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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
 
Driving back from a rehearsal yesterday, I was behind a car that had religious stickers on the back. Now I don't usually have a problem with them. For example, there was one that said "Powered by Jesus", which is fine (although I highly doubt that Jesus is under the hood of the car. That would be a pretty crappy way to use the Messiah. I mean, c'mon, he didn't walk on the water just so he could power your car. Unless Jesus is a hemi engine. Perhaps I missed that part of the Bible that said, "And Mary thence gave birth of a hemi engine").

But there was a sticker next to it that said - and I'm not making this up - "Jesus is Da Bomb". I'm sorry, I'm sure even Jesus would say, "Dude, that is so 1992." You don't see other religions doing that. I've never seen, "Buddha Is My Mack Daddy" or "Allah's Got Da Bling-Bling" or "Satan, Fo Shizzle!" nor have I seen license plate frames that say "My Other Vehicle Is An Out-Of-Body Experience" or "I'd Rather Be On A Self-Guided Quest For Spiritual Enlightenment". Only Christianity.

In other news (what a transition, and relative to the next topic, too. Damn, I'm good!), the only television I watch on a regular basis is the morning news as I'm getting ready for work, mainly to see the traffic report and figure out which way I should go to work (one of the nice things about Southern California is that there are several different freeways to take to get to your destination. So much choice, I sometimes don't know what to do).

So this morning, I was wrapping my tie around my neck, and I was struck by the way the traffic reporter said "fatal accident". It was so matter-of-fact and nonchalant. That's when I realized that the traffic reporters are my favorite of all of the reporters, because they are the least fake and the least manipulative.

Most reporters couldn't give two shits about whether or not someone died. They're surrounded by stories about death every day, and a certain degree of indifference is needed to keep you from breaking down on air every day. However, with the mention of death, the reporters switch to more somber tones, expressing their concise and short-lived grief before going into a story about a dog that can do basic math.

But traffic reporters are different. They only report a death as a way of letting you know to avoid that freeway. It's done with the enthusiasm of a coroner, an indifference that almost borders on disrespect. Like all of the other reporters, they don't care that somebody died, but unlike all of the other reporters, they don't sound like they care.

So hats off to the traffic reporters for keepin' it real.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
 
Okay, imagine this scenario:

Let's say that you're auditioning for a show. Let's say a musical, perhaps written by Stephen Sondheim, possibly about Presidential assassins. And let's say that you originally auditioned with one specific role in mind, perhaps the guy who killed President Garfield (a role that, let's just say, you played before in another production), but you said that you would take any role. Now let's say that, hypothetically, you were cast in the ensemble of the show, and someone else got the role.

Now, obviously, the first instinct you'd have would be to scrutinize this other guy's performance, and to think about how much better you would be in the role. Please do NOT do this!!! Instead, try focusing on how to make your role in the show the best that it can possibly be. Reflecting on what might have been will get you nowhere, and will only distract you from what you should really be doing, which is working on your lines/blocking/songs. Obviously, the director felt that this ther guy would better fit the role than you would (and let's also say that perhaps she was right in this decision). You need to get over this fact. And if that is something that you don't think you can accept, then you shouldn't say that you will take any role at the auditions.

Oh, and if, hypothetically, you decide to give in to temptation and complain about the other guy's performance, please do so to yourself and not to another cast member (like, for instance, someone who might be playing Franklin Roosevelt's would-be assassin). There are three reasons for this:

1). He most likely does not want to hear about how your performance compared to the other guy's, or how much more work you had to do in your big number than the other guy does.
2). You're going to end up bringing this guy down with your constant complaints, an experience that he might have had before if, hypothetically, he had acted in a popular thriller with you six months prior, a thriller that was perhaps made into a movie starring, oh I don't know, let's say Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve.
3). He might put it as an entry on his online journal, if he just so happened to have one.

Before you complain, take a moment to reflect. Think about how there are children starving, innocent people being slain, and voices that are unfairly silenced all around the world. Then think about the complaint that you're going to unload on this other cast member. Make a decision as to whether or not this cast member really needs to know your problem (also, don't continue to flirt with said cast member when it's obvious that he's straight and obviously uninterested...that is if, hypothetically, you happen to be gay).

Just hypothetically.

