collisionwork: (spaghetti cat)
Still cheery, for the most part, about this week's events. Disillusionment to come, of course, but that's well expected.

Berit's teaching me to run Lord Oxford for a couple shows next week while she has to go away on family stuff - which means I also have to do Penny Dreadful on my own. Busy next week. Currently ambling - cleaning the apartment, thinking about next year's shows, catching up on paperwork to deal with for the company, now that it's a real company.

Still trying to cut things from the iPod today, while adding more at the same time. Now there are 26,020 tracks on there. Here's today's Random Ten:

1. "Lifetime" - The Bliss - Fading Yellow volume 1

Oh, man is this a piece of nauseating wimpy hippie trash. Ick. I told Berit this was an immediate DROP and she said I might want to keep it to use if I needed to build up the will to slap someone sometime. Okay.

2. "Brief Candles" - The Zombies - Odessey & Oracle

Okay, here's how you do wimpy hippie trash properly. This STAYS

3. "Mica" - Mission Of Burma - Vs.

I came to MOB late and want to spend more time with all of their sides before culling the lesser ones (which I have a feeling this one is . . . maybe not). STAYS.

4. "It's a Good Thing" - That Petrol Emotion - Children of Nuggets: Original ARTyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era - 1976-1996

Hmmn. Kinda the same thing as the MOB - I want to know this better before dumping. What the hell AM I gonna dump at this rate?

5. "Nervous" - Victims - S/T 7" EP

Nope, not this. Great cheap punk single.

6. "See My Friends" - The Reegs - Shangri-La: A Tribute To The Kinks

Nice, but unnecessary, especially if I have the Kinks' original. If I do, it's a DROP.

7. "The Little March (live)" - Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Volume 5

Late-60s Mothers of Invention live? STAYS.

8. "Indian Feeling" - CAM Library - Feeling

Very short charming cheesy library track. STAYS.

9. "Voodoo Plan" - The Headliners - Wavy Gravy - Four Hairy Policemen…

Preceded by a radio spot for The Astro-Zombies, which is enough to keep this.

10. "I Know" - The Illusions - Pebbles Volume 11

Pretty good garage rock, but not a sure thing. DROP.

Hey, cat photos again!

Moni at the window, this morning:
Moni at the Window

Three stages of falling to sleep from Hooker, as Moni gets jealous of the attention he's getting and sneaks into the shots:
Hooker Heads for Sleep 1
Hooker Heads for Sleep 2
Hooker Heads for Sleep 3

And the two together - a detente:
H&M Vie for Attention

Out to run some household errands now. Maybe something else new soon . . .

collisionwork: (comic)
Not much theatre news, except I got dates and times mixed up for when I was planning on seeing the new Trav S.D. show that closes this weekend that a lot of friends are in - I was supposed to go tonight, and I can't see it any other day. Nice work. Sorry friends. Everyone else, you have three more days to see it, and it's supposed to be great. See HERE.

I got distracted, and the day's schedule done gone all wonky, by going in for the first time for jury duty today which was interesting and okay, however I got picked to be on a jury in a civil case (as an alternate yet, so I have to sit through it all and then NOT get any say in the matter). The trial starts next week, so at least I'm not back in tomorrow.

Tomorrow night is the season-opening party at The Brick. That looks to be a good time. Then I'm light-designing the new Nosedive show and doing additional tech help on Robert Honeywell & Moira Stone's new show at The Brick. Penny Dreadful coming up again, too.

I am missing tonight's not-so good time - the Palin/Biden debate - through the pleasant fact that Berit and I don't have television. We have a television of course, a big one, and lots o' videos, but very deliberately no antenna or cable, so I'll just read the reports and transcript later, and maybe subject myself to some online video of bits of it if I feel masochistic. Right now, I'd rather look at videos I'm saving up.

So instead of the horrors of the current rotten political debate, how about a commercial pitch from Johnny Rotten?

Never Mind the Bollocks, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! )



I was a little put off by that ad at first, but my friend Sean noted that, as always, it was just another example of how any form of true rebellion is stolen, de-edged, incorporated into the Status Quo, and used to sell stuff to us, and there's actually something heartening in seeing Johnny Rotten now transformed from "antichrist" to "symbol of England."

Sean also, years ago, made the statement that Johnny Rotten and Brian Wilson were the two living people he believed were to be forgiven any and all screwups they will, have, or may have committed in their lives, as the greatness of their finest work wiped away all their sins. He added that dead people who got this same forgiveness were Buddy Holly and Frank Zappa. I tend to agree.

Sean and I went to a book-signing for Rotten's autobiography when it came out, and got to have a brief conversation with him. There were some young punks (in two senses of the word) across the street from the bookstore, with signs protesting Rotten's having written (and now SELLING!) this book as a "sellout." Very silly. So when Sean and I approached him together, we brought it up:

SEAN: So, uh, did you see those people across the street, protesting you?
ROTTEN: (honestly taken aback and confused) Aw, YEAH, what's that all about, then? What are they angry at me for?
IAN: Making money.
ROTTEN: (with great realization) OHhhhhhhhh! COMM-u-nists!

