Thursday, September 22, 2005

There Is A Season

Welcome to Fall! Time to bust out the long-sleeve shirts and the jackets. Summer is definitely over. And it's about time.

I've never been a huge fan of summer. Seriously, it's really hot and miserable for the majority of the time, so hot that you can't even go outside without sweating like a pig. Yet everyone says it's the best time of year. My co-worker counts it as her favorite because it's sunny. This always confused me, because it's not like the sun goes into hibernation for the other nine months of the year. Her explanation is that the sun is out longer in the summer, so she's free to frolic outside at 8:30 at night (9:30 next year, after the pointless time change goes into effect). Let alone that in reality she's probably sitting inside at that time watching a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond and cursing the sun for the glare on her television set. You can have your long, sunny summer days. Besides, as I said before, it gets mega-fucking-hot outside. And you can't escape it. At least in the winter you can bundle up and layer yourself with clothing. The only thing you can do in the summer is take your clothes off, which would potentially cool you down but would also get you arrested for public indecency.

That's not to say that winter's any better. The thing that pisses me off is all the snow. I don't mind snow in theory - it always makes everything look pretty and stuff - but why must it always snow whenever I have plans? Seriously, I could go an entire month without making plans and you wouldn't see a flake. Then I try to go see a movie with a friend and BOOM! Twelve inches on the ground in three hours. I don't even have the option of it snowing so much that the library will close. Our director believes we should be open during a snowstorm in case people need to...I have no idea. Find a book to read? Watch a video? Research where snow comes from? You got me. Last year I trudged to work on December 23rd, the day when we woke up to 8-9" of snow on the ground. It was so bad I got stuck in the road outside of my house for an hour. But the library was open its normal business hours, and the only people in the building were its workers. All our patrons assumed we were closed. It was very quiet that day.

Spring's alright. It's like Fall in reverse only without all the raking.

You know what's freakier than it being Fall already? That 2005 is almost over. What the...? I'm just getting used to writing "2005" on my checks and now the calendar's about to turn over again. I hate complaining about that because it makes me sound like an old man, but really, where did the year go? 'Cause I'd like some of it back, mainly so I could catch up on all the sleep I missed.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Ballad of Bad Actor Guy

More Harvest of Hits drama. Background: Two weeks ago, they took some shows away from Bad Actor Guy and gave them to me, mainly because I've been spending an assload of money on gas to get to rehearsals all summer long only to see the majority of my performances - where I would make that money back - cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Well, Bad Actor Guy didn't like losing his shows and, 24 hours before a big matinee that I couldn't do this week, threatened to quit if he didn't get some of them back. He understood why the shows were taken from him, but he felt that he was paying a lot for gas, too, and needed the money as well. Dude lives ten minutes from the theatre. I live 75. Who do you think needs the gas money more? (Also, since he does all the matinees, he's only had a few show cancellations. As opposed to me, who's seen about 50% of his shows evaporate into thin air.)

When the owner called me in a panic - at 6:45 in the morning - I almost told them to get rid of Bad Actor Guy and I'd do the rest of the shows myself. Then I woke up and realized I didn't want to burn through the rest of my vacation days this year singing "Hot Diggity" to 80 year-old matinee attendees. Besides, I gave them that exact option a few weeks ago in order to get rid of Bad Actor Guy permanently, but they decided instead to give him another chance. And what does he do? He holds the show hostage, just like any good actor would. What a jackass.

Meanwhile, what does the owner say? "It's unfair to give Bad Actor Guy shows and then take them away." I really wanted to point out to her how ironic it was that she was doing that to me at that exact moment, but I knew the irony would be lost on her so I didn't mention it.

I probably shouldn't write about this because it's like I'm airing dirty laundry and stuff, but Bad Actor Guy's never going to read this (unless one of you betrays me), and it'll be entertaining to look back on this whole sordid affair long after the show closes. Maybe I'll laugh at all the crazy shit that went down. Or else I'll shake my head and wonder what in the hell I was thinking doing a show four counties away.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Macca

Paul McCartney's new CD comes out today and I'll be heading to Best Buy at lunch to pick it up. It's only $10 and what I've heard so far isn't bad, so I figure I might as well. Besides, it's Paul McCartney! He was a Beatle! How bad could it be?

OK, it could be "Silly Love Songs" bad. Or "Say Say Say" bad. Or, God forbid, "This Girl Is Mine" bad. But it could also be "Band on the Run" excellent. Or "Uncle Albert" fun. Or "Hope of Deliverance" sing-along nirvana. McCartney's music always seems to fall into a "Love It or Hate It" category. Because are there really any mediocre Paul McCartney songs?

OK, there's "No More Lonely Nights", which is memorable but stupid. And it only gets a passing grade because it was miles better the movie it came from, Give My Regards to Broad Street, one of the most egotistical films ever made. And many would lump "Spies Like Us" into the mediocre category, even though I once spent $25 on an import CD for that song alone. And I don't have much love for "Jet" although people seem to adore it.

