Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

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

Friday, February 29, 2008


Fourteen months, twenty days. That's how long I've been in the Big Apple.

I'll be the first to admit that lately I've been in a consistently crummy mood. Granted, there have been things to be crummy about, but they shouldn't (and shouldn't be allowed) to get in the way of the bigger picture.

I put a show in Times Square. My comic is going to be published. I've made friends, here. None of those things would be possible if I hadn't made the move happen.

It's been expensive, terribly so, to get and stay here; but I have to believe that it will be worth it. The cost, both financial and personal. Even now I remember friends and a comfortable life I left behind...

Do I miss doing shows in Maryland? Absolutely. I was getting good parts, regularly. I was even being asked to audition. Hell, I was even offered a part once or twice. Nothing of the kind has occurred here. My work, such as it is, has been of an entirely different nature.

Rather than seek out plays to perform in, my attention has been more on producing original stuff. Improvising. Making that which is new. That feels good. Better than I've realized lately, with my head stuffed up my tuchus.

I've been out of touch. Lost in my own frankly depressing thoughts. And that's fine. It's part of the process. It led me *here*. Tonight, at least, I feel good. I feel better than good.

Here's hoping it lasts for a bit.


Monday, February 25, 2008

On Writing

It's no secret that I'm a writer. I occasionally even manage to produce something of merit. Hell, my comic is getting published (sooner or later) and a show I put on Times Square brought in a decent dollar amount for a first-time effort.

And something that helped in the writing process? Having someone in mind for the part. Finishing Yellow Brick Monologues, or rather, fleshing it out, involved writing more for the Wicked Witch of the West. I was able to do that after meeting the actress that would eventually play her.

The same goes, in a sense, for the comic. One of the main supporting roles is played (in my head) by good friend and Loose Poisonous Viper, Laura. It helps form her dialogue.

As for my newest script (which is nowhere near done), I've been writing once again w/ Chrysten in mind. The story calls for an intelligent, attractive young woman; which she is. The character also goes a bit mad in the end if I can work it right, and I've seen her pull off some beautiful wickedness. I don't think batshit would be too much of a stretch. Heh.

Anyway. Even with the Oscars on tonight (congrats Tilda Swinton! Congrats Diablo Cody!) I managed to finally eke out Act One, Scene Two. It's a good continuation. Plenty left to do, not that it'll get done tonight.

Still-- that's what is on my brain at present. Thought I'd share.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

On Nostalgia

Word is getting around that Lindsay Lohan did a recent pictorial tribute to Marilyn Monroe-- at the behest of the original photographer. As I understand it, she used the same poses (including a blonde wig), the same frilly handkerchief thingies, the same backdrop.

It got me thinking about nostalgia; and my generation's seeming obsession with it. If our entertainment is any yardstick, we're positively hooked. Half the shows on the air are based on former incarnations of the same, from the seventies and eighties. A Get Smart movie is coming out this summer. Let's not forget last year's god-awful Transformers movie, cashing in on twenty-somethings' fond memories of their collective childhood. G.I. Joe isn't far behind. Remake after remake after remake.

Where's it end? Where's the good original material? We seem fixated on re-creating as much from our past as possible. But the problem is, it isn't going to be as good. The nature of the echo is to fade. What's more, these moments we're evoking-- are they worth the effort? Really? Last summer, prior to seeing the Michael Bay atrocity that was Transformers, a friend had a group of us over to his house to watch old episodes of the original cartoon to get us in the right mindset for the movie.

It left me flat. Not as good as I remember it being. Course, I was also seven when the show first premiered, not twenty-seven.

I'm not really sure where I'm trying to go with this. This weekend, when Andy was up for ToyFair, I mentioned that I wanted to put a list together of movies from our childhood that Oscar should see when he's old enough. They were good experiences that the little guy might not get otherwise. Who can say.

I just think it's possible (and easy) to get too bogged down with mementoes. We lose sight of what's new. Although, if what's new sucks; it's not much of an incentive not to hop in the mental way-back machine. Is it. Hurm.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Progress, Of More Than One Kind

Well, there's a spot of good news; for the first time in weeks, tomorrow is payday and my account isn't flat-empty prior to it. The money will be gone soon enough, bills to pay; but it makes for a pleasant change of pace. Yay employment.

In other smashing news, I finished the first draft of issue seven, last night. Late last night. The juices were flowing and I took advantage of 'em. It felt great to hammer home that last page and send it off to Bill, my editor.

