Thursday, December 31, 2009

Better Luck Next Year?

I did say I was going to post more about self producing didn't I? Darn it. Well, I can get back to that. Then again, that is pretty much what I have said all year - 'more on that later', 'stay tuned next time', 'part 2 in next post'. Some I followed through on, but most I did not. I am sorry readers.

And, I have been really bad about posting. Again, I apologize.

However, there are tons of other blogs out there for you to read, so I am sure you didn't notice at this little corner of blogsphere my tardiness in posting. Anything. At all.

So, I decided to finish out this year with the broken promises of posts past and only hope I can get better next year:

"And, I hope to have some pictures up soon from Christmas."
"I have so many posts in draft form that I need to do. I will have them up soon."
My update that part one went up in August. The other, September.
And, last but not least: My Journey into producing - that I never finished.

So, when it comes to this blog for 2009, I guess a lot of it was unfinished works. And, my posting once a week also went out with the bathwater. And, the baby.

Hmmm. Well, let's see what next year brings. I know 2 things I want to do. Finish up my notes on the self-producing end and my Canada trip. Hopefully I can post those before February. :)

Hope your 2010 is bright.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Fight Fest and My Walk Into Self-Producing

Well, since I have been with Nosedive, I can say I have been producing both creatively and financially for the last 5 years. However, now with a little help from my friends, I am starting a journey to self-producing my short length piece in Fight Fest and on to a full length as well in the next couple of years.

Awhile back, I was whining. (Not a good Cabernet or Pinot Nior.) Really crappy whining. I wasn't feeling as creative or really owning anything creative I was doing in the theater-sphere. And, my jonesing for acting and/or directing was hitting an all new high. I had gone a year without going onstage for anything. Now, I know this happens a lot. Creative ruts and all. But, instead of everyone telling me to grin and bear it and it will come to pass, people said - why don't you just make something of your own.

I was finishing up reading "World War Z" and thought how cool it would be to put this on stage. I started going through the book, writing down what I would want in, what could be spliced together. What would the locations be and how to accomplish that.

A few months later, a friend of mine told me that the book was becoming a movie. My heart sunk. And, I pretty much gave up.

One night after "Blood Brother's Present...Master of Horror", I was having a drink with the lovely and talented Sara Thigpen. We were talking about the show when she asked a very poignient question - so Stephanie, what are you doing next. I started to talk about Nosedive things and she said again, what about you. I began to talk to her about my aspirations and then about my idea for making this zombie book into a play, but that wouldn't work because it is going to be a movie. She then said - why don't you keep the zombie idea and just make up something different.

I then told Pete about it who agreed with Sarah's thinking completely. I told him about my ideas about using a character I had come up with a while back that I thought would be better for a comic book, but it made sense here too. He thought it sounded great and that I should work on that.

So, for the next few months, I began to start thinking about this show. One day while walking from the train to a friend's house, the song, "Come Alive" by the Foo Fighters came on my IPod and a whole scene began to play in my head. I realized this was the scene where our heroine gets up and fights and in a sense, is created. I listened to that song on repeat, all the way home on the train and figured out how the whole scene would work.

Then, a festival was announced - Fight Fest, at the Brick. I realized, if I could get in this, then I could show this scene and see if it worked, talk more about my idea, see if there are any writers out there that would like to help me out. See if anyone was interested in helping produce this. Etc., Etc. I decided to enter. This also forced me to really start writing it out. Instead of letting it just rattle around in my head any longer.

I wrote it out and sent it to Pete, Patrick, Ben and James who all gave their 2 cents. And, a big thanks to them because I don't know if I would have entered at all if it weren't for them. I say I am "self-producing" this. However, I know that these guys are always close around to help out when necessary.

I am now 2 weeks out from the performance. And I am excited to see what will be happening next.

More on that in another post.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And you will know them as… The Unpronounceable…

I remember getting a phone call around midnight on some new year’s eve, had to be around 8 years ago now, from a friend who had played a gig with a band I was in at the time called “AJ Cope and the Yankee Peach”. I was out in Phoenix at the time with my at that time husband. I was expecting the normal – Happy New Year’s call and a report of how the gig went without me. Instead of Happy New Year’s greetings the first thing out of her mouth was – “You have to see this band! I believe they are called something unpronounceable?”

Jorge Beefalo, Chet Beefalo, Chip Beefalo and at that time Chuck Beefalo, made up the Beefalo Brother’s better known as the band, The Unpronounceable. And, they became one of my favorite bands to go see in NYC.

I am much more pickier about my music than I am my movies. I can pretty much throw any bit of B, C, or Z grade awful movie on the tube and get through it for the most part. But, music. I will walk out on bad music. And, bad music – not in respect to their style in particular, but a shoty, ½ assed or scattered performance.

Now you know where I am coming from.

I had been acquainted with the infamous Frank Wood while working with the Yankee Peach. He is a promoter and booker with most of the live music bars in NYC. And, he had found The Unpronounceable and wanted the world to see these guys.

I have a special place in my heart for rock-a-billy. And, a special place for the upright bass. And, love when I hear a song, then realize it is a cover with the band’s own special “sauce” thrown into. This band had it all.

So, first off, musicianship. Everyone, except I believe the drummer, played all the instruments. And, it wasn’t one of those situations where you saw in the liner notes or a point of bragging during the performance. After a few songs, everyone would trade out instruments like they were passing a favorite dish at dinner. Pass the upright bass, please or maybe they should invest in a Lazy Susan? And, again, this was not just for show, each person played the instrument in their hands as of they had only studied that one their whole life.

They also know how to write a good song. I can compare them to master chiefs, the right amount verses and chorus with just a pinch of a mini-jam to add flavor. Like Big Star without the pretension. If you take a listen to their older stuff, you can hear that they were really trying to perfect their recipe for the good song. It just got better throughout the years.

And, they know how to make a cover song sound like their own. And, I got to experience this first hand doing the “Hooternanny” at the Pussy Cat Lounge Rock Club. It was a “bitch” night of sorts, where female lead singers/singers from the NYC rock scene were invited to come and sing a couple of cover songs with a backing band. And, the backing band was the Unpronounceable. Now, they would do a straight cover it you preferred. But, the call I always loved was, “So we have some ideas on how to do this. Can you see this ballad as uptempo?” Or, my favorite, “this pop song more bluegrass?” And no song was too much for them to at least try. I asked to do “Whipping Post” one time. If I remember correctly, Whipping Post has to have at least 7 people playing different instruments for it to work. These guys said it was going to be difficult, but they would try. They did just fine. My favorite one I sang with them was probably “Dream On” with a banjo and sped up slightly and a much more blue grass feel.

And, they use an old style microphone. It’s very sexy.

Last Wednesday, I was given a chance to see these guys one last time. They had broken up for 18 months, Mr. Frank Wood asked them to get together to play for his birthday. And, they did. I shortened/canceled all plans to see these guys that night. I was magical.

I walked in to Otto’s Shrunken Head and it felt like not a year had passed since I left this scene.

I couldn’t believe I was seeing these guys play again. It was awesome. And, it seemed like not one day had gone by since they played. They swapped instruments, Jorge’s voice was the same, the songs were performed to almost perfection (their drummer was the only challenge for them, then again, he had some large shoes to fill and had not been playing with them very long from what I was told).

