Tuesday, April 29, 2008


so i'm watching the nightly news last night... and suddenly i'm listening to a story about collapsing bridges and streets and how our entire infrastructure is as old as senator byrd and falling about.

and i'm terrified.

all i can think about is my planned trip to baton rouge in mid-may and that looooong motherfuckin' bridge over the atchafalaya basin. i'm not kidding... i'm suddenly overcome with thoughts of that long-ass bridge collapsing under my gas-friendly toyota corolla.

don't ask me why... but my anxiety level has been through the roof lately.

and thoughts of falling into the swamp ain't helpin' matters.... i mean, i'm sure as shit not fightin' off some coon-ass alligator when the bridge collapses under me... taking me to a watery grave surrounded by inbred, banjo-picking swamp creatures!

so what? i'm supposed to lock the doors of my car while i sink... awaiting the awful death that comes along with drowning as my car slowly fills with swamp sludge? so now all i'm thinking about is death... which conjures up a whole separate realm of fear and anxiety.

and did i mention there are alligators, people!?!

so what am i supposed to do now? this is all i'm gonna think about while crossing that goddamned bridge...i promise you.

and i can't fly because those tiny bombardier planes that fly between houston and baton rouge are fucking small and lately my claustrophobia has reached new heights!

oh! and don't even get me started on my fear of heights.....

and friends want me to take a cruise but i just know we'll hit an iceberg!

"but not if we take a cruise through the carribean," they say...

"it doesn't matter - we'll hit an iceberg," i say...

and then i'm in the water... with sharks!

no.... can't do it.

fuck my anxiety is out of control....

i need help. anyone got a pill i can take?


Monday, April 28, 2008

Fumbling Through Festivals

i am not much of a festival person.

festivals are overwrought with breeders and their spawn and i find the stench of patchouli and marijuana makes my head spin.

even when i smoked a fair amount of pot... i found the whole experience more annoying than enjoyable. the festivals, that is... not the pot.

but when my friends, the eloquent sister epiphenita and her beloved barbara, invited me to attend this year's international festival, i found my libran scales teetering.

i will do almost anything to spend time with these two extraordinary women.... but a festival? images of breeders digging through their fanny packs while their sugar-hyped children beg for another funnel cake screamed "oh hell to the no" from deep inside my psyche.

my adoration for the sisters of lesbos, however, overruled my disdain for booths with gaudy jewelry and overpriced tchotchke knockoffs.

besides... this year the theme was africa. "and if we can't help africa," i thought, "why not at least celebrate it?" i'll also admit the thought of children wailing at they toured the replica field littered with the decapitated remains of the darfur slain tickled me something awful.

fucking privileged white kids... they need some reality.

also... celebrating africa gives everyone a chance to honor the beginning of our ancestral genealogy... my inner homo habilis took a bow at the thought. of course, not yet being erect he was pretty much already there. maybe he was just getting a drink from a nearby spring....?

when we stepped into the clutches of the festival, we immediately headed for the mainstage to watch the ethiopian dancers. they seemed.... happy? yes, happy. thin... but happy.

and there was a large replica of an african christian church.... a coffee ceremony. and...is this right? a tent saluting buffalo soldiers...

aren't buffalo soldiers distinctly american?

where was the horrifying photo exhibit of the nightmare in darfur? the petition to overturn the stolen election in zimbabwe....?

as hard as i looked.... no real display of the turmoil and nightmares that make up the everyday lives of africans. where was the african AIDS quilt? the discussion of cattle taking over lands needed to grow crops? the shortage of rice in the world....?

where was leo talking about blood diamonds?

i saw cheap replicas of african masks... brightly colored caftans and dashikis. i even saw a stand selling "deep fried pizza" (i shit you not).

but through the blinding smoke of roasting turkey legs and other flesh... nowhere did i see the atrocities discussed.

luckily... my fellow companions and i shared enough snarky comments throughout the afternoon so as not to become overwhelmed with the disjointed cheerfulness of the festivities.

and it was nice to tour the structures epiphenita's daughter helped construct, read up on some of the history and listen to some discussions concerning jim crow in america.

and we got to see the daughter's pirate friend... pirates! in africa! (her pirate friend was not hard to spot, by the way... he was in full regalia right next to the women who used the international festival as a reason to pull their slutty, renaissance festival garb out of mothballs for another go at it. i guess this is much like finding another occasion to wear your prom dress again... it must be thrilling when the opportunity arises.)

