Wednesday, March 30, 2011

v2, d313: (Not Just ) Another Openin'

Okay kids, I think I'ma take another one of my bloggy sabbaticals.  Which doesn't mean I've forgotten my two requests, nor that I won't come up with some snazzy prize for Dave and Tarvis for participating in the caption contest, but I am just so stinking tired lately that I'm afraid I'm pretty worthless as a blogger.  And what little creative energy I do have I need to commit to writing a few new scripts for the next couple weeks.  Besides, I done been slippin' these last few weeks as it is.  I also thought that, if I were going to leave good old FOMW bare for a little while, this would be a nice something to leave at the top.

We opened Pinocchio this morning.  I've been looking forward to this project for quite awhile.  Last summer, I was thinking very seriously of leaving my job, and one of the strongest arguments toward my staying was the opportunity to direct this show.  Now, I wrote the script, and while I do enjoy directing my own scripts, that wasn't the main allure of the piece.  Instead, I wanted to do it because I knew it would be a challenge.  It's very different in tone, in style, and in substance from everything I've done up to this point.  And it's a deceptively complicated show.  This is because it's based on one of the strangest books I've ever read, and I wanted to stay true to the intent of the book (while keeping the story from spiraling into the range of "utterly incomprehensible") so I tried to keep a lot of the inherent weirdness in the story.  I looked forward to the opportunity to let my imagination run relatively wild in meeting the creative difficulties we'd encounter to try to pull this one off.

That was a full year ago.  Then, stuff got wacky.  People started leaving the company and went unreplaced.  Casting procedures changed.  Tech weekends were canceled.  I ended up with a pool of about seven actors to cast from, so I reduced my original cast size from six to five and changed my whole concept.  A staged reading was added into the already-crowded schedule, taking out half of my production team for two weeks.
 Oh yeah, and then we had another baby.  Crazy.  And that was just the stuff going on in my life, not to mention my cast and crew!

Needless to say, I got all the challenges I'd been anticipating plus a couple.  I won't say that it's been a stressful process, which is a blessing because it could have easily become one.  No, the process has been fun.  Rehearsals were often the only things that kept me going from nine to five many days over this past month.  Everyone poured everything they had into this show regardless of fatigue, distraction, or other crap that could have become an excuse to do a mediocre job.

Nevertheless, I was actually really nervous going into this morning.  I generally have a fair bit of confidence in my scripts, and I was confident in the work we'd done, but...well, you have to understand, this play is pretty out there.  It's not always comfy and cozy.  It's not what most people expect from the Pinocchio story.  It's not necessarily what people who come to our theatre come to expect.  And for the first time, I started to wonder if maybe I'd let my creative side play just a tad too much on this one.  Maybe I should have pulled back on the weirdness here or there.  Perhaps I should have cut out a couple of scenes or characters.  After all, it is the longest kids' show we've done in my six years here (75 minutes).

Maybe this was going to be kind of a disaster, as one high-ranking member of my company told me it would.

Today's opening audience was a rather large group from the day school of the church that hosts our performances.  That means a lot of three- and four-year-olds.  Like, an entire theater full of them.  Fantastic.  Have you ever tried to hold the attention of three or more four-year-olds?  It doesn't generally happen.  And although the previous night's preview performance had seemed to go over well, that was a crowd composed of at least 50% adults, and 85% of those were all good friends of one particular cast member.  This was our trial run with kids.  And I know I'm old school, but I always care more that the kids enjoy the kids' show than the adults.

"...for when the lights go down, the play begins!"

And we were off.  One way or another, we were (essentially) locked into that room with a hundred pre-K kids and all their chattery, fidgety, small-bladdery wonder.  The opening scene I knew would play well to this demographic, because it features two adult males bashing one another in the head with wood blocks.  Always a winner with the younger ones, and it was today.  Halfway through the scene, we stop whomping for a second to have some story.  And at that point, something truly unexpected and bizarre happened: the audiences stopped roaring in laughter in order to listen to the story!  And when we started up with the violence again, they jumped right back in with their giggles until it was time for more exciting storytelling/narration.  And they listened to that, too!  And as the play went on, it really started sinking in: the pre-K's were totally digging it!  And I mean all of it!  The weird parts, the wacky parts, even the talky parts.  They seemed to really grasp what was going on and responded accordingly, either to the characters, their friends, or their teachers.  Despite the fact that almost all of them had raised t heir hands and shouted "ME!" when asked if they had seen the Disney version of the story, they didn't seem to mind one bit that our little wooden boy hardly resembled the one in their memories at all.

