Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays from the dayjob

So - found out a couple hours ago that as a holiday present, my dayjob gave me an ipod nano. And fired me.

Yup. As if out of 'glengarry glen ross,' 4 days before christmas they called to let me know that my services will no longer be required, as they've decided to hire someone who treats the firm more like a career. And guess who that person might be... the friend i found for them to cover my desk while i was out of town, who told me that if they offered her a full-time job she wouldn't be interested.

I have to laugh! It's really pretty absurd. I'm actually not that devastated by it all - i'll file for unemployment and go to temp agencies (wasn't looking forward to that, i admit) and hit the auditions double hard (which i am very much looking forward to), and look for other, unexpected opportunities.

Meanwhile, i've got 2 more shows here in roanoke. Elizabeth N. is in town, which is kind of wonderful.

And hey, if anybody knows of any astounding work... i know of a hell of an actor.

Monday, December 18, 2006

X-treme Theater

This weekend was awesome and exhausting, physically and emotionally.

Number one on the list of 'what was he thinking?!' would have to be that i chose to get out of bed at 6:30 saturday morning in order to meet paul for a 7+mile mountain hike before doing not one but TWO shows that day (bear in mind that the only time i leave the stage during these shows is for intermission and for two unbelievably quick costume changes into and out of those drywall stilts). Blew the carbon out of my system, wore me the fuck out, but what a great feeling. And this sort of thing totally opens up your acting (or it can anyway). A friend wrote about a spiritual teacher who says you should piss off your ego once in a while. Which i agree with, and add that it's a good idea to push yourself in a serious way, or somehow surprise yourself or shake yourself up once in a while.

Ran into some offstage personal drama later on that night, wouldn't you know? But nothing like the day when i did the long bike ride followed by two 2-man shows followed by having a break-up phone call with sunny during which i got call waiting from beth who NEEDED TO TALK TONIGHT, IT'S IMPORTANT so after sunny and i finished breaking up on the phone over 800 miles i called beth and found out that our cat had died. Oy - that was a day! Yeah, this was nothing like that, and i won't go into it here, but it was enough to prevent me from getting good sleep, in spite of being completely exhausted. Then yesterday after the show and the bah hum bug fiesta (big success, btw) all the players in the offstage drama found ourselves in the same places at the same time, for much of the day. Tee hee! Not sure who's pissed off at whom right about now, but i'm being cool about it (as far as i know) and not letting it weigh down on me too much.

Tonight's the secret santa party - ho ho ho!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


...on tuesday made me hungover yesterday (ok, it wasn't the karaoke that did it - it was the shot of jameson, the jack and coke, and the many many beers, but the karaoke didn't much help) I was not in my best form, i must say - did a barely passable 'born to run' to represent hoboken, and fairly butchered 'should i stay or should i go.' How did these songs end up so high? They seem like they're right in my range when i'm singing along... oh, wait, maybe it's the beer and the smoke (bars down here are still really smokey) and the microphone and the eyes on me.

But it was a really good time, much fun with the theater folk, who amused each other if not the crowd in general (and i think we did amuse the crowd in general, although i doubt that many of them will be rushing out to buy tix for xmas carol.) A local hottie singing 'gold dust woman' got my attention, which resulted in a drunken pass i should probably be embarrassed about but which resulted in her phone number anyway.

So magic 8pod: what's going to be the deal there?

'Moonlight in Vermont,' by Billie Holiday. Nothing terribly revealing about this response, but it's a great version of a gorgeous song about a beautiful subject, so that can't be bad...


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tidings of comfort and joy

Yesterday turned out great! Got some stuff done. The mechanic scared me with what might be wrong with my car (for instance, it could have needed a new fuel injector or compressor - yikes!) but then it turned out to be a loose spark plug (whew!) So that was a relatively cheap fix - and now my car feels like a luxury ride.

Last night went out to see 'stranger than fiction,' which was surprisingly good. Have to admit that on the whole i'm kind of over will ferrell, but this was a very different kind of picture for him. Excellent writing and directing and dustin hoffman and emma thompson provided really fucking good work. And... maggie gyllenhaal. Yum. Omigod omigod she has something beyond description and beyond category. Did some magazine just say that scarlett johannson is the sexiest woman alive? Frankly scarlett, not even close.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA!!!!!! Hope you're having a fantastic time in germany and netherlands.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Crazy Warm

It's like 60 degrees out today. Which begs the question why am i in a coffee shop - no good reason except to do some internet/email stuff, including downloading a song one of the actors needs. Took my car to the shop: hopefully not a big deal; guess i'll find out later today. Would like to get in some tennis or maybe a hike later on. A bunch of people took off to visit charlottesville/monticello, but i wanted to stay closer to home today, to deal with the car and because i knew i'd be up late last night, which i most certainly was:

-Had dinner
-Couple beers with kelly and talked about life and how to live it
-Watched the simpsons
-Few more beers with various and sundry; tried to describe the pleasures of honey dust to a few of the actors - it's one of those things you kind of have to try before you really get it
-Played:taboo (fun game - you should try it) euchre and poker
(at around this time, ben showed up wearing a bathrobe and seemed intent on flashing the world while making it look accidental. And then he and scott started throwing cupcakes at each other for some obscure reason)
-Then a late-night check-in with scott, who by this time was past being drunk enough to throw cupcakes.

Got to bed around a quarter to 4 for some much much needed sleep. We have yet to see what today will bring...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What's the opposite of frustrating?

Fulfilling, maybe?

Anyway, that's what yesterday was, on the whole. Really full and wonderful in surprising ways.

I went to elizabeth n's family place, because her grandmother passed on thanksgiving, and the memorial service was yesterday. Had a bit of a reunion with that whole clan, then went to salem presbyterian: she'd asked me to sing with the choir at the memorial, and of course i was happy to (and there isn't much out there that i wouldn't do for elizabeth if she asked - she's just one of the great beautiful brilliant wonderful people in the world). Got to meet her neice claire for the first time: gorgeous and precocious, natch. And the service was very nice, and moving. Then a couple receptions during which i got to meet much more of the extended family and some friends. Their minister once trained to be an actor. Hmm. Lois, the dearly departed, whom i never did have the pleasure to meet, seems to have been a singularly magnificent individual, and i was honored to be a part of the celbration of her life.

But i had to bow out early to head downtown for the show. Traffic was odd because fridays are HUGE CHRISTMAS EVENTS this time of year, especially yesterday because, in spite of it's being about 16 degrees out, the xmas parade was happening in the evening. So i watched a little bit of that (had to feel for the baton twirlers, who were seriously underdressed) then went on to the theater. Good energy in the air; did a warm up, played 'big bootie' with a couple of the young cast members (this i'd have to show you in person) and then did the show. And it was FANTASTIC - just one of those nights that starts out well, and people throw in some new stuff and other people react to it organically and the audience responds in kind. [GREAT audience last night, which kind of begs the question: does a good audience make a good show, or a good show make a good audience? Answer: both, of course; but in my opinion, much more the latter - if it's funny, they'll laugh; if it's moving, they'll be moved] Even a wardrobe malfunction (fred's wife's petticoat came undone during that interminable party scene), which did cause some onstage corpsing, resulted in spontaneity that kept the show alive and on its toes.

Then out to a bar for a fun discussion with a bitchen bunch of folks.

All in all, a pretty good day.

As promised, a wee bit o' magic 8pod:

First one from last weekend that i didn't have a chance to write about then -

How will Operation Slut-It-Up-A-Notch go? The Kinks, "Who'll Be The Next in Line?" Don't really need to add much to that, do i?

How will our 'Secret Santa' turn out? Jimi Hendrix, 'Killing Floor' Yikes! Maybe we should focus on the fact that it's an amazing version of a rockin' song, or else that party might turn into a sam raimi movie.

How will christmas in new york be? Stevie Wonder, 'Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day' Hey i kind of like this one a lot. Great groove, sweet and sexy... maybe i'll have a nice warm return to the city.

What about the drive back home? Soulwax, 'Beatles vs/Kraftwerk' A cool mashup of 'Eleanor Rigby' with some good ol' synth from deutschland. All the lonely people? All right, I'll be alone on that drive, but if i can treat it like the autobahn, kraftwerk-style, i won't complain.

Ok, i don't know why this blog isn't letting me put things in bold or italics anymore; didn't use to be a problem. Also, why can't i plug links into the text the way everyone else can? Is this an anti-mac/anti-safari aspect. Blah. Not gonna let it crunch my buzz.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


on a bunch of levels.

I've been off the blog for a while. Felt SO GOOD not to be sick that i had some euphoria going on there for a while. There were some fun parties over last weekend (including a very small roving bash called slut-it-up-a-notch) Had some really good shows, and some that were less so.

Did a PR event with a local radio station yesterday - a car dealer donated a loaded 2007 vw beetle that's been dubbed a 'Bah Humbug,' which we raffled off on the radio: buy a ticket for a hundred bucks and get a chance to win the car. Total of about 350 seats for sale, so those aren't bad chances, and the money is split between the theater and a local charity. We sold all the tix, so that's a guaranteed full house and upwards of $35,000. The actor playing scrooge and i both helped out - a teeny tiny bit of air time, which was kind of fun, a lot of answering phones, and no small amount of sitting around. We met lindsay, the PR coordinator, at 6:30 a.m. and were told they'd need us for a couple of hours. We didn't get back until well after 11 - no big deal, but mildly annoying. Still, a HUGE success for the theater and for lindsay.

Then came this morning's student matinee. The theater rep makes his curtain speech, where he asks everyone to turn off cell phones, etc. For our regular performances, this is also when they acknowledge the corporate patrons, but i was a little surprised to hear him run through the list for the benefit of these junior high and high school kids. And then even more surprised when he went on to discuss individual contributions, and suggest that when they get out of school and start making money they should consider giving to the theater. Ugh.

