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

31 October 2004

I'm Floating in a Most Peculiar Way

I don't know why I occasionally hang out with people from high school with whom I didn't hang out in high school.

I should preface this with: a very close friend of my brother's who is also a casual friend of mine is the manager of a rather upscale restaurant/bar in Arcadia. This friend, being the manager, has given his brother and other high school friends jobs at the restaurant/bar. Matt is now a server and Mike is now a bartender. This boy Matt, though, has always had some kind of odd pull on me. I don't know what it is. But he called me today and asked me to come the Halloween party at the restaurant. His actual words were "I'll be in drag; I'll buy you a drink." So, what the Hell, right? I went.

Why were, like, five other people from high school there? Why? And why does everyone in this bar know who I am? I'm fairly sociable as it is and I can chat fairly well with whoever crosses my path, but karaoke is just. not. cool. Of course, after 2 Sapphire and tonics I actually (for the first time in my life) sang karaoke. Don't worry, dear readers, I was cool: I did Bowie's "Space Oddity."

Also at this restaurant, but not a part of the drunken festivities: my little brother. (???)

The thing about people I never see... they always think they have me pegged. But they never do. I am always changing. It is impossible to stick me in the box. Old high school acquaintances are especially lousy at this. I am nothing like the kid they went to high school with: nothing.

Ground Control to Major Tom...

Las Sueñas

Last night I dreamed I was an A.D. again, this time for a woman—not a bitch like Karen, though. We got chauffeured around in town cars and limos. Matt Guerra was there. I think he was in the show. We kept holding these really weird auditions in darkly lit elementary schools. This wasn't weird to me at the time, though. Then the director told me that I should always wear gray to the auditions, but then the casting director said "he's alright" and then the director said, "well if [so-and-so] says you're alright then I guess you are."
As it turned out, we were holding our auditions in the classroom of an A.C.E. school. But the P.A.C.E.s were smaller, about half the size of normal. I was gonna tell my mom all about it and then I woke up.

There was this whole other part at Disneyland waiting in a line and eating ice cream. I don't know. It was mostly madness, but I think the A.D. section and the A.C.E. sections may have something to them.


30 October 2004

The Desert is the Garden of Allah

This morning's film was 1936's The Garden of Allah with Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer, also starring Basil Rathbone (always get him confused with David Niven for some reason) and Joseph Schildkraut. The most important thing I have to say about this film is that the DVD looks awesome. The color in this film (1936, don't forget) is gorgeous. It looks like it could have been filmed in the 1950s. The digital transfer is so beautiful. The film isn't really remarkable in any other way. The color cinematography is just beautiful, though, and there are a lot of shots of the Algerian desert. Neither Dietrich or Boyer are very good. Schildkraut seems to locate something interesting acting-wise, but that's it.

Allan and I went to see The Machinist yesterday. It was fair. I found it a little manipulative and purposely obtuse... I was telling Allan... this always frustrates me. I don't like it when a director knows something he isn't telling me. I would rather know, but Anderson deliberately obfuscates the truth in this movie. I suppose he thinks that the revelation at the end is stunning or powerful, but it's really not. It's more like... just an answer to a question that he posed to us at the beginning. Christian Bale is quite good in the movie, and the actor weighs something like 118 pounds in the film. It's so weird and sick and definitely assists in creating the mood of The Machinist. Mood is what Anderson succeeds at creating. The Machinist is creepy and dirty and filled with soft, artificial, washed-out light, and often no light at all. It is a descent into the dark places of the human psyche: jarring and creepy and frequently repulsive. Jennifer Jason-Leigh is beautiful and warm in the film, and Aitana Sanchez-Gijón is beautiful as ever (although not sexy and alive like she was in this I'm Not Scared from earlier this year.)

What to do today... I think I'll go to the cinema again. Maybe to see Being Julia, finally. I'm thinking about it. My friends' Halloween party is this evening, but it won't be normal. Relations are on shaky ground in the circle and no one wants to dress up this year. It won't feel normal, but I think it will be okay.

29 October 2004

I read this at lunch today in Sep/Oct's Gay & Lesbian Review. It's by Richard Tayson and is entitled

(after Muriel Rukeyser)

Whatever happens to the lesbian
walking down 7th Avenue
at two a.m., not thinking
of danger, touching
the turquoise earring her mother
gave her, new stubble
of the crew cut, wondering
if she went too far, passing
three college boys, drunk,
in front of Snooky's, hearing
one of them slur something
she can't make out
but knows the gist of,

she's remembering Trina's
face in the light and is
not thinking, as she turns
down Garfield, of the dark
street or the still
trees, a dog barking
down the block and how
she'd always walked with eyes
in the back of her head
and doesn't hear
the approach from behind

and is caught dead
mid-thought as someone
cracks a bottle over her
head while someone slams
the pipe into her knees
and someone swings the bat
that cracks her rib, she's

not thinking of anything
but the pain, as she falls
on the concrete in our
human city, her mother
dreaming of a house
in the country, her father
ordering last call,
her brother getting up
to feed the baby then going
back to sleep, whatever

happens to this woman
who is me and not
me, as she hears a voice
lunging at her over skies
over oceans at a great
distance, a voice

yelling Stop
it's a woman, and that
woman hearing six feet
running like six drums
beating in her head

and she thinks Where
are my glasses? and touches
the blood on her face
and prays to a god she quit
believing in some time ago,
and thinks, as she tries
to get up, We're not
separate ever, and is

changed forever, in the middle
of the night, eight blocks
from my room, whatever
happens to the lesbian
is happening to you asleep,
is happening to me asleep,
safe in my lover's arms.

