Thursday, July 31, 2008
Today marks the end of the food related entries. It was fun, and my thanks to Mdme. Stinkypaw for the idea.
I'll be heading to South Florida tomorrow, but I still intend to post daily, though. You know the drill. If you want to get together, give me a shout. I'll be there for about a week. And just to let y'all know, I'm broke as hell so unless you've won the lotto, don't book that table at the Ritz-Carlton just yet. ;-)
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you our Buffoon In Chief, George W. Bush:
"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office."—Washington, D.C., June 26, 2008
"Should the Iranian regime—do they have the sovereign right to have civilian nuclear power? So, like, if I were you, that's what I'd ask me. And the answer is, yes, they do."—Speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., July 2, 2008
"Throughout our history, the words of the Declaration have inspired immigrants from around the world to set sail to our shores. These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people."—Charlottesville, Va., July 4, 2008
"We've got a lot of relations with countries in our neighborhood."—Kranj, Slovenia, June 10, 2008
"And so the fact that they purchased the machine meant somebody had to make the machine. And when somebody makes a machine, it means there's jobs at the machine-making place."—visiting the Silverado Cable Co., Mesa, Ariz., May 27, 2008
And finally, perhaps his most prescient statement:
"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."—Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008
These are but a few of Dubya's linguistic marvels. You can see many, many more at The Complete Bushisms.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
And now, on to the show. I believe that I already mentioned that we had one person in the audience on Thursday. I wasn't too concerned, and we needed one more rehearsal anyway, so it was all good. Friday night we had nine people, most of whom were friends and family of the actors, so it was a good crowd. Saturday brought us eight people, and Sunday four. Yes, the numbers were disappointing, all the more so because a lot of people who assured me they were coming didn't. But the show was a brilliant success, and we got lots of pics and videos so that Steve can now document the performance and hopefully publish. Here are some shots from the show. The last one is of all of us, including JJ who ran the lights and sound.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Yesternight was rather weird. We had an 800% increase in the audience over Thursday night(1 person vs. 8) plus one of my dearest friends and her husband came to see the show. L was my student, then girlfriend, then roommate many moons ago, and has since married and moved to Texas. We haven't seen each other in nearly five years, so this was a very happy reunion. She, and hubby D, are in Florida visiting family, and the show coincided with this trip quite well. So they came, they watched, then we went out for a brew and visitation. We chose a small, but friendly looking establishment with outdoor tables so they could smoke. We got a round of beers and began catching up. Next we ordered a pitcher, but when it arrived the waitress told us that it had been bought for us by the gentleman at the end of the porch. He was an exuberant, friendly, very gay man who was accompanied by a nice woman probably in her fifties. He called us over, and we complied. We chatted, and hands were shaken, and back stories were nutshelled. It was kind of annoying, since I really wanted to spend the time with L and D since this would be the only chance to see them before they went back to Texas, but we were obligated by the beer debt to socialize. We told them about the show, and when and where it was, and they said they might just come see it. Then it got a bit weird. Our benefactor kept telling me what lovely eyes I have, even after it became very clear that I am married, with a kid, and quite straight. However, having grown up in the theatre this was not the first time a gay man had hit on me, although it has been at least two decades since the last time, so I accepted his compliments graciously, and to be honest it was kind of flattering. He never pushed it, so it was more embarrassing than anything else. Then the hour grew late, and we all had prolonged drives ahead of us, so we took our leave. L and D and I spent another 45 minutes or so in the parking lot talking, and hugging, then we went home. We had been drinking Bud Light, so I wasn't even remotely buzzed, and the evening ended later than is usual for me these days, but it was a good, if all-too-brief visit.
