Friday, December 31, 2010

Heeere Comes Aaaaaanother One!

I am much better at looking back than looking forward. It's a character flaw which I don't actively embrace, but accept as one of those delightful character flaws that make the diamond which is me more valuable.


My name is Historiclemo, and I'm an alcoholic. I've been on the wagon exactly eighteen years today. And I mean, New Year's Eve of 1992 was the last drink I took. And my friends, it was a DOOZY.

But I'm feeling much better now.......

Every year, I think back to the moments of the year that have brought me to this place; I see the faces of those that have passed through, and I smile at the thought that one day I'll see them all again, either here, or hopefully, there.

As many of you know, I lost my Mother in February. It was a long time coming, but the effect of "face first into a brick wall" is not lessened by the fact that you know it's coming. Every year, I baked the Butterball Cookies that were traditional for her holiday, and they were good; but would have been better, if.....

Similarly, we lost Pyramus a few weeks after that. He was a good cat, and even though we greeted the impish Rufus in the early summer.....Pyramus will always be missed.

I saw some old friends in October, and found a bit of my soul in the process; mended some fences and re-built some relationships. To Steve, Michelle, Becky, Todd; Thank you for your kindness, your memories, and the friendships that have lasted into a third decade.

I stepped onto a stage again last summer, for the first time since my sabbatical back in '03. I call it a Sabbatical, but it actually turned into a Mondical and a Tuesdical, as well. It was a good time, the weather was beautiful for July in the Northern State, and I impressed everybody with my charm and wit, as well as the fact that I could build a set after being awake for 43 hours.

I'm currently in rehearsal again. You can see me at the Dakota Stage in a production of SCREWTAPE, opening at the end of January. I hope I don't suck.

I have plans this year to do some traveling; I have my annual trip to the white beaches of Siesta Key FL, to visit my Father in his repose. We'll spend a week, maybe catch a Grapefruit League game in Sarasota...I understand the Orioles will be playing the Twins in early March. This year, and afternoon game, I think....the night game last year was exciting, but hypothermia-inducing.

I'll be going to KC in May to celebrate the wedding of one of my favorite former students; he's an excellent designer, a creative writer, and is the only student that ever threatened to actually kill me. I think some of them thought it, but Greg is the only one to actually state it. Out Loud. To me. In no uncertain terms. The least I can do is go see him get married. I'm also planning to walk about the Truman Library for a day...and maybe walk in the footsteps of Jesse James.

As of now, I have plans to fly to London in June, again at the behest of my family. Father wants to walk in the footsteps of the early Historiclemo's, and since I've never been to England (But I kinda like the Beatles), I would like to see some things; particularly the re-creation of the Globe, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and Stonehenge. In fact, I would like to do a lot of touristy things.....the only thing that's going to be sad is the fact that I won't be able to fully enjoy the pub.


I suppose I could supplant the Guinness by attempting to find a chip shop without looking like a doofus American. my constant, and semi-constant reader, I would like to thank you for attending to these blurtings, these occasional Barbaric Yawps. I hope to continue, in a more constant manner, in the year of 11.

May you see youth in the mirror, and smiles in the eyes of everyone you meet.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clear As The Tolling Bell......

When I was an actor, I used to enjoy going to the large 'cattle call' auditions; you got a chance to see old friends, catch up on the stories, listen to a few monologues (and steal what was good.....I mean, borrow!) and bask in the go-go-GO that is the callback audition.

Okay, it wasn't until I was pretty well down the road from the college life that I learned to like the 'cattle call'. I can even remember the moment: I was standing against a wall in this line of 25 actors, getting ready to be moved en masse into the first couple of rows of the theatre, so that we could not only stew in our own juices (at eight-f***ing-thirty on a Sunday morning, no less) but we were forced to watch all the other auditionees do their thing.

I was standing in this line, with what could only be described as the road company of the Bedlam Asylum, murmuring lines and singing to themselves as we made our way into the dark of the theatre.

And this thought ran through my head like Steve Prefontaine on the Juice: "F**k it."

And that became my mantra: "F**k it."

(By the way, I edit because I have nieces and nephews who read this stuff, and I don't want them to get the idea that I'm wild about cursing. I AM, by the way, just plain wild about cursing, but they don't need to know that. Oh, wait. SH*T!)

It was at that moment when I realized that I would have far more fun if I was just what I wanted to be, and not what I thought they expected me to be.

And off I went, to do a monologue about a one-legged man auditioning for the role of Tarzan.

And I killed.

And I pretty much improved my skills tenfold in that one moment of clarity.

I love moments like that.....I can remember another time, when I was playing Romeo.

(holds for laughs.)


We were blocking the balcony scene, and it wasn't working....the director was looking for something romantic, and I wasn't making it click. And this went on for quite some time, until in dramatic frustration (have we met?), I threw my script into the tenth row of the house.

As I watched the paper fall like...well, paper.....I realized the problem.

The problem was the pace.

The stupid bastard was in the garden of the house of his enemy, and would surely be killed in ghastly ways should he be caught, and the director had me being all mushy and junk like I had all the time in the world to close the deal with this ditzy dame.....

Ten minutes later, it was finished.

Moments of clarity.

I had them in art, all the time.

Pity, really, that I couldn't get that kind of clarity in my life.

Well, it ain't over yet.

As the great Messiah Donald Shimoda says, "what the Caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the Butterfly."

Monday, December 27, 2010


It's now the 27th; the last couple of days went by like a Whirlwind.

I'm probably not the only person who felt that way.

On Christmas Day, I got off of work at 0830, went home, had a cup of coffee and opened some presents; my favorite was the DVD collection of the Brother Cadfael Mysteries starring Derek Jacobi; I loved these when they were on PBS, and now I own them....I also have my eye on the I, Claudius collection, but since I've seen it very often, I've put it off. Derek Jacobi is one of my favorites.

Also, I got a collection of bendable figures; Popeye, Olive Oyl, The Pink Panther, and Gumby and Pokey. All I need is Mr. Bill to make the collection complete, and they go up on the shelf next to my D.B. Cooper Bobblehead.

I slept for three hours and began the dinner preparation; the Prime Rib roast was cooked a bit more than MY taste desires, but got good reviews; the Chicken was tender and moist, and all the fixin' were scooped out in huge amounts and the sound of laughter and talk around the table was like sweet music for my soul. Then we opened more presents and then I went to bed so I wouldn't be cranky when I went to work at midnight.

Got home on the 26th, and for some reason went into a deep, ten hour coma. Screwed up my whole sleep cycle and now I AM cranky. But at least it's not snowing, and nobody brought explosives onto an airplane in their crotch this year.

Little victories.

So, I just wanted to take the time to say that I hope you all got rest and rejuvenation, that you're families held you tight, and your face hurts from smiling.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Beacon in the Darkness....

The view from my Office window, in the dead of night on Christmas Day.

It's a comforting sight on a foggy night.

To my friends, and anonymous readers, I wish you well and happy; I drink a toast to your health and well-being; and I hope for all of us the blessings of the Creator.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Funniest Joke....IN THE WORRRLLLLD!

Stop me if you've heard this one.....

A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?”

The operator, in a calm, soothing voice, says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says: “Okay, now what?”

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rumination as the snow files.

Sorry, I've been distracted.

The weather has been particularly brutal the last couple of days; snow, wind chills sending the thermometer into areas where you really believe that Dante was right, and the final circle is frozen; and of course, my traditional Thursday into Friday, which translates into, 'waking up at 0600 on Thursday morning, and finally getting to sleep again on Friday around 1300.'

Life on the Plains is an endurance test, my friends.

In other news; the tree is up and decorated, and the process of collecting and wrapping the gifts has begun. I ordered the Historiclemo Family version of the Christmas Goose (Prime Rib Roast, which will be slow cooked from early morning to mid-afternoon, and served with every single accoutrement I can think of), and the recipes are brushed off, the baking ingredients for this year are collected in that small corner near the oven....I'm nearly good to go.

This year will be Hershey Kiss cookies; Buckeyes; Simple Spritz Cookies; my Mother's Butterball Cookies (I may actually shed some tears as I make these; my Mother being frequently on my mind these days); and some drop cookies I'm going to wing 'cuz I got a whole s**tload of Quaker Oats I have nothing to do with.

Oh, and candy......primarily Fudge.

The Christmas Day dessert will be a sheet cake of some kind, with wishes that I could transport one of those lovely cakes I see from time to time coming out of my friend's imaginative bakery. Perhaps I'll make some ice cream.

I'm sorry, I just went into a kind of dessert heaven.

I have a lot to do, but a reasonable time to do it in....

In other news:

The audition bore fruit. I've been cast as Screwtape, in a play called Screwtape. Seems like an interesting role, from what I've read of it.....and I have no idea what the other cast members are like; and I don't even have a rehearsal schedule yet. But it goes up at the end of January, if anybody cares.

At times like this, I remember this beautiful moment during the production of Sweeney Todd; holding his blade high, after so many years, he cries, "At last! My arm is whole again!"

Know how you feel, Sweeney, old boy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I think it's Tuesday. Don't hold me to that, though.

I'm doing a lot of living in my head these days. It happens every holiday season; it was actually worse when a) I was drinking and b) when I was single. I had a lot more quiet time in those days for my hobbies, which included recrimination and self-loathing. But, the relief of not being controlled by something, and being with changes things. When I'm in my head, I dream dreams and solve problems and plot for the holiday bake fest.