And then about 10 minutes into act one, around the time marley's ghost shows up, one of the students begins moaning, loudly, in the audience, fairly near the stage. Other kids were laughing, and it rattled some of the actors. Pretty soon it became clear that this wasn't some jackass being disruptive, but a special-needs kid who couldn't control himself. But that wasn't necessarily clear to everyone, especially the folks who aren't on stage a whole lot (i.e., almost everyone) So there was some line shakiness, some unintended laughter (onstage and off), and even some pretty inappropriate improv. When the act ended i went to the deck stage manager, who was laughing about it - really not a bad reaction all in all, but i wasn't finding it funny at the moment. I asked her what was going on, and what was being done about it, and she had no idea. Not only that, no one had tried to find anything out or do anything about it at all during the act. I make it clear i'm not happy and ask to be told what's going on when somebody gets a clue.

Soon the stage manager shows up in the dressing room all 'i hear you wanted to talk to me.' I hadn't said anything about wanting to see her, but she went on to say "there's a group of disabled kids in front."


"And none of us knew about it."

"The house manager didn't know?"

"The house manager knew, but didn't tell us, and put them down front - he says he's going to move them to the back where they'll be less distracting."

"I'm not sure that's the best idea - don't you think that might be demoralizing for them?"

"Well, we'll figure something out"

Ok, basically it's too late at this point to DO anything much to help. Beforehand, some foresight in seating might have been helpful, and a little foreknowledge of what was going on would DEFINITELY have been good. I mean, last week they warned us that there would be some kindergardeners in the house, and this week they didn't feel it necessary to let us know that somebody in the fifth row would be moaning and wheezing and gasping for breath. Then one of the other actors comes into the dressing room and starts complaining about the inappropriate behavior of the young actors vis a vis the situation. I almost yelled at him: "They had no knowledge of what was going on!"

"The people in fezziwig's party were laughing and making faces"

"Those guys thought it was some kid being an asshole."

"It was obviously a disabled student."

"It was obvious to us because we were on stage the whole time - the fezziwig people had no clue. I didn't know for a few minutes what was up."

"I knew right away. And no matter what, it was inappropriate."

Which, of course, it was. And unprofessional.

And frustrating on so many levels...

Wow. I've got to write more good stuff, and less overwordy rants.

Next time i think i'll throw down another Magic 8pod.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

getting better all the time...

...but just little by little.

This damn cold has been hanging on tenaciously. [btw, must go see the tenacious d movie soon] I at least feel like a real live human being today, which is a big plus. Went out into the world for a reason other than to do a show or feed and medicate myself, so that felt good. Up to the roanoke 'star' to walk around and see the sights a bit. Talked to elizabeth n. on the phone and found that her grandmother just passed away on thanksgiving. All condolences and sympathies. The service will be next friday here in good ol' roanoke, so at least i'll be able to attend that and see her and her family there.

We had a student matinee this morning. The fullest house we've had so far (of course) and they were wild and unruly, natch, but in a very real and alive way, and it turned out to be a great show. Love being out there to hear them fuck around and make noise and semi-mock the experience until they get sucked into the story. I've never thought about it this way before, but i think that a room full of 300 kids who are silent because they're listening to actors/artists/musicians do their thing is one of the best sounds there is.

So now i'm off to a media/publicity event (the theater is raffling off a new vw - a 'bah humBUG,' get it? - in conjunction with a local radio station, so they're doing a remote out at the auto mall) then feed the cold and get some rest before tonight's show.

Also must see 'the departed' soon. Can't believe i haven't seen it yet. And 'for your consideration.'

All hail robert altman, while we're at it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hiking and healing

I have a cold. Which really sucks, but hopefully it will be one of those things that comes and goes really quickly - i think i got from the dressing room; held it off until opening weekend was over. Woke yesterday (my day off) with a sore throat. Trying to do all the right things.

The low level cold did not keep me in though. Went on a hike with david and andrew at smith mountain lake - very nice, it was a beautiful day. Went out with amanda and lindsay for some good spicy mexican food, which i'd been craving, then saw the new james bond movie, which i really liked.

So now i'm going to finish up here and try to get some ingredients for healing - ginger and garlic and airborne (which apparently is the cure-all for 2006) and such stuffs - and lie low until tonight's show...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...

Ok, it's been neither, but i figured the sitch was ripe for a dickens quote.

And i will admit that the inspiration for that particular quote was wednesday, which would have to qualify as the worst day i've had since i've been down here in roanoke. Poor sleep the night before, and i woke to a cold and rainy day. And, since the day before my tennis partner was unable to locate a wal mart he promised existed, and the thanskgiving feast-coordinator had been unable to find butternut squash or apple cider, i had to run out to do some shopping. On the day before thanksgiving. In the rain. I really only had a little to do, so i figured an hour would take care of it... three hours later, wet, famished and in a vile mood, i finally returned to the atelier to begin working on the soup i pledged to the company feast. Really just no way to describe quite how unpleasant this all was, but as a little treat to myself to assuage the hunger (and some of you know how nasty i can be when i'm in need of foor), i picked up some comfort food: fried chicken, (real) mac and cheese, and collard greens. Which i was really looking forward to at this point, but i wasn't prepared for the stuff to have slipped just this much on the floor of the back seat, so that the juice from the greens formed a little pool in the bottom of the bag, which then leaked onto the upholstery as i pulled the bag from my car. So i cursed the heavens (still raining, by the way) did a wee bit of damage control, and unloaded the bags.

Then i went into a frenzy of cooking. Which was very good for me. Made two big batches of squash and pear soup, enough for a party of 13, plus leftovers. The chopping, peeling and immersion blending was first rate for me to unload some aggression, and fortunately i escaped the process uninjured. Plus, if i may say so myself, the soup rocked.

I'd thought i might get in a nap to make up for the previous night's fitfulness but that turned out to be a teasing fantasy. SO... it was off to the second preview of xxxmas carol. Which was fine, for the most part, but... remember those drywall stilts? Well we'd worked out the changes a whole bunch of times, and had them down so there was (almost) time to spare. Still, this night, about a third of the way through "yet-to-come's" scene, i noticed that my left foot was slipping out of the binding of its stilt. Now it's kind of important for the phantom of the future to be, well, motionless unless he's supposed to be moving. Kind of diminishes his awesomeness if he's wriggling around trying to get his foot secured into his stilt. So i kept that to a minimum, but when i moved on to the scene at old joe's junk shop, the foot came almost all the way out. I made it to a ledge to sit down on (it was emergency time now) and tried to fix the sitch - no go: the bindings were too far out of whack, and without the use of my hands (which were holding onto big scary arms that were now extending somewhat less than ominously from my big black robe) i realized i had to get off stage for wardrobe help. Mrs. dilber and old joe haggled away downstage, as i limped along the platform towards stage left. But the platform ends about 5 feet shy of the wings, and without a handhold, there was no way for me to make it off. So there i was, leaning on the platform as the audience starts to murmur just a bit (and the director has cardiac arrest) and hoping one of the wardrobe gals will realize what's going on. I held that for a few moments, and when no one appeared i whispered from underneath my hood and veil: "i need a little help here.' Still nothing, so i try a bit louder: 'guys, i need some HELP.' Backstage rumbling and rustling, then i see katie and whisper again - 'you've got to come out here so i can lean on you' Which she did, and we took care of it, and i made it back out before we had to cross to the other side of the stage to point at scrooge's dead body.

All in all, we handled it very well, but talk about nervous-making. Mad props to the wardrobe crew, as always. They ROCK!!! And i don't know where this show would be if they didn't completely fucking rock every night.

Happy to say that since wednesday, things have been great. The weather is now unbelievably great, and though i've been working pretty hard (about to do my 5th show in 50 hours) that's what i am here for.

More updates to come...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fun with technology

Every theater goes through some little technical wrinkles as opening night approaches (shocking, i know). So for a little window into what that can look like, which hopefully theater-people and civilians alike can appreciate, and with nothing but love for the very competent designers and crew, here's a little of what's going on with the Ghost of Christmas Present:

They have him - super talented guy, by the way - entering via a trap door in front of scrooge's bed, and that's led to all sorts of complications (more shocking news). The current solution is to try to draw the audience eye away when the trap opens by means of a fog hazer situated on one of the lighting rails above the proscenium - so they're gunning all this smoke (very loud machine, i might add) DOWN TOWARD THE STAGE, but, as i thought was common knowledge, smoke has this inconvenient tendency TO RISE rather than descend to where the ghost is appearing. They tried this for the first time (in the presence of actors) during yesterday's dress - i was very happy that the appearance of mr. present is one of those moments when it's ok for my character to laugh anyway. As if that weren't enough, our ghost is kind of a sweaty guy, and his mustache keeps coming unglued. "You've never seen the like of me before, have you?" (mustache flap) "Are there no prisons? (flap flap) Are there no workhouses? (flap flap flap)"

Gotta keep a sense of humor about this stuff. It happens at every theater, with every show. And again - BIG UPS to the crew, who are dealing with this and a hundred other technical details (and actor stupidity - remember me on those drywall stilts? Well, now that we're on a darkened and foggy stage, and i'm in a costume that obscures my sight and obliterates my peripheral vision, the fun never stops!) with ingenuity and relentless professionalism. Nothing but confidence that we'll take care of all this bidness. First preview tonight, and we open on friday!

Monday, November 20, 2006


...has been popping up more and more lately. Reminders of the living theater in conversation, references to bakhunin in an article, another article about 'critical mass' and the new york bicycling movement, various references to other leaderless communities, still another article - this one about lagos and the growing mega-city trend, with the attendant GIGANTIC populations that exist beyond the scope of official society, with independent social structures, living situations, rules of behavior and economies (not to mention unfathomable poverty).

