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

28 February 2005

Auditions & Oscar Bash Redux

It is so difficult to get people to want to do work in Spring quarter at Cal Poly. I know this. I do. I went to that school for Chrissakes. I know. But I took this job anyway because of... synchronicity (as Ayana put it). And no one thought we would have people audition today on our first day and yet... Six. SIX! Four men and two women! I was stunned, really. It was very nice.

Last night's Oscar bash was a lot of fun for me. I hope my guests had as good a time as I. In attendance: Allan, Justin, Elizabeth, Wahima, Catherine, Brittney, Ayana, Jaime, Julie, Lisa, Anna, Aaron Cohen, Scott, Kevin, Carlos D. (miss that guy), Danny, Ashley, Kim, Aaron, Sarah, and Simon. They all seemed to mingle together quite well, so that was good.

To eat, I fixed prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, Grand Marnier cookies, chocolate cake (with Aviator peas on top), shrimp cocktail, some brie/pear concoction that mostly failed, and crostini with choice of goat cheese or aged cheddar and peperonata, pesto or tapenade. It was mostly really good, and I had the wine flowing. PLUS, Justin and Elizabeth brought this fabulous homemade chipotle salsa, some edamame and more wine (hurrah for friends who bring good wine.) AND Ashley and Danny brought a Key Lime pie! Yum.

The show was kind of boring again. They need a new producer. AND they need to move the dates back to late March. These last two years have been absolute snores because films don't have any time to get up and walk. There is a mad rush to get nominated and a mad rush to give out Oscars and so it's frontrunner frontrunner frontrunner. Halle Berry could never have won in a shortened season like this. The award would have gone to Sissy Spacek in a hot minute that year if the awards had been in February. Ditto for Adrien Brody the subsequent year. Boo to the shortened season. I want the show to go back to March.

That said... I was glad Cate Blanchett won and happy for Jaime Foxx and Morgan Freeman. Good times for Sidney Lumet finally getting an Oscar. I was sad about Marty losing yet again and it was a true shame that Hilary Swank beat out Annette Bening for the second time. (Swank won in 2000 for Boy's Don't Cry over Bening's performance in American Beauty. I supported Swank's win then. This year, I wanted Bening to win like crazy and so would you have if you had seen Being Julia. She fucking rocks the house in that movie!)
This is the problem with the shortened season: there are no surprises. No Pianists. No Black Hawk Downs. The closest thing to a surprise was Jorge Drexler winning for Best Song. It was, however a kind of spread-the-wealth night, of which I sort of approve.
The Aviator: 5.
Million Dollar Baby: 4. (And I was glad it won Best Picture, I just wish Marty had won for Director.)
Ray: 2.
The Incredibles: 2.
Finding Neverland: 1.
Sideways: 1.
The Sea Inside: 1.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: 1.
Motorcycle Diaries: 1.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: 1.
Spider-Man 2: 1.

Next year, though, I'm gonna be sure to tape the show, so I can actually watch it later on. Having a party during a show that you actually want to watch is not the best way to facilitate watching the show.

P.S. I should make sure my television reception is okay before the people show up next time.

26 February 2005

One Day to Go Before Oscar Night!

I went grocery shopping for the big bash tomorrow. Hopefully, the food will all come out lovely. I get so nervous about this sort of thing. I also did my tax return! I get $101 dollars back from the Feds and I owe the State of California $36. Fascinating, I know.

In addition to doing all of the shopping and reporting my income to the Internal Revenue Service, I also found time to sit down and re-watch James Ivory's Maurice. I rarely re-watch films, as you know, (there are so many I haven't seen, why spend time watching one I have?) but Maurice has been calling to me since I got it for Christmas.

The Tale of Maurice and Its Enormous Impact on My Life

Leading up to high school and all during high school, I spent most of my free time reading. I read a lot of important stuff like Dostoyevsky as well as a lot of fluff like Agatha Christie. After high school, I really began to start watching movies. I used to have perpetual Blockbuster rentals at my house. I would rent two and then when I had to return the two I would rent another two. Film after film... the whole summer of 1998. My friends and I went to movies in high school, sure. (I notoriously dragged them to see Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and we saw Titanic three times in the theatre.) But it was after high school that I really started to have an interest in film. I saw John Madden's Shakespeare in Love that fall with my sister. Jaime, Aaron Bell and I went to see Elizabeth. This was also the year of Saving Private Ryan, which I suffered through with some people from church (they picked it, not I). I decided that I would see the other two movies that were nominated for Best Picture that year, and that led me to seeing Life is Beautiful in the beginning of 1999 and then going to the cinema alone for the very first time to see Terrence Malick's incredible The Thin Red Line. By then I was checking the paper to find screenings of independent films and reading about cinema online and elsewhere. I quickly became a lover of Woody Allen and started to watch movies from specific directors; I began to pay attention to a director's stroke on a film: something I never knew a thing about.

