Friday, November 30, 2007

An Actor Among Musicians/ Winter Wonder Why

12 days, 30 days
Yesterday was the first music-oriented rehearsal of this year's Dramat foray into the silly world of musical theater. I consider it a gift from a higher power that the dance teachers couldn't get their act together enough to actually hold dance auditions like last year, as the audition would no doubt prove to be a disaster for me again. Given the chance to cast me now, I believe the dance teachers would probably give me the role of Asssistant Assistant Stage Manager (That's code for cut). You see, it's apparently not bad enough that I suck at dancing, but I am the only person in the cast who does. While everyone stage-fell UL, I decided UR would be great, and when we were supposed to slowly trudge across the stage (a fairly simple move), I once again decided to move against the current of dancers. It really is just directional problems, though honestly I think we all kinda look like morons.
It's always puzzled me why people enjoy seeing musicals. The acting is exaggerated; all of the characters are sterotypical, 2-dimensional cardboard cutouts of people who feel love, anger, and despair exactly when predicted. And rarely do you ever find a popular musical with actual substance as far as plot goes, because once again, it seems to be cliche after cliche. And then of course, the dancing. The only real reason I can see people going to musicals for is the singing, but showtunes have never been my cup of tea.
So why do I go out for musicals? I love to act, and fool myself into thinking that there will be any substancial acting in the show. Sure, I've got a respectable amount of lines, but within those lines lies no more character than could be held in a thimble (No bigger than a thimble, but still plenty good AAAAA, It's okay). The point is, as I face yet another winter, I am once again reminded of how much I dislike everything about the season.
No sport worth playing, a dramat production that always dissapoints yet I can't stay away from, and of course the bleakness of the season. I never really understood why some people like winter. All of my pleasurable senses seem to be canned and muted. Congestion forbids smell, numbness touch, my eyes don't want to see the blanket of white which has deteriorated into a half-snow, half-mud eyesore, and I don't feel that I have anything to focus on save for school (Ew). All I can say is, I hope my hobbies can keep me going until March.


Holy crap, that still says "There's A Man On the Wing".

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Meaning of Life (A Reimagining)

I think we can all agree that, at least to a slight degree (In my opinion to a fairly radical one) I have changed a bit as a person since Tuesday, June 13, 2006. This has certainly been reflected in my blogging, which I'd like to say has increased in quality, and hopefully in intrigue (This wouldn't be a huge feat, as I'm fairly sure my original posts had about the level of intrigue of a zombie lemon ( endlessly amusing, but definitely embarassing in retrospect...Wait, who am I kidding? The zombie lemon was awesome). I find it interesting that something that started so crumby, a place where I could simply make jokes with my friends, give them shout outs, and be weird, has managed to develop into a place where I can actually write my thoughts, while still goofing around with you guys (Because that's really the important part, isn't it?). I just had somewhat of a realization that this is an issue of depth developing from shallowness; talk about a one-track mind. But after I've brought up the idea of isolation time and time again since that one post, I fear I may've killed it to some degree. Okay, I never could really kill it since it's so awesome, but it didn't make for good post diversity. Thus, I'm not going to cram this Sam Shepard philosophy down your throat again until I actually have something good to say about it. Wow, digression.
In any case, I'd like to change my established views on the meaning of life, and, consequently, the mentality which is Peace, Love, and Star Trek (the idea, not the blog). My stated pupose in my original post was to spread hope regarding unity in the world, through the philosophy of Peace, Love, and Star Trek (Star Trek being representative of togetherness). But as my blog has matured, it has strayed from its original didactic intent, and focuses on my perception of the world. And if that helps you, great. If you hate my writing, fine. If you're just in it for the occasional laugh, cool, thats awesome. But don't think I'm in here with some higher agenda anymore. Really, I'm just here to chill.


Only signing his name once.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So Much For No Grand Metaphors