I just read an article where someone was complaining that "viral videos" have gone downhill in the last few years, pointing to this one below as an example of the kind of charming, funny, bizarre and inexplicable videos that people used to send around that you don't see so much anymore. I don't know if that's true, but I'd never seen this before and it was indeed funny and inexplicable:

Valentine for Perfect Strangers )



Strange things are indeed happening everyday, as Sister Rosetta Tharpe once noted, and here are four other examples of the amazing singing and guitar playing of that great performer:

Sister Rosetta Tharp rocks the gospel, early 1960s )



Also from the 60s - in fact, like me, 40 years old - here's a piece of video newly out on DVD, a performance by Harry Belafonte that was cut by CBS from the Third Season premiere of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour as it includes footage from one of that nasty Summer's nastier moments:

The Whole World Is Watching )



Ah yes, the world is full of fine fine superfine people, and here's a real sign one of them has on their front yard:

Half-Breed Muslin

Personally, I regard him more as a 50/50 cotton/poly blend . . .

If you have a problem with the "Muslins," maybe you can make a request of your own Savior . . .

Jesus Use Me

And, in the midst of all this, for cheeriness' sake, here's 13 adorable seconds of catness:

The Sliding Cat )



Keep your heads up.

collisionwork: (Default)
So Berit hasn't had a full haircut in at least nine years. I trimmed her mane a few times every now and then a few years back to get the ends even, but pretty much its been untouched for almost as long as I've known her.

At its longest point, her hair had reached about four foot, eight inches.

She enjoyed the long locks in some ways, but really really hated it in others - she said she only didn't get it cut as she didn't want to deal with the hassle of maintaining it (her hair grows faster-than-average to begin with).

I've heard the complaints for years (it's heavy, it's hot), but she seemed a few days ago to be getting more serious about this - again, though, I've heard it before.

Friday night, she was saying that it was all coming off that night. I didn't quite believe her.

We got home from the show that night, she did a little internet research on what she planned to do, and went off to the bathroom to prepare. It took so long, and I got sleepy and ready for bed, so I didn't think anything would be happening that night.

Nope. As 2 am struck, she told me I had to stay up and be the haircutter.
BERIT'S HAIR 1 - combing it out

Here, she has combed out and prepared the stuff for cutting. We laid out a painting tarp and chair in the biggest open spot we could find in our cluttered place, and I got the implementa ready . . .
BERIT'S HAIR 2 - the cutter

(you sure you trust this man with scissors?)

The first, biggest step took very little time . . .
BERIT'S HAIR 3 - nine years worth

We held her hair back at shoulder length and I cut it right across, leaving a pound of hair on the floor (we weighed it later).

And it was a lot lighter up there now . . .
BERIT'S HAIR 4 - after the cut

Hooker the cat had trouble comprehending what was going on, having a tiny kitty brain . . .
BERIT'S HAIR 5 - interlude - Hooker is stunned

Then, out came the barber clippers my mother gave us a few years back . . .
BERIT'S HAIR 6 - the clippers

. . . and the kitties ran and hid for a bit.

I started with a 1" clipper and worked it down, then went to 1/2" in the back and 5/8" on the top, except for the part where she was keeping the full length (she thought this style was a "Chelsea" but it apparently is actually a "Devil Lock").

The kitties slowly came back out during the clipping to watch, warily:
BERIT'S HAIR 7 - interlude - the cats are wary

Mommy . . ? What happened to the Mommy?

Yeah, they weren't sure quite how to react. After the tedious process, Berit took the clippers into the bathroom to work on places I had a hard time reaching without hurting her, and Hooker examined things more closely.
BERIT'S HAIR 8  - interlude - Hooker still confused

So B finished off the clipping . . .
BERIT'S HAIR 9 - final touches

And emerged to stun the cats . . .
BERIT'S HAIR 10 - What The--

What th--?

With her new 'do (here in one hank, it usually hangs loose now) and a pound of loose hair:
BERIT'S HAIR 11 - finale

And she's a lot happier with how her head feels now, believe me.

collisionwork: (Squirt)
Back in Brooklyn, back at work on the shows. All seems to be well at The Brick with The Film Festival: A Theater Festival, with the occasional technical hiccups and problems to solve (someone walked off with two of our Mac video adaptors, probably by accident, and Michael had to run quickly and get replacements for a show).

Back to work on the shows, Spell yesterday, Harry in Love today. Going fine.

A couple of pictures of the cats, as I missed them on Friday . . . Hooker lounging on a chair (and my jeans):

Hooker on Jeans

And Moni stretching up and grabbing my fingers in her paw so she can lick them . . .

Moni Grabs a Finger

And some videos of interest . . .

