November 21, 2005


Some things that are funny to me right now:

1. Repeating the last thing you said, or some variation thereof. "I won't accept that as an answer, Edward. I won't accept that." Also effective if a faux condescending or inspirational voice is used. "Maybe Christmas will come early this year. (Then more meaningfully) Maybe it will ..."
2. Words that sound dirty but aren't such as: climmit, conch, vondruke, titmouse, etc.
3. Right now, doing something for a really long time to where it gets awkward and then funny again is very hot.
4. Talking in a very deep self important voice.
5. Making poetic referrences to weather as a person: "Lady Winter has let loose with her chill breath. It escapes her mouth with the force of one hundred icy angels glistening the nape of my neck and making it sheen like Walden Pond on December 28th." Can also be done in conjunction with number 4 for extra points and laughs.
6. When you burn somebody the normal instinct is to say "Burn" or "Zing," I know. But, it's even better when you say something that doesn't make sense like "Glangin" or "Baazowee!"
7. Jovially discussing your "serious" problems or those of your own children is high comedy. "I'm grateful that Hugh has some sort of stunted development and can't crawl yet. It's perfect for the holidays! This may the first year in many that we haven't worried about babies pulling ornaments off trees or ripping open presents. After the New Year we will take him to a specialist." (As said by C. Clark)
8. Really loud whispering.
9. Blaming terrorism or general malaise on animals. (See Stephen Colbert and bears or my own treatise on snake terrorism.)

Follow these rules and you will be the life of any party or ho-down.

November 4, 2005


Sometimes ... my cell phone says I'm roaming ...


October 28, 2005

My Fall Mix

I thought I'd post a track list that is basically an Autumn soundtrack for me. Many of the songs are new-ish but many are also just ones that put me in the mood and gears me up for seasonal depression. For me, they are all great songs.

"Halloween" matt pond PA (Several Arrows Later)
"Sovay" Andrew Bird (Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs)
"Streamside" The Album Leaf (In a Safe Place)
"Une Annee Sans Lumiere" The Arcade Fire (Funeral)
"The Fox In The Snow" Belle & Sebastian (If You're Feeling Sinister)
"Grass" Animal Collective (Feels)
"The Greatest," Cat Power (The Greatest)
"Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" Wolf Parade (Apologies to the Queen Mary)
"In The Yard, Behind The Chruch" Eels (blinking lights and other revelations)
"An Owl with Knees" The Books (Lost and Safe)
"Swimmers" Broken Social Scene (Broken Social Scene)
"Your Light Is Spent" Final Fantasy (Has A Good Home)
"Now We Know" Jeff Hanson (Jeff Hanson)
"Let It Rain" Tilly and the Wall (Wild Like Children)
"The Earthquake of '73" Fruit Bats (Spelled In Bones)
"Polly" Keren Ann (Not Going Anywhere)
"Just Like The Rain" Richard Hawley (Coles Corner)
"In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" Neutral Milk Hotel (In The Aeroplane Over The Sea)
"Everything is Alright " Four Tet (Pause)
"Yardwork in November" Actual Tigers (Gravelled and Green)

20 songs that easily fit on a writeable CD. Hmm.

August 29, 2005

My New Favorite Show

"Slings and Arrows," a Canadian show first done in 2003, has recently been playing on the Sundance Channel. And I love it. Not just because I love theatre but because it has all the stuff a good TV show should have: humor, drama, great characters, quoteable dialogue, flashbacks and delicious conflicts. Two of the cast members I knew right away. Mark McKinney of "Kids in the Hall", SNL and "The Saddest Music in the World" and Rachel McAdams of "Mean Girls," "The Notebook" and, now in theaters, "Red Eye." But everyone in the cast is spectacular. I recommend seeing if you can rent this on DVD from Netflix or somewhere right away. I don't want to be the only one I know that watches it. It's too good.

SLINGS AND ARROWS is based in the fictional town of New Burbage where legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the Artistic Directorship after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles.

August 12, 2005

Hears That Music Entry

Here is the music post I promised. But first, a disclaimer:

I don't care if you like what I like. I don't care if you heard one of these bands live way back before anyone else or if your group of friends with ironic t-shirts listened to them years ago and don't think they're cool anymore. I don't even care if you just plain think the band sucks. And the reason for this is that music is too important on a personal level for me to care what anyone else thinks about what I enjoy.

