Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

31 May 2004

Drinkapalooza

Nearly everyone bet that I would be the first out of the game, and as the game continued, I thought that just might happen.  I was slightly hurt, though, that everyone thought I would be first to bow. 


Now that it's over, I think I know why everyone thought I would be first: because I have the most sense.  I know where the Dignity line is.  I know when I'm about to cross it, and I know better than to do so.


These were the rules:  2 beers per hour for the first 5 hours.  3 beers per hour for the next 2 hours.  The game didn't go any further.  Disqualification occurred for the following items: 1) puking, 2) passing out, 3) not drinking the required amount of drinks for the hour, and 4) safety disqualification by the referee (Chris's adorable girlfriend Anita).


Paul drank Miller Lite.  Anna and Lisa drank Smirnoff Twist Raspberry.  John drank Amstel Light.  Everyone else drank Bud Light.  I drank Newcastle.  Bad idea.  That's heavy shit, but then, I didn't expect to win, and I thought, Hell, I might as well enjoy myself.  I mean, Bud Light is okay, but for hours and hours?  I mean, if one is going to make oneself sick, one might want it to taste good going down.


Anna went out first, after 6 beers.  I quit after 8.  Lisa quit after 9.  Jaime quit after 10.  Chris, John, Zack, Julie, and Paul all had sixteen beers... in 7 hours.  Julie cheated a little.  We stopped after sixteen.  Everyone except for Paul, Lisa, and me threw up.  Everyone else.  So Paul won fair and square.  Throwing up is nasty.  I don't care.  I never wish to do it.  I don't think I've puked from drinking since high school and I didn't plan on it this time.  Like I said, I prefer to stay firmly on the good side of the dignity line.


I went over to the folks' house this afternoon.  They moved in yesterday.  It's so cute!  So cute!  It's the perfect size for them and everything looks so nice already and my mom and dad and sister are all busy fixing it up and making it even cuter.  It was a very nice afternoon...


And then I got home and got my Shrew weekend update.

Frustration!

Aaaaarrgh!  Vanessa says she is getting email after email from the cast.  Okay, I went over my schedule extremely meticulously.  Vanessa made me a calendar with very specific dates that people weren't going to be there.  Every date on their conflict sheets was on my "conflict calendar."  So I planned my rehearsals around these conflicts (there really were kind of a lot when it came down to it.) 
So BRITTNEY AND CYN AND SACHI all called to say that I scheduled them on days when they had written down conflicts.  NO.  NO, I DIDN'T.  YOU DID NOT WRITE YOUR FUCKING CONFLICTS DOWN, BITCHES!  It's not fine, either, because I was planning on working with Brittney for a good hour and fifteen minutes on that final monologue.  Time we will desperately need.  I know this.  Then one more of the cast members drops out.  So I am short another of the old men.  I am so fucking short on old men that I'm thinking about reversing my firm hatred for AARP.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah.


Then my Petruchio wants to know why we're not having a read-through.  I emailed him back, "Because it's a damn waste of time."  Okay, maybe not those exact words.  But I am the director and I don't fucking feel like having a read-through.  Okay?  Okay?  Is that okay with everyone?


Happy post to follow.

30 May 2004

Great Movie!

This morning I watched Live Flesh (Carne Tremula) by Pedro Almodóvar.  It is so good!  I love Almodóvar.  I think he is one of my absolute favorite directors.  This is the fourth film of his I've seen.  Watching one of his movies is like being a little bit drunk.  It just kind of takes over and I feel like someone who I completely trust is taking me somewhere I know I'll enjoy when I get there.  But the important thing is the ride.  It's so full of beautiful music and bright colors.  I can't vouch for all of his films, but I recommend without reservation: Talk to Her, All About My Mother, Live Flesh, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.  Next on my list: What Did I Ever Do to Deserve This?


I still haven't finished the Olivier Henry V.  It's just so boring.  At least it isn't as boring as his Hamlet... yet.  It might get worse.  I am only 40 minutes in.


I'm going to make brownies now.  And then...


Drinkapalooza!

29 May 2004

Super Size Me

Bought an enormous $5 Nestle Crunch bar off a man who was selling candy to pay for "his nephew's funeral."  I bought it anyway, ignoring my policy about the barbarism of people who sell things in the parking lot of the grocery.  I kind of felt like eating the chocolate.  Of course, I promptly told my roommate to eat as much of it as he wanted: that I didn't need to eat it and I know it isn't good for me.  The thing about Crunch bars is I love the crisped rice and all that; it's the milk chocolate I hate.  I swear, milk chocolate doesn't even taste good.  It just kind feels good as you eat it.  I always feel a little gross after I'm finished with my consumption of milk chocolate.  I was thinking of how many different chocolate candies would be better with dark chocolate.  I would love dark chocolate Whoppers and dark chocolate Crunch bars.  A dark chocolate 100 Grand would be delicious.  The dark chocolate candies on the market are so few: Riesen and Milky Way Dark and that's it... and Milky Ways are so silly-tasting.  I do like Riesen, but I await the Dark Chocolate Whoppers.  The day they come out, I'm seriously going to gain ten pounds from massive consumption.  I'll make a documentary about myself called Sexual Chocolate or What a Whopper! or He Has Malted Milk Balls.


By the way, I don't think I can see Super-Size Me.  It just looks too revolting.  And I don't even eat at McDonald's.


I watched Of Mice and Men today and thought of Kristen MacLaren.  She did a scene from that in Acting II (the class I should have been in).  Why I didn't take Acting II that year is still rather a mystery to me.  I took Voice that quarter but that was it and then I switched my major to theatre and the following quarter took Acting III and Voice II. 


So long ago.


One of the actors I've cast in Shrew worked with my old friend Antonio Ocampo-Guzman.  I will have to ask him where and when this was.  I just noticed Antonio on his résumé yesterday.


I need to go to the movies and see a really good 2004 movie.  Maybe I ought to stick to the foreign selections.  I have been hanging out in the big theatres (Shrek 2, Troy), and the other movies I've been seeing in the theatre have been old (La Dolce Vita, 7th Heaven).  I need to see a good independent movie.  Big studio pictures are so rarely good, and never good this early in the year.  There's just nothing out right now that looks super-cool.  It is a dearth.  La Dolce Vita rocked, by the way.  That Fellini!  What a master.

28 May 2004

Alex Trebek

The roommate and I watched "Jeopardy!" today while he, as usual, played Final Fantasy XI. Video games. Sheesh.

I am re-reading Pterodactyls. The possibilities for casting are, um... I don't know.

I know it's gonna work out this time. 'Cause this time I am... This time I am... IIIIIIIII aaaaaaaaaam changing. I'll get my life together now. I am changing. Yes I know how: I'm gonna start again. I'm gonna leave my past behind. I'll change my life. I'll make it fine. Nothin's gonna stop. Me. Noooooooooooooooooooow.

That kinda looks like something out of Perestroika: I I I I I am the angel of Antarctica, etc.

You're the best man I'll ever know...

I am all about Dreamgirls this week.

I am now on the garden committee of our HOA. Our first meeting in 6/13 at 1:00p. Christ. How do I get myself into these things? Oh yeah. A guy. That's right.

Drinkapalooza has just gotten worse: Bobby Gil and Paul Schroeder are both playing, now. I'm so fucked. These people are alcoholics! I'm supposed to drink harder than them?!?

I am trying to find someone to go to Westwood with me tonight for Ashley's show. Any takers? Tito?

You are my dream: all the things I could never be. You are my dream. They'll never take my dream from me.
When I first saw you, I said, "Oh my. Oh my. That's my dream."


Now I am really getting excited about Shrew and Pterodactyls. It seems like all of a sudden, I am working like crazy.

It's nice.

