Saturday, June 28

Childhood Fears

Don't view right before going to sleep.

What my mom sent me this morning

(by Mark Jackson)

Thanks, Mom!

Blog Rolling

Apparently, Summer is the time to blog. I started up again and so have a lot of folks I know. I thought perhaps this would be a good time to go through my long list of blogs I have listed here (see to the right) and why I read them.

A Revolution of Words
Wolfhaus is a good friend, a fellow Thank You Robot and general a cool dude. Exceedingly smart and funny and shares my tastes in most things.

Adam Bozarth
A talented improviser whose head is filled with a thousand ideas.

Anna's Blog
Anna's sense of humor is sharp like a straight razor. I am also partly responsible for introducing her to pen and paper roleplaying. So I owe her.

One of the most talent young improvisers I know.

Boing Boing
Okay, everyone knows Boing Boing. Probably my personal zeitgeist.

Dan In Seattle
Right know I am enjoying reading about his take on improv in the Northwest. (I was also in a class with him once.)

Diamond-Soled Shoes
Ruby Sneakers and I run very much in the same circles. I count her and Ben Whitehouse as the heart and souls of a certain slice of the NYC improv scene... and heart them both for it. Great friend.

Digsy Has A Blog
He does have a blog. I never followed Marvel comics but he is slowly educating me.

Eliza Skinner
A very talent comedian/writer/director/what have you. Also the teacher who allowed me to feel comfortable during musical improv. For that I'm eternally grateful.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Great source for DIY madness.

Faithless Hearts, Faithless Money
Rench introduced me to the Idiotarod and to country hip-hop. His projects (music and otherwise) are always exciting.

Feed Me A Kitten
Ethan is another improviser (or sorts). He has a talent for finding quirky things.

GamePolitics News
Because video games have a cultural impact.

I like tech.

I'm Learning to Share
I recently found this. There are always great finds here.

Ben Whitehouse's coverage of improv in NYC. Ben and I are also working on an exciting project together that will either blow your mind or get us sued...or both.

Jill Morris
Funny lady with funny writings.

John Robert Wilson
Another Thank You Robot. JR's brain baffles and awes me. He as an amazing sense of the bizarre. I dare you to dive in.

A video game site that doesn't take t self to seriously but is also not just fluff.

Morrisey and Fist Fighting, Mostly
Chris Gethard is a teacher that did much to make me the improviser I am now and a great storyteller. I can't recommend his Hump Day Stories enough. Seriously, go back and read them all.

My Dick's On Fire
Mike Still is one of my favorite performers right now. He is just some one who steps on stage and makes me laugh.

Neil Gaiman's Journal
It's Neil Gaimen. What else do you want?

Planet Gordon
On my musical improv team (Veal) and great guy. Wrote a book.

Stuck In Customs
Fantastic photographs.

The Perry Bible Fellowship
I don't even know if he is still making strips but you should go browse it anyway.

Urban Prankster
Covers the world wide practice of making the world a more interesting place.

Will Hines
Another improviser/writer/everything. What his stuff. You'll laugh.

Because I'm a horrible gossip and love politics.

So check them out. There is also some fun stuff under What I'm Hearing. Enjoy.


I don't want to talk about it here because I don't want to hype it anymore. Why? Because it is a lovely masterpiece and needs no hyping. Sweet, touching, daring, hilarious, beautiful.

I am guessing I'll see it at least twice more. Last night I saw it at 7:30pm and an audience of all adults. Now I want to see it with kids.

Friday, June 27

Science of Crushes. Pt 2.

I saw Dan Deacon, Tom Tom Club and Devo at McCarren Pool last night. All three were great. Devo was especially interesting... in part because they are old. It is always a bit weird to see aging musicians get back on stage and watch them do what they've been doing for 20 plus years. But the Devo has aged particularly well. Once they were a bunch of New Wave nerds. Now they are new wave nerds with guts and grey hair. But they are still nerds still doing what they do and doing it hard. There is no chitter chatter bullshit in their set. They just play from one song to another, bring all the energy and style they had in 1984. It's not like they've been frozen in time but it is also not as if they are just going through the motions. They believed in what they were doing back then and it is still true now. They are just, well, Devo.

But none of that relates to the topic heading, does it?

I have this stupid thing I do in my head at concerts (or dance clubs or whatever). I dance (or I do something which I interpret as dancing). I am relative unselfconscious about it. But I do these weird scans of the crowd around me. What am I doing? I'm checking girls out. Because I still live in the fantasy world were I will make I contact with a woman and something magical will happen.

We'll lock eyes, smile at each other and go back to dancing. From song to song, we will cautiously check each other out and gravitate towards each other. Eventually we will find ourselves dancing side by side. By the time the encore hits, we are screaming the words to the song in each other's face. When the concert is over, we will be out of breath, sweaty and just happy. There will be an awkward moment of realization that we shared a "moment" but haven't even said a word. There will be a stumbling over words. "Wow." "Yeah... wow." "Um, hey." "Yeah, um, hi." She will sweep sweaty hair off her face. "I'm Chris." "I'm [fill in name]." "You want to grab a drink?"

Has this ever happened to me? No. Have I ever even approached a woman at concert? No. But I still have that fantasy. And I find myself scanning the masses, finding one woman, and then repeatedly turning back to her hoping she looks at me. And I can't tell if it is a romantic ideal or just pathetic.