I was in the closet back then as you can imagine. After awhile, without really knowing that's what I was doing, I began to seek out films that spoke specifically to me as a gay youth. I can't really remember when I first saw Maurice, but I remember that it had a profound effect on me. It was Maurice that first gave me an example of a homosexual man who made his life work. He wasn't a queen who had to die like the hero of Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman and he didn't end up humiliated and alone like Oscar Wilde. Maurice Hall found a love that made him happy and hung on to it. It isn't a romantic comedy, but it's a beautiful romance, and I think this film, before anything else came along, told me that what I knew I was was something that was okay.

And Now for Something Compeletely Different...

I want to move. I know, I bitch about absolutely everything... and you're probably all so sick of it. But I no longer want to live where I have to answer to other people who do not know me. I know longer want to deal with the insanity of random others while in my home.

This is one of the key things that getting into grad school would mean: I would have an excellent reason to move away from this condominium. Not that I dislike living here because I don't. I simply dislike the condominium association.

I talked with Jaime for a while tonight and she made me feel better. I amaze myself occasionally when I think how absolutely adaptive I am. Is that even a word? I don't really mean "malleable." Perhaps I mean "plucky." I dunno. My dad says that "All things work together for good to them that love the lord." (Actually the apostle Paul said that.) I don't love the lord or anything like that, but the saying is true. It's not that everything "works together for good." For me it's that, no matter what happens, I will put my best face forward. No matter what troubles or drama or nonsense comes my way, I will work hard and make things likeable... or at least palatable. So it's more like: All kinds of things will happen; it is up to me to make them work together for good.

I read Noel Coward's Private Lives too and I thought it was quite charming and still (not surprisingly) very funny after 75 years.

25 February 2005

Good Old Dad.

Yesterday, I sent the following as part of an email to my father:
Aaron is in a bad mood today.
I think I'm really kind of freaking out about this grad school thing. If I don't get in, I just have to figure so much shit out. I have to reevaluate everything.

Dad responded with this:
Take heart. If you do not get in immediately, then you will spend another year building your credentials and perhaps seeking out other schools that you had not previously considered. Those rats (in admissions) may use RE-application as a criterion, and reject every first time applicant. Do not get in a funk. Hearken back to the Biblical message that all things work together for good. That is the only metaphysical reference I have, but I am sure even some frickn monk of another belief system must have a “learned-grasshopper” saying of that type. Things work out. Fretting isn’t getting.

You do follow the Thomas DNA of excess analysis: attempting to compute all permutations of the next events. I hate to see your undies in a bunch when you do not even know the outcome.

I from time to time ponder some of the information that I failed to pass on to you. One of those things was the tendency toward cowardice that I have. That probably was not as evident as you were growing up as my anger. I tended to fret so much over negative outcomes that it paralyzed me on some occasions. I find this happens far less frequently as a 47-year-old. That information might have helped with your DNA being similar. Why that never occurred to me to share is now a mystery (and probably not the only one)


I don't really remember my father's anger too much. I don't know why even mentioned it. But I felt very encouraged by my father's note.

Olivia, Viola, Violence and Violins

Vitriolic Review of Twelfth Night to follow. PLEASE DON'T READ THIS IF YOU LIKE THE SHOW.

I saw Twelfth Night at Cal Poly this evening with my friend Scott and his friend Aaron and I did not like it. It's not the performances that bugged me, although a certain young man who wears a blond wig the entire show is just god-awful. What I hated about the show all has to do with direction.

The concept is good... great even. It's interesting and clever and allows a lot of script snags to be explained extremely easily. It's nice.

No one will ever make me understand why we tolerate so much outright phoniness when we watch a Shakespeare play. Why is this okay? Normally I am going to think this is a theatre and I will allow certain things... those things might be the acceptance that two places that, in the play, are at least a hundred yards apart exist within a distance of a few mere feet. I allow that, and easily. I also allow that people will drink from plastic wine glasses and pay for things with plastic money. It's the theatre, after all.
What I will not allow is people miming dialogue with one another. I have never known myself in reality to mime dialogue with a co-worker or with a friend, and so I am understandably baffled when I see an actor do this. Note to actor: you are pretending and I can see that you are pretending. Exactly whom do you think you are fooling?
I will not allow that music comes out of a gramophone that has no trumpet.
I will not allow that a soldier in a noble's service sings with the aid of a violin that comes from absolutely nowhere.
I will not allow that the show is absolutely filled to the brim with 400-year-old music even though the show is set only 150 years ago. No one on this Caribbean island knows any pirate songs, I guess.
I found the use of music (and ritual???) throughout the show frustrating and pointless. If it isn't funny and the show is a comedy, what is the point? It can't possibly be realism, so what is it? Cutting all of this would have cut down on that 150-minute running time, too.

What I find even more frustrating is a complete neglect of the show's sexual elements: the gender-bending, the jilted lover Antonia, the homosexual overtones in the relationships (If Orsino loves Viola and it's okay because she's a woman, how do we feel about Olivia loving Viola?). I felt like these elements were pushed to the side in favor of the clown (an androgynous and sexless character in this production though neither in the script) and Sir Toby (who has a sexless side-romance with his servant-girl Maria). Both performers (Wahima and Joe) were wonderful, but to ignore the sex in a play about sex! Unforgivable.

I could really go on and on, but it would only end with me saying how I think a production like this is exactly the kind of production that I think has ruined people on Shakespeare: a phony romp without stakes or purpose that gets by on the play's clever premise and good writing.

