Friday, September 29, 2006

The Problem with Diet Soda

At work, we have various beverages that we can snag for free from our floor's fridge. There's usually Coke, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, and water. Lately, they've also been adding Sprite and Mountain Dew. I take these free drinks as a sign from the company that they appreciate us and that they don't want us to be dehydrated.

When I'm not on the diet, I drink one to two sweet nectars of the gods daily. Coke is delicious, and I might marry it if it were legal in the lower 48.

However, when I am on the diet, my choices are limited. I'm trying to drink water more regularly, but I just want some kind of soft drink taste in my mouth from time to time, and so I find myself reaching for Diet Coke. This tends to be a bad idea, because the drink should have the slogan, "For something that tastes as bad as random debris from the Tijuana dump, at least it has zero calories."

However, as I walk back to my desk, I feel ashamed. I feel like people are looking at me and saying, "Oh, look at him; he's overweight. If he's drinking diet, I surmise that he has trouble fitting through doors."

Now, being a normal member of the human race, I'm not real big on feeling ashamed or having my ability to fit through doors questioned, so I tried to think of a way that I could get zero calories AND not feel badly about doing so.

I'd like to announce, I've come up with an invention. It's called, the Can Cover. With this device, I could walk over to the fridge, grab a Diet Coke, and then quickly cover the can with the can cover so that people would think that I was drinking something else.

I will come up with different designs, from the normal "Coke" cover, to designs a little more exotic, like, "Johnny's Kentucky Bourbon" or "Pig's Blood."

Therefore, if people were to talk about me as I passed by, their comments would change from, "I bet he can't fit through doors" to "I didn't even know we had bourbon in the fridge."

And I will smile, knowing that I have hoodwinked the best and the brightest of my generation.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

An Open Letter to Rachel Ray

Dear Rachel Ray,

You probably don't remember me. The main reason this is is because we've never met in person.

I, however, remember you.

It was a warm summer day in 2002, and I was home from college. As I was flipping through the channels, I came upon the Food Network, and, though I normally would have skipped by, I saw that the title of the show that was on was called 30 Minute Meals. I, having never really consistantly had to prepare food for myself in the past, was not immediately sure if this was a long or short time for food preparation, but I decided that this must be short, because why would you have a show about food taking a long time? I mean, unless you're a world class difficult food preparing show-off, in which case I salute you and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

In any case, I left the tv on Food TV long enough to see you, and I was amazed. Here was a woman who not only seemed to enjoy quickly making food for two, but also a woman who was fairly young and attractive, with a cute little voice and an even cuter laugh that gave away the fact that she likely knew the difference between a jedi knight and a jedi master. It only took a couple of heartbeats for me to fall in love, which later caused some consternation in my friend group as I insisted on watching your show whenever it came on.

However, as time went on, I realized that maybe we weren't in fact meant for each other. The first thing that made me think that was the fact that you didn't answer my calls or reply to my letters. The second was the restraining order. However, your message didn't really hit home until I woke up in an abandoned restroom with my foot chained to a pipe and a note in my pocket that said that I was there to teach me to stop bothering Rachel. In addition, the note said that the person who did this to me wanted to play a game and that my only desperate gambit for freedom was to saw off my own foot.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I can't dance well.

But I digress.

In addition to the above, I found a new love in my life, and, in doing so, realized that former relationships, no matter how one-sided or imaginary, needed to be pushed aside. So, with a heavy heart, I packed away your cook books, and I accepted the fact that my meals would now likely take at least 31 minutes.

Flash forward to last week when I found an article in the news about you that said that you were going to put together soundtracks for different holiday occasions that Epic Records would then promote and distribute.

I was shocked. Could this person that I cared so much about in the past really have sold out?

When I went back to the Food Network to investigate, I saw that the number of your shows had multiplied, which was not in and of itself a bad thing as they all had something to do with food. However, when I caught a little snippet of your show, I was distressed to find out that the cute little voice that you once had now sounded suspiciously like the voice of Harvey Fierstein.