UPDATE: I just checked, and with some new thing YouTube is doing, if you want to see the best quality video, you have to go to the actual page for the video itself and click on "watch in high quality" - and it's worth it for the first and third videos below, so click on the embedded video below, and it should take you to the YouTube page, where you can click again and see it better)

First, Joe Cocker's Woodstock performance is closed-captioned for the soul-impaired:

Lonely at the Bottom of the Barrel )



And here, the animated Lt. Uhura has a new attitude (courtesy of overdubbed lines from Nichelle Nichols' blaxpoitation classic, Truck Turner):

Open THESE hailing frequencies, honky! )



And I only just discovered this, but it's been going on for several years now -- Matt Harding has been traveling the world, and videotaping himself doing a silly little dance everywhere he goes. It started as a little personal joke on a first trip, then became a "thing," which he continued on a second trip, then was discovered as such things are, then he got money and a sponsorship from Cadbury to do it some more, with better equipment, in more places, to promote some gum of theirs, and now here's his newest video of stupid, charming dancing around the world, with a cast of thousands joining in (the earlier videos, and outtakes, and other videos from the project are available at his YouTube Channel, and are also worth watching):

Where the Hell Is Matt? (2008) )



Enjoy.

collisionwork: (Default)
Supposed to be the last night of shooting on Daniel's DV short last night, but it took longer than anticipated, it was very cold, and I got worn out -- or whatever you call it when you do enough takes in the cold that you can't think straight anymore and begin to forget where you are entirely when "Action" is called ("wait, what? why am I standing on this stoop? why am I holding a scarf in this hand? why is there bright light on me?").

So we're coming back tonight to do the one-shots of me in the kitchen scene, which are all that remain, but which will probably require many many takes of me slowly going crazy, at varied levels of incremental looniness.

Not many pictures from last night - my camera battery died early on (maybe from the cold), and I was in most of the shots, but I got a couple. Here's the reverse angle in the basement scene, after the Director of the slasher movie calls cut and we see the ultra low-rent production (as Sally McKleinfeld and Jenny Tavis get onscreen cameos as boom and camera operators, joining Michele Schlossberg as Production Manager):
Fake Crew In The Basement

And here's Daniel and Sally getting Michele's entrance onto the stoop, right before my camera battery went out:
On The Stoop

Came home to more and more casting worries. I can cast just about all of the roles in my own four shows except for one major one in Ambersons that I may have no one for (I thought I'd have someone, but it looks to not be working out). This is really good and I should be happier, but that one part frustrates me. I saw plenty of good people at my auditions, and more good women than I have parts for, but NO ONE at all right for this part. I've got some time, but I'm a month behind where I want to be (if still a month ahead of where I usually am).

And Penny Dreadful, which of course is what's coming up immediately, is having bigger casting worries. As Berit says, I need to just calm down and keep working, it'll work out fine (a lie, really, it works out fine maybe 87% of the time. maybe.). Yeah, I just want to get it right. The idea this year was to get everything done much MUCH more in advance than I'd ever done before, and it's getting to be just much more.

Which reminds me - I've been so worried about the rest of the casting that I've been neglecting getting Harry in Love, which is fully cast, in motion. Two of the cast members are still busy on other projects, I think, and can't do anything right now, but I should be checking in with all of them . . .


Meanwhile, back in the iPod (25,154 songs), here's what comes up as I write:

1. "A Man and a Woman" - Sir Julian - Ultra-Lounge 11: Organs in Orbit
2. "That's Why They Call 'Em Moms" - Peer Pressure - S/T 7" EP
3. "I'm Free" - The Who - 09/29/69 Amazing Journey Live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam
4. "Take Me Just As I Am" - Lynn Collins - James Brown's Funky People (Part 1)
5. "Anna (live)" - Arthur Alexander - In Their Own Words - at The Bottom Line
6. "Butsi" - Las Comadrejas - We Are Ugly But... We Have The Music
7. "Suzie-Q" - The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones No. 2
8. "Monsieur Dupont" - Sandie Shaw - Those Classic Golden Years 04
9. "Good Gin Blues" - Jim Kweskin & The Jug Band - mix disk from my Dad
10. "Shortnin' Bread" - The Fabulous Playboys - Lost Legends of Surf Guitar

A pretty laid-back, relaxing mix. Nice.

The cats have been little darlings recently, especially Hooker, who won't leave me alone and just wants hugs and affection all the time. Usually when I'm trying to type on here, or make notes in a show notebook, or read some research material. Not a good combo. Finally got some new shots of them, though.