The show got done and I got to catch up with all of them. Hearing about their kids or new kids. Their lives now, where they are going. Then, they al had to go to get back home to relieve their baby sitters. I realized how much time had passed, gathered my things, said goodbye to go back out to the world that I now live in. A little bit happier for the moment.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Update Part 2!!!!

So, I now have rehearsals for "Fight Girl, Battle World", I need to start learning the parts from "Infectious Opportunity" and try to keep on top of the OSM award with the NY IT Awards. I begin scheduling my time like a surgeon. When exactly can I hop online, when can I look over my lines, when I can say my lines out loud, when can I look over all my old sound cues from "Fight Girl...", when can I clean or tidy my apartment so I can find things in a hurry, when can I do costumes for my characters for "Infectious", when can I schedule a meet up with my OSM team.

I don't know how I did it, but I did. The days of getting my Master's was coming back to me and I just needed to push on through.

I began juggling everything. Exactly when could I find time to look over lines that was not on the subway. I began running my lines in my head at Fight Girl Rehearsals. I had to eventually stop that as I needed to listen to Abby call the cues. Why is that you might ask? Abby was pregnant and coming to term, so there was a very small chance that I could be running the show once we got into performances. Abby always told me, don't worry, it is a long shot. Don't worry. But, I like to be a little prepared, so I stopped running lines during rehearsals and just did them during the 10 minute breaks from time to time.

It was a rough couple of weeks. 9 to 5 job then going to 6:30 to 10:30 rehearsal, then coming home and working on lines, working on the show, going to bed, get up the next day and repeat.

I had my first rehearsal with Infectious. I was really nervous. I mean, here was this great, talented cast of actors and then there was me. I haven't been on stage in a year. These guys are pros. And, I was taking over for a very talented actor and roles that people had really come to love. The rehearsal started off and I was terrified. What would they think of me? Pete told me to hold my script, would they think I hadn't been looking at my lines? What if I decided to go off book and call line? What if I just couldn't act my way out of a paper bag? By the by, it went fine. After we really started cooking, I felt like I found my footing again and all was well with the world. And, it was really fun.

Then we went into Tech for Fight Girl and did the first show. I got to paint the texture on the set - the orange burn blasts. I felt pretty darn good about that. The show itself was great, it was fun, I only messed up a couple of sound cues, but for the most part, I felt grand. Abby was back in the captain's chair and I was riding co-pilot. I now could just go and do my job for that show and start concentrating on Infectious. However, I was exhausted by this point so the first night I attempted to discuss costumes with Pete, I just found myself pulling half of my closet out onto my bed and began painstakingly describing all of my options via phone. Didn't really work. I told him maybe this would work better with him there seeing the costumes - duh. I then proceeded to go to bed.

The next day, work as usual, me extremely tired and then I got a phone call from Abby around 4pm. I get emails from Abby. I get text messages from Abby. I seldom get a phone call from Abby unless it is something semi-urgent. Gulp.

Abby tells me that she is going to the hospital due to high blood pressure and that she hopes she can make it to the show to run it, but wants me to be prepared if she can't. Now, on one hand, I hope that it is nothing and she can make to the show, cause by the by-I've never actually "called" a show. I have run lights and sound simultaneously, I have run lights with a co-pilot running their own sound a time or two. But, never, have I been in charge of making sure everything, even things I don't physically run, runs perfectly - this is including cue lights for different things. A minor panic runs through me. However, Abby is going to the hospital. Of course, my worry and concern for my friend and of course, her baby she is carrying and her husband all come to the fore front and I realize what I have to do.

I'll be damned if this women carrying a precious being in her is going to run a show after a trip to the hospital. So, I guess it's time for me to learn a new skill-calling a show.

I find out by the time I get to the space that Abby has been admitted to the hospital. Now my worry for her cranks up. My worry for the cast and crew of how they are going to accept this news. Their worry for their friend and for their show. The whole cast rides the waves like pros. And, give me their full faith that I was going to do a great job.

Abby had also told me I would do great and that I had nothing to worry about. But, of course, I was worried. I loved this show and the cast and the whole sha-bang. Oh, and did I mention - it was sold out for the run, so there's that whole full house thing too.

My worries subsided some when I found out that Patrick, who designed the sound for the show (and got nominated for a NY IT Award for it) was coming to take my place in running the sound as I called the show. A very trusty co-pilot. Life was looking up.

My first time through, my pulse was pumping like a sub-woofer through my whole body. I am sure if you looked closely, you could see every vein pulsating. I also had not been on a computerized lighting board since college - usually I work on a 2 scene pre-set. But, 2 seconds of overview and everything was easy peasy, lemon squeezy. It was just the calling that scared me to death. After the opening, the hairy craziness of the the first scene, my pulse began to slow down and I began to find the rhythm. The rest of the run was great - a few miss calls, a couple of times of darkness on stage, but all in all, everything was OK. And, I came to find out that calling a show was really fun.

Also, in case you have been in a cave, Abby had her baby. He's adorable. Mommy, daddy and baby are all well. It's a wonderful thing.

So, we closed Fight Girl, and I went in the next day for my first performance with "Infectious Opportunity". I had to tell all the Vampire Cowboys I couldn't be at strike. First strike I have think ever. But, I believe it was a good enough excuse.

We did a run through prior to the performance and then I had to go on. In front of my peers. In front of people who knew and loved this show. Again, the pulse started to raise, except this time, I knew I had to keep it under control - people would be watching. And, would also see my whole body vibrating. A few slow breaths, lights went out and "show time." I felt I did a really decent job. Of course, I am going to be my own worse critic, so I am going to try and focus on the positives. Of course, as I write this, about 10 negative things come with every positive, but I will self edit. Here goes:

I definitely got all the lines out. I felt I met the challenges and moved on through. I also felt I brought differences - nothing better than Ronica did - but differences to the roles, that were fun and I hope enjoyed by the audience.

During this time, I also got a call from Shay Gines of the NY Innovative Theatre Awards asking if I would like to announce some nominees at the IT Awards nomination party on Monday night. I said sure. The candle had been burning at both ends with another candle attached across the top, also burning at both ends. I could add one more flame - sure.

The night of the nominations came and by now, my pulse no longer beat like a thousand drums, it just sort of went about at it's normal pace. I announced, I chatted, I had a great time. And, again, got to be around an incredible group of amazing talent.

On the Outstanding Stage Manager Award, flights of emails went back and forth during this busy time. We have a great group of professionals that are ready to get together and vote. We are still working out the details as I speak.

That's it folks. I guess this really was a "what did I do with my summer vacation"? I have come to realize how lucky I am for one, every instance I was given, I was able to hang out, talk with and work with amazing talented people who are also just some of the best people around. And of course the ever pursuit of Independent Theatre, people, Independent Theatre.

Thursday, July 23, 2009



No posts since June?

Where have I been? Have you missed me? I've missed me.

Tuesday night after our last show, I was having a celebratory drink at the ever popular Alligator lounge when I just let myself relax and bend from the waist, head down and let out a large SIGH. To this my friends said - Aw, you've had a hard week. I replied - it's been a hard month.

But, these are the kind of problems we WANT to have, right?

Let me catch you up.

