Thursday, November 30, 2006

Drama In The Theater

Strange Goings On...

Here's what was happening on Tuesday Night:

and here's a look at where things are tonight:

I've got to get off of my ass and get some trim around the windows and fireplace tomorrow, and convert the as yet unseen non-existent canopy of that bed frame center stage into something that looks like the Ghost of Christmas Future by Sunday's Tech Rehearsal.

I'm presently paralized with indecision...

Just So We Are Clear Here...

Are You A Good Muslim?

You better not get on an airplane with me and start praying loudly, yelling Allah, and doing other stupid Muslim shit because I WILL RISK GOING TO JAIL as I kick your stupid Muslim ASS.

Seriously...put a towel or scarf on your head and try me...

Here's What I Was Riding To Grade School In In 1966

It's Not My Dad's Car...But It's Close

A zillion years ago, each and every schoolday morning back when I was in the first grade, I rode to school with my dad in a car almost exactly like this one to Daleville, Alabama on his way to his test pilot/engineer job at Cairns Army Airfield--one of the busiest helicopter airports in the world (slightly behind Lowes Army Airfield also at Fort Rucker, Alabama.)

For all of the auto entheusists and trivia buffs out there, the 1963 VW had a 6 volt electrical system--thus the "yellow" cast of the headlights. The other details are the shape of the bumpers and the narrow shape of the tail lights and center tag light housing on the rear deck lid.

Later on we also had a 1965 hard top VW Beetle for which I had the opportunity to do my first car engine rebuild in the early 1970's.

Now you'll have to excuse me while I take time out for an early morning nap and to think about building the Ghost of Christmas Future...

The NY Times Sucks

It's Just That Simple...

(And it's just one man's opinion...but hey...It's my blog...sorry Folks, but I'm yelling at the TV as I'm watching the live news conference this morning in Jordan with President Bush and Iraqi PM Maliki)

Bottom line, almost all reporters are leftist partisan assholes...timetable, timetable, schedule for withdrawal, schedule for withdrawal, get out, get out, oh OH Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!


After watching President Bush negotiate his way through that press conference where he had to call reporters down and ask them to shut up so he could speak, I swear to God that I'm certain that the 99% of the Arabs are lucky that it's not 1944 else we'd be turning the entire area into a sheet of silica glass...I'll fly the airplane if someone will load the bomb.


Wierd Weather

I'm Worried

It was almost 80 degrees here today on our little island of St. Simons. I spent half the day spinning around on the stage of the Ritz Theater, and much of the evening installing lights on a friend's Christmas tree while we had drinks and ate dinner.

To me it seems that the warm weather this late in November is a precursor to a bout of severe weather with thunderstorms and tornadoes bouncing around the lower Southeast over the next few days.

I hope that I'm wrong...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Still Making Sawdust

Will Somebody Please Buy Me A New Screwdriver?

I'm afraid that I'm about to lose my mind, and the loss will be over something really stupid.

You see, there is this queer little reality out here that most people, at least those not in the construction business, don't understand...

All Phillips Head screws are not created equal, but I digress.

In the theater set construction business, virtually everyone has adopted the use of screws rather than nails to put the boards and sheets of foam and plywood together.

Makes good sense to me, since you have to take everything back apart within weeks if not days of lovingly putting it all together in the first place. Backing a screw out of a hole with a power drill or cordless power screwdriver is generally much easier than cursing while fooling around trying to pull a bunch of bent nails out of 2x4 studs every few months.

Now as to my delimma.

For the past few weeks I've been working with this giant plastic bucket full of left over, recycled screws-sort of what I call "The Ghost Of Christmas (Plays) Past..."

99% of them SUCK

No Matter what you do, you end up trying to drive two or three 2" screws into any given position, and you find yourself ANGRY.

I told my Boss & Director, Miss Heather, that I would return to the building this morning with NEW SCREWS and Phillips Head Screwdriver Bits that ACTUALLY FIT the heads of the NEW SCREWS that I provide.

Other than that little detail, the rest of my life is just Peachy right now.

Talk to y'all later...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dead As A Doornail

Trivia That Interests Me...

I love looking up the origins of words and phrases on the internet.. Tonight's phrase of interest is "dead as a doornail" because it occurs in the opening dialogue of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", in reference to Scrooge's former business partner--Jacob Marley.

Here, take a look:

This is an ancient expression: we have a reference to this dating back to 1350, and it also appears in the fourteenth-century work "The Vision of Piers Plowman" and in Shakespeare’s "Henry IV."

Another expression, of rather later date, is as dead as a herring, because most people only saw herrings when they were long dead and preserved; there are other similes with the same meaning, such as dead as mutton, or dead as a stone.

But why particularly a doornail, rather than just any old nail?

Could it be because of the repetition of sounds, and the much better rhythm of the phrase compared with the version without door?

Almost certainly the euphony has caused the phrase to survive longer than the alternatives I’ve quoted. But could there something special about a doornail?