Hooker on the windowsill, for once not interested in my attention:
Hooker on Sill

And Moni on the couch, wanting a bellyrub from Berit:
Moni Wants Bellyrub

And both of them, curled up on the bed, almost under the pile of scripts and show notebooks I was coming in to get:
Nap with Scripts

Finally, ladies and germs, please welcome Mr. Trav S.D. to the blogosphere with his new home in the orthicon tube, Travalanche!

collisionwork: (escape)
So now I wait. Besides the 11 actors already "in" for my four shows this year, I've contacted another 26 for 38 parts, and thus far received back 10 "Yes" answers, 4 "No" answers, and 3 "Maybe, let's talk" answers, from 16 people (one person I asked to be in two shows said yes to one and no to the other). I need more answers before I can move on. I have most of the people for Spell, it seems - I could maybe start work on that, but I'm still short a reply from two people who would be crucial to the show, so . . . no go.

Ambersons, the earliest show coming up (June), is the problem, of course. I did the breakdown and discovered there was no way to do the show with fewer than 20 actors (plus myself narrating). That's 4 more than I'd hoped, but it just won't work out any other way (and I wound up needing more men than I thought, always a pain). I have four people set, as mentioned before, and I've gotten only one "Yes" and two "Maybes" thus far on the positive side. And I've gotten three "No" responses too, in parts where I don't have many good options for casting among the tribe I work with, if any. If I don't get it cast soon and get some first things done before the end of the month, with some of the conflicts coming up on the people already cast, I won't be able to start real work on this until maybe April. I want a cast and first reading by the end of THIS month, dammit (I WANTED it by the end of January, but that didn't happen).

I have plenty to do for other people to fill time, but I want to be working on these shows, now. This week, Berit and I spent some time driving around getting props for the UTC#61 shows, which was alternately fun and annoying (I had to circle several blocks in Midtown for over an hour - the place in the world I like driving least). I have to schlep some video equipment around for a shoot for one of those shows the next two days. There looks to maybe be a cleanup day at The Brick tomorrow, which I should go and help at. Sunday, if the video schlepping doesn't get in the way, I should go and see a runthru of Penny Dreadful episode 4 at The Brick, as it's going to be a pain to light with the current setup and I'm going to have to do a lot more specifically for this one instead of just using the house plot.

Today, I'm interviewing Jon Stancato of Stolen Chair Theatre Company for a 30-minute radio profile on WPS1 Art Radio (taped for later "airing" - I'll let you know when it's up). Jon asked me if I'd do this, as he preferred the idea of the interview being more of a discussion between two theatre artists rather than the normal Q&A, despite my only knowing Stolen Chair's work from Kill Me Like You Mean It (which I loved), and reading the script for The Man Who Laughs (ditto) in one of Martin Denton's collections. This should be an enjoyable time, if a hair nerve-inducing.

So, in the meantime, let's check out the first random 10 from the iPod's 23,414:

1. "Batman Pows The Penguin - or - (Aha, My Fine Feathered Finks!)" - Nelson Riddle - Batman - Exclusive Original Television Soundtrack Album
2. "Sound and Vision" - David Bowie - Low
3. "Speed Car" - Claude Perraudin - Patchwork Library Addendum
4. "Elube" - De Ndirande Pitch Crooners - Culture Shock: Doug Schulkind's 2004 Marathon Premium
5. "Driving Me Crazy" - The Sleepless Knights - Trip in Tyme volume 1
6. "Newspapers" - Stan Ridgway - Mosquitos
7. "I Can't Sleep" - Quik - Psychedalia: Rare Blooms from the English Summer of Love
8. "Scene Pathétique" - Bernard Herrmann - The Magnificent Ambersons: Bernard Herrmann Anthology Volume 1
9. "Rock & Roll" - The Singing Dogs - Las Vegas Grind! - Volume 1
10. "My Heart Gets All the Breaks" - Wanda Jackson - You'll Always Have My Love

Hooker went to the vet twice this week because he was acting odd. Once we'd gone, of course, he started acting fine again. He may have simply been constipated and gassy, we're told. They love him at the vet's, but he was badly behaved this time (which was also suspicious, as he usually doesn't mind going, and he hissed and growled which he NEVER does - he was apparently just uncomfortable). They had to sedate him so they could get a clean x-ray, and he was quite adorable as he was stoned out of his gourd, just a big floppy lump. When we got him home, it hadn't quite worn off, and it was sadly cute to watch him stumble around with his back legs not quite working yet. He's already acting cheerier, and they gave us some kitty laxative.

In any case, here's the little bastard a couple of weeks ago:

Hooker Looks Up

And Moni has been preferring to drink from the faucet these days . . .
Moni and the Faucet

Maybe more later . . . I have other things to handle during the brief time I have on this computer -- oh, that's right, did I mention that the computer I usually use has died? It was an old nasty PC that could barely do much anyway (it was a gift from someone otherwise throwing it away, and much appreciated), but now the only working computer in the house is B's iMac, which has to be . . . shared. So instead of having a computer always on and ready to answer emails, etc., I'm on for a few hours in the morning, and another hour in the evening. Great.

