Tuesday, November 30, 2004

So Marah's directing this play. It's called The Dreamer Examines His Pillow by John Patrick Shanley. For film, he wrote Moonstruck and -- let's be honest -- more importantly, Joe Versus the Volcano. (Unfortunately, there are no remote islands of savages who survive on orange soda in Dreamer, but you should go anyway). For theatre, he's written a zillion plays and won a kazillion awards.

Anyhoot, the show starts this week. It's a dramedy. So be ready to laugh through your tears, party through your pain, etc. Beyond Marah's excitement for the script, I don't know much about the show except that it's 3 acts and under 90 minutes. I did see a chunk of rehearsal that got me hooked. And also, the acting, especially by the guy who plays the crotchedy dad, is great.

The flyer...

The Dreamer Examines his Pillow
December 3rd - 5th, and 10th - 12th
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8pm
$5 donation
The Plymouth Theatre
4359 Melrose Ave. between Edgemont and Heliotrope

The theatre's near Cha Cha Cha. And there's certainly no rule against having a little sangria buzz when you come to the show. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Warning, this first part be nasty...
The Spectacle of the Deer came to its inevitable end: guts. Sunday afternoon we came home to find a bloody carcus in place of the more, er, full-bodied animal. It just dangled there, as casual as reading the paper in your pajamas... if you read the paper in your pajamas while covered in blood and sinew. The skin, head still attached, lay in a pile beneath it. "So that's how fur coats are made," was my first thought. Then, more inexplicably, "Sam The Butcher, how could you?!". I don't remember the last time I saw an episode of The Brady Bunch, but Sam popped in my head holding a bloody cleaver and cracking wise to Alice.

This part's cruelty to animals-free, but it does get sorta cheesy
Latter part of the trip home played out like the beginning. Saw Ray and loved it, even if the story felt a little choppy. Went to my brother's for bologna sandwiches. Went to my sister's and got to see some sweet pictures. As part of the generosity of the Make A Wish Foundation, my 10 year-old niece got to come to California (all expenses paid) and have a line in a movie. She's in a scene with Scarlett Johanssen, and they have all these pictures of her with Ewan McGregor and various people on the set. All of this in addition to making $750 and receiving SAG memebership. Of course, that's nothing compared to having her make up and hair done by a "movie lady".

In the Making My Mom Proud category, I went to Church hung over on Sunday. Saturday night my brother and sister-in-law stayed up playing pool, drinking, and ranting about the war. Then it was 3:30.

This was the most relaxing vacation with the rents in a long time. Everything around the house was just more... comfortable. I've never said much of my feelings for religion, politics, movies, people, etc., to my parents because I know how they feel about those things, and conflict isn't something my family deals well with. So this trip home I guess I forgot the Agreeable Silence Rule and ranted a little. Like, when my dad was talking about how great he thought Paycheck was, and I told him it was a piece of shit. Kinda awkward for both of us. At first, he didn't really know what to do, and I felt guilty (to make up for it, I watched another of his recent favorites, Van Helsing, and held my tongue, which was no easy feat). But then we ended up making fun of each other, and it was all good. That set the tone. I made some jokes about Catholocism to my mom, she mocked the music I like (I'm not so sure that's a fair trade-off, but at least now stuff's out in the open).

And then I sat next to this guy's double on the flight home.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!
My parents' kitchen window looks out into their neighbor's backyard. Right there while you're, say, pouring milk in your cereal is a dead deer strung up from a tree. It looks like it's being choked. I might be upset if it wasn't so obviously dead. Today they wrapped it in a bag. Not like a garbage bag, more like a sack. I wonder how long they'll keep it up. Ah, hunting season in Wisconsin.

It's Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, every one! I've gained fifty pounds in beer and homemade cookies alone. And no amount of pool playing or TV watching will burn it off. My brother suggested the Hollywood Diet, but I'm more of a Jarrod/Clay Henry fan myself.

When I told my grandmother over the phone that I'm writing cartoons, she opened up the paper and read me yesterday's "Family Circus". She explained the punchline three times.

On the agenda tomorrow: more food, relatives, driving. Vacation kicks ass, I gotta say.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Retail: Satan's Melody
There's something sinister about how the act of consuming taps a dark impulse in people. I've seen folks who seem rational and coherent melt into self-righteous lunatics, if their needs aren't being met.

I worked at a movie theatre one summer. That shit was CHEAP. Dollar admission, second-run movies, tears in the screens. And in my two-month tenure, I saw some chilling displays. Once, an elderly man tried to pick a fight with me because he had to wait too long in line. Another time, an innocent Soccer Mom started yelling at the ceiling because the popcorn machine was broken.