I went down to the local community theatre last night and auditioned for a play called Screwtape; based upon a novel by C. S. Lewis. Based upon the reading material, it's interesting, but at the same

It's a funny thing about auditions; if you're next meal doesn't rely upon the success of audition, it's a lot more fun. Couple that with the fact that you're a reasonably unknown entity, then it practically entitles you to play fast and loose. The only downside is that in an effort to make everybody ELSE look good (which I have always believed to be the secret to successful auditioning), I was getting varied reactions; from a kind of gratitude, to a kind of pissed off arrogance at my effrontery.

So, I'm not sure how good a fit I am with this particular group.

Still, it's nice to blow out the carbon from time to time, and not care about the results.

And I got home in time for the second half of the MNF game, which was pretty much a foregone conclusion before they even kicked off to start the third quarter. But I had money on New England; I had hoped the Jets had played better, though. I hate it when the one game I really get to see in the course of a week is a blowout.

And it was a hellava lot better than watching the Red Wings get crushed by some West Coast team that never saw ICE except in a glass.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vampires, Zombies, and the Holy Ghost.

I have not watched the AMC series The Walking Dead.

The truth is, I find movies about zombies to be....disconcerting.

Everybody has their bogeyman thing, I suppose. And I would think that 'zombies' would be very high on the list of things that scare the beeeejeeezus out of people. But then again, you'd be surprised how many people are afraid of cotton balls.

I know of two.

Just sayin'.

At the same time, I'm okay with movies about long as the movie itself doesn't suck. NEAR DARK is one of my favorites. But I avoid things like A VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN, and anything called, BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA.

Side note: Calling that piece of sh*t Bram Stoker's Dracula is like waving a paltry poultry over a vat of noodles and calling it soup. I won't even talk about the Eddie Murphy thing; it's hard to talk over all the sucking that movie did.

Well...if I had to be really honest, I think SHAUN OF THE DEAD was pretty funny.

And when you think about it, Dracula is just a zombie with an intellect, drinking blooood instead of eating braaaaiiiiins.

Okay, NOW I'm reminded of an old line from Sam Kinison: Did you ever notice that Jesus was the only person to come back from the dead that didn't scare the sh*t out of everybody?

Okay, this isn't exactly a first for me: I've actually started with no specific point, and no decided ending.....and the middle is just filler.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Title not forthcoming.

The famous actor George Sanders, who committed suicide in 1972, wrote in his suicide note that he was leaving because he was bored.

I read that story when I read his biography, titled A Dreadful Man, in 1979; my Mother was most fond of actor biographies, and I got them after she was done with them.....

She had a first edition copy of A Conversation with Cary Grant which was actually signed by the great man, and it's disappeared. I'd actually kill to get it back.

But, digression is good for the soul.

Until just a few minutes ago, I never believed that anybody could be so bored as to mistakenly down five bottles of Nembutal, scrawl a hasty message, and go to sleep. But with the benefit of living, I can see how the boredom can overcome a man.

Rest easy, my friends. No such finale is planned.

But I am frightfully bored; with the job, with the town, with the cats, and yes.....the same conversations over and over again.

Actually, it might just be a low day, or a low month, or a freakin' low year: everybody has those moments of OCD and the manic and the opposite of manic. There are times when the need for information of any kind, any new mystery or new topic of conversation will make me feel like a thirsty man in the desert.

And then, there are times when I think if one more person, loved or unloved, liked or simply tolerated, makes one more vocal sound...that even so much as a 'good morning' will make we wish (as I seem to perpetually do) that these freakin' windows opened without the benefit of actually throwing a chair through them.


Maybe I just need to throw myself into the kitchen for my annual baking fest.

Or maybe I just need a quiet room and dim light.

A stout ship and a star to steer her by.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks, and Getting all sorts of Crap.

When my Father came into the room on Thanksgiving Day, there wasn't a soul in the room that didn't know we were related.

I used to look like my younger brother.
Then, I looked like my older brother.
Now, I look like my Dad.

Although my Father is a good man, a true man, and a hard working, hard thinking man....I don't want to look like him.

He's eighty.

I want to look twenty five, please and thank you.

It's always good to see Dad.....his laugh is easy to get, he beats the ever-lovin' CRAP out of me in SCRABBLE, and we pretty much agree on what to watch on television. We had an opportunity to watch the Patriots kick the crap out of the Lions, and the Buckeyes kick the crap out of the Wolverines.

And every now and then, he'll come across with a story that I have never heard before. And that's worth the price of admission right there.

I love them stories.

He is ridiculously demanding, however; he insists that we join him in Florida in March and London in June. That's a lot to accomplish. But I'll do it, because I've always wanted to see Florida.

Heh. Bull. I've seen Florida from stem to stern, and yes, it does look like the country is pissing on Cuba. I want to see London. And I know if I don't do it now, I won't do it, and I'll miss my Father's reaction to it all.

Which leads me to my Father's new story: There is a castle named Tintagel in Cornwall, the cradle of the family. And in his searching of the family tree, he has discovered a link between our family and the family of Arthnou, who had the castle built. So, he's convinced we're descended from King Arthur.

So, let's do a quick summation:
Love my Father.
He's slightly mad.

But it gives a great excuse to regularly sing, "we're Knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able, and often times are given rhymes that are quite unsing-able..."

Monday, November 22, 2010


I love these guys, and this is one of my favorite bits, written by another one of my favorite guys, Pat Paulson.

I have an autograph from Tom Smothers, who showed pity on a poor guy who was stuck in Checked Baggage when he came through the Bismarck Airport. It's a prized possession that says, "Greetings from one Smother Brother."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Go by Car.

This is, quite probably, my favorite anti-airline youtube video. I saw it for the first time just after I began working for the airline in question (and before I began my other job with the Government Institution That Shall Not Be Named.)

So, I dedicate this to the people and business that I swore to protect, even if they do throw us under the bus on a regular basis.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Less rant, more logic....same story....different day.

Really sorry to harp on this.....

Thanks to all that are worried about the status of my employment; I am not worried. The same people they are interviewing for the story about those awful security screenings are the same people who are setting up websites to get to the bottom of the voter fraud on Dancing with the Stars.

Yes, I know you won't believe me when I say that the AIT screening is safe; but the deeply tanned future Speaker of the House gets more radiation in one of this fake bakes than you would get in an AIT scans.

I know, I don't believe me.

Two years ago, the then-head of the TSA, a good man named Kip Hawley, went on 60 MINUTES and demonstrated the technology, showing more than the average person gets to see. Among the things discussed were the fact that the computer that reads the images is stand-alone, and not networked so that the images STAY in the computer and are deleted as soon as the next one comes around; that the images are examined by a gender-specific Officer who is (and I know this will be shocking) more interested in FINDING WEAPONS AND EXPLOSIVES than analyzing private parts.

Finally, if I may offer a few personal notes....

The pat-down was created to scan the areas that have been demonstrated (on a near miss on Christmas Day in the skies over Detroit) to be used to bring DANGEROUS EXPLOSIVES onto the airplane for the sole purpose of KILLING AMERICANS. We don't profile, so any anomaly in that private area must be searched. All people who seek to do harm do not look like Mohammad Atta; sometimes they look like Tim McVeigh.

I think, at last count, less than 70 airports in this country have AIT technology; the rest of America should just shut the hell up.

As I have said before (in a posting I wrote just after Christmas of '09, you do not have the inalienable right to fly in an airplane. Take the Greyhound.

By the way, I have a hard time taking seriously a 31 year old man who refers to his penis as his 'junk'. Grow up, a**hole.

There has been talk about privatizing security in the airports, and if that's what people want, let the majority rule..but let's remember a couple of things:

1. Our pat-down procedure is tame compared to that of law enforcement. You want to experience 'invasive?'

2. A great many of the TSA employees would, most likely, be hired as the private security.

3. The TSA is funded by the Federal Government. Does anybody think that the airlines, or the airport administrations, or the state governments want to pony up to pay for something there are currently getting for FREE?

4. Would anybody want to jump in the way-back machine to, say....September of earlier in this decade and see what a BANG UP job they private security did?

My friends......let's let the media find the next 15 minute story (oh, PLEASE let it be about Eva and Tony, PLEASE!) and cooler heads prevail and have a conversation that would be productive and not punishing.

And by the way, I appreciate the way my friends and acquaintances have managed to separate me from the organization I work for.......

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gather around, ye Romans, and witness the evidence of the end.....

I began my acting career when I was very young; I can recall that the first sentence I ever uttered in front of a audience included the word "capering".

This is information that is neither here nor there, really. The real point is this.....

I have always been opposed to competitions involving the arts. I don't see any logical way to judge "head-to-head", paintings, writings, acting or dancing.

I was telling a local friend the other day that I turned down an Irene Ryan nomination TWICE because I just didn't get it.....and yes, I caught all sorts of political push-back for those decisions. And, hypocritically, I DID serve as a partner to a couple of people who were competing, but justified the hypocrisy by stating that I wasn't there, nyah, nyah, nyah.

I don't watch award shows.

I especially don't watch shows where the public has the ability to vote on the winner; this is simple...the more that the audience gets involved in choosing the winner, the less it becomes about the 'art'.

