continued from last week. please excuse the blury pics... taken by shaky handed students this afternoon.

2002 flew by. The Rogue had brought even more awareness to the theater. Until that point most people didn’t know it even existed. We estimated that between 2001 and 2003 about ten thousand audience members came through our doors each year with the various shows that were produced there. And when they came, we made sure they were also made aware of the youth services that the facility provided as a whole - the runaway youth shelter, teen pregnancy services, street outreach, and of course, the charter school.

I was now put on “full time” teaching upstairs which provided me with the financial stability I never had ever before. Because I was never “built” to be a teacher… (at least in a formal situation) I tried harder and achieved some success with the students. The ones who responded well were bestowed with “after school jobs” in the theater. What was once thought as nerdy by these hard-nut, at-risk kids - was now becoming hep. Through their experience with us, the kids were also exposed to alternatives and life outside of their hood. A major eye-opener for many.

The company had a full roster of shows to produce as well the now new Rogue Festival to mount. 6 weeks before the 2003 festival, we were abruptly informed that the powers that be (a 100 million dollar a year non-profit agency) would not allow the event to be held at the theater. Apparently it was something deemed as “not fitting their image” – that was the official word at least. There was a mad scramble to find venues which we eventually found in the Tower District. This however spelt the beginning of the end for the theater as a performance venue.

By mid-2003, I was informed that the theater would cease to be a rental facility anymore and Theatre J’Nerique productions would also not be able to continue producing at the space because of “liability issues.” (Funny how no one mentioned liability when we and a select group of students were up on 20 foot scaffoldings with the various renovations we undertook over the years.) I suggested developing a “rider policy” for insurance for rental purposes as a solution... but it was summarily rejected. This told me that I had fallen out of favor by someone upstairs. (I was told later - strictly hush, hush - that the real reason was the amount of ink the theater and I were getting in the press that miffed someone in the upper eschalons.) Soon after, all rentals and productions ceased... and it has remained fallow ever since.

I stayed teaching in the school the last couple of years only because of the financial stability it afforded me… but without the theater at night it has severely impaired my ability to really educate the students. Plus the “buy in” for both the students and me just isn’t there anymore. For the past 2 years the stage has been only served as a classroom. At night the theater is dark.

We have had a great run. I am thankful for the opportunities that were created there. The students we have touched… and who in turn have touched us now have a frame of reference to what’s outside.

This Friday is graduation and the last of our original theatre kids will walk out into the real world. In a week or two ,I will leave the theater I had one last time and tender my resignation. Perhaps I’m being stupid and selfish… but I think my time here is done. I'm not sure what's ahead... but it'll be an adventure. I leave without regrets knowing I leave the space in much better shape from when I found it.

Thus ends this chapter in my life. Come back on Friday for announcements on what hopefully will be the start of a new one.

Cheers and Happy HNT!


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... when thoughts come and go and nothing sticks. Just flits of this and that lacking the yeast to rise into a full idea. Uncomposable. I am almost content to just sit and stare into the void. Yet, there is this quiet battle of an undetermined restlessness that gnaws for something... anything to happen. But nothing comes. Nothing. Just a heavy stillness.

Even the sound of the train in the distance does little for me tonight. I use to take solace in it's lonely whistle sounding in the dark - knowing that several someones were going or coming to or from somewhere - faces lit with the excitement of a journey or the anticipation of a homecoming. Tonight it just sounds hollow and flat... empty. Just a sound devoid of any human connection - machenical.

I despise these times and state of being but am content to wallow in it's uselessness for the time being. I do not wish to be snapped out of it yet yearn for something else more vibrant and dynamic... but lack the motivation or the inkling to make anything happen.

I suspect I may just be tired.

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Just wondering this weekend what the PC vs Mac ratio is between liberals and conservatives? Has one been done? Like I said... would be a completely useless study... but still fascinating to know, don't you think?

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... to APJ's after all. Her spread out in the country is quite lovely.

Not gonna write much about this one... I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Great food. The usual sex talk. Fire pit. Marshmellows.

A Great time!

Now APJ can close the Homeland Security file on us since we didn't burn her place down.

