads "In Recognition of Your Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play" for playing Alma in Taking Leave.

There were roughly 250 women in the "Featured Actress in a Play" category, by the way. Some truly excellent women. I am stunned that I was nominated. And very pleased. And flattered. And did I mention stunned?

I am also delighted that six of the staff and my cast mates and some very good friends were nominated, Debbie and her team for Boston Marriage at Elden Street, Michael and his team for Never the Sinner, Bridget and her team for The Drawer Boy, Megan and her team for Agnes of God among them. I am in very good company.

Within the DC-area community theater scene this is something of a Big Fat Hairy Deal. It means that every bio I write from now on can mention my nomination. It'll be on my theater resume. That nomination memento? Going on my desk at work, where I'm thinking of requiring that the engineers and accountants address me as "Miss Nominee" from now on. I am also considering putting together a list of diva demands* for the future - suggestions cheerfully accepted!

In reality, not so much. The people who loved me before or thought highly of me, still do. The people who didn't care about me or thought me overrated or annoying, still do. My annual salary won't be positively or negatively affected. My cat still thinks that I need to spend more time on the sofa providing a lap for him.

And, really, this isn't just my nomination. Theater is my favorite team sport and we don't do this alone. My name is on the card, but Lorraine** directed us, Angie stage managed us, Suzanne** lit us, Pat clothed us, John Vasko** built our set, and I shared that stage with five lovely, talented, hard-working, people: Ann, Cassie**, Clayton, Lori, and Rick**. The nominations our show got are our nominations. Without Tinker and Evers, you haven't got a Chance.

Baseball's Sad Lexicon by Franklin P. Adams.

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double --
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

The complete list of nominees can be found on the WATCH website.

Oh, you know, like "M&Ms must be pre-sorted by color with only even numbers of each color" or "Tea. Darjeeling. Fresh. Hot." or the exact eye color and nationality of my Cabana Boys.

**Also nominated. We received seven total nominations for the show. :-)

11 January 2008

Boy, howdy, that's true

"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

from a list of epigrams sent in an e-mail by Laura

I'm doing okay with the first part, it's the second part that's still a learning experience for me.

10 January 2008

You only hurt the (little) ones you love

From talking to my friends and reading blogs and from a few other sources I've decided that if you haven't accidentally - and minorly* - injured your child in some way**, then you just aren't spending enough time with them.

Heck, one of my mother's cousins was lifting me out of a pool when I was about 8 and I slipped and hit my face on the concrete. Chipped a front tooth. "How can I send this child back home to her mother now? We broke her!" his wife said.

And I once failed to prevent my niece from shutting the car door on herself. Between her sobs and my "oh, honey, oh sweetie" noises she gulped out "I --- like --- you --- and ---I --- love --- you." So it's sort of a treasured memory, in a painful, cringe-inducing kind of way. Go figure.

*no pun intended. Oops.

**Carrying them and bouncing their heads off of door frames, cutting their hair and scraping them with the scissors, bathing them and getting water up their noses, stuff like that.

09 January 2008

A Song for Septimus

"When he died, the cottage was stacked solid with paper. Hundreds of pages. Thousands. Peacock says he was suspected of genius. It turned out, of course, he was off his head. He'd covered every sheet with cabalistic proofs that the world was coming to an end." Hannah Jarvis - Arcadia, Act 1 scene 2

"...for it was Frenchified mathematick that brought him to the melancholy certitude of a world without light or life...as a wooden stove that must consume itself until ash and stove are as one, and heat is gone from the earth." Act 2 scene 5

How Far We've Come by Matchbox 20

I'm waking up at the start of the end of the world,
but its feeling just like every other morning before,
Now I wonder what my life is going to mean if it's gone,

The cars are moving like a half a mile an hour if that,
and started staring at the passengers who're waving goodbye
can you tell me what was ever really special about me all this time?

But I believe the world is burning to the ground
oh well I guess we're gonna find out
let's see how far we've come
let's see how far we've come
Well I, believe, it all, is coming to an end
oh well, I guess, we're gonna pretend,
let's see how far we've come
let's see how far we've come

I think it turned ten o'clock but I don't really know
then I can't remember caring for an hour or so
started crying and I couldn't stop myself
I started running but there's no where to run to
I sat down on the street, took a look at myself
said where you going man you know the world is headed for hell
say all goodbyes if you've got someone you can say goodbye to

I believe the world is burning to the ground
oh well I guess we're gonna find out
let's see how far we've come (right now)
let's see how far we've come

Well I, believe, it all, is coming to an end
oh well, I guess, we're gonna pretend,
let's see how far we've come
let's see how far we've come

Its gone gone baby its all gone
there is no one on the corner and there's no one at home
well it was cool cool, it was just all cool
now it's over for me and it's over for you
well its gone gone baby its all gone
there's no one on the corner and there's no one at home
well it was cool cool, it was just all cool
now it's over for me and it's over for you

I believe the world is burning to the ground
oh well I guess we're gonna find out
let's see how far we've come
let's see how far we've come
Well I, believe, it all, is coming to an end
oh well, i guess, we're gonna pretend,
let's see how far we've come, again
let's see how far we go
let's see how far we've come

01 January 2008

Fish's T-shirt

At Greykell & Rick's (and Kat and Aly and Nic's) New Year's Eve Party last night Fish was wearing a t-shirt that read:

English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.

According to Paizo it's a paraphrase of a quotation made by James Nicoll.* The original quotation: "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

(Paizo's version is less vulgar, sadly, and deprives so many parents of the organic opportunity to explain the phrase "cribhouse whore" in the car on the way home. Now they'll just have to find a way to work it into conversation. Perhaps I can help with that.)

I rarely wear t-shirts anymore - certainly not often enough to justify buying another one that will be stuffed into the full to burstin' Drawer of Abandoned T-Shirts - but I did like this one a lot.

And happily it has lead me to discover Nicoll's LiveJournal which contains the sorts of sentences I enjoy reading such as "I ran a hobby shop for 17 years and now am a free-lance book reviewer and game editor, occupations that have taught me how to budget."

So thanks, Fish!

* Canadian linguist and 911 speed dialer (or however Canadians call for EMTs). See his Wikipedia entry here. Or his LJ.