The beginning of June, the much anticipated, "Infectious Opportunity" went up in the Brick's Anti-Depressant festival. Probably one of the smoothest tech to 1st performance Nosedive has ever had and we only had 4 hours in the space for our "tech". I was highly impressed with our actors, our set designers and our people. On no money (about a grand, but really, who does that anymore), we were able to put together a clean and amazing show. All of our work was done in-house and we succeeded in working with our set a week before we went into the space. And, all the actors in this piece were just top notch. Amazing, talented, natural, good comic timing, I could go on. What a great group of people. The first 2 shows were well received and we couldn't wait to do the other 2.

First two shows down, now we have 3 weeks off. Well, my crew does - I do not. I then go into consulting on blood effects for "Twin Towers", by Damian Wampler. I was only able to instruct and tell them what to do. I was not able to make the items and instruct them on how to do create the effects on stage. I went to their dress rehearsal and was really impressed that they figured things out on their own. I went to see the show and of course, this was the night when everything with my effects could go wrong did. I was able to make the effects for them for the last show and I heard it went great.

Also during this time I got a call from Dave Gilbert who asked me to come back and "revive" my character in Blackwell Convergence, his video game series. Funny enough, my character died in the last version and I was coming back as a ghost. He also asked me to do another character since I was there. I really enjoy doing voices and voice over work. Pretty much as exciting as getting on stage. You can get the game here:

Now, it was time for me to start work on "Fight Girl, Battle World" as an ASM and Sound Board Op and gear up for the next two performances of "Infectious Opportunity" and we got extended for 2 more performances 3 more weeks after that. Oh, and the New York Innovative Theatre Awards was coming up on the deadline for all submissions to the Outstanding Stage Manager Award. How could it be that all these things were happening at once? Oh well, definitely manageable. Wait, just wait.

"Hey Steph, Ronika can't do her roles in the extension and no one else is free. Would you like to take on her roles?"

"Sure, yeah!" I say.

Frack Me....

To be continued.......

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Award For Stage Managers? Is That Even Possible?

Well, we are about to find out.

This is definitely something I have thought about for a long time. There are so many awards for so many facets of the theater production, but nothing for a Stage Manager. A lot of people said that it is impossible and here are a few reasons why:

1. A Stage Manager does more than write stage directions, organize the show and call time prior to curtain. Yes, someone at one point told me that was all a Stage Manager did. Oh, and sometimes run board and lights or "Call the Show" - which means calling cues out to the board ops and sometimes to the actors, etc backstage. Here is a small list of all that a stage manager can be and more than likely is during an independent theatre piece: an Administrative Assistant, a Project Manager, a Personal Assistant to the Director, an Organizer, a Craftsman, a Referee, a Partner, a Producer, a Facilitator, a Parental Figure, a "MacGuyver", a Costume Designer, a Seamstress, a Props Designer, a Janitor, a Laundry Service, a Publicity Person, a Board Op, a Computer Programer, a Multi-disiciplinary Artist, a Box Office Manager, etc., I could just keep going.
2. A Stage Manager is like a ninja - they keep the show moving and make sure that everything works, without any one person knowing exactly what they did. Cause, if everyone knew what they did, then they would also know of all the things that weren't working and one of the main jobs of the Stage Manager is to keep everyone working at the top of their game with as little stress as possible.
3. A Stage Manager doesn't always get the credit for all they do. Because they are like ninjas.

So, right there are at least 3 reasons why this is a really hard category to judge. It all comes down to, how do you judge a ninja? OK, I'm just kidding. But, seriously - how do you judge this type of work?

Well, I am proud to report that the New York Innovative Theatre Awards (the IT Awards) is going to do just that. And, with me working along side them. Can we just say - Yikes!

I do admit, it is going to be a challenge, but I am so excited and so honored to be a part of what is probably, the first Stage Management Award ever given.

I hope over the next few weeks to give updates about how the process is going and what is happening. We have a committee of very talented theatre professionals, the Outstanding Stage Management Award page is up on the NY IT Award site, applications are coming in. So, far, so good.

Here are some links for you to check out. Oh and if you can believe this, on the week that the IT Awards announced the award, this article came out. It is as if the fates are smiling on us...and probably saying, about damn time.

Here is more information:

Friday, May 15, 2009

So Many Drafts, So Little Posts

I just have to say, life definitely cranked up a notch.

I went from going to the 9 to 5, then going to a show, movie, home, what have you, back into the craziness of theatre. Again.

Don't get me wrong - I love it. It gets really overwhelming when it all descends at once. And, even though I was having some time off recently, I was still in a 6 hour stage combat class weekly. That kicked my ass. Literally.

Hence, why I have not been blogging as much. Also, I have been suffering from some major writer's block. As the title implores - started a lot of posts, just never got to them.

I had a post on Augusto Boal, but after almost a week of not finishing it, I realized it will just go to that draft folder in the sky. I also had a post on Stone Soup's show "What Happens to Women Here" (which was very good and big congrats to that crew and Ben Trawick-Smith for putting together an intelligent and enjoyable show.) I am also in the process of writing a short post on my Wilmington, NC trip, which will probably be mostly pics - I rode a friggin' mechanical bull people.

So, I just decided to update this short little post about veins. That's right veins. Probably because I just finished sending off ideas for blood effects on an upcoming show (more to follow on that- if time permits). But, here goes.

Let's go back a few weeks - right after my prior post of crawling out of the grave (I probably didn't have swine flu - I basically had pneumonia - maybe it was a more general Suidae flu prior to the pneumonia.)

I have started to go back to the gym, a habit that I had not followed for about 3 weeks and it was slow going. The first time back, I just decided to use the hot tub after over doing it in Rapid Vamps fight class. However, a few days later, I did a few laps in the pool, then hot tub, then went to the Eucalyptus Room. A sauna that uses Eucalyptus oils along with the heat. You are also provided a spray bottle to add a little extra oil. After having trouble breathing for a few days, this room sounded like a great idea. Just lay back, relax, and breathe some really calming and healing air.

The room is lit by red lights - probably where some of the heat is generated. It definitely gives the feeling that you are sitting under the sun. With my eyes closed, I felt like I might actually be getting a tan.

This day, since I didn't have as much time as I liked, I decided to just run in, sit down, breathe some good air, then run out. No real relaxing and pseudo tanning.

Got my towels all placed on the wood slats, had a sit down and just focused on a spot right in front of me. As I was bringing in my focus, I noticed something on my arms. I thought maybe my bathing suit, which is black, may have been bleeding for some odd reason. I brought my focus to my arms and realized - this wasn't on top of my skin, this was underneath my skin. I could see almost all of my veins. The big ones were noticeable first - a ghostly blue, then the smaller ones were running from one to another to another. I looked at my legs - oh my gosh - there are veins all over my legs too.

I know I have veins. I know that I can see the majority of them. But, this was like seeing them, almost pulsing. Like in "Interview With A Vampire", or a lot of vampire type genre movies - they went from not being semi -seen, to all looking at a medial text book.

I did start to think - was this because I was so sick? Was this a reaction to the medicine?

I put 2 and 2 together and blamed it on the red lights and the fact that I am so ridiculously pale right now. Gone are the days of going outside as soon as it warmed up to soak in the sun, due to theatre activities and the danger of sun over-exposure. However, it was really fun to think for a second that something biological had changed due to the illness or medication. Or maybe I was just turning into a vampire. Another guy walked in so, I tired to casually look over to see if I could see his veins. Nope. OK, so not Vampire, but I was just a very pale girl with very blue blood that day.