And at the same time, the most prominent/visible incarnation of the great anarchist god, the Pink Flamingo, has ceased production. I'm sure you've read about this: the massachusetts company that produces the plastic lawn flamingos has closed that wing, so to speak. The king is dead; long live the king. The omnipotent is of course immortal and indestuctible, and the plastic versions will still be fairly ubiquitous for a while (they're not exactly bio-degradable, after all), but i still thought it was worth a mention.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

tick tock

First dress rehearsal happens in a little over an hour. Fast costume change up onto stilts and into a huge padded FUTURE robe will be worth some excitement. Adrenaline will be flowing and over-caffeinated runcrew will keep things moving on a more or less straight (if staggering) path. Christmas carol as cultural anthropology: enforced recreation live on stage in virginia! God fucking bless us, everyone.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tough stuff

Cory had to get a cast on her ankle. Shit. They're pulling her from the show until she's able to get around without a crutch "because tiny tim is the only one who can have a crutch." Double fucking shit. They are being cool enough to keep her on contract and give her the equity points, but still, i don't like it one bit. I'm going to see what we can do to find a project for her to work on while recovering.

The adrienne shelly murder is wreaking havoc with my brain (and a lot of peoples' brains) Crazy scary sad tragic awful horrific i feel so bad for her and her family. Just pops into my mind from time to time and stirs up a macabre little stew. I didn't know her well, but...


Monday, November 13, 2006

Day off in VA

First full day off down here. Last night a bunch of us went to see 'the prestige,' which was pretty damn good, i have to say. Then a few of us played scrabble and drank martinis till about 3. Not a bad end to the work week.

Today it's really gorgeous again (it's been kind of cold the last few days). Slept in till about 10, and then:

-read a dylan interview (nat hentoff, '64, around hte recording of 'another side...' pretty fucking cool)
-did a set of dynamics
-shower, coffee, breakfast routine
-worked on lines
-read a susan lori parks interview (hinton als from last month's new yorker - also pretty fucking cool)
-cleaned up the room
-went to an indian restaurant for buffet lunch with a bunch of the company
-went to the coffeeshop (where i am now) to check email, etc. and write this entry

Later on i'm playing tennis with andy, and then probably more line work, maybe another movie (haven't seen 'the departed' yet, or 'borat' - both of those are pretty high on the list)

The word from the t-day is that it was great again and that jules did a great job hosting, but the whole thing was too short-lived. All hail the t-day crew!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday morning...

...Not just a velvet underground song anymore.

I'm sitting in a diner on market street, in a booth facing a mannequin of some kind of old timey gambling saloon figure - not a cowboy, but wearing a straw cowboy hat, red vest and black pinstripe suit - think bret maverick with an old and grizzled face. He's standing over by the gumball machines looking pensive about it all. Just finished off some biscuits and gravy (not like what we get in utah, but pretty damn good) and they're taking care of my hangover for me.

Ok, it's not THAT bad of a hangover, but i did tie one on last night. This is the big t-day weekend, and so i had to at least try to make up for missing that. Plus, one of my r-ball partners turned her ankle this week on the court. And by 'turned' i mean 'separated a ligament from and fractured.' Yeah. Not so good. So i felt especially responsible to party with her and her peeps. Made an african peanut soup in honor of t-day virginia-style, the sort of safari-themed room they've got me in, and of course thinking of sunny in togo. Worked on lines over martinis with the truly beautiful and talented katie. Then went and put a big dent in a bottle of jameson with cory, ben and vanessa (well, ok, ben and i did most of the damage to the bottle - cory was on pain meds for her ankle)

So now it's not morning anymore, strictly speaking, and rehearsal awaits...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Missile dick chick

Here's a viddy from sparkle, one of the missile dick chicks who went out to hoboken the day before the election to try to get people to go shopping instead of voting.

Gotta love our men in blue...

Almost no time at all...

...because i'm about to head to the gym and play racquetball (!) for the first time in over a year. Way psyched about the gym down here - very luxurious, relative to the place i go in hoboken. Everything's new, sauna, hot tub, 2 pools, etc.

Then it's rehearsal all day - last night, somebody asked 'do you have rehearsal tomorrow?' and i just gave her a look. If rehearsal's happening, i'm called, yo. But hey, that's what i am here for, no?

Beautiful fucking gorgeous day down here. Little mist on the mountains, the kind you can tell the sun will burn away by about noon. Not bad.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Giant beers and drywall stilts

First read through of the play last night - good group o' peeps. The locals (mostly kids, ages i'm guessing 8-16) are a fun bunch too. One little redhead guy is living in his own private idaho, but he brought a lot of smiles at the reading.

After the rehearsal we went to a bar and i had another one of those 'oh yeah!' moments - the 'inherit the wind' cast would party there too, and i had a memorable dinner with elizabeth n. there that i nonetheless had forgotten about until i passed by the booth where we'd sat. One thing had completely forgotten (if i'd ever known it) was that when you order a large beer at this place, they bring you a huge glass goblet that has about a quart of beer in it. This may be something new, actually, because i think i'd remember a detail like that. Well, this bunyanesque sam adams set me back $4.75, so i reckon i'll favor this establishment plenty...

To answer some folks questions: yes! The housing more than lives up to expectations! I have a beautiful large room with a private bath and kitchenette (kind of like a ridiculously grand version of that hotel they put the milwaukee rep interns in, sherin and jp) and i lucked out so i'm on the side of the building away from traffic and the railroad. And all of the rooms have been nicely decorated. Well... most of them. One actress describes her room as looking like 'jimmy buffet threw up the decor.' It is kind of a tropical nightmare, but she appreciates the kitch.

Now i'm in the theater office, between a costume fitting and the first blocking rehearsal. As the ghost of christmas yet to come, they're having me wear drywall stilts to get some larger-than-life-ness going on. It's a way cool outfit, and i'm having a blast charging around on the stilts.

And that's what i'm going to do now... Hope everybody remembered to vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hello dixieland

Yesterday was fantastic, today is awesome, what will tomorrow look like?

Yesterday drove down to spend the day with jen - one of the greatest people there is, in case you're keeping score at home - had brunch with her in new hope, green tea at her crib, got deep, got silly, shared all the tawdry detail, all the good stuff. Then to philly to hang with darren and jackie and they're 2 babies. Hadn't seen them since last winter, so it was a really great update/reunion. They're doing fab in their new (to them) townhouse in south philly, and building a beautiful life - SO good to see the folks from school once in a while. The three years at u of i were so intense, and now we seldom get to see much of each other, but the connection is pretty direct and immediate when we do. So, thanks darren.

Today i made the drive from philadelphia to roanoke. Hit by memories as i drove into town, then FLOODED by them as i walked around the square. What's changed, what hasn't, what i remember, who i knew back then, who i was back then... Bottom line, it's a fucking gorgeous fall day, warm and clear, the leaves are exploding with color and the drive through the appalachians was stunning. Ready to get down to it in the theater tomorrow. Oh, and, good luck for me: there's a great little coffee shop with free internet around the corner from the sweet place they've got me living, so that's an unexpected perk (ew - unintended bad pun, but who even remembers perking coffee anymore?)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Black coffee on the futon

Beautiful crisp clear morning over new york. Slept in on this, my last day before heading circuitously south for the next 7 weeks. Enjoying some excellent coffee and about to relish what is liable to be the last really good bagel i have for about 2 months. (btw, extra points for the first person who can identify what today's title refers to...)

Last night out with jessica to see the EAT fest at theater on 5. Good stuff, good mix of plays, fab to see karen's work, fun to see paul on stage at last, great to hang with jess, as always! I'll miss her, as i'll miss a ton of people (can i give another shoutout to my fantabulous friends) but the time we live in offers so many ways to keep in touch, you feel closer. Tempted to break down and get a webcam, but i'll be limited to dial-up in the housing. Won't that be fun! Go easy on the photos you send. At the same time, i'm looking forward to less technology, more simplicity - i'll have the ipod and the laptop, but i'll have no tv, slow internet, and there's no telling how the cell phone will work there. Do i contradict myself? Very well, i contradict myself: i am large, i contain multitudes. (ok, that's an easy one, folks)

Going to philly tomorrow to see jen, hit the museum and then hang with darren & jacquie & their kids. Anyone wanting to see me before i go better holla quick!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cannibal Jack-O-Lanterns

On the loose in New York!!!!

Thanks to molly and rudy for that image... hope everyone had a great halloween - mine was pretty fun. Joe came to town to join beth and me at the paramount to see dweezil zappa lead a band doing frank zappa songs. Shades of the past, definitely: baby boomers reliving the celebrated Zappaweens of their younger days, blah blah blah. But the band was damn good, and i am happy to say that the audience wasn't strictly mom and dad's age. There were a couple gals in their 20s in the row in front of me who were singing along with almost all the songs that had words - which was pretty funny when it came to numbers like "punky's whips" :) Then we went to a party that was downright surreal - hosted by a sex columnist (no kidding folks - but not like sex and the city) who was hot hot hot, but also, however improbably, kind of shy. She sang, her boyfriend played trumpet, beth sang, abner played a cheesy electronic keyboard, and the costumes were pretty fun. Definitely odd, and slightly awkward though...

Today i took off from work to get things done i need to get done before i head south. Saw joe out early (after being up late the night before); tried to catch a couple more winks; moved the car to avoid a streetcleaning ticket; took some clothes to the cleaners for some patching; had breakfast and looked up some travel info; went to dmv to renew my drivers license; did all the laundry in the house (well, except the hand washing, haven't got to that yet); took the car to the shop for a tune-up; peter came by to help me set up the new futon i had delivered (still have to take the old one down all those stairs - we'll do that on the way out.) Tonight we're headed to the village to see christopher do his stand-up act. Trying to fit in as much as i can before i get out of here.

