collisionwork: (crazy)
Kind of a rest day today. At least as planned. Busy enough for all that though - woke up early with Berit asking me for the vet's number, as Hooker the kitty was having one of his epileptic seizures, and B thought it seemed worse than usual. I looked on and he was fine - recovering from a fit, but fine, no vet needed (he was panting really hard for a long time - look at him above in the icon picture and imagine him holding that face while panting hard for 45 minutes - but that happens sometimes). So I gave him affection for an hour while he pretty much recovered.

Then B wanted to go out for breakfast before errands, so we drove to a nearby diner and figured out our weekend plans and I discussed how things had gone last night on Nosedive's The Master of Horror, which was rough, but pulled-off. Tough show, tech-wise. It'll get better, but I'm pretty well off it now. I'll stop in and check it out a couple more times during the run to see how it's going, and answer whatever questions come up by email (should write and check in with them now, though).

I finished cleaning up my director's draft of Daniel McKleinfeld's A Little Piece of the Sun for August, 2009 - I fixed formatting issues and made some slight alterations, then sent it to Daniel to approve before I send it to possible cast members. Looks good and I'm looking forward to working on it. Many good ideas are coming up for the design.

Berit's got the iPod today as she's out buying prop-building supplies for Lord Oxford . . . at Pearl Paint and elsewhere on Canal Street, so today's Random Ten is from the larger and less-filtered iTunes, with 59,689 tracks to choose from. So what does it go for now . . ?

1. "Little Girl" - Syndicate of Sound - Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era, Vol. 2
2. "Good Good Lovin'" - The Cinderellas - Girls Will Be Girls Vol.1
3. "One Way Love" - The Drifters - 1959-1965 - All Time Greatest Hits & More
4. "Mechanical Movement" - Eric Peters - Electronic Toys - A Retrospective of 70's Synthesizer Music
5. "Day By Day" - The Action - Wild Things volume 2 - Wyld Kiwi Garage 1966-1969
6. "Real By Reel (Go Home Productions remix dub)" - XTC - GHP Complete - CD11 Unofficial Remixes Vol2
7. "Time Will Never Change" - The Speeders - Prae-Kraut Pandemonium vol. 12
8. "The Man With the Dogs" - Dead Kennedys - Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death
9. "Mean Man" - Betty Harris - Saturday Night Fish Fry: New Orleans Funk And Soul
10. "My Last Letter" - Sterling Damon - It Just Ain't Right: USA Garage Greats 1965-1967

And otherwise, just some other things grabbed from around the tubes this week, like this example of why you shouldn't mess with a Ninja:
Monkey Steals the Peach

And when Sarah Palin quoted Ronald Reagan in the recent debate? She was quoting this little example of recorded media from 1961:
Ronald Reagan on Socialized Medicine

Which was a record created by the American Medical Association as part of "Operation Coffeecup," where doctors' wives would invite over their friends for some kinda little coffee klatch and play this record at them so they'd convince their hubbies and others to not be in favor of (the then merely theoretical) Medicare.

Which of course, means he was really just reading something that was completely worked out and written for him, and calling it "a quote from Reagan" is like saying Humphrey Bogart was responsible for anything he said in Casablanca, but what else is new?

(the photo of Reagan on the cover gets odder and creepier the more I look at it - the body pose, the look on his face - is he snarling? brrrrrrrrr . . .)

And some videos -- Yesterday, one of my favorite actors, BRIAN BLESSED!!! (whose name should always be yelled in imitation of the man's distinctive tone) turned 71, and keeps going strong. He is terrific and always seems a bit unhinged, so I love him, of course. Here's some video of the man on a BBC show where he makes a surprise appearance after a guest has declared her distaste of people with loud voices:

Brian Blessed Does Snooker Commentary )



Here's a version of a-ha's classic song and video "Take On Me" with the song and video brought just a little closer together:

Take On Me: The Literal Version )



From the film War of the Garagantuas, here's the classic song "The Words Get Stuck in My Throat," (real title, "Feel in My Heart") as performed by Kipp Hamilton (though of her fans say she was redubbed, badly), which was later rewritten and covered by Devo at live shows:

The Words Get Stuck in My Throat (music video version) )



And speaking of Devo, here's a recent song/video from them. They're still occasionally doing things, and will be playing a concert in their hometown of Akron later this month . . . wish I could see it:

Watch Us Work It )



Berit has a movie-oriented puzzle in one of her magazines to work on now, so I'm off to relax with that . . .

collisionwork: (tired)
So, sad story - some poor dumb schmuck decided to try walking across the Brooklyn-Queens Expresssway not too far from The Brick last night (no info given out on him except, 23 years old, Massachusetts native). I checked out the story because I drive that stretch of road every day. Poor guy got hit by one car (which kept going) then another, which stopped, but he was apparently pretty well gone after the first car hit him.