Or maybe this is just the start of my super powers?

Since then, my veins have just been normal. Which is good, seeing how busy I am getting. Could you imagine? Getting some weird vampire virus or super powers now? I have enough on my plate, thank you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crawling Out of The Grave

I was really sick.

I was the kind of sick that when you are marginally better, you feel 100% improvement.

I have not been this sick in a year.

OK, there was the week after my birthday when I could barely get out of bed for 2 days, but that was the flu. This was bacterial infection, pneumonia, whatever. It sucked and pretty much sucked the life out of me for a week. But, I am coming back. For all 3 of you who have missed me posting, worry not! I am back! And, had a few brainstorms last night before going to bed about what I am going to write about.

I was chatting with a friend last night, about my current recovery from this nastiness and came up with a revelation. I told him, "I think I may sometimes confuse laziness for exhaustion. Maybe this is why I am sick all the time." He answered back "Mayhaps".

After a show or a long push on multiple projects, I will find myself sitting on a couch watching multiple movies and/or catching up on TV shows, what have you. This feels like such a guilty pleasure. I'll put my phone somewhere I can't hear it and just decompress. I always feel like I am slacking off.

I really haven't done that in too long.

I find that recently, even when I do have a movie or TV show on, I will feel "lazy" and get up and clean or organize or work on a project. The first day I stayed home from work I re-organized my ITunes for hours. Didn't nap, I sat up on a computer for hours. The next day, thinking that I had slacked off the day before, I got home and did laundry (auditions for our upcoming show haven taken up my weekend), in...the...rain. Oh persevere and get through your chores!

Between Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I was snapped awake by the sound of my own wheezing and with what felt like something caught in my throat. Except, that it was my throat caught in my throat. Luckily (?) through many throat infections as a juvenile, I was able to force/swallow down some Advil and some antibiotics that I had kept and not taken from a previous illness.

I got up the next day and, foggy minded, called into work saying I would be in to work later that afternoon. Work called back and said "Stay home." This is the first time I ever heard them say that and I slept for pretty much the rest of the day.

I got up later, found the antibiotics I had taken the night before and found out they were expired. Well, in pharmacy terms, so I just kept taking my over the counter stuff and hoped for the best after some much needed rest. You see, I could only really walk to the couch and to my bed and to the bathroom that day. And, even that was like walking through molasses and for miles.

Next day, no improvement. All right, doctor time.

I'm not going to go into my frustrations at the clinic I went to. Cause, in the end, all worked out well and I was seen a lot quicker than I thought and, believe me, I really had nothing better to do than sit in the doctor's office because it was now apparent that I really couldn't move that much.

The doctor did the normal look about and then washed his hands. Then a couple of minutes later put on antibacterial lotion while staring at me. Was this a sign?

He asked when I needed to go back to work. I responded with tomorrow. He asked if I worked on the weekend. I responded not really. He said, good, then you are going back on Monday. Stay in bed or at least resting for the next 2 days.

Luckily the weather stayed cold to nasty and I didn't want to go outside. But by Saturday, I couldn't stand it anymore and ventured out. It was gorgeous outside and I took a deep breath, well as deep as I could. Coughed. Then enjoyed the sort walk to the grocery store and back.

I can definitely say I am improving. It feels like slow going, but compared to last week, I am feeling better. I am also not smoking. The thought of a cigarette sounds good for the craving, but the lungs say, heck no. I always talk to people who say, after pneumonia or awful bronchitis - that's it - no more. However, I see them a few weeks later smoking again. I'm saying we'll see. One thing I do know about myself is that I enjoy smoking. And keeping it to a minimum would be ideal. But, until there is a real reason to completely quit, I probably won't. But, so far - 10 days. And, until the day that I wake up and don't feel like I have smoked a pack of cigs, I won't be considering having one.

Or I may just stop. Who knows.

Now to writing down the other ideas I had for my blog postings!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Belly Full Of Happiness

This is a post from December 2008 that never made it up. Since I am fighting some writers block , saw a really fun band last Thursday - the Supermajor, I thought I would dress up this one below from another great band night and call it a day. :)

What? What is that you say? Belly full of Happiness? What did you just digest that was so delectable that your tummy is smiling on the inside? I ate up a whole concert last night by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

I have a few people to thank for all this wonderfulness - Scott, Tim, Andrew WK, Ted Leo, Studio B, the NYC Cab company and the New Yorker.

First off, for the price of admission, a measly $23 (that's $20, plus $3 handling fee), I received - entrance to the concert, an open bar from 8pm to 9pm and a year's subscription to New York Magazine. Seeing that my admission to most shows I see now a days is anywhere between $18 to $20, plus the handling fee, this was a steal.

If you have not heard Ted Leo, I suggest you take a moment and go here. Don't worry....I'll wait.

Hmmmhmmmhmm, la, la, la, la.....

You all done?

Good, OK- they are not musical geniuses and yes, people can say that a lot of their music sounds the same - but whose doesn't anymore. When listening to an album of an artist, there tends to be a style, a sound, etc.

I listen to Ted Leo a lot when I am working out. It is peppy music that has a good driving beat - whether you are running or using an elliptical - you just want to keep on moving. It's also one of the few bands that gives me a skip in my step sometimes or a jolt of happiness in my belly - like they did last night.

So, the venue is in the no where of Brooklyn. You wouldn't even know it was a club. It is a large white building, doors that are more like panels that open up to the night. There was the large bouncer walking up and down the line proclaiming "If you haven't bought your tickets online, come see me." He was kind of intimidating and it was fun to watch us all cringe and thank goodness that we had bought our tickets prior, then deal with the scary bouncer. Ah, it wasn't that bad, but entertaining and a moment to bond with your fellow icicle line mates. It was cold!

Then we were let in, got good standing spots right near the stage. There is also live band Karaoke. Yes, I know, I am a little crazy for the Karaoke. Unfortunately, when I got in, the list was already full. Sadness, I so wanted to do "Since You Been Gone". Ted Leo does a cover of that too. :)

So, with free drinks in hand and DJ's playing, we began to watch the screen rotating pictures from past shows and people singing Karaoke, when Scott said, "Is that Tim?" Tim is an actor from a recent show Scott was in, a schoolmate of mine Rusty, produced called Stones In His Pockets. Anywho...Tim's picture of him screaming into the mic in rock star fashion had flashed on screen. We both did the nah, well maybe, no it has to be him thing. Scott took a picture and texted Tim. Yup, it was him and lo and behold, he was on his way to the show.

The band pretty much started on time - woo-hoo! 9:05 or so. Andrew WK, got up in his white jeans and white T-shirt and announced the festivities for the night - the raffle for a Flying J Gibson - yum, some shoes I had never heard of and the (single tear) Karaoke. Then, Ted Leo came out, guitars a-blazing.

I don't have the exact song list in my head, because the songs came one after the other after the other. It was exhilarating to watch a band go from one to another to another without a break. And, all of us in the audience, jumping up and down and dancing along. This is December and it's hotter than a July 4th up in this joint. Sweat going everywhere.

