Be that way WordPress

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So we reap what we sow, or do we sow what we reap? Anyway, on Friday I published a post apologizing for failing to write over the previous days and explaining that I likely would be out of pocket for a couple of days. I was, in fact, on a bus from NYC to Boston in order to do a staged reading of Sam Shepard’s “Curse of the Starving Class” with Academy Award winner Chris Cooper and his lovely wife Marianne Leone (yes, I just dropped those names) oh, yes, and directed by Jim True-Frost (Prez from “THE WIRE”) yes, just dropped that name too. As much as I was trying to post something, the internet or the computer or the bus, or perhaps all of them, were working against me. Efforts were made to post further – upon arriving in Boston I attempted to post and in fact thought I did post from my friend’s apartment in Somerville. Alas, I signed on today, intent on starting a new post and getting back to business, and I see that the post that was posted was merely the title “Mea Culpa.” Huh? WTF?

Mayhap WordPress was punishing me. Maybe my computer is rebelling. Is Mercury in Retrograde? That could be it. I like to blame my mistakes on “Mercury in Retrograde” because, even though I’m not really sure what that means, my guess is that Mercury is in Retrograde about half the year – so the way I see it, stuff is not my fault 50% of the time. I like those odds.

So, I realize this paltry post doesn’t make up for my absence. I know it seems I’m repeating my behavior of ignoring you one day and professing my love and attention the next. I won’t ask for forgiveness. I won’t ask you to give me a second chance. I’ll just try to prove that I can do this. For me. For you. For us.

OK, I’m gonna post this little bit of ridiculousness then start drafting the post I was planning on drafting. Then I have an audition that I’m pretty anxious for, then I’ll be back.

Did you miss me? I did. I mean I missed you, not myself. Hell, I get sick of myself pretty often. Miss myself? That may not be a bad idea.

Be your own damn Valentine!

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I don’t like Valentine’s day, but I’m not going to rant and rage about it.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a day where we encourage people to show their love for each other.  But why can’t that day be every day?  And why does that encouragement come at a huge commercial mark up?  And why does it have to encourage cheap and frilly and shiny balloons and flowers and bears and all that crap?

Yet I said I would not rage.

But doesn’t it just reinforce ridiculous ideas about what love is?  What romance is?  Hell, I don’t know what love is, but if it’s a dozen roses, a box of chocolates and a fancy dinner – I’d prefer to remain unloved.

I’m going to stop myself, you’re welcome.  There is more I’d like to say but let me just say this:  I hope this Valentine’s Day treats you well.  If you want chocolate, I hope you get it.  If you want flowers, I hope you get them.  If you want love, I hope you get it – but the best way to get it, as you know, is to give it, and most importantly to love yourself.  But you knew that.  You knew that love from another person is a great and priceless thing but it can not replace the love you don’t have for yourself.  So love yourself such that you can be loved.  Be your own damned Valentine is what I’m trying to say here.

And read this blog post my talented friend wrote.  It may teach you something:

http://shop.bodyandsoulrestorations.com/blogs/news/2702202-a-valentines-day-history-lesson

The Big Chill

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I was having dinner with one of my best friends last night and our conversation turned towards “THE BIG CHILL.”  More specifically, Joe and I were talking about how much our circle of law school friends resembled the group in The Big Chill.  It was funny, for about a minute until it stopped being funny.  And, for me, it stopped being funny for two reasons:

First, I used to think that the movie was about “old” people.  Yet if they were to do an age-appropriate re-make (as opposed to a “re-imaging” of the movies, which seems to be all the rage in Hollywood now and which I’m pretty sure means “just do it over with a prepubescent cast”) I’d just make the upper limit of the age cut-off.  The second reason that the laughter fled faster than a call-girl at a Charlie Sheen party that has gone wrong –   I realized which Big Chill character I was.