Then, a little boy got up to go to the restroom.  Here we go, I thought.  It's all over.  With this age, once one of 'em goes, they all go.  But nobody else went.  Not until there were about five minutes left in the show (and it's hard to blame a 4-year-old for not sitting still past seventy minutes).  They were still with us.  They still wanted to know what was going to happen next.  They were delighted by the surprises.  They laughed at the oddities.  It worked.  Now, I don't say this because I think pre-K's make for bad audiences; rather, they're generally among the most challenging audiences you'll encounter.  I've seen a lot of our shows that just couldn't hold the little ones for very long.  But we grabbed them early, and we held them for the whole show.

Afterward, sweet Sarah had decided we ought to have a celebration for the world premiere of this new play, so she and Leslie set up a small table in the theater and brought a cake from H-E-B and some leftover punch from another event, and we celebrated.  Cast, crew, and friends who came to celebrate with us.  Fellow company members who'd come to see the show shared their compliments.  Everyone was chatty and happy.  I wasn't chatty, however.  I was sitting atop "the rock" by myself, looking around the theater at everyone sharing this opening morning with laughter, sweets, and praise.  And it just sorta sunk in with a sort of surreal satisfaction.  I looked around at the people who had spent the last month pulling out whatever they had left to bring this weird and wacky piece of theater together, and I thought, with eyes misting ever so slightly, We did it.  We pulled this off.

I won't say this is the best show I've ever written or directed, though I think now that it's pretty dang good.  And I won't say I've never been happier in my art, because that's probably hyperbole as well.  And no, it ain't perfect.  And yeah, I think I'll be making tweaks to the script when it's all over.  And heck yeah, I made some mistakes putting this whole thing together.  But you know what?  I can't imagine feeling more satisfied than I felt in that moment: sleep-deprived, physically exhausted, utterly relieved, and proud not only of myself but of the team, I felt utterly and completely satisfied.  It felt good. 

The cake was pretty dang tasty, too.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

v2, d312: What's wrong with this picture?

Hey-ho, caption this photo and WIN!  (Win what? I don't know!  But half the time I promise prizes on here, I deliver prizes!  It's a way better ratio than I have to "requests delivered vs. requests made!")

Saturday, March 26, 2011

v2, d311: Birthday Mad-libs: Jen

I think Jen is still a FOMW reader.  Every time I figure, "Oh, I'll bet Jen doesn't follow this anymore," she usually comments, so I've just decided to count her among the silent masses who at least skim my subject lines :-)

If you don't know Jen, you're missing out.  I don't think anybody in the world hates Jen.  Not even terrorists.  She is just that nice and encouraging and personable and loving.  Either that or she's plotting to destroy us all and she's really good at winning over trust.  And if that is her intention, she'll probably accomplish it.  Because she's just that good.

The County Fair

We went to the county fair today -- me, my wife Jen, my daughter Ninja, and my good friend Elizabeth. First we walked by all the animals. (I ran at the smell.) There were dogs, pheasants, and creepy baby spiders in stables, and a big fat dolphin in a pen. Behind the stables, some kids were having a race to see who could sheer a pig the fastest. Further on, there was a Spider Show, where each of the proud owners strutted their spider around the ring while judges pantomimed thoughtfully.

Next, we went on the rides. My wife was daring and went on the Gentle Christmas Hat of Narrating, and Ninja went on the Genuine Roller Coaster of Fantasy-sports-savvy, but I took it easy and stuck to the Robin Rides and the Joyous-Go-Round.

Last, we went to the green and brown food stands and filled up on tea cakes and hamburger buns and those little bagel-kabobs with ketchup on them. (Unfortunately, some woman bumped into me and knocked my bagel all over my dorsal fin.) We had a great time, and when we got back, we were all content from the experience.

Happy birthday, Jen!

Friday, March 25, 2011

v2, d310: Third Annual Aeros "Where Are They Now" post

Well, hockey season (regular season) is almost over, so it's time to give my annual salute to the guys I watched toil in the AHL whose hard work has paid off.  It's time to check in on our beloved former-Aeros!  I know most of y'all don't care, but this post is always a fun one for me.  Note: these are only the guys who played in Houston since I moved here, the 2005-06 season. 

We'll start off with the sad omission from this year's highlight real: my personal favorite former Aero Josh Harding.  After playing himself into a season-ending injury last year, Harding rehabbed like crazy to get in game shape for this season.  He took the ice for his first pre-season game feeling great...until he tore both his ACL and MCL.  He's finally skating again, but he lost an entire season.  Here's hoping he finds work in the NHL next year, because he's one of the great guys in the game, and it would suck to see it end this way for him.

