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8:52 am - Tues 7/6/04
The USS Hoffmaster

The USS Hoffmaster

(Tues 7/6/04 1:45 a.m.)

"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for."

Isn't that a great line? I think so. I really like the metaphor.

It is my habit, when I get home from work on Saturday and Sunday evenings, to watch "The West Wing", which airs at midnight on channel 9 here in L.A.

Anyway, a character from the show�"Leo McGarry", to be precise (Played by John Spencer)�had that line of dialogue during Sunday night's episode, and I was sure it was a quote from something, but I didn't know what.

So, since I work in a giant "resource center", as it were, I tried to look it up, but couldn't find it. But I thought I got close with this quote from Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274):

If the highest aim of the captain was to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.

Ching, coworker and fellow online diarist/blogger/whatever you call it, didn't think it was the same thing�I believe she said, "That's not the same thing at all"-- but I think she's wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong; I think it's exactly the same thing.

But here's where I'm hoping some reader more literate than myself will help me out; is the West Wing line just some really catchy dialogue (Perhaps the character's re-wording of the Thomas Aquinas quote? "Leo" does have a Catholic school background, after all), or is it, word-for-word, a quote from something else?


Saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last Wednesday.

I'm not always nuts about Michael Moore's tactics, and this movie was no exception (ex. Showing our "cast of characters" getting made up before their various tv appearances, in an effort to make them look ridiculous. I thought that was cheap; here's a newsflash, Mike�even "the good guys" get made up before going on tv). And I'm getting to the point where the less on-camera Moore there is, the better I like it; I was glad he kept himself out of this movie as much as he did, but even so, I could have lived without the stuff where he was harassing Senators, trying to get them to sign their kids up for military service in Iraq. That struck me as pointless grandstanding; I think he could have effectively made his populist point�It's not the rich folk's kids who end up going to war-- in a few lines of voiceover, then moved on (I did, however, like when he drove around in the ice cream truck, reading the Patriot Act over a loudspeaker, since apparently no one in the Senate had actually read this profoundly Un-American, un-patriotic act before signing it).

But stylistic quibbles aside, I liked the movie.

One reason I didn't like it when I thought Moore was taking cheap shots at Bush is that you don't need to do that in order to make Bush look ridiculous�All you have to do is put the camera on him, let him talk, and he'll pretty much do the work himself (Watching him mangle the old "Fool me once" maxim, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Here's "The Leader Of The Free World", who can't get out twelve words---"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"-- without falling all over himself. Forget "politics" for a moment�I'm just embarrassed that my president is a moron). And watching him look like a deer-in-the-headlights as he learned about the 9/11 attack was just flat-out scary; once again, this is the guy who's supposed to be running things (You might argue that it's "only human" to have been stunned by 9/11 as it happened, but I'm sorry�As President of the United States, you don't get to be "stunned" by national emergencies).

Once again, I was left thinking "And they impeached the last guy for lying about getting a blowjob..."; I don't know about you, but I think leading us into war under false pretenses is a little bit more serious than a little illicit oral sex.


Barring unforeseen circumstances, I'm going to see Spiderman II this weekend (For the uninitiated, my "weekend" is Wednesday and Thursday).

Trying to scale down my expectations�"It's just going to be a movie, Jim, not The Second Coming..."�but I'm expecting to have a good time (And it'll be fun to do something with Brad again. It's been awhile).


Last Thursday, I finally got around to spending that Land's End gift certificate that Mark and Jane gave me for my birthday back in May.

For awhile, I'd thought I was going to put it towards a suit.

Then I thought about a "Travel Blazer", made of some wrinkle-resistant material, with a bunch of pockets for your stuff (I like pockets for my stuff).

But I now have four different "dressy looks" for auditions, so more dress clothes didn't seem like a priority at the moment (I could use a pair of nice shoes, though...). And when I looked in my closet, I noticed I had exactly two long-sleeved casual dress shirts that are still wearable in polite society (I have a third that I should only wear to auditions where I'm playing a homeless person). And a pair of my favorite jeans had recently worn through in the crotch.

While I was nervous about shopping on the website, the Sears nearest me didn't have a big selection of Land's End stuff (And no suits). So, long story short, I did end up shopping on the website, and got quite a haul�Two pairs of chinos, a pair of black jeans, three shirts, and three white t-shirts�spending $21 and change over the gift certificate (I hadn't allowed enough for tax and shipping).

It was fun to go on "a shopping spree". I never get to do that, at least not without stressing out over the expense.

And speaking of expenses...

People have suggested, when I cry about having to spend money on audition clothes, that I shop at Goodwill and the like.

And I do�three of my four "dressy outfits" have jackets or sport coats I bought secondhand�but sometimes, it's just not feasible; Most of the time, I get called for an audition the day before, and there's not enough time to run around to three or four second-hand shops, hoping they'll have what I need. I have to "cut to the chase", as it were, and go somewhere where I know they'll have the item in question.

What I need to do is make shopping in second hand stores a part of my "weekend entertainment". There are things I imagine could come in handy as "costumes" or "costume pieces"�surgical scrubs, uniform shirts, etc.�that I could actually buy before the need arises (Being prepared for these things...what a novel idea!).

But for the audition today, I plan to hit Out of the Closet, and the Goodwill if need be. And if they don't have what I need, I'll swing by the K-Mart near work (Basically, I'm looking for a fisherman's vest, and maybe a hat. Though the hat isn't critical, cause I have a couple of baseball caps that'll work).

Anyway, wish me luck. It'd be nice to start this month out right by booking a gig!


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