Friday, April 29, 2005

The Name Game

There's a family that lives across the street from me that I've talked with several times, but I can never fully remember the husband's name. I know it's either "Ken" or "Kent" but whenever I see him I have a brain lapse and forget which one it is. This morning I went to get the paper and he was leaving for work. And, of course, he addressed me as "Marcus" so I had to return his name. I've been getting good at disgusing it. For example, today I glanced at the headlines and said, "Hi KenTake a look at that! They passed Daylight Savings Time!" And then there was the time a few weeks ago when he came over while I was mowing my lawn: "Hi KenTell me what you do with your yard! It's beautiful!" He doesn't seem to be offended that I run two words together to disguise the fact that I don't totally know his name, or at least he hasn't let it show. Of course, I'm going to feel horrible one day when he says to me, "Marcus, you do know my name is Stan, don't you?"

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dance Fever

The Young Adult department is planning a dance competition this summer using a Playstation game called Dance Dance Revolution. In order to make sure it would work before they began promoting it, Shannon, the librarian in charge of the program, asked me to hook everything up this afternoon. And since she's very thorough, she wanted to run through the game at least once to make sure there weren't any additional problems. Which is how I found myself in a dance off with Shannon from YA earlier today. I did not do well - I have trouble playing Pac-Man, and all that game involves is moving a stick around - but Shannon gave me points for trying. Not actual game points, Shannon points. I don't believe I scored any actual game points.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Summer Movie Preview

The Entertainment Weekly Summer Movie Preview arrived in the mail the other day, and I have to say that I'm not impressed with the films that are coming out in the next few months. Here's a summary of what's being released:

Kingdom of Heaven
Release Date: May 6
Plot: Ridley Scott, the director of the overrated Gladiator, focuses on the crusades. Orlando Bloom does something that...oh, who cares. Blood! Guts! Carnage! Gladiator! I mean, Kingdom of Heaven!
Interest: Very little. I hated Gladiator and this movie looks just like it.

Kicking & Screaming
Release Date: May 13
Plot: Will Farrell is the coach of a kids' soccer team. He yells at them for 90 minutes.
Interest: I'm not a huge fan of Will Farrell - there's only so many times I can hear him scream - but I might give it a look on DVD if it looks funny.

Monster-In-Law
Release Date: May 13
Plot: The suddenly ubiquitous Jane Fonda and J. Lo catfight for two hours.
Interest: Jane Fonda is a funny lady. But not in this movie.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Release Date: May 19
Plot: A bad actor becomes Darth Vader. Ewan MacGregor continues to wonder what in the hell he was thinking when he signed on to do this franchise back in 1999. Geeks everywhere wet themselves when Chewbacca makes an appearance.
Interest: I'll see it, but only because I've seen the other five in the theatre and I might as well finish off the series.

The Longest Yard
Release Date: May 27
Plot: The longest football match between prison inmates and guards you'll ever see.
Interest: Very little. Adam Sandler goofy comedies do nothing for me, and Chris Rock is only funny when he's doing stand-up.

Madagascar
Release Date: May 27
Plot: Computer animated comedy about zoo animals trying to make it in New York City or something.
Interest: Don't know much about it. It's not from Pixar, which reduces my desire to see it.

Cinderella Man
Release Date: June 3
Plot: Russell Crowe is a depression-era boxer who, according to the trailer, just kind of stands around for two hours. Renee Zellweger pouts.
Interest: Looks boring. Also looks like it's trying to win a lot of awards.

Lords of Dogtown
Release Date: June 3
Plot: The history of skateboarding.
Interest: Are you freaking kidding me? I'd rather see Cinderella Man.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Release Date: June 3
Plot: Four girls trade a magical pair of jeans between them.
Interest: Um, no.

The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D
Release Date: June 10
Plot: I have no idea. But it's in 3-D!
Interest: Movies in 3-D do nothing for me, mainly because the filmmakers concentrate more on flinging stuff at my face than telling an interesting story.

The Honeymooners
Release Date: June 10
Plot: To the moon, Alice!
Interest: Enough with pissing on the graves of dead TV shows, Hollywood!

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Release Date: June 10
Plot: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are secret assassins who are each sent on a top-secret job: to kill each other!
Interest: The plot sounds clever, but the trailer looks like the film concentrates more on blowing stuff up real good than being fun.

