June 30, 2004


Upcoming Dates and their corrsepodinging questions...

06/30/04 - Tomorrow. My sister will hopefully depart for France for 6 weeks to study in Paris. Leave it to us until tonight to realize that her passport expired a month ago. Her flight leaves at 4PM. Will she be on it? Sources seem to say that it's all possible, and we're staying hopeful.

07/01/04 - Thursday. I will hopefully be moving into the new place in Philadelphia. Will the key to the house come in the mail tomorrow, so that it will make everything a lot easier? Only time will tell. My money is on yes. Will I rig up some sort of door to cover the opening to my room? I'm hoping to have this taken care of quickly. Doors are kind of important for privacy, and other reasons. If not a door, then a heavy curtain of some kind.

07/10/04 - Saturday. Trip to London begins with a flight from Dulles. Leaving on Saturday, returning on the next Friday. Staying in Kensington, wherever that is. Will I manage to get myself completely and utterly lost on the London Underground? Will English food be as bad as I've read about? Will England be as fantastic and incredible as my imagination has made it out to be?

All signs point to yes.

Posted by Matthew at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

Form DS-156: Nonimmigrant Visa Application

Yeah, I have way too much free time now. I tend to read anything and everything I can get my hands on. Online newspapers are a boon to feed such boredom.

I came across an article today about a British journalist's harrowing detainment with US Immigration. The US has recently been requiring foreign journalists to declare themselves as such before entering the country, and requiring a special visa clearance.

Curious, I wanted to see what the application forms were like for a US Visa. From the US Department of State, I present form "DS-156: Nonimmigrant Visa Application":

click for larger version

It reads:

A visa may not be issued to persons who are within specific categories defined by law as inadmissible to the United States (except when a waiver is obtained in advance). Is any of the following applicable to you?
Do you seek to enter the United States to engage in export control violations, subversive or terrorist activities, or any other unlawful purpose? Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization as currently designated by the U.S. Secretary of State? Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government of Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide? YES NO

I don't know...perhaps it's a good idea to ask these questions on the Visa form. Knowing the US, there's probably a law somewhere that states that we have to ask. But I wonder if ANYONE has EVER checked the box for "YES." Their choice of terms is kind of interesting as well, whitewashing and equating the horror of mass killing with the past tense of "participate."

(A side note, I know, but further up on the form, it asks if one has ever been "a prostitute, or a procurer of prostitutes." It would be really cool if this one form, this otherwise boring government form, could use the word "pimp." Think about it, the possibility of a pimped-out government form.)

As a public service, I present our current Homeland Security Status:


Or, in a much more happier, "Muppet-ier" format....

Someday, I'm either A) Running for office, to bring some common sense to the country, B) Moving to Great Britain and praying things make more sense, or C) finding someone to check "YES" to the question.

I'll return to my normal inane ramblings tomorrow or the next day, and quite possibly answer the question "What if I held a party and nobody came?"

[Listening to: "Our Love", by Rhett Miller from the album "the instigator"]

Posted by Matthew at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

from a conversation tonight...

JMC1371: Why do I think that your version of "Getting a grad degree in theater" consists of hiding in the Dan Rodden catwalks, chucking golf balls at actors for the next four years?
demizio: lol, hey, if I get away that easily I'll take it...chucking golf balls at actors is fun :-)

Posted by Matthew at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2004


I really haven't been up to much lately. To enumerate, sparsely and chronologically -

I was sick and sleep deprived for most of last weekend. Most of the week was spent running errands around Baltimore. Friday night was a get together at Crit's house, which was fantastic. My "wife" (**cough**, you gotta love the Masque...) was there, and just happy conversations were all around. It was refreshing too, to talk to a couple of other grads who are in the same lurch that I feel I'm in - home, bored, no job, unsure of what's coming next, etc.

Speaking of, my timetable to move to Philadelphia has been moved back...right now the hope is to be completely in by the first week of July. I think I'm still at the point now where all that has to happen is a check-for-key exchange. That, and getting my stuff up to Philly. Hopefully the key will come this week, and I can get some stuff up there before Friday.

These past few days I've also been going through all the stuff that I've accumulated over the past four years. Most of it has gotten either piled in boxes in a corner of the basement (moved there gradually from the piles that were originally in the living room after each successive move-out) and in boxes in my closet in my room. I've found everything from three year old duty schedules, to notebooks from junior english classes, to papers from high school that I was convinced I had thrown away years ago. A lot of it got thrown away, finally. I did manage to relocate all of my play scripts from the past couple of years to my room.