John Scott, D, Chicago

The unlikeliest Aeros in the NHL, Scott came to Houston as an undrafted rookie with no hands (not literally), no skating ability, and a heck of a lot of work ethic.  Through parts of three seasons in Houston, Scott eventually matured into an AHL vet with no hands, minimal skating ability, and a reputation as one of the league's top fighters. (Oh, did I mention he's 6'8" and 258 pounds??) And that's pretty much who he is in the NHL, too, now with the Chicago Blackhawks.  He doesn't play often because, well, he's a terrible hockey player, but he's good to have on the ice if you think the other team is going to start pushing your guys around.  In 40 games this year, Scott has no goals, one assist, fifteen shots, and seventy-two penalty minutes.  And according to the voters at, he's never lost an NHL bout (17-0). 

Odd thought: Scott is the former Aero currently most likely to win a Stanley Cup.  

Here's Scott winning a fairly long bout with St. Louis's Cam Janssen:

Ryan Jones, F, Edmonton
Jones only played four games for the Aeros, and then he was a pest with the Admirals for a couple years while bouncing back up and down to Nashville.  Now he's playing for the last place team in the league, but he does have 16 goals.  Plus, you can follow him on Twitter.

Here's Jones going right to the net for a shorty against Dallas:

Clayton Stoner, D, Minnesota
Stoner's a guy who really took the long route getting to Minny.  He'd been an Aero every year since I'd been here.  And every time he started to catch a break, he'd get hurt.  Glad to see him finally stick with the Wild.  He's a good 6th d-man, good, tough, stay-at-home guy, and every team needs those guys to eat up some quality minutes on the back end.  He doesn't score much (twice, so far), but he's been playing good defense and even getting some time on the PK. 

Here's his memorable blooper-worthy first NHL goal:

Joel Ward, F, Nashville
Ward was the leading scorer on the 2007-08 team that had no business making the playoffs (but did anyway).  Nevertheless, the Wild let him walk as a free agent, and he's had double digits in goals for the Predators every year since. Hm...

Ward actually has three goals against the Wild this year.  This sort of thing seems to happen a lot in the NHL.

Benoit Pouliot, F, Montreal
Man, this kid has some sick hands.  Sometimes.  But not often enough for a kid who was picked 4th overall.  Pouliot wasn't bad as an Aero, but I had really hoped he would dominate the AHL level.  He didn't, and he hasn't at the NHL, either. He hasn't been bad, mind you, and he's only 24, and he's going to finish with thirty points for the first time in his career, so things are trending upward for him.  Minnesota was a pretty rotten place for a skill guy like Pouliot due to the system the team played.  And Pouliot never really bought in to the whole "defense" thing.  Anyway, he's got some pretty goals in Montreal, including this obscene shootout winner against my Pens.

Cal Clutterbuck, F, Minnesota
Possibly my all-time favorite Aero.  He just flew all over the ice, never took a shift off, dished out hit after hit (almost all of them clean), and can score.  Seems like he has a lot of haters, mostly because he doesn't fight often, but that's not his game.  He's an agitator, he draws penalties, he throws big hits, he gets the team and the fans fired up, and this year, he's going to top 20 goals for the first time.  He also feasts on BlueJackets, as in this clip in which he will take out two BJ's with one hit before bouncing back to his feet and putting home the rebound.  Awesome.

Kurtis Foster, D, Oilers
Foster had a solid rookie season and followed it up with a couple decent years for a puck-moving d-man...until he snapped his leg. He spent a full year rehabbing and actually made it back to play for the Wild (who re-signed him despite no guarantee he'd play again, which I thought was a nice gesture on their part).  He also got to rehab in Houston a few games, so we got to see him again.  Anyway, last season he had a solid year in Tampa, but they let him walk, too, so now the poor guy is banished to Edmonton.

He shoots the puck pretty hard.

Jared Spurgeon, D, Minnesota
Here's a guy who was told he was too small to play hockey professionally and had probably best settle on some different life goals.  (He's 5'9", which is small for an NHL d-man)  He signed with the Wild and was expected to play the whole year in Houston.  And basically, that didn't happen.  Great kid, great story.  Here he is scoring (as far too many players do) against the Avs.

That's our round-up for this year.  Hopefully next season we can add some new names (like Wellman, Noreau, Khudobin, Almond, Gillies) to the list.  Or re-instate Robbie Earl and Patrick O'Sullivan. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

v2, d309: Eight Characters Too Long

Wow. Ridiculously tired. Falling asleep by accident @ work and home. Maybe a daily blog is too ambitious right now. Better to aim for a daily tweet?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

v2, d308: I LOVE TECH!!