Monday, June 28, 2004
 
Yes, I saw "Fahrenheit 9/11". Yes, it's amazing. Yes, everyone should see it. No big news there, although the fact that it was the top-grossing film of the weekend (unheard of for a documentary) and has become in the highest-grossing documentary in only three days is definitely big news. I also saw "The Bicycle Thief" for the first time yesterday, and was very impressed. If you haven't seen it (and you're hankering for a film about Italy's floundering economy after World War II), then I highly recommend it.

So, anyway, last night was the closing night of the Young Playwrights Festival. That's right, folks, it's over. Done. Finito. Not until next April will you have to hear the words Young Playwrights Festival. But I still have one more entry to write about it:

The final week of the YPF was an interesting examination in page-to-stage transfers. The script that I liked the least in this week (Eric Kanner's "Brotherly Love", a short-but-sweet fraternal drama) turned out to have the tightest and most successful production. David Watson's "Castles Made of Sand" was also a good show, although both script and production went a little long. Still, Mr. Watson is only 15 years old, and has an incredible ambition. He's definitely one to look for (he's also a funny guy, and very mature for his age). Another notable name is Adam Westfall Cochran, the 17 year-old musical writer who had a really fun show with "Rise Up". Unfortunately, the production was pretty out of control, with some over-the-top performances and too many wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments. But the audience ate it up like a belgian waffle with strawberry syrup, so what do I know? Mmm...a belgian waffle with strawberry syrup. That sounds really good right now. I'll have to see if the office cafeteria could whip one up for me.

So this past weekend, I recorded some voiceover work for the production of "Assassins" I'm in. (Shameless plug) I always wanted to do voiceover acting, so that was a lot of fun (I had the soundproof booth and everything), but something interesting happened. I always felt that voiceover actors were lacking in sincerity, as if the microphone kept them from getting to the true core of their role (this is, of course, excluding Pixar animated films, which have some of the finest voiceover acting ever). I felt that I could truly bring something to voiceovers, a natural edge. Now while I was reading these lines repeatedly, and getting different directions every time, I noticed that my readings were turning into that exact same type of acting that I was condemning. I don't think it turned out bad, just different from how I would be on stage (or how I really wanted the readings to sound). So now I rescind all disparaging comments made about voiceover actors. You guys are all right with me!

Saturday, June 26, 2004
 
I just came back from the Abbey Awards, an awards show for those people who were exclusively in Westminster Community Theatre shows for the 2003/2004 season. I won an award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for my outstanding, ground-breaking work as Jack in "Into the Woods" (actually, my work was neither outstanding nor ground-breaking, nor did it deserve to win over Justin Bowler's work as Cinderella's Prince).

But when I went up to give my acceptance speech, I wanted to say something unpretentious (because let's face it, awards shows are a pretentious matter, made even more so by speeches from actors). So, here's how it went:

PRESENTER: And the Abbey goes to...(Opening envelope)...Jeremy Gable for "Into the Woods".

(Thunderous applause and cheering and women throwing panties and phone numbers on stage...or not. I walk up, and put on the ceremonial sunglasses that all the winners had to wear, most likely to keep up the tropical theme of the night)

ME: (Regarding sunglasses) The ultimate in fashion. (Smattering of laughs at a joke I've used several times before) Well, they say acting is reacting (See, I'm already off to a bad start here) and if that's the case I had the best people to react off of in Krissy, Karen, Karl, Bonnie, Brad, Britney, Laura and Daniella. (Smattering of laughs at my rapid-fire listing of names) Yeah, I practiced. (More laughs, more panties) And everyone else in the cast who I wasn't on stage with, but had a great time backstage with. (Realizing I'm not saying anything interesting and deciding that now is the perfect time to wind it up) And also to Mark, and Channing, and John, and everyone else on the production, it was a great show. Thank you. (Take off ceremonial sunglasses and walk off, realizing halfway to my seat that I forgot to thank Carrie, our stage manager, and wishing that I had gone with my original idea of just saying "Thank you" and nothing more)

If you go to this site, they should have it posted soon, so that you can see the whole speech for yourself.