After the concert was over, we met up with Tim and had a couple of more drinks, discussed the concert and waited for the Karaoke participants to come on up. There were costumes that went along with this Karaoke (I believe one was an Aquaman costume, wish I could remember which song he sang) and some pretty fun renditions of songs. Again, really can't remember which ones. Then, a girl got up to sing "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure. Not that great - of course I remember the bad one. Then, she forgot the lyrics, 2x and just mumbled. That was our cue. It had been fun. The drinks flowed like water - in fact, got a couple of bottles of free vitamin water - and dancing and fun had ensued. Gosh darn if a good memory of a great night out was going to be ruined by singing poorly and forgetting the words to a Cure song? A song that you knew was going to be played, you got there super early, pushed your way to the line and got on the Karaoke list, just for you to forget it? Sigh. Away we went.

So, it was now time to find the bus and/or a cab in a near deserted area. As we were walking and chatting, a cab magically pulled up, out of no where and with little to no cars. Scott and I decided to split the $10 or so cost and away we went saying goodbye to Tim - who lived in the area.

Cabbie took the fastest route ever. A route I take to this day when coming from Williamsburg by cab. By passing Tillery and just getting you down the path that is right off my house. Scott and I parted ways and I went home to enjoy the after glow of a good effing concert. Like a good meal, my heart (and belly) was full of happiness.

Friday, March 27, 2009

There Was A Little Girl, Who Had A Little Curl, Right in the Middle of Her Forehead

Thank you Longfellow.

This is the poem that was going through my head this morning as one little curl went bouncing along, straying from the rest of my hair and presenting itself right in the middle of my forehead. I have long hair, so this was both poignant and annoying.

I have had a very interesting week. Now, if I had written this post yesterday or even Wednesday, it would probably be entitled, worst week ever or burn, world, burn. But, giving myself sometime to breathe and look over it all, I can say - it is in the top 5 worst weeks - but only because it was peppered with some really, really good things making the bad things stick out like thorns on a rose.

Guess I'm going for prose today.

So, instead of the whole description of what has happened over the week (and that was really too much information for public viewing) I'm in a creative mood so I'm just going to give you a Haiku.

The sun on my face
Everything bursts around me
Rain cools and soothes burns

OK - maybe too vague and super cheesy. Let's try this.

Friday there was a miss-step, but all in all OK
Saturday was tired, but fun and joy abounded
Sunday and Monday I was the walking dead which wasn't fun at all
Tuesday is the day I experienced hockey for the very first time
What a feeling, the ice, the fights, the fun, the game, oh wow
Then I went home and another worst fear was visited
By someone coming in and invading my home
Leaving it in shambles, disarray and loss.
Wednesday was a bit of a blur and I walked with fire in my eyes
Got an official notice that I am still mulling about
Thursday was very painful - medical tests and all
But, Friday, today, it was OK
And, I'm starting to see pink after the fall.

Yeah, definitely not my best work. Feeling creative and it being good work is not a guarantee.

So, after thinking about my behavior and my want for blood after the whole ordeal, today with my curl on my forehead, reminded me: "When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid."

As I said above, I had a lot of good things this week. My birthday party was amazing. I was overwhelmed by how many people came out and the mixture of people that were there. To those who were there and reading this, thank you, so, so much. And, to those who gave me birthday wishes and apologies that you couldn't make it - thank you so much. I am truly blessed by the presence of my friends in any way, shape or form.

But all that went out the window on Tuesday night, pretty much into this morning. I went to horridville the other day. I wanted the world to burn. The world that had given me so much, I wanted a cinder. I just had, had it. Someone coming in and robbing me and my roommate was the straw that just broke this old camel's back. These past 2 years have been hard. Roadblocks and heart ache a-go-go. And, this, just sent me over the edge.

But, my dad always said when I was horrid - "Did anyone say it was going to fair? Did anyone say it was going to fun? Bad things happen, for no other reason than they just do."

My roommate said this will make us stronger. I really hope so. I mean, I'm still here. I'm still standing. I'm still moving on. I guess that is a start.

Also got this as an I-Ching for today. Enjoy.

39: Temporary Obstacles
General Meaning: Have temporary obstacles been blocking your way? In the course of trying to reach a goal or to fulfill a personal ambition, obstructions inevitably present themselves. This is not always a bad thing. Obstacles, difficulties and even setbacks that are eventually overcome often turn into assets. Without irritating grains of sand, oysters would never make pearls.

The obstacles pointed to here are not permanent, yet they are in the way. As when a large boulder falls in the road, the best course of action is usually to go around it, rather than to try to move it out of the way. Temporary obstacles must be seen for what they are — temporary — and should not be allowed to take on too much significance.

A positive aspect of even the most difficult obstacle is that it may cause a person to turn inward, and gain greater depth and character. While the ignorant bemoan their fate and seek to blame their problems on others, the wise seek the cause of the problem within themselves. Through this type of introspection, obstacles become a means for personal growth and self-discovery.

Without air resistance, no plane would ever fly.

If you are facing temporary obstacles, try not to be overly concerned. Obstacles are a part of achieving every goal and furthering every undertaking. Setbacks and reverses can affect morale, but keeping up your self-confidence in the face of challenges is part of a successful solution to many of life's problems. Obstacles of short duration are best handled with a yielding attitude. Go around the rock, don't put your shoulder to it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Just 5 more minutes......

It could be exhaustion. It could be that spring is officially started, but not here yet. Whatever it is, I am exhausted and tired and want to sleep all the time.

I went to sleep last night at 10:30pm - very early for me - and slept through my alarm and woke up late at 7:30am. At work, I stare at my computer screen for moments on end feeling my eyelids shutting with no motivation to continue work. Then, CRASH, my eyes shut. The next thing I realize is the jerking of myself back to the conscience land. And, noticing that the clock is 5 minutes ahead from where it was when I crashed. During the whole run of Soul Samurai, this did not happen. Yeah, I was T-I-R-E-D, but I maintained.

I also think it might have to do with the beginning of Spring. And, the fact that Ms. Spring has been hitting the snooze alarm herself. It's in the 30's and it snowed this morning. But, it is sunny, so maybe Spring is a little tired too and wanting another few more minutes of sleep.

Of course, the world keeps turning and going and none of us are getting any younger.

Except for the few nightly things I did this week, I really just sat around and did nothing. Watched a lot of TV, got some naps in and re-made my indent on the couch. Oh that lovely couch, how I have missed you. However, in the back of my brain was the alarm going off of all the things I should be doing: cleaning my room (I did tidy for about an hour the other day), cleaning the house, organizing all my files that I haven't organized for 2 years, purchase or make a book shelf for all my stuff that is still in boxes-like books that I want to read, fix my Itunes, make an appointment for the Genius bar to look at my MAC and my Iphone - they aren't communicating that well, clean up my email boxes, go through my mail, working out more, doing yoga more, picking back up my guitar, go to a drum circle with my djembe, look into getting new headshots, working on a plethora of things for Nosedive.

Wow, that's a big list I just made. I am sure there is more, but wow.

I am, well, And, again, my 2 year old tantrum child is wanting to stomp her feet and say - I don't wanna do anything. I also have a lot of events planned next week in the evening. It just doesn't seem to stop. Once I am done with one opportunity, even more pop up.

I do remind myself from time to time, that this is a good problem to have.

I could just have my TV, my couch and nothing else. Sometimes I wonder if I would be happy with just that. Coming home, relaxing, going to bed. And, of course, it sounds really, really nice, but I also know eventually I would get bored. I find myself, while watching movies, getting up and puddering around the house, working on a project, etc. Making food - which will defeat my goal of getting back into shape if I am not careful. I am a pretty good cook after all.