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... but I'm still up to my eyeballs in work. Even yesterday I pulled an 16 hour day. (don't ask) There is also a barbeque over at APJ's later in the day... so, if I want to make it I'd better hustle!

In the meantime... checkout Thereminman's BRAND NEW MUSIC PAGE over at MySpace. If you have an account there... go "friend" him. Probably some of the most interesting and entertaining music you will hear. Think of it as a swirl of Brian Jones, Frank Zappa, a little doo wop infused with an unabashedly pop sensibility. Witty, charming and intellegent.

See ya at the turn-around!

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If I have the time or the inkling... I may add to this post later in the day.

weekend movie selection

Every year or so I will pull out this movie and watch it just to be awed by it's sheer brilliance. I actually first watched it when I was about 16 and it has stuck with me ever since. Network is one of those movies that is not only a poetic satire but a prophetic one at that.

Written by Paddy Chayeskfy and directed by Sidney Lumet this movie boasts of an ensemble cast of screen titans of the time. The scary thing is that everything in this wonderfully layered yet absurd premise of a movie - is oh so true today.

Another thing to love about it is the power of language that explodes from it. A literary dirty-bomb of dialogue that is intellectual, witty verbose and... yes, entertaining. And here is the real kicker... a commercial success! Could anyone dare make such a movie today and hope for that?

Here are some quotes:
Howard Beale: (anchoring a live news TV broadcast) I would like at this moment to announce that I will be retiring from this program in two weeks' time because of poor ratings. Since this show is the only thing I had going for me in my life, I've decided to kill myself. I'm going to blow my brains out right on this program a week from today. So tune in next Tuesday. That should give the public relations people a week to promote the show. You ought to get a hell of a rating out of that. 50 share, easy.
Max Schumacher: We could make a series of it. "Suicide of the Week." Aw, hell, why limit ourselves? "Execution of the Week."
Howard Beale: "Terrorist of the Week."
Max Schumacher: I love it. Suicides, assassinations, mad bombers, Mafia hitmen, automobile smash-ups: "The Death Hour." A great Sunday night show for the whole family. It'd wipe that fuckin' Disney right off the air
Diana Christensen: Hi. I'm Diana Christensen, a racist lackey of the imperialist ruling circles.
Laureen Hobbs: I'm Laureen Hobbs, a badass commie nigger.
Diana Christensen: Sounds like the basis of a firm friendship.


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continued from 2 weeks ago

2000, 2001 and 2002 were banner years at the theater. Theatre J'’Nerique was averaging 4 new shows a year. The All Too Real Players produced 2 - 3 productions per year. A couple of independent theatre companies had formed and was renting the space at affordable rates. The stage was used on the last Thursdays of every month for a poetry jam and Sunday Showcase was in full swing.

Sunday Showcase began as a weekly free movie (our first one was "Casablanca") and later developed into an all-ages music venue. It’s safe to say that many of the up and coming bands in town played shows at the theater over those years.

Movie nights alternated every other week with the band night. So, between managing the theater for rentals where I was the defacto house manager and tech designer, youth theatre workshops... plus producing and directing shows with my theatre company... I was pulling an average of 16 hour days, 7 days a week. Still making a pittance but I didn't mind because the audience was growing and I looked at it as an investment for better days up ahead.

Sometime in 2000, my friend who was teaching in the continuation school upstairs left abruptly and I was called in to sub. So, this added more work to my already packed schedule... but it also brought in more income.

Throughout all of this, stalwarts like Zonthar were part of the company lending their talents on stage. In 2001, SSM was dragged kicking and screaming back onto the stage after a 10 year hiatus. With a pretty solid core in the theatre company the notion of the Rogue Festival began being bandied about. We figured that an event like that could only bring more awareness to the space. In Fall of that year a group of us went up to the SF Fringe just so we could all get on the same page.

In the Spring of 2002, the First Rogue Festival took place. All of this while still developing and producing original works for the stage... such as my adaptation of Christmas Carol - complete with hookers and Christmas Ninjas.

Audiences were picking up, more shows were being produced - finally things webeginninging to happen.

come back for the conclusion next week.



