Archive for April, 2009

Summer Fun At The Movies

While I hopefully will have a jam-packed summer to look forward to, I do plan to see at least a few of the big-budget, popcorn munching, no chance of winning any major awards movies coming soon to a theatre near me.

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (the backstory to arguably, the most popular member of the gang of mutant superheros… opening Friday.  If you haven’t seen the much publicized copy that surely found its way onto the internet)
  • Star Trek (the much-hyped reboot of the 43 year old franchise.  The trailers look phenomenal… hopefully, as is so often the case, the previews are not the best thing… I’m hoping the delay from Christmas Day to May 8th will be worth the wait))
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the much delayed sixth movie of the seven book franchise.  The final book will be divided into 2 movies.  It has been two years since the last cinematic adventure of the students of Hogwarts)
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (didn’t I tell you that it was a summer of popcorn, senseless movies)
  • Land of the Lost (Will Farrell in an update of the classic 70s Saturday morning series about dinosaurs)
  • Up (Pixar’s Latest about an old man who hitches his house to a bunch of balloons and up, up, and awaaaaaaaay he goes.  Pixar movies are a must)
  • Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (the sequel looks as fun as the original…LOTS)

I probably will not have time to see all of them but will do what I can.  I plan to be in one show, help with the realizing of another show, and squeeze in some work this summer.  May the summer bring fireworks in the cinemas as well as the sky.

Don’t wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.

Yet Another Theatrical Tragedy

It seems that recently there have been a number of tragedies happening in the theatrical world most of them involved in small companies.  Last weekend a full-scale murder occurred at a reunion picnic for the Town and Gown Players of Athens Georgia.  This theatre has performed everything from classic Shakespeare to Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals to the screwball comedies of Woody Allen.  As a proud member of the community theatre of my own corner of the world, my heartfelt condolences go out to not only the families of the victims but to the entire theatre, as well.  Three of the members of the 55 year old company were shot.  As with the feelings I hold for many in my own community theatre, these three were seen as members of a second family.

Two of them were the technical wizards behind many productions who built elaborate sets.  The third was the small theatre’s president, herself  a veteran of numerous on and off stage roles.  That is what is so special about community theatre: Everyone has the opportunity to be involved in every aspect of a show.  An actor has as much to do backstage as on whether it be helping to construct the set, paint a wall, sell tickets, or clean the restroom the Saturday before a performance opens.  Sometimes it really does seem like a second family that has its share of disagreements and squabbling, but the final results are usually (if not always) well worth the effort.  Members also become life-long friends.

Although I have never had the opportunity to meet these three people, my heart goes out to them and their families both immediate and theatrical.  Please keep the Town & Gown Players in your thoughts and prayers.  By following the link you can read about the three victims as well as view and sign a condolence book.

A Day With Rosie

Now that the kids have been transported to school (an adventure in and of itself… nope still haven’t perfected the actual molecule beaming device… had to do it the old-fashioned way… by car).  I can come back and straighten the house so big brother doesn’t come home to a disaster.  Thank goodness, I have Rosie (la petite French maid… HUHN, HUHN!  Ooo, la, la!) to help me, I can kick back and watch as she goes through her paces.  From where I sit, she doesn’t seem to be doing too badly.  Very small, very fast, just my type.  I did do the dishes and picked up large items on the floor to make her job just a little bit easier.  She does seem to be having a bit of difficulty… looks like she is stuck on a furnace grating… excuse me while I go help her.  And away she goes  Boy, can she suck!!  OK…OK… Rosie is nothing more than the robotic vacuum.  Does take a little time but I have the day off, so I can get the house clean and do what I like as the sweeper does her thing

Well… while I let Rosie do her job, I think I will find a good show to pop in the Blu-Ray…

A Wonderful Weekend… Until….

Beautiful weather, fun times with the best of friends, and a bit of work (just a bit) all added up to a fun weekend AND THEN…UGH!  Older brothers can be so trying sometimes (I’m sure the same can be said for younger siblings as well). Fantastic news to start off with: We managed to finish filming The Clinic.  Hopefully, it can be put together well enough to submit for consideration by the deadline.  W have lots of fun things being planned after the final product comes to fruition. The process seemed to be much smoother than last week.  I must say that I am glad we finished when we did.  I think “Donnie” was just about out of energy.  And that, my friend says A LOT.

Saturday night, I once again had the extreme thrill and privilege to assist my  friend in setting up for his totally mind-blowing demonstration of mentalism in Mind Games.  Taylhis and I helped by watching him practice some of his routine.  Thankfully, very little of it was done fully so as not to ruin the performance.  I was asked to provide a dollar bill for a bit and at the end I had no idea what was supposed to have happened, but that is as it was supposed to be until the show.

I was encouraged to ask some of my family to attend the performance which I did and told them that “Upon pain of death” they would attend.  Four of them did… the rest better watch themselves.  Little Sydney really seemed to enjoy herself.  She was on the edge of her seat the whole time, totally mesmerized by the show with her mouth and eyes wide open.  Quite a change from the fright she got from Chris dressed as The Nerd.  Today, I asked if she was still scared of him.  She just laughed and shook her head, no.  Thank goodness.

