Sunday, December 28, 2008


Motherfuckers, I'm back.

Sorry for the profanity, but it has been so long, I figured I should grab your attention.

Here are a few things:

I'm comfortably settled in Bridgeport on the south side of Chicago, have a great new roomate, a job that doesn't come with enough hours but is relatively non-taxing, and a thoroughly wonderful young woman in my life.

I'm in Pittsburgh now, celebrating the holiday and (most unfortunately) mourning for my grandfather, who passed away last sunday. It is very nice to see the family together, and despite my lack of clear or cemented faith, I am confident he is doing better now than he was.

Also- just finished a run of "War Music," my Iliad play---was never really sure if it was going to get up (wait, that's a total lie---but it was touch and go for a bit).

I'm pondering the next project, cooling my heels, and trying to stay warm through the Chicago winter.

I'm going to try to post here more often again---you know how it is, after long enough it gets hard---but now that I've broken the ice, I think we'll be fine.

Also, I'm thinking about starting a podcast. Yeah?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Dragon Wars: I could have made this movie.

Right now.


Good god.

Other than that? I've moved (3309 S Aberdeen st Apt #1F, Chicago IL 60609, for those keeping track of these things).

I'm living alone for the first time ever. I whip between lonely and depressed and overjoyed at my independence and freedom at an amazing pace.

Good lord, seriously. Was someone actually payed for any part of this movie?

I feel like there are a surprising number of recognizable faces---one of the guys from the Office, the Dad from Donnie Darko, one of the secretaries from "The West Wing"...come on, guys!

More posting later, hopefully.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


If you haven't read it already, here's something to mull over.

I don't even pretend to be at a point where I can live a life in accordance to what he's talking about...but I think it might be a worthy goal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I am lifted, I am lifted!

Ludders is visiting this week! Can't wait to see him.

We're going tailgateing with President Nugent at the UChicago vs Kenyon football game, then seeing Great Big Sea for free at Grant Park.

Will there be more epic days? Most likely not.

I've been in a much better mood in the last couple of days---got a lot of sleep, got my head on straight about a couple of things---I'm doing well. We're hitting the rush period for work, so things are getting busy, which is nice---makes the time fly.
Having dinner with some friends tonight, making Dad's pasta...unfortunately, I don't have a pasta maker here (or an hour to spare making it), so it will have to be boxed, but...such is life.

Alright, one more round of cleaning before work! Hope all are well!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What's in a name?

I find myself, after a long life of never really acquiring any good nicknames, having two within the space of a couple weeks. Both of which I enjoy.

Previous nicknames? Endless permutations/corruptions of my name- Jeffy, Chef, Chef-Jeff, etc---don't seem to really count. For a brief and slightly bizarre couple of months, I was nicknamed "Leech"...not for any good reason. During High school, there was a small group of people who regularly called me "Spike"---though that's not really a sticking kind of name. Or...well...sorry. Oh! At least 'dreas and Drew on the fencing team called me "Oh Captain my Captain" with somewhat alarming frequency (especially because they kill...and maybe eat?...him at the end of the poem). I still liked that one though.

What brings this up? There are too many people named "Jeff" at work, so I go by "Nils" while there. I'm finally learning to respond to it, but its kinda strange. Also, everyone has a different pronunciation, which is actually fine---doesn't bother me, as it isn't really my name...but I think some other people are confused by it.

Laundry is reaching a critical point---I need to find a new system of dealing with it. Unfortunately, I have the sneaking suspicion that today, that system is going to be "Wait until Tuesday."

Dan is in Chicago--saw him briefly last night, and will hopefully get down to the beach today.

Been watching a bit of the Stargate tv ventures---not the sterling glory of the original movie, but fun in premise, if nothing else. Not the worst acting for a sci-fi channel series either.

Also starting to work through Bob Fagles' translation of the Aeneid--been a while since I read the work, so I'm pretty excited.

Music plug for my friend--check out their new demo at . I especially like "White Roofed Chapel" and "Enslave the Whales." Kinda artsy-indy etc rock. Would have played well at the Horn, but with more people enjoying them, and less people banging randomly on drums. Includes one of my favorite new lyrics:

"I am not like the women he knew -
I am hip to
the science behind the bombs."

Also---for those of you who haven't seen: a rough cut teaser for "Kitchen Hamlet"--not sure if I've posted this here yet.

Feels good to post again---I'll have another update soon, I feel like I've got more to write about.

And yes, for those keeping score, I didn't give you the second new nickname. That can probably come later. You know how it is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Love Story

I just received a note in a bottle.

Anyone know anything about this?

Oh! I think I figured it out!


Monday, August 11, 2008

I was determined in Chicago

Posting in the last few minutes before running off to work:

-Karen is now officially in college. This awakened a short salvo of nostalgia for the beginning of Freshman year. Something absolutely beautiful about the newness.

-This quickly reminded me: this morning, I woke up very early (or, really, never actually got to sleep---waking dreams, etc prevented it) and sat on my stoop, staring at the Chicago morning. This is also a beautiful thing.

-Days off mean something again, which is kind of nice. Yesterday was an ideal combination of sleep in-brunch-olympics-theatre-dinnerwithfriend-moreolympics-listening to tunes-sleep.

-Speaking of which, Mens 400 freestyle? Just happened to catch it...most fun I've had watching dudes splash around in a long time.

-Also speaking of which (not really), party on saturday was a smashing success. Highlights: Group harmonies on "Knockin' on heaven's door," Walker almost fitting through a hole in our floor, 3 am ravioli, and generally good times with great people. Also, I finally met one of our neighbors, who was a nice guy.

-Not speaking of which at all: nothing corrects a bad mood at all like Nick Cave's "Murder Ballads" or Bright Eyes (in general). Nick Cave at night, Bright Eyes in the morning.

Ok, time for work again. Be well all.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Just to say--for those of you who have been listening to me kvetch and yelp about not having a job, I have re-entered the world of employment! I'll be going in tomorrow to sign paperwork with Barnes and Noble, in the loop.

Selling books. I think this could work for me.

Thank you all for your patience.

More interesting posts to follow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mission from God

Here we go again--longer update now? We'll see.

Been a nice couple of weeks. Lots of job applications, etc, etc...I won't talk about that, as it isn't very interesting.

Slightly more interesting (at least, to me):

-Finished draft 3.5-ish of War Music, finally getting to a better place. That's exciting.

-Have been two a couple of movies at Grant Park (The Odd Couple and most of Blues Brothers). Thoroughly wonderful experience, though we didn't make it through the movie last night--started pouring towards the end, and while we stayed for a while (and were soaked straight to the bone), when the rain began to drown out the dialog and singing, we packed it in. Riding the El soaked? Not that bad. Not having my book in the backpack ruined? Handy. Wearing a skirt all night because it was the only thing at my friend's house that fit?

Probably fairly expensive, when I'm running for president.

-Have been watching Youtube clips of "Whose line is it anyway?"...a wonderful diversion.

-Made a tough decision this morning. Was going to apply for a position at Greasy Joan and Co. theatre(Shakespearian & Classical theatre), as their "Resident Dramaturge." Was a long, hard choice not to just "go for it"...but ultimately the right one, I think. I had gotten over the fact that I've never really been a full dramaturge on a production---I feel like I was up to the challenge. However, it was non-paying, and as I'll be (hopefully) starting up a full time job very soon, I would have to deal with learning the ropes on both at the same time. This left me a little distressed--was I giving something up, not diving in with both feet? We need to take risks, etc, yadda yadda yadda. Really though, what sealed the deal for me was the new draft of "War Music." Really, that's my project for right now--I need to get that up on its feet somewhere in this town. I don't want to be diverting energy away from that at this point...too much work to be done.
So, I'm going to look for another way to work with Greasy Joan in the near future, maybe in something a bit smaller. I'll send them the writing sample I worked up, and see what happens.

Anyway---that's some of what is going on in life. I'll try to write again sometime soon. Hope you are all well.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Evil is on the Rise

No, for serious guys.

It will only be up until the 20th.

Trust me, it will drastically improve your life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Song and Dance


Joss Whedon's internet super-villain-mad-scientist musical?

Yes please.

Running and Jumping

I just had the weirdest dream in the world.

Well, maybe not.

But! In it, I was directing a play, and it was the TRAIN WRECK of TRAIN WRECKS.

At least the organization of the thing. You know, the classic---we're opening, and I suddenly realize I haven't actually given the actors any direction. Its in the black box, and I don't actually know what time the show starts. As a result, at 9:30, suddenly I look down at a program and realize that we said the show was starting at 7:30. The ushers set up chairs all through the space, not leaving a stage, then facing in different directions. General chaos. Show starts. Colin Mannex drives an escalade over someone in the audience (again, as part of the show). The show is somewhere between the Vagina Monologues and the Laramie Project, except its about traditional male gender roles. I'm watching, and watching, and realize I haven't set anything that is happening.