And now the award is sitting in front of me, and I feel grateful to have it, and at the same time, I wish that someone else would have won, because the moment I get recognition, I lose all desire to be unpretentious and start getting self-congratulatory. You know what? I'll be grateful. Why not? It's the first award I've won in a very long time, and it will stand very proudly next to my monitor.

Friday, June 25, 2004
 
It's amazing how big of a role music plays in my life. For a long time here at work, they played this horrible muzak at a much-too-loud volume. Now granted I like Gershwin and Sinatra and sometimes even Andrew Lloyd Webber, but when you have some shitty string orchestra led by a conductor who knows nothing about the emotion behind a piece, you're going to ruin whatever song you attempt.

But today, there was a sudden change. Sure, early in the morning, "Music of the Night" was playing (and I had my headphones tuned into Air America Radio to drown it out), but then I suddenly got a call from one of my friends and co-workers (who is probably reading this right now. Hi, Steph!) who said, "They're playing Weezer." I listened and sure enough, "Island in the Sun" was playing. Can it be true? Electric guitars? Vocals? Actual artistic integrity? I kept listening as I heard The White Stripes, and The Ramones, and Doves, and The Donnas. Oh, sweet rapture!

To show you how my life is governed by music, here are some upcoming albums that I can't wait to get:

* "Caroline Or Change" - Original Broadway Recording (Release date: June 29)
* The Fiery Furnaces - "Blueberry Boat" (July 13)
* The Roots - "The Tipping Point" (July 13)
* The Hives - Title TBA (July 20)
* Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One Is One (July 27)
* Joni Mitchell - The Beginning of Survival (July 27)
* Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (Summer)
* The Faint - Wet From Birth (September 14)
* Brian Wilson - SMiLE [release of legendary shelved Beach Boys follow-up to "Pet Sounds"] (September 28)
* Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (September)
* Bjork - Medulla (Fall)
* Elliott Smith - From a Basement On the Hill (Fall)
* Tom Waits - Real Gone (Fall)

See what I mean?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
 
A friend of mine told me last night that my posts make me sound like I'm depressed and that I feel that my life is ending. I'm sorry if I give that impression. I'm actually a very happy man who leads a good life. My mind will sometimes turn to bad thoughts (which makes me human), and rather than keeping them bottled up and letting them fester, I get them out and set them free almost immediately. But just so you know, I'm the happiest I've been in years, and things are continually looking up for me. But I'll always be wanting (which makes me human, or for that matter, any living being).

Anyway, on to the end of the world. Or rather, a movie about the end of the world. Every so often a movie manages to pass under everyone's radar, despite it being a really good film. I watched one last night called, oddly enough, "Last Night". It was written by, directed by and stars Don McKellar (whose "Red Violin" is one of my favorite screenplays of recent years). It's a Canadian film that centers around various people, and what they do six hours before the end of the world (the reason why the world is ending is never explained, but a clue is given in that it's always daylight, even at midnight). The cast (featuring Sarah Polley) is excellent, the directing is assured, and the writing is witty and insightful. Do yourself a favor and rent this one.

Finally, I figured out what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. I'm going to make a time machine, go back to 1920 and start making a living as the fourth most famous silent film comedian (because I don't want to take away the glory of Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd). Then when movies turn to sound in the late '20's and musicals become the hot genre, I'm going to make a transition to being a musical star, so I can star in the rich, elegant MGM musicals of the '30's. Now I just need to figure out how to make a time machine. Where's H.G. Wells when you need him?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
 
Before I go into what I want to talk about, I want to talk about something else, if that makes any sense (I didn't get much sleep last night, so bare with me). I realized that I'm in a neverending quest for symbolism in my life. Tragic events/weird occurrences/random sights will later change from being a memory for me to recollect on to being a plot point that would be GREAT for this one character in this one play of mine. This morning, while I was driving to work - and listening to Matt Dillon narrate to me the tales of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty - I drove by Medieval Times, the themed restaurant (you saw it on "The Cable Guy"...or maybe you didn't). It was dark enough that the sign was lit up, but light enough that it didn't need to be. I looked at the sign and noted that the "die" in "Medieval" was not lit up. Now out of all of the parts of the sign to be burnt out (a sign that will be seen by a man with an overactive imagination, remember), did it have to be "die"? Maybe if I started living for the joy of living, and stopped living just to write good plays, then I'd be fine. Anyway...

