Tag Archives: lessons

Your Friday Randomness

7 Mar

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Listen, I have these two bananas left on my desk…so do you want one? 

…I’ve been pushing them on everyone since I came in today.  Apparently bananas have a shelf life of about a day-and-a-half in my house, cuz I swear they were mostly green when I got them Wednesday, and now they’re on the ass-end of being brown-freckled to death.

Stupid fruit.

…See, this is why I do vegetables, instead.  This always happens to me. The apples get soft brown spots, the berries grow fuzz and the oranges sound like slushies when you shake them…all within about 48 hours from date of purchase.  I need to just stop trying anymore and buy my fruit as nature intended I consume it: In Oikos yogurt.

Meanwhile…

I did this really stupid thing yesterday at “lunch.” I watched the finale of “Burn Notice.”

…I was naturally devastated and useless for about three hours after, and super pissed, but in the good way…cuz it HAD to end the way that it did…with the people and the things and the stuff, and it was a moment of total bad-assness on it’s own terms…but still. It wasn’t okay. And you need to know that.

…Lucky for me I still have “Cagney & Lacey” to consume as I lick my wounds. Which…I dunno if you’ve seen it in a while or not…but it ain’t like those cheesy 80’s shows with bad writing, and dated everything else. That show, is tops. I mean laughing out loud and getting pissed and emotional EVERY EPISODE kind of good.

…Plus it continues to feed my current “Celebricrush” fulfillment on Sharon Gless.

…Know what else feeds that? (Other than my Amazon wish list?) Google and the YouTubes.

…In fact, Google and the YouTubes are tops when it comes to “Celebristalking.” So many happy hits of joy to seek and mine. Of course I choose to refer to this action as “study time” more than “stalking”…in as much as I am gaining valuable information useful to my daily life and career, and not just general gossip about which brand she smokes (none, she’s quit), or how many per day (three packs, at her highest.)

…Lessons like, “Every Fucking Way To Use A Cigarette As A Prop.” This is an important update to the unwritten book Bette Davis first wrote back in the 30’s. And with the theme of characters on my resume, this can ONLY be considered invaluable information. So too, “How To Make Your Interviewer Blush.” “Wig & Hair Ornamentation Tips.” “How To Be The Darling Of The Gays.” “Out Dirty-Laughing The Dirty Laughers.” “How To Embrace & Love The ‘Fat Farm.'” “How To Be A GILF.” “Marriage Ain’t For Everyone.” And, “How To Tell A Critic To Fuck Off.”

…I think perhaps the last one is my particular favorite. Mostly for its context:

“The woman in San Jose slammed everything I did from the minute the curtain came up! She hated every moment of it and criticized my orgasm! …I wanted to write her and say, ‘Look lady, I don’t know what yours are like or if you’ve ever had one, but I did mine standing up and got applause every night.'”

…That was Gless at age sixty-something, P.S.

Just: “Winning.” The end.

In Other News: I am now eating my second banana of the day. Can you OD on them? I dunno. I only bought them for the vitamins and you CAN OD on those…though I still don’t understand how.

…As part of my “trying to embrace and love the ‘Fat Farm,'” lesson, I decided a natural food detox with vitamin bump would be a good idea. So looked up a bunch of all natural stuffs, together with recommendations of friends, and now am choking down weeds and powders in pill form, every morning, in lieu of breakfast.

…I tried to fix that too…which is where the bananas come in.

…Only turns out that raiding my pantry for pills from the last health kick I was on, showed toxic levels of too muchness in the daily intake. Like 2000 IUs of vitamin D instead of the Pac NW recommended 1000…the difference meaning I could accidentally die of like liver failure and twelve other things…OR if not consuming enough: keel over from weak bones, contract MS, have breast issues, or fade into a ghost jellyfish from general lack of sunlight.

…For a hypochondraic, this kind of research and study is enough to send you absolutely over the edge with anxiety…but I’ve managed rather well under the circumstances. I’ve set myself a nice and balanced little chart to follow, and am trying my best to wean myself off the crap-consumption so my body can actually take advantage of it. Soda and junk food is out. There isn’t a lick of salt in my house. A few cheats here and there from the evil Starbuck drive-thru and late night nibbles after rehearsal are still a battle, but that’s been set with a kill date of tomorrow.

…Other than that, the booze are really the last of the hump. Its a big one…I don’t wanna climb that hill…it sucks. Wine and whiskey are delicious! But its time, its good. I’ve done my Wakes and taken my break and puffed out like a float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Time to reel it in now.

…Detox. Whatta bitch.

~D

Indiscreet Ink – Week 5

13 Sep

This week’s prompt was folded into the literal building of the piece , as well as theme suggestion. 