Tonight I'm going to take pictures of the show, so I'll post some of them soon.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Along side the special room in Hell reserved for parking lot grocery cart abusers should be a very, very special room for the asshats who think it's a good idea to order food for ten at the McDonald's drive through at TEN O-FUCKING CLOCK AT NIGHT!!! It's bad enough when some lazy pinhead tries to feed an army from his car during the day, when the A-listers are working, but hitting up a drive through for a banquet when the mouth breathers and misfits are on duty is just plain stupid. And while I'm bitching why do I always get stuck behind the financial genius at the convenience store who is there to buy $50 worth of lottery tickets, and then takes fifteen minutes to decide which four scratch-off tickets he/she is going to add to this week's symphony of poverty and broken dreams? To quote Robin Williams, "Assholes do vex me!!!!!!"
Goodnight, dearest readers. :-)
Marius the Vexed
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
It is said that Florida is just a few years of inattention away from returning to the primordial swamp whence it came. The flora and fauna of this prehistoric paradise are as fierce as they are scenic. I have lived here long enough to know how to avoid the dinosaurs, and feral plants, and blood draining behemoth insects that thrive along this sun drenched peninsula, but the one thing I cannot avoid is the smiting hand of an angry deity. Today I was nearly smote.
Some of you know that we get more rain than any other of the contiguous states. Hawaii has us beat, but just barely. And being that topography is something we only read about, anything taller than a blade of grass is a fair target for lightning. I have seen some glorious displays of nature's electrical fury, from multi-pronged arcs that shoot across miles of sky, to the almost gentle caress of an incandescent filament as it gracefully detonated a power line transformer. But today I got a taste, thankfully a small taste, of the 1.21 gigawatt Hand-O-God(tm). We were heading home after spending a day in St. Pete, and I realized that we needed some beverages and cat food. It was raining like hell, since it was a summer afternoon, and even hailing a bit. Fortunately our car is old enough that a light hail storm is amusing. So I pulled into the Publix shopping center, annoyed by all the idiots who seem to think that the possibility of getting wet negates things like parking and traffic laws. Mrs. Marius opted to wait in the car, so after parking I took the one umbrella. I normally eschew such implements, but it was raining rather hard, so why not. I was halfway to the door, grumbling to myself about all the selfish, hydrophobic assholes, when a blinding flash and deafening explosion nearly knocked me to the ground. Judging by the direction and instantaneous crack of the thunder I think the bolt detonated just over the parking lot. Again, this is Florida and I have been relatively close to such strikes before, but what made this one different was the jolt of electricity that coursed over my skin. I've eaten enough current in my profession that I know what it feels like to have an electric charge course over me, and this one, if you'll forgive the choice of words, shocked the crap out of me. It wasn't enough to be painful, or dangerous, but once I realize just how close that bolt had to be to induce a current across my dry(I had an umbrella so my arms were dry) skin I quickened my pace just a tad. To be honest it was rather exhilarating, but I'll be very glad if that is as close as I ever get to licking the cosmic battery.
Marius the Slightly Singed
Sunday, July 20, 2008
It is a rare and wonderful thing these days when I dare to hope that a much anticipated movie will be good, and it is. The Dark Knight is that rare cinematic gem. Like any gem it has its flaws, but they are minor. Most of the performances are flawless, although Maggie Gillenhall is atrocious. Imagine Carrie Fisher, but with less talent. Fortunately her relative lack of luster is totally overshadowed by Bale, and Freeman, and Cain, and Oldman, and, of course, Ledger. His Joker has more layers than a cart full of onions. He is the reason clowns are scary. And the best thing about it is there is no explanation for his malignancy. He is just plain evil. And he's damned good at it. I think all the Oscar buzz is a bit over done, but this was certainly a worthy capstone to an all-too-short career.
Oh, and if you can see it at the IMAX, it is totally worth the extra few bucks(or quid, me Pidgey). What a ride!!
Marius the Impressed
In a few hours Mrs. Marius and I will be going to see The Dark Knight at the IMAX. I'm anticipating either an out of body experience, or spontaneous human combustion. In either case, if you don't hear from me by tomorrow you'll know the movie is dangerously awesome. ;-)
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
And just in case you're still pining for the good old days of MTV, give this musical turd a listen:
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Your result for The Camelot Test...
