Thursday, October 31, 2013

trees


A couple of the trees near my apartment have pretty-much become nudists. They’ve disrobed themselves of most of their leaves, and they’re standing just out there, uncovered, where anyone could walk by and see them. 

It’s actually sort of inspiring, their bravery. I wish I could be like them—just out and about in my natural state. I would be, were it not for the likelihood of my being arrested. It’s bad enough that some people won’t hire me because of my photography. I don’t need a criminal record. 

And, as if that’s not enough, the nudist-trees seem to be slowly convincing some of the surrounding trees to join them. These other trees are quite a bit more shy about it, though, and are taking a lot more time to disrobe. 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

new songs?


Last night, while I was driving to a gig, I came upon an idea, or an idea came upon me. I guess it’s both really. It’s an idea for something to write—some songs.


I’ve been thinking about writing something for a bit but not knowing what to write. So, in that sense, I guess I came upon the idea. But, at that particular moment, I wasn’t actively focused on what to write. So also the idea came upon me.  

When I got to the gig and parked, I jotted down the idea. I went in, and found that we wouldn’t be starting for a while, so I wrote some more. This morning I wrote a bit more and even jotted down an idea for the music. I’ll likely come back to it today, as right now, I’m still sort of tired and not feeling very active. I’ll just drink some coffee, maybe find something to watch on the netflix. 

The thing worth mentioning here is that I’m writing lyrics. My own lyrics, not just re-working someone else’s to make them lyrical and set-able to music. And it’s been a few years since I did that. It’s an idea that could, maybe, lead to several songs. 

Whoo. 

Okay, I’m just not excited yet. Better get to that coffee. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the giraffe riddle


If you haven’t seen it, you’re probably not on facebook.

I’ve seen it going around several days. I didn’t bother. I would’ve been correct, but I felt no need to engage in this particular “latest thing”.


But now I’m seeing a bunch of people sharing this post: “Giraffe riddle: Why you're probably answering the Facebook riddle wrong” 

In it, somebody is whining about how the answer to the riddle ought to be not the actual answer but rather the answer that the writer, and many others, incorrectly guessed. And the writer’s argument relies on identifying the first part of the riddle as not really part of the riddle, not really an option.

Come on, open your eyes, people. It’s a riddle. Sometimes there’s a little “gotcha” phrase in there that you might incorrectly ignore while focusing on the harder decision-making part of the riddle. This one happens to have two.


See, riddles are tricky. That’s the damn point. AND if you guess an answer that you think is right, but the questioner knows is not the CORRECT answer, then your answer is still incorrect. It’s not a math problem or something that actually could have multiple answers. It’s a riddle. That’s how they work.

You may think your logic is strong, but Turandot still sends you to the executioner. The Sphinx still gets to eat you.


So, all you long-necked, spotted sore losers shut up about it. Change your profile picture if you want. Seriously.


Dino-dream


Last night’s dream was a bit like a movie. It wasn’t a dream of a movie, but it seemed like a movie. Well, maybe just a scene from a movie…or part of a scene. And if it were a movie, I’d probably be an extra. I don’t know what exactly the main characters were doing, the hero-types. I was busy trying to run away…FROM DINOSAURS!!!


I don’t know if the dinosaurs had somehow traveled forward in time, or had lived all along in some isolated spot, or had been grown in a lab à la Jurassic Park. But lots of them just suddenly appeared. Again, were this a movie, I’d likely not be a main character as I didn’t know where they came from, etc.

So, along with other “extras”, I was in some city which I didn’t recognize, just going about my business when suddenly all these dinosaurs appeared. Of course, they were terrifying and everyone ran away, screaming, except the unfortunate folks who became dino-dinner.

I happened to be hiding in a store or series of stores—maybe some type of mall. And I had a small group of people with me. Maybe 2 or 3 or 4 others, whom I don’t know. Maybe I did know them in the world of this dream, but I wasn’t really paying attention to them as individuals. I don’t even know how many there were in this little group of mine. Again, not a main character.

Very quickly—seemingly within minutes, but probably more like hours or even days (thanks to the magic of film editing?)—order and lawfulness and basic human decency broke down and people were stealing from each other, fighting, even sacrificing other “extras” to get escape from various dinosaurs. The worst people at the store(s) where my group hid out seemed especially vicious, so we got out and found another spot to hide out. It was a restaurant, and the other “refugees” there were much less unpleasant.

