Thursday, November 29, 2007

What's the Deal?

There's an island near New Zealand that is 45 minutes off from it's neighboring time zone. What possible purpose does that serve?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Greetings from the Arctic Circle

Hello friends, I am now in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For those of you who would tell me that Grand Rapids, Michigan is not in the Arctic Circle, I would like to respectfully stick out my tongue to you and say "BLAAAGH!" Who are you going to trust: some unknown cartologist who randomly drew a line on the globe? or me, a trusted authority who is currently in Grand Rapids, Michigan?

I landed in Grand Rapids, Michigan Tuesday evening at around 6:00. At this time of year Grand Rapids, Michigan has 24 hours of darkness, give or take ten hours. Nevertheless, they chose to build a city on the permafrost, so here I am to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The United States Department of Public Relations would have the world believe that Thanksgiving Dinner is time of gratitude for our blessings. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, however, Thanksgiving Dinner is necessary to put on the body fat needed to survive the twelve months of winter (give or take nine months).

Not only has it snowed here, the temperature is almost FREEZING! Nevertheless, I have braved the elements twice. Yesterday after Thanksgiving Dinner with my family in Holland, Michigan I went out and played kickball with my nieces and nephews. Fortunately, we all returned home after the game was over with just minor frostbite.

Then this morning I once again put on my seal-skins and ventured out to help my mother rake the leaves. One of the trees still hadn't dropped all its leaves, and believe me, I let that tree have it! I knocked all those leaves down, because I wasn't going out to do THAT job again.

Later today I will be getting together with some college friends to inform them that that there is a world outside of the Arctic Circle. If I don't come back from Grand Rapids, Michigan within the next week, send out the St. Bernards.

Thank you.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Story of Some Shoes

Baltimorgue is in the past now. The students did a great job last night and the audience seemed to love it. The first readings of Baltimorgue were at the Creative Alliance in 2001. The first performance was at Artscape in 2004 and now the Institute of Notre Dame has performed it in 2007. If the pattern continues, the next performance will be in 2010.

But anyhow, today I want to talk about a pair of shoes that is stressing me out.

I needed a new pair of walking shoes, so a few weeks back I went to the thrift store and bought a pair for ten bucks.

The first time I wore them, my friend Don told me that those were really expensive shoes.

I didn't pay him much mind, but then last weekend I was at the store and a guy walked up to me and asked me where I got the shoes. He was flabbergasted when I told him that I got them at the thrift store. According to him, they sell for $800 and if I were walking around in Brooklyn, people would kill me for them.

Now what am I supposed to do? I can't wear them while walking around town anymore. Maybe I should sell them on ebay. Here is a photo of the stupid shoes.
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Friday, November 16, 2007


This weekend is the performance of Baltimorgue at the Theatre Project! Shows are Sunday, November 18 at 5:00 and 7:30 and tickets are just $10.

The show is performed cabaret-style, and tells the story of some notable deaths in Baltimore. Some of the subjects are...

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879) "The Belle of Baltimore"

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) Author

Robert M. McLane, Jr. (1868-1904) Mayor
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General Benjamin Butler (1818-1893) Civil War Union General (and future presidential candidate)

Frederick Douglas (1817-1895) Abolitionist

William Henry "Chick" Webb (1909?-1939) Drummer/Bandleader

Henry Louis "H.L." Mencken (1880-1956) Author
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Autumn Views


This is the view of autumn out of my bedroom windows. We are looking south across Herring Run Park.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An Evening at the Harbor

After a week of temperatures in the 30's and 40's, we got into the 60's yesterday. Finally...SPRING!

Since the weather was so nice, I went for a walk around the Inner Harbor after rehearsal for Baltimorgue last night.

This ship is docked right outside the Light Street Pavilion. Me and some tourists tried to figure out what country it is from, but we couldn't find any sign.