You value honor and equality. You are courageous and logical. While you may be passionate at times, you rarely let your emotion affect your decisions. You are (according to legend) probably the greatest monarch of all time.
I understand the need for advertising gimmicks. I really do. The average consumer is barraged daily by such a glut of images and pitches that many products need to go to extremes to be heard over the din. But this promotion is just plain silly. Does anyone who eats chocolate not know what M&M's are? They must sell billions of the little ovoids annually(I tried to find stats, but M&M/Mars play their cards very close to the vest), so do they really need to be able to print messages, or your favorite kid's face on the things? I can just see little Johnny at his birthday party squinting to make out the tiny image on his candy. "Mommy, is that a badger? Maybe it's a race car?" "No, honey, that's you!" "I have to eat my own head? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" I suppose I could see the value in sending a bag of 'poison pen' M&M's to an ex, but the things are so addictive that even if she bothers to notice the almost microscopic 'Fuck you, Brenda' on the confections, she's still going to enjoy them, so the point is a bit lost there. (and for the record I don't know, nor do I think I have ever known a Brenda) It is really cool that in these days of easy printing you can get your favorite photos put on everything from credit cards to birthday cakes, but I fear the slippery slope of M&M pictures. Say this takes off, then companies start putting pictures on even smaller things. Fortune cookies get replaced by fortune toothpicks, Build-Your-Own Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in boxes of Minute Rice, or for the ego maniac with a sweet tooth, personalized sugar(microscope sold separately). We must stop the madness now, before it goes any further. I say no to nanoadvertising!!!! Keep your stinking jingles off my atoms you damned dirty marketers!!
Have a nice day. :-)
Marius the Irrelevant
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I had a bit of a realization today. Since I haven't been working, I seem to have slipped into some sort of waking hibernation. I keep forgetting what day it is, or what the date is, and I will frequently find myself losing hours at a time surfing the net oblivious to time's inexorable march. It's weird, yet oddly it isn't all that disturbing. It is annoying, though, and I am going to do my best to get out of this pattern. But first I have to check my email. Won't be a minute.
Marius the Oblivious
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This story was just too good to not pass along. Enjoy.
It's going to be an embarrassing day at the office for people who get their news from the Christian web site One News Now. The water cooler conversation about sports is going to get awkward when they say, "Did you see the record set by Tyson Homosexual?"
Yes, One News Now, which describes itself as providing "your latest news from a Christian perspective," calls the Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay "Tyson Homosexual."
Jim Buzinski of Outsports explains that the site has set a filter to change the word "gay" to "homosexual," and they don't bother to look at the context of the story before applying the filter. And that's how Gay became Homosexual.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Yup, the COA is coming home today, so I get to spend the next eight to ten hours in the car. Of course, it couldn't be that simple. Yesterday I took Mrs. Marius's car to get an oil change and multi-point inspection. It came back with a laundry list of needed and recommended repairs that would have totalled over $1K, and a lot of it I can do myself for a lot less. Primary on the list was the motor mounts; those pesky little things that keep the engine inside the car. The mechanic printed up the list and accompanying prices. Just to give you an idea of what I was dealing with, the upper motor mount, which is a relatively easy thing to replace, cost me $40 at my local auto parts store. The mechanic wanted to charge me $70 for the thing. And the rest of the parts were equally inflated. So I got the mount last night, and installed it this morning. It took longer to get the car up on jack stands than it did to swap the part. If I had a lift, like they do, it would have taken at the most 15 minutes, and that includes taking the part out of the box. I'm sure the labor from them would have been at least 1.5 hours. Grrrrr!!