I haven't started in on issue eight. I haven't had the time, of course, but also I think a break might be due-- at least insomuch that I can chip away at other writing projects for a little while. A book idea I've had for ages is just sitting in my hard drive, and sketches that need developing are likewise inert without a bit of elbow grease. Well. Elbow grease so far as typing is concerned.

It feels good to be writing, and to have things to write.

* * *

On another completely different note, Pedro rocks. He calls me up about the most random stuff. The other night he called me to let me know about a History Channel special, The History of the Joke. That is totally something I would have enjoyed. If we had cable, that might be possible!

Anyway. Chris rocks. He went on to regale me with a few golden zingers from the special, and let loose with his hyena-like fountain of laughter after each one. What can I say. I love the guy.

So: A priest, a rabbi and a sperm whale walk into a bar...

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Creative Process

I had three days to myself this weekend; as my current employer acknowledges President's Day. I didn't get any work done. Granted, I was sick as a dog-- but still. No dishes were done, the recycling didn't get taken out, and I didn't manage a lick of work on issue 7 of the comic.

Five minutes after I arrive at work, an idea pops into my brain that bears writing down: it's going into that issue. Not only is it funny, but it also answers a long-posed question (in my mind anyway) about secret identities and/or those little domino masks superheroes wear that are supposed to hide who they are. Anyway. You want to hear the idea, you'll have to pick up the issue whenever it actually gets published.

I had a three-day weekend. Other than raging nausea, why did no real work get done? Why only now, when it's inappropriate to be dividing my attention; do the juices start to flow? It makes no sense.

Oh well. That's writing for ya.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Worst Timing

My brother Andy is up in New York this weekend; doing major reportage on ToyFair. Just in time for me to get a nasty case of food poisoning. Friday night it began, and only now on Sunday late afternoon am I feeling anything like my old self. Dude. Weak.

My timing could not be better. Nothin' says family solidarity like spending most of Saturday in bed, next to a plastic-lined trash can so placed for the easier horking in to. Oy.

I also missed a birthday party last night, thanks to this. Yes sir, that is some dynomite timing.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's.

Another year, another day for the couples of the western world to get especially mooshy and sentimental w/ flowers, cards & chocolates. Likewise, the yin to their rose-tinted yang is for those of us not in a relationship to be especially bitter. That's how the cliche' goes, anyway.

I don't think I give a flying f*ck. One way or the other. Let those ensconced in cupid's grove enjoy their special day, let those stuck on their onesies pound on the windows trying to get in (if that's their wish).

I've spent too much time as a single man to raise much of a fuss over missing out on V-Day yet again. I'm over it.

(Granted; the very fact that I'm bringing up Valentine's betrays that it's at least on my mind. I'm inconsistent and self-contradictory. Sue already.)

Have a good day, folks. Of one kind or another.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dream A Little Dream...

Once again the lotto is tonight and once again, no-one has won. I picked up a ticket for myself and Andy, and one in the office pool. Couldn't hurt.

I posed the question before (without an answer), but I'm happy to get the ball rolling on this one. What would you do with crazy additional funds?

Personally, after erasing debts, I'd pour some money into the comic book. Get it all paid for up front to expedite production, instead of this piecemeal stuff. Then I'd put Yellow Brick Monologues back on stage, get in production and keep it in production til it can stand on its own feet... After that? Who knows. Rent a flat in London, Maryland and sunny Hawaii. Be in a position to get anywhere I wanted in the world.

Fun musings for the time being. Have a good one, folks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

On Mojo, Or The Seeming Lack Of It

How to begin. Well, my name's Casey and I haven't had a first date lead to a second in almost two years. It wears thin.

One could say I'm having "a dry spell." Likewise, I could be steeped in "a slow year." However you paint it, I'm sick of it. Eharmony has paved the way to half a dozen dates in the past year; none of which have amounted to anything resembling a relationship. One or two of them, I didn't want them to. The rest...

I've made friends with a few guys up here; one's married, three others are in long-term relationships and one of my roommates is happily seeing someone. Three other guys I know seem to have no problem falling ass-backwards toward available women. Honestly, it's enough to make ya heave.

I know it'll supposedly "happen when it happens." But lemme tell ya, New York is one lonely city, in the wintertime or otherwise.


No good will come from over-thinking this. I have no idea why it's been impossible of late to meet anyone promising. All I know for certain is that I'm fed up with it.

In (entirely different) other news, I had a wonderful evening with a friend of mine last night. Tried out a recipe for steak and homemade peanut sauce w/ broiled onions; which was delicious. As was the pie we made for dessert. We also watched a movie of her choosing; after which she went home. So: If I can't date, at least I can share a couch for a few hours with a nice girl.

