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Rooster Spice

Text-only blogging since 2002.

Updated: 2015-09-17T01:45:34.691-04:00


Amadeus opens March 13.


Here's the email I sent to friends and family:
If you don't come to Amadeus opening weekend, THE DIRECTOR WILL KILL US ALL.

Now, really, which would you prefer:

a. seeing an amazing play, with music from a live orchestra and professional opera singers, not to mention Norm Gleichman as Salieri and myself as Mozart, with other starring castmembers such as Christa Kronser, Sandy Irving, Steve Feder...

or b. having the death of 30-odd people on your hands, because if you don't come to see it opening weekend, WE WILL ALL BE KILLED?

The choice is clear! If you don't come for me, come for Norm, who is mesmerizing; if you don't come for Norm, come for the music, which is, I kid you not, so incredible you may be moved to tears; if you don't come for the music, come TO PREVENT A MASS MURDER.

For more information, visit , but here's the general skinny:

March 13 and 14 at 8 P.M. Call 301-441-8770 for reservations.

There are further performances over the following 3 weekends (including 2 Sunday performances at 2 P.M.), but really, those don't matter, since (as I think I mentioned) if you don't come this weekend, there will be no more performances, because WE WILL ALL BE DEAD at the hands of director Curt Somers, and producer Norma Ozur will be forced to act all the parts herself.

Hope to see you there... and, y'know, to live.


*sigh* I'm forced by my inner lawyer to state for the record that I am not in any danger of death at the director's hands, nor is anyone in the cast. At least, not until this email gives him ideas.



Current obsession. For full obsession-y goodness, start at #200 or so and keep reading.

About that prediction.


Mike says, "278? Looks like you were off by almost 100, my friend."

And I have never been happier to be wrong.

Why the paranoia? 2000 and 2004 conditioned me to expect the worst. And, honestly, I really do think that electronic voting machines are the tool of the devil (at least without a paper trail).

On a personal note, I really wish my father had stuck around for this election. He was a civil rights liberal in the best sense of the phrase, even if he was a little quick to see prejudice everywhere. I don't have the faith to think he's watching somewhere, but I know that if he were alive, he would be ecstatic, proud, and ready to join the spontaneous celebrations.

Obligatory Election-Day post.


In 1992, the Republican excuse for obstructionism was that Bill Clinton didn't win a majority of the popular vote. (I still remember Bob Dole gleefully declaring himself the "representative of the 53% of the nation that voted against Clinton.")

In 2000, the Republican rallying cry against obstructionism was that the popular vote didn't matter, and we needed to heal the country and stand behind "our President."

In 2008...

Let's say Obama wins with 60% of the vote. What will they say then? I humbly suggest this: "In a year like this, he should have won 70% of the vote, therefore he's not legitimate." Start your engines!

And my prediction, if anyone cares: Obama, 278 electoral votes. (It's low, compared to some, because electronic voting favors the Republicans.)

Blasting from the Pasting.


Where were you in 2001?

Yes, I'm Godwin'ing.


Michael Brown is on the news as an "expert" on disaster relief.

I'm beginning to think that if Adolf Hitler were alive, he would be a talking head "expert" on genocide when the media covered Darfur.

The Reasons Pneumonia Sucks.


I know, I know; like you need reasons?  Well, waking up every morning looking like you've just been in a boxing match is right up there.  My lips are swollen like they've been punched, and my eyes are so bloodshot I might as well be on heroin, except I don't have that whole "getting high" thing to make up for it.
I know I'm getting better--I can breathe easier now, and I'm not coughing up nearly as much phlegm--yet I feel worse today than I did yesterday.  Ironically, the best day was the first day AFTER I started antibiotics.  I actually felt normal--no fever, I could think straight, and if I was weak, well, that was probably because I hadn't eaten in three days.  But after that, it was like my body suddenly realized, "Hey!  I'm sick!" and went on strike.
You don't realize just how important bacteria are until you're on multiple antibiotics that are killing even the good bacteria.  You don't realize just how much you hate yogurt until you're forced to eat it to restore said good bacteria.  You don't realize how sharp your teeth are until you bite your upper lip while you're sleeping, creating the aforementioned puffy face.  And most of all, you don't realize how tiring it is to take care of your two kids until your wife finally has to stop caring for your sorry self and go earn a living.  (Thank you, K.  I couldn't have survived without you.)
There were so many things I had planned for these past two weeks between the end of summer camp and the beginning of school.  Gone now, like... like... Another problem is that pneumonia makes coming up with similes difficult.



