The Interest in a John Hancock

So it occurred to me when John Green’s new novel came out for pre-order today that I share a strange yet trivial fascination with autographs that most people have.

His latest book comes out in almost a year, but I pre-ordered it on Amazon. He promised via the internets to sign every single book that’s pre-ordered (yikes, Nerdfighters will give him carpal tunnel), and I was thinking to myself, “I like books. I like John Green. His book is on sale for $10. I should like it to be autographed.”

And I didn’t know why I should like it to be autographed. So I sat down and noodled it out and came to the conclusion, at least for John, that I liked having a little piece of him to keep with me. The man is just as important to me as the works he produces, so keeping some sort of token of his affection (most people say they love their fans–nobody loves their fans quite like the Greens) that can’t quite match my affection, but it can get pretty close.

I have a number of autographs. As mentioned before, I’m a patron of Dragon*Con. I go to see the famous people. Not to gawk or to take their pictures, but just to listen to them. There are two kinds of celebrities who attend conventions–ones who make connections and ones who make money. I like to think that I have only made the conscious effort to meet the ones who like to make connections. Those are the nerdy ones. The ones who would probably line up to see Carrie Fisher right with me. I like to have tokens of our mutual affection, and I suppose the easiest way is to have them sign something. It’s an easy enough memento.

Most of my autographs come with nice little stories.

Nathan Fillion was completely adorable. I couldn’t think of anything non-foot-in-mouth to say, but for a moment, I had his attention and he knew my name and he smiled at me and thanked me. And I don’t know why that’s important to the grand scheme of things, but it was important to me. How often do you actually have the courage to walk up to somebody you admire and tell them just that? How often do you get to hear them thank you? I’m too socially inept to do this to people I encounter on a regular basis anyway. So once a year I get up the balls to talk to famous people.

I did get to make a joke to Alan Tudyk. I don’t remember what it was. I remember it was really really stupid and he laughed anyway but all I wanted to do was headdesk because I was saying something stupid. I appreciated the laughter, genuine or no. It’s such a strange situation to be in, queuing up just to talk to another human being. The ones who put you at ease, who try not to work it as an assembly line, those are the ones worth looking for.

I was so flustered to meet Alan Ruck–who I discovered just as I discovered my love of theatre, and my mom had tickets to see him in the Producers and she went without me and I was so upset that she got to see him and I didn’t that I always wanted to see him–that I knocked like half the photos off the table he was at. Luckily it was just Taylor and I and we weren’t holding anybody up. But I scrambled to pick everything up and I was apologizing profusely and he was like, “Dude, it’s okay, chill,” and he bent down to help me even though the D*C person was like, “Stop touching stuff.” And then he asked me if I wanted my picture with him, and I was like, “Uh yes please” because 1) pictures in the Walk of Fame were expressly forbidden and 2) you had to pay extra to get a picture with someone and he was offering me a free one. So that was nice. He was so good-natured, it made me feel like my admiration for him was justified.

I don’t remember much of meeting Sean Maher, and I remember telling Matthew Lewis to feel better because he had mentioned in a panel earlier that day that he felt horribly sick but wouldn’t miss out on meeting his fans, and James Marsters told me about how happy he was to go to conventions because he fully believed in “letting your freak flag fly.”

My dad used to live in Greensboro, NC for a bit–I was not at all in favor of his move, but the silver lining to that was that Orson Scott Card (writer of the excellent Ender’s Game/Shadow series, and probably other stuff, but that’s all I’ve been able to get into) also lived there and he always did signings in local bookstores. So when “Empire” came out (I… haven’t read it. Still. It’s been like 5 years.) my dad got his autograph and talked to OSC about me. Which seemed crazy. They just had this whole dialogue about me. Dad mistakenly told him I wanted to be a writer for a living (egh) so OSC probably gave him sage advice to pass onto me, which I either never received or for the life of me can’t remember. OSC wrote, “Welcome to my nightmare” above his signature. Either it was a meaningful dedication to the nightmarish profession that is professional authoring, or it had significance to the plot of the book. I like to think of it as the former. It’s funnier that way.