Hope to see as many of you as i can this week. Nancy marano's jazz workshop open house at the musician's union on west 48th tomorrow!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Pre-halloween celebration

Well the first bit of good news is that I FOUND A SUBLETTOR!!!! Thanks to the sweet, great, wonderful and fantabulous janna, who has not been nearly enough in my life for the last few years, i have a good guy to look after my place and allow for my trip to virginia to be profitable in the material sense as well as the spiritual. Thank you thank you thank you janna! I owe you a dinner and a half. Let's make a night of it.

Otherwise than that... life continues to flow on. The show closed yesterday, which is always cause for sadness as well as celebration: you grow attached to the people you've been working with (and there's nothing like a show to get to know people intimately in a short period of time. Sex doesn't even come close in this regard. Seriously. Well, ok, sex can achieve that kind of closeness, but it certainly isn't guaranteed to...) and the work is almost, but not quite, the sine qua non of your life (and that's sort of true no matter what show it is - which is a whole other box of wine...)

Then there's that person... not wanting to go on that rant here and now.

Because there are so many other great people. Much fun was had at the bar after friday night's show! In spite of the driving nor'easter it was a blast. Good luck at the music store on saturday - went in to pick up the new decemberists (excellent) and see if they had lady sovereign, only to find out that it won't be released until tuesday (halloween, that is!) But, they just happened to have an advance promo copy, and if i want it i can have it. ! True story, and it's those kinds of things that make my local hoboken music store SO MUCH BETTER than the mega chains and hipper-than-thou caverns of cool. So alright, lady sovereign is maybe not superdeep, and tastes a little like a flavor of the mtv month, but i think her grime is good, you know what i mean? And it was just a cool thing to happen. And as if that weren't enough jqln had a link to her 'love me or hate me' video up on her badass blog, which i looked at for the first time this weekend, so that added to the sychronicity of it all.

Ok, i'm putting in a couple shots from the show

And last but not least - one teeny tiny magic 8pod query:

How will things go with the sudden sublettor? 'Golden Hours' by Ida.

Yeah. I'll take it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

bohemian rhapsody, or, life=maya=illusion=whirlwind

The whirlwind goes on no matter what else happens. When things seem to slow down it's just a pause in the storm, a brief inhalation in the breath of life that will then come back with greater fury than before, shaking you from your slumber and knocking you in ways you can't predict, although it's merely a sigh to the universe. This is just part of the ride, and it's best to let go and sail through it. Don't forget it's all illusion anyway (you want maya on that?)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

what works and what doesn't

Last weekend was fantastic! Put together the sublet email notice and sent it to a bunch of people. Got an email from sunny, who's in the peace corps in togo. Saw 'the last king of scotland' which is brilliant, though brutal. Brunch with sherin and jessica at bubby's: yum! Much fun all day sunday; followed by a good show with lots of friends in the audience. Out afterwards with jessica, chris, jk, beth, abner and jackee comes out of the woodwork to join us!! That was a treat (although i guess she's kind of down these days - hope the night out helped!) it's getting chilly in new york, as it will this time of year, but i like it - the crispness in the air, pulled out my cold weather coat. And it's world series season!

I got a question about why i'd go to a party hosted by an asshole: fair enough. Truth is, i didn't go, but the reason i was considering it is that the guest of honor is the opposite of an asshole - he's a great guy, and when i heard about the party i actually thought he and his girlfriend were hosting. But it turned out that another person was hosting it: not my favorite person, though i'd be able to deal with him better if he hadn't slept with one of my exes. Not that there's any reason he shouldn't have, but i gotta say... just don't feel the need to hang with him. So i feel a little bad about not making my friend's birthday party, but i can live with it.

The sublet thing is wearing on me. I REALLY want to find somebody who comes with a personal reference. I've had a bunch of nibbles, but i need someone to take a big fat bite right about now. Don't want to be dealing with this next week, when i should be getting ready to roll. Shoot some good sublettor energy this way, folks.

The day job is busy and frustrating (blah blah blah) but i'm also busy getting ready to move on to the next stage (literally). You know how i roll.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Random Fun

Very little time, but here's a thing i do every once in a while when i want to cheer up: take a superball (like the kind you get out of a grocery store gumball machine) bounce it in times square, or some other crowded street, and watch what happens.

Now people, be nice - don't bounce it into traffic, we don't want to cause an accident. But on a good, heavily traveled sidewalk, when the cars are scarce, or stopped at a red light, you can give a fun jolt of surprise without doing any harm whatsoever.

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Competence vs. Urgency vs. Panic

Little rant about the day job, where some of the people, and one person in particular that i work with all the time, decide to live their lives in a state of near-constant frenzied panic. It's as if she cannot function unless she's FREAKING OUT about something or another. She came to me with a situation this morning that went something like this (i'll skip the details, but i think you'll get the picture)

She: "There's this problem...!"

Me: "Ok, so what do you want to do?"

She: (with added urgency) "Well, there's this problem...!!!"

Me: "I see, so what do you want to do."

She: (growing frantic now) "You see, there's this PROBLEM..."

Me: "I understand that, what is it you want to do?"

She: (out of her mind panicked) "IT'S THAT THERE'S THIS PROBLEM...!!!!!!!"

Me: "Fuck it, i'll just solve it myself."

Which, yes, may have been what she was looking for all along, but probably not (trust me.) And this is the kind of thing she pulls all the time - take something fairly simple and make it complicated, then continue to discuss it over and over, making it more complicated with each telling until people are confused and frustrated beyond reason. She's just a crazyperson. And they're everywhere.

So, real quick, a little magic 8pod:

What do i do with Crazyboss? Sunswept Sunday, Duke Ellington, from the Anatomy of a Murder Soundtrack.

Ok, i'll resist the temptation to interpret this as an instruction to murder her, and focus on this song's being peaceful beyond chill - think of all the wonderful, blissful, sunswept sundays with hot coffee and bagels and the new york times and somebody wonderful to cuddle with on the futon as you enjoy all these things in the moment, and leave this biz behind.

What's this party tonight (hosted by the semi-asshole who i met through an ex) going to be like? Love Me Tender, by the Ray Brown Trio

Oooh, this is kind of nice! Maybe i'll go after all.

Have a good weekend people.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nights at home and how to use them

You can forget how much you appreciate little things - like just coming home after work, cooking a good dinner and spending the evening with a book. Last night i came home after work and stayed here all night for the first time in weeks. Am in the process of doing the same thing tonight - 2 nights in a row (!) for the first time in... i don't know how long. Wouldn't want to make a habit out of it or anything, but i gotta tell you it feels pretty good to be able to chill.

Reading a great book called 'interpreter of maladies' by jhumpa lahiri - collection of short stories, very sensual, very full inner lives in brilliantly drawn landscapes, compelling as hell. Was asked to read it for lori's reading group (whatever that is) tomorrow. I guess the deal is that people get together and have food and drink and talk about a book that everyone has agreed to read at least a good-sized chunk of. Well, ok. I suppose i have enough literary game to keep up with the conversation. Anyway, my streak of nights in ends tonight, unless i punk out and blow off the gathering tomorrow.

A relative (ok, it's my ex's relative, but i feel like he's family) is dj-ing an 80s party this weekend. This fact has resulted in a little project i've been working on the last couple nights: compiling a bunch of cd's of 80s music. This was made much easier by the birthday box set i got from miss g, but i'm punctuating the whole thing with a custom-made mix of songs that weren't included in rhino's set for some reasons (having to do with copyrights, i reckon).

So here's a list of some tunes NOT included in the birthday set i came up with for a fantabulous 80s mix:

Let's Go Crazy - Prince
Add It Up - Violent Femmes
Melt With You - Modern English
Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash
It's The End Of The World As We Know It - R.E.M.
Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant
Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco
Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
A Million Miles Away - The Plimsouls
Can't Stand Losing You - The Police
Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
Purple Rain - Prince

Figured it'd be fitting to bookend it with the first and last tracks from the purple rain album. It's a mainstream group of pop songs (very hard not to include, say, the replacements), but that's what the guy is looking for - and i'm guessing he's got all the michael jackson and madonna he might need. Let me know what i shouldn't ignore and if i have time i'll include it in the set (and i'll let you know if it didn't make the list because it was on the gigantobox). The college students of providence, rhode island will thank you!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


My new show opens at La Mama this weekend - it's called 'Modern Living" - you should come see it: fridays and saturdays at 10, sundays at 5:30. Our first show was rough: lot's of thinking about costumes and props and moving things around. Our second show was rough in a different way - the adrenaline of being in front of an audience for the first time wasn't there, but there was still some sloppiness. Hey, it happens; but knowing that doesn't necessarily make it better. I actually think hat it was a better show, more about telling the story and sharing the experience of the play, but a couple of the folks who had dropped lines and stuff were pretty torn up. You comfort them as much as you're able, then everybody moves on in whaever way they choose. My good friend tim is in town this weekend, which is a big treat for me, and he was able to catch the show.

Today we have our official opening, followed by the opening party. Like i say, you should come.

It's all about the experience.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tired, but in all the right places

This part of october was always a big deal growing up because:

Dad's birthday is the 5th
My birthday is the 7th
Grandpa's birthday is the 10th (gotta call him tonight!!)
And the baseball playoffs are always happening now too, which was an important event at my house.

Maybe as a result of this extended octoberfest, i always like to celebrate the hell out of my birthday. Not for me this attitude of 'oh no, i'm another year older, let's pretend it isn't happening!' Fuck that - let's party for like a month. The way i look at it, my birthday celebration starts around rosh hashana, and ends around halloween.

