OK – I had an astrological star chart done on myself as a lark in 1999. Here is what the results said about me:

Approach to life, appearance to others

You are very strong-willed and proud, but intensely private and not easy to know well. Behind you quiet exterior lies a great deal of emotional depth, sensitivity, complexity, and also fierce determination. When you want something, you go after it rather quietly but insistently and wholeheartedly – and you usually get it.

You are not a person who lives lightly or superficially. You want to live passionately and intensely are are not averse to challenge, danger, or facing the darker side of life – human pain and struggle. You function well in crisis situations and often seek them out, for you enjoy the feeling of living at full capacity.

You are very intuitive about other people and especially about their unspoken feelings and hidden motives. You usually have strong, immediate gut reactions, either positive or negative, which prove to be correct. You approach life very instinctively and are not always fully conscious of why you feel or act as you do. You also have a very strong affinity with animals – an acute sensitivity and nonverbal kind of rapport with them.

In relation to others, you are rather cautious, sometimes even suspicious, until you get to know and trust them – and trust doesn’t come easily to you. When you commit yourself emotionally to someone, be it a friend or lover, you are intensely loyal and devoted to them and you also expect the same kind of unwavering, undying loyalty in return. If you are ever betrayed by someone you care deeply for, you are capable of hating and retaliating with as much fervor as you once loved. Nothing is done halfway. IN fact, you are intensely involved and often jealously attached to whatever you care about, be it person, idea, or cause. There is definitely a streak of emotional fanaticism in you.

Because of your natural reserve, others may see you as something of an enigma. You are quite self-protective and often defensive. You are also very magnetic, especially to members of the opposite sex.

Motivation

You are a freedom-loving, strong-willed, and independent-minded individual, and you insist upon living your life as you see fit, even if that means ignoring convention and tradition. In personal relationships, you cannot be owned or possessed, and while you are willing to share yourself with another, you do not always adjust easily to the give and take of a close relationship. Though intellectually open, you can be enormously stubborn, opinionated, and inflexible on a one-to-one level. You have strong convictions and feelings about your ideals about how people should treat on another and don;t always take into account human weaknesses, differences, and needs. You probably dislike sentimentality and traditional gender roles and “games.”

You are fair, intelligent, objective, rational and often let your head rule rather than your heart. You seem rather self-sufficient and detached emotionally because you are capable of putting aside your personal feelings and viewing things dispassionately. But once you make up your mind on an issue, you are difficult to sway and can be rather dogmatic.

You think in broad terms and are concerned with the world beyond your own personal sphere – your town, nation, or even planet. You are likely to become involved in community affairs, social organizations, and groups of all kinds, or have a ken interest in such. You enjoy being part of a group endeavour and often find yourself organizing, managing, or supervising group activities.

Forward-looking and progressive, you harbor great hopes for the future. You stay current and up to date, and respond to contemporary cultural trends, both in terms of personal style and in terms of ideas. When young you were very influenced by you peers and by group pressures and by all the “latest crazes.” You have an experimental mind and are attracted by the novel.

Your strong points include your concern for human welfare and social betterment, your sense of fairness and democratic spirit, and your vision. Your faults are your stubbornness and inflexibility, and a tendency to be very obtuse and insensitive when it comes to personal feelings and human needs.

Positions of Planets at Birth:

Sun – Aquarius – 4th House
Moon – Aries – 6th House
Mercury – Pisces – 4th House
Venus – Capricorn – 3rd House
Mars – Pisces – 5th House
Jupiter – Virgo – 10th House
Saturn – Aries – 5th House
Uranus – Virgo – 11th House
Neptune – Scorpio – 6th House
Pluto – Virgo – 11th House

North Node – Aries – 6th House
Ascendant – Scorpio – 1st House
Midheaven – Leo – 10th House

How cool is this? 20 years ago when I was in college as Ball State, we only joked about this kind of thing – where a major trendy company alters a sexy ad with a guy-girl straight couple is turned into a gay couple.

Lo and behold: that time has come. The Levi’s Change ad:

Gay Version:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTP1K3Vu3r8]

Straight Version:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43uI5QL0dXs]

AdAge Report on the ad campaign:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUE_vRBqkIs]

Well, the schedule for DragonCon panelists for Science Fiction TV is out and I am on quite a few panels. I’ll be one of the lot sitting in the front of the room talking about various TV topics.

I specialize in the behind-the-scenes business related parts of Hollywood.  But with some of the shows, I’m just a big ol’ fan who knows a bunch of nerdy “get a life” details.