My recent philosophy is that if you find a band (no matter how you go about it) and end up loving that band's song or CD or whatever then that is perfectly cool. Who cares if it has recently fallen out of the hipster library or if it's 5, 20, 37 or 61 years old? If the tune speaks to you, it speaks to you. So screw everyone else.

Having said all that, here is a list of my recent favorite songs. Maybe there is something here that can put a smile on your face:

1. "Chicago," Sufjan Stevens (Illinois) - My current favorite song. The album this is off of is brilliant. I've listened to it at least 20 times since I bought it. My iTunes says I've listened to this song 38 times since the beginning of July.

2. "Over And Over Again (Lost And Found)," Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Self-titled) - I couldn't decide between this song or "Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood" from the same CD. If anyone decides to reasearch any of these, I'd say this one is a bit more accessible at first. The whole CD is addictive.

3. "Heartbeat," Annie (Anniemal) - You may think I'm kidding but I'm not. This album is really good and nice to workout to. It's not stupid pop or overly pushy or grating like some other blonde girl musicians.

4. "Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games," Of Montreal (The Sunlandic Twins) - Wonderful and crazy. Like if Polyphonic Spree, Flaming Lips, and the 70s had a really awesome musical baby.

5. "Get Off," The Dandy Warhols (Tales From Urban Bohemia) - An "older" song but I've been listening to it and loving it lately. Then it just popped up on this show I've been watching on BBC America called "Teachers." Very gratifying when that happens.

6. "Fortress," Pinback (Summer In Abaddon) - Just a good, simple and melodic tune.

7. "Song For Nico," The Warlocks (Rise and Fall) - I saw these guys live before I really appreciated their music. I wish I could go back in time.

8. "Happyment," Komeda (What Makes It Go?) - Pure joy in the form of a song. Starts with whistling and gets better and better.

9. "Ohio," Damien Jurado (On My Way To Absence) - For those who just love harmonica and guitar. He has maybe one of the best voices in "folk" music today.

10. "Living Room," Tegan and Sara (If It Was You) - I saw and loved their video for this song on an MTV2 show called Subterranean a few years ago and then forgot about them. It's a set of twin sisters and they sound like a more lively punked out version of The Indigo Girls. To me.

11. "Legs of Bees," Fruit Bats (Spelled In Bones) - You should see them live if possible. Their last two CDs have been very quiet and dreamy and well-balanced with plain good songs. Check out "Earthquake of '73" as well.

12. "How 'Bout I Love You More?" Mull Historical Society (This Is Hope) - Just a great, great, happy, fun, great song.

13. "Fire Fire," M.I.A. (Arular) - She is hott and her songs just do something to me. Not just party music if you listen closely. (I also listen as loud as I can possibly stand it.)

14. "The Way That He Sings," My Morning Jacket (At Dawn) - On the "favorite song" list in my head since I first heard it a few years back. Never leaves my rotation. The album cover I have shown is from their last CD called "It Sill Moves." That one has one of my favorite songs of all time on it called "Golden." But I've given it a rest lately. You shouldn't.

15. "Here Comes Your Man," Pixies (Doolittle) - Same with this one. GOSH it's so damn good. I don't care if it's "their most popular" song or any of that crap.

16. "Sunset Soon Forgotten," Iron and Wine (Our Endless Numbered Days) - Makes me think of a perfect June night. Like I should be taking an evening walk by a river with a girl and ice cream for some reason.

17. "17 Years," Ratatat (Self-titled) - Sounds distinctly German to me. But it isn't. Go figure. This one is here for those who just want a song that has loads of loud harmonizing guitars and synths. No vocals here.

18. "War On Sound," Moonbabies (War On Sound) - Apparently I'm drawn to Scandanavian bands. I stumbled across this song purely by accident and am forever glad I did.

19. "I Summon You," Spoon (Gimmie Fiction) - If this song doesn't make you want to bob your head or tap your feet then you are dead inside.

20. "Micro Melodies," The Album Leaf (The Red Tour EP) - Builds and builds and builds. I keep finding new things in it each time I hear it.

