I was recently at 7-11 purchasing something to imbibe. I brought my purchase to the counter, and I started to pay with my debit card.
Everything was going smoothly. As I swiped my debit card, I marveled at how simple it was to pay for things without actually having any money.
Unfortunately, my daydream came crumbling down when she grabbed the receipt to rip it off and give it to me, and the printer broke open. She tried to fix it for nearly a minute, during which time she employed the time honored fixing techniques of the forcibly closing as well as the age old technique of hitting. She was unhappy with the machine, and rightfully so.
During this time, I stood there politely and waited.
She did finally get the machine put back together, at which point she tore the receipt off and handed it to me.
I said thanks, and I proceeded to walk out of the store. As I was leaving, I saw a trash can, and, without even thinking, took the receipt and threw it away.
It wasn't until I was all the way outside that I stopped, realized what I had done, and said aloud, "Dude, you're a jerk."
When I first saw advertisements for this movie, I was intrigued. Steve Carrell as a suicidal, low-key scholar? Greg Kinnear as the father of a dysfunctional family? References to Nietszche?
As most of these are not standard Hollywood fare, I wondered how this movie would work out. Don't get me wrong, the movie looked like it would be hilarious, but I wondered just how it would all work.
Let me tell you that it all works wonderfully. You can slap me on the tush and call me an ancient Greek if you like, but this movie, which I figured would just be an opportunity for laughter, had me in such a cathartic state that I was crying for joy and laughing with how the characters chose to handle their pain.
The movie's big message, at least for me, was that, yes, sometimes life is so difficult that you want to slit your wrists, and, yes, fundamentally, a lot of life seems exceptionally absurd, and, yes, sometimes those people closest to you are the ones that you want to push away, however, the fact that even the best of us have the capacity to lose those things which are of greatest value to us should enable all of us to be the occasional idiot if it will show someone that we care about just how much we love them.
This movie refined me. I am better for having seen it.
p.s. This movie featured an actor whose name I cannot find as the emcee for the beauty pageant. This actor was one of the actors that I saw last week at the Groundlings theatre in LA. I nearly wet myself when I realized that it was him. The man is hilarious, although this bit part, by nature of its being a bit part, doesn't show just how hilarious he is. If he sold a product, I would have no choice but to purchase it out of love for him.
UPDATE: With a bit of help from and a great big thanks to the eagle eyed thany, we have found the elusive actor. His name is Matt Winston and he is hilarious. He also apparently appeared on an episode of Friends, which I'm sure the gf will love to hear as we ***coughshecough*** are currently rewatching the series.
Godspell closed last night to one of the most responsive and excitable audiences ever. For some of the numbers, the audience honestly cheered more loudly than I've ever had something I'm in cheered for before. It is this feeling that is the drug of choice for actors; well, unless that actor is Robert Downey Junior, in which case the drug of choice is usually heroin.
It is one thing to say that the show was excellent, which it was. Every single person in the cast was excellent, and I can't really say enough good things about them. The little bits of personality added to every moment of the show made it as real and authentic as could be. However, it is quite another thing entirely to say that nearly every single event that happened with show people outside of the show was positive. I can count on one hand without using most of my fingers the times that something didn't go over well.
This show was and needed to be a positive experience for me.
I've said it before, but I really would have loved to do this show for several months if not longer. Unfortunately, that's not how summer shows work.
Looking back, the show was an incredible example of how people who all work towards a common goal can discover fulfillment in their work.
And, in the saddest news of all from the last couple of days, scientists have decided that Pluto is no longer a planet.
This is sad for school children, as I imagine that Pluto, being a cartoon dog, is one of the favorite planets. I imagine that this is also a sad day for the ancient Greeks or Romans (one of them, I'm not sure which) as Pluto was their god of the underworld.
Although it's slightly off-topic, I will not stoop to making Uranus jokes, as this is a classy site, and one that, I imagine, upper-class British people read while they are drinking tea and talking about the gold exchange rates, and I wouldn't want to offend them.
However, what I would like to do is to point out that I, as I am sure we all do, feel a little bit smaller knowing that there is one less planet in our solar system.
