Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives

October 2003 Archives

Economy on the rebound?

In this morning's New York Times, we find Economy Grew at 7.2% Rate in 3rd Quarter, Fastest Pace Since 1984. A list of important stats for quick analysis:

  • The increase in the GDP for July-September, the 7.2% in the title, was more than double the 3.3% increase reported in the 2nd quarter

  • Analysts were only expecting a 6% growth

  • The quarter saw an increase of 57,000 new jobs – the first increase in eight months

  • Employment still hovers at 6.1%

  • On Tuesday the Fed kept short-term interest rates at 1%, a 45-year low

  • Economists expect a slower 4% growth for thr 4th quarter

  • In the 3rd quarter, consumer spending jumped by 6.6%, up from 3.8% in the 2nd

  • Big-ticket item purchases grew by 26.9% (!)

  • Food and clothes purchases grew by 7.9%, the best increase since 1976

  • Business spending on technology jumped by 15.4%, up from 8.3 in the 2nd quarter

  • Investment on residential projects grew at 20.4%, best jump since 1996 and over triple the 2nd-quarter growth of 6.6%

  • Federal spending grew at a measly 1.4%, but this follows a 2nd-quarter growth of 45.8% on the Iraq war

  • Businesses are still burning through their inventory, which reduced the GDP this quarter by 0.67%

So what does this tell us? The jump in technology spending bodes well for techies, the big-ticket purchase jump bodes well for folks in marketing and the like, and continued short-term interest rates are good for small businesses. This is all good news for my demographic. However, the continued unemployment rate of 6.1% should be further examined to determine how it impacts the economy – if the 6.1% is primarily white-collar workers, an increase in manufacturing jobs isn't going to help; corporate America needs to crank it up again to start creating some empty seats to fill. And the continuing reliance on existing inventory as opposed to replenishing the company stockpiles indicates that white-collar growth is still heavily constrained.

Some guys are armchair analysts on the war. Never in a million years would I have ever expected to become an armchair economist. Thanks, Dad. :)


Free agency in Generation X/Y: Dan Pink was right.

The New York Times has a great article today called Youthful Attitudes, Sobering Realities, which is all about the way that the current 20-to-34 set (that would be me, thanks) tends to think about careers. Basically, all of the pooh-poohing and self-congratulatory cackling that some economists and sociologists made against Dan Pink's Free Agent Nation following the dotcom collapse has been shown to have been either premature or flat-out wrong.

The article nails, at the very least, my way of thinking right on the head:

Because of an unsettled economy and an employment market that has not been kind to these workers, they think there is no reward for loyalty and are reluctant to make long-term commitments. Though they have been called disloyal and unwilling to pay their dues, the reality is that they are adapting to a workplace in which "corporations broke the old arrangement unilaterally," Professor Cappelli said. "They've seen what's gone on with their parents' generation, and a lack of trust in the corporation is a perfectly rational response to that."

This lack of trust is giving rise to another phenomenon, a sense of free agency among young workers who expect to create lifetime careers not with one or two companies, but as independent contractors, selling their services on a project basis to many employers. Each new job is a new negotiation — for pay, obviously, but also for control of the working environment, balance between work and private life and training for the next job.

Yep, nailed that one exactly. There's a reason I'm currently working as a self-employed consultant, thankyouverymuch.

On dentists.

Just got back from the dentist for my one-week postop appointment. Apparently I'm healing nicely, have no sign of dry sockets (praise Jesus) and am well on the road to recovery. Rock and roll.

Now to figure out how to catch up for the lost time, and properly grovel before a friend for dropping the ball on a project...

Bringing another website into the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to announce the launch of, the online home of Kate Erin Photography. My girlfriend takes beautiful portraits – you should hire her. Really.

(And no, this isn't the client project I posted about a couple of days ago. That's coming later this week.)

That is one fast cat.

Wow. I just upgraded to Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) and it's really swanky. Zippy. Pretty. Elegant. And Nick's absolutely right: I was unsure as to how well a brushed-metal Finder would work, but it's not the same brushed-metal as Safari or QuickTime – it's much softer and more subtle, which in my opinion is an improvement. I'd like to see Safari and QuickTime adopt the softer look of the new Finder, actually. It's really, really nice.