27 May 2004

When I first saw you, I thought... that's my dream

Matt and I are writing a play this weekend.  It's a whole thing.


Tonight I am going to the Rialto to see La Dolce Vita.  It's the last night, and I've been working all week, so I can't see my friends at Ultimate Improv.  Break legs, guys.  I'll catch it soon.


I have a cast for Shrew.  I had to call in a couple of ringers, since we didn't get the desired male turnout.  Thankfully, I called in Matt and Jensen, who both fucking rocked.  The producers immediately loved them.


Casting Shrew was an interesting and new experience for me.  I am not used to my shoulder being looked over so sincerely.  These guys were all over me.  I was mad at first because they didn't have the sides to me on time, and so actors were hanging out for like fifteen minutes with nothing to look at, which was cool, except I expected to be out by 9:00p or earlier.  There was no reason for us not to be... except for the producers.


Plus John was going on and on thanking the ASM for being so wonderful and getting us the sides.  I gave him the sides I wanted last week!  Why didn't we have them the first day of auditions?  The day of callbacks is fine  if we're gonna get an exact count, so that we don't have to share sides among actors, but no, we didn't get that either.  I got four of everything with nothing marked off.  So I kept getting questions all night like "Where do you want us to start?"  I hate this of course: just go, and if you're irritating me, I'll stop you.  I always want to tell actors this, and sometimes I do, but then sometimes I think I'm being rude.


What's worse is the fact that I could have come up with the cast I have now in about an hour... probably less.  They pretty much all placed exactly where I expected them to.  There was, maybe, one exeption.  Unless you have actors coming out of your ears, casting is a relatively easy thing to do.  I mean, I've been at auditions where it really should have taken a long time and there were tough decisions to be made.  An audition where we're casting 15 out of 25 people is not tough.  Anyway, I'll shut up.  I'm trying to be positive, right?  Right.


Thank you to all who auditioned.  My apologies to those who didn't get the parts they wanted.  I think the most important thing for actors to understand when they go into an auditon is the kind of play they are in.  Shakespeare (and I) mean for this to be a very funny play.  So many people play everything so earnest all the time.


I talked to Linda today for a while.  I love that woman, and I love that she loves me back.  She's so fun and festive.  Every time I talk to her she's mentioning some kind of alcohol.


Speaking of which... this weekend is Drink-a-Palooza with the friends.  There will be a mandatory 2 drinks an hour and there will be people filming and a woman with a clipboard making sure we all play by the rules.  I would feel confident about taking the pot for the last man standing, but Zack Nass is playing and I just don't think I have a chance.  Julie thinks he's an alien that has alcohol-absorbant skin.  It's that bad.  But yay for drinking and yay for good friends.

Help me, Jesus!

Last night I visited with the parents for a little while and then headed over to visit Jeremy, who brought with him.  met us, too.  I haven't heard from Kevin yet about Shrew, but I should talk to him today.


I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while, but I have been trying not to think for a day or two, and it's hard to write when one is not thinking.  I'm also feeling a little bit sick, and have been for the last couple of days.  I think it might have been the nervousness of finding and choosing a cast and figuring how to make it work.  I am supposed to have gotten a schedule to the SM by this morning, and it isn't done.  It's no big deal, but I wish I had it done.


I cast more CSUP people than I thought I would, and didn't cast some people that I thought I would.  There is a long entry needed to go through the madness of callbacks on Tuesday night.  I'll do that if and when I have time at work today.


Much love.

25 May 2004

Private thoughts.

My boss Steve: [sic] "See, we are starting the year off good."

Aaron: "Yeah, too bad it's May."

Journal

I wrote in my manual journal this morning... and whew I needed that. The morning pages are gonna have to be a fixture from now on. I operate so much better with them. So, I'll post a blog when I get to work (if Esteban's not there) and give you all the dish on the SHREW.

24 May 2004

Sweet Transvestite

I have cheered up considerably since the morning.  Steve has left and gone to a clients (woo hoo!) and Brittney called to tell me that she will be catching a ride with Rick to the audition.  So one more cast-able male.  That's great.  I solved another problem with the males, too.  I am casting this girl named Star something-or-other as one of the males and it's gonna work just fine.  She wants to play a man and this might be a cute role for her.  I can cast her as the Pedant and then she can pretend to be Vincentio in Act IV.  But when she is not pretending to be Vincentio, she can be a woman, which might make the subterfuge even funnier.  One less male to cast.  Sometimes I'm brilliant.


 

23 May 2004

Auditions

We were supposed to have the bulk of our Shrew-ish auditions today from noon to 6:00p.  Not so.  We ended up seeing only like fifteen people.  Boo.  I called back 6 or 7 of them.  Grr.  Some of them were really crap.  Some were okay... like normal auditions, I guess.  But it was a lot of time in Long Beach for so few people.


came down for moral support and for that I was very grateful.  But we mostly just sat around while very few people auditioned.


Tomorrow I'm supposed to see at least 30 people in 3 hours.  That's twice the folks in half the amount of time I had today.  I hope it goes okay.  I am just really anxious about the number of men I'm gonna get.  I have seen two cast-able guys and that means I am hurting for males.  Plus my friend's little brother, who would have made a great Grumio, bailed on me.  Fuck fuck fuck.  I hope hope hope we see boys tomorrow.  If not I am so screwed.


So I am really anxious after this first day.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.


After the auditions I went to Diamond Bar and saw all of my group of friends, most of whom I haven't seen in like two weeks.  I was so grateful for them all.  I should call my friend Maddie.  I miss her.



Papa, can you hear me?
Papa, can you see me?
Papa, can you find me in the night?
Papa, are you near me?
Papa, can you hear me?
Papa, can you help me not be frightened?
Looking at the skies I seem to see a million eyes; which ones are yours?
Where are you now that yesterday has waved goodbye and closed its doors?
The night is so much darker.
The wind is so much colder.
The world I see is so much bigger now that I’m alone.
Papa, please forgive me.
Try to understand me.
Papa, don’t you know I had no choice?
Can you hear me praying, anything I’m saying,
Even though the night is filled with voices?
I remember everything you taught me—every book I’ve ever read.
Can all the words in all the books help me to face what lies ahead?
The trees are so much taller and I feel so much smaller.
The moon is twice as lonely and the stars are half as bright.
Papa, how I love you.
Papa, how I need you.
Papa, how I miss you kissing me goodnight.




This morning I woke up with Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" playing in my head. I haven't listened to that song in a damn long time, so I'm not sure why.
I had a dream last night... an anxious dream about the Shrew. I guess I always have anxious dreams right before I am about to begin something. That is because I don't really worry too much about it while I'm awake, but my body really wants me to hold my breath.
Jaime is so perfect sometimes. Last night after I went home from Found Space I didn't really have anything to do. I went somewhere and had a Cobb Salad and read Act One again. When Jaime got me on the phone she asked how I was and she could tell in my voice that I was having a pity party of one. She said "I'm sorry" and she told me she loved me. It was great. I smile at her knowledge of my moods. They're never very severe—this one was particularly mild, in fact—but it's good to know she understands them.

I heard a twenty-something use the phrase "do it" in reference to sex yesterday. I wonder if she refers to urination as "wee wee."

From cubbcake.

Yay! Fun!

UCAUTION
IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY IT IS ADVISABLE TO KEEP GIRMO2003 AWAY FROM FIRE AND FLAMES.