Televised competitions are, of course, about the drama of the competition, and not the 'art' either, but let that pass. Combined with the need for ratings, the whole idea of fair competition becomes laughable. But that's neither here nor there, either.

I think the whole idea of doing an expose on the 'illegal voting methods' of shows like Dancing with the Wannabe's and American Idle is, in it's total, the best available example of what's really wrong with us.

The people who are complaining about how it is possible that a weak dancer like somebody named Bristol can be one dance step away from a fictional championship are the same people who showed absolutely no interest in the theft of a Presidential Election in '00.

Apparently, a fictional dancing competition is more important.

Again......Bread and Circuses.

I thrust my fists against the posts and still insists I see the ghosts.....

Monday, November 15, 2010


This one goes out to Vicki, who has always been fond of Beekers, and the like....

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Oh boy.

Two things.

Firstly.....I have found the people who mostly complain about their personal privacy at airports also have very public Facebook pages....AND are usually the ones shouting a list of the possessions in their carry-on if the X-Ray Officer spends 'too much' time looking at the image of their bag.

You can't simultaneously complain about a violation of your privacy and tell me (and everybody ELSE in the checkpoint) you have a.....uh....personal your suitcase.

Secondly.....If anybody has a way to solidify our security measures while avoiding a violation of your (and that guy who wants to smuggle dangerous stuff on board your airplane) privacy, while at the same time not spending any money because you're a tea bag sonofabitch that believes in small government and fiscal responsibility, then bring on your suggestions.

Or, perhaps, you'd like to go back to the good old days?

Look, I get it. I do. There are a LOT of bad Officers out there, who make you feel small and put you on edge, and make inappropriate comments because they have small penises and need to Lord it over somebody.

But the people who DO give a damn (and I consider myself one of those) are willing to give you your dignity, and your privacy, if we can just get you to give us a little slack.

I you don't have to.

Please. Let me worry.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I was Sinatra.

When I was in college, I was good friends with a fellow named Michael.

That was his actual first name. His last name is redacted to protect his innocence.

The friendship that I had with him (and as far as that goes, the friendship continues to this day; although we talk more sporadically than we used to; but as you well know, my relationships never end, even with the afterlife) was one of mutual humor, a love of the comedy of SCTV as well as Laurel and Hardy, and a mutual respect for each other's work.

I always think of Michael at this time of year; as you know, the snow has been flying here in the Northern State since just before Halloween, and even though it doesn't last, it's heeeere. And winter always puts me into the nostalgic mood.

My favorite story that includes Michael involves looking for alcohol during a blizzard.

We were on the west side of town, and the only open liquor store was The Blue Link, which was, of course, on the EAST side of town. We had a car, and we weren't inebriated yet, but we did require a re-stocking if we had any hope of getting through the winter night. So, three of us (Michael, myself, and Marty, who owned the car) ran out to the mobile in the hopes of getting through the blinding snowstorm before The Link closed.

We were on a mission from Bacchus.

We donned coats and hats and gloves and ran out to the car. Michael and I piled in. We waited for Marty.

No Marty.

We looked out the windows.

No Marty.

Finally, we exited the car in the hopes of finding our wandering boy out there in the snow.

No Marty.

Finally, we were about to give up hope, when Michael noticed an anomaly on the rear bumper of the car. Two unmistakable gloves attached to the bumper, leading to underneath the car. Apparently, our reckless run to the car had caused Marty to slide UNDER the car, only grabbing onto the bumper at the last moment.

We tried to help, but the fact that we were laughing like maniacs made us...ineffective as life savers.


We made it to the liquor store, by the way.

Anyway, I found this little video, which reminded me of the time that Michael and I recreated this musical number for his Senior Performance during his last Jury. I was Sinatra, he was Crosby.

We were Legendary.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My feet stood in Giant Footprints.

In a small park on the Western side of Quincy Illinois stands a monument to one of our nation's best public conversations ever seen.

The Lincoln/Douglas debates.

These things we call debates today don't hold a candle to the brilliant oratory and legitimate, personal arguments that made up the debates of old. The ideas and subjects weren't sanitized for your comfort. They didn't have oodles of spin doctors to avoid saying things that would cost them votes. They were honest and forthright, and yes, they were Giants That Walked The Earth.

I must look a proper fool when I stand on these historical grounds. Because I can hear the voices. I can hear the crowds. I breathe in the history.

And when I get sick at heart when I see what we've become, I am steadied by the study of the past...for nobility cannot be shaken by a clever quip, and shouting down the right thing because it's not the popular thing doesn't make it any less right.

The wheel turns.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And then, I woke up.

I began this morning writing about TRUTV passing off 'cinema verite'' as actual reality.

But then I realized.....who cares?

I'm wondering now if blurring, or completely obliterating the line between fiction and reality isn't a bonus, somehow.

Surely, that would guarantee happy endings all around?

Oh wait.

That would also guarantee sparkly vampires.


I wonder what else it would guarantee?

(at this point, John drifts off into fantasies of transporting to his favorite places, and the Lions winning the Super Bowl. Yup. He's gone.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dough Ray Me

My friend Claudia, an on-air voice at New York's WFUV (broadcasting from the lovely campus of Fordham University) hosted a Woody Guthrie tribute recently, and since I am fond of both Claudia AND the works of Woody Guthrie (and his son, Arlo), I decided to post this, one of my favorite songs of the era......

I need to add at this point that things in California haven't changed. At all.

Rage. Pure. Blinding. Rage.

I was recently sent this little piece of wisdom, by a sarcastic friend of mine. It comes, apparently, from one of those magazines, and it is a quote from Jessica Alba, who is talking about acting.

To quoth Alba:

On acting: "Good actors, never use the script unless it's amazing writing. All the good actors I've worked with, they all say whatever they want to say."

And there it is, ladies and gentlemen: proof positive that nobody currently considered an actor knows that the F**K they're talking about, or doing, or thinking.

Yes, I know I'm in the middle of an under-thought, exhaustion-sparked, "oh, GOD I miss my career as an actor" rant. I can't stop it.

I haven't been this pissed off at the obvious, fundamental lack of understanding to the art to which I gave a majority of my lifespan since somebody described the late Heath Ledger's performances as "coming from a place of truth."

Of COURSE it comes from a "place of truth" you F**K!


Let's just hope that Jessica Alba never does an adaptation of anything written prior to the last century. In fact, let's hope that Motherhood takes her away completely.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

and the bowl of Petunias said, "Oh, NOT again...."

I think you should only have to pay for mistakes you make when you are conscious.

I slept wrongly again last night...and I woke up today with the feeling that there was ground glass in my neck and an ache in my head that could only be cured by the sudden removal of my head from the rest of my pathetic body.

Not fair.

The usual cure would be to down several bottles of pain reliever (at this point, don't care about the brand) attempt to manipulate the neck region to snap, crackle and pop, and then sit in a dark room and contemplate oblivion.

Neck won't move.

NOT fair.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When does the Wind of change become a Scourge?

I can only say this:

When I was in graduate school, one of the elements of my degree program was to collect a perform a one-hander about Harry Truman. Now, there is a really good one-hander written by a fellow named Sam Gallu, called GIVE 'EM HELL, HARRY!, but when I asked nicely for the rights, he firmly declined.

In case you haven't noticed, there have been more than a few books written about Harry Truman. Many of them written by Harry himself. So, a little cut and a little paste, and there you go.

One part I can remember clearly. Harry speaks of "The Big Lie."

"Have you ever heard of the Big Lie? Well, it's a lie that so big, and so monstrous, that it shocks the listener. And then you repeat it and repeat again and again, until the lie becomes the truth.

Without The Big Lie, surely Hitler would never have come to power."

It should come as no surprise that day has turned the way it has; in the day and age of instant communication, with the wonderful Internet, and Twitter, and Facebook, and 24 hour cable channels dedicated to specific intents, it is no wonder that we don't see more "Big Lies".

Death Panels.
Kenyan Birth Certificates.

Oh, wait. We HAVE seen them.

What we need is real answers, not platitudes and an "aw shucks you betcha" delivery. And we need real answers for this century, and not a belief that we can roll back the clock to when a family could survive on one income, and schools were for education, and the moral education took place at home, and when there was a dust-up between the kids, they didn't pull firearms.

The woman who is plugging her television show isn't going to help us.
The carrot looking Mother-F***er isn't going to help us.
The ancient warrior from the West isn't going to help us.
The guitar-playing preacher from Iowa is probably not going to help us.

And, apparently, we've made the Yes, We Can guy impotent.

God Save America.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One of the best things that came out of the 80's...

This goes out to anybody who ever wanted to hold the stereo overhead.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I feel like a pretzel.

I'm wondering if we haven't lost.

We see goblins in every dark place.
We fear and hate many for the crimes of a few.
Those that plead for reason are shouted down by those that want to become what we hate; and insist that we use the same tactics that we fear.
Pretty people with disarming smiles use platitudes, and the mass of scared, unthinking but reacting majority see a savior.
"They're not like THEM! They're like US!" they cry.

We have met the enemy, and they is us.

And my country bleeds.

But I did enjoy the rally last weekend. I wish that everybody would have enough of a sense of humor to see the sun through this fog of war, and anger, and needful revenge.

Fox sure missed the point.
Smarmy bastards.