Now I don't mind you making a lot of money. Heck, if I made a lot of money, I'm sure that I would take advantage of it too, and then take that money down to the local gambling establishment and bet it on black, because that's just how I roll. Of course, by black, I mean that I would bet on a foot race of some kind where all of the competitors were of different skin complexions, because in addition to being a sell-out, I'm also a racist, apparently.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah.

I just mean, Rachel, that it seems like you have turned into a different person than I knew you to be. Now, I don't have any hard feelings, nor do I bear you any resentment in my heart. However, I think that it would be best if we were just friends, and by "friends", I mean associates, and by "associates", I mean that I would like to pull off an elaborate diamond heist with you.

While I know that you don't need the money, please rest assured that I could use it. I think that it's the least that you can do.

Your friend,

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Body Is Revolting or How to Overuse Malapropisms in Your Writing or The Most Frustrating Post You'll Ever Read

And by "revolting," I mean it stinks, and by "it stinks," I mean that it is staging a revolution against me. Even after just one whole day on the diet, my body has decided to hit me where it hurts the most: my tiny glass figurines collection.

And by "tiny glass figurines collection," I mean my enjoyment of my sleep.

For example, when I awoke this morning at the predetermined time necessary to get to work between the times of "AC is a model employee" and "AC should at least be fired from this position, if not actually thrown into a kiln and fired into some sort of pottery/statue as a warning to others who would even dare to think about getting to work late," I found myself tied to my bed with tiny little ropes apparently tied by the little people who were going on and on about how they had finally outwitted the giant, Gulliver.

And by, "I found myself tied to my bed with tiny little ropes apparently tied by the little people who were going on and on about how they had finally outwitted the giant, Gulliver," I mean, of course, that my body felt like it was taking conscious, deliberate action to destroy me. It wasn't that I ached; it was that, even after sleeping a good number of hours, my body felt more exhausted than it did when I had gone to sleep and, either in addition to or because of this, I felt the onset of sickness.

Now, I don't know about you, but I am a busy AC. I don't have time to deal with illness. So I did what any reasonable person would do: I took the morning off and slept some more. However, even the extra sleeping didn't help me out as much as I had hoped because I still feel like I'm dragging worse than a cave man who didn't quite manage to knock out his future wife.

As the only change in my life has been the diet, I have no choice but to blame it for this sleep deprivation.

Curse you diet! Curse you and your kind! So on, so forth, etc!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Weight Loss Contest

Yesterday, I signed up for a weight loss contest at work. Everybody put in twenty bucks, and the person who loses the largest percentage of weight gets the pot which is just shy of $500 right now.

Little does the company know that they, in one little gimmick, have combined two of my greatest loves: gambling, and the ability to, just this once, lose my title of being the world's fattest man.

I'll let you know how this progresses. In some ways, I have the edge because, theoretically, because I am larger, I have more excess weight to shed. However, the flipside of the coin is that because they are basing it on a percentage, I have to lose a lot more weight than someone who weighs less than I do.

Oh well. If worse comes to worse I'll just have to amputate.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Dentist Appointment

I have a confession; I am a liar. Well, I guess I should clarify that I'm not a liar all the time, it's just when I have to go to the dentist.

Why do I lie to the dentist? Why, when he asks about flossing, do I feel the need to upgrade the frequency from "About as often as you hear about Kirk Cameron in the news" to "Oh, once or twice a week"?

Now, some of you might be confused. Some of you are probably asking yourself, "Why not tell him you floss more frequently? I mean, if you're already on the slippery slope of mendacity, why not go all the way?"

The answer to your question, gentle reader, is the fact that I am always afraid that he is going to call me out. It is one thing for a lie to be far fetched, and it is quite another for it to be unbelievable. I am always afraid that if I tell him that I floss every day, and he looks into my mouth, my oral care claims are going to be as unconvincing as OJ Simpson at a convention of innocent people.

Further, when a person legally uses implements of torture as part of his job, you kind of want him to think well of you.