I have lots of links and videos saved up to share, but . . . later . . .

collisionwork: (red room)
Tech for Merry Mount in a few hours. Still don't know how I'm dealing with most of the costuming issues, and we open in two days. Well, I'll have to figure it out today and tomorrow, however. I'm trying to let it go and not have a over-the-top panic attack about that, which would be my usual reaction, even though I've done all I can about it right now, and there's nothing else I can do until later today. So, I'm trying, with some success, to just sit back and relax until it's time to go to tech. Listened to The Fugs' song "Try to Be Joyful" several times, and that helped, too. If Tuli and Ed can preach it, I can try and follow it.

Rehearsal for the show went extremely well last night. No problem with any of the acting, and now no problem with the dancing. Staged the maypole dance, and it went together quick, easy, and well. Much faster than expected. Good job from the actors - mostly new people I haven't worked with before, but I hope to some more in the next year. I have to understudy a part on opening night, so I worked that scene with Michael Criscuolo, and found what I should be doing (which is very different from the actor playing the part the rest of the time - we're quite different types).

I'm less concerned about some other things as I was - we have the basic maypole materials, and the props can be acquired easily. Just the damned costumes. If worse comes to worse, I can just forgo the actual "period" style in favor of a somewhat stylized black&white for Puritans/bright colors for Pagans that will do, but I'd like to avoid that. We'll see. I will try to be joyful.

Picture of my main workspace these days, that I wanted to include with the last post (taken just after the conversation there and before making the post), but couldn't load it up just then:
Workspace

And, for no reason than to make me feel better and because we have a surplus of these now, here's a photo of our cats, Still Life with Cats, Basket, Book, and Guitar:
Still Life with Cats, Basket, Book & Guitar

Tech at 2 pm. Wish me luck. I'm going to go spend an hour with the headphones on listening to music that will make me happy. The next song that came up random on iTunes after The Fugs was Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers doing "Dodge Veg-a-matic." Trying to be joyful.

collisionwork: (music listening)
Sensory overload here.

On one computer (our ancient PC) I'm transcribing Richard Foreman's Harry in Love: A Manic Vaudeville from the xerox of the 1966 original kindly sent to me by Richard and Shannon at the Ontological (thanks, Shannon!) as I couldn't find my old copy, and need to have an electronic copy to work with and cut anyway, and also watching for any emails that come in.

On another (the lovely supercharged iMac), I'm typing this and listening to a Random Ten (softly) so I can get it done, as I won't have another chance the rest of this Friday.

On the TV, a tape of SCTV Network 90 is playing, to help lull Berit, the insomniac, to sleep (currently up, John Candy as "Harry Filth"), mixing with the music in my headphones.

Stimulus is good.

Later, after sleep, a busy day - dropping off an apparently broken scroller unit from The Brick at Big Apple Lights and seeing if I can get a loaner, plugging up a leak at The Brick itself, having the first rehearsal for Merry Mount in the afternoon and a board meeting for Untitled Theater Co. #61 in the evening.

And I want to get another scene from Harry in the computer if I can tomorrow - the play is in three acts, five scenes, each scene around 30 pages long or so, so I'm trying to get one scene in the computer per day, finishing Monday (while also getting as much of the Ambersons script as I can in at the same time).

So, with three screens pointed at me, and the Ian Thomas Band playing on SCTV now, here's what's in the headphones from the iPod:

1. "Humans from Earth" - T-Bone Burnett - Until the End of the World
2. "Two Little Hitlers" - Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces
3. "Feel a Groove" - Gear One - So Cold!!! Unearthed 60s Sacramento Garage
4. "War" - Edwin Starr - Hitsville U.S.A., The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971
5. "Catman (The Rosies Are Coming)" - Yoko Ono - Onobox 2: New York Rock
6. "Hey Señorita" - The Penguins - The Doo Wop Box II vol 1: 1951-1955
7. "To Be Sho' (Hey Logan)" - Annabelle Abraham - Field Recordings Volume 8: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi (1934-1947)
8. "Rose and the Thorn" - The 13th Floor Elevators - Bull of the Woods
9. "Gone Is the Sad Man" - Timebox - Psychedalia: Rare Blooms from the English Summer of Love
10. "Miserlou" - The Beach Boys - Surfin' USA

And B & I have been going a bit nuts with our new Xmas camera on the kitty photos. Here are my favorite recent ones, all featuring Berit as well - first with Moni . . .
Moni & Berit Shoulder

. . . now with Hooker . . .
Hooker & Berit's Shoulder

. . . and then with the two of them . . .
Couch Cuddle

Back to work - six more pages of Harry to type in, and I wanted to do a printout and preliminary look at what to cut before bed - last time we did the show it ran at about 2 hours, 50 minutes plus 2 intermissions. I'm trying to get it to 2:15 plus one intermission this time. That's about 35 pages of cuts to the 159-page script, which isn't made up of a lot of plot, but plenty of texture, rhythm, and humor. Some of it will be easy, some will be painful and hard.