28 October 2004

The Meaning of Life?

I got to thinking today about the meaning of life, and I actually don't believe there is one in any kind of huge, lasting, historical sense. I don't believe that "we're on this earth for a reason" or anything like that. I actually don't believe that humanity as a species serves any specific purpose.

I was telling Jaime that belief in destiny and/or life's true meaning is similar in its demands to belief in God, in the same way that I think belief in aliens is similar to belief in a god. Not that believing in aliens and believing in God are the same thing, but they demand similar things from a person in terms of faith.

Belief in the future is a whole other thing. Jaime and I both agreed that the future exists, but we curbed our discussion about whether it will exist or exists now. I didn't have the energy for that one. But it's simple Newtonian theory that the future will exist. Objects in motion...

Jaime decided that our friends, upon hearing of my disbelief in the existence of an enormous meaning of life, would ask me, "then why do you get up in the morning?" The answer for me is easy: because I like it. And also because it happens without me having to do anything. Why do I get out of bed? Because I like life better than death.

I believe that the things I do have meaning: transitory, emotional, interpersonal meaning. I do not, however, believe that they have lasting, historical meaning or that the species is headed anywhere specific.

I was stern with an actor today. She deserved it, too. I don't understand actors sometimes. I rehearse four days a week. I give them many nights off on top of that. This is a small part. So why don't you know your lines? And I don't yell. I don't tell people they forgot their lines. They know they fucked up. I don't have to tell them. But what this actor did was beyond not knowing lines. It was ignoring the reality that a scene was going on and attempting to fake her way through the play. For me this is unacceptable. Show up and work. I have no interest in anything else at all.

Boy my last post sucked. Hanson? Lame.

I'm thinking I might go back on the South Beach Diet when my show opens. I want to do yoga again, too. Perhaps I could actually build muscle mass. It could happen.

27 October 2004

Alphabetize That Shit

In my Windows Media Player, Prince comes right before Queen.

The most eclectic sequence, however, is the following:
George Michael
Gipsy Kings
Gladys Knight
Gloria Estefan
Hans Zimmer

Other interesting names from my media player:
John Barry
John Coltrane
John Corigliano
John Denver
John Goodman
John Lennon
John Mayer
John Williams
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Secada (?)

26 October 2004


As I pulled onto Interstate 210 in this ridiculous weather, The Sorcerer's Apprentice began to march out of my car stereo. Magic? No. Lame. I'm a commuter and I'm wet and cold and I hate traffic. It takes a hundred years to get anywhere.

Rehearsal was not good today. It wasn't bad, either, but it wasn't a good day. I lectured Courtney and Celeste a bit. Why is it that these two don't know their lines? I told them there was no reason in the world for that and they needed to figure their shit out. I told them they were wasting the time I give them. Hopefully I don't see books in their hands tomorrow.

Sally and I had a meeting with the lighting designer affectionately known as Buenaluzer. He did exactly what I wanted him to, so I won't be complaining about him. He says the show will be focused on Saturday and we will be building cues on Sunday. This means Q2Q on Monday and no tech with the actors, just like I like it.

CFO was in a little after 9:00a today and went home sick at 12:30p. Hooray, hurrah. My day got nicer the moment I realized she wasn't coming back.

I was kept awake last night by lingering worries about something I did about a month ago at my old job, but it got fixed today by my brother... it was kind of his mess, so it was good he cleaned it up. I shall sleep peacefully this evening.

There is this person at Cal Poly—this student—that I don't exactly have a crush on, but that I seem to want to impress. I say this after pondering my behavior this evening. I hate when I am the way I was tonight. I was funny and clever, but too funny and too clever for my own good. I feel arrogant and I hate it. I know I am arrogant on occasion. Like, I know that that's true. But I try not to be. I try to quell the impulses that tell me to act like I'm some kind of brilliant lunatic. This is for other people to notice and point out. It is not my job to make a show of my cleverness. And then I think about Judith and I just tell myself to shut the fuck up. I mean, Is what I'm saying essential? Or interesting? Or even helpful? Couldn't I begin to think about how necessary my voice is... and alternately how unnecessary my voice sometimes is?

They Still Have Not Fixed the Motherfucking Elevator in My Building. What in the Fuck Is Going On?

Might I possibly see two (2) movies this weekend? How is Friday, Allan? I hope it's good 'coz it's the only night I'm free.

25 October 2004

Hail to Rehnquist

The Chief got taken to the hospital today and they did a tracheotomy. The news said that Thyroid cancer (which is his diagnosis) is normally treatable and the recovery rate is 90%, but they also said that tracheotomies are very very rarely done and that the tracheotomy means bad news for the Chief. I am concerned. I guess he'll retire in the next four years whether Bush is re-elected or not. He's not going to have much choice, poor guy. He hopes to be back on the bench in the next few days. Typical. Medical estimates say a week is more realistic, but speculation abounds. He might be forced to retire very soon.

Valparaiso is going wonderfully, wonderfully well. I only have good days. This is a totally new experience for me. I don't think I've ever experienced this with a show before. I doubt that it's the best thing I've ever done, but it sure is going to be good. And I'm collaborating, which is even better. I feel like the actors are having so much more influence on me than normal. I feel really good about it.

It's pandemonium at my old job says my old supervisor. To be expected, I suppose. I feel in the groove at the new job, though. Things are just fine. I finished my Halloween costume today thanks to the Titmeister and my mother coming through. Good times. I'm gonna look swell.

