Tag Archives: ideas

Dear 2013,

31 Dec

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It’s been a year, friend. 

… A good one.

I’ve not much to complain of, as it ticks it’s last hours away. And when I do think of something, I remind myself that I’ve my family, friends, health, way to pay the bills, and theatre.

…What the HELL do I even have to bitch about, ey?

Tonight, (the busiest party one of the year), I’m spending at home in my pj pants, with five “children” (three, adopted), a bottle of wine, reminders of the past year, and an entire movie library before me.

…It is, in a word: delicious.

Nothing wrong with dressing up and doing the town red, but…nothing wrong with staying home with a too expensive bottle of wine, candles lit, comfy…warm…writing notes to friends which I think might be witty (three-quarters of a bottle in) but might prob’ly be not.  Never mind.  They will love them and me anyway.

(…Ain’t I lucky?)

The answer is: I am.

Whatta year.  Hell of a stretch creatively.  Friendships born and grown.  Adopted foster children, (in the form of fish and two frogs) as Cecil departs for studies abroad.  The BFF visit, short but of weight and importance and life-blood resuscitation that it always is.  Dates with The Fella, to talk of all things. Marty Christmas blitzes still to follow.

…Still trying to relinquish the last vestiges of what playing an animal in children’s theatre, over the Holidays can do to an adult frame. 

…Satisfyingly counting up the vast array of roles I got to tackle n’ play this year.

New friends.  Family times.  Even (yes) blogging days, when you all reminded me, after a drought of not posting, how important this relationship…OURS…here, is.

It’s been a good year.  But then, I had reason to believe (at the beginning) that it would be.

2014 will be different.  Artistically: much more improv-based.  In that I don’t know much of what is to come…or even of what is out there waiting for me.

…And we all know how awesome I deal with that…

…But even so: I have faith.

Faith.

…And I don’t believe in “accidents.”

So there is that.

And here am I.

…Finishing a tiny slip of a post, watching foster frogs dance in a water ballet, between sentence typing. 

…Before swapping out bluerays, and tackling another favorite film, paired with these cheeses and an excellent vino.

Happy New Year, friends and creative family!

May yours bring all things of wonder and joy!

~D

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Back Home Again

14 Aug

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Last night, while flicking through files on my thumb drive, I came across my old writing group one from several years ago, and opened it for a looksee.

…Some interesting bits and pieces…a lot I had forgotten about.  Prompts that had been given me, fifteen minute in-group exercises…pictures and music clips I’d used to assign as inspiration to others. Every conceivable genre, and length, and discipline…from short stories to long-form, scenes, dialogues, and poetry to what-all.  Mystery, love stories, gothic ghost stories, horror, comedy, period…you name it. It was a fun time capsule to break in on, suddenly without planning to.  Especially when I hit one specific blip: a noir detective story that had me cracking myself up with how thickly I laid on the Dashiell Hammit of it all.

…All in good fun, of course.

…And it got me thinking.

In the time I was part of that group, I had produced reams and notebooks full of random nothings, exercises, thoughts, ideas…rough forms of characters and plots and ideas. I had written two full length plays, (one with the group itself, and one on my own)…and started a novel…a historical monster of research which sits to this day, in that same folder, untouched since those last meeting days…at 100 pages, yet to be finished.

…What I’m saying is: I recognized the importance of the weekly exercises and assignments…but the value of the fuller works is what the group’s point was meant to lead me towards.  And it had done it’s job.  As long as I had stuck with it.

…And maybe, this full year of blogs, was a certain form of “exercise” meant to prep me for something bigger.

What if?

…So, with this idea in my head, (and the knowledge that “schedules” as they are in today’s world, simply cannot allow a guarantee of an every week meeting time), I shot an email to a bud, and we two instantly built a digital, brand-spankin’-new writing group.

…Yet to be named.

Writing prompts are given out on Fridays.  To be fulfilled in any genre, at any pace, to any purpose, in any discipline we like, so long as it is turned in on the following Friday.  At which time, we (wherever we are) read said pieces, and pop onto IM, or fire our emails for a discussion, directly following.

…We’ve started half through this week already, so we have something to share on Friday.

…He’s been updating ever since, here and there on the progress.  And how good it feels to be at the keyboard with creative intentions again.  And tonight, I finished my piece.  At twelve typewritten pages.

…My first piece: a scene.  My prompt: a quote.  His prompt a painting I’d found. His discipline: TBA.

All I know, is that good, bad or otherwise in final piece result…it sure felt good to get creative again.  With words and ideas, in a specific character environment.

…It’s good to be back “home” again.

I’ve missed it.

~D

And The Swedes Take Over The World

9 Sep

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Yesterday, I stood in 375 square feet of space, masquerading as a real full apartment, in which everything from a bathroom to kitchen, to bedroom, to closet space was compacted on a grid-system of proficiency.

…The sign outside said, “walk into my living space,” and claims that a human actually exists in an exact replica of this area.