Young Playwrights Festival Update: I saw week three last weekend, and it was the best of the weeks (and I predict the best week in the festival). This is the one week where I really liked (or even loved) all three of the shows. Lauren D. Yee's "The Love Cycle" was given a good production (with Dee Wallace Stone, the mom from "E.T."), and was based around a really cool idea (the same dialogue is played out by the same two characters, first as kids goofing off, second as teenagers in a romance, and the third as adults who have fallen apart).

Then there was Tessa Leigh Williams' "Last Stop Downtown", which is one of my favorites. In it, a violent confrontation on a subway is played and replayed, each time revealing more truths, until we realize that there is much more of a spiritual element to the confrontation than previously thought. The production was well done, although the confrontation did not build up its suspense in the most effective way (it was good, but it could have been better). I always imagine the show in my head, and get disappointed when it doesn't measure up.

However...one show that actually exceeded what I imagined was Kit Steinkellner's "Los Angeles Lullaby". It was a beautiful production of a beautiful script. Ms. Steinkellner has an interesting gift. While most writers have a great central idea that they don't know what to do with, Steinkellner takes familiar ideas and writes them with the class, ease and confidence of an old pro. Her characters, their relationships, the dialogue, and the smooth progression of her plots combine in such a way that every time I read or see one of her plays (this is her second time at the Festival), I stop analyzing the writing and just get drawn in to her world. I can't wait to see what she does when she starts getting into more complex, unpredictable plots. Like I said before, she's one to look for in the future. Also, the show benefited from subtle, confident directing by Warren Davis and a really awesome cast, headed by Constance Zimmer and Steven Gilborn.

And in closing, I had my first taste of a Caramel Frappucino today (I'm not a coffee person, but sometimes it's needed), and it was a little taste of heaven.

Monday, June 21, 2004
 
I'm probably not going to say anything profound in the following entry, but I just felt like reflecting on a moment captured. I don't know if anyone else has this, but every so often I have moments where I just stop and reflect at how the various pieces that I have gathered over the years to form what I call "my life" have converged into one singular moment. That moment was this morning. I'm sitting in a cubicle in Orange County, staring out the window at the perfect-for-visiting-the-ocean weather, and my Toyota Echo parked dutifully below. Enough work to fill three-quarters of my day sits in front of me, rows of seven-digit numbers, each representing another person that's going to lose their property for not making their payments, stare at me expectantly (in my own very small way, I help those people lose their property just a little faster. Frank Capra would be proud). My tie has drama masks on it, and my socks have a screaming Jack Skellington from "Nightmare Before Christmas". These two small articles are the only things distinct about my outfit. A half-full (or half-empty, depending on how you look at it) environmentally-dangerous styrofoam cup of environmentally-friendly peppermint tea sits next to me (I just took a hurried gulp of it upon coming to this realization. I don't think tea was made to be hurriedly gulped). On the screen, hiding quietly behind my work is a Notepad application with an unfinished stage play just waiting to be developed. A pair of old uncomfortable headphones are wrapped around my skull, and I listen to Matt Dillon reading me Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" (which is better than the alternative, several keyboards being pounded and horrible muzak or already horrible 70's movie themes). I'd love to go on a road trip similar to the one Mr. Dillon is narrating to me (I was disappointed upon hearing the voice for the first time, because I mistakently thought it was Matt DAMON who was reading it. No matter, Mr. Dillon's delivery is has the perfect deadpan surfer inflection necessary for the work of Kerouac), but I would need to quit my job, which means I wouldn't have money, and come to think of it, I don't even have enough money to begin with to go on a road trip (my sister suggested to me yesterday that I "experience more life if you want to be a writer", to which I could only respond with a remarkably profound and moving "Yeah"). So I continue to drink tea, listen to books on CD/liberal talk radio/whatever CD I bought this week, read/write scripts, and help people lose their homes, meanwhile trying not to pay attention to the attractive smart-looking women in my office, due to one, my social awkwardness, two, possible sexual harrassment suits, and three, my recent vow of celibacy. Ladies and gentlemen, this is my life.