Whee.

The Hell?

Jan. 3rd, 2008 01:28 am
collisionwork: (prisoner)
So, I lost a day there or something . . . between New Year's and travel, I was a whole day ahead of reality in my head, believing it was Thursday when it was, in fact, Wednesday.

Which is why I referred to Skidoo being on in just over 24 hours when it is just over 48 hours.

At least it made me go and get cat photos ready for a day from now. And I have three to post then, but here's the leftover I didn't have "space" for, showing how Hooker likes to help me when I'm trying to work on scripts at my computer:

Ian Is Hooker's Perch

And, since this is a miscellaneous-kinda post-thing, here's some links of recent that I've enjoyed:

1. In M.I.T.'s Technology Review, John Hockenberry writes about the horror that is today's "infotainment" from his experience at Dateline. Cheery. Yeah. Yeesh.

2. Ellis Weiner at What HE Said clearly and simply lays out the views, statements, tactics, and apparent beliefs of today's right-wing and asks the pertinent question, "The Republicans: Crazy or Nuts?"

3. From the more humorous side of our Hell in a Handbasket Department, Cogitamus appeals to thus both of the political and the geeky persuasion by comparing the GOP Candidates with their villain-analogues from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Enjoy.

collisionwork: (Moni)
Once again, beginning to run out of good photos - we returned the camera we borrowed from Robert Honeywell, and now I'm just going through everything we shot while we had it.


Here's Hooker and Moni in one of their temporary detentes over the currently favorited chair for each of them:


H&M Agree to Share


And Moni on the identical chair across the room, where she can be close to Mommy-Berit's normal position:


Moni Pretty on Chair


Meanwhile, back in the bedroom, I take a nap and my little buddy joins me to remind me who rules my sleeptime:


Hooker Rules Papa's Nap


And congrats to our great friends, regular catsitters, and cast members of Ian W. Hill's Hamlet, Christiaan Koop and Bryan Enk on the acquisition of their new feline buddy, Dharma!

collisionwork: (crazy)
Didn't have a chance to upload and share these shots till this morning.


Hooker was the first cat we got, in 2001. He bonded immediately with Berit, and wouldn't leave her alone - I had a day job at that point, so she was at home with him far more often.

Two years later, we got Simone, and I no longer had the day job. Moni latched onto Berit, and completely claimed her (still, she follows her around the apartment, constantly demands attention, etc.). Hooker moved his primary affections over to me.

They're both really lovey, to the point of annoyance - especially after we were gone for a month last Summer. Since we got back then, they won't leave us alone, EVER. Well, maybe for an hour here and there.

To the point of annoyance, yes, but not quite there.


Moni spends time with Berit on the couch:


Berit & Simone


Hooker wants it known that he should be more important to me than the computer:


Forehead Mooshing

collisionwork: (flag)
Greetings from the much chillier climes of Portland, ME. I did a whole Random Ten entry this morning, spending my usual time annotating somewhat, but then lost it in a silly computer glitch. So, I'm not going to rewrite it, but here's what was played for me with my morning coffee:


1. "Penetration" - The Stooges - Raw Power
2. "Hot One" - Shudder to Think - Velvet Goldmine soundtrack
3. "Sweet Jane (early version)" - The Velvet Underground - Loaded (fully loaded edition)
4. "Limbo" - Throwing Muses - Limbo
5. "One Rose That I Mean" - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Lick My Decals Off, Baby
6. "The Grand Duel (Parte Prima)" - Luis Bacalov - Kill Bill vol. 1
7. "Everlasting Joy" - Tripsichord Music Box - Tripsichord Music Box
8. "The Continental" - Prince & The New Power Generation - O(+>
9. "Baby It's Love" - The Libarettos - Oceanic Odyssey Volume 12
10. "Boys" - The Beatles - Please Please Me


And now, with my evening (decaf) coffee, another set from out of the 21,153 in the stuffed little device, with some comments:


1. "Jump Monk" - various artists - Weird Nightmare: Meditations on Mingus

Bright jazz dissonance with a great beat.


2. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" - Johnny Cash - Man in Black 1963-69

I have a huge amount of Cash now, more than I need, and this is one of the ones I don't need. Will go soon.


3. "I'm a Steady Rollin' Man" - Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings

Never gets old.


4. "Louie Louie" - The Kingsmen - The Louie Louie Files

Perfection, and even if the words are difficult to make out, the song as a whole is comprehensible at any speed.


5. "When You're Hot, You're Hot" - Jerry Reed - Wacky Favorites

Novelty record. Fun enough to keep.


6. "Trusting Mr. Jones" - The Hitmakers - Those Clasic Golden Years 07

Good god. Some kind of British snotty pop-psychedelia inspired a bit by Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man" (in the "Mr. Jones" characterization). Wonderfully lovely in its cheesiness.


