Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Made a point of engaging in as much distraction as possible this weekend, and it has for the most part pulled me out of the valley. Friday night I helped celebrate the birthday of my girlfriend’s soon-to-be roommate at a bar with a multiple personality disorder. North Beach Bar is a large sports and gaming bar, with pool tables, video games, air hockey, and a large indoor volleyball court, as well as the dim lights and tall, thin dark wood tables one comes to expect from the sports bar. However, the quality and volume of the music being pumped through the sound system would lead one to imagine, from the outside, that the place was a dance club, although once they got inside they would see that there was no place to really dance, and that the music made it impossible to commiserate with your sports bar friends without yelling. All in all, an unpleasant experience, even despite the nonexistent cover and a decent air hockey table.
Much of Saturday was spent in quiet reflection, which is what I’m calling it when I didn’t in fact do anything but switch over from TV programming to violent anti-terrorist video gaming (it’s no “Rainbow Six,” but the PS-1’s “Syphon Filter” satisfies the fantastic action-movie notion of being able to single-handedly take out a vast criminal organization with only wits and many, many bullets.)
Finally set up an audition with the Neo-Futurists on Saturday, after a week of phone tag. The Neo-Futurists are the genius ensemble responsible for “Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind,” which is 30 Plays in 60 Minutes, a show they shuffle and change weekly. I’ve wanted to be one of them since I first saw them a few years ago. I think I would fit in with their unique sensibilities, and I think that my own oddball writing impulses might best be served by their own oddball nature. Fingers crossed and mind at work on how to best make my way into their good graces.
Saturday evening, being the year-and-eighth-month mark for my girlfriend and I, we celebrated with a low-key evening in, watching, finally, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Originally, we were planning on waiting to see it at her parents’ house, where they have an excellent home theater setup…her mother had insisted that we needed their sound quality for the music. I’d agree, but the DVD has been out for months, and we still haven’t gotten over there to watch the movie. With the knowledge that “The Man Who Wasn’t There” is due out this fall, I absolutely refused to be in a state as to have Coen Brothers movies piling up in my “must-see” box. So we saw it. I liked it a lot. Appropriately enough, the Sirens’ song has been stuck in my head for a few days.
Also, for the hell of it, we rented “Josie and the Pussycats,” which was incredibly entertaining due to its clever self-awareness. Also, the songs were catchy pop numbers, the girls were cute as hell, and the subtle satire of the music industry (especially from the onslaught of corporate logos within the film) was dead-on.
Forgot to mention that I also saw “Titus” on Thursday night, quite by accident. Not only was it interesting to discover that Shakespeare had written another Moorish character, but that he was a villain. Since it’s always been a burning desire of mine to play Iago in “Othello,” but I’ve been discouraged by my own Moorness, I was a little uplifted that I could more easily get a part as Aaron  and thereby satisfy a desire to play a Shakespearean villain. Fascinating villain, as well, since his godless evil is offset only by his love for his newborn son. Excellent film, and it stands as an example of how Quentin Tarantino and Slipknot are rank amateurs in the field of shock value. Anybody who claims that it doesn’t get more shocking than the ear-slicing scene in “Reservoir Dogs” has never seen what Shakespeare does to Titus Andronicus, his daughter Lavinia, or the Queen’s sons Chiron and Demetrius. There’s a fellow in “King Lear” who gets his eyes gouged out on stage. Take that, Tarantino.
Sunday was a day for old friends and joy. Spent much of the afternoon in the company of old high school buddies playing four-on-four softball, and from there went to the wedding of one El’Ahrai Stanek to his longtime girlfriend Kathy Thygesen. El’Ahrai’s somebody I’ve known since 5th grade, and it was really something to see him as happy as he was on Sunday at 4 pm.
El’Ahrai is an abbreviated version of a name from “Watership Down,” the classic book of Bunny Warfare, where rabbits fight for their warrens and right to live in peace. I don’t remember too much except that there are a lot of passages where a rabbit is described as having received wounds. Essentially, the book could be subtitled “Bunnies are Bleeding.” El’Ahraihraih is the name of the Rabbit God.
I wish him and his wife the best of luck and a long, happy life together.
Big month for weddings, September is.
 Danielle, at least, should appreciate that Shakespeare wrote a Villainous Bastard named Aaron, and that I’d be interested in playing him.