24 October 2004

Weekend with Too Few Movies

My nights fill up these days. I somehow seem to have plans for every night of the weekend nowadays. This started some time around the beginning of this month. The summer weekends it was exactly the opposite. It was a dearth of society, seriously. Naturally, now that I'm busy every night of the weekend, I wish I had a night to myself. Ah well.

The truth is, it will all get better when Valparaiso opens. When that happens, I'll be able to do banal things like going to the grocery, and doing my laundry during the week, which will leave the weekend free for sleeping in, reducing my Netflix queue, going wine-tasting in Temecula with my lush/friends and partying the night away.

I went to see my college friend Marcos Tello in a show called Boyle Heights last night in (gasp!) Boyle Heights. The show was kind of silly, but took itself very seriously. It was about an educated woman wanting to escape Boyle Heights and then learning to love it and appreciate it warts and all... she escapes the barrio and then moves back and celebrates the barrio. This seems arrogant to me, but perhaps it's just extremely earnest and not as presumptuous as I think. The acting was bad across the board except for my friend, who was wonderful. He even made me cry at one point. He was so good; I was very impressed. I don't recall him ever doing such good work. Afterward, I hung out with him and his new girlfriend (also in the show, and also good.. they were the only two) and a bunch of their other friend. We went to Lala's in Hollywood. It's Argentinian food... and it was pretty good and not over-priced.

Tonight, Elizabeth and I went to see Vera Drake at the Laemmle's Sunset 5. It was good for the most part: very sad. But it has some very powerful moments and has its heart in the right place politically. Imelda Staunton will be nominated for an Oscar for this movie. I don't think there's much question about it. Fine Line would have to really screw something up for it not to happen. I though the movie got boring in the middle: there are some long pauses that don't feel like they're merited. This is really my only complaint. I think the movie is overly long in places and not as tight a film as I would've liked, but it's powerful nonetheless. I think I'm going to put it right below Good Bye, Lenin! at number 19.

23 October 2004

How Cute is Kristin Chenoweth?

And I saw him flip the lever
To prepare my double latté
But for me he made it triple
And he didn't think I knew
But I saw him flip the lever
And for me he made it triple
And I knew that triple latté meant that Taylor loved me too.
I said what time are you playing
And thank you for the extra skim
He said keep the 3.55
Because this triple latté was on him

Taylor the latté boy
Bring me java
Bring me joy
Taylor the latté boy
I love him
I love him
I love him

So many years my heart has waited
Whod've thought that love could be so caffeinated

Taylor the latté boy
I love him
I love him
I love him

Yes, I am working on my grad school apps. I just realized I may have more time than I thought. Deadlines for Davis and Cornell are 1/15/05.


I don't like doing so many things alone. I need to figure out what I need to do to apply for these grad schools and I just don't feel like doing it all by myself. I have no motivation. I must learn to be more self-motivated.

Last night I went to sleep with a sheet, a comforter, and a throw blanket on top of me in that order. When I woke up, the sheet was on top, and underneath was the comforter. Underneath that was the throw blanket. I have no idea how this happened.

Wahima's birthday party last night was a lot of fun. There was good music, good food, and fun people. Many of Wahima's friends from Starbucks were there. All seemed cool. Also in attendance: Elizabeth, Aaron, Ashley, Danny, Kim, and Justin.

This morning I watched Pelle the Conqueror, the Danish film from 1987. It was pretty bleak, but it felt more sentimental and less important than films like, say, Andrzej Wajda's Promised Land and Miloš Forman's Loves of a Blonde.

21 October 2004


I had a whole long update about competitive behavior and neckties but my computer restarted and I just can't think about it.

I talked to Kristen yesterday on the East coast and she seems good. The mood and speed and culture of Boston seem to agree with her.

I am going to go see This Is Cinerama from 1952 at the Arclight on Saturday at 10:00a in their Cinerama dome and then I'm going to go see my old university chum Marcos in a show called Boyle Heights on Saturday night. Anyone and everyone is invited to either event. Just call me.

I haven't had a bad rehearsal yet and it was four weeks today. This has never happened before. Kevin says, though, that I constantly give him conflicting directions and that it's never been as bad as it is with this show. I told him that he gives me things I don't expect and that changes how I think about the show. Mostly, I think, I understand the show so much less than I normally do: or rather, my ideas about the show are less solid and more mercurial than they normally are when I direct. Because of this, I am more susceptible to changing my ideas because of something the actor does. It means the show is more collaborative, but more difficult to navigate for the actor.

This show is going to be so good. I don't want to oversell it, but I think it is really special. I think the acting is quite good, and the play is rich and dense and funny and yet concise and even short. I am very excited for people to see it.

19 October 2004

Leticia Musgrove

Bill came to the run thru of the show tonight. I always tell him I wish he would watch run thrus earlier, since he's so good at fixing problems, so this time he did! And, true to form, he spoke directly to what I needed to work on. We open Nov. 4th and I am very excited.

I put Chess in my CD player this afternoon. I hadn't listened to it in a while. It's so nice. The job is becoming something normal. I feel comfortable there. It's a good thing, as long as I don't get too used to it.

I got the dish on the young man who works in the office named Steven. He moved here from ND with his fiancée, has few friends, graduated from university just this last June. He majored in aerospace and would like to be a pilot--well, he already is, he just doesn't have enough hours, but he also does flight instruction. Hm. I kinda tuned out after he said "fiancée," although he's a nice enough young man; there's no reason I can't befriend him just to be festive.

In other news, I retired the pirate voicemail (Arrrrrrrrrr). The new one is a tribute to Monster's Ball.