But you know what? It ended up...well, having some redeemable qualities. Was kinda interesting.

Then I wake up, and slowly come to the realization that no such play exists. So? I think I might write it. Hmmmmm....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Good to be back home again

Back in Chicago, at long last!

There are a couple of stills on Facebook from the movie---there should be a rough cut in 6+ months or so? Maybe a little more, maybe a little less?

All in all, it was a wonderful experience, mostly for sharing the time with all of the wonderful people. Movie making is...intense.

Being back in Chicago is very nice. A lot of friends have been gone for the weekend, so I'm looking forward to being reunited with persons various and sundry during the week. Playing music on Tuesday, seeing Julia and Molly tomorrow, Anna sometime during the week...all of these things make me very happy.

Applied for a job this morning---going to try to keep myself at at least one application sent in per day, with more on days that I wander around town looking for help wanted signs. Now that I'm living in the city, it seems so much easier to find work, for some reason. Lets see if that's true.

We to Todd Detmold's house last night, was a thoroughly good time. Nice to have him in the city, hopefully we'll see more of him.

Been sleeping a lot during the day, but waking up early too---I like the latter, though I guess I'll have to break the habit of the former sooner rather than later.

Other than that? I'm full to bursting with projects and ideas, wondering what the next job will be, anxious (a bit) about loans, and generally, very, very content.


Monday, June 23, 2008

The Color of the Moon

Very short post here:

Just saw "No Country for Old Men"---first off, I thought it was absolutely magnificent, and second---that it was one of the more hopeful and uplifting movies I've seen in a long time. I'm not going to spoil anything----but I actually feel very good about the world after the movie. Which is completely opposite from how most of the others seemed to react---but hey.

Hope all are well,


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lets see how fast this thing can go

Birthday celebration mark 23.1 went fairly well. I'd like to present the following image to you: myself, wandering down across the bridge towards the Kokosing gap trail, supported by two lovely young ladies, intoxicated enough that all I can do was shout (slur) in Latin at the moon.

Now---that's just a snapshot...when you run the tape forward, it becomes a lot less epic. However...that's why we used still photography, rather than video.

Was a thoroughly wonderful birthday, though. Went to a great party with a bunch of the Kitchen Hamlet crew---I was much more of a social butterfly than normal, and a good time was had by all.

Now? I'm sitting in my room, playing mandolin with my back leaned up against a coffin.

What a reminder of mortality. I almost slept in it last night. That would have been a bit too far, though.

The nice thing about being stuck working in the middle of nowhere for ones birthday is that I'll end up celebrating it three or four different times--with families, in Chicago, etc.

Alright---food now.

Hope all are well.

Love and affection,


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Might be a coward, I'm afraid of what I might find out---

Kitchen Hamlet is going wonderfully, having a lot of fun. Had a night shoot last night (10 pm-5:30 am), but had today off, so it should balance out. Then, this weekend I take off to go to Cleveland, then to Karen's High School graduation.

I'm currently "growing as a person" right now, which is not always fun, but probably a good idea. I'll let you know if anything sticks. I have a slight inkling that some of it is just the fact that I'm tired, and that I really don't function that well when tired.

Sleep! We'll see what happens in the morning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The fickle fascination of an everlasting god

Religion is a funny thing.

Sometimes, when I think about the universe, I find it very hard not to stick my fingers in my ears, bury my head under something, and run screaming into the arms of religion. I guess, a very human reaction.

Other times, especially when confronted with the immensity, I can't understand how one can rationally believe. I mean, for instance, the shear longevity of the universe (13 or 15 billion years, I believe) makes the idea that this reality was in some way created for us absurd. Even more so that the most important event in the universe happened 2000 years ago. In a way, its almost a relief---being that small.

Then again, I guess the whole point of religion isn't to rationally believe in anything. Its an irrational belief that helps one get through one's day. That makes perfect sense to me---though I think I'll keep my faith elsewhere.

Which is to say, I'm back in Columbus for the morning, off to Gambier soon. There is a beautiful thunderstorm with lots of lightning outside, and a fascinating article on dark matter and the expanding universe in Monday or Tuesday's science section of the NYT. I recommend checking it out.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The in thing

Top 5 lists, apparently?

I'm pro-bandwagon!

Top 5 Sci-fi villains (Movies)

5: Hal, "2001, A Space Odyssey"
Never has so much been done with so little.

4:The Velociraptors, "Jurassic Park"
Comes in at #4, just because it kinda borders on not being sci-fi...but so awesome that it has to be on the list.

3: Agent Smith, "The Matrix"
Yeah, sure. Maybe you won't all agree, but I think its a great role, at least in the first one.

2:Lord Vader, "Star Wars IV-VI"
Strictly the black-mask James Earl Jones version.

1:........oh god, I don't know!
I'm so tempted to bump Vader up one, but that's disingenuous. In fact, I kinda feel like I needs to shimmy down the spectrum a bit. I'll do some thinking ob this, get back to you folks.

(6-10 are, by the way....)

10- The intelligent Gremlin, "Gremlins 2"
9-Humanity itself, "12 Monkeys"
8-The Alien, "Alien"
7-T-1000/Skynet, "Terminator 2" (I struggled between Arnie and T-1000)
6- Ra, "Stargate"

Honorable mention: The Borg(ST:TNG), The Operative(Serenity), Gaius Baltar (BSG), Nazis!(Indiana Jones), Marshmallow Puff Man/The Ghost in the Library/Zul (Ghostbusters)

If we were just doing villains...Cunningham from "Rob Roy" is somewhere in the top three.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fear and Trembling

Had the first post-show theatre anxiety dream from Of Mice and Men (for whatever reason, I have the anxiety dreams a week or two after the show. I mean, I'm not complaining---its just a little strange).

In the dream, I was still doing Antigone, with Dave lighting, except Sam was stage managing. I went out to dinner before the show, then came and saw it---and at some point, (presumably) the two of them had re-cast several roles in the show, and added one or two characters who were in the script, but I had chosen not to put in the production. So I saw this, flipped out inside my head, then went and had very calm discussions with them, and then thanked the new actors for their time, but told them that "Unfortunately, their services were no longer required."

In other stories: I saw a man hit rock bottom two nights ago. I was out with GreenPeace, hanging at the office and kicking back. The Art Museum was free that night, so we decided to go over for an hour or so. There was a big formal party there that we thought about trying to crash---but none of us were appropriately attired. Anyway, so a couple of us head off to the bathroom before we leave, to find a man in a full suit, wrapped around one of the stalls. In the Chicago Art Institute.

That, my friends, is bottoming out. His life will only go up from there.

Soaking up life in Chicago---played music yesterday, wandered around Logan's square---realized I hadn't been up there since I was looking for apartments. Its a cute area---not really a whole lot of reasons to go unless you're wandering on purpose---but I liked it. I think I do need to move (in the city, that is) when my lease gets up---I'd like to break the routine I've gotten into here. Not working just did too many weird things, I guess--I'm not in a rut per se, but it is getting awfully close. Maybe when I have a job, that will spruce things up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Come sail your ships around me

Lounging in my apartment, having just gone on a (somewhat thorough) cleaning binge. There is more to do (mostly making the bed), but I'm feeling pretty satisfied. Next step--job applications!

Chicago has been kind to me in my first few days back---grocery shopping (I don't know why I enjoy it so much...some kind of guilt-free shopping perhaps), wandering in the city, visiting friends, and more.

Went to the Art Institute for the first time yesterday, taken around by a new friend from the class of '08---was a lot of fun! Followed by a wander through the loop/downtown and a nice dinner, a good time was had (I hope) by all.

Watched "Black Hawk Down" again for the first time since it came out in theatres---a surprisingly well made movie, affecting, but not (usually) in an overly sentimental, false way. Whew...kind of exhausting, though.

Oh! "Of Mice and Men" photos are up on facebook, for those who are interested!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I need to share this with someone!

(Especially the 2nd one, and the "Mountains of Madness" one....)

Home in Chicago! More on that soon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rhetoric, not Reality

Appeasement...what is it good for?

This is maybe the most painful 6-8 minutes of tv I've seen.

One of the talking heads was pretty much right on the nail when he said that stating talking with your enemies is appeasement is nothing less than intellectually grotesque, and a bit embarrassing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm just here, scratchin' my dog....

First day of tech week is done. Some things went well, others could have gone better.

I had fun.

Two other things: I had a long and detailed dream about going to a Japanese tapas bar last night. Just involved ordering a bunch of different things, and then them bringing them, along with random accidental things that they didn't order. There was anxiety about money, eating, and all the other stuff. Very strange.