Username:

From Go-Quiz.com

22 May 2004

Festival of Found Spaces


The Found Space idea was something Josh came up with last year... it was an idea I fought against in faculty meetings, but I don't think either Josh or I had thought of this Festival as what I saw tonight.  It seemed to grow into something huge: something bigger than it was ever intented to be.
So for me, both evenings were too long.  At least one show from Act One needed to be cut from each night, in my opinion.  Or maybe it was all the walking to which I objected.  There was so much walking.
Congrats to _fuckhead_ and to foryourhealth.  I think you definitely chose pieces that displayed your own particular theatrical voices, and for the most part I enjoyed them.  For me the drawback was mostly the writing.  Most of the plays seemed in their early stages as plays (excepting the waiting room piece).  I would have definitely asked for rewrites from most of the playwrights.  I hate to be too hard on them: they are, after all, BA students, but that doesn't mean rewrites aren't amiss.  Even Say Again, which I think has a lot of great things happening, still lacks a real punch... it's not as horrific as it could be.  (tripcat, I think you should do some more writing in your spare time.  I dig your style a lot.)
So, here goes... the shopping play was very cute and very wise—a nice opener.  The waiting room piece was excellent and very disconcerting, especially being around so many of your relatives, Ashley.  The "fuck" piece was preachy, but I loved the excessive use of profanity.  It reminded me a lot of Krzystof Kieslowski's Three Colors: White.  Rick was great.  Matt was good, but it was Rick's piece, so Matt didn't have much of a chance to show off like he did in Mud.  I didn't like the school piece that Rod Vernon wrote.  It was extremely cynical, and I found that kind of arrogant and off-putting.  The Jesus play was great—hysterically funny and very well acted.  Joe Ngo was hilarious.  This was a perfect piece for you, Justin.
Jungle Toons was awful.  Awful.  I think the title is wrong, too.  Shouldn't it be Jungle Tunes?  I mean, Nathan kept saying "jungle tunes."  He says "cartoon" at the end when he's talking about death, but that was more like a single "jungle 'toon"; certainly not enough cartoons to be called Jungle Toons.  Nathan was damn irritating and never funny.  Joe was consistently funny.  Cow was horrible, but she's so one-note as a performer that it's not surprising.  I thought Jensen and Cyn were really interesting and occasionally touching.  The play itself was just a mess.  The problem with calling it absurdist is that it's just not funny.  It's obviously meant as anti-globalization, but the character you sympathize with is the white man, the CIA agent, the American.  You never really warm to the revolutionary, who's so bombastic and self-absorbed, that he doesn't even really see the plight of the South American natives (who he calls Indians!)  Bizarre.  And SO boring.  It made me wish I was watching a Jungle Toon: maybe The Jungle Book or even Tarzan.  I don't remember wishing for my own death during those.

Animated Oscar

The list for the Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations seems pretty set in stone at this point.  Disney isn't putting any more out this year.  Pixar is garaunteed a spot, I think, and will be pretty much every year from now on.  The spots seem to me like they will be (if there are only 3):


The Incredibles


Shark Tale


The Polar Express


I guess the alternates will be: Shrek 2, and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.  The ones that have already come out: Clifford's Big Movie, Teacher's Pet, and Home on the Range seem unlikely, at least to me.

Puss... in Boots

So, Shrek 2... not much to say except that Antonio Banderas steals the damn movie.
Shrek is a lesson in... well, I'm not sure. Is it telling me not to lose the weight. That someone will love me for just me? I prefer to look cute, I think. It's not easy being green and all of that.
This is suddenly a rambling running around with nothing to say entry.
I hate mondays. Hee Hee. I love the cat.
I also would like a donkey/dragon mutant child if anyone sees one on the road or in a WalMart. Scratch that: don't shop at WalMart. It's evil. Go to Target.
I made cornbread when I got home from the cinema and I'm not sure why.
Roommate is watching Conan O'Brien. The TV is always on here. It's so strange.

21 May 2004

Laughs

Foolishness can happen in the woods.  Once again, please.  Let your hesitations be hushed.  Any moment big or small is a moment after all.  Seize the moment: skies may fall any moment.  Days are made of moments—all are worth exploring—many kinds of moments—none is worth ignoring.  All we have are moments, memories restoring, one would be so boring. 


Right and wrong don't matter in the woods: only feelings.  Let us meet the moment unblushed.  Life is often so unpleasant.  You must know that as a peasant.  Best to take the moment present as a present for the moment. 


I must leave you now.


This was just a moment in the woods—our moment: shimmering and lovely and sad.  Leave the moment, just be glad for the moment that we had; every moment is of moment when you're in the woods.


Goodbye.


I finished The Red Tent this afternoon.  It was wonderful.  I recommend it to everyone, but I don't think I want to talk about it.  It feels really personal.  It's a book that gave me something I needed very badly at just the right time.  But any woman who was or is a Christian should definitely read this book. 


I'm so funny.  I get so that I can't even see to read because of the crying.  And then I burst out laughing at my own silliness.  It's such a funny image: me, alone on my sofa, weeping into a novel.  It makes me smile to think of it.


You should have seen me when the person who dies in HP5 died.  I had to put it down and mourn and then pick it up again.  I was so angry at Dumbledore and sad about [...] and frustrated at the injustice of it all.


But The Red Tent is like a Michael Cunningham novel in its power.  It's not the level of Flesh & Blood, but it approaches, and certainly on a spiritual level it's something altogether different from anything I've read in a long while.

Basketball?

I had decided to play in the game to which I had been invited the day before, but it was not to be. I heard from Aaron too late to play. Maybe it was for the best. I haven't played basketball in many, many years, and I have never liked it (read: I have never been good at it). Still, the exercise would have probably done me some good.

I am too full to talk tonight, and I had meant to listen most of the day anyway.

Love to you all.

20 May 2004

Me day

I decided to pay a little more attention to myself today. I am having a quiet day: trying to speak as little as possible and focus on the workings of my own mind. I spend so much of my time giving attention to others that it is important every once in a while to do this, I think.
I called work this morning and told them I wouldn't be in until 1:00p. I stayed home and read some more of The Red Tent. This book is feeding me in a really strange way. It follows the Biblical stories of Jacob and his sons, but it does so from the women's point of view. And so the stories of the men which I know so well are merely hinted at, as I feed upon the stories of these wonderful women.
I am at work now. But I am staying quiet and doing my work as much in silence as I can.

19 May 2004

Shrek 2

Shrek the Second opens today. I think I will go tomorrow or Friday... unless the Found Space thing ends early. I am going to the Found Space spiel at CSUP this evening. Not sure why it's called a festival. Is there food? Is there drink? Is there music? Are there costumes?

My stage manager for Shrowe will be Vanessa Carmody, who SM'ed Hamlet last year. I'm hoping she and I will be okay together. At least we know one another, so there's not a lot of confusion where we sing songs not sung by Deborah Kerr in The King and I. Anyway, I am just saying okay to her hiring and then hoping all works out for the best. The meeting went excellently last night, so I am very much looking forward to Sunday.

Quote of the Day

When she spoke of that time, Leah said, "The flavor of gratitude is like the nectar of the hive."

There can be quotes of the day now that I am reading again. Hey, James, remember when there was a French word of the day? Parpluie, imperméable, pimplemousse... So fun.

So, I'm reading The Red Tent and I'm loving it. I've already gotten misty once or twice and I just finished Chapter Two. (Leave it to me to start crying at the beginning of a book.)

18 May 2004

DAMN

I had a whole update, but LiveJournal rebelled against me posting it, so none of you get to know what went on today in my life.

Dammit.

I don't know about this Zamora and the calling back of people. He said he was on top of it, but... Anyway, auditions will be Sunday from noon on and Monday from 7:00p on, so if you don't have an audition time, call me and tell me, and I'll schedule you myself or just show up. I'll work you in. Hell, you know the director. It's gotta count for something, right?

Rehearsals will tentatively be Mon-Thu 6:30-10p beginning 6/1. Show opens 7/8.

Whew

Had to sign off quickly last time. Steve returned to work. Boo. Now he's outside talking to someone I don't know and has been for at least fifteen minutes. Hmm.
La la la.
Tonight I am actually meeting with John & Nick about Shrew. Yay. There's so much to talk about.