That's pretty much it.  I love the point in the directing process when you start to see the pieces come together.  The actors are getting a handle on their parts.  The set pieces and props show up.  The sounds are no longer only in your head (or your stage manager yelling "THUNDER!" during rehearsals).  The costumes complete the picture.  You start that you've actually got a show on your hands.  It's crazy fun.  Today I heard the sound design for the first time.  It's pretty awesome.  Tomorrow it's lights and costumes.  And then we'll be ready to have a look at the whole darn thing. 

It's gonna be a fun one, folks. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

v2, d307: Dial-A-Story

Here's a classic commercial that has a new meaning for me.  (And everyone needs to watch.  It's only thirty seconds)

These last couple of days have been kind of rough, and not just because the latest project was a bit...turbulent.  See, the last couple of days, I've had to stay at work past Robbie's bed time.  (And last night, Kim's, too)  There also wasn't enough time for me to get Robbie from day care, run home, and get back before my evening shift started, so Kim drove Robbie to day care in the morning and I just got a ride with a coworker, which means I basically didn't see my family at all yesterday.  Unless you want to count early morning, and if you've ever seen me in the early morning, you already know that doesn't count.  I just don't function quite right. I sometimes have conversations (and agree to do things) while I'm actually still asleep.  It's not good.  Anyway, it's tough, and it's even tougher on Kim, who is trying to wrangle two little boys by herself while I'm working.  Robbie's also always a bit extra agitated when he doesn't get to spend time with me at some point in the day.  So last night, during a break in rehearsal, I disappeared for a while and called him on the phone.  They were having dinner, but it was the last break I was going to get before bed time, so I told last night's Harry Bear bedtime story over the phone. It was both touching and heartbreaking at the same time. 

(Tonight was a bit better.  Kim brought the boys to the theater for dinner, and Robbie and I got to run up and down the aisles for a few minutes  before eating.  He behaved much better at home, too) 

This is getting hard.  Between this and my Wednesday and Sunday nights at church, I'm not home much.  And now my Saturday mornings are gone, too, and soon I'll be taking early-early morning bookings again.  I'm already sleeping four or fewer hours per night, and we're getting into heavy tech for Pinocchio tomorrow (preview performance next Tuesday night).  Sooner or later, something has got to break, folks.  And it might end up being me.

That said, I'm still "up." I'm still happy and excited about life.  I'm stoked to be in tech for Pinocchio.  These are good times.  I go from one sleeping child's room to the other's and realize how good I have it right now in the brief moments I'm alert enough to appreciate it.  And those moments are still worth it.

Besides, after that fourth (or fifth?) cup of coffee today, I was feeling pretty dang good!  Yeah!! (I told Tarvis I would post this tonight)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

v2, d306: "But I like pretty things..."

The above quote was from Robbie after he asked why I was taking Mommy to the ballet.  "Because she likes it," I said.  "Why?" he asked.  "Because it's pretty and has lots of beautiful music and Mommy likes pretty things."  And then the title quote.  The boy didn't want to be left behind. 

But he was.  Oh, he was!  And Dave and Sherri played gracious babysitters while Kim and I were off to Houston Ballet to catch Sleeping Beauty.  It was Kim's Valentines Day gift.  Plus, I think it's good for us to try to get out to something culture-y once a year, right?  ;-) 

Unfortunately, getting to the ballet was a giant stressful trial.  Getting dinner and the kids ready on time for us to be out the door looking all nice and classy happened a bit later than we would have liked, and we were racing toward the Wortham Center hoping we'd make it on time.  I even suggested to Kim that if we were cutting it close enough, I'd let her out at the front door, park the car, and join her at intermission.  After all, the tickets said "There will be no late seating" on the back. I thought that was pretty clear.  Well, we almost made it on time, and then the road we were supposed to turn on changed names on us...before we were supposed to turn on it.  Jerk.  So we ended up getting to the Wortham ten minutes after the ballet had started.  We decided to give it a shot anyway (the girl in the parking garage seemed to have no clue as to whether or not they would allow for late-seating.  In fact, she didn't even seem certain of what half the words I'd said meant.  I'm going to blame poor acoustics).  Fortunately, we parked directly under the Wortham, so it was a short walk. 

Turns out, the tickets lie.  They do allow late-seating; however, they keep all the latecomers in the same section and allow them back to their regular seats at intermission.  (I'm guessing they don't do this if there's a sold out house, but for tonight they had a whole section saved for late folks like ourselves)  So we got in in time to catch the last half of the Prologue.  (This ballet was divided into a prologue and three acts, each with a fifteen minute intermission in between.  The whole thing was about three hours. Really, though, it seemed they should have just called it four acts) 

After the prologue, we went up a level to the upper balcony to our seats.  Only problem was, there were people sitting in them, and while the usher tried to convince these ladies they were in the wrong place, the lights started to dim.  Instead, she found us a few open seats and promised to straighten things up during the next intermission.  (I started to wonder if we were going to watch every act from a different set of seats)  The first (really second) act was enjoyable, and the dancer playing Princess Aurora was lovely (from the balcony at least) and talented.  However, I had to watch the entire act leaning all the way to my left or right, because the woman in front of me had quite the hairstyle.  I spent all night trying to come up with a more apt way to describe it, but there just wasn't one: I say in all seriousness and objectivity, without trying to sound condescending or judgmental at all, but the woman's hair was styled exactly like Ursula the Sea Witch's from Disney's The Little Mermaid.  My wife will vouch for me on this.  It was totally that "bit" from TV sitcoms or romantic comedies where the guy in the movie theater can't see around the woman in front of him's hat.  Only it was Sea Witch Hair instead.  Weird.

After the first (really second) act we took our own seats, and nothing eventful happened.  Except, of course, I almost fell asleep.  This was not the ballet's fault.  The ballet was very enjoyable.  (I can't say it was "good" because I know very little about ballet, so what looks good to me may actually be very poor to the ballet afficionado; I know I've heard several patrons make the same mistake about live theatre)  Nevertheless, I was working on my second day of 3.5 hours of sleep, it was late, and half the ballet was about people falling asleep.  I  had some good long blinks there in act two (really three).  And so, during the third intermission, I walked down all the stairs from the balcony to the lobby to get myself a mocha.  It did the trick.

By the third (really fourth) act, the story had pretty much wrapped up.  Baby born, evil fairy, cast a spell, sixteenth birthday, she falls asleep, good fairy gets a prince to fight the evil fairy, prince kills monster, kisses princess, princess wakes up.  Still one act to go.  So the entire final act was pretty much the wedding party, where the leading man and leading lady have a well-deserved rest while a bunch of random fairy tale characters dance for them.  After two pairs in black costumes, a couple of cats, someone I'm assuming is Peter Pan, and three vaguely European goofballs, the prince and princess apparently decide they're being upstaged, so they take a couple spins around the floor (quite literally) and show everyone who is boss.  Then the ensemble dances together and the happy couple reappears in long wedding trains, signifying that they will not be dancing again, and the curtain falls. 

I really loved the evening, once we got to the theater. The production values were very high and the story was very creatively told.  Everything was very beautiful.  And we had a nice night out together.  (I felt like such a grown-up, all spiffed up sitting in the balcony watching culture with my wife!)  The balcony is always a fun place to sit because you'll see a lot of the families with their own seven-year-old fairy princesses in tow since they, like we, can't really afford any other seat in the place. Also: I'll bet it would be fun to be one of the background characters in these shows.  Party guests, attendants, etc.  You get to wear an awesome costume, stand on a lavish set, and watch gorgeous dancing for a few hours while a live freaking orchestra plays a classic score almost directly under your feet!  Heck, I could think of worse ways to spend a month's worth of evenings, aye?

Oh, and perhaps we'll take Robbie to the ballet when it comes to Miller Outdoor Theater this summer.  Since he does like pretty things, after all. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

v2, d305: This is Sherri's fault

That's a phrase I've thrown out often the past few days (It's Sherri's fault) because I "pick on" Sherri far more than I pick on any of my other friends. But she's been truly amazing these past few days.  Isaac started having trouble staying content late at night this past week, so I've been running on 3 to 3.5 hours of sleep for a couple of days.  Kim and I have both been more exhausted these past few days than we have been since Isaac was born, and Sherri's been a huge blessing and will probably be as tired as we are once she drives home tomorrow. 

However, it is her fault that I haven't been blogging these past few days.  We'll pick it back up with a recounting of last night's trip to the Houston Ballet tomorrow night when she's gone. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

v2, d304: Gamera

Okay, so Sherri is coming down to visit (she claims) this week.  I'm only warning you all because, if you cross Sherri, there's a good chance she'll start talking about Gamera.  It's just something he does.  Now, I realize many of you have no clue who Gamera is, so I'll give you a short crash-course, just in case it comes up in conversation.

Gamera is a giant prehistoric tortoise that can fly.  He was kind of like Japan's B-team of movie monsters, because he had a pretty solid career but never made it up to Godzilla-status. 

Oh look, here he is now.

In Gamera's first movie, he was pretty hard-core, destroying lots of stuff.  He did, however, save this one kid from falling out of a tower, and this revealed that his true nature was the Friend of All Children.  So mot of the rest of his movies, he's all buddy-buddy with a kid or a group of kids and is fighting other monsters to save the kids.  Eventually, he went from terror of the arctic to the fun-loving interplanetary turtle with a catchy theme song:

If you still think Gamera is "just another Japanese movie monster," take a closer look.  I guarantee you've never seen anything quite like this.

So there you have it.  Should it come up in conversation, you'll at least know what you're talking about. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

v2, d303: Daylight

Did you hear the news today
To turn your clocks back? No?
"Fall back" feels so far away,
One less hour in the sack, yeah.
And the darkness crept its way
Like stars that come out just a bit too soon
We need one more hour of sunlight here
To extend our playful afternoons
Playing in a park,
Or swimming in the pool like sharks.

Daylight savings, daylight savings tonight, oh tonight

Slightly later, porchlights flicker
Dinner times keep pushing back
Farmers love it, but city slickers
Want to have their evenings back.
Don't sleep in too late,
Sunday school is still at eight.

Daylights savings, daylights savings tonight, oh tonight

(Insert NASA-ish sequence of dialogue here)

Arizona shakes its head as everyone else scrambles
All our fragile sleep cycles in shambles, all shambles
Where once the mind was focused, it rambles and rambles.
Who'd have thought that one small hour could make us all insane?
The coffee pots are burning hot, somehow it all rings lame
You're all off-kilter Sunday, and then you're stuck with Monday.

I think...I will...end this song with screams

*Note: I actually don't have anything against daylight savings, and today wasn't all that rough.  Click here for a reference point*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

v2, d302: "Well, what are YOU waiting for?" "I don't know, something AMAZING I guess..."

"Me too, too..."

Had this been a true 365 blog, I'd be on what I'd consider the "home stretch" now.  But it's not, so I'm not.  Which is fine, because I'm still having fun.

Of course, if this was a true 365 blog, I'd probably be using it to keep track of my day-by-day life, consistently providing examples from the meaningful and the mundane happenings as I journey from 2011 to 2012 or from my 28th birthday to my 29th or from one March 11th to the next.  But, really, I'm not doing that, either.

For example, here's a list of some meaningful or otherwise noteworthy things that have happened this past week:
Start of Lent
Robbie's day care Mardi Gras parade
Second week of Pinocchio rehearsals
Horrific earthquake in Japan that kills hundreds of people
Visit from in-laws
Baby shower with coworkers

Here are thing I've blogged about this past week:
Fighting an enemy of Spartans
Cute quotes from my kid (I did touch on Mardi Gras here)
The Washington Capitals
"If Theatre Was Sports"
The dog from The Sandlot

See?  You're not really getting much of an insight into my daily life anymore.

(Oh, and the obvious: if this were a true 365 blog, I wouldn't be missing days ;-)

What, then, shall we say?  This here ain't a 365 blog no more.  There's almost no reason to keep track of the days other than the fact that I'm addicted to numbers and they occasionally provide post content fodder.  As I pondered this realization earlier tonight, I had to ask the all-important question: What, then, is my purpose for this little exercise?

Simply put, I like it.  And I like that y'all read it, but I think I'd do it anyway just because I enjoy doing it.  I enjoy the writing, even if I come up with stuff that most legitimate writers would be embarrassed to sign their names to.  (Sha-bow!)  It's fun to sit down, push some keys, and ultimately leave a little bit of yourself (figuratively) elsewhere for posterity's sake.  It's also far more relaxed than my work on any of my stories or plays, because if I can't manage to be interesting for a day or two, who the heck cares?  So I wasted a little bit of your time.  You were probably just going to use it playing Bubble Spinner anyway.

(Note: Bubble Spinner is awesome)

Anyway, that's why I'm here.  It's fun, and it's helpful.  When it stops being either of those things, I'll probably drop it for awhile again.  For now, I think it'd be kind of fun to get Volume 2 of WBW to its 500th issue.  We could do a big double-sized crossover post or something.

However that would work.

I don't know why you're here.  At some point in time, you were probably bored.  But I'm glad you're here.  You're part of what makes this fun.  And I'm sorry for those days when I waste a few minutes of your time.  But let's face it; there's a good chance that I'm the one who introduced you to Bubble Spinner in the first place, so you can't get too mad at me.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

v2, d301: Post of the Beast

Here we are, folks.  WBW's 666th post. 

True story: When I was a kid, I'd flip in my textbooks at the beginning of the year to see what was on page 666.  I then decided that thing was likely evil.  I remember one book, the 666th page was about the advent of television.  That's the only one I remember clearly, though.  (By college, I still flipped to 666, but I didn't consider anything on that page to necessarily be associated with Satan) 

Famous The Beasts:

Das Biest, of course.