Also, my friend from GreenPeace canvased Martin Sheen. I'm basically the most jealous person ever.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It looks like freedom but it feels like death (its something inbetween I guess)

There is an insane energy in this place during graduation. I don't think I picked up on it when I was here for the '06 event, because I hadn't experienced the...well, the ritual...but now that I've gone through it, its something you can almost taste in the air.

No wonder this campus is so haunted.

I'm not going to post any deep reflections, or anything like that---I've already sent out my touchy-feely songs to the people who had an event today.

Maybe that was part of what was strange about it---the whole thing felt so much like our Graduation, a year ago, but it wasn't us. We weren't changing. We were there to support. Emily hit the nail on the head, when she said that in some ways, this time was more fun---we weren't stressed, overwrought, burned out...we were just enjoying it for what it was.

There wasn't the sense of inevitable loss--since we were back, and seeing people, it seemed so self-evident that we would see people again. My experiences have held that up---even outside of working here.

I guess that's the other thing to write about here: there was a bit of a transition for me today, though certainly not anything near the magnitude of the graduates. I stopped being an instructor at a college, and went back to being a Freelance Director. As silly as that sounds, I realize now that I've been self-identifying with the job to a pretty intense degree---I've been in a lot of situations where I'm stuck in with much older people, and I've had that to fall back on. I've felt the need to (at least briefly) re-format my public appearance: I felt the need to appear as a "Faculty member," and so I tended to use that not only as a crutch, but as a bit of a mask (ooooohhh...he's using a Greek Theatre metaphor....asshole). No, but seriously---walking off campus today, I really felt like something lifted off me--a lot of pressure gone suddenly, and I was allowed to be...well, a recent college graduate again. The thing is, I know all of this was totally self-imposed pressure/self imagined...whatever...but I hadn't realized that it was actually tieing me up.

So! Dave comes into town tomorrow! "Of Mice and Men" tech week starts!

Lets see how this goes----

For the Graduates

I know there are one or two of you who read this. A lot of the rest of you are Kenyon Grads, so this will make sense.

I'll leave you with one thing that was passed to me by the estimable Mike Ludders (pass it on, boys, that's the game I want you to learn, pass it on).

The other is a new one, but seemed right.

"Closing Time"
By Leonard Cohen
(ignore the "groovy-time video, listen to the song. Tell me if it isn't about the end your time at Kenyon. Not ending time generally, but I feel like each line can be synched up with a specific Kenyon moment for me---anyone else get that?)


The second is "Thousands are Sailing" by The Pogues.

Which in part, links up a bit with my experience of leaving Kenyon on Graduation day, one year ago.

"Then we said goodnight to broadway
Giving it our best regards
Tipped our hats to mister cohen
Dear old times squares favorite bard

Then we raised a glass to jfk
And a dozen more besides
When I got back to my empty room
I suppose I must have cried

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Where eer we go, we celebrate
The land that makes us refugees
From fear of priests with empty plates
From guilt and weeping effigies
And we dance"

...we are like Kokosing.

1 year, today.

More thoughts later.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You're one microscopic cog in his catostrophic plan....


Perhaps the wrong time to be updating (late at night, just back from the VI, etc, etc)


Things are going well---OMAM has been a lot of fun, a nice routine has been found in Gambier, Senior Week for the '08ers is rolling to a close, etc, etc. Saw a lot of alumni friends, lots of good conversation (and a nice brief chat in the VI with someone I had never met, and in the end, departed in awkwardness because of my newfound ability to not have any tolerance to alcohol whatsoever)...but hey, we can't ask for everything in life.

In the end, I'm happy, relaxed, and am going to meetings, lunch, and then driving to Columbus tomorrow. So. That'll be fun.

This post may receive heavy editing tomorrow morning. Or maybe not. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

Seasonal music---what is it?

"Boys of Summer" by the Ataris
"Then you took the words right out of my mouth" by Meatloaf

"Not at my best" by Spirit of the West
"What about everything?" Carbon Leaf

"Struck a nerve" by Bad Religion

"Blue" from the Cowboy Beebop soundtrack

I'll slowly add to this list, I figure. Thoughts, folks? SPACE!

In case you were wondering...yes, that is the sound of your soul crying. For mercy. Sweet, sweet mercy.

I am Troy

Another tax refund? Say it ain't so! Lord bless the state of Illinois for getting their paperwork through a few weeks after the central government.

Had the first reading of "War Music" yesterday---was completely life affirming. Not only did I learn a million and a half things about the play, see how to improve it, etc...but we had a conversation about it. Like, the way real theatre people do. We sat around the living room and sorted it out and worked on it.

Finally getting to work on it again---weeeeeeeee!

Cleveland this weekend---

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The judge said "Son, what's your alibi?"

Been a bit, need to post.

I've settled into a nice rhythm in Gambier, and have finally been able to appreciate the wonderful things about Knox County--long walks on the Gap trail, easy and free access to a _nice_ gym, reading out in the garden, etc.

Class is done with, just one more meeting/discussion during finals week. The whole experience was a lot of fun, though I don't think I'm going to run too quickly into trying for a faculty position anywhere. Eventually? Sure. Not yet, though.

"The Dead Flag Blues" by Godspeed! you black emperor is amazing...had kinda forgotten.

They said
'Kiss me, you're beautiful. These are truly the last days.'
You grabbed my hand, and we fell into it
like a daydream,
or a fever."

Dance Concert tonight, Kathi's show tomorrow, Julia comes to visit Saturday, should be a busy and fun weekend. Looking forward to Shakespeare next weekend, and visiting everyone in Cleveland.

Got to go now,


Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm "classicaly beautiful"

Got a hair-cut. Shorter than I thought it was going to be, but I like it.

On that note---hilarious outcome? I fell asleep on a couch yesterday, and got slightly strange bedhead...and, no joke, my hair looked like Audrey Hepburn's. Like, not the swept-up look, but when it was short.

No, seriously. Molly agreed with me.

I'd like, for a moment, you to try to imagine something stranger-looking. No? Cool.

See you all soon,


Friday, April 25, 2008

Back in Columbus

Gentle Readers,

I'm back in Columbus for a chunk of the weekend---yes, it's Send-off, though my being off campus is something of a coincidence.

Rehearsals for "Of Mice and Men" have started in earnest--have done a read of the script, and have blocked the first scene. Now that we've finally got a complete cast, I can finally emotionally commit to the production--I get more and more excited about it as each part falls into place.

Gambier has been beautiful: sun, light, green grass, the works. I've been running again (in fact, I'm just waiting now for my breakfast to settle so that I can take my first German Village run. I've got a nice course through Ukrainian Village back home--but I think this will measure up.

Other things: my band is playing a Ren-faire later in the summer! This basically amuses me to no end. I think it will be a good time, and will be a chance to wear a floppy hat, talk in an accent, and get paid a fairly large sum of money while playing tunes.

Alright---I'm going to go out, before I lose the cool of the morning.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh lord my swords out/Jesus just avert your eyes

Just like Columbus/He get the bloodlust
Just like Columbus/He get murderous on purpose

You got me hurtin'/You got me pullin' curtains
You suckin' chili dogs while I go on my crazed berserkin'

Just one Girlie at the Tourney...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Who hasn't, really?

"This is a contemplation of anime and game characters acting as pirates. This was inspired by the song "Shiver My Timbers" from Muppet Treasure Island. You might say that this is a tribute to both the anime fans who longed to see some of their favorite characters as pirates, as well as a tribute to the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie "At Worlds End." Anyway, I hope you enjoy it."

Friday, April 18, 2008


I am incredibly proud----my little sister has just decided that she will be attending Bard College for her undergrad in the fall!

She rocks, hard-core.

That's all for now---more later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

That's the way it is in Oklahoma (Stop thinking love is blind)

New musical obsession:

the Dresden Dolls.

I'm really into the whole duo thing. Especially when they mix non-standard rock music.

Ya'll should check it out. Anton and Erin, you two especially I think would like them (if for different reasons).

(Also they reference Homer/Aristophanes Lysistrata/Iliad in a song! And make it rhyme!)
For your viewing pleasure---three great songs:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm a dirty hippy

Monday, April 14, 2008

Independence Day is Sci-fi heaven

And has apperances from three of the "key" (at least in my book) TV shows---

Battlestar (Mary McDonnel/Laura Roslin plays the President's wife)
Star Trek (Brent Spinner/Data is a scientist)
Firefly (Adam Baldwin/Jain is a military dude)

They just need someone from the X Files, and it's basically complete.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

So may the living be dead in our wake

Insanely productive day so far. Not sure why that kind of thing is so spastic (though I think I've got an idea or two--experiment time). Did a weeks worth of dishes, picked cuts and sides for several projects, caught up on a million business emails I've been needing to send, finally finished the B-wick proposal(which has been absolutely driving me nuts), and finished "The Children on Heracles" (don't tell any of my students this...but not all Tragedies need to be staged today. Some are amazing. This one clocks in somewhere around "culturally informative." At least, that's where I am on it right now. Maybe I need to give it another chance?) I think I may actually survive! So much happier now that things are getting done again! I think I was in a pretty bad rut--not enough rest, too much time not working.

