concrete trenches
sometimes more feet than shoes.


Sunday, June 29, 2003  

Go to the woods and do your bitching there

I'm partaking of the glory that is iTunes store. Mmmm, mmmm, good. This round, Stop Making Sense, the "new, improved" version. Once this is safely received, it's off to the apartment to pack for the grand adventure that will be BG's and my camping trip. One week in the car, driving to the Bay to see a friend's show, staying with another friend, camping all the way down and all the way back. So, my little tome site is going on hiatus while I go on sabbatical.

Before I go . . . some whining and complaining:

One of the Big Theatre's here in the Evil West is casting their next season. This theatre has promised that they will remember me while I travel out to make my fortunes in New York. I called, to let them know I was in town, in case maybe they thought they might want to call me in. My phone remains silent. Actually, I ran into Frick, the Artistic Director and Frack, his Associate. Frack, with whom I'd left a message, said "Oh, yeah, I was going to return your call but I forgot."

On the one hand, people tell me how nice it is to see me back, and how proud they are of my venture, and how sure they are of my success. On the hand I'm looking at right now, I have a theatre who "forgets" to return my calls.

And to think, there are people wonder why I left town.

| posted by christopher | 5:50 PM

Friday, June 27, 2003  

A no show

Going to the Musical Theatre tonight to see a baseball musical. Free tickets and all. I dunno, it might make me a little twitchy. I sometimes get sad and a bit envious when I go watch people play when I'm unemployed. Plus, my neck is a little sunburned, and the backs of my knees, from playing golf.

| posted by christopher | 10:03 PM  

A Couple-a Hours

Boomer scratched his chin thoughtfully as he stared down at the quiet heart of her 1987 Honda. "Well, it could be a leak in the radiator. Could be the thermostat. This just start up?"

"No," she answered, "on and off for the last year. Usually when it's a hot day, and only when I'm stopped. We're going on a road trip next week, so I think it's time to make sure it's not serious."

"Yep," he said. He coughed, but not hard enough to dislodge the Winston dangling from between his lips. "'Scuse me. Well, we're kinda busy today, but I bet it's not too gawd-awful bad. Gimme a couple-a hours ta figure it out.

So she and her dauntless companion walked a few blocks up the street to get a bite at the bakery cum bookstore cum internet café. They stayed for a couple of hours, nursing the drinks and browsing the isles. She came away with a script to add to the moving boxes.

Boomer gave her a ring around noon. "Well, she ain't got no leaks I can see, but that thermometer was all shot to hell. Sealed right shut. I got the part comin' from the other garage, but it'll take me a couple-a hours ta get 'er in. The mount's rusted pretty good."

"Oh, alright, well that's good. Just give me a call when it's ready."

So off they went to forage at the outdoor mall down the road. First they stopped at the hippie store where she "tested" sunscreen for a few minutes, and then they waited for the bus for far longer than they would have in Queens.

They window shopped, ate noodles, bought ice cream, almost bought the new Harry Potter book, and killed time before deciding they should head back to the garage.

Boomer was working on a Saab while the Honda sat with her hood open. "Oh, yeah, hey. Yeah, it's quite a bugger getting those things in. Do it too fast and I could really mess things up. It's gonna be a couple-a hours before it'll be done."

"Well, um, I have to be at work at five."

"Well, I could get it done by then. Might be five thirty. Or seven. Hard to tell till I really get in there. Be at least a couple-a hours."

| posted by christopher | 12:51 AM

Thursday, June 26, 2003  

Newness

Blogger has updated the site, and I'm playing, but I'm about to run out of time at the bakery/bookstore/internet café. Sigh.

Had a wanky night last night seeing a pal's not very good show. I find I am a little uncomfortable and nervous around people who knew me pre-move when I see them post-move. What up with that, I wonder...

| posted by christopher | 2:34 PM

Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

Drive train bluesDrive train blues

So I broke my baby. In my eagerness to get on my bike, I rather hastily put it back together. I had a little trouble getting the right side pedal back on, but I managed. The first ride was a simple one: bus the bike to the bike shop to get air in the tires, and have the pedal looked at. Alas, on that errand I encountered a phenomenon specific to bike shops and guitar stores. When the clerks are surly or condescending or both. They know so much more than you, that even the simplest inquiry becomes a question of your very right to exist in the store. Some people react to this with indignation, I tend to giggle like a schoolgirl and exit backwards, bowing. S'anyway, I got air in the tires, but the pedal remain unexamined. Also, the allergy meds haden't kicked in, and the one mile ride back to BG's apartment nearly killed me with phlegm.

