Saturday, November 4

I'll Be Seeing You...

Just saw a show by a friend of mine from improv 101, "I'll Be Seeing You..." Jennifier Russo created a beautifully touching arrangement of classic songs into a dance/musical piece for five performers. A little rumination on love in wartime. A sense of grabbing at what joy one can when the world is so uncertain. It was sweet and funny and sad. It's run was just ths week, so now it is gone. But it is lingering with me tonight, like the taste of your love after they have gotten on the train and you don't know if you'll see them again.

NaNo Blues

I made a huge push last night, but I still feel way behind. Grumble grumble.

He's like the reverse of the Hamburgler

Friday, November 3

The Best Audience For Comedy EVER

One of the things I love is that you can watch him laugh at remembering the joke and in anticiaption of the joke.
(via Digg)

Slow novels, annoying subs, great classes

The novel is starting slow. Almost painfuly so. I don't want to get into it right now because there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful. But it does feel like I am climbing up a steep slope, believe that their is a much easier climb if I can just get past this first part... but not being able to see over the ridge, I can't be sure.

Sketch class had a sub teacher. He had good notes, but I felt like he thought he was running a group of writers for a specific show, and not a beginning sketch class. He also got very flirtery with the one woman in class. Whatever.

Improv class last night was frakin awesome. Just good work by everyone. Very very funny. I personally felt very in the moments. There were times in my scenes were I suddenly let myself give into emotions (in the scenes I got to kind of cry and in the group game I initiated I got have a ranting outburst). And suddenly I understood so much of what I was missing. I felt like I was gifting myself and gifting my partners. It was a great feeling.

Wednesday, November 1

But it goes to eleven...

Gizmodo reports that the Martin Logan Descent i Subwoofer's power knob literally goes to 11. Derek Smalls must be over joyed.

The most expensive sketch ever written

So I finally finished my Commercial Parody sketch for tonight's class. I did to the Uwe Boll/Oregon Trail movie trailer. I inserted some commentary by Uwe himself so I could make fun of him more directly. I think it turned out pretty funny. But it is pretty ambitious if anyone were to try to shoot it. Fields on fire. Covered wagons forging rapids. Charging bears. Lots of gun fire. Charging bears on fire. A single shot that goes from a close up of Nicky Cage to high above the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest on fire.

But I did give Dakota Fanning dysentery. And Jessica Simpson syphilis.

Halloween was fine. Met my low expectations, which was dandy. I enjoyed dressing up and scaring little children with my Santa of Death. It is odd how even on Halloween people on the subway won't sit next to someone in a Santa suit, long skeleton fingers, skull face makeup with blood hand prints on the face and neck. Go figure.

UCB was so-so. Anthony King is amazing with his one-liner observations. And Angeliki George just slays me. Her Slappy, the UCB basement monster, was down with such incredible joy and conviction.

The Harold at 10pm seemed to be a hard struggle. They seemed to have a real hard time finding the game in many scenes. It was one of those backseat improv-ing nights, where in my head I keep yelling, "No no! You just passed up something and now who are taking too many left turns!" It is always easier in the audience... except for those times it's not and you are just amazed and surprised.

Someone did come in a great Joe Wengert costume.

Over on Neil Gaiman's blog, he has an amazingly adoreable picture of his daughter Maddy dressed as him. If you know Gaiman, this will make you laugh

Just don't talk to me about LOST

I'm just done talking to people about LOST. If they bring it up, I will listen but I won't give them my 2 cents. Not unless, I know that they actually want to talk about the events of the show and not how it has disappointed them.

It's not that I don't care about their opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. And LOST is a show that people devote a lot of energy and passion to. But I am sick and tired trying to defend this season. Or last season. Or everything after the pilot episode. The fact is I like the show and I like the story arc. I don't need new and exciting info every episode. I don't even need plot progression every episode. I don't care who Kate ends up sleeping with. I don't care if they play Sawyer as 'nice' or an 'asshole.' I don't care if they spend 42 minutes discussing philosophy. I don't care if the Losties get their butts kicked for 6 episodes in a row. I don't care who they kill off or who they bring back. I don't care if things make any logical sense now until the final episode of the final season.

Because, I believe for the first time in my life, I am a true fanboi.

I trust the writers implicitly. I will follow them down whatever road they take me. I love to debate what each element might possibly mean or if it means anything at all. I love to ponder the characters individual story arcs and how they relate back to their flashbacks. I adore the slow pace, the interlocking structure, and the fantastic imagery. I love parallels, the references, the call backs, the redherrings, the McGuffins, the fakeouts, the reveals. I love the music and the production values. I love the mystery, the complex mythos, the hundreds of unanswered questions. I don't need to be shocked, yet I am always awed.

I trust the writers and I don't want this show to be forced by people screaming what they want this show to be about to change their course. I want 7 seasons and then I want a finale. This is a show that I feel is so perfectly suited to the television format, that plays with the concept of time and episodic content, that proves that TV does have to be dumbed down or crap. This is a show that shows what scifi/fanatsy does well.

All I ask is that it makes perfect sense by the series finale. Not every question needs to be answered by then, but the unanswered ones need reasons for being unanswered.

That's all I want. So told tel me how you hate the show this season or how it has disappointed you. Because I am bored by trying to defend it. Either watch it or not. Talk t me about the hundreds of things about the show that are fun to discuss, not why you are about to 'stop watching if it doesn't get better soon.' I just want to enjoy the damn thing.