For the record, I'm not all that scared of the dentist; I am just perpetually amazed at how frequently moral dilemmas arise in the seemingly most unlikely of places.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Hasselhoff Post

It is being reported that a scene in David Hasselhoff: The Musical will include a scene in which an apparent live baby is thrown into the audience. Fortunately for parents everywhere, the apparent live baby is just a balloon.

In the first place, how are they going to make a balloon look like a baby? I've seen some pretty elaborate balloon animals at your local county fair or at your friendly neighborhood pizzeria on a Friday night, but I have never seen one that makes me yell, "Everyone! Run for your lives! This man works an evil magic that transmogrifies normal balloons into beasts!"

In the second place, I would like to meet the creative brain who came up with this idea. Who is sitting with a group of people brainstorming about this show and comes up with this idea?

Brainstormer 1: Well, we should spend some time talking about his marriage.
Brainstormer 2: Right, and we should definitely talk a bit about Knight Rider.
Brainstormer 1: Brilliant assertion, Einstein, I think that that's about as obvious as talking about Baywatch in this show.
Brainstormer 2: Oh, and your marriage idea is so good?
Brainstormer 3: Guys, guys, hang on. I've got it! What we need for this show is to stage a birth on stage...
Brainstormer 1: Ooh! Like they do in Wicked!
Brainstormer 2: Genius! People love Wicked!
Brainstormer 3: Guys, I'm not done yet. The best part of the scene will be that we will, after the actual birth part, throw a live baby to its death out in the audience. It'll scare the bejeezus out of them.
Brainstormers 1 and 2: ...
Brainstormer 3: Did I say a live baby? I meant a fake one.
Brainstormer 1: I don't know. Even fake babies are going to be expensive.
Brainstormer 2: Word.
Brainstormer 3: It's all right fellows, we'll just use balloons.
Brainstormer 1: I've got to give it to you, balloons do look like babies.
Brainstormer 2: He's right, they do.
Brainstormer 3: So it's settled then; balloon babies to be thrown out at performances. Well, gentlemen, as it is now ten a.m., I propose that, since we have had a very full day so far, what say we all go to our respective homes and sleep on our mattresses stuffed with fifties?
Brainstormers 1 and 2: Agreed.

How can this show fail? It's bulletproof!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

An Open Letter to the Women Who Were Laughing in the Stairwell

Dear Ladies,

First off, let me say that I enjoy laughter in general. In fact, I believe that the office, and the stairwell in particular, should be all fun and games. After all, we all remember the great old adage, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye; then it's just fun."

However, you need to understand something. I work on the eighth floor, and I, two to three times a week, need to go down to the sixth floor. It should also be noted that I'm sure that I have the blood pressure of a mouse being chased by a cat, and that currently, the most exercise that I get is my walk down to and back from the sixth floor.

Something else that you need to know is that, for some reason, I react unreasonably to laughter when I don't know specifically what is being laughed at. My unreasonableness manifests itself in the form of a monologue in my cerebrum that goes like this: "Are they laughing at me? They're laughing at me, aren't they? Here I just wanted to take a walk, and now I'm being laughed at. What's next? Will the Venezualan President call me the devil?"

It stands to reason, therefore, that by hearing you laughing, I can no longer take the stairwell. I will need to escape to the safety of the elevator, where, even if anyone else is riding, one is too much in someone else's personal space to really find very much funny. By not walking, I am not getting exercise, and, ergo, I am not lowering my blood pressure.

Now, as I will, likely, one day be a father, and all of you pretty definitely had a father at one point, I want you to consider something. When I keel over from massive heart failure next week at the ripe old age of 24 due to my lack of a walk today, I want you to consider my theoretical little daughter crying her theoretical little tears at my theoretical premature departure from this plane of existence.

Those are her theoretical exact thoughts; she's theoretically deep.

Once you think of that, think of how your father would feel if he knew that you had killed someone, and about how the knowledge of such a death would almost definitely lead to his own theoretical demise.

So, by not allowing me to walk, you're killing your father. Take a moment to ponder my flawless logic.