and i really did enjoy the afternoon.... after a couple of hours, yes, i was ready to go. but i could hang out with this group of articulate, surly and creative friends all day long... no matter when or where.

even a festival....


p.s. as we left the festival, we were fortunate enough to watch a march protesting the beijing olympics and the human rights atrocities happening every day in china. finally! some awareness!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Regressing to Band Geek

tonight my friend todd and i trotted on down to the university of houston to hear the cougar symphony and chorus perform one of my all time favorite compositions: carl orff's camina burana.

of course, much of this is based in the fact that i played the piece back in high school when i still tooted my bass clarinet and took great pride in the fact that by the time i finished the final movement, "o fortuna", my tongue was bleeding from the intensity of the symphony.

and tonight... as soon as the entire stage boomed with the opening notes of orff's masterpiece, i choked up as i was instantly transported back to my love of carmina burana.

the CD i've long listened to was damaged in one of my past moves so i have not visited the piece for quite some time and one forgets, with the years passing, that the composition is all about sex and booze.

no wonder i adore it.....

and carmina burana is inherently impressive...especially when performed with full symphony and chorus...but i give full kudos to the UH production. it was quite spectacular.

the musical aptitude of the orchestra and the beauty of the chorus is without question.

the soprano, ms. rust, was as stunning as she was talented... delivering on a full compliment of beautiful arias.

and tenor, mr. robinson, was delightfully effective as the roasting victim in "cignus ustus cantat" ("the roast swan").

of course, the performance did suffer from a limited number of usual pitfalls that accompany any amateur production....

the new love of my jewish life...the baritone, mr. goble, didn't quite have the maturity of voice to carry-out fully some of his solos. he broke at least one note and he was hard to hear over the full orchestra at times. but he has immense talent and once he has fully developed his instrument, he will be great (i have no doubt).

some crew-cutted, blond doughboy in the chorus could seem to focus on everything but the conductor and i caught him yawning no less than three times....

and there were some sour pitches by the brass section...but, really, barely noticeable.


it was a delightful treat. especially to have the english translation across the top of the stage in order to follow along. it reminds the audience of how much fun orff is having with his symphony... the text is often so humorous with its melodramatic quest of love and lust and drink.

of course...it was a bit awkward reading the translation of the angelic boys from the fort bend boys choir as they sang:

Oh! Oh! Oh!
I am bursting out all over!
I am burning all over with first love!
New, new love is what I am dying of!

i mean...these boys have not yet had their testes distend from their inner corpus... but, hey, why not?

i really was very impressed. conductor franz anton krager (who is your classic cliché of a conductor) pulled together an amazing evening and one that i will carry with me.

this is the second time i've heard carmina burana with both orchestra and chorus (the first time being the houston symphony many moons ago), and i could easily hear it again tomorrow without hesitation.

a lovely evening. lovely, lovely....

my inner band geek is sated.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Notes From All Over: Past Week Edition

before i begin this entry i'd like to preface it by saying cyclone anaya's has one of the most fabulously delicious and potent margaritas i think i've ever had.

i'm just sayin'.

and now on with the show...

friendly film festival
my very good friend jason and i started a tradition last year where we gather for a weekend and view movies that neither of us have seen. i tentatively called it the "not yet seen film festival" but i'm open to suggestions.

and finding a weekend's worth of films is no small feat considering we have viewed an obscene amount of movies between the two of us and we relish being quite picky and snobby movie buffs at that. (as an indication: i have rated 1,426 movies on netflix... and yes, i've seen them all and then some!)

the first festival last july was magnificent.... chaplin's modern times, the documentary hoop dreams and altman's the long goodbye were all spectacular. we also watched miyazaki's spirited away which was a brilliant string of enchanting images in desperate need of a plot and we discovered the rare hitchcock film that really, truly, kinda sucked (the wrong man).

we tried to keep the same categories this year... foreign, classic, altman.... and this year we began with altman's mccabe & mrs. miller. interesting film... some classic altman (a conversation between two men about one's beard instantly comes to mind). julie christie was nominated for an oscar but it's beatty's drunken, mumbling mccabe that truly makes the film.

the next morning we started with julie christie's oscar-winning turn in darling. we had heard the film hadn't held up to the test of time well but we were both charmed by the movie... christie is stellar... and there's an interesting moment during a sequence in italy where i turned to jason and said, "this is becoming oddly fellini-esque." next thing you know... men and women are dancing around, exchanging clothes and wigs, and pretending to be one another. it was all very fellini.

