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a human supernova

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See, the life I had could make a good man bad. [01 Jan 2010|06:12pm]
[ mood | hungry ]

2009 Meme, courtesy of AdrienneCollapse )

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Back? [20 May 2009|04:43pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

Hi. Been awhile. Thinking of reviving this journal but with the intent of making it more of a real journal. Just my thoughts, down on paper (or screen, as it were). No ambiguities, no glossing over, just going as deep as the feelings run. Like the way I used to write. I've been having to journal for school over the past two years and it's been difficult for me to keep up with them, but I definitely remembered that there is value, especially as an actor, in putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys, which reminds me, I want to start playing piano again this summer) and giving all of that perseverating an outlet.

So, given that what was intended to be a couple lines of a post turned into a paragraph, I might actually be back. In this Facebook and Twitter world, we've lost not only our attention spans and abilities to string decent sentences together, but also an emotional depth. That deficit has hampered me as an artist, so maybe this will be the journey toward filling that void and going deeper.

Oh, and it will be friends only from here on out. Just because.

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You have no strength to squander [29 Aug 2008|11:49pm]
[ mood | drained ]

Well, the insanity of the first week back is over. So far, I've weathered a no-show professor on the first day, a schedule change, general auditions and a subsequent WTF-worthy callback list. Aside from the first day feeling kind of weird, it does feel good to be back and I'm excited about the prospects that sophomore year entails. Different professors, focus on character work, mask class and SHOWS!

Today was general audition day and mine went pretty decently. I was able to meet with the musical director yesterday and get him to play my song for me and I sang it in his office. I was surprised at how good it felt when I was singing it in there. I sang "We Can Do It" from The Producers (from "What do I say" through "I'd have an attack") and I feel confident that I accomplished my goal: to prove that I can at least carry a tune and do a little acting while singing.

I'm really glad for the long weekend after this week, though. Although, since I still have shows I'm ASMing and already a substantial amount of homework, it won't exactly feel like a long weekend, but whatever.

I recently picked up a copy of The Freedom Sessions for $5.99 at Borders and, let me tell you, I'd still be interested in Sarah McLachlan if she sounded like this. Some of the interpretations on this are riveting and completely different readings than their Fumbling counterparts. On this one, the Tom Waits cover and "Elsewhere" especially, it's great to hear her sounding so loose and passionate. It's a shame she became so boring.

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And you're left like a zombie [26 Aug 2008|10:41pm]
[ mood | blah ]

So the Olympics are over. I always get a little teary-eyed watching the Closing Ceremonies, but the London presentation got me revved up for 2012. I'd like to go, actually, as sort of a graduation gift to myself (even though I'll be done a year before that). The end of the Olympics coupled with the end of the summer has left me feeling a little down. School starts tomorrow and for the first time since I started back full-time, I'm not exactly raring to go. I know once I get there, I'll get right back into it, but as it stands right now, I would love a little more summer.

I'm hoping to fall asleep at a reasonable hour tonight, but since my schedule's been so out of whack lately, I don't really see that happening. As long as I'm able to get a good night's sleep on Thursday night so that I'm ready for general auditions on Friday morning, I'll be fine. Monologue is feeling pretty good and I think my vocal audition will be passable, which is all I'm asking for at this point.

6:20 is going to come awfully early tomorrow morning...

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ZOMG I forgot to wish Tori a happy birthday yesterday! [23 Aug 2008|02:15am]
[ mood | awake ]

I can't seem to get into a normal sleep schedule. The fact my call for shows is 6:30pm probably isn't helping. I get home around 11:30 and am not ready to go right to bed, so I'm up late and then I sleep until 11 or so since I don't have to be anywhere until 6:30. Rinse and repeat. Don't get too jealous, though. Next Wednesday begins my up at 6:20 school schedule.

I'm vaguely excited to be starting classes again. What's overriding that excitement is the fact that I have general auditions in a week and, while my monologue has been memorized for well over a week now, I've not done any kind of analysis and have only done it on my feet a few times so far. Worse yet, I don't have the music for my song and even if I get it, I'm not sure I'll be able to rehearse it with the music before I do it for real. Yikes. I'm not going to stress, though. I've got a week to get everything down and I'll be fine. I really wish I wasn't someone who needed pressure in order to get things done.

I started my diet yesterday so that my body will be ready for it once school starts. I managed to pack on a few pounds this summer and I'm none too thrilled about it. I had to give myself a break from WiiFit because my thighs were so sore, but they're feeling better and I'm easing back into it. I did the Island Run yesterday and was surprised to get 12 minutes added to my bank for it. My calf muscles are feeling that today, though. I'm unlocking all sorts of things, including the free run, which I may try soon. I think I need to focus a bit on my upper body, though. The push up challenge was really tiring and the push up and side plank is still a killer, although I've moved onto more reps for it. I think I'll continue giving my thighs a break until next week, though. Every now and then I still feel a twinge in them when I squat and get back up, so a lot of the yoga poses are a moot point right now.