Now, I am not an unreasonable person, and I have come up with what I think is a reasonable and attractive option for both parties. The next time you find something funny in the stairwell, by all means go ahead and laugh. However, when you hear a door opening into the stairwell, please shout out whatever you were laughing at, to let whoever is entering the stairwell know that it is all right, you were not laughing at them.

For example, if you were laughing about how your coworker Joey Joe Joe Bobalu's nose is like the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range due to his adult onset acne, when you hear someone entering the stairwell, I would advise you to first ascertain if the person entering the stairwell was Joey. If it is, come up with another funny story on the fly. If it isn't, shout out the story. Whether or not it the person who is entering the stairwell knows Joey or not, you can be sure that that person will enjoy the the simile of a nose looking like a mountain range.

See? This way everyone has a good laugh (except possibly Joey) and I get to take my walk, therefore saving my own life for further generations.

Your dearest darling,

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An Analysis of Self-Worth in Regards to Human Relations, AKA Blatant Navel-Gazing Starring AC as the Village Idiot

People like me as a person, or, as the gf recently mused, as an abstract concept. I measure this by the fact that when I see people that I haven't seen in a while, I am greeting more often by smiles than I am by pitchforks. I realize that in this sort of measurement, there is the possibility for great error, but, what can I say, I'm an optimist.

However, the more that I think about why people like me, the less I understand it. The primary point of confusion for me that I don't understand how people get over is that I am horrible, horrible at conversations.

Now, this doesn't mean that I say horrible things, at least not on a consistant basis. If you are around, and I know that you are of, say, a different creed than I am, I will likely go out of my way to not say anything offensive about it. However, sometimes I forget who I'm talking to, and my results are less than dignified.

Consider this snippet from a conversation that I was having last week. The players in the scene are myself, the gf, and two friends. The setting is a trendy dessert restaurant. The conversation thus far has been about various topics, but at this moment, we are discussing Martha Stewart.

The GF: I like her. She's my hero.
Friend 1: All of the things that she does are so creative!
The GF: She is creative, and yet she still has time to make her house spotless.
Me: Maybe if she would have spent a little less time on crafts she wouldn't have ended up divorced.
*Slight, but awkward pause in conversation*
Friend 2: What's wrong with being divorced?

In between the cold sweat and the string of profanities now running through my head, it is at this point in the conversation that I realize that my comment is, at best, a tangent, and that both Friend 1 and Friend 2 are semi-recently divorced. This is also the point that I start to feel a slight pain below the belt but above my knees that generally only happens when I see photos of gruesome accidents.

Because that's what I turned the conversation into: a gruesome accident.

Luckily, the conversation moved on, and I believe that no long term feelings were hurt, but that conversation put this thought of why are people my friends if I'm bad at conversation in my head which I have been mulling around ever since.

I feel that it is important to note that I don't really have anything against people who have gone through a divorce; in fact, I tend to have a lot of empathy for those who have gone through a divorce, especially the ones who have been blindsided by one. I simply saw an opportunity to take a cheap shot at a celebrity (because that's how I roll), and I took it to obviously disastrous results.

So, my advice to friends of AC is RUN AWAY AND DON'T LOOK BACK!

Should you decide to stick around, I'll see you tomorrow, at which point you will again be regaled by my brilliant observations on the human condition. If not, thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


The owner of this site regretfully informs you that he is experiencing some unexpected maintenance issues. Upon waking up this morning, he realized that his body wasn't worked like it was supposed to.

Certainly by tomorrow he will be back to his bright and witty self, and by "bright and witty," we mean of course that he will go back to making jokes that only he really thinks are funny.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

The Management

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Promised Analysis of Kiss Me Kate

First things first, if you're looking to have a bad time at a movie, or you want to leave a movie feeling badly about yourself, I don't recommend this one. If you want to feel badly about yourself and how all of your supposed problems are pretty non-problematic, I recommend watching this show which I came across when I got home last night. Nothing that is more sad comes to mind. But, the movie that is in the title of this post will leave you feeling pretty doggone happy. In fact, as long as you don't just outright despise old movie musicals, you're probably going to love this movie, and even if you have your reservations about them, this one will grab you by the ears and shout at you, "I'm really funny, dang it! Go make me some pie!"

