People watch the 6:00 PM First Night fireworks show in Hartford. After enjoying the fireworks, we headed home, watched Dick Clark from the living room couch, and lit up our Christmas tree at midnight. For more information and pictures from my New Year’s Eve and Day, click here.
It’s been an unusual — and very fun — holiday for me. A bit of New Year’s, a bit of Christmas, a bit of football, and a lot of Lord of the Rings…
Fireworks in Hartford: Happy 6:00 PM! Here’s another picture of fireworks, and here’s a picture of people watching fireworks.
Last night, we went to the First Night “kiddie” fireworks show in downtown Hartford at 6:00 PM. I guess we were celebrating the European new year. :) Then we headed home, watched The Fellowship of the Ring extended-edition DVD (in preparation to watch The Two Towers today), and… decorated our Christmas tree.
That’s right. Because I was in Hawaii on Dec. 25, we delayed our family Christmas to Jan. 1. My parents bought a tree on Christmas Eve, but decided to leave it unadorned until I came home. So we decorated it on New Year’s Eve, and I set the lights to come on at midnight.
Our beautiful Christmas tree, which was lit up for the first time at midnight, Jan. 1, 2003.
Aside from watching the tree lights turn themselves on, we watched Dick Clark count down to 2003 in Times Square on ABC. As you can see below, we were surrounded on the living room couch by a small army of stuffed animals celebrating the start of both the New Year and “Adollyan Family Christmas.”
Happy New Year! And, uh, Merry Christmas!
Then we put our presents under the tree and went to bed. When I awoke — shortly after 10:00 AM, when both my parents were already up — I found a “Santa display” of unwrapped presents on the couch, and a stuffed stocking on the mantle.
Kitty, who traditionally spends Christmas Eve every year in the stocking where she was “born,” is joined by a new frog (who seems to be hitting on her) and a bear on Christmas morning. Here’s a photo of the gifts on the couch.
And yes, Santa was good to me. My best present: a 10-gigabyte MP3 player-slash-external hard drive. Not bad… and quite useful for dealing with the thorny problems created by my dying laptop hard drive.
Anyway, a few hours later we headed to the theater in Berlin to watch The Two Towers. We were a fellowship of five: me, my parents, and my friends Sean and Jen. For Sean and me, it was viewing #2; the others were seeing it for the first time. Having seen it again and more fully digested it, I can now amend my previous review and say that, yes, I think it’s incredibly good — better than the Fellowship.
Although I don’t like several of the plot changes, I can live with almost all of them. The one big exception is the Osgiliath scene, which, like the breaking of the fellowship in the first movie (when Aragorn “lets Frodo go”), I’ll just have to cringe every time I watch it. Oh, well. On the bright side, although exceptionally good overall, the movie leaves enough room for improvement to allow for hope that the Return of the King will be the best movie of them all.
So anyway, that’s been my day. And now I’m home watching football games. I’m thrilled that Notre Dame lost badly, but the Rose Bowl is not going well. Unless Washington State mounts a huge fourth-quarter comeback, the Pac-10 will fall to 1-5 — that’s one and five — in bowl games! Eeek! But hopefully USC will set things right in the Orange Bowl tomorrow. Surely the Trojans must feel inspired to play their best after being visited at practice by a double-murderer.
UPDATE, 01/04/03, 1:28 AM: The Two Towers made $11,574,000 on New Year’s Day, increasing its box-office total to $230,837,000 through 14 days. It’s within $15 million of surpassing Harry Potter 2 (which only made $2.1 million on New Year’s Day).
My mother, Leanna Loomer, talks with a fellow Pratt student about one of her (my mom’s, that is) mylar prints at the opening of her thesis show Dec. 16. Click here for more thesis-show photos!
Above, a close-up of the bottom of one of my mom’s prints.
My mother’s printmaking thesis show at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn opened Monday — with no disruptions from the transit strike that wasn’t — and it is truly excellent, in my humble opinion anyway. She has a variety of works, all very abstract but many quite evocative. Here’s a gallery of photos from my visit to the show, including close-ups of some prints and wider shots of my mom and other visitors.