As this article from WNBC puts it so clearly in its title: "Body Parts Strewn on BQE After Deadly Hit-and-Run." Ewww.

However, another line used not only in the article, but as the caption to the photo below which accompanied the story, makes me wonder if something ELSE was responsible, and a police coverup is in effect:

A Grizzly Scene

A "grizzly" scene? Dear sweet merciful gods in heaven, there are BEARS roaming the streets of Williamsburg, tearing innocent tourists to bits! And THEY don't want us to KNOW!

(this is actually the THIRD time in as many months I've encountered a news organ that apparently doesn't know how to spell "grisly" - come on, GET IT TOGETHER, people!)

Operated board twice yesterday for a show - Big Bang - in the Clown Festival - last two shows for that one. In between, I saw another show - Bury My Heart at Dumbass Cowboy - which is one of the funniest damned things I've seen on a stage in FOREVER. Loved it, loved it, loved it, though I also kinda had the same reaction I had when I first saw The Big Lebowski on opening night in the movie theater - David LM Mcintyre and I were sitting there, laughing so hard at the movie that it was nearly over before we realized that we were the only people in the entire audience laughing, and that everyone else HATED the movie.

I don't think the rest of the audience HATED Dumbass Cowboy, but I did eventually realize that the loud laughter I was hearing came from me and about four other people in a packed house, and everyone else was smiling kinda strained or looking confused and disturbed. Oh, well, whatever, it was great and it plays one last time, tonight at 7.30 pm.

I'd go see it again and drag Berit along - she's working board for the show before it tonight, Kill Me Loudly, a Clown noir, which she tells me is really good and I'll be seeing - but we're off to see, as mentioned, Arnold Dreyblatt at The Knitting Factory.

Arnold's playing on an interesting bill, with several other performers, including a three-man band out of North Carolina called Megafaun, who will be backing Arnold up on this occasion as The Orchestra of Excited Strings (Arnold's name for whatever group is doing his music with him at the moment). They just did a residency and played up at the Salem Art Works together, and I like what I hear in these videos - the first of Arnold and the group, the second of Megafaun:

Arnold Dreyblatt & Megafaun )



In other music news, I do indeed like the theme song created by Jack White (and co-performed by him and Alicia Keys) for the new Bond film, Quantum of Solace (which, luckily, only mentions "solace" and doesn't try to get the film's title in there) - you can hear the real theme, where White Stripes meet James Bond, HERE - however, Joe Cornish, British comedian, has created his own theme for the film that may top it:

The Something of Boris )



And finally, continuing the "Ian and Hooker the Cat at the Computer" series that I've been posting, for those who enjoy cats, computers, me, or any combination thereof, I let the video run the other night to capture how Bastard Kitty demands affection from me in more detail. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn on the microphone, so I just grabbed a Pixies song I liked that fit the video exactly, timewise (and seemed to work otherwise as well) and put it behind it.

La La My Cat Loves Me, Even When I Don't Want Him To )



That's my cat. Some other time I'll post one with the sound so you can hear the yowls . . .

collisionwork: (tired)
So . . .

Our performance at The Brick's Quinquennial Party went over like gangbusters. Sometime soon, I'll see if I can cut the video down to 10 minutes (it's about 11 now), put it up on YouTube and embed it here, though it was really completed by Berit's and my live performance in front of it - and Berit appearing live on stage, performing (something she has continually vowed she will never do) was a stunning surprise for many of the friends and collaborators present. It was meant as a nice special gift from Gemini CollisionWorks for The Brick, to have both of us up there doing the piece. Now, of course, everyone's trying to convince Berit to make another stage appearance (Bryan Enk is determined she'll act in a Penny Dreadful episode at some point), but she's adamant about staying off stage, and I'm not going to help anyone try and convince her otherwise (in any case, who'd be running the board if she's on stage?). We are appearing together in non-speaking roles together in Carolyn Raship/Daniel McKleinfeld's piece in the Baby Jesus Jubilee, so Berit will take to the stage briefly again in the next few weeks (her rules seem to be that she'll appear on stage in silent roles or vocally over the booth mic - she won't be on stage and speak at the same time).