I’m an actor, so you would think I’d be Sam – the actor played by Tom Berenger.  But you would be wrong.  Sam was successful, famous even.  I’m no closer to being the “Sam” then my friend Joe who is a lawyer (I know, he went to law school and actually became a lawyer, how imaginative).  Truth be told, since Joe makes a very decent living, has a lovely girlfriend (who I imagine will soon be his wife) and a son, he is much more of a fully formed adult person and much closer to the part of “Sam” then I am at this stage in my life.  In fact, as I am a single, out-of-work, struggling actor – I don’t resemble Sam at all.  Rather, the Big Chill character I resemble most is Alex.  That’s right, Alex, the screwed up guy who was living for free in his more successful friends’ guest home.  You don’t remember Alex?  That’s expected, Kevin Costner played him in the film – I mean no disrespect to Mr. Costner, Alex is not forgettable because Kevin’s performance was lifeless, Alex was forgettable because he WAS lifeless.  Alex is the guy who kills himself before the movie begins, necessitating the funeral and the following reunion of College friends.

Alex was a troubled guy: somewhat lost and clearly unsuccessful in work, in life, and in love.  Be he did have value -he had great friends and his passing was enough of an event to bring them all together after many years apart.  And my recollection is that all of them were bettered by that coming together, at least in some way.  It seemed that this coming together bought back a spark to their lives that had been lost or at least obscured in adult-hood.  Looking at it that way, Alex was the Christ figure in the film.  Through his death others were given life.  I know, I know, it’s a stretch – but we were drinking wine, red wine and I was trying to put a positive spin on my “I’d be the guy who kills himself in the Big Chill” realization.

So yeah, if my friends and I were to put together a Big Chill remake this year I’d be Jesus but I’m trying hard to be Tom Berringer.

If that isn’t representative of my screwed up priorities, I don’t know what is.

 

It makes me so angry

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“I’ll only make you cry, this is our last goodbye.” – Jeff Buckley, LAST GOODBYE
I don’t go around quoting Jeff Buckley, but I am a fan.  I was sitting down to write out a very quick post – keeping to my “postaday2011” promise – and he came to mind, actually he came to ear, or to be accurate he came to my mind via my ear.  Via my ear canal.  The eary canal perhaps?

I was trying to figure out what I should write, and the bouts of anger I’ve been dealing with as of late spoke up as if to say “write about me you whiny prick.”  For those who know me you may laugh at the “as of late” characterization since I often give the impression of being angry – i.e., the rants.  But over the past few months, I’ve been less angry, I’ve been more even keeled.  You know, taking “deep breaths,” being more relaxed, finding peace – channeling my “inner hippy.”

But the past couple of days the bitch is back.  The anger’s been rising high and hard, like I popped a couple of Vitriol Viagra – and nothing is safe.  Everything has been pissing me off: auditions that I travel to and prepare for that get canceled without notice; my neighbors blaring their music so loud it goes through the fire wall; the landlord who forgets his responsibility to keep the apartment at 68 degrees, and acts like he’s doing me a favor to turn on the fucking heat; the cold; the lack of work; my up and coming 40th birthday; my family; my friends; my blog.  See what I mean?

As I was thinking of my Anger Renaissance, Jeff Buckley’s angelic voice came over my mini-speakers (well only over one speaker really, since the right one seems to have crapped out, on purpose, just to freakin test me) and sang, as if reading my mind, “it makes me so angry, and you know that it does, I’ll only make you cry, this is our last goodbye.”

So that’s really all I was going to write: I was being angry, wondering if I should write about being angry, and Jeff Buckley confessed to me that he was angry as well.  It’s not much of a post, I understand that.  If you want to be angry about it, have a blast, I will not -there are too many other candidates for my choler.  And I have some breathing to do, and some meditation to do, and some “getting the hell over my moody shit and enjoying life” to do.  It’s easy to forget that sometimes things don’t have to be as hard as we make them.  Perspective and attitude are some powerful players.  And to quote the bard “[t]here is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”  – William Shakespeare, HAMLET.

 

Thank you Jeff, we miss you.  You did make us cry, or at least me, but I’m kind of a sap.

 

Confession with my iPhone

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Thanks to the new iPhone app (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/02/07/us-technology-app-confessions-idUKTRE7165U420110207), confession is a much easier process.  Not only does it help me practice confession at home, but I took it with me into the confessional booth and it was very helpful.  Here’s how it went:

Forgive me father for I have sunned.