I mean, it even has its own moon! What are the scientists even looking for? I say, if anything has its own moon, it should be a planet.
Wow. I laughed harder at the Groundlings show last night than I have for a long, long time.
The show is all improvisational comedy, with the audience being prompted for certain things at the beginnings of the two "acts," such as "Name something that you do with your hands," and "Name an interesting bumper sticker that you've seen recently." Once the group has two or three ideas, they go on to create a story trying to utilize the themes that they have been given.
For example, the bumper sticker that the person in the audience spoke up about was, "Well behaved women seldom make history." This led to a series of skits which featured a young Susan B. Anthony in the early stages of her marriage. At one point her "husband" made a remark to a group of people that were displeased with young Susan that, "We B. Anthonys are a good people," which was a pretty funny line in its own right, but then somebody spoke up, as if to correct him by saying, "We ARE Anthonys are good people."
All in all, it was a hilarious evening, and well worth the drive, especially since ticket prices were only ten bucks a piece and the gf was paying. I know that they are more expensive on weekends, but I think that that's due to the fact that they frequently have guest stars come in and work with them. According to the website, a couple of weeks ago, they had Lisa Kudrow of Friends fame come in.
My only caveat is that there was a good deal of swearing and some fairly adult situations, so it might be best to leave the kiddies at home. Other than that, I cannot emphasize how funny that group of people was. You should go check them out.
The Groundlings are a group of improvisational comedians who perform at a theatre in the northern part of Los Angeles. Many of their alums go on to work for Saturday Night Live, which, incidentally, does not have open auditions.
Thanks to my girlfriend, I get to go see this group tonight. I am prepared to be very amused.
And in an update from yesterday, I did believe the hype and I have purchased the video game. If you're a loser and you know it clap your hands, clap clap.
The music pastor of the church I go to has been out of town for a couple of weeks, and so, a couple of weeks back, he asked me to lead worship. I said that that would be fine.
Unrelatedly, last Sunday, a letter was read at the end of the service which included the head pastor's resignation.
Many people were surprised at this, myself included. Pastor Mark is a thoroughly reasonable, level-headed guy. While it seems out of character for him to resign, he had explained a few weeks ago that he was dealilng with some personal issues with his extended family, and so I can only assume that these were weighing on him heavily.
While I do not know of all the ins and outs of whatever prompted him to make that decision, yesterday morning I caught a glimpse of what I believe may have been part of it.
As I was up in front of the congregation leading the singing and playing the guitar, I couldn't help but feel like a phony. Now, while I have my various issues that I deal with, it's not like there's some big "sin" monkey on my back, hurling feces at everyone.
I felt that way because, though I may have been the most qualified musically, I can't believe that I was the most qualified spiritually.
And for a religion that, ideally, firmly believes the idea that it's not the outside of the cup that makes it clean, but the inside, I couldn't help but feel that I was doing a disservice to my fellow Christians, to the church, and to God.
What's my point? I can only imagine that for someone who is in charge of providing spiritual guidance to people every week that this feeling that I just had a taste of could have proved overwhelming.
Our pastor is not inadequate or fake or phony or any other synonym you want to throw in there. He has proved himself to be steadfast and strong both spiritually and personally, and I wish that he would continue being the pastor. All I am saying is that self-doubt can happen to anyone, and I think it affects those in ministry service more heatedly than it affects other people.
I don't know the real reason why the pastor left, and, frankly, I'm not really sure that I want to know. However, I do feel for him as what he must be going through is so intense that I can barely fathom it.
The gf's new apartment has no visitor parking. As such, any time that I wish to see her, I need to go and park on the street before I may ascend her staircase and sing her praises while simultaneously fanning her and feeding her grapes. Although the opposite would seem to be the case, this is normally no big deal as the street is not that far away.
However, last night on my journey back to the car from her apartment, I came across something out of a nature show.
Right next to the stairway that leads to the street, there were two skunks. That's right: skunks. As her neighborhood is a fairly well populated one, I couldn't believe my eyes. I had to stop right in my tracks out of fear at the prospect of two animals that could spray me with their foul smelling juices.