Election day tomorrow.
Many choices to make.
There are some Republicans and some Democrats that I favor.

Did you know that North Dakota is the only state that doesn't require voter registration?

Show your ID at the proper precinct, they check to see that your address matches, and off you go...doing your civic duty.


My philosophy: If you can keep my country safe, and keep the economy strong, then I don't care if you are serviced by two prostitutes on the top of a double-decker bus going down Fifth Avenue with a banana in your ear, you are the best person for the job.

That's why I voted for Bill.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's a Fine, Fine Day......

I'd say it was a little like being blind, but that would be a horrible insult to the actual blind.

We had a blizzard here on Tuesday; you probably heard about it; it was in all the newspapers, and on The Weather Channel and junk. The predicted high winds, and blowing snow, and an accumulation of 1 inch.


Oh, they were right about the wind. And we weren't alone; apparently, my friends in Chicago were getting very rare Hurricane force winds. Of course, such things are what we refer to in the Northern State as "Spring."

But what they lied about was the accumulation. More like 6 inches, blowing and drifting and icing and oh boy that makes for an interesting commute.

Yes, I know what you're thinking.....and yes, I chose to live here. File it under, "The Things We Do For Love."

But the vicious wind took away the satellite dish at work, so we are without our multi-dimensional window to the world. And at a most inappropriate time, what with strange packages and stolen UPS uniforms and....

Oh. Once again, I'm not sure what's been on the news and what hasn't.

To repeat something I wrote to my friend Kizz...."Crap...uh...THESE AREN'T THE DROIDS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!"

So, I have two computers fired up, each on a different news website, and the Ipod is playing music.....I started with Jeff Wayne's version of War of the Worlds, and then I moved to a soundtrack of a musical review of Stan Rogers' music...and now, I"m listening to Tony Carey.

I'm really feeling the tedium tonight my friends.

I suppose it's fortunate that these windows don't open.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Gales of November Came Early.

I am a Michigander, born and raised.

And as such, we have a memory of a great many things; we can remember where we were when the Tigers won their last World Series, we can remember what we were doing when we heard that Jimmy Hoffa had disappeared; and we remember the storms.

November 10, 1975. The day started beautifully, and ended like Hell had come to Breakfast.

When the weather turns like it did today, I think of this song, and it's haunting chords.....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An open letter.

Dear Mr. President:

I've always said, and I continue to say, that I think my job is important, and am proud to serve, in this small regard, to insure that the country is safe.

I'll put up with the abuse from passengers who have had a bad experience with my Brothers in Arms; I'll try to turn their hearts, if I can. But I'll still make sure they understand that I'm doing what I can to make sure they don't have to worry.

I'll put up with the snarky comments from Faux News bubble-headed bleach blondes, who are only interested in the parts of the story that support their snarkiness.

And I'll be here, even when I feel like it's too much to deal with.

But I want to tell you, Mr. President.....if you could find a way to make my job obsolete, that would be something I wouldn't mind at all.

I've always wanted to be......a DANCER!

Sincerely yours,


Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm no Superman.

My friends, I'm tired.

Usually, I can occupy these small hours with chores of a kind; there's always some paperwork to do, or some report to read.....but today, it's a perfect storm of boredom. No paperwork, and only infomercials....or things I've seen before....or medical shows that simultaneously intrique and sicken me.

The only thing that makes it bearable is the fact that there are only 4 and a half hours to go.

Remind me to write about the unique pain that comes with the whole, "fall back" thing...yeah, and extra hour in the middle of the just know that if these damned window opened.....

Random Musings:

My organization has a place where everybody in the organization can offer ideas on how to improve the's called, 'The Idea Factory', and if you need a template of how this country is going, all you need to do is read this site for about fifteen minutes.

Seriously, you'll want to move.

And, given the fact that the people offering the ideas are, in fact, responsible for the security of aviation all over this great land of ours, you'll NEVER EVER want to get on an airplane AGAIN. EVER.

So, somebody suggests that there be some kind of physical fitness element put into our job descriptions. Seems like a reasonable request, given the planet-sized people that populate the airport checkpoints around the country. Surely, I can't see Officer Blubber doing anything but breathing heavy and complaining if something goes terribly wrong...

But...I'm reminded that this is America; and we are given by our Founding Fathers the right, nay the RESPONSIBILITY to be a bunch of slugs.

On to other things:

NPR fired a guy, and now everybody's got an opinion, although I'm fairly certain that the people who are complaining about this guy getting the boot never listened to NPR in their LIVES. But this is America, and we're given by our Founding Fathers the right, nay, the RESPONSIBILITY to have opinions that are not based upon any research, or fact.....but are given to us by the Holy Trinity of Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and Beck.

Sounds kind of like a brilliant double-play combination, doesn't it? Limbaugh, to O'Reilly, to Beck.

But anyway.....the fact is, NPR has a right to fire anybody they like. And if you don't like it, don't tune in.

Oh, yeah. Nobody does.

Oh, and just so I can say it.....Sarah Palin: if you have solutions, I'd love to hear them, but so far, you're really good at pointing out the problem. We know what the problem is, Sarah. Give us solutions. A nice list, written on your hand would be gratefully accepted.

In fact, if you don't have any solutions, people, please, please, please SHUT THE F**K UP!

Sorry. I'm just overwhelmed by the constant blah blah blah...and I don't get Comedy Central.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I had a hard time believing that this house was still standing; it was on it's last legs twenty two years ago, when I lived on the second floor.

My roommate Steve and I called it "The Treehouse", because it was the second floor, and it had all the things a good Treehouse should have: comic books, junk food, and bottle rockets. I'm pretty sure we had dart guns and plastic swords, as well.....

There were some subtle differences from an actual Treehouse. Our policy allowed girls. At the time, both Steve and I were in relationships. He married his.

I can't begin to tell you the fun that comes from my memories of this particular place....Steve was an undergrad at the time, but a theatre undergrad was busy enough, but I was attempting to do a three year program in two years, so I was always running like the proverbial headless chicken. But, in the Treehouse, there was Monty Python and Doctor Who, all manner of Halloween and Friday the 13th films, and egg salad sandwiches; oh, and laughter. The kind of laughter you don't find often enough.

And twenty two years later, I stood in front of the house hand in hand with the girl I didn't marry, and we laughed until we cried. And then, we went to find some food.

It should have been egg salad.

That would have been just about perfect.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Travels with Historiclemo, Part I.

On a bluff above the city of St. Petersburg, Missouri (a euphemism, mind you), stands a statue of the great man.

He looks out over the mighty river, the life's blood of the Midwest.

And in this place, above the Mississippi, and beneath the bronzed gaze of the great writer, is the quietest place I've found in a long time.

Along with a sandwich and a cold glass of cola, it was as near to a perfect afternoon as I can remember.

Monday, October 4, 2010

One thing....leads to Another.....

As in life, while writing sporadically in this venue, one thing leads to another....a kind of stream of unconsciousness. Not really a stream, even. A trickle.

For Example:

Today is the birthday of Playwright Lee Blessing, who wrote a very good two-hander back in the mid-eighties, titled, A Walk in the Woods. It was a series of conversations between the American and Soviet Ambassador, who would take time off from the negotiations to walk in the woods and talk. I hope, one day, to do this play. Sam Waterston and Robert Prosky were the original cast.

Which led me to:

When I was first certifying in Stage Combat through the Society of American Fight Directors back in the early nineties, this play came to me as the basis of the scene my partner and I had to fight through. For those of you that don't know the test, you have seven minutes to do three meticulously rehearsed fights (in this case, hand to hand, rapier and dagger, and quarterstaff) and they must be integrated into a scene that will support the altercations. It's to make sure that you are not only a good fighter, but can justify the movement within an acting exercise. My partner and I decided to be the Soviet and American Ambassadors, who have finally reached the moment when they decide to f**k decorum, and kill each other.

The funny footnote to this.....five days before the test, the Soviet Union fell, which threw our scene into a bit of turmoil. But, we adjusted; we added a line about "New Government" and "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" and we were off to the races.....

Another thing:

Dick Tracy debuted in Newspapers on this day in 1931. I drank my morning coffee (my morning coffee being consumed at around 9 pm last night, mind you) from a Dick Tracy coffee mug, given to me by a lovely redheaded woman I dated while in Missouri, back in the early nineties. The mug was part of the publicity campaign for the movie in 1990.

And another:

Jimmy Hoffa was elected President of the Teamsters Union on this date in 1957. Back when I was a citizen of the Detroit Metropolitan Area, I often ate at the Sly Fox restaurant where he allegedly ate his last meal. It's gone now, of course.

And lastly:

Janis Joplin died on this date in 1970. She is often quoted as saying, "Every night I go out and make love to 20,000 people, and then I go home alone." She is often imitated, but never equaled.....and while some people will pop in the DVD of THE ROSE to get the feeling again, I simply turn on the IPod, and turn on PEARL. Smoke and Jack Daniels and Passion.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Buster Keaton!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sliiiiiiiiiding Cars!

The frost is on the pumpkin up here in the Northern State, and it won't be long before the temps really drop, and we'll hunker down, and wait for the Spring to come again.....

One of my favorite shows on television is INFOMANIA, on Current TV. I used to really enjoy SUPERNEWS, but they cancelled it. So, INFOMANIA and THE ROTTEN TOMATOES SHOW gets me through the long hours when nothing happens.