When the Earth was still flat and clouds made of fire...

Yesterday, I simply bit the bullet and decided to go out alone.  I am used to going to movies solo, and I guess I've driven as far as Santa Monica alone to do this, but for some reason I had felt really strange about going to the AMPAS screening of Frank Borzage's 7th Heaven without some friend or other.  It wasn't as hard as I had imagined, and, in fact, was kind of nice.  Hey, if you're alone, there's no one to cock-block, right?


7th Heaven is a beautiful, transcendent film. 

17 May 2004

Do you take this man?

This morning, as I look at pictures of gays and lesbians getting married legally for the first time in this country, I get a bit emotional.  Today Massachusetts forced the U.S. to become only the fourth nation in the world where marriage is allowed for homosexuals (The Netherlands, Belgium, and 3 of Canada's provinces are the others).  But watching these people marry after waiting for so long is really touching and beautiful.  It makes my heart so happy and full.


Yesterday, I went to see James Snyder in a show at The Court Theatre on La Cienega.  It was a Ray Bradbury show called Let's All Kill Constance.  It was SO awful.  Just awful.  I was supposed to hang out with James afterward, but he got surprised by some family friends and had to have dinner with them, so I drove down to Culver City, even though it was only 5:30p.  I found somewhere to sit and worked some more on Shrew.  There are so many questions to ask this early in the process, and not having a cast yet is so strange.  I don't know why stage pictures are so difficult for me without a cast.  (Though, maybe not having seen the space is contributing to this problem.) 


The meeting with Linda and Ashley went well enough, though there isn't much result from the meeting, except that I kind-of decided I really want to do Pterodactyls, if the department can handle that enormous set-piece.  So I'm leaving this up to them.  If they can handle it, I'll do Pterodactyls, which I'm not sure I completely get (!), and if they can't handle my fossil, I'll do Valparaiso.


The food Linda fed Ashley and me was so salty that it kept me up last night.  Seriously I was almost sick at like 3:00a.  Gross.

16 May 2004

The Land That Time Forgot

[British Accent:] "Are you married?"


"No."


"Are you a lesbian?"


Yesterday, this quote from Four Weddings and a Funeral came to me just as I was pulling in to my parking space in our garage.  I was laughing quite heartily to myself, that is until I met Margarita, who is on the HOA board, in the parking garage.  Instead of ceasing my laughter, I naturally told her what I was so amused about.  She remembered the quote too, and we both had a good laugh about it.  Then she says, "I guess we get inquisitive like that when we get old."  I'm thinking, "how true."


Yesterday morning, the board hosted a potluck brunch where the owners could come and discuss revamping the garden areas in our building.  It's basically overgrown with these elephant-ear plants that soak up water as though we live in the Amazonian rainforest.  Its resemblance to the set of Jurassic Park is uncanny.  I had no time to bake, and since I still have no idea what a potluck brunch is, I found a box of Jiffy cornbread in my cupboard, added eggs and milk, baked it for 20 minutes, lined a bowl with a towel, and took corn muffins as my date to the brunch.  I felt cheap, but they were all gone when I left, so they must have been good.


Dean (HOA board president) still lives with that absolutely gorgeous Asian guy who I saw him with before.  The Asian guy is definitely a 'mo, but I'm actually not sure about Dean anymore.  I thought they were a couple, but maybe they're not.  Who knows, anymore with people.  I just need to find out of it's a two-bedroom unit or only a one-bedroom.  If it only has one bedroom we'll all know what's going on. (Okay, just me.)


I got my dumb ass signed up for some committee to work on a design for the garden area.  But I want to be involved, I guess.  Otherwise, idiots will have a say.  If I'm on the committees, I can veto the idiots.  Not too many people went to this meeting.  Jim the treasurer went; he's decided we can be friends now that he knows I work in education.  Sonny & Rosie went, of course, and Robert Delgadillo (my friend).  And far too may old men were there as well.  Octagenarians with no teeth should not go to these meetings.  They just hold shit up.  We can send them the minutes.  Do we really have to listen to them natter on about cracks in their flooring?  I don't care about that shit.  We were there for a meeting about the common garden areas.  Oh well.  When he was talking, I opened a brochure on water-conserving California-native plants, so I wasn't really listening anyway.


Last night I finished Eats, Shoots & Leaves, which I recommend to anyone who is fascinated by punctuation.  It's a great book.  I am on a reading kick again.  I think I will do some more this week.  I also watched the first two hours of the 1962 Sidney Lumet film of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night.  After two hours I went to bed.  One can only take so much O'Neill before one wants to kill one's self, and this three hour-long descent into Hell has no intermission like it would in a theatre.  Hepburn is great, and I liked Jason Robards and Dean Stockwell, but England can have Ralph Richardson back.  I hate his acting style and always have.  So much posturing and boredom.  Blech.


My coffee's cold.  I'm off to the grocery.


I'm not gonna leave ya.  There's no way I will.  And I am telling you that I'm not going.  You're the best man I'll ever know.  There's no way I can ever ever go.  No no no no way.  No no no no way I'm livin' without you.  I'm not livin' without you, not livin' without you.  I don't wanna be freee.  I'm stayin', I'm stayin', and you, and you, and you: your'e gonna love me.  You're gonna love me.  Yes.  Love me.  Love me.  Love me.  Love me.  Love me.  You're gonna loooooooooooooooooove.  Me.

15 May 2004

I Told You to Go Before We Left

After Troy, Wahima and I went down to the Wilshire Theatre to see Urinetown: the Musical.


This was one of the best and funniest shows that I have ever seen.  If you live in Los Angeles, you need to get yourself some tickets to this show.  I'm actually tempted to go again.  It is so fucking great.  I was laughing my ass off.  I was hollering in the middle of the show.  It is SO FUNNY.


This review isn't very thorough so far.  Sorry.


So there's this town, and there's a water shortage, and the water is rationed, so the denizens of this town have to pay to use the public privy.  The costumes are filthy, and Urinetown looks and feels like a Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht musical from the early Twentieth Century.  It's got the same kind of Brechtian conceit to it, too.  There's a narrator who announces that this is a show and this is Act One and you'll find out lots more in Act Two.  The lead guy (I'm actually not sure of his name because they announced that an understudy was coming in and Wa and I weren't sure for which character.)  But the lead guy is brilliant.  He has the most beautiful, clear (read: non-Broadway standard) voice.  The other leads are all very good as well, but the main thing is that this show is fucking funny.  The music is fairly good.  Wahima and I were crazy only about a couple of songs.  My favorites were "It's a Privilege to Pee," "Run, Freedom, Run," and "Snuff that Girl."  The songs are funny, too, but the book: the book is hilarious.


Go.  Pay the money and go.  Seriously.  It's good fucking theatre. 


KIM, I'm talking to you too.  Go.

Trojan: For your pleasure.

The reason I fell in love with The Iliad as a small child was the amount of meddling and interaction the Greek deities had in the lives of the folks on Earth. Each god and goddess had their favorite people and several loyalties.  It was a kind of "Melrose Place" in the sky, and the deities fought amongst each other, using the humans as pawns in some kind of eterna; heavenly power play.  I loved this about The Iliad, possibly because I thought gods that I could actually see and who would do shit for me were a really good deal, or possibly because I just dug the idea of competing with only eleven other people for power.


Troy, as you might have heard, does not have a single actor or actress playing a Greek deity.  The folks onscreen seem to mention these gods incessantly, but there is not a god to be found in this movie.  The result of this (in my estimation) miscalculation on the part of David Benioff, the screenwriter, is that the characters in the film come across to us as weird-o religious people who believe in about a million gods, none of whom we, in our infinite modern wisdom, believe in a bit.  The problem with this is that we are distanced from the characters considerably.  They make decisions based on these gods, and we're all thinking, "Haven't they heard of Jesus?" or, "Haven't they read Neitzsche?"  'Cause I have.  So I don't connect with these crazy, weird-o religious characters.  They seem old to me, ancient even, and this is death to a movie that is set in Ancient Greece.