And Expose? Fantastic. I've been playing with it for all of thirty seconds and I'm already excited to use it in my everyday work.

I will tell you this, though: Panther has done what Apple really and truly means to do with these upgrades. I want a new Mac.

It's time to build Magellan. Just as soon as I get paid for this new project. Mwa ha ha ha.



Faint grids. Ghosted images. Rich, subtle colors, like deep blues and gold and navy. 1-pixel white stripes. Adobe Garamond. Very very subtle drop shadows. Mishmashes of tables and CSS to get the layout just so.

These are the flavors that make up my designs. The site I'm furiously, feverishly finishing up (thank you alliteration man) is a prime example of all of 'em. Stay tuned.


All right, that's it.

So yesterday afternoon I decided to kick the stupid Vicodin and switch over to Tylenol for my painkilling needs. The verdict? Well, it's obvious that Tylenol isn't as strong as Vicodin, which is both good and bad. I still have a dull, consistent ache throughout my head, but I can think. It's hard to underestimate the value of a clear head.

Other things. Last night David, Kate and I went to go see Bubba Ho-Tep, which was just as dumb and surreal as I'd expected. I was amused. Kate was not. Oh, well – she gets to pick the next one, I guess.

Right now I'm hammering away like crazy on client projects, {fray} stories and other assorted thingamajigs, trying to make up for three days of drug-induced haziness. True story: I woke up this morning freaking out and thinking it was Tuesday. I hate Vicodin.

All this and I still haven't come up with a good Halloween costume (or plans) yet. And Inkblots development is falling just a tad behind. Whoops. If the autumn issue doesn't roll out until, say, mid-November, this is why. (Please keep 'em coming!)


My girlfriend rocks.

She didn't have to come down. She really didn't. She's busy as all get out, and she has a million things going on in her life, and I'm sure 999,999 of them are more important than me. But she came down this weekend to make sure I was okay anyway.

So, just so y'all know, my girlfriend rocks.

What I did with my Friday night.

Courtesy of the good Tom Bridge, yours truly, Nick and Russ at the Panther Party at MacUpgrades in Bethesda.


The dwindling impressiveness of web design.

Has anybody else noticed how k10k has been really hurting for cool stuff to post lately? What's up with that? Where has all the neat, experimental web design gone? Where's the neat stuff?

Drugs suck. (Oh, wait, I said that already.)

In keeping with my previous post, I just wanted to say that drugs really really suck. They make it hard to work, make you have awful fights with people you love, and make it impossible for you to leave the house because you can't bloody well drive, now can you?

I'm currently hammering on a couple of projects, which are going very, very slowly. Grrr. Remind me never to do this again.


Drugs suck.

OK, so almost everyone who knows me knows that I'm lame. I'm okay with that. My mom's a pharmacist, so I grew up listening to all kinds of drug-related horror stories, and so when it came time to do all the "Just Say No" stuff in high school, that came easy. In fact, it's carried all the way through college and into my early adulthood. Sure, I drink beer and wine and other assorted alcohol, and I smoke the occasional cigar with my good man Talon, but I have yet to ever smoke weed or do any real drugs. And you know why?

This is why.

I hate feeling loopy. The dentist has me on Celebrex and Hydrocodone (a generic form of Vicodin). This has me feeling quite out of it. Note that it's not the same level of dopiness associated with, say, Benadryl, which is just awful, but it's that just-enough-out-of-focus feeling to be amazingly irritating. My ability to focus is off, and I'm just bushed. Gah. Why anyone would ever feel this way willingly is beyond me. Ugh.

Right. Anyway, the good news is that I'm healing up very nicely, I'm not in a lot of pain (although that may very well be due to the drugs, I expect), I'm actually sleeping fairly soundly instead of tossing and turning every time I roll over onto one of my cheeks, swelling is minimal and I haven't been doing any major bleeding since yesterday. I'm also nowhere near as dopey as I was afraid that I'd be; beforehand, I'd expected this Vicodin stuff to be more like LSD or peyote. Luckily, it's just irritating. (See above.)