So, here, in honor of the coming winter....Sliding Cars!

Friday, October 1, 2010


There's a special kind of desperation that comes with a terrible "just this side of a migraine" headache with six hours left to go on your shift.

Looking around for something sharp; trying to figure out the logistics of cutting your own head off and replacing it with the stapler. Realizing that cutting your own head off is much like trying to crucify yourself; the third nail is impossible.

So, I go home, rather than to the Fitness Center; I get into a hot shower rather than a cold bed. I eat cake instead of a bowl of cereal. I re-consider the whole, "cut my head off" thing.

And....again, abandon the idea as impractical.

But there's a HOUSE marathon on USA....and I can actually make the room pretty dark. And the cake is pretty good, though not as crunchy as the cereal.

Three more days until my vacation.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Slight Oops leads to New Look

I have had a beard since I was eighteen.

My Mother despised beards of all kinds; she would tolerate mustaches, but she didn't like beards, and every time I would come home from college with facial hair, she would get this look.....

It's hard to describe the look. Imagine the wrath of God on the face of a 4'11' woman. Her eyes would kind of....squint....and her mouth would move to the right, and her head would tilt just a bit. Combined with the crossing of the arms and the desperate attempt to "harumph" like one of the big boys, it was quite a formidable picture.

I can recall with great fondness the time I came home for Christmas sometime in the 90's. Mom still had most of her senses, and I had decided that haircuts were overrated. Long hair, beard.....if it had been just a little warmer, I would have gone with the paisley shirt and some flip flops, in an attempt to induce a stroke.

She gave me the look.

I smiled, and said, "okay, Mom. I'll be here for five days. I'll give you one shot; you can use it now, or save it up. But you only get the one."

She almost smiled, which would have destroyed the illusion of "harumph." And she said nothing.

Until 6 AM the next morning. She threw my door open, and yelled as loudly as she could, "YOU NEED A HAIRCUT!"

And then, she closed the door, and joined my Father in the kitchen.

I could hear my Father chuckling.

My Mother had a sense of humor. And excellent timing.

Yes, I've had many hair lengths, and styles, and I've had facial hair for thirty years, unless some role demanded a chin...and even then, I would barter for the mustache, because I have this mole at the corner of my mouth that I've always been self conscious about.....

Which leads me to today.....

I went into the bathroom, to do the daily ablutions, and reached for the beard trimmer, and took a swipe.....not realizing that the trimmer was bare, and rather than shorten the whiskers, I took them out completely.....

I'm standing in the mirror with half a beard.


It's the season for the goatee, don't you think?

Friday, September 24, 2010

The mind, it wanders.

I've got no thru-line today, my friends. And, as I think about it, perhaps I never did.

So, there are random thoughts:

I'm about eight working days away from a vacation from my life. I'm looking forward to getting out and seeing some old friends south of here, and so far, I've arranged a few get together's from here to Hannibal and back again. My plan is simple: no plan. I go on Tuesday, I come back some time after that...but no later than that following Wednesday. And hope I can get away from this rut I've been in.

I am so tired of analyzing threats. I long to wake up in a world where I was either safe, or blissfully unaware of how "not safe" I was.

I got a haircut yesterday. On the plus side, it's a good haircut. On the minus side, a new haircut always shows a bit more scalp than I ever expected to see in a mirror. Nothing says, "you're not who you think you are" more than bald spots on the top of your head.

I have these days when I throw the Ipod into "random". And it's amazing, when you have roughly ten full days worth of music on your little device, how much you don't remember having on your little device. A song came on today during my gym time (I think during leg presses) that I hadn't really heard in a long time.

Greetings from Sodom,
How we wish you were here...
The weather's getting warmer
Now that the trees are all cleared.
No time for a conscience,
And we recognize no crime;
Yeah, we got dogs and Valvoline
It's a pretty damned good time...

Last Plane Out by Toy Matinee. They only did one album. It's very good. My thanks to Eric S. for turning me on to it, back in '91.

I've never ridden in the Limo.
I've never attended a World Series game.
I've been in every state in the lower 48.
I want to attend Alaska, but have no real desire to attend Hawaii.
I could never get the hang of Jacks.
I was always too nice to win at Monopoly.
Speaking of Monopoly; I saw the new version of the game uses credit cards instead of cash. Hey, what's that on the horizon? My goodness, it's the end of the world as we know it!

By the way, how many of you want to shout "LEONARD BERNSTEIN!" every time you hear "The End of the World as We Know It?"

I like a good slice of Beef Wellington. But I'm more fond of the meatloaf plate at that little diner up the 101 near San Luis Obispo.

Besides, you'd feel stupid ordering a chocolate malt with Beef Wellington. Hell, I'd DO it, but I'd feel self conscious.

I just received a lovely care package from my friends at Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab. It was for my birthday, but they're very busy getting ready to open their second contained a T-Shirt celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of the Lab Show (my brainchild....!) and eight half gallons of the best ice cream I've ever had. Vanilla, Black Raspberry Cheesecake, Motor Oil, Doc's Java, and Cuyucos Crunch, a flavor so rare, they don't even serve it in the parlor.....I am going to eat it all. Slowly. And every bite will make me wish I had an infinite supply.

Okay, time to wrap up.

Thank you for taking the time.

Don't forget to tip your waiter. Or waitress.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One saving grace among many.....

Tuesdays, I can take or leave.

They are a variation on a theme, really; normally, I work at midnight until the sun comes up, but on Tuesdays, I enter the building that looks like a large stack of pancakes (mmmmm, pancakes!) at 3:30, and work until midnight. And then, I take a few days off. So, Tuesday brings the beginnings of all the things I couldn't do in the course of the week...the chores and whatnot.

So. Gym. Mowed the lawn, which was a major chore, but it's done, and given the fact that the weather is turning quite quickly here in the Northern State, it will probably be my last mowing of the season. Showered, shaved, made a grocery list. Napped.

And on my way to work, I was halted by the red light at the corner of Washington and Boulevard Avenue. I say that because I want everybody to get a kick out of a street called Boulevard Avenue.

Anyway, on the sidewalk on the corner were a young man and a young woman (boy and girl, if you prefer) riding their bicycles. They appeared to be laughing at something. They were both smiling broadly at each other.

My background allowed me to wander into story time, making up who they are and what the relationship is, where they rode from and where they were riding to, and what the ages were and so on.....

But I had to come back to the smile. That smile that seems to come too infrequently in adulthood; that smile that makes that moment, that very moment there, the most important one in the known and unknown world.

That kind of smile goes the way of the dodo as you get older, I fear. You can't have that kind of smile once you begin to analyze everything, or worry about where the next paycheck is going, or wonder if you have to mow the lawn one more time.

I smiled, though. But my smile was not as broad, but more sentimental. I was smiling at the memory of being that....burdened.

Those smiles belong to the young; they shouldn't have to worry for many years.

I worry, so they don't have to.

Still. It was a good memory, and the smile felt good.

Friday, September 17, 2010


For the record, let me just say (without saying too much) that Facebook is a really good weapon on the war against Terror.

And a certain fellow who got onto a plane to Chicago this afternoon owes his whole weekend's good times to me. And Facebook.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ancora Imparo, Part II.

Every so often, I veer into a land of cerebral musing. I enjoy a good conversation, but the best of them comes when the lightning bolt flashes from the dark, and I learn something I didn't know before.

Recently, I got involved in a conversation about the nature of hatred.

I am of the strange belief that hate is filled with all sorts of byproducts, that are, in and of themselves, somewhat to be wished for. Hatred hits the adrenaline button, which makes the senses more acute, and can bring on a sense of euphoria. And that euphoria can develop into a kind of narcissism, and with that, the more you have the more you want.....and the cycle continues.

Hate is seductive in that regard. Hate presumes a power that really doesn't exist. Hate is destructive in its creation. Hate is a flesh eating virus.

I recently came across hatred. I saw it on a man's face. He didn't know me, but he knew "my kind."

You know the kind. The kind that has education, and attempts understanding, and tries to be tolerant.

But the hating man was having none of it. He hated everything that I stood for. He hated where I came from, what I knew, what I didn't know, and how I looked at the world.

He wouldn't give me the chance to explain that I'm not all that crazy about how I look at the world, either, but.....

The really unbalanced part of this whole human equation was the fact that this was a proud member of the United States Marines.

He hated me because I never served. I didn't know the meaning of service. I didn't understand what is was like, and I was soft and weak and practically a voice of the terrorist.

Why would he think this?

Because I could not agree that the burning of a flag was worse than the burning of a holy book.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My last word on the Subject.

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro' the thunder-storm;

Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapped in universal law.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Embrace and Release.....

I've mentioned on many occasions that I enjoy the Fall of the year better than any other season; and in the Northern State, where Mother Nature is Bi-Polar, it is said that we earn our seasonal changes. We earn the Spring by surviving the horrors of Winter...and we earn the Fall by surviving the Summer.

The leaves are changing to the color of the glowing embers...
My heart is waiting for the Spring to come again.

But there is a slight downside to the Fall. The Anniversary of the world changing forever.

I would like to say a small prayer on that day, and drink a toast to those that serve, and those that gave that Last Full Measure of Devotion to their fellow man. I would like to spend no more time on it than that, and surely that would be enough. But I work for an organization that was created in the fire of that event, and.....

