Monday, October 30, 2006


It was Kayleigh's turn to have a rough night. Lots of upset over a bunch of little things that added up. Fortunately I was home by her bedtime so we got a few minutes uninterrupted cuddling, which seemed to help calm her down.

Tyler was great. Thanks go to my brother and his wife for watching the kids on his actual birthday (Happy Birthday, bro! It was good to hang out with you Friday). I was supposed to call my mom back, but was so distracted with putting the kids to bed, and the exhaustion of a 14-hour day on only 4 hours sleep, I spaced it. Tech week in late October sucks. But the set looks good, and the runthrough last night felt promising.

Oh, and last night, for the first time since that dream just before the fire, I had a nightmare that actually woke me up. In this case, it was that the house was burning down.

On the bright side, the blinds are being installed tomorrow, so we will have shades up on Halloween. But nightmares about the house burning down - again - yeah, not so fun.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This is the only time I'll have to post today (and perhaps for the next few days), so I thought I should get to it.

Had a great moment with my son last night. After Kayleigh was asleep, Tyler and I went upstairs, turned on the fireplace and had a nice chat. It's not often a father gets the chance to cuddle with his 12-year-old son (especially given the crazy schedule). It was nice.

I've been so deep in everything, I forgot yesterday was my stepmom's birthday, despite weeks of planning and forethought. So I feel like crap, of course. I'm taking her to the airport this morning so she can fly down to California for a couple days. Then I have to go straight from SeaTac to Northgate for a lunch meeting with my Ordinary Angels producers. Then up to Display & Costume for some prop shopping, then to Seattle Lutheran High School to pick up wallpaper for the play. My poor car...

Tonight I have to go on a Home Depot run for the play, Friday I have a bon voyage drink with some of my Gilda's group (one of my fellow widdas is taking off to Guatemala for a few months), then my brother's 30th birthday celebration. Saturday morning I meet with my sound designer for the play, then have a few hours to prep for Sunday's load-in and finish the program (I am apparently a one-man theatre machine). Then that night I am screening the 75th anniversary DVD of Tod Browning's 1931 Dracula with Bela Lugosi for some friends. Yeah, I know it's a cinematic icon, but honestly, how often do you sit down and watch it? Our society is so rushed and jaded and pressurized (I know from personal experience) that the classics largely go unnoticed now. So I have decided to pay homage to the film portrayal of Dracula that gave us every single one of the mainstream qualities we've come to associate with vampires: long canines (not incisors, like the earlier Nosferatu), the dashing, sexy foreigner, black capes, widow's peaks, the bat transformation, the hypnotic gaze.

Sorry for the tangent... where was I?

Oh yeah... Sunday morning we start load-in for the play. The set pieces, scenery, props and costumes are all transported and stored at Youngstown, and the set constructed on the stage. Thus begins tech week.

Once the play closes, I will have two and a half weeks of solid prep for Angels. Our shoot is November 16-20. Once the shoot is done, I will hand it to an editor and take a deep breath. After calling in family favors for childcare and such, I will owe my family some personal time - especially my kids. I'm not booking any professional gigs or productions or anything until after January 1. I mean, I'm already working through Celtic New Year. The rest of the holidays will be ours, damnit.

I did some interesting math and figured I was currently doing the work of two parents, two directors and two producers, plus trying to unpack a house while trying to get some sleep and not go crazy and hack someone to death with a homemade katana. Good thing I don't have to be a husband or boyfriend right now as well.

What's keeping me sane? Hugs from my kids. The occasional Daily Show, when I catch it. Billie Holiday, and lots of it - there's a woman who really lived a freakin' LIFE. Poetry by David Whyte. Music by Trespassers William & Autumn's Grey Solace. Here, Bullet by Brian Turner. Nothing like a book of poetry from the front lines of Iraq to put my own life in perspective. Amazing stuff.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Projects, Projects...

Time for an update.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

What I mean is, I can finally see an end to this crazy-stupid triple-booked schedule I've been maintaining for the last three months plus.

Thursday night brought the announcement that one of our producers on Ordinary Angels has found himself overbooked and was offered a very attractive commercial shoot during our scheduled shoot. Ordinarily, this would be a major hurdle, except for the fact that he is lining up all the resources and replacement people before he leaves. That, and I emailed our co-producer from Duo, and she's interested in coming on board. So in the long run, I think we'll be just fine.

We're two weeks away from opening The Dining Room at Youngstown. The crazy schedule will kick in during tech week, when we're in the theater space and rehearsing with a real set and props. Once the show opens, however, it becomes the actors' show - I really have to (and get to) drop the reins and just watch along with the rest of the audience.

I had a tech meeting at Youngstown yesterday morning. It was surreal walking into the technical director's office, which is about 1/3 of the control booth space. As we climbed the stairs and reached the door, Samantha's name greeted us from an etched slate plaque. The tech director works there - she passes that name many times every day, and likely doesn't give it a second thought. But it was a little strange for me.