The movie isn't awful.  I was rarely bored.  James Horner's score is awful, and some of the dialogue is just atrocious: Helen says, at one point, "Don't play with me... don't play," and I'm thinking, "Couldn't she have said 'toy?'"  The makeup is outstanding.  Pay attention for very small details that were all attended too by the makeup artist, who deserves an Oscar nomination for sure.  I wanted to mention the pronunciation of some of the names: Shakespearean actors have been pronouncing Priam as Pry-am forever.  In Troy, it's Pree-am (like preemptive strike).  And Menelaus, who we've all been taught is called Mene-lay-us, is pronounced Mene-low-us, which doesn't even look right if you think about it.  And did we have to make Patroclus, so clearly Achilles lover and confidant in The Iliad, into his cousin.  Everything was so very heterosexual.  I was so relieved.  No homos in this movie.


Brad Pitt is, in my estimation, quite good.  He is never overacting and mostly sturdy in the part.  He is capable of so much more as an actor, though, but I suppose this is not the movie for that.  This is a movie where he is the action hero.  Eric Bana is overdone.  I wished that sometimes he would deliver some of his lines without yelling.  No siree.  That was not to be.  Orlando Bloom is gorgeous and shirtless, and I suppose he's alright in the part, but Paris is such a fucking wimp that he's really hard to love.  The audience I saw it with was laughing out loud at him when he tried to convince Helen that he could support them by hunting for rabbit and deer.  We were seriously vocally laughing at him .  Brian Cox is the worst actor in the movie, easily.  He is huge, bombastic, and chews through scenery as if it's the last role he'll ever get.  I usually like him in films: L.I.E., Adaptation., even X2; but in this movie, he's horrible... just atrocious.  Peter O'Toole is fair, I guess, but he's just kind of a quivering old man through most of the movie.  Saffron Burrows is gorgeous.  Did I mention that?  She is just beautiful throughout the whole film.  Brendan Gleeson, Sean Bean, and Julie Christie were in the movie too, but not for very long.


Great action sequences.  At least 3 or 4 one one fights that rock.  Long running time (2:45), but not too long (it took the Greeks 10 years in Homer).  Mainly I just didn't care about these people (except for Achilles).  There is a thing about movies like this, though, and war movies in general, I think.  For me, when grown men get emotional with one another, I find it fairly moving.  I have a thing about fathers and sons anyway, but when grown men tell each other that they love them, I warm considerably to the action onscreen.

14 May 2004

13 May 2004

L'Apostrophe

I bought a book tonight called Eats, Shoots & Leaves, and I learned a great deal from the first 60 pages.  It's about punctuation, and the first paragraph is dedicated entirely to the apostrophe.  The author did not, however, answer the burning question of using the word "o'clock" in titles.  (Is it "O'Clock," "o'Clock," or "O'clock"?)   Perhaps that will be in a chapter surrounding capitalization.


The author, one Lynne Truss, has a very dry sense of humor and I find her VERY funny as she exclaims with sadness the deteriorating use of English punctuation. ("XMA'S TREES" indeed.)


There was a wonderful singer/pianist in the bookstore who caught me quite off guard with his rendition of the little-known Billy Joel tune "And So It Goes."  One of my old favorites.  He was also quite cute.  I am such a sucker for the piano.


Who can say if I've been changed for the better?


I do believe I have been changed for the better.


Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.


I watched Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! this evening.  I know, I know: I'm gay.  It was cute, and really very sweet, and one can't watch The Diary of Anne Frank every night.  The screenwriter was really very clever, and it was directed by the brilliant mind who brought us the original Legally Blonde.  The best thing about it, I think, was how it captured the whole idea of Hollywood, and what it's like, perfectly.  The deleted scenes even involve a cameo by Paris Hilton.  Nathan Lane and Sean P. Hayes steal scenes, and Topher Grace is really great and very funny.  The only one I didn't believe is the lead girl: Kate Bosworth.  I don't know who this chick is, but she got on my nerves.


When I got to work this morning my boss was pissed at me.  He had told the unabomber that he was going to rip me a new one when I got there.  As a side note, I had done absolutely nothing wrong, but that is, I suppose, neither here nor there, since the boss was mad anyway.  Steve must be intimidated by me or something, though, because he didn't even come close to yelling, and once he told me what he wanted, I got right to it.  As a matter of fact, I was done in an hour.  In truth, I think, he was really angry at himself for not doing his own job, which he evidently did last night after I left.  This "doing of his actual job" caused him to realize how behind he was, which caused him (unnaturally) to get pissed at me.



Fuck Steve.  Seriously.  He is too much of a pussy to even come out and say he's mad at me.  Fuck him.  I'm not the one reading email all fucking day.  Get off the fucking internet and do a tax return once in a while, asshole, and then you won't have to get all heated with me.  Fucker.


I also bought The Red Tent at the bookstore for $4.00!!!  Woo hoo.  On my way home I resisted the urge to get coffee or food, and wisely saved the money.  Gas is $2.24 at the corner Union pump.

12 May 2004

Canadian Idol

Long story about singing.

So, at the voice intensive we had something called "circle of sound" every week at the end of the week before we broke for the weekend.  So Friday evening around 4:00p all of the students and the faculty met in the main theatre and we had some kind of ritual.  For the third week, on Thursday night, Smukler told us that when we woke up on Friday morning, there would be three words and that we were to remember them.
We laughed.
Sure enough, when I woke on Friday morning, there they were.  I remembered them and then at Circle of Sound, we were supposed to write down these three words separately.  Mine were STRAIGHT and BABY and something else (I can't remember... damn memory).  Everyone else had their 3 words, too.  Smukler then told us that one was an exterior word and one was an interior word and the other word was a word for our voice (or something like that) and anyway, we were to write a song based on one of the words.
"A song?  Lyrics AND music?" we asked.  "Yes," said he.  (Actually, I didn't talk.  I figured everyone else was so inquisitive that I would just wait for instructions.)  Mind you I was terrified.  I had no desire to write a song at all, but I did it... lyrics AND music.  It even rhymed.  He couldn't have given us more than 10 minutes total.  It was quite the task.  After we were all done he asked us to put it down and come back to the circle and hold hands.  Most of us were crying.  The song had been based on one of these powerful words that had come to us during sleep... we had been working deeply for 3 weeks and we were all wading through serious shit at this point.
After we were all in the circle, Smukler looked at the girl to his left and said, "You go first."  She just looked at him.  "What did he mean?  First for what?"  None of us knew and yet we all knew.  "You are going to sing your songs for us," said he.
I cannot tell you the wave of fear that swept through this room.  I cannot TELL you.
And we all (except one participant) sang these songs that we had written.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced... and one of the most terrifying.  We must have all had so much TRUST that there would be no judgment!  When I think on it now... I don't trust anyone like that anymore.
But a teacher later said to me that singing is an experience that is much more heightened and risky than just speaking a poem or a song.  To SING it is to throw caution to the wind.

11 May 2004

I'm Drinking Now.

I still hadn't heard from Zamora, so this afternoon I called his producing partner, Nick, and kinda told him my situation. Nick was in some kind of shock and told me if it ever happens again to feel free to call him. Zamora called me within an hour and gave me dates for the auditions and answered some of my questions. The questions pile up as the days go by. The auditions draw closer. I am almost finished cutting the script. I am reading it every day, now, and trying to make it work in my head before I cast it.