I had a dream that I actually remember (which is not often) and that didn't involve me going to see a movie (which is both frequent and frustrating. I can see a movie any time. Why would I want to see one in my dream?). I went to an audition for some sort of musical something. However, I did not know what it was I was auditioning for, only that I felt I needed to audition for it. I came unprepared and feverishly flipped through the song book in my hands, looking for the perfect audition song. Then a theatre friend of mine from back in my Idaho days went up on stage and started singing "I Still Believe" from "Miss Saigon" (which is a woman's song, but my friend is gay, so it seemed fitting). I then decided to choose "The Last Night of the World", also from "Miss Saigon" as my song (what's with my obssession with "Miss Saigon"? I don't even like the show all that much), and then started worrying about how I was going to hit the high notes, and how I was going to cover for not having a woman to sing the song with. Then, as if to answer me, a guy and a girl suddenly jumped on stage and started singing the other parts of the song with my friend (which in retrospect is weird because it's only a two-girl song with no guys in it, but whatever). So then I realized I could have a partner for my song, but it made me question even more what this audition was about. I woke up before I got to go up on stage, or even find out what the hell I was auditioning for. Dream interpreters, anyone?

Thursday, June 17, 2004
 
I got a couple of e-mails recently. One was about how the Clinton's and Al Gore treated the Secret Service with disrespect while they were in office, but how George W. Bush treated his Secret Service with nothing but the utmost kindness (which of course is the perfect indication of how good of a politician a man will be), and then another talking about how Kerry exaggerated war crimes shortly after his service in Vietnam. So in rebuttal, I post this:

Think that Clinton was a horrible President for lying about sex? Heard that Kerry exaggerated war crimes after his service in Vietnam? Well, how do those measure up when compared to these following lies?:

* Dick Cheney recently stated that there was irrefutable evidence that Saddam Hussein had "long-established ties" with Osama Bin Laden's terrorist organization al-Qaida, which is the reason that we're in Iraq. No less than two days later, the 9/11 Commission, after months of research, concluded that the only connection between Hussein and Al-Qaida was a brief meeting in 1994 in which Bin Laden asked for training camps in Iraq and Hussein never responded. That is hardly a long-established tie, and makes one question our purpose there.

* President Bush recently declared that Afghanistan was the "first victory in the war on terror". And a couple of days later, Al Jazeera showed recent footage of brand spanking new Al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan. How can you win a war against terrorists in Afghanistan when there are still terrorists in Afghanistan?

* Perhaps the most amazing lie of the Bush Administration is when they say that they had no prior knowledge that 9/11 was going to happen, and especially when Condoleeza Rice said that she had no knowledge of hijacking planes and using them as weapons. Al-Qaida actually tried to carry out their plan in 1995, when it was called "Operation Bojinka". They planned to hijack planes from eastern Asian airports and fly them into U.S. targets. Fortunately, a dry run from Tokyo to the Phillipines was overthrown by Phillipine authorities. The U.S. government - particularly its security organizations - knew about Al-Qaida and their plan to hijack planes. Then, in August of 2001, a memo was released in the White House about Osama Bin Laden's plans to attack inside the United States. So they should have known about 9/11, if they didn't to begin with. Oh, and Dr. Rice obviously doesn't know her history if she said she had no knowledge of planes being used as weapons, when famed would-be assassin Samuel Byck planned to kill President Nixon by hijacking an airplane and crashing it into the White House.

* You also have to ask yourself a question concerning 9/11. Around 8:25 a.m. that morning was when the first plane (Flight AA 11) was hijacked, and the plane's transponder stopped working. It was around 10:05 a.m. when the fourth and final plane (Flight UA 93) crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The first military planes didn't get in the air until 10:15 a.m., 10 minutes after the final plane had crashed. Why did it take two hours for our government to get planes up in the air, especially when in 1999 flight control lost contact with pro golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet plane and had jet fighters on him within 10 minutes.

Remember that President Bush is a man who believes that homosexuals do not deserve the same rights as heterosexuals (in a country where supposedly "all men are created equal"). He is a man who holds prisoners in Guatanamo Bay without trial, rights to a lawyer, or even a criminal charge. He is a man who spent the days after 9/11 (when, remember, all airport runways were closed and all flights were cancelled) rounding up the family members of Bin Laden living in the U.S. and flying them to Saudi Arabia. He is a man who actually said, in regards to a joke website making fun of him, "There ought to be limits to freedom".

