Zhaba Zhournal
Wednesday, January 07, 2004 
Production values and the value of productions 
J. and I have commented wistfully on this possibility, and at last it's coming true: there's a plan to make a movie out of the musical of "The Producers." I suppose it might seem like unnecessary overkill; but the movie, however brilliant and hilarious, is also hopelessly stuck in the 60's (Max says he's going to buy a "toy" and returns with a blonde Swedish secretary, the guy who wins the role of Hitler is a fur-boot-wearing hippie named LSD); the musical is brilliant, hilarious, and more palatable. No one's going to top Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, and Kenneth Mars; but I think the Broadway cast can be just as un-toppable in their own way. (Like "Chicago" backwards: I don't think there's anyone in Hollywood today who could top Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, and Jerry Orbach on Broadway, but Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and, of all people, Richard Gere were perfect movie incarnations.)

Besides, the Broadway show is a) expensive and b) almost impossible to get tickets for, and even if you do get tickets, there's no telling who's going to be playing the lead roles by the time you actually see it. (And also c) in New York, requiring considerable travel time and expense for anyone who doesn't live on the mid-Atlantic East Coast.) So filming the two original stars, with the original Broadway director directing, and enabling everyone who can get to a movie theater to see it for $8 or so, is actually—I'm running out of superlatives—well, it's a great idea, and a valuable service to that part of humanity that loves movies, musicals, Broadway, and the intersections thereof.

[ at 9:37 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Tuesday, January 06, 2004 
On ice 
Sports Fact o' the Day: Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were 24 and 23, respectively, at the '94 Olympics. Gosh, these days, that's practically the age when we take them out and shoot them.


I mean, people are amazed that Michelle Kwan is still competing at the near-geriatric age of 22. Jeez, skating is turning into women's gymnastics...

[ at 10:47 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Monday, January 05, 2004 
But what about a triple word score? 
This is totally silly and pointless, so of course I had to post it:

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabbleİ Score is: 19.
What is your score? Get it here.

[ at 5:31 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Don't take that to the bank 
No one in our office got paid last week, because the bank somehow lost all the account information for our entire company. My boss called them this morning, spent a lot of time on hold, and finally got through to someone who said "We know there are problems, we're having a branch emergency." He asked to talk to our account manager; "She'll have to call you later, she's talking to the police right now."

I can hardly wait to see how it all turns out...

[ at 1:06 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

TV oddities 
The "Today Show" aired a clip swiped from Aljazeera* TV news. The crawl [of course they have a crawl] goes from left to right, just like ours. It initially seemed counterintuitive; but, come to think of it, I think it'd actually be easier to read right-to-left text that came at you with the beginning of the words first.

*Don't tell me I'm spelling or capitalizing or word-separating it wrong, and it should actually be "Al Jazeera" or "al-Jazirah" or some other Roman-alphabet Anglicized transliteration. On the English edition of their own Web site they call themselves "Aljazeera," and that's good enough for me.

[ at 10:41 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

What are the odds? 
Pete Rose has finally admitted he bet on baseball. J.'s version of his thought process: "I want to get into the Hall of Fame before I die, and I've tried everything else, so I might as well try the truth." (It's so crazy, it just might work!)

[ at 10:25 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Book and Cover Dep't 
Intro to "Today Show" segment on plastic surgery—lists some celebrities who've had it, then "And Michael Jackson? You be the judge."
J.: If I were the judge, I wouldn't focus on the surgery.
Later in the segment: "aesthetic," rather than "cosmetic," surgery. Is that so it'll sound less fruity to men, or so it'll sound less flaky to insurance companies?

[ at 9:45 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Sunday, January 04, 2004 
So, Britney Spears goes to Vegas, gets drunk, gets married, and files for annulment in the space of twelve hours or so. But don't you forget for one minute that, as our illustrious president said after the Massachusetts same-sex marriage decision, "Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman." Yep, can't let those homosexuals insult the "sanctity of marriage" that soooooooooooooooo many straight people are soooooooooooooo committed to. I mean, Heaven forfend that two persons of the same gender who have been in a committed, monogamous relationship for fifty years should be guaranteed the legal right to, say, visit each other in the hospital when they're dying; but let us give the full benefits of the laws of the city of Las Vegas, the great state of Nevada, the United States of America, and, indeed, every country on Earth to a hop-buzzed pop tart who can figure out where to sign her name on a marriage license.

The boldface and links around "sacred" and "sanctity" in Bush's quotes are relics of the post I originally cited them in, which was titled "Psst...church and state, anyone?" But I've decided the emphasis works just as well here, because I can't get Matthew 7:6 out of my head: "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs." And in looking up the reference, I found out it's part of this oft-quoted passage:
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

Matthew 7:1-6, NIV

(This has long been one of my pet peeves, or at least superficially-domesticated peeves, about marriage in this country. If I let this peeve out of its cage, I'll probably go down the street biting people, though, so I'll keep it reined in, and only vent in writing, in cyberspace, for now...)

[ at 4:53 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.

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