It could be said that the youth of America are shallow and unappreciative of true literary art, for the likes of visually stunning and sexually titillating material has become the main appeal for many of them to watch television or catch a movie. Many would argue that it is so often the case that a teenager buys his way into a flick just so that he may see a gorey torture scene or attractive actress, only to find that he’s also accidentally stumbled upon a literarily respectable plot with engaging characters as well. This may not even be exclusive to youth, as I’ve seen many a thirty-year-old (Okay, a few) with mouths agape in a blast-filled action movie. So is it a good thing that such bait is being used, as it is the only way to stimulate some people’s minds with a layered story? Well, I’m not really terribly interested in discussing that. My point, really, is that this cycle of dangling the shallow themes of plots (Examples being special affects and sex appeal, both of which are immediately visually rewarding, but don’t have the lasting rewarding effect that good stories do) is something which is generally frowned upon. It’s come to be known as selling out.
I used to agree with this idea, the notion that authors and directors and playwrights even, go for a cheap sell. But as I research the playwright/actor Sam Shepard, and think of his life and works in relation to the script that I plan on getting on its feet in the coming days, I am beginning to see that this “soft sell” is more an idea, an image, which captures an idea in the writer’s head.
I hope you’re still with me here; I know I don’t always make the most sense ever. But I have recently come to a realization: All of my more layered story ideas stem not from themes of human being, nor from delves into the psyche, but rather from shallow ideas. J-Verts and Koops know that my most recent story idea does have fairly developed characters. They are not completely fleshed out, but they are a start, and I would like to think that they are promising building blocks for a solid two-act play. Their interaction is somewhat compelling, filled with deceit towards one another and inward deceit, as well as reluctant affections which ultimately make the fruition of the plot all the more unbearable for those involved. I think I can safely call the plot as it is right now not shallow without sounding full of myself.
However, it did not start like this. My entire idea stemmed from “How cool would it be if 3 thieves robbed the same house, and like, clashed?” I was not so much interested in the characters as I was in their conflict. I was enthralled, like a child, in pure violence of three thieves pitted against one another. Only the actual act of outlining the plot brings about any sense of character in my stories. The characters come about, not by my choice, but by necessity. For, unfortunately, a play rarely happens well without characters. Because I did not plan for these characters to be in the plot, they are completely new to me when my pen touches paper, and I see them as if I were an audience with no previous knowledge. On this subject I then leave you with no didactic instruction or broad, intelligent connection, but rather a question: Can depth spring from shallowness? Does depth only ever spring from shallowness?
On the topic of Shepard, I do hold hope that my methods are tried and true, though not tried by me. A particular quote of his resonated with me: “…I don’t want to be a playwright, I want to be a rock and roll star. I want that understood right off…Writing is neat because you do it on a very physical level. Just like rock and roll. A lot of people think playwrights [have] special answers to special problems that confront the world at large. I think that’s a crock of shit. When you write a play you work out like a musician on a piece of music. You find all the rythyms and the melodies and the harmonies and take them as they come.

So much for theory.”

The level at which I relate to these statements is chilling to me. Shepard was fascinated by cliches such as cowboys and rock stars. He wrote handfuls of plays about modern or authentic cowboys, milking the idea of the showdown for all it was worth. In the way I was fascinated with clashing robbers, so I believe Shepard had been enveloped in his childhood fantasies of gunslinging outcasts who had a way with women and a quick draw for whoever wanted to meet him at high noon. Yet from these cliches he drew revolutionary characters and stories. I have had a long-time dream of being in a rock band someday. And not a band like you see mostly- One vocalist, one guitarist, one bassist, one drummer. I want to be in a band where everyone can do all of that and does do all of that. I want a band which is perfect blending.
Such is the nature of my ideal play. No character stands out as serving a particular role in the story, all are there to be the story, because the story turns out the same every time, and no matter how many bass intros or guitar and drum solos you have, the same song is being played the whole time. And the end of a play, just like when I get to the end of “Right Me Up” or “Flying Horses” is something brilliantly pretty and unexpected, but at the same time it all makes sense and you just see that it just couldn’t end any other way.

That would’ve been a great ending line…but I’ve got more to say.

Rockers jam, How do you jam as a playwright? You do what Sam Shepard did- You write plays literally by the dozen, you don’t rewrite unless you damn well feel like it, and you just keep writing until your whole life story is written out in your plays, told through different characters, and until everything that you ever wondered about is wondered about in every possible way by your choice cast. I agree that those “special answers” are a “crock of shit”. Good playwrights don’t try to fix the world at large, they try to fix their world, their person. And if someone in the audience wants to take that to mean we should pull out of Vietnam, good for them, the tool I used to clean my conscience is your tool for stopping bloodshed.
Most importantly, what I said about characters emerging to me for the first time is exactly what Shepard is saying about the melodies and rythyms emerging,and letting them emerge as they will. It’s like when the ancients invented the Pegasus Replicators- You build some little monomers, and before you know it you’ve got a beautiful city you hadn’t ever pictured.

Your frustrated musician,


Except that it wouldn't be a city full of human-forms who wnated to kill you.