topsy-turvy is a mike leigh film that jason and i have wanted to see for a very long time. we both adore leigh and somehow this had made it past us for over 9 years. fabulous film... jim broadbent, as always, amazing. the staging of the numbers... the talent of the cast... so glad i found a VHS of it (yes...this treasure it not yet out on dvd).

we ended saturday with the french film caché. the premise is so fascinating... a married couple starts receiving video tapes of their apartment, apparently surveillanced for no apparent reason. haunting pictures accompany the tape and the stress of the situation brings up long-forgotten secrets and tests the marriage. the film was done by the same director of funny games, but where i understand that film fails this film really was captivating. of course, the talents of juliette binoche and daniel auteuil also greatly help.

on sunday we ended our festival with john huston's the treasure of sierra madre. jason has come lately to bogart and is hungry to see him in everything. being an über-classics buff... i've long loved bogey... and his collaborations with huston are some of my favorites. it's a great film... the madness depicted... bogey is amazing. and walter huston seems to channel an acting style of another time. i was really, very impressed with him... thrilled he won the oscar.

and yes... this is the film with the famous line: "badges. we don't got no badges." believe it or not... a fine bit of acting at that very moment.

great weekend... just what i needed. and it was so nice to see jason.

we hope to do this twice a year... next one - july!

the weekend was a much needed getaway for me... the stress from work was wearing on me and i just needed some time away from houston and everything i have to think about while living my life. (wow - that sounded dramatic.)

the movies were distracting and the conversations with jason were funny and cathartic.

jason can also sleep in over the weekend where i cannot... so i was able to sit out on the back patio each morning and relax and read and enjoy the brisk, morning air.

it was heaven on earth. for about two hours.

1 tank of gas, baby!
by the way... my gas-friendly toyota corolla made it to leander (north of austin) and back on one tank of gas. sure...the gas light went on as i drove to work the next morning... but with today's gas prices... that fuckin' rocked! (i'm suddenly straight.)

also on the drive... i listened to nothing but showtunes. (and i'm gay again...)

i revisited old favorites: damn yankees, kiss of the spider-woman, victor/victoria.

it was like coming home....

speaking of which.

coming home cookies
so i get back home and there's a package outside my door. it has the word "deer" all over it so i'm worried.

but then i also see the word "bakery." WTF? (to use the vernacular of the internet.)

i open it... the fear of deer meat still lingering in the back of my mind.

no. it's a "thank you" cookie package from a claudia in DC.

i have no clue... there's thanks for my support and hard work... four different kinds of very fancy cookies. and a return address in DC.

my first thought was: "these have probably been outside since friday... it's now sunday. can they still be good?"

but then i had to start thinking..."who could these be from?" my frist thought was hillary clinton's campaign. i've donated a lot... i volunteered a good deal. why not hillary?

it was decided it was hillary.... how very sweet of her.

the next morning i googled the address at work. wrong HRC. it was the human rights campaign. yeah... i've volunteered a lot for them lately too.

oh, by the way... my mom said put the cookies in the fridge. they should be fine. so if you want them... i'm on a diet and they're waiting for you.

the transplant didn't take
with a quick apology to my friend sister epiphenita for suddenly realizing this heading is tacky considering...

i replanted my herb garden the other weekend. the parsley was about the only thing to survive from my prior attempt but it was creeping all over the place. so i thought i'd cut it back and move it to one side (the outside) so it could climb out of the bed as it continued its quest for freedom.

it didn't make it. i'm afraid the transplant and repositioning of the roots was not warmly welcomed by the herbal gods.

rest in peace, italian parsley... the basil, rosemary, cilantro and jalapeños salute your sacrifice.

john adams
if you see me on a regular basis you probably know i've been all about the HBO miniseries john adams. paul giamatti and laura linney fucking amaze me....

mind you, i am not a patriotic person. i don't sing the national anthem (fuck...i stumble over the words) and you'll never see a yellow ribbon magnet or american flag plastered somewhere on my car...

but this series got to me.

while in school, we all learn about benjamin franklin, george washington and thomas jefferson... but adams was in it, man. i'd say adams was responsible for the founding of these united states.

he fought for independence from england when others argued against him. but he helped usher the continental congress into fighting for that freedom. he appointed washington to head the army. he assigned jefferson with the task of writing the declaration of independence. he negotiated in europe for monetary assistance during the war... and he was our first ambassador to england once we defeated them and became our own country.