I'm excited to get back to the gym next week, too. Watching the Olympics has done nothing but fuel the fire. I'm still YouTubing the men's competition from 1996. I watched the team final and got most of the way through the all-around, but the video series I was watching cut off before the end. There's another video series from another country's coverage that looks really promising and appears to show a completely different set of athletes than ours did. I'm still amazed at how much more thorough and less Team USA-centric NBC's coverage used to be. There was fluff on non-USA athletes and coaches and it didn't matter that nobody from Team USA was really in medal contention; the coverage focused on the athletes that were. Beijing wasn't terrible as far as coverage, but boy did they know how to do it back in the day.

Sigh, okay, I'm setting my alarm to get up a little earlier than usual tomorrow so I can try and ease back into the schedule, so I should try and get some sleep.

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Tropical storms suck [21 Aug 2008|12:42pm]
[ mood | okay ]

Tropical Storm Fay can suck my ass. I had tickets to see the Smashing Pumpkins on Tuesday, but due to the non-storm we had, it was postponed to today. I can't go today because it's a show night. I've basically been on hold for the past 20 minutes with Ticketbastard trying to get a refund. I followed my way through the labyrinth of menus to get to "Postponed/Cancelled Shows" only to sit on the line for 15 minutes, all the while getting a "please continue to hold" message in Spanish even though I pressed 1 for English, to be told that I need to be transferred to Customer Service. Um, wasn't that who I was holding for to begin with?

So the lady finally answers promising world class customer service, which is amusing, but she seems nice. Of course, there would be some sort of hold on my tickets that's prohibiting her from releasing them and she has to seek assistance for that now. But at least I've spoken to a person and I'm being helped. Sigh. I think someone really doesn't want me to see the Pumpkins again. They pulled out of the Bang festival a year or so ago, luckily before I bought tickets, and now the curse of the tropical storm is screwing me out of seeing them, as it has so many others. At least they're in good company, but it sucks because I was really looking forward to seeing them. I've even been giving Zeitgeist some spins lately and really enjoying it. Ah well, win some, lose some.

I did take my mom to see the American Idols tour last night, though. While it's no comparison, of course, it was actually pretty good. Very different from the first tour. Each of the top 10 had a three song set and they started from 10 and worked their way to David Cook. Oh, what the hell, I'll post a quick setlist under a cut:

American Idols Live 2008Collapse )

Chikezie was better than I remembered from the show, Ramiele still can't sing, Michael Johns is awesome and, the general consensus was, hot, KLC bored me, Carly rocked despite "Bring Me To Life" being a terrible choice and Brooke was too perky on "1234" (which is perky enough) but did a lovely interpretation of "Yellow." The bottom 6 doing "Pride" was pretty cool, especially when Mr. Johns got his own little intro in the middle of it. Ya think they know he's pretty popular despite being kicked off early? The intermission was odd and Guitar Hero-filled. There was a competition onstage and then a couple of kids played air guitar for prizes...strange. Jason was pretty awful. Syesha was pretty awesome, even giving Beyoncé a run for her money with "Listen." But the highlight was David Archuleta. I'm such a teenage girl for that boy...his voice is probably the best to ever come out of the Idol machine. Apparently he's originally from here, too, even mentioned Hialeah, which was amusing. He got the most screams of the night and was barely able to get a word in edgewise. Cook followed and did a good job, but his setlist was kinda boring to me. He got the Idol single out of the way second and went right into the Aerosmith song, which I'm bored as hell of. His stage presence and between song banter belied the nature of this show and the amount of experience he has in front of that many people, though. He was cracking jokes and actually interacting with audience members, which was entertaining. The last group song was a weird choice, but it was pretty fun. As was the show overall.

P.S. after having to go to a supervisor twice, the money has been refunded. The customer service representative was extremely helpful despite the long wait, which clearly wasn't her fault. I thanked her for the world-class customer service and she asked if I wouldn't mind answering a survey regarding her performance. I gave her all top marks.