Anyway, I'll be gone all day, so I hope you have a wonderful weekend. :-)
Marius the Grease Monkey
Friday, July 11, 2008
If you thought you had the market cornered on embarrassing stories, be glad you don't live in New Castle, Indiana. The New Castle police received a 911 call from a 12 year old girl who was awakened from an afternoon nap by the sound of her mother screaming. Thinking quickly the girl summoned the local constabulary to rescue mom. As you have all probably guessed, mom neither needed, nor wanted rescuing...and neither did dad. Unfortunately, regulations being what they are, the responding officers had to file a report, so they put down, "Mom and Daddy were involved in a romantic moment and daughter mistook them as fighting."
At this point I know that at least two of you are chuckling at this story for reasons other than its obvious humor value. Many, many moons ago there existed an apartment in South Florida that came to be known as Squire Hell. It had three bedrooms, one bathroom, and paper-thin walls. The denizens of this dwelling were all male, all in their early twenties, and all squires in the SCA. There was the occasional roommate turn-over, and your humble correspondent lived there for a time. We had a neighbor who, had I known the term at the time, would be the classic MILF. She was at least in her forties, blond, buxom, gorgeous, and sweet as the day is long. She also had a beautiful little girl of nine or ten years(I think, she might have been older), and we delighted in helping the ladies out whenever we could. One of the Squires, I'll call him P, had a girlfriend at this time who was, oh how to put this delicately, very enthusiastic about P and the things they did in private. Now I say private only in the sense that they were not visible, but pretty much the entire neighborhood knew when she was having a good time. We had all spoken to P about this, and he swore that he tried to get her to be more quiet but to no avail. Then one evening our lovely neighbor came to us with a tale. That day at work she had received a frantic call from her daughter. The girl heard screaming coming from our apartment and was afraid. When asked to describe the screaming, she said, "ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh!" Struggling to keep from laughing, our neighbor assured her daughter that it was ok, and that they were just playing a game.
Ah, memories. :-)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
God, I could go for a bowl of miso soup right about now. Ah well. Sorry this one is so late. I've had a terrible case of blogger's block today. But, better latte than never, eh?
So why is it that we'll respond to an immediately fatal situation, such as jumping out of the way of a car, or a gun, or other such threat almost instantly, but something that kills us slowly is easily ignored? Things like smoking, or in my case eating, that are pleasurable yet deadly over the long haul get rationalized away. Numerous studies have found that if we greatly reduce our food intake as we age, we'll live longer and healthier. Not to mention the reduction in danger of heart disease and stroke. And during the day I have no trouble controlling my eating. But when dinner time comes around, and I finish my first plateful, why does the Jabba part of my brain take over and start shovelling another helping onto my plate? When I was younger it wasn't that big a deal, but now I really need to back off, and I know that. But just like Gilligan in his Jekyl and Hyde dream once the mouth takes over it's hard to get it back under control. And to make matters worse last week I remembered, in the midst of a nocturnal feeding frenzy, a way to prepare ice cream involving chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, and a wee bit of milk that was taught me by a former girlfriend(and she knows who she is). Oh it was like a bowl of Heaven...and the next morning I felt like hell. And I can't even blame it on mind altering substances. The most exotic thing I ingest anymore is beer, and that does not lead to ice cream cravings. Nope, my mouth is trying to kill me, I guess. I'll have to have a long talk with it, just as soon as I finish this eclair.
Marius the Hutt
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
The Theatre is an insidious creature that, once it has infected you, is worse than AOL and Real Player combined. Forever will it dominate your destiny. I have been an actor, a singer, a dancer(granted we were called the clod squad and put way far upstage), a designer, a builder, and a laborer. The one thing I never said was, "What I really want to do is direct." I'm not quite sure how it happened, but sometime in 1996 or 1997 I became the director of the student improv comedy and sketch troupe at PBCC. At first I just helped them organize the shows for smoother running, but I quickly began to help them hone the sketches for time and for humor, and before I knew it I was directing. And they were happy with it. Not too long after that I insinuated myself into a one-act festival where I directed a show my friend Whoopi had written many years prior called Signal 20. I had been a cast member of the original production, so it was very interesting directing a show I had once been in, but it was a huge success, and we all had a blast. Fast forward to grad school. I got the directing itch again, and this time I had the privilege to direct THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (abridged) which is a hilarious comedy by The Reduced Shakespeare Company. It was written for three men, but I cast two men and one woman, a freshman, a senior, and a grad student, and once again I was blessed with a cast that was absolutely brilliant. The show was a huge success, and again everyone involved had a great time.
