Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Aha! The secret to longer journal entries is to leave the journal alone for awhile, and then write down all of all the Life Experience you’ve been hoarding in one fell swoop.
Friday, I was given a brand new Macintosh G4 at the office, the better to scan over five hundred Jumble(R) puzzles into. I do rather enjoy having the new shiny machine with its optical-sensor mouse and Jeff Goldblum-approved software capabilities; which can finally make full use of the broadband connection we have in the office. Part of my job requires me to search online for stock photography outlets, and for several months now, I had to borrow a co-worker’s computer while I was searching, as my own could no longer handle the memory requirements.
Friday night, I also traversed out to Skokie, Illinois to attend a reading by Neil Gaiman, genius Brit author currently living in the Midwest, of his new novel “American Gods.” He was affable, funny, and much worth seeing live.
Inevitably, somebody asked him the typical writer’s question: “Where do you get your ideas?” Rather than assail the unwitting, uncouth fan with the defensive answer–“From a think-tank in Schenectady,” Neil answered the question rather thoughtfully, with compassion, and with the requisite joke about tossing goat bones around the floor and summoning the holy triumvirate of King, Rice, and Grisham. (“They hand over the envelope and swear you to secrecy.”)
Additionally, his final question of the evening was whether or not he had advice for those of us in bud in the field of writing. Here, he gave the stock answer, but truly, there is no other answer. To be a Writer, you Write.
Furthermore, he added, you Finish.
This struck me in the best possible way–Yes, I thought, He’s Right. Immediately afterward, I attacked a keyboard, determined to finish one of the many, many things I’ve started in the past year and a half. I can feel myself holding onto the momentum for dear life, worried that the impetus will fade with time. I don’t know yet. I want to think I can hang on with one strong iron claw.
Saturday was the first time I’ve been intoxicated in months. I was out celebrating the birthday of my friend Cubby with a round of longform improv at the ImprovOlympic, chat and laughter at the Ginger Man near Wrigley Field, and…ahem…a 3-D adult film at the Music Box theater. To specify: a 3-D John Holmes film at the Music Box theater. To specify further: The Disco Dolls in “Hot Skin in 3-D”.
Now, let me say, there are some things you just don’t need in your face in glorious 3-D. And for that matter, you certainly don’t need it in terrible 3-D, with the red and blue glasses. “The Wadd’s” nether regions and bioemissions are two of those things. The things required by other people to lead the film to those images, well, you could pretty much do without those either.
Sunday involved a picnic in Portage Park, with a meeting of the Poetry Group, which requires a better name, performing monologues and readings, as per usual, with good food and good company. The summer evening was gorgeous, and we inducted two new people within the fold–my girlfriend’s older brother and a new boyfriend nicknamed “Cute Adam,” as one of the other’s new boyfriend was also named Adam (and was therefore “Fun Adam”).
I found a comic monologue to use in auditions, from Douglas Gower’s play “Daddies,” and performed it for the Group…very little quite as satisfying as holding an audience rapt with somebody else’s story of a Macy’s Santa visit gone terribly awry, in my estimation.
It’s a long, busy week ahead of me, I think. Tonight, I have off, but tomorrow I have class, Wednesday I have the playwriting workshop, Thursday I’m hoping to meet up with my old friend who I’ve recently reconnected with, and Friday I’m driving up to Milwaukee and beyond for a rafting trip.
Dad called on Saturday to make sure I knew the dangers of rafting. As far as I can tell, there’s really only one, that being sudden death, but there are several ways that you can meet up with it. Drowning, obviously, possibly blunt force trauma to the head from rocks or trees or oars when your raftmate gets tired of your umpteenth rendition of “Come Sail Away,” which really only you found funny. There’s also hillbillies, but only if Burt Reynolds is with you.
My online presence in chat rooms and the like has often led me to wonder if I should draft a short will specifically to add the contingent, “Should I die suddenly, would somebody please go to http://www.chatroom.com and tell all of my online friends that I won’t be posting anymore?”
Are there such things as cyber funerals? Ponderance for another day, perhaps.
Lo and behold. A longer journal entry. The world will beat a path to my door.
Oh, wait. That’s a better mousetrap. Well, fine, I don’t want to have to deal with the constant knocking, anyway.