Monday, November 27, 2006

If it wasn't for proscatination... (and coffee)

So I am sorry for being so delinquent in posting, but I have been up to my eyeballs in Christmas Cheer and my work has been kicking the living shit out of me lately.

I am, as some of my frequent readers may know, applying to go back to school. Which has been a source of some angst and anxiety for me over the last couple of months. I have gone to the school, done my due diligence (my former profession would be so entirely proud of me) and made my decision. I have filled out my application and submitted it, along with my application fee. I have sent away for all my transcripts and they have been received. I have however, not been granted admission. And I found out today that the reason is because of an essay, a personal essay to be exact, that I thought (through some misinterpretation) to be optional for people transferring in with over 60 hours of course work completed. Alas, it is not optional and I am, instead of completing the essay, looking on iTunes for Christmas Carols. That is when I stumbled upon something glorious: AN AIMEE MANN CHRISTMAS ALBUM.

Now for another revelation about me. I love chick singers, love them. If I was on a desert island and had only 5 singers to listen to, one of them would be a female bad ass rocking band. I am not sure if it would be Siouxsie and the Banshees, or Concrete Blonde or Aimee Mann. But you can bet your ass one of my faves will always include a girl rocker. I don't know why it is, maybe something about the disharmony between the melody of a female voice and a driving guitar and a drum. But for whatever reason, if a band has a dominate woman singing I am in a camp that says the band is automatically 10 times better.

Now having said all that, I own TWO Aimee Mann songs and it feels like a travesty. She is just one of those people whom you hear on the radio and say wow that is awesome I need to get more of that, I always forget how awesome she is. And then you go to the bathroom, or eat a piece of good pepperoni pizza, or buy a snapple from a korean bodega and the thought disappears as you root around in your pocket for the 2 cents you need to keep you from getting 98 cents in change. (Tom Waits is another one that is exactly like that for me.)

Anyway I don't know where I was going with (see it is rooting around for the 2 cents thing again). Tomorrow off to work for two shows of Christmas Carol. Up to my eyeballs in Christmas Cheer.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"This bus doesn't stop on a dime..."

This was the quote the busdriver of the #42 via Hope St. inbound gave me at approximately 11:12 pm tonight.

But let me back up.

My day started as usual, I woke up. Great start to an otherwise pretty average day. I had to go to work today and it was the sixth day in a row -- I go in on Sunday as well then I am off on Monday and Tuesday. Things at my job are going splendidly some minor computer problems today but nothing that couldn't be overcome.

But I work in a theater. Not a movie theater like Loew's or National Amusement, a play house. I will never for the life of me understand why people show up at 2:00 for a 2:00 show. NEVER! First of all let start off by saying that I one of the guys whose grandfather said, "If you are five minutes early you are on-time, if you are on-time you are late." And I have had dates where I was going to pick up girls for the first time and so I gave myself PLENTY OF TIME to get there and get lost and get found. One time I went to pick a girl up and was one hour early, so I went around the block, parked my car near a park and got out and read for an hour or so, then drove around and went and picked her bup, but I am digressing. The point is that for me, if an event starts at a certain time, get there early. What is the worst that happens, they tell you hang out for forty minutes? But if you cut it too close and then you get caught in something like traffic... well what can I say, if a show starts at two it starts at two.

Anyway, the show went off without a hitch and everybody was pretty happy, a good time was had by all then I came home.

Had a great fish fry-up, then went to a party. A friend of mine turned 25 and it brought back a flood of memories about turning 25. On my 25th birthday I went to a German restaurant on Manhattan's upper east-side and drank 5 litres (it was a German place) of Dunkelweissen. I was obscenely intoxicated and the rest of the night is sort of a blur from there, I remember falling, leaning back on a bar while someone poured sour mix in my mouth, putting a cigar in my mouth THE WRONG END FIRST, having said cigar taken away from me, and then spending the part of an hour and a half looking for my step-brother (who had passed out between parked cars on 94th street. Good times. But the truth is I am pretty bummed out about it. I think I felt melancholy about the whole affair and so I wanted to get trashed, but I don't remember. But those days are behind me now and so I try and act like a grown up more these days.