But the actual day always receives a little extra juice, natch, especially when it's on a saturday. So that's what this weekend was pretty much devoted to. Rehearsed on saturday (i love rehearsing/performing on my birthday, by the way - makes me feel like my life is going in an ok direction), then headed to a cool bar on avenue a for happy hour (even the cute bartender bought me a drink!), then to a sushi place down the street, then to see WWIX at bowery poetry club, finally to another bar across the street. Much much fun, I LOVE MY FRIENDS!!! They are the best, and i can't believe how blessed i am to have them in my life. And the day had enough phases that they kind of got to attend in shifts, based on their tastes and schedules. Some of 'em even got to meet the gal i'm spending some time with these days - and as she says: you don't really know a person until you meet his friends.

It was a blast. The only real problem was that i didn't pace myself as well as i could have done, which resulted in some of the predictable negative effects... Ah well, if you can't be hungover the day after your birthday, when can you be?

I'll sleep when i'm dead.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Big birthday day!

This date, October 5, i rode in on the bus, saw a GORGEOUS sunrise over new york. It rained last night, and as i watched the sun pour through the charcoal skyscrapers and chiseled granite clouds, i realized that today is positively bursting with birthdays - tons of 'em!

First and foremost, it is my dad's birthday. Can't wish him enough happiness and prosperity, the bestest guy in the world - happy birthday dad!!

Also and wonderfully, it is lia's birthday. She gave herself the present of a kick ass new job for a great landscape architecture firm, where she will thrive in a most fantabulous fashion - slappy mirthday, lia!

Nextquisitely - it is sydney's birthday. She's one of the newer lawyers in the office where i work, and a breath of fresh air she is. Glad to have you around - flappy worthday, sydney!

Last but not least - it is christopher's mom's birthday. This is almost ridiculous isn't it? All this celebrating smooshed into one 24-hour period. She's out in salt lake city, and mormonlike, will eschew the drunken debauchery that will attend the other celebrations of the day (well, probably not dad's, but you never know). Not even coffee with her cake - but you can bet there will be extra ice cream. Happy shmappy.

SO - a special installment of Magic 8pod:

What do you have to say about the ANNIVERSARIES OF THE BIRTHS of the following stellar personalities, oh all-knowing one?

Dad - 'Angel Eyes' Ella Fitzgerald. A good old-fashioned saloon song. Not, um, happy, per se, and maybe i'm all turned around on the whole 'dad probably won't get drunk' thing. "Drink up all you people/ Order anything you see..." It's about missing your loved one - maybe a reflection of my not being able to visit the fam for thanksgiving. But party on, dad - and maybe you and mom should come see my show in virginia (hey sis, would that be a good xmas/birthday present for them?)

Lia - 'Alta Loma' Tommy Keene. Here we go - a rockin' power pop song by a master of the form. Freedom, escape, dreams and love in a texas town. What more could you want?

Sydney - 'Come Together' The Beatles. Now what was i saying about drunken debauchery? Go easy on the hard stuff, party girl...

Christopher's Mom - 'I Need You to Turn To' Elton John. Beautiful song, reaching out to a loved one he relies on for warmth and protection in hard times. Not a bad tribute for your mother, i'd think. Bet she'd love it!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A day in the life

Here's what an actor's day might look like:

6:15 - out of bed, in the shower, do the coffee, grapefruit and cereal thing
7:15 - bus or train to midtown
8:00 - wait on line at the equity building until the sign-up starts for the audition you're doing that day
8:40 - all signed up, take the train or walk to the day job
9:00 - glorious office activity
12:30 - eat at your desk - you'll need to use your lunch hour for...
1:30 - subway back to the equity building for the audition
1:45 - sign in and wait on line again
2:05 - go in and do a monologue for someone who may or may not have a pulse
2:08 - head to the train back to the day job
2:30 - back to work, duck questions about your 'lunch'
5:30 - finish up at work, go to a cafe near where you're rehearsing to have a reuben and work on lines
6:30 - go to rehearsal in a room that may or may not have been swept this month
10:30 - train/bus home

- by the way, the show you're doing may or may not pay any money at all (although if you're in the union, at least these subway rides are paid for)

11:00 - good transit luck! home in time for 'the daily show' have cheese and crackers and some wine
12:00 - bedtime

This isn't every day, but you more or less get the picture. If i'm not rehearsing, i'll audition more, and the evenings would involve going out to shows or to the gym more. Sometimes i even have the discipline to go to the gym before work in the morning. Not often.

Fi diddly dee!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Premature Christmascarolation

So i'm taking the job in virginia - 'a christmas carol' at a really good company i've worked with before. Took a moment to consider, as it may very well result in me losing the office job i've been working for almost the last year - that's a mixed thing in that i get good pay and benefits and all that stuff, though i won't pretend it will be terrifically heartbreaking to give up the work.

See this is the thing: acting work tends to pay pretty crappy except at the very highest level; there is no insurance or pension benefits or any of that kind of thing unless you're in one of the unions; and even then, you have to work a certain amount before the bennies kick in (in the theater actors' union, it's 20 weeks a year, which may not sound like much, but it is far from guaranteed that any given actor will work on shows 20 weeks in any given year); so it's a plus to have a day job that pays ok and provides bennies, etc. But at a certain point, if you're spending too much time there you lose yourself. And when you start turning down acting jobs because of office work, you ain't an actor, you're an office worker. And i'm looking at about a 50% pay cut to take this gig, followed by... uncertainty. And i'm one of the lucky ones - i'm in the union, i've worked at a bunch of good theaters, as well as a some tv and indie film. This gig is seven weeks. Thirteen to go for basic health coverage.

But this is a really good role that i'm perfect for in a good show at a good theater. So that moment i took to deliberate didn't last too long. The show is a little jesus-y for my taste (sorry sis), but it's still a very good piece of work. I mean, ok, it is christmas carol, so there's gonna be a little bit of the Big J going on, but it's usually more about the acts of charity/goodwill toward men/milk of human kindness business than the let's-go-to-church-and-pray stuff. And now that i think of it i'm not altogether convinced that the 'roadmap to good behavior' provided by the bible, taken as a whole, is really that much better than what dickens gave us.

But i digress.

My point is that it's a fun and rich show, and i'm psyched to be doing it, even though it may mean that my christmas present to myself is a little bit of financial difficulty.

The other downside is that i'm apt to miss the november festivities: thanksgiving with my family (or my new york family) and the ultra-fantabulous t-day celebration with that crew (aka, 'the best friends the word has ever known') Unless i can talk them into bringin' the party down to virginia...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Good ol' fashioned day off

Yom Kippur today, so the office is closed, and there is no rehearsal. I'm not jewish, and am not involved with a jewish family at the moment, so what this means is an actual DAY OFF. No real plans of any kind, other than personal bidness (you know, gym, laundry, groceries, that kind of thing). This is an exceptionally rare thing for me, and i kind of like it. On weekends, i'm usually booked with friends or shows, but there's none of that today: i'm just chillin' on my own.

The weekend was a busy one, a good one. Yo la tengo on friday night, with gena (who is pretty awesome, but i need to figure out just what is going on there). YLT was great, of course, but i have to say they weren't at their best. Ira didn't seem as happy to be there as he has in the past; there was a really heavy reliance on the 'slow jam that builds to an orgasmic frenzy,' including two right in a row at one point, 'blue line swinger' from 'electr-o-pura' (i don't know - i think that might be the wrong tune: where can we find setlists?) followed by 'i heard you looking' from 'painful.' Still, very good show: and YLT on a merely good night is better than most bands at their best.

Long rehearsal saturday - DAMN is it good to have christopher back in the fold. Made such a huge difference having him with us. Then out for drinks with (part of) the company for meg's birthday; home for a bit; back into town to see 'baby wants candy' with aaron and shannon - improv musical troupe from chicago: SO good - got a title from the audience, and proceeded to perform an hour-long musical they made up on the spot as they went along. Man, chicago is where it's at when it comes to improv. These guys supposedly will be back some time in november. Who wants to go with me?

Whoops, that may be un-possible. I actually got a call while writing this entry that i've been offered a 'christmas carol' that would take me out of town for most of november and december. I just have to look at the script (and my finances) to see if it's a gig i want. But let me tell you, folks, it probably is.

Off to the wonderful world of the laundromat!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Honeymoons and Hospitals

Ana is on her honeymoon this week - on a cruise in the carribean. So joan is sitting at her desk this week, which is supercool. Joan is looking for a permanent job, so if anyone knows of something fun and exciting in the field of whatever, let me know and i'll tell joan about it. She says she wants to be busy and surrounded by people all the time - maybe helping people, or selling things; wants to use her brain, but not have to take work home with her too much. Maybe some kind of job where she can learn something interesting once in a while. And no working for EVIL PEOPLE. That's singularly important.

Joan's a newlywed too - i know her from the outside world, but here she is working with us in the dayjob this week. Who knew?

Rehearsals are going well, CONSIDERING THAT ONE OF THE CAST MEMBERS HAS BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL ALL WEEK!!!! Christopher, who put together the happening that i did last spring, and who works at the day job with me, got a staph infection in his finger, and he's been in the hospital since sunday. Five days in the hospital for an infected finger, people! I guess this staph business is pretty complicated, and he's contracted a strain that is resistant to antibiotics (thank you biomed/pharmaceutical industries), so they have to hang on to him until they're sure it's under control. He's not in a lot of pain (partly because is is on a lot of drugs), although he says his finger looks gnarly as hell. Hopefully they'll release him this afternoon.

A votre sante, christophe!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lower East Side Leah

Leah Siegel show last night at the living room on ludlow. An all cover-tunes, listener-suggestion-via-web site show. Very cool, if more casual than usual.

Some of the bitchen tuneage:

Cinnamon Girl - Neil Young

Heart of Glass - Blondie

a Ray LaMontagne song i don't know the title of but it was beautiful and heartbreaking and leah did it virtually perfectly.

War Pigs - Black Sabbath. That's right folks, she did a heavy metal anti-war anthem. That scored on so many levels!