The basic premise of the show is that a composer and an actor are looking to do a musical remake of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The actor has the brilliant (and awfully cheeky) idea to cast his ex-wife in the part of the shrew (Get it?). She has her reservations at first (especially when she realizes that her ex-husband's new girl friend will have another large part in the show), but she eventually acquiesces when she realizes that the part of the shrew really is a part that will show off her acting and singing skills.

The rest of the movie is a mixture of opening night of the show itself and the backstage hi jinx that ensue as various miscommunication occurs.

Oh, and, as the movie poster would suggest, there's spanking.

Act one ends with the actor's ex-wife realizing that a bouquet of flowers that she received from him prior to the show were meant for someone else. This causes her to be furious, and understandably so. From the moment she realizes this, she starts beating him up on stage.

By "beating him up on stage," I, of course, mean slapping him around on stage every opportunity she gets.

And what is a 1953 actor to do? Why, just prior to the fall of the curtain signaling intermission, he puts her over his knee and takes great joy (as the movie poster would suggest) in spanking her.

This naturally leads to the following questions: did men in 1953 really spank their wives in an effort to chastise them for wrong-doing? Did President Eisenhower slip that that was okay somewhere into his Presidential acceptance speech? If it were at one point acceptable, at which specific point did it become unacceptable?

I will accept any reasonable answers to this question, and take them as truth.

Also, one of my favorite scenes is one in which two gangsters who have been sent to collect on a debt for their mob boss sing a song about how, in order to impress the ladies, one should "Brush Up your Shakespeare." I will leave you with a stanza from said song:

"Brush up your Shakespeare, start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare, and the women you will wow.
If your goil is a Washington Heights dream,
Treat the kid to "A Midsummer Night Dream."
If she fights when her clothes you are mussing,
What are clothes? "Much Ado About Nussing."
If she says your behavior is heinous
Kick her right in the "Coriolanus."
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow,
And they'll all kowtow,
And they'll all kowtow."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Going to a Wedding

I thought I would let you all know that I am leaving early tomorrow morning to make a several hour drive north to see a buddy's wedding. Therefore, there will likely be no post tomorrow.

However, I will leave you with something to mull over.

While I was doing tech work for a show (and I was the best dang spotlight b there ever was, I might add), a couple of friends and I got to talking, and we thought that it would be hilarious to work on a musical based on the popular video game and movie franchise Mortal Kombat.

We also decided that the character Sub-Zero:

should be the main character, and, though he is definitely not presented this way in the video game, we envisioned him as a delicate romantic character, who may or may not have slightly effeminate tendencies.

Unfortunately, as such conversations about the most awesome idea ever often end up, nothing has yet come of our idea.

Until now.

This is your challenge, gentle readers. It is my belief that Sub-Zero should sing a romantic ballad about how frustrated he is in love in this show. I think that this song should be titled, "Black and Blue (on the inside)."

With these things in mind, I challenge you, my readers, to submit stanzas of verse or ideas about how this song should flow.

And what will the winner receive? Well, the winner can rest in the knowledge that they have helped to make the world a better place, because once I have the lyrics, I will write music for this song. Once the song is written, I will video tape myself (dressed as Sub-Zero) performing the song, and I will post it on you tube for all to enjoy.

This is your challenge for this weekend. Good night, and good luck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

An Open Letter to BMG Music

Dear Sir or Madam,

In my younger and more vulnerable years (aka earlier this year), I decided that it was finally the time to give a music club a shot. Liking both music and clubs, BMG Music Club seemed like a natural choice.

In addition, I was looking to expand my broadway musical cds collection, and your assertion that I could get 12 cds for the price of one seemed like an extraordinary offer. I carefully read the documentation, and it looked like there were no strings attached, other than having to pay shipping for each cd.