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More gymnastics blather [21 Aug 2008|01:27am]
[ mood | vaguely hungry ]

Olympic gymnastics is over. Womp womp. Uneven bars event finals were bullshit. Nastia's routine was a hair better than He Kexin's and that asinine tie-breaking procedure is completely unfair. I don't see why, if two athletes tie for scores in an event final, two gold medals can't be given out. Skip the silver and give a bronze out. I'm guessing since the medals for these Games were event-specific, there wasn't another gold to give out, but it was ridiculous. And, trust me, I'm not a fan who is blinded by patriotism; whoever was best deserves the medal. Whatever. Rings final was exciting when they zoomed in on Jordan Jovtchev; I had no idea he was still around and it made me really happy to see him. Unfortunately, he made an error that took him right out of contention. And vaulting...well, since we only saw three athletes, excluding Anton Golutsutskov's bronze medal turn, I can't really say much for that final. Seriously, NBC, vaults take all of 5 seconds to perform, and the final scores were all pretty good, so thanks for clueing us out on what might have been an exciting (and did I mention quick?) final.

I was glad to see Li Xiaopeng win the p-bars final. I had no idea Nikolai Kryukov was in that final, and while he placed 8th, I'd like to have seen what he did. Oh well. And yet...beam finals come along and we get eight routines. Now, I know women's gymnastics is more popular AND they have less events so the attempt is to balance the coverage between the sexes somewhat. You'll also never hear me complain about getting to see every routine in an event final. But I have to revisit the grumbling about the men's vault final here. Give me a break, NBC. Your coverage hasn't completely sucked this year and for that I should be grateful, but I'm sick of men's gymnastics getting snubbed. You do it when nationals come along, you do it for trials, and you do it at the Olympics. Grr, argh. Beam final was pretty satisfying, though. Shawn Johnson finally got a well-deserved gold medal and Nastia snagged another silver, despite being docked a tenth on her start value for reasons unknown. How Cheng Fei ever managed to get 15.950 for that beam routine...man. It was like vault finals all over again. Oh well. I love me some high bar finals, though, let me tell you. Even though NBC doesn't know how to not run over when they're showing mostly prerecorded events causing me to miss the last few minutes of the competition, I did get to see hot Jonathan Horton's hot upgraded silver medal winning routine. I loved it. SV wise, Zou Kai had three tenths on him, or else I'd probably be crying "Nemov redux!" It was good, but Horton really kicked ass. Hambuechen can't catch a break these games, but he did get the bronze, which I was happy about. Wonder if we got to see Yann Cucherat's routine...I didn't know he was still around either. I saw him at one of the American Cups I went to in St. Pete and I remember seeing him coming back from visiting The Pier as we were heading toward it. I really miss going to the American Cup...I think we went to two in St. Pete and one in Orlando before they moved it out of Florida. Phooey.

Anyway, I haven't watched the gala from tonight, but it's always been really cheesy. To avoid post-partum depression, I've been consoling myself by watching the men's team compulsories from the 1996 Olympics on YouTube. I don't think I actually watched any of the preliminary competitions from those Games. I think I may have watched the men's team finals and definitely the women's team finals. I vaguely remember seeing some compulsories and not really getting why everyone was doing the exact same thing. Now, I kind of miss compulsories. The routines really tended to focus on the artistry instead of the brute strength and power that the since 1997 optionals-only format has oft lacked. Oh well.

So, this basically concludes my Olympic gymnastics blather. I can't wait to get back into the gym next week!

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Gymnastics blather [17 Aug 2008|11:24pm]
[ mood | satisfied ]

And this is why I love the event finals. They're a roll-of-the-dice kind of occasion, because you've got people trying some crazy ass shit and seeing if they can get it to their feet. The theme tonight, unfortunately, was falling.

And it started with the men on floor. Both Marian Dragalescu (who is looking really hot these days) and Diego Hypolito, who had the most exciting floor routines, had falls. Upsetting because this was the first we've seen of Dragalescu all Olympcis long and because Hypolito's routine was just insane! I'm going to go back and ogle some of those passes later because I couldn't quite wrap my head around them the first time through. Disappointing that we didn't get to see Kohei Uchimura's routine, even if it wasn't medal-worthy; I just like him. And really, in an eight per event kind of format, would it have killed NBC to devote a five more minutes to show us both his and Alexandr Shatilov's routines so that we the viewers get a complete picture of the finals? It was the trend for the evening and I should just shut up and be grateful we saw five or six in each event.

When we moved onto the women's vault, I knew Alicia Sacramone was going to be the story. I also knew that she was going to have to be more than perfect in order to medal, and while she did a good job, no amount of grumbling by the Karolyis is going to reverse the score. Was Cheng Fei overscored for the vault she sat down? Probably. But it is what it is, and while it might have been nice to assuage Sacramone's feelings of guilt for her performance in the team final, the US team silver really wasn't her "fault." The Chinese were better, plain and simple. While Un Jong Hong of Korea had a great performance, I was really rooting for Chusovitina. Nothing thrilled me more than seeing her during prelims at her fifth Olympics and she did a beautiful job, but I guess it wasn't enough. This was another rotation of falls and the curious zero that Anna Pavlova got for going without the green light, of all things.