And, as much as I would like to be retired at times, I'm not. And, Spring, neither are you.

So, I'm going to hit the snooze for a couple of more days with our good friend Spring. Don't worry. We'll wake up soon.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Last Day of 2x Job - I Regret Nothing!

When this downed economy hit, I was in a bit of a pickle. I had gotten to the place where I couldn't pay all my bills and actually live. For those of you who know me, besides plays, movies and the random night out, I was pretty much a hermit when I was not doing a show. Only to venture out to get a little sunlight- however, I was worried that they would start charging for that too. I got a little more cash for the holidays, got some gifts for a few, but that was my extent of really buying outside of what I could afford. And, the credit card thing - yikes! All my interest rates went up, minimums went up and I started to listen to those commercials about being in debt trouble like they were preaching the gospel. What's that phone number again? Gosh, I wonder how much they charge for this service after I get through all the free stuff?

I needed a second job. I knew raises at my job may not be a possibility. Or I needed to claim bankruptcy. (I do sound like one of those commercials don't I?)

At the beginning of January, I decided it was time to take my backstage talent and put it to work - literally - it needed to make me some extra money. I decided that I would start doing this kind of work on and off during the year. Take a show for a few weeks, get paid, take a break, repeat. And, if it looked like I could do this two job craziness, then I would look for a more permanent theater job and just go for it.

I got a call from the lovely Mrs. Abby of Vampire Cowboys about working on "Soul Samurai". Well, perfect! Not only do I not have to go hunting for a job, one lands in my lap.

In a later blog I'll go into more details of my new found skills in Wardrobe and Hair, but not today my dear readers.

I take the job. I know Vampire Cowboys, I've met quite a bit of Ma-Yi and I know the cast pretty much. It's a no brainer. You take that job with that many pluses.

When I started to put all the show dates into my calendar, I began to realize, I have two days off, technically, two nights off. Once the show started, I realized those two days would equal to one night of laundry and one night for any major fixing on costumes. So, seven days a week for 4 weeks. Still, I told myself I could do this.

Now, it is the last day where I come to the day job, go to the night job, then go do laundry. My assessment.

Yes, I made it. I didn't die. I didn't mess up too much at either job. I made it thus far. Is this something I can continue to do? Yes, only if I never wanted to see anyone I know outside of the particular show I am working on and if I wanted to possibly go crazy.

I sleep through my alarm now. I mean, really sleep through my alarm. I never did that. When I was going to AMDA, having to get up at 6am, go to 8 hours of classes involving a lot of physical endurance, then to the night job, then home by 1am to repeat again - I did not sleep through my alarm. Now, I wake up at my first alarm at 6:50, then open my eyes again to see it 7:50.

If I went out and stayed out late once during the week, I was exhausted for days. This was unfortunate for things like, our benefit, the opening night party, seeing Watchmen at midnight, our Burlesque benefit. You get the picture.

I really don't know what day it is or what I am doing 1/2 of the time. It takes a lot of concentration during the day to do things. I have to write things down even more and remember to write things down. This also reminds me that I am smoking more. Smoking seems to be the only time that I take to focus and go over everything. I don't think I could sit down and mediate right now. I'd be too restless.

Exercise has been a luxury. No yoga in the morning. I've gotten to the gym a couple of times a week-three times in the week if I am lucky. I run up and downstairs all night, so that is exercise, but my knees are paying for it. I do sit ups backstage during one of the longer scenes.

I am completely out of touch with everything going on in our world. I got to hear quite a bit about the octuplets, the market go up, the market go down, (repeat), the stimulus package and stem cell research. If anything else has happened, please let me know.

Good things - I have lost weight. That was a goal I have been working on. About 7 pounds and counting. I have learned new skills or enhanced ones I already have. Got to work and laugh and have fun with a great cast and crew. Be a part of an amazing, successful show.

Will I be doing this again anytime soon? To this extent? No.

I believe I am "getting to old for this shit." I am looking forward to going back to rehearsing and then tech week and then 3 to 4 performances a week. Will I still be in crazy land during those productions, doing a hundred things at once and/or running around like a crazy lady trying to get ready? Probably. But, I know I can handle a few performances a week. This was really a challenge.

I have no regrets. Only lessons learned.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Celebration of Memories

Today would be my father's 67th birthday. I searched last night for some more pictures of my dad on my computer and realized that a lot of them are actually still on Scott's computer and in hard, developed picture format. Being almost midnight and needing to go to sleep, I found a picture (and a couple of movie clips) that brought back a great memory.

This is my dad's hand. That, of course, is a baby turtle. This was one of the last times my dad and I had some real one on one face time together and it developed into a beautiful memory for me.

I guess this was May or August, I was visiting my parents in Carlsbad, NM and my dad and I were on the back porch one morning, drinking coffee, my dad sitting down, me standing, looking out into the back yard, rambling on about something, when a baby turtle came meandering onto the porch. My dad, being the biologist and lover of nature he was, sat up and slowly leaned over in his seat to get a better look at the little guy. I, living in a land of concrete and missing nature, slowly backed away, then ran into the house to get the camera. I came back outside and there was my dad, looking over the little fellow, like a protector or probably to the turtle, a large tree branch. I took some pictures and then turned on the video camera. I filmed the little guy walking along the porch. You can here the birds cooing in the background, you can almost feel the air. I made 2 short videos. My father, of course, said nothing, but just sat there listening to me babble for the camera like I was on some nature show (but due to the adorableness of it all, my voice was up an octave). After the turtle began to take off back into the grass of our backyard, my dad got up from his chair and calmly walked over, bent down, and picked him up. I could tell my dad didn't want this moment to be over and wanted the baby turtle to stick around a bit longer. He then, in his dad way, explained to me the markings on the turtle, and how there were still some soft places cause he was so young - which is something my dad had done before with other turtles. Then, said, "Here, now take a picture, you can really see him much better." And the result is the above picture.

This memory also reminded me of the time I learned from my dad that some lizards' tails come off for protection from predators. When, I was about 4 or 5, my dad and I collected the lizards that ran around our apartment complex. My dad always told me not to grab them by the tail. So, one day I asked - why daddy? My dad took me outside to the tank where we kept the lizards, picked one up, then grabbed it by it's tail only. The tail detached and the lizard ran away free. I, of course, screamed, like...well... a little girl. My dad showed me the still wriggling tail in his fingers and told that it was just the tail and the lizard was fine. I, being the sick little monkey back then that I am now, thought that was pretty cool and then he began to chase me, both of us laughing, around the house with this detached lizard tail and also got my mom involved, by chasing her around with the tail. Of which she would laugh and yell - "Ron, now, quit it. Throw that thing away." Once the tail stopped moving of it's own fruition, my dad took it outside and tossed it. A few days later, I was with my dad and a lizard came crawling up. It had a little stub of a a tail. My dad showed me and said - "See, this lizard lost his tail and it's growing back. He's just fine."

And, my dad, yet again, is right.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Random not so deep Thoughts

Yes, this show has taken over my life. Wednesday through Sunday with two nights of washing and patching = 7 days a week folks. So, my blogging has definitely slowed down considerably, as has my blog reading (sorry guys). Heck, this drivel below took me all day to write in the few spare moments I had. Enjoy my silliness!