Not too long after that, OSC came out with a mini-book, a Christmas-themed short taking place in the Enderverse. So again I dutifully sent my dad his way come book signing time, but this time with a special request–to get two copies, one for me and the other for my very favorite teacher from all of the public schools in all of the worlds, my 9th grade lit teacher. Doc had introduced me to the Ender series, taught me how to write like a college student even though I was a freshman (I write better than I do on this blog, I promise, I work in my university’s writing center and everything), and did all sorts of other inspiring work that was difficult as hell.

He was the kind of guy that was outwardly curmudgeonly (I had him the first year that House was on, and I swear to Joss Whedon, David Shore must know Doc, because they’re kind of photocopies) and walked around being cool and insulting and difficult as hell, but at the end of the day, he’d write you kick ass rec letters and the most inspiring and nearly cry-inducing, ego-boosting yearbook messages, and you hated his classes while you took them and only after you finished them did you actually appreciate how amazing and beneficial the whole thing was. We even wrote our final papers for him based off Dead Poets Society and just as the bell rang, my class got up on our wobbly round tables (very dangerous, I might had) and Oh Captain, My Captain’d him. For which he yelled at us to get down, but you could see that he was kind of affected. He was smiling.

So anyway I got him an autographed copy of this little book and gave it to him, making him the first teacher I ever gave a present to (I have since only given presents to two other professors in college who have literally changed my life, as I’ve always felt that presents were kind of crossing a weird professional line, but I don’t really care about that for these three people). And he appreciated it. And I hope he still has it. It’s been about 4 years. I don’t know. But I told my dad to tell OSC about Doc and how amazing he was, which hopefully Dad did do, so while Dad’s getting an autograph, both the signer and the signee are feeling some sort of appreciation for each other–a physical token of affection.

At Braves games, the club auctions off autographed things for charity, which we always try to get one thing about once a year. Unfortunately, as soon as we seem to win someone’s autograph, they get traded or they retire or whatever. The only hold out is Brian McCann, which we got the first year he played. We don’t dare try for a Chipper Jones. In this particular year, 2004 or so, my favorite player was Marcus Giles. So I urged Mom to bid for a signed hat. We bid quite often, but we rarely win. This particular one we did, and I was so incredibly pumped, but by the time we made it to the place where we could pick the hat up, the kiosk was shut down. Color me devastated. So Mom had to go through this whole phone tag thing with the Braves charity organization–she wanted to donate something and she might as well get a token from one of our favorites. It was this ridiculous comedy of errors trying to get the thing to us, but they didn’t end up being able to mail it, so we just decided to go to another game and schedule a time to pick it up. So Mom goes to the thing and makes the swap and she shows me the hat once before stuffing it in the plastic bag it came in and wouldn’t let me look into the plastic bag, and I thought that was particularly odd, but I forgot about it within like 20 minutes.

Fastforward six months to December. I’ve pretty much completely forgotten all about the bag thing. And I unwrap my Christmas present–a square shaped item. It’s an autographed baseball from Marcus Giles. Mom says, “This present has a story to it.” The guy who my mom was dealing with in the charity organization (this whole thing took like a month to sort out, mind) was telling this crazy comedy of errors story to Marcus himself about this mom who just wanted to get the hat to her daughter. I honestly would have told her to forget all about the hat if I had known how much trouble she had to go through. And Marcus, upon hearing this story, grabs a baseball and signs it for me, hands it to the guy and tells him he should give it to us with the hat as a token of appreciation for her diligence in trying to secure his autograph and only wanting to do so if it meant she could donate to their charity. So that day at the park, Mom had to hide the ball because she knew she wanted to present it at this time. And I unwrapped it and listened to the story and kind of cried a little because it was just a tiny act of kindness that made the world a bit of a brighter place.

So I don’t know what the deal is with autographs. There are some people who just collect them, probably intending on selling them or just wearing them as badges of experience. Been there, met them, did that. I’m just too hopelessly nostalgic and too obsessed with stories to let these photos written on with Sharpies by other human beings who may not be wholly important to people 500 years from now. They’re important to me now. They’re stories for me now. They’re little mementos from times I got to meet people who are instrumental to who I am and what I have become.