I have to share one little anecdote - on my way to the subway after the gig, i overheard two women talking. Pretty cute, i'm guessing early twenties, one of them says to the other: "Yeah, he's sooo dumb, i can't hang out with him. But he's a model, you know? And i have to say, when he took his shirt off, and i touched him, i was SO EXCITED. It was like 'Oh! This is what a guy feels like.'"

I found that rather amusing.

Oh, here is the link to the Galapagos photos i mentioned yesterday. I don't think that the blog lets you just click on the link - i think you'll have to copy it and paste it into the address bar. Then plug in the password: it's 'scuba' Enjoy. They are really fantastic!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Scuba Diving

I just got sent a bunch of photos from a friend who was diving in the galapagos last month - OH. MY. GOD. They are so stunning and beautiful, just truly awe-inspiring. So i may have no choice but to take a scuba diving class and figure out how to go to these corners of the world where nature is still in its fullest flower. Holy shit this stuff just looks amazing, on sea and on land. THIS is reaching out and grabbing life, and what is there if not that? Which of course makes the sender, whom i was already fairly interested in, now wildly attractive... but that's another story.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend Update

Always kind of the more-or-less reliable part of SNL, right?

So the wedding reception was a wedding reception: catered food and booze and line dancing. Lisa, who is very hard to get out of her apartment AT ALL, for any reason other than work, was 45 minutes late, meaning that the already looooooong trip out to flushing was even longer. Helene was wearing pretty much exactly the same dress as the mother of the groom, which i thought was pretty funny.

Yesterday started with a quick breakfast before a noon rehearsal. It's taking me a while to get used to the downtown theater rehearsal vibe again. Nebulous start times, talk talk talk about whatever, whenever. I remember working like that and liking it, but over the last few years in grad school and regional theater i've gotten so used to being way stricter with time, and getting to the nuts and bolts pretty fast. I really like the director alot - what he says makes sense and gets results, plus he's cool and fun and easy to get along with - so that's a big plus. It's just a way of approaching the work i haven't been involved with lately.

Which brings up a point that's been gnawing on me since that day i wrote last week about not feeling the day job. I am pretty tired of the whole 'aspiring actor with an office gig' thing. For a few years prior to last spring ('05) i had been doing acting and teaching fairly exclusively. Never had any money, but i felt like i was doing was i am on this earth to do. Now i'm in the union but getting work less frequently - the day job means i don't struggle so much financially, but my life is out of synch. Either i have to make peace with this system of doing shows in indie theater while working office jobs and such (which, knowing myself, i don't really see happening) or find a way into fulfilling this calling i have.

That's where i'm at today.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Night's Alright for Weddings

That's right folks, ana's and carlos' wedding is this very night. I'll be rolling out of here in an hour or so.

I did meet with mjz the other night, which was fantastic. We haven't been nearly enough in touch lately: she's soooooo busy between work and school, and is very tied to spending time with her french bulldog, milton; plus i suspect she got miffed at certain comments i made back in the spring - not worth going into here, suffice it to say i pushed one of her buttons. By accident. But with any luck at all we're past that by now, and may be able to hang more on the regular. We have been confidants for each other for years, and i really value that about our friendship, and i missed her a lot over the last few months. On thursday we went out to viceroy (where we could sit on the sidewalk, and thus milton could join us) and had a fab dinner and drinks, and then back to her place for another bottle of wine. One thing that's pretty count-onable with the divine miss z is that when you see her, wine will be involved.

Last night was fantabulous - got out of work early for rosh hashana, and met up with sherin, hung out at the dog park in madison square, then had dinner and went to see 'the guys' at the flea. It the show they did back in the fall of 2001 after downtown had been traumatized, and involves a new york fire captain who lost 8 guys from his company on 9/11. This is the 5th anniversary production, and it's a good little piece. Then we went to nancy whisky, one of the bestest dives in the city, for a nightcap, and made it an early one for a friday - i was home by 11. Sheesh! So i watched a dvd of 'entourage' and took care of some emailing and crashed out.

Today has been lazy/productive. Got some chores done, not too many, went to the gym, made a great lunch and now i'm about to get ready for ana's wedding. Out in flushing. Gulp. Ah, it's not a bad trip, and i'm sure it'll be fun to hang with the peeps from the day job. And then tomorrow rehearsals start in earnest, which will be most stimulating...

Oh, and Shanah Tovah.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

get born, keep warm

short pants romance.

Gorgeous early fall day today. The walk from the bus to the office was a beautiful blast of LIFE. I felt good, people looked good, people looked like they felt good - which is, by the way, the lion's share of attractivenss: if you act like you feel good and feel like you look good, people treat you that way. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that hotness is maybe 20% actual appearance and about 80% attitude. Apropos of nothing, that.

NOT feeling the dayjob thing one little bit. Putting together a group of alumni from my school to do readings, work on monologues, and just generally party together, and i wrote this to them. "Continue to spread the word like peanut butter over tasty tasty toast on a sunny autumn morning with a crisp chill in the air when the steam rising from your hot strong coffee is like apollo's breath infusing you with creative fire and the passion to rise above like a phoenix from the ashes of a degraded culture." Which i don't mind despite the mixed-up sketchy similes, thank you very much, but it betrays how NOT HERE i am feeling today. In case you're keeping score at home.

Tennis last night invigorating and fun. With rashmi this time, in north bergen, which is 50 times easier to get to than lincoln park, and no waiting - yay!
Rashmi had back problems toward the end, but hopefully she's ok. We went to baja for mexican food and margaritas after. Hella good evening.

And tonight i get to see MJZ! Unless of course she flakes, which is always altogether more than possible with her...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Modern Living

That's the title of the play i'm doing at La MaMa next month. We are now officially in rehearsal. First read-through happened yesterday. One person was missing due to a commercial shoot, a couple people were late for no good reason, but it's a good group and i'm looking forward to the process. Director seems very sharp, which is always a big fat plus, and i know that at least a couple of the actors have good game.

Three short one-acts by, about (more or less) and starring richard scheinmel, having to do with various types of connections (family, flight, drug, phone) and the stretches we go through to make them. Strangers on a plane move through the strain until they're less strange and then fall asleep in the clouds, dans les nuages for real and for true. And it is true so to speak but filtered on stage it takes a different light, a different frame. You'll be hearing more from me about this.

Poker last night in washington heights. Very fun, and fantastic of course to see aaron and shannon, j.p. and sherin. Pete was there too, and brendan who was there one time last spring, and i met a very cool woman named jackie... cleopatra on the west side. I missed those guys a lot, and hope to hang with them on the regular this fall.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Amazing Weekend and Magic 8pod

Got back from boston at about 9:30 last night, and found a parking space a block from my apartment. Just a cap on a fan-fucking-tastic weekend of old friends, bitchen parties, damn fine food and rock and roll. Already wrote about the pop fest, so to summarize the rest of the weekend:

rolled in on friday (instead of thursday night as planned because of extra-special stupid behavior committed by the tsunami at the dayjob, but that's another box of wine), hung with sue and steve, including a trip to the liquor store, natch, where we picked up a little sum'n sum'n to prep for the weekend to come - bottle of knob creek (yum), plymouth gin (yum), some tonic and seltzer, a 12er of 'rock art' beer, which i'd never had and which turned out to be pretty good, and a 12er of that smirnoff ice stuff that sue likes for some reason; also made a trip to trader joe's for partywise foodstuffs: spanikopita, pakoras, shrimp cocktail, dark chocolate-covered raisins, a pesto pizza, and some other stuff. Had martini happy hour with steve. Met up with beckett for the first time since august '05 at a very good mexican place with excellent margaritas, then headed out to the popfest for some awesome tuneage - may as well use this chance to give shoutouts to a couple more good bands: international pen pal (just caught the end of their set), temper (as a bonus, their keyboardist is supercute) and luxury (kinda overslick, but loaded with talent). Then back to the sue and steve crib for post gig party action, which is always a highlight of my time in boston - nothing like reconnecting with some of those best friends you don't get to see often enough.

Next day woke up not too bad off and went to a diner with beckett, then got to see her new place. It was a GORGEOUS DAY, by the way. Watched the sox club the yanks (small comfort) then went to the gig, which i wrote about before. Back to sue and steve's to hang with lindsay and mark.

Sunday molly and rudy came over and we all made brunch: big veggie and egg scramble, hash browns, bloody marys and baguette, scones and cinnamon rolls. The sox won again, and i hit the road back to the city. Even had a great phone talk with julie on the way back! Then i watched the sox beat the yanks for the third time in two days and fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow and didn't wake up until my alarm went off (which happens about three times a year). Very sweet.

SO, magic 8pod for today:

How will it be at work today?

'man gave names to all the animals' bob dylan. Hmmm. A whimsical take on one of adam's jobs, from bob's christian era. I'm taking this as a sign to have a sense of humor about the paper pushing and silly stuff.

Will i stay in new york for a while?

'another kind of green' john mayer. This one is pretty clear cut - about not chucking the good thing you have for the grass on the other side of the fence. i heart new york.

How will my new show at la mama go?

'Mahler's symphony #2' leonard bernstein conducting the new york philharmonic. AWESOME (and not in the cheesy sense) - this is mahler's 'resurrection' symphony, and i wrote a little about how i feel about bernstein a while ago. This is an excellent sign of things to come in terms of art and career. Tee hee!

What's up for My Own Worst Enemy? 'manipulation' the black angels. This is very cool too - an austin shoegazer band that is in the process of breaking through as i type this. They've just started to get serious attention in the last year or so, and although they sound nothing like MOWE, they definitely have some of the same influences (velvet underground, black rebel motorcycle club, brian jonestown massacre, etc.) And it pulses with latent passion. This is the magic 8pod declaring: my own worst enemy will rock the world.