Later this afternoon, while at my big brother’s house entertaining the kids with my sister and cousin, I noticed that Jeff was nowhere to be found.  Moments later, Kim told me in confidence (the kids were right there) that he went to the ER WITH CHEST PAINS… BY HIMSELF!!!  Given his history, I figured that it would be a long night, so I volunteered to stay with the three kids until their mother could be reached.  When he finally called, it was decided that he would be admitted for the night… just to be safe.  Because their mother could not be reached, I said that I would stay at the house and get the kids ready for school tomorrow.  Still did nothing to calm my nerves that he once again failed to say anything…. AHHHHHHHH!

Well… guess I will get cozy and see if the Yanks can’t take one from the Red Stockings.

Bored With The Afghans

My cousin and her small family moved to Alaska last November. Alaska?! Who goes to Alaska!  (HEHE… small inside joke).  Char’s husband was stationed there after his training in the U.S. Army.  In March, Rich was deployed to Afghanistan but he is allowed to communicate via phone or computer from time to time. He will be able to return for a week or so for the arrival of their second child (reportedly another little girl). I chatted with him a few weeks ago to discover that he is stationed in a relatively safe zone… in fact, he was bored.  I think I would rather be bored in Afghanistan than being in the heat of battle somewhere else..

My sister got a phone call this afternoon from Alaska.  It seems that Rich helped set up for a concert that will be taking place featuring a famous country star.  Both Char and Christi were upset that they could not be there, too because Rich got to meet him and got his autograph.  I told them… if you wanted to meet him so badly, you could both enlist and join him.  Don’t suppose that is very likely in their familial circumstances.  But I believe that they were both promised autographs.  Hopefully, some pictures as well.

I wonder what Christi would have done if instead of Toby Keith there were stars of the WWF or WWE or whatever the so called “professional wrestling” group calls themselves.  I belive it has been downgraded to “sports entertainment.” Honestly, it reminds me of a soap opera with all the convoluted story lines and obviously staged matches. .. good for a laugh.   However, somehow there is a number of members in my family  who enjoy it.  I still remember running outside on Saturday mornings when dad turned it on.  To each his own, I guess.  I would much rather see Toby Keith in person.  Of course, there are other celebrities I would like to meet.

Krispy Kremes And Bean Surprise

The last week at the old grind has had a few surprises.  Last Thursday with about 5 minutes to spare on my shift, two of my best friends and their two youngest happened into the store on their way to meet a prospective sitter for use when their normal sitter is not available.  Apparently, there was confusion as to where the store is located since the old Super Value sign is still hanging but the Krispy Kreme sign hanging on the building struck a chord.  At the time, I was  putting some potato salad in the case which the customers turned down.  After clocking out, they were at the register so I walked out with them.

Today, I was told that Saturday would be the last delivery day for Krispy Kreme at the store.  Apparently, the location that delivers them is closing its doors… yet another victim of the rotten economy.  The deliveryman who was the subject of a post a few months ago must not deliver to our store anymore… I haven’t seen him since the incident.

I don’t know how I got so luck today but I got the pleasure of stocking about every type of baked bean we carry: Bush’s, store brand, regular, homestyle, with bourbon.  The person working with me in the aisle cracked a few jokes before I got the chance… including Bart Simpson’s famous axiom :

Beans, Beans

The musical fruit

The more ya eat

The more ya toot.

Ah, the wit and wisdom of the eternal ten year old eldest child of Homer and Marge.  It also made me recall the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles.  I have always though that it would be extremely dull to work in a place where you could not have some fun.


You Say It’s Your Birthday… Well It’s My Birthday, Too

I was feeling rather curious to tonight and I decided to check out celebrities who celebrate (or celebrated) their birthday the same day as I do.

  • I have known for years that Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster from The Munsters and Judge Chamberlain Haller from the hilarious My Cousin Vinnie) was born on July 10th.
  • Phyllis Smith who plays (ironically) Phyllis  on The Office.  Isn’t it curious that many of the supporting cast members share the first name as the actor playing them?  For instance, Oscar Nunez plays Oscar; Angela Kinsey plays Angela; and perhaps most ironic, Creed Bratton plays Creed Bratton (but has his last name on the show ever been established).
  • Jake LaMotta the boxer who was the basis for the movie Raging Bull.
  • Jonathan Gilbert (Willie Olsen from Little House on the Prarie who is the brother of Melissa”Laura” Gilbert and half brother of Sara “Darlene #1 from Roseanne“).

There were 3 pages full of celebrities who share my birthday.  Some I would call infamous and some I have no idea who they are.  Follow the link to see who shares your special day.

Yet Another Rainy Day And Monday

Well… after a long and blessedly eventful weekend, I had my regular Monday off.  I usually spend an hour or two cleaning my mother’s beauty shop.  I did not mind today since the weather outside did not look to inviting after a decent Saturday and Sunday was a blah one, too (I guess the old adage that if it rains on Easter Sunday you can expect 6 Sundays of the same does not mean the same if it is opposite… meaning: If it does not rain on Easter Sunday, you can expect 6 Sundays of no rain.  Kind of like a groundhog predicting the weather).