So, yes. I'm healing. Thanks for all the sympathy and well-wishing! Y'all are the best.


My folks rock.

Thanks, guys.

Alive and surly.

Surgery done. Teeth gone. Three of the four sockets stitched shut, and the one that had been giving my so much grief before looks like its stitches have pulled open or something. Jeez.

Ow. Ow.


Design aesthetic sharpening.

So over the last two weeks I've come up with two new "big" site designs, one for a new client and one for an imaginary client, as a subproject for an older client. (In a nutshell, they wanted a fake website created to demonstrate how their information could be syndicated to third-party sites. Neat project, actually.) The two sites are similar in a couple of ways – they're both "ice" designs, a fixed-width central component floating on a textured background, much like Inkblots, actually – but both are nice demonstrations of the way my design aesthetic is still refining itself. Streamlined and elegant, with good use of photography, serif fonts and the occasional fleur-de-lis. There's still a long way to go on each of these, of course, but for the most part I'm pretty pleased with the way they're going.

Next: more Flash development. Yee-ha!


On and off the planet.

Apologies for the erratic posts here, my friends. I'm busier than crud at the moment, I'm afraid -- this weekend I shot up to NYC and back to celebrate Kate's 25th birthday and generally spend some time with the girl (whom I miss a great deal). In addition to that, I'm doing a bunch of client work, putting together the Autumn Inkblots, writing a story for {fray} (it's coming, Derek, it's just too darn long right now so I'm editing it down), trying to figure out how to wrangle the proper finances for Magellan (that longstanding evolution in my hardware and personal task management system) and, oh, just tons of things. "Bang bang hammer hammer" is sort of the mantra du jour.

Oh, and I'm having four wisdom teeth forcefully ripped from my jaws tomorrow morning. I plan to be unconscious for as much of tomorrow as possible, thankyouverymuch. Please leave a message, and I'll get back to you as soon as I return to the planet. ;)


Brief fanboy announcement.

The iTunes Music Store has a new track by Counting Crows in its pre-release section, called "She Don't Want Nobody Near."

That is all. (Woo-hoo!)

More on the iPod microphone.

OK, so there was indeed an iPod microphone announced today. And I am indeed planning on acquiring one, as well as a new iPod, when cash permits. Couple of things, though.

First, I wish it had been an actual Apple product. Yeah, I know that Belkin does good stuff. But. I rushed out and bought an iSight when they were announced, in part because it was an Apple thing. Would I have bought one if it had been a third-party product Snoop Jobsie Jobs had been promoting? Probably not. There's a degree of faith in Apple stuff that makes me want to drop more cash than I should to try something I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Like videoconferencing, something that I played with briefly when it came out but haven't really used much since.

Second, the sound clips are stored as .wav files. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'll have to listen to 'em first to see how they compare, but I'm a little astonished that they didn't come up with some kind of on-the-fly AAC compression. Oh well.

Third, I have yet to see any sign of that wished-for auto-transcription software I hoped for earlier today. Oh, well. It should still be pretty cool.

Ah, to be insanely rich. Someday, maybe.

Update. Not five minutes after I posted this, I came across this thread in the MacCentral forums, concerning the use of .wav files. The posters pointed out that first, using an uncompressed format like .wav is a much better idea for those of us more concerned with the quality of the recording than the amount of space being used on the drive. Fair point -- here's hoping someone releases a 'line-in' accessory to do Phish bootleggings using your iPod. Second, they also pointed out that AAC is an Apple standard, and since iPods are no longer solely Apple products, it's better to use a format that works on both Macs and Windows boxen. Another fair point, although one it pains me to concede. I'm not sure yet if I consider iPods in the hands of Windows users to be brave settlers venturing into the uncivilized frontier, or those lost and wandering cousins who have gone over to the wrong side of the tracks.

Being an experiment along purely scientific lines, part 2.

