The Snoozeletter @

Don't Give Up. By Peter Gabriel on Hit (and Miss):

Hit (and Miss): Peter Gabrielin this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

no fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face, I've changed my name
but no one wants you when you lose

don't give up
'cos you have friends
don't give up
you're not beaten yet
don't give up
I know you can make it good

though I saw it all around
never thought I could be affected
thought that we'd be the last to go
it is so strange the way things turn

drove the night toward my home
the place that I was born, on the lakeside
as daylight broke, I saw the earth
the trees had burned down to the ground

don't give up
you still have us
don't give up
we don't need much of anything
don't give up
'cause somewhere there's a place
where we belong

rest your head
you worry too much
it's going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don't give up
please don't give up

'got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
going to stand on that bridge
keep my eyes down below
whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river's flowing
that river's flowing

moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs

don't give up
'cause you have friends
don't give up
you're not the only one
don't give up
no reason to be ashamed
don't give up
you still have us
don't give up now
we're proud of who you are
don't give up
you know it's never been easy
don't give up
'cause I believe there's a place
there's a place where we belong
Hammer To Fall. Written by Brian May, performed by Freddie Mercury and Queen:

Classic QueenYeah, here we stand or here we fall
History won't care at all
Make the bed, light the light
Lady mercy won't be home tonight

Yeah, you don't waste no time at all
Don't hear the bell but you answer the call
It comes to you as to us all
Hey, we're just waiting for the hammer to fall

Oh every night, and every day
A little piece of you is falling away
But lift your face, the western way
Build your muscles as your body decays

Yeah, toe your line and play their game
Yeah, let the anaesthetic cover it all
Till one day they call your name
You know it's time for the hammer to fall

Rich or poor or famous for
Your truth it's all the same
Oh lock your door but rain is pouring
Through your window pane
Baby now your struggle's all vain

For we who grew up tall and proud
In the shadow of the mushroom cloud
Convinced our voices can't be heard
We just wanna scream it louder and louder and louder

What the hell are we fighting for?
Ah, just surrender and it won't hurt at all
You just got time to say your prayers
Eh, while you're waiting for the hammer to hammer to fall
Give it to me one more time
What A Shame About Me. Written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, performed by Steely Dan on the 2000 release of 2vN:

Two Against Nature: Steely DanI was grinding through my day gig
Stackin' cutouts at the Strand
When in walks Franny from NYU
We were quite an item back then
We talked about her films and shows and CDs
And I don't know what else
She said, yeah, Hollywood's been good to me
But tell me - how about yourself

I'm still working on that novel
But I'm just about to quit
'Cause I'm worrying about the future now
Or maybe this is it
It's not all that I thought it would be
What a shame about me

She said, talk to me, do you ever see
Anybody else from our old crew
Bobby Dakine won the Bunsen Prize
Now he's coming out with something new
Alan owns a chain of Steamer Heavens
And Barry is the software king
And somebody told me in the early 80's
You were gonna be the Next Big Thing

Well now that was just a rumor
But I guess I'm doin' fine
Three weeks out of the rehab
Living one day at a time
Sneaking up on the new century
What a shame about me
I'm thinking of a major Jane Street sunrise
And the goddess on the fire escape was you

We both ran out of small talk
The connection seemed to go dead
I was about to say, hey, have a nice life
When she touched my hand and said:
You know I just had this great idea
This could be very cool
Why don't we grab a cab to my hotel
And make believe we're back at our old school

I said babe you look delicious
And you're standing very close
But like this is Lower Broadway
And you're talking to a ghost
Take a good look it's easy to see
What a shame about me
Hiatt on faith. Have A Little Faith In Me, by John Hiatt:

Bring the FamilyWhen the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me

And when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try baby
And have a little faith in me

And have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

When your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here darlin'
From a whisper start
To have a little faith in me

And when your back's against the wall
Just turn around and you, you will see
I will catch you, I will catch your fall baby
Just have a little faith in me

And have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

Well I've been loving you for such a long time girl
Expecting nothing in return, just for you to have a little faith in me
'Cause see time, time is our friend
'Cause for us there is no end
And all you gotta do is a have a little faith in me
I said I will hold you up
I will hold you up
And your love gives me strength in love
So have a little faith in love
I said a hey hey all you gotta do for me girl is have a little bit of faith in me
Not so fast, scallion breath. Just after uploading the previous blog posting, I noticed a depressing FilmByDem message in my eMail:

Unfortunately, this weekend is not working out for most of the original 60 people that responded to the Craigslist ad. Only 12 have RSVP'd for this weekend, 4 directors, 4 screenwriters and 4 male actors. All of the female actors, experienced camera operators, sound technicians, costume, make-up and lighting people have opted out or otherwise canceled due to last-minute changes in plans. Therefore, we will need to cancel this weekend and postpone the event to a date in the future to be decided by the group. I remain optimistic about what this group can accomplish but also realize that such a ambitious endeavor will require at least 30-40 committed people covering every important aspect of film making in order to achieve the intended results.