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... before I am more at home here. This is actually my first post on the new machine... she purrs. And my new moniter... she shines. Hopefully, this will set me up for a while. All part of the new chapter that I'm embarking on. More to unfold in the next few weeks.

I discovered years ago that letting go is so essential in the process of moving on. Strange how we can get stuck just by holding on... fearing somehow that releasing will set us adrift. Little realizing that what we desperately hold on to actually has a greater hold on us and impedes forward motion.

Just another one cigarette thought.

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... at the moment which is why I didn't have a post today. It always takes a couple of days to setup the new one into a comfortable enviroment... and there is the whole moving of files thing. I'll see most of you for HNT tomorrow though... with part 3 of my "the theater I had" series.

In the meantime... visit Mustang who has a lovely post up. Perhaps a few more comments will spur him to post more often.


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This one has been floating around of late... so, I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring. My letter was assigned by Lime.

This is how it works: Comment on this entry and I will give you a letter. Write ten words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along. Of course If you want to comment but not be assigned a letter, that's an option too. So I'll only assign letters to those who specifically ask for them.

LAZY: I am, yes, I am. Unless I'm involved in a project that I feel passionate about. Then I become a juggernaut of action - often working myself to the bone. However, my laziness will usually manifest itself with a lot of day-dreaming often leading to crazy projects that I feel passionate about. So, I ultimately get done in by my own laziness.

LIFE: I love the opportinities it presents. In my late teens and early 20's I went through the usual arrogance and angst that accompany that age. Fancied myself a tortured artist and spent a lot of time and energy promoting that image to the world instead of producing the work. I woke up one morning, decided it was all bullshit, stopped calling myself an artist, began producing and haven't looked back since. Even the sad, painful and challenging times has presented it's own rewards in self-discovery. To me it serves as a constant reminder to clear the unneccessary clutter we bring into our own lives - the ones that lead to sadness and pain.

LOST: I can truly say I have never been. You can plop me in a strange place and I'll find my way around. In this way, I'm a very good travel companion. I amaze myself with my sense of direction sometimes. My Mum and I share a blood condition... high levels of iron in our systems. We can't wear wrist watches because they ultimately become magnatized within 3 months. I have a sneaky suspision that this has something to do with my sense of direction.

LEARNING: A constant. (see LIFE)

LOCO: A common perception of my life and what I do.

LISTENER: I've been told I'm a good one. I have often heard people proclaim, "It's so easy to talk to you!" Personally I think it's just my face. LOL! I look like I'm a good listener... but I'm really spinning some crazy daydream while they are yakking away.

LAISSEZ-FAIRE: Often used to describe my style of directing a show. I allow for a lot of experimentation within the rehearsal process and this often disturbs actors who are used to not being trusted and being told what to do. My only demand is that they think.

LATE: I always try not to be and usually succeed. This is challenging living in California where "Dude, sorry I flaked." is often considered a legitimate excuse.

LAURELS: If I rested on them... my life would stop. I'm only as good as the next thing I'm going to do.

LOVE: It's an action. One that involves the active ingredients of compassion, selflessness and giving. I remain a constant student of it.

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Last night was not just an HNT (see below) party... it was also a welcome back to the Big No party for SSM. Sure, we could have had it after he returned (which he is supposed to today)... we figured - WHY WAIT??? Sometimes it's a lot more fun without the guest of honor.

There were banners, a parade of naked women... explosives. OK... there were banners. But it was a grand time nevertheless - AND EVERYONE GOT DRUNK & LAID!! Here is some picture proof.

Some other blogs will carry pictures of this event too... plus their own version of the party we had - selective memory at these things run rampant. Those blogs will be linked here as they announce their posting in my comment section.

Want to get in on the action... go ahead! Make up your own party for SSM!

EDIT: This is worse than I thought KOWBOI is reporting a Gimley naked ass sighting... APJ's talking about getting jiggy and Zonthar apparently has woken up in a whole different hemisphere. When we throw a party... it's a partay! Now where the hell is Jade Ed?

And now... the weekend movie selection!

I used to be pretty leery with adaptations of Shakespeare's works ... until this movie came along. Scotland PA is a reworking of "the scottish play" and is one of the best things I've seen in a long time. Starring James LeGros, Maura Tierney and Christopher Walken , it is set in a small Pennsylvania town and utilizes most of the major plot points to great effect.