Random Thought One:
One of the most painful sounds in the world is a baby screaming/crying on a train when you know that cry is for pain. Not because they are grumpy, not because they aren't getting their way, not because they are stuck in their stroller, but because they are in physical pain. I was reminded of my ear aches I used to get as a child. Screaming for hours. The second saddest sight, is that of two parents on a train with the screaming, in pain baby trying so hard to be calm and get the baby to be calm when there is just unadulterated fear in their eyes. There is a first saddest sight, but that's not in this posting.

Random Thought Two:
This one actually goes with a dialog set up.

A boy, about 7, a girl, about 4 and their father(?), were walking down the street yesterday. The boy picked up a large ice chunk and began to shave down the sides some and making it into a shape.

He then starting asking the other two - "Who wants to see Pikachu smashed?"
The girl responded, "I want pizza."
Boy: Who wants to see Pikachu smashed?
Girl: I want pizza.
Boy: WHO wants to SEE Pi..KA..chu SMASHED?
Girl: I want pizza.
(This repeated a few more times.)
Then the boy asked the girl - "Do YOU want to see Pikachu get smaaa-shed?"
The girl responded, "I want pizza."
Boy: Pikachu!
Girl: Pizza!
Boy: Pikachu!
Again, this went back and forth until you heard the ice shatter and the girl let out a yell and the boy laugh and say, "I smashed Pikachu!"
Girl: Are we going to have pizza now?

Many thoughts ran through my mind.
One - Pizza and Pikachu do kind of sound the same.
Two - How many conversations with adults do I have that are examples of the above exchange?
Three - I didn't know that a seven year old would know about Pikachu. Who knew?

Random Thought Three:
Do I really want to keep my Iphone? The answer of course from my now devil owned soul cries YES! But, how much of this is a hassle? I find myself forgetting what I was just in the middle of doing because I had a sudden thought of my Iphone and is it safe, do I have it on me, where is it, etc. Did I just buy the equivalent of a baby? I am constantly wondering if the phone is OK and forgetting my tasks at hand. It's a thought.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random Thoughts, Plugs, Etc.

So tonight is another wonderful night of Soul Samurai! Tonight is a little more special for me because the Nosedive crew will be in full effect. We are having a small get together afterwards as our benefit "season" starts off. So, if you happen to be coming tonight and did not get a chance to buy the awesome Nosedive ticket - you can still stick around for the afterparty with your favorite little monkeys and some of the cast and crew of the show...for a marginal cost. (You can get your Soul Samurai tickets here.)

Also speaking of Nosedive and benefit season, we have a very tasty treat - especially for the boys in the house (holler!), Nosedive's Disturbing Burlesque on March 11th at Under St. Mark's, around 10pmish. Hosted by one of the greatest and disturbing minds I know, Bastard Keith. Should be two hoots (did you get the joke?) and a whole lot of holler!

So, random thoughts......hmmmmmm.

I'm on my loose 10lbs kick right now. I have lost 5 so far. I find that I work a lot more efficiently on smaller meals and that has been my only choice seeing I go from the "joe job" to the theatre to home to bed (or sewing/laundry) every night pretty much. But, with the show, more frequent eating, but smaller meals, I'm finally getting rid of that extra 10lbs I put on last year. Ahhhhh. Oh, I could really use a burger though...mmmmm.

When I do get downtime, I tend to do a lot of thinking. It's like my brain wakes up while my body stays still. Been doing a lot of that.

I was having a wonderful meal (great Mexican food) by myself when I overheard 2 people talking the about theatre, and this big shot and that, and this audition and this show and how this person is awful to work with, etc. And, then thought to myself, 'gosh, do we sound that insipid when we talk shop?'

I've had 2 minor family/friend health issues: both are doing fine now. I was so releaved to hear of such life threatening things happening and both making it out of the woods. I definitely needed that. However, a woman I met a couple of years ago lost her battle with cancer. I think this is that section of my life where people I knew, etc. getting sick, dying, out of the woods, terminally ill. Then I thought - and this is kind of shocking seeing as I always comment on how old I am - this can't be, I'm too young.

I have been telling myself the day job, the "9 to 5" is just a day job. I can do this. It's just a job. I've put in my calendar "Put in 2 weeks", for January 2011, if I am still at this job. I know, it's far off, but at least it is light at the end of the tunnel. I can do this for 2 more years if I have to.

Alright kittens....back to your life.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Until that Coban....

The Wrestler, directed by, Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel and brilliant acting by Mickey Rourke. I have to say - as of right now, this could be my favorite movie of all time. Let me explain.

I just got out of the movie and I am having that swirly-whirly of ideas and relations and I was pretty much closed lipped after it was over. I couldn't even explain my thoughts on this. Except brilliance.

Let's take a journey shall we.

I'm an 80's girl. I'm an 80's rocker girl. I grew up in a small town, so a lot of my nights were spent on the "drag" with my friends in our cars listening to Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Metallica, Guns N Roses. You get the picture. I didn't drink until I was in college so metal went well with my sugar rushes from the 48oz Tallsup - equivalent to a Big Gulp if you will.

Also, being a small town girl, with not a lot going on and my parents owning 2 TV's, I watched a LOT of TV. But, one of my favorite things was coming home after going to church at FUMC and watching wrestling for hours. This changed to skateboarding when I got older, but I digress.

I loved wrestling.

Now, my folks didn't like wrestling, so I regret to inform you I don't have any of the cool posters or action figures from that time period. Nor, did I ever get to a live wrestling match. But, when my school did have a girls wrestling program, I wanted to join. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of girls and wrestling and that most of the time jello or mud was involved in the sport done by females. And, I was only one of 2 people that came to the tryouts. I talked a friend of mine into coming along. However, at this point, I didn't know that wrestling as a sport and wrestling that I saw on the TV were 2 different things.

Hold on there - WWE (or WWF in my day) is a sport. Yes, it is, I mean only to distinguish the only way I know how.

I watched the matches, I watched the cartoon show (with Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper was the bad guy - remember that?). But, the day it ended for me was the day that Andre the Giant went over to the dark side or in the biz "turned heel" and joined forces with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and challenged Hulk Hogan. Andre was the gentle giant and I knew it was for ratings and for a bout with Andre and Hogan. I felt like the whole thing sold out. Of course I saw the bout, but it all broke my heart.

I haven't really followed wrestling since. I hear bits and pieces of what is going on and am embarrassed when I do hang out with fans, cause most of the time I can only come up with the old names from the old days.

Last week, on a whim, I watched Requiem for a Dream. What a horrifying movie about addiction. And, how brilliantly pulled off by Darren Aronofsky. He is gifted at having you feel the character. He has a way of mixing reality and the dream world or the fantasy to where you aren't really sure which is which anymore.

Now, the movie. (Spoiler Alert! Stop Reading.)

Just hearing that opening song, seeing the posters, knowing that we are 20 years from that time, but that time is being played out to the last note. It's a struggle to holding on to the only thing you know. Then watching a struggle to not go back to the only thing you know and try to move forward with your life, your next chapter - what you should be doing. Marisa Tomei telling Mickey Rourke, well you had a heart attack, you should contact your daughter, that's what you are supposed to do when these things happen. Mickey Rourke going through his pictures of wrestlers, places he has been, to find a grade school picture of his daughter with multiple phone numbers written on the back and crossed out as a new one was added on.