Pommels was actually an exciting final. The almost-falls are part of what made it so exciting, because it's very difficult to save yourself once things start going wrong on that event. Xiao Qin's routine was absolutely beautiful and even his error did little to mar it. His extension is to die for. I felt Filip Ude's routine was more exciting, if not as well performed. That dismount was ridiculous. And a surprise bronze for Great Britain's Louis Smith! It's a shame and yet typical that Sasha Artemev had the fall he did. I saw Hiroyuki Tomita's surly face in the background but we didn't get to see his routine. Oh well.

Strangely, we went from pommels to women's floor. Now, Olympic order for the women is vault, uneven bars, beam and then floor. The men were going in Olympic order, but the women were not, for some reason. They're also apparently dividing event finals into three days, rather than the usual two. I'm liking this because I think it'll give us a little more coverage than we got in Athens or Sydney, but it's a little weird, especially with the women not going in Olympic order.

Anyway, floor was kind of weird. Shawn Johnson drew the short straw and went first and did...basically the same floor routine we've been seeing from her all year. She threw the Rudi back into her third pass and had a pretty big step after the triple twist, but there were no surprises. Jiang Yuyuan has probably my favorite floor routine from these games. It's just a joy to watch and she did a beautiful job. Cheng Fei had an uncharacteristic fall and Pavlova, probably still smarting from the vault booboo, also fell. Dianne Dos Santos of Brazil had some crazy sick tumbling in her routine. Hello, layout Arabian double front! Even crazier, she was bouncing all over the place after each pass, meaning she had so much energy she could probably have rebounded into another skill after them. Crazy! Nastia's routine was another textbook example of the artistry of gymnastics. She's filling the gap that Khorkina left behind, to be sure. It's a shame that Sandra Izbasa of Romania went last. Her routine, while great (perfect stuck landings on every single pass), lacked the explosive power of Johnson's or the elegance and grace of Liukin's. And her music was like a remixed version of music that Gogean or Amanar used back in the day. Typical Romanian gymnastics: solid, but not exciting. Oh well.

Still, a great night, and I'm happy that I was able to watch it "live" for the first time during these Games.

P.S. I have not yet expressed how wonderful it's been watching the Olympics in HD this year. Oh baby. It's glorious.

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Cos I have survived [17 Aug 2008|02:42am]
[ mood | not sleepy ]

I am so not tired. I probably overdid it on caffeine earlier, but whatever.

The show I'm assistant stage managing, As You Like It, opened tonight. It's weird to think I started a week ago, at the outset of tech week, but it's good that it feels like longer since I'm used to being there for the whole process when I'm involved with stage management. Means I'm comfortable. I'm running sound for the show as well, which is something I've never done before, so that's a plus. I swear, I am going to be one well-rounded theatre professional by the time I graduate...and that's a good thing. I'm really thankful for all the work that keeps being thrown my way.

This week also brought the excellent news that my extended family has grown. Maureen gave birth to Kaitlyn on Thursday at 11:23pm. I've seen a picture of her and she's beautiful (and don't lie and say all babies are beautiful, because there are some ugly babies coming into this world...but not this one!) and I'm so thrilled for Maureen and Mike and can't wait to meet her. It's so crazy to think that seven years ago she was pregnant with Justin and reflect on how different life was in those times. How young we all were and how much has changed. It feels like forever ago and yet it feels like it just happened. Anyway, congrats are due and I have even more of a reason to get up there ASAP.

The Olympics are continuing to rock my world. Michael Phelps is just amazing and the 100m fly final was absolutely unreal. The individual all-around for the men and women in gymnastics have both come and gone. The battle on the men's side was for silver and bronze, as Yang Wei deservedly secured the gold. On the women's side, Nastia Liukin proved she was the best in the world, even though I think Shawn Johnson was underscored on both bars and beam. Nastia's bars score was too low as well (sorry, there were not enough errors to warrant an 8.9 range execution score). But whatever. The swimming events came to a close tonight and all that's left for the gymnasts are event finals and that makes me sad. Excited, because event finals are where you get to see all the cool shit, with all the specialists doing their thangs, but it's almost over.