So, I signed up, and I received my 12 cds for the price of one.

Life was good. I had enriched my collection without having to empty my bank account. Plus, I got to be in the club. I never received word about a secret hand shake, but I assumed that this was just because you were busy.

However, something funny started happening. I received an additional cd that I had not requested with a note that read, you can either pay us for this cd or you can send it back to us. The note that gave me this information also said that if the packaging that I needed to open to see this note was unopened, you would pay to have it shipped back to them.

Touche, BMG. Touche.

So I, questioning why I should be loyal to a club that would have me as a member, sent this cd back to you with a tersely written note that expressed my extreme displeasure with this service, and requested that A) you remove me from the club, and B) you change my mailing address. I was planning on moving, and I wanted to avoid the events that might transpire from correspondance going to the wrong place.

I spent the next few days relaxing and thinking about how glad I was that I narrowly averted that crisis.

But you, BMG, you had another trick or two up your sleeves.

On the day before I was set to move, I received another cd. I was livid, but I didn't have the time necessary to go to the post office, and, in the haste of packing, the cd ended up in a box that was then moved to my new apartment. The cd remains in that box to this day.

A month later, I received a forwarded letter that contained an invoice that had been sent to my old address saying that you would remove me from your club (that wasn't much fun to be in, I must say), but that I needed to pay for the cd that I kept. As I am not a fan of just about any music that came from the 80's, you can imagine my pleasure at looking at the statement and realizing that I had managed to purchase a $26 dollar cd entitled "80's Gold."

What I found humorous about this was that you had only honored one of my requests in my letter. You took me out of your club, but you did not update my address. I can only assume that this is due to the fact that your business shadily makes money on late fees by sending invoices to incorrect addresses.

Shame on you, BMG. Shame on you. My conclusion is that your business is made up of vikings whose only goal is to pillage and plunder unsuspecting club members.

It is for these reasons that I, in a brazen act of futility, wrote on the memo line of your check, "For Cleverly Foiling Me." In a similar act of futility, please notice that you also got the Supergirl stamp, because, really, who likes Supergirl as a super hero?

And so, in conclusion, BMG, please accept my humble offering of $28.80 as my little way of saying, "*$#&$*%&#%&!& you, you @#$#&$*@#&%@%&, in addition to the horse you rode in on."

Yours forever faithfully and truly (though not in a club kind of way),

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Call Back

Though I am now three days away from my call back, and I therefore have a few nagging doubts about reasons they haven't called yet, I was very pleased with how my call back went in general.

I sang my prepared song well. The auditionees even smiled and commented on how good it was.

I sang the song they asked me to sing well. My only gripe is that at one point, the song went into four part harmony, and, not being able to sing four parts, I worked on the tenor and bass parts, when, in fact, they wanted me to sing the soprano part, as that's where the melody was.

And I even did all right with the dance portion.

And, in the words of the immortal Homer Simpson, "Now we play the waiting game...oh, the waiting game sucks! Who wants to play Monopoly?"

Perhaps I should have included with my headshot and resume a copy of my open letter to another theatre group in the area, and let them know that the offer also applied to them.

All in all, I really think that I have a shot at this. We'll see if I get it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Michael A. Diaz-Piedra III

I signed up for the 2996 Tribute Project a few months ago, which was meant to commemorate those people that died in the September 11 attacks by having 2,996 people write about those people's lives today.

Here is one of their stories.

Michael A. Diaz-Piedra III was born in Cuba. In 1960, shortly after Fidel Castro's rise to power, Michael's parents (who were wealthy plantation owners) took him, his brother, and his sister and fled the country. They spent a year in Florida before eventually settling in New Jersey. It was Michael's dream to return to Cuba and reclaim his family's land after Castro's reign ended.

After Michael graduated high school, he went to Rutgers University where he pursued and achieved a degree in psychology. He later also received his M.A. in Business Administration.

One of his interests in life was the military. He collected uniforms from different armed forces from all over the world. When Halloween or the occasional masquerade party came around, he particularly enjoyed dressing up in one of his costumes.

