Disney's 1979 film - The Black Hole

Disney's 1979 film - The Black Hole

It is shaping up to be a monstrously busy week.  So far, Monday and Tuesday have been crisis management.  Each day featured an unanticipated issue that came up and had to be dealt with immediately.  As a result, very little other work has been completed, and tomorrow I will be in scenic lower Bucks County for depositions that will almost certainly take all day.  There are four witnesses scheduled.  That takes us to Thursday, which is a heavy Court day, which means that the work will continue to pile up.  And then, somehow, Friday is clear.  For now.  Even if that stays true, I will still have to spend time in the office over the weekend.  Right now my space looks like a bomb hit it and I can’t find my desk.

So, here’s a quick look at what I’ve been thinking about in my non-work moments:

There is, of course, a lot of other stuff to get into, especially the Prisoner remake, but the hour is getting a bit late for me and there is a sleepy Basset Hound who needs to go walkies.

The Blame Game


I guess it started this spring, when Andrew Olanoff was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Well, he’s a Philly guy with plenty of attytood, so he started to lay the rap on cancer for everything, inventing the ubiquitous Twitter hashmark #blamedrewscancer.  Needless to say, it caught on, as it’s f-ing brilliant.  Today was the Blame-a-thon: a 24-hour party at the North Star Bar with co-sponsorship by Taco Bell who sent the taco truck to serve chow to the revelers.  There was also an auction every hour for those tweeting and blaming.  If you follow my Twitter feed, I blamed quite a few things on Drews cancer today.  Strangely enough, I was the winner of the most bizarre prize of the day – a $99 at-home DNA test.  Hey, how about a nice t-shirt or something?!

Anyway, it was incredibly fun Getting swept up in the blame-a-thon.  Everything was the faultof Drew’s cancer, from the fact that the new iPod touch has no camera, to the loss of loved ones taken by cancer.  Over 12,000 different people got in on the act and all the proceeds (raffle tix were $9 and there a cover charge to see bands and party at the North Star) benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation.   I didn’t make it to the party (busy listening to Obama’s speech), but based on the tweet, there was a lot of fun had by all – in fact, it’s still going on.

It takes a long weekend to…

ProgDayHeaderArt-MushroomIt takes a long weekend to make a short movie, see some great music, enjoy the country with narrow dogs, and turn congressional hearings into a nationally acclaimed opera.  Let me explain.

Em is now back from her First Descents excursion.  As predicted, this was an intense time and I have no doubt the reverberations will continue for quite some time to come while they’re being worked into her general psyche and identity.  Basically, take about fourteen young adult cancer survivors to Jackson Wyoming (scene, coincidentally, of the Beckerantz honeymoon) and take them rock climbing, out of their comfort zone and let everybody feel alive in a way they never have before.  The results are hard to put into words, especially for someone who wasn’t even there, but I’m sure she’ll be reporting at length on Seeemilyplay.  But tonight, it’s all about iMovie.  I’ve supplied this girl with what little knowledge I have and she’s running hog wild.  The results are already tremendous, and she’s only up to about the three minute mark.  Hopefully, by the end of this long weekend, I’ll link to an audio-visual document that will give you some idea of what she has experienced over the past week.

ProsaicParadise is soaking in the groovy sounds at ProgDay 2009 down in Chapel Hill.  She’ll be seeing Ozric Tentacles and some other cool acts over two days.  Kudos to her for making the trek in the name of great prog!

FBdN is in the country with his family and the greyhounds.  Bucolic and calming pictures are already starting to emerge, and I urge you to check them out.

It’s Fringe Festival time here in Philadelphia and one of the local acts is an opera based on the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings and Alberto Gonzalez’s extraordinarily humorous performance.  The thing itself was outrageous, but the The Gonzales Cantata is swiftly becoming a national craze, especially thanks to Rachel Maddow.

Aliette de Bodard is catching up on her Battlestar Galactica and has a few choice thoughts as she gets into season 4.  This woman is an exceptional writer of sci-fi and fantasy and her career is just starting to take off, so it’s exciting to get her sincere thoughts on BSG and everything else.  Her blog and fiction are highly recommended.

Finally, there is a great Dylan bootleg from July 5, 2009, that has just surfaced at T.U.B.E.  There’s always great audience tapes of Bob’s shows, but this one is from the soundboard, which gives it a little more clarity.  Great setlist, including my favorite from the new record, a lil ol’ blues number called Jolene.

Status post travels with Lucy


I’m too tired to be transferring pictures to Flickr right now, but we just got back from a whirlwind tour of north Jersey with Lucy, the slow footed, slow witted Basset Hound.  Now, as calm and easy going as the saintly Lucy may be, she does not travel well.  In fact, in the four years she has lived with us, she has nevr gone for a car ride and NOT thrown up.  But, this weekend, all of that changed.

We had the pleasure of visiting our new friends who live near Summit, NJ.  They are big time dog people and invited us to bring Lucy for an overnight.  It went great!  The dogs got along, Lucy didn’t puke, and Em and I had a huge time.  Katie and Kieth are about the nicest hosts you could have and it was really cool to see a part of my beloved NJ that I hadn’t explored before.  We all met in Ashland, MA at a couples cancer retreat in May, and it was great to reconnect.  We even got to make an impromptu visit to Citi Field, where the Phillies trounced the Mets – Sorry Kieth!