But, after I had left my friends party and was trying to catch the bus to get home I had this funny thing happen. See in Providence the bus drivers don't necessarily stop if you are standing at a bus stop. I know it sounds funny, but there are a lot of overlap lines and to some extent the drivers rely on you to wave them down if you expect to be picked up, which I did, from about 500 yards or so on in for the driver. He was racing as he approached me and stopped about 50 feet past me. Honestly I thought I was walking home this guy went by me so fast. So I get on the bus and the driver says, "I saw you waving, but these busses don't stop on a dime." And inside I thought, but can they stop on 50,704 dimes (give or take) lined up end to end?

When I got off the bus at my stop I swung in to the starbucks and picked up a medium sized (no. I will not say the G. word) Egg-nog latte. Funny to me that I will not say Granday, but I have no compunction about ordering and egg-nog latte. Anyway there is this caddy young guy that works there and he is seriously one of the slowest people I have seen work. I mean he is horrible, a line of people and the barista was freaking out because he was taking enough time between customers for her to make a drink and send it on its merry way.

Now tomorrow I am sort of at a loss at what to do with my early day, I am thinking about checking out the first act of a play called Rudigore. It is free to see and I don't know if I should my luck too much about getting to work but it would be fun to see anyway.

So tonight I was listening to Stars.
Set yourself on fire is one of those great from start to finish kind of albums.

Blog o'the day:
Goes to this guy, chraussi&koalakowski, for two reasons:

1.) It reminded me of how much German I remember. I had no trouble reading about this guys travels.
2.) Seriously Germans and Japanese keep the tourism business afloat.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


A couple of years ago I saw these really cute glasses at Restoration Hardware (or some other such store). They were juice glasses and they had a line in them and above the line it said Optimisto and below the line it said Pessimisto. Adorable. Whatever.

So today, at work, I was kvetching about something, I don't remember quite what it was but I have a feeling it had to do with some scheduling thing coming up and I just couldn't get out of my negativity. I think at one point I said, once the show gets started it is going to fly by but until then we have to muddle through the gunk (or some other stronger word). At that point my co-worker says, "See, I am just a glass half-full kind of girl."

To which I pithily replied, "Yes, yes glass half-full. But when you have a glass full of piss does it really matter?" The office was uproarious with laughter, "good one." HA HA HA.

But it threw my whole day into a bit of a tailspin, because at that point I was in a half-a-glass-of-piss kind of mood. So then this woman came in, one that I am conceivably going to have to be doing some work with in the spring and we were talking about her job and somehow the phrase, "Well I do Chekhov much differently than T. does." Which I heard as, "YOU SUCK!" It was pretty weird.

So my resolution for tomorrow is be in a better mood.

One last kind of note-ish, my computer is starting to slow down uncontrollably and I think that if Apple keeps upgrading iTunes at its current pace, they will slowly force me to buy a new computer. Woe is me.

I don't really have anything to add right now, except that I just saw that iTunes has a big banner ad on their splash page that says that shitball John Travolta movie Phenomenon was just added. WHY? It wasn't that freaking good when it came out 12 years ago, do we really need a digital copy of it? Why can't iTunes get John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China? I would buy that.

Tomorrow = positive.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The end is upon us...

It is a good thing they are so good at rugby.

Because they are going to suck at English. This is really sad. For a lot of reasons. Reasons that are too numerous for a blog.

There are no mistakes, just happy accidents...

Thank you Bob Ross.

I have noticed recently that when my life goes in a direction that I am not really expecting - missed busses, detours down streets that I haven't been down, that sort of thing - if I keep my eyes and ears open I see some pretty wonderful (or heinous) things.

Tonight I missed a bus, or the schedule wasn't published well and we missed each other, and I was forced to take a cab so that I could catch a performance. My cab driver was awesome because he sang while he drove. I bet a lot of you are saying so what. But here is the thing, he was singing a love song, and not to ham it up, but because he just liked singing it. In his heavily accented english there is something really endearing about a man singing love songs to the radio under his breath.