Oh, sorry, I read that wrong, “Forgive me father for I have sinned,” yeah that makes more sense, I have the text on such a small font on here it’s hard to read it, I think if I just click on this settings … what?  You’re right, I’m sorry I’ll fix that later.  Haha, I’m in confession and I just apologized for my confession.  Does that count?  Do I get like points for that?  Oh, it doesn’t count?  OK.

Yes, I’m reading and it’s … oh, I’m supposed to say this: “its been …. x number of years since my last confession.”  What?  Oh, crap, yeah … let me think … 12.  It’s been 12 years since my last confession.

Why  so long?  Well, the long and short of it is that I lost my faith … my mom passed and I guess … well I just I lost my faith.  Guess where it was?  In a box with my old CD’s … who uses them anymore thanks to iTunes right!?  Thanks Apple … again.  Of course I’m kidding … No father, I did not leave my faith with my CD’s, I was making a joke.  I can tell you don’t think its funny, do to the non-laughter echoing through the confessional screen. Wow tough room … I’m sorry.  Again.  Wow, let me just enter a note here on my App … “humor is a sin.”  OK.  So … what?  Oh nothing.

Crap, OK, it’s not nothing, I just typed “humor is a sin” into my iPhone app.  I shouldn’t lie in confession right?  I know that it’s not really a sin … it’s not listed on the app as a sin … see?  If I pull up the alphabetical list we have, yep, here are the “H’s” there’s heresy, hate … wow, hate’s a sin, OK, I guess I can see that … homosexuality.  What!  Really?  It’s 2011 and this app is telling me -“homosexuality is a sin.”   Excuse me father … it is a sin?!  You are really telling me that?  That’s your position, oh that’s the Church’s position?

Allow me to retort – that is horse shit.  Oh that’s offensive?  You find my saying your position on homosexuality is HORSE SHIT offensive?  Horse shit is a noun, it’s an object, it’s an actual thing, it comes from horses and according to your teachings, in spite of SCIENCE, God made horses and horses make horse shit and thus God made horse shit so ipso facto: not a sin.  Fair enough?

“What the hell am I doing?” you ask.  I am having a discussion with you.  No I’m not “ranting.”  Why is it a sin to rant?  It is?  OK, no, then this isn’t a rant, what I’m doing is comparing your ignorant allegation – “homosexuality is a sin,” to horse excrement.  It makes sense …stick with me here … wait, no don’t go, wait, WAIT!  If I spent years listening to your whole “we are actually transforming this host into the body of Christ and this wine into the blood of Christ and you are going to eat and drink this and it’s not symbolic and no you are neither cannibals nor vampires” then you can listen to this little rant.  OK?  (notice I didn’t even bring up the whole “virgin” issue, you’re welcome).  So here it is, allow me to explain why your “homosexuality is a sin” claim is horse shit.

Shit is the waste product your body doesn’t need.  We eat, our body takes out all the vitamins and minerals and deliciousness it needs and what is left over is the waste which is pooped out.  That’s shit.  We don’t need it.  It get’s ejected.  We show it the door, the back door actually.  And your “homosexuality is a sin” yeah, that’s excrement.  It’s all the hate and fear and lack of compassion and judgment that our bodies can’t use for anything productive.  So it comes out.  As shit.  It’s ugly, it’s unpleasant and it stinks.  To heaven.

“Why Horse shit?”  Good question.  In my opinion, anyone who allows the phrase “homosexuality is a sin” to come out of their mouth is a horse’s ass.  So, horse shit.  TA -DAA!!!

I know I probably mixed some metaphors and I’m taking leaps and I’m getting off track but those aren’t sins are they?  Well, not according to my iPhone app … wait, look at that “mixing metaphors” is a sin.  Did not know that.Wow.  So is “insulting a priest,” let me mark that off and “questioning the Church” wow that’s a real big one, it’s in all caps and it has a star next to it … kind of looks like the star of David that’s ironic isn’t it?  Oh no, it looks more like a Pentagram … I’m kidding.  Kind of.