After having infused this weblog with a large dose of Kate, the Gematriculator reports a huge swing towards the forces of good:

This site is certified 30% EVIL by the Gematriculator

That's a drop from 47% evil to 30% evil. In other words, a large dose of Kate makes things 17% better!

Muppet labs, eat your heart out.

Being an experiment along purely scientific lines, part 1.

The control.
Prior to this post, the Gematriculator claims this site is 47% evil, 53% good.

The experiment.
Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate.

The result.
Hang loose a second. I've got to go check the machine.

iPod microphone?

So there's a lot of chatter in the channel right now about the announcements Apple is supposed to make this afternoon. Supposedly the "given" is a release of iTunes for Windows, which should be a huge moneymaker. Great, swell, I don't care. What interests me is the possible release of a microphone for the iPod. What with all the driving I've been doing lately, I'd love a microphone to attach to my iPod so I can dictate story ideas, song ideas, mental notes, etc. for later transcription. Bonus coolness if possible: use something like ViaVoice to actually do automatic transcription. C'mon, Apple. Make me a happy boy this afternoon. :)

(And, yeah, if it means I've got to pony up for a 3rd generation iPod, so be it.)

I've gotta work on those numbers.

This site is certified 42% EVIL by the Gematriculator

I'm not sure I believe in the algorithm being used, though. According to the Gematriculator, I'm 42% evil, my friend SarahScott is 47% evil (getting closer), Talon is only 30% evil (yah right), and in an unnerving display of synchronicity, Kate is also exactly 42% evil. The real proof that this thing is faulty, though, is that Nick is only 17% evil. Anybody who's ever met Nick knows that can't be right.

(Thanks, Tink!)

Update: Since posting about the Gematriculator, my numbers have jumped up to 51% evil. I guess the taint of the Gematriculator was enough to put me over the edge. Mwa ha ha ha.


Well, that answers that.

The Cubs, Ken. The Cubs definitely suck more than love.

Go! Go! Go!

As I write this, it's 9-6 Marlins and the bottom of the 9th. C'mon Cubbies!

Happiness is...

Thinking about things this weekend, I thought I'd jot down a few notes here, for when (if ever) I get as depressed as I was earlier this year.

  • The open road.

  • A good cup of coffee.

  • Joni Mitchell on the iPod.

  • Happy clients.

  • Good friends.

  • Work in the queue.

  • Money in the bank.

  • Ideas for the future.

  • A wonderful woman with beautiful eyes and a good heart.

Definitely a good weekend.


Getting Wired.

Dear sweet Jesus Yeshua. I fall off the Internet for a few days to go see my girlfriend and I make Wired magazine.

Well, there's another life's ambition realized. Cool!


Maryland to New York to Maryland to New York to...

Doing a lot of driving these days, and enjoying every minute of it. I'm currently sitting in Kate's apartment in New York, working on client projects and singing faint hosannahs to the gods of mobile computing.

I do believe that for my next trick, I'm going to subscribe to the T-Mobile HotSpot service so I can work from any Starbucks. Rock.

Oh! And I may have another project in the works... I don't want to jinx it yet, but I'll post some more as it happens.

AND -- the autumn Inkblots should be showing up around November 1, so if you're looking to contrubute, now's the time to start scribbling!

Thanks, everybody -- I'll post more later!


I should be sleeping, but...

I wanted to point out the ridiculous amount of cool stuff appearing lately in the mediasphere. Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, Neil Gaiman's 1602 and Endless Nights, Dave McKean's impending Mirror-Mask, Stephen King's upcoming Dark Tower continuation The Wolves of the Calla...

By the twiddling of my thumbs, something damn cool this way comes. I love the fall.

Slowly returning to normal.

Slowly, bit by bit, things are returning to normal. Fray Day is done (except for the video editing and recaps), the Virtual Book Tour has blown through (I've archived the page here if you want to see what the TOTQ Virtual Book Tour Edition looked like), and now it's back to client work, hammering on the new Inkblots and hanging out with Kate. This weekend I'm going to be arm candy to Kate's old college roommate's wedding – a weekend where I will also be meeting her dad for the first time. Wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

BTW, that last bit was just to further provoke Kate. No worries.