Along with the rest of the world, I was in fact accepted into the Developer Program on Friday.

And in the meantime (I think I'm allowed to talk about this) I was hired to write a program.  I don't think I'll say what it is yet, but some of you who know me personally will be quite surprised to hear I accepted it.

Watch this space for details.

We interrupt this hiatus.


The iPhone App Store opened yesterday.

For those who don't know, back in the jailbreak days of, oh, less than a year ago, I wrote one of the most popular unauthorized third-party programs for the iPhone: the very first eBook reader.  It's still one of my proudest achievements.

Naturally, when the iPhone SDK beta was announced, I signed up on the first day.  But I was never accepted into the program.

So yesterday I saw the store open. And obviously, I'm. Not. In. It.

Surprisingly, it hurt.  A lot.

Department of Obviousness, pick up a red courtesy phone.


As you've no doubt guessed by now, Rooster Spice is on hiatus, but before making it official, I wanted to share a few notes on things personal and political.
  • 2007 was the worst year I've ever had, but we're still alive, and no one killed anyone else.  As far as I know.
  • I really don't have a horse in the Democratic presidential campaign, but I voted for Barack Obama on Tuesday's primaries.  While I think Hillary Clinton would make a good president--better than Obama in some ways--I really, really don't want our history books to have the following list of Presidents: Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.  That's all there is to it.  We are not a hereditary monarchy.  At least, we're not supposed to be.
  • I have no reservations, however, about the results in a nearby congressional race.  I used to live in Al Wynn's district, and I couldn't be happier that Donna Edwards took him out.  True fact: along Route 50 there's a small airport which is dotted with campaign signs, most small but a couple billboard-sized.  In 2004, the billboards were for Bush-Cheney; in 2006, for Governor Ehrlich and Michael Steele.  This year, they were for Ron Paul... and Wynn.  Do you need any other proof that Wynn is the kind of Democrat only a hard-right Republican would love?
  • Finally: if you ever wondered, I do look ridiculous when I shave my head to look like William Shakespeare.  But that's nothing compared to how I look when the hair I shaved starts to grow back in.  (Got a good review, though.)

Until next time, I remain...

I'm not dead!


Just not blogging.

+4 Stamina.


Yes, it's true, K and I have become drawn into World of Warcraft and may soon follow the example of the couple in Korea who were prosecuted for neglect after their child died because they were addicted to WoW.
So if you want this joy for yourself, drop me a line... we have three ten-day trial keys ripe for the taking.  Just make sure to join the Sisters of Elune realm, and look for Emmawyn and Squelchy.
(She's a night-elf, I'm a gnome.  In other words, just like real life.)

Can you guess where we're going?


"Zach Brewster-Geisz!  You just finished first in the Daytona 500!  You also single-handedly won the World Series, brokered a peace deal between Israel and Palestine, killed Osama bin Laden with your bare hands, and won the Nobel Peace Prize!  What are you gonna do next?"

See you when we get back!

Not a moment too soon department.


So we bought me a new MacBook Pro yesterday. I went through the whole rigaramole of getting the files transferred over via FireWire, and it went pretty flawlessly.

I figured I'd give the kids the old PowerBook, so I started to reformat the drive, and zeroed out all the data. Then I started the process of installing Tiger.

While the installer was verifying the erased disk, I started hearing a sound very much like a metronome, so I cancelled the procedure and restarted the computer.

Well, turns out I had just had a catastropic hard drive failure--my first ever. So the PowerBook is going to ebay, for parts only.

But talk about dumb luck! My first hard drive failure--the day after I successfully backed it up!

Somewhere, the Devil of obsolescent hardware is firing the dude in charge of timing.

Edit: And it's on eBay!  Bid here if you're interested...