So--in a very good mood. Will be heading down to Hyde Park to visit Cori and Jay for the early evening, then going out with Dan tonight (he's in Chicago for a day, on his way back from Madison).

Erin! I got your letter! It made me very happy.

Now--to solve the insurance question!

Be well, all.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Take this little tip from me...

Tiiiiired. Woke up at 7:30 am this morning, after getting kicked out of Mac's at 2 am, and standing around outside for a long time. Still don't know why I was up that early. Went back to sleep...but still, the damage was done.

I get to meet Dael Orlandersmith (and direct a 20 min chunk of one of her plays for her) next weekend. Scared? A bit. Excited? Yes.

Ran into a couple of friends from high school---they were theatre tech kids, two years older, I believe? They live _literally_ one block up my street. Small world.

An admission, for those of you who didn't know---I didn't do tech in HS. I painted a set, for one day, once. I was a MT actor, if you can believe it. For those of you who have seen my jazz square, you probably won't.

Ryan's stories have me wanting to try absinthe. Might have to start looking around for where they have in Chicago. If anywhere, it'll be in Wicker Park, right?

Dan is back in town on Monday---very excited! We had sandwiches at Jerry's on friday--amazing, for those of you from Chicago---we'll go there sometime. Tasty!

Alright--time to disappear. Hopefully, more regular posting will resume at some point soon.



Friday, April 4, 2008

Extra Crispy

Check out today's "Penny Arcade"--

(thanks, Erin).

I do entirely too little yelling of "You are seared!" in my daily life.

I'll be looking for ways to incorporate that over the next month.

Be warned.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Clearly the next big thing....

My new favorite post from Craigslist "musicians" ads:


"The kind of band that solves mysteries"

Reply to:
Date: 2008-03-26, 11:46PM CDT

I can't play a single instrument, but I'm pretty good at coming up with Big Ideas, and my latest is to form a band, the kind that goes around solving mysteries. We would need to write one or two songs about groovy times and what it's like to be in love, then the rest of our set/album would present some (scripted) stage banter setting up our characters and a mystery, some sound effects and incidental music, a couple songs that thicken the plot, maybe a chase scene, and then a totally rockin' rock song about solving the mystery.

Ideal bandmates include people who can dress like a teenager of the mid-to-late 60s, the 70s, or 90s grunge, esp. if you know how to play an instrument, and people who are good at writing dialog or doing different voices. Sorry, but if you want to look like a teenager of the 80s you HAVE to be able to play casio keyboards or key-tar, no exceptions. TALKING DOGS ESPECIALLY WELCOME!@1

* Location: Uptown/Chicago
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


I want to be in that band

Monday, March 24, 2008


Sometimes, when I look at the things that happen in the world, I wonder if the only really sane, human reaction is immediate, intense, and complete Action. The fact that we don't dive screaming into the face of _____________ is maybe a measure of our insanity. No matter how certain I am of the fact that Action of this kind doesn't do anything---sometimes it mystifies me that we don't do it anyway.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

1,000,000 things

I haven't updated in far too long. Now I have too many things to write about. A list: from which I hope to pick and choose posts in the days that follow:

-St. Patrick's day: first show for Three Spying Soldiers at a bar, then two nights later a very successful party gig.

-Parade for said Saint's Day: where everyone was Irish, but none quite so much as the Welder's union. Bejaysus.

-A few days spent in Pittsburgh with Julia, Molly, and Oona. Highlights: Sam's subs, Pamela's, Lulu's noodles, Mom's Pesto (good food); hitch-hiking in Oakland at 2:45 am (seriously amazing); Someone other than Dan almost getting in a bar fight (also amazing); going up Mt. Washington (named #2 most beautiful view in America in a somewhat suspect Top 10 list), some good time spent with Grandpa (who is looking very healthy for his 93 years) and much more.

-Progressing work on "Of Mice and Men" and the "War Music"-based play.

-Relaxing time spent in Chicago.

Very quick thoughts---I'd forgotten how great Pittsburgh is. I was talking with Hannah about it earlier---and while I'm still glad I moved away, and I don't know when I'd want to go back...I think I'm re-affirming that it'll be where I want to raise my children. Just a wonderful place to grow up, and a wonderful place to return to.
Now I have three days with Dad, which will be very nice as well---return to Gambier Wednesday, then back to Chicago Thursday.

Until then---take care!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We Declare our Independence Day

This may seem out of character.

I'm not sure where it came from.

I'm really unsure of where it's going.

But I think it's going to a good place.

I'm tired of playing by the rules. No, that's not right, I'm not setting myself up as some kind of rebel.

I'm tired of following the road. The Ladder, I guess, is the right analogy. Get a good internship at a small theatre, so you can get a better internship at a big theatre, so you can assistant direct, so that you can become an Artistic Associate, so that you can become an Artistic Director of a mid-size company in New Jersey, which then catapults you to an AD position at a big theatre in NYC/Chi-Town/LA.

It's just...I don't know. I've been setting myself up on that ladder for a long time. I've gotten a few steps up it. I think it was, without a question, the best thing for me to be doing.

Now, though? I don't know. I don't know if I'm disenchanted with it---I don't think that's it at all. If anything, I've become more enchanted with the Work itself, and I'm tired of all the hackery around it. Maybe it's something about the theatrical atmosphere of Chicago---it makes me want to say: "No! I've got something I want to show to people---I'm going to show it to them!" This is a place where you can do that, and the public supports it. If I wanted to be in a world of donor relations and corporate sponsorships, I'd go where I would get paid huge bundles of cash to do it. I want to direct. I want to make things happen to people because they sat down in a dark room. Yes, sure, fine, I want to be famous. But I also want to communicate. I want to do theatre.

I think I had forgotten that for a bit.

I guess the problem is, I'm not at a point where I can "just Direct"--at least, not if I also want to eat. Who knows--maybe tomorrow I'll be back, or on a different path. Lord knows I don't want to be stuck...well, doing mediocre shows, or small-time stuff all my life. I guess, though, I don't want to trick myself into -not- doing shows either. Maybe I need to, at this point, have a "day job" that isn't in the theatre, which will further inform my theatrical work. Didn't someone famous say "You can't make art if you haven't lived"? I'm feeling that, a bit. I want work that will give me experiences that I can bring back to the theatre.

We'll see. Man, brain is all over the place today. I feel inspired.


Job search for the next part of my life has begun.

You know what? I'm excited. I have no idea what comes next, but I have the feeling it's going to be a lot of fun.

Though I think I'm going to aim for it being a more sedentary job than the current one. A bit of time off the road will be nice.
I feel like I've had random endorphin boosts in the last two days---I think it means I've finally kicked my cold, and I'm finally getting enough rest. Maybe my day in yesterday was exactly what I needed.

Was weird, though---I really just looked up at the clock, thought..."hmmm, I should get a shower, start my day"...and it was 5:30 pm. So I had dinner, fell asleep on the couch...and it was 7:30. Then I read for a bit, and looked up...and it was after 10. Seriously--huge gaps, no idea where they went.

Anyway---hope all are well!

Monday, March 10, 2008

This old house would have burned down a long time ago...

Realizing that it's been about a week since I've posted. Sorry folks---I'd say I was busy, but really, I think somehow the link to Blogger got accidentaly cut from my bookmarks, so I just forgot to check.

Thing that have happened, in no particular order:

-Anna Stevens and I went to the "Oriental Museum" down at U Chicago. If you're in Chicago, I highly recomend it---free, and it has some amazing stuff in it. Coming face to face with a Persian Bull-head...stone, maybe 15-20 feet high, weighing...I don't know how many tons...was pretty unforgettable. I actually felt the need to drop to my knees in front of it. The Persians knew what they were doing, as did the exhibit designers.

-I've developed an almost crippling self-doubt in relation to the use of apostrophes in various forms of "it's" and "its." I find myself re-working sentences to avoid the danger of using them, just in case. I blame our growing reliance on spell-check---I think generally, a spellchecker will improve one's spelling (seeing a word spelled right over and over again might naturally change one's memory)--but in this case, it won't catch it, and does not provide help for the grammatical rules. This case isn't even about forgetting the rule: it's suddenly not having a safety net. Did you see that? I reworked that sentence two or three times, and got stuck with the word anyway.

-Someone complemented me on my use of "---" when communicating on IM. Felt nice.

-Music has been moving along nicely--we had one of those "organic moments" that are so wonderful---we just naturally started playing "Knocking on Heaven's Door", using Mandolin and Concertina---it was pretty nice. Also, finally got to hear Steph sing and play a few songs---very, very cool. I'm excited.


-Worth checking out: "Morningwood", especially the song "Nth Degree" (

-I just caught the obscene reference.