23 February 2005

Pies Are Currently $6.50 at Marie Callender's

I took myself to Thai food tonight and ate something I didn't really like. Grr. It was too sour and had no curry and was far too salty and I don't know what else was wrong with it. I went to my usual Thai place, where I like to try new things. This was the wrong thing. I will know better in future.

I read Adam Rapp's Nocturne tonight too and was very glad I did. It's heartbreakingly sad and full of luminous poetry.

I also had another phone conversation with Matt Kingston. I guess I didn't tell y'all about the last one. I guess he didn't really call to talk about my friend Anna last time... or maybe he did and this phone call was for me. I dunno. It's strange to be so pursued by someone who only wants me for a friend. My relationship with this man has always been exactly this way. (Well, I did used to want to sleep with him, so I guess that's not completely true.)

I think I'll go to bed early tonight.

Tomorrow after work I'm going to see the Twelfth Night at CSUP.
I hope it's good.

Peace out.

Plumb Disastrous

I forgot to share: after my print odyssey on Saturday, I spent four hours on Sunday taking apart my kitchen sink, which suddenly had all the water pressure of Chinese Water Torture. Added to this, the roommate's mom, dad and little brother were over barbecueing or some such activity, so they were using the kitchen all day. Rommate's dad stood over my shoulder while I was plumbing, giving me suggestions.
It would have all been okay, but I didn't figure out the problem until Monday morning, so I made two trips to the hardware store and one trip to my parents' for a wrench, and ended up only needing a hex key and a Phillips' head screwdriver. Grrr.
Anyway, it's all fine now. I just wish I had spent my weekend doing something fun, instead of being so damned productive.

22 February 2005

Suprisingly Enough...

This evening I saw a very good production of (you'll never believe this) Spoon River Anthology. It was at Pomona College and runs through Sunday. I recommend it, especially if you've seen the show before and hated it.

I got a call from Linda today asking me questions about my show. It made me nervous. I can't even really remember what she needed to know, but this show does not feel very well planned-out. Audition times: that's what she wanted. Weird.

I got some free Tejava and V8 from one of the planes today. Hooray.

I have a lot more to tell you. I feel really on-edge and lazy lately. I feel like I haven't seen a lot of the people I love in a long time. I have also been listening to a lot of really old voices from my past lately and the whole effect is quite jarring.
PLUS I saw four movies this weekend and only one was good... this is normally okay, but the other three were really bad.

The Music Man was wonderful, of course. I absolutely loved it, Robert Preston, Jane Powell and all of its splendor.

Street Smart was AWFUL. God-awful. Terrible, movie-of-the-week level drama with Christopher Reeve in a completely unredeeming role, not that he was ever a good actor to begin with. Morgan Freeman plays against type as a pimp in this, and that's really why I saw it, but Street Smart is probably one of the most racist films I've ever seen in my life. It has no respect or empathy for the Black people in its urban settings and doesn't give a shit about any of them. I loathed this movie.

The Devil and Daniel Webster is a moralizing Faustian tale of bullshit set on a New Hampshire (I think) farm. It's a 1941 film from William Dieterle, whose direction is sturdy. The script is a load of crap, though, and most of the performances are pretty fucking dreary.

Last but not least, Good Bye Dragon Inn is a weird weird film. I just wish it had been more interesting. It's about the movies, I guess, but damn it's dry. The director (Lai Ming-Tsiang) has stuffed the film full of these two-minute still-life shots that don't seem to do anything at all. Strange. I kind of half-liked it, but I recommend it to no one at all.

21 February 2005

20 February 2005

I Love You Three

Tonight I saw my friend's production of A Breeze from the Gulf by Mart Crowley (The Boys in the Band). It's very well realized and a nicely-directed piece. It's also intensely personal and powerful. I feel like Ashley put so much of herself into the show. I really feel like the show teaches me a lot about you as a person and as an artist, Ash. Congratulations to you and to Tito, who just took no fucking prisoners in this show. It was a brave performance and you should be very proud.

Also at the show was my old (designer) colleague Jeanine Lambeth Eastham. It's so funny, when she and I get together it always seems to be yap yap yap about theatre. It's so great. I love talking to this woman. She's working on a production of Spoon River Anthology right now at Pomona College which she swears is really good (I know, I know, but she says so.) I told her I want to go see it. I've actually never seen a production of it, so...
Anyway, it's just so amazing how things come to us. I saw three shows this week and I'm going to see two next week and the week after that I will be casting my own. Things are back in swing and all at once I'm a part of the theatre community again. It's so refreshing. And I feel at home.

Amazing. It's such a gift to be able to come right back to theatre as if I'd never left and to simply know that this is what I need to be doing for the rest of my life. I can work in accounting for months and never see the inside of a theatre, but I step into one or have a conversation with another theatre artist and it's like a splash of water on my face. This is what I do.


