Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Will Not, I Will Not, I Will Not

By nothing short of a miracle, I managed to get to this paycheck without going into the red. No Overdraft Fees! Yes! With this blessing in tow, I make the following promise:

I Will Not lose track of exactly how much money I have at any given moment.

I Will Not forget about the automatically-deducted kaplahr that is AOL.

I Will Not decide to blow whatever money I have at the end of the pay period, should reserves be left over.

I Will Not touch Savings. I put it in there for a reason, and there it shall stay!

I Will pay in cash whenever possible, as opposed to using the bank card.

I Will think twice before any frivolous purchases are made.

Observing these, hopefully this time next week I'll once again be in the black. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

I’ve never understood the practical value of certain things. They appear at first glance to be somewhat useful, but before long I realize that they’re actually a bit stupid. Things like wicker trash baskets and keyboards with nothing but stiff keys.

Sure, wicker looks nice, but how practical is it for use as a trash can? They only come in one size, small, and since the weave isn’t water-tight, your only real use for the things is paper. Okay. So it’s an office trash can. The only problem is that if you decide to have a soda or something near by, if there’s so much as four drops left in the can, when you toss it in the trash the can is invariably going to land tab-down. Which means sugary water is going to make *something* sticky that it shouldn’t. Fine: just throw away paper and ‘dry’ things like used up pens and pencils in there. Still an office trash can. But the thing is so small it fills up in no time, at which point you have to pour it into a garbage bag, or just a bigger trash can.
Stupid wicker trash can.

As for the keyboard with stiff keys… I don’t like ‘em. I’m using one right now, and I don’t like ‘em. I don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, but using this thing certainly isn’t helping. Having to almost pound on the keys to type is tiresome and it slows me down. It’s a manufacturing issue. You have the easy-type keyboards, and the stiff-type keyboards. My hands don’t need a work-out! Kaplahr. Stupid keyboard. Stupid fingers.

I’m feeling just a bit grouchy. Writing (a script I’m working on) helps, but so does coming here to vent. With a stiff keyboard. You know what? Hang on a second...

Problem solved. I went and traded out my new, pleasing to the eye, quiet, bright white keyboard in for a slightly yellowed, used, sharp cornered noisy not-gonna-give-me-CTS-in-half-the-time keyboard. And it kinda makes me a little happier to know that at least *something* is within my arena of control to change if I see fit. And I do see fit. Very fit.

As for the wicker trash basket, it isn’t mine to replace or remove, so it’ll just stay put. With me quietly resenting it…

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Wahoo! Pictures!

Sweet. I can now post pictures with greater facility since Blogger made it easy. BAM.

And now... a moment from The Mystery of Irma Vep.


The Stuff Weird Kite Dreams Are Made Of

Once again, I had a completely unique dream last night, of which I can make neither heads nor tails. Enjoy.

I dreamt that my brother and I were attending a competition— a kite-flying competition. He was a contestant, I was just a bystander. These were no simple Mary Poppins-style kites, either. For one thing, they were huge. For another, they didn’t look like any kites I’ve ever laid eyes on. And lastly, the things were swooping around only ten feet or so off the ground.

The one I remember most vividly was a box-kite made to look like a biplane, complete with propeller. It just looked neat, and the person flying it was pulling off maneuvers the Red Baron would be proud of. There was a real jackass in the crowd, though. Every time I tried to point out something cool to my brother Andy, this guy would just look at me and loudly say ‘stop talking.’ According to him, I was being a distraction to the kite-flyer, who was obviously in his own little world at the time. The jackass appeared to be in charge, too.

When Andy’s time came to fly a kite, guess who was talking: the jackass! Good guess. I walked up to him and said in the same obnoxious tone, “You need to stop talking.” The look of indignation on his face was priceless, but it shut him up.

Later on, at the awarding of prizes, his voice came over the loud-speakers and announced that I had earned the ‘Pfister’ award, meaning that I was the most obnoxious, distracting, unwelcome person at the meet. Furthermore, I was banned from attending any future competitions, even as a spectator. I was rather ticked off at this, until a small round of applause went up. Someone earned themselves a Pfister every year, usually by standing up to the jerk. I was asked to sign an autograph or two, which was kind of neat. Then I woke up.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Pretty Good Day

If for no other reason, today was note-worthy for this: I ran into six people I knew, entirely by coincidence. Erika, an actress from Charlie’s Aunt, I ran into on the Metro. On my return trip (following an audition), I ran into someone else I knew. Then, getting off the Metro back in Gaithersburg, I met up with a co-worker. Craziness. Then tonight, I encountered three guys I knew in High School. Wasn’t looking for anyone, and I ran into six old friends and acquaintances all in the same day. Small world.

