Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I'd never seen anything written by the man, but his reputation for demanding excellence preceded the viewing of this work. However...
It wasn't quite what I'd hoped. True, there were some strong individual performances - notably by James T. Alfred and Lerea Carter, who played an emotionally volatile Levee and languidly sensous Dussie Mae, respectively - and there were shining moments by others as well, but over all, the continuity was somewhat threadbare.
Cue pickup and tempo were sluggish, gestures and movement were, at times, disconnected* and the limited stage combat was a tad bit amateurish. But really, these are all just technical points, ways of explaining why I wasn't transported.
It occurs to me the Cast, all of color save one unconvincing irish cop**, may have been less than inspired by a blue hair crowd of somber sixty-somethings, but regardless of why, I never left the building, wasn't taken on a journey.
I remember seeing Hamlet once at the Jeun Lune in Minneapolis. The titular character was played by a man I thought too old for the role*** but 5 minutes in, I forgot all that and in fact, forgot I was a mere audience member.
For the first time ever in my viewing of Hamlet, I became personally involved and experienced each moment emotionally and as if for the first time:
When a wildly bereaved Hamlet stumbled upon a discarded dagger, peered into the glint of it's blade and contemplated his own life's worth - a feeling of impending, gut churning violence hung in the air - and I remember actually thinking, "what's he going to do next?!"
It was frightening and riveting and... delicious.
Ma Rainey? Not so much.
At least not this time.****
*I get that a director may dole out seemingly meaningless blocking, but it's up to the actor to anchor these in character driven action.
**While a subtle dialect is appreciated, one that fades in and out of existence is somewhat less believable
***He was in his forties, and while I still consider this a tad bit old for Hamlet, now that I've reached that same threshold, I find my judgement of his age a little ironic. Young or old, those same powerful emotions, like blood, flow through our veins.
****Not unlike a weekend warrior, I should mention my own failed attempts at professional acting career may've skewed my views unfairly. In the word of the immortal Al Bundy, "I scored 4 touchdowns in one game for Polk High!" Yeah. Maybe I just need to get a life.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I'm not sure exactly when d-bag made it's debut, but I'm guessing somewhere in the late 90's. At the time it seemed to have a little more teeth to it, and was fairly specific:
Douche-bag - A young man who mis-represents himself in order to solicit the sexual favors of a young lady, most often in conjunction with the bar scene*. A local example would be the "scottsdale millionaire" - or someone who makes $30K a year, but implies a much grander scale of living to bedazzle his intended victim.I should mention both deception and malice were key ingredients. It wasn't enough to get laid - one had to count coup over, or demean one of the fairer sex. I should also mention this wasn't my personal m.o.,** but it's not as if I weren't - as my father puts it - out "tap dancing for the young ladies" myself.
Later, it seems the word was expanded to include more general forms of deceptive practise; it was still primarily masculine, but could be expanded to include the feminine, so long as malice and deception were used for the purposes of self gain - a sort of low level grifting. Maybe a lie was told to a friend or acquaintance in order to extract money? Something like that.
Today, however, the word seems to have gained a much wider, nearly universal useage, not unlike the f-bomb.
True, you can't "go douche yourself, you mother douchin' douche-bag, cause I don't douchin' care!" -but- when your very own sister says you look like a douche-bag for wearing your Blackberry on your hip... ***
"Dork," I think, would've been more appropriate.
Adam, you look like a dork.
Now there's a word I can identify with.
Just not douche-bag.
*Okay, s0 maybe,maybe I need to chill on the Tom Wolfe for a bit.
**Modus Operandi or Mode of Operation. My own tactic was the undersell - infinitely more honest, but a tactic none-the-less.
***For the record - I wear my phone in a belt-holster, not because it looks cool - quite the opposite - but because the phone seems to get beat up (and lost) far less often!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
from each crevice,
oozing and pooling
of smooth surfaces
(stainless steel, formica, polished
coagulates and coats
in sticky soft secretion.
With the darkness comes anxiety.
Another year passed and what have I done with my life?
Thanksgiving used to be a neutral sum game - positive, even. My annual hike with mom before the big meal - a calming, subtly reassuring ritual.
And that's still fine and good, but this year, this Thanksgiving, things have shifted.
M and I met 5 years ago, October.
We spent our first Thanksgiving together at mom's soon after, no expectations, no worries, just letting that day, like any other, unfold.
Relationship-wise, I didn't see it, long term. Just thought we'd have some interesting conversations for a while.
I guess we did, didn't we?
Sunday, November 14, 2010
One of the great things about waking up at 4 a.m. - every day without fail - you've got a little time on your hands.
Know that stuff you always want to do but never have enough time?
Now you do.
Recently, on my morning commute, I kept noticing the early morning light reflected off this particular canal and thinking to myself, I should take a photo.
However, I'm typically within a hair's breadth of being late and surrounded by a swarm of angrily buzzing commuters going 70, so this doesn't happen.
Today, having arisen with the dead in the pre-dawn of night, I caffeinated up and headed out. It was still a tad bit tricky, but with the lighter Sunday traffic, not quite as death defying.