We’re a celebrity culture now, I guess, which isn’t all that bad as everybody cracks it up to be. These people are my 21st Century equivalent of getting to meet Shakespeare in his time. Would people know his works would stand the test of time? Certainly not. Did they think that would ever be a possibility? Hell no. Am I saying that Nathan Fillion is as important as William Shakespeare? Kind of. Deal with it.

Philosophical Wax from a Shipping Employee

So I work at a shipping store. And I don’t get the world’s greatest treatment from my customers or my superior. But right now, that’s immaterial.

I like my job. Or maybe I like the idea of my job.

There are probably a number of people who consider my job non-essential. I often count myself one of them. Nobody’s ever going to force you to ship something. There are about 7 different options to deliver something from Point A to Point B. I recognize that. The non-essential nature of my job [I say this in a very grand scale way, at the very end of time, are people going to look back and say, “Thank Joss we had shipping stores?”] is quite often why people complain about our prices. I can dig it. Shipping is expensive. But I challenge you to drive to California on only $14. Please do. Robert Downey Jr. couldn’t do it with or without Zach Galifianakis.

Maybe what excites me most is the fact that I get to use my imagination.

You have no. idea. the kinds of things people ship. It’s insane.

You get the regular business people who send businessy things. You get the regular online shoppers who won’t learn that home shopping network deals are too good to be true. You get the embarrassed guys who return Victoria’s Secret items for their ladyfriends (They actually disguise their company as VSM on the label, probably for the purpose of discretion. You can’t fool me).

Then you get people who send two foot by three foot tin sculpture of a flying pig. And people who send a package of bread rolls–just like regular grocery store bread rolls. People who send awards and photographs and newspaper clippings.

Point is, there’s a story in each of these items. For these particular examples, I know them.

A couple in Wisconsin purchased the pig online through someone’s Etsy store or antiques’n’things store or whatevs. This thing, it was HUGE. And kind of creepy. It was a little bit like a ‘found things’ sculpture. It was whimsical. And it took forever to package. I don’t know what the Wisconsinites were planning to do with it, but I secretly wish they would call me and let me know.

The bread roll lady was funny. Every year her whole family gathers up north for a big family Thanksgiving, and that year, she couldn’t make it. She would always be responsible for bringing the bread to dinner (that would probably be my contribution if my family ever did this…), so she was shipping a package of rolls she got from the grocery store next door just so her family would have a little piece of her at dinner.

Now I’m just getting sappy.

The point is.

Is there a point?

I think so. I get an insight into what people are like and what other people think other people would like. And that’s nice. I suppose I could just as easily ask people to tell me about themselves. But I like to involve my imagination. Besides. Fiction is always a little more fun than reality.

Ogle[tos]

I am still in the peak of my [title of show] related obsession. It’s all I think about. It would be all I talk about, but people get irritated about that. I’m just freaking out gearing up to the best weekend of my life (since Dragon*Con 2010).

And now this week, a bomb of happiness has been dropped on my life. And literally the first thought that popped into my head–Air Freshner Vampires be damned–was–

“HOLY FUCKING SHIT!”

And exactly what could elicit such an expletive-infused reaction?

The very acknowledge of our little show’s existence by the original [tos]sers themselves. Don’t believe me?

We go up this weekend, and I am going nuts with the anticipation for what appears to be almost everybody I know and love in the general area (and not in the general area, being that my brother is taking the eight hour drive up here, and I love him even more) is all sorts of excited to find out exactly where the hell I’ve been for the last month.

Is it wrong that I’m sort of relieved we’re so far away from New York that they can’t just pop in on us to see what we’ve done to their show? [Hunter’s from Atlanta at one point, as our Hunter pointed out to me, and that’s scary]

Don’t mistake that for doubting our awesome. Trust me. We’re awesome. The show is awesome. Our crew is awesome. Our performances are going to be awesome. The show easily lends itself such workable and likeable people, we can just slip into them so freaking easy, taking all of our quirks and blending them in with the [tos] quirks. This show is the closest I’ve ever come to believing in blessings. I struggle to think of a time when I’ve been so consistently happy in the last decade.

Also? Can I just say that this show seems to be inadvertently made for the purpose of adding Star Wars jokes? I’m not even joking a little. We’ve spent the last week or so making nonstop Star Wars/[tos] hybrid jokes (not to mention having a continual musical review with our amazing AMAZING Larry the pianist–if he wrote a blog telling all of the crazy stories from his life, it may be the most read blog in the world, totes to the post-it notes).