Plus, I didn't know if they could bite. Do skunks bite if their stink doesn't drive predators off? They are technically rodents, I believe, and so biting would seem to be in their lexicon of defense. Frankly, I didn't want to find out first hand.
So there I was. It was like that scene at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring where Gandalf tells the big monster, "You shall not pass!" Except in this case, the skunks were Gandalf, and I was the monster, which is probably pretty accurate, except that I didn't charge them and therefore break the rock bridge that we were standing on.
Yup. Other than those things, I stand behind that analogy.
They eventually wandered away, and I was free to go to my vehicle, thankful that another opportunity for heroism or at least manliness had passed me by.
It seems that when I eat lately, you are syphoning off all of the acids, and leaving them at the top of my stomach. Therefore, when I am anything other than vertical, these fluids are sent to party up in my esophagus, or as dictionary dot com would have me believe, my gullet.
I'm not down with that, or with anything else messing with my gullet.
Since you have pretty obviously tried to declare war on me, I respond with the only thing I can: combat the acid with bases.
But, digestive system, there's only so much baking soda I can eat, and the whole volcano effect is cool at first, but it gets really lame to keep cleaning it up.
Please please please please please let us go back to the simpler time when I would feed you and you would return the favor by merely digesting what I had given you.
I love you, stomach, and I don't want to have to get rid of you, but you are leaving me few options. Either the acid goes, or you go.
A robbery began the other day when a man was pelted with poop. Immediately afterwards, two women ran up to him with paper towels and offered to help clean him off. After a few moments a man appeared with even more paper towels, and also helped.
Unfortunately for the poop-ee, he had just gone to the bank to withdraw some money for a vacation that he had planned on taking. It wasn't until the man took his pants to the dry cleaners that he realized 7,500 euros ($9,554) were missing.
My first thought is that that's some vacation that he was planning. I would like to have the means some day to walk to the bank and withdraw nearly ten grand for a vacation.
Secondly, how clever are these thieves? They must have watched the man go into the bank, realized how much money he was taking out, and quickly hatched the fecal plan. However, the fact that they had paper towels leads me to believe that they knew that he was going to take that money out, so perhaps there was an aspect of premeditation to it.
I hope that we'll find out more information...in the end.
This is the big church that I live by. It is amazingly white, and really quite pointy. The two highest points of the church feature either what I believe to be a solid gold statue of an angel or a solid gold point.
It is a beautiful structure, and, in my opinion, one of the greatest pieces of architecture in the San Diego area.
What I find interesting about this building is that when I come home after a show at midnight or so, the building is not lit on the outside. Where I would expect to be spotlights declaring the magnificence of t his building, this huge, amazing monument stands clouded in darkness.
Why is this? I would think that if I were in control of something so breathtaking, I would want the whole world to see it in all of its grandeur, even late at night.
The only logical explanation that I can think of is that they are concerned with the lack of electricity during the summer months or with the expenses associated therewith.
I'm just really surprised that they don't light it up.
Does anybody else have any theories why? I will also accept theories on how they keep the building so white.
One of the leading theatres in the San Diego area is having open auditions for their Christmas show, which is a musical version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I would like to audition. However, as it is a professional theatre company, if I were to be cast, I would face two challenges.
1) I'm not sure if they rehearse during the day. If they do, it would become much more difficult to maintain my current day job. It may not be impossible to do both; I would have to inquire about that. I would be getting paid for the show comparably to what I'm getting paid at my job; however, I would face an immediate lowering of pay once the show closed. Plus, if I can stick it out at my day job through March, I will likely receive a fairly generous bonus.
2) Should I get cast in the show, I would have to join the Actor's Equity union. This would be both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, it would likely raise my profile in the area among directors, and it is a necessary step should I want to have acting as a career. On the negative side, because it is a union, there are certain rules that I would need to follow, and one of the main ones is that I can only work for equity theatres, and there are not that many equity theatres in the San Diego area. While joining would be a definite step towards working for the more acclaimed theatres in the area, joining would also have the potential for making me be in fewer shows.
So, what do you all think? Should I just run into it head first, and let the chips fall where they may? Let me know so that I may mill over it some more.
