Sometimes, when you're on stage, you know where you stand with an audience. When they applaud loudly for what is applause-worthy, they laugh at what is funny, and they are respectfully quiet during sad or awkward scenes, you know that you have their emotions in the palm of your hand and that your performance is really reaching them.
However, when the opposite occurs, that is, when they are quiet when they should be loud and there is lots of rustling and/or coughing when they should be quiet, you can't help but feel like you're not doing a very good job, like, despite your best efforts, you just can't suspend their disbelief. It's quite discouraging.
Last night's audience was, as you may have guessed, somewhat like the latter group. They seemed unappreciative and distracted. Worse yet, they were occasionally distracting. For example, during a scene that is lit only by black light for an extended period of time, a woman wearing a large white coat (which was very, very noticable thanks to the black light) decided that that was the perfect time for her to get up from her fourth row center seat, and slowly make her way to the lobby, illumined for all to see.
During the show, nearly everyone in the cast made some comment about how the crowd was "dead" and "unresponsive."
However, when curtain call came, we received a standing ovation.
When my girlfriend and her parents visited your restaurant, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, we expected a nice meal. We also knew that it was going to be a bit pricy, but, we were prepared because we expected that from the Oceanaire Seafood Room, because sometimes you have to pay for ambience at a fancy restaurant.
What we did not expect was your frank smugness and downright rudeness.
While it is true that, at least my girlfriend and I, don't dine at many exceptionally fancy restaurants such as yours, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, I don't really feel that our lack of knowing just exactly how you'd like us to respond to things gives you liberty to look down your nose at us and generally treat us like garbage using methods such as violently pouring our wine for us and your spoken rudeness that hid behind the paper thin veneer of politeness.
At first, I thought that you would be a great waiter, because your disheveled white hair in conjunction with the fact that your white coat and white apron kind of looked like a scientist's coat made you kind of look like Christopher Lloyd, of Back to the Future fame. Unfortunately for us (Great Scott!), there was no kindly gentleman hiding behind that kindly appearance at the Oceanaire Seafood Room.
In short, sir, you made the whole evening a particularly unpleasant experience, and so I will likely not be dining there, at the Oceanaire Seafood Room, again. Plus, with the number of times I've mentioned the Oceanaire Seafood Room in this post, maybe, just maybe, this post will come up in a Google search for the Oceanaire Seafood Room, and maybe, just maybe, this post will keep someone else from wasting entirely too much money on food that could be had elsewhere for a sixth of the price and without the added benefit of an unbelievably rude waiter.
No longer a friend of the Oceanaire Seafood Room in San Diego, California, AC
What can destroy a person? For Samson, it was his hair. For Caesar, it was that fateful decision to cross the Rubicon. For Britney Spears, it was marrying and having kids with Cletus, the Slack-Jawed Yokel.
Today, I'm going to reveal what has the capacity to destroy me. I'll give you a hint: it's books. I love to read them, but it seems like even more than that, I love to find new ones that I think I should read, purchase them, and then quickly forget about them. It is as if my mind thinks that through the simple act of buying a book, I have the potential to receive the wisdom and knowledge that the book contains, and if I do not purchase them, I will UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES receive said knowledge.
I am enticed because by reading, I can not only reflect what I have read, but, in a sense, cause what I have read to reflect upon me. In short, I play the Narcissus to the books' clear pond.
However, though I always love books, I sometimes find that I am too busy for reading. Further, I find that I have a kind of feast or famine approach to reading, that is, sometimes I'll go from title to title faster than a fat man achieves the goal of heart disease, whereas sometimes months will go by without reading more than a magazine because I just don't want to commit to anything that can't be accomplished in two hours, i.e., most of the literary works I am interested in.
So, more for my own personal curiosity than anything else, I will be keeping track of the books that I read within by frequently updating this post for the year of 2007 just to see what I can assume numerically about my reading habits after 2007 ceases to be. Also, I will be including plays in the list, even though I'm sure that some people might consider that to be "cheating" and "beefing up one's book count the easy way."
It is to those people I say, "Come look at this pond."
1) Who Moved my Blackberry? by Lucy Kellaway ** 2) Art by Yasmina Reza* 3) The Disappointment Artist by Jonathan Lethem 4) The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh* 5) A Midsummer Night's Dream by Billy-Boy Shakespeare* 6) Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman 7) Copenhagen by Michael Frayn* 8) Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan 9) JPod by Douglas Coupland 10) The Pleasure of my Company by Steve Martin 11) Beneath the Wheel by Hermann Hesse 12) Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard* 13) True West by Sam Shepard*
Also, if you are interested in any of the books that I've read, and you don't have them, I can either loan them to you, or, if you'd like, you can get them through an affiliate program that I have with half.com, and I can make a couple bucks in the process. Please use the following link if you'd like to do that.
When you're doing a show with an actor who is reprising a lead role that he's done nearly a dozen times, and, in particular, when you are with him in a group of people who are supposed to be moving in strict unison during the opening number of the show, and he moves his arm at the wrong time, and, likely due to being flustered, very obviously proceeds to start to turn around when the group is supposed to be moving to stage right while facing forward, you will be able to keep yourself composed. However, when the group is turning at the correct time, and you hear him say in his gravelly voice, quite audibly, "Oh boy...", you will very nearly poop your pants as you try even harder to hold back the laughter that you had been holding back previously.
Relatedly, when you get off-stage, you will think to yourself with a smile, "God, thanks for this one. I love what I do."
Let me say that, in general, I am enamored with your restaurant's premise and its food. In an ocean of burger places, I find solace in your island of roast beef. Plus, your extra large cup is made out of styrofoam, which, while it will kill the environment, doesn't "sweat" when I leave it in my dressing room during shows and get all over the place.
Because that's what I stand for, Arby's, convenience with drinks over having an earth to live on.
Nevertheless, last week, as I stopped by your establishment for a delicious beef and cheddar, I found myself repulsed. Upon receiving my food, I took it over to the condiments station to add both Horsey and Arby's sauces to my sandwich, because they, much like Red Vines and Mr. Pibb, are crazy delicious. However, when I opened the bun up, instead of seeing several pieces of roast beef, as I am accustomed to, I only came across one large-ish one. It also looked slightly off-colored, but I, like the plain girl at the bar who's had one too many and is asked to dance with a man of questionable character, decided that this was my best shot.
After condimenting it up, I headed back to my car and got back on the freeway where I proceeded to unwrap my delicious treat. I eyed it with approval, just as one might eye the "Casual Encounters" section of Craigslist if one were hopelessly depressed and/or desperate.
And I was desperate. For a hot beef injection. My mouth watered with anticipation. I took a bite, and started to chew. However, something was amiss in my mouth; it was as if there were a party in my mouth, and only ugly people were invited. You see, my experience with Arby's has conditioned me to believe that roast beef will be tender and savory. This roast beef however, was a little bit chewy and spongy. I would bite down, and my jaw would be forced back open with the sheer resistance of the meat. I felt like someone had taken squid, hammered it into a thin sheet, dyed it brownish, and stuck it on my supposed beef and cheddar sandwich.
I am not one to quit, however, so I proceeded to chew what was in my mouth until it could be swallowed, and my revulsion at doing so can only accurately be compared to what people feel when they remember that Courtney Love isn't dead yet.
I felt betrayed. I was humiliated. I was lonely. I had no sandwich to help me through my lunch hour time of need. My lunch hour will never be the same. I will be forever skeptical.
Therefore, Arby's, I'm not asking for much. I just want my innocence back.
Failing innocence, I will accept twenties, but I want you to know that you're just making it worse.
As you are middle-aged and kind of weird, and she is early twenties and devoted to fitness, I place your chances of what I can only imagine you are thinking of doing with her somewhere between the likelihood of the events of Jurassic Park actually transpiring and the idea that the 1969 moon landing was staged.
After two weeks of rehearsals (the last two of which were twelve hour days), the show is set to open this evening.
I can hear you now: "Your show is opening on a Tuesday? What's that about? Did you take stupid pills this morning, AC?"
The answer to the basic issue posed by the previous three questions is that the theatre that is putting the show on is part of a resort which tends to be filled with vacationing folk who still reminisce about the "Great War" in their day to day conversations. These folks are looking to be entertained on a Tuesday night with a classic musical, and we are just the people to do the entertaining. It's a good thing that there's not a bingo hall close by, or we'd face some serious competition.
But seriously, it's a great show, and it's going to be a great run. Believe me, legs will be broken, and I mean that in the good, theatrical way.
Firstly, let it be noted that I sincerely appreciate the way that you perform repairs and general upkeep on things that are and relate to our roads. However, as I was waiting at a red light at a crowded intersection this afternoon around lunch time, I noticed that the light was not just red, but that it was blinking red, which led me to assume that something was amiss. I found that it was doing so because it had been apparently decided that lunch time was the best time to work on that particular traffic light.
Needless to say, people were upset.
I humbly request an either/or solution to this issue. Why don't you,
A) Maybe think about working on that light at another time during the day when there are fewer people on the road, or
B) Allow me to punch you in the face. Your collective face.