I dream a dream of a one-time performance of our Star Wars-themed improv [title of show] show. It would be the most amazingly nerdy thing to ever happen at this school ever. And we’re a really flipping nerdy school, like no joke you guys srsly.

Care for some highlights? [that won’t make sense unless you’re a [tos]ser already].

“This isn’t the musical you’re looking for. Move along.” [a potential title of show]

“I’m going to go on YouTube and announce that I want a golden taun-taun!”

“Heidi and I did that training montage in Dagobah together.”
“SHUT IT. Y’all were in Dagobah together. Tell me a wacky, Dagobian anecdote.”
“Uh, hm. I don’t know…”
“Did you go through a Dark Side infused tree stump and slay your inner-demons?”
“No… but that would have been wacky!”
“That would have been emotionally scarring, Heidi. Scarring.”

“Oh My God, this is it. Here we go into the Sarlac pit.”

“What if my fear turned to anger? / What if my fear lead me to the dark side? / Obi-wan! Would that change the way you saw your Padawan, / now he’s a Sith and he needs you!”

“I’m just a diplomatic emissary! I don’t know squiddle about Dantooine!”

YES THAT JUST HAPPENED.

This Post Is So [title of show]

Well, I haven’t written anything since a month (and to be fair, I’m cheating with the bad SH fanfic, which I definitely wrote in November) I figure I’ll give the internets an update on the awesomeness/business that has been my life the last month or so.

Awesome List of Awesome Things that Happened in Awesome December:

  1. I finished my fifth semester at college–straight A’s, what!
  2. I made lots o’ the money in my job. Approximately 50 hours a week running around my store and getting verbally bitch slapped by customers in a Christmas rush was WORTH.IT. Cause I like the moneys. Call me crazy.
  3. I got a camcorder for Christmas and I am continually beating myself up every time I think starting up a vlog again is a good idea. It’s bad enough I’ve got this sort of stuff in writing. You shouldn’t have to see my face.
  4. I spent at least four hours of my life in the craziest set of auditions in my life (you’d think it was American Idol or something nuts, the amount of singing I did…) which was worth it because…
  5. I GOT CAST IN A PLAY. It’s called [title of show] and all you current [tos]sers who know what’s what can skip down a bit, because I’m going to spend some time gushing.

Okay. So. [title of show] is the little meta-musical that could. It’s intensely difficult–for me at least, as I’ve noticed lately–to describe the show’s premise in 40 coherent words or less (other than to say, “THIS SHOW FUCKING ROCKS!”) so I would direct you to it’s Wikipedia page. [tos] is a fan-farking-tastic show that promises to be a fan-farking-tastic amount of fun (once we start rehearsals next week).

Oh and I’m playing Susan. Who is the perfect character for me. We like the quirks. We have the crippling stage fright and the insecurities. We’re intimidated by our fellow ama-za-zing cast members. We’re both so very hilarious (ah ha, ah hahaha). And we both enjoy singing about killing vampires (hello, Once More with Feeling)!

Let’s consider the weirdness of what it’ll be like for the four of us playing The Four. So the show is about four people trying to create a musical about four people trying to create a musical about four people trying to create a musical… yada. Not unlike a biography (the events in the show are true except for the parts that aren’t), these people are real. Real people playing themselves–some version of themselves?–and now we’re real people playing real people playing themselves… Then you’re left with the element of truth. If the show is supposed to be about real people, do I try my best to become the real Susan Blackwell, or am I to be a sort of me/her hybrid that touches closer to reality because it’ll be based on what I know?

I don’t know if I’m explaining this coherently. You see the headaches this show gives me?

They say that it’s not a good idea to watch other performances of the same character when you’re developing your own character. Honestly, I’ve never had a big enough part in anything to worry about that anyway. But Susan’s real. I have a cast recording. I’ve seen the [title of show] shows. Do I keep her inflections? Do I sing the way she does? Can I even keep up with her? Will it be embarrassing if I try? Am I thinking about this too hard and too much before rehearsals have even started?