My favorite McCartney song is "Maybe I'm Amazed." What's great about that song is that it's not overplayed. (Disclosure: I listen to the radio about five minutes per week, so if it gets a lot of airtime I wouldn't know.) It wasn't on the Paul McCartney Greatest Hits CD I bought in 1988, which means I haven't had to listen to it everytime I've put that disc in my player the past 17 years. (A fate that unfortunately hasn't been the same for "C-Moon".) I have a burned copy of "Maybe I'm Amazed," but I don't seek it out. The song was off his first album, released at the same time as the last Beatles album, and you can hear that he wanted to top his old band. He's screaming those lyrics, throwing down the gauntlet, challenging his former bandmates to beat him. They did, and kicked the crap out of him in the process. George Harrison released the phenomenal All Things Must Pass album soon after and John Lennon cranked out two excellent albums, Imagine and The Plastic Ono Band within a matter of a few years. Ringo, meanwhile, um...OK, Ringo didn't take the challenge seriously. But in the beginning, it seemed like McCartney would be the one to watch. Instead: "With a Little Luck."

I watched a McCartney VH1 interview once where he was asked what current music he listened to. Of course he said Radiohead. (Everyone always says they listen to Radiohead because if you don't say you listen to Radiohead then you're not cool or something. But that's all you can do with Radiohead, listen to them. Enjoying them is another matter entirely.) He also claimed a love for Beck. I love Beck, but I cannot imagine Paul McCartney rocking it up in his house, asking for two turntables and a microphone.

In other Paul McCartney news, I recently had a dream that I was singing "Veronica" - a song he co-wrote with Elvis Costello - a capella with...someone. I don't remember who, but I do remember singing the song. I have weird dreams.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Yes, Ma'am, 719

Plaza Suite is dead, long live Plaza Suite. Our run this weekend was extremely successful. Hell, we even managed to pack in 100+ people for a Sunday matinee, which is pretty miraculous. (Usually, a Sunday matinee means you have 20 people in the audience, all of them hovering around the age of 70.) Sunday crowds are typically quiet, but yesterday's group was laughing and having a great time. Looks like Brett and Ray tapped into something when it came to starting a community theatre troupe in Zionsville. I'm sure their next step is to take over the world.

So that was my weekend. Thanks to all of you who came to see the show, helped with concessions, folded comment cards, etc. I appreciate it, the Off Main Street Players appreciate it, and that guy who bought a $1 cookie appreciates it.

Do you know that if there are enough hurricanes this year and they get to the letter "s" that that hurricane will be named Hurricane Stan? I can hear the reports now: "Hurricane Stan is wreaking havoc in the Pacific. Really, he just wants to get home, watch SportsCenter and have a beer." Whose bright idea was it to name a potential hurricane Stan? That's like naming one Ophelia. Oh, wait...

Friday, September 09, 2005

My Ears Are Bleeding

I woke up this morning to what sounded like an alternate universe version of Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again." At first I thought it was some kind of weird Dylan outtake, possibly from his new CD, because the singer would occasionally laugh and the band sounded like they were warming up as opposed to laying down a finished track. But the voice didn't sound right, so I knew it wasn't Dylan. Turns out it was Colts owner Jim Irsay and his band. What the hell were you thinking, 92.3? If you want to play "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again," why not pull Blonde on Blonde out of the archives and play the original? It's a lot better than the photocopied crap that Irsay provided.

I admit, I'm a little pissed at Irsay. Thanks to him I now have to pay an unnecessary tax whenever I go out to eat. And I've had to listen to our mayor and govenor say for months now that we'd be a shit city without the Colts - which I don't think is true at all, especially when the Colts have been a football punchline all but the last few years - while they move forward with plans for the taxpayers to pay for a new stadium, even though the Colts are a private business. But I draw the line with having to listen to his crappy bar band-like music on the radio. If they continue to play it, I will switch to another station.

And I'm all for other musicians covering Dylan's music. Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower" is so good that Dylan now uses his arrangement when performing it. And Dylan's original recording of "Mr. Tambourine Man" doesn't hold a candle to the Byrds version. But if you're going to cover Dylan, you've got to do it your way. You can't simply mimic his version, because then you just sound like a drug-addicted millionaire making fun of one of the coolest rock icons of all time.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Target Lady

Yesterday, on my lunch hour, I went to Target. As I reached the checkout lanes, I noticed every single one of them were three people deep with large orders. All except for the cashier who had just turned off her light and was getting ready to leave. She noticed that I only had two items, so she snuck me in and rang me up. I was grateful for the instant checkout, but jokingly told her to take her time because I was on my lunch break. Ha ha, we had lots of laughs, whatever.

Right now I'm working in the Tech Center. And who do you think just came in here? That's right, the same cashier, this time on her lunch break. I, of course, recognized her right away - it was hard not to when she was dressed the same as the day before, nametag included - and reminded her that I had been through her lane in similar circumstances about 24 hours ago. She obviously remembered me, because she referenced my take-your-time-I'm-at-lunch joke from the day before. Ha ha, we had lots of laughs, whatever.

Either it was a bizzare coincidence or Target Lady is stalking me. She's cute, so I really don't mind. But the minute she wants me to carry around one of those walkie-talkie things staff use at Target to page each other, I'm going to the cops.

Today is a banner day here in the Tech Center: Besides Target Lady, we have an 80 year-old couple who have never used a computer before trying to do some serious Internet research but are being stopped by that mysterious "mouse" thing, a guy I just busted for looking at porn, and a 350 pound deaf guy who occasionally whistles very loudly, scaring the crap out of everyone in the room. Only 60 more minutes to go and I'm outta here.