video

Tcl Tcl/Tk, the mouse ran up the clock


Me: Would you love me more if my name was made up of numbers?

Aaron:

Me: What if my name was Java C++?

Aaron: Ooh baby!

Me: D’oh! I should’ve said Perl…

Aaron: Did you know there’s a programming language called Lisp?

Me: Does it sound anything like Python?

Aaron: *lol*

*******************************************************

Yesterday: Aaron and I went to the museum, visited the Mummy exhibit (they had a mummified weasel head!),  the butterfly exhibit, and watched a mom freak out her kid by pressing the rattlesnake button at the buffalo hunt display. Good times.

Last Night: I dreamed I was with a group of people digging out all the dirt around this enormous tree, its trunk extending far below the surface of the ground.  We dug for hours, maybe days, and never reached the roots. Just foot after foot of knotty trunk, bending, bulging, and totally misshapen.

After we’d dug as deep as we could before resting, I noticed a white, furry lump near the roots. It was Wesley, my white and gray ferret who follows me around my apartment, often so close at my heels he ends up napping with his chin perched on my toes. When I found him in the dirt beside the tree he was barely breathing, all curled up, paws curled shut, his eyes half closed. I didn’t know what to do. And I couldn’t stop to help him because I had to finish helping the group I was with as we… dug… a tree… I really have no idea what the purpose of the tree endeavor was.

I handed Wesley over to someone who’d been digging with  us, begging them to please be careful with him, try and feed him some water, hold him, monitor his condition and let me know if anything changes. I went back to work, returning to Wesley some time later only to find he’d been abandoned by whoever it was I’d asked to help me. This time he was so far beyond recovery that all I could do was hold him in my arms and nuzzle my face into his side as it eventually ceased its shallow rise and fall.

I hope the tree project was worth it. I think it was, but I still woke up missing my little friend.

Today: Woke up with a headache like my head against a board on account of three deceptively strong Sayonaras (sake + plum wine). Wowzers.

Tomorrow: Taking all three sections of the NCRC at WCTC starting around noon.

From “Closer To Fine”

Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I’m crawling on your shore.

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I’d been the night before
And I went in seeking clarity.

The Quintessence of My Superfluity


I live alone in a two bedroom apartment. Both bedrooms have amply sized walk-in closets. The living room isn’t what you’d call “spacious,” but it ain’t small either. Actually– here. How ’bout I just show you around with this old video I made several living-room-rearrangements ago:

(My apologies for the bumpiness of the ride in this video. Lots of swingin’ around. I like to loop-de-loop…)

The thing about my apartment is that it’s packed. Both bedrooms, both closets, every book shelf, every bathroom drawer. There’s about twice as much stuff in it now as there was in that video. You can’t even walk into the guest room anymore there are so many piles of boxes on the floor, table, mattress… And the living room? It’s now minus the black chair and plus two large ferret cages, another book shelf, an elliptical machine, and a folding table. It’s not enough to get me on A&E’s Hoarders, but it’s enough that I’ve rounded the bend from feeling frustrated at the clutter to feeling downright annoyed for having- and continuing to buy and receive- so stinkin’ much STUFF.

After a mental perusal of the contents of my apartment, I can now say with full certainty I have enough of the following items to choke a sleuth of bears:

  • Pajamas. Between the cutesy matched sets and the bulging assortment of over-sized t-shirts I’ve kept far too long, always under the guise of “I can wear this shirt to bed,” I have an entire drawer stuffed to bursting with clothing no one but Alfred ever sees. I do not need any more pajamas. Don’t anybody do me no sleepwear favors. I’m covered.
  • Lipstick. Expanded to include: Lip sticks, lip glosses, lip balms, lip shines, lip stains, lip liners, lip soothers, lip smoothers, lip plumpers, lip exfoliators, and lip healers. I should really count up how many of these things I have. I think the final number would shock me. Probably almost as much as when I counted up the pairs of socks my ferret Brodie stole (95) and I was faced with the reality that I own over 100 pair.
  • Socks. (See Lipstick.)

    Items my ferret Brodie has hidden underneath and behind my furniture: 95 pair of socks, 6 corks, 2 paintbrushes, a hair tie, shower squeegee, used kleenex, computer battery wrapped in bubble wrap, wooden key chain angel, and an Olimpia soccer flag

  • Lotion. I have fruity smelling lotions, medicine-y smelling lotions, lotions that smell like flowers, lotions that smell like seasons, lotions that smell like baked goods, and lotions that profess to smell like nothing at all. At this rate my skin should be so soft I should be able to mold it. Wonder skin powers: Activate! Form of fist-skin molded into the shape of rabid sharks!!
  • Body Spray/Perfume. I have fruity smelling sprays, medicine-y smelling sprays, sprays that smell like flowers, sprays that smell like seasons, sprays that smell like baked goods, and sprays that profess to smell like more expensive sprays from manufacturers whose commercials artfully encourage consumption, but not enough so to get me to shell out the extra cash to ensure it’s their product I’m bringing home. (Thank you, Clique. “Forget your troubles, c’mon get Snappy…”)
  • Purses. The first trouble with my mound of purses (I keep them in a 1′ high, 2′ deep, 3′ wide pile on my closet floor) is that almost every single one has some happy little memory associated with it, making it difficult to justify parting with them. The second trouble is that none of them would qualify as a “nice” purse, symptomatic of my preference for quantity over quality, making it difficult to justify keeping them. The third trouble is they provide hours of entertainment for the boys as they fish out rock-hard Starbursts from pockets I thought I’d emptied the last time I used some of these purses– a few as recently as 2006…– making it difficult to even declare ownership over what has now been re-zoned as Ferretland.
  • Jackets. Parkas, overcoats, spring jackets, winter jackets, raincoats, summer evening sweaters, zip-front hoodies; I got ’em all in spades. Not to mention the accompanying tubs of mismatched scarves (sets, hand-made, black, white, colorful, wool, jersey), gloves (knit, leather, suede), and hats (fashion hats, ski/skater hats, ball caps, berets).