-And should have suspected it--she's married to Jimmy Urine, of MSI...who are still proving the punk is weirder and less comfortable than anything else, despite it's best attempts to sell out.

-Also, the video for "Pump it" by the Black Eyed Peas is hilarious, and it isn't the worst song.

-There are several ways to abbreviate "it is not"

-Basically, I had a moment (a while ago) of realizing...damn, life is good. I'm so glad to be playing music again.

-I've decided not to revise the spelling as rigorously as I should in this you folks going through it with a fine-tooth comb, eat your heart out.

-I had a beer with a couple of older friends a few days was fun/helpful/encouraging. They're happy people, doing interesting things. I think I can do the same. Life is taking shape.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Three deaths in the (very) recent past that make me sad, all to different levels, and with different reasons. After my Grandmother passed away, a lot of that became very hard to process (that was the first big death "in the family" since my Grandfather 5 years ago).

However, closest, and in many ways dearest of the more recent ones, was my...step-step-grandfather, just a couple of weeks ago. He married my step-grandmother recently, and was a very sweet guy---very kind, funny, all of these things. Sharp as a tack, nothing like many of the "old man" stereotypes, which was refreshing. He was very kind to Judy (my step-grandmother), and we all very much liked him.

Second was the inescapable Pittsburgh legend Myron Cope. This man was Pittsburgh football in the same way Cowher or Bettis was. Yoi and Double-Yoi! Basically, if you haven't spent time in the steel city, it probably won't make sense---but for those of you who have...yeah. A legend.

The third occured this morning---Gary Gygax, creator of D&D, AD&D, and more. Yes. Incredibly geeky as it may be, this man is directly responsible for a lot of happiness in my middle school (and current) life. So, pour one out on the curb for Gygax too.

Anyway---thought that all might deserve a word. Again---each of very, very different significance, but it felt right.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Story of a...

Amazingly beautiful---its around 40-somthing degrees in Chicago, and I'm feeling like I should put on shorts!

Played music for about 5 hours yesterday---had band practice at 2 (man, am I happy that I can say that again), then Walker and I were walking out, marveled at the warmth, and decided we needed to go play in a park for a while. So we played until the sun went down and it got cold again. Then I went off and ran into Julia and Lauren Katz (who just moved to Chicago...hooray!) and had dinner down at the nodle place at the 6 corners...not quite sure what it's called, but it has fairly good food---great seaweed salad, though its no Lulu's.

Free day today---I'm going to spend some time down at the Borders down on Mag Mile, read a bit somewhere, and then see where we go from there! There's a small music shop up on Belmont I haven't been to in a while, maybe I need to check that out. Could probably also check out Joey's while I'm at it, see if they need Irish music for St. Paddy's day....

Really though (as you may have noticed from my last post), as soon as it got warm, all I've wanted to do is to run around listening to "Boys of Summer."

Have a good day, all!

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Out on the road today, I saw a black flag sticker on a cadillac
A little voice inside my head said:
"don’t look back. you can never look back."
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

So, here's the question----who can write me the new lyrics for the Atari's new hit,

"Boys of Sumer"?


While I likew the Atari's version of the song (and in the end, the video also...), Don Henley's video isn't bad:

For comparison:

The bit with the little kid playing drums while the footage of the people on the beach plays on the wall is nice.

21st Century Digital Boy

PS: Post 101!

PPS: Bless you, Kenyon Accounting department. Paycheck arrives in Chicago the day after it was issued. Financial worries are much, much clearer.

By these names I invoke you

Home---which is nice.

What is not nice is that there is a certain...odor in my apartment. No. That's not right. I smell a certain odor...and I think it might be an olfactory halucination. It has lead me to be up at 7:30 on a saturday morning, to scrub myself thouroughly, to put on what are perhaps my nicest clothes, and to pace around the apartment...wondering. It has no particular origin, or even any pattern.

I think the problem is I have it in my nose now, so wherever I go, I continue to smell it. Growl.

Attended a small soiree in Hyde Park last night, which was thoroughly enjoyable. Spent a while talking to a fellow classicist who was writing a novel based on the Odyssey...a comfortable talk, that reminded me I did know a thing or two about the Ancients---sometimes I forget, being surrounded by such scholars as Pres. Nugent and Mr. Doerries.

Know what else are neat? The Seals of Solomon.

Hmm...I think the smell may be a mix of the bread and rice I cooked yesterday. That's why you need to wash the rice, I guess (which I did...but not thoroughly enough, apparently).

I've been going back through my Classical Rhetoric texts...I'd like to re-sharpen some of those tricks we learned. I was a little too wrapped up in Comps to really fully appreciate/retain all of it---I'll have to give it another shot.

All in all, though? Things are well.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Subjugate and Supply this Transubstantiation

Had a very strange dream, where I went home and my Mother had joined a cult-ish type commune, where the actor who plays "Ben", the leader of the Others in Lost, was the leader. Stephen Ellis was also part of the cult, and wandered around armed to the teath (a switchblade, peper spray, a knife, a big flashlight, a taser, and at least three other things).

It was a very frustrating and somewhat scary dream---I understand a bit the struggle families must go through when their loved ones get sucked in. She knew she didn't want to be there, but was having trouble figuring out how to get out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ancient History

This is just to say:

I kinda want to be Bryan Doerries when I grow up.


Ok. Sleep now, my "Philoctetes" reading tomorrow...exciting!

Here's to the soldiers who marched in the Wars...

Nothing so deep as last time. Just:

-Health Insurance might be a little more affordable than I thought.

-I found "Lunatic Fringe" for Mac online.

-I need to put togther a website/online resume for myself.

-I see what people mean about wanting a "Life PSM"

-I remembered why I love directing today.

-Actually, that last one will be a full post in itself. I'm going to go get a drink with Bryan Doerries, then maybe come back and write it. Or else, write it tomorrow or something.

-I've spent a little bit too much money this weekend.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Show, don't tell

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

-Carl Sagan
(thanks, Google-taskbar-quotes-thing)


Here's to spring, to all we've loved and all who loved us,
to all the lovers and the love they made.
Nothing that was between them was a mistake.
All that we did for love's sake was not wasted, and will never fade.

-Garrison Keillor
(thanks, Lily's facebook profile)


Broke out my HS senior yearbook this weekend, at Reid's request. Funny, looking through the things people wrote there---both the actual close friends, and the acquaintances that I had write just to keep a record for myself, of the small things that happened which I'll inevitably forget about until I open the book again.

I grow more and more convinced that "Lost" is really just a filmed version of "Myst."

There was a note in the yearbook from a girl who I had a huge crush on, and have since...forgotten about? Not really---I am still aware of her existence, though we haven't talked in several years---but I had _forgotten_ in some significant way until I read through the yearbook. I guess that's why we keep these things, hmm?

For the first time, there is something indescribably exciting about a world outside of this one. I walked out under the streetlights in the parking lot, and almost figured something out, but then Daniel came and gave me a ride the rest of the way home. I'm kind of glad it got interupted---I'm not quite ready to figure it all out yet. Something very exciting about it, though.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

In his deep house at Ry'leh

Nate! Nate! Links for you!

And, GOOD GOD do I want to see this:

Can we track it down if it's real? Watching party sometime when I'm in Ohio?

Courage, heart

Every once in a while, something magical happens on stage. That always reminds me why I do theatre- why it is the most important thing I (personally) could do with my life. There's so much theatre that drags us down---not because it's depressing, or negative, or crude, or crass---but because it is bad. When I see a real moment, however---then I remember what I'm working towards: it is worth it to keep trying, so that I might eventualy give someone a moment of Clarity, like I have been given. Having been in the "world saving" buisness---I do think that these sort of things are really what our generation needs to be saved.

So, Godot was absolutely incredible. Seriously, the whole team did amazing things. It was consistantly funny, touching, moving...and comprehensible.

Having folks here has been really amazing---hadn't realized how lonely I'd been. Kicking around with folks has been really nice. No offense to my friends here at Kenyon---but its hard, you know?

Looking forward to three weeks in Chicago, though. Will be the longest stretch of time I've been anywhere since November or December.

Have two definite gigs for St. Patrick's day---one is a private party, but the other is a bar gig---so if you're going to be in Chicago, you should definitely come see us! We'll be playing at Lilly's Bar up north, 9:30 on March 13th. Going to be great.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Brothers, Sisters, this is what he said!

I've been posting a lot of links lately, but these are key enough that everyone needs to see them. Or see them again.

Ali G on "Feminism"

Ali G on "Science, Evolution, and Creation"

Watch as hope slowly dies in the face of the younger scientist.

Also... WMDs or...BLTs....

Oh man, its around 1 am. Need to be up early. Sleep!

That's how we show our respect for Paddy Murphy...

Hey all,

If you're on Myspace, friend the new band: "Three Spying Soldiers" (Finnegan's Wake quote).