YES to that last one. Also I’m having weekly dreams–often 2-3 times a week–about working on [title of show], more specifically failing on [title of show]. I’ve never been this nervous in my life. I’ve never had this much theatrical responsibility in my life. It’s almost as if… they expect me to do stuff that can pass as good theatre. WHAT’LL I DO? I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! (die vampire die!)

This is what you get when you hand a total amateur a script this mind-bogglingly a month in advance without talking to me about expectations. I mean, the door swings both ways and I could just as easily email my director with my questions. But that would involve effort.

It would also involve admitting that I don’t know everything.

That would be just plain wrong, wouldn’t it?


[oh ps. I am totes to the post-it notes listening to the Doctor Who series 5 soundtrack right this minute and I am just in love with it. Isn’t it freaking brilliant? Thank you, Murray Gold.]

Family History in a Box

Earlier this week, my  uncle died and my mom was unfortunate enough to make that unwanted trip to her brother’s house to empty/clean it. While I am upset over the events, yada, the trip ultimately had some awesome attached to it in that my mom was able to recover lots of old stuff from her family, and I just love looking at old stuff, so this was kind of like silver lining.

(I’m not trying to sound insensitive about death, because honestly, death sucks, but nobody wants to be dragged down by reading a blog full of anguish and all that, so I’m going to keep the tone light.)

Mom has this giant box filled with stuff that she hasn’t seen in years, and she literally lights up at the opportunity to pass along the history that had been passed along to her. My uncle was a horrible horder; even though both of my grandparents had died, he still lived in their house and would never let us have any of their things. So she had piles of pictures and scrapbooks and autographs and such, and everything was just sort of overwhelming.

My mom’s side of the family has a rich military history. Like super-duper military. My grandmother’s uncle was General George Patton. My grandfather was a sailor in the Navy during WWII and a detective. My other uncle served as a Marine in Vietnam–we have a ton of pictures of Vietnam and mom has some really bad Platoon type stories about his time there. My great uncle earned a Purple Heart after his submarine was torpedoed in WWII and we have a signed certificate from Franklin-freaking-Roosevelt commending him. And these are only the people my mom has pictures of, but there were many more veterans. It’s pretty legit.

I’m not a “Woo hoo I heart War” type person (you can support a soldier without supporting a war), but I recognize the significance of these things. I acknowledge the history. And even though I generally detest the school learning of history, I love tangible history. I want to hold history in my hands, see it with my own eyes, and know its impact on me. I appreciate museums not textbooks.

The most important thing anyone should know about my mom is that she’s a storyteller. She loves to tell me everything from stories about her childhood to TV shows she just watched to magazine articles she’s read. Sometimes I watch things on TV that I know I’ve never seen, and I’ll think, why is this so familiar? It’s because my mom told me she watched it the other day, and then told me the entire story, thus rendering my need to watch it irrelevant. She loves telling and I love listening.

So as I said earlier, my grandfather was a detective. My mom grew up in Flint, Michigan (the subject of Michael Moore’s Roger and Me, the only film of his I’ve been able to finish), and my grandfather served from 1950 to the mid-sixties, retiring, I believe, just around the Detroit Race Riots. We’re looking through pictures and newspaper clippings, and mom’s telling away all of the stories she can remember being told by grandpa years later. And I’m thinking, yeah he’s a police officer, but it’s the fifties, how bad can it be?

It was bad. So so bad. It might sound pretty standard now, but it was pretty bad then.

My grandfather was the kind of guy who was in the newspaper a lot. He stopped a number of robberies, got kidnapped for 1o hours, had guns pointed to his head, and had his back broken by a robber and still managed to arrest the guy. He did some Secret Service support in Detroit for a visiting JFK and later VP Nixon–both of whom wrote him very nice letters thanking him for his excellent service. Case in point: My grandpa was a badass.

And I have never known him to be a badass. My grandpa was the kind of guy who caught an absurd amount of fish (75 in one day–made the local paper) and played the harmonica. He played cowboys with my brother and dyed eggs on Easter. He posed for pictures eating a sugar Christmas cookie with a silly face and bought Easy Bake Ovens. He had military tattoos on his arm, but he never talked about them. He was just a regular grandpa.