I’m sorry, father, I came here to confess not to get into a whole diatribe about the Church’s stand on homosexuality.  Let’s just move on.  Right.  Let’s end this debate before it grows into a fully fledged fight here.  Let’s just abort that thing before it gets too … ooh let’s look up abortion I bet that’s a big one on here, I’ll just scroll up to the “A’s” and … CRAP!  My iPhone just locked up … hold on a second.  I hate it when it does this.  Totally froze up, just when I tried to .. GOD I HATE THIS PHONE … you see those commercials where people are just breezing through those apps while some hip and catchy music plays in the background and all the while their nimble little fingers jump around from Google Maps to YELP to making a phone call to texting as gracefully as little ballerinas and all in a matter of seconds, milliseconds.  Do you know how long that actually takes?  Neither do I, BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENS.  My iPhone locks up all the time, much like it’s doing now and sometimes I just want to break this stupid freaking … OH, there it goes.  Back to normal.

Oh, it’s giving me my penance.  Wow, it beat you to the punch father, here it is:  my iPhone is telling me that my penance is to “burn in eternal hellfire.”  Ha.  Wow.  OK then.  Thanks.  Looks like I’m heading back to Los Angeles.

When is enough, enough?

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Entertainment Tonight.  Extra.  TMZ.  E! Television.

How many television “news” programs do we need dedicated to the inauthentic?  I don’t mean to offend, ok perhaps I do a little.  I love film and television as much as the next guy – or perhaps a bit more than the average bear since I’ve dedicated my life to pursue a career as an actor – but how many shows do we need to focus on Angelina Jolie‘s dress or marriage?  How is that relevant to anyone but Angelina Jolie, her dress-maker and her family?  Why do we need to know about this?  I’m certain if there was some lesson to learn, some great truth to mine from the inner working of the stunning Miss Jolie’s private life, we’d be better off hearing it from her, in a manner and forum of her own choosing, and not from the mouth of Billy Freaking Bush.

Last night as I was attempting to do some work, my roommate was unwinding with a bit of television.  Try as I might to avoid being distracted, it was a fruitless effort.  For nearly two hours, spanning four different shows, I hear report after report about which Super Bowl Commercial people liked best.  Who cares?  Clearly enough people care such that all of the entertainment “news” shows have to run stories on them.  Not only the fake news shows, but the “real” news shows – and I say “real” in quotations because, let’s be honest, our news programs have become what was brilliantly parodied in NETWORK.  I know, I know, “with the advent of the internet where people can get their news on a moments notice, news shows must go “outside the box” to keep viewers interested.”  With all do respect, that is bullshit.  Yes, it is difficult to attract viewers, but must you attract viewers with the lowest common denominator?  Must we resort to the vapid, the banal?  And it’s worse than that isn’t it?  Focusing on who is sleeping with who under the bright lights of Hollywood or what the cast of JERSEY SHORE is doing outside of their cages is more than pointless – it is damaging.  It makes the unimportant important.  It becomes part of our collective consciousness.  It permeates our collective souls.

I can’t help but be reminded of a brilliant and dark monologue from  Eric Bogosian‘s TALK RADIO:

“Next month, millions of people are going to be listening to this show, and you have nothing to talk about!  Marvelous technology is at your disposal, but instead of reaching up to new heights we’re going to see how far down we can go; how deep into the muck we can immerse ourselves. What do you want to talk about, hum?  Baseball scores, your pet, orgasms?  You’re pathetic.  I despise each and every one of you.  You have nothing, absolutely nothing!  No brains, no power, no future, no hope, no god!”

He’s only partially wrong.  We do have something, we have brains and power and passion and futures and hope.  As far as God, I leave that up to the individual.  But we have so much heart and spirit and intelligence and love and potential -we can rise above the crap or we can wallow in it.  And yes, yes, sometimes its fun to wallow and we deserve that.  But must EVERYTHING be shallow?  Must we have competing television shows for our “wallow time”?  Where is critical thought?  Where is reasoning?  Why are there so many stories about fame and fortune and shallow beauty and so few about strength and struggle and rising above the crap to become actually better, and not just looking better?  Not just having more money but actually being more?

OK, rant is over.

For now.