No, really. ;)


Thanks for stopping by!

I want to wrap today's Virtual Book Tour stop here by thanking Dennis Hensley and Dave White for stopping by, and Erin Quill for her multiple attempts to access the system. We never did figure out what bizarro MT bug prevented her from logging on, but rest assured she was with us in spirit. Guys, it's been great -- best of luck to you!

As for the book (which we, astonishingly enough, didn't really discuss today), Screening Party by Dennis Hensley is a hysterically funny piece of work, shot through with the same kind of snarky humor that you cuaght a glimpse of here today. It's available now at, is a quick and enjoyable read, and is extra chuckleworthy if you watch movies. Which should be most of you. Go to, go to.

Next up on the Virtual Book Tour: the lovely and brilliant Carrie Bickner (whom I had the good fortune to meet at SXSW last year, and whom I look forward to seeing again next year). Take it away, Carrie! And thanks, Kevin, for organizing another fantastic event.

Good night!

On Meg "Oh My God" Ryan.

I'm with you on the whole Meg Ryan thing, Dennis. The combined cocktail of her nude scenes in "In the Cut", the recent surgery, and the whole relationship explosion plus fiasco with Russell Crowe add up to one of the most horrific midlife meltdowns I've ever seen on the public scene. Which is awful, because I like Meg Ryan. I thought her character in "You've Got Mail" was fantastic, both sweet and funny, and she was amazing in "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle" – why can't these characters accept their typecasting, do what they do well, and age gracefully? God knows that there will be roles for Meg Ryan playing the same old Meg Ryan characters for years, assuming she doesn't completely turn off her fans with her recent ludicrous behavior. Jesus.

Let's see, who else has been totally messing up their public images lately? Harrison Ford springs to mind – I mean, Christ, a Jimmy Buffett earring and Calista Flockheart!? Dr. Jones, what the hell happened?


Never been much into westerns I'm afraid. I remember when Unforgiven was the big Oscar fave--I finally managed to go see it and I fell asleep. For shame--but it was late and I had had a long day of doing whatever it was I was doing in the early 90s. I also want to clarify about dance films--I want to see the resurgance of bad, cheesy dance films. God, remember the days of fast Forward and Breakin' I'd also like to see truly sexy movies make a comeback. What happened to the days of the good erotic thrillers? Did Jade kill it for good? Can In the Cut help?

Speaking of Meg Ryan, what is up with her face? At the Toronto Film Festival she was sporting some crazy new surgery that was nutty. it's must be so weird for reporters when stars get drastically, obvious bad surgery because you don't know whether to talk about it in front of them--seems tacky and rude--yet if they had a cast on their arm, you'd ask, 'Hey, what happened?' But it's not like Marie Osmond can show up on Conan to plug her dolls and Conan can say, "Marie, what the fuck happened to your face?!" Bad plastic surgery is the big elephant in the room. It's all anyone can think of when looking at some of these folks and yet, it's verboden to talk about. Hmmmm.

More on revivals.

Actually, dance movies are sort of seeing a revival, what with MTV Films' "Save The Last Dance" and the recent explosion of onscreen musicals like Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago" (if you can count those as 'dance' movies) but I'm not sure that such a small handful qualifies as a full-blown resurgance. I'm all for it, though, if it means more scenes like Jim Broadbent doing those spastic backflips as Harold Zidler.

Personally, I'd love to see some more good Westerns. "Tombstone" was one of my favorite movies from the last decade or so. And what Westerns there are on the short-term landscape are pretty bleak. Costner. Ugh.

Dave, what do you want to see more of? (And Erin, have you had any luck logging in yet?)


Speaking of nutty movies, has anyone seen the old sci-fi musical Toomorrow with Olivia Newton John. it's from like the early 70's and it's nuts. I've seen clips of it but my friend who has the video only has it in Spanish. I'm dying for an English version...

genre revivals

The genre I most want to see revived is the dance movie, ala Centerstage or Flashdance. Coyote ugly was a start what with the clogging on the bar and such. I'm putting all my hopes on Jessica Alba's small shoulders. She's coming out in a movie called "Honey" where she plays an aspiring choreogapher named "Honey." I hope it's about dreams and dancing and dancing dreams. I'm counting the days...