Batman Begins
Release Date: June 17
Plot: How Batman became Batman.
Interest: I like the director (Christopher Nolan, who did Memento), but the trailer looks dreadful.

Bewitched
Release Date: June 24
Plot: Will Farrell is an actor starring in an updated TV version of Bewitched. He hires unknown Nicole Kidman to play his wife Samantha. But Kidman's character is a real witch! Whew, boy, what irony!
Interest: See my interest comments for The Honeymooners.

Herbie: Fully Loaded
Release Date: June 24
Plot: Because the world needed another Love Bug movie. Starring Michael Keaton.
Interest: Michael Keaton, what the hell happened?

War of the Worlds
Release Date: June 29
Plot: Tom Cruise fights invading aliens. He also stares intently at the other actors and speaks...very...slowly. Just like every other movie Tom Cruise has acted in since Magnolia.
Interest: Spielberg's stuff is always worth a look, so I'll probably see it. On DVD.

Dark Water
Release Date: July 8
Plot: Woman moves into an apartment and is terrorized by water.
Interest: Terrorized by water?!?!? What's next, a movie where the lead is afraid of shoes? "Get those sneakers away from me!"

Fantastic Four
Release Date: July 8
Plot: Group of mutants fight crime.
Interest: Wasn't this movie released a few years back and called X-Men?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Release Date: July 15
Plot: Kid takes a tour through a madman's chocolate factory.
Interest: Many think this movie is blasphemous, since everyone adores the earlier version starring Gene Wilder. I thought that, too, but the trailer looks like a lot of fun and if someone is going to remake this movie, you couldn't choose two better people than Tim Burton and Johnny Depp to do it right. Probably the only movie I'm definitely planning to see this summer.

The Wedding Crashers
Release Date: July 15
Plot: Two guys go to weddings to pick up chicks.
Interest: Vince Vaughan is hilarious. Owen Wilson, not so much.

The Bad News Bears
Release Date: July 22
Plot: Remember the film from the late '70s? Yeah, it's the same thing. Only more vulgar.
Interest: I'll just rent the first one from the library and save myself $10.

The Brothers Grimm
Release Date: July 29
Plot: The Brothers Grimm do something. I don't really know. But it's directed by Terry Gilliam!
Interest: Terry Gilliam? I'm there.

Sky High
Release Date: July 29
Plot: A superhero couple have to deal with their superhero kids.
Interest: I've already seen The Incredibles, so I'm going to pass.

The Dukes of Hazzard
Release Date: August 5
Plot: Good God what the hell is going on in Hollywood? A Dukes of Hazzard movie?!?!?
Interest: This is proof that Hollywood is creatively bankrupt.

The Pink Panther
Release Date: August 5
Plot: Steve Martin says things with a funny French accent. He also knocks stuff over.
Interest: Remember when Steve Martin used to make good movies? Those days are long gone.

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Release Date: August 12
Plot: Deuce returns! 17 people are excited.
Interest: I'm not one of those 17 people.

Those are the big ones. I count three that I would like to see, and one of those is because I'm a masochist and feel like I should see the third and final chapter of Star Wars in the theatre. Hopefully there will be a lot of great independent movies out this summer, because it looks like I won't be going to the mega-plex much at all.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Shuffled Off To Buffalo

"Hey, why have you stopped updating?" Well, I've been in Buffalo, NY, the past week visiting my sister, brother-in-law and 2 year-old niece Bianca. Some highlights:

* Bianca likes to sing. Her favorite song is Petula Clark's "Downtown". All you have to do is start a phrase and she'll sing the song from that point forward. I tried to teach her "What's the Buzz" from Jesus Christ Superstar but she couldn't get the words right. In her world, the lyrics are "What's the buzz, what are you doing?" Close enough for me.

* Bianca's favorite place is the library, so we went there Thursday night. We found this book, which is possibly the funniest children's book I've read in the past few years. We also found a strange book about a single mother who recently broke up with a guy named Gary. Seems that Gary promised to give the woman's daughter a charm bracelet for her birthday, but, since the bastard skipped town, no one was getting a thing. The story ended happily - the girl received a bracelet with six charms on it, one from each of her loving family members who weren't going anywhere - but Gary's reputation took a severe beating. The book was supposed to be a coping mechanism for children in similar situations but all of us over the age of two just thought it was hilarious. The author also wrote many other similar "helpful" books, including my favorite title ever: "Nobody Likes a Nuclear War".