Last night over dinner. Two people over dinner, funny conversation. It started out with the guy talking about music theory and miming trombone slide position, then they were talking about American cinema and they used a phrase that has been ringing in my head all day long - but that I am blanking on while I type - something like cultural demystification. I wish I could remember I will have to get back to you, but the thing that was funny was that the girl half of the party looked like she had been set up on the worst blind date ever and the guy looked like he was drowning.

Today, I saw the coolest stroller (I do not have kids, but I would consider adopting so that I could get this stroller). On second thought, since I now know that it is a $1000 stroller, I might consider not having kids, and seeing if they make one in my size. But my point was that it is Swedish and it is amazing. The Swedes (and the Skandanavians in general) really have some innovative design stuff going on these days. Whether it is a Volvo, this stroller or the entire contents of Ikea, there is either something in the water up there or they are putting all that time spent in doors in the winter to good use.

The neat thing about this is that if one thing had changed, one light, or a change of appetite I would have missed any of them. I just feel lucky today.

One other thing...

The elections have come and gone and I found this little quiz thanks to Crista. This is really funny because I was the founder of the Young Republicans at my high school. So my question to them is: What changed?

Your Vote Score: 41% Republican, 59% Democrat

You are truly an independent voter, and you don't fit well with either party.
Maybe you should choose one issue to vote on - or look into third parties!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The show must go on... And on... and on...

Alright, my good friend Amy Guth is now long gone from Providence and I have to say it was great to see her again. I mean really really great. She is just a blast to hang out with and if you get a chance to see one of her readings, I can only recommend it -- you get to throw paper at her for crying out loud.

Holy moly was this weekend was really a theater filled weekend for me?

Thursday, was the reading and I had a work commitment to fill and so I was in to the reading almost late and left a little early. Everything went to plan and after a little work for me we met up at the Taqueria Pacifica. During dinner there was a show going on at the cafe called Songs in the key of hip hop. I can't tell if it was an open mic kind of thing, or if it was a planned event, but it was interesting to see. After dinner in the key of hip hop (what does that even mean by the way?) we continued over to Improv Jones, and saw another great show, I picked up my "frequent joneser card" and when I got home I was... A happy man.

Friday, we picked up tickets to see a production of Twelth Night which was put on the Brown/Trinity Consortium and I personally really liked it. I get a little overwhelmed when people get gimmicky with Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet as a gritty urban street drama, Hamlet as a tale of Corporate takeover, it just gets a little overwhelming for me. But this was pretty well done, it was sort of a swing dancy thing, and they used it mostly as a way to signify scene and act changes, since the stage was budget and used without any props moving about. But here is what got me in the performance... well let me stop a second, what amazes me with actors is their abililty to adapt to a situation that isn't going quite right like someone jumping ahead three lines and the others just keep going, and if they are good you would never know. Sometimes, and this is one of those times, the shit hits fan and all hell breaks loose. There is a scene in Twelth Night (Read it here) where Toby Belch is reading a note that is meant to be a challenge to the main character, Viola, from a loutish sort of character, Sir Andrew. In this particular performance everything that involved this letter went poorly. The letter tore into three pieces so the actor playing Toby was left holding a piece of paper roughly the size of a toilet paper square that was supposed to contain a letter of challenge. Then one of the props, in this case a whaling harpoon, almost took out an actress. Here is the amazing part, when everything was said and done, they didn't miss a beat. They just kept going. It was a really great performance all the way around. But that sealed it for me.

Today, I went to see a youth production put on by ACT. It was a fun production of The Tempest which had been edited down a bit - most of the kids in the company are under17. But it is something that my wife has been involved with, off and on, for twenty years and it is a good program to support. Here is what was amazing about this one. There was a kid there that gave me the distinct impression I am going to be saying, "I saw that guy when he was 17 in children's theater." He was that good.