What else, what else…

  • Books. This one’s tricky because I love buying/receiving new books. But let’s face it: With as many books as I currently have it’s going to be a miracle if I can find anyone who loves me enough to help me transport them if I ever move.
  • Nail Polish. I have about 30 bottles. I wear nail polish maybe– MAYBE– three times a year.
  • Kitchen Equipment. If it blends, chops, sorts, tenderizes, juliennes, vaporizes, etc. chances are I don’t need it. Have you seen me in the kitchen? I make sandwiches, people. Sandwiches, and occasionally brownies from box mixes. I think I’ve used my coffee maker twice since moving into my apartment over three years ago. If you ever catch me trying to justify the purchase of a Kitchen Aid mixer just because it’s on a super sale: Drop-kick me.
  • Skirts. Much like my nail polish collection, I probably own upwards of 30+ skirts. I wear one maybe– MAYBE– once every 4 months. The one I wear the most often is a knee length, loose-ish, brownish, grayish, cotton-ish Old Navy (I think) hand-me-down from Beth Werning. Beth: This is my favorite skirt ever. Thank you.

I’m sure there’s more- lots more- I could add to this list, but I’ve reached the point where continuing in this vein would cause me to become:

a) depressed at the sheer volume of useless crap overtaking my apartment
or
b) motivated to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning, and I don’t wanna.

How ’bout you? What do you have just way too much of?

Short-Sleeved Gill Tee


Welcome to my Nothing post. It’s here to remind me to write an *actual* blog post about Waukesha Civic Theatre‘s upcoming production of “Crimes of the Heart,” running February 5-21, 2010, which I am in and about which I have written far too little given how seriously rockin’ it’s going to be.

For shame, little Ruth. For shame. So now every time I see this post– oh the guilt! How it will eat away at me!

Until I write that real post. And delete this one. Ta-da! In the meantime: Vvvvvvlog.

ETA: Waukesha Civic Opens ‘Crimes of the Heart’
Russ Bickerstaff

The last full month of winter opens with a pair of local productions that explore the strange convolutions of human passion and the lengths to which people will go to pursue happiness.

On Feb. 5, Waukesha Civic Theatre opens its production of Beth Henley’s 1980 dramatic comedy, Crimes of the Heart. It’s the story of three adult sisters who reunite in Mississippi and confront the dark paths along which their hearts have led them. A larger-than-usual group auditioned for the show, resulting in a very promising cast. Donna Daniels plays the oldest sister, Lenny, who has been looking after their grandfather. Ruth Arnell plays the middle sister, Meg, who has returned from Los Angeles after a faltering singing career. Jenny Kosek plays the youngest sister, Babe, who shot her husband because she “didn’t like his looks.” Mark Neufang will direct the show.

Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Crimes of the Heart runs through Feb. 21. …

ETA: Dark Comedy On The Edge of Milwaukee
Russ Bickerstaff

The trip out to Waukesha is a bit further than I’m used to going for a show. I don’t make it out that far for a show, but as there was nothing else opening this weekend and there were people involved in this production who have done work I’ve seen elsewhere before, I was looking forward to the long journey west. …

Director Mark Neufang introduced the show opening night. The initial feel of it is very reminiscent of the type of fare that wouldn’t be entirely out of place on stage in a suburban theatre with a generally older demographic than one might find attending studio theatres in town. Things progress and we meet playwright Beth Henley’s three Magrath Sisters—the first of three shows to open in the next couple of weeks featuring three sisters.  Ruth Arnell, Donna Daniels and Jenny Kosek play the three sisters… a cast that has developed a really good rapport to connect-up with a very cleverly-paced Beth Henley dialogue. Between the three lead actresses and a really stylish Michael Talaska set, the production quickly becomes one of the best dark comedies to hit local stages this season. There’s Jenny Kosek at the end of the play dragging a lighting fixture behind her. And she’s contemplating the oven. And it’s a really funny, really darkly comic moment. Much of the action leading into that moment was executed really well. It’s not what I expected out of a trip to Waukesha. It’s well worth the trip.

Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Crimes of the Heart runs through February 21st. A full review of the show runs in this week’s Shepherd-Express.

ETA: Four Shows With Three Sisters
Russ Bickerstaff

My wife’s two sisters came over yesterday. The three of them were in the kitchen making cookies as I worked on bits of writing that I was attempting to get done. The three sisters motif was particularly strong this weekend, as my wife and I had also attended a show about three sisters the previous night. It’s a motif that’ll be carried out on a number of stages in the next few weeks. …

Now through February 21st, Waukesha Civic Theatre presents Crimes of the Heart— Playwright Beth Henley’s award-winning comic drama about three sisters meeting-up in a small hometown in Mississippi. My wife told me that the dialogue was quite true to what conversations between three adult sisters are like—particularly when the three are all talking at once. The three actresses in question (Ruth Arnell, Donna Daniels and Jenny Kosek) may not have a real strong family resemblance between the three of them, but the rhythm of the rapport between the three of them feels very authentic.

“All things on earth point home in old October”


Wesley and Brodie

Wesley and Brodie

Ferrets. I haz them.

Since my last post I’ve taken on two new roommates, Wesley and Brodie. They’re both pretty quiet, disarmingly funny, and don’t eat much, though they do take an odd pleasure in pooping in inaccessible corners, so there is something left to be desired.

That’s right, folks: I finally got ferrets! And aren’t they cute?! They belonged to my friends Nikki and Jessie who weren’t able to keep them when they moved so now they’re living with me. Er– the ferrets are living with me, that is, not the girls. Wesley is the white and silver one in the front, the smaller of the two, and Brodie is the sable one in the back.

I’ve tried taking some *action shots* of them but Wesley’s usually rummaging around behind something, and I can only ever seem to catch Brodie when he’s running off to the next exciting thing on his agenda so his pictures are just a lot of tail shots. And naturally when they’re doing flips over each other in the middle of the room my camera is nowhere to be found. I don’t mind not getting any good pictures so long as I can soak up all the cuteness in person, but how unfair of me to hoard it all for myself!