* The three adults watched - and mocked - Purple Rain Tuesday night. The DVD had footage from the MTV premiere, which gave me the opportunity to see a circa-1984 John Mellencamp and "Weird Al" Yankovic share an interview with MTV VJ Mark Goodman. Prince showed up to the premiere in a purple cadillac. And Shelia E was blitzed out of her mind. Great stuff!

* There was an unfortunate incident involving an overflowing toilet in the guest bathroom that leaked through the ceiling onto the kitchen table. Which happened at midnight. The less said about that, the better.

* Val and I held a patent-pending Degrassi-thon. For those not in the know, Degrassi Junior High was a Canadian show that aired on PBS here in the states, usually after school. Val and I spent many an afternoon watching it and, now that the show's on DVD, we decided to buy season one and relive some old memories. We watched the first four episodes, which dealt with such pressing teen issues as parental abuse, drug use, underage drinking, becoming a whore in order to win the school election, and telling your younger sibling that they can't talk to you in the hallways. (Which I actually did to Val when she started high school. I was two years ahead of her and didn't want my reputation ruined by talking to my kid sister in the hallway. I'm not a bastard very often, but that was one of the times I was. I've since apologized profusely.)

* Val, Bianca and I went to Niagara Falls Friday morning. The falls were cool but not as breathtaking as everyone's made them out to be. Val's theory was that there was a better view on the Canadian side of the border. I was freezing throughout our visit because I decided to become an idiot and leave my coat in the car. I would like to go back in a few years and ride the boat that takes you into the falls. Although I would prefer to do it when it's not 35 degrees outside.

* Bianca has a pair of sunglasses. I taught her to make the Fonzie "Aaaaaaaaaay" sound whenever she puts them on. Which she did. (Although she had trouble getting her thumbs to do that Fonzie thing.)

* It's a long drive to Buffalo. I did it in 8 1/2 hours both ways. The drive back was fine, but I was dragging on the way there. I know I drove through Pennsylvania, but I don't remember actually doing it. Note to self: The next time I go to Buffalo, make sure to get more sleep beforehand.

Anyway, I'm out of time, so that's some highlights of Buffalo. A splendid time was had by all.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Mad Props

The show closed last night and I somehow found myself back in Lebanon this afternoon helping George "Gettysburg" Piper move ten very heavy platforms into a warehouse for storage.

The warehouse was basically a large room filled with props, so there were things like couches, costumes, and various other pieces stocked away. But there was one very odd item that caught my eye: A Teen Wolf standee that was used to advertise the movie when it was released to video. I was fascinated by it, mainly because I couldn't figure out what in the hell it was doing there. If this was a storage facility for theatre props, what show would require a large cardboard cutout of Michael J. Fox turning into a werewolf? I'm sorry, a teenage werewolf? Certainly not any show I can think of. (Although it would have been great to see it in Jesus Christ Superstar.) The only explanation I could come up with was that the owner of the warehouse has a deep love for all things Teen Wolf and, since this standee was probably the only piece of merchandise created for the film, decided to house his super-secret collection in a safe and valuable place. That's why I'm not disclosing the location of it, lest one of you gets jealous and decides to rip it off. I don't want that kind of blood on my hands.

There was, however, no memorabilia from the inferior sequel Teen Wolf Too located anywhere on the property. Unless it was stashed away somewhere where even I couldn't see it.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Another Op'nin', Another Show

In three hours I'll be onstage in a cafetorium singing "What's the Buzz" to a sold out crowd. I think the show will be fine...so long as everyone remembers their parts. Last night we had several solos that vanished into thin air.

To those that are coming, I'll see you after the show. To those that aren't, well, we'll have to watch the DVD someday. With my running apostle/guard commentary, of course.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Blog FAQ

Jenn: "Dude, were you checking your watch every time you had a beer the other night?"
Answer: No, all times in the last post were approximate. I do not clock my beers.

Jeff Miller: "I still haven't read your blog."
Answer: Well, what in the hell are you waiting for?

Katie: "I didn't know Gabbi was in Charlotte's Web!"
Answer: Yes, she was.

George "Gettysburg" Piper: "Prove to me that I'm no fool, walk across my swimming pool."
Answer: I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.