7. "Bring Him Back" - Dusty Springfield - Dusty Volume 2

Good song, great singer, terrific recording.


8. "The Green Door" - Jim Lowe - Back to the 50s 01

More novelty, this one a bit more of a classic.


9. "Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart" - The Puppets - Girls in the Garage vol. 1

Oh, cool . . . great nasty all-girl garage band. Bit of a Shangri-Las toughness to them. An answer to the much more prevalent and very similar snide songs from the boys in the garage from the same time.


10. "I Told Those Little White Lies" - The Painted Ship - Back from the Grave 8

Like this one, except unlike the norm, where the guy is complaining about the girl's bad treatment of him and telling her to go away, here he's crowing about his bad treatment of her (supposedly in retaliation against her actions, but he sounds too pleased about the whole thing).


Meanwhile, back in Brooklyn:


Moni on Wood


Moni wonders why I am not her Mommy, and Hooker has his 15th nap of the day:


Hooker Naps Some More

collisionwork: (Great Director)
Well, as noted previously, I was feeling a bit down with frustration over a (minor, really) setback, which tends to put me in a general funk about everything, miserable, and wondering if there's any point to any of this work I'm doing. Yes, I know it makes no sense. My brain is simply a little broken.


I've discovered a couple of things to suddenly cheer me up today. First, if I have any doubts at all about the worth of my version of Hamlet, it seems that all I have to do is watch a filmed version and I feel a LOT better.

Just got this version, with William Houston as the Prince. Yeesh.

Not that it's bad, per se -- and I've seen a few now that I would say that about -- but it has no depth or point-of-view.

I'm a little confused, as both IMDb at the Netflix envelope list it as being 3 hours 40 minutes long, and thus far (I'm 43 minutes in, the Ophelia/Hamlet scene) it's been MASSIVELY cut, and I can't imagine it going full-length (the DVD time code seems to indicate it's going to come in at just under 2 hours). And it doesn't seem to be a cut video of a longer version, as the scenes and text flow naturally. I appreciate the cutting, but it seems to be done just with the thought of "what can we cut while keeping the plot and the famous quotes intact?" rather than with any sense of trying to focus the play in any way.

I can't say at all that it is badly acted, but it is boringly and shallowly acted -- which I suppose should = "bad," but it's not like they can't act, they speak just fine and get across the bare meaning of the words, but there's no sense of really thinking about what they're saying. With every rehearsal of Ian W. Hill's Hamlet, we seem to find more and more going on in the text, subtleties and levels to explore and bring out. Such depth and richness. None of that in the one I'm watching now.


Okay, we're doing something good and valuable. I feel better.


And, second, if that didn't cheer me up, there's always the Kitty Dance:






Hee-hee!

collisionwork: (crazy)
I think maybe I should just take a brand new photo of each of the two kitties every Friday to post. Watch them grow up, as much as you can see adult cats grow up.


Here, Hooker looks up at Berit with love, or at least jealousy, as Berit's holding Moni in her arms just out of frame:





And here I try to get a nice photo of Moni on my lap, as she keeps turning around and looking away, and I only get her face when I drop the camera strap from my hand, and she sees a potential toy to kill:





More about Ian W. Hill's Hamlet soon. All seems to be going well, if at a tiring pace.

collisionwork: (redhead)
In a rush right now to get myself together and leave Maine, so I can get home at a reasonable mid-afternoon time, rest a bit, and get myself together again to go into Manhattan for the second reading of Ian W. Hill's Hamlet tonight with the (almost) full cast (we're down one due to a schedule error, unfortunately).


So while I have the needed cup of coffee, and before I do the last little jobs around the house I promised my mom I'd do, here's a couple of cats, and a few songs.


Hooker, Floppy Ear and Big Whiskers


Hooker, and his Floppy Ear, approve. And meanwhile, back in the iPod . . .


1. "Things You Only Know If You Don't Drive" - The Amateurs - download

Nice alt-rock country-tinged pop song. Must of got this from some site where I'm downloading lots of current (?) music in a vague attempt to have some sense of surfing the zeitgeist.


2. "So Many Roads, So Many Trains" - Otis Rush - Living the Blues: Blues Masters

Beautiful, in a distant, recorded across a big empty room, way.


3. "Bumble Bee '65" - The Motions - Wavy Gravy - For Adult Enthusiasts Only

Preceded on this record (and track) with a radio ad for an exploitation film called Pickup on 101 "starring Leslie Warren, Jack Albertson, and Martin Sheen!" Gotta find that film someday. "She looks easy but she's seen and done it all!" "Going . . . my way?"

Then a nasty fast guitar instrumental, with vague "Misirlou" tendencies. I think I have the group's earlier version of this somewhere, too. Guess it was the only song of theirs to make it.


4. "Bedazzled" - Bongwater - The Power of Pussy

Ann Magnuson and Kramer cover the Dudley Moore classic from the film of the same title (yes I know Peter Cook performed it in the film, Moore wrote it).