The "kingdom" in this case is Duncan's Diner which the owner, Duncan, is thinking of converting into a drive-in. Set in the 70's with a soundtrack almost exclusively by Bad Company, this movie does a wonderful job showing us how idiotic these characters really are. Walken as Lieutenant McDuff is truly an inspired choice! Oh, and Andy Dick plays one of the 3 witches... and the "out, out, damn spot" sequence is totally a stroke of genius!

I would say more but it would spoil the experience if you have never watched it before. So, instead... I'll just leave you with some quotes from the movie.

Stacy: I see... a bank. A Spanish bank?
Jesse: El banko!
Joe 'Mac' McBeth: You mean Banko? He's not a... he's not a bank. He's a... a friend of mine. Anthony Banconi. Banko.
McDuff: What do you think of Malcolm?
Mrs. Lenox: Oh, well. I think he's rude, selfish and evil. But I never once judged him.
Pat McBeth: We're not bad people, Mac... just underachievers who have to make up for lost time.
Have a great weekend!


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Posting early as I have loads to do today. As per Os' instructions... here is my very first HNT ::blush:: that was posted August 4 of last year. Since then, I've posted a few more... quite a few more than the 16 that are posted in my sidebar. Celebatory pictures (part 2) will be posted later in the day. Next week we will return to continue "the theatre I had" HNT series. Happy HNT Anniversary, Os and Everyone!

Let me introduce you to Jimmy. Jimmy is my left hand. Jimmy was a victim of Mr. Polio when I was 4 and a half months old. Actually, half my body was affected but Mr. Polio only left one defect... Jimmy. It was my parents who named him. (The right hand is Audrey.) I have other body parts with names butthatsanotherstorynevermindanyway... I thought Jimmy was the perfect subject for my first Half-Nekkid Thursday.

Over the years Jimmy and I have heard it all: cripple, one-arm bandit, handicap, disabled, etc. I prefer "inconvenienced." It seems a lot more appropriate ... at least for me. Thanks to my upbringing my parents set me on the path of independence from the "git go." For this I thank them.

Most people who meet me hardly notice Jimmy... and when they do they are all beside themselves apologizing for not noticing in the first place. It usually happens when Jimmy takes on a strange pose (like in the picture) and they freak. Then they suddenly look at Audrey and the obvious difference in size and ability between the 2 hands.

Most Popular Question: Can he feel anything?
Answer: You Betcha!

Over the years I have noticed that beautiful women like to hold, fondle and play with Jimmy. Jimmy has been a wonderful asset... and not just with the women. Jimmy has allowed me to explore abilities that I may not have considered if I was completely able-bodied. I sometimes say "If you want to find the easy way to do something... just ask the cripple guy."

Oh... and the second pic will be up later tonight!

UPDATE: Later!

So, we went out for an anniversary drink. The ladies were out and about. Jimmy had one too many (trying to impress the girls as usual)... insisted on jumping up on the table to dance... wearing a lamp-shade... with the lamp still attached! I swear I can't take him anywhere! So, there you have it... Jimmy in party mode.

Happy HNT Anniversary to all!


Girl At Bar: OMG... Is that a cigarette?

Jimmy: I'm just happy to see you!


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A short one today.

I was musing the other day with a friend... about how some of my friends in the theatre tell me that I would have made oodles of money if I went into writing porn. Somehow that conversation got me to thinking about writing a porn musical.... perhaps I could call it "Pornical".

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It all began on Friday. Kowboi had been busting his much desired butt (just ask the ladies around here) in the heat of the afternoon helping me realize some transformations around the homestead. Jade Ed came by for some help buying a computer and the lovely Rachel had also stopped by... just cuz. The evening had the promise of being pleasant so we decided that it may be fun to dance with the green faerie. Not with the stuff that contained the illegal European wormwood (heavens no - that's coming later this Summer)... but instead with the more readily available stuff that uses the Southern wormwood... and comes with a free spoon! An enchanting night was had by all to say the least.