Abraham Lincoln: "Why is that Piper guy making light of a very serious Civil War battle?"
Answer: He's not. He just likes the babies in the flowers. (Think "Geddes-burg".) Aren't you dead?
Abraham Lincoln: "Yes."

Coworker: "When is your show?"
Answer: This weekend.

JCS Cast Member: "For the love of God, when will this show end?"
Answer: This weekend.

Spearsy: "Hey, what're you guys getting me for my birthday?"
Answer: A cake, definitely. A card, maybe.

Andie: "Was I high and missed Duran Duran on Conan the other night?"
Answer: Don't know, wasn't there, man.

Math Guy: "What is the square root of 16?"
Answer: 4

Val (My sister, not the costume designer): "Wow, you're updating your blog a lot now!"
Answer: Yes, I am. You have the very persistent cast of Jesus Christ Superstar to thank for that. Because if it doesn't get updated it's all, "Why didn't you update your blog? Where was the blog entry for today? How come the blog remained blank? Why didn't you get all bloggy with it today?"

Val (The costume designer, not my sister): "Can you buy another shirt to wear when you're the apostle?"
Answer: Um, sure.

Gibby: "Why didn't you answer my text message from earlier this week?"
Answer: Didn't have the phone with me when you sent it, and doing it a day later just seemed odd.

Coworker: "Hey, what song is that?"
Answer: "Heart of Glass" by Blondie.

Boss: "Are you going to install those new computers before you leave?"
Answer: Yes. Right now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hell Yeah!

I'm very tired. Here's why:

9:00 p.m., Hattie B. Stokes Elementary School Parking Lot
TRENT - Hey, I don't have to work tomorrow. Anyone want to go get a beer?
CARPOOL - Yeah, we'll go! Anyone else?
EVERYONE ELSE - We are tired and there's nowhere to go in Lebanon.
CARPOOL - Too bad for you. Where should the four of us go?
TRENT - How does B-Dub's sound?
CARPOOL - Cool! We like beer!

9:20 p.m., Carpool
JENN - Hey, we're going to be three minutes from my house! We should just go there! I have free beer at home.
MARCUS AND MATT - Cool! We like free beer! But Trent's going to B-Dub's.
JENN - Dammit.

9:30 p.m., B-Dub's Parking Lot
JENN - Hey, Trent, I've got free beer at home! Let's go there instead. Matt and Marcus can go to Kroger and get a pizza for us to eat.
TRENT - Cool. I like free beer. Here's $5 for the pizza.

10:00 p.m., Jenn's Condo
JENN - Want a beer?
THE REST OF US - Hell yeah!
JENN - Pizza's coming.

10:45 p.m.
JENN - Want another beer?
THE REST OF US - Hell yeah!
JENN - Here's the pizza.
MY STOMACH - Oh, thank God. Why haven't we eaten since lunch?
ME - Shut up, you.

11:15 p.m.
TRENT - Is that a Veggie-Tales video?
JENN - Hell yeah! It's got the "Belly Button" song on it.
TRENT - Can we watch it?
JENN - Hell yeah!

11:35 p.m.
ME - Did we really just watch a Veggie-Tales video?
EVERYONE ELSE - Hell yeah!
ME - Oh, look, Letterman's on!

12:30 p.m.
JENN - Want another beer?
EVERYONE ELSE - No thanks. We have to drive.
JENN - Oh, look, Conan's on! I haven't seen him in years!
ME - Hey, Duran Duran's the musical guest. Hell yeah!

1:15 a.m.
JENN - What the hell song is this?
ME - Yeah, where's "Hungry Like the Wolf"?
MATT - Or "Rio"?
TRENT - Yeah, this song sucks.
ME - Wow, that guy's really short and he's trying to compensate with a tall microphone stand.
JENN - Duran Duran thinks their cool because their name is repeated twice. They're just like The Beatles Beatles.
ME - Or The Doors Doors.
MATT - Like the Clash Clash.
TRENT - Hell yeah.

1:30 a.m.
JENN - Hey, look, Conan's over.
ME - Really...tired...must...sleep...
TRENT - Yeah, I need to get home.
ME - Crap, my car's still at the Kroger parking lot.
EVERYONE ELSE - Sucks to be you.

1:45 a.m., Kroger Parking Lot
MATT - See you tomorrow.
ME - Yup.

2:10 a.m., My House
ME - So...glad...home...bed...must...go...oh, look the newspaper!