18 October 2004

This evening and I had scheduled for a student named Michael Arruda to do the video for our show. He didn't show. He just. didn't come. I worked with Kevin and Celeste for less than a half hour, sent them home, did some scheduling with Sally, talked to the set designer, called the lighting designer, watched a little of The Foreigner's rehearsal, gave a few dialect notes, walked around with and headed home.

I'm now enjoying a Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale (suprisingly good brew).

1. Garden State
2. Spring Summer Autumn Winter and... Spring
3. The Return
4. The Door in the Floor
5. Dogville
6. The Motorcycle Diaries
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
8. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
9. I'm Not Scared
10. The Twilight Samurai
11. We Don't Live Here Anymore
12. Collateral
13. I Heart Huckabees
14. Želary
15. Vanity Fair
16. The Bourne Supremacy
17. Bon Voyage
18. Good Bye Lenin!
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
20. Mean Creek
21. Facing Windows
22. Shrek 2
23. Latter Days
24. The Village
25. Hellboy
26. The Manchurian Candidate
27. The Ladykillers
28. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
29. The Terminal
30. Troy
31. I, Robot
32. Carandiru
33. Saved!
34. Home on the Range
35. Coffee and Cigarettes
36. Secret Window
37. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
38. Spider-Man 2
39. The Mother
40. The Passion of the Christ
41. Shark Tale
42. Nicotina
43. A Home at the End of the World
44. The Dreamers
45. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
46. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

17 October 2004

Weekend Update

I think it was a really good weekend. I don't really want to commit to "good," but it definitely approached goodness.
The Sixteenth
I took the GRE in the early hours of the morning. I studied hard and did well. I am this much closer to getting into a good graduate school. Applying would be nice. I'll get on that next week. Baby steps for the man who is slow to decide.

I visited with my Arizona friend Jamie Reynolds for a half hour or so after the big test. She seems to have taken to Arizona like a fish to water or some other metaphor less icthian. I miss this friend of mine and it was good to be able to visit her. I wish her so much good luck.

I watched the final three hours of Angels in America and there isn't much to say about this except that it is a stunning, brilliant achievement. This film/play is a seminal event in the history of the American homosexual community. The 1980s, Reagan, Roy Cohn, communism, socialism, Mormonism, Judaeism, AIDs, agnosticism, the ozone: this play has so much to say about humanity and compassion and responsibility and what it truly means to love.

Then Anna, Julie, Lisa, Jaime and I had sushi in La Verne and I'll be damned if four highball glasses were not just sitting on the trash can outside in pristine condition, if filled with leftover limes and discarded ice cubes. Well these little lovelies went directly into my jacket pockets and got unloaded directly into my dishwasher at home where they will make many of my friends happy when filled with gin or citron vodka.

I had a free pumpkin spice latté with Jai after Lisa, Julie and Anna left and it felt great when I climbed gratefully into my enormous bed in my own home.

Day 17 of This Month
Instead of watching a film (my usual modus operandi on a Sunday morning), I decided to clean. I emptied all the trash in the house, did the dishes, swept and otherwise cleaned the kitchen, and finally set up my new mixer (thanks Nancy, it rocks!).

Then. and this is huge. I finished the Sunday crossword from last week. I have never done this ever in my whole life.

I went to the grocery, spend very little money, planned my meals for the next week (unfortunately I must do this, as I have no time to myself mid-week).

Wahima was at my house when I returned from the grocery, so she assisted me up the stairs and then we headed to Old Town Pasadena, where, apparently, no one sells shelving units with wine racks on the bottom. Lame. But I bought three pairs of pants at Banana Republic on sale, and they're all machine washable. This might be some kind of miracle: seriously.

As and I walked down the street, these two women passed us and one said to the other, "she's beautiful" and the other one said "Mm-hmm." Wahima didn't hear them but I did. It was cool.

Elizabeth and Justin and I went to dinner and otherwise hung out. I love spending time with these two. I feel like I'm gushing when I'm with them because I'm so excited to see them, but I let it go and just try to enjoy myself. I had a beer called Arrogant Bastard, but it was only okay, and a really good burger with jalapeños on it.

Then we watched I ♥ Huckabees which I liked a lot more than Elizabeth and Justin did. I thought it was absolutely hilarious. It isn't Charlie Kaufman, but it's still pretty fucking funny. Mark Wahlberg is the best thing in it, honestly. He's wonderful. But I liked everyone else, too. Watching Isabelle Huppert mock her own image of "the actress who goes too far" was cool, and Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin were really funny, too.

I'm cooking now so that I have food for next week. This is my plan. I feel good and I'm going to bed in a few minutes. Cheers.

You Are All Fabulous

I did something very important tonight: I watched the final three hours of Angels in America. And oh my god. I don't think I have ever seen anything in my entire life that has affected me in this way. I am reeling from this experience. GO RENT THIS MINISERIES. Just go. Do this for yourself. It is so amazing. I could talk about it at great length, and Wahima and I already have, but it doesn't need to be talked about. It needs to be seen. By you. Go rent this.

16 October 2004

Why Did He Even Bother?

Alternate titles for this post: An E-Mail from Hell or Shut the Fuck Up or Stalker Update.

Brett responded to my email after a month and a half with the following:

Hi Aaron,

Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been moving and running races and injuring myself and visiting my partner and …

Who else remains on your contact list from Lutheran? I’m curious.

Hope your weekend goes well.



Shut the fuck up. It isn't that big of a deal. This email is fucking lame. I guess I'll email him back at some point, but: lame.