19 February 2005

A Print Odyssey

I ordered the print three weeks ago. I had been looking for something enormous that would fill the space over my sofa. The wall is huge and off-white and... empty. Finally I found something perfect and it was (gasp) $200.00. So, naturally I bought it and when they told me that I would have to wait two weeks I cheerily agreed (cheer is my usual attitude with salespeople--it makes things go ever so much more smoothly.) So three weeks later after three phone calls to this place, they tell me that I can pick the behemoth print up at 3:00p.

Now normally I avoid the Santa Anita Fashion Park, but there is an Express there, so I have to visit every once in a while. I had also unfortunately purchased the print at a store in the Fashion Park, so off to Arcadia I was. I found a parking space after five minutes or so and went in to the mall. The print was not at all ready, but I waited about twenty minutes and they produced it for me, wrapped in a plastic bag. I carried the gigantic thing to my car and hoped that I could find a way to fit it inside.

This was not to be. I tried for ten minutes to find a way for this thing to fit in my car but no cigar. In addition, I noticed that the print wasn't finished after all: the non-reflective plexiglass shielding the print was coming apart from the frame. So I carried the motherfucker back into the mall and told the staff about my problem. They promised to fix it toute suite and I drove my ass to Target for some bungee cords and (for some reason) Reveal light bulbs--I'm addicted to purchasing those things.

Back to the Santa Anita Fashion Park where I was in and out of the print store in minutes and strapping the artwork to the roof of my car with a single bungee. The moment I hit a speed above 15 mph, though, the whole thing rose up off the roof and behaved as though it would fly away. So I pulled over and strapped another bungee onto the print. The flyaway threat was still there, but less emphatically. I decided to risk it and drive side streets all the way back to Pasadena so I wouldn't have to go too fast. I turned my hazard lights on and hoped people wouldn't get too pissed at me.

Then it started to rain.

It was the longest drive home ever (well maybe not as long as that trek home from the wine country last November.) The artwork survived, however, and is currently looking like a million bucks hanging above my sofa.

17 February 2005

Edward Albee Rocks My World (Again)

I called absolutely hysterical tonight because this evening after work I went to the Mark Taper Forum and
This level of hysteria from someone who had already read the play and knew exactly what was going to happen--or thought I did--I didn't fucking know shit I swear to god. I really shouldn't even have been driving home in the state I was in.

Holy FUCK.

Oh my god. Go see this play as soon as humanly fucking possible.

Oh yeah, and I got a rejection letter from UC Berkeley when I got home. I put it on my fridge. Letters from institutions for higher education really do belong on one's refrigerator. They chose five candidates out of eighty-seven applicants. I was one of the many, unfortunately, and not one of the few.

I will have to post soon about my back-up plan if I don't get into grad school.
Perhaps I'll post about it when I figure it out.

Stop reading about me, though, and go buy your tickets to The Goat. Go here. You have got to see this play.

15 February 2005

Days You Want to Take Back and Re-Live So You Don't Do the Stupid Shit You Did Today

Don't think 'cuz I understand I care.
Don't think 'cuz I'm talking we're friends.

Boy did I ever fuck up today.
I totally spilled a secret at work that I didn't know I was supposed to keep. Fuck.

It's amazing the things that can happen when I am not on my guard. I try so hard all the time to approach others with generosity and understanding. This doesn't always work. Very frequently, people behave like idiots, and this makes it difficult for me to be generous. Maybe I ought to get out my journal and start following the Julia Cameron path again. I seem to have given up yoga altogether, lazy-ass that I am.

I get so angry with myself when I fuck up like this. It's always when I am not on my guard that I have the potrential to really hurt someone. I forget how powerful I am... and I try so hard to be kind. It's just that sometimes it's so fucking difficult to be kind. Of course it would happen that in a moment of personal weakness, when I lash out in the most nonchalant way at the easiest target imaginable: that would be the moment when I could do the most damage to the dynamic of the office.

What I did is not a big deal in reality. In front of the girls in the office I told one of my bosses something that the girls had been keeping a secret for three years. I didn't know it was a secret. It was one of those really obvious things that an observant person thinks everyone else notices too. Not so. The girls all looked at me like I had killed a baby deer or something. And there is no way to make it up. The secret is out and it's my fucking fault. And the secret is only out because I talk to fucking much and I decided that I wanted to make a joke at someone else's expense at a vastly inopportune moment.

I am mostly disappointed in my own sensitivity and awareness. I should be looking out for those less capable than myself. Instead, in moments of great weakness, I tend to trample.

Here's to waking up and making less of an ass of myself tomorrow.


My Stage manager is posting this around the department at CSUP to promote involvement in the Spring Black Box show. I hope it's a good idea... more importantly I hope it works.

What are you doing this Spring?

Try something new...

This Spring actors, designers and director Aaron Thomas will collaborate with student playwrights on
new, exciting work!

You have a chance to have a lasting influence
on the creation of a new play,
to make your ideas as an actor heard and
be a part of a company of artists
working toward a common goal:
powerful, affecting, meaningful theatre!!

