concrete trenches
sometimes more feet than shoes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004  

My weekend in short, declarative sentances

First there were mermaids. Coney Island is exactly how you imagine it would be. Taxes are fun if done with the right person. Watching Blossom Dearie is far more exciting than you might think.

| posted by christopher | 1:15 AM

Friday, June 25, 2004  


I saw three separate individuals today, all with curious lumps. One was the crazy fella walking up and down the audition line outside a downtown theatre, muttering "Red light, green light, blue light!" He had a grapefruit sized bulge on his left shoulder blade. There were two other guys, one at the morning coffee cart and the other on the subway, each with a disconcerting lump on the back of his neck. Bulbous, alien egg, mind control looking lumps.

And here I thought the Republican Convention was weeks away.

| posted by christopher | 6:04 PM

Wednesday, June 23, 2004  

It's the Taxman!

I'm doing my taxes.

Yeah, I know what month it is. I filed for an extension, and have finally gotten off my ass. Well, a little shove from BG helps.

Here's the thing. I haven't done my own taxes for about eight years. Before that, I didn't really file taxes at all, owing to the fact that I was a major league screw-up. For the last eight years, though, X's accountants have taken care of the odious burden of figuring out my finances in exchange for my being a convenient tax shelter for their primary client.

But now it's time roll up my sleeves and figure out what the hell all these forms mean. My head hurts. BG has offered to "help" me do the deed on Sunday in exchange for bagels, dinner, and perhaps a little tender lovin'. Not a problem. Hopefully I'll learn what the hell I'm doing for next year.

At the moment, it's looking like I'll be getting a bit of money back this year. In fact, I may be able to write off more than I earned...

| posted by christopher | 9:29 PM

Tuesday, June 22, 2004  

I want more

I am looking forward to getting out of the city and doing a couple of theatre gigs. It will be nice to be on a stage where I don't have to supply my own costumes. I've high hopes these gigs will refill the tanks of optimism. Especially since I'm giving up a) the family reunion, b) a fun Evil West wedding and c) 12 weeks of time with BG.

| posted by christopher | 11:50 AM

Wednesday, June 16, 2004  


I don't believe the world has been made better by equiping anyone who wants one with a cell phone/walkie talkie.

| posted by christopher | 7:25 PM

Monday, June 14, 2004  

No Fear

I've been working on a new piece that I want to debut at an audition tomorrow morning. It's a "pop" piece. I don't believe pop is my strong suit as a singer. I'm much more one of those classic broadway baritones. The leading man type voice. But pop...i dunno.

Time was I was able to do anything. Not that I was able to do everything well, but I could do it, without much fretting over quality and such. I have this romantic notion of my past fearlessness. Today I'm working on this song thinking how it doesn't sound quite right, it's not warm enough, it's too high, it's too long, it'll invite too many comparisons to the guy who originally sang it, blah blah blah.

I want to go in and sing it anyway, to hell with the reservations ringing away in my head, just to say I did, and that I can. To say I can still be fearless. But there is that persistent voice nagging me about wether I should. What's the difference between fearless and stupid?

| posted by christopher | 6:24 PM

Friday, June 11, 2004  


What's really on my mind?

It's been so bloody hot in the apartment, even though it hasn't been all that hot in the city, that sleep has been difficult lately. The lack of sleep has translated far too easily into snipping and sniping at home. Last night BG suggested a couple of sleeping pills. Ah, sweet little blue pills. You have saved the tranquility of our home, and I thank you.

Will they just put him in the fucking ground already? You'd think with the 'round the clock coverage the media has been giving the recent demise of Reagan they were expecting the stone to roll away from the tomb. Well, if that were the case, I suppose they'd have turned the cameras off after three days.

Speaking of state funerals, I Inadvertently (I was buying an air conditioner, see above) saw a few minutes of the proceedings. Our current leader was eulogizing with his usual rhetoric subtlety. When focused that reptilian stare straight into the camera while saying the Ronnie was standing face to face in the glory of his savior, I had to walk away. George really puts the mental back in fundamental, doesn't he?

| posted by christopher | 10:44 PM  

Best joke I heard yesterday

The Boss' dad, the Owner of the bar, referred to his six children as "Two redheads and four shitheads."

| posted by christopher | 1:27 PM

Monday, June 07, 2004  

OK, I watched my tape. Everyone can discuss now

The Boss asked me this morning if I knew what he did last night.

"YES!! And I don't want to know anything!"