But that wasn’t the only reason today was so good. I also saw my friend Nano perform tonight. He was in a one-act in Herndon. Not to put too fine a point on it, he was excellent. He has a quality I realized tonight reminded me of John Goodman (nothing to do with girth). Nano and Goodman can both take a role and make it their own, and make it seem completely natural, believable. It’s harder than it sounds. The other thing that made me think of the comparison… they’re equally talented at comedic and dramatic roles.

Nano has made me laugh, and I consider myself lucky to have worked with him. Relying on another person to pull off a two-man performance is unlike any other show I’ve done. I hope he’d agree… Nano has made me laugh, but tonight he held my attention in another capacity entirely; as a firefighter struggling to put into words his feelings of loss following the events of 9/11. The play could have been overdone, it could have been melodramatic, it could have been a lot of unnecessary things. It wasn’t any of those things. It was just right.

The point of this minor tirade? Coincidences are fun, and Nano rocks. That’s all. More to follow.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Doing Anything This Weekend?

Why not take in a show? The Silver Spring Stage is hosting Round and Round the Garden, which looks like it’s going to be a great British farce. And Leta’s in it! I’m unfortunately booked this weekend, but I look forward to seeing it next weekend.

This weekend, in addition to seeing my friend Nano in a one-act over in Reston; I’m facing my first professional theatre audition in months. I can’t wait. I was hoping to get a call or two out of Leagues, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear anything this quickly. Bam. Now I just have to select a monologue to contrast my League one… What would one use to follow up Magnificent Bitch? Mediocre Young Lady? Less Than Adequate Woman of Acquaintance? We’ll see.

Break a leg, Leta. You too, Nano.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Not Really The Best Of Days

I'm not doin' so hot at the moment.

Not quite an Alexandrian No Good, Terrible, Rotten, Very Bad Day; but it's inching its way there. And it's my fault.

Here's the sitch: I'm an idiot. Since it was so hot yesterday, I decided to leave my windows open an inch or two, so that my car wouldn't be the super-heated box o'death it's occasionally become lately.

And then the Rains came. The kind of precipitation you'd reserve the plural pronoun for: The Rains. We'll also accept 'torrential downpour' and 'cumulus diarrhea'. Pooploads of rain. The good news is that my car wasn't hot. It was however, pretty much sopping wet. There was a small pond in my driver's-side door handle, and several important papers in the back seat (scripts, comic book pages, a magazine with Teri Hatcher in it) were ruined. And my butt was kinda wet from driving to and from Frederick.

And now my bankin' woes. It's not my 24-hour period. It's my hope that conditions will improve by this evening. I don't know how, exactly, I just hope they do. And that's all I can hope for.

Have a good 'un.

Not That I Can Buy Any, But...

There's a terrific sale going on, over at Their prices are dirt cheap to begin with, but through tomorrow they're having a 20% off sale. Twenty. Percent. Damn. All you have to do is enter the following in the password box: DVDTALK. That's it. Just enter that, and they lop off 20% of your total purchase.

The sale only goes through tomorrow. You can only use the code once, but that doesn't mean you can't pick up more than one movie or season of a favorite tv show at the same time, with the discount applying to all of 'em. SHAZAM. Now, the discount doesn't apply to video games, or movies that haven't come out (pre-orders, etc.), but that's still one heckofa deal.

Enjoy it. I'll get a second-hand thrill out of it. Adios.

Still Hating Money

Like a fine string of filthy pearls, there is a grocery list of expletives I could let spill right now. I'm that pissed off. I HATE MONEY. And again, not the money, but the blank-blanked lack of it. I hate it.

And there are things I can't complain about. Leta knows why. After all, I don't want a certain bad thing to happen involving fire. But there just isn't enough. Blank. Blank. Blank.

Something that never ceases to amuse: Bank fees. I suck at keeping track of how much money I've exactly got in the bank (no matter how often this blanking happens), and the bank does something that makes no sense. They know I don't *have* any, but they take out funds anyway. You'd THINK I would have learned by now. No such luck. Brilliant.

It's not like I'm spending extravagantly on myself. It really isn't. But never the less: Payday comes around and a percentage of my pay not gobbled up by taxes is instead wolfed down by the bank for overdrawing. I hate it. And because it happened last week, there wasn't enough money to get through this week. And since there wasn't enough money to get through this past week, there won't be enough to get through the coming week.

...I'm fully aware that this is my fault. I'm not blaming anyone else, but it certainly makes me feel better to claim it's the bank's fault, rather than face the fact that I can't manage a damn budget.



Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Wise men conferred with the almighty God
In one way or another
Burning Bush, flaming words upon the wall, visions galore
In one way or another
Wise men conferred with the almighty God
And leaned the path to damnation and called them Sins
Some are fun
Some are dangerous
And some are just plain stupid
Sloth: Laziness, inactivity, etc.
They must have been grasping at straws after they came up with the first six deadly sins
For them to resort to decreeing that doing nothing was evil
It’s not evil! It’s just… lazy. Inert.
An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Does that mean that object is going to hell?
Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop
Well, yeah, but once you start doing the devil’s deeds you’re not guilty of sloth,
You’re up and about actually doing something
Go out, burn down a few things that don’t belong to you, spout blasphemy, and get some fresh air and exercise doing it! Fiends!!
Sloth is just too copasetic to be evil. Laid back, relaxed, possibly high or inebriated,
But they’re not hurting anybody!
Again, this is one of those situations where moderation is the defining line between Taking a well-deserved break
And earning a one-way ticket to eternal damnation.
Most of the other deadly sins have some entertainment value,
But Sloth is just dullsville

Having spent some time wallowing in my own misery
I found myself with the desire to do absolutely nothing
And didn’t really enjoy it, to be honest
It’s the bargain bin sin
You’re still going straight to the furnace
But you don’t have to do anything to get there! Act now! Or rather, don’t!
I suppose I can see how it could be detrimental
If one were in the position to, say, pluck kittens from a burning building and decided “Nah”
Or some other comparable rescue situation, but other than that it doesn’t seem to be such a big deal
I for one sympathize with the Two-Toed Sloth
It’s not his fault he got named after a deadly sin. And why?
Because he’s a little slow on the uptake and enjoys hanging upside down for years at a time. What’s wrong with that?
We don’t call turtles, such equally slow creatures,
Harsh names like the hard-shelled lazy bastard, do we? I don’t.
I for one have better things to do with my time than nothing.
Almost anything would be better than doing nothing at all
But I still don’t think it rates pretty high on the you’re-going-to-hell-ometer.
Then again, I didn’t write the Bible.
I’m just a scribe with a keyboard and obviously too much time on his hands.
What’s your excuse?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Tomorrow's The Big Day

League of Washington Theatres Auditions. Bam. I’ve given it a great deal of thought and I *am* going with something of my own writing. It’s a bit more serious than previous works, so it hopefully won’t come off sounding like stand-up material. As before, it has the added bonus that the auditors will never have heard it before…

This is my third year attending the LOWT’s, and I’m wondering once again if anything will come from it. Please, keep your fingers crossed for me. I’ll be lucky to get any sleep tonight, that much I know for sure. Eeesh. Ninety seconds to show them what I’ve got isn’t long. Especially when they’ll have seen almost 800 others more or less just like me. Not long at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the stuff. It’s an incredible rush to head out there for that minute and a half and hopefully get some kind of reaction from the masses, but it’s a big investment of time and resources, too. I can’t help feeling that there’s some risk involved, even though it’d be a bigger risk not to go at all. Better to botch an opportunity than to miss it entirely.

As a completely random coincidence, it turns out that Beth has the same time slot that I do, so we’re going to the Round House together. Bravo for life’s funny coincidences.

That’s all I got. More to follow.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Write What You Know

Write what you know. Possibly the single most offered nugget of writing advice given from one person to another. Write what you know. Not only because it is marginally easier than writing about that which you know nothing, but also so that you can claim some smidgen of authority on the subject. Write what you know.

What kind of nightmares did Stephen King have to have as a child to concoct the terrors he’s created? I’m a big King fan. Needful Things and It are at the top of the list. The same question applies to Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells… They created monsters that the world had scarcely heard of before. They trapped in pages creatures, fiends and madmen that latter writers have been tapping for over a century.

And I’m with them. The latter writers, that is. Ridley Scott and H.R. Giger delivered slimy, grinning death on two legs to do battle with Sigourney Weaver, and it’s been turned into a booming franchise. Despite the fact that it’s grotesque, slimy and frightening as hell, people can’t get enough of it. Write what you know.

This website is named after a vampire I created almost 8 years ago. I decided to turn it into a comic book that I’d try my damnedest to see become a comic book. Now, eighteen months, a dozen plot lines and a considerable amount of money later; I’ve got twelve finished pages that have been rejected from some of the finest comic publishers in the country. People who have read it have called it everything from ‘weird’ to ‘brilliant’, with the publishers acknowledging that a great deal of work went into it, if nothing else. And now I’ve begun work on a television pilot…

I keep coming back to it; “Write what you know.” What the hell’s so special about vampires? Why are they so fascinating? Why have I spent so much time writing about them? It’s certainly not the only genre I’ve written on, but I can’t seem to help coming back to it. The other things I’ve written with any kind of plot (almost entirely plays) have been very silly. Comical, ridiculous concepts that you’d have a hard time taking seriously. Also very likely the point.

I accepted some time ago that I have a stronger knack for comedy than dramatic material. But in spite of it… I wouldn’t call it original. How could I? Everything I’ve written, every idea I’ve had has been the processed, digested product of every unique notion I’ve seen elsewhere.