I rode to New York with Jen on Monday to see the show’s official opening. I had feared interference from the threatened MTA strike — the domino effect of which would have created havoc on New York’s roads — but the strike was postponed the night before, and then cancelled Monday evening when management and the union reached a tentative deal. Even without MTA worries, however, Jen and I got, um, a little lost on the way to Pratt; I managed to navigate us to near New Hyde Park in Long Island, well east of Queens and Brooklyn, before realizing we were going the wrong way. But we were still there, if a wee bit late, to support my mom and enjoy her art.
Jen and I at my mom’s art show. Also note The New York Times.
Additionally, in a major achievement for bipartisan cooperation in Adollya, President-elect Mr. Bun travelled to the show with President Oliver, whom he ousted in November. The Republidolly and Dollycrat issued a joint statement praising the show as “fantastic.”
Mr. Bun and Oliver observe the show in all its glory.
My mom’s show will remain open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., tomorrow thru Friday of this week. If she passes thesis, she be able to graduate with a Master’s of Fine Arts in printmaking.
Sean’s sister Stephanie (bottom center) and my honorary sister Kimber (far right) sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” during the Newington High School Ars Musica Chamber Choir’s performance at the Wadsworth Atheneum on Friday afternoon. Awww, aren’t they cute? :)
Mr. Bun is going to be Adollya’s next president. For real, this time.
The charismatic rabbit from M+D Room, who was declared president-elect in 2000 only to lose the election after a lost-and-found batch of votes turned his 19-vote victory into a 5-vote defeat, left no room for doubt Tuesday. Bun and his runningmate Darla received 40.1 percent of the vote nationwide, nearly 5 percent more than incumbents President Oliver and Vice President Eeyore, who received 35.3 percent, according to unofficial returns from Adollya’s national computer voting system, released moments after the polls closed at 8:00 p.m. EST.
Beck, the Geen Party challenger, scored a surprisingly strong showing with 20.4 percent — more than enough to be potentially labeled a “spoiler” by Oliver supporters. Conservative H. Ross Potsy, despite winning the online human poll, garnered just 4.2 percent among Adollyan dollies.
There were allegations that the Internet poll, which was unbinding anyway, may have been rigged by individual humans who somehow evaded the security system and voted multiple times. Potsy finished with a whopping 107 votes out of 157 cast, or 68 percent, outpacing his nearest opponent, Beck, by 77 votes. Beck received 30 votes (19 percent), Mr. Bun garnered 14 votes (9 percent), and Oliver got just 6 votes (4 percent).
Potsy’s votes in the human poll seemed to come in surges; his totals would remain steady for a long period of time, and then within a few hours, he would suddenly receive a dozen or more votes. There was also a sudden surge of votes at one point for Beck. And one online voter wrote in the poll’s “comments” section, “ha ha! i have foiled your evil attempt at justice!” Previously, someone who is believed to be the same voter had written “bleh! i got the voting early part right!,” an apparent reference to the saying “vote early and often.”
Another voter, noting Beck’s sudden surge in votes, quoted from “Casey at the Bat,” a famous baseball-related poem, the sentence, “‘Fraud!’ cried the maddened thousands, and the echo answered, ‘Fraud!’”
Potsy said he had “no reason to believe” there had been any fraud in the online poll. A spokesdolly for Beck said the candidate was “uncertain” what happened.
There have been no publicized allegations of fraud or other voting irregularities in the actual Adollyan election. (That stands in stark contrast to the human American election Tuesday, which at press time appeared to be a big mess.)
At any rate, Mr. Bun will be president regardless of how the humans voted, owing to his victory in the vote by Adollya’s sovereign dollies. At press time, Bun had not yet issued a victory statement, but was expected to do so shortly.
Adollya’s computerized voting system allows results to be tabulated almost instantaneously once the polls close at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The results are subject to verification by the national Election Commission, but major changes are unlikely, since the tally is not nearly as close as 2000, when the only post-election recount since the implementation of Adollya’s computer-voting system occurred. In that case, a polling-place computer whose 40 votes had accidentally never been tabulated was discovered in mid-December, and the resulting 24-vote swing flipped the election from Mr. Bun to Oliver.