I haven't been able to give the Olympics as much focus as I did in 2004, but I was thinking the other night about the 1996 games and how I really started getting into the gymnastics events then. I remembered staying up to watch Kerri Strug's historic vault and going to summer school the following day bleary-eyed but satisfied. The swimming events this year are where that kind of drama has lived and thrived on Michael Phelps' implausible dream, but the Atlanta games are what made me an Summer Olympics fanatic and also what got me off the couch and into the gym. I don't believe in regret, but of the few things in my life I might have gone back and done differently, sticking with gymnastics a little longer than I did is definitely one. I'm not saying that I would have been in Beijing, but if my gym hadn't been damaged and subsequently closed, I do wonder where the sport would have led me. Even at 27, even after so many years, I still find so much joy being in the gym. It's one of my true passions and I wonder sometimes if I would be as in love with it if I started as a little kid or if I just happened to find it at the right time in my life. I guess I'll never know.

Um, I really need to get to bed. Gotta love those Sunday matinees. At least we'll be done early and I should be home in time to watch the event finals live. Most of my favorite events are tomorrow, too, with men's floor and women's vault and bars!

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Big Brother lust moment [15 Aug 2008|03:36am]
[ mood | horny ]

OMG, the things I would do to Memphis. So. Fucking. Hot.

As you were.

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Sing it if you want a better way of life [12 Aug 2008|11:44pm]
[ mood | sore ]

Well, I had a really nice birthday. I went to dinner the night before with my parents because I was supposed to start my ASM job the night of my birthday, but the run that was planned for that evening wound up getting cancelled. Oh well. We ate at Stir Crazy, where I had the most amazing miso glazed seabass. The next morning, I got up to open presents before they left for work (as is tradition).

They managed to track down a copy of WiiFit for me. Despite being extremely sore, I had to give it a try that afternoon. It's pretty fun, and while it told me I was overweight to begin with (stupid BMI), I'm now in the "normal" range. I've been using it pretty consistently and I think I need to give the thigh exercises a bit of a break because they never got a chance to recover from the tumbling class I took last week and they've been in a constant state of soreness ever since. I like that you get to unlock different games and exercises as well as additional reps because I probably would have overdone it from the start if given the chance. And let me tell you, that side plank/push up exercise is a killer. I need to be doing tons of those because all my strength is in my legs.

They gave me the remaining Twilight series books, which I've not yet touched. I also ended up with a copy of Mario Kart for the Wii as well, which I've also not yet touched. Starting this ASM job during tech week has taken up a lot of time. Compound that with the Olympics being on and it's a wonder I'm getting anything done. The gymnastics coverage has been surprisingly comprehensive so far and the swimming has been pretty exciting. That relay team win was one of the most exciting pieces of athletics I've ever witnessed on television. Also, Michael Phelps. Nuff said.

I'm really proud of the US men's gymnastics team, though. For a team that nobody expected to medal, resting atop the leaderboard for a couple rotations before slipping to the bronze was pretty impressive. I may not completely agree with all of the lineup choices they made for finals (Joe Hagerty on floor? Kevin Tan on pommels?), but the boys did well. And that Jonathan Horton is really something. But the Chinese men were incredible. It was thrilling to watch what has often been a deep but inconsistent team put it all together after the disappointment of the Athens games. I haven't watched the women's team finale yet, but I'm hoping it'll be a night where everyone is on and whoever wins does so because they kicked more ass than anyone else instead of winning because they made less mistakes.

And with that, I think I will go watch.

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Why do I keep running from the truth [08 Aug 2008|01:34am]
[ mood | sore ]

Happy birthday to Drew Lachey, JC Chasez, The Edge and Robin Quivers!

Oh yeah, and to me, too.

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Why the fuck would you want me back? [06 Aug 2008|09:57pm]
[ mood | spent ]

What a nice day today. Had a lovely birthday lunch with Elizabeth at La Bamba, then hung at her place for a little while. She got me Pokemon Pearl for the DS, which I'll start as soon as I finish FFIV (I'm about to enter the Dark Elf's cave, one of the few parts of the game I dread). I kind of want to start Pokemon now, but if I jump into something else, I'll never finish either one. I'm a one game guy. Anyway, it was a lovely, relaxing afternoon. Thanks again!

Then I went and tried a tumbling class at a gym in Davie. It's a different gym than the one I was going to a few years ago. I wound up taking a two hour class because I remember thinking that the classes I was taking before were too short. It kicked my ass. It was glorious. Once again, I was amazed by muscle memory. The coach started me off slow and had me working skills on mats but was always like "You're ready, it's yours" after the first try. It wasn't long before I was doing roundoff back handsprings on the floor like I never stopped. I started running out of gas once we got to the TumblTrak and I kinda crashed a back tuck off the end of it, but the coach was pretty impressed and was like "A two hour first class is a suicide mission, but you did really well." And there was some eye candy there, which was another plus. I definitely plan to go back, but I think I'm going to be pretty dead tomorrow.