So, things looked up for my little group (of indefinite size) and me. But the dream ended abruptly or, more accurately, stopped, not ended. Hmm…maybe I died instantly, unknowingly, in the jaws of a prehistoric beast.




Sunday, October 27, 2013

Passion


I’m watching Stephen Sondheim’s Passion this morning. (It’s a musical. Sondheim is a major musical theatre composer/lyricist…just in case you didn’t know. And the book, i.e., dialogue and such, is by James Lapine.) One of the cast of the show I’m doing now mentioned it, so I thought I’d look for it online. I found the entire show on youtube.

I was already familiar with it. In fact, I just leant the original cast recording CD I have to that cast member. I’ve listened to it several times and watched some of the video, but not all of it. I’ve also played a few songs from the show before.

Anyway, I like the show. It’s not a big flashy presentation sort of musical. It’s dark, and not really happy sort of show.

It’s about this soldier and the two very different women who love him.

He starts out with one, and they declare how happy and in love they are.


Then he leaves on assignment where he meets the other.


There’s a lot of struggling to deal with this other woman who loves him desperately and trying to maintain the relationship with the first woman.

I rather like the score. I think a lot of it is based on a small number of musical themes. That’s something Sondheim does—not just repeating material, as some other music theatre composers do, but developing it, as a classical composer might. You’ll see it more in Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George than in some of his earlier shows. And it seems that Passion is his most “condensed” score in that way.

I haven’t done an analysis of the score, though I did propose such an analysis as a project for a music theory class, but the teacher rejected the idea, saying that it was “popular music” and we didn’t deal with popular music in the class. Actually, we had done some work with popular music already in the class, AND I would suggest that this show is not really “popular music”. It’s much more a work of artistic merit.

Anyway…it’s a great show. I’d love to do it sometime. It’s not really a big show, in terms of cast size and sets and props and such. But you’d need good singers—not just good voices, but people who are capable of learning some very difficult music. After all, it is Sondheim. You need musically advanced singers for a lot of Sondheim, but they must also be good actors to do the material justice. That’s what I like about really good musical theatre—it’s not just actors who can learn some notes or singers who can learn some blocking. 

Oh yeah, some shows also require strong dancing. This one doesn’t. Sondheim doesn’t write much for dance. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

not my friends

So, I was just looking at what I’ve posted here so far in My Blog o’ Rants, and it’s not especially full of rants. That’s probably a good thing. Well…here is a little bit of a rant.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

I've been watching a show on netflix which has a character who reminds me of someone. The show is The Following. The person I’m reminded of is a former boss of mine—Cathy McNeela. There’s an actress in the show—Annie Parisse—who looks a bit like her…a very attractive lady. There’ve been a few other actresses who have reminded me of her. The one that most comes to mind is Christine Rose, who was in Heroes.

I started to post this on facebook, where I might’ve “tagged” Cathy…except that she, like many others, unfriended me some time ago.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

The past few weeks, I’ve considered unfriending a few people. I haven’t done it. It’s not as though they are posting things I don’t like or they’re making me feel uncomfortable. In fact, it seems to be the opposite.

A little while back someone posted on my facebook wall, “Can you just try not being a dick or disgusting for once?” I was not aware of this disgusting &/or dick-ish-ness. I said as much, and she followed up with, “You always are. Every time you comment on my page I get messages that say ‘did you see what chris wrote this time?’ So, maybe just stop.”

I found that odd. I mean, what grade of junior high school are we in? (Gasp) “O-M-G, you guys!” So, if I’m always being a dick/disgusting, and I don’t realize it, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to not be that way.

And another “friend” deleted some comment I had made on a post—I don’t even recall what it was, but it wasn’t anything I especially thought was delete-worthy.

The thing is, neither of those individuals are truly my friends. They’re basically just people I happen to know because they’re friends with other people I know (some of whom may be my friends). 

Anyway, I’ve hidden those two people from my facebook news feed, and put them in the list of people to whom I do not post most things. It’s the only way I figured I can avoid being offensive when I’m just acting normally. 

O Sleep...



I woke up this morning around 8am. A bit earlier, actually, and I sort of half-slept a little longer. But then I was fully awake and wanting to go back to sleep. No luck.