Auditions: Mon 2/28, Tue 3/1, and Wed 3/2

Rehearsal: Sun-Wed 3/28 - 5/3

Performances: Thu-Sat 5/4 - 5/7

E-MAIL RYAN (rtirrell@xxx) or AARON (a.c.thomas@xxx)

14 February 2005

Love Is in the Air

Bernardo's plays came in the mail today and... I think I have two more plays that I like. One is by Joe Ngo and the other one was written by a guy named Roderick La Cuesta, who I think I know, but I'm not sure. There was a play by Jensen, aka , but Jensen isn't gonna be around next quarter and, while I really like the play I think it would be impossible to cast in CSUP's theatre department. It's really fucked up, though. This girl totally hacks away at her own body!

I'm thinking of calling the evening of plays Polished/Raw.

As to the topic of Valentine's Day: and Oh my god were there enough breeder couples out this evening in Old Town Pasadena swooning at each other?
St. Valentine's Day, any good reader of Chaucer will tell you, should rightfully be placed in MAY, during the traditional season of fertility and amour, and not smack-dab in the middle of February, when Spring is most definitely not in the air.

Actually, I woke up in a fairly good mood, and things might have stayed that way had it not been that my co-workers totally rubbed it in my face that I would be single and alone all day. True story:
Rowena: "Good night"
Aaron: "Good night, have a nice evening."
Rowena: "You too, all alone."

That about sums it up.

P.S. I used to know a guy named Aaron Caloca. He says he's coming to my Oscar Party, but I don't really believe it.

13 February 2005


Did I leave the tap running or is the apartment getting more tearful?
I always thought it would cope okay.
Didn't expect it to cry so much.
When people cry they can dry their eyes with tissues.
But when an apartment cries, it takes a lot to mop it up.

-Wong Kar-Wai Chung King Express

Today I watched something I should have seen years ago: Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. This film is a fucking masterpiece and don't let anyone tell you different. I was put off by the three-hour-twenty-minute running time but I shouldn't have been. It is nothing short of genius.

Awesome Drama

This is a must read for all lovers of theatre. Check it out to your right, if you're reading this on my page. It's a collection of three plays called Stone Cold Dead Serious. Each of the plays is extremely interesting. Adam Rapp's voice is so distinct and interesting. Highly Recommended!

12 February 2005

How Does Someone Who Grew Up as a Woman Learn to Pick Up Chicks Like a Man.

Last Week's "This American Life," which is probably the BEST radio show ever, was entitled "What Is This Thing (Called Love)?" It's a must-listen. Act One is about romance novels and the romance novel industry. Fun and occasionally moving stuff, but par for the course with this show. Act Two, though, is about how transgender men look at love now compared to how they looked at love when they were women. SO INTERESTING and emotionally powerful. Act Three is a brief, humorous, essay from Sarah Vowell (The Incredibles) on the love story of Johnny and June Carter Cash.

My favorite quote (from a woman who tried really hard to be a lesbian but is now transgendered man who likes men): "I'm the only person I know who has been G, L, B and T."

Go here to listen to it. You'll need RealPlayer.

I See Loud People

Watched Chung King Express tonight. I FUCKING LOVE WONG KAR-WAI. Plus, this one starred (at least for half of the film) Takeshi Kaneshiro... most gorgeous guy ever. It's okay that he goes away after half of the film because Tony Leung is the star of part two.

I worked late tonight and then I decided to go read a play at CPK. I have been reading some Adam Rapp. I finished his play Stone Cold Dead Serious a couple days ago and it absolutely rocks. So I am reading the next one in this anthology. It's called Faster. It's really fucking good too. Allan, you would love these plays.

I finished my salad and diet pepsi (I'm trying to do better, again) and decided to go buy a copy of As You Like It. Linda is talking to me again about doing Shakespeare in the summer and she brought up AYLI. I have (oops) never read it, so I need to bone up, I guess. I also nearly ran into (literally) Haley Joel Osment, who looks a lot better since the last time I saw him. Read: his face has cleared up.

Actually, let me tell the full story. I'm eating my salad at the bar at CPK because the place is absolutely packed, and about twenty feet from the bar are two tables filled with (I assume) high school students, but they might have been college freshmen. For some reason, most of them are wearing odd outfits. One of them is wearing Mickey Mouse ears and those enormous Mickey Mouse gloves, for example. Another is wearing a paper bag on his head decorated to be a rocking horse head. I swear this happened. Another is in house slippers. When I get up to leave, they are also leaving. I leave the restaurant alone and go around the corner to the elevator which will take me one floor down to the parking structure. I wait for the elevator in solitude for a minute or so when I am joined by a moderately pretty, rather pouty Filipino or Mexican woman. She does not smile at me but waits for the elevator. After another thirty seconds or so we are joined by the twenty teenagers from CPK who are being as loud as anyone has ever been in the history of Earth: talking, joking, laughing--mostly yelling, I feel. When the elevator comes to our floor, about ten people get off the elevator and the kids start to get in before me and Filipino/Mexican chick, so I move into the elevator in their midst and F/M chick follows suit. The kids, however, do not stop filling the elevator and so we all squeeze into the elevator: about twenty-two of us. The kids' volume has in no way lessened during this process or in the ensuing ride down to the parking garage. This one girl in particular is screaming in my ear to her companions that they "are not the only ones in the elevator," and that her comrades ought to be considerate of the strangers in their midst. I begin to chuckle at this. In fact, the whole thing amused me, beginning with the sardine-packed elevator. I thought it was very funny and I was grinning the whole time girl #1 was yelling in my ear about her friends' manners. So when the elevator door opens and I am let out I am still grinning and before I realize I am talking to/looking at Haley Joel Osment, I say with a grin on my face "Little kids" and shake my head. Haley is smiling too and is dressed in a suit coat for some reason or other. I think he joined up with the kids, and now that I think about it, he may have been in their company the whole time without me noticing. He is rather short, after all.