Let me start by saying that I love my new apartment. I love my new roommate. I love that I have a washer and dryer inside the unit. I love that I have tiled floor in my bathroom.
However, the only downside to the place that I can figure out is that when I am in the shower, every time somebody closes their door apparently anywhere in the complex, the sound is greatly magnified. This does not happen when I am sleeping or watching tv or doing anything else in the apartment; it only occurs when I am in the shower.
The first time this happened, it was fairly disconcerting. I was in the shower, doing my own thing, when suddenly, there was this series of huge slamming sounds. I wondered if someone had kicked down the front door, or if I was being attacked by zombies, neither of which would have surprised me. Upon exiting the shower cautiously, I found that neither of the above two options were the case.
Now I just kind of accept these sounds as the price to pay for living in paradise.
My girlfriend wrote me a text message this morning that said that the man that I talked about here was smoking a cigar while he was walking down the street this morning.
Good for you, smiley man! I shall hereafter refer to you as Smiles. I don't think that I want to live in a country where people cannot freely smoke a cigar while walking down the street and smiling at 8:30 in the morning.
Thank you Smiles, for taking advantage of that liberty.
When I was a kid, my mom used to wake me up for school in a somewhat peculiar way. She would come in, maybe rub my back a little bit, and then she would say, "It's time to think about getting up."
I took this as an opportunity for choice. Even as a little kid, I understood that there was a linguistic difference between, "It's time to get up," and "It's time to think about getting up."
As kind as she was to wake me up in such a non-alarm clock way, I, being the smart alec, would lie there for a minute and think, "Hmm. Should I get up? I'd rather be asleep. I think that I'll go back to sleep." I would then proceed to do so.
Let's just say that the next time my mom came back to check that I had gotten up, the morning salutation was not quite as pleasant as the first. As much as I would try to explain to my mother that I had thought very seriously and conscientiously about getting up, my semantic arguments would fall on deaf ears.
So then I'd be in the shower, grumbling to myself, "She said 'think'! What does everybody even want from me?"
I cannot tell you all how happy I am that today is Friday. I cannot get to the supposed Island of Relaxation that is the weekend soon enough.
Ever since the moving debacle of Monday night, I just haven't been able to catch up on my sleep. It got so bad yesterday at work, that come about three o'clock, I had to just go out to my car and zonk out.
This weekend will also feature the closing of Snoopy!!! While I will miss hanging out with people in the cast, I certainly will not miss all of the drama (pun intended) that went along with this production. Another upside is that, following the opening of Godspell next week, I will have a few free nights a week to just relax.
I don't know what I'll do with all my free time. Maybe I'll go get a part time job so that I won't get lazy. Ooh, or maybe I'll go to the gym so that I can lose weight and become a leading man type; you know, short, bald, and handsome. My new place is right by Jamba Juice, so perhaps I could go back on my Jamba Juice diet that I tried to amazing results for about a week earlier this year.
I love the shows, don't get me wrong, but it's going to be nice to not have to be going sixteen hours a day. Also, it will certainly be nice to spend some of that free time with my sweetie!
This morning, between the hours of nine and eleven, I'm going to be on tv doing little spots for Snoopy. If you're in San Diego, the station is KUSI.
Frankly, I'm a little surprised that we're doing this spot because this weekend is our last weekend, and, as far as I've heard, the weekend is largely sold out. It seems funny to me to advertise for something that people can't come to anyway...but that's me.
Also, last night, we had a test audience for our Godspell run-thru. Their ages spanned the gamut from teenagers to retirees. The directors had a meeting with them afterwards to see what they thought, and I will be very interested to hear what they had to say. Unfortunately for me, the directors will likely talk about what the group said at tonight's rehearsal, which I will be missing due to the Snoopy performance. I'll just have to ask around, I guess.
For what it's worth, the audience seemed to really like it, and many of the jokes in the show made people of different ages laugh, which is good, because a lot of what we're doing in this show is very pop culture oriented, and I was worried that some of the oldest people wouldn't get all the references.
Ooh! I want to know what they thought! I love that show, and I hope that they did too.