The next ride was better, and worse. It began with a practically straight uphill climb. At the top of the hill, I noticed the pedal was a bit crooked and had some wobble. The Surly Bike Shop was closed, so I had to set the bike aside again. Yesterday I took a wrench to it, and noticed I had misthreaded the pedal, and the hard ride up the hill had apparently sheared some of the threads out of the crank arm. In English: I'd fucked it up good.

So now I am off to another bike shop to have them tell me they have to replace x parts and it will cost me y much and will take them z long. And all I want to do is go for a bike ride, dude.

| posted by christopher | 3:53 PM

Monday, June 23, 2003  

Navel gazingNavel gazing

I've been contemplating my creative powers of late. I usually go through this phase when I have been away from the theatre for a few weeks. Even though I have a show to work on at the moment, I am feeling creatively impotent. It has made me rethink this whole website. How interesting is it to encapsulate the minutiae of my life for a (very) limited audience? Is it really strengthening my powers as a writer to jot a paragraph or two down while sipping a double tall americano? Why haven't I finished the Great American Musical?

Perhaps it's the actor in me, but it is difficult to do things in a vacuum. The thought that no one is reading this (although I know there are a few people who come regularly to read this, which kinda astonishes me) makes it seem frivolous.

I was discussing writing with BG. I started writing a story, and stopped, because I thought she might not like the subject matter. "Maybe, at this point, you should not worry about your audience, and you should just write."

| posted by christopher | 3:52 PM  

<strong>This is just a test</strong>This is just a test

I'm trying out software to make my blogging experience a little easier, a little better. This is only a test of the software. If this had been an actual Blogging emergency, you would have been advised to tune in to your local station for relevant information.

An after the fact edit - the software runs well, thank you very much.

| posted by christopher | 3:13 PM

Saturday, June 21, 2003  

Arthur Miller's Crossing, Act II

Guy: Who are you doing this for?

Him: Pardon?

Guy: Deaf and dumb. Who are you doing this for?

Him: This what?

Guy: This. That. Anything. Who are you doing any of it for?

Him: I don't know . . . you mean . . . I guess . . .

Guy: Who are you doing this for?

Him: No one. I'm not doing it for anyone.

Guy: Wrong answer. Do it for yourself.

| posted by christopher | 11:53 PM

Friday, June 20, 2003  

Arthur Miller's Crossing

Her: What are you thinking about?

Him: Oh, that play I wrote.

Her: The pig play?

Him: Yeah. I really liked it.

Her: Oh, well, good.

Him: Yeah, I want to do that again.

(Pause)

Her: So...?

Him: It's hard.

(Silence)

Him: I mean, when I sit down to write, I edit at the same time. Sometimes I edit before I write and nothing comes out.

(Silence)

Him: That's a lovely Cheshire expression you're wearing.

Her: You just have to not do that.

| posted by christopher | 4:14 PM

Wednesday, June 18, 2003  

Aggregate

Living at the BG's pad has meant watching tv again. Not much, as her tv is kinda crappy, but we have gotten into the habit of viewing the news while having dinner. Which usually leads to my yelling at the tv. "How can he be such an IDIOT! Why don't we impeach him!"

I feel like someone filled my chest with concrete. When I die (which may be very soon) my body will decay and leave behind two perfectly cast lungs made of cement. Or maybe "phlegment."

I'm having a harder time adjusting to living full time with another human being than I though I would. After eight plus years with the same person, begining to live with someone else is proving, er, different. (Duh). We're beginning this funny dance where we wonder if we're doing something right, or if we're offending, or if it's ok to make dinner now.