This is a man who found joy in his life.

Michael also had a flair for the romantic. On the day that he proposed to his wife, he surprised her at work by picking her up in a vintage Jaguar which took them to a romantic dinner that was specially serenaded by violinists. Michael had four children, two of which were young adults and two of which were 6 and less than one year old at the time of the attacks.

This is a man who found joy in his family.

In addition, Michael was also something of a scholar. He had an article published in the Disaster Recovery Journal that was meant to encourage those who worked in disaster recovery planning (he was the Vice-President of Disaster Recovery Planning for the Bank of New York) which he considered to be a thankless, yet, very necessary and vital line of work.

Consider the last lines of his article:

"Our goal is to put all negative aspects of the job behind us...What a job this is, what an adventure! What a challenge!"

These are the words of a man who found joy in what he did.

I wonder how many people who have been faced with the task of trying to inititate systems for recovery from the 9/11 attacks have read Michael's words. I wonder also how many have been encouraged by them. Even in his death, the need to do what he had a passion for doing lives on.

As we never forget the 2,996 people who perished in the 9/11 attacks, let us remember the joy that Michael A. Diez-Piedra III found with his life, his family, and his work.

May all of us be as fortunate in our own lives.

EDIT: Since posting this tribute, I have been in touch with Michael's sister, Anna. She had a couple of memories in particular that I've asked if I could share here. Here is a portion of the first email that she sent me:

"...Anyhow, you certainly captured the truth of his life—joy. He thoroughly enjoyed life, family, and even work. The thing is, he found and created fun in just about every situation. Sometimes he lived large, but most times he found fun in small things. For example if he had to get into work early, he made sure that he and his staff met for a big breakfast (featuring his favorite—french toast slathered in syrup). He kept lists and photos of things he wanted and focused on his hope to obtain things he liked. He brought his wife daisies every week. Every week. So, joy, for sure is what he was about."

And here is the body of a second email:

"Dear Brian: Absolutely post my comments.

"Mike's first marriage was when he was 21 and he had two children, Monique about 28 and Cristian 26. His marriage to Kelly was when he was in his early 40's. He married this beautiful younger woman, Kelly, and started a family with her. He was "over the moon" with her and he thoroughly enjoyed his kids. He was, in fact, a big kid at heart--probably one of the most important qualities humans should never lose, but most do. Kelly tells me that every night when he came home from work he would get on the floor with the boys and wrestle, etc. while she got dinner ready or took a break. With the baby it was more the hold'em up in the air while the baby laughs type of thing. He got them out of her hair on the weekends too--and I never once heard him complain as some father's seem to, on the contrary he thrived on it.

"You know Brian, people often do say of those who've died, "oh he was great", "what a guy", etc. and I guess it's probably true. You say he sounds remarkable and the awful truth is that you're right, we just didn't quite realize it while he lived. It's not that we're revising history or glossing over his faults--he had some for sure like everybody else. It's just that he was so unique and goofy, and eccentric and different from us more serious folks that we didn't see these qualities as gifts to us! Only when you go to a family party now and there's nobody to greet you wearing a "love boat captain" outfit or his last party where he was ironically, wearing a "sheik of arabique" type of outfit, do you realize the loss of fun and joy.

"Just one last thing about this to illustrate. My reaction when we drove up and Mike was on his front lawn in a purple/silver turban, three quarter length purple brocade jacket, black high boots over riding pants was to say something like, "holy --- what the eff is he wearing now?" I felt a bit embarrassed. It wasn't a costume party it was his boy's summer birthday party... why can't he dress like normal people? He not only didn't care what anyone thought, he had a great time, and kids surrounded him like bees on honey. So, you tell me, who was the jerk? Yeah, I know.

"Recently I have recaptured my youthful enthusiasm and playfulness, my hopes and dreams. I can tell you I'm so much the happier and joyful for it--highly recommend it. I'm not yet wearing costumes, but you can never tell what might happen!