Where did the genuine original ideas come from? How did H.G. Wells dream up the Invisible Man? Or Shelley, her Frankenstein’s Creature? I’d very much like to know. Maybe I’d have a better understanding of what I’m trying to accomplish. I admit that I don’t understand entirely why I keep writing it. Only that it’s what I’m best suited for, in writing at least: The ridiculous and the monstrous.

Write what you know.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Warning: Dunce At Work

A little over a month ago, I came to the decision that I didn’t want to date. I backed out of a fledgling relationship and assured myself it was the right thing to do. I’m a *different person* when I’m in a relationship. It took me long enough just to figure that much out. I still haven’t determined if it’s a good thing or not.

I’m not saying I’m a better or worse person one way or the other. I tend to be happier, in better spirits, that sort of thing. On the other hand, my decision-making skills have been known to go down the drain so fast I’d swear they were scuba-diving. Things get blown out of proportion.

*That’s* what I don’t want to happen again. I don’t want wake up and find I’m not in control of myself. I’ve been love’s bitch, and it wasn’t pleasant. It doesn’t necessarily happen every time I meet someone special, either, just often enough to flummox the crap out of me.

Romantic movies galore talk about “Letting yourself go” and “Loving like you’ve never been hurt” and other acts that may sound romantic on paper, but in reality can lead you to the kind of agony usually reserved for people watching Vin Diesel movies.

Yes, I’ve been hurt. Yes, I’ve put up walls with security gates and a rigorous screening process. Suspicious behavior will be monitored closely and analyzed… If it sounds crazy (and it does), consider it a necessary counter-measure after I learned the hard way that I’m not nearly as good a judge of character as I thought I was.

I’m over-thinking here. I know I am. It’s just that the effort I devote to figuring something out is matched by its importance; and relationships, in *any* form, are about as important as it gets. I can’t just toss it in the air and say “I’ll follow my instincts”, because my instincts have proven to be dead wrong in the past. My feelings have done the same.

I’ve managed to alienate, hurt, and essentially screw over some very decent people in the process of trying to figure out how this whole dating thing *works*. I’ve gotten it very right, and very wrong, depending on who you ask. Friends who have known me for years don’t believe me when I say it can turn ugly. Believe me.

Too much thinking. Need to take a break. Tasty chicken will be my salvation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Yesterday was a longer day than most, and leveraged with a less than satisfactory amount of shut-eye.

It was, as I’m sure other Marylanders are aware, quite hot yesterday. I packed an extra shirt for Othello, as I wanted to look my best for the performance. It turned out not to matter much, as the theatre (with bright, warm stage lights) was quite warm on its own. It was a fun experience, and one I wouldn’t mind repeating.

The other actors were very nice. I made some remarks about a goatee being a requisite for joining Equity, as most of my cohorts were sporting them. They assured me that when the time came, I could get a special pass for my hairless chin… Heh.

Pedro, my biggest fan not related to me by blood, was in attendance. He was kind enough to pick me up from the Metro, sorta. We had a difference of opinion as to the location of the bloody thing, and I trekked to his car. We then took off to find the theatre. Pedro likes to drive quite fast. He definitely has some sort of guardian angel watching out for him, because he’s never gotten so much as a scratch.

Anyway: after the show, Chris treated me to a celebratory Guinness, as is our hallowed custom. I buy his show tickets, he buys the beer. Sweet. We left the bar and Chris dropped me at where he thought the Metro was. I didn’t recognize it, but plenty of Metro Stations have more than one entrance...

Not Crystal City. The tunnel he saw was just a sort of breeze-way, and I ended up being a good five blocks from where I needed to be. By the skin of my teeth, I made it to the Metro in time to catch the last train for the night.

Didn’t get home ‘til after One o’clock, and after making lunch and whatnot; I didn’t actually crash ‘til almost two. I’m a bit tired this morning.

Still, it’s going to be another full day, so no resting on my laurels now. Coffee is my friend. And a goodly friend at that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Get Well *Now*

A good friend of mine is in the hospital. I just heard about it this morning. It could have serious implications, and I'm worried about him.

Not that worrying does any good. I just can't seem to shake the habit.

People say 'Get Well Soon', and they put it on greeting cards. Screw that. Get well *NOW*.

Keep my friend in your prayers, knock on wood, and cross fingers. I'll let you know if and when he gets better.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Like The Sun On Your Face

Consider Woman: Personality-wise, something about every single one of them is uniquely their own. I’ve yet to meet two that are overwhelmingly alike. On the other hand, I’ve known plenty of guys that I could shuffle into general categories without batting an eye, but in their defense I’m not in the habit of seeking out the most miniscule details in my fellow… fellows.

And while I consider it foolish to try to quantify the mystery element in the gender as a whole, that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the aspects of women (individuals and in general) that I find appealing.