and, yes... he was arrogant and hot-tempered and often blinded by his egotism. but he was also brilliant and inspiring and really helped shape the very ideas that made this country (for better or worse) into what we know as our american democracy.

it was such a fascinating history lesson... and i've always loved history but this was all so new to me. and, of course, the history of presidents plays perfectly into my politically-obsesssed mind....

but if you didn't have a chance to see this series.... when it comes out on dvd, do yourself a favor.

one of the best things i've seen on television... hands down.

so monday night i decided to attend the next in what is not even a handful of scriptwriters/houston meetings i have visited.

scriptwriters/houston are the individuals who present the 10x10 every year.

as usual...i was, on average, about 102 years younger than most everyone else in the room.

there were two readings... one which hoped to inspire us as the playwright, herself, was "inspired by angels." and one by the president that was so overpopulated with characters for a 25 minute piece the age-addled audience couldn't keep up.

i've never really attended many of these meetings so during the feedback section of the evening i simply remained quiet in the back of the room, not wanting to overstep my bounds, but silently and roundly judging them all.

i don't want to imply that i am endowed with some great amount of talent... but i pray (i pray?) that i'm better than what i witnessed monday evening.

i desperately want to find a writing group again... one that i can bounce ideas off of and gain clarity from their suggestions... and i'd love to assist their writing as best i can... an exchange of ideas...

but i'm just not sure this is the group.

election results
i'd be remiss if i didn't end with last night's election. hillary! 10 points!

a thing of beauty.

i'm still not sure how she can possibly win the election unless they find a way to count florida. and i still think the negative attacks need to stop.

but she has an argument. a legitimate argument.

and that's all i'm gonna say on that matter.

whew... on that note i guess i better spellcheck this bitch and see what the tequila had to say.

the return of grey's anatomy... tomorrow night.



Keep An Eye On....

elizabeth edwards.

howard fineman of newsweek reported last night on msnbc that everyone should keep an eye out for elizabeth edwards stumping in north carolina for.... wait for it.

hillary clinton!

yes! he said she may stump with hillary or without hillary... but she will be hitting the trail for our girl.

mrs. edwards carries a lot of weight in north carolina and she can only help.

after that ten point win last night in pennsylvania.... things are looking up.

but realistically, people, it's still a long haul.

having said all that... dare i say it...?

hillary 08!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quick Post Debate Wrap-Up

okay, so.... tonight was the 21st democratic debate. but the first debate since february.

ummmm.... not all that interesting, truth be told. nothing new to really share. so how about we make this a quick hit update?

not sure my heart is in this post tonight but i feel i must......

post debate quick hits
--in the opening statement obama used the term "frustration" twice. but not "bitter."
--hillary gave a nice statement from constitution hall noting that "neither one of us were included in those founding documents."
--really ABC? a commercial break just five minutes into the debate? why not just say "this debate brought to you by verizon wireless"? or even better... just call it the "scott's turf builder democratic debate."
--a nice opening question...once again asking why not a joint ticket? why should the loser not be the veep choice? of course...neither candidate jumped on that one.
--so glad they were standing for the debate. i hate when they sit. they should be as uncomfortable as we are watching them bullshit their way around answers.
--first direct question to obama was about the "bitter" comment.
--hillary seemed very uncomfortable throughout the first part of the debate. not really knowing where to look. her body language is usually so strong.
--when pressed on whether obama could defeat mccain hillary said, "yes. yes. yes."
--can hillary defeat mccain? answered obama: "absolutely."
--(thank buddha we have that settled. now go tell the voters!)
--i can't believe obama actually brought up hillary's 1992 "cookie" quote in defense of his bitter statement. cheap shot. so much for looking forward...
--charlie gibson actually asked the question: why did obama disinvite reverend wright from his candidacy announcement? barack gave a round-about answer.
--when asked about hill's comment that wright would not have been her pastor? "i was asked a personal question and i gave a personal answer." well done.
--there was a long, drawn out section on the reverend wright issue... hillary should have let it go when she had a chance but she decided to push the knife in just a bit deeper. i thought it seemed petty.
--it was a tough first half hour for obama.
--hillary is asked about the bosnia misstatement and her low "honesty" rating. she basically said: "i was tired. i embellished. forgive me." i.e. "i lied. sorry." not a great answer.
--i love this exchange:
obama (sounding high and mighty): i haven't spoken about bosnia.
george: but your campaign has.
obama: of course.
yeah....nice. you are truly a god among men... especially the men in your campaign.
--obama seems really rusty in his debate skills. he's reverted back to long, convoluted answers. maybe he's just really shaken?
--obama was asked about the lapel pins, william ayers... (did obama just compare senator coburn to 70's bomber ayers? i mean, yeah... coburn is a fucker for wanting abortion doctors to face the death penalty, but really? he may have just lost a friend...)
--hillary has been calmly cutting away at obama all night. chipping away slowly without anger or shrillness. she brings up points and says "this is what the GOP will bring up." listen up, super delegates!
--scratch the 30 minute comment... obama had a fucking rough first 45 minutes.
--then we got into a bunch of the same... i'll bring troops home... i won't raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 a year... obama had a nice moment on "the president sets the mission not the generals." hill scored with her "union jobs" comment. she remains so confident on foreign policy.... obama stumbled on the payroll tax question.... there was actually a question about gun control....
--does ambienCR have a guy with a lisp doing their voice over work....?
--i love how tough charlie and george are... they seem to be the first moderators who didn't let obama get away with anything. i also felt they pushed clinton just as hard.
--the media will call bias because of george's relationship to the clintons.
--i thought ABC's "obama versus clinton" voice over at each commercial break was tacky. just call it the fucking democratic debate.