Okay, so I wasn't really paying that much attention when they showed me the scores, and when they did, they didn't show me the percentiles, so I'm not exactly sure how I did on the tests, but I think the scores fell out like this:

Verbal: ~640 / 90th percentile
Quantative (fucking math): ~720 / 74th percentile

As you can see, most people do a lot better on the math than on the verbal portion, but I did pretty well overall, I think.

I studied theatre at university. I don't know about this math shit. I haven't looked at a math textbook in six years. And they ask the hardest fucking questions!

The other portion of the test is a writing portion, where the tester writes a critique of an argument for 30 minutes, and then writes an essay on a given topic for 45 minutes. I think I did absolutely brilliantly on this part of it, so we shall see. They send that part of the test in the mail in 2 weeks.

Thank god it's over.

15 October 2004

Seems Like a Mighty Long Time....

Everyone have a great day today. I've got the GRE at 8:00a tomorrow morning in Diamond Bar so I'm spending my Friday night studying. It's a bitch, but hey, I'll be one step closer to graduate school and "Dr. Aaron Thomas" and one step further from "office personnel."

Be well.

14 October 2004


Aaron was pissed today when Cyn was late to rehearsal. What if Bill had actually come to the run-thru and not cancelled this afternoon? Then her gaffe would have been for Bill to witness. Wouldn't that have been a scandal? She eventually showed and apologized, but I was having none of it.

I was always taught not to apologize. If I'm sorry for what I've done, I modify my behavior and that modification is my apology. I don't apologize; I change.

Neckties and Power Trips

Karen, the CFO of the company where I work, gets a busy signal while trying to operate the fax machine and so she turns to me and says "Why aren't you wearing a tie?"

Mind you, I have worn a tie every single day for two whole weeks and not one other male in the office wears a tie and I'm not required to wear a tie and my shirt didn't need a tie because it was kind of fancy and has pleating on the front.

Karen (purposely loud enough so that the whole room hears): WHY AREN'T YOU WEARING A TIE?
Aaron (calmly): Do I need to wear a tie?
Karen: NO...
Aaron: Okay.

My boss used the word "shitty" today to describe the way the women in the office dress. Why? What an egomaniacal freak! And how rude is that and how inappropriate? I mean, why are you swearing at me? Fuck.

And do I have to wear a tie or not? The answer would seem to be "no." So why doesn't she shut the fuck up and go back to her office and stroke her ego?

12 October 2004


Rehearsal went extremely well again today. I don't know what it is.

Tomorrow will probably be awful; I doubt it, though.

I am continually surprised that some actors are intimidated by or afraid of me. I think it's weird. I always act like I have no idea what's going on. I behave as though I'm drunk. Do they think I'm going to up and yell at them all of a sudden.

An actor thanked me for being nice to him today and I though "gee, sure, I guess." Why would I be rude?

The designer brought in the penis sculpture. It's hilarious.

I tried to show the four kids in the show how to get a laugh from a pratfall. I wanted them to do the standard four-people-falling-each-other-too-closely-one-stops-too-quickly-all-collide laugh. Without even telling Matt and Kevin what to do, I said "let's get a laugh" and made the kids watch. Kevin and Matt and I did it and it was funny. The kids tried: not funny at all. We had to move on, but we can work on the pratfall tomorrow.

I added other laughs into the show tonight, too. I amaze myself with my own ability to create humor onstage. I knew that I could get a laugh with this one moment in Act One, Scene 6. The moment involves six people, so it took a while. We must've run this single sequence at least twelve times before I liked it. What's amazing is that in theory, each time I run it becomes less funny, but what I really needed to do was perfect the moment. So I tweaked it, and then I tweaked it again. Changed the blocking, then changed it again. Then I got a laugh. Sally and Matt Guerra and I burst out laughing when they did it the umpteenth time or whenever it was, and the previous time they had done it hadn't been remotely funny. Comedy is so amazing.

11 October 2004

Wolpe Diapers

Things are going well, but I'm tired. I was in a cruel mood today. I think it was because when I got in to work this morning I added up my time card and it came to 39.75 hours regular and 0.5 hours overtime for last week. So Roxie, my immediate supervisor, tells me that I don't get overtime because I'm still "in training." Fine. Whatever. So I give her my time card and I total it to say 40.25 regular and 0 overtime. She gives it back to me corrected: 39.75 regular, 0 overtime. It's only a half hour, but it's a half hour I should be paid for. What the fuck?

Valparaiso is going well. I always say on here that I love working with Kevin. This was driven home to me this evening, once again. In other news, Cyn Pérez is going to be absolutely brilliant in this show. No kidding.

I do not like Lisa Wolpe. (If you're thinking about posting a defense of her in the comments, please don't.) I have met this bitch at least three times. I was in a reading with her several years ago, she worked with me when CSUP did Othello two years ago, and I made a point to say hi to her in the hall last year when she directed a production of Irene Fornes's Mud. She claimed she didn't remember me then, but seemed to recall when I reminded her that we were actually in a show together. Today, this bitch popped her head into Linda Bisesti's office to say some word or two. I was sitting in Linda's office as I often do, and Linda jumped up and asked Lisa if she'd met me. "No, I haven't" she said. I shook her hand, but I just couldn't squeeze out any other niceties. I cannot believe her.

Fuck Puck.

10 October 2004


I studied for the GRE today... and I'll be doing it a lot more over the next week. Oh my god. This is, like, a serious test that I have to do well on. The word stuff is okay... I seemed to perform fairly well on stuff like "the opposite of craven is..." and "transportation is to limousine as residence is to...". But the math is another story. I haven't done any real math since I graduated high school, and that, ladies and gentlemen, was over six years ago. Venn diagrams and substitution and square roots are no longer a part of my vocabulary.