In brief, our piece consisted of alternating voiceovers as Berit read smarmily from Isherwood's piece in the Times about "what to do in NYC while Broadway is mostly shut down" -- she describes her (excellent, I'd say) vocal performance as "NPR crossed with Crow T. Robot's description of his day-trip to Chicago" -- and I read quotes on Theatre from Brecht, Foreman, Clurman, Wellman, and Mamet as well as some supposed Gemini CollisionWorks "rules for making theatre" (eg; "Rule #1: If you lived here, you'd be home by now.") The video was just titles identifying the quotes for the most part - Berit did a great job in creating them, as I requested, to look as much like the titles in Godard's Tout Va Bien as possible. On stage were sixteen chairs in three rows, and as our quotes played, we knocked them over one by one, until the end, when something different happens. It worked. People dug it. David Cote and I wound up having another in our continuing series of talks (which feel like one ongoing talk, broken up) regarding Off-Off-Broadway and the NYC press, and Berit had to keep assuring people who hadn't read the Isherwood article that it was indeed a real article by a real theatre critic in the real New York Times.

The whole party was great, and the other performances were quite good. A lot of it was very in-jokey for "The Brick Regulars," but that's only appropriate - Trav S.D. and Art Wallace showed a film (which we shot last Tuesday) of spurious "forgotten shows from The Brick's past," mainly parodying the styles of some of the Regulars - I contributed Ian W. Hill's Death of a Salesman starring myself and Moira Stone. Best of all, Lynn Berg and Audrey Crabtree performed a wonderfully nasty clown piece detailing "The History of The Brick" in which they did lovingly vicious parodies of all of us who run the space -- I spent most of it wondering what they were going to do to Berit and I, and was not disappointed as they enacted one of our typical lighting-tech squabbles ("Give me some ambers, Berit!" "Those are amber, Ian!" "No, those are green, Berit!" "Ian, you're colorblind!").

Unfortunately, a lovely night was capped by returning home after 13 hours at The Brick and finding that the cats had got into a sewing bag of Berit's that they shouldn't have, and Hooker was obviously in distress, having chewed on a piece of foam that B uses for a pin cushion. A trip to the 24-hour emergency vet, a couple of hours, and several examinations later, and, yup, there was a needle lodged in his throat. They sedated him, removed it, and kept him under observation until the following afternoon. Lucky little bastard - it could have been so much worse (needle in the stomach = surgery), and now he gets soft food for a week, like he's getting rewarded for misbehaving (as is Moni, as we know damned well that she's the one who got up on Berit's workdesk and pulled down the sewing materials).

So that was two nights running we didn't get to bed until 4.30 am, and last night I wound up falling asleep at a really early hour for me, and now I've been up and edgy since 4.00 this morning. Grrr. At least the snow outside has been kinda pretty as it appeared to me during the sunrise.

The good news in the middle of the whole magilla yesterday was that we finally got the play I'm directing for the Baby Jesus Jubilee fully cast as of 11 am yesterday, and were able to actually rehearse with the full cast in the afternoon. So, Jason Liebman has joined Alyssa Simon, Aaron Baker, and myself in Marc Spitz's Marshmallow World, and he's perfect in the part, as I thought he would be. I had neglected contacting him before yesterday, as he's already acting in another show on the bill (Qui Nguyen's Action Jesus, as Jesus), but once again I've learned not to assume anything, and "nothing ventured, nothing gained" (well, I've been given another example; considering that this keeps happening to me, I have no doubt I haven't learned anything). He read the script and jumped right in. Jason was the other Hamlet in The Pretentious Festival this year (in Q1: The Bad Hamlet) and we have an odd bond as a result (do actors who've played Hamlet have this in general?) - though there have been jokes from the rest of the company about us being "matter and anti-matter" and whether having the two of us acting together will result in some kind of cosmic instability. Judging from how well yesterday's rehearsal went, there's nothing to worry about. So, THAT's set.

Oh, and the theme for The Brick's 2008 Summer Festival was announced in a special video trailer at the party:

The Film Festival: A Theater Festival.

And I think this means I finally go forward with my longtime dream of presenting a stage adaptation of Orson Welles' film of The Magnificent Ambersons as Welles originally finished it, before the studio reshoots and recutting.

Oh boy, oh boy, this will be interesting . . .

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: (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)
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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