quick post debate analysis analysis
i turned on msnbc and keith olbermann was already full into spin in order to help obama out.... calling the questions "tabloid" and bringing up stephanopoulos's clinton ties.... saying george only asked the william ayers question because conservative pundits told him to... poo-pooing the reverend wright questions even though this is the first debate since it happened thus making it fair game and a legitimate opportunity to ask questions.

cnn seemed a little more balanced.... wondering if hillary's negative attacks can really help or just pull her negatives down further.

chuck todd's headline for tomorrow: "rough night for obama."

i'd have to say that hillary won the debate... no slam dunk just achieved what she needed to do.

obama was hammered by everyone and just didn't hold up as well as he probably should have. he did well... but a real argument was made tonight about his vulnerability in the general. he hasn't been vetted.

hillary is better prepared... been suffering GOP attacks for 16 years. and as she said: "i have a lot of baggage that a lot of people have rummaged through." no surprises with hillary.

hmmmm..... i should be deriving more pleasure from all of this.

did i mention that i erased both the sunday morning political talk shows without even watching them....?

i'm so burned out on politics.

crazy, huh?


Don't Say the Zed-Word!

did you see the zombies making the rounds this morning during their broadcast debut?

just after sunrise it seemed every morning show introduced a trio of hollow-eyed, gingham-clad, french-twisted moms from the polygamist sect of eldorado, texas. and their mousy, drowsy speech just gave me the heebie jeebies something awful. (the feeling lasted well into my morning kashi.)

i'm not sure what's up with the little ladies of la-la-land but i swear liquid valium runs through their veins.

but there they were! blankly staring out from good morning america and today.... the undead church mice squeak-squeaking this and that about how unfair it is to take their children and how they love their children and how normal a world without google and grey's anatomy must surely be...

really...? i mean, shit! i'm freaking out just after a few months without meredith and mcdreamy so i'm not sure what the fuck they're talking about.

and if you notice they couldn't answer certain questions about how young a child can be for marrying-age and i doubt anyone copped to any good-ole fashioned corn-holin' goin' on in the chapel.

but awww.... look how innocent and pathetic and victimized all these women look... squeak-squeak...

grow a backbone, ladies!

i mean....i'll confess a confliction over the fact that 400 of your children were taken from you. and hey...i believe your fanatical rugrats have the right to whittle their own jesus-voodoo dolls and coagulate their curds of whey as much as the next little resident of cuckootown.

but you kinda lost your right as mothers when you allowed the men in your church to baptize the children with their throbbing members.

oh sure... perhaps the government could've sent dateline's chris hansen in beforehand to see if he could diffuse the situation... and maybe the all-out raid was a bit extreme...

but so is a communal bed that all the men stand around spankin' the donkey while they watch the latest boy who's balls have dropped sodomize the newest girl that's had to take carrie to the prom (yes! i found a way to get that phrase in my blog!).

i'm all for freedom of religion... or, more pointedly, freedom FROM religion.

but you ladies creep me the fuck out!

stop letting your church elders and husbands push you around and stand up for yourselves and your rugrats...

and don't forget that god is also a member of the patriarchy and you don't have to stand for his bullshit anymore. especially if that includes offering up your little one's naughty bits every time daddy starts a pantin' fit.

there might just be something a little off with your theology there, loves.

and cut your hair! i'm thinking a sassy shag....