The next day I put calls out to some of the usual gang touting a meat burning. The flimsiest of reasons (for a meat burning... they are all flimsy) being the celebration of transforming this - into the picture to the right. Sure, it's still a little untidy... but notice the lack of surface space - thus throwing out the temptation to pile things on. This transformation also includes a spanking new 26 inch HD ready TV which also doubles as my computer monitor... one of my recent purchases from part of the tax refund.

So, the gang ambles over at around 5 ish and ooohhs and aaahh's over this transformation in the office as they guzzle on their poisons of choice and the meat burns over the glowing coals. But we still have another ace up our sleeves. Kowboi has been working off and on realizing one of my dreams for the last 2 weeks. My poor garage has been the choice of storage for junk since Moses was a baby. Everyone knows this... so, I tell them to walk in. And they find this (look at the picture below). Yes, it has been cleaned out and I now have what for so many years was only a pipe dream - my very own movie theater... with 2 levels of theater seats and all! The latter half of the evening was spent screening this movie selection for the now wide-eyed gang.

Thanks to the kind efforts of Kowboi, I now have the perfect excuse to never leave the house ever again... except for this morning when I treated Mum at her favorite buffet place for Mother's Day. All yo Mamas out there... have a really good one!

So, that has been my weekend. Now just to clean up the aftermath from last night.

EDIT: 5:16 PM

For the benefit of Kfarmer (to explain the spoon) I'm reprinting this from this FAQ page.


Absinthe is an alcoholic drink made with an extract from wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). It is an emerald green drink which is very bitter (due to the presence of absinthin) and is therefore traditionally poured over a perforated spoonful of sugar into a glass of water. The drink then turns into an opaque white as the essential oils precipitate out of the alcoholic solution. Absinthe was once popular among artists and writers and was used by Van Gogh, Baudelaire, and Verlaine, to name a few. It appears to have been believed to stimulate creativity. However, in the 1850's, there began to be concern about the results of chronic use. Absinthe's association with the bohemian lifestyle also worked to compound fears about its effects, much as has happened with marijuana in America. Absinthe was subsequently banned in many countries in the beginning of the 1900's.

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O.K., Kfarmer... came up with this for the "Bum Rap" pitch (look 3 posts down) ... I think she may just have a second career in da biz! Read, enjoy and put your own beats to it!

These are for "Ah know ah Stank, Wot's Yo Excuse"

Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo! Mah name is P-Britches for all yo Bitches!
Gang, gang, ahm a member of da Card Board Gang
Sleeping under bridges and stanking ma thang.
So ah knows Ah stank, wots yo excuse?
Drinking double fisted, got cha sum Gin & Juice.
Game, game, ah know yo game
Hot running water, got cha some sweet pu-tang
Play, play, play all day
While ah scrub in da ribber yo freaking all day
So ah know I stank, wots yo excuse?
Drinking double fisted got cha some gin & juice...

I think from this point we call her "Grand Mistress K/T"!

And now... the weekend movie selection.

I really like this movie. Perhaps because I've been a Ripperhead since the tender age of 10. I remember coming across a book that featured some of the actual photos of the victims... and I read it over and over again. But, I digress.

Back to From Hell... it's based on the graphic novel of the same name, stars Johnny Depp (go ahead... drool, ladies), Heather Graham (eh), Robbie Coltrane and Ian Holm and was directed by the Hugh Brothers. I really like this movie... it has atmosphere for days. It has to be explained that I was (and still am) quite a fan of the old horror movies from Hammer Films (slim on plot but fat on mood) ... so, perhaps that has colored my perception just a tad.

Anyway, the plot (and has lots of it) of this movie follows one of the 4 most popular theories on Jack the Ripper... and does a good job of it. Instead of following Jack... it follows Inspector Abberline who is investigating the murders. It's dark, moody and gloomy - all served up with a great sense of style... not something to watch with the kids. I especially love the accurate depictions of where the murders happen. The film-makers really took great pains with the production design in this movie... and it shows. I would say more but that would have to include spoilers. It's one of my favorite "Ripper" movies of all time. If you're looking for some good suspence and horror, check it out... perhaps accompanied with a little touch of absinthe! Here's a couple of quotes from the movie.