Here are the panels I’ll be participating in and/or moderating – they all will be in the Courtland Room of the Atlanta Hyatt Regency hotel:

Friday, August 31, 2007

  • 1 p.m. Flash Gordon – The Season So Far
    A look at Sci-Fi’s re-imagining of a science fiction icon. Is this another Galactica or do you miss that 80’s movie already?
    Panelists: Dayna Baldwin, Joe Crowe, Jennifer Neault, David Speakman.
  • 4 p.m. The 4400: Year Four
    Jordan Collier is the Messiah, Isobel is out of jail and Tom Baldwin is a sleeper agent for the future. Looks like no one is safe in the world of the 4400.
    Panelists: Dayna Baldwin, Aaron Dunne, Leah Robin, Jennifer Neualt, David Speakman

Saturday, September 1, 2007

  • 2:30 p.m. – Battlestar Galactica Siterep
    After a strong start with the escape from New Caprica, season three seemed to wander from one plot to another. Were Baltar’s trial, D’Anna’s obsessive rebooting and the Apollo/Starbuck affair brilliant story arcs or did Battlestar lose its way?
    Panelists: Shayna Adelman, Sondra Bateman, John Hill, David Speakman.
  • 5:30 p.m. – Just Detected
    Bionic Woman, Moonlight, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Just some of the shows we’ll be covering in our annual look at the new season’s genre offerings.
    Panelists: Dayna Baldwin, Jow Crowe, John C. Snider, David Speakman
  • 8:30 p.m. Smallville Season Six
    Originally a Dawson’s Creek with superpowers this season saw the show become a kick-ass space opera, without space ships. Join us for a discussion of Smallville’s transformative season.
    Panelists: Dayna Baldwin, Kelly Harkins, Eric Hendrix, Tom Holste, David Speakman

Sunday, September 2, 2007

  • 1 p.m. – Finding the Evil Within
    Lex’s journey into darkness continued with his marriage to Lana, but General Zod and Braniac showed Clark that not all his problems were domestic.
    Panelists: Kelly Harkins, Eric Hendrix, Hackson Turnbull Raster, Davis Speakman
  • 7 p.m. – The A to Z of Kyle XY
    Now in its second season, we take a look at ABC’s family-centric series Kyle XY.
    Panelists: Dayna Baldwin, Sydney Bennett, David Speakman
  • 8:30 p.m. – BSG: The Final 5?
    A disussion of the season three cliffhanger and its implications, Are these really the final five? Do we even care? And where the Frak is Starbuck?
    Panelists: Shayna Adelman, Bill McIntire, Jackson Turnbull Rastor, Stephanie Souders, David Speakman

Monday, September 3, 2007

  • 10 a.m. – Smallville’s Other Straight Shooter
    This season saw Clark sharing screen time with another DC legend, billionaire bad-boy-made-good Oliver Queen arrives to found the Justice League.
    Panelists: Dayna Baldwin, Kelly Harkins, Eric Hendrix, Tome Holste, David Speakman

Don’t be fooled by the clouds shown on the Monday forecast below. There weren’t any this morning – just a little marine layer that burned off before 9 a.m. More blue skies. Ack.

Weather for San Jose, CA
62°F
Cloudy
Wind: W at 4 mph
Humidity: 65%
Mon
Mostly Sunny
71°F | 53°F
Tue
Sunny
72°F | 53°F
Wed
Sunny
76°F | 55°F
Thu
Sunny
78°F | 57°F

3-0

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On Saturday, August 4, I attended that evening’s performance of The Full Monty by the City Lights Theatre Company of San Jose.

This is not a review of the musical itself, just a quick impression of the performances and venue. If you want to know about the show, read the Wikipedia entry.

The Venue

City Lights is headquartered in a building that seems better suited as an auto-repair garage than a live theatre. But somehow these creative folk have crafted a decent venue. The sound system was designed to overcome any architectural flaws. The pitch of the stadium-style seating ensures a clear view of the stage no matter the height of the person in front of you (their heads came up to your knees).

The Performers

There were two stand-out performers the night I attended: Adam Campbell as Dave Bukatinsky and Katie Anderson as his wife, Georgi Bukatinsky. Their side story, mostly due to the talent of the performers overwhelmed the main story line.

That was too bad. Although Kit Wilder was adequate as Jerry Lukowski despite the vocals being slightly out of his range, it is really too bad that he had to share the stage as the lead with a talent the size of Campbell’s. It really wasn’t fair.