I miss home. I miss New York. I miss being in a place that has almost no pollen. I miss my dirty little neighborhood with the $2 shitty-plex, and the barbers who always stare at me as I walk by. Sigh. Rehearsals will start soon and I won't have as much free time on my hands to ponder such things.

| posted by christopher | 3:20 PM

Monday, June 16, 2003  

It's what's for dinner

The stakes were huge. Yeah, the salad was nice (I fixed it) and the corn was on the cob, the way god intended it, but the slabs of beef were freakin' enormous! And, apparently, they were bought on the hoof. I've a vague recollection of a ranch in Oregon and leased land and a fudal type system, but it's hard to remember through the haze of beef and dill vodka.

Also, four year old girls are not so dazzled by my skills at wordplay. Mostly, I would get a blank look, and then "I can run like a cheeta!" as she takes off for the kitchen and another Popsicle.

| posted by christopher | 4:31 PM

Sunday, June 15, 2003  

The Evil West strikes back

Look at the warm, late spring day. Feel the gentle breeze, the sun's rays kissing your face. See the children playing in the fountain. Take a deep breath . . .

Hack and cough and feel the phlegm drip down the back of your throat as your tracheae swells and your eyes water and itch. Be careful when you stand up, as you may get dizzy from the crusted muck lodged in the eustachian tubes, creating imballance in your inner ear.

Enjoy yorself! You're in the *god's country!!*

| posted by christopher | 4:59 PM

Saturday, June 14, 2003  

. . . Fear Itself

Now that wasn't so hard, was it?

| posted by christopher | 10:44 PM  

Want ice for that?

Walking into my coffee shop connection, I passed a couple sitting out front, chatting. Only when I got inside did I realize that I know, rather well, the male of this dyad. Part of me wants to go back outside and say hello, and another part of me is sitting in here writing instead of saying hello. What the hell is up with that?

The friends who were friends of X and I are sometimes sticky. I think they are judging me, somehow. "Oh, you decided to bag it, and you broke X's heart, you bastard." On the other hand, My Golf Buddy informed me that, after a month and a half of being X's cry pillow and then a month of X not returning calls or email, his heretofore hardline Sly-hating girlfriend said "I'm beginning to see Chris' point." Maybe I'm not being all that harshly judged, especially by the ones who know me, and X, best.

Another point - the old pal sitting outside broke up with his girlfriend about the same time X and my marriage went south. The two gals now share my old house.

Ya know, as I'm writing this, I'm realizing how candyass it sounds to be afraid to go say hello to someone with whom I have shared countless meals and drinks and stories and laughs. We've performed together, thc'd together, bitched together, played together.

I'll be right back . . .

| posted by christopher | 10:33 PM

Friday, June 13, 2003  

Physically Strong, Mentally Able Awake, Morally Straight.

BG and I are planning a trip down the coast of the Evil West, to see a friend perform in the first leg of her Broadway Tour. We are going to drive, camping along the way, and then take a few days to drive home. Our first road trip, not counting the time we drove out of town to celebrate New Year's Eve and had a tire blow out on the way back. And I get to show off my non-homo Boy Scout Ways.

| posted by christopher | 5:26 PM  

Don't keep your distance

I'm trying so hard to be deep and tell a good, Meaningful story. I'm wracking my brains looking for some keen insight or nifty so and so to spin out. I'm dry. Got nothing. In a very good mood, in a very good way, not feeling down or maudlin or anything. Instead, I'm going to describe my surroundings.

I'm sitting in my new favorite place, the coffee shop where I'm getting some Wi-Fi love. It's new since I left the Evil West, occupying a space that once held a rather forbidding dessert place. The walls are the standard issue coffee shop earth tones: brown, dark orange, dim yellow. There are small pendant lamps proving the moody downlight, and of course there are huge chalkboards behind the counter listing the myriad beverages one may order.

Tattooed, bedazzled Young Baristia: "Let me just check, you didn't want drizzle on your tower?"

Middle aged bird-like customer: "No drizzle."

I have no idea what that means.