August 1, 2005

Wall of Name

This is a featured post that you will need to check back on from time to time. In my line of work, I get to see many names that make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Here, for you to peruse, are some of my favorites with comments when I feel like it.

Fun/Funny names:

Deloris Muffitch - Quite a crabby lady. Har.
Rusty Boring - I'd love it if he was the life of the party.
Mamie Mellerson - Rolls off the tongue. Sounds like something you'd put on toast or use in a theatre warm up exercise. Wait, is this the same person who made some marvelous marmalade? She really exists.
Janice McMannus - A name that rhymes.
Penny Miracle - Born in the Depression?
Gary Smellie - Yum.
Aaron Dumm - He even spelled his las name wrong.
Debbie Heimann - I guess, technically, it had to be named after someone. Like Suzanne Vagina. Or Testicle Anderson.
Jit N. Bangchang - "Sometimes I jit and think about life, and sometimes I just jit n. bangchang."
Oral Packer - No comment.

July 27, 2005

See How They Bleed

The play I've been rehearsing for just opened last weekend. It's called "See How They Run" and it's a British farce that takes place in the late 40s (and was written in the late 40s). It's wacky and silly and there are vicars.

The process of opening the show has been difficult. It was an abbreviated rehearsal process that somehow was made shorter due to various director and cast member conflicts. Also, it took me weeks to heal completely from the previously mentioned motorcycle accident so I was gimpily rehearsing as it was. Then there were cast members who refused to learn their lines and were still learning them on opening night. I am happy we're up and running (no pun intended) now because the process was dreadful. But I love the cast and crew. Despite the hardships (expected or self-inflicted) we have all enjoyed working together. I know many of them from either Comedy Sportz (Jake Suazo, Jeff Blake, Curt and Tonia Doussett, Hailey Smith) or previous plays (Jake, Hailey and Stephanie Grey). So that's been the best thing about it. Showing up and hanging with my friends. I've made new friends too. And, for once, no enemies. Nothing like how during "Midsummer..." the mechanicals all took me out back, stripped me down, put me in a loin cloth and made me fight a rabid St. Bernard, placing bets on who'd survive. Ryan Simmons lost a lot of money, I heard. Long story short: we're open, we're all friends and we're glad rehearsal is over. But ... we had an accident the first Saturday night.

There is a part where I have to assist a woman who's fainted and I'm dragging her around the room with me. I'm supposed to get to a point on the floor, yell, then release her, allowing her to crumple to the floor. Well, I missed my mark and the actress (who had kept her eyes closed the whole time) went to fall to the floor. On the way down, the back of her head met table. She stayed down until the lights went out 10 seconds later for intermission and then jumped up and ran to the dressing room bleeding down the back of her head and neck.

Shock and worry filled backstage and everyone was in a frantic mode of panic and concern. When I found out what had happened I had to hold back emotion. The producers came back and we all took turns trying to comfort her. Which was probably really annoying. We put pressure on the wound and a cold compress on her neck in an attempt to stop the bleeding. One thing I've since learned is that if you tell a person someone hit their head and it started bleeding, that person will say "Oh yeah, head injuries bleed a lot" 100% of the time.

We stopped the bleeding and then mopped the blood out of her hair the best we could. Then the producers handed me this Liquid Band-Aid stuff and I poured a bunch in there to help keep it from reopening. Technology is amazing, really. It's like medicinal super-glue. Then April (the actress whose head bled a lot) does something even more cool than technological Band-Aids. She tells everyone she is going on with the show. Here was this actor nursing a concussion and head injury telling us that she'd go on. They put her in a similar shirt that wasn't blood soaked and she finished the show. What a trouper. I had to fight the urge to cry and throw up the rest of the night (as did she, I'm sure, for different reasons). I just felt awful that we were put in a position on stage where that could happen to her. We definately should have had a stage combat advisor there to teach us how to drop/fall safely and we should have run it more than once a night during rehearsals.

She went to the doctor to get checked out the next day and they said the cut was going to be fine. They told her she had a slight concussion and to take it easy for a bit. April and I have since vowed to practice our staging of that moment every night before the show opens and I think her husband taught her some safe stage-fainting techniques. Hopefully we have our bases covered and nothing like this ever happens again.

Lesson: women will be injured if they trust me.