…I have 800 square feet, which I share with my two fish, and upon occasion…feel crowded. 

I am “proficient” as hell.

…Which just shows that there is always room for improvement.  Exhausting as that may sound.

IKEA is one of those places that I have to gird my loins to go and visit. There is so much stimulation to the creative sectors of my brain when I frequent all it’s million tiny room mock-ups, that I get hyper enthusiastic.  Somehow, even though the Mod 60’s thing really isn’t my deal, I end up wanting them all anyway.  Every room, every collection of goods, every little bookcase prop.  Why? I dunno.  Possibly because the color coordination and multi-use of every product, screams a challenge of maximum capabilities.  Maybe because I’m addicted to shelving and cabinetry.  Maybe because twelve bucks for a French Press, that costs fifty even at Target, is just too much goodness for my brain to take in.

This place spawns a cousin disease to my general, “I never knew I always wanted that” one…only this time I truly believe my entire life would change for the better if I had it…because all my OCD’s would completely disappear if I could live in something as slip-streamed and categorize-perfected.

…In my mind, as I walk the aisles, all I can see are the dozens of tiny alterations to my little apartment that would bump me into a high-tech, sheer-surface, spot-lit, rug-wielding, stainless steel, goddess.  I’m already practically there, but this would just seal the deal.  And who doesn’t want to run at that level?

Can you imagine what it would be like, to have zero wasted space?  Not a single undevoted centimeter…where everything has a home and convenient location, which tucks away inside of itself about fifty times, until its basically just negative entity? Where every shoes has it’s place on a tree in the closet, where every individual halogen light is focused precisely where you want it, off a steel lined track running the entirety of your room? Where the walls become secret hidden cabinets, which you can still hang shit on, with beds that grow out of other beds and sofas, so your one-bedroom apartment or dorm room can suddenly sleep ten people. You know…for all those times that you REALLY NEED to sleep ten people!

…This place gets me so undone with wonder and excitement, that I accidentally start mirroring the children, calling their parents to, “look at this thing! Oh, but look at that one too!” I simply cannot trust the visuals of whoever I am with to pick up the kind of subtleties that are the entire main focus on the display, and feel the need to walk them through it. I must describing in detail how “this thing” transformers into “that one,” like I’m an expert showcase salesman…because clearly they wouldn’t get the full sliding-swing action, if I didn’t really sell it for them. And I also have to explain why it works aesthetically, on a level far more pleasing than just to the eye:

“Cant you just FEEL how all the books are happy right now, with that certain kind of open wall-mount display on equal parallel planes, without all the box bulk of an actual case?”

“Lookit that lamp. I dunno when in the hell you’d have the reason to mount a giant glowing dandelion above your head…but if you just stand here for a second and think about the kind of room it would go in…it’s totally awesome. Right?”

“Here is why this kitchen layout is better than any other kind: floor to ceiling Lazy Suzans in that corner cabinet. No, just stop right now, you will never beat that.”

…And I also feel compelled to let them know that any time they wanna get rich and buy me shit, this is the place to do it, and here are some reasons why:

“‘Kay, look…this roll out drawer would save my life maybe…because my god, how long have I lived having to reach under my bed to get at things, then scrape the hell out of my arms, or slam my head on that fucking Hollywood frame?”

“…No wait, now picture my living room…but then add this to every wall. Instant James Bond high tech, am I right? Just, push this spot in the wall and, BAM cabinet materializes! Push that over there: a door! That there: a sunken wet bar! Tap here: my whole entertainment center folds out…!”

…And sometimes, I’m not so subtle about it:

“…If you wanted to get me this rug, that would be okay.”

“Maybe you could pick up that chair as an early Birthday present to me now…I mean, since we’re already here.”

“I bet if I had this pot and pan set, I’d be able to cook you a delicious dinner. The ones I have now are just holding me back, mostly cuz you deserve the very best.”

Yes. It is that ridiculous. Ask anyone whose ever gone with me.

…All I know is that in the end: the Swedes with their happy-go-luckiness and uber efficiency, are someday going to take over the world…and there will be nothing we can do about it.

…They will hook up with their handy-dandy equally efficient Swiss friends (with their compacted tools and weaponry), and dig themselves a little mountain fortress somewhere (prob’ly throughout the entire Swiss Alps in a collected switchback of mathematically precise grids.) And they will outfit every square inch of tunnel with IKEA themed, space-aged, 60’s-kick-back wonder…where every man, woman, and child, will live in their own customized pod of up to 375 square feet of perfected living space. (Built entirely by their Swiss Army-issued, fold out tool and weaponry knife.)

You guys, the secret is already out there…

…Like the masterminds that they are, they have hidden it in full fucking sight, inside every single one of their monster stores. They will do this all with a maximum of silent speed and efficiency, (if they haven’t already), and thus, out-last every apocalypse (be it zombie or otherwise) by doing so.