So after spending some time chatting with a sick friend hoping to dispel some of her dreariness and getting to see a teaser of rhe short film we began shooting on Saturday, I read a bit while the suds were on television (YUCK) and found that the Yankees were on tv tonight.  After the first series at the new stadium with the Indians ended in a 2-2 split (we WILL NOT mention the happening of Saturday afternoon.  Remarkably, they now stand at a 7-6 record), I was looking forward to the beginning of a new round with the Oakland As).  Hopefully, the announcers would be a bit more even in their commentating than the seriously one-sided announcers on the Cleveland net.  I may sound biased but those announcers were terribly pro-Indian.  Unfortunately at 7PM, ESPN announced the bad news: The NY/Oakland game has been postponed due to rain.  Guess I should have kept a better eye on the weather in the Bronx: at 2:00, it was cloudy, but rain was forecasted.  I was in the same predicament as Taylhis last night.  Maybe I will catch up on some of the 70+ Simpsons episodes I have waiting on the DVR.  Honestly, who has time for regular tv viewing anymore?  Well… the occasional Thursday night from 8-9.30 but aside from that…

Shedding Some Moonlight On The Clinic

Saturday was the day that the theatre collaborated with Moonlight Productions to make the movie version of one our plays from a few years ago.  This is the first time I have been involved in such an endeavor but have sat through a few acting classes in which we discussed the differences between live theatre and film.  Going in, I knew that there was going to be stops, starts, and the possibiility of some jumping around in the script.  I actually thought it quite ambitious to think that we could shoot the film in one day.

Some of the actors from the stage version of The Clinic could not make the filming; however, the talent that was recruited assumed the roles quite nicely.

When I had posted about a friend who is going to be making her feature film debut,  I had forgotten about the possibility of filming The Clinic for Jay’s production company.  Hopefully, this will help him to get a film submitted to film festivals to help his company grow.  Chris has already gotten the screenplay, which was adapted from his stage play, submitted to a festival in Arizona.  However, the deadline for film submission is the end of April.

I actually felt for the people who had to sit there and watch those in scenes and await their turn.  While I was in the scenes that were shot, most of my dialogue and craziness have yet to be shot.  Most of the cast agreed that we should have had time to rehearse prior to filming.  I would agree with that sentiment but it was difficult enough to find a time to meet that fit everyone’s busy schedules.  I, for one, had a great time participating in a new medium.  I have been on film before but during live broadcasts so this was something entirely new but very exciting.  Chris was very humorous in his role as director using the clapper and forgetting to say “cut” when he needed to stop the scene (Scene C3; Take 259, etc.  HEHE)  I’m sure with the multiple cameras running, there will be plenty to have on a blooper reel.  I just hope that the film is good enough to help get Jay’s name out there.  Wrapping up next Saturday.  Hopefully, we all can look over the script and become more familiar with it and get through smoothly but I am confident that it will BE GREAT!!!

Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean

Ok… so this news is only a few weeks old, but the premise is so outrageous that I am surprised that no one else has posted it.  It seems that a woman in Germany has filed for divorce from her husband of 15 YEARS. Why you may ask?  Some Hollywood marriages last mere hours so this would seem like an eternity.  It seems that Mr. Christian Kropp of Sondershausen Germany has a slight problem with cleanliness.  It is NOT that he is a slob and insists upon not ceaning up after himself, but he is apparently a bit TOO neat.  One day, the obsessive compulsiveness went a bit overboard.  One of the walls in the house did not meet with Mr. Kropp’s white glove treatment so he did what any sensible, well-intentioned man would do: he knocked the wall completely down.  Here is a rather amusing reaction to the incident:

Cleanliness

Guys get a bad rap in the culture as a whole. You can’t turn on the television without seeing men portrayed as incompetent morons who wouldn’t be able to convert oxygen into carbon dioxide unless there was a woman there to help them out. Anybody who has ever spent any time in a dance club would observe that the dysfunction is pretty much spread equally between the genders. While this is true, men are the ones who are most often portrayed as lazy, slovenly, and the type of critters that would happily wallow in a mud hole if given the chance. With that said, it is odd to see a man get a divorce because his wife believed that he was way too clean.

Christian Kropp of Sondershausen, Germany is a bit of neat freak. Like many of the guys who are the basis of home improvement shows, Christian excels at cleaning, various household chores, and rearranging furniture. While many women may find this a charming trait in their mate, some also may be a bit intimidated by a guy who invades their sphere of competency; especially if he has better taste then his female counterpart. Mrs. Kropp apparently put up with this for a while, but called it quits on the marriage when her hubby decided to demolish and rebuild a wall that he couldn’t quite bring up to his standards with any cleaning products that were on the market.

While this may have been vexing, it should not have been completely unexpected. Mr. Kropp’s addiction to cleaning may have been unusual, but it was eventually going to collide with the hardwired male trait to take things apart. She is lucky that he didn’t take a chain saw to the entire house and start the whole thing over from scratch.

I wonder if he lifts the toilet seat when he is done or squeezes the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube.  Hopefully, the two can find happiness again elsewhere.

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