10 February 2005


Why does Bernardo's voice mail say "Hi, you've reached Bernardo... leave me a message... as soon as you can"? Why? As soon as I can? How about right now, Bernardo? Since I'm here, and all.

09 February 2005

Sometimes I'm on My Game...

What does Fiona Apple say? Sometimes my mind don't shake and shift / But most of the time it does.

I haven't been getting enough sleep. This week is also the toughest week out of the month at work. We have management statements due and this month I have been given an equal share to the other lowly accountants in my office: meaning I have six of them to do. This would all be okay, actually. They just take a long time, really. I mean, they're not especially tough. But lack of sleep and increased pressure led me to be an unhappy camper around 1:00p today. I had lunch around 1:15p and simply decided to give in to the bad mood. I announced to the others that I was indeed in a bad mood and not to fuck with me. They did not heed my warning, but most escaped without me raising my voice. The lazy one was not so lucky. She totally fucked up something I was working on and then didn't tell me until it was way too late and I had to go back and fix this thing (I am blowing it out of proportion, but hey... bad mood.) It really wasn't that bad. I was just pissy... and tired.

I called a bunch of people on the way home: my usual M.O.
Bernardo didn't answer his phone, of course. He was supposed to have sent me the plays I am supposed to choose from last Wednesday. I still have not received them so I don't know what he's doing. He says that this playwriting kid Eric has written something he thinks is really interesting and he wants me to think about that too. I can't think about it, of course, because I haven't read it.
Madison never answers her phone, but I actually left her a message this time.
And I called Kevin. Mostly just to say hi. I saw him at CSUP on Monday and I realized I kind of missed him. So we chatted for a while. He's so weird. I think I'm drawn to him in the way I am drawn to other dorks--kinda like Andrew--he's really passionate about acting, so that is interesting to me, but he's not at all cool like Justin or Wahima or Elizabeth

I came home and turned on Wong Kar-Wai's Chung King Express, but didn't even get halfway through it before I started to fall asleep. So I gave into that too and laid down on my sofa and slept. Bernardo called me back after a while and he seemed very confused that I hadn't received the plays. Hm.

Or better yet / I'll wear shades / on sunless days / and when the sun's out I'll stay in and slumber

08 February 2005

I Don't Want to Go to Work in the Morning and So I Rebel By Not Getting Enough Sleep

Must... go... to bed... It's fucking late, and I went out to Pomona to see a run through of Ashley's production of Mart Crowley's A Breeze from the Gulf, which looks like it's going to be really good. My friend is talented. It makes me happy. BTW, Tito is in the show and is doing excellent work.

I saw a lot of my peeps from CSUP: people I like, like Matt and Brittney and Tori and Anthony and Kevin, who looks like he's going to go exploring up the Mississippi for Ponce de León.
And of course WAHIMA. I love you.

Mostly, though, I just hung out with Ashley and we talked about her show and how to make it even better and other stuff that we needed to talk about: just friend-time. It was good. We have that very infrequently nowadays.

I talked to Mike Steger on the phone today, too. He's going to India for free with his girlfriend who will be filming there for a month and a half. Mike will be there for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. For FREE.
Um... I'm jealous.

06 February 2005

Home Improvement

I painted this weekend: pretty much all weekend. Friday after work I went to Lowe's, bought my paint and came home and watched The Broadway Melody.

On Saturday, I started painting at around 1:00p and finished the dining room around 5:00p. I was gonna watch another movie, but I ended up just bumming around until I met my friends at Applebee's (I fucking hate this place, but my friends don't care) in Diamond Bar (I live in Pasadena, but my friends don't care.) Actually, the drive wasn't bad at all and all I did at the restaurant was drink, so what does it matter how white-trash the joint is?

On Sunday, I was supposed to go coffee-table-shopping with Deborah to buy my parents a new one so that they could give me theirs (it matches the end tables in my living room). I didn't really want to go table-shopping, but it had to be done, or I wasn't getting my parents'.
Not so. Mom called and said she doesn't want a new coffee table and the one she has is in the way anyway, and can Debs just bring it by my house. Um... yeah. You're going to give it to me and deliver it and I don't have to do anything?? Sweet.

The doorway needed two coats because of the nature of the paint, so after the first one, I took a break and watched Before Sunset, which is SO GOOD. If you saw/liked Before Sunrise, you will love this sequel. You probably already know that it's a Decline of the American Empire/Barbarian Invasions thing, with a sequel happening with the same actors after many years (15 in the Denys Arcand case and 9 in this case.) And like Barbarian Invasions, Before Sunset is a very different film from it's predecessor, and wonderfully so. Before Sunrise was a hopeful, energetic, magical, coupling that wasn't the least bit based in reality and cashed in on a seat-of-the-pants mentality and earnestness that twentysomethings often have. I liked the movie when I watched it a couple days ago, and instinctively knew that if I had seen it in high school, I would have connected with it a lot better. The characters are idealistic and wonderful, but they seem to be in denial (they're not really, they're just young.) But Before Sunset is able to bring these two characters back together and they can discuss politics and love and their dreams with new attitudes and eyes: they are the discussions of people who are older and wiser and more tuned-in to reality on a lot of levels. I absolutely loved it. I feel like Before Sunrise was about a certain period in my life that I remember only semi-fondly, but Before Sunset is about my life as it is now, and it is no easy feat to make a movie like that. I promptly moved Before Sunset onto my top twenty-five list for 2004.

Still haven't seen Head On. I keep meaning to see it; this is it's second weekend in release. I just can't get my ass in gear to go to the cinema.

The dining room looks stellar. The paint is eggshell and it looks wonderful, and the color is just perfect. I hung the ($40) painting I bought at HomoGoods HomeGoods last week and it looks great on the new wall. I'm still kind of undecided on the doorway area. The paint is a satin finish (they couldn't give me the flat in the dark red color I wanted) and I'm not sure I like it; I know I don't like it as much as the eggshell. The color looks great, but I didn't paint the doors at all and so they kind of pop. Hmmm.

Post Screen Actor's Guild Awards Oscar Thoughts

I am in denial about Hilary Swank being a lock for Best Actress, but it is looking more and more like she is going to win, and that Annette Bening will lose again. Annette will certainly be nominated again, but she should really win for Being Julia.

Jamie Foxx is a lock. This is juggernaut status, baby. He's this year's Charlize Theron.

As I predicted to as we were walking out of the movie theatre, Morgan Freeman is going to get his Oscar this year. This is his fourth nomination and he's never won one before, so it is his time. It's an easy performance, I think, but it's the kind of performance that we're used to Morgan Freeman giving.

Supporting Actress is not really "anyone's call" as people are saying. I think Laura Linney, Sophie Okonedo and Natalie Portman are decidedly out, Leaving two possibilities. I will bet that Cate Blanchett takes it this year, but Virginia Madsen could win.

Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby. It's gotta be. I hope hope hope.

05 February 2005

Forgive Me

I take back absolutely everything I said about Jan A.P. Kaczmarek's score for Finding Neverland. It is really amazing. I will still be a hater on the movie (irrational, I know, but it's this year's Chocolat), but the score is beautiful, sensitive, and melancholy, and it's occasional innocence and revelation make it, as a piece of music, nothing short of magic.

Paint Purchasing & Orange Crush

I was feeling a little out of my depth at the Lowe's Paint Department...

Aaron: "Um... I'd like to get a gallon of this color."
Paint attendant: "It's after six."
Aaron: "Is that important somehow?"
Paint attendant: "We don't mix paint after six. It takes too long."

Blank stare from Aaron.

Paint attendant: "We close in three hours."
Aaron: "How long does it take to mix paint?"
Paint attendant: "A couple of minutes. Ha Ha." (Big grin.)

Was this supposed to be charming? It wasn't.
Mix me my fucking paint and quit wasting my time.

~ Story Time ~

So, when I went to visit Madison and Brantley on Wednesday, I mentioned that I was developing a crush on this cabin attendant at work. Her name is Julee and she's gorgeous and fabulous and a little dumb, but always cute and always very nice to me in an experienced-attractive-female-likes-the-attention-of-younger-impressionable-male-who-is-nowhere-close-to-her-league-type of way. You know the drill. The whole thing is funny anyway, because she is obviously a beautiful heterosexual woman and I am obviously a homosexual man. We flirt, we compliment one another's outfits. I help her out when she needs help (strangely like high school when I helped attractive women (and--more importantly--men) with their homework so that they would know I existed.) AT ANY RATE, my relationship with Julee reminded (reminds) me of having a little crush on someone, so I mentioned it in passing as one of my random anecdotes at dinner. It was supposed to get a laugh, but instead it got:
"Well, why don't you ask her out?"
This question was met by me with a blank, incredulous stare.
So Maddie says, "Well why not? Men change all the time. You never know."

OKAY, things not to say.

"Are you serious?" I asked. "What are you talking about?"
"Well why don't you try it?"
"But whatever for?" I asked, still stunned at the way the conversation turned out.
"How do you know until you try?"
This line of questioning tapered off into their roommate Amino (who goes to CalArts and is quite cute and from Morocco) asking me why I don't like women.

You can bet I ended this conversation in a hurrry. The whole thing just made me really uncomfortable. I mean, I can't imagine being anything other than a homosexual man anymore. If that means I have put myself into a box (so to speak), then so be it. I mean, I am not confused at all about what I want, but my two friends seem to be a little confused about me.
What the fuck? Seriously. What. The Fuck?
It doesn't really make me angry. But I felt--feel--really unsupported by those two friends all of a sudden.

Am I blowing this out of proportion?
Would any of you suggest such a thing to me in complete seriousness?

03 February 2005

This Journal Entry Not Appropriate for Children...