Sir Charles Warren: My God. He's out of his mind.
Abberline: That's very astute of you sir.

Mary Kelly: England doesn't have whores, just a great mass of really unlucky women.

Have a great weekend y'all!


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Continued from last week...

So, in October 1998 we began restoring the space back to usability and converting it into a performance space. I had also put out notices that a youth theatre program was being conducted for free. On the day the program was to begin I walked into an empty room. Over the next month I hustled, cajoled - did everything I could to get some students and young people in. I suspect that theatre was not exactly the kind of activity that the average gang-banger was interested in participating in. I had also plunged into the of writing a brand new full length piece - just to announce the opening of our new space.

In February 1999, "The Dead Guy Show" (pictures here are from the second production) premiered... and was the last original play I wrote. Personally I still think that it's the most fully realized piece I've created. Over the next year we produced 3 more shows in the space. In the meantime, with the help of a couple of theatre friends (one of whom was actually teaching in the Continuation School upstairs) the youth theatre program and the formation of the All Too Real Players finally began to take off in October of the same year with a production of "Juvies."”

The clean-up made it workable but not complete. In the Summer of 2000 we were awarded a grant to upgrade the theater. My plan was not just to renovate but also to restore. The space was one of the first synagogues in the city (built in 1918) and the Oak paneling on the original altar had gone through a fair degree of abuse over the years. We also extended the stage another 5 feet making it 20 feet deep and 36 feet wide. This made the dimensions close to the one Shakespeare worked in at the original Globe.

I was still making a pittance (about $500 a month) but a survivable pittance. Besides, I had the coolest theatre space in town. My theatre company was the only independent one dealing almost exclusively in originals. The kids were being trained in tech. I was alive and doing what I was meant to... there was much to be thankful for.

to be continued week after next... (there's an anniversary post next week - remember?)

Cheers and Happy HNT... and check out Kien's second video HNT! AND Kowboiandy has posted his first!

Oh, and if you missed my pitch for "Bum Rap" go 2 posts down.LOL!


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For most of the morning it seemed like I was back on dial-up with blogger. Glad that has passed. Is it just me or has this been happening just a little too frequently of late? Anyway, it's back up... for now.

I've got an early call in the AM - make-up testing... so, tomorrow is going to be an extra long day. Looks like "Let's Go Fly A Kite" is going to be sung a lot tomorrow.

For the last couple of weeks Kowboiandy has been over here transforming my oh so cluttered garage. He's done a great job... even though there is still lots more to do. The light at the end is flickering a "come hither" look though and he'll be back tomorrow. I'm hoping by this weekend it will all be done. Oh, and he's started blogging too. He may actually begin posting HNT's as well. Go over to his blog and give him a big howdy!

Happy Hump Day... and I'll see ya at HNT in the PM.

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I'm gonna feature and record street people rapping. Call the CD "Bum Rap" - already designed the cover as you can see.

You too can get in on the action! Right now I've got titles for songs like:

* Yo Dat Shopping Cart Be Ma Crib

* Ah Know Ah Stank, Wot's Yo Excuse?

* Alleyway Pee Pee Jiggy

* Yo Gangsta - Dis Be Da Real Street Life

Need a few more titles... if you want to add some - go ahead. Also need some raps for this project... feel free to contribute.

We're gonna be rollin in it, I tell ya! LOL!


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I haven't been looking forward to work weeks of late. I decided I really need to shake this attitude. So, I thought that no matter how challenging things might become... no matter how crappy the situation I may have to face... I'm taking my cue from George Banks and singing it loud and proud like I've never sung it before! It's the only way to greet the week.

Everybody now... remember - loud & proud!

Let's go fly a kite,
Up to the highest height,
Let's go fly a kite,
And send it soaring,

Up through the atmosphere,
Up where the air is clear,
Let's all go,
Fly a kite!

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... to wash the grime of the day off me. I was fully expecting to go out after. But when I got into the shower the warm water gushing out lulled me into the need to hit the sack. So, I did.

Woke up early this morning and watered the lawn. Also decided that I will not be planting veges this season. It's just too late (for me) and I'm just not feeling it right now. Of course this may change in a day or two... we'll see. I could just get a wild hair and be a planting fool by next weekend.