The short lived Beast of New Haven.

Then we had a Skeletor lackey.

And finally, this scene reminds me of my college graduation for some reason...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

v2, d300: 300

So, if you had to pick 299 personal acquaintances to fend off an entire army with, who would you choose?

Would you choose the friends and acquaintances you know who would give you the best chance of winning?  Would you choose the people you know that you'd most like to see die (seeing as how you would probably lose the battle anyway)?  Would you choose the people you deem least useful to society (for the same reason)?  Would you choose the friends and family you'd most prefer to take your last stand with?  Or would you just choose the people you know who would look best in this?

Incidentally, the Aeros used to have a pre-game video where they spliced hockey-related images with the trailer for the movie 300.  (They use movie trailers a lot...the last one I saw was Tron Legacy.  The one that's worked best (that I've seen) was The Alamo)  The best part of the promo was probably where the one guy (I haven't seen the movie) yells his famous "MADNESS?  THIS....IS...." and then it cuts away from the movie and posts the word "Houston" on the jumbotron screen.  And then it ends with "TONIGHT, WE..." and the same plain font throws the word "win" on the screen.  No sound.  Just the text.

Which neither as cheesy or amazing as having Kirby Law fly a B2-bomber through downtown Houston in an air duel with Admiral M during the 2006 playoffs.  Hey!  M said our city was nothing but a haven losers!  He had to go down!

Anyway, I think I would probably bring most of you along to fight the enemy.  It'd be good for morale around the camp.  So if you want to opt out, I guess you'd better let me know, because otherwise you're on the short list.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

v2, d299: More Robbie says...

Early yesterday morning, while Isaac was fussing in his Pack'N'Play.  There was a lawnmower and an edger going full force outside.
"It's okay, Isaac.  Don't cry, baby!  Don't cry.  It's just a lawnmower, don't be scared. It's just a lawnmower. Don't cry, I'm right here. I'm here to protect you. Do you need a hug, baby?  Do you need lots of hugs?"

While sitting on the couch watching Bob the Builder...
W: Hey Robbie, why is the concrete always pink on this show?
W: Well all right then...

 Describing his day care's Mardi Gras parade to Kim...
"I walked around wearing lots of silly stuff!  We put on crowns and masks and necklaces and it was so, so silly!"

While driving home from school today...
W: (yawning) I'm very tired.
R: Why, Daddy?
W: Because I don't sleep enough.
R: Why?
W: Well, because I go to work, and then after that I go home and take care of Robbie and Isaac and Mommy, and then after you all go to bed sometimes I have to work around the house, cleaning something, or I have to go to the store and get us something--like today, I have to get gas in the car after you go to bed--and then after that I have to work on my other other work.  I write stories and hopefully somebody will buy them from me someday.
R: Someday, I will buy them from you!
W: You don't have to buy stories from me.  You get all free stories.
R: Why?
R: There's a gas station! 
W: That's right.
R: Maybe you can get gas in the car from there tonight!
W: Oh, that's right. Maybe I can.  But I will probably go to a different one.
R: Why?
W: I will probably go to one that is closer, or one where the gas is less money.
R: Gas costs money?
W: Yup.  Gasoline costs money.  That's why I need people to buy my stories. So we have money to buy gas.
R: Oh. (pause) Keep working on that then. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

v2, d298: This is a short one...

...but it says a ton.

I realized tonight that the Caps are officially the new Wings (in my little world).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

v2, d297: If Theatre Were Sports

*Note: My wife has pointed out that I haven't fulfilled either of my official FOMW requests.  I just want you all to know, I know that. Unfortunately, they're both rather lengthy projects and I haven't been able to commit the necessary time to them yet.  I'll see about getting to them as quickly as I can*