So, after this dream, someone actually did get fired from my work today... someone in my department even. Scandale! This man missed his third day of work today and decided he didn't need to call in sick. Whatever. I was really glad I didn't call in sick today, though, because three of the five people who are on my level in my department called in sick. Four out of five would've looked really bad.

No movies tonight, even though a couple came in the mail.

Brittney was telling me that I should come to Rick Tabor's wedding, and I would really like to, but I am planning on painting the condo this weekend and driving up north to go to a wedding is not on the agenda. Worse yet, Brittney was telling me about the wedding and (I was really drunk) my mind wandered off to imagining having sex with Rick. At some point I shook myself out of my daydream and had to ask her to repeat what she had said. Oops.

Quote of the night (in reference to a CSUP student we call "Wood"): "I just want to defacate on his face."
Now, I don't normally support discussion of fecal matter even in jest, but this shit had me rolling.

State of the Union

I had a horrifying dream last night that I got fired from Avjet and I had to go work at another aircraft charter company. I was really sad in the dream.

Last night I visited my friends Madison and Brantley in Valencia. Maddie and I went shopping after we watched the State of the Union address (which I didn't completely hate.) I bought another print for my house. I have three now, guys. This new one is beautiful, too. Hooray... oh yeah, and it was $40. Cheers.

As for Mr. Bush: while he was talking I kept thinking about the audio I always hear of the Parliament in UK, where the senators (or whatever they're called) make so much noise: boo the PM and stuff. I love that: people actually being sincere about their politics and making some noise about it. While Bush spoke to a house full of admirers, I was in Valencia booing or disagreeing or whatever, and yet none of the people I voted for did that. You know? But then Bush said some lie about Social Security and they did in fact boo at him! I was so happy!
Okay, I love the idea about him re-vamping Social Security, and I completely support this idea of private accounts (which he explained quite succinctly last night), but he still hasn't explained how he's going to close this enormous gap he is predicting. I don't really believe in the gap, and obviously most of the Democrats think he's full of hogwash when he talks about the system being bankrupt in 2055, but even if there is such a thing, private accounts won't close it. Only cutting benefits or raising the retirement age will do that. And why can't we raise the retirement age like Clinton suggested ten years ago? I think it's a fine idea, and most of the other people my age will tell you they think it is too. He's talking about changing absolutely nothing for anyone over 55 years of age anyway (typically, he protects his gigantic AARP constituancy. I hate them.)

He supports an amendment to keep marriage between a man and a woman. (Amendment won't pass, so I don't even know why he brings it up.)
He is opposed to stem cell research. ("Harvesting human embryos," he called it.)
Then he started talking about Iraq and Syria and I had to shut it off. I hate when he talks about his international agenda. It just makes me cringe.

He also said something about clean, safe nucular [sic] power, but I didn't know what he was talking about. Maybe I was drunk that day in my high school Physics class.

I hate him so very much.

01 February 2005


I'm getting my money's worth out of Netflix once again. Tonight I watched Wong Kar-Wai's Days of Being Wild. It rocks. It's not as fucking genius as In the Mood for Love, but it is awesome nonetheless.

Celebrated the parents' twenty-fifth wedding anniversary tonight as well, and I absolutely gorged myself with food. Not a nice image, I understand, but there aren't too many other ways to say it. Dinner was actually quite lovely, except during the obligatory 'political discussion' portion of the evening. I don't bring politics up, y'all. It was Deborah, who asked the pressing question, "Aaron, how do you feel about women in the military?" What the fuck is she talking about? I don't understand these people most of the time when it comes to politics. They just don't think things through, and my mother and sister both think that women should and I quote, "stay at home and raise the children." This kind of shit makes me want to throw a chair through a plate glass window like nothing else.
And then sit and cry for a solid hour.

Mostly, I was calm though.


It's difficult, I suppose, to measure the productivity of one's evening. Sometimes, even when I do nothing, I feel like I can go to bed saying, like Jesus at the end of Last Temptation: "It is accomplished." (Did Jesus really say this in the Bible? Do I just have amnesia? Can anyone give me a chapter and a verse?)

Tonight I did laundry, took time out to encourage my friend Jaime, helped Matthew work through some shit and had a long, fluid, easy conversation with my old friend John Testro that actually felt like a conversation between two friends. I ironed my shirts for what seemed like three hours, and I also watched Jim Jarmusch's excellent Dead Man with Johnny Depp and a million other people including John Hurt, Gabriel Byrne, Iggy Pop and (!) Robert Mitchum.

I did not, however, finish the book I'm reading, nor did I buy my parents a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary present. Will I? Probably not. So on those levels the evening feels like a bit of a loss, perhaps because so much of it was spent on the phone, or because I had to complete the utterly banal task of doing my own laundry.

A list that began forming in my head yesterday. It is in no way complete. These are just a few of the things I've thought of.

My Favorite Extravagances:
Getting a massage.
A venti hazelnut latté.
Seeing a movie at the Arclight Hollywood.
Five extra minutes in the shower.
Dry cleaning.
Going to the opera.
Smoking marijuana.
One of those bioré strips.
Having someone else drive.

That's enough for now.