Memed: 1

Via Birderblog.com, the The Hawk Owl’s Nest is conducting a survey:

  • What state (or country) do you live in? Virginia
  • How long have you been birding? 13 years or so
  • Are you a “lister”? Yes
  • ABA Life List: 338
  • Overall Life List: 338, which is also my Lower 48 list total.
  • Favorite Birding Spot: Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia.
  • Favorite birding spot outside your home country: none yet
  • Farthest you’ve traveled to chase a rare bird: about an hour for a Pomarine Jaeger that had wandered far inland into Loudoun County, Virginia.
  • Nemesis bird: Florida Scrub-Jay
  • “Best” bird sighting: A lifer: American Dipper in Eldorado National Forest on Christmas Day, just after the snows had melted sufficiently to make the roads passable.
  • Most wanted trip: Maine and the Maritimes
  • Most wanted bird: Atlantic Puffin
  • What model and brand of bins do you use?: A somewhat beat-up porro prism Celestron 9.5 x 44
  • What model and brand of scope do you use?: Kowa TSN-1
  • What was the last lifer you added to your list?: Piping Plover near Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. I never would have noticed the flock of seven birds on a wind-whipped flat if I hadn’t stumbled upon a pair of field researchers who were tracking them with radio.
  • Where did you see your last lifer?: see above
  • What’s the last bird you saw today?: Alas, I think the last bird I noticed was a Fish Crow at dusk yesterday.
  • Best bird song you’ve heard ever: Wood Thrush, in the backyard of my suburban, habitat-fragmenting townhouse.
  • Favorite birding moments: A visit to the Powdermill banding station in Pennsylvania. My first trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina (“My god, it’s full of birds!”). Seeing two lifers in my bins at the same time in a park in Sacramento. On a work-related training trip to Orange County, getting up early to drive down to the beach, then patiently keying out a California Gull for #300.
  • Least favorite thing about birding: High winds.
  • Favorite thing about birding: Using it as an excuse to vacation somewhere I’ve never been before.
  • Favorite field guide for the US: Peterson
  • Favorite non-field guide bird book: Proctor and Lynch, “Manual of Ornithology”
  • Who is your birder icon?: Let me get back to you on that one.
  • Do you have a bird feeder(s)? No. I don’t enjoy feeding squirrels.
  • Favorite feeder bird? White-Breasted Nuthatch

We don’t need no stinking categories

I admit it: the category system for this blog is a mess. I started out with clever allusive titles like Ars Longa and Like Life (the title of a comic novel by Lorrie Moore), but I quickly ran out of allusions that were sufficiently descriptive. Every time I tagged something with NOC, Leta would ask me, “what does that stand for?” and I would explain “not otherwise classified.” And my posts refused to distribute themselves at all evenly into a tidy set of seven categories or so. What would George Miller make of the folksonomy movement, I wonder? Anyhow, let this be a warning to the teeming millions (milling onesies, maybe?) that I may scribble all over the category system at some point.

Crooked CA watch

The former chief of what was known as Computer Associates International, Inc., Sanjay Kumar, has been sentenced to twelve years in prison for his role in a massive accounting fraud. Charges were made that

Kumar and other executives instructed salespeople to complete deals after the quarter had closed — a practice known within the company as the ”35-day month”…

Blue roses

Michelle and I met early at the theater yesterday to run our scene a few times before class. The Woolly Mammoth classroom was in use, so we camped out in the lobby to work the section of the Gentleman Caller scene where Jim entices Laura to sit on the floor with him. The residue of a (hopefully successful) Halloween party was all over the lobby: DJ equipment, ghostie and ghoulie decorations, even a few crumbs of broken glass. The way the building is set up, the lower lobby is actually out of a lot of the traffic flow to the box office, rehearsal space, and classroom; and there are a few chairs that we could make use of.

I had taken my glasses off, so I can’t be sure, but at one point I believe that Howard Shalwitz walked through and checked out the scene, no doubt assessing the decorations that needed to be struck. But I couldn’t help thinking that what could be going through his mind was, “Why are there two people sitting on my lobby floor making heavy weather of Tennessee Williams?”

Washington Ballet mixed bill

Sona Kharatian shines in the third of the duets in Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, the stormy and dramatic dance of the three. Robbins’ lyrical piece, set on Chopin piano nocturnes, is put together with simple materials, assembled masterfully.

Artistic Director Septime Webre’s new offering, oui/non, is a suite of dances to songs from the Edith Piaf songbook, sung live by Karen Akers. The company’s men meet the partnering challenge laid down by this piece, with nearly every song featuring a set of complicated gymnastic lifts; Erin Mahoney-Du’s partner in “Non, je ne regrette rien,” Luis Torres, seems to have sprouted a third arm in order to keep up. Akers breaks some hearts with some of Jacques Brel’s most piercing material.

The suite is just the right length to set us up for a rousing performance of the massive In the Upper Room, choreographed by Twyla Tharp to a score by Phillip Glass. The piece seems to be spun from nothing more than a backwards jazz run upstage by two dancers, but it flowers into a kaleidoscope of movement for thirteen. Norma Kamali’s costumes juxtapose prison stripes and leotards of a candied orange-raspberry color.

  • Washington Ballet mixed bill, Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, Washington

What does the O stand for?

Via wood s lot, Todd McEwen deconstructs Cary Grant’s suit in North by Northwest:

This is what’s ingenious about this picture, at least as far as the SUIT goes—Cary’s able to travel all over the country in just this one beautiful suit…. It’s so well cut you can’t tell if he’s even carrying a wallet (turns out he is). Here’s what he’s got in that suit! He goes all the way from New York to Chicago to the face of Mount Rushmore with: a monogrammed book of matches, his wallet and some nickels, a pencil stub, a hanky, a newspaper clipping and his sunglasses—but these are shortly to be demolished when Eva Marie Saint folds him into the upper berth in her compartment. (Really this is a good thing, because Cary Grant in dark glasses looks appallingly GUILTY.)