These are really limited recordings, done on a macbook, all acoustic, and in a time crunch (covered my tracks enough? Good. You want to hear studio-type recordings?

But! Its going to be cool music! If you're in Chicago, come see us---we'll be playing a couple of gigs around St. Paddy's day. If you know a bar that plays live music, that you think we could get a gig at...tell me about them!

Hope you're all well.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Monstrous Manual

Yeah? Yeah.

I could swear I heard her say:

Guidance needed: I can't seem to get a photo to load...anyone else have a problem with this? Let me know if you found a solution.

I'm back in Gambier, doing pretty well. Anthony, Em. Petes, and Steph are all coming down this weekend, so that's very exciting.

Weird bus trip last night, which feels worth writing about (blogging about, even? I guess, despite the fact that this is a Blog, and I write in it somewhat regularly, I don't feel like I can actually call myself a Blogger. Maybe one of these days.


I'm sitting on the Megabus, in a set of seats that face each other--that look like this: I_ _I rather than I_ I_ (that was a lot easier to explain in person. Did you get it?)

Those are the most comfortable seats, by the way---more leg room, you can stretch out and put your feet up, etc. So I sit down, arrange my stuff, and this girl walks over and asks if she can sit down there. I say...sure, go for it. We talk for a few seconds, then both settle into our books. Got to talking again a while later, and ended up in conversation until Indianapolis, at 2 am or so. Really helped cut down the travel time. Learned a new improv game. Then I slept for the rest of the time, which was good---though I was still a bit fried for the day.

The point of talking about this at all? First off, I started feeling weird about writing about this halfway through the post--not sure why. I'll parse that later. The real center is, I feel like I've spent some amount of time in the last month or so talking to complete strangers, many of whom I have nothing in common. That's been a little strange for me. I guess I'm used to sharing something like where we go to school (Kenyon), or...well, whatever High School was about.

The point of this? I've got the edge of a flu, and I'm rambling and feeling weird. If I get totally incoherent and post later tonight, you'll know I was unsuccessful in staving off illness.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rebels are We

Flogging Molly--third time, still excellent. First time I've been to the House of Blues in Chicago, reasonable venue.
Just as soaked in beer and sweat (mine and other's) as I expected.
Great openning bands---"Dusty Rhodes and the River band" and "Rev. Peyton and his Big Damn Band" were both intense. Both are on myspace--give them a listen. Rev. Peyton and co. especially put on an AMAZING show....

The crowds were pretty tame for the first two bands, though there was a bit of moshing for Rev. Peyton...but, as it always does, all hell broke loose with Flogging Molly. Amazing show, lots of key songs played...and folks, I got to take my sister to her first Flogging Molly show (and one of her first rock shows--though she's been to Catch 22 without me, so it's not really the first). It was really an amazing amout of fun---she's a more fearless mosher than I am, was going toe to toe not only with the smaller folks around her, but also the 300 lbs drunk guys who would come hurtling out of the crowd. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time being 'older brother', which in this case meant diving in front of said gorillas as they travered the pit...but yeah. I have an awesome sister.

Now, a shower, and I pass out.

Jeff and Karen after FM 1

Jeff and Karen after FM 2

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Today I am...

...celebrating Lupercalia, rather than Valentine's day.

No, seriously, I'm not bitter at the holiday or anything. "Whatevz," as Shakespeare probably wouldn't have said if he had been born in our age. More thoughts on "dating," etc may follow in a later post---maybe after Saturday(hint).

Seriously, though...chocolate is great, as are roses...but can they be compared feasting and flailing with goat-skins?

Also, symbolic human sacrifice. Lordy, the Romans were characters, weren't they?

Plus, it goes three days! February 13-15.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

..and goodwill towards Dolphins.

On further review of "The Greatest Thing Ever,"

I do believe it is fundamentally telling that "Peace on Earth" went down to "Sharks."

Someday, someone will see that, and suddenly some interaction (disaster) caused by one of us will make perfect sense.

A Strict Bear-aterian/A Sick Pair of Merry Men

Something I had never fully appreciated while here before: free printing. Gotta love it.

Which is to say, printed scripts for several new projects, maybe killed a bunch of treees (does Kenyon use recycled paper? I'm going to get on that).

Is it weird to anyone else that Backwoods Ohio has a better recycling program that Chicago? I mean, yes, recycling isn't the be all and end all of conservation (trust me, I know), but still....

I think various '07rs are coming into town to see Godot, I'm very excited. Boo on missing Adrienne next weekend...but it'll be great to see Karen.

Blood was awesome---was majorly inspired. I think I wrote the ending to War Stories, accidentaly---it ended about two or three scenes before I thought it would. I guess we'll see how it holds up in workshopping, I expect most of it to change.

I got a library card to the Gambier Public Library yesterday. I think that's when you know you're part of a community---when you join the local library. I still havn't done that in Chicago---really need to get on that.

Also, we're in I don't know how mant inches of snow here---and since I don't actually have to work today, I think I'll just hole up, write, and maybe walk the three blocks to the library and check out a book and a movie.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Shillelagh Law was all the rage...

So, I'm coming to you folks for inspiration.

I need a new name for an irish band.

I want your suggestions.

Let the games begin?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Music, Writing, Trails, and Myst

In Columbus, spent a day or so out here after wednesday's class. I'll be heading back into Gambier to see "Blood," then most likely staying there until class next wednesday.

Chicago was wonderful, I'm settling in to the rhythm of the back and forth a little better now that it's more regular.
(That was an aesthetically unpleasing sentence, but I don't think I'm going to fix it. Ah well.)

Appalachian Trail: I've decided that this July is not the time for it, but its in the future at some point. I'm going to need July in Chicago---but I'm going to try to spend at least a good chunk of the summer camping. In addition, I was very encouraged both by the positive feedback, and the number of people who said they might be interested in walking part of it. So, for those of you who are in foreign nations (Annie, Amy), we'll talk when you get back stateside, yes? Others who might be interested---we'll talk, neh?

Finally got back in the saddle with writing---not sure how/why it worked, but man--felt good.
Seeing "Blood" tonight, Flogging Molly next weekend with Karen...these are both exciting things.

A small side note: I recently borrowed the 2nd season of Lost, finally got around to watching the last few episodes. I think I realized why I like (not love, not thoroughly enjoy) the show---I mean, other than the fact that they're written in such a way that each episode is, in the end, both psychologicaly and chemicaly addictive). The whole series...its like someone filmed 3 years of someone playing Myst! Seriously---mysterious island, strange technological bunkers, unexplained heiroglyphics, a code that just happens to be written on the outside of the hatch, which you need to enter into a computer inside? Also, the "Other's" huts in the end of the second season are _straight_ out of Riven. Its like someone was playing Myst, and thought---you know what? This would make a great TV show, if people could die in it.

A final note:


"Outside around the side
form a circle forward- I'm an
outsider on the side
formerly a farm-boy

Inside I'm on the side
i'm divided undecided
back then around again
second time's a charm boy"

Also: Sean McGowan is the "real thing." I couldn't be this crusty if you stuffed me with flour and yeast and baked me at 450 f for 80 minutes.
But damn, does he write a beautiful song. The second video is a bit hard to watch though, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 the wilderness

So--do you know what has been seeming pretty cool lately?

The Appalachian trail.


At the risk of commiting myself to too much or nothing at all--it's been a persistent thought of mine. What it may come down to is how my time in Chicago between now and May goes---I've been feeling deprived of the Chi-town lifestyle (then again, with the exception of a two day drop in, I really haven't been there in a month). I've most likely got arts stuff in May, June, and August, meaning I could justify a month of "personal betterment time" in July...hmmmm. Whatever happens, I won't be doing the full thing this year (it takes 5-7 months to complete)...but July is tempting me...and it would be a really, really wonderful "life experience."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And the road becomes my in her I do confide. She keeps me satisfied.

Insanely productive hour. Finally sent emails I've been meaning to send for -months-, wrote a bit, etc!
I think I needed potassium.

Exciting news: I have session work this weekend! I'm playing bodhran on this really cool duo's song. Will also help me afford to go out a bit with Willow (who is coming to Chicago--hooray!) and see the 2-3 plays I want to cram into this trip home.

A few more things to complete for the night: another scene for the play, re-read a couple scenes from the various "Electra" plays, and go over the remaining online submissions from the students. Also, as long as the rain stops for long enough, a walk. Ran with the dog earlier today: a good day for the cardiovascular system.

Also, experiences the KAC Steam Room for the first time yesterday. I'm a fan of the sauna (you can take a book in, relaxing, etc), but the steam room was altogether too intense.

Practiced all the things I would say.

...your never-ending spree of death and violence and hate
Is gonna tie your own rope-tie your own rope- tie your own-

I'll say it. The Offspring (mostly Smash, with little bits of Ixnay on the Ombrey, Americana, and later the Self-titled debut) was a pretty fundamental part of middle school.