There is a glass art conference taking place in the area, and the cafe is chock full of it's conventioneers. There are several women, all with foreign accents (including the woman from New Jersey) engaged in very animated conversation. There's a middle aged couple with the drizzleless woman. A couple of computer users - and they are eyeing my Mac with envy, oh yes they are - checking email. It's very lively. These glass art people really know how to cut it up.

Yesterday, after my battery was too low to feed the beast, I watched as a cop cut a woman off in traffic. He jumped out of the patrol car with his gun drawn and pointed it at the driver's, a young African-American girl, and told her to get her hands in the air and get out of the car. She neither lifted her hands nor got out, and the car crept forward ever so slowly. The cop repeated his warnings and pushed the gun a little further forward from his arms as if he could get her to see it better by doing this. the car lurched forward a few inches. The driver's window was rolled down only a few inches. She was trying to tell the cop something, but he was not listening. The BG was pulling on my arm, asking me to get away from the window and the drawn gun, and suddenly the woman took off in the car, swerving around the patrol car and heading down the street like a scared mouse trying to outrun the cat. The cop ran back to his car and was gone before I realized I was holding my breath.

The sound system is playing jazz of the nondescript, neo big band variety. A nondescript neo big band version of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina."

| posted by christopher | 1:14 AM

Wednesday, June 11, 2003  

Lookit the birdie

Man, I'm really wishing I'd brought my golf clubs to Seattle. Where I'da put them? Haven't the foggiest. But I really want to go golfing, and now I have to rent clubs to do it.

Spent many hours trying to find an internet connection last night. My regular IP fix was closed. Damn, I also miss my cable modem.

| posted by christopher | 3:51 PM

Monday, June 09, 2003  

Good days

Got up late, made coffee, showered leisurely after some sweet lovin', had cereal, ran some errands including getting a new antenna for the cell phone, bought a map, went to the hot dog restaurant but they weren't open so went to the brew pub instead and had fish and chips and a hamburger and beer, fixed the hot glasses, and then checked the email. Next, rearranging some of the apartment, a nap, perhaps more sweet lovin', and a show tonight.

These are the carefree days of summer.

| posted by christopher | 7:22 PM

Sunday, June 08, 2003  

Sponge cake and berries

The BG's parents came to her show last night, along with some of her "cult" friends. I forget the origin of cult, but that's how I know them. The precious few non-theatre friends.

Anyway, they all came over to BG's apartment, which I had picked up, and where I had prepared dessert. It felt a little strange, playing host in someone else's space. And for her parents, who seem to look at me as the guy who is leading their little girl away to the Glorious East.

There is a Tony party tonight back in the city, hosted by a big producer with whom a friend works. If I were there, I'd be her date. Sigh. That's one of the ways to get work: show up to parties and be fun. I can do that.

| posted by christopher | 4:56 PM

Saturday, June 07, 2003  

Back where I don't belong

I made it out of my apartment and onto my flight, but just barely. Fifteen minutes is really not enough time to get from my nabe to JFK. But I got on the plane, after the umpteenth random screening selection, and am now sitting in a coffee shop in the middle of the Evil West. It's hotter'n hell here. The BG and I are sharing her tiny apartment, trying to figure out how to fit the small amount of stuff I brought into all the nooks and crannies and wondering if our combined treasures will ever fit in one home.

Now that the distance is gone, there's a tiny bit of fear lurking around the corners of my brain, just out of sight. I think it can mostly be summed up in the notion that I don't want to be wrong, so flat out wrong, two times in a row. I don't think that'll do good things for my psyche. There's also the nagging reminders of a life that's past. Though the life is better being gone, none the less the reminders are everywhere. Small and persistent, and totally annoying.

I'm off to be a show widower, making her apartment ready for friends and her parents to come over and have cake and wine after the show. I wish I could open the door wearing a flowered apron and oven mitts.

| posted by christopher | 9:59 PM

Wednesday, June 04, 2003  

The more they stay the same

Taking a break in the packing to check email, write a little. I'm surprised that I am finding things I haven't really looked at in some ten years. I would think these things would have been scrutinized when I made the big move out from the Evil West, but somehow I overlooked them, or chose to deal with them later.