Now, if you want to hear my 10 minute rant on how and why Sorkin is screwing up Studio 60 or how quickly Gilmore Girls slipped this season after Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino left at the end of last season, step on in. Both of those shows are about to get booted from the Tivo if they don't get better soon.

Tuesday, October 31

Screw the Segway. Get me one of those!

Apparently one of these has been seen around Harajuku station in Tokyo. Reminds me a bit of the robots from Ghost in the Shell. It can apparently navigate curbs. No idea how fast it is, a long its battery life is (or if it even runs on batteries), or how the operator can cram their body into it. But I want one so bad.

(via Engadget)

Sketch Writing Dooldrums

I have to write a commercial parody for tomorrows class and it just isn't clicking. Somehow I though it would be simple, but nothing is exciting me. This the kind of thing that would be a lot easier for me if I was just given a specific ad to make fun of. Maybe it's because I can think of something funny to do of about any ad out there... I don't know.

I tried to do something based on the Michael J Fox/Rush Limbaugh stem-cell thing, but it just wasn't working as an ad. It is really more suited for a news segment. You know, on of those satellite group debate deals. MJF shaking on one side, Rush popping pills on the other, maybe bring back Pope John Paul from the dead to hit the Parkinson/stem-cell joke hard on last time. Just not suited to an ad. And making an UNfunny Parkinson's joke is just not cool. Funny, fine. UNfunny, no.

So I finally settled on a trailer for "Oregon Trail: The Movie." Directed by Uwe Boll. May only end up funny to a certain level of geek... and a certain age of geek. But it makes me laugh.

Still a pain to write. Not a lot of dialogue. A lot of description. I don't know how it will "read."



So we are back to this day again. This holiday that I really love the concept of but so often feel let down by. So much prep, so little pay off. Maybe I just still yearn for the days when it was the all day a school, then Trick o' Treatin', and then a week or so of feasting on the spoils. Now it is frantically working on a costume in the early evening, rushing out the door to some party and then just left with detritus of costume making and a hang over.

My pivotal moment was in Minneapolis. I had a crush on this girl from the restaurant I was working at. A bunch of us decided to go as Alice in Wonderland characters and it the big First Avenue Halloween party and then another party at a loft in the Warehouse District. I was going as the Mad Hatter (that was a good costume actually) and the object of my affection was going as Alice (yes, I have a bit of an Alice fetish... which we won't be going into today). All of us were meeting at First Ave., but I, in my over excitement/anxiety, arrived way too early... right after the doors opened. Since it was still happy hour, I filled the time with Long Island Ice Teas. Ah, the First Ave. L.I. Ice Teas... glorious things. Tasted vile but very large.

By the time everyone else arrived I had passed through tipsy and buzzed and was already two thirds of the way through drunk on my way to plastered. I tried to flirt but I quickly lost track of Alice. At some point the Caterpillar handed me her hookah while she went to dance. I eventually found the loud music was way too much for me and decided to head out to the loft party. It was only four blocks away, yet I managed to get lost. I physically could not read the street signs.

I stumbled onto the alley that supposedly held the entrance to the loft to find two police officers with flash lights searching the snow. Suddenly paranoia about what might be in the hookah I still held in my over-sized cartoon hands hit me. So I stumbled away. I realized the only think I could do was to head home. (I have no idea what time it was by that point but probably brutally early.)

But I could read street signs and I couldn't focus enough to wave down a cab (always a sketchy thing in Minneapolis at the best of times). So I walked. Around 4 miles. Which doesn't sound like a lot but it was a cold cold Minnesota night and I was under-dressed as the Mad Hatter, gripping onto a large hookah, and extremely drunk. Unclear how I made it home.

Anyway, it just seems that the higher my hope about Halloween, the greater my disappointment. The one aberration to that rule in recent years was the Massive Party the I (and others) through at the brownstone two years ago. And last year was okay, but i had no expectations, went out for only a couple of hours, and then ran home to start writing the novel at midnight.

Tonight I am going as the Santa of Death because I have all the parts at home. And I shall be hitting UCB's Halloween shows. And then who knows? I have no crushes, no expectations. If I get home early, I shall write. If I'm having fun, I shall stay out. It's Halloween, so I shall just try to "Yes...And" everything. I need to be doing more of that in my day-to-day life anyway.

Monday, October 30

Oh, the pain

Horrible flight last night. No, the flight was fine. Or at least exactly what one has come to expect from most airlines. But the combination of just being tired from the long day of travel and the total inability of getting comfortable due to sunburn and the mysterious (if delicious) fish/shrimp/bacon tacos kicking back on me... well, it made for a long 5 hours. I did finish reading The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time, which I fully enjoyed but it didn't quite get me what I need on how to portray autism on the page with respect.

Then had a godawful taxi ride home from JFK. Horrible traffic. Took over almost an hour and a half. Really should have dealt with that fish taco issue before I left the airport.

Anyway, today was mainly spent sleeping. I have a make-up class tonight. So not lengthy Mexico recap yet. But take look at that photo. That is an infinity pool over high above the Pacific. The photo doesn't come close to doing it justice.


Waiting in LAX for my return to JFK.
Will give full update on Mexico trip sometime tomorrow... with photos!
But right now I am sunburnt and happy. And getting so darn antsy to start NaNo-ing. Still not to late to sign up folks. Write a novel this November. I dare you.