In my slam poetry, I find myself writing about women (again, individuals and in general) as often as I write about anything else. They’ve certainly got a greater hold on my attention than any other one subject to write about.

Take a woman’s warmth. Nope, not referring to her overall body temperature, but her ability to show compassion, appreciation, and tenderness. I deliberately left affection off the list, because that’s something that you’d share with a single individual you care about. The other three could be arguably more widely-used qualities. I find a woman’s warmth to be very important, and it goes a ways in gauging how much I’d like to spend time with the person. (Not talking exclusively about someone I’d want to date.) People that give one the cold shoulder, almost always with a feeling of deliberateness, are a big turn off. It’s a precursor to flat-out not liking the person.

Show me a woman with genuine warmth, and I’ll show you a guy that wouldn’t mind doing her a favor if the occasion arose. As an extension of courtesy, if nothing else.

The reason this topic crossed my mind? Namely
Kelly Macdonald. I’m a big fan of the actress and her work. I recently saw Finding Neverland, a terrific (if bittersweet) film, and Kelly played Peter Pan. The role was a relatively small one, as the movie concerned the author more than his most famous work. Nevertheless, Macdonald shone in the part. I’ve seen her in other roles, and what’s struck me as much as anything else was her ability to display warmth of character. Her face positively glowed with it.

I’m not going to claim to know anything about the actress in real life. The parts one plays and the person that plays them are separate entities, no question there. Still. She represents an excellent example of what I’m talking about.

That’s all I got at the moment. More to follow.

Work In Progress

Ever since I read The Time Traveler’s Wife, a notion in the book has stayed with me as strongly as any other aspect. And if you still haven’t read this book, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. It's a fantastic read.

The time traveler, Henry de Tamble, has run into himself on a few occasions. He escorts his five-year-old self around a grand museum on his younger incarnation’s birthday. He occasionally takes comforting words (and cash) from a version of himself only a few weeks older. On the day before his wedding, Henry decides it’s time to get his long hair cut short. The moment the task is done, Henry looks in the mirror and recognizes himself as the older, more mature man he knew he was going to become sooner or later. Now that person is staring him in the face from the mirror.

Even without the time traveling aspect, I very strongly like the idea of knowing who you’re going to end up becoming. Even if only on some internal, subconscious level, there’s the concept that we know ourselves well enough to recognize almost tailored alterations that benefit us as a whole, or just ‘fit’.

It can be something as broad as finding out you’re got a talent for something as a kid. Discovering a new favorite book. Meeting that friend you feel you’ve known for years. All the resonance of a strong case of Déjà vu with none of the discomfort. Or am I the only one that finds Déjà vu uncomfortable…

Regardless. Even something subtle as a change in appearance (such as a new haircut) that just says “This is me.” I think it’s indicative of something deeper, or at least I’d like to think it is. As for myself, I don’t think I’m ‘there’ yet. Not done making alterations. I mean, I’ve known for a while now that I enjoy writing (and it’s something I think I’m reasonably good at), but I still haven’t quite found my voice for it. I have one writing style for the slam poetry, and another for these blog entries. I’m still finding it in other venues, like play-writing and fiction.

I don’t remember who said it, or even how I came across the following advice. It could have been in a magazine quote, a book, or given in person. Regardless, it has stayed with me: “Write something that *you* would want to read.” I know what I like to read. I also know what I love to read. I haven’t yet fallen in love with my own copy, which is a good thing I’m sure.

In any case, the idea of *being* a work in progress, with subtle or significant changes yet to be made, is one that appeals. The writing tip could be applied to other areas… Perform like the type of showman you would want to watch. (Still an actor.) Act like the type of person you would want to spend time around. Sort of an inverted golden rule. No wonder people tell me I’m self-centered…

And I can work on that.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Money. Just Money.

Have I mentioned… that I don’t like money. I do not like it. I do not like not having enough of it. I hate how it slips through my damn fingers like wet ice cubes. It’s ridiculous.

It’s not the money’s fault. Far from it. I’m just crap for budgeting, and as a result… it disappears. And I hate that.

I’ve told myself in the past that my financial issues would be better if I made more money. I don’t really think that’s true. If I made more, I’d just spend more. Out the window it goes. I’ve managed to save up a dollar here and there, just in time for ridiculously expensive car repairs to suck it out of my account. I hate money. And the lack of it.

Kaplahr. I wouldn’t classify myself as a shopaholic. But for the life of me, I just cannot hold onto the goddamn money. At all. The trouble is, I *like* spending it. I like going out, seeing something I desire, and acquiring the crap out of it. A book. A movie. I can’t afford to get anything nicer or more extravagant than that. It becomes mine, and part of my collection, and there it is. There it is. I *hate* money. The fact of the matter is, I could be rolling in it, hand over fist (however the hell that expression came to be), and I’d still be crap for money. It would still disappear, just in bigger amounts, or it would just take longer. It’s ri-goddamn-diculous.