Pumpkin Hunting

Beautiful Autumn

Beautiful Autumn

I went pumpkin hunting with the family at the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago yesterday. There were no pumpkins left in the field to be had by the time we got there, but there were more apples left on the trees than a body could pick in a week, and the smell of cider donuts was everywhere, so if you’re headed there yourself there’s still lots to do. In the end all we bought was a caramel apple pie and OMG: delish. Their pies are amazing, and if you’ve never had one you need to plan a trip out that way this weekend. No Halloween party (the chatting kind, not the drunken kind) could not be improved by the addition of one of these pies. Mmmmm….

Unfortunately Bekah and Andrew were busy with Andrew’s family yesterday so they weren’t able to make it, but David and RAM were there, along with Mimi who was up from Chicago for a couple of days, so it was still a two car afternoon.

The weather was exactly how you’d wish you could truthfully describe a beautiful Fall day. Sweet, high clouds, clear sunshine, a light breeze. In fact it was so warm we walked outside for the better part of an hour with no coats on  and wishing we’d left our sweaters at home.

During our walk  past the apple orchard and the cornfields to the pumpkin patch we passed a small, stone out-building. It bore with some difficulty a collapsed wooden roof and a stone bathtub of sorts inside. The roofer in me couldn’t help but take a few leak pictures for my dad. You know how we do:

DSC04802 DSC04803 DSC04804 DSC04806 DSC04807

My parents took more group pictures but neither of them has posted any of them anywhere yet so I’m still waiting to see how they turned out. I will definitely post a few here as they come in, though. Such a beautiful day, such beautiful, smiling faces. I took some video during our walk. The wind underscoring the whole thing is a bit grating, but watching it makes me happy. :)

Theatre

Not doing a durn thing with it right now and I have to say I’m glad of it. Busier with life stuff than most Falls. Not seeing many shows either, but I’m not totally removed from the circle. I get out there every now and again.

Writing

I’m compiling some pieces. My fic. My non-fic. I’ve read it all so many times I can’t stand the sight of most of it anymore and fear there’s nothing salvageable. I do need to save something of it though, and have had some very helpful feedback from my two “readers.” But it’s decision time: Do I pursue fiction or non-fiction? Not forever. Just for now. For soon. For the time being. For this current project. I have to pick one or the other and run with it. Not forever. Just for now. For soon. For the time being. For this current project. Fiction or non-fiction? Where am I stronger? Ugh. I’m bored with myself just thinking about it.

Ugh.

Half Price Books

How much do I love that place? Oh God. So much. I dare you to prove to me your Half Price Books is better than mine. You will fail. Mine is the awesomest.

Within the past month I have purchased from them:

The entire series of Escaflowne on VHS (8 tapes) for $3
A&E’s Pride and Prejudice on VHS (6 tapes) for $2
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince for $1
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love for $1
Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia (paperback anthology) for $2
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird for $6
Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz for $1
McLaren and Campolo’s Adventures in Missing the Point for $2
George R. R. Martin’s Dreamsongs Volumes I and II for $2 each
More CDs than I can remember, none clocking in higher than $3 and most coming in at $1

The day they have seasons of Maude available for purchase is the day I make public my desire to speak my wedding vows from the confines of their Drama/ Poetry/ Writing/ Pop Culture aisle. Stand near kiddie lit, ladies: That’s where I’ll be aiming the bouquet.

squeee

Awww…

Ooh! Ferret interruption: *Squeeee!* They’re so cute when they’re sleeping! Right now they’re curled up yin-yang style on a pillow case on the top shelf in their cage with their teeny little necks intertwined so their faces are side by side. So cute!!

Wesley keeps getting up, running down into the bedding in the bottom of the cage to scratch, and then running back up to lay forcibly down on top of Brodie, who responds by yawning. At most. Don’t you just love it? If I didn’t fear rolling over on the poor guys in my sleep, or waking up in the morning to corner poop, I’d totally hang a hammock for them in my bedroom.

Happy Fall Everyone!

“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.”
Thomas Wolfe

Resting Before I Get Tired


I need to ease into this entry, much the way I need to ease into my chair for the next few days, so I’m going to start with the lighter fare…

Part I: Life Outside the Theatre, or: Life’s OUTSIDE the Theatre?!

Half Price Books comes through once again

Stopped by HPB this past Saturday before heading to Sunset for my weekly two-show workout. I’ve got a nice little routine in place for every time I visit. First I hit up the clearance section, then head over to the children’s books, then Plays and Poetry, non-fiction end caps, and a then the CD bargain racks. To each their own, but this system’s the one that keeps me going.

I picked up six neat-o music selections the other day, and because I know you’re just as interested in hearing what they were as I am in hearing how they sound…

  1. Mrs. Fun: “They Are Not A Trio,” feat. kd lang and Milwaukee’s own Flora Coker
    It’s been a while since I’ve been to Summerfest, so I imagine/hope Mrs. Fun is still part of the lineup there. Acid jazz isn’t generally my genre of choice, but I have to say I do always enjoy watching and listening to these women perform. And they draw the best audiences! I see from their website they were involved somehow in Phranc‘s “I Enjoy Being a Girl” (’89) but does anyone know in what capacity they worked together? Phranc. Can you imagine? Gosh– how fun! How– how Mrs. Fun… She’s a life lover too, you know.
  2. Loreena McKennitt: “Live in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts” (05/94)
    Every time I listen to McKennitt I think of this family I babysat for when I was in high school as every time I went over I’d pop in the mom’s “Book of Secrets” cd. The oldest boy was friends with my brother and he and his siblings were all geniuses, the children of creative genius parents. The mother covered about 40% of their home’s floor space in extravagantly luscious trompe l’oeil paintings that made you want to stick to the carpet to ensure her work would last longer. That family made me happy, just knowing people like them were around.
  3. Jem: “Finally Woken”
    I figure I’ve got to see what she’s all about, and I assume a better way to start is with the older stuff before fame entered the picture in quite such a potentially influential way.
  4. k.d. lang and the reclines: “Angel With A Lariat”
    Don’t know a darn thing about this one, just know I enjoyed “All You Can Eat” an awful lot and this disc was only a buck.
  5. Luscious Jackson: “Natural Ingredients”
    With cover art that screams1994!” I can only imagine this album will chuck (Taylor) me back into a desire to pair a small print floral dress with Docs and a cardigan. That was such a comfier time. Can we go back to that? Please?
  6. Nelly Furtado: “Whoa, Nelly!”
    This is an absolutely fantastic and fun album. Every track is at the very least enjoyable, and at the most downright super great. Too bad she got all trashy when the money started rolling in. *shrugs* At least we’ll always have “Whoa, Nelly!”