I would like to hear back from each of you on when might be the next best alternative weekend for this event. Also, if any of you have any ideas on how we might be able to recruit the additional (very necessary) talent and experience (not to mention assistants) to make this project a success, please let me know.

I apologize for the last-minute notice but I have been patiently waiting for more of the original responders to hopefully RSVP and have even tried calling some of them without success.

On a positive note, one of the participants has set up a temporary web site we will be using for this project going forward at [redacted].
Holy crap, I'm shooting a film. Last month, a Film By Democracy ("FilmByDem") project appeared on craigslist, under the title "Open Source Filmmaking." I responded to the ad on June 8, one thing led to another, and now it's really happening, in less than 24 hours. We're all strangers to each other, and it sounds f*cking crazy, but it should be tons o' fun. Here's some info, from the organizer:


The address for the launch meeting this FRIDAY JULY 20th at 6pm is [redacted], in Mesa. Please RSVP if you have not already.


PROJECT: A group of talented creative individuals coming together to make a five-minute short film from concept to completion in a weekend.

THE DEAL: I am willing to bring the gear (listed below) and put up $500 for miscellaneous expenses to see what Phoenix' independent film community is capable of accomplishing in a weekend under a democratic model. Each participant in the actual production phase would have equal ownership in the final product.

THE CONCEPT: Everyone who is interested, from scriptwriters to directors to directors of photography, sound and lighting technicians, actors, makeup artists and set designers, etc., would meet at a to-be-determined location on a Friday night at 6pm. The mob would then select from among itself each of the necessary participants based upon past experience, resumes, film reels or just five-minute pitches. This process would take two to three hours. This is substantially different from the 48-hour film challenge in that most of the participants on the team will not have met before and will not have had time to plan or develop a working style with one another. Just like in a governmental democracy, the chosen director would be empowered to "call the shots." This wouldn't be a "free-for-all," just a fair way to assign responsibility and authority.

Those selected by the group for each position would then meet to determine a schedule for the next 48 hours (Sat/Sun), the goal being to determine a storyline, write a script, shoot the scenes, edit the film, add sound and special effects and master to DVD a 5-minute short film produced by democracy. Everyone involved in the actual production would share ownership and rights in the film equally and would decide what to do with the film once finished. Possibilities include using the short as a pilot for a longer film, using the short to pitch a bigger project and promoting the individual participants on YouTube and other online venues using the film as proof of quality.

I am not asking people to work for free (participants would be owners), nor am I interested in calling the shots, directing the film or participating, other than as the group decides. I just love filmmaking, believe in the power of a democracy and have a lot of great equipment. But also, I understand that gear does not a story tell.

Equipment list (my contribution for the weekend):

(2) Sony HVR-Z1U HDV Cameras (Time Code Sync)
(2) Wide Angle Lenses for HVR-Z1U
(1) Telephoto Lens for HVR-Z1U
(1) 10' Crane/Jib with remote pan, tilt, zoom, focus
(1) Sennheiser Wireless Mic Kit
(1) Basic Lighting Kit
(1) Firestor - Firewire to Hard Disk Recorder

Below are my thoughts and recommendations on how I believe we can write a script from scratch, then shoot and produce a GREAT film with local people that have never even met one another, in one weekend. Should the group decide to take a different approach, I will support that as well.

ROUGH PLAN: Leaders will have to quickly emerge to control the chaos (don't count on me for that, I'm just providing the gear as agreed). Yes, it will require brainstorming and writing and casting all at the same time, and will require starting on the credits and the music and the costumes before the story is even finished, but it CAN be done. Locations will have to be chosen or sets thrown together while the first scenes are being shot and editing and finishing will have to happen concurrently with shooting in terms of digital capture, clip selection, color correction and special effects so that everything can be finished by Sunday night. Sure, everyone will have to wear multiple hats and no one will be standing around waiting for it to be time to do "their part," there just won't be time for that, everyone will have to pitch in all the time wherever they can help to make sure the 5-minute short film is finished and perfected by Sunday night. We will need to employ a concurrent approach, meaning that writing, shooting, editing, color correcting, and many other tasks will need to begin as soon as possible without waiting for other tasks to be finished, as is normally the case in traditional production environments. For example, by recording directly to computer or to Firewire Drives instead of tape, the editors will be able to begin selecting the best takes and setting in/out points within minutes after a particular scene has been shot. The DP and sound engineers will also be able to evaluate lighting and sound and make plans for color correction and sound effects concurrently with production. Although it would be optimal to have all of the writing done in advance, this may not be possible under the circumstances so we may have to begin shooting from an outline and a completed first scene while the writers work on the remainder of the script. Similarly, sets and costumes, if necessary, can be prepared "just-in-time" while the first scenes are being shot, and titling and credits can start as soon as the cast and crew is determined, even before the script is finalized. In other words, everyone would participate for the entire weekend and would be assigned tasks based upon a concurrent production schedule. Rather than scrambling to edit the film or add music and sound effects or to make color corrections on Sunday night, many of these tasks will be done concurrently with the shooting so that the team can review most of the film early on Sunday afternoon while the final scenes or retakes are being shot and decide whether other scenes or modified takes may be necessary.
Drugs and homeopathy.

