Sunday, May 25, 2008


I decided to come home for my long Memorial Day weekend. I avoided I-95 and got here in a little over 7 hours, no traffic, beautiful skies, Jim Dale reading the misadventures of three wizard people over the car stereo.

I arrived home to find the house updated and beautiful--a room that I had painted back in February is now furnished in a funky post-modernist style, my bedding has been replaced to complement my room's hip brown and blue color scheme, Teddy is easily larger and heavier than Boots ever got (all lean--he caught a rabbit yesterday for me. what a sweet (horrifying) welcome home gift.), and all the neighborhood foliage is lush and deeply verdant, hardened and ready for a southern summer.

Yes, home--the land of mimosas on the back porch while the last of the morning dew turns to steam. The place where high school and college memories are encapsulated and stored as plaques and boxes of photographs. A house of gin, sushi, sofas, and...carpeting! the floor is soft! The effing Floor is Soft. CRAZY.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


today I whacked my head a good one down in the fo'c'sl, whereby I earned a fun little goose-egg right on my hairline. It already hatched into a throbbing headache and died down, but man, i hadn't clocked myself like that in a while--literally knocked myself down.

This was after waking up this morning without the ability to speak. My voice came out as a pinched, scratchy, bubbly whine that rarely peaked above a whisper and was a source of some amusement for my crew and students. I am currently enjoying a lovely throaty-coaty tea, donated to the cause by my friendly co-worker (who's been battling the same microscopic invader for some time now.) Mmm. Tea.

In short, today was a bit rough on the ol' upper body, but the kids were excellent and our helpful intern did my speaking for me, so things worked out okay. And though I have had "Nice Weather For Ducks" running through my head since i whacked it, I don't think I'm concussed.

Now please excuse me while I give this pink elephant directions to Candyland.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

musing fruit basket

So I finally saw Passing Strange this weekend, and dare I say--It was awesome before, and it has improved by leaps and bounds. And the cast, who were pretty before, have become even more attractive and fit. Leave it to Broadway to make men into Supermen.

In order to see PS, however, I had to go to New York. I took the Chinatown bus, an interesting venture by day. A nightmare in the dark. Imagine getting out of the cab to join an angry, shouting mob, inches from violence--half on the curb, half staging a sit-in on a nonmoving bus, about a third speaking English. The group had been waiting for hours for the 7:30 bus, which had never arrived. Another bus from another company had driven in and they all boarded, only to be told to get off, which they refused to do until their proper bus arrived. I believe the company had screwed something up or had simply decided to not run service out of the city that night, and they probably would have ignored the mob outside, but when they boarded the vehicle their hands were suddenly tied, so they got someone. A very sleepy someone who spent a disquieting amount of time drifting into the noise-ridges on the side of I-95. Terror gave over to exhaustion, however, and I napped fitfully until we actually arrived where we were supposed to in Baltimore. I hope the folks riding through to DC made it home okay.

I don't like New York. It is not a fun, or pretty, or pleasant-smelling place. It is an angry, noisy, competitive, paranoid, expensive, congested, compacted, compartmentalized place. It is a land of lunatics in the streets, excrement, shouting, insults, hassling, ugly buildings, and ugly shoes. It is a place where children board subway cars with boxes of candy and impart the same sob story to passengers as bums to make a buck because some idiot thought it would be a good idea to give children candy instead of drugs, not realizing they're contributing to the same problem. "With a good story and a winning smile, I can annoy people in public places into giving me money! Wow, these schmucks are a gold mine!" (Please buy candy from me--as long as I'm selling candy I'm not selling drugs. When I run out of candy I'll come back with drugs.) It is a place of romance in the streets. Damn happy people kissing other happy effing people on the effing sidewalk why don't they have the effing decency to be lonely and dejected like the rest of us...