I also picked up a book of Spanish literature of the 1700s – 1900s. It’s great because the intros and biographies are in English, but the texts are in their original Spanish, and I’ve been looking (casually) for something like this for a while now. So yay for that.

*nom nom nom*

Okay– but have you tried the California Topper? OMG, fellows. Oh. Em. Gee.

Sun and Stars

I’m re-reading the first four A Song of Ice and Fire books in preparation for the eventual release of A Dance with Dragons. (No rush, George. Didn’t mean anything pressing by “eventual.” You take your time. Do it right. Release it around my birthday in March and I totally owe you a Coke.) It’s amazing to catch all these tiny details, these character subtleties, this second time around. I love- or hate- every character even more upon re-reading their stories, and am even more excited than I was before about book 5 coming out. If you are even remotely a sci-fi fan, a fantasy fan, a historical fiction fan, a regular fiction fan, or able to string letters together to form words: Read George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Amazing books. You will not be disappointed.

Matthew, James, and Joel: You have to live the life of a ASoIaF character for a year. Who do you choose and why?

Part II: The Remaining 94% of Last Weekend

JanethePhoolePhoolish Liaisons

Jane the Phoole came to the show on Friday night and let me tell you: I was ecstatic. I heard from a fellow actor that she was in the audience that night and I was instantly aflutter with nerves and excitement and– well and worry! You’ve got to be at the top of your game when Milwaukee’s official jester is present!

I look forward to seeing her every year at the Bristol Ren Faire, so it was a real treat to see her at Sunset– sans the usual regalia, no less. She said she enjoyed the show, which is either a wonderful review for us, or a moment of great acting from a great actress, because she was entirely believable when she said it. So good for us or kudos to her. Either way somebody still wins.

Bore me once, shame on you. Bore me twice…

“It is a hopeless endeavour to attract people to a theatre unless they can be first brought to believe that they will never get in.” Charles Dickens in “Nicholas Nickelby”

An interesting quote, that, given the fact that the four people in Sunday’s 2pm front row LEFT after the first intermission. I guess when people realize they can get into a theatre they may be faced with the prospect that they have no desire to remain there. Actually, I had no desire for three of those four to remain either so perhaps it’s just as well.

First there was an older couple on the end of the row, featuring a grumpy looking woman with an expression that’d curdle gasoline, and a man who kept sprawling out to find the best position in which to GO TO SLEEP during the performance. If you don’t like comedies. folks, don’t waste your time or money on attending them. No one will mind if you’re not there. In fact, most would probably prefer it that way, yourselves included.

Then there was a couple in their early 20s in the middle of the row. The girl was smiling and laughing throughout the first act, but her boyfriend could barely bring himself to remove his chin from his hand as boredom with our antics ate away at his soul. I know none of you ladies would ever leave something you’d already paid for and were enjoying just because your boyfriend was a humorless Philistine, but this poor young woman did exactly that. Take care, sister. This promises to be one pointless sacrifice among many, I fear…

“Ruth Arnell sat on a wall…”

Because people leaving at intermission should not be an event in itself but rather a hirbinger of greater ills to come, I proceed with caution as I dive into the rest of Saturday’s rather distressing 5pm show.

So first the light board reboots itself at the top of Act II just as the intermission music fades and the curtain opens. No lights, no sound, no action. Just… darkness. Darkness and actors stranded on stage in that darkness with no clue what’s going on, forced to stay in character and improvise as nothing continues to happen. That, ladies and gentlemen is what we call the “joy of live theatre.” It is also what we call “a real drag.” No matter– these things happen. The show must go on! And eventually– it did.

And then Act III hit.

All in all it was fine, and to tell you the truth I don’t think a darn thing happened for most of the act that anyone not involved in the show would’ve noticed. A key prop malfunctioned, cutting short a rather involved and quite comical bit, but again: who’d know?

Things are moving along just fine from then on until about 5 minutes before the end of the show when I’m on the upper mezzanine of the set and I accidentally catch my earring on my finger and hurl it down onto the stage floor below. An annoying, and clearly unintentional, attention grabber from the action in front of me, but again: these things happen.

fallingImmediately thereafter I’m supposed to run down a flight of stairs in 3 1/2″ heels to talk to another character. This is something I’ve been doing for a month down these same stairs, with this same actor, in these same shoes. But for some reason… For some reason this one time my right foot- my dominant foot for crying out loud!- slips in my shoe and I crash onto the stairs, landing hard on a rear end not nearly as padded as I’d thought, before sliding down four stairs to the sound of gasps from the little old ladies in the audience.

And let me tell ya, folks: That fall hurt more than my pride. I finished the scene and then burst into tears as soon as the set door closed behind me. Ain’t no pain like a pain in the ass. Luckily Jenny was there to literally *run* to me, throw her arms around my shoulders, and offer the kind of sweet, tender encouragement that only the awesomest among us can offer. She’s a gem, that Jenny Ko. A diamond in the rough.