Exactly when I will be doing this studying is still a mystery to me. My day is booked from 7:00a to 9:30p and to properly function I ought to be asleep by 11:00p. Worse yet, the software wouldn't load on my PC at home, so I installed it at my parents' house. So I can only study there. I'm hoping to squeeze in some study time after my rehearsals. They live out that way anyway...

I watched Hector Babenco's Carandiru today, mostly for my new favorite male, Rodrigo Santoro. He wasn't sexy at all in this film, though, and the film is mostly a rambling overly-long exploration of prison life. I'm not opposed to prison dramas: The Big House is easily one of the best movies of the 1930s, but this film seems to be obsessed with criminal backstories and lies prisoners tell to justify their crimes. This concept doesn't interest me. Prison infrastructure can be compelling as a study of human behavior and hierarchy but delusion and the self-aggrandizing lies of murderers and thieves are not topics I give a shit about. You're a murderer and a crack addict: I couldn't give a shit how cool you think you are.


This from The October issue of Vanity Fair (the one with Jude Law on the cover):

Marriage and children. Those were the goals back in the old days before the outer planets hit mass consciousness, the Beatles went on The Ed Sullivan Show, and everything changed. These are different times, and with your newfound courage you're beginning to try new things, such as going off on your own and being openly hostile. This month, however, you may have to do the happily married thing. Three planets in your 7th house remind you to forget your role as a big rebel and conform for now to society's domestication program.

This next to a picture of Queen Latifah, who is, evidently also blissfully Piscean.

Hmm. No mention of working 60 hours a week.

The Dream

I couldn't tell you if A Midsummer Night's Dream was good or not. I actually have no idea. Yours truly got laughs, though... and how! I was really very funny. Kim said she got some quality laughs too. Good times. The lovers didn't seem to be getting a lot of laughs, and you know that Puck character can be very funny, but wasn't in this reading.

My new phrase is Fuck Puck. I want to print it on t-shirts. I think it would be fun. Does anyone really hate Midsummer enough to wear this shirt? Might be a hit at Shakespeare conventions.

I still want to sleep with Rick. Too bad he's engaged. What a shame. He would make a good gay man.

I spent the entire fucking day working on Midsummer. From 10:30a-9:30p: honestly. What an enormous waste of my time. I'm such a sucker. But I promise myself I will never do this again.

That said, it felt kind of good to act... even though it was Shakespeare.

09 October 2004

Everyone Plays This Club Cranium Card! And It's a Humdinger.

Wake up, baby
A star is a slave

I went to my darling friend Madison's 26th birthday party this evening after casual Friday at work. We had burgers and drank lots of beer and played Cranium. Madison & Brantley mostly have older friends, and they all seem to be single (searching) gay men. This would be lovely, except that most of them are much older and/or are overweight/ugly. Brantley is constantly attempting to set me up with one or more of them. This is not on my list of things I love to do, but Madison's birthday is Madison's birthday, and I went to the house party knowing that it might possibly be filled with older/overweight/ugly/gay men. It wasn't. Hurrah. There were a few single guys, but I don't think they were gay. (I am kinda bad about telling if people are hitting on me or not--most men are bad at this, I think.) At any rate, the rest of the people were younger (straight) couples. Maddie's brother Craig was there, too, and we're cool.

So we played Cranium and it was great fun! I am horrible when I play this game. I had started drinking at 7:30p with no food in my system and so by the time the game started at 10:00p I was loaded. The thing is that I'm fairly good at the game, but I'm no fun because I don't care whether I win or lose. I seriously do not give a shit. I am not at all competitive. I spend the whole game insulting the players on the other teams. Just for laughs, of course. I only play for laughs... not to actually hurt anyone, but I aim for the ego, and that can be dicey. My team won the game, and I guess it felt good, but it's the playing that's fun for me; not the winning. These other people: they want to win and they're out for blood. They cheat; they insult their own team (I always choose to insult the opponents: it's much more positive).

I actually hummed "Bridge over Troubled Water" and my teammate actually got it. Try humming this to someone and see how far you get.

I liked the young couples. They were nice. A little wholesome, but nice. I like people with a little more edge, generally, but these folks were okay. Mostly I was just glad the party guests were my age.

I have a lot I would like to accomplish this weekend (more grad school research; grocery shopping; dry cleaning; paying bills; studying for the GRE; making reservations for Madison's wedding.) Hopefully I actually get to do some of this. My weeks are filled to the fucking brim with shit to do. Tomorrow I am participating in a charity reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream and I am inexpressibly sad about it.

07 October 2004


It is late and I should be in bed... but I am not.

A Short Story About Scheduling
Linda called me this weekend and asked me to work on dialect with three of her actors (Gelvin, Kalmbach and Kong if you must know). I told her I would dismiss my people early on Thursday and meet with her actor for a half hour apiece beginning at 8:30p. I gave my stage manager this schedule and we all agreed upon it. Yesterday (without telling me or my stage manager) Linda changed this day when I was supposed to work with these actors. I have no idea why and I have no idea how she thought she could do this without consulting me. So I ended up working only with Brittney and Chris. I worked with Brittney until around 8:50 and then Gelvin until (no joke) 10:20 or so. He is supposed to be doing Standard British and he sounds like Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond. "Norman. Norman, you old poop!" He can get better, though. He understands IPA and he isn't so bad word by word. It's the speaking of actual sentences where he runs into trouble. He knows he's not good, though, and that's a help. And he wants to work as much as he can. I told him to rent movies with Hugh Grant in them. I have no time to be a dialect coach for this show until after my show opens and closes. I ain't getting paid for it anyway, so I don't want to be working to hard with him.