A few years later, in Louisiana, our school always finished the year with a series of student directed one-acts. They were the final projects of graduating seniors, but that year we only had one graduating senior. So in order to flesh out the evening we brought back an alumnus who was still in the area, and I asked to direct a new absurdist piece that my friend Steve had written. It was called Standing Still and it was a Waiting for Godot-esque play that dealt with the human capacity to blindly follow authority even to ridiculous extremes. My actors were a bit green, but again they dove into their parts and totally shone.
Bob and Roy
My cast(Jessica and Tracy), my Stage Manager(Tink), and me.
Then I escaped Louisiana and returned to the sun drenched shores of my beloved planet. I hung up my director's hat and concentrated on just building and lighting stuff. Then at HCC we did Romeo and Juliet. It was a small, heavily edited version, but it went over well. I fear I cannot recall exactly why, but we remounted the play a couple of months later, and since the director was busy giving birth I was tapped to re-rehearse the show and get it back on its feet. I wasn't to change anything, just get the actors back where they were. At least that was my directive. I think I tweaked a bit more than I planned(and I did have the director's permission to fix the fight scenes), but no one complained, and the show went over quite well. The actor who played the Nurse, Dahlia, and I became friends and I showed her the video of Standing Still. She fell in love with the play and made me promise that if I ever did it again that she would be in the show. It wasn't too long after that that I heard from Steve. He was in the process of getting Standing Still published, but it needed to be produced one more time. I told him I'd work on it. That was nearly two years ago. Finally the stars have aligned and I work at a place where we have a space, and the time, and Dahlia is still available and very interested. The play is written for two men, but the lack of men at the school in Louisiana forced me to use two women, and now I'm doing the show with one man and one woman, but the nature of absurdism makes the gender issue a bit less important. We will have our first rehearsal Thursday night, and I am very excited. Steve has even indicated he might be able to come down here and see the show. So not only am I directing a play I love, with an actor I adore, in a theatre I enjoy, I'm also going to get to see my dear friend for the first time in years.
Sometimes this beast that is Theatre gives back a little.
And it was groovy. :-)
Marius Ford Coppola
Monday, July 07, 2008
Mrs. Marius wanted to see Kung-Fu Panda. I wanted to see WALL-E. We saw WALL-E, so I had to make good on seeing Kung-Fu Panda. I didn't want to. It looked stupid. I was wrong. We saw it this afternoon, and it was silly, but fun. Jack Black gave a fine performance, and actually managed to give Po warmth and charm. The rest of the voice actors did equally well, and the fight choreography was really quite good. It's a good matinee or rental(if you prefer to avoid the kiddies in the theater).
We also had our first read-through of the play today. For those of you outside the theatre, that means I got together with my actors and we sat at a table and just read the script. It is the most preliminary step in the production, and is usually fairly free of 'acting' as the goal is just to hear the words spoken. I can't tell you how much more excited I am now. My two actors really seem to understand their characters already, and while there are areas I'll need to adjust as we begin rehearsing on Thursday, from what I heard today it's going to be a great show. I'll post updates as they warrant.