Occasionally, I’ll sleep ‘til around 9am or later, but mostly I wake up around 8 or earlier. And when I’m awake, I’m pretty-much awake. I may feel groggy once I’m up and about, but going back to sleep doesn’t seem to be a viable option.

I used to be able to sleep in. I miss that. A roommate of mine from college once said I slept all the time. That was an exaggeration. He meant I slept a lot. I don’t think that’s true, but if it was, perhaps I’m making up for it now by not sleeping as much as I’d like.

Sometimes I’ll go through days or weeks at a time of bad sleep. It’s not generally that I can’t fall asleep. It’s that I wake up sometime in the early morning hours and turn and turn, feeling like I’m totally awake. Or I feel half asleep and thinking, not dreaming, of how I can’t seem to get comfortable. I’m not plagued by thoughts of stressful life events or situations. Just a sort of discomfort, physically and mentally. It sucks, and when that happens, I tend to feel tired during much of the day. 

Honestly, this just feels like part of the general suckiness of my life. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

dream therapy


I dreamed last night that I was taking some kind of class—like an adult continuing education/community program sort of thing. I’ve no idea what the subject was. I arrived very early, before anyone else was there, early morning I think. But, for some reason I had to leave, and when I returned I was late arriving. All the other students and the teacher were there and the class had begun.

I also dreamed I went to see a therapist. I think it was the therapist I’d seen before (in real life) long ago—20 years. I also arrived there very early. The therapist’s office was actually a house. She didn’t live there, but it was fully furnished as a house would be. So, while waiting, I decided to shave my head and beard. That didn’t go especially well, as I was using a rechargeable trimmer that was running out of power. (That bit is probably because I plugged in my own rechargeable hair/beard trimmer just before I went to bed last night.) I also took a shower, and some other patients arrived as I was showering. 

Eventually the therapist showed up, and I went in to see her. She looked very different than she did 20 years ago. Not older, just different. She’d just returned from some big trip and was carrying luggage and various tourist-y items she had bought while away.

The dream ended then—we didn’t actually get into the session, and I do not know why I was there, what the issue was I wanted to discuss. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Money, money, money, money

My parents are about to send me some money. They occasionally send me money, which I don’t really like. I don’t want to rely on that, yet, it’s mostly what I’m living on. I do some work—I’m doing a show right now, 2 weekends of performances—but there’ve been substantial periods of time the last year and a half that I’ve not been working at all. And when I work, I make very little. I’m a musician, and not in the “music industry”. So, I’m broke.

Well, this money they’re about to send me—it’s not tons of money, but it’s more than they usually send. It would sort of replace what they’d send me for the next several months, but still s bit more than that. It’s more than is in my checking account (which isn’t much at all).

So, I am wondering what I should do with this money. I could just put it in my checking account and not think about it, just go on living and paying the bills and such. NOTE: I do not spend much. I don’t go out, I don’t eat out a lot and certainly not anywhere expensive, I don’t buy a lot of stuff. And that’s not going to change just because I have a little extra money.

But maybe my general behavior could change a little. Maybe I could take a little trip somewhere—the mountains?—just to take pictures. Or maybe I could hire a few models to pose for me, instead of hoping my friends will pose for me (which they mostly don’t) or hoping that someone will respond to a (completely legit and not at all tacky) craigslist ad, and then actually show up, not just flake out.

I could put some in checking and with the rest start some kind of savings account. I currently have no savings. There’ve only been a couple of times in my life that I had any savings, and it was never much, and it generally didn’t last long because I moved or had to get my car fixed or wasn’t working for a few months or whatever.

I hurt my knee a year and a half ago. Actually, I didn’t hurt it—I didn’t do something to it, like an injury—it just started hurting all on its own. I went to a doctor a couple of times and (not really knowing what they were talking about) they referred me to an orthopedic specialist who thought it was probably a torn or damaged meniscus. He drained a bunch of fluid (it was very swollen), gave me steroid shot, said that it should help a lot and come back if it doesn’t. That did help a lot. But my knee is still a little messed up. It hurts a bit if I do too much. Or sometimes it’s just sore for no obvious reason other than perhaps the weather. Maybe this money should go for getting my knee fixed. I’ve no idea if it’s even remotely enough.