I'm really ho-hum about SYTYCD tonight. It's done DVRing right now, but now that Mark's gone, I don't really care who wins. I'm much more interested in the drama going on in the Big Brother house. I just hope that Memphis doesn't go home this week. The way I see it, if America tells Dan to vote Jessie out and Libra and Keesha vote him out, it shouldn't be hard to get Renny's vote to get him out. Then it's just Ollie, Michelle and Jerry voting against them and that's not enough. I guess it mostly depends on whether Keesha and Libra are willing to stay in an alliance with April, who they both clearly don't like. I think it's time for the big alliance to start breaking apart anyway and if I were them, I'd much rather have Memphis on my side than April and Ollie. I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow...

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And if I must face the gun squad again, then let me get shot [03 Aug 2008|01:55am]
[ mood | why am I hungry? ]

So, prompted by Matt's vinyl hunting post, I decided to go on a little hunt of my own today. See, a couple weekends ago, Carmen and I visited one of my favorite places to get vinyl, Uncle Sam's in Lauderhill. They just recently moved to a new location in the same plaza and I wanted to check it out. It was heartbreaking. The new space is tiny and they have maybe one tenth of the overall merchandise they used to have and their (already dwindling) vinyl section was paltry couple of shelves. While I did manage to score an unopened copy of Rock A Little, it was still sad to find one of my favorite local music stores slowly dying.

Carmen mentioned a new place she'd heard of up in Delray called Backbone Records, so we decided to check that out. The place is not huge, carries CDs as well as vinyl, and what's on the shelves is only the tip of the iceberg. There are boxes galore under the tables that, if you're in the mood to dig, can yield some pretty sweet finds for some excellent prices. But you have to have the patience and since we had some other stops planned, we didn't explore fully. Aside from a "bargain bin" Fall Out Boy/Project Rocket split CD EP I picked up, I got:

Buckingham/Nicks: Buckingham/Nicks
Stevie Nicks: Bella Donna
Fleetwood Mac: Tusk
Fleetwood Mac: Mirage
Janet Jackson: "That's The Way Love Goes" 45 jukebox single on red vinyl
Janet Jackson: "Again" 45 jukebox single on yellow vinyl

I was shocked to find a copy of Buckingham/Nicks there. I figured, what next, a copy of Y Kant Tori Read? Alas. The rest of the Stevie/Mac vinyl were cheap and in good condition (Tusk came from one of the bins and was $2, Mirage was sealed), and the Janet singles I got merely because they were on colored vinyl. There was a numbered copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in the display case by the register whose price I didn't dare ask (seeing as how they had a copy of Year Zero on the wall for $46) as well as a copy of Ænima that I avoided for similar reasons. We moved onto Radioactive Records, a shop I've been in once that has a decent used CD section up front, but a vast used and new vinyl section in the back. This is where things got a little crazy. They had these awesome single boxes for Björk's "Earth Intruders," "Innocence" and "Declare Independence" singles that had all formats of the singles in them, which I kinda wanted but they were $30 a pop and I wasn't willing to spend that much. Besides, if I got one, I'd have to get them all and I was kind of on a bargain vinyl hunt. Turns out, I pretty much bought out their Janet vinyl. I got:

Janet Jackson: "Come Give Your Love To Me"
Janet Jackson: Control
Janet Jackson: "What Have You Done For Me Lately"
Janet Jackson: "Nasty"
Janet Jackson: "When I Think Of You"
Janet Jackson: "Miss You Much" promo
Janet Jackson: "Rhythm Nation"
Janet Jackson: "if." import
Janet Jackson: "All For You" 2 disc promo remixes
Pet Shop Boys: Disco
Pet Shop Boys: "Can You Forgive Her" remixes import
Portishead: "The Rip" with etching
Coldplay: "Violet Hill" exclusive with NME

Yeah, I went a little nuts, but everything was ridiculously cheap and pretty much all out of print. Control was sealed and has a sticker on it that says it contains the #1 hits "Nasty" and "What Have You Done For Me Lately" plus "Control," "When I Think Of You" and "Funny How Time Flies." That it mentions the latter and not "The Pleasure Principle" or "Let's Wait Awhile" is a testament to how old that sticker is. Also the "Miss You Much" sleeve has a sticker indicating all these remixes, but the record itself has different remixes entirely and "You Need Me." Whatever, it was $1, so what if it was in the wrong sleeve. The Portishead single I got just because it was beautiful. I also picked up a CD copy of Ash's 1977, because I kind of let Intergalactic Sonic 7"s handle everything prior to Free All Angels, which is dumb.