2:35 a.m.
ME - I'm a dumbass. I have to get up in five hours.

2:45 a.m.
ME - Lights out.

7:30 a.m.
CLOCK RADIO - Get up, dumbass!
ME - Snooze you.

7:39 a.m.
CLOCK RADIO - Get up, dumbass!
ME - Hah, I'll show you. I will turn you off instead of hitting snooze.

8:05 a.m.
ME - Man, I wonder what time it...CRAP! I'm going to be late. Maybe I should call in sick.

8:07 a.m.
ME - Nah. Gotta work.

8:30 a.m.
ME - Wow, how was it possible for me to get ready that fast?
MY STOMACH - Hey, where's my cereal?
ME - Shut up, you. We all have to make sacrifices.

9:00 a.m., Work
ME - Made it.

9:15 a.m.
ME - Damn, I'm tired.

Note: All conversations paraphrased to conserve blogging space. Also, the phrase "Hell yeah" did not, as I recall, make an appearance last night. Although it should have.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Our Auditoria

Last night was the first night of rehearsal in our actual theatre. I've been trying to figure out a way to describe it for the past few hours and can only think of having you picture a cafeteria. Got that? Be sure to include the long picnic tables the kids use during lunch. Now picture an auditorium. That in your head as well? Good. Now smash them together and you'll have a pretty decent idea what our theatre is like. Several cast members were referring to the room as a "cafetorium" which is either its official name or some rather clever wordplay, I'm not sure which.

At least it has a nice distinctive look. In my mind I see the architects sitting down and thinking long and hard about where kids like to eat. Their consensus was, of course, "The 'Singin' in the Rain' set!" There are brick facades all over the cafeteria and several lamp posts dot the terrain. The only thing missing is the rain, but I'm sure we can take care of that with a little fire to set off the sprinkler systems. Doo ba doo doo...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Just Call Him Carrot Stick Monster

OK, this angers me.

He's Cookie Monster, for crying out loud! Look at his name! That's his whole thing: he eats cookies. He doesn't really do much else for the show. Oh, sure, there was that one time when he sang a song with Ernie about sharing, but other than that, it's been all cookies, all the time. You take the cookies away from Cookie Monster, and all you're left with is a fat blue piece of felt with googly eyes.

I can understand teaching kids about nutrition, but couldn't they do that using Big Bird? He hasn't had much to do since that bastard Elmo moved into town anyway. Or why not just go ahead and use Elmo? Then they could even make the inevitable toys for kids: Food Pyramid Elmo and such.

The whole point of Cookie Monster was that he had no self-control. He was fine with life until he saw a plate of cookies, then his eyes would go all serial-killer and he'd attack those cookies with a vengeance. He didn't set the best example for kids, but, really, no puppet should be a role model in the first place. What's next? Are they going to start making him use the pronoun "I"? Perhaps with his new diet he'll shed some pounds as well, making him look like an older version of Grover.

"C" is for Cookie, and that's good enough for me, dammit.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Food for Thought

I'm a little pissed at a software vendor right now - seriously, you would think if people are going to be using your products under Windows XP you'd make sure that they would freaking work before they asked you to install them - so instead of ranting about that for three paragraphs, and since I'm starving and won't be eating until 10:00 p.m., let me spend today talking about food:

- Cereal. Love it. Can't get enough of it. I love the sugar stuff and the good-for-you stuff almost equally. And then there are those that straddle both fences, like Raisin Bran. See, it's bran, but there are also sugar-coated raisins involved! Brilliance! I even continue to buy Lucky Charms, even though I'm about 25 years older than the target audience.

- Water bottles. I've been using the same one for the past year, filling it up multiple times a day. My mother nearly passed out when I told her this. "What?!?!?!? You don't wash it out with hot water after you use it?" Yeah, I know, I've heard the reports about how this is probably the best way to introduce harmful bacteria into your system, but I haven't seen any ill effects of it yet and I don't think I'm goi-fnodfbiusafdvbi8apsrbfsduvipsvdfusabdfi



Sorry, I passed out there for a minute. Don't know why.

- Bananas. Hate 'em. That is all.

- Can you sue a grocery store for selling you a bag of salad that goes bad three days before its expiration date? 'Cause if you can, then I got a lawsuit brewing.

- Cheese Whiz is for the truly lazy. Seriously, all you gotta do is buy a block of cheese and a knife. Why anyone would want to eat cheese out of a can is far beyond me.