Well. That was satisfying.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

my own worst enemy

The title of this entry referring to a band, not a truism about my life (in this case, at least). A totally rockin' band in boston that played the new england pop fest this weekend. Ok, full disclosure, i do know the members of this band, and have seen their progression for a while: but these days their live show absolutely knocks it out of the box, and you should go see them and somehow get them to travel down to new york more often so we don't all have to zip up to boston to see them. Really good power pop songs with great hooks, driving into a punk energy as the set moves forward, fronted by a great couple of songwriter/guitarist/singers, described last night by one of the other musicians as 'an indie rock geek and joan jett in a prom dress.' I don't know how much sue looks like joan jett, but she is undoubtedly as hot as a match, and the whole band was on fire last night. Go to their page:

Also most excellent last night was the silver lining, a neo psychedelic group with another rock-n-roll couple up front. Mamas and papas meet the monkees meet the fifth dimension meets the who. Seriously. And they make it work really well. Anna, their front woman with a big presence and a bigger voice, was under the weather last night but still brought it, and matt, who writes most of the songs, was on point.

This new england popfest is a very cool thing, in its third year. Long live rock.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Give My Regards to Broadway

Saw 'History Boys' last night - what a great show! SOOO worth it - go see it, and don't delay, as it's closing soon. Very good alan bennett script (natch), first rate acting, bitchen production, and for those of you whose tastes run that way, there are plenty of cute boys (jessica fell in love i think at least once or twice). Hector, the central teacher character played by richard griffiths, reminded me of my most influential high school teacher (well, not in every respect - but i don't want to give anything away here) someone very charismatic and larger than life, who infuses students with enthusiasm, and yet... there is a deep kind of sadness underneath.

Lots of talent on display on that broadhurst stage: funny as hell, moving, vibrant, fantastic 80s score for the transitions (on a very cool set). Very exciting to see this kind of work.

On thing i couldn't help thinking of was the leapfrog standing ovation that happened at 'kiki and herb' where i ultimately stood up so i could see what antics were happening during the post-encore curtain call (by my colleagues resolutely stayed in their seats rather than imply standing-ovation-level approval, and i don't blame them one bit), as opposed to the sprinkled here and there throughout the audience standers at 'history boys,' which was about 10 times more deserving of unfettered enthusiasm (and i liked kiki and herb quite a bit). It doesn't make sense to me, and i don't like it.

But don't let that temper the joy that comes from transcendent work, right over there in the capital of american commercial theater, big bad broadway. Here's to it.

Poser Night at the Sports Bar

On tuesday, i met abner at port authority for the trip to hoboken, followed by the trip to jersey city to hit some tennis. For those of you who don't know this, abner is my ex-girlfried/current good friend beth's current boyfriend. Some people consider it weird that he and i even get along, much less do things like play tennis together, but there it is, such is the nature of me. It was fun, though marred by crazy new jersey driving/direction madness, and then a really long wait for a court. Yes folks, that's right, i got to spend AN HOUR waiting for a court with my ex-girlfriend's boyfriend. Inevitably, the conversation turned to miss beth, which was, um, shall we say, a bit odd. Not too bad though, and we got to share some of those 'oh yeah, she's like that' moments and were able to laugh about it.
After we finished up we went back to the 'boken to hit a restaurant in my nabe for a bite and a drink. It was pretty late by then, so not every place was open, and we ended up, in sweats, tennis gear in hand, at the madison, which is half restaurant, half sports bar/meat market. Seems that it's 'poser night' there about five nights a week. People dressed up in their jersey finest (and DO NOT get me wrong, i am not anti-jersey and am most emphatically pro-hoboken, but there is something about this particular look: 'tight top, really tight pants or skirt, ozone-ripping hairstyle' for women, and 'modified-for-my-night-with-the-ladies business attire, shirt half open to reveal the gold crucifix, or the option of a conspicuously overpriced necktie'for men which does seem to flourish most enthusiastically beyond the bridges and tunnels) crammed into the place, with the mets game on six screens and music BLASTING around them. We squeezed past this scene to get to the much quieter dining room, for which we were underdressed as hell, but it was slow enough back there that nobody cared. On our way out, poser night was in even fuller bloom and i gotta say, i just don't get the appeal. Same deal with certain of the clubs in manhattan, by the way: unless there's a particular party going on, what's the point of going to places so noisy, so expensive, so crowded, without a band or even a dance floor? There'll be some hotties there, but how can you even enjoy them when you're all just yelling at each other? I mean, ok, i guess there is romance or at least sex to be found in places like this, but once again, i'm not seeing how it's worth it. Happy that this place is doing good business though, natch. And to be fair, they have good food and there are plenty of times when the atmosphere there is totally cool, and they've started a jazz brunch on the weekends that i want to check out.

Here endeth the lesson. 'History Boys' next time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Busy busy busy...

...Mostly in a good way. The weekend was superpacked - Richard II at classic stage company on friday. Michael cumpsty in the title role: i've been a fan since i saw him in my first ever shakespeare in the park, "all's well that ends well," way back when i was first in town. SO good with language, and R2 is a play that gets kind of ignored these days - unfairly, in my opinion. So that was fun (better than his 'hamlet,' in the same space, if you ask me. He seemed to fit the room better this time.)

Then saturday i helped on the jersey side of the beth and peter move - my place is my own again! It's kind of weird still, but i'm definitely psyched, and i know they are psyched too. After loading up the truck i worked on the place for a while (it's going to take a while longer, but i can envision things sooo much better now) then paid a visit to the block party with elizabeth, a friend from the 'boken. Hoped to see soem people i know (a couple and their child), but they weren't there. Then e-beth and i went to chelsea for an art opening. Met up with frank and amanda, some of my best friends, and their kids - one of the artists is amanda's stepmom. It was good stuff, plus it was fun to be there for the frank and e-beth reunion: they went to high school together and haven't seen each other since. THEN, up to the helen hayes for the kiki and herb show. Very much fun, courtesy of a gal i met online. Can't quite figure out what's going on there. We have a good time when we see each other; then just when i think things are good she disappears; then just when i've written her off, she reappears. This has happened like three times. Kinda past caring at this point.

Sunday i went to the gym, did some errands, then headed up to inwood to see beth and pete's new place and watch the tennis finals. Did a couple loads of laundry and met a few of their new neighbors (there was a barbeque going on in the courtyard). Oh, and while i was there, i got a call that i have been cast in one of the shows i tried out for last week! So that's cool. It's at La MaMa on east 4th street. [I don't want to talk about my audition on friday. There has been a very weird trend for me lately where i nail the auditions i don't care so much about, and blow the ones i do. Odd kind of nervousness that isn't my typical trend, and i don't like it.] I'm psyched about the show i'm in, though. I'll write more about that as it progresses. And i had a pretty good audition (for a show i do care about) today; not as good as i'd like, but better that some of my recent experiences.

Yesterday of course was the 5th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. I can't say a whole lot about that that hasn't been said. Brought up lots of memories, and a lot of people were sharing theirs. Very moving, in (thankfully) a very different way from what we felt five years ago. However much i might disdain the president and his administration's opportunism in the face of such an event, let me add in the same breath that i love this country and this city and its people and their resilience and courage and heroism. I'm not going to use this as a political forum, at least not much, at least not yet. Tony kushner put it brilliantly and simply: 'the great work begins.'

Tonight i'm playing tennis with abner... Should be fun; we shall see.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Compulsion to Create

Saw part of a very good documentary about leonard bernstein last night. Fascinating guy, so devoted to music, and to sharing it with the world, through performance, composition and conversation (especially in the form of his fantastic televised teaching). And that's the part that's really interesting me right now, and that i'm identifying with a lot - the compulsion to share with others. This can apply to any number of personal elements: art, love, money, talent, knowledge, religion, joy; and it can work for some negative reflections of these too (haven't you ever met someone who insists on sharing her pain, or who tries to get you to feel his hate for something or someone?) Also, there's usually some self-gratifying side to this generosity of spirit as well - approval, love, validation, status, something like that. But on the whole i think it's admirable, or anyway it's a trait of a lot of people i admire. Or maybe i'm just saying that because i feel a powerful compulsion to share myself: it's got to be one of the primal impulses that draw me to acting and teaching, and it's also evidenced in the way i try to turn people on to music i like, etc.

So, what to do with that? Keep finding better outlets for the kinds of sharing i really want to be involved in, and devoting myself to it in (hopefully) ever more effective ways. And while i'm at it, let go of the needy side of it as much as possible.

Ok, i tend not to talk about auditions and such for a couple reasons - 1) i don't want to jinx things, and 2) i don't want to get anyone's hopes up, including my own. Auditioning is enough of a roller coaster without having friends experiencing the ups and downs with me (not to mention asking me about them). But i'm going to see how it goes writing a little bit about them here for a while and see how that goes. Have some interesting ones coming up in the next few days: one for a new show going on downtown - i'm way too young for the roles, but hey, that's nothing new for me. Some really good people are working on it, and i think it would be fun (plus, as always, you never know who might end up seeing it). There are a couple biggish auditions tomorrow, and i may have to choose between them: one for an understudy gig with BIG CASH PRIZES, but again, age is a factor - i'm kind of too old AND too young for these jobs: too old to cover the 'young track' (mostly guys in their 20s) and too young to cover the 'old track' (guys in their 30s-60s), and the fact that this is a broadway gig means they'll have plenty of 'age-appropriate' people to choos from. The other show is at a smaller, but still very good, theater with a lot of roles i'm right for... gotta say i'm leaning toward that audition. There's also one for some roles i'm right for at a little theater out of town for hardly any money at all. Here's where i've got to check that 'impulse to share' a little bit, because while i've taken this kind of job in the past (plenty of times) i'm not sure it's the smartest thing career-wise or life-wise at this point. So i'm definitely not going to go to great lengths to hit that particular audition. Then i have one lined up for next week for a theater i worked at a long time ago - much of the artistic/production staff has changed over since i was there - that sort of falls in the middle: it's a very good theater, with great people (well, they were great when i was there before), that pays, well... it pays ok, not great. It's a production of Christmas Carol, which can be cheesy, but i actually love the story. Don't know what these guys' take on it will be. So it's the kind of job that probably won't exactly catapult my career forward, but i'd probably take it if offered. At the very least, it's a chance to reintroduce myself to them at the audition, which is certainly worth the effort.