The Wrestler. That's what he was and when he was able to be that person, he was at his most content. After the first bout in the beginning of the movie when he goes home to find his trailer all locked up cause he's missed rent again. After being tossed around like that, all I could think of was a shower or a bath, some Tiger Balm and some hot tea. He can't have that. What does he do? Goes to his van, where he has a pillow and blanket, takes some pain pills and has a beer while looking at his pictures as a younger wrestler on the side of the van. To me, it just spoke passion.

Also, Darren once again is able to get this overall feel of the audience peaking in on this person's life. It definitely had a feel of a biography, without the narration. You were walking along this person's life. The back story was not given to you on a silver platter either. You knew by observing what this man has gone through and who he is. One of my favorite places was where the walk through the supermarket's back sections mirrored the walk to the wrestling ring. And, how sad and awful it was - his new reality.

The Wrestler - Randy 'the Ram' Robinson, Mickey Rourke, is someone I would like to know. Charasmatic, fun, charming, sweet, a big teddy bear, but also someone that would make my skin crawl and I wouldn't be able to place why. Mickey Rourke plays this character beautifully, wonderfully, like on the ropes of the ring itself. It is so good to have him really come back and with such an amazing performance.

I feel like I want to talk more about this, but I'm getting tired and I really just needed to say what a beautiful movie this is. Ahhh, bliss.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Completion is an Ever-Going Process

Alright, I missed a week, but I am staying with my posting stuff from last year - here is two that I put into one:

Just when you thought you were finished....

This is what I feel like most of my life. And, maybe this is just my inner child that grinds against the, well grind. I ever so often want to stomp my feet and clinch my fists in a tantrum of "why". Why isn't everything finished? I work so hard and fell like I have gone no where.

It really feels like the evil demon raising it's head. I finish something off, then POW, there's another piece to the puzzle. Like cleaning. You get done with the kitchen - it's spotless - and now the bathroom needs cleaning.

But, there is also the phrase - don't rest on your laurels. Where again my inner child wants to stick it's tongue out and go PPPfffftttt. Why not? I worked hard for those laurels. Time to sit down and enjoy them. Ah, the trophy. The shining moments in our life that we re-tell the story of over and over again - I was somebody that day. I have come to find out that some of trophy stories - my accomplishments - have come to be a bit dusty.

I got 2 I-Ching readings last year regarding Completion - shown below.

The daunting thought of nothing being complete. I guess it is also something that has to do with adulthood. When I was a child, once I finished the coloring book, it was done, I couldn't color in it anymore. But being an adult is much more complicated. Even when, depending on what your beliefs are, death occurs it is but another journey. I try to think of the "oblivion" as my final resting place and I can't. And, this is either because it is not, or as a human being, I can't comprehend this because everything is constant.

I've been trying to tell myself I am done with things. They are complete. Resting on my completion of such. But....I'm not. And, the resting has only caused more frustration than the actual doing. Then, I go into the head spin of when? And, when do I get to have my down time?

So, is there anything that is complete? I guess, when you finish a job or a show, that is complete, but more than likely, aren't you going to have another one? And, isn't that new endeavor going to have flavors of the one you completed?

This is where my inner child sits down, cross legged and lets out a heavy sigh.

OK, fine, I agree that everything I do in this life will never find completion, yet I should keep striving like I am. That works. Now, to just get that behemoth of a to do list in order. And, have peace with the fact that it will never be truly complete.

64: Nearing Completion
General Meaning: The situation is incomplete, but the chaos of the past is slowly giving way to order, and the goal is in sight. Nevertheless, you are still treading on thin ice - the way ahead is unobstructed, the goal is clear, but a cautious and careful attitude is still essential, lest you slip and fall.

Nearing Completion is the last hexagram of the I Ching. It suggests that the ever-spinning wheel of life never reaches an absolute conclusion. Just as a hidden sadness resides in the heart of true euphoria, just as the seeds of great achievement often sprout first in a caldron of adversity, so too no end is ever really complete without a new beginning stirring inside it. Though we divide life into categories in order to understand and master it, experience itself is seamless. With this reading, the 64-spoked, the timeless wheel of change is ready to spin onward, ever evolving, ever staying the same.

The situation represented by this reading can be compared to that of taking a lengthy trek over a high mountain. At some point before reaching the peak, you can see in detail exactly how much farther you must travel. You will have a good idea what it will take to reach the top, because of the climbing experience you've accumulated thus far. However, when you do reach the peak, which has been in sight for quite a long period of sustained effort, you will have done only that. You will have reached the top - achieving your initial goal - but now you must still descend the other side. This last critical segment is what remains before completion.

You may have little information and no experience of what it's like descending the other side of the mountain. All your attention may have been focused on the route up. The coming situation may seem very strange to you, unlike anything that you have experienced before. For the back side of the mountain is where all of the true mysteries reside. Proceed carefully, cautiously, alertly - and you will reach your goal.

63: Completion
It is a fine irony that after completion of a project or great enterprise, there is still much left to do. Completion is merely a pause in the cycle of creation and decay, a momentary stillpoint for the swinging pendulum of life. Though completion does imply a period of restful pause - one which usually has been well-earned - it is not an actual end, but rather a uniquely harmonious flat spot in the constancy of change and movement.

The image of After Completion is that of a kettle of water boiling over a fire. When the forces are balanced, the water boils properly; but if the pot is too full, it may boil over and put out the fire; or, if the fire is too hot, it may evaporate all the water. In the equilibrium which follows the completion of an arduous task, the current forces must be watched carefully to assure that a proper balance is maintained.

After Completion is also the time for fine tuning, for refinements and embellishments of what has already been accomplished.

Even if we enjoy a rewarding situation at the moment, the laws of the natural world dictate that influence and success must eventually decline. Don't let current good fortunes prompt careless or relaxed attitudes. Whatever is successful or already established needs to be carefully tended and maintained, without trying to expand it. What is incomplete should be finished, and brought to fruition without delay.

Take satisfaction upon completion, but do not dwell on it. To do so brings a kind of completion to your own influence and capability.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What to Blog About?

I actually have nothing to blog about, but am trying to keep up with my once a week postings.

So, maybe, I can say, I am very excited about the new Battlestar coming on tonight. Yay!

And, I hope to have some pictures up soon from Christmas.

And, I am really, really addicted to Facebook now. Oh my gosh. It's like crack. Or what I envision crack must be. So many people to talk to. So little free time at work. Oh, I'm just going to go on for a little while (20 minutes passes) - ah, darn it!

So, yes, I don't have a lot going on right now. And, it really feels great. I hope to be blogging more about other stuff, but right now I am just enjoying the down time.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Random Conversation Regarding the Upcoming Snow

Co-Worker: So, are you prepared for the 2 to 3 inches we are getting.

Me: Oh yeah. I live near the park, so I'm going to hopefully have time to go make a snowman tomorrow.

Co-Worker: Ah. So I see you are one that is looking forward to this weather.

Me: Well, I don't own a car, I don't have a driveway. I rent, so most of the time, someone else clears my stoop. And, I don't have much money, so this seems like a good time for free entertainment.

Co-Worker: Well, yes driving in it is going to be very hard.

Me: My plans got canceled for this weekend. No driving around in the snow for me. Have a good rest of your day.

There are times when I am grateful of my college life style and that I have not reached the adulthood of owning a house, a car and having to do weather related chores. I still get to enjoy snow.