Unsophisticated Art Review: 10 by 10

I imagine a lot of art pieces start with a single good idea and get expanded with supporting content that isn’t as good as the original idea. In the “10 by 10” format, each of the ten plays is only ten minutes long, so there’s no time for supporting content — you just get the good idea. It seemed like that way at the Ten by Ten in the Triangle show we saw at the Carrboro Arts Center last week.

Technically, most of the plays ran a few minutes more than ten minutes, but no one was complaining as the quality was good throughout. The entire show of ten plays and intermission took 150 minutes. The set changes between plays was very fast, often less than a minute when they just had to move a couple of chairs. The minimal sets did forgo the extra dimension of set design in the presentation.

Speed Mating was probably my favorite. Written by a mathematician, it featured four cicadas in their brief emergence to mate after 17 years underground. The actors made the most of their wings and bug eyes to capture the stages of cicada activity.

Dead Cat was also notable just because it seemed like an exercise in how much can we put into a ten minute play. Narration was mixed with “live” scenes and flashbacks. It all went together seamlessly, but I don’t remember the message.

Misplaced Pirate Apostrophe

A week in Myrtle Beach and the only photo I took was of this misused apostrophe at a miniature golf course. Not quite as interesting as misused quotation marks, but it’s still surprising how many errors like this make in onto signs.
Misused apostrophe

At least someone else got a shot of me riding a wave in. The weather was perfect all week, and early June fell nicely between biker week and high school graduation season.


Parade Cover Quote Out of Context

I’ve Got To FightI’m surprised no one has complained about this cover misquote from last week’s Parade Sunday insert. Maybe I’m the only one that actually read the story.

I was interested to find out why this pilot feels she’s got to fight. Turns out she never says she’s got to fight. The full quote in the story is, “If I’ve got to fight, I’ll fight.” Quite a different sentiment. I know headline writing is a different job than journalist, but it seems like somebody in the review process would have taken Journalism 101.

Was it just a gaffe or intentionally misleading?

How to Get an Experienced President

Scott Adams discusses the value of experience in presidential candidates, and while I agree no job really provides relevant experience at being a head of state, I do have a solution. Just pick a leader the way sports teams do it: hire a head of state away from a smaller, successful country.

Is there any system of rating heads of state? I see Denmark is atop one happiness index, and Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is in his third term, so he must be doing something right. I bet he’d like to move to a bigger stage.

There is the minor issue of the constitutional requirement of natural citizenship. First of all, the constitution can be amended, and I know Arnold Schwarzenegger would be for it and probably Panama Canal Zone native John McCain. Second, the wording in the constitution is not completely clear. Section 1 of Article II states:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; …

It’s hard to parse that in a way that makes all the commas meaningful. The common interpretation is what you get if you omit the second comma, but what makes that comma ignorable? And even without that comma, the first “citizen” is not qualified like the second one, so technically one just has to be a natural born citizen of some country.

New Kitchen Backsplash

Three years after getting new countertops, we finally got around to replacing the vinyl backsplash with tile. Though we hired someone to install the tile, we still had to do a lot of prep and clean-up work ourselves.

The first problem was that earlier electrical work had left a channel cut out of the drywall and stray wire for the under-cabinet lights.

Backsplash Part 1

I placed nail stoppers where the wiring crossed the studs and rerouted the wires to exit the wall underneath the cabinets where it would be hidden by the lights. I repaired the drywall with nylon mesh over some thin metal sheeting sold for roof flashing. The rest of the existing backsplash had to be removed, too, because it wasn’t flat everywhere. Removing it caused more damage to the drywall, which I smoothed with drywall mud.

Backsplash Part 2

Finally we were ready for the installers, who did a good enough job, but had to come back to fill in some gaps in the grout.

Backsplash Part 3

Here’s the final product after reinstalling the under-cabinet lights.

Backsplash Part 4

US in Ford Car Names

I noticed that all current Ford cars have “us” in their names. Are they trying to subliminally suggest their patriotism? The current Ford cars are named Focus, Mustang, Taurus and Fusion. They even renamed the Freestyle cross-over vehicle to Taurus S.

I couldn’t find any other support for my theory. Only that a few years ago, Ford started using names that started with F, but backed off recently, such as in renaming the Five Hundred back to Taurus. Maybe they should have called it the Five Thousand.

Here are some other “us” names:

  • Allusion
  • Busy
  • Crush
  • Custard
  • Dusk
  • Facetious
  • Justice
  • Luster
  • Mouse
  • Muse
  • Nervous
  • Rusty
  • Trust
  • Unusual

Which one will Ford use next?