Adding to the bizarre circumstances of the 2000 vote, Mr. Bun was missing at the time of the vote discovery; he vanished on Election Night after declaring victory, and did not return until Christmas Eve, at which point he learned he was not president-elect after all. Bun says he has no memory of where he was throughout his almost two-month disappearance, and the matter remains shrouded in considerable mystery (as do many aspects of Mr. Bun’s life). Security is expected to be extremely tight at all post-election rallies and events tonight involving President-elect Bun.
Our resident Rally Monkeys — Beck Jr., left, and Samson, right — watch Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 19. Their diligence did not pay off in this game (the Giants won, 4-3), but the Angels would eventually win the Series in seven games, much to the monkeys’ delight.
A segment of the old Deans Halls crowd — Mike Wiser, me, Julie Payne, David Kreutz, and Megan Wygant — pose for a picture at Honors House in the wee hours of Oct. 20. Dave, my freshman-year roommate who now attends the University of Washington, returned to USC that weekend for the first time since transferring for the USC-Washington football game. (USC won, 41-21.) For more photos of that weekend and Dave’s visit, click here. To read my thoughts about the game, click here.
Meanwhile, in website news, “My world” logged only 43 hits yesterday — the first time since last Wednesday that it received less than 50 hits in a day. Even so, I got some interesting web searches, including one rather angry-sounding Google query for “rally monkey hate die.”
An uptick of traffic is likely today, since I will be sending out a mass e-mail to my friends and relatives encouraging them to visit the site and vote in the dolly election for president and vice president of Adollya.
UPDATE, 1:00 PM: Well, now I’m 21 no matter how you figure it. I missed the “big moment” at 6:22 AM, though. I had set my alarm for 6:21 AM, planning to wake up for one minute (as I did last year), videotape myself turning 21, and then go right back to sleep. But the alarm didn’t wake me up, and I peacefully crossed the threshold of another year while sleeping.
Then, when my “real” alarm went off at 7:40 AM, I gave myself a birthday present of sleep: I refused to get up, and skipped both my 8:30 AM and my 10:00 AM classes. (If either of my professors happens to read this… uh… I’m just kidding. I wasn’t feeling well. Cough, cough.)
If you’re wondering whether I’ve “partied” yet, the answer is no. But talk to me after 8:00 PM. :)
54 hits and counting today… and Potsy has jumped out to a huge lead, with 27 votes (64%). Beck is a distant second with 7 votes, Mr. Bun is third with 5, and incumbent Oliver is dead last with 3 votes.
Hmm… now remind me again, why would a Trojan voluntarily become a Husky? :)
USC 41, Washington 21. Dave’s old school vanquishes Dave’s new school, and in convincing fashion. ‘Nuff said.
Actually, there is one more thing I need to say…
NYAH, NYAH, NYAH-NYAH, NYAH! :)
(Dave, for those of you who haven’t been paying attention, is David Kreutz, my freshman-year roommate, briefly a member of the Trojan Marching Band who then transferred to Washington and joined the Husky Band. He returned to L.A. this weekend for the first time since leaving USC in May 2000.)
In other news, USC’s undefeated, #1-ranked women’s volleyball team beat UCLA, our #5-ranked men’s water polo team beat Cal Baptist, and our #12-ranked women’s soccer team beat Arizona State.
On Sept. 14 in New York City, my mom’s first professional art show, a photo show called “Blur New York,” opened in Manhattan. In the snapshot above, my mom is standing in front of Photo #10, “Rockefeller Center,” a picture she took of my dad and me several years ago. Here are some of her photos from the show:
• “Rockefeller Center”
• “BQE, Queens”
• “Lower East Side”
• “Coat check”
If you’re interested in buying any of these photos, by all means, e-mail my mom! :)
That same day, Sept. 14, I was doing something a bit less artistic and more hedonistic: partying the night away at my friend Suzanne’s birthday bash. Above, Suzanne and her boyfriend David strike a pose. (Click here to visit Suzanne’s homepage.)
Meanwhile, also on Sept. 14, while I was at Suzanne’s wild and crazy party in Los Angeles, Becky was at a wild and crazy family wedding in St. Louis. Above, from left, are Becky’s brother’s girlfriend Gerry, Becky’s sister Jen, Becky, and Becky’s cousin Stephanie.