…More or less an essay of sorts.

A nod to our teachers.

***Read this week’s writing blog here***

~D

Mr. President

13 Dec

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Having the night off from rehearsal, I thought I’d go n’ visit our little Arthouse, The Grand, and geek out on some study time.  Just me, n’ a couple of my teachers…namely Daniel Day-Lewis, Stephen Spielberg, Sally Field, Hal Holbrook, and Tommy Lee Jones.

…I picked well.

“Lincoln.”

…The screenplay: far less epic in content, the costumes and sets: less opulent than Hollywood has always previously shown us to expect of the period, the battle scenes: awkward, and chaotic…equally that in the House, with its members in full head-on debate, and quiet scene after quiet scene of a man whose face you could never mistake for anyone else’s: hair in an unruly coif, sunken cheeks amidst angular bone structure, with deep-set, hooded eyes wearing the weariness of War, and fast-approaching end of his first term of Presidency.

It took me a bit to understand exactly where they were going with all this.

…Not the “story line,” mind you, but the way in which they were telling it.  And why. 

…The point being: we already know the history, what was fought and won on the battle field, and in the House. But suppose we put all those high stakes and risks, and political choices into a different perspective, by remembering for a moment, that this person who made it all happen was not “Abraham Lincoln” as we know him to be. 

…Suppose we follow him into his bedroom, overhearing his interpretation of the days events while his stockinged feet are propped up on a sofa leg, with his wife’s discarded evening dress hanging before him.  Suppose we watch this giant of a man (in form and in legend), shuffle in slippers, to his son’s playroom, work his way to lay on the floor beside him, just to get on his level to look in the small face and give it a kiss.  Watch him give piggyback rides, like every dad does…share inside jokes and bitter fights with his wife, tell epic stories in inappropriate moments to his employees…sport a funny high-reed of a voice, that rasps after often great lengths in oratory…and see how he seems to have one speed at which he walks, talks, thinks and decides things…which is conservatively specific and frustratingly, painstakingly, slow.

…Think of him not in the “Sit Room,” discussing War and political strategy, but in the cellar of his kitchen — sinks full of dirty dishes and counters full of used wine glasses and platters–trying to coerce an ali, while a gala party goes on without him upstairs.  Think of him not addressing crowd after crowd giving any number of the speeches we all know by heart, but keeping company with a few soldiers on a battle field, or on a front porch with his general and friend, Ulysses S. Grant, puffing on a cigar beside him. Think of the privacy of a Parent’s grief at the loss of their son and how they share in deaths of everyone else’s son’s by extension.

…Think of him, just as a man.

Because: he was.

Albeit a remarkable one…but we already know that.

I think the point of this “study” on film, is not so much to look at the legend he was to become because of who he was…but to see that BEING who he was, MADE him into this remarkable legend.

And it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t obvious choices and fire-fueled debates and banners of glory, backed by a thankful Nation. He was actively hated by half the country, blamed for the War that slaughtered millions, turning brother against brother…had a split House, was trying to pass a radical new Amendment into law, just prior to beginning his second term in office, while dealing with an emotionally unstable wife, a son wanting to enlist, his Party threatening to turn their backs on him, his own Cabinet split in their support of his next plans of attack, a Southern delegation for peace on it way, which could entirely screw up his Emancipation Proclamation, and the knowledge that timing is everything…and what must be done, must be done NOW or NEVER.

…So, no pressure or anything.

What I loved about this whole approach was the constant, specific, reminder that our greatest moments in History are not the sure-fire wins we know in retrospect, them to be. What makes perfect sense and could never possibly happen in any other way (in hind sight), absolutely could have been crushed coming ’round any of the 45 corners along the epically painful obstacle course set out in real-time when History was busy being “current” and in-the-actual-making.

…They had no real way of knowing “how” or “when” or “why” or “if.” They had no idea the repercussions or what would branch and build out from them. They were our “Forefathers,” sure…but they were just men. Sometimes one or two, sometimes by the room full. We know their names from class text books and for what they’ve put their names to. We know them by their resumes. But this film was a chance to get a peek at this entirely different aspect of their lives and battles and weaknesses and private strengths.

…Then to sit there time after time and be gobsmacked by the turning of Party lines as a House of Republicans fight to put equality to law, Democrats fighting tooth and nail to oppose them, directly after an election 147 years later, where the same damn fight just took place in my own state backed by opposite parties, in a freak 180 degree turn of total irony.

It’s sorta mind-blowing in a million quiet, specific, painful ways.