AUDITIONS FOR THE TAMING OF THE SHREW directed by Me:
5/23 (Sun) & 5/24 (Mon). Callbacks will be on Tuesday evening: May 25. To make an appointment to audition, please call 310-995-PRZM(7796). But wait a day or two... I don't think all the info is on the voice mail, and the Backstage West listing hasn't hit newsstands, so no one knows about it yet except for you guys.

Just Dandy

Why is it that a phone call from Andrew can make me feel so strange? Just listening to his voice right now made me miss him terribly. Mind you, I didn't answer the phone when he called, I just let it go to voice mail. And I don't really want to call him back... because I don't want to miss him. But he promised to call again tomorrow and his voice sounds clear and sane and not drugged-up like usual.

I don't know. Why do I get like this?

I love the Supreme Court!

I'm listening to reports on Justice Harry Blackmun's papers. He said that at some point during the world series in the Nixon era, the clerks sent in a memo saying

"Vice President Agnew has resigned. Mets 3. Reds 2."

How Oscar Wilde is this?

News

This is for everyone, but will be especially enjoyed by Justin, the most cruel of my friends.  You must add Defamer to your friends list.  I just got this news item from them and laughed my ass off.  Defamer is a gossip rag for industry types that basically just makes fun of celebrities. I think it's a lot of fun.


Dick Van Dyke Returns: Thanks to CBS, Your Grandparents Can Now Die In Peace


CBS: Not For The Faint Of HeartThe retirement community halls haven't seen this much electricity since Double Tapioca Night. The Op-Ed pages of Quietly Waiting to Die Daily are abuzz with anticipation. CBS airs The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited tonight, catering as usual to the entertainment-underserved Greatest Generation. The return of Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore should easily carry the coveted 59- to-ashes-in-an-urn demographic, crushing such token, counterprogrammed sops to the body-piercing set such as ABC's According to Jim and PBS' Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers. Thanks, CBS! Our grandparents will have an hour where they're not nattering on about World War II.

Damage

Rupert Graves is hot.
*
I hit upon the concept for Shrew: the beach. Laugh all you want, but it's going to be very funny. I can see it all in my head... loads of business. And then Petruchio's house is the dead of winter for no apparent reason (except that, of course, the script explicitly says so.)

09 May 2004

Fixing Public Education

Early this morning I headed out to Costa Mesa again.  My friend, Madison, who is in the Amy Freed play that they're doing at South Coast Rep (they closed today), invited me to a play reading that they had at 11am for the new play by Richard Greenberg called Safe in Houses.  I was glad I went, not only to see my friend, but also to hear the new play.  I love being a part of stuff like this: burgeoning ideas and plays that are still in their early stages.  The play has some great bits and has a lot of promise.  It's nowhere near the re-invention of theatre and innovation that was Take Me Out, but it's a play with a lot of really wonderful things in it.  It definitely has some great characters (the actors were wonderful) and the ending for Act One is spot-on.  There are two more acts, and some people seemed to think this was a problem, but the play wasn't too long for me.  Richard Greenberg writes my kind of theatre, though.  It's exactly the kind of play I can sit through for six hours or so.  Engaging characters, a total attention to language, and a political and theatrical sensibility that is very intellectual.  Safe in Houses does have problems, though.  Chief among them are its title--what does that even mean?--and the ending.  My problem with the ending is the character of Scott Tim.  I didn't get to know him at all, and felt no real affection for him, whereas I was fiercely attached to the other characters.  The play ends with Tim and because I don't know him/understand him/care about him, for me the ending doesn't work.  I guess I can shut up now about this play that no one but me has read.  But I look forward to seeing what they will do with it next year at SCR.


This actor in Safe in Houses was so great: his name is Adam Scott and I was very attracted to him. I researched him on the 'net, but there isn't much about him.  He was in Torque and A.I.  He will also be in The Aviator and the Jane Fonda movie Monster-in-Law.  Anyway, his performance was really something.  I was very impressed.  He played the Aaron character so very well.  This is why I think Greenberg's such an amazing playwright and why I personally like him so much.  In his plays there is always a character who I identify with a great deal.  There aren't many playwrights like this for me.


Worked some more on Shrew tonight.  Hopefully a concept comes to me soon.  Actually, what I keep seeing is a beach setting like that series of episodes when Saved by the Bell is at that resort for the whole summer.  I'll have to think about it more.  I hate to get weighed down by concept, but this beach idea might be sexy and have some good laughs.


Laughs are really the most important thing.  Sexy comes second, though.  I still haven't talked to Zamora.  Should I be worried?  Where is this guy?  Is he organizing the audition days?  When is he gonna tell me?  Hopefully tomorrow.

08 May 2004

Test

Okay, I thought this one was easier, but I just took it and got an 89, so... go here to take the new test.

I meant to share a thought I had recently... I have come to identify my 'self' with that picture of Montgomery Clift so much that sometimes I see myself as that photo. I've lost it.

My Little Flat I'm Turning That into a Sunday School

Have I mentioned how much I have recently been into the films of Akira Kurosawa?  I watched Rashōmon this morning, much to my delight.  It was only like an hour and a half, but what a movie!  Such good times.  You can see Kurosawa's influence on so many people.  The DVD I got had this whole interview with Robert Altman about how much Rashōmon, specifically, and Kurosawa in general had influenced his career.  Very cool.


I listen to way more Barbra Streisand than is probably healthy.  The USDA would probably have a fit.


Speaking of, I am really pissed about the FDA's decision to not allow the so-called "morning-after pill" for over-the-counter use.  I know you guys have all heard this tirade before, but I just can't even fathom who they hope to help by keeping this drug off the shelves!  Grrr.


Last night, D, Sarah, and I went down to AMPAS for an evening called Shorts!  We left after the first 5.  I would've stayed for the whole program, but the two of them specifically wanted to see the animated shorts and once those were over, they kinda lost interest in the rest of them.  It was fine.  I actually don't know much at all about the live action shorts, so it was fine with me.  But we did get to see Destino: the resurrected collaboration of Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney. 


Hello Dalí! 


Okay, that was a bad pun.  The night's program was as follows: Boundin', Destino, Gone Nutty, Harvie Krumpet, and Nibbles.  As I must have said before, the eventual winner of the animated short oscar was a huge upset to all the predictors, who were predicting either Boundin', Pixar's entry, or Destino.  The winner was the Australian claymation flick narrated by Geoffrey Rush called Harvie Krumpet.  And it deserved to win.  The thing is, though, these predictors must not have seen the films, because the audience was wowed by Destino and Gone Nutty but only lukewarm to Boundin'.  Strange, I thought.  Even I liked Gone Nutty and I really disliked the movie it was based on: Ice Age.


After the movies, we went to Toi on Vine (as usual) and I had the spiciest fucking thing I've ever eaten.  Thank heaven for green tea ice cream to soothe the soul.


Today has moved slowly.  I think when I don't have evening plans, I tend to take the day like molasses.  I have plans now, though, so I have the impetus to do things.  I sat in the sun around 2, and I did some work on Shrew.  Zamora hasn't been in contact with me.  This drives me nuts, but I suppose he is the producer and he can do whatever the Hell he wants.


I had a dream about Leslie last night.  I think we might have hugged in it.  I feel so much more affection for her now that I am not her student. In the dream, someone stole my roommate's car and it was totally my fault.  It was some guy I barely knew who I was sleeping with.  I have no idea what that was about... guilt, probably.


This shirt I bought yesterday is so cute.  It says "Warriors" on the back and on the front it says staff as if I'm some gym teacher in Belmont, CA.  The best part is that the shirt was $7 at American Eagle Outfitters (and I don't admit I occasionally shop there, so don't spread it around.) Cheers.


I wanna feel my heart coming alive again. Before the parade passes by.

07 May 2004

More more more... How do you like it?