We have done the best we could, these past years, to try to make things safe for the American people; and yes, our failures get a lot of attention; more so than our successes. And there is a huge contingent of people who think that we're, at the very least, a violation of their privacy, and at most a laughable organization that is more "security theatre" than actual security...and they regularly petition to have us removed, because nothing has happened since that fateful day.

Forgetting, of course, that there may actually BE a correlation between "nothing happening" and "us being there."

And yes, there are some unsavory folks working in the ranks; people with a chip on their shoulders and no social skills, who don't see a connection between the job of security and treating people with simple respect. And on behalf of the organization, I would apologize for them. But don't equate Officer A**h*le with the organization. As the old song goes, "one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch..."

I am proud of the job that we do, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

That being said, I am uncomfortable with the attention we give to the tragedy. It is important, I know, to be able to look back at the Genesis, and acknowledge that we have come through the strife, and become a stronger, more aware society. But we have so far yet to go.

We need to fear less. We need to hope more. And, we need to forgive a little.

Any good Christian would tell you that.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I want to be on a golf course.

And I'll tell you why.....stop me if you've heard this one before.

This is a story that came from a long night of rehearsal when I was a poorly paid but firmly dedicated college instructor. The rehearsal did not go very well, and I told this story.

I'm a golfer; I learned from my Father, who was a pretty decent golfer, and I did not, alas, follow in his footsteps. I had more bad rounds than I had good rounds...but I didn't care too much, because there was something special about the feel of the air and the smell of the grass on an early Saturday morning....

And every so often, when the Gods of Golf smile down at you, the club will swing just right, the wrists will be just ever so....and the shot will be juuuuust perfect. They don't come often, so you really appreciate them when they do come.

And, when it DOES happen, you think to yourself, "Wow. If I could put two or three shots like that together, I could par a hole. And if I could put a couple of pars together, I could have a pretty decent round...." And the next thing you know, that ONE SHOT has got you just inches away from playing at Augusta.

Oh, and I've walked Augusta. It's a very nice course.

And then, of course, you dream of Green Jackets and what you'll ask to be served the next year at the dinner.....all because of one....good....shot.

And without that one shot, you'd throw the clubs into the water hazard, and head for the car.

One shot brings you back next week to try again.

And that's the lesson of Golf, my matter how bad it gets, there is going to be one shot that will bring you back to try it again next week.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The printed word is not dead.

It's the little things.


Robert B. Parker.

Spenser and Susan and Hawk.

Painted Ladies.


The little things.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

On the treadmill, the scenery never changes.

I don't know how many people joined Glenn Beck on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday; I was, as you can well guess, asleep. But, I'm pretty sure that Mr. Beck (never one to eschew an opportunity for self-promotion) will re-run it on his show on Monday.

I'll probably miss that one, too. Sleeping is more important to me than Mr. Beck. In fact, having a burning umbrella shoved up my rectum is ALSO more important to me than Mr. Beck, so you get the hierarchy here.

While I would like to bury the messenger under several tons of Ostrich feces, just for kicks, I do not deny that the message has a certain....validity. Restoring America.

But restore America to what, exactly?

Steve Martin once said, "I believe that Ronald Reagan can make this country what it once was.....a frozen wasteland, covered with ice."

A very funny man named Tom Lehrer writes songs about the old days, when we could "whop slaves and sell cotton."

People fondly remember the days of 1950's, when families were families, everybody sat down to dinner at the end of the day, the language was clean, and...well....only certain people had the right to vote and sit anywhere on the bus that they liked.

Is there any time period, in the whole of American history, where we didn't need to worry about something? Polio? Indian attacks? The McCarthy Hearings?

Mostly, what I saw in the pictures of this noble example of First Amendment freedom was..well, the 'Have-Nots.'. And the 'Have-Nots' in this country are getting restless.

I have always attempted to believe in the Horatio Alger myth; that hard work and dedication will be rewarded, and not just in the next life. You work your way up. You take the good examples; you become a reliable person; a good friend; somebody who would help a stranger as well as a neighbor, in any way you could. And you would prosper.

It seems, in this day and age, that the 'Have-Nots' are fully resentful of the 'Haves', and rather than aspire, they resent, and with that kind of prevailing wind, the only outcome is burning down the Mission, storming the Keep, and One Tin Soldier rides away.

Now, they have an enemy. The Dad Gum Gov'Ment. If the government would just leave them alone, they'd be all right. So, it's the institution, and not the populace that has actually PLACED the institution that's to blame.

As the old saying goes, "We get the government we deserve."

So, I guess where we want to go is back to State's Rights. That whole thing we fought over in 1861. Can we do that? Are the States ready to take up the slack that the Federal government has been holding since the 1930's? Are some states ready to have the military bases pulled from their states, and are the states ready to finance social security?

Are we all ready for a little Soylent Green?

Really.....if we look simply at the New Testament, we see that Christ tells us to render to Caesar what is Caesar, and render up to God what is God's. So, even Jesus was for the separation of Church and State.

Christ also said something about doing unto others, blessed are the cheesemakers (which I believe refers to any manufacturer of dairy products) and blessed are the Greek.

(This has gone to hell very quickly.)

Look at the MONKEY!

Look at the SILLY MONKEY!

(At this point, lacking a proper ending, Historiclemo runs for it....)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The coolness of the day during a 7th Inning Stretch.

The say that Comerica Park is haunted.

Yes, the ballpark is like...what? Ten years old?

Perhaps the ghosts of Greenberg and Cobb moved over from Corktown after the b***ards tore down the old stadium at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. Perhaps old Jimmy Hoffa, displaced from The Meadowlands, has decided to take up residence in the only outdoor park in Detroit. Or, maybe the sushi you can buy in the concourse has gone off a bit.

Sushi in the ballpark. Ye Gods.

The Bengal boys are 11 back, and although they are back to their reasonably winning ways, they are not making up any ground. I suppose it's possible to pass the Black Sox before September goes, but barring an uncharacteristic meltdown from the Twinks, it's likely we'll be watching in October.

The Post-All-Star-Game-Meltdown will get you, every time.

Still.....the third place Tigers, decimated by injury and pitching problems, still manage to draw a crowd of 37000 in a city that's equally decimated by unemployment and general dispair.

The Red Wings are perpetual playoff contenders; they've made the playoffs every year since I was in my twenties....a very long streak, indeed. They've hoisted the Cup a time or two in this decade....and that's no mean feat.

But the Tigers are the heart of the city. A beacon of light in the darkness.

Bless you, Boys.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I will continue to hope, because hope is that last inch......

Years ago, I was an understudy for a play called The King Has Gone To Tenebrae. It was written by a man named George Herman, who I just happened to get back into contact after many years....still spry for an 80-something; he hasn't lost a step. But that's not what I'm talking about.

There was a line in the play:

"Remember, boy: we become....what we hate."

This little phrase has been coming back to me again and again in the last couple of days. It's been one of those manic times; I've been diving again and again into the pool of information, seeking thought-provoking snippets from the Wonderful World of Web. I've looked into anything and everything I found fascinating about life in America at the end of this first decade.

I'm trying to wrap my head around a concept that seems to obvious to me, that I can't imagine it hasn't been brought up before.

We have become an amalgamation of all of the worst demons of our collective national nature. We have become xenophobic; and in that trait lies the seeds of those horrible fields we once sowed, and reaped, to our shame: interment camps; tin drum trials and quick and quiet executions after rushes to judgement based upon the fact that they weren't "like us"; terrible lies told over public airwaves, turning hearts to stone and repeated just often enough to "become" the truth.

A growing economic and social divide. Where once, those of us not to the Manor born worked and strived to improve our lot, looking to the shining example as the goal....are now darkly resentful of the the Manor, and are offended and antagonized by the shining example....and you can almost hear the knives being sharpened.

And those that could de-escalate the conflagration are actually throwing the kerosene, implying that they are just speaking the truth....but their inner truth is that they WANT the fire to burn.

I am a cynic by nature; and from time to time, I feel an "I told you so!" bubbling up in my chest....but I force it down, because it's time for honesty and not cynicism; it's time for ideas, and not roadblocks.

It's time we started hearing all sides.

The President is NOT a Muslim.

The "Ground Zero Mosque" is six blocks away. In normal measures of distance, that's a far way (as we say in the elsewhere).

We are not at war with Islam.

If the 2nd Amendment is valid in this day and age, so are they all.

I may disagree with what you say with every fiber of my being, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

We will never get anywhere without respecting each other.

My challenge to you all: Do ONE good deed today. You can do more than one if you want, but do ONE. And then write to me and tell me what it was and how it made you feel.

Jeepers Creepers! When does the SUN RISE?!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Can you believe it's the middle of August already?


I'm Historiclemo. And I'm suffering from a lack of motivation.

I can remember, as a younger Historiclemo, that I had phases, like the lunar orb. Today, they call it "bouts of mania", but back then, it was called, "a positive mental attitude toward work." One day, I'd be sitting on the couch, with a rapidly shrinking pile of books, and a rapidly increasing pile of pizza boxes, and then next day, I'd be painting a mural of Jake and Elwood on my dining room wall. (It's still there, I understand....the apartment is rented primarily to college students, who have a fondness for Jake and Elwood, even in this day and age).

So....sitting at work. Staring at the same stuff on the same walls. Listening to the workings of other places on my handy dandy world phone. I can tell you that Albany is having a really tough morning. But it's only there, and no other place, so go back to sleep, I got ya covered.

Oh. A commercial. I wonder just how long you have to have your ass on the AbGlider before you see any results? Probably longer than my patience has.

I have been, as of late, on a buying spree, book-wise. Yes, the used bookstores around the country (ah, forgive me, around the WORLD) have me pegged as a touch. A couple of rare finds (a reasonably priced hard cover copy of A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ, and a hard-to-find hard cover edition of THE BOOK OF MERLIN) and copies of some of Douglas Adams' lesser-known works...and of course, JOHN ADAMS. And I think I have a few Sherlock Holmes pastiches....and there was an Edwin Booth biography out there someplace.....

Have gone into a "jazz" period on the Ipod. Or, "big band", depending on when you were born. Dorsey. Berigan. Harry James. The Firehouse Five and the Preservation Hall Jazz Bands. Billy Cobham, because I already have Gene Krupa.

Maybe I need some Mason Williams....Classical Gas. But then, I'll want Winchester Cathedral...and then it's anarchy on my Ipod.

As I've said before: There hasn't been decent music since Skynyrd's plane went down.

Finally, in this mishmash of thoughts and ideas, my dear friend Ms. T. Ridiculous has the feeling that somethings in the air.

My friend: some of the best things that ever happened to me happened just AFTER I had that feeling. That I was just a couple of inches away from something...interesting.

Go with it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's been a long time since I did a Random Thought Thursday....

I love the things I can find in catalogues:

A Sweatshirt that says, "My baloney has a middle name: it's Roger." That made me laugh out loud for some reason. (What on Earth)

A garden gnome in skeleton form. It reminds me of a poster I had on my wall in grad school: it was a Gumby skeleton. (What on Earth)

A crystal skull; so I can be all Indiana Jones. (Design Toscano)

All manner of candies that I loved in my youth (God bless the Vermont Country Store).

A DVD collection of Dorothy L. Sayers' character, Lord Peter Wimsey. Both Volumes. (PBS Catalogue)

And while we're at it, Ken Burns' BASEBALL series, which includes an update entitled THE TENTH INNING. (PBS catalogue)

Catalogues are like a look into another world....a world of wonders, a world of reasonably priced entertainment, a world of treasures.....

Other Random Thoughts:

Thank you, Judge Vaughn Walker, who said quite eloquently: "moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gays and lesbians."

All Muslims do not want to kill us.

That Salahi woman said her interview on The View was "degrading." I wonder how she would feel about prison? And again, why isn't she there?

Attention, Brett Favre: I hope the fence you're sitting on is Picket; that way, you'll have the same pain in the ass I have from hearing about your annual idiocy. Aside from the people in Minneapolis, nobody really cares...

Well done, A-Rod. You're still kind of a dick, but I know talent when I see it. I'm hoping you'll last another five years, and hit at least 30 dingers a year, because I would rather have you (kind of a dick) have the record than the other guy (arrogant cheater).

Oh, my poor Tigers. They've caught Lion-itis. It's tough to be from Detroit.

Good night, and Good Luck!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The fragrance of fresh bread, and the Bunny Dance.

Good morning.

As most of you know, I do most of my living in the dark. Some people could realistically argue that I've lived MOST of my life in the dark, and who would I be to disagree, but that's not my point.

Sometimes I feel like James Michener, who starts all of his books at the beginning of the universe. Blah blah blah.

It's amazing, when you live in the early morning hours of the day, where your mind will go and what stories will emerge from the calcified remains of your memory...the kind of memory that hits so hard that it literally stops you in your tracks.

It began with the scent of doughnuts. I had stopped by the local 24 hour market, and they start the baking process around that time, and the parking lot was overwhelmed with the scent of doughnuts. And that took me warping back to my dear old college days.

In Marquette, Michigan, in the days of my youth, there was a bread bakery for a regional bread maker called Bunny Bread. And, in the early morning hours, if the atmosphere was just right, the comforting fragrance of baking bread would waft lovingly over the city....but the really cool part of the whole Bunny Bread experience was the HUGE neon sign on the side of the building.

Now, the memories segue a bit right a night of debauchery at a local watering hole called The's gone now, as well, but it was basically a bar with a dance floor and a DJ booth in the corner....and the drinks were cheap and they almost never checked the ID's so, DRINK ON!

Well, one night, after a marathon session, we closed the place was Ed, and Marty, and I. And Marty was....well, happy would be putting it mildly; he was more like Bambi when Thumper makes his observation, "He's a little wobbly, ain't he?" Marty was....wobbly. And happy. And Ed and I had him by the arms as we dragged him out, singing the old songs and laughing like idiots.

Now, the street outside of the bar was one way, and we were crossing that street when a car came toward us. So, Ed went forward and I went back.

And there we were, going in opposite directions, still holding Marty's arms, so it looked to the driver as if we were sacrificing our friend to the Gods of Chrysler.

Well, needless to say, that image tickled us greatly as we unwisely got into the car, and headed home. And as we headed down the road, we rolled down the windows and inhaled the wonder of freshly baked bread from the Bunny Bread factory, and at that moment, Marty, semi-conscious in the back seat of Ed's black Pinto (which we lovingly referred to as the Ford Fireball) invented the dance that we forever referred to as The Bunny.

You can do it sitting, or standing, or dancing, if you have a mind to.

You put your hands in the air above your head. Those are your Bunny Ears. And, in a rhythm, you move them from above your head to the side of your head, mimicking the movement of the sign.

Yeah, I'm not sure what brought it up. Maybe I'm missing Ed a bit. We lost him four years ago last week.

But I gots the memories. And I'll fight anybody who tries to take them away.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rumours have been greatly exaggerated.

My friend, the baker and keeper of all things cake (hence, my secret crush), has brought to my attention that I seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth...

Au Contraire, Ma Petite Frommage.

(Yes, I know I called you "my little cheese.")

The time, it kind of got away from me.

And, at this point...I'm much to tired to go into detail.




Thursday, July 15, 2010

Starts with a Classic, and ends with....well....Me.

I remember fondly the works of Vonnegut.

I especially liked the catch phrases he would write into his books; usually so absolutely antithetical that they were like a frying pan to the face, the kind that makes a very satisfying "KaFLANG" sound upon impact.

Some of my favorites are:

"Heigh ho."

"See the Cat? See the cradle?"

and, or course,

"Why don't you take a flying f**k at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying f**k at the mooooooon?"

Finely crafted madness. I like that.


Rehearsals proceed apace, which means that they continue to improve (much to my satisfaction; last week, I was afraid that it was going to spiral down into a kind of "every man for himself/who can steal the most focus/and let's all f**k Shakespeare" kind of thing. But it's leveled off, and it's going to be good....if everybody remembers what they're supposed to do, and they don't take an audience reaction as a license to kill.

I've learned a lot from the experience; first and foremost, I can still shake a stick at it.....I still have some skills under all that iodized metal, and it has been a kind of rare gift to be able to exercise those muscles again. I hope it's not the last time, but if it is, I'm glad for the experience.

I am well aware of my shortcomings. I am not overly good with people with which I have limited knowledge or experience, and I am also very bad at interacting with people that have jumped up and down on my last nerve, or have exhausted my (albeit limited) patience. For many years, all I had to keep me company was the collection of knowledge, of the history of the craft, the history of the stage, the workings of the human brain, and the motivations that we have as individuals, as a society...etc. Algebra didn't stick in the this brain; but all that other stuff did.

As a younger man, it was considered uncool to have any knowledge whatsoever, beyond that which was universal within the peer group. I was always apologizing for knowing more. I won't do that anymore. In any given situation, I am one of the three smartest people in the room, and you can damn betcha that I ALWAYS WANT to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am, so I can learn.

I've done that. I'm just not sure that anybody around me has ever known it. But you are all smarter than me, and I thank you for allowing me into the conversation.

I don't know how much sleep I'm going to get in the next week or so, but I will be glad when this rehearsal process is done....because I've pretty much rung out as much as I can get from it....but am still looking.

Okay. Done.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's the late night/early morning realizations that are like a pie in the face....that's right, I said PIE.

I woke up this morning at 5pm.

And, by the time I was through with my day (riiiiiight....NOW!), I had learned so many new and interesting things.

Primarily, that I'm a M-O-R-O-N.

I continue to get frustrated at the day-to-day activities around me that I have no control over, and truth to tell, would loathe to have the control even if it were offered to me. I let that little raspberry seed of middle-aged angst get between my metaphorical teeth, got it.

I can make myself crazy, I swear to whatever God would accept me as a member.

And all I can do is remind myself...well....not to make myself crazy.

By the way, if you see my self assurance under your couch, could you bring it back to me? Oh, and I seem to be missing the file marked, "syntax."

Could it be that even though I am dead set against it, I will age another full year come NEXT Wednesday?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Memory Vision! Stories in 4D!

Driving to work tonight, with the Ipod plugged into the car. I decided that I would just put it on shuffle and see what happens. The odds of something interesting is very good, mind you, because I have 64 gigs on the old Touch, and a sizable collection of eclecticism.

So, right about the time I got to the overpass on I94, on comes the smile inducing melody I first heard in Harrodsburg KY, during a sound check at the late, lamented LEGEND OF DANIEL BOONE outdoor drammer...

Well, the mystery masked man was smart,
He got himself a Tonto;
'Cuz Tonto did the dirty work for free...
Well Tonto, he was smarter,
And one day said, "Keemosabee.."
"Kiss my ass, I bought a boat, I'm goin' off to sea..."

I love that song.

My knee is recovering from the rehearsal nightmare yesterday, but as I think about things past, I wonder what I was like; I mean, REALLY like. Back then. When I was a young actorlet.

Was I egocentric, wanting the spotlight for myself alone, or was I interested in the concept of ensemble? Did I long for my moment to "star", or did I want to work with people who gave and took with equal abandon?

When did I really develop this appreciation of creativity and cleverness in others? When did I begin to starve for it?

As I was rehearsing last night, and came across a moment I hadn't seen before, but should have because there it was, buried within the given circumstances. And I can remember this time when I was in college: and it was the first time I can actually remember letting go and allowing the creativity to come.

A lovely lady named Barb Legler directed this little fluffball piece about a dancing worm named Curly, and how a down-on-his-luck agent began to represent him, making him an international superstar.....and in the early part of that little piece, two kids (myself and my dear Maureen played multiple roles in that one) are showing off the worm, who dances on a leaf inside a cigar box. I became, in this one moment, the mercenary kid, closing the lid and asking holding out my hand for money each time the agent asks to see it again.

I just did it on the spur of the moment; it was there, I just didn't see it until that very moment...but in that moment of flipping the cigar box closed and holding my hand out to the actor playing the agent (who, to my infinite joy, didn't miss a beat and played off of it, creating a series of moments based upon that one) I discovered that the secret to this whole thing was the secret to success in any endeavor, any relationship, any....single...experience...on the face of this rock:

Be Open To Every Thing.

It's not something I can say that I've lived by all of these years; in fact, I can only say that within my career as an actor was the only real time I ever fully lived by that motto....but my life isn't over yet, and it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

We've all been in moments that coalesce into that idea, that one thing can lead to another, and what started as a living room full of people watching Law And Order turns into a room full of semi comatose people who have begun an improvisation that can STILL bring tears to my eyes as I recall it in vivid Memory-Vision (patent pending).

And how is it that you don't realize that you've been starving for years until you again taste the cake?

Okay, quick many of you SAW the cake reference coming?

My love to those that did....and to those that didn't. I feeling very love-like this morning.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Thursdays suck, right into Friday morning.

Sucks beyond the telling of it.

And this week, even more so.

Okay, so I'm doing a rehearsal, and I step onto the stage for the beginning of Act III, scene ii, the wedding of Kate and Petruchio, and it's an innocuous entrance; I walk onto the stage. Simple, right?

Right up until the right knee goes pop. Like the weasel. Without the fun song.

I stumble a bit, move to my mark, and put my hand on the shoulder of the actor beside me, who is so much in character at that point, that he brushes me off, allowing me to put undo pressure on the knee again, and again, pop goes the weasel.

To my credit (and I give myself some) I did not fall down. I did hobble about in obvious discomfort (and I hate that because I prefer my discomfort to be inobvious) and by the end of the evening, I was in enough pain to be a raving pain in the ass.

I have lessons learned, but I'm going to save them for when I'll enjoy writing them, instead of being in an office at four AM, wishing I could just die.

More later, as it happens.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Put the old songs on the radio, and drive, buddy, DRIVE.

I follow a few blogs; and through those blogs, I follow a few others, and so on and so on....

I usually find either great wisdom, great stories, or great wisdom subtly embedded in a great story. Most of the people I read, I have known for some time; at least a decade, and in some cases, more. But I find as I read that the gulf between what we were and what we are has gotten large enough that...well, I long for the days of the true connection, and at the same time bathe in the idea that there is more to learn.

Ah, we must believe that there is always more to learn.

I will admit, that sometimes I learn more than my own tiny world can handle, but even the uncomfortable information is important.

Yeah, I told you that to tell you this:

Recently, I read one of my friends, and she is suffering pretty much the same malady that I'm suffering; the lack of any fundamental world outside of our responsibilities. I find it appalling, in my life at least (I cannot speak for her) that I don't have any outlet from my work and my home life.

I've lost touch with so many parts of myself that I wonder if any of them can be gathered in one place again. I'm enjoying (as you know if you've read any of my previous missives) the sojourn back into the world of the make-believe, and I'm going to try and keep that one on the front burner.....but I miss the old friends, scattered around the country, and in fact, the wide world.....and I long to get into the car and drive.

Places I would like to revisit:

Lexington Kentucky. I would like to eat and be merry with some old friends down there, visit the bookstores and the small interesting theatres, and put to rest the unrest that my original stay provoked.

Arroyo Grande California. My ego craves this one, actually, particularly since the theatre I worked at out there is re-working the reviews I created, and this summer they are doing the first show I ever did there. Oh, and Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab is celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Lab Show that I wrote and created. Or, created and wrote.

Sarasota Florida. Spent a week down there last spring, and the white sand beach haunts me still with the image of sunset. I hope it survives the current calamity. I think I'm going back next Father commands, and I obey. Twist my arm, Pop.

Various theatres in Evansville, Indiana; Harrodsburg, Kentucky; Norfolk, Virginia; Chillicothe, Ohio; just to relive some youthful exploits. Or try.

I have a ton of people in NYC that frequently request a visit.

Home. I have dreams of a certain Coney Island place. Lipumas, I long for thee.

The TRI STATE AREA! No, not the land of Phineas and Ferb, but Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa. I would like to see people in Des Moines, Canton, the Quad Cities, Quincy, Macomb, St, Louis, Hannibal, and Sedalia. I would go to Branson, but I'm afraid Andy Williams would make good his threat to punch me in the face and have me arrested. It's a long story.

I think it all comes down to the old faces, connected to the old places. Old friends, as the old Chapin song goes, mean much more than new friends...'cuz they can see where you are and they know where you've been.

I long to be seen by the old eyes for awhile. I'm finding it hard to breathe.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's a complicated dance, and I'm missing some steps, but GOD it's good to dance again....

As most of you well know, I enjoy a good academic discussion.

I don't get many of these, anymore.

In my younger days, when I was of academia, I had infinite opportunities at academic discussion, and I, of course, did not want to limit myself to my strong suit; in fact, if I could avoid talking about the theatre on ANY level, I would, in favor of such things as Russian Literature, Civil War History, the Creation of the New Deal, or even, the ongoing discussion over the merits of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

All this, over seemingly endless slices of pie. Yes, I said pie. Not cake. I am an equal opportunity baked goods consumer; and if there's pie, I will have pie.

With that in mind....

There is so much to discuss upon the subject of Elizabethan drama, you could start to day and finish the day you die, and still not be finished, except for the fact that you're not breathing anymore and probably having dinner with Jesus AND Shakespeare. And I bet the conversation would continue in Heaven, with Jesus laughing at some idiot thing you said, and Shakespeare saying, "They did WHAT to HAMLET? It was a f***ing GHOST STORY, for the love of GOD!"

And then, of course, God would chime in, but let's move on...

With so many interpretations, and no author to go to, short of the actual text (which is where you really NEED to be going, for all your character needs: That's right, folks, come on down to the TEXT, where we've got characterization just waiting for you to try!) it's a garden of joy for me to get involved in a good old-fashioned academic discussion.

I need to reiterate to you all: I AM HAVING A GREAT TIME. And I say that with the full knowledge that between last Sunday night and last Friday morning, I had exactly FIVE hours of sleep, and four shifts at work, and three rehearsals. And even in those rehearsals when I felt that I was literally halfway between heaven and hell,and it could go either way....I was STILL having a good time. The allowance to find a rhythm, to try different things as I make my way, to actually feel laughter bubbling up from me with every really good choice my castmates's divine.

And you can really forget that when you haven't done it for a long time; and you can really take it for granted when you've done it too much.

But there was something that happened the other night that brought together my abilities as an actor and my experience as an academic.

I saw something. It was just a little moment; a look, and a sound. And if I hadn't been focused upon the work, I maybe would never have noticed it. But in that moment, I knew I had to say something to the director.

I like Erin, the director; she has so much to do, and she handles it with a kind of aplomb that you usually don't see very often. She enjoys what she sees, and when she doesn't, she adjusts it with a kindness that belies the kind of deadlines she must surely be coming up to. She has a nice laugh; the kind of laugh that makes you want to do something interesting to hear it again. And, I don't like to burden her too much with my academic crap, because, frankly, I'm full of s**t most of the time, and who wants to endure that?

Sometimes, when you get so involved, you forget that the destination is out there, but you need to look at the road that leads there, as well. And in this particular piece of road....well, from my vantage point, in this particular scene, something didn't sit right....

Petruchio has brought Kate home, and he's railing at his servants, and basically supplying her with one hand and denying her with the other, and she's looking at him, rightly so, like he's out of his mind. And then, with a word, off they go to the marriage bed....

And Kate made this sound; and she made this look. And at that moment, a sickening feeling came over me, and I knew that if I caught it, the audience might catch it, as I told my director that I didn't think it would be good if the audience felt that Kate was being raped in the bedroom.

She agreed.