So...yeah. For the past few years I've been allowing myself a good splurge around my birthday as a little gift to myself, and this was my gift this year. We now return to our regularly scheduled cheapdom.

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Every time you cross the red line, my tracks go tangling [30 Jul 2008|10:49pm]
[ mood | thirsty ]

So, without realizing all the hype surrounding it, I started reading Twilight last week after picking it up on sale at Target. The writing tends toward the teenage girl demographic (okay, we get it, Edward Cullen is beautiful, we don't need a reminder of how Bella is affected by this in each paragraph), but it's pretty intriguing so far. I'm about halfway through it and while it feels like a whole lotta exposition, at least it's interesting exposition and I find myself wondering which of Edward's secrets the next chapter is going to bring. I really didn't know anything about it save that there was a vampire movie coming out of the same name (thanks to an Entertainment Weekly cover and various ONTD posts), but I can see myself picking up the next book unless this one does something to offend me in its second half. It's exactly the kind of summer reading I wanted to be doing, entertaining, enjoyable, not requiring a whole lot of thinking.

Also, may I state that the deluxe reissues of the first three U2 albums released last week are friggin' gorgeous? Hardbound slipcovers give way to beautifully crafted little books (also hardbound) that house the CDs and extensive liner notes. Never having owned a copy of October, that was the most interesting of the lot to me. It's a vastly underrated album that admittedly suffers from a half-finished feeling lyrically, but musically it expands upon Boy's template, adding texture and some of Bono's most heartfelt vocals ever. The bonus discs contain various ephemera from each album era, much of which I didn't previously have. The remastering was overseen by the Edge and while I have nothing to compare October to, this beats the CD transfers of Boy and War that I previously owned. The endless parade of reissues and vault-mining that's happening these days is annoying in some respects, but when done properly, it can be rewarding.

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Life through a window [30 Jul 2008|06:09pm]
[ mood | geeky ]

Oh, Square. Your endless re-tooling and re-releasing of the Final Fantasy catalogue has reached a particularly precarious juncture: the new version of Final Fantasy IV for the DS. I was all for the GBA port of the game, despite its occasional glitches, because it allowed me to take my favorite game ever with me anywhere I went. But my favorite characters rendered in a 3D environment with, dare I say it, voice acting (one of the current video game trends I rather loathe)? Curiosity compelled me to check it out, and a pox on Square if they fucked it up. With uncertain chagrin I trudged off to Best Buy last week, Reward Zone certificates in hand, and made the plunge.

So far...so good, actually. I've only played into the Watery Pass, but the voice acting isn't horrendous (although Kain sounds nothing like what I'd imagined and it's been jarring to hear him speak) and the 3D graphics are gorgeous. The layout of towns and dungeons seems pretty similar and I'm continually curious to see where Namingway is going to pop up next. The gameplay itself is relatively unchanged, but it is harder. Rydia may start out at level 7 (as opposed to level 1) when she joins the party, but one or two hits easily finishes her off. Even Cecil isn't the relatively impervious slaying machine he was originally. Also, there are more difficult and different monsters showing up earlier in the game. But those aren't quibbles, necessarily. The verdict at the moment is: kinda weird, but good. It's a different way of looking at my favorite game. Now, if we could only get our hands on the 17 years in the future sequel that's making the rounds installment-style on Japanese mobile phones, that'd be great.

I've also dusted off my NES and Super NES, both of which actually work (thank God), and was playing Crystalis on NES, which I'm probably about three-quarters through, and Super Mario Bros. 3 courtesy of my Super Mario All-Stars cart. It's nice to have time to get some gaming in these days. I'm enjoying it while it lasts. A month from now I'll be back in school with no life again.

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With the warmth of your arms, you saved me [28 Jul 2008|08:46pm]
[ mood | mellow ]

Lots happening in the last week. Monday night was the staged reading of Summer Brave, for which I was actually a bit nervous. I hadn't had much time to do a lot of work on my character, so I didn't feel quite as prepared as I could have been, and the fact that I hadn't performed outside of scenes for class and juries got to me a little. In the end, I felt pretty good about it despite getting nothing from one of the actors I had to work off of.

I went to a kickboxing class at my friend's gym on Tuesday, which was a lot of fun. Surprisingly, I was able to keep up much better than I anticipated. Toward the end of it, my brain started rejecting new steps, but physically I made it through the 15 minute abs class that preceded it and never had to stop or just move in place during the hourlong class. And here I thought cardio was my weak point.

I worked on Wednesday and got a call about ASMing As You Like It down at New Theatre, courtesy of my Production Manager from my summer internship. I met with them on Thursday afternoon and after hammering out the details was offered the position, which I gladly accepted. This employs me from my birthday through mid-September, a time when there's a dearth of shows up at Parker. So I'm glad about that.