What I have been doing the most of seems to be reading. In honor of Bloomsday being this past week, I picked up Ulysses. So far, so good - I'm about 300 pages (700 total, approximately) in and I'm still going strong. I like books where the author is really trying to screw with the reader's mind, or redefine the conventions of the novel. Joyce seems to do it chapter to chapter - a new experience every fifty pages.

Other that Ulysses, I've been reading a lot of stuff on-line. The more interesting articles are linked under the section "Blogrolling" to the right on this main page.

Blah...life is pretty mundane and boring now...I'm already anticipating next weekend.

[Listening to: "The Boy In The Bubble", by Paul Simon from the album "Graceland"]
Posted by Matthew at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

Random Thoughts...

  • On the Tony's...The awards were decent this year. Everyone seems to be talking about "Avenue Q" as David beating out the Goliath. It's kind of refreshing that an organized awards show can still reward the innovative, fresh and bizarre. The best quote I've found describing the reaction to Avenue Q's winning is from Lisa Bornstein, at the Rocky Mountain News: "...the boisterous, uncalculated response of the audience. Awards for Avenue Q brought screams and shouts for the little show that could. Even once they're famous, theater people are still the kids that hung out together in high school." [source]
  • Also on the Tony's...Yeah, so Brían F. O'Byrne's acceptance speech pleaded, nay; begged and demanded people come see his show "Frozen." I'd like to, I really would. However, it's darn near impossible for me to come see it, or any of the other nominated plays, with the cost of Broadway tickets being what they are. Tickets to "Frozen" begin at $80 according to Telecharge. I know people gotta eat, but only having one price bracket?
  • On Assassins...Man, I have nothing but fond memories of Assassins from La Salle. Really kind of cool to have worked on a production that occurred before the production that most will remember. I'm still hoping that they release another cast recording from this version, perhaps one with "Something Just Broke" included. Assassins also suffers from the above complaint, with decent tickets being well over $50.
  • My season for next year...According to the Villanova website, these are the shows that the program is mounting for the '04-'05 season:
    by Yasmina Reza
    translated by Christopher Hampton
    directed by Harriet Power
    October 5-17, 2004
    by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
    adapted by Maurice Valency
    directed by Jonathan Carr
    November 9-12, 2004
    TWELFTH NIGHT or, What You Will
    by William Shakespeare
    directed by James J. Christy
    February 15-27, 2005
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    music & lyrics by Roger Miller
    book by William Hauptman
    adapted from the novel by Mark Twain
    directed by Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A.
    April 5-24, 2005
    More info is available here I'm kind of excited. Of the shows, I've only seen "Art" before, and that was in New York when Wayne Knight and George Segal were in it. I didn't care for it at the time, hopefully I'll enjoy working on it more than I enjoyed watching it.
  • I finally got the last of my stuff unpacked today from what I took home from La Salle. The boxes and bags had been sitting in our living room, making a huge mess of the place. I had gotten most of the essentials out right after getting home, of course, but the boxes of papers, desk supplies, kitchen stuff, and winter clothing remained. I'm a packrat, but I wound up throwing out a good deal of stuff that I'll never need again. I also found the remote control to my little television which is an incredible help...I had thought it was lost forever. It was a walk down memory lane, seeing all of the papers from the last year: duty schedules, flyers that were never posted, birthday cards, programs, maps, RA conference binders, Masque documents, scripts, notebooks from first semester...
The trip to Philadelphia fell through for today. It was a productive day at home, though.

Just very tired now...not sure what's up for Wednesday yet.

Posted by Matthew at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2004


Just a quick link tonight...http://www.pythonline.com/plugs/idle/index.shtml. In his words:

"Here’s a little song I wrote the other day while I was out duck hunting with a judge… It’s a new song, it’s dedicated to the FCC and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars."

Gotta love the Pythons...

Posted by Matthew at 01:37 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2004


Highlight for today was getting some small things up and running on this web site: the main page looks a little different now.

Also configured Gallery, which is a script that helps organize photo albums from large amounts of photos.

Photos from Senior Week (I took) and Commencement (my sister took) commencement are here: http://www.demizio.com/gallery/commenc050904

The main link for all of the galleries is here: http://www.demizio.com/gallery/.

Enjoy; more tomorrow probably...things are slow here for the most part.