I've been very healthy during most of my life, but a stubborn case of no-external-trigger urticaria (hives) has been plaguing me for over a year. I have visited one regular doctor, one osteopath, two emergency room docs, three allergists, and three acupuncturists. None of them have been able to cure my hives, but the allergists finally brought my symptoms under control with a powerful hellbroth of prescription drugs:

1 Prednisone (steroid, immunosuppressant) 20mg pill in the morning
1 Tagamet (Cimetidine, H2 antihistamine) 300mg pill in the morning
1 Allegra (Fexofenadine, H1 antihistamine) 180mg pill in the morning
1 Zyrtec (Cetirizine HCl, H1 antihistamine) 10mg pill in the afternoon
1 Atarax (Hydroxyzine HCl, H1 antihistamine) 25mg pill at bedtime
3 Doxepin (antidepressant, sedative) 10mg pills at bedtime
1 Tagamet 300mg pill at bedtime
1 Prednisone 20mg pill at bedtime

Plus, I had to carry an emergency epinephrine (adrenaline) syringe everywhere, just in case my precariously-balanced immune system tipped into anaphylactic shock.

One of the allergists provided me with a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel newsflash: "These cases usually burn themselves out in three to five years."

But if you take Prednisone for a long time, your immune response is slowly crippled, and you tend to gain a lot of weight. The allergists tried to cut down the Prednisone gradually, but my hives always returned with a vengeance. [A minor bout with urticaria is much like being flayed alive... and after experiencing several full-blown major attacks, I wouldn't wish one on my worst enemy.]

I was clinically depressed, and marginally suicidal. My doctors thought I was doing great, considering.

Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth MedicineSince the AMA and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners couldn't really help, I turned to homeopaths as a last resort. Even though I had always viewed homeopathy as a fringe--if not totally quack--science, I was at the end of my rope and desperate enough to try anything.

After a few homeopathic treatments, my drug regimen is now down to:

1 Prednisone 2.5mg pill (1/16 of my previous daily intake) in the afternoon
1 Benadryl 25mg pill (over-the-counter antihistamine) at bedtime

The homeopaths are determined to wean me off drugs completely, God bless 'em. Needless to say, I now highly recommend these doctors. And they recommend reading Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine, for an overview.

I wish I'd read this book a year ago...
Psychic Prodco Network.

I just received the following rejection. When sending out unsolicited material to film production companies, I'm usually ready for anything, but this message cracked me right up:

Dear Alan C. Baird,

Thank you for your e-mail. Without reading it, I discovered the contents to be a query unsolicited by anyone at _______ Productions. In accordance with _______'s established policy and procedure regarding unsolicited materials, I'm afraid we are unable to accept, read or evaluate your query.

Mike ____

Reply from Alan C. Baird, Mon, Jul 16, 2007 at 5:55 AM:
That's a pretty good trick, Mike: understanding an e-mail without reading it!
Thanks for the chuckle.
Poodle Parade.

Today is Bastille Day, the French national holiday. It is simply called Fête nationale or quatorze juillet in France. This day commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. The Fête de la Fédération was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern French nation.

The Bastille was a fortress in Paris, formally known as Bastille Saint-Antoine, located at number 232 on the Rue Saint-Antoine. It became a prison where people were jailed by arbitrary decision of the King; most of the inmates were there for political crimes. On July 14, 1789, it contained only seven prisoners, but the attacking crowd was mostly interested in the weapons stored at the fort.

On July 15, 1789, a demolition crew was organized by flamboyant entrepreneur Pierre-François Palloy. He put great efforts into continuing the site as a paying attraction and producing a huge range of souvenirs, including much of the rubble. The actual demolition was largely completed by November of that year.

You could mark the holiday at the French Festival this weekend in Santa Barbara. Their big draw seems to be a display of canine topiary in the Poodle Parade.

Or, if you feel like singing, here's a link to La Marseillaise.