Anyway, that is about it for my weekend. I have found myself listening to one band a lot these days they are a band called "The Guillemots". Really great stuff, I don't know what to say about them except that they seem to have me figured out and know what I like:

Guillemots Blog
Guillemots website

On the reading front, I am narrowing down some of my books, for the time being I have given on my Eco book, it is getting too cumbersome, but I have been reading a book called The Nautical Chart By Arturo Perez-Reverte. It is thus far a page turner, but not in a ram it down your throat kind of way, and I found out that this guy wrote a book that was turned into a movie I didn't like. But not because the story was bad, but because apparently they had to pare it way down, so I am excited to get to read the book.

Blog O' The day!
Today's winner is RandomThingsToSay.
Actually it seems really dubious to say today's winner is... because I just don't update it as much as I want to and to be totally honest with I don't know that I can, but this one is a real gem. Here's why:

1.) I am a big fan of honesty. And this is honest. It sort of makes my heart bleed a little bit, but Crista seems really honest and I can appreciate that, plus I can really relate to some of the things she quick hits.

2.) I found it on the first click of the next blog button, FIRST CLICK! Do you know how many Spanish bands, Singaporian teenagers and angst riddent 12 year olds I have to sift through to get one, just one, blog of the day that I am excited about and this one, BAM on the first try.

3.) I think I like the way you feel like you get to know Crista on her blog, and personally I am pulling for her in her Christmas job.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Well there it is of course... I already knew it.

This weekend in preparation for my friend Amy coming into town I was moving some furniture around and wouldn't you know it. I just about ripped my big toe nail off on my right foot. Normally when this happens I scream holy murder obscenities. But not so much this time. Don't get me wrong I was still making most of the Providence Seaport a little rosy in the cheeks, but I threw in a couple more of the Holy baby Christian Jesus and the mother of Sweet Hell that hurt, and left out a couple of the C. U. Next Tuesday's. I am not proud that I still have a mouth like the bastard child of a sailor and a trucker; but... it is progress.

So my favorite used bookstore in Providence, Cellar Stories, was having their big 40% off the whole store sale this weekend and I made out like a bandito. I picked up:

  • McTeague, Frank Norris
  • The Song of Roland, Anonymous
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
  • The Dead, James Joyce
  • The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe Running Press, Publisher
  • Flannery O'Connor: The Complete Stories Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Publisher
  • Blindness Jose Saramago
  • Warriner's High School Handbook Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, Inc., Publisher

  • So let me explain. The version of A Portrait... that I got was really this really neat hardcover illustrated edition. The version of The Dead that I picked up is this great case study, so what happens is they take a short story, in this case The Dead, and they put the complete story in the book. Then, they put in five critical essays that explain the texts from five unique points of view. It is very cool. And the last one that I need to explain the High School Handbook, which is actually a grammar book. Because, I have a horrible confession to make and that is that I hated grammar in high school, did the absolute bare minimum to graduate and I have regretted it ever since. So I am basically retaking my high school grammar class, which is embarrassing. The crux of the situation is that most of the stuff I will probably know, probably from osmosis. But I don't know why I know it, so I am going to work through this book and hopefully, when everything is said and done, I will know my grammar a whole lot better than I do now.

    Last but not least, I am for some inexplainable reason fascinated by Eastern Europe. (Actually if you are a regular reader you will know that it all stems from Dracula and vampire mythology.) So I was delighted to finish reading this book called Budapest by Chico Buarque. I give it two gigantic thumbs up. I don't want to get into it too much, because the thought of doing book reviews still disgusts me. But it is basically about a man who is a ghost writer and how he falls in love with, becomes obsessed with and masters the Magyar language. Magyar is an interesting language to have as a subject because it is one of those languages that is slowly dying, spoken by fewer and fewer people because of globalisation and the influence of cold war politics, blah blah blah. But any way if you like language and writing, I would recommend this book, quick read but not lacking in substance. Really neat story.

    And that about wraps it up.

    I would love to tell you what I was listening too when I was typing this up, but the truth is I was listening to Nicky, my wife, wrapping up some old clothing storage bags we had for the trash. You can't dance to it, but I like the rhythm.

