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!