I could just decide that most of that money is going to be for health insurance. I don’t have health insurance. I’ve never had my own health insurance. I was on my parents’ insurance when I was a kid, and through part of college. After that I didn’t qualify for theirs. I know that now there’s a health insurance mandate (Obamacare), and there’s a deadline for that relatively soon. I haven’t actually looked into it yet, and I really ought to. So, maybe this is the wisest option.

Perhaps I could use some of this money to submit my plays and musicals to various theatres, etc., that have a submission fee. (I write plays and lyrics and musicals, in case you didn’t know.) I submitted a couple of things (to no-fee opportunities) earlier this month. And there’s one more I may do. But otherwise, I haven’t submitted anything anywhere for a few years, I think. I had a year in which I made a lot of submissions, but I avoided those with submission fees, because I just didn’t have much money and felt I couldn’t afford it. I got no performances from any of those submissions that year. In fact, I’ve only ever had one piece done by a theatre with which I was not actively involved. So, I guess I just got frustrated and stopped submitting. I also stopped writing for a bit. I feel like I don’t have anything I want to write. I have been working with a lyricist this year, and we have a show we’re doing in New York City next month. But it kind of doesn’t feel like my show. Maybe if I started submitting more, fee or no-fee, I’d feel more like a playwright/lyricist again and start writing again. Or, perhaps there’s some kind of play-writing workshop I could take which might jump-start me back into writing.

But what I kind of want to do with this money, or some of it, is take a photography class and buy a decent camera. I don’t know how much a “decent” camera would cost, and I don’t know if taking a class would keep me from being able to do other stuff. Like, I’m supposed to go to NYC next month. (Maybe some of this money should go for that.) Can I miss a class for that? I may be doing a Christmas show with a theatre. Could I schedule that around a class?

Can I afford to get a decent camera and health insurance? How much is health insurance gonna cost? I don’t know. I guess I’m gonna have to do some research about how much things cost.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

I guess one thing I will do—which I would’ve dine anyway, without this money—is to buy a new pan. Just a couple of weeks ago I bought an inexpensive wok sort of thing. And that was great. Except that a week or so ago I burned it. I was cooking and at the same time doing something else I was much more focused on—playing some music on my keyboard, actually. I was alerted to the burning wok by the smoky smell of the burning wok (and oil) mere seconds before the smoke detector was alerted by smelly smoke of the burning wok. I had hoped it might be salvageable, but, alas, it is not to be.



not Frankenstein

I had an odd dream last night. I wish I could remember more of it. It seemed important, though as I think about it, I’m not sure why it would seem so.

What I do remember is something about numbers, changing the numbers of items, I.D. numbers or something. Mostly the numbers were being changed by adding digits. Like, if some item was #142, it would be changed to #1,421 or maybe #14,210. I don’t recall what the items were nor the setting. Though I think it may’ve been something to do with a lab, something scientific.

Mainly I think that because the other thing I remember was a guy cloning himself, or making a copy, or perhaps just a look-a-like. It was sort of a mad scientist type of guy. He had a lab; it wasn’t like a Dr. Frankenstein’s castle with lightening flashing in the background. But it was just this guy working alone, no assistants, as you’d expect in a lab. He wasn’t growing the clone from his cells, but rather by injecting his cells and a bunch of other stuff—chemicals or whatever—into the body of some medium-sized animal. It was the size of perhaps a cat or rabbit, but definitely smaller than an adult human. Yet, whatever he was injecting was making the animal grow larger and look like him. The animal was unconscious, so I don’t know if it got any smarter or self-aware. I sort of have the impression that the idea was to make it smarter and such, to be able to use it as a double or decoy or…I don’t something like that. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Life coach needed

Yeah, I need a life coach, i.e., someone to help me get motivated.

This person could help me find a job that will pay me enough to get by but also something I can stand to do and not feel like I’m actively destroying the world or assisting people’s self-destructive habits.

This person could help me exercise. I can’t afford a gym membership, but we could find some at home program that wouldn’t require the purchase of equipment. And this person would exercise with me or coach me through it, etc. In the past, when I have done some kind of exercise at home, it’s always been with no clothing. I guess I wouldn’t have to do it that way, but it is what I’m used to. If this life-coach were okay with it, that’d be great.