I found a packet of letters I exchanged with a kind young lass while I lived in the Decadent Caribbean. She lived in Miami, and came to my bar while on a vacation. She wrote me a letter and sent it to my place of work, and we started a correspondence. Quite a few letters. I only have her side now, of course. They are exceeding sweet, very smart (they remind me an awful lot of the Best Girl), and there's more of them than I remembered. I guess there's a reason to have saved them for ten years and thousands of miles.

Journals. Oh, there's nothing like pawing through the angst filled journals of your youth. Makes me wonder what the reason for doing a public journal is, except that when I read those old diaries, they seem to have been written with an eye to a future audience. Notes for my memoirs, perhaps? Or notes to the future me who would read them ten years on?

Mounds and mounds of opening night well wishes. Into the box for safe keeping.

I have so much shit to get done before my plane leaves tomorrow. But I am beginning to be excited, boo-howdy, by the prospect of the summer. And BG and I are going to sit in the crucible for a while, and see how this being together full-time feels. I think we're going to make gold, personally.

Wish me luck.

| posted by christopher | 8:23 PM  

Man of Steel

Oh, how I wish I were Superman. First of all, x-ray vision. And heat vision. But x-ray vision, top of the list. Then there's flying. When I'm standing on the elevated platform of the 7 train and it's ten, fifteen, twenty minutes since I've seen a train I want to jump over the side and fly down Queen's Boulevard, over the bridge, and into Manhattan. But mostly, I want to be impervious to hurt. I want to be able to heal from wounds (if ever I got them) as quickly as you can say "Look, up in the sky!"

Even Superman has Kryptonite, though. I wish I were past the divorce. The sad fact of the matter is, even though the divorce was an oh-so-good thing, I am not over it. I don't suspect I will be tomorrow, either. Kryptonite.

| posted by christopher | 1:27 AM

Monday, June 02, 2003  

I am so smrt!

Just because I use words like "sacrosanct" in a sentence without thinking about it, or that bg and I have a game that involves revealing new -id words (viscid? Did we get morbid? We did?) doesn't mean I am the State Spelling Bee Champion. My spiffy Mac, however, will spellcheck in any program, including an internet browser posting a blog.

The thing I have to remember is to run that lil'checker before I post. Usually I post, and then think "Did you spellcheck, Sly? 'Cause you don't wanna look ign'rant." The question I wanna ask is: how come when I posted and then edited yesterday, I was left with the double-post?

Also, as a game, spot the spelling errors in the first post!

| posted by christopher | 11:04 PM  

Only up from here

I closed my show tonight. Not a moment too soon.

I knew that moving to New York meant starting over to a certain degree, and I certainly thought I was prepared for this. But this experience has been one for the memoirs. The Producer is the personification of why there is a performers union, and why we should not take it for granted.

The capper of all the many, many reasons why Crazy Producer Lady is best left behind was the instance last Sunday where she cornered a cast member in the dressing room (dressing room = pre-school class room in the church annex where we performed) and yelled at her, during intermission and into the first act. This poor actress, my fellow castmate and journeyman, came to the stage in tears. Mostly upset that CPL dared breach the sacrosanct rule of not talking to the actors during a performance.

Not only did I want to burn this bridge, I have spent the last weekend of performance walking backwards pouring an open can of gasoline on it.

| posted by christopher | 12:25 AM  

Only up from here

I closed my show tonight. Not a moment too soon.

I knew that moving to New York meant starting over to a certain degree, and I certainly thought I was prepared for this. But this experience has been one for the memoirs. The Producer is the personification of why there is a performers union, and why we should not take it for granted.

The capper of all the many, many reasons why Crazy Producer Lady is best left behind was the instance last Sunday where she cornered a cast member in the dressing room (dressing room = pre-school class room in the church annex where we performed) and yelled at her, during intermission and into the first act. This poor actress, my fellow castmate and journeyman, came to the stage in tears. Mostly upset that CPL dared breach the sacrascant rule of not talking to the actors during a performance.

Not only did I want to burn this bridge, I have spent the last weekend of performance walking backwards pouring an open can of gasoline on it.

| posted by christopher | 12:24 AM
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