Anyway, I made a lot of progress on the show yesterday, and typed up a shot list for Angels. Tyler encountered some issues with his computer, and ended up overreacting to the point where we found ourselves in another standoff. I called my brother (the middle school teacher) to come by and run interference. He is an adult male whom Tyler respects (and well versed in child psychology), so was able to talk him down. Tyler was very contrite and ended up hanging out with me all night. Gavin and Michelle left, and my buddy Ron and the kids and I had our Friday night pizza, then Kayleigh went to do some artwork and we boys watched the first two Alien films on the projector screen with 7.1 surround! I think that means the screening room has been officially christened.

With all the moving and time constraints, I haven't been to the gym in over a month, and I'm feeling like things are starting to slide. I need to get my slidey ass back in there soon.

I'm supposed to be building sets today with one of the Dining Room cast, but I think it's gonna be more of a Home Depot shopping trip. I'm going into Brian's studio tomorrow with Mike Berg to do some more on the tribute CD. It's sounding pretty good. Can't wait to get it done and out the door!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Could I Say?

Now I'm so afraid
To push you from my mind
Like the fear of forgetting what
What light is like when you close your eyes

How can you stare
How can you sit
While I'm trying to tear you up
And I'm almost good at it

I told you everything I knew
I tore my pockets out and gave them all to you
You hold my throat like a violin
I never want to kiss again
Cause there's nobody like you
Cause there's nobody like you

- Trespassers William

Monday, October 16, 2006

How Many of Me?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I Know

I know i'll never see you
I know i'll never run into your body walking through the crooked streets
I know i'll never hear you
I know i'll never hear you like a sound that wafts inside from outside there
I know that if i waited i know that if i wait a thousand days will lie wasted with thoughts of you

My love i've pictured this:
Your violet eyelids opened to say "here's where you've been"
Your lips open to say "my darling it's been so very long and i'm in pain"
I know i'll never feel you
I know i'll never get so close to you that i can't smell anything else
I know i'll never see you I know that where you go i'll still be far from where you are

My love i've pictured this:
Your violet eyelids opened to say "here's where you've been"
Your lips open to say "my darling it's been so very long and i'm in pain"
Sometimes i picture all your fingers
Sometimes they're crawling down my spine
Sometimes they're buttoning your jacket
Sometimes you're far but you're still mine

I know that it is raining
And i know that the rain will soak you through
And leave you like the tattered sky
I know i go in circles
I know that window panes bring only rain and not your face

Sometimes i picture all your fingers
Sometimes they're crawling down my spine
Sometimes they're buttoning your jacket
Sometimes you're far but you're still mine

I know that it is raining and
I know that the rain will soak you through and leave you like the tattered sky
I know i go in circles
I know that window panes bring only rain and not your face

- Trespassers William (live performance here)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Taurus Love Horoscope

For Friday, October 13th...

It's time to rise to the occasion. You can continue to clutch at the past, or you can acknowledge what it meant to you and then let go of it completely. After all, to make room for new love, you have to let the old go.

Um, yeah. Working on it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Despot Pictures - Now With 100% More Logo!

Steve came over today and we riffed out a corporate ID for the production company. It was great fun - just like in the olden days when we would get together and draw and brainstorm. Steve is one of those artists who thrives on the creative energy of others and is totally in the moment. He's a master at bottling lightning.

So he took the basic sketch home to vectorize and play with it in Photoshop, and then we traded files for a couple hours tonight. He did the actual work from my design concept, and I laid in the text. I can't wait to put some old Soviet music behind it and see it on the screen. I think it'll make for some nice business cards too.

Now I'm going to bed...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Back in Business

Sam's brother Doug came by on Sunday morning and got my work box up and running - at least enough to get the Dining Room poster done. I've posted the whole shoot over at my flickr account. Enjoy.

We're less than a month from the Dining Room run, and have started working with costumes and props as much as we can. I love my cast. They are all beginning to fill their respective roles and have become much more natural in them. After pirating it up on Friday night in the Youngstown theater space, I am excited to see our set properly dressed and lit.

Ordinary Angels casting has gone great, but has proven to be a challenge in terms of choosing between some VERY talented actors. In the end, I need to set aside everything but the aesthetics of whom I feel best embodies the role as written. And when I say "as written", I mean not only does the dialogue sound natural coming out of the actor's mouth, but perhaps more importantly, does the actor look and sound like the image in my mind as I was writing the piece...

And now, back to work.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Yo Ho Ho...

Now where did I put that bottle o' rum??

Okay, so tonight is the crazy mad Twelfth Night fundraiser. I will put on all my newly-replaced pirate gear and y'arrr! it up with a bunch of Pandemonium Players. My voice will be gone tomorrow, but fortunately I won't have to talk all that much at the final callbacks for Ordinary Angels.