[Painting: detail from Liberty Leading the People, by Eugène Delacroix.]
Sting sings Spanish.

Nada Como el Sol...Nada Como el Sol... (1988) is a selection of five songs from Nothing Like the Sun (1987), translated into Spanish (and Portuguese, in one case).

Ellas Danzan Solas (Cueca Sola)

¿Por qué están aquí, danzando solas?
¿Por qué hay tristeza en sus miradas?
Hay soldados también
Ignoran su dolor
Porque desprecian el amor
Danzan con los muertos
Los que yá no están
Amores invisibles
No dejan de danzar
Danzan con sus padres
Sus niños también
Y con sus esposos
En soledad, en soledad [more]

English version: They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)

Why are these women here dancing on their own?
Why is there this sadness in their eyes?
Why are the soldiers here
Their faces fixed like stone?
I can't see what it is that they despise
They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone, they dance alone

It's the only form of protest they're allowed
I've seen their silent faces they scream so loud
If they were to speak these words they'd go missing too
Another woman on the torture table what else can they do
They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone, they dance alone

One day we'll dance on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance
One day we'll dance on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance

Ellas danzan con los desaparecidos
Ellas danzan con los muertos
Ellas danzan con amores invisibles
Ellas danzan con silenciosa angustia
Danzan con sus padres
Danzan con sus hijos
Danzan con sus esposos
Ellas danzan solas
Danzan solas

Hey Mr. Pinochet
You've sown a bitter crop
It's foreign money that supports you
One day the money's going to stop
No wages for your torturers
No budget for your guns
Can you think of your own mother
Dancin' with her invisible son
They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone, they dance alone
Gabriel sings German.

deutsches album (Security)deutsches album (1982) was the second German language album by British progressive rock musician Peter Gabriel. It was originally released in Germany simultaneously with the worldwide release of Gabriel's eponymous fourth album (also known as Security). Reportedly, Gabriel doesn't speak German, so he sang phonetically.

Schock den Affen

Fasse mich wenn ich brenn
Fasse mich wenn ich renn
Schuettel die baeume im regenwald
Von oben faellt ein tier
Fasse mich jetzt und hier
Offen - offen - uh - uh
Ja, due weisst: das schockt den affen [more]

English version: Shock The Monkey

Cover me when I run
Cover me through the fire
Something knocked me out ' the trees
Now I'm on my knees
Cover me, darling please
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don't you know you're going to shock the monkey

Fox the fox
Rat on the rat
You can ape the ape
I know about that
There is one thing you must be sure of
I can't take any more
Darling, don't you monkey with the monkey
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don't you know you're going to shock the monkey
Shock the monkey

Monkey, Wheels keep turning
Monkey, Something's burning
Monkey, Don't like it but I guess I'm learning
Shock! Shock! Shock! - watch the monkey get hurt, monkey
Shock! Shock! Shock! - watch the monkey get hurt, monkey

Cover me, when I sleep
Cover me, when I breathe
You throw your pearls before the swine
Make the monkey blind
Cover me, darling please
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don't you know you're going to shock the monkey
Shock the monkey

Monkey, Too much at stake
Monkey, Ground beneath me shake
Monkey, And the news is breaking
Shock! Shock! Shock! - watch the monkey get hurt, monkey
Shock! Shock! Shock! - watch the monkey get hurt, monkey

Shock the monkey, shock the monkey
Shock the monkey, shock the monkey
Shock the monkey to life

iFound a couple of iPhone simulators, and iCouldn't resist playing with them (WARNING: this third/last link is not really worksafe).

A few minutes ago, iTried to post "iPorn" as a subject title and tag on my OTL blog, and "iBLEEP" was automatically substituted. F*cking bluenoses...

LATER: In a snit, iRemoved the OTL posting and placed it on this archive.
Unlucky day?

The Powerball ticket was a bust, and this morning's trip to McDonald's cost exactly $6.66. ;-)
Average US IQ rising? NB: I'm still blogging mostly at OTL.

On Thursday, November 4, 2004, Britain's Daily Mirror (below) commented on the American presidential election results: "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?"

In a July 2007 poll:
* 45% favor "the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush;" 46% oppose.
* 54% favor "the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney;" 40% oppose.

By contrast, in August-September 1998 (just before Clinton's impeachment):
* Average support for impeachment and removal (10 polls): 26%
* Average support for hearings (6 polls): 36%

Daily Mirror
Lucky day?

Alan and I recently celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.

Today's date is 7/7/07.

And it's 7:07 am.

Can't wait to see the results of tonight's Powerball drawing...
AZ goodies.

Arizona Red Lime Marmalade,

Bubble Gum Roadrunner and Rattlesnake Eggs
(near the bottom of the page),

and Cactus Candy.