I'm really in the mood for some Indian food today. Hmmm... gotta do something about that... and I think I will.

More later... perhaps.

EDIT:12:27 PM
I drove to my favorite Indian place today... but they were closed. Swung back around and went to the usual watering-hole and put in an order of chicken quesedillas. While waiting outside for the order I evesdropped on a conversation that 2 women in their 20's were having in the next table.

W1 : So, I think the rest of the day I'll get this paper done and then I'll have to watch Grey's Anatomy and cry.

W2: I need to meet the "girls" then go home and watch The Simpsons and cry.

W1: (giggling) You cry at The Simpsons?

W2: I'll cry at anything.

W1: Me too.

W2: That's one thing men will never get about us... we cry. We will cry at anything. I'll be watching a commercial and in 3 seconds I'll be blubbering.

W1: Dude, I cry at concerts... hard rock, head-banging concerts.

W2: I was driving over to pick you up today and I was crying... just because they were playing Frank Sinatra on the radio.

W1: (sigh)

W2: (sigh)

At this point my food arrived and I left thankful for the entertainment of sitting, waiting and listening.

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I decided to bring the laptop down here today and take advantage of the free WiFi. The sun is out and there is a pleasant cool breeze... conditions... just right. It's on mornings like these while sitting under the shade of the only olive tree on Olive Ave. that the usual crew is at it's best.

At the moment the discussion revolves around Judge Judy and TV judges and how much they get paid to dispense justice on the tube. Mind you, there are 2 lawyers here and one of them is of the Federal persuasion. The java has kicked in and now the conversation has veered off to the possibility of TV judges sentencing someone to death.

Ahh... now the Bush bashing has begun. Just a little one. They actually went all of 10 minutes this morning without doing that. LOL! Oh, and someone brought an April 1969 issue of Playboy featuring a pictorial spread of Brigit Bardot... but somehow we are getting more of a kick checking out the ads that ran in the magazine then... plus an entire spread of fashion that we are sure was used as research for the Austin Powers movies.

On to other news...

The New York Times recently featured a travel article on the Big NO. You can read all about it here. I love the fact that they mentioned that the city has got a bum rap and touts it as a quirky destination. Yeah, I can just see the tourista dollars rolling in now!

Speaking of which... one of the places featured in the NYT article, Full Circle Brewing, will be the venue on June 22 where Thereminman and I will remount our Rogue shows. He will open with "The Ill-Advised Solo Show" followed by my "Lies My Father Told Me." It's only $5... so, if you happen to be in this neck of the woods... come on by! I can tell you the beer's really good.

EDIT: 8:59 PM
OK... I'm going back and forth on whether I should go out dancing tonight to the Beatles cover band, Ticket To Ride, over at the Starline... or just stay home and chill.

now you've read it... spew forth - |

... posting this.

Here is the weekend movie selection. I'll probably post something else later in the day as well.

This is the 1990 movie ... not to be mistaken with the 2000 movie which is also quite the delight. Where the Heart is was written and directed by John Boorman... that's the truly quirky factor right there.

The movie begins with the demolition of a building and progresses to get more surreal as it moves along. The basic premise is about a real-estate mogul who sets up his kids to fend for themselves. The cast includes early performances by Uma Thruman and Crispin Glover. What's really surreal and funny is Christopher Plummer playing a bum named "Shitty".

It does have a "Midsummer's Night Dream" quality to it and the scenes of body painting are quite spectacular.

Forgive the quickie post here but I promise more later.

EDIT: 11:32 PM
Sorry for not giving more. I've spent all this time trying to set up a new machine only to find that there is a major hardware issue. As a result I'll have to send it back over the next few days. :( I'll try to create a new post tomorrow. Right now all I want to do is hit the sack.

now you've read it... spew forth - |

This begins another series. Perhaps not as sexy... but half-nekkid in more personal ways. In the weeks to come you will find out in pictures and text about the theater I had. This first set is of the north window of the theatre from 2 different views.

In 1998, I had a theatre company (Theatre J'Nerique) but no space to produce. Over the previous year I had worked off and on at the Sanctuary, an old synagogue, that housed an at-risk youth program.