My mom, like me, is the youngest of four–though she is the child of both of my grandparents’ second marriages. I only ever knew my grandpa when he were pretty old and subdued–a wild young life full of crime fighting and honorable stuff. I love knowing this side. This is how my mom remembered him. She walked me through the clippings, cursing at his kidnappers or the man who broke his back, and she rarely curses.

I am so glad to know this stuff. I fear that family history is slowly lost to this generation of people always looking forward, refusing to acknowledge what has been. I probably sound like a bitter old man, but it’s true. My sister could probably care less about this kind of stuff. She won’t understand the significance of the Purple Heart or how many lives my grandpa saved (and how much grief he got from grandma) by putting his life on the line.

I’m not sure where this post was supposed to go–I was just too excited about all of this awesome stuff that I had to get out and tell someone–but I guess it’s kind of like a Veteran’s Day post. I am proud of all my grandpa has done and all that my grandma’s family has done without regard of the personal consequences. My history comes alive in their stories and their keepsakes, and that’s something I want to share with others and something that I hope will never go.

 

(also: My uncle had acquired a good deal of autographs, which I love looking at; the highlights of which are Dolly Parton, Tom Selleck, Tom Selleck’s mustache, Mark Harmon,Tony Danza, Hulk Hogan, the Captain and Tenielle, Gary Lewis, and Mark Farner, among others. Super cool.)

I Had Hot Chocolate This Morning.

So that means I’m going to post a blog post… post a blog post. Post a blog? Post on my blog? Write a post for my blog?

Whatever. I’m excited not only about the hot chocolate, but what that represents. So this post is coming to you in three parts.

Part the First:

The literal hot chocolate. I got some from the gas station just next to the Hellmouth (that is, my work place), which I would usually consider a cop-out because I can just make my own and if you can get like 12 packets of hot chocolate for $3.99, it seems almost ridiculous to pay $0.99 for one cup, but I was unfortunately out of hot chocolate mix this morning and then tried to use chocolate milk mix with warm water, but the end result was sort of like really weak tea, which is odd, considering tea shouldn’t taste like chocolate.

(Have I mentioned lately that I’m an English major and a tutor at my university’s writing center? Doesn’t matter. William Faulkner made a career out of run-on sentences, did he not?)

So, I had hot chocolate because I can’t stand coffee or tea and I’m sick and I legitimately think it helped. It’s like the Power of Positive Thinking–which is, in fact, bullshit–but for colds. I think, “This hot chocolate will make me feel better when I drink it.” And poof! The medicine that I took earlier this morning kicks in just as I’m gulping down my sweet, sugary nectar of the Gods.

The drinking of warm(ish) liquids also somewhat functions as a harbinger to colder weather. And I would say this is my case, but at the moment, Georgia doesn’t know where the hell it is. The whole of October has gone from jacket-and-scarf weather (fave) one day to tank-and-shorts weather the next. Consistency, weather, that is all I beg of you. Pick one and stick to it.

Part the Second:

Hot chocolate is a prop in a ten-minute play I wrote earlier this year that I have since entered into my school’s One Act Play Festival, and has been chosen. Two, in fact, have been chosen, though the other doesn’t feature hot chocolate.

The One Act Play Festival often becomes my reason for living in October. I love every part of it. It is student-run, written, directed, and acted. No faculties about it. It has yielded some really interesting and some really awful theatre. But this year, it’s different. Because I’m like 99.9% certain all of it is going to be epic. And not just because two of my plays are being performed.

On the subject of playwriting, I say this. I don’t know that I will ever get used to (or even want to get used to) being surprised that my brain’s thoughts are onstage. My imagination is coming to life in wonderful technicolor and eye-popping 3D, but with a stunningly low budget (eat my dust, James Cameron). And I always get worried during read-throughs that people just won’t get it, you know? I write comedy–or… try to–and I have a fairly particular sense of humor. I prefer smirk-comedy to “lol”-comedy. I used to dream one day of being Tom Stoppard… or, as equally unlikely, Aaron Sorkin. Or Joss Whedon.

Anyway.

My brain onstage! Even if I’m writing about something absolutely the farthest away from anything I’ve ever done, said, or experienced, everything still seems so personal. I am giving part of who I am to a director and three/four actors and letting them use it as a playground. What I think is so obviously said one way can be interpreted in another. Sometimes I have trouble accepting that my work can be done in a billion different ways. Sometimes I want to run up onto the stage and shout, “NO NO NO! FASTER YOU MUST SAY IT FASTER!” That’s not my place.