If anybody's considering going to Godspell, you can get two for one tickets the first weekend (August 11-13) if you call CCT (619.588.0206) and tell them that you're friends with somebody in the cast, namely, me.
UPDATE: The Snoopy thing for KUSI came and went. It was kind of fun, but more than that it was ridiculous, as we just kind of stood around, until we were randomly pointed at to wave at the camera.
I got to sing one of my songs, which was cool to be able to sing a solo on tv.
Oh well. It could be worse, right?
UPDATE 2: It turns out that there were still seats to be sold for a fundraiser that a different community group was having at one of our performances, so, with that in mind, it was a good idea to promote it on tv. I didn't know that that was the case.
I must say, though, that last night, as I stopped by the gf's apartment to pick up some stuff that she had been keeping for me, I looked up at what was my old apartment, and, for a second, I missed it. Not because it was such a great place or had such amazing amenites, but rather because it was my first apartment, and it had therefore been where I lived during an important time in my life.
I have spent over two years in that place. Two years of different roommates and messes, and two years of friends and coziness. Two years of various jobs, and two years of money spent.
However, as I woke up at the new place this morning, and I again realized that, yes, I, in fact, do live in what can only really be described accurately as heaven in apartment form, I knew that it was all for the best.
Goodbye Cobblestone Park. You were good to me.
P.S. This should be the last terribly boring post about moving. While there may be further posts about the new place, those should be tittilating and riveting.
These pigs lived on a farm, but each had various responsibilities outside of the farm. One of the pigs worked as a candle-stick maker, one worked at a paper factory, and the other sold quality propane and propane accessories.
The propane seller had lived on the farm the longest. In fact, this little pig had had to leave a case full of kernels of corn with the farmer as an assurance that he wouldn't trash the place. This little pig wasn't the fondest of corn, but he appreciated the fact that it was a valuable tool to exchange for goods and services.
The other two pigs had moved in at later times, and had not left any corn with the farmer.
The three pigs were generally well natured, and they got along together well. However, the farm became grosser and grosser, as the mud that the pigs liked to roll around in got everywhere.
A few months passed, and each of the little piggies decided that they wanted to go live on other farms, and so they oinked to the farmer that they wanted to move. The farmer agreed, but reminded the piggies that they needed to have the part of the farm that they lived on cleaned up, and looking as good as when they had moved in.
As is often the case with piggies, they readily agreed, but quickly got distracted with other concerns. As the day that they had agreed to move by grew closer, they each started moving their belongings. The farm became slightly cleaner as the amount of stuff lessened, but it was still filthy, as pigs like to roll in the muck.
The pig who sold propane would have liked to have been gradually cleaning the place the whole time, but in addition to his job, he was involved with different activities in the community that demanded his time and energy, and so by the time that he got back to the farm, he was too exhausted to do anything but sleep.
Fortunately, the propane selling pig's family had come down and helped him move all of his belongings to the other farm, and had even started cleaning some of the mess, due to their love for him. He loved his family greatly, and was sincerely grateful for their help.
It got to be the night before the pigs were to move out, which was the last available time to do any cleaning, and the candle-stick maker was nowhere to be found. The propane seller assumed, and rightly so, that he was already sleeping at his new farm.
The pig who made paper was still at the farm, but he was asleep due to the fact that he had just gotten home from a long trip. The propane-seller felt badly for this pig, but he wished that the paper-seller had spoken up when they had decided on a date to leave the farm.
So, this left the propane selling pig alone to clean up the farm. Fortunately he had a girlfriend who was so good natured and loving, that she volunteered to take on the mess with him.
And so, though they were both exhausted from work and their various non-work related activities, they cleaned from ten at night until at least two in the morning. This was not moving personal belongings; these hours were spent cleaning the mud from places like the kitchen that the propane selling pig had not even used in six months.
How the propane selling pig wished that he had made the two other pigs give up some of their corn to the farmer so that they too would be concerned with getting it back! How much did he wish that he had done things differently!
However, by this time, it was too late to do anything about it. So, with the smell of "Pig-Sol" in his snout, the pig kept cleaning, his only consolation being that he was moving to a better and happier place. He made a mental note to never be put in the same situation again, and with any luck, he never will be.