- However, whipped cream out of a can ROCKS!!!

- Tuna Helper. Love it. That is all.

- I'm the king of the pitch-in. Not because I'm the one that provides that excellent casserole, but because I'm the one who brings the napkins. Or the forks. Basically I'm the guy who brings the non-edible products. But you know what? Not everyone will like my casserole. Yet, after a messy pitch-in meal, everyone loves my napkins!

- Crock pots confuse me. I get impatient enough making a meal that requires a 35 minute bake time. I couldn't imagine waiting 12 hours for dinner.

- Used to eat doughnuts, now I eat bagels. Not because I'm a snob, but because I prefer the taste. Oh, all right, it's because I'm a snob.

- My mother makes the best sugar cookies in the world. I really have nothing to add to that, except: Mom? When you come to the show, bring some cookies because the cast wants to try them out.

(Actually I have said nothing to the cast about my mother's sugar cookies. They just sound good and in the past having a third-party involved usually meant the cookies were guaranteed to be made. And, yes, I know she reads this, which means I'm basically screwing myself out of the cookies, but I thought I'd give it a shot.)

- Besides the sugar cookies, my mother also makes the best chocolate-covered pretzels. Mom? The cast wants to try your chocolate-covered pretzels. You should bring some when you come see the show!

- Overheard at rehearsal last night: "Gee, I sure would like to try some of Marcus's mother's homemade macaroni and cheese. Oh, and her tuna casserole, too."

- However, they do not want to try your fried chicken.

- Because I'm single and in my thirties, people are confused about my dietary habits. "What do you normally eat?" is usually the third question asked of me after "When are you going to get married?" and "How's work?" Let me answer this once and for all: I eat food. Yes, I even - gasp! - cook, if you can call Tuna Helper cooking. I don't eat out very often, and even then it's usually because I'm going out with some friends. I tend to avoid the potato chips and the cookies (unless they're of the sugar variety and provided to the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar) because they're nothing but empty calories. Extremely good empty calories, but empty calories none the less. I always have a salad with my dinner. (Except for tonight because my lettuce has turned rancid.) I have a sandwich and some carrots for lunch. Boring, I know, but people always seem to be fascinated by my dining habits, so I thought I'd put it out there for everyone to read.

- For you SAT fans = Steak is to nasty and hamburger is to tasty.

- Why do "nasty" and "tasty" sound different even though there's only a one-consonant difference between them? No wonder the English language is so hard to learn.

- Yes, I know that last entry had nothing to do with food, but I just noticed it and thought I'd comment on it.

- To all restaurant owners everywhere: If I wanted lemon in my water, I would have ordered lemonade.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I'm Getting a Dell, Dude!

I bought a new computer today. Dell had a great deal on desktops that was too good to pass up. Here's what swayed me:
  • A free upgrade to a 15" flat panel monitor
  • A free color printer
  • Free shipping
  • A free upgrade to an 80 gig hard drive (from a 40 gig drive)
  • A free DVD drive (with an additional 48x CD-RW drive)
I don't remember the more technical aspects of it, but I know it's pretty top of the line. I'm currently using a 1998 Gateway at home that has served me well but is due for retirement. Why I decided to upgrade it to Windows XP when it could barely run Windows 98 is beyond me. I've been suffering ever since.

Thank God for tax refunds!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Case of the Disappearing Identicard

My Identicard - the I.D. card that grants me access to super-secret areas of the library like the staff parking lot - is gone. I didn't actually use it this morning - I snuck into the lot behind someone else - but I'm certain I had it with me. When I got out of my car and went to put it in my pocket, the damn thing was gone. It wasn't in my lunch bag, it wasn't in my rehearsal book, it wasn't on the ground, and it wasn't anywhere in the car. And, yes, I looked underneath the seats. The damn thing just vanished. Hopefully someone will find it and turn it in, because if not I'll have to pay $10 to get a new one.

There are a hell of a lot of scenarios for what could have happened to it (implosion, stolen by invisble elves, flew out the window without me noticing), but more than likely I'll go home tonight and it'll be sitting on the counter where I normally put it at the end of the day. That means I hallucinated having it this morning.

Man, I need more sleep.