Tyler is almost over this cold, thank goodness. Kayleigh, on the other hand, fell from the play structure at school and severely sprained her wrist yesterday. School called, thought it might be broken, I rushed down to pick her up and get her in at the doctor's office, get x-rays, get dinner made and get to rehearsal. She's fine.

Saturday evening, after callbacks, I get to host three preteen girls for Kayleigh's birthday slumber party. Then, Sunday afternoon, Sam's brother is coming over to help get my work computer back up and running so I can get the Dining Room poster done.

Tyler & I assembled the electric fireplace mantel this morning, and the retro radio came yesterday - you know, the kind that look like vintage domed radios, but have a CD player and turntable built in... Looks fantastic on the DVD storage cabinet - almost like it belongs there. Hooray for fake retro!

Now to find that rum...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What Does it Mean?

Two nights ago, I had another "visit" from Sam. Since we've been back in the house, I've definitely felt her presence or energy around a lot more. And why not? Living humans are electrochemical reactors. They give off residual energy. She lived in this house for a decade - and died in it - so it makes sense that her imprint would still be here, fire, flood and all. Moreover, we both maintained a belief in the persistence of the human soul, and my experience throughout this ordeal has only cemented that belief.

Anyway, I've never just had casual narrative-style dreams about my deceased loved ones. They are without fail timely, engaging and extremely real - moreso than any other kind of dream. And they usually happen very infrequently (Sam is the exception to the rule, but given our relationship... well, Sam was always the exception to the rule, regardless). They are more in the realm of visits or communications. My brother, uncle and grandfather have all visited me in the past, and a favorite great aunt once physically appeared to me in the antique rocking chair we had. And more recently, my father has visited in dreams, and Sam has racked up a lot of dreamtime with me - not that I mind at all. Bring 'em on!

The previous dream I posted about was very upbeat and happy. We laughed and hugged and she complimented me on the house. This time, however, the mood was solemn - almost somber. I was sitting (sans clothing) on a long Victorian sofa. It resembled the green wingback sofa and armchair we used to have when we first moved in together, but looked faded and older, and the couch itself was huge; it seemed to go on forever into the dark. The room in which I sat was also dark. The only light seemed to be eminating from right in front of Samantha.

So I'm sitting naked on an infinite couch in the dark, while Sam kneels on the floor and begins to wash me with a cool, wet cloth. I remember making jokes and trying to be funny (you'd think it could easily have been one of those dreams), but she was very serious, and almost sad. It was very tender, and totally non-sexual. She just continued to bathe me with the wet cloth.

Tangent: Come to think of it, this would be a complete reversal of when she was winding down and couldn't move so well, and I would wash her. Although the setting was different (she was on a shower stool in the bathtub, and the water was nice and warm), it was no less tender. Caring for someone in the weeks and days before death is a transformational and emotionally bonding experience. Just taking a trip to the bathroom becomes intensely close. I remember she would fade in and out of lucidity, and every once in a while she would look up at me as I held her steady on the toilet. She'd flash me a sheepish look and an embarrassed smile - this self-proclaimed Cast Iron Bitch, this force of nature, reduced to teetering on the pot with her husband holding her steady. Once, she thanked me for taking care of her. "You'd do the same for me," I replied. "Yes I would," she answered, and I knew it was true.

I know water can symbolize emotions, and being naked can mean emotional vulnerability. But does it make sense that I was cracking jokes the whole time - just like Sam used to do in the hospital? Was that my way of dealing with the lingering hurt and loneliness, by displaying a facade of humor and confidence? And what does it mean when your lost love tenderly washes you with a sad expression? Seems she might be working on helping me shed the past emotional anchors to her - and that would be a less-than-happy task to accomplish. If anyone has any input, I'm all ears.

Tyler is sick today - stupid change-of-season cold has been going around for weeks now. I've been taking my supplements, my green tea, my StemEnhance and the occasional Airborne (if I feel symptomatic). So far, so good. Lots of stuff going on right now. Can't really afford to be sick.

My bedroom furniture came yesterday. My room smells like cedar. The kids hate it, but I LOVE it.

Dining Room rehearsals continue (we open in 4 weeks), and the fundraiser cabaret is Friday night. Final callbacks for Ordinary Angels is Saturday. Kayleigh's slumber party is Saturday night. Run run run.

Been listening to the new Trespassers William CD. For those unfamiliar with this LA-Seattle transplant quartet, they make the most beautifully haunting melodic alternative rock. Somewhat like Mazzy Star or The Doves or even an ethereal Cowboy Junkies. Or a mellow, downtempo version of And Tears Fell. I fell in love with their music about 7 years ago when I was doing the Starbug project and they were a fellow MP3.COM artist (along with Mira). And now they're up here - hope I can see them live one of these days. I know it's shocking - Todd still listens to mope rock. Yeah, what can I say? I've always had a dark streak - now I don't feel I need to hide it. :)