…Ultimately, of course, the guy was eloquent, and brave, and hopeful, and trusting, and wholly without thoughts of spite or revenge: our “Mr. President.” Perhaps more than we deserved, but sometimes faith in people sorta forces them to rise to the occasion. Or, better put, a good example put before us, inspires us to greatness, respect and humaneness.

M’favorite part of the entire film, in fact, was one quiet moment in an empty telegraph room, save for a young engineer, the telegraph boy, and the President.

…He has to send a cable in response to Grant’s notification. There are Confederate delegates ready to meet in a peace talk that could now end the war. Meanwhile, up on the hill, lobbyists are fighting tooth and nail to secure the votes he needs to pass the 13th Amendment into law. If he ends the War before the vote: he could lose them altogether, and thus this certain perfect window of time to abolish slavery. If he doesn’t end the War, he might lose the vote anyway, and have the blood of how many more sons and brothers and fathers, killed in that time, on his hands? He has a choice to make, and has given it, but hesitates when the telegraph boy asks him if he authorises transmit.

…He sits there for a long while, just thinking…running everything through his mind. Eventually he turns to the young Engineer and begins to relate to him, “Euclid’s Theory.”

…No clip on YouTube or snippit of script I could find, leaves his spur of the moment History lesson on mathematics in tact as the movie has done. So go: pay the bucks…sit in the seat…watch the work of this man, and get to that scene….where I think Tony Kushner (Pulitzer winning author of “Angels in America”) has his finest, quiet moment in the script.

Just a man and two boys, (and whole Nation) waiting for an answer to one simple question. And keeping to character, the man (as we now know him), chooses that moment to launch on into a (seemingly) totally inappropriately timed story.

…It comes, partway in, at:

“…Euclid’s first common notion is this: Things which are equal to the same things are equal to each other. That’s a rule of mathematical reasoning and its true because it works – has done and always will do. In his book Euclid says this is self evident. You see, there it is, even in that 2000 year old book of mechanical law it is the self evident truth that things which are equal to the same things are equal to each other…”

Almost 150 years later, and we’re sadly still trying to get that through our damn heads.

…”Math doesn’t lie, so fuckin’ DEAL with it!”
~ Another inaccurate but closely (at least) related quote on the internet, attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

~D

This One Time?

17 Aug

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When I was a kid I had this friend? Every time she talked? Even in a declarative sentence? She sounded like she was always asking a question?

…It was a really unique quirk that I didn’t fully grasp at the time? I mean, I knew there was something strange about her vocal pattern? Only I didn’t know what the hell a vocal pattern was? So couldn’t directly put my finger on it?

All I knew was: I always felt that she was really really interested in anything and everything I ever said? It was like my personal opinion on any subject was just the gold standard of fact? But then sometimes? It got a little confusing too? On account of she never seemed to be quite solid on what her own preferences and ideas were?

…For example?

(While building a Kool-Aid stand.)

Me: “This’ll be great! We’ll be gillionairs prob’ly, by tomorrow! How much should we charge per-the-glass?”

She: “Maybe we could charge fifty cents? Or maybe not? Maybe three for a dollar?”

Me: “Like an ‘on sale’ kinda deal?”

She: “Yeah? Or maybe different sizes?”

Me: “Wait, different sizes for a dollar or different sizes on sale?”

She: “Yeah? Or maybe, like, a special? For repeat customers? Or lemonade too so we have two kinds of flavors?”

Me: “Well, which one of those-all do you wanna do?”

She: “I dunno? Cuz sometimes one sounds good? And then the other? But then some people don’t like lemons that much? So maybe we should just stick to Kool-Aid? But then we can do the different sizes still? Or maybe not?”

Me: “So…which one do you vote for, then?”

She: “…And then the cups too? They cost money? So maybe we should put that in the price with it all? I dunno? That’s what I think?”

…It could sometimes be confusing?

She wasn’t, in the end, a “long-term” buddy? In fact I only remember her really from that one summer? But she did make a lasting impression on me, with a kind of constant invitation to offer my opinion freely? About everything? Whether it had anything to do with me or not? And sometimes? I catch myself falling into this same trap? The kind where I think I hear a person asking my opinion? In this open-ended kind of way? Only turns out, they’re not? It has nothing to do with me? And I am just being a gigantic self-opinionated asshole by insinuating that it does? And my only defense really is that…

…This one time?

…I knew a girl once, who always sounded really interested in what I thought about things? Her voice always went up in the end like a question? Even when she was making a declarative sentence? And I think I caught a strange disease from her? Called self-inserted-opinion-justification-in-order-to-clarify-where-you-don’t-even-fucking-belong-itus? I actually know a lot of people who have it?

…That girl? She must have really got around and stuff?

I mean, obviously?

…Cuz you knew her too, right…?

~D

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