Monday, April 04, 2005

I Am Homer

Charlotte's Web pictures have been posted at the Artist's Studio website. I had two roles in that show: Homer Zuckerman and a barnyard sheep. Unfortunately, my sheep didn't make the photo page, but I'm all over it as Homer. A guide to the photos:

#1 - Brenna as Charlotte. It appears that Charlotte is in mid-workout and the photographer caught her doing her push-ups.

#2 - When they were taking pictures, Debbie and I wanted them to snap one of us in an "American Gothic" pose. This is it - funny that it made the website. And, yes, that's duct tape on the end of my pitchfork. Homer's not a very good farmer.

#3 - This is when Wilbur wins his gold medal at the fair. I appear to be channeling another Homer at this point: Homer Simpson. You can almost see the drool. "Mmmmmmm....gold medals."

#4 - I'm telling the reporter that we're taking the pig to the fair. When I see this picture, all I can fixate on is my pose. With that hat, I look like a country version of Harold Hill from The Music Man.

#5 - Charlotte and Wilbur watching the fireworks, even though they're behind them. This would be the point where the rest of the cast was offstage going "ooooooh" and "ahhhhh". Or, occasionally, "Good Golly, Miss Molly!" and "My goodness, there's fire in the sky!" We had to entertain ourselves somehow.

#6 - An alternate shot of me telling the reporter we're entering the pig in the fair. See, in this one I'm starting to make my point. In the other, my finger is down, meaning my point has been made. What a good actor I am.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Mute in New York

If you read the comments from yesterday's post, you saw one from Joli, a friend I met while doing A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum last year at Footlite. Joli was one of the Geminae twin courtesans in the show and was disappointed that I didn't mention her during my entries of that time. (Which, honestly, had nothing to do with her and more to do with the fact that I was pretty much ignoring the blog during the rehearsals of that show. And for pretty much the entire year after that as well.)

Late in our run, Joli asked me to write a musical for her to star in. Somehow I came up with the idea of having her character from Forum fall through a time portal and wind up in present-day New York. Going from ancient Rome to NYC would be a shock and her character - nicknamed Gem by the cops who discover her rooting around in a dumpster, desperate for food - would have to adjust. There would be the usual fish-out-of-water stuff, like Gem not understanding why people use cell phones and her difficulties in hailing a taxi cab. All of this would be set, of course, to a musical background, with the opening song being "Where the Hell am I?"

The only problem with this scenario - other than the fact that it's a very, very bad idea - is that Joli's character in Forum was mute. Kind of hard to have a lead character in a musical who doesn't have the ability to talk. I guess Gem could hum her way out of trouble, but that would require a lot of patience on the audience's part. Or maybe she could whistle. Mute people can whistle, can't they?

Joli and I both agreed that Gem would eventually find herself the star of an extravagantly produced Broadway show, but that's as far as we got. But I've been able to solve our dilemma of how to get her character there, and it involves me reprising my role as Ken de la Maize from the Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Ken would be about 95 years old at this point, having gone to jail at age 30 for murder. He could be released from prison and given a show to direct by some old-time investors who remember the magic of a de la Maize production. He meets a plucky homeless girl - you guessed it, Gem! - after he falls down some stairs because his knees don't work so well anymore. (Song: "Christ, My Arthritis is Killing Me.") Because he wants to hire a fresh face, and because the last girl he hired was really a federal agent sent undercover to track him down, he takes a chance and asks Gem to star in his production, certain that she'll not only become a great star but will also never send him back to the pen. Oh, sure, she's mute, but Ken doesn't care. Together they begin rehearsals and Gem does better than expected. She even gets to play the spoons during the act 1 closer "I Love the Present".

But it all goes to hell in act 2. As we learned in the first play, Ken doesn't like dancers, specifically ballerinas. Well...ballet is Gem's specialty. And Ken begins to develop the urge to don the overcoat and that uncomfortable ski mask once again so he can strike...at Gem! But seeing as how Gem is still a young lady and Ken's now a very, very old man, the entire second act is pretty much a waste of time because all Gem has to do is walk at an excited pace to get away from elderly Ken. Unfortunately, Ken suffers a fatal heart attack during his final attempt to do away with Gem and, after being revived by the paramedics during the comedic number "The Defibrillator Tango", the two share a tender and touching moment during his death song, "Looks Like I'm Not Going to Heaven". Here's the twist: The final note is belted out by Gem as Ken dies in her arms! She can speak! Miracles do happen! Curtain.

You and me, Joli! How can it not be a smash?