But then there's the people who use retail as a showcase for Crazy. In front of an audience of begrudging employees and customers who try not to make eye contact,
they perform their agit-prop one-person show. (Sometimes these people are called The Homeless). Tenpercent once told me about this woman who started overturning furniture and kicking aimlessly in the RobMay Customer Service line. I believe it was on Christmas eve, which I'm sure is maddening in a department store, but it sounded like long lines were the least of her problems.

Marah's store, a small boutiquey shop in Silverlake that sells a lot of Ben Sherman, seems to attract Crazies in droves. The other day, a middle-aged man asked her if she knew the musical Porgie and Bess. Before she could finish, "It sounds familiar", the guy belted out,

A redheaded woman make a choo choo jump its track,
A redheaded woman make it jump right back!

He might not have been crazy so much as a tourist (the Guidebook to LA tucked under his arm tipped her off). But there have been other cameos by curious people, like Trucker Hat, a lonely 30something (with a trucker hat) who tried to awkwardly kiss Marah, before being ushered out of the store. Craft Lady, a sometimes homeless woman who comes in to chat and pawn a variety of nicknacks (I think the latest was Jesus-themed Christmas ornaments). And lately, Keychain Guy. 40ish. He sits down and monologues mostly, and also bought her a nifty keychain while on his trip to Florida. I guess when all other outlets fail you, go shopping.

Or, to the library.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Fuckin' Porsches
We got a big ol' settlement cheque, so the firm threw a pizza 'n beer lunch today. I've come to enjoy these social outtings with co-workers (Christmas parties, the company picnic), because a.) free beer, and b.) I get to watch the attorneys agonize over the plights of extreme wealth. With a few drinks, they're free to cut loose and show their true deuschy colors. Favorite soundbite from today:

"I kept pouring oil into my car but it wouldn't registar on the stick. Turns out Porsche 911's take 12 quarts of oil! Man, can you believe it?! Shit, I'm rich!"

(Maybe that last part was made up). That same guy (who, as a side note, is an emphatic Bush supporter) later insulted his wife for bugging him when he works at home. Sweet.

The good news is, as of late, there's a light at the end of the tunnel, er, at the... side... of the tunnel. Thanks to Matt, I'm officially doing free-lance work for a cartoon. It's a Japanese import. It might be more legitimate than "Japanese import" sounds. I mean, I'm not dealing in mail-order brides or anything. My job is to take what's been translated word-for-word, and make it sound like "Friends" for kids... if "Friends" were about pirates. If nothing else, it's a good distraction from Porsche talk.

Friday, November 05, 2004

No, but seriously. Who won?!
I don't have much to say about the election that's new or different. And I'm not much of a political critic or strategerist. I would, though, like to reiterate the profound disappointment of Kerry supporters and/or those who've simply paid attention to events in the past four years and said, "whaa???". I guess if I were to put into words what I've observed among people like me this week, it might look something like this:


I have two ideas about why one would support Bush. And by the way, if anyone besides my parents could explain why s/he voted for him, I want to hear it. (My parents are smart and I love them to death, but they only vote party lines and pay attention to news that confirms their beliefs). But seriously, folks. What gives?Was it the dishonesty and ensuing catastrophe that is Iraq? Was that what charmed you? The bullying of other nations? The magical narrowing of the church and state gap? The one-two punch of fire-'n-brimstone morality, and homophobia? Or maybe you just like your administrations smug and self-righteous. Ah yes, then I could see why.

(By the by, has anyone else noticed that Donald Rumsfeld is becoming increasingly more like The Colonel, Ross Perot's running mate in the '92 election? Or specifically, like Phil Hartman's "SNL" caricature of him as a senile loon? Just me?).

But if someone could tell me why they voted for Dubya, I'd listen with open and un-sarcastic ears. Promise. I live in LA, and am mostly surrounded by like-minded people when it comes to this. I mean, it's one thing if you just like him better than Kerry, but don't necessarily think he's a great leader. I understand that kind of voting. But otherwise, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!

Until someone makes a case, I have two ideas about Bush supporters.

1. They're scared out of their fucking minds. They're so afraid that we'll be wiped out by terrorists, that they want a guy in charge who'll annihilate anyone/thing that remotely resembles a threat to our security.

2. They're sheep. They eat up what the President says 'cause he's the President, and the majority of the country supports him.

I know we're supposed to be healing and coming together as a nation, etc., etc. And I agree that that's the right thing to do. But there's four years for that. Right now I'm pissed.

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