On the way home from Montclair, I stopped to get my car washed in La Verne, and ran into Robert Demerjian, a former classmate of mine (a year or two younger, I guess, maybe 3.)  He was the valedictorian of his class.  He was studying medicine at UCI, but quit and is now going to PCC with an emphasis in engineering.  He might change again, he says, and go into dentistry.  Because he's lazy, so he tells me, and it's easier to become a dentist.  Lazy lazy lazy.  Stuff comes way too easy for him and he's not interested in research.  These super-intelligent folks, like Robert--not having been challenged by others for most of their youth--if they don't find writing early on, must begin to feel that nothing will satisfy them.  Robert looks like he is having a good time... all smiles and very personable, but clearly more intelligent than the majority of the people at the car wash today.  I wonder if he fears that he will never find anything that he enjoys that he can do for his whole life.  I think this might be a pattern among the very intelligent.  Robert is mostly a man of ideas, but if he has nowhere to voice these ideas, he would feel very lost. 


I don't know what I'm talking about.


A report on All Things Considered goes over different people who knew/know these soldiers who abused these Iraqi prisoners.  Things like "I can't imagine that he would doing anything like this."  "She was such a kind-hearted girl."  "He would never hurt a fly."  "He was always a good person."  I think, perhaps, that it is time that we realize that it is not necessarily our country that is at fault for producing such criminals.  I don't think it is the fault of their parents or teachers.  The blame, in my opinion, belongs with the culture of our military.  Our militaries seek to make animals out of the children we give them.  Our militaries try to make our sons and daughters into killing machines who do not feel empathy in the same way other humans do.  So little Johnny and little Susie may have left Maryland or Virginia or Ohio with a good heart and an honest outlook, but after a few weeks in boot camp, you can bet little Johnny and little Susie were as tough as nails.  I am not saying that military training shouldn't harden civilians into fighters, but once we train them, what is it that we expect from them.  We teach them to kill and torture and brutalize.  Why should we expect anything less than that when they are released back into the world.

Shopping

"I have a girlfriend and a wife."


"And where are they?  Shopping together?"


Today I went shopping with Wahima.  I haven't been shopping for myself in so long and it felt very nice.  Of course, the first thing we did was buy sale stuff at various stores, and then I went into Express.  Sigh.  They have such nice things.  So I bought myself the most beautiful shirt, and the smallest pair of jeans imaginable.  They just looked so good.  I couldn't help myself.


Now, I have not been the biggest fan of M. Night Shyamalan: I liked The Sixth Sense, but I loathed Unbreakable, and I thought Signs was, while not a complete failure, pretty stupid.  But take a look at this!  The poster (if this is what the poster will look like) is genius.  I love this crooked house, and I think the tagline is really ominous and fun.  I don't know if the movie will deliver, as I said, I have my doubts about this guy (and about Joaquin Phoenix), but the early advertising stuff is very cool.

06 May 2004

Wow

Wahima wants me to see Van Helsing with her tomorrow.  I agreed, but I thought better of it today at lunch.  I absolutely refuse to put myself through that.  I make promises to myself saying I won't do things I don't want to do.  I'll just resent Wahima for it.


I just finished watching Sleepers.  I thought I'd rent a Brad Pitt movie or two in preparation for Troy.  I'll see about gettin' something else for next week.  Sleepers is FUCKED UP.  Let me tell you FUCKED UP.  Like The Prince of Tides style... well, not as bad as Prince of Tides.  But fucked up nonetheless.  I shouldn't go on about how fucked up it is... emotionally, it absolutely wormed its way into me and then just slew me.  It's really quite a movie.  It's a Barry Levinson movie, so Dustin Hoffman is in it, doing one of his "look at me I'm acting" jobs, and DeNiro is in it too, but his part has no teeth.  Jason Patric is great... Billy Crudup is in it, so I was pleasantly surprised there.  Kevin Bacon is a fucker without a mission... not Paul Newman in Hud, but very good.  (Now that I brought up the always good Paul Newman, I wish he had played Hoffman's part.  He would've nailed it.)  Bruno Kirby is quite good, and Minnie Driver, too.  Brad Pitt is devastating.  


I know, I'm a sap, and not to be trusted, because I cry at everything, but this was an excellent movie.  The writing is a little overdone sometimes, and there's too much voiceover, but man-oh-man, it got me.  I recommend it, but not for the faint of heart.  And, like I said, it ain't The Prince of Tides.  Rent Prince of Tides before you rent Sleepers, unless you're having a Brad Pitt series.


I talked to Scott E. today... to get him to audition for Shrew.  I really want to give him a part.  Not sure which one is right for him yet, but he needs to be guided, and other actors--real actors--are the ones to do it.  Hope this works out.


I was kinda sorta s'pozed to go to see Shakespeare Abridged at CSULB, but I begged off.  I didn't want to drive that far by myself again.  Zamora is not in constant contact with me and I don't like it.  I feel like I need constant updates on status and I'm itching to have a meeting with him.  I guess I will just keep doing my work and wait for him to call the shots.  I suppose that's my job.  I already cut Act I, Scene I.  I am so excited!


These friend tests just make me realize how little I know about the people I love.  Just goes to show, I guess, that it ain't what you know, it's who you know.  I still love you guys, even if I did get below 60 on your stinkin' tests.


Peace out.

05 May 2004

Either?

Red Buttons or Scarlett Johanssen?


John Wayne or Vera Wang?


Chess or Chubby Checkers?


Benoît Charest or Benihana's?


"Candle in the Wind" or "Your Song"?


Monica or Rachel?


Miles Davis or Horton Foote?


Atlas Shrugged or Encyclopedia Brown?


Johnny Cash or Benjamin Franklin?


John Ford or Chevy Chase?


I know, I'm retarded... but I'm bored and I'm at work.

Because I'm a follower.

http://girmo.friendtest.com

They have a pepper bar

I love Quizno's. Too bad it is so pricey. Up by my work they have a very nice crew. A cute Asian girl is the manager there and this very cute latin boy named Junior works there too. So cute.

I just finished reading a play at lunch called A Breeze from the Gulf by Mart Crowley. It's Naturalist in style. You might like this for next year, Ash. It has a lot of family fighting. There are 3 people: 2 men, 1 woman.

I'll pass it off to you on Sunday the 16th when we have our meetin'.

Ten countries joined the EU this week. I don't think I can name them all, but that's pretty cool.

And I want to know about this David Souter getting mugged situation. Who mugs Justice Souter? Why is this out of the news? People should be reporting on this. I need to know. And what was Souter doing wherever he got mugged? Probably meeting Kevin Spacey in a dark alley. (Note that I think Justice Souter is a closet 'mo too.) I don't know for sure, but as I see it, if you're a male and you're getting mugged at 4am in public places, you must be in the closet.

By the way, I have been scouring the internet for various tidbits about Troy, of course, and interviews with Mr. Pitt... one of my favorite actors. But all of these retarded interviewers ask him the STUPIDEST questions. Here is Brad Pitt, an excellent actor, in your studio, and all you can talk about is his shirtless Pringles commercials from the early '90s, how long it took for him to get in shape for Troy and his relationship with Jennifer Aniston (who I also think is hugely talented). Give the guy a break, and ask him about his craft. I expect this kind of idiot journalism from people on Entertainment Tonight but Diane Sawyer did the same fucking thing! Brad Pitt is a talented actor, give him a little respect!

Talking to Linda

Coffee coffee coffee.


Linda called me this morning.  I hadn't thought of thanking her for getting me the Shrew interview.  She reminded me to do that.  Good thing.  I would have forgotten, and then maybe I would have just gone on thinking that I got the job myself.  Whew.


I do love that Linda, though.  She is damn funny.  She has me laughing so hard.  She is pushing this play about 3 Shakespearean women onto Ashley for her to do in Winter.  Sounds edgy, Ashley.  Tap it up.  (I'm kidding.)  Three Shakespearean women meet.  Come on.