Whatever it's worth.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

"A Tax On Fools"

There's a certain charge in the air: the office is abuzz about tonight's lottery drawing; which is currently worth roughly $120,000,000. Lump sum, post-taxes would probably be in the neighborhood of $70-80 Mil. I threw a buck in the pool.

My brother and I have an agreement; any time the lottery gets into the triple digits, we buy a ticket or two and promise to split the winnings. I like that. I guess posting about it here insures I'd be an honest gent about it if the unthinkable actually happens. It is to laugh.

Of course, there's the usual talk floating around of quitting work and living the high life, but some times I think it might be neat to go on doing the daily stuff-- almost like a secret identity. By day, working stiff. By night, he becomes RICHMAN. With his inestimable wealth, refined tastes and affable charm; the playboy breaks hearts and blah blah blah. Heh.

Anyway. It's something fun to think about between bouts of filing...

What would you do with crazy money?

Be Pscyhed. Be Very Psyched.

Okay. This news has been on the periphery of rumor-radar for close to a year now, but the confirmation only makes it more exciting. Some very talented people are making The Fly into an opera. A freaking Opera. It's premiering in Los Angeles this September.

I cannot overstate how much I am looking forward to this. It has every chance to be phenomenal. Honestly? This is the sort of thing I would make a trip for, and I'm not a huge fan of opera. (I like it, but I couldn't name any favorite singers, composers, et cetera.)

I've proclaimed my love for David Cronenberg's treatment of the movie in the past, one of the rare instances where the remake is better than the original. (Also see The Thing.)

In the past I've stated to my friends, if not on the blog, my aversion to making musicals out of movies. I've yet to see one that blew me away. (I still have a bit of hope for Young Frankenstein.) If my desire to see this when it premieres makes me a hypocrite, so be it. I can only shrug and say, "Ya got me."

Ya got me.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fresh Start

Tomorrow, finally, work begins at my new assignment. It's supposed to last six months. Here's hoping.

Anyway. It's been a good day-- getting some writing done, tried out a recipe for Steak Au Poivre for dinner, and later on I'm heading to the gym again.

It hasn't been easy, living here. I've been trying to build a life up here, but I think part of the problem is that I've been too much reminded of people from home-- from Maryland. This is supposed to be home now, right?

Which isn't to say that I'm not supposed to miss my family and friends. I do. But I need my focus to be up here. The present. I have friends. I have a date, on Friday. I hope that goes well.

Anyway. Some things to think about.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Few Thoughts on 'Lost'

I've been catching up on Lost while I've been waiting for my new job to start. I've been watching the behavior of the supposedly enigmatic 'Others', and their repeated statements that they're the good guys. Having given the matter sufficient thought, I believe I can find le mot juste that captures the antagonizing opponents to our beloved Losties. *ahem*

The Others are a right bunch of hypocritical douchebags.

Since the arrival of Oceanic Flight 815, the Others have kidnapped, murdered, enforced slave labor and wreaked no short supply of mental anguish upon our protagonists. And they have the gall to act surprised when the Losties fight back.

"I say, we've been a bunch of bastards, haven't we. If all goes according to plan, you'll continue accepting said needless cruelty. Hang on a tic! You're actually resisting us? Heavens, the effrontery!"

My favorite? My absolute favorite? A blonde woman named Colleen confronts Sun in the middle of a nerve-wracking assault on her own ship. Sun has a pistol, and Colleen assures her that Sun won't fire.

Sun fires. The Others get upset by this. It's ridiculous.

Anyway. My two cents.


Monday, February 04, 2008

An Interesting Turn

I've been working on my comic book for quite a while now. The idea first came to me nearly two years ago. It was only after signing the contracts (pat myself on the back, why not) that the thing really started to flesh itself out. Oh, I had plot and characters and so forth, but the real twists didn't come 'til later.

Anyway. I am somewhat entrenched in issue seven; and happy to be there. Pacing-wise, things are about to pick up considerably, but in working out a scene I've been anticipating for months, today it finally solved itself. Violently.

A character that has been involved since the beginning meets his/her end in issue seven. I killed a character dead. No coming back.

It's funny how things work out. I had future plans for the character in question; and in the breadth of two pages his/her whole fate has turned around and been abbreviated-- and punctuated. I kind of like it.

It's nice to be working on creative projects in addition to preparing for work, which will start any day now...

Cheers, folks.

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