The usual reason given is that a doornail was one of the heavy studded nails on the outside of a medieval door, or possibly that the phrase refers to the particularly big one on which the knocker rested.

A doornail, because of its size and probable antiquity, would seem dead enough for any proverb; the one on which the knocker sat might be thought particularly dead because of the number of times it had been knocked on the head.

But William and Mary Morris, in The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, quote a correspondent who points out that it could come from a standard term in carpentry. If you hammer a nail through a piece of timber and then flatten the end over on the inside so it can’t be removed again (a technique called clinching), the nail is said to be dead, because you can’t use it again.

Doornails would very probably have been subjected to this treatment to give extra strength in the years before screws were available. So they were dead because they’d been clinched. It sounds plausible, but whether it’s right or not we will probably never know.


It's Coming Along

First here's a photo of the cast of "A Christmas Carol" walking around on a few platforms on a virtually bare stage last week:

And here's what they're dealing with last night:

That center platform is 5 feet high, and the two walls on each side are 14 feet tall and twelve feet wide.

Now it's time for trim & finish work so that Miss Heather can get her painting done.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Got Holiday Leftovers?

Here...Try This...

When you finally get tired of eating leftover Ham and Turkey sandwiches this week and next month after your Christmas celebrations, you should consider making some White Chili like I'm making this morning. All you need is:

1/2 large Onion, diced how you like it
5 cloves of Garlic, diced fine
1 carrot, sliced & diced
3 tbsp olive oil

2 cans chicken stock
1 can beef stock

2 19 oz cans white Cannellini Beans
1 pound of diced ham, turkey, or chicken (whatever you got left over...)

1 4.5 oz can of Old El Paso diced Green Chili Peppers

Put your olive oil in a large deep pot over medium heat, then add your onions and cook them until they are clear, adding your carrots about half way through the process and your diced garlic a few minutes later.

Doesn't that smell good?

Now dump in one can of chicken stock and cook a little longer, then add the beans, chicken/pork/turkey meat, the rest of the stock, and the peppers, bring everything to a nice simmer, and cover it all up with the lid to your pot.

Now step away from the stove, stopping back by every half hour to check and adjust the heat.

Cook it until you can't stand it any more or it's done or you're hungry, then ladle a few big globs into your bowl and EAT!

(I'll be dining on my White Chili later this afternoon after putting in another four hours working on the set at the Ritz Theater.)


After you've cooked everything down real good, do this:

Add another whole can of beans.

Now you have a nice mild soup.

Do You Really Want White Chili?

...then add 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tbsp Chrystal Hot Sauce, and 1 tsp Cumin.

Cook everything another half hour or so, then put a couple of rolls of your toilet paper into the freezer...

E N J O Y...

EVEN MORE got to have cornbread with your chili:

Toss 1/2 cup of plain flour in a mixing bowl along with about 1/2 cup of plain corn meal, add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of baking powder and baking soda, a pinch of sugar, two well beaten eggs, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, a handfull of diced sweet onions, a half can of creamed corn, and enough whole milk to make a nice smooth batter (between a one-third and one-half cup.)

Stir, stir, stir...

Now melt a 1/4 stick of butter in a 6-1/4" cast iron skillet in a 425 degree oven, pour your batter into the skillet, cook it for twenty to twenty five minutes, chow down on the results, and call me when you wake up from your nap...

Here's What I Was Building About This Time Two Years Ago

Does Anyone But Me Remember?

In November, December, and January of 2004/2005 I spent most of my days running around in circles a few hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean in St. Simons Island's "Old Casino" Theater, building the set for the Agatha Christi play "The Mousetrap."

The director challenged me to duplicate the original set used in London's West End Theater back in the 1950's, and I ended up doing the entire project virtually alone because of "Theater Politics"--they did manage to establish a chorus of malcontents that endlessly complained about the cost of my efforts after I spent the budget pre-approved and allocated for the project.

In the end, when the dust settled, after expending over 300 hours of my time, the fruits of my efforts looked like this:

Excuse the shadows in the working lighting, but I never managed to get pictures of my set with the show lighting because I didn't ever attend a performance of the play.

Here's a look at the 10' tall window center stage--that baby took nearly a week to cut out and to hand stain all of the individual wood pieces (I also painted the snow draped tree landscape in the background.)

I was actually pretty pissed off about the results of so-called set decorator's efforts with the furniture selections since they had promised me that they would match the scale of the room (14' high walls) with new chairs and tables that everyone on the southeastern Georgia coast hadn't already seen 27 times on the sets of plays beforehand.

I was rewarded for my efforts with the omission of any credit for being Set Designer and Set Construction Chief in the Published Performance Program, and when I finally returned to the theater at the end of the show's public presentation several of the usual suspects the other jealous theater assholes of my other helpful assistants had reduced the big window (which I had built to be included in the sets of next two shows) to toothpick size pieces of broken wood.

I was furious, and like my current entrepreneurial situation, I quit as a result of my obvious but yet confusing shortcomings...

Is it just me, or what?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Have Nothing To Say

I'm Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired