Thursday, February 28, 2008


Fourteen miles of bad road.
Called in sick for the first time. EVER.

Must be bad.

At least it ain't snowin'.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Was there a doubt?


I am, however, seventeen years on the wagon.

Is it over for another year yet?

Back when I was a working actor, I couldn't stand the idea of "awards shows."

Now that I'm older, and somewhat out of the business ("somewhat out of" translates into: "still thinking about getting back to it but I know I probably won't."), I find that I can't even get up the energy to go see a movie in a theatre, so The Academy Awards are a moot point; didn't see, couldn't tell ya, read the reviews and it sounded okay.

I never get to NYC, so why should I watch the Tonys?

There hasn't really been any consistently interesting music produced since Dylan went electric, so why bother with the Grammys?

And what's the point of People's Choice Awards? And can we seriously get any more narcissistic than The Screen Actor's Guild Awards?

Even when I was an actor, and nominated for some kind of award, I would be shocked to win it, and often didn't appear to accept it. Two times, in college, I declined to participant in the Irene Ryan Competition at the ACTF.

The bottom line is this:

I cannot see how art can be judged upon objectively enough that one actor performing one role can be compared to another actor performing another role.

If I may use an extreme example, how can you compare HAMLET to FRODO? And, how does one judge how well a dramatic role is done, compared to a comedic role? And why does genre play so big a role; how often does a scifi movie get the big nominations?

How often do comedies, or comics, win Oscars?

Seriously, I don't know. I don't follow.

There are other problems, specific to the Oscars....for example, how many films nominated are released in the last three months of the year? How many films nominated are actually ONLY released to NY and LA before the nominating year has passed?

And SERIOUSLY: Shouldn't the best actor Oscars be going to the editor? I'm not sure an actor who needs four takes to get it right should be awarded because the editor picked the right take to use. And, he shouldn't be punished, either. Do you see the problem?

Awards shows specifically have become about one thing: some cadaverous shrew asking, "who are you wearing?"


Yes, I know, some people do.

I'm not sure that I have an inarguable point here, folks. But as a former actor, I look at from this perspective: It's about the work, people. It's about putting it together on a personal level, and THEN putting it together on an interpersonal level, and THEN putting it in front of the audience and hope they understand it.

The glory is not in the response, but in the work.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another Thursday, another random series of thoughts

I was just in Barnes and Noble, our local bookseller. Actually, for a capital city of a state, there are surprisingly few booksellers. There used to be a Waldenbooks, but it went away. The other booksellers are of the pre-owned variety, and although I love the pre-owned bookstores, I was really looking for something recently released.

Come to think of it, we don't have a really good music store, either. Earlier this year, the local FYE closed it's doors, as well.

Have I mentioned that theatre is pretty sparse here, as well?

Well, there's always Book of the Month Club,, and all the rest of the silly catalogs that clog my mailbox with regularity.

I find myself in an almost constant state of surprise lately. If you could picture me, you'd see that the "surprised face" has now worked itself into a permanence upon my mug. It varies from a kind of "whoa" look, like the kind you get when you run into Mary Tyler Moore in a theatre lobby (and I mean, LITERALLY run into her, which I did back in '83.) to a full blown Edvard Munch THE SCREAM look.

The reason I'm so surprised is the lack of knowledge on the part of just about anybody I run into these days. We've become so compartmentalized in our society that if a thing has nothing to do with our daily comings and goings, we tend not to give a second thought, or in some cases, a first thought.

People let FOX and CNN think for them.
Can you say, "yikes?"

Some of the things that made me shake my head until it rattled:

1. United States history.
I find it hard to believe that a lot of people out there don't know we fought a
war with England after the revolution. AND, I'm equally surprised that most
people don't know how close we came to losing both of them.
AND, can you imagine what would have happened at Gettysburg if Lee's calvalry
had shown up on time?
We'd all be speakin' with a drawl, y'all.

2. United States geography.
I'm not surprised that a lot of people can't point to Tennessee on a map. I'm
just really, really.....sad.

3. Literature.
The following authors elicited a "who?"
Edgar Allan Poe.
Victor Hugo.
Truman Copote.
F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I did get a hit with Charles Dickens, but it was A CHRISTMAS CAROL, so I'm not
overly enthused.

4. Politics.
Particularly, the electoral college. I forgive this, largely because even the
experts are idiots on this one.

Other random thoughts:

I understand there's a new ODD THOMAS book coming from Dean Koontz. Cool. If you haven't read these, pick them up. Fun.

Does anybody remember an album that came out in '95, called IN THE HOUSE OF STONE AND LIGHT? It was a great album, in my humble. Was nominated for Grammys. I figured a follow up album would be coming from the artist, Martin Page. And I understand it's due out this year. Thirteen years in the making. Makes Bob Seger look prolific.

Okay, off I ride.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Comedy is.....

When things get dark and dreary, I always like to think of a quote from Bill Murray, when he was on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. It's a scene from THE IDIOT, by Dostoyevsky.....

"Everybody get outta here, there's a lobster loose! Holy cow, he's loose! Everybody get outta here, he's vengeful! Quick, cover yourself in hot butter, and carry around lemons just in case, to repel them! Oh, everybody get outta here, there's gonna be a tragedy! Oh, God! Oh....HAH!"

You'd have to hear it. It's very funny. Or, the late Sam Kinison, in describing what one of the victims of the Manson Family would have said:

"Hey, you don't have to go home yet, do ya? You haven't put a chainsaw up my ass yet! My head's still on my torso! Glad you fuckers can handle your high."

Again, you have to hear it.

Then again, I still find "Who's on First" extremely funny, and although I've heard it thousands of times, and actually performed it, it'll still make me laugh:

Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bucky Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.

Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.

Abbott: I certainly do.

Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.

Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.

Costello: You mean funny names?

Abbott: Strange names, pet Dizzy Dean...

Costello: His brother Daffy.

Abbott: Daffy Dean...

Costello: And their French cousin.

Abbott: French?

Costello: Goofè.

Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...

Costello: That's what I want to find out.

Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.

Costello: Are you the manager?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: You gonna be the coach too?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?

Abbott: Well I should.

Costello: Well then who's on first?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: I mean the fellow's name.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy on first.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The first baseman.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy playing...

Abbott: Who is on first!

Costello: I'm asking YOU who's on first.

Abbott: That's the man's name.

Costello: That's who's name?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: That's who?

Abbott: Yes.


Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman?

Abbott: Certainly.

Costello: Who's playing first?

Abbott: That's right.

Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

Abbott: Every dollar of it.

Costello: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name on first base.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy that gets...

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: Who gets the money...

Abbott: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

Costello: Whose wife?

Abbott: Yes.


Abbott: What's wrong with that?

Costello: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name?

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: How does he sign...

Abbott: That's how he signs it.

Costello: Who?

Abbott: Yes.


Costello: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name on first base.

Abbott: No. What is on second base.

Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

Abbott: Who's on first.

Costello: One base at a time!

Abbott: Well, don't change the players around.

Costello: I'm not changing nobody!

Abbott: Take it easy, buddy.

Costello: I'm only asking you, who's the guy on first base?

Abbott: That's right.

Costello: Ok.

Abbott: All right.


Costello: What's the guy's name on first base?

Abbott: No. What is on second.

Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

Abbott: Who's on first.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott: He's on third, we're not talking about him.

Costello: Now how did I get on third base?

Abbott: Why you mentioned his name.

Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman's name, who did I say is playing third?

Abbott: No. Who's playing first.

Costello: What's on first?

Abbott: What's on second.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott: He's on third.

Costello: There I go, back on third again!


Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don't go off it.

Abbott: All right, what do you want to know?

Costello: Now who's playing third base?

Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base?

Costello: What am I putting on third.

Abbott: No. What is on second.

Costello: You don't want who on second?

Abbott: Who is on first.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott & Costello Together:Third base!


Costello: Look, you gotta outfield?

Abbott: Sure.

Costello: The left fielder's name?

Abbott: Why.

Costello: I just thought I'd ask you.

Abbott: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya.

Costello: Then tell me who's playing left field.

Abbott: Who's playing first.

Costello: I'm not... stay out of the infield! I want to know what's the guy's name in left field?

Abbott: No, What is on second.

Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

Abbott: Who's on first!

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!


Costello: The left fielder's name?

Abbott: Why.

Costello: Because!

Abbott: Oh, he's centerfield.


Costello: Look, You gotta pitcher on this team?

Abbott: Sure.

Costello: The pitcher's name?

Abbott: Tomorrow.

Costello: You don't want to tell me today?

Abbott: I'm telling you now.

Costello: Then go ahead.

Abbott: Tomorrow!

Costello: What time?

Abbott: What time what?

Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's pitching?

Abbott: Now listen. Who is not pitching.

Costello: I'll break your arm, you say who's on first! I want to know what's the pitcher's name?

Abbott: What's on second.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!


Costello: Gotta a catcher?

Abbott: Certainly.

Costello: The catcher's name?

Abbott: Today.

Costello: Today, and tomorrow's pitching.

Abbott: Now you've got it.

Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team.


Costello: You know I'm a catcher too.

Abbott: So they tell me.

Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

Abbott: Now that's the first thing you've said right.

Costello: I don't even know what I'm talking about!


Abbott: That's all you have to do.

Costello: Is to throw the ball to first base.

Abbott: Yes!

Costello: Now who's got it?

Abbott: Naturally.


Costello: Look, if I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get it. Now who has it?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: Who?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: Naturally?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.

Abbott: No you don't, you throw the ball to Who.

Costello: Naturally.

Abbott: That's different.

Costello: That's what I said.

Abbott: You're not saying it...

Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

Abbott: You throw it to Who.

Costello: Naturally.

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: That's what I said!

Abbott: You ask me.

Costello: I throw the ball to who?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: Now you ask me.

Abbott: You throw the ball to Who?

Costello: Naturally.

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn!

Abbott: What?

Costello: I said I don't give a darn!

Abbott: Oh, that's our shortstop.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Frustratingly Preachy

Have you ever been to the zoo?
Do you remember the exhibit of monkeys?

You can watch those monkeys for hours on end, and if you attract their attention, you can get into a game of mirror image. The monkey will actually mimic what you do. It's a fascinating study.

And it's proof we're descendants, in my opinion.
Because we're mimics.

I don't know how many of you can remember a movie called THE PROGRAM. It starred James Caan, and it was about a college football program, but what's important about it is this one scene: Some of the players, to prove their masculinity, lie down on the white line in the center of the road.

After seeing the film, a few people went out and tried, and were promptly run over by several cars.

I'm sure by now, some of you have seen THE SIMPSONS. Now, let's not for a minute suggest that Bart Simpson is a role model.

And yet, many children spent much time in offices and whatnot because they said, "don't have a cow, man" to their teacher.

The list is pretty endless:

FAST AND FURIOUS: Drag racing accidents and fatalities rise.
THE WARRIORS: Street fights outside theatres across the country.
FEAR: Encourages at least one high school boy to stalk and plan to kill his ex- girlfriend's parents.
JACKASS: THE MOVIE: Oh, don't get me started.

We're mimics.
Unfortunately, we don't mimic the works that could actually improve our lot on this sorry little planet; we mimic the truly idiotic, and dangerously insane.

But understand; I'm not blaming the media. I'm not blaming the television industry, or the film industry. I'm blaming the entire society that requires more elaborate and extreme sporting events, bloodier violence in our films, and completely mind numbing, IQ reducing crap on our televisions.

The media stokes the fires with what the fire wants. How can we blame them? In the words of Pogo Possum, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

And even our news media stokes the fires. Recently, deep into the newspaper and not at all on the television, I read an article about creating viable stem cells in a lab, and opening the door to cures that would not require the "morally questionable" use of terminated pregnancies, etc....

And instead, we get the "assault on reason" du jour.

Caligula would be so proud.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Things I've learned today....

Today I learned that "Corned Beef" is actually named for the curing process of the brisket.

Today I learned that San Quentin prison was named for a prisoner, and not an actual saint. This knowledge is up for some debate, however.

Today I learned that you can actually become so tired of hearing bad news that you want to resign from the human race completely.

Today, I learned that every so often, it is entirely permissible to lay on the couch and read. Just read.

Today I learned that two of my favorite authors are, in fact, faking it now.

Today I learned that my wife considers Valentine's Day to be a week-long event.

Imagine what I'm going to learn tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


It came with plenty of warning.
And the world turned white.
And the wind blew.
And the snow drifted.

And the people lost their minds.
The end.

Today would have been a good day to hunker down with a cup of cocoa, light the fire, and play scrabble until dinner.

Today would have been a good day to sit and listen to some music on the stereo, and read the books that arrived in the mail the other day: DUMA KEY by Stephen King, THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL by Daniel Stashower, or even THE CHASE by Clive Cussler. Until dinner.

I've noticed that everything is better when dinner is involved.

If I'm going through a midlife crisis, I would've liked a bit more of the standards; you know, fast car, younger women, etc. Instead, I have a mazda, I am still in love with my wife, and I seem to feel like I'm

I mean, can't I do anything right?
I can't even be a proper jackass.


Monday, February 11, 2008

For no other reason.....

Thus spake Almitra:

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And then his wings enfold you yield him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions
may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height
as caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them
in their clinging to the earth.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

When all else fails, babble!

I would like to be here;
I would like to there;
I would like to be everywhere at once!
I know that's a contradiction in terms,
And it's a problem....
Especially when
My body's over forty
And my mind is nearing...ten!

One of the first shows on Broadway that I ever saw was NINE, starring Raul Julia. It was the best musical of nineteen eighty something. The poster is over there, on the wall.

I really liked the musical. It's about a man who just hasn't grown up yet.

Little did I know......

Oh, by the way....that poster over there is an original. I bought it at the Triton Gallery way back in nineteen eighty something. It cost me twelve dollars. I had it framed. I just recently saw that the Triton Gallery is selling reproductions for something like 200 dollars.

Wonder how much mine's worth now.

I mean, seriously, I'm sentimental and all, but.....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Answers from the vault.....

Awhile back, my great and good friend Don Winsor (whom, if you have been following along on my continued conversation, assisted in the writing of a very long piece entitled THE BALLAD OF CLEMO AND WINSOR (no relation) which you can find in early entries) sent me this questionnaire, and now I'm going to share it with you...

We all have great stories about our theatrical experiences so now its time to share.

1) What was the first play you ever did? What role/job?
I think I was in the eighth grade, and the play was called MRS. McTHING. I played a dopey gangster whose one dream was to push old ladies under streetcars. My first line was a very comical, "Ahhhhhhhhhh, shhhhhaaaaddduppppp!" Got good laughs from a very forgiving audience.

2) What was your most recent show? What job/role?
I've been semi-retired for about four years now, but the last thing I did on a stage was called CATCH ME IF YOU CAN at Circa 21 in Rock Island, Illinois, back in '03. I played Daniel Corbin, a guy whose wife has gone missing. Or, has she? It was a great time. The theatre in Rock Island is a palace, and the audiences are tremendous.
Two years ago, I put together about forty minutes of Mark Twain stuff for the Historical Society in Arroyo Grande, California. It went over very well, and I have since expanded it...a bit. And then, promptly left it on a disk, somewhere in the vicinity of my desk.

3) What was your most fun show/role?
I can only really remember hating one show I've done in my career; they were all pretty fun. The most fun I think I ever had was in two shows; THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940, where I played Eddie, at a theatre in Vincennes, Indiana. Great cast, great show, fun audiences. The other would be THE TAVERN, where I played The Vagabond, at the Great American Melodrama. Again, great cast, great audiences, and I met my wife during that run.
Both casts had one thing in common; thinking actors who were more than willing to come to a rehearsal and play. And good things always come out of that kind of process.

4) What was your most challenging show/role?
John Merrick in THE ELEPHANT MAN. Physically demanding, vocally demanding. It was a relief to die every night. But oh, what a role.
One thing I remember most about that run.....On our opening night, Kirk Gibson hit a three run homer in the last innings to seal the deal for the Tigers in the '84 World Series.

5) What is the most bizarre show or role you've ever done?
NO EXIT, by Jean-Paul Sartre, where I played the Valet in Hell. Trained myself to not blink, making it reallllly creepy. What can I say? You can experiment in college.
I try not blinking in my present job, but it scares the straights.

6) Has anyone ever written a show for you?
No. But my life isn't over yet. I did have one fellow who always said he had me in mind when he wrote something. I have me in mind when I write something. But then, I get bored with thinking about myself all the time, and the work suffers.

7) Have you ever gotten romantically involved with a co-star?
Several times I've been involved with members of a cast. but rarely with somebody I was supposed to be "intimate" with on stage. Work is work. I never fooled myself into believing that something fictional was something real.

8) Have you ever quit a show to accept a better one?
Once, but with proper notifications and such. It was an opportunity to re-establish an old theatre, and I was fond of the producers. Oh, wait. Twice. That time, and the other time I bowed out of a children's theatre contract in Pittsburgh, because I decided to get married in California instead.

9) Have you ever completely blown character on stage?
Only twice that I can remember; my favorite is a story involving the man who sent me this series of questions. We were doing STAR TREK: THE MELODRAMA, and he was playing Kirk and I was playing Khan. At the end, as I was being dragged off, my long wig fell off. I threw it to Kirk, with a parting shot: "Except this tribble with my compliments." Of course, I was corpsing the whoooooole time. I think he forgave me, and he played it off brilliantly.

10) What show are you just dying to do?
The next one that someone offers me.

11) Have you ever done one of your "dream" shows?
Not really.....I don't have "dream" shows...unless you count the ones I would do if I could run my own theatre.
That's not true. I do have dream roles. But they are things I can never see myself playing. George in SUNDAY IN THE PARK. Guido in NINE. Templeton the Rat in CHARLOTTE'S WEB.

12) Who was your favorite director?
Brad Carroll. The man is an actor's director. But most of the directors I worked with have been very creative, supportive, and effusive in their praise.

13) Who was your least favorite director?
I won't mention names....but the guy from PCPA that everybody thought was a genius was an emperor with no clothes. And the guy who directed MAN OF LA MANCHA in Carbondale, Illinois in 1997 was an all-around incredible idiot. In fact, idiots everywhere look upon this guy as their patron saint.

14) What is the most surprising role you have ever been offered?
Henry Higgins. I couldn't take it, but I can remember my reaction....I said, and I quote: "No shit?"

15) Have you ever injured yourself onstage?
Oh, yes. Quite badly once. Lost the feeling in my legs for six weeks. Cost a fortune to fix. I recovered. I've also had my nose broken, by teeth chipped, I've been cut by a sword and an axe (separate plays), and I've been knocked unconscious twice during rehearsals.

16) Have you ever worked on an original play?
Yes. It can be fun, and it can be a pain. I can remember one playwright actually tweaking a couple of scenes in the house on opening night, writing dialogue on the backs of programs, which he gave to us the next morning for the following performance.

17) What show have you done multiple times?

18) Have you ever done different adaptations of the same show?

19) What roles do you usually get?
I'm still a leading man, but I'm heading toward unemployable character actor.

20) Have you ever had an onstage kiss?
Yes. I can remember one, in particular, during the first rehearsal for a production of ROMEO AND JULIET. I had been cast at the last minute in one of the leads (and can you think of a less likely Romeo?) and it was the first ever Shakespearean production for this theatre. So, of course, there were small town television stations looking for a story, and what do they want on film? The balcony, of course!
"Hi. I'm John. I'm pleased to meet you. Looks like we're going to be making out here in a minute, and I just wanted to get our names out there beforehand."

21) What was your scariest moment in a show?
When I was set on fire during the climactic battle in THE LEGEND OF DANIEL BOONE. Or, getting shot in the back of the head by a blank during TECUMSEH. There are lots of scary moments in outdoor drama.