It is a massive ship! It has three masts and it dwarfs the Constellation which is parked at the pier next door.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Gathering of Pumpkins


The pumpkins of Bolton Hill have gathered for a post-Hallowe'en conference. Workshops include:

"Dealing with that Empty Feeling Inside"
"Carving Out a Place for Yourself when the Holiday Is Over"
"Keeping Your Inner Light Shining"
"Rotting with Style"
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Roxi Does Brooklyn

Sunday at 2:30 pm, Susan and I took off in her car for New York City to do a performance of Roxi Starr in Brooklyn.

Susan and I have different personality types: she is 100% extrovert and I'm not. Her energy comes from dealing with people. When I finally got tired and needed to take a nap, she got on her cell phone and kept going. No wonder she's such a good networker.

Whee! Here we are driving over the Delaware Memorial Bridge into New Jersey.

We hit some traffic between exits 6 and 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike and poor Susan almost had a mental breakdown. I tried to calm her down with games and singing, but I was never meant to be a lion tamer.

Finally the traffic picked up again (for no reason at all!) and we had smooth sailing until we hit the Lincoln Tunnel where we not only hit traffic but the emergency light started illuminating on her dashboard. This light was accompanied by a pretty little elevator ding which set Susan into fits of animal rage.

Despite the stress, we arrived at our concert venue (aka "bar") with an hour to spare.

Since this was a fund raiser for Leah Ryan who was just re-diagnosed with cancer, we performed the four songs for which Leah wrote the lyrics and I wrote the music: Broken Dreams, The Ballad of Billie Sue, Mrs. Somebody and One Thing. Other people performed monologues written by Leah between our songs.

Here we are right before the performance.

After we finished, I grabbed the subway and hightailed it down to New York's Penn Station (why are there no benches at that train station?!) and caught the 11:05 Amtrak back to Baltimore.

Here is a photo of the ceiling of Baltimore's Penn Station (the station that HAS benches!) where I arrived at 2:00 am.
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Friday, November 09, 2007

Performance This Sunday

Here's the advertisement for my fund-raising performance this Sunday evening in New York City...


When you get a serious illness in the United States, is it necessary to become
completely destitute and go on welfare? USUALLY!

Come to a fabulous party and help keep Leah off the dole. She’d rather concentrate on getting well than spend every moment freaking out about money.

Lots of live entertainment, a play reading, music, food, a silent auction, and plenty of good, weird people to mingle with! Don’t miss it!

When: Sunday, November 11, 2007
Time: 7:00PM
Place: Maggie Mae's Pub
4115 Queens Blvd., Brooklyn, NY
Cost: $20


This ad has been approved
by Fez and Johnny Cash

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Return of Baltimorgue

Hey! For those of you who are in the Baltimore vicinity, I will be mounting a new version of my Baltimorgue cabaret soon!

The performances will be on Sunday, November 18 at 5:00 and 7:30 pm at the Theatre Project (45 W. Preston Street, across Cathedral Street from the Symphony Hall). Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

The proceeds will go to the Institute of Notre Dame in downtown Baltimore.

If you saw this show at Artscape in 2004, there have been some changes: three new songs and all new performers.

Bring your friends!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Weekend in the Big Apple

Friday after work I took the Grayhound up to New York City. I stayed at my friend Randy's place in lower Manhattan.

On Saturday morning I met up with Janhabi at Grand Central Station. I knew Janhabi from Pohnpei and she was one of the stars of Welcome to Micronesia as well as part of the creative team for that show and Ascension Island.

After a long brunch, a cup of tea and lots of talk, we went to see the show The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway. Here's me standing outside the Marquis Theatre in Times Square before the show.

Then we took the subway down to Brooklyn. This is me in Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Bridge behind me.

And here is a view of Manhattan from Brooklyn.

We had a nice dinner in Brooklyn then went to see the National Theater of Scottland perform Black Watch at the Ann Street Warehouse. The whole run is sold out, so I'm glad I got tickets a few weeks back. It was a stunning production. One of those theater pieces that makes snapping back into reality quite difficult when it is over.
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Friday, November 02, 2007

From IND to Capital Hill

U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi are both alumni of the school at which I am temporarily working. Sheesh!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Stats

Thirty-nine trick-or-treaters visited my house last night.