A teacher of mine in college tried to teach my class about saving money one day. He convinced us to take the seemingly trivial act of taking $3 a day, and putting it away somewhere. Just 3 measly dollars. I did it for a month, and hey, whattya know, I had $90. I’d stopped buying magazines, which was one of his nuggets of advice. I don’t miss ‘em. But like a Chinese water clock, once enough volume had amassed, it just spilled out. It was called Christmas. Oy. Good habits are flimsy habits, and far too easy to break. But we can start over…

And that’s the thing: I can put that money aside and supposedly never spend it. And if you can legitimately answer this question, I’ll be grateful forever:

If I *never* spend it, and just keep putting away dollar after dollar, than what the HELL is the good of holding on to it? I don’t mean saving up for my future kids’ college tuition, I don’t mean saving up for vacation or whatever, I’m talking about that mystery money that I’m never, never supposed to touch. This somehow shows ‘respect’ for the money. Illuminate me. Please point out how ignoring it is supposed to show respect for it. Kaplahr.

I recognize that certain things are beyond my comprehension. My mind is finite, and so is my understanding of the world around me. Things like the inner workings of the female mind, for instance, remain a vague mystery. So for the record, allow me to state that in regards to money in general: I don’t get it.

I know this because if I *did* have a knack for its finer points, I would arguably have more of it. At which point, I could continue to do nothing with it. Ugh.

Regardless. Despite my lack of any idea of what to do with it, I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I’m too young to be giving up permanently on anything with positive potential. So here’s my $3 for today. Let’s see how long this’ll last. Don’t go holding your breath.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Writer's Block

Urgh. Stupid Writer’s Block. It deserves to be capitalized, believe me.

I’m trying to work on a few projects; writing a new play and touching up an old one. I know where I want to go with things, but getting there is proving difficult. At the moment, dialogue feels forced and awkward. Lyrics aren’t coming at all, outside a particular beat pattern I don’t want to use.

I like this new play, so far. It was going great the other day. Now I’m on scene two (the second pair of characters are conspiring together) and I can’t get two lines out without pulling teeth. I can write for women. I’ve done it before, but at the moment: nada.

And I mentioned lyrics… When I was in college, a fraternity brother and I were working together on an inappropriate musical. It was *fun*. I turned out six songs in less than two weeks. Not all of ‘em were gold, granted, but one or two had the goods. A few months ago, Beth asked me (or maybe I just volunteered, can’t recall) to write some funny lyrics to a song in Kiss Me, Kate. She’s used ‘em once or twice at auditions, and the castors seemed to love it.

Last summer I wrote a murder mystery called Dead & Breakfast, a comedy thriller starring movie monsters. At the time I jokingly told myself that all it lacked was musical numbers… lately it hasn’t seemed like a bad idea. Except that today, I can’t put one verse together without deleting it for lack of any kind of quality or flow. Bugger.

Trying too hard? Maybe. It feels like the kind of Block that one could PUSH through to the other side, rather than to drop it and come back. Waiting may end up being my only option. In any case, I need a little break from it.

More to follow. I hope.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

News, News, News


There was a post this morning from a yahoogroup I subscribe to about an Othello staged reading taking place next Tuesday night. I emailed the guy in charge post-haste, expressing an interest. I'll be reading the role of Roderigo! BAM!

Professionals from the Washinton Shakespeare Company are going to be involved, so I look foward to a great experience. Feel free to visit for more details. The show starts at 7:30 on Tuesday.

The drought is officially over. Rock On.

To Meow Or Not To Meow

I received this today from one of my theatre groups. Brilliant.

Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy

(Enter a cat, solus)
To go outside, and there perchance to stay
Or to remain within: that is the question:
Whether 'tis better for a cat to suffer
The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather
That Nature rains on those who roam abroad,
Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet,
And so by dozing melt the solid hours
That clog the clock's bright gears with sullen time
And stall the dinner bell.
To sit, to stare Outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state
A wish to venture forth without delay,
Then when the portal's opened up, to stand
As if transfixed by doubt.
To prowl; to sleep;
To choose not knowing when we may once more
Our readmittance gain: aye, there's the hairball;
For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob,
Or work a lock or slip a window-catch,
And going out and coming in were made
As simple as the breaking of a bowl,
What cat would bear the household's petty plagues,
The cook's well-practiced kicks, the butler's broom,
The infant's careless pokes, the tickled ears,
The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks
That fur is heir to, when, of his own free will,
He might his exodus or entrance make
With a mere mitten?
Who would spaniels fear,
Or strays trespassing from a neighbor's yard,
But that the dread of our unheeded cries
And scratches at a barricaded door
No claw can open up, dispels our nerve
And makes us rather bear our humans' faults
Than run away to unguessed miseries?
Thus caution doth make house cats of us all;
And thus the bristling hair of resolution
Is softened up with the pale brush of thought,
And since our choices hinge on weighty things,
We pause upon the threshold of decision.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sign-Ups Are Done

Well. That was kinda harrowing.

Getting up at the crack o' dawn to ride the metro into Bethesda, hopped a bus and a short jaunt to the Imagination Stage, to sign up for the League of Washington Theatre Auditions. If I had gotten there an hour later, I wouldn't have been able to get a slot.

These things are getting hard to come by! Thanks to registry at, local professionals with no official union ties can sign up with the Equity fellows on the first day of sign-ups. Note to self: JOIN ACTORSCENTER.

I ran into two college friends of mine in the line, Cory and Sara. It was great catching up with them, and hearing what they're up to. It was a little strange, falling back into old patterns (like feeling the need to be 'on'), but it was great to see them all the same. We were all able to get audition slots.

Keep fingers crossed, ladies and gents. The first step (and the one involving getting up early, yuck) is done with. On to the auditions themselves... Bam.

Monday, June 06, 2005

It's Almost New Year's

For me, anyway… I should explain.

Since I graduated from college and finished my tour with Theatre IV, I’ve been auditioning each summer for the League of Washington Theatres. This year will be no different. I’ve got my brand new headshots waiting for me at Kinko’s, my résumé is in good shape, and this time tomorrow I’ll be well-ensconced in line outside the Imagination Stage to drop off 65 copies of each for a 90-second slot sometime next week.

It’s my New Year. This will be my third time in attendance, and I knew this time last year it was going to become an annual event for yours truly. Frankly, it holds more significance to me than drinking champagne and watching a ball drop at the end of the coldest month of the year. So this is it, the event by which I set my personal calendar.

I’ve got a new monologue ready for it this year, and I’m even gonna sing a few bars from The Last 5 YearsMoving Too Fast, time permitting. I’m actually doing a piece from my own writing. It guarantees that the castors haven’t heard it before, which is an edge I like having. The best Arthur Miller monologue in the world won’t stop them from thinking “I’ve heard this one three times this week.” Two years previous I did Alco-Chocoholism, which wasn’t much of a monologue, granted, but it did demonstrate that I had decent comic timing and that’s a good thing. This year it’s something new, and I can’t wait.

Every year there’s this part of me that fears that the local Union actors will snag all the spots before I even get there… It hasn’t happened yet. Keep some fingers crossed for me, will you?

More to follow.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

You may, sooner than you think. I just got my first real job offer for Voice Work. Shazam.

I'm not going to jinx it by inundating you with details, but considering that I signed up for the service a week ago, I choose to take it as a good sign. There may be more of this to follow. In the mean time, I've found a few recording studios in that might be able to help me out by providing a location closer than Baltimore to go and track some records. Bam.

Bam, indeed.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Another One Bites The Dust

Some of you may know that for the last week, I’ve been trying my darnedest to transform Nocturne into a workable screenplay. (Only another five months before Scriptapalooza comes around again…) Here’s the thing: In doing so, I’ve had to re-analyze a number of aspects of the story, and that includes characters. A second one just got ‘cut’.

The first to fall was the character Sasha, originally Tuxxer’s lieutenant and right-hand woman. However, since the gender-switch, Sasha became somewhat expendable. Originally a foursome (Tuxxer, Sasha, Gary & Catch), the fact that there was only one woman in the group made it feel more like an odd-numbered dynamic. I liked that. With Tahnima in play, things are a bit too balanced. (Funny idea from a Libra.) So, she’s out.

The second character to feel the impact is going to be Jennie, and it’s going to be a big one. Jennie was originally Tuxxer’s child (or victim, depending on how you look at it). With Tahnima replacing Tuxxer, Jennie has also undergone a gender switch and has become Jacob. But here’s the thing: In the beginning episodes or issues (still could be a great comic book in my mind), Jennie/Jacob just doesn’t play a crucial role. I’ve been warned not to throw too much story or too many characters at the audience at once, when I can gradually introduce more of both over time. Jacob *does* have a part to play, but I’d rather bring him in fresh and see what happens when Tahnima meets him for the first time, rather than start off with them as an established ‘family’. It could definitely be more interesting that way.

Now, a thought has been buzzing through my skull for the last few minutes, that I might not want to divulge key plot points and characters here, before the thing ever has a chance of being produced. I don’t think this breaks that rule for myself. I’m not going to spoil the ending or ruin any major surprises… let’s just call it advanced advertising.

Yeah, advertising. That’s the ticket.