 "Hey Sweetheart...Well, I just got out of a meeting with Ric...yep...he, we had a good idea this could be happening today.  The season is pretty much a wash, and the company's strapped for cash, and my contract was up at the end of the year anyway, so...well, I was traded to the Dallas Children's Theatre, yeah, that's fantastic, but I don't think I'll actually see any time with the big company.  Probably be sent down to Majik in San Antonio or something...because they've already got a playwright-in-residence, and by this point in the season they've had all their directors chosen for months.  And they cast equity where possible.  I mean, unless an assistant director gets a sudden injury or something, I don't see what they could possibly use me for.  I mean, maybe they want to re-sign me in the off-season, but I'd be surprised...well, I think what it was is, they really wanted Abby...yeah, she's in the deal, too.  It's Abby and I for a conditional draft pick and $25,000.  So I think they wanted her, but Ric wouldn't let them have her unless they took on another dead-weight contract...well, that's more or less what I am right now.  We're not going to the playoffs, the children's season is just about over anyway, and you know they're going to look to replace half of us with rookies next year to save some coin...No, don't start looking for houses in San Antonio.  I'll just live in a hotel for the rest of the season and you stay in Houston with the boys.  I'm sure someone from church will help take care of you, and once the season is over I'll move back and we can consider our options...Oh, I'm sure I can find something else in the off-season.  I've got a couple of scripts I'm working on that my agent hopes will make me a bit more attractive on the free agent market. And if I am stuck in the minor leagues the rest of my career, I'm fine with that.  Hey, at least I'm still in theatre, right?, you're right.  This isn't exactly what we dreamed of.  But it's what we've got.  I'll drive home after Saturday shows to be with you and the boys Saturdays through Mondays.  It's only for a little while...yeah, we'll get through this...okay, sure, I'll still pick up Robbie from day care today.  I'm supposed to get a call soon from Robyn Flatt to tell me if I'm going to stick with the big club or head down to San Antonio, then I'll probably have to be out of here before dinner...I know, it sucks, but that's the business, right?...Right. Okay, I'm getting another call.  That's probably Dallas.  I'll call you back, okay?...I love you, too...bye."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

v2, d296: Under Construction

Tonight's post isn't finished. I'm having trouble wrapping it up.  I'm usually pretty bad with endings, actually.  (And beginnings, for that matter. And titles.  Wait, what do I do well again?  Kidding...) 

I will say I saw the show at work tonight finally.  A worthy effort, and I hope everybody who's poured blood, sweat, and/or tears is proud of what they've done.  Supposedly a review came out in the Chronicle's Star section, but I don't get the Chronicle anymore and I can't find it online.  Boo. Well, I'm not used to looking up the Chron online unless it's for Texans news.  So I'll have to check the hard copy posted on the cork board when I go in on Monday.

Oh hey, though I did find this profile for us while digging around the Chronicle's site.  Wow, condescending much?

I'll try to come up with a satisfactory ending for tonight's post and then post it tomorrow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

v2, d295: Birthday Mad-Lib

GAH!!!  I missed one!!!

Sarah is one of my favorite people.  I have worked with very few who possess her level of talent and dedication to work to improve herself.  On top of that, she's a really fantastic person, too.  Her sincerity and thoughtful nature combine with her artistic talent and personal integrity to make the girl a verifiable triple-threat. And her birthday was a full NINE DAYS AGO!  FOMW fail. 

Happy belated birthday, Sarah. 

Alice In Wonderland

Soon her hair fell on an intelligent glass lunchbox that was lying under the book: she opened it and found in it a very thoughtful epic battle, on which the words "Sorta-Punch Me" were beautifully marked in bubbles. "Well, I'll eat it," said Alice, "and if it makes me grow larger, I can encourage the owl; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can squeak under the houseplant; so either way I'll get into the prairie , and I don't care which happens!"
She ate a little bit, and said brightly to herself, "Which camera? Which camera?," holding her eyebrow on the top of her shoulder to feel which way it was laughing, and she was quite thankful to find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and nurturing for life to go on in the encouraging way.
So she set to work, and very soon finished off the epic battle.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

v2, d294: Request line

Taking requests tonight.  Have a favorite feature you haven't seen in awhile?  Got something you need 'splained?  A short story idea you're just dying to have me try out? 

What do YOU want to see in this space, dear readers? 

This isn't necessarily a filler post, even though it's true I can't stay for long because Brindolynn's about to venture off into the Tirrabar Forest, and that can't end well.  Nevertheless, you're the ones at least checking the site once or twice a week, so I figure I oughta deliver something you'd appreciate every once in a great while.  So give it  a shot.  The worst I can do is completely ignore all your requests and go off on Trevor Gillies' thuggish hit on Cal Clutterbuck.  (Actually, it wasn't nearly as bad as his buffoonery against the Pens a few weeks ago; y'all barely missed out on a MAJOR rant that night)

Also: listen to this.  Especially if your day is sucking so far.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

v2, d293: Personally, I like Neville as Steve

I first found this something like a year ago, but since I was playing the Dr. Horrible soundtrack today I decided to look it up again, and it pretty much made my night. 

Of course, if you're not a fan of both Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog and the Harry Potter film series, you may not appreciate it quite as much. 

I'll just post the whole thing here so you don't have to click any links.  I know how you folks hate clicking links.  ;-)

(I've never liked this song: )

(This, on the other hand, is one of my "morning songs")