Work at Avjet gets easier and easier. And tomorrow is casual Friday. God. Bless. America.

06 October 2004

A new job and a possible new job

Work is easier with less painful shoes.
There is a boy named Steven at my work. He is tall and blond and cute and wears a tie.

Act I of Val ran 34 minutes this evening. It was the first run-through and it was soooo short. Ah well. It's a comedy, I guess, but geebus I wasn't expecting it to be that short. It's a good thing. (That last sentence guest-posted by Martha Stewart--love her.)

This job is no sweat. Honestly. And they want me start working OT. Can you say "over $20 an hour"? I can. Woo hoo.

I will also be sending my résumé to a man at UC Riverside. They're looking for a director for their production of Midsummer to go up in March. Hmm.

05 October 2004


Dear readers, I may be losing my mind.

This schedule is much harder than I thought it would be. That's a lie. I had a preview of this schedule last week and all indications were that it would be just as bad as it is right now. The problem is that I started having rehearsals for Valparaiso just as this upheaval was going on with my employment situation. Thing is: I can handle the hours and the commute. What constitutes the bulk of the problem for me is the goddamned outfit I have to wear.

I look good (just to clarify) but I am damned uncomfortable. The neckties are like the fingers of Gollum around my throat, and the shoes, while gorgeous (they're Kenneth Cole from his Reaction line), hurt like Hell.

One of the girls in Accounting quit today. There is no way they are going to fire me. I'm there to stay... as long as I can stand it.

I have a story from work today: I work in an office with a bunch of other accounting staff (5 lower-level staffers like me). Adjacent to our big office is the controller's office, and adjacent to the controller's office and our office is the office of the CFO (that's Chief Financial officer for you artists). Well I was making copies on the Xerox machine in a cranny of the office when the CFO comes in to make some copies for herself. Whatever. So she's chatting to me while she makes her copies, "How are you doing here?" "Do you like it?" etc. Always stupid questions: like I'm going to say, "They're overloading me here. I just can't handle it. It's too much. Do you have something with less work?" So I'm in a good mood and I'm joking: "Oh, well they haven't yelled at me yet so I guess things are going OK."
"Oh," says she. "I'm the one that's going to yell at you."
"Ha Ha." Nervous laughter from Aaron. Is she joking? She can't possibly be serious. Why would anyone be yelling? It's an accounting department.
She goes back to copying, but then I get an idea for smalltalk of my own, and it seems like I really ought to say something. Wit seems to be called for.
"How come they have you making your own copies?" I quip. She doesn't work that hard if she doesn't have an assistant, and I guess I'm poking fun at the idea that management hasn't hired her an assistant. I don't know. It felt funny before it came out. Well maybe not funny, but witty in an office-humor sort of way.
"This is confidential" she says. "They don't make me do anything." (Beat) "No one makes me."

She left after that, and she was sort of saying that last bit as she walked away. And I thought: what an ego! I'm thinking: I don't care about you lady. What do I care who makes your copies? I don't think you're better than me, that's for sure. You obviously think you're better, but I don't even care. I'm happy to have my fifteen something an hour whether I'm copying or filing or preparing financial statements. I neither know how much you make nor care, but I know I don't want to be you, and I feel good about that. Mostly I just thought that this woman must have some kind of crazy ego to be threatened by the mere suggestion that she should make her own copies.

It's such a shame our friendship had to end.

Rehearsals are going well. I get to rehearsal slap-happy, starving and tired, but I managed to crank out good direction and lucid staging. I even have moments of clarity and revelation. Imagine what I could come up with if I weren't running myself ragged.

04 October 2004

Only Two Updates on a Monday?

I'm sure you all missed me desperately today.
And even if you didn't.

The first day at work went well. The company is very swank. I like it, and the folks seem to like me a lot, and even if they hadn't they seem to be hurting for accounting help, so it looks like I'm there to stay... at least for a time.

I got to Pomona from Burbank in only one hour! I was very excited about this. I went 80mph almost the whole way.
My house is about the half-way point between my two jobs. It is a half hour to the Burbank job and a half hour to the Pomona job. We shall see what the traffic holds for me tomorrow... I am not optimistic.

Rehearsals seem to be going well, too. This show is going to be really cool, and I think I have a lot of really nice ideas.

God, it's like it was when I was working at The Colony for Jeff Calhoun and Cornell Christianson. First job. Second job. Home. Sleep. And quite literally no time for anything else. Think positive thoughts about me...

03 October 2004

Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries)

This movie is really good. It is less poetic, I think, than Salles' last film, Behind the Sun, but it packs a political punch nonetheless. I found it very moving, although I doubt it will be emotional for most.
It's more of a road movie than anything else, but once the two main characters, Alberto and Ernesto, get to the leper colony near the end of their journey, the emotions kicked into high gear for me. Ernesto's compassion is so beautiful, and the men's dedication and empathy is the most fascinating thing about the film. I loved it.
Sorry I can't type a real review, but I want to go to bed. New job starting in the morning and all...

I know we're nearing awards season and really good movies released around this time are thought to be Oscar contenders, but I seriously doubt its Oscar potential. Rodrigo De la Serna is excellent and could possibly get a Supporting Actor nod, but I doubt even that. The only thing I think it has a real chance of a nomination is in the Adapted Screenplay category.