Oh man...or this song? Amazing.

Nate: Steampunk wheelchair racing:

Basically, we lost the abillity to make a good music video after the '90s. Or maybe there was just something about '90s "alternative" that was ideal for music videos.

The point is? I had a bannana today, first time in a while. Man, a ripe bannana is basically the best thing ever.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Food Update: Got to get it somewhere....

Almost immediately after the previous post, I went to the Market and bought a ridiculous array of non-meat protein sources. It was weird. Eggs, milk, Navy Beans, baked beans (a special treat), and "Soy Crisps", apparently high in protein, also high in CRACK. Seriously, too salty to eat, but you just craaaaaave afterwards. I know I'm not salt deprived though, so it must be something more insidious.

Also, went and saw "The Laramie Project" for the first time. Learned a bunch of things, both socially and theatrically. Interested to see how they play out.

Hope all is well.


Being back in Gambier makes me hungry.

Well, being back in Gambier, the fact that I'm at home for big parts of the day rather than out doing stuff, and the fact that I don't have as much money for food, and thus have less of it. I think the problem is actually that I'm protein deprived---didn't get a chance to hit Trader Joe's this trip, so my protein source has been peanut butter (only had a couple tablespoons left, at the bottom of a jar), a bit of hums, and a can of chickpeas. Oh well.

New discovery--mixing a bit of good, all-natural peanut butter (pref. crunchy) in with some ramen, corn, and whatever else you have in the fridge is _really_ good.

When I get back to Chicago, I'm cooking some chicken (conveniently stashed in the freezer). I haven't had meat in...well, actually, I had some meat when I went out (on a lunch meeting, no less!) a few days ago. But other than that, not in a long, long time. Chicken sounds good.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I am your Holy Totem/I am your Sick Taboo

Going to jot this off right now, while it's still fresh.
If you're going to see Cloverfield, see it in theatres.



Nate, rememer when you started giving me spoiler warnings for things you were doing in every day life? Maybe one of your finest moments. I sometimes find myself, when sitting alone, looking up and saying: "Spoiler warning: I'm going to get up and eat a cookie now."

Anyway. Cloverfield.

You've heard most of it before: don't see it while hung over. DON'T see it drunk. REALLY DON'T see it on any kind of hallucinogen.

I thought it was a well crafted, very intense, very interesting experience, or even "Thearical Event", if you will. It utilized film, without necisarily being a "movie" or "major motion picture". Which I think is awesome.

The reality was nicely done, the party at the beginning was wonderful for establishing the normalcy of the day, and the initial reactions especially were dead on---captured the excitment/panic/fear/etc of an intense situation like that perfectly.

After finishing the movie, there was nothing I wanted to do more than curl up with someone and just lie there for a while. It was that kind of come-down at the end. Unfortunatly, as I am somewhat cut off down here in Gambier, I settled for a Klondike. Man--chocolate and ice cream as emotional therapy? I might as well hand in my Y chromasome.

It was absolutly worth seeing it in the theatre.
I think possibly two of the most powerful moments for me were:

a) of course, when the main guy's phone rings in the subway. He looked at it and was upset, looked again, then finally answered---I was really unsure of what was going on, because I figured it was the girl----then, when he said "Hi Mom." in that voice, I just lost it. They could have even ended the dialogue there, and it would have been great---just the combination of the build up, then that line---it was very well played.

b) when you look back at the girl who's been bitten, and she's bleeding out of her eye, and someone yells "we've got a bite!"---and then everything that follows. I almost heaved with the screen bit, but the rest as well---something about how clinical the yell was, the controled panic, like it had been happening for a while.

There were many other good/touching/etc parts, but those are sticking out right now.
All in all, it very much reminded me of the experience of seeing "Black Hawk Down" in theatres----the intensity, the "reality" of it.

Also, in the end, as the credits came up, there was absolute silence in the theatre---noone moved. A very, very cool thing that you get so infrequently in movies. A few people made joked immediatly after, possibly to cover up---and one lone voice pipes up in the middle of the silence:

"Did they make it?"

Solid gold.


So, I think I may go watch "Rise of the Silver Surfer", just so I can go to sleep with everything turning out alright. I've got a malaise of loneliness and general fear right now that I don't really want to take with me.

Whew. Go see the movie, folks. Won't be as good when it's off the big screen.

I'm also, for whatever reason, reminded of the song "Stray Bullet" by KMFDM (quoted in the title). Dunno.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stop saying "Don't quote me"...

...cause if nobody quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying.
(Everybody go listen to "Dogma" by KMFDM, right now. Oh, the finest of German Industrial)

These days, its hard to know what city I'm in. State, even.

I'm in Columbus now, about to go back to Gambier. A few interesting things yesterday:

Went to the Salt Lake airport at 8 am, got to Columbus at around 11 pm. This involved several re-routed connections, a night almost spent in Chicago, and then in New York City. Flew to O'hare from SLC, then almost flew to St. Louis because of delayed planes, but on the last minute went to LaGuardia. After a bit of time there, finally got back to CMH.

The interesting thing? Spent each flight with a different group of intense religious people. Sat at the gate and flew out of SLC with a bunch of Mormon kids, out on their first mission---tried to get me interested in the Book of Mormon (which I am, though unfortunatly not in the way he wants me to be), and then just kinda hung out---talked about football, the world, traveling, etc. Then I flew to LaGuardia with a bunch of Orthodox jewish folks--was comforting, I'm not around them much in Chicago, so it made me feel a little bit at home.

The kicker, though? In LaGuardia, I ran into none-other than the tall bearded Middle Path Preacher! I ran up to him, and had this moment of... "Wow! How are you? How have you been?" I think he was pretty suprised---definitly recognized me, but couldn't figure out where I was from. When I explained that I was from Kenyon, he clearly remembered who I was, and stiffened up a bit...which was fine also. He remembers...and he fears. Or...something like that.

Anyway--was an interesting day, didn't get quite enough work done, but if I scrabble today, I should be able to make it up. Basically, I was away from corespondance a little too long, and didn't get a chance to read over some of the things people sent me. We'll make it work, though.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Catching the Disease

Reference Anton's post for a complete explanation:

The Soundtrack of my Life:
(I had to do this from my Ipod, as my Itunes right now is distressingly bare, having just switched computers. Perhaps its not the best cross-section of my music, but its pretty good).

Opening Credits: "Night Train to Lorca" by The Pogues
Upbeat, but a little tense--lots of ghost imagery. It's going to be a raw-er movie than I would have expected.

Growing Up Montage: "Glass Danse" by The Faint
Eeeeelectronic-- works, but would have been much, much more appropriate for High School.

High School: "The Background"- Third Eye Blind.
And this one would have been much more appropriate for "growing up montage"---its practicaly montage music. Soft, and a little disquieting. In the Director's cut, these would be switched.

College: "Open Road Song" by Third Eye Blind
There's something there? "Tonight I feel ambitious..."

Waking Up and Morning Routine: "Billy's Bones": by The Pogues.
WOW! You all need to find a copy of this song. Its like the monty hall running around music---accordian and singing in triple time, hi-larious.

Driving:"The Wind" by Cat Stevens
This is every drive alone that I've taken between Pittsburgh and Columbus, or backwoods in Fox Chapel....

At Work:"Lorelai" by The Pogues
Hmmm...this sounds suspiciously like a song that explains perfectly how I fall in love. Lets see what's next.

Falling in Love: "Ends of the Earth" by Encore after Midnight.
Ok, I wrote this song, so I know it isn't about love. It is, however, about natural disasters and not doing enough about it. So! Seeing as I was working GreenPeace not too long ago, this is perfect for that----

Breaking Up: "Wicked Sensetive Crew" by Dropkick Murphys
Ahhahahahahahahahaha...shit, its true, and it means I'm a bad person.

Getting Back Together: "Beer, Beer, Beer" by (some irish group)
Hah...yeah, listening to the flavor of the song, if not the words, it works well.

Dinner with Family: "Donkey Riding" by Great Big Sea
Its a song about coming home from sailing...that works.

Wedding: "What's left of the Flag" by Flogging Molly.
Uh oh..."Walk away me boy, walk away me boy, and by morning you'll be free..." along with that, it's about revolution. Hmmm...

Life's Good: "The Wanderlust" by Flogging Molly
Alright...hmm...about missing someone, and...wandering It's an upbeat song, though!

Mental Breakdown: "Make War" by Bright Eyes
"and he'll make war, oh war,
on who you were you before,
and claim all that has spoiled in your heart."

Flashback: "Jealous Words" by Richard Thompson
Interesting flashback---a little bitter.

Birth of a Child: "The Dirty Glass" by Dropkick Murphys
Doesn't make sense at all, unless my first child is actually an anthropomorphized bar.