The tears eventually subsided, the 8pm show came and went (awesomely, I might add), and much to my delight there doesn’t appear to be any swelling. (Leave it alone…) Still quite a lot of pain, though, as it’s tough for something to heal when you keep sitting on it. Work especially is a real bear as every time I go to get up from my desk I end up spending about a minute wincing and rising at odd angles a few degrees at a time, hoping that either no one is noticing or that they’re all doing me the embarrassed courtesy of pretending not to see. I’ll take what I can get.

Vlog Update

Finally! Geez louise. You know– I’d intended to make this video a good month ago but just never got around to it. I wanted to make a couple, make them kind of informative, include pictures from rehearsals, get footage of people involved with the show talking about why in the world they’d voluntarily get involved with something like this. Yeah. You see how that didn’t happen?

Video homework: What play should I get people together to read this summer?

“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Edgar Bergen

Tres Audiciónes


After a weird ’07/’08 theatre slump, in which for the life of me I couldn’t find as much as usual in the local circuit I wanted to audition for, I currently have three auditions coming up in January alone. Sweeeet! Let’s hope that proves to be a trend for the rest of 2009, eh?

And before anybody starts whinin’ or gripin’ or finger waggin’: I had a blast with the shows I did in ’07/’08. I’m not knockin’ ’em. There was just this weird chunk of time in late ’07 and mid ’08 where there weren’t as many options that were enticing to me personally as there generally are around here.

Below is a li’l vloggy vid about the stuff I’ve got coming up. Below *that* is a testament to my inability to present anything in a non-redundant fashion. (Basically I just fleshed out the video with what I actually wanted to say but which I couldn’t capture on video without it getting all  rambly and obnoxious.)

Actually: It *did* get rambly and obnoxious. Go figure. I cut it down from 14 minutes  of thinking out loud, so for those of you who’d feel bad pressing play on the video, but then not finishing it when you saw how freaking LONG it was (but would sit through it anyway just to be nice): You’re welcome.

The Part Where I Repeat What I Just Said In the Video, But More Wordier Like

The first show I’m auditioning for is a farce at a theatre I’ve worked with a few times before and have really enjoyed. I’m excited because if it works out it’ll be tons of fun to work on and loads of laughs to perform in, and that’s an enormous part of why I do theatre in the first place: To have a good time. If it ain’t fun, I ain’t interested. (Not that it has to be a comedy, or that there can’t be hard work, or anything like that. I *heart* dramas and hard work! It’s just got to be worth the time and the money I put into it, and some shows/theatres just aren’t worth the sacrifice.)

w-r-resized

Backstage for "The Philadelphia Story"

You can keep your divas and your politics and your drama to yourself, thankyouverymuch. Me? I’m looking to have me a swell old time. And a farce at a great place with wonderful people? What’s sweller than that? Oh man– and jumping from a period comedy in fall to a farce in winter? How fun would that be?!

I only know of one other actor who is also for sure auditioning for this one, but he’s very kickass and funny and all that good stuff, so if I could get into it alongside him and one other fellow I’m also crossing my fingers about, then DAYUM! That’d be an awesome time. :D

The next show I’m auditioning for is a black comedy at a theatre I’ve never worked with before, but with a director I *have* worked with before, so we’ll see how many butterflies I bring with me to that one. It’s a long shot among long shots for me, but I welcome the opportunity with open arms and a big ol’ grin. ‘Cause see– that’s the thing about auditioning for parts that are long shots: That audition may be the closest you ever get to performing in any of those roles, right? So you may as well enjoy every moment of it as much as you can, right? Right.

b-m-c-g-resized

Half of the "Wait Until Dark" cast... and C.J. ...

The final audition I have coming up is the Milwaukee General Audition near the end of the month. That one’s a bit tricker in that you can’t book a time slot for it until January 19th at 9 am, all the slots are taken by 10 am, and the audition is only about a week later. This translates to having to have headshots printed before you even know if you’ll even need them, monologues prepared which you may not end up using, (though having headshots and monologues at the ready is not a bad thing by any means), and if you’re fortunate enough to be employed *quashes waves of jealousy* then you have to ask off for that entire day long before even the call-in day on 19th, when in the end you may end up being free for work that day after all if no spots are left by the time they get to you.

That MGA… *tsk tsk tsk* She’s a tricksy mistress, no?

The pluses about the MGAs are that you’re allowed to attend for up to two years in a row, there are representatives present from 15-25 theatres, agencies, etc. (16 this year), and even if you don’t get any calls out of it you’re still being seen, and that’s worth a lot.

Just try not to get too bummed out when you find out someone with zero inclination toward acting and no availability that season gets a time slot, and you who act for a living weren’t able to get one. Ha ha, sucka…

I wonder if I could act for a living. Would it alter my perspective on performance to a point that I wouldn’t be able to relax in it as much? Hm. Maybe it would make me enjoy it even more. Hm again.

Question about headshots: I only have 3 or 4 copies left of my headshot, and I need a total of at least 16 by late January for the MGAs. I’m broke as Lindsay Lohan’s moral compass, so going out and getting a bunch of prints made- no matter how good the deal!- is probably out of the question for me at this current time. But I also can’t just pop photo paper into my parents’ printer and expect anything reasonably useable to come out. (Plus they’d be 8 1/2″ x 11″ instead of 8″ x 10″ that way, a definite no-go, and I don’t know if I trust myself with scissors enough to trim them.) Suggestions for affordable alternatives?

Virginia

ermine-2I had a dream last night where I was outside in the snow and this gorgeous, pure white ferret came running up to me wanting to play. She looked like a standard albino except that her eyes were black and her hair felt more like thick rabbit fur. She was crawling all over me, she came when I called her (her name was Virginia), and she was just the friendliest most charming little mustelid you’ve ever met.

I was with my Mimi at some point shortly after that and we were walking into a house that I believe belonged to people related to us. The house was in total disarray, no one appeared to be inside, and the back door was wide open. When Mimi went to look out the back door to see if our family members were outside, Virginia jumped out of my arms and started running away into one of the nearby bedrooms. I ran in after her and scooped her up before she could get lost in a pile of clothes under the bed. I stood there holding her and laughing, talking that silly talk you use with babies and small animals, when I noticed she now had patches of dark gray in the fur on her belly, had completely lost control of her bowels, and was bleeding.