This person could help me find some friends that I might actually see regularly and spend time with. This person might even help me find a mate—not necessarily a “soul-mate”, just someone who likes me and whom I like enough to be with and see where that goes.

I cannot pay this life coach in money, as I don’t have any. I suppose if this person were wildly successful in the life-coaching of me, I would eventually be able to pay them. But if this person were a musician, I could offer accompanying/coaching or some original song or instrumental composition written for him or her.

(Back when I lived in New York City, I did a show with a woman who was a personal trainer. We had talked about arranging a barter of coaching for training. But it never happened. I left the city right after that show; I went back only for a month or so a year later, and didn’t get back in touch with her.)

If this person were an actor, I could offer a monologue or two.

If this person were a choreographer I could write music for a dance they might create.

If this person wanted to do some modeling, I could offer my time and talent as a photographer.

Heck, I might even be willing to do some house-cleaning or balance a checkbook. 

Whatever. I need help. I’ve been unable or unwilling to help myself, so clearly I need some outside guidance. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

"true to life"

I dreamed last night about a woman that I know.

I’m not sure if it was her birthday or some other “special day” or just a random day that I decided to try to make special. But I had told her that I was going to take her out and entertain her for the day. Actually, I had suggested that someone was going to take her out—some mysterious, romantic sort of guy…or something like that. But it was just little ol’ me.

I kept trying to come up with really cool things that she would enjoy, but (true to life) I sucked at that. I just didn’t know what people do when they go out. (Also true out here in real life, ‘cause I don’t much go out.)

So, on this “special” day it turned out to not be an all-day overload of interesting activities. I postponed and postponed, and the activities only began in the late afternoon/early evening. We went some place (which I cannot remember), but it was pretty boring, and we decided to go have dinner. We ended up at some sketchy little place that had a piano. So I played and this woman sang something (she’s a singer in real life). But nobody wanted to hear us. Some scruffy, old, biker guy sitting at the bar told us to cut it out. It’s possible that it was a scruffy, old, biker “lady” who looked very masculine. Anyway, we sat down to eat, but they didn’t actually have half the items that were on the menu.

Anyway, the dream didn’t finish. I don’t know if I woke up then, or if it just stopped at that point. I know that the story wasn’t over, the evening I was planning wasn’t over. In the dream my hope was sex. I certainly wasn’t sure of that result, but I know I was hoping.

In the dream I was staying at a hotel, I think. It didn’t much resemble any hotel I’ve actually stayed in before. I think it was a very expensive hotel. Somehow, in this dream I had money. Or at least I was quite willing to spend money as if it wasn’t an issue (not true to life). I had a roommate or friend or something who was also staying in the hotel room (suite, more like) with me, and as I was getting ready for this “date” he was leaving. I told him to look out for the “do not disturb” sign later, and if it was out on the door to not disturb because I’d be having sex. I didn’t actually specify the “having sex” part, but that was the absolutely clear implication.

Let me be clear: there was no sex. It doesn’t even feel there would have been sex if the dream had continued. This was not a sex dream. It seemed more like a dream about my inability to plan a lovely, fun, exciting (or any other positive adjective) evening with an attractive woman. (Yeah, that’s probably true to life. The no sex part certainly is.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

on the cusp

Sometimes I have the feeling that I’m just about to do something, I’m just about to launch into some great new thing, some new part of my life, perhaps. It may just be the feeling that I can’t stand it any longer NOT doing…something…something worthwhile. But it seems definite, somehow inevitable.

. . .

And then I get over it.

I do nothing, I don’t launch, no new part of my life begins. The nothing worthwhile that I’m currently doing simply continues.

So…definitely NOT definite. Not inevitable.

Fuck. 

A new blog

Right. 

So...

I was thinking not long ago I might just start another blog here, where I can just post various stuff I might write—not photography stuff, just other…whatever…stuff. So, this is it. Maybe.

Stuff I think, stuff I wanna say, maybe even stuff I find elsewhere online which I think is interesting. Or maybe horrifying. I don’t know what will find it’s way into this. 

I decided to go with “rants” in the title, as I had a bit of a rant tonight that I wanted to get out. I’ll post that in a bit. 

Clearly this won’t be as popular as “My Naked Blog” or probably even “My Photog Blog” (though it doesn’t get anywhere near the number of views as the naked one).