So as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter how well the President treats his Secret Service. What matters is how well he treats our country and the world, and Bush has managed to betray both several times.


 
So now, I'm a celibate. I am officially taking a vow of celibacy. In a Cliff Notes version, it's my plan to get rid of a lot of unwanted stress and low self-esteem. *The proceeding "pathetic jerk guy" statement is brought to you by Mattel:* If I'm not getting any as it is, I might as well have a decent reason.

Last night, I was visiting a friend of mine, and I was meeting her at her boyfriend's beach house in Newport Beach. Let me repeat that for you...Beach house in Newport Beach! His living room window looks out onto the Pacific Ocean. I live in a one-bedroom in Anaheim that looks out onto the back of a liquor store (no doubt a fine liquor store that sells several quality drinks at reasonable prices, but a liquor store nevertheless). My friend and her guy were late, so I stood on the beach and had what I call a "what-am-I-doing-with-my-life" moment. I found it amazing that I could get the post-college anxieties without having to go to college. Is this something that happens by instinct at 22, like puberty in your early teens? Everyone I know from my high school is getting married and having children. I'm just wandering around my life alone trying to get my "good-for-his-age" plays performed.

But, as I always say to help me feel better, life could be much worse. Every day I see title reports about people who owe the IRS $20,000, have three judgments against them that haven't been paid off, and they've filed for bankruptcy three times in four years. I could definitely be worse off.

Monday, June 14, 2004
 
Yelena Moskovich. Remember that name. Saturday I went to see the second week of the Young Playwrights Festival, and her one-man play "The Sandwich Conscience" was easily the highlight. I have been in love with this script since I first read it a few months ago, but I was afraid they wouldn't be able to get a director and actor who could truly do it justice. Fortunately, they did, and the show was really captivating. I really can't wait to see what her future contributions to the world of theatre.

Another name to look for on the musical front is Max Freedman, who had the musical "Anyone But Me". Max is of the "Producers" school of songwriting, as his songs have an Old Broadway style sound to it with modern themes (the co-opting of black culture, a preoccupation with sex). The songs are really, really funny. He needs to work on making his scripts as original and clever as his songs, but he's only 15, so I think he can get there.

Also, you (and by you I mean the thousands of people who aren't reading this. I still haven't figured out if anybody actually checks these things out or if I'm just showing a David Blaine-caliber self-indulgence) should go to this site and check out the work of Danielle Benson, whose art show I attended after the Festival. Her art hasn't been posted on the site yet, but it will be soon. It's really good work.

Thought for the day: If you're a President, and you recently pass away (I'm not saying a specific President, just any old President who happened to serve two terms between 1980 and 1988), how come your corpse gets a better vacation and sees more sights than most living people get?


Thursday, June 10, 2004
 
SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS:

* My hand is trembling, and I don't know why. I noticed it when I tried taking a drink of water, and it proved more difficult than usual (I'm reminded, as I usually am, of a movie, this one being "Airplane", where Robert Hays has a "drinking problem" in which he accidentally pours water on himself). Why is my hand shaking? I haven't had caffeine today.

* Tonight, at my "Assassins" rehearsal, we're going over my big song for the first time. I'm a little worried, because I'm still having trouble hitting the high notes, and I don't want to sound like crap. So I'm a little nervous. Perhaps that's why my hand is shaking.

* My current favorite lyric (sorry Bliss, you've already heard this) is from Franz Ferdinand, and it goes as follows: "Sometimes these eyes/Forget the face they're peering from/When the face they peer upon/Well, you know/That face as I do/And how in the return of the gaze/She can return you the face/That you are staring from". So true.

* I want to direct a short film of Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" I read it in my Dumb Kids English class senior year, and it stuck with me as being a very filmmable story. Now all I need is a cottage out in the middle of nowhere, a camera with some film, two great actors and a golden jalopy.

* "Last Comic Standing" premiered recently, and I wasn't on the L.A. Rejects footage, which makes me happy. Now I can put that sad, sorry time I tried to be a stand-up comedian to rest. This is a warning to those who want to get into stand-up: Make sure you don't start turning into that person who can't tell a normal story to your friends. When everything you say in real life starts sounding like a routine, get out.

* I had an english muffin, dried cranberries, and a chicken quesadilla, and although I'm full, I still want to eat more. No wonder heart disease runs in the family.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004
 
So this morning I heard speculation that the death of Ronald Reagan might influence the election in the fall. I have something to ask..........WHY??? What does the death of a 93 year-old man who hasn't done anything significant for the past 15 years (yes, I know he was battling with Alzheimer's, and yes, that is horrible, but I'm just stating fact) have to do with the results of this election? Anyone who says "Well, Ronnie died, so the Republicans deserve my vote" shouldn't be registered to vote. If that really is the case, and the passing of an ex-President is going to unfairly tip the scale of the election, then let's get Jimmy Carter on the sacrificial altar. It's only fair, and besides, he's a pushover.

Anyway, the real reason I'm here today (and by here, I mean on my blog, not here in the physical sense, because here in the physical sense is my office, and the reason I'm HERE is because they give me various money's) is to tell you about last night. I went to see "Taxi Driver" at the Bay Theatre in Seal Beach. It's always been one of my favorite movies, and on the big screen, it had a power and insight that I had never experienced before.

De Niro really does give one of cinema's greatest performances (I never noticed until this last viewing that his eyes seem to be on the verge of tears throughout the entire movie), and Jodie Foster and Harvey Keitel were awesome (their dance, normally a slow point for me, became incredibly powerful with Keitel's whispers filling the theatre). Never before have we felt so enamored with a racist sociopath.

Now here's the interesting part. I was a guy, dressed in jeans, sitting alone in a movie theater with a hand to my face watching De Niro's Travis Bickle, who at one point is dressed in jeans, sitting alone in a movie theater with a hand to his face. I realized that I look somewhat Bickle-ish.

And I wasn't the only one. As I'm leaving, I hold the door for a cute girl behind me, and upon seeing me, the smile that she gives is much friendlier than the one she gave me in a similar situation going into the theater. Suddenly, because I have the quiet lone wolf look about me, I became an interesting person, although she probably knew that I didn't hate black people, nor would I try to kill a Presidential candidate.

As I walked down the street, hands in the pockets of my dirty, aging jacket, I wished that I'd had a flask and a crumpled up twenty-dollar bill with me.

 
Please stop obsessing over your ex-boyfriends. Either stop being hung up on them, or get back together with them. But for the sake of other guys around you, please just make up your mind whether you're done with them or not. Having been an ex-boyfriend myself, I can tell you that it's most likely neither of you have changed considerably in the few months since YOU left THEM (which is why I asked my ex-girlfriend to move on when she was, yes, still hung up on me).

Or, if you are going to have "ex-boyfriend issues" (which is a phrase I've heard more than "weapons of mass destruction" or the name Ryan Seacrest), please try to not date other guys. You just end up breaking a lot of hearts.

And that's not to say that guys don't do the same thing - because I'm sure they do - but no guy has ever hurt me by being hung up on his ex-girlfriend.

I'm sorry, was there just an angry rant here? I blame it on the weather...and ex-boyfriends.


Sunday, June 06, 2004
 
Okay, okay, I haven't added anything here in a while. I've been busy. But not busy enough to keep from putting blogs on my MySpace page. So sue me. Anyway, here they are, back-to-back:

ON JUNE 4TH:

Two things I wanted to talk about today:

1). I never thought that a day of the week could be used to describe a mood before I worked in an office. But now I hear it all the time. The dialogue will go as follows:

ME: Hey, Eugene.

EUGENE: Why, hello, Jeremy. How's it hanging?

ME: Pretty good, pretty good. You?

EUGENE: Oh, you know, it's a Tuesday.

ME (Perplexed, but trying to be nice): Uh, true. Very true.

And....scene!

I think that the moods go as follows...

MONDAY: Depressed
TUESDAY: Bored
WEDNESDAY: Complacent
THURSDAY: Hopeful
FRIDAY: Jubilant

I think this is going to be the new fad. People using days of the week for moods. "I am sooo totally Monday today!" "Is everything feeling Friday tonight?" That's my prediction.