Sometimes it’s best to let somebody say, “Wingadrium Levio-sar” and not “Wingardium Levi-o-sa”.

Part the Third:

But my playwright’s attention span usually lasts about ten pages (this is why ten-minute play festivals are where it’s at) so I would prefer to be a dramaturg. This next bit is my second reason for living–for the Oct/Nov. period.

I am dramaturg’n it up in the production of Thomas Middleton’s Women Beware Women at school, updating it to a Napoleonic Era tragedy. So basic responsibilities include general research on the original play’s setting and the new setting, on costuming, on morality, on literary criticism, on textual meaning, and so on. I have… probably around 100 pages of stuff to read before next week, summarize it all into a nice neat packet of stuff, and set this packet free on my actors.

I. Love. Thomas. Middleton. I also love Women Beware, so really this is like an all around win. It is my hope not to get too boggled down and try to do more than I’m supposed to. I have this strange feeling that when I walk into rehearsals next week, my director is going to laugh at exactly how prepared I’ll be. I’m aiming to be a walking encyclopedia of all things Women Beware Women.  It’s such a great show, full of intrigue and incest, immorality and immaturity. And Middleton is such a great playwright–he has a rich history as a victim of censorship, so you know he’s gotta be at least a little bit good. Some scholarly scholars of scholarship refer to him as second only to Shakespeare, so stick that in your pipe but don’t smoke it ’cause smokin’s bad for ya. Gives ya cancer.

You see what I did there? I started with a seemingly innocent post about  hot chocolate and then hit you with some major 17th Century drama. What a blog ninja.

Anyway, for vids of One Act Festivals past (and, post-Oct 23, this years’ plays), you can hit up my Youtube page, which, if I have tamed this beast enough, should be somewhere in the doobly-doo on the right.

Introductory Statements of Introduction

Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a writer.

That’s probably a legitimately truthful statement. But nobody can refute me, so there we go. Honestly, yes, I dig the writings. I’ve written a lot of things–things that will never see the light of day (well, the light of somebody’s else’s eyes), things that I should delete off every hard drive it wastes space on. But if there’s only one thing you should know about me, it probably isn’t that I’m immensely nostalgic.

Anyway at some point (high school?) the ‘I’m the best writer there ever was’ bubble got popped. Disillusionment (reality) set in. And I realized I was writing glorified fan fiction. Andbutso then I started making pointed efforts to stop borrowing from my favorite books and finally set in to do some legit work of my own. I’ve started at least three novels, none of which are finished and probably will ever be finished. But really, I don’t write to be published and I don’t write to be read. I write to relieve my frustrations or sate my overactive imagination.

So that’s sort of what I’m doing here. I have no delusions about being read. I’m not even sure I want to be read. The subtitle to all these blogs are ‘Just Another WordPress.com Site,’ and I’ll be damned if that’s not true. Just another in a long line of self-indulgence. But I say, if I spend all of my self-indulgence on an internet blog, maybe I can stop being so self-indulgent in reality!

Blogs are like the eco-friendly versions of diaries, anyway, right? I suppose I’m not really doing anything to save in environment because I have at least 20 notebooks at home that are empty, waiting to be full of more pretentious drivel and anxieties and nonsense.

I love paper. I love notebooks. I love writing with gel ink pens. There is something so comforting about an empty sheet of paper to me. It’s an open challenge. Do something amazing with me. The possibilities are limitless. And I suppose, now, the possibilities are limitless on the internet. This madness is an infinite supply (I hope) of empty pages waiting to be filled with anything and everything. This is, I hope, my outlet for anything and everything.

I’ve been told by professional writers that blogging is a great idea because it gets all the bad writing out. That’s an interesting idea. You just write and write and write and get all the bad writing out so only the good writing remains. I’m not sure if I believe this is true. It might be true. I don’t want to be a writer anymore, so I really don’t need to worry about getting all the bad writing out for any reason other than catharsis.

In any case, if ever I stop writing here, you’ll know I’ve returned to paper–my best and oldest friend.