I started crying and running through the house trying to find Mimi to ask her what I should do while this delicate thing in my hands wriggled and chittered at me. I didn’t know what might’ve happened to her before she’d found me and I’d only had her for a few minutes so I didn’t know if she was ill or had a history of being abused or anything.  Images and conversations began flooding through my brain about her previous owners and I knew they had treated her terribly and had tested different chemicals and drugs and things on her. Not for science, not for medicine. For ignorance; for spite.

In these visions I saw her poor little belly filled with metal and germs. It was sad. It was awful. This poor, soft, defenseless, friendly little thing, bleeding in my hands, was totally unsaveable. God it was just awful.

I woke up before she could die.

And now that I’m depressed over the death of an animal that doesn’t exist, and you’re wondering how we ever became friends in the first place, how ’bout a quick subject change so we can still part on decent terms?

Schmesolutions

New Year’s resolutions. Got any? List ’em in the comments below. I don’t know as I plan on getting into all that hoo-hah myself, but we’ll see…

You are collectively my “It’s Complicated”


Shot a… um… a “thing” today for a health show on Lifetime, but I’m sleepy and it’s not a terribly exciting story so I’ll save it for later. In fact- I’m saving everything for later. Screw story, screw format, screw points of interest. Bah! Bah, I say! I’m here, it’s late, I’m exhausted but still up. Time to traverse the web and bring back links for my readers and friends.

Will the links be awesome?

Naturally.

Should you like them just because I did?

Of course.

Is our friendship effectively over if you don’t visit at least two of the links provided?

Undoubtedly.

And so it begins…

College Humor

The first few links are from CollegeHumor.com, an exceptionally funny site. But no fair following these links and getting distracted by other links on their page. You’ll leave the rest of the links here feeling all left behind and lonely… and unwanted… and unloved… and a little fat…

Viral Video Politician: “A Presidential candidate does his best to get views for his video.”

If The Other Party Wins: “One thing’s for sure: the person you disagree with is going to ruin the country.”

Hardly Working: The New Girl: “Facebook changes everything.”

YouTube

Moving right along to my second love (after Barraco’s), is YouTube. Ah YouTube. Eternal fount of all things embeddable and mind-numbing.

Tiny Tim singing Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”

Shuga Lee Lewis singing Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire”

I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I laughed at and enjoyed that second one. And I didn’t even forward through it. Heck no. Watched the whole thing. Twice.

“A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound”

Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics: “Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…”

Milton Friedman discussing the concept of Greed on Donahue in ’79

The American Recession as Explained By a Canadian: “Much like breasts, economies can never be too large, which is why it’s important that they’re always slowly growing, and one of a few reasons why we’re so disappointed that breasts don’t.”

And so we can end this blog entry joining together in a few moments of “Holy. Freaking. Crap.”: Smart People Stuff…

Science and Technology

The Ghost In Your Genes: Basically says that stuff you do may find a way into your genes and get passed on to the kiddies. Wowza.

Children’s Faces As They Play Video Games: Minus any commentary from me one way or the other, or advocating or denouncing anything from the article itself, I’m including this link for the sole purpose of linking you to this kinda crazy video footage.

What Color Eyes Would Your Children Have?: I think this is how I’m going to determine who I have kids with- you know, in the event that I should decide I’m a sadist- so I’m guaranteed to have green eyed offspring. Because let’s be honest here: Don’t green eyes rock harder than any other eye color?

That’s it. I’m all learned/laughed out. You’re on your own from here.

It’s a Zen thing, like how many babies fit in a tire.


I recently caught up on several movies that I’m surprised I didn’t see sooner. I guess by now I should be used to the fact that I’m always a bit behind, but how long ago did “No Country For Old Men” come out and it was this huge hit and I’m just now seeing it for the first time?

Movie #1: House on Haunted Hill (with commentary by Mike Nelson)

The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it is not nearly as scary nor as cool as its movie poster featuring a hot dead broad dangling at the end of a death metal skeleton’s noose. Oh sure it’s got Vincent Price in it, and that alone is worth a few Creep Points. But that factor aside it’s so poorly written, poorly acted, and hokey in its production value that it really is only good for playing in the background at a Halloween party.

Viewed from that angle, however, it’s an awesome movie good for loads of laughs. I got a total kick out of it, particularly for having watched it with Nelson’s commentary running through the whole thing. For sheer movie/story value I’d be hard pressed to give it even 1.5 out of 5 stars, but for background entertainment value I’d gladly give it 3 out of 5. Accompanied by a black plastic cauldron of Al Dobyns’ wop it earns an easy 6 out of 5.

Movie #2: Transformers

I don’t ever need to see this movie again.

It was fun, a lot of the effects were cool, blah blah blah. I expected all that, and it delivered precisely to the level of my expectations and not a step beyond. Maybe if I knew more about visual effects or something I’d see more to appreciate, but as the average, uneducated-ish viewer: this is where I stand. Not impressed, not unimpressed. Just… pressed.

What I didn’t expect was that it was easily about a half hour longer than it needed to be, and that it was possible for me to become even more uncomfortable at the sight of Megan Fox than I already was. My perverse pleasure in her alleged acne scars is something ugly and petty which I thoroughly detest in myself, especially since I have scars of my own, but which I’m happy to feed as long as she continues to call the tramping around she did in most of her scenes in this movie the actions of a strong feminist character. Please…

Shia LaBeouf was fine, but I’m not as taken with him as it would seem from popular media as I’m supposed to be. What’s the attraction with this kid? What’s the pull? Selena Gomez would give up her Jo Bro for this little dude? Come on, Sel. Let’s get serious here. Here’s a curly haired, seemingly well intentioned kid who can’t seem to stop getting himself into life threatening jams. You can do better

In conclusion: Vehicles that transform themselves into towering, kickass robots from outer space are awesome and it’s all a great idea and I’m sure I’ll see the next installment and enjoy a great deal of it the same way I enjoy a great deal about other noisy summer blockbusters. But as with this one: it’s a one-time-viewing kind of flick and ultimately forgettable.