Thinking Thinking

I went for another walk yesterday. There’s an intersection exactly 1½ miles from my house, so that it’s a nice three-mile walk altogether. It’s exercise, plus a chance to try and clear my head. My head seems to need a lot of clearing, lately.

Okay. So I have a lot on my mind. I’m not surprised; most of the time I’m neck-deep in rehearsals for one show or another, and I’ve been unoccupied with such pursuits for the last month now.

Yes, I’ve tried to stay busy writing, but that’s a fickle mistress if ever there was one. She’ll visit for an hour or so if I’m lucky, then take off for the rest of the night. How can a day be filled with nothing? The friend that lives closest to me works unusual hours, so I can’t hang out with him like I used to. I’ve read every book, watched every movie and played every game in my collection ad infinitum. So what do I do? I grab a water bottle and a cigar if I’ve got any, put on a pair of sneakers and go for a walk.

The usual concerns and thoughts have been milling around upstairs, vying for top dog status. Money (or lack of same), Tuxxer (Now Nocturne ‘til some other title comes along), the restlessness that’s accompanied my recent acting hiatus, the possible start of my voice-over career, and best of all: loneliness.

I miss having someone around to talk to. Not just whatever I want to talk about, but just things in general. I told the last girl I was seeing that I didn’t want to date. I still don’t. But I’d very much like to have a few people to call and chew the fat with.

This is why I strive to stay busy: If I’m working on projects that require my full attention, I don’t have too much time to sit and sulk like a dope. Lately I’ve had nothing *but* time. Kaplahr. Kaplahr, indeed.

In the mean time, I’ve got Mary’s show to look forward to tomorrow night. Also, the woman that’s directing my one-act, Strange Bedfellows, will be there. She’s part of the crew. It’ll be nice to have a chance to talk to her about what she’s got in mind for the play, as it’s one of my favorites… that I’ve written. Shallow much?

It’s an intriguing feeling; the script, short little number that it is, is my creation, and I feel responsible for it. For the second time, it’s going to be produced completely out of my hands. Which, of course, is the way it should be. So why does it feel so strange… I suspect it’s as much the novelty of the experience, as anything else. The last time the show was done, it was a directing project of a college friend of mine. I didn’t see anything but the finished product, which I’ll confess was a hit. The audience loved it.

Eh. This too, shall pass. There will be plenty of other things to ponder in the coming hours, I’m sure. Here’s hoping they’re worth it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

No Biz Like Show Biz

Actors can be some pretty cool people. One of the things I like most about ‘em (myself included) is that certain ambitions can take only months instead of a lifetime to realize. After they’re through, we move on to other ambitions.

We hear a certain play is going to be produced. That play contains a certain part we want, very much, to perform and make our own. Every actor has at least one ‘dream’ part, or at least a part in the upcoming season that they know they want and will strive for. For me, the last such part was in The Mystery of Irma Vep. Before that, it was Hal in Proof. I played them both, and I think I played them well.

Now it’s Mary’s turn.

Mary is a woman I’ve known for just over a year now. (I mentioned her in an earlier post listing the four women that have the power to shut me up.) For that entire year, she knew that a local theatre was going to be putting on the show Gypsy. She wanted the lead, and anticipated the auditions for it with optimism.

Now it’s a year later, and Gypsy opens this Friday night in Gaithersburg. Mary got the role she was hoping for, and I can’t wait to see it. Way to go, Mary!

So Ye Giveth, So Shall Ye Receive...eth

It deserves to be a modifier on one of Newton’s Laws of Motion. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction? Every attitude shall be met with equal and opposing attitude…

Kaplahr. There is a woman I occasionally run into that manages to completely rub me the wrong way, each and every time I see her. We just flat-out don’t like each other. Now, attitude has entered the formula. She chided me. The woman CHIDED me.

I was tying my shoe, and rather than bend over, I put my foot up on the edge of a counter so I could reach it. My foot wasn’t in anyone’s face. Wasn’t near anything that could have gotten ‘dirty’. I didn’t have anything wet or muddy on my shoe. It was there for all of thirty seconds. And she scolded me like she was an elementary school teacher.

The thing is, I didn’t take that kind of lip even when I *had* an elementary school teacher. I stood up for myself back then (oblivious to the fact that I was completely out of line), or rolled my eyes at them. Yeah. I can be a real snot sometimes. There you have it.

Now I know better. Much as I might like to, it wouldn’t do to get into a public, noisy argument with a woman twice my age and half my size. It’s just stupid. Rather than make a bigger scene (or give her further ammunition), I just waited for my bagel to be done, and left.

Was I rude to put my foot on the edge of the counter like that? I didn’t think it was that bad. I still don’t. Was she rude to make a scene out of it? In my opinion, yeah. Big honking yeah. Makes me consider just bringing along my own damn toaster, so I wouldn’t have to chance running into her anymore.


It's The First Of The Month

Bunny Bunny.