And that's all for now. Peace, y'all.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Yesterday I got the bright idea that it would be fun to take the next three nights to watch the Lord of the Rings movies. We have all of the extended editions, but they haven't been out of their boxes since we first watched them upon release. I kinda forgot how long they are. Don't get me wrong, we are enjoying them, but it took us two nights to get through The Fellowship of the Ring. I am noticing something this time around. Since it has now been a few years since I reread the trilogy in preparation for the movies' releases I'm not as bugged by some of the changes made. Just watching it as an adventure tale, and not as the cinematic realization of a literary legend, it's a pretty darned good movie. Just long as hell. ;-)
Marius the Sleepy
I know I could stand to lose another ten pounds or so, and I really do appreciate the effort that Artemis is putting in to help me slim down, but puking all over the kid's room just as I'm starting to entertain thoughts of breakfast is taking things a bit far.
On a totally unrelated note I just read that Sierra Games is making a Ghostbusters video game. It looks like a first person shooter type game, and Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson are all doing the voices of their characters. One surprisingly absent co-star is Rick Moranis. I had been wondering, not too long ago, whatever happened to Bob McKenzie/Louis Tulley. Well, when the Sierra people approached Moranis about lending his voice to the game he flat out refused. Why? He made a mint on the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids movies and has completely retired from show biz. On the one hand this is kinda surprising since he always seemed to bring such a sense of fun to his roles, but on the other hand I have to wonder why more stars don't do this. I mean, if you have ten or twelve million in the bank, do you really need to work anymore?
I can't recall, and since it's a lazy Sunday morning and I don't feel like checking, if I mentioned that I'm directing a one-act play this summer. My very good friend from Louisiana, Steve, wrote a brilliant piece of absurdist satire called Standing Still that I had the pleasure of directing the debut performance of back in LA. After I moved down here to FL Steve told me that in order to get the show published it needed to be mounted one more time. It's taken me more than two years to finally get the planets in the correct alignment, but it's finally happening. I have my actors, I have my space, and I have the time. July 24-27 in the studio theatre at work. I'll post more details as the time draws closer.
And now, if you'll pardon me, my growling tummy has overcome my disgusted brain, and it's time for some breakfast. Adieu.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
You don't really want to know what goes into either. Like why did the airport have a laundromat? And why was my mother being so insensitive when I told her I didn't want to do the laundry at the airport? And who the hell stole my clothes?!!!
Yeah, a good pillow means more time for your brain to fuck with you.
Friday, July 04, 2008
I have a few idiosyncrasies when it comes to sleeping. I have always tended toward insomnia, and am a very light sleeper, so I've learned to mitigate these problems with various methods. I always have a fan running, even in winter. I need a sheet over me even in the middle of summer. And I can only sleep on a feather pillow. Foam pillows mean little to no sleep to yours truly, so I even bring my own pillow when I travel. The problem with feather pillows is that they wear out eventually, and mine did a few months ago. The other problem with feather pillows is they tend to be expensive, and rather hard to find. So when I found an inexpensive feather substitute pillow it seemed the best of both worlds. And it was quite comfy, for a while. Last month I started having night sweats. I'd wake up nightly with my head and neck soaked. I looked up night sweats, but what was happening to me didn't seem to match. Then, during a long night of sporadic dozes it dawned on me. The squishy foam of my feather surrogate was absorbing my body heat until each night, right around 1 or 2 it started to radiate that heat into the back of my head and neck. As soon as I realized what was going on I went to Linens-N-Things. The cheapest feather pillow was $40. Then I went to Target. Ah, that wonderful store. I found a real feather pillow for $20. That was Monday. I have slept beautifully this week. Take my advise, it's worth a few extra shekels to sleep well.
Oh, yeah, Happy 4th of July.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Here's what you need to do if you want to do this mosaic:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.
Here is my mosaic:
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
So the Nablopomo folks are busybodying about the blogosphere and this month's theme from them is food. Mdme. Stinkypaw has taken up the gauntlet, and has challenged those of us who chose to play to use some sort of food theme in the titles of every post this month. So, let the games begin! :-)