Movie #3: No Country For Old Men

I have to think about this one a little more before I write too much about it. It’s one of those where I’m still trying to decide if I loved it, or if it was just a beautifully well-made and brilliantly acted/directed time passer. I don’t quite understand how it’s possible to still be riding the fence between those two options, but here I am.

I will say… expand upon… whatever… that I thought the acting was incredible, and much of the cinematography breathtaking. Tommy Lee Jones has this way of making roles like this *his* role and was, as usual, a pleasure to watch. I’m still not totally sold on Josh Brolin in the Llewelyn Moss role, but Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh was far and away one of the most painfully perfect casting choices I’ve ever encountered in a tragic drama.

I will never look at shoe scuffs on linoleum the same way ever again.

Movie #4: The Good Girl

I’m not a huge Jennifer Aniston fan, nor much of a Jake Gyllenhaal fan either, so I’m still trying to figure out what exactly possessed me to pick this one up from the library the other day. Especially when I thought it was going to run the “light-hearted but touching RomCom” route. Not really a genre I tend to enjoy or watch intentionally, but I was all drama-ed out and my next disc of Battlestar Galactica hadn’t arrived yet, so I figured: why not end the day with something sweet?

G’head and laugh at me on this one. I deserve it. This is what i get for not reading the back of the box. Though to be fair the cover design on this one doesn’t really fit the genre. I still should’ve read the box(!!), but I accept only partial responsibility for being so horribly wrong in my expectations because seriously? That cover design? Misleading in the extreme!

I’m not going to get into the plot too much because I have so little to say about the movie that I’m afraid I’ll just give things away for the sake of saying something. I *will* say that I wasn’t that impressed and will continue to be unenthusiastic about Aniston and Gyllenhaal for the time being.

Movies #5 and 6: Clue and Waiting for Guffman

I’m including these because I’ve rewatched both recently– “Clue” I’ve rewatched maaaany many many times in the past few months– and every time I do I catch something new.

Just the other day I discovered a new conflict for Mr. Green and I mean to tell ya: It rocked my world.

You can keep your Shia LaBeoufs, your Vincent Prices, and even your Javier Bardems. So long as I’ve got my Madeline Kahns and Parker Poseys I’m good to go.

“Pantyhose are itchy. Itchy itchy itchy…”


Lead Pipe Boots

I just took 35 lbs. of lead to the recycler in exchange for two crisp fives. Fives so crisp you almost want to keep them just so you can marvel at how straight and fine a thing can be that’s hatched from the bowels of the government. Two crisp fives that bought me a gallon of skim milk, two boxes of generic cereal, a generic frozen pizza, and a plastic tub of grape tomatoes, with a shiny nickel and dime left over for my growing change cup.

“Going without.” My the things you learn to marvel at.

Last Night’s Dreams

I’m convinced my neighbors upstairs- the new ones- cannot weigh in at less than 900 lbs. a piece. Around 11 pm they begin tromping up and down the hallway, and don’t stop until about 3 in the morning.

Dream #1:

In my dream last night I went out in the hallway to confirm that my noisy neighbors were not, in fact, in my floor’s hallway since the noise was just so loud. My hair was wet and I wore nothing but a small, blue bath towel, yet somehow in spite of these facts stepping out into the hallway seemed like a brilliant plan…

When I got into the hallway I saw someone else standing there; a (non-existant) neighbor of mine. He looked to be mid twenties, gelled blond hair, wife beater, kind smile, a bit white trash, and thoroughly unattractive. And I mean really and truly unattractive.

As I struggled to keep my towel on what I noticed was a far nicer version of my body than could ever exist on a non-animated person, my neighbor and I began chatting mindlessly about the neighbors upstairs, how noisy they are, how annoying it is to be woken in the night by their loud conversations and music and stomping. Suddenly it hit me that here I am, dripping wet in a too-small towel I can barely keep closed on this upgraded model of my shivering bod, and this guy doesn’t even notice or care.

Now: because it was a dream I had the luxury of assurance that this wasn’t a result of his being gay, or of his desire to be respectful, or anything like that. This was just some young hetero dude standing here alone with some young hetero chick in a hallway in the middle of the night, not caring in the slightest that her towel is shrinking in direct proportion to how awkward she feels at being so completely and utterly ignored in spite of the fact that she’s 1) practically nude and 2) sporting a totally impossible body most women (animated or not) would kill to have.

***

Call it pitiful anti-feminism or whatever else you like, but then tell me how you’d feel if the best physical version imaginable of your gender was soundly and completely rejected as attractive, or even noticeable, by a similarly oriented member of your preferred sex.

What the heck am I afraid of? Am I afraid I’m invisible as a sexual being? Am I afraid there’s no possibility of ever being “good enough”? Am I afraid that even if I were an ultra-hot mega-babe I couldn’t… attract…

Dangit!

Paging Dr. Freud. Your assistance in the F Wing is no longer required.

Dreams of Being Naked: “In other cases, the dreamer is aware of his or her nakedness but no one else seems to notice at all… [and] just goes on about their business and make no comments. These types of dreams are often manifestations of the dreamer’s fears.”

*headdesk*

In conclusion: This is why I need the company of ferrets.

Dream #2:

The much lighter end of my dream was the part in which I was hanging out with Janelle S. from college. We were the only ones still in the room at some big hotel party and I was explaining to her that I’d just lost my cell phone. We both found this situation hilarious for some reason. Even funnier to us was when she got on the room’s phone with some FBI theft unit and started railing on them for not being more concerned about the loss. She’d cover the mouthpiece to mask our uproarious laughter, and then uncover it to resume her rant about “How would you like it if your phone was missing” and other arguments that only make sense when you’re dead asleep.

