Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cigs, PCP, Sci-Fi

They're closing down the Philip Morris plant around here (story here). Management cites a decline in smoking as the reason. This is perfect mixed-feelings fodder. Sure, I'd love for the cig industry to close up entirely, but the fiance of a friend works there, operating a cig-rolling machine. What's he gonna do now? And what are about a thousand other folks gonna do now? And by the by, when the economic downturn started to have an effect on working peoples employment, I noticed a substantial uptick in reckless, pushy, aggressive driving around here. I fear there's gonna be another uptick...

* * *

I feel a bit guilty for being so callow about drug addiction a couple posts ago... it was a vivisectionist I had issues with, and I shouldn't have taken it out on the people he's trying to help. Still, taking Angel Dust in this day and age... that's pretty boneheaded, and I know from boneheaded. So help PCP addicts, but not with extreme measures. And tormenting monkeys is pretty extreme.

* * *
Science Fiction: Ruined by Whippersnappers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cute Kitty, Fluffy Bunny, Buzzing Flies

Ever since we moved here our cat, D2 a.k.a. Mr. Two, has been stalking backyard critters.

(A note on D2's name... this is what happens when you let research technicians name cats. He was part of a breeding experiment, his brother was D1, he's D2. At least he's not named after R2-D2. We also call him Mr. Two, Two, Toober, etc. etc.)

So Mr. Two likes to skulk around the backyard, menacing birds, bunnies and squirrels. But he never seems to catch any, and we liked to refer to his hunts as photo safaris.

Well he sure showed us.

The other day I was in the backyard reading when I heard a piercing squeal. I looked up to see a striped kitty galloping top speed to the open back door with a writhing bunny in his jaws.

Head twist, cracking sound, limp bunny.

Running fat bald guy, trying to shut the door in time. Failure to achieve stated goal.

Cat dragging bunny corpse all over the house.

Finally Two dropped the bunny and patted it quizzically. Get up and play! It's not naptime till I say it's naptime!

I put on some rubber gloves (I'm fastidious about some things, like raw death) and tossed it out by the thicket. The next day I went out to bury it... flies were already hunkered down on its pelt.

Since then the cat has been energized and emboldened, chasing down prey with fresh expectation.

I choose to see it as a good omen for my upcoming auditions. After multiple rejections, maybe I'll catch a bunny.

And then it'll die and be buried. Stupid omen!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shakespeare at Structure

My latest variation on the actor's nightmare took place in a parking garage. I believe my subconscious was spoofing Shakespeare at Sloss... Sloss Furnace has more charm, but similar, maybe even inferior, acoustics to a parking structure, so I can see my subconscious' point.

Anyway this was the most stress-free actor's nightmare ever, because I just played a spear-carrier, and all I had to do was follow certain actors on and off stage.

Speaking of industrial spaces, JG Ballard, whose work often centered around concrete and steel, just died. RIP Ballard.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Somewhere there is a crime happening.

I've met two guys who answered to the name Robocop. One was the brother of a friend, and his nickname seemed to be the result of aggressive nerdiness on my friend's part and unRobocop-like passivity on Robocop's part. The other guy...

When I was in college I auditioned for the UAB (University that Ate Birmingham)'s Summer Childrens' Theatre along with some of my fellow BSC (Boys Scorching Churches) Theatre students. Carolyn, Steven and I all auditioned, along with some UAB students... and this other guy.

He was short, wiry, with a wicked gleaming eyeball and a wicked, leering eyeball. He had barroom bad boy attitude to burn. He was a swaggering sneer. He was kind of homely, but he didn't let that stop him.

He threw himself into the audition with gusto, but he unnerved me and he couldn't act, so I hoped I'd never see him again. After the audition we chatted with him and a buddy he'd had tag along.

Carolyn (to digress a moment) was fixated on Shakespeare's characters in large part because they were so intelligent, yet so subject to overruling passions, just like her. When she met a guy who excited her, all her good sense stepped aside. And so it was this time, as she nervously flirted with... well, I didn't catch his name, but he told us he was a professional killer.

For The Law, mind. When a criminal was too out of control, they would arrange for him to kill the guy. In fact, just that very day he was supposed to be in another city, killing a guy, but he decided to blow it off and audition for childrens' theatre instead. What a wild, devil-may-care existence the USA's authorized assassins must lead!

"You'll totally get cast," Carolyn told him. Perhaps the distinction between Good Acting and Intriguing Storytelling was getting blurry for her.

He mentioned his license to kill. "Hang on, I'll show it to you!"

Dig in wallet...

"I can't believe it, I left it at home. But I do have one!"

"It's true, he does," said his eagerly grinning buddy.

"But here's a card the guys gave to me," The Killer said.

A card with a picture of Robocop, from the movie, on it.

"They call me Robocop because I've had so many parts replaced. So much has gotten blown off. I've been shot and caught in so many explosions... There's a plate in my mouth. Touch it."

To Carolyn, he said this.

"Go on, I won't bite you. Just touch it."

Trembling (with fear? Eros?) Carolyn stuck a finger in this guy's open mouth and confirmed that he had a plate in there.

The guys drove off, and Carolyn spent the rest of the day in a giggle-coma with Stephen, her gay friend, whose job it was to calm her down after excessive hot-guy exposure.

Robocop didn't get cast, but Carolyn, Steven and I did. I wonder how many women in how many bars have stuck their fingers into that open mouth.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Slink through the Links

Please note that I have fiddled with my links, splitting the list into two: one for comics, one (much shorter) for everything else.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Stop Snatching

I hope to have a few photos of our Washington D. C. trip up soon, but I'm feeling a bit of an inferiority complex over Kannapolis/Charlotte's lack of a Metro system or excellent, or merely good, or even tolerable, restaurants. So, here's one area where Washington falls a bit flat: purse snatchers.

When my family and I visited in the Eighties, a guy waltzed up to my Mom, wearing IIRC a sharp suit and sunglasses. He said something to the effect of "Ma'am, may I ask you a question," bumped into Mom, said something like "I'm sorry," and waltzed away. Mom later explained that the guy made a grab for her purse, but Mom held on and foiled him.

And this trip, someone seems to have hacked at Laurie's purse strap in an effort to snag it, but didn't cut all the way through.

What up, D. C. purse snatchers? Twenty years later and you guys still suck.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mea Culpa

I haven't posted recently because so much of what I'm interested in talking about is something I can't discuss: the politics around my fiance's job.

Edit: that is to say, my social activity lately is mostly with my fiance and our cat, and since the ongoing soap opera of academic activity as related by Laurie is fascinating (to me) it's much of what's on my mind. But I'm sworn to secrecy. At least blog secrecy. So unless you want cat anecdotes or various iterations of "there aren't enough auditions around here to keep me working" then I got nothing.