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Maybe I'm In Estrus?

i'm not exactly sure what's been happening with me lately. i seem to consistently flip-flop between two distinct and powerful physiological states. on some occasions one leads directly into the other...almost overlapping. and both inspire very strong, uncontrollable impulses.

the first is emotional....

much too often the past couple of weeks i find myself teetering on the precipice of tears... and always at awkward and surprising times. driving home from work.... finding a moment alone in my office.

and i desperately fight them back... quickly readjusting the solid, carefully crafted, public façade squarely on my jaw. (no one dares see the man behind the curtain.)

i was reading the blog that belongs to my dear friend sister epiphenita of the truly blessed creativity and i found myself moved by her latest entries. moved to a deeper place that i dare only visit in the privacy of my one-bedroom/one-bath with hardwood floors and built-ins.

i'm not accustomed to being caught unawares by my emotions. the lack of control unsettles me and makes me question. when i start to question i become more and more discontent.

perhaps my recent forced foray into interior design has brought out the worst in my misanthropic nature and i've become overwhelmed by my contempt in humanity? or at least the queen bee....

perhaps it's simply lack of sleep...

or perhaps we need to first look at my other all-consuming mental state?

fuck me... (and forgive the gruff honesty of this following statement) but lately i've been as horny as a 16-year-old who has just discovered his father's hidden hustler stash.

point of fact: i am not one to "cruise". i don't have the wandering eye ever-present in so many of my persuasion. but i drive along the streets these days and i can't help myself but look. walking through a grocery store... or strolling down to the post office. i stare. i salivate.

the other day i drove past an evening soccer game littered with lovely latin specimens.

thank vishnu for the privacy of my one-bedroom/one-bath with hardwood floors and built-ins.

hell, i might thank god if he could get me laid!

and again i seem to have no control over these urges. my highly libidinous thoughts are beyond restraint.

but to examine both emotional states at once suggests one very plausible explanation. one that marries the two in perfect concert:

perhaps i'm in estrus...?

not to imply that i'm heaving and hopping about like some lustlorn baboon complete with a flared and bulbous red ass....

but it is spring and to be in estrus would explain my hyper-emotional state combined with the excessive need to procreate.

now...i am quite aware that i am unable to conceive. and i don't for once think two midols could help dissipate the condition.

but why not estrus...? maybe my estrogen levels are currently too high?

maybe it's all the soy?

i guess what i'm trying to say is...if you find yourself perplexed by my mood over the next week or two....fear not. i'm probably just menstruating. just a bit emotional.

or i may simply want to hump your leg.

best bet: back away slowly. don't look me directly in the eyes.

in no time at all... everything will be back to normal.

this too shall pass...

i hope.


Vehicle Envy

so queen bee looked at me all pinched today when i told her i hadn't found time to swing by and pick up the new dvd player for the clinic.

you remember... the 400-disc dvd player?

i mean... there are only quarterly reports due tomorrow. not to mention i'm being called by other people inquiring about insurance needs that she should be asking (or answering).

oh - and i was attempting to assist our maintenance man who is being pulled in a mere 153 different directions with a couple of his projects. (you think our military is stretched thin? you should see this guy's work load....)

but hey... the dvd player is truly priority one. after all, we are currently without even one dvd....much less 400.

so i zipped on over....

we bought the electronic wonder in the rice village area of houston where ms. grande prissy queen 1983 suggested we purchase it. and when i pulled into the parking lot i inched my gas-friendly toyota corolla perfectly between two black porsches.

"i'm in the wrong parking lot," i thought.

i stepped inside and approached the perfectly stunning woman they hired in order to clearly accessorize the otherwise unexceptional reception desk.

"is today porsche day?" i asked.

as i awaited the dvd player that hadn't been delivered this morning, i looked around at the flatscreens and sound systems and mega-complex, technological wonder-gadgets that sparkled and blinked and looked down at me with contempt but made my consumer-bombarded mind go "ooooooh."

and these items cost way beyond my pay-grade...

and i thought back to the two porsches taking their afternoon siestas in front of the shop and said to myself, "maybe we could have found a 400-disc dvd player cheaper some place else?"

but then i wouldn't have this wonderful sense of financial and successful inferiority shaking its finger at me from my frontal lobe.