22) What is your best show memory?
I can remember a rehearsal process during MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS, where everybody was on the same level.....rehearsals were incredible, with new interps flying around; people giving and taking and making it one of the best productions I was ever a part of.

23) What is your worst show memory?
Performing Scrooge with a temperature of 102, barely able to speak without coughing, and having to do TWO shows to full houses. AND having the Ghost of Christmas Present try and launch me off the stage.

24) Have you ever pulled a prank on someone in a show?
I don't encourage them. I've played concentration games with other actors during a long run, in order to keep the show fresh for yourself, but never to the detriment of the show, and never to destroy somebody's concentration. That's strictly "bush league."

25) Have you ever been the recipient of a prank during a show?
Yes. And if you want to piss me off in perpetuity, that's one way to do it.


You can actually watch the temperature fall...

And it's a-gonna get cold.
They have declared a "ground blizzard warning" for tonight and tomorrow.
What that means is, there will be little actual snow, but the wind will be kicking in at about 50 miles and hour, and all the snow that is currently on the ground will be magically sent flying into the air....creating zero visibility....and the aforementioned -30.....

Actually, they did mention that it could get down to -50.

Freakin' wind chill factor.

Global warming my ass.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Another Thursday....

Random thoughts:

Have you ever begun reading a book (without the benefit of a pre-reading of some review or recommendation) and realized right around chapter three that it all seems eerily familiar?

My wife does this regularly. She's addicted to books, primarily mystery/suspense with a twist of the Anglo, but she has no real retention. So, I find myself picking through the paperbacks she has recently purchased and tell her, "you've read that one, and we have that one downstairs in the library." And then she swats me with something heavy.

I hate it when it happens to me. Just recently, I picked up a copy of Michael Crichton's EATERS OF THE DEAD. And after just fifteen pages, realized I was reading his version of BEOWULF. Having read the original (oh, yes, I am oh so literate....) I was angry at first. And then, I realized it was a homage, and that made it more palatable.

Not a bad read. For a knockoff.

It's tax time.
Piles of paper to the left of me, receipts to my right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you......

I haven't spoken of Super Tuesday. I was shocked about two things:
1. Obama winning in Georgia. AND North Dakota.
2. Clinton winning in California.

I had those two reversed.
Kind of makes me want to opt out of the annual March Madness pool.

This weekend is the UPTA's in Memphis TN. For those of you who don't know, it's the first big regional cattle call audition, and it was always one of my favorite places to go. Don't get me wrong, it can be a nerve shattering experience, and you find yourself busting your ass for about sixteen hours just to hook a job or two, but after get this great opportunity to catch up with old friends, listen to some music, and eat some ribs.

I always loved that whole ritual of preparing for the audition, getting yourself wound up for that 90 seconds of glory. The last time I was there, I got good laughs in the monologue, and some solid jobs.

As time passes like a ping pong ball through my intestines, I continue to wonder how I can think in my head that I'm still in my twenties (a long stretch there, kiddies), and have the nerve to look shocked when I see myself in the mirror. Or photographs. Where the hell did that bald spot come from? I SWEAR that these clothes fit yesterday!


Auditions always made me feel young.
It's life that makes you feel old.

If you ever watched the television show QUANTUM LEAP, you'll know that the main character, Sam Beckett, always described time as a string, balled up in the universe's hands. So, you're never far away from the past, or the future, and in some cases, past, present, and future can actually combine....although I think knot.

Get it? String? Knot?

That's the way my life seems to feel....that the past, and the future, and the present, are really, really close.

And yet, when I ask other people, they talk about "ancient history."
Ain't ancient to me.
It was yesterday.
1980 was yesterday.
1988 was yesterday.
1969 was yesterday.
Yesterday, though, was two weeks ago, and tomorrow is probably scheduled for next month.

How does one live in this head?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Pessimists Journal....

Years ago, on a birthday long forgotten, a girl friend of mine by the name of Regina bought me a book, entitled THE PESSIMIST'S JOURNAL OF VERY VERY BAD DAYS....