Final Battle: "Autumn Fell" by The Expert
Yeah, it'll be over a girl. Or, with a girl. Yeah, I might kill a girl in my Final Battle. Probably because we gave birth to a bar.

Death Scene: "Monkey Wrench" by the Foo Fighters
YES. I want this song to be playing when I die. Its clear there will be gasoline, angry bad guys (possibly working for a corrupt government) and jumping through plate glass windows involved.

Funeral Song: "The Burden" by Dropkick Murphys
Hmmm... "Frankie's gonna be alright...yeah Frankie's gonna be alright...they say he was broken and never coming back, but Frankie's gonna be alright" I kinda like that.

End Credits: "Whiskey, you're the Devil" by The Pogues.
Eh, it's ok, and is pleasently upbeat to denote a happy life.

Alright, so a few of these I was not totally happy with---so I'm going to have a round two for them, here separately. Kinda cheating, but not enough for me to care.

College: "Walk Away" by Dropkick Murphys

Getting Back Together: "Walk through my door" by Gaelic Storm
Yes. Totally. Completely.

Dinner with Family: "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo.

Wedding:"Losing my Religion" by REM
I'll have to go with one of the happier interpretations of this, but it could work....

Life's good: "Johnny Quest (thinks we're sellouts)" by Less than Jake
Sure, Ska always means life is good.

Birth of a Child: "Last Shanty" by Great Big Sea"
Life was different when I was your age, kid. Works in a weird way.

Funeral Song: "Roman Roads" by Encore after Midnight
Wrote this about going home to Virginia. That works in a weird way.



This post is a touch overdue, but:

Had the first class yesterday.

I think it went well?

Regardless: it was a LOT of fun. The students talked, and much of what they had to say was interesting.

Also: I feel like, to some degree, I re-discovered my love for Greek Tragedy. But Jeff! (I hear you say) You've always loved it! Isn't that the whole idea?

Well, yes. You see, though---the problem is, it's been "my thing" for long enough that I've just been going along with it---not questioning why I liked it, just knowing that I did, or that I was supposed to. However--I remember why now, and it's not even something as wishy-washy as "Timeless themes, still speaks to us, etc." There is a certain degree to which this stuff is fun, because it's hard--you read these plays, and I don't get them. Nothing makes sense. So you read them again, and again, and again, and then...there it is. Somehow, because of that fight, they're all the more interesting.

Oh, plus, timeless themes, still important, socially critical, blah blah blah blah....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We must sail

Sorry folks, been a bit too long since I posted.

Quick summary:

Saw Nate, was excellent. Excited to be near these people again.
Spent time with Dad in Columbus. Was also excellent.
Re-watched first half of Angels in America with said Father. Good times were had by all.
Finally saw "Blood and Chocolate". Will review.
Re-acclimating to life in Gambier. Spending a lot of time at home, down Wiggin street.
Doing prep-work for the course. Promissing to myself that I'll start writing after the first class.
I have an office at home, and an office in the theatre. Both are becoming very useful.
I kind of like having an "office" at home---a place where I go to do write.
My housemate here has an amazing dog, which is nice.
Forgot to call Mother back last night. Damn. Going to do that now.
Hope all are well.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


All this has happened before. All this will happen again.

...and so here I am once again, checking out every book in the Kenyon library on Greek Tragedy.

Feels more cyclical that circular, which I think is a good thing.

Tonight: Mourning Becomes Electra. Hooray!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Post three

Note- New Years post is up, two posts down.

Possible project: building an electric octave mandolin. I think I might be able to do it. Would be pretty sweet....


There may or may not be a multitude of posts tonight.

First, an explination for my absence: last week, my maternal grandmother passed away somewhat suddenly, but not completely unexpectedly: she was 91, and as some of you might now, had significant dementia (interesting sidebar: of all of the people I know at Kenyon, I think Rose Proctor is the only one who has met my maternal Grandparents. Lily might have--I'll have to check with her).
Anyway, this happened the day after I left Pittsburgh for Chicago---so, back on the plane, back home. We had a wake on sunday---was a very difficult, but ultimately very special experience: Grandma had always said that she didn't want people crying over her, she wanted laughing and drinking. So- while there may not have been much laugher (there was some), or that much drinking (we did do a few toasts)--it ended up being a simple, helpful, and positive experience. I spent a good chunck of it with my (93 year old) grandfather--it was a very solid moment of clarity for him, and I was very glad that I was able to spend the time with him. Being able to write this is also helpful--I wasn't ready earlier, but this is good.

Yesterday (monday) was difficult: the possible edge of a fever, lack of sleep, and emotional chaos was a little rough on me, especially with my drive to Columbus. Made it safely, though. An odd night: after napping a bit in the day, I was staring wide-eyed at the ceiling in a way that I havn't done since I started working for GreenPeace. Eventually, I had a moment where I was partialy convinced I might have been in an accident on the drive home: that this was a dream, or an illusion, and that I was actually in a hospital bed (or worse). Reminded me that it was a little harder to tell dreams from reality than is necessarily pleasant. I also had a string of very developed and bizarre dreams: Bob Egan offering me a chance to direct a play about chinese-american life that was going on a multiple state prison tour, being in a play with middle-schoolers about the X-men, digging up bodies in a strange earth excavation/cave area (which was significant because it didn't allow me to rehearse for the X-men play), and more.

Fortunatly, I woke up this morning well-rested: (again) as many of you may know, I become significantly more pleasent, presentable, and sane when I have slept. Went to Trader Joe's in Easton for some provisions, then drove into Kenyon in an spat of amazingly beautiful and suspiciously spring-like weather. I'm now here, situated in my new living space (sub-let from a professor), and doing quite well, thanks-very-much. Need to work out the last details of transportation, but frankly, I think this is going to be a very nice place to be. I feel like I'm going to have the chance to be really productive here (its off-campus a fair ways, well past the community center and Wiggin street school on wiggin st).

Well! This post was a little more of a window into my psyche than most have...Anyway, watch for a New Years post soon. Thank you for bearing with me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Hi friends--

I promise a humorous, well-structured, and clever explination of New Years. Saved as a draft, need to finish. Please be patient, dealing with some stuff, will finish working on it after.

love to you all,


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years (at last)

EDITOR's NOTE: Written New Years Day, around 8:30 pm or so.
This is somewhat less interesting when written out (and self-censored) than I might have hoped, but...such is life. It was one of the best New Years so far.

Plane is delayed, so I'm back at Mother's house, sitting on a couple of packed bags.

New Years was...well, exactly what New Years is supposed to be.

This will be a scattershot summary, in no particular order. I think that best captures the way it went:

-Almost killed Amy Ream with a champagne cork, as I discoverd why there are the little wire cages on the tops of the bottles---because when you remove them, and just hold the bottle for a while, the cork flies out when you're least expecting it.

-This also resulted in Amy Waffles getting covered in champagne.

-Brian and Charlie's party was great---got to see a lot of people I hadn't seen since high school, had a long conversation about the death of the music industry with Lauren, learned frightening things about chemistry students, and generally enjoyed myself.

-Abe's party was loud. The good kind of loud, though. We actually watched the ball drop this year, and counted along, and shouted a lot.

-My first new years resolution was to get health insurance.

-Part way through the night, I also resolved to remember that my tolerance is way, way lower than it was in college.

-Apple Juice and Vodka is a good enough drink that it needs a name. While the "DGJG", perhaps (for it's two main proponents). "New Year's Disaster" seems like a fitting title, it seems more appropriate to allow a name to naturaly appear: much like the "Orange Yurovsky" or the "Pale Irishman", two dynamite drinks created and named by associates of mine.

-Had a wonderful time hob-nobbing with the older folks at Dan's family's New Years party. It seems likely that I'm the only non-Gespass who has attended every party that's been thrown for the last 14 years (although, with more recolection, I believe I've missed two: I was in NYC once, and CA once).

-Dan peer-pressured me into getting a really good sandwich the next day. Proof that, often, its best to listen to Dan.

-Went to Eat n' Park at the very end of the night...perhaps 5 am? Tried to consume "breakfast buffet." Failed in style.

-Crashed on Dan's couches, as is traditional.

-While at Abe's, knocked a screw out of my glasses, and stole Sam's glasses to fix them in a stunning display of clever ingenuity and suprising physical dexterity.

-May or may not have stepped on/slept on/generally mangled glasses while at Gentry's house. Glasses are now "slightly askew", in a manner simmilar to the "Great Football Incident" of 2006.

-Discovered the dangers of flying the day after new years.

-Wore "banker" shirt. Was asked about consolidating mortages.

-Brought two girls named Amy around with me. Took great satisfaction in being able to introduce them as "Both Amy. So you can remember." Also brought two Dan's with me. Hmmmmm....

Alright. So that's about how I remember it going. Here's to the new year!