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Big week coming up... Big WEEK!

    I am very excited about this week coming up. I have a lot of work to do but this might, just might be the week were I finally get all caught up. But, it might also be the week when I get my ass completely kicked, tough to say on a Saturday night.

    But anyway, one of my very best friends, and the person I know now that I will be able to say I knew when, is coming to town this week for her book reading. Her space is located to the right, Big Mouth Indeed Strike's Again, and it is going to be wonderful to see her. The last time I saw Amy was for my friend Adam's Birthday party and on our way back from NY we totaled our car. But this time, we don't have a car, so something will be different. But I am excited for the book reading, it should be great fun, it is at my favorite book store in Providence, a place called Symposium Books. If you are a Providence Local you should come down and check it out.

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    They call it a tag, but it looks like a poll...

    When I was in elementary school I remember this one day in particular, it was a hot one and it was either very near the beginning of the year or very near the end of the year. I was walking on this playground feature that was a curvy piece of concrete with a wall that tapered off and was slighty 's' shaped, it had steps at one end and the other end... well it just sort of stopped. It was a wall, but a squiggly wall and it was where all of the odd ducks sat at recess or after school or before school. I was an odd duck on this particular day. I remember I was wearing a red and black striped Pierre Cardin shirt and I remember I was listening to Huey Lewis and the News' album Sport on my walkman. The song in particular was If this is it and I was thinking about this girl named Cara Phelan, who had recently broken my heart. (Actually it is in
    the best interest of full disclosure to admit that Cara had no way of knowing she broke my heart, but I was a sensitive lad of 9 and I was convinced that Cara had broken it so I was being melodramatic.) I was wondering around the playground and all of the sudden, I got walloped. I had been mistaken for one of the people playing a game of tag. I just remember being really confused, because this kid had seemingly hit me really hard and I didn't understand why. So I started crying and ran up to the top of the playground (it was sort of built on a hill) to nurse my broken heart and now my wounded pride.

    I recently got to relive this experience when I received an email that said I had been "tagged". I was very excited because I was aware of the game, but alas it all came flooding back to me and now I have to do this poll. Drats. Why are these things circulating around blogs now?

    Well best get on with it. Special thanks to Nicky over at A Skirmish of Wit.

    1) One book that changed your life: James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl. This was the first book that I ever read for a book report in it's entirety, I read it one day.

    2) One book that you’d read more than once: The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov. I don't tend to reread too many books but this one I definitely did.

    3) One book you’d want on a deserted island: This is a really tough one, because I am inclined to say Shakespeare's complete works, but I think I would want something with a lot of really great imagery so that I could escape the Island. So I am going to go with Chekhov's complete short stories.

    4) One book that made you laugh: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams. I don't know, I tend to laugh at everything (I got caught recently laughing to a Chekhov play) so this is sort of arbitrary for me, I could have put down anything by Nick Hornby.

    5) One book that made you cry: Books don't make me weepy but I think I am going to have to go with Indoor/Outdoor, Kenny Finkle. This was a play that just hit home for me, I don't know why but it did. I hate to piggy back on Nicky's answer but it was a good one.

    6) One book you wish you’d written: Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. Here is the thing, along with "Call me Ishmael." This has one of the most memorable openings ever. If you utter it people think you are smart, or at least well read.

    7) One book you wish had never been written: I don't know that I can think of one, there have been plenty of books I haven't liked, but I can't think of one upon which I would have said, "This book deserves to be unwritten." Maybe The Davinci Code, Dan Brown. But, only because the people that read it want to talk about it ad nauseum, but I found it entertaining so I am stuck because I don't know that I wish it had been unwritten.

    8) One book you’re currently reading: Budapest, Chico Buarque.

    9) One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Bible, G-d. Look, a lot of shit is going down because of this book and others a lot like it and I just don't feel very up on it right now.

    10) Tag people: I just don't have that many admitted readers so... I am going to tag no one. (But mostly because I am the last person I know to fill this one out.) Ohhh wait... Actually I will tag... Ummm Anna and Hippieange. Sorry guys.