Posted by Matthew at 02:23 AM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2004

Philadelphia, land of neon bells, miraculous sleep, and escalators that talk in the first person

I spent Friday and some of Saturday in Philadelphia. Took the train up Friday afternoon and met James at 30th Street Station. We wandered around the city for a bit, grabbing dinner somewhere off of Pine Street. Finally had the opportunity to see the Barnes and Noble at Rittenhouse Square which was incredibly huge and somewhere I'll need to drop by again.

Friday night was the Phillies game with James. I have never sat closer to a ball game than I did that night - 7 rows back on the 3rd base line. The game itself was fantastic - it was a beautiful night, and the temprature was perfect. Extra innings concluded with a thrilling game-winning home run at the bottom of the 10th inning by Perez. Incredible... The picture above is from the neon Liberty Bell swinging after the home run.

Went back to La Salle and slept at Graham's for the night. The couch in the living room, despite being seemingly identical to every single other La Salle couch, actually allows for a decent night's sleep. Whereas the couch in Katharine's the summer of Day One duty two years ago allowed for half-hour bouts of sleep, this one allows for a full night's uninterrupted rest. Woke up Saturday morning, completely refreshed, and said hello to Amy, Jess, Chris, and Scott on their way to the shore. I headed downtown to 30th Street Station.

The only real memorable thing about the trip home occurred at 30th Street, on the escalator going down to the train platform. For safety, there was a recording playing at the top and the bottom of the stairs. The one at the top was pretty banal - "Please hold onto the handrail..." - however, the second recording caught me off guard because of its peculiarity. The message ran along the line of "We're nearing the end of the escalator. Please step off at the bottom. Thank you for your cooperation."

I still can't figure out why the recording used "we're" instead of "you're." Why the strange plural of the first person? Is it more reassuring to disembark from this escalator with the idea that this disembodied voice is right there with you going along the way? Wouldn't a strong, commanding voice do a better job? And why wasn't the recording at the top of the stairs done in the same style? It struck me as odd because I've never heard any other safety message (I'm thinking Disney monorails, bus and subway recordings, and those Emergency Alert System messages in particular) recorded in the first person.

I dunno, just kind of odd. But on the whole, Philadelphia was a blast. I can't wait to move back.

Speaking of, I've kind of set a date of June 15th to move my stuff up and begin inhabiting the house on Dexter Street in Manayunk. Now, I'll probably come home and stuff for a couple weeks, just to beat the heat and stuff, but the 15th seems like a good date to get out of here and back into Philadelphia.

Additionally, I've set the date for a graduation party at my house in MD - June 26th. If you're reading this, then you're probably invited anyway - pretty much anyone from La Salle/CHC/my past is invited, as I'm going for a huge shindig full of randomness. I'm going to get a formal invite out to people this week with directions and stuff. Leave me a message on the journal with your email, or drop me a line by email and I'll get you the details.

Other than that, the past couple of days have been dedicated to random errands and catching up with movies I missed. Saw "The Last Samuari" on Saturday, and was incredibly impressed. The acting was very well done...Ken Watanabe and Tom Cruise especially. The intriguing story about honor and devotion was well crafted with the panoramaic views of the Japanese hillside. It kind of felt like a Japanese "Braveheart" with more philosophy behind the characters' actions. After seeing it on DVD, I was sorry to have missed it in the theater, as it would have seemed even more majestic on the big screen.

Saturday, I finally saw "In America". This was one I had passed up at the Ritz for a while, although I had really wanted to see it. It's the story of an Irish family struggling to adjust to the death of their son after immigrating to New York. It's a film about people coming to terms with things, and it's incredibly emotional. The two girls were superb, playing the two daughters. The kids are what makes this film - the film is very much shown through their eyes. One of the most effective devices to this is Jim Sheridan's moving full frame in and out of the viewfinder of the older daughter's camera: we're both seeing what is happening in the present as we experience what will become her memories. It's a tearjerker, which can be good every once in a while.

Finally, saw "House of Sand and Fog". Incredibly well-acted, but depressing in the end. It's a beautiful film - the shots are lovingly crafted, and the acting is dead on. It all works incredibly well. There was a review that I read that talked about the objectivity of Perelman's camera - that no action seems judged, and that things just are carried out as they would happen as though the characters were living real life. It's a definite compliment to the actors to pull that off, and to the director as well, as its hard not to want to be heavy-handed with touches to sway the emotional pool of the audience to a certain side. In the end, it's a great film, but a depressing sequence of events, although I'm at a loss to see how it could have been resolved so that all people could save face and remain on top.

Bah, this was a long entry...But it felt good to write it again. I haven't been typing much since Commencement

Happy June!

[Listening to: "Cindy", by Tammany Hall]

Posted by Matthew at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)