Wednesday, June 25

The Science of Crushes. Pt 1.

I don't develop crushes often. At least not sincere ones. I get the wistful, "They're cute and make me laugh and I sure wonder what it would be like to kiss them" thing. Sometimes that thought stays in my brain for weeks of months. Sometimes it will it me particularly strong if I'm drunk and feeling lonely and gets to the point where the wistful thought twists into exaggerated romantic fantasy (usually involving a subway platform, rain, her hand resting light on my chest and a whispered "Come to my place"). But those aren't crushes.

The problem, as I see it, is that I've stumbled into (and out of) way to many relationships. Most have them have been pretty passionate type deals. I can be an emotional, sweep you off your feet type fellow (I know... surprising ain't it?). I fall hard and quick once it has all started. But, I have learned, that I do that in part because I didn't really like myself all that much and it was much easier to become what she (which ever she it might be) wanted instead of facing whatever it was I wanted to be.

Now that I like me pretty well I find it a lot harder to just submit to passion/love/whatever you want to call it. And I've been burned a few time in the last few years where very shortly after it started it ended... usually with a "I didn't mention it but I was seeing this other guy and it has been so great with YOU this last week, it made me realize I wanted to make it work with him." (Yes. It made no sense to me either... any of the three times it happened.) I won't say that has closed me off, but it has made me wary. I like to take things slower now... but I also miss (greatly) that feeling of falling and tumbling and just in the moment.

Maybe my lack of being able to crush also deals with me being pickier. I've added so many things to my list of things that I want in a woman. My age range has become more specific. They most actually read books. They can't hate mass media but have to have a self-awareness about its silliness. They must have strong personal opinions but be open to hearing new ideas... even if they know from word one that they are going to disagree. Strongly "independent" but able to accept (and ask for) help/care when they need/want it. Aware of their own worth and talent and believe in themselves but also not narcissistic. A sense of humor. (This is the short list.)

The funny thing is I actually know a lot of women that fit this mold (okay, they age thing is a bit sketchy... but I am probably most flexible on that one). But I am infinitely talented at coming up with reasons why they'd not be interested in me. My age. We both run in the same too incestuous circles. She mentioned that one guy once so she must be into him. Blah blah blah. So I never allow myself to think of them as potential, for the lack of a better word, lovers. I just nip in in the bud.

And that is what it comes down to: potential. I seem to need to know that there is potential before I allow myself to walk over the edge. There was a time I spent a semester wooing a woman... and it turned into a wonderful relationship. But I just can't bring myself to dive in blind anymore. I need to know that they have considered me too.

The problem is of course that I can't flirt. I really can't. Not for reals. The second I start to think that the two of us my be real flirting and not just play flirting, I just freeze up. I say stupid things. Not the charming, slightly goofy things that once worked for me. Just stupid. I actually love flirting. I love being in the moment where you are sitting close together and your legs are touching and you suddenly realize that the energy between you has shifted and turned. Where every word carries four or five meanings. Where the silence following hard laughter is just the two of you looking into each others eyes, not wanting to look away. That moment on the street in front of the bar, where you are both about to go home but neither wants it to end and you both realize that the only answer is to kiss in the rain. I adore those moments. But I have lost all ability to follow through once those moments start.

I think I doubt myself and falter in that doubt. I pause in my head. "Was that a look? No. Yes? I don't know." And I just let it drop. It's cowardice, really. I fear the awkward moment of me thinking "yes" and then in the next second realizing it was "no."

Maybe I just want to be asked out. Or just told. Or pulled aside and told, "I want to talk to you."

I do still get crushes, it's just rare. There will be a woman that I think about a few dozens of times in a day and wonder if she ever things about me as "potential." But I am cynical and have burned and been burned by others. And I like myself now and like the world around me but I'm worried it is all a house of cards that will tumble with one misplaced assumption. I have more to loose now.

But I miss falling.

Tuesday, June 24

Monday, June 23

Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm, the video game

I'm not even where to start on this one. Look, I love the show but I'm not sure I want to play it.

Some choice bits from the press release:
Battle 40-foot waves, storms, ice and a nearly 100 percent crew member injury rate in the dangerous hunt for undersea riches on the Bering Sea with the new video game Deadliest Catch Alaskan Storm...
Okay, that sounds great and all but (1) it's crab fishing and (2) "nearly 100 percent crew member injury rate"?
Gamers then recruit and lead their own crew from a roster of 20 real crab fishermen. Selecting the wrong boat or recruiting the wrong crew member can mean the difference between landing a Bering Sea jackpot or disaster.
I love how it is real crab fishermen, like they making an NFL game with real players. Makes me want to start a fantasy crab fishing league.
With waves over 40 feet high, Deadliest Catch Alaskan Storm features the best wave effects in a video game to date.
Game designers love to brag about water effects. Hey, I understand that it's tricky business. And this is a case where it does matter. I mean, if you screw up the wave effects in a Deadliest Catch game, you don't have a whole lot else.

Let's look at some video:

Well, that does look a bit exciting. Not much crab fishing. Let's look at some gameplay:

Um... yeah... looks like... um...

I think I'll hold out for the MythBusters game (which I picture as a 3D platformer).

Seaman... See man... and um...