"But ah'm not afraid of dyin'. Cause I know that when I get to heaven there are gonna be these wonderful trees, and ah'm gonna climb them. But you know what? Instead of leaves and flowers, those trees are gonna have fried eggs, and delicious Virginia ham, and big heaping bowls of biscuits and sausage gravy. And one day, Sammy, you're gonna meet me there, and we're gonna climb those breakfast trees together, and it's gonna be delicious and we're gonna be happy until the end of time."


TGI Thursday

It's the Craft Center Friday. First week of classes done. 8 hours in the hot shop so far, and it's more like riding a bicycle than I expected. In that I'm not very good at it, it makes me tired and sweaty, and more often than not I end up in a ditch. You'd never know I'd been doing it with some modicum of regularity for four years. Blowing glass that is, I've barely touched my bike.
So far my directing class is hilarious. 7 people. On the first day we were waiting around for some guy named Lucas, and in walked the notorious Mr. Flatt. Small fuckin' world. We enjoyed one of those strange early morning and out-of-context recognition moments and went on with our lives, and went out for soup after class. Thank You, Five Minutes should be required reading because we have four people from Knoxville of late, and three who don't feel much like sharing. Topics included, but were not limited to: How the Tennessee Stage Company exerts so much effort and remains so lackluster, Is ANYONE reviewing theatre in Knoxville, how awesome was Hedwig, Hedwig was awesome, Urinetown is the best musical ever, and there is no "theatre community" in Knoxville because they all hate each other. This is what I've learned so far. Our first assignment is to write a review of a show, and I just happen to be seeing Unidentified Human Remains And The True Nature Of Love twice this weekend. Coincidence? Or fair warning?
Slate is publishing a new chapter of The 9/11 Report, A Graphic Adaptation every day until 9/7. It's an interesting read, and a good one, if you're into that.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I fall back into the old routine. Per usual there is a dance party slated for this evening, and I hear the first rumblings of booty shaking out there. Guess it's time to hit that wonderful shower, pick some mint from the garden, and make my first of several mojitos.
Can't shake the booty proper without mojitos.


B-double E-double R-U-N...

Aaaaannd....we're back.
On the hill. I'm feeling pretty indifferent on this the night before class starts. I've been puttering around my room trying to figure out what to do next.
I'd forgotten about the showers. Boiling hot pressure washers. Borderline orgasmic. I've slept here one night since Thursday, but I've taken three showers. Even dirty hippies tend to clean up their acts once they try the showers here. This is especially welcome this time around because there's a whole new crop of Patchouli stink I could do without.
Seriously, what the fuck is up with Patchouli? Is it in some trustifarian handbook somewhere that you must, MUST play hacky sack and bathe in nothing but patchouli? Is it somehow intrinsic to the maintainence of caucasian dreadlocks? I've never been able to stand it, I suspect this is due to the unfortunate stench of one director (no need to name names, you know him or you don't) I worked with on several occasions. The first read-through for Picnic at Hanging Rock made me so ill I missed the following two days of school. Since then Patchouli has made me want to regurgitate the contents of my most recent meal onto the offending party.
Even that probably wouldn't kill the god-awful smell.
I'm readjusting to life with spiders and without locks, but for now I feel exposed. I'm settling in slowly, the shock will wear off soon. I hope.



8 lb 6 oz newborn baby jesus

Gratuitous is the word (is the word that you heard).

I didn't work this week but somehow I managed. To do nothing constructive. Out of a desire to blog for the sake of it, I shall now regale you with a poorly written recap of my whirlwind week o' slack.

I am now fully addicted to Weeds. If you haven't seen it, get thee to iTunes. It's dirty in all the right places. Which is to say, everywhere. It doesn't set out to move you in the last few minutes of each show, so it has all the more impact when the moment strikes. Plus I get a sick delight out of little kids using the word motherfucker.

Passions was brilliant this week. Ratings must be in the crapper because they have had at least three shirtless men on screen at all times. I really should have started a drinking game based on each instance of shirt removal.

Ssssssssssssnakesssssssssssss on a Plane
. Was that and so so much more. Gore, on a plane. Sex, on a plane. PSP addiction, on a plane. Bloated, oozing corpses, on a plane. Adam turned to us when it was all over, and said "well, I don't know what I was expecting..." Of course the snake lover in me had a few asinine moments of turning to Jesse and saying things like "constrictors don't have teeth like that! ARRRRRR!"

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip may just make up for Sports Night's cancellation. After seeing the pilot, I can honestly forgive Sorkin for leaving the West Wing to suck for several seasons. Who knew I'd ever look forward to Monday nights?

Talladega Nights
. Just see it. And take me with you.

Dave Chapelle's Block Party. I have this little problem, which luckily didn't manifest itself during Talladega Nights because his screen time was so short, but I become what can only be described as "Beatles on Ed Sullivan Front Row Bitch Crazy" whenever Mos Def is on screen. Like, want to rip my panties off and throw them at him, squealing and dripping like a honeycomb. No other man has this effect on me, and your guess is as good as mine as to why. So, this film could have been Mos Def brushing his teeth, and I would watch it on a loop. But when you factor in Quest Love from the Roots just grinning and drumming all day, and Dave Chapelle being himself all over the place, this is my new favorite film. Don't even get me started on how much I love Michel Gondry. Just don't. There was not a minute of this film I can complain about.

I befriended and defriended a small child this week. Day one I loaned her my bike. Day two she went through everything I own and made off with a good portion of it. Day three she threw rocks at my house to get my attention. This is why you shouldn't talk to small children.