Aw, c'mon, it wasn't that... OK, maybe it was.

I actually went to see "Alex and Emma" this summer with my friend Emily, a fact directly attributed to our both being total suckers for those kinds of movies. "Sleepless in Seattle," "When Harry Met Sally," "You've Got Mail," hell, even "Kate and Leopold" – I've seen 'em all. I'd even been looking forward to it, since I like rooting for writer characters, and I've thought Luke Wilson was a decent actor ever since "The Royal Tenenbaums." But, yeah, in execution, "Alex and Emma" was just flat and lifeless, formulaic and dull. What a letdown.

I cannot speak to "My Boss's Daughter" or "Marci X". I did have enough good sense to avoid those.

One thing that I've been thinking a lot about lately, though, is the revival of certain genres. I'm one of those people that thought "Pirates of the Caribbean" was one of the most fun movies of the summer, and given its box office take, I'm sure we can expect to see a small rush of pirate movies over the next 12 months or so. What other genres do you guys think are ripe for revivals?

On iPods.

I actually got one for Christmas a year or two ago, and it's one of my favorite gizmos. It's ridiculous how things like this change the way you perceive media -- I was in Best Buy last night checking out CDs, and found myself putting stuff back until I made sure they weren't available from the iTunes store. Buying music as Mp3s just feels better to me these days -- faster, cheaper, and without all the plastic cases and crap to clutter up your apartment.

As far as tips are concerned... iPods are pretty basic. The shiny surfaces do get scratched up pretty easily -- you might want to pick up some kind of a sleeve for it if you're going to be carrying it around a lot -- but the actual workings are pretty durable. Mine's survived long trips in backpacks, being crammed into glove compartments and even being dropped on concrete.

Always look on the bright side of life.

My most heartfelt condolences to the Californians, but the way I see it, at the very least this means a short reprieve from Terminator 4 and more crap like Eraser, The Sixth Day, End of Days, Batman and Robin... Good Lord, when was the last non-awful Ahhnuld movie? Was there one?

about myself...

Geoffrey suggested i tell folks a little about myself. Well, I'm a writer living in LA who makes a living writing for magazines like Movieline, TV Guide, The Advocate, Gotham, Glamour and Cosmopolitan. I've written two books, Misadventures in the 213 and Screening Party and have co-writtena movie called Testosterone, which recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. There's stuff about all my various projects on my website:

On ther personal front, I live with my roommate Tony and have for nearly ten years. We enjoy our Tivo very much and enjoy such programs as The Bachelor, American Idol, Amazing Race and so forth. We also love to watch Entertainment Tonight because of the crazy hosts. I think Jann Carl is the most entertaining in her desperate to be loved nuttiness. Paula Abdul is also super crazy but she's not on as often. I used to have a crush on Billy Bush from Access Hollywood but I'm starting to turn on him... My favorite ting in the world is unreasonable star stories. I love to hear about celebrities being demanding and nutty in restaurants and stores and so forth. If anyone has any such stories, I'd love to hear them.

A few days ago, I celebrated a birthday and my friends pitched in and got me an I pod. Any Ipod lovers out there? Any tips? I've yet to fire it up but I will soon and I'm sure to fall in love with it. Back soon.

My favorite part of the election...

Hi. Dennis Hensley here, author of Screening Party here on the third day of my Virtual Book Tour. I have a couple of other folks from the book, Ross and Lauren, and perhaps Tony who are going to chip in at some point. First off, I thought I'd mention that my favorite thing about the election was seeing Angelyne's name in the official font on the ballot. I was oging to try and see Gary Coleman's name as well but I didn't feel like flipping through all the pages. More from me, later.