We get letters!


Robert wrote:
Now, seriously, with your acting career blooming and all that do you really need to be spending another lifetime learning CD4 just to get back to doing what you were already doing with (app that dare not speak its name)?

Come on back! We still love you there. Well, 99% of us do, ok?
Two points about that:
  1. An acting career that is "blooming" in community theater is kind of like being the proverbial "world's tallest midget."  Get back to me when I'm getting paid.
  2. More germanely, I have no confidence whatsoever that said app will continue to be supported on Mac OS X, now that Ken has left; and with other programmers leaving in droves I'm not fully convinced the thing will exist at all in a couple of years.  And besides, the C4D renderer is so much nicer!  Even if I can't wrap my head around its character tools yet, once I do, my work will look so much better it won't even be a question.

Inner necessity...


Vintage article from Joel Achenbach:
Leon Botstein, the composer, says you can't plan your breakthroughs. You just have to keep plugging away, and wait, and hope.

"Breakthrough is not when you want it, it's not when you expect it. It's a function of the constant activity. It is only the constant activity that generates the breakthrough."

And what causes the constant activity? It's not money. It's not glory. It's an "inner necessity," he says. Unless you have this inner necessity to create, you'll probably never do anything of brilliance, Botstein believes.

"Without constant, almost irrational, obsessive engagement, you'll never make the breakthrough," he says. "The difference between you and the person you consider great is not raw ability. It's the inner obsessiveness. The inability to stop thinking about it. It's a form of madness."

So this is what separates the great ones from the rest of the world. It is not simply that they are smarter, savvier, more brilliant. They are geniuses because they can't stand to be anything else.

Just a test.


Woo, hoo!  Compose mode!  It's Safari-3-tastic!

"Parallel Play"


This is my son, and in many ways it's heartbreaking, because I don't know if he'll wind up like Tim Page or like the homeless person Page briefly describes halfway through, obsessively scrawling the genealogy of the Hapsburgs on the walls of the New York subway.

The essay does put Page's recent unpleasantness in a new light, though.



Relearning is hard. I really wish there was just a red pill I could take to remember how to design characters, because that's what I need to do for my new short film. But no. I won't even allow myself to hire other artists to do it for me, since my ultimate objective is to learn how to do all this stuff myself. Gah!

And this failure is affecting me in other ways, as well, making me more touchy and irritable. Or is the tail wagging the dog? Am I both irritable and having character trouble because of some other, deeper issue?
All I know is that for the first time since Dad's death I actually Have An Idea, yet it's so so so fucking hard to implement it!

Oh, I really should mention...


By the way, my (ancient!) short film was a runner-up for Best Animation at the Philadelphia FirstGlance Film Festival this year. Woo.

God damn it.


I am pissed off at NARAL.

Al Wynn used to be my representative, before I moved to Steny Hoyer's district, and he's every bit as bad as Digby says he is. I was really pulling for Donna Edwards in 2004 2006, and she almost beat him. Here's hoping this year makes the difference.

Here's her website. Donate today if you can.

(Edited to fix the error in the space-time continuum.)

Feast or famine?


Someone explain to me how, after doing virtually nothing "professional" for the past several months, suddenly TWO emails jump into my inbox this morning with what might be significant offers?

I couldn't beat 'em.


The domain is dead.
Long live the domain.

Nothing will show for another couple of days, of course. But alas, someone owns my name now, so I need to set up a whole new one. GAAA!

This also, unfortunately, means I need to re-do my logo and teaser for the top of all my films. But maybe that's not such a bad thing; in fact, maybe it's the kick-start I need to start animating again (not to mention learning C4D in earnest).

Do I have any legal recourse?



At least they didn't say I was a natural nerd.


The Baltimore Sun reviewed Shallowford albeit too late to draw more crowds our way. They liked it, especially our leading lady. But I got a decent notice, too:
Seen last season as Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, Zachary Brewster-Geisz took on a much different role as sci-fi buff Lonny Hutchins, convincingly portraying a 17-year-old boy experiencing his first love.
Read the whole thing here. It's much more of a proper review than the last one, which was more of a cast list and synopsis.