No New York Post today, even though it's the best entertainment value in the city and was sure to include laughably worshipful tributes to the Gipper.

Times Square, walking with my face toward the pavement (the anti-tourist) to avoid any early morning billboard changes.

I'm such a dork.

| posted by christopher | 9:15 PM  

Don't tell me about the Tonys!

Last night BG and I made our way deep into the Slope to see Mike Doughty - formerly of Soul Coughing, currently of superfine solo work - at a hipper than thou club. We were the first to arrive, and camped out at the bar right next to the stage. We figured it would be nice to sit, plus we would always have easy access to refreshments.

On the chalkboard outside, Doughty's opener was listed as "DJ Chuck" (or something, I can't remember his name, so we'll just call him Chuck). He was the worst DJ on the face of the planet. I've been to wedding receptions with better jockeys. The term DJ, especially when refering to one opening for the originator of "small rock" at a hipper than thou club, conjures someone spinning tunes, mixing beats, manipulating the music for the enjoyment of the crowd. Instead, DJ Chuckles played an endless stream of crap rock including, but not limited to: Night Ranger, AC/DC, and the inimitable "I Knew The Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll." I wonder, as this was a hipper than thou club, if the unsettlingly awful music is the next logical step in the "Trucker Hat" phenomenon of last year. The occasional good song, I assume, was an accident.

Doughty came on, an hour after the billed time, to rescue us. Our choice of seating, while seemingly clever in the empty club, turned out to be somewhat less than ideal. We were sitting in the path to the outside, so every few seconds someone would rub their ass against our knees on their way to smoke, or pee, or whatever. Someone behind me had a hand held video camera (Doughty allows taping of his concerts) with a very bright light attached. Some giant man with dreadlocks cascading all the way down his back ended up standing in front of us, blocking our well thought out view for much of the concert. Still, we had the best time. We have photo booth pictures to prove it. And a gentle ringing of the ears.

Going to the concert forced me to miss the Tony's last night, so don't even try to tell me who won what. I don't want to freaking know. I've taped it. Don't spoil it!

| posted by christopher | 9:21 AM

Friday, June 04, 2004  

I just be like fuck'em

"The Jackson are my parent and my brother Kevin's parents. Thomas is my brother in-law and my sister and they are the parents of Kim and Rashawn."

I'm appalled. Yesterday I read plays for a class of high school students in the Bronx. The stories these kids tell - crack dealing, smoking embalming fluid, teen pregnancy, hitting and stalking, murder, robbery - are heartbreaking. The way they tell them is frightening.

"Gurl plz, don't even let that get to you, my moms me on the same. I just be like fuck'em."

These kids are writing the way they speak. These are plays, after all. but the way they speak. It is another language, not English. Bill Cosby got some flack for criticizing the way inner city youth speak. He's concerned that the language creates a barrier to success for these kids. "You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth," he said. I agree with him. BG, in her Harlem middle school, has a student who wants to be a doctor, but he can't even spell the word.

Coming from my relatively privileged background, I want to know why these kids aren't being taught the basics. Why aren't the schools doing better? Why aren't the teachers correcting the spelling and grammar in these plays? But then I watch the kids filing into school, past the metal detectors and security guards. I watch a kid get searched because he doesn't have a bag and he doesn't set off the detector. I hear the principal, bullhorn in hand, telling the kids what to do. I hear about the kid, one of the playwrights, who has been shot four times. Who can worry about grammar when it's more important to worry about eating today, or taking care of your little brother, or your baby, or your mom.

I wish someone with the power to affect a change could plop themselves into the middle of one of these schools for a day, without that pesky Heisenberg crap, and really SEE what an inner city school is like. What would our President see, I wonder, after he walked through the metal detector of this Bronx tech high school. It seems to me that right now, Bush be all like fuck'em.

| posted by christopher | 1:24 AM

Wednesday, June 02, 2004  

My pal Dionysus

The theatre gods are apparently smiling down upon me. I just got hired to play a gig upstate. Catskills, here I come!! This, plus the Big Midwestern Theatre Gig leave me one work week shy of the holy grail of the Equity Actor: Union Health Care.

Also (because one must sacrifice to the gods to keep them happy) I am spending tomorrow morning in the Bronx, performing plays written by inner-city high school students. I did this gig this last year; same program, different school. Always interesting to see how the kids respond when I refer to myself as a "nigga."

| posted by christopher | 9:45 PM
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