…And when it’s all over, the new world power of quiet, happy blond people with killer skiing skills, will emerge.

…And civilization will be saved.

…And that is the truth.

~D

Fingers, Feet & Fetish

5 Sep

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After a long day back at work, with month-end closings, and Holiday sells analysis and blah-blah-blah-blah…how about we get back to the basics? A few flashes into the rest of m’day, to carry with you:

Long walk looking at posh houses with Ma.  I think they have their lawns cut with hair clippers. They also all have mullioned windows breeding like ancient rabbits. If you wanna make a lot of money, you should move here and take up window washing.  It could be very lucrative. Or maybe I will.  Shut up. I told you nothing. It was my idea the whole time.  I have it in writing, so remember that.

…Eating warm falafel pieces with homemade tomatillo salsa, from The BFF’s oven.  This is my second dinner for the night, so I guess it’s good that I did all that walking before.  Chickpeas are yum, but I like their other name “Garbonzo beans” better.  I think cuz it sounds like Gonzo. Which is both my favorite kind of journalism and Muppet. A coincidence?  I think not.

…On a whim, we suddenly decide on the frozen yogurt bar.

She picks pistachio. (She’s wrong, but I love her anyway.)  I get the vanilla and caramel mix.  With marshmallows.  She saves hers.  I eat mine like it doesn’t matter how much shit I’ve already consumed for the day. 

…We sit at The BFF’s house…me: flipping through a 1930’s intelligence book on fingerprinting as The BFF picks at her feet.  She has monster calluses from Kickboxing.  I have monster interest in old paper and weird research fetishes.

Me: (from behind book.) “Did you know you can’t permanently destroy your fingerprints?  Even with burning and acid?”

The BFF: (frowning at her foot in closeup as she picks.) “Huh.”

Me: (still behind book.) “The ridges just grow back.  Six months later. Here, look…there are totally pictures.”

…I don’t even show her the page.  Why should she get to see all the good stuff just cuz I find it?  Even if it is her book. 

She grabs some scissors.

Me: (looking up at the flash of metal.) “Um, what the hell are you doing?”

The BFF:  “It’s just for the dead stuff.  It’s crazy…feel my calluses.  Feel ’em!  Feel ’em!”

…She waves her Flinstone feet in my face, which I refuse to touch on principle.  They are all gnarly on the bottoms like she has a third career in firewalking.  Which she might.  She does a shit-ton of things on a daily basis, and I can’t possibly be responsible with keeping up on ’em all.

…”I have nothing to blog about tomorrow,” I say, while returning to the book.

“You can always talk about me picking at my feet, while we listen to Tom Waits…”

(P.S. We are listening to Tom Waits. On vinyl.)

…”That’s just stupid,” I say, turning the page.  “Why in the hell would I write about that?”

The BFF shrugs and I start reading about this one guy.  It’s all about fingerprint ageing, following this one dude from twenty, through forty and into eighty.  They all look exactly the same.  “These fingerprints all look exactly the same,” the book says.

…And this gets me to thinking.  Mostly about how to get the skin cells on fingertips to replicate all over the body…cuz then we would never change in appearance or age.  Ever.  I consider making this research my new career for the good of all mankind.  Then I remember my first period Chemistry class in High School, and decide that if it’s up to me, mankind is basically just fucked.

…Unless you guys wanna get in on this. In which case, my fee-cut is a very reasonable 20%.

Me: (putting down the book.) “Doesn’t your Kickboxing class start in like five minutes?”

The BFF: “Twenty.”

…I sigh heavily as I lay there exhausted, from looking at pictures, and curing aging and rich people’s dirty windows.

“I need a nap,” I announce, as I heave myself from the couch.  “Call me later.”

…The BFF answers without looking up, with a sound that I know means, “sure/maybe/whatever,” as I walk out the door.

Once home, I put on “Alias” again. Because I can’t help myself.

Season two.  Near the end.  Don’t spoil it for me or I’ll have to kill you.

…I turn abruptly, and bang my fucking knee on the the same fucking edge of the fucking coffee table that I do every goddamn day.  The bruises have never healed since I first brought the fucker home, six years ago.  In the end, it’ll prob’ly be the thing that cripples me.

…I take it out on a pillow.  He takes it like a man. I plow into the couch, and press “play.”

As the last episode wrap-up begins, I look at my laptop in the corner there, and my brain begins to chant.

My Brain: “what-to-write, what-to-write, what-to-write…?”

I think of a finger, dressed like Sherlock Holmes, who solves crimes primarily via errant prints. Maybe it’s a children’s series.  Or something like Sponge Bob which applies to grown-ups with dependency issues.  This would double my viewership, easily.  Then I think of The BFF picking her feet to Tom Waits poetry.

I take the lesser of two evils and just fucking commit…like a Gonzo journalist should.

…Sometimes, it’s all you have.

…That, and a whole lot of expletives.

~D

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