It’s official- Live blogging will occur for both Sunshine and Galaxy. Likely hourly updates, so as to create a disgusting and completely unappealing (in its enormity) mass of posts. 14 days, and 32 days.


The forty minutes spent on this post could’ve been better applied to my homework. Oh well.


Sharkbelly jelly. Heh.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No Turning Back Now?

It got pushed aside, I let it go.
As J_Verts has done, I apologize for abandoning our could've-been epic quest. I'm a bit ashamed, as this video game-blogging thing has been a fantasy of mine for some time. In a way, it would be concrete evidence of one of my epic feats. In the Wind Waker, I have made a mockery of this. Oh well, let's all forget about this, and maybe Koops and I will do the real thing during Sunshine or Majora.

In embrassament, your pre- mutation Klingon.

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We've got some straightening out to do
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses his blanket
But I've got to get a move on with my life
And big girls don't cry

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Part 1)

I ws about to say that this is the least tedious Forsaken Fortress I've ever done, but just then J_Verts got nailed by one of the guards and we got confined to a cell once again. It's annoying how these games put such annoying first levels in, onlyto have enjoyable, quality levels amke up the meat of the game. It's enough to turn any gamer whose not a complete psycho like me off of an actually good game. It's also a mystery why the guards in the fortress are so dead ugly. In any case, this fortress is huge, and I want out.

YES, going up the tower now. MOTHERCRAPPER, another guard. Beginning to wonder if knocking out those searchlights was actually necessary, maybe just a waste of time. Whatever, syupid mistakes.

LOL talking ship. When did Link start on drugs? Anyway, onto Rupee gathering.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rage Against the Mario

Okay, pick a star from SM64. Any star.


I got that one today. Yup, 120 in one day. It was epic, magical, and a bit sad. Sad because this is a slight realization that the game that is a complete world to me can be summed up into a one day play-session. Whatever, this is outweighed by how awesome an act that is.
I've always been a video game whore, especially when it comes to Mario, but am I really such a Nintendo Zombie that i actually did this? No, not really. Under other circumstances, it's likely that I would've settled with getting 40 stars or so (easy ones, too) and then having a life for the rest of the day. However, all this media buzz over Galaxy has driven me crazy in anticipation of my turn to play this new Mario adventure, and the only thing that could sate my Mario craze was 64. Just as playing Galaxy before the traingle's time would be like going to a whore before your marraige night (paper clip), doing what I did today was pretty much the equivalent of not being able to marry that girl in the first place, and, in denial of your depression, self-serving.
But my Mario craving was not the only thing that I gave into today (Did I meantion I got all 120 stars? Just putting that out there), I also finally admitted to myself that I enjoy Rage Against the Machine. Yes, the band I once swore I would never enjoy has now made it into my library. I resisted, but between Dispatch covering "Bulls on Parade" (which caused me to fall in love with it), two thirds of State Radio being die hard Rage fans, and a recommendation from TTBM, I caved. All this does is further prove my theory that I am a music slut and I can be made to enjoy any music if I listen to it enough. Whatever, at least I haven't bought a Fergie album yet (Check back with me in a week).

Sorry, I don't have an exact time for this epic feat, as I wasn't planning on going all the way when I started (That's what she said). I estimate around 8 and a half hours. Maybe I should become one of those gamer geeks who speed runs the game to beat his own time.

Haha, maybe not.

But maybe.



C'mon, there's making a statement and then there's being a moron.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Race, Part Trois (Of Trois)