It's just odd--New Yorkers are so used to their entire lives being on display, living crammed together like pickles in a barrel, that they're completely comfortable doing all of those private-moment things--making out, picking their noses, talking to themselves, pissing--in plain view of their neighbors. While there is nothing wrong with these actions, I think I would have a hard time adopting their comfort in doing them in public. Especially pissing in the streets. The city smells bad enough already. I remember being yelled at for kissing by a fountain not too long ago (and not even told to get a room. We were told to break it up. By a cop. This was in college, folks. I'd understand if i was like, 12.) Folks in the south find public displays of affection--anything more than a warm greeting--astonishing and offensive. (the same people who came up with abstinence-only sex education. Do the expect anyone to abstain? Of course not. But it's the closest they could come to not mentioning those things in polite conversation.) Ah, cultural diversity is not restricted to national immigration.

It rained today. It was cold and wet. The children, by virtue of this weather, were also cold and wet. It was not fun. There are few things less fun than trying to get fourth graders interested in phytoplankton when they are freezing, soaked, and hungry. I think being punched in the face is less fun, but may be more gratifying. I don't envy today's children--or their poor teachers, who had so much invested in the trip only to have it ruined by cruel fate--but I hope they can appreciate that we tried.

That said, I also didn't like today's children. They were a pack of spoiled self-righteous imbeciles who refused to pay attention--even when tapped on the shoulder--and their asinine conversations actually got Louder when the education staff spoke. I tried three times to politely get a pair of boys to stop chatting and interrupting my oyster station and they just looked at me like I was a mild annoyance and went back to their conversation. Until I manually separated them. When they made a huge mess at lunch nobody bothered to try and clean anything up, even when their teachers shouted at the slobs by name and dragged them physically to the mess site. They didn't even look guilty or try to sneak out of it--they just looked at me like it was my fucking job to clean up after them. We had to work very hard to get their nasty chicken and potato chips off the deck. Parents! Teach your children to respect other people's boats! DONT CLEAN UP AFTER THEM!! Once they've reached age 3 they should have a basic comprehension of their responsibility for their own cleanliness. Don't clean Timmy's room. Make Him clean it. If your kid makes a mess, make Her clean it up. Don't feel bad for Sarah because she spilled milk and then cried about it--eventually she'll learn that if she cries, you'll do the work. There is nothing more useless to society than a bad parent.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

spicy thai food causes sudden head colds

Passing Strange has been nominated for 7 Tony awards!!! HOLLA!

I would just like to thank all the little people who got me where I am today...on a sailboat in the Chesapeake...Still, as a member of the crew who built the first Passing Strange set, I somehow feel that it's okay to be proud of the show. My show. PS was the first show I built from scratch at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in the fall of '06 (the set for our first show of the season, Mother Courage, had been built in La Jolla as part of our co-production arrangement. we installed it but I didn't really take ownership of it. That and it was Mother Courage. I mean, c'mon, Brecht? Eurgh.)


Sadly it does not look like it's been nominated for best most awesomest scenery the show no longer uses. Unless they do still use some of it. I doubt it heavily but it is possible. Maybe parts of the light wall? Or the curtain dropper rig? I worked on those things. I know the light wall has changed into something that splits and flies out, which is cool, but not what I built. Sooo... I doubt it. But it was our scenery when it was at the Public, so I can feel good about that, at least.

Congratulations, Passing Strange. If you win, I'm gonna pretend I won too.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Crossword Clues, or Why I Like Meeting Famous People

So my sister and her boyfriend are kind-of the awesomest people ever. He's one of the lighting guys for Eddie Izzard's new tour, Stripped, and by virtue of it coming to DC, I got a free ticket. In the light booth (for those out of the know, the light board operator must be able to see everything that happens on stage, so the booth is typically the best seats in the house.). And backstage passes. Mr. Izzard is a very pleasant and friendly man, if exhausted after making several thousand people laugh until they rupture blood vessels for two hours. I'll never think of badgers or dinosaurs the same way again.

This makes seven people that I've met who I've seen in crossword puzzles. "Ruehl," "Alec," and "Alda" are pretty standard; "Ballard," "Scheider," and "Linden" are slightly more ambitious; "Izzard" is just the crossword puzzle designer showing off. Not bad for a grunt, I think.

In checking the spelling of Roy Scheider's name a moment ago I discovered he passed away in February. I was a bit surprised and saddened. How did I miss that?