I woke up one morning and decided to have a chat with the Big G. I said in a pretty assertive tone,

"Look, I've struggled for years to get my profession going. Yeah, I've had gigs here and there but nothing really solid. Now, I don't wanna waste your time or mine. So, here's the deal... I want a sign if this is truly the path I'm supposed to have in this life. Not a feeling... not an inkling but a solid sign. You have 2 days to let me know."

So, the next day, I went over to the Sanctuary to speak with the program director. I looked at her dead in the eye and said.

"I'm here to talk to you about the theater space which is now being used for storage... "

"I'm glad you came... we''ve been wanting to talk to you about that too."

"O.K., here's the situation... there are too few theatre spaces in town. And my company... "

"Needs a space to perform in. We really like the work you've been doing. So, if it's O.K. with you... you set up a youth theatre program for us during the day your company can use it at night."

"O. K. ... lets talk about rental... "
See. I figured I had the bargaining power now to get the space for cheap.

"You guys manage the space. We'll pay you to run the youth theatre program... whatever you rent it to outside groups for... we'll split it 50/50."

"O.K., but my theatre company... "

"Will use it rent free, of course. Just train our kids to tech your shows so that they can get real world experience. We can't pay you right now to do that. We really should pay you for doing that... maybe we'll apply for a grant so, we can. Is that O.K. with you?"

I walked away from the meeting totally bowled over but thanking the Big G for the prompt answer all the way home. I really did not expect the "solid sign" to be a spectacular art deco, red brick, 200 seat theater that was the envy of the theatre crowd in this city. Not only that... but the Big G had set me up in one of his/her old places.


BTW... check out Kien's video HNT and my lovely long lost cuz, Lelly.

To be continued next week...


now you've read it... spew forth - |

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was browsing through CompUSA... checking out electronics when an executive looking guy in a blue business suit and a red power tie comes up to me and says, "You're him, arn't you?"

I have to admit that I was looking pretty scruffy that day and at first thought it was the manager of the store tailing me as a potential shoplifter. (This has happened to me before.)

"Excuse me? Who am I supposed to be?"

"Did you use to go to schools and tell stories?"

"Yes, I did." I said, relieved.

"I thought that was you."

See, I was a storyteller who did a circuit of schools all around this valley. It was my bread and butter... my sole means of making a living. I worked that gig for 10 plus years to support my theatre habit.

Just then a very attractive woman came by. "Honey, it is him! He is the one I was telling you about." he tells this vision of beauty.

"He talks about you all the time and was so excited when he thought he recognized you here." she gushed. "It's an honor to meet you."


"I remember you coming to my class in 4th grade... that was such a cool year. Nothing cool ever happened in school after that. Are you still telling stories?"

"Not like before... but I've been known to break out into a story every now and then."

Then she piped in. "He tells those stories all the time - I love them! In fact, that's what made me decide to date him in the first place ... and now we're married."

She then listed 4 or 5 stories that he tells. They both thanked me and walked away leaving me both somewhat befuddled and proud at the same time. I'm now wondering how many guys are using my stories I told them in elementary school to woo the woman they desire.

now you've read it... spew forth - |

... HNT tomorrow. Things have suddenly become pretty hectic at work. If I can scratch something up... I will... if not... I'll lurk.

Under my tree today as I looked across the street at the building I work in, I was thinking about... hmmm... "cultural mindsets". How all of us have acquired different sets of these in our experiences through life. It begins with the family we grew up in... then expanded to the neighborhood we lived in ... to the place (or places) we work in and of course the city we live in.

Phrases like "That's how we do it around here" or "Yup, he's from San Francisco, alright" come from these mindsets. It's a common perception, outlook and sense of values that these mindsets have us project. It's also what gives us a sense of belonging. And when we meet someone new with a similar cultural mindset we will say something like "Oh, she fit right in!" or "He's like part of the family!"

I was just wondering how many of these mindsets which I have acquired over the years and melded into the fabric of me define me today. What I have kept and what I have willingly let go... and what I should have held on to?

Just a thought that spanned the length of a cig.

now you've read it... spew forth - |

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