It's basically a calender, and for each day of the year, it lists some thing that occurred on that day, that could be considered....well.....if not the END of the world as we know it, than certainly a symptom of the disease.

There is quotation at the front of the book. It's attributed to James Branch Cabell, and it says:

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; the pessimist fears this is true."

So, I'm going to give you some of the highlights.

(1989) Ed Koch is still New York City's mayor.

(1968) Alabama Governor George Wallace announces he'll run for President keeping peace in the streets with, "30,000 troops and two-foot-long bayonets."

(1950) "I have in my hand a list of 205...." says Senator McCarthy in Wheeling, West Virginia.

(1985) A St. Louis couple names their newborn son Rambo.

(1989) Police rescue a naked Winona, Minnesota, couple from a collapsible sofa bed after they had folded it shut around themselves in an attempt to copy a stunt seen on the "stupid human tricks" segment of "Late Night With David Letterman."

and finally, for this week,
(1974) The first Susan B. Anthony silver dollar is struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I've almost achieved a kind of balance.

You Are 52% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

It's snowing.....

And I've been out to shovel it twice today. I know, I asked for it. And we're desperately short of the white stuff, and we need to think about the spring planting.

Watched the Super Bowl last night. A good game, a very good game. I didn't really have a stake in the game, mind you.....I would have liked to see the Patriots run the table, but the Giants (and particularly their quarterback) have been getting a bum deal in the press, and it's good to see a wild-card team come out of nowhere and put the rock upside Goliath's head.

I didn't even mind the halftime show. Tom Petty can still rock, people. Even though he looks like something dug up in Egypt, he can still play.

And it was a hell of a lot better than Timberlake.

Somebody setting themselves on fire is a hell of a lot better than Timberlake.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, I'm starting a grass-roots movement to get a Super Bowl in Green Bay. I'm doing this because it's time that the game came back to the GAME. I'm tired of the celebrities in the stands who have no interest in the game, and I'm ornery that people actually have to pay hundreds to THOUSANDS of dollars to see the game. Lambeau Field in February would separate the men from the boys....and why should the most important game of the year be played in perfect weather, when weather is a part of the game itself?

So, join me in petitioning the NFL to give a game to Green Bay.

AND...speaking of Super things....

Super Tuesday is tomorrow.....and we got Caucuses here. And, I have to admit, I'm not sure which way to fall on this subject. For me, all the candidates are...well....not for me. And I've never been comfortable with the whole, "lesser of two evils" thing. I've got some thinking to do before tomorrow morning.

Still snowing.

Think I'll just sip my coffee and look out the window.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I know I'm not supposed to laugh....


There is a certain decorum I am supposed to maintain in my line of work. I wear a uniform, for God's sake (and that's another nail in the coffin of my long-term goals, but that's another story), and although most of the people I meet in the course of my day tend to look upon me as a pest at best, and a stormtrooper at worst, I am supposed to maintain a facade that encourages respect....

So, today, I'm doing my job. The bags come by, go through the xray machine, and my associate sees something in the bag that requires further study.

The female passenger, apparently affected by this delay, begins to list the things in the bag for everybody to hear. This is not an uncommon occurrence, but it makes me wonder about people's sense of privacy.

So, she's listing.

And finally she says, "Oh, you must have found my pot."

Silence rains down upon us. It even seems as if the rather loud heating units have gone silent. The large travelling machines outside have seemed to have mysteriously wound naturally, at that moment, everybody in the building has heard this....

You can imagine that this causes a little distress.

Until we find out she's talking about a small, liberally painted flower pot.

Seriously, I laughed until tears fell out of my face.


There comes a time in everybody's life, when you realize that what you're doing right now is what you've become.

After two meetings, a long eight hour shift which included two point five hours of additional training, and scheduling not only two more meetings but a preliminary plan to send me all over this state to illuminate the masses of unilluminated, I have come to the almost desperate conclusion that I've resigned myself to this.

Or, maybe it's because it's Friday, and it's going to be busy, and my back hurts.