We tried explaining what was so funny about it to other guests at the party, but mysteriously enough no one else seemed to find it nearly as amusing as we…

Dreams of Lost Objects: “Hunting or searching for something or someone is related to the symbolism of the specific thing that cannot be found. For instance, lost objects or persons may relate to lost values, aspects of your identity…, unfinished business. You may have lost sight of your goals or direction.”

Other Stuff

I’m not really hungry, but I’m fairly certain that all I’ve eaten today was a single packet of Easy Mac. I guess when you’re not doing anything you don’t really need much fuel. :P

We’re off book for the first half of the show this Sunday. *tugs at collar with index finger and makes “Eeee eeee eeee” face at Rachael and Marlee* I wrote down my scenes on a piece of paper so I could memorize them in chunks, but so far I’m just “really familiar” with them as opposed to “memorized.” And you see how that could be a problem? One of the nice things I discovered upon doing this, however, was that I only actually speak on 50 of those 60 pages. There are another 3 or so where I’m on stage but silent (Woohoo!!), and another 7 where I’m gone daddy gone.

I haven’t even begun to work on the second half of the show. Dear God above…

I picked up MST3K’s Volume 4 four-pack of DVDs from the library the other afternoon. Not a bad selection. It’s got Girl in Gold Boots and Hamlet which I’m just sort of *meh* about. But then it also has Overdrawn At The Memory Bank which is amusing in its badness, and Space Mutiny, my fave of the four.

The only one I have left to watch is Space Mutiny and I’m hesitating to put it in because– well once I’ve watched it what’s left for me to do besides read my lines over and over and over and over and over, polish up my resume and cover letter… again, maybe take a crack at the dishes piling up by the kitchen sink. But then what?

Please, somebody who’s hiring and pays enough: Want Me!

And now, the adorable and talented Ms. Deschanel:

Isn’t she a cutie pie?!

Oh give me a home…


So many things to cover today I hardly know where to start. Oh wait, yes I do. I’ll start with JLo because JLo always comes first.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez Reveals Details of Her Pregnancy

Jennifer Lopez says she was “selfish” for the first time in her life while she was pregnant…

To which I can only respond with a resounding “bwahaha.” The first time, Ms. Lo? Really?

She goes on to describe how she told her husband to “take the reins,” giving further credence to my theory that she’s a domineering control freak since, apparently, she “held the reins” prior to the pregnancy. Last I checked a marriage was a partnership. What- she think she’s Ben Hur?

“‘I love doing things for you; if I’m not cooking, then I’m picking out a shirt. But this is the first time in my life where I’m just going to be a little bit selfish,'” she told Anthony, who turns 40 on Sept. 16. “‘I don’t know if I’m going to have kids again, so I want it to be a beautiful experience. I don’t want to have any drama. I want to just be smiling every day.'”

Listen, honey: If your 39 year old husband needs you to pick out his shirts, there’s something wrong with the both of ya’. And that’s very charming that you intend to have a smilingly drama free pregnancy. How many mothers did you consult to conclude that fairy tale was remotely attainable?

The article goes on to say that two weeks prior to giving birth Ms. Lo had a book of photos made of herself  as a gift to her 39 year old husband. You know– the guy whose wardrobe she chooses? I actually think this isn’t a terrible idea in spirit, but you know how when certain people do things, even things you really like, you can’t help but shake your head? I’m filled with an “it figures” feeling on this one.

But then, that’s usually what I get from reading about the exploits of Jennifer Lopez, so I really shouldn’t be surprised any more.

The English Language (read: “Ha Ha Suckers”)

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

Because there’s nothing quite as entertaining as offering up a big “Screw You!” in the form of irritating word play to hordes of school children studying this crazy language in classrooms across the country, we have the ability to create sentences like the one linked above.

I first saw this sentence a few years ago with a highly literate friend and I don’t recall that we ever did get the damned thing figured out to any degree of real satisfaction. To save yourself the mental trauma of deciphering the tale of the buff’lo, you can follow the link above for a full run down, or peruse my handy dandy summary (from the linked page) below:

“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” is a grammatically correct sentence used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated constructs. It has been discussed in literature since 1972 when the sentence was used by William J. Rapaport, currently an associate professor at the University at Buffalo. …

[T]he sentence when parsed reads as a description of the pecking order in the social hierarchy of buffaloes living in Buffalo:

… THE buffalo FROM Buffalo WHO ARE buffaloed BY buffalo FROM Buffalo ALSO buffalo THE buffalo FROM Buffalo.

Makes perfect sense!

Peter Fox

The awesomest video you haven’t seen, unless of course you’re one of the at least 1.5 million people who have seen it:

From the text accompanying the video post: “Das neue Video (Official Content) von Peter Fox zu seiner ersten Single “Alles Neu”. Ab dem 15.08.2008 in den Läden! http://www.peterfox.de”

Wordle

I’ve been seeing these word cloud pictures popping up with greater and greater frequency lately and finally bothered tracing them to their source.

The site is www.Wordle.net and the gist of it is you insert text, or a link to a site with an RSS feed, and Wordle runs the text or link through it’s black magic algorithms to produce a word cloud of the words used in that text or linked page, with the words appearing according to their frequency of use. You can control the fonts used, the layout, the colors. It’s a pretty neat little thing, really.

Naturally I had to make several of these as soon as I discovered the site because I do not have it in me to not interact with every eToy that crosses my path. When I’ve got things all wrapped up here I’ll make one using the contents of this post.

Oh- looks like that’s right now. Enjoy!

RIP: Isaac Hayes


Soul Legend Isaac Hayes dies

(CNN) — Soul singer and arranger Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film “Shaft,” has died, sheriff’s officials in Memphis, Tennessee, reported Sunday.

Relatives found Hayes, 65, unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill, said Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., the sheriff’s department said.

No foul play is suspected, the agency said in a written statement.”

Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac just finished filming a movie with Samuel L. Jackson called Soul Men which is currently in post. Jackson had better watch his back. If I were him I’d be shakin’ in my platforms.