I need to go to work soon, but I don't want to.


I have Friday off, though.  I am taking my "accountant's day off."  We're supposed to get April 16th, but instead they want us to take it later on in the month, so I'm taking it May 7.  I think maybe I'll go to a matinee of a new movie.  I haven't done that in what seems like ages.  I was thinking about going to Disneyland, but I really have no one to go with.


I know that the night must end.  And that the sun will rise.  And that the sun will rise.


I know that the clouds must clear.  And that the sun will rise.  And that the sun will rise.


I was listening to The Lion King yesterday.  It's so good... but only half of it.  I really skip every other song.  That warthog and that meercat can suck my cock.  They are so boring.  Ditto to the hyenas and Scar.  In the show, they're okay, as I recall, but not on the CD.  On the CD, keep 'em away from me with a ten-foot pole.

Cristofori's Dream

Met Jaime around 9:30p for coffee at Stbks in Pomona.  She was already deep in discussion with this woman Cindy (who of course knows Dennis Logan).  Cindy talked to the two of us for a full hour about all sorts of stuff until Jaime and I sort of ended it.  She was interesting to talk to: a hippie sort of woman, but more intelligent than most hippies one meets.  She's a harpist and a Tolkien fiend and a monotheist and a reformer in education.  She was good times, actually, but Jaime and I so rarely see one another that after an hour it was like, can she please leave so I can see my friend who I never see alone.


Talking with Jaime when we're alone is the greatest.  She's so supportive and wonderful, and we don't just discuss topics of conversation like gay marriage or religion, I feel like when I am with her, I am working through my issues with these topics. It's tough to explain, but we talked about Jai starting to go to church, and she's telling me about church and she makes me want to go back to church just a little... that's saying a lot, I think.


She was telling me about the story of Hannah and her son Samuel... and I remember it of course.  It's such a beautiful story, and Jaime was so moved by the story.  One thing about cutting Christianity out of my life, is that I forced myself to forget all of the myths and stories that are a part of the Christian consciousness.


Cindy said something tonight about how she read the classics when she was little because they were bloody and ended badly and the people in those myths did all sorts of crazy shit.  And it came to me: the endings.  That's why I got hooked on the classics so young... they don't end the way popular stories end.  Lovers are parted or die and heroes are killed or don't get the girl.  Sometimes good wins out, but so rarely.  And I think the line between good and evil is so often blurred.  But this must be why I was drawn to Greek and Roman mythology so young.  Christian mythology is much the same way: even the lovely story of Hannah... she eventually has to take Samuel to Eli at the age of 5 and give him up to God.


Is everyone else as desperate as I am for Troy to open?  Sometimes I think May 14th will never arrive.


I worked on Shrew tonight.  Just did a quick scene breakdown.  I will start the longer notes tomorrow.

04 May 2004

I have a job.

So I will be directing The Taming of the Shrew for Prizm Productions from mid-May through mid-July when we'll open.  It should be in next week's Backstage West.  Woo hoo!  I am excited about it.  There is much much work to be done before I cast this thing.  Sooo much work!  I feel alive again.  Life is so strange.

03 May 2004

Lectchah

So I was in the middle of posting a lecture in someone else's journal when my computer decided it was going to shut off... so here goes in my own journal thank you very much.


*


It is no good for us to make excuses when it comes to the so-called "real world."  Our work is our work and there really is no "real world."  I don't think that the art you do in your university is any less legitimate than the art you are going to do after you get out of university.  It will be better after you get out (no doubt about that) but legitimacy is a whol other thing, and calling your future work "real" is just another excuse for not working NOW.


Here's the thing.  I can say all I want that the real world isn't read for me, or the real world is too stupid or too shallow or too capitalistic or too frigging retarded for me, and I can say that I never feel appreciated by the real world, but what I am really doing is making excuses for not putting my neck out on the line.  Once again, and I'm going to keep saying this.  I am responsible for my work and my work only.  I am not responsible for people's response to my work unless I can control that.  My task is to do my work, and if I am letting fancy notions about the quote—real world—unquote get in the way of me doing my work then it is I who am at fault, because it is my work that is my responsibility and nothing else.


The work that I do is gonna change.  It has to change, and all the time, or I'll go insane, but if I don't commit to it, I'm not doing what I'm here to do.  I'm the only one holding me back, and I'm the only one who can make me do the work.

A Sad Future

Someone was saying to me the other day how she hears that the real world is just as catty, bitchy, lazy, and insensitive as the university world. She seemed disappointed by this, and I guess it makes sense to be disappointed by this, but my answer is as follows: we train our new theatre artists in facilities like CSUP. If this is where we train new artists for the theatre, why would we expect these artists to suddenly become brilliant and hard-working and "bar-raising" once they hit the professional circuit. They're not going to. They're just going to become miniatures of the professors at their universities, which, I am sorry to say, relegates most of them to life-long mediocrity.

It is up to you, the artists who want to do something new, to make something new, to honestly, sensitively create to be better. It is you who must overcome this. It is you who must raise the bar. Your teachers cannot do this for you. Some of them may not be as talented as you are. The bar may look really low, but some of your teachers may have lifted the bar as high as thy can. You must push yourself. And you must surround yourself with artists who will push you, too. Your accountability can only ever be to yourself.

*Steps off soapbox*

By the way, god damn but it is hot.

Stravinsky

I love my friends. I hung out with D tonight for a long time. Roommate was having some kind of study group, so I just needed to get out of my house.
Derek is just so supportive. We were laughing about our reunion for H.S. It is gonna be in 2007 for various reasons. It is so strange, really, because I think I am so much older and so much happier, that I would go back to my high school and just be a beacon of hope and joy and gay pride... okay, no one would think that, but I would be kind to people and not hateful or bitchy and I would just generally hope for other people to be as happy as I am.
But I know I wouldn't do that. I would be back in high school mode and making fun of people and I would just be Class A Bitch Number One all over again. I know myself and that's what I will do at the reunion: I'll hope women are fat and men lose their hair and I'll just generally be nasty.

How fabulous is Stravinsky's Firebird? Not the one from Fantasia/2000 that is the later version. That one is so crisp and clean and triumphant. I like the original, with all its weird quirks and off sounds. It has reminiscences of Rite of Spring. Beautiful!

I still haven't heard from Zamora. If I don't get this Shrew job, I may turn into Katherina myself and wreak havoc on everyone I know until I get a directing gig. Beware!

I seriously need to go to sleep. I have to go to work tomorrow and Steve will be back from Europe. I'm sad about it.

02 May 2004

Updated Film List for 2004

Spring Summer Autumn Winter and... Spring
Dogville
The Return
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Kill Bill: Vol. 2
I'm Not Scared
The Twilight Samurai
Bon Voyage
Good Bye Lenin!
Latter Days
Hellboy
The Ladykillers
Home on the Range
Secret Window
The Dreamers

Shrew

I just finished reading Harold Bloom's take on Shrew and I am more than pleased to report that his take on it is identical to mine.  (I always knew that Bloom was a smart cookie ;) .)


At any rate, I feel a good deal more confident in my ability to direct this piece.  I still haven't heard back from Nick & John, but I guess that is to be expected.  I suppose they have other folks to interview.  :)  Whatever.


I watched To Kill a Mockingbird today.  Great film.  I recommend it to all who haven't yet seen it (which probably was only me).  It's damned hot.  I suppose I could venture out of my house and down to the pool or down to the South Lake district and shop (but not buy).  But I just don't feel like it for whatever reason.  I'm gonna go stir-crazy if I stay in this house much longer, though.  I dunno.


Are mailers going out for this Found Space Festival?  Cuz I ain't seen any.


Congrats to the Cloud 9 folks.  A job well done.