"you'll need to drink something harder than wine tonight" it's telling me.

maybe when i go back on friday there can be some beemers in the parking lot with a swarm of aesthetically beautiful model types with perfect-10 bodies inside staring at the resurgence of my waistline...?

mmmm... my self-esteem is all a-twitter with anticipation!


Monday, April 7, 2008

More Tales From Redesign Hell

well....the chairs were delivered on friday.

they're in. all eighteen of them. they're situated. it appears they'll work fine.

and as promised, i went home friday night and i... well, i opened a cab and popped a lovely white pill. somewhere deep within my recesses i knew to open the pinot and indulge in the blue pill would be premature.

and it would have been....

i spent four hours today schlepping around houston looking at dvd players... flat screen televisions... and more goddamned carpet samples....

not to mention lunch with my boss who was "starving" so made us stop and eat. and a side trip to her bank because her CD had matured.

jesus slap-happy christ. i wanted to die.

dr. kevorkian! take me away.....!

and why spend $110 on a five-disc dvd player when surely spending over $300 on a 400-disc changer makes so much more sense for a non-profit.

and the flatscreen! fuck me! the clients... they loooooove the new look of the waiting room. but they're all asking for a fucking flatscreen now. a client today told us we needed two!

"and can i get you a mojito while i massage the bottom of your feet with my tongue?"

oh...and the waiting room. the lovely chairs turned out to be dead when i was assured they wouldn't be dead. (they're leather...for those of you who cannot discern my meaning.)

and wicker, wicker everywhere....

some tibetan welcome symbol hangs next to a tchotchke of some mandarin man's jacket which stands next to a three-paneled photograph of black stones and soothing sand.

so we have consistency now... at least.

oh! and she's installed some ginormous, fucking tiki umbrella right in the middle of the waiting room. you know... for those ever-threatening, 40% chance of rain, houston summer afternoons. plus... i'd hate for any of my clients to sunburn... in the middle of the fucking waiting room.

oh... and the lights are out. she's turned off all the overhead lighting and now all we have are some lovely ikea lamps. and it's been overcast lately so it's dark in there...

and i don't want to imply that any of my clients are slutty... but i really feel as if i need to pop my head in the waiting room every half hour for a periodic hand check. "hands! let me see your hands!"

i mean, in that darkness...? vishnu only knows where my clients' hands might wander.

and now she's trying to redecorate my office again and i'll be goddamned if she's gonna touch my shit.

i'm oddly septuagenarian about my office... "leave my battered ole recliner alone, bitch!"

but the past several weeks... trudging my way to hell and back... trying to work hard in order to ensure that everything comes together for both staff and clients... it made me realize how much i dearly miss illegal substances.

i really think i could have eased through this entire mess much better had i been coked to the gills.

oh well... the bottle of pinot still awaits... and that little blue pill keeps staring me in the face every time i visit my medicine cabinet.

but it'll happen....

and someday soon the combination of wine and prescription medication will sooth my heart into a lull and i'll dance a highland fling in my head while i slip softly into a coma... hoping to wake up in five months and find this entire redesign nightmare behind me.

until then... this chardonnay isn't bad.


Don't Ask Me Why...

i decided to submit another short play for this year's 10x10.

i realize i wasn't 100% satisfied with the past two productions and i bitch and moan about scriptwriters every year.... but i just felt i had to.

i mean... the average age of a scriptwriters member must be about 102... so it's nice to inject some youth and vulgarity into the proceedings.

and i didn't create anything new this year... it's a piece i wrote one weekend for a friend's afternoon reading. a break-up scene between a may/december relationship.

i don't find it all that interesting, actually... but i do like the dialogue.

funny thing... there are strict submission rules for the 10x10. 12-point font. 8-10 pages. scripts exceeding 10 pages will be disqualified.

well, i'll be a sonovabitch if my script wasn't 13 pages....