Wilder did have one stinko number, though, Breeze of the Water, where the character sings to his sleeping child. It fell flat on the audience; probably because the Jerry-Nathan-Pam storyline was so overshadowed by the Dave-Georgie pairing that we didn’t care.

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But the worst number of the night would have to be You Walk With Me, as performed by Dann Howard and Charles McKeithan. Now you can tell that both are able and talented vocalists. But the affectation of singing through tears by Howard at the beginning of the scene was distracting to the point of being annoying.

Additionally the lack of any chemistry between the two actors (who are both attractive individually) didn’t help matters much. During this scene – the production, which had been chugging along quite nicely, came to a dead stop.

The audience was bored. I wonder if the director tried but failed to pick up the pace of the scene or – yes – considered cutting the number.

But thankfully there were many good and great performances given that more than made up for those two dead-in-the-water tunes.

Three first act performances in particular make the show worth the $30 ticket alone: Big-Ass Rock, Big Black Man and You Rule My World paired with the World reprise in the second act.

In all, I entered the theatre with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. I had a really good time and am glad that San Jose has such a talented local production team.

So, I took the Brain Works quiz and much to the chagrin of those who know me, I appear to be mentally stable. It quizzes you then figures out whether your right or left brain is dominant or whether you are more visual or auditory in nature. Here is how I ranked: 50% Left / 50% right; 50% visual learner / 50%auditory learner.

David, you are one of those rare individuals who are perfectly “balanced” in both your hemispheric tendencies and your sensory learning preferences. However, there is both good news and bad news.

A problem with hemispheric balance is that you tend to feel more conflict than someone who has a clearly established dominance. At times the conflict will be between what you feel and what you think but will also involve how you attack problems and how you perceive information. Details which will seem important to the right hemisphere will be discounted by the left and vice versa, which can present a hindrance to learning efficiency.

In the same vein, you may have a problem with organization. You might organize your time and/or space only to feel the need to reorganize five to ten weeks later.

On the positive side, you bring resources to problem-solving that others may not have. You can perceive the “big picture” and the essential details simultaneously and maintain the cognitive perspective required. You possess sufficient verbal skills to translate your intuition into a form which can be understood by others while still being able to access ideas and concepts which do not lend themselves to language.

Your balances nature might lead you to second-guess yourself in artistic endeavors, losing some of the fluidity, spontaneity and creativity that otherwise would be yours.

With your balanced sensory styles, you process data alternately, at times visually and other times auditorially. This usage of separate memories may cause you to require more time to integrate information or re-access it. When presented with situations which force purely visual or purely auditory learning, increased anxiety is likely and your learning efficiency will decrease.

Your greatest benefit is that you can succeed in multiple fields due to the great plasticity and flexibility you possess.

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OK, we’ve completed the replacement of the early 1990s red maple and hunter green kitchen nook table. We got the new table and chair set at Target of all places.

We chose the Carlyle counter-height table and two sets of high-backed chair/stools for it. It is solid ash (a hardwood) and stained a deep dark brown color. It really goes well with the oak floors and cabinets, black and stainless appliances and black, red and white dinnerware in our kitchen

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The height at 40-inches is perfect for us since we are both over 6 feet tall. And it doubles as a center island for food prep when we don’t need it as a table.

The best part of this little square table is that it expands via butterfly leaves into a large rectangular table. This “butterfly” feature means the leaves are always with the table – tucked inside an inner nook and magically pop up and fold out to expand the table in a pinch for a very roomy 4 people – or six in a crunch.

But we better not get 6 people in the kitchen. It’s too small for that many and we only got the four chairs.

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The chairs themselves are nice, too. They are bar-stool tall and have a comfy high back and micro-fiber neutral beige cushion. The color of the cushions is kinda like coffee with a little too much cream in it.

Again, the wooden parts are solid ash and very sturdy with the same dark, dark brown stain as the table.

OK – I have to plug a web site, a blog of a woman I went to college with who is now a big-time web designer in Indianapolis. And she’s so good, I steal many, many ideas from her all the time.

The strange thing is in college, I was the computer geek and she was a magazine major. So, of course, after we graduated, I was the one who wrote for magazines for years and she ended up in computer interface design.

Anyway, I encourage you to check out her site if you want to start a blog. It has a very simple and elegant design and is very easy to navigate.

It also is deceptive in that it is much deeper than you’d expect at first glance. But, is almost impossible to become lost while using it.

Just click the link above to take a tour for yourself. And stop by the humor category; there is good stuff there.