And it's not my favorite pic but I done did it.*
Next, a giant chicken wire Buddha.
*Makes me wonder if I've really something better at other times (weather, light and maybe smog, depending) -or- if it's like that zen parable, where the guy clings to a vine on the side of cliff, with a tiger above. Sensing his imminent demise, he sees a wild strawberry growing there and pops into his mouth, savoring the sweetness.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Then Jeff, our inside sales guy, takes the week off, so yours truly has to open the warehouse at 6 a.m. each morning.
On the third day in a row, with the alarm going off at 4:30 a.m., yet again, it felt like swimming from the bottom of a sludge filled well. I hit snooze twice in quick succession and then, somehow, shut it off.
"You can't play ball with a block of cheese, " I thought, and woke up. Then scrambled my ass off to work.Dee-Wayne Brammage,* and I were playing basketball. But we didn't have a ball.
Instead, we started with a ring of keys and then halfway through, switched to a block of what looked like white cheddar cheese, wrapped in cellophane. Coulda been Havarti.
Despite the cheese, it was like old times, and we moved with the grace and joy of youthful exuberance, flowing like water over the cracked concrete, laughing and trash-talking the while.
But the dream lingers on.
Dee-Wayne Brammage, I challenge you to a game of one-on-one, old man. Think you got anything left?
You just tell me where and when.
I'll bring the cheese.
*My oldest friend, whom I met in 2nd Grade at Columbia Grade School, where he was the shortest and I was the tallest. The rest is history.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Frankly, I'm getting tired of rooftops and asphalt for subject matter. And I think it shows.
I want to photograph people - individuals - captured in some intimate way, probably nude, but there are 2 impediments:
1. I'm looking for a certain texture and feel which may require a switch to analog. This means I gotta learn a helluva lot more about this medium and I'm not sure I have the patience.*
2. (probably more significant) This may be a substitute for true intimacy.
Since before M and I broke it off I've had this impulse - and this may be about that.
However, art is a process of self-discovery (and time's a wastin'!) so the question remains...
*On the other hand, a wise dude once said, time passes of its own accord, whether we accomplish something or not. So why not?
**M recently told me I'll probably be dead of Mad Cow disease in ten years. Hard to tell if this is macabre humor or accurate prediction -but- either way, I figure I'm halfway to the finish line as it is!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Example: M and I split the sheets last month. She’s moved down the road and I’m still here in the giant wind tunnel.
Obviously, there’s plenty more to say –but- it’s a little like looking at life through a bug’s segmented eyes… with so many simultaneous perspectives occurring at once – how do you stick with just one?
I will say this… for a rarified look at your life, subtract all furniture, along with the object of your affections, then plop your ass down on the floor to stare at a really big white wall for a while.
Oddly, this isn’t as bad as it might sound.
*Photo taken atop Squaw Peak this a.m. with the moon still up and the sun not quite.
Monday, July 26, 2010
This is me as taken by M during a test shot.
Bemusingly, she took this blind - without a camera's viewfinder.
Three days ago my spray-on sunscreen blew up in the car, saturating my camera, ipod and cell phone.
The cell phone looks like blistered skin, the ipod's controller has popped out like an outey belly button*, and my camera, when activated, looks like it had crank case oil poured into it's guts.
I thought the camera was ruined but M theorized it was only the view finder and took this picture.
And while I don't especially like my appearance in this photo** I really like the composition. In fact, when I saw the little thumbnail in preview mode, I got a little excited, thinking it was one I'd taken and somehow forgotten.
But no. The larger image revealed myself as the subject and M as the photographer. Sigh.
The bemusing part is that M hadn't picked up a camera in I don't know how long, and without being able to see the shot came up with this.
It's not brilliant, but it's good.
And reminds me I have a ways to go.
*Interestingly, the ipod, which had been acting up - hammered on and sweat-soaked from numerous Camelback assaults - has never worked better!
**I look vaguely feminine -and- having played sand v-ball in the phoenician morning heat, I have a somewhat zombified countenance.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
We did our normal post-walk head butt - he, pausing to make eye contact, and I, bending to touch heads - but when I looked up I'd somehow lost my place, and the staircase seemed to ascend in a never ending fashion.
I wonder if Sisyphus ever experienced this, forgetting where he was at that pivotal moment when the rock nearly came to rest at the top of the hill.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
The kids are laughing, having fun, and Jan Brewer with a Hitler mustache is almost as entertaining as Sheriff Joe, referred to as one of Hitler's Daughters. However...
Reminds me of the Health Care debacle when certain a-holes likened Obama to Hitler.
Maybe we should all just agree not to go that particular place and save our Hitler/Holocaust references for more appropriate things like, say, Racial Genocide?
And while we're at it, maybe we can stop demonizing anyone with an opposing political viewpoint in this country.*
For the record, I'm in support of the March.
Just not swastikas.
*Why is it the Brits can create a Coalition Faction out of two opposing parties, but america can't find it's ass with either the left or the right hand?