"the fuck am i gonna do now?" i thought. so i went to work.

i adjusted some stage directions, shortened some descriptions. moved line reading cues (such as "dryly" or "a bit louder than anticipated") to the same line as the dialogue...

and then i set to cutting lines...

as i said... what i like most about the piece is the dialogue. very terse and incomplete. my favorite kind. so how do i cut it?

well...i came to the decision that i'll make some strategic cuts... mainly cutting back on some repetition in speech that i like for rhythm. and if i'm chosen... BOOM! the original script is slipped back in for performance.

it will be under ten minutes...trust me. it's quick, short dialogue... it just takes a lot of space to write that shit.


in all honesty, i'd be a bit surprised if i'm chosen. the subject matter may not be all that interesting... and maybe it's been done before... but i think my take on it... and the dialogue... is better than most things i've seen come out of scriptwriters.

but again: in all honesty.... i'd be kinda pissed and disappointed if this group snubs their nose up at my writing.

i'm going for 3 outta 3 here.

in the end...i think i entered a piece because.... well.... having something done (even something only ten minutes and not performed overly well) keeps me motivated and going. keeps my work out there...

and there's nothing like hearing your words spoken up on a stage.

i guess i'll know around june 2nd.

oy! the waiting....


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quick! Take His Gun...

actor, academy award winner, racist and all around asshole... charlton heston has died.

he played moses, won his oscar for ben-hur, and served as the president of the national rifle association for three terms (a record).

heston was indignant as he held gun rallies in towns shortly after children had shot each other at schools in those communities.

and he famously said they could take his gun "from my cold, dead hand."

well, now's your chance....

get it before he's in the ground.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tales from Redesign Hell

so a couple of weeks ago i was able to secure a sizable donation to redesign the common areas of my program.

before i go any further i'd like to say that the waiting room and break room of my clinic were painted the color of tweety bird's ass over four years ago and i've been aching for a friendlier color.

and don't even get me started and the seafoam and purple vinyl chairs....

but my boss... who was hired just over a year ago to oversee the grand operations of the agency... has cared about little else than redecorating every inch of our agency.

now i understand that asian art and updating the agency walls to a more friendly earth-tone trump the true concerns facing our hiv+ clientele. i mean...who cares about CD4 counts when you can slap some marble on that wilting formica counter top?

really...the nightmares brought on my sustiva pale in importance.

so the past two weeks i have been up to my eyeballs in paint swatches, trips to furniture stores in hopes of finding that perfect chair and end table... not to mention fucking carpet samples.

and i don't mind... to an extent. i just want the entire redesign headache done so she can move on to another program.

but the past two weeks i have been working my ass off trying to make sure everything is handled properly and without disruption to the operation of the program.

our clinic sees far too many patients to have the painters and carpet installers work between 8 and 5... so i've been charged with staying late to help situate the workers and then return later in the evening to turn all the lights off, lock up and arm the ADT.

last wednesday i had to stay until 8:30 that evening to make sure everything went smoothly for everyone. at one point i had the carpet installers, the painters and the cleaning crew in the building.

i had so many mexicans working for me i felt like a republican.

every other day it has meant staying until about 5:30 or 6:00 and then staying alert and at the ready so that i may return to the clinic each night at 10 to secure the premises and then schlep back the following morning bright and early to help re-situate the moved furniture and prepare for the day.

and the new chairs are being delivered on friday... my doctors' favorite couch in the break room was prematurely discarded which has caused much mashing of the hands... plus they really don't have anything to sit on because... oh - did i mention the new chairs were not being delivered until friday?

and this painting has to go, says one person... but must stay there, declares someone else...

and ms. grande prissy queen 1983 who sits on our board is livid over the handling of the carpet donation and installation and i guarantee you he won't be happy with the color we chose for the waiting room.

and i'm so fucking exhausted i'm half expecting to start seeing the little people in the shadows again like you do after being up for three days on meth... ya know what i mean...?

okay... maybe you don't.

i'm tired is all i'm saying. i feel like frankenstein. "sleep... good."

and i'm sorry... but when i have a half million dollar contract to close out, end-of-month billing to reconcile and a new round of federal quarterly reports staring me in the face... i don't give a rat's ass about wicker accents.

why can't i just sit back in my hovel and handle what i need to handle and let everyone else arrange the new baskets in the windows and decide if the silver tables with the black tops will look okay with the shade of blue that now covers the walls of my waiting room?

seriously... i'm not that kind of fag. i don't care.

i mean... i like pretty things. i want everything to look nice for my clients and staff. but really... who fucking cares?

all i know is...when this is all over... there's a bottle of pinot and a lovely blue pill that's waiting for me.

a beautiful, powder blue xanax... now that's a color i can give two shits about.