Mike was my oldest, big brother, and I love him and miss him deeply. Thank you again for helping keep the memory of the souls that were murdered, alive."

Friday, September 08, 2006

My Call Back Is Tomorrow

My call back for The Gr*nch is tomorrow, and I must say that I am really looking forward to it (asterix added to avoid googling).

I suspect that more of the directing team will be there, as they asked me to sing the same song that I sang at my audition. If this is so, that will likely mean that director of the show will be there, and he is a pretty big deal. The man has directed stuff that has gone to Broadway, and he's won Tony awards.

I'd give his name, but I'd hate for somebody googling it to end up on this page and find me talking about my misogynistic audition song, and for them to therefore assume that I hate women and then send me a tersely worded email asking for an apology or else they'd work to get me kicked out of the show.

I suppose I can rely on the veil of anonymity that comes from maintaining a very clever alias...heh heh...but I suspect that anyone who really tried could figure out who I was.

Wow. My hands are already getting cold and clammy. I'll let you know how it goes, probably on Tuesday; I already have a post lined up for Monday that is a little more serious in nature.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Four Word Film Review

I heard about this site on the radio this morning, and I found it quite amusing, so I thought that I'd share it with y'all.

The site is called the Four Word Film Review, and it includes movie reviews in four words are fewer. The reviews are viewer submitted, so if you naturally try to reduce ideas into the smallest space possible, this is your opportunity to do so with movies.

However, as I was dinking around, I found that another AC had already registered. I am appalled! Doesn't he know who I am?

I'd track him down and ask him to change, but he's already submitted thousands of reviews, and so I assume that my requests would fall on deaf ears.

But you all know who the real AC is, right? Of course right.

Oh, and while I'm at it with the links post, let me offer this link. It is a website that includes mailing addresses of some of the executives at Fox. While it is likely too late to make a difference, please consider writing a letter to each of these folks in an effort to get Arrested Development, the funniest show ever to play on tv, back on the air.

I will be sending my letters in the next few days.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My Fair Lady

Rehearsals started for My Fair Lady last night. I think that it's going to be a pretty good show. We read through the first act, and all of the characterization that I saw going on was really great.

The original choreographer that we had had to leave the show, however, and so we had a new choreographer last night, which meant that we had to do some dancing for him so that he could see what we could do.

It should be noted that there was a list that went out with the original cast list that listed which people were expected to be dancers and which weren't. However, many people have left the show since the original cast was announced. Nevertheless, you can imagine my surprise when, as they were reading those people who were expected to be dancers, I heard my name being called.

Really? Me? Do you understand that a potato with two toothpicks for legs would look more natural dancing than I would?

After I got over the shock, the choreographer showed us a simple routine. I followed it pretty well, and I did it well when we were doing it as a group. Unfortunately for me, they then asked us to do it in groups of three.

My group was the first to go.

The first time that they asked us to do the routine, I hit every step. In fact, I did so well, that the choreographer asked to see it again, this time with me in front of the others. It was the second time that, much like a Greek tragedy, my hubris got the best of me and I forgot just about all of movements.

I was not asked to dance again.

It's probably for the best.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Kiss Me Kate

A friend of mine graciously let me borrow the dvd of Kiss Me Kate after I pleaded with her long and hard to do so. Upon receiving the coveted prize, I glanced upon down, and found the following to be the cover:

I'm sorry, but this is just about the naughtiest film cover that I've ever seen! Look at how he smiles with fiendish glee at the prospect of giving that woman a smack bottom!

This film cover raises so many questions. Why is she being spanked? Why is he so happy about it? Is he really the woman's father, though he appears to be about the same age? If so, is administering the spanking an act of discipline? If so, again, why is he so happy about it?

Maybe this movie is nothing like what I figured it was about. I'll report my findings after a thorough analysis...a very thorough analysis.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I was reminded of this poem last week as I was helping tear down the set for Godspell.

Thank you A Beka Books for making me memorize this poem in the seventh grade.

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone.
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on’;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!