Went to the Smokies game for Jodie's birthday and implemented the "kid in a candy store" attack on the concession stand. Later, at Sapphire I couldn't even drink my martini (me!) I was so sick from all the hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream, and pretzel I consumed. I came disgustingly close to puking on Joe's shoes. Aren't you glad you read this far?

Tonight, Urinetown.

Work is for suckers.


Forever 23

You are a constant source of love and joy. Happy Birthday, Jodie.


"Take your time...

..she's only burning."

Today at Magic Wok as I was cooling the fire of spicy chicken cashew with countless glasses of useless water, Betty imparted tiny asian lady wisdom. You have to have five things lined up, if one falls through, you move to the next one. And you have to have fire inside for each of them. You have to have the fire.

I got home and got an IM from one of my best friends (you may know her as Jen), who just started a new job in Florida. After an exhaustive search she found a house that would be perfect after a complete overhaul. Her mother caught the fever and bought one down the street that needed less rehab. Jen has been staying at her mother's project while renovating her own place.
This morning, a month before it was to be finished, some crackhead burned her house down.

bellepal: http://www.news4jax.com/video/9674907/detail.html
You can see my morning here.

Obviously it could have been worse. She could have been in the house. Everything she owns could have been in the house (with the exception of her computer, stereo equipment and power tools - they were stolen in a break-in two weeks ago). Insurance can put back most of it, but it won't replace the old woodwork and the history of the place. Still, she has a place to stay. She's not physically hurt, but in pain nonetheless.

So tonight I'm occupied with creation and destruction by fire. A better artist would have pencils in hand, but I'm just staring at the wall and constructing fleeting images I hope to recapture later. I need some fire, but I can't bring myself to want it.


OK, Go!

I feel about this the way a born-again christian must feel about jesus, in awe and compelled to share the good news.



These things never come out right.

"Fate leads him who follows it, and drags him who resist." - Plutarch

It is not news that I don't put a lot of faith in a higher power. At least not one sentient enough to care whether I read its special book, get up early on sundays, or sacrifice a fatted calf in its honor. There are, though, occasions when I have serious trouble denying fate or karma or whatever name you want to attach to it. There are moments when no conscious decision is made but a seemingly insignificant action, word or phrase sets me off on an entirely new trajectory I couldn't have fathomed. Furthermore, evaluating some of the conscious decisions I've made, it seems I'd be better off leaving it for fate to decide.

"One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it." -French Proverb

Granted, conscious might not be the word for the mindset of a suddenly and severely depressed teenager staring down the barrel of a career. Fresh off a nervous breakdown, I took a long look at the art form which had gotten me out of bed in the morning and kept me out of it at night since before I could remember and responded with clenched eyes and a choice finger. At the time it, and the voices in my head, were all I had to blame for why I felt so strikingly shitty. I thought I was burned out. I didn't just make the decision not to major in theatre in college, I turned my back and nurtured a healthy loathing for the whole enterprise. I remember going to an ACT All-Night Theatre event the following year and being almost physically ill at the hugginess and support those damn theatre people showed for each other. I felt embarrassed that I'd ever been one of them. Because I was so fucking talented in my waitressing job, and an accomplished stoner to boot. Angry, sad, and then pissed off for being sad. These were the sourest of grapes. In the intervening years, I know I can count on one hand the number of times I set foot in a theatre. In the anthology of short stories about stupid decisions I've made, I call this one Tempting Fate...Like a Bitch.

Lacking a better idea I floundered for a bit, and tried my hand at flailing for a while. Dipped up and shaped some semblance of a new identity out in the hills. Suddenly it's Summer 2006.

"Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny." -Kin Hubbard

I didn't even want to go to the bar that night. I was tired, the headache was in full swing. Well, a small part of me will always want to go to the bar, but that's not the point. The point is that I didn't set out to discover I've been kidding myself for the past eight years on that particular night. I followed some friends in, made a spontaneous noise of approval at the prospect of Hedwig. Joe noticed. Mike was there, leaning against the bar. Sara remembered me. I thought maybe I could score a free show if I handed out programs or slapped around some paint. I still have no idea how I ended up in the program.
I had so much trouble containing my enthusiasm throughout the process. Yes, I loved the show, I believed in the story, I was curious to see how it would play in town. On the whole, though, I was just giddy to be back, even if I was on the bottom rung cleaning tomatoes off the floor. There were a few familiar faces sprinkled in a sea of strangers, but I felt more at home than I had in years.

So I left theatre to find myself, the irony is not lost that I was there all along. Always the last place you look. The real surprise though, was not only finding that, but also a different version. The one that flew instead of flailed. The one that stuck it out and turned the inner voices outward. I don't dare compare the talent, but I recognize the love. It touched me from a distance at first. Then one night it took a truly bizarre turn, ripped out my insides, and refused to put them back in the original order. Inspiring. Painful. Necessary.

The universe provides, I barely had to lift a finger. I'd do well to remember this in the future. I don't know when or what my next show will be, or how I'll contribute, but I can guarantee it won't be another eight years. I just got a big piece of myself back, I'm not about to give it away again.

"What do I know of man's destiny? I could tell you more about radishes." -Samuel Beckett



I'm working on the post-mortem. Naming photos isn't my specialty, but there are a few on flickr. Smoking hot.


Southern Comfort

It's Wednesday night and some lightweights have been steadily leaving 2 oz. of bottom shelf liqueurs at your house. You go to peruse the bar and are nearly buried under mainly empty bottles of boozecandy.

Fuck This Iced Tea

.75 oz. hobo socialite amaretto
.75 oz. teen girl triple sec
1.25 oz serviceable rum
2 tbsp. simple syrup
Unsweetened iced tea left over from your soon-to-be aunt-in-law's 80th birthday party to taste

Pour ingredients over ice and shake like a red-headed stepbaby. Lemon? If you must.