The Virtual Book Tour returns: Please welcome Dennis Hensley and friends!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to once more open Inkblots' door to a member of Kevin Smokler's Virtual Book Tour. Today's guest is Dennis Hensley, author of the new comic novel Screening Party, which, essentially, is the story of a group of old friends who sit around and rag on movies.

As Publisher's Weekly puts it:

A sort of Oprah's Book Club for filmgoers, journalist Dennis Hensley's movie discussion parties have allowed members to examine the merits-or weaknesses-of Glitter, The Sound of Music, Taxi Driver and other movies that have made a lasting impact on pop culture. Screening Party collects a handful of those saucy discussions, serving as not only a compendium of hilarious criticisms, but also an intelligent commentary on how deeply movies can affect our culture. On St. Elmo's Fire, one member asserts, "It's a good movie," but, after receiving a straight-faced, silent response from the group, reconsiders with, "Okay, it's not, but it's got so much nostalgia value." They evaluate the five actors who've played James Bond over the last 35-plus years-Sean Connery wins as Best Bond-and ruminate on the character himself ("James Bond is completely offensive," states one member, while another suggests, "I like Bond because he's self-created").

Dennis and a few of his friends (upon whom he based the characters in the book) are going to be taking over Tip of the Quill today to comment on life, the universe, and everything. I'll be stopping by every so often to moderate and throw out some questions. Folks, would you mind telling our audience a little about yourselves?

leaf is back.

Oh, another quick note: is back and operational, so all email sent to that account should now be getting through as before. Thanks!

Brief aside.

Psst, hey, Shannon Gibson. Don't get too attached to that idea – it doesn't always work. :)

You didn't hear this from me.

Shhh. Don't tell, but I've posted a sneak peek gallery of the photos I took at Fray Day 7 DC. This is the raw batch, without titles, captions, or most of the blurry shots removed – torn straight from my camera, funnelled through Photoshop's Web Gallery function, and FTPed onto the web. There will be a more polished batch available at soon, I'm sure, along with the video, but for now I give you Fray Day 7 DC Uncut. Enjoy!


P.S. Verisign sucks.

Due to our not receiving our renewal notices, is on temporary hold. Please direct all email to until further notice. Thanks!

Best. Weekend. Ever.

I don't know where to start, and I'm kind of in a hurry at the moment so I can't type for long, but suffice it to say that Fray Day DC was a rip-roaring success. I'll be posting media later this week, but for now -- a HUGE thank you to all the people who showed up, told stories, or just threw us support! There are all kinds of stories to be told about the event and this weekend, and as soon as I get a chance to breathe I'll start spilling 'em.

Oh, and one other thing. That girl I mentioned before? The one that necessitated Billy Joel lyrics? Yeah. That one.

God bless hazel eyes.


Fray Day 7 DC is tonight!

Fray Day!Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to invite each and every last one of you to Fray Day 7 DC tonight at 8 PM at Common Grounds. We've got a number of fantastic featured performers lined up, including Talon Beeson, SarahScott Brett, William R. Coughlan, Kori Lusignan, David Seitzinger, David Thomas, and Michael Alex Wasylik, and there will be open slots for the open mic. There will also be fantastic coffee drinks made available by Common Grounds, we'll be recording the proceedings (courtesy of the good Mr. Coughlan) and there will be stickers and t-shirts available for souvenirs!

All in all, this should be a fantastic, intimate, fun way to spend a Friday night. Come on down!

PS: The swanky new headshot of yours truly is courtesy of the amazing David Seitzinger, taken special for the event. Thanks, David!


Flash of, well, if not brilliance, then kinda-cool.

Just as I was drifting off to sleep, I saw in a random weblog entry the phrase "a Bill Irwin play". This, of course, made me wonder, "What would a Geoffrey Long play be like?" I've been thinking about play ideas for weeks (thank you, Ms. Gibson), coming up with ideas, and suddenly I had a flash of what a Geoffrey Long play might be like: a live Dave McKean painting with animated bits and a melancholy story of love, loss and twinkly harbor lights.

Or not.


Just breathe.

Sorry for the lack of updates -- am running around insanely getting things ready for Fray Day!