2). Today a charity was at my work, accepting donations. I didn't donate because...well, because I'm a cheap, heartless bastard. But if you did donate, they gave you a sticker that stated rather proudly in loud colors and big letters that you gave to their cause. I saw some guy wearing the sticker and I thought that was rather self-indulgent. If you're donating to charity, shouldn't you just donate out of the goodness of your heart and your belief in the charity's purposes? Not so that you can say, "Look at my sticker! I parted with twenty bucks! For I'm a jolly good fellow, that nobody can deny!" Just my thought.


AND ON JUNE 5TH:

So a pretty weird thing happened to me last night. I was at the Young Playwrights Festival last night ("Guilt", the one I was looking forward to seeing, was underrehearsed and came off as somewhat plodding, which was very disappointing. 14 year-old Jessica Juhrend's "Restless Peace" was the highlight of the evening), and afterward they had an opening night party. I'm talking with a friend of mine and a woman who I've only briefly talked to a couple of times, but whose company I still enjoy. And there's a third woman standing next to me, and I suddenly realize that she is Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. Yes, THE Tiffani-Amber Thiessen! Ms. Kelly Kapowski herself! I was surprised because, one, I didn't see her in the audience yet she was at the afterparty and two, because she's Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and she's standing right next to me.

Now here's the part that baffles me. She says a couple of things to the three of us, and then we go back to our conversation, and she turns to another conversation. Ladies and gentlemen, I actually snubbed Tiffani-Amber Thiessen! Kelly Kapowski wanted to talk to us, and I gave her the shaft! It wasn't intentional (and I don't think that she was desperate to talk to us), but it happened. This girl who I adored in the sixth grade (Elizabeth Berkley was too political for me at the time, and Lark Voorhies kept dissing the nerd, which is an instant F in my book...Mr. Belding was pretty hot) I now had no time for.

Of course, the problem is what does one say to Tiffani-Amber Thiessen? I can't use my usual opener of "I love your work", because I really don't. I don't think she's that good of an actress, honestly (I came to this startling realization while watching a live taping of "Good Morning Miami". It's amazing how being a famous person who does fluff will cover up this fact), and I'm sure that "Saved By the Bell" was the last thing that she'd want to be brought up.

Anyway, that's my story. It's always when I go into Hollywood that such things happen. O.C. is far too boring.


Thursday, June 03, 2004
 
So today I am still with job. The meeting was just to inform us that there were going to be some changes within the company. One of those changes we found yesterday was lay-offs. There's nothing like seeing people who have been here just as long or longer than you being erased from the company's memory to make you ponder your future, thinking such thoughts like, "Who the fuck is gonna pay for my Echo if I don't have a job?"

But I survived. It was unusual because a lot of other co-workers around my age got laid off, but I not only survived, but was given more responsibility. So my job is (for now, hopefully) safe. The nice thing about the nature of this business is that I don't have to worry about being stuck in the job. I'll probably get let go before I retire.

For some reason, I just thought of this time back in high school when I was being honored for Student of the Month by some Lion's Club or Kiwanis Club type or organization. It required me to attend a luncheon that they had, and the principal of the school, being a member of the club, offered to drive me. Let me tell you, it was a weird feeling seeing the head of the school, a man dressed in a nice business jacket every day pull up in a beat-up pickup truck. I'm sitting in this orange pick-up with old tapes of Crosby, Still, Nash & Young on the dash in front of me. It was a real wake-up call about the presentation of power and prestige, and the truth behind it.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
 
So today, I am - in a word - nervous. We have a meeting at work today at noon. Now, we have meetings up the yin-yang here (we actually have a yin-yang specially made for work meetings). However, this one has three things that make me pause:

1). It's only listed as a mandatory meeting for the whole department.
2). It's going to be presided over by one of the big bosses here, who normally doesn't preside over our department's meetings.
3). It's only fifteen minutes long, not long enough for anything worth discussing, but long enough for an announcement.

Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist, or one of those office people that keeps count of who was laid off and when, but you can't give me that information and get me thinking "The department's being sacked! Or moved to another office! Or deported to another country! Or executed on national television!" I'm hoping that it's something simple.

I've known about this meeting since Friday, but I've tried not to think about it. Now, I have to face it in the...um...face. I've been thinking about different departments, different companies, different schools, different opportunities. Different everything.

And so...I'm nervous. In four hours, I could have a completely different future. Exciting, no? Believe you me when I tell you that I'll keep you updated.


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