Friday was the Idina Menzel show, which I was working. That turned out to be a much longer and more complicated day than I expected it would be. There was a lot of pressure put on us to make sure that everything went perfectly and so, of course, there were numerous issues, only some of which could be helped. Maybe I'll get around to a proper writeup of the show, but suffice it to say that she was in fine voice, I'm more inclined to pick up a copy of her new record (it's not amazing, but after hearing a few of the songs multiple times in soundcheck and then again during the show they've grown on me) and it was pretty damn cool to hear her do a folky version of the "no day but today" bit from Rent, an acapella "For Good" and a show closing "Defying Gravity," both from Wicked.

Worked Saturday and Sunday, Saturday being the karate show I worked a few months ago and after watching them do a lot of tumbling during the show (and landing pretty short more often than not, their poor ankles), I am dying to get back into the gym. I'm doing a load-in tomorrow and there's a gym right across the street from the theatre that has an adult tumbling class at 7:15pm that I've been meaning to check out, so I'm looking forward to that.

And that's the big stuff.

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How did we get here? [20 Jul 2008|08:26pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

I'm at a Starbucks right now. I brought my laptop to work with me today and this was a rare instance wherein we were not actually needed during the show itself, so we're currently cut for the couple hours that the show is running. So, while I could be spending this time going over my script for tomorrow, I am at Starbucks posting to LiveJournal. Because I can.

When I sat down, directly across from me was this dude in shorts with the most amazing legs. He has since gotten up and left, but it was a sight. I could see halfway up the thigh from my vantage point and while it appeared that he trimmed and/or shaved his leg hair, the calves were firm and the thighs looked tight and muscular. And I never really considered myself a leg man, but yum. It's kinda weird being one of those people sitting in public typing away at their laptops. There's this sense of total public solitude: my back is to a wall so there's no one looking over my shoulder, but at the same time, there's a number of people watching me go about my business. It's also a nice way to observe people stealthily. I think I might do this a bit more often, it's a good way to study people. Right now, in fact, I'm eavesdropping on the conversation of the people who took over hot legs's table.

I'm really tired and this Caramel Macchiato isn't really doing the trick. Also, all of the CDs seem to be $7.98, but naturally this location doesn't have the Starbucks-exclusive Sonic Youth compilation. Meh.

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She parked her hearse across three spaces posted motorcycle only [16 Jul 2008|05:40pm]
[ mood | wasting time ]

I just re-watched Batman Begins in preparation for tomorrow night's midnight showing of The Dark Knight. I had forgotten how they'd set up the Joker being in the next installment at the end like that. I'm also looking forward to Maggie Gyllenhaal taking over Katie Holmes's role. It's kind of sad; I once quite liked Katie, but really I think that was during the run of the Creek. Well, I also enjoyed her in Pieces of April, but she's no Maggie.

I was asked to take part in a staged reading of William Inge's Summer Brave. Initially I was told I'd be reading Alan, but it turns out I'm reading Hal, who is more of a stretch for me. We had our first (and only) rehearsal on Monday night and I have a lot of work to do. It kind of reminded me how young an actor I am. While some of the cast are reprising the roles from a previous reading, a few of the newbies were able to make definite choices on their first read through of it, meanwhile I'm still working things out in front of everyone. I still have to sit down and analyze and rehearse, I can't just jump into a cold reading and immediately start making choices. But I feel I've developed a stronger third eye (which, for someone who overthinks things as much as I do, may not be a good thing) and I could feel the moments when I wasn't being active, so that was interesting. Like I said, I have a lot of work to do before the performance next Monday, but I'm really grateful for this opportunity and to end up in a role that is going to force me to stretch myself.

I'm still on that Ani Difranco kick. I think my copies of Dilate and So Much Shouting...So Much Laughter have migrated to storage (along with my copy of Reprieve, which is of lesser importance), but I feel like I'm completely rediscovering a lot of her catalogue and it's kind of exciting.

I finished season 1 of Six Feet Under and need the rest of the series, stat. For many shows, it takes a while to get you really caring about the characters, but between the writing and the performances, I was hooked on the Fisher family from the pilot. Need. More. NOW!

Okay, I told myself I was going to be really productive all day and have gotten precious little done. Must get to work.

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First we admit our mistakes and then we open our eyes [12 Jul 2008|09:05am]
[ mood | tired ]

Don't get me wrong; I love where I work and what I do. But I am definitely not feelin' it this morning. I swear, give a guy a few days off and it's back to that lazy mentality. I'll be fine once I get there, but the whole getting up and going thing is proving difficult today.

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