Now I am tired and full of homemade pierogies we got at the farmer’s market in Summit this morning.  We did get to hear Eric Bruntlett’s unassisted, game winning, bottom-of-the-ninth triple play on the radio as we drove home.  And even with all the yelling and screaming, Lucy still didn’t yack.  Good girl!

I don’t even know what to call this post

I guess it’s another catch-all.  The holiday weekend is pretty much here, so everything is starting to slow down, and that is perfectly fine with me.  I’ve been enjoying (NOT!) some bowel distress over the past 24 hours, so I’m glad that there’s no work tomorrow.  I prep’d my butt off for an Arbitration on Wednesday and it went south on me because the panel didn’t like my client – they actually said that to me after.  Hours and hours of prep down the tubes.

I’m just about done with Greg van Eekhout’s (like Vonnegut?) first novel – Norse Code.  Despite the title, it’s actually been quite a good piece of fantasy fiction.  If I were in another line of work, perhaps I could have read this book over a weekend, but with distractions and trials, it has taken a bit longer.  Great action, well written, and sexy cover.  What more could you ask for?  As a rumination on Ragnarok, it’s a bit more fluid and entertaining than Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.  The retelling of myth is a bit more fluid in Gaiman’s work, but the van Eekhout has been a more cohesive read.  I certainly liked them both, but in being a bit less ambitious, Norse Code is actually more fun.  Although, I don’t think Gaiman was going for fun.

Company’s coming to mpomy HQ to help celebrate the holiday.  We’re looking forward to Oscar and his mom and dad.  Pictures will undoubtedly be posted.  Also, we’ve arranged a trip to Morris Arboretum to hang out in nature’s beauty with my mom and our guests.  It should be just the ticket after my beleaguered week.

Over at, the insanity continues.  we’ve got Mr. Delaruss now actively blogging, which is great news.  I’ll also try to do little more micro-music because it’s so damn fun.  Maybe Oscar can help with the next composition.

We have also found out that a cousin has breast cancer – which absolutely sucks.  She’s got a bunch of little kids and she’s almost definitely going to have to go through some of the most heinous shit.  But she’s got a great husband (Em’s 1st cousin) and they’re within shouting distance of top notch healthcare.  It’s still going to be a bumpy ride for that family, so we’ll be sending the good vibes that way as the situation and treatment regimen become clearer.

And lastly, I’ll be trying to get Em to watch Virtuality tonight.  It seems like good, low-impact fun before our guests arrive, and I need to take another look before I write up my thoughts.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

An Anniversary

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Scan Day


As we approach the one year anniversary of the end of Em’s treatment, I imagine there will be a lot of thoughts bubbling around for both of us.  Already, Em has upped the ante in her two most recent blog posts, the earlier of which represents yet another example of her intense and direct writing style.  I urge you to read ‘Pinning Jell-o To The Wall’ right now.

As part of the whole thing, it is now time for her first scan, this one is a CT, which means she rides through the doughtnut after drinking some nasty barium and getting jacked in to an IV.  Considering how everything else has been going so far, we’re pretty confident that there is no nastiness to be discovered, but it’s nerve wracking to go into the hospital and deal with needles and machines and what not.  So we will go together this morning and give that doughnut the old Beckerantz karate chop – HIiiiY-YAH!!

I think I dreamt about last month’s Planet Cancer Couples Retreat.  It was classic dream stuff, like the ‘real’ thing but not at all.  I was sitting at a table and we were playing silly games with strangers, not our newly found cancer posse, but some dream version.  I don’t remember much else, but it isn’t hard to put one and one together this morning.

One last thought about all this.  I’m on a trial list from yesterday in Camden, NJ.  I had to tell the Judge’s assistant that I can’t start first thing today (if they’re ready) because I’m taking Em to her appointment.  The level of understanding I got was refreshing – clearly this woman ‘get’s it.’  That was nice.

Shorts and Stuff

Torture – Sorry about that nasty picture from yesterday, but torture is a nasty business.  I don’t want these pictures released because of some perverse pleasure that results from seeing them.  I want them released because they are horrible.

Trilok – His new record is called Massical and it’s coming out in the UK on 5/25/09.  The original date was to have been early this month, but clearly that didn’t happen.  When will I be able to get my copy?  Who knows.

Em’s extraordinary writing continues to wow people over at Planet Cancer.  Here’s an excerpt:

…wandering through the array of plants, designing my window boxes and picking out flowers for the back yard. I did it all myself. A year ago, standing in the heat would have been intolerable, and driving myself ten minutes to the nursery, unfathomable. But I did it. And I felt like Superwoman.

*  *  *

I realized, in amazement, that I could do it – make something beautiful, take care of something living, exert myself in the hot sun, and not collapse in a heap, crying with exhaustion. My plants are alive, and so am I.

You can read the whole post here.

Phillies – are killing me.  Yesterday’s mid-week, day game was a great performance by ace Cole Hamels with not offense against the Dodgers’ ace Billingsly.  Then we fell behind, then we came back and got the game to extra innings and then we lost.  Em and I checked out a little early to miss the traffic, but not the empty feeling of disappointment.  They’re starting a nice long road trip – hopefully they can figure things out away from home.