I had dreamed of covering this on my 4-track for years when I heard this version, and decided "It's been done." Especially as Magnuson does it in the same faux-German accent I had been planning on using.


5. "Ebb Tide" - The Platters - The Magic Touch: An Anthology

Great version of the standard. Obviously late Platters - a clean, 60s-sounding, stereo recording - and almost a little syrupy in the arrangement, but not quite, but the vocals are magnificent! The Platters should be remembered for more than the one or two "big" hits they had. They were special.


6. "Death Walks in High Heels" - Jerry Van Rooyen - At 250 MPH

Slick, spy movie upbeat jazz, from a collection of European (German, specifically?) movie music of the 60s by Van Rooyen, who I don't know otherwise. Much more jazz than pop/lounge based, as most other low-budget spy movie music of the time was. Real nice drum and trumpet solos. Pretty classy, really.


7. "Year of the Parrot" - Primus - Tales from the Punchbowl

And in another universe, 1990s spiky, odd altrock from this power trio, heavily influenced by The Residents, Captain Beefheart, and King Crimson (maybe more precisely by Tony Levin) but making pop music you can groove and dance to.


8. "Shub-a-dooe" - The Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra - Raumpatrouille

What the HELL is this track? Oh, this is great! Also from a collection of a composer's 60s movie soundtracks. It's like a sweet lullaby of nonsense lyrics sung by a jazz-voiced man over a syrupy string arrangement with a roller-rink organ way up front.

Oh, I HAVE to use this somewhere!


9. "Midway Down" - The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel?

More cool, snotty late-60s "heavy" psychedelic rock that I found in researching the music for Temptation. I used a song by these guys in the show, but I like the whole album. It's kind of typical, but better than most. The lyrics would probably get on my nerves if I bothered to really try to hear what they're saying.

Very poppy "la-la" chorus that would not be out of place, songwise, with The Archies or The Monkees. Helps leven the attempted "heaviness."


10. "Rammstein (edit)" - Rammstein - Lost Highway

A little something from a Lynch soundtrack. Heavy, Laibach-sounding German rock with intoning bass vocalist. Works to provide memories of this, a favorite film.

And also then to remind me I have to be on the highway this dreary, overcast morning myself.


But waiting at home for me . . .


H&M, Standard Attitudes


As well as Berit, who would probably prefer no photo of her here. So none. So, more than worth it driving home now.

collisionwork: (kitty)
Well, here I am in Portland, missing my cats.


So, I'll check out some of the pictures I took shortly before leaving, to remind me of some of the familiar scenes of home . . .


Hooker, ECU


Aaah! Yeah, like this one, which is pretty much the first thing I see every morning. The photo comes from trying to take a "nice" picture while he was in a "nice" pose when he suddenly became interested in the camera noise.


Moni Relaxes


And of course Moni, who will lie on any shirt of Berit's left around.


Hooker Cleans Himself


This, blurred and all, is here to remind me of Hooker's nice belly fur.


H&M Curl Up with a Good Book


And here's why these two are so perfect for Berit's and my home - they like to curl up with a good book. Especially when I'm trying to read it.

collisionwork: (crazy)
Well, we finally borrowed a camera (thanks, RH!) and got some new shots of the kitties, though none that really show off poor Hooker's new deformed (but cute) left ear.


In any case, the best of what we have thus far:


Moni Is Adorable


Moni wonders what I'm doing, and if she should kill the wrist-strap dangling from the camera.


Sleepy Boy


At rest between crazy periods, newly crumpled ear somewhat visible.


Moni Loves Sleepy Mommy


This is a normal position for hours every morning before Berit gets up. Sometimes, this position is accompanied by kneading of the front paws. Berit is a heavy sleeper.


Hooker and Berit, Happy


Yesterday, Hooker was being especially lovey and sweet with Berit for a while. They were both very happy about this.

collisionwork: (crazy)
Well, I'll be borrowing a digital camera from someone soon, as I need to document something else for sure (post coming up on that), so maybe I'll have some new and better photos of the fuzzythings by next week.

In the meantime, I'm cleaning out the old folders and files . . .


Here they are, full of ennui, trying to figure out what to do next . . .
H&M Look Bored


And more cute boredom . . .
H&M on the Bed, again


Well, he may be fine with that, but she's gonna go DO something . . .
H&M  in Wheelchair, again

collisionwork: (Moni)
Still no new photos, but a few older ones I hadn't really looked at before. Nice to find them.

Hooker enjoys lying on clothes. Always.

Hooker on Clothes

Hooker and Moni in something close to peace.

H&M Blur

And also, maybe, peace. Or maybe not.

H&M Hug


collisionwork: (Moni)
Well, still short of new, recent shots of the two.


Curled up, relaxing, heading towards a nap . . .


H&M Chill Out


And . . . there we go . . . out cold . . .


H&M Chill Out Even More


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