Well, there go three seasons of XC. It's astounding (and it makes me feel really old) to think that I've only one to go. I honestly can't believe it's been 3; it feels more like 2. This may be because freshman year's season was fairly uninteresting to me, as I had few friends on the team, being a freshman. However, this year I very much feel that I am a sophomore living in a Junior world. I don't feel like I've gotten older; I can't justify in my mind the authority (by means of intimidation) that comes with being an upperclassman. Rather, it feels that the world has gotten smaller, and me no bigger. Unlike when I was a sophomore and I found it easy to relate to the freshman and befriend them, this year's crew seem to be very hard to relate to (The protege search lives on, fear not). In any case, being bigger on the team has led me to analyze my position on the team. Depending on which way you look at it, this was either an awesome or dissappointing season for me. On the one hand, my new PR is about 1:10 faster than my PR last year (Though I'm not sure how good of an indicator this is, seeing as three of the courses we ran this year were absolute pancakes, one of which we ran twice). On the other hand, my position on the team has dropped considerably. While at the beginning of the season I was fighting for #2, I have now landed myself in the #5 spot. Frankly, the experience is rather confusing: I improve as the season progresses, but drop back in the lineup. I suppose the only real answer to this must be that my body requires much more conditioning and nurture to excel, as my training as is is not sufficient. This is most likely do to my psuedo-slacking over teh summer, a time when I ran wrecklessly, always going much too fast and tiring myself out, and hit the weight room about 4 times in total. This training ahs left me virtually unable to maintain what I should be capable of for 5K. But I don't mean to bitch; all this means is I must not let myself slack, lest my racing career become the very definition of a tragedy.
But then there's the other race, that race which we all must train for but have no desire to run: The race for good grades in quick time. This race, like that on the XC course, does not always turn a good benefit when you train well. Why is it that subjects I slack on I do well in, but those I really apply myself in I do not? This week is not a prime example of this, as it was the week of the play. I barely did any homework, as four hours of every night (not counting practice) was taken up by rehearsal. My philosophy became study for tests, study for quizzes, skip homework. Most of my teachers were sympathetic, and it is not the school's tolerance that I wish to criticize. Rather, I wish to criticize the cruel, ironic hand of the education Gods who decided that the tests I actually put hours into studying would screw me over anyways. You see, I have deep fear for my educational future. I came to the realization this week, up on stage, that I truly enjoy theater. Be it taxing, and whether I'm good or bad at it, performing the play this year was some of the most fun I've had. Whether it be acting or writing, I want to pursue the arts. I fear, however, that my apparent inability to push for good grades in other classes which I doubt will have any effect on my future will prevent me from going to a college where I can pursue these artistic endeavors. Try, try, try again, but for what?


I'll lay off the "sequel-posts" for a while, try to get back into a regular groove.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


So I'm only 2 pages into a plot synopsis of Act 1 of "Rash" and I've already got some slight writer's block. But it's nothing serious (I hope), I don't believe I've written myself into a corner just yet. Then again, it's not writing into a corner I'm concerned about, but rather writing something that's about as interesting as this analogy. Which is to say, not interesting. So I've taken a day off from it. After all, it's just a synopsis, it doesn't mean jack poo if I want to change it. I'm determined to actually write this mofo though, as I've never finished writing anything creative in my life. I mean, I want to so badly when I read a good book or watch a good movie, because everything within the stories seem so real, so concrete. Believable characters reacting in intriguing ways to out of the ordinary situations. To bring back the recurring isolation theme, they create a world. I assumed for a long time that the reason I couldn't create this world was because I wasn't as good or creative as famous writers or hollywood screenwriters, amd while that's largely true, I don't believe it's the reason I'm not finishing things. You see, when any of us read a book or see a movie, we enter it believing whatever the author/actors want us to believe. Why is it that we can watch Star Trek without turning it off because it's not real? It's because we accept the parameters of reality set by the fictional universe, and the only time something becomes bogus is when it defies its own set parameters. In essence, there is no world in the mind of the writer or the actor because they know for a fact that what is happening isn’t real. The world is created by the viewer. So I’m hoping that means that if I write something, it can possibly create a world I myself didn’t envision.
I do fear that my posts are becoming a bit too philosophic, and even though my writings have always had one foot firmly planted in my own universe of philosophy, I miss the days when I would just write about random shit. But in a sort of middle ground, I'll explain yesterday's encounter with Tom. Instead of really learning any music, Tom decided to bow to my request of a GarageBand tutorial, as I had no idea in hell how to use this near-pro program. His justification for this was that all musicians should know how to GarageBand, as it is a key component in composition. Expect to get updates on my crappy attempts to compose in the near future, as I'm sure the formula required to envision song patterns shall remain a mystery to me for a very long time to come.
Speaking of song patterns, it seems to me that every band I find worth listning to has been coming out with music in this past year. At first this seems awesome, indeed, I thought it was. Linkin, SR, Bradd, Matchbox, and soon to be ZOX? If my life were eternal summer, this constant influx of new material would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, I have this pesky little thing called school which takes up 9 months of my year, and due to school, I have had insufficient time to enjoy all of the new tunes which have been showered upon me (For the most part this is a shame, though in the case of Matchbox I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that "Exile on Mainstream" is all too enjoyable. But the title is clever. This has caused me to realize that school really does suck, and has further cemented a desire for summer into my mind. I miss going through 5 albums a day, but most of all I miss the freedom of just chilling with people. Whatever, break is on the horizon, and though I must express my dissapointment that the triangle will be further fragmented over both Thanksgiving and Christmas hiatus due to our overseas counterparts. Whatever, let's say Voyager March.


God, I miss marathons.