Ok, that's that for now. Let me know if you want to go see shows, films or music!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mondayish Tuesday

Fantastic weekend - very full but not frenetic. Speed of the city with touches of the beach (ok, a park near the river, but it felt beachy). Dada at MoMA, dinner in harlem, music upstate and downtown, good reading, good eating and drinking, happy birthday grandma, funny-as-hell sarah silverman video, even got some stuff done around the house.

Last night saw and heard jenny sheinman at joe's pub. Amazing! Really really good stuff, which is especially exciting when it's someone whose work i don't know that well. She had a septet, with drums, upright bass, piano, cornet, clarinet (doubling on bass clarinet), electric guitar, and jenny herself on violin. I didn't catch everyone's name (ok, lame, i know), except jason moran on keys and the incomperable don byron on winds. Both of them were so good - hell everyone in that band was frist rate. Almost all new original tunes, sultry, textured, pulsing, swinging, the musicians were in tight conversation with each other: hot, bold music making. Jenny was really generous with her band, though with these guys that had to feel pretty natural - they are all so damn good, and no one was hogging the solos. Joe's pub is a first rate venue, too - good sound, good atmosphere; overpriced, but that's kind of par for the course for good music in this city (though there are plenty of exceptions!) The plastic chairs are inscrutable, but that's no big deal.

Events like that really make me want to live a life in art, creating and working on performance events full time. I mean, i always want that, but sometimes that feeling bubbles up and boils over. Gotta nail the auditions this week, keep the other projects moving forward, and find more things to work on. Preferably things that pay well (ay, there's the rub...) As sunny would say, quoting firenza, 'just fucking do it!'

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Post Feast: Happy Labor Day weekend!

Got back from the show pretty late of course. This blog is already in danger of becoming a dylan tribute site, so i will comment minimally on the show: it was fucking cool. I still wish he would share his words a little more generously, and i kind of understand the people who want him to pick up a guitar now and then (though as far as i'm concerned, if he wants to play the keyboard and let stu kimball and denny freeman do the strumming and the picking, who are we to argue?), but it was a damn good show. Lot of jamming, great arrangements, and he did 'visions of johanna,' which was a super treat.

Since i did get back late, i didn't get a totally early start yesterday. All that really meant is that i skipped the gym (and, well, i guess writing here, but i'm not looking at this as something i necessarily want to squeeze into my weekends). Got to alexis's place in harlem around 2, and we had the whole afternoon to prepare the dinner. Really good time, lots of work, but alexis is a good cooking partner. We talked about what she's doing in minneapolis, and about the dating we've done over the last several months (such as it is - neither of us has been doing much of it lately).

[Bejamin becker just took the third set from agassi - looking pretty grim for andre. But hey, in other news (and speaking of minneapolis) the twins are doing some damage to the yankees.]

Alexis is kind of wonderful; really fun doing this kind of thing with her. Wish she were around more - hope she finds her rhythm bouncing back and forth to the mini apple. The food was really good: the soup was fucking awesome; salad was delish; mushroom sauce didn't thicken quite right, but we tweaked it into a perfectly fine complement to some first rate ravioli; pork loin was on point, well attended by the roast veggies; the cakes may have been a wee overcooked, but were unbelievably good, notwithstanding.

Kind of like that word "notwithstanding." Doesn't it mean pretty much the same thing as "withstanding?" Sort of like "flammable" and "inflammable."

Met some very cool people, from all walks of life. Love to meet interesting new folks. Kind of funny to me that the straight guys were talking about a capella singing groups, and the gay guys were talking about projectile vomiting. That may have been a first, in my experience.

So today i had a bitchen workout at the gym, i'm hanging out to see the rest of this match, then it's out into this BEAUTIFUL day. Happy Labor Day weekend it is.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Up on the late side last night watching agassi slug his way through the baghdatis match. It was as close to boxing as any tennis i've seen in a while: circling, feinting and all that pain. We'll see how long andre can keep it up. I know everybody is hoping for a sampras-like swan song mixed with a connors-like resurrection. Couldn't happen to a better figure if it does happen. Plenty of drama in that career, on and off the court.

Meanwhile, i'm going to see the singing cowboy at a minor league ballpark in fishkill tonight. (Yes that's right, the town is named 'fishkill. Wonder what industry started that particular community?) The new cd is great, natch, and i got a bonus disc of one of his pay-radio shows devoted to a baseball theme, also most excellent. Rare tunes from way back in the vault - i didn't know that joe dimaggio and willie mays made records.

Big shake up at the village voice continues. A bunch of editors got canned yesterday, another sequel to the merger that happened last year, gotta be, right? They even fired christgau - and no matter what you think of his 'i defined the genre of rock criticism' attitude, you kind of have to admit he helped build that paper into what it is. Don't see how they can come out of this smelling like a rose. 'Course, i'm not inside.

Jayne houdyshell's play starts previews at playwrights horizons tonight! 'The pain and the itch,' comes here from steppenwolf, and it's a 'pay what you can' performance (tonight only). Almost makes me wish i weren't going to see dylan tonight.

The menu for tomorrow is almost, but not quite, worked out:

- garlic soup
- ravioli with wild mushroom sauce
- roast pork loin w/roasted veggies
- hearts-of-palm salad
- ... dessert is still the question mark. Alexis mentioned some kind of chocolate truffle cake, but that may be a little labor-intensive given the shortage of time. Whatever it's going to be, this evening looks, well... yum.

Happy labor day weekend.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


1) How will things go for Beth & Peter when they move in together? The first song that came up is by the Wondermints, and i don't know the title (it was on a mix someone gave me) but it's kind somber, talks about day to day getting through, there is a chorus that goes "every morning i wake up/ every morning i sigh." Hmmm... let's be cautiously optimistic.

2) How will the dinner party i'm throwing with Alexis go this weekend? Pano Da Costa (Cloth from the Coast) - Kronos Quartet. This is from 'White Man Sleeps' and has no words. Ok, also kinda cryptic. The piece is really good - it does have a certain amount of turbulence, but ends well. Let's go with that.

3) Will the Red Sox get to the World Series? The Diner/The Slant - Ani Difranco. This is from one of the live albums, and starts with her introducing the band, which is like the way they introduce the players at the Series. Yeah, right.

Maybe i should make these a little more personal.

4) Will I have the career of my dreams? Comedy Tonight - The Trotter Trio. Ok, a brilliant instrumental version of a classic sondheim opening number. 'Something familiar, something peculiar/ Something for everyone..." I'll take this.

5) Will I meet someone special soon? Galgenlied, from Pierrot Lunaire - Ensemble Modern. Ohmigod! This is so funny in a totally twisted way i can hardly stand it. Galgenlied means 'gallows song' and it's all about a withered whore with a stringy neck digging her claws into a guy. Seriously. Someone Special, indeed. Thanks a lot, ipod.

6) What do my friends really think of me? Your Love is King - Sade. Now that's more like it.

7) Is anyone thinking of me now? King of Birds - R.E.M. Hmm, back to cryptic here. Pensive, reflective, not sure how to interpret this.

I'll turn it outwards again.

8) Will there be a shift in the balance of Congress this midterm election? Long Train Running - Doobie Brothers. Ha! This is the one with the chorus "Without love, where would you be now?"

9) Will I find true happiness? Hurley - Pinback. It's a happy enough song, with good hooks, about going out in the snow to go sledding. It asks 'how far will i go to protect myself?' And there's a line about catching your skin in the zipper as you seal yourself into winter gear - so i'm taking this as a message to stay open and not close myself off to people or experience.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No Limit.

Ok, a friend inspired me to start one of these, so here's the first.

The new Dylan cd came out yesterday - i haven't heard it yet, but i'm hoping it's waiting for me in my mailbox. So in the spirit of the moment i named this blog after a dylan song. This song came to me not necessarily because it's my favorite - i'm actually not a fan of favoritism, but it is a GREAT song, and seems somehow appropriate to this drizzly week, a year from hurricane katrina and a different kind of personal shake-up in my life that happened a pretty much the exact same time.

Just the opening:

"My love she speaks like silence
Without ideals or violence
She doesn't have to say she's faithful
Yet she's true, like ice, like fire."

And just to fill it out, here's the final verse:

"The bridge at midnight trembles
The country doctor rambles
Bankers' nieces seek perfection
Expecting all the gifts that wise men bring.
The wind howls like a hammer
The night blows cold and rainy
My love she's like some raven
At my window with a broken wing."

Went to a show last night - "Everything's Turning Into Beautiful" at the Acorn on 42nd St. It's good, you should go. It's by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld with music by Jimmie James. Not a musical though, but a play about musicians, played by Daphne Ruben Vega (the original Mimi in"Rent") and Malik Yoba (who's on New York Undercover, which i have to admit i've never seen). They are songwriting collaborators - he shows up at her apartment in chelsea after 2 a.m. on christmas eve for an 'important' talk laced with sexual/romantic tension. There are songs, good ones, that turn up in the course of the show, but it's not the 'classic american musical' format where the emotions get pitched to a point where the character has to express them in song; the characters share the songs in the context of composing collaborators. It definitely has some sentimental elements, but i think it holds up.

Jessica, who went to the show with me, taught me about 'Magic 8Pod' where you ask a question 'Magic 8 Ball' style and then hit shuffle song on your ipod. That'll probably be the subject of my next entry.

'til then,

"She knows there's no success like failure,
And that failure's no success at all."