The Weekend of Shopping

So I bought six shirts, five ties, and a pair of shoes on Friday Grand Total: a lot of money.
Today I bought four pairs of underwear and six pairs of socks. Calvin Klein was having a 25% off sale and I got out of Macy's so cheap! Hurrah.

I talked to Linda Bisesti today. I am going to help her actors with dialect on Thursday night. I so rarely mind doing favors for her. (Except: no more readings. Ever.) It's only going to be one hour off of my rehearsal anyway, so it's no big deal.

I've been thinking about the summer theatre options at CSUP. I don't know. I know everyone thinks I'm being regressive working at CSUP, but I find it fulfilling and I like working with Linda and Bill and Jeanine and Joyce and Dennis. Maybe I'm comfortable. (?) I try to analyze this, but the good keeps outweighing the bad and I just don't want to work as an A.D. in Hollywood if I can direct my own shows at Cal Poly. If I did a summer show, it would have to be Shakespeare. But it could also be Shakespeare in rep with something else: or two Shakespeare shows in rep—Comedy of Errors in rep with Two Noble Kinsmen—okay maybe not that.

Coriolanus in rep with Bryony Lavery's Frozen. ?

I was planning on going to the inaugural performance of the pipe organ at the Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight. Well at 1:15p I looked at the ticket options online and realized the show was at 2:00p! So I got in my car and drove downtown. It takes me less than fifteen minutes to get down there, but there were no tickets left and a huge line outside. I waited in the sun for about thirty minutes, but they only let maybe one or two people in. Boo. I went shopping instead. That concert hall is beautiful, though, and I could hear the organ in the lobby. I've got to hear it soon. It sounds like it's magnificent. Some day soon...

And I killed a fish... and it was this big.

I did some private Shakespeare coaching this afternoon for around an hour and a half: something I haven't done since... well probably since I coached Kevin with his audition for Othello in late 2002. I remembered so many things. I know so many tricks. There is so much information to give an actor about acting Shakespeare. It is so dense and there are so many options.

Someone said to me this week that every word is important in Shakespeare (something I have been told since I started acting). My first response to my friend this week was "bullshit." If every word were important we wouldn't feel so free to cut his plays. Shakespeare is not so precious that every word is important. Rather, whenever we are acting every word is important. Which playwright one is acting is immaterial.

The two films I watched today after taking part in rehearsal #2 of the debacle that is (so far) this year's reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream were Shark Tale and Joan of Arc (the version from '48 with Ingrid Bergman).

I watched Shark Tale with Wahima in the 91750. And dammit it was boring. Worse yet, the animation is really pretty bad. The plot is cliché after cliché with a few slightly amusing spoofs. Renée Zellweger is in it (and annoying as usual—I just don't like her). De Niro is flat. Jack Black is completely unrecognizable. Angelina Jolie, whose fish/vamp is drawn beautifully but moves like she hasn't yet learned to walk in heels has none of the spark and sexual fierceness that she does as a human. Martin Scorsese is fabulous as a hot-tempered blowfish, and he is given most of the best lines. Peter Falk is also really good as an elderly advisor to De Niro's Don Lino. I also really appreciated Doug E. Doug and that Marley boy as constantly-high jellyfish. They were fun. But Will Smith is too much. He's so... annoying as this damn guppy. I wanted to feed him to a cat. And I don't even like cats.

Victor Fleming's Joan of Arc is mostly a boring piece of historical/religious film in the vein of Quo Vadis? and The Robe. Ingrid Bergman is interesting, and the film is José Ferrer's debut, but it is mostly about nasty, evil, horrible, overweight politicians overtaking the church and putting a religious fanatic to death. Joan of Arc seems like a nice girl, and she seems to be sad about the deaths of her countrymen, but she believes in nations as sacred things, and to me this is the worst form of political hoodwinking. Religion has been used for many awful purposes in its history. For me, one of the worst is religion's insistence that men and women should sacrifice their lives for the state.

02 October 2004

Knock You Off Your Routine

Because I quit work yesterday and my new job doesn't start until Monday, I had all day to myself. I woke up and watched Wong Kar-Wai's Happy Together. I loved his film In the Mood for Love and I thought to myself that I might want to see another of his films. Plus Happy Together is a film about a gay couple. It's okay—not great. But it stars the beautiful Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Hero, In the Mood for Love, Infernal Affairs, Chungking Express). Mainly, the movie made me think of Andrew, or rather, Andrew's physical presence. I miss Andrew's body.

Boo to the renovations they are doing to my two-story Target on Colorado. The clothing department has taken over both floors. You can't find anything anymore. And I do not buy clothes there. I'm far too much of a snob for that. I think I will find a new Target: one where you can still buy paper towels and dental floss and dishwasher detergent and chewing gum.

I went shopping today and spent literally hundreds of dollars on clothes. I need dressy clothes since I am going to have to dress up every single damn day now. No more wearing shirts that say "I'm Not Gay But My Boyfriend Is" or "Morning Wood" to work anymore. I bought dress shoes too. At Nordstrom. They're Kenneth Cole Reaction and they're hot.

I was positively grinning all day today. I am so happy to be away from my old job and on to something new. After the shopping I visited the family and then went to Brea to bid farewell to one of my closest friends. Derek is moving to Las Vegas tomorrow afternoon. This is a part of the autumn and the changes that are happening now that the seasons are shifting. Some of the changes feel good and some of them don't feel so good. But Julie set up this cool scrapbook/photo album/memory book that most of us contributed to and that was the centerpiece of the evening. Julie did a really nice job with it and the stuff that people wrote was really nice.